Leah Love

Homemade Diaper Rash Cream

Homemade Diaper Rash CreamYou’ll Need for Homemade Diaper Rash Cream
(if it suits you, buy organic ingredients)

1 Cup Shea butter

½ Cup raw coconut oil

1 tbsp. beeswax

3 tbsp. zinc oxide powder

2 tbsp. vegetable glycerine

Double boiler (or small pan inside water-filled larger pan)

Hand mixer


Place Shea butter, beeswax and coconut oil in double boiler, bring to boil, stirring to keep from scorching.

Remove from heat and pour into a bowl, add zinc oxide and vegetable glycerine, beating for about 5 minutes.

After those 5 minutes are up the results should look creamy and a bit oily, but just leave it be for a few hours and the consistency thickens up!  

Dunstan Baby Language

Dunstan Baby LanguageI remember countless nights babysitting for other people’s children, where I was driven crazy by all the crying. If you have been in my shoes, you know how much of a monster one feels for wishing the little dough balls would just shut up and let me get some rest already…

I’ve always assumed that I would feel different when the baby was mine. Perhaps my kid would come with a sense of tolerance or something.  But that doesn’t mean I won’t, gratefully, pick up on any lil’ trick of the trade I can find.

Maybe I just want this one to be true, but did you know that there are people out there who swear that newborns have language?  It is called the Dunstan Baby Language.  Oprah loves it, so it has to be good. Right?

The Dunstan Method is the brainchild of a woman who claims to have been born with an eidetic memory (photographic memory for images, sounds, etc.) and has pinpointed the five universal sounds all infants make and the reasons they make them.

Neh.  Not just a noise disinterested people make.  It means, simply, ‘feed me, I’m hungry.’

Owh.  ‘I’m tired.’  It looks a little like a yawn.

Heh.  This is the sound that I recognize the most and is the noise I always thought was the absolute cutest on a baby I’m holding.  Also, it’s the sound that signifies ‘Whoe, not comfy!’  And is the noise you should associate with an upcoming diaper change.

Eairh.  The ‘tummy ache’ sound.  Supposedly made whenever air from one of those cute baby burps doesn’t come out and travels down south to the intestines.  Also made before or during a bowel movement.

Eh.  Not quite the same as “Eairh” but related. It is the ‘I need a burping’ sound.

I should probably go ahead and disclaim here.  This Dunstan method isn’t validated by science.

In fact, the Dunstan company was supposed to go through clinical testing with Brown University, but backed out preferring anecdotal evidence to “hasten the development of a system that could be used by parents.”  Skipping testing and going right to sale.  Which seems a little fishy. Who wouldn’t want a nod from the scientific community?

But then, I know as a parent I’d probably be grateful to have the methods for communicating with my kid before ‘testing’ says it’s ‘acceptable.’  If it works it works, right?  Oprah. right?

Homemade Rice Cereal

RiceYou’ll need:

¼ Cup (1 oz.) brown or white rice (brown is best!)

1 Cup Water

Coffee Grinder or food processor

Breast milk or Formula as needed

While boiling the water, grind the brown rice (so much better for you than white!) up until it’s very fine.

Add powder to boiling water and stir constantly with a whisk for about 1 minute.

Turn burner from ‘High’ to ‘Low’ and, still stirring the rice mixture, allow to simmer about 10 minutes.

Remove from heat.

Use breast milk or formula to create the perfect consistency for your baby.

Cord Blood Donation

Doctor with infant.While we were at my OB’s last time, my husband and I brought up the option of cord blood donation.  The doctor said she had done it before, and she would be willing to do it for us but that we must go out and get a kit mailed to us before the birth (obviously) and make sure she has it in advance so she can open it up and harvest from my umbilical cord.

Cord blood donation differs from cord blood banking in a few ways but there’s one huge incentive, it’s free.  Public cord blood banks pay for the collection, testing and storing of umbilical cord blood. If you were banking, it could cost around $2,000 for a 20-year term.  And that’s not including the yearly fees of $100-$200.

This price is prompting a new fad of blood banking registries.  One that is the same as a ‘traditional’ registry only people are contributing to the overall cost of banking something that most bankers will (hopefully) never need.

Apparently it’s not a common occurrence here in Wisconsin.  I’ve been looking up cord blood donation in Wisconsin while on the internet and getting nowhere.  If you do this, be sure that you’re following links that say donation because banking will come up regardless, and as we know, banking is different than donating.

Eventually, I stumbled here http://marrow.org/Get_Involved/Donate_Cord_Blood/Donate_Cord_Blood.aspx and watched their video on donation before reading towards the bottom and clicking on ‘Learn if you can donate cord blood’ link.  I met all the criteria, which I have copied below for your perusal…

About You:

I am 18 or older.

About Your Baby:

Please select your estimated due date.

* must be between your 28th and 34th week of pregnancy from today’s date

I am expecting only one baby.

My baby does not have any fetal abnormalities.

Tattoos and Body Piercings:

In the last 12 months, I have not had any tattoos or ear, skin or body piercings where shared or non-sterileinks, needles, instruments or procedures were used.

Blood Diseases and Transfusion:

I do not have any blood diseases (Anemia is okay.)

In the last 12 months, I have not received a blood transfusion.

Infectious Diseases:

I have never tested positive for hepatitis, AIDS or West Nile.

Sexually Transmitted Disease:

In the last 12 months, I have not been treated for syphilis.


Neither I, nor my baby’s father, nor any of my baby’s siblings has ever had any type of cancer or leukemia.


In the past three years, I have not had malaria.


Since cord blood units must arrive at a cord blood bank within 48 hours, the hospital where you plan to donate must be within the contiguous US.

I am delivering at a US hospital that is not in Alaska, Hawaii or Puerto Rico.


As I said above, I met the criteria and was invited to continue with the donation process; which I did.  Long story short, by the end of the (rather short) process I read this…

Thank You!

Your information has been forwarded to:

MD Anderson Cord Blood Bank

1515 Holcombe Boulevard
Unit 423
Houston, TX 77030
1 (713) 563-8000
1 (866) 869-5111

Please allow at least a week for this bank to contact you.

Don’t leave this to the last!

If you are thinking of donating, you must take action between your 28th and 34th week of pregnancy, from whatever the current date is.  I am scraping the wire. On Saturday, I will be 33 weeks along.

I can only trust that the Anderson Cord Blood Bank will hold up on their end and prove that they are serious about obtaining my cord blood.

It’s almost frustrating how long it took me to find this option!  Why is it so hard to donate cord blood in Wisconsin?

Cute Baby Facts

Baby FactsSome Cute Baby Facts for you to enjoy:

-A baby is born in the world every three seconds.

-A short list of famous people who were born prematurely; Albert Einstein, Pablo Picasso, Auguste Renoir Charles Darwin, Voltaire, Sir Isaac Newton, Napoleon Bonaparte, Mark Twain, Sir Winston Churchill.

-The largest number of babies born to a single woman is 69. From 1725-1765, a Russian peasant woman gave birth to 16 sets of twins, seven sets of triplets, and four sets of quadruplets.  Oucha!

-Babies are born mostly on Wednesdays.  Though for nearly twenty years babies seemed to prefer being born on a Tuesday.  I’d sure like to know what that’s about.

-Babies aren’t at all colorblind, so no more of those garish black and white mobiles, please.  They like to see primary colors, red yellow and blue!

-A baby cannot taste salt until it’s reached four months of age, about the time when their lil’ kidneys are far enough along to deal with sodium.

-During medieval Europe, leeches were commonly used to treat babies who were ‘sick.’  Standard treatments included placing a leech on a baby’s windpipe, to treat croup. Bloodletting was also a commonly used to treat teething ailments.  I can’t imagine.

-The protein that keeps a baby’s skull from fusing together is called “noggin.”  Ha!  Just like the hormone that makes my pelvic girdle hurt is called ‘Relaxin.’

-For some strange reason newborns are more likely to turn their head to the right than to the left.  Somebody tell me why…

-A baby has about 10,000 taste buds in its little mouth.  They grow on the sides, back and roof. Though they do eventually disappear.  Girls have more taste buds than boys have,  not surprising.

-I (and, yes, you too) have 206 bones in my body. When my baby is born, he/she will have 300. Their bones fuse as they grow!

-Babies don’t have kneecaps when they’re born. Kneecaps do not develop until after babies are six months.

-The grasp of a newborn baby is so powerful that he/she can support the weight of its body in midair.  I don’t recommend testing this one…

-Newborns like looking at a drawing of a face rather than a random pattern (like on a crib mobile) and they prefer smiling faces to cranky ones but then again who wouldn’t?

-Babies cry for about two hours a day.  Most babies get in their quality crying time when they’re around six weeks old.


EpiduralAlmost as long as I’ve been pregnant (actually if we’re being honest, loooong before I’ve been pregnant), I’ve known that I’d be getting an epidural.

You can’t lecture or make me change my mind so please don’t email me thinking you can because it juuuust won’t work.

Drugs!  I’ve had waaaaay too much unexpected pain (we’re talking a 10 on the pain scale) a few times when I didn’t know I had gallstones, and a few other times when I had an as-of-yet unidentified malady that I have always referred to as my ‘uterine’ attacks.  Unbelievable pain!  The kind of sheer agony that makes you vomit out of pain.  The kind of pain that will not let you get to the phone even though it’s only one foot out of your reach.  Awful, debilitating, fear inducing pain.

So, in the one instance where I can see the pain coming in advance…  I think I deserve to have a little help!  Here’s how it’s going to go…

They’re going to put me on intravenous fluids, swipe a brown iodine solution on my back over the injection site, and then I get a local anesthetic to stop me from feeling the more drastic sensation of having the larger needle inserted into my spinal cord.  Which will be administered while I’m either laying on my back or arching it and sitting forward.  I’ve heard laying down is best because there’s less chance of motion.  Then a small tube is pushed through the larger needle in my back and taped there to dispense the God sent pain relief while the needle itself is removed.  Voila!

There are two types of epidural available to me. There’s the one you always envision. The procedure of which is outlined above.  But you’re pretty much bed bound the rest of the birth.

A ‘walking’ epidural.  Which is not an epidural per-se but just a step below. It controls pain but only for up to 8 hours, and allows you your mobility.  You can shift position in the birthing bed without as much trouble as the ‘normal’ epidural. You may even be allowed to walk, thus the name.  You can request the stronger epidural at any time.

What I’m hoping to benefit by having the epidural?

  • I’ll be able to rest between contractions, y’know… because I won’t be enveloped in pain!
  • I’ll be more alert, able to understand what’s happening with my birth.
  • I’ll be less exhausted, less crabby, less tired.
  • Which means I’ll have a more positive birth experience!  Less trauma!

There are cons to every pro sure, but the cons are rare, and to my line of thought, not worth thinking about anymore this close to my due date.  Here’s looking forward to a happy, healthy birth!

Resource you might want to check out: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Epidural

Homemade Diaper Pail Deodorant

Diaper PailYou’ll need:

-2 Cups baking soda

-Several drops (use your judgment) of an antibacterial Essential oil of choice (go here http://younglivingtherapeuticoils.com/antibacterial-deodorant/ for a list of antibacterial essentials!)  I picked Rosewood because it’s also antifungal.

-Distilled water.
As much as needed (you can also boil tap water if you like).

-A mold. Such as ice cube tray you don’t intend to re-use, a muffin tin (with a paper liner inserted), maybe you even have a lovely soap mold lying around from a previous project?

-Plastic wrap or Ziploc baggie for storage.

To Make:

-Mix the baking soda and essential oils together.

-Stir in water a tiny bit at a time until you get a thick ‘frosting’ consistency.

-Pour or tap about half an inch of the paste into the mold of your choice (I’m using my paper lined muffin tins).

-Set your homemade deodorant aside and let alone for 24 hours, give or take.  The dry time will be affected by the amount of water used so take note for future reference.

-Once they’re officially dry, remove deodorant cake (in liner) from the mold.

-Wrap in plastic for extra stay-freshness and store in Ziploc baggie until needed.

-Take the cupcake paper off before you use and replace the cakes as you think needed. Hopefully, every month or so.  Because it’s mostly baking soda, you can throw it into the wash with the diapers for extra cleaning power.

Now that’s what I call useful!

Attach your cake to your diaper pail any way you can.

Since I’m using a regular flip lid trash can, I’m using a nail to punch holes in a big peanut butter lid, making sure I cut an ‘insertion hole’ at one end. Then I’ll hot glue the rim to the underside of my flip lid and pop the deodorizer cake in. Somebody suggested taking the ‘used’ one-month-old cake and placing it at the bottom. Thusly, getting double the smell fighting power.

If you don’t like the cake idea (or your cakes never properly ‘clumped’) there is an alternative! Place dried paste mixture in a ‘shaker’ container, like an old baby powder bottle. Shake up until the deodorizing cakes are back to being mostly powder. Then just shake over diaper at every change for a thin layer of odor-eating goodness!

Remember your diaper pail will, more than likely, still need a thorough hand cleaning from time to time.  You can use an old deodorizer cake with a little hot and soapy water, but I prefer to mix Vinegar with water.  I like a 1:2 ratio; but if it’s too strong for you, try 1:3 for starters, it’s no less effective.  And you can also throw vinegar in the wash with your diaper for an amazing bacteria kill!  With no remaining vinegar-y smell, promise!

I love a Vinegar Baking soda washing machine combination.  In fact, I find Vinegar so useful that I think that in the future I might write a piece entirely on it!

In the meantime, I hope you have good luck controlling your diaper pail stink!  Let me know how it works for you.

Homemade Teething Gel

You’ll need:

1 oz. vegetable oil (or vegetable glycerine)

2 drops Essential Oil, Clove

Glass container, like an empty jam jar

To Make:  Drop 1 drop (just one!) into the vegetable oil and shake until completely blended.  Test the mixture on yourself first on a ‘sensitive’ area of your skin such as the inside of your wrist to make sure it isn’t too strong.  If it’s not, you may choose to add the second drop of Clove.

Note that using straight Clove can actually burn your baby.  If you are uncomfortable using essential oils with your baby, you can also follow a few of these suggestions.

Rub the gums.  Just the action of your (clean!) finger running over your tot’s gums is very helpful in confusing those occasionally trickable nerves just under the skin.  Creating an ‘opposite pressure’, like how the pain of a bee sting can be squashed by pressing your finger on the sting site (It sounds counterintuitive, but I’ve seen it work!)

Licorice herb.  Let your teething child chew on a natural licorice stick (not the candy!) which you can pick up at a health food store.  Actual licorice numbs the gums and provides relief.

Pure Vanilla extract.  Rub a little extract on your baby’s gums.  As discussed above part of this may be the ‘opposite pressure’ at work but the vanilla extract itself has a negligible amount of alcohol in it which will create a ‘warming’ feeling on the gums, which will give a temporary relief.  And then there’s the scent of the vanilla itself, I’ve always been soothed by the smell and taste of it, haven’t you?  One last note on vanilla, it also has the added benefit of being able to calm an upset tummy!