Two in Diapers!

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I haven’t posted about Cloth Diapering much since having baby #2 so I wanted to check in and let you all know how it’s going.

Answer: really well.

But first, if you haven’t read or heard much about modern day Cloth Diapering and you think I’m a crazy hippy and that it’s really weird and difficult and messy, etc., please read my original posts from when we first started with Gwen. It goes over our whole process, all the accessories we use and why we chose to do it in the first place. Unfortunately, some of the pictures I included in those posts have disappeared, but the content is there (and that’s more important anyway):

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So, in anticipation of little Ivor’s arrival, we did  purchase more diapers since Gwen wasn’t (and still isn’t) out of them just yet. Originally we purchased just enough to have to do laundry every other day (about 24 diapers). And that was enough for her. But it’s not enough for 2 kids (unless you don’t mind doing diaper laundry EVERY day…but I didn’t want to do that). So we bought about 12 more. Which ended up being perfect, still doing laundry every other day, or even every 3 days now that Gwen doesn’t go through as many. And I’m pretty confident she’ll be potty trained at some point soon since she’s already showing a lot of interest now (woo!) That’s another post for another day.

If you recall from my previous posts, we use BumGenius 4.0. I have no experience with any other kind. We did a lot of research and decided on those, they worked for us, and we didn’t look back. So I can’t compare them to other brands and styles, but lots of other moms can, and have. If you’re interested in trying cloth, I suggest doing your research, finding those comparison blogs or vlogs, and even going to a baby boutique that sells cloth diapers so you can see them in person first.

In the interest of full disclosure, I do feel obligated to let you know that I had some trouble with our diapers after a few months of use. The waterproof lining inside them started to crack and cause leaks. This could’ve been caused by poor washing and drying (most likely drying, they’re supposed to be line dried, not tumbled), but I always followed the instructions. So I’m not sure what went wrong exactly.  But they were still under warranty so I emailed customer service and they replaced my entire stash and I haven’t had a problem with them since. So, I still very much recommend them and am pleased with their customer service. Yay, Cotton Babies.

So any leaks we experience at this point is always user error: not changing often enough. Having 2 kids, working from home, trying to get dishes and laundry done, keeping a toddler from destroying the house, etc. causes me to forget when the baby was last changed sometimes. “Didn’t I JUST change you?? Oh wait…I guess that was a few hours ago. Oops!” Don’t judge me, you’ve done it too 😛

Anyway, back to cloth diapering….

If you start looking into this method of diapering you might come across an accessory called a diaper sprayer. Well, we’ve managed just fine without ever buying one. If you want to save some $$ on that,  it can be done! Solids can easily be plopped into the toilet, and occasionally you may need to grab some TP and wipe stuff out. No big deal. You’re already wiping poop off a baby’s bottom. Wash your hands and move on.

We still use disposables from time to time while traveling and for overnight. Cloth doesn’t seem to be working for Gwen overnight anymore, so I throw a disposable on her. But disposables always seem to leak overnight for little Ivor. So we do cloth with an extra hemp insert
for him. And some nurseries specifically request disposable diapers, which I find annoying…but whatever. So we keep a stash handy. Big picture, we’re still saving a lot of money.

Having 2 in disposable diapers could be expensive. But 2 in cloth diapers? Not that much more of an added expense. We probably could’ve gotten by with our original 24 diapers, but to make it a little easier on me with the laundry thing, I wanted to buy more. A one-time purchase like that still beats paying for disposables all the time. For us. Remember my disclaimer. I’m not trying to convert you. This is for informational purposes only, for anyone who’s interested.

I cloth diaper, breastfeed and make my own baby food. Because that’s what we decided to do for our family. That’s what works for us.

I always feel like I have to mention that because moms love to get offended by other moms who do things differently.

Anyway, that’s my update. Let me know if you have any questions!

 

 

 

 

 

Accomplishments

If you happen to read my facebook statuses, you’ll probably already know that the stomach bug hit our home a few days ago. The day I posted “Vomit“, I vomited, several hours later. Then the next morning, my brother-in-law (who lives with us right now) also vomited. My husband is the only one who somehow managed to escape the vomit. He felt pretty miserable though so we can still say it hit him.

So that sparked in me a desire to go on a mad cleaning spree and also get some things on our to-do list accomplished this weekend. We have an actual Google “to-do” list I made, as well as a “things-we-need-to-buy-for-Ivor-Alan” list. I’m happy to say that we can now cross a few of those things off! I was never much of a list person…until I became a mom. Now I have lists. Kids change things.

Anyway- we got the crib and the double stroller this weekend. I also got some curtains for the baby’s room. Mostly because their room is the only room in house that gets a ton of sun and it really gets hot in there late in the day. So I got some “blackout” energy efficient curtains. Let’s hope they work! But if not, curtains make a room look more home-y and cozy so it’s still nice to have. And they were cheap. Walmart ftw! Also from Walmart, a crib for under $200…convertible…with great reviews…and it’s Graco…name-brand 😉 Ain’t no shame in shopping at Walmart, especially when you can do it online and not have to be in the actual store lol.

About the double-stroller. Cause who would’ve ever thought I’d be purchasing a double-stroller?! Crazy. After talking to other moms and researching a bunch, we decided on the Contours Options LT Tandem Stroller:

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In that wonderful gender neutral (but leaning more towards masculine) color. Really it was the only color Buy Buy Baby had in stock…and that’s where I had a coupon. So we weren’t complaining! I’ll write a review after actually using it in a few months. But here’s what we were looking for a DS (double stroller): 1. compact when folded so it can fit in the back of our Prius. 2. Compatible with our infant carseat.  3. Not insanely expensive. Those were the 3 must haves. This stroller meets all those requirements. Though I have to say, when open, this thing is a beast…NOT compact while open. Just when folded up for storage, which is the most important thing for us. Reviews say that it’s surprisingly easy to maneuver though. I’m sure it just takes a bit of getting used to the length. Like when you’ve been driving a car for several years and then get an SUV or (gasp) a Mini-van. It takes a bit of time to get used to the longer vehicle. Anyway… other features that we like about this stroller: massive storage basket, stands up on it’s own when folded, lightweight, and there are 6 different seating positions for the babies (6!). The parent cup-holder is apparently flimsy but I’ll just get one of those universal cup-holders to attach.  No big deal.

Next things to buy: bigger diaper bag, a few more cloth diapers, a crib mattress, and some other little things. But I feel better now that the big purchases are out of the way.

8 weeks left, here we go!

 

Cloth Diapering Update

I think it’s time for another post about cloth diapering and how it’s working for us. We’ve entered a new phase, what with solid foods and all. Solids…change things. With the risk of giving TMI, ah whatever…you chose to read a post about diapering so you should expect poop talk. If not, you’re welcome to leave at any time 🙂

For those of you still with me, solid foods obviously change the consistency of the poo. So sometimes the poo is solid enough that I can just plop it in the toilet, ya know…where everyone else’s waste goes. It just seem right. Natural. Then we wash the diapers like we usually do. For the poos that aren’t quite solid enough, we’ve considered getting a diaper sprayer. However, we’ve been managing without it successfully so far. If there’s A LOT of poo, I’ll grab a tissue or piece of toilet paper and remove the majority of it and flush it. This seems to be just fine. The washing machine does just as good a job cleaning them as they did before. No stains, no odors.

We did encounter some leaking issues in the past month or so. Especially overnight. She would soak right through the diaper and her pj’s. So first I tried double-stuffing (putting a 2nd insert in). Didn’t work. Then I tried the stripping thing. I used these instructions. I definitely saw a small difference during the daytime, but it still didn’t quite work for overnight. So I did some more research and heard that hemp inserts are a great solution for overnight heavy wetters. We bought these.  And so far, they are working great!! The nights we’ve used them, no leaks. Last night I forgot to use one, leak. So that indicates to me that the hemp inserts are working. Horray!

She’s also getting bigger so we’ve adjusted the size of the diaper and put in the larger inserts to replace the newborn size. This has seemed to help too. The larger inserts snap adjust so right now part of it is folded over, sort of doubling the absorbency. You can sort of see what I mean in the picture here. The larger inserts of course make the diaper more bulky, but I think it’s adorable. And her clothes still fit over them so it’s really not an issue.

All of that said, I recently found out about an infant potty training class at a local baby boutique. INFANT potty training, people. I am all over that. I’m not sure if there’s another class open in 2013, but I’ll definitely be checking it out as soon as there is one. I’ll be sure to post about it.

In the meantime, check out this new print from bumgenius!! I may have to pick this one up….

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7 Month Update

I haven’t updated since last month because, well, it’s been a bit busy and eventful to say the least. But baby girl is 7 months old now and doing great!

We’re still having breastfeeding issues and decided to supplement with formula because she just wasn’t gaining any weight (she actually dropped off the growth chart completely). I wanted to make sure there wasn’t some other reason for her lack of weight gain which is why we made the decision we did. And thankfully, after supplementing with formula she has started gaining weight again, which is the most important thing. There’s more I can say about this and plan to in future posts, because there’s a lot more to the story. But we’ll leave it at this for now: she’s gaining weight, she’s happy and healthy and we feel we made the best possible decision for her at this time.

Moving on.

Sleep. I vaguely remember what that’s like. It’s cruel really. For 2 months straight she slept through the night. I’m talking 11-12 hours. Then around 5 months she decided…”who needs sleep???”. For the past 2 months, she hasn’t slept through the night once. Sigh. On a good night, she’ll wake up once. On most nights, 2-3 times. I’ve blamed teething. But there are no teeth. I’ve blamed sickness. But she’s healthy. I’ve blamed this “sleep regression” thing people keep telling me about. But is that supposed to last for 2 solid months?! At this point I just keep telling myself “this is a season of life…she’ll be driving before I know it, I will sleep again”.

As far as new things:

*Planking. (The fitness kind). Pretty sure it’s an attempt to crawl. But she’ll get up on her toes and her hands and hold the position for a few seconds. She’s going to have a very strong core.

*Still gets on all fours and rocks back and forth. She’s started moving her knees forward but hasn’t figured out yet that she needs to moves her hands too. It’ll happen soon enough.

*Eating. She still loves her solid foods. We haven’t found anything yet that she doesn’t like. But we’ll be introducing a lot of new things this month so maybe we’ll find something that she turns her nose up to.

*She’s so interactive now, I love it! You can have “conversations” with her. You respond to her, she’ll respond to you. And back and forth it goes. She really is a happy little girl who loves to smile and laugh. She can brighten up anyone’s bad day!

*Loves her reflection. Whenever she sees it on my phone she puts her face right up to it. Same with her little toy mirror. She’s so fascinated. “Who IS that adorable baby? We should be friends!”

*Miss-pees-a-lot. She’s been soaking right through her diapers at night. Time to do some cloth diaper troubleshooting. I’ve tried double stuffing, but she just soaks through both inserts! And for the record, she soaks through disposables too. We’ve tried those. Next to try is hemp inserts. If that doesn’t work, perhaps wool covers. If that still doesn’t work, we may try a fitted cloth diaper of a different brand. Any other CD moms out there have issues at night? If so, what did you find worked well for you? I’m open to suggestions! We have a heavy-wetter on our hands.

*Making more sounds. When I sneak up on her and scare her she literally screams “Ahhh!” and then starts laughing. She also said “daa” once. Ivor was beaming. But she wouldn’t say it again lol.

That’s all for now. I’ll leave you with this face:

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and this one…

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Happy 7 months Gwendolyn Jane!

The Bum Post (Part 2)

I told you there would be more posts coming 🙂 I feel the need to write even more about it because I’m discovering that a lot of people are just uninformed about modern day cloth diapering. Which is why they look at me like I’m crazy for taking on such a “difficult” and “time consuming” task such as this. I understand it though. Before I met a girl at church a few years ago who cloth diapered, I was also uninformed. And looked at her like she was crazy. Then she explained the process, showed me her diapers, and I was no longer uninformed and no longer looked at her like she was crazy. Information is a good thing.

So first of all- modern day cloth diapering does not involve pins (or, it doesn’t have to anyway..I’m sure they still exist somewhere). We’ve come a long way since the first cloth diapers. Cloth diapers now, are pretty much as easy to use as disposables.

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They go on the same way as disposables. But instead of the sticky tabs, you have snaps or velcro. You also don’t get anymore poop on your hands than you would if you were changing a disposable diaper. We all wash our hands after a change anyway, right?

Secondly, the diaper pail is dry. It’s not filled with water. There is no hand washing of the diapers. No soaking necessary. You simply open the can (with your foot if you have that kind of trash can, which I recommend), and drop the diaper in until laundry day. Since we have pocket diapers with inserts, we remove the insert first before dropping them in the pail, but again…we wash our hands anyway so I don’t really mind. I’d rather remove the insert now (with each change), than have to do it one by one before putting them in the washer.

Here is our set up:

diaper pail

The big can on the left is of course where the dirty diapers go, lined with a wet bag. The mini can was a bonus that came with the big can. It worked perfectly for disposable wipes, but since we’ve switched to cloth wipes, it’s just a regular trash can now. And Gwen’s clothing hamper is on the right.

It doesn’t take any longer to change a cloth diaper than it does a disposable (especially once you get really good at snapping…I’m a pro snapper now). Instead of dropping a disposable diaper in a diaper genie, you drop the cloth diaper in the diaper pail w/wet bag. Instead of emptying the diaper genie and taking it to your trash can, you remove the bag of cloth diapers and dump it in the washing machine. The only extra time it takes is going through the washing/drying/stuffing process- stuffing if you have those kind of diapers. And it’s really not that time consuming. Really, it’s not. The washing takes all of 5 seconds to turn the dial a few times and add detergent. Sure, if you line dry you spend a few mins setting that up, but I find it refreshing to go outside on the balcony, get some sun along with the diapers. The stuffing is probably the longest part of the process. But you can do that sitting down in your living room while watching TV. It’s not all that bad. And maybe it’s just me and my weirdness, but I find it rewarding while I’m stuffing the diapers to admire their cleanliness. I look at them and think “this diaper was once filled with mustardy-yellow poop…and now look at them, all white and fluffy like nothing ever happened !” It’s a good feeling. But I can’t speak for everyone 🙂

That’s all for now…I’m sure there will be more. Eventually. Like when Gwen starts solid foods. There’s an accessory called a diaper sprayer that may become a necessity. In the meantime though, we’re enjoying the spray free days 🙂

 

 

 

The Bum Post

At long last, I shall post about cloth diapers! Specifically, our cloth diapers, why we use them, how we use them, etc. But not why YOU should be doing it. That’s not my style.

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Why we use them: to save money. When you’re on a budget and kids come into the picture, you have to decide where you’re going to cut corners. For us, diapering is one of those areas. We weighed the pros and cons, looked at the numbers, and decided it was worth it to us. Sure, you pay a good chunk of money at the beginning to get your initial stash. But then you never have to buy diapers again. Ever. That appeals to me. A lot. For anyone completely new to the CD idea (from here on out *CD stands for Cloth Diapering, or Cloth Diapers), if you buy “one size” diapers that adjust, they last from the time they’re newborns until they’re potty trained. And then you can reuse them for any future children. We spent just under $400 for our stash. That’s $400 on diapers. For the rest of our child-bearing years. If you can get other people to contribute to your stash (baby shower gifts, gift cards, etc.) or you’re okay with the idea of buying used diapers, you can spend even less money.

What we use: there are many different brands and types of cloth diapers. I won’t even begin to go through them all. You can look it up if you’re really interested. After researching and talking to other CD moms, we decided to go with the one size, Bumgenius 4.0 diapers. Specifically, the ones with snaps. We decided to go with snaps instead of “hook and loop” (aka velcro), because they’re more durable, and Gwen will have a harder time trying to unsnap her diaper when she goes through the “screw diapers, I want to be naked all the time” phase 🙂 As far as quantity, we have 24 diapers in our stash. That’s just enough to have to launder every other day. For some, that’s too often. So they buy more to last a little longer. For others who might want to save even more money, that’s about double their stash (which would mean laundering every day). I decided I was okay with laundering every other day. And now over 1 month into it, I’m still okay with it.

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So let’s talk accessories and process: There’s a little more to CDing than just the diaper. You  need to have a “system”. Where will the diapers go until laundry day? How will you launder them? This involves a few accessories. So here’s what we have and here’s what we do:

Steps to CDing in the Griffiths home:

1. Change diaper. It’s not that much different than changing a disposable diaper. Unless you’ve never changed a diaper before in your life, there’s nothing you need to learn here. Just make sure it’s fitted properly otherwise you might have some leakage.

1.2. We used disposable wipes at first, but have now switched to cloth. We use these. If you’re using disposable wipes, you’ll need a separate trash can. If you use cloth, it all goes in the diaper pail (more below). There’s no need to create a “wipe solution” if you don’t want to. Regular water works just fine. We use a spray bottle on a dry wipe and so far it’s working well. Also, we only go through about 1 wipe per diaper change….2 wipes for the big poo’s. I tended to go through WAY more disposable wipes per diaper change.

2. Dirty diaper goes into a diaper pail lined with a wet bag. We use this one (and we bought 2 of them so while one is being washed, one is in the pail). The pail itself is just a round, lidded trash can that we already had for a few years (it was used in our kitchen but then we decided the shape didn’t work well in the kitchen and we replaced it). Anyway, it’s now perfect for CDs.

3. When it’s laundry day, we remove the entire wet bag and dump it in the washer along with the diapers/wipes. I don’t even have to touch the diapers. I just use the wet bag to push them all down into the washer. Of course, I still wash my hands anyway. But I feel better about not having poop on them in the first place. We follow the Bumgenius washing instructions: wash cold without detergent, wash hot w/detergent (we use Charlie’s Soap), wash cold once more without detergent. Then line dry the covers and tumble dry the inserts and wet bag. I’ve heard it might be okay to tumble dry everything, but I can’t speak from experience. I personally like line drying because the sun gets out any stains (which you will have, and it’s no big deal…seriously). Once the sun does its job, they look like new again 🙂

4. When everything is dry, we stuff the inserts back into the covers and put them back in the drawer of her changing table/dresser so they’re all ready for the next change.

For CDing on the go, we have a travel wet bag that we keep in our diaper bag, so the dirties have somewhere to go until we get them home.

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So that’s our process. I don’t think it’s gross. And I don’t think it’s all that inconvenient. Yes, it’s a little more work and time. But not as much as you might think. Especially once you have your system down, it gets easier. Knowing that I’ll never have to buy diapers (or wipes) again makes that extra work worth it (to us). Also…they’re so ridiculously soft and cute. If I had to wear diapers, I’d choose cloth 🙂

Back to the “gross” factor. It’s my personal opinion that it’s something you just kind of have to get over. Kids are gross. Let’s be honest. When you become a parent, you have to deal with poop, pee, snot, spit up, blood, etc. on a somewhat daily basis. It just comes with the job. The only gross part of CDing is the 1.5 seconds I have to smell the inside of the diaper pail when I put a dirty diaper in. And the 5-10 seconds I have to smell it while putting it in the washing machine. I can deal. I’ve smelled worse things.

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A Heads-Up Disclaimer

Just wanted to write a quick disclaimer about some things I will most likely be posting about in this here “mom blog”. I’ve noticed that people get offended easily when it comes to parenting and how you choose to feed, diaper, discipline, etc. your own children. I’m sure most people have seen this onesie floating around on the internet:

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Sure, I have my opinions about certain things (and I may even believe that certain things are better than others). But I won’t be sharing my “expert” advice (I’ve only been a mom for a little over a month, after all). Convincing the world to do things our way is not our goal. Our goal is to explain what we have chosen to do and why. That is, why we think it’s best for our family, in our circumstance, and talk about the challenges and benefits we experience, etc., in hopes that it just might be helpful to someone else.

So here are a few of of the topics I’ll likely be posting about:

Breastfeeding- Cloth Diapering- Babyfood Making

All of these things we have decided to commit to for many reasons, which I’ll get into eventually. But again, this is not to say that anyone who does things differently is doing the wrong thing, or the less than optimal thing. Cause I don’t know your kid, your family or your circumstance.

End disclaimer.

But back to the message of that onesie real quick. I have mixed feelings whenever I see it. I get the point they’re trying to make, to an extent (people tend offer unsolicited advice, pretty much as soon as you announce you’re pregnant). And some people tend to offer it in such a way that the advice they’re giving is the only way or the best way. Sure, that’s annoying and I don’t want that kind of advice. But I’d be pretty arrogant to think that I know everything and don’t need ANY advice. Like I mentioned earlier, I’ve only been a mom for 4 and a half weeks. I certainly do not know everything and can greatly benefit from other experienced mom’s advice on certain things, if it’s given properly in a way that’s helpful (for example, “you’re totally doing the wrong thing, you should be doing THIS instead, like me” is the opposite of helpful).

🙂

That is all.