We’ve made it! We’re approaching the end of the first week of December, and Anna is five weeks old today. Which means we’ve made it successfully through our first month together! One month of successful cloth diapering and breastfeeding, the two things I was most worried about doing! I knew I could take care of a baby, but before Anna was born I didn’t know how those two things would go, but they were the two things I really, really wanted to do with her. So yay!
Cloth diapering has definitely got its pros and cons, especially here with our set up in Taiwan. As I’ve mentioned before, our washing machine is on the first floor and we don’t have a dryer, so I have to haul the laundry back up to the fourth floor to line dry it on the balcony. That’s not so bad, actually. I put Anna in the baby wrap or leave her with Aaron to run down and start or pick up a load.
Our washer is a nice energy efficient thing, but all the buttons are in Chinese. I know how to start a load, and I have some buttons translated in the manual, but I’ve just been running the cloth diapers on a regular wash the way I do with our normal clothes. I use the Kirkland version of ‘_Tide Free&Clear’ liquid detergent with a scoop of baking soda for odors. It seems to work just fine.
I had stocked up a nice stash of mixed brands of cloth pocket diapers, not knowing what would work, but it turns out that from her first week home, the only brand that really fit her on the smallest setting were the Sunbaby cloth pocket diapers. I had only 12 of those, so I was doing laundry every day and had to supplement with disposables, so I ordered 12 more (free shipping!). I also acquired 10 second hand prefolds, and bought two covers and some Snappis. So between those and the Sunbabys, I have 34 diapers that we’re currently using. I guess I’ll either sell the other ones or keep them in hopes they’ll fit when she’s bigger.
So I run a load of diapers every other day. If there’s a poo, I rinse it off in the bathroom sink first (being exclusively breastfed, it’s not stinky and it’s easily water soluble right now). Otherwise, it goes straight in the bin. I’ve had almost no problems with staining, because I line dry them in the sun.
It’s kinda humid here, and lately it’s been cold and rainy, so the inserts, which are a bamboo/microfiber blend, take kind of a long time to dry. But I have extras so it’s ok. Stuffing the pocket diapers is annoying too, but I manage to get it done on the in between laundry days.
They’re bulky but so cute on her! And I’ve had no leaks of any kind in the pocket diapers, even with massive poos, and only one leak in a prefold (which was also a massive poo). So I had no need to be worried about cloth diapering here in Taiwan. It works just fine! We also use cloth wipes ( really which are just baby washcloths), which I spray with a water/Castile soap/coconut oil solution that I make up, when we use them. It’s saving us a lot of money for a bit of more efforts but worth it to us!
I was also worried about breastfeeding, but that’s going great. I feed her on demand, and she’s able to go 3-4, sometimes 5 hours at night between feedings, in fact last night, I only got up once to feed her! She went down at 11:30, I fed her at 3:30, then she slept straight through til about 8! I’m able to pump a bottle for Aaron on the nights I go to work, (twice a week), and she takes a bottle fine. She’s gaining weight appropriately.
So I’m really very pleased with how we’ve been successful at the two things I was most worried about! Whew. Getting housework done is also getting easier. I have a list in my head of order of priority for house chores: laundry (which includes folding clothes and stuffing diapers), then dishes, then trash. After that, as I have pockets of time, I do stuff like general pick up, sweeping, making the bed, etc. bigger things like vacuuming, dusting, bathrooms, get done less often in fact they’ve only been done once since we’ve brought Anna home. Anyway, it’s working alright, my house is not up to my standards of cleanliness yet, but it’s fairly presentable.
I’ve been able to cook a little bit, maybe once or twice a week, with Anna in the baby wrap.
So I feel like we’ve fallen into a kind of routine of sorts, and I’m happy with that! Yay for routines.
We celebrated thanksgiving at our house a couple days after Real Thanksgiving, since everyone but me had to work that Thursday, so we had a few friends over the following Saturday. Everyone brought something, and it was fun, and Anna slept the entire time! She seems to sleep through loud noisy places and events. Every time we take her out, she sleeps. Groups of people come over, she sleeps. But home alone with me, she wiggles around and grunts. Hmph.
Ok, enough typing for today. Here’s some pictures! Because I’m posting this from the iPad, I can’t see the photos to comment, so, there are a few of our cloth diapers hanging in the sun, our diaper setup in her nursery, and Anna in a bulky sunbaby (basket print, one of our less cute ones..), also her bassinet next to the head of the bed where I sleep, she sleeps so well in this little basket! Then, thanksgiving with our friends, and finally Anna in a hat. She hates hats. She takes after me this way. 😀