Monthly Onesies How-to & *Free Printables*

12 month onesies

I was invited to a friend’s baby shower this last weekend. I love baby showers! And people having babies!

I knew right away that I wanted to make her a set of 12 monthly onesies to use for pictures the first year.  I have made them baby boys before but never for girls so I knew I would have to re-design them and since it is a girl, add a tutu!

Here is how they turned out:

onsies_Purple

 

Aren’t they ADORABLE?!?!?  I didn’t want to leave the older sister-to-be out so I made her a shirt and tutu also:

big sister She just turned 4 so she was pretty thrilled!

My mom loved the onesies so much that she hired me to make a gift set for her to give at a baby shower she was going to in a couple weeks.  The mommy-to-be loves pink and chevron so I changed the design up a little bit:

onsies_Pink

Again, SO cute!  And really pretty easy once the iron-on transfers are designed. And since I already designed them, I am passing them on to you for free!

Tips for making the onesies:

*Buy different sizes: I usually try to buy size 0-3 months for months 1 & 2; size 3-6 months for months 3, 4 & 5; Size 6-12 months for months 6, 7, 8, 9, & 10; and size 18 months for months 11 & 12.  Remember, they can always be a little big and still be cute

* Use iron-on transfers for dark material – even though you are ironing onto white fabric, these work better.  Also, it doesn’t require you to reverse them before printing

* Wash and dry the onesies before ironing on the transfers

* Follow the directions on the package! 🙂

It’s really that simple: print , cut out, iron on.  And the best part is they are always one of the favorite gifts and make everyone “ooh and ahh!”.

Just click on the picture below and it will open the the document to print. I hope you enjoy them!

12 month onesies2

12 month onesies

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8 Ways your Baby Says, "I love you".

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When babies are so young, they can’t verbally tell us they love us but we know they do (and hope they do!).

I found this great article on parenting.com, written by Meagan Francis, a mom of four, the author of Table for Eight: Raising a Large Family in a Small-Family World and wanted to share.

8 Ways Your Baby Says I Love You

0-6 months: Born to Love
Smiling, even for a split second.

You know those people who say that your baby’s early smiles are just gas or an involuntary reflex? Don’t listen to them. Recent research indicates that an infant’s grin may mean a lot more. The goofy newborn smiles may be your baby reflecting your own smile. He’s instinctively building a bond with you.

The first true social smiles start brightening moms’ days between 6 and 8 weeks. Your baby may smile when he sees your face — or Dad’s or a big sib’s. He’s starting to associate your face with feeling good. The bond deepens!

Staring at you, so intently it’s practically rude.

Right from birth, a baby can recognize his mother’s face, voice, and smell, says Laible. The next step is linking those sounds and smells he trusts with something he can see. That’s why he’ll start studying your face as if he’s trying to memorize it. In a way, he is. He’s making sure he knows what comfort — and love — looks like. So next time you catch your baby’s eyes locked on you, give him time to drink you in.

6 TO 12 MONTHS: Expressing that emotion
This is when it starts to get really fun. Babies past the 6-month mark are a lot more aware of the world around them and are developing new abilities practically every day. So your baby can now show her big-time affection for you in some pretty adorable ways:

Holding up her arms so you’ll pick her up.

Kerry Smith recently noticed that her 6-month-old son, Leo, has a new way of expressing whom he wants the most. “When someone else is holding him and I walk up, he’ll twist his body toward me and hold out his arms,” says the Prescott Valley, AZ, mom of three.

Many babies adore being held right from the start, but it takes about six months until they have the physical and cognitive abilities to ask for a pick-me-up. It’s a body-language expression of how much they’ve come to trust and adore their parents. And it can be enough, especially on one of those endless days, to make your heart lurch, too.

Smooching (sort of).

Sometime around a year old, your baby might start giving kisses — and they probably won’t be chaste pecks. Expect wet and sloppy ones that land (sometimes hard!) on whatever part of you is closest. “When I ask my daughter Evvi for a smooch, she crunches up her nose, tilts back her head, and then swoops up to my face and plants her lips on mine,” VA. “She totally melts my heart!”

Evvi’s enthusiasm shows she’s been paying attention to the way her mom shows affection, and she wants to do the same, says Richard Gallagher, Ph.D., director of the Parenting Institute at the NYU Child Study Center. Babies are eager learners when it comes to physical affection, and there’s no one they’d rather practice on than Mom and Dad.

Bouncing, wiggling, and cheering for you.

The way your baby acts when she sees you after a few hours — or a few minutes? You’d be forgiven for thinking you’re a bit of a rock star. This glee isn’t just cute; it’s a sign of the deep attachment that’s grown between you.

On the flip side are your baby’s wails of distress when you leave. It’s part of her development, and she’ll learn that you always come back. She understands object permanence now (you exist even when you’re not around), so it’s rough for her to know that the object of her affection is out there, and not here to snuggle.

Babies this age do their emotions big, so whether it’s heartbreak that you’re gone or earthshaking excitement that you’re back, one thing is clear: You are loved. By a tiny, crazy little person, yes, but loved.

12 TO 20 Months: Mom totally rocks
As your baby goes from blob to bright-eyed to whirlwind, the way he shows his love gets more complicated, too. In the early toddler stage, your child is exploring his little world and testing boundaries, and he relies on you — yep, because he loves you — to help him. It’s a busy time for a toddler, and that’s why the ways he expresses his love can seem indirect:

Doing what you do.

Whoever said imitation is the sincerest form of flattery must have known a toddler or two. Whether he’s lugging a briefcase down the stairs or cooing over a baby doll, he’s definitely showing how cool he thinks you are. Like all people — adults included! — toddlers imitate the activities and behaviors of the people they love most, says Laible.

Making a beeline for you when he’s hurt.

When Emily Cook of Calgary, Alberta, gets a scrape or a sniffle, nothing makes her feel better like rocking on her mom’s lap. The fact that your toddler runs to you for comfort — and then can dry his eyes and run off — means he loves and needs you.

Of course, you may also notice that your kid doesn’t have to be that hurt to come to you wailing. Even a minor accident can make for big drama if Mom’s around to see it. “Emily puts on this pout, coupled with dramatic sniffling. Then she throws in a big, unblinking stare that says ‘Poor me!’?” says her mom, Heather. Yes, there’s a plea for attention in there, but it really does make your baby feel better to get proof that you love him as much as he loves

Reserving bad behavior just for you.

What mom hasn’t heard “He was an angel!” when picking up a toddler from a sitter, then witnessed downright devilish behavior mere minutes later? Toddlers test limits with abandon — but most often with those people they love and trust. This isn’t exactly the warmest, fuzziest way your child will say he loves you. But that’s exactly what he’s doing. “You know you’ve done your job well if he can hold it together in public but saves his blowups for you,” says Elizabeth Short, Ph.D., professor of psychology at Case Western Reserve University. “He knows that you’re safe — he can act up and you’ll still love him.” You may never welcome a meltdown, but at least you can stop thinking your thrashing, screaming toddler is out to get you. He isn’t. He just loves you sooo much.

Meagan Francis, a mom of four, is the author of Table for Eight: Raising a Large Family in a Small-Family World.

Breast is Best but most important is Love

Some people take to breast feeding like a duck to water. I didn’t glide or swim quite that easy. At all. I have taken to it more like a cat to water. So has my son.

I think that the breast is best. Absolutely the best thing for Mom and baby. And before I gave birth I never thought there was any other way I would ever do it. When I heard other Moms talk about the bonding experience and the closeness it created I imagined me with my little monster as I gave him the liquid gold that my body just naturally created as I nourished and loved him. And truthfully, when I heard the stories of people that couldn’t breastfeed or didn’t do it for very long I thought they were lazy or just didn’t try hard enough (baring any medical reasons of course).

All these thoughts were only solidified more for me when I read all my pregnancy books and went to the breastfeeding class. I was worried about breastfeeding (and being able to since I have had breast enhancement surgery) so I felt so much better when I learned that babies are naturally drawn to our nipples by sight and smell and they want to drink. And though I think that is a beautiful thing and am amazed by a woman’s body, I wish they would have told me that it isn’t all sunshine and roses.

Nobody told me, “breastfeeding is hard”. Nobody said, “you may not enjoy it”. And nobody said, “Your little one may struggle with it”. But I wish they had.

After struggling with it for the first few weeks, things started to go smoother which made me very happy. And I was really relieved when he started eating quicker and not taking his standard 45-60 minutes. But it was never smooth. I actually looked forward to the times when I knew I would pump and bottle feed. It was so much easier for both of us.

When I took him in for his 2 month check-up (actually at 10 weeks) he had only gained 2 pounds in 8 weeks. Not good news. I explained that I thought he had acid reflux (which he did) and was prescribed some medicine and told not to change anything he would start gaining weight. Well a couple days after the appointment we started refusing my breast. Sometimes he would suck for a few minutes and then stop and cry. Other times he wouldn’t latch on and would cry every time I would try. It was very disheartening and I felt rejected.

I did a lot of reading and asked for a lot of advice but he wouldn’t eat and since he only weighed 8.5 lbs I didn’t feel comfortable with letting him skip meals. So I started pumping and also supplementing with 2 ounces of formula (I just don’t make enough – although I still eat oatmeal every morning and drink milk tea and lots of water). I still offer the breast at every feeding and there are times, like this morning, when he stays on 8-10 minutes. And there are other times he is completely uninterested.

Although I am coming to terms with it, I feel like a failure. Yes, I made it to 3 months *sort of* but I am 9 months short of my goal. I am still pumping but my supply seems to be slowly fading. I only get about 12 ounces out a day.

When opening up about all the issues I faced I have found a lot of other Moms that have similar stories and also had a hard time. Why don’t we share that information before hand? Why don’t we start with, “Breastfeeding is the very best thing for your baby. Although it comes easy to some, it is difficult for many others…”

There are things that I will probably do different with my next baby but really, there wasn’t much I did *wrong* this time. Maybe this was the Lord’s way of humbling me. Now when I hear women say they didn’t breastfeed or only breastfed for a short time I wonder, “what is their story?”.

I have learned that although breast is best, it isn’t always possible. And more important than breast is love- which he gets no shortage of.

Yes world, I am still alive. I am still kickin’

So much has happened since I used to write regularly. Life got in the way and I had trouble finding my way to the keyboard for anything besides work and Facebook. I have had a lot people ask what was going on and when I would be back and although I would plan on it soon, it never happened.

I am actually quite ashamed by this. A year ago I had so many hopes on where I wanted this website to go and how I planned on doing that. Then in March 2008 I found out I was pregnant! Woo hoo! And I had so many plans on where I wanted this website to go and how I planned on doing that. But then I got behind and life got in the way and we had baseball and t-ball and softball and soccer and a big growing belly and… I just didn’t know where to start again.

And then L-monster was born in November (2 weeks early which totally threw off my plan and messed this Type A girl all up) and I took 3 months maternity leave. From life. As so many of you have experienced yourself, my days and nights became consumed with feedings and diaper changes and comforting and soothing and trying to run a home that I never even came back. I didn’t even try.

But my 3 month hiatus is over and I am back now! And I have SO much to write about. This Mom thing is a kick!

I want to get back to the basics and talk about natural products and trying to make green choices. And I am WAY behind on movie nights – although we have been doing them faithfully. But I also want to explore some new topics and I may even tread into the messy swamp of steplife – something I have never discussed too openly.

So hello world! It is good to see your bright eyes and beautiful face again! I hope you have missed me and will let me back in!

Another Reason Breast is Best

Not all women have a choice to breastfeed or not. But if you have a choice, although it is a very personal choice, more research has come out about the benefits of breastfeeding. On top of the already valuable list of reasons, a new study shows that breastfeeding actually helps to protect women who have a family history of breast cancer. Not only is that good news but the amount of time you breastfeed doesn’t seem to be a big factor. According to the study, only 3 months worth of breastfeeding (and it doesn’t have to be all at once, it can be split between babies) offers this protection!

Here is the full article:

http://www.typeamom.net/breastfeeding-protects-women-with-family-history-of-breast-cancer.html

Breastfeeding Protects Women with Family History of Breast Cancer

Written by Jodi Cleghorn

A new study into the link between breast cancer and breastfeeding provides new evidence as to why breastfeeding is especially important for women with a family history of breast cancer.

The study by Dr. Alison Stuebe and colleagues at the University of North Carolina found women with a family history of breast cancer radically reduced their risk of developing invasive premenapausal breast cancer by breastfeeding. The effect was comparable to taking an anti-estrogen drug such as Tamoxifen for five years. Unlike Tamoxifen, breastfeeding has advantages for both mother and child.

Previous studies have been mixed regarding the protective effect of breastfeeding. Dr Stuebe believes these studies may be flawed due to cancer patients being asked to recall their breastfeeding history after diagnosis.

Using a prospective study model Dr Stuebe and colleagues looked to collect information on breastfeeding and breast cancer before diagnosis. They drew their information from the Nurses’ Health Study II using the data of 60,000 women who reported giving birth in 1997.

Women were asked also to describe their breastfeeding practises. They were also asked if there was a family history of breast cancer and if they had been diagnosed with invasive breast cancer.

They followed the cohort through to 2005 to see how many developed cancer in that time. At the end of the study 608 cases of invasive premenopausal breast cancer were identified. The average age at diagnosis was 46.

Women with a mother or a sister with breast cancer were found to have reduced their risk of developing cancer by 59% as a result of breastfeeding. There was no difference found in women who did not have a family history of breast cancer.

“This could be because there’s something about genetically caused breast cancer that’s affected by breastfeeding,” said Dr Stuebe, “or it could be because rates of breast cancer were so low in women without a family history that we couldn’t see an association in this data set.”

The good news is protection is not dependent on the length of time a woman breastfeeds. The important point in question is whether a woman breastfeeds or not. The protective effect is apparent with just three months of breastfeeding – which may be accumulated from one child to the next. This means a mother breastfeeding each of her two children for six weeks will still gain the benefit. There was also no difference in women who exclusively breastfed compared with women who breastfed and supplemented. (1)

There is still no answer as to why breastfeeding reduces the risk of breast cancer. The researchers suspect when women do not breastfeed, inflammation and engorgement shortly after birth causes changes in breast tissue that may increase the risk for breast cancer. This inflammation may be prevented by breastfeeding and weaning.

A recent study by the Centre for Disease Control found half the women gave up breastfeeding before they wanted to. “Mothers and babies need supportive hospital policies, paid maternity leave, and workplace accommodations so that they can meet their breastfeeding goals,” Dr Stuebe says. “Public health begins with breastfeeding.”

One wonders in an era of public health policy which asks us to stop smoking, limit our alcohol consumption, eat better and exercise more, all of which attack big business profits and advocate no profit activities, if there should not be more room to aggressively promote breastfeeding on the same platform.

References

Based on the Chapel Hill School of Medicine Press Release at Media NewsWire

Alison M. Stuebe; Walter C. Willett; Fei Xue; Karin B. Michels. Lactation and Incidence of Premenopausal Breast Cancer: A Longitudinal Study. Arch Intern Med., 2009; 169 (15)

(1) Breastfeeding May Cut Breast Cancer Risk Kathleen Doheny at EmedicineHealth

Jodi Cleghorn is a Brisbane mother, writer, lactivist and natural birth advocate. When she’s not writing breastfeeding articles she is working on her fiction stories including a new novella and a new publishing project Chinese Whisperings. Her new blog Writing in Black and White chronicles her journey as a writer, editor and publisher. This week she’s enjoying a quiet house for the first time in two weeks!

It is World Breastfeeding Week!

August 1-7 is World Breastfeeding Week and helps to remind us how important breastfeeding is for all babies across the globe. For information on why the breast is best, you can go here and here.

Here are a few great breastfeeding resources:

WABA Website

Best for Babes which includes tips on how to avoid Breastfeeding Booby Traps

Le Leche League International

Breastfeeding.com

Earth Mama Angel Baby -  Breastfeeding

Earth Mama Angel Baby wants to help you with breastfeeding.  They are offering 15% off Natural Nipple Butter, Milkmaid Tea and Booby Tubes for the entire month of August. Coupon Code: BoobyTubes04.

I fully plan on breastfeeding, for as long as possible, and I know that I need to start reading and researching so I can be prepared and have a better understanding what I need to do and what I can do to avoid “booby traps”.

What are your tips, tricks and stories for successful breastfeeding or the trials and tribulations you had while trying to breastfeed? Did you enjoy it? Was it worth it? What would you do differently?

My Dancing Baby

I always joke that the baby is in my belly rockin’ out (this started long before I ever felt him moving – I am just sure he is a party animal). To demonstrate, I usually do a variety of moves that include the “making a pizza” move from Hitch, the “spanking the air” dance move and a move where I act like he grabs the umbilical cord and swings it over his head.

I am not sure why I envision him this way. Maybe because a dark, wet, prenatal living room doesn’t seem that exciting… or maybe I just think my womb is really cool and has a disco ball…

I thought about demonstrating my dancing moves, but I think the below video pretty much sums it up (without causing any embarrassment to myself or others!). “Go baby! Go Baby! It’s your Birthday, have a party!”

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-jrEhZab1HM&hl=en&fs=1&rel=0&color1=0xcc2550&color2=0xe87a9f&border=1]

One thing is for sure, he likes music… and sugar. I think we will get along just fine!

Pregosaur

As I was playing around online, I stumbled on the neatest website: http://www.pregosaur.com/

It is a blog written by 12 women who are all in the process of TTC, are expecting or are Moms. All of them have unique stories and situations but they all offer posts with useful information and lighthearted flair – something that is hard to find but so important!

Check it out! I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!

http://www.pregosaur.com/

Is your sunscreen safe?

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“May the sun shine all day long, everything go right and nothing  wrong. May those you love bring love back to you, and may all the wishes you wish come true!” ~ Irish Blessing

It is that time of year again – when we can enjoy the sunny outdoors!  But we have to be careful or those fun, sunny activities are followed by painful, dangerous sunburns.

But what is just as bad?  Many of the sunscreens on the market!  According to Natural News, new studies say that 84% of sunscreens on the market are harmful to us.  Many contain inadequate protection, ingredients that break down in the sun, or even chemicals that are harmful to us and are known to cause cancer.

Don’t fret though! SkinDeep.com has come to your rescue and rated (from 0-10, low hazard-> high hazard) 1,095 common, and not so common, sunscreens to help you pick what is best for you and your family.

Top 10 products (limited to one product per brand)

Soleo/Atlantis Resort Organic chemical free sunscreen SPF 30+

Keys Soap Solar Rx Cosmetic Sunblock, SPF 30

California Baby Sunblock Stick No Fragrance, SPF 30+

Badger Sunscreen, SPF 30

Purple Prairie Botanicals Sun Stick spf 30

Marie Veronique Organics Creme de Jour Tinted, SPF 30 (light face screen made with non-micronized zinc oxide)

Devita International solar protective moisturizer 30

Lavera Sunscreen Neutral, SPF 40

Corrective Skin Care Anti-oxidant sunscreen non water proof UVA & UVB protective SPF 30

UV Natural Sunscreen, SPF 30+

Here are some that might be easier to find -although they don’t all have quite as good as rating.

Recommended products from popular brands

Blue Lizard Australian Suncream Lotion, Sensitive, SPF 30

Blue Lizard Australian Suncream Lotion, Baby, SPF 30+

Blue Lizard Australian Suncream Lotion, Face, SPF 30+

California Baby Sunscreen Lotion No Fragrance, SPF 30+

California Baby Sunscreen Lotion Natural Bug Blend, SPF 30+

California Baby Sunscreen Lotion Everyday/year-Round, SPF 30+

California Baby Sunblock Stick No Fragrance, SPF 30+

California Baby Sunblock Stick Everyday/year-Round, SPF 30+

CVS Sunscreen with Zinc Oxide, SPF 45+

Jason Natural Cosmetics Sunbrellas Mineral Based Physical Sunblock, SPF 30+

Kiss My Face Face Factor Paraben Free, SPF 30

Kiss My Face 100% Paraben Free Sunscreen with Oat Protein, SPF 30

Neutrogena Sensitive Skin Sunblock Lotion, SPF 30

Olay Complete Defense Daily UV Moisturizer, Sensitive Skin, SPF 30

Olay Complete Defense Daily UV Moisturizer, SPF 30

Skinceuticals Physical UV Defense, SPF 30

Solar Sense Clear Zinc, for Face, SPF 45

Walgreens Sunblock with Zinc Oxide for Face, Nose & Ears, SPF 45+

And just as important, here is a list of major brands that have no recommended sunscreens.  All of these are rated a 3-6, moderate hazard or worse:

Aubrey Organics (6), Avalon Natural Products (8), Aveeno (21), Banana Boat (41), Biore (1), Biotherm (11), Bull Frog (9), Burt’s Bees (2), Cetaphil (2), Clean & Clear (2), Coppertone (41), Cover Girl (4), Dove (4), Dr. Scholl’s (2), Elizabeth Arden (12), Eucerin (5), Garnier (3), Gillette (1), Hawaiian Tropic (10), Jergens (2), Juvena (2), La Roche-Posay (5), Lancome (28), LORAC (5), Lubriderm (1), Maybelline (1), Murad (9), Nature’s Gate (7), Nivea (4), Paradise Gold (4), Phisoderm (2), Pond’s (2), Purpose (2), RoC (6), Skin Simple (1), Target (.method) (1), The Body Shop (3), Vichy (2), Zia Natural Skincare (3)

To check out the full report or to look sunscreens up individually go here.

On a personal note, I have used Badger sunscreen with good results.  This year I plan on trying California Baby sunscreen.  I like all of their other products so much that I want to give their sunscreen a try as well.

Have you tried a sunscreen that is rated as low hazard?  I would love to hear your reviews!

Starting to navigate the world of cloth diapers…

Before I was pregnant, I had already made my mind up about a couple of things:

I will use cloth diapers

I will use glass bottles

Of course, it was easier to come to this decision than it has been to understand all the styles, brands, and choices. Luckily there are only 3-4 solid choices for glass bottles (with a sleeve). Cloth diapers, however, are a completely different story. Just type “cloth diapers” into Google and you are inundated with 1.6 million results.

I was very thankful to find Pampered Buns which has a nice overview of the different types of cloth diapers along with the pros and cons of each style.

As I continued my search, I came across Kelly’s Closet which has a huge selection of cloth diapers (not to mention much more) and makes browsing the different styles and brands easy – even for someone new at this!

Check them out by clicking the link to the left or clicking here: