Monday, January 28, 2013

Cloth Diapers: Top 10 pros and cons of cloth diapering your child.

So I know I said I would post more on breastfeeding, but I am going to take a short break because I had some questions asked about cloth diapers....I promise I'm not a crunchy granola mom.

We chose to cloth diaper our baby because of the cost benefits (plus somebody told me I wouldn't be able to stand it....challenge accepted).   Here are some of the benefits of cloth diapering:

10 benefits of cloth diapering your child
  1. Cost- you can save hundreds of dollars a year simply by cloth diapering; on average $1000-$2500/ year. Here is a nifty calculator that tells you how much you can save. Diapers here in my small town are almost $15/34 diapers.
  2. Decrease in diaper rash- disposable diapers have all these crazy things in them to help make them the most absorbent and least bulky. These things that enable them to be that way, can be irritating to your babe's bum. Luci got diaper rash when we had her in disposables; at 6 months she has had nothing more than a slightly red bum whilst in cloth diapers.
  3. Helps the environment- The first disposable diapers ever made are still in imagine how many people are using disposables and consider that it is estimated to take 250-500 years decompose. $300 million dollars are spent to dispose of disposable diapers each year.
  4. Availability- After initial purchase, you never have to worry about running out to buy diapers. You will have a constant supply of diapers.
  5. Faster Potty Training- Because disposable diapers are designed to absorb as much moisture as possible, you may not need to change your babe after a few "pee-pees". Cloth diapers help your child to realize they are wet because the moisture isn't pulled so deep into the diaper. Most kids don't like to sit in their "pee-pee"; so they learn more quickly that it can be avoided by using the toilet.
  6. They can be worn as a fashionable accessories to any outfit....some are just too cute to hide under clothes.
  7. They can be used for more than one child- the idea of reusing a diaper for another child might sound odd, but realistically it's been done for ages *pun intended*. 
  8. You can see your diapers after you're done with them- if your dipes are still in great used condition, there are many places (mostly online) that you can buy, sell, or trade your used diapers...try doing THAT with disposables.
  9.  Mothers who cloth diaper love to talk about it- I am always pushing information on any one who says they might be interested. Once you've done it, it's likely you won't look back.
  10. You will be THAT mom- I don't know how many people have thought I am a better parent just by cloth may not be fact, but I'm not going to deny it ;)
 10 not so great things about cloth diapering
  1. Knowing when your child is wet- AT FIRST it is more difficult to tell when your child is wet. Disposables have that little line that changes colors when your child pees....Cloth does not. I found that practice makes perfect on this issue. Until then, I checked every hour or 2.
  2. Yuck Factor- Honestly, this isn't as bad as most people think it to be. I think it's just about as disgusting as disposables; poop stinks either way. There are liners that look like fabric softener sheets that you can buy to trap the poo off the diaper. The liners can be flushed with the poo down the toilet; so you have just about as much interaction with it as a disposable.
  3. Traveling- It's not much harder, but it's just a little more bulk because you have to carry the dirty diapers with you in a wet-lock bag until you get home.
  4. Prep- grabbing a disposable diaper is slightly easier than grabbing a cloth diaper; simply because you have to make sure your cloth is ready to go before you grab it.
  5. Initial investment- It is smart to make a cloth diaper fund because the initial cost is a little more than disposables. To make a good stock pile, we spent $400. We now have Luci diapered until potty-training, but it's an investment. It is cheaper in the long run, but in the here and now one cloth diaper is more expensive than one disposable; you just happen to get A LOT more use out of the one cloth.
  6. Washing Laundry- One more load of laundry normally isn't an issue...but if you forget to do it, you're out of diapers.
  7. Child Care- It can be more difficult to find child care that accommodates cloth diapers (not impossible). 
  8. Stains- Like any cloth, stains happen. Most are easily removed by simply putting them in the sun; some will just stick around.
  9. Millions of styles- There are a limited amount of styles in disposables...cloth have about a dozen. Finding the right style for you can take some experimenting.
  10. Having to stick to your guns-  Cloth diapering isn't for everybody, but like religion, I feel the choice is up to you and you should not feel judged by people who don't think the same way as you. Some people will turn their nose up when you tell them you are cloth diapering.

    Check in tomorrow for tips and tricks for cloth diapering your child. :)

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Experience in Breastfeeding Part 1

Yesterday I posted facts and tips about breastfeeding. Today I am going to share with you some of my experiences in breastfeeding my first child...some of these recollections will be silly and some of them will haunt you. :|

          Before Luci was born, my doctor asked me if I planned to formula feed my child, exclusively breastfeed, or a little bit of both. Because I had researched so much on breastfeeding, my dedication to breastfeeding was strong. I told her I would definitely be breastfeeding. She informed me that the hospital strongly encouraged breastfeeding and would do everything they could to aid me in this decision. This meant that I would get to feed my baby as soon as I was in recovery (if my c-section went well). The nurses would not give my baby formula or sugar water while awaiting the end of my surgery. The nurses told me that my baby would not be hungry for hours after birth, but would display signs of hunger out of instinct. This is why they were going to bring my baby to me asap; the instinct would be strong for the baby and would help in beginning breastfeeding.

In the hospital:
         What they did not anticipate is that Luci would come out starving. She was a little grizzly cub as soon as she was born. She wailed until I was able to feed her. She was so eager to feed that she became a barracuda. Luci latched on with enthusiasm and nursed for nearly an hour. The results was a satisfied baby with a tummy full of nourishing colostrum and a exhausted mommy with a blistered nipple (not exaggerating). I was lucky enough to have AMAZING help in the hospital through the nursing staff. Many of the nurses had their own children and were able to help me with positioning Luci and getting her to latch correctly (I recommend you ask your hospital about their stand on breastfeeding and what support they can offer). Because I had a c-section, I used the "football hold. This position worked well for us until Luci got bigger; then it became harder for me to tuck her until my elbow. I was in the hospital for 3 days, so I had a lot of opportunities for help. I loved that my nurses were hands on....which sounds really uncomfortable, but really, when some one seen your insides, your boobs don't seem like a big your exhausted normally and just want help. The nurses broke Luci's vampire latch for me when I was afraid of hurting her (breaking a latch doesn't hurt your baby btw), they showed me how to massage my breast to encourage let-down, and checked to see that Luci had latched correctly (which when you have big ta-tas like me, can mean maneuvering around the boob).
Football hold
Alex was not prepared for the hands-on approach. He took it in stride when the nurses were hands-on with me....he was a caught off guard when one nurse was telling me about nursing her child and grabbed her boob (over her shirt) to illustrate; which she nor I thought anything of enough to notice it. However, his eyes only bugged out for a moment and then he was over it. My only miserable experience with nursing in the hospital was when Luci latched incorrectly. Most of the nurses had told me it shouldn't hurt, one nurse said you can be sore the first couple days. During one feeding, I had an excruciating pain right when Luci latched on. It was so terrible I was near tears. I figured it was probably because I had a blistered nipple. I was holding my breath because I was in pain when one of the nurses asked if I was ok. I told her how it hurt. To my surprise, it was just the way she was latched. The nurse rushed over, broke the latch and helped me latch Luci on correctly. I learned that there are ways to tell if a baby is latched correctly: their bottom lip is pouted out (both should be slightly pouted), there are no gaps, most of your nipple is in their mouth, you see their ear's "wiggling" or the check muscle move all the way to the ear.

Pre-return to work:
Poop Face
       When I got home, I found that I was most comfortable if I was entirely lazy in my nursing. I would pull the coffee table to about a half foot from the couch and use it as a footrest; which would make my knees pull up half way to my chest. This created a great prop to rest the baby on while I nursed her. We took to nursing with ease; which isn't fair to mothers who struggle with it. Like any Tlingit woman, Luci loved to eat. She nursed about every hour to 2 hours. This pretty much meant that I didn't leave the couch. It was nice because I had a reason to watch all 6 seasons of Lost. I went from the bed to the couch for about four weeks. I was recovering from a c-section, so returning to work took longer than expected. The problem that I had is one that I believe most new moms experience...I felt trapped. I didn't want to leave the house because I was afraid my child would cry because she was hungry, tired, or needed a diaper change.  So I sat at home like a crazy person and took a million videos of my baby's poop-faces. I took pictures of Luci nursing (sounds weird, but when you are sleep deprived and shut-in, somethings seem worth sharing...don't worry I didn't).

To be continued....

Tuesday, January 22, 2013


Hello everyone,
       As I am working to get back into the groove of blogging. I figured I would start with something that I could talk about for hours....literally, I could bore you for hours if you had the time...however, I will try to keep it short and interesting for your sake.

Breastfeeding is something that I put a lot of thought into. I knew that if I wasn't 100% committed to it, I would fail. So I researched the crap out of it. Here are some things I found:

10 benefits for mothers who choose to breastfeed:
  1. Mothers who breastfeed are less likely to develop breast cancer
  2. are likely to return to their pre-pregnancy weight more quickly
  3. breastfeeding produces a hormone which helps bonding with baby and promotes relaxation.
  4. saves money (Formula here is around $20/can)
  5. no need to pack a bottle
  6. can be provided on-demand (in most cases)
  7. reduces risk of postpartum depression
  8.  allows for quiet time with baby
  9. less likely to develop osteoporosis
  10.  less likely to develop heart disease, diabetes, and high cholesterol

10 benefits for breastfed babies:
  1.  Provides all nutrients baby needs (aside from vitamin D)
  2. Protects baby from illness by passing live white blood cells to the baby.
  3. Less likely to develop food allergies
  4. Promotes healthy brain development
  5. Less likely to develop asthma or respiratory infections.
  6. Provides the exact amount of food the baby needs when fed on-demand.
  7.  Most easily digested form of nutrients.
  8. Colostrum (the first milk breasts produce) acts as a laxative to help baby pass their first stool.
  9. Less likely to become overweight
  10. Satisfies emotional needs.
Things you might not know about breastfeeding/breastmilk:
  • Breast milk has foremilk and hindmilk. Foremilk is the first part of milk released during a feeding and has less fat and is the "thirst quencher". Hindmilk is the fatty nutrient filled milk that collects in the breast and  is expressed as the breast empties. 
  • Breast milk has 2 types of fat; whey and casein.
  • Breast milk produces less waste (poop) than other forms of food.
  • The only other milk that is even close to as nutritious for humans is coconut milk. 
  • A study showed that breast milk left in the fridge for 2 days had less bacteria than when it was first expressed (proving it's anti-bacterial abilities)
  • Average breastfeeding time is 16 minutes
  • Most women produce more milk in their right breast.
  • Let down usually occurs within 56 seconds of feeding (let down is when the milk is released through the nipple)
  • Breastfed babies feed until they are full; which isn't always when the breast is empty. Most often a baby only empties 67% of the breast.
  • Breast pumps are becoming more efficient by more closely mimicking a baby's feeding.
  • Your nipples have more than one hole.
  • 73% of breastfeeding mothers get outside help for breastfeeding.
  • The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends nothing aside from breast milk for the first six months after birth.
Tips for breastfeeding:
    • Ask your hospital if they have a lactation consultant or a nurse that's a pro.
    • Ask your "silly" questions; most often they aren't silly.
    • Ask your husband for his support and to get you things when they are out of reach.
    • Whip that boobie out when your baby is hungry. 
    • Ask for help
  • Expect it to be rough the first couple weeks; commit to it. It does get easier.
  • Buy lanolin and soothies for the hospital bag.
  • Have a few different styles of nursing bras so you can find your favorite.
  • Don't spend too much money on nursing shirts; you will find ways to make regular clothes work.
  • Research feeding positions and try each one until you have one that works best for you.
  • To encourage let-down while pumping, imagine your baby's face (or hearing your baby cry) and pump in a quiet room.
  • Relax. It is stressful at first, but if you consciously think to relax, it become easier.
  • If you want to breastfeed, it is most likely to happen if you exclusively breastfeed.
  • Always have spare breast pads 
  • Although it is the most natural thing ever, that doesn't mean it's going to be the easiest thing ever.
  •  Make sure your baby is properly latched (covering a majority of your nipple).
    • Break the latch if it is ever painful by inserting your pinky finger into your child's mouth.

I will post tomorrow about my experience breastfeeding. If you have breastfed, please tell me an experience you had or a tip. If you haven't, please post a question

I'm excited to share my knowledge and learn more...or even hear a funny story. ;)