So Much Fluff, So Little Time!

There are more types of cloth diapers out there than you could possibly imagine. Seriously. When you think of cloth diapers I’m sure you imagine a huge flat fold bunched and pinned around your little one’s crotch, like our parents and grandparents used to use. Well, my friends, times have changed. There are, of course, still flat folds and many parents choose to use them but there are many other types for you to choose from if flat folds and covers aren’t your thing.

The first thing to know is that you need covers and diapers when cloth diapering. The diaper itself is the absorbent part, and the cover is the waterproof part. I’m sure you can figure out what would happen if you don’t use a waterproof cover…

The types of covers are as follows:

Cover or Wrap: Water proof cover that wraps around diaper and secures in front. Examples can be found here.

Pull on Cover: Water proof cover that pulls up over diaper. Examples found here.

All-In-One (AIO): The absorbent diaper is attached to the waterproof cover (hence the title- it is all in one!). Examples found here.

All-In-Two (AI2) : Waterproof cover that has a snap, velcro or flap at the back that allows you to secure the insert to the diaper cover, keeping it in place. Examples found here.

Pocket: Waterproof cover that has a liner made out of a wicking fabric with an opening at the back, allowing you to stuff the absorbent insert between the liner and the waterproof cover. Examples found here.

Hybrid: A combination of more than one type of cover, i.e. a pocket design with a snap at the back to allow you the choice of snapping or stuffing. Examples found here.

Diapers/Inserts are a whole other story. There are a ton of different types of inserts and they all have different degrees of absorbency, wicking abilities, etc, depending on the size, shape, and material.

The types of inserts & diapers are as follows:

Prefolds and Flatfolds: what you think of when you think cloth diapers. A rectangular piece of absorbent cloth that can be folded in a number of different ways around your babe’s crotch and secured with a snappi or safety pins. They can be made out of any type of material (even old towels) and are the most affordable of all cloth diapers. Examples found here.

Contours: An hourglass shaped piece of absorbent material without any closures. They were designed to replace prefolds and flat folds and they fit inside a diaper cover easily.

Fitteds: A full absorbent diaper with or without closures but with no waterproof layer. Very absorbent and they leak infrequently making them great night time diapers. They do require a cover. Examples found here.

Inserts/Pods/Mini-Pods: These are multiple layers of absorbent material that are made to go inside an AI2 or Pocket diaper. They can be different shapes and sizes, have snaps or not, and allow for a lot of absorbency flexibility since different materials and fabrics all behave differently. Examples found here.

If you are interested in giving cloth diapers a try, I would suggest finding a retailer near you and trying a few different brands/types. Don’t shy away! You can always ask me ANY questions you may have. 🙂

Abby in a BumGenius 4.0 Irwin print diaper

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Daddy’s Little Girl

When I was pregnant, a friend of mine (who also has a daughter) told me that the first moment I see my husband holding our baby, my heart was going to explode with more love than I ever knew I could feel. Oh boy, was she right.

Abby and Josh's First Picture

Abby and Josh’s First Picture

When I saw Abby in his arms, I knew it was all over. I was overwhelmed by how much love I felt for Abby and Josh, and what a beautiful sight it was to see them together. I also knew that I was now chopped liver (not really, but you know what I mean). Abigail was officially a Daddy’s Girl.

Abby and Josh, May 30, 2014

Abby and Josh, May 30, 2014

As we get ready to celebrate our family’s first Father’s Day, I find myself wanting to make this day more special than any other holiday. When I was a child, my family had a special tradition of sending the respective parent on a scavenger hunt for their gifts. The first clue would be in their card and at the end of a series of other clues, the presents would be hidden. My brother and I would always help search for the gifts, filling those Sunday mornings with wonderful memories for us. For Josh’s first Father’s Day, I intend to bring the scavenger hunt tradition into our home so that Josh, Abby and any other children we have can also make some new and special memories.

Renaissance Mom

So I have become horrible about maintaining my blog (obviously, since the last post I wrote was over a year ago). Well, since then I traveled to the UK, moved from CA to NH, came back to Bahrain, gave Dubai another try, and traveled to Oman. Oh yeah, and I had a baby- no big deal 😛

We have had a LOT of big changes in the Ball family over the past year, and I have experienced a lot of personal growth over that time. Since having a baby I have discovered I’m pretty good at being a mom. It comes naturally to me. Don’t get me wrong- it is still the most difficult thing I have every done, but I have an affinity for parenting. And couple my mothering ability with my obsession with research and I have become somewhat of a Renaissance Mom. I have an “answer” to a lot of parenting questions, and if I don’t have an answer right now, I can and will find one! Once again, don’t misunderstand me- I, like most first time (or second, third and fourth time etc) parents, have no idea what I’m doing, but I am having so much fun figuring it out, and love to help others figure out what they’re doing, too!

I have had more than one person suggest that I start a “mommy blog,” cataloguing my parenting journey, including the choices we made, what worked, what didn’t, and why. I love information, and am constantly inhaling new facts and theories. Over the past year, those facts and theories have revolved around parenting. Hey- why not share what I’ve found with other people? The most important thing to me regarding this mommy blogging journey is that mothers and fathers understand that this is a blog of support, a blog encouraging everybody’s right to choose what kind of parent they want to be. Whether you breast feed or formula feed, cloth diaper or use posies, baby wear or are strictly into strollers, this is NOT a place for anybody to feel judged or ridiculed simply because the parenting choices they have made are different from the choices J and I have made. If you are doing the work to weigh the choices, then no matter what decision you make, if it is the right decision for your family, it is the right decision. There is absolutely no “right way” to raise a child. There are pros and cons to EVERY parenting decision. Now listen, obviously, if you’re doing crack and breast feeding your baby, you are not a good parent- those are not the choices to which I am referring. What I mean is that the majority of us are just trying to keep everybody in our family unit happy, healthy and, in some cases, sane. While some choices may be the best choice for our family, it doesn’t mean it is the best for yours. And it certainly does not mean that the decision either of us made was the wrong one.

I am sick of parents beating each other up, judging each other on their parenting choices, or feeling judged by other parents- this parental competition has GOT TO STOP! Just because you aren’t into cloth diapers, doesn’t mean you need to scoff my choice to use them and say “we’ll see how long THAT lasts!” And I certainly have no right to judge somebody on their choice to formula feed their baby simply because we all know breast milk is the better choice on paper, and the last thing you need to hear is “awww, why aren’t you breast feeding? Such a shame…” I don’t know what circumstances led to your decision just like you don’t know why we chose what we did. If the baby is happy and healthy and loved, then everybody should keep their judgments to themselves.

If I do decide to write a mommy blog, I certainly hope readers do not feel judged because they made different choices than we did. I hope that they find my potential blog fun and informative and a place to feel welcome as a parent. I want to include ALL sides of parenting, include posts from people who have had different experiences and made different choices than I have. I want to learn from you and your choices. And I hope that readers know that I am absolutely no expert in the field of parenting. Just somebody who is passionate about it. Even though there are days when I am reduced to tears because being a parent is so stinkin’ hard, I enjoy my job, and I want to share that joy and passion with other parents out there.