January 16, 2013
By Chloe, retail assistant at babyworks
I collect skin care products. What doesn’t fit in the bathroom drawer lives on the dresser, the nightstand, my purse, and the bedroom floor in an endlessly rotating parade of bottles and tubes. I have products that cleanse, products that prime, products that tone, products that fade, products that darken, and products that fight the wrinkles I don’t even have yet.
Ultimately, each product represents a single step in my endless pursuit of one elusive goal: moisture.
Perhaps it’s because I have the crankiest skin type – oily and dry – or maybe it’s the brutal Nebraska weather that keeps me chapped all year round; whatever the reason, I’ve struggled to find a non-irritating, affordable moisturizer that doesn’t burn, cause breakouts, or leave behind a thick coat of goo.
I had heard from several mothers at babyworks that Weleda’s Calendula Diaper Care was the only cure for their babies’ diaper rashes. I had also heard that using the Calendula Baby Cream regularly could keep diaper rashes from forming in the first place. I had seen the Calendula Weather Protection on the shelves, and had been told that nothing worked better to keep baby’s skin protected from the elements.
After years of using smelly grown-up products full of ingredients that were born in a lab, I decided that a return to all-natural baby care might be just what my tired skin needed. So, I’m trying the baby products myself.
Here’s what I love: the Calendula Weather Protection Cream and Calendula Baby Cream combine antibacterial, anti-inflammatory beeswax with soothing calendula flower extract and antioxidant sweet almond oil. The result is a physically relaxing, easily-absorbed moisturizing experience that smells like the outdoors. Because they are all natural, I have no misgivings about slathering these products on my hands, elbows, neck, and even face before bed. The calendula products are soothing on contact – a feature that I appreciate more and more with every application – and I’m spared the worrisome chemical sensation of other products I’ve used. I wake up the next morning with skin that feels rested and peaceful. The Weather Protection Cream gets all the credit for keeping my hands soft and crack-free so far this winter. I can now eagerly recommend the whole line of calendula products to mothers looking to nurture their babies’ skin through these cold months, and beyond. In fact, I’ve suggested to more than one shopper that an assortment of Weleda Calendula Diaper Care and lotion products would make a baby gift that is both luxurious and useful.
For baby products that moms will want to use on themselves, look no further than Weleda.
October 22, 2012
It seems that, when you’re two and a half years old, picking out your very first lunch bag isn’t just a milestone, but a rite of passage. Like making your first Lego structure. And waging war on bedtime. And teeth brushing time. And putting away toys time.
A few weeks ago I took my little guy to pick out his very first lunch bag. It was one of those momentous occasions –a first for both of us– that was sandwiched between other errands. We headed to babyworks, inside Milkworks. Sitting on the floor, surrounded by adorable animal head adorned lunch bags, Zander was immediately drawn to one. Just one. The perfect one. The insulated Monkey lunch bag from Skip Hop’s zoo collection.
Monkey is super cute, with his brown and red color scheme, banana shaped zipper, sweet smile and hopeful eyes. I can only guess that for my son, monkey represented his favorite curious primate. For me, it represented the challenge of filling it with healthy, beautiful lunches that hit the salivary glands in just the right spot. Needless to say, we were both happy with the selection.
Monkey’s been with us for a few weeks now. He’s a big hit around here, often being carted around while he’s off the clock. And not only can I fill monkey with plenty of food and snacks, but he happens to be the only monkey, at least from what I was able to snoop out, in the fridge at school. And believe me when I say that monkey gets filled with lots of containers, including the Baby Fresh divided container, which my son and I both love.
I’m working on the amount of food that I usually put in there. But at least monkey is letting me work that out at my own pace, giving me the space I need in which to do it. Good monkey!
Neveen is a copywriter by day, a superhero wrangler by night and a mommy products tester the rest of the time. She has a sweet toddler who battles villains on a constant basis, and she's a little princess who's sure to help her big brother on his eternal quest for justice.
A new adventure: cloth diapering, week 2
by dianne ~ Hannah's grandmom and retail manager at babyworks
I need to confess:
Prior to last week, I had no experience with a wet bag. At the end of my first day, when I opened it over the washing machine, I was horrified. I was positive I had just ruined all of the diapers. The smell was awful.
Until I unzipped it, I smelled nothing. I have an extremely sensitive nose, so this still amazes me. Wet bags really work! My washing machine really works! Everything is smelling sweet!
I've decided on the permanent location of my wet bag ~ never more than 12" from the washing machine lid!
The experts at MilkWorks assured me I had not ruined Hannah's diapers ~ and there is an easy solution:
Sprinkle some Rockin' Green Shake It Up into the bag!
In a pinch ~ or if you just prefer it ~ you can use plain baking soda.
This led me to the Rockin' Green detergent, which came highly recommended by several of my "cloth-diapering-for-real" friends.
(I haven't earned that badge yet ~ since I'm only doing this one day a week.) I'm going to try their "classic rock" variety.
Hannah and I had our first . . . challenging diaper, this morning. The kind of challenge my friend Mandi described when she told me there have been times when she actually, for a minute, considered just throwing the diaper away. ha!
Hannah was a trooper. At one point, she held her hand over her nose and said, "grooooo!" (gross!) Then she pointed to her pile of fresh diapers and said, "pink!" I took that as a sign. No backing out ~ we are going to continue this adventure.
I used the "dip, swish and flush" method of cleaning the diaper ~ three times. It worked well.
I decided to put a small amount of classic rock detergent into a cold rinse ~ and let the morning diapers soak in the washer for a while.
As we speak, Miss Hannah is napping ~ in a double-insert diaper. The rest of the afternoon should be simple.
There are no diapering photos this week. You're welcome.
A new adventure: cloth diapering, week 1
by dianne ~ Hannah's grandmom and retail manager at babyworks
We're having a new adventure today ~ Hannah and I. She stays with us one day each week ~ so, with mommy's blessing, we are cloth diapering! We are using FuzziBunz Perfect Size Diapers.
I also bought a wet bag and some cloth baby wipes. For nine months, I have been using Weleda ~ Calendula Baby Cream. I love it! The feel and the natural, soft smell of it. This cream has no zinc, which makes it perfect for cloth diapers.
I pre-washed the diapers. Three Medium and four Large ~ and two extra inserts. I had the inserts in place and the diapers neatly stacked, when she arrived. After her bath, I let her choose. "GEEN!" Quick and easy to snap on ~ the Medium fit her beautifully. She thinks they are fancy. Under her leggings, it looked like a regular diaper. This summer, they will be darling with just a shirt and sandals! She was fascinated by the snaps ~ and made the decision to cloth diaper HER baby!
For her nap, I used two inserts in a Large diaper ~ as she's been known to take three-hour naps. The Large fit her (she's 19 months old, 24 pounds) and obviously, she will be able to wear them longer. It was a little bulky, but totally comfortable. She didn't seem to notice.
We walked to the park, did some sliding, swinging, climbing and running. No issues.
I've just put her diapers (and the bag) into a cold rinse. I'll wash them in hot water, with half the normal detergent ~ and dry them with no fabric softener. I used all seven diapers.
I don't know why I felt anxious about this. I do have experience with cloth diapering ~ but this generation has it perfected!
by dianne, retail manager at babyworks ~ the boutique at MilkWorks
I have the credentials . . . I'm an actual, real life bunny expert.
It's something that happened to me ~ not a title I set out to achieve. It happened when my five-year-old daughter found a baby bunny that had wandered from it's nest. She rescued it ~ and, of course, wanted to keep it. Her dad (bless his heart) had the gumption to say no. She returned the bunny to it's momma. She cried ~ and announced she loves bunnies so much that . . . "I want to BE a bunny!"
That was 24 years ago. Over the years (and without my blessing) her dad bought her several live bunnies ~ knowing his daughter had no interest in going anywhere near a litter box! (goodgrief) Once, he found an article like this: http://www.myhouserabbit.com/ and thought that would be a good idea. Interesting ~ and the kids enjoyed it, for about one hour. (goodgriefagain) We all soon discovered that the toy (non-pooping) variety was the answer. Thus, my study of bunnies ~ and a beautiful collection began.
As assistant retail manager of babyworks ~ and grandmom to Hannah, it is my obligation to search out and provide a top-of-the-line selection for a new generation of bunny-loving babies.
It is with great pride, that I announce the 2012 best of show winners:
Blossom is exquisite. She's a multiple-category winner. "Best Friends Indeed" is embroidered on this sweet bunny blanket. (Even though Hannah is almost 2, I still don't like toys in bed with her. If she takes something in with her, I pull it out before I leave the room. Overprotective? That's ok.)
Wabbits are another long-time favorite. Hannah has had this one, since before she was born! They are fans of the same literature. I love the soft, chenille feel of them ~ and they wash beautifully!
Nubs bunny is my latest discovery. She is precious. A front-runner for this year's Easter basket, I'm thinking.
Sleepy Bun is new and sweet, for an older child. (I say this, because I have never liked "fuzzy" toys for new babies, putting everything in their mouths.) Sleepy Bun has super soft, longer fur.
It was a great thrill, when I discovered Boo Bunnies ~ many years ago. Useful ~ and an absolute life-long favorite of Hannah's. I gave it to her for teething. (Washes beautifully.) She plays hide-and-seek with it. Boo Bunnies are small enough for her little hands to manage. This is not a good picture, but it absolutely proves how Hannah feels about "boo." She's kissing her!
I am thankful to report that we have enjoyed our "boo" without ever testing her true purpose: an ice bag! The reusable frozen cubes (filled with distilled water) have lived, UNUSED, in our freezer for almost two years! We did get it out once, when Hannah was learning about cold and hot. "Boo" will certainly comfort her, for the first skinned knee . . . which is certain to happen this summer.
I could go on and on about them. You'll just have to trust me.
Enjoy our current online inventory of bunnies, which is sure to multiply.
Also, please remember ~ we usually have more than what is listed online, so send a quick email ~ if you are interested in a larger quantity. We'll do our best to help.
Spring is here. Bunnies are here. Enjoy the season!
Feel free to email questions ~
dianne, bunny expert at babyworks
The first time my husband and I opened Dr. Sears’ The Baby Book, it was a few days after we brought our son home from the hospital. We looked up “How to bathe an infant.” As first-time parents, it was the kind of thing we didn’t think to ask at the hospital. And as intelligent, educated, well-traveled professionals, we figured this was something we could do with our bleary eyes closed. Until we actually had to give him a bath.
We kept putting it off and putting it off until we feared social services showing up at our doorstep. Quick, turn off the lights and pull down the shades! So on a whim, and without much confidence, my husband looked up the topic in the book’s index. Lo and behold, it was there. From that day on, we looked up everything: poop color, sleep patterns, feeding times, co-sleeping, gas, vaccination, babywearing, you name it. The book seemed to be an endless fountain of information. It had everything we could dream of asking. And we seemed to have an endless fountain of questions. People talk about wishing their babies came with instructions manuals. I believe this is the closest we’ll ever get. It should be given out with each delivery, like those scratchy, worn white blankets and gender clarifying knit hats, to new and experienced parents alike.
The last time we opened the Dr. Sears book was a few months ago when our now 2-year-old was waking up drenched in sweat. In true Dr. Sears fashion, we found the answer: teething! Though it’s been awhile since I glanced through its pages, I’m sure that with baby number two, this book will once again take its rightful place on our plastic dinosaur-laden coffee table. I’m hoping that once teenage drama hits, Dr. Sears, with all of his infinite wisdom, will walk me through it.
Neveen is a copywriter by day, a superhero wrangler by night and a mommy products tester the rest of the time. She has a sweet toddler who battles villains on a constant basis, and she's due to deliver a little princess who's sure to help her big brother on his eternal quest for justice.
August 6, 2012
By Ann Seacrest, RN, IBCLC, Executive Director, MilkWorks
I nursed my first baby 31 years ago. The only nursing bra I could find looked like a bra my grandmother would wear, but it fit and was semi-comfortable. By the time I finished nursing my first child, it was in threads and I was glad to return to my Victoria's Secret underwire bras.
I have not breastfed a baby for twelve years, so I find it hard to believe that I am wearing a nursing bra today. I love Bravado's Body Silk and Bliss bras. They are comfortable, they hold up beautifully and they are attractive. I wear the Body Silk when I am biking or kayaking or snow boarding. When I was on a mission trip to Haiti, I found that the bra did not get dirty, even through we had limited access to clean water to wash our clothes. I wear the Bliss when I want slight padding and the look of an underwire, without the discomfort. It is great under t shirts and sweaters.
The company has found out about women like me. They now provide a special clip to convert the Body Silk from a nursing bra to a regular bra This means that women who are long past breastfeeding, but want a great wearing, comfortable bra have just what we want. We also get to harbor some secret memories of the special times we spent nursing our sweet babies without having to get up in the middle of the night :-) How much better can it get? A great bra and a good night's sleep!
August 3, 2012
I’m not what you might call a bra kind of gal. (Of course I wear them! What kind of girl do you think I am?) What I’m trying to say is, I don’t swoon at the mere presence of black satin, red lace, taupe demi cups and name-your-color push ups. My coffee table isn’t littered with catalogs displaying the latest Secret.
I have a pragmatic approach to bras: they need to be comfortable; they can’t make my breasts look weird or lumpy; they can’t cost more than my outfit. The one thing they don’t need to be is sexy. I’m sure you’re thinking my husband’s one lucky guy.
When I was nursing my son a couple of years ago, I looked for bras that fit my criteria. Of course I didn’t know exactly where to look. When I finally embraced my ignorance, I asked for help at babyworks, the boutique at MilkWorks
I was introduced to the wonderful world of Bravado bras
. These bras are designed to stretch, contour and cover your changing postpartum body–you know, those awkward stages after delivery when your rib cage is still large and you look seven months pregnant instead of nine. These are bras that look respectable under a shirt, that provide extra padding so you don’t see the outlines of nursing pads. They’re also sexy, in a Mad Men
style rather than a diamond-encrusted “Angels” one. (I’d much rather look like Joan Holloway anyway.)
And, of course, they allow you to nurse in comfort. I wanted to wear these bras forever! I am glad to say, I’m wearing these bras again. I’m pregnant with my second child and once my utilitarian bras stopped fitting (around month two), I happily put these babies back on. Oh, they stretch all right; I can vouch for that even as I type this. By the time summer rolls around, they may be the only top I wear to bed. As a matter of fact, I may start tonight. TMI? Neveen is a copywriter by day, a superhero wrangler by night and a mommy products tester the rest of the time. She has a sweet toddler who battles villains on a constant basis, and she's due to deliver a little princess who's sure to help her big brother on his eternal quest for justice.
By Dianne, grandmother and babyworks Assistant Retail Manager
Being a part of the babyworks retail team ~ and a new grandmom to Miss Hannah ~ I am always watching for products that are safe, loveable and of heirloom quality.
Hannah falls to sleep under her night sky, displayed through the soft glow of cloud b’s Twilight Turtle shell. Her dad can’t wait to help her discover the eight constellations embedded in the star pattern. (He is always teaching her something!) The shell illuminates with three color choices: amber, blue and green. Personally, I think blue creates a peaceful, romantic room. Who says Twilight Turtle can’t move into the living room after the sweet baby is asleep?
Courtesy of her newest friend, Mimicking Monkey, she listens to the voices of her mom and dad over the sound of a beautiful lullaby, telling her she is safe and loved. My “I love you” message is recorded over the sound of Angel Falls and her grandfather’s message is appropriately recorded over the sound of jabbering monkeys (ha ha). What an excellent way for long-distance grandparents to stay connected! These friends from cloud b are the perfect addition to a peaceful bedtime routine and a really sweet sleep.
This winter, cold trips in the car seat are going to be warmed by Ladybug Puppet, which includes a hot/cold pack. It will be her warm hug from grandmom, all the way to daycare and a cool kiss if she ever has a booboo that needs some special love. Hannah adores the different Ladybug personalities that her family creates with this puppet.
I will continue to do my best at searching for quality products that we can put in the hands of our babies, without hesitation. Products (I mean, friends) they can one day share with their children. I hope you will consider supporting MilkWorks by adopting some of these friends for the babies in your life.
By Ann Seacrest, Executive Director, MilkWorks
Thirty years ago I nursed my first baby. Memories of trying to find nursing clothes are etched in my brain. Who wanted to spend money on clothes that yelled "nursing mother"? The few I found had these big slits under your arm pits. They were either not in the right place and getting your breast out required a feat of dexterity, or you felt like you were going to be ticketed for indecent exposure at any moment when your breast “fell out” of your shirt. The other option was to lift your non-nursing shirt up, which means you had to bare your "just gave birth" belly to anyone around.
Breastfeeding has changed a lot since 1981. According to Heidi, who works at MilkWorks and is nursing baby Bennett, the "Undercover Mama" has made a huge difference for her. (Even the name is pretty cool!) The Undercover Mama looks like a strapless cami. What it actually does is hook into the snaps on your nursing bra and - Voila! an instant cami (but with your own great fitting bra for support). No more bare belly...and you can make any shirt a nursing top when you wear an Undercover Mama. If your bra size changes, no problem. Just switch the Undercover Mama to your new bra.
Some gadgets may be short lived. This one appears to deserve the great invention award! Even better, Undercover Mama was started for less than a thousand dollars by a stay-at-home mom on a tight budget who couldn't get a bigger loan simply because she had been out of the workforce so long. As a result the company is dedicated to helping mothers across the world start their own businesses.
Visit their web site (www.undercovermama.com) and get inspired! I have a feeling there are many more wonderful nursing gadgets yet to be discovered by some creative mom!