January 18, 2012 by Leah
So, I was kind of afraid my nesting instinct would never kick in. Even after the last post, where I grudgingly compiled my list of baby must-haves. Then something magical happened this weekend (it was either hanging out with babies, hitting 21 weeks gestation, or a trip to IKEA) and both Aaron and I are suddenly interested in finishing our guest room, rearranging our living area, and turning our spare bedroom into a baby room. I’m back to trolling diaperswappers.com and thebabywearer.com for used Ergo (or maybe Beco) baby carriers and Cloth-eeze (aka GMD or Green Mountain Diaper) pre-folds.
We are, again, debating whether to sidecar the crib. Aaron wasn’t really interested in where the baby would sleep at the time I was doing all that research, but he’s getting more into baby prep as Sprocket becomes more observable. If we don’t sidecar the crib, I think we’ll set up the crib in the nursery so we have somewhere to put Sprocket for naps and get an Arms Reach Co-Sleeper off eBay as was the original plan. I’m beginning to think that trying to limit baby stuff for the sake of limiting stuff is an admirable goal, but that neither of us is going to want to take apart and reassemble the crib multiple times and $100 (used co-sleeper plus shipping) might not be too much to pay for the convenience of not having to do that. We’ll see.
As to diapers, I think I mentioned we’ve always known we would cloth diaper. Aaron is vehemently anti-waste. (So much so that I upped my in-home recycling program considerably when we were dating, in order to impress him with my dedication. I think hauling recyclables down three flights of stairs and across town was worth it, as obviously he was impressed.) I am also anti-waste. And anti-chemical. And irrationally anti-corporation. I hate throwing money away. And going to the store. So, the cloth vs. disposables decision was made without really thinking about it.
Once one makes that decision, though, things don’t get any easier. I’ve been researching cloth diapers for approximately three years and I feel I finally have a handle on the options and terminology. There are two main styles – all-in-ones, or AIOs, and cover-liner systems. We’re going with the cover-liner system. Some of these systems have reusable covers and disposable (biodegradable, usually) liners, which one still has to replenish. Cover-liner systems make more sense, financially, as you don’t have to wash the covers as often as you wash the liners, so you don’t have to buy as many covers, and reusable liners are pretty cheap, even if you buy them new and organic.
I’m erring in terminology here by calling liners “liners.” What I’m actually talking about are called “pre-folds.” These are easily recognizable as diapers and technically work by themselves as long as they are pinned or otherwise held together, but the covers help contain messes, liquids, and smells, and are generally cute. One can line one’s pre-folds with extra fabric for overnight wear, and these liners are called “doublers” or “inserts.” They just look like cloth pads and are laid in a diaper to provide extra absorbency.
The variety of diaper covers out there is staggering. I am partial towards the “one-size” kind that are adjustable and fit kids from 8 or 10 lbs through toddlerhood, so will try to get a bunch of those. We will also be buying newborn size diapers and covers, because while apparently one can make small diapers and covers fit one’s newborn, properly-fitting diapers can make the new-parent/cloth-diapering learning curve a lot easier to handle. And, for various reasons, I feel I need all the help I can get during those first few months.
I’m obsessed with getting these particular pre-folds because people seem to love them for their quality. They don’t appear on diaperswappers.com without getting someone wanting to buy or trade for them within a few minutes. I’m holding off on actually ordering any because I still have, what, four months? And we just bought a changing table and high chair from IKEA and those were kind of big-deal purchases. (They’re foldable and black and white. I’m very excited.)
So. Maybe I’ll start ordering diapering supplies a little at a time. If I sewed I could, apparently, make my own, but I don’t sew – I break sewing machines. I have knitted two wool diaper covers already, though, that I just need to lanolize so they repel wetness. One we call the “Russian baby pants” (I was going for a rockstar vibe, but they look oh-so-homemade…) and the other are some “longies” which is just shorthand for long pants that are also a wool diaper cover.
I’m still having momentary freak-outs. I had our five-week-old cousin snoozing on my chest on Sunday and suddenly experienced a moment of sheer terror because I realized that, come summer, I’ll have one ALL THE TIME. I don’t think this is what usually happens when one is holding angelically sleeping babies, but I felt better after a discussion of the parenting styles on “Toddlers and Tiaras” we had during my Moms-to-Be swim class last night. I’ve never seen the show, but I am reasonably certain I will not be giving Red Bull to my three-year-old. So that’s comforting.