Friday, December 12, 2014

Getting Started with Cloth Diapering


I am so excited by all the feedback from my previous post - My Cloth Diaper Experience. Multiple people wanted to know more about my favorite brands and types of diapers so I figured a follow-up post was in order. 

PURCHASING

I will only buy a diaper new/retail if I cannot find it on the Facebook Cloth Diaper Swap, or the Babycenter.com Cloth Diaper Swap. You'll save a lot of money on the swap boards, and it's also nice to help out other moms who are trying to monetize their unneeded diapers. I also sell my unneeded diapers on these boards. If you buy used, throw a 1/4 cup of bleach in a couple gallons of water and let the diapers soak for 30 minutes before washing them.

QUANTITY 

If you're diapering a newborn/infant you want to have about 34 changes if you want to wash every two days. If you're starting with an older baby, I would say start with having the same number as you use disposables per day. Sage goes through 6-10 diapers a day. She's currently nine weeks old.

SIZING

There are One Size diapers and there are sized diapers. Kinda like Small, Medium and Large clothes, vs. One size fits all clothes. Snaps, or a combination of snaps and velcro allow you to adjust the sizing. If you are starting from newborn you will likely need to buy some newborn sized diapers, and then you will move on to One Size or sized diapers after baby gets bigger. We moved into One Size diapers around six weeks. These One Size diapers will hopefully take her all the way through her diapered life.

EASE OF USE

The type of cloth diaper the most easy to use are called All in Ones. These diapers function the most like disposables. They have snaps or Velcro to easily put them on and take them off. My favorite brands of All in One Diaper is Blueberry Simplex and Thirsties. If you have a childcare provider these are usually the only type of cloth diapers accepted by daycare centers. 

The second easiest type of diaper that I have are pocket diapers. These function the same as All in Ones, except you have a pocket that you can stuff with different types of inserts to change the absorbency. These add some additional steps to laundry, because you have to unstuff and stuff the pockets before and after washing. All my pocket diapers are Bumgenius 4.0s

The third easiest type of diaper I own are fitted diapers. These diapers require two parts. A cloth portion that fits and snaps like a disposable, and a separate waterproof cover to go on top. My absolute favorite type of fitted diapers are Green Mountain Diaper Workhorses. And my favorite waterproof covers are Blueberry Diaper Coveralls. I should also note that the diapers in the photo above are also fitteds. Those are my two overnight diapers and I purchased them from a WAHM (work at home mom) on Etsy - Soothebaby

Another type of diaper, the fourth easiest,  that is used with a cover is called a pre-fold. You can do fancy folds with a prefold or just tri-fold it inside of a cover. That's what we do. Using pre-folds and covers are the absolute cheapest way to cloth diaper.

Note that I ranked these all easy, because no type of cloth diaper is really that hard. 

ABSORBENCY 

We very rarely have leaks. In my personal collection the two diapers that I can compare to disposables are my Bumgenius 4.0 pockets, and my Soothebaby fitteds. The others have good absorbency but get very wet on the inside, so I don't leave her in them long.  

Let me know if you have any other questions!

Monday, December 8, 2014

My Cloth Diaper Experience


I LOVE cloth diapering. I didn't even know it was a thing until I started following TweedleTee10 on YouTube. After I saw them, I immediately started researching and decided that cloth diapering was for us. The reasons for cloth diapering are cost effectiveness ( disposables are expensive!), environmental consciousness (disposables just sit in landfills!), chemicals (disposables have tons of chemicals in them), and cuteness (they are freaking cute!).

One of my friends on Instagram asked me to specifically talk about cost effectiveness and the labor involved in washing them. I spent about $250 for my beginning stash before baby was born. This was comprised of new and used diapers that I got on the Facebook and Babycenter.com swap boards. For those thinking "ewwww, used diapers!" it's not bad at all. Sellers send them to you washed, and you do a bleach soak and another wash and they are good to go for your baby. Sage is 2 months old today (woot!) and grew out of the newborn sized diapers about two weeks ago. I have since sold her diapers that were too small for about $140, and purchased some new ones.  So as far as cost effectiveness goes, one thing you can't do with disposables is sell them when you're done! Also, the one-size diapers that I've purchased will take her all the way through potty training, or around 40lbs, whichever comes first. Definitely a great investment. 

When it comes to the labor of cleaning the diapers, I don't feel it's too bad at all. We don't use any special detergent, just Tide Free and Gentle, which we use for all our clothes also. The only detergent requirement is use something that doesn't have softeners in it. We have a really old washing machine, which is actually better for cloth because many times the High Efficiency machines don't use enough water to really get the diapers clean.  The process is do a quick rinse cycle (this rinses away most of the pee and poo), then a wash cycle, then a second quick rinse cycle at the end (to make sure all the detergent is out of the diapers). Then we dry most diapers in the dryer. The waterproof diaper covers we hang dry. We wash generally every other day to every two days. Our water bill has only gone up $8 since starting cloth diapering. I have to note that this wash routine works fine now because she is exclusively breastfeed, and breastfed poop is water soluble. Once she starts solids, we'll probably have to invest in some flush-able diaper liners. These lay on top of the diaper and allow you to easily throw the poop in the toilet before washing. 

We keep dirty diapers in a regular trash can with a Planet Wise pail liner inside. When the lid is closed, it doesn't smell at all. Something to note is that the chemicals in disposable diapers cause baby pee and poo to smell much worse than it does on it's own. We used disposables while visiting my in-laws for Thanksgiving in Virginia and my husband immediately noted how bad her diapers smelled in disposables vs. cloth. 

My stash is comprised of All in One Diapers, Pocket Diapers, Fitted Diapers, Prefolds, and Diaper Covers. It is REALLY easy to get carried away in the diaper world. There are so many different types, and brands, and they're so cute! If anyone would like me to be more specific on brands I use or types I recommend let me know and I can totally do that. 

Have I convinced you to cloth diaper yet? ;-)

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

The Almost Skin Bra

This post brought to you by Almost Skin. The content and opinions expressed below are that of http://www.nesheaholic.com/.


My boobs are pretty much at the forefront of my mind 24-7 nowadays, since they are the vehicle through which Baby Sage gets all of her nourishment. When I was contacted by Almost Skin to review their Backless Bras I said something along the lines of: Thank you, but I'm nursing right now and my boobs are huge so there is no such bra that can support them. Well, I said it much more professional than that, but you get my drift.

They did send me the product and because I thought it was cool I figured I could at least share the info about it.

The basic mechanics of the Almost Skin backless bra are the inside of the bra has adhesive that sticks to your skin to support you. The cups come separately with a clip to clip them in the middle as you would a normal front closure bra. The bra comes in a protective tray to keep lint and dust from getting on the adhesive. The material is Cotton, Silicone & Polyolefin Gel and they REALLY feel like skin.

Cleaning and care is easy: warm water, a bit of soap, and air dry.

Now that Halloween is past, the holiday season is upon us and if you have a little black, backless, dress you're looking for a bra solution for, try out the Almost Skin backless bras. Sizing goes up to 38DD. You can use coupon code SHOP to get 20% off. 



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Saturday, November 1, 2014

Why you should get pregnant in January

I purposely got pregnant last January. Starting your pregnancy in January means: 

You'll be the most pregnant in summer.  On the surface this sounds like a horrible thing, but being the biggest in the summer means spending way less money on maternity clothes than you would in the winter. Maternity clothes are expensive, and the more fabric you need to clothe yourself, the more expensive they're going to be. There is no need to buy maternity outerwear or sweaters when you're pregnant in the summer. I was able to stretch many of my summer dresses into maternity dresses. Also, flip flops. By the end of my pregnancy the only shoes I could fit were my flip flops, I don't know what I would have done if I needed to wear closed shoes. 


You'll start breastfeeding in colder months. This is going to come in handy because you can get away with draped and heavy fabrics in the cooler months which can help you cover up while feeding if needed, and hide those wacky breast pads or surprise leaks when you aren't nursing .

You'll still be bundled up while you lose the baby weight. I'm glad I have a few months before I have to be in a tank top again. These fall/winter months will give me a chance to shed the baby weight before less clothes and thinner fabrics are a must. 

No matter what month you get pregnant in, you get a baby at the end, and that is spectacular. 

I love baby yawns. 

When did you get pregnant? What were the advantages of the time frame?

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

My Birth Story: The Best Laid (Birth) Plans of Mice and Men

Alternate title: When we plan, God laughs

For those who don't want to read the long drawn out birth story, the jist is: Pretty much everything happened the opposite of how I planned. But each step of the way I was able to remain calm and happy and accept God's plan. I'm proud of myself for not breaking down as my plans broke down. At the end of it all, I have been blessed to be the mother to the most beautiful healthy little girl and I know that everything happened how it was meant to happen. 

I knew when I wrote my birth plan that everything was subject to change and that labor and delivery could not be bent to my will. I decided early on in pregnancy that whatever would happen, would happen, but I would have my preference for how things would go in a perfect world. I wanted: 

Breastfeeding Only
NO episiotomy 
Delayed cord clamping 
Little to no intervention
Ability to move around freely during labor
Limited cervical checks

Well, things pretty much went the EXACT OPPOSITE! 

It all started with being a week past my due date. My OB decided it would be best if I was induced. I went in for my induction on Wednesday October 8th. Induction meant: Intervention, multiple cervical checks, and being on monitors for both my contractions and the baby's heartbeat, which meant mostly being confined to the hospital bed. So just that easy, 3 of my hopes went out the window.

While I woke up early on the morning of the 8th, around 3am, with contractions, I wasn't in active labor so the induction was still on the schedule. I received a dose of Misoprostol (drug that encourages the cervix to dilate) approximately every 4 hours beginning at 3pm. Being stuck in the bed the most I could do for coping techniques was breathing and visualizations. I had planned to be able to use my birthing ball, have Hubs administer counter pressure, and be able to walk around. But as you can see, my plans were not what was happening here.

After the third dose of Misiprostol, in the wee hours of the morning, things were starting to get REALLY REAL. The contractions were harder to breath through, and the immobility was starting to kill me. At this point I'm sure I started driving the nurses crazy because I began getting up and walking, sitting in a chair or on the side of the bed, and doing lunges, all of which made the monitors disconnect, but I HAD to move. Then around 5:30am my water broke, and things got REALLY REALLY REAL. The pain was more than I could manage any longer. The majority of it was pressure in my back. I requested an epidural. Shortly after the epidural my cervix was checked and I had gone from 3cm to 7cm in about a HALF HOUR.

At this point I figured pushing shouldn't be too far off, just 3cm to go. Then nurses started gathering around my monitors. They had me move from one side to the other. They weren't happy with how the baby was tolerating the contractions. My blood pressure went low. Her heart rate went high. Fifteen, that is not an exaggeration, FIFTEEN nurses, doctors and surgeons rushed into the room and said I needed to have a c-section. As they were telling me this they were simultaneously cleaning off my stomach and handing Hubs a set of scrubs to change into. I felt like I was in the Twilight zone. Within minutes I was in the operating room, and shortly after that, Sage was HERE. Our beautiful Sage with a head full of hair. 8lb 15 ounces, 20 3/4 inches long, born at 8:45am on October 9, 2014.



It took them only a matter of minutes to get her out. Closing me up took much longer, mostly because the surgeon was pretty much teaching a C-section class, explaining things step by step to a student or maybe more than one student, I couldn't see. Delayed cord clamping with a c-section just isn't feasible, as you don't want your abdomen sitting open for longer than it has to. So that was another hope dashed.

But absolutely none of these things mattered because we had our baby!  All of her testing came back with her passing with flying colors except her blood sugar. Her blood sugar numbers were not what the pediatricians wanted to see. So after we'd already been comfortable in our room, getting use to our family of three, she was taken to the NICU, having her blood sugar tested every hour. Every hour she was also given formula. So that effectively crossed off every item on my birth plan list. Technically, I didn't have an episiotomy, but I didn't have a vaginal birth so that doesn't count.

She was returned to our room the next morning, with her numbers much improved, and we only had to supplement with formula for that day and she's been all breast since then. She had her first doctor's appointment yesterday and is doing GREAT. She is a happy, healthy, wonderful, beautiful baby and I just can't get enough of her. Everything happens for a reason, and we both came out of labor and delivery as healthy beings, which is all that matters.




Friday, October 10, 2014



Insurance is extremely important. It doesn’t seem like it when you’re healthy and everything is going right, but in the unfortunate chance that you do need medical care, the difference between the bill you pay after insurance, and the bill you would pay before insurance are HUGELY different. This year Hubs has ended up in Urgent Care or the ER twice for random ailments. He’s also had two major dental surgeries. You can’t plan for those things, that’s where insurance comes in.

And of course there’s me, having just had a baby. If you’ve never been pregnant let me let you in on little secret: pregnancy brings a LOT of OBGYN appointments, and ultrasounds, and testing. Even more of these things if anything becomes abnormal during your pregnancy. Then of course there is the hospital stay for your actual labor and delivery. Then, you have a new member of the family, who also needs medical care. Insurance is imperative to cover all these things.



Of course, insurance isn’t free. It takes financial planning and saving for health care to make it work, but I feel you have to make healthcare a priority in your budgeting, like gas, electric or water. Millennials especially have to make health care a priority as we find ourselves aging out of our parent’s insurance policies and having families of our own.

According to the Aflac and their WorkForces Report on millennial workers 72% at least somewhat agree that they regularly underestimate the total cost of an injury or illness and 46% are not at all/not very prepared to pay for out-of-pocket expenses associated with a serious injury or illness. Don’t find yourself “One Emergency Away From Financial Disaster.” Make room in your budget! Not just for health care, but also for emergencies like home repair and car repair. Savings are essential.

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

38 Week Pregnancy Emotions



I am 38 weeks pregnant. Her nursery is done. My breast pump should be waiting at my door when I get home tonight. Her cloth diapers and clothes are prewashed and put away by size. Everything is purchased. We're as ready as we're going to be. I have SO MANY emotions throughout a single day it's ridiculous. It goes something like this: 

  • My body hurts I can't be pregnant anymore.
  • I just want to hold her and kiss her little face.
  • OMG I'm going to have a baby what am I thinking?!
  • Am I going to go into labor today?
  • I hope I go into labor today.
  • I hope I don't go into labor today because .
  • If I went into labor right now what would I do?
  • What's it going to feel like to go into labor?
  • Am I in labor?

  • A whole human is going to come out of me. 
  • I have to push a whole human out of me. 
  • She'll come when she's ready. 
  • I'm not rushing. I'm not rushing. 
  • How will we take care of a baby?!
  • I can't wait to have my baby. 
  • I can't wait to feel normal again. 
  • Is that a Braxton Hicks contraction?
  • Is that a real contraction?
  • What will contractions feel like?
  • What if this is the last thing I eat before I go into labor?
...and so on lol

I hope this is my last pregnancy update and the next thing you will be seeing is the adorable little face of Baby Sage. I'm also proud of myself with pretty much keeping up with pregnancy updates every two weeks. I did a lot better with this than my ABCs of Fall/Winter series which seems to be taking me FOUR YEARS to complete lol. That's pretty bad since there are only 26 letters in the alphabet. I can't make any promises, but I'm going to try to finish this year ;-)