Spoonful Test Blog

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween from my lobster baby, who is currently on hour two of his nap!

  


...is it bad that the sad face picture is my favorite?  He's just so chubby and saaaad!  And I love it!

Ellie was forced wanted to wear the costume, too.  She was a good girl and stood still while I took a picture.



Happy Halloween!  Be safe and have fun!  And eat all the candy, please!

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

I like big butts: Insert edition.


Alright, folks!  It's time to talk about cloth diaper inserts!



I'm glad you're so excited!  I am, too!  Inserts are the most fun.

As we discussed in this post, pocket diapers and AI2 (all-in-two) diapers need inserts in order to be absorbent.  And we talked about the difference between synthetic and natural fibers for inserts.  So now we're going to delve a little deeper into the ocean of cloth diaper inserts.

Nice imagery, eh?

Most pocket diapers come with a microfiber insert, which is a synthetic fiber.  It does not hold as much liquid as a natural fiber insert, but absorbs quickly.  For my pockets, I generally add a natural fiber insert under the microfiber to help with absorption.  These are the inserts I use most often in a pocket diaper:

 From left to right, we have a microfiber insert (synthetic), an Alva bamboo/microfiber insert (natural/synthetic), and a Thirsties hemp insert (natural).

Here is a close-up of the microfiber and bamboo/microfiber inserts so you can see the texture!

Beautiful, right?



Riiiight.

Remember, a microfiber insert cannot touch the baby's skin; it will suck the moisture right out!  In a pocket diaper, the lining comes between the insert and baby's skin.  In an AI2 diaper, however, you will need to make sure and put either another insert or a liner over a microfiber insert if that is what you will use.

For our AI2 diapers, we use mostly the Flip system.  There are three kinds of Flip inserts, which are pictured here:

From left to right: a stay dry insert (microfiber--synthetic), a nighttime organic cotton insert (natural), and a daytime organic cotton insert (natural).  The stay dry insert has a suede-like top which can touch the baby's skin; the reverse side is the fuzzy microfiber that cannot go directly against the baby.

When Gibson was younger, we could put one stay dry insert in his cover and it worked really well!  Now that he is bigger, pees more, and moves around more, however, the stay dry inserts don't work as well.  The nighttime organic insert holds crazy amounts of liquid, so that's what we generally use for sleeping.  And the daytime organic insert is far more absorbent than the stay dry, but we still need to add absorbency.

Besides the inserts that are made for certain diapers, you can use a variety of things to absorb in diapers!

Fitted diapers look like this:

They are diaper-shaped, and the entire thing is absorbent.  This really helps keep all the liquid in!  Gibson is wearing a Kissaluvs cotton fleece one-size fitted here, which is a mix of natural and synthetic fibers.  Some fitted diapers have snaps or hook and loop closures, but I used a Snappi to close this diaper.  You do need to put a cover over a fitted diaper in order to make it water-resistant.  My Flip covers work well over this fitted diaper, and I am planning to try wool covers at some point.

Flats are basically a large piece of fabric that you can fold to add absorbency to a diaper.  I use flour sack towels as flats, which you can buy for around $1 at Walmart.  Some people use receiving blankets inside diapers, and there are flats that you can buy that are made specifically for diapering.  Here is a picture of Gibson in a flour sack towel:


This is folded using the origami fold (directions here) and Snappied shut.  Getting this diaper on Gibson is ridiculously hard...he's far too wiggly for me to do this way every time I change his diaper.  So you can also padfold the flat and lay it inside a cover or stuff it in a pocket like a regular insert.  These are very absorbent!

*Sidenote: in order to get the diaper on him and take that picture I had to turn on Bubble Guppies.  That's why he looks entranced.

Prefolds are another great option...this is what most people think of when they hear the words "cloth diaper."


Photo from www.bumritediapers.com

Prefolds can be tri-folded and put in a cover or stuffed in a pocket like a normal insert, or they can be folded around the baby like a flat or fitted diaper.  You can use pins or a Snappi to close a prefold, and then put a cover on.  When Gibson was a newborn we used prefolds in covers, and it worked so well to contain his runny baby poop!  We do have one prefold that we love to use for nighttime, but it has gone missing.  If anyone sees it, please give it back.  I love it and miss it dearly.

...I should probably buy more prefolds and then I wouldn't miss that one so much.  But still.

Ta daaaaa!  A post about inserts!  I only promised it a week and a half ago.  I'm such a jerk.



Next time we'll discuss washing diapers! The most fun part ever!

Not.
________________________________________
If you missed all the fun of my first two cloth diaper posts, here's a handy link to them!

Part one
Part two

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Monday, October 28, 2013

Beards.

For those of you who don't know my husband very well, this is what he looks like:



"But Erin, that's a picture of a baby!"

Well, he pretty much looks like that.  Even though this picture was taken approximately 24 years ago...which is why people think he's in high school instead of being old enough to have gotten a Master's degree and teach high school.  We have tried to come up with ways to make him look older...he swoops his hair now (very suave) and always wears a shirt and tie, but he still looks like a teenager.  Many people have suggested that he grow a beard...such a great solution!

But he can't.  And it's something we have to live with everyday of our lives.



The fact that Danny can't grow a beard is especially unfortunate for Gibson.  Because he loves beards.

Loves.  Them.

He stares awkwardly at men with beards, and tries to pet them.  He is obsessed with my dad's beard-clad face.  Danny's brother has a huge beard, and Gibson likes to look at and touch it.  We have lots of friends with lots of facial hair, and Gibson is enamored with their faces.

I hope that he isn't disappointed in his daddy's lack of facial hair as he grows up.  And I hope that his love of beards doesn't translate into wanting one himself, because I have a feeling that he'll have trouble growing one.  Because he is his daddy's clone.

...although if he somehow gets his hair genes from me, he'll be quite the hairy little lad.  Which is sad for me, but good for him!


He's well on his way to being a wolf man.  So much hair!


Danny doesn't really look like a baby.  I was being hyperbolic.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Motherhood musings

Gibson has a toy that sings lots of songs, and I noticed today that not only do I know all the words to the songs, but I have come up with harmonies that I sing along with them.

I say "uh oh!" at least 20 times a day.

Apparently I say "uh oh!" when Gibson spits up, because Ellie comes running and checks his face and the floor every time I say it.

I realized today that Ellie goes down for a nap every time I put Gibson down.  She spends the day in the living room with us (usually on her window sill) until I put him in bed...then she goes to my bedroom and sleeps until he wakes up.

I have started crawling on my hands and knees when I want to get something across the room because I like to show Gibson how much fun crawling is.

Crawling hurts my knees.  Maybe I should get Gibson baby knee pads?

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Don't jinx it!

Gah.  I jinxed myself this morning.

I generally don't subscribe to the thought that if you say something out loud you'll jinx it.  I feel confident saying things like, "Hey!  I just noticed that Gibson hasn't spit up yet today!" out loud.  Other people tell me not to jinx things...but I mean, I'm thinking it, why shouldn't I say it?  Jinxes aren't real, silly!

Well, I jinxed myself.  By thinking.  My brain is so very powerful.

A little background: the Spit Up family is in teething hell right now.  My wonderful 12-hour sleeper has started waking up screaming at all hours of the night.  And then he wakes up at 5:30 in the morning.  And it's awful.



But for the past two mornings, we have given him a bottle when he wakes up super early, and he goes back to sleep until 8:00...which is far longer than he's ever slept in his life.  And it's been wonderful.

So this morning, Danny got him a bottle at 5:45 when he woke up, and then he was quiet for awhile.  And of course I couldn't sleep, so I started composing a blog post in my head about how wonderful sleeping in is.

...that's a normal thing to do, right?  Most of my posts are composed in my brain in the middle of the night.  Because that's how I am.

Anyway.  I started composing in my head, and then Gibson started screaming.

Jinx!

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Eye candy

Hello, blogiverse!

...that's blog and universe smushed together, in case you didn't know.



Anyway.  I don't have many words to say tonight!  I know, you're all very very happy about that.  Because you're the worst.

Anyway anyway.  I have pictures.  Of my baaaaaby.  Because he's the cutest, pretty much.
  
  
  
  

You're welcome for the eye candy.  I'll probably have more words soon, so watch out.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Indentation nation

I put Gibson down for a nap a bit ago, and I was sitting on the couch eating Smarties a healthy snack.  And while I was enjoying my Halloween candy vegetables, I heard a very suspicious noise coming from Gibson's room.



It sounded like he was rearranging furniture.  And hitting the wall with a hammer...maybe he's doing renovations?  I was curious about what he was doing, but going in there would mean getting him up and he really needs to sleep.

It's such a moral dilemma.

And then he started screeching, so I went in.  And he looked like this:


Seriously?


Gibson does this at least once a day.  He scoots himself so his head is pressed up against the corner or side of his crib and then screams a lot.  And now he has a big dent in his head...but at least he's happy!  Because I gave him a package of wipes.

My poor dented baby.  I'm going to start sewing velcro on his pajamas and crib sheets so he can't scoot around when he's trying to avoid sleep.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

I like big butts. Part dos.


In my last post, I answered so many questions that I commonly get about cloth diapers.  Like, around a million questions.  Or eight ish.  One of the two.

In this post, I'll explain some of the different components of cloth diapering.  It's a lot of information.  Sorry.  And there will be a quiz at the end, don't worry.  The person with the highest score gets all my love and affection forever and ever.

Hopefully Danny gets the highest score, because I already promised him that.

The first thing you need to do once you decide to use cloth diapers is to decide what kind of diapers you want to use.  It's hard to know what will work for your baby until you actually try the diapers, but you have to start somewhere!  You can't just wrap your baby in a pillowcase covered in a trash bag and call it a day...there's a lot of thought to put into cloth diapering!

...I guess you could technically wrap your baby in a pillowcase/trash bag diaper.  If you wanted to be a crazy person.  I don't really care.



Here are some of the different kinds of (non-pillowcase) diapers that are available!

All-in-one (AIO):  AIO diapers are the easiest to use, and are generally the most expensive option for cloth diapering.  These are basically a cloth version of a disposable diaper.  You get it out, put it on, and you're good to go!  The absorbent layers are sewn in, so you don't need to add any inserts.  They do take a long time to dry since the layers don't come apart.  The one AIO diaper we own currently has a large poop in it, so here's a link to the one we have (bumGenius Freetime).

Pocket diapers:  A pocket diaper is also very easy to use!  The diaper itself has a water-resistant outer shell, and is usually lined with suede cloth or microfiber.  There is a pocket where you stuff an absorbent insert between the liner and outer shell, and then you put the diaper on the baby.  Easy!  When the diaper is dirty, you take the insert out and throw both parts in the wash.  We use bumGenius 4.0 pockets and Alva diapers.

bumGenius 4.0 on the left, Alva baby diaper on the right

"Feed me an inserrrrrt!"

Also, this diaper looks like Shamu.

Or a tuxedo, according to my husband.  Such a fancy diaper.

All-in-two (AI2):  These diapers consist of a water-resistant cover and an absorbent insert, and are one of the least expensive options for cloth diapering.  The water-resistant cover does not have a lining like pocket diapers do; the absorbent liner is the part that touches the baby's skin.  This means that you can reuse the diaper cover when the diaper is dirty (as long as the shell doesn't have poops on it and isn't too wet) and just throw the insert into the diaper pail.  Because of this, you don't need as many diaper covers in your stash of diapers, thus making it less expensive!  Ta daaaa!  We mostly use the Flip system for our AI2 diapers.

The outside of a Flip cover

 The inside!  Sad with no insert.
With a stay-dry insert!  Ready to be filled with my son's poo!

In order to make pocket and AI2 diapers absorbent, you'll need inserts.  This will be a quick run-down on inserts, and I'll do a more in-depth post about them next time!

Basically, there are two kinds of fabric available for inserts: synthetic fibers and natural fibers.

Most pocket diapers come with a microfiber insert, which is synthetic.  Microfiber absorbs quickly, but does not necessarily absorb a lot.  It cannot directly touch a baby's skin (it removes the moisture from their bottom!), so you cannot use this kind of insert in an AI2 diaper (unless you put another insert or liner on top).  Microfiber is also prone to compression leaks; basically, if it is squeezed, it will let liquid out.  These inserts work well for young babies who don't move much or pee a whole lot, but don't work so well for heavy wetters.

Natural fiber inserts are generally made from hemp, cotton, or bamboo.  Natural fibers absorb more than microfiber and don't have compression leaks, but they don't absorb as quickly.  These can go against your baby's skin!

I tend to use natural fiber inserts underneath a microfiber insert; that way, the urine is absorbed quickly through the microfiber and is held by the natural fiber.  Gibson pees straight through microfiber these days, so I have to double up!  Silly pee-filled kid.

So.  That is a REALLY short explanation of the components of cloth diapering.  There is so much more to it that I'll explain later...if I tried to explain it all in this post it would take you a week to read it.  And you would hate me for writing such a stupid long post and probably be really bored and sad.



Next time we'll talk a little more about the types of inserts...because there's a lot!  Flats, fitteds, pre-folds, doublers...seriously.  The list goes on and on.  Well, it doesn't go on much beyond that.  But it's a lot to explain, I promise.

And now for your quiz: who is the cutest baby in the world?

Correct answer:

My sweet helper.  He loves being covered in diapers!

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Wednesday, October 16, 2013

My last nerve.

I love Gibson a whole lot.  But I'm pretty sure his goal today is to drive me crazy.

And before you say it, I know that he's only seven months old and is just being a baby and isn't doing it on purpose.  That doesn't mean it isn't super obnoxious.

He woke up from a (very short) nap pretty happy...for about two seconds.  And then the screaming started.  I changed his diaper, which was a nightmare.  It was like trying to put a diaper on a rabid greyhound who has seen a bunny it wants to chase.  For an immobile blob, he sure can move when he wants to annoy me.

And he kept shrieking.  It wasn't time for a bottle yet, so I tried bouncing, walking, playing...nothing worked.  And he kept looking at the kitchen (where he knows I make his bottles) and screaming louder.  So he got a bottle.

He should have been happy after that, right?  Nope.  Still sad.  No matter what I tried.  Blocks are the WORST!  Playing with wipes?  The WORST.  Laying down is AWFUL.  Sitting up SUCKS.  Sitting on Mom's lap is pure AGONY.



Finally I found something that made him semi-happy: watching videos of himself.  He likes himself an awful lot.  And now he's semi-happy in his jumper, but I don't foresee it lasting very long.

And now he's whining, which is what I thought would happen.  Isn't the whining supposed to come later?  Like when he's two?

...he probably gets it from me.  Because this post is basically whining.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

I like big butts. I cannot tell a lie.


When I want to do something, I really go for it.  I'm the kind of person who needs to be an expert before I jump into something...and then I end up knowing a whole lot about things that other people don't care all too much about.  And when I start spouting my knowledge, I'm pretty sure people cringe.

But I'm about to spout some knowledge.  Because I WANT TO.  So there.

When I decided to cloth diaper, I read every piece of information I could get my hands on.  I know more about cloth diapering than I know about most things in this world...unfortunately, this knowledge won't be super useful after I'm done having children.  Darn.  If it wouldn't be disgusting and super weird, I would totally keep Gibson in cloth diapers until he graduates from high school.  I could even make him a diaper with his school colors to wear to pep rallies!  Adorbz, right?


Anyway, I get lots of questions about cloth diapering, so this post will basically be answering some of those questions.  In subsequent posts I'll go more in depth about our processes and what we use .  When I was making the decision to do cloth, I loved reading about what other people do...even if it didn't work for me, it was nice to have real-life examples!

Q:  Why did you choose to cloth diaper*?
A:  I'm so glad you asked!  The main reason that we chose cloth diapers is the savings.  Babies are expensive, and this is a way to save a LOT of money.  Cloth is also better for the environment and baby's skin.  And also, it's CUTE.  That might be the second most important reason.  

*I'm not sure anyone has actually asked me this.  I just wanted you to know.

Q:  Isn't it gross putting poop in your washer?
A:  Well, no.  I mean, haven't studies shown* that all underwear has traces of fecal matter on it?  You don't put gobs of baby poop straight into your washer...that would be gross, of course.  I have a toilet sprayer so I can spray the poop into the toilet, and then wash the diaper.  You can also dunk your diapers in the toilet, but Gibson's poop is the consistency of really stick bread dough sometimes, so that doesn't work for us.  If your baby is exclusively breastfed (no formula or solids), the poop is water soluble, so you can actually throw it straight into the washer.  I have friends who still rinsed the poop, even though it technically could have gone in un-rinsed.

*I have no evidence that studies have actually shown this.  I think I read it somewhere on the internet.  Don't ask me to back that statement up, because I can't.

Q:  Is it really cheaper to cloth diaper?  What about the money you spend on the extra water it takes to wash the diapers?
A:  Cloth diapering absolutely saves money.  People claim that the increased cost of water negates any savings, but that's absolutely not true.  Our water bill went up *maybe* $10 a month when we started cloth diapering...but we were also washing three loads of spit up clothes a day.  So that extra cost is even less if you only count the diaper loads.  We wash our cloth diapers every other day, so it's not like I constantly have a huge load of diapers going.  We have spent less than $500 on all of our diapers (and we didn't do it as cheaply as we could have!), and we really won't need more diapers ever.  We will probably buy a few more when another baby comes along, but for the most part, we have enough diapers to last through all of our children.  According to my very scientific Google search, a parent can expect to spend $1500-$2000 on disposable diapers over the course of a child's diaper-wearing years.  That's for one child.  If I can spend $500 on diapers for all my children plus the minimal cost of water to wash them, I would say I'm saving money.  Boom.

Q:  Isn't touching the poop GROSS?  Blech!
A:  Um...I don't touch poop.  I don't know how these people think I'm changing diapers, but it's exactly like changing a disposable.  I wipe his butt, rinse the poop off (which absolutely does not require me to touch the poop), and throw it in a bag.  Yes, poop gets on my hand every once in awhile, but I also got poop on my hand when we used disposables for the first month of Gibson's life.  In my experience, there is no more poop exposure with cloth diapers than there is with disposables.  Unless you're a weirdo and you put your hand in the poop on purpose.

Q:  What kind of diapers do you use?
A:  We use mainly Flip diapers, Alva diapers, and bumGenius 4.0s.  I'll write a post about the different styles of cloth diapers, but basically, we use diapers that consist of a shell with an insert laid inside or a diaper with a pocket where you can stuff an insert.  I would like to try fitted diapers with wool covers sometime soon...like maybe these fitteds and these wool covers from Diaper Daisy?  Hint hint, Mom and husband!


Q:  How often do you change Gibson's diaper?  Don't disposables hold more pee?
A:  Well, yes.  Disposables absorb more than cloth diapers...but even when Gibson has been in disposables, I change him as soon as he pees.  First of all, I can't stand the smell of urine in a disposable diaper (something you don't get with cloth), and second of all, I don't like the idea of him sitting around in his own waste for any longer than necessary.  With cloth diapers, I change him every two hours or so, except at night.  He wears cloth for 11-12 hours overnight with no problem...I just have to make sure he's wearing a super absorbent diaper to hold it all in.  When he has been in disposables, I actually end up changing him more often (every hour or so) because of the nasty pee smell.

Q:  But cloth diapers are so bulky!
A:  That isn't a question.  But I'll address it anyway, I guess.  They're definitely bulky!  Sometimes it's hard to find pants that will fit over Gibson's large, large butt.  But that isn't really a bad thing, I don't think.  It's SO CUTE!

Q:  Where can I buy these amazing pee soakers, Erin?
A:  I generally buy my diapers online, but if you're the type who likes to feel something before you buy it, I would recommend going to a brick and mortar store.  Some stores give you the best of both worlds--a physical location and a website!  Diaper Daisy is a great place to buy cloth diapers for those of you who live in the Kansas City area (Mom!  Christmas is coming soon!), and they also have a rockin' website.  Bam.

Q:  What if, after reading all of your well-written, hilarious posts about cloth diapers, I decide that I still want to use disposables?
A:  Well, if that happens, we will no longer be friends.  Obviously.


Just kidding, of course!  I know that cloth diapering isn't for everyone...I just like getting the information out there!  I don't judge people who use disposables, don't worry.  I've been known to throw Gibson in a disposable on occasion when I don't do laundry in a timely fashion...and he has turned out fine so far.

Do you have questions about cloth diapering?  If you do, you should tell me and I'll try to address them!  I love talking about it, in case you couldn't tell.

And now for some fluffy butt pictures!

         
    

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