Thursday, September 29, 2011

Accidentally Efficient

We were parents of two, a toddler and a newborn, taking some time off running some chores, and having some 'us' time. The kids were left in good hands of hubby's family and we went to the Jusco shopping mall nearby to possibly watch a movie, get something (healthy) to eat and buy some home essentials.

Hubby has been on some serious diet mode lately, this time really serious. So we decided to get some Subway sandwich to eat. Checked out the cinema listings, but the timing did not suit us as most of the earlier shows were fully booked on the Sunday afternoon. Is the whole of Klang out watching movie or what?

We had a slow and somewhat romantic sandwich meal, talking about our kids (we were missing them alright) and wondering what to buy home for the folks. We walked into the household department browsing for a rack for the kids' clothes. Sadly, we did not find the one I was looking for, another trip to Tesco or Giant needed, which I later decided can be done another time.

Then we took our time choosing various pastries at the Lavendar bakery, and with the crowd there, the queues were long even to just pick up one bun! Once done we headed to the autopay machine to settle the parking fees, and guess what, we took only 56 mins to be there, and the parking was free!!

Usually when alone I would time myself and rush back to the car so that I don't get charged for parking (Jusco Bukit Tinggi gives the first 1 hour free for their card members), and it is often very very difficult to achieve this target. However, whenever we are doing shopping with the toddler, we are always in a rush due to his antiques, not for the parking hours. Without our permanent 'rushing mode', we seem to have it naturally in us. Thinking back how slow and steady we spent over there, I still can't believe we only spend 56 mins there. But I have this to prove, the photo below:

I credit the timing efficiency to parenthood. Once a parent, always a parent.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Cloth Diapering My Newborn

My initial plan was to put my newborn on disposable diapers for at least the first week. And for the same convenience to my mom who did my confinement, I had put my toddler on DD for the duration. Later on it got so convenient that it stretched to 1 month. At the same time my baby was 2.84kg when he was born, even the newborn diapers were too big for him.

After 1 month of DD slumber, I suddenly realised all those pretty, petite and cute newborn diapers would fit and thank god I tried them on! The best thing is, since my newborn is on breast milk, he tends to poo once in a day or two, making it easier to use CDs on him - read less CD mess and CD laundry.

Cloth diapering a newborn has a number of challenges. Getting a perfect or even close to perfect fit is really difficult especially if using one size (OS) diaper. OS pocket diaper can get bulky when in small settings, also the microfiber inserts can add up to the bulk. Sized diapers and prefolds work best, but won't grow with the baby, hence of short term use only.

Below is my current newborn cloth diapering solution, derived from some serious CD experiments:

1) OS Pocket Diapers
I was told that older version of Babyland diapers are smaller in size. The small settings fits my 1 month old newborn. The only problem is that the microfiber inserts adds up a huge bulk. I was about to retire the babyland diapers temporarily to be used as cover (over fitted and prefolds) when I realised I had some bamboo hemp & zorb inserts. They fit well into the babyland diapers, and since they are thinner, the fit is more snug on my newborn! Whats more, bamboo hemp and zorb have better absorbancy and microfiber.

2) Extended Tab Prefolds
The 2 ETPs I got from Maybel's Closet are true gems. They fit so well, look so pretty, and absorb really good. And my newborn has done his poo on them a couple of times. The ETP is able to contain the poo, and did not create any mess outside.

Shanjeev modelling his ETP

3) Contoured and Fitted diapers
These both from Crystal Princess Cottage work wonderfully. The contoured diaper is so trim and suits daytime use. The minky fitted diaper suits for overnight use, and the fluffy minky outer makes you want to leave it without cover.

NB Minky fitted diaper. That pose will one day be for a CK perfume ad

4) Diaper cover
The Twinkle Toes diaper cover in S/M size fits my NB at the smallest settings. Its really handy to be used over the ETPs, contoured & fitted diapers. The babyland pocket outers also double up as diaper covers, as I do not want to spend on sized diaper covers at the moment.

5) Diaper liners
Diaper liner is a must on all newborn diapers so that the poo is easier to manage. Just pick and throw it away. The mess on the diaper is minimal this way. I cut pureen diaper liners into half to fit on my baby's diapers

6) Traditional Lampins
Never ever forget the traditional lampins (especially since I have bought 2 dozens from my firstborn). I use them on my newborn when I know he is due for his bath or going to wear for a short while. Otherwise the lampins are handy as burp cloth and towel for the baby too!

The pretty, petite and cute NB diapers are making me crazy about newborn diapers, and my finger is itching to click buy for more. But the more sensible side of me tells me to wait, and buy OS or at least larger sized diapers for a longer use later!

Now that we (meaning my kids) are back on the CD routine, I realise how much I missed CD-ing. Enjoying every moment of cloth diapering my newborn, and excited to see him graduate into larger CDs... don't they grow so fast? The babies, and the quantity of cloth diapers!

Second Time Parents for the First Time

We thought by the time Sanju V2.0 arrives, we would be experts. Experts in preparing for the new family member. Experts in going through labour and delivery. Experts in handling a newborn. Experts in knowing what to expect. Experts in everything that baby care requires.

Reality is, we never become experts. And we never stop to learn. Everything is new and first time experience, only difference is this time, we can compare with the first time experience.

Phase 1: Pregnancy

We thought 2nd time pregnancy will be some sort routine, and pretty much expecting the expected. We didn't realise seeing the positive sign during pregnancy check would be so exciting. We both had our hearts melting away while we saw the little one for the first time during the ultrasound scan, and during each scans later on.

While in tummy, baby was very much active, making all sorts of movements that scared the daylights out of me, and gave my tummy amusing weird shapes. He even went ahead and gave me several premature contractions that got me worrying away. And finally, he decided to pop-up 1 month before his due date. Thank goodness for the false alarms that we got all prepared for another eager boy who can't wait to see the world soon enough!

Phase 2: Labour and Delivery

My water broke, when I realised something is wrong, and I need to get admitted. Even still I was pretty doubtful if it was indeed 'the' water break, or just some weird discharge. For the next 16 hours, there was no contraction. In this situation, I was praying contractions would come soon and save me from my kind of intervention for this delivery, and I slept off. All of a sudden contractions started, and baby was delivered within 2.5hours of labour. A much better record, compared to what we went through with Sanju V1.0. The feeling of seeing my 2nd newborn was just like my first... he looked just like his brother! And coincidentally it was also the same mid-wife on duty during the wee hours of the night.

Phase 3: Newborn Care

All of a sudden our newborn felt so small and delicate to handle, and Sanju V1.0 seemed so grown up. Forget cloth diapers, suddenly we forgot how to fit the disposable diapers on the tiny newborn. And those hands, how to get mittens and booties onto those tiny hands and feet? What if we hurt him, or make him uncomfortable? And with my determination on breastfeeding this time, there was a lot more new frontiers to conquer.

Till now we are still learning and coping with his unsettled sleep timings. Sometimes we wonder if he sleeps too much, or too little. And all that fussing, night feeding and growth spurts, I swear it feels like the first time, because its been so long (yeah right, 18months ago) since we last experienced them. And I keep reminding myself, and my better half, this is just the beginning.. newborn care to baby care to child care, it never stops. There is going to be teething, solid feeding, crawling, walking, etc... Just a lot of more 2nd first time experiences coming up.

No wonder we feel they grow up so fast. Time passes so fast, and in the midst of enjoying the moments with our kids, we forget the nitty-gritty details. Yet it is exciting learning and picking it up all over again.

Three Fitteds and a Cover

I went through a crazy fitted diaper phase, and I joined a couple of group buys and saved a great deal by purchasing on a lower price from usual. Alright it is an oxymoron to say save when in actual fact I spent money to get that much of savings. No matter what, retail therapy is so therapeutic, whether is saving or spending, it is well worth it.

What makes fitted cloth diapers different from pocket & AI2? Fitted diapers have a full absorbing body which provides a larger area for pee soaking, generally can be used longer, and better for night and heavy wetter use. What I dread about fitted diapers is that they require cover ($$$), cost more (more $$$) and tend to take longer to dry.

Till now I have tried the other types of cloth diapers, and it was suddenly a good time to start trying fitted, with newborn on the way, my toddler could use up the fitted diapers while the newborn inherits the pocket diapers. Also, I got these diapers on sale or group discount, that made up for the cost factor.

Here are the newly bought (and money saved) diapers:

1. BabyBeehind OS Hemp Fitted

This was a part of a group buy, it was during sales so we got a pretty good deal on it, shipped all the way from Australia.

2. Super Soaker OS Fitted

I totally love the Robot prints! I bought it on 40% sale from the Lildanzil online store. Since it was a sale anyway, I got the OS diaper cover of the same brand, with Camo Dino prints.

3. Bamboolite OS CM True-Fit

I bought this brand new from a fellow blogger friend Mei Hooi. Since I was on a fitted spree, I had to try the fitted from my favourite brand, Bamboolite.

Technically, I have another set of fitted diaper and a cover on the way, but the title would have sounded rather funny if it read 'Four Fitteds and 2 Covers', so lets leave those two for another post, shall we?


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