Cloth Diapering: An Update

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We’ve been cloth diapering for several months now and I thought I’d share what we’ve learned so far!

Now that I have some experience in this area, I’ll start by saying that I have no idea why so many people have such intense fear in them over cloth diapering. It’s baffling to me the amount of times I was told that I would hate it, it was so much extra work, it would never last, and so on and so forth. Well, in truth, all it really seems to be is an extra load of laundry every day or two. And when you have a baby, extra laundry kind of comes with the territory, am I right?

We started using Leo’s cloth diapers when he was about a month old and had hit the 8 pound mark. They fit him well then, although they were a bit bulky but that was to be expected. We’ve continued to adjust the snaps as he has grown and they still fit him very well.

We LOVE the Planet Baby diapers we chose. After months of daily use they still look and feel brand new, aside from some minor stains. We use them as pockets only, rather than just laying the liners inside the covers and we will probably continue to do things that way. Something about mindlessly stuffing pocket diapers at the end of a long day is therapeutic for me. These diapers hold in a ton. The Planet Baby diapers have a double gusset and it does not disappoint. Disposable diapers equal way more blow outs for us.

Now for the accessories. In terms of the wet bags, we have found them very useful for travel but we now use a small pail for daily use. I found unzipping and rezipping the large wet bag with my hands full all the time annoying. The pail works much better. I just use a small plastic garbage pail that is easy to wash in the bath tub.

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We are still using Country Save detergent and dryer balls instead of dryer sheets. I am looking at wool dryer balls for future because I hate my plastic ones. The Country Save seems to work fine as my diapers are still in great shape and always come out clean. I’ve tried both the liquid and powder and I can’t say I’ve noticed a huge difference either way. My routine is to wash every day or every other day with a preliminary quick wash on hot and then on a normal cycle, hot water, with an extra rinse and then a machine dry on low. If after a while I notice lingering smells or stains, I bleach my whole lot of covers and inserts and then do another couple of washes with just detergent and an extra rinse to make sure all the bleach is removed. So far, so good. There seems to be mixed opinions on bleaching but we are dealing with human waste and I want to make sure things are cleaned properly.

If Leo has a diaper rash we either use coconut oil or Sudocrem with a disposable liner to keep it off of the cloth diapers. We do use disposables for overnight and long car rides, just for Leo’s comfort. They just wick moisture away from his sensitive skin so much better and I’ve been sleep deprived enough without waking up every few hours to change wet diapers. I do also find that he doesn’t seem as comfortable in his car seat in cloth for long periods of time, so for now that is the approach we’ve taken.

I had originally planned to use cloth wipes but I just haven’t gotten around to it. I kept finding wipes on sale so I would stock up and here we are months later. If I do get into cloth wipes I will let you know!

All in all, cloth diapering has been a positive experience so far and even Tom would tell you that he is amazed at the ease of things. It is a big money saver for us and I am always relieved that I’m not buying diapers on the regular.

I also think it’s important to not put pressure on yourself to be all in. I am amazed when I hear of people that do it 100% of the time because the planning it requires to go on a long trip especially is no small thing. There are some situations where a disposable diaper is still what we reach for and that’s ok with me. Even if you cloth diapered half the time, the savings is still worth the effort in my opinion!

Do you cloth diaper? I’d love to hear your take.

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Five Months of Motherhood

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Almost half a year into this journey! What a whirlwind. This experience is SO amazing and bittersweet and I could fill it with all the common cliches about motherhood that you’ve probably heard a million times (they’re all true) but instead I’ll just tell you what we’ve been up to.

A few noteworthy things we’ve done in the last couple of months:

– Took Leo swimming for the first time. He loved it!
– Met lots of extended family for the first time
– Left Leo to be babysat a few times, by his grandparents and his aunt and uncle. Thank goodness for family.
– Went on his first road trip to Brandon. His longest one yet!
– Lots of sitting up, rolling over and belly laughs

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Leo is getting more fun every single day. He’s super silly, determined and strong willed. He still loves bath time and his jolly jumper and he’s starting to become super curious about the dog. Also, he’s obsessed with his dad. Our favourite time of day is when Dad gets home from work, for sure. We treasure the weekends when we get more time with him.

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I had some concerns about a flat spot on the side of Leo’s head so he had an X-Ray to rule out any issues with his skull development (all is well!) and has been seeing a physiotherapist due to a mild case of torticollis. We’ve been learning stretches and exercises to help with this and it’s been going really well. He’s also rarely sleeping on his back anymore now that he’s rolling all the time so his head is rounding out nicely.

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Leo also had an allergic reaction right before Halloween, complete with hives all over and wheezing. It was so scary! Of course this happened at bedtime on the first snowy night of the season and we were dragging our exhausted baby all over the blustery city, looking for an open walk in clinic at 8pm. Between seeing the doctor and waiting for his prescription we didn’t get home until almost midnight and he was on meds for a few days after but he was a trooper. We are certain it was from a new lotion and soon we meet with an allergy specialist to get a game plan together.

Something else super weird that happened: our baby swing got recalled! My sister recognized it in an email she got and sent me the info. Sure enough, our swing matched the recall number and I had to cut it into pieces and send half away and throw out the other half. I loved that swing and it was pretty much the only place Leo slept for the first two months of his life so I was sad to see it go. That said, I’m also super horrified that he could have burst into flames in it and glad it is out of here.

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We’ve been enjoying all the fun and festive things this season has to offer. We set up our tree extra early, did photos with Santa and got Leo his first engraved ornament. What I’m really struggling with is not going totally overboard with gifts. I’m trying to remind myself that the best memories I have as a child are of experiences and not things and I’m hoping to parent with this in mind. Christmastime with a baby is magic though, I’ll say that much.

I am still wishing for more sleep and I do feel like sleep deprivation makes me a little off on occasion. I’m definitely more forgetful and scatterbrained. I also really struggle with making conversation and collecting my thoughts these days. Mom brain is so real! One definitely forgets how to interact with adults when home alone with a baby all day.

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Physically, I’ve also been dealing with tendinitis in both thumbs/wrists and it has been AWFUL. It started in my left wrist right after Leo was born and then because I started wearing a brace and favouring my right I developed it there too. It is super painful and really makes my day to day a challenge. I am still waiting on a referral to a specialist and in the meantime I am wearing braces on both wrists the majority of the time. Apparently it’s common in new mothers due to relaxin and the sudden constant lifting of a baby. I never knew it existed and it’s kind of comical to me that after pushing a baby out of my you-know-what that wrist pain is my biggest postpartum health concern.

I alternate between serious baby fever and then thinking that there is no way in hell I’ll be ready for another anytime soon. I feel so excited when I see pregnant women or things like ultrasounds on TV and I can’t wait to do it again. That said, I do want to enjoy Leo as much as possible before throwing another baby into the mix. I’d also like a bit more sleep before having another one. I just want to get caught up on sleep before I sign up for more sleep deprivation. Because that makes sense, right?

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Most recently, we just moved Leo to his own room after room sharing since he was born. I have mixed emotions. I feel anxious about it but I also know that none of us was sleeping as well as we could have been and that the arrangement had run its course. We also just started experimenting with solids and so far it’s been fun! Will keep you posted as we learn more of course.

That’s all for now. Thanks for reading and for all of your support! I love sharing our experiences here.

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Baby Favourites: Five Months In

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Time for another round of baby faves! As Leo continues to grow we find more things that make our days much easier. Here they are:

Munchkin Bottle Warmer – Heats up a bottle in 90 seconds, which is long enough to wait when you have a hungry baby on your hands. Also worth noting that we’ve tried the more expensive Avent Warmer and the Munchkin one wins hands down for speed and ease of use.

Fisher Price Play Mat – Leo loves everything about this, from the mirror he can see himself in to the piano he can play music with when he kicks his feet. Also interesting for him to look at during tummy time.

Avent Microwave Bottle Sterilizer – Super handy for sterilizing bottles in a hurry as well as breast pump parts.

Evenflo Double Electric Breast Pump – My sister has this and seeing how well it worked for a fraction of the cost of most electric pumps I bit the bullet. It really does the job well!

Summer Infant Swaddle Me Wrap Sack – Remember how I plugged the Halo sleep sack in my last favourites post? Well, I have a new preference. This variety has a way better zipper system at the bottom for changing diapers. These are also way cheaper than the Halo ones. Now that he is rolling over we have moved him to a sleep sack but these are our fave swaddles by far.

Wet and Dry Bag – I always keep one in my diaper bag for cloth diapers but one day Leo ended up blowing out through his whole outfit (and his CARSEAT, I might add) while at the mall and I was able to shove the whole mess in this bag until we got home to wash it. Lifesaver.

Jolly Jumper – Aside from bath time, this is Leo’s favourite thing to do. It’s nice to have another way to entertain him.

Padraig’s – These beautiful slippers were a gift from a friend and they are wonderful. So well made and cozy for this colder weather.

Fisher Price 4 in 1 High Chair – I’d been going back and forth on what high chair we should get Leo and I had a long wish list: small space friendly, folds flat to store, multiple uses, easy to clean, gender neutral and not $400. This is PERFECT. I’ve already loved using the space saver option rather than buying a Bumbo. Highly recommend it.

Jolly Jumper Cuddle Bag – We are loving this for the colder weather and so is Leo. It keeps him super cozy and he often falls asleep in it while we are out and about.

What baby items couldn’t you live without?

 

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Baby Favourites: Six Weeks In

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There are so many items one can be required/tempted to purchase before having a baby but you never really know how well these things work until you put them into action. I thought I’d share what we couldn’t do without so far:

Graco Click Connect Travel System – Aside from our cloth diapers this is probably the product I researched the most and it paid off. We are SO happy with this travel system. The click connect is crazy easy to use. The stroller is large but fast to break down and fits in my trunk well. We’ve taken it walking on all kinds of trails and roads and it rides super smooth. You can get it at Babies R Us but we got ours on sale at Target for $330 CAD when we went on our Minot trip. That’s a $300 savings! Something worth looking into.

Kidiway Leather Glider – So many moms told me to invest in a great rocker and they were right. Both Tommy and I have spent countless hours in this thing since Leo was born. It’s crazy comfortable and I love that it reclines, too. Ours is in our living room so I love that it doesn’t scream “nursery”.

Kushies Waterproof Change Pads – Nothing groundbreaking but these are super handy for a quick change anywhere and the patterns are so cute. We have two and I’d like more.

Onesies with Built-In Mitts – Those newborn mitts were constantly falling off of Leo’s little hands, especially because he always wanted to suck his fingers. Onesies with the mitt flaps were so helpful for those early newborn days to prevent scratches. Old Navy has awesome ones.

Aden & Anais Swaddle Blankets – All moms seem to recommend these and I agree. These blankets are thin but cozy and have so many uses.

Fisher Price Soothing Seat – Still where Leo sleeps the most soundly. This seat uses rocking and swaying motions that mimic a parent’s movements. It also has music and vibration options and I love that it plugs into the wall.

Summer Infant Baby Bather – A friend kindly lent this to us and it has made kitchen sink baths a breeze. Leo is really relaxed in it!

Jamieson Baby Probiotic Drops – Our paediatrician recommended these for Leo’s often gassy stomach and he rarely has tummy pains anymore. We’ve noticed a huge difference since starting them when he was two weeks old.

Halo Sleep Sack – Once we got one of these, Leo started sleeping in 4-5 hour stretches overnight from being up every 2 hours. Highly recommend!

What are your favourite baby products?

 

 

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Cloth Diapering: Our Setup

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Super excited to be sharing our cloth diaper setup today. This is something I’ve been looking into pretty much since I found out I was pregnant and I love hearing other’s experiences and tips so I thought I would share what we plan to use for our baby.

Cloth diapering is a somewhat controversial topic and I’ve definitely received much skepticism and discouraging opinions on it. I understand that cloth won’t work for everyone but for us it feels feasible to at least give it a try. In the condo we have main floor laundry so I don’t think an extra load every other day or so is a big deal. If we were using disposables we’d be taking a load of garbage down to the main floor and then across our building to the dumpster room every day which is way more of a production than a load of laundry inside our suite, in my opinion.  I’ll be honest that cost savings is my biggest motivator. We stand to save easily a couple thousand dollars cloth diapering from birth to potty trained and even more if we use that same cloth diaper stash on more than one child.

The amount of research I did before deciding on what brand to go with was outrageous. I probably seriously considered at least four brands and every type before deciding on Planet Baby’s All-In-Two package. I liked that the company is Canadian and they sell on Amazon so I was able to read a lot of reviews from verified purchasers on there. I know that some people like to try a mix of styles and brands but my goal was to choose well from the beginning and really get comfortable with one style rather than have a mix of items and potentially only a few that I liked. The diapers look and feel great, so I’m excited to see how they work.

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What sold me on Planet Baby:

  • Ability to purchase a full diaper package
  • Reasonable price (plus free shipping and coupon codes)
  • Cute prints
  • Bamboo inserts
  • The features: double leg gussets, snaps, one size (fits 8-35 lbs.)
  • Close to disposables for ease of use

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A list of everything we have to get started:

From Planet Baby:

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From Well.ca:

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Miscellaneous:

  • Coconut Oil (in lieu of traditional diaper rash cream)
  • Cloth Wipes
  • Spray Bottle (to spray cloth wipes)
  • Dryer Balls
  • Country Save Liquid Detergent

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We are going to wait at least a couple of weeks after the baby is born until the meconium passes and we get our bearings before we start using cloth. It will also depend on how well they fit him as a newborn.

In terms of prepping, I just prepped the diaper covers by washing and drying once. For all of the inserts, I washed them three times, dried once and then repeated this process, with everything on high heat. This is necessary to maximize the absorbency of natural fiber inserts and prevent leaks. You also have to be careful to avoid the softeners, fragrances and dyes in traditional detergents and fabric softeners with cloth diapers. I chose Country Save detergent, because it came highly recommended for cloth diapers in many of my readings and I can get it from the London Drugs in our neighborhood. We’ve also switched from dryer sheets to dryer balls to avoid extra chemicals.

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That’s all I have so far. This is going to be a learning experience for us so I’m excited to get started and will let you know how we make out!

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