Lydia's Nest · Refashion

Refashion Challenge: The Before (Lydia)

It’s here! I got the package from my mom containing the thrift store items she picked out for me to refashion/ (Confused? Check out this post for an overview of what’s happening!) wanna see?

So these are the items i get to change. I haven’t done anything yet besides try them on.


There are two maxi dresses. They are both strapless. The animal print one is a light peachy nude color, made with chiffon fabric and an elastic waistband. The blue one is cotton and has a stretchy, smocked top. Here’s what they look like on (I kept a comisole on underneath so thats what the straps are).





I like that this dress has a nice drape.  The fabric is light and flowy, whic will be fun to work with! The top part is unlined, so that will need to change. 


This dress has a nice feel- the cotton fabric is very soft. Also, I love the print! You cant see in the pictures, but its a little short. 

I haven’t totally decided what I want to do with these yet. If you have any ideas, let me know!

Love,

Lydia

Lydia's Nest · Parenting

Baby-Led Weaning: Our First Month

Sucking on some pasta

So we have officially started baby-led weaning, and now that we’re about a month in I wanted to share a little bit what the beginning is like. There are a lot of seasoned BLW’ers out there with lots of great advice, but once you’re in it its easy to forget what it was like at the very beginning.

We started Deacon on avocado on his 6 month birthday. Since then he has had things like cucumber, roasted carrots, steamed broccoli, noodles (without sauce), banana, chicken, pork, strawberries, watermelon, things like that. He has done great, picking things up, putting them in his mouth, and tasting.

We have already given him all major allergens, per our doctor’s recommendation. They now say that early introduction can reduce risk of developing an allergy, and since there is no family history of food allergies, we dove right in.
Here are some of the things that surprised me or caught me off guard about the process:

  • They gag a lot. I knew to expect this, but it can be very disconcerting when you’re in it! however, it is normal and is actually a sign that they are learning how to eat. This graphic was a super helpful reminder on the difference between gagging and choking:

  • They make a mess. Oh goodness do they make a mess! Because they are learning how to chew, food gets spit out most of the time. Even a month in, Deacon still spits out probably half of what he puts in.

    Attempting to figure out how a spoon works
  • Get CPR certified. Before we started, I purchased an infant CPR training kit, and I was really glad that I did. I haven’t had to use these skills, thankfully, but it gives me so much peace of mind knowing that I know what to do in an emergency.
  • Make sure baby is in a good mood. We found that if Deacon was tired or hungry (ironically) he would be fussy and frustrated when he had trouble picking up food. I always try to nurse him before each meal so he is full and ready to enjoy exploring new foods.

    Peppers are tasty
  • Food waste. This was definitely something I hadn’t anticipated. When your baby is dropping and spitting everything out, a fair amount of food just goes to waste! I’m pretty frugal, and it felt strange throwing away perfectly good broccoli just because it had fallen on the floor. Some things that helped were only giving him one or two pieces of food at a time, and laying a drop cloth under the high chair so when it inevitably fell on the floor I could just pick it up and hand it back.
Broccoli is a good source of iron

So those are some of the things I learned in our first month! Hopefully it can help you be better prepared for BLW!

Love,

Lydia

Family Activities · Lydia's Nest · Parenting

Baby Led Weaning

Lydia is beginning the transition to solid foods with a method that I had never heard of before, called Baby-Led-Weaning.  When Deacon turned six months, instead of starting with rice cereal like I did when Lyddie was 6 months old, she is giving him real, unpureed solid foods from the get-go. Naturally, I had questions but after observing the results and watching it first hand I am a believer. Come and eavesdrop on our mother/ daughter conversation:

Gail: What is Baby-Led-Weaning and where did you hear about it? (Thinking, “WHAT are you doing to my grandson!!”)

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Lydia: Baby-led Weaning is an alternative method of teaching a baby to eat. Instead of spoon-feeding him cereals and purees, I simply put some of whatever we are eating in front of him, and let him touch it, pick it up, put it in his mouth, and taste it. He is in complete control of what goes in his mouth. This is different than traditional weaning because of the order of things babies learn: when they are spoon fed, they learn to swallow first and then chew later. This way, Deacon is learning to chew, move things around his mouth, and use his mouth muscles before he learns to swallow. He spits almost everything out at the moment!

I don’t remember where I first heard about it. Probably somewhere on the internet. But as I was learning about it, I bought the Baby-Led Weaning Cookbook. This was a super helpful resource – the first five chapters or so explore what it is and how to do it safely.

Gail: Why did you choose this method (thinking, “Why aren’t you doing it the way I did it?”)?

Lydia: BLW has a lot of benefits – by exposing him to flavors and textures now, he will hopefully be less of a picky later on. Also, by not taking the time to spoon feed him, we all get to enjoy meals as a family. I get to eat while my food is still hot! Another factor for us is that it is cheaper and takes less time. I don’t have to buy baby food, or spend hours making homemade purees.

Gail: Isn’t he at risk of choking (picturing a vision of baby gagging, turning blue, and dialing 911)?

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Lydia: No more so than purees. Because he is learning to chew first, he is learning to handle foods before they get anywhere close to his airway. He might gag, but there is a big difference between gagging and choking – a baby’s gag reflex is much further forward in the mouth than an adult’s, so their little bodies are designed to protect them!

Also, we definitely take common sense safety precautions. Before we started, we took an infant CPR course to prepare ourselves for the worst (hopefully we’ll never need it!).  I also have yet to give him anything that is too hard to gum – no raw apples or carrots. Other major choking hazards are things the size of grapes or cherry tomatoes. These can be quartered lengthwise to make them safe, but I’ve just not introduced them yet.

The other important thing is to simply make sure everything is washed down, so he gets water during the meal and then I usually nurse him for a minute or two afterwards to make sure his mouth is free from obstructions.

Gail: Does he get enough nutrition? It seems like he spits everything out!

Lydia: At the moment, all of his nutrition is coming from breastmilk. I nurse him before every meal. This is totally fine for him – he doesn’t really need much else until he’s a year old (the saying is, “food before one is just for fun!”). The biggest concern is his iron intake. Breastmilk does have some iron, but not much. I remedy this by keeping my own iron intake up, and making sure to give him iron rich foods like red meat, broccoli, spinach, and eggs.

Also, it might seem like he spits every single thing out, but I know he must be swallowing at least some things, because they come out the other end!

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Gail: Giving him foods willy-nilly seems extreme. Can his system handle strange tastes?

Lydia: Yes! It is important to wait until six months for his digestive system to finish developing, but after that, he can handle anything. Breastmilk adopts strong flavors, so he has actually already been exposed to some things. Just like an adult, there may be things that are too spicy for his taste, but it’s all part of the learning experience (his and mine – I’ve been learning what kinds of things he likes and doesn’t like).

Gail: Will you ever give him pureed foods?

Lydia: Not unless I would eat it pureed, like applesauce or smoothies. We haven’t given those yet, but when we do we will use “pre-loaded spoons” which basically means I will dip the spoon in the applesauce, and them lay it in front of him so he can pick it up and put it in his mouth himself.

Gail: Look at him! He’s totally loving that avocado! Meal time sure is a happy time. I am remembering parents of my preschoolers complaining how they can’t get their kids to eat, or that the table is a battlefield.

Lydia: That’s one of the best parts of Baby-Led Weaning! Obviously there will probably come a day when I need to tell him to eat his dinner, but for the moment he can learn to love food and taste different flavors and textures without any stress or pressure. There are some days when he doesn’t try much, and that is ok!

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Gail: Ok, I am convinced you’re on to something! I guess there’s always something new to learn and that the way I did it isn’t necessarily the only or best way to parent. How about if you pass me more of that humble pie?

Watch our video to witness BLW in action:

Lydia's Nest

Deacon: Six Months

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My sweet boy is six months old! This is crazy! He is getting bigger every day. I’m so proud of him – I’m both super excited for each new thing he learns, and yet sad that he is leaving certain stages behind. That’s motherhood I guess!

Physical Development

Deacon’s physical development is taking off in leaps and bounds. He still loves to stand with help and dance around, and he is getting strong enough to pull himself up. He’s only done this with our hands, but I know it’s just a matter of time before he discovers he can do it with the furniture. He can sit upright on his own if we set him down like that, but he can’t quite get himself in that position yet. He has figured out how to scootch himself around. He’s really good at going backwards, and just starting to figure out how to move forwards. It’s kind of funny to watch him – his limbs go all over the place. Check out this video to see him doing it 🙂

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Social Development

My boy is still as sociable as ever. He loves to babble and have a “conversation” with us. He loves being outside, though he is a little skeptical of grass and dirt (I think he has inherited his dad’s aversion to mess!). I just started taking him to a sensory open play time at our local library, and I’m excited to see how that goes. The first one went ok, but he was a little overwhelmed by all of the other babies and adults.

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Eating 

Deacon has started solids! We did end up sticking it out until six months, and are doing Baby-led Weaning. I’m hoping to do a post soon on what it’s been like, but so far its been great, and it’s fun seeing D figure out foods and textures and tastes. He really likes cucumbers and bananas. It is definitely a little nerve-racking watching him chew on hunks of cucumber, but he is awesome at figuring out how to chew it. I’ve also ordered this kit to learn infant CPR so I can be prepared should anything happen. Cory is also certified. Hopefully we’ll never need these skills, but better safe than sorry!

Baby D is also still breastfeeding. BLW advises continuing baby’s regular milk feeds, since they often don’t get a ton of nutrition from the foods they eat until later on.

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Sleeping 

Sleep has been sort of on-again, off-again in the last couple months. Deacon is still waking a couple times during the night. I’ve been trying to work with him to help him learn to sooth himself back to sleep, but I haven’t had much success because our schedule has been rather crazy with travel, visiting family, and (of course) the time change. It hasn’t been too bad, but I’d really like for him to start sleeping through the night (read, I’d really like to start sleeping through the night!). Fortunately, he goes down wonderfully well for naps and bedtime.

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What’s Next

Now that he is figuring out how to move, we need to babyproof! I’m planning on getting some baby gates and cabinet locks, and doing some reorganizing so there are fewer things in his reach. If you’ve got any advice or experiences to share, I’d love to hear your tips!

I’m also hoping to start doing some fun sensory things with him, like playing with different textures and sounds. Pot banging, here we come 🙂

Love,

Lydia

Lydia's Nest · Refashion

Quick Fix: Too-Tight Blouse

Hey guys!

Can you believe it’s March already? I feel like we barely had a winter!

I’ve been working on a few quick and easy projects that I’m excited to show you. Sometimes its hard to actually sew a big project when you have a wee one in the house, so these easy, hour-long (if that!) projects help me get my sewing fix in.

I’ve had this flannel for a while, and I love it. Its super cute, with the fun trim along the front. The problem is, its too tight for me across the chest – when it is buttoned, I can’t lift my arms and I get a bad “button gap”. The dressform is adjusted to my measurements, to give you an idea:

See how it pulls across the shoulders in the back? Not comfortable!

So I decided that I needed to fix this, by adding a panel of lace to the back. Here’s how:

First I measured how long the shirt was, from the bottom of the collar to the hem. Then, I cut up the center back, leaving the collar intact.

Then, I took an old lace curtain I had laying around, and cut out a triangle with the bottom edge along the finished hem of the curtain, and the other two sides the length of the back measurement I took. (sorry I forgot to take pics of that!). I used the finished hem of the curtain in order to save a step, and because it was pretty, haha. If you don’t use pre-finished fabric, then add 1″ to the length measurement and hem the insert piece before the next step.

Also, you’ll notice that the hem of the lace curves slightly. That’s because the center back is now shorter than the sides of the piece I added (#geometry). This doesn’t bother me, but if you want it to hang straight, you will need to draft a curve into the bottom edge, and then hem it.

Then, I sewed it in, first right sides together and then topstiched so the raw edges would stay under the flannel portion and not show under the lace.

And that was all! Easy peasy, and now I have a cute flannel I can actually button!

Have a wonderful day!

Love, Lydia

Lydia's Nest

Currently

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We took some family pictures the other day, and I just have to say…This kid!

Watching This Is Us! Ugh this show. Its definitely a “feeling” show, but not in a cheap, cliche way. It fells very real, and relatable. I’m dying to know what is going to happen in the season finale, but at the same time I’m dreading it!

Reading not much at the moment, thanks to a certain playful baby 😉 but, I am exploring the Baby-Led Weaning Cookbook in preparation for when D is six months and is ready to start BLW. This book has been really helpful with knowing where and how to start – the first few chapters are full of tips and tricks, and then the rest of the book has recipes that are healthy, good for babies, and also tasty enough that the whole family will enjoy them. If you’re curious about BLW, it’s a great read!

Listening to this fun playlist that I made for Deacon. Lots of songs that get you moving!

Learning all I can about starting a vegetable garden. Now that we actually have yard space, I want to try gardening! My mom is a pro, so I’ve been asking her for advice on where to start. I’m thinking I’m just going to start small, with a few of the veggies we eat most, and see how it goes this year. If you have any tips for me, leave them in the comments!

Loving this weather we’re having! It’s supposed to be 70 today. Definitely the perfect weather for a walk. Deacon loves it too – he gets so excited when we go outside, and he’s been having a blast playing on a blanket in the yard.

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Yay Sunshine!

Trying forward facing in the Ergo 360! Deacon is now old enough that it is safe for him to face outward, and he loves it. In fact, yesterday I put him inward facing while I did some stuff outside, and he got so mad because he wanted to see what was going on! He’s a curious, sociable one, thats for sure.

Planning a little family vacation. We’re going to celebrate Cory’s graduation with a few days away this summer, so I’ve been researching fun vacation spots with a baby. I’m thinking something relaxed, with lots of outdoor space, and that isn’t too far away. If you have any suggestions, let me know 🙂

 

Have a wonderful weekend, folks!

love, Lydia

Lydia's Nest

Cloth Diapering Basics

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When I was pregnant, I knew I wanted to use cloth diapers, but every google search I did overwhelmed me with info. My hope is to give you a good starting point, that would have been helpful to me. These were some of the questions I had, and the answers I’ve found in the last several months:

What are cloth diapers? Simply put, cloth diapers are some sort of absorbent material put on baby’s bottom, and then a layer of waterproof fabric over top to keep the ickies contained. There are several different types: All in One’s are basically the same as disposables, just washable. Pockets have, well, a pocket that absorbent material is put in. All in Two’s are waterproof covers that absorbent inserts snap into. Prefolds/flats are different types of absorbent material that can be folded around baby with a cover, or laid inside a cover to create absorbency.

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How Do They Work? This depends a little bit on they type of diapers you use, but the basics are that the diaper goes on the bum, the baby makes it dirty (they’re good at that), and then the diaper gets washed. Sometimes you will have to get close to the ick, by removing inserts or rinsing poop (yes, you have to rinse poop), but if you can get over that it is totally worth it.

What Do You Use? I haven’t tried everything, but what works for me right now is AI2’s and Prefolds/covers. The covers are universal, I can just fold a prefold in thirds and lay it inside. I also have inserts that snap into some of my covers to make AI2’s. My inserts are hemp – I haven’t tried microfiber, but what I’ve heard is that it is less absorbent than natural fibers, and also isn’t good to be next to baby’s bum (you have to put something else over it).

How Do You Wash Them? The good news is diaper laundry is just like any other laundry – yes really! You just have to treat it like a very very dirty load of laundry. So what I do it collect the dirty diapers in a wet bag, and then when it’s full they all go into the washer. I do a pre-rinse with a little bit of detergent (I use tide powder), and then a hot main wash with lots of detergent and a heavy duty cycle. Then, if I’m in a rush, I just throw it all in the dryer. If not, I will pull out the covers and hang them (drying on high heat all the time can eventually wear them out faster), or hang everything to dry outside. The sun is awesome for getting stains out.

What not to do: you don’t want to use softeners or dryer sheets on cloth diapers because they can coat the fibers and make them less absorbant. The same goes for diaper creams – if they contain petroleum products they can repel. I usually use coconut oil for minor redness, or just put him in a disposable if a rash is bad and needs heavy duty stuff. There are diaper creams out there that are cloth safe, though.

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Where Do You Buy Diapers? The brands I have are Best Bottom, Buttons, and Nicki’s Diapers. I have purchased most of them at Baby Sweet Pea’s Boutique, and I’ve also found Best Bottom and Nicki’s at Nicki’s Diapers. I haven’t tried them, but I’ve heard great things about the prefolds sold by Green Mountain Diapers.

What Other Resources Are Out There? There is a TON of info out there about cloth diapers. Unfortunately, not all of it is good. Two sites that I found to be accurate and helpful, however, are Padded Tush Stats and Fluff Love and CD Science. PTS is great for reviews of different kinds of diapers. They survey parents for what types of diapers work for what types of kids (skinny, chunky thighs, heavy wetters, etc). FLCDS strives to educate people on proper diaper care and washing. There is so much info on their site about what works and what doesn’t! I also recommend joining their Facebook Group. The ladies on there are super helpful and will work with you to figure out what’s going on if you run into issues.

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Mom, why are you taking my picture??

I hope that helps you get started! Cloth diapering doesn’t have to be scary at all. If you have any other questions about it, ask away!

Love, Lydia