Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Dads, Dares, Diapers, And Doo-Doo

I must admit that the very first diaper I ever changed was the diaper of my own child.

As a Dude I was quite proud that I had "Successfully avoided" diaper duty - even when dared to do the deed. Yes, I was quite proud - until I had a son.

Then as a Dad I had no option - I was on diaper duty, no way to get out of that one.

To all the soon-to-be dads out there: Any dad will tell you it honestly isn't that big of a deal.

Nature has a way of warming you up to the idea. The great thing about young breast fed babies is that their diapers are less smelly than most public washrooms, and there is a proportionately smaller volume of the Doo-Doo. (what do you expect the kid weighs less than your dumbbell for curls!)

Don't get me wrong it is not all a bed of roses and no matter what type/style/size of diaper you use there will always be a few "Epic Blowouts". You are trying to contain the poop of a living, breathing, squirming baby that sometimes takes after you a little too much!

I have come full circle from almost gagging at the thought of changing a diaper to laughing at the "Fountains" that occasionally pop up!

Poop Happens!

Dad has to go change a diaper now...

Sunday, July 25, 2010

The Fun Begins

So summer began a little later than usual but before we knew it we were fully immersed in the Okanagan heat. For us that meant hanging in the mall having coffee, long walks in the evenings and play dates with Magnus's many girlfriends. I'm on maternity leave and for some strange reason feel like I'm going crazy if I don't get out of the house most days (many moms tell me this is normal). Our GroVia cloth diapers were all prepped, neatly organized on a shelf in Magnus's room and ready to go, but was I. In researching and chatting with other CD'ing moms I was really excited to get started. But also worried it wouldn't be as easy as promised and wouldn't fit into our busy lifestyle.

We decided to start our journey on a Saturday as Jay would be off work that day. I put a little kiwi colored diaper on Magnus and was happy with the way his already cute little bum looked in it. It fit well also (we got the hook and loop which is "like" velcro instead of the snaps).

Our first day went well. We had a few leaks due to us not tucking in the cotton soaker properly into the outer shell. But once we mastered the tucking all was well. Also, I think poor little Magnus had some tummy troubles that day as we had numerous messes requiring the soaker and shell to be changed. Magnus is still exclusively breastfed so his messes are messy regardless of CD type.

Magnus's first night in cloth was a wet one, sorry buddy. He woke up to nurse at 0300 and 0600 and was wet through to the sheets each time. So frustrating! In hindsight I think my cotton soakers (the absorbent part of my GroVias) weren't fully prepped. Might have had something to do with our front load washer using less water. In the nights following we went disposable and when online looking for a solution found out many moms have trouble CD'ing at night. But I was not one to give up easily.

Stubborn Mommy

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Optimal Absorbency!

With all the changes around here, I took some time to focus on the little things that make life great - like the investment in air conditioning and front load washers!

The front load washers are great for washing clothes and getting them all clean, but the one fatal flaw is that they don't use that much water. (This very fact was one of the key selling features only three years ago).

Apparently to "Prep" these cloth diapers you need to wash them 8-10 times and I understand that, there are certain natural oils that need to be stripped from the fibers for Optimal Absorbency. Washing new clothes to break them in is nothing new.

At 3:00 AM during a rough night you want every diaper's absorbency to be optimized! - Let me tell you!

Now to ensure that during this preliminary phase of CD'n (cloth Diaper'n) the diapers get fully saturated and rinsed super clean I see Amy adding in over a liter of Hot water to the final rinse of the diapers!

Top load washers use higher water levels and this isn't an issue and I think that the vast majority of people will have no issues with washing them normally even with High Efficiency (front load) washers - Amy is on crusade to ensure that our experience with "the cloth" will be as optimal as humanly possible.

Amy you are a testament to the lengths a mother will go through for her child. ;)

So far, no complaints from Magnus.

This is Daddy-O with a big 10-4.

Monday, July 19, 2010

It's All in the Preparation

About a week after I placed my order my cloth diapers finally arrived. I opened the box with giddy anticipation and couldn't wait to get started. But unlike most wearable purchases these diapers needed to be prepped first. Prepping? Well, these cloth diapers being made of organic cotton needed to be washed 5-6 times (in hot water) to strip them of their natural oils. Oils that would impede the natural absorbency.

So off to the laundry room I went with a hamper full of white fluffy cotton and a bag of special soap. Oh yeah, I should mention before I get too far. Cloth diapers need to be laundered in soap free of bleach, enzyme cleaners or fabric softeners. I ordered my soap (Rockin' Green, which is specially made for cloth diapering) from the same company as my GroVias. The nice thing about this soap is that a little (one tbs for HE machines and two tbs for top load) goes a long way. So $20.00 would last me 90 washes. Not so bad right?

The washing wasn't so bad but after the first couple dryer loads taking 80-90 minutes I wondered was this normal? Online I went, doing some research and posting some questions regarding dryer times on diapering websites and GroVia's FB page. It wasn't long before I realized this dryer time was "normal". Due to the high absorbency of the cotton, of course.

But there were a couple of tricks to speed things up. Apparently adding dryer balls (you can check out Jay's previous blog post to read about that as we made some ourselves out of wool yarn) and a few fluffy dry towels would speed things up. Guess what it did! Cut our drying time down to 60 minutes and I was happy with my "greener" drying time.

Finally 2 days later we were ready to go "live".

Sunday, July 18, 2010

My This Sure is Getting Complicated

So it turns out that committing to cloth diapers may have been the easy part. Before I could slap a cloth diaper on my adorable son's heiny there were a few things I needed to do first.

I would need to buy a diaper pail and liner, wet bags for the soiled nappies when on the go, and possibly a bigger diaper bag. Well maybe I wouldn't need a bigger, newer, prettier diaper bag but a girl can wish right? All these items were easily found at a local baby boutique. The diaper pail ended up being a kitchen garbage can with a foot pedal for under $20.00 at Wal-Mart.

That wasn't so bad...

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Great Balls of Crazy!

Things keep getting Crazier!

First there was getting used to the idea of cloth diapers, and now this!

Apparently there is an unwritten rule that cloth diapering slowly takes over your sanity...

After rolling an entire ball of wool into a tighter ball of the wool and then placing them in a nylon stocking, we head to the laundry room.

Felting giant balls of wool in the dryer is just one way to spend an evening. These gigantic wool balls will be washed several times and then dried repeatedly to attain that certain quality that will allow them to bounce around in the dryer for years to come.

The simple concept behind the dryer balls is that they work like agitators for the cloth diapers and speed the drying process.

I am all about making this process as quick as possible. :)

So if you are ever over at our place and you hear noises coming from the laundry room don't ask me if that is the sound of my fuzzy balls bouncing around in my nylons.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Ready To Take The Plunge?

Since having our son Magnus this past February I was taken aback by the amount of laundry and diaper waste this one little person had created. Every now and then the thought of switching to cloth diapers crossed my mind. I found myself saying numerous times how green I thought Jay and I were but crossing the line into the land of smelly reusable cloth seemed inconvenient and besides other than the waste issue we had no problems with disposables.

Then on my morning ritualistic cruise through the "mommy bargain" sites I came across a deal on an "all in one" cloth diaper. Hmmm, a bargain my new found Mommy guilt would not let me pass up perhaps. I quickly snatched up 7 mediums (Magnus's current size) before anyone else beat me to it. That morning I had decided we were switching to cloth, sorry Jay.

It wasn't until I began to do some on line investigating that I found out the company had rebranded and therefore the design of the diapers had been changed. I realized then that the large size counterparts to my yet to arrive purchase might be hard to find. Would I have to "stalk" the bargain site in hopes of the diaper coming up for sale again? Or worse yet was I desperate enough to buy some secondhand? Yes, in my investigating I discovered that there is a giant on line cloth diaper following with mamas swapping and selling new and used diapers. After reading experienced cloth diapering mamas posts I also realized 7 diapers would not be enough, oops.

Finally after a day or so of frantic research I decided to go with the newly rebranded GroVia. An "all in two" system of a shell with an organic cloth soaker that could snap in and out with ease. This seemed like the perfect system for us. I placed my order from an on line company in Ontario and eagerly awaited it's arrival.

Impulsive, well meaning Mommy

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Big Surprises come in small smelly packages?

All of my worst nightmares have culminated into that little sweet sounding oh so green idea "We should switch to cloth diapers."

I know my loving wife of nearly 12 years means well... I am positive this isn't some sort of mean trick to torment me - or is it?

She broke the news after ordering a "small set" of cloth diapers from some website where they spin organic cotton into gold. The meager starter kit was over $400.00 (CND)!!!

Being ever so logical I quickly broke down the math... I guess it will save us money in the long run, or will it?

I found out while the diapers were already enroute there were some hidden costs to our new "little experiment"(and I am not just talking about HST). The diapers needed to be 'pre-washed' 3-4 times before you can use them, and they don't just go in with the rest of the clothing - they need special laundry soap, which means we might be doing a lot more laundry soon! Additionally there are only certain types of diaper cream that are 'permitted' with the new system.

I still haven't seen them in action (they are still on their way), but when I do there are layers like unions to consider: shells, liners and boosters - this is going to be quite the experiment!

Both me and Amy will keep you posted with updates on the blog about everything Magnus!

Surprised Daddy