5 Secrets to the Chic Diaper Bag

chic diaper bags
Want a chic diaper bag?   Here is a secret:  Nearly any oversized bag can make a stunningly stylish diaper bag, if you know what features you need.
 
  1. Look for something that is easy to clean.  If it is not machine washable, select something that has a smooth, slick, waterproof surface.  If it is cloth, choose a machine washable bag.Here are some helpful hints for your shopping:
  2. Look for something relatively easy to open with one hand.
  3. Look for something with pockets.  (You may use pockets for things like hand sanitizer, diapers, wipes, a change of clothes, burp cloths, small toys, ointment, plastic bags, bottles, and teething rings.)
  4. Look for something that is comfortable and easy to carry.  A backpack style is most certain to free your hands.
  5. Finally, purchase an insert for your oversized bag like the Skip Hop Pronto.  Having this truly transforms any larger bag to a diaper bag.  (Plus, it is all you need for travel, and your husband can maintain a feeling of manliness while carrying it.)
RED Valentino / Leather tote, $960 / Dooney & Bourke zip bag / Gucci tote, $650 / Vince Camuto bag / Topshop backpacking bag / Coach carryall bag / 3.1 Phillip Lim mesh tote bag / Backpacking bag / Ted Baker patent leather bag, $195 / Nine West tote

Homemade Baby Formula Kit

Homemade Baby Formula Kit

Nourishing Traditions Kit for Homemade Baby Formula

I was so very excited to find this kit when we had to supplement my milk supply.  If you read the post on coconuts, you know that much time was spent researching nutrition options for our infant.  Among the options to supplement breastmilk, I believe that homemade formula is one of the best for infant nutrition.

Why a homemade formula?  Because it is the only way to know exactly what it is that you are feeding your child.  If that knowledge is important to you, this is the only way to do it.  The nutrition of your child is more important to you and your child than it is to anyone else on the planet (–especially big business).

Why not just purchase the best organic formula from Whole Foods?  This is something that I researched.  I read somewhere that the DHA, even in the most elite of the “organic” formulas is extracted from the source with carcinogenic hexanes.

Do not take my word for what is best for your baby.  Do your own research.  Above all, do what you feel is best for your baby.  Only you can do that.

Coconut Oil, Coconut Juice, Coconut Milk, & Coconuts: Nutrition for Babies

coconut

It took us 4+ lactation consultants, 2 midwives, an ENT, 2 frenectomies, a dysphagia specialist, a Modified Barium Swallow Study, physical therapy, double-pumping with a hospital grade pump (every 2-3 hours, around the clock), donor breastmilk, a list of lactogenic herbs, nipple blisters, mastitis, and 7 weeks to establish breastfeeding.

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During our 7-week circus, I ran out of milk…several times.  It was heartbreaking.  Nevertheless, I had many hours in which I was hooked up to pump, and thus I spent many hours researching options for our newborn’s nutrition.  One of my delightful discoveries was the option of coconut juice/water/milk/oil for infant nutrition.  Apparently coconut is one of the least likely foods to elicit an allergy, and it is the first food fed to Thai babies.  In addition to being safe for infants, it is composed of the main fatty acid found in breast milk –lauric acid.

To assist you in navigating the benefits of the various renderings of the coconut, some basic descriptions may be helpful.

Coconut Glossary:

 Coconut Juice – This is the liquid from a young, green coconut, before it matures to the brown coconut.  This may be presented in stores as “coconut water”, but the juice is more flavorful than the coconut water from a mature, brown coconut.

Coconut Water – This is the liquid from a mature, brown coconut.  It is not as sweet as coconut juice from the green, immature coconut.

Coconut Milk – This white liquid is often used in cooking, and can be made from coconut “meat”.  (The process of making coconut milk is in a link below.)

Coconut Oil – This is solid, translucent white oil at room temperature.  There are many, many applications for this miracle oil.

 

Here are some of the resources I found in my research.  I hope they are helpful for you!

Coconut ‘meat’ provides B vitamins, protein, zinc, phosphorus and iron. Experts used to believe that coconut is too high in unhealthy fats to be considered a useful addition to the diet – but more recent research has suggested that the fat in coconut is actually very good for us!

This is because it is high in lauric acid, which also happens to be the main fatty acid found in breast milk. Lauric acid is what makes breast milk so digestible and is believed to protect the body from infection and boost the immune system.

Read more:  http://www.homemade-baby-food-recipes.com/can-babies-eat-coconut.html#ixzz21BTwd8UX

Here there are “formula” recipes* with goat milk & green coconut juice.
Here is a coconut milk based “formula” recipe.
Recipe for homemade coconut milk.
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*Because I was offering at least half of our son’s nutrition from breastmilk, I used the following simple recipe for our baby.
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Coconut Juice & Goat Milk Infant Formula Recipe
2 oz Green/Young Coconut Water or Juice
3 oz Goat Milk
Infant probiotics
I strongly advise against the use of any white or brown or raw sugar –no matter how small the amount– in infant formula recipes.  Young coconut juice is naturally sweet.

{Friday Fashion Finds} Pregnancy Chic: Belts

Have fun with your maternity wardrobe.  Accessorize and accentuate.  Putting a cute belt just above your bump is such a sweet way to switch up the look of your maternity LBD or your blouses.  I love the pop of color that a belt can bring to an outfit.  It is fabulous to have a belt with visual interest of sparkle, a cute buckle, bow, or flower.  I love the cute attention that a little bow belt brings to your bump –it would be perfect for some pregnancy pictures, don’t you think?
belts
How do you add flair to your maternity wardrobe?  Please share!
Witchery leather belt, $42 / Oasis studded belt, $24 / Patent leather belt, $98 / Genuine leather belt, $105 / Alice + Olivia skinny belt / Cole Haan wide leather belt / Topshop waist belt / Forever New waist belt, $18 / Dorothy Perkins / Forever New waist belt, $18 / 2b snake belt / 2b snake belt

X-Mini: The Must-Have for your Labor & Delivery Hospital Bag

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One thing I knew I wanted in the delivery room was soothing music.  With the help of a friend, and a number of hours sampling music on iTunes, I compiled a perfectly serene 14-hour playlist.  I then started looking for a speaker.  I wanted to find something small that I could pack for the hospital.  What good would my playlist be, if I couldn’t play it, right?

When I saw the X-mini on Amazon for less than $25, I thought that it was worth a try.  I am well pleased with the speaker, and thus I share this sagacious purchase with you.

The atmosphere of music during my labor and delivery was just perfect.  It was soothing.  It was comforting.  I could hear the music even from the bathtub of the en suite bathroom.  I think that the atmosphere of soothing sounds that I brought was appreciated by everyone in the hospital –including the midwife and nurses.  (My doula thought it was so wonderful that she purchased one herself.  I believe she wanted to have it for her future births.)

Since using my X-mini in the hospital, I have used it in the nursery, and in the home for social gatherings.  The sound quality and projection is truly amazing.  I cannot believe how it fits into the palm of my hand.  It is about the size of a small lime.

I love this sweet little thing so much.  If you love music, I’m sure you will too.

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What must-haves do you recommend for a labor & delivery hospital bag? Please share!