January 10, 2018
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Our Cloth Diaper Routine!

So, people have been asking about our cloth diapering system for a while now and though I have shared a few things about it online I’ve been promising I’d do a more thorough post on it at some point, so here it is! I waited until Lola was 2 months old before starting cloth diapers and we used these disposables in the meantime (they had really good reviews from natural Mama blogs that I read and we liked them a lot). I know there are lots of Mamas that start on cloth right away, but I knew there would be so much happening getting used to newborn life so I just wanted to make anything I could a little easier in those early days. You can read more about the differences between diaper types so you can decide which sound best for you, but here’s what we use!

Diapers: I first got started on my diaper stash by getting lots of different kinds of cloth diapers from baby resale shops (not all sell them but some do—try craigslist, sometimes you can find them there too) so I could test out different brands and systems. You’ll want to prep your pre-owned stash with one of these methods. I got some sleeve diaper covers (most of mine are this brand) and I bought some prefolds to fold and put into the covers but most of my stash are the pocket diapers that have inserts which are stuffed inside the diapers (my favorite brands of that style are this brand and this brand are my favorite). Overall, I will say that I do like the pocket style better and that was the kind that I ended up rounding out my stash with. I find that the prefolds can move a bit in the sleeve diaper covers so sometimes you get a leak that may not have happened with the sleeve cover but I still use the sleeve covers so they are still worth having if you can find a good deal. It seems to be that people suggest having somewhere around 24 diapers to keep you from having to do laundry everyday and I would agree with that.

Diaper Pail: I use this diaper pail and these liners to hold my diapers between washing. I would suggest having two liners so you can still use the pain when one liner is in the wash. I also keep this wet bag in her diaper bag so I can put dirty diapers in it when we are out and then I throw it in the wash with all her other diapers and liners. Size-wise I wish it was just a bit bigger as I really have to stuff in my diapers when I get close to wash day, but overall it works great, keeps the smell in, and looks pretty sleek in the nursery.

Wipes: We use disposable wipes at the moment (these are my favorite by far as they only have 2 ingredients are are almost all water-based) but I would like to try using reusable wipes to see how that goes. To make those you cut up 8×8″ squares of t-shirt type material and then use a wipe solution to either soak the wipes in or spray each wipe with a spray bottle before use. You can either make your own solution or buy some already made.

Diaper cremes: Not all diaper cremes are approved for cloth diapers so I use this diaper balm and i’ve been trying this new one lately and I like it a lot too (and it smells great).

Liners: So this type of liner is different from the diaper pail liner, because this liner catches your baby’s poop! If your baby is exclusively breast-fed then you don’t have to worry about this yet as you can throw all your poop diapers right into the wash and it will be gone like magic—yay! If you formula feed or have started solids you’ll need to either use a liner on top of your diaper before you put in on your baby (I use these liners). The liner allows the pee to travel through to the absorbent diaper while catching the poop on top for easier removal (you can either flush the liner or throw it away). Alternatively, you can also get a spray system to spray the poop into the toilet before placing diaper into your diaper pail (and maybe a spray pal too!). I haven’t used the spray system myself yet but I know there are a lot of people who do it that way and I may switch over to that at some point.

Nighttime Diapering: This one has been a bit of a recent thing to try and figure out! I had been using disposables at night for a while after starting cloth diapers because I was scared to try a cloth for the whole night, but eventually I started just stuffing my pocket diapers with two liners instead of one and it seemed to work pretty well! Now that she’s a bit older, she keeps wetting through the double-stuffed ones so I decided to try a wool cover and a fitted diaper combo. I’ve heard such great things about wool covers and it seems to work well so far! Since you wash the covers so much less than traditional diaper covers, I only have one so far, but I may get another one so I can have one while the other is drying after being washed. I would suggest maybe 3 of the fitted diapers to last you 3 nights before washing, but you may need one more depending on how often you do a load of diapers.

Laundry Process: I would suggest starting to do laundry when you have about 4 diapers left, that way, you won’t run out before your laundry process is done. I do keep some disposables around for babysitters or when I don’t time the laundry cycles right, so I would suggest always having a few on hand for that reason. I found Fluff Love University to be so helpful for me and I looked at their detergent index to choose which detergent would be best (I use this one) and they even have a spot where you can look up your washing machine to see how to best set it for your laundry. Using their cycle suggestion I haven’t had to strip my diapers (“stripping” is when the diapers become extra stinky and you have to strip all that gross buildup away) since following their suggestions so I think it’s worked really well for us. Some people will tell you that you should pull all the inserts out of pocket diapers before tossing them in the wash, but I saw that not everyone does that so I elect to skip that gross step and 99% of the time the inserts fall out on their own during the wash cycle. And if they don’t fall out and stay in the diaper? Well, I’ve given those the “smell test” after the cycle is done and they smell just as clean as the rest of them so I say skip that step too if you can! After washing the dipes, I put the inserts and fitted nighttime diapers either into the dryer or I just dry them and the covers (covers shouldn’t go into the dryer or you’ll wear away the waterproof lining they have) on a drying rack. I like to dry them all outside in the summer and put any stained ones in the sun to bleach away stains (works really well!) but I’ve noticed that sun-dried liners and prefolds are not as soft as when you dry them in the dryer, so if your baby is really sensitive to texture, you may want to dry them in the dryer. The wool cover take a bit of extra care to prep and launder them, but it’s not hard and you don’t do it nearly as often, so it’s just a different process from the other diapers. Once everything is clean, it’s time to assemble them back together and start all over!

“But where should I start?” Good question! Overall I’m so glad that we decided to do cloth diapering. It does save money in the long run and I especially love the “less diapers in the landfill” thing so that’s the biggest plus for me personally. It is extra steps since we have to launder the diapers, but it’s really not nearly as hard as I thought it would be overall. There are a lot of different blog post and detailed opinions on cloth diapering and my biggest suggestion to anyone wanting to get into the process is to not get too bogged down in alllllllllll that you can read about cloth diapering. It’s a lot. It’s very overwhelming. I would just start out with a very small stash of pre-owned diapers of different types and just go from there! Use one trusted resource (like Fluff Love University) and just trouble shoot as you go. Sometimes a lot of research can help, but for me it just muddled the water until I didn’t know which route to go…if you have friends that do it, maybe just start doing exactly what they do so you have someone who can really help you with any issues because they know that particular system well.

I’m definitely not an expert on all things cloth diaper but if you have any questions I’ll try and answer them! Like I said, thankfully we haven’t had to do diaper stripping yet (knock on wood) so I really don’t know anything about that process at this point. And if you’re looking for the best baby items or trying to create a registry for a new baby, check out my favorites list for newborns and six month old babies. Happy diapering!!

xo. Laura

December 29, 2017
4 Comments

A Nashville Christmas!

Hope you guys had a wonderful Christmas! While I did miss my family a lot, it was actually pretty fun to just have the 3 of us here on Christmas morning. We facetimed with my family after opening presents and it actually really did help to feel like they were there for a bit. Even though Lola can’t really open presents yet (although she will play with the paper and ribbons for sure!) it was still cute to open things for her and show items to her.  We had our friends the Larsons over for Christmas Eve dinner and I made some dishes that my family traditionally makes on Christmas Eve. Friend shrimp and a potato casserole are the Blumer tradition and we added in a Gummerman family salad that they love to make on Todd’s side of the family. It was really sweet to have friends over that also have a new addition to their family this Christmas (little Nova!) so it was kind of amusing to have the two high chairs on either end of the table—times are changing for sure!            Mom: skirt/H&M (similar) Baby: shirt/Maple Clothing, leggings/Baby Gap (similar) I got her a faux leopard coat so we can do a matching outfit sometime and my Mom sent her a few presents along with this mellon baller that she loved playing with at their house. She literally held onto it all morning…crazy baby! I got those white furry boots at a resale shop this summer, but these would be cute when she grows of out this pair soon. Todd has been wanting one of those penguin race toys ever since he would play with one at his friend’s house when he was a kid so I told my Sister in Law Sarah to get him one (she was his secret santa this year) and he LOVED it. Lola isn’t sure why the toy isn’t for her, but he’s been sharing with her pretty nicely so far…  Overall we had a cozy morning here at home and Todd and I made an indulgent brunch (mostly Trader Joe items—ha!!) during Lola’s nap so that was fun to just sit and drink coffee and soak in the Christmas morning magic in the air. Hope your holiday has been great so far too!

xo. Laura

December 25, 2017
5 Comments

Merry Christmas!!

Merry Christmas from the Gummermans! Hope you guys are with family and cozy under a tree this holiday. I definitely feel so lucky to have our best present ever with us this year as Lola Valentine makes everything a special occasion. I always said I wanted a baby Todd and that’s exactly what God gave us this year. Wishing you lots of love this Christmas season! Thanks for being a part of my online family, I love you all!

xo. Laura

December 18, 2017
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Merry + Bright

While it basically took a whole week rather than one night to get up all the Christmas decorations this year (#momlife) it was definitely all worth it to finally have all the holiday sparkle up and running. I would probably play Christmas music all year long if Todd would let me, but since I only get a month to get my fill in, it’s basically playing around the clock these days. It’s mostly oldies, heavy on the Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin but we’ve got a few other staples like Last Christmas on there too (my favorite Christmas song!).

And speaking of Christmas music, Lola’s been playing along with all the Christmas songs on her toy piano—it’s SO CUTE and you can tell she really loves to play it now that she can sit up by herself. What a big girl!! I filled a bowl with disco ball ornaments this year and our front room looks amazing in the morning when the light hits them all—definitely leaving that bowl out for the rest of the year!Love those DIY stockings I made this year and that car marquee is still my fave decoration overall! Cats LOVE tree skirts!
Lately I like to play the Charlie Brown christmas record while I work during the day (that record player is SO pretty), I’m pretty sure that’s what Lola is playing along to above! Todd’s stocking from when he was a kid…so sweet! I’m still using a lot of the decorations I’ve gathered or made over the years but this year I added a display of Christmas photos from past Christmases and I feel like it’s a really special corner of my front room with lots of memories attached. I love the one with me as a baby with my parents in front of the tree and our pic with Lola came out so cute this year too! Only took a million photos to get one right, but hey, at least we got one! Only one week to go, here comes Christmas!

xo. Laura

December 11, 2017
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New Mom Gift Guide!

I love that more and more people we know are making their way into Babyland with us this year! Whether they are on their first baby like we are or are adding another number to their brood it’s been so joyful to celebrate new bundles and their Mamas lately. I was thinking that I feel way more confident now when buying a “Mom gift” than I would have last year (I would have felt so lost!) so I thought it would be fun to do a roundup of some of my top prezzies and make a new mom gift guide in case someone else needs a few ideas too…

1. Cute pajamas! As a new Mom I spent a lot of time in my pajamas that first few moths. Your clothes don’t fit right and you just want to hang around the house and try to survive! A pair of cute PJs can help a Mama feel a little more put together and that pink tie-die pair is right up my alley (although this pair would be great for the warmer months too). A button-up top means it’s also nursing friendly which is a big plus.
2. Baby photo book! This site is amazing because they can take photos right from your Instagram and send you a baby book without you having to lift a finger! You can even choose an option where it automatically makes a book out of every 60 photos you post so you can chronicle your family life automatically! Giant time saver.
3. Sweet sleeper! I always loved getting the “fun” options of things as presents. I could just have a plain sleeper, but why get a plain one when this one has sprinkles on it?!
4. Mini backpack (for diaper bag)! While I have a larger diaper bag that we use when we are heading out on a longer trek, I actually just use a mini backpack a lot of the time for short trips. It holds just the essentials but if I throw my wallet and a lipstick in there too it just becomes my purse and I only have one small bag to carry—YES!
5. Monthly Mom box! This company delivers a monthly box with natural and non-toxic items specifically curated for your month of pregnancy or age of your baby! How cool is that?!
6. Double birthstone ring! I got a thin gold band with a tiny diamond when Lola was born but this double birthstone ring is a great way to celebrate the Mama/Baby connection. My ring would have two emeralds for my May birthday baby!
7. Monthly photo blanket! With everything else that Moms do it can be a bit much to make a phrase photo board to commemorate each month (that’s what I do) so an equally cute but way easier solution is to use one of these month blankets instead!
8. Instax camera! I’ve had an Instax mini camera for several years now and I bring it out for just about every party we have—it’s so much fun! The Mini 9 comes in several fun colors and it’s super easy to use. I partnered with Fujifilm to gift one to a new Mom this month I gave the lime green one to my preggo sister at her shower so they can have fun documenting their new baby due soon. It’s the perfect item to have as people stop over to visit the baby since you can snap a pic and send them home with a momento of the sweet meeting. You can even do black and white film and colored frames as well!
9. Book club subscription! My baby registry was at least 50% books so this would have been perfect for me! They’ll have new books every month to look forward to and they can build their collection as baby grows.
10. Matching sweatshirts! I. Love. Matching!! These sweatshirts are so cute for Mom and Baby and since the smallest size is a 2T in the Baby sweatshirt this is a great gift for a belated present that you didn’t get a chance to get closer to their birth. I have stuff that Lola won’t fit into for another year, but I still have it hung in her closet because I’m excited for when it will fit! This is also a great matching set too for the pizza-lovin’ parent
11. Lavender bath salt soak! Moms need as much relaxing as possible!! I think the only self-care thing I could manage for the first 2 months was a long epsom salt bath every couple of days and they were so refreshing for me. This one has lavender so it should be extra relaxing for sure…
12. Baby name necklace! This is actually the only thing I want for Christmas as a new Mom. Lola is always on my mind, all I talk about, and I love every little thing that reminds me of her so a name necklace sounds perfect!
13. Compression high-waist leggings! Um, postpartum belly? Yeah, these types of leggings were all I wanted to wear for several months. High-waisted with a tummy control panel? Yes please!!

So there you go! Whether you are a new Mom that could use a Christmas or birthday hint idea or you have a gal pal about to pop, hope one of these is perfect for you!

xo. Laura