Tag Archives: jelly roll fold

Cloth Diapering: The Adventure Begins…

Yeah, baby! Our first shipment of cloth diapers has arrived! Let the games begin…

I will admit without shame that I am intimidated. No doubt. The thought of swishing these things around in a bucket full of vinegar and poop is not helping me sleep easy at night… 8O

Little did I know when I first decided to try cloth how much research it would require, and how much learning I’d have to do. These things are not cheap, and I sure didn’t want to spend money recklessly on diapers that we wouldn’t end up using. Plus, I just really like lots of information :)

My two main sources of info were, of course, the internet, and the incomparable Mothering Magazine. I found that there are several different styles of cloth diapers: flats, prefolds, fitted, wraps and covers, pockets, all-in-ones, hybrids–and they all come in a variety of fabrics: cotton, organic cotton, bamboo, hemp, polyester, etc. With each, you can opt to add additional liners, inserts, stuffers and doublers, also available in a variety of fabrics.

Once you choose the style of diaper you want, there are no less than a billion different makers, including: Bummis, Bumkins, Fuzzibuns, Mother-Ease, BumGenius, Flip, Imse Vimse, Gdiapers, Smartipants, Thirsties, the list goes on and on and on…

And then, you have to decide where to order them, because you can’t just go to the store and pick them up. I did a search of the entire Central PA area, and the only ones I found without a minimum of a 2-hour drive were Gdiapers (a hybrid), sold at the Babies R Us about an hour away. You may have more luck if you live in a more populated area. (Wal-Mart offers a few options through their site-to-store feature, and they don’t make you pay shipping, but I prefer not to shop at Wal-Mart.)

(Just FYI: We started out by registering for Gdiapers when I was pregnant. I got several from a friend who buys the best gifts, but we found that the snaps and waistband irritated our baby’s skin. I wish we could have figured out the problem, because they’re super cute. They are currently for sale on eBay, and I’m sure someone who uses them will gets lots of use out of them. So we did actually have reusable diapers since he was born, but found ourselves not using them in favor of disposables. That’s why we are considering NOW to be our first real foray into the world of cloth…)

I found way too much info to share it all, so I’ll share what we decided on. Because cost is an issue, we decided to go the old school route and try prefolds (the type used by diaper services) in organic cotton. We purchased 8. Pros of these seem to be affordability, proven track record and durability. Cons seem to be bulkiness, the fact that they have to be carefully folded, and, well, I haven’t used them yet so I don’t really know what else…

This is what they look like. They have to be washed 3-5 times before use to quilt them up and establish absorbancy. I will use the dryer to shrink them up as directed, but after that they will be dried on the clothesline!

As soon as I noticed how soft these were, I felt reassured that I had made the right decision for my baby’s bum. They are big, though. I’m a little nervous about how I’m going to make that fit…

Now we needed something to fit over the prefolds. After weeding through the mountains of options, I chose one Flip cover in Moonbeam (Blue), adjustable so one size fits all, made of polyester. :? We also got one Imse Vimse cover, size large, in organic cotton with a cute farm animal print. 

Personally, I’m rooting for the organic cotton cover for obvious reasons, but I’m keeping my mind open. I would love to love both.

I ordered from BananaPeelsDiapers because I stumbled upon a $5 off $50 and free shipping code in Mothering Magazine, and that was the best deal I found. Customer service was great and shipping was prompt, so I would definitely order from them again.

They included a free sample of Punkin Booty Bits in Breezes and Sunshine scent. How nice to get an added bonus! (LOVE FREE SAMPLES!) You just melt them in hot water and add them to a container full of reusable cloth wipes or folded paper towels for soothing, homemade, all-natural wipes that smell lovely and keep your baby’s butt soft and clean. Perk: They don’t contain any sulfates or phthalates, and are made with essential oils. Yummy butt! 

I want to try different online sellers, and Kelly’s Closet is offering a free All-in-One diaper with a $25 purchase, so our next order will be placed with them!

I’m currently in laundry mode, but I’m anxious to start diapering in the next few days. I plan to use the jelly roll fold to start. Ha ha, I love the way it sounds like I know what I’m doing!

I’m starting to hate even looking at those yucky old  ’sposies. 

Stay tuned for our Adventures in Cloth…this could be entertaining… :P

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Do you use (or plan to use) cloth diapers? Were you as clueless as I am when you started? How is it working out?

Please feel free to share any tips or recommendations! I would appreciate the help of any and all seasoned cloth users out there, mommies OR daddies!

***Giveaway notice! The Progressive Pioneer is giving away a gift certificate to the Vintage Pearl here. Beautiful stuff!

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Filed under Cloth Diapering, Parenting & Family, The Everyday

On Cause and Effect

That seems like the most appropriate title to describe the myriad of things going on in my life right now...

I haven’t blogged in two days, and I feel like I’ve been out of touch forever! It was only supposed to be a one-day break, but more on that later…

Minimizing my negative impact on the environment, along with how I’m going to teach my son to minimize his, has been on my mind a lot lately.  My cloth diapers finally arrived in the mail, so I took a day to research and read  about how to care for them, other varieties we may want to try, different folds, etc.  (who knew there was so much to learn?!)

But, sitting here with my cup of decaf in a disposable cup with plastic lid, I’m still feeling like it’s not enough. For several years, the husbo and I have been committed to recycling plastic, glass, newspaper and magazines; composting; using rain barrels to utilize rainwater; growing much of our own food without using chemicals or pesticides; buying local products when possible; phasing out plastic (harder than we ever imagined…); line drying our laundry; living in a tiny little house with a ridiculously small footprint, and the list goes on….

While these are all things we’re proud of, we’ve recently set a few more goals for ourselves…

-As mentioned,  we’re giving reusable cloth diapers a go, along with reusable nursing pads and maxi pads for me, whenever I need them again. We’re going to try reusable baby wipes, too, and see how that goes. I really need a sewing machine, because these are all things I can make with a little practice, and that will save me a fortune.

-On the rare occasion that we dine out in a restaurant, we will bring our own glass containers for leftovers.

-Further baby-proof our house, getting rid of all hazardous cleaning supplies in favor of things like vinegar, baking soda and lemon juice. Those “green cleaners” we have are OK, but they’re not nearly as green as they sound, and they still come in big ol’ plastic bottles.

-Reexamining the things we “need.” Simplify, simplify, simplify.

Since my mind has been in the appropriate frame lately, we rented No Impact Man last night (It’s a documentary-type film about a couple in NYC who try to reduce their negative impact on the environment to zero over the course of a year.) Miraculously, I made it through the whole thing…awake! If you haven’t seen it, you should check it out. It might spark an idea or two. (Don’t miss the scene where the couple and their toddler are stomping laundry in the bathtub.)

So, like a good eco-conscious mommy, I spent my day off learning the finer points of the jelly roll fold

…and then I pulled a colossal stupid move.

I went to work without the parts to my breastpump.

You see, my pump is a large bag with a motor inside, and attached to that there is a long hose with suction parts on the end that have to be cleaned after each use. Well, with no less than a thousand things to pack up each morning before work, I left those nice, clean parts lying next to the sink while I was gone for a ten-hour day.

This does bad, bad things to a mommy’s milk supply.

I am a HUGE advocate for learning how to hand-express, for just such occasions, and I was able to express about 4 ounces to relieve the worst of my pain (a feat in itself), but by the end of the day, I was feeling feverish and extremely sore, and my breasts felt like bags full of hard walnuts. From one day of not nursing or pumping, my supply dropped from 5-6 ounces per side, per pumping session to about one ounce on the left and two on the right. 

It was definitely time to panic, and then get on the horn with the Lactation Consultant ASAP.

This is what we came up with:

-I needed to pump and nurse, pump and nurse, over and over for the next several days, even taking my baby to bed with me so he could nurse at will all night long. Milk production is all based on supply and demand, so I needed him to DEMAND!!

-I need to eat more. All recommendations I’ve been given say that I should strive for no less than 2600 calories a day, and the fact that I’ve started running again could drive that number even higher. That’s a lot of food! For the first time in my life, I’m finally getting a handle on overeating, binge eating, disordered eating, shameful eating, and inclusion vs. exclusion in my diet, and now I have to force myself to eat more food? This is a lot to wrap my head around. I had a dream last night that I was invited to a last-minute wedding and had to wear a dress from the boxes of clothes I have in the garage or else go naked, and all of them fit horribly in one way or another. Methinks mesmells a bit of body anxiety resurfacing…..

-I need to sleep more. My boy’s been waking a lot during the night because he is in a huge developmental surge right now, which overstimulates him to the point where he has a hard time turning it off to go to sleep (Crawling is exciting stuff!) but I’m also having trouble sleeping. I’ve had a lot of nightmares lately. Not sure what that’s all about…

-I need to drink more. As I’ve mentioned before, I’m always dehydrated, but I’m working on that. I take a diuretic for my blood pressure, as well as a thyroid med, so I have to be extra careful and make sure to “bottoms-up” a whole lot more than I’ve been.

-I need to decrease stress. Duh. Doesn’t everyone?

It seems that I’ve got a sh*t ton of goals set forth for me. No stress, right?  

So, my one day off turned into two and I spent the past 48 hours tethered to my baby and my pump, nursing like it’s my job (it is, in fact, my most important job.) My supply is not yet back to normal, but I’m banking on it increasing in the next few days. I apologize if I’ve rambled, or if this post qualifies as TMI, but the thought of not being able to feed my son is just devastating to me,  and I hope there are some mommies out there who can benefit from my mistake. Slow down, take care of yourself, and remember your pump parts (and learn the fine art of manual expression, just in case!) 

Now I’m going to try to take my own advice. Food pics, soon…I promise!

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Filed under Parenting & Family, The Everyday