Friday, May 24, 2013

Traveling With Cloth Diapers

We started cloth diapering when Bug was 4 months old (last summer). It took a while to build my stash so for the first few months we were only cloth diapering part time. Being that we didn't have many cloth diapers, it only made sense to use disposables while traveling.

After having a large enough stash for 2-3 days of cloth diapering between washing we have been able to bring cloth with us when we travel. At this point we have only traveled to visit family and they have been fine with us using their washer/dryer. So cloth diapering just continued as normal. 

This weekend we are headed to our cabin for the long weekend. We are thinking of staying for four days. While I have just enough cloth diapers to get us through four days (if I include the prefolds I never use), I have decided to use disposables. 

This decision makes me feel kind of guilty. But there are a few reasons I have decided to use disposables for cabin trip:
  • The cabin is about 45 minutes from a grocery/department store (and laundromat).
  • The water at the cabin has a high iron content. If I were to hand wash or even rinse off soiled diapers they would turn orange, I don't want orange diapers.
  • Bug is starting to get a rash from the cloth chafing now that he is walking.
I know there are disposable inserts for cloth diapers, but I have never used them and don't want to try them out when I am so far away from the nearest grocery store. Plus, I kind of have an 'all-or-nothing' mentality now when it comes to cloth (for me personally, not anyone else). I just feel that if I were to buy the disposable inserts I may as well just get disposable diapers and not mess with the hybrid disposable system.

This will be the first time I am putting my son in disposables in a 8 months. I have had a few from last summer that still fit him which I have given to grandparents to use when they are watching him. But I personally haven't put one on him.

Are there any situations you decide to use disposables instead of cloth?
Do you travel with cloth? 100% cloth? Hybrid w/disposables?
What influences your decision to use or not to use cloth while traveling?

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Ebony EcoRumps by Rump Arounds- Cloth Diaper Review {Giveaway}

 Disclosure: I received the product below to facilitate my review. I was not compensated in any other way. All opinions expressed are my own and are 100% honest.

Rump Arounds is a Canadian cloth diaper company committed to the environment and busy moms. They sell a variety of cloth diapers including the Ebony EcoRump which is a 100% charcoal bamboo cloth diaper. All of the Rump Arounds cloth diapers are one size pocket diapers.

Some great features of their pocket diapers include: 
  • PUL outer, no cover required.
  • 4 level snap down rise, fitting from 6.5 to 40 lbs. 
  • There are four snaps on each wing of the diaper to prevent wing drooping.
  • Two rows of 10 snaps along the waist.
  • Cross over snaps, which allow the diaper to get a great fit on a newborn and roll/snap a soiled diaper.
  • Double leg gussets to prevent leg leaks.
  • Soft stretchy elastic.

Rump Arounds sent me a Cow print in minky fabric. This fabric is super soft. When I put the diaper on Bug all I want to do is cuddle him.

The inside of this diaper is lined with a soft charcoal bamboo fleece. Charcoal bamboo has an anti-bacterial quality that is ideal for children prone to diaper rash, and could help improve the condition of current diaper rash and prevent rash in the future.

The diaper comes with one 100% bamboo three layer soaker. Bamboo is very absorbent.

I tried this diaper on both of my boys. Squirrel is just about 40 lbs. While it fit him, it was really tight around the legs but there was still room to grow around the waist.
(Left pic below)

It fits Bug perfectly, he is about 23 lbs. He is on the medium setting (one snap down). It is snug around the legs and waist but not tight.
(Right pics below)

It is a very trim diaper. It has been a perfect day time diaper for us. The only improvement I would make to this diaper would be to add a tummy panel, which would then make it a good nap time/overnight option as well.

These diapers sell for $15.00 each on their website.

Rump Arounds is generously offering an Ebony EcoRums Cloth Diaper to one of my readers.

Enter via the widget below.
Ends June 5th.

How long are you going to breastfeed?

I have been asked this question regularly since I started breastfeeding my baby. 
My usual response was "At least a year."  After Bug hit that one year mark my response morphed into "I don't know. We'll see."

Well, the time has come. At 15 months and 1 day old, Bug-A-Boo decided he no longer wanted to nurse. 

Throughout our breastfeeding journey we faced many challenges. Starting with Jaundice and slow weight gain in the first month. We had a very supportive pediatrician that never forced us to supplement and said he would only suggest it if Bug lost weight. He also said if the situation came about that I should find a friend who was nursing that could donate milk to us rather than using formula. We visited a lactation consultant, checked his eating, seemed to be fine so we just waited to see what would happen.

The first 8 weeks were really painful for me. The first two being the worst. I cried every time he latched on, it was as if I was being stabbed through my back. After those first two months though I was no longer in great pain and Bug was gaining weight like a champ.

As Bug continued to grow his nursing habits changed. He went from 50 minute nursing sessions to 20 minutes and eventually 10. At about 4 months he became distracted. It was hard for him to concentrate on eating when there were other people around. The best way to nurse was in a quiet dark room. His naps were irregular and he started waking again at night to make up for not eating during the day.

His first teeth came in when he was 5 months old. This didn't really seem to affect his nursing. But when those top teeth started coming in he started biting. He drew blood a couple times. I never thought I would get through that stage. But after a few days of anxiety to nurse him he stopped biting. Only to show his teeth again every time new ones came through, which was the prime teething indicator.

At six months we started baby led weaning. Meaning he started eating sensible, whole, soft foods and feeding himself. No purees or spoon feeding. It wasn't until about 9 months when he really got the hang of eating solids.

When he was 9 months old I discovered that he had an upper lip tie. 
This was my "Ah ha!" moment. I then realized why he was slow to gain weight and why nursing was so painful for me in the beginning. Because Bug had the lip tie it was harder for him to learn how to successfully extract milk, which caused a funky latch. The latch is what caused me to be in so much pain. What upsets me most about this is that the lactation consultant never looked for lip tie when we went to visit her.

Being that Bug was 9 months when I discovered this my pediatrician and I decided not to correct the lip tie. I also consulted a friend who is a speech pathologist. Bug was making the appropriate sounds for a baby his age and she didn't see too much of a concern for having it corrected either.

We then came upon his first birthday! I was so thrilled to have made it a full year brestfeeding. He was still nursing about 6 times a day. He had his one year appointment and was growing wonderfully. The pediatrician was thrilled to hear he was still nursing.

Just after the one year mark Bug dropped another feeding. A few weeks later I dropped one, then another. He was down to nursing only twice a day, right away in the morning and just before bed.  I figured I would keep this going either until he stopped (which I didn't think would be so soon) or until my husband gave the go-ahead for another baby (no sign of my cycle yet).

Well, it has been almost a week now since I last nursed Bug. We were following our normal routine. I started to nurse him before bed, but after latching he would just start playing. After two minutes I just put him to bed. Tried again in the morning, same thing. So I haven't offered since. Because we had been gradually dropping feedings over the last few months I have avoided engorgement, which was one of my weaning goals.

He is still getting breastmilk. We have been dipping into the freezer stash since he was a year old. But it won't last much longer. It is going really fast now.

He had his 15 month check up a couple days after weaning. The Dr. asked what kind of milk Bug was drinking, I said "breast milk", and he said "good for you!". While we don't have much of my milk left I am so happy I was able to give him the best for this long. I take comfort in knowing that he has a decreased risk for asthma, allergies and diabetes (all of which run in the family), that he has had the natural anti-bodies, that he is a healthy little boy.

Was breastfeeding easy? In some ways yes, in some no. I never had to mix a bottle. I didn't have to pack milk when we were out and about, it was already conveniently there. I didn't have to wash bottles. I had to take time to just sit and enjoy my baby while he nursed. I always had an excuse to 'get away' and just relax when we were at group functions.

I am glad I made it through the first year. I didn't get to hang out with friends often, unless baby came with me. I couldn't just pass him off to someone else to eat (but I didn't want to either). I had some rough nights where I just wanted to sleep and would have liked for my husband to feed him, but it didn't last long. When you think about it, a few years of your life where you are completely attached to your child is not that long. I am 29 years old. I still have plenty of time for me. The first year of my child's life is all about him. Now that he is no longer nursing I have had more opportunities to see people that I haven't seen in the last year and a half.

By far, the benefits outweigh the cons. Any cons that I had for breastfeeding were all selfish.

I feel like everything happened the way it was supposed to. Bug and I were both ready to be done. I am not one to be sad as my children move from one milestone to the next. Motherhood has been an adventure and I am embracing each phase of my child's life.

Although, I am not looking forward to the return of my monthly cycle. I am also not looking forward to working out, breastfeeding has been my most successful weight loss program.

Here's to toddlerhood... and maybe another baby?

What were some hurdles you faced in your breastfeeding journey?
Did you/will you let baby self wean, or did you/will you facilitate it?

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Glow Bug Cloth Diaper Reivew {Giveaway}

Disclosure: I received product from Glow Bug Cloth Diapers to help facilitate my review, I was not compensated in any other way. All opinions are my own and completely honest. 

Glow Bug cloth diapers were started by Sarah and Neta when their search for good quality, inexpensive cloth diapers ended with unsatisfactory results.

The diaper design they came up with is fantastic and has a reasonable price tag!

Glow Bug cloth diapers are one size diapers, meaning they'll fit from birth to potty training. They have a snap down rise (x-small, small, medium and unsnapped is large). They also have cross over snaps to ensure a snug fit around a newborns waist. Cross over snaps are also great for on-the-go. You can easily roll up and snap the diaper in a similar manner as you would do with a soiled disposable.

Smallest Rise Setting

Largest Diaper Setting

This is a pocket style diaper and comes with a three layer microfiber insert.

Each insert has a male and female snap allowing you to snap the insert into the shell as well as snap in an extra insert. It is great to have the snap in feature if you are using a pocket diaper that doesn't have the extra protection in front with a tummy panel. But these ladies thought of everything! There is a tummy panel in front and even a leak proof flap in the back to keep the moisture on the insert from wicking onto baby's clothes.

This diaper is the old design which has double leg gussets. They just came out with a new design that has a 360 degree gusset. Which seems like it would be great at preventing blowouts for a baby that is exclusively breastfed.

Another great feature of this diaper is that it has a pocket opening in both the front and back. This tunnel design makes washing super easy. There is no need to remove the insert before throwing the diaper in the wash because it will agitate out on its own. I was pretty skeptical of this at first. But wash after wash, the insert agitates out every time. You can even leave the insert snapped in. It will come out of the diaper shell but remain snapped (diaper turns inside out) so you don't have to go sorting through your inserts after washing.

Bug-A-Boo seems to enjoy his GlowBug cloth diaper! He weighs about 23 lbs. We have it on the medium setting (one snap down). So far we haven't had any leaks. Bug sleeps on his tummy which makes diapering for naps and overnights difficult. Because of the tummy panel we also had successful nap time diapering with our Glow Bug diaper. 

I don't typically recommend buying diapers in bulk until you know for sure what you like and what works best for your baby. But honestly, there is nothing I would change about this diaper. If you are just starting with cloth this is definitely a diaper worth looking into.
You can purchase Glow Bug Cloth Diapers on their website.

Glow Bug is generously offering a pocket diaper to one of my readers. 
Winner chooses boy, girl or gender neutral.

Enter using the widget below.
Must be 18+ years to enter.
Open to US and Canada.
Giveaway will close at 11:59 PM on May 31st.

Friday, May 3, 2013

Wordologies Journal Review & Giveaway

I have been more than excited to get back out into my garden this year, but with Old Man Winter hanging on for dear life, I haven't had much of a chance. The best I have been able to do is plan. Squirrel and I started seeds last week and I mapped out my produce garden. I have been keeping track of seedlings and garden design with the help of Wordologies.

Their Journal Trio is perfect for designing my garden and keeping record of what I have done and when.

The Journal Trio consists of three journals; one is lined, one is graphed and the other is blank. Each of the journals is a different color and has it's own phrase printed on the front.

At 6x8.25 inches these journals are the perfect size to throw into a purse, diaper bag, or in my case a gardening bag. Each journal has 40 pages and they are made from 100% recycled paper.

Wordologies uses every day objects to incorporate phrases in the daily lives of consumers that will help empower, inspire and promote positivity. 
Other items they sell include coffee mugs, notepads and magnets.

A portion of all online sales goes to Women for Women International which is " organization dedicated to advancing women’s health and well-being by offering business and job skills training to women in conflict-ridden nations."

Visit Wordologies for other great products to bring mindfulness and empowerment to your day!  You can purchase your own journal set on their website for $18.

Wordologies is generously offering a Journal Trio to one of my readers!

Enter via the Giveaway Tools form below. 
Must be 18+ years to enter.
Open to the US only.
 Giveaway is open from 5/3-5/17.
Winner will be emailed 5/18 and will have 48 hours to respond before a new winner is drawn.

Disclosure: I received product from Wordologies to help facilitate my review, no other compensation was received. All opinions are my own and 100% honest. Just Me and the Boys is not responsible for prize shipment.