Category Archives: Cloth Diapering

Thirty-six weeks. Birth and baby preparations.

I’m 36 weeks pregnant today.

That’s rather a milestone, because Arizona law only “officially” allows home births between 36-42 weeks.  So, I’m IN!!

In general, I’m not feeling miserable.  Well, I kind of am…  And part of me thinks that must be my age (I’ll be 40 next month!), but another part of me well-remembers the last weeks of pregnancy with my first, at age almost-24, and I think that, perhaps, I was even MORE miserable than I am now.  So, I can’t blame it on age.  Really, I just don’t enjoy pregnancy.  My body resists it, and all the more so as the birth approaches.

I do enjoy the birth itself — so satisfying, so joyful! — and I adore having a newborn.

I’m not going to have a water birth.

It’s kind of funny, because with most of the home birth pics I see — like on the ever-encouraging Birth Without Fear — inevitably, they’re of a vernix-coated brand-newborn being pulled straight from the water into the mother’s waiting hands.  And I just don’t… want that.  I don’t know why, exactly.  I just don’t.  Every time I’ve had the opportunity to labor in a tub — with all but one of my five previous births — I have gladly done so.  And I do envision myself in labor in my swimming pool and in a bathtub here in my home.  But, birthing in the water?  I just don’t want to.  Part of me feels like I should have a birthing pool on hand, just in case.  But, I have successfully, joyfully birthed five children while NOT in the water, and I think I’d feel a lot more comfortable doing the same with baby #6.  I don’t like the feeling of NOT feeling… grounded while in the water.  My midwife and her assistant (who is a friend of mine — a doula training to be a midwife) assures me that, with a rebozo (basically just a long, cotton shawl), they could wrap/loop it around me in such a way that I wouldn’t feel like I was floating away.  But that makes me feel even more twitchy — having fabric looped all around my body and two women holding it while I push out a baby.  I don’t want that… much touching me.  And I’m just not a fan of plastic touching me, either.  A rented pool is a blow-up plastic pool with a thin plastic liner.  Not a fan of the plastic-to-skin sensation.  No, thank you.

Plus, the pool rental is another $100 that I’d rather not spend, and my husband is worried about the second story of our home successfully supporting that much weight — and WET weight, at that — in the corner of our bedroom.

So, a birth pool is out.

For other baby-preparations…

Friends have POURED out love and blessing and baby stuff on us.  I’ve received:

  • A gorgeous crib.  (Actually, two of them.  I’m going to give one away.)
  • The first six months of clothing — really, really nice clothing from a friend whose baby girl was born in August of last year.  She works for a mall development company and I’m confident she spends WAY more time shopping at WAY nicer stores than me…  Plus, she has two boys and her family was thrilled that she had a baby girl, and of course, everyone gave clothes.  And she has passed them all down to me.  And we’re going to meet up soon and she’s going to give me a Boppy (which I love), a breast pump, and some other items, too.
  • A really nice car seat.
  • A bouncy seat.
  • Baby toys.
  • A play pen.
  • Some cloth diapering supplies.
  • Some baby linens — like bath towels and blankets.

The bassinet bumper is made from this cloth, edged in the chocolate brown of the leaves and stems, and tied with yellow grosgrain ribbon.

I already owned a nice, big, rocking, oak bassinet.  I purchased it second-hand when Fiala (who is now 4.5 years old) was not yet born, and it has been making the rounds, so to speak, ever since.  I’m kicking myself for not having all the mothers who have borrowed it write their baby’s names in pencil with the dates the bassinet was used.  I think the count is at seven.  Seven babies who have slept in that bassinet between the birth of my four-year-old and this new baby.  I think that is such a rich, sweet history.  And now, the bassinet has come back to me from the most recent baby (born in November) who had it…  Along with the bumper I made for a friend who used it for HER little girl, who will be four in August.  It’s still in great shape, still super-cute.

All I have purchased are:

  • More cloth diapering stuff.
  • A pail liner for said cloth diapers.
  • Another wet bag (a friend already gave me one) for cloth diapers on-the-go.
  • A diaper bag.
  • A Moby wrap.

And with all of that, I have spent less than $200.

For diapers, I have purchased all-in-ones, pocket-diapers, prefolds, diaper covers…  I have nearly enough diapers and supplies to last from newborn until potty-training.  Craigslist is a GREAT source for cloth diapers.  Thankfully, cloth diapering is quite trendy right now.  However, countless mothers have spent HUNDREDS of dollars on pricey, new cloth diapers, tried it for a week or two, and freaked out and decided to stop cloth diapering.  Then, they offer their nearly-new stash on Craigslist for 10-50% the cost of new.  And I come in and scoop everything up, happily.  🙂  There are also die-hard cloth diapering moms who keep meticulous care of their cloth diaper supplies and have great items to sell — even if they’re older — that have been so well-cared-for that they’re worth buying.  I’ve also purchased a number of diapering items from eBay.  I’m still bidding on some more infant-sized prefolds…  And I still need a few additional items, but I’ll still probably end up spending just under $200.

And that’s even with my pricey diaper bag.

NOTE:  I am so NOT trendy.  I’m really not.  I have zero interest in being a stylish, hot mom who uses her baby as a public indication of her ability to spend loads of money on the best, most expensive brands.

So, on one hand, I’m kind of embarrassed about my Petunia Pickle Bottom diaper bag.  This brand, in “touring” style I purchased, retails for around $150.  Discontinued fabrics — such as the one I purchased — can be found for $75-105, typically.  That just seems so, so, so pricey.  Like, ridiculously so.

Darling.  The colors.  The birds.  The fact that it’s real, woven houndstooth.  I love it.

On the other hand, I absolutely ADORE my new diaper bag.  I adore it.  I can’t wait until it arrives.   I bought it used, for about $40, and I literally cried with joy.  Though it is a fraction of the cost of a new bag, it still seems crazy-expensive to me.  But, once I saw that diaper bag…  I just felt like I had to have it.  Me, the immensely practical, pragmatic, penny-pinching mother of almost-six, “had to have” a $40 diaper bag.  And I was willing to spend more!  Ack!!

I consoled myself that I had been so frugal with my other purchases, and overall, have spent so little for this baby, that the $40 was justifiable.  😀  It’s my one baby-splurge.

So… with me now being 36 weeks, and with procuring — in one way or another — almost all of my baby supplies, I’m feeling almost-ready for the baby to come.  She could come any day and we’d at least not be in a panic, though everything is not quite ready…

 

 

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You can’t afford a baby.

Please read this post, a short-but-slightly-snarky response to Suze Orman, a financial adviser who recently told a couple that they couldn’t afford a baby, with its $700-1000 monthly expense.

I agree wholeheartedly with Connie, the author.

Having a baby in America CAN be expensive, but it doesn’t need to be.  I’ll never forget when I told a former neighbor that I was pregnant with my third and she sighed and said, “You’re so lucky.  I’d love a baby, but we just can’t afford it.”  It was all I could do to not let my jaw hit the sidewalk.  She and her husband lived — by themselves — in a 2500 s.f. house, had an RV, brand new vehicles, two ATVs, two Jet-skis, expensive mountain bikes, and who knows what else.  In other words, they could totally “afford” a baby if they got their priorities straight.  AND, yes:  it can be difficult and expensive if you have to have everything new and fancy and trendy, bottle feed, use childcare for when you go back to work at 6 weeks, and use disposable diapers.  But, heck.  Even name brand disposables will run you about $40-60/month.  NOT $700-1000.

Maybe this is inflammatory, but I also believe our American culture which values independence over community is partially to blame.  We’re disconnected from our extended families, we don’t root ourselves in a church family either, and we value income and material wealth over family.  Even things like baby showers and hand-me-downs are most often provided by our extended community, which we as Americans have less and less of.

Don't YOU need a $5768.89 crib??

I have a wooden cradle that is “making the rounds” between friends from church.  This DELIGHTS me.  I bought it for $40 from Craigslist, used it for my fifth baby (as I had given away a previous cradle), and now a third friend is about to use it for her her newborn, due in Feb. But, if you have to keep up with the Jones’ baby who had a $2,000 Bellini crib (or this $5,800 one!), you’re going to have a pricey infancy.  However, if you breastfeed, raise your own child, and don’t mind having used or hand-me-down things, it’s really quite inexpensive to raise a baby.

EDITED TO ADD:  One other thing… (can you tell this has struck a nerve???) I’m not suggesting that selling baby things is wrong, but I have learned that you get back what you give — sometimes literally, sometimes from elsewhere.  I have given away cribs, strollers, swings, clothes, countless other baby items, partly because I saw someone in need, and partly because I thought I was “done” with having children.  But, whatddya know??  It has ALL COME BACK to me. I have, in return, been given cribs, clothes, toys, slings — I don’t use swings anymore! 😉 — everything I need for a baby, when I did have need.  My youngest is three and the goods still keep pouring in.  Someone just gave us three bags of virtually brand-new girls toys — voila! Christmas for my 3 and 5yo girls. Whether you call it karma or attribute it Luke 6:38, or whatever, if you give, you will receive.  We are a panicked, hoarding society, and often fail to recognize that if we are generous, we’re going to be provided for.

Housework! Summer soup! Beef jerky! Computer viruses!

  • Fourteen upper cabinets.  Twelve lowers.  Fifteen drawers.  All cleaned, inside and out, sorted and re-organized.  Plus, as they don’t go all the way to the kitchen ceiling, the tops are cleaned off, as well as all the decorative items that reside up there.  ~sigh~  That is a sigh of exhaustion.  And relief.  In our nearly six years of living here, I have never done all of the kitchen cabinets in one fell swoop.  It had been nagging at the back of my brain daily, each time I took something out of a cabinet and saw an accumulation of crumbs, dust, and/or greasy grime.  Note:  Gel Gloss looks fabulous for about ten minutes, but then that gleaming shine washes off super-easily with soap and water!  Not great for quartz countertops in a kitchen that gets regular abuse use.  Bummer.  Anyone have a favorite stone countertop product they love??
  • Have you ever tried my Thai Chicken Noodle Soup?  I just updated the recipe.  I can’t believe it’s been almost four years since I originally posted the recipe.   The soup —  more of a meal-in-a-bowl than an actual soup — is a staple in our home, even in summer.  Lots of fresh veggies, tasty and fun.  Mmmm…
  • I turned seven pounds of London Broil into beef jerky the other day.  Smoky-garlic and soy-garlic.  It’s in preparation for our vacation.  Jerky comes in handy for snacks and meals-while-driving, as well as made into various recipes (which I learned from this fabulous cookbook for hikers/campers — it’s a shame it’s out of print!  One review says “Invaluable!  Wore out library copy — had to buy my own.”  That is exactly what I did!!)…  Anyway.  What wasn’t fit for jerky got put into a pot of what was supposed to be red chile stew.  Which it was, sort of.  But, I got enticed by a Really Big package of dried chile de arbol at the grocery store last week, and thought, “Oooh, those are the chiles in Cholula [my fave hot sauce],” and I bought it, really knowing nothing about them.  Well, it turns out they are REALLY HOT.  I removed the stems, seeds, and… pith (or whatever it’s called), and my hands burned for hours, even though I think I only used five chiles.  Also, the broth was SO HOT that I had to scoop out all the beef chunks and — sadly — drain the broth, which seemed like such a waste, but I knew if I kept it as it was, it would be inedible for my kids.  I added water to cover the remaining beef (to which some crushed chile still clung), added a chopped onion, sea salt, and about eight cloves of chopped garlic.  After it had simmered for nearly three hours, I thickened the cooked-down broth with some corn starch, and served it with some Spanish rice (which I had made earlier in the week) and some refried beans (from Trader Joe’s — my favorite).  It was good.  Still, lesson learned:  very judicious use of chile de arbol in the future.
  • My computer contracted a nasty virus, somehow, a few weeks ago.  It died.  Actually, it would power up, but Windows wouldn’t start.  The virus was called Windows Repair Module, which — obviously — was a fake.  How insidious.  I kept getting warnings from Windows, and it turns out that each time I clicked the “OK” button, I was unknowingly activating the .exe file associated with various aspects of the virus.  A friend of my husband’s took my hard drive home with him and worked on it every night for four nights.  He was able to pull most of my documents and pictures (THANK GOD!  I cried when I thought they were unretrievable), and save them to an external hard drive.  Then, he reformatted my hard drive.  Now, I just have to load a bunch of software that got wiped out… but that’s OK.  I then thanked my oldest son, Ethan, who will be 14 later this week.  Why?  Because “…with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”  Ethan worked a hot and hard day at the home of a friend, laying tile and cleaning…  and with that measure of service and giving, it was returned to us, in the form of a repaired computer.
  • If you’re still reading… today is my birthday.  I am 38.  🙂  The only thing I really love about growing older is the history, the perspective that it brings to my life.  I freak out less, because I can say, “Look.  We had that really rough patch five years ago, and God brought us through.”  When I was younger, everything was new and untested, and every challenge threatened to topple me.  Now, I’ve had years of tasting God’s goodness, and seeing His faithfulness first-hand.  To me, that’s a really, really valuable birthday present.

Training pants duke it out. Easy Ups win.

Reasons I’m liking Pampers Easy Ups more than Huggies Pull-Ups (and no, no one is paying me for this post.  Ad-free blog, remember?):

  1. NO easy-open sides.  Fiala, who is 27 months old, and not able to “hold it” when she sleeps, was having a fabulous time, during nap and nighttime, removing her jeans (or whatever) and Pull-Up via its easy-open sides.  Just like velcro.  Rrrriiiipp! Easy Ups don’t open like that.  Whew!
  2. Cheaper.  Pampers Easy Ups are less expensive.  Occasionally, I had a $2 coupon which took away a bit of the sting when I bought Pull-Ups, or I could buy a store-brand version of them.  But, on my last trip to the store, Easy Ups — with no coupon — were cheaper than even the Target/store brand of Pull-Ups!
  3. More appropriate marketing.  I’m not a huge fan of Dora the Explorer, for a multitude of reasons, but I’m even LESS a fan of Disney Princess.  Actually, I’m even LESS LESS LESS of a fan of marketing to toddlers, but if I’m going to have to put up with some marketing, I’d rather have Dora on my toddler’s training pants than Disney Princess.  Way more age-appropriate.
  4. Softer finish.  Both the exterior and interior of Easy Ups are softer, and just have a nicer finish to them.
  5. They smell better.  Actually, Easy Ups smell just like Pampers, and I try not to think about how that scent is chemically-produced — nothing natural about Easy Ups, I’m sure! — and scent generally is not high on my list of reasons to buy something.  But, it’s a small factor.

We’re only going through 2-3 Easy Ups daily, but as I write this, I realize I still have some cloth diaper stuff… Maybe I could try that, instead, when we next run out of Easy Ups.

 

Just doing a little balancing…

Just to note:  I don’t think it’s particularly amazing or strong or inspiring or whatever that I’ve embarked on a fairly extreme dietary intervention with my daughter, Fiala.  In fact, such responses have really thrown me for a loop;  I was not prepared for them at all, and in general, I don’t know how to handle compliments well.  When people start saying nice things about me, I typically will bring to mind all the things that I do poorly in order to balance it all out and not get a big head.

And, since y’all can’t see inside my head… and because I tend to dislike blogs that depict the life of the blogger as a perfect, magical place of rainbows and unicorns…  I just thought I would do a little confession to balance out all the compliments that have come my way.

I confess that, soaking in my washing machine all yesterday — first in washing soda, then in bleach — was a load of cloth diapers that I hadn’t washed for TWO WEEKSTwo weeks.  And, yes, that’s as nasty as it sounds, even though I had rinsed all the poopy ones.  I had gotten a pack of disposables for our trip up to my parents’ cabin over Labor Day weekend, and ended up using them… then buying another pack… plus I got behind on laundry in general… and super-busy with schooling the kids… and trying to get other things back in order… plus dealing with Fiala’s food issues… etc… etc…  All that led to about 30 dirty diapers, sitting in two lidded pails, unwashed.

Yuck.

Now that you know that not all is admirable about me, I can go back to the regularly-scheduled blog and feel oddly better.

Private Purple

So.  The Nystatin powder which Fiala’s doctor prescribed last Monday was working somewhat, but not well.  I decided to call the office to see if he would call in a prescription for Nystatin cream.  The problem with the powder was, since we rinse her bum off in the sink after virtually every diaper change, and we change her diaper after every time she pees, she’s getting her rear end washed about 15-20 times a day, but we can’t use the nystatin more than three times per day.  We’d put it on, it’d get rinsed right off.

But, for reasons unknown, the doctor’s phone line (I tried two different numbers) was busy all day yesterday.  Then, late in the afternoon, I had a revelation:  gentian violet.  Fiala has a diaper rash yeast infection, but I remember treating Audrey, when she was a baby, with gentian violet for thrush.  Both are yeast infections.  I Googled it, and sure enough:  you can use gentian violet for diaper rash yeast infection.

I called my local Walgreen’s.  Yes, they had one bottle left of it, behind the counter at the pharmacy.  I stopped in before my chiropractor appointment to pick it up.  While in line, I saw that some Zyrtec, normally $12.99, that was on clearance for $3.29.  Why?  Because it was labeled as a remedy for hives, which I guess either Zyrtec is phasing out, or Walgreen’s is discontinuing.  I compared strength and ingredients to the “normal” Zyrtec, and the two products were identical.

I’d been going back and forth about whether or not to start Fiala on Zyrtec, in lieu of Benedryl (Benedryl — time-tested, effective, safe.  But, having to squirt 1/2 tsp down her throat 3-4x/day on “bad” days is such a bummer.  Treating her once a day with Zyrtec is starting to look better and better to me…).  So, seeing it cheap on the shelf made it seem like a good opportunity.  I grabbed a bottle, fully pleased with myself that I had renewed hope for Fiala’s health, on the cheap.  

On Walgreen’s website, 1 oz of 1% gentian violet was $3.29.  So, I was thinking I could get out of there for less than $10 for both items.  The pharmacy tech fetches the gentian violet.  It’s a 2 oz bottle.  He rings up both items.  Fifteen bucks and change.  What?  The gentian violet was $11.39.  Ummm…. why??  I don’t know.  That chaps my hide when an item is one price online, and a different price in the store.  So, it was a wash.  I got Zyrtec for the price of gentian violet, and gentian violet for the price of Zyrtec.

In my mind, I heard… well, have you ever been to a baseball game, and one of your guys smacks the ball, gives it a ride, and you hear a general, loud and excited, “YYYYEEEEEAAAAAAAAA…” and then the opposing outfielder catches the ball right at the fence, and the crowd noise weakly tapers off into an, “…aaawww”?  I literally heard that, in my head.

When I complained about the price discrepancy to my husband, he said, “Well, if it works, that will be the best $15 we’ve ever spent.  It’s cheaper online, but then you have to pay for shipping and wait five days.”  OK.  He’s right.

I pulled on some gloves as soon as I got home, and got out a cotton ball, and painted Fiala’s entire diaper area BRIGHT DEEP INKY PURPLE.  Try as we might to keep her still, she somehow got purple all over her hands, legs, feet, and shirt.  Oh, well.  I thought, “It’s worth it if it works.”

After she went to bed, I Googled a little bit more on gentian violet.  Come to find out IT IS EFFECTIVE ON IMPETIGO, TOO!!!  Impetigo.  A staph infection on the skin.  That’s the whole reason we had her on antibiotics in the first place, which led to her awful, terrible yeast infection.  In other words, three weeks ago, I could have daubed some purple junk behind her knees, and avoided this whole protracted, painful, highly medicated, time consuming few weeks.  Grr.  I would so much have rather dealt with messy purple legs than having a round of antibiotics, then THREE antifungals, plus a houseful of other natural remedies to try to combat the resulting yeast infection.

So, yes, we have a whole bunch of purple diapers now, and I don’t know if that will come out.  But, in a mere twelve hours — TWELVE HOURS — her yeast infection, which she’s had for TWO WEEKS — TWO WEEKS — is nearly gone.  I feel like linking to some awful pictures of babies with yeast infection rashes, so as to help y’all understand the relief (and consternation!) I feel about this whole situation.  But, the online pics of babies with yeast infections are so bad, they turn one’s stomach.  Fiala’s was… oh, about 70% as bad as the worst ones I’ve seen online.  Her doctor called it “extreme.”

Please.  Learn from me.

Impetigo?  Treat it with gentian violet.

Yeast infection?  Treat it with gentian violet.

So what if it stains a bunch of clothes or diapers???  So what if your husband calls your baby Private Purple and giggles about it???  🙄  It’s worth it.

~sigh~

Worst baby yeast infection ever (but her face is healing!!)

Mama and Fi

Mama and Fi

EDITED TO ADD:  See very long comment by me on 04/21/10 for updated baby yeast infection regimen.

I took this on Sunday, as I stayed home to help Fiala recover from the worst case of yeast infection I’ve ever seen, which has made her red and swollen from the top of her bum all the way around to her belly button, with “satellite” patches that extend even further.  As of yesterday, we are now using prescription Nystatin to help it further heal… but my regimen of taking care of her bum pretty much takes the entire day.  HOWEVER, her face looks beautifully clear, does it not?  It is now Tuesday late afternoon, and she hasn’t had Protopic or any medication since Saturday morning, and it still looks great.  Previously, even on our dairy-free, gluten-free, egg-free, soy-free diet, I was still having to faithfully use Protopic 2x/day, or her face would break out in lesions.

I feel like saying, “Told you so!” to the first allergist we saw, who was extremely skeptical that Fiala could be healed simply by altering her diet (and mine, as she is nursing).  The allergist she has now is not suggesting that we do anything OTHER than alter the diet (other than the steroid cream on her legs), and he wants to see us in a couple of weeks to gauge her progress.

Her legs are still bad, and the allergist prescribed — yet another — topical steroid, but I decided, instead, to be more generous with the triamcinolone on her legs, just until they are healed… then, I think/hope, given the evidence on her face, we should be able to stop it altogeterh.

OK.  Yeast diaper rash care.  On Saturday, I could tell that the normal regimen of bare-butt therapy just wasn’t cutting it, so I Googled, and decided to use pretty much anything and everything that sounded safe.

We are:

  1. Giving her a probiotic capsule (broken) and mixed with a small amount of water, daily.
  2. Rinsing her bum in water EVERY time she pees.
  3. Having her bare as much as possible, which is most of her waking time.
  4. Keeping her in an uncovered cloth diaper the remainder of the time.
  5. Changing her as soon as she pees.  Yes, this makes for a good 15-20 diapers a day.
  6. Putting her (bare-butt) in sunlight for at least 15 minutes a day.
  7. Smoothing on liquid Mylanta with a cottonball, and letting it dry to a milky white.  (I’m not entirely sure how this works, as urine is not acidic, but it really seems to help.  Edited to amend: Urine IS acidic.)
  8. We’re now using Nystatin powder, but before that I had used miconazole (didn’t help) and Lotrimin AF (clotrimizole), which was actually helping.
  9. Using pure aloe vera gel during the time when its between applications of the antifungals, and letting it dry.
  10. SLATHERING on zinc oxide cream (I’m using Aveeno) when she goes down for a nap/nighttime.

The Nystatin is definitely helping, but I think we could have beat it using just the above over-the-counter regimen.

This is for you, Christy!

Happy girl!

Happy girl!

(Taken with my phone.  I can NEVER get good pics from my phone.  My Dad is working on my “real” camera, which hopefully isn’t permanently out of service…)

Yeah, the pic is a little fuzzy, but Fiala’s skin looks great.  It is probably about 80% cleared up.  However, that’s because I’ve been using Protopic on it, which is a topical immunosupressant.  Yes, it works.  But the bummer is that it is just masking whatever is going on inside of her that is making her skin all chewed up!  (Plus, according to the website, it’s not supposed to be used at all on children younger than two, and young children should be using the 0.03% strength.  Fiala is 9 months and on the 0.1% strength.  Hm.)

I probably should be happier about the success of Protopic… But, though it helps her skin, it doesn’t help her g.i. tract, which is still out of whack, though not as bad as it was, say, a month ago.

Yesterday, I was thinking, and the ONLY thing that I am 100% certain that she digests well and that causes no problem is beans.  Even pears seem to trouble her.  And maybe even rice.  ~sigh~  I don’t know.  I hope we get some good answers from her next allergist appointment, which is on the 12th.

Fiala’s also sick.  We literally have gone NO WHERE since last Sunday (though we just got back from picking my dear husband up at the airport;  he was gone all weekend in Minnesota leading worship at a mini-worshp conference; we missed him so), but somehow, she came down with a bit of a cough Thursday night, and now she’s got a fever, the cough, and congestion in her nose and lungs.  She squeals when she sees the bulb syringe.  :tears:  Still, though, she’s such a sweet and happy baby.  In the pic above, she was belly laughing at Grant who was playing peek-a-boo with her.

It was so precious to hear her say, very distinctly, “Da Da Da Dee,” over and over when we picked up Martin from the airport.  She also says Ma-ma and Ma-mee; “Eeefff” for Ethan; “Tdzee” (almost a soft “g”) for Grant (whom we frequently call “G” or G-Ray); “Buh buh” for Wesley — not sure about that one, maybe “brother.”  She doesn’t have a name for Audrey yet.  🙂

Almost NONE of the hand-me-down clothes from Audrey fit Fiala!  I just bought two outfits on eBay for her (Gymboree, the top she’s wearing above was new with tags, the other items very gently used, for $9 with shipping!  I was pleased.)…  I looked closely at the pics to make sure the bottoms looked WIDE.  I think she’s thicker around than Audrey, PLUS she’s wearing cloth diapers, which makes her wider.  Yesterday, Audrey had on (for play) a skirt that was SIX MONTHS size, and it fit her fine, though it was short.  Today, her skirt was size 18 months.  I’m not complaining;  it’s nice to have a chunky baby.  It just makes my clothing options for her very limited!!

Things I’ve learned in my vast experience of 3 1/2 weeks of cloth diapering

When I tried cloth diapering my son Ethan, who is now 12, there was *no* information on it anywhere.  Not that I could find, anyways.  No books, no store, and I wasn’t online until a year later, so I couldn’t glean info off of the internet.  The only friend I knew who had cloth diapered had used a service, and that was out of the question, due to cost.  I tried for about 3 months, then gave up.  I just couldn’t sort out both being a first-time mother and cloth diapering with no assistance.  It’s so much easier this time around that I wish I had tried long ago with my other children.  Better late than never, I guess!!

Now, it’s the polar opposite.  There is so much info out there, that it’s tough to sift through what’s pertinent, and what isn’t.  Information overload.

I hate information overload.  It’s why I have never been to a homeschooling convention.  But, I digress.

Well, that’s not quite true.  There are some things about which I love more and more and more information.  Like friends.  Like birthing.  Like history.  And I love just gleaning general knowledge;  I hardly ever watch fictional shows on TV.

Now, I’m really digressing.

Anyways.  (By the way, I’m now aware that 99.9% of the people, who would say such a thing, say “anyway” with no s, but I’ve been including the s for all of my life, and it sounds/looks weird if I omit it.)

My paternal grandmother sent me a two dozen prefolded diapers when  Audrey was born, and another dozen with Fiala.  I didn’t have the heart to tell her that I didn’t cloth diaper;  she assumed I did.  This is the same grandmother who sent me How to Raise a Healthy Child in Spite of Your Doctor, and who has been a health-nik all her healthy life.  She is 84?  85?  and on no medications.  When my grandfather died three years ago, that sent her into somewhat of a tailspin, health-wise, but I think she has recovered from that…  Hmmm….  I should call her.  Or send her a fresh thank-you note.

The diapers my grandma had given me went unused until recently.

There are lots of different ways to cloth diaper, and I was having difficulty making a desicion until I decided that I’d go the cheapest route, using the diapers Grandma had sent.  That way, I’d only have to get covers, and maybe a few more diapers.  And, that’s exactly what I did.

I’ve spent $47 (about 1½ month’s worth of disposables), and purchased 8 diaper covers, 3 Snappis, and another dozen (higher quality unbleached Chinese diaper service quality) prefolds, all new/unused, all off of Craigslist.

By the way, I’ve not purchased anything off of Green Mountain Diapers, but I found it to be an extremely helpful site, with honest opinions of all the different diapering options out there, plus great how-to info, with LOTS of pics.  They’re all about cotton diapering, so there is no info on pocket diapers, AIOs, etc., unless they’re cotton.  (Plus, they’ll enclose a free Bible with your order, if you ask!)

OK.  What I’ve learned:

  • Cloth diapering has its own language and abbreviations, and if you want to cloth diaper, you’re going to have to cruise some websites for a few weeks to acquaint yourself with the terms.  There just are no short cuts to education on anything, except maybe a good friend who cloth diapers who can walk you through the ins and outs.
  • Baby clothes today are NOT cut to fit cloth diapered baby buns.  I used to be such a fan of onesies — not any more!  Now, I’m all about a cute top, and possibly a widely-cut little skirt or pair of shorts.  Or a dress, usually without the matching bloomers.  Fiala is a lot wider than Audrey ever was, and when you add a puffy diaper to that, it means that very few of Audrey’s things fit Fiala.
  • I thought I’d like covers that close with snaps.  Nope.  It’s velcro all the way, baby!  Faster, better fit.
  • “Wipe clean” is a total misnomer for diaper covers.  If any baby poop has gotten on the cover, it goes in the wash.
  • eBay is awash with companies from China trying to market their polyester diapers direct to the consumer — lots of microfiber and microfleece — it’s all polyester, which I just don’t prefer.  It’s really hard to find cloth diaper stuff on eBay unless you REALLY know what you’re looking for.  I had much greater success with Craigslist.
  • I thought my hubby and nursery workers would have a hard time with a Snappi, but no;  though it looks a bit strange, the Snappi is super-easy to figure out.  Many times, though, I have found Fiala in a diaper cover that is inside out and/or backwards, after being changed by someone else.  😆
  • It is absolutely no trouble to wash, dry, and (usually) fold a load of diapers every other day.
  • I have tried both a wet pail and a dry pail.  With a wet pail, I didn’t need to pre-soak the diapers, but I found it too heavy to lug a full five-gallon bucket across the house to the washing machine, yet too inconvenient to keep it in the laundry room, not to mention the icky business of hoisting and dumping a bucket of poopy water.  So, I’m back to a dry pail.  I do need a pail liner, though…  Right now, I’m keeping a small 2 gallon bucket in my bedroom/bathroom, and the larger 5 gal bucket in the laundry room.
  • The ONLY diaper rash Fiala has gotten while on cloth diapers was when I tried to make a diaper lotion potion using baby (mineral) oil.  I get concerned when I change her right after a long nap or at nighttime, when her diaper is soaked.  But, even though it seems like that soaky diaper must be uncomfortable, it doesn’t give her a rash.
  • Frequently, when I change her, I just let Fiala cruise for an hour or so in an uncovered cloth diaper.  Surely that helps to keep her rash-free, too.
  • Laying/Hanging things out in the sun really takes out stains like magic.  Here in the hot Arizona desert, it literally takes only 3-4 hours for stains to disappear.  I had read that many times, but thought it couldn’t be that effective, until I tried it.
  • The idea of using wool covers is really attractive to me, but at $30+ a pop, it would cost about the same as a year’s worth of disposables to get all I need, and that doesn’t take into account the cost and time to relanolize the covers regularly.
  • Plus… I can’t see the diaper covers that I have lasting all the way until she outgrows them — washing them every other day is already starting to take a toll on them.

When I started writing this post more than a week ago, I also had a number of things that weren’t going so well.  I don’t know if they have simply resolved themselves in the meantime, or if I’ve just plum (plumb?) forgotten.  So, part of my original purpose was to elicit help.  Now that I don’t remember what I need help for, I feel like this post is near-meaningless, because I read a number of similar posts by others before I started cloth diapering, and apparently, I didn’t remember any of it — though I typically learn well from advice and pitfalls of others’ experiences — because I had to, yet again, re-invent the wheel and learn for myself.  But, at this point, I’ve invested too much time on the post to just hit “delete.”  Ugh.  I guess all blog posts don’t have to be Deep and Meaningful.  😀

My own “diaper lotion potion”

One of the cool things about cloth diapering is that you almost don’t need wipies.  Many cloth diaperers use reusable wipes, but I haven’t purchased any, nor gotten around to making any, so I just have my plastic box of Huggies wipes.  Still, I hardly need any.  Unless that diaper is totally soggy or messy, there’s almost always a dry corner on which to wipe most of the muck off.  But then, I’m left with a baby not really messy enough for a whole wipe, but not totally fresh.

Right after I started cloth diapering (a whole three weeks and two days ago), I saw this:  Kissaluvs Diaper Lotion Potion.  It’s basically a healthy baby wipe in a spritzer.  But… it has tee tree oil, to which I’m allergic.  So, I thought I’d make my own.  In my first version, I used baby (mineral) oil, and that pretty much confirmed to me that Fiala’s skin is hypersensitive to petroleum-based oils, which I had suspected from lotions we have tried on her.  My second version is much better!  It works wonderfully, and smells heavenly.  I have made it with both water and witch hazel.  They both work fine, but witch hazel does have soothing, anti-inflammatory that would be especially helpful for diaper rash.

NOTES:  An ounce is 2 Tbsp.  If you use a full ounce, it is a little more expensive, of course, but it stays fully emulsified.  It will look a bit thick, but it still sprays nicely.  If you use ½ ounce of the olive oil and aloe vera gel, you’ll have to give it a shake before using.

If you go to the “travel size” section of Target, most of the clear bottles are 3 oz size, since that’s the maximum amount of liquid you can use in a carry-on bag.  I paid $0.99 for a 3 oz bottle, which seemed way overpriced, but, oh well.

Karen’s Diaper Wipe Potion in a Spritzer

  • one squirt of a paraben-free, natural liquid handsoap (I used Pure & Natural Rosemary and Mint — it smells heavenly)
  • ½ – 1 oz pure aloe vera gel
  • ½ – 1 oz olive oil
  • a drop or two of essential oil, if you’d like
  • water or witch hazel to fill the rest of the bottle

With a funnel or a careful hand, add all ingredients except the water/witch hazel to a 3 or 4 oz spritzer bottle.  Add enough water/witch hazel to fill bottle about 3/4 full, and shake to combine.  Top off, and shake again.

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