Archive | November 2010

Cloth Diapering – The Journey

In my last post I talked about our switch from disposable diapers to cloth diapers.

For us, this was the beginning of our money-saving and environmentally friendly choices.  Cloth diapering can also become an addiction!  I have to say, I am addicted.

The last post talked about my experience with the gDiaper and how that didn’t work for us.  Then we tried a 30 day cloth diapering trial from Mom’s Milk Boutique and I found a few diapers I really liked!  My collection of diapers now contains mostly one size “pocket” diapers.  A pocket diaper has an outer leak proof layer (usually PUL), and a soft inner lining.  The lining has a pocket for you to stuff with an absorbent pad (comes with purchase) and you can customize the absorbency with different or multiple pads.

My favorite of these pocket diapers are the rump.a.rooz G2 pocket diapers.  They have inner gussets and outer gussets like disposable diapers so the mess stays in and these diapers do not require a cover.  This is the only cloth diaper I have found with dual gussets and I have to say that sets them apart from the others in my book.  The less mess I have to deal with, or that my husband has to deal with makes cloth diapering so much easier.  They have adjustable snaps so the diaper fits from birth to about 35 lbs.  At first the diaper seemed a little bulky, but now it’s my favorite for the fit!  The diaper comes with two inserts for a customizable fit and absorbency which helped with the bulkiness.  And I’d rather have a diaper that is a little bulky than a little leaky, haha.  🙂  With rump.a.rooz you have the option of choosing a snap or aplix closure.  Aplix means it closes with a velcro like material… as your child gets older the aplix diapers are easier for them to take off.

Another pocket diaper I really like is the KaWaii cloth diaper.  The KaWaii is also a one size diaper that does not require a cover.  They come in all sorts of colors and designs and the price just can’t be beat.  One thing I love about my KaWaii is that they can be fuzzy on the outside but still don’t require a cover.  I haven’t had a leak problem with these diapers yet.  I purchased mine from eBay.

Happy Heiny is also a popular choice for pocket diapers.  I have a few of these.  I got one in the 30 day diapering trial I wrote about and decided I really liked it.  Again, these diapers do not require a cover and are adjustable from 8 to 35 lbs.  They fit around my daughters thighs and tummy very well.  She is thin waisted but has chunkier thighs and I loved how these fit her from the start.

On a recommendation I tried smartipants cloth diapers.  They do not have a high price tag like many one-size pocket diapers.  The more you buy, the cheaper they are, just like any diaper, but if you are looking for a great cost savings, this is your diaper.  They are not perfect, and they wick a little bit in the front but they are nice to have handy.  One thing that makes these diapers special is that you don’t have to “unstuff” the pocket before washing the diapers.  You can just plop them into the wash and wash as directed.

I often visit thegoodmama.com.  The owner of this site hand sews all of her diapers.  She has some all-in-one options called the ONE, but most of her diapers are fitteds.  Again, fitteds are not sized diapers (although she does offer newborn options) they are a one size diaper that requires a cover.  Many people that have goodmama’s don’t use covers because the diapers are SO DARN CUTE, they just have a bigger stash and change their babies more frequently.  I use a cover, only after I take a picture of Sofia in the diaper.  🙂  GoodMama’s stock every friday with new products and with the popularity and demand on the product, they sell out quickly.  Their stock is always changing so if you like something, you have to buy it quick or you may lose your chance… that is until someone needs to get rid of their goodmama stash.  That is the fun of goodmama’s.  You should definitely check them out!  GoodMama diapers are pricey, but with the demand you can sell off your stash once you don’t need them anymore!  🙂  I am proud to say I am a goodmama and am not afraid to admit that I am addicted.

And if you’re in need of a cover, I suggest investing in a wool cover, my favorite is the Nifty Nappy wool cover.  They are more breathable for baby’s skin, more absorbent, more natural, and don’t need to be washed nearly as often as other covers.  Nifty Nappy also sells a wide variety of all-in-one diapers and fitteds that are very similar to goodmama diapers, but I have not yet had the opportunity to try these out.

Cloth diapers require special care.

If you choose to cloth diaper I recommend you invest in a cloth diaper pail liner and a wetbag.  These keep the stink inside of them while waiting to be washed, whether in your home or in your diaper bag.

Also, invest in a clothes line.  Sun drying your cloth diapers helps your diapers last longer.  Plus the sign naturally bleaches out stains from poo.

If you cloth diaper, why not use cloth wipes too?  I use cloth wipes and you just wash them with the diapers or with your regular wash.  I found a recipe for wipes solution and just make that weekly.  You don’t need to spend a fortune on cloth wipes (and they can cost a fortune).  I bought mine on sale or you can use baby wash cloths which work just as well!  Here is the recipe I use.

 

Are you thinking about making the switch?

 

 

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Cloth Diapering – The Switch

Pocket cloth diaper (insert goes in back) with...

Image via Wikipedia

My daughter is now 7 months old.  When she was 2 months old I decided to investigate the world of cloth diapering.

While I was pregnant, the idea of cloth diapering just didn’t cross my mind.  I was one of the many people that thought cloth diapers were the funny, rectangular pieces of cloth that you had to fold just right and fasten with a pin.  I had no idea how you would avoid soiling baby’s clothing, bedding, toys, etc.  Cloth diapering was just not something I had any interest in and was definitely not the type of challenge I was ready to take on.

Well, when my daughter, Sofia, was about a month old I noticed a friend had pictures of her son in this diaper-like thing but I had no idea what it was.  So I asked her.  It was a gDiaper, but that is all she said.  gDiaper?  hmmm…  I looked it up but I didn’t understand the concept.

We were almost out of size 1 diapers for my daughter so I went to the store to pick up some more.  I went to the diaper aisle and was looking at all the choices, the “green” and “environmentally friendly” disposable diapers, Huggies, Pampers, the store brand and then I saw them.  The gDiaper.  I looked at them and the instructions, and I decided to buy them.  I started with just two gDiaper covers, some reusable inserts and some biodegradable inserts.  That had to be greener (and I recently decided to do my part in being more environmentally friendly) and more cost efficient (in the long run) than the diapers I had originally gone to the store to buy.  I was really excited about these gDiapers.

Well, I started off alternating the gDiapers with her regular disposable diapers.  For pee, they were great.  When she was ready to be changed all you had to do was change the insert and use the same cover.  Easy!  Well, when the poo came it was much more difficult and got all over the liner (which was part of the “convenience” of a gDiaper) and I’d have to change the whole diaper.  They were really cute and stylish and went nicely with Sofia’s outfits.  gDiapers come sized.  So Sofia was a small at first.  The smalls were supposed to go to 14 pounds but when Sofia hit 12ish pounds the diapers would leak.  This became problematic.

I started to research cloth diapers.  At first I was a little overwhelmed.  Cloth diapering has come a long way from the folded cloths with pins!  I had no idea!  There were so many options!  And there was just so much information and so much to take in, that at first I was a little overwhelmed.  Overtime the information has made sense and I no longer feel overloaded.  I calculated the cost savings in just a year and then for two years and decided to go for it.  You can see a cost breakdown here.  Although there isn’t a cost breakdown for the one-size diapers… which would allow you to save even more than the chart shows.  (More about this in my next post.)

One of the hurdles I came across with the gDiapers is that my husband and mother-in-law wouldn’t use them because they didn’t quite understand what to do with the diapers, the inserts, the liners, etc.  I decided  I wanted to find something that worked really well, that would be easy to use, that would be Dad and babysitter friendly, and most of all something that would remain cost effective and save us money.

I came across a website, which I found through facebook.  It’s called Mom’s Milk Boutique.  It’s based out of Illinois and I have never paid for shipping on anything I have ordered through them.  Sometimes shipping does apply, but it has yet to apply to anything I have ordered. Ha!  I LOVE this site/store.  I visit it EVERYDAY!  They offer options for a 30 day cloth diapering trial.  I was so excited!  They send about 10 options of diapers to try on your baby and see what type works for you.

I opted for one of their trials and when I received the diapers in the mail it was like Christmas!  There were all sorts of options; from fitteds to sized, pocket diapers to prefolds… I found that I liked the one size diapers the best.  Sized diapers were great, but in the long run you end up spending more because as your baby grows you have to replace your stock of diapers and the savings over time isn’t nearly as great (another hurdle with the gDiapers).  I didn’t want to do the prefolds with covers, that was just something that didn’t appeal to me.  The fitteds were a neat option.  (Fitted means it is a full cloth diaper but requires a cover – they can be sized or one-sized.)   I liked using the fitteds over night with Sofia, because paired with a leakproof cover, Sofia was in for a dry night.  🙂

I have a pretty good stock of diapers now, most of which are one-size “pocket” diapers.

At first, my husband was reluctant to cloth diaper.  He was used to the disposables.  I mean, they are easier.  When the disposable diaper is soiled, you just take it off and throw it away.  With cloth diapers you have to wash them (I handle this so he doesn’t have to worry about that part of it) but then with poop you also need to rinse the diaper and get rid of the excess mess.  Oh, he still hates this part.  He has only had to do it once, though, and I am sure he is thankful for that.

Overtime I have learned how to properly care for and launder the diapers.  It does take more time than throwing away disposables but the benefits of cloth diapering are so much greater.

Cloth diapering is so great for the environment.  I was reading my friend’s blog and she cited some research that I’d like to share with my readers as well.  Did you know, disposable diapers take 500 years to break down in a landfill?  So, since they were invented in the 1960′s, not one single diaper has broken down.  And with over 100 diapers being used a month per baby… there are a LOT of diapers filling up our landfills.

Cloth diapers are also great for sensitive skin.  Baby’s skin is so sensitive and tender and cloth diapers provide a softer and more sensitive alternative to the disposables.  That being said, there are chemicals and toxins in disposables touching and being absorbed into baby’s skin.  There are so many things I want to do right for my daughter, and I don’t want her to absorb those toxins into her system at such a young age.

In the next Cloth Diapering post I will let you know what cloth diapers I chose and why.  🙂

Have you considered cloth diapering?  Do you cloth diaper?  What are your favorites?  How long have you been cloth diapering?

Homemade Baby Food

Eating homemade sweet potatoes

Once my daughter turned 6 months old enough she became old enough to start eating food other than her milk and rice cereal.  Well, I decided to make her baby food.

When I was pregnant I was shopping for baby stuff and came across a cookbook for homemade baby meals; first meals, new tastes, healthy snacks and meals for family.  I am in love with this cookbook!!!  It has amazing recipes that we all enjoy.

Back to the point, I was looking at the cookbook and decided to invest in it and try making the baby food myself instead of buying what was in the store.  I have to say, this was a good decision.

I have a 4-year-old son, Vicente.  And when he was a baby I never even thought about making baby food.  Not that I wouldn’t have considered it, I just didn’t think I was capable of doing it.

This time around, I decided ahead of time that this was what I was going to do.  After the doctor approved the introduction of new foods, I went to the supermarket and walked down the baby food aisle to see what they had for first foods.  The doctor said to do this because then I’d get an idea what kinds of foods are best to introduce first, and that they are chosen for their lack of allergic reactions, texture and somewhat mild and blandish taste.  First foods are introductions to new tastes and textures but you have to take it easy at the beginning to not overwhelm baby and baby’s taste buds.  For 6 months they have had just about the same taste over and over.  They like it, they are used to it, it makes them happy and they can digest it.

Well, the first foods I made were sweet potatoes and green beans.  It was easier than I thought!  And cheaper than I thought too!  I bought a bunch of organic green beans for $.84.  I would have gotten more but that is all that was left.  Well, $.84 worth of green beans was a LOT!  It made about 7 servings of green beans!  I could get 2 servings of Gerber green beans for $1 and I made 7 for 84 cents!  I was instantly hooked.  That same day I also bought and made two sweet potatoes which amounted to over 12 servings of sweet potatoes… I still have some in the freezer I haven’t used yet.  We already had used 12 servings and I still have more in the freezer.  How awesome was this?!

Well, once Sofia had 4 straight days of green beans and then 4 straight days of sweet potatoes I decided to introduce new foods.  I wanted to do as many vegetables as possible before introducing fruits because once babies taste how much sweeter fruits are than vegetables it becomes harder to get them to eat the less sweeter vegetables in the future.

I went to the supermarket again and bought squash, carrots, peas, bananas, pears and avocados.  Well, I didn’t quite plan that all out right because I didn’t have enough storage for it all AND some of it wouldn’t keep in the freezer (bananas and avocados – which I bought ripe).  So I made the peas, carrots and pears and stored them in the freezer.   Of those three we introduced her to peas first.  She loved them!  We did bananas next because those had to be mashed fresh and I didn’t want them to go bad.  Sofia actually didn’t like the bananas as much at first.  By the 4th day she was used to them and would eat them with no problem.

Then I tried pears.  Oh boy she did not like pears when I first gave them to her.  Yesterday was her first day with pears and she made this funny noise and made a funny face when I put the spoon in her mouth.  I wish I had my camera at that time because it was SO funny.  I thought for sure she would just eat it all up because it was sweeter.  I even tried it to make sure it wasn’t sour or anything and it tasted like ripe, juicy pears.  Today was day 2 with the pears and I mixed it with a little rice to mellow down the flavor and she seemed to like them much better prepared like that.

Today I made the squash and stored that in the freezer containers.  I bought extra squash so I could make some for the rest of us to eat too.  I love acorn squash and used to request it to be made for my birthday dinner.  I didn’t care what else was made, so long as I had some squash! 🙂  Oh it was so delicious and Sofia has a good 10 servings of that in the freezer!

I still have yet to make the avocados.  I think after her fourth day of pears that will be the next food we try since it can’t be premade and stored in the freezer AND I don’t want them to go bad.

Of all the foods I have prepared so far, fresh peas were by far the most time-consuming!  However, she seemed to love these the most so I know I’ll be spending a lot more time cooking them.  🙂

I can’t believe how easy it is to make all the foods, and on top of that it is SO cost-effective!  I wish I would have done this when my son was a baby!  There are so many more benefits to making your own baby food besides the financial reasons.  First of all, you are feeding your child fresh food.  You hand-pick the foods so you know your child is getting good quality food items.  Also, you know exactly what is going into your child’s food as opposed to buying the processed premade foods.  With the premade foods you can’t tell the quality of the fruit or vegetable before it’s being cooked.  Plus, if you buy premade peas, you aren’t getting just peas in the food.  If you look at the ingredients list, there are all sorts of extra ingredients added to make it taste better, to give the product a shelf life, etc.  YUCK!  (This goes for all the premade food choices, I just used peas as an example.)

Now that I know to educate myself on these things, I know that was NOT something I wanted to put into my daughter’s body.  😦  I just wish I had heard about making baby foods way earlier so I could have done this for my son, too!  Like I said, I just didn’t know I was capable of doing it, and I really didn’t know I had the option.

I have had a great time making Sofia’s food and watching her eat and experience her new foods.  I am proud of myself for setting this goal for myself and achieving it.  I am proud of myself for stepping out of “my box” and learning new things.  Most of all, I am proud that I am finding new and healthier ways to do things in my house.

Have you done something you didn’t think you could do?  Do you make your own baby food?  What are ways that you are trying to be more natural in your home?

My Life as of Late

Lately my days are full of nap times, feeding times and balancing play time between my kiddos.  🙂  And then some of those days I also have to work.  Lately, I feel busy beyond belief!

Yes, I feel busy and I am busy, but I love it live for it.  I love my family.  I love everything about my family.

My days are filled with stories and songs and other things my kids love.

“Skit. Skat. Skoodle. Doot. Flip. Flop. Flee.  Everybody running to the coconut tree.”

“Days of the week, *clap clap* Days of the week. *clap clap* There’s Sunday then there’s Monday. There’s Tuesday then there’s Wednesday…”

“Are you ready to GO, GO, GO, GO on an adventure? The thing-a-ma-jigger is UP and AWAY…”

It’s funny because I used to occasionally take these times for granted.

The songs. The fun. The innocence of it all.

How precious my kids are when they are enthralled with something they love or learning something new.

How excited they get.

I’ve caught myself taking these times for granted.  God caught me taking these times for granted.  He convicted my heart and showed me how it’s not my time, it’s His time and he wanted me to use it worrying about my kids… not getting caught up with worrying when I was going to get dressed or go grocery shopping or when I’d have the time to read my emails.  No one benefits from that!  When I caught myself doing that, I made the decision to focus on our time together as a family instead of how much time I had to get my things done.  And you know what?  My son is even happier and more full of life because I am sitting with him wanting to participate in his silliness.  I am happier and he is happier. My daughter was relatively unaffected by it but is a happy girl just the same.

Now, it doesn’t matter to me that I didn’t have time to get dressed until my husband got home or that I didn’t have time to check my email… All of that can get done later.  I used to stress out about getting it all done, but I have realized that it WILL get done when it gets done and that’s that!  There’s no rush.  Emails won’t read themselves or magically disappear from my inbox and groceries can be purchased at night.  What’s the rush?  Who cares if I am still in my pajamas at 5pm some days?  My kids don’t!!!  And now I don’t.  🙂

It’s funny how a simple change can just lighten your heart and make you happier.  I already said my son is happier, but so am I!

So, my life as of late is:

pajama parties all day

baking with my son instead of for him

reading books on the bunny chair with the kids

singing songs to each other

looking for ants and caterpillars outside

cartoons and cuddles

dance parties

AMAZING!

Sometimes the simplest things in life are the ones that can warm your heart the most.  🙂  I thought I was doing an okay job balancing the different aspects of my life but God showed me how I could be better and through him I am better, my kids are better.

Have you caught yourself taking something for granted? How did you realize it and how did you change that?  What are fun things you do with your kids?  Tell me what your day looks like.  🙂

Trick-or-Treat… Does anybody actually give a trick?

I went trick or treating with my kids last night.  It was my son’s 5th Halloween and my daughter’s first.  My son dressed as Buzz Lightyear and my daughter was a ladybug.  This was the first year my 4-year-old son was excited for Halloween and knew what to do.  The days leading up to Sunday he would ask if the “peoples” had their candy yet.  That question would crack me up, as if we were waiting not for a specific day but for people to go to the store and buy their candy.

That got me thinking.  We say “Trick-or-treat!” (and it sounds more like “tricker treat”) when someone opens the door on Halloween because we want candy.  Does anybody really want the “trick” or do they only want the treats?  And does anybody really do the tricks anyway? lol.  I think if I were a kid and I stopped by someone’s house and said “Trick or Treat” and they gave me the trick, I would be deeply disappointed, and my 4-year-old would be really confused.

What exactly is a Halloween “trick” anyway?