Thursday, November 17, 2011

Robyn's Must Haves

I thought it would be fun for the Top to Bottom family to share our "must have" lists for cloth diapering.  Each of us has a very different selection of things on our lists and I would be shocked if both Jess and I had anything alike.  If you don't know us personally, we are essential opposites in a lot of things (which makes for a great pair!)  It is almost hilarious to see the differences between us--that is no different when it comes to cloth diaper preferences! 

To start us off, I am going to share my must have list.  These are in no particular order, just however my pregnant brain thinks of them :)

1. Eco Sprout cloth diaper detergent-- We use it for EVERYTHING at our house from diapers and wipes to kids and adult clothes and towels!  We keep the 96 load bag in a two supply at our house, just to make sure we don't get low!

2.  Thirsties Fab Wipes-- These things are the softest wipes!  We use them for cloth wipes, for face wiping, for bath time--everything.  We still have the first wipes we purchased 3 1/2 years ago  and they are in fabulous shape still--they are made to last!

3.  Thirsties Duo Wrap-- While we are on the topic of Thirsties, I will go ahead and share one of my favorite diaper covers.  Again, we bought ours nearly 3 years ago and they are in great shape, ready to use on baby #4 when he fits into them.  We never have leaks with them and have no complaints!

4.  Weehuggers Laundry Bags-- Newer to the market, these bags are AMAZING.  I am a big bag fan so I knew these would be right up my alley and I was not disappointed.  The patch inside this bag serves the purpose of eliminating the poo order--essential with a kiddo who poos four times a day like mine always has.  This bag is a must have.

5.  Diaper Sprayer-- Some moms say they could do without....I could not.  As I mentioned, the babies at our house love to poop and, as a result, I like to have something to peel the poop right off the diaper and the diaper sprayer peels it right off--no dunk and swish, no soaking, spray and it's off.  Fabulous :)

6.  Bummis TotBot Easy Fit diapers-- Holy cow....these diapers were not the first diapers I started with but they have become my stash and my go to diaper of choice.  My husband would agree, these diapers are fabulous.  They are easy peasy and the most daycare friendly diaper ever!

7.  CJ's BUTTer-- If you know me, you know my love of CJ's.  We have three sensitive kiddos in the house currently and we use it for EVERYTHING from diaper rash solution to ezcema, hand cream--everything, no joke.  It also makes a great solution to those baby chapped cheeks in the winter.  We keep a good three or four around the house just for easy access and it comes in a variety of packaging---whatever you prefer :)

8.  Rumparooz Pail Liner-- At first, I was not sold on pail liners but Jess changed my mind with the Rumparooz pail liner.  I got my first one in Monster print (which scares Jess, hehe) and soon got a second print (Robotronic :) ) for when the first is in the wash.  I leave it in a trash can without a lid--yeah--no lid....and guess what?  No smell... it's heavenly, I swear.

9.  Ju Ju Be diaper bag-- This is a FABULOUS diaper bag for a cloth diapering mama (or dad!).  Again, I am a big bag fan so this is my kind of bag.  The Ju Ju Be brand holds cloth diapers and the accessories so well--even x2!

10.  EcoSprouts Bottom Spray-- This is always in our diaper bag.  I used to wet wipes and carry them in a small wet bag when we would leave the house (we don't ever use disposable wipes because I am cheap...and too much of a treehugger---to a fault, actually) but, after a few times of forgetting and having to wet the wipes by dumping water from a water bottle, we opted to carry a pre-made wipe solution.  This solution does the trick and we don't leave home without it now!

There you have my top ten must have products.  This is just my list of my favorite cloth diapering products (and what we always have on hand).  What are YOUR favorites and must haves?

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Packing for the Hospital-Green Edition

Any of you who know me know that I am first and foremost a planner. I like to have things planned out way in advance. I carry a calendar wherever I go and keep my phone calendar up to date. I plan out my daughter's school lunches for the week on Sunday, etc. You get where I am going here, right? I like things figured out in advance.

This is no different when it comes to adding another person to our family. My babies tend to come early (35, 36, and 37 weeks so far) so I like to have my hospital bag packed by 35 weeks just in case. As I am 37 weeks with this little guy tomorrow {he must know my love of order and is shooting for 38....that's my theory anyway}, I packed my bag a few weeks back.

When we had Mara, we planned to cloth diaper from the get go. That didn't happen since she was rushed to the NICU and was there for over two weeks. At the time, I didn't have newborn diapers to fit her as she didn't take to feedings well, etc. I was, in no way, prepared to be a NICU mom with my closest to term baby. This time around, I have been planning on the newborn cloth diaper front for awhile but that is a separate post. Another thing I have planned for is my own green postpartum supplies.

This time around, instead of "paper" pads, full of chemicals, I am using cloth pads. For the hospital, I ordered Pink Daisy size Large pads and am mixing them up with my Weeessentials size Large pads. I find the pads in the hospital to be massive and uncomfortable, especially (and I am about to get a bit TMI here but, come on, we are all mamas and dads...we know how this goes or have at least heard about it) after a c-section when you are not as mobile as you were before pregnancy. After having gone through this three times, I am hoping these work much better and I know they are far more eco friendly.

Another addition to my bag are my Pink Daisy and Itzy Ritzy cloth nursing pads. With Mara, I used cloth nursing pads and loved them. I find the paper alternative to be uncomfortable and, well, they stick to me and I don't dig that when I have to wear those puppies quite often. I refreshed my stash with these two new brands for baby #4 and have heard nothing but fabulous things about them.

Also in the nursing department, Jess has sold me on the Undercover Mama nursing tanks. These things are amazing. Rather than wearing a bazillion layers, I can wear my nursing bra and attach the tank to the bra--keeping my tummy covered and making nursing or pumping discreet. Win-win in my book. I am excited to try the Undercover Mama tanks as I had just the plain nursing tanks in the past. They work fine and all but I feel that they just add to the layers--bra, tank bra, tank, regular know? Also, as a bigger chested person, finding a nursing bra without the built in bra part is difficult and lord knows those tanks are not made for the DDD+ mama. This won't be a problem with the Undercover Mama, that thing has already been tried on pregnant and it is heaven to wear.

These are some of the eco-friendly and/or crunchy mama goodies I have packed in my hospital bag for when we head in to welcome our fourth into the world. Obviously cloth diapers, wipes, and my wetbags are in there too but like I said, that is for a later post--full of baby pictures and diapers (and none of me because this mama is likely to be a hot mess after #4 arrives). What do you pack in your hospital bag that fellow crunchy mamas may want to know about?