So to continue the post on the 10 Baby things we couldn’t live without the first few months here are the remaining 5.
Dorel Juvenile Safety First Sleepy Baby Nail Clipper
Get the nail clipper with the light! It works in daytime too. That little light lets you see under the nail to make sure you’re not getting any skin! Enough said! I love it.
Footed Sleepers with side snap undershirts
You need a ton of these. They are easy to put on, easy to change, easy to change with your eyes half closed and zero sleep. The side snap shirt is easy to use, good for the umbilical cord (in my opinion) and you don’t’ have to try to get anything over baby’s head. I even bought side snappers in 6 months because I like how easy they are for night or play, or really under anything, and they are cute with a cloth diaper
Camera [Nikon P100]
I love my camera. Having a background in design I wanted a nice camera that I could use and DH could use. It takes amazing photos. It can be set to auto for DH and I can use it in manual if I find the time to take nice photos. (Though I’ll admit, I mainly use it on auto as well). It also has a video option, and hooks up to the TV for viewing. It made it easy with visitors to just plug it in and have everyone look at the photos at the same time. Basically, you just need a camera, even a phone would do. But you’ll want to catch those first moments and remember them!
JJ Cole Bundle Me
I had a winter baby. It was nice to put him in his clothes, and put him the car seat. I didn’t have to mess around with sleeves and layers. I put him in a long sleeve under shirt, fleece clothes, a hat, and the bundle me. I could then, just flip up the front for the two seconds it took to walk into the store/doctors’ office.
Prince Lionheart Premium Wipes Warmer & Warmies
This was one of those things I swore I’d never own. So silly. However, it proved to be a life saver. Lil’ man needed his diaper changed all the time and a cold wipe would wake him up with a jolt.He’d be wide awake for at least an hour. A warm wipe, on the other hand, would kind of make him squirm, a new diaper would go on, and he’d go right back to sleep. Get the wipe warmer. We started with disposable wipes, but have now switched to cloth wipes. We use a mixture of the Prince Lionheart bamboo warmies and Thirsties reusable wipes. We use less of the reusable wipes in one change than the two or 3 we were using with disposables. We just wash them with our diapers
So those are the ten things I think everyone should have to start with! Hope this helps in your registry decisions!
Having taken a little over a week off due to lil’ man being in the hospital (he’s ok now, and back to his usual perky self, thank goodness), I’ve returned, but I’m a bit behind. I’m working on some exciting posts as you read this, and hope to begin posting by Friday this week. Sorry for being MIA with no notice!
Lil’ man was running an unexplained fever for 3 days and it kept spiking ,and then going down, then spiking. After a round of antibiotics he’s all better. We go for a few more tests to see what made him sick next week, but he’ll be just fine and it probably was a fluke UTI since his preliminary tests came back good. It’s never fun having a sick lil’ one. It breaks my heart to see him in the tiny hospital gown.
Please check back Friday AM for the rest of 10 Things we loved, and a garden update!
Also check out the new links to the right and left. I’ve added the Diaper Finder button from Dirty Diaper Laundry. A great resource to help you choose your cloth diapers, as well as a few more links to blogs and events going on!
With all the babies being born in our family as of late people have been asking me: What did you find useful? What is the one thing you can’t live without on a daily basis? Here is list of the top items we used the most in the first few months.
The Nap Nanny
The NapNanny was a gift from DH’s cousin, his wife, and their twins. They swore by the NapNanny. When I first found out about it, I was skeptical. I thought, “My kid has a bassinet; he has a crib, a boppy, AND us, what else could he need?” Little did I know this would be the most used item in our home the first three months lil’ man was here. We used it for naps, and we used it to interact him when we didn’t want to have him laying flat on the ground or in our arms. If used as directed, and supervised, I can’t see how you couldn’t love this thing! It is covered in a super soft minky fabric. You can buy an additional cover in case you have to wash the one it comes with. It was also fantastic to have on hand because lil’ man had a few weeks with reflux, and having him sleep on an incline was easy in the NapNanny. Love it, I honestly suggest it to everyone I know.
I got a lot of funny looks from some well seasoned moms when I registered for a video monitor. I got it anyway and I love it! You can add cameras, it has a secure transmission, and its works well in the dark. The image is in color in a lit up room. I like this because in the first few days of my baby not sleeping in our room (he’s right on the other side of the wall now, and I probably don’t even need a monitor) it put my mind at ease to see him happy and sleeping. In addition, I like it because I can see him playing in his crib, see if he’s really awake, or see if he’s dreaming and I don’t need to get up to get him. Our lil’ guy is quite the sleep talker! I anticipate it will be nice to have once he’s in a bed and I can see what he’s doing during his toddler years.
You can NEVER have enough swaddle blankets. We were lucky enough to be given hand me downs from my grandmother so our swaddle stash is quite large! My grandmother used them with my mother, my mother used them with me and my sister, and now I’m using them with my son. They just don’t make them like they used too! SwaddleDesigns has some great quality blankets that come close to the old ones. We used them for everything; from their intended purpose to swaddle the lil’ guy, to a burp cloth, puke rag, poo catcher, you name it. We use swaddle blankets like there is no tomorrow! They are also great to put on the carpet during tummy time. It’s nice to have less stuff to think about, use this for that, that for this, etc., we just grab one and move on. Look for over sized swaddles, they make for a much tighter wrap and your lil’ one won’t ‘bust’ out of it as easily!
I used the Medela Pump N Style to help establish my supply and now use it five days a week because I’ve returned to work. It was nice to get comfortable with the pump before going to work; it made the transition smoother. I was also able to pump and leave a few bottles if I wanted to go out for a few hours after the first month. (The grocery store never seemed like such an exciting place, it’s now 45 minutes of me time, I even leave my phone in the car!) I also use the tote and cooler to transport anything I pump at ork home. I like how it is discreet. So far I’ve been able to keep lil’ man mainly on breast milk; which was important to me during the first year. I would also suggest getting a few good nursing bras. I like the medla hands free style. It doesn’t give me ‘saggyness’ it fits like a regular bra. Our hospital actually offered someone to come and fit you the day you go home. This was nice because I was able to get a really good fit. I suggest it if you can!
Cloth Diapers (One size and New Born)
I wish we would have cloth diapered from the start. It isn’t that much more work, just a load of laundry every other day (and the smell of the EcoSprout soap is amazing). You will be doing more laundry than you have ever done with a newborn; one extra load, every other day is nothing! Cloth diapers have been better for my son. He hasn’t had rashes or major ‘pooslopsions’ since we switched to cloth, saving us from changing his clothes so often. In disposibles we were constantly dealing with ‘poosplosions’. There are a variety of cloth diaper brands out there and even many made by SAHMs, so your choices aren’t limited. While I haven’t had a chance to ry new-born sizes out, I would assume they are as good of quality as the regular sized diapers that the reputable companies have to offer. Check out GroVia‘s new-born size, and Rump-A-Rooz is supposed to have a fantastic newborn diaper with a snap down for the umbilical cord. Cloth diapers will last longer than just the first few weeks in terms of weight. Cloth diapers can also be used on more than one child and eventually sold as gently used. A good investment. Check out the Cloth Diaper Geek (see button to the left) for great info on all things cloth. (*Pictured Rump-A-Rooz lil’ Joey)
See a second post next week with five more things we couldn’t or wouldn’t want to do without!
I intended to write a post about Memorial Day…and I may still, but I got side tracked (which I often do), to the wonderful world of GroVia.
We traveled for Memorial Day. We were going to my parents’ house 3 hours away. No biggie, but I wanted to bring my cloth diapers with me. Packing pockets can be a bit bulky and I was looking for something a bit lighter that could be used more than once. I dug through my “I’ve used these but they aren’t in rotation” bin and found four GroVia shells, 4 soakers, and some fleece liners, and a few of the disposable inserts, and some non-GroVia bamboo doublers. I thought it could get us through the three days we’d be gone, and a quick wash on the middle day, fingers crossed we have no ‘poosplosions’!
I hadn’t been using my GroVia’s previously for a variety of reasons. Mainly my babysitter prefers pockets so she doesn’t have to layer the shell, soaker, and fleece each time. I work during the week and I need to have everything prepped for her each day unless I want to come home to find the lil’ guy in disposables. Pockets are easier for this since I just wash, stuff, and stack them.
However, when I started this cloth diaper thing, I swore I LOVED the All-In-Two/Hybrid concept and wanted to go with it. Not only because I think it’s a bit ‘airier’ on the bum, but I also like that I have needed less of everything in my rotation. Less shells because I can reuse them if they aren’t wet or poo’d on, less wash because I don’t have to wash 14 diapers every other day, it’s just less. So I dug them out and thought “perfect for travel”. It will keep his bum fresher in the car seat, have less bulk and while we’re driving I can just toss the poopy diapers away rather than store them in the 100+ degree car each time. He spent the weekend in GroVia’s, and I LOVED it.
GroVia offers a variety of products, their slogan “A diaper for every family™”. They offer Cloth, Hybrid, and Bio Diapers and Bio Soakers, you can see them all on their products page. They have All-in-one diapers in newborn and one size, all-in-two diapers with cloth soakers and the option of a Bio Soaker, and a Bio Diaper (which I haven’t seen personally but is on their website). In addition if you scroll down on their page you can see all the other diaper accessories they offer.
My review of the Hybrid (All-In-Two) Diaper
For starters, the shell it’s self comes in some ADORABLE prints and bright colors. The tabs on the aplix are nice. They aren’t large hooks and loops but rather a soft material that is super flat and smooth. It holds like no tomorrow! They have “tuck under laundry tabs” so when you wash you can tuck the tabs in and they STAY there through the wash. It’s really nice and eliminates the diaper chains. I LOVE THIS. I HATE diaper chains. They also have front snaps that allows for a great custom fit over time. The shell grows with the baby. Less to buy overall!
The inside of the diaper is a cloth mesh; it’s super soft and breathable for the bum! I swear the shell helps keeps lil’ man cooler on hot days, no shorts needed! There are snaps on the mesh that allow the cloth soaker to be snapped into place. This is fantastic because the soaker doesn’t shift around when he moves. He can twist and turn, but the shell and soaker are ‘one’ together which is nice. In other shells, I’ve had the problem of the soaker/prefold shifting as lil’ guy moves around or is carried.
The soaker its self is nice. It has gussets which I swear help contain ‘poosplosions,’ and is soft. It isn’t however, ‘wet proof’ so if you don’t use a fleece liner over it, baby can feel the wetness of the cloth. The soaker has a waterproof backing which I think helps contain the pee along with the shell. In addition, I like that the area between the legs is narrow, behind the bum it’s wider, and the front is just right (though on the smallest shell setting you have to tuck the front in a bit). It allows lil’guy to keep his legs closer together, which I like, though I’m not sure he notices the difference. The legs also are cut higher so his thighs can ‘hang out.’ I like this because he tends to get dry patches where other diapers rub on the thigh. After doing the suggested prewashes, the diaper has managed to contain his super pees. He hasn’t peed through this diaper yet. If I know it’s going to be a while (3 hours) before I can change him again I add in a bamboo doubler. GroVia doesn’t make bamboo products yes, but fingers crossed they offer something in bamboo soon. They do however, offer a Organic Cotton Booster.
As for the Bio Soaker option, I LOVE it. While we were out and about I was able to change his diaper and throw it away eliminating the need to store dirty diapers in a car that was very, very hot. [dirty diaper + hot car = stinky car ride!] The Bio Soaker just sticks into the shell. I think it was a bit stickier than needed as it left a bit of ‘goo’ on the snaps, but with a little rub after a rinse it came off. The Bio Soaker has gussets that contained his messes. They absorbed really well and when he pooped, we had no leaks and I could reuse the shell.
I hope to add a few more inserts and shells to my stash over the summer with the Gro-To-Go sale. I think these will be great for the park and zoo trips!
- Light and seems very breathable
- Aplix with ability to convert to snaps later (easier for night and squirmy babies)
- High cut legs
- VERY trim fitting (especially with Bio Soaker)
- Cute colors and prints!
- Holds poo well with gussets in both cloth soaker and Bio Soaker
- Ability to add Bio Soaker for disposable option on the go
- Has a warranty
- Have to use fleece over soaker for stay dry effect similar to pocket
Buy it, buy it, buy it. They have a summer sale going on called Gro-To-Go. For $49.99 you can get their summer kit which includes three shells, 50 Bio Soakers and 3 packets of Tiny Bubbles detergent. A $22.00 savings (So you basically get a shell for free).
** I purchased my GroVia’s. I wasn’t asked or given anything to write this review.
The cost of having a child can seem daunting to some, but in reality, kids don’t have to cost that much. Sure the cute baby stuff, and toys, and what-not can cost your right arm, big toe and a knee cap or two, but if you’re smart, cost conscious and lead a modest life, they in reality, don’t cost that much.
I’ve realized that a baby needs five basic things; a roof over their head, food, clothes, an education when they get older, and most importantly LOVE. With love, anything is possible (cliché, yes, not true, no).
We’re very blessed as a family. We have generous friends who share used baby things (<3 hand me downs), grandparents who are able to ‘spoil’ our child, and we’re both employed.
We save, and try to think before we buy (most of the time!). We still try to lead a modest life (I bring my lunch to work), we save our money, and put it where we think we will benefit most (be it family vacations, a need for a new car, or just plain old savings).
We paid off our debts (minus school loans, and our mortgage, but this is KEY), and cut back on things we don’t have time for like cable (who has time for TV with a 4 month old AND a job). This makes time for the LOVE portion of baby needs. We spend time playing and chatting as a family. Most importantly, in the journey, we keep on learning. You can’t put a price on that.
While trying to be economically efficient, we found we have become slightly greener.
When we bought our house we knew we would have to remodel the majority of our home, we “thought green to save green”. We have installed new windows, insulation (our home had none on the exterior walls), new doors, and energy efficient lights. We’re looking into getting a tank-less water heater (to save on space and money, and energy). All of this is money up front, but we had to do it, and spend it, so we wanted to get as much savings in the end out as possible.
We managed to lower our gas bill $200 in the course of the year, and electric was cut by $100. With that we’ve had extra money to save/spend on baby things we need. I always make sure to look at what we have, what we ‘NEED’ and compare it to what we want.
We’ve also started to go green with baby things.
I got tired of buying diapers, throwing away diapers, buying bags for the diaper genie, etc. ect.) Lil’ man is a pee machine (as of late a poop machine too). We were spending $35 on a box of diapers that would last 2 weeks maybe. That was after cost comparing stores, signing up for coupons at Pampers.com, and printing out coupons from Target. So we switched to cloth. See previous post “Enter Cloth Diapers…switching over”. I’m happy to say I haven’t spent more than $10 on diapers in 2 months.
We still use Pampers Sensitive wipes (which I use a coupon for and buy in bulk), and collect the Gifts to Grow points to get our photos printed. I’m tempted to switch to cloth wipes, however ‘baby steps.’ I still need to have time after my 12 hour work day to be with my family, and not doing wash!
Switching to cloth was more money up front, but will be more cost effective in 2 months. We will have broken even, at that point. Then it’s savings from there to potty training. In addition, if I wanted to save even more money, I could have used old school flats.
Side NOTE: Right now there is the flats challenge going on (#FlatsChallenge). You can read in detail about it here on the Cloth Diaper Blog. Basically, people who cloth diaper are being challenged to use flats and hand wash them.
Side NOTE2: So because I work in community development, I’m often hearing about impoverished areas that are looking to develop and change. These areas often do not have easy access to healthy food, grocery stores, etc. etc. Daycares don’t accept cloth diapers, which would save parents money. I was reading this article, No Butt Left Behind and thought you might enjoy.
Back to the point here:
We clip coupons. I recall being a child and making fun of my mom for doing this, but it works. I’m not a crazy coupon’er like you can see on TLC’s Extreme Couponing, but I do look through the Sunday paper for the coupons. I only clip the things we use. I watch for them to go on sale, and use the coupons. Yes it takes some time to figure out a system to make this work for you, but once you get started you can build on it and save.
This coupon idea goes for baby things as well. We have target, buybuyBaby, and BabiesRUs at our disposal. buybuyBaby and BabiesRUs accept competitors coupons if they are for a percentage off. Target lets you use manufactures’’ coupons, and Target coupons, and then if you bring your own bag you get $.05 of, and as of late they have been offering in-store credit for certain purchases, so we save on our next visit as well.
We also are blessed and are able to use our family nearby for day care so we can work. There are advantages to living close to your in-laws!
Over all we’re saving money on the things we need and use.
As for lil’ man we find the only things we must have are clothes (side snap under shirts, and rompers, the rest he only wears once in a while if we go out, but he’s so little, footed and non-footed sleepers are easiest). We will probably start formula soon. Diapers are taken care of, and then baby needs a safe place to sleep which could be a variety of things (we have a crib, but a pack and play would work just fine). The rest is optional. So there you go, for just a little, you can afford a kid.
I believe there is never a right time to have a baby financially. We live in a society where we always “NEED” more, and could put off baby for a long time, but if you think you’re close to being ready, I say you probably are, just take a leap, not all great things can be planned!
My lil’ guy hates wet diapers; actually, he just hates diapers. He LOVES to be naked all the time and personally, I think makes a game out of getting his clothes off! Regardless, this means I am changing his diaper ALL the time. The fact that he hates to be even the slightest bit wet, and the fact I know he’s wet (thanks to the handy blue pee line), makes me feel like I have to change him right away. We seriously go through roughly 10 diapers a day. And while I know I can let him sit in it a bit longer because of the ‘super new extra dry never know it’s wet’ technology (read chemicals) I can’t. My guilt takes over and I change him as soon as I know he’s soiled.
Prior to having a baby I looked into cloth diapers. I expected to find the old prefolds that had to be pinned on and needed an extra large, super ‘plasticy’ cover over them. Having heard of only G Diapers at the time, I thought “at least the covers are cute; diapers sure have come a long way”. Not fully understanding that cloth had changed so dramatically, I still wanted to give it a try, pins and all. I started to look for a diaper service, believing they still existed….they don’t in my area, and came up empty handed. Being suuuuuper preggo, I decided to not worry about and went with disposables, telling myself plenty of people do, and it will be easier….
A few weeks ago I found myself driving to the local Target to get yet another box of diapers (they seem to have the best prices if you use double coupons and watch for sales), only to feel frustrated at the amount of money we were wasting on diapers. Not only that but the amount of money we were wasting on diaper genie special bags and diaper cream, AND all the time it took to remember to go to the store when we were low, and constantly emptying out the garbage can they were in, AND not to mentions all the waste we were putting into some landfill somewhere. So I drove to our closest cloth diaper store, which I had driven past a million times, Cutie Poops and Bottoms,and I was in awe.
Cloth diapers had changed. DRAMATICALLY. I was happy to find such friendly and knowledgeable staff. I was sold instantly. This is what I needed, someone to explain the options to me. It made it much less overwhelming. They showed me all the different options, the prefolds, pockets, wraps, liners for poops!!!, and all sorts of “fun” things.
I left that day with their diaper trial in hand. I got to try a variety of diapers for 3 weeks, and I could return them for all but $15 and store credit. Since they also sell adorable baby things, and have yoga classes and what not, I figured I could spend it on something even if I decided cloth wasn’t for me.
But it was. I LOVE CLOTH DIAPERS. I’ll be the first to admit I still used disposables at night (I’m back to work full time so I haven’t been willing to ‘experiment’ in the middle of the night with potential leaks) but I’ll get there. I’ve been told one day, I’ll look and it’ll be my last disposable and I’ll be quite proud that I’m done, and no longer spending money on them. But I need my sleep if I have to catch a train to work as the sun comes up!
Right now we’re using a variety of diapers, and I think I’ve got a pretty good system worked out.
During the day when I’m at work we use FuzziBunz perfect size pockets, Happy Heiny one size pockets or Charlie Banana’s (that I ordered from Babies R Us). I haven’t decided which diaper is my favorite so far; but the people who watch my lil’ guy during the day are comfortable using the pockets, and I can just clean them when I get home. It’s a win-win there. When we go places on weekends, or its extra warm out, I’ve been using GroVia AIl in 2s with a fleece liner (that I made) to wick moisture away. It’s less to carry along, and seems ‘airy to me. The other diaper that I’m in LOVE with, and wish wasn’t so $$ but seems like it might be worth the price is IttiBitti. The fit is perfect on my lil’ guy. He doesn’t get the eczema on his thighs from them and in general it’s a much more absorbent, trimmer fit. So Hopefully I’ll get a few more of these over time and I will be able to use them more often (I only have 2 right now a Medium D’lish and a one size Tutto).
So all in all, I’m happy to be mainly cloth diapering. I’ll post detailed reviews soon. I found the blogs in combination with CutiePoops to be the most helpful in selecting diapers for my son. So good luck to those thinking of switching, and thanks to those with all the info who have been cloth diapering for years! Post your cloth diaper stories and suggestions in the comments!
**Note, these are my honest opinions! I’m in now way affiliated with anyone mentioned in this post!