Monday, June 28, 2010

Natural Birth Series: Home Birth

I am pretty mainstream when it comes to medical procedures and never really considered anything other than a regular hospital birth.  I planned to deliver vaginally -- but if there was a problem I was completely open to a c-section if medically necessary.  Luckily, I didn't need a c-section, nor did I require pitocin.  I did, however, opt for the epidural.  I was very fortunate -- my labor was smooth, rather short, and all went well.  (Well, the cord was wrapped around Sophie's neck twice, but Dr. Seigel calmly asked me to stop pushing and quickly removed the cord.)  I have only great things to say about Dr. Seigel and the nurses that cared for me at INOVA Alexandria.  (It's the lactation consultant I'm still pissed at!)  

Every couple envisions the birth of their child differently.  Some are hands off, while others want more control over the situation.  Some don't mind the use of painkillers and monitors, while others don't want to use drugs or monitors of any sort.  Everyone has their reasons and I respect whatever choice a woman makes (well, as long as her decision doesn't impact the health/welfare of the child).  That said, I have contacted some local moms to discuss something that I cannot--natural birthing methods.  I think a lot of women avoid these options out of fear of the unknown.  So, in the event any of you are interested in trying one of these methods or just curious as to what they entail, here's your chance to hear (er, read) why women chose these methods and how their deliveries actually played out.  Thanks to all the moms who contributed their stories!

Zoe's Story: Home Birth

My husband and I are self-confessed control freaks; we are also homebodies.  Part of me thinks we like to stay home because we have more control over the environment.  With this in mind, I can’t believe we didn’t choose to have a home birth sooner rather than wait for our third child.  When I proposed the idea to my husband, his first reaction was one of fear (what if something is wrong with the baby) and neurosis (who will clean up the ‘mess’).  But once I showed him multiple studies citing the safety of home birth and reassured him that the ‘mess’ is handled by the midwife, he was in.  I believe his exact words were “you know I will do anything not to have to leave the house.”

My prior births had been in hospitals.  I had been induced (early) for fear ‘the baby would be too big,’ given epidurals that did not work, and told when, in what position and how to push during labor.  My babies were taken from me for various tests and baths, my husband could not spend the night with me in the hospital and we had to wait on a doctor to be discharged.  While I was often given choices, I was also told which choice would be best and I had believed my doctors and nurses had our best interests at heart.  Sometimes, however, I was not even given choices; things were just done as part of ‘standard procedure.’  After our second child was born, I was angry at the system for making it more about them than about my family. 

I began looking into my options by speaking to a friend of mine who was a doula and my chiropractor, Michelle Pietrantone of Capitol Rehab of Ashburn (  Both had attended home births in our area and were familiar with the process and the midwives.  I read everything on the Northern Virginia Homebirth Community Web site ( and joined their Yahoo group.  When you have a home birth, you are assisted by a licensed midwife.  After meeting with several very competent women, we chose to deliver with Marilee Pinkleton, CPM, LM of TLC Birth

We had not attended any natural childbirth classes, but since it was my third pregnancy and
epidurals had not worked in the past, we were confident we would be prepared for handling the process.  Perhaps the best thing I did to prepare was read Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth.  I firmly believe that any woman, no matter what birthing options she chooses, should read this book.  While Ina May is a midwife and supports natural child birth, the book is also a wealth of knowledge regarding both the history of childbirth and the fascinating science behind a laboring woman’s body.  I have no doubt that my knowledge gained from her book gave me the peace of mind to deliver a baby without the use of medical intervention.

For prenatal care, Marilee and her assistant came to my home for each of my prenatal visits.  They were able to use a Doppler so I could hear the heart beat, could order all of the same tests as if I were seeing an OB, and could advise me on supplements and foods I could be taking to maintain optimal health.  Our visits were usually an entire hour or more in length, during which we were able to discuss anything that was going on with me and my pregnancy.  They presented me with every option and scenario possible, and gave my husband and me time to discuss and decide what we wanted to do.  Because I had contracted Lyme disease during my pregnancy, I needed special tests done on the placenta and cord blood.  We also chose to bank our cord blood.  Marilee was able to handle all of this for us.  We were able to call them or e-mail them, night and day, and received answers within the hour.  When I came down with H1N1 during my pregnancy, Marilee made a special visit and called several times a day to check on me.  By the time I delivered, it felt like they were a part of the family. 

To prepare for the big day, I was given a list of supplies I would need in the home for delivery.  A majority of the items I already had, and the remainder I was able to purchase from our local pharmacy.  Two weeks before my due date, Marilee put everything together and walked me through what I could expect.  I have never felt more secure or more prepared to have a baby.

On the day our baby girl was born, my husband and I spent the morning playing with our two boys and enjoyed our last day of being just the four of us.  I called Marilee to tell her I was having contractions, and she recommended I touch base with her in several hours and let her know how things progressed.  We took the kids for a walk and had early lunch. By 11:00 a.m., my contractions began to increase in severity and timing, so we touched base with Marilee again.  My husband and I began to make phone calls to rouse the troops who had offered to attend the delivery and bake cookies to pass the time.  We found a play date for our oldest child to get him out of the house, and a sitter for our younger son for when he woke from his nap.  At noon, I went upstairs to my bedroom to see if taking a bath would make me more comfortable while my husband waited for our son’s friend to pick him up.  Words cannot express how comforting it was to be laboring in my home, in my own clothes, walking barefoot on my carpet rather than pacing the institutional halls of a hospital in slippers I would surely throw out after being on hospital floors.

At 12:40 p.m., my water broke and we knew the baby would soon be with us.  Marilee and her assistant laid out pads on the floor, and checked the baby’s heart rate.  I found that kneeling with my head on my bed, as if I was praying, was the most comfortable position, and they worked around me.  I could smell the cookies my husband and I had been baking, I was in the comfort of my home only surrounded by people I know and love, and I could eat and drink all I wanted.  When I felt the urge to push, I pushed and after three intense pushes, our baby arrived.  My husband ‘caught’ the baby, announced “It’s a Boy” and handed the baby to me.  The baby and I were helped into bed, and he was covered with blankets and rubbed until we heard a soft cry from his first breath.  Eric and I took turns holding our bundle, while Marilee and her assistant took care of the placenta and cord.  Periodically, the baby and I were checked to ensure we were doing well.

An hour and a half passed and we could not agree on a name, so Marilee suggested getting the baby’s weight and length so we could at least give that information to our friends and family.  Up until this time, no one had held our child except my husband and me.  At the edge of our bed, Marilee placed our baby and opened his blankets and began to laugh.  She gave him back to me, and suggested I take a good look at my baby.  When I opened the blankets for the first time, I discovered that he was a SHE!  The laughter in our bedroom at that moment could be heard for miles.  Around this time, our youngest child woke from his nap and our older son came home from his play date.  In the comfort of their parent’s bedroom, they were able to meet and hold their baby sister for the first time.  Marilee and her assistant stayed with us for several hours to ensure both the baby and I continued to do well.  A friend brought us dinner, and helped get our sons to bed.  My husband, our new baby girl and I fell asleep together in our home.

The next day and one day a week for the next six weeks, Marilee and her assistant came to visit both the baby and me.  During that time we were given full exams, all state-required testing and labs were done on the baby, and we were given assistance on nursing and nutrition.  Neither my baby nor I had to leave the home to go to a doctor’s office; I did not have to leave my other children to see a doctor, either.  Marilee also filled out and submitted all paperwork necessary for our daughter’s birth certificate and social security number.

While I understand home birth is not for everyone, I hope one day it will be just as easy an option as hospital birth.  We were lucky in that the state of Virginia allows home births, that there are midwives willing to train for home birth, and that there are some doctors who support home birth and are comfortable stepping in should the laboring mother have to transfer to a hospital.  We were also lucky in that our insurance paid for most of the $3500 delivery (less than half of what it costs to have a baby in the hospital).  Finally, we were lucky to have such a great network of friends and family who supported, even applauded, our decision.  Again, I wish it was not luck, but ‘standard operating procedure.’

My husband and I are now huge advocates of home birth and are more than willing to talk to anyone about why we chose home birth and how happy we are with the experience.  In our opinion, hospitals are where you go when you are sick or need surgery.  A baby should be born at home.

Zoe B (36)
Ashburn, VA

Friday, June 25, 2010

Third Trimester Necessities & Recommendations

Drink lots of water. Hot weather + too little H2O  = UTI.  Bad UTI = kidney infection.  Kidney infection = pre-term labor.  Been there, done that.  Not fun.

More Tums (or whatever antacid your doctor allows)
As odd as it may sound, many women eat less during their third trimester than previous trimesters.  Two reasons mainly: there just isn’t that much room left to eat a bunch of big meals and, well, heartburn.  Everything gives me heartburn now.  It sucks.  Example: My husband and I went to Carmine’s in Atlantic City a few weeks ago and we ordered two entrees—truly gluttonous since it’s a family style restaurant and each entrée can feed 2-3 people.  However, my husband was starving and we just assumed that I would be able to chow down as per usual.  It was embarrassing.  My husband made a huge dent in the food, while I had like five bites.  I was stuffed and just uncomfortable.  Despite not eating very much, painful heartburn kicked in within an hour.  Argh!! 

I just cracked opened my second bottle of Tums this pregnancy and don’t go anywhere without them.  If this happens to you, just keep some antacid on hand! Also, consider eating less, but more frequently.  You still need those extra calories for the baby--this is an intense and important fetal growth period. Also, walk around after having a meal so you can digest better, staying seated for too long can increase your chances of a tummy ache.

New Shoes
Shoes feeling snug?  Well, I hate to break it to you but your arches may have fallen and your feet may have widened.  Suhweet, huh? Fortunately summer shoes are more forgiving than winter shoes, but you may feel it in your sneakers and dress shoes.  Also, you’ll probably want to wear comfortable/supportive shoes more frequently now, especially if you are a lover of high heels.  Having lower back pain?  Feet/ankles swelling?  The heels might be causing it.  I am totally guilty of not wearing proper shoes during pregnancy so I can’t preach too much about this one.  I wear flip-flops (hardly supportive) a lot and wore stacked espadrilles a few times last month. While I doubt I’ll kick the flip-flip habit, I think I am done with espadrilles for the season.  I was in crazy pain (back, legs, hips) after wearing them for two hours!

New Bras/Nursing Bras
I love wearing my maternity tank tops.  I’ll wear it alone or under just about everything I wear—a definite upside to a summer pregnancy.  However, the built in bra band in the tank has become too constrictive and is causing discomfort and heartburn.  The next size up is way too big so I am going to have to break out my nursing bras or get a few new ones.  Might be time for a proper bra fitting as well!  Medela and Bravado have great bras.  Oh and I mentioned this before, but it bares repeating – sleep bras – get a few! They are relatively flimsy but they hold the girls in at night and make sleeping more comfortable.  I wore mine for months after as well when I was nursing. 

Childbirth Classes
If you haven’t taken a childbirth class by now you should, um, really get moving on this.  Most classes last 4-6 weeks (1 night a week for a few hours) and you probably want to finish the class before having the baby!  We cut it kind of close last time and I was pretty nervous towards the end.  What class should you take?  Well that’s up to you. If you are planning a regular hospital birth and not a natural or home birth, then your doctor’s office or local hospital can probably recommend a class.  I will post some in the next two weeks as well. If you are planning to follow a specific natural birthing method, then you will want to take a class for that method (Bradley, Alexander, etc).  Next week I begin posting birth narratives by local women who chose different natural birthing methods.  The posts I have received thus far all have great local resources.

Hospital Tour
Usually a part of your childbirth class -- if it isn’t ask your Ob/gyn to set up a tour so you know exactly where to go when you go into labor.  The tour usually shows you a labor/delivery room, a recovery room, the lactation consultant’s office and nursery.   They also cover everything from parking and entrances to maternity ward security.  This may seem like superfluous information, but it is actually extremely helpful to know since you could wind up there in the morning or middle of the night, and let’s be honest, six centimeters dilated, mid-contraction is not the time you want to find out entrance B is closed for the night!  I can’t tell you how much the tour eased my anxiety.  I am a planner and need to know where I am going and what I am doing before I do anything.  Being able to see the room and visualize the event was extremely helpful and calming to me.

Register/Order Nursery Furniture
If you’re having a baby shower I’m sure you’ve registered by now.  If not, get on that ASAP!  If you are buying new baby furniture it could take up to four weeks to come in—so you may want to order it soon!  If it doesn’t come in until after the baby is born don’t freak out—the baby will most likely be in your room in a bassinet or pack and play for the first few months.

Pack Hospital “Go Bag”
This is the bag of everything you’ll need at the hospital for your delivery and after.  My childbirth class instructor actually recommended packing two small bags so things don’t get too confusing.  One is for mom and dad to get through the delivery (contacts/glasses, water, birthing ball, chap stick, camera, video, music, magazines, nursing bras, socks, etc).  Bag two comes into play on day two and includes toiletries for first shower, change of clothes for mom, baby’s first outfit, etc).   While I know there are many stores/sites out there that offer pretty hospital pjs for mom post baby—I wouldn’t get too extravagant—they’re going to get ruined. E-mail me if I need to explain this further. Here’s a website that offered a pretty thorough checklist

* I totally forgot this when I first posted - pack your favorite shampoo/conditioner and body wash or soap!  I can't tell you how comforting it was to use my own stuff when I took that first shower after delivering Sophie.  I felt refreshed and ready to take on my new life as a mommy.   It definitely beat using their little scentless soap and shampoo.  Also pack socks!

Birth Plan and Delivery Day Plan
These are two very different things. The Birth Plan is your plan for your delivery.  You can write your own or find a template online.  Some are cut and dry, while others are very very detailed.  You don’t have to do this.  However, if you do, you must talk to your ob about your “birth plan” and pass it by them at one of your appointments PRIOR to going into labor!  Not all doctors/hospitals will/can abide by your birth plan! Know in advance what requests your doc/hospital will accommodate to avoid any conflict when you get to the hospital.

A delivery day plan is between you and your husband/significant other. Basically it’s just a game plan for when your water breaks. Know where your “go bag” is, what route you are taking to the hospital, how long it will take to get to the hospital, have someone lined up to feed/walk any pets, etc.  If you are being induced or having a scheduled C-section then this may not be as pressing since you actually know when you are giving birth. 

Post Delivery Visitor Strategy
Schedule your family visits now so you have help, but aren’t overwhelmed—especially if your relatives are from out of town and will be staying with you!  I had four people staying at my house four days after having Sophie.  Only one was really helpful (my mom) and it caused a considerable amount of stress for my husband and I.  Talking about it now with your parents, in-laws, friends and family will make the situation much more relaxed and manageable.  If you wait until you go into labor and everyone descends upon you—it’s pretty much impossible to have any control over the situation without hurting someone’s feelings.  You are also much more likely to meltdown on someone! Not that I did that or anything!  It’s great to see family, but what you will really need post-partum is help around the house and sleep.  Lazy/high maintenance family members need not apply. 

Post Delivery Meal Strategy
Ok, I didn’t think about this one that much last time because I knew my mom was coming for a while.  This time she’ll only be with us for a week and will have to watch (er, run around after) Sophie most of the time.  My mom and I are both going to make a few things ahead of time that we can freeze. Also, my neighborhood Moms Club (Shout out to Alexandria West Moms Club) has a meal program, Sunshine Meals, where moms in the neighborhood can volunteer to make meals and deliver them to the family.  Fingers crossed this program doesn’t suddenly go belly up right before I am due!  Belly up—kind of funny?

Outside Help
Family live on the West Coast?  You might need to call in local reinforcements those first few weeks if your budget permits.  Consider hiring a doula to help you out until you get back on your feet.  Depending on how you deliver, your recovery could take nearly 2 months.  Even with an easy delivery you still can’t drive for about a month!  I will hopefully post a list of doulas and mommy’s helpers in the next few weeks.  Also, if there isn’t a Moms Club or anyone to make meals for you, you might want to consider a homemade meal delivery service like Let’s Dish (Alexandria, Fairfax & Ashburn) or Entrée Vous so you eat some balanced meals and not a just pizza and fast food those first few weeks.  (Thanks for the recommendation Zoë!)

Ladies: If this is your second child, do have any other 3rd trimester necessities/recommendations you think I should add?

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Another Massive Crib Recall

Ouch, another 2 million drop-side cribs have been recalled! Brands include: Evenflo, Delta, Child Craft, Jardine, LaJobi, Million Dollar Baby, Simmons.  Please check to see if yours in on the list!

Here's the full list:

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Moody Mamas on Groupon NY today

My friend, Laura, found this deal on the NY Groupon site.  It's an online credit so it shouldn't matter where you are when you buy it.

$110 clothing credit for $50 @ Moody Mamas
Moody Mamas has some pretty cool maternity clothes designed by Project Runway winner, Christian Siriano.

Here's the link to the Groupon:

Here's the Moody Mamas site:

Down, but not completely out

Hi Ladies,
Sorry I haven't posted much in the past two weeks.  I managed to pick up bronchitis when I was on vacation (yipee).  I also just hit the 30 week marker and am really feeling it now.  Second trimester was such a tease -- I was seriously a big ole bundle of energy until the day third trimester rolled around.  Now, I am definitely a little slower, way more tired, and can't sleep or eat much because my heartburn is back with a vengeance! So, I've been a non-sleeping, hacking mess at night for the past week.  I am on the mend, but I am way behind on posts.  

That said, I have posts on buying formula and diaper cream in the area, as well as a third trimester necessities post, and natural birthing options guest posts on deck.  Others in the works.

Anything in particular you all want me to research/look into?  Write in comments or shoot me an e-mail

Monday, June 21, 2010

Prego Fashionistas: This One's For You

Ok if you are looking for some high end maternity clothes, denim, or a really nice diaper bag--but can't bring yourself to spend the cash on something you're only going to wear for like 7 months (or use for like a year)--you might want to check out Gilt Groupe's sale today.  Gilt Groupe is an online private sale club.  You sign up (free) and each day you are sent the deals of the day/week.  The prices are up to 70% off retail.  I bring this up today because my friend alerted me to some awesome stuff going on sale starting at noon today.

Here's what they have going on sale today:

Paige Premium Denim - Maternity
Chaiken Maternity & Diaper Bags
Mia Bossi Diaper Bags
+ More

Here's the link:
Scroll down to the bottom to see today's sales

If you are a subscriber I already sent you an invite to join-just click through.

Also, today's VA Groupon is for The Denim Bar, a high end denim shop in Arlington.  For $50 you get  $125 credit toward jeans.  They carry Paige, Citizen, Joe's, J Brand, Hudson, among others.  I'm thinking I might gift myself this now and then I'll have some motivation to lose the baby weight since I have to use the credit by Dec 20!

There are lots of great online private sales like Gilt Groupe, but for kids and moms! I'll talk about that another day!
Have a great day!

Yummy/Yucky Pregnancy Side Effect #6: Feet/Cankles

Maybe your shoes were too big before and they fit now! Maybe your ankles were too thin?

Fat, flat, feet. Your feet swell as your pregnancy advances and many women’s arches also fall during pregnancy making it necessary for some women to buy shoes that are a size larger or wider.  I can’t say this one changes after you have the baby…I wore a 7.5 shoe before Sophie and I pretty much wear all 8’s now.

As for the cankles (calf/ankles).  I have been ok in this department with only occasional ankle swelling.  If your ankles swell up--talk to your doctor to make sure it isn't a sign of something more serious (preeclampsia). If it's not, then you'll probably be told to elevate your legs, drink more water, and move around more frequently if you sit at a desk all day.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Cameron Station Festival in the Park – This Saturday – June 19th!

Main Street, Cameron Station  - Alexandria, VA

Just wanted to let you all know about Cameron Station’s Festival in the Park this Saturday from 9am-4pm.More than 52 Vendors will be at the festival selling jewelry, handbags, clothing, makeup, stationary, flowers, food, kids clothing, accessories, toys and more!

Expecting Inside the Beltway will have a booth near the Cameron Club along with Bean & Banana, and Body, Mind & Sole! We’ll have hand knit baby blankets and hand knit hats and scarves for children.  Body, Mind & Sole will of course be offering chair massages and introducing Sozo, a new functional beverage with anti-oxidants, immune system support, anti-inflammation, adrenal & endocrine system support,  and phytonutrinets from 8 veggies & 9 fruits! Oh, and 529 Kids Consign will be right next door!  My Three Cuties (adorable burp cloths, blankets, and accessories) will be there as well! Come see us!

Come early! Beat the crowd and the heat!

Ok so the link I included didn't give much info! Sorry! Here's a list of vendors:

1. Armine’s Designs (Ribbon Base Hand Knitted Scarves & Beaded Accessories)
2. Pam Glascock (Mary Kay Cosmetics)
3. Mystic Lines (Beaded Jewelry)
4. Bijouterie RL (Handcrafted Native Jewelry)
5. My Three Cuties, LLC (Baby Items and Displays)
6. Lily Dog and Wolf Run Studios (Breed RelatedGifts/Note Cards&
Collars & Leads)
 7. Hemstitching forYou (Hemstitched Baby & Doll Blankets)
8. Crafted Elegance (Holiday/Seasonal Wreaths & Decorations)
 9.Lisas Pieces (Handmade Jewelry & Magnets)
10. Silpada Designs (Sterling Silver Jewelry)
11. Yelling Moon Designs (Children’s Clothing)
12. C. Rainey’s Jewelry (Hand-made Jewelry)
13. As if Bags (Handmade Cotton Tote bags, & Cosmetic Bags)
14. Sovereign Treasures (Hand PaintedGlass, Wood, Leather, & Silver Jewelry)
15. Amy Joseph (Photography-Black & White and Color Event &Portrait)
16. Close to My Heart (Paper Crafting Supplies& Handmade Crafts)
17. Baubles and Bottles (Jewelry & Bottle Lamps)
18. Crepe Deli Catering (Crepes & Lemonade; German Food)
19. Zenpawz.LLC (Aromatherapy Pet Products)
20. Sideways Lady (Hairclips & etc.)/Dove Chocolate (Chocolates)
21. Guata Java, LLC (Coffee, Coffee Gift Baskets)
22. J*Lux “The Mobile Boutique” (Jewelry/Accessories)
23. Arbonne International (Skin Care, Cosmetics, & Treating Wellness)
24. My Daddy Puzzles (Handcrafted Wooden Puzzles)
25. Premier Designs (Jewelry)
26.Classic Caters (Chicken and Veggie Wraps & CookieBags)
27.Pebbles (Flowers & Limited Fresh Vegetables)
28. Fast Snail (Fine Stationary, Greeting Cards, Prints, & Pillows)
29. Fun Flower (Handmade Flowers, Butterflies, & Small Accessories)
30. Beading Buddies (Handmade Beaded Jewelry)
31. Scentsy (WicklessCandles, Ceramic Warmers & Home-Fragrance Products)
32.Jockey Person to Person of Jockey Int. (Women’s Clothing)
33. Flamboyan Designs
34. Beijo Handbags
35. Up Town Bakery (Fresh Pastries and Breads)
36. Old Smokey &Hole Schmear  (BBQ)
37. Pearl Fine Teas (Organic Teas& Honey)
38. Wayqi Craft Peruvian Arts (Peruvian Handicraft)
39. Usborne Booksand More (Children’s Educational Books)
40. Ceramic Crafts (Hanging Lanterns, Wind Chimes, Goblets, & Night Lights)
41. Avon (Bath & Body Fragrances
42. Kayvee International, Inc. (Scarves & Tunics)
43. Lydibug Designs (Baby Bibs, Wallets, Lanyards, & Scrabble Tile Pendants)
44. Peruvian trend Co. (Handcrafted Accessories)
45. Soul Cakes by Tanya (Cakes)
46. 529 Kids Consign (Kids Clothing)
47. Kalyan (Fashion Accessories for all Ages (Children’s Shoes/Dresses)
48. Bliss Jewelry and Gifts (Mobil Showroom) & Bliss-
49. Expecting inside the Beltway/Kristi’s Creations/Bean & Banana/Body, Mind & Sole (Hand knit baby blankets, massage)
50. Woof 4 Walks (Dog Walking & Pet Sitting Service)
51. Democrats

Hope to see you there!

EITB is now on Twitter

Follow me on Twitter at ExpctingBeltway!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

The Skinny On: Baby Wipes

If you’ve got a baby in diapers, you no doubt need baby wipes (or a whole lot of wash cloths).  If you have a baby shower, you will inevitably get some wipes, which will help you in your quest for the perfect paper to touch your baby’s tushy.  It shouldn’t be this confusing to choose wipes, but alas, it is.  Both Pampers and Huggies offer at least four different types of wipes with a few variations in name/ingredients (Sensitive, Fresh Scent, Refreshing, and Extra Thick/Soft).  Luvs (god love em) only offers one. 

I would recommend using a sensitive non-scented wipe for the first few months until you’ve figured out whether baby has allergies.  I preferred the Pampers Sensitive wipes because they were very soft/gentle and unscented.  But they are definitely not the cheapest.  I have used the Huggies non-scented before but I found them to be very rough and wound up using them as hand wipes and kept them in the car for emergency blow outs.  But to be fair to Huggies, there’s a good chance they were just regular unscented Huggies wipes and not the sensitive kind. 

Once your little one is a couple months old and you know he/she isn’t allergic to the scented kind, there are a plethora of options based on scent and soothing ingredient (aloe, shea, baby fresh scent, etc).  You’ll also notice that some wipes are bigger than others.  Size mattered to me more than scent . Basically you want to find one that works on baby’s bottom and doesn’t make you gag or leave your hand covered in poo.  I have become fond of Luvs wipes.  They are big, they work well and they don’t have an overpowering scent. Oh, and they are a great price!  My husband recently bought Pampers Swipers when we were at the beach and while they were big, I found the smell way overpowering and sweet. (I didn’t include in the chart b/c they aren’t sold everywhere and are for older babies…I think). 

So I checked out the cost of wipes at 7 local stores – 3 wholesale clubs (BJs, Costco, & Sams Club), 2 Baby superstores (Babies R Us and Buy Buy Baby), and 2 discount stores (Target, Walmart).  In addition, I also looked at the cost of wipes online at and I tried to compare apples to apples as often as I could, but you know how hard the companies make it to do this.  I highlighted the best-priced wipe in each category. 

(Again if this doesn't open for you just e-mail me at and I will e-mail you the spreadsheet)

Best prices overall: BJs & Target

Is it better to purchase wipes at the store or online?

Wholesale Clubs (BJ’s*, Costco, Sam’s Club)
Well if you have the time to do the shopping then buying in bulk from a wholesale club, like BJ’s is very cost effective for wipes as well.  I say BJ’s because they definitely have the largest and best priced selection in Northern VA.  Costco’s selection was awful- they had two types of Huggies wipes in addition to their brand.  However, you have to decide if it’s cost effective for you to join a wholesale club.  Annual fees range from $35-$50 so if you are just buying diapers there – it might not be cost effective.  I get my diapers, wipes, formula, coffee, paper products, etc there so it works out for me.  The wholesale clubs also offer $3-$4 wipes coupons every few months.

Babies R Us & Buy Buy Baby
I really don’t like buying my wipes here. They don’t have the best prices and they only occasionally have coupons that make it worthwhile.  Buy Buy Baby doesn’t even really try to corner the market on wipes—they too have very few offerings.  Babies R Us does have sales and offers coupons pretty regularly, but in general the cost less elsewhere.

Target* & Walmart
Target and Walmart also have good prices, but the Target’s in our area had a larger selection.  Target’s wipes came out to be a great value (comparable to BJs prices) Target also puts their wipes/diapers on sale pretty frequently and offer coupons every 3 or so months.

Online (
I’d usually say that if you’re working and totally pinched for time, it’s probably easier and more cost effective for you to order online--BUT not when it comes to wipes. and prices were awful compared to the other stores.  For example, Pampers 770 count wipes cost $17 at BJs and $26 on Amazon.  Huggies Soft Skin 600 count wipes cost $15 at BJs and $30 on Amazon! 

However, both & deliver to your door and you can set up an automatic delivery schedule.  Very convenient. often has an offer going on and has free delivery on orders over $49 (so just order your wipes and diapers together).  I’ve found that the prices and selection on Amazon are not as stable as, however if you subscribe you save 15% on your orders and get free delivery—which would make their prices a bit better. 

Supermarkets/Convenience Stores
While both put diapers/wipes on sale from time to time, the packages are very small and usually don’t compare to the savings you get at the discount and wholesale stores. Only buy diapers, wipes and formula at the supermarket if you are in a pinch or if they go on great sale—otherwise you are wasting your money.  You’ll pay a lot more  

Where to buy wipes in the DC area:

BJ’s Locations
Alexandria, Fairfax, Woodbridge, Fredricksburg
Waldorf, Columbia, Bowie

Costco Locations
Arlington, Springfield, Fairfax, Potomac Mills, Chantilly, Manassas
Beltsville, Gaithersburg

Target Locations
Columbia Heights
Alexandria (2), Falls Church, Skyline, Springfield, Fairfax, Manassas, and a whole lotta other places
Rockville, Columbia, Gaithersburg, etc

Babies R Us
Alexandria, Falls Church, Woodbridge, Waldorf, Chantilly, Silver Spring, Sterling

Buy Buy Baby
Rockville, MD
Springfield, VA

Alexandria, Burke, Fairfax, Woodbridge, Manassas
Waldorf, Columbia, Germantown, Landover Hills, and more

Sam’s Club
Woodbridge, Sterling
Waldorf, Gaithersburg, Laurel, etc

Friday, June 11, 2010

On Vaca With My Family...

...I've got nothing good for you today.  

Just a couple of random thoughts:

1- If you're pregnant with your first -- enjoy what alone time you have left with your husband --  Things really do change with kids.  Read a book, go for a walk, have a nice dinner together, go on a long weekend, etc.  Do something for yourselves before the baby comes.   

2-Entered my third trimester this week and I am officially uncomfortable.  Baby girl has been kicking me non-stop for the past few days as well.  I should probably also cut back on the Dot's Donuts and Shriver's fudge.  My eating tour of the Jersey Shore isn't helping the situation.

Will be back next week with a post on Wipe comparisons in the area, and a  new Yummy/Yucky.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Yummy/Yucky Pregnancy Side Effect #5: Nails

My nails grow fast and I actually have adult looking nails.

My nails grow fast and if I don’t cut them constantly I look like Wolverine.
A few other issues with nails – they sometimes break/split easily and sometimes your nail bed changes. Oh and manis and pedis don't last but a week or two because your nails grow so fast!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Last day to book discount maternity photo session with Kelly Smith Photography

Exclusively for Expecting Inside the Beltway Fans/Followers *
$150 Maternity Photo Session (value: $375) 
Kelly Smith Photogrpahy

Package Includes:
30 minute maternity session 
5 hi-res images of their choice on a CD (printable up to 8x10)
Online password protected gallery of images (approx 25) to view & purchase from
Sneak peek on blog 

Must mention Expecting Inside The Beltway when booking session
Must book by June 8th to receive this offer (reminder-Kelly is not available in July)

(979) 574-0303
*cannot be combined with any other discount or package

Monday, June 7, 2010

20% discount at Spa on the Hill for EITB subscribers/followers!!!

New Preggiepon!

Spa on the Hill has been kind enough to offer EITB followers/subscribers 20% off any massage service!

For more info and to book online go to:
(if you book online you must use the above link to get the discount!)

Tel: (202) 543-5950

Remember to subscribe and mention EITB when booking your service!

Thank you Spa on the Hill!