Stain Removal Guide for Kid’s Clothes

Stain Removal Guide Kid's Clothes - Mama Bird Box Blog

Parenthood brings a new set of chores (ahem… laundry). Whether it’s juice stains or stubborn, set-in gum we hope this tutorial will help. Here are a few tips and tricks to cleaning your little ones’ garments and getting those stubborn stains out.

Stain removal

Fruit juice:

It happens often, spilt juice down the front of a little one’s shirt. When that happens, don’t panic.

  • Submerge the piece of clothing into cold water and leave it for about half an hour (do not use hot water).
  • When the time is up apply a little white vinegar to the affected area and let it sit for another half an hour.
  • Throw it into the wash and add a little bleach to the cycle at the right time.

Crayon:

What’s more difficult than cleaning crayon off a garment? Cleaning melted crayon. If that presents a challenge for you, check this out.

  • Remove as much of the crayon as possible by scrapping it off with a dull knife.
  • Lay the garment flat onto white paper towels making sure the stain is facing the towels.
  • Apply WD-40 onto the affected area and let it sit for up to 10 minutes.
  • When the time is up, check the stain.
  • Spray it again, this time rubbing it with a little bit of liquid soap. Rinse well.
  • Machine-wash the garment like you normally would.

Gum:

The dreaded gum isn’t as hard to remove as you may think.

  • The best way to deal with gum situations is to harden the substance by rubbing it with an ice cube for a few seconds/minutes.
  • Scrape as much as you can off with a dull knife.
  • Since you will hardly get all of the gum out of the garment simply by scrapping it apply glycerin or another lubricant to the affected area. It will help to loosen the leftover gum.
  • Continue scraping off the gum with the knife.
  • Afterwards, apply a dab of soap, clean and rinse.
  • Toss in the laundry machine and wash as usual.

Grass:

Ah, grass stains are tough! Who knew that nature can be so harsh on our garments? The thing that makes grass stains so difficult to remove is chlorophyll.

  • Spray the affected area with a pre-wash cleaner.
  • To wash the garment, use very hot water and an enzyme detergent advised by MoveOutCleanLondon SE2.

Glue:

  • Let the glue harden and scrape it off with a knife.
  • If there are still remnants of the glue after you finish scraping off, apply glycerin or another lubricant to the offending area and continue scraping.
  • Rinse well and throw in the wash.

Laundry Detergent Recipe:

When washing your kids’ clothes, you want to stick with kids-friendly products. Make sure to replace your commercial fabric softener with plain vinegar. It is a natural deodorizer, plus it helps remove bacteria and germs, so it actually does double duty. Not to mention, it is eco-friendly. To wash your kiddos’ garments, always opt for laundry detergents that are specially designed with kids. The market offers an abundance of products, and you can make detergent at home. You’ll need:

  • 1 bar of soap
  • ½ cup of OxiClean
  • 1 cup of borax
  • 1 cup of washing soda

Grate the bar, mix it with all the other ingredients in a large container and stir. Store it in a dry, cool place. Use as you normally use a laundry detergent. Use 1-2 tablespoons of the mixture per load.

Additional tips:

If your children play sports, make sure to wash their sports equipment as soon as possible before it has the chance to become a breeding ground or get that unpleasant odor. Always leave the garments outside to air out before you throw them in the wash.


Author: Sebastian Harvey of Move Out Clean London

Encouragement for when Motherhood Doesn’t Come Naturally

Encouragement for when Motherhood just Doesn't Come Naturally - Mama Bird Box - Milk Drunk Blog

I was never a great babysitter. in high school, I much rather would have been spending my summers working for Kilgore’s Pharmacy’s side businesses than taking part in any form of nannying (shout out, Snow Cone Alley and Plant Shack!). I believe “under my skin” is the phrase that best describes where children in my care would typically end up.

Here’s a picture of me around my Snow Cone Alley days…eating a blooming onion.

Encouragement for when Motherhood just Doesn't Come Naturally - Mama Bird Box - Milk Drunk Blog

I wasn’t the pre-teen at family reunions asking to hold the twins and sitting with the adults at the dinner table. I was outside convincing all the kids around my age to come along for adventures in the barn and on the farm equipment or to take part in plays that I was both writing and directing.

I have always been bossy, not parental. Somewhat caring, not nurturing.

I love to throw a party but have to #werk to remember to be a host. It is actual effort for me to tap into my southern heritage and remember to offer guests a glass of water (bless her heart, they say).

Those sweet eCards that spam your Facebook now like to remind us that a woman becomes a mother when she conceives, a man becomes a father when he holds his baby for the first time. Pardon me for poopooing on these gender role expectations, but in my case this was not so.

My whole pregnancy felt surreal at best. There’s a baby in there? It’s part me and part him? It will come into the world? I am to be one of its caretakers?

I did not feel immediately maternal.

I don’t think that all people experience the same thing I did. I whole heartedly believe that there are some men and women in the world who are born with parental instincts. They have been mothers and fathers, in one way or another, their whole lives…searching for someone to nurture, to hold, to raise. I am thankful for this lot of you because I’m certain, for one, that you helped raise me. But, for two, you’ve become my litmus test for knowing what action to take with my own son when and if my motherly instincts haven’t caught up.

WWMD is the bracelet I wear around my arm now…What Would a Mom Do? (JK, but what if…would you wear it? Would you pay me for it? Dibs.)

What I’m trying to say is that I know you exist and I’m grateful.

What I would also like to say is that I know that my breed exists too. We’re the ones that are still waiting to feel like parents long after labor or adoption. The ones that would never quite consider themselves “kid people” unless that kid was their own or in a group of a specific few others…maybe not even then? The ones that have a hard time not talking to 4-year olds like they’re your buddies…not your little buddies…your friends, your peers, small adults if you will.

I think we bring our own strengths to the world, but I think we’re also hesitant to share this reality out loud (especially as women in this culture) because it makes us feel…defective? What chip did they forget to install inside of our mushy mom hearts that makes some of this stuff not entirely natural?

I waited my whole pregnancy to feel like a mom, but figured that if that eCard wasn’t correct, maybe it would come through for me in the “way it does for dads.” Maybe I would become a mom when I held my baby for the first time.

My emotions were likely compromised on the flip side of my two-day long labor. I was tired and hungry and fresh out of surgery when I saw my son for the first time and…whereas I thought my heart would explode into a millions fairies filled with love and world peace in that moment…I looked at him and thought, “That one’s ours?…I should…probably feed him, no?”

It didn’t help that he looked even less assured and comfortable than I was…

Encouragement for when Motherhood just Doesn't Come Naturally - Mama Bird Box - Milk Drunk Blog

Luke and I went to a movie when our baby was a month old and for an hour it felt like it was still just the two of us in life together–incredibly disorienting but also not. We traveled to Galveston when he was four months old and, at that point, I just didn’t feel the distance. My dad said we’d have to fight hard to have anything else to talk about on dates and we just…didn’t…at first.

I have worried on more than 75 different occasions that I’m not “feeling the right feelings” when it comes to parenting. Naturally, guilt has followed.

But now, nine months into motherhood and a year and a half out from conception, I am able to shed most of this specific guilt and see this truth more clearly: I am becoming a momma like I became most significant things in my life…gradually, and through trial and error, and eventually with confidence and conviction. 

Encouragement for when Motherhood just Doesn't Come Naturally - Mama Bird Box - Milk Drunk Blog

It wasn’t when the test read positive. It wasn’t when I first nursed him out of the OR.

It was when he looked up from his bottle and grabbed my chin at the end of a hard day and rubbed it back and forth with his soft, tiny thumb. It was when he sat up in his crib and whimpered “meh-ma, meh-ma” for the first time. It’s the nights that I hold him long after he’s fed and fallen asleep, and I let myself cry (hard) because I am so overwhelmed by his life and the fact that I get to be such a unique part of it. It’s how he’s grafted into this family and I don’t even know when it happened but there is a big void when he’s gone. My hand flies up at the girgly threat of spit-up and I want him to feel loved and challenged and known with every drop of blood coursing through these limbs of mine that wrestle him into pajama pants every night.

I miss him when he sleeps.

I talk to him in the car like he can answer me, excited for the season when he can tell me about his time away.

I am unable right now to fully wrap my mind around this impossible existence of being someone’s mama. He is simultaneously entirely mine, and entirely us, and entirely other…his own being, wholly new to the world, ready to discover and be discovered as we all have done and also as no one else has ever done. I have never felt so fully creator and spectator all at the same time in my entire life.

I am finding myself saturated with this almost uneasy level of undomesticated care, protection, connection, and love for someone I didn’t know a year ago and I helped…to make? In and amongst all of the very real questions, lack of sleep, irritability, and heaviness that is postpartum, lies this kinetic energy slowly building inside of me on behalf of this bundle of humanity I call my son.

Encouragement for when Motherhood just Doesn't Come Naturally - Mama Bird Box - Milk Drunk Blog

(Check out how I made sure he was fed and clothed and in his carseat LIKE A MOM WOULD DO.)

Motherhood wasn’t automatic. And in a lot of ways it still isn’t natural. But it is evolving and deepening while all of the competencies it takes to fulfill this role as parent are also finding their way into my skill set…slowly, surely. With them comes confidence. And with confidence comes a new thing which I now feel I can call instinct.

 

Britney Lee writes and runs Milk Drunk Blog where this article was originally published. Click here to view original.

Choosing the Perfect Diaper Bag + Why Mama Bird Really Does Love Kelly Moore Bags

choosing the perfect diaper bag - photo taken by abi porter

We are in the middle of our Kelly Moore Bag giveaway, and it has me reflecting on the diaper bags I’ve used in the past and why I wished I had used a Kelly Moore Bag all along. Choosing the perfect diaper bag was no easy task.

Picking the right diaper bag is more complex than I once thought. It’s not quite so cut and dry like picking out a purse or wallet. Style must be considered, yes, but also function, there’s a lot of function – like, how do you hold your baby and diaper bag? Do you need something that has a shoulder strap, cross-body, or both? I learned that I needed a cross-body that comfortably sat on my left hip because I help my babies on my right hip, but you may be annoyed at a bag flopping around with every step you take. Do you want a flap so you can keep your bag unzipped without someone knowing, or are you no nonsense when it comes to getting something out of your bag and a flap only slows you down? How much are you really going to organize in all of those little interior zipper pockets? Maybe a lot, maybe a little. How do you handle multiple babies and a diaper bag? Let me make this one easy for you. Backpack.

choosing the perfect diaper bag | Image of Kelly Moore Bag for Mama Bird Box Blog

I’ve tried various diaper bags through my years of carrying a diaper bag. I started off with a style that had a floral design and one tiny interior zipper pocket. The floral design was issue number one. I was working at the time so my husband and I traded out having our daughter on a regular basis. He really didn’t have an issue with carrying around a floral bag, but it just didn’t look like him. So then we tried the his and hers bags method, but that didn’t work for us either. We were always forgetting to switch over the one item things, and it just became too much of a hassle. Issue number two: I don’t need all the pockets in the world, but I need some. One tiny one was simply not enough.

Image of Kelly Moore Bag for Mama Bird Box Blog

So we moved on to a more utilitarian styled bag with 4 large interior pockets, 4 outside pockets, and a bland style. This thing looked like a diaper bag. I loved the function, but not the style. Function won out in this case. The bag was what we needed; it wasn’t too big or too small though I was really good at stuffing it with all of the “just in case” items. This drove my husband crazy. In sincere gratitude, I credit him with teaching me how to minimize and focus on the necessities. You’d think I’d have learned this from my mother who is a true master of simple packing but always having just what you need. I somehow bypassed that lesson from her, but the father of my children had a lot more to say about my, I mean “our” overstuffed bag, so I learned to minimize.**

After our second kid was born, I treated myself to a more feminine looking diaper bag since I stopped working then and got to be the primary carrier of children and said bag. Honestly, I don’t remember how this diaper bag functioned because I just don’t remember that first year. I don’t even remember what brand of diaper bag it was. Whatever it was, it was fine. It just didn’t make my baby sleep and that was the true magic that was missing.

And then I was gifted a Kelly Moore Bag by my sister-in-law, which I still use as my everyday purse. Kelly Moore Bags were designed by a photographer who wanted a more stylish camera bag, couldn’t find one, so she started designing them herself. choosing the perfect diaper bag | why mama bird box loves kelly moore bagBut Kelly Moore is also a mom so whether she meant to or not, she designed these bags with all the bones needed for a good diaper bag. Most of the bags come with both short and long straps for you to choose. The compartments are adjustable and removable. Most all of the bags have a built-in card holder on the back. It’s a subtle feature, but so convenient; checking out at a store one-handed is a breeze. And, it’s easy to find a style that works for you, or you and your husband if the case may be, and it’s classic so you might not have to go through 4 different diaper bags over the course of 3 years like I did. And *cough cough* the Collins Bag is a great choice for any mom-to-be so pop over to the giveaway for a chance to win and find out for yourself how great this bag is.


My Tried and True Diaper Bag Packing List

Diapering Needs:

  • 2 cloth diapers
  • wet/dry bag
  • 2 disposable diaper
  • 3-4 cloth wipes (My prefold cloth diapers eliminated the need for an additional burp rag. There was rarely an occasion that things started spewing out of both ends.) choosing the perfect diaper bag
  • Squeeze pouch or Boon Spoon with 2 frozen cubes of baby food (I made most of my baby food so this is how I packed it on the go. It was just the right portion. I’d pack it in the morning and by lunch it was thawed. If it wasn’t, I could put the Boon Spoon in warm water.)
    choosing the perfect diaper bag | baby spoon
  • Small container of Puffs choosing the perfect diaper bag | puffs
  • Water choosing the perfect diaper bag | sippy cup
  • Sophie the Giraffe (chew ring. no squeaks for me)/Finger Puppetschoosing the perfect diaper bag | sophie the girafe chew ring
  • Baby Einstein Take Along Tunes (by no means is this toy Insta worthy, but my kids loved it in the car. Loved it.)

choosing the perfect diaper bag | baby einstein

  • “Indestructibles” baby book or another lightweight book choosing the perfect diaper bag | indestructibles books
  • Lovies 🙂

choosing the perfect diaper bag | lovies