Sunday, March 28, 2010

What I know about Using Cloth Diapers

Cooper in a Bum Genius pocket diaper

As some of you may know, we use cloth diapers. We started when Cooper was about 8 months old. A few of my pregnant friends and just curious friends have been asking me to tell them what I know about cloth diapering so I decided that I would try and do a blog post. I am in no way an expert, but have been at it for almost 2 years so I will give it a go.

Why We Made the Switch
Like most, we started out using disposable. Why? Well, that was just what was done, right? Everyone used disposable, I actually didn't know one person who used cloth (still don't know many). When I thought of cloth diapering I thought of old school rag diapers that you fastened with a pin. I also thought that it meant using a diaper service. It never even occur ed to me that there are many modern cloth diapering options. Then I read a fantastic article in Mothering magazine. If you aren't familiar with Mothering magazine, it is a fabulous resource and support for natural parenting. I love it and look forward to it every 2 months! Any who... this article, which I bet you can get online somehow, explained all of the different types of modern cloth diapers and showed just how darn cute they are.
Most importantly, it discussed the horrible environmental impact that disposable diapers have. Of course you hardly ever hear about that side of disposable diapering, but it really is a problem. For instance, did you know that throwing human waste in a land fill is actually illegal? Yup, illegal. Why? Because human waste needs to be disposed of properly and if it goes into land fills it can potentially get in the water system. Not to mention the fact that disposable diapers sit in land fills for up to 400 years! That means that if your mom used disposable diapers on you, your poopy diapers are still in a land fill and will be for many, many, many years! An argument for disposable that you will hear which is a valid consideration is: don't you waste water washing cloth diapers, so in turn you are still negatively impacting the environment? This is a valid concern, however bogus. Diapering services, which are still in use DO use a ton of water to wash their diapers so washing at home is the most environmental way to go. Washing at home uses no more water than if the child were flushing the toilet numerous times a day, so it evens out. Another huge reason we decided to go cloth is the amount of chemicals used to make disposables. We did not like the idea of those being against our babies skin. So.....we switched.

Types of Cloth Diapers

There are so many types of cloth diapers out there that I simply can't explain it all here. I don't' have the knowledge or the time. A good way to learn about your options is to go shopping online and read the descriptions about each type of cloth diaper. My favorite web site to buy diapers is Wildflower diapers . This website will show you some of the most popular diapers out there and has an explanation of how they work. Another great website is diaper pin. This website gives reviews on cloth diaper products and answers many diaper questions that come up.
So, what type do we use?
We use a combo of pocket diapers and pre fold diapers. Pre fold diapers are cheaper but a bit more challenging to use. They are much like the old fashioned kind that you have to fold into shape and they need a cover. We use these while our pocket diapers are in the wash. You can use the cover over and over again, you just have to change the pre fold. They are getting harder to use as Cooper gets older because he has to lie down and sit still (right!) in order to get them on well. You don't need pins like you did in the old days because the cover fits snugly enough to hold them in place and the covers are super cute!

The pocket diapers are wonderful! They work just like disposable diapers. You stuff an insert into the "pocket", hence the name, and then they are ready to go. They either have Velcro or snaps and they are not bulky at all. These are one time use, you wash the whole thing after every change.
For baby girl, we are going to start cloth diapering right away. We are going to use a combo of fitted and pre fold diapers when she is a small baby and then move on to Coopers diapers when she gets a little older, because he is going to be potty trained by the time she needs bigger diapers, ahem... or at least that's the plan :) Fitted diapers are diapers that snap into place and then require a cover.
How cute are these fitted that I picked up for baby girl?

Don't they leak all the time?
Nope! Really, I am telling the truth. They hardly ever leak! Cooper wears a pocket diaper at night with an extra insert for up to 12 hours and he hardly ever has leaks. That's pretty good! If your diapers are leaking, it is likely because of detergent build up or a bad fit.
What do you do with the poop? Yuck!
You shake off solids into the toilet and we have a little sprayer that attaches to the toilet to get off the stuck on solid stuff. Then you throw them into your pail and they are ready to be washed. Nothing needs to be done with the urine diapers, just wash.
How do you wash them?
Washing can be a bit tricky but once you get the hang of it, it's not hard at all. We do a cold wash with no detergent, a hot wash with about 1/4 of the detergent you would use for a large load (less if you have a front loader), then an extra warm rinse. That is what we do. Many cloth diaper users have their own routine and you will get yours down too. The most important factor is the detergent you use. You have to choose one with no softeners or additives, so a free and clear type. We use Purex Free and Clear, it's cheap and it works. If your diapers are still stinky after washing or aren't absorbing properly you need to adjust your routine or perhaps need to strip them. We wash about every 2 or 3 days.
If you are going to use a "fancy" cloth diaper, like a pocket type, the up front cost may seem a bit scary. They run anywhere from 13-30 bucks each. But, once you buy them, thetas it! You never have to spend money on diapers again! If you use pre-folds, they are only a few dollars each and the covers are anywhere from 5-20 bucks each. Fitted diapers run about the same as pocket. I have a friend who gets hers used on Craig's list, so that's a great economical option. You can also get them on seconds websites. You save money in the end and buying disposable diapers is basically like buying trash!
So that's what I know. I hope this helps and that some of you choose to switch. It is so easy and dare I say fun! Plus, it is a great thing to do for the environment! We aren't perfect, we use disposable when we travel and when he is with Grammy and Po they prefer disposable. When we first started, we started slow, using disposable at night and when we were out and about. Once we got the hang of them, we realized how great they were and pretty much stopped using disposable all together. I would say we buy one to two packages of disposable diapers a year.
Good luck and happy diapering!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

A Day in the Garden

Today was another beautiful spring day. Cooper and I spent all afternoon working in our garden. Today I bought him a watering can in which he is quite happy with. Today we worked the soil in one of our raised beds by adding compost from our worm bin and then we planted our salad greens. We are calling this raised bed our "salad bowl" as we hope it will provide us with our salad greens for the summer. We also planted some radish seeds as well. After working hard, we rested on a lawn chair in the sun and then headed in for a nap. So far it has been a wonderful day!


Enjoying the watering can.

Our summer "salad bowl".

Mama relaxing and sunning the baby.

My gardener. He makes me proud.

And this face. I can't get enough of it...

Monday, March 22, 2010

Livia May

Lover of naps on her mama,
Banana eater,
wild hair having,
baby talking,
admirer of her big cuz Cooper,
is one wonderful little girl!

Livia, we love you and think you are pretty darn great, and cute!



Sunday, March 21, 2010

Our Yard

Our yard is taking on it's spring transformation! Doug spent an entire Sunday a few weeks ago transferring a play structure that our neighbor gave to us (so lucky) into our yard. It has made our yard so much more fun! We have started our spring gardening and have been spending lots of time every day outside getting our yard ready for summer. Cooper is very into gardening and helping out in the yard. Yesterday we went to the spring tilth plant sale and purchased our cold hardy greens that we plan on putting into the garden this week. I love gardening, can you tell :)
Here are some photos of our yard in full effect:
Here is a proud daddy in front of the new play structure

Cooper gardening

Going on bug hunts with good friends has is always fun

Climbing with best bud, Liam.

Swinging with Liam

Thursday, March 18, 2010

The Loves of My Life


This is what I come home to in the morning from a long night of work. I take one look at these cozy boys and my heart bursts! I am one lucky girl.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

A Calming Foot Bath

Since I weaned Cooper (yes, I nursed him until he was 2.5, and proud of it) he has been a bit off. We have been having more daily power struggles and he has been exploring his sense of independence. There has been a lot of back talk and some harsh words exchanged on both ends. Doug and I have been working hard on practicing positive discipline and on helping Cooper with this "off" time in his little life. After all, growing up is tough, even if you are two. It is a big world out there with so much to learn and see every day, it can be overwhelming. I am not denying that it is extremely frustrating for Doug and I as well.
We had a very busy Saturday with a fun play date and then some shopping. As I was beginning to prepare lunch for Cooper, the whining kicked in, along with a lot of "no, mommy!" and "don't talk to me daddy!" talk. For some reason I thought, how about a foot soak. I can't say I came up with this myself. About a year ago I read an article in Mothering Magazine about setting up a foot bath for your cranky toddler and never tried it but for some reason on Saturday it seemed like the perfect idea. Who doesn't feel relaxed when they soak their feet in warm water? I said "Cooper, want to soak your feet?" He looked confused. I suggested he go to the garden and pick some flowers to put in, then told him he could add his own salt and olive oil to the water. He was totally into it! He sat on his little rocking chair, put his flowers in, added the salt and oil and plunged his feet into the warm water. He sat there for an hour, pleasantly reading and singing. I rubbed his feet a bit and sat and talk to him. It was great! After, he was relaxed and ready for a nice nap.
We will defiantly be trying this again, next time I am going to set one up for me as well and get in on the relaxation.




Saturday, March 13, 2010

Our Baby Girl

We would like to introduce you to the newest Blair in the family. Meet, Baby Girl Blair! I am about 24 weeks along with this baby girl. I had a feeling that the baby was a girl as this pregnancy has been sooooo different from my pregnancy with Cooper. We feel very blessed to be having a girl but most importantly the ultrasound showed that everything looks very healthy. This little girl is due on the 4th of July and we are so excited!
We hope you are all enjoying your weekend so far. Doug and I had a pregnancy massage class and a date last night that was lovely. We are finally starting to prepare for this baby and for the birth. I feel like with the second I have been so distracted with the every day to day of a toddler that it took me a while to embrace this pregnancy. I was also very sick which made it hard to enjoy it. I have felt wonderful for the past few weeks and have really started preparing for natural birth again which is very exciting for us. I feel like I am preparing for my second marathon as giving birth was the most challenging and rewarding experience of my life.
We are also working very hard on preparing Cooper for being a big brother. We have checked out many books from the library about pregnancy, birth, and being a big brother. He can tell you all about the umbilical cord and how mommy is going to "push" the baby out. He acts excited about being a brother but we are quiet aware that it is going to be very challenging for him. Luckily, Doug will be off for 2 months after the baby is born so we will have lots of time to adjust as a foursome.
Enjoy the photos of our new baby girl!




Thursday, March 4, 2010

A Poem For Busy Mamas

If I Had My Child to Raise Over Again

If I had my child to raise all over again,
I'd finger paint more, and point the finger less.
I'd do less correcting, and more connecting.
I'd take my eyes off my watch, and watch with my eyes.
I would care to know less, and know to care more.
I'd take more hikes and fly more kites.
I'd stop playing serious, and seriously play.
I would run through more fields and gaze at more stars.
I'd do more hugging and less tugging.
I would be firm less often, and affirm much more.
I'd build self-esteem first, and the house later.
I'd teach less about the love of power,
And more about the power of love.

By Diana Loomans


Now get out there and enjoy those beautiful babies of yours! All we really have is time.


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