Monday, February 28, 2011

First foods, Sleeping through the night, and no more ammonia :)

These past couple of days have been big ones for us. Logan slept through the night for the first time last night, had his first baby food yesterday, and we finally got rid of our ammonia issues once and for all... It's been a great weekend.

Friday night, Logan slept most of the night. He only woke up once and cried himself to sleep. Saturday I had to get up and feed him once, and he cried it out one other time. But last night, we put him down around 10:30 and he slept until 8:30 this morning! We had a huge storm last night, too, that woke both me and the husband up several times....but he slept right through it. I did go in and check on him 2-3 times just to make sure he was still breathing (I am a worrier..I cant help it), but he didn't so much as make a whimper throughout the night. I am so happy, but I hope he keeps it up. He went through a phase around 3 months where he was sleeping around 6-7 hours a night for a while, but then went back to his old sleeping pattern. I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

Yesterday, we gave him his very first taste of baby food...Earths Best Organic Sweet Potatoes. I don't really think he liked it all that much, but I wanted to start out with vegetables so he doesn't get spoiled on the fruits. The pediatrician said she prefers to wait until babies are 6 months to start baby food, but he was showing all the signs that he was ready for something new. He has been getting cereal for a little over a month now and loves it. He doesn't push the food out of his mouth with his tongue anymore, and he opens his mouth and leans toward the spoon. He loves to eat! Plus, all of the books say between 4-6 months, so I thought 5 months was a pretty good age. We are going to give the sweet potatoes a couple of days and then move on to peas. I do plan on making my own baby food with my new Beaba babycook, but I bought a couple of trays of starter fruits and veggies on sale a couple of months ago, so we are going to use those first.

Also, I am so happy to report that we finally got rid of our ammonia stink issues! Thank goodness! Logans rash was so terrible on Friday night, I was almost in tears. I had used Dawn dish detergent to strip my diapers a couple of days before, but I guess since they had so much build up in them from not stripping them well enough in the past, that all the Dawn did was bring the ammonia to the surface and it caused burns on his little bum :( Thankfully, the rash didn't seem to hurt him. So, I stripped my diapers AGAIN on Saturday. This time I did a cold wash with my Rockin Green Soap and Calgon water softener. Then I ran a second hot  wash with a teaspoon of regular blue Dawn dish detergent and a 1/2 cup of bleach and several extra rinses. I know this sounds like a lot of wasted water, but we have a high efficiency washing machine and you only have to do this once a month. It's been two days and even my overnight diapers have no trace of ammonia smell! I am so excited to finally find a stripping method that works for us...It's strange the things you get excited about when you become a parent!

Friday, February 25, 2011

Mother Nurture/Baby Moon

Two days ago, I stopped by Mother Nurture here in Lexington. I asked one of the ladies there what they recommended for ammonia buildup and she was super helpful. She didn't have kids, so she called her owner on the phone to get me the answers I needed. Evidently, most of the Lexington area has hard water, so I need to add a water softener to my laundry routine. She recommended Calgon, which you can purchase at Wal-Mart. It helps to get rid of build up and residue on your clothes and is especially helpful with cloth diapers. She recommended a cold wash with my detergent and Calgon, and using Calgon only in the second hot cycle.

I have always had really great service at Mother Nurture and Baby Moon. I took some prenatal yoga there when I was pregnant and loved it. They sell and rent breast pumps & accessories. They also carry nursing bras, baby carriers, and natural baby toys. Plus they sell Bummis brand cloth diapers and accessories. I don't use Bummis, so I dont buy my cloth diapers there, but I have bought my wet bags and some of my other supplies there. I love the Little Sapling natural wood teethers and toys.

Besides the retail shop and yoga studio, they offer a wide range of services. They have cloth diaper and baby carrier consignment sales. They teach birthing and breastfeeding classes and have days where they offer free latch checks and car seat checks. They are truly a valuable resource for any mama in the area, not just the CDing ones. Check out the class calender here. I am thinking about taking the new Mommy and Baby Pilates class on Fridays if anyone wants to join me! Its Fridays at 10:30.

It was a rough night...

I am so tired....Logan fell asleep at 8 last night which is much earlier than he normally goes to bed, only to wake up at 9 nad refuse to go back to sleep. We let him hang out with us until 10:30 when he FINALLY fell asleep. We went to bed about 12 and he was up again at 1 crying. I let him cry it out for a half an hour (Which seems like an eternity!) and he finally soothed himself back to sleep. I knew he want hungry because he had just ate before he went back to bed at 10:30. He woke up again at around 4 and after 20 minutes of screaming, I got up and fed him a bottle. I tried to only give him a couple of ounces, but he was not hacing it. After I gave him 4 he was fine.

He woke up for the fourth time at 6. It had only been an hour and a half since he had ate, so I let him cry it out again.... 20-25 minutes later he was asleep, only to wake up again at 7:30 for good.
I am not a morning person, so this schedule does not work for me. But at least he naps during the day (a little).

On top of that, this morning when he woke up he was all red around his diaper area. I just stripped his diapers yesterday, but evidently, if they have a lot of ammonia build up, you need to strip them twice. One time just brings all the ammonia to the surface and can cause a rash :( Poor fella. He didn't act like it hurt him too bad, but needless to say. he is in a 'sposie this morning while I am re-stripping his diapers.
I used a new method this time. The BumGenius manufacturers, as well as a lot of people on the web, recommended using plain blue Dawn dish soap and chlorine bleach to strip stubborn microfiber inserts. You need a half a cup of bleach and a teaspoon of blue Dawn (Yes, it has to be the original blue formula) for a high efficiency washing machine. So thats whats happening as I am sitting here writing. I will let you know how it goes.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Transitioning my baby to his own room :(

My little guy is almost 5 months old and has been sleeping in his pack n play bassinet in our room since he was born. I just havent been ready to move him down the hall. I still wake up several times a night and check to see if he is breathing. I am such a worrier. He is still a terrible sleeper at 5 months, though, so we are trying to get him to sleep better through the night. He still wakes up 4-5 times a night. Sometimes I can soothe him back to sleep by patting his butt or turning on his white noise Sleep Sheep (AMAZING invention), but he still wants to eat 2-3 times throughout the night.

This is bittersweet for me. On one hand, I am ready for him to be in his own room and I think it will help get him to sleep better through the night... but on the other, it makes me a nervous wreck to have him across the house and it breaks my heart to try to let him try to cry it out in the middle of the night. We tried this tonight and after 30 minutes we gave in and went to give him a bottle. His little eyes were so swollen from crying that I almost started crying myself. But it is definitely time...

So, last night we put him to bed around 9. Kind of late for a baby, I know... But we are night owls and would rather have him sleep in a little later than go to bed super early. My husband works late sometimes, too, so if we put him down earlier, he wouldn't have any time with him. We gave him a warm lavender bath, read him a book, gave him some cereal and a bottle, and then put him down. He fussed for about 20 minutes and then went to sleep. He woke up again around 11:30 when we were just laying to to bed. We decided to try to let him cry it out because we knew he wasn't starving, and it was a success. 2o minutes later he had soothed himself back to sleep. We were not so lucky at 1:30 when he woke up again. After about 20 minutes of crying we realized he was not going to go back to bed and I went and gave him a bottle. I only gave him 2oz, though, and he normally gets 4-5oz. This seemed to satisfy him and he went right back to sleep.

He woke up AGAIN at 4:30 and I had to give him another bottle...This time I gave him 3oz hoping it would fill him up enough to sleep the rest of the night. He went right back to sleep again and woke up at 8. He cried for about 5 minutes and soothed himself back to sleep and woke up for good at 9.

I have had several people suggest the Baby Wise method to me in the past couple of days. I haven't read up on it yet, but evidently you feed them like clockwork every 3 hours during the day. I guess the theory is that if you keep them full during the day, they will be satisfied enough to sleep through the night. So I gave Logan bigger bottles throughout the day today 5-6oz hoping that it would do the trick. Tonight he fell asleep at 8 in his daddys arms, only to wake up again at 9:30. We gave him a bigger bottle and some cereal and he went back down without fussing. Heres hoping it does the trick! I'll let you guys know tomorrow :)

New Kellys Closet coupons!

Just wanted to share the current Kelly's Closet coupons...

With the code FEBFIVE you can get $5 off a $25 purchase
With the code FEBTEN you can get $10 off a $75 purchase

Unfortunately, these coupons excluded bum genius, but are still great for purchasing other necessities.. and they are offering DOUBLE REWARDS for s limited time! Normally you would get 1 reward point for every dollar spent, but right now you get 2. Once you get so many, you can trade them in for gift certificates!

Also, if you are a blogger, you can get bonus points by writing blogs for their blog, The Cloth Diaper Whisperer. Just contact Kelly's closet to ask what kinds of posts they are looking for at the moment.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

More on Cloth Wipes

We transitioned to cloth wipes much later than we started cloth diapering. I figured that disposable wipes didnt cost that much, compared to diapers, so we would just keep using them. I was wrong. Every poopy diaper I had to use like 10 wipes, so we were going through them quickly. Plus, I wanted to use the organic kind to avoid unneccessary lotions, scents and chemicals. They are even more expensive than the regular ones.

Using disposable wipes and cloth diapers together proved to be such a hassle. At first I just left the disposable wipes in with my diapers and threw them all in the washing machine together. So i got to pick  all the disposable wipes off my diapers when they came out of the wash. Not so fun. Then I started taking them into the kitchen and throwing them into the trash can. Also a hassle. I didnt want to have a diaper pail AND a trash can in the nursery, so I invested in some cloth wipes.

They took a little adjusting to, but I am so glad we made the change. My husband was a little difficult to convince, but once he realized how much a box of the Babyganics wipes cost, he decided to give it a go. Besides the wipes themselves, you may or may not want to invest in a few other things:
  • a spray bottle for moistening the wipes. You could also just put some water or solution in a small bowl, but I have found the spray bottle to be a lot easier and more portable
  • Wipe solution or drops. This isnt neccessary, but I like that the essential oils in the solution are antibacterial. Plus they smell good. We use Baby Bum Drops brand. You can also make your own solution using a mixture of water and essential oils.
  • A wipe case for traveling (or a ziplock baggie). We wet a few wipes and put them in the case if we are going to be out and about. This keeps us from having to bring along the spray bottle.
  • A wipe warmer (Completely unneccessary, but if you wish, you can pour the solution (or water) over the wipes in the warmer to wet them, and they stay nice and warm) We have a wipe warmer someone gave us, but IMO, it is more of a hassle than its worth.
In my previous post, I wrote that you only needed 6-8 wipes to get started. You really probably need as many wipes as you have diapers. When we started out, we werent cloth wiping exclusively, and I wouldnt always use a new wipe for pee diapers (I just turned the wipe over) So 12-16 to start out with is a good number. Once you start using them, you will probably want more. They are really handy for any cleanup (Runny noses, sticky hands, etc) You could also use baby washcloths.

 I like Thirsties wipes and the ones I have made myself the best. I have also tried the MotherEase brand. While they are bigger than the Thirsties brand, they aren’t as soft. I have only ever needed one wipe per diaper change, even on the messiest diapers. My husband, on the other hand, may use a couple. I will post a tutorial on how to make your own cloth wipes soon! I made the ones in the picture last night in no time at all. They are available in my Etsy store.

Get recipes for making your own wipe solution here . I LOVE to use tea tree oil for everything, so I highly recommend using it in your wipe solution. It is antifungal, antiinflammatory, and antibacterial. You can use it for tons of other things as well, including acne and dandruff. You can find it at your local health food store. Aloe vera, chamomile, and lavender are also some of my favorite ingredients.

Everything You Need to Start Cloth Diapering...

So my best friend, after months and months of me trying to convince her to cloth diaper, has decided she might want to give it a try! She has a little girl 3 months younger than my little man, so we were pregnant together. She wanted to know about how many diapers you would need to get started, so I told her I would compose this list for her.

To get started, I would recommend about 14-18 diapers. You will be doing laundry about every other day with this many. I have about 24 diapers and I do laundry about every 3 days. You probably wouldnt want to go longer than that or the diapers start to get stinky and can mildew. Although, I have sometimes went 4-5 days and have not had this problem

I buy all my cloth diapers at Kelly’s Closet. They always run great promotions and have excellent cusstomer service. In fact, you can find a testimonial I wrote for them on their page. I have been so impressed with their service. Thus far, I have received 5 free diapers from them and have earned a $25 gift card. You accumulate points with every purchase that you can redeem for gift certificates. Great deal, huh?? Right now they have a coupon for a free diaper (of atleast a $22 value) with any $59 purchase. And their shipping is always free with a $49 purchase. So, if you wanted to purchase a stash of diapers, you could split your order into two separate ones and earn 2 free diapers…. The coupon code is FREEDIPE and you can use it up to 2 times!
There are MANY different types of diapers to choose from. We like the bumgenius 4.0′s. They are pocket diapers that are adjustable in size, so they will fit your baby until they are potty trained. I, personally, would recommend the snap closure over the velcro, because the velcro will have to be replaced over time and it tends to stick to other things in the dryer.

Other than the actual diapers, you need a few other things…
  • A regular trash can with lid (See [previous post for picture)
  • A diaper pail liner (As I have metioned before, we use Wahmies brand)
  • Cloth friendly detergent (See diaper jungle’s detergent chart ) We use Rockin Green
  • Wool dryer balls (These are optional, but make your diapers dry faster, We use buddha bunz)
  • Wet bag or 2. These are great for the diaper bag. They are little waterproof bags with a zipper, used to store wet/dirty diapers when you arent around your diaper pail. We have 2 Wahmies brand bags. A Medium one that goes in the diaper bag, and an all day bag that we keep in the nursery.
  • 12-16 cloth wipes. You can buy these or make your own really easily. (Or you can purchase some from my etsy store) I also like Thirsties wipes. My husband wanted to stick to the disposable wipes for the longest time, but if you cloth diaper and use disposable wipes, you not only have to have a diaper pail by your changing table, but a trash can as well. And you end up washing a few and having to pick them off of your diapers. Much easier to just use cloth. All you do is wet them with a spray bottle of water or wipe solution (more on this later)
  • A spray bottle for your wipe solution
  • Wipe solution drops …Used to make your own wipe solution, not neccessary but helpful. We like Baby Bum drops. But you can also use plain water or make your own solution with essential oils. I will post some recipes for this later.
  • A travel wipe case (You can get these for like $2 at walmart. or you can purchase a covered one from me in my Etsy shop) This is used to carry pre moistened wipes for on the go.
  • A cloth diaper friendly diaper rash cream. Although babies who are cloth diapered dont usually get diaper rash, sometimes they will get a little chaffing. And you absolutely cannot use desitin or any other zinc based rash cream with cloth diapers. They will cause your diapers to repel. We like Grandma Els (which you can get at Babies R us)  and Cj’s butter.
And thats it! It may seem like a lot, but you probably already have most of these things around your house. The biggest investment is the diapers. But it is SO worth it! and if you decide for some reason that you dont like them, you can always resell them on Ebay. Used diapers go for almost as much as new ones :)

Gettin' the Stink Out (Our Cloth Diaper Laundry Routine)

How to wash cloth diapers is one of the questions I get asked most frequently. People are fascinated withh why you would want to put poo diapers in your washingmachine. But really, its not that bad.
When a baby is exclusively breast or bottle fed, the poo is water soluable and you can just put the diaper right in the washhing machine. When you start to introduce solids (Cereals, baby food, etc), you need to get the mess off before you wash it.

There are 3 ways to do this.:
1.) You can get biodegradeable inserts which come in a roll of 100 for like 5bucks
2.) You can "swish" the diaper around in the toilet until the solid mess comes off OR
3.) you can get a diaper sprayer (right)) which attaches to your toilet that sprays the mess off. (This is what we do)

So every time my little guy goes #2, I just go to the bathroom and spray the mess off before I put it in the diaper pail. Not too bad. The pee diapers can go right in the pail. You dont need an expensive diaper genie or pail, we use just a plain ol’ trash can with a pail liner in it (left). We use Wahmies brand. I have about 24 diapers and I do laundry every 2-3 days. You dont have to use an expensive detergent, but you do have to use one free of enzymes, brighteners, fabric softeners dyes and most fragrance. The Diaper Jungle has a great chart that tells you which ones are the best to use. View it at We use Rockin Green soap. We only need about a tablespoon because we have a high effieciency machine, so 1 bag lasts us a while. The first thing I do is put on a pair of rubber gloves and take all the diapers out of the pail. We use pocket diapers (which means they have little inserts that come out) so i take them apart while I am putting them in the washer. (although most of them would come apart in the wash, anyway). I run a cold wash/cold rinse cycle eithout detergent to rinse all the mess off. You can add a little vinegar in this pre wash cycle if you want to help prevent ammonia buildup. Then I run a hot cycle with 1-2 tbs of my Rockin green soap and an extra rinse. …and thats it. I throw them in the dryer (You dont have to line dry modern diapers) with a few dryer balls and I am done. NEVER use fabric softeners with your cloth dipes as it causes them to repel water and leak. Sometimes I have a few that stain a little bit and I put them on a drying rack outside, and the sun bleaches the stains out. I did this today. It really works.

The biggest problem I have ran across cloth diapering is ammonia issues. Urine has ammonia in it and if you dont “Strip” your diapers once in a while it can build up and cause them to be really stinky. To prevent this, I bleach my inserts once a month. We use 7th generation free and clear (without chlorine), but you can use any bleach. And then I rinse them usually twice to make sure to get the bleach out. If i still get stink issues, I just soak the diapers overnight in my Rockin green and run several hot washes. You can also use plain ol blue Dawn dishsoap and rinse rinse rinse until there are no more bubbles in the wash.
It all sounds really complicated, but once you get the hang of it, its not too bad. And with the money you save, the extra effort is WAY worth it.

Why Cloth Diapers?

Since the moment I found out I was pregnant, I knew I wanted the absolute very best of everything for my baby. We already used natural cleaning products and ate some organic vegetables, but that was about the extent of our green-ness. I never gave much thought about the products that we consumed, but all of a sudden it seemed so important. So… my entire pregnancy was spent obsessing over which products were the best for our little guy.

I spent hours upon hours on the internet researching which brands of diapers were the best and which line of baby skin care had the least amount of chemicals in it. (Johnsons has formaldehyde in it! Did you know THAT?) As I was scanning the internet, I stumbled across various articles about cloth diapering but didnt really give it much thought until I went to register for my baby shower. As I was registering for diapers, I stumbled across a package of Gdiapers. They were so stinkin cute! and they came with these little disposable inserts you could flush down the toilet. As I was showing them to my mom and my best friend, a complete stranger came up behind me with a shopping cart full of disposbales and told me not to waste my time with cloth diapers, and that it would get old really quick. But I LOVED the cloth diapers and could already imagine my little man crawling around the house with the little Gpants on his bum. But after I did a little calculating, I realized that by the time I bought the Gpants and the disposable liners to go in them, I would be spending way more money than if I were to just by Pampers. But the GDiapers had another, more budget friendly option, as well. You could buy cloth pads to insert into the diapers that you washed after every use! I had a million questions..What do you do with the poo? How long would they last? How do you wash them? Are they sanitary? Wouldnt they stink?

So, I researched some more. As it turns out, there are tons of cloth diapering options and cloth diapering is really good for your baby. No nasty chemicals or chlorine that you get from the disposable kind…. and they get less diaper rash. Plus, there is the added bonus that I would save a TON of money and wouldnt have to buy packages and packages of diapers that would end up in the landfill. I was sold. I knew I wanted to cloth diaper! 

Since then, I have learned a lot about cloth diapering and parenting in general and I thought this blog would be the perfect place to share my newfound expertise… lol…I am not an expert by any means, but I have been asked by a lot of curious women about how and why I cloth diaper because it is so rare these days. I do not know a single person besides me who cloth diapers. Most of the people in my life were not very supportive of it from the beginning, either, but once they found out how easy it was, even my husband got on board. My son is now 4 1/2 months old and we have been using cloth since his little butt could fit his bumgenius 4.0′s. I hope to share through this blog what I have learned, through a lot of trial and error, about cloth diapering, parenting, and much more…I  hope you enjoy it :)