Newborn Cloth Diapering 101

So what’s the latest and greatest rage in parenting these days? Well it seems like all the cool moms are in the cloth diaper crew. I should know…I’m one of ’em.

But seriously, cloth diapers do seem to be all the rage right now (see how cool I’m not? I just wrote “all the rage” like MY Mom would do…so NOT cool).

And why shouldn’t they be? There are a million and one diaper brands and a zillion cute patterns and colors to chose from. There are so many options you can find a diaper that not only exactly fits your child (no more one-size-fits-most guess work with disposables) but you can find a brand that fits your lifestyle and color palette (I WISH I was joking about that last part).

I’ve talked before about why we chose to cloth diaper with Cedella, though we were way too scared to start from birth with her. But we weighed the benefits, like the overall cost savings, the environmental impact and the health impact and it just made sense to us to give it a try. And we loved it. Yes, even Michael too. It worked great for us.

And the added bonus? It completely remedied the dreaded poop blow-out.

So we knew that the second Isora was born we knew we’d be covering her booty with some soft fluffy cloth instead of disposables.

And we almost did.

Except that we forget about the god-awful first poops, the meconium. That shit doesn’t come out of anything (pun intended). And that damn umbilical cord stump that needs the special little notch cut out to heal properly.

So we bought one pack of little Huggies Naturals that lasted approximately a day and a half. And another. At which point I put my foot down and ordered some newborn diaper covers with the little notch cut-out for about the same price as two packs of diapers. She’s been in cloth ever since. And has never had a single blowout. It’s lovely.

Here’s what our newborn stash consists of:

24 Kissaluv Fitted in Newborn – size 0 (newborn) (so lovely and soft and easy to use)

3 Prowrap Classic Covers (all velcro) – size newborn (perfect for the first month but she’s already out of them)

3 Prowrap Classic Covers (all velcro) – size small (generously sized and very easy to use)

3 Rumparooz Diaper Covers (2 velcro & 1 snap) – size newborn (Love love love these, and they’re adjustable and will work for a while)

6 Imse Vimse Diaper Covers – size newborn (though I am NOT a big fan of these at all, hence the other covers in the stash)

1 Bum Genuis Pocket Diaper (discontinued style) – size small (it’s alright, but not a favorite)

1 GroBaby All in One (discontinued style) – size small (great diaper but the newer style is better)

1 FuzziBum Elite One Size Diaper (would be a great diaper if stuffing the pocket was easier, it’s such a pain in the ass I don’t use it much)

Totaled up this is 27 diapers, most of which will only work for another month or so. She’s already too big for the Prowrap newborn size covers. The newborn sized fitteds are supposed to last up to 15 lbs. which Zorie will certainly hit within a month or so, since she’s already around 12.5 lbs. At that point she will go right into the GroVia All in 2 system that we use with Ella. Sure they’ll be sharing diapers (cutting down on our stash and increasing our laundry) but those diapers work best for us and are one-sized so they’re fully adjustable per child.

There are a couple of major drawbacks people see when debating whether cloth diapering will work for them. One of which is the laundry factor.

I know most people HATE doing laundry. I don’t happen to hate it, cause once you throw all the stuff in the machine your work is done until you have to switch it to the other machine. My hatred comes in the folding and putting away part. I LOATHE folding clothes. Seriously.

But I have a system that works pretty well. At least that is if I actually get around to pulling them out of the dryer.

I throw all the dirties into the wash (having rinsed off poop into the toilet with the sprayer we’ve installed on our toilet BEFORE putting it in the diaper pail) and throw the machine on a cold soak/rinse cycle. Once that’s done I turn on full whites cycle with hot water and some laundry detergent. Finally it goes for one more (half length) white cycle without any soap as a rinse. When that’s done I hang all the covers to dry and toss all the fitteds and inserts into the dryer on medium for about 90 minutes.

It sounds a lot more complicated than it is. But if I had our old beautiful HE front loader I could do the pre-soak, white cycle and second rinse all in one step. But we have a pretty bare bones top loader at this place. Hence the multiple cycles.

With the amount of diapers we have for both kids I end up doing a load of diapers every two days (or so). So if I washed them Monday night I’ll wash again on Wednesday night or Thursday morning. It’s really not that bad.

The second drawback people think of? The cost. And I will be the first to admit cloth diapers cost a lot up front. At least for the methods we use. We decided to purchase the entire lot of fitteds and Imse Vimse covers used from a friend and paid $200. That’s around $6.70 per diaper/cover. And that’s pretty cheap. Buying them new would cost about double that. But keeping in mind they will be used for four months (approx) and can be used on another child (or sold for what we paid for them), they will definitely cost less than buying disposables.

There’s a great site called Diaperswappers.com that I used when starting with Cedella to buy a bunch of used stuff to try different brands cheaply if you want to go the frugal route like we did.

Or you can go with a different type of diaper, the prefold, which cost $2 each for new ones and can go as low as $1 each for used. This is definitely a more cost-effective option but we didn’t love them and switched Cedella to a different kind as soon as possible. Just too much work for us. But lots of families LOVE them.

And there are tons of great sale sites and online shops that offer discounts. My favorites are Babysteals.com (sales start at 11am but the stuff goes fast so you have to log on early) and Ecobabybuys.com. I’ve bought new diapers on these sites for 40 to 65% off retail.

There are also a ton of great online diaper stores that offer point systems (that allow you to build up credit towards store rewards) and that offer gently used diapers at great prices. My favorite for their point system is The Green Nursery. It’s very straight forward and easy to use and they have great sales. And my favorite used diaper spot (and they have incredibly super duper fast shipping) is Jillian’s Drawers and their customer service reps are ridiculously helpful and sweet.

All told you will spend money up front but not buying diapers every week or two of your kids diapering days? Will save a LOT more in the long run.

In case you’re a visual person and need to see how they work I couldn’t let you go without some fluffy booty cuteness.

Kissaluv Fitted with the notch snapped down to let the cord stump heal.

Without the notch snapped down.

Cutest little Rumparooz Kangaroo patterned cover.

Our little Zorie in her Owl print Rumprooz cover. 

If you’re interested in cloth and want some help getting started by all means email me at aliwayout(at)yahoo(dot)com. Or if you want some hands on time and live in Michigan I highly recommend stopping by Modern Natural Baby in Ferndale. The ladies there are super knowledgeable and they have a million different options to chose from. And there’s Z Bear Diapers just south of Lansing which is moving to a new location in East Lansing this summer, Stephanie and her crew are very helpful and I can’t wait to visit their new store (next to Play. which is kind of dangerous for my wallet).

 

It’s Beginning to Sink in…

I have two kids. Wait. Did you hear me? I have TWO. KIDS. How crazy is that?!

And now that my bed rest is over and Michael has gone back to work it’s beginning to sink in. I am a SAHM of two kids.

Whoa.

The thing is, and this may not be popular to say, but it’s not THAT much harder than having one kid. It’s just that certain things are MUCH harder.

Like getting out of the house to go anywhere. I am not exaggerating when I say it takes an entire morning to leave the house. This entails getting all of us dressed, packing the diaper bag with enough cloth diapers for two and a change of pants for two (cause Cedella is having a serious case of wet pants these days), changing two diapers just before we leave, nursing the baby just before we leave, getting shoes and coats on, putting the baby in the car seat, getting the toddler a sippy cup and snack for the car, finding my suddenly missing cell phone, and then remembering to lock the door. I’ve been perpetually late since I came into the world and two small children are not helping me break the cycle.

And getting in and out of the car? A whole different debacle. The other day as me and the girls had finally made it out of the house to go on our first solo grocery trip (after two hours of getting ready) Monk fell down the second step off our deck and though she is usually quite the trooper she was hysterical. I had to set Nugget down, who immediately started screaming bloody murder cause she hates her car seat. I had to comfort my big girl while trying to rock my little girl’s car seat with my foot. Thank Baby Jesus it was warmish outside, cause if it was cold I would have lost it.

We hadn’t even gotten to the car yet people. Let alone the grocery store…

But in all honesty the grocery store? Wasn’t that bad. The chiropractor’s? Pretty easy. Restaurants? Surprisingly uneventful. Once we’re out of the house we seem to be blessed with super well-behaved children. It’s fantastic.

And at home? It’s not nearly as bad as we thought it would be. I’d even say that in the parenting department…we’ve got this.

Bringing home your second newborn is just easier. You’re more relaxed. You know more. You don’t think they’re going to break. You trust your instincts and know what’s normal and what’s not. And when you compare the needs of a newborn to that of a toddler the newborn is just, easy. Think about it: they need milk, clean diapers, tons of sleep, a little bit of interaction and a lot of snuggles. That’s not hard to fulfill.

Especially when you have a toddler that wants milk, no juice, no milk. That has an angry tummy and an itchy butt (her words…not mine). Who selectively listens despite being able to completely understand what you’re saying. Who says ‘Huh?’ more often than a 13 year old. Who insists on doing things herself that she just cannot do, like tie shoe laces or lift the baby’s car seat.

What’s better yet is that as soon as Cedella finally does decide to take her toddler butt to bed, Isora is sleeping, which means we can all sleep! And Zorie? Sleeps for 2-3 hour stretches, wakes up to nurse and goes right back to sleep. The nights don’t seem nearly as hard as I remember them being the first time around.

I like to think this is all cause this isn’t our first rodeo and Michael and I are working like a well-oiled machine at this point. That’s it right? Well-oiled machine.

Cause the other day I even got all three of us girls to take a two hour nap at the same time. This is how Michael found us when he got home from work…

Now I gotta preface all this by saying that we’re lucky enough to not have any nursing issues. This kid loves to eat, has a naturally good latch, my supply and nipples are good. Even in spite of what we believe to be a milk-sensitivity in our little Nugget breastfeeding is going really well. I know that’s not the case for many mamas who have lots of breastfeeding/bottle feeding struggles, and I imagine that makes life with a newborn much harder.

Here I am breastfeeding and comforting simultaneously. I look thrilled, don’t I?

But I know if we did have issues everything would be alright cause we have an Incredible support system. So Incredible it deserves a capital I. I’ve mentioned my awesome friends and family that filled our home with food and love in the past few weeks. But I’ve also got fabulous Mamas that I can rely on for support, advice and questions.

My kick-ass friend and doula Kelle is always there to listen and check on me and I never could have survived two years + of breastfeeding and birthing without her.

My girl Leslie is always there when I just need to get my butt out of the house.

My amazing and loving midwives who make sure I’m taking it easy and make sure I’m feeling well in my soul and spirit as well as my v-jay.

My friends in the Lansing Babywearing and LLL groups that have given me support, a place to go for a few times a month and lots of answers to even my most inane questions.

And then there’s my Mom, Tracey and Kylara. They’re always there. Visiting, helping, cooking, cleaning, taking care of us and laughing, there’s always lots of laughing involved. They make me feel normal and loved and happy and accomplished.

And really, that’s what’s beginning to sink in. Just how big this village we’ve built for our little family really is. As much as I could complain about missing Detroit and being far from all I’ve ever known, Lansing is beginning to grow on me. A small town feel in an urban area. Farm land just beyond the edges of a busy downtown. Charming enough that I always run into someone I know at the grocery store and close enough that my family can come visit often. And everyone I’ve ever met here knows someone else I know here. It’s a great place for raising kids. Don’t tell Michael but I think this may just be where we’re supposed to be…

BTW…we still have not one single picture of all of us, including Michael. So if you read this and you see us or visit us, please take a picture of all four of us. Cause I will forget to ask…Thanks!

(Nearly) Wordless Wednesday: Welcome to the World

We have been enjoying our Babymoon the past couple of weeks. And with our break from the world came some lovely visits with friends and family. Not to mention the food. That’s right…the food.

I could have written an entire post on the Meal Train that Kelle (my friend & doula & bad-ass mama) organized for us. But let me just say this. If you are having a baby or know someone that’s having a baby, this is the best gift you can give them (there’s even online scheduling services available). Essentially it’s a schedule of well-wishers, friends or family that bring you a meal in the weeks following the birth of your baby. Instead of eating fast food or carry-out for weeks, you get real home-cooked meals (and some delicious pizza and take-out from those that are kitchen or time-impaired). They get to visit, bring food, hold the baby while you eat, and that’s it. Short and sweet. Everyone wins.

And to all of those that brought food – Erin (twice!!), Cheryl & Sean, Jessie & Family, Kate (The Chili Fairy), Meghan, Leslie, Tracey, Sabah, Jiddo & Teta and Mom (well…you made lemon bars. Wait…corned beef!) – we love you and thank you so very much. Not having to go grocery shopping or think about what to make for dinner was incredibly relaxing. And the food was AMAZING!! All of you have a special place in my heart…

But aside from feeding us to bursting our family and friends brought love and blessings to our little ladies. So many in fact that it’s hard to post all the pictures. It’s amazing how much love this child is already surrounded by. As her parent it’s incredibly humbling.

Here they are (well most of them anyways…I missed quite a few photo ops because delicious offerings caught my attention) some of the people that have come to welcome Isora to the world…

Grandma…just minutes after Zorie was born.

Te Te and her Izzie

Auntie KyLaLa and her Squishy

Jiddo is so proud to hold his second granddaughter (after being away when she was born and being sick when he returned home)

Teta is thrilled to get her hands on the baby!

Kelle FINALLY getting to hold the baby. She brought her into the world but didn’t get a snuggle right away. Someone looks happy!

Addison & Evan, Kelle’s boys. Loving on their little friend.

Auntie Erin…loving on her new little niece.

Aunt Sabah so happy to meet Isora.

Leslie getting some new baby snuggles. Anna (in the background wasn’t feeling it)

But by her next visit Anna was all about Cedella’s Baby Sister.

Uncle Andy was one of our first visitors. Cause this man loves kids. Baby snuggles are his fountain of youth he told us.

Zorie with her new friend Mia. For some reason we didn’t get pictures with Cheryl & Sean (distracted by PIZZA!) but we think these two are going to be fast friends.

My Aunt Jenny and my cousins Kallan and Hadley. They love babies almost as much as I do. It was so nice of them to visit us!!

Isora meeting her Grandma Becky and Cedella making sure Grandma was paying her attention too.

Oh Uncle Jef. This is one of the funniest pictures yet. Isora had just farted on his hand. And this was his response. Priceless.

Marta held her long enough to remember how small her babies once were…

Her babies aren’t so little anymore. But I remember when they were. Here are Nya & Liam. Not sure how Nolan escaped the camera…

We are so fortunate to have all these people, even the little ones, in our lives. This is our village. Our tribe. These are the people Isora and Cedella will know as they grow. Who they will rely upon, those they’ll turn to when and if we’re not around. The kids they’ll grow up with. The aunts and uncles that will help them circumvent their parent’s rules. The grandparents that will spoil them rotten. Aren’t we lucky? ;p

How was there when your little ones were born? Were you surprised by the outpouring of love your little ones received?

Coming soon…THE BIRTH STORY!! If you don’t want to miss it…please subscribe to Babies & Bacon via your RSS feed or enter your email address in the ‘SUBSCRIBE’ box in the upper right corner of the home page. Thanks!

Happy WW to one and all!!