Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Baby Gear: Cloth Diapering

I have been researching and testing baby products for over four months now so I figured I'd post about what worked and what didn't for our family so far. I found blog posts like this super helpful when I was pregnant trying to figure out what I needed for the arrival of our baby.

*disclaimer: I have not been given any products for my reviews nor compensated in any way. My reviews are my own.

**disclaimer #2: We cloth diaper L-bug and exclusively feed her breast milk.


Thirsties covers and Rumparooz covers are our absolute favorite diaper covers to use.

Imagine Baby Products "Smart Fit" trifold cloth diapers are the BEST trifolds to use and fit so much better on L-bug than Osocozy brand. I started out with Osocozy but as soon as I tried the Imagine I was hooked. Imagine fits chubbier babies as they run a bit wider and fluff up nicely. Osocozy would work great if your baby is really tiny or skinny but having only two sizes you are pretty limited. Instead of those dated diaper pins we use Snappies. By far the trifolds plus covers are our favorite method of diapering. It's just so simple and not a whole lot of "parts" to wash. Plus you can just wipe and reuse the covers without having to launder every single time if not too soiled which is bonus.

Alvababy are our favorite AI2 (All-In-Twos). Yes, they are from China.....I normally am very pro-USA made items but when you compare Alvababy's diapers which are about $6 a diaper to USA company's $17-$20 (nearly identical quality in my opinion) there's not a whole lot of thought for me on which ones I can afford. These AI2s are a built in diaper cover plus microfiber or bamboo liner that you tuck inside for absorbency. You have to wash the entire diaper before you use again, unlike the diaper covers from above. These come in super cute prints and are very padded. They are, in my opinion, a little more work when it comes to washing and having to re-stuff than the trifolds. However, they are cute and convenient, especially if you are having someone else look after your baby who have no clue how to maneuver around a trifold diaper. These AI2 are just snap and go. For us, L-bug is such a heavy wetter that they are great during the day being out and about but are not practical for us to use at night. For night use we use a trifold with a microfiber/bamboo insert for extra absorbency.

Grandma El's diaper rash cream works wonderfully (although with cloth diapering L-bug's nether regions have rarely been anything more than a little pink). Grandma El's is cloth diaper friendly and has a lovely strawberry/fruity scent that is not overpowering.

Charlie's Soap rocks.

For wipes, we cut up thrift store waffled blankets into squares, put them in a tupperware container then poured a homemade mixture over to keep them constantly moist. Add more wipes and solution as needed. We first tried putting the diaper wipe mixture into a spray bottle and spraying onto the cloth wipes as needed but, after experimenting with pre-moistened ones, we found we like the pre-moistened wipes better for convenience and wipe coverage.

Baby Wipes Recipe (makes 1 gallon):
optional 16 drops lavender essential oil
optional 16 drops tea tree essential oil (I only use this on occasion as I find the lavender is plenty)
½ cup oil (I've used grapeseed oil, jojoba oil, olive oil, and calendula oils- you can use one or a blend of several different.)
½ cup Dr. Bronner's liquid baby soap
distilled water to fill 1 gallon container
(optional: I've know people to add a little bit of either distilled vinegar or apple cider vinegar)

PlanetWise diaper pail liners - get 2-3 as you'll rotate them along with a lidded garbage pail. I bought a generic foot pedal lid opening type of pail and attached a little Arm and Hammer deodorizer to the lid and have no issues with smell. That said, I also do laundry every 1-2 days.

Alvababy diaper bags. I love these diaper bags. You can put wipes, 2 onesies, and a few diapers comfortably in the front zipper and have room to put the dirty in the larger compartment. No more lugging around  your huge go-bag type of diaper bag. Just toss this little puppy at the bottom of your stroller and you are ready to go for several hours.

If you need something bigger than a couple diapers then I would suggest Kanga Care bag. This is a one compartment only bag but will hold a ton of dirty diapers. I used this while I was in and out of the hospital a few times and L-bug was able to stay with me.

I think that covers diapering! Any questions? Feel free to leave a question in the comments section. Next up: Feeding.

I'm Back!!!!

So I can't promise frequent updates as I'm in full throttle mommy-mode but I'm going to try the best I can to blog on my "down time" (insert hilarious laughter).

Let me start off by saying that I LOVE LOVE LOVE being a mother. Holy crap I knew I would love it but I didn't realize the extent and depth of the love I feel towards my daughter and my family. I thought long and hard about whether or not to write my birth story and, for now, I am going to let it ride. It's pretty personal and maybe one day I'll share but for now let's just say that everything went haywire but then sorted itself out and turned out perfectly.

On my new journey of motherhood I am learning so many new things and that having a laid back kind of approach works best for us. I'm having a good time laughing at myself, actually, as all the "I'll never do x,y, or z" pre-baby has been tossed to the wind and replaced with "whatever you gotta do". Co-sleeping? yep, doing it (for the record, co-sleeping means in the same room though not necessarily in the same bed. Also, for the record, there's definitely some bed sharing going on some nights). Pacifiers? trying it out due to a very high suck-drive mixed with teething (though she is rejecting them on her own, nothing like a good finger or boob).

I've done a ton of reading all kinds of books- those with the same parenting style I accept and even some with parenting styles I reject. I had no idea there were so many different parenting styles with names associated with them. I don't agree 100% with any single style and I take each book with a grain of salt, picking out helpful tidbits and tossing out the rest. I found I tend to gravitate more towards the attachment parenting style while firmly rejecting the CIO (Cry-It-Out) Method or strict scheduling of feeds/life; aka BabyWise. L-bug is an amazing little girl who fell into a routine on her own and it has been my job to help her follow it without forcing it on her. She consistently gets tired twice a day at the same times and then sleeps in 3-5hr sections of the night, waking to feed with a quick diaper change, and then back off to sleep. There have been a few nights of hourly to two hour waking to feed periods but in all honesty, I am exhausted without even caring that I'm exhausted. She is growing, getting chubby (heavens, those chubby cheeks slay me!), and is an extremely happy, mellow, loveable baby. She goes with the flow.

So, I'll still try to toss in a bunch of independent living and exercise/running posts but for now I shall wallow in motherhood and my adventures enfolding from that.