My family recently got back from our first trip to Disney with kids.  My oldest was 4.5 years old and my younger was 1.5 years old at the time of our visit.  Based on our trip I have some tips to share.  We had such a great time!  I think there are a lot of factors that contributed to our good time.

  1. Visit in the off season.
    You will see this on every site about Disney and it’s true. If you can avoid the crowds do it. I know it means taking time off work but it is a much better use of your money to miss a day of work or two then to go when the lines are going to be so long your kids won’t be able to wait.  The off season also means you might have days that are not as hot as well.  Sounds like a win win to me- who wants to wait in line for hours while it’s hot?
  2. Wait until your kid is older, taller, or less of a ride wimp.
    If you want to go to ride rides you need to wait until your kids are older. At least 6 or 7.  Maybe older if they are on the shorter side.  If you don’t mind missing out on the “big kid” rides I still suggest waiting until your child is at least 4 for their first visit.  So that they can truly enjoy and process the magic of Disney.   My baby (1.5 years) didn’t really enjoy anything other than the carousel (not worth the hotel, drive, and cost of admission if you ask me).  My oldest was 42” when we visited so he was able to go on everything that he wanted to go on.  He had a fantastic time.  If you want to see a list of rides he recommends see HERE.
  3. Stay on site.
    It’s more expensive. Yep. It’s true.  But when you weigh the pros and cons I think staying on site is worth it for the first time visit or a visit with young kids.  You get magic hour (an extra hour in the AM with smaller crowds- perfect when you are going to be up at 5am with the kids anyways).  You get to walk back to your hotel for lunch and nap instead of trying to get a shuttle (which I recommend see below) and you could walk back to the hotel after a night time show if you went.  If you forget anything or get wet it’s not a big deal to go back and get it.  The pools in themselves are an “attraction” for the kiddos.  My older said that besides the Racers ride, the hotel pool slide was his “favorite ride”.
  4. Bring your own food.
    When we went we brought our own breakfast, lunches, and snacks. It was so worth it! The kids were up early anyways and we were able to feed them things right in the hotel room that we knew their tummies were used to.  Disney allows you to bring food into the park, so we brought our own AM and PM snacks into the park.  I ended up packing 1 large freezer bag for each day we were in the park to make it even easier.  I just grabbed a bag each day and didn’t worry about eating it all since I knew I had more put aside for the next day.  We went back to the hotel room each day for lunch.  If you want to see what I brought for food you can see it HERE.
  5. Don’t take the kids out late at night (unless that’s normal for your kids).
    Our kids are normally getting ready for bed around 7pm. If we want to have any ability to predict their needs the next day they need to go to bed at or near their normal bed time. Which means missing the night time shows.  I was fine with this and the kids have no idea what they are missing anyways.  We took the big boy out for one of the earlier shows one night but left the baby sleeping with his grandparents.  If you don’t have help like we did and you do want to take an older kid out at night I suggest splitting up (one parent stay with the baby(ies) and one parent go out with the older kid(s).
  6. Sleep and eat when the kids sleep and eat.
    When the kids had a snack, we had a snack. When the kids tool a nap we took a nap. That way we were fed and refreshed when the kids were so we could have the energy and patience to run after them in the park.  On the flip side we also gave them fluids every time we had fluids since kids to forget to drink until it’s too late.  It’s a system that seemed to work really well.
  7. Don’t rush. Don’t stress (specifically about rides).
    The kids have no idea what they are missing. So don’t worry about doing everything.  Just take your time and let your kid set the pace.  They might want to go on the same ride 3 or 4 times while you look longingly at the map and want to get to the next thing.  Don’t worry, if they are having fun that’s all that matters.
  8. Bring Disney clothes from home.
    Everyone. Literally everyone will be in Disney gear. And you are going to want to be in Disney gear too. And when you see the prices you might die.  Instead buy cheap stuff from Target or amazon.com before you go.  That way you feel like you are dressed for the occasion without paying a month’s salary to “fit in”.
  9. Bring a stroller. If you are going with two kids get the double stroller.
    I really didn’t want to invest in a double. My older son hadn’t sat in a stroller for over a year.  But everyone said he would use it.  They were right.  Every time we walked anywhere (which is all the time at Disney) he sat and saved his energy.  It was so worth it!  He used the stroller to get out of the sun, to have snack, to wait, and avoid walking.  The baby did all the same but he also enjoyed a nap or two in the stroller and he enjoyed pushing it around when his brother was on rides.
  10. Bring a water filter. And refillable water bottles.
    At home we use a Pur water filter. I had a mini version for my work place and I had the genius idea to bring it with us to Disney.  We saved so much money on water!  We are a big water drinking family, and would have gone through over a gallon a day of bottled water.  And since the waters were running $5 a pop in the park I was so happy to have my water filter and reusable bottles.  We filled them up in the AM and at lunch time and were good to go.
  11. Stick to the kids normal eating and sleeping routine.
    Our kids are both in daycare and have pretty typical schedules that they follow during the week and on the weekend. We made an effort to stick to that on the trip to keep the kids comfortable and predictable.  If you have a late snack you have a late lunch and then a late nap… and then bedtime is hard.  We didn’t want to bother with that so we just did our normal stuff when it came to snack time, meal time, nap time, and bed time.
  12. Use fastpass and rider swap passes strategically but not obsessively.
    If you want to go on the rides with long lines just pull a fastpass. Even in the off season the Racers ride had a wait of over an hour.  That’s just not possible with a 4 year old.  So we pulled fastpasses for rides like that.  If you have stroller with you (and someone in the party has to wait with the stroller) you can ask for a rider swap when you go on a ride.  This allows you to go back on the ride again (the intention is that the person waiting with the stroller gets to go).  One great part about this is that your kids who are able to go on the ride can go twice!  Once when they waited in line with the first adult and a second time when they switch and go with the second adult who was waiting with the stroller.  Great news!  You can get a rider sawp when you use a fastpass!  Which means if you played your cards right (or in this case your fastpasses) your older kids could go three times for the price of 1 fastpass.  On the flip side it’s really not worth the stress to trying to play the fastpass game- especially when you have little kids with you.  I saw people running… running and dodging the crowds to get a fastpass.  In the off season. So not worth it.  So only worry about it for rides that your kid really wants to go on.  For the ride without fastpass and long lines I would advise just redirecting your kid to rides with less wait time.
  13. If possible go with family that can help you.
    If you are going to Disney with more than 1 kid, especially if they are different ages, I recommend going with helpers. We were so lucky that the kids’ grandparents could go with us to help with the kids. If you can go with parents, aunties, uncles, heck even a sitter, I strongly recommend it.  We bumped into a family that had girls the exact age of our boys except that they were there without help.  The kids looked like ours- like they were having the time of their lives.  The parents did not seem to be having as good of a time- they look exhausted!
  14. Bring glow sticks from home.
    If you swing by Target beforehand you can get 15 glow sticks for $1. In the park anything that glows in the dark is going to set you back $15 minimum. If only you could bring your own helium tank too- because those balloons are hard to pass up!
  15. Use your iPhone for a camera.
    I was thinking about bringing a better camera to preserve the memories. But really, the iPhone did a great job of catching all the candid’s and the picturesque shots. There are photographers all over the place too who will take your picture with a professional camera.  You can look at your pictures from them later and buy them if you like them.  You can also ask them to use your iPhone to take the picture for free.

Breakfast (in the hotel room):
Yogurt and fruit

AM snacks (in the park):
Apple sauce
Goldfish crackers
Fruit leathers

Lunch (in the hotel room):
Sandwich (mayo, mustard, cheese, meat, bread)
Veggie jar for the baby
Fruit
Milk or juice

PM snacks (in the park):
Fruit punches
Granola bars
Maybe a treat in the park

For the adults:
Iced tea or lattes
Bubbly water

Dinner:
In the park or in the hotel
Veggie jar for the baby

California Adventure

Redwood Creek Challenge Trail
“I liked the tire swing that as the funnest part of this one.”
His mom was super nervous about the tire swing part… they have to do it solo without any safety belt

Grizzly River Run
“People should go on this one.  The big hill was the best part.”
We did this ride at least 6 times.

Soarin’ Over California
“That was fun!”
He liked this, but we only did it once.  So I think it was a little scary for him.

Toy Story Midway Mania
“I liked that I got a gun that I got to shoot.”
This is one the whole family can go on.  We did this twice (once with the baby and once without).  The baby HATED it.

Mater’s Junkyard Jamboree
“I liked this one it was twisty.  It was so fun.”
We did this 3 times.  He was just fast enough, just crazy enough, to be super exciting for a 4 year old.

Radiator Springs Racers
“This was my favorite.  The best part was when it went up and around the hills.”
We did this 6 times.  In one day.  Thank you fastpass.  Thank you ride swap.  This was an amazing ride.  Fans of the movie will love this ride.

It’s Tough to be a Bug
“No.  I did NOT like this.  Where they sprayed was not good.  I did not like this show.  This was NOT my favorite thing.”
They do advertise that its “scary” but you just don’t think a Bugs Life ride will be scary.  It was horrifying!!

Turtle Talk with Crush
“I liked talking to him.  He talked to my Baba (grandma)”.
This was something the whole family could do.  This was super cute and super cool.  A nice break out of the heat.

Monsters Inc. Mike and Sully to the Rescue!
“This was cool there was a taxi.”
This was something the whole family could do (but the baby hated it).

The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror
“NO.  I didn’t like when it went straight down.  That’s the bad part.”
Our big boy asked to go on this.  We tried to talk him out of it and he insisted that he could handle it.  It ended poorly.  This ride is so horrifying.  I would never do it again!

The Little Mermaid Ariel’s Undersea Adventure
“This was fun.”
The whole family can go on this ride. It was the very first ride we rode at Disney.  Everyone was kinda in awe and shock.

Sorcerer’s workshop
“I don’t remember that one”.
When we went it was empty, just he and I, and he was creeped out and asked to go.

King Triton’s Carousel
“Eh, it was ok.”
This was the baby’s hands down number one ride.  He rode it 7 times in a rode, on same animal.  He loved his animal- a whale.  He pet the whale and talked to it. He waved to his adoring fans as he went by.  The big boy rode it once and then asked to go ride something else.

Disneyland

Autopia
“That was a good one.”
This was the longest wait of anything we rode at Disney.  And it was so not worth it.  Most of the wait was in the sun.  The ride itself was not enjoyable.

Big Thunder Mountain Railroad
My husband and I previewed this at night.  And thought it would be too scary for big boy.

Buzz Lightyear Astro Blaster
“I like shooting.”
You try to keep the kid away from gun related toys and then Disney ruins it for you…

Disneyland Monorail
“It was a smooth ride.”
You have to collapse your stroller to go on it… such a pain it the butt.

Disneyland Railroad
“Were those dinosaurs real or robots?”
The entire family can go on this.  But you have to collapse your stroller.  A nice break for the kids.

Dumbo the flying elephant
“I like that this one flies and you could make it go up and down.”
The entire family can go on this one.  But watch out the lines can get long fast.

Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage
My husband and I previewed this at night to see if it was scary… and I couldn’t bear to go on it again.  I was so claustrophobic.

Mad Tea Party
“Yeah… (laughs) I liked that this one spinned.”
Once was enough for Mama.

Matterhorn Bobsleds
Big boy heard the sounds coming from this one and refused to go on it.

Pirates of the Caribbean
This was closed when we visited.

Splash Mountain
Big boy saw a youtube video of this one and said he wanted to go on it.  And then I think he got it mixed up with the Grizzly River Run in California adventure and refused to go on it.  Whatever- it had a long wait anyways!

It’s a small world
“ I liked that song.”
It’s true… he is singing it 6 weeks later.

 

After my second child was born it was clear that Scotty was going to need a little time to adjust to not being the center of the universe. He had had a great 3 year run of being the only child in our home. He was very excited to meet “his baby” but I think the reality of how much of mommy and daddy’s time the baby would suck away from him was a little shocking. Luckily, my mom was in town for the first 10 days or so and she was able to help Scotty adjust. One day while the entire house was napping, my mom took some time to research some tips about how to help baby #1 deal with the arrival of baby #2. Here are her tips: *

1. Carve out special time every day when one or both parents can give just the older child attention. Some suggestions: turn bath time, bedtime with jammies/stories, playing with a favorite toy, or other special outings into adventures where it’s just the parent(s) and the older child. Spend as much positive alone time with your older child as possible.

2. When the older child is testing you, try not to lose your temper. Instead let them know that you see they must be feeling mad, sad, frustrated, whatever it is, and suggest different ways that the child can express their feelings. The older child will be most jealous and act their worst when Mommy is nursing/holding the new baby, so give them a job associated with nursing – for example getting a burp rag.

3. Find some special jobs that the child can do to help you with the baby. Restocking diaper zones, bringing mommy burp rags, helping to burp baby, soaping the baby’s legs in the baby tub etc. Make a big deal about this special job.

4. When the baby is lying content on the floor, or doing tummy time or things where they are awake but not crying, be sure to say things like “Sorry baby, big brother/sister needs help right now so you will have to wait a minute”, so that the older child gets the idea that the baby does not always come first.

5. Make sure you re-enforce the older child’s special role in your new family. For example say things like “I love the way you help me”, or “I noticed how thoughtful you were to help Daddy pick up”, etc.

6. Help the older child hold the new baby as much as possible. Supervise, but try not to be anxious. Don’t expect that the older child can watch the baby, or that they should even be left alone with the baby, at least for the first few months.

7. Don’t make it about the baby. Instead of saying you’re waiting for the baby to wake up before you can go out to play, say you’re waiting for the laundry to finish, or the casserole to bake, or for a phone call. Instead of “When I’m done with the baby I’ll help you,” say “I’ll be there as soon as my hands are free.”

8. Lastly, a tip from my friend Joy, also recently a mother of two. When they are both crying, and this will happen more than you think, give your attention to the kid that needs you most. For example, the other day baby #2 was wailing because they wanted to eat. And then baby #1 fell and split his lip open. Blood trumps hunger so baby #2 had to wait while the split lip was assessed and treated.

*I know my mom got these tips off the internet so it’s quite possible that they are not in her words. I am not claiming credit to these tips!

Here are some of the guidelines I followed to get my body ready for another baby. It was much easier this time around since I was already eating and living really healthfully (since I have to fed and play with my toddler!) and my life style has changed a lot since Scotty was born. Feel free to use them. If you have any questions leave me a reply. These are just a guide, I am not an MD! If you have any concerns, do your own research and check with your doctor.

1 year before conception: Stop birth control and use another method like condoms to prevent a pregnancy. It can take up to a year for your body to adjust to being off birth control. If you haven’t gotten back to your ideal weight, or if your body is not as strong as it could be, start working on that. Yoga and walking are great places to starts. Mommy and daddy should start eliminating unhealthy eating habits.

6 months before conception: No more alcohol! I am lucky, my husband did this with me (and this DOES contribute to baby’s health! If you doubt this do a little research about epigenetics). Also, start tracking your cycles so that you will be able to more accurately predict when you are ovulating. Continue working out to stay in shape and eating healthy foods as a couple.

4 months before conception: Take prenatal vitamins every day. Daddy should also begin taking a men’s vitamin every day at this point (this also contributes to the health of the baby- it takes about 3 months to make sperm, so that sperm that daddy produces in about 1 month will be the sperm that makes your baby!). Lucky for him, he can stop taking vitamins if he wants to when you are pregnant. Do an inventory of the products you and daddy are using. Eliminate anything that can deposit toxins in your body (for example some deodorants, shampoos, ache medicines, and other medications can be harmful to a fetus). Continue working out to stay in shape and eating healthy foods as a couple.

2 months before conception: Start cutting back on caffeine (the jury is out on caffeine, so better safe than sorry right?). Continue working out to stay in shape and eating healthy foods as a couple.

1 month before conception: No more caffeine. My husband wouldn’t do this one with me… lucky. Continue working out to stay in shape and eating healthy foods as a couple.

0 month: Start trying! This part should be fun and intimate. Don’t force it or put pressure on yourself or your partner to “try”. If you are not in the mood to try this month, skip it.  Keep in mind the average couple, who is trying at the correct time of the month, normally requires 3 months to get pregnant. That’s an average. Sometimes is happens sooner, sometimes it happens later. If you have concerns check with your doctor.

 

 

 

At 1 day shy of 27 months, Scotty was potty trained! I consider him potty trained because he is using his potty all day and is waking up dry from naps and overnight sleep.

How did he do this you ask?

It was a lonnnng journey.

At around 18 months, he started showing interest in the action taking place in the bathroom. He also started waking up dry from naps occasionally.   So we bought him a little potty chair and encouraged him to sit on it. Around the same time we switched to cloth diapers at home. He started knowing when he was wet and making the connection to how he felt before he was wet. 2 days after starting cloth diapers he peed in the potty for the first time. We made a big deal about it. But we didn’t push it.

At this time, Scotty was in an infant room at the daycare that he goes to full time. This room is unable to accommodate children going to the potty with any regularity. So potty training, if it could not be done at school was not a high priority.

At 23 months he moved over to a toddler room, and they were able to take him to a toilet with regularity. At this point, he was waking up from naps dry almost always, and waking up from overnight sleep dry occasionally. My plan at this point was to wait to train him until the summer when I would have more time with him.

BUT… he started showing interest in wearing underwear at home.   And using the potty almost all the time while at home. He was rewarded with Teddy Grams when he went to the potty at home. A huge motivating tool. We started reading a lot of books about using the potty, poop, and being a big boy.

So when his daycare approached me (at 26 months old) and suggested that he was ready to wear underwear at school too, I tentatively moved forward.

For the first week, Scotty did everything in his pants at school! He was going through 5 outfits a day. It was horrible. I am so lucky that the staff of his daycare center was willing to keep working through this difficult time. He also refused to put a diaper back on! He was a big boy now, even if he was not making it to the toilet. I discovered that he was horrified of the loud scary potty at school. So at every drop off and pick up I took him to the potty and showed him how cool it was.

The next week, he did all his peepees in the potty, but still did his poops in his pants.

The following week, he was done. No more diapers, no more accidents. Potty trained!

Even though I was close to giving up, I would say the best advice I got was to just keep going once the child has indicated that they are ready for the potty.   Don’t start and stop. Try not to use intermediate steps like pull ups- an accident in underwear has meaning. Going to the bathroom in a pull up is just like using a diaper. Good luck!

 

 

 

Before I had Scotty my husband and I had a plan: three kids, two years apart.

When we got pregnant with Scott reality began to set in.  Pregnancy was exhausting and I was very ill.  How would we be able to do this again with a toddler?

After Scotty was born, the old dream came back to life.  And both my husband and I kinda assumed that we would have the next one around Scotty’s second birthday.

One day I did the math.  In order to have kids 2 years apart, I would have to get pregnant again when Scotty was 14 months old.  At that point he was still nursing!  And I was not ready to give up my body again.

So I started asking everyone I knew about sibling spacing.  What did they do?  What was ideal?  What spacing resulted in the happiest kids?  The most well rounded family?

And I discovered something interesting.

People who had a good experience with their siblings or with their children were convinced that the spacing between the siblings was what caused that experience.  But the people and families who didn’t have a good experience also blamed it on the spacing between siblings.

There was no clear trend between the ages between kids and their relationships.  Some siblings were born years and years apart and got along swimmingly.  Others in the same situation fought like cats and dogs- or worse- were completely not interested in the sibling’s life.  Some siblings were born within a year or two and swore that was the reason for the close bond.  Others in the same situation couldn’t be more apathetic about their sibling.

My conclusion: there is no right or wrong answer for when you should have your kids.  The years between your pregnancies are far less important than we have been taught to believe.  Instead some things to consider (and it varies widely based on your personal situation) would be employment status of you and/or your spouse, a dependable income, daycare costs and ability, health insurance, nearness of family or support network, development of existing children, and mental and physical readiness of you and your spouse.

That being said there are some clear truths about different spacing situations.  Depending on your perspective these truths might be advantages or disadvantages.  I have summarized my findings below.

Having kids closer together:
-the kids would go through similar developmental phases at similar times
-the kids would be able to play together and with similar toys
-there would be no need to store baby stuff
-you might need to buy new baby stuff for #2 if #1 is still using it
-the baby years would be compressed together

Having kids further apart:
-the older child might be able to help out more
-the older child might be potty trained
-the children would be going through different developmental phases at different times
-the baby years would not all be connected
-#1 is most likely done with the baby gear so if you stored it you can reuse it

Do you need a car seat?
If you are planning on going somewhere with your child and they will be in a car, you should use a car seat regardless of the local rules and regulations.  A child is more likely to survive an accident when they are safely in a car seat.  But you have a few options.  You can take your child’s seat on the plane, you can gate check it, you can counter check it, or you could rent/borrow/buy a seat at your destination.

Gate check vs. Counter check
If you drop off your car seat with your checked bags, at a minimum you are going to need a large plastic bag to put over the seat to prevent it from getting absolutely filthy.  Most airlines provide them for free.  The advantage of counter checking is that you get to ditch the seat and not drag it through security.  The disadvantage is that you have no control over the impacts that the car seat will have to endure to make it to the plane and back to you.  Most car seat manufactures recommend that a car seat be replaced after an impact- and getting thrown around all over the airport surely counts as an impact.  If you gate check your seat the likelihood of it getting banged around are greatly reduced, but not eliminated.  To use this option you would have to take your car seat through security.  Again, you will want to use a large plastic bag to protect the seat from getting dirty.  When Scotty was young enough to be a lap child, we always gate checked his car seat.  That way we didn’t have to buy a seat for him on the plane, but we had his seat when we arrived at our destination.

Taking your seat on the plane
If your child requires their own seat (over 2 years old) you should consider this option.  Not only is it the best way of preventing damage to the seat, it is the best way to keep your child safe on the plane.  In the event of turbulence or a minor accident, a child is much more likely to remain safe if they are strapped into a car seat.  A car seat also offers a familiar place to sit, play, and rest.  The disadvantage is that you have to lug your seat through the airport, through security, and take it on and off the plane.  If you are planning on taking this route, I would suggest buying one of THESE.  A cheap, sturdy traveler that turns your car seat into a stroller.  I had great success with this on a recent trip to Japan with my 2 year old son.  I would also suggest something like THIS because when you use the car seat you will be unable to fold the tray table down (it will hit the child’s legs).  I personally have not tried one yet, but would like to invest in one before my next plane trip with Scotty.

Additional tips
Practice removing your seat from the car and putting it back in.  Practice moving the car seat around with whatever method you are going to use.  Are you going to carry it (I don’t recommend this), put it on your stroller (keep in mind that you can’t do this and have the kid sitting in it), or are you going to invest in some type of carrier like the one above?   Bring the manual!  The flight attendants might want to see it to make sure your seat is FAA approved.  Also, read the section about putting your car seat in the plane if you go that route.  It’s possible that the seat belt of the airplane will hit directly behind the child’s back.  If this happens to you, I suggest using an airline blanket to pad it.  This has worked well for Scotty.

 

So last night I stubbed my toe on Scotty’s new stepping stool (which as a side note is awesome! You can buy it here) and it got me thinking about how much our only bathroom has changed over the past 7 months.

When we moved into our house in July, we knew the bathroom definitely had issues.  For starters there is only one!  The tile in the shower and the floor is an awful shade of Pepto-Bismol pink that doesn’t really match anything.   The sink, mirror, and towel rack (1 rack for 3 people) are all original.  That is to say, 50’s style and ugly as heck.  But we were able to pretty it up with an additional towel rack, bright new towels, some new rugs, and a lovely shower curtain.

7 months later the bathroom has other issues.  It has been taken over by my 22-month-old son.

When we moved in, potty training was not even something we were thinking about.  We now have a little training potty taking up valuable real estate in the bathroom.  Once your kid starts going in the potty you also want to teach hand washing.  But the catch is that a 33” tall kid can’t reach the sink on his own.  So we now have the above-mentioned stool, too.  More floor space gone.

If you pull back that lovely shower curtain you see kiddy shampoo next to the head and shoulders.  And the toys.  Even though they are well contained in bins and hanging toy hammocks, their presence is definitely felt.

In addition to this, the new rug on the floor is never dry.  Except after I wash and dry it every weekend.  Not with 3 people using it (keep in mind that one of those people really likes to splash).  Scotty’s penguin towel doesn’t really go with the décor in the room, and after his recent bout with fever and now some rather extreme teething pain (molars are a b****) the medicine cabinet has a Scotty section too.

So what was the point of all this?  I really don’t have one.  Even though the bathroom is overrun with kiddy stuff I wouldn’t have it any other way.

After Joy’s email, my cloth diaper adventure began.  I started with a cloth diaper trial from Jillian’s Drawers.   For about $150 dollars you can have 10 different types of cloth diapers mailed to you.  You can try them for a month and send back what you don’t want in a prepaid box.  If you mail everything back on time you get $140 back- so the trial only costs $10 and is risk free.  If you like anything you can keep what you want and send the rest back.

I liked the trial very much, even though I didn’t end up keeping much of it.  I would recommend a diaper trial to anyone thinking about switching to cloth.

One of the big mistakes I made with the trial was that I assumed that cloth diapers would be made from natural fibers.  I could not imagine why anyone would ever want to wrap their baby up in polyester (and many many people do apparently) so I just assumed that everything in the trial would be cotton, hemp, or wool.

I ended up lining the diapers with cotton so that I could use them.  And I loved them.  So I started researching what I wanted to buy based on the trial and what worked for Scotty.

I liked pocket style diapers the best.  For me, Scotty was already too big for just the prefolds and covers.  All in ones where just way too messy for me and too hard for my washer to handle.  Pockets were the best option for Scotty, my family, and daycare.  Ideally, I wanted a pocket diaper that was lined with natural fibers.  Sadly, the only option out there runs about $31 a diaper!  Since I was able to line the diapers from my trial with cotton, I decided to do the same with Scotty’s entire diaper stash.

I ended up ordering 20 Thirsties Duo diapers.  I really like the hemp insert next to his skin.  I tried both the snaps and the Velcro and would highly recommend only buying snaps.  The Velcro just doesn’t hold the way that the snaps do.  And just as Joy advised, Viva paper towels make great flushable diaper liners!  I ordered 6 extra hemp inserts since they are the “limiting factor” to my stash- they take a long time to dry (I start them in the dryer and finish them up on the line).   Lastly, I ordered 3 wet bags– 2 large ones for day care or longer trips and 1 small one for short weekend trips.

I started using the cloth diapers at home first and everything went very well.  Two days into cloth Scotty knew when he was wet and actually peed in the potty for the first time!  Leeks were more common with cloth than with disposable, but only if you forgot to change the diaper frequently or if (Daddy) put them on incorrectly.    Also, Scotty didn’t get any rash!

After about 2 weeks of cloth at home I was ready to try cloth at day care.  Part of the delay was that I was kinda horrified about the idea of bringing a bag full of diapers home and have to reach in and pick them out and pre rinse them before the wash… But that part was really not that bad.  This might sound crazy, but it was actually interesting to see how many times his diaper was changed and how much/little urine he was producing.  It was a really easy way to verify that everything was working fine for him.  This is something that every working mom knows you always question a little, no matter how much your trust your daycare provider.

However, cloth diapers at daycare were not very successful.  No matter how many times I showed them how to put them on, he seemed to leek 2, 3, 4 times a day.  Even with very frequent changes (every hour!) he consistently got VERY rashy at daycare.   I used all of my rash knowledge to no avail.  I walked the daycare through my system, hoping that they were skipping some critical step- but the rash persisted.  I stripped the diapers in the hopes that maybe there was build up on the diapers causing the rash but the rash only got worse.

So I switched back to disposable at daycare and use cloth at home.  Since switching back we had not had any issues with rash.

In the end, I think that my son’s skin is just REALLY sensitive and can’t handle much wait time between changes.  At home we just change him when he is wet (not when the clock says to change him) and don’t have any issues.

And I think that cloth diapers are pretty fantastic.  Sadly he can’t use them full time, but we are successfully using them at home.   I feel better about what is next to his skin.  I feel that he is being exposed to fewer chemicals.  I feel great about producing less waste.  And I am thrilled to be saving (a little) money.  My only regret is not starting sooner!  Eh, you live and you learn.

 

May 2017
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