My Top 3 Cloth Diaper Essentials

Cloth diapering can be a lot of fun and there are many accessories available to enhance the whole experience. This list represents my top 3 cloth diaper accessories. We’ve been cloth diapering for over 6 months and I have definitely developed some preferences for my accessories. I love anything that can make the process easier, faster, and stink proof!

#1 – Wet bag or wet/dry bag

I have 4 of them, all from Planet Wise. 3 are regular wet bags and the other one is a large wet/dry bag. I love the ones from this company. They are high quality and have tons of great patterns to choose from. I have a small and medium one that I use in rotation in my diaper bag. They are the perfect size when you’re on the go and can be used for diapers, soiled clothes, wet things, or just about anything you don’t want stuffed in your bag with everything else. The other 2 are for my soiled diapers. Again, I use them in rotation, whenever one’s in the wash, I use the backup. The wet/dry bag is useful when we go on long trips. We often use it to store clean diapers.

I think having 2 of each is practical. As much as I try to stick to my ideal wash routine, I often end up with having to go out of the house while my wet bag is still drying – the backup one comes in handy in those situations.

You can find wet bags anywhere these days and most cloth diaper companies sell them.

#2 – Diaper sprayer

DetailBGSprayerPhotos530x310

bumGenius Diaper Sprayer

This is THE item I simply cannot live without! My youngest doesn’t poo very often but boy am I glad to have the diaper sprayer when he does! It is a bit on the expensive side but worth every penny. There are a few models by various companies available but they essentially all do the same thing. If you cringe at the thought of having to dunk your diapers in the toilet to rinse them, get a diaper sprayer. Now, I have a confession to make. I know that breast milk poo is 100% water soluble, which means that the diapers can go straight into the bag. But, the thought of putting poo in my wet bag just makes me feel a little queasy, so I rinse everything off. It really just takes a few seconds. It never washes away completely but enough so I’m able to feel comfortable putting the diaper in the laundry bag.

To be honest, it may not be the most appealing contraption to stick to your toilet, but trust me, you’ll be thrilled to have it for those massive poop explosions!

#3 – Cloth diaper detergent

I truly believe this can make or break your cloth diapering routine. After figuring out which diapers I was going to get, the second biggest thing I had to research and determine was which soap I was going to use. What I have learned is this: cloth diaper wash routines are extremely personal and vary according to SO many factors (type of water, wash cycles used, type of soap used, quantity of soap used etc.). You may have to try a few to determine which one works best for your situation. Although a bit of a hassle, it is worth taking the time to choose the one that will answer your particular needs. This way, you should keep stink issues at bay.

I personally use Nellie’s All-Natural Laundry Soda. It has worked great so far minus a few stink issues that I’m still trying to tweak – I think this issue now comes from the fact that I have a lot less diapers to wash compared to when my son was a newborn. I probably have to adjust the quantity of soap I use but that is still to be determined.

Some people prefer to use soap specifically tailored to cloth diapers while others use regular soap. I heard that Tide is a popular choice. Again, this is so personal and you’ll have to put in a bit of work to try and find what works for you and your family.

Which cloth diaper accessory could you not live without? Are there any that you wouldn’t recommend?

A Cloth Diapering Update

baby-21163_1280My son recently turned 4 months old, which means that we have now been cloth diapering him for a few months. Since I wrote To Cloth Diaper or Not? back in April, a month before my son was born, I really had no idea what we were getting into. I thought it was time for an update now that we have established a cloth diapering routine.

I remember when I first started talking about cloth diapering from birth (well – after all of the meconium had passed, that is), many people told me that it would be tough to do it with a newborn while having a toddler around. I didn’t really see how it would be different doing it from the get-go than to start after the baby was a few months old, other than maybe the frequency of diaper changes. Since newborns tend to need their diapers changed more frequently, I think some of the concerns came from that thought. However, I knew I wouldn’t mind the frequent changes.

In any case, I didn’t let it bother me as both my husband and I were determined to make this work – and I’m proud to say we have! After 4 months of cloth diapering, I have fallen in love with it. I love our diapers, I love the feel, and I love the way they look on my little boy. He’s already out of the newborn diapers but we still have plenty to use. I’m only now starting to use some of the bigger ones that still fit my 30lb toddler up until a few months ago.

I am gearing up to post reviews of all the diapers we have, along with pictures so you can see what they look like. Looking back, I was terrified of having bulky diapers and having my son’s tush look like a giant bubble. Since I had done a thorough research into this prior to purchasing the diapers, I think I have done a pretty good job at picking out ones that are not really bulky. The bulkiness varies according to different brands but so far, I have had no issues trying to dress him (this was a big concern) and I haven’t had to buy bigger pants to fit over the diapers.

Sometimes, I think he looks so darn cute in his diapers that I just dress him up in a shirt and leave him pants-free – something I was adamant I would never do!

I do have one confession to make though. We have yet to try cloth diapering at night. We have bought a box of disposals and we use one every night. My son is quite a heavy wetter and I know the diapers we have right now, although they are very absorbent, still can’t last more than 3-4 hours maximum. So, unless I want to change him in the middle of the night, which I don’t really, he can’t wear cloth.

I did get a few suggestions from cloth diapering veterans, including using a good fitted diaper along with a wool cover. My husband and I were discussing this the other day and we are thinking of purchasing one set to try out and see if it works. If so, we would buy a few more and ditch the disposals altogether.

Other than at night, we have been very consistent in using cloth diapers. I even find myself feeling bummed when I know we’ll be in a situation where cloth diapering is not really possible, such as when we rented a cottage for 4 days earlier this summer. With no access to a washing machine, I didn’t want to risk having stink issues.

Speaking of washing, this brings me to the ONLY aspect of cloth diapering I don’t like that much, which is the washing and drying. If you’re considering cloth diapering, you have probably looked all over the web already for some tips and tricks. One thing that is incredibly personal to everyone is the wash routine. Not one is the same as it depends on so many factors – hard or soft water, type of detergent, frequency of wash, HE machine or regular,etc.

We own an LG front loading HE washing machine. After reading up on different wash routines and experimenting with our own, we have come up with what we think works best. The only problem is that it takes over 2 hours and 30 minutes for the wash and close to 1 hour and 30 minutes of drying time. With 2 kids at home, finding time to work, and do all the other things that need to be done around the home, 4 hours of washing/drying is a looonnngg time! I’m obviously not standing next to the machine for the whole time but just having to constantly think about it and having to go back to set the next cycle, drying, and folding/stuffing, it’s time consuming.

Overall, I am pleasantly surprised at how easy cloth diapering is and how much fun it is. I have to stop myself from going online and finding new cute patterns and wanting to buy them. After all, the main reason we decided on cloth diapers was to save money.

If you are like me and you are hesitant to use cloth diapers, I say jump right in! Other than the washing and drying, I truly have no complaints. And since wash routines are so personal anyway, it may be a non-issue for you.

My verdict after 4 months: No regrets whatsoever! This was, and still is, the best decision for our family.

Happy cloth diapering!
Milou

 

The Best Kept Stain Removal Secret

Whether you have a baby or a toddler, you know how they always manage to stain their clothes. I remember with my firstborn, we dealt with regular poop explosions that would travel all the way up the onesie and down the legs. It was never fun to have to clean up the mess, especially since I would use some sort of spray & wash product that was full of harmful chemicals.

With our newest addition, we are cloth diapering and so far I am proud to say we have had no poop explosions…none! However, he is quite the spitter, which means that I change him from 2 to 5 times a day because of soiled clothes.

When my firstborn was about 6 months old, I was complaining to one of my aunts about how I didn’t like using the spray & wash stuff to clean my son’s stained clothes. And then, she gave me a tip that forever changed my stain removal routine.

Here it is:

Courtesy of africa from freedigitalphotos.net

Courtesy of africa from freedigitalphotos.net

That’s right! The best kept stain removal secret is a bar of soap. Some of you may have known this already but for those who didn’t, it will make removing stains from clothes a breeze.

I have only ever used this method the way that my aunt explained it to me – you must use a white bar of soap. Ensure that you use an actual bar of soap (such as Ivory) and not one that is mostly moisturizer like Dove. It has to be white. Why? I have no clue. I just know it works. It may also work with a variety of soaps and different colors but to be honest, I haven’t felt the need to test other ways as this one works perfectly every single time.

My typical stain removal routine is this: I run cold water and while the sink fills up, I wet the bar of soap, the stain, and then proceed to rub the affected area with the soap – just enough so it leaves a coating on the garment. Sometimes, I can see the stain starting to disappear as I rub, but most times, I just let it sit in cold water for a few hours. For tougher stains, I let it sit overnight.

After it sat for a while, I check on it. If the stain is not completely gone, I repeat the same steps one more time. Most times though, I can’t even see a trace of what was once there. I throw the item in the wash and use my regular wash routine.

The result: A perfectly stain free piece of clothing.

This stain removal technique definitely works on poop explosions, spit ups, and most meal disasters. I have tested it on oil stains and the results were mixed. I thought I would have the opportunity to test it on grass stains this summer, but for some reason (and I’m not complaining), my toddler seems to have managed to keep his clothing clean of any green stains for the entire season.

If you have been struggling to find an easy way to remove stains, try this method and let me know how it works out for you.

Happy stain removing!
Milou

 

5 Things Parents Should Know About Having Kids

Planning to have a baby will be one of the most exciting events in your life. The feeling you get upon seeing that “pregnant” sign on your test is indescribable. I know that for me, I lived on a high for quite some time after coming to terms with the fact that we were finally going to have a baby.

Courtesy of Sattva from freedigitalphotos.net

Courtesy of Sattva from freedigitalphotos.net

While this feeling of elation is great, there are some things I wish I had known about pregnancy and caring for a newborn. This is why I’ve come up with my top 5 things I think parents should know about having kids. While these may not have changed how I prepared myself or how I handled certain situations, it sure would have helped me be a bit more realistic about what it’s really like to have a baby!

#1 – Sleeping like a baby is a myth

You know the saying “sleeping like a baby”. Well, let me tell you – there is no such thing as sleeping like a baby (at least in this household). While I have heard of some babies sleeping for hours during the daytime and starting to sleep through the night at a young age, this is not how it usually goes. Babies tend to have very sporadic sleeping patterns with no set routines, at least for the first few months. At best, my oldest would sleep in increments of 15 to 30 minutes during the daytime and stretches of 2 hours at night for a long while. My youngest is a better sleeper but he still wakes up about every 2 to 3 hours at night. His daytime naps usually last between 30 minutes to 1 hour. It is important to remember that each baby has its own rhythm and that eventually, he or she will start sleeping for longer stretches. I’ve lived to tell the tale! My toddler now sleeps 12-hour nights and close to 2-hour naps.

#2 – Be prepared for an advice avalanche

As soon as family, friends, colleagues, acquaintances, and even strangers hear or see that you are expecting, they will feel compelled to divulge their best advice. Be prepared to hear the good, the bad, the ugly, and the plain inappropriate. I remember feeling so overwhelmed during my first pregnancy and for the first few months caring for my baby. Everyone seems to have an opinion on how you should do things without any regards for the fact that you are actually a competent individual. Some advice is given more subtlety, as in “I started sleep training my baby at 2 months and it worked great. Maybe you should give it a try” to the very blunt “You’re not doing this right. He’ll definitely catch a cold without an extra blanket on”.

To anyone besides the parents, all of this advice giving can seem pretty inoffensive.  But, throw in some pregnancy hormones, a hormonal roller coaster post-birth, and the new parents jitters, and you have a recipe for disaster. Trust me on this – you will get better at deflecting all of this advice with time. It takes practice, most likely some tears and long rants with your partner, but you will get through it.

#3 – Your baby will grow up to be a well-adjusted toddler even with insane amounts of inconsolable crying

This one is for parents who may get colicky babies. Out of all our friends who had babies prior to us, we were the lucky ones to have our first colicky baby. Colics are defined as episodes of crying that last for at least 3 hours a day, 3 days a week, for more than 3 weeks. With our first born, it was more like 20 hours of crying a day for 4 months straight. If you just went “oh, that’s not possible”, believe me. It happened. To us. And it was horrible. The good news is we got through it and our now 2 and a half year old is as happy as can be.

It is disturbing to see your baby cry so much and there’s nothing you can do. We literally tried everything that books and the internet had to offer in terms of tips and tricks and nothing worked. In the end, it came down to our son simply growing out of it.

So many things went through my mind during colicky times. I was afraid he was in excruciating pain, maybe he had a serious illness that was undiagnosed. I was afraid he would have mental and psychological repercussions. But most of all, I was afraid that I wasn’t being a good mom – surely, if my baby cried that much, it was because I was doing something wrong. It turns out that no, I was not a terrible mom – just that my baby had awful colic.

The only thing I can say to parents going through the same thing is hang in there, it will pass with time. And your child will be OK.

#4 – Is there such a thing as maternal instinct?

Courtesy of Stuart Miles at freedigitalphotos.net

Courtesy of Stuart Miles at freedigitalphotos.net

I’ve never really liked the term maternal instinct because it seems to imply that we, mothers, are supposed to know exactly what to do with our baby. More so than the dads. When it came time for us to care for our newborn, I was not better prepared than my husband and we both had to learn the ropes together. Other than the fact that I had babysat many babies when I was young, I had no idea how to care for a newborn.

I think this term puts unnecessary pressure on mothers to “know what to do and do it right”. While I believe that most parents do know what is best for their kids, everyone has to learn. If you have never changed a diaper, no instinct will tell you exactly how to do it well the first time.

#5 – It’s OK to miss your pre-baby life

My husband and I have discussed this many times and we always come to the same conclusion: While we would not change anything about our current family life, we do, sometimes, miss how things used to be before we had kids.

I’ve felt – and still feel – so much guilt around this thought but over time, I have come to accept that it is normal. Your life changes drastically when you have kids – there’s no more going to the cinema on a lazy Saturday afternoon, no more impromptu date night, and even less spontaneous sex. Everything needs a bit more planning and scheduling. It is human nature to crave what we don’t/no longer have – parents are no different, no matter how much they love their children.

 

A Delicate Balancing Act

Before giving birth to my second son, things were going pretty smoothly routine-wise. On a daily basis, I would typically work for about an hour in the morning and again when my toddler napped, which could range from an hour to two hours if I was lucky.

Wednesdays were daycare days, which meant that I would have all day to work. I loved those days as I had no distractions and could almost always complete all of the items that were on my to do list.

Enter baby #2 and the whole routine went up in smoke. I have to admit that he is an incredibly good baby – he rarely cries and is easily entertained. But, he is still an extra little person I need to care for. I love it but my work has definitely suffered for the past couple of months.

On a good day, my newest addition ends up napping at the same time as his older brother and I get to work for at least an hour, uninterrupted. My toddler still goes to daycare on Wednesdays and I try to fit it as many work hours as possible.

Courtesy of Stuart Miles at freedigitalphotos.net

Courtesy of Stuart Miles at freedigitalphotos.net

I realize that this blog has suffered the most since our family grew bigger. I’m finding it very challenging to work as much as I used to – balancing playing with my toddler and caring for my newborn. They are so adorable and I do not want to miss out on anything. On the other hand, I need to work to supplement my husband’s income. Finding the perfect balance between work and family life is a delicate process.

What’s next for the blog?

I have a lot of informative and fun post ideas and I’m going to make it a priority to post on a regular basis. Coming up, I’ll have a great book review for young kids and I’m also planning on writing many cloth diaper reviews. As much as I was hesitant about cloth diapering at first, I am now in love with it! If I can inspire someone to get started, I’ll be very happy!

Stay tuned for my upcoming posts!

 

 

 

Dear Post-Baby Belly

It has now been 6 weeks since I gave birth to my second baby. Knowing how much I obsessed over you after my first pregnancy, I wanted things to be different this time. I promised myself that I would not fuss over you and that I would let nature take its course. After all, you eventually returned to your pre-pregnancy state the first time, it just took a little longer than I had hoped.

Here I am, now almost 2 months postpartum, and I’m starting to obsess over you once again. I hate that when I look down, I still feel like I’m 4 months pregnant. I hate how all of my maternity clothes are now way too big for my body, but my regular clothes are still too small.

Don’t get me wrong. I am extremely grateful that my body has been able to grow and birth two healthy and beautiful children. Some people would say that I should be proud of what my body has accomplished and the “battle scars” that have developed during this process. I am proud, but I still want you gone, like, yesterday.

Growing up, you were one of the select few body parts to make it into the exclusive “body parts that I actually like” club. You got harder to maintain as I grew older but you were never as big as you are now. I am OK with my saggy *nursing for more than a year* breasts. I am OK with my widened hips. I am OK with my stretch marks. I am OK with my few extra pounds, I just don’t want them to be located above the waist.

I want to be able to fit in my regular clothes again without fear of running into someone who will congratulate me on being pregnant and having to tell them that I actually already had the baby. Yeah, that would be embarrassing.

I will do my best to eat well and exercise (in between caring for a newborn and running after a toddler, that is). I am done with you post-baby belly. It’s time to move on.

Your Baby Essentials Checklist – Part 2

I apologize for the delay in posting Part 2 of this post. We welcomed our second son a few weeks ago so I’m slowly adjusting to a new routine (more on this in future posts).

As I mentioned in the past, I am guilty of getting carried away with purchases for our first baby. This is why I want to explain some of our choices and help you decide whether an item is worth buying, worth waiting for, or not worth buying at all.

To make this easier, I will repeat the same categories used in Part 1.

Must-Haves

Nursery

Rocking chair or other seating arrangement: This is a must for me for all the nighttime feedings. I loved not having to go outside of my baby’s room to nurse. It was easy and convenient to just pick him up from his crib and sit on my rocking chair to nurse.

Cradle or bassinet: Where I live, in Canada, it is recommended to have baby sleeping in the parents’ bedroom for the first six months. Although our bassinet didn’t seem too comfortable for our son, we were glad to have it so he could stay in our bedroom for the first few months.

Change table or dresser with change pad: We have a change table where the change pad fits on top and is surrounded by wooden slats to keep it secure. I love it except that, in retrospect, I probably would have bought a regular dresser and just attach a mattress on top. This way, the dresser could still be used when the child grows up and no longer needs a changing station. Now I’m stuck with a change table that has a hole on top if I remove the change pad.

Receiving blankets: I think I originally bought over 20 of these for our first son. We soon realized that he didn’t like to be swaddled and that he didn’t spit up much so now, 2 years later, our receiving blankets are still new. Our second son is quite the happy spitter so the receiving blankets are coming in handy now. In my opinion, it is worth buying a few receiving blankets but it is better to hold off on buying a larger quantity until you know whether you truly need them or not.

Warm blankets: Depending on when your baby is due, it may be useful to have many warm blankets. I think that 3 is a good number to start with and as with the receiving blankets, you can always buy more once the baby is here.

On the Go

Baby carrier: I have always been a huge fan of baby carriers. I own a Baby Bjorn, a Maman Kangourou, a Sakura Bloom Ring Sling, and an Onya Baby. I can honestly say that I love each of them, for various reasons, and that I have used them quite a bit with our first son and plan on doing the same thing with our second. At least one baby carrier is a must in my opinion as it allows mom or dad to be hands free. Babies love to feel close to their parents and it is a great way to soothe them.

Health Care

Nasal aspirator: This item has been saving our sanity for the past 2 and a half years. Whenever our sons have a runny nose or feel congested, we use our nasal aspirator to relieve their symptoms. While you can buy the bulb nasal aspirators for a low cost, they do not seem to function very well. The ones that work best have an end that you can put in your mouth to be able to aspirate the mucus better. We use the HydraSense one and it works wonders.

Wardrobe

Onesies: These are practical in the winter to use under clothing and practical during the warmer summer months to wear as an outfit. Depending on how often you plan to do laundry and how often you need to change your baby (think spit up and poop explosions), you will need at least 3-5 of these.

Mits: Although these aren’t used for very long, they will keep your baby’s skin free of tiny scratches. I typically use them for the first week or so and own 3 pairs.

Hats: When babies are born, they like to keep warm by having their heads covered. For both sons, we have used hats for about the first 2 weeks. 3-5 of these is generally enough.

Extras

Diaper pail: This is one that we could have done without. Although it does what it is supposed to do, I find that a diaper pail is no better than a regular garbage can that seals properly. Ours even has a little baking soda distributor gadget on the inside but it still smells terrible every time we open it.

Crib bedding: The only crib bedding I ever bought was cute fitted sheets for the mattress. Crib bedding can be quite expensive and technically, should never be used with baby anyway so for us we decided to skip on it. The crib may not have looked as pretty as it could have but it was functional nonetheless.

Cute outfits: With my first son, I bought so many cute outfits only to realize once he was here that a newborn cannot wear jeans and cute dress shirts very well. Their bodies are so tiny that they seem much more comfortable in one piece, soft, comfy outfits and pajamas. Once they start getting bigger, at around 6 months or so, it is worth investing in some more fashionable outfits. If you wait until your child is a little older, you will also save some money, as most babies do not wear size newborn or 3 months for very long.

Burp cloths: I would categorize this one as a wait-and-see. With our first son, I bought 10 of these and we never used them. I thought they were a waste of money until my second baby arrived; he’s a big spitter so they come in handy now. You can also just used blankets or washcloths instead of burp cloths.

Breast pump: Depending on how much pumping you plan on doing (if any), you may want to invest in a good electric pump. I have a manual one which works great for the odd time I want to pump but it’s not something I feel I could use on a daily basis.

Bottles: I had a few bottles on hand when my first son was born, as a “just in case”. We ended up using them for the odd time I pumped milk. If you plan on nursing, I would only buy one or two bottles.

Wipes warmer: This is a splurge item but if I had to do it all over again, I would still buy it. It saved us from many crying-during-diaper-change events.

Nursing tops: With my first son, I bought 3. I liked them at the beginning but it wasn’t long before I really wanted to just wear my regular clothes. I found that nursing tank tops were a better investment than nursing tops. I would just wear a nursing tank top underneath my regular top and it still made for easy access for feedings.

White noise machine: Some babies enjoy the sound of white noise and find it soothing. Our oldest is almost 2 and a half years old and we still use the machine for nap and night times. We live in a small village but on the main road so it helps to block out some of the louder noises. I believe this is a must for light sleepers or any baby that needs help falling asleep.

I hope this information helps you make a better decision about some of these items. Getting ready for baby’s arrival is a very personal and subjective process. Remember that you can always wait and see if you need a certain item once baby has arrived rather than buying tons of stuff while pregnant and not knowing if it will come in handy or not.

Happy shopping,
Milou

Your Baby Essentials Checklist – Part 1

Courtesy of Stuart Miles from freedigitalphotos.net

Courtesy of Stuart Miles from freedigitalphotos.net

Planning for baby’s arrival is an exciting time but it can also feel overwhelming if you don’t know where to start. Making a list of items to buy is worth your time since it will help you stick to your budget and keep you organized. Making a list will also allow you to keep track of your progress. You will be able to make better use of your time by knowing exactly where you stand in the process!

The list is divided into two categories: must-haves and extras. It is based on my experience as a very excited and *wanting to buy everything* first-time mom turned into a much more reasonable and budget-conscious second-time mom.

 

Must-Haves

Nursery

  •  Crib
  • Crib mattress
  • Rocking chair or other seating arrangement
  • Cradle or bassinet
  • Change table or dresser with change pad
  • Crib sheet
  • Change pad cover
  • Receiving blankets
  • Warm blankets

On the Go

  • Stroller
  • Baby carrier
  • Diaper bag
  • Car seat

Health Care

  • Baby monitor
  • Thermometer
  • Nasal aspirator
  • Nail clipper
  • Wipes (disposables or cloth)
  • Diapers (disposables or cloth)
  • Toothbrush

Bath Time

  • Baby tub
  • Washcloths
  • Baby soap

For Mom

  • Nursing pads
  • Nipple cream
  • Nursing pillow
  • Nursing bras

Toys

  •  Bouncy chair or swing
  • Activity mat
  • Soft and stimulating baby toys

Wardrobe

  • Onesies
  • Mits (to prevent scratching)
  • Socks
  • Pyjamas
  • Hats

Extras

  • Diaper pail
  • Diaper pail liners
  • Nursery wall decor
  • Books
  • Laundry hamper
  • Crib bedding
  • Night light
  • Bookcase
  • Stroller toys
  • Pack ‘n play
  • Humidifier
  • Bath toys
  • Baby lotion
  • Cute outfits
  • Booties
  • Burp cloths
  • Breast pump
  • Bottles
  • First aid kit
  • Bottle warmer
  • Wipes warmer
  • Nursing tops
  • White noise machine

In part 2 of this post, I will provide a more detailed explanation for some items. I will clarify why certain things were essentials for us while others were not necessary in order to assist you in making informed choices.

As first-time parents, it is easy to get carried away and buy lots of stuff. In retrospect, I know we bought much more than we needed for our first child. Now that all the preparation is done for baby #2, I can proudly say that we were much more reasonable with our purchases.

Stay tuned for part 2!

Happy planning,
Milou

Fisher Price Space Saver High Chair Review

When our son was born, we had initially bought a regular high chair. It worked well but it always felt big and in the way. It was then that I started looking for an alternative that would be just as comfortable and practical but that wouldn’t have the clutter factor of a regular high chair. One day, I stumbled upon the Fisher-Price Space Saver High Chair, bought it, and haven’t looked back since.

pTRUCA1-6932566dtThis chair is perfect for parents looking for an alternative to the traditional high chair. Whether you want to save space or you prefer to have your baby or toddler sit directly at the table with you, this chair will exceed your expectations. Some of its key features include:

  • Can be used from birth and up; The chair has a three position recline option as well as a three position height adjustment which fits most dinning tables
  • Ease of use and secure with two sets of clips; One that clips onto the back of the dinning chair and the other, underneath it.
  • Removable cover for easy washing; the cover also washes very well with a damp cloth so there is no need to remove it every time it is used.
  • Removable tray for easy clean up.
  • Transforms into a booster seat for toddlers; same great seat but without the cover and the backrest.

This chair is getting rave reviews on the web and aside from one detail, I have nothing but good things to say about it. It seems to be quite comfortable and suitable for smaller, younger babies when used in the most inclined position. Now that my toddler has graduated to another booster seat, I’m thinking that this high chair will be very useful again once I have baby #2; he or she will be able to sit at the table with us while we eat our meals.

My son is quite the messy eater (really, which toddler isn’t, right?!) and I have had to clean up some gooey messes from the chair cover. I have never had an issue with stains. After two years, the cover still looks like its new. I have thrown it in the wash a few times and it is still intact and there has been no fading whatsoever.

The only negative point I can think of for this chair is that when used in booster seat mode, my son never quite seemed to be at ease. The seat appeared to be a little too deep for him and without the back piece to support him, it just felt like he was sliding around in it without being able to find a proper seating position. My son was always small for his age so that might be the reason why it didn’t suit him that well during that phase. It might be different for bigger babies and toddlers.

High chairs on the market these days can be pricey. If you are looking for an affordable, easy to use, and compact chair that will fit your baby from the first few weeks well into the toddler years, the Fisher-Price Space Saver High Chair is a must-have item!

Happy feeding!
Milou

To Cloth Diaper or Not?

Courtesy of digitalart from  FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Courtesy of digitalart from FreeDigitalPhotos.net

When I was pregnant with my first child, cloth diapering briefly crossed my mind but I wasn’t really interested in trying it out at the time. Now that my husband and I are a little over 2 years into buying disposable diapers, we have come to realize that it is very expensive and that there might be a less expensive way to do this without necessarily compromising on the practicality that disposable diapers typically offer.

We really didn’t have much exposure to cloth diapers as none of our friends had used them and many reviews I read online scared me: leaks, messy poop diapers to clean, increased laundry loads, bulky cloth diapers…all of this just wasn’t really inspiring me to give it a try.

Now that I’m pregnant with my second child, I have recently started to reconsider cloth diapers. We now have a few friends who have used them with varying degrees of success. I have also done a lot more research online by visiting various company sites, watching videos on YouTube, and reading mommy blogs that write about and/or review cloth diapers.

Since then, I have been able to pinpoint exactly what I want out of a cloth diaper, in order for it to work for our family. My top three criteria are:

1) Must be trim and allow for proper clothes fitting – I know many companies offer super cute diaper covers made to be displayed but I am not interested in leaving my child pant-less for the majority of the time. I want to be able to dress him or her up as I’m currently doing with my son.
2) Must be practical, quick, and easy to use – Using disposable diapers is very convenient and quick and I would want similar features out of my cloth diapers.
3) Must be leak proof – this is one aspect that I find varies greatly for most cloth diaper brands. I often hear that for nap and night time, it is easier to use a disposable diaper as they prevent leaks better than cloth diapers. However, I also know from reading tons of reviews that sometimes it is just about finding the right fit and the right brand for your baby that will provide the proper level of absorbency.

Researching cloth diapers online can be very overwhelming as there are so many different brands and various diaper models as well. After hours of research, I think I have finally narrowed it down to what type of cloth diaper I want to use. I’m looking for an AIO (all in one), ideally adjustable/one size fits all, with the possibility of adding a doubler or biodegradable liner if needed.

The challenging part is to find one that is trim enough to fit under clothes and I am thrilled to have come across a company that seems to provide just that: Bum-Ware (*please note that I am in no way being compensated for this post*). After reviewing the website, I love how the company was started by a mom and how her diapers seem to be getting stellar reviews by anyone who has used them. They are apparently one of the trimmest on the market and although AIOs tend to have a bad reputation for drying times, this one rates above others in the same category. They come in a variety of cute colors and a few patterns. You can even send in your own PUL fabric and they will customize the diapers for you.

The company offers a few different options; the three I considered were: Bum-ware Extreme sized AIO (which have the most reviews and seem to be the most popular ones), Bum-Ware Max Adjustable (which have a pocket for extra inserts), and Bum-Ware Adjustable AIO (which are the same as the Extreme except they grow with baby).

We have decided to give the Bum-Ware Extreme a try so I have ordered 1 to test drive on my son and see how well it performs. He is a heavy wetter so it will give us a good idea of how absorbent and leak proof the diaper actually is. I have ordered it in the orange color. The Extreme version is a sized diaper; if I love it, I’m thinking of maybe buying a mix of sized and adjustable ones as this would be more economical in the end.

I’m excited to get it and I will write a review once I have used it for a while. I want to give cloth diapering a fair try so I am hoping that this brand works well for us! Otherwise, I’ll have to jump back into research mode.

Are you a cloth diapering fan? Which brand do you like best? What made you decide to switch to cloth diapers? I would love to hear your thoughts on this topic!