Toddler Thursday: Diapers Are Easier – A Confession

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I see parents of toddlers grow misty-eyed, imagining the day that they’ll be done with diapers. They don’t look forward to potty training, of course, but they look forward to having children who are potty trained.

I have a confession to make.

Having my toddlers in diapers was far easier than having potty-goers.

This mom found diapers much easier to deal with than potty-trained toddlers. How about you?

Now my children are 8 years old and fully capable of going to the bathroom alone and cleaning up after themselves. I love their independence in this department. I know that going through potty-training (a story for another day) and toddler bathroom visits was necessary to get here.

We used disposable diapers exclusively, mostly because I went back to work when my daughters, J and M, were 11 weeks old and their daycare centre wasn’t about to deal with cloth diapers. We were able to increase our retirement contributions once we stopped having to budget for diapers. I liked not having to pay for them.

I just really disliked having bathroom-going toddlers. Diaper-related peace of mind was worth the money.

Picture this.

In the Days of Diapers, my daughters would wiggle into my lap, one on each knee. I’d hold a book in front of them while they took turns pointing out animals or colours or shapes. Every now and again, I’d feel a great warmth on my knee and know that someone was going to need a diaper change. M might even tell me what was up. “My go pee-pee!” I would let her know that I was aware of her situation. We’d finish the book, I’d reach to the nearest diaper station, place a blanket on the floor, wipe and change, head to the trash and wash my hands.

Then the potty switch happened. M and J would sit in my lap. We’d start looking at a book, when suddenly, “My go potty!” So we’d push the book aside and rush to the bathroom. I’d installed a toilet seat with a child insert, so we didn’t need to mess with the seat too much. J would pee, I would wipe, M would whine. I’d flush, and M would cry because it was loud. We’d all wash our hands because M had probably touched something she shouldn’t have while I focused on J. I’d pull J’s panties and pants back up and ask M if she needed to go potty. She would decline, so we’d head back to our book, at which time, the girls would bicker over whose turn it was. We’d have just settled back down when it started again. “My go potty,” M would tell me.

Rinse and repeat.

In the Days of Diapers, we could get through the grocery store in about 45 minutes to one hour, even with strangers stopping us to ask about The Great Mystery of Twins. I’d seat M and J side by side in the child area of the cart, confer with my list, and play a game of “Find the Shape” or “Where’s that Letter” as I worked my way through the aisles. If the girls were wet, they were wet. I could change them at home or, in a pinch, on the passenger seat of the car.

Once we were in the Period of Potty Trained, grocery store visits doubled in length. We’d always need to stop at least twice, abandoning our cart to visit the bathroom, sometimes exiting to discover that a hardworking store worker had put all our supplies back on the shelves. My daughters being so tiny, there was a very real chance of them falling into the store toilets, so each little girl would wrap her little arms around my neck to hold herself up while she emptied her bladder or bowel under my nose. More often than not, they had to go at the same time and it was The End of the World. When you’re 3, everything is The End of the World.

Then there was the time that J threw herself on a bowling alley bathroom floor in a fit of rage. I really missed diapers then.

Every drive, no matter how short, now took 30 minutes longer than it used to. I took to storing a spare potty, plastic bags, and a towel for privacy in the trunk. I still needed the diaper bag for the extra clothes needed for bathroom accidents. Yes, I needed clothes for me too. There’s nothing like showing up to work smelling like pee.

I got to know the variety of public bathrooms that exist in the USA. Porta Potties win the prize for least maneuverable with twins. M was convinced that she would fall in and drown, so add to the stench and small space a screaming 3-year-old trying to decide if she was more concerned about her own impending death or her sister’s.

In the Days of Diapers, I’d been the mother who showed up to everything with her kids, always prepared and always ready to participate in whatever was going on around town. With newly potty-trained J and M, our social sphere narrowed, every outing being planned around the least gross available bathrooms.

Like every other painful part of parenting, it was just a phase. One day, out for dinner, J waved me off when I rose to go with her to the restaurant bathroom. She knew where it was and what to do. She was far too old to need parental supervision to go to the bathroom.

I stopped missing diapers… and realized I missed having toddlers.

How do you feel about diapering?

Sadia (rhymes with Nadia) has been coordinating How Do You Do It? since late 2012. She is the single mother of 8-year-old monozygotic twins, M and J. She lives with them and their 3 cats in the Austin, TX suburbs and works full time as a business analyst. She retired her personal blog, Double the Fun, but now also blogs at Adoption.com and Multicultural Mothering.

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Advice for Pregnant MoMs

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You’ve just found out you are pregnant… and with twins! Congratulations! So many thoughts must be racing through your head. Are there really TWO of them in there? How did this happen? What does this mean? Can I still have a natural birth? What if they come early? Do we need to get a bigger car, bigger house? How are we going to PAY for TWO babies at once?

OMG what are we going to do?!?!?

Relax. You are in good company. We’ve all been through it, that’s why we are blogging about it now. It’s been a tough road for many of us, but hey who said raising kids was going to be easy?

If you are new parents, you will be evenly matched. If you already have an older child… well… better prepare your house for battle because YOU WILL BE OUTNUMBERED!

Here’s what you can do.

  1. Arm Yourself With Knowledge

    Read up on books which will help you prepare for twin mommy-hood. You could buy them from your local bookstore or online, borrow from a friend, get them second hand or borrow from the library. Our local library has an online book reservation system which made it really handy to place books on hold. You get notified when the books are in and they store them on a special bookshelf near the entrance which makes it quick and easy to pick up. Plus you can renew books online. All you need is a library card, which is almost always free!

    Some of the books that a very thoughtful friend gave as a gift:
    Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Twins: A Step-by-Step Program for Sleep-Training Your Multiples by Marc Weissbluth, MD
    Ready or Not series on raising twins by Elizabeth Lyons

    Not-twin related but still very helpful books I borrowed from the library:
    What to Expect When You’re Expecting – with a special section on multiples (free on Kindle Unlimited)
    Secrets of the Baby Whisperer: How to Calm, Connect, and Communicate with Your Baby by Tracy Hogg
    The Girlfriends’ Guide to Pregnancy by Vicki Iovine
    Baby Bargains: Secrets to Saving 20% to 50% on baby furniture, gear, clothes, strollers, maternity wear and much, much more! by Denise & Alan Fields

  2. Register for Bootcamp

    Find a prenatal class offered in your area either by your municipality/county, hospital or local Multiple Births Association.

    We took a combination of classes. First, we signed up for a local prenatal classes which at the time were a series of evening classes led by a Registered Nurse (RN) from the Public Health department. Now unfortunately those courses are only offered online with an optional one day workshop at the local library.

    Once we found out we were having twins, we then signed up for the Multiple Births Families Association (www.MBFA.ca) “Multiple Expectations” prenatal course where we met other families in the same boat.

    Finally, I signed up for a special Breastfeeding Multiples session at the local Hospital to get some “hands-on” training with dolls. It sounds funny but you will need the practice. It’s less nerve wracking to position 2 dolls and not worry about dropping them than a pair of REAL babies!

  3. Make Allies

    Start building your network with some of the couples you met at these prenatal courses. Join your local Multiple Births Association to meet other families. If you live in Canada, check the Multiple Births Canada website to find a chapter near you. It’s worth the annual membership fee, especially for the first couple of years.

    Again, it may sound funny to some (“They have a twins club for you guys?”) but trust me, if you meet another twin mommy with multiples close to your age, you will want to exchange numbers and stay in touch! Many of these clubs also hold events like: summer picnics; holiday parties; meet and greets; and playdates.

    You can also join online communities such as right here on HDYDI to connect with other moms, either though Facebook groups (like ours or the official group for Multiples of America – formerly NOMOTC) or blogging websites. Great way to connect with MOMs across North America!

    Another great resource we have here in our city is Breastfeeding Buddies. It’s another program offered by the City of Ottawa’s Public Health department for new moms with babies under 6 months old where they pair you up with another mom who has successfully nursed her baby or babies. I was grateful to get a phone call every few days from my BF Buddy to ask how things were going and encourage me along. If it wasn’t for her, I would have given up well before my twins weaned themselves off around 9 months.

    Yes, this person is a stranger to you but sometimes you can be more candid speaking with someone you don’t know very well. Plus, these ladies are screened and trained by a Ottawa Public Health nurse on being discreet. They are there to offer advice, not pass judgement. Check your county’s Public Health department website for a similar program.

  4. Select Your Gear

    Many people, when having their first child, will buy things brand new or get items as gifts from families and friends. That is not always practical when you are preparing for multiples.

    So in addition to joining your local Multiple Births chapter for the events, attend their Mom-to-Mom consignment sales. At our local ‘Twice As Nice’ sale, we have scored new or nearly new snowsuits and winter boots, not to mention toys, nursery essentials and big ticket items like high chairs and toddler bed frames. For more details on what these “Twins Sales” are about and why they are so popular, check out details on our local sale website here.

    Before you go, make a list of what you need so you don’t get carried away with buying too much or too little. Luckily, you DON’T need two of everything.

  5. Stockpile Supplies for Survival

    The biggest expenses for babies in the first year are diapers and formula. Now is a great time to start stocking up on those essentials.

    You will be needing diapers until your babies are at least 2.5 years old. When shopping for diapers, it’s handy to do a quick calculation on the cost per diaper to know whether you are being ripped off or not. Each diaper can cost between 16 to 40 cents.

    If you are using formula, you may want to wait until you figure out what your baby can handle. Not every formula is the same. We found the liquid Similac which the hospital gave us was easily digested but the more inexpensive powder form was hard on them and causing constipation.

    So we switched to the iron-fortified President’s Choice* baby formula from our local grocery store which often came on sale for $12.99-$15.99 for a big tin. (regular price at the time was $19.99, compared with $32.99 for other leading brands) A second brand we found worked well was Heinz. Find a brand and stick to it.

    Since we were doing both breastmilk and formula, we went through one tin a week for the first few months. Then 1 tin every 4 days until our twins were able to take cow’s milk at one year old.

    *President’s Choice label is only available in Canada at our grocery food chain, Loblaws. Their products (including affordable gourmet food items) are worth the trip up north!

  6. Line Up The Troops

    Make note of all the well wishers in your life that offer help, whether they be neighbours, parents, siblings, other relatives, friends, or co-workers. If you are like me and have a hard time asking for or taking help, pray that your family and friends know you well enough to know when you need it. We are fortunate enough to have both sets of parents in town, helpful aunts and uncles, friends and neighbours. They all came over on a regular basis (daily or weekly) to help out in some way whether it was taking over the kitchen, folding laundry, bringing over food, and of course caring for the babies.

    Have a short list of people you can reach out to by phone. These are well wishes who want to be there for you but can’t physically due to distance and their own situations.

  7. Have a Gameplan

    Manage your expectations and logistics of what’s going to happen when the babies’ arrive. Is your house going to be a disaster or will you work yourself to the bone trying to keep it clean? Can you afford to get outside help for a short time to help maintain it?

    Will you allow visitors in the hospital and in the early days at home? If so, ask them to bring lunch, or grocery essentials like milk and eggs. Tell them to expect you to open the door in your pyjamas. Let them hold the babies while you go take a shower or a nap.

    Are the babies going to sleep in your bed, your room or in the nursery? In one crib or two? Upstairs or downstairs? (depending on whether mom can climb stairs in the early days)

    Is hubby going to stay home for a few days, weeks or months? Will you invite your folks to move in with you for a short while? When will you go back to work? Will you go back to work?

    If you are nursing, will you hire a lactation consultant to help you? Will you consent to a wellbaby visit by a Public Health Nurse, if this service is offered in your area? Read a previous post I wrote on how to survive the first three months with newborn twins.

Pregnant with twins? Relax. It's going to be great. from hdydi.comHopefully these tips and suggestions will help you organize your thoughts and figure out how to prepare for your upcoming bundles of joy. Most of all, DON’T PANIC! Soon, you will find yourself saying you “wouldn’t have it any other way”.

Ambereen lives in Canada with her husband and Boy/Girl twins. They survived the first 3 years of raising twins and lived to blog about it. Check out her blog at www.2cute.intiaz.com or tweet her at @2cuteblog.

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A Year of Twins Taking Off Their Diapers

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As our children grow, we often amazed at all the new and amazing things they can do – the first babble, the first smile, the first roll, the first laugh, the first crawl, the first steps. All of it! It’s awesome. Even funny things, like the first time your child eats grass, or the first time they fart. But, somethings, while we are amazed at their new skill and exploration, are not so funny or great when they become repeated habits.  The habit that wasn’t so cute and adorable after the first time?: my child taking off their diaper.

It was at about 13 months that my little Lisa discovered that she could remove those Velcro tabs on her disposable diaper (note: this might be a great reason to use cloth – I hear they aren’t as easy for little ones to remove themselves). While we were slightly impressed (look at those fine motor skills!), we didn’t want it happening again. I didn’t want to clean up the mess that resulted from this new skill very often! So, we just made sure she always had pants on.

Problem solved, right?

Nope.

My daughter Lisa proved to be a Houdini of taking off her diaper, no matter what we tried. Shortly after making her wear pants at all times, she learned how to take off her pants, and then her diaper.Twins Taking Off Their Diapers (for a year!) - How to stop a child from taking off their diapers at nap time. We next tried making sure she always had a onesie on, but she soon learned how to unsnap the crotch, or just simple reach up those leg holes and undo the Velcro on her diaper.

At this point, we began to ask around for advice. We were first time parents and were getting a little overwhelmed with the endless soiled clothes and crib sheets. So, we tried a few more things.

It was repeated recommended to us that we put pants on underneath her onesie. Sounds genius right? Oh, but not for my daughter! She’s got talent and determination!  Would you believe that after trying this winning combination, I came in after nap to find that she was still fully dressed, pants still on, onesie still snapped, but diaper off! How? HOW?! Only God knows for sure!

So, after this we realized that onesies were not the solution. We had to get more creative. We tried safety-pinning zipped pajamas closed (though always worried they’d undo it and poke themselves, plus it always meant they had to have zippered jammies on during nap time, which essentially meant changing clothes more, which just didn’t happen…). And we tried pajamas put on backwards (by far the most effective), but not a great option during those hot summer months (and our limited supply of zippered pajamas).

Other things we tried were pull-ups (nope!) and bribes (keep your diaper on during nap and I’ll give you a treat!). We also attempted potty training: I’ll write about that in another post.

The most common thing we ended up doing? Duct Tape. You betcha. We would tear the duct tape in half, and put it over the front Velcro part of their diapers at every diaper change. And it worked!  For a while. Soon, they learned how to remove the duct tape off their diapers too. Oh, yeah, did I forget to mention that a few months into this diaper removing trick, my other daughter also began doing it too? Because, that totally happened. I had two diaper removing twins to deal with every. single. day.

But, we were willing to give duct tape another go.  This time we put a thin strip of duct tape all the way around their diapers. This worked very well, most of the time. The hard part about duct tape wrapped all the way around the diaper is that it’s harder to take off – for the parents. But, they stayed on, most of the time… A few times they managed to undo the tape, or wiggle out of their diapers.

I was very happy when my twins stopped taking off their diapers as often. I was glad that I could stop buying rolls of duct tape (we went through at least two) and didn’t have to remember to bring duct tape with us for the babysitter. I was also very glad when they decided to potty train and we could just say goodbye to diapers in general.

Because twins taking off their diapers for a year, a solid year, was… horrible. There I said it.

Here’s a recap of the nine ways to keep your child’s diapers on!

  1. Keep pants on them.
  2. Keep Onesie on them.
  3. Put pants underneath a Onesie.
  4. Safety-pin pajamas.
  5. Put pajamas on backward.
  6. Pull-Ups
  7. Bribes
  8. Potty Training
  9. Duct Tape

And one I forgot? Put the diapers on backward, tabs in the back. Also didn’t work.

Did your twins, triplets, or singleton ever go through this diaper removing stage? What did you do? How did you cope?

ldskatelyn is the owner of What’s up Fagans? a blog all about living each day better.  Passionate about family, parenting, faith, and life, Katelyn shares the simple things she does to make her family life better: from great books she’s read, to preschool lessons she’s taught, to date nights she’s had with her husband, to ways she makes ends meet, she shares it all with her simple, honest blog. Katelyn is a SAHM to twin 3.5 year old g/g twins and a 7 month old baby boy. Follow What’s up Fagans? on Facebook, twitter, pinterest, and google+.

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How to Afford Twins: Cutting Disposable Diaper Costs

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As I was searching How Do You Do It?’s archive of posts on diapers, I realized we had more posts about cloth diapering than we did on disposable diapers.  This is a problem since I know most people use disposable diapers.  So, how do you afford twins when you are constantly throwing money away in the trash?

*Disclosure: Some of ldskatelyn’s affiliate and referral links are used in this post.*cutting disposable diaper costsHere are some ways of cutting disposable diaper costs:

Know Your Cost Per Diaper

The best advice I have for cutting disposable diaper costs is finding out how much the diapers cost per diaper.  That way you can do some quick calculations to see if a sale is a great deal or not, or if coupons or other discounts will make it one.  So, no matter what brand you buy (as the price points are higher for brands like Pampers than for Luvs), know what is a good price per diaper for a particular size.

Buy in Bulk!

There may be certain sales and occasions where buying jumbo packs of diapers may mean getting a great cost per diaper deal, but it is rare.  When buying diapers, buy the big boxes!  The bigger the better.

Buy Generic

While buying generic will not work for all babies due to leakage and possible rashes, it works for many as a great way to save money on diapers!  Just about every major store, including warehouse, dollar stores and drug stores, have generic brand diapers –

Hit up the Sales!

Now that I only have one child in diapers (my newborn), I am simply waiting for the great sales to come along to snatch up diapers.  Target will often times have a deal where if you buy two boxes of diapers, you will get a $5, $10, or $15 Target Gift Card back, depending on which brand you buy.  When that sale occurs, we snatch up a few boxes, use some coupons on top of the sale, and save a lot.  So, wherever you like to shop, wait for their baby/diaper sales, and stock up.  It will save you some big bucks!

Use Coupons

If you aren’t buying generic, then chances are good that there are coupons out there for your brand of choice.  Check out coupons.com for diaper coupons, and P&G coupons.  Newspapers will have them, as well as many other sites.  You can even ask friends or relatives to save diaper coupons they come across for you.

Buy online

There is a growing number of websites out there that will sell diapers to you from the comfort of your home, often delivering at the same time each month.  This means no midnight runs to the store for more diapers, saving you that gas money in the process and perhaps your sanity.

  • Amazon Mom – You can get a FREE 3-month trial of Amazon MomAmazon Mom with subscribe and save (scheduled deliveries), will save you 20% on diapers, give you free 2-day shipping, and save you 20% on other family essentials (like toilet paper).  However, after the 3 month trail, you will need to sign up for Amazon Prime ($79/yr) to continue receiving these big discounts, but you will receive other perks with Prime.  If not, you can continue to receive a discount on diapering supplies, but only with subscribe and save (I believe).  Another great benefit of Amazon?  You can clip ecoupons to be applied to your purchases of diapers and save even more.
  • Diapers.com.  Diapers.com offers some great benefits for first time users, and also offer ecoupons on their diapers.  Also, if you use my refer-a-friend code: LDSK6709 you can save 20% on your purchases at diaper.com and its partner sites (soap.com among others). Plus, if you were to Join Upromise, a third party site, and shop through their links, you could earn 5% cash back on your purchases, saving even more on disposable diapers!  Diapers.com also makes regular scheduled deliveries.

Potty Train Earlier

If you really want to save money on diapers, just potty train your kids sooner!  Of course this is easier said than done (seriously!), but the sooner your child no longer requires disposable diapers, the sooner you don’t have that expense anymore.

Skip the Training Pants

While not everyone may agree with this, skipping out on buying Huggies Pull-Ups, Pampers Easy Ups, or other generic brand training pants, will save you money.  These items are much more expensive per diaper than a diaper are, and in my opinion, can make potty training harder and longer (thus costing you more).  So, do yourself a favor, and save the money on training pants, and spend it on some underwear.

Craigslist

I know craigslist is the king of used items, but know I’m not advocating getting used diapers, but snatching up people’s half-used packages of disposable diapers!  Sometimes people buy too many of one size of diapers and their child outgrows it before they can finish off a package, or their child gets potty trained, or a brand of diapers doesn’t work well on their kid. Whatever the reason, it means, that sometimes, people will either give diapers away (for free!) or ask a small fee for these diapers.  I have never done this, but it can be a great way to score some free or very cheap diapers! Another place to look? Freecycle.org.

What tricks and tips do you have for cutting disposable diaper costs?

ldskatelyn is the mastermind behind this week’s theme week of saving money, trying to help others learn how to afford twins.  She loves saving money and making ends meet and is so excited that she is sharing some of her knowledge with others this week!  She blogs about her family and parenting over at What’s up Fagans?

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From the Archives: Cloth or Disposable Diapers for Twins?

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Whether you decide to use cloth diapers (nappies) or disposable diapers, both can be very expensive, if you let them. Cloth diapers generally have a larger up-front cost as you buy the diapers themselves, pay for the laundering supplies, and other diapering needs. Disposable diapers are an ongoing expense. Depending on the brand, the size, when you buy them, and from where, could be costing you an arm and a leg.

Here are some resources on cloth and disposable diapering from the How Do You Do It? community.

cloth or disposable diapers for twinsCloth Diapers

Cloth diapers offer great savings over disposable ones. Several of The Moms have made cloth diapering work for them, even with multiples!

Disposable

It’s not practical for all families to cloth diaper. Many childcare providers require disposable diapers, for instance. Other families simply need the simplicity of chucking diapers in the trash once they’ve been used.

How do you cut diaper costs?

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Cloth Diapers for Two, Please

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As we all well know, multiples can really drain your wallet/check book/credit card/(non-existent) life savings/etc. As Jen noted earlier today, using cloth diapers is one way you can exert some control over the financial drain of diapering two or three or more babies. In my family we also found cloth diapers to be the best choice for us. Here’s why.

My mom cloth diapered all of her children, so I was intrigued about cloth diapers from the start. Cloth diapering certainly uses water and energy (and bleach at times), but I personally believe that it does less damage to the environment than using disposables. I also was somewhat uncomfortable with the chlorine and urine-absorption chemicals found in most disposable diapers.

My husband made it clear that I had to make a viable financial case for cloth diapers. I took this as a challenge and figured out how to make cloth diapers easy and affordable for us. Now that we’ve been using cloth diapers for a year and a half, we both agree that it’s been a great decision.

Cloth diapering is easy. I am fortunate enough to live in a city where I can enjoy a fabulous diaper service. Every Friday morning by 8am my bag of dirty diapers is picked up from my porch and replaced by a new bag of freshly cleaned diapers. I fold the diapers into fourths and lay them in adorable Velcro-tabbed diaper covers. When it’s time for a change I dump the diaper and all of its contents into a diaper bin and lay a new folded diaper in the cover. When the cover is dirty I throw it in the laundry basket. I wash a load of my girls’ clothes, including diaper covers, once or twice a week. Now that they’re eating solids, I rarely have to do much pre-scrubbing of the covers since most of the mess gets dumped straight into the diaper pail and the diaper service does the rest. That, for me, is the best part about using a diaper service.

Cloth diapering saves me money. Back in the newborn days, when we were going through many more diapers than we are now, the diaper service was especially cost-competitive with disposables. We were paying about 7 cents less per diaper than we would have with the disposables I priced at our local Target. Now that my girls use fewer diapers, we’ve lost some of that economy of scale with the diaper service, but the benefits of the cloth diapers more than make up for that. We also use cloth wipes, which I just throw in with our regular laundry, so we aren’t buying cases and cases of baby wipes on a regular basis either. In the summer I dry the covers, wipes and clothes on the line.

Using the free dryer

Cloth diapering has many ancillary benefits. In my experience, these include:

  1. If breastfeeding, cloth diapers give you a much better sense of how much urine output your babies are producing — and thus how much milk they’re consuming. Urine can “hide” better in disposables. I liked being able to see exactly how much my girls were producing.
  2. Cloth diapers keep messes inside the diaper so much better than disposables. The only major blowouts I’ve had were when I was using disposables while we were away from home on trips.
  3. Cloth diapering lets you control exactly what comes into contact with your babies’ most sensitive areas.
  4. Cloth diapering frees up enormous space in your garbage can. This also saves us money, because in Seattle the larger your garbage can, the larger your monthly utilities bill. Cloth diapering (and city-sponsored composting!) allows us to use a very small garbage can.
  5. Other moms have told me that cloth diapering makes potty training much easier, because kids begin to notice their wet diapers and dislike that feeling. I’m seriously hoping this rumor proves true! The sooner we potty train the sooner we stop paying for diapers all together.
  6. Cloth-diapered bums are freaking cute.

    I see a plumber’s bum

Of course cloth diapering is, as with everything, probably harder with twins and triplets than with a singleton. Here are my tips for cloth diapering with twins:

  1. Have backup disposables on hand. I probably buy one small box of disposables every two months or so.
  2. Buy used diapers and/or covers. The baby consignment stores here in Seattle sell tons of used diaper covers, and I often find $15 covers for $4 or so. If you don’t have nearby consignment stores, diaperswappers features a forum where moms sell their used diapers and diaper covers to each other.
  3. Make sure every caretaker is instructed on how to use your cloth diapers. Don’t allow anyone the excuse, “I don’t know how to use those diapers.” It’s easy to learn, and it frees you from being responsible for all those diaper changes!
  4. If you’re overwhelmed with the decisions to be made regarding cloth diapering, start with disposables. There’s no reason you can’t revisit cloth diapering after a month or two. Plus, your children will be bigger and you may be able to skip over the smallest sizes of cloth diapers.
  5. If you have a diaper service available in your area, it’s a great baby shower gift to ask for. People can prepay for service and you can begin the service whenever you’re ready.
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What's That Smell?

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Years ago, when I would visit friend’s with kids, I would leave their homes with my nose wrinkled, thinking haughtily to myself “When I have kids, my house is never going to smell like dirty diapers.” I even made my mom promise to tell me if my house began to take on that oh-so-distinctive aroma.  Well, folks, I can honestly say that most days my house smells like S***!

My duo likes to do their dirty business four times a day each (they are almost 22 months old), and let me tell you, that is a lot of poop!

So, dear HDYDI readers, what is your solution to this nose-wrinkling problem? We have a diaper genie  in the nursery, which I hate because it does not complete contain the smell and the liners are over $4. When we are downstairs, we end up chucking the dirty diapers into the kitchen garbage can, which we empty every evening.  What is your favorite  tip, solution or product that helps you to avoid this problem!?

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Potty Pride Before a Fall…

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The early days with my twins admittedly are somewhat blurry, but the days of plural potty training? Not as hazy as I might like! Sometime ago, I composed a diatribe (more of a catharsis really!) on our experience training our twins…the upshot of which, in trying to focus on the upbeat, I declared something along the lines of “our twosome have yet to have an out-of-house accident.” Shortly thereafter, I’d need to retract those words. But as it is with all things twin parenting, keeping your humor makes even the “less pleasant” experiences with twins doubly amusing. Here’s the confessional tale — in the interest of integrity, the epilogue to the Lage family potty training story:As we sat savoring our Chic-Fil-A nuggets in the Food Court, a somewhat harried young mom approached us, “Is your daughter still in diapers?”Judging from her thinly-veiled expresssion of panic, I could tell this wasn’t just a curious inquiry from a mother wondering when to start potty-training her child. A quick glance to her stroller-bound daughter revealed the gleeful countenance of a girl who in all likelihood was joyfully, but precariously. wearing no undergarments.

With sincere regret, but not very subtly-tinged pride I responded, “Oh, I am so sorry! They are both potty-trained.” In efforts to offer the limited assistance I could, considering my twins’ joint triumph over diaper-manufacturing magnates, I directed her to the in-mall, soft playground; where surely, a mother of a similarly-sized child could provide the necessary nappy.

I then returned my attentions to my twosome, “Didn’t that make you feel good to know you don’t need diapers anymore?”

“Yes, Mommy, “ chirped my son, providing the the answer he clearly knew was expected.

The waffle fries had my daughter’s total attention. She emitted a half-hearted, “Mmm-hmm.”

That night, as we tucked everyone in and said our prayers, we (mostly me) voiced our thankfulness for all we’ve learned (namely, how to use the potty) and the example we can set for other kids preparing to tread the same path.

3:00am.
“M-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-m-m-m-m-m-m-m-m-m-y!”

Upon entering the lava-lamp lit nursery, I could see Sarah standing in the very corner of her tented crib. Training panties, Tinkerbell nightgown, sheet and fleecy blanket all drenched in a daughter-described (and dramatically minimized), “Little accident.”

Knowing she is the latter stages of the potty-training process, these late-night, deep-sleep accidents are not totally unexpected, or overly corrected.

As I groggily stripped the bed and restocked it with sleep-inducing supplies, I made a mental note to purchase a new vinyl protective cover the next day, as hers had a mattress jeopardizing rip.

Babies-R-Us (the only location in town that stocks vinyl crib mattress covers) continues to be an entertaining destination, despite the fact our twosome can hardly be considered “babies” anymore. Of course the 50-cent Big Bird jet plane ride at the store’s entrance serves as a great motivator for appropriate in-store behavior.

We hadn’t been shopping ten minutes when Darren erupted with an urgent, “POTTY, MOMMY!!!”

Pushing the in-line double stroller pottyward, with the adrenaline-charged speed of an Olympian luge-launcher, I raced
against the biology of boy parts.

I lost.

Stroller seat? Saturated.

Pants? Puddled.

Mom’s patience? Over-taxed.

Wedging the stroller so that it kept the stall door ajar, allowing me arms-length access and sightline to the strapped-in and highly-amused Sarah, off came Darren’s shoes, socks, pants and wringable Thomas the Tank Engine undies.

Wisely, I continue to carry dry clothes for instances such as these.

Woefully, I neglected to pack a plastic bag in which to place any urine-dripping duds.

Into our thermal waterproof lunchbag they went. Delicious.

Twenty-four hours had yet to elapse since my pride-inflated declaration of the diaper’s demise in our twin-blessed household.

Alas, our journey to plural potty prowess continues….

Suppose the moral of this story is, if you see the three of us out
eating Food Court cuisine, please…no personal questions. Just ask
us how to get to the mall playground.

[Here’s hoping my now-kindergarteners’ pals don’t use Google yet…]

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