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Archive for October, 2008

bumGenius! | What’s so Great about Bum Genius!?

Friday, October 24th, 2008

So we’ve been doing retail for over 2 years and getting product from Bum Genius was virtually impossible for a while, because #1 They are a young company and #2 Apparently parents go crazy over these cloth diapers, so naturally we wanted to carry them in our store.  So I finally get my hands on a shipment of bumGenius! diapers, specifically bumGenius 3.0 one size cloth diaper.  At first glance, it looks like a great product, very similar to the Happy Heineys diapers we already carry.  It’s a pocket diaper with two inserts.  There are three differences I noticed right away.  #1 The bumGenius! diaper shell looks like a skinnier fit than Happy Heineys, not quite as bulky.  #2 The inserts were actually adjustable, whereas the Happy Heineys inserts are not.  They just give you an infant size and a toddler size.  #3 You get your choice of using two diaper inserts at once or just one.  I guess the purpose is if you have a baby with a regular poop schedule, you put the extra insert in before he poops.  I don’t know how easy it is to predict this, but nevertheless, the diaper works with one insert as well.  It looks great, but what’s the big deal with these diapers anyway?

bumgenius! diapers

I spoke to a mom last weekend that just raved about these diapers.  She told me that the fit on them was perfect, never had a leak.  She loved the ease of washing the diapers, just sticking in two fingers to pull the insert out of the pocket, in the laundry bag and that’s it.  For poops, simply empty the diaper into the toilet, or better yet, purchase the spray attachment that cleans the poop right off before the initial wash.  This may save you from odor as well.

Money: These diapers absolutely save you on money in the long run, which is just what we need in these economic times.  The bumGenius! diapers cost less than $20 each and they grow with your baby from newborn to toddler.  Start with 30 and you’re set for your baby’s whole diapering life!  When you think that a pack of Pampers costs $25 and muliply that by 25 packs per year (one box every other week) and you’ve paid for the diapers in less than one year.

Environment:  Do your part for the environment with cloth diapers.  Here are some facts from the RealDiaperAssocation.org website.

  • In 1988, over 18 billion diapers were sold and consumed in the United States that year.4 Based on our calculations (listed below under “Cost: National Costs”), we estimate that 27.4 billion disposable diapers are consumed every year in the U.S.
  • The instructions on a disposable diaper package advice that all fecal matter should be deposited in the toilet before discarding, yet less than one half of one percent of all waste from single-use diapers goes into the sewage system.
  • Over 92% of all single-use diapers end up in a landfill.
  • In 1988, nearly $300 million dollars were spent annually just to discard disposable diapers, whereas cotton diapers are reused 50 to 200 times before being turned into rags.
  • No one knows how long it takes for a disposable diaper to decompose, but it is estimated to be about 250-500 years, long after your children, grandchildren and great, great, great grandchildren will be gone.
  • Disposable diapers are the third largest single consumer item in landfills, and represent about 4% of solid waste.  In a house with a child in diapers, disposables make up 50% of household waste.
  • Disposable diapers generate sixty times more solid waste and use twenty times more raw materials, like crude oil and wood pulp.
  • The manufacture and use of disposable diapers amounts to 2.3 times more water wasted than cloth.
  • Over 300 pounds of wood, 50 pounds of petroleum feedstocks and 20 pounds of chlorine are used to produce disposable diapers for one baby EACH YEAR.

Fashion:  The bumGenius! diapers come in several pastel and bright colors to keep your baby’s rump looking cute as ever.

Not Your Mother’s Cloth Diaper:  Thank God, you don’t have to worry about diaper pins and waterproof covers on top of cloth diapers, making the cloth diaper process tedious, arduous, and just plain gross.  bumGenius! diapers are easy to clean, easy to change, and easy to live life with.  Just try a couple of them, and we know you will love this diaper.

Daycare Moms:  It may be impossible to use cloth diapers when your baby is in daycare, but you can still take advantage of these on the weekends and at bed time, so don’t be afraid to just try a couple of the bumGenius! diapers.  Who knows? You might like them better than disposables, and may even be able to convince your daycare provider as well!

Sometimes the Broken Dishwasher can be a Gift

Monday, October 20th, 2008

I was hand washing the dishes the other day, because my dishwasher (only 6 years old) decided to stop working. Oh great; another inconvenience. So I set about hand washing the dishes, something I haven’t done since Bill and I lived in an old farmhouse we rented in our college town, Greenville, NC. This farm house was so cool. It was huge with four bedrooms, a living room, family room, dining room, and wrap around porch. The house had the most charm, and I still remember quiet, contemplative moments washing the dishes by hand in the freezing cold kitchen. (we had no central heat, just blowers in the gas fireplaces) Were we crazy to live in a place with no central heat or air and no dishwasher? Probably, but we were also young, in love, and had no children to worry about. Evenings were quiet, and hand washing the dishes, as annoying as it was, always gave me time to think without the distraction of the tv, about my life and where it was going. Then I had kids.

Don’t get me wrong. I love being a mom, and I’d rather have a lot of noise in the house with kids, compared to quiet, contemplative (and boring) evenings thinking about my life. But since the children were born, there have only been very rare moments where I have stopped, relaxed, and enjoyed thinking about life and where it was going.

So when the dishwasher broke, what did I think? Oh great, another obstacle in my typical day of multi-tasking, errand running, and rounding up the boys. So there I was, squeezing the Sunlight dish soap into the sink, running the water, and watching the bubbles spring up. No TV surfing, no internet surfing, no talking on the phone, no multi-tasking, because really, what can you do while you’ve got your arms shoved down into a sink up to your elbows. So I did something I haven’t done in a long time. I listened. I listened to the noise in my house. I listened to my two boys playing with matchbox cars on the back deck. I listened to their banter back and forth. I listened to my 5 year old telling my 2 year old how to load dirt in the back of his toy pickup truck. I watched my baby’s eyes, absorbing everything Dillon said to him and eagerly responding, trying to please his big brother. I watched Dillon, as he enjoyed teaching his baby brother, Peyton, these things, and my heart swelled and a big smile came to my face, as I beamed at them playing so nicely together.

These are the times that we should stop and take note; because they will be grown up soon, and in their own little worlds; and I would’ve been too busy to notice. Because it’s the little things that matter so much. Things that I wouldn’t have noticed if I hadn’t discovered a broken dishwasher that day. Things that make up the very cornerstones of our life; our happiness. Sometimes a broken dishwasher can be a gift, and that day it was.

Dealing with Your Baby’s Colic | Fussy Baby = Fussy Mommy

Wednesday, October 15th, 2008

Ok, so when I had Peyton 2 years ago, it was the hardest 3 months of my life.  As soon as he was born out of my belly via c-section, he screamed.  He would not be put down at the hospital very long, and I could not have a moment’s rest.  The only thing that made him happy was the breast.  (Typical guy, right?) I tried sending him to the nursery, but even the nurses felt overwhelmed with the responsibility of Peyton.  So they sent him back to me with a pacifier stuck in his mouth.  Well, being the well read mom that I was, I told the nurse in no way was he to have a pacifier, because that could lead to nipple confusion and I might have trouble nursing him.  Well, he was with me for five minutes before I stuck that pacifier back in his mouth, but that was not what he wanted.  He wanted to nurse and nurse and nurse.  I know, I should be grateful that I had a hungry, healthy little baby boy, but the demands on my body were exhausting.  So we get home and he’s doing better, but about a week later, full blown colic set in.  This went on for 6-8 weeks.  All day, he would nurse and always want to be held.  He would not go in the bouncy seat; he would not go in the swing.  On me is where he wanted to be.  I wish I had known about the ergobaby carrier back then.  I would’ve lived with that on. So besides wanting to be held all day long, never failed at 8pm - 12am, 4hours straight of crying, as if he was in terrible pain.
baby peyton, mom, and big brother dillon
My baby was not happy to come into this world.  Was it gas pains?  No, not in my opinion.  Was it colic?  Absolutely… but what is colic?  There is some debate with experts, but in my case, I believe Peyton was not ready to be born; at least his nervous system was not ready for the outside stimulation of the world.  The feel of clothing, the coolness of the air, the noise of the house; all these things simply overwhelmed him and ended up making him feel hopeless and insecure at the day’s end.

So I tried the 5 S’s from the Happiest Baby on the Block.  Let’s see if I remember; suck, swaddle, shake (well not shake, but gentle bouncing -  obviously you do not want to shake a baby), shush, and side.  So it was really like a 3 ring circus.  You’ve got one hand on the pacifier while your arms are holding him sideways and bouncing, all while making shushing noises.  It’s quite a desperate sight actually.  I went through a range of emotions and felt like a terrible mother, because I was very angry at the baby half the time.  I went through anger, resentfulness, hopelessness, despair, guilt, and more anger every night.  It was a vicious cycle.  I really didn’t have the proper swaddle blankets or carriers, that may have helped.  But I felt he could come out of this any moment, so do I really want to invest in these things.  Take my word for it; invest!  Now they have so many things out there that will help you.  Let me name a few for you.

SWADDLE BLANKETS (I could never put these on properly, the baby would just kick them right off.  Turns out I didn’t have the right blankets.  You cannot use receiving blankets to swaddle.

Luna Lullaby 3 pack swaddle blankets - these come with a DVD and large square muslin blankets that work so much better for swaddling
Miracle Blanket - easy to use swaddle blanket comes with a pocket for baby’s feet and special stretchy sides to make the swaddle tight, so he can’t kick out.
Miracle blanket


ErgoBaby Carrier - bar none, the best carrier out there.  It is designed so there is no barrier between you and baby.  Baby loves skin on skin contact.  If they have an overstimulated nervous system, this skin on skin contact reminds them of life in the womb.  They can feel your hearbeat and warmth, which translates to comfort.  The best thing about the ErgoBaby carrier is it’s great on your back and you can use it as a front carrier, then a side and backpack carrier as your child grows, all the way up to 3 years old.  It’s worth the investment!
ergobaby carrier
The Peanut Shell Sling - this sling is sized to fit you and offers the baby warmth and comfort in a pouch like environment that feels like the womb.
peanut shell sling

SoundSleep for babies CD - this CD is actual recorded womb sounds which remind the baby of home in the womb and instantly comforts.

soundsleep cd

The Happiest Baby on the Block DVD or Book. Great advice on help for colic.  We don’t sell this yet, but you should find a copy anyway.

Baby Gift Registry | Practical Baby Gift Registry

Sunday, October 12th, 2008

A Baby Gift Registry Can Be Convenient for the Parents

A baby gift registry is a collection of items registered at one or more stores. It allows the parents of a baby to manage the gifts that are being bought. The parents choose the store or stores that they like and then choose items from the stores that they would like for the baby. People, who are buying gifts for the baby for baby showers and more, can look on the registry and see what gifts have been bought and what gifts still need to be bought. You are not obligated to follow a baby registry, but it is preferred. Today, baby registries can be found online. Many people shop online rather than walking into a store. Shopping online is convenient and saves people time. When a person orders baby items online they can also look at an online baby gift registry to see what is needed and what the status is with the items.

Using a Fan During Sleep May Reduce Infants’ SIDS Risk, Kaiser Permanente Study Shows

Wednesday, October 8th, 2008
  • Kaiser Permanente just released a very interesting and important study about SIDS and fan use. It seems that using a fan in your baby’s room can lower the chance of SIDS by 72%! Here is the press release below:

October 6, 2008 (Oakland, Calif.) – Infants who slept in a bedroom with a fan ventilating the air had a 72 percent lower risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome compared to infants who slept in a bedroom without a fan, according to a new study by the Kaiser Permanente Division of Research. The study appears in the October issue of the Archives of Pediatric & Adolescent Medicine.

This is the first study to examine an association between better air ventilation in infants’ bedrooms and reduced SIDS risk.

The finding is consistent with previous research that showed factors influencing a baby’s sleep environment may change SIDS risk. Among those factors are sleeping on the stomach and soft bedding, both of which may limit air ventilation around an infant’s breathing pathway and thus increase the chance of re-breathing exhaled carbon dioxide, said the researchers

They explained that fan use is no substitute for practices known to reduce the risk for sudden infant death syndrome, which include: always placing infants to sleep on their backs, putting infants to sleep on firm mattresses and avoiding soft bedding materials like comforters and quilts, providing a separate sleep environment, preventing infants from overheating, and not smoking around infants.

baby sleeping sids

“Although this is the first finding linking fan use to SIDS, concerned parents can take measures to improve ventilation of infants sleep environment, by adding fans in rooms or opening windows. Other studies have found that parents can also reduce the chance of re-breathing carbon dioxide by putting infants to sleep on their back, avoiding soft bedding and overheating, and by using a pacifier,” said study author Dr. De-Kun Li, a reproductive and perinatal epidemiologist at Kaiser Permanente’s Division of Research in Oakland.

The study also found that opening a window in infant’s room reduced the risk of SIDS by 36 percent compared to babies who slept in a room with closed windows, though this connection was not statistically significant according to the researchers.

  • SmartMomma continues to monitor the latest news to keep your baby safe and comfortable. Please stay tuned to our blog for all the latest information on baby safety and trends! Sleep tight baby!
  • Are you currently pregnant or expecting? Please visit our baby gift registry online and in the store!

Welcome to the SmartMomma Blog

Friday, October 3rd, 2008

Hi everyone! I wanted to welcome you to the first post on our blog for SmartMomma. I am Heather, owner and founder of SmartMomma.com and the SmartMomma baby store and boutique in Raleigh, NC. Some background on me. I was born in Durham, NC and am an alumni of East Carolina University, where I met my husband, Bill (SmartMomma). We were married shortly after graduation, moved to Colorado to be temporary ski bums (we love to snow ski), then decided to settle down and have a family a few years later. Our first son, Dillon was born in July of 2003. My pregnancy had some issues, but was good for the most part. He ended up being a big boy, 22 inches long and 9 lbs, 11 oz. Peyton was born 3 years later in July of 2006, at 8 lbs, 9 oz and 20 inches long, he was my “little guy”.
Dillon and Baby Peyton 2007
Dillon & Baby Peyton 2007
mom and dillon
mom and baby peyton
I am the happy mom to two wonderful boys! And believe me when I tell you, they grow up too fast. Are you pregnant or new mom to a beautiful baby? Before you know it, he or she will be entering Kindergarten, so my best advice to you is to enjoy the stages of your life, because they pass on in a flash. Sure you may be dealing with colic or a biting phase or a child that just will not stay in bed, but even in a difficult phase, remember to savor the nice moments, the moments between parent and child are the sweetest of all.
Baby Peyton and Dillon 2008

I started SmartMomma to pass on what I have learned to all expectant and new moms and dads about pregnancy, parenthood, and all the surprises that come along with it, and I hope I have been successful with that. Now SmartMomma has a talented staff of people that are ready to assist you with your pregnancy and parenthood, by recommending products and resources that best fit your lifestyle with a baby gift registry for your needs as well, so welcome to SmartMomma! I hope that we can add something to your life.

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