Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Cloth Diapering

I have been wanting to share this for awhile!  What's that?  Well its my new found love of cloth diapers!

I had been wanting to try cloth diapers since DD#1 was born.  But because we had her in daycare & I worked 15 hours a day (no lie) I decided that breastfeeding would have to be enough. So here we are five years later with baby #3, and I started my "great cloth diaper experiment"!

After hours searching the internet, reading about the various diapers and methods I decided that good old-fashioned prefolds would be the most economical and offer the greatest flexibility.  Prefolds have multiple layers of cotton gauze with multiple layering in the middle; think Gerber Birdseye Diapers, like you find at WalMart or Target, just more absorbent.  They come in a multitude of sizes & absorbancy - I selected premium, unbleached infant Chinese prefolds (CPF); this means they can fit a baby weight 15-30lbs & have 8 layers in the center.  I also picked up some gently used Green Mountain Cloth-eez® Prefold Diapers (GMD) with the "red edge" - these are basically CPF that have been cut down to different sizes so they are less bulky.  The down side is that they fit a smaller size range, unless you fold them & lay them into the diaper cover instead of wrapping them around baby.  I even decided to pick up some used all-in-one pocket diapers, which work the most like disposables, from the Cloth Diapering Parents group on Ravelry.

Jelly Roll
Here's what we've learned...there are many ways to fold a diaper, wash a diaper & there are TONS of really cute diaper covers but we have found a few things that have worked better for us then others.  We like the "jelly roll" because it seems to helps contain the mess by creating a gusset or a roll around each leg. 

Angel Wings

As for covers - well we tried Thirsties Duo Wraps (with snaps), Bambino Miosoft Nappy and Bummis Super Brite but the Bummis winby a mile!  They are roomer so they go around by fat baby and her diaper with ease.  And they contain the leaks better.  I plan to pick up Bummis Whisper Wrap - they company calls them their work-horse and they are suppose to work even better for fat little babies.  The other two wraps are really designed to work with inserts - sold by their manufacturer - but we have found that the Thirsties work okay with GMD since they are less bulky.

We have also found that the all-in-one pocket diapers work well for at night; we've only had one leak.  I think the only down side of these diapers are the aplex/hook-n-loop; it catches on everything & since we have pets it hard to keep the hair out so it continues to work properly. Finally, we recently picked up some flush-able diaper liners and let me tell you that wow-we they are nice!  It really cuts down on poo cleanup time and has allowed me use the all-in-ones during the day more frequently. 

In the end I really am loving the cloth diapers.  Disposables in some cases are easier - nothing to wash and you don't have to remember a "wet bag" (we use a 2.5 gallon Ziploc bag) to put dirty diapers in while you are out, but overall I really like them.  I don't think my darling husband loves them as much as I do but since I change the majority of the diapers he doesn't mind them.  So if you have been considering trying them, give it a go!  Around $50-60 will get you 12 prefolds & two covers, which is a two day supply for a infant (3+ months) - and I am always willing to share my favorite cloth diapering websites.

And for your viewing pleasure, more photos of my little fattie sporting her cloth diapers.

Our favorite diaper cover; the Bummis Super Brite!
Nugget in a Thirsties Duo Wrap & GMD-Red Edge.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Let's talk about...Home Births

I never thought I would ever be a home birth Mom; isn't it normal to have your baby in a hospital, surrounded by strangers, under really bright lights?  Now don't get me wrong - I've done two out of three births in the hospital and they were okay.  But with our third (and actually our second) we wanted to deliver at a birth center.  Our oldest's birth was, well, a little rough - it ended with her in the NICU for 5 days.  I firmly believe had the doctors/nurses followed our birth plan and let things move along naturally it would have been a completely different experience.

So, we found a midwife, Suzanne Ryan, and thought, "great we are set".  To our surprise, and at first shockingly, we wanted to do all our prenatal visits at our home.  What?!  I agreed, it might be nice not to have to drive to the hospital/doctors office - and it was nice.  She came over, did all the usual measurements, took a health history, and then proceeded to go over the basics of how things would go.  And went over the ten or so reason that she would transfer our care to a hospital; before, during & after labor.  She was there for an hour or so, took her time and answered our questions.  After she left we were pleased with her and knew we wanted her to deliver or baby but I still wasn't sold on having her at home.  But over the next 28 weeks Susan took time answer our additional questions, address our concerns & even provided us with a stack of videos to watch  - which we did, well some of them.  At 36 weeks pregnant I was okay with a home birth but still a little nervous.  The birthing supplies, birthing pool & what not, arrive at our 38 week appointment. She even gave us a little list of additional supplies to have on-hand.  So we took our "check list" to the store and picked up a few other things; like vinyl picnic table cloths to lay on the carpets to keep them dry when I got out the tub an snack to eat during labor.  We were ready!

As for Nugget (DD#3 - nickname), she wasn't ready - finally at ten days past due & my Mom's departure pending we finally coaxed her to make an appearance.  I was so peaceful, relaxing.
I know, I know you think I'm crazy, but truly I was able to move about my house freely, we took a couple short walks through the neighborhood and sat with my family.  My contractions were very manageable since she didn't break my water like the doctors did with my first two.

Suzanne & Nicole support me during contractions.
Suzanne checks the babies heart rate.

I just progressed slowly & naturally - once I was ready I got into the pool and labored there using a variety of positions.  

And at 9:32pm our third child was born; her Dad lifted her out of the water and laid her on my chest and we just rested.  :)  
Welcome to the world sweet baby!

Clean up & the minimum paper work that are required were completed, Nugget was weighed & measure and then we were left to enjoy our daughter. I know that if we decide to have any more children that I will have them at home with a midwife.

I cannot thank Suzanne enough for empowering us to enjoy pregnancy and a natural birth at home.

Thursday, February 09, 2012

Blogging, Journaling, Writing...Expressing

A good friend has inspired me to start blogging again - and to really make it a habit this time.  Not for any exciting reason (i.e. she's living abroad and we are living vicariously through her) but so I have a place to put my thoughts/think out loud.  And hopefully to keep moving ahead, in the right direction.

Its been a long year; I stopped working to become a stay-at-home-momma, we've moved twice, had a baby, and  received two major medical diagnosis for our young son (Autism & CVID) along with all the other things make up life.  Let's just say its been an interesting ride and it hasn't stopped yet.

So the big question is what now?  Well I keep faith, keep crafting, keep parenting and keep living this extraordinary life.  I will actually do that knitting project I mentioned in my last post (18 months ago), I will share what we are eating & doing and I will begin to rebuild my faith.