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Archive for June, 2012

I thought I would blog about this as I found other blogger’s posts on their experience really very useful in helping me decide on which nappies to buy.  To buy a set of cloth nappies generally cost quite a bit and I didn’t want to spend a lot on nappies that I would probably not use much if I didn’t like them.  That is why I started out with one of one kind and later I got two of another kind.  I’m glad I did it this way, since I would have been very disappointed if I bought twenty of the first kind and all the extras they recommend that go with it since it was not the best decision for us.

So last year when I was still pregnant I decided that I want to use cloth nappies for all the ecological reasons and I bought a locally manufactured bamboo nappy* and one outer cover to test when Baby G was born.  In the mean time since we’ve been using disposables for the majority of the time, I’ve also been quite disappointed in disposables since they all fail often, even the most expensive brands.  I also don’t mind doing the extra laundry involved with the eco nappies.

Initially, after doing some research, I decided that I wanted bamboo, because it’s very absorbent, soft and breathable, but also has antibacterial properties.  Bamboo is also 60% more absorbent than cotton and can absorb up to 3 times its weight in water.   Bamboo is also a very good “green” choice because it grows fast and is a renewable resource that does not need fertilizers or pesticides and it removes more carbon dioxide from the air than trees.

I decided first on a local nappy, because I liked their website and there was a store in the next town that sold them, so it was easily available.  This nappy consists of an outer waterproof cover and a separate inner bamboo nappy.  The inner nappy is adjustable for a lot of different sizes and there are three sizes for the outer cover.

I quite liked the absorbency of the local nappy and it has not leaked any poo once since I’ve used it and we also had one night nappy that did not leak any urine.  I have to add that they sell extra inserts and they advise that one uses them at night for extra absorbency.  I did not buy any of those, so after the second night when it did leak urine I decided to rather only use it during the day.  But in general this nappy performed much better than any of the disposables I’ve tried.

There are some things that bothered me a bit about this type of nappy and that is why I haven’t bought any more of them.  Firstly it is very bulky – so much so that I’ve only started to use it when baby G was somewhere in between 3 and 4 months old.  Even now I can’t put it on with all his clothes, because it makes his bum so big that not all his clothes fit over it.  Only the ones that are too big for him will fit and then the legs of his pants are usually way too long.

Another thing that I don’t like much is the Velcro on the waterproof outer nappy cover – the first couple of times I forgot about it every time I did the laundry and it snags and sticks to the other laundry.  Now I try to remember to close it before I pop it in the wash to avoid that.

These nappies are also quite expensive and require quite a big amount of money to buy enough to last a couple of days and all the extras that they advise one needs with it, like the extra inserts, biodegradable nappy liners, etc.  The outer waterproof covers also come in 3 sizes, so one really needs to buy the whole package because the small cover won’t fit baby G for much longer, and since I don’t intend to buy anymore I will probably not use it when that cover doesn’t fit anymore.

So after I realised that I was not entirely happy with this nappy I researched other types and finally decided on this imported bamboo eco nappy. This nappy looks different as the waterproof cover is attached and the absorbent part is separate as a loose insert that you put inside a pocket.

I bought two nappies and four inserts for a little less than I paid for the one local nappy and waterproof cover.  So I immediately liked the fact that it was much cheaper.  I also prefer how they look nicer and are not as bulky as the other brand.  I understand that cloth nappies will be bulkier than disposables, but these with one insert are slim enough to fit with baby G’s clothes that fit him now. I haven’t even tried 2 inserts with his day clothes, but I suspect it will still be less bulky than the other kind.

I have used 1 insert during the day and two inserts in the nappy at night for extra absorbency and it’s worked well so far.  I guess one can probably use 3 inserts at night if you are worried about leaking, but I haven’t tried that yet.   It is recommended that one change this type of nappy a bit more often than a disposable nappy, so I will probably use a few more of these compared to diposables.

This nappy has also never leaked any poo, which is better than the disposables I’ve been using up to now.  I find that more than half of all disposable poo nappies leak out onto baby G’s clothes and I’ve tried quite a few different brands and even the most expensive ones leak a lot.  That is one reason why I don’t mind the idea of washing the eco nappies as I am used to wash poo covered clothes.   (Remember baby G is still getting a lot of breast milk so his stools are still quite loose)

These nappies are adjustable and I’m sure one can use it from quite small.  They definitely look smaller than the other brand when you do the snaps up to the smallest setting.  When we have another baby I will definitely try to use them from birth if possible.

The actual nappy dries quite quickly, even in our winter sun it only takes a few hours, and I’m sure in summer it won’t take long at all.  The inserts take a bit longer to dry, I find now in winter time it takes all day out in the sun, but I’m sure in summer it will probably take less than a day.  I really think that it is worthwhile to have extra inserts for this brand, for the extra absorbency at night as well as for emergencies should they take a bit longer to dry than you expect.  This brand’s inserts however dry quicker than the inner nappy of the other brand – those take all day and a bit of a second day now in winter time.

What I also like about this brand is that the micro-polar fleece inner feels the same as a disposable nappy, just slightly damp to the touch when I change the nappy, so I don’t worry that baby G’s bum will be wet all the time.  All the moisture is absorbed by the insert which is in a pocket in between the micro-polar fleece and the outer waterproof PUL.  I also liked the idea of the hip snaps that prevent wing droop.  It sure does fit nice and snug.

These nappies are as easy to put on as disposables and I don’t even use a wet bucket system.  The urine soaked nappies just go in a plastic bucket until I wash them and I just rinse most of the poo off before putting it with the other nappies, and I just rub some sun.light soap on the stained inserts and they also go with the rest in the bucket.  So it doesn’t feel like much more work to me.  I think when I have just these eco nappies it will probably result in 1 or 2 more loads of laundry a week.

Because there is nothing that bothers me about the imported nappies I’ve decided to take the plunge and order enough to last us at least 4 or 5 days or so, and a few extra inserts.  We will then hopefully soon be completely off disposables.

*I’m not going to name brands since the intention is not for this post to be a free advertisement for the particular brands.

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6 Month Update:

It’s my baby’s half year birthday today!  I’m shocked!  I’m sure before we know it we will be celebrating his first birthday…

Baby G is such a pleasure to have around!  He smiles all the time and he laughs a lot too.  If I take him out anywhere he will smile and “chat” to strangers, so much so that every single time I’m stopped by a couple of strangers telling me what a lovely baby I have and how friendly he is.  Two weeks ago I went to the bank, I was in the queue for about 5 minutes and 3 people were charmed by baby G in that short time.  The very next day he charmed 10 people in the grocery store (Yes, I counted!)  It’s all kind of people: men, women, old, young – they all respond to his smiles and laughs.  Baby G is definitely a social baby – he doesn’t even mind when strangers pick him up and hold him.  He also loves other children – his face lights up when he sees another child and he just wants to touch them and play with them.

Baby G is such an independent strong willed baby.  He wants to do everything himself.  He wants to feed himself, he wants to hold his bottle, and now lately he wants to drink from my glass too.  I’ve let him drink some water, very diluted fruit juice (that is how I drink it) and some Yogi.sip.

Lately he’s also been getting angry with me – like when I put him in his car seat, and he looks like he wants to throw a little temper tantrum.  Luckily it doesn’t last very long…

The paediatrician mentioned this morning that baby G might be left handed – he noticed that he takes things easily with his left hand, and I must say he is not the first person to mention this to me.  I’ve not been convinced of this because to me it seems that he does not favour a specific hand.  The paediatrician said that generally it is only noticeable from about 18 months which hand a baby prefers, but his own son clearly favoured his left hand from very small and it looked the same with baby G to him.  I guess time will tell, but like I said, I’m not convinced.   I see him all day and sometimes he does things with his left hand and other times with his right hand.

Measurements on 26/06/2012:

Weight: 7.85 kg (just under the 50th percentile)

Height:  69 cm (about 75th percentile)

Head Circumference: 44 cm (also just above the 50th percentile)

Eating:  Things were better this past month.  I went right back to basics, started with organic brown rice cereal and fortunately baby G likes that, so most of the time he will eat that.  Then I mixed the rice cereal with sweet potatoes and pumpkin and he ate that too.  This past weekend I introduced yogurt and baby G absolutely loves that!   I’ve also given him some teething biscuits and he seems to like it too.  He still doesn’t want to eat avocado and to be honest I haven’t tried banana again because he really hated that.  At least he isn’t gagging and spitting anymore.  He had a few days where he still refused to eat, but for the past 2 weeks we haven’t had any of those either.

Sleeping:  I’ve been saying that baby G does not sleep well, but lately I’ve decided that I was wrong.  You see at night he goes to sleep easily and a lot of the time he falls asleep before we even try to get him to sleep.  His bed time has definitely changed from 20h00 to 19h00 and now most nights even earlier than that.  After that he moans a bit, and I will offer my boob and he will drink for at least 10-15 minutes, which is longer that he drinks during the day.  Usually he drinks around 22h00, 1h00-2h00 in the morning and then somewhere between 4h00 and 5h00 again, but all those times he will not actually wake up.  So it’s all dream feeds.  So he is getting enough sleep and he is sleeping well, it’s just me that’s not sleeping well, because I have to wake up for those feeds.

I had hoped that feeding baby G solids will help him sleep through, but it’s made no difference.  I read 2 other books on baby sleep training and their suggestions have also not helped.  If baby G is on a strict routine or not, it does not make a difference to his night sleeping.  I must say things have improved slightly and gradually lately, so I’m hoping that he will eventually really sleep through soon in such a way that I can also sleep through the night.

During the day he takes about 3 naps, sometimes 2 if one is long.  I think he sleeps quite well during the day, but he still wants to sleep either in my arms or in bed next to me.  Most often if I lie him down and leave the room he will wake again after about 5 minutes.  There are a few exceptions, because yesterday morning he slept for 1.5 hours alone in our room.

Clothes and nappies:  I’m dressing baby G mostly in 6-12 months clothes now.  It’s still a little big, but since it’s the middle of the winter now and quite cold, I’m dressing him warmly and all the warm clothes are that size.  I felt it would be wasteful to buy 3-6 months clothes if he would outgrow in within 1-2 months, so I rather bought it bigger and then I know it will last until the end of winter.  The 3-6 months clothes still fit, although some of his pants leg’s seem a bit short now.  He is also still wearing some 0-3 months short sleeve vests under the warm clothes, surprisingly it still fits his body, but I think not for much longer.

Nappies are still size 3 but we are using eco nappies now too.

Milestones: Baby G sits so well now!  He can sit for a long time without falling over.  He won’t even fall over if he sits on an uneven surface that moves a bit, like someone’s lap, and he can pick things up in front or to the side or back and come back up without any problems.  He also recently started to pull himself up by grabbing my arm or clothes and he can actually stand on his knees after pulling himself up.  If I help him he will stand up on his feet.

He also goes forward from a sitting position on to his knees, leaning his upper body on his arms and rocking forwards and backwards, so it seems crawling is next on his agenda.  He ends up flat on his stomach at the moment, but I think it won’t be long before he figures out the correct position for crawling.  He is also rolling a lot, and somehow manages to move like a little worm, so very often if I put him down on the floor he will move a metre or two from his original position.

My most favourite thing is the fact that baby G gives hugs now – there is nothing like the feeling of those little arms tight around my neck.  He is such an affectionate child, I get a lot of hugs during the day, and DH is also treated to the biggest smile and hugs when he comes home at night.

Baby G is responding to his name now – If I call him by his name he will look at me.

Firsts:  We went away for a midweek break last week, so baby G had his first mini-vacation.  It was to the bushveld and we saw lots of game like giraffe’s, kudu, impala, waterbuck, zebra’s, eland, blesbuck, njala, red hartebeast and even 2 jackal.  We took long walks in the veldt pushing baby G in the pram and he had some of his best naps ever in there.  It was just a lovely time for DH to bond again with baby G and also a much needed break for both DH and I.

Baby G also got his first cold, but fortunately it was not bad, just a bit of a snot nose and a bit of fever one day, but he bounced back brilliantly and the paediatrician said he is healthy again when he checked him this morning.

This past weekend was also the first time that baby G and I were apart. I left him with his dad while I had my hair done and I also did some shopping afterwards.  I phoned home twice, to hear if he was ok, in the 3 hours I was away.  It was not easy for me, but when I came back it did not look like he missed me at all.

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