Monday, February 6, 2012

Why so different this time?

Formula. Disposable Diapers. Disposable Wipes.

Why did I decide to do things differently this time? Maybe I could attribute it to being more mature this time and keeping an open mind about things or maybe it's the fact that I was better informed. Maybe it's because our living arrangements are a lot better and we can make decisions without someone standing over our shoulder. Or maybe it's just because we were better informed.

When I had our son my husband had just completed 4 years with the Army and we lived with my parents for the first 6 months of his life. I tried to breastfeed with him but he wasn't getting the hang of it and looking back on it, I guess I just didn't have enough patience. He breastfed for the first 6 weeks and even though I had been pumping, I gave up on it, and we switched to formula. At the time it just seemed easier. I also didn't like breastfeeding with other people around. I know it's a natural thing and that's what our bodies are supposed to do, but I just didn't feel comfortable.

When our son was in diapers, I remember the cost of disposable diapers was a burden at many times but we didn't want to have to worry about cloth diapers so we paid the price. My Mom used cloth diapers on me and she was hoping we'd use them. We did use them... for burp cloths. I also couldn't stand the thought of dealing with the poop in a cloth diaper. I wish I'd kept a log of how much we spent on diapers over the 3 years our son was in them but then again, I'd probably make myself sick if I knew. And with the disposable diapers came the disposable wipes. They just seemed to go hand-in-hand. Who knows how many wipes we went through in those 3 years!

Breastfeeding. Cloth Diapering. Reusable Wipes.

I knew when I was pregnant with our daughter that I wanted to breastfeed her or at least try to. My number one reason was because it's healthier for her and as I later found out from friends, it's also healthier for me. Yes, I said it's healthier for me as well. Click here to read about the benefits of breastfeeding ("bf'ing" from here on out) for you and your infant from the American Academy of Pediatrics. I always knew bf'ing was beneficial for the baby but I had no idea that it can decrease the risk of breast & ovarian cancer in mothers as well as a number of other benefits.

Am I exclusively bf'ing? No. Why? Well, I wasn't producing enough at milk at first. I continued bf'ing her but we had to supplement with formula. When she was 6 weeks old she came down with RSV and started having trouble breathing. She got to the point where she couldn't even take a bottle so the doctor told me to "nurse" her through it. Then we ended up in the hospital where she had to be on oxygen and get breathing treatments every 4 hours. Needless to say that after 10 days of bf'ing, my milk supply was up. I'm back to work now and I'm still bf'ing as much as I can. I take one break at work where I pump and when I go home, I bf when she needs to eat until it's time for me to go back to work the next day. When I'm there she bf's and when I'm at work, she takes what I've been able to pump and when that's gone she takes formula.

I have to be completely honest with you, though. I'm still not the most comfortable bf'ing around other people. Like I said, I know it's a completely natural thing but I just don't like doing in front of people. Am I going to take my daughter to the bathroom to eat? No way! But I do make sure I either cover up really good or I try to go to another room. At home it's not a big deal to me. My husband's seen all there is to see and my son knows that's how his sister eats when I'm home. We were visiting family last night and my husband asked if I wanted him to mix her a bottle and I told him that there's no point in mixing her one when I have two attached to my chest so I just went to another room. Is bf'ing for everyone? No. Is it for me & my daughter? Absolutely.

Why did I do a complete 180 on the diapers? To be honest, we used disposables on her for the first 2 months. When I was pregnant I was buying diapers so the cost didn't hit us in the face when we had her. I had a stock on hand. Well, one of our friends started to babysit our little beauty for us and she cloth diapers. In fact, she has her own cloth diaper shop online. (Check her out here & she's also on Facebook here) Well, she posted a video of her 18 month old daughter doing the cloth diaper laundry and I jokingly said that I expected for her to have my daughter trained by the end of the week. That's when she told me that she had secretly been cloth diapering little Kybug behind my back. I had no problem with that at all! I knew she cloth diapered her little one and I kind of thought that she might use them on Kybug when she had her so it wasn't a big deal to me. In fact, that made me want to know more.

Have you seen the cloth diapers that are out there now?! They are amaaaaaaaaazing! Nothing at all like the diapers our Mommas used to use! In fact, they're designed a lot like disposables except they fit from 7-35 pounds. That's right... one diaper will fit from the time your child is 7 pounds all the way up to 35 pounds! To be completely honest, I had thought about using these cloth diapers on our daughter but we live in an apartment and don't have a washer & dryer so I didn't think there was any way I would be able to keep up with it.

Once I saw these diapers in action (and saw how adorable they were on Kybug), I was sold. I now have 34 cloth diapers in my stash (that beautiful bunch of fluff to the right) with another 6 on the way. And I keep looking for more to add to it! I sold the stock of disposables I had on hand (almost 400 diapers) and made the switch. You're probably wondering how the price differs between cloth and disposables. The stash you see to the right was under $450. That's a big chunk of money for my family but it's an investment. If you think about the amount of money you spend on disposables over a two and a half to three year period, these diapers only cost me a fraction of that!

I haven't been cloth diapering for very long but I love it. In my opinion, it's even easier than disposables. And they aren't hard to wash at all! I have a diaper pail that I throw them in when they're dirty and I have to take an hour and a half to wash them twice a week. The easiest thing for me is to go to the laundromat and do it there. I was done in a little over an hour when I did it the other day and it gets me out of the apartment for a little bit even if it is to do laundry! (F.Y.I... breastfed babies' poop is water soluble so it washes right out! No rinsing or soaking the diapers before they're washed!)

Why cloth wipes? If I'm cloth diapering, why not use cloth wipes, too? Not to mention that it's a perfectly good excuse to blow the dust off the sewing machine! It was so easy to make my own wipes. I just took a regular wipe and used it as a template to make my own. I've only made a dozen so far but I see a trip to the fabric store in the near future! And when Kybug fills up one of her diapers, I can use the cloth wipes, put it in the diaper, throw it all in the diaper pail, and wash everything together. So easy! Between you and me, we still have a giant stash of wipes. My dad buys them every time he sees them on sale. We'll have enough to last us a few years now that we're using the cloth wipes but once Kybug starts eating solids, we'll need them when we're out and about or in the car. They're great for sticky messes!

You don't do the "crunchy" thing?

So you don't do the "crunchy" thing, huh? Am I going to judge you for that? Heck no! If you ask me why I breastfeed, I'll tell you. I also know that it's not for everyone. I know that not all babies take to it and that some people just aren't comfortable with it. That's your choice. You have to do what works for you and your baby. For Kybug and I, it works. For my son & I, it didn't.

You don't cloth diaper and use cloth wipes? That's not for everyone, either. It wasn't for me with my son. Being a first-time Mom was overwhelming to me at that time and it didn't "fit" for us. Maybe had I known about the cloth diapers we're using now, I would've tried it but I didn't. What we did with him worked and what we're doing now with our daughter is working. If you ask me what I like about cloth diapering, I'll tell you. If you want to know more about the diapers I use, I'll pull one out of the diaper bag and show you. In fact, I would like to give you a rundown of our diapers on here one day. I've heard it before but now I'm experiencing it...cloth diapering really is an addiction (especially with all the adorable prints available now)!

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