If you're pregnant, just had a baby, or are remotely interested in thinking about getting pregnant and having a baby - YOU MUST READ (that's right, I screamed) the Pregnant Chicken. Oh my sweet heavens I have been sitting here for an undisclosed amount of time reading this blog. Hysterical doesn't even come close to some of her posts.
You can thank me later. Or fuss because you spent too much precious time that you won't get back and you didn't get squat done in the meantime... regardless, read it. I do caution the language though. I personally think she could have done without it, yet at the same time I can't say I didn't think some of those things at one point or another when I heard comments from people while I was pregnant. So.... go! It's so funny - but if you are pregnant and have had trouble while laughing well, don't say I didn't warn you.
-Desitin: Maximum Strength (purple tube) - 40% zinc oxide
-Lotrimin (can also substitute Cortisone cream)
Pre-heat oven to - just kidding.
Mix equal parts Desitin and Lotrimin then add Maalox until you have a toothpaste-like consistency. Apply liberally at each change. We dangle (diaper free) as much as possible when there's a rash and at least 15 minutes after a change if there's not enough time to dangle the dingle and the tush.
When we do use disposable, I use A&D (I like Target's Up&Up brand best) as a preventative and if there is a rash I use the above cream. Note that no diaper rash cream can be used with cloth diapers unless it specifically states such on the packaging (most commercial diaper rash creams cannot be used) - you will need to order cloth specific cream from a cloth diaper distributor/retailer.
Shout out to Cassie - her husband is an allergist and this was what they used on pink hineys. I frantically messaged her a few months ago so I would be armed with the ingredients just in case Oliver developed a rash. We've since determined that he has sensitive skin and he's prone to rash, which is why we go diaper-less as often as possible. ... and we have a variety of creams at each of our four common changing areas.
***Updated to add that since most diaper rash creams can't be used with cloth diapers (due to ruining the absorbency) I had to get creative if I still wanted to use cloth and fight the rash without buying more cream(s). It occurred to me that when you start breastfeeding, a lot of natural sources say to use expressed breast milk on sore nipples and allow it to dry... I decided that chapped was chapped and did the same for Rover's hiney cheeks. Honestly - I shouldn't have been surprised that it worked. After all, it did wonders for my nips - was way better than lanolin... and it didn't leave grease stains! Anyway, so now I recommend trying that. It's free, fast, and you always have it handy!
Lots of people have asked me how cloth diapers are going for us.
Without further ado, I present you with:
The Cloth Diaper Post
(Thirsties Duo Wrap Pocket - Easter morning!)
I was four months pregnant when we decided that we would use cloth diapers. (I've since learned that 'cloth diaper' can also be used as a verb, so I could have written, I was four months pregnant when we decided to cloth diaper our child.') Interesting, right? There's more. After all kinds of crazy research, bumGenius' Elemental All in One (AIO) One Size (OS) seemed to be the best fit for us. There weren't lots of parts to deal with, they came in super cute colors, and they would fit him from birth until he didn't need them anymore. To start with, I only ordered six. I wanted enough to try but not too many that if they didn't work, we weren't out too much money.
When Oliver was born I was SO excited to use our diapers. They were really big, but I decided it was because he was small (he was 6lbs 10oz when we came home) and bumGenius claimed they would fit most babies between 7 and 35lbs. I tried them on him once a week to see if they'd fit and finally when he was a little more than 10lbs, they seemed to fit - only they gaped at the leg and well, poop didn't always stay inside the diaper. At 25 bucks a pop I was quite disappointed. I read more and more about cloth diapers and know what? I didn't know squat.
What I learned from the new world of cloth was that the one size diapers don't really fit until babies are at least 12lbs. Now that Oliver is about 13lbs, they do fit him much better, but they're still the last diapers I grab and because I've accumulated quite a stash, I've not used them in a couple weeks. But back to the story...
A couple friends had mentioned Jillian's Drawers. Jillian's has a program where you can try cloth for $10. The deal is, you pay $165 up front and they send you around a dozen different types of [new] cloth diapers (the most popular ones). If you don't like them, hate them, changed your mind about wanting to use cloth, or whatever - you send them back after three weeks (21 days!) and they refund you all but your ten bones. I did it. I didn't even have to convince Chandler. He was game. He'll do anything for his tiny boy's tush.
I was probably too excited than what should be considered 'normal' for something like this and found that we had a diaper retailer somewhat close to us. SCORE! Since I was only familiar with the AIOs, I decided I should check out some other diapers before ours came and I was lost. I called Diaper Junction and they said we could come to their office/warehouse. Chan and I decided we would get a couple diapers and set aside some cash for shopping. When we got there, the owner came out and talked to us about the different diapers and pros/cons of them. I told her I'd ordered the Jillian's trial and that I wanted to buy a couple diapers but she recommended we wait on buying anything since I didn't know what I liked yet. It was the equivalent of a child finding out that they were going to FAO Schwartz but that they couldn't pick out a toy. I felt silly for not taking her advice and still made a purchase. We left with a Flip pack (two shells and liners) and one bumGenius 4.0 (pocket style).
Oh how right she was. The bumGenius is just not my favorite diaper - at all. And the Flip? I kinda hate it. It's probably great for bigger kids who made solid waste, but definitely not the best choice for a tiny baby. Lesson learned.
Our Jillian's order arrived the next day and I eagerly read every single word on the diaper packaging. Seriously - way too excited! I washed, prepped and used each diaper and found exactly what I liked and didn't like. I think it's great they give you 21 days, but I didn't need that at all. In fact, we mailed our diapers back over a week early because we stopped using them after just a couple washes.
Before I spill our favorites - some cloth diaper lingo:
-AIO: All in one - the inside and outside of the diaper are connected and there's no prep to put it together, baby poops, you toss the entire diaper into the wash and voila.
-Pocket: These diapers have a soft layer that is sewn to the outer waterproof part and there is a slit at one or both ends where you stuff a thicker insert into it to make it absorbent. When the diaper is dirty, you shake the insert out and then wash both parts (you can't wash it with the insert still inside).
-Prefold/Flats: Your mama's cloth diapers. These are the old school diapers that most of us use as burp cloths or rags these days. You can fold them as a trifold or like a kite and use a Snappi, pins, or nothing to keep them in place. Some people also use them to add extra to the pocket diapers. They require a waterproof cover.
-Snappi: Before having one, I couldn't figure out what this thing was. Diaper Junction showed it to me and had they not, I would have been totally lost. It's like an ace bandage teethy thing that has three ends so you can secure a prefold on the hips and crotch (I hate that word) of your baby.
-OS: One size. Ideally, this diaper should fit babies from birth to potty training. What I learned from the cloth diaper world that isn't so secret but that I couldn't find before I needed it is that one size diapers are not really one size unless your baby is ginormous - and in that case, let me know and I'll say a special prayer for you because oh my ouch!
-Fitted: This style of diaper is just soft, there's no waterproof outer layer so you have to use a cover.
-Hook and Loop: Velcro. I guess 'hook' and 'loop' refer to the tiny pieces on the Velcro and because 'Velcro' is a brand they can't use that term? Go figure. Another term for hook and loop is aplix.
-AI2: All in two diapers are two parts, an outer shell and an inside that either attaches to the shell or just lays inside. There's no pocket to stuff so it takes much less time to put together.
-Hybrid: These diapers are often the same as AI2 but you can often use different liners, fabric or disposable/flushable.
-The Smartipants looked too big on Oliver. They fit great around the legs and waist and never leaked, but had a lot of extra fabric due to the limited adjustablility. I loved that the pocket was open on both sides and it was easy to stuff. I would have kept this one for nighttime use but the color they sent was periwinkle and it was a little too feminine for my guy.
-bumGenius just isn't my favorite. I hear it's the 'cream of the crop' in cloth, but it just doesn't float my boat. I'm getting fancy with my words - I hope you are still with me here... With the 4.0 there are two options on the front closure, 'hook at loop' and snaps. We tried one of each and I didn't really care for them. I love the diaper alone, but it's very bulky under clothes and I would only put this diaper on him when we were at home. Never had a leak and it fit much, much better around the leg than the AIO Elementals that I have.
-Thirsties Duo Wrap Pocket - I love this diaper! It's really compact, adjustable AND has an extra gusset in the leg to prevent leaks. For the record, when I reference leaks in this post, it's about poop. If you didn't breastfeed or don't know, breastfed babies have a gooey/liquidy poop. Urine is absorbed into the liner so the only way urine would leak is if the diaper was so soaked that it was sponging out of the sides.
-Thirsties Duo Fab Fitted - I used this diaper twice. Once alone while we were at home so I'd be able to change him as soon as it was dirty and once with the cover mentioned above. With the cover it was too bulky and without the cover, I didn't see why I'd use it.
-Thirsties Duo Wrap Cover/Prefolds are not my favorite. I only used the prefolds a couple of times. Even with the Snappi, they didn't really stay in place. I don't mind them, but I prefer a better, easier to use combination. I use the prefolds alone more than I use them with the cover to help air out his bottom.
-FuzziBunz were by far the favorite! They are trim, have fleece inside, and fit great around the legs. They also have more places to adjust - which could be a con, but I think it makes for a better fit. The elastic in the legs can be adjusted and there's also an adjustable elastic in the waist to adjust in addition to the outer snaps on the front. I found that the waist was fine and I just snap the diaper as tight as it will snap since it's easier to adjust the snaps than the back elastic for later. So for us, we use a 1 on the waist (the way they come), a 3 on all the leg elastics (four places) and I snap the tightest top waist and use the 3rd snap around the leg. Confusing? It's not as bad as it sounds.
I did have some trouble with three of my FuzziBunz. The PUL (polyurethane liner) that lines the inside of the diaper that makes it waterproof was so sticky it was difficult to get my inserts inside. I figured out that it was the ones made in Turkey and the ones made in China were smooth. I contacted the company and they were aware of the problem. There was rumor that they were going to pull out of Turkey but after speaking with them I learned that they felt Turkey's textiles to be superior and it was not the case at all. They were aware of problems and offered to replace my diapers. I have since ordered more diapers that were also from Turkey after not finding anymore from China and they don't have the problem so I am guessing it was just a bad lot. I'm still pleased with this diaper and it's still one of my favorites.
(Note: FuzziBunz come in two types, OS and sized. I have both - I bought a few sized b/c I read that they fit trim and so I got some smalls. This was not the case for us and they are much more bulky than the OS - go figure. The crotch area is much wider in the sized variety and because of the bulk, I only use them at night. I would never buy sized ones again.)
-GroVia's are different. I like the snap-in shell, and the design on the sides to keep spills in, but for some reason I don't grab this diaper very often. I love the extra grippy velcro (that's right, Velcro is a general term for me so even though it's not technically Velcro - it pretty much is - even though the stuff GroVia uses is really cool and of all the diapers, this is the least like Velcro). This diaper is much trimmer than the bG or Smartipants and it's also a OS so you can use it for many months (years?).
Want to know what I kept? All four prefolds, the Snappi, Thirsties Duo Pocket and the cover, FuzziBunz, and GroVia. I sent back the Thirsties Fitted and now I wish I'd kept it. I'm not crushed because its color was mango and we've recently established that orange is not the best look for Oliver. I wish I had it because now I realize that the fitteds are great for airing out the bottom while still catching anything that might come out during that air-out process.
Because I tend to go all out when I like something, my diaper stash now includes:
-20 FuzziBunz (16 OS and 4 Smalls)
-10 Thirsties Duo Wrap Pocket
-6 bumGenius Elemental AIO
-1 bumGenius 4.0 Snap
-1 Thirsties Duo Wrap Cover
-1 GroVia diaper pail liner
-1 GroVia wet bag (travel/diaper bag)
I change Oliver as soon as he wets (or poops) so he still goes through around 15 diapers/day. Therefore, I wash mostly every day. With so many diapers, I don't have to wash daily, but I do. It's nice because I have enough diapers that I don't have to panic if there's no time to stuff them all after they're clean.
And speaking of clean - let's take a quick minute to chat about washing. I used All Free & Clear because I read in several places that it was better than some detergents. I also read a lot of 'if you use commercial soap' followed by how much to use. Well - WRONG. Wrong, wrong, wrong. Oliver started to get a bit rashy while in cloth, which I found interesting since cloth bottoms don't usually get a rash. Immediately though, I knew it was the detergent. I talked to Diaper Junction (they rock by the way and if you cloth diaper (see how I used it as a verb there? hahaha), you must check them out) and they suggested it may be detergent build up. I washed my diapers three times on hot water with no detergent, then used Country Save. Problem solved. We've not had any issues so far (other than just acidic poop and it's obvious when that's the problem).
(While he had his rash, I made two sided wipes (flannel on one side, fleece on the other) and used water with just a tiny bit of Aveeno Baby Wash to wipe his bottom.)
We have HE machines and this is our routine:
-Cold Rinse and Spin: 18 minutes; no soap
-Hot Wash/Cold Rinse with Extra Rinse and Water Boost: 1 hour 22 minutes; 1/16 cup Country Save
(One $12 box of Country Save will last you more than 150 loads of cloth diaper washes!)
I toss the liners in the dryer on low heat and hang the diaper itself. If I need more diapers I toss them in the dryer, but I try to let them hang dry as much as possible. Because Oliver is exclusively breastfed, his poop is water soluble. When we have dirty diapers, I shake the insert out into the pail (Why do cloth diaper people call it a pail? Our 'pail' is a simple 8 gallon plastic trash can that we'll change up once we move to solid foods and have more smell), then drop the diaper itself in too. The 'pail' is lined with a wet bag with a cinch cord (that I never use b/c I wash them every day). I just toss them all (along with the bag) into the washer without rinsing and wash away. I do a tub clean for the washer every week just to prevent any yuck and we also clean the filter twice/month and so far we haven't had any problems.
I haven't had much trouble with stains; the few times I have had them I placed my inserts outside in the sun and in about an hour they were bleached and stain free. It's magical. I've since started putting any poop stained onesies out there too!
Remember how I said I was really excited to use our cloth diapers on Oliver and then he was too small for them? Well, then I got used to disposables and after using them for several weeks I was REALLY nervous about making the switch to cloth. So nervous that I decided I would only use cloth part time because it was going to be a lot of work. And he looked cute in his Pampers. And I liked that they had the yellow stripe that turned green when they were wet. BUT - now that I have cloth diapers I like and that work, I LOVE them. I love that when I change Oliver his skin is flawless. When he wears Pampers, he has red marks all over him. They go away, sure. But why are they there in the first place??? He doesn't have them at all with cloth. Hmm.
That said, I hate that cloth is bulky. However, FuzziBunz are much trimmer than most diapers and Thirsties are even trimmer than our FuzziBunz. Every now and then I'll use Pampers so we can wear an outfit that might be on it's last wear before it's time to pack it up. Overall, I'm really pleased with cloth. I'd say that we use cloth more than 90% of the time. If we're going to be out and about much of the day (especially now that it's getting warmer) I use Pampers and when we travel I use Pampers just because I don't want to dirty up someone else's washing machine.
Now I'm anxious about when he transitions to solids and I have to spray out his diapers before washing (yuck!). There is definitely a diaper sprayer in my future. And some diaper liners! (You can use these thin liner things over the inside of the diaper and just toss that with the solid poop into the toilet to flush away - it's supposed to mean that you spray the diaper out less).
Wow - this might be the longest post yet - and it's about poop.
I have a diaper rash recipe that I was planning to share, but for the sake of being able to find it, I'll post that separately. Because you can't use regular diaper rash cream with cloth, if we do have any sort of rash, I let Oliver dangle (aka go diaper free) for as long as I can and put him on a soft waterproof mat with a prefold draped over him and then use my special creme with a Pampers for a few hours. That usually does the trick. When we do have to use Pampers, I always coat his bottom with squirt Vaseline or A&D (usually Target's Up&Up brand b/c it's softer and cheaper) as rash prevention. Normally it does the trick unless it's an acidic poop and then I use the special stuff.
-I love cloth. I love it for many reasons I didn't even mention due to the length of this post already!
-If you're at all considering it, find a company that offers a trial program like Jillian's Drawers or Diaper Junction.
If you've made it this far you should comment so I know you're my bestest friend! And if you want to read more, check out my friend Hope's blog about her experience/take on cloth....and see her cute baby!
The last twelve months have been crazy busy! We built a house, moved to a new state, planned a wedding, started new jobs, said 'I do,' got pregnant, had a baby...and somehow managed to survive thrive without the slightest breakdown. I love looking back at last year's April picture - even more, I love this year's...
-He still wears 0-3 month in Gymboree and 3 month in Carters. There are a few 3m sizes in Carters that are still too big. I'm not sure if he will wear them since they're winter clothes and it's getting warmer, but I'm trying to put him in some of those things when the temps are in the 50s simply so he can wear them.
-We're doing a mix of Pampers Swaddlers Sensitive size 1 diapers and cloth. His bumGenius AIO/OS are still a little big. I have a diaper post coming soon!
-He gets a bath every other day or every third day depending on what we've been up to and how fussy he is. I started putting him in the bath with me and Chan will come read us stories. It's nice family time.
-He continues to nurse well and is still eating on demand.
-He wakes up around 7:30a to nurse and will take a two-ish hour nap in the morning followed by a longer 3-4 hour nap in the afternoon. Sometimes he'll combine these into one long 5 hour nap. He has started going to sleep for the night around 11p.
-After some kind suggestions, we started using Gripe water for his gas and it's made all the difference! Thanks :)
-He can follow people and objects with his eyes and he loves to look at himself in the mirror!
-Around 6 weeks he really started to coo a lot. He started with 'owww' and I heard 'gewww' earlier this week.
-He is very responsive now. When we smile at him, he smiles back - he also likes to be tickled on his face and his arm.
-A week ago I felt like he looked a little high in his car seat so after reading the manual I realized that he shouldn't have the bottom infant insert in the seat and removed it. He's such a big boy now!
-He is so much fun and is the sweetest baby! He loves to talk when he's laying down for a diaper change. He smiles a lot when he nurses and often will pull himself off to just look up and smile.
There are times when I look at him and he looks tiny and other times he looks so big. I feel like he should only be about a month old, not two months. Although he'll technically be a newborn for a few more weeks, he already looks like a 'baby' to me. Happy two months Oliver! xoxoxo
A few weeks ago I was messaging with one of my moms...
Side note: Did you know that when you have babies, your mom's breastfeeding friends from 30 years ago become your mom too? Indeed they do. Some background... my mom was active with the local La Leche group when I was born and well, we won't get into how long she breastfed me - we'll just say that my sister needed them and leave it at that. ;) Mom was lots of help when we came home from the hospital with Rover and in the first few days I frequently called to ask her question about boobs. Because she stopped going to La Leche meetings after weaning her babes, she had forgotten some of the things I needed help with... some of her friends were still involved though and this is when I learned a few things about moms and boobs.
1) Moms who breastfed (or breastfeed) love to help others make it happen.
2) They become like your mom because you can and do call them just as often for help.
3) They are boob nazis. (Mom didn't care for this at first, but she's embraced it now.)
("Did he eat? How much? When? How long? Which boob? Tickle his feet. He needs to stay awake and eat. Your nipples will be fine. Did he poop? What color was it? Did it look seedy? He should eat again in two hours. Do you need someone to wake you up or will you set your alarm?" -Boob nazi)
... so a few weeks ago I was messaging with one of my moms because I was still very sore and the lanolin didn't seem to be helping anymore. She was telling me that some breast pads will actually keep you moist instead of dry and suggested I make my own pads. Well, she first said to hang loose, (that did help lots) then she said to make my own pads so that moisture would be sure to wick away from my skin. Hmm, maybe I could convince Smartwool to make nursing pads?!
She said her daughter, my friend Hope, had recently made some and after messaging with Hope, she agreed to send me instructions. (Thanks again Hope!!!) They were so simple! I had my mom send me some flannel and terry cloth because I knew I couldn't get to JoAnn's for a while (it's a good 30-45mins away). I whipped up four pads in about 15 minutes - including prep time.
If you're interested in making your own, Hope recently posted instructions on her blog. Definitely check it out! They're very easy and you can modify them as needed. She mentions that she made them about 4" in diameter and wishes she'd made them bigger, so I made mine a little bigger but I think I could still use a slightly bigger size so I'd say maybe starting with 5-5.5" diameter. I used a plastic cup as a stencil and then cut a little wider around it. I also didn't add as many darts because we were heading out soon and I had to hurry. Also, it's cold this time of year and I knew I'd be layering my shirts so it wouldn't matter if they didn't sit perfectly under my clothes. These actually look fine with regular shirts now that it's April and much warmer.
I used one layer of flannel on the outside and one layer of terry on the inside. If you make these, definitely be sure to pre-wash your fabrics in HOT water and dry on the hottest setting on your dryer. I recommend washing twice as I washed once and my pads still shrunk a little after I finished them.
Here's a picture that shows the size a little better and my stitches.
Now that Rover is on a pretty good schedule, I don't really use pads when I'm at home and I only wear them when we leave the house as a back up. I will often use them a few days until they are actually 'used' and need to be washed. I do advise a mesh bag for washing though since they're small.
My friend Jill has been a Compassion sponsor for almost 20 years! We met through Bible Study and learned we had a lot in common - we both went to ECU, have been long time Compassion sponsors (I've sponsored for 17 years! - yes, I was 13 when I sponsored my first child - her name was Brenda from Guatemala.), enjoy the outdoors, have read the Bible together... Jill is awesome. (Like me.) Kidding. She's really is amazing - she's an awesome mom and a wonderful role model to her sponsored children (and me!). She started this blog, Compassion Family, to share Compassion with others.
Most everyone has seen the commercials for poor, starving children. Compassion is different - they have a holistic approach that really works. Of all the major child sponsorship organizations, Compassion graduates are truly lifted out of poverty. They go on to college/university/trade school; they become leaders in their families; they become sponsors themselves. Compassion works. Jill is passionate about sharing Compassion with others and I hope you will take a few minutes to read her blog.