I’ve been keeping track of my cloth diapering (CD) process throughout this past year (a list of my other posts will be provided at the bottom of this post). Last time, I covered a multitude of varieties of diapers. This time, I’m going to talk about CD while your little ones transition into solid foods. (Reader beware: we’re talking about poop, here!)

 

I remember when my husband and I were discussing CD’s. He was totally for it in all except one aspect. Yes, that’s right. Like all parents, we were wondering what we were supposed to do with the poop.

 

Now, when you’re breastfeeding, handling infant poo is easy. You simply toss the diaper into the laundry pail without a second thought because it’s water soluble. I believe, though I have no real experience with it, that you should clean out the diapers if you formula feed. The same applies to solid food poo. You must wash out the diapers before they go into the laundry pail, or at the very least provide yourself with an easy way of getting it into the toilet.

 

How does one do this, you might ask? There are a few options out there, some of which I prefer over others.

 

1. The diaper sprayer. This is the way hubby and I decided to go. We wanted a way of getting the tough, sticky poos out of the diaper without having to do the dunk-n-swish method (also an option when you’re in a pinch, but requires intestinal fortitude as you’ll actually touch feces). I was so glad I purchased this before our daughter was born, even though it waited six months to get hooked onto the toilet. It’s fairly costly, ranging around $50-$60 per sprayer, but it saves you the headache of getting up close and personal with poop. (For those looking to reduce any spray given off while spraying out CD’s, you might also check out a companion piece called a SprayPal. We do not see the need to own one, however.) The trick to minimizing spray, however, is to ease the sprayer on rather than just blasting away.

 

2. CD liners. These are also another method we’ve taken to using, mostly because many of our nighttime solution diapers are made with natural fibers and we need to wick away moisture from our daughter’s sensitive skin. We use reusable fleece liners, which are laid on the inside of the CD before putting it on. Many times, when we have to empty out any poo, it drops right in without us having to reach for the sprayer! Not into reusable liners, though, and want something a little easier? There are also disposable liners. Again, just lay them on the inside of the CD before use–these are really great travel options for those choosing to CD while traveling long distances. The whole mess goes in the toilet and they’re environmentally friendly.

 

3. Spatula. Some moms prefer to just scrape the mess out with a spatula. They find it just as quick and easy as squirting water on their diapers, and often wash their loads more frequently (every day or two) than those who spray out their CDs (often three or more days). This is not my personal favorite way of ridding a diaper of poo, but it’s useful if you can’t afford a sprayer or are in need of a little extra help every once in a while when you run out of liners.

 

If you choose to enter into the fabulous world of CD’s–and they really are the most adorable things out there for your baby’s bottom–you’ll have to deal with poo. Just remember that if you get some on your hand, use plenty of soap and hot water. And breathe! It’s just a little poo, after all.

 

Speaking of CD while traveling, hubby and I took our second cross-country trip of our daughter’s life and used CD the whole time. For those who are considering making a journey, here are a few tips to think of while planning:

 

  • Make sure the place you’re staying has a laundry facility, or that you can access one at any given notice.
  • Bring your own CD-safe laundry detergent, water softener (Calgon is the most recognized brand), diaper liners, wet/dry bags (you’ll need more than one–one for storage at your place, and one for outings, at the very least), and plenty of change.
  • Be prepared to wash your CD’s more frequently than you  might at home, as your wet bag probably won’t hold all of them.
  • Realize that packing CD’s increases the bulk of your luggage. If traveling via airplane, take this into consideration while packing.

 

CD at any time doesn’t have to be difficult. It merely requires a little forethought when making your plans. I’ve found that using cloth is both very easy and very convenient. I hope that once you figure out your own routine, it will be that way for you, too.

 

One final note on CD’s. At the six month review I mentioned that I was really excited to try out wool. Sadly, that hasn’t gone according to plan for a few reasons. First, we live in a very hot climate–the sun bakes us the majority of the year, and hubby just didn’t think it was financially responsible to make wool purchases (which are pricey) when they wouldn’t be used all the the time. (He did add that, were we living in a cooler climate that got more cold weather, he wouldn’t have as many issues with such purchases.) Second, wool requires a little more care than the typical CD, and when I learned I was pregnant again, I found myself out of energy and laid up on the couch. Last, with another on the way, our money needs to be put toward buying–among a few other things–more CD’s!

 

For my other posts on cloth diapers, please see the following:

 

Cloth Diapers 101

Book Review: Changing Diapers by Kelly Wels

Cloth Diapering 102: Joys and Trials

Crunchy Mama

 

Please note: I am not an affiliate with Kelly’s Closet. It’s merely the place I shop for my CD’s and supplies. There are many other stores out there, but I highly recommend looking for a place that sources CD’s with sustainable and ethical manufacturers.

I meant to get this out last week, but life being what it is, it’s better late than never! This month, I’m doing posts looking back on my first year as a mother, and the things I’ve learned. I hope you take the information and use it as you see fit in your own experiences 🙂

 

On to breastfeeding. First off, I’ll quickly comment on the Breast is Best debate that rages throughout our society. I’m obviously pro-breastfeeding or else I wouldn’t be writing this post. Women were created with breasts to sustain children, and virtually all women can supply breast milk to their babies. However, sometimes this feat doesn’t go according to plans (i.e. our own expectations) and some women may end up needing to supplement their baby’s diet with formula. While I have a lot of personal issues with what they put into formula, I’m not going to dog on those women who choose to do this…but I will encourage every mama out there to breastfeed as much as she absolutely can!

 

Second, I’ll add a brief comment on the medical field and breastfeeding these days. Both the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and the World Health Organization (WHO) say that, if possible, women should breastfeed their children until the age of two, as they receive plenty of immunity benefits from the mother in addition to other nutritional needs. Unfortunately, a lot of family doctors are not caught up on the current medical advice and still promote formula at any given chance. If you feel that you are being pressured to formula feed by any in the medical field, seek help by consulting a lacation consultant, your local La Leche League International (LLLI) group, or a more balanced opinion from another doctor. There’s nothing wrong with second opinions; however, “mom’s advice” may be outdated too–I’ve heard of numerous stories where women’s mothers have encouraged them to switch to formula very early on in a baby’s life because “it’s just not done.”

 

Now, about my own experience. I originally began breastfeeding right from the start with the hopes that I’d be able to go for at least six months. I wasn’t sure I’d actually make it till then because I know that each woman “dries up” at any given time, and I was one of the unlucky new moms who got her menstrual cycle back almost immediately (two months) after birth. But I didn’t give up, and I discovered soon enough that my daughter despised bottles. Poor daddy! She wailed whenever he tried to give her one because she knew that Breast was Best, or most snuggly, or whatever it is that infants hold as truth when it comes to breastfeeding. Even after we introduced solid foods at the age of six months, she still preferred breast milk for quite a while.

 

I’ve now been breastfeeding for 13 months, and while I’m pretty sure she’s weening, I’m really happy that I’ve been able to go this long. It hasn’t always been easy. I’ve had my fair share of pain and worries just like the next mother. While my experience may be my own (yours will be different), here are a couple things I think apply across the board when it comes to learning how to breastfeed and maintaining it:

 

  • Breastfeeding takes time. I know of a lot of women who give up after four or five days, when the soreness of their nipples really grates at their nerves. Don’t give up. Your milk supply is just coming in at that point, and it takes at least two weeks (sometimes as many as four or six) to really get a newborn to latch properly. If latching proves to be difficult–and babies will be lazy from time to time, so you may have to reteach it–consult a lactation consultant for tips on how to improve your baby’s latch.
  • Breastfeeding requires patience. This is a learning experience for both mom and baby. There are numerous positions you might need to try before you figure out which is best for the two of you. You might have to figure out how to sit your baby up while feeding because s/he gets gassy/colicky. You might have to figure out how to use a breast pump because your supply is large, or you might have to use one to help increase it. (Amount of milk pumped is NO indication of your actual supply, so for those who hardly get anything out, don’t fret. You’re making what your baby needs.) Some days, your baby will be a permanent attachment, others they won’t want much at all. When you get frustrated, take a deep breath and keep at it. Persistence is key and patience is mandatory.
  • Breastfeeding is beautiful. The bond between mother and child is a very special one. Breastfeeding gives you time to look at tiny fingers and toes, to watch your baby develop, and to say a prayer of thanksgiving for the little gift God has given you. Even now, when my daughter’s feedings are growing fewer in number, I’m astonished at how wonderful my child is, how wonderfully she was created.

 

I’ve also come up with a list of what I’d consider essentials to help you breastfeed:

 

  • A boppy pillow: seriously, the one “non-essential essential” I recommend every mother has at her disposal. This has saved my back as well as helped me position my daughter right since day one.
  • A breast pump: there are quite a few affordable ones out there, but the likelihood is that you’ll need one. Whether your supply is large or small, pumping helps regulate it. If you are a career woman who is determined to breastfeed her baby while working full time, look into the laws in your state. I believe that businesses are mandated to have a room for mothers to pump in and store the milk, but it might vary for each state.
  • A breast milk storage system: again, there are many ways of doing this, but the newest one I’ve found interesting is by Kiinde. Their starter kit comes with several attachments so you can pump directly into their storage bags, which then attach directly onto a bottle so you don’t lose any of the creamy fat that can stick to the sides of other bottles when you warm it up and transfer to a feeding bottle. I’m looking forward to trying this one out with Baby #2. (No, I don’t receive anything for mentioning the company 🙂 I just learned about it at MommyCon this month!)
  • Bottles: you may have to try several varieties before you find one that works for your baby, or you may have to forget this idea altogether. It really depends on the baby.

 

In closing, I hope that your journey into motherhood is as filled with wonder and joy as mine as been. No doubt it’ll be different, maybe even difficult, but even the hardest child is a blessing in a mother’s life. I wish you the very best in everything, and hope that you and your spouse will make the best decisions for your family that you can. In the end, you are the one that knows what your family needs the most.

So I’ve been busy as a bee in October trying to get moved and enjoying a vacation, but all the while pondering what it’s like to be a pregnant mom with a one-year-old. First off, let me say that this first year has been an absolute blast. My husband and I are so very happy, we often look at each other and wonder what we did before we had kids. Our daughter is a sweet-tempered, curious little tot who wakes up each morning ready to embrace the new day. (I wish I could channel that enthusiasm for sunrises some mornings.) To her, there is nothing more pleasant than getting a chance to venture outside with one or both of her parents; walking with the breeze blowing through our hair is the greatest of delights.

 

It’s not always so easy, however. I’m once again experiencing nausea with this current pregnancy as I did with the last, though admittedly it isn’t quite so bad this time around. Still, there are days when it’s hard to peel myself up off the couch because my daughter is investigating something that we’d rather her not get into. After a hectic month like October, all I really want to do is vegetate. Too bad I’m a mom 😉

 

Here are some of my thoughts on back-to-back pregnancies, and how to make it through when the going gets rough:

 

  • It is exhausting to be chasing a young child around while you’re carrying another. Take naps. Take a lot of naps. Find ways of wearing said young child out so you can take another, or put them in a play pen (pack-n-play) just so you can close your eyes for 20 minutes. You’ll thank yourself later.
  • Don’t hesitate to ask for help from your spouse, friends, and family. Even if all you do is sit on the sofa while they tend to the needs of your little one, it’s worth letting go of the control reins for those few precious minutes. One of the big things OB’s try to convey to their pregnant patients is minimizing stress factors in your life. This is one way of doing so.
  • It is very likely that, as some point, you’re going to feel like a harassed blob that looks like a tornado struck her in the face. It is so easy to forget about your needs. Give yourself permission to take care of yourself. Put on a little makeup (but keep it out of reach of Little Sticky Fingers), wear clothes that aren’t your usual pregnancy attire, go out with a girlfriend for coffee/tea, workout, get a massage–whatever it is you need, do it. Dad won’t die from watching your tiny tot for an hour or so. If he can’t do it, try to have a backup babysitter.
  • Remember that tornado I mentioned? It rips through your living space daily, spreading toys and shoes and whatever else it finds throughout it. Remember that it’s okay to let the house be messy for a day or two (or three). Tidiness is not a strong trait with young kids, and you might not have the energy to pick up every evening when pregnant. Take a deep breath and watch something on the television once your kiddo has gone to bed. You deserve the break.
  • Eat often (you’re growing a baby) and eat a wide variety of foods. Your tot will want whatever is on your plate, no matter what’s on his/hers. I just went to MommyCon last weekend (more on that later) and one of the interesting facts I learned is that you only have the first three years of a child’s life (plus gestation) to instill healthy eating habits. After that, it becomes much harder to get them to change their preferences. So by eating the best foods you can (the pregnancy will dictate some of this, of course), you’re increasing the likelihood that your tot will be exposed to good food choices, as well as your baby (they have a lot of taste buds in the womb)! Don’t worry if they’re picky through their toddler years. Keep trying. They’ll come back to eating well later on.
  • Don’t forget to budget for baby! You might not need as much stuff this time around–I don’t, thank goodness–but you still need to plan and buy well in advance, if possible. I highly recommend shopping secondhand or asking friends if they have anything they’re getting rid of. I got a crib for free and a double stroller for a fraction of its original price.
  • Stay consistent with your tot in both routine and discipline. It’s really easy to let go of the control reins when you’re pregnant because you’re tired, sick, etc., but that can be really frightening/challenging to a young child, and they’ll act out. Stick to your guns, even when it’s tough on the hard days, and you’ll thank yourself after Bumpkin #2 comes along because you won’t have as much work to do, let alone patience, in order to correct bad behavior.
  • Tell your kid about the baby! You may not think they’ll understand, particularly if they’re young, but I guarantee you they will. My daughter once gave my baby bump a kiss!
  • Take time to be with your spouse. Nourishing your relationship will promote a healthy family life and set a good example for your children.
  • Keep a sense of humor even on the bad days. Sometimes a good belly laugh is all you need to turn your day around.

 

These suggestions, of course, are the tip of the ice burg. Each situation is unique to the person living them, so there’s no way for me to cover them all. These are the things I’ve learned from my own personal experience, and I hope they help you on your own journey through parenthood. It is a fantastic time of life. Cherish every moment, particularly the young years–they’ll be gone in a flash.

 

***

Here is this month’s doTERRA specials. If you are interested in essential oils, please check out my website. Remember, if you place an order, take advantage of the preferred member discount (20% off orders; it’s a one-time $10 fee)! If you’re interested in becoming a wellness advocate, please message me for more information.

unnamed (3)