Ok, so I'm not gonna lie, one of our favorite things about preparing for Cruz's arrival last year was all of the cool baby stuff you get to buy - totally wish some of Cruz's toys were our size. What adult wouldn't want to be pushed around in a stroller or have a super comfy massive bumbo seat to sit in?? However, out of all of Cruz's things, I have unfortunately come down with several addictions...both of which I never thought I would like, much less love, because I thought they took too much work, effort and my precious time. Not the case; I have actually found the opposite. My two new loves actually save us money, and really don't waste any more time or effort. So here it goes: I am totally and completely in love with making baby food and cloth diapers!
*Note: If anyone chooses not to cloth diaper or make their baby's food, this is not a knock on you! To each his own! Just sharing my love and addiction!
I was terrified of making baby food. One, most people know I am not super detailed so I was scared I would do something wrong and eventually kill Cruz because I am unable to read and follow a recipe correctly (although I love to cook - going by a recipe is not as crucial for adults because we can eat whatever we want:)). Two, I didn't get the point - people make their living creating and making baby food FOR us, all put together already in little jars...if you want organic, buy organic jar food (which I am a big fan of feeding your baby - and adults! - organic foods if at all possible). WRONG! I have learned over the past couple of weeks (yes, we're new to this, because Cruz just made five months at the beginning of February) that making baby is not difficult, I don't need to follow a recipe (just a couple of safety rules), and it saves so so so much money rather than buying jarred food!
I've made Cruz several things already, and frozen most of it: sweet potatoes, squash, green beans, mango, carrots, bananas, avocado, etc. The great thing is that you can make a ton of food one day a week, or every few weeks, and freeze the food in one or two ounce ice cube trays and thaw for each meal! Or for simple foods, such as bananas or avocados, you can mash those up with a fork and serve right away. The one thing I am kind of funny about is waiting a few days in between feeding Cruz new foods to check for allergies - after his milk protein allergy or lactose intolerance (whichever it is) I'm pretty nervous about allergies.
Two appliances I love and help me IMMENSELY to make Cruz's food: a great food processor and a steamer. Thank you, thank you, thank you Mama Joyce and Poppy for our food processor! It makes the process super fast and easy, and all we have to do is wash the base and chopper blades after we're done. We also got a small steamer for the microwave, or you can steam on the stovetop...so easy for other veggies and fruits that need to be softened. I've read microwaving your baby's food isn't the best way to go, but for a quick meal, I don't think theres anything wrong with that!
We waited until Cruz was about 1 1/2 months before putting him in cloth diapers full time...he used to have super skinny legs and we were worried about leaks:) I had no idea what I was doing, so before he was born, I ordered several types of cloth diapers: all in ones, pocket diapers, hybrid diapers, prefolds, covers, etc. We haven't tried every brand (i wish!) by far, but we've tried most of the "types" of diapers. And actually love them all. I really haven't found a favorite yet, although we have found a few brands that don't work for Cruz...sadly, our Fuzzibunz have never been Cruz's friend for more than an hour or so - for some reason, these ALWAYS leak with our super heavy wetter. We have found cloth diapers to be economical, just as fast and easy as disposables, and cute!
A few essentials:
Everyone has their preferences, these are my cloth diaper must-haves:
A poop sprayer. Totally worth the money in my opinion. We don't have any stains on our cloth diapers after four months of use thanks to the sprayer...we also, thanks to Adam, found a similar contraption at Lowes for $20 to hook up to the shower and spray the diapers off in the toilet, instead of spending an extra $50 or $60 on a brand name sprayer specifically for diapers.
Doublers/liners/etc. As stated above, Cruz is a heavy wetter. And I mean HEAVY. The boy will go through four diapers while at Mothers Day Out (which is 5 hours long). We use doublers (an extra layer of cotton, hemp, bamboo, etc. to catch wetness) with almost every diaper. Also, one of our friends is the biodegradable disposable liners - put one of those in a diaper and it'll catch the poo! We don't have to use our sprayer too much if we use the liners.
One Size Diapers. Enough said. I definitely believe they're the most economical way to do cloth diapers because the diapers will fit your baby from newborn size - potty train size. We're a huge fan of these, and there are also some cheaper covers out there that have worked well with Cruz. We love Econobum one size and Flip one size covers. This way, if you can't afford to buy all all in one diapers or pocket diapers ($15-20 per diaper unless you buy in bulk) you can use prefolds and covers (which are much cheaper, usually $8-11 per cover) and still have your baby wear diapers through their diaper wearing years. Also, if you use one size diapers, you can use the same diapers for multiple children no matter their size - we'll let y'all know how this goes in about 9 or 10 months!
So, thats a little bit about my two new obsessions, baby food making and cloth diapers. I do not know much about either one, but we're learning as we go...as we do with everything else! Thanks for humoring me - if anyone has any comments or tips about making baby food or cloth diapering, feel free to share!