Cloth Diaper Accessories

Here is the next installment in the Cloth Diaper series: Accessories! Okay, so you might think that once you have your cloth stash, you are done, but actually there are several products you might find helpful along your cloth journey. Here are some of my favorite accessories: Sprayer Don’t like poop? You need a sprayer, starting around 6 months when your baby is introduced to solids. (Or immediately if baby uses formula.) Trust me, this one’s a lifesaver.

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Cloth Wipes Remember all those reasons you love cloth diapering?  Multiply that times 1000 when you use cloth wipes. They get the baby clean easier and they will save you boatloads. And all you have to do is throw them in with your regular diaper laundry. AND when your baby potty trains, you now have a huge stash of cleaning rags.

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Wet Bag and Pail Absolutely essential. This bag is your travel container for dirty dipes when you are out and about. A pail is a big version of a wet bag–gathers the diapers and helps you load them easily into the washer when it is time to clean!

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Cloth-Diaper Friendly Ointment/Rash Cream Commercial creams can ruin your cloth diapers, because, well, they can make them waterproof. If you need to protect baby’s bum, do it with something gentle. There are a bajillion people who make CD-friendly cream, but I am addicted to two: the GroVia magic stick and Earth Mama Angel Baby diaper balm. The stick means I don’t have to touch any butts, and the EMAB balm smells divine.

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Disposable Liners These look like dryer sheets, and you simply set them on top of your insert or liner. Why use these? Well, if you don’t have a sprayer, this is a way to make waste disposal easy. Liners can also protect your cloth diapers from heavy-duty rash creams when you have to use the serious stuff on your babe. grovia-cloth-diaper-bioliner-view-2 Detergent Your diapers are next to baby’s skin 24/7, so you need to keep the chemicals away. Even “gentle” commercial detergents contain additives, which is why you should consider using a specially formulated detergent.

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For more information on cloth diapering, see the rest of the series:

Why Use Cloth Diapers?

Types of Cloth Diapers

Cloth Diaper Laundry Tips

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Types of Cloth Diapers: An Overview

Here is the next installment in our series on cloth diapering! Today we are talking about types of cloth diapers. Have you wanted to try, but are confused about all the different styles?  Or do you still think these are your grandma’s safety pins and rubber pants? Not so. This will be a quick and simple post about the different styles, and then I will do spotlight features in the future, giving you more detailed information as we go along! So let’s get started!

My youngest, rocking cloth!

My youngest, rocking cloth!

Prefolds

These are the old-school diapers you might be most familiar with–white rectangles that are folded and fastened on the baby, then covered with a waterproof layer, also known as a shell. Luckily, these are safety-pin free now, thanks to innovations like the Snappi, which keeps the diaper secure without sharp objects! Pros: Prefolds are your cheapest option for cloth diapering, and they are easy to wash. Cons: There is a learning curve for folding techniques, and it takes a smudge longer to change your baby, since you have to fasten two layers (pre fold + cover/shell).

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All-in-ones

These are just what they say they are–everything you need in one package. AIO’s include both an absorbent layer and a waterproof outer layer so that it is all together, just like a disposable. Pros: Ease of use, especially for newbies and babysitters or day cares. Cons: These tend to be a little pricier than other options.

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Fitteds

These diapers are like already-folded refolds; they fit directly on your baby (usually with snaps or velcro), and you cover them with a waterproof shell to keep things dry. Pros: Fitteds tend to be ultra-absorbent, which makes them the perfect choice for nighttime diapering. Cons: These are the priciest diapers of the lot, especially when you add in the cost of a shell or lanolized wool cover. However, they hold A LOT of moisture.

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Hybrids

These are diapers that can be flexible–most are part of systems that involve a snap-in liner and/or some type of disposable insert. Plus, the shells can be re-used if they do not get wet, or the shells can be used as covers for fitteds, prefolds and more. (Psst they also make great swim diapers!) Pros: Flexibility, smaller laundry loads. Cons: Somewhat less absorbent than other styles.

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Pockets

Pocket diapers are diapers that allow you to stuff them with different types of absorbent materials, depending on your needs. With stuffing, the diaper stays as a single package, but you can adjust absorbency as needed. Pros: Flexibility, reasonable cost. Cons: Stuffing takes extra time, and diapers may need to be unstuffed before washing.

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Flats

I put this one in mostly for fun. Flats are what cloth diapers used to be before refolds. Some moms still prefer these, but they involve A LOT more folding. Pros: Super cheap. Cons: Origami.

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Trainers/Pull-Ups

That’s right–you can use cloth for potty training, which is especially nice knowing how much pull-ups cost. Style diffes by company, but most are one piece with insert options for added absorbency. I’m a huge fan of GroVia’s trainers because they have side snaps, you know, in case of #2.

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Swim Diapers

Honestly, any cover/shell can be used as a swim diaper, but several brands also make super cute cloth swim diapers. You only need one, so you will save a ton over buying disposable swim diapers!

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Interested in learning more? Check out the rest of my series:
Why Use Cloth Diapers?

Cloth Diaper Accessories

Cloth Diaper Laundry Tips

Jackie is certified!!!!

As of this weekend, Jackie is certified as a birth doula with DONA International!

What does this mean for you???

  • It means that Jackie has completed a great deal of education and training on birth, which gives her the knowledge to help you with evidenced-based practices for a healthy birth.
  • It means that Jackie has actively recorded, monitored, assisted at, and reflected on multiple births, giving her firsthand experience with a variety of different labor experiences.
  • It means that Jackie will be held accountable to Standards of Practice and a Code of Ethics designed to ensure the most appropriate level of care for you.
  • It means that Jackie is accepted into the leading international doula organization, with access to resources, ongoing training, and support from a respected source.

Ready to experience quality birth support! Give Jackie a call at 740.590.9994. She is accepting clients with due dates through July! (Rachel will return from maternity leave in July to start taking doula clients as well!)

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“It Isn’t Supposed to Hurt”: On Breastfeeding and Manners

One bit of advice I give to the mothers of newborns over and over is “Breastfeeding isn’t supposed to hurt!” Yes, there may be some feeling of “breaking in”, like your nipples have gotten new shoes, but they should be well-fitting new shoes! If you’re comfortable and baby’s gaining, we breastfeeding advisor types will tell you, then you’re doing it right!

But what of later on, if it gets uncomfortable again? Rachel wrote last month about breastfeeding and teething, but that is only one of the ways a bigger baby can traumatize his mother’s breast.

I’m currently sorting through old photos for long-term storage, and I ran across these two of my second child at six months. IMG_2613 IMG_2614

Yes, that line along the side of my breast in the first image is caused by her fingers – with their tiny, paper-thin, razor-sharp baby fingernails. After I moved her hands, she decided the best response was to tug her head back: viz, second picture.

Now, there is absolutely nothing wrong with her latch here. I mean, just look at that lovely upper and lower lip flare she’s rocking: it’s perfect! But as you may be able to guess, my overall comfort level in these photos was… well, less than perfect. Hence why I took the pictures: as ammunition when she’s bigger and tells me how cruel I am to her. “Just look what I went through for you, you ingrate!” ;-p

So what do you do when your darling uses her perfect latch for evil?

1) Redirect. Move her hands someplace more satisfactory. Sometimes just un-pinching baby’s fingers from your skin or sliding her hand away from the nipple she’s twiddling (a perennial nursling favorite!) will work. For the moment. Lots of nursing moms wind up carrying special nursing-time toys–or wearing chunky necklaces that serve double duty.

2) Teach empathy. Go ahead and yelp! Tell baby that he mustn’t hurt Mommy. Just don’t scream out in anger: the goal here is to give enough negative feedback that the nursling realizes something went wrong, but not so much that you frighten him and ruin the feeding. You only have to mis-calibrate this once (or, well, a few times) to realize that leaking milk down the front of a wailing baby is worse than the gymnurstics you’re combating. But I will confess: the startlement in baby’s eyes when he realizes that you felt that, it’s pretty darn rewarding.

3) Teach consequences. It is perfectly appropriate to unlatch a baby who isn’t using her manners and set her down. To unlatch her, bring her closer to the breast so your breast covers her nose, or slide a finger into her mouth alongside your nipple. How long she must wait before returning to breast will depend on her age and development. (And your emotional state. It’s okay to take a mommy time out until you are able to handle her kindly!) For a 4-6 month old, 5 minutes or so will suffice; when a toddler pulls this nonsense, she may have to wait till her next regular feed.

4) Persevere. You’re bigger, you’ve been around longer, and I’m quite sure that with gentleness and persistence, you will succeed in teaching your child manners. Even if not today.