I've been getting lots of questions on how many cloth diapers to get, how to treat diaper rash and what else to have on-hand, so I thought I'd pull together a quick follow up post with all the cloth diapering "must-haves" as a one-stop post for all you need if you choose to cloth diaper and use cloth wipes.
- Cloth Diapers (20-24) - The system you choose is definitely a personal preference and how many you need really depends on what brand you decide to go with. We have bumGenius and Fuzzibunz brand, both detailed out here. If you go with one-size diapers (meaning, they'll grow with your child) I'd recommend getting about 20-24 diapers, so you can go a couple days between washings. You can certainly get by with less, but I don't think you could air dry them as they take a couple days to fully dry. If you think about how much money you're saving in the long-run, the investment up front really isn't bad.
- Two Large Wet bags - We have the Planet Wise wet bags and have never had an issue with them. No problems with leaking and they do a good job keeping the smell contained - which was my biggest concern. I'd recommend getting two large wet bags to keep in the nursery, so you can use one while washing the other.
- Two Small Wet bags - The small wet bags are great for cloth diapering on-the go. They hold up to two diapers at a time, as well as a couple cloth wipes. Again, I'd recommend two so you always have one on-hand.
- Diaper Sprayer - We have the bumGenius diaper sprayer and it works great.
- Cloth Wipes - Don't spend any money on the "real" cloth wipes. Just use old washcloths or make your own. We probably have about 30 wipes.
- Wipe Solution - There are tons of options out there for homemade solutions. We use Dr. Bronner's Castile Soap mixed with water. Here's more information on how our cloth wipe system works.
- Laundry Detergent - If you cloth diaper, you'll need to purchase special detergent because the traditional kind creates buildup on the diapers, which causes repelling. We use Rockin' Green Soap.
- Hemp Inserts - If you use cloth diapers that you can change out the inserts (like the Fuzzibunz) hemp inserts are a good option for the heavy wetter (gah, can't believe I just typed that) or for overnight when the baby sleeps longer. We have the BabyKicks by Joey Bunz and they are super absorbent. My only complaint with these is that they get a little "crunchy" when they are air dried and not dried in the dryer.
- Cloth Diaper Safe Diaper Cream - A lot of people have asked about how to treat diaper rash or what diaper cream to purchase. To be honest, I've never had to use diaper rash cream on Eli when he has been in cloth. I did purchase Grandma El's diaper cream before Eli came because it is safe for cloth diapers, but I've only used it in disposables. Either way, it's a good diaper rash cream!
- Cloth Diaper Liner - Even though some diaper rash creams are approved as safe for cloth diapers (like Grandma El's), the manufacturers still recommend using a cloth diaper liner. I've actually never purchase this, since I haven't needed to use the diaper cream in cloth, but just wanted to give you a heads up!
Hopefully this list helps!
It finally snowed (and stuck) yesterday. I wasn't expecting it to so it was a nice surprise. I can't even believe it's already December 2. Eli will be eight months old on Thursday and time is moving faster than I ever believed it could.
For some reason, I keep thinking about that children's fable, The Magic Thread. Have you heard it? It's about a young boy who is always very impatient to get on to the next thing in life. He wanders into the woods one day and an old woman gives him a ball with a magic thread coming out of it. The thread is his life and if he pulls on it, time will pass more quickly, if he never pulls it, time will pass normally. He makes his first pull when he wants to finish a boring day at school, then he pulls it to finish school all together, then he pulls it so he can hurry and get married, and on and on, until he has pulled out his entire life, with no memory of it. When he is old and gray, the old woman visits him again and he wishes that he could give the ball back to her and live life all over again, experiencing everything, the good and the bad, the boring and the exciting.
My mom used to read me that fable from The Book of Virtues. For a season, we'd read a different short story from that book almost every night, and that one alway stuck out to me. Probably because I can be pretty impatient and want the boring parts of life to hurry along, just like the little boy in the story. But lately, I keep wishing for a ball that instead of helping me rush through life, it would let me put the thread of my life back into the ball, to relive moments and memories that have gone by all to fast - even without me ever tugging the magic thread.
November flew by; I feel like I blinked and it was gone. I'm hoping December will move a little more slowly. This is our first Christmas with Eli and I want to soak up every minute with him. And since we're finally a "family," rather than a "couple," this Christmas also has me thinking a lot about what traditions Mike and I want to start with our family. I started searching the webby yesterday and realized there are waaaay too many awesome ideas and options out there. I quickly got overwhelmed and started feeling like I couldn't do any of them because I am already behind - and it's only December 2nd!
I know Eli won't remember this Christmas, but I still want to make it special. Something about being able to say, "We've been doing this ever since you were born!" sounds good to me, I suppose. But as I think of the magic thread fable, I'm reminded not to get too caught up in the pomp, circumstance and even all the wonderful traditions and observances that help make Advent so meaningful, or I'll be running around in a tizzy and the time will pass so quickly I won't have any memory of where it went.
So I'm choosing a new tactic - rather than gather every single awesome idea I find on Pinterest and Feedly and try to (sort of) implement them - I'm only picking two or three things that we'll do as a family this year and I'm bookmarking all the rest. Then next year we can add one or two more, building on what worked and what didn't. It takes the pressure off a bit and gives me time to just be: present in the moment with my son who is growing too fast. Hopefully this way, I won't feel the need to slow the thread down so much (or shove it back in the ball all together), but instead enjoy the magic of the thread as it passes as it should.
I also want to take time to say thank you to all of you - this little blog has grown so much this year, more than I ever expected and I wouldn't be where I'm at without all of you who faithfully visit each day. My friend Madison always says to me, "Eli was the best thing that ever happened to your blog." And while she's probably right (I mean, is there a thing that kid can't touch and turn to gold?!?!), it's the comments and emails I receive from you that are the best part for me. So thank you for commenting, sharing, and even silently reading - however you read this blog - just know I'm so thankful for you.
I'm running an extra Worth Sharing post today because, well, a lot of reasons: 1) There is SO much good stuff on the internet these days. 2) Most people get two days off around Thanksgiving which means lots more time to
Of course, we must use something Thanksgiving-themed to kick us off, so check out this infographic about Thanksgivings across the U.S. Can you believe turkeys can run faster than the average person?
This short film about a baby born at 25 weeks brought me to tears. Which in reality, doesn't say much - I mean, I cry when watching a SharkTank entrepreneur receive a loan. (The pursuit of the American Dream is SO moving.) but for real, this one might just spring tears in your eyes. Mike watched it with me on my second time and without even looking at me he said, "I know you're crying, but it's okay to cry at this one. It is good and it is appropriate."
The way Katie Couric asks, "What is the internet?" in this clip from 1994 seems crazy. In fact, all the people in this clip seem crazy, but then I think back to the days of Juno where I had to take 15 minutes out of my day to dial up the internet just to send one email, and I understand their question. Remember when we wrote emails when NOT connected to the internet? Or when there was no Facebook, Google+, Blogger, Twitter, Pinterest, or Instagram? Hahahahaha, oh to be so private! So secure! So anonymous!
Apparently it's a film themed day, cause the next one you need to watch is a little more lighthearted, this clip on The Huffington Post about the life of a parent vs. a non-parent is hilarious. For example, before going to bed, people with no kids say, "Good night," while the rest of us say, "Good luck." Yes, Mike and I have literally said that to each other before.
Yesterday, I guest posted on my sister-in-law, Emily's blog, From: The Jensens, about Mikey and I's journey to parenthood. It was a bit of a bumpy ride, but as we all now know, we made it in one piece. It's a story that I really haven't shared here on Oakland Avenue, so check it out if you have time. She's been an awesome inspiration to me in motherhood - she has a 15 month old son at home, and just had twin boys last week - which means I pray for her every day.
Have a look at the view from the world's tallest waterslide, being built in Kansas City. Have mercy, I'd never go on that thing. They'd better be building walls and a ceiling so people don't shoot right out of it.
It's a bit of old news now, but if you haven't seen it, you must check out the Theo and Beau photo project (image above). This boy and his pup are what makes me want to get Eli a puppy ASAP. Except it would probably be me napping with the dog like that, not my child. So I guess that wouldn't really be very cute at all.
Tomorrow is Black Friday, which means Monday is Cyber Monday - if you're in the market for cloth diapers, that's the day to shop! I landed mine at Nicki's Diapers last year, and I've also heard Kelly's Closet has good sales as well. If you're wondering what to buy, here's what we have.
On the topic of Black Friday, if you're looking for toys for the kiddos for Christmas, check out Melissa and Doug - they have some great deals going on for the weekend. My mom actually tipped me off to this company a few months ago. She came bearing gifts for Eli and touting that they were "Melissa and Doug" toys. Um, okay, cool. I had never heard of the company because I was five-months fresh into motherhood, but good thing Eli has a super hip Grandma or all the other babies would probably make fun of him and his toys. My favorites are their classic wood toys (you probably played with something similar as a kid), but they also have tons of other cool options.
I may not have a toddler yet, but I bookmarked these 20 Messy Play Activities for future use with Eli. Hopefully I won't regret it!
*Full Disclosure: Affiliate Links Included.
The way I feel about cloth napkins is a little bit like how I feel about working out. You don't necessarily have to do it, but you always feel better about yourself when you do. Except I never work out. And I always use cloth napkins at dinner. So in that way they're actually completely different.
Honestly, I kinda wish it was the other way around.
I'm a little bit crazy about cloth napkins. Mike and I use them pretty much every night, not because I have anything against disposable napkins, but because I just think cloth napkins make you feel like you put a little more effort into dinner - even if dinner was a frozen pizza.
Which never happens in our house. I was obviously just using that as an extreme example to get your attention. Obviously.
A few weeks ago, my book club got together to make a couple Pinterest crafts and one of them was these hand-stamped napkins. If you can't tell from that previous sentence, my book club does not read books, we talk. And now, we craft. Completely confusing to our husbands, but we like it that way.
Anyway, the napkins actually turned out pretty cool and were super cheap to make. Some of the girls numbered theirs, others made sweeter designs than mine, but I didn't get pics, so you'll have to be content with my version. Here's what you need:
- Cloth napkins - I picked up these from Target.
- Acrylic craft paint.
- Fabric medium.
- Random stuff from around the house to stamp your napkins with.
The instructions are super simple:
- Prewash napkins.
- Mix two parts acrylic paint with one part fabric medium (we just followed the instructions on the back of the bottle).
- Start stamping! I used an old q-tip for the polka-dotted one, the top of a jar for the circles, and cut out a triangle stamp from old foam board for the triangle one. For the stripes and the crosses, I actually painted them on in a random pattern.
- After letting them dry for 24-hours - heat set with an iron.
- Set table with new napkins and serve frozen pizza.
They tell me to remember this. That it goes by too fast. To enjoy it while it lasts because it will be over all too soon.
Your chubby hands grab my necklace, my hair, my nose and you are suddenly fascinated with my ear. Tugging and pulling you don't understand why it won't be pulled straight to your mouth - but that's okay, because your mouth can certainly come to my ear. I laugh and snuggle you close, and smell your sweet baby skin.
I close my eyes and tell myself to do what they tell me, to remember. To remember the way that your eyes study my face and how you smile at me every. single. time. I smile at you. To remember the way your chubby legs proudly pump on my lap and how your feet fit perfectly in your mouth on the changing table. To remember how you look falling asleep in the carseat - desperate to keep your eyes open - you smile at me while your lids open and close, over and over again. Fighting and fighting your needs versus your wants until the needs win out, and away you go, immediately entering in dreamland. To remember the way your belly hangs low in your swimsuit, or the way it looks like it might pop after a good feeding. To remember how you love your water bottle, grabbing it with hands that don't quite do what you want, but you're determined so you make it work, even if that means folding in half and touching your toes while you drink. (And remembering how amazing your hamstrings are!) To remember your incredible morphing hair, how it changed from a dark brown crew cut, to a brown faux-hawk, to a blonde fuzzy mess that makes you look like you just got off a boat going 80 mph every morning.
I do what they tell me to do and try to freeze time. To not just look at you, but to see you - really see you. You are my first baby - you have all of me and I have all of you. We have the time. I must remember this. I must remember something, anything - everything.
Sometimes it's hard to remember to remember. I have to be intentional or I'll forget. The days pass and you change and I don't even realize it. Then there are the mornings I walk into your nursery, bend to pick you up and I must take a second look. You are different. You are older. You have changed and I have realized it.
I both love it and hate it. I love it because that's what you're supposed to do - it is good and wonderful that you have changed and I am a proud momma because you are healthy and strong and growing - all things mommas wish for their babies. But I hate it because I remember that I forgot to remember sometimes and what if I have missed something? You will never go back to being that tiny, drowsy, little newborn, the cooing and gurgling three-month old, or the bouncing and bobbing six-month old. What if there is something I forgot to remember?
But I tell myself not to dwell in the past. You are here in front of me now, the new things are becoming the old things before my very eyes and I must remember to remember the here and now. The present with you is what I have and I must soak up every minute - because that is how I will remember.
They tell me to remember this. That it goes by all too fast. And they are right. So I must not forget to remember to remember.