Monday, January 31, 2011

Elimination Communication

So, most of you have probably never heard of this. At least I'm assuming that since I had never heard of it until a few days ago. Elimination communication is a sort of "potty training" for infants. The idea is that from birth, your infant does not WANT to soil himself. Babies know when they need to potty and would rather potty somewhere where they aren't sleeping. They will give you cues when they need to potty and if you pay careful attention to your little one, you can hold them over a toilet, sink or training potty when they do their thing. This is meant to be done from day one with your little baby, but really can be started any time.

Admittedly, this whole concept sounds kind of insane to our diaper-crazed culture, but in some cultures, this is how it's always been done. And the thing that really struck home for me was the parenting aspect of it. As parents, we all know that consistency is the most important thing. But with elimination, we teach our kids to wet and soil themselves for 18 or so months. Then, one day, we say, "you can't do that anymore". How confusing is that for a baby?!

I'm always up for a challenge, so why not? This is definitely the luxury of a stay-at-home mom. Good luck finding a daycare who will hold your infant over a potty. ;) Now, I'm not going whole hog here. The Eskimo will not be running around the house diaper free anytime soon. But, if I can catch a couple of the Eskimo's pees or poops in the toilet, I think it's going to make potty training that much easier when the time comes. AND it might save me from washing a couple extra diapers! Sounds like a win/win to me.

We had our first attempt after his morning nap today, and it TOTALLY worked. He went pee-pee in the potty! I got him up, took off his diaper that was suspiciously dry, placed him on the training toilet and made his cue sound (I've chosen "pssss" to cue peeing). Sure enough, he peed! It was completely amazing. It might have been a coincidence, but I'm going to keep at it. Wish us luck!

Sick. And spread the word about cloth!

Our family was hit pretty hard by a nasty cold. My husband started it, and the Eskimo got a little fever and some sniffles and I was laid out for days. But what's amazing to me is that other than a tiny fever for an afternoon and some sniffles, the Eskimo has been fine while I felt like death warmed over! I'm chalking this one up to breastfeeding. I nursed the heck out of him for a few days there to stuff him full of my antibodies, and it seems to have worked! You always hear about how much healthier breastfed babies are, but now we've seen it in action.

On another note, cloth diapering seems to be spreading like wildfire! I had another friend who is expecting ask me about it yesterday! It makes me so unbelievably happy to know that more and more mamas are thinking about and choosing cloth over 'sposies. Remember, your baby will go through literally thousands of diapers in his lifetime. Think of how many disposables you'll keep from the landfills! Like I said, one person CAN make a difference.

I think just knowing someone who uses cloth is enough to convince people to use it. When we first started, we didn't know anyone and it was really difficult to get our bearings. There are a lot of options out there and it can be really confusing. But now that we're old "pros", I'm finding that a lot of friends ask for advice and help getting started (hence the blog!). So, those of you who cloth diaper, wield your power! Go ahead and be vocal about it! Spread the word about how easy, convenient and fun cloth diapering is! Post about it on Facebook, tell your coworkers, neighbors, friends. You'll be amazed at the response. Okay, you don't have to be as crazy and excited as I am, but you should be proud of yourself for taking what is perceived to be the more difficult and less traveled road. Don't hesitate to boast. :)

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Sweet potatoes and sneaky tofu

So, I'm trying to introduce some forms of protein into the Eskimo's diet so he's not entirely reliant on breastmilk for it. My latest trick: I pureed tofu and sweet potato together. Sounds disgusting. Looks like orange sorbet. I kid you not. It looks delicious. And it just tastes like sweet potato. That's the great thing about tofu. You can sneak it into almost anything because it doesn't have a whole lot of flavor. Sneak it into soups and stews, ground beef, and of course, baby food!

The other protein source the Eskimo has been enjoying lately is cottage cheese. Just enough texture to it to make him happy and packed full of good stuff for him. I usually mix in a little bit of homemade applesauce to give it some sweetness. Babies love sweet things. Actually, don't we all?

I'm pretty sure I could be giving the Eskimo meat by now. I mean, he's 8 months old, and could definitely handle it. But I'm hesitant to give it to him just yet. It's hard to find all natural meat that doesn't have hormones pumped into it. Sure, it's okay for ME to eat, but not my baby! Also, I've heard that diapers get really stinky and nasty once they start eating meat, so I have no problems with holding off. :)

Anyway, get creative when making baby food. Combine cubes of different fruits and veggies. But also give your baby plenty of opportunities to experiment with solid food, once he's old enough. The Eskimo gets a couple of snacks everyday that are made up entirely of solids, whether it's blueberries, organic cheerios, crackers, or tortilla. He loves all of them, even if they don't all make it into his mouth. ;)

Another rave review

So, I've been knitting lately. Hence the lack of posts. I really want to give wool diaper covers a try, but I have to make some before I can try them. :)

But that's not why I'm posting today. Yesterday was my last pickup from the diaper service and we are now on our own. The Eskimo's butt was in his fancy new Bummis organic cotton prefolds all day yesterday and I can't believe the difference. They are SO absorbent! With the diapers from the diaper service, he really needed to be changed almost every time he peed. I changed him every 2 hours, at least. But now, when I go to change him after two hours, you can hardly tell he's wet! Also, the prefolds are super soft and squishy. They must feel lovely on his butt. :) Happy baby = happy mama. I will probably still change him pretty frequently, just because I don't think it's nice to leave your baby in a wet dipe, but I COULD leave him for a little longer if I wanted to. And, when he's home alone on weekends with his dad, I won't have to worry as much. Dads never change diapers as often as moms. It's a proven fact.

Oh, and as for the wool, I've found a great new stretchy bind-off technique and I redid the legs of the two soakers I made previously. I tried one of them out yesterday and it actually seemed to work pretty well! I'm still skeptical; I just can't wrap my head around wool being waterproof enough to contain my little super-soaker. But, I'm forging ahead. I started a pair of cabled longies today. I'd forgotten how much I love cables. It's nice because my mom knits sweaters for the Eskimo like crazy, so it's silly for me to knit sweaters. But the soakers, shorties and longies will give me something to knit for my little man. And if you're not a knitter, there's something you should know about us. We show our love through knitting. If you receive a hand-knitted object from someone, it's because they love you. You should thank them for it, even if it's the ugliest thing you've ever seen. Care went into every single one of those stitches. And if you know a knitter and want to make him or her very happy, ask them if they'll make you something. :)

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Learning experiences are everywhere

Sorry for the short hiatus. I work on weekends and the family is all sick. The Eskimo's first cold! I'm a "pet nutrition specialist" for Blue Buffalo on the weekends. So, basically I wander around PetSmart and educate people on their pets' nutrition and try to convert them to a better dog food, ideally Blue Buffalo. ;)  It's kind of an awesome job because it gives me the opportunity to talk to people all weekend and learn from them. Every single person I come across can teach me something new. And hopefully, I can teach them something too. The point is, you can learn something from almost anyone, you just have to be open to it.

I spend a lot of time on the forums on There are a lot of like-minded mamas on there and you can learn so much from them. I never thought I'd be the type to join and participate in online forums, but I guess you should never say never. :)

The forum I spend the most time in is the Breastfeeding Support section. Not because I need support necessarily (though we all do), but because I learn something almost every time I read through a post. There are a lot of mamas out there who fight tooth and nail to breastfeed their child, whether they're struggling with low supply, thrush, a tongue-tied baby or just being at work and needing to pump all day. A lot of the folks who cruise that forum are lactation consultants or nurses and they have TONS of good advice. I've picked up so many tips and tricks from them that I don't think the Eskimo and I would be where we are today if I hadn't joined that forum.

Just yesterday I posted in one of the craft forums with a knitting question. I had been searching for a stretchy bind-off for the legs of the soaker I knit for the Eskimo. Within minutes someone had responded and given me the "miracle" answer. It's amazing what technology can do for us.

Hopefully you're learning something from reading my blog. Like I said, my answers might not always be right, but I'm doing the best I can to share my knowledge with you. Today's sage wisdom: Listen to those around you. Take what valuable information you can from them and store the rest away. You never know when something that sounded stupid might become an essential tidbit. There's nothing like having kids to make you feel like a mindless idiot and we all need all the help we can get. :)

Friday, January 21, 2011

Lanolizing Wool

Okay, my very first wool diaper cover is soaking in the sink right now, getting lanolized for the first time. Theoretically, it should work as a nice water proof cover and, unlike PUL covers, only needs to be washed every few weeks! Sounds AMAZING, doesn't it? And, as a knitter, I am more than willing to give this a shot. Here's a great link on lanolizing. It even includes a video:

If you're searching for lanolin, like I was before I found this link, check your cabinets. If you nursed your baby, chances are you have lanolin laying around the house from those first few weeks when you were trying to keep your nipples from dropping off your chest. ;) I searched all over town, in all the local yarn stores, trying to find lanolin. Um, DUH, I had some! If you don't already have some, run over to your local Walgreens and pick some up. It's cheap. :)

The other thing you're going to need is Euclan. And if you own wool of any kind, this is great stuff to have. It's a NO RINSE wool wash, which is awesome. Just soak and go.

Last bit of advice on wool. You're always told to soak it, then place between two towels and roll it up to get out excess water, then lay flat to dry. Well, screw the two towels. Stick that sucker in the washing machine and run a spin cycle. No water, just spinning. It will get a lot more of the water out and you won't be waiting for days for your sweater or diaper cover to dry. :)

Okay, gotta go pull that sucker out of the sink! I'll let you know how it works!

Ready for the butt!

Well, all the diapers are prepped and ready to go! But we still have the diaper service until our last pickup on Monday, so I'm going to continue to use their diapers as long as possible. :) Hey, if it saves me a load or two of laundry, all the better! But I have this huge, gorgeous pile of fluffy new diapers and I kind of just want to lay in it. The Eskimo loves it too:

I'm also waiting on my new wetbag to get here from Thirsties. I bought one of theirs last summer and used it for a couple of months. It's been sitting for a while now and I realized the stitching on the bottom is coming undone in two places. I emailed them and they're sending me a replacement for free and a prepaid postage sticker to send the defective one back! Sweet! I'm not going to lie though, the Bummis Fabulous Wetbag does make me drool a bit. I have the small one for the diaper bag and love it. Next time I have a spare $30.00 laying around....

Sorry, no amazing insights today. I'm still working on my first cup of coffee. ;)

Thursday, January 20, 2011

They're here! And diaper prep...

UPS just delivered my big box of diapers! Hooray! They're already in the wash getting prepped! So when you get new diapers, you can't just put them straight onto your baby's butt. A certain amount of preparation is required. For your regular old prefolds, you should wash them three times in hot water with a little bit of your diaper-safe detergent. Dry them in the drier between each wash. Test them before you start using them by pouring a little water on one of them. If it absorbs, you're good to go! If the water beads, try washing them again, they may not be ready. It's the natural oils that prevent them from being absorbent immediately.

Most of all, read the instructions that come with your diapers. They might have something special and different to say about them. Okay, time to go throw my fluffy mail into the drier. :)

It's hard sometimes

We all know that having kids isn't a cake walk. You have days where it's really, really difficult. And breastfeeding, cloth diapering and making your own baby food can augment that. I have days where I want to give up, take a trip over to Babies 'R' Us and buy a stack of 'sposies, baby food and formula. When I feel like this, I find it really helpful to take a minute, sit down and think about what that would really mean.

Let's start with formula. There are a lot of moms out there who go this route. I blame our American culture for this for the most part. When my parents were born, it was not "fashionable" to breastfeed. Most of the baby boomers were bottle babies. So there is a "generation gap" in breastfeeding. And this has had a huge influence on public opinion of breastfeeding. If you breastfeed in public, you will get stares. And if your baby is older (or, gasp! is a toddler), those stares turn to looks of disgust. There is very little public support for breastfeeding, and that makes it hard. But when I think of switching to formula, I remember all the time and money that will be involved. Formula is EXPENSIVE. Really expensive. But even if money isn't a factor for you, think of all the bottles you'll have to wash. If your baby eats 8 times a day, that's 8 bottles a day that you have to wash and sanitize. Plus, it's guaranteed that you're going to run out of formula midnight on a Sunday and will have to run out to the store and get some to quiet your screaming baby. No thanks. And we all know that breastmilk is the best food for your baby; perfectly formulated to meet their needs. Did you know that your breastmilk actually changes with your baby as he grows? It's true. :)

All that said, it's hard to be "on tap" 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. I try to keep a stash of frozen milk for those times when I really do need a break. Just this week, I was at the end of my rope. Luckily my husband was home for the day. I put the baby down for nap and said, I'm leaving, there's milk in the freezer. I took off for a few hours, got some coffee, went to the mall, and decompressed. It's okay to need a break from your baby. It does NOT make you a bad mom. In fact, I think it makes you a better mom to know when you need to walk away for bit.

Okay, disposable diapers. I've used them. I keep some on hand for babysitters and those days where I just haven't done the laundry yet. It happens. But again, they are expensive. And you wouldn't believe the amount of waste they create. When I flew to visit family over Christmas, there was no way I could fit all the cloth diapers and covers in my luggage, so I used disposables for 10 days. And there were bags and bags and bags of trash. Creating that much trash leaves me with this huge guilt complex and I just can't handle that. Plus, the Eskimo would cry whenever I went to put a new diaper on him. He was fine with me taking the old one off, but he did NOT want a new 'sposie on his butt. He never cries with cloth. I know that the soft cotton is much more comfortable for him and it doesn't have all those nasty chemicals they put in 'sposies. So, I like cloth, but I am not above using a 'sposie now and then when I need a break.

Now baby food. I'm trying very hard to provide the Eskimo with only organic food for as long as I possibly can. I want to give him the best start in life possible. So, I make my own baby food. I buy in bulk, puree and freeze. This is, to put it plainly, a pain in the ass. And they make organic baby food! But, it's expensive, and I haven't seen and touched the fruit and veggies that have gone into that jar. So, I puree and freeze, puree and freeze. Real estate in our freezer is more fought-over than apartments in New York. But yes, I keep a few jars of organic baby food on hand for those days when I forgot to thaw out his breakfast the night before and he's HUNGRY. And that's okay.

I think my point is, there are pluses and minuses to everything. But I feel that the decisions I've made have a lot more pros than cons. The Eskimo is a healthy, happy little boy, and I want to keep him that way. But I also need to make sure that I'm happy and healthy so I can take the best care of him possible. Sometimes that means a little bit of formula or thawed breastmilk in a bottle. Or maybe a disposable diaper now and then. It can be hard to swim against the mainstream and it's okay to take a break from being "crunchy" every now and then. But be sure to take stock of everything you're doing and your reasons for doing it. It helps me every time.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Nursing bras and tanks

Okay, while I'm waiting for my new fluffy prefolds to get here, I thought I'd post about nursing bras and tanks. There are a lot of them, and it takes time to weed through and find the ones that will work for you.

First, let's talk about bras. First rule of nursing bras is no more underwires. Not allowed. They can cause plugged ducts, and you really don't want that. You need to find a bra that fits well and is not too tight. Tight bras can also cause plugged ducts. You will probably not be able to wear anything you wore pre-pregnancy. You can find nursing bras and tanks at Target that will work pretty well if you're not particularly large-busted. But I am, ahem, well endowed on top. So, I need support. I ended up at a locally-owned maternity store and tried on a ton. I finally ended up buying a Bravado bra. It was not cheap, but I figured I'll be wearing it for the next couple of years, so it's worth the investment. No, it doesn't fit as well as my beautiful Victoria's Secret bras used to, but hey, what are you going to do?

Next, nursing tanks. I love nursing tanks, but it is really really hard to find one that will support me well enough to get away with not wearing a bra under it. And if you have to wear a bra under it, it defeats the purpose. The one I finally found that I loved is made by Glamour Mom. It comes with a built-in nursing bra and is really well made. Again, it's an investment. But I would suggest getting one or two of these while you are still pregnant. They are designed to fit during pregnancy and to hide extra "flab" post-partum. It takes a while for your belly to look "normal" again after it's been carrying an 8 pound baby for a few months.

Also, during those last couple of month of pregnancy, I found that I couldn't wear underwires anymore because they dug into the top of my belly and were super uncomfortable. Nursing bras and tanks are a great option. However, don't go out and buy an entire stash of really expensive bras until after your milk has come in. Your breasts are going to get bigger, I promise, and you will be sorry. The tanks are okay since they're more for a "range" of sizes, but err on the side of big.

Once your baby is born, give yourself a couple of weeks to get accustomed to your new body, then see if you can find a local store where you can try things on. Ask a sales lady to help you and measure you. And it's better to go when you're kind of "full", not right after you've fed the baby or pumped.

A sleep bra is also a really nice thing to have. I just have a couple of organic cotton sleep bras. They're very loose and you just pull them down when you need to nurse. Makes life a bit easier.

The first couple of months, while your body is trying to figure out just how much milk to make for your little one, you are going to leak like crazy. You'll need nursing pads. I bought some washable organic cotton ones, but found that they left me looking like I had headlights on my chest. I ended up getting disposable ones because they are much thinner and more subtle. Get some with adhesive if you can so they'll stick to your bra and stay in place. After the first few months, your body settles in, and you'll stop leaking, so you won't need these for too long.

Hope this helps some mamas out there and maybe even saves you some time and money!

Sunday, January 16, 2011


Time to take a break from parenting for a minute. There's TENNIS on! The Australian open has just started, and if you didn't already know this, I'm a huge tennis fan. Now, normally, I sit glued to the television watching tennis and knitting for all of the grand slams. But I have a baby now. And, well, that's just not allowed. There are a lot of things that change when you become a mom, and how you spend your time is one of the most significant. Now, I wouldn't trade the Eskimo or my time with him for the world. But I have days where I would really like to have my "old life" back, just for a couple of days. I want to watch tennis. I want to take a tennis lesson. I used to hit 2 or 3 times a week. I haven't hit a tennis ball since I was 5 months pregnant; almost a year ago. It's one of those things I've had to give up, for now.

When you become a parent, balance is key. You can very easily give up everything that was you and lose yourself in the daily tasks of parenting. And I have a pretty good balance. The Eskimo is asleep by 8 every night, and that gives me a couple of hours to sit and knit, or read a book, or do the dishes, or go to bed early. That's my "grown-up" time, and I love it dearly. I know a lot of moms out there who have trouble getting their little ones to bed at night and are robbed of this precious time.

This post could easily transition into a post about sleep right now. I am VERY opinionated on the subject as I feel that sleep is something that is easily provided to children, but is often denied them. And that's horrible and unfair to the child. But let's not go there. We'll save that for another post. :)

Where was I? Oh, tennis. For the next couple of weeks, I might have to let some of the housework slide and spend the Eskimo's naps glued to the tv. And I may have to break my "rule" of no tv around the baby. He needs to learn this stuff anyway, right? I mean, how can he grow up to be a tennis star if I don't let him watch the Australian Open?! ;)

Saturday, January 15, 2011

It's all about the cover

So, remember my rave review of the Bamboozle fitted? Well, we had MAJOR leakage last night. I work Friday nights, so husband has to put the baby to bed by himself. Normally this is fine, but he grabbed the wrong diaper cover last night. Not his fault, I left it where I shouldn't have and he didn't know. Well, the Eskimo chose last night to sleep ALL night long without waking up and when I went in there this morning, he was sopping wet. I mean, sopping. All the way up his chest and down to his toes. The poor little thing slept in sopping wet PJs all night and didn't even complain! Needless to say, I felt HORRIBLE. And it was because of the stupid cover.

Really, the cover was probably fine when it was brand new. But I bought it at a secondhand baby store because it was WAY cheap and I can't pass up a good deal. I think the brand is Prorap. But goodness only knows how it was treated before it came into my hands. It was probably washed with inappropriate detergents and just plain doesn't work anymore. It's in the trash now. It's a shame because I really liked the fit of it and it had awesome gussets. Maybe I'll buy a new one and see how it works.

Anyway, the point is that you can have the most awesome diaper (prefold, fitted, whatever) in the whole world, but if the waterproof barrier isn't a good one, you're going to have a sopping wet baby. Treat your diaper covers gently. Find a cover that fits your baby well around the legs AND the waist. Both are areas where leakage can happen. Some diaper covers work great for long, skinny babies, and others are better for chunky monkeys. Read reviews, talk to people, and if you can, go into a local store and touch and feel them. Most of all, have fun shopping for them though because there are a LOT of cute diaper covers out there. :)

So you think you can breastfeed

Listen up. I am PRO breastfeeding. I think it's the most wonderful gift you can give to your brand new baby. But it is NOT easy. Don't be like me. Learn from me. I was completely arrogant. I figured, hey, it's natural, why would I need help? People tried to warn me. I ignored them. Then came the big day. Nineteen hours of labor, two of those pushing, and this tiny little creature is thrown into my arms. And they're like, okay, feed him. Um, WHAT?! Help me help me help me! So, exhausted, I attempted to feed this tiny creature. And I failed. He didn't want to latch properly and the lactation consultants at the hospital were useless. In the two days we were there, we saw three different LCs and they all told me something different. By the time I left the hospital, they had me supplementing him with a Supplemental Nursing System (SNS) and formula. And because I hadn't done enough homework, I didn't know any better.

So, if you're committed to breastfeeding, listen to people who have done it before. They can offer advice. Find a La Leche League in your area and go to their meetings. And if you can, find a board certified lactation consultant (IBCLC) and meet up with them. This was where we ended up on our first day home from the hospital and it helped a lot.

So, don't be like me. Don't sit there saying, it's supposed to come naturally, I can do this by myself. Lots of things that are "natural" require help. Like walking, or I dunno, giving birth, for God's sake. You better believe I was in the hospital getting all the help I needed for that. And what's more "natural" than giving birth, right? Ha!

Listen, it's worth it. I'm not going to lie, the first couple of months can be really difficult. But after that, just think: No mixing bottles at 2am. No running out to the store at midnight because you ran out of formula. No washing bottles. You always have a source of food and comfort available for your baby and it's always the right temperature. And I haven't even mentioned the health benefits, which are numerous. My little man hasn't been sick yet, in spite of the fact that both his father and I have had colds. Not even a sniffle for him. Amazing. Plus, it's a rare opportunity for you to sit down with your baby and do nothing but bond. There's nothing more basic than providing nourishment.

More on this topic later. There's so much to say about breastfeeding. :)

Friday, January 14, 2011

New diapers on the way! And how to wash them...

Okay, I did it! I ordered my own set of prefolds! I ordered 30 Bummis organic cotton prefolds.... so luxurious! I also got two more of the strech bamboozles for night time. Hooray! Now let the real fun begin....

So, the washing. People always think it's totally gross to wash poopy diapers in your washing machine, the same machine that your clothes go in. Honestly, I definitely thought it was disgusting too until I started doing it. What you need to understand is that you're not throwing piles of poop into the machine. When babies are exclusively breastfed, their poop dissolves in water, so that makes the first 4-6 months of cloth diapering a breeze. No worries at ALL. Just throw all that into your machine and go. Then, you start solids. Admittedly, it's not as easy, but it's still not very gross. The Eskimo's poop is super solid, so you just shake it into the toilet and you're done. I don't have a fancy diaper sprayer attached to my toilet, I don't have to scrape anything or touch anything. Just shake, and put it in the wetbag. Now, maybe I'm just lucky. Maybe other babies have really nasty gross sticky poop. I dunno, I just have the one baby and so far it's been fine. :)

Here are a few things you need to know about washing cloth diapers:
1. NO FABRIC SOFTENERS - these will do very bad things to both your diapers and your diaper covers.
2. You must use a diaper-safe detergent. This means no dyes, perfumes, or brighteners. Pretty much everything you find at the local grocery store will have these in them. I use Charlie's Soap. I love it. There are a lot of diaper-safe detergents available out there (or you can make your own!), just be sure to do your homework first.
3. Less is more. It only takes a tablespoon or two of detergent. Don't dump a whole cup in there. It collects on the diapers and prevents them from absorbing the stuff they're supposed to absorb.

My routine:
1. Put the diapers and wetbag in the wash and run a cold rinse cycle
2. Start the real cycle, on HOT... let it sit and soak for about 15 minutes then continue on its way. Don't try to wash an entire week's worth of diapers all at once. They need plenty of room to agitate and get clean. Also, be sure to run it on a "Large" load, not small. It takes lots of water to get those suckers clean.
3. Peek in on the final rinse cycle to make sure there aren't any suds. If there are, you've used too much soap. It's okay, just run another rinse cycle until the water is clear. And use less soap next time. :)
4. You "can" dry your diapers in the dryer. But, the sun is the best thing in the world for them. Not only will it remove all those poop stains (and it does, it's like magic), but it will naturally disinfect them. The sun is your friend.

Okay, that about covers it. Questions?


So, I've been searching for a great overnight diaper for my little man. I usually don't change him from the time he goes down around 8pm until he gets up for the day, around 8am. So, I need a diaper that is prepared for a good soaking. We've tried everything. Snappied prefolds with an insert (I use the g-diaper cloth inserts made of hemp and microfleece) work pretty well. I've also tried a few different pocket diapers, including Charlie Banana and Fuzzibuns with mixed results. Bottom line is, he's usually damp when he wakes up in the morning and that means I need to change his sheets and he can't hang out in his pj's until his first nap.

Well, we may have a game changer here. I tried the Bummi's Bamboozle last night. It's a fitted diaper made of rayon made from bamboo (duh). I used one of his Flip diaper covers over it since we seem to have the best luck containing the super soaker with those. And BOOYAH. His pajamas were DRY this morning! The other exciting bit of news is that the bamboozle has only been washed twice; it doesn't reach full absorbency until it's been washed at least 10 times, so it's only going to get better!

Now, these suckers aren't cheap. Expect to spend about $20 a pop. But if they work, jeez, it's totally worth it. Also, they are one of the softest, cushiest things I've ever felt. :) Hooray!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

The History

I've had a couple of friends ask me about cloth diapering lately. Both are pregnant and planning to cloth diaper when the baby arrives, and I couldn't be more thrilled. I LOVE that people are asking me about cloth diapers because for every baby in cloth, literally THOUSANDS of disposable diapers (sposies) are saved from landfills. So this right here is proof that one person can make a huge difference. That being said, it's a little funny to be considered an "expert". I have 7 months of experience doing this, and apparently that means I'm an expert. Ha!

Here's a bit about me and my cloth diapering: When I found out I was pregnant, I knew almost immediately that I just wasn't capable of filling an entire landfill with diapers. The thought of it makes me sick. So, I knew I'd have to cloth diaper. We are currently using a combination of a diaper service (which my grandmother offered to pay for, bless her!), and a few pocket diapers, inserts, and a brand new fitted that is currently being tested on my baby's butt for the night. :) The diaper service provides prefolds that I use throughout the day. I wash all the rest myself, and am hoping to buy some prefolds of my own as soon as I gather up the money.

We had a rough start with cloth diapering because I had NO idea what I was doing and I didn't know anyone who I could talk to. I got most of my info via internet searches and YouTube videos. I kid you not. I learned how to fold and Snappi a diaper on YouTube. We started out with gDiapers because, well, they sell them at Babies 'R' Us and they're the ONLY cloth diapering system you can purchase in a big box store. And I didn't know any better. We were folding prefolds in thirds and using them as inserts for the gPants. This worked great for the first few weeks, until the Eskimo got too big and too, ahem, "productive" for it to be effective. But I was lost. I had these prefolds and diaper covers and this thing called a Snappi that the diaper service had provided, but I had no idea what to do with any of them. So, I turned to YouTube. Lo and behold, people have documented this stuff! Go check it out. We used the "jelly roll" technique while the Eskimo was still itty-bitty and exclusively breastfed.

Alright, enough for one evening. Maybe I'll post again tomorrow. :)

I don't crunch when I walk

So, it's been brought to my attention that I'm a little bit of a "crunchy" mom. I have a 7-month-old son who is in cloth diapers, I breastfeed, I wear my baby, I make his baby food (all organic).... I don't think of any of these things as out of the ordinary, but apparently they are. So, this is not a label I would ever have given myself, but if the shoe fits...

I wanted to start a blog about my adventures as a "crunchy" mama. The trials and tribulations of cloth diapering (there are many); fun with baby food; the struggles and triumphs of breastfeeding. I had SO many questions about all of these things, and couldn't find a good, reliable source for all of them. Actually, I still have lots of questions about all of these things, but I feel like I'm finally learning. I want people to read this and ask me questions. Please, consider me your personal source of information. I will do my best to answer your questions. And when I can't, I will freely admit it and will try to point you in the right direction. Email me, post comments, do both!

I can't promise to post every day, but I do want to chronicle some of what I've gone through. But for now, I'm going to get back to that diaper cover I'm knitting... :)