Archive for the ‘Baby’ Category

Maternity Clothes!

I had a blast last saturday, shopping with three of my wonderful Sister In Laws.  I have maternity clothes now!  At 25 weeks, I was living in a single elastic skirt and loose tshirts.  My maternity wardrobe now consists of “sexy” (to quote my SILs!) jeans, two skirts, a dress, three tees and two blouses.

Nobody told me how COMFORTABLE maternity clothes are!  Seriously, I’ve always had to buy the super low rise jeans because I hate having anything cut into my stomach.  This whole elastic waistband thing?  You’re gonna have trouble getting me to go back to regular jeans!

The main purpose of our shopping trip was finding clothes for the family pictures we’re taking this Christmas.  Do you know how hard it was to find a simple black men’s sweater?  We finally had to have one of the stores call their sister store and reserve one – thanks to my wonderful SIL who will be picking it up for us!


Oh!  And I’m playing around with the blog, figuring out how to do stuff, tweaking it, etc.  Check out my links!  Yay!


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Cloth Diapers, Part 2

Several types of cloth diapers require a cover – flats, prefolds and fitteds.  What is a cover?

A cover is a waterproof (or water resistant) fabric piece separate from the diaper.  You need far fewer covers than you do diapers – somewhere between 4-10, depending on the baby’s age (newborns poop more often than toddlers), the type of diaper underneath the cover (a trifolded prefold will require more covers than a fitted diaper), the type of cover, and how often you wash.

Usually, with each diaper change you put on a new cover, leaving the old one to air out.  Covers may get re-used until they get poop on them, or start to smell like urine.  Covers generally come in three fabrics (PUL, fleece, and wool) and two styles (wrap style or pull up style).

PUL: Polyurethane laminate is basically fabric on one side, laminated on the other.  It’s completely waterproof, comes in many colors and prints, and is inexpensive.  Some babies get a diaper rash using PUL, since it doesn’t breathe.  Can be washed with the diapers.  Some companies say air dry PUL covers, some say throw them in the dryer.  Read your washing instructions.

WOOL:  Wool has many benefits – it is initially waterproof, but if pressed, will absorb liquid, making it a favorite for overnights.  It is completely breathable, doesn’t get clammy when wet, is cool in the summer and warm in the winter, and, so long as poop doesn’t get on it, only needs to be washed a couple of times a month.  However, it is more expensive per cover, and requires handwashing with a special wool wash.

FLEECE:  More breathable than PUL, but can still be washed with the diapers.  Can be prone to compression leaks, if the diaper underneath is saturated.

PULL UP STYLE:  Old fashion “plastic pants” style.  Incredibly inexpensive (you can buy two dappi pull ups for $5), and the trimmest diaper cover possible (in PUL).  Not very popular right now, but still has many die hard advocates.  Wool and fleece covers usually come in a pull up style (called a ‘soaker’), and can be quite thick and bulky.  Pull up covers (regardless of the material) are usually “bulletproof” – even if the diaper underneath somehow leaks, the pull up cover will contain it.  However, this can be messy when removing the cover.  Many mamas enjoy knitting their own wool soakers for much cheaper than buying them – several patterns are available online, and any yarn can be used as long as it it at least 70% wool (and not “superwash”).

WRAP STYLE: Wrap style are put on like a disposable, with either snaps or velcro, sized or one size.  You can get them in all three materials.  PUL covers come in two styles: wipe clean, where the laminate is bare, or covered, where the PUL is sandwiched between fabric.  Some mamas like being able to re-use a wipeable cover more times (therefore needing fewer covers) others don’t want to risk the laminate touching their babies skin.  Either works fine.

There’s a growing amount of one-size diaper covers.  Some love that they can use the cover for longer, others would rather have a trimmer option.

PUL and fleece covers usually run from $10-20, but you need more of them.  Wool will be $25-35, but you’ll only need a few.  One can be tossed in the wash daily, the other requires monthly handwashing.  Which do you prefer?

Wrap-style PUL (wipeable): http://www.greenmountaindiapers.com/thirsties.htm

Wrap-style PUL (fabric inner) : http://www.greenmountaindiapers.com/bummis.htm

Pull up PUL: http://www.greenmountaindiapers.com/bummis_whisper_pant.htm

Wool Wrap: http://www.greenmountaindiapers.com/little_beetle_wool.htm

Wool Soaker: http://www.greenmountaindiapers.com/disana.htm

Wrap-style fleece: http://www.nickisdiapers.com/organic-caboose-eco-fleece-diaper-cover.html


There is also something called a “hybrid diaper” – a reusable cover, with a disposable insert.  Three brands are available: gDiapers, the Flip system, and Grovia.  The nice thing about hybrids is that you have the option to do either cloth or disposable – lotsa people use cloth at home, and use disposable inserts when traveling.  Some use disposable inserts full time (supposedly they’re better for the environment than straight up disposable diapers), but keep in mind that full time disposable use isn’t any cheaper than traditional disposable diapers on sale.

Personally, we’ll be using gDiapers with padfolded flats most of the time, and have a couple of packages of disposable inserts for the early days and if we go out long enough that cloth would be a hassle.  We were originally going to use flips, but the company is currently engaging in business practices I can’t support – we might switch if those practices change.

A fantastic blog post on gdiapers: http://www.joyfulabode.com/2010/09/23/gwhiz-gdiapers-101-why-im-a-gmum/

The flip system: http://www.cottonbabies.com/product_info.php?cPath=139&products_id=2220

Grovia: https://www.gro-via.com/hybrid/grovia-shell-snap-closure.html


Next time:  Cloth diaper accessories (snappis, wet bags, cloth wipes) and a basic washing routine.

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In a word, yes.

Cloth diapers are coming back.  In the last ten years their usage has skyrocketed.  People are getting more environmentally conscious, more health conscious, and more money conscious.  Supposedly the average child costs $2,000 in disposable diapers between birth and potty training!  Cloth diapering can be done for less than $100 if you go bare bones, and a very nice “stash” of new, cute, easy diapers can easily be bought for less than $500!  Even factoring in the extra loads of laundry, you can’t’ beat that price!

So, here is a basic rundown of the different types, with links to examples (GMD diapers are expensive, but the site is top of the line when it comes to pictures of the diaper on the baby)

FLATS: A single layer, large square piece of cloth.  Your great-grandmother’s diapers.  PROS:  Incredibly inexpensive (you can get really high quality ones for $20 a dozen), very trim, one size (different folds adjust for newborn to toddler), and very easy to wash and dry (can be handwashed and line dried without a problem).  CONS: Many people find folding a hassle, and find that older children need to double up to get proper absorbency.  NEEDS: Pins or a Snappi, and a waterproof cover.

Here’s some nice pictures: http://www.greenmountaindiapers.com/flat.htm

PREFOLDS:  A flat diaper that has been sewn down into a much more manageable piece of cloth.  Still requires some folding, but only very basic.  PROS: Comes in sizes, so less trouble getting a good fit, inexpensive (around $15 a dozen), washes and dries easily, very versatile.  CONS: Can be bulky, especially compared to disposable, sized, so you’ll need to buy two or three different sizes.  NEEDS: Pins or a Snappi, and a waterproof cover.

Pictures: http://www.greenmountaindiapers.com/prefolds.htm

FITTEDS:  Put on just like a disposable (usually has either snaps or velcro) then put on a waterproof cover.  Comes in many different styles and fabrics, both sized and one-size.  PROS:  The absolute best at containment (though all cloth users experience fewer “blow outs” than disposable), simple to use, very absorbent.  CONS:  Probably the bulkiest option, pricy  ($10-20 each).  NEEDS: Waterproof cover.

Pics of a random brand, so you get an idea: http://www.greenmountaindiapers.com/underthenile.htm

POCKETS:  Currently the most popular option.  A waterproof shell with a stay dry liner sewn on, and a pocket for you to “stuff” the absorbent insert.  Comes in either sized or one size.  Snaps or velcro.  PROS: Put on just like a disposable (especially the ones with velcro) so very good for babysitters and grandparents, stay dry lining keeps baby from feeling wet, customizable absorbency.  One size options are an economical choice at $18 a piece.  CONS:  Must be stuffed and unstuffed each time, often uses microfiber inserts (though you can use prefolds or flats if you prefer) which tend to stink after a while.   NEEDS: Some kind of insert (microfiber, bamboo, flat or prefolds)

Pics: http://www.cottonbabies.com/product_info.php?cPath=98&products_id=2424

ALL IN ONE:  Exactly what it says.  The waterproof outer with the attached absorbent inner.  No pinning, stuffing, or finagling necessary.  One size or sized, snaps or velcro.  PROS: The absolute easiest cloth diaper out there.  CONS: Also the most expensive, at $15-25 a piece.  Some users complain of difficulty getting them clean, and of long drying time.  NEEDS: Nothing!

Pics: http://www.greenmountaindiapers.com/bum_genius_elemental.html


So there are lots of options (and hundreds of brands) to fit your budget and lifestyle!

Next time, I’ll explain the waterproof covers necessary for flats, prefolds and fitteds, and explain what exactly a “Hybrid” diaper is!

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Seasons are Changing

So much has been happening in my life lately.

As the seasons change outside, the seasons inside are changing as well.  My life is different than it was six months ago, and will never be the same again.

I’m pregnant.

And while that’s a beautiful, wonderful, hoped for, prayed for thing, it does make life a little more complicated.  My dear husband has gone back to school full time (he’s been going part time for several years now).  But… he’s still working full time.  And it’s an hours drive (without traffic) between work and school.  And while he will still be doing everything he can to be a wonderful, supportive husband and father, he is somewhat limited on what he can do.

Enter change (and complication) two: moving in with my parents.

We are so very, very blessed to have family members with the space and means to offer us a place to live.  Perhaps even more blessed to have family members we get along with well enough to ACCEPT that offer. 😀  We now inhabit the whole of my parents upstairs: two bedrooms (one still filled with my brothers things, but hopefully will be cleared out in the next few months so that this little one can have a room of his own), a bathroom and a living area.

Large as it is, it’s still smaller than the apartment we were living in before, so there has been quite a lot of de-cluttering going on.  The largest difficulty though, is that I moved here over four months ago, while DH stayed at our old place.  I had some health issues my first trimester, and he was worried about me being alone at home so often, so off to my parents I went.  Thankfully, he’s finally here most of the time, but we still have a few final things to do at the old place.

Before tomorrow night.

Oh well.  Somehow, it will get done.

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