Tuesday, May 18, 2010

The long awaited Cloth Diaper post (the first of many)

Where did you first hear about cloth diapers?

A friend of mine was expecting her third baby and couldn't find the kind of flats she wanted. She had CD'd her first two children, but the ones she used to buy had changed how they were made and they were too thin.

What did you think at first?

I remember thinking, "People still do that? Do they even *make* cloth diapers anymore?"

What made you start to think you should try cloth?

As I scoured the internet for my friend trying to help her find flats, I found out that the flats option isn’t as popular anymore, but there were tons of new cloth diaper options, including some that are one step and some combo diapers that include disposable and cloth elements (like Gdiapers). The more I learned, the more I thought, “Hey, this could be doable!” Also, I am a very frugal person, and the potential to not have to buy disposable diapers every week was very appealing to me.

What cloth diapering option did you choose? Why?

I chose to use flats with covers for several reasons. Number one, it’s the cheapest way to go. I had looked into All in Ones, All in Twos, and Pockets, but they were just too much for us to have an entire stash of them. Number two, they are easy to use and wash. Because there are not tons of layers sewn together, they dry much faster than other options and I haven’t had any buildup issues that can be more common with other types of diapers. Some people think this option isn’t as cute as the others, but I have found some really cute covers! A similar option is prefolds with covers, but I chose flats over prefolds because they are just as absorbent without being as bulky, and they are cheaper.

Describe your first experience using cloth diapers.

My first experience was actually when I changed a diaper for my friend’s daughter. I put the flat into a plastic diaper bag (the same type used for disposables), replaced the flat (which was simply folded into a rectangle), and put the cover back on. I remember I looked at my friend and said, “Wait, did I do that right?” She just laughed and said yes. I couldn’t believe it was that easy. I recently was on the other end of this experience when one of my sister in laws saw me change my son and it cracked me up!

What is your favorite part of cloth diapering? What is your least favorite part?

My favorite part is hard to choose, but I guess it would have to be the money I save and the fact that I’m never out of diapers! Close runner ups include how cute they are and how great the detergent I use is (I’ve even started to use it on all my other laundry).

The least favorite part is hard to think of, but I guess it would have to be the smell that can develop in the diaper pail if you leave them in there too long. This rarely happens for me, especially since I have a pail freshener from Rockin’ Green (who also makes my awesome detergent).

Is using cloth harder or easier than you expected?

At first, it was a little harder than I expected, but that was because I was trying to do difficult diaper folds, like the origami fold on my flats. I have since realized that folding them in a rectangle works just as great and is a lot faster and easier.

Overall, cloth is much easier than I would have expected, especially with the new covers and types of diapers available now. These are not your mother or grandmother’s cloth diapers!

Would you recommend cloth diapers to others?

Definitely and I already have to some! I love to answer other people’s questions and help them find an option that works for their needs and lifestyle.


Rockin' Green Diaper Detergent: www.rockingreensoap.com

Where I ordered my flats and covers: www.clothtushies.com

A great place to go and join cloth diapering groups for information and help: www.cafemom.com (I am a member of Cloth Diapering, Cuties with Cloth Booties, and Cloth Diapering Mamas)

*If you have any additional questions that were not answered in this post, please post them as a comment (you don't have to have a login to do so) and we will answer them as best we can! Thanks for reading! ~2FM

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Katherine's Story: The Need for Attachment

Before I had Nathaniel I thought I knew everything there was to know about raising children. I knew exactly how I was going to take care of him, how much I was going to hold him without spoiling him, and how he was going to be the perfect baby. I guess I lucked out because I really do think he was the perfect baby. He slept well in his own crib, and loved to play on the floor. I never worried about spoiling him too much because he didn't even want to be held. It was easy for me to want another baby. I thought I must be a great mother, and my second child will be just wonderful and easy as the first. Then came Ethan into our lives.

I could tell he was different before we ever left the hospital. I joke that if babies can be spoiled, Ethan came out spoiled! He needed to be held constantly. We had a good first few days at home. He seemed to be sleeping well enough at nights, but it wasn't long before I realized things were going to be very different with him. I started keeping both boys by myself all day when Ethan was a couple weeks old. I realized very quick that my days of cleaning the house during the day were over. Ethan needed me constantly. He needed me for much more than just eating. I started doing some research online, and found the term Attachment Parenting. It basically says that you can't spoil young babies, and that some children have more needs than others. Ethan fit the high needs description to a T, and once I gave into the fact that he just needed to be held more, and it was ok to give him that attention, our lives started to change.

I started looking into different carriers to use while I did some housework and played with Nathaniel. Ethan loved being in the carrier, and it made everything so much easier. We were even able to finally leave the house again without Ethan crying the whole trip. I noticed a change in Ethan pretty soon after I started wearing him. He became a content and very happy baby. This a such a change from my fussy baby that never wanted to be put down. I would wear Ethan for an hour or more sometimes. We truly have become attached, and I absolutely love it. I love how confident I am at reading his cues and knowing exactly what he needs and wants.

Another thing I thought I would never do is cosleep. I made sure that Nathaniel never coslept with us. I was afraid of SIDS, and I was afraid that we would never get him out of the bed once we let him in. Cosleeping really wasn't that hard to avoid with him because he slept through the night just fine in his own bed. He would even let me lay him in there still awake and put himself to sleep. Enter Ethan again. I don't think he was a good sleeper after about his first month. He started taking only 20 minute naps, and did mostly the same all night. It seemed like he never slept unless he was in carrier. I still had it in my head that cosleeping was bad so basically I was just not sleeping for the first 3 months of Ethan's life. Then I got really sick from a kidney infection, but I was still breastfeeding Ethan. I didn't have the choice to just him off to someone else's care, nor did I want to do that. That's when I started bringing him into the bed. I told myself it was going to be very short time of him with us. It was just so much easier to have him in the bed and feed him at night. I felt much better each day after getting some real sleep, and I read several sleep studies that said babies actually breathe better next to their moms. Now that Ethan is older we have changed the arrangement some. He sleeps the first half of the night in his bed, then joins us when he wakes up. He is starting to sleep longer and longer, with the exception of teething, and I know there will be a day that he sleeps in his bed all the time. I know it's going to seem like such a short time that he spent with us, and we are all more attached because of his time in the bed.

I always knew I wanted to breastfeed my babies. I breastfed Nathaniel for 3 months, and only stopped because of health issues. I was determined to breastfeed Ethan for a whole year. Of course, I thought this meant pumping also so he could have regular bottles. Ethan is more particular on everything, and never cared for a bottle too much. He would take one when he was younger, but now he just refuses. Honestly, I don't think it is an inconvenience that he won't take a bottle. He will go 3 hours without eating, and it is just easy to never have to worry about preparing bottles. I love being able to take care of his need for hunger, and it is just natural to me.

Fast forward to now, and Ethan is such a happy 8 month old. He is moving all over the place. Some days we don't even use a carrier at all. He has confidence that I will be around when he needs me, and he is able to venture out and try new things. I never thought he could such a content baby from the way he used to be as an infant, but allowing us to become attached really has changed the lives of our whole family.