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SleepBuddy Review and Giveaway

SleepBuddy

Sleep. It’s a perpetual challenge for parents of young children. We’ve had our own share of challenges, though as my daughter ages it’s been getting much better. And yet there’s still room for improvement.

I reached out to SleepBuddy for several reasons. Partly because I was interested in giving my almost 3-year-old a tool to help her regulate her own internal clock, as I can see her itching to become more self sufficient in so many ways.

My top goal in using a “toddler alarm clock” – of which SleepBuddy was the most visually appealing I’d found – was to gently help my toddler learn to delay her morning nursing session.

Newly 3, my girl is nursing an average of twice per day, going down to sleep at night and waking in the morning. She’s deeply attached to these sessions, so any attempts to cease them altogether have been fervently denied. Encouraging her to wait to nurse until sunrise worked well in the winter, but with the spring came earlier and earlier wake-ups.

Enter the SleepBuddy. We set it to be active (meaning that its blue light, which has replaced her nightlight, is on) from 7:30pm to 7:30am, which approximately matches her sleep schedule on a good day. Her early morning nursing schedule, on the other hand, typically began at 5:30 or 6. Could the clock help her learn to delay nursing by 2 hours each morning, bringing more restful sleep to her and her co-sleeping mama?

I have to say, I believe it really could have, had I not made a critical error in judgement. I began using the SleepBuddy two days before a trip away for a long weekend. For those first two nights, I witnessed an eagerness to integrate and master the new information provided by the SleepBuddy. By the second night, she was willingly waiting to nurse until the clock hit 7:30am, and I thought I was home free.

As any parent of young children knows, vacations and schedule interruptions can wreak havoc even on deep-seated routines. So it would have served me well to anticipate and delay use of the SleepBuddy until after our trip. I brought it along for the ride, then back home, and in the month since we began using it, it’s become a focal point in her room. The challenge is, it didn’t solve the problem I intended.

Here’s what the SleepBuddy has done for us. It’s given our girl a concrete sign that she (and we) can point to in order to validate our claims that it really is time for bed. This makes it easier to get upstairs and into our nighttime routine. It gives her some sense of ownership over her sleep schedule, knowing that she goes to sleep when the light goes on and gets up when it goes off, approximately.

Here’s what it could do, if I felt like it was worth the tears. It could be a marker of what time it is appropriate to nurse in the morning. Yet now that the SleepBuddy is helping motivate her to get into bed earlier, and with age her nighttime wakings are becoming fewer and fewer, I’m less motivated to initiate a struggle over an extra 1.5 hours of sleep. Also, she’s developed such fond feelings for her clock that I’m not eager to break her trust in it.

Do I appreciate the benefits the SleepBuddy has brought to our household and to my little girl? Absolutely.

Do I regret how I initiated its entry into our nighttime routine? Yes. I feel that I could have had a gentle, empowering sleep tool that would have maximized sleep by minimizing tears. But I know these years are short and the days of nursing will soon be behind us. I know that others can learn from our experience and reap benefits unique to their own families.

Altogether, I’ve found the SleepBuddy to be a positive experience and an empowering tool for my eager, independence-seeking child. I’m excited that we’re able to give one away to one lucky family out there. Interested? Read on for details.

The Other Baby Book fans: Want to win a SleepBuddy?

To enter, leave a comment below with the reason you’d like a SleepBuddy, and your email address, by June 16th at 11:59pm.

If you’d like additional entries, leave separate comments after completing each of the following:

1. Like SleepBuddy on Facebook

2. Like The Other Baby Book on FB. (Let us know if you already like us!)

3. Follow @otherbabybook on Twitter.

4. Subscribe to our blog.

5. Post a link to this giveaway on your FB or Twitter.

 

Also, check out Blog Giveaway Directory.

Thankful Thursday – A Mother’s Day Gift to Our Readers

Giveaway Meme

We’ve been so grateful to see the outpouring of love and support among our community of readers and fans.

In the spirit of sharing the wealth, we’d like to offer a special mother’s day present to anyone who wants it, a free kindle copy of The Other Baby Book: A Natural Approach to Baby’s First Year.

Claim it here all day Thursday, May 9, 2013. Please share widely!

OR

Copy this into your browser if the link isn’t working: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B007MEYEMM/ref=as_li_qf_sp_asin_il_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=thotbabo-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=B007MEYEMM

Is Cloth Diapering Really For Me?

This post is brought to you by Eco Chic Baby.

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I know what you’re thinking “Cloth Diapers” as in pins, plastic covers, swirling poop and gigantic baby booty right?!!  WRONG!!!  Cloth Diapers have come so far in ease, function, use and cuteness!  For the record it’s not just hippies that cloth diaper, modern working families are cloth diapering, stay at home parents are cloth diapering, and work at home families are cloth diapering. It is for anyone and everyone! The other thing I know your thinking is “cloth diapering is too much work.”  Well let me tell you I’m a mother of three, a doula and business owner and I cloth diaper full time. Which means…YOU CAN TOO!

When you realize the benefits of cloth diapering for your bank account, your baby and our environment, a few extra loads of simple laundry is nothing!

Here are some basic reasons on why we love cloth:

  • Save MONEY:  on average $1500 per child
  • Save the earth:  (keeping thousands of diapers out of landfills and your neighborhood garbage can)
  • Non Toxic:  (no chemicals: dixon, TBT, SAP & more) – go to realdiaperassociation.org for more information
  • Soft & Cute:  that’s right these diapers are a fashion statement and you won’t be needing diaper covers for these!
  • Save time:  no last minute runs to the store for diapers and you end up buying other items which were not on the list. Face it you are already doing laundry as a parent, a few extra loads is nothing!
  • It’s not old school!  No pins, swirling, folding etc. Diaper on, diaper off and into the wet bag until washing day.
  • It’s NOT gross or hard!  Your washer takes in some pretty nasty stuff and baby poop is not the worst of them especially if you are breastfeeding (water soluble/organic). Should you choose to use our cloth diapers, we have made it simple for you with a washing guide and YouTube videos via our YouTube Channel (Eco Chic Baby). As well as for the older babies don’t spaz about that poop just spray it with a diaper sprayer or use flushable liners!

What about blow outs and leaks?

Well cloth diapered babies have LESS blow outs and LESS leaks if used properly! I have NEVER ever known anyone using cloth that has had a “real” blow out (up the back, cut off the onesie type). The back of the diaper is a nice fit versus a flat paper that allows for up the back blow outs. Also, especially when using natural fiber diapers (organic cotton, hemp, bamboo) you will see there is little to no rashes with cloth diapers!

Is it too late?

Is your baby 6 months, 12 months and you think why start now?

It’s NEVER too late. If you have an older baby you can get by with buying about 12 diapers versus 24 or more. As well as still save money especially if used on your next child.

All done having babies is it worth the cost?

YES, even if you have one child you will save $$$ and you can resell your diapers and make some money back! Bought diapers from us? We (eco chic) will buy them back or consign them if you don’t want to fuss with putting them up for sale.

How can you save $1500 per child by using cloth diapers?

Here is the breakdown:

  • On average you are going to spend close to $150 a month on disposable diapers, wipes, diaper trash bags, trash service, gas to get you to and from the store ….and wait, what about the other things you pick up while you “just go get diapers.” Also, our cloth diapers are ONE SIZE, 8-35lbs with adjustable snaps for small, medium and large!
  • So take that $150 or to be safe $100 x that by 12 and that is ONE YEAR of your baby’s diapers!
  • So far that is $1200 on ONE BABY for ONE YEAR…now keep adding…
  • Second year $1200 and third year $1200 (as most toddlers are trained somewhere in between).
  • Now that number is $3600 on scratchy paper diapers that have toxins in them and each diaper is sitting in a landfill for almost 500 years – YIKES!!!
  • Now as you know you change a baby about 12 times a day so take that and times it by 365 and that is 4380 disposable diapers for ONE YEAR!!!!! Now because babies get changed less as they get older I’m going to throw a average number out there for 2 years of diapering.
  • You can buy 7000 disposable (scratchy paper/expensive/toxic) diapers that cost you $3600 OR you can use 24 soft ORGANIC cloth diapers (bum genius elemental) that cost you $995 – or less.
  • Now that $995 is including bells and whistles aka Wipes, Warmer, dryer balls, diaper cream, detergent, wet bags (leak and stink proof bag that is handmade, washable and cute for holding dirty diapers) and so on.

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Now let’s recap here:

  1. Do you want to buy 7000 disposables for $3600 or 24 cloth diapers for $995?
  2. Do you want to be part of the growing green movement and keep those diapers out of our landfills and keep toxins away from your precious little one? Then Cloth is THE WAY.
  3. Before you go to the biggest online retailers to buy cloth diapers, consider “shop small” as well as getting exceptional customer service along with our (eco chic baby) price matching.

If you are in the area stop in for a free cloth 101 class, set up a diaper party or reserve a diaper rental!

Do I need special detergent or creams?

YES as mentioned in our washing guide it is crucial you:

1. wash diapers every 2 days

2. use only cloth diaper safe detergents and creams other wise you clog the pores of your diapers and they leak

3. The appropriate water to diaper ratio to ensure they are clean

4. YES you must do rinse, wash, rinse!!!

5. NO fabric softeners or dryer sheets!

Want to get your hands on a copy of our Cloth Diaper Basics E book? Head over to our facebook page and share one of our statuses to get your copy!

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Guest Blogger Chrissy Helmer, Founder, Eco Chic Baby

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Chrissy is a mom of three, business owner, childbirth educator, doula, and natural living consultant. She is passionate about empowering mothers to make healthy, eco-friendly choices for their families. A few of her favorite things include: cloth diapers, baby wearing, green smoothies, eco-friendly fashion, and Trader Joe’s peanut butter cups. She and her family live in beautiful Northern California and enjoy bike riding, camping and cooking organic foods. We are a family owned and run retail/resource center. We offer cloth diapers, gear,toys, handmade clothing & accessories along with Organic Skincare, Vitamins and more. We have over 10 classes geared toward new and expectant parents with 3 of them available via skype. And check out our Eco Chic Retreat for moms to rejuvenate their mind, body and soul. To find out more about Chrissy and Eco Chic Baby, visit her website at www.ecochicbaby.org.

Gratitude – from us to you.

Gratitude is one of the most important emotions we have available to us. It has the power to crack open our hearts, allowing new levels of love to flood in.

As rookie authors, we have many people to whom we’re grateful. Our amazing family and friends, a dynamic team of committed volunteers who seek to raise awareness about natural parenting, and our supportive community of 10,000+ readers.

On this Thanksgiving day, we want to extend our gratitude to all of you and to this beautiful world that is opening minds and hearts to the incredible power of the parent-baby relationship.

As our thanks to you for joining us on this journey, please send all of your loved ones to download a Free Kindle edition of The Other Baby Book on Black Friday – November 23.

May you and yours experience joy and gratitude today and every day.
Love,
Miriam and Megan

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Megan McGrory Massaro and Miriam J. Katz are co-authors of The Other Baby Book: A Natural Approach to Baby’s First Year. Readers will find eight fun-to-read chapters filled with baby-friendly practices, along with stories from moms in-the-know. In a soothing and sometimes sassy voice, the authors present compelling research on topics like birth, holding your baby, breastfeeding, infant sleep, pottying babies (yes, really!), sign language, baby-led solids, and self-care for moms. The book also features contributions from leading practitioners in baby care: Dr. James McKenna, Dr. Janet Zand, Naomi Aldort, Gill Rapley, Nancy Mohrbacher, and more.

Ergo Front Pack Giveaway

This post was written by guest staff writer, Katie Pawlak.

My introduction to babywearing began several years ago when my husband and I spent two weeks in rural Uganda.  I observed women all around me going about their daily work with wiggly, smiling bundles of baby on their backs, tied with a large beach towel or length of fabric.  The babies were happy to be with their mommas, and the mommas were able to tend to the needs of their little ones quickly and seamlessly amid their day-to-day tasks.

Several years later when I was expecting my own little one, I looked into the variety of products available for wearing my baby.  In the course of my searching, I came across study after study listing the numerous benefits babywearing for both parent and child.  I learned that babies who are worn for a significant part of the day experience less crying overall (up to 43% less!)[1], spend more time in a “quiet alert” state which is optimal for learning [2-6], receive extra stimulation to their visual and vestibular sensory systems, and show improved secure attachment to their caregivers [7]. Being near to their caregiver’s voice, warmth, heartbeat, and body movements also helps babies process and adapt better to the world around them [8-9].  Wearing baby against your skin can promote a healthy milk supply in the early days after birth [10], and keeping baby close also supports the mommy-baby bond for mothers who are experiencing postpartum depression [11].  The research spoke for itself in my situation; our next order of business was to decide what we were going to use to carry our baby (I was a little leery of using a beach towel!).

We tried out a variety of slings and carriers in our daughter’s early days, however they were recently packed up and put away when were given an ErgoSport carrier last month.  At 20 lbs., our little one is not so little any more, and some of our other carriers now leave us with sore shoulders and aching backs.  But not the Ergo!  We love how comfortable our ErgoSport carrier is to wear in a variety of positions, depending on whether Annie wants to ride on our back and face forward, or snuggle in close on our chest.  The adjustable (and well padded) shoulder straps and waist belt make it easy for my husband and I to switch back and forth, and the sleep hood makes napping on the go a breeze.  Whether it’s taking a snooze on mom during church, checking out the sights of downtown Boston on daddy’s back, or riding on someone’s hip while grocery shopping, our Ergo is now very much a part of our family and goes everywhere with us!

I had the privilege of speaking recently with Hannah Sullivan, copywriter and social media specialist from ErgoBaby, about this fantastic product:

KP: In a market that’s saturated with so many products for wearing and carrying your baby, what sets the ERGObaby carrier apart from the rest?

HS: In addition to our numerous safety certifications and prestigious awards, The ERGOnomic design of the ERGObaby Carrier is best for the baby’s spinal, pelvic, and hip development, and provides a comfortable and ERGOnomic fit for parents, as well.

KP: What are some of the benefits that using the Ergo offers to babies and their parents?

HS: The main benefit is that it enables parents, and all caregivers, the ability to be HandsFree in all of their activities. It can be worn in 3 different positions. It is comfortable for the wearer because of the design of the waist belt and shoulder straps. It can be worn as long as the child wishes to be carried, as an infant and into toddlerhood, negating the need for more than one carrier for all of your babywearing years!

KP: Is there anything new on the horizon at ERGObaby?

Our newest designs are the Options Carrier, with its interchangeable covers that snap on for a whole new carrier look, and the Organic Petunia Pickle Bottom printed ERGObaby Carriers for the fashion-forward fans! We are constantly conceptualizing and designing new carrier and product ideas, so stay tuned!

Thanks, Hannah!

The Other Baby Book fans: Interested in winning an Ergobaby front pack?

This contest is now closed. Congratulations to Chialin, our winner!

To enter, visit the Ergo site, leave a comment below with the color you’d most like, and your email address, by October 9th, at 11:59pm.

If you’d like additional entries, leave separate comments after completing each of the following:

1. Like The Other Baby Book on FB. (Let us know if you already like us!)

2. Follow @otherbabybook on Twitter.

3. Subscribe to our blog.

4. Post a link to this giveaway on your FB or Twitter.

 

http://bloggiveawaydirectory.com/

 

References
1.    Hunziker, U. A. and Barr, R, G. (1986). Increased carrying reduces infant crying: a randomized controlled trial. Pediatrics, 77, 641-8.
2.    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/3517799
3.    Barr, R. G. (1990). The Early Crying Paradox: A Modest Proposal. Human Nature, 1, 355-389.
4.    http://www.baby.com/jjpi/for-professionals/New-Evidence-on-Unexplained-Early-Infant-Crying-Its-Origins-Nature-and-Management.pdf
5.    Barr, R. G., Konner, M., Bakeman, R. and Adamson, L. (1991). Crying in !Kung San infants: a test of the cultural specificity hypothesis. Developmental Medicine and Child Neurology, 33, 601-10.
6.    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1879624
7.    Brazelton, T. B., Robey, J. S., Collier, G. A. (1969). Infant development in the Zintandeco Indians of Southern Mexico. Pediatrics, 44, 274-290.
8.    Lee, K. (1994). The crying pattern of Korean infants and related factors. Developmental Medicine and Child Neurology, 36, 601-7.
9. LeVine, R.A., LeVine, S., Dixon, S., Richman, A., Leiderman, P.H., Keefer, C. and Brazelton, T.B. (1994). Child Care and Culture: Lessons from Africa. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
10.    Anisfeld, E., Casper, V., Nozyce, M. and Cunningham, N. (1990). Does infant carrying promote attachment? An experimental study of the effects of increased physical contact on the development of attachment. Child Development, 61, 1617-1627.
11.    Pelaez-Nogueras M, Field TM, Hossain Z, Pickens J. (1996). Depressed mothers’ touching increases infants’ positive affect and attention in still-face interactions. Child Development, 67, 1780-92.