I recently answered this question on my personal blog and thought I would share it here.
It is obviously not a be all end all tutorial by any means. But cloth diapering interests many,and can be very overwhelming initially. There are so many terms and abbreviations to figure out. This a simple overview of what you would basically need to get started.
Q: “I’d loooove to use cloth with my next baby (I think all the mummy blogs I follow have persuaded me!). Can you pleeeaaasssee give me a brief outline on what I’d need and how you manage with babysitters and on day trips?”
To start out you would need about 24 diapers. I find the easiest to use are pocket diapers which is the diaper part,and an absorbent insert you stuff it with ( this is personal preference,lots of people like prefolds/fitted and covers). Then you would have to choose a detergent that works for you,if you google “cloth diaper friendly detergent list” it will give you plenty to choose from-you want to avoid brighteners,bleaches and fabric softeners. It will take some playing around but you will find a good wash routine– I like to use 1/4 cup of vinegar in mine.You will also want a wetbag to store dirty diapers in,and mini size can be bought to put in your diaper bag.Great inexpensive bundles can be bought for under 200$,alva and kawaii diaper bundles are great to build up with,and often include a wetbag in the package. Then you will want a cloth diaper friendly diaper cream. You want to avoid white creams or pastes that may contain zinc,or petroleum . Again you can search these on google and find one you like,popular ones are virgin unrefined coconut oil,and live clean non-petroleum jelly that can both be bought commercially,but there are plenty of homemade recipes too.
As far as sitters,I bought some aplix ( also known as velcro,or hook&loop diapers depending on the brand) ,they essentially close the same as a disposable,I pre stuff them and all my sitters have no trouble at all with them. Going out has never been an issue,I just change him every 2-4 hours just like anybody would change their baby.
As a new parent you discover you spend a lot of time soothing your baby to sleep. You start to learn what works best whether it be a special blanket,a certain way to hold them,or where they like to sleep. But one thing most babies have in common is that music is a huge factor in calming them to sleep. The trouble with that is,like everything else some things work better than others. Suddenly you find yourself listening to “twinkle twinkle little star” the 2 hour edition for the 10th night in a row and its ringing in your ears the next day.
When I was expecting I went in search of a solution to this problem,and I came across Rockabye baby! lullaby renditions of baby’s favourite rock bands.I purchased The Tragically hip and The Ramones albums. These are amazing!! It gives you the strangest sensation, the same sweet familiar tunes,yet softened down with some whimsy added for baby. I no longer feel I am losing my mind,and it even passes the time rocking baby when you try to remember the lyrics in your head.
Product review 9/10. I would recommend this to any new parent,or even parents to toddlers and older children.
I am so amazed by my little guy. Nearly a month has passed since these pictures and he has grown in leaps and bounds since! He can roll back to front AND front to back now. He can sit up in seats with backs and hold his head up. He can grab his toys with both hands,and is getting more and more interactive with the world around him.
As a new mother,and especially as a young mother I get asked this question a lot.
Is it what I expected? Yes. I am as busy as I thought I would be,my house is as messy as I anticipated,my living room looks like a day care like I figured it would. I prepared myself for the sleepless nights-which I actually have less of than I thought I would. I prepared myself for the endless diaper changes,wardrobe changes,mountains of laundry. I got as ready as I could. I had experience with babies and newborns before having my son. I knew there would be times he would cry,even if he was fed,if his diaper was clean,he was warm,and being held,and he does. I guess because I am young,people assume I hadn’t anticipated any of this. I didn’t go into this with my eyes shut.
But is it what I expected?No,I never expected to love someone so much from the moment I met them. I never thought I would my child so well,yet not understand this perfect stranger. Nobody can prepare you for the love you feel from the moment you meet them. No,I didn’t think the first month of breastfeeding would be so hard,or that I would break down and cry in my mothers arms when he was 3 days old and still wouldn’t latch. No I didn’t think I would have to try 5 different bottles before I found one that he will occasionally take without freaking out- of course it is one of the most expensive bottles on the market at that. No,I didn’t know it would make me love my partner a thousand times more when I look at my son and see my partners nose on his face. No,I didn’t know we would be awake at 6am as a family together trying to make our baby smile,because there is nothing more special then seeing his face light up no matter how tired you are,or what time of day it is.
I wonder sometimes,if the people that ask me are mothers themselves. Because if they are, what are they expecting as an answer. Do they want me to say I’m in over my head,or overwhelmed. I never know what to answer,because if I say “no” they assume I mean the hard stuff,like getting puked on at 3 am and having to do a full bed change. But I mean “no,because how could one ever expect to feel a love you can’t understand before you have children”
To celebrate his 3 months birthday my child blessed me with sleeping through the night ( just for the one night of course!). But I am very lucky to have a good nighttime sleeper so far.
Noah is starting to develop his own personality,and it is amazing to see how grow ,learn and react to things everyday. It is funny the traits children can inherit from their parents. Noah and his Daddy both hate to wait,and they both have to take their pants and socks off as soon as they come home.
Noah is getting more and more interactive,as he is starting to grab for toys,notice things across the room ,and he can sit in his jumperoo and exersaucer for short amounts of time. He recognizes people now, if he see’s you enough. His favourite people other than Mommy and Daddy are Nanny Fay and Auntie Jill. His face lights up when he see’s them.
He is still 100% breastfed,and at this point he is back to hating all bottles. So I tend not to leave him for more than 2 hours at a time ( which isn’t hard to do since,I miss him after an hour). He loves baths,and clean diapers. His favourite toy is a lamaze brand taggy panda with a bell in it,that we call “Mr. Panda”.
He still wears 3-6 month clothes ( I say still since he has been in them since he was 7 weeks old,even though he is only now 3 months) and is still in size 2 diapers. I think he will stay this size for a little while. I am hoping for the summer since most of the summer clothes I have for him are 3-6,and the 6-9 clothes are more fall appropriate.
Truth be told. I considering myself a lazy parent. I research things as they become concerns,I do things to make my life easier. Of course I want whats best for my child,and I would never risk putting him in danger for my convenience. But yes,he will watch tv as a toddler sometimes so I can get dinner cooked. He may not have all wooden toys,or do Montessori learning activities everyday. He will probably drink cows milk ( I’ll research it as it becomes relevant). He loves his pacifier,and he likes toys that light up.
That being said I do have some pretty set in stone opinions about how we will raise him.
I commit to helping to helping him learn and discover at least one thing per day. Some days that will mean a trip to a museum,other days it will be helping him complete a puzzle,or simply reading a book with him.
I will not circumcise any sons I have. I am not “against” people who make this choice for their children,I just don’t feel right taking the choice away from him. Likewise I will not pierce my children’s ears without their permission.
I will not baptise or christen my children. Like the previous statement,I believe that properly educating and exposing my children to various religions will allow them to make the right choices for themselves on the matter.
He is vaccinated. Myself along with other family members work in the public healthy system. Many family members work in the public school system,many people in his life travel internationally. For me the ethical reasons against vaccinations aside it makes sense to vaccinate him with the risk of exposure to illness so high.
Heres where things get “lazy”:
I plan to breastfeed at least until 1 year,and hopefully pump milk a few more months after that for him to drink. My body makes food for him,and I am lucky its in abundance,why not use it! We had to bottle feed one night when I ate something that didn’t agree with his tummy,and let me tell you waking up at 2 am and going out to the kitchen half asleep is not for me. I didn’t even manage to put the lid on the bottle right the first time and lost 3/4 of his meal all over myself.
We cosleep part of the night. Why? Because I breastfeed in bed when he wakes up,and the easiest way to get a baby back to sleep is cuddling. Am I scared I’ll squish him,or he’ll roll out of bed? No,because I sleep with my arm around him. Also I am a very light sleeper,and wake up when he sighs loudly.
Right now we use disposable diapers. We got 2000 at my baby showers and a diaper party we hosted. So thats what he use. When we run out,we will most likely switch to cloth diapers and wipes. Because its cheaper then running to the store once a week,water is included in our rent and I’m going to wash them in the bathtub. That being said,I am not “against” disposable diaper’s,nor am I committed to cloth diapering. We will probably still have disposables for babysitters,or when we really just can’t be miffed to use cloth for a few days.
I baby wear Because we have a small boot in our car,we live on the second floor of our building and we can’t be bothered to haul a pram up and down every time we want to go to the shops. Not to mention he stays asleep far longer on my chest then in his pram any ways.
My kids will go to public school. I will research and decide which school in the area is best. I am not equipped to teach my children full time,and honestly I enjoy the job I have. I think the social interaction of public school is beneficial. That being said,I will not rely on the school system to teach him everything he needs to know and will certainly educate him outside of school hours.
I plan to introduce a combination of puree’s and soft foods starting at six months. I plan for all his first foods to be organic and when possible local,and of course natural REAL food. That being said,I’m sure he will get his first taste of dairy queen by a year old,I’m betting I’ll accidentally get him hooked on cheesies at some point and when his Dad cooks for him it will probably include frequent trips to fast food joints.
This was Noahs newborn photo session. I am so glad I got professional pictures ( done by the same girls who did my maternity photoshoot) ,I got a “grow with me” package so they will be back for 3,6 and 1 year pictures.
Noah will be one month old on Tuesday. I thought I would do a list of my top 5 most useful items my first month of motherhood. Maybe it will help someone else out during this transition. So here goes :
A nipple shield: before I got pregnant I had never even heard of this,and to be honest when my nurse first suggested it to me I didn’t understand how it worked. I thought breastfeeding was simple,put the babe to your breast and nature takes its course. A shield basically extends your nipple if they are too short and baby is having difficulty latching. If you are committed to breastfeeding like I am,and having a difficult time this is a life saver! Some women only need to use them for a week or two,and others for months. Breastfeeding can be hard,and its things like this that nobody warns you about.
A nursing pillow: Huge help! Saves your back,allows you to position baby for feeding in numerous different ways ( typical,football,etc)I recommend getting one with a washable cover as things can get pretty messy during feeding ( always keep a burp blanket nearby to catch dribbles). Even if you aren’t breastfeeding,this pillow is great to support baby during feedings, my partner even uses it during bottle feedings for our son.
Tank tops: specifically ones with “built in bra’s”,they seemed stupid to me before,its not like they offer enough support to practically work out in. But as a new mom they are a wardrobe staple. Its easy to pull them down to breastfeeding,they can be worn under another shirt so you are covered when you pull it up to feed. The most important plus is that when breastfeeding they allow you to go to bed without a bra on as the elastic under your breast will hold nursing pads in place so you don’t wake up drenched.
Music : I think we had baby trained in the womb on this one. 90% of the time if he is fussing and it isn’t hunger,gas or a dirty diaper music will soothe him. We have a stereo in nearly every room,and have bought a few cds of our favourite musicians in lullaby renditions. For being so young,he has a pretty distinguished sense of music. He lets us know when he doesn’t like the song playing. Another advantage of having a baby that enjoys music and will fall asleep is they are less noise sensitive Noah sleeps through dogs barking,doorbells ringing etc,so we don’t have to worry about tip toeing around.
Caffeine: This one is a no-brainer. Im sure you hear from every new mom what a godsend a good cup of coffee is.
Itzbeen baby care timer: We received this as a gift from another new mom. I thank her for passing on this piece of wisdom. You are so brain fried during the first weeks it gives you one less thing to remember.
Bouncy/Vibrating chair: Sometimes you have to put baby down,and a little vibration or bounce can often fool them for a few minutes into thinking they are still being held,or maybe it reminds them of being in the womb. Either way,its always a blessing when baby decides to take an afternoon nap somewhere other then mommy’s chest. .