Thursday, January 22, 2009

Ali's Annals 4.4: CHANGE

Can you smell it? Change is in the air. I thought it prudent and timely to do my "essentials diaper" review (4.4th) as our country undergoes its own fresh change. The Heintz household has nominated and confirmed our own cabinet. Secretary of Health an Human Services is posthumously held by Dr. Seuss. In honor of the new appointment, Miles woke up as a little "who" from "who-ville." His full blown cold gives him a slightly pathetic appearance, and the gash on his forehead from his paper thin razor nails just adds to the charm, no?

Back to diapers. Earlier in the blog I had grand notions of using gDiapers, but again, being thrown into the newborn thing so early, we just weren't prepared. The NICU got us hooked on Huggies preemie diapers, and those actually lasted for a bit. We didn't buy diapers for a long time as we inherited diapers from friends and family friends 90% of those were your standard Pampers/Huggies, and they weren't bad functionally, but did give me slight guilt with the eco-factor. Regardless, here are my thoughts on those few weeks of "tradish" diapers: don't get the ones that have the "pleasant" baby odor. I am sure they got the chemical enhancement at the same factory in New Jersey as Dreft and Snuggle use. (Sorry, I am being mean!). But truthfully, if you cannot stand the smell, then get out of the kitchen (and by kitchen, I mean parenthood). Just like the book "Everybody poops," another sequel is "everybody's poops STINKS." :) In terms of preference between Pampers, Huggies and Target natural brand diapers...the huggies worked better for us--especially for the preemie size.

We had a great few weeks with Tushies, but those proved to be too expensive to keep stocked on our own (they came to us as a gift) so now, we have settled on Seventh Generation diapers and wipes. We actually have them sent to us from Amazon with autoship and get free shipping and a discount for "subscribing" to get them every couple of months. We really like these diapers as far as disposable go. They are thin, odorless, and I would lie if I didn't say that the brown paper bag look wasn't right up my aesthetic alley.

We also use 7th Generation wipes (and get them shipped via the same Amazon subscription service). Miles has sensitive skin, and these diapers/wipes have worked wonders for staving off redness and rash.

Is this the eco-friendliest option? Probably not. Although there is compelling evidence that both cloth and disposable have serious environmental impacts. Perhaps the only way to avoid any impact is to jump on the elimination communication band wagon, but there is no way that is happening in this house, and I am sure childcare wouldn't participate(Google it). Luckily, Mama D is journeying into the world of cloth diapers and cloth wipes so that if and when a baby #2 happens, we will have some first hand information on trying cloth diapers. Given that it takes a lot of trial and error as well as initial up front costs of stockpiling different types, we are just not in a position to start midway. And although my education on cloth diapering is limited, I do know that some suggestions to reduce the environmental impact is to wash on cold (heck, wash everything on cold!), don't use the dryer and use a clothes line (better than bleach for keeping them white!), and all poop waste (even in disposable...I admit, we don't do this) should be discarded in a toilet. And, there are lots of sites out there that sell used cloth diapers. If and when we go the cloth route, I hope to find pretty much all of his diapers used.

In terms of diaper cream, we LOVE California Baby's diaper cream.

We have used it for more than just diaper changes. When Miles was growing his own science project in his neck (a homemade cheese factory), we slathered it on, and in one day, the redness was gone. (You will be surprised how hard it is to clean milk dregs from neck folds). Also, we have used it one his chin when it gets chapped from teething drooling. It is non-toxic, not too odorrific (another made up word) and we are on the same tube from birth. We don't use it at every diaper change, just PRN (an homage to my nursing readership). Again, we are the "less is more" type and think that the more junk you slather on a kid, the more irritated the skin can be.

In terms of a diaper changing station, we purchased a dresser from IKEA and just put a changing pad on top. And here is a HUGE secret--old towels on any flat surface works well. Miles gets most of his morning diapers changed on our bed on a towel. We have mastered the two feet in one hand diaper exchange, and have never gotten even the towel soiled at this point. Miles has been changed on the floor, bed, counter, dresser, and MANY times in the car's back seat. (Better than those Koala 'changing' stations at fast food restaurants that I am sure people do lines of coke off of.)

As far as disposable diapers go, I don't think you *need* a diaper Genie. I applaud the mom (at least I hope it is some mom) who is sailing on her yacht from the earnings off of her invention, but to me, it is a waste of a big hunk of plastic. Additionally, you have to buy liners for the darn thing. Maybe no one has told us, but I don't think our house reeks of Miles's bee-hind. We just empty the trash regularly, and when away from home, make sure to bring an old plastic bag from the grocery store (not the best option I am sure) and make sure to seal it up tight prior to disposing of it.

And as I mentioned before, I don't know that a wipe warmer is necessary. Just my opinion, though.

Finally, a good thing to have for diaper change is some distraction. We have a great Charley Harper print that Miles loves to coo at, or Dad will come in and zerbert his belly so that mom can do the quick changer-roo. Miles has not found his personal playstation, yet...but I hear that once little boys find it, diaper changes get even more tricky!

That's all for this entry. You'll notice that the date published (i.e. the date started) is many days ago. My whole "post every 2 days" got slightly disrupted by a chaotic work week, and a lovely weekend full of baby showerness and a visit from Mrs Schlotty!


  1. i cannot tell you the # of times I laughed out loud at this post. between doing lines of coke off the koala station and the diaper genie inventor sailing on the yacht, i was cracking up.

  2. I was waiting for the "Who" photo, and it was as cute and funny as anticipated!
    Again, I wouldn't feel too guilty about your diaper choice. I did cloth diapers for the first two babies, but once you came along, three little ones in cloth diapers was just too much, and you were raised in disposable diapers (no 7th Generation in those days). As you note, there are benefits and drawbacks to each choice. Yay to less is more. That's a good mantra for everything!

  3. 7th generation hands down!! I really didn't like the G diapers...which was too bad, I still have like 200 of them!

  4. I was reading the other day that if you order from Amazon a lot, it's really worth it to get the Amazon Prime (it's $70 or so a year), because you never have to pay shipping. If you need stuff quick, overnight is only about $3 or something like that. Just a thought.

  5. We use cloth diapers in the day and when at the house, and then disposables at night and for outings. I soak the cloth diapers in a bucket of cold water and vinager (after rinsing out the poo in the toilet) and then wash them with cold water and vinager. We air-dry because we can't afford to buy a dryer here in Zambia. Cloth diapers aren't as fluffy when air-dried, but they still do the trick and are wayyyyy cheaper than buying disposables. So, have no fear of cloth diapers! I didn't think I could handle the time or the yuck factor, but the convenience of a washing machine makes it totally manageable.

    When we were in the US, we bought a 2-month stock of Target disposable diapers to bring with us to Zambia. We had used pampers when we were in the US, but the Target ones are half the price and just as good. Go Target!! Now we're using a brand called Cuddlers from South Africa which are highly comparable to Target brand...soft, absorbant, no leaks, and cheap!