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Monday, February 24, 2014

Preemie Prefolds - Thrifty Uses for New Moms

It's been a while since my last post, because I've been really busy, opening my new Etsy shop. I have been so lucky to receive orders, and had a particularly large one last week. With 2 babies, a teenager, husband, and house to take care of, sometimes I will have to prioritize. The blog may be a bit slow until I get into the groove of my new venture!

With that said, today's post is all about new moms. When I had my son, I decided to cloth diaper, and am still doing so, with my baby girl added to the mix. I came across a great deal in my diapering research: preemie prefolds from here for $12 for a dozen, and free shipping! While at first, I used them as newborn diapers (more on that below) there are other uses for these wonderful cloths if you are a new mom--and even a couple if you aren't!

First, if you've never seen one, here is what they look like after 2.5 years if washing:
They become about 10 inches long by 7.5 inches wide. They are soft, quilty, all cotton, and very absorbent. Do note that they only reach max absorbency after about 6 washes. I always threw them in with my towels for a few washes, then used them, though, so just know that they get better with time.

On to the uses!

1) Newborn diapers or boosters in disposable diapers

Yes, people do still cloth diaper! While you can certainly use these in the old-school way, with pins, I liked them tri-folded (simply keep the middle section viewable and fold under each of the thinner outer sections) into newborn diaper covers. These tiny diaper covers were my favorite and they are $4.99 each. You need about 6 a day in the newborn stage and at least a dozen prefolds a day for tri-folding and laying into the cover. I may do a more detailed post on cloth diapering later, but for now, googling cloth diapering will give you plenty of reading material. You could cloth diaper a newborn for under $100 total, though, which may seem like a lot...if you've never bought disposable diapers! If cloth is not your thing, you can still get use out of these in disposables by tri-folding them inside as a booster for older babies who leak through them. Wash them as you would any heavily soiled laundry, and with towels—hot water, plenty of soap, and an extra rinse.

2) Breast Pads

This is hands-down my favorite use. If you are breastfeeding, these will work very well for you. Simply tri-fold the prefold, place inside nursing tank or bra, and you are set! These are cheap, easy, and very absorbent. 

3) Diaper Changing Mats and Burp Cloths

This is not new, but deserved a mention. These make great little changing mats when you need one and are ideal for wiping up drool.

4) Large Baby Wipes

These are so great for large messes. Fold in half, add some water and keep handy for big diaper messes. Nothing will clean as well as these!

5) Potty-Training Booster Pads

When baby potty trains, tri-fold these and place them inside undies for dribble protection. If you are handy with a sewing machine, you could even sew them inside underwear.

6) Cloth Napkins and Bath Wash Cloths

If you're not a new mom, you may be interested in these as cloth napkins or bath wash towels. They handle bleach very well, and are very absorbent. Great way to save money in the kitchen and bathroom.

7) Cleaning Rags

Once you've finished with these, and have no more use for them, these make the very best cleaning rags! Car, home, wherever, they are wonderful. 

I hope this helps out a new mom!  For $12, you have wonderfully absorbent, great quality cloths that will serve you for years to come!

Friday, February 14, 2014

Quick, No-Sew Valentine's Headband

Valentine's Day is upon us and my babies are ready, with a couple of outfits that didn't cost a thing to make. I upcycled a plain shirt for my son here and used this wonderful tutorial to make my daughter a beautiful bubble dress. From a onesie that was too short and an old maternity dress...

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Valentine's Day Refashion - Boy's (or Girl's) Shirt!

It's almost Valentine's Day, friends, and I realized that I didn't have any Valentine's Day attire for my littles! What I do have though, are t-shirts and fabric, and a nifty new sewing machine, so I got to work on a no-cost "refashion"!  This one is meant for my son, but it is completely unisex. Of course, I think anything is, but that's personal preference.  

Monday, February 10, 2014

5 Meatless Monday Recipe Ideas

While I don't always do it on Mondays, I do try to incorporate at least one day of a meatless (chicken, beef, and pork) dinner into the week. Not only is it good for you, it's usually a great way to cut your grocery bill. My guys are big-time carnivores, though, so I had to think of meals that they would eat without really noticing the lack of meat. These 5 ideas are winners in my house! (Sorry for the lack of pictures for the first 2 ideas; I need to be better about taking pictures of my food!)

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Make a Valentine's Day Gift for Pennies!

Valentine's Day is approaching and if you like giving sweet gifts to any of the young girls (or even adults) in your life, this post is for you! It takes a few minutes, requires no sewing, and costs mere cents!

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Thrifty Recipe: Homemade Taco Seasoning

We have Mexican food often in our home, and I really prefer to make my own taco seasoning, rather than buying the oddly-colored, chalky stuff that comes in the packets.  Don't misunderstand; I am not above buying them if I am just tapped-out, but if I can avoid it, I do.  One way to avoid giving in to the packaged stuff is to make a large batch to have on hand.  Here is how I do it:

Monday, February 3, 2014

Easy Upcycle: Baby-Led Weaning Helper

Our little girl is 7 months old, and we were a bit late on solids—just started them a couple of weeks ago. We tend to have a relaxed approach to solids—we mix feeding purées with baby-led weaning (BLW), heavier on the latter approach. A more detailed explanation of BLW can be found here  but it's just allowing baby to eat what you eat. They gum down banana, chomp small bites of fish, eat small bits of pasta, all under careful supervision, of course.  It worked well for our youngest son (I didn't know about it with my oldest), and has been going great with our daughter.