Sunday, January 30, 2011

My Cloth Diaper Stash

As more of my "real life" friends and acquaintances find out that our family uses cloth diapers, I get lots of questions about exactly what we use, like, don't like, etc. I thought I'd just answer all that here. (A separate post is coming soon with my wash routine.)

With our first-born, we used disposable diapers. I didn't know any better. :) When we were pregnant with our second daughter, we started examining our diaper options again. Since our first daughter, gDiapers had come to the United States from Australia. These seemed like a great idea, so we looked into them further. We were very excited about this hybrid diaper with cloth outer pants, a plastic snap-in liner, and a flushable/ compostable insert. We purchased a couple sets of little gPants, liners, and flushable inserts before our daughter was born. At the time, smalls were the smallest size available and started at about 8 lbs. Our daughter was just under 7 pounds at birth, so we used disposables for a few weeks until she gained some weight. We loved the gDiapers from the start. There is a bit of a learning curve for some, making sure the fit is right, not to overtighten them, etc. No big deal. We had no problem. And if you do have trouble, customer service at gDiapers is happy to help. Our daughter is now done with diapers and using the potty. We used the gDiapers with flushable inserts during her entire diapering life. With one exception.

I joined the gDiapers Yahoo group and started learning more and more about cloth and all the options out there. Somewhere along our journey, I got to a point where I thought I could handle cloth. By that point, though, we figured we were too close to potty training to make the cloth investment worthwhile. We got our flushable inserts through the Subscribe and Save program at, which was the best deal we found. Anyway, we found out we were pregnant again, and decided quickly that he'd be a cloth baby. We knew of the Nappy Shoppe from the gDiapers group. Sharni was a big help, and I ordered a few of her gFlappers in a couple different fabric options to try out on our daughter before we made our investment.

We decided on the all-bamboo gFlappers as our favorite diaper inserts and got a stash for our son. With help from Sharni, I decided to also invest in some Thirsties DuoWraps in size 1 for our newborn in case the g's were too big early on. My first child was 8 lbs 13 oz at birth and my second was 6 lbs 15 oz, so I really didn't know what to expect. There are now tiny g's for newborn babes, but I knew that there was a good chance our baby could be too big for them anyway. I was right; our son was 8 lbs 15 oz at birth.

So our newborn stash consisted of small gDiapers and Thirsties DuoWraps. We were happy with both, though our son outgrew the small g's ridiculously early (the solution was small liners inside medium gPants for quite a while), and it took a little while before we loved the Thirsties. The Thirsties are available in both snaps and hook and loop closures. Both have pros and cons; I honestly still am not sure of which I prefer.

Our daughter wore gDiapers her entire diapering life with no issues with fit, etc. I thought our son would be the same. Honestly, we had a few more challenges with our son, but we're good now. He seems to have a high rise and is a heavier wetter. Our daughter had no problems wearing gDiapers at night. Our son was quickly another story. GDiapers would not hold him overnight.

We started looking into night-time options and figured that pocket diapers might be the way to go. We found that Diaper Junction had a program where you could try many of the big name cloth diapers for 30 days and return any that didn't work. We decided to try BumGenius, Fuzzibunz, and Happy Heinys of the pocket diaper variety and Flips, which are more of a diaper cover/hybrid system. Part of the reason we chose these is that they are considered one-size and have adjustable rises. Unlike the gDiapers, we can stuff multiple inserts in these diapers for overnight. If you double-stuff gDiapers, the seal breaks and they leak. At least on our boy. Turns out we love all our pockets for overnight, so we kept them all and keep them in regular rotation. I can't honestly say that we reach for a Happy Heiny or a Fuzzibunz or a BumGenius over the other. Just whatever is on top and ready to go. We double-stuff the diapers and are good for the night. Our heavy wetter wears that diaper from about 10:30 pm until about 7:30 am, give or take.

The Flips we use in our regular daytime rotation, but especially if we are running longer errands, traveling, etc. If I know I need to go more than two hours between diaper changes, the Flip is great for double stuffing. In addition, we've also discovered WonderWraps on Baby Half Off, which we use the same way. We really like these, which are also one-size with the adjustable rise. These have a nice wide waistband, so they leave no marks at all. Some of our other diapers leave slight marks around the waist or on those chubby thighs. :) I should mention, I don't think the Flips and the WonderWraps would be very good on newborns, but we got these when our son was a little older, so I can't speak from experience.

So here's the summary:
DAYTIME ROTATION: gDiapers, Flips, WonderWraps
NIGHTTIME ROTATION: BumGenius, Fuzzibunz, Happy Heinys

All of these diapers get stuffed with the all-bamboo Flappers from the Nappy Shoppe. We are in love with our cloth diaper stash. Honestly, I would try more, because I just love all the colors and patterns available out there, but I can't justify the additional purchases. :) Hope this helps you understand what we do.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Natural Birth

I'm going to post my birth story a little later.  This is more about my personal journey to get to the birth of my son.  My girls were both born after Pitocin and an epidural, not a route I would have chosen necessarily, but the route that was chosen for me more by my medical providers and my lack of knowledge.  I know so much more now.  And have so much yet to learn.  But sometime during my pregnancy, I started really wanting to have Jaden with minimal medical intervention.

There are two books that helped me clarify my thoughts about the labor and delivery experience I desired for my third child.  The first is Birthing From Within by Pam England.  I was really impressed with how many different ideas the author presented without seeming biased toward or against any one.  She really encouraged me to be aware of all my options and find my way to what was right for me and my baby.  The other book, The Lord of Birth by Jennifer Vanderlaan helped me decide how my faith played into every aspect of my life, including birthing my baby.  This served as a guide for a lot of personal growth for me as I came to recognize how much God wants to be in every part of my life.  I have always believed babies to be a blessing from God, but I never gave much thought to His part in the details of their delivery before I read this book.  I encourage all expectant moms to read Birthing From Within and all Christian mothers to study The Lord of Birth.

Anyway, I was blessed to work with a wonderful OB team at College Heights and have an amazing delivery at Lehigh Valley Hospital -- Cedar Crest.  My labor started at home in the middle of the night (just like my girls) and progressed quickly and without intervention at the hospital.  The only thing that entered my system was a number of snow cones!  No IV, no Pitocin, no epidural... it was amazing.  I felt God's presence in the room as He ushered my son peacefully into waiting arms.  I won't tell you it didn't hurt, that there weren't moments I thought "I can't do this!!!", or that anything surreal and miraculous happened in terms of pain.  But the pain was temporary, my recovery much quicker and easier than when I had the epidurals with the girls, and I would choose this path over my former path again.

Jaden is calling.... more later on the birth story and on our cloth diaper journey.

I'm Back!

Hi again.  I know, I disappeared for about six months.  When I began this blog, I intended to post some things I had learned for the benefit of a specific, small group of people.  And then I kept learning.  And kept blogging.  And then, as it often does, life happened.  I had some personal distractions.  The only one worth talking about though, is the birth of my third child, my son!  More on that in a bit...

Anyway, much has changed in my journey toward green -- I'm a full-fledged cloth diapering momma, for one.  :)  Anyway, sorry for my absence.  I'm looking forward to blogging again.