Baby Updates

It’s a girl!


We joyfully announce the arrival of Chloe Anne Tennies!

June 14, 2008 at 1:02am
7 lbs, 11 oz
21 inches

We’re trying out a new photo gallery, so most of her pictures are online HERE.

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We’ve started a gallery for pictures of Anne during the pregnancy.

Baby's Library

We don’t have a huge number of baby books yet, so I’ll list the ones we have on here.

Note: Although I love to read, I’m not exactly up on good books for babies, so I’d love recommendations of good ones. Thanks!

Collections

Books

I went on a book-buying binge right after college, but that box hasn’t turned up yet, so I don’t remember which ones I bought! I’ll add them (and others) as they turn up.

Cloth Diapering... the way we do it

In the past few weeks, we’ve had a lot of people ask us about our choice to use cloth diapers. So we decided to explain our choices on here.

First of all, I need to say that Joe and I both wanted to use cloth. There wasn’t any persuasion involved. Like most parenting decisions, it’s more likely to go smoothly and be successful if you start with a consensus. (I’m speaking from nearly seven weeks of parenting experience here!) However, even if one parent uses cloth for their diaper changes and the other uses disposables, it’s still better than all disposables (better both for the baby and for the environment)

I did a lot of research while I was pregnant. A LOT. I spent a long time trying to figure out what kind and how many…. and then after I made that decision I had to figure out how many to get and where to get them. I’m a bargain hunter, so this was a fairly lengthy process.

Joe and I will add more information to this section as we have time, but here’s our most frequently asked question:

Q. Are you glad you went with cloth diapers?
A: YES – absolutely!

The Stash

My original order was:

2 dozen infant 4×8×4 Chinese prefolds
2 dozen regular 4×6×4 Chinese prefolds
6 newborn proraps
6 small proraps
6 medium proraps
3 snappis
30 flannel wipes

I based that order on a couple things. I read what recommended quantities were for starting cloth diapering, and most sites said 2 dozen would mean washing them every other day, which seemed reasonable. I got the regular prefolds right away because they supposedly work on infants, too, and I figured it would be back-up. I haven’t tried them, but they’re pretty huge, so they’d need to be folded down quite a bit. I’ll try them when Chloe gets a little bigger. Then I got a dozen premium 4×8×4 prefolds as a gift, so that’ll give me something more absorbant when she needs that size. As for the covers, I probably have more than necessary, but the place I ordered them had a package deal if you got 6 of the same size.

I also got a dozen regular sized Indian prefolds and a few more medium proraps from my Chiropractor. She had used them on her daughter for a few months, and thought they were softer than the Chinese prefolds.

I’m only going to comment on the stuff we’ve used. We’ll add more as she grows.

The three snappis seem to be plenty. I’ve only had one occasion where one got dirty, and I didn’t have an extra with me that day anyway. But it means we can have a spare at each diaper changing station (we have two at home) in case we feel like changing colors. Supposedly they wear out, so maybe we’ll extend their lives by not using the same one all the time. We’ll see how that pans out.

30 wipes would be enough if we used them with a spray bottle, or only had them in one spot, but it adds a lot of extra work to mix up wipes solution that often, since the containers aren’t filled. It uses a lot of ingredients, too. I bought a remnant of flannel to make more… they’re just 7” squares with the edges serged in pretty colors. I can make something equally useful, even if it’s not equally pretty.

After a month, I was really wishing I had gotten more infant prefolds. The “every other day” would work fine if it didn’t take nearly a full day to wash and dry the diapers! We started running short, and whenever we went away overnight — which happened quite often — it meant washing either the night before or the morning we left, and drying them in the dryer so we’d have enough.

I was about to order more infant prefolds, but I stumbled across a steal at a garage sale last week — almost 4 dozen prefolds (half infant) and 10
Bummis Super Whisper Wraps (6 infant, 4 small), so that has filled out my stash nicely.

Useful Cloth Diapering Resources

I did a lot of research, and there are some excellent sites out there filled with information. I’m not going to reinvent the wheel (or the diaper, as it were) so here are links to some of the best sites I found.

Incidentally, the shopping links below are the best deals I found for what I bought. If you’re going to try all-in-ones or pocket diapers, you’ll have to do your own comparison shopping.

General Information

Diaper Pin has tons of information… tips, reviews, links (and announcements of sales) for other sites, forums… it can keep you occupied for hours if you let it.

Green Mountain Diapers has lots of pictures in their how-to section, which really helps a lot. They also carry a lot of different products, and describe them quite well (that brand x is better on babies with skinny legs, etc)

Shopping

Nicki’s Diapers has a storefront in New Glarus with more inventory than the website, but the prices are pretty good and they have free shipping on most orders. This is where I got my prefolds and snappis.

DyDee Diapers is a California based diaper service, but they have great prices on their limited inventory. I ordered Proraps covers from them, and they had price breaks at 3 and 6. If it wasn’t for the shipping costs, I probably would’ve gotten everything from them, but diapers are heavy and the shipping really added up.

Washing Diapers

This is the part that turns people off, I think. And it’s also the part you can skip if you’re lucky enough to have a diaper service! Incidentally, using a diaper service will cost more in the long run (comparable to using disposables) but it’s less cost up front, and it’s better for the environment than home-laundering, since the service can be a lot more efficient with the volume of diapers they handle.

Choosing a detergent

Supposedly there are several detergents that work well for cloth diapers. I decided to go with Charlie’s Soap, which is “safe, non-toxic and biodegradable” and I’m happy with that decision. I actually started using it for all of my laundry, and it’s made a big difference over the All Free & Clear detergent that I switched from — no build-up, so things seem softer, and no smell… it’s really strange — I smell my clothes and smell nothing at all. Very cool. Incidentally, you can get Charlies Soap in either powder or liquid, and I went with the more economical powder.

The Diaper Jungle has a chart rating other detergents for cloth diaper use.

Pre-washing

We don’t.

Everything I’ve read says that diapers from a breastfed baby don’t need to be dunked or otherwise rinsed unless baby is sick. So until we introduce solids, we just put the diapers into a diaper pail lined with a waterproof bag (or a wet-bag in the diaper bag) until laundry day.

Laundry Day

Start with a cold rinse cycle. Diapers, covers, and the bags. If you want them to soak for a while, don’t add the covers. Soaking makes waterproof things become less waterproof. Which would make them less useful.

Follow that with a hot normal wash cycle with an extra rinse. Add 1 tablespoon of Charlie’s Soap (or half of the recommended amount of any other detergent, as I understand).

The covers and bags are best air-dried, or if necessary, dried on a gentle, low-heat setting. As for the diapers… prefolds take a long time to dry — either out on the line or in the dryer. Personally, I try to hang them outside whenever I can. I like the sun-bleaching, and it takes at least two cycles in the dryer, which doesn’t seem terribly energy-efficient.

That’s all there is to it!

Heartbeat from little one

Anne recorded the doppler thingy from our visit to the hospital today. It predicts snow.

Registry Info

We finally started registering for baby stuff!

We have a baby registry at Target.

and online at Amazon.com.

A couple things I HAVEN’T found to register for:


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It’s really daunting to try to figure out what we’ll need. We won’t know Baby’s gender until we see him/her. We won’t know size either, but since I was a 9 pound baby, I’m sure not stocking up on newborn anything…

We do know a couple things: I’m planning to breastfeed, and we’re planning to use cloth diapers. We have a Graco Snugride carseat and an heirloom cradle. Baby’s supposed to arrive in June, so unless we have an unseasonably cold summer, we won’t need baby snowsuits and such right away. Beyond that, we’re kind of overwhelmed.

Ultrasound - 16 weeks

Ultrasound - 16 weeks

This was taken just before Christmas, and everything looked great!

West Bend Baby Shower!

Lucy and Jenny threw me a baby shower April 13, and it was a blast!

Only one guest wasn’t able to make it through the blizzard, (which is a definite improvement over my bridal shower that got canceled because of a different blizzard 6 years ago!) It was a houseful of people, and their generosity was overwhelming. Among other things, we now have a stroller, a crib with bedding, an assortment of cute clothes, a Boppy nursing pillow and a cool night-light. I also got lots of name suggestions from everybody and good advice from the many experienced moms who attended.

Beth took lots of pictures with her new digital camera, and I’ll get them online soon. (Joe has them on his laptop) I’ll put a link here once they’re uploaded.

Thanks to everybody for coming, and for all the generous gifts. Thanks to Mom for making the adorable (and delicious, of course) cake, and Thanks to Lucy and Jen for hosting the event!