Archive for Cloth Diapering

Yeast Diaper Rash

Oh my. Oh my. We’re cloth diapering and our son got a yeast diaper rash. I learned a lot through this whole experience, much of it with the help Karen (who sews our cloth diaper covers); the rest of it from internet research. Here’s what I learned. product_diaper_rash_relief

1. Only certain diaper rash creams should be used on babies wearing cloth diapers. Most commercial creams create a barrier on the inner material and cause the diaper to repel instead of absorb moisture. Others contain cod liver oil, such as A&D Ointment, and there’s nothing worse than fishy diapers.

2. Only certain detergents should be used on cloth diapers. Check out the list here.

3.  The yeast on the cloth diapers needs to be killed or the rash will continue to come back. I added a tablespoon or so of bleach to every hot water cycle, then added vinegar to the rinse cycle, and finally ran an extra cold water rinse with nothing in it until the rash was gone.

4. Some disposable wipe solutions will feed the yeast. So, I continued to use my cloth wipes and a homemade wipe solution. For the solution I mixed 2 t. vegetable oil, 1/8 t. Dr. Bronner’s Baby Mild liquid soap, and 1 c. water.

5. There are natural ways to treat a yeast diaper rash on a cloth diapered baby. We laid our baby out to air dry during the day. I rubbed virgin coconut oil (it has anti-fungal properties) on him and hoped he didn’t get too cold (since it’s in the 20s outside). He had to be in a diaper for naps though, so we used MotherLove cream since it is safe for cloth diapers and fights yeast. I also gave him acidophilus powder to suck off my finger since it is known to stop the growth of yeast.

Our babe is now better, but I am going to run one more cycle of bleach and vinegar in his diapers to make sure the yeast is long gone! Phew!

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Our Cloth Diapering Journey

Cloth diapering has been a journey for us. I wanted to cloth diaper our first child from the beginning but because he was to have casts up to his groin, we opted to begin with disposables. Then, when he was about 4 months old, a friend gave me all of her cloth diapers. I gave it a shot and loved it, but we still didn’t use them exclusively.

Our “baby” just turned 2 and we now have a 3 month old. Both are cloth diapered except when we’re traveling or at church (I just can’t ask the nursery lady to deal with a poopy cloth diaper). It took a lot of convincing for my husband to buy into it wholeheartedly. Whether or not he’s excited about it now doesn’t matter because he supports my conviction and I love him all the more for it.img_2586

So, here’s what we’re doing…
Diapers
* 2 year old — combination of a) fitted diapers w/ covers, b) one size diapers w/ covers c) all-in-ones (AIOs); all of these were given to us
* 3 month old — since his birth we have used prefolds w/ snappies and covers; we purchased them from a local seamstress
* Both boys get a diaper doubler at night.
Wipes
We use cloth wipes and a homemade wipe solution for both boys, except when the 2 year old has a poopy diaper. We use disposables for those jobs and flush them with the poo.
Dirty diapers & wipes
We toss them in a large waterproof diaper bag that hangs in the laundry room until laundry day. (The bag is scented with 2 lavender drops, which keeps any smells at bay.) If there is a nasty diaper, I soak it in the utility sink until the cling-ons are loosed. I’d say that happens about once a week. Then it’s taken directly to the washing machine.
Laundering
I launder the diapers and wipes every third day. I first soak them in cold water in the washing machine on my pre-wash cycle. (Cold water removes stains. Hot water sets them.) Then, I run a hot/cold cycle with Purex detergent. Once a week I run an extra rinse cycle on them.

I have been shocked at how easy it is to cloth diaper. If you’re considering it, ask those who cloth diaper lots of questions. Read and research. Then ask more questions. Figure out what is right for your family and go for it! I think we all have preconceived notions of what cloth diapering means. I sure did. If you really want to know the truth, ask those of us who are doing it. I am no expert, but I would be happy to share what has worked and what hasn’t. Good luck to you! It’s well worth it!

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These are the days

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My son’s truck landed in the pile of clean diapers yesterday as he was playing at my feet. I snapped a mental picture and then thought, “Why not run for the camera (again)?” One day my boys will be grown and I’ll be doing laundry without trucks, without diapers, and without play clothes. The thought makes me sad so I try to relish the simple, every day life now.  It goes by way too fast, they say.

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Our Club Feet Story

This is the story of our firstborn with club feet.

My husband Ben and I were married for over 6 years before our first child, Blake, was born. At 18 weeks gestation we went in for a routine sonogram. We sat holding hands, looking at the chambers of the heart, our baby’s face, and his little legs kicking away. When I asked the tech if everything looked okay, she paused. “Well, it looks like your baby may have club feet.” She walked out of the room to show the doctor the print outs and he returned to refer us to a perinatologist at Johns Hopkins Hospital for confirmation. I was a bit surprised, but did not know too much about it, to be upset.

So, of course we went home and googled “club feet.” There is a 1 in 1000 chance that a child could have this genetic disease. It is one of the most common birth defects and can often be treated with casting by orthopedic surgeons, and if necessary, corrective surgeries. Nothing we couldn’t handle right? So, 4 long weeks later, we met with a Hopkins doctor who did over an hour-long sonogram. He looked for signs of other deformities and confirmation of club feet. We were shown both of Blake’s feet and legs. They were clearly “fused” inward. While the rest of his joints were moving normally the entire time, including his knees, his ankle and foot deformity was clear. We were heartbroken for our little one. He would have casting up to his groin with a bar between his legs connecting each cast, along with having to wear special shoes. My mind began to race…Trips to Hopkins. Possible surgeries. No babywearing. No cloth diapers. Odd nursing positions. Pain. Itching. None of these were issues that parents would want for their precious baby, but they were manageable. Then, the perinatologist dropped a bomb… “Club foot is often a marker of neurological problems.” Immediately, I was frozen in fear. He went on to suggest that we go to for genetic counseling and get an amniocentesis. I hung onto his every word, but could not wait to be home in my husband’s arms.

The next day Ben and I prayed and discussed what we wanted to do. We called our parents and siblings and kept it really low key – “Yes, our baby has club feet. He will become a Hopkins patient. Oh, and there may be neurological problems, too.” Oddly, no one seemed to hear that last sentence except my mom. Perhaps it was because we purposefully said it as an afterthought. I am not sure, but we got off the phone quickly with each person so we did not have to verbalize the what-ifs.

We immediately asked for friends and family to pray for our baby’s healing. We visited the head of Hopkins orthopedic surgery unit, Dr. Sponsellor, a few weeks later to discuss treatment options and schedule our baby’s first appointment. That consultation went well. The awful part was waiting for 2 hours to be seen and watching child after child come and go. Some were in wheelchairs. Others had leg braces, or major birth defects. As I felt our son kick inside me, I grieved for what the future might hold.

We never went for the counseling or amnio. We had no plans to terminate the pregnancy, so we decided not to bother putting ourselves through more painful appointments. The rest of the pregnancy was wonderful. We anticipated our baby’s arrival with joy, believing that God would do whatever would bring Him glory in the end. We were at peace, despite occasional flickers of fear here and there. We bought lots of newborn gowns in anticipation of casting, not because we didn’t have faith that God wouldn’t heal our baby, but because we believed that He still could be glorified through our trial and we ought to prepare ourselves for it.

Our baby was born on December 3, 2006 after 27 long hours in labor. When they handed him to me, I looked at his face, without thought of his feet. It wasn’t until hours later that my husband and I discussed that Blake did not appear to have club feet from the glimpse we got before he was swaddled. When the hospital pediatrician came by we asked him how Blake’s feet looked. Not knowing our history, he looked puzzled, and said, “Just fine, why?” Ben and I looked at each other and smiled. That’s when I knew. Not only did we bring our first child into the world, but The Great Physician healed him.

We kept our scheduled appointment at Hopkins with Dr. Sponseller to be sure there wasn’t something we were overlooking. After asking us a few questions, Dr. Sponseller showed his two doctors in residence how our two week old had full mobility in his ankles. He looked right at us and stated that it wasn’t even a mild case of club feet. He plainly did not have the deformity.

Several months later, I went to the hospital to visit a friend who had just had a baby. On our way to the maternity ward, Blake and I passed the perinatologist room where we received confirmation of Blake’s club feet diagnosis and potential neurological problems. I looked at him and we suddenly seemed to walk in slow motion. I was carrying my healthy baby on my hip, his legs across my stomach and back, and he was smiling at me. I began to praise God with tears in my eyes and a spring in my step. I would like to say I would have had that same spring in my step had God willed otherwise, but there’s no way to know, for He answered the pleas of this servant. He healed our son.

Oh, and…”Just so we wouldn’t forget,” my dad said, “God left His calling card” on Blake’s left foot. One of Blake’s toes crosses over the other in the direction that his entire foot was originally turned. Coincidence? Maybe. Or maybe not.

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