A Day in the Life: Caroline – Creativity and Cloth Diapers

Today our featured mom is Caroline.

How old are you?
I’ll be 31 years old this year.

What did you do (from a working perspective) before your baby arrived?
I worked as an RN on a hospital ward with a maternity focus, with both expectant and new mothers/families.

Are you currently at home with your baby/children or working in/out of the home?
Currently, I am off on mat leave until mid-June, but am already very anxious about returning to the hospital part time after my maternity leave has finished…eek!

How old is your baby?
My little boy is 8.5 months old now.

When did you decide to cloth diaper?
We started thinking about cloth diapering after we found out I was pregnant. At first we looked into diaper services, but found that it was fairly similar in cost to using disposables, but with the benefit of being a greener option. We realized that if we were going to cloth diaper, we wanted to do it ourselves and save more money with our own better fitting and cuter diapers. We thought we could also have more control over how they were washed and what detergents were being used/not used.

When did you start cloth diapering?
We had wanted to cloth diaper our son from birth, but were nervous about it being ‘more work’. We didn’t have any friends who were cloth diapering their children. We knew that a newborn would be a lot of work and didn’t want to add more stress to our lives. We finally got organized and started cloth diapering when our son was 2 months old, and, honestly, we wished we had started from the beginning! – it was so easy!!! And so much more economical (among many other positives)! If I could do it over again, I would have gotten at least a small stash of cloth diapers or prefolds before baby was born and started right away.

What is your favourite diaper(s)?
Well…. our favourite diaper is the AMP pocket duo. Both my husband and I really like the way it fits, that it’s a ‘one-size’ diaper, and the ease of using it. It seems to be of excellent quality and you can stuff it any which way you please, customizing for your baby’s ever-changing needs. However, we also have several other kinds of diapers in our stash – oh, how I love trying new diapers.

Tell us about your day
7:00am – Baby E starts wriggling beside me and soon starts babbling away and trying to climb up on top of me. I usually try and fake sleep at this point, in desperate hope that he might just go back to sleep … it’s never worked.

7:20am – I give up on the sleep. Baby E is squealing by now and is excited that the day’s activity is starting. I sleepily (and often grumpily) plod into our bedroom  (I should say my husband’s bedroom, which is really what it’s become) and E wakes ‘dada’ up with a big sloppy face chomp and some hair pulling.

7:30am – ‘Dada’ gets up and carries away the munchkin to do his morning routine, dressing and diaper change. Do I have a shower now? Or do I sleep in? SLEEP. Sleep always trumps hygiene. I climb into our bed, put pillows over my head and fall asleep for what seems like 2 seconds.

8:40am – ‘Dada’ is off to work and I now have to face the reality that it’s time to wake up. Baaah.  I start to make breakfast and some tea for myself, while I simultaneously try and occupy E, who is super active and has the attention span of a flea.

9:15am – Ok, time for E to go for a nap. Yay! (Naps make me very happy.) We have a cuddle and a feed, and if I don’t fall asleep again right there with him all warm and snuggly, then I slowly and quietly escape from the bedroom to have some me time – which usually starts with a check of Facebook and email, etc. Then I put on a movie or show and fold some laundry, heat up my cold tea, and pour myself a new bowl of cereal to replace the soggy one that I didn’t get to finish earlier – do mums ever get to finish what they are eating?

10:00am – And he’s awake. Unfortunately, he’s a power napper. A quick diaper change, toss the diaper and the cloth wipe (LOVE my cloth wipes – we have absolutely ZERO diaper garbage) in the wet bag by his change table. Seems like it’s pretty full this morning. I’ll plan to do laundry this evening …  Now starts my quest to occupy E until his next nap. My Raffi song and dance routine is usually a hit, as is our current favourite of building towers out of blocks so that E can immediately knock them down again – BOOM!

11:30am – Enough of this. Mama has to get dressed at some point today and maybe even get some chores done. This can be surprisingly entertaining. I’ve mastered the playing-peek-a-boo-while-brushing-your-teeth trick, as well as the dancing-a-jig-while-changing-into-your-jeans skill. E likes it. And I love that he likes it because we avoid a meltdown when I leave the room to get dressed and wash my face, etc. (I won’t even get started on how I take a shower…)

12:00pm – Some lunch for Mummy and E. Sitting at the table, I eat my food, while E spits much of his out. He hasn’t quite decided if he likes eating or not. And I’m always in search of that magic baby friendly recipe that will miraculously have him licking his bowl clean. Lunch is followed by a massive clean up of baby, highchair, and dining room floor (if not a change of clothes also).

12:30pm – Yes! Time for another nap! We have another diaper change, and a cuddle and a feed, then I rock him to sleep while I finish watching some of that movie that I started earlier in the morning…

1:00pm – While E is sleeping, I do some of the boring, but much needed chores around the house… a load of laundry, prepping some veggies and filling the slow cooker for tonight’s dinner, paying bills online, etc. Of course, all I really want to do is have a nap… I’ve realized how little sleep a human actually needs in order to function…CRAZY isn’t it?!

1:45pm – Lucky day! He slept for a full hour! Now to get ready for an outing…perhaps a walk in the rare sunshine of a Vancouver winter, and a stop at the grocery store. First, wrestle baby into coat, mittens, toque, and booties. Then, make sure to pack the stroller bag with an extra cloth diaper and a couple of wet cloth wipes in a small ziplock baggie…. and we’re off. OH! Almost forgot Sophie – can’t go anywhere without the ’emergency toy’.

3:00pm – Ended up stopping at ‘Little Nest’ on Commercial Drive for some tea and a treat ….. Baby E decided to take this opportunity to ‘fill’ his diaper. Why do they always do that!!? It’s like they are plotting against us … No problem though. Off to the washroom to change baby. Use my cloth wipes to clean up his bum. Wipes and diaper tossed into my handy wet bag. In a flash the new diaper is snug on baby E and we’re back out enjoying our afternoon.

4:00pm – Get back home just in time for E’s last nap of the day. Cuddle and a feed. This one I join him on. Afternoon naps are the best. ZZZZzzzzzz.

4:40pm – Awake. Two more hours until bedtime bath… the countdown is on. I’m on damage control now. Baby E is into EVERYTHING now that he’s learned to crawl – I give him almost every non-lethal kitchen utensil to occupy him while I make some more preparations for dinner and clean up a bit.

5:00pm – Another quick diaper change. I also shake the contents of the wet bag from our outing into the big wet bag that I keep next to the change table in E’s room, then I toss in the small wet bag itself. This way I don’t forget the smaller bag and it’s contents when it’s time to do diaper laundry later this evening.

6:00pm – ‘Dada’ is finally home! Baby E is excited to see him and ‘dada’ provides some great distraction for us both before bedtime…plus, I was running out of safe kitchen items.

6:30pm – Bathtime. Splash splash splash! Baby E loves his baths. One of us gives him his bath while the other goes around the house and picks up the explosion of toys that has erupted and puts them away.

7:00pm – All dressed for bed in his PJ’s and his double stuffed pocket diaper (’cause I’m not changing him overnight and risking a full wake up!). We head for bed and snuggle in for a bedtime feed and cuddle.

7:30pm – Asleep. Phewf. No two hour struggle tonight. Goodnight Baby E. I slump down on the couch and revel in my independence for a bit. I made it through another day…

8:00pm – Today is diaper laundry day. I can usually go 3 days between diaper washes, which suits me just fine. Not too much stink, and not so often that I feel I’m washing diapers all the time. I dump the contents of the large full wet bag from E’s room directly into the washing machine, then throw in the bag itself. I set the washer for a long cold wash and rinse without any spin drying… Meanwhile, it’s time for this mama to EAT!!

9:00pm – Put on the extra long hot wash with two rinses… Back to vegging on the couch with ‘dada’. There’s a million things I could be doing, but I’ll admit it – I’m LAZY. I tell myself I’ll do all those things tomorrow…which I won’t.

10:30pm – So I like to hang dry my diapers whenever I can, which is why washing them at this time of night works well for me. I hang them up on my clothes horse and they always dry by the morning, allowing me to stuff and fold them during E’s first nap tomorrow. Saves a little electricity and lessens the wear on the diapers…makes me feel a little more ‘green’…’cause I’m of the tree-hugging variety of domestic goddess.

10:45pm – I crawl into bed beside my sleeping little boy, and hope that we both get a decent amount of sleep tonight… Ha. Is that even possible?

This interview was submitted February 12, 2011.

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