Thursday, November 17, 2011

Robyn's Must Haves

I thought it would be fun for the Top to Bottom family to share our "must have" lists for cloth diapering.  Each of us has a very different selection of things on our lists and I would be shocked if both Jess and I had anything alike.  If you don't know us personally, we are essential opposites in a lot of things (which makes for a great pair!)  It is almost hilarious to see the differences between us--that is no different when it comes to cloth diaper preferences! 

To start us off, I am going to share my must have list.  These are in no particular order, just however my pregnant brain thinks of them :)

1. Eco Sprout cloth diaper detergent-- We use it for EVERYTHING at our house from diapers and wipes to kids and adult clothes and towels!  We keep the 96 load bag in a two supply at our house, just to make sure we don't get low!

2.  Thirsties Fab Wipes-- These things are the softest wipes!  We use them for cloth wipes, for face wiping, for bath time--everything.  We still have the first wipes we purchased 3 1/2 years ago  and they are in fabulous shape still--they are made to last!

3.  Thirsties Duo Wrap-- While we are on the topic of Thirsties, I will go ahead and share one of my favorite diaper covers.  Again, we bought ours nearly 3 years ago and they are in great shape, ready to use on baby #4 when he fits into them.  We never have leaks with them and have no complaints!

4.  Weehuggers Laundry Bags-- Newer to the market, these bags are AMAZING.  I am a big bag fan so I knew these would be right up my alley and I was not disappointed.  The patch inside this bag serves the purpose of eliminating the poo order--essential with a kiddo who poos four times a day like mine always has.  This bag is a must have.

5.  Diaper Sprayer-- Some moms say they could do without....I could not.  As I mentioned, the babies at our house love to poop and, as a result, I like to have something to peel the poop right off the diaper and the diaper sprayer peels it right off--no dunk and swish, no soaking, spray and it's off.  Fabulous :)

6.  Bummis TotBot Easy Fit diapers-- Holy cow....these diapers were not the first diapers I started with but they have become my stash and my go to diaper of choice.  My husband would agree, these diapers are fabulous.  They are easy peasy and the most daycare friendly diaper ever!

7.  CJ's BUTTer-- If you know me, you know my love of CJ's.  We have three sensitive kiddos in the house currently and we use it for EVERYTHING from diaper rash solution to ezcema, hand cream--everything, no joke.  It also makes a great solution to those baby chapped cheeks in the winter.  We keep a good three or four around the house just for easy access and it comes in a variety of packaging---whatever you prefer :)

8.  Rumparooz Pail Liner-- At first, I was not sold on pail liners but Jess changed my mind with the Rumparooz pail liner.  I got my first one in Monster print (which scares Jess, hehe) and soon got a second print (Robotronic :) ) for when the first is in the wash.  I leave it in a trash can without a lid--yeah--no lid....and guess what?  No smell... it's heavenly, I swear.

9.  Ju Ju Be diaper bag-- This is a FABULOUS diaper bag for a cloth diapering mama (or dad!).  Again, I am a big bag fan so this is my kind of bag.  The Ju Ju Be brand holds cloth diapers and the accessories so well--even x2!

10.  EcoSprouts Bottom Spray-- This is always in our diaper bag.  I used to wet wipes and carry them in a small wet bag when we would leave the house (we don't ever use disposable wipes because I am cheap...and too much of a treehugger---to a fault, actually) but, after a few times of forgetting and having to wet the wipes by dumping water from a water bottle, we opted to carry a pre-made wipe solution.  This solution does the trick and we don't leave home without it now!

There you have my top ten must have products.  This is just my list of my favorite cloth diapering products (and what we always have on hand).  What are YOUR favorites and must haves?

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Packing for the Hospital-Green Edition

Any of you who know me know that I am first and foremost a planner. I like to have things planned out way in advance. I carry a calendar wherever I go and keep my phone calendar up to date. I plan out my daughter's school lunches for the week on Sunday, etc. You get where I am going here, right? I like things figured out in advance.

This is no different when it comes to adding another person to our family. My babies tend to come early (35, 36, and 37 weeks so far) so I like to have my hospital bag packed by 35 weeks just in case. As I am 37 weeks with this little guy tomorrow {he must know my love of order and is shooting for 38....that's my theory anyway}, I packed my bag a few weeks back.

When we had Mara, we planned to cloth diaper from the get go. That didn't happen since she was rushed to the NICU and was there for over two weeks. At the time, I didn't have newborn diapers to fit her as she didn't take to feedings well, etc. I was, in no way, prepared to be a NICU mom with my closest to term baby. This time around, I have been planning on the newborn cloth diaper front for awhile but that is a separate post. Another thing I have planned for is my own green postpartum supplies.

This time around, instead of "paper" pads, full of chemicals, I am using cloth pads. For the hospital, I ordered Pink Daisy size Large pads and am mixing them up with my Weeessentials size Large pads. I find the pads in the hospital to be massive and uncomfortable, especially (and I am about to get a bit TMI here but, come on, we are all mamas and dads...we know how this goes or have at least heard about it) after a c-section when you are not as mobile as you were before pregnancy. After having gone through this three times, I am hoping these work much better and I know they are far more eco friendly.

Another addition to my bag are my Pink Daisy and Itzy Ritzy cloth nursing pads. With Mara, I used cloth nursing pads and loved them. I find the paper alternative to be uncomfortable and, well, they stick to me and I don't dig that when I have to wear those puppies quite often. I refreshed my stash with these two new brands for baby #4 and have heard nothing but fabulous things about them.

Also in the nursing department, Jess has sold me on the Undercover Mama nursing tanks. These things are amazing. Rather than wearing a bazillion layers, I can wear my nursing bra and attach the tank to the bra--keeping my tummy covered and making nursing or pumping discreet. Win-win in my book. I am excited to try the Undercover Mama tanks as I had just the plain nursing tanks in the past. They work fine and all but I feel that they just add to the layers--bra, tank bra, tank, regular know? Also, as a bigger chested person, finding a nursing bra without the built in bra part is difficult and lord knows those tanks are not made for the DDD+ mama. This won't be a problem with the Undercover Mama, that thing has already been tried on pregnant and it is heaven to wear.

These are some of the eco-friendly and/or crunchy mama goodies I have packed in my hospital bag for when we head in to welcome our fourth into the world. Obviously cloth diapers, wipes, and my wetbags are in there too but like I said, that is for a later post--full of baby pictures and diapers (and none of me because this mama is likely to be a hot mess after #4 arrives). What do you pack in your hospital bag that fellow crunchy mamas may want to know about?

Monday, October 24, 2011

Rewards Points

Did you know that T2B Baby gives you 5% back on everything you spend, in store and online? No hoops to jump through, no clubs to join, just 5% back in store credit on everything you spend (ok, well except for rentals, sorry!).

So, first and foremost, what do you have to do to qualify?
Just come shopping at T2B, either online or in store. When you are in the store, make sure you give Justin your name so he can find your account.
Military Moms and Dads: We are grateful for everything you do for our country! As a thank you, we offer our Military parents double points on all purchases.

How are points calculated?
For every $1 you spend, you receive 1 point. When you reach 100 points, your points can be redeemed for a $5 gift card for the store.

Online vs. In-store? Can I use them both places?
Absolutely, but they do not cross over automatically. If you normally shop online and want to use your points in the store, just let Justin know. Oppositely, if you want to shop online and use in-store points, please email Justin at and he will create a gift card for you to use.

I'm not seeing some of my points online?
There are two possibilities:
1. A couple of accounts lost points during the moving of sites. If you think this is what happened, please email Justin at and he can manually add points.
2. Points have not transferred over from in store purchases so please contact Justin to have him pull your in-store credits. Unfortunately, if your in-store purchases weren't linked to your account we won't be able to pull them up.

Any other benefits to shopping at T2B Baby?
1. If you are expecting and have created a registry, we will offer your friends and family the option to tag your account with their purchases. This will give you the points towards future purchases AND it will allow us to easily find your receipt if you ever need it.
2. We occasionally offer coupons to our account holders, including bonus purchases, extra points, etc.

I hope this helps everyone understand the rewards points at T2B Baby! Please let me know if you have any questions!
Love and Fluff~Robyn and Jess

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Thursday Edition of Fluff Again News

Thursday Edition of Fluff Again

The winner of Wednesday’s Pre-sale passes is Number 4: Meagan

Please email Jess at to claim your passes.

As promised, here is a list of the great vendors who will be joining us on Saturday:

For the Love of Bugs: Burp cloths, bibs, hooded towels, baby blankets, rag quilts, and tata tents

FLUFF AGAIN SALE DISCOUNT: $5 off of custom team orders up to $30 or $10 off custom team orders over $30 at Fluff Again (excluding Rag Quilts).

Freckle (aka Freckle's Natural Fibers): Hand Knit and Chocheted products, including diapering products

FLUFF AGAIN SALE DISCOUNT: Stop by her table for Details!

Sparkles and Fluff: Hair Accessories, Tutus, and Jewelery

FLUFF AGAIN SALE DISCOUNT: Stop by her table for Details!

MAK Images Photography

FLUFF AGAIN SALE DISCOUNT: Stop by her table for Details!

Essentials Family Chiropractic and Wellness:

Stop by for a free chair massage during Fluff Again

Catering Angels: Catering, specializing in cakes.

Free samples available at her table!

WildTree Natural Food Products

Free samples available at her table!

Madaline Jane: Custom handmade boutique clothing for kids and adults

Norwex Consultant: Personal and cleaning products without chemicals

Evie’s Slings: Beautiful ring slings, custom slings available for order

Snuggabugz Diapers: Cloth Diapers and Children’s Overnight Diapers

The Upper Room: Pillowcase dresses, bedding, and appliqued shirts

Omaha Placenta Encapsulation

Omaha Doulas Association

Check back tomorrow for a Fluff Again FAQ, a list of Door Prizes, and some general fun!

oh...and in case you are keeping track, we are currently over 1450 diapers! Here is a picture of the totes that are loaded and ready to go.


Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Fluff Again Wednesday Edition

Welcome to the Wednesday Edition of Fluff Again!

Okay, first I have to apologize for missing Tuesday’s edition of Fluff Again news...I went to play Bunco with my moms’ group (enough said, right??)

So, to start off the night, we’ve decided to give away 2 (Yes, 2!) pre-sale passes from Monday’s comments. The winners must email me at by Friday at 5 pm to claim their prizes. The winners of pre-sale passes are:

    • Leah
    • April D.

Next on the list, we are going to give away another set of presale passes tomorrow. To enter, answer this question:

What is your biggest question about Fluff Again (how it work, what to buy, etc) that we haven’t already answered???

Thursday’s edition of Fluff Again news is going to be all about vendors, so make sure you check back for a full listing of our fabulous vendors!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Monday Fluff Again!

Monday Edition of Fluff Again

Whether you are new to Fluff Again, or an old pro, there is always a lot of curiosity of how this event works. Here is our outlook on Fluff Again.

The doors to Fluff Again open at 9 am. Our usual recommendation is that you are there right at 9 am, though this year we will be offering a discount hour between Noon and 1 pm on certain products (These products will be marked). At 11:45 am, we will require that all shoppers check out with their current products. After everyone is checked out, we will open up the shopping for discount products.

Another new addition this year will be the hospitality table at the entrance to the event. This table will have maps of the event, plus will be the registration table for the door prizes (check back Wednesday for a complete list!). The map is going to be a very important addition because it will allow you easily to figure out which tables to begin with. It will also give you details of the available vendors and where they are located.

One of most exciting additions this year is our new check out system. The system allows staff to scan your purchases using during check out, which should significantly decrease the check out time. On the consigner’s side, the new system has made tagging products easier. We hope these changes make Fluff Again even more enjoyable for everyone.

Finally, one of the last changes we have made is to change our check out methods to begin accepting credit cards. This year we will accept Cash, Checks, and all Major Credit Cards.

We hope you enjoy Fluff Again as much as we do! Oh and we are now over 1100 diapers! To celebrate this many diapers, we will giveaway a pair of Pre-Sale Passes (opens shopping to the holder at 8:30 am). In order to win these passes, comment on this post. In this comment, list the product you are looking for during Fluff Again!

Love and Fluff~Robyn and Jess

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Sunday Edition of Fluff Again

Welcome to the Sunday Edition of Fluff Again!

For those of you who don’t know, Fluff Again was the brain child of Jess. The first sale in Spring 2010 boasted almost 500 diapers. She always says that Fluff Again is her favorite season because it is a nice time for the cloth diapering and natural parenting community to come together.

As of this weekend, we already topped 1000 diapers, baby wearing, and other natural products that are going to be available on Saturday. I expect this number to keep growing this week as the final tagging occurs. Additionally this year, we have over 15 vendors that will be attending. In the days to come, we will be giving you a glimpse of the products and services that these vendors offer and maybe even some discount coupons to use during Fluff Again. Finally, we have had some generous donations for door prizes. A complete list of these prizes will be available later in the week.

Though the diapers are important to Fluff Again, the most important aspect to Fluff Again is the volunteers. These moms and dads not only help organize the products prior to and during the sale, but they are also available to help answer questions for Fluffy newbies. We would be lost without them. To thank our wonderful volunteers, we will be having a drawing for one lucky person who will win one of the NEW Fluff Again T-shirts and lunch! All volunteers will be entered to win (1 entry for every hour you volunteer, and double entries if you volunteer to help cleanup). We still have spots available, so head over to Fluff Again and register if you are interested in helping out!

Finally, check back this week for more introductions to our vendors! Plus, we maybe giving away a couple pre-sale passes (hint).

Introduction to Vendors for Fall 2011 Sale:

For the Love of Bugs


What she offers:

  • Burp Cloths - made of high quality birdseye diapers and cleaning service quality prefolds...assorted sizes and colors
  • Bibs - designed to coordinate with our burp cloths and blankets
  • Hooded Towels - a larger version of the standard hooded towel...great for kids of all ages
  • Baby Blankets - larger and more snuggly than standard receiving blankets, but still small enough for everyday use
  • Rag Quilts - available in a wide variety of sizes (from crib quilt to man size) order only...2 week minimum...please e-mail us for a quote
  • Tata Tents - nursing covers for the Mom and/or baby that prefers discrete feeding, our covers are longer and wider, providing full coverage, a comfortable and fully adjustable neck strap to help keep it in place and delicate boning to make it easier to keep an eye on your little bug...fabrics can coordinate with burp rags, blankets and/or bibs or be something that is special just for Mom
  • Cards - in sets of 10...congratulations, new arrival, baby shower, etc
  • Custom Gift Sets - you tell us what you'd like to spend and we'll put together a variety of gift set options for you to choose from...a perfect way to make your custom gift even more perfect!

FLUFF AGAIN SALE DISCOUNT: $5 off of custom team orders up to $30 or $10 off custom team orders over $30 at Fluff Again (excluding Rag Quilts).

Freckle (aka Freckle's Natural Fibers)

What she offers:

  • Hand Knit and Crocheted Diapering items
  • Other Hand Knit items
  • Hand Woven scarves and shawls
  • Custom Knitting and Weaving
  • Some Hand Dyed Yarn and Yarn Resale
  • Hand Spun Yarns

FLUFF AGAIN SALE DISCOUNT: Stop by her table for Details!

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Fluff Again Fun

The count down has begun! Fluff Again is one week from today. In celebration of Fluff Again, we are going to spend the next week telling you about the vendors who are going to be attending, giving some sneak peaks on the super cute diapers that are arriving, and having some giveaways to celebrate.

Just a reminder, tonight is the last night to vote for your favorite t-shirt on the blog. And stay tune for more fun!

Love and Fluff~Robyn and Jess

Monday, August 15, 2011

T-Shirt Time

I am probably the least creative person ever, especially when it comes to designing things. Sadly, we are in need of new t-shirts for the store and for Fluff Again. I was discussing with Justin what the best t-shirt would be and he suggested a contest--which is totally unlike him because normally he rolls his eyes at us and tells us to do whatever we want. So, in honor of Justin's new found contest love, we are going to be hosting a t-shirt design contest.

Here are the details:
Contest dates: now until August 31st at midnight
What: Design new t-shirts for T2B and for Fluff Again
The most important thing, what do you win? The winning designers will receive a t-shirt sporting their design AND a $25 gift card to the store.
EDITED TO ADD: Vilate from Nifty Nappy has offered to turn the t-shirt into a diaper for the lucky winner. So, you can chose whether you want the t-shirt or a diaper!

The best part, we will let you guys pick the t-shirts through votes from now until September 10th. But, we won't be revealing the winning design until Fluff Again (just another reason to come visit us that day!)

How to enter: Create your design, post it to your blog, and then link the design here using a link back to your blog. If you can't link, or don't have a blog, have no fear, just email and I will add it to the links.

I'm STOKED to see the designs that everyone has in store :)

Just a couple more details (so you know what you are designing for!):
Fluff Again is our semi-annual consignment sale. We have lots and lots of used diapers and lots of fun playing with them. You can check out more details on our facebook page.

T2B Baby, well we are fun. Our last shirts were adorable and designed by Amanda last year. We just know we need some more. Check out our website and our facebook page for details on the store.

Have fun with the designs and don't feel like you have to incorporate the labels or anything specific. The more fun you have the better.
Finally, here are the logos for both if you are interested in using them:

~Love and Fluff, Jess and Robyn

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Perfecting your washing from Kim at Rockin Green

Below is an article I wrote about a year ago discussing the 5 different variables of washing diapers. Hopefully this will help some of you troubleshoot your wash routines, to find just the right routine for your situation. There are so many advantages to using cloth diapers, and once you find what works for you- it's all smooth sailing from there!

How to Wash Cloth Diapers

Over the past year, I have answered several thousand questions about washing cloth diapers. The funny thing is a portion of those emails aren’t even about our cloth diaper detergent. Many moms come to us asking for help with the detergent that they have on hand, and we are more than happy to help whenever possible. More babies in cloth is good for everyone! The most common question I get asked is about the “perfect” cloth diaper wash routine.

It seems like everyone has a “perfect” routine. They have a “tried and true” method on what works for them, and they are eager to share it with others. Unfortunately, as many of you have found out, what works for one person won’t work for another. This can make a seemingly simple process very complicated!

But here at Rockin’ Green, we think of washing diapers as a math problem: 1 + 1 + 1+ 1+ 1 =5.
There are 5 variables that come into play in the wash cycle, and once you understand these variables, you can adjust accordingly to get the best results possible. Sometimes there are things that you just can’t change, so you have to work around them.

Variable #1: Your water.
This is something that we talk about A LOT at Rockin’ Green, and for good reason. Water is the first and the most important thing that goes into your washing machine. It dilutes and carries away soils, and allows the detergent to do its job. But tap water is never pure. It contains impurities like minerals that can bind with detergent, and actually make it more difficult to get a good clean. This is one of those variables that you don’t have much control over (unless you invest money in a water softener), so your best plan of attack is to know what you are working with and compensate for it with the other variables like detergent.

Variable # 2 The Swish.
I recently had a customer who was battling the dreaded stink, and couldn’t for the life of her figure out why she had such trouble getting her diapers clean. Her wash routine sounded fine, she washed a small load every night, but still the stink endured. Then one day she got backed up on laundry and ended up doing 2 days worth of diapers instead of her usual one. And the diapers came out much better. She learned an important lesson about the power of the “swish”. Swish or agitation is a very important component of any good wash routine. The diapers need to not only move around in the wash tub, but they also need to rub up against one another. Think of how you wash your hands- do you run them under water to get lather, or do you rub your hands together?

With too many diapers in a load, they just rotate around the tub in a bunch. Not enough diapers and they swim around the wash basin blissfully (and dirtily) unaware of their neighbors. So if you have a top loader, load the machine to about the halfway point. For a front loader, you want to have enough items in the drum to where you can put a hands width between the top of the drum and the clothing.

Variable # 3 Temperature
Most machines have 3 settings. Cold, warm or hot….and as cloth diapering guru’s you should be pretty familiar with the basic cloth diaper wash routine. Do a rinse on cold, a wash on hot, and then another rinse on cold, but there are some variables even in that. First off, what is your water heater set at? This can have a direct effect on how clean your diapers are. Most bacteria die when the water reaches a temp of 130-140 degrees (and many detergent ingredients react faster in this temp range), so an adjustment in your water heater can make a big difference. Most diaper manufacturers warn against temps of 150 and over when PUL is involved, so keep your water heater set at around 130 for day to day washings. Note: It will usually come out of the tap about 10 degrees cooler

Disclaimer: Always check with your diaper manufacturer regarding recommended wash procedure and temperature thresholds, especially when PUL is involved.

Temperature can also play a part when it comes to stains. Did you know that the best way to treat a stain is by rinsing it out at the same temperature that the stain was created? So leave the cold rinsing for ice cream stains, and move the dial to warm for poop stains. They were created at 98.6 after all!

Variable #4 Time fixes all
“Rock a Soak” has become a common cloth diapering term, and there is some science behind it. The amount of time that your diapers are in the wash will also help determine your outcome. The chemicals in your detergent have different reaction times that can be affected by things like temperature and water quality, so you may find that a longer wash cycle in some cases gets you better results, because it allows the detergent to actually do its job as opposed to being flushed down the drain. If you have really hard water, or a water heater that isn’t up to par….you can lengthen your wash cycle to compensate. Note: this is why front loader cycles take FOREVE) because they have to make up for the lack of swish.

Variable #5 Detergent (You didn’t think we would forget that did you?)
As a detergent manufacturer you would think that we would place this at the top of the list, but that just isn’t the case. Don’t get me wrong, I think that Rockin’ Green cloth diaper detergent rocks – but it's one piece of the puzzle. Within that black and green bag, you have the tools to overcome things like poor water quality and hardness (which is why we have 3 different formulas based on your water type), but you have to find the sweet spot there too. Generally speaking you want to start off with 1-3 tbs, but you may adjust up or down depending on the other 4 variables.

Another tip: when it comes time to add the soap, try dropping down the water level in your machine. This will increase the concentration of soap and the swish! So in your initial and post rinses, you want to keep the water level high but in your hot wash with the soap try dropping it down to a medium water level. This should give you a better clean!

Ok….so seriously, just tell me what a “perfect” routine is already Kim!
By now, you probably know that there is no perfect routine. The key to finding the sweet spot is to look at every piece of the puzzle, and then adjust as needed. You may need to add a little more soap to make up for an overstuffed washer, crank up your water heater to make up for a lack of swish in your front loader, or lengthen the time your diapers spend in the washer to make up for hard water. And the list goes on and on….

I hope this helps some of you struggling with finding the “perfect” wash routine! Check us out at for more wash tips and tools.

Guest post is from Kim Webb, the Owner of Rockin' Green Detergent.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Public Service Announcement

So much for a fun post! Actually, I am having a lot of fun with it, so I can't complain too much.

We wanted to let everyone know that in the next 1-2 weeks you may see changes in the website and we may experience unexpected down times. We are currently in the process of upgrading the site to a new cart, but we hope to make the transition as smooth as possible. Unfortunately, we will not be adding any new products to the old cart so if you aren't seeing a product you know we carry feel free to email Justin at He will be able to make place orders via email.

Also, if you aren't a fan, we recommend you head over and "like" FLUFF AGAIN on Facebook. Fluff Again has become Omaha's Largest Diaper Consignment Sale. We are frantically working to finish the final details and will be announcing everything hopefully in the next couple of days. We look forward to another wonderful sale!

Hope you all have a wonderful week!
Love and Fluff~Jess and Robyn

Monday, July 11, 2011

Getting Started With Homemade Baby Food - Supplies

Before I became a mom, homemade baby food seemed like a crazy idea. Who has time for that? What’s easier than popping open a jar?

Turns out, thawing an ice cube of homemade baby food is just as easy as opening a jar, with an added benefit of being cheaper and made to the consistency that your baby prefers.

To get started, you’ll need some supplies. Nothing crazy, so don’t worry. You don’t need to buy a special baby food maker. The market is full of baby food makers that go for more than $100. Save your money.

The food processor or blender you already have will suffice. Your house is already overrun with baby stuff – do you really want the baby stuff to take over your kitchen, too?

If you’re planning on making food on-the-go (say, while on vacation), you may want to get a stick mixer, as well. I never used one, but you might.

The second thing you’ll need is a pot or to cook your vegetables and fruit. I’ll just assume you already have one.

Here are some other cheap cooking supplies you may want: A strainer or colander to hold the cooked food and drain it; a mesh strainer (used to separating green bean or pea skins); a steam basket; and a potato masher. And, you already have a fork, which you’ll use to mash small things like a banana or avocado.

If you’re planning on storing food you’ll also need plastic ice cube trays (And no, you don’t need those cute heart-shaped ice cube trays); large freezer bags and a sharpie to date and label the bags. I found that most recipes I made filled nearly two ice cube trays – that’s about 24 servings/meals. So, you’ll want at least two ice cube trays, but probably more if the cooking bug gets you.

Kim Reiner from will be joining us in the weeks to come with a series on Baby Food Making! Stay tuned for more!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Vendor Spotlight: Sparkles and Fluff

As you all know, we loooooove our local creative and crafty mamas Incorporating locally made products into the store inventory has been a central focus since early on in the store's formation and the fabulous experience we have had with our vendors has only solidified that this is a cause we want to stick with. Since opening the store in its new location at the end of April, we have added several vendors to our awesome lineup of local products and we now carry local products from babywearing wraps to spy bags, wool, baby blankets and hair bows. The last of these products, hair bows, is one of our newest additions. With the opening of the store, Sparkles and Fluff came on board. This week, Sparkles and Fluff is our vendor spotlight, our attempt to share with you who our vendors are and how fabulous their products are.

Sparkles and Fluff is a WAHM business owned by Amy Pugh. Amy started Sparkles and Fluff while pregnant with her {newly two year old} daughter Audrey. For anyone who knows Amy, she is quite a girly girl and wanted nothing less for Audrey. As a result, Amy experimented with making tutus for her soon to be born daughter and had soon perfected her skills. After Audrey's birth, Amy began making them for other little girls (mine included...Peyton has gone to many a dance class in her Sparkles and Fluff tutu and Mara has had S&F tutus as part of her 1st and 2nd birthday outfits) and she soon expanded into making other products for little girls.

Amy now makes everything and anything from tutus, hair bows, necklaces, pins, earrings, rings, wreaths---you name it. They are all wonderful. I must admit, we have quite the collection between the three girls with her zebra print themed bows as our favorite!! Top to Bottom Baby carries her hair bows, headbands, and tutus in store. You can also find them at the online store. Be sure to stop in and check them out and while you are at it, go like her on Facebook and tell her where you heard about her fabulous products!

Monday, June 27, 2011

Foibles in Choosing A Carrier: One Mom’s Suggestions

Before our first little one arrives, we excitedly register for (or order) what we think our bouncing baby will need. Many parents, looking toward natural parenting and bonding with their infant, consider different types of baby wearing options such as slings, wrap carriers, and soft carriers. They may choose one and register for it (because that’s part of the fun of “about to be a new parent”) or they order it for themselves. They wash it and prepare it and get excited to use it. Then someone disagrees; that someone’s opinion is way more important than your thoughts that the carrier is cute or looks easy to use.
When we registered, I didn’t know much of anything about baby wearing, so I registered for a sling carrier that they sold in Target. I washed it, and it shrank. I was forlorn. My sister bought me another one. When my son arrived I had a cute (line-dried) sling waiting for him. My husband and I struggled to put him into it, and he fell asleep after some crying. I figured he would get used to it and it would all work out. Sadly, newborns just do that – they sleep anywhere. But when he got bigger, the sling was just not for him. He flat out refused to hang out in it. Plus it wasn’t padded, and it cut into my shoulders. So I sold it on eBay and went on a hunt.
I found a mei tai type wrap at a used baby store, and wrestled my son into it. He was ok with it for a few days, but it seemed to cut into his chunky monkey legs. I didn’t like that it left red marks on his thighs, so I sold it to fund my next purchase.
Next up, the Moby wrap. The yards of fabric looked daunting, but it was pretty easy to figure out. My husband watched me put it on in wonder (“How will THAT hold him?”), but for a while it worked for us. He preferred sitting facing forward in the “lotus” position, but eventually he didn’t like having his feet and legs all scrunched up. And he wanted to be on my hip rather than facing forward.
We went to a friend’s house and my son was cranky, so she pulled out a larger (and padded!) ring sing carrier and put him in it. He calmed quickly. I wanted it. I borrowed her sling until I found one used on eBay (for $9.99). He enjoyed that one until he could crawl – then any sort of carrier was not his friend because he just wanted to move. I let a friend borrow it and told her it didn’t need to come back. By this point I almost gave up. Heck, he didn’t take a pacifier so maybe he didn’t like carriers either.
Finally I tried the carrier I wanted to try originally (but balked at the price) – an Ergo Baby Carrier. He enjoyed chewing on the straps (made me wish I had bought the sucking pads which I had thought were a silly idea), seemed comfortable, and it didn’t leave marks on his legs. When he got a little bigger he enjoyed the hip and back carrys, both of which the Ergo can do. Now that he’s walking, he prefers to be on his own, but the Ergo is still what I use if I want him to be able to check out what I’m doing but can’t hold him and he can’t walk it.
There are multiple lessons learned here. First, while your comfort (and fashion) are factors in choosing a carrier, your little one’s preference is what’s going to keep them in it (or let them allow you to keep putting them in it). My advice – don’t pre-buy. I know it’s hard. I know. I’ve been there. But the best advice I can give anyone when choosing a carrier is to try it out with your little one before you buy. Go to a store that sells multiple types (if you can) and let your little one’s comfort be the deciding factor. Second lesson learned – your kiddo’s preference for carriers may change based on their age and abilities. Once they start moving on their own, it’s a completely different world and they may not be into a carrier even. It may be a good idea to go in with some friends and rotate around the carriers that are working for your different age groups. Third – some kiddos really just don’t want the carrier. Just as some don’t like to be swaddled, some want to sleep on their bellies from day 1, and some don’t take a pacifier, some simply want the freedom to move and thus don’t want to be confined to your carrier. Don’t feel badly; it’s nothing that you did! And don’t let other “natural mommas” make you feel badly. Fourth – padding is your friend. The more padding something has around the points that it touches your skin, the more comfortable it will be for you.
Each kid’s an individual. They have their own preferences for comfort. That is the main lesson I learned. The choice is their choice, not your choice. Let them show you what works for them.

Liz Wright is a Momma to Silas (14 months), wife to Mike, psychology professor, and doctoral candidate. She lives in San Antonio with her family and their two dogs. She writes about parenting and household issues in her blog Mama Around The House (

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Upcoming attractions!

I am hoping to interrupt the program for a brief update!

We realized with our post last week that we didn't tell you about our plans for the upcoming months. We have decided that we will be hosting a guest blogger every Monday on a Natural Parenting Topic. We have had some great submissions already and hope you enjoy them. If you are interested in Guest Blogging, please don't hesitate to email Jess ( with your ideas.

Also, on Wednesdays we will be discussing products. We are hoping this will be a great way to learn about new products that are available and there may even be some giveaways.

We are super excited to share our newest addition, the Affiliate Program, with you. We hope that you have loved our services and share us with friends and family, so we decided that we would love to give back to you when you do. If you visit Top to Bottom Baby, you will see a "Become an Affiliate" link at the bottom of the page (or click HERE). When you sign up, you will receive an Affiliate Program link in your My Account area at the bottom of the page. This will link you to the stats for who has clicked on your link. Additionally, you will receive 5% of all sales that were generated by your link in store credit. The "Helpful Link" is your affiliate link. You are welcome to use this banner to link to your blog or other pages. We've found it works best to embed your specific link into the icon.
Finally, the winner of our $20 Gift Card to T2B is #43: My Life with Boys! Thanks to everyone for such great ideas!

With Love and Fluff~Jess and Robyn

Monday, June 20, 2011

All new T2B Baby

Wow, there have been a lot of changes around Top to Bottom in the last couple of months. Unfortunately, our blog has been a little neglected during the transition, and for that, we are truly sorry.

Change is never easy, but it can be great in the end. In February, we were lucky enough to have Robyn join us as a co-owner of Top to Bottom Baby. We also began working on the pieces to open the new bricks and mortar store. With the new store, came a little bit easier of a name: T2B Baby. Don't worry, we are still Top to Bottom at heart! And finally, Justin took over as the Store Manager on a permanent basis! Don't worry ladies, he has lots of good answers for the really juicy mom questions. Several of our friends love to stop in just to see what questions they can stump him with!

April 30th we were lucky enough to celebrate our grand opening at the New Omaha Location (2928 S 132nd St, Omaha). As you can see, it was quite a success. In addition to the new store, we have added tons of new products and had a lot of fun meeting our customers. If you are in Omaha, don't hesitate to stop by and say hi. And feel free to bring the kids, because there are tons of toys to play with!

Over the next couple of months we hope to get the blog running in full swing with some great product giveaways, guest bloggers, and all around fun! So, stay tuned and feel free to share us with your friends.

And, just because you stayed (and actually kept reading) I would love to share some of the T2B love! We are going to giveaway a $20 gift card to Top to Bottom, good online or in store. All you have to do to enter is post below. We'd love to hear ideas for blog posts you would like to see, products we should carry (please check to make sure we don't already carry it), or random fun you think we should have! Only one entry please! Ends June 25th at midnight cst.

Finally, we'd love to hear from you. If you have an idea for a blog, would like to guest blog, or just have a diaper question feel free to email or! We absolutely can't wait to spend the next months working on making natural parenting a little more fun!

With Love and Fluff~Jess and Robyn