Monthly Archives: June 2012

How long will I exclusively breastfeed?

Cloth diapers a la bambina

Even before we found out that the bambina was on her way, we knew we were going to use cloth diapers.  I did a lot of research about the different kinds of cloth diapers and all variety of wet pail/dry pail laundry systems for them.  In the end, this is what we came up with.

All of the bambina’s diapering supplies are organized in the top drawer of her dresser.  (I had to snap a picture – it’s so rare for so many of her diapers to be clean at once!)

We have 12 one-size pocket diapers (BumGenius 4.0 and Swaddlebees, with microfiber inserts), 4 shells (sized Thirsties and one-size Best Bottom and GroVia), 20 prefolds (Gerber), and 20 flatfolds (Gerber).  Our pockets and shells are a mix of snap closure and Velcro closure.  I definitely prefer the Velcro as it gives a more customized fit around bambina’s waist.  Velcro is also much easier to fasten at 3:00 in the morning when I’m bleary-eyed and the bambina just wants to eat and fall back asleep.  I realize that the Velcro will get fuzz and other crud stuck in it over time, but I’m ok with that.  For now, I just pick out the bits of fluff when I see them.

As for wipes, we have 20 washcloths (the super-soft baby ones, all white for cleaning purposes).   I store them pre-moistened in a tub that previously held disposable wipes.  Cleaning the tushie occasionally requires a little more than just the water that’s already in the wipes, so a spray bottle of California Baby Diaper Area Wash also lives close by.

Finally, a small toy serves to distract the bambina during longer changes.  Right now, it’s a little stuffed duck, which inspires a couple of different songs that we sing during diaper changes.  The drawer also holds her one swim diaper, a spare changing pad cover, and a couple of gallon-size zippie bags (because you just never know).

At changing time, anything that is microfiber or PUL (the pocket diapers and shells) goes in the big blue tub, while anything cotton (wipes, prefolds, flatfolds, and changing pad cover) goes in the small tub.  (This makes for a double dry pail system, I suppose.)  They get sorted like this because that’s how I do laundry.  Keeping the cotton separate limits the amount of lint that ends up in the Velcro as well as keeps the microsuede inner lining of the pocket diapers smooth.

I do one or two loads of diaper laundry a day.  The PUL pockets/shells and microfiber inserts get washed every day,  following this routine:  cold rinse, hot wash on either regular or heavy-duty cycle (depending on how poopy they are) with BumGenius detergent, double cold rinse.  At the beginning of the month, I do a super wash with the intention of de-staining and de-stinking:  cold rinse, hot wash on regular with BumGenius detergent and 1/2 cup of bleach, cold rinse, hot wash on regular with BumGenius detergent, double cold rinse.  Microfiber stuffers go in the dryer on hot, while anything with PUL gets hung to dry or laid out in the sun.  The cotton load goes through the laundry every other day, generally getting a hot wash with double cold rinse using BumGenius detergent, then into the dryer for a hot spin.

Mobile spirals

What Would Jesus Drink?

Bambina’s bedroom, part two

The tour continues.  Today we’ll check out the changing station.

Bambina’s changing pad sits atop an old IKEA dresser.  Next to the dresser are two blue tubs that keep used diapers and wipes sorted until laundry time (not day, time).

She gets to look at a couple of interesting things while she’s hanging out there.

This remnant of Alexander Henry fabric is stretched tight in an embroidery hoop.  Bambina loves saying “hello” to the birds in the morning.

The forest of spirals dances in the “Mamma-breeze” to keep her entertained.

Following the spirit of the website, here’s a break down of the origins of the stuff you see above.

  • Repurposed:  the dresser (was Mamma & Papa’s), bird fabric (remnant) and hoop (extra of Mamma’s), paper for mobile spirals (leftovers from a previous project), small blue tub (relocated from bathroom closet)
  • New: changing pad and cover, large blue tub

This is my baby’s personal space…

Bambina’s bedroom, part one

The Bambina’s bedroom is slowly coming together.  Even though I know it will never be featured on any fancy decorating websites – you know, the ones that everybody pins to their “Dream Home” boards – it still makes me smile just to be in there.  I love how it is a collection of lots of colorful and sentimental things, most of which were gifts or hand-me-downs.  Sure, I’d love to give her a room full of brand new (well, new to us – I’d prefer to find her a whole bunch of antiques) furniture and accessories that all coordinate with the grey and yellow color scheme that I chose for her quilt.  But this way, everything has a story and a history in the family, so she’s surrounded with the things that her ancestors have loved as well.

Today, let’s look at the area around the window.

Every baby’s room needs a comfy rocking chair for comforting and bedtime stories.

A little table holds both essentials and accessories.

And what child’s room would be complete without a basket of books?

Ahh, True Blood…

Whip ’em out!

Repurpose! Knee-socks into Baby Leg Warmers

Have you got a baby with cold legs?  Have you got some old knee-socks that you’ve practically walked right through?  You could buy some fancy baby leg warmers for upwards of $10 a pop, or you could make your own!  I loved this project partly because I was able to complete the whole thing with photographs in under one nap (45 minutes).

I have been accused of hoarding socks in the past, and I will admit that I tend to keep them way past their prime.  I can’t help it – I love socks.  Funky, colorful, super-soft, warm… socks are pretty awesome.  And now that I’ve found a use for the ones that  somebody says I need to get rid of, vengeance is mine!

Ok, back to the tutorial.  First, track down some old socks.  Holes in the toes?  Heels threadbare?  No problem.  I found these old cuties buried in my sock drawer and thought, “The bambina would love pink and red argyle leg warmers!”  (Yep, they’re Valentine socks.  Quite possibly my favorite variety.)

Find the place where the leg meets the heel.   If your socks have a different color heel than leg, then you’ve got a super easy job!  If not, look for where the stitches change.  In mine, the stitches of the heel were smoother than the leg.

Your goal is to cut across the top of the heel.

Then, go ahead and cut straight across from there.

Flip it inside out.

Roll the cut edge up (or down, depending on how you have the sock laying in front of you) about 1/2 inch.  Then, flip under the cut edge up to the fold.  You’re effectively creating a roll that is about 1/4 inch that encases the cut edge.  (It was much easier to do it this way than to try to fold 1/4 inch and then fold over another 1/4 inch.  But if your sock makes it easier to do it that more traditional way, then more power to you!)  Pin the roll in place.

Grab some elastic thread.  Yep, you really do want elastic thread.  That will help maintain the stretchiness of the sock.  I found this in the elastic section (not the thread section) of my local fabrics and crafts store.

Cut yourself a piece of elastic that’s about four times the width of the sock (enough to wrap around twice without stretching).  Find a big old needle with an eye big enough to fit the elastic thread through.  (I think this was one I bought for tying quilts.)  Make one stitch through the roll and tie off the end, leaving a couple inches tail.  Use a slip stitch to sew the rolled hem down to the leg.  Pull the elastic taut, but don’t stretch it as you go.  Work your way around the sock, then tie the string to the tail you left at the beginning and trim off the extra.

Turn it right side out and you’re done!  Now, go make the other one!

DIY baby leg warmers!

“I love them, Mamma!”

Also useful as detachable sleeves!

Hey, take my picture, too!