Giving Up Cloth … At Least For Now.

I really hate posting this. I feel like I’m admitting defeat or giving in… but the truth is that, as with all things, I need to do what’s best right now for me and my family.

Cloth diapers have been a grand adventure! I have a good supply and washing routine, and I really do like using cloth diapers for a variety of reasons:

  • Much easier on baby’s skin. J always suffered from an allergic reaction when we used any Pampers diaper (Swaddlers, Sensitive, Baby Dry), but it immediately cleared up when we switched to cloth. It’s understandable; soft cloth > plastic when it comes to comfort. There’s a reason we adults don’t wear plastic underwear. (Or at least most of us don’t.)
  • Cute! But even with all of our adorable diaper covers, I more often than not covered them up with clothes.
  • Probably cheaper in the long run. They’re a big up-front investment, but the cost of those big boxes of disposables adds up, too.
  • Possibly better for the environment. There are plenty of debates on this topic online… I guess what it really comes down to is whether you’d rather use a lot more water or throw pounds upon pounds of plastic into a landfill. For the past several months, I chose the former, but I’m not sure which (if either) is worse.

And that brings me to the main reason I’m giving them up. Now that J’s poops are more solid and stinky, the smell is getting out of control. I keep all his wet and dirty diapers in a trash can with a lid, and the smell stays contained (for the most part), until laundry day arrives… Then I stand next to the washer, holding my breath while I take each diaper apart and plunk it in. It smells… well, like a bucket of pee and poop that has been allowed to fester for a couple of days. It’s really toxic. (Probably literally… doesn’t pee contain ammonia?) I use vinegar along with the detergent, so they always end up very clean and odorless after the laundry is done, but dealing with that stench (even if it’s just for a couple of minutes) every two or three days is pretty miserable (and unhealthy) for all of us.

On top of those concerns, it’s also just one more thing on my plate. I’ve been feeling a little more stressed than usual lately because of issues at work… and juggling a career and feeding the baby and naptime and spending time with my husband and cleaning and cooking and doing laundry and cleaning diapers… it’s just all a bit much, and I’d like to cut some stressors out wherever I can.

At least we finally discovered that Target brand diapers don’t cause J to have a rash. And they’re cheap! Major plus. J seems to be fine with them!

J in Target brand disposable diapers
J at 8 months in Target brand disposable diapers

If I were a stay-at-home mom and if I had a better storage solution, I would definitely continue cloth diapering. There are a lot of pluses. But I think that returning to disposables is what’s best for me, J, and D at the moment. And I still think having some cloth diapers on hand as back-ups is great advice! At least I know I won’t need to make any midnight runs to the store.

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Products I Love: Baby Transportation

My baby is super easy-going, and has been since he was about two weeks old. (That first week was tough…) He’s all smiles, except when he’s really tired. Unfortunately, he does not like the baby swing. We tried and tried to get him to like it, but from the beginning (and even now), he does nothing but cry when we put him in it.

Backwards, I know. And poor us. -_-;;

Most moms I talk to say that the swing was the only thing that could settle their fussy newborns in those first few months. Even our mothers said the same about both of us. But we found out very quickly that newborn Baby J was only happy when he was held. Don’t get me wrong — I love holding my baby — but there were things to do around the house… I needed a hands-free option to put him to sleep while still allowing me to do my household chores (and to save my weary arms).

Babywearing, of course, has lots of benefits, so even when I was pregnant, I did my research on babywearing devices. For instance, I knew to stay away from slings that could cause suffocation. (Please be careful and do your research before buying or using a carrier!)

I started with the Sleepy Wrap (now called the Boba Wrap I believe).

Pros:

  • Very comfortable for me
  • Baby J was nice and snug, and he would fall asleep (and stay that way)… most of the time. (see cons)
  • Machine washable
  • Easy to store

Cons:

  • Since it’s a wrap that can be tied in multiple ways, I don’t think it was ever on me in exactly the same way. There were many times that Baby J was uncomfortable and would fuss/cry until I took it off and readjusted.
  • Kind of a pain to put on/take off, which is a problem early on when you’re constantly breastfeeding.

My husband used the Cybex 2.Go carrier (which we won in a silent auction), and Baby J did very well in it. I can’t speak to its comfort since I’ve never used it… But I knew I wanted a true baby carrier with more structure than the wrap gave me. And so, I went shopping.

I started out with the Mamas & Papas Morph carrier, but neither Baby J nor I found it comfortable at all. It looked like a great option because the harness and the carrier were separate, making it easy to load/unload the baby. But therein lies the problem — remember how Baby J likes physical contact (hence the swing issues)? Well, in this carrier he was somewhat separated from me — I suspect that was why he hated it so much. (And truthfully, I didn’t like the separation either.)

So we went back to the store and exchanged it for the ErgoBaby Organic — and we’ve never looked back! I knew that Emily of the Daily Garnish uses her Ergo all the time. (Side note: I love her blog, even though I’ve never met her. Her baby is 2 months older than mine, so it’s been fun to read about her pregnancy and parenting adventures!)

Pros:

  • Soft and comfy for both me and Baby J
  • Built-in hood makes it easy to shield the baby from the sun/rain
  • Padded shoulder straps and waist belt make it easy on the back
  • Can use until baby is 45 pounds
  • Front, Back and Hip carry positions (though I’ve only used the front position)

Cons:

  • No front-facing position
  • Can be difficult to buckle in the back without help… but it can be done.

I don’t really walk around the house while wearing the baby now that he sleeps in his crib, but I like to use the ErgoBaby when we go grocery shopping or when we are going out but don’t have room to pack the stroller.

Speaking of which… we’ve been very happy with our stroller. It’s another silent auction purchase, so we got a great deal on it. (My husband is so proud of it!) It’s the Inglesina Zippy. I have absolutely nothing to compare this stroller to, but I have no complaints.

Pros:

  • Good steering control
  • Rear “window” allows me to see the baby even when the hood is up
  • Seat reclines to lying position (very handy with a newborn)
  • Folds up and out very easily

Cons:

  • Drink holder won’t hold anything but a water bottle. (first world problems, I know.)
  • No built-in infant head-holder. (We used a separate one.)
  • Heavy and somewhat bulky
  • Doesn’t work with our car seat — it’s a stand-alone stroller. (both a pro and a con)

We don’t use the stroller all that often, other than on walks around the neighborhood, excursions to the park/farmer’s market, trips to the mall, etc. It’s nice to have both the baby carrier and the stroller for different situations.

And tomorrow we’ll (finally) be getting a new mode of baby/family transportation — my new car! 😀