February 18, 2013

OK to wake?

About 6 months ago we transitioned our toddler to a 'big boy' bed, (after his second birthday, but in anticipation of the arrival of his new baby sister). At the same time we bought the guard rails and a mattress protector, we also bought an 'OK to wake' alarm clock/nightlight. We thought this was going to be necessary to help contain him in his new freedom. However, he barely noticed the addition to his bedside table, and when he finally did, he just wanted to press the two buttons on its feet as if it were some handheld game only he knew how to operate (to his credit, one button does send the clock into making some series of faces back at him).

For the first five months we were smug pleased that it'd never occurred to him that he could get out of his new bed any more than he could get out of his crib, and we went happily along sleeping through the night. That is, until recently when he proudly announced that he 'woke up all by himself' and crawled into bed with us. At an earlier and earlier time each day.

When this started to develop into a pattern, we brought the clock to him after dinner and showed him how it worked (after a quick refresher myself, and finally actually setting the the OK time to get up). So you can stay in your bed until your light turns on green, right? Yes. And the first night he did. Even the second night he did. But the third night he must've gotten frustrated waiting, because he just cried out that he wanted Mommy to come wake him up (which is what he used to do before he realized he could get out of bed, if we hadn't noticed he was up yet, so I guess the clock still had some power...). The fourth day, he just decided to get up anyway (over an hour early) and I led him back and we tried to go back to sleep in his bed, but it didn't work. So we played with the stuffed animals on his bed and played with our fingers and time crept sloooowly by. Day 6 he still got up about 30 minutes early, and I laid down with him (this time actually more restful). Today is Day 7. Fingers crossed.

This is just another dimension of the 'transition to a toddler bed'. Parenting really is like the decathlon!!

So far my lessons learned are:

1. Let your little one 'help' you put the bed in their room. And let them help pick out sheets, or a blanket for the new bed (we pulled out every set of Full sized sheets in the little boy bedding aisle of Target and laid them out. Hubby hoped for the sports themed one, I wanted rocket ships. M picked construction trucks. Oh well)

2. Put REAL pillows on your toddler's bed, at least one or two and don't skimp. You will end up sleeping there sometime, and you will wish you had at least decent pillow.

As for the alarm clock, the jury's still out. ps. I was intrigued by this 'clock', too: Kid'sleep Classic

What do you do to keep your kid contained, or to at least get all the precious minutes of sleep you can in the mornings?


February 8, 2013

Guest Blog Post: What about the Poop?

I am long since numb to being up to my elbows in poop and other baby messiness, but my husband still cringes at these messes. What's more - this is one of the first questions you'll be asked about when you tell someone you use cloth diapers!

Kanga Care and Rump a rooz were kind enough to let me write a guest post on their blog about the subject!!


February 2, 2013

What's in my cloth diaper 'stash'?

I do not particularly care for the term 'stash' popular in the cloth diaper world for your wardrobe of diapers, but that is what 'they' call it so... Also, know that I just picked up about 4 or 5 new diapers, and some new inserts in anticipation of our baby girl arriving in February. We got along perfectly fine with about 26 diapers (4 of which were overnight pockets... plus our prefolds and fitteds for backup) until M was potty training.

Also see below for a little crash course in the different types of diapers used for cloth diapering.

So, in case you want to know what we have on hand...

All-in-One's (AIO) - one piece, literally, so this is as close to the disposable experience as you can get. This one blew the mind of our daycare director when we first brought up cloth diapering...
BumGenius Elemental (7-39 lb) - 9 (Clementine, White, Grasshopper, Butternut, Noodle, Sweet, Twilight, Albert, artist series blue)
BumGenius Freetime (8-35 lb) - 2 (snap, Albert & Blossom)
Tots Bots Easyfit ('old' version, aplix, 8-35 lb) - 4 (orange, green apple, cosmo, teal )
Swaddlebees One Size Simplex (10-35 lb)- 2 (swirls, tweets)
GroVia Organic One Size (10-35+lbs)- 4 (vanilla, airplanes, trees/birds, teal)
Thirsties Duo - 1 (aplix, size 2, 18-40 lb, Scottish storm)
Ragababe 'Easy' All In One - 2 (size S, 9-20 lb, pink leopard; size L , 23-40+lb, Pinwheel)

All-in-Two's (AI2) - a two-piece system of a cover that can be reused before washing (if not soiled, can be aired out if wet) several times by changing a (usually snap-in, proprietary) insert.
SoftBums Echo (6-35 lb) - 2 (yellow Aliens, Pink giraffe)
GroVia - shell (aplix, "birth to potty" for weight - blackberry) + 2 stay-dry soakers (we lost one of these diapers very early on - it was thrown away by accident... but it was in the cutest bird pattern that is now discontinued... :(  It had the organic cotton soaker, and I didn't care for how crunchy it was starting to get...)
little gPants (Medium, 13-28 lb.) - 1 (graceful rose)

Pockets - a two (or more) piece system of a cover that cannot be reused until washed because the insert(s) goes inside a fabric tunnel in the diaper.
Little Bee Co Bee Changed Microsuade (8-35 lb) - 1 (Mexican Sol)
Rump a rooz G2 One Size (6.5-35 lb)- 3 (aplix - rootbeer, platinum, lazy lime - the dog ate one of these we had in white...)
Kawaii Goodnight Heavy Wetter One-Size (8-36 lb) - 1 (black/white cow)
GoGreen Champ (6-45 lb) - 1 (toady)

Total: 31 diapers


Prefolds - the 'old school' diapers many of us know to be burp cloths nowadays
Unbleached Indian prefolds - (3 infant, up to 15 lb; 6 Premium, 15-35 lb)
Snappi (3)

Fitted - a self-closing diaper that is not waterproof, so requires that a cover go over it.
Thirsties Fab Fitted - 1 (size two, 18-40 lb., mango)
Ecoposh Recycled Oraganic OneSize (6-35 lb) - 1 (ginger)

Covers - PUL - the waterproof layer that goes over a non-waterproof diaper, like a prefold, flat, or fitted.
Thirsties Cover (size x-small 6-12 lb. , baby bird lavender)
Thirsties Duo Wrap (size 1,  6-18 lb - mango, size 2, 18-40 lb., ocean blue and meadow green)

Covers - Wool the waterproof (seems crazy, i know, but sheep stay dry in Ireland, right?) layer that goes over a non-waterproof diaper, like a prefold, flat, or fitted.
Sustainablebabyish Knit Wool Cover - 1 (Large, 30+ lbs, falcon)

Swim Diapers - basically just a diaper cover, usually with a mesh layer closest to skin and gussets. All that's required of a swim diaper, disposable or cloth, is that it contains poop. Even if you aren't into cloth diapering, save a TON of $$ using these instead of disposable swim diapers!!
iPlay Swim Diaper - 2 (Medium, 18-22 lb.,  white)
Swimmi by Bummis - 2 (Large, 22-30 lb, turtles and clownfish)

Extra Inserts - for boosting absorbancy in a standard-from-the-manufacturer diaper. Especially handy for nighttime and napping.
Rump a Rooz (hemp and microfiber, two sets each)
Little Bee Co (hemp)
other - i've forgotten how these others turned up... but i seem to have about 4 extra, plain, microfiber inserts...

Liners - for keeping moisture from touching baby, especially for diapers without a microfleece layer closest to baby (including prefolds). The disposable version are a big help in dealing with poop, especially in what I call 'stage 2' - beginning solid food.
disposable bummis biosoft (small)
disposable Tweedlebugs (small)

WetBag - handy for storing dirty diapers (and their smell) until you get home to your diaper pail. I like wet/dry bags to keep the clean ones in one side, dirty in the other. Also handy for bringing home wet/dirty clothes for kids, grownups, and after the pool/beach. A must for transporting such things home from daycare.
Planet Wise wet/dry bag - 2 (Meadow tweets & lime cocoa bean)
Planet Wise pail liner - 1 (white)

Cream - you need to use a cloth-diaper-safe cream. Sadly, A&D and Desitin are not cloth-safe. But coconut oil is (yes, next to the olive oil at Trader Joe's) and is preferred by many.
CJ's BUTTer (Irish Tweed, Lavendar, Bluberry Crumble)
Lansinoh lanolin (not for babies - for me... and for lanolizing wool)

Wipes - you can use cloth wipes just as you can use cloth diapers. Up until now, I admit that I haven't really started using these... I just felt like they would get more poop into our wash, but I wanted to try them with Baby Sister on the way, thinking of cutting up a few receiving blankets we have and don't need, too.
Green Elephant Co - 6
baby washcloths
Seventh Generation & Honest (disposable, yes, but they are what we use!)

Detergent - most manufacturers recommend that you use a detergen they approve of. For a long time I used All Free & Clear, but eventually moving in with hard water made me change my strategy. I also found a detergent that can be used for stripping diapers - for a periodic deep clean.
Rockin' Green
Mighty Bubbles (stripping treatment, do even one more rinse than they suggest... just for good measure, and don't overfill the washer!!)
free samples for traveling (seriously, whenever you buy from your favorite retailer always check to see if you qualify for a free sample of detergent! They are so convenient to pack for travel. I tend not to be picky about brand on this, as they are all cloth diaper safe, and washing in something different every now and then probably helps prevent build up, right?

Training Pants
Honest Training Pants (eco disposable, but for now we are using these as we potty train for naps and nightime)
Gerber Training Pants - 12 pair (3T, white and boy patterns)

... starting on a tangent at this point... potty training is a whole other topic!!

QUESTION: I added the weight ranges that the manufacturers claim their diapers will fit (so I remember when to break them out for Baby Sister), but I am skeptical at a few claims... can anyone attest to the lower weight ranges of any of these?

QUESTION: Which of these would you like to see reviewed first? I have already reviewed the elemental since its the one we have the most of in our 'stash', though not necessarily our favorite.