Diapers & Fun Stuff (29w1d)

Lots has been going on in addition to boring appointments. Anyone who knows me knows I’m a real planner. So researching stuff for our little guy hasn’t been a burden. One of the first things I started taking a look at was cloth diapers.

Paul and I (truthfully, more Paul) have become a lot more eco-conscious since I got pregnant. I think it’s natural for expecting parents to start thinking more about the kind of world they’re leaving for their kid. The facts about disposable diapers are just terrifying. Bottom line, in addition to whatever goes into them during manufacturing (IE tons of chemicals in the plastics manufacturing process and the bleaching process for the filler, and the chemical compounds that absorb the wetness) they stick around in landfills for somewhere between 200-500 years. So, enter cloth diapers.

Cloth diapers have changed incredibly in the last 30 years. Gone are layer upon layer of cotton diapers secured with safety pins and crammed into a pair of rubber pants with too-tight gathers at the legs to prevent leaks. Today’s cloth diapers work similarly to disposable diapers, but with varying abilities to add (much thinner) layers for varying needs.

Cloth diapers are cheaper in the long run over disposables – even when you factor in the cost of washing them ourselves. (At least here in Las Vegas where water and power are cheap.) That said, cloth diapers main barrier to entry is the start-up cost. At an average of $15-$25 per diaper, building enough of a stash to allow for laundry days means a fairly large initial investment. (The used cloth diaper market is HUGE.)

But I found a brand of diapers that has been around for quite some time in their native Japan, and has been brought to the States in the last year or so: Kawaii Baby Diapers. They’re getting rave reviews all over the internet (on baby websites, and diaper blogs – yes… these things exist) and they’re about a quarter of the price!! No, they’re not organic cotton, and they do have velcro fasteners. I’m totally OK with all of this. Why? Because I can get a 20-diaper stockpile for $115! That makes this a MUCH more viable option for us!

We’ll still end up using disposable diapers for the first month or so, as cloth diapers tend to be a little big between the legs of a teeny newborn. But we’re really happy to be able to try out cloth diapers. We’re not concerned about the extra work of a couple of loads of laundry a week. The benefits of cloth diapering make it worth it to us. I haven’t purchased our diapers yet, but I will in the next couple of weeks. (I’ve been holding off as much as I can on buying things until after we have the nursery put together – and after the shower.)

Speaking of the shower: I’m having one at work too! I can’t believe that two weeks from Saturday is the shower at Paul’s parent’s place! I’m having such a good time seeing the RSVPs trickle in on the Evite. Especially now that more of Paul’s friends are responding that they’ll be able to attend. I know he’s really stoked that his buddies will be at the shower too. (Although I think we’re gonna have to get creative on the seating! I’m hoping it’s a lovely day outside so we can take advantage of the patio.) We’ll have two babies at the shower, because Caroline is bringing her 7-month-old little girl and Jeremiah and Jamila are coming from San Diego and bringing their 4-month-old little boy! Paul and I are SO looking forward to having friends and family gathered to celebrate our little man. It’s just going to be such a great afternoon (and weekend!)

But, I found out this week my co-workers will be throwing me a shower at work too, a couple days before the shower at Tom & Jeanne’s! We’ll connect up our three offices with the video conference system so friends in the Northern offices can share in the fun as well. I was really happy to hear that something is being planned. I tend to miss out on a lot in my office since my physical office is so far removed from everyone else – which facilitates getting stuff done, but can have an isolating effect as well. I remember Caroline’s shower late last summer – everyone had a good time. I hope mine is as enjoyable.

Other big thing right now is the house. We’re (again, mostly Paul) killing ourselves this week to clear out our belongings in preparation for the carpet install on Saturday. Dangit, there’s a lot of stuff in this house. But at the same time, I’m so stinking excited about the new carpet and then putting the house back together – because it means the nursery will be mostly put together, and we’ll be that.much.closer to having our baby here!! Paul and I both spend a moment or two in the baby’s room in the mornings when it’s bright and full of sunlight. We love the colors we painted. I can’t wait to finish the room in the next week.

So many options! (16w)

This afternoon (while Kishou was at the vet, getting lumps ice-cream-scooped out) we went to Babies R Us for the first time. I’ve been doing a lot of research online about all the various baby gear we need, but I really wanted to go somewhere and see these products first-hand.

I was too involved with the details of the strollers and car seats what whatnot to get emotional. But it was really awesome to be in there and not feel like a fraud. We looked at Travel Systems, Convertible Car Seats (the kind that go from infant 5lb to grade-school 65lb), Pack & Plays, Bouncers, Cribs, and I introduced Paul to the concept of Onesies. We detoured briefly into the nursing area, but Paul was getting squicked out, so we cut that short for now. Heh. He can’t even *say* “breast pump” yet. hahaha

I’ve gotten a lot of great advice tonight on a Car Seats discussion board I’ve recently joined on the advice of a friend. We’ve decided how we’re going to work out the car seat situation between our two cars. Paul will use the carrier-based car seat from the travel system, and I’ll use a convertible car seat that will go from infant to 65lb. I’m really happy with the convertible seat I’ve found – it’s safe and high quality, but not nearly as expensive as the Britax brand that has been so highly recommended to me over the years.

I’ve been cataloging my researched items in an Amazon wishlist, but I was gratified tonight to see that Target’s prices are just as good as Amazon’s, and the Target registry process is a lot more accessible to friends and family. (Nevermind the whole concept of being able to physically go and look at stuff there at Target.) I’m hesitant to register at Babies R Us like so many others have, just because their prices are so nutty! I dunno, they did seem to have a good price on the breast pump. (no wait, just checked. Target’s is better on that too.)

So anyway. It’s fun to be finding stuff for the baby. (Is there a point to buying a crib bedding set? Does the adorable comforter thing ever get used? All we need is bumpers and eleventy-million fitted crib sheets, right?) It’ll be even more fun when we know what we’re having and can nail down designs instead of just figuring out what models of crib and stroller we like. But in the meantime, I feel like I’m accomplishing something by finding stuff now.

(Hey moms reading this… I’d love to hear what your favorite baby gear thing is!)

Take my baby, please! (15w)

Even though there isn’t much evidence to support it, this pregnancy is apparently marching along. (Or so the weekly “here’s how big yer critter is now” e-mails tell me, at least.) And while we’re kinda stuck waiting on nursery stuff until we find out the sex (*hopefully* next week!) I’m trying to start working on baby-related things.

My big challenge this week has been daycare. My reading tells me I have a lot of research to do, and to start sooner than later in case there’s a waiting list at our chosen facility.

There’s a (24 hour) daycare center called Kids ‘r’ Us across the parking lot from my office. I assumed from the time I found out I was pregnant that the baby would spend his/her days there, with me popping over for lunch and occasional cuddle-breaks. So this week I called and spoke with the director, got some preliminary info and made an appointment for a tour.

I toured the facility yesterday and was underwhelmed. My gut reaction was that Kids ‘r’ Us was dirty and disorganized. The staff didn’t recognize me as a touring parent as I wandered their rooms at naptime. They were either doing paperwork or sweeping up what I thought was an inordinate amount of random gunk off the floors. The infant room was less inspiring. I don’t think the cribs or changing area is sanitized often at all, and the linens are washed weekly. The cribs were scattered haphazardly around the room, and there didn’t seem to be much in the way of toys or stimulation for the wee ones.

I was pretty disappointed, especially since I really wanted this facility to work because of it’s location. But I just can’t see leaving our baby there. But I wanted to check out other facilities before I totally crossed them off my list, because maybe my expectations were way too high. (What do I know? I’ve never been in a day care before.)

So this morning I called a ‘corporate’ day care that I pass during the last 10 minutes of my commute to work each day called Kids ‘r’ Kids. (Where do they get these names?) The director answered and gave me a lovely spiel about their facility and their infant program which began with how often their cribs and linens are sanitized (daily) and finished with details of the sign language curriculum they start by 4 months. So many great things about this place, and from the looks of the photos on their website, it’s exactly what I expected a day care to look like. PLUS, the price works out to the same as the place by my work – and once the baby is on solids it’ll actually be cheaper because they supply the Gerber-brand baby food.

I’m touring Kids ‘r’ Kids tomorrow at lunch and I cannot wait. If I like what I see tomorrow, I’ll check out the place with the Bureau of Licensing and whoever else my social worker co-worker says I need to. (I don’t know what I’d do without my co-worker Kate. She is a font of incredible mommy-wisdom combined with no-nonsense social worker smarts.) I’ll take Paul to tour the place, and if we agree on it, we’ll put down a deposit to hold a spot in September for our wee one. (I’m hoping to be able to take 6-7 weeks off work for maternity leave; we can’t afford for me not to work, so I can only take off as much time as I can save up vacation & sick leave for.) Gotta love America’s (lack of) Maternity Policy.

I’m a little surprised at my visceral reaction of “I’m not leaving my baby there” to the first place, but it’s kinda nice to be feeling mom-like.