Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Surviving the first few weeks postpartum.

I typed this up when I was a few weeks postpartum, and forgot to post it! So here it is. This applies to the first couple months after I had Devin.

Hospital cup

My friend told me to take it home and I hesitantly did, but it's THE BEST. Drinking from a straw and not having to open the lid of a waterbottle or tilt the water from a glass is so much easier with a baby in your arms.

Side table 
I would move it around as needed! By the couch, the recliner, my bed, etc. Again, when you have a baby attached to your boob, it's hard to move around!

Swaddle blankets
I like the thicker small typical receiving ones when wrapping her during the day with her arms out, but love love love the aden + anais ones for doing a tight full body wrap at night. They really are worth their weight in gold, like everyone says! (Even though they cost quite a bit in gold...)

Finger snacks 
Hardboiled eggs, nuts, dried fruit. It's really hard to cut a steak!

Coconut oil
I used lanolin approximately one time and didn't like that it had a smell, because I want her to associate the smell of my breasts with me and not lanolin! So I used refined (not smelly) coconut oil for my sore nipples and they felt better almost immediately. Within a week of starting nursing my boobs felt normal again and didn't crack. The old trick of rubbing breast milk also works great and that's all I need now, 3 weeks into breastfeeding!

Peri bottle
My sink happens to be right next to my toilet so I could easily fill the peri bottle I got from the hospital with fresh warm water to rinse with after I went to the bathroom. It's also nice to add a bit of witch hazel or lavender oil to help with healing.

Cloth pads with athletic shorts

I had a nice stockpile of regular pads from the hospital and from a friend, but after being home for two days I realized they are so uncomfortable and I always felt wet, which was gross. Isn't the point of a pad to wick away moisture?! Anyways, I was doing a lot of sitting while nursing and everything felt sore and the wetness didn't help. I kept thinking I just really wanted to wear underwear because it would feel good against my skin, and remembered cloth pads that I usually use for my period. Within hours of switching to a cloth pad my 'area' felt SO much better, drier, and less painful! So seriously, invest in them. I just rinse them in the sink after I use them and hang it on my drying rack, then when I have 4 or 5 dirty ones I soak them in the sink with a bit of oxyclean and Castile soap for a few hours. Then I just rinse them and hang them up and they look brand new again! I have about 10 that I cycle through. (I was usually about 5/day until 7 days postpartum, and at 2 1/2 weeks I used about 2 a day.) they also don't have the gross smell of disposable pads. Wearing tight shorts over my underwear made me feel more comfortable, like a pad wasn't about to fall out or something (even though my pads have a button to stay on) or leak somehow.

Need I say more? 

Again, need I say more? I have a long torso so I still have to squeeze a blanket between her and the boppy but it's still nice to have!

We have a multitude of brands, most of them different eco friendly ones, but found Pampers is the best for newborn! Ha! The others just fit her weirdly, were really bulky, or didn't hold up well. She's in size 1 now and we prefer Huggies. The ones in the basket in a picture below are Honest Co and they are the only eco one that I sort of like, but they don't fit her as well. (And then we switched her to cloth diapers and 2 1/2 months.)

Solly Wrap

(The day I got it when she was a few weeks old, all tired and haggard.)

I could go on and on and on about how much I love this wrap. It is so easy to put on, light-weight unlike the Moby, and more importantly - Devin loves it. Worth waaaay more than its weight in gold.

It has been a comfort saver for sure! Throughout the last 3 months of my pregnancy I was looking for a soft, lightweight robe and never found one, until a few days before I gave birth. It's 3/4 sleeves and hits just below my waist, so I wear sweats with it. It is similar to this one on the Target website, but they don't have the one I bought anymore (the linked one is much longer, but the same light material). I wore it as a shirt in the hospital so I could easily breastfeed but look 'put together' when people visited, and pretty much wear it as a shirt when I'm home because it's so much easier to breastfeed in.

Diaper basket

We don't have a changing table set up (like I'm really going to use the space or get up and walk somewhere every time I need to change her!) so I have a small basket that I keep full of diapers, wipes and a burp cloth I use as a changing pad. I have about a dozen burp cloths and just get a new one as needed. Then I can move it to whatever room I'm in, and keep it on my bed at night since we cosleep with her. I also keep a little ziploc bag with DigistZen essential oil for her belly, grape seed oil to dilute it and for massage, and a little jar of coconut oil for diaper redness and her fat rolls on the neck or else they get red and smelly. (Babies can be gross.) I also have a little jar of diaper rash salve.

Salt lamp
This thingis perfect for the night! It has a dimmer that I keep on the lowest setting so I have a soft light for feedings and changing her during the night. It's dark enough to sleep with, but bright enough to see when I wake up.

Sound machine
I started using a sound machinemany months ago per Grace's recommendation and it really helps because I can fall asleep almost immediately. (You'd think I'd be tired enough, but I have a wandering mind!) This will ultimately help Devin as well! I've noticed that as soon as I turn it on to get her ready for a nap her eyes start to get droopy.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Flats Challenge: Day 4

(I'm participating in the Dirty Diaper Flats Challenge for the week! Read about Day 1, Day 2, Day 3.)
All the necessities to go out and about while cloth diapering:

Flats/Covers. Depending on where I am going and what I am doing determines how many flats I take, obviously! I am usually way over prepared though and bring more than I'd ever need. I like to have them pre-folded so that I can change her quickly.

Wipes. I keep the wipes in a Huggies wipes bag just because it's cute and handy, and keep a little spray bottle of wipes solution in it. Then I just spray as needed!

Dry Bag. This bag is awesome (and cheap!) and I put all my wet/dirty diapers straight into it in my diaper bag. If it's poopy, I'll roll the diaper into itself to keep it from spreading to everything else in the bag just so that cleanup is easier once I get home. The wet bag keeps the wet and stink in, which is nice! I can also just wash it with my diapers.

Prefold for changing on. I have the folded up changing pad that came with the bag, but I like having cloth instead because it's not cold and I can wash it much easier!

Diaper bag. Obviously I need something to haul this stuff around in.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Flats Challenge: Day 3

(I'm participating in the Dirty Diaper Flats Challenge for the week! Read about Day 1 here, and Day 2 here.)
Last night was a rough one with a combination of Devin needing to nurse extra and her needing to poop but not being able to - the rough life of a three month old! I honestly didn't want to deal with putting a flat on her so I threw on a Bumgenius with a microfiber insert because I hadn't taken the time before bed to make a padded flat. I felt guilty for about half a second until I realized this challenge is about exploring new options and realizing that I can diaper with extremely basic resources, but it's also about making my cloth diaper experience better! So if I have to put on an easy BG at 2am, then so be it. I think I've made great progress, considering I wasn't even using cloth diapers a week ago and planned on using disposables at night!
I haven't used a disposable since Sunday and it feels great knowing I am doing good things for my baby, myself, and Mother Earth as a whole. There are so many comparisons in motherhood and I feel like many non-cloth diapering people think those that cloth diaper think they are better than others because of it, but much like delivering a baby medication free or breastfeeding, it goes way beyond that. I don't spend an extra hour of my day washing and folding things my daughter will take a poop in just so I can look down at a mom using disposables and say, "Neener, neener, I'm better than you because I touch my babies poop!" I do it because it feels right, it works with our lifestyle, and I have the privilege of taking the time to wash them, but that doesn't mean it's right for everyone.  The awesome thing about parenting is that there is such a variety of right ways to do something and it all comes down to what makes you and your family happy!

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Flats Challenge Day 2: My Stash

(I'm participating in the Dirty Diaper Flats Challenge for the week! Read about Day 1 here.)
My entire stash isn't pictured, one grovia (left pile) is waiting to be washed, one is on her, and some flats are waiting to be washed as well. There are some liners waiting to be washed and some pre folded into the flats already. I clearly didn't go the gender neutral route completely... ;)

My stash is basic. Very basic. I am a poor nursing student with a husband that has cut back on his hours at work because of a work-related injury, so we've been pinching pennies. (Oddly enough, my reason for cloth diapering wasn't money based, rather wanting to stay away from the chemicals and waste of disposable and most importantly - I can't stand the smell of disposables! Ha!)
A couple years ago when we were trying to get pregnant originally, I bought some cloth diapers on Craigslist because the deal was too good to pass up. I split some of them with a friend, and ended up with 5 Bumgenius one size pocket diapers with 5 regular and 5 newborn inserts (that I'm not using for this challenge) for $35. They are in really great condition so it was a steal!

Last week I bought 6 Grovia 2-in-1's from a lady through a Facebook group for $55 with 12 inserts (soakers and organic cotton ones - again, not using the inserts for this challenge). She didn't take care of them very well and the organic cotton ones are not absorbent AT ALL, so I've been working on stripping and sunning those! (A little harder to do without a real washer, but doable.)

As far as flats, I have two 5-packs of Walmart brand flour towel sacks that I got for $10. I line them with microfleece that I bought as 1/4 yard remnants from JoAnn's for $.77, and made about 20 liners. They are so soft and nice on my daughter's tushie! When I have her in the Grovia inserts by themselves, her bum gets a little red, so the extra microfleece layer really does make a difference.

For wipes I cut up a receiving blanket which was a gift, and make my own wipe solution that is very inexpensive.
So far I've been using the Grovia covers over the flats, but tonight I plan on folding the flats to use as an insert in the BG pocket diapers. We'll see how that goes! It's nice to have a diaper I can just trap and put on her at night instead of having the wrap the flat on her, then do the cover.

And that's it! We live in less than 400 square feet (with a husband and dog) so I'm not going to be one of those people that has 50+ diapers and a million inserts. I like to keep things simple! I have three Fuzzibunz coming in the mail that I ordered from their 50% off Mother's Day sale and I'd eventually like to get up to 18 covers just so I can rotate through them and have them last longer, but for now I'm happy where I am. The next few diapers I add will just be plain waterproof covers, which the Grovias are doing a great job of now, so I'm in no rush. If I decide to use flats more often (which is likely, I'm already noticing how much easier they are to wash and dry) I'll probably just buy more of the flour sack towels from Walmart so I have 20 or 30 towels.

So all in all my entire stash has cost me $100.77 which it what I'd normally spend on one month of disposable diapers! Not too shabby.

Flats Challenge

(I promise I will have 'real' posts up soon like her three month update (THREEEEE MONTHSSSS), but for now, something else to get me back in the blogging groove...)
Well, perfect timing. I've decided to use cloth diapers last week, came upon the simplicity of flats, and then realized there was a flats challenge starting today! It consists of only using flats and hand washing. So I am doing it.

I already hand wash my diapers (I've been using them for four days now) because I don't have a washer/dryer so it's not like this is a huge challenge for me, but whatever. It'll be a good challenge to try new folds and have an alternative to soaker pads at night!

I decided to try using flats because I read that they are easier to hand wash and dry super quickly, and also because they are dirt cheap. Cloth diapering can be REALLY expensive if you get carried away with it, but I want to do it as cheap as possible!

For those of you that have noooooo idea what I am talking about, here's a short explanation: the flats I am using are flour sack towels that are folded up with a microfleece liner to fit inside a waterproof cover. Literally towels straight from the kitchen department at Walmart for $1 a flat! There are many ways to fold up the flats depending on your babies shape/size. The benefit for me as a hand washer is that they don't take a million years to dry line my other inserts (up to 2 days!) so I don't have to have such a large stash of diapers (read: expensive) on hand while I wait for others to dry.

To wash my diapers, I have a WonderWash that I got a couple years ago to wash our regular clothes, and an electric spin dryer. I won't normally be using the spinner, but tonight I did end up using it to get water out because I was washing some soaker inserts from the day before, and I put WAY too much soap in that I just got today. I tried hand rinsing and wringing out the inserts but they just retained so much soap. So I threw everything into the spinner which got all the soapy water out, then rinsed again, and then I hand wrung the flats and diapers! But I did spin the soaker pads again or they would take like a week to dry. Tomorrow I'll only have flats to wash, though, so I'll be able to do everything by hand.

I'm over on instagram @iffyinklings if you want to follow along there!