This post is written for the MCNP EB/Expo Blog Carnival with the theme “The Modern Cloth Nappy: The Practical Choice for Moms Today”  We aim to share and spread the knowledge and encourage moms to switch to cloth diapers.  Please scroll below to read the other carnival posts about switching to cloth, cloth diaper styles or preferred diaper for specific times. 

There are so many different kinds of cloth diaper styles to choose from. For those that want to use cloth diapers or are at least interested in them, one has to immerse themselves in a cloth diapering world, learn the lingo and speak the language. I can understand how it may drive some potential users away because it can get really overwhelming. I think cloth diapering is an ‘art’ because it is a skill that requires practice and experience and there are multiple forms of expression (styles to choose from).

The truth is, you do have to do a lot of research if you want to use cloth diapers. There is a lot of trial and error involved because what may work for some families may not work for yours. The good news is that there are a lot of options to choose from and a lot of people on the Internet who have written blogs, reviews, and forum posts about anything and everything you would ever need to know about cloth diapers. It’s a fun learning experience to use some common sense and decide which ones will probably work for you and your baby. Once you have done your part and studied, you will easily be able to practice the art of cloth diapering.

For the first couple of months of Milo’s life, we mostly used what are called ‘prefolds’ and diaper ‘covers’. In layman’s terms, a prefold is a thick enough piece of cloth that can absorb pee and poo. A diaper cover is what keeps mommies and daddies dry from mentioned pee and poo. Yes, we love diaper covers.

Wearing a Thirsties Duo Diaper Cover - prefold inside

Wearing a Thirsties Duo Diaper Cover – prefold inside

Wearing a prefold and fastened with a Snappi

Wearing a prefold and fastened with a Snappi

I really like seeing babies who wear prefolds. The cloth diaper snob in me just thinks that there is just something so organically beautiful about a baby wearing a piece of cloth rather than a disposable diaper made out of paper and plastic.

Once his newborn chicken legs grew a bit (around 1 month old) we started to use our ‘pocket diapers’ and now, these are what we still mainly use. Pocket diapers are called this because they have a pocket inside the diaper where the inserts (absorbent layer) are placed and thus, you can adjust the amount of absorbancy you need as your baby grows. In layman’s terms – the more your baby pees, the more inserts you put in the pocket so mommy or daddy won’t get wet with leaks. Oh and since our pocket diapers are adjustable and ‘one size fits most’, the ones we have that fit when he was a newborn still fit him now that he is 1.5 years old!

same baby, same nappy

same baby, same nappy

We are now eighteen months into practicing the art of cloth diapering – and counting! We have saved thousands of disposable diapers from going into the landfills, we have saved a lot of money and, we have a ton of cute baby bum pictures to look back on. The benefits far outweigh the time and effort spent and I hope those that are considering using cloth diapers will choose to do so.

Other carnival posts:

http://www.chroniclesofanursingmom.com/2013/03/mcnp-blog-carnival-whats-in-our-diaper.html

http://ashnboo.wordpress.com/2013/03/18/the-modern-cloth-nappy-the-practical-choice-for-moms-today/

http://mariamasungit.blogspot.com/2013/03/cloth-diapering-away-from-home.html

http://adventuresonplanetmom.blogspot.com/2013/03/confessions-of-cloth-diaper-skeptic.html

http://lyndelsmom.blogspot.com/2013/03/whyclothdiapers.html

http://organizedjunk.blogspot.com/2013/03/cloth-diapers-know-your-stuff.html

http://kingdomcow.net/2013/03/18/why-we-chose-cloth-the-benefits-of-using-cloth-diapers/

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16 months old

January 9, 2013

I haven’t blogged in a while. I have been too lazy and didn’t want to continue boring the few readers of this blog with our daily milestones and achievements we’ve had with Milo. But then I realized there are a few people who would care for it to be documented – mainly me and Renz, and perhaps Milo when he’s older.

14 months old

at 14 months old

On Breastfeeding

Yes, we are still breastfeeding! When I first started to breastfeed, I was determined to keep at it and told myself just to just take it day by day. My stubbornness about not giving up has paid off. There were a few times when I had plugged ducts and it was so painful, I definitely wanted to give up. Around the time Milo turned 1 year old, it was getting so painful, I was ready to stop. I told myself that I made it to 1 year already and that is already a tremendous achievement – it was enough. But the pain went away and I didn’t stop for several reasons. First, formula is expensive! Secondly, it’s just so much more convenient to whip out a boob rather than have to go to the kitchen, get a bottle, prepare milk, and wash the bottle afterwards. In short, I’m too cheap and too lazy to stop breastfeeding. We do mix feeding now though with fresh milk and it is a relief to be able to give him that when we are out and about rather than having to worry about where I can breastfeed and not expose myself.

On Cloth Diapering

Yes, we still continue to use cloth diapers! I am still extremely in love with our cloth diaper stash. I’m sure the investment we made on these diapers have already paid for themselves with how much we’ve used them already.  I have to admit though, there is a place in our lives for disposable diapers. There were a couple of times when he got horrible diaper rashes (I think from diarrhea) and we had to use rash cream/medication so we resorted to using disposables. We also use disposables when we are traveling for more than an overnight trip.

On Baby Wearing

We don’t get to use our baby carriers as often now. Mainly because most of the time, Milo would much rather prefer to walk and explore rather than be carried. If we do need a carrier, for his age and weight now, we would use our pouches or the Ergo.

On Baby-Led Weaning

More often than not know, we do spoon feed him or at least assist him in holding the spoon. The main challenge I’ve encountered with BLW is rice. It’s such a staple in our household but it’s so damn sticky and messy for a baby to try to eat with his hands. Aside from that though, we do try to offer him a variety of healthy option at every meal and he decides what to eat. He can point and he says ‘mamam’ when he wants something.  He’s quite stubborn in that way. If doesn’t want to eat it, there’s just no sense in forcing it. The way he’s eating is definitely led by him.

On Baby Food

He loves grapes, corn, and watermelon.  Those are the food that come to mind when I try to think of his favorites. He also likes noodles/pasta, sinigang, apples, pears, carrots, bananas, kiat-kiat, and a slew of other things. He is usually keen on trying whatever food we have at least once.

On Toys

I don’t know of any toy that he does not like. He received a lot of new toys for Christmas from our family and friends and I think he loves them all. Lately, he plays a lot with his blocks, anything with wheels, magnetic drawing boards, his magnetic alphabet, his golf set, and his fake dog. But really at his young age, it is so hard to distinguish what toys are from everything else. Sometimes he prefers to play with the empty boxes rather than the toy that was inside those boxes.

On Developmental Milestones

When Milo was first born and was just a blob that had to be carried all over, my aching arms and body yearned for the day when he would be mobile enough to carry his own body. Well, that day has arrived, and he is super active and hyper and we are often chasing after him. Now, I yearn for those days in the past when he was just a blob lying down and not moving so much. Another reminder that the grass is often greener on the other side.

He has a few words he can say – apple, mama, dada, ba (for bye), up, baaah (for bulaga). I swear he can speak in full sentences when it’s just the two of us. I just haven’t been able to document it yet. We’re working on that.

He knows where his belly button is. Bow. He knows how to bless, how to shake hands, and how to fist bump. We joke around that he is going into politics someday because he is never satisfied with just shaking one person’s hand. He has to shake everyone else’s hand.

Now, he is not just walking, he’s often trying to run somewhere. He dances (bends his knee) when he hears music. He’s always trying to climb everything and anything. He’s also getting taller so it’s only a matter of time when he will be able to fully reach the door knob and escape!

so curious about everything

so curious about everything

There’s so many other things I could take note of so that I don’t forget but this blog is long enough for now. Every day is a constant adventure. Our worlds have been turned upside down since he arrived into our lives but we wouldn’t have it any other way.

For your continuous reading pleasure, Renz and I area also working on updating our other blog (Excess Baggage) to document the travels we’ve had with Milo.

This post is written for the Real Diaper Week Carnival with the theme “Real Simple. Real Diapers.” We aim to educate and advocate the use of cloth diapers in the Philippines. Please scroll below to read the other carnival posts about cloth diaper styles, how to’s or must haves.

While I was still buntis, Renz and I already decided that we would use cloth diapers on our baby. Thanks to the wonderful world of the Internet, I was able to educate myself with ‘modern’ cloth diapers. I learned that there were plenty of cloth diapering (CD) options and systems to choose from – all-in-one (AIO), pocket diapers, all-in-two (AI2 or hybrid), prefolds, flats, diaper covers, wool, sized diapers, fitteds, etc. I also looked into what accessories I would need to have on hand to ensure success with CDs – snappis, wet bags, proper laundry detergent, cloth wipes, bamboo, hemp, liners, etc. It was totally overwhelming but very addicting. By reading up on the various mommy forums, we decided to go with prefolds/diaper covers, pockets, and a couple of Grovia hybrids for Milo.

For Milo’s first month, we used prefolds with a Snappi and Thirsties Duo Size 1 diaper covers. Since newborns poo and pee so much, going through an average of 15 diapers per day, this was one of the most economical CD options for us. This system worked very well for us since Milo was born with skinny chicken legs and we were able to adjust the prefold to fit perfectly around his skinny legs. Also, we were able to always identify when he was wet so we were able to immediately changed his diaper – to avoid UTI or rashes. The best part is, we didn’t mind changing his diaper so often since they were washable and reusable. By the time he was 1 month old, he weighed 10lbs. By then, some of his pocket diapers fit.

20120415-113244.jpg

Pocket diapers are called this because they have a ‘pocket’ or opening within the diaper where the absorbancy can be adjusted as needed. Just like with disposables, you replace the entire diaper when soiled. But, with CDs, you don’t throw it away and you get to reuse them! Based on the various reviews I read and taking into account the cost factor, we invested mainly in Bum Genius and Sunbaby with a couple of Alva Baby and Next9 diapers. We have a total of about 25 pocket diapers in my stash Milo’s stash and we wash every other day. 7 months into it, our daily favorties are the Sunbaby diapers and Bum Genius for night time. Pocket diapers can even be used as swim diapers – just remove the insert! We used one of our Sunbaby diapers when Milo went swimming for the first time last week.

20120415-113317.jpg

The most frequent question I get when people find out we use CDs is – Isn’t it hard? The answer is a big fat NO. Sure, we do a few more loads of laundry a week but it’s really not a big deal – this coming from a household without a helper. We do all of the laundry ourselves and it’s a great feeling to be able to see how many diapers we wash knowing that we’re saving money every time we get to reuse a CD. Since Milo just turned 7 months old, I estimate that we’ve gone through about 2,100 diaper changes (7 months x 30 days x 10 diapers/day). Wow, that’s a whole lot of garbage we saved from going into the landfill. The advantages that come with using CDs far outweigh the disadvantages. They’re cuter, better for the environment, better for Milo’s bum, and better for our wallets!

There’s not one perfect cloth diaper system/brand/type for everyone. My advice to those interested in using CDs is to research and gather differing opinions first. Don’t invest in only one kind/brand of diapers especially if you have never tried it. Diapers are not made equal and cheapest is not always the best. All babies are also built differently so even though some diapers claim to be ‘one size’, what fits well for some may not fit well for others. Even when you have settled on some brands/types of CDs, it is still addicting to buy new ones to try the different kinds. This is one of the funnest parts with Cloth Diapering – learning and experimenting with the different kinds to see what is best for you and your baby.

Check out the other entries for this blog carnival:

Next9 Baby’s The CD Revolution

Tickled Mom Clarice’s Stuff you need for an easier CD-ing life

Happy Tots Studio’s Matteo’s Diaper Story

Hoo Goes Where’s Real Diapers Our CD Journey

Misisagun’s We Choose Cloth

MrsBry’s Z loves: Next9 Cloth Diapers

This Mom’s Life’s Transitioning to Cloth Diapers

ms. Masungit’s Cloth Diapers? Where?

The Odyssey of Dinna’s nurturing rafael: the cloth diaper chronicles

The Articulate Pen’s Making the Switch to Cloth Diapers

The Common Mom’s Surviving the Holidays with Cloth Diapers

Tickled Mom Abie’s Cloth Diapers. A Quick Review of the Different Systems

Swept Away’s What We Love About Cloth Diapers

Chronicles of a Nursing Mom’s Going out of Town with Cloth Diapers

cloth diapers

August 5, 2011

 The people I speak with on a daily basis know that I’ve gotten a teeny tiny bit obsessed  passionate about cloth diapers. When I first found out I was pregnant, I believe it was first Renz who suggested we try to use ‘lampins’ for the baby rather than disposables. My first thought of lampins were ‘Ew, gross’. All I’ve ever heard about lampins were the locally available ones that are like gauze. I’ve never understood how those are expected to absorb anything and I just couldn’t imagine them working as diapers.

But, as I did more research about cloth diapering, through the help of the Internet and a lot of helpful forums, I’ve learned that cloth diapers have come a long way from the old fashioned lampins that I initially had in mind. There are now a variety of types to choose from. There are All-In-Ones (AIO), Pockets, Prefolds, Covers, Flats. Then the necessary accessories such as Snappis, Wetbags, etc.

Unfortunately, cloth diapering is not that well-known yet here in the Philippines. The ones that are locally resold cost almost double the amount it would cost if you bought it in the US. So, I decided to be resourceful and think long term to order enough from US websites so that my family could send it to me in a balikbayan box.  I also ordered a few cheap ones from a couple of sources in China that have gotten rave reviews from the cloth diapering forums. Now I have my first ‘stash’ which, hopefully, through proper care, will last until potty training. It really does get to be an addicting hobby but I’m satisfied now with the stash so I am not expecting to buy any more.

Only while researching for cloth diapers did I learn that disposable diapers are filled with potentially harmful chemicals and stay in the landfills for at least 500 years! A newborn baby is expected to use up about 10 diapers per day. If you’re using disposables, that’s a whole lot of crap (literally) that ends up in the landfills! Cloth diapering requires quite a big up-front investment but in the long run, I still expect we would end up with cost savings as well since having to buy disposable diapers on a regular basis does add up to quite a small fortune. It’s better for the environment, it’s better for the baby’s skin (since cloth is breathable rather than plastic used in disposables), it would result in cost savings, and they’re cute! I know it will take a bit more laundry and more effort to make it work but the benefits of using cloth diapers far outweigh the convenience of using disposable diapers.

Today, I’m 34 weeks and 3 days buntis.

32nd week

July 20, 2011

As of today, I’m 32 weeks and 1 day buntis. Yikes, we’re officially into the 8th month. 2 months to go more or less.

Last week I washed the clothes we have so far and did diaper laundry to make sure they’re all ready and clean.

We also had our last birthing class this past Sunday. It felt like a crash course. We should’ve taken better notes. Being the procrastinator that I am, I’m hoping to be able to cram the material in my head before labor actually starts. Now that I type this, it’s probably not a good plan to have. Hahaha!

I measured my belly this morning and it’s exactly at 32cm. Looks like we are on track. The belly measurement (in cm) is supposed to correspond to how many weeks you’re pregnant.

Now we just wait…tick, tock, tick, tock.

Baby stuff

May 23, 2011

There is a lot of baby-related fluff out there. They’re mostly so cute and colorful, it’s hard to resist caving in to everything you’re ‘supposed’ to have for the baby.  I guess it’s part of the nesting phase especially for first-time parents but for me, since I have little or no self-control, it’s hard to distinguish what we ‘need’ from what ‘I want’.

If we’re talking about basics, all the baby should really need is a place to sleep, clothes, food, diapers, and everything else is not really a necessity. Sounds simple enough.

Sleep – I don’t want to co-sleep with the baby in our bed. We live in a loft with no rooms so it’s not like we will ever be too far away. So where will the baby sleep? I was really, really tempted to buy a real crib. I already had a list of online sources about why it was better for the baby to sleep in a crib than in a pack and play BUT my sister has a pack and play that she can give to us for FREE. So there, it was decided based on practicality that we will just reuse that and I will just order a mattress.

Clothes – How do you know how many to get and what size? The newborn size supposedly lasts for just such a short time that it might not make sense to buy clothes in that size. But what will the baby wear in the meantime? Then you have to get hats, mittens, socks, shirts, pants, onesies. It doesn’t help nor does it make sense that department stores in the Philippine are segregated by brand and not by item type. Confused people (like me) end up having to scour the entire floor just to make sure I’m getting the right ones for the right price.

Food – I will breastfeed. To make sure this happens one way or another, I’m reading breast feeding books and thankfully, my parents are sponsoring a breast pump, feeding bottles, breast pads, and everything else that has the word ‘breast’ in it.

Diapers – We will use cloth diapers. There’s so many different kinds though that most recommend getting a few of each type to figure out which one will work best for you and for the baby’s body type. All-in-one’s, pockets, pre-folds, covers, flats, snappis.  I’m a bit obsessed about cloth diapers right now. It’s overwhelming but I can’t wait to use them.

Yep, in the past couple of weeks we’ve finally started to get ready for the baby’s arrival. We’ve cleared up some space in the closet and in the cabinets anticipating for the baby’s things. It’s hard on the pocket but it’s getting really exciting and it feels more real that a baby will soon live with us when we start to accumulate baby-related things in the house.

As of this post I should be about 23 weeks and 6 days buntis.  The summer heat is unbearable at times and I am just grateful that my belly is not that huge yet. I’ve figured out that my big boobs make my belly seem smaller and I bet some people still wonder whether I am really pregnant or I’m just fat. I can’t believe we’re almost at the third trimester.

I will…

May 9, 2011

*Updated with a drawing. Didn’t seem right to have a blog entry without one.*

I panicked at first. I didn’t know what I needed to do and what I needed to read and learn about. Fortunately, the Internet is a plethora of information. Everything you need (and don’t need) to know is somewhere on some website on the wonderful world-wide web. For the past 5 months, my brain has been acting as a sponge soaking up all the information and advice that other parents and marketers have posted on the Internet.

The abundance of information is all overwhelming but at my age, I really should be old enough to know what I can and cannot manage. I figure, if it’s something I believe in and other women can do it, why can’t I? It’s a matter of trying to filter out what is really necessary from what is unnecessarily just trendy methods and products.

You may call me ignorant, stubborn, driven, competitive, or wishful-thinking but these are the things that I have decided I WILL do.

1. I WILL cloth diaper (most of the time) – It’s quite an investment at first but hopefully it will be more economical in the long run. We will leave a smaller carbon footprint on Mother Earth and I love doing laundry anyway. We’ll start with disposables during the newborn stage.

2. I WILL breastfeed (exclusively at least for the first 6 months) – I’m a bit scared about this just because it’s supposed to be so natural but it comes so hard for so many women.

3. I WILL baby wear – I’ve ordered a Moby wrap and I will order a Saya carrier too. No stroller for us for now.

4. I WILL not resort to getting a full-time yaya – I will, hopefully, be able to continue to work from home afterwards so that we can manage to do this.

5. I WILL (unless absolutely necessary) have as natural birth as possible – No, I don’t want an epidural – I wonder how realistic this statement will be once I’m actually in labor at the hospital.

The breastfeeding book that I’m reading now (The womanly art of breastfeeding) says that I have to decide that these are things that I’m GOING to do, not TRY to do. I just hope the people around me will be supportive about our decisions whether they agree with it or not.

No drawing with this post today. My creative juices have dried up with all the baby-related information soaked up in my brain. As of today, I should be 21 weeks and 6 days buntis – I’m following the original due date (Sept 13) provided, not from the latest ultrasound.