Parenting 2.0

Posts Tagged ‘cloth diapers


When Borys and I had Niko we rescinded ourselves to using cloth diapers. There were many factors leading to this decision: it seems better for the environment, overall ends up being less expensive, and my sister supplied us with most of the cloth diapers and wraps that she used. So it was both an eco-friendly and eco-nomical choice all around. And truth be told, the cloth diapers have worked out quite nicely for us over the last eight months. Once we got used to them and got into the routine of using them, it’s been totally fine. That is, until we take a break from the cloth.

This (welcomed?) break has come twice: once when Niko and I went to Halifax last winter, and just this past weekend when we visited my sister and her family. The reason for the break is that the thought of doing cloth diapering at someone else’s house is something I can’t quite wrap my head around. And both times that I’ve taken a cloth diaper vacation, I’ve quite liked the convenience of disposables! They are SO easy! Despite the high pressured hose attachment on our toilet, the convenience of disposables makes me sort of want to rethink my commitment to the duo-eco reason I started using cloth in the first place…


Baby’s got a new trick, and I happily discovered it before it led to disaster. It was just yesterday when Niko was lying on his back that I heard the slow sound of velcro coming undone. I looked down to see two baby eyes looking up at me with a grin, while one little baby hand was slowly undoing the velcro on his diaper! It’s been so hot in Ottawa these past few days that I’ve taken to dressing Niko in just a t-shirt and diaper when we’re in the house. But apparently this uniform is going to have to change now that I know he can undo the protective diaper cover.  Yikes! I don’t even want to imagine what would happen if he got that puppy off when I was unaware. Actually I don’t really have to imagine seeing as once, a long time ago, I did experience the repercussions of a baby who had discovered this trick, and left to his own devices it caused one huge mess…

Go back in time about 24 years and you’ll see my brother Greg as a baby. Seeing as I am eight years his senior, I was old enough for this memory to be clearly etched in time on my brain, never again to be forgotten and now forever memorialized on this blog! (Sorry, Greg!) So this is how it all went down. Picture a nine year old me with my friend Marie over to play and Baby Greg just “snoozing” away during nap time.

Marie: Want to go in and check on your baby brother?

Me: Sure, but we’ll have to be quiet to make sure we don’t wake him up.

We then proceed to gingerly open Little Greg’s bedroom door only to see him happily sitting up in his crib…

Baby Greg: Ga ga ga, goo goo goo.

Me: Why is there chocolate all over the place? (Oh the innocent mind of a nine year old…)

Marie: Umm, Alli I don’t think that’s chocolate!

Me: Well, what is it?! Look at it! It’s everywhere: on the walls, in the crib spokes, on the sheets, all over Little G (in his hair, on his hands, you get the picture…).

Me: Oh my gosh!!! MOM, get up here! QUICK!

Baby Greg: Ga ga ga, goo goo goo.

Needless to say, I don’t need a repeat of this particular antic under my parenting repertoire of experience. So Baby Niko, it looks like you’ll be wearing diaper shirts or shorts even on the really hot days!

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What I learned today:

1) Always keep extra wipes in the car, as you never know when you may want them.

2) And when I don’t have wipes? (Or even if I do…) Keep this mantra in mind: He’s building his immunities.

Sometimes I wonder why it’s so hard to say things to certain people. Here’s the situation…

Niko was in need of some new cloth diapers. There’s a shop in Ottawa that supplies them, so we made our way there this afternoon. I parked close to the shop and seeing as there are few steps upon entering, I left my stroller in the car and hauled my not so little babe in, in his car seat.

When we got into the store the clerk was on the phone, another customer had a bawling newborn and there were two toddlers roaming around barefoot. The clerk told me she would help me in a minute, but actually another clerk showed up instead. Niko was acting a little fussy, so I was asking questions about the diapers while rocking his car seat at my feet. At one point I stopped rocking it, got into a convo with the clerk and when I  looked down again Niko was being invaded by one curious little toddler (a girl of about three). She had crept up quietly and was intently looking at the little guy, crouched just a few inches from his face. I didn’t even know where she came from, but smiled and told her his name was Niko. Then her sister showed up, probably about two years old, and they were both gazing in at little Niko.

Meanwhile, the clerk continued to help me while the other one still gabbed on the phone, with a customer I think (hope). By this point I was only half listening as I also wanted to supervise what was going on underfoot. The little girls ended up touching his toys and holding his hands, to which I responded in the nicest voice I could muster, “Please don’t touch his hands, because he puts them in his mouth.” All I was really thinking was, “Who the heck is their mother and where is she?” The girls continued to fondle Niko and I continued to get internally annoyed while staying outwardly calm and trying to tell them nicely to back off. After about five min. their mom finally came over, she was the other clerk in the store, and she was still on the phone, but she grabbed the girls’ arms and pulled them away. However this did nothing to deter them from continually creeping up. I was getting increasingly annoyed, and the clerk that was helping me, well it was her first day, so she was just learning and really slow at the whole sales process!

By the time I left I was livid (maybe I was overreacting, but that’s just how I felt). Why were this woman’s kids touching my baby? (Well, because they were curious and it’s natural!) But more to the point, why was this woman at work with her kids and why wasn’t she getting them away from my baby?!

When I left the store I called Borys to vent my frustrations, and while he was a willing ear he also gently reminded me that we can’t shield him from everything. True, true. But I was still annoyed and wondering why I didn’t speak up, again? I mean babies can’t speak up for themselves, so the parents are left to do it. I just didn’t know what to say, or how to tell this lady to keep her kids off. I was just there trying to learn about cloth diapers (and trust me there’s A LOT to learn – a million options to be exact!), and while I was trying to learn I ended up being super distracted by these little urchins fondling my baby, not to mention leaning all over his car seat.

Am I overreacting? I know he needs to build his immunities, but I was there (with limited time) as a paying customer not for a play date!

Note: Today I left my condo, for the first time without a diaper bag. I pretty much know Niko’s routine now and I figured we were safe to leave the house without this cumbersome accessory. But you know what? I would have loved to have some wipes in my car post store visit. Seeing as I had no diaper bag, I had no wipes. On the way home I stopped at Shoppers and bought a supply for the car. They are now in my car awaiting any future hiccups, that will inevitably occur.

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The other day Heather came over and we brought our kiddies, plus Frasier for a walk out back. We had our little ones secured on our chests in the trusty Baby Bjorns and as we were getting ready to leave, Heather asked if Lena could borrow a soother clip (you know, one of those things that attaches to the soother and then clips onto the baby’s outfit). Anyway, of course she could borrow one, Niko has two and he wasn’t using either of them. Now, at the time the only place I could think where there was one, was in Niko’s room: the one that had fallen behind his dresser the week before and the one I had not yet gotten around to finding. So, with my winter coat on, and Niko secured in the Bjorn I headed upstairs to get the soother clip.

Yes, I could have unstrapped baby N (this definitely would have made the task easier), but that would have taken time and we were ready to go. So instead I pulled a limbo move of sorts: I got myself crouched down on the ground as low as I could, and reached under the dresser. But it was to no avail; I couldn’t quite reach it. So I crouched a little lower, until I ended up flat on my back, still wearing my winter coat, Niko completely bundled for winter and still strapped onto my chest, one of my arms secured around him, while the other reached and searched blindly under the dresser. It would have been quite the site had anyone other than Niko witnessed it, but it was in this position that I had success and was finally able to reach far enough under the dresser to get the clip. So, with clip in hand I shimmied my way back to an upright position (go quadriceps!), went back downstairs and we all continued on our merry way.

This little episode got me thinking. It’s amazing how being a stay at home parent sort of forces you to hone a whole new single-handed set of skills. Things that in the past had always required two hands (cooking, laundry, everything…), can now, for the most part, be completed quite adeptly single-handed. So kudos to all those parents who have become skilled one-handers!

Beyond reaching for the soother clip, a few other tasks which previously would have been two-hand chores, but can now be completed while little N is secured in one of my arms, are as follows:

1) Showering after swimming lessons. Washing slippery little N’s hair and rinsing him off.

2) Swiffering the floors. (See pic.)

3) Transferring cloth diapers from the washer to the dryer. (Well if Niko makes the mess, he might as well see how to clean it up, right?)


Since our trip to Halifax I have been contemplating starting Baby N on rice cereal. My doctor said anywhere between four and six months is an acceptable time to start, and Niko is over five months at this point. Of all the solids, they say rice cereal is the one to start with. The reason I have been thinking about it is because I think it may help him sleep a little longer at night. While my floors are not really looking forward to the impending slosh of rice cereal that may end up on them, I console them with the fact that we do have a living, breathing, panting, barking, self-pick up vacuum living right here with us, so perhaps the mess won’t be too bad. But more to the point: am I ready for the rice cereal adventure and all that follows with it? I have been thinking about rice cereal for the last month and have done nothing more than think about it, so if my pattern continues Niko will probably be six months before he actually tries it.

While I was pregnant Borys and I decided we wanted to go the cloth diaper route, but at the same time did not want to put too much pressure on ourselves to say this is the way we were going for sure: we wanted to try it out first and then make our final decision, and so far we love using them (perhaps it is the high pressured hose we have attached to our toilet that helps with the cleaning that doesn’t make it so bad…). Anyway, once Niko starts on solids we are going to be revisiting the merits of cloth diapering. From what I’ve heard, solids brings a whole new ballgame to the arena of diapering, so time will tell if we want to stick with them or not.


The other day I was walking Frasier out back in the field behind my house.  It’s a great place to bring him because there are a handful of other dog owners that also bring their pooches, and if they’re there when I go it gives Frasier a chance to run around with them and burn his banked up energy (although that’s one bank that never seems to be empty). Over the last several months since we have had Frasier, I have gotten to know a few of the dog owners and will often end up chatting with them while our dogs romp around.

On one particular day last week I got to talking with this girl Julie, and we were discussing maternity leave and I was saying how I loved it and that ideally I would love to stay off and be home with Niko and any other babes that may come along in the future.  She agreed, and although she doesn’t have any kids yet, said that she too would love to be a stay-at-home mom and raise her family when that day comes.  She went on to say: “I mean, I would be at home and keep the house clean and make dinner every day.” Make dinner every day?, I thought. Hmm… To which I replied, “Well, yah, staying home is great, but personally, I’m not the dinner-making kind of housewife.” To which we both had a few chuckles.

But this led me to wonder, then what kind of stay-at-home-mom am I?  Well in the year 2010 I find myself to be the kind that, loves spending time with my son Niko, the kind that tries to stimulate him on a daily basis, the kind that changes about seven diapers a day – not to mention single-handedly doing all the laundering that goes along with cloth diapering, the kind that gets up patiently one, two or three times every night to feed him, the kind that keeps the bathrooms clean, the kind that loves my husband and our son (but just doesn’t always prepare dinner for the former of the two…), the kind that has maintained being in a book club and going to cardio-kickboxing classes despite having become a mom, and the kind that documents our family’s adventures in my blog. I guess the old adage rings true: to each his own! And for our family, this is what’s working right now.

Note:

The Yummy Mummy Club

As posted on their website:

“Yummy is a state of mind.

A true Yummy Mummy struggles to find the impossible balance between the [woman] she used to be, the woman she’s become, the professional she works hard to be, the wife she aspires to be and the mother she [is].

Forget CEO. THIS is the toughest job in the world. Why didn’t anyone warn us? Can you relate?

Then Welcome to the Yummy Mummy Club….So, what’s this club thing all about?  It’s a place where you can celebrate and commiserate the rollercoaster ride of modern mummydom, win great prizes, find books to stimulate your brain and read eclectic and cheeky articles written for and by other yummy mummies…because mummy needs to play too.  We’re unabashedly un-exclusive”


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