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    Chiropractor Mama Dr. Dolly and professional photographer Elisa B. share about adventures in intentional and natural parenting while living in Virginia's beautiful Blue Ridge.
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Make Your Own Baby Leggings for Less than $2

Leggings TwBI love to see chubby baby legs in soft and cuddly baby leggings.  They’re so adorable!

Five Reasons why baby leggings are awesome:

  1. In cold weather, they’re great as extra warmth underneath pants and socks.
  2. When babywearing, they keep baby’s legs covered.
  3. They’re perfect for middle-of-the-night diaper changes–keeping baby warm and partially covered.
  4. They’re great knee covers that prevent rug burn on creeping and crawling babies.
  5. They’re wonderful for potty training to keep your child’s legs warm, but still allowing the freedom to go to the potty without cumbersome diapers or underpants.

Leggings TwBAs much as I love them, they retail for $10 – $15 per pair, and that doesn’t exactly fit our budget.  So, I decided to learn how to make my own baby leggings from women’s socks.

I can purchase a pack of cute prints of women’s socks for less than $2 per pair and make several sets.  They’re great for newborns to toddlers, and now, they’re my favorite baby shower gift.  Want to learn how to make them, too?

They’re easy…I promise.  If I can do it, ANYONE can do it!

How to Make Your Own Baby Leggings

What you will need:

Sewing machine with a zig-zag stitch or stitch for stretchy knits.

matching thread for socks

scissors

1-2 pairs of women’s socks (sold colors are more forgiving for novice sewers.  Patterns around the heel or toes such as stripes, argyle, or various other prints are more advanced.

  1. Purchase a pack of women’s socks on sale at your favorite X-Mart.  (I used mid-calf socks for babies and knee-high socks for toddlers).  There is a brand of toeless socks that is affordable with cute designs…if you can find those, you’ll save yourself two steps!  I found toeless socks for less than $2 per pair.

    Toeless Socks TwB

  2. Spread out the socks and note the slightly different and reinforced knit detail around the heel and toe.  Turn the sock inside-out, and pin the heel together sideways.  For example, if you were to wear a sock, you’d pin it such that you’re pinching the sides of your heel just beneath your ankles from left-to-right (or right-to-left, if you’d prefer!)Sock heel TwBIt’s easy to see the lighter blue heel on these striped socks for the purpose of this tutorial.

  3. Use the pins as your zig-zag guide on the sewing machine. Sew from one-end to the other.  sewing sock heel TwBThe great thing about multi-colored socks is that the color variation serves as a great guide for sewing.  The down-side is that while I can sew a great line on one side, the opposite side tends to not look quite so neat (that’s the thing with knits).  heel stitchOnce again, I emphasize using solid color socks for beginners.  Check both sides of the stitch–I’ve had to pull the stitches and re-do this step again on patterned socks.

  4. After you’ve sewn the heel, use your scissors to snip off the “cup” of the heel on the “cup” or heel side of the stitch. snipping sock TwB

  5. If you’re using socks with toes, repeat steps 2-4 by pinning, sewing, and snipping of the toes.
  6. Finally, trim off any excess threads.  Turn the socks inside out, and voila!  You have your first legging.  Repeat Steps 2-6 with the mate of the sock.finished legging
  7. Check out the various pairs I’ve created as gifts for my son, nieces, nephews, and as shower gifts. Different sized socks for younger to older babies.5 pairs TwBClose-up of the smaller pairs with cute dog designs.
  8. Fold them in half, and then tie them with pretty ribbon to give them as a gift!bows TwB
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Digg!

Healthy Mamas and Breastfeeding Back Survival

health happy round-up

Welcome to a weekly series on Traveling with Baby, Health Happy Round-Up that  focuses on multiple aspects of wholesome living and optimal health for the entire family.  Each weekend, Traveling with Baby will share some insightful news, recipes, and tips to help you consider fresh new perspectives on wholesome and happy health.

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Hey Moms!

If you’re an expectant or nursing mom living near Charlottesville, there’s not one, but TWO opportunities to attend a free Healthy Mama Workshop taught by moi.

The first Healthy Mama Workshop will include postural considerations for mom and baby in breastfeeding and babywearing at 11:45 AM on Saturday, November 7th at Downtown ACAC located at 111 Monticello Avenue. The event is part of ACAC’s pre-natal and post-natal seminar, and it’s free and open to the general public. Refreshments will be served, and new moms and their children will have the opportunity to socialize and meet with others.  So fun!  Bring your baby carrier and nursing pillow, if you have one.healthy mama small

The second workshop takes place on Friday, November 13th at 4PM at Sugar Snap Consignment located at York Place on the historic Downtown Mall.  This workshop is primarily focused on postural considerations for mom and baby during breastfeeding.  Bring your nursing pillow, if you have one.

Both events are free and open to the general public.

I’m soooo excited to share the Healthy Mama Workshops with Charlottesville mothers. I want to help new moms learn how to take of themselves while nursing, so they’re confident, and comfortable at giving their 100% to baby and continuing a wonderful breastfeeding bonding experience.

I previously taught the Healthy Mama Workshops at Nature’s Child in 2008, and ACAC’s pre-natal seminar in October 2009. For more information on the Healthy Mama Workshops, please visit www.scoliosisdoc.com.

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Tuesday Travels: Backcountry Babywearing, Part II

As part of Tuesday Travels, once again, I ventured into the Blue Ridge mountains for babywearing on the trails.  The air was full of rich oxygen, and each breath left me feeling invigorated.

Dr. Dolly and Calvin in Sherpani Rumba Backcountry Baby CarrierCalvin’s first experience in the woods was a little strange and unnerving, but now, toward summer’s end he acts like a seasoned pro–throwing rocks in the creek, running on the trails, and gratefully accepting sweet, sun-ripened berries that we plucked along our way.

To make the baby carrying a little more pleasant when the sun is beating down on a non-shaded stretch of the trail, I asked Calvin to massage my neck.  Lo and behold, I was absolutely astonished that he knew exactly what that meant.  He proceeded to rub the sides of my neck with his little paws, although sometimes getting a tight squeeze on my carotid arteries.  Hey, I’ll give him credit…he gets the concept.  That must be due to the fact that he spends several hours a week in our chiropractic office.Dark Hollow Falls, Shenandoah National Park

Recently, we visited one of the more popular waterfalls in Shenandoah National Park–Dark Hollow Falls with a 70 foot drop.

Brrrr!  The water was cold, but the view was staggering.  Eventually, Calvin wandered to the water’s edge on his own to wade and splash.

Shenandoah has over 1300 species of plants, 50 mammals, including black bear, 27 species of reptiles including 2 types of poisonous snakes, 24 species of amphibians–the waters are teeming with salamanders, and over 200 species of birds.

It’s such a pleasure to venture into creation and to see the world through my son’s captivated eyes.

I’ve tried other carriers on day hikes and full-boar ascents in terrible weather, and I’ve finally found a carrier that’s comfortable for me to confidently navigate uneven paths while also stowing extra gear.

sherpaniSherpani recently sent me one of their most popular product for review: the Rumba, a unisex backcountry baby carrier in sea mist.  Initially, our son, already quite familiar with baby carriers, tried to climb into it himself.  He was already quite taken with it.

Steve sporting Sherpani's Rumba in Sea MistMy husband was the first to give it a road test, for safety’s sake, before he handed the pack over to me.  Although my husband isn’t quite 6 feet tall, his long-ish torso is just a smidge to tall for a perfect fit with the carrier’s suspension system–designed for torsos 16 – 22 inches long.  The padded waist belt fits waists 29 – 42 inches in circumference.

Even though the Rumba didn’t quite hit low enough on my husband’s hips, we were still able to adjust the internal padded bucket seat height (with hook and loop closure adjustments) and 5-point safety harness on the chest plate so that our tall-ish 21-month-old could distribute the majority of his weight on the middle of the pack–making baby carrying extremely comfortable for my husband AND me.

Hills. Mountains. Logs. Streams.  No matter–I felt I could safely and comfortably carry my son’s 30 pounds on top of the 7 lbs. 8 oz. Rumba by supporting the majority of weight on my hips.  The padded shoulder straps, and back pad are just bonus, and luxurious bonuses they are!

Dr. Dolly and Calvin in Sherpani Rumba baby carrierFor Calvin’s enjoyment, there are 4 elastic toy loops.  You could slip in a sippy cup, attach teething toys, or stowe a favorite stuffed lovable creature.  With a baby’s comfort in mind, Sherpani designed foot stirrups with elastic loops on the back  to help with a child’s leg circulation.  The length of the stirrups is adjustable.

There’s not one, but two storage bags.  The main compartment is permanent and located in the lower part of the carrier.  It could easily hold two small stuff sacks, a camping stove, and clothes for a couples days of travel.Sherpani Rumba in sea mist

The Rumba also has a removable Diaperbag that can dually function as a daybag with adjustable backpack straps.  If your child is anything like mine, hats don’t remain on his crown very long before he flings them off.  On bright and sunny days, it’s nice to have an alternative with the topper sunshade.

Sherpani’s Rumba is designed to carry up to 70 pounds–whether that’s a large toddler or a baby and loads of camping gear, you’ll be set to enjoy traveling with baby in the great outdoors.  The Rumba is available in 3 colors: sea mist (shown above), rhubarb, and black.  It retails for $199.

Sherpani is sharing an exclusive discount for Traveling with Baby readers.  Order anything on Sherpani’s site from now until 9/30/09 and receive a 10% savings with coupon code: TravelingWithBaby.  While you’re there, check out their great backpacks, perfect for urban errands and the school scene.

When you click on the Sherpani link above, I get kudos of praise for directing you to their fun site.  So, only if you wanna, please show me some love by clicking.  Mwah!

Stay tuned for your chance to win your very own Sherpani Rumba in the near future!

–By Dr. Dolly
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Tuesday Travels: Spelunking while Babywearing

tuesday travelsWelcome to Tuesday Travels, a weekly series at Traveling with Baby.  This season, my son and I are excited about sharing some local day trips and field trip ideas for families with little ones.  This weekly series will also feature travel tips for families with kids-in-tow and related product reviews and giveaways.  I enjoy hearing about your traveling adventures, too.

Last Friday, Calvin and I ventured with his cousin M and grandparents to the largest caverns east of the Mississippi at Luray Caverns.  They’re located about one hour away from Charlottesville in the Shenandoah Valley with a stunning backdrop of piercing mountaintops.

On a very hot and sticky summer day, the cooler temperatures of the caves were a soothing relief.

Dr. Dolly & Calvin at a stalactite and stalagmite column

Dr. Dolly & Calvin at a stalactite and stalagmite column

First, we descended several stairs to get to the paved walkway.  We did bring a folding umbrella stroller, and I wouldn’t recommend anything larger.  There are several narrow passageways that won’t accommodate a large stroller.

I also brought my mei tai baby carrier because 1) my toddler is teething and he has been very clingy lately, and 2) I knew he would be more apt to take a nap while being carried than in the stroller.

When viewing the cave, we came across magnificent sights such as the Dream Lake with a perfect reflection of the ceiling on the still water’s surface.  We also chanced upon beautiful stone fabric as thins and textured as a piece of silk hanging.

Valley stalagmite illusion in the mirror of Dream Lake

Valley stalagmite illusion in the mirror of water

Stone drapes

Stone drapes

We saw a formation that appeared as though a gushing waterfall was frozen in time.

Frozen waterfall

Frozen stone waterfall

The self-guided tour included an audio narration available in two versions: a more detailed one for adults including interviews with geologists and personnel with a long history of working in the caverns.  There was also a kids version with fun special audio effects.

Overall the content of the kids version included the same facts as the adult version, only it was far more entertaining.  I listened to both versions at almost every station, and I definitely preferred the kids’ version.  Most of the other cavern travelers commented about how much they enjoyed the kids’ version, too!

Cousin M enjoying the kids' guided tour copy

Cousin M enjoying the kids' guided tour

The most memorable part of the tour was the stalactite pipe organ.  When keys were played, magnets caused hammers to strike various stalactites throughout the cave creating perfect instrument.  It’s considered the largest instrument in the world with some of the stalactites as far as 3 acres away.

Stalactite pipe organ

Stalactite pipe organ

When under the arch of the Ballroom (where live bands used to play while folks danced the night away), the sounds of the organ were beautiful.  They played Martin Luther’s hymn A Mighty Fortress is Our God.  It was breathtaking and haunting.

Admission to Luray Caverns for children ages 6-12 is $10.  Ages 12 and above is $21.  There are some discount options available. Admission provides entrance to the caverns, an audio-recorded self-guided tour, admission to the adjoining Car and Carriage Caravan museum, and admission to the colonial re-enactment village (still under construction when I visited).  Tours begin at 9 a.m. and the last tour of the day is at 6 p.m. or 7 p.m. depending on the time of year.

–By Dr. Dolly
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Babywearing is for Daddies, Too

It’s been a rough week for the little man as he’s had 4 teeth come in while battling a particularly unforgiving cold.  To accommodate his need to be extra cuddly, and to give our arms a well-needed break, we’ve been wearing him when we’re out and about, and even on the homefront.

The other night, dinner prep included burgers on the grill.  I asked Steve to wear Calvin on his back so 1) he’d be happy by hanging out with Daddy and 2) I wouldn’t have to worry about him getting in harm’s way in the kitchen.  Steve was reluctant.  He exclaimed, “it’ll take twice as long if I wear him on my back!”  I replied, “he’s been REALLY fussy all day, and all he wants is to be held…AND, he misses you.  So, please?”  I tied him in…and I actually think it’s harder to tie a baby onto someone else than it is to tie one onto me.  But, we did it, and Calvin was happy while Daddy ran back and forth from the grill to the kitchen.

The only thing that took extra time was I made Steve stand still just long enough to snap a few photos.  Of course, he HAD to make a comment about that.  “See!  I told you it’d take twice as long…I knew there’d be these silly photo ops!”

Of course these are photos ops.  I lost all the photos I took from Calvin’s first birthday (and the week thereafter).  I’m gonna take as many photos of him while he’s little as I can…you betcha!

img_4097

I actually received this awesome Mei Tai on Calvin’s birthday from my sis-in-law.  I’d been without a carrier for 2 VERY long months.  Calvin outgrew the pouch sling around 9 months.  Within 2 minutes, my shoulders were killing me, and I knew he weighed too much to wear in a pouch.  But, I was out of options until I received the Mei Tai.

Personally, I loved the pouch sling for many months.  The Mei Tai is a fantastic sling, too…can be worn with newborns to toddlers.  If I could do it all over again, I’d get a stretchy wrap sling to wear with a newborn to use while nursing and to help ’em calm down and sleep during the day while keeping my hands free.  Then, I’d use a ring sling or pouch sling as they grow older and have more head support.  I also love the front and back wear options of the Mei Tai.  I definitely think babywearing means you need to have options as baby grows in size, weight, and functional capability.

There’s a contest for a Peekaru on togetherbe.com.  I know you’d love to enter yourself, but if you like my entry, please vote for me!  I’d love to win a Peekaru to wear my little guy in the cool weather!  My entry is below:

We go together,
through pouring rain or flurries of snow.

Whatever the weather,
You’re snuggled beneath my chin. And so,

You’re close to my heart,
drinking milk when you please.

Our Mei Tai is lovely and smart;
we can travel with ease.

–By Dr. Dolly