Archive for December, 2011

Breastfeeding in public

Tuesday, December 27th, 2011

It never ceases to amaze me how much of an issue breastfeeding is!

I just came across two news articles today about breastfeeding flash mobs:
http://healthland.time.com/2011/12/27/the-nurse-in-why-breast-feeding-moms-are-mad-at-target/

http://www.thedailyactivist.com/civil-rights-breastfeeding-flash-mob/

I’m glad that these flash mobs and breastfeeding sit-ins create media exposure about breastfeeding. Hopefully these events will lead to greater acceptance in our society towards breastfeeding. But I’m continually surprised every time I hear about an incident that causes people to stage a sit-in in the first place!

We are mammals.
Mammal babies drink mother’s milk.

I realize we’re the only mammals that sexualize breasts, but people need to get over it. I think the sound of a screaming baby is more bothersome than seeing a flash of skin from part of woman’s breast, and wouldn’t most shoppers prefer not having to hear a hungry baby cry? When a woman is breastfeeding, you usually don’t see her nipple or areola because it is in the baby’s mouth and blocked from view by the baby’s face. The parts that you do see are the same parts that are exposed when a woman wears a revealing top or a bikini. And I don’t think women get asked to leave department stores for wearing low cut blouses do they?

I am an advocate for breastfeeding and I encourage and support it. At my store, my staff and I breastfeed our babies while we’re at work! I wish I could invite those people who complain to come to my store and let them see what goes on here – they would be so shocked!
We have a nice comfy breastfeeding chair for customers in the middle of the store, not hidden away in the back room. (If a breastfeeding mother would prefer to sit in privacy in the back room, that is her choice as well.)
We want to demonstrate that breastfeeding is a part of normal daily life and that we are a business that encourages and supports breastfeeding moms to feel comfortable!

Because breastfeeding is a normal part of being a mother and a baby, I really don’t understand what the big deal is. I think it’s fantastic that women are uniting and staging “nurse-ins” to bring awareness to the issue! But I hope when my daughter becomes a mother in 20-30 years that by then our society will have progressed to a point where we won’t have to do these types of events anymore because they will no longer be necessary.

In the meantime we will have to continue to educate our society about what is natural for mammal mothers and mammal babies to do! The issue shouldn’t even be about what makes people comfortable or uncomfortable. Who cares if it makes people uncomfortable. It is much more basic as that. It is what we as mammals are created to do and it’s natural. End of story.

If you want to help us make breastfeeding completely normal and accepted, stay tuned for breastfeeding events that we hold throughout the year at Sweetheart Diapers & More!

Cloth Diapering When You’re Out

Wednesday, December 21st, 2011
As a full-time cloth-diaperer, I thought I would share with you some tricks for cloth diapering when you’re out. It IS possible to cloth diaper 100% of the time, and having the appropriate supplies will make it easy when you’re on the go.





The Diaper Bag:

First of all, make sure that your diaper bag is large enough. Cloth diapers are bulkier than disposable diapers and many diaper bags on the market are targeted towards disposable diapers. That’s why I started selling the Mrs. Smith Tempo diaper bags at Sweetheart Diapers & More.This is what it looks like:

Mrs. Smith Diaper Bag "Tempo"

This is the bag that I use, and I have it in blue. I can actually fit everything I need inside it. You can also adjust the straps so it can either be a messenger bag or a back pack. The thing I like about this bag the most is the DRAWER. I think it is so cool! The drawer divides the bag into a bottom and a top so that things don’t get lost in the bottom of your bag – brilliant!

If you prefer something more hip, Ju Ju Be diaper bags are gorgeous. We sell the Ju Ju Be “Be All” diaper bag, which is worth every cent in quality material and workmanship.

Ju Ju Be "Be All" Diaper Bag

The two main differences between cloth diapering and disposable diapering when you’re out are:

  1. You will bring the soiled cloth diaper back home with you instead of throwing it in the garbage
  2. You need to re-pack your diaper bag frequently because you’re using the same diapers over and over again

Therefore, one of the most important things you need is a waterproof tote bag for the soiled diapers. Plastic bags aren’t a good solution because you will constantly be throwing out plastic bags. What you want to use is a “wet bag”.

Wet Bags are specifically designed for toting cloth diapers – they are waterproof and machine washable so you can use them over and over again.

Bummis Fabulous Wet Bag

Here is the complete check list of what I pack inside my diaper bag:

The Packing Checklist:

  • 1-2 outfit changes for baby
  • Wipes: I keep GAIA biodegradable bamboo wipes in my diaper bag. I use cloth wipes at home, but prefer the disposable ones for when I’m out because they are more convenient for toting. The GAIA wipes are not as good as cloth wipes but they are much better than traditional disposable wipes for the environment and for baby’s skin, making them a decent compromise for using a disposable products. You can read more about them here.
  • Change pad: I love the FuzziBunz change pad. Most diaper bags come with a change pad, but they aren’t usually very nice. The FuzziBunz change pad has soft fleece on one side and PUL on the other side so nothing leaks through if it gets wet, like when baby decides to pee everywhere during a diaper change!
  • Waterproof tote bag: I use a Fabulous Wet Bag size medium which is the perfect size for several diapers. This is the most popular style and size of wet bag that we sell at Sweetheart Diapers & More. It completely keeps out odours because it closes with a zipper, and is fully waterproof so even sopping wet diapers won’t leak through. And you can toss it into the laundry with your cloth diapers.
  • several cloth diapers: the amount depends on how long I plan to be out, plus 2 extras for just in case
  • 2 or 3 prefolds: besides the diapers for putting on the baby, I like to have a couple extra prefolds for wiping a poopy bum or catching pee during the change
  • Plastic bag: This is because sometimes there is no garbage handy when you’re changing the baby and then I can just use the plastic bag as a garbage.

If you have any questions about cloth diapering, contact us at Sweetheart Diapers & More: 519-800-3963 / info@sweetheartdiapers.com

Do you have any tips you’d like to share with us for cloth diapering on the go? Please add a comment!

Baby Cafe

Saturday, December 17th, 2011

Baby Cafe is a new series of events that we recently started hosting at Sweetheart Diapers & More. Baby Cafe is a very informal meeting that is held approximately once every 2 weeks and is a chance for moms to get together and chat about topics related to parenting and babies.

We have a different guest host who leads the discussion for each Baby Cafe. The host might be an expert in the topic, or it can be someone who just wants to bring the cookies! We also serve tea and hot chocolate while the babies play together in the middle of the circle.

It is a lot of fun and a great way to meet other moms who have similar values. So far we’ve had Baby Cafe’s on: how to breastfeed baby in a sling, elimination communication, and babywearing.

At the last Baby Cafe which was about babywearing, our local babywearing specialist Diane Pepin of Mother’s Helper hosted and showed us tips and tricks on how to use our slings and wraps. In this photo she was showing us how to put a baby on your back, using my then 7-week-old son Cole to demonstrate!

7-week-old Cole on Diane's back

Awww, isn't he cute?

The next Baby Cafe, which isĀ  this upcoming Friday, December 23 from 11:00am-12:00pm, is going to be about Baby Food. Our very own Tina is going to host, and we will talk about how and when to introduce new foods and how to make baby food yourself. Tina made her own baby cereal from scratch for her baby and she’s going to teach us how, I can’t wait!

Baby Cafe’s are very much about the wisdom of the group. We can learn so much when we all just share our experiences and ideas.

A new element to Baby Cafe which will start this week is sales on products related to the topic. So this Friday, everyone who comes to Baby Cafe will get sale discounts on Baby Cubes and Made From Corn baby dishes!

Baby Cubes - Do you want to get these on sale?

Made From Corn Infant Bowl and Spoon - Come to Baby Cafe on Fr. Dec. 23 to get these on sale!

If you have an idea for a topic we should cover in a Baby Cafe and/or if you’d like to be a host, let me know! Your feedback is greatly appreciated. You can leave a comment on this page or send an email to info@sweetheartdiapers.com.

It is always free to attend Baby Cafe, babies are always welcome, and it is a breastfeeding-friendly environment. You can RSVP on our Facebook event page or call the store 519-800-3963.

 

Parade Organic Cotton Clothing has arrived

Wednesday, December 7th, 2011

This line of clothing is just so adorable that I had to share it with you right away! We don’t have their items listed on our website yet so until then I thought I would post some photos in case you might still be looking for some Christmas gifts.

These are 100% organic cotton lounge sets, which includes a longsleeve onesie or shirt and long pants.

They come in sizes 3-6 months, 6-12 months, and 12-18 months. Sizes 3-6 and 6-12 are onesies, and size 12-18 months is a longsleeve shirt.

Check out the adorable Christmas print, perfect for a boy or a girl:

Naughty or Nice Christmas Print $35 for the set

Naughty or Nice close-up

 

Cupcake print for your little sweetheart:

Cupcake $39.00 for the set

 

The Trouble print is gender-neutral, because causing trouble has nothing to do with whether you’re a boy or a girl!

Trouble $39 for the set

 

And finally, Sweetpea. It doesn’t get more organic than that!

Sweetpea $39 for the set

WHY ORGANIC?

Anything with the word “organic” in it has become very popular, but do you know why choosing organic cotton is so important? Non-organically grown cotton is extremely detrimental to the environment. I found some great information and statistics at this website: www.aboutorganiccotton.org

Conventionally grown cotton:

  • accounts for half of the world’s textile sales
  • uses roughly a third of a pound of pesticides and fertilizers to produce enough cotton for a single t-shirt
  • consumes approximately 25% of the insecticides and more than 10% of the pesticides used in the world
  • typically treats seeds with fungicides or insecticides
  • uses genetically modified seeds for approximately 70% of US-grown cotton
  • requires intensive irrigation
  • applies synthetic fertilizers
  • applies herbicides to soil to inhibit weed growth and to kill weeds that do grow
  • is harvested by defoliating with toxic chemicals

Whereas Organically Grown Cotton:

  • uses untreated seeds
  • never uses genetically modified seeds
  • builds strong soil through crop rotation
  • uses less water because the soil retains more water thanks to increased organic matter
  • weeds are removed physically, not through chemical destruction
  • weeds are controlled through cultivation and hand hoeing
  • uses beneficial insects, biological and cultural practices to control pests
  • is harvested by relying on the seasonal freeze or water management for defoliaton

So if you want to buy a cute new outfit as a gift for a little baby or toddler, look for 100% organic cotton clothing so that you are contributing to a healthier planet for them when they grow up! It makes the gift that much more special, and shows that you care :)

We are excited to carry this high quality line of clothing by Parade that “is an adorable melody of modern, earth inspired colours, curious characters and everlasting images. Simple yet playful, our products embody the sweetness and merriment of babies and toddlers alike.” And they are designed in Vancouver, Canada!

Taking baby to work – part 2

Friday, December 2nd, 2011
People say it’s great that I can bring my baby with me to work and how lucky I am to have a job like this. (Personally I think those of you who get 1 year of maternity leave are lucky!) But it took a couple years of planning to make this happen. Here is my story.

 

 

 

I studied music and earned a piano performance degree at university, so it was pretty much guaranteed that I would be self-employed. When I got pregnant the first time my husband and I thought it would be ideal that I could continue to teach piano lessons out of the house. I think this works for some people, however in reality this didn’t prove to be ideal for us.

I started working when our daughter was 6 weeks old. I worked for about 3 hrs every night, teaching in the living room between 6pm-9pm. I didn’t know that it is very common for infants to be most fussy in the evenings, and I didn’t know that many newborns tend to prefer their mothers over their fathers, nor that our child would have COLIC! All I can say is, my poor husband! The baby would cry the whole time, and I could hear it while I was trying to work. It was very hard on myself, my husband, and the baby. And when you are charging someone an hourly rate for a service, you can’t just leave the room for 10-15 min. to go nurse your baby. We somehow made it through that first year and miraculously we are still married. It was so tough that we vowed to space our children at least 3 years apart so that we would have time to recover.

In the meantime, I started selling cloth diapers working out of the home when the baby was 6 months old. (She was napping for long periods of time during the day and I was stuck at home!) I started daydreaming about having a store where I could bring my baby with me to work and all the cool products I could sell and community events I could host.

Fast forward 2 years, and we started thinking about having baby #2. I was still doing the cloth diaper business out of the house and had faith that if I opened a storefront I could make it work. I also promised my husband that I would never put us through that ever again so I needed a new source of income. I knew I wouldn’t be eligible for maternity benefits so I decided that a store where we could bring our babies with us to work would be my solution.

I opened Sweetheart Diapers & More in June 2010 and our second child was born in October 2011, so it gave me almost a year and a half to get the store running smoothly and find an awesome employee to take over for 1 month when the baby was born. Tina, my employee, is exactly what I had envisioned the perfect employee to be at the store. She is a cloth diapering, babywearing, breastfeeding mother who is friendly, trustworthy, knowledgeable, intelligent, patient, reliable, and creative! (I could go on with more adjectives, but I think you get the point). And she brings her daughter with her to work, who is currently almost 1.5 years old and is the most adorable little girl.

When my son was 4 weeks old I started going back in to work. (The business can only run for so long without the owner around, unfortunately.) The good thing about newborns is that all he needs is to be with me! He breastfeeds and likes to be in a sling all day, so it really doesn’t matter whether we’re at the store or at home. Just like my daughter was our cloth diaper model 3 years ago when I first started out, now my son is our babywearing model! If you come into the store when I’m working, most likely I will have him in a sling or wrap.

Bringing baby to work has its pros and cons, but what I like is that since I have to work, at least I don’t have to choose between working and being with my baby. And after all, I think it makes sense to walk through the door of a baby store and to see – a baby!