Monday, May 3, 2010

Growing Up

With Audrey getting older, we're coming up on a momentous and bittersweet occasion - starting solids. I'm excited that she's growing and getting ready for this next step in her feeding. But at the same time I'm a little sad to be getting ready to say goodbye to exclusive breastfeeding. The cloth diapering ramifications are as follows: Breastfed poop is water soluble, so I don't have to rinse it off the diapers. It comes off in the washing machine without any extra effort. Once I add solids, I'll have to start spraying her poop off into the toilet just like Thomas'. And it will start to smell worse too.

A little extra work and a little extra smell. It's really not that much of an issue, but I can honestly say that I will miss her EBF poop.

Yeah, I just read over that last sentence again. I'll miss her poop? How weird am I?! ;-)

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Why I don't update much lately

I've made a realization.

When I started cloth diapering, it was an adventure. Each diaper change was exciting. It was fun to see all the diapers that I made in action. When I started this blog, I thought it would be full of daily (or at least weekly) updates on how the cloth diapering was going.

But it hasn't been like that. Now that I've got a few months of cloth diapering under my belt, it's not really an adventure. It's just a diaper change.

Actually, I think that's a good thing. It means I'm used to diapering this way now. There are things I like about it (cute diapers, soft on the kids' bums, saving money) and things I dislike (cleaning out Thomas' poopies). We're still dealing with periodic rashes, some stink issues, and I've been able to start line-drying the diapers now that the weather has perked up. But really, there's not much that's post-worthily exciting.

Cloth diapering. Just another part of my day.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Good News

The rashes are clearing up! Hooray!

I switched to a perfume- and dye-free liquid detergent for the diaper laundry, which seems to be helping. And when I mentioned our rash problems to a lady in our church, she told me about this awesome stuff that works really well for all kinds of skin issues, including diaper rash. Later she gave me a small jar of it, and it has really worked wonders. It's called Miracle II Neutralizer Gel. I'm not kidding when I say that absolutely nothing else I tried worked on the kids' diaper rashes, but this stuff is working. Thomas' rash, that he's had almost constantly for many months, is almost completely gone. And Audrey's rash, which left her bright red and skin peeling all over her diaper area, is almost gone as well. And the kids can wear their cloth diapers.

I'm not trying to sound like a commercial, but this gel is working so well that we got online and ordered a bottle of it, even though, with shipping, it costs much more than I'm used to paying for any kind of skin stuff. To me, being able to use cloth diapers and be rash-free is totally worth it.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Not doing so great.

One big reason I haven't posted for a while is because I am sad to be posting this. All the work I put into making so many cute diapers, all the eagerness about getting to use them on my kids, all the excitement about the money we would save. And now I'm not even sure that it will have been worth it.

Two words can sum up the cause of my woe.

Diaper Rash.

Thomas has had a diaper rash for as long as I can remember, long before we switched to cloth. I was hoping the switch would help him to heal. But it hasn't. His rash is as constant as it was before. We've tried nystatin to treat for yeast, we've tried mupirocin to treat for bacteria, we've used barrier creams and petroleum jelly and everything we can possibly think of. But his rash continues.

The worst of it, though, is Audrey's rash. A few weeks after starting cloth, she started getting a bit red. At her next check-up with the pediatrician, she was prescribed nystatin for yeast. It didn't work. The rash got worse. It was bright red all over her diaper area, super dry, and extremely flaky. I'm talking huge flakes of skin peeling off when I'd wipe her. Diaper changes, which used to be a happy bonding time, became physically painful for Audrey and emotionally painful for me.

My sister suggested I use lotrimin anti-fungal with disposable diapers for a while, bathing Audrey in an oatmeal/powdered milk bath every morning and evening. For a while, that was actually working - her skin was starting to get smooth and much less red. Then it just stopped working, and her rash started getting bad again.

Now for the past few days I've been using cloth sometimes and disposables other times, for both kids. Thomas' rash continues to stay the same. Audrey's rash has slowly been getting worse.

I don't want to stop cloth diapering! I worked so hard to make all those diapers! I love the way they look, the way they feel. I love washing them, stuffing them, putting them away all nice and neat. I love the way they don't crinkle when the baby moves, the way they don't smell like perfumed chemicals. I love the fact that, before all this started, we were able to go for such a long time without having to buy any diapers or wet wipes at all.

But I'm about ready to give up. If I can't get these rashes to go away with the kids in cloth, I may just have to throw in the towel, pack away the fluff, and diaper my kids in crinkly, rough, papery disposables. And that thought just makes me so sad. I want it to work with cloth. I never even entertained the possibility that it might not work out. I thought all I needed was determination. But what happens when being determined doesn't work? When no matter what I try, my kids' bottoms get more and more red and painful?

Sigh. This is just such a hard thing to face. I'm going to get Audrey checked out at the clinic to see if there's anything they can suggest that I haven't tried yet. I'm going to keep trying to make the cloth diapers work. But if I can't, no matter how hard I've tried, I'll feel like I've failed.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Hmm, I should work on that...

I've gotten into the bad habit of leaving diapers lying on the floor after diaper changes, instead of taking them to the diaper pail in the laundry room. Just lazy, I guess. Well, tonight I finally went around the house picking up all the diapers that I've left sitting around in random places - there were ten of them! Three of which were Thomas' poopy diapers that had to be sprayed off into the toilet... Icky. Yeah, from now on I think I'll work harder at making sure the wet/messy diapers make it to the diaper pail with much more expediency.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Customizing the Soaker Pattern

I made Audrey and Thomas each a new soaker yesterday. For Audrey's, since she's been growing and I'm not folding down the RRPs for her anymore, I went to the next size up. I also lengthened the rise since I've noticed that the Katrina's soaker pattern tends to be a bit short on her and it can be a struggle to get it to cover the entire diaper. So I used the medium soaker, with a large rise, and medium-small waist band and leg cuffs. For Thomas' soaker, I used extra large, with large waist band and leg cuffs. My kids tend to be skinny. It's so cool to be able to customize the soakers to meet the fitting needs of my individual children, try getting that kind of customization with disposables!

I'm thinking I need to strip the diapers soon, especially Thomas' dipes. That little boy sure has smelly pee! I need to get rid of that ammonia stink. I'll try washing with Dawn dish soap first. If that doesn't take care of it, I'll try boiling them. It will be my first time boiling diapers, the whole idea of which makes me giggle. Boiling diapers, teehee! But hey, if it works, I'll just do my best to get over the silliness of it.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Suzy's Zoo diaper

Yet another cute RRP from my stash of free flannel! I love this shade of pink, I think it's so sweet.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Monkey dipe!

My aunt Karen recently brought over a bunch of fleece and flannel scraps (yay for more free fabric!) and they're so cute! I had to make a diaper out of this monkey fabric right away, just couldn't resist.



Folded up:

I didn't notice until after the diaper was made that all the monkeys end up upside down when it's folded. Oh well, it's super cute anyway.

Can't wait to make diapers with the other fun fabrics (think Suzy's Zoo, giraffes, Winnie the Pooh, lady bugs).

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Changing cloth diapers

Just wanted to do a little happy post. I love changing Audrey's diaper. Not just because the diapers are really cute and it's fun to see my homemade diapers in action, but I love seeing how much she likes it. When I put on her clean, soft, new diaper, she always does this happy little grunting noise, and wiggles around cheerfully. The other kids never did anything like that when I put them in disposables, a diaper change was just a diaper change. With these cloth diapers, diaper changes are actually more of a bonding experience. I'm glad to know that Audrey really likes her soft, comfy cloth diapers.

Yes, I'm weird. I'm okay with it.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

A whole slew of new dipes

Seven new diapers! I'm having so much fun sewing up new diapers with all the fun flannel that my mom gave me. And I still have plenty left to make even more diapers!

I just did the diaper laundry this morning, so I thought I'd take the opportunity to take a picture while I had most of my stash clean. So here's a bunch of RRPs and the flat diapers I stuff them with. This isn't all of them, but you get the idea. :-)

I also added it all up, and discovered that I have 45 RRPs total. And I'm still itching to make more...

Longies and RRPs

I've been doing lots of sewing lately!

New longies:

New RRPs:

Plus, last night I cut out a bunch of new diapers and I'm working on sewing them up today. I'll post pics when they're all done.

In other news, Audrey is getting so big! She has pretty much outgrown her newborn fitted diapers, and is in RRPs full-time. I love that the RRPs are one-size; Thomas wears them as-is, Audrey wears them with the back folded down.