Amy Beth

Monday, August 17, 2015

Cloth Diapering Changing Table

Changing table setup for cloth diapers

Back when I was first learning about cloth diapering (and caring for a baby in general) I found the changing table to be an endlessly interesting topic. Funny, the things that are interesting before they become a part of your daily life. But I loved to see how people set up the changing table and the systems they used to make cloth diapering quick and easy. Now that I change diapers several times a day, I no longer find changing tables to be that interesting. However, I know there are some people out there looking for ideas and inspiration and now that I’ve been using the same setup for over 2 years I feel like I might have a thing or two to share. Aside from a few upgrades we added to the setup for baby #2, our changing table has pretty much remained the same since Charlie was a wee lad (pun intended).

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First we have the dresser. I like to have a lot of space when changing a diaper so a nice long dresser works well as a surface. This Ikea dresser has worked well for us (although it seems they may no longer sell it.) We’re a short family so I could see how some may want a taller surface to work on, but for most this would be comfortable. It provides plenty of storage so we keep all of Poppy’s clothes and blankets and extra diaper supplies in the drawers.

Changing Pad: You need something to put the baby on. I like having a soft minky cover with a diaper insert laid out where the actual diaper changing is going to take place. That way if any of the mess leaks out I can just toss the insert in the diaper pail without having to change and wash the whole cover every time.

Lamp: I like to have a lamp nearby for those late night changes.

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Wipes container: all you need for this is some kind of plastic container that fits your wipes. We use cloth wipes (the cheapest wipes I could find without making my own) that we just wet with plain water. We wash diapers every two or three days and find that the wipes stay wet but still free of mildew when we change them out that often as well.

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Basket When we get a fresh load of diapers out of the wash, I go ahead and stuff all our covers with inserts. They just sit in a basket ready for me to grab at a moment’s notice. The basket also holds any diaper creams we may need. I frequently use Kissaluvs Diaper Lotion Potion spray to help clean an especially messy bum and sooth sensitive skin.

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Drying rack: the Applecheeks diapers we use allow you to reuse covers once or twice before washing them. I got this little dish towel drying rack to hang up our diapers to air out after they are used. It’s a great little compact way to keep them nearby.

Diaper pail: for cloth diapers I recommend getting a simple trash can with a lid you can open with one hand and Kissaluvs diaper pail liners. Get two liners so you have one to use while the other is in the wash. Our liners have held up really well for us through hundreds of washes.

Hamper. Diaper changes and outfit changes often happen at the same time, so I like to have the hamper nearby.

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Extra Inserts: I store extra inserts in the top drawer so they are easy to access if I’ve run out of stuffed covers and need to put one together quickly.

And there you have it. Our diaper changing station! It is severely lacking in cuteness; I need to add some artwork on the wall above it. But as far as function goes this set up is pretty solid. I hope this helps anyone trying to set up a nursery for the first time!


For more baby and kid room inspiration, be sure to check out my Pinterest board!

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Monday, August 3, 2015

Favorite baby gear

Gear pinterest

Just about every new expectant mother has typed in a google search to the effect of “what things do I need for this new baby?” And google has happily delivered pages upon pages of lists with titles like “Essential Baby Gear” and “10 Things Every New Baby Needs” and “101 things to put on your registry.” And then every new expectant mother has felt the panic that comes with realization that this new baby could cost you thousands upon thousands of dollars before they even turn a year old.

I’m going to try not to do that to you.

When it comes down to it, everything a baby needs can be found within his mother’s arms. Food to eat, a cozy place to sleep, warmth, safety, and a whole lot of love.

But there are a few material items that, while not essential, have been useful in my personal experience. Many other mothers would swear by a totally different list of items. But, these are the things I find myself thinking I’m glad we have on a regular basis. So here’s a run-down of a few of my favorite items for a new baby.

Arms Reach Co-Sleeper

Cosleeper

This little contraption has proved to be the best solution when trying to navigate all the differing views on safe sleep for babies, at least for me. It provides the benefits of a crib – the baby has a safe separate space to sleep with plenty of air circulation and a good firm mattress and no risk of getting squished. But it also has the benefits of co-sleeping – I can easily hear my baby and attend to her right away if she needs it, and transitioning from sleeping to nursing and back to sleeping in the middle of the night is (comparatively) painless. It’s also good for me. If I have a baby in bed with me I can’t sleep for fear of either squishing or waking her with my movements. If I have a baby in another room I can’t sleep for fear that I won’t hear or notice when she needs me. With the co-sleeper, the sleep I get is peaceful.

Aiden and Anias muslin swaddle blankets

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These blankets seem pretty pricey, but I’m so glad we allowed ourselves this little splurge. I find these blankets to be useful for all sorts of things – swaddling, a nursing cover, a car seat cover, spread out on the floor to play on, etc. They are lightweight enough that they are easy to fold up and stick in a bag. But they are much bigger than most of the typical cotton or flannel receiving blankets you find at the store that start to seem much to small after the baby is a couple of months old. They get softer the more you wash them and have just enough stretch to make a good swaddle. They’re also adorable.

A whole lot of prefold diapers to use as burp cloths.

Diapers

Most of the little pieces of fabric sold as burp cloths in the baby aisle are much too small to catch anything of any significance. And my babies know how to burp with significance. A big pack (or two. or three.) of prefold cloth diapers are much bigger and much more absorbent. And you can never have too many. Never once have I thought that we have too many burp clothes.

Car mirror

Mirror

I know rear-facing carseats are the safest for babies. But I hate not being able to see them in the car. A good shatter-proof car mirror gives me the peace of mind I’m looking for.

Video Baby Monitor

Monitor

Baby monitors in general are much contested over whether or not they needed. Video monitors kind of have a reputation for being a little overboard and overprotective. But I gotta say, my video monitor is one of my new favorite baby things. When Poppy started to get too big for the co-sleeper (see #1 favorite thing) she had to move into a crib in her brother’s room. I felt some slight anxiety at that thought of her no longer sleeping right next to me. So I got a monitor to compensate. Now I can check on her at any time without disturbing her or her brother’s sleep. It’s also useful for those times when the baby (or three year old, for that matter) is making noises in her sleep and you aren’t sure if they need help or not. A quick check with the video monitor tells me if they are waking up or just dreaming.

Baby Carrier

Ktan

There are many different types of carriers, all with various pros and cons, but I love having a way to keep my baby next to me without using up all of my hands. I find carriers most useful when running errands, doing light housework, and playing with your older child in the backyard. Babywearing is also fantastic for soothing a fussy baby and getting stubborn non-nappers to fall asleep. I started off with the Baby K’Tan and loved it. It was super easy to get on and off and very comfortable. However it doesn’t work as well with larger babies so I’ve been dipping my toes into the the wild world of ring slings and woven wraps.


As I look back on my list I realize that I chose a lot of these items because they help me feel closer and more connected to my baby. I stand firm that all a baby really needs can be found in her mama’s arms, but mama’s arms need a break occasionally. So if you’re a new mama trying to figure out what you need for your new baby, my best advice is this: Pick the things that sound the most helpful in giving you a break. The individual items will be different for everyone, but the goal is the same – to keep our babies safe and loved.