Post Baby Shopping 😖

Yesterday, my family of 5 headed off to the mall. This isn’t the first time since #3 has been born that we’ve done this. I’ve even taken all three kids by myself, which by the way does not happen often. There’s not enough coffee in the world for that mess. This trip however, was a bit different. For the first time in 3 years we were shopping for me! When I say this, I mean normal non-maternity clothes. I was at the point where I no longer need leggings all the time, it’s too hot for the one pair of jeans that don’t really fit, and I was wearing the same articles of clothing every week. I felt miserable and shapeless and tired of constantly wearing my workout clothes outside of the gym.

Before we left, I took the time to actually fix my hair and put on makeup. My husband asked me what I was doing and my reply was simply that “I wanted to look like a human being for once”. Plus, it’s a confidence booster when you see yourself in a changing room mirror and not look like a tired, hot mess. So, dressed and feeling rather good about myself we set off. Our first stop was to grab one of those mall carts for Alyssa (the 2 year old). Alexavier was in our umbrella stroller and of course Aurora is old enough to walk and not run off into the crowd. It makes it easier to have them in carts/strollers that can maneuver through the clothing racks rather than our double stroller. This was in the bathroom during our 3rd trip…

We started in H&M because it was the first store with women’s clothing. I strolled through the aisles grabbing various things in various sizes; while Aurora also brought me various things in more varying sizes than even I had 🙈. It was interesting to see the styles out there now for women. I was glad to see waist lines that were higher for these post-baby hips. But it seems that the shirts have gotten shorter too. I was still able to fill up a shopping bag to take into the dressing room. Which is where things got a bit interesting. Aurora went with me, she is good about giving an honest opinion, and I really needed that…at least I thought that I did. We had 15 or more items going in. I received the following comments: “you look like a pirate”, “it’s a tent mom”, “that doesn’t look like you”…I’ll admit, it wasn’t turning out so well. Before you start to think that this was a complete disaster, I walked out with 4 items. Not what I was expecting but I had not given up yet. What is it about escalators?? We rode these up and down at least 5 times!

We left the store and Travis asked where I wanted to go next. This was a really hard question for me. You see, my entire young adult life I have been a mom. It has consisted of having stretch marks, a cesarean scar, and a little extra fluff. And while that’s not a bad thing, it’s hard to dress for your young age and to dress for a mom-bod. I had no clue where to go, so I just started walking until I saw other women with strollers going into Charlotte Russe. Being hopeful, I followed them inside and started looking around. I didn’t find much; it was filled with a lot of crop tops, clothes with holes in odd places, and my girls started complaining about needing to use the bathroom again (this had happened in H&M too). I know that this style is very popular amongst my age group, but I don’t really care for clothes that I can’t chase my kids in. Or that I can’t walk up to Aurora’s school in. I walked out with two pairs of shorts. My confidence was slowly going down hill. Then I found this awesome store that had exactly what I was looking for. With excitement building I went in, picked up a shirt to try on, took one look at the tag and immediately put it back and walked out. No matter how old my clothes are, or how terrible that they may fit (or not fit) I will NOT pay $90.00 for a shirt! That was really hard on me. Seriously, after thinking that I finally found the perfect store the let down hit hard.

At that point we went to the food court to eat dinner. I told my husband that we should go and get some summer clothes for him while we were there. Might as well make good on our trip right? After dinner we headed to one of the few stores that we can shop for his size in; American Eagle. It was while browsing the store to help him that a woman approached me to ask if I needed help. For some reason, I started telling her about my horrific experience so far at the mall. She didn’t look at me with pity, but understanding, and then proceeded to show me mid-rise shorts, boyfriend fit shirts, cardigans, and tanks. All without random holes. I hit the dressing room once more and to my delight I fit into everything and even got a thumbs up from both Travis and Aurora. I even found sweaters in the clearance racks that were marked down cheaper than on Black Friday. These are just a few of the items that I bought 🙂

It was a great end to our mall trip. Though it was filled with a lot of bathroom trips for the kids, disappointment in the fit/price of too many items, and a lot of used energy I learned a few things from it.

  • Clothes shopping for women is cruel and atrocious. Sizes should not vary that much. I bought items ranging in sizes Small-Large.
  • It is possible to find a helpful person working or shopping in a store. The woman in American Eagle was the sole factor in me finding clothes that fit.
  • Taking someone with you to give you a thumbs up or thumbs down is helpful but can sometimes make you feel less confident. I’d really rather be the only one to know that most of my items looked terrible than for others to see it as well. Unless you take someone who just sits and doesn’t say anything but smiles at you the whole time.
  • There’s a reason that mom’s don’t shop for themselves. It’s exhausting! Especially when your kids would rather head over to a toy store, or candy store, or constantly feel the need to go to a public toilet. I honestly don’t know how we even ended up in the LEGO store
  • I will most likely stick to online shopping with Zulily and Jane.com now that I know my sizes and what styles to look for. Seriously though, if I can shop while sitting on my happy butt while watching Bubble Guppies or Octonauts I’d much rather do that. There’s no judgement, no dressing rooms, a price filter, and no public toilets.

I may just start throwing a shopping party for my mom friends. Or any women who hate the dressing rooms. We can trade off on who hosts and all bring refreshments. That’ll be more fun. We can all sit around on our phones or computers scrolling through cheaper clothes while stuffing our faces and laughing. Oh, and the kids can watch a movie or play without the need to chase them. That’s definitely a win! So who wants an invite?

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One and Done

I have always been a fan of “dump meals”. Especially on extra busy days; I can just dump everything in a crockpot and leave it until dinner time. These work amazingly well as freezer meals too but I’ll blog about that later. For now, let’s talk about a dump meal that bakes in the oven rather than all day in a crockpot. No, this is not a casserole either (bonus points!). Head on out to the store and pick up some chicken (I’m using thighs this time), a vegetable (I like using green beans) and some potatoes; and let’s begin:

Preheat your oven to 350

Grab a casserole dish large enough for your ingredients. I use a 9″x13″ for 8 chicken thighs.

Now, rinse and cut your potatoes. You can also peel them if you’d like. Toss them in the dish and throw on some salt and any other seasonings that you prefer.If you haven’t tried purple potatoes, they are delicious!

Next, prep your veggies and place those on top of your potatoes. I had green beans already snapped and ready in the freezer so I just used those. If you are using canned veggies, pour in some of the water too. This will help to cook your potatoes!

And last but not least, is the chicken. I do not recommend using frozen meat since this would take forever to bake. Simply place the chicken on top of your veggies and season to your liking. Last night, I used thyme, salt, pepper, garlic, lemon peel, and maybe one other thing. I don’t know, I simply go with how I’m feeling.

Cover your dish with aluminum foil (or a glass lid) and bake for 1 hour. Or until your chicken is done. Smaller portions won’t take as long.

Check and make sure that the chicken is cooked through and that the potatoes are soft, then enjoy!

Let’s Get Fit!

Okay guys and gals, it looks like warm weather is here to stay! Have you noticed all the people that are now jogging or walking outside? Or the extra people at the gym? I sure have and I love it. It’s awesome to see people trying to better themselves no matter what the motivation is behind it. My motivation changes throughout the year. There’s always a need to be strong enough and fit enough to keep up with my brood of kids 😆 but then there’s the random times that extra motivation hits; like after Christmas, when you’ve eaten so much that leggings are your only option. Or post-pregnancy blues when you’re in between maternity clothes and the pre-baby clothes collecting dust.

Anyway, whatever your reasons, I’ve got a few things that I love to use both in the gym and at home.

Let’s start with an awesome plan for pregnant women, nursing moms, and moms in general. It’s called the 15 day fit mommy challenge. I joined this group after baby #2 arrived. I had a terrible pregnancy and barely got out of bed the whole 9 months. Which means that I put on quite a bit of weight. I think it was around 35-40 pounds, and for my frame that was a lot. This challenge is free, has a Facebook support group, YouTube videos to follow along with, and a meal plan that isn’t expensive (and of course you don’t have to follow it if you choose not to). The women that I started with over a year ago are awesome! They keep repeating the challenge, adding weights, or doing more reps/sets. All while being a mom and having their kids join in or sit by and watch.

If you prefer going to a gym that’s great! I do too, because someone can watch my kids while I workout 😆. Also, as a bonus I get to shower in peace when I feel like taking my gym bag. Though most days I just take my phone and keys and shower at home during nap time 🤷🏼‍♀️ whatever works. However, I have a problem that many others share….I don’t have a clue what to do when I get in there. I don’t want to go to the gym just to hit the treadmill because we walk to school everyday. When I’m in the gym, I want to lift weights. So I use an app called BodySpace and I love it! It’s like Facebook for gym enthusiasts. There are sooooo many different plans that you can choose from (for free). They are customizable as far as how much weight you lift, what you have access to and how many reps you do. The app keeps up with your statistics so that you know if you’re improving. Currently, I’m doing a 12-week plan to tone up. It’s a 4 day/week plan. There are plans for those that want to go more or less to the gym. I’m more realistic in knowing that I won’t go everyday, but I can do 4 days….maybe. If you would like to join, friend me to follow my progress!

If you just want to get out and do some cardio, I highly recommend finding a Greenway! They are amazing walkways that are typically paved, and have playgrounds for kids, scenery, and usually some wildlife. My kids love going and keeping up with them is a great way to get my heart rate up!

We love going near water! There’s so much to do and the kids always have fun…and sometimes get a little wet.

Bonus tip: if you go to a greenway with a playground, walk first! If you let your kids play first, you’ll never make that greenway.

Eating Without Soy

Recently, I’ve talked about an issue that my son, Alexavier is having with reflux. The anatomical suspicions were ruled out quickly after his Upper GI test. Which left us looking towards food allergies. Now, since I am still breastfeeding him it is up to me to cut out certain items for us to rule out. First on the list was dairy. I already didn’t drink milk, so that would not be missed. However, I did eat cheese everyday along with yogurt as a nice snack. Giving up cheese hasn’t been too bad (except on taco night) but it didn’t fix the reflux problem. Granted, the lack of dairy helped a bit but not enough. Next item to remove from my diet was soy. I honestly have had an eye opening experience with this. I really thought that I ate fairly well without additives and what not but boy was I wrong! Soy is in sooooo many things that I had been eating. For the first few days of cutting out soy, I hardly ate. Not knowing what was safe and not knowing what I could eat, I simply munched on peanuts and my Complete Cookies. I was so hungry, and felt really lost. All of these items that were apart of my daily diet were now off limits. Did you know that beef jerky has soy in it?? Vegetable oil, ground beef, pita chips, all of the Chick-fil-a menu!

Thankfully, I have since recovered from my absolute shock and lack of eating. I really do like fruits and veggies; I just do not always have the time (or clean dishes) to cook them all day everyday on top of cooking for the rest of the family. I have started cooking separate items for myself than the rest; could you imagine making your kids give up Mac and cheese?! Talk about a catastrophic tantrum. My recovery however, came from the help of some lovely workers at Sprouts Farmers Market.

I’ve been shopping there for groceries for about 2 months now, prior to my diet change. So, I know my way around there pretty well; but even so, I needed help. My favorite little cookies and pumpkin snaps from Sprouts have soy in them 😫 and I needed snack foods for between meals and after workouts.

I was introduced to various vegan options. Veggie noodles, soup kits, cookies, bean chips, “Mac and cheese” made with sweet potato and pumpkin, tortillas, even soy free butter! I was then introduced to soy free meats, also known as grass fed organic. It’s a little pricey which is why I’m starting to add more plant-based protein items to our food. Makes the dish go a longer way 😉.

*As a side note, grass-fed organic requires more herbs and seasoning to give it flavor.

For those that have not visited a Sprouts before, they are not pricey! I’ve yet to go above our weekly grocery budget since shopping there, and haven’t had my family any hungrier than normal either. There are lots of allergy friendly brands and options to choose from. I bought some muffin mix that uses almond flour instead of wheat that I haven’t made yet, but am very excited to do so! Below you can see a picture of what I had for lunch. They are Sprouts brand of spinach noodles and some grilled chicken that I got from their butchers. All soy and dairy free, and very delicious!

Anyone that is looking for more allergy friendly options or just want more organic choices that won’t break the bank, this mama recommends hitting up a Sprouts!

Then, for those that are looking to go soy free. I will add that at first I was rather a bit bloated. All those extra bits of fiber shocked my digestive system. However, I now have more energy and feel happier during the day. I don’t go out for coffee or even make it at home except maybe once a week now. Alexavier seems happier too. His reflux is almost completely gone now! As I continue down this soy free journey, I find that I do like it. The food is delicious and the results feel awesome. Needless to say, I believe I will continue this even after I stop breastfeeding.

You Are Enough

img_6538I recently had an experience that made me question myself as a parent.  Not for very long mind you, because I know that I am a good mother.  But it keeps coming back to me, and I feel that I need to share this story.  Maybe someone else is having a similar issue and reading this will help, so here it goes:

For the last 6 months, my son has had major reflux.  Every time that he ate, milk shot back out of his mouth and nose.  We would go through 6-8 burp cloths a day and almost as many sets of clothes.  Once he started on solid foods, we were hoping that his reflux would calm down; either because it was thicker than milk, or because he developmentally outgrew the issue.  Unfortunately that was not the case and we were referred to a pediatric GI specialist.  I took him in, filled out all the paper work, had him weighed and measured…all the normal routine things.  Then, the doctor came in asking me questions about my diet (because I breastfeed), possible food allergies within the family, and about my son’s development.  Up until the next moment, everything seemed normal and routine; but then he pulled out a printed version of my son’s growth chart.

Now, I am going to back track here and let you know that my husband and I are not big people by any standard, and we make small babies.  They are healthy and grow at a consistent rate, just on the lower end of the curve.  Also, as a side note, my son has been consistently gaining weight in spite of the constant spitting up.  My appointment though, slowly started to gear towards my son’s weight in the fact that the doctor began telling me that I needed to buy all of these different types of formula to add in to his diet.img_6300

Do not misunderstand me and think that I have anything against formula, because I do not.  I had to supplement with my oldest because I was working and in school when she was born.  But I have a problem with someone that just met me saying that I have not been giving my child enough food.  I left the appointment that day with a scheduled upper GI test, a list of formulas to buy, and the feeling that I have not been the best mother for my son.  It’s a terrible feeling and one that no parent should be made to feel.  That wasn’t the end of it though.  I called the pediatrician to discuss the appointment with him.  He looked at the notes from the specialist and brought to light something that really upset me; the specialist had diagnosed him with failure to thrive!  A doctor that had just met me, had never met my husband, and wasn’t even in the room long enough to interact with my sleeping baby.img_6329

I know what failure to thrive means; I have worked in a Hospice Home where people truly had that diagnoses and shortly thereafter passed away.  My son is NOT that.  He is happy, healthy, and thriving.  Just on a smaller scale.  I sent the specialist a message the following day, not being rude or angry just letting him know that I have concerns.  I was concerned that he was focused more on the weight (which is not why we were there) and not on the actual issue which is his reflux.  I fully believe that without this issue, he would gain weight at a faster rate.  However, I also let him know the height and weight of both myself and my husband so that he would understand why our children are small.  At the end of my message, I let him know that he should be required to meet both parents, ask more questions, and interact with the child before putting something like that in a medical chart.  The doctor has since removed that diagnosis, but felt the need to tell me that they always use that diagnosis when a child does not meet the standard…

Needless to say, I will not be going back there.  This is actually the second doctor that I have come across in my years as a mother that has told me that a child of mine does not meet the standard.  What is the standard?!  I can’t even buy the same size in different brands of clothes without finding differences.  What makes any medical professional think that all children will be the same?  I have never understood this.  People think differently, learn differently, act differently; but we are supposed to grow at the same rate?

Children do not come from a cookie cutter; even within the same gene pool there will be differences.  Do not let someone tell you that you are not doing enough, that you have been neglectful simply because your child isn’t hitting the high end of the growth chart.  I am going to tell you a secret…the growth chart has different levels and rates of growth for a reason…don’t tell anyone though.  This does not only refer to rate of physical growth either.  Every child develops differently in all aspects.  My oldest started talking before she could sit up, my current toddler is 2 and isn’t saying 3 word sentences yet.  The pediatrician says that it’s because her older sister doesn’t stop talking long enough to give her a chance (HAHAHAHAHA) which is probably true.

The point here is that kids are going to grow, and learn, and develop on their time.  Small is beautiful, big is beautiful, and average is beautiful.  Let’s let kids be kids and stop being so concerned at comparing them to each other.  Stop referring to one thing as “normal” because what may be normal to you is not normal to others.  Most importantly though, as their parent, you are enough!  Do not doubt that, and certainly do not let anyone else cause those doubts.

Rachel 🙂

Homemade Baby Food is Easier Than You Think

When I first became a mom, I was young and never would have thought to make my own food.  As it goes with most first-time parents, I didn’t really know what I was doing half the time anyway.  I look back now and wonder why I never tried making my own food.  It is super easy and cheaper overall.  Both of my girls took to solids like it was the invention of sliced bread; you couldn’t get it to them fast enough.  Now that my son is starting on solids, he seems to be just as excited over them.  I have already stocked my freezer with baby food for him, and wanted to share just how simple that it is to make.

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As a new parent, many things seem to be a bit terrifying, time consuming, and over-all confusing.  This leads many parents towards the nearest baby section to buy all sorts of conveniences; and many times we realize after it’s too late that we didn’t need to spend that money.  For instance, I have a Baby Breeza sterilizer that we purchased back when baby #2 was due to arrive. I thought that it would be a simple and hassle free way of cleaning binkies, bottles, and whatever else.  We only used it a handful of times, because she never took a bottle (as in she downright refused!) and binkies are easy enough to sterilize by just dropping them in some boiling water.  It now sits on top of a kitchen cabinet, I never even pulled it down for my son.  We are actually giving it to friends that are due this Summer.  As I said though, it was wasted money for us and it’s not the first time that this has happened to us or other parents.  It is for this reason that I try to make things myself for as long as I can.  Even down to their clothes.  Check out my up-cycle blogs Winter Pants to Summer Shorts and Flutter Sleeve Up-Cycle Tutorial.  These are ways that I save money on clothes for my kids.

Just as cooking at home is cheaper than eating out, making your own baby food is too.  I just made a batch of 12 jars in only 20 minutes.  That was from the time it took me to steam the veggies all the way up to popping them in the freezer; and it only cost me $3.00!  That can’t even buy 2 jars of baby food at the store; well not the kind that I like.  I prefer to buy organic because that’s what I buy for the rest of my family, so I like Beech Nut brand.  It cost $1.79 per 4oz. jar and babies tend to eat at least one jar per meal (after the initial intro to solids).  Really though, it’s no secret that buying produce is cheaper than baby food.  The thing that terrifies most is what to do with it once you get home.

Let’s start with the basic things that you’ll need outside of fruits and veggies.  You will need a way to steam your produce.  There are many ways of doing this; a pot with steamer basket, a cheap steamer basket that you can place over a pot (seriously Dollar Tree has these), steamer bags (not the ones from the frozen food aisle) to use in the microwave, etc.  Do a bit of research to find what works best for your family.  I have a pot with two different sized steamer baskets that I thoroughly enjoy.

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There’s apples and pears in this batch.

 

Next you will need something to blend the steamed produce with.  Again, this is your choice; a blender, an immersion blender, a magic bullet, nutria bullet, food processor, etc.  My family was given a Magic Bullet a few years ago for Christmas so that’s what I use.  Though I would LOVE a food processor or an immersion blender (that’s a hint for my husband).  And finally you will need something to put the baby food in.  Again, the sky is the limit here.  I have Nellum baby food jars.  They are made of glass, are dishwasher and microwave safe, and come with a marker that you can write on the lids with (that does wash off for re-use).  You can find them here on Amazon.  I ended up ordering the 24 pack of 4oz. jars because I like to mix things up at feeding times.  Once my son starts wanting more than 4oz at a sitting, I will do two jars so that he has variety.

Now that you have a way to steam, blend, and store your baby food, let’s get cooking!  Start with simple fruits like apples, pears, bananas and easily digested vegetables like carrots, sweet potatoes, and peas.  Wash and peel everything.  Then you can either cut them up in smaller pieces or toss them in whole to steam.  On a side note, bananas do not need to be steamed; set those aside for mashing.  I like to cut my produce up to steam, because it takes less time and it’ll be easier on my Magic Bullet once I start blending.  I also steam fruits together and vegetables together.  If you have the time to do it all separately have at it; I do not have that kind of time.  Now, if you’ve never used a steamer pot, all you need is about an inch of water in the bottom.  Enough to boil but not so much water that it ends up in your steamer basket.  Once the water begins to boil throw a lid on the pot and move on to something else (or put your feet up for about 7-10 minutes).  Sweet potatoes take a bit longer, but not much; I want to say it took about 15 minutes.  I wasn’t really paying attention to the time when I did those, cause I was making dinner.  They finished before dinner did though, if that says anything.

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Mixed Veggies!

Now that everything is soft, it’s time to blend.  Now, the texture at which you make your food will depend on the age and readiness of your child.  My son is 6 months old and just started eating solids, so I make sure to blend each food with very little texture/lumps.  To do this, you need to add a touch of either water, breast milk, or formula.  Another side note: I like to use water with baby food because blending half of this stuff with milk sounds gross.  Anyway, the way that I do this (since my Magic Bullet is small) is to use a regular spoon and do a few spoonful’s at a time.  If you are adding water or milk, only do a spoonful at a time as well; too much and you will end up with soup.

*Safety note: if you are using a blender, be careful when opening it up after blending hot foods.  Slowly open it to release the pressure.

Once blended to your preferred texture/consistency, pour your homemade baby food into the storage containers.  Either place them in the fridge or let them cool down a bit before popping them in the freezer.  Homemade baby food is good in the fridge for 3 days and the freezer for about 3 months (some things last longer, but this is a good rule of thumb).  To feed your baby, just warm it up and go.img_6350

Also, feel free to work with grains too.  Oatmeal, whole grain rice, quinoa, etc. is good for baby and prepares their tummies for future goodness.  Remember though, that if you are new to solids, the recommended time to wait between new foods is 3 days; in case of food allergies.  It doesn’t take long though before you can start blending foods together for new tastes.  I just did a batch of mixed veggies to add flavor to the peas and green beans.  He loved it!

Bonus Tip: If you are lazy like me (or efficient as I like to call it) you can have your grocer cut/prepare the produce for you that way you are one step ahead!  I buy this in batches and toss them in the freezer until ready to make baby food 🙂 and still come out cheaper!

Have fun!

Rachel 🙂

I Made the Switch

Diapers are expensive!  No matter what brand you get, they all add up.  A newborn baby will go through a minimum of 8-10 diapers a day.  That’s 70 diapers in a week; and right there you’ve already blown through $20.00 or more.  That doesn’t include the wipes, barrier cream, and anything else that you may require while changing a diaper.  Both of my girls were in disposables, and I had no problem with that.  By the time that my third came along, I was done with buying diapers.  I mean completely done.  So, I took our monthly diaper budget and bought cloth diapers.  I did 3 different brands because I was a newbie and didn’t know what would be the best for us.  I went out to our local baby store and bought 2 Bum Genius cloth diapers.  Then I went on Amazon and bought 6 Baby Goal pocket diapers and 6 Alva Baby pocket diapers.  And here’s how they compare:

Bum Genius

These diapers work well, however they are EXPENSIVE.   Each diaper comes with 2 inserts (we will cover that in a moment), but one of these diapers is $20.00.  That’s 1 diaper for $20.00!!  I was thinking, “no wonder people are so turned off of this”.  Aside from the cost, there is one other issue that I had with these diapers.  There is a flap in the back to cover up the pocket.  This design was not thought through because I have had to clean poop out of the pocket due to the flap.

Baby Goal

I ordered this brand from Amazon Prime.  Truth be told, I ordered a set of diaper covers.  I didn’t realize that until they arrived and there were no inserts and no pockets for inserts.  However, they work very well with the extra inserts that I have.  This is meant for those fitted cloth diapers that you can DIY.  I’ve thought about doing it but have never taken the time to make them.  You can order the full cloth diapers here.  They come with 6 pocket diapers, 6 inserts, and reusable wipes for $36.99.  This link is for some of the boyish styles.  There are sooooo many variations though.

Alva Baby

This is another brand that I ordered through Amazon Prime.  They are my favorite of the three!  They are designed just like Baby Goal diapers but cheaper, and they have different styles and colors.  You can order a set of solid colors here.  This is a set of 6 cloth diapers and 12 inserts.

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Believe it or not, both of these fit my son. One just holds more than the other 😉

Cloth diapers are typically designed to fit a baby from 8-35 pounds.  My son was slightly smaller than that when we started cloth diapering and the Baby Goal and Alva Baby diapers still worked well.  The side flaps on those brands can overlap and snap to each other.  It was very well thought out considering that babies come in all shapes and sizes.  To adjust your diapers as your baby grows, you simply snap them to fit.  There are vertical rows to adjust the length of the diaper, and horizontal rows to adjust the width.  Bum Genius has the same snaps for adjusting, however the side flaps cannot overlap nor do they have the extra snaps to adjust for leg size.

When I mention inserts, I am referring to the layered cloth that comes with the diapers that absorbs any and all liquid.  Even through the night!  My son stays in one cloth diaper all night without incident.  I will mention that if we do not change him first thing and he happens to poop, there’s usually some leakage.  That happens with any diaper though.  Also, have you ever noticed that after a night in a disposable diaper your baby’s bum tends to look like a raisin?  I have yet to have this in a cloth diaper.  The inserts really do hold the moisture away from his skin.  I have also not had any diaper rash problems since making the switch.  It’s amazing!

Now that we’ve covered pricing and details let’s talk about actually using your cloth diaper.  This will only be for the pocket diapers.  There are other types of cloth diapers, but I do not have those and can’t really give advice on them 🙂

Pocket diapers are so easy to deal with and use.  You change the entire thing just like a disposable.  The difference is that you do not throw them away, instead you store them either in a plastic bin or whatever works best for you.  I personally have a mesh bag hanging in my laundry room to hold the soiled diapers.  And before you completely turn your nose up to that idea; no my house (including the laundry room) does not stink of urine or feces.  How often that you wash depends on how many diapers that you have.  I have 14 diapers and wash every other day.  While I am washing diapers my son has a clean diaper on and at least 1 extra diaper just in case.  I do know of some moms that have enough diapers that they wash once a week.  I may get to that point in the future but for now, it works.

The one question that I always get asked is what to do when your baby poops.  Well, you clean it 😛 but really, it’s simple.  Prior to solid foods, your baby will have liquid stools.  The inserts are going to absorb this liquid.  You can run water over it or not; wither way your washing machine will do most of the work.  Once solid foods are introduced, you can simply dump the diaper into the toilet.  There are these nifty sprayers that can connect to your toilet that you can use to spray away the poop.  I do not have one of those because my toddler would end up spraying toilet water everywhere.  However if you would like one of these you can find some great ones here.  After changing your baby, you need to store the soiled diaper like mentioned before.

To wash your diapers there are a few options.  Always separate the inserts from the diaper.  Then, you can either wash them separately or together.  I wash mine together cause I don’t have time to do 2 loads for diapers.  With a family of 5, I do enough laundry and would prefer not to add any more to it.  Also, the tag says to wash the diapers in cold water; I don’t do this either.  Growing up I was taught to wash towels, sheets, etc. in hot water.  It only makes sense to me to wash my diapers in hot water as well.  I do a heavy duty cycle with an extra rinse.  Also, I use baking soda and vinegar rather than detergent, except when we travel cause I wash at other houses than my own.  The first time that I washed diapers at my parents’ house was funny because my mom scrubbed her washer out with Lysol afterwards.  Anyway, the baking soda and vinegar combo disinfects my washer as well, and breaks down any build up which I really like.  If you would like to use this method, all you need to do is place 1/2 cup of baking soda directly into the drum and add 1 cup of vinegar in place of liquid detergent.

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She loves to help do laundry!

It really is a lot easier than people tend to think.  Even better, is that I have not missed buying diapers or spending money every week on a new box of them.  Happy Monday everyone!

Rachel 🙂