How to Swaddle Baby in a Car Seat

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Does your baby get fussy while riding in the car seat? Have you tried ways to swaddle your baby in the car seat, but haven’t had success? Here is an easy way to calm your baby, particularly a newborn, while in the car seat and still be safe.

This post contains affiliate links which means if you click through and end up buying something, I get a tiny commission to add to my coffee and writing fund. Thank you 🙂

Bubby was not much of a sleepy newborn. We could go places with him in his car seat and some times he would fall asleep, but not very often. He always wanted to see what was going on. Such a silent observer, like his dad. So, we would try covering the car seat with a blanket to block out too much stimulation when we wanted him to try and catch a catnap while we were out, but he’d begin to scratch his face off. Newborns look so funny when they do this. It’s sort of like watching a monkey hit himself in the head over and over. He gets mad, but he just. Can’t. Stop.

I wish I could say that this ingenious idea came from me. I was too sleep deprived to come up with something like this. But it did come from a friend of ours. How many of you use the Summer Infant swaddle with velcro tabs? We were able to use these on a regular basis for only a couple of weeks before Asher figured out how to get out of them BUT we were able to use it in the car seat!! Here’s how.

First you got your Summer Infant Swaddle. Duh.

Ever wonder why there is a hole in the back??

Lay the swaddle in your car seat and pull the straps over it, as pictured below.

Pull the snap part of the buckle through the hole, as pictured below. Aha!

Place baby in seat and buckle in.

Place baby’s feet in the bottom pouch of the swaddle.

Pull the baby’s right side of the velcro over his body and attach the velcro to the center like you would normally. When I do this. I gently put baby’s arm to the side so it’s not rubbing on the seat buckles.

Finish by gently pulling baby’s left side of the swaddle over to velcro across the baby’s chest. Again, I gently put baby’s arm to the side so it isn’t rubbing on any part of the buckle.

There you have it! Easy way to calm baby while riding in the car seat!

If it was warm out, we had Asher in only a diaper and t-shirt. We were always in air conditioned locations so we never had an issue with heat. If I got paranoid, I would leave his feet out of the bottom pouch. I would not do this if you are planning on being outside when it is warm. I can’t say this is technically pediatrician approved, but our pediatrician saw how I did this with Asher and he thought it was super awesome. Seriously. He said super. He planned to pass the good news on to his patients if they had a fussy baby in the car seat!

Please, pass the good news along! Live long and prosper, my friends.

swaddlePIN

How to Transition Baby from a Rock n’ Play to the Crib

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Photo credit: D. Garding via Visualhunt / CC BY-NC-SA

How do you know when it’s time to transition baby from his Rock n’ Play? I remember feeling conflicted about it. The crib just seemed ginormous compared to him when we brought Bubby home for the first time. Not only that, but I had no idea how I would go about transitioning from the Rock n’ Play to the crib. Mamas, if you feel like you’re in the same boat as I was, then this newborn life hack is for you.

The Fisher Price Rock n’ Play is an awesome baby product. I would highly recommend one to my friends if their little one likes to be held and feel snuggly. When we came home from the hospital, our friends loaned us one and it was just what we needed. We used it for naps and his short spurts at nighttime. I used it during the day when I needed him to be in the room with me while I cooked dinner. I liked it for sleeping because it keeps baby elevated and Bubby was a spitter, so the inclined feature was a great bonus. This could be especially beneficial if you have a reflux baby.

Can we stop for a minute and talk about how annoying it is to type Rock n’ Play? Too bad I lean towards having a perfectionist problem, so I’ll be typing it correctly. We could make it a drinking game. Every time it’s mentioned, you take a swig of your drink. No judging here whatever you got in that cup of yours 😉

Eventually, I knew we needed to transition. If you’re like me, you Google a lot and I started realizing that having him in the Rock n’ Play (shot please?) too long as he started to sleep longer was probably not a great idea. I realized it was time to go to the crib for full time sleep (well, that was if we weren’t surviving with him sleeping in the swing, but that’s another story, another day…sheesh).


WHEN SHOULD YOU TRANSITION BABY TO THE CRIB FROM THE ROCK N’PLAY?

If I could do it over, I would have transitioned Bubby sooner. He was 2 1/2 months and going from the snuggly feeling of the Rock n’ Play to the crib was a little tough for him. Also, he was used to the incline, so laying flat seemed odd to him, I think.

I think the best indicator is when they start sleeping longer stretches. Head shape, neck muscle development and all that jazz that occurs by sleeping on a flat surface is something to take into consideration when you start using the Rock n’ Play for long stretches of time.

Another indictator we needed to transition was because Bubby kept pushing himself off the bottom while laying in the Rock n’ Play. I was a little paranoid about this, even with the built in buckle! This also caused him to struggle to fall asleep because bouncing around was more fun than napping! If your baby starts to act restless, you might want to consider the possibility he is no longer comfortable in the Rock n’ Play.

HOW TO TRANSITION FROM THE ROCK N’ PLAY TO THE CRIB

I hate to be annoying, but this really depends on your baby and their disposition and if you are dealing with any reflux issues or colic. I am NOT an expert, so as everything you read here, I can only give you my experience.

Bubby had eventually fallen into a somewhat predictable nap routine. I knew he would take so many naps a day. Since I didn’t want to mess with the possibility of poor sleep starting at the beginning of the day, I decided to start with the end of the day naps.

My advice, start with the last nap of the day. I did this so if his sleep was disrupted, we could survive with an early bedtime or cluster feeding. For this nap, I placed him in his crib. Once he got used to this nap in the crib, I moved up to the next nap and so on. It took us almost two weeks before all day sleep was a go in the crib.

The results for this can vary depending on how you put your little one to sleep. If they are used to being rocked to sleep and wake mid-nap for you to come rock them back to sleep, then waking while in the crib doesn’t necessarily mean they don’t like the crib over the Rock n Play. I would pay attention to how long it takes for them to fall asleep in the crib over behavior with midnap waking.

Once I felt like he fell asleep with ease in the crib we moved to nighttime. He did it with no problem at that point.

SHOULD YOU USE A CRIB WEDGE TO MAKE THE TRANSITION SMOOTHER?

I had this epiphany that maybe we should incline his crib as part of the transition process. Looking back, I feel like it made me feel better about the transition. My husband thinks it didn’t matter. Either way, the $25 made me feel good about the process. We used this one and I plan to keep it incase I think we need it for baby #2. I figured I can resale it when we’re done having kids so I don’t lose all my money. Hey, peace of mind and some sanity go along when you have a newborn in the house. I gladly paid the $25.

We used it for a few weeks until things got wiggly for him and he became a ninja sleeper.

Alright, how did your transition go? Have any extra tips about this to share with our other mamas? Let us know in the comment section! (Anyone keeping track of how many drinks they took?)

Peace,
Glo

how to transition from the rock n play to the crib

How Much Does It Cost to Cloth Diaper a Newborn?

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Is cloth diapering a newborn worth it? How much does it cost? Should I just buy one size diapers? Which prefolds should I use for a newborn? What all do I need to cloth diaper a newborn?

These are the questions most ask when deciding how to start their cloth diaper stash. I was conflicted about having a separate stash for the newborn stage, but decided that I wanted us to try it. If it seemed like a waste, then I could resale our lot. That is one of the beauties of cloth diapering–resale is awesome!

If you’re thinking about purchasing a newborn stash or curious about what you’ll need and how much, here’s some info for you.

COVERS and PREFOLDS
I would recommend using covers and prefolds. Newborn covers aren’t as expensive as I thought and newborn prefolds can be used for so much more than just diapers. I use them as booster absorbancy for night diapers or even during the day in my one size pocket diapers. Newborn prefolds can go a long way past the newborn stage, plus they’ll stay in great shape to reuse for the next baby or to resale.

HOW MANY NEWBORN COVERS AND PREFOLDS WILL I NEED?
There are a lot of different opinions about this. I would say it depends on how much laundry you want to do and how often you want to do it and of course how much you want to spend. The more you have, the more time you have between laundering. I had a good amount starting out. What I found was that it would take me a little while to get a load washed, then dried, then back on the changing table, so if anything, having extras was nice so I didn’t have to worry about getting it laundered and back on the changing table quickly.

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WIPES
We also went with cloth wipes. My friend recommended this because they are soooo much more efficient than disposables. My husband especially found this to be true. The less he needed to wipe away the poop, the better. The cloth wipes just grab it all and wipe it away better. Some people get in to all the different kinds of solutions you can use to spray when cleaning the bum, but we just use water in a spray bottle. The wipes will last you through your whole cloth diapering experience, so typically, these are a one time purchase.

WET BAG
We bought ours from Amazon. You want something to hold the dirty diapers. I just put ours in a square hamper and set it next to our changing station. We do a dry pail which means we just throw the dirty diapers in there. Some do a wet pail, but I don’t feel comfortable describing that since I don’t have any experience. The wet bags will last you through your whole cloth diapering experience, so typically, these are a one time purchase.  TIP: It is a misnomer that you need to cover your dirty cloth diapers to keep the smell out. Actually, by covering them the yucky smell just manifests even more. Allowing air circulation keeps the odor at bay.

Minimum needed to start out:
6-8 covers

12 prefolds

2 snappis (like the safety pin to keep it all together)

wet bag (to keep dirty diapers in)

24 wipes

spray bottle

Comfortable amount to start out for less laundering demands (this is what we had):
12 covers

24 prefolds

2 snappis

2 wet bags

36 wipes

spray bottle

HOW MUCH WILL I SPEND ON PREFOLDS?
This depends on where you buy them of course. I would plan to spend $20-$30 per dozen. I read a lot of different opinions about which prefolds to use and I went with Green Mountain Diaper prefolds, called Cloth–eez. They are $25 per dozen.

HOW MUCH WILL I SPEND ON COVERS?
As I was stocking up on diapers, I kept an inventory of how much I spend and where I bought them. Partially because I wanted my husband to see how much we would save in the long run and because I am one of those annoying people that likes to make spreadsheets and keep track of things. Covers greatly vary in price by brand. I bought 8 out of my covers used, so I spend less. Newborn covers range from $8-$10. Looking at our spread sheet, I spent $54.

HOW LONG WILL I USE MY NEWBORN CLOTH DIAPERS?
Of course this depends on the size of your baby and how fast he grows! There are recommended weights and sizes that come with prefolds and covers. I found them all to be pretty accurate. I would say the only exception was with our prefolds. If your baby is too big to “wrap” the prefold on him, you can use the prefold by trifolding it and laying it in the newborn cover. We got longer use out of ours doing it that way, plus the prefolds fit very nicely in the covers to help with any sort of leaks. Our newborn stash lasted until Asher was a little over 3 months old. I think it is safe to say most newborn diapers, covers and prefolds will last you until about 3 months unless you have a real little chunker on your hands 🙂

WHERE CAN I BUY MY NEWBORN CLOTH DIAPERS?
I personally bought most of ours from Amazon so we could get the free shipping, however many diaper sites have free shipping and a point system that allows their customers to earn certain rewards. I already have that in a way with Amazon. The prices were pretty comparable from Amazon to the company sites. Here are a few of my favorite sites when ordering from other than Amazon:

http://www.greenmountaindiapers.com/home.php

http://www.nickisdiapers.com/

http://www.diaperjunction.com/

SO HOW MUCH WILL YOU SPEND GRAND TOTAL TO CREATE A NEWBORN CLOTH DIAPER STASH?

Covers (8 avg $8 each) = $64

Prefolds (2doz avg $25 doz) = $50

Snappis (pkg of 3) = $12

Wetbag (2 at $17) = $34

Wipes (doz wash rags from store x 2) = $10

GRAND TOTAL = $170

So the next big question is how much would you have spend on disposables?

Looking at Wal-Mart prices you could buy a pack of roughly 120 diapers for roughly $35. In the first couple months we were at about 8 diapers a day and have evened out to about 6-8, depending on the explosions that happen 🙂

The average diaper changes for a newborn are about 8 a day. Divide 120 diapers by 8 gives you a pack of diapers lasting about two weeks. So, you could say you might spend about $35ish on diapers about every two weeks, plus or minus a few dollars. This doesn’t include if you buy disposable wipes. You could roughly be spending $75 a month on disposables. This price would change a little as you go up in size in diaper but let’s just say you spend that much for three months.

That gives you $225 for the newborn stage in diapers.

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Photo credit: moohaha via VisualHunt.com / CC BY-NC-ND

Now this is incredibly rough, basic math. These amounts can vary, especially depending on the brand you buy and how many you go through at any given time and where you buy them. Some folks buy them in bulk at a bulk store like Sam’s for a cheaper price, but then you get in to how much you pay for the membership price, how much you spend on gas to get them, etc. With cloth diapers you do have to take in to account how much it costs to launder them but from what I’ve read, it is marginal, plus there are the one time purchases to consider in the grand totals, like the wipes and wet bags.

Another topic that would be interesting to discuss is using One Size cloth diapers on your newborn. These diapers last from birth until potty training. I have a good set of those for after the newborn stage that I use now. I decided to build a newborn stash so I could have a good fit on the baby right away and I wanted diapering to be easy for me AND my husband, especially for middle of the night, tired diaper changes. I didn’t want to be messing with the fit until Asher was a little bit big enough to really fit the one size diapers. In the cloth diaper world, many protest about the smallest size setting in one size cloth diapers and how they don’t fit newborns that well. BUT, in order to save money, many just stick out for a month or so until baby fits them better. I bought many of mine used, so if they didn’t pan out, I could just resale them and the loss would be minimal. I ended up LOVING them and plan to use them for the next baby!

SO WHAT’S THE FINAL WORD ON CLOTH DIAPERS OR DISPOSABLES FOR A NEWBORN??
Overall, I believe it probably cost more to use disposables on a newborn. One thing about cloth is that there are so many more uses and I can use my newborn stash for the next baby as well, AND I will most likely be able to still resale them when I’m done. AND I can use them for more than one child!

It may be worth it to you spend the extra money on disposables. A good friend of mine made the comment that when she wipes her but she likes throwing it away down the toilet, why wouldn’t she want to do that with her baby?! Very true! In the end you should do what works best for your family. Cloth works for us. I don’t mind rinsing the poo off in the toilet if it saves me some money. Others might find that idea crazy!

Which diaper system did you use? Do you think it’s worth it to have a newborn cloth diaper stash or just use disposables until baby fits your one size diapers better?

How MuchCDPIN

Miracle Blanket Review

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IS YOUR BABY NEEDING A SWADDLE? WHICH ONE SHOULD YOU CHOOSE?

When we brought Bubby home from the hospital we immediately started using the Velcro swaddles. Those worked on him for about two weeks. He very easily started getting his hand up out over the top or would wake up mad because his arm was stuck as he was trying to wiggle his way out. I knew we needed a new game plan for the swaddling. As always, I started Googling and came across lots of different options. As any parent probably knows, when you start looking at new ways to swaddle your baby, you start seeing your dollar bills go out the window! Swaddle products are expensive! At least they are to me!

I began reading different reviews over different products. I considered many different options but before I made my final decision, I started asking some of my friends who are also newish parents. A couple of them recommended The Miracle Blanket. (Play angel music here).

Now, before Bubs got too long, he could not get his legs out as pictured above. Getting his leg out and eventually a hand is what pointed us to the Zipadeezip. BUT, for almost three months we LOVED the Miracle Blanket. I will admit, I was skeptical at first because there are no “fastenings” or velcro. The baby is all swaddled by wrapping!

If you’d like to check out their original site, you can click here. They have nifty little step-by step photos that show you how to use it. When I purchased mine from Amazon (since I’m an Amazon Prime addict, justme?), I was happy to find directions in the package too!

There was no way Bubby was wiggling out of this! After using it for a few days and nights, he became used to it and started sleeping with no problems.  As with other swaddle products, I felt it was fairly comparable to other prices for about $30. Once I realized this worked like a charm, I did invest in a second one to have while one was in the wash. Plus, Bubs might be labeled a “spitter” so we needed to have extras on hand. But hey, for as much as they need to sleep, I felt the investment was worth it! So was my sanity!

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At about 5 months he started wiggling out of the Miracle so we moved to the Zipadeezip!

A couple of notes worth mentioning about the material:
When we purchased out first one, it was blue, like the one pictured way above. Washing and drying it did not make it shrink. However, when I purchased out second one (beige with green trim, directly above) I went with the cotton knit material instead to have a lighter feel than the blue one which was 100% cotton. The knit material did shrink.

I bought the knit material because the blue 100% cotton was pretty warm. I wasn’t comfortable putting him in a footed PJ onesie at night (during the summer). I felt he got to be too hot for comfort. However, the knit one is more breathable and worked like a charm with his PJs.

Here are my thoughts in nutshell:

PROS
*easy to use
*easy to care for
*no special fastenings to worry about
*great product to keep baby’s arms from wiggling up towards face
*gender neutral colors available, plus other cute prints
*one solid piece of material that is easy to wrap baby up

CONS
*could be a little pricey– Amazon prices can vary by color too, unlike the retailer’s
*might shrink
* 100% cotton might be warm for baby in summer months
*I wish it lasted longer than about 14 weeks! Once Asher hit right at about 12 weeks, he was too long for it and was kicking out of it (like pictured above). I’m thinking this is when most transition from swaddling anyways so maybe it’s not a big deal or it could be that Asher was in the 90% for height…hmm…

Here are some product facts from the actual retailer’s site www.miracleware.com:

  • Stops colic, see our guarantee
  • Helps baby sleep better and longer
  • Helps keep babies on their backs
  • Prevents twitching and “starting”
  • Prevents facial scratches
  • Makes breastfeeding easier
  • Easy to wrap and stays put
  • Made of 100% super-soft breathable cotton knit – perfect for any climate
  • 1 size fits all, up to 14 weeks
  • Offers simplicity of design – no buttons, straps, Velcro, knots, or zippers
  • Offers a 100% money back guarantee

After Asher sadly outgrew the Miracle Blanket, we transitioned to the Zipadeezip. You can read that review here.

MiraclePIN

 

How to Transition from the Swaddle

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Something wasn’t right. Asher was starting to go down for his naps rather fitfully. I’m not saying he’s always an angel for naptime, but I could tell something was off. I made a note to keep an eye on it. He did this for three days in a row. One morning, I went in to wake him up for the day and was greeted by this sneaky face.

Yep, he got his arm out of the Miracle Blanket. It was time to rethink the swaddle. I knew it was coming, but I think I was in denial. I had read horror stories about no sleep when you transition.  I knew I just needed to take the plunge.

WHEN SHOULD YOU TRANSITION FROM THE SWADDLE?

I am no expert, (I like to think I am!) but this can vary. Depending on who you read and believe, either you swaddle or you don’t. Either you swaddle forever because if it aint broken, what’s there to fix? Or you get tired of it (like me!). It’s also possible that your little one is starting to sleep a lot more, shall we say, fitfully. For me, I felt like this was the case for Bubby.

Some people go by age and if/when they decide to sleep train. They remove all sleep props and go from there. Hey, you do whatever works for you!

HOW DO YOU TRANSITION FROM THE SWADDLE?

I started with one nap with one arm out of his Miracle Blanket. It was the first nap he wasn’t fitful. It only took him about ten minutes to fall asleep in his crib. I did the same thing with the next nap of the day. He tried to rip his face off and realized he could suck his hands For. Like. Ever. Google immediately showed me the Zipadeezip. I was skeptical, but read about their great service, so I figured if we ended up not liking it, we would send it back.

Couple days later when the package arrived, we did the one arm thing with his hand in one of the arm “pouches.” He didn’t rip his face off, didn’t go to sleep fitfully and barely sucked his hand. Success. It’s taken us some time, but the weaning process has worked.

I did something similar as I transitioned him from the Rock n’ Play. We started with one nap towards the end of the day, and went from there. Once he started sleeping easier at first, we moved on to the next nap. It didn’t take too long. About a week of whacky sleeping and then we did nights.

Alright, tell me how you did it? What did you find that worked well???

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