Dabbling Babbling Mommy

Dear All People Who Make Me Feel Guilty,

Please shut up.

People Who Exercise:

I hate exercise. I am skinny but incredibly out of shape. I know I should exercise. It’s good for my heart, my muscles, and my mental health. But I don’t exercise. So if you do choose to exercise, please don’t talk about how great you feel after a good workout or post pictures of your new 26.2 tattoo. You make me feel guilty for not exercising.

Photographers:

Especially amateur photographers. Stop posting beautiful photographs of your children online. Your ability to capture a moment and express the emotions of that moment is amazing. Please stop rubbing it in my face that I have a few slightly blurry, red-eye snapshots of my kids. You make me feel guilty for not being a better photographer.

Bakers:

If by “homemade” you mean that I added some water to a boxed mix, then yes, these are homemade. I know they don’t compare to your cinnamon pecan cupcakes with a praline drizzle and chocolate shavings. You don’t need to blog about it AND post on Pinterest. You make me feel guilty for not baking from scratch.

Animal-Lovers:

I have a dog and a cat. They are ok…they live at my house, and I like them most of the time. I know pets generally improve people’s quality of life, and I wish I could have an attachment to my pets like you, who insists on posting photos of your English Toy Spaniel. You make me feel guilty for not loving animals more.

Outdoorsy People:

I love trees and birds; sun, beaches, and the smell of fresh-cut grass. But it will be a cold night on the equator before you see me choosing a campground over a resort spa. My husband and son love to hike and camp, and so your constant jabbering about your weekend in the mountains, where you hiked for 22 hours wearing a backpack and some Vibrams, makes me feel like a lazy sloth. And knock it off with making your Facebook cover photo the view from the top of the mountain. You make me feel guilty for not being more adventurous and rugged.

Finally, if you could all stop inferring that I am not good enough by sharing your joys and expressing your opinions, that would really help me to shut out the real world.

Sincerely,
Ridden with Unnecessary Guilt

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This was originally a guest post on www.mommakesmilk.com a number of years ago, which unfortunately is no longer available. I dug it up because I am in need of some pumping motivation, and thought I’d share!

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Those plastic horns stared a hole right through me. And as I stared back, I couldn’t help but resent the fact that in about 30 seconds, my body was literally going to be attached to this machine that I had grown to loathe.

At first, I didn’t mind pumping so much. I was confident that I was making the right choice for my son and I by continuing to provide milk despite the fact that I had to be separated from him during the day. I got a slight thrill every time I pumped more than I needed to and was able to fill another freezer bag. I was fortunate enough to never have a problem with pain or irritation; I had a private space at work, and a supportive employer.

But after about six months, I was over it. Picturing my son and imagining his cooing had gotten really old, and I began to dread every upcoming session. My motivation was completely gone.

So what’s a mom to do when the only thing standing between her and her breastfeeding goal is a lack of pumping motivation? When she wants to keep going, but just can’t stand the thought of pulling out that machine one more time?

Research has shown that we are motivated both internally and externally, with the former being more effective. In my case, I was internally motivated for a while, knowing that I was doing the right thing, confident in myself and my decision, and wanting to push forward simply because I felt strongly enough to keep going. For a lot of moms, this internal motivation can be powerful enough to sustain them through their goal of pumping for six months, a year, or more. I tip my hats to them.

But for moms like me, who get overwhelmed and often times live on the brink of giving up, continuing to pump requires effort. How you choose to motivate yourself will depend on your personality, so I definitely suggest that if you are “living on the brink,” you seek out ways that will work for you. Sometimes, a “quick fix” will be enough to jumpstart your motivation, so here are a few suggestions to get you started:

 Find a pumping mentor

Finding someone who has been through a similar situation can help by providing advice as well as support. Maybe you have a coworker or friend who has pumped that you can turn to. If not, online support can be an invaluable resource. Try searching on parenting website discussion threads, or for #breastfeeding on Twitter. My “online friends” are some of the best mentors I have.

Make a chart

If you only have a short time to go to reach your pumping goal, figure out about how many ounces you need per day and create a chart or calendar where you can give yourself a sticker for every day you reach your goal. It may seem elementary, but for some women, getting a “gold star” for the day can make all of the difference!

Find a support system

Attending a Le Leche League meeting or mom’s group can be a terrific way to connect with others who are trying to overcome breastfeeding hurdles. Again, if an in-person group isn’t feasible or comfortable for you, the web can be a great place to find support. A Google search for “breastfeeding support groups” yields results for both live and online groups.

Try new “stuff”

I am a sucker for novelty, and getting something “new” will almost certainly buy me a few days of motivation, no pun intended. In this case, I would recommend going practical. Buy a hand-free pumping bra, or a digital picture frame so you can have pictures of your little one rotate throughout your session. If buying isn’t your thing, create a new “do not disturb” sign for your office door (if you are fortunate enough to have one), make a photo collage, or a playlist of motivating music.

Remember

Find ways to remind yourself why you are pumping, so that when the going gets tough, you can reflect on the positive. Keep a journal of feeding memories, write down motivational quotes and stories, or create and recite a “pumping mantra” to keep your spirits high.

As with everything else related to our children, this time is temporary. Keep moving forward, keep making the best choices you can for your family, and know that while becoming discouraged is natural, you can overcome it!

Have you ever hit a pumping wall? How did you overcome it?

Well, it certainly has been quite a month! My commitment to the Pre-Three-Three quest has allowed for reflection and action in ways that I needed so badly considering all of the ambiguous life circumstances I have found myself in over the past year.

Some things on the list I completely neglected:

  • Get more haircuts
  • Prepare Chase for kindergarten
  • Unplug
  • Drink more water
  • Do yoga
  • Bake
  • Wash my face before bed

Other things are pending because they are dependant on external forces (specifically selling our house/buying a new one):

  • Make my own cleaning products
  • Start a garden
  • Convince Keith to get rid of one collection
  • Simplify
  • Organize

But this isn’t supposed to be a list of things I haven’t gotten around to (that’s just depressing); this is about accomplishing goals! So on to some highlights from this month:

  • Write
  • Find my career
  • Be confident

Move over Peggy Olsen! This morning I accepted a job offer for a copywriting position. It’s a new start, and sets my career on a new trajectory. I am nervous, but confident!

  • Own only things I need or love

I trashed more than half of my closet this month. (Well, donated, but that doesn’t have the same dramatic feel as “trashed” now does it?) Two pregnancies and food restrictions have caused dramatic changes in my size and shape, and so a large part of my wardrobe was not wearable. I hung on to some staples and things I loved, and will round out the rest over time. The new job will also demand some new threads!

  • Read

I have 3 books currently going… I am also listening to The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo. Does that count as reading?

  • Try Indian food

A friend of mine, after reading my list, insisted on taking me to a fantastic little Indian buffet near my house. I tried all sorts of wonderful things that I will never remember the names of if I need to place an order in a non-buffet restaurant. I also learned that Indian food is very popular in London (where I will be for 2 weeks in August for the Olympics…but more on that later).

  • Sing and dance regularly

Music has such a strong influence on my mood. So, in an effort to embrace silliness, I created a “fun” station on Pandora that encourages me to dance around my house, much to the enjoyment of anyone who happens to peak in my windows. I thought I was so clever with my station….and then I realized that it’s essentially just Radio Disney.

I’m hopeful that the next month will bring even more exciting changes (a house…please, please, please let it be a house). Do any of you have a “bucket list?” Leave a comment and share what’s on yours!

Another “by popular demand” post. This will be updated as I have time, but I wanted to get something rough posted!

There are definitely things omitted from this list…either because I forgot, I don’t have an opinion, or I didn’t want the list to be even more ridiculously long and overwhelming.

Keep in mind: All babies are different. Some good that little tip does you now, since you have no clue what your baby is going to be like when you register. But just keep in mind that what works for one baby/parent may not work for you. Keep advice in perspective, and keep receipts!

GEAR

  • Pack ‘n Play: Yes. Great for traveling, or to use as a bassinet if you don’t want to spring for one of those.  A friend of mine’s baby just transitioned to a crib after a year of sleeping in the Pack n play.
  • Co-sleeper.  I got this the second-time around, after realizing that I co-sleep primarily because I am lazy. If you are nursing, this is clutch for night-time feedings.
  • Baby carrier and/or sling: This is one of those things, like a swing, that will depend on the baby’s and your preference. I’ve gone through a bunch, so will give you my opinions:  Baby Bjorn dangles babies by their crotches. Do you want to be dangled by your crotch? These, although popular, aren’t great for baby’s hips, either (due to the dangling). Ring slings are versatile and easy to pack in a bag/keep in the car/etc . They can be used well into toddler-hood, but can be brutal on your back since they are one-shouldered.  Moby Wrap – A lot of my mom friends swear by this. It is a little restricting, so mine didn’t like it (but a cuddly baby would love it). It also was a lot to mess with in terms of tying. But once you get the hang of it, you can do a ton of holds with it. I prefer my not-as-stretch-material one that I got on Etsy.  Baby Hawk – this is what I’m using now and I LOVE it. It has a lot of the benefits of the Moby but isn’t as cumbersome. This would be great for a baby that likes being upright. Pouch-style slings (like Hotslings)  – This is what I registered for and I hated it. Baby was smushed and I felt like I had to force him into it. I think its more of a fashion statement than anything else. But, maybe a cuddly baby would like it. I’d go with a ring sling over this. Baby Ktan – I returned it after a few days, it was way too complicated for me. Ergo– I never actually used the Ergo, but have heard rave reviews, so I thought I’d share J.
  • Stroller: I liked having a travel system (stroller that the infant car seat can go into) and would definitely recommend that. Once the babies got a little bigger, it got to be too big to cart around everywhere so I started using a more portable umbrella-type stroller (spring for a good one if you plan on using a lot like I do).  Mine is a 3-point harness; in hindsight I might look for one with a 5-point so the baby can use it before he/she can fully sit up on his/her own.

FEEDING

  • Burp cloths: I’d recommend getting pre-fold cloth diapers instead of “burp cloths”…they are less expensive and more absorbent.
  • Bottles, including nipples: BPA free bottles, slow-flow nipples. Some people swear by Dr. Browns…we didn’t need them and there are WAY too many parts to clean.  We use Medela, which I love. If you are exclusively pumping, you won’t need more than 5 oz. bottles; if you use formula, you may need up to 8 oz.  
  • Bottle brush: I’ve gone through a few at this point. I really like the one where you can put soap in the handle. The one with foam on the end got really ratty really quickly.
  • Bottle drying rack: We use ours daily!
  • Bottle warmers: We decided against this because they take, like, a half an hour to heat a bottle. I don’t want to listen to a baby cry for that long while I wait for a bottle to heat up. Heating water on the stove and then putting the bottle in it takes 5 min or so.
  • Dishwasher basket for small bottle parts: Love it, use it all the time.
  • Mesh Feeders: Both kids used this briefly when they were just starting solids…it was good for larger pieces of fruit and blueberries so we didn’t have to worry about  them choking. They moved on quickly from it though…and the mesh is brutal to get clean.
  • Food Mills/Processors: If you are going to make your own baby food, you really just need a regular food processor or blender. Or a fork to mush up soft foods.
  • Feeding stuff: Register for some soft-tipped, color changing spoons, bowls, and sippy cups. It’s the planning ahead thing.

NURSING

  • Breast pump: Go for the fancy automatic double pump if you’re going back to work, it’s totally worth the money.  See if your docs office can write a prescription, or if you are planning on only pumping for a little while, rent from the hospital. It was more cost-effective for me to buy since I planned on going a year. I have a Medela Pump-in-Style…love it! Look into a hands-free bra, too. Also get a hand-pump as a “back up” or for travel.
  • Breastfeeding pillow: I have a Boppy….its multi-functional, which I love. If using exclusively for feeding, I’ve heard that the “My Breast Friend” pillow is better.
  • Nursing pads: I liked using washable ones, I thought they were way more comfortable. I did use Lansinoh disposable as backups…they were good too. Gerber sucks.
  • Lanolin lotion for sore nipples: Steal as much as you can from the hospital ;). I haven’t found a difference in the brands of this.
  • Breast milk freezer bags or storage cups: If you plan on stocking up, I recommend Lansinoh bags. I only had a few minor leak issues, but nothing compared to what I’ve read online about some of the other brands.

BATH

  • Infant bath tub or seat: We just got a regular infant tub…make sure it fits in the sink because bathing in the big tub is really hard early on.
  • Thermometer for the tub: Yes! We have one shaped like a duck…its great to know what temp the water is.
  • Something to hang bath toys in: It can be a mesh bag, or other type of holder, but you’ll want something that can stay in the tub while thee toys dry out (avoiding mold…)
  • Washcloths: yes, get washcloths.
  • Baby shampoo and cleanser: Johnsons baby cleaners have fragrance (and as of press time, a carcinogenic chemical), so if you are trying to avoid that because of sensitivity, avoid any baby-made shampoos and cleansers for a bit. We used Dove sensitive skin, fragrance free for a while. Cheaper and didn’t have to worry about reactions. Same goes for detergents….Dreft has fabulous marketing and a monopoly on baby-laundry detergent.  Dreft is loaded with fragrance. I recommend a dye and fragrance free regular laundry detergent. The alleged benefit of Dreft is that it retains the “non-flammable” part of clothes. If my baby is that close to fire, I need more help than detergent can give me.
  • Baby lotion: AAP (American Academy of Pediatrics) recommends no baby lotion. It’s pretty unnecessary, and can actually mess with baby’s own ability to moisturize. If dry skin is that bad, talk to the pediatrician. If you use any lotion, use Eucerin.
  • Hooded towels: We use these all the time.

NURSERY

  • Crib: Duh. Drop-side is no longer an option…so my recommendation for cribs is limed to making sure that it meets general safety guidelines, and that whatever mobile/crib toy you may get will fit on it.
  • Changing table with pad: We use a desk for a changing table. We bought a contoured changing pad and have 2 covers that we rotate out. We also got some of that non-skid stuff for cabinets to put between the pad and table, which is great when they get wiggly. For the early days, I’d also recommend having a second changing station (pad, diapers, wipes, and pail) on the floor where you most hang out if it is different from where the baby’s room is. I would not have wanted to do up and down the stairs a million times a day. (same goes for a second hamper)
  • Rocking chair: Go glider with a gliding stool if anything. I rarely used our glider, but that’s because I nursed downstairs (glider is upstairs) during the day and laying down in bed at night.
  • Mobile for the crib: I recommend anything with lights, movement, and music. We got an aquarium thing for our first that hangs on the side of the crib rather than something that hangs over, because once they are standing, you have to take down a hanging mobile because they could pull it down.  For our second, we have a monkey/jungle one, but the lights/movement go off after 6 minutes, which is NOT enough time in my book. I’ve heard great things about Twilight Turtle, too.
  • Crib bumper : Ahh, the great “what to put in the bed” controversy. We decided to err on the side of caution and do the “nothing in the bed but a sheet” style of bedding. Then, our son started to get his arms and legs stuck in the slats of the crib, so I bought mesh, breathable bumpers.
  • Fitted crib sheets:  I’d go with 3 in case you have a heavy wetter who goes through multiple sheets per night. My kids didn’t, but I know of babies who did.
  • Waterproof mattress pads: Definitely – you don’t want to ruin the mattress. I’d get 2. Extra tidbit – if you do have a heavy wetter, make the crib by layering pad-sheet-pad-sheet. Then, if there is an accident, you can just take off a set and there is still a set underneath.

BATH/POTTY

  • Diapers:  I’m a cloth-diapering mamma, so obviously I’d recommend going this route ;). A few cons – I do a lot of laundry, they are fairly cumbersome to travel with, and cleaning poop is not the most glam job. However, if you think you will not touch poop if you use disposables, you are sadly mistaken. Pros – we have never had a poop leak, and very few pee leaks. Cloth is also better for preventing diaper rash. We have saved a lot of money not buying disposable diapers. If you go this route, see this post.
  • Disposable wipes: whether you do cloth or not, have these on hand. Also good for when grubby people touch the babies hands.
  • Diaper pail: Not sure what to recommend for disposables…I use a Diaper Dekor with a cloth bag for mine…no issues with odor and I like how it operates. I think you have to use their bags though if you go disposable, so you may want to look into one that lets you use regular (and much cheaper) garbage bags.
  • Diaper bag: This will be your purse for the next 6 months, at least. Get something you love!

HEALTH/SAFETY

  • Baby monitor: There were points that I wished we had a video monitor…but in hindsight, I was much better off without the ability to stare at the video screen for hours on end making sure the baby was breathing.
  • Pacifiers: Get a few in case you need them…neither of my kids ever took one, but it was fun to try (insert sarcasm). Be sure to get “newborn” ones and try some different kinds. They all have different “nipples” on them and the baby may like one kind over another.
  • Thermometer. Get a rectal (not as bad as it sounds) and a regular/temporal for when baby is older.
  • Nasal bulb syringe for clearing stuffy noses: Definitely steal this from the hospital…theirs are better than any that you can buy. NoseFrida is also amazing. AMAZING.
  • Baby nail clipper: Boooo. I hate nail clipping. Gotta do it though. Most baby grooming/first-aid kits will have this in it.
  • Car Seats: This is a tough one too. I initially wanted to be economical and get one infant seat and one convertible seat. Then I realized that having an infant seat with 2 bases was definitely the way to go. The last thing you will want to do is wake up the baby to bring him/her in the house/in a store/etc.  I would still recommend registering for a convertible car seat that does front and rear facing. It saves your from having to get it later (or get two later)
  • Baby-proofing: Here’s my philosophy on baby-proofing. Do the essentials – outlet covers and gates. Save the “other” stuff until you see what your baby gets into (drawer and cabinet locks).
  • Gates: Top and bottom of stairs that are hard-mounted are a must.  Sidenote- I also think it’s important to teach children how to safely maneuver steps, so if you have top and bottom gates, make sure baby (at an appropriate age) gets some step practice.
  • Thermometer for the room: Our portable heaters that we have in the kids rooms have a thermometer/thermostat on it. I am kinda psycho about temperature because I get nervous about over or under clothing them for bed. I like having it around 70 in their rooms, and the thermometer gives me piece of mind about that.
  • Sleep positioner: Another controversial item because it is a thing that you “add” to the crib (SIDS concern). We used one for a little while to see if it would help the baby sleep…I don’t know that it did.
  • JJ Cole BundleMe: This is a must-have for the infant seat. It completely eliminates the need for a jacket…which would be a pain in the arse because it’s cold outside, but warm in the car, and how much do you bundle in the car, blah, blah, blah. I have a winter and a spring/fall one. The lightweight one is waterproof too, which is awesome.
  • Shopping Cart Liner: I used this once. Early on, I carried the baby in a carrier in the store. Once the baby is old enough to sit on his/her own, you may be less “worried” (if you are like me…which you may not be) and a good wipe-down with a baby or lysol wipe will be enough.
  • Car mirror: The cops that installed our carseat told me not to use this, but I love it and don’t care. I would go nuts if I couldn’t see them when they rear-faced. I guess the issue is if you are in an accident, it might fly off and hit the baby in the head. But its soft…so I overrode the cop J

CLOTHES

  • Onesies: get some short-sleeved  and some long-sleeved. Kimono styles are good for little guys because its easier than going over their heads. Register for a variety of sizes…baby will outgrow them quickly and this is one of those things that is way to not-fun to buy yourself 😉 Gerber brand runs small.
  • Sleepers/Sleep n Plays: My babies lived in these. Get ones with built-in footies. We had a few gowns, which are good for late-night diaper changes, but not so good in the winter, or when they get too long and their feet stick out  J
  • Bag Sleepers – these are recommended in lieu of blankets for babies because of SIDS. We used them a little, but I didn’t like the inconsistency in temperature since their arms aren’t “covered.”
  • Swaddle Blankets – We swaddled them at the beginning (some babies love it and need it to sleep, some don’t). You can use receiving blankets, but my violent little babies always managed to get out of those, so we used SwaddleMe blankets (they have Velcro). They worked well.
  • Socks: Um, socks do not stay on babies feet. Get some, but know they will probably come off. I swear by Robeez type shoes (knock-offs are the same), they stay on, keep socks on, and the bigger sizes are good for when they start walking (soft-soled).
  • Hats: Get some hats of different weights for the seasons, including sun hats.
  • Receiving blankets. I never figured out what to use receiving blankets for….
  • Bibs: Lots of outfits will come with drool-bibs, so I wouldn’t worry about getting too many of those. Food-bibs are bigger, I would recommend waterproof so you can just wash off in the sink rather than having to launder.
  • Hangers: You might want to register for some hangers – we hang a lot so we use a lot!


TOYS

  • ExerSaucer. This is great for “later on” when baby doesn’t fit in a bouncy seat but you need him/her to stay put for a little while when need be (like if you need to go to the bathroom for example). Also great stimulation. They do take up a fair amount of room, but despite your best efforts, you will come to find that baby crap will take over your house.
  • Swing or bouncy seat. Some babies love them, some hate them. Get both, and be ready to return if need be. Some babies will only sleep in a swing because they love the motion. My son was just so-so with the swing but loved the bouncy seat. My daughter was the opposite. My biggest advice is the head support…make sure that whatever you get has head support. We made the mistake of getting one without and returned it within a week because when the baby fell asleep, his head looked like it was going to break off.
  • Activity mat/Baby Gym: Both of my kids loved the Fisher Price aquarium one. It also converts into a tunnel that they used later on.
  • Bumbo seat: They have a fairly short shelf life (baby will be too small, then too big) but most baby things are. It’s always good to have something at any stage of growth that you can put the baby in where he/she will be safe while you go to the bathroom… I also recommend the tray with this – it was great for snack-feeding or toys.
  • Door-way jumper: My first hated it, my second loves it.
  • Walkers: AAP recommends no walkers…I agree. Not good for their legs, and can be a safety issue.
  • Bigger toys: Plan ahead and get some toys for when they are 6+ months…people love buying toys for showers, and then you don’t have to buy as much later.
  • Books: Also a good registry item, especially if there are classics that you like!

Seasoned mamas, what would you add?

Today, I turned 32.

For months, I’ve been complaining to almost everyone who will listen about loathing the ambiguity of this stage of my life (sorry almost everyone…try to take solace in knowing you are part of my growing process). While I can’t alleviate the ambiguity, I can certainly stop looking ahead at the tunnel and start focusing on the footsteps right in front of me.

And so here is my Pre-Three-Three list. Thirty-three things I am vowing to work on this coming year; some practical and accomplishable, some unattainable but worthy. I’ll check back once a month to update my progress (see number 23. I need accountability).

Happy Birthday!

  1. Write
  2. Buy a house
  3. Find my career
  4. Get more haircuts
  5. Embrace my creative outlets
  6. Own only things I need or love
  7. Make my own cleaning products
  8. Be confident
  9. Prepare Chase for kindergarten
  10. Unplug
  11. Read
  12. Start a garden
  13. Rediscover faith
  14. Drink more water
  15. Be less annoyed
  16. Talk less/Listen more
  17. Learn new things
  18. Do yoga
  19. Keep my car clean
  20. Convince Keith to get rid of one collection
  21. Pay it forward
  22. Be authentic
  23. Finish things I start
  24. Simplify
  25. Organize
  26. Learn how to cook steak
  27. Stay in touch
  28. Get a tattoo
  29. Bake
  30. Keep up with the baby books
  31. Try Indian food
  32. Wash my face before bed
  33. Sing and dance regularly

When I mentioned (4 years ago) that I was planning on cloth diapering my little bun in the oven, everyone at my shower looked at me with horror. One guest even gave me disposables, “for when I give up.” So let me clarify…

I don’t do pins.

Cloth diapering has come a long way…even in the past 4 years. So take this information as a starting place if you are interested in diving into the world of cloth diapering. I will be back to update it with all the new things I learned for baby #2, but I wanted to accommodate some recent requests for the information and know that I will keep putting it off if I don’t get something posted!

***

The number of diapers you will need depends on the type of diaper you get (the kind with reusable covers will need less covers, but the same number of inserts) and how often you want to wash. I have 36 diapers, and when little man (LM) was a newborn, washed every 3 days or so (if you figure you change about 12-15 times a day). I think that’s a good number…but you can obviously do with less and wash more often.
 
It’s a little overwhelming because there are so many options, but hopefully my narrowing will be of benefit! There are obviously a TON of other options out there…so if you are thinking of going with a more expensive but more convenient All-in-one diaper or a less expensive and but less convenient prefold/cover combo I can give you more targeted information in that direction. I just went with my personal preference (which falls in the middle) to get you started!
 
Also, hubby was definitely hesitant, but he can’t imagine using disposables at this point. We had to on vacation and we both hated it.

General Reviews
http://simplemom.net/the-simple-mom-cloth-diaper-review/
 
Bumgenius
http://www.cottonbabies.com/product_info.php?cPath=98&products_id=2424
Well, I am a Bumgenius user, and so will naturally be biased in this direction. I love the one-sized, because you only have to get, well, one size, as opposed to 3 or 4.  I have velcro (as opposed to snaps), and I like the velcro a lot, but I am going to have to send them out to be refreshed before any potential future babies use them because the velcro is getting ratty. By refreshed, I mean that I will send the diapers to a person who will change out all of the velcro and the elastic for me. Good option, but adds to the cost and can be a pain. Especially if LM is still in diapers at that point…but I digress.
 
Flips
http://www.cottonbabies.com/index.php?cPath=139
Flips are made by Bumgenius, so I am all for advocating for them as well. These weren’t out when I was searching, or I would have strongly considered this as an option. I like that they can be used with a reusable or disposable insert. Nice feature (especially for a hesitant dad). I also like that the covers are reusable. Less wash = happy mommy. And they are one-sized.
 
Econobum
http://www.cottonbabies.com/index.php?cPath=138
Also a Bumgenius product (are you seeing a trend?).  Likely the least expensive option, unless you go full-out prefold/covers/pins. These, instead of an insert or liner, use regular cloth diapers that need to be folded in thirds before placing into the cover. Not a huge deal, but an extra step!
 
Accessories
 
Wipes
I use cloth wipes and make my own spray out of water, baby wash, and olive oil. This is clearly a more extreme option.  But putting it out there nonetheless!
 
Diaper Pail/Bags
I use a Diaper Dekor pail, and can use a cloth diaper pail liner instead of a plastic bag inside (doesn’t do the sausage thing like the diaper genie), so then I can just empty the bag into the washer and wash it all together. Some people just use a trashcan, but I would recommend having some sort of non-sausaging pail intended for diapers. I have 2 bags, so they rotate out. I keep the pail next to the toilet…have never had a stink issue.
 
I have 3 zipper wetbags for going out (but that many is totally unnessecary…I just liked the pattern). I have a small (1 diaper), medium (3-5 diapers) and large (a whole lot of diapers – good for vacas but that’s about it. But I’ve also used it for wet beach towels/bathing suits so its good for multi-purpose).
 
Diaper sprayer = Godsend. Not necessary, but I don’t like the idea of super-poopy diapers sitting for a few days, so this is great for me. If you go with liners (see below), you may not need a sprayer – or so they claim. I’m still hesitant about that, but don’t know enough about it. May or may not need if you go with the Flips and use the disposable liners. Probably not.
 
Flushable liners: Love these. Especially when EVERY diaper is poop early on. Maybe it was just LM, but pre-solid food, every freaking diaper was poop. Probably won’t need if you go with the Flips and use the disposable liners.

And NO PINS 😉 At least for me. Some people love them.

I hate showers. Not the water ones (actually love those…especially when they are child-free); the ones that celebrate milestones.

You are getting married? Great, I want to come watch you open gifts and look surprised even though you registered and therefore know what you are getting.

You are having a baby? Great, I want to come watch you open gifts and look surprised even though you registered and therefore know what you are getting.

Hate.

That said, showers are a fantastic opportunity to catch up with people I generally just email once a month (from my mobile, one-handed, while nursing.) That is, my best friends.

I had a great time visiting with some of my best-college-ladies, A&M, this weekend at a shower. I would tell you what we talked about….but then I’d have to kill you. The one thing I can disclose is that I promised that I would blog more. Or, let’s be honest, blog at all.

I love to write. And I need to get over my need to plan and be perfect and just WRITE. Like I used to. So here is my promise to myself, as witnessed by best-college-ladies, A&M.

I promise to blog. Whether anyone reads it or not. Whether I offend anyone or not. Whether I have a plan or not. Whether it is perfect or not.

-Tracy