DCPLive is a blog by library staff at the DeKalb County Public Library!


“Make your own baby food?  Are you insane?  Don’t you have enough to do?”

Yes, probably, and definitely.

I probably never would have considered making my own baby food, if my sister-in-law hadn’t done it first.  I’d never imagined such a thing somehow.  Baby food comes in jars, right?  It’s specially formulated for the nutritional requirements of babies…or so I assumed.  As it turns out, a baby food jar of pureed carrots contains…well, pureed carrots.  Expensive pureed carrots, I might add, since you can buy a bag of carrots for a whole lot less.  Once cooked, throw them in the blender, pour them into ice cube trays and freeze, and voila!–you have just created several servings of homemade baby food.

Commercial baby food was first introduced around 1900, but didn’t become more available until around 1930.  It gained in popularity in the latter part of the twentieth century (sounds like a long time ago, huh?) as pre-packaged, processed foods moved to the forefront of the American diet.  Organic baby food didn’t appear in jar form until 1987, however.

So while there’s the option now of less processed, more organic prepackaged baby food, it’s still relatively easy to make your own.  You’ll save money, have more control over what goes into your babe’s tummy, and maybe feel a little smug about your amazing Supermom (or dad) abilities.  It also made me take a closer look at what our family eats, and has led to healthier choices for all of us.  And if you think about it, it’s only a span of three months or so that babies require pureed foods.  Before you know it, Baby will be asking for food off of your plate!

The Library has several good books to get you started:

baby food bibleThe Baby Food Bible: a complete guide to feeding your child, from infancy on by Eileen Behan

This self-proclaimed baby food bible is just that–a comprehensive guide to foods by age as well as a thoughtful look toward healthier eating habits for the whole family.  I just recently discovered this book and am looking forward to trying some of the recipes for toddlers.

Super Baby Food by Yaron

Super Baby Food: absolutely everything you should know about feeding your baby and toddler from starting solid foods to age three years by Ruth Yaron

Yaron’s book is considered by many to be the ultimate baby food guide, although it goes a little overboard in some areas.  It’s essential as a basic what-to-feed-when-and-how guide, though, so mark the pages you’ll use the most (like the list of foods and how to prepare them) and ignore the rest until you need them (and unless you like dessicated liver or making your own finger paints, you may never need everything in this book).

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Apr 20 2009

Got Twins?

by Nolan R

The number of twin and other multiple births is on the rise for various reasons, so the chances that you’ve “got twins” is actually a lot more likely than it was twenty years ago.  This year, the National Organization of Mothers of Twins Clubs, Inc. (NOMOTC) has declared April the first annual Multiple Birth Awareness Month in an effort to create awareness of the special issues facing families of multiples.

When I found out last fall that I was expecting twins, I assumed it was like any other pregnancy–or as my doctor put it–two for the price of one.  I soon found out how wrong I was!  Twin and multiple pregnancies often carry more risks, including preterm labor, preeclampsia, and gestational diabetes.  Pregnancy symptoms like nausea, fatigue, and swelling often increase as well.  Dietary requirements are vastly different for multiples because of the way they gain weight, and may require the expectant mother to follow a 3500+ calorie diet and drink a gallon of water a day!

While your doctor should always be your primary source of information during pregnancy, here are a couple of great books at the Library about expecting and raising twins to supplement your knowledge.

lukeWhen You’re Expecting Twins, Triplets, or Quads: Proven Guidelines for a Healthy Multiple Pregnancy by Dr. Barbara Luke:  Dr. Luke’s recommendations have been shown to result in higher birth weights, fewer complications, and healthier multiples.  Includes recipes and nutritional scalise1supplement suggestions.  Don’t let the dietary requirements scare you! 

Twin Sense:  A Sanity-Saving Guide to Raising Twins–from Pregnancy through the First Year by Dagmara Scalise:  Includes topics such as preparing for birth, feeding, bathing, baby-proofing, creating the best sleeping environment, and traveling.

Check out these links if you’d like more info on the increase of multiple births or to learn more facts about multiples.  Another great source of information and support is your local multiples group, and you can find a list here.

And just in case you were wondering–we’re expecting two girls in a few short weeks, twins don’t run in the family, and we don’t have names yet!


Nov 10 2008

What to Read When You’re Expecting

by Nolan R


Planning for a new baby can be an overwhelming experience.  Not to worry–there are lots of books out there to guide you along your way, whether you’re a first-time parent, a grandparent-to-be, or even a seasoned veteran looking to brush up on the newest trends in pregnancy and parenthood.

Here are my thoughts on a few of the many titles from DCPL’s collection:

What to Expect When You’re Expecting by Heidi Murkoff

Considered by many expectant moms to be the pregnancy bible, this book has been around for over twenty years, but a new 2008 edition has just been published.  The book guides you week by week through your pregnancy, and reveals “what to expect” along the way.  The phrasing is a little cutesy for some people (like my husband!), but the information is useful and easy to understand.

The Baby Gizmo Buying Guide by Heather Maclean with Hollie Schultz

Nothing is more overwhelming for a first-time parent than the endless array of consumer goods available for your new baby.  Some are more necessary than others (cribs, car seats, and diaper bags) but do you really need a baby activity center or a baby backpack?  What about the safety of walkers, wipe warmers, or crib bedding?  These ladies have tried it all and they give it to you straight (with much humor) and tell you what they love (and don’t) about every product.  Check out their website for actual product reviews.

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Dec 27 2007

Baby Slings (no not cannons)

by Ev S

Lately I’ve seen a lot of moms wearing their babies in a sling.  Maybe it’s because I’m expecting my second child and looking for ways to have more freedom of movement to chase my oldest.  He’s four and very fast.  So I started out asking moms what they thought about the slings and what type they were using.  Then I went on-line to see what was out there.  There is so much out there that I now have a headache.  I did find a few sites better than others. 

My favorite site is The Baby Wearer.  This site has reviews on different types of baby carriers and companies, and advice to steer you towards the type of baby carrier that would most suit your needs.  Because let me tell you there are several types of baby carriers! The Baby Wearer breaks the carriers down into 6 basic groups: Asian Inspired Carriers, Other Carriers, Pouches (I call them slings), Ring Slings, Structured Carriers, and Wraps. 

The two most popular slings/pouches at my branch are from New Native Inc. and Hotslings.  The moms rave about these slings.  The New Native already has the pouch for baby sewn into the cloth.  You really have to see it to get the idea.  They have an organic cotton option, which seems to be the most popular of  all their slings.  Hotslings is more for the moms who are fashion forward or just like lots of color in their lives.  They have beautiful and crazy cloth patterns.  They are pretty much a fabric tube that sits across your body.

Both New Native and Hotslings look pretty cool and comfortable, very important things to look for when having a summer baby.  So, I went online and was a little shocked at how expensive they were.  Essentially, they’re just a piece of material sewn into a big loop.  And if you’ve read my posts before, you know I’m cheap.

So I looked to see if there were any free sling patterns on the web.  I found a great site that actually linked to other great sites for sling patterns (all types).  Mamma’s Milk if you can use a sewing machine and read directions, you can make your own sling.  The directions don’t seem to be too complicated if you’ve sewn before.  But if you feel a little overwhelmed by the directions, like myself, you can always just buy a sling from them.  They also have colorful cloths that they use to make slings.  But Mamma’s Milk is about as expensive as all the other slings on the web. 

I’m still cheap!!!  So I looked on eBay, Craigslist, Amazon.com, and other “discount” sites.  Pay dirt!  Amazon was a few bucks cheaper than the home site for Hotslings, and they offered me free shipping.  eBay actually had a ton of slings on their site and I could find some reasonable prices.  Craigslist was a little hit or miss, but that’s normal.  I haven’t headed out to my favorite consignment or thrift shops yet, but that’s my next stop.  Wish me luck!

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