Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Cloth Diapers - breaking down the basics

One thing you need to know before you start cloth diapering is what style of diaper will suit you and your diapering needs best. You may be thinking "UH don't you take a cloth and like, uh, pin it up and stuff" Well sure you do, IF that is the style you choose to use and those are called 'Flat' diapers which I will get to in a bit. I am going to start with my personal favorite, the diaper that makes up the majority of my stash is...The pocket diaper. 

What is that Billy Bass looking mouth thing? That is the pocket of the pocket diaper. A pocket diaper is made up of PUL which is the pee proof outer that keeps the ickys in, a soft inner that keeps babies bum nice and dry and rash free and inside the pocket you would stuff an absorbant insert, like microfiber, bamboo, hemp or the newest insert to hit the market, Zorb. I personally use bamboo and I have a few terry cloth inserts as well. For night if you choose to use pockets you will want to double up or do as I do, pad fold flats and prefolds into insertable size. 

These are what my inserts look like. Top left is a super soft bamboo insert, top right is a pad folded prefold that I use for over night because it is very thick and very thirsty, on the bottom is a flat padfolded which I actually prefer to sit inside a cover rather than stuff my pockets with it.

What about Ai2 (all in two) diapers? These are what is called a 'hybrid' diaper. Also made of a PUL outer the inside does not have a pocket but snaps instead where you snap in the insert, usually cotton or bamboo. These can be nice to use because if baby doesn't make a messy mess then all you need to do is switch out the insert and reuse the cover until it gets soiled, handy for on the go or if you have a smaller diaper bag.

Let's talk about flats baby! a Flat diaper is self explanatory, it is a "flat" square piece of material that you wrap around the bum and pin up with pins or a 'snappi' THESE are your Grandmothers diapers. (no, not the ones she wears UGH get your mind outta the gutter, I'm talking about the ones she put on her 10 children. duh!) 
Another sorta semi similar diaper style is the prefold, made up of 3 sections with the middle being the most absorbant it is put on the bum as is with a simple twist in the middle. easy right? I personally don't use them that way, like I mentioned above I padfold them for super night time absorbancy. 

This is a flat, pardon the just came outta the wash.

Here we have a prefold, you can see the three sections.

That funny looking thing is a snappi, the claws on the side and bottom hold the diapers in place once on the bum.

You might be saying to yourself "Ok, so how do these keep in the pee? they sure don't look pee-proof" well silly, you simply buy a cover (made of pul like previous diapers mentioned) I like to use my ai2 as covers because I am not a fan of the snap in inserts.
This is a flat folded with the Origami fold (youtube it) and held together with the snappi.

This is a cover (it's totally pee proof) you would use this with both flats and prefolds. You can also cover these types of diapers with wool or fleece which I will explain shortly.

"Wait a minute" You might be saying now. " you've mentioned ai2 but but what about aio?" Holy impatient much? I'm getting to that, geez! Ok an AIO diaper is exactly as it's name applies All In One! It consists of the waterproof pul outer, the absorbant inside and softy stay dry inner..All sewn TOGETHER. it is as simple as the disposables. You put it on, baby pees/poops, you take it off. No snapping or wrapping or stuffing involved, so if you're lazy than an aio is the way to go. I don't have any pictures of them at the moment as it is wash day today, surprisingly the only laundry I enjoy doing is diaper laundry YAY! 

Ok moving on the final few styles. Fitteds and wool/fleece. I have yet to try these as it can seem intimidating and it's sad that the pretty prints on most fitteds have to be covered. A fitted diaper is super absorbant and is covered by wool, fleece, or even pul covers like above. They are not waterproof.
My only fitteds. I use them under pul covers for now but will soon be expanding into wool.

On the left is a fleece cover and I used it a couple times on my son before he outgrew it, not good for heavy wetters, definitely a potty training must have I think. On the right is my very first wool cover and I am so excited to try it out (paired with the hearts fitted soaker above) wish me luck. 
If you know more about this system than I do please pretty please feel free to comment below with your info :)

Sizing, how on earth do you figure that stuff out..well it's easy. One Size fits all (most) 
OS diapers have these handy snaps on the front that allow you to snap up or down for sizes, they say they fit from 8lbs to 35lbs..and they DO! I put the same diaper on little bear who was roughly 35lbs and baby bear who was about 15ish lbs at the time. You can go with a small, medium, large system as well. I have a few of those but OS is definitely the ideal way to go. 

That's all for now, Thanks for reading and I hope I made your decision a little bit easier. Try not to be overwhelmed and think about how much crap (literally) you're saving from the landfills and all the cash you can save over time...and of course they are just SO much cuter than icky 'sposies and softer for babies bottoms. 

See? one size fit's all, poor little bear, he'll hate me for this one day hahahahah...

ttfn <3

Saturday, February 18, 2012


Baby Bear started crawling a couple days ago and is so unlike her brother, Little Bear, who was (is) an independent cruiser no longer in need of a ride on mamas hip. Not Baby Bear, she is still as clingy as ever. She will go about 10 ft away but if she even for one second suspects that I may be sneaking she will start to moan to make her frustrations known, if she is not picked up and swung onto my hip within a matter of seconds she will escalate those moans to full on screams and I am stuck with my dearest little leech for the next few hours. She is at this very second sitting on my lap showing her displeasure that I am more focused on the laptop then on her.
Fast forward an hour she has an empty bag of chocolate balls (I ate them in a hurry) and is a happy camper. Sometimes we need to resort to any measures to keep these little beasts entertained.
I did manage to capture some of her crawling on film while she wasn't clinging, at the end of that film I watched through my camera lens my poor baby rolling off the couch. Yes, that's right! I filmed my daughters first owie and she has a lovely purple bruise on her forehead. SO If it means you will never be hurt then please, by all means, cling away Baby Bear, cling away!

I have a cold that our darling Red brought home from daycare and I am finding it hard to concentrate on this shiny screen with my glaring headache and sinus infection..just one example of the UNprettiness, I'll be back with something a little more blog worthy another day. Thanks for listening to me whine, perhaps I'll make you laugh tomorrow!

ttfn <3

Friday, February 17, 2012

Family Introduction

Welcome to This Pretty Life. Before I begin blogging I think you deserve an introduction to our family, let's begin with me.

I am mama bear, the writer behind this blog. I am fierce as my name implies and will readily destroy for my babies. I enjoy writing although I must admit I have fallen out of it with the busy day to day life that being a mother requires. I come by obsessions easily, right now I am in love with cloth diapers (well duh, have you seen how cute they are?) I try to stick to buying WAHM made (I would make this stuff myself but I, uh, suck) and I love finding new crafts to do with my exuberant son. Seeing a pattern? Everything I enjoy has to do with my kids, my kids, my kids...because I enjoy them. (You will too trust me, they're kinda awesome) Enough about me, let's move on shall we?

Little Bear: My energetic, over the top, loud, loud, loud Son. He was my first born baby (although Red is about 2 months older but I'll explain that whole sitch in a bit.) Little bear will be 4 years old in about 2 weeks and he is the typical boy, loves cars and..well.. cars! He is a very affectionate kid and so funny, he comes up with these hilarious things to say which I will be blogging when they come up. This kid is a star, he was born to be the center of attention and he definitely earns it with his outgoing attitude. Needless to say he is my favorite..KIDDING! He is just exactly like me, my mini me in boy form and the entire reason that I am the mother I am. Next.....

Red! My step-son so named for the hair on his head. He is The Mans son from a previous relationship and 2 months older than my little bear (who is also from a previous relationship fyi) He just turned 4 but has the attitude of a 16 year old. Our Red is very smart and has an insanely large vocabulary for such a young kid. We currently have joint custody and get him 3 days a week. The boys miss each other terribly when they are apart, they are brothers to the bone. (I always tell people we have twins, they just don't share DNA) I love him as much as my own son (hence the whole "mother of 3" bit) But MAN IS IT HARD raising a kid that lives in another home for half the week. We may or may not delve into that in a blog post or two but don't hold your breathe, I prefer to focus on what happens inside my home, not out of it....Moving On.....

Baby Bear, my daughter that I waited so long for is finally here. 9 months old as I write this and growing too fast already. She just started crawling yesterday (we're screwed) She is a bossy little Diva and demands things be done her way, she waves her hands and orders us about with her baahbahhdaahtaaaahhsss and lord help us if we don't jump when she starts grunting to be picked up we are met with a loud shriek and a red face. She is breastfed and cloth diapered (hippies love me) and she is essentially the reason behind starting this blog since I am too scared to leave the house with all these children in tow (Kidding again, sometimes I go out in the yard (omg people I'm still kidding, I take them to the store too, or the park, or all the other annoyingly child related places I can think of)) She is the exact opposite of little bear. Where he was a relaxed, chill baby, she is a needy snuggle cuddler and has to be held All.The.Time!! Not that I'm complaining, I love the attachment but it is damn hard to do the dishes and the laundry and the sweeping and mopping with one hand. My left arm feels like it's about to fall off (and honestly typing doesn't help much either but a girls gotta do what a girls gotta do) ...

The Man. My husband to be and the man of the house, he brings home the bacon and allows us to live in semi poverty so I can stay where I the kitchen! Another joke, oooh I'm full of em. I am a Stay At Home Mom and it is all because of the generosity of this amazing person who loves me for god knows what reasons. (it's certainly not because of my ass) He is a car fanatic and we usually have anywhere from 3 to 6 cars in our driveway for him to fix up and sell, he gets them handed to him for practically free and sells them for thousands sometimes, I swear he has a horseshoe up his ___ (figure it out) Anyway that is my man in a nutshell, Cars and Me...oh and kids, he loves kids (our kids in particular (I hope)).

So there you have it, all the players in This Pretty Life. Stop by from time to time and say hi, leave us a comment and subscribe. I promise to try and be mildly entertaining if you can reciprocate.

Tell me about your family. Are you blended too? Single parent family? Let me know, and link your blogs in the comments..follow mine and I'll follow yours ;)