Diaper Sprayers: Friend… or FOE?

Posted 09-12-2014 at 01:42 PM by Banana Cat

Diaper sprayers initially seem like one of those cloth diapering accessories that one absolutely NEEDS. For the uninitiated, a diaper sprayer is a hose that attaches to the water line on your toilet. At the end of the hose is a nozzle that’s basically a mini garden hose, so you can hold those dirty diapers over the toilet and spray them off before tossing them in the diaper bag. Genius, right?

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This lovely image of a Bumkins diaper sprayer from bumkins.com is not the diaper sprayer I bought. I regret this fact immensely, as you will see as you read on.

 

For the first few months I cloth diapered my daughter, there was no need for a diaper sprayer. Newborn poop doesn’t really need to be sprayed off, and I didn’t think I really needed to spend $45 on something that I might not use.  However, once she started eating solid foods, and each diaper change brought forward new and horrifying substances, I began to rethink certain life choices. Before investing in a diaper sprayer, I decided to try disposable liners. They are thin little paper liners placed inside the diaper to catch solids. Then in theory, you just dump the liner into the toilet, flush it all away, and place your diaper in the laundry, smug at having cleaned out a poopy diaper while barely touching it at all.

However, theories basically exist to be disproven. While using a disposable liner was much easier than doing the dunk-and-swish method of rinsing out a diaper, I quickly found that they often bunched a bit in my now-mobile baby, and thus ended up not covering the entire diaper. I usually found myself dumping the liner in the toilet but having to rinse out the diaper anyway. It saved a little bit of work, but not much time, and I started to feel like maybe I was throwing money at something I *wanted* to work, but wasn’t *actually* working. Finally, I sighed and bought the cheapest diaper sprayer–to the tune of a whopping $9–that I could.

Diaper Swapers

Potty Training Preparation

Posted 09-8-2014 at 10:55 AM by Matrivine

potty training prep
Potty training is not for the weak, but that doesn’t mean it has to be emotionally draining for you or your little one. Before you move into potty training take some time to make a plan. You know you won’t be using pull ups for all the same reasons you didn’t use disposable diapers. What plans do you have that you implement? Will you promote toilet target practice with your son. Will you convince your daughter that her potty chair is her princess throne. We get silly trying to get our children to use the potty. Here are a few things we are trying.

Have The Equipment Out

Long before you start trying to get your toddler to use them have your potty training tools in plain sight around your home. It’s hard to start potty training as it is. It’s not fun to try to get a toddler to sit on a new contraption he is uncomfortable and unfamiliar with. Let him inspect his soon to be underwear. The more familiar your child is with this new piece of clothing the more likely they are to actually wear it. If it helps have him wear the cloth diapers he is used to without an insert during potty training until he is ready to make the transition to underwear.

Winning With Weaning

Posted 09-4-2014 at 10:53 AM by Matrivine

happy kid

The only thing that may be more difficult than breastfeeding your baby can be weaning. They may not want to stop breastfeeding and you may have come to enjoy the special time that you share with your child. Here are a few things to consider when you are planning to wean your baby.

Make Sure The Baby Is Ready To Wean

Some little ones were born ready to wean. It’s been more of a struggle getting them to nurse than it will be taking them off the breast. Other children are the exact opposite. Healthcare workers recommend that you continue breastfeeding for at least six months. Some mothers feel they need to breastfeed their child until they are well into their second year of life. As your child’s mother it’s important that you are in tune with your child’s needs when it comes to moving on in the feeding department.

Cloth Diapers and Diarrhea

Posted 09-2-2014 at 10:25 AM by Matrivine

crying baby

Diapering at the best of times is only an okay chore. The up side is tickles and giggles. There is a time, however, when there is no fun to be had while diapering. That time is when your little one has the runs.

It Can Hurt

Cloth on a rash, especially when it’s a texture like a towel, can be very uncomfortable. If you add this to a child that is mobile, even when they are sick  you end up with chafing along with a higher chance of infection. It may be best to find or make inserts with a gentler texture. Also try to only use one insert and change your child more often. This will reduce the amount of area that the cloth will rub on, the amount of saturated body acids in contact with your child’s skin, and the length of time the body acids have contact with your little one’s skin.

Keep It Snug

Keep your cloth diaper snug. It’s wise to do this for one very good reason. You want to keep your and your child’s environment clean. A loose bowel movement can and will leak everywhere. It will get on your floor and carpet. It will ooze into your little one’s bed clothes and even get on beloved stuffed animals. While you don’t want your cloth diaper pinching or blocking off any part of your child’s body they may experience gas, you do want  your cloth diaper snug enough to keep leakage minimal.

Breastfeeding a Sick Baby

Posted 08-26-2014 at 09:42 AM by Matrivine

breastfeeding lying down

Breastfeeding has perils all its own, but a sick baby adds a new dynamic of breastfeeding difficulties. Your little one may have trouble wanting to latch on because they can’t breathe through their nose. Or they may spit up more than usual. Here are a few ways to help breastfeeding along while yoru little one isn’t feeling well.

Airways

Keeping a baby’s airways clear during breastfeeding is always important. We all check to make sure our body isn’t covering the nose of our little one while they are on the breast. With a congested baby, however, we have to help keep their little nose clean, or we are in for a frustrating feeding time. Before the feeding and after each burping use a nasal aspirator to clear your little one’s nasal passages. You may choose to pump and give your little one your milk in a bottle during this time. It makes positioning more flexible and may help your little one pick a better position for their breathing. Check with your pediatrician before using any medications including nose clearing rubs. Some types of medication should not be used before certain ages.

The Long Road of Potty Training

Posted 08-20-2014 at 04:00 PM by toneylarson

Potty Training

I’m sure there are people who will feel adamantly different, but I am convinced that children potty train whenever they darn well feel like it. I don’t know much about elimination communication, so I don’t consider that when I write this. I have a friend who did it that way and that kid has been trained to potty for a long time. But for those of us not going that route, this is for us.

My daughter is smart. I don’t say that because I’m her mom. I say that because she is always one step ahead of me and I see her wheels working to get what she wants. I started cloth diapers when she was a little over two years and we had a four month old. I didn’t get a ton of diapers because I thought she would be out of diapers soon anyway. Boy was I wrong.

At first, I was casual about it. We got her a little potty and showed her how to use it. She liked the potty, and if I recall correctly, she even used it a couple of times, so I thought this was going to be easy. But after the novelty wore off, she didn’t seem to see the importance of the potty when she had the convenience of a diaper.

I started to take a little more initiative. I bribed her with the promises of M&Ms if she went. She liked the idea and it worked a couple of times, but again, she decided the treat wasn’t worth the effort. I upped it again, making a nice chart with stickers to record how many times she went and another chart with pictures of what to do that also would get stickers. It was fun – for the first two stickers.

The Magic of Stay-Dry Fabrics

Posted 08-14-2014 at 12:51 PM by Banana Cat

A billion years ago (so it seems), the only diapers that were used were flat-style diapers. Many cultures across the world did and still do practice elimination communication, but many cultures also still use flats. Don’t get me wrong, flats have plenty of upsides—they’re easy to wash by hand and quick to dry, and you can make a flat diaper out of almost any spare fabric you have lying around, in a pinch. I totally went through a “flats phase” and understand the benefits. One of the reasons I liked flats for a while was because my daughter did best in cotton fabrics. Anything else she was more prone to getting rashes in, but that good ol’ 100% cotton was cheap and breathable.

Flat Diapers

Flats: as close to a universal diaper as you can get

However, the upsides of flat diapers can quickly become the downsides as well. They can be difficult to fold quickly, and aren’t as absorbent as some modern manmade fabrics. Another downside I only discovered after my second child was born: Some kids simply do not like sitting in a wet diaper.

Breastfeeding a Baby in Turmoil

Posted 08-13-2014 at 09:57 AM by Matrivine

Mother feeding her baby. Side lying

Breastfeeding doesn’t always go the way we plan. There are gas pains, lack of cooperation, and lots of crying. Sometimes your child has colic. Sometimes you don’t know why they aren’t cooperating and your pediatrician says it’s normal. Before throwing in the towel try these tips.

Step Back

Yes, your little one is crying. Yes, you feel the need to help him or her be happy and quietly go to sleep. Right now, however, you are frazzled and your nerves are raw from trying to get them to calm down for the past hour. So take a step back. After you have made sure they are burped, fed, and changed, take a five to ten minute break to regroup. It may be that your child will calm down because frazzled you has stepped away. Or it may be they will continue crying while you get a drink of water, go to the bathroom, or get a snack. Put your little one down for tummy time or in the baby swing. With a moment to breath you may think of a new way of approaching your unhappy baby that will bring a stop to the sadness.

The Anatomy of an All-in-One

Posted 08-11-2014 at 12:23 PM by Banana Cat

All-in-one diapers are very popular, for good reason. Every part of the diaper comes sewn together in one neat piece, rather than having multiple pieces, such as inserts or covers, that must be assembled to make a complete diaper. The convenience comes at a price—they are more expensive than other diaper types—but they are especially well-liked by daycares and other temporary caregivers that may only be familiar with disposables. However, because all-in-ones are all one piece, they require a little different care and look different than other diapers. To make things even more confusing, some diapers that are actually pockets, especially foreign-made ones on eBay, are often labeled as “all in one diapers” even though they are what we call “pocket diapers.” Let’s look at the parts of a true all-in-one diaper below.

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Traveling with Cloth Diapers

Posted 08-7-2014 at 10:59 AM by toneylarson

Travel Baby

One of the biggest concerns with cloth diapers is how good they are to travel with. With disposables, you have your diaper bag with diapers and wipes (and possibly additional things like trash bags and creams). After a change, you throw it all away whenever you find a trash can, which we’ve found is sometimes harder than others. At someone’s house, you may have to be creative since they don’t want stinky diapers in their trash can.

It’s not that much different with cloth, and I actually think it’s better. You still have your diaper bag with diapers and wipes. You will change the diaper, just like you would disposable, but instead of throwing it into your closest trash can (complicated or not), you pull out your travel wet bag and dump the diaper in that. It is water proof (same PUL material as some cloth diapers), locks in odors, and zips or ties shut. And they stay in there until you are ready to do a load of laundry.