Recently a drunk mother fell asleep on the sofa with her baby between her and the back cushions. She was found hours later rolled over on top of the baby who had died. She faces criminal charges and imprisonment now. It is sad but I hear about unsafe sleeping routines with parents who are clean and sober. So, I thought it was important to list some resources regarding safe co-sleeping or bed sharing

. Co-sleepingarmsreach-mini-with-parents Fre your bed with your baby- read Dr. Mckenna’s information and even watch his video on the subject. And to read why it is actually perhaps dangerous to not co sleep- read this study. For a good explanation of what bed sharing is and some benefits as well as safety issues- read this great KellyMom article. A few reasons why many families choose this method are:

  • Everyone gets more sleep
  • Breastfeeding is made easier all around.
  • Everyone is happier

University of Notre Dame has a list.  And although I do not fully agree with all of the recommendations- some of them are standard by most all authorities:

  • A baby that is of a healthy and not premature.
  • Breastfed.
  • Both parents agree to this.
  • Back sleeping on a firm surface with light covers only. No pillows under the baby and no stuffed animals.
  • Never on a sofa or couch where they can become wedged.
  • Parents must not be drinking or drugging.

Dr Sears has a great list too.  Here are some of his thoughts:

  • Something to keep the baby from falling off- a bed rail or even a pool noodle under the edge of the fitted sheet works for small infants.
  • Baby is next to mom- not between the parents.
  • Use a large bed- instead of investing in expensive baby equipment- replace your small bed for a king sized one!
  • If you do not want the baby in the bed with you, consider a sidecar instead.
  • If you are extremely obese- no baby in the bed, sorry.
  • Extreme sleep deprivation where you may sleep too soundly is not good.
  • Moms are best- others do not have the intuitive awareness to be next to the baby.
  • No loose strings on nightwear or even tie up your long hair.
  • Don’t overheat the baby- dress then the way you are dressed.

And if you are getting grief from others regarding the safety and advantages, Attachment Parenting has some great pdfs you can download for free to share with the naysayers! It worked for our family and has worked well for my grandchildren too. Sometimes folks feel it will interfere with their marital bed. Let’s just say if the baby is in the parent’s bed- that means there are tons of other rooms that have furniture that is safe for having wonderful love making times on! And kids do eventually want to sleep in their own beds although some parents tell me their kids were ready before they were! I am often heard to say, “The Lindbergh baby would never have been kidnapped if he had been in his parent’s bed!” Want more? Here us my favorite book specifically on the subject! Good Nights So do what works for your family- but remember it can be very safe to have a baby in your bed with you and actually quite beneficial and fun! And yes sometimes if can look like this too! family bed cartoon

monkey butt

Monkey Butt Cloth Diaper Service is a cloth diaper delivery service founded by a husband and wife who believe in the benefits of cloth diapering for your family, the earth and your wallet.  They were fortunate to have the opportunity to use a cloth diaper service and feel it is not a luxury, but a necessity for many busy families.  Cloth diapering allows natural fibers to touch baby’s skin, instead of synthetic fibers and chemicals.  A service cares for the logistics of the cleaning of the diapers, leaving families more time to focus on their growth and bonding.  Monkey Butt strives to provide convenience while incorporating best practices for the environment, the baby, and the family.

sleeping baby


Cloth diapering is better for baby.  Cloth diapers are made from 100% cotton, we use unbleached, no added chemicals in the liners or absorbent core found commonly in disposables are even fathomed by cloth diapers.  Baby is less likely to have an allergic reaction or skin sensitivity to a pure cotton material.  Babies who are cloth diapered have less incidence of diaper rash, despite the common myth.  Additionally, babies who are cloth diapered potty train 6 months to 1 year earlier than their disposable counterparts.  This precocious advantage means fewer days spent with their waste touching their skin, and therefore less diaper rash and fewer infections.  A study published in an environmental health journal compared air quality when people were exposed to cloth and disposable diapers.  Those exposed to the disposable diapers experienced respiratory symptoms similar to asthma, not just the children, but anyone in the vicinity. 

mounds of diapers

Cloth diapering is better for the environment.  Less waste is produced in the manufacturing and usage of cloth diaper.  A single cloth diaper can be reused upwards of 200 times.  A disposable diaper is used once and thrown away.  In a landfill a disposable diaper will take over 500 years to decompose.  Once the life of a cloth diaper as a cloth diaper is over it is reborn as a rag.  That same piece of fabric once used to diaper your child, is used by cleaning companies as their rags, until it is finally spent.  According to the instructions on a disposable diaper, the solid waste should be flushed so as not to contaminate the ground water once it is thrown away, yet many parents simply throw the solid waste away.  Cloth diapering encourages the proper disposal of solid waste to encourage a healthier environment for everyone.  Cloth diapers have half the ecological footprint than their disposable counterparts, even after one has accounted for the energy expenditures of a cloth diapers multiple washings.  2.3 times more water is used in the production and usage of disposable diapers, than the washings needed for cloth diapering during the same child’s diaper lifespan.  The carbon footprint to manufacture, transport, use and dispose of a single disposable diaper is considerably greater than the same manufacturing, transporting and use of a cloth diaper and its repeated cleanings.  As a service we plan the most direct route between families and deliver in the evenings after traffic has cleared the heat of the day dissipated.  Remember an average child will have 6,000 diaper changes before completely toilet trained.  In one year of disposable diapering, the use of over 300 pounds of wood, 50 pounds of petroleum feed stocks, and 20 pounds of chlorine are used in the production of that one year of diapering for a single infant. 

diapers in landfill

Cloth diapering costs less through toilet training for many reasons.  Cloth diapering encourages self-awareness for the child:  they know when they are wet or have eliminated, therefore most children toilet train earlier.  Cloth diapering, even with a delivery service costs less than the cheapest diaper.  (Low cost diapers are able to be as such because they employ many chemicals to absorb the waste, synthetic liners and PVC in the covers to prevent leaks.  These diaper chemicals are branded and sold before rigorous testing can be conducted leading to babies with allergies and sensitivities to these products.)  Many families are concerned about chemicals and production of disposables and so choose organic natural disposables.  Cloth diapering with a services is almost 50% less than those eco-friendly all natural diapers during a child’s diaper life. 

Monkey Butt Cloth Diaper Service strives to be the paramount delivery service in the Atlanta area.  We wholeheartedly believe in the benefits of cloth and feel all babies should be afforded this opportunity.    We believe busy, working families who also know they benefits of cloths should be able to choose a service to aid in this decision.  We would be honored to help your family through this journey.

Email Ian Stedman:

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I became a mom at the age of 20. I did not have any friends my age having babies. The women who helped guide me in my mothering were special women. They were my local La Leche League leaders. I am thankful that due to my family history of breast cancer, my OB had given me the card of a local leader. I started attending meetings and soon these women had embraced me fully as if I was their little sister.

me as a young mom

What I learned from them was to listen to my instinctive voice in regards to my mothering. I had been told that I should let my baby cry it out from others. My heart broke when I would sit on the sofa and my husband would count to ten while our little one wailed. It sounded like an alarm that said please come pick me up- just as Harvey Karp, MD describes the cries of a baby. And so after sharing my concerns with letting her cry, they guided me to listen to my heart.

When Julie was waking up every time she even had a sprinkle in her diaper, I awoke and tried to soothe her. But she was a baby who could have stayed latched on 24/7 so I would bring her to my breast and sit up awake trying to meet her needs. I was so sleep deprived. I attended the monthly meeting and began to cry during the meeting from no sleep and feeling overwhelmed. One of the leaders gave me the book, The Family Bed. I took it home and devoured the words within it. I moved our bed against the wall- put the crib bumper between the crack and the wall and she began to share our bed. It was heavenly how much more sleep I got from the first night. She would nurse and I would fall back asleep and she actually nursed less during the night than before. My instinctive heart felt right in this new arrangement.

me wearing scarlett in moby

I think too many parents read too many differing books and begin to listen to the words on the pages as authority over their own hearts. I think too many parents listen to other people whether it is their girlfriends, mothers, mother in laws, pediatricians or whoever and quelch their own instinctive voices. I am not opposed to reading books but I think it is important to ask yourself, “Does this resonate with your heart?” I think it is great to listen to your pediatrician for medical guidance- but parenting advice it not something they are necessarily even equipped to offer. I think it is great to seek input but in the end ask yourself, “Does this fit our family? Does this feel right for us?”

No picking up a crying baby does not feel instinctive to me. Putting a baby in a box in a separate room did not feel right to me. Holding a baby often and wearing them daily was something that did feel right. Touching and nurturing my baby’s needs felt right for my family. I was honored years ago when both of my daughters shared they were following the same mothering style that I had followed with them. I have tried to teach my children to follow their instinctive voice and their hearts.

I asked the parents and experienced baby wearers on our facebook page this question: “What are the reasons you love to wear your baby!” And these are the top 100 reasons they shared! The consensus was “I love carrying my baby.” “Baby is happier!”  “All in all, wearing a baby is just easier!”

[soliloquy id=”4408″]

  1. My reasons for babywearing at the start was to make things “easier” and be able to “do things with two hands”
  2. Now I realize it was actually building my confidence as a mother!
  3. Now with a walking/running toddler it keeps my sanity when we are at festivals.
  4. And it gives him the comfort and closeness he wants when he feels overwhelmed by crowds or environmental stimulation.
  5. Hands free! Happy, content baby.
  6. Easy to nurse when wearing the baby.
  7.  Easy to pack a wrap/pack/sling!
  8. A wrap takes up less space than a stroller, I can use an entire shopping cart.
  9. There is a size for everybody, everyone looks good wearing babies/toddlers/preschoolers.
  10. There’s a wrap for every budget.
  11. Resell is great- a wrap bought new 2 years ago is still worth what you paid because it’s broken in.
  12. There’s a wrap for every budget.
  13. Resell is great- a wrap bought new 2 years ago is still worth what you paid because it’s broken in.
  14. It is so much fun for all involved.
  15. Having my children at my height, we are at the same vantage point means we are discussing what we are both seeing and experiencing together. I would have missed out on a lot of laughs and stories without babywearing.
  16. The ability to nurse in motion!
  17. Because I can be naked under my wrap and nobody else has to know !
  18. I love that folks can’t breathe all over my newborn especially during flu season!
  19. Because it makes my husband extra sexy!
  20. So I can carry the groceries.
  21. When the witching hours (5-6 pm) roll around, I can wrap DS up and still cook dinner.
  22. Best for snuggles!
  23. Great to hide my postpartum body under a wrap!
  24. Great conversation starter-especially because I’m shy/ an introvert/ socially awkward.
  25. Great way to stay warm.
  26. It’s a bit of a secret workout.
  27. I don’t have to wonder what he’s getting in to…
  28. I don’t have to lug an infant car seat around. Or worry about where to put it-because you know the top of the shopping cart isn’t safe!
  29.  All the pretty wraps! 10. Wraps double as a blanket.
  30. The baby wearing community. From my local baby wearing group to a traveling wraps group on FB, I’ve met some fabulous women! And this community is great at giving advice on all sorts of topics…
  31. Dancing while your baby is wrapped is magical
  32. Wearing your baby on your front provides lots of opportunities for sneak-attack tickles under the chin.
  33. Wearing your baby on your back just looks so cool!
  34. Really though, my baby was in my heart long before I knew her, she dozed under my heart while she became ready to be born, wearing her keeps her close to my heart and our two hearts beat together.
  35. I loved that my car seat hating baby (now 13) would calm down instantly and even sleep in my maya wrap.
  36. I enjoyed so many meals out with a sleeping baby nestled in my lap securely while I had two hands free to eat and drink.
  37. Plus the nearness of my heartbeat surely lulled him so our conversations never woke him.
  38. I also liked that he could be transferred sleeping from the wrap, like a hammock, from my body to my husband’s or grandma’s.
  39. The ability to have hands free when I had more kids was also huge.
  40. Easier to take care of a toddler solo.
  41. Gives you two hands to make dinner/bathe toddler/eat dinner.
  42. I like it when I am shopping because I can be sure of her safety. I can walk away from the cart and not worry, because she is safely against me. It is great since I don’t trust people!
  43.  I get to keep that intoxicating baby smell all to myself!
  44. It has also kept my(milk) supply high and healthy!
  45. So I can make dinner without having to worry about my toddler bopping my newborn on the head as soon as I turn my back!
  46. It keeps baby close to me. I love the snuggle time.
  47. And he sleeps best when we’re outdoors, wandering the woods.
  48. It makes me feel good and it makes him feel safe.
  49. He’s a heavy little thing, so I like giving my triceps a break, too.
  50. Our daughter is a preemie and baby wearing helped regulate her breathing when she was very small.
  51. Our sling contines to give us a closeness that we missed out on while she was in the NICU.
  52. When having a smaller baby it is easier, hands free, quicker to get on and on your way.
  53. People don’t ask to hold as the baby as much (reducing sickness and baby being given food)
  54. When baby is older   (my son is 19 mo) it is a safe place to get/be calm, no chasing around a toddler, safer.
  55. Baby sleeps much better than in a stroller… When baby is older (my son is 19 mo) it is a safe place to get/be calm, no chasing around a toddler, safer, easier to grocery shop, baby sleeps much better than in a stroller.
  56. I love it that it puts even the fussiest baby to sleep to put them against skin and a heartbeat… Instant rest and/or quiet time for mom!
  57. Because it was one of the only ways she would nap.
  58. Because we both feel safe and secure..
  59. Because it is so easy to kiss the top of her head.
  60. Taking a stroller on a hiking trail is not an option!
  61. Because sometimes you don’t want to play “pass the baby” or they don’t want to be passed.
  62. Because if I am still I can feel her breathe.
  63. It just feels natural and good. And for fun, I get to channel my inner koala!
  64. My moving motion would make him take the longest and most sound naps.
  65. I love that a mom can nap in the recliner with the baby in the wrap.
  66.  I can go out in public and hide my spit-up stained shirt that I was too tired to change (again).
  67. Reduces shoulder/back pain by being more ergonomic.
  68. Because I get to see his sweet little face inches from mine when he looks up.
  69. Because I can make instant friends with another mama if I am out and see her babywearing too.I have my hands free! It keeps people from touching baby’s face – people don’t touch with their germy hands of the baby is near your boobs!
  70. Smelling that intoxicating baby head! Not to mention all the eye contact and cuddling for baby and momma, too!
  71. Also, it is a fabulous way to signal to a busy toddler that he is not getting down in church or on airplanes. He just snuggles in and falls asleep, safe with momma.
  72. Love that grandmothers and other care givers can sooth a baby by just putting them in the carrier that they are familiar with.
  73. Thinking back on the sling I also enjoyed its versatility. For instance on more than one occasion it was used as a blanket on the ground. It also provided sun cover.
  74. A baby “leash” with a sling offered freedom: And one strong memory is when my son was 9.5 months old and just began walking. We went to the Greek festival and he wanted to dance. It was quite crowded where we had found on the ground but I could not keep the dancing baby that just discovered he could walk to sit. So we looped the wrap around his torso and I sat on the other long end. This allowed him freedom to bop and jump and dance to his heart’s content in a limited area to me. So I could relax and eat baklava and he could DANCE!
  75. Because, in extreme circumstances, you can pee! (Ladies, we have all done it!) baby napping in the wrap… Nature calls
  76. Airport security! You don’t have to take off the wrap, or get scanned, just walk through the metal detector and they test your hands. So much easier!
  77. Because it allows the mom’s partner of breastfed babies to bond BESIDES feeding.
  78. Because it allows caretakers of breastfed babies to bond BESIDES feeding, especially grandparents.”Sling babies spend more time in the state of quiet alertness . This is the behavioral state in which an infant is most content and best able to interact with his environment. It may be called the optimal state of learning for a baby. Researchers have also reported that carried babies show enhanced visual and auditory alertness.”… dolcino
  79. ‘By extending the womb experience, the babywearing mother (and father) provides an external regulating system that balances the irregular and disorganized tendencies of the baby.”- dolcino
  80. “Babies are able to develop a sense of security and trust when they are carried. They are more likely to be securely attached to their care-giver/s and often become independent at an earlier age .” mayawrap
  81. “Babies who are not held need more verbal interaction and eye contact, just to be reassured that you’re there. Moms who may suffer from Post Partum depression will find that carrying their baby is a great way to connect with her (and provide stimulation too) without the “burden” of having to interact.” mayawrap
  82. “Carrying your baby in a sling eases the strain on babies spine and your back!” mayawrap
  83. “In many cultures, babies are constantly in the arms of caregivers. Anthropologists and psychologists who study the behavior of mothers and babies have observed that when mothers and babies are together, they are constantly shaping one another’s behavior. When her baby whimpers or seems to be in distress, the mother responds and reassures her little one.” LLL
  84.  Because I have Lupus and mixed connective tissue disease and I can’t support my children’s weight without an ergonomically correct carrier, and I know I’m not the only momma with health issues like this  so thankful for great carrying options so I can stay close to my little ones even on my worst days.
  85. Because babies aren’t going to be babies forever.
  86. Why wouldn’t we want them so close while they love it as much as we do?
  87. Strangers are less likely to try to invade baby’s personal space when it is also their parent’s personal space.
  88. They feel the motions and sway of walking so it helps them when they are ready to walk, sometimes faster then other babies.
  89. Exchange of hormones with skin to skin and all other skin to skin benefits.
  90. Makes teething just a little bit easier.
  91. To keep baby warm while getting fresh air in the winter!
  92. So you don’t drop your baby at 3 am when you fall asleep on your feet.
  93. So your body doesn’t hurt as much from carrying your 10 lb newborn.
  94. So your toddler can see over your shoulder while you walk around the farmers market or festival.
  95. So you don’t lose your kids in public (I’m not joking – our 2 yo runs off).
  96. So you can Breastfeed without worrying if you are going to flash the world .
  97. To lovingly restrain babies who need to be in lock down to settle down and go to sleep and to get a break (again – serious, esp with squirmy, fussy kids).
  98. “Bill and Martha Sears note that baby wearing stimulates the infant’s vestibular system, the parts of the inner ear that work like levels or sensors to control the body’s sense of balance. The stimulation “helps babies breathe and grow better, regulates their physiology, and improves motor development” (Sears and Sears 2001). This applies to both full-term and premature babies.” LLL
  99. To avoid carrying a bucket (the handled car seats) at all costs.
  100. You can use the carrier as a play hammock.

Love this article on the reasons to wear your baby on the La Leche League site!

And love this article on types of carriers to avoid and types of carries to avoid.

Thanks to all the parents who shared their ideas and reasons for baby wearing. And thanks for sharing the lovely pictures! I wore by babies- 36 years ago- before there were nearly as many carriers or options. I love wearing my grandbabies! And I can’t wait for more to be able to snuggle in close again!


The rise of social media in the last decade has had a surprising impact on women during pregnancy, childbirth and the first few months raising their newborn. Being a phenomenon of the internet that is not directly associated with the experiences women go through during their road to motherhood, you’d be forgiven for assuming its impact is small. Social media has crept into all aspects of our lives though, and while over exposure is never a good thing, there’s a lot of good it can do for the first time mother.


Finding something fun to do

Nine months can feel like a long time to be pregnant.Towards the end of the eighth month, it’s next to impossible to sleep with your growing belly, so you start looking around for sources of entertainment. When you’ve finally given birth, the anxiety of parenthood begins and you start looking for the occasional distraction, which is where social media comes in because you can find games to play to pass the time. For example, some women play Candy Crush through Facebook, while others discover CheekyBingo on Twitter and use the game as a way to get away from their regular troubles and challenges, competing against other women from the online bingo community. At least a game like bingo can be played with a distracted mind on something else, the repetitive motions a welcome change, just for a few minutes.

Finding advice

Many women find comfort in social media during early motherhood. Why? Because people who have gone through the same experiences beforehand are just a click away. You might be surprised how many potential panic attacks are solved through social media interaction. Sometimes they are friends you’ve known all your lives, other times they are professionals you’ve stumbled upon during a search for assistance on forums etc. Advice is freely given across the internet, some good and some bad, but often helpful nonetheless.


Sharing photos with friends

From the moment a woman finds out she is pregnant, the picture documentation starts. We chart the progress of our growing baby bump on Instagram, share the first photos of our new-born child with our friends on Facebook and take every opportunity to show him or her off when we’ve finally settled at home. Just 20 years ago, photos were usually taken with disposable cameras with limited shots to take, and they eventually were developed by a shop offering that service, before we could show people the photos in person. Now we can simply snap photos on our phones and tablets, delete the bad ones, take them again, edit them and upload to social media accounts within a few minutes.


How you feel about the birthing process may not be the same as your close friends and family. While a different point of view can be helpful, sometimes you need to converse with a like-minded person, especially when you’re daunted by the prospect of parenthood. Social media helps you contact women who share your values, have faced the same fears troubling you, and can offer insights, advice and opinions that line up with your own. Very often you make a friend in the process.

A recent study confirmed it once more. Delay starting solids! Adding food to your baby’s diet prior to four months- and the original recommendation was six months, and is still considered best by most- causes an increase in food allergies.

starting solids

Introduction of foods  “RESULTS: Infants who were diagnosed with food allergy by the time they were 2 years of age were introduced to solids earlier (≤16 weeks of age) and were less likely to be receiving breast milk when cow’s milk protein was first introduced into their diet.”

So, delay solids and  keep nursing up until a year old when cow’s milk may be introduced. Remember in the first year, mom’s milk is the number one thing- so if you are offering solids at six months- nurse your baby first- milk is the main course. Don’t let the complimentary food become the primary food. Consider baby led weaning as the approach to starting solids- it is easy, less costly and safe!

kidmondo3The nine months leading up to birth are the first interactions you have with your new baby, and whether it’s your first pregnancy or your fifth, each pregnancy you experience will have unique facets to it. Utilizing an online baby journal is a great way to document your pregnancy experience, and allows you to look back over each pregnancy and see how much your body, mind and life changed throughout it. As you document your pregnancy, keep an eye out for these different pre-birth milestones to track.

Month to Month

Each month in pregnancy represents a new milestone throughout the process that deserves its own recognition. Taking that first positive test brings about a whirlwind of changes to your body that aren’t yet discernible to the naked eye, and every month after brings you one step closer to holding your newest family member. Tracking how much your body has changed month by month through pictures is a great way to preserve the pregnancy.

The First Time  You Hear the Heartbeat

While you know your pregnancy is real the first time you see a positive test, it’s hard to really grasp that your body is forming a human when you can’t see or feel anything. Hearing the heartbeat for the first time brings an entirely new dimension to pregnancy – one that’s worth noting. You can never be entirely prepared for the wave of emotion that overtakes you when you hear those beats that signify your baby is alive and well for the first time.

Feeling Flutters

Unless you own a Doppler, you’ll only be able to hear the baby’s heartbeat at your prenatal visits – something that can be terrifying for new moms who want constant confirmation that their baby is OK. Those first few flutters, which have been described as everything from the fluttering of a butterfly to bubbles popping, are the first real indication of movement you have, and are an entirely foreign and delightful experience that confirms your little one is growing and thriving.

When Your Partner First Felt the Baby Move

There’s a lot to be said about the patience of your partner throughout pregnancy. After all, you are the one experiencing the changes in your body, and he is essentially in the dark about what’s really happening. The first time he feels the baby kick is the first time he gets to really put a physical feeling to the life that he helped create, and that is a moment worth preserving.

Finding Out the Gender

From if you’re carrying high or low to how fast the baby’s heartbeat is, everyone will have a guess as to if your little baby is going to be a boy or a girl. Actually hearing “It’s a boy!” or “It’s a girl!” for the first time, however, is life changing. From that moment forward, your baby isn’t just a baby, but is a definitive person, and you are finally able to give the baby a name and imagine what he or she will be like.

How Your Life Has Changed… And How it Hasn’t!

There’s a lot to be said for how much your life changes during pregnancy. Are you tired all the time? Were you nauseous during the first trimester? Did you feel great throughout? Were you able to stay active? Which foods did you love… and which ones did y

ou hate? But there are a lot of things that stay the same, too. Noting what’s changed in your life and what hasn’t is a fun way to see the effects that pregnancy has on your body and mind, and also how much was a permanent side effect of pregnancy and how much went back to normal after birth.

Having an online journal allows you to track all of these exciting pre-birth milestones and more, and provides you with a great way to look back on your pregnancy and remember all the highs (and sometimes the lows!) that accompanied it. In the years to come, it will also be fun for your child to look back and see how life was in the months leading up to his or her birth.

Article Source

Added some more links for different style carriers. The Jias/Rebozos we sell currently are 2.7 meters long- 9 feet. And these are the carries that can be done with this length carry- along with the videos to see how they are done:

Size 2 wraps- here are the links to the videos:

Rebozo Carry

Short Back Cross Carry

Four Short Carries: Ruck, RRRR and Double Rebozo, Half JVC


Torso Carry

Enjoy wearing your baby! These jias are well made and will last a long time. I love that they can be used in pregnancy and labor and then used for wearing your baby as well. And they make wonderful “beds” for sleeping away from home- a quick table cloth at the park on a picnic table and a wonderful breastfeeding cover. The jias sell for $64.95.

Recently I received a call from a woman who has been a baby nurse for decades. When I told her I did not refer to baby nurses as we had postpartum doulas instead, she and I chatted for a while. It was interesting the information I received.

Did you know that the word nurse is just used without meaning actual nurse? I know, weird, right? She is not a licensed nurse in any way. She said most are not women who have nursing degrees at all. I was a bit aghast and told her I thought the use of the title nurse may be a bit misleading to new parents. Their website states, “Our Newborn Care Specialists work to ensure that those first weeks with your baby are low-stress and enjoyable. We help with feeding and sleeping schedules, breastfeeding, and adjustment issues for both Mom and baby. ”

I told her we do not do any feed scheduling or sleep training for a newborn who is breastfeeding as it is essential to not do so in order for the mom’s milk supply to be well established. She was a bit dismayed at my response. She said she fully supported breastfeeding but then went on to say that the mom pumps during the day, they offer breastmilk bottles and also give bottles at night while the mom slept. I understand how breastmilk supplies are established having been a La Leche League leader for over a decade and having been a certificed lactation educator for more than a decade. If a mom is pumping her body thinks she had more babies than she had- so it causes her to over produce- over producing can cause breast infections and engorgement issues in the first few weeks. And if she sleeps during the night and her baby gets a bottle, her body thinks she has a baby who is not needing milk during the night and there is a reduction in milk supply. She told me the moms woke full in the morning and had no such issues. I then asked the proverbial question, did her moms nurse their babies for any length of time or were they usually over breastfeeding in the first few months and were they doing both bottle feeding and breastfeeding pretty much from the start. She admitted most do not nurse past three months and most only breastfed some and bottle fed some…. hmmmm. I see. And I did not even get into the nipple confusion issues that can occur in the first few weeks with bottles and pacifiers.

Their site also states, ” She will also keep the nursery clean and organized, help with baby’s laundry, and assist with light housework as needed.” And I mentioned that we help pick up the whole house, do everyone’s laundry and cook meals, run errands and do what the mom needs us to do to mother the new mother.

I should say they also offer nanny services and governess placement. We do not. What we do is help the new family adjust to the changes that occur when a new baby enters the family. Our agreement states, “Our Service: Doulas will be glad to teach you infant massage, bathing, feeding, comfort measures, safety issues and swaddling. They do not take over the care of the baby, but assist you in learning to care for your baby’s needs except during naps. This is a time to help you adjust to your new role. Doulas will also be glad to do some light housework or cooking. This will consist of laundry (gathering, washing, drying and folding) and picking up objects off of the floor. Doulas may sweep floors, spot mop in areas and dust. Doulas may cook meals that are requested, provided client can supply written or verbal instructions on the preparation of the food. Doulas may do some light cleaning of the kitchen including washing, drying and putting away dishes. ”

And I think the fact that they provide services at night is a huge difference. Do we do that? Yes in special situations- partners away, postpartum depression issues, and multiples- but we feel if our job is to take care of the mom…. that is kinda hard to do at night when she is sleeping. And if a mom is truly taken good care of during the daytime, she can usually handle her nights.

I will say one site did state, “The baby nurse will bring the baby to the mom for all feedings.  When mom is done feeding, the baby nurse will take the baby and care for its needs until the next feeding, allowing mom much needed rest.” Which is what we do when night time mothering help is needed.  But that same site stated, “the baby nurse does not cook, clean, or do household chores.  She is only responsible for the baby’s complete care along with duties pertaining to the baby such as baby laundry, cleaning bottles/breastfeeding supplies, and keeping the nursery stocked and tidy.”

So there is the biggest difference for sure… we take care of the whole family. We do not take over the care of the baby –  we help teach and guide the new parents in becoming new care givers to this baby. If you want to be “mothered,” then I suggest you hire a postpartum doula. If you want someone else to take over the role of taking care of the baby, then I suggest you hire a baby nurse. Who by the way one of the sites does clearly state, “A baby nurse is a non-medical professional who comes into the home when the baby comes home from the hospital.  They generally assist parents for a few weeks up to several months in all aspects of newborn care. ”

We have some fabulous “newborn experts” in our group who offer postpartum doula services. . They are all mothers themselves. They have all breastfed their babies and can assist you in doing so. They have all been baby wearers. They all have extra special skills as individuals.

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For busy families, a family vacation is the perfect way to get away from it all and reconnect. As a travel expert, I once believed that I knew everything about how to travel, from selecting the best flights to packing lightly. However, once I became a full-time mom, I realized how much there was to learn about keeping a baby happy while traveling. Because traveling with your baby at an early age is the best way to get them accustomed to being away from home, it is important to know the right tricks for keeping your baby content so that everyone will be comfortable. Here, are the essential tips that every parent should know for making a family trip as enjoyable and hassle-free as possible.


Carry Waterproof Bags

As every parent knows, accidents happen. In fact, accidents are especially likely to occur when traveling on an airplane, car or train. This is because the jostling motion of the vehicle can contribute to spills. Waiting in long lines and other inconveniences can also lead to leaky diapers and other soiled clothing. Keeping plastic bags handy will give you a sanitary way to stash your dirty clothes until you can get them laundered.  As an added bonus, you will have a great way to separate sandy or wet bathing suits.  This will eliminate the need to wash all of your clothes upon arriving home.

Schedule Flights for Nap Time

When possible, choose a flight schedule that will be during the bulk of your baby’s sleeping time. In fact, many nighttime or early morning flights can also score you a better deal on your tickets. If it’s not possible to travel at night, plan your trip for your baby’s naptime. This may seem counter-intuitive, but try keeping your baby up before your flight.  This will ensure they are sleepy before takeoff. Whether you prefer to travel at night or in the middle of the day, you will be able to relax better with your baby asleep in your arms.

Feed Your Baby During Takeoff and Landing

A screaming baby is a parent’s worst nightmare on a crowded plane; however, the majority of crying babies are responding to pain caused by pressure in their ears. This situation can be avoided through this simple trick: feed your baby during takeoff and landing. This helps to equalize the pressure while also calming your baby down. If you are lucky, then your baby might also fall asleep during their feeding. Often, the combination of the airplane’s movement along with a full tummy is enough to lull a baby right to sleep.

Pick Child Friendly Accommodations

Deciding where to stay is crucial when you’re traveling with an infant.  If you’re a brand new mom, you wont have to worry about kid-friendly entertainment however there is a list of amenities that you will want to consider.  Make sure your hotel room has a fridge to store bottles or baby food.  If your child has just started to crawl, try looking into hotels that offer certified baby-proofed rooms.  If your destination is tropical, look into resorts with a wading pool.  Your hotel room will be the place you’re able to relax and regroup, so make sure you do your research to find the one that meets all your needs.  Think you can’t find this on a budget?  Think again.  Use the Internet to read reviews and identify a few places that will be ideal for your family.  Then start looking for discounted days or coupon codes.  My family was able to secure a great resort on our trip to Hawaii that had entertainment for every member of our troop.  By not compromising, we were able to find an excellent kid-friendly hotel in Honolulu that still wowed the adults.

Pack Essentials in a Diaper Bag

When traveling, fast access to your baby’s necessities will help you meet their needs before they ever need to emit a scream. Although a diaper bag may seem like an obvious addition to your trip, the key is making every item accessible and well organized.  Therefore, make sure to keep bottles, sippy cups, diapers and food available in a well-organized diaper bag. For babies who are old enough to entertain themselves, pack a few new toys that will keep them intrigued until you arrive at your destination. You don’t want to have to be riffling through a messy bag while going through security with a crying little one.  By making sure that your baby is fed, changed and entertained, you will be able to enjoy a seamless trip that will lead to many wonderful memories.

Kendra Thornton

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Bio: Kendra Thornton: Travel advocate, TV spokesperson, PR businesswoman, proud wife and mama of 3. I am a long time travel expert who has been packing my bags and traveling the world since I was 3 months old! I’ve found my utmost desire in life is right here in my own home. I have taken my excitement for travel and brought it to you with some of my favorite travel tips and tricks. Enjoy!