Thursday, January 26, 2012

Cloth diapering questions answered

Recently, I had a few people email me about questions on cloth diapering. Most of them were a round about same to each others. I tried to email each of you back personally answering your specific questions, but I thought I would go ahead and share them on here as well. 

1. Why did you choose the diapers you did and which ones did you like the best? And why? 
In the beginning, I chose pockets because I thought they would be the easiest to use and would suit my husband the best. I was intimidated by cloth diapering because so many people thought I was nuts to be giving it a shot. They are definitely easy to use, and my husband's favorite. However, I went on the try flats/prefolds with covers, hybrids, and AIO/AI2s. During the day (since I am a stay-at-home Mom), I have really enjoyed my flats/prefolds with covers. They are less washing and less drying because they are much thinner. The covers can be wiped clean if there is urine and reused. If they poop on them, then they are washed. I go through one cover a day. Majority of the time, I could cover that cover over into the next day, but I choose not to for hygiene purposes. It could definitely be done though. I also use these whenever we travel. We recently went on a 2 week vacation to Germany. I used disposables inserts with the covers. I love the Thirsties Duo Wrap, Diaper Rite Prefolds/Flats, Kawaii's, and BumGeius 4.0s. If you are looking for pockets, the Kawaii's are half the price of BG's, extremely nice, great for night time, but are more bulky. 

2. Did you have any problems with night time?
In the beginning, I thought I would use disposables during the night to prevent leaking, but Baby A stayed uncomfortable because she would wet them super fast. I was having to change her diaper 3-4 times a night, and that is what woke her up. My husband and I finally decided to give the BumGenius during the night a chance with both inserts, and that is what we still use to this day. We have tried others, but our BumGenius and Kawaii's are our only night time diapers. So to actually answer your question, night time diapering was much easier than I expected. She can stay in either one of those diapers for up to 14 hours without any complaint. 

3. Do you think it is actually less expensive than disposable?
Yes, I do. After doing my calculations on what I would have spent using Amazon Mom (best deal I could find at the time), I figured that by the time Baby A was 4 months old the diapers would have repaid themselves and the rest I was saving. Which means, we have been saving a great deal of money for the last 6 months. This includes my diaper splurges to review and compare for my blog, which I will be starting soon. The best advice I can give to anyone is to buy 12-20 diapers first, give it a try for a month to see how your water and electricity bill does. You can always fix your wash routine to meet your limit on the bills. It's POSSIBLE! But for some, they don't have the time and energy to make that happen, so no it may not be less expensive for them. If that is the case for you, then the resale value of cloth diapers are amazing, and you could get majority (if not all) of the money you put in to them back. 

4. I guess this goes with the first question, but which "style" did you choose and why?
I basically answered this in the first question, but I have tried many styles and brands over the months. My husband's favorite style is pockets. He also has been really into velcro lately since Baby A is crawling and constantly moving. Since I stay at home with her, I really enjoy using covers and prefolds/flats for the savings on water and electricity since we rarely have a nice sunny day. AIO/AI2s take too long to dry (in my opinion).  Hybrids are nice, but really if you want to go that route I would do prefolds/flats with covers before that, which is basically the same thing as an hybrid. 

5. What do you think is necessary to start/try cloth diapering?
I did a post of this, but I bet it overwhelmed you. Right? It did me at first, too. It's actually a lot easier than it seems. First, you need your diapers (obviously). On average a newborn goes through 8-10 diapers a day. I would make sure you had at least 15 to get your through one day and half of another. This would cause you to possibly have to wash every other day. The good news is that as your baby goes, they will go through less diapers through the day. Baby A is 9 months and we go through less than 6 on an average day. I wouldn't go overboard with the amount unless you are fully committed to it. Next, you will need to have a cloth diaper safe detergent. Any all natural detergent that is free of any scents is good. I know many people who use the All Free and Clear (which they also use for their babies cloth who may have skin issues). There is a Tide free and clear (unsure of the correct name). And then of course there is a ton of work at home Mom's and Dad's who make and sale their own detergent. I personally use Eco Sprout. I started out with All Free and Clear, but loved the Eco Sprout scents.  I bought a large bag of Eco Sprout and still am using it after 9 months, only cost me $15. Just remember when using detergents for your diapers, you use less than half the recommended amount for cloths!! Most babies don't have diaper rash when they are in cloth, but I personally prepared for it. Any natural bottom balm is a great thing to have. It can also be used for nursing moms with cracked nipples, cracked lips, and dry skin - I love the fact that it is multiple uses and all natural. We use (again) Eco Sprout. This is really the ONLY things you need to begin your cloth diapering journey. Of course there is the accessories - cloth wipes, wipe solution, wetbags, etc. But you could use alternatives for these things. For example, extra wash cloths or old t-shirts torn to use for cloth wipes. Water is what I use on my cloth wipes and we have done well with it. There is also many recipes online to do it yourself and it is literally soap, water, and fragrance oil of your choice. As easy as that. For wetbags, you could use trash bags, even trash cans with lids. 

If you have any more questions, I would be happy to try and answer them. I have been getting a lot of people asking questions and wanting on update on our journey, so I plan on posting about it soon. Just remember that no one has all the answers because all babies are different and all lifestyles are different. The best thing to do is figure out what would be suit your family and lifestyle. If you have a fast pace lifestyle, I recommend pockets. If you have an easy going and a little more slow pace daily routine, then you could probably give prefolds/flats and a cover a go. 

Would you guys like me to do a question and answer post? If so, just leave your questions done below in the comments and once I get 10-15 questions I will answer them in a post. They don't have to be on cloth diapering either. Personal life, being a Mommy, being a military wife, breastfeeding, etc... all questions (as long as appropriate) are welcomed! 

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Toy Storage Solution

I need a toy storage solution and lots of organization advice and tips! Would you please share? Pictures would be nice, too (but not necessary)! Just link any pictures in the comments. I need a solution for toys, baby dolls/stuffed animals, and books. Baby A already has so much stuff!!!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Germany: Cologne

We are back from our trip. We got back on Sunday. It was late. We were all exhausted, and I have been spending the days trying to catch up with the clothes and get back into a daily routine of cooking and such. Baby A transitioned very well and did a great job during the trip. She always impresses me with her flexibility in her schedule. I love that she is so laid back and helps make travelling that much more enjoyable. I thought I would share some pictures from each of our stops as I upload them to my other accounts for the family to see. I will try not to overload!

Our first stop was Cologne. We stayed for a couple of days and it was extremely nice. We enjoyed the atmosphere and scenery, for sure!

The first night we got there we decided to check in our room and just go out at night to take pictures. We knew the cathedral was such a pretty place at night and it would be worth it. We did not know that the train bridge would be all lit up and so beautiful. We ended up walking across the bridge to get some great shots of the city. 

This is also the first night with the two cathedrals and a small castle, which are located in the main city right outside the train station. Which we took trains our whole trip instead of fighting flights with a baby! 

This is the second day we were there. This is inside the Gothic style cathedral. 

Of course Mr. Man would not do without climbing up the towers of the churches. This one is in the Gothic style cathedral. It has 7 bells and this one is the largest of the two. I think his name is "Fat Peter" or something like that. 

The second day it rained, of course. This is the Gothic style cathedral right out of the train station. 

This was across from an art museum that we walked passed. It was random, but it is cute. Must be Pinnochio?

We went to the "Old Town" part of Cologne. It is all coble stone roads and skinny, tall houses/buildings. These were colorful with random numbers of them (which have some meaning that I need to look up), so I snapped a picture.

This statue was in a park as a remembrance monument for the war. 

"I want to be a cowboy baby....." Ok, only kidding because I doubt it is a cowboy. But again it was randomly in a park that we walked through. 

I just snapped this picture because of the words on the signs. I like to see the differences between different countries, their languages, and road/street signs.

This was in the second church which was a bit more traditional. 

It was gorgeous and huge. And Christmas in January!!! How nice!

I have never seen windows like this. During our trip in Italy, every window told a story. I'm sure this window does, too. But the artistic ability shines through in a different way. 

Of course, Mr. Man snuggled Baby A throughout this day. He loves wearing her. She is in the Ergo! A baby must-have for this family!

This was inside the more traditional church. We are still on the second day in Cologne. 

Another picture of the windows in the church. The windows were so much more different them in Italy, which really caught my attention. 

Mr. Man thinks Baby A is big enough to be carried on the shoulders. This Mommy disagrees. 

Next stop - Berlin!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Edible Crayons

Recently, I have been really trying to find some things to get creative with Baby A, but still be super cautious since she puts everything in her mouth. I have been searching for great ways to incorporate crafts into our daily lives without having to worry about her eating something she shouldn't. I thought I would research on how to make edible crayons. I didn't even know if it was possible, but I assumed it could be. Well, here is what I found. If you try it out, let me know what you think. Baby A has seemed to enjoy them - not for a snack, but they have turned into that a time or two. They work great and they are pieced together well. It is also fun to do, and when she is a bit older I can let her make them with me! 

Edible Crayons

 Pretzel Rods
Candy Melts (or white chocolate bark/chocolate chips with a little of your favorite food coloring added)
Paper Labels (make them yourself . Print on colored paper of your choice)


1. Break or cut pretzel rods in half.
2.Melt candy melts or chocolate chips in microwave on medium heat for 1 minute. Stir and continue cooking at 15 second intervals until melted. Stir well. Add a few drops food coloring if desired.
3. Dip ends of pretzels in melted candy.
4. Place on wax paper or aluminum foil to dry.
5. When dry, wrap with crayon label and secure with tape.

You can buy Candy Melts at Wal-Mart or your local cake supply store. You can also purchase them at

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Away on Vacation: Germany

So, I kind of forgot to schedule some posts for while I was away on vacation. Today I realized that I haven't been posting and of course don't have anything scheduled. I thought I would stop in to note that we are away on a two week vacation in Germany. We are traveling around in a large circle then cutting through it. Our first stop was Cologne, and we stayed a couple of days. It is a nice town, very pretty. The cathedral is gorgeous and huge. Gothic style, which I love. Right now we are in Berlin. We are on our second day here, and we have a couple more to go before we go to our next stop. We will be gone until the last week in January, so if I don't post between now and then that is what is going on.

I guess I can share a few pictures with you since I have the camera card handy ;)

Berlin - Day 1

Cologne - Day 1

Berlin  - Day 2

Berlin - Day 2

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Top 11 Baby Products for 2011

I thought I would list my top 11 baby products that I have enjoyed having since Baby A was born. They are in no particular order, and of course these will differ among different families.

 1. This is a Skip Hop Duo diaper bag. Hands down the best diaper bag we have had. We were given 3 very nice diaper bags, but I love this one the most. Very roomy, classy, and light.

 2. BumGenius 4.0 One Size pocket diapers. We have tried a variety of diapers, and this one is by far the best one that have met all our needs and is reasonably priced. Even Mr. Man agrees.

3. The Boppy is a great accessory for nursing mothers. This thing has kept my back, sides, and hips from going out. It is nice and comfy for me. When Baby A was tee-tiny, it helped her be closer to me as well.

4. We use a Graco Snugride. It is not this print, but it is a polka dot one. We love our snugride!

5. This is the crib soother that we have for Baby A. It was given to us from a friend who used it for her son. They swore by it, so we went ahead and took it when they offered it to us. Baby A loves it. It has soothing sounds, the birds light up and move around, and it projects on the ceiling.

6. Soothie pacifiers were so nice to have the first month of our journey, as a mother and as a breastfeeding mom. This thing saved my boobs very much so, along with the lanolin. On the second day in the hospital, Baby A kept going from one boob to the other repeatedly. She just wanted to suck, and I had a hard time with it after 5 hours of nonstop. So we gave in to the pacifier, and I do not regret it one bit. She never attached herself to it, which was nice. We easily transitioned her at 1.5 months to the NUK (for teeth problems later on), but she only took it until she was 3 months old. From there, we had no more pacifiers. Baby A never had nipple confusion, and I thank the Soothie style for that.

7. Cradle Swing. We had the Nature one that looked just like this one. We loved it, and even more so when Baby A had a case of reflux. She outgrew the reflux fast, but when she did suffer from it for months 2-4, she slept in her swing.

8. Baby A was attached to her swaddle. If I had to choose between a pacifier and swaddling, I would choose swaddling hands down. I knew at some point she would outgrow it as she developed, so it was not a major concern of mine. She swaddled until just 3 weeks ago (to 8 months). This is the quick swaddle we used from the time she was born until she outgrew it and/or the weather got too hot for it. From then, we used the BambinoLand blankets.

9. Nipple Butter was the greatest gift to breastfeeding. I thank this jar of goodness because the first week was painful!

10. I, personally, love having a baby carrier. We switched to the Ergo whenever Baby A was 5 months and could sit and hold her head very well. Definitely a recommend.  We do not use a stroller, only this!

This goes with number 10. Another baby carrier. The one we used until 5 months, the Moby Wrap. Definitely a love and a recommend!

And 11. goes to a Drop Side Crib. Even though they have been recalled and no longer being made in the U.S. I love having it. We are short people, so it was handy to have a side that dropped. Now, if you go this route, please make sure the crib is safe and durable. If you purchase used (which you would most likely have to do), please know who you are buying from and the condition the crib is in!

Here's to a new year! A new journey of "child necessities"!

I think I am going to do a top 10 toys list for a 9 month old. It will contain toys that Baby A enjoyed from 6-9 months and still using now!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012


Baby A got caught playing in Mr. Buttons' water! She is such a water baby!

Monday, January 2, 2012

London Aquarium: December 2011

We took Baby A to the aquarium a couple of days ago. It was also Mr. Man's first time going to an aquarium. Can you believe he is 24 and never been to an aquarium?! Crazy, if you ask me. But that's beside the point.

Baby A really enjoyed herself. When we entered, she was napping. But it was perfect timing because by the time she woke up, we were to the really good stuff. Like the larger tanks and fish that she could really see and interact with. She stood and sat against the tanks and tried to grab the fish through the glass. She would hit the glass when she got excited, too. It was so much fun to watch her get so excited over something so small.

On our way out, we decided to take some extra pictures. Mr. Man got me a new camera lens for Christmas, and I was excited to try it out. In the UK, it gets dark by 4pm so by the time we left the aquarium it was dark. We walked down the river, but before we crossed the bridge we took some pictures. I thought I would share one! It was a gorgeous night! Not too cold either.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Recipe: Baked Beans Topped with Bacon

Mr. Man and I love baked beans. Every Sunday we BBQ outside, in rain or shine. In England, we don't see much sun so we are use to running in and out to our pit just to be able to eat BBQ'd food. It is a tradition in our house, and we really enjoy it! We also love to eat ribs. They have this awesome German seasoning here that makes delicious ribs and roast. We use it on our ribs.... and this is what I like to serve with them - Baked Beans with Crispy Bacon on top. 

Baked Beans with Crispy Bacon


(2) 15-oz. cans of pork and beans
1/2 cup of firmly packed light brown sugar
1/4 cup of finely chopped onion
1 tablespoon ketchup
1/4 teaspoon of prepared mustard
3 slices of very crisp cooked bacon


Set the oven at 350 degrees. 
Mix together the 2 cans of pork and beans, brown sugar, onion, ketchup, and mustard. Stir well and pour into a deep round baking dish.
Bake for about 40 minutes.
Remove from oven, and crumble the slices of bacon over the top.
Serve immediately!

Absolutely delicious! Give it a try! :)