Sunday, April 26, 2009

He's got daddy's looks....





Busy Weekend!

This weekend was Bonnie's baby shower, and some of our friends from Wisconsin were in town. We had dinner at Gma Holly and Gpa Tony's, and got to spend time with Bonnie, Chad, Toni, her kiddos, and Sarah and Debbie Burdick. The Burdick's gave Oli a great big Tonka truck, which he just loves!

Oliver got to meet Alexander, our friend Robbie's son:
And Oli had to check out all of his cousin Gabe's toys (Gabe also got a Tonka truck from the Burdick's):
And here is Oliver spending time with Great-Grandma Tice. It's lucky I had the camera out, he was off her lap and crawling across the room after about ten seconds! He just can't sit still!

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Way back when...

I was thinking about our first days with Oliver earlier today. I haven't really posted a detailed birth story or what went on in the first week, but that will have to be a longer post for later I guess. To make it short, Oli was in NICU for 8 days, I was sick and hooked up to an IV for 6 days, and it was tough. Really tough.
I remember one night in the NICU with just Oliver and Ian. Oli wasn't a very happy camper and Ian was trying to soothe him - he was attempting to pace with him, but he couldn't walk very far since Oli was hooked up to so many wires. I told Ian to sing or tell a story to Oliver, so he sang the entire "Boy Named Sue" song by Johnny Cash, word for word. I think Oli quieted down and fell asleep right at "he went and named me Sue" but Ian kept singing.
Oliver is so lucky to have such a wonderful daddy.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Slobber!

Lately, Oliver has been blowing raspberries all over the place - especially on my face. The other morning, he was having fun with this mirror toy - notice all the drool at the end! (This game went on for a good 15 minutes!)

video

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Buying Diapers

Here is my list of links to diaper sites that I have in my Favorites. I've only actually bought from a few of them, and I made a note next to these:

Wallypop - I have bought several diapers (as well as a baby carrier) from Wallypop. All her diapers are homemade and she is local. Great diapers, great customer service!

Little Padded Seats - This internet store just opened a shop in Valley Junction. They sell all kinds of diapers, and the owners are very nice and helpful.

Stork Wearhouse - Local!

Sew Crafty Baby - One of the few non-local places I have bought diapers from. Very good prices.

Jillians Drawers - They have a great cloth diaper trial that we used when we first started.

Cotton Babies

Kellys Closet

Nickis Diapers

Renegade Baby

Simple Cloth

Sunshine Diapers

Diapers.com

Modern Diapers

Blue Penguin

Poppy Pants

Pinstripes and Polkadots - not only do they sell diapers, but there is A LOT of great information about cloth diapering on this site.

Sunny Bundles

Montana's Diaper Store

Choosey Diapers

Jennifer's Cloth Diaper Boutique

Green Mountain Diapers

Soft Cloth Bunz

Cloth Baby Planet

Funky Diaper

Zany Zebra - this site also has a lot of great cloth diapering information!

If you have other sites that you have found helpful, please leave a link in the comments!

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Cloth Diapers 101

I've been meaning to blog more about Oliver's diapers, and I'm just now getting some time to do it. I figured some of my readers considering cloth may be interested in our diapers and our routine, and my family/friends may just be interested in why we use 'crazy, hippy' diapers. (And I'm pretty sure I've convinced two of my pregnant relatives to use cloth! Yay!) Or, no one may be interested and this is just for me! :) This is what works for us, but I know there are a lot of other diapers out there and other ways to use/wash them. I'm putting photos in here where I can – I don't have pictures of all of our diapers, however.

First, why do we use cloth diapers?

1. They're cheaper than disposables. Yes, there is a larger upfront cost. But in the long run, as long as you don't go overboard with the expensive, pretty cloth diapers, they are way less expensive than disposables. Cloth babies tend to potty train sooner, and you can use the diapers for multiple kids. Use this calculator to find out how much it'll cost you to cloth diaper versus use disposables.

2. They're better on baby's bum. Oliver has been in ONE disposable diaper since December (and that was Kim's fault!). The only 'diaper' rash he has had was from me eating or drinking citrus, which he can't handle quite yet. He has had NO rash from his actual diapers. Before we were doing cloth full-time, he had diaper rashes pretty frequently. And really....put a cloth diaper up to your face. Wouldn't you love to have that on your bum all day, instead of plastic? (Side note: I was showing Ian a new diaper the other day from Wallypop (a locally owned business), and he said he wanted to keep it for himself, it was so soft. Then he wanted me to ask her if she could make a mattress cover out of the diaper material.)

3. They're cute! Yes, I realize that most of the time the diaper is covered up by clothes so who cares what they look like? But, most of us (at least women) buy cute undies for ourselves, and we cover them up with clothes. It's just fun to have cute, cool diapers.

4. No leaks. Seriously. As long as there isn't user error (and there will be, at the beginning), cloth diapers are leak-free. I don't know how many times Oli peed through a disposable. But now we haven't had a leak in forever, even through the whole night.

5. They're better for the environment – depending on who you talk to. Some people feel that since you must wash cloth yourself, you are wasting water, but I personally feel that using more water is better than manufacturing diapers, packaging them, shipping them, using them once, then throwing them in a landfill to sit for hundreds of years, if not forever. But, I'm really not an environmentalist and this is not one of the big reasons we use cloth.

The diapers we use:

Prefolds: Prefolds are the 'old school' cloth diapers that most people first think of. They are a flat, rectangular piece of cotton with a middle that is several layers thick. You used to have to use diaper pins for these, but there is a wonderful gadget called a Snappi now that is easy to use and much less dangerous! You need to put a diaper cover on over a prefold if you don't want leaks. Prefolds and covers are definitely the least expensive way to go.
We initially started cloth diapering with a diaper service. The service uses only prefolds. They were easier to use than I thought they would be, although Ian never really loved them. I plan on using prefolds for our next kiddo during the newborn stage.

Fitteds: Fitted diapers are the shape of a 'sposie, and generally go on easily with velcro or snaps. You should use a cover over fitteds. (Although, Oli often goes around the house in fitteds with no cover for an hour or so, because it lets his bum breathe a bit.)
The fitteds we have:
Wallypop: Love, love, LOVE these! Wallypop diapers in general are great. We have several (very cute) fitteds, some with snaps and some with touchtape. I prefer the touchtape. I chose an edge-sewn soaker, so the diapers are very absorbent but still dry quickly.
Oliver's Pirate Wallypop Fitted:
Thirsties: We have a few Thirsties Fab Fitteds, and I really like them. They are not the most absorbent, but they are great for daytime, super easy to use and pretty trim. I'm not a fan of the velcro, however.
One of Oli's Thirsties Fab Fitteds
Happy Heiny's: We have one Happy Heiny's 'Happy Hempy' fitted, with a pocket. I bought it at Little Padded Seats in Valley Junction and the owner told me it's a great nighttime diaper. And wow, is it! Hemp is super absorbent. And the Happy Hempy also has a pocket, so I stuff it with extra hemp and microfiber, put a cover on, and Oli is good to go all night!
Baby BeeHinds: We have one BBH bamboo fitted, and I really like it. It's not very trim, but it's absorbent. We used it overnight a couple nights ago and it worked like a charm.
Oli's BBH
Pockets: Pocket diapers are what they sound like: They have a pocket that you can stuff with whatever kind of absorbent material you want. Most pockets do not need a cover.
The pockets we have:
Fuzzi Bunz: Most of our pockets are Fuzzi Bunz. I like the snaps, although sometimes it's hard to snap now that Oli is constantly trying to dive off the changing table. There are two rows of snaps, so I can get the diaper to fit perfectly, which is difficult with Oliver's thin body and chunky thighs. When bought new, they come with microfiber inserts. We have been using these every day since December and they are in perfect condition still.

Fuzzi Bunz
Happy Heiny's: We have one Happy Heiny's pocket, and I don't even really remember where I got it. I wasn't a fan immediately for some reason, but now I really like it. The velcro is the wide kind and isn't fraying.

All-In-Ones (AIO): AIOs are diapers that go on just like disposables – no stuffing, no cover. They are fool-proof and great for babysitters. They tend to take longer to dry, however.
The AIOs we have:
Bum-Ware: I hated this diaper at first. No idea why. Now it's my favorite AIO that we have. It's super trim, and great for out-and-about. Not super absorbent, but great for regular daytime use.
Bum-Ware AIO
BumGenius Organic: If BumGenius used different velcro, I would love this diaper. The inside is made with organic cotton, and the sling-style lining makes it dry quicker. I just don't like the closures on BumGenius diapers in general.
Covers: There are a lot of different types of diaper covers. We have several kinds and I use them all for different things. Fleece and wool covers (or shorties, or longies) are great for nighttime. PUL covers (such as Thirsties) are good for daytime. We also have an Imse Vimse organic cotton cover that I love. Generally, you don't need to wash diaper covers after every use, unless there is poop on them. I have also made a few fleece covers.
Thirsties PUL Cover; Wool Longies; Fleece Hawkeye Soaker (made by me!)

Imse Vimse Organic Cotton Cover
Wipes: If you're using cloth diapers, it just makes sense to use cloth wipes as well. Then you can throw them all in the diaper pail instead of worrying about getting the baby wipes in the trash. We use some baby washcloths (we got a million of them at the baby showers), and I have also started making some wipes out of flannel receiving blankets. I keep a spray bottle next to the wipes, full of water and a couple drops of baby shampoo. Super easy.
One of my (not square) cloth wipes:
Diaper Cream: If you're using cloth diapers, it's important to make sure the diaper cream you use (and we rarely have to use any!) is appropriate for cloth (Visit pinstripesandpolkadots for a list of diaper-friendly cream). Some creams contain ingredients that will cause the diaper to repel liquids. We use A+D cream, which is not diaper-friendly, but works the best for Oli. When we put it on him, I just put a cloth wipe between his bum and the diaper, so no cream gets on the diaper.
Detergent: There are also diaper-friendly detergents out there. See pinstripesandpolkadots for a list.

Ok, so how does all this work? I'll do a run-through of a diaper change and laundry.

So, Oli has a wet diaper. I take it off him, and throw it in the diaper pail (we have a garbage can with a swinging lid, and a pail liner inside). If it has a cover, I leave the cover on the changing table to air out. If it's a pocket diaper, I pull out the insert and throw it all in the pail. AIOs get tossed in as they are.
I spray a cloth wipe, get him clean, and toss the wipe in the pail as well. New diaper on, piece of cake.
Oh, but the dreaded poop. Some people are terrified of dealing with poopy cloth diapers. First of all, I have found that your own child's poop is not nearly as gross as any other poop. You'll find yourself examining it, actually, and probably laughing when you find whole peas in it, like I have lately.
For the first 5 ½ months Oli had nothing but breastmilk. Breastmilk poop is great. It barely smells. It's runny, but it's pie to clean. Just toss the poopy diaper in the pail, no rinsing or anything. I have no idea what formula poop is like so you may have to do a few more steps, I'm not sure.
When solids start, babies have what is wonderfully known as 'Peanut Butter Poop'. Yes, because it has the consistency of peanut butter. Yum.
Some people say that during this stage you have to scrape the PB poop into the toilet, or dunk it, or use a sprayer to get it all off. Or use a disposable liner in the diaper. I refuse. So while Oli had PB poop, I tossed it in the pail without a second glance. It worked for us, I never had any staining or any left over poop after laundry.
Now that Oli eats three solid meals a day, he has 'ploppable' poop. (I can't wait til he's older, and I can tell him that I explained in detail his poop on the internet!) Just what it sounds like – it easily 'plops' into the toilet. So now when he's poopy, I set the dirty diaper to the side until he's dressed, take it into the bathroom, and plop. Then it goes in the diaper pail. It doesn't all go into the toilet every time, but like I said, I refuse to scrape.
So now it's time for laundry. With the number of diapers that we have, I do diaper laundry every two or three days. I take the pail liner downstairs, empty it into the washer, and toss the liner in too. I do a cold-cold wash with no detergent, then a hot-cold wash with a small amount of diaper-friendly detergent (we use Arm & Hammer usually) and vinegar in the fabric softener spot. (I use vinegar in all our laundry.)
If it's nice out, I hang the diapers outside to dry. The sun gets out any stains that they may have, and line-dried laundry is just great anyway. Otherwise, I toss 'em in the dryer. Then I bring them upstairs, stuff the pocket diapers while I watch tv, and put them back in Oli's dresser. Easy as pie.


I have a huge list of places (online and local) that I buy diapers and accessories from. That'll have to be another blog, however. Feel free to ask me anything about our diapers and process!!