The Pop Poppa Nap Cast Episode 61

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The Pop Poppa Nap Cast Episode 61 covers Jack’s first cold, the ups and downs of potty training and our switch from reusable cloth diapers to disposables for the time being. This one’s a bit scatterbrained because Jack was sitting next to me and not the best co-host.

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If you’re interested in checking out the NoseFrida, you can head to their website or grab one on Amazon via this link. I thought it was the silliest thing around when we first got it, but it works like a charm.cloth diaper rolled and half unfolded

I went into more detail about what the reusable newborn diapers are like in a post from a few years back.

Ernest Hemingway’s The Sun Also Rises gets more interesting, right?

A few of the toys we grabbed from storage include the Skwish, Sophie and a variety of rattles.

For more of me check out UnitedMonkee.com, MonkeyingAroundTheKitchen.com, Comic Book Resources and @PoppaDietsch on Twitter.

The Pop Poppa Nap Cast Episode 60

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The Pop Poppa Nap Cast Episode 60 offers thrilling updates about Jack’s weight, Lu’s sleep and potty habits and my thoughts on the Cleveland Browns drafting Johnny Manziel.

Brooklyn Brewery‘s Lager, as well as everything else in their standard multipack, is pretty fantastic. brooklyn brewery logo

My buddy Todd Casey is co-writing the Krampus movie.

Guys, I’m super excited for the Browns to (hopefully) get better thanks to Johnny Manziel.manziel browns draft

For more of me check out UnitedMonkee.com, MonkeyingAroundTheKitchen.com, Comic Book Resources and @PoppaDietsch on Twitter.

The Pop Poppa Nap Cast Episode 59

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The 59th episode of The Pop Poppa Nap Cast gives a general Jack update, details Lu’s birthday and also a daddy-daughter day co-opted by other kids!

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If you’re at all interested in checking out any of the gifts I mentioned when talking about Lu’s birthday they are as follows: Melissa & Doug Cutting FoodHot Wheels Mega Jump Track Set and Melissa & Doug Stacking Train.

Here’s the bubble-related video from Knocked Up, it’s a bit NSFW language-wise.

Captain Carrot And His Amazing Zoo Crew ran for 20 issues between 1982 and 1983. DC collected a few of the issues in Captain Carrot and the Final Ark, but they’re collecting the whole thing in an upcoming black and white volume called Showcase Presents: Captain Carrot and His Amazing Zoo Crew TP.

Captain Carrot Zoo Crew

And finally, here’s the video go Lucy meeting Jack for the first time.

For more of me check out UnitedMonkee.com, MonkeyingAroundTheKitchen.com, Comic Book Resources and @PoppaDietsch on Twitter.

The Pop Poppa Nap Cast Episode 54

pop poppa nap cast logoThe Pop Poppa Nap Cast Episode 54 promotes smoothy consumption, interacting with humans you are not related to and  the benefits of regular work. Meanwhile, Caillou continues to rule my kid’s brain.

safari potato head

Above you can see the delight that is the giant Mr. Potato Head.

Hot Wheels Mega Jump Track Set

And here’s the Hot Wheels ramp I was talking about. It’s called Hot Wheels Mega Jump Track Set. I’m stoked to get my cars here and show her the whole set-up.gamera

If you’re unfamiliar with Gamera, this is him. Or is it a her? I have no idea. It’s a flying turtle. I’ll have post called Daddy Daughter Movie Mania up with a specifica review about this and the 60s Batman movie.

For more of me check out UnitedMonkee.com, MonkeyingAroundTheKitchen.com, Comic Book Resources and @PoppaDietsch on Twitter.

The Pop Poppa Nap Cast Episode 53

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The Pop Poppa Nap Cast Episode 53 runs down our recent trip to the playground, the end of car troubles and the million and one things that have been making me crazy lately. Fun stuff!

Not much in the way of notes this time around, just me talking about myself.

For more of me check out UnitedMonkee.com, MonkeyingAroundTheKitchen.com, Comic Book Resources and @PoppaDietsch on Twitter.

The Pop Poppa Nap Cast Episode 52

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The 52nd episode of The Pop Poppa Nap Cast covers diaper snaps, weird baby clothes and more.

Caillou, Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood and Powerpuff Girls can all be found on Netflix Instant! marah float away

The Marah sampler I first discovered is called Float Away, the record I have is If You Didn’t Laugh, You’d Cry. I highly recommend both. Also do yourself a favor and check out the Ditty Bops.

Head on over to KAMSnaps.com if you’re interested in redoing your cloth diapers.

Don’t get me wrong, Carter’s makes great clothes, they just put some weird stuff on their shirts.

The post I mentioned about not being too strict or too passive was written by Janet Lansbury, called “Respectful Parenting Is Not Passive Parenting” and can be found here.

For more of me check out UnitedMonkee.com, MonkeyingAroundTheKitchen.com, Comic Book Resources and @PoppaDietsch on Twitter.

The Pop Poppa Nap Cast Episode 48

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The 48th episode of The Pop Poppa Nap Cast recounts my experiences down at Toy Fair (sore feet and all) and our strange developments with the potty and bathtub.

Doesn’t seem like I mentioned much in the way of link-worthy notes, but I hope you still enjoy the show!

For more of me check out UnitedMonkee.com, MonkeyingAroundTheKitchen.com, Comic Book Resources and @PoppaDietsch on Twitter.

The Pop Poppa Nap Cast Episode 20

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“Frustrating” is the word of the day when it comes to The Pop Poppa Nap Cast Episode 20 thanks to a disinterest in swim class, even less in potty training and a strong desire to wake up at 7AM every morning.

The swimmie thing I mentioned is actually the Stearns Deluxe Puddle Jumper 30-50 lbs. Unlike the one pictured in that link, Lu’s has a zebra on it.

Get your own copy of the Wreck-It Ralph (Two-Disc Blu-ray/DVD Combo) and/or Meet the Robinsons [Blu-ray] by following that links.

Before I started watching it several times a week, I reviewed Toy Story 3 on UnitedMonkee.com.

Mommy's Helper Contoured Cushie Step Up

Lu’s potty seat is more known as the Mommy’s Helper Contoured Cushie Step Up.

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The recipient of this week’s Pop Poppa Seal Of Approval is more specifically called the Copco 0-62009 Medium Bag Cap – Orange.

idris elba pacific rim

The Pop Poppa Of The Week is Idris Elba’s Stacker Pentacost from Pacific Rim pictured above. To read my full review of the film, head on over to UnitedMonkee.com.

The Pop Poppa Nap Cast Episode 20

For more of me check out UnitedMonkee.com, MonkeyingAroundTheKitchen.com, Comic Book Resources and @PoppaDietsch on Twitter.

The Pop Poppa Nap Cast Episode 18

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Talk about our upcoming trip to Michigan for Fourth of July and my cousin’s wedding as well as reusable diapers is peppered with rants about Disney not automatically including digital copies of their movies, a great Kindle Fire app and some rad dads in Gangster Squad on the 18th episode of The Pop Poppa Nap Cast.

The Pop Poppa Nap Cast Episode 18

I wrote about why we decided to use reusable diapers here, the newborn ones here, the ones we still use here and the wipes set-up here. Head on over to the Bum Genius website for more information on what they’ve got going on these days. The new detergent we’re using for the diapers is called Rockin’ Green. I’m not seeing the exact diaper sprayer we have on Amazon, but here’s the search I did . As you can see there are plenty of options. When we do use disposables we use Pampers Cruisers 3-Way Fit which we get at Target.

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For more information on Amazon’s Kindle FreeTime app, check the site out.

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Pop Poppa Of The Week winners Giovoni Ribisi and Josh Brolin are on the far left of this Gangster Squad poster. My review of the film goes up on UnitedMonkee.com this Friday.

Read more of me on UnitedMonkee.com, MonkeyingAroundTheKitchen.com, Comic Book Resources and on Twitter @PoppaDietsch.

The Pop Poppa Nap Cast Episode 5

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This week’s episode of The Pop Poppa Nap Cast recaps a recent visit from my parents, awards the Pop Poppa Of The Week to a person I actually know and compares raising a toddler to Enemy Mine. Enjoy!

The Pop Popps Nap Cast Episode 5

If you’re interested in a little more information on our sign language process, check out this post I wrote a while back.

Here’s the Monkeying Around The Kitchen post I wrote about Barnaby’s.

I also wrote about Enemy Mine over on UnitedMonkee three whole years ago.

If you’re interested in learning more about this week’s Pop Poppa Of The Week Justin Aclin, check out his blog, but also be sure to buy his books Hero House and Star Wars: The Clone Wars – Defenders Of The Lost Temple. If that’s not enough, listen to his recent interview over on Matt and Brett Love Comics where, yes, he does in fact mention me.

And, finally, the drumming video:

 

Baby Update: 16 Months And Counting

One of these days, I’ll get the hang of coming up with posts on a regular basis for Pop Poppa. One of the problems I have in coming up with topics is that parenting a child who’s not even two yet is both the same every day and always changing, which means while a topic might sound interesting one day, it’s changed a few days later or I’ve become so used to it, it doesn’t seem worth writing about. Anyway, I figured now was as good a time as any to update readers on where Lu’s at with a few things here and there, many of the topics I’ve written about previously or talked about in various Photo Diary posts.

Diapers/Potty
We’re still working with the cloth diapers and wipes and my wife does that laundry every other day. As I mentioned in a somewhat recent post, we’ve been trying elimination communication which is still a little tricky. Lu doesn’t mind using her potty and sometimes we can get into a good rhythm where I get her on the potty every hour or so and she holds it until then, but sometimes my timing’s off. She’s also not really doing the sign to let us know when she has to use the bathroom which makes the whole process more difficult. Still, she’s doing well and I think she’ll catch on to the sign soon.

Talking/Signing
Speaking of signs, we’ve actually had some pretty impressive leaps in that department lately. Lu’s had the ones for “eat” and “all done” down for a while and we do our best to accomodate her when she uses them so she knows that we’re listening. She’s also got “hot,” “cold” and a few others down. The biggest surprise was when she started using the sign for “cat.” She’s been able to actually say “kitty” for a while now, so we figured there wasn’t much point continuing to use the sign, but out of the blue a few weeks back she started using her version of “cat” and does it while saying “kitty” which is pretty neat. She’s also talking pretty well and learning new words all the time, my personal favorite so far is “touchdown” which she says while raising both arms straight up in the air.

Walking
The kid walks like a champ. She’s getting pretty good at going up and down hills and is even learning how to use steps while either holding a railing or our hands. For a while, she had no interest in hand holding and would yank hers away if we tried, but she’s getting better at that too. She still gets a little antsy when we’re out running errands or at the grocery store, but even that’s getting a little better, though I’m also getting faster at the latter.

Eating
Lu still breastfeeds, but only in the morning, to go to bed and when she wakes up in the early morning. Though our freezer is packed with homemade baby food, these days Lu either eats what we’re eating or gets her own meal when we eat out. I’m been surprised to find that she’s more interested in spicy foods than my wife or I would have thought and only seems sensitive to temperature (which is why we taught her the signs for “hot” and “cold”). She tries just about everything, but isn’t the biggest fan of leafy greens and some other vegetables, but I think she makes up for it nutrition-wise thanks to her intense fruit addiction, I can barely keep the stuff in the house and even had to move our fruit bowl up high because she was taking bites out of everything from plums to oranges.

Sleeping
Naps have never been an exact science with us, though I have gotten her into a pretty regular schedule of going down for about an hour between 10 and 11AM. If I’m lucky, I get some work done and a shower in in that time. If I’m even luckier, when she wakes up crying, I can pick her back up and get her to fall back asleep. She usually wakes up crying if I try to put her back in her crib, so I’ve been placing her on a blanket on the floor in the living room and going about my business. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t. At night, she’s going down between 8 and 9PM and sleeps through to about 5:30AM. At that point I bring her into bed and she nurses until she falls back asleep. Just when I think she’s starting to sleep in more or switch things up, it turns out to be a fluke, but I still hope to get to the day where she’ll let her fall asleep for naps and the like on her own instead of fighting like crazy to stay awake.

Music
One of my favorite things Lu seems to be learning is an appreciation of music. When it’s on she dances around and really seems to enjoy herself. She likes when I play guitar and is even starting to learn the rhythms to the songs a few of her toys play. My wife even signed up for a weekly class that the two of them are going to take that revolves around different music and instruments. It’s becoming pretty evident that the kid has good timing.

TV
I try to limit the amount of TV watching in a day and have been doing an okay job of it, though some days are better than others. Our morning TV routine includes Sesame Street, The Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, Jake And The Neverland Pirates and Doc McStuffins. None of those shows are too annoying, though I am starting to notice reruns, something I’m not too happy with considering we’ve only been watching these shows for a few months. After that I get her down for a nap and then have the TV off for most of the middle of the day while I get work done. In the afternoon, I usually turn it back on to distract her a bit while I cook, but it rarely works. Maybe I need to just start blasting tunes!

So that’s a pretty general idea of where we’re at. If you have any more specific questions, drop me a comment and I’ll either respond there, or do another post answering them.

A Man Of The Cloth Goes Disposable…Temporarily

I’ve discussed our motivations for using cloth diapers with our baby. It basically comes down to baby benefits, long term cost and environmental concerns. However, we have used disposables here and there and utilized them exclusively on our recent trip to Michigan, which I chronicled here. I’ve got to say, as nice as it was to just toss a diaper in a bag and not have to worry about doing laundry every other day, the experience reinforced my desire to keep using the cloth variety.

My first and foremost problem with the disposable diapers was difficulty telling when Lu was wet. These things are so absorbent that the usual feel test was useless as was the sniff test. How are you supposed to know when your kid’s wet? I’ve got a pretty good idea of how often she goes to the bathroom, so it wasn’t too hard to figure things out, but it was definitely more difficult.

From there you’ve got to wonder how a kid is supposed to learn how to potty train when they barely feel wet. It would be like having someone come at you telling you you’ve got a nasty cut that needs tending when you have no idea it’s there. There’s an idea out there that children actually don’t want to sit in their own filth, but we essentially train them to by using diapers of any variety. I think one of the reasons kids have such a hard time learning to use the toilet is because they’re either used to the feeling or don’t even realize they need a change. Taking into account the communication gap between adults and children, they’re probably wondering what the heck you’re talking about with the whole potty thing when they don’t even realize there’s a problem because they can’t feel anything. If you can feel it and aren’t used to the wetness, you’ll want to get out of it and hopefully avoid it altogether.

For her part, I don’t think Lu seemed to mind too much. I was worried that they’d irritate her either just because they were different from what she was used to or because of those chemicals that absorb the excrement. It’s nice to know that disposables work for traveling, but aside from that, I want to get her used to using the toilet as soon as possible because, frankly, spraying out poopie diapers SUCKS.

The Potty Experiment

Several months back, my wife and I decided to try a little something called elimination communication. The essential idea, as far as I understand it, is physically putting your child on some kind of toilet to go to the bathroom so they start to get used to it. When you do so, you do a particular hand movement or sound that a child can copy, the idea being that, eventually, they’ll start giving you the sign when they need to go to the bathroom or, barring that, hold it until you put them on the potty. The idea behind the idea is that kids don’t naturally enjoy sitting around all day in their own excrement, but do get used to it wearing diapers so this whole process will can be easily learned and is essential to life in other countries where they don’t have access to disposable diapers like we do.

Even though we’ve been doing this for a few months, we’re still not quite to the point where she’s telling us when she needs to go to the bathroom. Like I said when I wrote about signing the first time around, I understand this because the concepts we’re trying to express to her can be kind of big and difficult to comprehend. Does she understand that the sign is for the actual act of going to the bathroom, sitting on the toilet or just the whole process we go through which doesn’t always result in actually going to the bathroom on the potty? However, she does seem to be holding it longer, possibly in hopes of us talking her to the potty. Unfortunately, this depends on me paying close attention to the Itzbeen, which doesn’t always happen, especially if I’m busy trying to get word done.

In addition to just wanting her to learn how to do something on her own, I also have to admit that I like the idea of being done with diapers as soon as possible. I mean, who doesn’t? Especially if we do decide to have another kid in the next few years, I certainly don’t want to be running after two of them in diapers. I think my wife would also be down with the idea of not having to do a load of diaper laundry every other day. As much as we like doing these things to help our baby, it’s also important to remember that these alternative methods can also wind up taking some of the burden off the kids, even if it means putting a little more on at the moment.

I will say, it’s kind of interesting how so many of the things we do tie together. We’ve been trying sign language for quite some time and that’s a big part of this process. We also use cloth diapers which don’t chemically remove all moisture like a lot of disposables. She can actually feel that she’s wet in the diapers we have, which seems admittedly uncomfortable, so hopefully that will help with the experiment. As with pretty much everything we try with her, this is going to be a long process, but hopefully one that winds up working out for everyone involved.

Single Handedly Taking Care Of A Baby, Or: How To Take Care Of A Kid After You Stupidly Cut Your Thumb

You get the joke in the title right? I added the secondary title to make sure people understand that I’m not the only person taking care of my daughter, but that I am quite literally doing it with one hand after injuring myself. Now that I’ve explained away every last drop of humor, I’ll explain myself a little better.

Last weekend I planned on making perogies (delicious Polish potato dumplings) but after making the dough on Saturday night I lost my steam. To make it up to my wife who was looking forward to the delish dish, I decided to get the filling together during the day and then serve them when she got home (you’ve got to basically make mashed potatoes then put that in little dough cutouts, boil them and then cook them in butter). It’s a long and labor-intensive process, but the results are usually pretty tasty.

So, the other day I was working on mashing the potatoes. I had already peeled them and they were boiling away in water pre-mashing. I was shredding cheese for the filling and wanted to see how much I had so I went to grab the tiny kitchen scale on the counter. Turns out, one of the legs was stuck under the knife block, so when I pulled on the scale the block tipped over. I’m not sure exactly what happened next, but I tried uprighting the block, my hand slipped and I felt my right thumb hit something. I looked down and blood was starting to come out of my newly sliced thumbnail.

I really don’t want to get too graphic because I myself  am quite squeamish. I actually used to pass out at the sight of my own blood, but haven’t had that problem lately, thank goodness. Oh, did I mention that Lucy was playing right outside the kitchen when this went down? I tried keeping my calm, but I had to quickly grab and wet some paper towels to stop the bleeding. She started crying pretty soon after I cut myself–or maybe even before, she tends to cry and want attention when I’m cooking–and wouldn’t stop. So, it would not be an understatement to say that this was a fairly intense situation.

Trying to keep myself calm (my head felt light and my stomach twisty, but I held on okay) while also trying to patch myself up and verbally soothe the baby was no small task. I called my mom because she’s a nurse and I wanted to make sure it was okay to put gauze on the wound and then wrap it up with medical tape. I have this gut-wrenching fear of the sticky parts of bandaids or tape actually getting stuck on cuts as well as further pain from absentmindedly bumping cuts. Mom suggested putting some Neosporin on there which I did.

At some point, I grabbed Lu and put her on the bad while I wrapped the finger and talked to my mom on speaker. I wound up being okay, though I did smash the thumb into a table that night trying to cut a piece of salami for a snack, not a good feeling. I even went on to finish a batch of perogies for that night’s dinner. I’ve been airing it out occasionally, but mostly keep the cut wrapped up in a simple bandaid. I bump it every now and then which smarts (the nail is cut, but still all attached), but I get really nervous every time I got to pick Lu up. I know she wouldn’t do it on purpose, but she kicks her legs like crazy and I’d rather not have that sting of pain surge up my arm into my brain if I can avoid it.

It’s been a bit of a challenge and I’ve had to get out of that paranoid-about-pain part of my brain to take care of her day, but I think I’m doing pretty good. If ever there was an obvious, slap-me-in-the-face example of how being a dad can change you and how you think about yourself, I guess this is it. So worried about getting hurt am I that I was literally shaking when my wife wanted to look at the cut the other night. It’s a deep, possibly inborn part of myself that I’m doing my best to ignore/evolve while taking care of Lucy. At the end of the day I will try to avoid my injury getting hurt, but I won’t let that worry get in the way of feeding, dressing or taking care of my baby. I guess that’s a sign of maturity, though I’d rather have learned this one without bloodshed, I think.

A Man Of The Cloth, Wipes That Is

You’ve read my epic, three part “A Man Of The Cloth, Diapers That Is” series (if not you can catch up here, here and here), so now it’s time to talk about diaper wipes. Exciting, I know. Much like our decision to go with cloth diapers, using reusable cloth wipes was based on cost, chemicals and waste production. The cost was pretty low considering my wife and my mom made the wipes using a similar pattern to the one I found on Cloth Diapers Made Easy. They’re basically to pieces of 8-inch flannel sewn together. As far as chemicals, they’re minimal in this case because we make up our own wipe solution. And, since we’re using reusables, there’s no landfill. Again, the water usage to clean them counts against the green-ness I guess, but them’s the breaks.Also like the diapers, we’re not morally opposed to using disposables. When we go on trips, it’s far easier to take a packet of moist wipes to take care of diapers. When we were on vacation last week, that’s what we did. It wouldn’t have made any more laundry than normal because we wash the wipes with the diapers, but it would have meant bringing the diaper warmer, the stuff to make the solution and putting all that together when we’re trying to relax and have fun.

Speaking of the warmer, we went with Prince Lionheart’s Wipes Warmer 9002. It’s your basic wipes warmer that’s meant for regular wipes, but we use it for our reusables. There’s a pad in the bottom of the warmer that we wet and ring out. Then we fold the cloth wipes in half and, like making a lasagna, spray some of the solution on top. Repeat until you’re full, squeeze a little extra around the sides, close the lid and you’re good to go. You can’t pull the wipes out the top like you would a disposable, but other than that, it’s business as usual.

As you can see in the picture of the wipes on the changing table, we also have a package of cloth wipes that we either bought or someone gave us, can’t remember. If you look closely at the pic, you can see that the home made ones are holding up a lot better than the store bought ones and are also smaller by far. If you’re going cloth just to be green and to avoid chemicals, it’s pretty much a draw between making your own and buying cloth, but from the looks of it, the pre-made ones will wind up wearing out a lot sooner and therefore cost you more in the long run.

After a laundry, you can get about three days out of a fresh set of wipes as well as a bottle of solution. We fill an old Nalgene with 24 ounces of water and then three tablespoons each of olive oil and baby soap. Give that a good shake and then we transfer as much as will fit into a smaller squeeze container that we keep right next to the warmer on our changing table. As you can probably imagine, using cloth wipes is a bit more work overall than using disposables, but we think it’s worth it to keep a few more chemicals away from our baby’s butt, help out the environment in a small way and especially save a little cash.

A Man Of The Cloth Part 3: The Modern Age

I’ve already gone over how and why we decided to use reusable diapers and also the newborn versions we used for a few months, so now it’s time to talk about the ones we’re using right now. I honestly don’t remember all the options my wife gave me when deciding which diapers to go with, but we basically have two different kinds: Bum Genius and Flips. The Bum Genius diapers come in two parts. There’s an outside part which looks like a regular diaper as well as an insert the slides inside. Both the diapers and the inserts are adjustable in size thanks to a series of snaps. Basically, they grow with your kid, which means you theoretically won’t have to buy more until they’re potty trained. We’ve got two different kinds of Bum Genius diapers: ones that close with velcro and ones that close with snaps. Personally, I prefer the velcro because they’re more adjustable and you don’t have to count how many buttons you’re going for. This might not seem like much of a task, but that just means you either haven’t changed a squirmy baby or haven’t done so in a while. The downside to the velcro ones, though, is that you have to make sure to afix the tab to an inside tab when you throw the used diaper in the bin, otherwise they’ll all get stuck together in the laundry.The idea behind the Flips is that you buy a few covers and then a bunch of inserts and rotate the covers. Unlike the Bum Genius diapers, the inserts don’t get tucked inside the cloth diaper, but sit against the baby’s skin. These are also adjustable with varying snaps on the cover and fold lines on the liners. Flips work pretty good as long as you don’t have a poo-splosion. We’ve got four covers which I rotate through and even have a pretty solid system for going through, but if they have a big poop, that’ll definitely take out one of the covers, leaving you a man down. The plus side for these, though, is that the laundry process isn’t as much of hassle. Which brings me to the topic of laundry. If you use cloth diapers you will be doing it all the damn time. We do a diaper wash every other day, almost without fail. My wife usually gets the wash started by doing a spin cycle to get any solids off and give everything a good soaking. After that one of us–usually her–puts the detergent in and sets the washer to Whitest Whites. It’s a special brand called Ecos that doens’t have any chemicals and is supposed to be good for their skin. After that, we have to separate the inserts from the covers. The inserts go in the dryer while the covers get hung around our house to dry. We don’t have a yard, so we wind up using the shower curtain in our bathroom and the railing leading down to our front door. I’ll be honest, I hate separating and hanging diapers. I don’t know what it is, it just bugs me. I think because it’s not simple. I’m always worried that I’ll accidentally put a cover in the dryer or wind up with an insert I’ll have to go back and throw in the dryer. Really, I’m just lazy. Anyway, the basic idea is that cloth diapers wind up being a lot of work because even after everything’s dry, you’ve still got to stuff the inserts back into the Bum Genius covers. It’s making me tired just thinking about it, but on the plus side, you’re not dousing your kid in chemicals and it creates less landfill than disposables. If you’ve got the resources and the time, I do recommend it. I think it probably winds up being better in the long run AND they say that kids who use reusable diapers potty train earlier because they can feel and don’t like being in their own waste. I’m in full favor of that as it will mean less diaper laundry. Logic!

A Man Of The Cloth, Diapers That Is Part 2: The Early Days

After deciding to use cloth diapers, the next step was to actually choose which ones to buy. When it came to newborn diapers my wife decided on OsoCozy’s unbleached prefolds that go inside Proraps Classics and Bummis Super Whisper Wrap diaper covers. The idea is that the prefolds get folded or rolled-up and put around the baby then the covers go around that to help prevent leaks and wind up looking like normal diapers. After the kid goes to the bathroom, you drop the insert into your diaper pail and put the cover aside (unless it got dirty too, then that goes in the pail as well). We had four or five covers that we rotated out.

But, before that, we used disposables. I don’t remember the exact time frame, but I think we only used one package of newborn diapers. We did this because, as parents know and nonparents will be appalled to discover, newborn baby poop can be incredibly sticky, stain-y and comes in a variety of colors and consistencies. I don’t want to get into super detail because I myself can be quite squeamish and don’t want to gross anyone out. Basically, we didn’t want that early poop–called meconium if you’re curious, I warn you though, that will result in some funky search results–to stain the reusable diapers right out of the gate. Once the packet ran out we moved on to the cloth.We started off just folding the inserts and putting them in the diaper covers, but that wasn’t giving us enough coverage so we rolled from both sides towards the center, left the front section like that and then unfolded the back to make a kind of “Y.” For a while we just folded the inserts and used the cover to keep things in place, but eventually got these little guys called Snappi which used cloth claws and elastic to keep things in place.All in all these diapers served us well, but were only meant to be used while Lucy was small, the next batch are meant to be used until the kid is potty trained. We used the prefolds while on a long, 10 hour, car trip out to Michigan and that worked out pretty well. It took me a little while to wrap my head around these diapers but once I saw them in person and actually put one on Lucy, it wound up being pretty simple. So, if you’re worried that cloth diapers are too complicated or are thinking about the old day of pins and whatnot, those are pretty much non-issues. The next round of diapers is actually even easier to use, but I’ll get to that soon.

A Man Of The Cloth, Diapers That Is Part 1: Making The Choice

I’ve been avoiding this post for a while, even though it was one of the first things I thought of and my wife has been encouraging me to write it for just about as long. I’ve got no problem explaining our decision to use cloth diapers, but figured it would wind up being a lengthy and involved post. So, to make things a little easier on myself, I decided to break it down. We’ve used no less than four kinds of reusable diapers since Lucy was born plus a few disposables here and there plus homemade cloth wipes. I feel like I’ve got a pretty good handle on what I want to write now, so let’s jump in.

Like nearly every baby-related topic, my wife brought up the idea of using reusable diapers while she was pregnant. Environmental concerns were a bit of a factor, but the real reasons we wanted to go with cloth were two fold. First, we weren’t sure about all those chemicals put into disposables and second, cloth diapers are cheaper in the long run.

I’d like to expand on those points a little bit. It might seem better for the environmentally friendly to use cloth diapers because it makes a lot less garbage, which is true, but you wind up using a helluva lot more water washing them. I’m sure there’s some equation to see which is actually better for the world, but that’s not something I’m interested in. Besides, that kind of math would take me way longer than all these posts put together.

The chemical thing is pretty self explanatory. They put a lot in those diapers to make them absorb a ton of liquid. Again, I’m not sure about the details here, but I’m sure you can do a quick Google search and find whatever information on either side you’re looking for.

The money aspect is a little more tricky. See, reusable diapers are expensive to purchase in the beginning, so I understand why people might be scared away by them, but in the long run they wind up being a lot cheaper. Again, math isn’t my strong suit, but you can surely compare the cost of diapers that actually get larger for your kids as they grow to package after package of disposables.

Once we decided on using cloth it was a matter of figuring out exactly how. We looked into using a diaper service, but that wound up being super expensive, especially if you wanted to keep using your own diapers. If you’re unfamiliar with diaper services, the idea is that you put your dirty cloth diapers in a bag and the company picks them up and leaves you some fresh ones. One option allows you to always receive your own, previously used diapers while a less expensive one meant you were using diapers from a pool used by other people. I’m sure they wash the heck out of the diapers, but that’s just too much for me. It wasn’t really an issue because the cost was way prohibitive and we wound up buying our own.

Like with most aspects of child-rearing, I originally assumed we’d be going along with the norm, which would be disposable diapers. But after talking about it and analyzing the cost, I was sold on the idea. I just had one caveat: my wife had to deal with the poopy laundry. I’m pretty averse to gross stuff and almost lost my lunch when our parenting class teacher passed around a series of color photos of what the different stages of newborn poop looks like. I knew I’d be changing diapers, but I didn’t want to be digging through a dirty diaper pail to get them into the laundry. Everyone said that would change–which I absolutely hate being told, no matter how true it is–but I knew myself.

As it turns out, my baby’s poop doesn’t bother me too much. It’s still pretty gross and was especially gross in the first week, but I have gotten used to it. I don’t do the laundry quite as much, but that’s because my wife is just a lot better at keeping track of the last time we did laundry. I’ve done it a few times and it’s not a huge deal. So far I’ve been really happy with our choice and the diapers we’ve used over these four months and will continue to use as Lucy gets older. To find out about our early diaper days, tune in tomorrow!