This post may be gross and graphic if you don’t yet have a baby! Just a warning!
We use cloth diapers. And before you start with solid foods, dirty diapers aren’t that big of a deal. Breastmilk poop is sort of watery and cleans off without effort.
Once your baby starts eating solids, it’s sticky and thick and doesn’t just wash right off, at least not easily.
When Alexander was a baby, we used some diaper liners, but honestly, ours always shifted, so half the diaper was still really dirty.
We got a diaper sprayer, but every time I used it, little drops of water would get all over me and the bathroom. Dirty water drops, on my face. No thank you. So I got rid of it.
After those two attempts at cleaning dirties, I just resorted to grabbing a big wad of toilet paper and physically scraping off whatever I could, into the toilet. It was really gross but mostly effective.
Fast forward to about 8 months ago, before Annabelle was born. I was asking my Instagram followers about how many cloth diapers I would need if I had a newborn and an older kid in diapers (FYI Alexander is out of diapers now, so I only had two in diapers for a very short time!). Among the many answers I got, I got several recommendations for the Spray Pal. It’s a diaper spray SHIELD. So many people tagged the company, someone reached out to me and asked if I wanted a shield and sprayer, for the purpose of review. Of course I said yes.
Now that Annabelle is 6 months old, and she is eating solids (like actually eating), I am using the Spray Pal once more. It is so crazy convenient. Once you get the hang of setting it up, it really saves time, and it’s far less messy than the other things I’ve tried. I mean, cloth diapering means you’re going to get your hands dirty here and there, so I’m used to it. This product just makes the whole process a lot less dirty!
If you want to get your own Spray Pal, you can get it HERE. You’ll see there’s also an option to get the sprayer from the same company.
NOTE: In a few days, I’m giving away ONE Spray Pal in a giveaway!
Here’s a video I made showing how we use the Spray Pal:
Week 1! What a fun experience. Annabelle really took to solids, so fast. I was really impressed with her. And Alexander just thought everything about it was hilarious. Here is week 1, by the numbers:
Number of minutes spent cleaning up after her: about 35*
Number of foods tried: 7**
Number of times she gagged: 3
Number of times she choked: 0***
Number of allergic reactions: 0 !
Number of times I freaked out: 0 !
*I shared this on Instagram, but it takes 5 minutes or less to clean up after each meal. And she ate about once per day. I wish I liked dogs… I hear they are pretty handy when it comes to cleaning up after meals.
**She tried banana, sweet potato, chicken, avocado, blackberries, egg, and potato. She also had a breastmilk ice pop, but that’s not a new food!
***Remember, gagging and choking are not the same! Gagging happens with most kids, especially at first. Choking might never happen. I get asked A LOT, “How can I avoid choking?” Well, you can’t, not 100%. You can avoid the known choking hazards, like whole grapes (until at least age 3), whole nuts, hot dogs, popcorn, and a few others. [NOTE: Grapes, hot dogs, sausages, cherry tomatoes should be cut in half lengthwise, at least.] You can leave a little cup of water available to help wash down bigger bites. But once you’ve done those things, be sure baby is sitting upright — not reclined or slouched over. There should be a straight shot from mouth to tummy, if that makes sense. You can take an infant CPR course which should include the Heimlich for babies (in fact, I recommend you at least find a good video for it online… doing it in person is ideal since you can hold a physical dummy and practice the movements). And THEN, it’s always possible to choke on anything. Choking hazards are a special sort of food: a certain shape, hard to retrieve. But ANYthing can be choked on. So just know your “rescue” steps and forge ahead. Try not to worry too much!! Easier said than done, but hey, it gets easier as time goes on.
I don’t really like giving juice to Alexander because it’s so easy to drink a ton of it quickly, and I’d rather he just eat the fruit. He gets juice probably once a month, as a treat (like if I’m going to Starbucks for a treat, he gets a treat too, and it happens to be apple juice!).
This week, we are doing kitchen practical life activities (Montessori), like peeling boiled eggs, slicing bananas, loading the dishwasher, and learning to wash dishes by hand. One thing I decided to do today was make a simple strawberry blueberry lemonade. We are doing a Whole30 right now, so no processed sugar: that means no honey, no agave nectar, no white sugar or coconut sugar or date sugar or whatever other powdery sugars are out there.
Now, if we were not doing Whole30 right now, I would have added probably 1 teaspoon of raw honey and shook it really well! (Honey is NOT okay for kids under age 1, but I wouldn’t recommend this at all for that age anyway.)
All that said, this is NOT the super sweet lemonade you’d get on the corner from the little kiddos charging 50 cents a cup. It’s not the stuff you would get in a restaurant because, hey, they want you to buy more, and sugar makes this sort of thing taste ahhhhmazing.
BUT this was really good! We added water to dilute it, and it cut out the tartness almost completely.
And it was really fun doing this with Alexander!
It made 2-3 ounces, but we added another 6-7 to the mix. We each had a small glass of it.
Here’s what you’ll need for this exact amount:
5 ripe (soft, preferably) strawberries
about 10 blueberries
Some sort of juicing tool (you could also use your hands to squeeze out the lemon juice)
A fine mesh strainer (a standard colander may work as well)
Something to mash the berries (we just used the back of a spoon)
Something to hold it all (a bowl or cup)
And here is how we did it (I’ll BOLD the things Alexander was able to do):
Roll the lemons on the table, to release the juices a bit.
Cut the lemons in half.
Use a juicer (or your hands) to squeeze out the lemon juice.
Pour the lemon juice through a strainer to separate the pulp and seeds.
Put the strawberries and blueberries into the strainer.
Use a spoon to smash the strawberries and blueberries to get out as much juice as possible. You could stick them into a blender or food processor, then strain it that way. Or, heck, if you have an actual juicing machine, use that. I wanted to get up close and personal and let him do stuff, so we stuck to doing it by hand.
Stir the juices.
Pour a little juice into a cup.
Pour some water into the same cup to dilute it.
It’s pretty and tasty and fun. You should try it! And if you do, tag me in it so I can see.
You know how sometimes you make a recipe, it’s awesome, and then you forget about it? Then way down the road, you make it again and think, “DANG that’s awesome. Again. Why the heck did I wait so long to make it again?”
That’s this recipe. I don’t know why I waited so long to make it again. It’s so good! And honestly, pretty darn quick. You can finish it in 30 minutes or less.
Shrimp is a shellfish, so it’s a potential allergen. The yogurt sauce (which can just be left off for a younger babe) is dairy (though you could probably use a soy or coconut yogurt with similar results). And the shrimp are fried; you could use any sort of flour to coat them. We used regular all-purpose flour, but you could use almond flour or even coconut flour. You can also use cornmeal.
Here’s your recipe!
INGREDIENTS (these are approximate!!)
1 pound of peeled and deveined shrimp (medium or large)
1-2 eggs (start with 1 and add another if you need it!)
1/2 cup or so of flour (or cornmeal or whatever) – it’s just for coating, so that’s an approximate measurement
about 3/4 cup plain whole milk yogurt
1 tsp of lemon juice
pinch of salt
1/2 tsp of dried cilantro
1/2 tsp of cumin
1/4 of a cabbage, shredded or chopped finely
Heat some oil (we used coconut) in a skillet. Medium heat is good.
Beat the eggs in a bowl and put the flour in a second bowl.
Dip the shrimp in eggs, then flour, then place them in the skillet.
Once browned, flip them. Let them cool on a wire rack if you have one!
While the shrimp are cooking, make your yogurt sauce. Just mix the yogurt, lemon, salt, cilantro, and cumin in a bowl.
Also shred your cabbage and slice or mash your avocado (we sliced ours).
In a tortilla, put some cabbage, avocado, and shrimp, then drizzle the sauce on top.
For a baby, you can place 1 or 2 shrimp, 1 or 2 avocado slices, a few bites of tortilla and cabbage on the tray. You can drizzle the sauce on the shrimp or tortilla if you think your baby will try it like that.