Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Wordless Wednesday: Baby love

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Natural parent's baby shower registry

Welcome to the December 2014 Carnival of Natural Parenting: Greatest Gifts

This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Carnival of Natural Parenting hosted by Hobo Mama and Code Name: Mama. This month our participants have suggested go-to gifts and gifting experiences for the holiday season for all your loved ones.

Hobo Mama wants you to know she's a professional blogger! Look at how professional she's being!

I couldn't resist when the topic was gifts this month — my mind turned to my sweet new baby, and I felt the itch to make a list of all the gifts we haven't gotten him.

See, the grandparents have been asking us what they can give Karsten. They asked when he was born in late October, and now they're asking as Christmas looms. And we keep answering them truthfully: We have everything.

This is the third baby, and the third boy. We're set!

But that means I've been around the block a time or two, and I know now what sort of natural-parenting baby registry I would make if we weren't living in Hand-Me-Down City and needed to start from scratch. My btdt experience can be to your profit! Just copy this list of must-haves and would-love-to-haves on over to your own baby registry or holiday wish list, and outfit your natural nursery like a boss.

Note that, since I'm constantly nak-ing a newborn, I'm going to veer toward minimalist (my preference for our small space) rather than comprehensive and crunchy, as is my family's wont. So this list will be the essentials we needed for breastfeeding, babywearing, cosleeping, cloth diapering, and other attachment parenting choices. If you made different parenting choices (and that's valid!), you might need to add and subtract to this list, but it can still be a good starting point as you consider your options.

Cloth diapering: Keep things super simple, and ask gift givers to pre-load gift certificates to a diaper service. Not an option where you live? Keep things still pretty dang simple, and go with prefolds and wool diaper covers, plus some wool wash and lanolin. If you're buying supplies yourself, eBay is a good spot to look for high-quality but reduced-price diapers and covers. You'll want at least six covers in small or newborn size and at least 18-24 of the small prefolds. Then you can move up (probably relatively quickly) to medium and park there for awhile, so don't blow your whole budget on the smallest sizes. The good news is cloth diapers have a good resale value! Throw in some wipes, use a small daypack as a just-right diaper bag (reasonable size and easy to sling on your back to have hands free for baby), and store your dipes at home, both clean and dirty, in a wet-dry hanging bag. I thought we'd need a diaper-changing pad or table, and I was wrong. You can (and will) change diapers any-old-where. If you want to throw in some elimination communication, add a little potty — it'll come in handy eventually either way.

Babywearing: My hands-down (hands-free, ha ha!) favorite carrier is my handmade mei tai (tutorial here if you sew, and tutorial for a no-sew option if you don't!). If you want something available for purchase, other magnificent options are commercial mei tais and soft structured carriers like the Babyhawk, Infantino Wrap and Tie (frugal option), Ergo, and Boba. Any of these will work well for little babies on up through toddlers, so despite the initial price tag, buying one is a thrifty choice. And might I recommend my book, The Natural Parent's Guide to Babywearing? It will help you learn to wear your baby with confidence and ease.

Friday, December 5, 2014

Crunchy love & St. Nicholas' Day

Saturday is St. Nicholas' Day, so Momma Jorje published my post on the German celebration of Nikolaustag to remind us all to put out our boots tonight!

Every year, Hobo Mama posts about her family's St Nicholas Day celebations after the fact. I kept suggesting it would be better if she could remind us all beforehand so we could join in! Last year she did it, just for me!! We didn't get much notice, but we got a little. This year, I'm republishing her post (with permission) as a guest post and with more notice!

So: Let this be your reminder! Put your boots out December 5th and Saint Nicholas might just stop by to tuck some shiny little goodies inside!

(Unless you've been naughty, of course. Then all bets are off.)

Since we speak some German at home, we like to learn about the culture as well. That's why we celebrate Nikolaustag, or St. Nicholas Day, each year.

Because the feast day of Saint Nicholas is December 6, empty boots (Nikolausstiefel) generally go outside the door the night of December 5, the eve of Nikolaustag (Nikolausabend).

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Wordless Wednesday: Karsten & his big brothers

Want to see the baby love?
I told you how the big boys are adapting to a little brother,
and here you can see it in action,
at one month old (plus 7 and 3 years).

Monday, November 24, 2014

Brotherly love: How siblings adapt to a new baby

Hobo Mama wants you to know she's a professional blogger! Look at how professional she's being!

I thought I'd give a little update on how the big boys are handling a new little brother. In general, Mikko and Alrik (7 and 3 years old) can't stop swooning over baby Karsten.

Now, it's not all fun and games. Mikko's adapting really well. Alrik's much more prone to meltdowns and seems to need a ton of attention from both Sam and me (which is fair).

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Calling for submissions for the December 2014 Carnival of Natural Parenting: Greatest Gifts

We continue to be delighted with the inspiration and wisdom our Carnival of Natural Parenting participants share, and we hope you'll join us for the next carnival in December 2014! (Check out November, September, August, July, June, May, April, March, February, January, and a summary of all our 2013 posts, 2012 posts, and 2011 posts if you missed any.)

Your co-hosts are Lauren at Hobo Mama and Dionna at Code Name: Mama.

Here are the submission details for December 2014:

Theme: Greatest Gifts: We're talking materialism! What have relatives or friends bought your family or kids that were hits out of the park? What gifts have tanked? What recommendations would you have for gift givers, and what's on your wish list this year? What gifts have you given that showed what an awesome gifter you are? Let's talk presents this holiday season!

Deadline: Tuesday, December 2. Fill out the webform (at the link or at the bottom) and email your submission to us by 11:59 p.m. Pacific time: CarNatPar {at}

Carnival date: Tuesday, December 9. Before you post, we will send you an email with a little blurb in html to paste into your submission that will introduce the carnival. You will publish your post on December 9 and email us the link if you haven't done so already. Once everyone's posts are published by noon Eastern time, we will send out a finalized list of all the participants' links to generate lots of link love for your site! We'll include full instructions in the email we send before the posting date.