November 5, 2009 12:09 pm

Week 17 – Some fears, and cloth diapering

Seventeen weeks today! I am pretty sure I have some round-ligament pain going on, since most anything that involves moving my legs with the use of my core muscles hurts. Things like holding up one leg while putting on pants or socks while standing, that sort of thing. Or getting off the couch if I move sideways kind of funny.

Other than that, things are pretty good. I sleep okay and have this nest of pillows in my bed to support various areas that need supporting during the night. I finally have a workable wardrobe so I have things to wear to work, and I just got a winter jacket at Target that should work for the next couple of months.

I’m pretty sure now that I feel the baby. It’s not every day, and it’s usually just the occasional kick or series of kicks, but I think it’s legitimate. I’ve had a couple more somersault-y feelings too! I read something where someone described the kicks feeling like when you’re holding a goldfish in a bag of water, and the goldfish runs into the bag. It’s light but forceful at the same time, and kind of feels like the goldfish bump.


I am really only genuinely afraid of two things regarding this baby:

One: When to go to the doctor. My mom is a nurse, and I was raised in a household that rarely visited the doctor, so I have absolutely no frame of reference for what constitutes a doctor visit.

I’ve had people tell me “well, you just know,” but they also bring their kids in for colds. COLDS! You can’t do anything for a cold! They get snuffly and miserable but it’s not like the doctor can cure them and then you’re out the money for the doctor’s visit to have them tell you “keep them hydrated.” Same thing with a fever – I mean, the fever just has to run its course, the doctor can’t make it go away, so why bring them in?

Obviously excessive bleeding would warrant a visit, and probably head trauma, but beyond that I am clueless.

I’m just scared that I’m going to miss some kid of legitimate-sickly-kid sign and endanger my baby’s life because I was raised to not go to the doctor unless your limb is falling off. How do you KNOW?

Two: What to do with Baby once I have to go back to work. Because I do have to – I have the health insurance and the larger paycheck. Daniel could stay home, but I think he would miss his job and the human interaction and OMG I would be so jealous! Which leaves us with daycare, which is not at all what I envisioned for my baby but it’s also not the worst thing in the world. In short, it is basically our only option.

Problem is, daycare is expensive. You can find less expensive places, but do you really want to choose your baby’s caretaker based on price? Ack. Plus, we don’t have a car, so our daycare options are limited by what we can get to on our way to and from work in a reasonable time. And I think some daycares don’t accept cloth diapers, but I’m not totally sure.

We will probably sign up to get put on some waiting lists for daycares in our area and hope that they are reasonably-priced and nice for Baby, but the whole thing just makes me so anxious I try not to think about it.

Cloth Diapering

I finally took the plunge and committed to this whole cloth diaper thing by purchasing a bunch of infant-sized prefolds and covers.

Let me back up and say that I started out with kind of a bad opinion on cloth diapers. I’m familiar with the old-school, swish-in-the-toilet and wear-plastic-pants kind of cloth diapering, as that’s what was used on me (and my brothers) as babies, but OH MAN how things have changed. You have a zillion different options! No such thing as plastic pants! Sprayers instead of swishing!

We are going with the prefolds + covers method, which is actually the closest to the old-school method and the most labor-intensive, but we chose it basically because it’s the cheapest. You buy a bunch of prefold diapers, several waterproof covers, and some Snappis to hold the prefold together and you’re set. No pins, no plastic pants.

Prefolds are wrinkly cotton diapers that look like this:
They are called “prefolds” since the center panel has twice as many layers as the side panels. (You can also buy flat-fold diapers, but that seems unnecessarily complicated to me.) You fold the diaper up like this so it contains messes. (Image from

Then you hold the diaper closed with a Snappi:
Snappis kind of work like the fasteners for Ace bandages. They have little grippy teeth that keep the diaper closed. You could use pins if you wanted, but Snappis seem less dangerous and time-consuming. (Image from SnappiBaby)

Then you pop a waterproof cover on top and you’re done!
There are a million different cover options – fleece, PUL, wool, snap-closures, Aplix closures, you name it! I have been picking mostly white covers with some gender-neutral colors thrown in, but I just love this polka-dot one! I’ve thought about making my own since they’re not super complicated, but I don’t know if I’d actually do it once I bought the materials. Also, you don’t have to get as many covers as you have diapers – as long as the covers aren’t soiled, you can continue to use them throughout the day so for every 20-30 prefolds, you probably need around 4-6 covers. (Image from Wildflower Diapers)

The other options are AIOs (All-in-ones) which work just like disposables but they are made of cloth; pocket diapers, which are kind of like diaper covers with a “pocket” inside to stuff in a prefold or an absorbent insert; or fitted diapers, which need covers like prefolds do but are already diaper-shaped so there’s no folding involved. AIOs are by far the most expensive, at $18-25+ a pop. Pocket diapers are less expensive ($18-ish) but still not cheap, and fitted diapers are around $15 each. Prefolds are about $2 each and covers are around $10, so the per-diaper-setup price is about $12 whereas even the fitteds will run you about $20 per diaper setup.

(I hate that I feel like I need to say this, but let me mention here that however you choose to diaper your baby is YOUR CHOICE and I am not making any kind of judgment call on you whatsoever – this is just what I wanted to do, personally. No hard feelings!)

Instead of a Diaper Genie or similar, you use a normal garbage pail with a “wet bag” waterproof, washable, reusable liner. To get messes off the diaper before they go into the pail, you can get a sprayer that attaches to your toilet and works like the one on a lot of kitchen sinks. A quick spray and you toss the prefold into the pail!

So yes! That will be our system. Once Baby is here I will definitely give an update on how things are working out and what we like or what we’d change.

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  • Hev says:

    Have you looked at Wee Bunz {} for cloth diapers? They have packages for about $125. I don’t know if you have bought your diapers yet or not.

    My mother had to cloth diaper me cause my skin wouldn’t let the disposable diapers near me for any length of time. To me, personally, it is better for the baby. More work for the parents, but better for the baby.

  • Gretchen says:

    Snappis look cool and easy! I poked myself so many times changing diapers as a kid/babysitter with pins mainly because I had took ultra precautions not to poke the smelly diaper wearing baby. How things have changed. You probably went to the doc just as many times as the Gunter kids did :)

  • Gretchen says:

    …had took….man this aunt is gonna make a smart one out of Baby. eesh…embarrassing.

  • Christine says:

    I think cloth diapers are a great idea! I think about all the disposable diapers in the world piling up in landfills and it seems like such a waste compared to the convenience. :nerd:

  • Melissa says:

    Yay, good information! :D I agree with Christine about the environment thing, as I’ve been so OCD about recycling recently the cloth diapering method really appeals to me. As well as it being good for Baby and frugal of course. :D

    I believe the whole “you’ll just know” phrase comes from the fact that you will know how your child acts on a daily basis. If you are an aware and active parent, you’ll see how they act when they are feeling fine and then how they are when they are sick. Common stuff will only last for 2-3 days and if their symptoms aren’t cleared up by then or by OTC meds I would probably take them to get a check up.

    I didn’t grow up going to the doctor often either… pretty much never except for yearly exams and vaccines. My parents are very much the “is your arm broken? no? then you’re fine!” type of people, LOL!! Neither are in the medical field either. I believe as long as you are aware of how your child acts, then the whole “knowing” thing is true. :D

    *squees!* Yay for feeling Baby!! I hope you guys find a good daycare place where you are. <3

  • Jem says:

    If you think you ache now, wait until baby’s head engages and you’re walking like a cowboy ;)

    My mum did cloth nappies with us but back then it was actually more acceptable… it’s only in this age of convenience we seem to have slipped in to taking the easy way out (disposables, formula feeding, etc). And yes, I say this knowing full well I’ll be using disposables so am guilty as sin!

  • Caity says:

    I definitely want to use cloth diapers when I have a child. That is some really good information. I knew I wanted to use them but I didn’t know much about them. How interesting!

    It’s so cool that you are feeling the baby! You must be getting so excited!

  • mom says:

    cloth diapers and daycare don’t mix…they won’t allow them usually.
    I’d skip the daycare…