The Waiting Room

Gifts and Ideas for Expectant Parents

Be sure to research the safety of the ingredients in these recipes before using them

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Homemade Baby Wipes
1 roll Bounty paper towels (I've tried others, these work the best!)
2 cups really warm (not hot) water
2 tablespoons baby shampoo or baby bath
1 tablespoon baby oil
1 empty plastic baby wipe container with close-fitting lid

Take the roll of paper towels and cut in half. You will now have two large toilet paper-like rolls. Remove the inner cardboard cylinder from 1 roll. Save other roll for the next batch. Add the warm water to the empty wipe container. Add the shampoo or bath, and the baby oil. GENTLY swish with your hand to mix, but don't make it foam or bubble up lots. Place the roll of paper towels in the container (you may have to push it down in a little), close the lid TIGHTLY, and turn upside down and place in a sifor 10 minutes or so (to let mixture soak through all of towels). Turn over & open up. Pull first wipe from the inside center of the roll. It will be a little tight for the first couple of wipes, but they come out easily after that.

These work great, and are quite inexpensive to make & use. Depending on a baby's sensitivities, you can adjust the ingrediants as needed (especially for little girls). I used these on both of my boys, and I loved them!
Patti Kuykendall 7/27/98

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Childbirth Kit by Penelope Ody
Ginger/Chamomile Tea (and B6 if it's bad) for morning sickness and * queasies. Also:
3 c. water
1 T. grated fresh ginger root
2 t. dried chamomile
1 t. dried lemon balm
1 t. dried peppermint

Simmer the ginger in water for 15 minutes, pour into teapot, then add herbs and let steep for 10 minutes. Strain into a container, and keep it by the bed for the next morning.
For the lower back during labour, massage in:
10 parts sweet almond oil
1 part lavender oil

For adding to post partum baths:
infused oils of St. John's wort and comfrey

For mastitis, insert a clean, slightly crushed cabbage leaf between breast and bra.

The Chinese take dong quai (Chinese angelica root) as an after-birth tonic.
Use 1/2 t. tincture in water 3 times a day.
Contributed by Sylvia Genders LeReverend 7/28/98

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Raspberry Leaf Tea
Bring water to a boil and heat teapot. Add a small handful of raspberry leaves and cover with boiling water. Drink 3 cups every day, from the time you find out you are pregnant, to tone and strengthen the growing uterus. It helps later with the pain management for natural childbirth.
Sylvia Genders LeReverend 7/28/98

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Wipes for sutures and hemmorhoids
Cut flannel cloth to fit into a plastic jar, and cover them with witch hazel. In an infusion jar put:
1/2 jar witch hazel
3/4 jar distilled water
1/4 jar vodka
I keep mine in the kitchen window and shake it daily for 10 days.
Sylvia Genders LeReverend 7/28/98

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Wonderful, Gentle Hemmorhoidal Suppositories
Fold aluminum foil around large straight drinking straws. Slip the straw out and pinch the bottom closed, and stand open end up in a glass; or fold foil into little accordian folds of 1/2", and lay on counter. Heat cocoa butter up and pour into straws or folds. When cool, freeze 30 minutes. Gently and quickly peel off the foil, cut into 1-1/2" pieces, and keep in freezer.
Sylvia Genders LeReverend 7/28/98

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Tummy Butter/Nipple Cream/Baby's Barrier Ointment
Lanolin used to be the best ointment, but if you can't trust the quality (it may be loaded with agricultural chemicals), use calendula ointment:
1 c. cold-pressed oil (not canola, as it has been genetically re-engineered)
1 c. calendula blossoms
1 oz. beeswax
Gently heat sweet almond oil and calendula, and bring down flame as low as possible. Let the flowers infuse for about 30 minutes, when they should be crispy. Strain and add beeswax, stirring until melted. Pour into clean jars.
Smear this into growing belly daily, and apply to sore nipples after the baby's born. Don't forget to rinse baby's saliva off first! Use this in place of petroleum jelly on baby's tender bum, too, but keep theirs in a separate jar!
Sylvia Genders LeReverend 7/28/98

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Unscented Baby Powder
1 c. cornstarch
2 T. arrowroot flower
(1/2 t. cold-pressed oil)
Sift the cornstarch and arrowroot flower into shaker jar or covered tin. For a water-repellant baby powder, sift the dry powder into a wide-mouthed jar you can fit your hand into, then drip the oil in. Rub the little balls of oil into the powder until you can't find any more (about 20 minutes), then sift into container.
Sylvia Genders LeReverend 7/28/98

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Anti-fungal Baby Oil
1/4 c. cold-pressed oil
3 drops lavender oil
3 drops tea tree oil
Mix into a squeeze bottle, and use whenever baby's bum gets red (especially after the introduction of new foods, when teething, or getting used to a new brand of diaper).
Sylvia Genders LeReverend 7/28/98

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Baby Soap
(Tip for Soapers)
Make your best unscented recipe for soap, but use calendula infusion instead of water required. (Because of the chance of free radicals being absorbed through the skin, do not make baby soap from commercial M&P; if you have a soaper making base product for you, order a 'clean' base of high-quality Castile soap made with extra-virgin olive oil. Nothing is too good for your baby!)
Sylvia Genders LeReverend 7/28/98

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Fever Reducer
The Mr. Freeze pops or a similar brand are great to bring a fever down. We didn't open them, just let them suck on them. We used them for teething to and after those teeth came in they were a nice treat.The older kids still say that is the only perk in being sick, unlimited pops.
Darla 01/04/99

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Gripe Water
1 c. water
1 t. anise seed
1 t. dried dill weed
1 t. fennel seed
1 t. baking soda
3 drops stevia
Bring water to a boil, then infuse herbs. When cool, strain into clean bottle and add baking soda and stevia drops. Give 1/2 t. to infants for tummy upsets, hiccoughs, and when they can't burp after a feeding. Up to 2 t. for howling toddlers. Keep it in the fridge.
Sylvia Genders LeReverend 7/28/98

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Laundry Tips for New Mothers
Presoaking - Keep a covered bucket in a handy location (under the sink or in the bath tub. Fill it halfway with water, and add 1/4 c. bleach or hydrogen peroxide, so you can throw in their little duds for a pre-soak whenever they throw up or the diaper leaks. This will help to keep them nice for much longer.

Baby's Laundry - If you cannot buy Ivory Flakes where you live, buy yourself a larger meat-grinder. Buy the cheapest bars of soap you can at the dollar store, and grind up the bars. Use 1 c. for a medium-sized laundry, and if you need to do a white wash, add 1 c. bleach; hydrogen peroxide is fine for pastel washes. Use white vinegar for the rinse cycle. For a scent, add 1/4 t. essential oil to the vinegar bottle, and shake it before pouring into the dispenser. To avoid static cling, set your timer to just under the time you need to get the clothes bone dry.

Knit fabrics of purely synthetic blends are the worst to clean; they stain and grey easily and there's not much you can do but avoid buying them in the first place. You will find the cheapest kids' clothes are made of this stuff, so opt for the better polyester/cotton blends, or get to know your local second-hand shop if thrift is a consideration.

But even cottons will grey from being washed in soap, so once a month or so, wash them in Ivory Snow, Tide, Oxydol, or Sunlight to get rid of any soap build-up. For whites that don't really need bleaching, add a couple of drops of bluing to the wash water (that's right, the wash water, not the rinse water)...that will help to get rid of the yellowing that cottons seem to get when not bleached often. And when you do bleach your laundry, use at least a cup to 1-1/2 cups in your whites. Underbleaching is fine to kill germs, but it won't help your clothes look any brighter. It's better to bleach less often, but with a lot of bleach, to keep your whites nice.

Folding -Here's a way to fold laundry so that most of it never needs to be ironed, and it makes for neat, manageable stacks and easy identification of items.

Lay the article face down and smooth out the body. For a shirt, fold the sleeves while smoothing out the wrinkles, back across the top to make a straight line up the side (fold back the wrist to keep the other side straight). Take the bottom of the shirt and fold it up, to the top of the shoulders for a kid's shirt, in thirds up for adults (first fold to under the armpits, then second fold up to the top of the shoulders), smoothing out all the wrinkles as you go. Now you have a rectangle which you can easily divide into thirds. Fold the right third in over the middle third, then the left third. Turn it over, and voila! A nice squarish package on which you can stack another seven shirts, or so!

Pants are folded back over the backside longways, then legs up at the knee, smoothing all as you go. Six pairs of men's jeans can be stacked this way.

Little knit dresses can be folded and stacked this way.

For underwear, lie them face up. Fold up the crotch, then bring right third over, then left. This makes it easy to stack until they get to the bedroom, then you can lay them out on an angle in the usually-flat dresser drawer, for easy identification. This also hides unsightly stains from in-laws who sneak through your drawers, and such organizational skills will impress them mightily.

For socks (yes, socks, too!) just lay one on top of the other, and smooth them out. Fold them in half, then draw the top of the outside sock over and down both, and gently strech it into a flat rectangle. Again, these can be laid out in angled rows for easy identification when you put them away.

This method of folding really makes finding clothes easy, especially with little kids' clothes and t-shirts. You'll find you save time picking out outfits for them, their clothes will be much neater, and you will loose fewer socks in the years ahead.

For linens, organize your folded bottom sheet and flat sheet by sticking your matching pillow cases in between them, then stack so that the last, one main fold in the sheet is always facing you; that way, you just grab the two sheets, knowing the cases are in the middle. Fold your towels longways into thirds, then in half, and have the main folds facing you. Same with hand and tea towels. This saves time when the mother-in-law is on her way, and you only have 5 minutes to get things in order.

Washcloths, however, are always a problem, so I just roll mine up and stick them in the mouth of this huge ceramic conch shell (with attendant mermaid) that I bought at a friend's garage sale. It lives in the back of my linen closet, and all I have to do is reach in to the back, grab the cloth, and I'm outta there. No silly little stacks always falling over.

Ironing - If you smooth your sheets and fold them nicely, you shouldn't have to iron them, but ironing pillow cases makes bedtime nicer somehow. Whenever I iron, I use two tricks Mama never taught me.

One, I use orange blossom water or essential oil as an additive to my water sprayer. This makes the task much more pleasant, and imparts a faint scent to some fabrics.

Two, I add corn starch to my water sprayer, about a heaping teaspoon to the pint. This starches my cottons lightly and gives them a lot more body. Plus they look a bit crisper for longer. It does the same for polyester/cotton blends, too. Just keep shaking the bottle so it doesn't settle. I even iron my tea towels, and fold them into thirds so they are ready to hang.

Scented cupboards - Whenever I am making toiletries with scented oils, I keep the filter papers from the filtering process, and let them dry. Then I tuck them into my dining room and linen cupboards, which smell quite heavenly. Cheap bars of soap for laundry use usually live in my dresser drawers before they meet their fate...when they fade a bit, it's off to the meat grinder with them.

Air fresheners and cleaners - You don't need to buy the commercial stuff with the synthetic chemicals to freshen your home, and bother the baby (we are asthmatics, and my husband can't stand the synthetics). Make a spray with water and essential oils, 1/4 t. to 1 pt. of water...I find clove and cinnamon with tea tree very nice, and keep it in the bathroom. Citrus oils are great for pet and smokey odours.

For a counter cleaner, use some tea tree with half vinegar and half water. For carpets, rub in some essential oil (like lavender or rosemary) and sprinkle it on the carpet before you go to bed, and vacuum the next morning. And for a disinfectant hand cleanser, Add some vodka and tea tree oil to pure aloe vera gel, and put it in a recycled pump dispenser for your counter.
Sylvia Genders LeReverend 7/28/98

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C-Section Tip
If you happen to need a C-section the hospital will recommend that you use a plain white soap for about a week because of the incision. Unless you want to use what the hospital provides, you may want to take your own with you.
Patti Kuykendall 7/29/98

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Some Tips for Diaper Rash
  • Avoid using cornstarch based powders on the baby if it is a yeast infection; the yeast feed off the starch!
    Cat 7/31/98
  • Cool yogurt on the irritated skin is very soothing in itself, and the yogurt really does do a job on the yeast.
    Cat 7/31/98
  • Cook ordinary flour in a heavy skillet, stirring constantly, until light golden brown. Let cool, then put into a salt or sugar shaker and sprinkle on baby's bottom instead of powder.
    Christine 7/31/98
  • I have read that it's not wetness that causes diaper rash as much as it is feces - or rather, the chemicals that are created when urine and feces mix. And every mother knows that the only truly "dry" diaper is one that was just put on. Anyway, ever since she began eating solids, we've had to be very careful about the amount of fruit in her diet. She's able to tolerate more and more as she gets older but before she would get SEVERE diaper rash after a "heavy fruit day", even if we changed her immediately after a poop. (A technical term. ) Something in the fruit (maybe the acid?) caused her poop to be such a skin irritant that her poor little bottom was just "burned" raw from it.

    Anyway, we found that frequent oatmeal baths, OBSESSIVE diaper changing, a bland (fruitless) diet and a commercial diaper rash ointment (we use A&D) seemed to clear up the problem within a day or two.
    Christine 7/31/98
  • Also see Connie's First Aid Ointment

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Cradle Cap Tip
Warm a little olive oil and massage it into the scalp over the "crusts". Next, wet a disposable diaper in warm water, wring it out a bit if possible (but be careful that the inner lining doesn't rupture or you'll have "gel" everywhere). Fasten this warm "turban" over baby's head and let sit for 5 minutes or so. Remove the "turban" and use a soft baby hairbrush to gently "scrub" at the crusts. Wash as usual with your favorite baby shampoo, using the hairbrush to gently "scrub" the crusts again, if necessary. You may want to shampoo twice to remove all the oil, then follow with a soothing rinse, such as cooled chamomile tea.
Christine 8/3/98

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Cradle Cap Tip #2
Another very effective treatment for stubborn cradle cap: mix olive oil with baking soda to create a medium-thick paste (it should spread easily, but not run everywhere). Rub this mixture into the child's hair, and scrub with fingertips in the spots where the cradle cap is the worst. Let this mixture sit for 10-15 minutes (if the child won't leave it alone, wrap with a warm wet dishtowel and pin it in the back like a turban). You will probably have to wash the child's hair twice to remove the oil, but the cradle cap will wash out also. If there are any spots that remain, the baking soda causes them to separate from the scalp to the point that they comb out very easily. 9/26/98

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Stretch Mark Massage Oil

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Stretch Mark Cream

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Stretch Mark Oil

Being as I'm about to deliver my third baby any minute now, I had to share a recipe that I've been using with a bit of success. I'm sure it would have worked better if I had known about Emu oil earlier but so far it's prevented the worst stretch marks from appearing during the last two months.

I use straight emu oil (about 1 oz)
lavender~ 4 drops
chamomile~ 4 drops
bergamot~ 4 drops

The EO amounts are from Jane Dye's book "Aromatherapy for Women & Children", the emu oil was my idea (and Deena Gentle's). Don't forget to use it a couple times a day to get started! It won't take the marks away but it has seemed to fade them a bit~
Stacey Graham 12/08/98

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Baby Lotion

3/4 c olive oil
1 c distilled water
2 T emulsifying wax
30 drops lavender eo

Heat the water and melt the wax in the oil (in a pyrex glass in water). I whir the water in a blender and pour the oil in a thin stream. Add eo last and blend briefly.

The temp is hot, but not too hot to touch. The lotion is very thin at first, but when it cools it is like whipped cream.
Kim 12/08/98

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Links to more information and ideas

The Nursery Lots of links to sites about parenting, babies and toddlers. 11/19/98

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