Monday, February 28, 2011

You use what?

Today is a 2-for-the-price-of-1 kinda day since Cohen is taking a much needed nap and I'm caught up on work and housework for now. 

So I do something that many friends find to be a little strange and I've decided to write about it since I'm passionate about it.  What is that you are probably asking?  Cloth diapering.  I know, shudder.  This is not an attempt to win you over...or make you feel like a jerk if you love disposables and hate the idea of cloth.  It's just a blog about why I like it. 

Why?  For several reasons and in this order.  To save money, because it's good for our child, and it's good for the environment.  Well, maybe not in that order.  Really all three of those reasons are equally inportant.  Let's discuss, shall we...

Saving Money:  Using cloth diapers can save money.  How?  Because you are reusing diapers not only over and over again with one child, but you can also use them from child to child.  How much money do you save?  Over $1,500 per child.  Then if you use those again with other children you will have no additional costs.  So instead of literally throwing away money every day, I'm saving it.  Most of our cloth diapers came from friends and family (THANK YOU) at baby showers.  Because of Cohen's size, we did decide we loved cloth enough to buy newborn-size diapers after all the disposables we had been given had been used.  And we have bought a couple of larger sizes just because we love them.  But all in all, we paid very little to cloth diaper Cohen.  And the diapers we bought will last thru potty training, meaning our next purchase will be big boy underwear. 
Good for Baby:  Cloth diapers are much more "breathable" than disposable diapers.  Babies are also less likely to be allergic to them because there are fewer ingredients that can be irrititating to baby skin.  Often times it's hard to tell if a disposable diaper is "full" of liquid because of how much they can hold.  With cloth diapers you can easily tell when the diaper is wet, meaning baby will have more diaper changes, meaning again less chance of diaper rash. 

Good for the Environment:  This one's easy.  Using cloth diapers means there will be less diapers in the landfills.  This is not becoming a crazy's just me going against the normal American idea of "easier is best" and "worry about the now, not the later."  I know the choices I make now will have either a positive or negative impact on my child's future.  Because of that, I want to make sure that future is a good one in any way I can.  To me, this is one way.

Other Benefits:  Let's face it, these are not yesterday's cloth diapers with safety pins and folding.  It can be if your heart so desires, but it doesn't have to be.  Today's cloth diapers look very much like today's throwaway diapers...but cuter.  They are user-friendly and easy on the eye.  Gone are the days of toilet dunking.  If babies are breastfed then no extra work is required.  Soiled diapers can be tossed into the washer and all is well.  Diapers of formula-fed babies like Cohen require just a little extra care.  We have a toilet sprayer hooked to our toilet that knocks off waste into the toilet and then it's flushed away.  Then the diapers are tossed into the wash.  We also have sheets similar to dryer sheets that can be placed on the inside of the diaper.  These sheets catch the waste then you flush both the waste and sheet down the toilet.  Super easy.  No touching poop.  Nothing too inconvinent.  In researching diapers I discovered you are actually supposed to remove waste from disposable diapers before throwing them away.  So if I have to do that either way, it was an easy choice to make. 

Most Common Types of Cloth Diapers:
All-In-One:  The easiest type.  We love these!  These have a waterproof cover, absorbent layers inside, and an inner lining sewn together.
Pocket Diaper:  We love these as well!  These are similar to the AIOs but have a pocket inside for inserts to customize absorbancy.  These are great for sleeping through the night.
One Size:  This diaper grows with your baby.  It has several snaps on the front to adjust the fit so you can use the same diaper as your baby grows, often even through potty-training.

Brands I Love:
Fuzzibunz -
GroVia -
Rumparooz -
Flip -

My other big question in considering cloth was "will I be doing laundry every day now?"  Not unless you want to.  We own enough diapers to wash them every 3-4 days probably, however it's recommended to wash them every other day.  We use a soap that is recommended for our diapers so they will last much longer.  And how much water are we wasting?  The amount of water used to wash the diapers is equal to 3-4 more toilet flushes, which Cohen will be doing when he is potty-trained.  So, again, it's easy. 

So to sum this blog up, I love cloth diapering.  I now love talking about cloth diapering.  I'm a believer.  If you are interested I encourage you to research it for yourself.  There's lots of helpful information out there.  And I LOVE Green Bambino in OKC -  Check them out if you are interested in seeing these in person.  They are a huge part of why I use cloth diapers.  Thanks for reading!

Finally the 2 month mark!

In those first few weeks of being a parent of a newborn, we asked everyone we knew the golden question:  "when does this get easier?"  The general response was always 6-8 weeks.  By 8 weeks, according to friends with babies, life will be somewhat normal again.  And as any new parent would, I hated that answer.  I kept asking and hoping that someone would tell me to give it a couple more days and that "what were we thinking" feeling would go away.  Then I felt like a horrible parent for feeling that way.  But the endless amount of diaper changes, bottles, and night cries were wearing me out, as I'm sure happens with every new parent.  Cohen and I cried together as we struggled each day to figure each other out.  It felt like life would never be the same.

Friday we celebrated Cohen's 8 week birthday in our house with the traditional week-of-growing picture and, as we did so, realized we were in fact looking at an 8 week old baby...and life had become easier.  Ahh.  Cries can often be decoded, I know when to expect the dreaded #2 diaper of the day, I can get a burp out of this hard-to-burp boy, and night cries are few and far between.  He's still not a huge fan of the car seat, but he will go in willingly now.  We've realized the need for reflux medicine so the days of fussiness from pain are over.  Now, I'm not saying I'm ready to tackle Cohen's first sickness or anything else like that, but things are generally easier now.  And I know that as soon as you get settled then something happens to shake things up.  However, I praise God for each day being easier than the last, and the promise of easier days to come.  The sweet coos and smiles our son blesses us with each day make life so much better than we could ever have imagined it to be with a baby.  Praise God!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Little love letters from God

It's amazing to see God's love for us in a new way.  With this being Valentine's Day week I can't help but relect on God's love for us, and something my sweet friend Jana said the other day has been in my mind.  She was talking about how her new baby girl will fuss and cry when she's hungry after waking from a nap.  Jana will be in the other room making a bottle but her baby has no idea.  She feels like mom has forgotten her and her needs won't be met.  She is so worried and scared of such a thought and so she cries out to mom as loud as she can.  Cohen and I go through this every day, multiple times a day.  He realizes he's hungry and cries like it's the end of the world.  I'm out of sight preparing a solution, but he doesn't see me.  And even if he did he probably wouldn't understand what I'm doing at this age.  This is so true with God.  There are times we feel our needs aren't being met, or things just aren't going our way, and we cry out to God and there's no answer.  Little do we know, he's in the next room making our bottle.  The more I get to know our son the more I see God and His love for us.  In those early days as a mom Cohen would cry and I would have no idea how to fix it.  I would tell him, "if I knew what to do to fix things I would."  And there may not have been anything wrong, he just got himself worked up.  I would wish he would just stop crying and focusing on being upset and let me hold him, and then I could calm him down.  What a great reminder to stop, take a moment, and let God hold us.  There are so many times that if I would do that I wouldn't miss what God was trying to show me...or I would just be able to receive the peace that only comes from Him.  Those frustrations that come with being a new parent keep reminding me of my relationship with my Heavenly parent.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Fun with our little 5-week old and bi-polar weather...

This week has been full of new things for Cohen to experience.  We took him to the park in Edmond for the first time.  It was in the 60's so it was great to get out and enjoy the beautiful weather.  Then, later in the week February temperatures returned and Cohen saw his first snow!  The blizzard of 2011 hit and we spent Tuesday-Friday inside.  School was out so both Kevin and I were off work.  It was so great to spend quality family time together.  Then we bundled up Cohen in his homemade hat, made by our sweet friend Brenda, and his fuzzy bear outfit, and walked over to see our neighbors.  We played outside and visited with friends Wyatt and Madeline, then back home we went.  This week Cohen is working on smiling and cooing, which makes every day more exciting.  Also this week he has started sleeping in his own room.  So far he's doing great with that and we are so proud.  This week has been such a blessing.  It's so great to be a family of three!