Archives for September 2012

How to Make Your Own Baby Wipes

Baby wipes have long been hailed as a godsend for parents, and many parents use them for far more than just their intended purpose. In addition to being used to clean up messy babies during a much-need diaper change, lots of parents swear by using them to wipe up messes, act as a mini-shower, and serve as tissues, paper towels, and napkins. However have you ever taken the time to look at the ingredients listed on your baby wipes packaging?  Are the ingredients listed full of words that you can’t pronounce?  Babies have sensitive skin, and the harsh ingredients in commercial wipes can irritate a baby’s soft bottom, not to mention while wipes are super convenient, they can also get pretty expensive. By making your own baby wipes you will not only save money, but you can use gentle ingredients that won’t harm or irritate your baby’s delicate skin.

Gather together the following items:

  • 4 qt. round or square container with a lid (wide enough for paper towel roll to fit in and tall enough for ½ of the roll to fit)
  • Roll of 2-ply paper towel (Bounty select-a-size work well)
  • 2 tablespoons of baby wash
  • 2 tablespoons of mineral oil (use coconut oil or vegetable oil if sensitive skin)
  • 2 ½ cups of hot water
  • Cutting board
  • Knife

Start by cutting the roll of paper towel in half using the knife.  Pull the cardboard core out of the paper towel halves.  The last paper towel is usually glued on, but with a little work you can get it to come loose.  Place half of the paper towels into the container, cut side down.  Measure the hot water, add the baby wash and oil to the water, and stir.  Pour this mixture over the paper towels.  Put the lid on and turn the container upside down.  Allow the container to sit for about 5 minutes.  Flip container back over and now the wipes are ready to use.  Cut an “X” in the lid of the container if you’d like to pull the wipes through.  Otherwise you can just take the lid off each time.  Start pulling wipes from the center.

Since there are no preservatives in these wipes there is a chance for mold to form.  To avoid this keep them in a cool place that is out of direct sunlight.  If you are worried about mold you can add 4 drops of tea tree oil to the water before adding it to the paper towels.  Tea tree is a natural antiseptic and will help to prevent any mold from forming.

You can also customize these wipes to suit you and your baby’s needs.  It’s simple to add a few drops of lavender essential oil if you’d like to have scented wipes.  Lavender also has antiseptic properties.

Homemade wipes can also be used in your travel wipes container, or you can simply throw some in a zip top bag and go.

The savings on these wipes will vary by where you live, but on average you can save about $10 a month by making your own wipes.  Homemade wipes tend to be moister then store bought ones, so some parents think they work better as well. If the wipes seem too wet for your liking just decrease the amount of water you use the next time you make them.

10 iPhone Apps for Expectant Dads

Learning that you’re going to be a father is one of the most exciting pieces of news that you’ll ever get. That doesn’t mean, however, that poring over dry instructional books on pregnancy and childbirth is particularly stimulating. Thankfully, the advent of smartphones allows a father-to-be to stay involved and educate himself about the changes in his partners’ and his child’s body in an interactive, entertaining way. These are the ten must-have iPhone apps for expectant fathers, from the informative to the amusing.

  1. mPregnancy – For Men With Pregnant WomenAt ten weeks gestation, your baby is 3cm long. In guy-speak, that’s the size of a beer cap. This is just one of the ways that mPregnancy explains the process in funny but useful terms, keeping it light and geared towards the male pregnancy experience.
  2. Labor and Contraction Timer – While this app will really only come in handy at the end of your partner’s pregnancy, it’s still not one that you’ll want to be with out. Timing the duration and spacing of her contractions, as well as recording the intensity, gives you a heads-up when it’s time to go to the hospital.
  3. The Guy’s Guide to the Delivery Room – Even the most eager expectant fathers are likely to have a few qualms about the delivery room, most borne of fear and inexperience. The Guy’s Guide to the Delivery Room is spelled out in clear, easy to understand language that lets you know exactly what to expect and how to prepare for your little one’s big debut.
  4. iPregnancy – Written by an actual OB/GYN, iPregnancy is one of the most popular pregnancy apps on the market. Track your baby’s gestational age, learn what your partner is experiencing with each week that passes and integrate the app with Facebook and Twitter for easy social networking updates.
  5. Baby Names – One of the things that has to be decided is your baby’s name, otherwise she’ll never get a driver’s license or a job, and will never move out of your house. Baby Names lets you browse through thousands of names with several different sorting features to narrow the search, saving your favorites and accessing their meanings.
  6. Pimp My Ultrasound – Your baby’s ultrasound is the first time that she’ll show her face to the world. Her time to shine. That doesn’t mean that you can’t slap a football helmet on it and a mic in her hand for a little pre-parenting fun. Pimp My Ultrasound lets you personalize your ultrasound photo with tons of graphics and frames, with tons of options for customizing the precious moment caught on film.
  7. Baby Pool – Dads-to-be that know the line on every sporting event in the foreseeable future are sure to get a kick out of Baby Pool, which allows your friends, family and coworkers to place bets on your baby’s gender, size at birth and the date and time that the blessed event occurs.
  8. Pregnancy (Sprout) – Choose a 3D avatar and watch it grow each week along with your baby with Pregnancy (Sprout). You can even assign the avatar a gender when you learn that of your upcoming bundle of joy, and enter the name you and your partner decide on for a customizable and impressive iPhone pregnancy experience.
  9. BabyBump – A more interesting way of learning about the ins and outs of your partner’s pregnancy than reading a textbook on the subject, Baby Bump offers sound, real-world pregnancy advice and lets you keep track of your little one’s developmental changes week by week.
  10. UrbanSpoon – When those pregnancy cravings for a specific style of cuisine hit your partner, save the day by pinpointing the best match closest to you with this top-rated local restaurant app. You’ll be feeding them for at least the next eighteen years, so it’s a good habit to get into.

Some of these apps are funny, and some are written by actual medical professionals. That doesn’t mean that they’re any substitute for the actual advice of your OB/GYN, so be sure that you always follow her instructions to the letter. Even the informative apps are for information purposes only, and not intended to help you make any medical decisions. If you have questions, don’t hesitate to ask your obstetrician or midwife.