Thursday, December 18, 2008

Baby Bins Work!

Beginning in Baby's room BINS are your friends! There are so many cute options now for storage bins. In our son’s room we have several baskets with cute gingham liners that totally match the “theme” of the room. I put these on the shelf in his changing table to keep diapers, lotion, anti-bac gel, diaper rash cream, etc. in. It keeps things organized without having to be overly picky AND it looks good too. You can find these at Target or Wal-Mart for much cheaper than a baby stuff store. Think small rather than large when going for toy storage. This is a lesson I learned as a nanny. Just because you have a MILLION toys you will NOT play with half of them if they are buried in BIG toy boxes. This is a mistake most people fall into. Get a big toy box and just toss all the toys in there. It does not look organized, and your child honestly will be completely overwhelmed by the mass and come whining to you that they are bored. Again, use small bins or baskets with a few toys in them that can be easily organized (even labeled) and make clean up easy. I also keep the bottom drawers of my son’s dresser reserved for toys now that he can get into them at will. One of the best things you can do for organizing the toys that WILL pile up despite our best intentions, is to rotate toys. Get some medium sized storage tubs and pack away MOST of the toys, every 3 months or so you can get those tubs out and it's just like Christmas again as you swap the toys. It gives your child a chance to see something "new" and exciting even if it's not. :-)

Friday, December 5, 2008

Conquering the Cup

I have read in different articles that one of the problems with the modern "sippy" cup is that it doesn't really teach your child to sip from a cup. Instead, the leak proof features on most of them simply cause the little ones to drink the same as if it was a bottle. I'm all for teaching the wee ones to become independent from "baby stuff" early on. It bothers me to see 3 or 4 year olds walking around with a passi or a bottle tightly clinched in their teeth. But I can also understand the frustration of parents when they don't want to fight that particular battle. Still the earlier the better, and I've got a great idea for teaching the babies to drink from a regular cup without the big mess. Of course you'll always have the occasional "oops" along the way, but who doesn't spill their drink now and then? My son, now 15 months, gets his daily drinks in spill proof sippy cups because I'm NOT willing to mop the floor after every meal. He has started learning that there's a perfect "spot" for his cup on the side of his high chair tray, but he's not always 100% accurate when it comes to setting it up. SO my solution to teach him to sip AND to keep a less sticky floor is to let him sip from a cup in the tub! He thinks this is great fun, and for him it is! I love to watch him experiment with the cup too. Most of it does NOT end up in his mouth at this point, but he is getting it. Right now our lad is only drinking water in the tub, but once he kind of gets the hang of it better I'll add actual beverages to make it more exciting. That way if he dumps juice or milk all down his face and tummy, it'll be supper easy to rinse him off and have a good time. It's working for us, maybe it'll work for you too!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Dishwasher helper

Dishwashers are pretty much the most wonderful invention ever! However when you have a baby everything you use in life shrinks. You're now living in munchkin land, and where in the world are you going to put those tiny bottle nipples, sippy cup valves, and lids, and tiny spoons?? It nearly seems like you'll have to go back to washing everything by hand, but not so! Munchkin has this great product that I've used since my baby was born! It's a basket that fits in the top rack of your dishwasher, and it holds all kinds of great stuff!! There are two compartments, one skinny one on top that will hold nipples and such, and then a larger one on bottom for whatever other random stuff needs to go in there. PLUS there is a dohicky on the side for straws once your lil one gets into those as well! Great! I love this thing! It has to be one of my favorite kido gadgets, cause it makes clean up so much easier!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Thank You, Please

With the holiday season looming in front of us I've been thinking about how we help our kids learn to be thankful. Thanksgiving has always been my favorite holiday, even over Christmas, believe it or not! Yet as I think about the "season" and all the stuff that comes with it, I've noticed that to find a thankful child is a novelty. Of course, part of that may be that it's about as novel to find a thankful adult as well. So how do we do it? My oldest child is not yet 2 so the concept of gratitude is difficult at that age. However, we have started training him to be thankful because I believe that it's a virtue that is extremely important. This past summer a great friend of ours taught our son to sign "thank-you." He added it to his repertoire of signs and he thought it was a great game as all things are when you're one. But now we ask him to say thank you when he is given something. It could be food he asked for, or help he needed with something. It's just a little way that we are helping our child learn the art of thankfulness. Now he can say "teek-oo" but he still signs it, and I think it's pretty cute too! Plus the added bonus is that it reminds ME to practice thankfulness as well! So what are some ideas you have for teaching your kids to be thankful?

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Baby Hankies

Kids and snotty noses just go together. One thing I've learned is that when you're wiping kido snot you go through a LOT of tissue! In our household we're trying to cut back on waste as much as possible. So when my baby boy woke up with a cold this week rather than bust out the box of Kleenex, I went to the closet where there's a HUGE pile of baby washcloths and voila! a hanky for the little nose. I'm sure most of you have those baby cloths lying around by the zillions because they make such cute shower gifts. :-) However we only normally use just a few a week, so it's great to come up with more uses for them. They are soft and gentle on tiny noses too. My son doesn't complain about the cloths nearly as much as he would about tissue. So next time you're battling the snot monsters in your home, just grab a wash cloth, they work great!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Baby Safety in the Kitchen

We all know that we need to "baby proof" our homes from dangers to our little ones. Sometimes however certain common sense things slip our minds. From time to time I hope to post some tips on keeping your kids safe through every day things you do. It becomes obvious to we 'seasoned' look-out-for-danger mommies when we are in the presence of people who don't have to be as "aware" all the time. It's okay to tell extended family, friends or sitters how to keep your child safe as well.
These tips are for you chefs in the kitchen. If you have a stove with knobs on the front, like us, you NEED to get the safety covers for them. Our toddler, not yet 2, can reach the knobs and thinks that if mommy can "play" with them, he too should be allowed. Our range is gas, so this could be a HUGE safety issue for the whole family should he turn it "on" but not light it. The covers are a small investment for peace of mind.
Next, when you are cooking on the stove top, please remember to keep the handles of pots and pans turned in toward the center of the stove. This is a great tip to use even if you don't have babies. It's too easy for the handle to get bumped and the scalding contents of the pan splattered everywhere. I know you don't even want to imagine what would happen if your little one grabbed and pulled on a pan handle. Easy solution, ALWAYS keep them turned in.
Finally, keep your dishwasher "locked." Our son likes to "help" with dishes and his very own "job" is to close the door when I've finished loading or unloading dishes. However, he has also learned to open the door by himself as well. The last thing I want him to be exploring when mommy isn't watching is the sharp knives and utensils that may be in there waiting to be washed. He's not strong enough to open the latch on the washer so if we keep it locked there's no worries.
Kitchen time with tykes can be sooo much fun! Don't ban your babies from the kitchen, let them be a part of those experiences with you, just use your common sense to keep everyone safe!

Friday, November 7, 2008

More fruits and veggies

Five whole servings of fruits and veggies a day! Whew! To me it seems like a monumental task even though I know when you break it down it's really easy to get those servings in. Here's a problem I've come up with in my household. I LOVE to eat fresh/raw fruit and vegetables, BUT I hate to take the time out during the day to scrub them. Also once they have been scrubbed and need to be stored, I dislike the way they sog so fast during the next day or two. I end up throwing away produce because it didn't get used up fast enough. So I found a couple of products that help me to wash and use the produce more effectively. One is Fit fruit and veg wash. I've used this stuff, and it is amazing how much ick comes off of the "clean" fruit and veggies you get from the supermarket! Gross!! I don't even want to know how much of that stuff I've been eating all this time. The other great product is the Rubbermaid produce saver! This is ingenious! Wonder why they never thought of it before! I have put folded up paper towels in the bottom of storage containers to try to keep the moisture level down, but it doesn't work as well as air! These containers have an insert and are vented to keep produce fresher, longer! It works! So here's what I do. I wash the whole batch of berries, head of lettuce, or whatever in the Fit, then I store it in the produce saver, and it's ready to eat whenever I get a case of the munchies! Works wonders!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Jack and the ebeanstalk

I came across this cool site today called and you who have children should really check it out. It's got a lot of age appropriate developmental toys on it and they come in series which is pretty cool. Some of it seems a little pricey, but if you have some doting grandparents who are always looking to get the munchkins "something" and if you're like me and you'd rather the toys be "purposeful" then you might want to direct them to this site. That way you can get something that's the right age for your kids and something that will be somewhat "educational." Personally after having been in child care for awhile now I like toys that have a purpose. It's not that I think play time should be "school time" but I think that toys that help them with muscle coordination and hand/eye coordination and manipulatives and things that will help them develop their imaginations are good, and they make playtime more fun and interesting anyway.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Wet Ones to the Rescue!

Since I've been a parent I've grown to love these handy dandy, easy sanitizers! I've never been a "germ freak" but once that little bundle came home, I started seeing germs and bacteria EVERYWHERE!! Once he became mobile it was even worse! I have become more balanced since my son has no immune issues and has been a very healthy baby. Still, I don't like to expose him to icky stuff if I can help it. I've seen moms with these great inventions that look like a heap of fabric piled on shopping carts and high chair seats to keep a cushy barrier between their munchkins and the germys. It's a great idea if you like toting around an extra piece of baby gear everywhere, AND doing more laundry because, as I'm sure you know, fabric picks up and holds germs more than hard surfaces. I am the type that wants as little "gear" as possible. Half the time I can hardly remember to bring my wallet let alone something else to tote. That's why I've opted to use these wonderful wipes. They are anti-bacterial, small, cheap, and they fit anywhere! I keep a package of them in the diaper bag, my son's insulated sippy cup carrier, in the dash of the car, etc. so that they are always available when I need one. I wipe down shopping cart handles, restaurant table tops and high chairs, sticky fingers and face, you just about name it. If it has to come into extended contact with the bubby then it gets wiped down with a wet wipe. This has worked so well for me, give it a try, the peace of mind is wonderful, and the ease of use is unbeatable!

Changing Mat Update

Just so you know if you use a standard pillowcase it will work fine, but won't totally cover the mat. I got King sized cases in a color to match the boy's room and it is perfect! Plus it came in a pack of 2 so when one needs to go in the wash there's another ready!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

C-c-cold Changing Mat

I always feel somewhat terrible when I have to change my tiny ones and the changing table mat is soooo cold! I think it's worst in the mornings. Those poor sleepy babies wake up all warm and snug in their beds and then the stark reality of cold plastic covered foam REALLY wakes them up. It doesn't make for a fun experience though. Recently though, I came across a solution. No, this is NOT original with me, but for the life of me, I can't remember where I got it, so as far as credit goes, just know I didn't come up with it. BUT it's a great tip, and if you have one of those flat changing table pads it'll work for you. USE A PILLOW CASE! What a great tip! I don't know why I didn't think of it myself. They are just about the perfect size. Just slip it on, and no more chilly baby! Plus they come in so many colors and styles that you can easily find one to match your baby room theme. Also clean up is super easy, just slip it off and toss in the wash! If you, like me, don't want to torture your tyke during diaper changes, just slip on a pillow case and problem solved!

Friday, October 3, 2008

Organize your life with baby

You can immediately tell if you are stepping into a house where there are “little people.” Seemingly gone are the days when peace and order reigned in any room in the house. Now there are toys to step over, half eaten crackers and Cheerios crunching under your shoes. Dishes are piled so high they rival the leaning tower of Pizza! You realize that this is just the beginning too! Don’t even think about what the laundry situation is, or what the bedrooms look like. We’re just thankful those rooms have doors, right? We all knew our lifestyle would change when that new wonderful person came to live with us, but you do NOT have to sacrifice ever having someone over to your house again. I've dedicated a series of post to helping you, and reminding me, how to get and stay organized when your life with baby seems to be in piles all around you. These are ways to prompt you to be able to have that clutter free house you’re longing for, without sacrificing precious play time.
First, remember that Rome wasn't built in a day, and once it was built, the houses were much smaller and easier to manage. Take the motto "Less is more" for your mantra. My hubby and I like to refer to it a "zen" thinking. :-) You want things around you to be as simple as possible. This does NOT mean you must sacrifice style or comfort, but you should make clutter extinct! It's amazing what a clutter free home can do for your mentality. It's like taking a big gulp of clean, crisp mountain air for your soul. Ahhhh...
So your project for this post is to get a BIG box, put it in the garage or some out of the way space. Begin to get rid of anything that is cluttering any space ONE ROOM AT A TIME by depositing things in the box. This box is your friend, and if after 2 months you've not used/needed anything that you put in the box, it needs to go on to find a new life with someone else. Goodwill and Salvation Army are great places to donate things that are no longer contributing to your life. Go ahead, get started, you CAN do it! Next time I'll have some very specific tips on how to organize the baby's stuff. It's pretty amazing how quickly all those "little things" can pile up!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Chocolate for the Mommies

This tip is just a "bonus" for all of you who can use an excuse for having a bit of chocolate!
I worked for a lady who is a pediatrician and one day she came home and we were chatting and she told me about a new study that she read. Of course, I don't usually need an excuse for eating chocolate, BUT if there's a good reason for it, then I don't have to feel so guilty about the sugar/fat/excess calories and all that. Anyway apparently this new study said that statistically women who have eaten chocolate while pregnant have happier babies than those who don't eat chocolate. Wooo- hooooo!! That's a reason to break out the truffles let me tell ya! I mean, it makes perfect sense to me. I'm happy when I eat chocolate, so it should make my baby happy too! Honestly I wasn't the world's worst choco-hollic before I was pregnant, but I like the stuff a lot more now that I am preggy, so I should have a very happy baby, right? Here's hoping!

Monday, September 29, 2008

Savvy Snack Cup

My goal this summer as we traveled thousands of miles was to keep the vehicle as undisgusting as possible. When you have a toddler who is interested in finger foods and who will need more "refueling" than the big people in the caravan, it means you have to have snacks on the road. I get grossed out by all the left over ickys that make their way into the crevices of the car seat, floor mats and just about everywhere when eating in the vehicle is involved. So I "discovered" these great snack traps! I found them at Babies R Us. It's a plastic cup with a rubber lid that has slits (kind of like a drink cup top where the straw goes). You put the snack in, the child reaches through the slits and pulls out one-ish item and the rest are "trapped" in the cup. Even if it's turned upside down and shaken, the contents won't come out! This is a life, and upholstery, saver! They work fabulously! We've used them for Cheerios, goldfish, honeymaid bees, all the gerber finger food stuff, craisins just about any small, dry finger food can be used in these cups. I bought them for travel, but now that we're home, our boy usually gets his afternoon snack in them as well. He's toddling now around the house, and keeps that cup clinched firmly in one fist while the other digs out the yummies. It keeps the house clean and him occupied while he snacks.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Six by Seuse

"One fish, two fish, red fish, blue fish" "Thing one and thing two" "Fox in sox on Knox in box." Who can imagine growing up without Dr. Seuss? We bought this book for our son's first birthday because we like Seuss in our house, and this volume has some stories in it that I'd actually never read before. Horton Hatches the Egg is pretty hilarious! Reading is an important part of our daily routines. Right now our little lad is still most interested in his board books, but he LOVES reading time. We can read the same book 4 times and it will STILL be just as interesting. Read with your munchkins! It will make all the difference to them. It's great bonding "quality" time with your kids. PLUS they get a great appreciation for reading, and that's something you just can't put a price tag on!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Crib Jumping

A friend of mine recently had a terrifying experience when she walked into her 6 month old son's room to find him straddling the crib rail! Fortunately she managed to catch him before he fell. Probably every mom has "horrors" of her child climbing the crib and falling over the other side. I've heard several moms with stories about their little ones who could climb out of the crib before they were 9 or 12 months! Scary thought for several reasons. One, even if the little folk can work their way over the top of the crib rail, chances are they aren't going to be coordinated enough to come down the other side safely. Then two, and maybe a little selfishly, we mommies would like them to stay contained so that we can get some sleep! Here are a couple tips on keeping your tot safely in his bed. First, take OUT the bumpers! I've read/heard lots of times that while they make a great baby room accessory, they really are dangerous. They pose a suffocation hazard for small infants, and then they morph into steps for bigger babies to use to climb. If you DO use them, once your little one can pull themselves up, it's time for the bumpers to go. One trick that I've used with our son all along, was kind of just an accident. You've heard about the sleep sacks before, we've used one with our baby since he was able to roll over and swaddling no longer worked. They come in heavier and lighter fabrics for different times of year. It's great not to have to worry about him not being covered. However, they also have an added perk of keeping your baby's mobility limited enough that climbing out of the crib is practically impossible! I like them too because without crib bumpers they keep those little legs from getting caught up in the crib slats. So many great pay offs for one little practical product. I'd suggest using these, especially if you have a little monkey living in your house!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

The Spillproofest Sippy Cup

Just about every brand of sippy cup has been tested and tried by real live moms out there looking for one that really doesn't leak. They all SAY that they don't leak and are spill proof, but most of us have discovered, the hard way that the cup doesn't always live up to it's boasts. I have brought up this topic with several seasoned veterans of the sippy cup world. One mom has 5 kids that have had to go through these cups! So far the consensus has been unanimous (amazingly enough!) that the Platex brand has the best nonleaking cups. I personally went through a couple different brands before settling on the Platex brand as well. They are great! I use the insulated ones for milk and the 'regular' for juice and water. They don't leak even when left upside down on the vehicle seats or the carpet! My son gets a kick out of looking at the fun pictures on the sides too. One of the best things about them is that they are BPA free, so you don't have to worry about scary chemicals getting into baby's drinks!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Parenting Weekly

There's a website I get updates from weekly, go figure. It's called parenting weekly, and while I don't read every blurb that they send it might be something you'd be interested in. Just go to and sign up. You can always unsubscribe later, if you find you don't like it. Sometimes it's just nice to get an e-mail to remind you your a mom.... as if the little people in your home don't do that. :-) Maybe it's just nice to know there are other moms out there too.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Picky, or bored?

Try this scenario: Toddler is hungry, mommy fixes his version of "gourmet" meal, once in his seat being offered the delectable dish on a spoon, he balks. Hmmmm... Picky eater? Possibly, but maybe he's just board with the routine. Our toddler is NOT picky. I know this because I've seen him eat just about anything. I've also seen him shake his head and turn up his nose at the very things he was finding so yummy a short time before. My solution, try something different. NOT a different food, you really don't want to encourage picky eating. Use a different utensil. Sometimes if I offer him food on a "big people" fork rather than his baby spoons he'll gobble it down. Try a different location. Even if our little one is completely full, he'll gravitate toward anyone with food in a non dinning room location. Even if I'm just sitting in the rocker eating my oatmeal after he's had his, he will come and ask for some. Let them do it! Once they reach that stage where they can feed themselves, even though it's often more messy, let them feed themselves. They LOVE the sense of independence and will usually eat more that way. Some kiddos truly are picky, and for those you might have to use other tactics, but if the small one is just bored, some of these tips will probably help.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Catch the Mess!!

Dinner and movie night! So much family fun! Well, it was easier, in a way when our family was just 2 adults who can usually keep our food on the plate. But it's so much more fun with our baby now! He loves to watch movies with mom and dad during dinner even if he's usually "DONE" before either of us or the movie. The problem though, is that I don't particularly enjoy cleaning the remains of his meal off the carpet. At one point we had this plastic thing that I'd try to tote out and put under his seat, but it was bulky and difficult. Finally one day, brilliance struck. I simply walked to the linen closet and pulled out a colored towel. It fit wonderfully under the high chair, and had enough coverage on both sides to catch the occasional fly away. Plus when we were done I just folded it up, took it out the door and shook. The dog really enjoyed picking up the extra treats, and I just tossed the towel in the washer. Perfect!

Sunday, August 31, 2008

If you give a baby a book....

.... chances are he will grow up to LOVE reading!

At least that's what worked for us chillin'. My mom and dad read to us so much as little kids that I don't remember the transition from them reading to us to me reading on my own. It just seems that I've always read. :-) That is a very valuable thing that I hope to pass on to my own kids. As we have no "t.v." at home, reading will be a good pass time for active little minds. I always remember being disappointed with movies that have been made on books that I read because it was NEVER how I imagined it in my head. I have a pretty GRAND imagination that can't always be captured on film- ha ha! So anyway, I'd read these "If you" books before our son was born. I just loved their simplicity and the awesome illustrations! I really really wanted to get these books for my boy. However once I actually went to B&N to look em up I discovered that each story (and there are several) was perfectly contained in between 2 hard covers with appropriate pictures on the front and a very neatly done title, for the mere price of $10! To me a book with 30 pages averaging about 5 or 6 words on a page doesn't deserve that big of a price tag! So I hied me to the computer to look them up online and sure enough they were basically the same price everywhere. However I did discover that there was another hardcover book that had 4 of the stories all together plus fun extra stuff like a sing along cd and some recipes and fun activities for only $25. Yep, I can do math (sort of) and I quickly figured out it was a steal! So we purchased the book for our budding genius, and this evening he sat quietly in our arms while we read to him about the pig who likes pancakes with her maple syrup, and a sentimental moose who's crazy about sweaters and muffins. :-) It was fun! I think that I'll always love story time just as much as the kydos do!! Some things you should NEVER grow out of!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Save some Moo-lah on baby wipes

You've hard of a 5 alarm fire? Well in our house we reach about the same emergency level with what is known as the "6 wipe diaper!" I usually try to be "frugal" with wipe use, but still be thorough. However there are just some times when you have to keep pulling those wipes out till the job is done. All that wiping can make a dent in your wallet, BUT you can save on wipes using a little creativity! When I was in college I babysat for a family with 4 little munchkins, and was a little taken back when I discovered that they "made" their own diaper wipes. At the time, I had no idea that was even possible! Using some paper towels and a few simple baby ingredients that you'd already have on hand, you can actually create wipes that can cost you less AND be better for your baby's bottom. Our son developed an awful diaper rash soon after we brought him home from the hospital, and it seemed like the ingredients in regular wipes caused him more pain. We got the Viva brand of paper towels (because it's so soft) and just used plain water with them, and it worked great! I found a recipe for making your own if you're up to it. I'm sure most of us already have one of those plastic wipe dispensers around somewhere. Those are great for storing the wipes in, but if you've tossed yours then one of those ziploc storage containers works fab too! The paper towels are so large that you can cut them in half or even fourths to make it stretch even farther. Happy wiping!!
This wipe recipe came from, but there were several sites that had identical recipes.
1 ½ cups water
2 Tbsp. baby bath or shampoo
1 Tbsp. baby oil
1 roll paper towels

Mix the water, baby bath and baby oil in an empty round baby wipe container. Cut the paper towels in ½ using an electric knife. Remove core from the center. Place paper towels in wipe container. Let the paper towels soak up the water solution. Turn every few minutes to allow the solution to reach the middle of the paper towels. If there is still a dry spot in the middle, add a little more water and turn until soaked through. Pull the wipes from the middle of the roll through the top of the wipe container.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Solutions for the Sweet Tooth

This health smart tip comes from Sarah Amanda, the mommy of a very active, sweets loving baby boy!

Trey has a BIG sweet tooth, so instead of loading him up with processed sugars, I make homemade jello with unflavored Knox geletin packets and 100% fruit juice. Recipe is on the box. He loves it, because of its consistency and flavor, an I don't feel bad giving it to him! :)

I tried this with my son, and he wasn't wild about the texture of jello, but I thought it was really good! It works for Mommies or babies! Especially if you're watching those calories.

Monday, March 17, 2008

File Your Chores

This great chore system comes to us from Joan, the mother of 2 grown kids, and Grandma to 2 beautiful little girls!

House keeping tips. Read the book "Side Tracked Home Executives"
I'm pretty sure it is from that book that I got the "file" system. What you do is get a file box and get months of the year dividers, and 1-31 dividers. You put a certain number of house cleaning tasks (however many per card) in the 'day' you'll do it. For instance, today is the 18th so for today you may put laundry, ironing, clean the bathroom. When those are done, your day's 'cleaning ' is done! For the 19th you may put vacuum and dust. When that is done your cleaning for that day is done. You can color code your cards too for 'daily' tasks, weekly tasks, monthly tasks (like wiping down the window blinds) and even seasonal tasks like spring cleaning things such as shampooing carpets, washing windows and such. Anyway, you also can make a card for grocery shopping, repetitive appts like hair appts., etc. It really is an effective system and when your day's chores are done you don't feel like you're doddling or not getting anything done. You spread the household chores over 5 days and then start all over again. So if you pull Monday's out and do it then file it for the next Monday and you 'll repeat the same on that day etc etc etc. You can also make cards for your devotions, perhaps reading a book a chapter a day, etc. Be creative and it WORKS! I used it for several years.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Ziploc to the rescue

Here are some fantastic tips using ziploc bags brought to us by Miriam, mommy to a fun loving baby boy!

Travel tips: Use ziploc bags - they fit in your diaper bag easy, keep things compressed, easy to pull out, easy to find what you are looking for.

Gallon size
- have an whole change of clothes, diaper, wipe, onesie, and outfit (when your little one has a blow out, you have an easy change without dragging a huge diaper bag, or digging through it for all the right components, and you know you have one complete change of clothes. Plus you can put the messy clothes right back in the bag!

Quart size or sandwich size
- fits two of the Gerber food packs - though "resealable", they leak, and if you do not use all of your fruits or vegetables, they are easy to transport without leaking all over your diaper bag.
- fold several dry paper towels up and place in the bag. They are ready to use without scrambling around when you need them.
- have a wet wash cloth in ziploc (with just a little extra water) - will stay nice and wet and ready to use on a messy face when traveling.

Snack Size
- put your dry cereal mix in these size bags in ready to make portions. Even when traveling for several days, it is less bulky than packing the box.
- infant spoons fit nicely in these bags - easy to find rather than scrambling through the bag, knowing there is one in there somewhere.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Save the Memories

When you have a baby one thing you hear almost as much as "you'll never sleep again" is "It' goes SO fast!" It's true too! When you're in the blur of the first hectic weeks at home with this new person who needs YOU for everything it's hard to imagine NOT remembering how it felt. But it is! You probably know that now. I got this great idea from my mom and sort of tweaked it a bit, and I'm sharing it with you so that you too can save the memories. I'm a journaler and love to write, so when mom suggested that I write down the things our baby does so I'll be able to remember them later I jumped at the idea. I got a new journal and started writing away. Not long entries, just something short and sweet to trigger my memory in the future. I then decided to add some pictures to some of the memories as well. I don't put a picture for each memory, just a few. I happened to snap a picture of our son toppling over backwards when he was just learning to sit up on his own. Kind of sad, but funny too, so that pic made it into the memory book. The point is to put down little things that they do, or accomplishments of theirs so that months or years later you can read about it. They'll love to see the pictures of themselves and "relive" it all through your book even if they don't "remember."

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Mommy Moments

We're reminded to enjoy the "every day" moments in our journey of Mommyhood by Jordan, mommy of 2 sweet boys!

Marc Anthony stood forever at the huge pit nearby throwing rocks and pinecones into it. He felt rather daring, I think, standing on the edge (things always seem bigger to a child, don't they) and enjoyed Mama's concern. "Don't fall in!" I'd caution and then notice the gleam in his eye as he edged a little closer. Boys!

There we stood, Marc Anthony throwing debris, Will happily looking on ('big brother is so cool!'), when the garbage truck arrived. The pit was forgotten and both boys watched in awe as the big truck noisily grasped the trash bin and lifted it high, pouring the stinky trash into the back of the truck. "Whoa, cool!" Marc Anthony breathed. I noticed the driver of the truck watching him in amusement. I'd bet a lot that driver doesn't often get looks of admiration from people watching him do his job! He waved cheerily at Marc Anthony who was so delighted at being noticed by such an amazingly cool guy that he jumped up and down and waved back. Then the driver backed his truck away from the trash bin (the shrill 'beep, beep' further impressed the boys and Marc Anthony was speechless) and then he stopped, looked deliberately at Marc, reached up, and honked his horn! Well, that was the icing on the cake and all Marc could do was look at Mama and sigh happily as the old truck bumped its way up the hill.

Perhaps this is one of my favorite things about being a mommy: The chance to occasionally see the world around me through the eyes of a child! It is an amazing privilege. I emerge every time happier, more refreshed and invigorated. Children are so spotless in their intentions and estimations of those around them. Marc Anthony was way more impressed with the garbage man than he would have been had the President of the United States walked up! I love that about kids. Completely unaffected. Unpretentious. I love that being around my kids has that effect on me!

What a joy---seeing the world through a two year old's eyes!

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Fun With Cabinets

There is a new and excited world to explore as soon as mobility is conquered! It's the world of closed drawers and cabinets! Oh the things there could be behind those doors to thrill and entertain. We've discovered that one of our 9 month old's favorite pastimes is to open as many closed things as possible and empty the contents all over the floor! It's actually great fun and gives him an opportunity to explore. What we've done is provide limited access to these exciting places. In his room the bottom couple of drawers on his dresser are exclusively for some toys and books. He can pull these out whenever he feels like it. Even more fun than that, judging by his delighted squeals, is the freedom we've given him in the kitchen. We secured all the cabinets with "baby proof" latches except for the one with the plastic storage items in it. He is allowed to get in there and make a mess to his little heart's content! And he does! Also on the kitchen drawers the bottom two are filled with safe things like pot holders, hand towels, slotted spoon, and bibs that he can toss around at will. Just this morning he sat in a pile of towels and place mats for close to an hour! He would take things out, put things back and repeat. He was chattering away to himself about how it all worked the whole time as well. Yes, it does require some clean up on your part, but the excitement and skill development that it gives your youngster is well worth it. When everything else is "baby proofed" it's nice for them to have someplace that is not off limits.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Take time to be HUMAN

"Breathing space" "Time out for Mommy" "Girl's night out" don't those just sound wonderful?! Busy mommies LOVE being mommies, but I know if you're anything like me, you sometimes just miss being... HUMAN. None of us would give up our cherished position as the mom to the little rug rats we find our selves changing, picking up after, dressing, feeding, burping, wiping all day long. However here's a few simple ways that CAN make you feel more human and less robot without having to plan a big to do over it. Besides most of us would rather sleep than have a "girl's night out" anyway! :-)
1. Get hubby to pitch in when he's home.
Chances are Daddy loves to play with his kiddos anyway. Take advantage of it! Recently I asked my hubby to give the baby a bath while I cleaned up the kitchen. Daddy and Bubba had a GREAT time, and mommy was feeling a load off even though I was still cleaning up the kitchen. It's not that you always need a break from life, just a break from being mommy.
2. Get some Josh Groban, Michael Bubble or Enya songs on your MP3 player and listen to them while you sweep/mop.
Listening to some soothing music, even while you work, is a way to let your mind escape and relax. The chaos of childhood may still be rolling around you, but you can ignore it in your own dreamy bubble for at least a few minutes. :-)
3. Hot bath, candle, Andrea Bocceli!
We all know the power of a hot bath! If it seems impossible to go to the bathroom let alone have a bath in peace, teach your kids a "signal" that means to leave mommy be. This could be as simple as tying a scarf to the door knob and letting the kids know that unless it's an emergency they may not disturb when the scarf is up. If they are too young for that, as mine is, discover a good distractor. My son gets a kick out of watching Baby Einstein. If I set him in the exersaucer and put it on, I know I have 20-30 minutes. :-) Ahhhhhhhh.... blis!
This is pretty basic, but I've found it works wonders! I like to take a solitary walk when I can. If my hubby gets home and there's time I'll go for a 2 mile walk, and it is amazing how it can clear the brain fog! A family walk is always a great option too!! If a walk isn't in the works I still try to take myself out of doors even if it's just to feed the birds. Breathe a few deep breaths, look around and enjoy what you see. It brings the human back!

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Sleep Warm Safely

When our baby was "new" swaddling at night worked wonders! It kept him all tight and bundled just the way he liked it, and it gave us the peace of mind that he wouldn't get cold. As soon as he figured out the rolling over thing though, swaddling was a habit of the past! He would break out just as soon as we put him in and flip over onto his tummy where he prefers to sleep. The "soft bedding" had to go, but what's a mommy to do when she's concerned that her little shaver will freeze all night? If you want to save on the heating bill this ingenious product is a lifesaver! I call it a "bag" but it's called a sleep sac and who knows what else. All I know is that we use it every night, and I know that my bubby will sleep warmly, and the "blanket" won't come off! For the warmer months we used the Gerber sleep blanket, and now that it's cold we have some that are fleece. I plan on using them up through 24 months when hopefully he'll be about ready for a toddler bed and some real live blankets! You should be able to find these in the blanket section at Babies r Us or Target!

Monday, February 11, 2008

For baby food makers

It's interesting to observe people, don't you think? You've probably noticed that mommies tend to 'fall into' different "types." This is good because we can all learn from each other and get GREAT ideas! There are the mom's who do everything according to the American Association of Pediatrics, and those who make up their own rules. Some mommies are organic all the way and some just break out the hot dogs. :-) Whichever mommy extreme you lean toward or fall between, we all want to be the best mommy our kids need, and the good news is that you are! I personally am not the type that makes all of my baby's food, but I have friends who do and they have great success with it. This tip is for them. A perfect way of storing excess baby food and thereby saving time later is to freeze it in ice-cube trays! Once it's set, you can just dump the cubes all together in a bigger freezer bag and you will have perfect single feeding sized servings whenever you need them! Try it, this is great!

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Diaper Changing Desaster

Gone are the dreamy days of diapering where the sweet baby lay content to be changed and the only drama you had to encounter was the occasional “oops.” Now, I believe even an octopus would have trouble. Yep, with the world of mobility comes a very eager explorer and not so cooperative diaper wearer. My son now tries his best to squirm away half clad at any chance he gets. I have discovered some ways to combat this case of the wiggle worms and tears at least long enough to get the dry diaper on and the clothing back in place. Hopefully you will be able to use some of these tips for your own jumping jack.
Get one of those changing pads with raised edges. This will keep the baby from being able to flip quite so fast.
Make the undressing part “fun” When we take the feet out of pants or footsies we blow on the feet and tickle fat thighs.
Use a distracter. I give our baby a wipe to play with or a tube of lotion or even a sock. This usually keeps his hands (and mouth) occupied long enough for me to get the job done. Change up what you give them or it will become ‘old’ and won’t work. NEVER give something dangerous!
Make the redressing just as fun and then have a tickle time away from the changing table to end on a positive note!

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Sweetly Sleep (troubleshooting)

Okay, so nothing is perfect all the time. :-) Our baby started "sleeping through the night" at 5 weeks. This (I've been told) is not typical. However we spent the first nearly 4 months of his life traveling. This was not conducive to a schedule, bedtime routine or anything. By the time he was in his 3rd month he was aware enough about what was going on to not want to go to sleep just because he found himself in his bed. We had to work through this whole thing at 4 months. It worked! But since then we've had a few "jags" as I like to call them. Many things can cause this. Traveling is often the culprit because of the mess up in routine, but things like sickness, teething, and "development milestones" can also cause issues in sleep. When he was learning to "pull up" there were a couple nights when our son woke up terrified because he "found" himself standing on the side of his crib and couldn't get down. Ha ha! Kind of funny, but the way to deal with these issues is to go back to the beginning and keep at it. If at all possible when your baby wakes don't pick them up and rock them back to sleep or whatever. Give them kisses and comforting words and place them back in their sleep position and then leave. You may have to go through it for several days again, but they are pretty good about getting back into their routines once it's been established. Keep at it and you'll be so glad you did!

Friday, February 1, 2008

Tip from a Travelin' Mom

This swell travel tip is from Wendy a mommy of a gorgeous little gal!

Hey, one quick tip for traveling! This may not apply to all parents because not everyone travels as much as we do. Being missionaries it has been go go go at times and now that we have a munckin that eats "real food" well, we don't have a microwave in the car! However, this has been rather handy for us! It is a bottle warmer for the car and it is around $10 at Target! It fits bottles and baby food jars (even the homemade food in storage containers!). Hope it helps!

It's a bird... it's a plane....

It's Mighty Mommy!! I have to put in a plug for this great podcast! The Mighty Mommy has 'quick and dirty' tips for mommies. Even better, they are totally practical and did I mention quick? What mommy do you know who has a bunch of time to spend browsing blogs and magazine articles looking for just the right tip to help life run a little smoother with a house full of munchkins? This podcast is a great way to get some creative help on how to run your little kingdom and how to deal with some of the bumps along the way. Not only can you listen to it for FREE! It won't take much of your time. Each segment is short and simple. Here's what you need to do. Go to and download it if it's not already on your computer, don't worry it's free too. :-) Next go to the podcast section and then type Mighty Mommy in the search. It's a very popular one so it should be easy to find. You will be able to subscribe to it simply by clicking the "subscribe" button. Next simply add the episodes that look interesting to you. Once it's on your computer you can listen to it straight from there OR put it on your iPod, which every mommy needs, by the way. That way you can take it on the go and get mommy inspiration while working out, pushing the stroller, or mopping! Another cool thing about the Mighty Mommy is that you can write in with your own questions or kid issues and chances are if they haven't already been addressed they will be in a future episode. Happy listening!

Mommy Moments

Mommy Moments is what we live for. Remember to enjoy each day as they are filled with moments worth having.
This is from Jordan, mommy to 2 beautiful boys!

Overheard from the kitchen....

"Here Wool (translates as Will), you want this toy?"
Will's chirpy little voice, "Tank-tou." (His version of thank you.)
"Mommy!" Marc Anthony squeals, "Did Wool say thank you?"
"Yes, I think so," I call from the kitchen.
"Awwww. You welcome, Wool!"
Then: "What a sweet brover!"


The other day I was working in the kitchen (yes, again. What can I say? I spend my life there!), when Will came looking for me. He wrapped his fat arms around my leg, rested his cheek against me, and chirped, "Mama. Wuv oo." I love you! Clear as could be! Tears came to my eyes and I picked him up in a tight squeeze. "I love you too, Will."

These days are full and exhausting...and I'm having the time of my life!

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Sweetly Sleep (3rd Installment)

Learning a new skill takes practice, practice, practice AND time. This goes for anything. Whether it's an apprentice to an electrician, or a martial artist, or a dancer. It doesn't happen over night, and takes discipline and dedication. Believe it or not your tiny baby has the ability to develop skills too, and amazingly enough SLEEP is a skill. If you've managed to get your life somewhat into schedule and have developed a bedtime routine you are doing great! However you may have realized that the tyke that all this stuff is for has not got the right appreciation for it. They have to learn to get the skill to go to sleep when all the indications are telling them it's time for sleep. This is the most difficult time for us parents. It does involve crying and we hate that! Don't let yourself feel guilty for putting your baby down and letting them fuss. I prefer to think of it as them "working it out" on their own. There are several things for you to remember at this point. GET HELP! Our son would still not know how to sleep on his own if it was just up to me. My husband and I worked as a team. I could only stand so much crying before I felt like joining in. My husband would then take over. I would go to a different room, and when I was "better" I'd come back in and join the fray. We used the method where after the bedtime routine we'd put the sprout down, leave the room, come back in 5 minutes to comfort, leave, come back in 10 min, leave, come back in 15 min. It's a rigorous boot camp, and people struggle through it. Let me just tell you it is WORTH IT! Our baby almost never screamed for the 15 minutes. It does seem like an eternity when they are crying, but set a timer and be strong. Make sure mommy and daddy are in it together and are supporting each other. It will only be a matter of days till you see results and you CAN DO IT! If we were consistent our son got regulated in 3 days or less. This is the part where you tell yourself you're doing it for their own good. Just like shots, and going to school, and eating healthy instead of junk. Your baby will be happier during the day with regular sleep, and you will be able to better enjoy your little one because you'll be able to sleep as well. Be the coach your baby needs to learn this important skill!

Sunday, January 27, 2008

The Public has spoken

In a recent poll on the blog I asked parents what their favorite brand of diaper was. Hands down it ended up being Huggies! The only other votes were for store brand diapers. Pampers did not get one vote! I have since talked to several moms and no one has been impressed with Pampers at all. This is good news for those of us who wince at the price of baby diapers! Huggies are certainly more affordable than the "premium priced" Pampers. However if you are really pinching pennies I'd suggest giving the store brands another try. We have found that the brands Sam's Club and Costco sell do a wonderful job for our little mess. I was given a package of Pampers that our buddy soaked right through during the night, but the off brands we use will last a 12 hour night no problem. Huggies are my first "brand name" pic, but the Kirkland brand and the Sams Club diapers will always be my preference to buy because they are cheaper and work great!

Sweetly Sleep (2nd Installment)

"Shhhhhhh! Baby is sleeping!" Those words are franticly whispered by panicked parents in households across the world. Why? Because someone spent possibly hours trying to get the little sprout to FINALLY drop off and is now walking on egg shells in fear that the slightest noise will "set them off" again. Who really wants to live that way for 9, 18, or 24 months till the little person in your home learns to love to sleep? I mentioned before having a daily routine helps children be ready for sleep. Now more specifically we'll discuss the bed/nap time routine. This is a series of events that you create to help your baby wind down and know that it's time for him to close those eyes and sleep. You must add elements to the ritual that work for YOU! We do not use a bath as part of our routine because we don't do bath every night. Your routine has to be something you can do consistently each night. Here is ours: Bubba "says" night-night to Daddy and gets kisses. He and Mommy then go to his room where just the little lamp is on. We sit in the glider and rock while we read a story (this is a recently added element). After the story he gets his bed time bottle (this element will eventually be faded out which is why we added the story time). Once the bottle is finished Mommy turns out the light and we snuggle in the dark for a short time before he is placed in his crib. He has become so accustomed to his routine that as soon as he sucks air from his bottle he will crane his neck back to watch because he knows the light goes out next. I mentioned that we've added things, and will take things out. The routine is "flexible" in that as your baby grows things will inevitably change about the routine. The important thing is to figure out what works best for you and do the SAME THING every night. Our son knows when he is placed in his crib that it's time for sleep. He will find his thumb and is usually completely asleep in less than 2 minutes. Try it with your sweethearts and see if you can gain more confidence in your baby's ability to put themselves to sleep.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

A snack you can share

From every direction you get advice about eating right, and eating healthy, and making better food choices. We all KNOW the lines, but really, how many of us can resist that candy bar screaming our names when we've waited in line at the market with an unhappy child (or 2 or 3)? Especially when the kids are the ones yelling for the candy in the isles too! I recently discovered a very very healthy and YUMMY snack for you and your munchkin! I was in Cosco shopping for "stuff" and they were giving out samples of Mrs. May's fruit chips! Wow were they good! They are REAL fruit, no sugar, no preservatives, no additives! Wow! It's just pure freeze dried fruit and it makes a fabulous snack! I like to get my little guy on my lap and rip open a bag, (he loves to play with the bags too!) and then we sit together and share some fruit. Of course, he is still pretty little so he gets very small bits, and that's fine because it leaves more for me- ha ha! There are less than 40 calories per bag with these things, and they just kinda of hit the spot! I'd check them out if I were you. We found ours a Cosco, but there's also the Mrs. May's website if you want to look there. They've got all kinds of delicious stuff! Happy snacking!

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Sweetly Sleep (1st instalment)

People with babies all share the universal fear of lack of sleep. Before our son was born we were warned by good meaning parents that we should "get our sleep now because you won't once he's here!" I understand that sentiment to a point. However my hubby and I decided to take the positive approach and decide that we would not "whine" over lack of sleep but rather work toward a solution. Our sweet boy slept his first 8 hour night at a very young 5 weeks!! Now at 9 months he is sleeping 12 hours each night and takes two naps one to two hours a piece. We have had some back and forth issues with getting him to this point and some of the things we have learned I'm going to share with you. Just so you know our boy now looks forward to bedtime and nap times. It's great!
The first thing you simply MUST do to insure calm sleep situations is routine! I know, that word is dreaded in some households. Truth be told, our son HAS to be somewhat flexible with the kind of schedules we have. However I do my best to keep him on a pretty stable schedule. Your whole day does not need to be plotted out. The most important things are to go to bed/nap at the SAME time each day. It's also helpful if your feedings are fairly regular as well. Having been a teacher, both school AND preschool as well as a nanny before I had my own baby, I understand the importance of routine for little people. It gives them security of knowing what is going to happen "next." That security will help them be able to relax because they understand what is going on. Don't be fooled thinking your wee baby won't get it just because they can't tell time, you'll see a HUGE difference in them in a very short time. A good rule of thumb for babies from zero to about 6 months is nap after each two hours of awake time.
Next time I'll talk about the actual "Bedtime routine." Till then think about what goes on in each of your days and what kind of routine would work best for your little family.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

'da hood

I was listening to a podcast done by the Parents magazine people and heard them mention a website that you all might want to check out. It's called The Motherhood, nice! I haven't had a chance to explore it's depths, but it looks fabulous! It has all kinds of mommy related blogs and info. I'm sure you could find some cyber friends who are all going through whatever you may be experiencing. From potty training to sleep issues there is someone out there who has either been there or who IS there and they would like to share their knowledge with you. So look into it, who knows you may find a treasure.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Baby Signs

I have several friends who have talked about wanting their baby to learn sign language. I too would like to teach our baby (9 months) some basic signs. For Christmas we got him a set of Baby Einstein DVD's and this one along with "Baby's First Moves" is our favorite! It is simple enough for babies to grasp, and their parents. The key to teaching babies signs is to do them consistently. This DVD is a great way for you to learn together and reinforce what you're teaching your baby every day. He will learn signs for every day stuff, from the people in his life (mommy, daddy) to eating, playing and sleeping related signs. You should certainly give this one a try! I know they sell the Baby Einstein stuff at Wal-Mart, but you could also order it HERE. Check it out! It might be the best $10 you spend to increase communication between you and your precious little one!

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Time saving = life saving

One of the regular household duties that I despise the most is scrubbing the shower! When I got pregnant with my son I decided that something HAD TO BE DONE because I couldn't even bend over to tie my own shoes let alone scrub the yucky shower. So I hired a maid to work for me in the form of Scrubbing Bubbles Automatic Shower Cleaner! This product is great! You just hang it on the shower head and push the blue button after showering. It sprays a fine mist of cleaner all around your shower (close the curtain!) and keeps the mildew, mold AND soap scum cleaned off! I found that some light maintenance was necessary around the edge of the tub that the curtain hid, but other than that it was awesome! Now that I can bend with ease again, I still don't like scrubbing the shower so I use it as a time saver in my house. I consider time saved from mundane things is time I can use to play with my boy and that is certainly worth the investment!

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Travel Tips

We put a lot of miles on our poor infant the first few months of his life. :-) However, he's now a very well traveled baby, and loves to go for adventures with mom and dad! There are challenges to traveling with baby though! One that we ran into was feeding time! If your baby is bottle fed or supplemented like ours was, an issue is getting warm water for the bottle. I'd seen bottle warmers that you can use in a vehicle. However they all seemed rather bulky and slow! But we used our creativity and came up with our own method. It involves sunshine and a Nalgene bottle! We would put the Nalgene of water on the dash in the sunlight and by the time the baby needed to be fed, the water was warm! In fact sometimes it was so warm that we'd have to dilute it with some cooler water. It's good to have some extra around just in case. It wasn't until nearly the end of our summer travels that we figured this out and we wished we had thought of it before! You can always stop at a gas station and use their microwave to heat water too, but where we were driving it wasn't guarantee that there would be one when we needed it. Hope this is helpful!

Friday, January 11, 2008

Shopping Bags to the rescue!

Since our son was born we have traveled thousands of miles with him. There are LOTS of trick to traveling with an infant, and I'll probably be sharing more in future posts. This time I just wanted to remind you that those zillions of shopping bags you get from
Albertsons or Wal-Mart are great for baby stuff! Okay common sense, no, you should NEVER let your baby play with plastic bags, but they have other uses that are handy. We always keep several bags rolled up tightly and stuffed into one of the pockets of our diaper bag. This way if we end up with a poopy diaper and no where to stash it or messy clothes, we can put them in a bag and keep them in the diaper bag without getting anything else messy, and containing the not so elegant smell. :-) This is a great idea too if you're a guest in someone's house. I never like to leave poopy diapers in someone else's trash. It's also nice to have them available when you're traveling in case you forgot a bag for all the trash that accumulates on a trip! It's just one way to reuse something that we all have way too much of before we end up throwing it away anyhow.

No more dryer sheets!

Every mom knows that you're not supposed to use dryer sheets on your baby clothes. However we live in a very arid part of the country and clothing without softener is as static as a live electric line! BUT! I have a solution. These came to me compliments of my mother-in-law. They're dryer balls and they work great! I've seen them on t.v. that crazy "oxclean" guy was swearing by them. I don't really trust all the junk on t.v. though so I wasn't going to bother, but now that I've given them a spin (ha ha) I'm happy to recommend them to any one! Not only do they keep the static down, but they actual DO decrease your drying time by helping the air to circulate better. If you're like me and you want to save on drying time, plus money, plus not having to throw away used dryer sheets, then by all means get these little things. They are NOT expensive, and you'll be happy you gave it a try!
Here's a quote from "Your Baby Today"
Choosing detergent Your baby's skin is more sensitive than yours, but as long as you use a mild detergent -- one without color or fragrance -- you can safely wash his clothing with yours. (Just be sure to wash cloth diapers separately from all clothing. See "Washing Diapers," below.) For now, avoid using liquid fabric softeners or dryer sheets since they tend to be perfumed and may irritate baby's skin. Always wash your baby's PJs in detergent rather than natural animal-based soaps because such formulas wash out the flame-retardant chemicals that are used to treat sleepwear.