Sweet Baby Caralynn

Sweet Baby Caralynn

Friday, February 25, 2011

Hold on baby! Don't come out yet!

I got really sick on Monday night- it started with just a stomach ache.
Then I started throwing up... and couldn't stop.
By 9am Tuesday, I knew Chris had to come home from work to take me to the hospital.
He got home as soon as he could, I arranged a babysitter for the kids not knowing how long it was going to take. (THANKS friend for watching the kids!!!) I knew I had to go in to get some fluids since I couldn't hold anything down and that dehydration causes contractions.

We got there about 1pm ish. And they sent me to the Labor and Delivery Triage room- where they immediately gave me an IV with fluids and hooked me up to what felt like a million monitors.

Shortly after getting all hooked up, we learned that I was having contractions every 3 minutes and that my cervix was softened. They increased my fluids and gave me a shot in the fluids to stop my nausea (which kicked my butt and made me feel like crap for about 20 hrs). Then I also got a shot in the back of my arm of something (forgot the name I was SO out of it by now) that would help stop my contractions.

I sent my husband, Chris, home to be with the kids so my friend could go have dinner with her husband and spend a little time with him after work. That shot had helped... for about an hour until my contractions came back and I was having them just under 2 minutes now.

I called Chris and my friend and she said she's come back to spend the night with the kids and Chris could come with me. Because now the baby's heart rate was dropping too around every contraction I had. There was talk about an emergency c-section if we couldn't get them under control. Our poor baby is only 30 weeks! I was beyond scared and when I got that news, I was all alone. It was SO hard to deal with. My emotions went way over me and I already couldn't think straight and comprehend what was going on because of that nausea medicine they gave me.
Then a specialist came in with an ultrasound machine to check the baby's position, see if the cord was wrapped around her neck, and basically check her viability. I could barely stay awake during this ultrasound... and any expecting mother will tell you that it's one of the best parts of being pregnant- just to get a glimpse at your little one...
I drifted in and out and woke up to them giving me a Magnesium Sulfate bag. The nurse told me it wouldn't make me feel good.... so I said I already don't and fell asleep.
Chris got back to the hospital sometime around after my second ultrasound which again was checking to see what was happening with the baby and her heart rate dropping during my contractions.
They gave me a little green pill. And he and I fell asleep. Not to long later they moved me into a delivery room.
I tried to keep my family informed via text and facebook- but I can still barely remember the details, so texting back and forth with them was hard because I fell asleep in between the letters I typed.

They finally for my contractions slowed way down to 1 or 2 an hour (which I currently still have going on). Her heart rate stabilized too! They finally got to reduce the Magnesium Sulfate. Which is a very painful thing to have going through your body. It feels like it settles on your chest making it even more difficult to breath then it was. Imagine a 200 lb person sitting on your chest.

Around 8am, they said I was doing better still with the few contractions a hour and her stabilized. So I sent Chris home to the kids and so our friend could go home and find out what her baby was that afternoon!
In between all of this, we were packing to move into a new house (which we sign for today and move into tomorrow with them help of Chris's friends and one of my friends is going to help and watch the kids so I can just direct moving boxes traffic from a chair.). So whenever Chris was home, he was packing away.

I told Chris to come back up with the kids around Noon - which is when I'd be finding out about what was going to be happening with us (stay or go home). I was very happy to hear that the baby and I were good and could go home...on bedrest! When Chris came in with the kids, I was so happy to be able to be with them again. So we packed up and headed out! So grateful for all the prayers and well wishes that the baby gets to stay inside the womb and get bigger!

We want to say thank you to everyone - especially everyone praying, watching the kids, and helping us move! And also all the offers to help!

** and one thing I kept thinking about the whole time-- I don't have any cloth diapers for a baby this small!!!! I need to order some! and I need to wash the ones I have!

So to baby-- please stay longer!!! Get bigger and stronger, stay healthy and come out n about 10 weeks!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

"The Stash"

ALL of my orders have arrived! I now have 26 cloth diapers, 12 pocket inserts, 34 indian prefolds, 2 snappis, and my Rockin' Green laundry detergent (My favorite scent is the Motley Clean).

I have a variety of the different diaper styles. I have AIO's, AI2's, Pockets, Prefolds w/ covers, WAHM, and Hybrids.

This baby's bottom is going to be spoiled! Only 10 weeks until my due date... and what am I most excited for?! Yep.. you guessed it, which diaper to put on her first! Although I will keep in mind that whichever one I put on her first- it will have a prefold to catch the meconium!

Oh and I also got this great grab at Joanns Fabric- it was in the left over fabric bin and I got it for $3 and it's just short of 1 yard! SO cute! It says "Sweet pea" and is a light teal color. I want to grab some terry cloth and sew the two together for a 2 sided wipe.

Today I'm going to a "Fluffy Party"- Fluffy parties are when a bunch of Mom's (some Dad's, and kids/babies) meet up and talk about cloth diapering- everything about it, from the different types, washing, and the how to. I'd hoping to remember to take a few pictures! And also to write about it tomorrow... We're currently in the middle of packing up the house to move next weekend. I'm taking a break to go to the party and my husband is going to take the kids to the park. Should be fun!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Got the Flips and the system is great!

My second fluffy mail came in! 4 Flip Diapers in pretty colors! Including the Grasshopper color which is the first CD my husband picked out!
The picture above shows them in all the stages. They are OS diapers too!
It's called the Flip system because you can get the inserts in Organic, Disposable, and Stay-dry.
I got all 4 inserts stay-dry.

The top left diaper is in closed newborn size 8-16 lbs, the bottom left in open and fits 17-22 lbs, top right is open and fits 23-35 lbs, and the bottom right shows the diaper open with the insert in it.

This flip system is pretty cool! I'd even consider buying the disposable inserts for trips home because my parents don't have a water softener and everything would turn yellow. And for $4.95 it comes with 18 inserts- which are WAY better for baby's skin and WAY cheaper then a disposable diaper! They also have great reviews from people! Making vacations more enjoyable and easier when they get home so they don't have a full wetbag of CD's to wash... just the covers!

The inserts are also compatible with bumGenius and Econobum- which makes me happy because as soon as all my fluffy mail arrives, I'll be able to use these inserts with most of my CD's (all but 4 of my one size!)!

My My My Prefolds!

     I got my first order of fluffy mail! SO excited to get the Indian prefold package for infants through Nell's!
It came with 30 Indian prefolds, 2 bummis covers, 2 thirsties covers, 2 snappi's, and a small Bummis roll of biodegradable diaper liners (100 count pack).
Here's what my order looks like- you can get different covers, I got girly and colors I don't have yet.
The *only* thing I was slightly disappointed about was the shade of the yellow Bummis (pokadot) cover. I thought it would be more of a sun yellow, and it's more mustard yellow... but it's okay! Just a different color then I thought. I also got 2 of each in the hook and loop (Velcro) and snap styles to see which I like better.

And when my hubby got home- I showed him the different types of folds! He likes the Jelly Roll Fold best :)
Here are some pictures of HIM doing the work!


Twist Fold

Angel Wings Fold


Jelly Roll Fold

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

How many do I need?

First things first... how often do you want to wash laundry?

Second- it depends on what style of diapers you're going with. Don't forget with prefolds and such you just need a few covers and then lots of prefolds. For example 6 covers and 30 prefolds will be good for every other day washing. Now when you use a AIO, AI2, or pocket- it's a one time use until wash day.

So here's the "about" what you need. now for prefolds just think of it as the number of prefolds you need, not diapers. You need to change your cover every 4 - 6 diaper changes. Unless of course it gets dirty, then you need to change it then too.

Wash   Newborn to 6 mths  6 mths to 12 mths  12 mths to 24 mths  P.Training
Daily:                 10 - 12                  8 - 10                    6 - 8                     2 - 4
2 Days:              20 - 24                16 - 20                  12 - 16                  6 - 8
3 Days:              30 - 36                24 - 30                  18 - 24                  6 - 12

As soon as my diapers arrive in the mail, I will have enough to wash every 3 days- which will be nice for me with 3 kids! I'm going to be busy and I'm so glad I learned how many I should have to go in between diapers!...
And remember! If you baby gets sick and it's laundry day... you're gonna need those diapers ASAP! So my 3 day stash will get washed every other day to make sure I have enough on hand for anything that comes up. I can't wait to get ALL those diapers in!
 Here's my current stash!
4 inserts for the 4 Smartipants on the left. Middle is a WAHM tinkerbell AIO and a OS bumGenius 4.0 artist series (in Eiffel Tower). Right is 5 AI2 Dream-Eze. Bottom are my 2 wet bags in medium from Kushies. Missing from the picture is a white pocket and another brown Dream-Eze  which I used in a photo shoot for a new born.
I've been very lucky with these diapers that I currently have! A great friend back home gave me the smartipants and wetbags and another great friend (who very first showed me CDs) picked up a great deal for $25 on craigslist of the 6 dream-eze, 1 white pocket, and the WAHM tinkerbell! And the beautiful BG Eiffel Tower she got me as a thank you for watching her cute pup while she went on a trip!
I'm suppose to be receiving my first order from Nell's today with the prefold package! I can't wait!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

My first fluffy order!

I am so excited! http://www.cottonbabies.com/ was having a buy 1 get 1 free sale on econobum covers that came with a prefold. So... I ordered 2 and getting 4! I can't wait to get them!
Econobum - White/Zinnia

From http://www.nellsnaturalbaby.com/ I ordered her Infant Indian prefold package- which comes with 4 covers, 30 prefolds, and 2 snappi's. And also 4 Flip covers, 2 samples of the Rockin Green Laundry detergent (I'll probably get samples of all the scents until I pick my fav!), and their super cool magnetic detergent scoop :)
Magnetic Laundry Scoop  Rockin Green Soap Sample Pack  Infant Prefolds Package: Up to 15 pounds

I also found a super cute Giraffe CD on Ebay and won the bid at $1.77!!!
Item image

I can not wait to get my first official FluffyMail!!!
Only 2 more months until my due date!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Letting you in on the CD lingo

Learning "the lingo" is half the battle!
*now remember... I'm learning all this with you!
 So if you're an "expert" CD'er- don't be harsh if I get something wrong, please just comment! :) *

AIO:  All In One
AI2:  All In Two
BF: Breastfeed
BG:  bumGenius
CD:  Cloth Diaper
CPF:  Chinese Prefold
DC:  Diaper Cover
DSQ:  Diaper Service Quality
FB:  Fuzzi Bunz
FM:  Fluffy Mail
IPF:  Indian Prefold
PUL:  Polyurethane Laminate
WAHM:  Work At Home Mom

Cloth Diaper Types
One Sized:  (fits all) From newborn to toddler! Gets the most for your money. They use Snaps or Velcro closures that grow with your baby from 7-35 lbs.

Prefold:  Have three panels of absorbent cotton or organic material. You need a fastener like a snappi or diaper pins. Also a cover or shell for waterproofing is needed. They come in sizes- infant (up to 15lbs) and premium (up to 35 lbs).
-Indian Prefold: are a softer cotton, wash up quicker, but may wear out quicker then a Chinese prefold. Takes 3 washes until usable.
-Chinese Prefold: are heavier duty, last longer, but they pill up and are rougher then Indian prefolds.
Takes up to 10 washes until usable.

Contour:  Are like a fitted prefold, except you don't need a fastener, you just place inside a cover and fasten  the cover around baby. Also come in sizes.

Fitted:  Is fitted to the baby at their current size. The tend to run more money because you need to buy more when the baby grows out of them.  Unlike the prefold this just goes on baby, and snaps around the waist. You also need a cover with this as it is not waterproof. Shown below is a Kissaluvs.

Cover or Shell:  Is made from water proof fabric (like PUL) that goes on the outside of the prefold, contour, or fitted. You fasten with Velcro or Snaps. You can buy these in One Size or Sized.

Pocket:  Are lined with fleece and have a waterproof outer. They come with an insert that you slide into a "pocket" inside the CD. These also come in different sizes. You can also use your prefold or contour if you like.

All in One:  Is the most like a disposable diaper. No inserts. Just place on baby and go! They do take longest to dry though because of the layers inside.

All in Two:  Comes with a cover and an insert. Some inserts snap into the diaper and you can re-use the cover. So unlike a pocket that gets stuffed inside, this one gets placed on top and in direct contact with the baby.

Wool:  The only style of cloth diaper cover composed of all natural, anti fungal, wear-resistant fibers. Wool is soft, breathable, and absorbent, keeping baby cool in the summer months and warm in the winter months. You can get them in a wrap or pull up cover style (shown below). They are not water proof and do use a soaker pad. They are expensive to buy, but if you know how to knit they are very cost effective.
WAHM: A Work At Home Mom- I love to look at their CD's for sale! As you can imagine- it's a mom that's working from her house making cloth diapers for others. They are great to use and buy from because they can make you a very specific to you and what you want on the diaper! (shown below is a Squishy Butt WAHM custom made covers and wipes/accessories-check out her website to see more, or order!)
Snap:   They are just that, button snaps. They are used to close the diaper and also to adjust the size of the one size fits all. Very handy and last longer then the hook and loop. They come in a huge variety of colors. You can see the snap usage in practically all of the pictures on this blog.

Hook & Loop:   The hook side (rough side) and loop side (soft side) of the fastener (commonly called Velcro or Aplix) is used to wrap around the baby. This wears out and does need replacing after a while of use.

Snappi:  As you can see the product below, it has hooks on the ends of it (reminds me of an ace bandage fastener) and just gently goes into the fabric ensuring a snug fit.
Diaper Pins:   You put the pin through the fabric and close it ensuring a snug fit.

Accessories / Other
Wetbag:   Come in several sizes. From a diaper wipe holder to a hanging XL bag that holds your CD's until you do the laundry. They are water proof and resist odors and keeps the smell contained inside the bag. Most recommend having 2 small or medium, 1 for the clean diapers and 1 for the dirty diapers when you are on the go.

Pail Liner:  They go into your pail (like a trash bag) and are reusable. Cloth diaper pail liners also make it easy to move dirty diapers to the washing machine.
Cloth Diaper Sprayer:  Come complete with all attachments needed to quickly and easily attach to a standard 3/8 inch compression water valve (valve behind toilet). Each unit comes packaged with a hand sprayer; a flow control t-valve; 4 foot reinforced white NSF Approved PVC hose; built in check valve in sprayer (one way valve); step-by-step picture instructions; and a matching wall bracket including screws & plastic anchors. Each unit takes approximately 5-10 minutes to install when using a standard adjustable pliers.
Many people buy these to hose off poop into the toilet before the washing machine. - my husband is particularly excited about this product!

Butt or Wipe Spray:  Is a gentle moisturizer for baby's bottom. You do not 'need' any technically. You can use just plain water. Or make your own buy adding a few drops of tea tree oil into a small spray bottle (which you can purchase in the travel aisle at any drug store). You can also add soap bits. They also have ones for purchase at practically any cloth diapering website.

Diaper Creams:   DO NOT buy regular diaper rash creams! They will not go well with the cloth diaper and as I like to think of it..poison them! You can find ones that are compatible with CD's on most CD websites.

Reusable Wipes:   Many people just use baby wash cloths! But you can also make or buy them when buying your CD's online. Flannel, Cotton, Velor, Terry cloth, etc are the different types of fabrics used. Most people just run them under water for a few seconds before wiping baby.

CD Safe Detergent: You really can NOT use regular detergent with cloth diapers. Like the diaper rash cream, it's poison to CD's. Check out this sites chart from Diaper Jungle
How to Wash:  

-Remove as much solid matter as possible if your child is not exclusively breastfed.

    (where a diaper sprayer comes in handy!)
-Place soiled diapers in the diaper pail.

-Wash every 2 or 3 days to avoid smells and excessive staining.

-Start with a cold rinse.

-Wash in hot water.

-Use the highest water level your machine allows.

-Use the recommended amount of your CD SAFE detergent

        *be sure to check CD safe compatability chart!!!*
-Rinse in the warmest water possible.

-Do an extra final rinse.

-You can hang to dry or place in the dryer (caution: I've heard it reduces the life of your CD!)

  *although drying the inserts and prefolds is okay. It's the covers with PUL inside that should be line dried.
    And occasionally dryer dried to tighten the PUL.
  *be sure to follow manufactures directions as well!
Stripping CDs:   Over time your cloth diapers no longer smell fresh, even right after laundering. This usually means that they have build-up and need a good stripping. Build-up occurs when residue left by detergents, oils or other substances remain in the fibers. Diapers with either super-absorbent hemp or man-made materials like microfleece tend to gather stink more easily than diapers with all-natural fibers like cotton or bamboo. If the funky smell wasn't bad enough, build up can also decrease the absorbency of your diapers and cause leaking. But don't worry, removing build-up by stripping your cloth diapers.
Be sure to know the washing instructions on your CD's so you don't damage them!
Do a hot wash with no detergent, rinse rinse rinse in the HOT water until you no longer see soap bubbles (can take 5 or so washes!).
You can also try:
-1/2 to 1 cup of vinegar especially in hard water areas- added to the last rinse cycle will naturally break down uric acid and soapy residue.  It also prevents yellowing, acts as a fabric softener and static cling reducer, and attacks mold and mildew. And don't worry, they won't smell like vinegar after they are dry!
-A squirt or two of Dawn dish soap (which will help remove oils) rinse wash until bubbles are no more.
Sunning:   It is used to remove stains and re-whiten your CD's!
-Do a cold soak, then add half the normal amount of detergent in a hot wash, followed by an extra rinse cycle. While the CD's are wet, place outside in sunlight with the stained side up for the sun to do the work naturally. This can take up to 3 times of sunning for stains to be completely removed.
-I've also read that you can spray lemon or lime juice on bad stains, but be sure to repeat the wash!

WHEW!!! Now that's a LOT of info... and just think, it only took me 6 hours to type it up! :)
SO please please please, if you know about CD's ADD to in the comments! Correct me if I got something wrong and Add if I forgot!
I hope you enjoyed and that this will make looking at cloth diapering websites a LOT easier!!!

And when you buy, don't forget that pre-washing is necessary!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Keepin' it in the BANK.

Yep you heard me...
I'm talking about keeping the dollars in the bank... not in the trash.

I've found diaper price charts in my research and it's amazing what can be saved.

Here's the gist over the average of 3 years until baby potty trains (for 1 child):

Cloth Diaper Costs: $500
CD's, detergent, water usage for washing, electricity, cloths line set up, CD wipes, wet bag, and butt spray.

Disposable Diaper Costs: $2,500
DD's, DD wipes, Diaper rash cream, diaper pail, and garbage bags.

---Here's a little broken down math of it---
3 years = 1,095 days
CD- $500 / 1,095 = $.45/day
D- $2,500 / 1,095 = $$2.28/day

---Next step---
Say you have another baby.
3 years = 1,095

CD: $250
Water, electricity, detergent, and butt spray.
$250 / 1,095 = $.22/day

DD: $2,675+ (expecting prices of diapers to go up 6-8% a year through statistics!)
DD's, DD wipes, Diaper rash cream, diaper pail, and garbage bags.
$2,675 / 1,095 = $2.44/day  (add approximately $200/year or $.55/day!)

*In conversation with a friend they told me about their friend who is lower ranked in the military (meaning he doesn't make a lot of money) - and his friends always admired his nice 50 inch TV asking how could he afford it?! The family made a plan that with the saved money from cloth diapering he could buy any TV he wanted!
- My husband is all about those kind of plans!

Next up for me is trying to figure out which type of Cloth Diaper will be best for us and figuring out all those "code names".

Telling the husband...

"Hey hunny, I've been thinking about Cloth Diapering the new baby."
"What about the poop?"

"Well, you wash the diaper in the washing machine"

"What about the poop?"

......I better go look into that! Because he didn't like the idea of just throwing a CD into the washing machine... the same washer that cleans his clothes, lol...

I found something I knew he'd approve of! It's a diaper sprayer... looks like the kitchen sink sprayer and it hooks up into the toilets water line (easy on and off!)- then you just spray the diaper into the toilet and PRESTO! it's clean!
bumGenius Diaper Sprayer

It costs about $45... So I showed it to him...

"Okay.... I want that if we do this."

"The best part about cloth diapering is we're going to save $2000!"

"WHAT?! Why haven't we done this before?"
Sounds like we're going to cloth diaper!

Monday, February 7, 2011

Does anyone even cloth diaper??

The first thing I wanted to know was - Do I even know anyone that cloth diapers?

I was surprised that I did! A few girls from high school, one of which has her very own CD company (check out the Nells Natural Baby link!)! Some other friends and army wives!

Within the next few days of finding this out, I did a Holiday photo shoot for an army family.
And they cloth diaper their baby girl! I was SO excited! We did the photo shoot and then she took me into the babies room and showed me her 'stash'!

They looked much different then I imagined.. very soft and well...fluffy! haha
She showed me all the different kinds.. you know, those AIOs, AI2s, etc...
And after seeing them I know I could do it! It looked much simpler (and way cuter!) then it seemed from all those websites!

The One Sized diapers (OS) are the scariest looking ones with all sorts of buttons! But when you play with them, you see it's really not that bad! The buttons are very misleading, but if you just snap them in a straight line, and adjusted to your baby... badabing! You're baby is now cloth diapered! AND the best thing about these OS... they go from the day baby is born to the day baby is potty trained!

So now- I've met and seen the CD'ers! They do exist AND they have a few more dollars in their pocket because of it!

But my next thought after seeing how cute and knowing some people I could ask questions to....
What about cleaning them?! And immediately following that... What will my husband think?

Old School or New School?

Yeah, I've been thinking about it... Cloth Diapering that is.

I've googled it. Gone to some websites...and got completely LOST.
What  in the heck is an AIO?! AI2? Pocket, prefold, Indian, Chinese, or cover?
Do I have to have all of these?

What's a mom to do? This isn't my first baby...or second.
I've always thought about doing cloth diapers, but knowing nothing about them is scary!
I've heard you can save lots of money... and now that we're an army family expecting our 3rd baby-
we could use extra money!

I've heard the old school tales of having to hand wash them, breaking your back over the sink for hours every other day. Thats not what I want to do! Have cloth diapers changed since my mom or grandma cloth diapered? I hope so!

And with that in mind...
Let the games -or research in my case- begin!