Mason – Two Months

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Man, were we ever spoiled at the beginning of the winter. Jack Frost is definitely making up for lost time. Unfortunately, this weather has turned me into something of a hermit. It’s such a pain to outfit two kids to head outside, especially when I’m not a fan of winter myself. As a result, I really don’t have much to post about most days. Sorry about that. Also, I’ve decided to cancel my ipsy subscription. I just haven’t been thrilled by it, and with the baby, I’m just not wearing make up right now.

As we settle more comfortably into a routine and the weather warms, I’m sure I’ll have more to say. In the mean time, here is a month’s worth of news.

Mason turned two months old on Friday. I can’t believe how fast time is going this time around. We are right in the middle of wonder weeks, cluster feeding and sleep changes, so I’ve been feeling a little rough. Add to that kindergarten registration for Liam, and you have a very emotional mama. I also managed to hurt one of my toes and have it get infected. So much ouch. I’m on antibiotics now, but if they don’t help, I may need further more invasive help from my doctor. Thankfully, this month also brought me a visit from my sister, Tracy. It’s been a year since her last visit, so I was thrilled to have her and for her to meet Mason. It was so nice to have her here and the week went way too quickly.

I’ve started trying to take care of myself again, as I noticed that I was gaining back weight lost. My back and hips were acting up as a result and I knew I needed to act. I really gained after I had Liam (lost thanks to breastfeeding and then gained back everything I lost a few months after my supply regulated), and I don’t want to do that to myself again. We are trying to keep lots of fresh produce in the house and plan meals again, which is really a lot of work with a velcro baby. So far, the effort has been worth it. I’m feeling much better and my body isn’t as sore all the time.

And now, let’s see what’s going on with Mr. M:

At the end of his second month, Mason is 12lbs, and 59cm tall.
– Diaper Size: Pampers Swaddlers 2, cloth diapers in size 1
– Clothing Size: 3 months, some small 6 months
– Favourite Clothes: Fleece sleepers and onepiece outfits. There’s this one shirt I love that is a 2 in 1 tshirt/onesie.
This is it:
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– Nicknames: Mace and Macey (from Liam), Pooper, stinker, squeaker, little man, bug
– Lots of hugs and kisses from his big brother
– Sleeps in bed with Mommy, in the beco gemini or in the pack n play
– Will only fall asleep on the boob or in the beco gemini, daddy’s arms or the car seat
– Started to play with hanging toys on the vibrating chair or activity mat
– Started wearing cloth diapers during the day.
– Hates the carseat and the car
– Stops crying when Kesha’s “Blow” plays, just like his brother.
– Caught first cold
– Colicky/Purple Crying every night from 7 until about 10
– Took a bit of milk from a bottle
– Met his Auntie Tracy, Auntie Sarah, Cousin Annabelle, Auntie Jodie, Uncle Colin, and Cousins Elliot and Wesley.
– First trip to the mall and first ride in the stroller (not a fan)
– Started smiling socially
– Hates being right against mummy’s skin
– Started playing strange. Only wants Mummy
– Started wiggling when awake
– Is worn every day, mostly in the Beco Gemini and occasionally a ring sling.
– Got first set of shots
Pictures from this month:
So, as I mentioned up there, we’ve been really using the Beco Gemini a lot. I have come to terms with the fact that despite my intentions to wrap this baby, my body just can’t do it. It’s too hard on my back to reach like I need to. As a result, I’m going to be selling off most of my wraps, hopefully to fund a Lenny Lamb carrier, which should bridge the gap between our Gemini and Tula. We will keep the ring slings and the mei tai, but that’s it. I’ll make a post with a listing for what I’m selling for those that might be interested.
It’s been so strange packing up the outgrown clothes and baby items. It all happens so fast! We are listing our swing, as he really doesn’t enjoy it anymore and it takes up so much space. I’ve been putting aside his newborn stuff for consignment, donation and the couple little things to keep for his memory box. I’m doing the same with my maternity clothes. So much more room in my closet! With these two boys, the last thing I want to do is hang on to stuff.

 

 

2015 Round Up and Resolutions

Man, these holidays have flown by. I can’t believe it’s New Years Eve already. 2015 was a weird one. It felt long. It was not an easy year for us. Here’s the recap.

Winter

I started the year hopeful. I had gotten back into crafts, I was super close with friends, and I was excited to be posting more often. I was being approached by companies to do posts and this thrilled me. I took my resolution of self love very seriously and I opened up about being queer. We started trying for baby #2

Spring

Started a new fitness plan and tried to eat better. My body was sore and my health wasn’t great. I was struggling with missing my parents. I started backing up old pictures and working on photo albums. Liam turned three! I was told I was having a miscarriage (dr and tests confirmed this) and went through a really difficult time…until it turned out that baby wasn’t going anywhere! Horrible morning sickness, ahoy! Our financial situation is pretty bad, so I went back to work and Pat started job hunting.

Summer

We emptied out our storage unit and finally went through all of the stuff from my parents’ estate. Major decluttering began. We became really close with our neighbours and spent a lot of time with them. My fur baby, Byron, had to be put down. I am heartbroken, still, by this. My friends took me to see Sarah Harmer for my birthday. I was sure baby was a girl, we picked a name and I knit her a cute little cardigan. I had a doctor fat shame me and I realized that I had truly come to a place that I loved and valued my body and self, no matter what my size or shape.We found out baby was a boy and we were shocked.

Fall

A tough time for my pregnancy. I had a bleed and started having a hard time with pelvic pain. Started nesting and really prepping the house. I started sticking closer to home and really settled in. Sarah threw me a great baby shower.  My friend Claire offered to be my doula and Mason decided to come early and our hospital saga began, leaving me with bad post partum anxiety.

Winter

So, here we are. Thankfully, the combination of support, monitoring by my dr and a change in my prescription has really helped with my anxiety and we’re doing pretty well settling in to our new groove. This year has felt like an uphill climb.

As for my resolutions, I set out to do the following in 2015:

  • Make time for my husband and our relationship
  • Continue to nurture my creativity
  • Continue on the path to living a healthier life
  • Be more present in the moment.
  • Let go of the material. It doesn’t define me.

I think I did an ok job. We definitely got sidetracked a bit on our relationship and in focusing on my creativity. I really failed with letting go of the material. I spent way too much money on useless crap. This year, I need to figure out how to live within our means. I also want to set out to spend more quality time with family and friends. I want to nurture those relationships as well. I’m going to keep these resolutions. I think I may even write this up and put it up somewhere where I can see it daily. Hopefully, we’ll have a bit more success in 2016.

Thank you so much for following my journey here and keeping up with our family. I hope you had a great 2015 and that 2016 is kind to you. Happy New Year!

Mason – One Month

I apologize for any spelling mistakes in this post. I’m writing a baby curled up in my lap. I can’t believe I’m here, writing this post. A whole month has already gone by, and it has flown.

I remember, with Liam, it felt like a lifetime. The PPD had me so firmly in its grasp, and my sleep deprivation was so bad, that every day felt like it wouldn’t end. That first month was a milestone of survival. With Mason, so much is different.

It is amazing to me to have a baby who looks so much like his brother did at the same age, but who is so completely different. He is calmer (or maybe we are?). He sleeps so much better, he fusses in a different way. He enjoys being carried, but not held like Liam did. Such little individuals they are.

We are doing well. My anxiety comes and goes, but is so much more mild now. The boredom of constant nursing is a bit of a downer, but otherwise, life feels so normal. After the rush of the holidays, I look forward to getting out and seeing friends and family again. So, now some stats on my little peanut, just like we did with his brother:

Born at 7lbs, 12oz and 19 inches.
– Diaper Size: Pampers Swaddlers 1
– Clothing Size: NB and 0-3, some small 6mo.
– Favourite Clothes: Fleece sleepers and onepiece outfits
– Nicknames – Mace and Macey (from Liam), Pooper, stinker, squeaker, little man, small fry
– Lots of hugs and kisses from his big brother
– Sleeps in bed with Mommy
– First Christmas
– First trip to Daddy’s Work
– First worn in the Boba stretchie, but prefers Ring Slings.
-Likes music
-Loves watching lit candles
-Will sleep in the swing and hang out in the baby chair.
-Doesn’t like soothers
– Met friends and family, including Nanny Jan, Grammy, Auntie Megan and Katie, Rachael, Beth, Audrey and Brenda. Uncle Brandon, cousin Cassidy. Auntie Jenn, Auntie Krista, Auntie Crystal, Claire, Uncle Rick, Auntie Sarah, Auntie Stacie, Ali, Anna, Corey, Olivia.
– Started Smiling and giggling in his sleep at 2 weeks
– Tries to hold head up on his own

– Can roll on to his side all on his own

 

 

Introducing Mason (His birth story)

You may have noticed the silence around here and the new face on my instagram. It’s true! We welcomed Baby M earthside on November 29th at around 5pm. I got my VBAC! So, allow me to share our birth story and introduce Mason.mason

In my 37th week, I noticed that I had started to lose my mucus plug. I knew this was a sign that my body was prepping for labour. Saturday the 28th, we had done some grocery shopping and I felt some wetness. Had I peed myself?! Embarrassing! That night, same thing happened again when I turned in my sleep, followed by some cramping and back pain. Ugh, unpleasant.

On Sunday the 29th, I woke up and felt kind of off. An hour or so later, I noticed I had bloody show and knew it was going to be baby time sooner rather than later. I casually startedtiming the contractions.  I told Pat and updated my friend Claire (our Doula). I had also noticed that I had what felt like menstrual cramps, which was nothing like what my contractions felt like last time with Liam. Eventually, Claire had me time them more carefully, just to see and we noticed that they were rhythmic. Huh. I still wasn’t convinced it was labour but when they got more steady and frequent, Claire told me she was coming over to check things out.

I made sure our bags were ready to go, and got in contact with my friends who had offered to watch Liam. I let Pat know things were picking up and started verbally prepping Liam for his first night away.

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In labour, on the exercise ball

The contractions were more intense, but nothing more than uncomfortable. I found relief in swaying on my exercise ball and doing figure 8s. When Claire arrived, we talked a bit and Pat got me some food from Timmy’s. Eventually, talking through contractions took more work. It was then that Pat and Claire suggested we go to the hospital, but I still didn’t think it was time. I was convinced the contractions were still 5 minutes plus apart, when they were actually closer to 3.5. I wanted Liam to have his nap, as it was noon. It wasn’t until I went to the bathroom and had three contractions one after the other that I agreed to go.

We dropped Liam off at Jenn’s, and my heart broke. I already missed my little guy. We made our way to the Civic Hospital and met up with Claire there.

We made our way to the 4th floor, Labour and Delivery, where they took my history and checked me. I was 5cm. They admitted me and showed us to our room. There we met our great nurse, Phyllis, and I started labouring in earnest. I walked, swayed, leaned, cried and felt myself becoming overwhelmed by the rapid increase of the pain and frequency of the contractions. Eventually, I had had enough and requested an epidural. I was so afraid of letting everyone down, but I just couldn’t do it anymore. They checked me, and I was at 8cm. Having contractions while having to stay perfectly still was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. Unfortunately, the Epi didn’t take fully. It merely dulled the pain a bit.

I was on the bed, feeling like I might need to push. I felt the sudden gush of my water breaking. It was full of meconium. They then needed to attach monitors to his head because his heart rate was decelerating and the monitors on my stomach weren’t working eith how low he was. Moments later, I could no longer control the urge to push. Within 15 minutes, Mason was born. Pat cut the cord and the OB showed me my placenta (soooo cool!). I felt so much better than after my c-section. I had a 2nd degree tear and some stitches, and felt like a champ. Mason ended up having some issues, however.

As I waited to deliver my placenta, the medical team was trying to get Mason to be more responsive. He eventually was, but his breathing still wasn’t great and his chest was puffed out. They left him with me for an hour to nurse before deciding to send him to the NICU with Pat. There, they did a chest x-ray and blood work. He had no meconium in his lungs and no air leaks. After keeping an eye on him for about 12 hrs, they brought him back to me. The next evening, we were sent home with a clean bill of health.m2

The After:

A couple days later, at our first post partum check up, our family dr confirmed our suspicions that M had jaundice. She sent us to get bloodwork done and that evening, we got a phone call to get to the children’s hospital ASAP. His bloodwork was very concerning. Unfortunately, this was the beginning of a really difficult time for us. We were admitted after they ran a bunch of tests and we ended up staying at CHEO for 5 days. They were concerned he had a blood infection due to a mistake on a blood test, or an antibody issue due to the blood bank mixing up our file with someone else. In the end, he just had jaundice and needed a lot of phototherapy.

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Our stay was hard for me. Post partum hormones, and recovery in a hospital room for someone who is prone to anxiety and depression …it was not ideal. We were in a dorm style room with two other babies from out of town, which meant that there was a lot of noise, lots of crying and just one nurse to care for them. I was very stressed and unfortunately, my post partum anxiety got pretty bad. I wasn’t allowed to hold him much, with the exception of nursing. I basically had to sit and watch him on that light table. Thankfully, my family dr and my loved ones were on it. I had visitors daily and my meds were upped. Eventually, we developed a routine where I went home to be with Liam for a couple hours, which helped.

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Liam really struggled with all of this. When Mason was born, he was worried he wasn’t ever coming home from my friend Jenn’s place. When we were admitted to CHEO, he was heartbroken and really had a hard time with me being gone. We are dealing now with the fallout and his big feelings, but we’re all doing much better. Mason is growing and doing better every day. My anxiety is manageable and we are finally getting into the swing of things.  Every day is a challenge, but we are loved and supported, so we will be ok.

Cloth Diapering Part 3 – What Else?

Welcome to part 3 in my cloth diapering series. So far, we’ve talked about why you should try cloth and what your cloth diaper options are.  Now what? What else is there?

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Well, there are a few things. First, I want to break down a few more things that you will face when choosing your diapers. After that, I am going to briefly talk about the last bit of stuff you will want to think about getting if you are going to cloth diaper your kiddo.

I know this seems like a lot. Just remember that this is all of the extra bits, sort of a Cloth 102 section. If you are overwhelmed, that’s fine. Just walk away and come back later.

So, first, let’s talk about some options that you’ll come across when choosing diapers.

Sizing

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Rumparooz One-Size diaper size range

Cloth Diapers are a bit of a pain when it comes to sizing. You will see that you often have several options. Preemie (tiny), Newborn (itty bitty), Small, Medium, Large, Extra Large, Size One, Size Two, Size Three and One Size. Yeah. And just to make things more of a pain, there isn’t really a set standard so you will find that one brand of One Size will fit differently than another brand.

The easiest way to manage all of this is to look at the weight guidelines for each size. Pick the size that your baby’s weight fits in to. For those that want to start cloth from day one, you will need some Newborn sized diapers and then up, even if you go with One Sized. Why? Well, most diapers, unless specifically stating otherwise, start at around 8lbs. This means that they are just a little too big and bulky for those tiny little squishes.

Some diaper brands have really tried hard to make a one size diaper truly one size. I have personally been really impressed with Bum Genius, Charlie Banana and SoftBums for how small they can be, and yet how large they grow.

Materials/Fiber

I sort of mentioned fiber a little bit in my last post. This is a way to really customize your diaper. Inserts come in a variety of materials, including blends, to cater to your individual needs. For those that are concerned, you can choose organic materials. For those that want to customize the absorbency and options of your diapers, you can choose to pick up diapers and inserts in different fibers and blends.

Generally speaking, from least absorbent to most absorbent, fibers range from microfiber (which is what comes with most diapers), minky (another man made material that is softer than microfiber), to cotton, bamboo and hemp. Microfiber is a manmade material that wicks away liquid extremely quickly but doesn’t hold as much as the natural fibers. Cotton is the most traditional and affordable of the natural fibers. Bamboo and hemp are super absorbent but can take a little longer to wick the moisture away. Also, hemp can get a little stiff, so make sure to give it a tumble in the dryer to help keep it soft.

Changing up your materials allows you to control what goes against baby’s skin, how much moisture it can hold (like for overnights or heavy wetters) or how dry baby feels after a pee (microfiber for the win). Obviously, they all do their job of absorbing what baby puts out, but it’s just another way that you can make your diapers work better for you and your lifestyle.

Ok, so now that you know about those options, how about we talk about the other stuff that you might need when choosing cloth diapers?

The Other Stuff:

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Detergent. So, the thing with cloth is that it needs to be washed. Some people are really super precious about their laundry routines. Others, like me, not so much. What I recommend is that you choose a cloth friendly detergent (no scents, no softeners, etc… all of which can cause build up on your diapers which can cause repelling of moisture and stinkiness). You can go with fancy cloth specific detergents, like Rockin’ Green or Laundry Tarts, or you can try something like Tide Free and Gentle. Some detergents have sneaky ingredients, so avoid any of the baby specific detergents as they have softeners. What do I use? Country Save, as I am allergic to Tide.

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Planet Wise Wet Bags

Wet Bags. Because these diapers probably aren’t going immediately from butt to laundry, you need somewhere to put them in between washes that won’t make them gross or make your house stink. Enter the Wet Bag. Wet Bags are coated fabric bags that contain the mess, but allow air flow to keep stink to a minimum. They are washable and go right in the wash with your diapers. You can get them in a number of shapes and sizes, depending on where you want them or how you want them stored. Some people get a laundry basket and put a wet bag inside. Other’s hang them from the back of a bathroom or bedroom door. Whatever works best for you. I recommend having a couple big ones (so you always have one ready to go while one is in the wash with the diapers), and a couple small ones for diaper bags. They come in all sorts of cool fabrics so you can really make them fit your taste and your home. What do I use? A mix of brands. I currently love Planet Wise and Rumparooz/Kanga Care.

Dryer Balls. For those who love their dryer sheets, I have some bad news. Unfortunately, they also create a residue on cloth diapers. Not only can you not use them on your diapers, but we actually recommend quitting them all together because the left over residue in the dryer can still coat your cloth and cause repelling issues. So, what are you supposed to do to keep clothes soft and static free? Dryer Balls! Wool Dryer Balls are the big thing right now, as you can scent them with essential oils (lightly, otherwise you end up with residue agan), and they make fun safe toys for kiddos too. Laundry Tarts also has some that work great. What do I use? A mix. I have a couple Laundry Tarts old school ones that allow you to add scented sticks, as well as their newer blue ones. I also have a few wool balls (that usually get stolen by my son and used as toys)

Cloth Diaper Safe Creams. While cloth babies are reportedly less likely to have rash issues, I would say that rashes happen to everyone at one point or another. Unfortunately, a lot of the common creams on the market aren’t safe for use with cloth diapers. Any zinc based cream (opaque white creams) create a seriously bad residue which basically kills the absorbency of cloth. There are many “safe for cloth” creams out there, however I would warn that any cream used to excess will eventually create a residue on cloth. Some people opt to switch temporarily to disposable diapers when having to use cream, just to be safe. What do I use? I have tried a ton of different creams. Some of my favourite cloth safe creams are CJ’s, Substance, Pea in a Pod and Earth Mama Angel Baby.

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Cloth Wipes. While I personally just kept using disposable wipes, I know some people find it to be a pain to use cloth and then still have to find a garbage to toss your wipes. You can either make or buy cloth wipes. Some people use them dry, others make their own wipe solution or buy some for easier clean up. Some people just use water. What do I use? When L has had a bad flu and a sore bum, I have cut up flannel receiving blankets to make my own. Otherwise, I use Pampers Sensitive disposable wipes because they can be used for EVERYTHING.

Snappis/Fasteners. For those of you that use prefolds, snappis and other similar fasteners have taken the place of the old school safety pins. Safe to use on baby, they hold your prefolds closed snugly against baby for easier diapering. Bonus side use: They are AMAZING for getting fuzz out of velcro. What do I use? Snappis.

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Bummis Bio-Soft Liners

Disposable Liners. Disposable liners are awesome for bigger kiddos, when poop becomes more solid. Basically, you put down the small sheet (that kind of looks like a dryer sheet) on the middle of the diaper where the business happens, and when baby poops, you can just toss the poopy liner and not have to worry about scraping or spraying the poop off the diaper itself. They allow liquids through, so they don’t inhibit absorbency of pee however this means they are useless for young baby poops, as they tend to be mostly liquid anyway. What do I use? Nothing. I have no problem scraping and shaking poop off diapers.

Other Liners and Boosters. You can get washable cloth liners to help protect your diapers from stains and for easier poop removal. Fleece liners are great for more solid poops as poop tends not to stick to them, which allows you to just shake them above the toilet and the poop falls right off. They are also a great option for those moments when you use a safe diaper cream but want to be extra sure that your diapers don’t get any build up. Boosters are for those that haven’t found the answer to their problems with different inserts. They allow you to add an extra layer to your diaper for extra absorbency. Great for older kiddos, heavy wetters, long trips and over nights. What do I use? I haven’t used any other liners or boosters so far, but I did pick some up for Baby M to try. I have a few hemp boosters and a couple Apple Cheeks fleece liners.

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Diaper Sprayer. So, the thing with poopy diapers is that you need to scrape/shake the more solid bits of poop off the diaper before washing. A great product that has arrived on the scene to help this unpleasant task is the diaper sprayer. It’s basically a little hose and nozzle that attaches directly to your toilet. You use it to spray the poop right off the diaper into the toilet for easy hands-off removal before tossing the diaper in the wet bag. Woo! What do I use? I picked up a cheapy sprayer, but it turns out our plumbing and toilet at not sprayer friendly. I’ve heard the BumGenius one is great.

rlr

Stripping Agents. Sometimes, despite our best efforts, you end up with your diapers repelling or a nasty stink that your regular wash routine just can’t seem to kill. There are a few products out there that promise to strip your diapers of all residues. Some people swear by RLR, others prefer just adding vinegar to their routine. It’s really up to you. What do I use? Well, I picked up a bunch of cloth second hand for Baby M. Just to be safe, I decided to do a disinfecting soak. I used a bleach bath and picked up some RLR so that I can do a stripping if I notice any repelling. I have also heard that vinegar works great, which I also intend to try down the road.

 

There you have it. There are always new products popping up, but these are the ones you are most likely to come across. If you have any questions, please feel free to shoot me a line. I am by no means an expert, but I will try my best to help. I hope you’ve enjoyed this series and found it helpful as you consider starting your cloth diaper journey.

 

The rest of the Baby Basics Series:

 

Weekly Preggo Update: 37 Weeks

As I mentioned in my last pregnancy update, I am going to switch to weekly updates until baby arrives. You know, assuming I can keep up. I’ll try ;)

27weeks

So tired, so sore.

A peek at the past week (how I’ve been): It was a more quiet week for us. I basically stayed home as much as possible as my body was definitely quite sore and needed rest. Thankfully, one of my best friends recently moved like 10 minutes from us and has been hosting play dates at her place, so I’ve been able to get hang out time with my girls and their kiddos without killing myself.

On Sunday, we hit the local Santa Claus parade and had a good but chilly time. It involved a lot of discomfort and walking for me, which seems to have kicked started my body prepping for labour.  The next day I lost more of my plug and have continued to do so all week. I’ve also had intense braxton hicks contractions. Eeeee.

In less good news, we found out at my weekly OB appointment that I have tested positive for Group B Strep. I freaked out a bit initially. I had these visions of a sick baby, of being stuck on my back in labour because of antibiotics, you name it. Thankfully, I have some great friends, and an amazing husband and doula, all of whom were able to calm me down.

How far along am I right now? 38 Weeks, 9 Months

I am thinking… About how quickly the last 9 months have flown by. What a strange time pregnancy is. There were moments where it felt like it dragged and I’d never get to the third trimester (especially when I was really sick those first few months), and yet, here I am now, about to have baby any time and I can’t believe it.

I am thankful for… My friends, living in suburbia (so many stores, open all the time, with so much chocolate) and my new neighbour! I have been plagued by a family that has lived right next door since we moved here almost 7 years ago. They were awful and this past week they moved out and the new neighbour moved in. She’s a single mom to a 1,5 y.o. I look forward to getting to know her :)

I am wearing… Comfy clothes. PJs, t shirts, leggings.

I am creating… Honestly, not much. I just don’t have the energy

I am going… to try and motivate myself to keep up my cleaning. Despite the preschooler and gigantic hairy dog that love to instantly destroy my efforts, I’ve enjoyed having a slightly less crazy home.

I am hoping… That we can navigate our recent money troubles a bit better. I am really really nervous about how things are going to be over the next few months. Any prayers, good mojo or happy thoughts would be appreciated.

One of my favorite things… Netflix. It is currently raising my child. My body is so incredibly sore these days that I just can’t do much with him.

Weight Gain: In total, we’re at 24lbs.

Baby is how big?: According to my Ovia App, baby is the size of a skunk.
Movement and Pregnancy Weirdness: I should go back and re-read my posts from when I was this far along last time, because I don’t remember having this much hip and pelvic pain last time. I swear, there are moments where I can’t walk, or feel like I’m going to fall apart. The pain is intense. Also, baby must have dropped because I can’t walk at all without a very pronounced waddle. This week marked the beginning of intense braxton hicks and losing my plug. This gives me hope that the end is in sight and that we should be able to have this baby before the holidays. Not that I don’t love kiddos born on the holidays, but it would really make life more difficult for us. I’d much rather have a wee babe in arms by then.
Cravings and Aversions: Chocolate, lots of chocolate. And spice. I have been enjoying hot sauce and chilis quite a bit lately.
Other Random Babeh/Pregnancy thoughts: I have reached the stage where I am sensitive to images in the media. Hurt or suffering children? Can’t watch it. Super intense violence? Nope. Give me comedy and romance please. My heart just can’t take anything else right now.
Other Pictures from this Week:
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Hanging out with my kiddo at the parade.

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Relaxing at my girlfriend’s house for a play date. 

Cloth Diapering Part 2: What is it?

On any one of my shifts, I knew that I some point I would encounter it. I could spot the look from across the store. I knew it well, you see. I had had it once (or twice, or many times) too. What is the look, you ask? The look of “Holy crap, that is a whole freaking wall of diapers! What are they all? How are they different? I just want to make sure my kid doesn’t pee on me and all my things!

Cloth diapering sounds simple in theory. I mean, for the longest time it was the only option out there. So, why is it when we start looking in to it do we find ourselves completely and totally overwhelmed by information? Because, my friends, this is a time when you are already being told by a million companies and stores that you NEED all this baby stuff, and without x, y and z, you will have a miserable child who will never sleep or eat or thrive blah blah blah. Look at the options! The colours! The features!

My goal here to is avoid all that pressure and insanity. Like anything else in the commercial baby world, cloth diapers can be as insane and as complicated as you want it to be, OR as simple. Try to remind yourself, that at the end of the day, we are talking about things that catch pee and poop. No matter what you choose, your kid is going to be ok.

Say it with me, please. Your kid is going to be ok.

So, take a deep breath and walk with me into the world of cloth. Take your time. Any of these options will do the job. There is no right or wrong answer here.

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We live in a world, at least here in Canada, where disposables are tops. With that in mind, how about we start with the diapers that are closest to throwing a disposable on, moving towards the types that your parents or grandparents would recognize.

 

All in Ones (commonly known as AIO)

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Smart Bottoms All In One

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BumGenius Freetime All-in-One

What is it: An All In One is exactly that. It is a diaper that has everything you need, sewn right in. It is the closest to a disposable in both look and use. You literally just put it on your kid. For a long time, these were favoured by those who wanted the easiest cloth option out there, including daycare providers and those who were a little more cloth shy.

Why is it awesome? With minimal prep, these bad boys are ready to go. After washing, all you need to do is throw it on your baby. Some require you to make sure the sewn in insert lays flat or is tucked in, but that’s it.

Why might I not like it? Firstly, because all the pieces are attached, they take longer to dry, which can be annoying if you have a smaller stash. Also, they tend to be the most expensive option because everything is there. They are a bit more of a pain to customize. You have a heavier wetter and you may struggle a bit to add a booster. Want to try a different fiber? You may have to buy a completely different brand or diaper. Also, you really only get one use at a time with AIOs. Kid pees or poops? Into the wet bag it goes to be washed.

What brands do you recommend? BumGenius offers two AIO options in either Freetime or Elemental. Thirsties is a great, affordable brand as well and I love their new prints. You can also try Imagine, Funky Fluff and Sweet Pea.

 

Pocket Diapers

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Kangacare Rumparooz Pocket Diaper

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Kawaii One-Size Pocket Diaper

What is it: A pocket diaper is a water proof cover that is lined with a soft and absorbent fabric that has a pocket. In the pocket you put an insert. Some pocket diapers come with inserts, usually microfiber. Other inserts can be fleece, bamboo, hemp, cotton, or a blend or combination.

Why is it awesome? I love pocket diapers. They are my personal favourite. Why? Well, they are incredibly versatile while still being easy to use. What do I mean? Well, if you need to add boosters, or change the kind of insert you use, you just need to buy the insert or booster and throw it in the pocket. Taadaa! Done. This means a pocket diaper will work for different kids with different needs, and for different phases of cloth diapering. You can mix and match different brands of inserts and boosters as well, so if you find one you love, you don’t have to stick with whatever insert came with the diaper.

In terms of prep and use, they are still really easy (though a bit more hands on). All you need to do is wash, dry, then stuff your insert into the pocket and you’re good to go! Once stuffed, they basically look like an All In One and go right on the kiddo. They are usually cheaper than All In Ones too, which is a nice bonus.

Why might I not like it? It is a bit more work than just diapering your kid. You do have to stuff the diaper, and, when it comes to washing, most brands require you to remove the insert from the pocket first (which means you may come in contact with pee or poop). Like an All In One, they are a one use before wash diaper, which means they need to be washed once they come in contact with pee or poop.

What brands do you recommend? My personal favourites have changed a bit over the last year. Currently, I’m a big fan of Bum Genius, Apple Cheeks, and Rumparooz.

 

Hybrid Diapers

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GroVia Hybrid Diaper

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Best Bottom Hybrid Diaper

What is it: A waterproof cover, usually without any kind of lining. Cover has buttons to which you can attach their insert directly, without any pocket or covering.

Why is it awesome? The big seller for Hybrid diapers is that they are quick and easy to prep and you can reuse the cover. To prep, all you have to do is wash, dry, snap in their insert and put the diaper on the baby. Most hybrid brands offer different kinds and sizes of inserts so that you can customize your diaper as baby grows and their diapering needs change. A big plus is that so long as the cover itself doesn’t get poopy, you can reuse it between uses. So, baby does their business? You remove the soiled insert, wipe down the cover’s waterproof lining, put in another inset and you’re good to go. This means you need fewer covers, which is great for when you’re out and about, for storage and, in theory, for the pocket book. One thing that’s nice is that if you have a mixed stash, you can use the hybrid covers as regular covers with prefolds or fitteds.

Why might I not like it? Well, despite the idea of not needing many covers, hybrid systems tend to be a bit more expensive than one would expect. Inserts are shaped to the diaper and aren’t always swappable between brands, which means you usually need to buy the correct insert for the same brand of cover.

What brands do you recommend? I loved these when L was little. They made for quick changes and less bulk in the diaper bag. I am a big fan of Best Bottoms, Grovia and the new Bummis hybrid.

 

Prefold Diapers and Covers

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BabyKicks Prefold Diaper, without cover.

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Bummis Prefold and Cover

What is it: A prefold diaper is pretty similar to what previous generations would have used for diapering, but have been upgraded for better fit, use and absorbency.

The prefold itself is a square piece of cloth with two seams sewn in. The middle portion is usually thicker with more layers of absorbent fabric. The seams are what make this “prefolded”. You would then fold the square into whatever shape works best for you and baby, and then you would cover the prefold with a waterproof cover of your choice. Without the cover, the prefold isn’t waterproof on its own.

Why is it awesome? Firstly, these are the cheapest diapering option out there. This is where you can save some serious money, especially compared to disposables. Secondly, prefolds only get more absorbent with use. The more you wash them, the more the fibers loosen up. Thirdly, they are incredibly versatile. You can change the kind of prefold you use if you want, you can buy different prefolds in different fibers and different sizes. You can fold the prefold however you want, with different folds to serve different purposes. Prefolds themselves are also awesome burp cloths and rags, which can give them a second life if you decide not to sell. Oh, and if you have a mixed stash, you can use prefolds as inserts in your pockets or use your hybrid covers with your prefolds.

I actually really love how you can have a bunch of really awesome covers, and a bunch of different kids of prefolds. Also, like the hybrid, these are a multi-use diaper. Toss the prefold into the wash, wipe down the cover and use a new prefold to keep on going. This keeps you from having to carry around as much and keeps costs down. For multiple kids of different genders, if you want to go girlie or boyish, you can cheaply pick up a couple more covers and reuse the prefolds you already have. Oh, and for washing, these babies dry up much much faster because they are all separate pieces.

Why might I not like it? These are probably the most labour intensive and intimidating cloth option, but I promise, they aren’t as complicated as they seem.

They require more bits and pieces, from the prefold, to the cover, some people like to use either pins or snappis to fasten the prefold on baby before putting the cover on.

Also, the obvious: Folding. I know, it looks fussy and crazy, especially when you add a baby to the mix. You don’t need to be a fancy origami expert to do this, I promise. You can go from as easy as a rectangle (outside flaps folded in, to create a pad) to something more diaper like. There is a learning curve, and it isn’t for everyone, but I swear anyone can figure it out.

What brands do you recommend? For the prefolds themselves, Bummis is tops for me. There is just something about that puffy cotton quilted looking fluff. Baby Kicks are also awesome for different fiber blends. As for covers, Thirsties, Rumparooz, Planet Wise and wool have my vote.

 

Fitted Diapers

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Babee Greens Fitted Diaper

What is it: A fitted diaper looks more like your disposable, but unless you know what a prefold is, it’s hard to explain, so I’ve put them here. Basically, a fitted is a prefold that has been sewn into a diaper shape for ease of use and fit. Most are not waterproof on their own, so you would put the fitted diaper on baby and then put a cover over top.

Why is it awesome? The ease of use of any of the other fitted types (AIO, Pocket. No folding!). The ability to mix and match a fitted with a diaper cover, the multi-use like a prefold. They are insanely absorbent. Like, crazy absorbent. A lot of people use these for over nights, for heavy wetters or long trips.

Why might I not like it? Because of their shape and the need to have a cover, they tend to be bulky. This can make clothing baby a bit of a pain. They are also far more expensive than a prefold, because of their tailored fit. Because of this, I don’t know many people who just use fitteds for all their diapering needs. Also, because of the way they are made, they take a while to dry.

What brands do you recommend? Sustainablebabyish, Baby Kicks and Kissaluvs.

There you have it. There are always new products popping up, but these are the ones you are most likely to come across. If you have any questions, please feel free to shoot me a line. I am by no means an expert, but I will try my best to help. I hope you’ve enjoyed this series and found it helpful as you consider starting your cloth diaper journey.

The rest of the Baby Basics Series: