Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Cloth Diapering a Newborn

I started my venture into cloth diapering when my 3rd son was over a month old, so I pretty much skipped most of the newborn cloth diapering phase. So when I was pregnant with my 4th son, I was very excited about using cloth for the newborn stage! That meant teeny tiny little diapers that would be so sweet and adorable. That also meant shopping for cute teeny tiny things with all my pregnancy hormones surging through me. Yikes! Can we say 'go broke'?

Yes I bought 2 dozen of each size prefolds - newborn, small and large. I also bought about over a dozen fitteds. I expected a 9-10 lb baby like my other 3 had been. So when I gave birth to a 7lb 2 ozer, I was shocked! Not only were the newborn prefolds I had gotten huge, but so were the extra small covers I had gotten. I was sure they would be too small, but instead he was swimming in his diapers! I decided I had to sell all the prefolds to foot some newborn fitteds instead. I was sure they would be the answer as I had suddenly developed an aversion to bulky diapers. (With large babies I never knew what bulky was, lol).

Anyway, I learned a few very valuable things when using cloth on a newborn. Somehow between the time that I had my last son I had forgotten exactly how much a baby poops in the first few weeks. In the first few weeks we were going through sometimes 20 diapers a day! I would feed him and he would poop. If he wasn't pooping, he was peeing. All the money I had invested into the newborn fitteds seemed like a waste. I spent $15 a diaper (well I had a discount code) and they fit no better than the prefolds. And as far as absorbancy, it didn't make a difference when I was changing him so often. So I ordered some prefolds (I know, I know) to add to my small stash that I was washing every day. If I had only know then what I know now. Sigh.

So I would say that the pooping constantly stage lasted for at least a month, maybe a little more. And for those of you that are expecting a little one and are worried about meconium and cloth, worry not. It washes better than EBF poo, believe it or not. And it doesn't last long either. And can I just add, if you ever happen to see your baby poo while you are in the middle of a diaper change, do not be surprised if it looks like foam. LMAO. Seriously. Don't ask me why it's foamy, but it is. Ahh the joys of newborn diapering. I went from thinking it was all about cute and tiny to learning its all about poop, poop, and more poop. My little guy is still pretty small at 2 months, but he has outgrown his newborn prefolds. They were a great investment for the first month and I would definitly do them all over again if I needed to.

Monday, December 7, 2009

The Joys (and Pains) of Baby Wearing

I don't know how I ever lived without my Moby! After four babys I finally have the best baby carrier ever! My baby is an extension of me and with the Moby I can actually hold my baby and have him close while having my hands free. That means being able to do important things like making myself something to eat, using the bathroom, or chasing my toddler down before he throws my cell phone in the toilet. Freedom!

With my oldest son I first discovered the joys of babywearing. Someone gave me one of those front carrying baby "backpack" thingamajigs. This was almost 11 years ago, and about the only kind of baby carriers there really were. I used it alot while I could, but the weight range on those aren't very big, so my 9lb nb grew out of it within a couple of months. As a new mom I didn't know alot about taking care of a baby. I had done my fair share of babysitting my niece and nephew, but having your own 24/7 is quite different! I quickly learned that my baby did not want to sleep in his crib - he wanted to be snuggled up to his mama. So in order to be able to get off the couch to eat or pee, I had to come up with a way to put my little guy down without making him cry. I had a Snoopy pillow I would use for breastfeeding (no Boppy back then either!) that I kept on the couch. I would often take naps on the couch, so one day after laying down and nursing the baby I decided to get up and lay the pillow next to him to see if I could get him to think it was me. It worked! It proved to be a lifesaver in the early months.

With my next son two years later I came across a ring sling. I loved it! I used it all the time to tote my new babe around. The only prob was that it really hurt my back and shoulder. I loved having the freedom to wear my baby around, but hated having to deal with the pain of the uncomfortable sling. At least I was able to move up from the Snoopy pillow fake out!

By the time I had my third son six years after that, baby wearing had evolved in a big way. I really wanted to get a Moby, but didn't think I could afford it. So when I saw a wrap style baby carrier at Toys R Us for much cheaper, I was super excited. It didn't take long to figure out why it was so much cheaper. That thing was awful! I tried to make it work, but it was so cheaply made I just ended up getting rid of it. Of course I still had the same problem of not being able to do much because my baby wanted to be held all the time. I don't know how long I spent barely eating before I decided to go online and look for another ring sling. That's when I found a whole new world of baby carriers!

After researching the many different kind of carriers, I decided to go with a pouch sling since it seemed like a better version of a ring sling. They were super cute, but still had the same problems - back pain! If only I had gotten a Moby from the get go! By that time my son was almost 1 and a Moby seemed like the wrong thing.

This time around with my fourth son I knew I was absolutley going to get a Moby! I bought one midway through my pregnancy so I would have it right away. Right before the baby was born I went over the guide on how to use it and imagined how wonderful it would be to have it. I would wear my baby everywhere and be able to live my life just like before. LOL. I was pregnant and spent a lot of time imagining what it would be like to NOT be pregnant.

Of course the first month I didn't even touch the Moby. I spent most of my time in bed or on the couch resting. After birthing four babies my body just wasn't bouncing back like I thought it would. Fast forward two months later and I am loving it. I spent a month on the couch not doing much, and while I enjoyed being able to relax and snuggle my baby all day, I seriously started to go stir crazy. I popped my little guy into the Moby for the first time and got off the couch! Yay! I walked, I eat, I peed, lol. I lived my life again. Of course I have to say there are still some limits, and in some ways it is a bit like being pregnant, but other than that I would recommend one to any mom! The beauty is I know I will be able to get use out of my Moby for quite some time.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Back to Basics

Back in the day mamas only had prefolds and flats to use when cloth diapering. Then along came sposies and then the magic of pocket diapers and AIO's. I say magic because these diapers have allowed moms who would otherwise be too intimidated to try cloth (me) to do it and also to make it easy for dad's and day cares to use cloth too. With so many new pocket and AIO diapers coming out, each with new and improved features to draw us in, its easy to forget about the beautiful simplicity of prefolds and flats.

When I first tried cloth diapering, I didn't know if I was going to like prefolds, but I got a few to try anyway. I looked around the net for tutorials on how to fold and use them and learned how to make a poop pocket. Then I actually tried using one on my baby and I can't say I was loving it. Prefolds have more of a learning curve and take a bit to get used to. Compared to my pocket diapers, I thought they were nonabsorbent and hard to use. I was pretty caught up in all the pretty and fun diapers at that point though.

During the next year as I continued to cloth diaper my son, I kept reading about GMD prefolds. I kept wondering what the heck they were because everyone was raving about them every time I saw the name. I couldn't understand why anyone would ever rave about prefolds, lol. That was until I decided I wanted to get back to basics myself. After having problems with microfiber stink with my pocket inserts, and the high price of the cute fitteds I loved, I decided it was a good time to try some prefolds. So I ordered a dozen of the famed GMD prefolds. As I anxiously awaited my prefolds to come I read some of the GMD philosphy about having all natural fibers for your baby's diapers. I was loving the thought of cotton and natural fibers for my little guy.

When my prefolds came I washed them and dried them and washed and dried them again. And again. Lol. Prepping my unbleached prefolds was a bit of work, but when they were ready I was very impressed. I loved them. They were absorbent, didn't leave my sons skin all wet, and the simplicity of them was adorable. I was in love!

I wasn't ready to convert my whole stash over to them, but I was ready to buy a ton for my new baby that was on the way. I knew that prefolds were the perfect answer for my next son. Simple, easy to wash, and cute. Plus I love using the snappi. So I bought 2 dozen of each size - newborn, small, and medium. Can I just say that pregnancy hormones will most defiantly cause you to go a little crazy when shopping! Wow!

And I was right about prefolds for my newborn. I spent a ton of money on some cute and a little expensive fitteds thinking they would be the best option, and I quickly learned how wrong I was. I had forgotten how often a new baby actually poops and pees. The first week he would poop every single time he ate. In those early days we (and when I say we I mean my husband) would change diapers sometimes 20 times a day! I felt like I totally wasted my money on the fitteds because he was only wearing diapers for such a short amount of time that it didn't matter how absorbent they were. Then as he got a little older and didn't poop every time he ate, I realized my little guy was a little fire hose. So the fitteds that I thought would be so wonderful and amazing didn't hold up any longer than the prefolds. Yikes!

So I have come a long way. From thinking prefolds were the worst thing ever to totally loving them. I am waiting on my order of organic prefolds from GMD right now. I am really excited! And I am practicing using flats also. I have successfully mastered the kite fold for my toddler and am loving it. Simplicity is beautiful.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

How I Fell In Love With Cloth

When I was pregnant with my third son, who is now 26 months old, I didn’t really give much thought to cloth diapers. I had really wanted to use cloth diapers with my first son, but felt really discouraged about the whole thing. After talking with my mother in law I imagined it to be something gross and unpleasant. And at that time, almost 11 years ago, there really wasn't any info on cloth diapering. There sure wasn't any diapers out like there are now!

After my third son was born I decided to look into cloth diapers and boy was I surprised! Cloth diapers are not what your grandma used anymore! They are completely different, easy to use and uber cute! The problem I came across was, I was completely overwhelmed. I had no idea there were so many different kinds of cloth diapers. Pockets, All In Ones, Fitteds, Pre Fitteds. I had no idea what it all meant. My head was spinning as I searched the internet trying to figure out what was what and what to use.

When I saw BumGenius One Size Pocket diapers though, I was mesmerized. I had no idea diapers could be so cool. The word ‘newfangled’ comes to mind, lol. I carefully researched pocket diapers and compared them to the other types of diapers and compared BumGenius to the other diapers. I knew I had to convince my husband to try cloth diapers. I spouted the many reasons why we should use cloth diapers. Great for the environment of course, but most importantly, we would save money! He liked the sound of that. It was the initial investment that was the part he didn’t like. “These diapers cost HOW much?” after showing him the BumGenius. We agreed that they looked really amazing though and that we should try one out. I bought one BumGenius pocket diaper, a few used Fuzzi Bunz, a few prefolds and a few fitteds to try. The Fuzzi Bunz leaked everywhere and the prefolds and fitteds seemed totally soaked every time I changed him. The BumGenius, however, were awesome, just as I had thought. He stayed dry, didn't leak, and they were so darn cute!

And that was how I got hooked. Once I tried the Bumgenius I was amazed and completely hooked. It was like an addiction. One led to three more and then six more. Then I had to have at least 24 so I could last a few days before washing. It took me a couple of months to get them all, and while I slowly built up my stash, I washed every day or two, lovingly taking care of my prized diapers. I remember using the only one I had then washing it as soon as it was dirty so I could reuse it. One wash days I would take my diapers out of the drier and happily stuff the inserts into the pockets and line them up according to color. Yeah, I had it bad.

Now many dollars and many diapers later, I don’t even have sold, bought, sold and boutht these diapers! LOL. Talk about addiction! Once I got the hang of what I was doing and what I liked and didn't like, I had to try many, many other diapers n my quest for perfection. Luckily I found where I could sell my diapers to fund more, more, more! I don't know if it's just my personality, or if it's because I spend a good part of my day changing diapers, or if it's just a quest for that perfect diaper, but I am fully obsessed with cloth diapers. I would have never thought a few years ago I would be writing such a thing. I do know that I am not alone in my addiction and my OCD like obsessions. And guess what? BumGenius just came out with a new kind of diaper! Hey! Now I need to sell all my other diapers for some! LOL! What can I say?