Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Bismarck in Frame

Pictures from "2 months old" stage

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Cloth Diapering

We are now using cloth diapers.  The paper diapers made our little Wombat's behind look like he has been running naked through thornbushes, and I was really tired of having to apply cream with consistency of wall spackle to his scarred behind.  (And smearing it all over myself in the process.  I swear those creams are designed to stick, like super glue, to anything that is NOT a baby's bottom).

And so I ventured into cloth diapering, intensely aware of just how much more yuppie that makes me.  After my parents have had to cloth diaper in Russia because nothing else was available, I choose to cloth diaper because I have the time.  God bless America.  But, as long as I'm at it, I thought I would write a review of the different kinds I tried. :)

Overall, I will say the impression is positive and we are switching to using cloth.  It is actually much cheaper in the long run, eliminates the need to ever buy paper diapers or creams again, and is just better for baby!  And - no leaks (or at least not any more then with paper).  We had paper diapers explode, leak, erupt with silica all over the child's bum.... None of that with the cloth.  As a lame excuse, these cloth diapers are nothing like the cloth my parents were using. :)

Diaper Brands we tried:
Bumwear All-in-One
Bum Genius All-in-One
Fuzzi Buns Pocket Diaper
Each diaper costs around $15-$20, insert included.

1.  Bumwear 

Overall, this was my least favorite.  In fairness, it could be I just never figured out how to use it correctly: the diaper has 3 rows of snaps, one of which is not used until the child is bigger.  So, the diaper is first folded over in the front (and snapped down), and then the size can be adjusted further by alternating other snaps.... If this sounds confusing, it is.  At least to me.  Of all the diapers we tried, this ended up being most leak-prone: again, probably because we didn't quite adjust it as well as possible.  But, if we couldn't figure it out even after looking at their instructions, the chances of a daycare teacher having the time to figure it out are probably around zero. 

  • Many cute patterns
  • Almost looks like a swimsuit or like shorts, not a diaper.  Could let an older child wonder around in just this diaper and a shirt, no problem.
  • Good instructions on the website for how to put the diaper together (although not good enough for me.... but other diaper brands have basically no instructions whatsoever).
  • Very many snaps, making the diaper hard to use.  Forget having someone else (daycare, relatives, etc) figuring out this diaper.  
  • Very bulky under clothing.

2.  Fuzzi Buns
Quite a good one!  In fact, if it weren't for our future daycare needs, I would probably say this is my favorite.  The inside of the diaper is fleece, very soft and cushy.  It washes perfectly clean every time.  The pocket is large and easy to add an insert to.  The snaps are few and very easy to figure out.  Because this diaper is sized (we are using small on Wombat), it fits really snugly; very trim fit!

  • Trim fit! 
  • Fleece lining (instead of polyester).
  • Snaps are still hard to use for daycare or other individuals not emotionally invested into your child's bottom.  :)  
  • The diapers are sized (hence the trim fit), but it also probably means you would have to buy a larger size in some point, resulting in more cost.
  • Few patterns available (but very many colors)

3.  Bum Genius.
Overall, this was the diaper we chose to buy more of.  It works quite nicely and is the easiest to use of all I've tried.  The inside is polyester (as is the outside); Bum Genius provides their own special inserts that can fold over in the front (really helpful for boy babies as you can imagine :)

  • Very very easy to use.  Works exactly like a paper diaper, down to stretchy elastic sticky tabs.  Perfect for daycare.  
  • Washes cleanly every time.  
  • Inserts with double-up fold in the front are great.
  • Polyester, polyester everywhere.  
  • A bit too bulky.
  • Very few colors, no patterns.
Notes on using cloth diapers
I'm adding this here because it took me a little while to come to terms with how to use the diapers.  It really couldn't be any easier.
Step by step:
  1. Take insert out of the diaper.
  2. Prewash (or wash) the diapers: in hot water, with presoaking and prewashing cycles on your machine.  Dry them.  Right.
  3. Locate the insert and insert it into the pocket of the diaper.
  4. Put the diaper on the kid.  Nothing should be between the kid's bottom and the cushy diaper fabric (with the insert inside, of course).
  5. Once the diaper has been used, remove the diaper just as you would remove a disposable.  If the baby is still being breastfed, just blot the diaper if you want: it can actually go into the wash as is.  Yes it can.  Everything breastfed babies expel is water-soluble.  :)  If your kid is eating solids already, just shake the diaper off into the toilet and then add it to the wash.
That's it; you are back at step 1!  You should not use any zinc creams on the baby's bottom, you should not anyhow else mess with the diaper, and you should be free of diaper rash for life.  And, free of 2 more things on your shopping list and budget as well.  :)

Saturday, October 18, 2008

After the Bath

Getting ready for bed at the end of a busy day, captured here by Dedushka. :)

Thursday, October 16, 2008

First Stroller Ride!

We decided that our Wombat might be big enough to sit in a stroller - and he agrees. You can see way more from the sitting position! He enjoyed a little ride around the community, but the pilot run around the kitchen was captured in this video.

Elijah's First Stroller Ride from Olya on Vimeo.

Elijah's Wow Face

Whenever he sees something really fascinating, Elijah's eyes go wiiiiiide open (and sometimes, so does the mouth).  :)  We call this his Wow Face - captured here with the Whoozit.  And, of course, inspected for quality by Bismarck. :)

Elijah is wowed by Whoozit from Olya on Vimeo.

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