Monday, February 28, 2011

U-Ra-Ra

Dear Delilah,

When you were just a tiny wee baby, we took you to one of your Uncle (Unc) Rudy's basketball games. You slept through the whole entire thing. Whistles, cheers, and buzzers couldn't stir you. More recently, sounds like whistles, buzzers, and loud cheers startled and frightened you. Last summer, we took you to one of the local team's baseball games, and I started to dread each run, knowing that the eruption of cheers and applause would get you screaming in fear.

Given your more recent aversion to sudden loud noises and outbursts of applause, I wasn't sure how you'd handle going to Unc's basketball tournament this past weekend. Knowing it was the last chance we'd have to watch Unc play with the boys I've been watching him play with since he was in 3rd grade, since he's headed to a different high school than the rest of them next year, we had to give it a shot and see how you'd hold up.

Once again, you've proven yourself to be quite a trooper. Your Grandma is the loudest fan of all, and while you jumped a little bit the first few times she cheered, you quickly adjusted and started clapping and hollering along with the crowd.

Click Collage to Enlarge
The team won all of their games, coming in second in the tournament. After all was said and done, you joined us for a little celebration at a local sports bar, and held your own amongst the noise and commotion there, too.


 While that was the last time we'll get to see Unc play with that team, there will be no shortage of sports events to go and support him at. I'm already looking forward to what is becoming an annual family getaway for a baseball tournament in June. You weren't quite big enough to truly enjoy or appreciate it last year, but this year, I can't wait to see all the fun in store for you!

Love,

Mama


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Saturday, February 26, 2011

I Love the Flower Girl

Dear Delilah,

Your first real New Year's Eve party (you were just shy of 2 months old on your first official New Year's Eve, so it wasn't much of a party!) was the best kind of party there is. A wedding! We rang in the New Year with a celebration of your Aunt Janelle and Uncle Jamie's love, and I might be biased, but I'm pretty sure you were the most beautiful flower girl who ever flower girled.

(Click Collage to Enlarge)
Photos by DMB Photography
You were such a delight, and perhaps the most popular member of the wedding party, save for the bride of course!

Love,

Mama



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Friday, February 25, 2011

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Illy Dilly

Dear Delilah,

These past few days (oh wow, I guess it's almost a week now!) have been full of ups and downs. After a relatively normal day on Friday, the tide shifted at dinner time and we had a 'first' that we weren't anticipating. Our first trip to the emergency room. Looking back, it may have been an overreaction (although my friends have been quick to reassure me that there is no such thing when it comes to the health and wellbeing of your child), but when you started shivering and shuddering and just generally not acting like yourself, your father and I panicked a bit.

You've been an exceptionally healthy little girl; I don't think you've ever even had a sniffle that didn't disappear with a single little squirt of breastmilk up the nose, so we were completely out of our element. The emergency room is no place to spend a Friday night, that's for sure. I won't say that everyone was rough with you, but I will say that no one was gentle.

Your only experiences in a medical setting have been with our family practice doctor, who is always gentle and warm in his care, explaining to you (and us) every step of his exam. The emergency room does not offer that sort of care, nor are they particularly understanding or supportive of parents who don't adhere blindly to every aspect of modern western medicine. We got suspicious or annoyed looks when answering questions about your immunization history, (Yes, she's up to date based on our selective/alternative vaccination schedule). When the doctor suggested that we catheterize you to obtain a urine sample to rule out a UTI, he seemed surprised when I inquired as to what other symptoms might suggest a UTI was a concern, and downright dismissive of us when we opted not to consent to the procedure.

We got you back home with as little trauma as possible, trying not to over-analyze the experience in our mental processing of it. Your father and I, we're talkers, and no dead horse is safe once we get going! The next few days were touch and go. You were tired, fussy, and clingy, and your fever waxed and waned with each passing day. While you're still more tired than usual, you've been fever-free for over 48 hours now and seem to be on the path to your former self.


This first illness of yours, as mild as it was in the grand scheme thing of things, has brought me to a place of gratitude. I'm thankful for instructors who are willing to provide me with what I'll miss in class so that I can stay home to nurse you back to health. I'm thankful for co-workers who take over for me so I can stay home to snuggle the baby who only wants her mama.  I'm thankful that my body makes breastmilk, the only thing I could count on you to fill your belly with. I'm thankful for your father, an equal partner in parenting, who took over when I was feeling overwhelmed or touched-out.

Most of all, I am so, so grateful for your overall health and wellbeing. This little bug, whatever it was, was nothing compared to what some babies and their parents endure. Every day, I see or read a heart-wrenching story about critically or fatally ill babies and children and the parents who fight so hard to advocate for them. Your health is such a blessing, one that I have all too often taken for granted. As I snuggled your warm little body, stroking your hair while you replenished your system with my milk, I looked into your sleepy little eyes and was overcome with relief knowing how healthy, happy, and well cared for you are.

Love,

Mama



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Wednesday, February 23, 2011

What's What Wednesday: Traveling with Cloth

Many cloth diapering families switch to disposables when traveling. Using cloth diapers may not be feasible in all travel situations, but we've found that for weekend getaways by road, using cloth diapers is relatively easy to manage. Here are my tips for traveling with cloth diapers:

Either pack enough diapers to last the trip or make sure laundry facilities will be available. We have enough diapers to go 3-4 days without doing laundry, so for long weekends away, we make diaper laundry the last thing we do before we leave and bring every single clean diaper we own. We've packed our diapers a variety of ways. We've dedicated a large suitcase to them, packed them into clean wetbags, and brought them in laundry baskets. If feasible, I recommend the laundry basket route. It keeps them easily accessible in hotel rooms and leaves you with empty laundry baskets to bring home dirty clothes, souvenirs, or shopping bags.

We also bring both of our large and our XXL wetbags to make sure we have enough space to store dirty diapers in. Using high quality wetbags also ensures that riding home with dirty diapers won't be a stinky experience! Lastly, don't forget the wipes! If you use cloth wipes, make sure you have enough to last and pack your wipe solution if you use it.

While we have no complaints about travelling with cloth, there are some possible drawbacks to consider. The main one is that cloth diapers take up a lot more space than disposables. We have a minivan, so it isn't issue for us, but if you've got limited space in your vehicle (or are flying), the space required is a consideration. If you run out of diapers, you'll either have to find a way to wash them or buy disposables (or more cloth!). Finally, you'll come home with oodles of dirty diapers to wash; not everyone's idea of a relaxing end to a weekend away!

For us, the benefits outweigh the drawbacks...if we end up flying anywhere or taking a longer vacation while Delilah's still in diapers, I'll be sure to report back! If any of you have tips for flying or longer trips with cloth, I'd love to hear them!

--This is the last in a series of cloth diaper related 'What's What Wednesday' posts. Previous posts in this series covered the reasons why we cloth diaper, an overview of the different types of modern cloth diapers, the basic information necessary to get started with cloth diapering, and tackling diaper laundry.  


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Monday, February 21, 2011

Ugly Betty the Abandoned Puppy

Since I'm too exhausted from nursing a sick little Delilah back to tip-top shape to write much of interest, I bring you a good ol' tug at the heart strings with the tale of Ugly Betty.



When a friend posted on his facebook page that he'd found an abandoned puppy in rough shape by his mailbox, complete with photos of exactly what he meant by "rough shape", my water works started flowing. It's no secret that I love animals, so it breaks my heart to hear of sick and injured domesticated animals being abandoned to fend for themselves against the elements.

Fortunately, my friend not only has a heart of gold, but a generous spirit. While he's not in a position to make her his own (or so he says now, but I've got a feeling there may be love brewing over there!) he couldn't bear the thought of dropping her off at a shelter, fate unknown. So he took her in, fed her, cleaned her up a bit, and took her to the vet to find out the extent of her medical issues. He was given a variety of pills and potions just to get her healthy enough so that she could be treated for mange. That first vet bill (even with a free bag of dog food and a discount) came to $157, and the vet estimated that it would take a month or two before she'll get a clean bill of health.

That was making a long story relatively short, but there's much more info on the saga of Ugly Betty on the facebook page my friend dedicated to her at the request of her fans and supporters. If you are able to spare a dollar or two (or 5 or 10!) to help offset the cost of her care while she mends up in hopes of finding her forever home, you can do so at her donation page. You can further help by spreading the word by sharing or linking to her facebook page, donation page, or this post. Let's help turn Ugly Betty into Happy Healthy Beautiful Betty! :)


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Saturday, February 19, 2011

A Day in Delilah's Life: 2/18/11

Darlena at Tales of Unlikely Mother challenged her readers to do a DITL (Day in the Life) photo project. I accepted the challenge, and without further ado, here is (most of) a day in Delilah's life, February 18, 2011!












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Wednesday, February 16, 2011

What's What Wednesday: Cloth Diaper Laundry

One of the main things that holds people back from using cloth diapers is the matter of cleaning them. There’s always the option of using a diaper service to take care of the dirty work, but washing diapers at home doesn’t have to mean much extra work once you figure out the laundry routine that works best for your situation.


The most burning question is usually "What do you do with the poop?!" Well, it depends. Delilah was exclusively breastfed until she was 6 months old. Breast milk poop is water soluble, so her dirty diapers just went straight into the laundry with no preparation or poop removal. I'm not sure whether or not formula poop is water soluble, so if any of my readers have experience with that, please let me know! When babies start eating solid food, their poop goes through some pretty nasty and weird changes. Fortunately, Delilah is at the point that most of her solid waste is in fact solid, and can just be shaken right off of the diaper and into the toilet. During the few months of transition from breast milk poop to solid poop, we used a diaper sprayer like this one to spray it off into the toilet. Some people scrape it into the toilet using a spatula, others use toilet paper to wipe it off. Enough about poop, yes?

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

The Mysteriously Missing Ruby Slippers

Dear Delilah,

Your Valentine's day outfit reminded me of the story of your very first shoes, a red sparkly pair that Grandma Bev bought for you before there was even a 'you' to speak of.


Oh, those red sparkly shoes in the pictures? Those aren't them. Let me explain.

About a hundred years ago (okay, maybe it was only 7 or 8 years ago, but in many ways, it feels like a lifetime!) Grandma took Aunt Janelle and I to do some holiday shopping along with long-time family friends. At our first stop, we happened upon the most adorable pair of sparkly red baby girl shoes you could ever imagine. They reminded me of the famous 'ruby slippers' from the Wizard of Oz, which I can't wait to watch with you, by the way.

We oohed and aahed over those precious little shoes, wracking our brains for someone we could gift them to. When we failed to think of anyone who was expecting a baby girl, Aunt Janelle and I talked your Grandma into buying them anyway. Grandma decided to go ahead and buy them; then she dangled them in front of us and said "Whoever has a baby girl first gets them!" Your Grandma has been wanting to be a Grandmother for ages, and she packed those shoes away dreaming of the baby girl who would one day fill them.

Aunt Janelle and I were both in different relationships at that time then we are now. Whether or not I'd even met your father yet is a matter of debate. (He remembers meeting me in 2003, but I swear we didn't meet until 2005.) Those snazzy shoes stayed tucked away through ups and downs, broken hearts, and new love...and they remained tucked away throughout my pregnancy, and are presumably tucked away somewhere still today.

You see, shortly after we found out that you would be a girl, I started pestering Grandma about the ruby slippers. She swears up and down that she's looked everywhere time and again, but she must have packed them away so securely that they've become camouflaged in a sea of long forgotten items.

While her memory of where precious items have been stored may leave a bit to be desired, she is a woman of her word. She would not rest until her first grand-baby was the rightful owner of the ruby slippers that were her birthright. By just as much chance as we happened upon the first pair, she happened upon a similar pair during her holiday shopping last year, and presented them to you for Christmas. As luck often has it, I'm sure we'll find the original pair just as soon as your dainty little feet are too big for them! Anytime you find yourself questioning whether or not you are wanted this earth, I'll be sure to remind you of the tale of the sparkly red shoes.

Love,

Mama



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Monday, February 14, 2011

You Make My Heart Sing

Dear Delilah,

Today is a Valentine's day, a day for buying Hallmark cards, processed sugar, and over-priced roses celebrating love. Many people in my circle of friends and family are fond of saying that 'Every day should be Valentines Day!' and I agree with the sentiment that expressions of love should not be limited to one day out of the year. Personally, I'm not terribly fond of traditional Valentine gifts anyway, and the holiday reeks not only of mindless consumerism, but of sexism and implied heterosexuality, all of which leave a worse taste in my mouth than those chalky 'conversation' heart candies.

Still, I might have thought that becoming a parent might make this 'holiday' more important. I assumed that the responsibility and exhaustion that are par for the course in parenting would cause traditional romance to suffer and make your father and I more likely to take each other for granted. What I have found instead is that our sense of romance has evolved and that we appreciate each other in different ways.

In you, our beloved daughter, we have an ever-present reminder of the strength of our love and for our unbridled passion for each other. We have always considered ourselves a team, but that partnership has grown exponentially since you were conceived. A few nights ago, we reminisced about the early days when we had just started dating. A lot has changed since then, and instead of just kicking the date off, dinner and movie is now the entire date. A romantic dinner at home is punctuated with your babbling and throwing food on the floor. A 'late night' refers to a game of Scrabble that lasts until 11:00 p.m. rather than dancing to live local music until 3:00 a.m.

The important things are still going strong. Our relationship was built on laughter, love, and music, and those themes are still woven throughout our daily lives. We make up songs about you and about our activities throughout the day, and this house is always filled with laughter. These days, it's not uncommon for us to spend that precious window of time between your bedtime and our own conversing about how much we love our little family, and how very blessed and fortunate we are to have each other and to have you. We look over photos of you with tears of joy moistening our eyes, marveling at how much you've grown and changed since your birth, and talking each other out of going to wake you up just so we can snuggle with you.

Every day, I am reminded that I am loved. Every day, your father tells me that I'm a wonderful wife and a good mother. Every day he shows his appreciation for me. Every human being should be so lucky as to experience the sort of love your father and I share. Every day is Valentine's Day.


Even though I didn't need a special day to be reminded of how lucky in love I am, it sure was nice to have an excuse to put you in this valentine dress that Auntie Em brought over for you this weekend. I love you little girl. Happy Valentine's Day.

Love,

Mama

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Saturday, February 12, 2011

The Antidote to No

Dear Delilah,

Your new favorite word ('No!') has been counteracted by your new favorite activity ('Bring it to Mama!'). You have discovered the apparent joy in bringing things to me upon my request. What's not to love about that? If you happen to get your hands on something you shouldn't have, (or, say, tear a page out of a book with the intention of snacking on it) all I have to do is smile and say 'Bring it to Mama!' You make your way over with a smile on your face and happily give up the offending item, placing it in my hand with a look of satisfaction dancing across your face. My cheerful 'Thank you!' is the only reward you seek in return.

While 'No' is forever, I predict that the inherent fun in carrying stuff over to mama will wear off relatively quickly. I'll relish this phase while it lasts. In the mean time, maybe you can teach Sadie a thing or two about fetching.


She's never been much of a retriever!

Love,

Mama



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Thursday, February 10, 2011

Choose Love

Dear Delilah,

Two simple words. Love. Hate. These words identify the two most powerful emotions of the human experience. Despite the sheer weight that these two words carry, they are tossed about thoughtlessly, frivolously, day in and day out. I'm guilty of it myself. "I love that movie!" "I hate the cold!"

Rather than using them to label the potent feelings they are intended to describe, we often use these two words as a measure of comfort level. If something makes us feel comfortable, we love it. If it makes us feel uncomfortable, we hate it. This goes beyond far beyond physical levels of comfort. Especially with 'hate', which we also often use against things we don't fully understand.

Despite the carelessness with which we throw these words around, their power remains intact. This is never more clear than when the word 'hate' is used against groups of people. Every day, I hear someone claim their hatred toward one group of people or another. Some hate teachers. Some hate politicians. Lawyers. Doctors. Those groups are hated for choices they've made in their careers or behaviors, and for the stereotypes about those choices. Other groups, however, are hated for characteristics that they had no choice over. There are people who hate women. Homosexuals. People of color. There are those who hate people for their beliefs. Jews. Muslims. Christians.

It seems like it's almost too simple to dismiss groups of people who make us uncomfortable, or who we don't understand, but it's not simple at all. If I've learned one thing about 'hate' in my 30+ years on this planet, it's that it takes a lot of energy, and it sure as hell isn't positive energy. If there's one thing I've learned about love, it's that every single person is worthy of it. No matter their beliefs, their thoughts, their behaviors, their appearance, or the various characteristics with which they were born, every person deserves to be loved.

Two of the core values that I strive to live and model are those of compassion toward all living things and embracing diversity in all of its forms. The career I've chosen has provided me with endless opportunities to develop those qualities within myself. Even in individuals who have committed the most heinous crimes, there is something to love.

I have a choice. I can put my focus on hating their crime or hating them for committing it. Because I don't understand it. Because it makes me uncomfortable. Or I can put forth the effort required to search within them for the human being deserving of my love and compassion. If I am capable of finding love and compassion for even violent offenders, surely I can look past my differences with those who think, believe, behave, look, or love differently than I do to see the human being inside of them deserving of my love and compassion.


In the words of Martin Luther King Jr.:
I have decided to stick with love.
Hate is too great a burden to bear.

I choose love. Love beats hate. Every time.

Love,

Mama



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--This post was written as part of the Love Beats Hate blog campaign, a blogging event designed to shine a spotlight on the power of love and the importance of speaking out on behalf of marginalized populations.





Tuesday, February 8, 2011

My Parenting Must-Have: Support

Welcome to the February Carnival of Natural Parenting: Parenting Essentials
This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Carnival of Natural Parenting hosted by Code Name: Mama and Hobo Mama. This month our participants have shared the parenting essentials that they could not live without. Please read to the end to find a list of links to the other carnival participants.
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Dear Delilah,

When I think about what is essential to parenting, it isn't a product or book that comes to mind. It is not something that can be touched or measured, but it certainly is something that can be passed on to others. The one and only thing that I cannot imagine parenting without is support.

The support that I'm referring to has come in a variety of forms. Support was your father joining me for a breastfeeding class and helping me pick out cloth diapers. Support was your Grandma Laurel scouring garage sales for great finds. Support was your Grandma Bev caring for you while I went to class. It was my friend Jesse being willing to admit you to her daycare on a sporadic drop-in basis. It was your Aunt Janelle and Uncle Jamie giving up their Saturday to watch you yesterday when your father and I both had all-day obligations.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

That Dreaded Two Letter Word

Dear Delilah,

I've tried to limit how much I say 'no' to you, attempting instead to redirect your attention away from whatever you might be doing that I'd exclaim "No!" to. I won't pretend I've never said 'No', or its variants like 'Don't!' or 'uhn-uh!' or 'Absolutely not!'. I suppose I should be grateful that your first would wasn't 'No', as I've heard is the case for many babies.

Perhaps it was my laziness the other night that really drove home the meaning of the word for you. I've been battling a sinus cold, and I simply didn't have the energy to keep redirecting you when you got into things that were potentially messy or unsafe. I started saying a stern 'No!' with an emphatic shake of my head before removing your hands (or whole self, as the case may have been) from the offending object or situation.

The very next morning, you started trying 'No' on for size yourself. At breakfast, I offered you a banana. "Nuh." "You don't want it?" I asked, offering again. This time your "Nuh!" was accompanied by a vigorous shaking of the head as you threw the banana on the floor. How about toast? "Nuh!" Eggs? "Nuh!" Yogurt? "Mmmmmm." Yogurt it was, then.

You seem to enjoy the newfound sense of power that comes along with 'No'. It's a powerful word, really. It can be used an expression of disgust or disbelief, a way to decline an offer, or a way to communicate displeasure with a current or proposed activity. You like it so much that you even enjoy practicing it to yourself. This morning as you started stirring from sleep, I heard you over the baby monitor gleefully declaring "Nuh!" "Nuh! Nuh! Nuuuuuh!" with increasing volume and intensity.

video

I can't help but giggle at the sheer joy you're experiencing since you've discovered 'No', but teaching you the meaning of "Yes" just jumped right to the top of my list of priorities.

Love,

Mama


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Friday, February 4, 2011

Featured Item Friday: Sarah's Stitches Wetbags

This review has moved! You can find it HERE on Fine and Fair's Favorites!



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Thursday, February 3, 2011

Talkin' 'bout My Generation

Dear Delilah,

If I'm relying on Wikipedia, and I usually don't, you were born at the tail end of "Generation Z". A big part of that is in reference to the advancement of technology that you were born into and the level of "connection" people of your generation will experience. Your generation will be shaped by the political and world events that happen throughout your childhood and adolescence, the way that your father and I (born at the tail end of "Generation X") were shaped by events such as the shooting of President Reagan, Bill Clinton playing the Saxophone on Arsenio Hall, and the wild-fire like spread of the internet.

In one of my classes the other day, we had a brief discussion on how the current availability of and reliance on technology will impact the learning and education of 'kids these days'. When I was growing up, there was not a computer in every class room, much less in every home. I remember playing Oregon Trail on the gigantic computers in my middle school's computer lab and saving files to a floppy disk when "floppy" literally meant, well, floppy. If there was such a thing as lap-tops like the one I'm writing this on right now, they must have only belonged to the government or the extremely rich, because I don't remember seeing them!

I remember when your Grandpa Rudy was on the cutting edge of technology, having had a car phone installed in his truck. This was not like the highly portable cell phones that are the norm today, it was tethered to the vehicle!

You are growing up in a time when nearly every household has at least one computer, and nearly every American over the age of 16 (and many under the age of 16) has a cell phone. When I was a kid, playing outside with the neighborhood kids, moms and dads whistled, rang bells, and shouted to signal their children that it was time to come home. Today, parents text their kids instead.

While I try to avoid over-exposing you to technology and media, it's obvious that you're already picking up on the integral role that it plays in our lives:

video

You look eerily natural plunking away on the keyboard and tapping the touchpad with ease. My favorite is the way you adjust the screen. While this video is cute, it's also a little bit scary to me. The instant availability of entertainment and information is a double edged sword. I don't want you to miss out on the experience of having an afternoon of fun picking dandelions and making bouquets and crowns out of them. I don't want you think books irrelevant, or for critical thinking to be an antiquated skill that is lost on you. I must be mindful of the role that technology and media play in my own life, and remember that you will learn what you see.

I look forward to the warmer days ahead, so that I can see you mimic me planting seeds and pulling weeds, rather than mimic me putzing around on the internet. On that note, I had best wrap this up and join you on the floor for our own little drum circle, before you tire of your drum and wander over to see what mama's staring at on that shiny screen now.

Love,

Mama


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Wednesday, February 2, 2011

What's What Wednesday: Cloth Diapers-Beyond Prefolds and Pins

Cloth Diapers have come a long way since the days of pins and rubber pants. (Although if you really want them, they can still be found!) Some modern cloth diapering families choose to keep it simple and stick with just one type of diaper, while others run the gamut of options, choosing different types for different purposes or circumstances. If you're new to cloth diapering, all of the options can be overwhelming, so I'll do my best to break them down and simplify the whole thing without showing my bias too much. ;)

Prefolds
Prefold diapers are usually the first thing that comes to mind when someone mentions cloth diapers. These are the "old fashioned" diapers that people associate with pins and rubber pants. Prefolds are rectangular pieces of fabric sewn with more layers in the center (as opposed to flat diapers, which needed to be folded to make the center section more aborbant-this is where the term "prefold" comes from). They are typically made from natural fibers like cotton or hemp, and can be purchased bleached, un-bleached (my personal preference), or even dyed in a variety of colors or patterns! Prefolds come in a variety of sizes to fit babies of all ages and shapes and are a very versatile. As the least expensive cloth diapers out there, they are a very economical choice. Prefold diapers require covers, and most people prefer something with which to fasten the diapers. Snappis are a popular choice, but I'll go into more detail about accessories like these next week. Here's a photo of Delilah in a prefold diaper with a Brookie Baby cover over it:


Fitteds
Like prefolds, "Fitted" diapers are usually made from absorbent natural fibers and are not water proof. Fitted diapers are designed to be used without having to fold them; they are "fitted" to the shape of a baby and are more similar in shape to disposable diapers. There is much more variety with fitted diapers in terms of colors, prints, and absorbency. Most fitted diapers are made with snap or velcro closures, although some can be fastened with Snappis or pins for a more customized fit. Many parents prefer fitted diapers for newborns since they contain messy newborn poop a bit better than prefolds do. Fitted diapers come in both sized and one-size-fits-most options. (I'll explain more about the difference in those next week!) Fitted diapers cost more than prefold diapers, with a range from a few dollars each to upwards of $30 each for high-end diapers. Since they aren't waterproof, fitted diapers usually require a cover. That said, I go without covers when Delilah isn't wearing pants over them and find them to be remarkably absorbent. The diaper she is wearing here is a Goodmama fitted diaper without a cover:


All-in-Ones/All-in-Twos
All-in-one ("AIO") diapers are so named because they are constructed with a water-proof outer layer, absorbent inner layer(s), and snap or velcro-type closures. Since they do not require covers or fasteners, they are "all in one"! All-in-two ("AI2") diapers usually have a snap-in or lay-in insert which simplifies laundering and reduces drying time. AIO (or AI2) diapers are very similar to disposables in form and function, and are often the diaper of choice for babysitters and daycare providers. They are available in a variety of different styles, colors, and materials and come in both sized and one-size-fits-most options. AIOs are a pricier option than prefolds or basic fitteds, but have the advantage of not requiring additional accessories like covers or fasteners. We've had good luck with Bottom Bumpers and Imse Vimse all-in-one diapers. Here's itty-bitty 2 month old Delilah in a Bottom Bumpers AIO:


Pockets
Last but not least, Pocket diapers usually have a waterproof outer layer, a stay-dry inner layer, and a "pocket" between the two layers to stuff with an absorbent insert. Pocket diapers are a popular choice for ease of use and because the pocket allows for customizable absorbency since it can be stuffed with multiple inserts if necessary. (We stuff with two for overnight.) Like AIOs, pocket diapers do not require a cover or fastener and are very similar in form and function to disposable diapers. They are available in a wide range of price points, sized or one-size-fits-most options, and in a variety of colors, prints, and materials. You already know how in love I am with Knickernappies One Size pocket diapers, but just in case, here is a recent photo of Delilah wearing one:


Modern makers of cloth diapers are constantly improving on the design and ease of use of cloth diapers. With so many options available that fit within any budget, cloth diapers are truly an economical choice that doesn't have to be any more difficult than using disposable diapers!


--This is the second in a series of cloth diapering related 'What's What Wednesday' posts. Last week, I explained why we chose cloth diapers. For all posts in this series CLICK HERE!

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