Tag Archives: Parenting

Cloth diapers: the winner is…

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Well… if you take the money factor out of it, there’s a tie: GroVia Hybrids and TotsBots All-in-Ones!

Gro-via.com

Gro-via.com

However, since one of the major attractions of cloth diapering is to save money, GroVia is my hands-down choice for cloth diapers. In fact, since I last blogged about it, I went ahead and purchased enough to last us 2.5 days – Earth Day was last week and the sales helped me with my purchases. And with the exception of one child, one night* – we’ve been fully cloth diapering since Sunday morning. As a testament to how awesome these diapers are, we’ve had zero leaks, even at night (I was worried, but my worries have so far been unfounded).

Later I’ll briefly describe why I didn’t go with the others that I ordered, but for now I’ll give you a run-down on GroVia.

So, what did I buy? Here’s the list:

GroVia Part Time package – 6 shells and 12 organic cotton soakers
4 Kiwi Pie fitted diapers
– 2 additional stay-dry soaker sets (4 soakers total)
– 2 stay dry booster sets (4 total)
– one pack of 12 terry cloth wipes
– 2 packs of size 3 prefolds (6 total)
California Baby diaper area wash

In addition to the above, I already had one shell and two stay-dry soakers. I posted about my “stash” on BabyCenter’s Cloth Diaper forum and quickly discovered they didn’t think I had enough, so I panicked and bought 7 more stay-dry soakers, 3 organic cotton soakers, and 4 more shells off Craigslist. The stay-dry soakers were in great shape, but the shells and organic cotton soakers were not what the seller described, but we’ll still make use of them.

Anyway, what that gives me is a total of  11 shells,  28 soakers, 6 prefolds and 4 fitted diapers. I haven’t needed the prefolds (thought I’d need them for overnights), so essentially 32 diaper changes gets us through 2.5 days with the three kids (oldest only uses 2 changes, nap and nighttime). I end up using one shell/day for my oldest, 2-3 for my middle child, and 1-2 for our youngest – 6 has been our max for a day.

Wow, there are a lot of numbers above! And lots of different cloth diaper terms! I’m hoping to post later with descriptions of some of these terms, but as this blog wasn’t supposed to be a solely cloth diaper blog, I don’t want to bombard everyone with the info all at once.

* My husband was in a hurry to get the kiddos ready for bed, and when one of them had a number 2 in her freshly changed diaper, he said “forget it!” and put a disposable on her. So it had nothing to do with the cloth diapers!

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Who am I?

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Recently, my “paying” job required me to learn a new skill to complete a project. I wasted no time in getting the appropriate materials and going through the training – I don’t want to become irrelevant at my job; I need to stay current with my skills!

That got me to thinking about being a parent. Some days, particularly after reading about horrible things happening around the world – school shootings, bombings, murders, rapes, etc – I am so incredibly struck by the immense responsibility that we have as parents. Yes, I know that sometimes it doesn’t matter what we do as parents – we don’t have complete (or sometimes even much) say in who our children become.

But there are plenty of studies that show how parents and those closest to children are the biggest influences on who they grow up to be. If we’re such an important influence on our children, shouldn’t it be a priority to learn as much as I can about how to be a good parent? And to practice it daily?

So why is it so much easier for me to stay current with my skills for my job as a consultant than it is to sit down and read up on parenting?

Yes, some of it has to do with money. If I don’t keep up with my skills, I may lose my job and therefore part of my family’s income. But the thought occurred to me that it could also be because I’ve never considering being a parent as a “job” or a “career.”

Maybe thinking of it that way gives being a parent more of a negative connotation – some of us may think about how we dread getting up in the morning and going to work, and we don’t want to think of dreading spending time with our children. (Let’s be honest… we all have days where we probably would rather stay in bed than deal with a tantrum-throwing toddler!)

But what about looking at parenting as being a “job” for more of growth aspects of it. I spend time learning skills to be a better web developer – why wouldn’t/shouldn’t I be spending time learning skills to be a better parent? Obviously I was never  a parent before my first was born… and I’ve never been a parent to a 3 year old until a month ago.

I feel like I had great examples with my own parents, but all kids are different and the world is a constantly changing place. In the same way that there are new technologies in my job to deal with every day – there are new  issues parents have to deal with today that my parents may not have ever even thought about when I was a child.

So then the issue for me becomes time. There’s always the war for my time between my family and my job. And you know what? Probably neither of them get the amount of attention they should be getting.

Would it be better for one of them (my family, obviously) to get all the attention, than for both of them to get less than what’s required? And really, would it be so bad if I answered someone’s question of “Who are you?” with a simple:  “I’m a mom!”?

The Great Cloth Diaper Change

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The Guinness World Records Diaper Changing Challenge – The Great Cloth Diaper Change – was today. I’ve heard of this in the past but hadn’t ever paid much attention. This year it happened to coincide with my latest cloth diapering experiment, so I signed us up and told my husband last night that we were all going – lucky him!

Great Cloth Diaper Change 2013

Great Cloth Diaper Change 2013

So what is this, exactly? Basically just a way to spread word about cloth diapering and get your name in the record books. The object was to change your child from cloth to cloth, or from a disposable diaper into a cloth diaper, at 11am in your local time zone. You had to be at the event to qualify.

I didn’t realize this was such a big event – as of April 2nd, 285 hosts had registered to hold world record events in 17 countries including Australia, Belgium, Canada, Switzerland, Chile, Germany, Spain, Finland, Great Britain, Hong Kong, Ireland, Iceland, Italy, Mexico, Malaysia, the Netherlands, and the US. That’s a lot of places – and our location had over 700 people registered!

The closest location to us was only a 20 minute drive, and was in a shopping center, so it wasn’t exactly a hardship – we made it into a family outing and won a few things too!  We were one of the lucky families to receive $100 towards Photography by Heidi Marie and two “5-in-1” diapers from Rock-a-Bums.

Unfortunately, I didn’t get to participate in the actual diaper changing event because my 14-week-old son, who I signed up with, happened to be very happily asleep in his Infantino Sync wrap. I might have woken him for this special occasion, but he’s fighting off a bug right now and I wanted him to get his rest. However, it was kind of fun to be off on the sidelines and see all the different kinds of cloth diapers people were using, and have the opportunity to take a few pictures in the process.

Consistency is key

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Remember how I said parenting is like a science experiment? I had a failed experiment with our youngest.

Currently he’s 12 weeks old, and it’s been a rough 12 weeks, but much of our troubles stem from what I believe comes down to a lack of being consistent with him.

With our girls, I was always insistent that we have a routine – schedules are important, but having routines is what makes being flexible with your schedule possible. Sleep was such an important thing; I remember not doing anything that required us to be outside of the house after 7pm for our oldest’s first year, because she had to be in bed (we both worked outside the house at the time, so she had to be up by 7am the next morning for us to get her to daycare).

We followed that fairly close with our second, but her schedule during the day was much more all over the place, mostly because she was never in a daycare center that had 8+ infants who HAD to be on a schedule for the place to function.

With our son, I was so focused on getting him past the day/night confusion that’s so common in newborns (but I don’t think he ever had it, which is ironic) – I kept him up for long periods of time, I kept him in the living room while his sisters were screaming and running around playing… he was basically overtired and overstimulated.

When I finally came to the realization that I’d overdone it with the awake times, it was a nightmare to try to get him back on track – in fact, I’m not 100% convinced he’s there yet, but we’re closer than we were 4 weeks ago! I got back to using the wake time chart that I’d followed with the girls and started really watching for those sleepy cues… and most importantly, I got him out of our bed (the key to my sanity, I swear!).

The hardest part for me about being consistent is that it really takes effort sometimes. Many babies sleep in their carseats, so sleep isn’t typically an issue while running errands – but our son (and both of our girls) hates the carseat. So I have to really think about my day and plan my trips around naptimes, instead of having naptimes be during trips.

As much as I’d like to think I’ll chalk this up as a major lesson learned and tell myself that we’ll never have this trouble again, I know that I’ll need to revisit the “consistency is key” concept over and over throughout the years.