Friday, August 31, 2012

Giveaway Reminder

Don't forget you guys still have the opportunity to enter the Cloth Diaper Month giveaway!

CLICK HERE TO ENTER GIVEAWAY!

I think a few people were a little confused on how to enter. A Rafflecopter box is at the bottom of the post, it might take a minute to load. Within the box there are a few different ways to enter.

One of the ways you can enter is by leaving a comment on the giveaway post (make sure you tell the Rafflecopter you did so you get an entry!). I want everyone to leave a comment on their favorite cloth diaper. It's been really fun reading all the comments so far, there are so many different options/favorites out there, it's kind of insane!

My favorite would have to be Blueberry pocket diapers. I just love them! They fit Harry really well and come in the cutest prints. The owl print is my favorite.


So cute!

Today we are going to Sam's Club to activate our new membership. Pretty random, I know. As a family of three we really don't need to join a warehouse club, but we purchased the membership through a Living Social deal earlier this week. I think the deal was $40, and with it we get a one year membership, $20 gift card and a free rotisserie chicken, pizza and cookies. The deal basically pays for itself :).

I hope we like Sam's Club. I've only every shopped at Costco before. Sam's Club sells Similac formula (I think Costco sells Enfamil), so we'll at least use the membership for that for the next few months. If you've shopped at Sam's Club let me know what you like about it!

Have a great weekend, and don't forget...

CLICK HERE TO ENTER GIVEAWAY!

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Cloth Diaper Month Giveaway

I can't believe Cloth Diaper Month is over already. I really enjoyed writing these posts this month. I learned a lot in the process as well. The biggest thing I learned was to keep your diaper pail open. Yes, an open diaper pail! I took the lid off ours and lemme tell you guyz, it's awesome! Who would have thought that there would be less stink when the diapers sit out in the open. Crazy, but true!

So, here we go. The post you've all been waiting for... the giveaway! This isn't a huge giveaway since it's not sponsored. It's just a little way of saying thank you to all my readers for making Cloth Diaper Month a big success.

Here is what one lucky reader can win!


That's a Storm Cloud colored Thirsties Duo Wrap in size 2 (18-40 pounds), a sample of Sea Spice CJ's BUTTer and a sample of Charlie's Soap.

Andplusalso... I have some bonus giveaway items I will send the winner if he/she wants.


That's a Thirsties Duo AIO (size 2), Trend Lab OS and two Kawaii OS diapers (they are all pictured here, too). I am not including them with the main giveaway because these are used diapers. They are in excellent/very good used condition, so if the winner wants them I am happy to send them along with everything else. These diapers just didn't work for us so I'm hoping someone else can put them to good use.

Enter below! I'll announce the winner on Tuesday or Wednesday.

GOOD LUCK!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Dad's Updated Perspective on Cloth



Back in May, I did my first guest post about cloth diapering on my wife’s blog. In the end, I gave cloth diapering a passing grade, but not by much. I was very pleased with their absorbency, but turned off by their lack of convenience. That was the whole reason we went with disposables at first. But those were my original thoughts.

Now that a few months have gone by, I can say that I’m much more taken with cloth diapers. I’ve gotten over the fact that they aren’t convenient at all. Especially if we take Harry out in a cloth, though we haven’t had many problems with that so far. I still prefer to take disposables out with me when I bring the little guy to the store, but if it’s a short trip I’ll keep him in cloth. The absorbency helps because I don’t know what I’d do if he leaked through one while we’re out.

I’ve already mention the absorbency, but it deserves mentioning again. Since my last post, we’ve had some leaking problems but they are few and far between. The diapers hold in so much pee. Sometimes it’s just mindboggling. The Imagine work great at night while Harry is sleeping, while the Blueberry’s are great if we take him to the store or a restaurant. They need a little extra padding at night, but he doesn’t seem to mind. I never want to make Harry uncomfortable because when he is, he will let you know.

On to the aesthetics. I still prefer the GroVia one with the owl design the best, but we recently got a Sunbaby diaper with a fuchsia, white and black argyle design that I always put him in. I just think it looks really cool. One thing I don’t like is the snaps. Sometimes they are just too hard to fit together and I get frustrated. Luckily we have a blue Imagine diaper with Velcro.

In the nearly four months that we’ve been doing the whole cloth diaper thing, I have somewhat come around to my wife’s way of thinking. They are really absorbent, relatively easy to clean and they make him look damn cute. I still prefer to take him out in disposables because of the fact that cloths aren’t as convenient. I don’t really want to be lugging around a diaper bag full of cloths, especially if they’re used. My wife eventually wants to have a house completely free of disposables, but I’m not sure if that will happen. But I am starting to like cloth diapering a lot more now. It’s become second nature. And, again, Harry looks really cute in them.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Other Green Things

As Cloth Diaper Month is winding down I thought I'd do a post about other ways you can go green that kind of go hand in hand with cloth diapering.

Swim Diapers


Reusable swim diapers are great. You don't have to be a cloth diapering family to use them since you just throw them in with your regular wash (flush any poop first!). Even if you cloth diaper you shouldn't wash them with your diapers because the chlorine from pools can be damaging.

Swim diapers work very differently from regular diapers. They are not absorbent. I repeat... THEY ARE NOT ABSORBENT. This goes for both reusable and disposable swim diapers. This trips a lot of people up I think (me included!). Don't put a swim diaper on your baby until right before you go in the pool/lake/ocean/whatever. They are only meant to contain poop. Pee will leak right out of them.

There are quite a few different brands that make reusable swim diapers. iPlay, Bummis and Apple Cheeks are just a few. 

Snack Bags


I wish I could get Ant more on board with these. I think they're really neat! He however, likes his throw away Ziplock bags he takes to work. We got this bag free with a cloth diaper order a few months back. I wish it had a zipper closure though. After I ran it through the dishwasher there were some food particles stuck to the Velcro, yuck! I did a quick Amazon search and other brands to make zipper ones if that's more your style.

Feminine Products

 Stay Dry Feminine Pads - 3 PACK
(source)

Just like reusable cloth diapers, they make reusable pads for mom. Affectionately known as "mama cloth." :) Some cloth diaper companies, like FuzziBunz and Swaddlebees/Blueberry make mama cloth as well.

I've personally never tried mama cloth, but I know lots of ladies swear by it!

Training Pants

 
(source)

I like the idea of transitioning to cloth training pants instead of using disposable ones. I haven't done any research on cloth training pants so I don't know which brands are best or even how they work. I've got a while before I need to start really looking in to them, though :). 

There are of course a bagillion other ways you can go green, but I thought these four would be the easiest to try for cloth diaper families.

Monday, August 27, 2012

August Photo Dump

(I added a link about troubleshooting to yesterday's Cloth Diaper Resources post!)

Here is just a random collection of photos I've taken over the past few weeks.

He was climbing on me :)




These PJs were from the TODDLER section!!!!

Harry tried to crawl through Daddy's legs

Finally, a picture of his top teeth!

Eating wears me out, too

First bath in the big tub

We need to get an anti-slip mat for the tub

Late night playtime.... this was taken after 11pm!




I can't believe that I am winding down Cloth Diaper Month. I've had so much fun with it! I have a few more posts scheduled and the giveaway should be up on Thursday! Don't get too excited, it's not that big since I bought it all myself, but it's always fun to try and win something, right?  Stay tuned!

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Cloth Diaper Resources



There are so many cloth diaper resources on the internet. Here are some that I've found the most helpful. Please feel free to add any I might have missed in the comments!

Buying/Selling Cloth Diapers
- Craigslist
- Diaper Swappers
- Spot's Corner
- ReDiaper

Cloth Diaper Message Boards
- The Bump
- Diaper Swappers
- Baby Center

Videos
- Cloth Diapering 101
- ObbsAndLala
- Cloth Diaper Channel

Blogs
- The Accidental Wallflower :)
- All About Cloth Diapers
- The Cloth Diaper Whisperer
- Cloth Diaper Geek

Miscellaneous
- Real Diaper Association
- Diaper Pin
- Cloth Diaper Troubleshooting 

Thursday, August 23, 2012

We Have a Climber!

Harry mastered a new skill the other day, climbing! After I set up the new play yard the box hung around our living room for another day (it was raining and I was too lazy to take it out). Harry, like all babies, can make a toy of just about anything and that's exactly what he did with the box.


It took him a few tries, but he was determined to make it up on the box. It was really awesome watching him learn this new skill.  Pretty soon he'll be doing the vertical chair climb, like in that cute Pampers commercial.


In other news, Harry had spinach for the first time last night. We had an Archer Farms spinach and goat cheese pizza for dinner with entirely too much spinach for my liking (the goat cheese is killer though!). I let Harry eat some of mine. He thought it was so yummy, as soon as he was done with a piece he was begging for more.

From the interwebs:
-Boston Market Lowering Sodium in Menu Items
-Children of Older Fathers May be at Greater Risk for Autism 
-Tuna and Babies

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Cloth Diaper Laundry


Along with picking the type of cloth diapers you want to use, figuring out your cloth diaper laundry routine is one of the most overwhelming parts of cloth diapering. But fear not! It's really not as bad as it is made out to be. After hand washing our diapers for over a month, throwing everything in the washing machine is super simple to me.

Here's the basic formula for washing your diapers.

Cold rinse
Hot wash (with detergent)
Cold rinse

See, it's not too bad! Here's more of a step by step breakdown of how I do everything. Keep in mind I don't have a full-sized washer. We have a Haier portable washing machine we purchased on Craigslist. It has worked great for us, I highly recommend getting one if you are thinking of cloth diapering and don't have your own laundry. A full-sized machine can hold between 15-20 diapers at a time. I have heard you don't want to use less than that because the diapers need to agitate against each other. With my Haier portable machine I will do between 6-10 diapers per load. I do end up doing laundry way more often than most cloth diaper parents, but it's totally manageable for us.

The first thing I have to do is attach the machine to the sink.


I'll admit, it can be very inconvinennt doing diaper laundry sometimes since I loose access to our sink for a couple hours each time. I try to do the laundry at night after I've cleaned up the kitchen but sometimes I have to do it during the day. I just make sure our Brita pitcher is filled in case I need water for anything.

The drain hose attached to the machine was too short when we bought it so we had to get an extender hose for it.


Problem solved! The little bits of hose taped on are to help with the kinks that were in the hose.

Okay, now on to the laundry.


I load the machine and set it on rinse using cold water. My machine actually does a spin cycle first on this setting, which is useless at this stage but I can't figure out how to stop it.


Always use as much water as you can in your machine. Cloth diapers love water! The first rinse is important in getting all the yuckies off your diapers. If you were to skip it and start with the hot wash, you'd be washing them in dirty water, which won't accomplish much.

My scoop is from a tub of formula that I marked with 1/2 tbs. and 1 tbs.

Next it's time for the wash. Use the hottest water you can. As far as detergents go, what works for one person might not work for you. I use regular old powdered Tide most of the time. For my portable machine I use a half a tablespoon per load. If you have a regular machine a full tablespoon will probably be enough. It sounds a little strange, but you only need to use about half to a quarter of the recommended amount. Using the regular amount will cause build up on your diapers and will make them leak. They'll still get clean with just a little detergent, I promise.

I always do a cold rinse with the wash cycle.

After the wash cycle is over I do one or two extra cold rinses to make sure all the detergent is out of the diapers.

When everything is done I hang the diapers and inserts on my drying rack.


If you have a dryer go ahead and throw all your inserts in. I don't recommend drying anything with PUL very often. It's great to dry them when prepping to seal it, but the heat can damage it over time. My pockets air dry in about an hour.

Whew, I hope that makes sense! Just remember,

Cold rinse
Hot wash (with detergent)
Cold rinse

You can't go wrong there!

Every once in a while you will need to strip your diapers. Even with using less detergent and doing extra rinses detergent build up can happen every few months. The diapers will start to repel moisture and they'll leak the moment your baby pees. I could do a whole post on stripping, but it's pretty simple. Start with clean diapers. Squirt some blue Dawn dish soap in your washing machine and run a hot wash cycle. You can also use a product called RLR. After the wash cycle rinse, rinse, rinse! When I did it I did five hot rinses I think. Just make sure you don't see any suds.

CLICK HERE to check out my other Cloth Diaper Month posts!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Bigger Baby Jail

Yesterday flew by! I felt like I was busy almost all day. It's nice having days like that once in a while, since being a stay at home mom I spend most of my days just hanging out with Harry.

Have any of you heard of the store Five Below? One opened up next door to the Container Store last year and I thought it was like an REI or Bass Pro- some type of outdoorsy store filled with ski gear and North Face jackets. Uhhhh, no. It's like Deals or Dollar Tree, aka, everything in the store is $5 or below. Harharhar, get it? We browsed the store a bit and I picked out a gel manicure kit that I'm excited to try. For $5 I'm not expecting much, but you never know.

After putzing around Five Below we walked next door to the Container Store where we picked up a couple containers, imagine that! I mentioned yesterday that we've been doing some reorganizing and baby proofing around the house and will be doing a post on the changes soon.

Right before we left the house yesterday a friend in my mommy group clued me in to a great sale going on at Babies R Us right now, so I was able to print off the coupons and take advantage of the savings. We were able to get a tub of formula for just $14, nearly $10 off the regular price. Score! We also purchased some Earth's Best yogurt smoothies and a new baby jail, errrr.... a North States Superyard. 


Harry is quickly outgrowing his Pack n' Play so a new safe place for him to play is necessary. I think he'll like this a lot better because he has so much more room to walk around and mom and dad can come in and play, too!

After our successful Babies R Us trip we stopped at Moe's for lunch. I had no idea there was a Moe's in Schaumburg!



We used to go to Moe's a lot but since moving to Roselle I didn't think there was one close to us. Whoops.


After a busy morning of shopping, we headed home.


I sit in back with Harry not because I baby him, but because with his big car seat there's more room in the back.


I'd much rather sit in the front but don't think that means we plan on turning his car seat around any time soon. We are definitely an extended rear facing family! As you can see I haven't gotten my hair fixed yet. I've figured out how to style it now so that it's not so obviously lopsided so I think I'm going to let it grow out a bit before I get to the salon again.

When we got home Harry took a nap in the Pack n' Play while I put together the new play yard.



I think someone likes it!

Monday, August 20, 2012

Sleepy Baby

Harry sleeps on his tummy about half the time these days. It's so freaking adorable.


His butt is always sticking up like that. I don't know how that's comfortable, but he seems to enjoy it. Here he is sleeping on the couch the other day.


Silly kid.

Today's plans include a trip to the Container Store. Over the weekend we did some child proofed and reorganized our entertainment center and I want to get this canvas bin to hold some of Harry's toys. I'd also like to take Harry to the park this afternoon, if the weather cooperates.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

One Size Vs. Sized Diapers


Cloth diapers come in two size options, one size or sized. One size diapers claim they'll fit from birth to potty training, while sized diapers have to replaced with larger ones as baby grows.

Here are a couple of sized diapers.


That's a Swaddlebees Simplex 2.0 in size large (22-35 pounds) on the left and a FuzziBunz Perfect Size in size medium (15-30 pounds). Harry has fit in the FuzziBunz since we started cloth diapering him right before he turned six months. He still doesn't fit in the Swaddlebees, which is weird since these two diapers look like they're the exact same size! I tried putting him in the Simplex 2.0 a few weeks ago and he leaked right through it.

I think one size diapers are more popular these days, but a lot of parents prefer the sized versions. They are a lot trimmer than one size diapers, which I think is the main draw. I could also see how these would be nice if you have two children in diapers. The one size diapers could get a little confusing when trying to figure out which diaper is for which child.

Here are some one size diapers.


From left to right there's a FuzziBunz, Blueberry and BumGenius one size diaper. I prefer one size diapers because of the cost savings with just buying one set of diapers. Although keep in mind most one size diapers will not fit until your baby is 10-12 pounds, despite what the companies say. You can purchase a separate stash of newborn diapers (prefolds are a popular choice for this phase) or use disposables until they fit.

There are two different ways one size diapers can be adjusted. The most common way is with a snap up rise.


With snaps you have a small, medium and large diaper all in one. Just snap the rise to fit your baby and the diaper is ready to wear.

Here's what the three settings look like on a Tweedle Bugs diaper. 


FuzziBunz are a little different. The elastics are adjustable on the inside of the diaper. I'm pretty sure Charlie Banana diapers are similar, but I've never tried those.


They're kind of a pain in the ass to adjust, but I've only had to do it once so far in the nearly four months we've been cloth diapering. You can get a really precise fit with this type of diaper.

One size diapers can be very bulky on the smaller settings, which I know turns off some parents form cloth diapering all together. Don't let it bother you! I read a blog a while back that claimed the bulkiness of cloth diapers hindered her baby's development. Oh puh-lease! I've actually seen a few other moms on message boards asking about this as well so I wanted to put that rumor to rest. Remember: disposable diapers have only been around for about 50 years. Babies have been hitting their developmental milestones for a lot longer than that :). If you are looking for some trimmer one size options, check out FuzziBunz, GroVia AIOs and Tots Bots Easy Fits.

Like I said, I prefer the one size diapers just because they'll last longer. But I'm glad we've tried a few different sized diapers, too.

Do you prefer one size or sized diapers?

Check out all my Cloth Diaper Month posts here!

Friday, August 17, 2012

Negatives of Cloth Diapers

It's only fair that after I blogged about the positives of cloth diapering I cover some of the negatives.


As a disclaimer, I will say in my opinion the positives outweigh the negatives and in general I love cloth diapering my son.

The Poop Factor
 In my experience, I've touched way more poop cloth diapering than I did when Harry was in disposables. I try to use disposable liners with Harry whenever possible, but he kind of just goes whenever, no set schedule. After babies start solids you can't throw soiled diapers in the wash as is. We have a sprayer hooked up to our toilet that I use to clean off the diapers before throwing them in the pail. Even if I do use a liner a lot of the time I end up having to spray the diaper a little. It can get gross and messy sometimes, but I'm so used to it now it really doesn't phase me.

Cloth diapers contain poop really well. It's virtually unheard of to have a blowout in one, which obviously is a plus. Sometimes I think they contain it a little too well though, to the point where you can't even smell it. Which doesn't really seem like it would be a negative, but it can be. In disposables you can smell it almost instantly, so you know it's time to change. With Harry being such a random pooper I feel like I don't always catch them right away. I'm constantly checking his diaper but I have missed a few and I just feel so bad.

Time Commitment 
People who tell you cloth diapering isn't more of a time commitment than disposables are lying. It absolutely is. Manageable? Yes. But there are a few more steps involved in cloth diapering, meaning it will take up more of your time. First, you have to fold/stuff/put away your diapers every few days. I usually stuff my pockets and fold all my diapers while watching TV. Then of course there's the extra laundry. It's recommended you do diaper laundry every other day, so you're looking at an extra three or four loads a week. I have a pretty good schedule for washing right now, making it almost second nature.

The spraying I mentioned above is also an extra time commitment disposable users don't have to deal with. If it's a particularly nasty mess I'm dealing with I'll spend about five minutes (!!!) working to get it clean. Not the hugest deal right now since I'm able to put Harry in his crib with a few toys, but when he's older it will probably be more difficult to keep him occupied and out of trouble while I'm working on a diaper.

Diapering Away From Home
If you change a cloth diaper outside of your house you have to transport it back home to wash it. This was my biggest fear when we first started cloth diapering. For the first month or so he usually wore disposables when we went out. I'm totally okay with changing him on the go now, but just make sure you remember to empty your wet bag when you get home!

Another challenge of cloth diapering away from home is dealing with caregivers. Either a daycare provider or the occasional babysitter, like grandma and grandpa. I think a lot of people think cloth diapering still involves diaper pins and plastic pants and are reluctant to handle it while babysitting. I have heard that it is illegal to use cloth diapers at daycare centers in some states, too. But just because you run in to issues with cloth diapering your baby at daycare doesn't mean you can't still do it during nights and weekends. Or, just talk to your caregivers! Educate them on how easy it will be for them to put them on your child and get a doctor's note for your daycare center if necessary.

So there you have it, all the negatives I could think about for cloth diapering. I think a lot of them are more like fears. Once you actually start using cloth diapers you'll realize how awesome it really is and all your fears will go away.

Happy diapering, and have a wonderful weekend!
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