Friday, December 23, 2011

Merry Christmas!

This was scheduled to be posted December 23rd, but somehow it didn't and I never noticed.  Hope everyone had a Merry Christmas!  I'll post a Christmas follow-up soon I swear!

This year will be a big year for visiting family during the holidays.  Our Christmas celebrations started last weekend with Matt's grandma and a party out of town with our friends from college.  When we were celebrating with Matt's grandma, we got to participate in a Polish tradition of breaking of the bread.  The wafers are similar in consistency to communion wafers.  We each got a wafer and then went around the room breaking pieces off of each other's wafers while we exchanged well-wishes for the holidays and upcoming year!  It was a very neat tradition in which to participate and we might keep it up each year... it is something that they did with extended family when Matt was younger but haven't done in years.

Jack holding his youngest cousin, Evan.

Jack, Evan and Christopher... they're all making strange faces but at least their eyes are open!

Matt with our youngest nephew and Christopher!

Jack giving his great-grandma (Busie, a Polish nickname for grandma) a kiss!

My sister-in-law with her son Evan and me holding Christopher... both babies were all tuckered out!
Actually the celebrations started with Jack's Christmas program and party at school.  Of course we have decorated our tree too!

Matt with the boys while Jack enjoys snacks at his Christmas party!

Jack putting one of his snowman ornaments on our tree!

Getting to put the angel topper on our tree!


My company does a childrens' holiday party every year... definitely beats the lines at the mall to see Santa!  Mommy had to be in the picture because Jack wasn't so sure about Santa.  Santa also appears to have never held a baby before...
We continue into this weekend with a day trip to Indiana to celebrate with my Mom's side of the family; all of my cousins will be in town which is quite the accomplishment considering 1 lives internationally and 2 more live out west!  Christmas day will be jam packed as well waking up at home then going just across town to my in-laws' and my parents' homes. 

This is Jack enjoying the train that goes around my parents' Christmas tree.
The day after Christmas I'll be headed on a couple hour trip with the boys to visit with my dad's side of the family, unfortunately Matt has to work.

How are you celebrating this Christmas season?

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Yet Another Sweet Math Video

Thanks to those awesome teachers at Westerville South High School!  Enjoy!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Cloth Diaper Covers for a Newborn

There are about as many options out there for cloth diaper covers as the actual diapers themselves... maybe even more!  Diaper covers are extremely simplistic in my opinion and our the experience with all of the ones we have has been a positive one.  Here are the diaper covers we've tried.

Bummis Super Brite Newborn Cover
These are the smallest covers we have and they worked fine over every fitted diaper we have when the umbilical snap-down was used.  They have a notch for the umbilical stump which easily fit under the belly button.  Once we no longer needed to snap that part down they didn't fit any more.  I continued to use them after the umbilical stump had fallen off but it wasn't quite healed.  These are a PUL simple cover that works well on smaller babies.

Final verdict: A couple of these will probably stick around for the next baby, but since they only last for the first few weeks maybe one or two would do.  I do have other diaper covers that I prefer.

Thirsties XS Diaper Cover
These are another basic PUL diaper cover and the only difference between this cover and the next is the fact that this cover does not have an adjustable rise.  It has double leg gussets which is huge benefit for diapering an exclusively breastfed baby.  There is also a small notch for the umbilical stump similar to the Bummis cover, but this cover is slightly larger than the Bummis so it rubbed on the stump for Christopher.  This cover only comes in aplix which is perfect for getting the fit needed.  This cover still works after we stopped using the snap down on the fitted diapers.  I do like that this cover has elastic at the top of the front, great for little boys and/or tummy sleepers.

Final verdict: We will keep this cover because it works during most of the newborn period and it has the double gussets!

Thirsties Duo Diaper Cover (Size 1)
Just like the Thirsties XS cover this cover has the double gussets.  The only difference is that this cover has a snap down rise and should fit a larger baby.  We have this cover in snap closure but it also comes in aplix.  We have not had an issue getting a good fit around Christopher, but having aplix would allow for a tighter fit in most cases.  Christopher is still using this cover with the rise snapped down so I am sure we will be able to use this for a decent amount of time!  Again, this also has the elastic top which is nice for little boys & tummy sleepers.

Final verdict: We will keep this cover because it works over a longer period of time and it has the double gussets.  I might get one in aplix closure in the future.

Rumparooz Newborn Diaper Cover
Just like the Thirsties Duo cover this cover has a snap down rise, but it has an additional row of snaps than the Duo.  Because of the extra flexibility in rise, I think it would fit a smaller baby just fine, but we didn't buy this until after Christopher was born so I can not speak to how it would do with the umbilical stump.  Like the Thirsties covers, this cover has the elastic at the top of the front.

I have two of these in aplix closures, but it also comes in snaps.  Rumparooz also has a great range of colors and prints.  If you're using cloth diapers might as well have some fun with it!

Final verdict:  We will keep this cover because it works over a longer period of time and it has the double gussets.

Sustainablebabyish XS Wool Cover and LongiesI really wanted to try wool covers with this baby and when you start reading about wool in the cloth diapering word the number 1 brand I kept reading great things about was Sustainablebabyish (a.k.a. Sloomb a.k.a. Sbish).  Wool covers are expensive in general, but just as using a coupon code with the fitted diapers I used it on their wool as well.

The wool pieces I ordered were so thick and comfy!  I lanolized these pieces (which is really a simple process after you do it once) before Christopher was born.  I was definitely skeptical of wool making a good cover and it really is an amazing cover.  Christopher has used this cover over a diaper all night without a single leak!

The downside to using these covers is that it is a stand alone piece, you should not use them under clothes.  The longies are just pants that would be used instead of other pants.  The inseam of the longies we have is pretty long and Christopher's feet still don't stick out of the bottom of them.  The waist is pretty stretchy so we will continue to try to use these longer.  It is very difficult, in my experience, to find shirts in a newborn or 0-3 month sizes, most of what is out there are onsies, so the benefit might be lost in the smaller newborn size (at least for daytime use).  The cover can be used under a gown, because it would not cause any compression of the wool which can lead to leakage.

There is a bit more maintenance and special care necessary for wool, but it is well worth it.  Wool only needs to be washed if they are soiled (i.e. by poo) or every couple weeks to wash and re-lanolize them.  I just turn them inside out to let them dry and air out between uses when they don't need to be washed.

Final verdict:  I will definitely be keeping these pieces for future babies.  They have washed and worn very well and they will continue to be in good shape.  Another big benefit is that if these are kept in good shape the resale value can be very high when I am ready to get rid of them.

Hope you've enjoyed my series on cloth diapering a newborn!  Feel free to comment or email with any questions about our experience through these

Friday, December 16, 2011

Fitted Diapers

A fitted diaper with a cover is by far and away my favorite newborn diapering option.  The fitted diaper keeps the poo off the covers (most of the time) so are almost guaranteed the ability to air out & reuse the cover once or twice before having to wash it.  We have a number of different fitted diapers and covers in our "stash" so I'll provide you with those details.

Goodmama Newborn
These diapers are one of my favorites with lots of positives and only a few bad things about these diapers.  I only have two and I like them a lot!  First negative, and the reason why I only have two, is the fact that they are so darn expensive!  I kind of hated spending the money on these two initially, but I'm glad I did.  These diapers all come in snaps (with a snap down for the umbilical stump), but what I found strange is that the two diapers I purchased, the snap configuration is slightly different between them.  That being said, I've never had any issues getting a good fit on Christopher so I would not say it is a deal breaker (at least for us), it is just strange.  Also, the two diapers I have do not have a cross-over snap option for skinny babies, but I think they diaper gets pretty skinny without that possibility.

The extra inserts that come with this diaper just lie in the diaper, they do not snap in like the Sustainablebabyish fitted diapers.  It isn't necessarily a good or bad thing.  They have potential to shift, which would not be good, but they also can be positioned in whatever way you need (i.e. since I have a little boy more towards the front) and you can use either one or both.  We typically used both layers of inserts and the absorbency was perfect for 2-3 hours between changes (and probably longer), but I feel like Christopher is more of a heavy wetter than I expected.  Some mom's swear you can use these diapers around the house without a cover so baby's bum could breathe a bit more but I don't think I would've been that brave (and I have a toddler to distract me from changing the baby as soon as the diaper is damp on the outside).  I would not personally recommend using this diaper without at least one of the extra inserts because this diaper does have exposed plastic from the backside of some of the snaps uses on the front.

The two diapers I purchased have velor against baby's skin and it has stayed so very soft... I think it has to be the most comfortable fitted diaper for Christopher.  That is just a guess based on what I'd want wrapped around my legs.  Again, not a big deal (especially because you have to cover these for the waterproof layer) the prints and colors available are adorable!  I kept hearing different things about these diapers selling out, but it tends to be the larger one-size diapers in crazy prints that sell out quickly for those who collect.  Since I was not picky on colors or pattern I ordered and received them quickly.  As far as sizing, they say they fit up to 12 pounds... They are currently still fitting Christopher and he is around 12 pounds and I think they will last us a bit longer.

Final verdict: We'll definitely be keeping these and I might order a few more for the next baby (when that time comes).

Sustainablebabyish XS Organic Bamboo Fitted
Most of what you can read about this diaper they use words like "bullet proof" in the description and they are certainly correct.  We've never even used the doublers that come with these diapers and they have lasted all night on Christopher.  I only have two negative things I can say about these diapers.  The fact that you have to use the thicker (double layer) insert to snap in, instead of having the option to just do a single layer (like the doubler that comes with the diaper).  Also, after 6 weeks of using and washing these diapers, they become stiff!  I am currently trying to strip them and hopefully get the softness back.  Some users of these diapers would even recommend a special fabric softener to get the softness back without affecting absorbency, but I am not sure if I want to go there yet.  Oh, and these diapers stain really easily which is pretty standard for a "natural fiber" diaper!  Being that it is winter I haven't had a chance to sun our diapers but I am hoping this takes care of the stains.  The stains are not a big deal to me because I know they're clean, but if I ever want to sell them I would like to get the stains out.

The size chart on the website says that the extra small fits until 11 pounds.  Christopher is about 12 pounds and these still fit him... barely.  They are definitely pretty snug at this point!  When I drafted this they still fit him, but they do not fit him anymore.  We're also running out of room on the snaps, so they are definitely true to their sizing.  The XS is the only size with the snap down for the umbilical stump otherwise I might have ventured into only the small size.  These only come with snaps, but there is the crossover snapping option if you have a super skinny baby.

These are another pricey diaper, but not quite as pricey as the Goodmama diapers.  The mom who runs this company almost always has a coupon out there for about 10% off and I actually ordered these diapers over a holiday weekend where it was buy 4 get 1 free.  Also, to get these diapers you have two choices 1) preorder months in advance of your need (ship dates are usually a month or two out from when you place your order) or 2) buy used from another mom (which is a great option for all newborn diapers since they aren't used too much).

Final Verdict: I will definitely keep some of these diapers... I might sell a couple because I don't think we need that many of these diapers, or I might not.  I am really holding out hope that I can get them to soften back up for a future baby!

Green Mountain/Clotheez Workhorse Diaper (size small)
If it weren't for this diaper I would have been a believer that when it comes to newborn cloth diapers you get what you pay for... but this fitted option is a very good choice for those who don't want to deal with prefolds (or have helpers who don't want to) but need something economical.  Naming it a "workhorse" diaper couldn't be more accurate!  It is essentially prefold fabric that is sewn into a fitted diaper.  The small (and all bigger sizes) have a built in doubled layer in the middle that is stitched on one side but is just a flap for easier drying.  Because it is essentially prefold fabric I would not say they're great for going longer stretches but they are great during the day!  What is interesting about this diaper is that you can order it with snaps or without (which is slightly less expensive).  If you get it without you would need to use pins or a Snappi to fit it around the diaper.  We have two with snaps in small (I also purchased a few medium for the future and a few in a XL for Jack), but I think I would be open to having some more without snaps to get a more "custom" fit on a baby next time.  Not a huge deal because these need a cover to go over them.

The extra-small has a snap down for the umbilical cord and doesn't have the extra layer or absorbency, but I have not tried these.  You can order a doubler for the newborn but it isn't sewn in like the larger sizes.  I ordered the smalls because the weight guideline starts at 9 pounds and I figured it wouldn't be long before my baby was that big (that was before I had a 6 1/2 pound baby).

I don't think we've ever had poo leak from these on to a cover, and they do not seem to be holding any stains.  The weight limit for the small says it can go up to 15 pounds and Christopher is definitely still able to fit into these.

Final verdict: I will definitely be keeping these and hopefully ordering more in this and different sizes.  The price and function simply can not be beat!

Thirsties Duo Fab Fitted
We really like this diaper!  It has an adjustable rise (similar to the way a pocket diaper can have) to fit bigger and smaller babies.  When snapped all the way down in the rise it easily fit under the umbilical stump for Christopher.  The absorbent center is only sewn in select spots so that they can dry quicker and it can also be stuffed with extra absorbency (i.e. a hemp insert) when baby needs it.  They have a stay dry lining against baby which is a big plus for a baby (*cough*Christopher*cough*) would really does not like being wet!  This diaper is very soft and has continued to wash well and I'm sure it feels nice when stretched around Christopher's legs.

The absorbency of this diaper alone is plenty during the day for a couple of hours.  I'm sure that if a hemp insert was added it would be great for an older baby or overnight.  My only issue with the absorbency is that this is microfiber... which tends to have issues with stink more often.  Luckily newborn diapers are not used as long as one-size diapers so hopefully that does not become an issue. 

We have two of these diapers in snap closures, but it also comes with the option of velcro.  I just went with snaps for increased lifespan for future kids (and avoiding of the diaper chain issue).  The snaps do have the cross-over snapping option for the skinny babies.

Final verdict:  We will be keeping these diapers and will possibly get one or two more in the future.  I hope they last us for a while on Christopher as the weight limit goes up to 18 pounds!

Kissaluvs Size 0
This is a diaper that most people talk about for newborns and I bought a couple.  I'm simply not impressed.  It works but it is just ok.  It has the umbilical snap down which is key for newborns, but the other snap configurations seem kind of strange to me.  I have never had any issues getting a fit around Christopher though. 

The absorbency of this diaper is probably the worst of all the diapers we have for pee, but we have had very few leaks (on to the cover) of poo.  Christopher soaks through it in about 30 minutes.  Maybe that's just dumb luck because we always change him around feeding (either before or after), but because he is so sensitive to feeling wet he's never in this diaper long.  The inside of the diaper also has exposed backs of snaps which I personally do not want against my baby.  They're smooth so I doubt they cause any pain, but I'd just rather fabric against his skin.  I'm sure this could be rectified by using a fleece liner between baby and the diaper, which would also help avoid the wet feeling but would not add absorbency.  Also, they have gotten a bit rough and stiffer with washing and wearing so I doubt they are as comfortable as they were when we first bought them.  I am hoping that stripping them will help that issue because these were super soft when I first bought them.

Final verdict: I plan on selling these at the swap at the local store we go to... they simply do not work for us.

Very Baby XS
These are easily the teeny tiniest little fitted diapers I have ever seen!  Oh, they are so cute!  These diapers were actually purchased used at the local swap sale but besides the outside fabric being a bit faded from washing they are in perfect condition.  They have a  snap in booster (that you have to use because otherwise you would have the male end of a snap against baby) which is lined with velor.  Well, the entire inside of the diaper is lined with velor.  The absorbency was great for day-time diaper changes and only felt soaked if we went too long between diaper changes.

The fabrics used may vary with where you purchase this diaper though because Very Cutey actually only sells the pattern and lists manufacturers/sellers on their website; a couple I checked out are on Etsy.  The pattern they sell has a variety of options for closure (i.e. front snapping versus side snapping or aplix) but I have ones that are turned & top-stitched with front snapping closures.  This might lead to variability in quality and fabrics associated with this brand, but I am happy with the diapers we have.  They have the umbilical snap-down in the XS size that we have.  These diapers were the first ones of which Christopher outgrew even though the website says it goes up to 12 pounds, they did not last that long for us.  I am grateful that I purchased them even though they looked small because I ended up having a peanut of a baby!

Final verdict:  I will plan on keeping these in case of a smaller baby in the future.  Part of me wants to contact one of the Etsy shops to see if they would do the small size with the umbilical snap-down because other than it being so small these diapers worked great.

Sustainablebabyish Small Bamboo Terry Flats
Okay, this is not a fitted diaper... in fact it fits in better in the prefold post, but I forgot to put it in there.  Whoops!  I would also claim that this diaper is so easy to fit around baby that it might as well be a fitted... ha ha!  I actually purchased three of these used because I am looking for more natural fiber inserts for our pocket diapers to get rid of the microfiber stink issues, but I digress.  I also have some in the medium size I purchased brand new but have not used yet.

These are super soft and even though they are called flats, you do not have to fold the the flat in crazy configurations in order to add absorbency.  It can just be folded around baby just like a prefold.  I have had far better luck with these as opposed to cotton prefolds because 1) they're bigger then the prefolds I personally bought and 2) these have stretch to them that really help me get a tight fit around baby and his legs.  I use a Snappi to secure them and it grips the fabric really well.  These are also a really good size for trifolding stuffing in one-size pocket diapers.  They are on the pricey end for a flat or prefold or even for pocket inserts, but they hold a lot of moisture and are easy to use!  These are still a cheaper option, especially if buying used, then going with all pockets or all-in-one diapers.

Final verdict: I will definitely be keeping these and may order more for inserts in our one-size diapers if we keep having stink issue with microfiber.

Stay tuned for the next post on diaper covers we have used!  If you have any questions on this or any of my other posts on cloth diapering, feel free to leave a comment below or email me so I can answer it for you!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Pocket/All-in-One Diapers - Part 2

Now on to the newborn pocket diapers that we have tried.  As I explained in my previous post, these have very similar pros and cons as their larger counter parts, but I am focused more on the specific diapers we tried on Christopher.

FuzziBunz XS
We have the ones with aplix closures and if it weren't for that these might be our favorite pocket newborn diaper.  You may be wondering, why didn't you just get the ones with snaps... well, its because I'm cheap and I got most of them on sale or for free.  Okay, okay that's not the only reason... I also wanted to like this one because I prefer aplix for getting a more custom fit.  I kept reading that getting a custom fit was key in cloth diapering a newborn, so I really wanted these to work. 

And they do... until you do laundry.  Even my sweet, mild-mannered husband told me he hated the velcro on these diapers.  It is a very frustrating situation when you fold them over onto the non-existent laundry tabs to prevent the dreaded "diaper chain" when pulling diapers out of the washer.  Well, not only is the diaper chain not prevented it becomes even more frustrating when you try to unstick them and it is so hard to unstick these tabs.  You would think that if they are so hard to unstick from their quasi-laundry tabs they would not wreak such havoc by creating the chain.  It is quite the conundrum.

The absorbency is good (although it only comes with one insert) and, as with all pockets, you can add hemp or another type of insert for more absorbency if needed. The fit is good, once you get past the sticky aplix, but we didn't use these when Christopher still had his umbilical cord stump so I can not speak to how high the rise was (it looked too high to me which is why we didn't use it right away).

Final verdict: I am not sure if I will sell these at the next swap at our local store or try to get them converted to snaps. 

Happy Heinys Mini One-Size
Now, why it is called a "mini one-size" I understand, but it still seems kind of silly.  This is a newborn pocket diaper that has a snap down rise.  The adjustable rise allowed us to use this diaper when the umbilical stump was still on and we got a great fit!  Similar to the Lil Joey's, I feel like we went through a weird phase when the adjustable rise wasn't working for us.  Christopher must have been between rises, that is the only way I can explain why we went through a funky fit period. 

This one is slightly more bulky than the FuzziBunz, Tiny Tush and Lil Joey's, but I really like this diaper.  It does only come in aplix closure, but we did not always experience the diaper chain when washing (although it did occur a few times).  The cross-over tabs look very nice when you need to cross them over.  The thicker band/tabs always make me feel like diaper is on securely.  While not a big deal, I feel like a really nice aspect of Happy Heiny's are the fact that you have a lot of options in colors & patterns... if you like showing off a cloth diaper bum, these are a great option!  Ha ha!

Final verdict:  We will be keeping this one and I might order a couple more because they will fit Christopher as he gets bigger and not be as bulky as the one-size diapers we have.

Tiny Tush Elite Mini
These are the pocket diapers that we have had the least amount of time, but are one of my favorites so far.  Like the Happy Heiny these diapers have an adjustable rise, but it is far more adjustable by having more levels to snap down.  We never went down to the smallest rise, and I'm not sure if Christopher was ever small enough for it, but this diaper would easily fit a tiny baby.  Even on the second to smallest rise it was very trim on Christopher.  The reason I purchased these diapers a little later (he was about 2 weeks old) is because I quickly realized I am not a huge fan of trying to put these huge one-size pockets on him as a 10 pound baby... I wanted some options to last him until he was a little bigger and be trim.

It comes with a more unique microfiber insert which is flat and you fold it to insert it into the pocket.  I have not played around with it but it looks like you could fold it in half for longer coverage or into thirds (what we do).  As we get into higher rise settings we will probably move to folding it in half, but will likely need to add a hemp insert at that point to give more layers of absorbency.

We have some in snaps and some in aplix.  I like both closure options for different reasons.  The snaps wash & wear better (as with all cloth diapers with snaps), but the aplix gives a better fit and will likely last us longer as Christopher gets bigger.  The way the snaps are arranged (two across) will likely run out of room meaning one snap would be against his skin (which I am not ok with) if we try to go to wide.  My little guy has a big belly, so the aplix will allow us to use this diaper longer.  Also, the laundry tabs that are on these diapers (the ones with aplix closures) hold up really well.  So far, they have not caused any diaper chains!

Final verdict: We will be keeping these!

We also have one Thirsties Duo Size 1 diaper that I am currently prepping to be used for the first time.  We love these in the larger size so I am excited to try the size one version.  In my humble opinion, if you have boys and/or a tummy sleeper the Thirsties Duo diaper is great because of the front elastic!

Stay tuned for fitted diapers and Sustainablebabyish "flats"!  If you have any questions on this or any of my other posts on cloth diapering, feel free to leave a comment below or email me so I can answer it for you!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Pocket/All-in-One Newborn Diapers - Part 1

We have a variety of newborn AIO and pocket diapers... maybe too much of a variety, maybe not.  Overall these are our favorite for the sake of ease of use (Daddy and grandparent friendly... I do not mind any of our options but I have done all of the research.)  Pocket newborn diapers have the same pros v. cons as their one-size or sized counter parts in larger sizes. 
  • Easy to put on/take off of baby
  • Wash easily and dry quickly
  • Trim (relatively speaking)
  • Adjustable absorbency (you can add more to the pocket)
  • Putting them together after washing/drying (probably the most frustrating for the helpers I have around)
  • Not bullet-proof (we have had some leaks)
As far as all-in-ones go (we only had one type) I can say the same thing as far as being identical to their bigger/one-size counterparts.
  • Nothing to assemble
  • Easy to put on/take off baby
  • Trim
  • No adjusting absorbency (we used Lil Joey's by Rumparooz)
  • Extra time to dry
  • Not bullet-proof (we have had some leaks)
Now I will go through the brands and types that we've used.

Rumparooz Lil' Joeys AIO
This was the first type of cloth diaper Christopher ever wore (as we were leaving the hospital).  I have mixed feeling about this diaper honestly.  It fit him great when he was teeny, tiny (born at 6 1/2 pounds).  I am not crazy about the snap down part for the umbilical cord stump of this diaper, which is one of its big perks when you read about it.  When you snap it down the inside of the diaper is exposed and we experienced leaks if it wasn't changed frequently enough (and we were changing him every couple of hours).  I also have a theory that this is because we have a little boy and when he wets a diaper he wets the front, so there's less distance to travel to leak up the front.  Then Christopher experienced a somewhat awkward period when it came to the fit of this diaper and I just could not snap it in a configuration that worked for his big belly and chicken legs.  Now, I like the diaper again...

Biggest downside: not being able to add absorbency (i.e. a hemp insert) for overnight wear.  If you're listening Rumparooz folks: having an opening in the back to add absorbency would be a HUGE benefit!

As you can tell its a very hit or miss diaper for us.  You will also see that when you read other reviews; I couldn't quite understand the mixed reviews when I read them, until now.  I had these, and will keep them, because we have to have an all-in-one option in our house.

Final verdict: We will keep these and I might get two more for when the next baby is born.

GroVia Newborn All-in-One
This diaper came out this year and I thought "Great!  A new diaper for me to try!"  The design looked like a good one and I bought a couple for a gift for a friend who was having a baby.  I waited for her review and she said she was not crazy about them but mentioned that the fit wasn't great for her son.  These diapers in two colors went on sale (buy 2 get 1 free) so I went ahead and purchased three to try.

I am not crazy about these all-in-one diapers.  These diapers have a snap down rise (one row of snaps) which does allow for the diaper to fit under the umbilical stump.  When you snap it down I found that I needed to fold down the sewn in booster.  Not a big deal because folding down, and thus doubling the absorbency, in the front for a boy can only help.  This diaper definitely fits when baby's legs are chunkier.  When Christopher still had his newborn chicken legs we had several occurrences where poo ran out of the leg and down the leg of his clothes.  They have finally started to really fit and contain the poo when his legs chunked up, around 10 pounds or so, but because he has a bigger belly we're already running out of snaps around the waist. Also, at the leg and at the top of the diaper the absorbent cotton is somewhat exposed and it lead to a lot of wicking (of moisture) issues for us.

Final verdict: I will probably sell these, the limited use time for Christopher does not bode well because even if I have a bigger baby they probably wouldn't last long for us again.  They probably work better for a baby with thicker thighs and a tinier tummy.

Another AIO option that many people choose is the BumGenius XS All-in-One.  I chose not to purchase these because I'm not crazy about the ones we have in large for our son.  I love our BumGenius 4.0 pocket diapers, but their AIO (which is now discontinued in larger sizes) is not a favorite as far as how it has fared in our year and a half of use.

Stay tuned for the pocket diapers!  If you have any questions on this or any of my other posts on cloth diapering, feel free to leave a comment below or email me so I can answer it for you!

Monday, December 12, 2011

"Everyone's Favorite Newborn Diaper"

The prefold... the old-fashioned diaper everyone thinks of when you hear someone say they use cloth diapers.  Reading and doing a lot of research on cloth diapering a newborn it seemed like everyone said prefolds were a "must have".

Well, they really did not work for us.  It's not that they didn't actually work, only that we really did not like them.  We had a dozen of the preemie/newborn Bummis prefolds from the newborn pack.  I simply wasn't crazy about them (and never convinced my husband to use them).  Not to mention, at 2 weeks (~8 pounds) they definitely weren't able to fit around my son (and he was only 6 1/2 pounds at birth).  Maybe I chose the wrong size prefolds to use?

When they were too small to be snappied around Christopher, I tried the whole trifolding and laying it in a cover.  I don't know how anyone only uses 6 covers when using this method of newborn diapering.  Breastfed baby poo got on the cover every time.  Maybe I'm the "lazy" mom who did not want to wipe the cover clean... I wanted to drop it in the washer with the rest of the diapers.

One thing I have noticed about Christopher is that he is very sensitive to being wet (who wouldn't be?) and will definitely cry to be changed when he feels wet.  (This is different then Jack, but then again we used disposables and then went straight to cloth diapers with a stay-dry liner.)  The issue I noticed about prefolds was the fact that once he peed, the diaper was soaked and he was ready to be changed!

I am glad that we had them around for the times that other diapers were being washed or still drying, but they are definitely the last diaper to be grabbed for diaper changes in our house.  I think I will try to repurpose them as inserts into the one-size pocket diapers once we get into those for a trimmer insert (instead of using larger one-size inserts).

At an average of $1.34 each they are by far the least expensive part of our newborn diaper stash which is a huge benefit.  I can't say they don't work for others, but they are not our favorite option.

Stay tuned for posts on the pockets and all in one diapers!  If you have any questions on this or any of my other posts on cloth diapering, feel free to leave a comment below or email me so I can answer it for you!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Oh, Christmas Tree!

One of my favorite family traditions is having a fresh cut Christmas tree in the house!  We have a local Christmas tree farm that is only open one weekend a year.  It is a family operation and they always have a great selection!  Very excited to get our tree set-up and decorated, but here are the pictures from the Christmas tree excursion!

Our tree is right behind us... it's about 6 ft tall, which is kind of small, but our living room has been overcrowded with "enough" toys & gear for two boys!

Matt cut down the tree but then Jack wanted to help, so my sister held the tree up so Jack could help Daddy cut it down "again".  Jack's response after my sister let it fall... "Do it again!"  He's on to us...

My almost 2 1/2 year old little boy looks SO old wearing one of Daddy's winter hats... he must have a big head!

Baby bear Christopher all snuggled up in his little pram/coverall... he slept the whole time!  So snuggly!

My sister has come with us when we go to the tree farm... it's definitely helpful to have an extra set of hands when Jack is running around the field (that little guy is FAST)!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

The "Chrisfer" Song

Brought to you by one very silly big brother (complete with carseat dance)!

You can see my younger sister behind Jack joining in on the dance!

Diamond Candles Review Opportunity for Bloggers

I just went over to sign-up for a unique opportunity from A Family Full of Opinions to review a soy candle from Diamond Candles Company!  Here is some of the information they provided on the "Precious" candles:
Well, each candle harbors a ring valued anywhere from $10-$100-$500-$5000 each. It's anticipation that really gets you going! What kind of a ring am I going to unveil from the glittery pouch hidden inside the soy wax?
Diamond Candles Company is accepting 100 bloggers to participate in this event!  I think it would be a really fun opportunity to find out a surprise and offer a giveaway on my blog!  You can find more details and the link to sign up for the opportunity at A Family Full of Opinions

Disclaimer: I am writing this post advertising the blogging opportunity as it is required to participate.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Where does the time go?

Our baby boy is 1 month old... seriously?  When did that happen?  I thought time went quickly with Jack.

Today was his 1 month check-up.  He was 10 lbs and 22 inches long/tall... that's roughly a 3 1/2 pounds and 2 inches gained in a month!  Such a growing boy!

Yesterday, he rolled over from his tummy to his back!  I'm almost certain it was a bit of a fluke, but he has seemed motivated to move since the day he was born so maybe not!

Trying to catch the end of a smile... at least I'm pretty sure it was a smile at the nice frog that sings to him while he's sitting in the bouncy seat!

I'm 1 month old!  Like my sweet owl on my belly?

Here is Christopher with his teddy bear that Mommy, Daddy & big brother Jack made for him before he was born!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

I Wore my Turkey-Eating Pants

One major benefit of having a baby just 4 weeks before Thanksgiving... two words: maternity pants!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Cloth Diapering a Newborn - The 1st Month

Have we exclusively cloth diapered so far?  No... but we have definitely used cloth for the majority of the time Christopher has been with us.

We used the disposable diapers in the hospital and we had a "back-up" package of disposable newborn diapers at home (which were used sparingly when we miscalculated laundering/drying time).  Because we started cloth diapering after Jack was over a year old I had no idea how I we would handle the diaper laundry when we were going through 8-12 diapers a day for the baby, plus about 6 for our toddler, especially when I had no idea how my labor & delivery would go.  I don't outline any of this as an "excuse" but just as a way to explain that cloth diapering for us isn't an "all or nothing" situation... I am realistic to the situation where cloth might not fit in our lives.  Luckily, that wasn't the case at all... adjusting to two in cloth diapers has been pretty easy (as easy as adjusting to having two children can be).  I should say that my wonderful husband has been a huge support for this; just last weekend he had both boys in the living room while letting me get some sleep and he managed to catch up on all of the pocket diaper stuffing that had gotten away from me in a couple of days.

I posted a few months ago on our "complete" newborn cloth diaper stash.  Well, I may have added a couple of pocket diapers & covers since that post, but not many.  I'm going to try to give an overview of our experiences so far with cloth diapering a newborn over the next few days/weeks.

Overall, our experience has been great!  I wouldn't go so far as saying "we never have a leak or poo explosion" that I've heard people say about cloth diapering, but we have had less than I remember having with Jack (or at least less severe). 

We have a dozen infant/preemie prefolds because they're the least expensive way to build a newborn stash... honestly, they're not for us.  At 3 weeks old, they were unable to be snappied around Christopher and when I just trifolded them to lay them in the cover, poo would always get on the cover (therefore I had to wash it before the cover could be used again).

My favorite combination by far has been a fitted diaper and cover!  We've had the fewest leaks and [I think] no poo leaks with this system.  As far as which fitteds and covers I've liked the best I'll break that down in a later post.

I think we will always like the pocket and all-in-one systems out there, so naturally we liked the simplicity of these diapers.  The trickiest part about these during the newborn phase has been the fit.  Christopher has kinda skinny legs with quite the belly so being able to get a good fit around both areas has not been easy.  With a few of our diapers we went through phases where they fit, then did not fit, then started fitting again... seemed kind of counter-intuitive to me, but that has been our experience!

Stay tuned for more posts with details about our experience with cloth diapering a newborn!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

My Wonderful Husband!

Today's Thanksgiving post is for my amazing husband.  He does so much for me and our boys around the house and working so hard.

Just the other day, while I got to take a 2+ hour nap with Christopher while Jack also napped, Matt raked leaves, mowed the grass and cleaned out the gutters.  All of this after he wakes up in the middle of the night to help with diaper changes for our newborn son!

He is so supportive of me in everything I do in and out of the home.  He always lets me try  my "crazy" ideas (like cloth diapers) without judgement.  I am so thankful for the best husband and father to my children:

Saturday, November 12, 2011

The Bonds of Brotherhood

It has been amazing to watch the love between Jack and Christopher grow over the past couple of weeks!  I am so thankful for how easy of a transition from one child to two has been... the instant connection for Jack to his baby brother has been awesome!

Jack talking to his baby brother... he loves to lay on the ground with Christopher when he's getting some "wiggle time"!

Not to say he doesn't get a little jealous, but only when Daddy's getting some Christopher time.  (Jack is a major Daddy's boy.)

Christopher "enjoying" tummy time... and though you can't tell, he's actually lifting his head a decent bit and in this picture he was actually swinging his legs as if he were trying to roll over... I know he wasn't but I wouldn't be surprised if he did it earlier than we expect!
A quick weight stat from Christopher's 12 day check-up (it was just a weight check even though he was already over his birth-weight at 5 days), he was at 7 pounds 6.5 ounces which is 13 ounces in one week!  He seems to be a very "efficient" nurser... he doesn't nurse very long, but he's obviously gaining a lot plenty of weight so he's getting what he needs!  It seems kind of strange to me simply because Jack was still nursing for nearly 40 minutes every 2 hours at this point... just goes to show how different babies can be!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Thank you Veterans!

Today's thanksgiving post is for all of those who have ever or are currently serving in the armed forces!

A special thank you goes to my cousin and his wife who are currently serving our country!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Welcome Christopher!

Well, it has definitely been a while since I've posted... things have been a bit busy around here! 

Christopher joined our family (well, outside of my womb) last Thursday, October 27th at 7:44 p.m.

Christopher warming up in our labor & delivery room.

Getting some skin-to-skin snuggles in with the little man!

He weighed in at a peanut size 6 pounds 8 ounces (the exact weight I was at birth), which is substantially less than I expected after his big brother was 8 pounds 2 ounces.  (It's also more in line with what size baby I thought I would have before Jack was born.)  He is 20 inches long and his head is 13 inches in circumference.  He also has a full head of DARK hair... I think the first thing I said when they put him on my chest was "Look at all that hair!"

He's breastfeeding like a champ, everywhere from 1 to 3 hours between feedings. (I'm sure we can all guess when he decides to eat more frequently, *hint* the sun is not up when this happens.)  We had his 5 day check-up with our pediatrician today and he was already back over his birth weight at 6 pounds 9.5 ounces.  Granted, he was weighed and then decided to poop... so he's approximately over his birth weight.

Jack peeking at his baby brother after Christopher's bath... he was already in love!

Holding his baby brother, with a bit of help.  The hospital setting was a bit overwhelming for Jack and he wasn't so sure about everything while we were there.  Plus, he was really interested in all of the new things to look at!  (You can also see Christopher's dark hair!)

"Baby's nose" - Jack loves to play name-that-part on Christopher... its quite adorable.  You can also see Christopher's beautiful baby blanket crocheted by my mother-in-law.

Jack with his big brother present, a real digital camera!  He took pictures of everybody and everything while we were in the hospital... including the IV stand and himself.
Jack is a wonderful big brother!  He loves to "help" with diaper changes by showing Christopher toys and has only had a few moments of acting out.  I can't say that the acting out is really because of his new baby brother though, it is all pretty standard 2 year old behavior!

Christopher in his first cloth diaper as we were getting ready to go home... if I knew I was going to have more of a peanut I probably would've gotten more of these Rumparooz Lil Joey's.  So far, they're Matt's favorite!

My beautiful family!
I thought it would be appropriate to make my first "thanksgiving" post in November about Christopher... I am so blessed to have a second little boy to love!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

39 Weeks and Hanging in There!

Today I'm officially 39 weeks according to my estimated due date of October 26th!  I've really been feeling pretty good most days... some I am far more worn out than others, but I can't (and try to remind myself I shouldn't) complain.  I am more than ready to meet this baby of ours, but I guess I've made quite the cozy little home for the past 9 months that he or she is not quite ready to come out.  Here's the belly shot (feel free to compare it to my 34 week picture):

39 weeks along.  The belly button is popped out slightly.. I think that means he or she is done cookin'
As of my appointment yesterday I was still only 2 centimeters dilated and about 50% effaced... that's pretty much no change from the past 2 appointments, ugh!  I have been having a more consistent number contractions every day, but they're not progressing closer together or getting stronger... yet.  I've also been trying to work on my pride, because I have to come to terms that the longer baby stays inside of me the larger he or she is getting and the risk of having to deliver a big baby, could increase the risk of history repeating itself.  I am trying to let myself trust my doctor a little more on the fact that a more controlled labor and delivery might help lower my risk factors.  The doctor I saw this week (because mine is out on vacation this week) mentioned the same reasons induction might be helpful with my history.  My next appointment is the day before my due date, so the topic is likely to be brought up as a possibility again.  As a coworker and good friend pointed out to me, she scheduled her induction for one day, and her son was born after midnight the day she was supposed to come in for induction.

At this point every time I see a coworker that I don't see daily I get the "oh, how much longer do you have?"  Well, today I kept wanting to say "One away!" just as Brian Regan says "Two away" from his baseball sketch... Please enjoy a little comedy as much as it was going through my head all day today:

Here are my top reasons why I'd like to have this baby on or before Sunday, October 23rd:
  1. My dad will be traveling next week.  (He was traveling when Jack was born so he didn't get to meet him until we were home from the hospital.)
  2. October 23rd is Mole Day, so having a baby on that day would be pretty awesome for this chemist mama!
  3. Matt is off work Friday, Saturday and Sunday so it would simply be easier if we were both off work when I went into labor.  (Matt's theory is that I'll go into labor tomorrow sometime because he's got the whole weekend off already!)
  4. It would give us time to be home from the hospital and I would be able to go visit Jack at school next Thursday for his Halloween party!
  5. The final pieces of the baby & Jack's Halloween costumes arrived today!
  6. We are so very ready to meet this baby of ours!