October 26, 2010 (5:09 pm)

Finding Our Groove – Sleeping, Cloth Diapers, and Toys

by Kristen Suzanne

Now that Kamea is four months old, we’re really finding our groove. This mama job is a breeze. ;)

For the past month, we’ve been sleeping better. Kamea co-sleeps with us and it’s been such a joy. Most nights she sleeps quite well. We can stay in bed for 9-12 hours at night. She doesn’t sleep straight through but she kind of does. She tosses and turns when she’s hungry, I roll on my side and latch her on, and we’re both back in dreamland. Well, I usually get back to dreamland. Some nights she thrashes around a lot which keeps me awake because I keep putting her back on my breast (my husband says she’s practicing her “ninja” skills). But, some nights, like last night, we both sleep soundly. There are the occasional nights where she decides she’d like to wake up after about 4 hours of sleep and stay up. When this happens, it only takes about an hour of hanging out with her in bed and she’s ready to sleep again.

Nap time has been great too. We’re not on a schedule, but I’d estimate that she wants to nap every few hours. The one nap I can count on is in the morning. About 2 hours after waking, she’s ready for a nap. Sometimes she naps for 40-60 minutes and other times she sleeps a whole 2 hours.

What does all that mean? Mommy is getting more sleep! My eyes are no longer bloodshot and I feel like I can drive a car without causing harm to myself or others. Seriously, I didn’t start driving again until just recently because I only felt I had enough energy to make it through my day at home. Driving a car required too much alertness.

The pretty colored ones are Swaddlebees Econappies. The white diaper with easy-to-use colored snaps are BabyKicks.

We’re also getting into cloth diapers more regularly (every time I use one, depending on the size, I save about 30 cents – gotta love that). They’re still not as great as I thought they’d be. For starters, you have to wash them (that’s work). Then, you have to stuff them (that’s more work). Finally, they’re still bulky as heck, but the fit is getting better. However, in spite of the extra work, it’s better on the earth and my baby’s girlie bits, and… they’re cute as hell! I think our plan is going to be using cloth diapers at home and when we go out, we’ll use eco-friendly disposables. I’m a fan of two cloth diaper brands right now: BabyKicks and Swaddlebees Econappi. Both are one size diapers that are supposed to fit from newborn until 35-40 pounds (depending on the brand), but I’m only now liking them on her at this age / weight because I think they’re too bulky to use for newborns. I have 6 BabyKicks and 4 Swaddlebee Econappis plus the Flip system I wrote about here. Flip are not my favorites, but they’re working okay.

We are still interested in trying Elimination Communication, but even now, I still don’t feel like it’s the right time. I know many people start early, but I have a few issues to figure out. 1) I have no idea when she’s peeing and she pees many times. 2) I don’t get much warning for poop either. Therefore, I’m just not comfortable with her being diaper free until I get a better handle on that. And, 3) it’s weird holding her on the potty when she doesn’t even sit on her own yet. I tried it the other day. Not fun. For either of us. All in good time though. We’ll work on that later.

As I mentioned in the last post, we took Kamea for her 4-month pediatric visit. At this visit we started talking about solids, just so we can start thinking about them. I plan on waiting to introduce solids until she cuts some teeth hopefully (that could be at 6-8 months). That means three things: 1) I need a high chair (going to start researching this very soon). 2) I need baby spoons. 3) I’m excited to start thinking about homemade baby food recipes and the next book I’ll write!

Kamea is also starting to grab at toys and hold on to them, play with them, etc. It’s so exciting to see her develop. I recently bought her this groovy Baby Banana Teething Toothbrush. It’s BPA, latex, and phthalate free. She also has this eco-friendly baby rattle (BPA, PVC and phthalate free). And, Kamea loves her organic dolly that Lauren and Ginger bought her. She likes to chew on her, too. ;)

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  • India's Mommy

    She is so beautiful! Congratulations :)

    I am glad to hear your honesty with your posts, but have to tell you I am so turned off with your experience with cloth diapers. We started with cloth and it's all we know and have only had a great experience. It couldn't be easier. We use prefolds (so no stuffing anything) and we wash about a load every three days (not exactly a lot of work…). She's clean, chemical free and we spent less than $250 for everything for over a year. I am in no way judging your experience–I know we all march to our drum and have to find what works for us. But I do find myself hesitating to turn my friends onto your blog because of your trouble with cloth. My husband and I both have found it so easy and think that if anyone were on the fence with cloth could easily get discouraged reading about your experience. I mean, if the green mommy doesn't enjoy them, what chance would the rest of us you know?

    In Scottsdale there is a fabulous and extremely helpful cloth diaper store–Zoolikins. Wonder if they could help you out?

  • http://GreenMommyBlog.com/ Kristen Suzanne

    Thanks for your comment. Honesty is my thing so I'm not offended if you don't share my blog. Although, it's too bad that you won't share it because I don't agree with you? I'd be lying if I said I loved using cloth right now. But, as you might have seen through my posts, I'm warming up to them more and more. I do not(!) like prefolds. Tried it. Ugh in my opinion. If you like them, then I'm so happy for you! I wish I did like them but by the time they're folded and used with a cover, they're not easy or likable to me. Like you said, all babies and all experiences are different. Heck, the size of the baby's legs can influence cloth diapers. I have been to Zoolikens. Cute store.

    Because of the number of nappies I have, I do laundry every day or other day, depending on the number of disposables used. If I had more then I could go longer between washes but I hesitate to buy more yet because it'd be wasteful if we end up going the EC route. I really hope we get better with EC – that would be awesome!

  • http://gingeristhenewpink.blogspot.com/ Lauren519

    Thank you so much for your honesty on the diapers. I love learning through you, although I know I need to have my own experience as well. I do see it being a lot of work to do EC or reusables at first so we are going to use Seventh Generation diapers for the first few months. Can't wait to see what Kamea eats in the future, I will def. be getting that book!! So glad she loves her dolly, so adorable!!! XO

  • http://GreenMommyBlog.com/ Kristen Suzanne

    I've learned that you can get all the opinions in the world, but it

    won't matter a whole lot until you see what your own precious baby

    likes. The opinions, in my opinion (lol), are a great place to get

    data points and references, but then it's a crap shoot (at least for

    certain things). It's so extreme how some babies love one thing and

    another totally hates it. Or, one product works wonders for a baby and

    another baby it's awful. And, let's not forget how different all

    families are and their unique living situations. This definitely is

    taken into account. ;)

    I respect whatever other mamas do and I don't pass judgement, because

    I know that every situation is different.

  • Emma

    When I was a baby, and my younger sisters too, my mum used cloth nappies on us but instead of being like the ones you've got here, they were simply a terry cloth towel that she folded into shape, put a liner in, and put on us. I think they did have a plastic pair of underwear to put over the top but we rarely used that. They always seemed to work great, they're what I plan on using when I have babies!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=516744347 Tricia Swenson

    Something you can do is: buy a few more cloth diapers (so you don’t have to wash everyday- lots of work, no kiddin’!) and then if E.C. works out you can resale the cloth diapers. I’ve bought and sold a bunch with online cloth diapering communities.

    At least that way you won’t feel all tuckered out by doing the wash all the time and then you may have a sense of accomplishment when you feel good about cloth diapering.

    Also, I didn’t like prefolds either and know many people who do.

  • Jensanders

    Hats off to you for being so environmentally conscious about everything you do.

    The first child is such an incredible adjustment. I was trying so hard to keep up with the basics, and so sleep deprived, there were a lot of things I never even tried.

    For my second child, I did decide to cloth diaper. It is such a personal decision. I love it and couldn't think of going back to disposables (although I do use 7th Gen on occasion when away). I use Bum Genius one size and they work really well for us. However, at the onset I bought one of each type of diaper to see what worked best for my guy, because one size does not fit all babies!

    I have had friends ask me about cloth diapering. I know they are interested, but haven't made that step. All I can do is offer all the great info I have learned and be there to support them with any questions. There are two sides to every coin and I think your posts are a great resource for new parents.

    Keep up the great work! Just wanted to say that I support you!

  • http://GreenMommyBlog.com/ Kristen Suzanne

    Thank you so much for your comment. There's so much truth to what you wrote. I suspect the second time around will be a bit different, too. I'm determined to get great use out of my cloth diapers and using them for more than one baby is my plan.

    If EC doesn't work for us, which I hope it will(!), I will probably need to buy some more diapers, and I might still venture out to try some other brands.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=516744347 Tricia Swenson

    It took me a little while to get used to cloth diapers too. Once I got a smaller wetbag, I'd just pack that in my diaper bag and a couple of cloth diapers and away we go!

    I read your post and am reminded of my own experience with being a first time mom. Before I was a mom, I expected X, Y, and Z. Now that I am a mom, I just go with the flow and stop expecting anything! Well, some things…

  • http://GreenMommyBlog.com/ Kristen Suzanne

    Good advice :)

  • http://GreenMommyBlog.com/ Kristen Suzanne

    Good advice – again. Thx! I think I'll do just that!

    XO

  • http://ifashley.blogspot.com Ashley

    I can't wait until you share your food making experience!!! I've done it once and am not sure about it. I'm sure you'll have delicious recipes and I will need to buy your book. If you ever buy any, we really like Ella's Organics, it comes in super yummy flavors.

    I wanted to try cloth diapers but I am a working mama and to be honest would rather spend my time playing with my monkeys instead of doing poopy laundry. I wanted to maybe even do the hybrids, but they are pretty costly. If you have a better suggestion, I would love to know it.

    I am DYING to hear about your EC when you try it. I have worked with kids for 8 years, have had 5 foster children and now two of my own and I can't imagine it but I am very intrigued. Your co-sleeping sounds heavenly. I loved it while we did it.

    Also, thanks for being honest in your experiences!! You are a great mom working with your child and yourself to find what works best for you. No two families or kids are the same.

  • http://GreenMommyBlog.com/ Kristen Suzanne

    Hi Ashley,

    Thanks for your thoughtful comment. :)

    I have heard of Ellas. I think they look great for on the road, eh? Those are the suckable little pouches, right? Any idea what the packaging is made from?

  • Ashley

    The suckable pouches are for toddlers, but the baby food comes in the same type of pouch, but I'm not sure what they're made from. They are shiny and pretty so my preschoolers reuse them as art projects. :)

    When I made my own, one sweet potato made about 4 one ounce cubes. After they were frozen, they looked kind of weird, so I can't wait to see what you find out about it. I think they need to be mixed with breast milk or formula, but it just doesn't look right. I still have them and think we will try it tomorrow, but does it lose a lot of nutritional content after it has been frozen for awhile?

  • http://GreenMommyBlog.com/ Kristen Suzanne

    Mixing with breastmilk or water is good. Some recommend using frozen baby food quickly, but it also probably depends on how it was frozen and whether breastmilk or water was used.

  • Elainieking

    When my first two were born (twins) I hated cloth diapers as well. It took me until they were 3 months old to start using them on them and I cheated cause I used an eco diaper service. I ended up using another diaper service for the next two babies and with the next one just washed myself. Because of that I think I got used to pre-folds and never had an issue with them. I liked trying out a variety of cloth diapering options and with my last used AIO's and prefolds with IMSE VIMSE covers. My last 3 babies were all huge and I found a pre-fold system to work better on chubbier babies as it was more economical so that's been my experience. It really depends on build of baby to see what system works and of course what's easiest on parents.

  • Tararoseconnolly

    Thanks for your great posts. I am also excited for a baby foods un-cook book should you decide to make one. Thanks for being honest and sharing what seems to be working for you. I am glad the cloth diapers are growing on you! We have been CDing too–and have gone through a few things until we found one that is right for us. Like another commenter mentioned, there are some big differences in how diapering systems work depending on the size and shape of your baby.

    I really like prefolds, but my husband has a hard time with them, so I sewed a bunch of fitted diapers out of organic cotton and bamboo fleece. They are the clear winner for us– but this is three and 1/2 months in. We are going to be doing quite a bit of travel over the holidays tho, and I was thinking about getting some eco-friendly 'sposies… any suggestions on which ones work best?

  • http://GreenMommyBlog.com/ Kristen Suzanne

    I've had good luck with 7th Generation.

    Thanks for sharing your experience. :)

  • Jlhoucek

    Is the chair Kamea is pictured in an organic product? I've been looking for an organic bouncy seat/chair for our 8 week old…

  • http://GreenMommyBlog.com/ Kristen Suzanne

    No. I wish. I put an organic cloth diaper or blankie under her though. I think baby bjorn makes a bouncy with organic.

  • Ousoonerbritt

    Kristen,

    I'm so curious to know how you are going to introduce the foods. I assume you will not be giving the rice cereal. Will you head straight to the veggies or juice/smoothies with her? Do you plan to keep it all raw? While I read all of your posts and try to get through all the comments, I might have missed the answers to my questions if you've already been asked. I'm right there with you with a nearly 5 month old and gearing up for the solids. I value your input so any additional info you're ready to share, I'm ready to know! :)

    By the way, little Kamea is growing beautifully!!

  • http://GreenMommyBlog.com/ Kristen Suzanne

    Thank you!

    I will be doing fruits/veg. No grains for now. A lot of raw, all organic, all homemade if possible, and some cooked (like sweet potato, etc, when the time comes).

    Of course I'll be breastfeeding too. Plan on doing that until she's at least 2 years I hope.

    I'll post details on my blog when the time comes. :)

  • http://twitter.com/1stTimeMom2Ella Kayleen

    I really liked the Bum Genius Organics (now BG Elemental) AIO. They are a onesize dipe, organic, with snaps, and super trim. Only go to about 30# (have shorter rise), but were super absorbant too.

    I also like Bottom Bumpers AIO/AI2 sized dipes. Very trim! Have organic options as well. I didn't start CDing until DD was 15mo, but would love to have started with an infant.

    A more trim cover option if using prefolds is the Swaddlebees ABC Snap Wrap. Its not a wipeable cover, but structured very solid. Doesn't feel cheap and doesn't sag. It's sized but very nice. I found it very trim fitting when I did use it.

    CDing while out and about isn't any different than CDing at home. Have a small wetbag and your wipes and your extra dipes. Just takes a little more space than sposies.

    I like to talk about my CDing days (DD is almost potty trained!) so if you have any questions or want another opinion just ask!

  • http://GreenMommyBlog.com/ Kristen Suzanne

    Thank you so much for sharing your opinions. Much appreciated!