Ready for Solids

We put off solids as long as possible… mostly because I was really, really afraid of the nightmare I had let grow in my mind…a shit storm to be exact. I had read article upon article about how to “handle” non-EBF baby poop.

We put off solids as long as possible… mostly because I was really, really afraid of the nightmare I had let grow in my mind…a shit storm to be exact. I had read article upon article about how to “handle” non-EBF baby poop. And, in my mind… it was going to be BAD!!! Turns out, I was wrong. The moment my son started eating solids, he did not start spewing flame like poop, ruining all of his diapers and requiring excessive plumbing accessories. That’s unfortunate for my dad and husband, both of whom I harassed relentlessly for the 2 months prior to our starting solids to create the perfect poopy diaper spraying system- better than anything that was sold commercially, because you know- we love to DIY around here. 

 My poor dad. He watched so many YouTube videos about what cloth diaper families need after solids... I used this setup for about a week! But having it really calmed my fears:)
My poor dad. He watched so many YouTube videos about what cloth diaper families need after solids… I used this setup for about a week! But having it really calmed my fears:)

We started with oatmeal, the regular old fashioned oats, pureed with my immersion blender. My little guy was 7 months then- and more than ready. He loved his oatmeal and soon added avocado and carrots to his repertoire. We talked a good Baby Led Weaning game in the beginning… but then I fell hard for the immersion blender, and Kade started getting more purees than anything else.

We’re working on balance though. Now at 10 months, he has pureed fruity oatmeal for breakfast with moon cakes and sliced pears to feed himself. Lunch might be some pureed veggies, or soup with some omelette finger foods or some pieces of hard boiled egg, chicken or noodles. Dinner is a lot like lunch, although after 4PM everything is negotiable. Tonight he fed lots of his food to the dog and spit some other favorites out. So, he actually ate a few slices of an egg, some strawberries and a few spoon fulls of my smoothie for dinner. More importantly though, I think this is just the breakthrough the dog needs to start to like the baby!

Our Cloth Friendly Peg Board

Fewer diapers are changed here in my son’s bedroom than in our dining room. This pegboard is functional, but doesn’t store many diapers. I’ll share our diaper storage solution and the downstairs changing table(who doesn’t want to deal with poop in their dining room?) in another post. This pegboard was a fun project to do while I was nesting… which at my house looked like a craft store exploded. This project was much tamer than any of the wreaths or crib mobiles I crafted! I bought the frame at a Salvation Army for $4 and there just happened to be a pegboard behind the picture. The letters are cardboard and came from Hobby Lobby along with the buttons and other fun accents. I think I found the 8×8 frame at Hobby Lobby too. I found the wire baskets at Home Depot. My spray bottle addiction is fueled by IKEA… and I actually am planning to go back for more… After painting the pegboard white, I hot glued the letters and black frame to the pegboard. I made the “You are My Sunshine” decoration in Google Presentation (like Power Point) and you are welcome to print it out if you’d like to use it!

Wiping Up Baby Poop, With a Little Help From My Dog

When I started this cloth journey, I promised not to stress myself out. I’d give it a whirl, but there would always be disposable diapers and wipes in my house… guilt free! I wanted to take it slow and ease in. I knew I could use disposable wipes with my cloth diapers, and evaluate the wipe situation later. Why add any undue stress, right? Wrong.

Imagine this: You’re changing a disposable diaper, using some regular old disposable wipes, straight out of one of those facial tissue style pop up boxes. You wipe up what ever stinky mess your little one has created, putting each wipe into the soiled diaper, only to roll up the diaper (full of the used wipes and mess), fasten it closed with the hook and loops, and toss it into the trash.

Now rewind. If you stuff those same disposable wipes into a cloth diaper, they’ll end up in the washing machine with the diaper. Does that sound good? Of course not! But if you don’t… where will you put them? That’s what I wondered, as I held a poop covered wipe in one hand and my baby’s (still messy) legs in the other. I gazed over at the trash can… but that didn’t feel right either. So, after awkwardly dropping each soiled wipe into a plastic shopping bag my husband held… we made the switch to cloth wipes. And, I kept that habit of putting messy wipes into the messy diaper and rolling the whole mess up. I just toss it into a wet bag instead of a trash bag. And, on the subject of moistened wipes. Again, Pinterest and blogs and FB groups had so many different suggestions, that I felt overwhelmed. I was scared that if I used the wrong essential oil, my baby might have a reaction, or if I pre-moistened them and stored them, they’d grow mold. So, after days of hemming and hawing, I decided this was too big of a decision to make, while sleep deprived and delirious. In the meantime, I grabbed the spray bottle we used to quiet our dog when the UPS truck came, and sprayed each wipe as I needed it.

 How could a pooch this cute possibly have a behavior problem?!?
How could a pooch this cute possibly have a behavior problem?!?

That spray bottle became a staple on my changing table. And for 99 cents each at IKEA, I later bought a sea foam green TOMAT spray bottle for my diaper bag, another for the changing table downstairs, and a handful more just in case. And eventually, Chloe the Wonderdog came to fear, or quiet down, both when faced with her original pink spray bottle as well as each of the sea foam green IKEA spray bottles.

The End of Leaks

I’ve been quietly battling leaks since… well since I started this whole cloth thing. My little guy’s onesie has been wet in one (or both) of two places at some point almost every. single. day. There’s often a wet patch on his belly, right at the top of the diaper. If not, then there’s probably one around his legs. Sometimes I start undressing him to change his diaper and prematurely celebrate leak-less-ness. Then as I unsnap the dry looking onesie I feel the leg leak that I couldn’t see. Ugh.

 Another LEAK?!?#$@!!!
Another LEAK?!?#$@!!!


Why are there so many leaks? I’m buttoning all of the buttons! This shouldn’t be rocket science. I see baby after baby wearing cloth and looking dry online. All of these amazing moms are chatting about the cutest fabrics and who’s having a diaper sale. No one is complaining that their every day is wet and leaky… except me. And, only in my head. I want this to work so badly that I am maintaining a relentlessly optimistic attitude. 

Until recently, most of my problem solving attempts have involved shopping. “I’ll just try another brand. This one probably just isn’t a good fit for us! Or this brand… or this style…” Increasing the variety of diapers, of course, has only complicated the situation- as I can’t figure out which ones leak, if there are any patterns etc.

Two weeks ago, I got serious about getting to the bottom of this. I had the opportunity to buy someone’s entire stash of 30 pre-loved Fuzzi Bunz diapers. Now, I already had one Fuzzi Bunz Elite- and it seemed to hold up against leaks better than most of my diapers. Buying these diapers would help me eliminate several variables and get to the business of stopping leaks. So I cleaned all of the diapers and talked my husband into spending and evening adjusting elastics with me so that all of the new diapers would be exactly the same size. We separated any whose elastics might need replacing and vowed to use only diapers from this new lot until I figured out what was going on. And within just a few days, I had! There was one bump in the road (massive leak) that had me questioning if the PUL was too old and was no longer water resistant. That was quite a scare because that would mean that I had just wasted $200, and I wondered if I could justify keeping this up. But I stayed focused, put that one in the wet bag marked, “diapers that leak” and kept plugging along.

I learned some things that I was able to generalize across multiple styles and brands of diapers.

1. The leg leaks (usually minor- more like dampness) are not so much ‘leaks’ as they are a result of the cotton in the onesie doing what cotton does and wicking the liquid from the diaper. If I only snap the middle of the three snaps on the onesie, this doesn’t happen. I learned this when I posted a picture of a wet onesie to Fluff Love Photostream and asked for advice. The middle snap and slightly larger onesie advice were game changers!

2. Microfiber absorbs quickly, hemp absorbs a ton. Layering a microfiber insert on top of a hemp insert is a great strategy. It hasn’t failed me yet and I’ve been using that combination consistently for several days now. Next, I’m going to try charcoal inserts and another fabric called Zorb. I was expecting much too much from my pile of trim microfiber inserts. Now that I’m using them with a hemp doubler though- I am happy and my baby is dry.


Fear of the Wrong Diaper

Still not having any clear picture of what cloth diapering would be like for me, I decided to start a registry. I thought it would be best to register for a wide variety of diapers so that I could experiment and see what I liked best. The act of registering helped me process what I had learned about cloth so far and start to make sense of terms like: AIO, AI2 and fitteds… I didn’t actually receive many cloth diapers though- which I get. I mean, two years ago, I probably would have considered cloth diapering crazy too.

 Left to right: Bumkins Fitted, Flip AI2, Simplex AIO, FuzziBunz Pocket
Left to right: Bumkins Fitted, Flip AI2, Simplex AIO, FuzziBunz Pocket

I did buy myself a couple of newborn diapers at a consignment sale. And just having a handful of cloth diapers at home made me feel like this could work. I didn’t plan on doing much with cloth for the first few months. I learned in that workshop that the OS (one size) diapers wouldn’t fit very well in the beginning. So, I figured when the baby was around 3-4 months, I’d give it a shot. In the meantime, I would follow the FB group Fluff Love & CD Science closely, so that I could learn from others’ questions and comments.

Why on Earth???

I was pregnant and reading everything I could get my hands on. That kind of reading you do when you’re searching for something, but don’t know what. Blogs, articles, advocates of this, naysayers of that. During this time of intense research about nothing in particular, but everything ‘baby,’ I somehow came across an interview with Lauren Singer of Trash is for Tossers in NY News & Politics that left me feeling inspired and uneasy all at once.

Lauren Singer has made it her mission to create no waste. All of her trash from two years fit inside a Mason jar. Here at my house, we had just paid for another 10 yard dumpster to take away the ‘trash’ from remodeling. Lauren writes on her blog, about a professor encouraging her to live her values, which tugged right at the guilt I was beginning to have about always practicing what I preach and leading by example… to this baby growing in my belly. I knew the Mason jar was out of reach… but what wasn’t?

Some of the Google searches that followed, pointed me toward cloth diapering. I read that every baby who wears disposable diapers produces 2000lbs. of garbage in two years.

I didn’t know anyone who had cloth diapered their kids except my nana, who did it in the 50s, and thought my doing it in 2015 was nuts. I suddenly felt very strongly that for me- disposables shouldn’t be the default choice in diapering. I wouldn’t beat myself up over it if I needed to use them, but I should at least have a reason to use them. I needed to talk to someone who wouldn’t just dismiss my thinking as crazy- someone who had done it herself.. recently.

Enter Bellani Maternity in Warwick, RI, a cute maternity shop selling a little bit of everything and offering all kinds of classes and workshops. I found a cloth diapering workshop on their website and signed up. Finally, I would be able to ask questions to someone who actually knew the answers, or at the very least- had actual experience with cloth diapers. 

The best part of the workshop was that everyone there was at least considering cloth diapering. I took copious notes (that are still on my iPhone). The woman who facilitated the class had used cloth on both of her two children and was preparing to do it all over again with her third. This was doable. I left that workshop armed with notes, a place to return with questions and the name of a Facebook group that would also be a great resource.