Long Time No Blog

…..2 months and 2 days, to be exact.

Parenting two little ones has turned out to be a big fat lesson in humility, especially in the I-can-do-all-the-things arena.

A few days after my last blog post, I got the most recent round of revisions back from my editor and got to work on them. Because the kids are not (for the most part) napping at the same time, figuring out how to get the work done was a real treat. Happily, Bridget is a great night time sleeper. She usually sleeps from 8:00-4:30ish, nurses, and goes back to sleep until 8:00. I started ¬†getting up after she finishes nursing, around 5 or 5:30, and writing until Will wakes up around 6:45. It does make the late afternoon/witching hour stretch looooong when you’ve been up since 4:30, but I’m not a night owl and at 11 pm, I lack the higher order thinking skills to write a book. Every free moment (and some not so free moments in which Bridget perched on my lap while I typed one handed), I’ve been working on the book revisions and I turned them in last Friday, only a week late, huzzah! My editor said she expects this latest round to be the last set of significant revisions and that after this, there should be only minor changes before it’s finished. I had no. idea. how much my manuscript would change from initial concept to publication, and truly, how valuable a good editor is. I expected she’d work out kinks like awkward sentences, but she has shaped the manuscript into something so far superior to what I initially handed her and really pushed me to better writing.

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Early morning writing & coffee & milk drunk baby.

On the home front, I potty trained Will using the Oh Crap! method and I think I am pretty safe to say he is daytime potty trained at this point. (I know. I just jinxed it.) He’s still in a diaper at naps and nighttime because ain’t nobody got time for unnecessary night waking. He really enjoys telling me he needs to poop and that he needs to watch Wild Kratts while sitting on his potty to “help me ‘relass.'” He’s getting to be such a big boy!

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What? You were hoping for a potty picture? ūüėČ

Bridget is 4 months old and continues to be a doll baby sweetheart, a champion nighttimae sleeper (although a less accomplished napper), and just goes with the flow. For example, napping on the deck table with Atlanta Magazine for a pillow while her brother plays:

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Unfortunately, my poor, sweet girl has continued to have health issues. I did a total dairy elimination for a month but it didn’t help with the eczema. I called her pediatrician in hysterics on a Friday night because:

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We tried steroid cream for two weeks, which cleared her right up. Unfortunately, a few days ago, the eczema started creeping back¬†and¬†she’s got a yeast rash. We are now on a new steroid regimen, a lotrimin/diaper cream regimen, and back in disposables until we get the rash cleared. This sweet child hasn’t even complained about all her ailments. I tell the husband on a daily basis that I am so grateful for her and her overwhelming sweetness. She has been my ray of sunshine in an otherwise difficult time of moving and winter and challenging postpartum recovery, and I am so very thankful for this bundle of joy.

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Nursing Woes

Ironically, I am typing this one handed while girlfriend continues her all day binge nursing sesh. Holy growth spurt (I hope).

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When Bridget was born, I noticed right away that her upper lip didn’t flange out while nursing, but was tucked under. Will had done the same thing and when he was 8 months old, I realized he had lip and tongue ties. (Here’s a good summary if you’re not familiar.)

I had some cracking and pain with him in the first couple of months of nursing, but thought it was just start-up discomfort. Yeah….no. Some soreness may be normal but toe clenching pain when baby latches isn’t. Will also nursed for hours on end as a baby and I wonder now if he wasn’t compensating for a poor latch. When I realized he had lip and tongue ties, I took him to an ENT in Atlanta. The ENT confirmed the ties but wouldn’t release as an in-office procedure for an 8 month old; he only did it in-office on babies under 4-5 months. He said he would need to do it under general anaethesia ¬†for a baby Will’s age. Um, no. I found a dentist who does the procedure in-office with a laser, but she wouldn’t use the laser on a baby under 18 months. Since Will had already figured out how to compensate, I decided to wait and do the laser at 18 months. Then we moved when he was 1 and it never happened.

When I noticed Bridget had the same lip-tucked-under latch, I wanted to get the ties released right away so I wouldn’t have to suffer through the months of pain, and so she wouldn’t be at risk for poor latch, orthodontic problems, or speech delays. The tongue tie causes it to feel like baby is biting down and chewing when she latches. Good times. When we took her into her pediatrician for her first visit at 2 or 3 days old, the pediatrician confirmed the ties and called her favorite ENT to ask her to get us in right away to release them. (I am so, so grateful for our pediatrician. She is all-around amazing, she has a focus on breastfeeding medicine, and her nurse practitioner is an IBCLC. So many doctors don’t take tongue tie seriously, or will tell patients that it will “stretch” over time, etc. But our doctor was insistent that she wanted to call the ENT herself to make sure they squeezed us in right away so that breastfeeding wouldn’t be jeopardized.)

We got into the ENT a couple of days later and she released both the lip and tongue and taught me the exercises I needed to do to help Bridget’s mouth heal correctly. Poor baby girl wailed during the procedure and so. much. blood. but immediately afterwards, she nursed like a champ and the pain was gone. Hallelujah! Bridget passed out on the drive home and slept for two hours. Unfortunately, when she woke up, she was in a lot of pain and raging. I could not get her to latch to save my life. She was screaming, so milk was letting down and she got some just from gumming but not real eating. After about two hours of frustrated screaming and thrashing, she fell back asleep. I felt terrible for her. Her pediatrician confirmed that it was okay to give her a small amount of Tylenol, which seemed to take the edge off the pain, but she still would not latch. That night she slept for 8 hours straight, and my attempts to wake her and get her to nurse were unsuccessful. She just clamped her mouth shut and ignored me. By the morning, I was hysterical because she hadn’t really eaten in 14 hours. That + one week postpartum hormones do not make for a happy cocktail, incidentally. My poor husband was subjected to multiple tearful tirades about how I broke the baby and I should have just left well enough alone and suffered through the latch pain, etc.

I called the pediatrician’s office back and they made me an appointment with Kathy, the¬†lactation consultant. At our session, we tried a bunch of different strategies like bait and switch, “sandwiching,” different holds, etc. but Bridget was not having any of it.¬†Eventually, Kathy suggested we try a nipple shield, promising she would help me get Bridget weaned off of it eventually. As soon as I put the shield on, Bridget latched and chowed down, letting out a huge burp and series of milk drunk hiccups when finished. I was so relieved that she’d had a good meal, I practically skipped out of there.

Happily, Bridget is nursing like a champ and gaining weight right on target. Less happily, she is enamored of the nipple shield and I haven’t had much luck getting her off of it. I try to get her to latch without it at most feedings (if she’s hangry or I’m engorged, it’s a waste of time to even try), and succeed once or twice a day. Both the pediatrician and the lactation consultant are unconcerned, and say she’ll get it, it just takes time, but they’re not the ones whose toddler is perpetually stealing said nipple shield and putting it in the dogs’ water bowl. Hypothetically. Anyway, we’ll just keep trying for now and we’ll see the lactation consultant again at her two month appointment.

In the meantime, I couldn’t be any more infatuated with this girl, and with seeing her big brother love on her. When he tells her, “Don’t cry Bridgie!” or “Night night Bridg, have a good nap!” my heart could explode.

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Bringing Home Baby (hopefully, not quite yet)

Unsurprisingly to anyone who has been forced to suffer through my¬†incessant harping on it (sorry, so sorry!), the whole housing situation has taken a huge toll on me, and in fairness, my husband too. We began looking for a short term rental, but quickly realized that finding someone who will rent us a house for 6 months or less and allow us to move in with our two dogs was going to be difficult and expensive. My parents reiterated over and over that they thought we should just stay here, so it looks like that’s what we’ll be doing. The numbers were working out that six months of a (crappy) rental, plus two moves, was going to cost us in the neighborhood of $25,000, which just does not make sense. So, it looks like my parents will have another person joining the house soon. (Actually, possibly sooner than expected, but I’ll get to that.)

This is definitely one of those be-careful-not-to-pray-for-patience scenarios. Also, I’d advise against praying for humility and detachment as well. Because I am getting a big old dose of practicing what are apparently some desperately needed virtues on my part.

Since I can’t control so much of our situation right now, I am trying really, really hard to let what I have no control over go, and just take charge of the things I can. Over the weekend, we preregistered online for the hospital, filled out all the paperwork and put it in my bag, went to the storage unit from hell and dug out what we need, and washed the newborn clothes.

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(I know I’m a walking cliche, but I can’t believe Will fit into these teeny tiny newborn outfits.)

For reasons I’ll spare you the details on, my midwife decided to do a fetal fibronectin test at my last appointment. The test is looking for signs that fibronectin, the “glue” that holds the amniotic sac to the uterine wall, is starting to break down. It should start breaking down at the end of the pregnancy for obvious reasons, but if it’s breaking down too soon, it’s a sign that you are at risk for pre-term labor. The annoying thing about the test is that while a negative is a near guarantee you are fine, a positive is not nearly as informative. Most women who test positive do not go into labor in the next week, but something like 20% do. As you’ve probably guessed, my test was positive and because I have a history of precipitous labor, it’s not likely they would be able to stop labor once it starts. If you test positive, they want you to get the steroid shot that aids in lung development in case baby is born early. The midwife called yesterday and asked me to come into the hospital for the first dose of the shot.

After arranging to leave Will with my mom (thank you God I was not dumb enough to try and bring him), the husband met me at the hospital. As an aside, the last time I was in labor and delivery, I was on the fast track, in a wheelchair, and did not sign anything, get a bracelet, or an IV until after Will was born. It was a little odd to sit in the waiting area, waiting to be called while signing consent forms.

After taking me back, they hooked me up to the electronic fetal monitor for about an hour to make sure I wasn’t contracting (which I knew I wasn’t), and then the nurse gave me the first round of steroid shot. The shot has two doses, with 24 hours in between, so I went back this afternoon for the second one. Mercifully, this visit was faster. They just listened to Baby’s heartbeat for a minute, gave me the shot, and sent me on my way.

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At this point, it seems like Baby is snug and not planning to vacate the premises anytime in the immediate future. Nonetheless, we came home from the hospital, installed the carseat, and finished packing the hospital bag. We obviously hope Baby camps out for a bit longer since I’m only 34 weeks, but I told my husband that I’m sure all this hoopla is a guarantee I’m going to have to be induced at 42 weeks. I really can’t waddle around for another 8 weeks, so let’s hope for a Thanksgiving baby!

The Ritz-Carlton Guide to Cloth Diapers, Part II- Cloth Diaper Laundry Myths & Truths

**edited because, phone blogging = technical difficulties**

So, I joined this Facebook group, Fluff Love and CD Science and it rocked my cloth diapering world. Turns out, the ubiquitous advice about washing cloth diapers is pretty much wrong, all wrong.

Cloth Diaper Laundry Myths

If you cloth diaper or have spent any time researching it, you’ve heard all these (crappy- get it?) lines:

1. Detergent build up will cause stink, so you need to use only a tiny bit of detergent.

2. You need many, many rinse cycles to prevent said build up.

3. You need to use “cloth safe” detergent so you don’t void your warranty.

4. Bleach will ruin your diapers.

5. You will need to strip your diapers every so often, using Blue Dawn, to remove detergent build up which causes stink.

6. Homemade detergent is a great way to save money and keep nasty chemicals off baby’s bottom.

No, no, no, no, no, and no.

Cloth Diaper Laundry Truths

1. Detergent is formulated to rinse clean and not leave residue behind. That’s what makes it detergent. Detergent “build-up” is a myth. It simply doesn’t exist.

A little bit of detergent ain’t gonna cut it. You are washing filthy, dirty pee-soaked poop catchers. You need the full recommended amount of a full-strength mainstream detergent.

This image pretty much sums it up:

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2. Multiple rinse cycles redeposit minerals on your diapers, and that does cause build up; mineral build up. No extra rinses!

3. “Cloth-safe” detergent, such as BumGenius or Rockin Green, is nothing but softeners and boosters. It may have a teeny, tiny bit of detergent in it. This is not going to clean your diapers. If your dog pooped on a towel, would you wash the towel with a little bit of detergent or a lot? Guess what? The same principle applies to your diapers. They’re dirty. Really, really dirty. You need a mainstream detergent that actually cleans. Tide and Gain seem to be the ones people have the most success with. (If you are adamant about using a plant based or Free and Clear detergent, you can, but you need to use twice as much because it’s weaker and you must wash in hot water.)

Yes, this may void your warranty. Two thoughts on this:

First, how are they going to know what detergent you used? Clean diapers?

Second, better clean diapers without a warranty than stinky, warranteed diapers that give your little one ammonia burns or diaper rash.

4. Bleach, properly diluted, will not ruin your diapers. It will sanitize them. And PUL is colorfast so they won’t fade either.

5. If you have a solid wash routine, you won’t need to strip your diapers. Like, ever. (Sorry, I was channeling my inner T. Swift for a minute there.) But seriously, if you need to strip, something about your wash routine isn’t working and your diapers aren’t getting clean.

If you do need to strip so you can “reset” your diapers and start over, Blue Dawn isn’t what you need. It’s a degreaser, it’s not going to get out bacteria, mineral build up, and ammonia crystals, all of which are causes of stink. Blue Dawn is also a no no for going into your washing machine. It can break the machine and will void your warranty.

Full Disclosure: before I knew better, I used Blue Dawn to “strip” a couple of times. No adverse washer reactions were noted. It is my personal opinion that while pouring a cup of the stuff into your machine weekly is a bad idea, a tablespoon here and there is not going to cause a problem. That said, it doesn’t do what you need it to, so why bother?

More on how to properly strip and bleach your diapers further down…

6. There is no such thing as homemade detergent. The ingredients needed to make detergent are not available commercially. You simply cannot make it. What homemade detergent is is actually a bunch of softeners and boosters mixed together with grated up soap. This is no bueno because soap doesn’t rinse clean like detergent does. You will end up with soap residue on all your stuff. And softeners and boosters don’t clean. That’s not what they meant for.

So….how should you wash your diapers? And if you already have stink or ammonia issues, what should you do about it?

How do I strip my cloth diapers?

Start by stripping. A real strip, not a Blue Dawn “strip.”

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You can use RLR packets, or make your own using 3 tablespoons each of Borax, Washing Soda, and Calgon (not the type that takes you away).

Full your tub halfway with hot water. Mix in the RLR/homemade mix and toss in your diapers. Allow to sit until the water cools completely (5ish hours) or overnight.

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The strip draws all the gunk out of your diapers. This may be revolting. I had some ummm, particles, floating in the tub. I know. I’m throwing up a little bit in my mouth too. However, better in my tub than on Will’s bottom making him red.

When you take the diapers out, run them through a cold rinse and spin cycle.

How and why do I bleach soak my cloth diapers?

Now you’re going to fill your tub halfway with cold water and a 1/2¬†cup of disinfecting bleach. Not the splashless kind, the real stuff (on the bottle, it probably says that it kills the flu virus).

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Toss those diapers back in and soak for at least 30 minutes. The strip brought all kinda of yuck to the surface so now you’re going to kill it all with bleach.

When you remove them, throw them in the washer for a hot rinse and spin. (Heat is needed to break bleach down.)

Now wash them, with a mainstream detergent, 3-5 times.

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(Will takes laundry supervision duties very seriously.)

What should my new cloth diaper wash routine look like?

Your diapers are now reset and good to go!

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Your new wash routine can use any mainstream detergent without fabric softeners. Generally speaking, you should do a prewash with line one of detergent, and then a main wash with the full amount of detergent.

You need to have enough stuff in the machine to agitate properly in order for your diapers to get clean. If you have a top loader, you want a stew-like consistency (not soup). If you have a front loader, you want it 2/3 to 3/4 full.

Cold vs. hot water is a personal preference unless you are using a plant based detergent, in which case you must use hot.

I am so very glad to know I won’t need to strip again and not to have stink creeping back. It seems like people try to make cloth diapering and wash routines complicated, when in reality, all you need to do it use enough detergent that actually works. I am kind of starting to seem like a crazy person, going around preach the Fluff Love Gospel all over the place, to Theresa and Kate¬†and Michelle, among others, but seriously- life changing. I’m not an expert, but happy to answer any questions if I can. And if I can’t, I recommend joining Fluff Love & CD Science. (Well, I recommend that anyway.) The admins there are super knowledgeable and can answer really specific questions about your washing machine, water, diaper brand, and detergent preferences.

Once your diapers are clean and ready to go, you have the pleasure of seeing a cute little fluff butt cruising around:

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Ode to the Video Monitor

I confess that I judged people with video monitors. I thought only stupid people who bought $6,000 cribs and had an interior designer come over and do their nursery used video monitors. Oh ridiculous, hovering helicopter parents.

But then last spring we decided we needed to do some sleep training so my poor sweet boy could get some rest and not shriek all day (and night) long in exhaustion.¬† I insisted on buying a video monitor because I needed to be able to make sure little man did not have a leg stuck between crib bars or something. (Not that that has ever happened, but I’m paranoid.) Anyway, I retract all my making fun of people with video monitors. I freaking love this thing.

We bought this basic Summer Infant video monitor and the husband set up the camera over Will’s bed. (I’m sure there are fancier monitors out there, but this one gets the job done.) First of all, I realized immediately that many of Will’s sleep troubles were because his overeager, rookie mama kept charging in there every time she heard a squeak and waking him up. Yes, waking him up. Once I had the monitor, if I heard him cry out or fuss, I would look at it to see what was going on. A huge majority of the time, he wasn’t awake. He was just shifting positions or crying out in his sleep. And then I’d come charging in to “rescue” him and wake the poor thing up. Enter my beloved video monitor. Hear a little squawking during naptime? Click that bad boy on and most of the time, he’s just moving around and resettling himself. Plus, now I know how long he actually slept because I can see when he’s in there awake, just rolling around or playing with his paci.
 

So, inspired by Wordsworth:

There was a time,

When the video monitor to me did seem

Clothed in parental absurdity,

The neuroses and hovering of a new mother.

I am no longer the way I was-

Whatsoever I may have thought,

The video monitor put all to naught

The things which I now can see,

Will to me, always be

A cause to cherish that precious screen.

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Professional Parenting?

Parenting seems to be the new competitive sport.

I am visiting my parents in DC this week and picked up a copy of the Washington Post off the table and read this essay about one woman’s very painful journey into motherhood and her experience as a formula feeding mother of baby Lincoln. Later that day, a link to the same essay was posted in a mom group I am in on Facebook and generated quite a bit of discussion.

In short, Wax-Thibodeaux is a breast cancer survivor who underwent a double mastectomy, subsequently suffered from infertility, and had her little boy, Lincoln, at 37. As a result of the double mastectomy, she is unable to breastfeed. No breast tissue = no milk production. However, from the time Lincoln was born, she felt judged and was the recipient of many comments and “helpful hints” about feeding her child. Some of the incidents she describes are simply appalling. A (male) Facebook friend commented on a picture of her feeding Lincoln, asking why she wasn’t breastfeeding and helpfully informed her that it’s better for the baby. Another mother in a Mommy & Me yoga class also felt the need to point out that breastfeeding is “optimal.” This kind of thing is completely¬†obnoxious. For starters, I think we can all be fairly confident that an educated 37 year-old woman is aware that breastfeeding has many benefits. Secondly, mind your own business.

I totally get why Wax-Thibodeaux chafes at these comments and feels defensive about the way she feeds her child. Nonetheless, I can’t help but think she overcompensates a bit in her quest to defend formula feeding. For starters, outside of a very specific social circle (probably the one that includes mothers who attend baby & me yoga classes), formula feeding is not only acceptable, but pretty much the norm. Public breastfeeding garners far more staring and gawking than does bottle feeding. Secondly, I think talking about how¬†breastfeeding is “overrated” to a friend who is successfully breastfeeding her own child is simply turning the tables on exactly the type of behavior she found so invasive coming from breastfeeding champions.

But as Wax-Thibodeaux struggles to make peace with her situation, her inclination was to turn to research, to articles and essays she found in various publications. She cites a large, recently released study which claimed that breastfeeding did not in fact demonstrate all the benefits typically associated with it when factors like socioeconomic status were controlled for. (She either doesn’t know or simply doesn’t mention that the study had one major methodological flaw- it lumped any child that ever received breastmilk into one category and children that had never received a drop of breastmilk into the other. In other words, a baby who was breastfed ‘part-time’ for 6 weeks would be considered a breastfed baby, as would a baby exclusively breastfed until weaning.) She educates her friends on the history of formula, invented in the 19th century to prevent infant death from malnutrition. She reads essays from Atlantic Monthly and Jezebel on other mothers’ struggles to breastfeed.

I think the “mommy wars” exist mostly on the internet. In real life, I have never heard anyone tell another mother that they are wasting their education by staying home, or conversely, that they are neglecting their children by choosing to work outside the home. Likewise, the in-person interactions I’ve witnessed and been part of have never included chastising someone for how they choose to feed their baby. But behind a computer screen, people get a lot snarkier and more passive aggressive.

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On the internet, the mommy wars are waged on the daily. I can’t help that think much of this is driven by the tendency for this generation of older, well-educated, affluent mothers to view parenting as a competitive sport or profession. I don’t think our mothers’ generation read studies in scientific journals when making decisions about feeding or discipline or infant sleep or medical care. Perhaps it is a (neurotic) need for us to feel like our mothering is “accomplishing” something, or a tendency to value only that which we can quantify and measure. Maybe we just want to show the world that we are still smart, still educated, and can use our skills to make decisions not only in a work setting, but in our homes. I don’t know. But I do know that there is an incessant posting of “helpful” articles, essays, and studies on Facebook and other social media, designed to bolster our own parenting decisions. I’m not sure what promotion/raise we are hoping ¬†for in this professional parenting world, or what trophy we think we might win, but apparently there’s one out there.

At the conclusion of Wax-Thibodeaux’s essay, she quotes the instructor at that yoga class who told them, “In a few years….you’ll never have to talk about breastfeeding again. So don’t even think about it. Enjoy your baby.” This line is, in my opinion, the best in the entire piece. For new or fairly new mothers, it is easy to get caught up in your “mommy identity” as it relates to how you feed and diaper your baby, whether or not you vaccinate or¬†circumcise, where baby sleeps and if you sleep train, and if you wear your baby or push them in a stroller. But the reality is that the vast majority of one’s mothering career will not be spent doing (or not doing) those things. These topics are “issues” for only a few short years, and then there are much bigger fish to fry, and bigger children to mother. For myself, I am trying to think how I want to identify as a mother over the long term. Baby Will (and the future siblings I hope he will have) will soon be a little kid, and then a big kid, and then a teenager, and then a man. I hope he will always know and never doubt how much I love him and what a gift he is to me. I hope he will never feel like I wanted to be somewhere else or doing something different than being with him. In each phase of his life, that might look different and different issues will present themselves along the road, I know. But I want to keep those hopes and goals in the front of my mind, while remembering that when Will is 34, the type of diaper on his bottom now is not going to be of primary importance.

The Ritz-Carlton Guide to Cloth Diapers

I read Theresa’s post about cloth diapering for non-crunchy mamas and I was like, “Yes, that is so me!” And then I read Jenna’s Ronald Reagan Guide to Essential Oils (um, best title for a blog post ever) and I decided to do my own little mini-series about some crunchy parenting stuff for people who do not wear hemp sandals. We cloth diaper too, and do some other “crunchy” stuff like babywearing and co-sleeping (well, we actually just moved Will to a crib but we used to co-sleep) but I am so not crunchy. Hello, I camp at the Ritz. Duh.

I’d like to just preface this with the disclaimer that I have one child and he’s about 7 months old. So, you should probably not listen to anything I say, or at least also listen to people with more and older children.

So, why does someone who is definitively not crunchy choose to cloth diaper?

1. I’m cheap. Or I can be cheap about things that I perceive as not adding value. (A couple thousand dollars, per child, from birth to potty training, to buy things that catch pee & poop and then go in the garbage? No thanks.)

2. Cloth diapers are so stinking cute. Look at that little monkey butt:

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3. Disposable diapers have yucky stuff in them that can be toxic to dogs. I have two dogs who have about two brain cells between them. But I love them and would like to keep both of them, and both their brain cells, around.

4. Although I don’t really consider myself an avid environmentalist, disposable diapers take forever to break down in a landfill and I’d like to be a good steward of natural resources, so….cloth.

Before Will was born I spent a somewhat obscene amount of time researching cloth diapers.¬† It can be overwhelming at first- all the different types of cloth diapers, the prepping/washing/stripping routines, the no-nos, etc. But it really is one of those things that is a lot simpler and easier than it appears from the vantage point of too much time on the internet. If you are thinking about cloth diapering and are worried that it’s too complicated, it’s not. I promise.

There are no cloth diaper stores in Atlanta (which I think is bizarre for a metro area of more than 6 million people) but there is one in Athens, GA so before Will was born I went out there to talk with someone who knows what they’re talking about. Allison of The Natural Baby was really sweet and helpful and spent a lot of time with me, discussing options and helping me set up a registry. I ended up choosing some AIOs (all-in-ones) and pocket diapers. (More details about that in a bit.)

When Will was born we did disposables for about two weeks. For one, I don’t know that anyone needs to worry about diaper laundry when they have a three day old. Two, meconium and cloth diapers aren’t BFFs. Yes you can get it out with scrubbing but again, who wants to be scrubbing diapers when you have a newborn? Three, I waited for the circumcision to heal because it required a little gauze pad with Vaseline on it and Vaseline and cloth diapers are not BFFs. (If I’d had a girl I probably would’ve broken out the cloth stash after a week or so.)

So, little Will was two weeks old and I busted out the newborn size cloth diapers a friend lent me. The one size cloth diapers claim they fit all babies but they lie. Maybe if you have a big baby they’d be okay on a newborn but Will was 7 lbs. 0.5 oz and they definitely did not fit him. The leg holes were gaping and you know that story doesn’t have a happy ending. My very generous BFF lent me some BumGenius AIO newborns and some prefolds with Thirsties & Bummis covers.¬† We used them until Will was about 7 or 8 weeks old and at that point he could wear the one size diapers.

My Stash

Now my daytime stash consists of BumGenius Freetimes All-In-Ones and Blueberry Simplex All-In-Ones. I love all-in-ones because they are quick and people who aren’t familiar with cloth diapers can easily change them. They do take a long time to dry and are the most expensive type of cloth diaper. However, since they’re still way cheaper than disposables I don’t really care.

At night we use pocket diapers, which just means a shell that you stuff with inserts. Pockets are in a pain in my….which is why I don’t use them all the time. However, you can easily add absorbency to them and since Will was peeing through the all-in-ones at night, we needed something with more absorbency. We use the Kawaii Baby Goodnight Heavy Wetter. I also put an additional Best Bottoms Overnight booster in there too because little man can pee and mama doesn’t appreciate wet sheets at 3 am.

For a diaper pail, I just have a couple of Planet Wise liners that I stuck in a trash can (with lid) that we no longer needed. I also have a couple of Planet Wise Wet Bags for when we’re out and about, although I’m finding they’re also great for wet swimsuits!

At home, I use cloth wipes but when we’re out I just use disposable wipes (but stick with the cloth diapers). The reason I don’t use cloth wipes when we’re on the go is that I keep the solution in a small spray bottle and I am just not hard core enough to tote a spray bottle around with me. I’ve got several cloth wipe brands- Blueberry, Charlie Banana, Thirsties, and some other random ones. The Thirsties are my favorite but it doesn’t really matter. Shoot, you could cut up old wash cloths or towels and call it a day. As far as solutions go, there are “recipes” all over the internet. I use about 2 cups of water, 2 tablespoons of castile soap, a little lavender oil, and a little tea tree oil.

Wash Routine

I wash every other day, or sometimes when I’m lazy, every third day. Shh- don’t tell.

Now that Will is 7 months old and has started eating solids, his poop does need to be sprayed off. Up until a month ago, I got to skip this charming step because breast milk poop is water soluble but now we rinse. I have the BumGenius diaper sprayer attached to my toilet. So, after rinsing, the diaper goes in the pail. (Only poopy diapers need to be rinsed.)

The whole pail (liner, diapers, and wipes) gets tossed in the washer and on a cold rinse cycle, no detergent. After the rinse cycle is up, I add 3/4 scoop of Country Save powdered detergent and start a hot wash cycle. After the hot wash is done, one more cold rinse, no detergent. I hang my diapers to dry on the drying rack:

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Once, the husband was watching me hang diapers to dry and he said, totally deadpan, “Babe, the only thing that would make you greener and more hip, progressive, and open-minded right now is if you took Bubby’s turds and composted them in the backyard to fertilize your urban homestead.” He cracks me up.

You can put them in the dryer, and I usually do put them in there for 10 minutes at the end just to make sure they’re good and dry. I line dry them because I want them to last, but this is the most time consuming step so if time is an issue this is a good place to simplify and throw them in the dryer.

After they’re dry, I fold them up and put them in these little drawers that are the perfect size for them. I probably take an excessive amount of pleasure in seeing the diapers folded in drawers.

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Not as much pleasure as Will takes in filling those diapers just as fast as he can, though!

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