Thursday, September 5, 2013

Reasons I Love Babywearing

Since I got an Ergobaby carrier almost 2 years ago I have fallen in love with babywearing.  I bring my Ergo everywhere I go with the kids and still wear Peanut even from time to time, although she is closing in fast on the 40lbs limit.  I have been wearing Squirt in our Ergobaby Organic carrier with an infant insert since he was a week old and it has been fantastic.  Here are the top 6 reasons I love to wear my kids, because I couldn't pick just five.

6.  Its a pretty darn good view for little people.

Wearing Squirt at a month old and supervising
the older two.
Have you been to the zoo or a museum with anyone under 3.5ft tall?  Its kind of obnoxious.  All the exhibits are really designed for big people to look at.  The constant "Uppy!  Uppy!  Uppy!" from my 30lb toddler followed by the inevitable struggle 5 minutes later to get down makes my back scream.  Babywearing is a great way to get him up where he can see in a way that is comfortable for me.  That is of course accompanied by the warning that if he wants to get down he's not getting back up because I'm not playing this Babywear-Walking Yo-Yo game that toddlers love.

5.  I know where my kids are.

If my child is attached to my chest or back, I can't lose him.  Babywearing is perfect for crowded events where strollers are a pain to get around with, but I want to keep my kids close.  Knowing my kids are close and safe brings my stress level down and lets me enjoy things (or stress about something else... like catching a plane!)
Peanut really wanted in on the babywearing.

4.  Off-roading.

Walking in circles on a track is boring.  Strolling around the neighborhood is okay.  I seriously love hiking though -- uphill, downhill, over fallen trees, across streams.  Babywearing is perfect for taking my kids with me.  And when the big ones get tired they can take turns on my back.

3.  Quiet baby.

Its utter magic when my son quiets and falls asleep on my chest.  At least I can get one of the children quiet without much effort.  Did I mention I can still do other things while he sleeps?

2.  Two free hands.

Munchkin wearing his lovey in a kids' Ergo 
Food prep in the kitchen?  Toddler with a boo boo needs to be held?  Grocery shopping?  Sweeping?  Vacuuming?  Need to carry more things than humanly possible because I'm a mom and that's what I do?  Got it.  All while carrying my baby too.

1.  Easy on my back.

I started babywearing with an ErgoBaby Sport Carrier after I herniated a disc so I could hold Munchkin without hurting.  I was literally terrified of babywearing because I didn't want to aggravate my back but found it to be a comfortable, ergonomic, and pain-free way to hold my son.  I was pleasantly surprised to find the front carry with Squirt hasn't bothered my back even though he was a whopping 10lbs at birth and now weighs 19lbs.  If you ever have been unable to hold your child, you'll understand how amazing it is when you can hold them.

There is one thing that would make babywearing better: being able to pee standing up.  Every time Hubs walks into the mens' room wearing Squirt and walks out 2 minutes later completely relieved, hands washed, and Squirt content on his chest, I get penis envy.  Peeing with an infant in tow is a 20 minute minimum endeavor for me with a carrier, if I can accomplish it in the first place.  Tips?

Disclaimer: I was provided an ErgoBaby Organic Collection Bundle of Joy by ErgoBaby because they are awesome.  This in now way has influenced my opinion of the ErgoBaby carrier or babywearing in general, and the views expressed in this post are my own.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

If I could cloth diaper all over again

... without a washer and dryer.

If I could cloth diaper all over again

This post was written as part of Padded Tush Stat's "If I could cloth diaper all over again..." series.  I was in a hurry to post and forgot to add their image!  Read on, then explore other posts about a cloth diaper "do over" by other bloggers, or add your own experience!

Full disclosure -- I have a washer and dryer now, and I love them.  They are glorious.  However, when I first started cloth diapering my kids, I washed all their diapers by hand.  I say "their" not as a common English grammar mistake, but because I was cloth diapering both Peanut and Munchkin at the same time.  I washed their diapers by hand for a year and got a pretty good sense of what kinds of diapers are easy to clean by hand and dry quickly on the line.

First... the washing apparatus.

The plunger and bucket were cheap, but to be honest I love the Laundry Alternative WonderWash.  Killer biceps are pretty cool, but I'd rather burn my 500 calories a day doing yoga or chasing my kids around, not churning poopy diapers.

As for drying?

I'd totally get two Ikea FROST drying racks and three packs of PRESSA clothes pins.  They've lasted us 2.5 years and are still going strong.  If it ain't broke...

Oh yah... you want to know about the diapers?  That's a can of worms!

My everyday diapers...

At least 50% of my stash would be gDiapers -- they've worked really well for my kids from birth to potty training and my medium gdiaper covers are on their third bum.  I'd either make my own bamboo and hemp inserts again or invest in a mix of Blueberry EcoLiners and Nappy Shoppe's gFlappers -- some bamboo and some microfiber/hemp.

Surprise!  I would also throw in some flats!  I scoffed at using flats when I first started cloth diapering because they looked so hard.  I have since found out they are versatile, absorbent, and easy to clean.  I'd also get three Snappis -- one to lose constantly, and two to make me feel like I always have plenty on hand.

I would also make some quick flat wraps to add to my stash because they are easy to use, easy to clean, and contain things a little better than a flat diaper with less effort on my part.

In addition to the gDiapers, I would keep some Next Gen Uni covers on hand.  I have a Gen Y Universal that I have grown to love and the Next Gen Uni is the newest revision of the Universal.  I would probably splurge on one large and one small.  I love the full coverage and that I can use them with inserts or a padfolded flat when I feel lazy.  Plus the covers are just plain easy to clean and cute.

For overnight wool is a must.

Wool covers are bulletproof for heavy wetters and breathe which I think helps rashes heal overnight.  Plus they are low maintenance and can go a week or two without washing.  Anything to wash fewer diapers.  I love my Covered Caboose OS covers, but I don't think Jeanne is making them anymore.  I would probably opt for Sustainablebabyish wool covers and maybe a pair of longies if I couldn't get my hands on some Covered Caboose covers again.

I would throw in some Blueberry Econappis too.  Sometimes I super lazy.  Sometimes I want a self-contained diaper.  And they work wonderfully overnight.  Plus they are easy to wash by hand and line dry because of the way the inserts fold up for use.

Even though I have big babies I would still invest in a few newborn diapers.

For the newborn stage I would make some newborn snap-in-one diapers using the free NB Rocketbottoms pattern, and some small snap-in-one diapers from the Totally Squared pattern.  They fit great, make for quick diaper changes, and dry quickly.  They were a nice change of pace from the small gDiapers.

And yes.  I would have some disposable inserts on hand.

Washing diapers by hand every day was a pain.  It was tiring.  It took time.  And sometimes I needed a break.  One of the reasons gDiapers would make up most of my stash is because their gpants worked just as well with their disposable inserts as with cloth inserts.  Part of the reason I started cloth diapering was to decrease the amount of waste my kids produced -- the gDiaper disposable inserts are flushable and boy do I love to flush away the mess some days.  Yes, they are more expensive per change than regular disposables, but they are more earth friendly than conventional disposable diapers, don't give my kids rashes, and I was saving enough using cloth 90% of the time to splurge a bit 10% of the time.

Accessories... of course.

I'd have a few Planetwise Wet/Dry bags for outings.  They simply work.  I'd also get a diaper sprayer and a SprayPal to clean the poop off.  I found WonderWash's Kryptonite is poop, so rinsing diapers well before washing is a must, and doing it directly into the toilet makes things easy.  And its not completely perfect, but I do love our GroVia Perfect Pail a lot, so I would get one to store dirty diapers.

What would you do differently if you could cloth diaper over again?  Don't forget to check out other bloggers' take on a cloth diaper do-over!

Disclaimer: I am a proud gMum and get promotional materials and small gifts from gDiapers every now and then to help spread the gLove.  These tokens do not influence my opinion: my love for gDiapers precedes my participation in the gMum program.  I have not received any compensation from any of the other companies mentioned.  All the thoughts and opinions expressed in this post are my own.