What’s in Our Diaper Bag?

Diaper Bag Tour -- www.mommyzoid.com

I have always been one to either forget all the important stuff or over-pack. Thankfully since becoming a mom, I’m doing more of the latter and less of the former. When it comes to our diaper bag, I am a stickler for keeping it organized and having a place for everything. The Ju-Ju-Be Be Prepared makes this possible. It’s got more pockets and pouches than you can shake a stick at.

For a cloth diapering family, this bag gives us ample room to stick all those big fluffy diapers. Our previous bag wasn’t cutting the mustard when it came to carrying cloth diapers. Either the diapers or the bag had to go and guess who stuck around. The bag comes from JuJuBe’s new Legacy line. The whole line is very elegant and classy. I love that they are very neutral in colour (read: go with anything). This bag is my new purse so it can’t clash with my outfit, ya hear?

Diaper Bag Tour -- www.mommyzoid.com

If you think the outside of the bag is insanely awesome and to die for, the inside will blow your socks off!

Diaper Bag Tour -- www.mommyzoid.com

In the top pouch we keep garbage bags and our wet bag. I made this wet bag using scrap fabric from our decorative throw pillows on the couch and it’s lined with PUL which is a waterproof fabric used in the cloth diapering world.

There are four pockets on the top of the inside of the bag. In one of them we keep a change of clothes (onesie, socks, shorts, etc.) and in another we keep sunglasses, a hat, and a bibdana. On the other side of the bag we keep Homemade Organics by Jen diaper cream, back up soothers, baby tylenol, a liquid tylenol syringe and some baby wash clothes for messes.

Inside the main bag we keep a “hooter-hider” for breastfeeding, an Aden + Anais swaddle blanket , a jacket or sweater, several Charlie Banana cloth diapers, back up disposable diapers, Huggies Clutch N Clean , and of course Sophie the Giraffe.

Diaper Bag Tour -- www.mommyzoid.com

There are two pouches on the inside perfect for bottles. We usually stash some Enfamil single serve packets along with some empty bottles. On the outside of the bag there is an insulated pocket on either end of the bag I use to hold pumped breast milk with a small ice pack to keep it cool.

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On the very front of the bag is the “mommy pocket”. In it I keep my car keys, wallet, coupons (such a mom!), cell phone and sunglasses.

Diaper Bag Tour -- www.mommyzoid.com

Diaper Bag Tour -- www.mommyzoid.com

Wooph. That’s a lot of stuff. But such is the life of a mom, am I right?

What are your diaper bag must haves? Do you think I pack to much!?

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PS:  I’ll be linking up here with hundreds of other bloggers to share our work!

Diaper Laundry: Our Routine at the Cottage

Cloth Diaper Laundry: Cottage Edition via www.mommyzoid.com

 

We’ve been using cloth on Oliver since he was one day old and I don’t think either of us would have it any other way. It’s been so simple and not as stressful as one would expect. One area you can run into issues is when it comes to washing those suckers. If not done correctly, you can get a whole bunch of different problems that can be annoying to try and trouble shoot. I’m by no means an expert when it comes to cloth but I am learning as we go.

Cloth Diaper Laundry: Cottage Edition via www.mommyzoid.com

For the first few months of our son’s life, we have been living at our families cottage. The cottage does have a washer and dryer which has made things seamless for continuing on with cloth even while we’re not at home. The only downside is the water come straight from the lake so it can have a bit of an odour.

Cloth Diaper Laundry: Cottage Edition via www.mommyzoid.com

 

Cloth Diaper Laundry: Cottage Edition via www.mommyzoid.com

Our routine has been working really well for us. We’re using older style top loaders to do our wash. This matters because the old guys tend to use more water than the new fancy high efficient guys. More water = better in the cloth diaper world. We do a nice cold soak for 30 minutes and end with a spin. Then we do a hot wash, cold rinse, and spin with 2.5 scoops of Nellie’s All Natural Laundry soda We love that Nellies has nothing harmful in it like fragrances or dyes because lets be honest, these diapers touch some pretty sensitive areas. After this we might do another cold rinse and spin to make sure all the soaps out. Then it’s out on the line for a nice sun bleaching or into the dryer if it’s a rotten day. Did you know the sun has the ability to get stains on bright white again? I didn’t know this until I began  cloth diapering. *PRO TIP: sun bleaching works best when the articles are wet.

Cloth Diaper Laundry: Cottage Edition via www.mommyzoid.com

 

Cloth Diaper Laundry: Cottage Edition via www.mommyzoid.com

Easy peasy lemon squeezey! No, we don’t spend half our days doing diaper laundry. It takes up minimal time and saves us SO  much money. We love cloth, it’s worked well for us, and we hope you love it too!

Are you debating using cloth diaper on your children? What are some reasons why you wouldn’t cloth diaper?

Happy Cloth Diapering!

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3 months

Little Ollie is growing up right before our eyes. We are really enjoying celebrating his milestones. 

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This last month he’s really started looking at our faces and is really recognizing family. He knows that faces are how we communicate. He scans up your body until you reaches your face then gives the biggest gummy grin. TOO CUTE. 

He’s also getting extremely strong in his legs. He was always really strong and always liked standing up and weight barring. 

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He had his first laugh this month! Daddy and I were playing with him and laughing when all of a sudden he gave a little chuckle. It wasn’t like his usual cooing and talking it was a “HUH HUH HUH!!”. We started laughing and he did it again! Priceless. Then I bawled my eyes out. SLOW YOUR GROWING DOWN, SON.

He’s been sleeping longer and longer at night. He went from 2 feedings at night to 1 to sleeping ten hours straight! It’s been a remarkable month, sleep wise. 

He is SO alert and always chatting away. I love hearing him babble and blow bubbles. He’s  super happy and very calm. He’s happy to just chill out and take in the sights and sounds.

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August Favorites

With the summer coming to an end, I thought it would be appropriate to share what we’ve found has worked well for our family so far:

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Boba Organic Carrier | JU*JU*BE BePrapared Nellies Laundry Soda | Snuza Hero | Aden + Anais Bamboo Swaddle

 

Boba Organic Cotton Carrier

When I need to use both my hands, I put Ollie in the Boba and away we go. The first time I used it, I nearly cried. When you spend all day alone with a new baby, you tend to skip out on important things like peeing. It sounds crazy but once you’re a mother, those little things go on the back burner. Having a hot, sit down, lunch was the nicest treat! Babies love to be carried close and tend to doze off when in that position. Thank you, Boba.

 

JU-JU-BE BePrepared

I nearly had to sell a few organs to afford my new diaper bag. But I’m in love. It was a treat yo self kind of splurge. The thing I didn’t realize about diaper bags is that they become mom’s purse! That bags with us wherever we go. My previous diaper bag was way too small, especially for his massive cloth diapers. I know we will still be using this bag for years to come. It also makes a great overnighter or carry on as there is no tell tale diaper-bag-ness. Yup, worth every penny!

 

Nellies All Natural Laundry Detergent

We wash all Oliver’s clothes and diapers in Nellies. Maybe it’s a baby thing but he gets red and rashy very easily, although the marks never last long, it’s great to know it isn’t our laundry detergent that’s causing it. A bonus is P’lovers in Kingston (where we are staying with babe for the time being) refills the tins at a discounted price! Lets hope P’lovers in Halifax does the same…

 

Snuza Hero

I can’t say enough about the Snuza. This little sucker clips onto babies diaper while sleeping and will vibrate and sound an alarm to alert us that baby isn’t breathing. This helps us sleep at night knowing if anything were to be happening to him in his crib, we would wake up and help him. I would recommend this to any mom that wants to get a few peaceful hours of sleep.

 

Aden + Anais Bamboo Swaddling Blanket

We never really swaddled our newborn but when we did, it was in an Aden + Anais. These suckers are as soft as butter, look amazing, and double as a great scarf! I love cuddling with his blankies. When he naps, I curl up with one of these and snooze right along beside him. These make a welcome addition to any nursery.

fail to plan and plan to fail

Husband and I decided to take babyzoid into town. Remember town = a boat ride away. and I’m not talking about a ferry boat here. We take a little pleasure craft across Lake Ontario into Kingston. Don’t ask me about what kind of boat. All that matters is that is floats. 

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So in order to go into town with the 3 month old, we need:

  • stroller
  • car seat
  • diaper bag
    • 3 cloth diapers
    • wet bag
    • 2 changes of clothes
    • blanket
    • sophie
    • sou-sou (sp)
    • pre-pumped milk
  • life jacket
  • ear muffs (boats are LOUD)

Now pre-baby we could decide at the drop of a hat to zip into town for ice cream or grocery shopping. Now I have to do as much planning, packing, and preparing as one would do for a 2 week vacation. Not really, but sometimes it feels like it. 

Now I have to worry about things like: WHAT IF IT RAINS? WHAT IF IT GETS TOO HOT? WHAT IF WE RUN OUT OF GAS FOR THE BOAT? WHAT IF WE CAN’T EVER GET BACK TO THE ISLAND AND HELL FREEZES OVER? You know, regular mom stuff.

But the planning and preparing is essential in order to have a successful outing. If I wake up early and rush around getting everything in order, everyone has fun, no one cries, and we all live to tell the world. Now if I’d wung this trip and didn’t prepare it wouldn’t have been such a success. Invest your time wisely and it will give you a good return! 

 

 

Lately I’ve been feeling like my blog is making a slow transition from Mental Health Advocacy to a Mommy blog. I was starring at the front page of my blog this morning, reading my sub-title: A Mental Health Journey. I started thinking about where this journey has taken me and how proud I am to have gone through what I have and had the good sense to document it. From my highest highs to my down right lows it’s all here. This is me and this is my life. 

Right now I’m in a place where I truly feel I was destined to be. Every morning I am so genuinely thrilled to jump out of bed and get my little buddy out of his crib and cover him with kisses. Sure, there’s moments when you’re in the motherhood trenches when it feels like you’ve given all you’ve got yet it’s still not enough. But then you hold them close and they heave a sigh of relief when they finally settle and they shut their eyes and slowly drift off to sleep with that sweet little baby grin that makes it all worth it. 

So in a way it’s more of a life-with-baby-plus-an-anxiety-disorder blog. It’s a category all of its own. Mommy-hood isn’t all Pinterest perfect moments. It’s crazy. It’s hectic. and if you’re not careful your health can easily take a back seat. 

Changes are on the horizon when it comes to Mr Blog. A new name and a fresh new face is just what the doctor ordered! 

 

Living “Off the Grid”…sorta

At four weeks postpartum I packed up my family into our four-door VW Jetta and hit the road for what’s turning out to be an unforgettable summer. 

It started as wishful thinking. Never did I think we’d actually be able to spend Oliver’s first few months living on our families private island in the middle of Lake Ontario. I was excited to have my due date at the start of summer so a) I wasn’t a massive sweaty blob and b) so we’d get to spend time at the cottage visiting the family. We knew we wanted to come at least for a few weeks… but a few weeks turned into 4 months and here we are! We’ll be on the island until Thanksgiving with a little trip to British Columbia to see my family sandwiched in between now and then. 

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This is my husband's family "cottage"

I’m constantly reminded that what I’ve taken on as a brand new mom is what some people would describe as their own kind of hell. And to be perfectly honest living on an island that is only accessed by boat (& that’s weather dependent) with a 4 week old crying infant would have been my brand of hell only a few short months ago, I must admit. It’s as if motherhood has turned me into a…well…MOM! I’m spending four months with my in-laws with no clean drinking water, spiders, and an outhouse. At two in the morning on any given day of the week you’ll find be rocking a baby to sleep in one hand and with another I’m killing spiders like it’s going out of style. 

What has kept me sane? Here’s what keeps me going on the daily:

1) Coffee.

2) Sharing baby duties with my husband. If I did the night feedings, I get to sleep in and vice versa. 

3) Hobbies/Alone time sans baby. Sometimes my hobbie of the day is sleeping. I’ve also taken up quilting to pass the time.

4) EXERCISE! Everyday I either go for a run, swim, do yoga, or stand up paddle board. 

5) That adorable little baby with his little cheeks and that giant smile he flashes me! 

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What’s in my Hospital Bag?

What to Pack in your Hospital Bag

 

Over the last few weeks I’ve started packing up my bag for the hospital. The one that will sit by the front door until, what I can only assume, will be a middle-of-the-night, mad-dash, to our local baby and mommy hospital. I’ve been making lists and researching what other moms pack and I feel like I have just about everything I’ll need (and then some).

Image   So for starters we’ve got this massive body bag my husband received his fire fighting gear in for work. Don’t worry, no smoke & sweat filled fire fighting uniforms have ever touched the inside of this bag! Inside this bag we can fit my stuff, baby’s stuff, and even a few things for daddy (if he’s lucky). Image My “Stuff”: Majority of the things I’ve packed for myself are for AFTER the baby is born. I’m assuming I’ll be in a state of ill-repair.

  • Adult pull-ups. (Lets not beat around the bush, shall we? *Bonus points for them being mauve!*)
  • My make-up and shower stuff (Because I’m expected to look good immediately after the watermelon has been birthed)
  • Medela Lanolin nipple cream (Safe for baby to ingest)
  • Hand sanitizer (Hospitals are dirty)
  • Tooth paste (No one needs to smell my labor breath!)
  • Burt’s Bees Lip Balm
  • Dove Deodorant (For obvious reasons! Do you know how many calories are burnt in labor?)
  • TWO toothbrushes (One for hubby! I don’t need another reason to yell at him during labor)
  • Reusable NUK breast pads (oh the joys!)
  • Joe Fresh slippers

I’ve added more items since I took this picture and I expect I’ll continue adding right up until the last moment

Have a forgotten anything?! Have I packed anything I won’t need? What was your experience! Let me know in the comments! Happy pushing!

Cloth Diapering — “WHY!?”

Disclaimer **The following is why we are choosing to cloth diaper. In no way are we trying to bully or make anyone feel guilty for their decisions. There’s already too much of that in the parenting world as it is! We just wanted to answer that why question once and for all**

My husband and I have been questioned many times already about our decision to cloth diaper our son and I expect there will be lots more questions to come on the subject.

A couple of years ago I started reading about cloth diapering and it’s resurgence. Before 1948 when the first mass-marketed disposable diaper was released, there was no choice but to use a flour sack towel, a safety pin, and rubber pants. From what my mom has told me babies didn’t sleep through the night because they were soaking wet and covered in feces — a fantastic reason to be excited about disposable diapers.

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Shanghai Green by Charlie Banana||Teal & Lime by Funky Fluff|| Custom Galaxy by Lally’s Fabric Fluff ||Preppy lil Joey by Rumparooz||Handsome by Charlie Banana||Jubilee by Tots Bots|| Custom Anchor & Sripes by Lally’s Fabric Fluff 

But over the years, things have changed in the world of cloth diapering. When I uttered the words “cloth diapers” to my mom, the first thing she said was “good luck”. But with the new styles on the market today, you don’t need luck. You also don’t need to haul them down the river side and bang them against rocks. Hallelujah for the twenty-first century!

There are actually a couple of reasons for why we’ve decided to embrace cloth in our lives. The first and most important reason is our son’s health. I can’t knowingly strap a plastic bag to my sons genitals and let him stew in a toxic waste dump for hours on end. Families love that disposable diapers can last all night and they don’t have to change their child. I can get on board with a full nights sleep, believe me! But if I had a choice (which I do), I also wouldn’t want to lay in my own urine-soaked filth so out of respect for my child, I will gladly wake up and change him if he needs to be changed. That being said, the fabrics used in cloth diapering have made leaps and bounds over the years and are super absorbent and are able to make it through the night. Nowadays it’s common to find diaper inserts made out of hemp, micro terry, bamboo and fleece just to name a few.

The second reason is a huge plus: $AVINGS! Who doesn’t wish they could save an extra $100 a month on something that just gets thrown out anyhow. I personally HATE throwing things out. I’m a quality vs quantity type of person and would rather spend $25 on one reusable diaper than $25 on a package of diapers that end up being thrown out. So far we’ve spent in the neighbourhood of $400 getting set up to cloth diaper. The initial up-front cost can be a huge barrier to getting started with cloth diapering and that’s completely understandable. Organizations like Cloth for a Cause take used diapers, wash and replace elastics, and help families in need get started with cloth diapering. Once you set a family up, the savings that follows can be a real gift.

There’s also cloth companies like Alva and THX that sell diapers that have been made in China (sometimes nicknamed “China cheapies”) and shipped to Canada at a fraction of the cost of some of the bigger, well-known, cloth companies that are strictly made in Canada, USA, or the UK. There’s a whole discussion around whether or not it’s ethical to support these foreign companies, but that’s for another day. When you’re just starting out in the cloth world and don’t know whether or not it’s for your family, these “China cheapies” can be a great option. Also try Kijiji and search online for a local Cloth Diaper group where you’ll be sure to find fellow mom’s and dad’s selling and swapping diapers at a fraction of the price of new. Majority of our diapers were pre-loved by other local moms. As soon as they came to our home, they were put in the wash to get rid of any “cooties”. *If you are buying pre-loved, make sure you take extra care to get rid of any yeast infections living in the diaper*.

Below is a cost breakdown done by Sweet Bottoms Baby.

Cost-Savings

Another reason why we are planning to cloth diaper our kids is to help the environment. Remember those first disposable diapers that were mass produced in 1948? Well they aren’t expected to decompose until the year 2500 and even then, we won’t be around to say for sure that they have in fact decomposed. That’s a whole lot of poopy diapers in our landfills! I mentioned earlier that I hate throwing things away. Garbage of any kind really drives me nuts and if I can prevent more garbage from winding up in landfills just by switching to reusable diapers, then that’s a win for me!

Now, I’m sure you’re wondering “What about all that water and electricity you’ll use by washing diapers every day!”

Check out these info graphics by Gro-Via that were used for Earth Day to show the amount of water used to wash cloth vs producing a disposable:

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I don’t know the validity of this statement but I’ve heard one flush of the toilet uses the same amount of water it would take to do a load of diapers in the wash. When it comes to the use of electricity, we have a High Efficiency washer and dryer, we wash on cold (according to Gro-Via, 90% of the energy used by your washer is to heat the water), and we hang to dry. We’ll already be doing lots more laundry for our new little person so what’s 10 or so more diapers a day?

So that answers the all important why question. Once we are elbow deep in dirty cloth diapers, I’ll answer the how!

Baby Gear – Saving Money

I think we can all agree money and finances are a huge stress for most people! I’ve talked before on the blog about how I save and what I use to keep my finances on track and in the black.

Now it’s not huge surprise babies are not cheap! They come with a lot ofupfront costs which can be a little overwhelming if you’re unprepared. Nine months seems to just fly right by and before you know it, baby has arrived.

Now before we decided to get pregnant, we saved up quite a bit and used a lot of the money people gave us as wedding gifts to start saving for baby expenses, which we both knew weren’t too far down the road.

Babies grow quickly, this is a fact. Therefore they outgrow clothing and equipment FAST. When looking at baby stuff, we asked ourselves how long we realistically saw a piece being used for. Then we would weigh the price. For example there’s a baby swing we fell in love with because it’s gorgeous, it looks nice, and did I mention it’s pretty? But realistically the baby will only be in it for a few short months and with a price tag of $300, we couldn’t justify it.

During this pregnancy journey I started joining Mommy Buy Sell Trade groups on Facebook and I learned pretty quickly that when you have nice stuff and keep it in working order, you can turn around and sell it for a decent price. But further to that, you can find amazing deals on stuff you otherwise wouldn’t get because of the cost.

I’ve compiled a list of all the baby stuff I’ve managed to buy used:

Phil & Ted Navigator Stroller with second seat attachment, sun cover, & rain cover ….$735 new….used for $350 (USED TWICE!, I MAY ADD)

Charlie Banana/Bum Genius/Tots Bots Cloth Diapers…$500 new…used for $250

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Bumbo with tray…$100 new…used for $30

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Babies R Us Glider Chair…$549 new…used for $250

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Motorola WIFI baby video monitor…$250 new…used for $125 (NEVER OUT OF THE BOX)

Skip Hop Diaper Bag $60 new….used for $30

Another huge expense is all the tiny clothes! Who knew such tiny things could cost so much money! But again, they grow out of them so quickly that it can be so hard to justify spending $30 on an outfit a child will hopefully wear once. The thing about clothes is that people are more than willing to pass on their used clothing. So many of our friends have been such saints and offered us piles of clothes for our little guy. It warms my heart to see such generosity! I can’t wait to return the favour and pass these wonderful memory-filled pieces onto the next momma who needs them!

But there are places we refuse to skimp financially. Where safety is our one and only concern, all bets are off. When it comes to our sons car seat, crib, and mattress, I refuse to buy used for obvious reasons. But that being said we still managed to get what we wanted in terms of safety for a decent price!

It does take research and lot of hunting on kijiji and other places to score some good deals for kids stuff but it is so worth it!

In closing, there’s three main tips to follow:

START EARLY!

As soon as you know you’re pregnant, start browsing. Figure out what you want and what will make sense for your life style. Although you may not know the gender, there are plenty of items that you can get in gender neutral colours and will then last you for future kids or will sell easier when you’re done with them because buyers won’t be restricted by gendered colours.

LOOK OFTEN!

Always be browsing kijiji and Facebook groups because the good stuff moves quickly!

BE OK WITH USED!

Especially when it comes to clothes! Sure, they get pooped in and puked on but that’s what washing machines are for. Plus majority of items under 12 months are only worn a few times before they are outgrown. Also, most items stay in relatively good condition because little ones aren’t playing too hard yet!

RE-SELL YOUR BABY GEAR ASAP!

A lot of people ask me if I plan to save stuff for future kiddies and I originally thought I would but a lot of the things I bought used, I plan to sell right away and try and get back what I paid. The main reason for this is styles change, technology gets better, and recalls happen. When its time for baby number 2, all the latest and greatest will be available second hand just like the stuff we found this time around! If we put our gear away and in storage and wait a few years before we go to use it again or go to sell it, it won’t be worth as much. All the money from re-sale will go BACK into the babies savings account for the next little rug rat that comes into our lives. In stead of collecting dust, it’s collecting interest. 

I hope some of these tips inspire you to get thrifty wit’ it! Do you have any tips or shopping secrets to share? Comment below!

HAPPY BABY GEAR SHOPPING