Monday, April 15, 2013

Why your baby needs a fluffy butt!

I just finished some cloth diaper laundry, which got me thinking that it's about time to do a cloth diaper post.  I really do wish someone had given me a nickel for every horrified look or remark of, "Oh you just wait and see," when I told them I was going to cloth diaper.  Some people (people who didn't have kids, but even more likely, people who did) would say, "Yeah, that'll last about two days."

But I am about the most hard headed person you will meet, so even if it involved going down to the creek and beating them on a rock at sunup every morning, I was determined to do it.  Cloth diapering and breast feeding were two issues I just refused to budge on - I'd do it or die.

And both of them....have turned out to be SO much easier than I ever dreamed.  Breast feeding is a post for another day, but cloth diapering is equally easy and fantastic.

First of all, Ira tends to have somewhat sensitive skin, so I hate to imagine what his poor little butt would look like in plastic pants with all the chemicals and whatnot in them.  There is nothing better than feeling a fuzzy fleece diaper lining and knowing that that's what your baby has on his little hiney.  We used disposables in the hospital, and I do not miss them a bit for that reason!

Back in the days where he was going through 15 diapers a day, we did have a little teeeeeeny tiny bit of redness, but it was easy to clear up with California Baby diaper cream and Earth Mama Angel Baby cream.  And just think - if you were pooping 15 times a day, I'm pretty sure your butt would be a little red too.

Well sure, I can sell you on the fact that fleecy hineys are much more comfortable and cute than plastic butts.  But most people think cloth diapers involve pinning dishcloths on your baby in an origami fashion.  That is SO not the case!  We use pocket diapers, and if you can use a disposable, you can use a pocket diaper.  You stick the diaper under the baby and snap it on...ta-da!

The sticking point for most people though, even if you're still with me to this point, is the washing of the diapers.  Everyone says, "Oh, you must use a service, right?"  Well no, because a) a diaper service gives you those dish rags that you put on your baby with the origami folds and b) because then I'd be spending probably more money than I would on disposables.

Here's how we do it.  All pocket diapers have microfleece inserts that basically look like a big, cloth maxi pad.  They're nice because they absorb everything and keep any liquids inside the diaper.  We pull those out (just so they get nice and clean), and toss that and the outer shell of the diaper into a metal trash can with a waterproof, washable liner.  When we're ready to wash, we shake the whole thing into the washer, add some Rockin' Green detergent, and press play.  That's it. No spraying, scraping, or beating on a rock in the creek.  Close the lid on the trash can and you'll never know it's there.  Your house will not smell, your baby's room will not smell, your neighbors will not call the EPA to report a sewage leak.  Promise.

At this point, you're wrinkling your nose and saying, But you're putting POOP in your WASHER.  Let me get real with you for a minute, y'all.  I think most people who haven't had a baby, or haven't had a teeny tiny baby in awhile, forget what baby poop is like.  We picture putting our own poop, or our dog's poop, or something in between, in our washer.  Yes, that would be horrible and nasty and just plain wouldn't work.  But really, if your baby doesn't eat solids, pretty much all of it is going to be liquid and it's going right into that microfiber insert.  If there's anything left on top, it's really thin and liquid-like too.  Not to mention, your baby's poop is just digested milk - it really doesn't smell.  We might hear him poop, but that's the only way we could be holding him in your lap and not smell it.  And let me assure you, with some hot water and a heavy duty wash, you will not have poop in your washer for long.  I have been washing diapers almost every single day for 5 weeks and some change, and I have yet to see poop in there, pull anything out that smells or looks like poop, or have any issues at all.  If you're willing to wash your own sweaty underpants in your washer, I promise your baby's diapers are not that much worse, and they probably smell better.

We either line dry the diapers because it takes out any stains, and because it makes me feel like a pioneer woman, or we toss them in the dryer on low for an hour. And there you have it - fluffy, clean diapers, ready for your baby's butt.

Our favorite diapers when he was a teeny tiny newborn baby were Charlie Bananas, because you can adjust the leg elastics and they fit him almost immediately for that reason.  I still like those, but my only complaint is that the pocket opening is in the front, so it tends to be wetter up there when you have to pull out the insert.  I find myself reaching for our Just Simply Baby diapers a lot, because they fit really well and I like how the snaps are configured.

Oh, and I almost forgot - we use cloth wipes too!  My mom got some printed flannel and made us some super cute ones.  I keep a spray bottle with a few squirts of Diaper Lotion Potion mixed with a lot of water on the changing table.  I usually just squirt his butt directly with it, or maybe wet the wipe a tad if I need to.  It gets tossed right in the can with the dirty diapers, just like you would with a disposable setup.  I love them because you truly can use just one of them and the job is done.

We even use cloth when we're out, because it's honestly easier than swapping over to disposables to go out for a few hours.  I just keep a smaller wet bag in my diaper bag, a few cloth dipes, and I pull the insert and toss it and the diaper in my wet bag if we're out.  Then I shake it into my diaper pail at home and wash the wet bag right along with the diaper laundry.  I do use disposable wipes if we're out (though I don't love them), because it's easier than carrying a spray bottle that could potentially leak.

So next time you see cloth diapers on zulily (which is where most of ours came from), get yourself a few and try them out.  I promise, this doesn't just work for me because I'm supermom - I am the most disorganized person you've ever met.  Laundry is perhaps my most hated chore, but mainly because I hate folding and putting away clothes.  Diaper laundry is my favorite because it's all diapers, they all get tossed in my changing table, and it's so satisfying to have a whole load of clean, cute diapers.  Even PB, who is really not a crunchy hippie like me at all, will get out a diaper and give you a whole demo if you come over because he likes them so much more than disposables.  Even my mom, who was the world's biggest skeptic, especially when it came to the laundry part, will tell you it's no big deal...she's even joined in on my diaper-buying addiction.

Even if you just use them part of the time, or decide to try them, you're saving money and you're keeping yucky plastic diapers out of landfills.  Even if you have an older baby, it isn't too late!  They adjust so well that they'll fit Ira until he's potty trained (assuming that happens before, say, third grade).  I plan to reuse my diapers if we ever have more babies, so they may even pay for themselves another time over.  They're well worth the money and they're some of my favorite baby items!

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Happy One Month, Ira!

Happy one month, Ira!

One month stats:
Weight: 10 pounds, 1 ounce (50th percentile)
Height: 23 inches (95th percentile)
Clothing Size: 0-3 months, though some 6 month outfits fit you too.  None of your newborn clothes fit at all!

One month milestones:
March 2 - First pediatrician appointment with Dr. Chan, where you weighed 7 pounds, 11 ounces.  Also saw your first few snowflakes!

March 3 - First walk up and down the Alley in your Moby wrap (you slept the whole time).

March 6 - Had a lactation appointment and you weighed 8 pounds, 3.25 ounces!  You ran your first errands with me and Mimi, to the bank and the cloth store.  It was your daddy's first day back to work and we visited him at the fire department!

March 8 - We took newborn pictures of you at home!

March 13 - You had your two week pediatrician appointment and you weighed 8 pounds 12 ounces and were 22 1/4 inches long.

March 16 - You took your first stroller walk around the neighborhood (but you slept the whole time!)

March 20 - You had a cardiology appointment to check on the heart murmur they found when you were born.  Dr. Hurlong said we had nothing to worry about, and that you are perfectly healthy.  We took you to your first restaurant dinner at Bonfire with Mimi and Poppa to celebrate!

March 21 - You went to Pancake Day at the Boys and Girls Club and you were customer #2600!

March 26 - We ran errands all by ourselves for the very first time.  I almost had a heart attack, but it worked out fine!

You love to take baths, and didn't even really seem to mind the chilly sponge baths we had to give you while you still had your umbilical cord stump.  You especially love to have your hair washed!  Now we give you baths in the big kitchen sink.  We started with a plastic bath seat and have just moved on to the Blooming Bath that Mimi got you, which you really seem to like.  Sometimes, you get so relaxed in the bathtub, we think you're going to fall asleep!  

You usually eat every 2 to 3 hours, even at night.  Sometimes, you let me sleep from midnight to 4am or so, and once you even gave me 5 hours!  That definitely is not the norm though - usually your longest stretch of sleep at night is about 3 1/2 hours.  After that, we are usually up every two hours or so.  Right now, you sleep in your Rock 'n Play next to our bed.  You've never slept a wink in your crib!  You tend to turn your nose up at things most babies seem to like, such as your bouncy seat.  I have now nearly broken two toes on it, so maybe you sense my hostility toward it, but at any rate, you start wailing to see a manager as soon as I put you in it.  Until the last week, you haven't really tolerated your swing either.  Now that you've discovered that it has a mirror where you can look up at yourself, you seem to like it a tad more. I still can't put you in it for more than ten minutes without hearing a lot of loud complaining though!

You love to sleep in the car and the Moby.  I wear you all the time, because we both like it.  We started out wearing the Moby, but it's a pain in the butt to tie it, especially when we're out and about.  We mainly use that for when I'm trying to tackle the to-do list at home.  I can't bear to leave you in your Rock 'n Play while I run around the house - I much prefer to have you with me.  Mimi made us a ring sling and I finally figured out how to use it a few weeks ago, and now it's our favorite when we are out running errands.  It's easy to get you in and out, or change your position for nursing and use the tail as a cover.  We are getting good at that, and we have nursed while walking around Harris Teeter and Lowe's now!

I love to read you stories, especially with your Hallmark story buddies (Watson is our particular favorite so far).  You also like to watch Baby Einstein videos on the iPad with us - when you listen to the music and watch the images, you start panting and waving your arms, and your eyes get so big!  You also like to look at pictures with lots of circles and bright colors, either ones that Mimi drew for you or things I look up on the iPad to show you.  You have started noticing Peggy Sue and Brenda Lee and you smiled at Peggy Sue yesterday!  You love to hear anyone sing, even my terrible self, and we make up songs to sing to you all the time.

Everyone told me it would fly by and I didn't know what they meant, but now I do.  It feels like we were in the hospital having you about ten minutes ago.  I can't believe you're a whole month now.  

We love you so much, sweet buddy!