06 May 2009

chickens? no, diapers.

(look at that teeny tiny bean)

Random title, I know. But it pretty much sums up today's post. It was supposed to be about the cute, fluffy chicks I picked up at the feed store today, but alas, it was not to be. I had heard a rumor that chick day was getting pretty competitive. I envisioned tossed elbows with some retiree, trying to distract the masses with my cute baby while I scooped up my 4 little layers. So, I woke up at 6 am this morning in a panic that I would somehow be late for chick day.

After getting myself out of bed at 7, I woke the bean, threw on her jacket and slippers and off we went, arriving right before 8. Wait a minute... only a few cars in the lot, no crazy line, no hustle and bustle. I walked tentatively into the store and back to the chick tanks. There were lights on over some of the tanks. Roosters...guinea hens...more roosters. Crap! Where were all the girls? You can't get yummy eggs from stupid roosters. Had the crowds already come and gone, taking the hens in a flurry? Impossible, the store didn't open until 8. I mosied back up to the front with a puzzled look on my face. One of the short stocky guys that always seem to work at ranch supply stores stopped to help me out.

"I'm here for the chicken delivery...", I say, trailing off at the end. He laughs. Out loud. Then quickly apologizes. It's not me. It just happens every Wednesday because their chick delivery has been late all season. Usually one day, sometimes two. Best to call tomorrow at 7:30 to make sure there here before I drive across town. Aaahhh... You see, I had picked up my schedule for the deliveries way back in like January and hadn't checked in since. Woops!

So, the bean and I wandered back to the tanks again, this time just to watch the teeny puff balls skitter around as she yelled and shook her arms frantically with excitement. We gathered a few supplies that we would need to get anyway and headed back home, sans poultry.

Now, because I have no chicks to show you I thought I would do a quick cloth diapering update that I have been keeping in the back of my mind for awhile now. I haven't talked about this since I started almost a year ago and I've learned a few things since then, so I wanted to share.

I'm still using the same general system that I outlined before:
  • PUL covers
  • Cloth prefolds serged to be more of a fitted
  • Snappis
  • Liners, when needed, made from serged remains of prefolds and fleece
Overall, things are working well. Every now and then we have a leak and the very occasional blow out, but not often. There was some trial and error at the beginning, especially because they just need to be changed more often then with disposibles. That and the bean was so teeny at the beginning that you had to be sure to get the covers tight around her legs. We also ended up adding 5 All-In-Ones for the days that my in-laws watch the bean. They are way easier to use, which is good for grandmas and grandpas.

Here are a few tips I've picked up that have made things go more smoothly. First, laundry tips:
  • Pre-wash. Run things through a quick pre-wash with no soap just to get that first layer of poopy off. Just cold water, nothing fancy.
  • Use Bac-Out and Borax in with your detergent. Borax helps with stains and Bac-Out really helps with the smell. I forgot to use the bac-out once and I ended up having to pull them all out of the dryer and rewash them because they smelled like ammonia.
  • Do an extra rinse with vinegar. If your baby has sensitive skin, like the bean, it will put a big damper on diaper rash by getting any lasting soap residue off the diapers.
  • Oh, and don't forget, no dryer sheets. Puts a film on the diapers that makes them less absorbent.
Now, a few random diapering things:
  • If you use cloth wipes, add a few drops of lavender essential oil to the water in your spray bottle. This will add a bit of antiseptic help to your spray.
  • You should also spray your used covers with the lavender water before you hang them to dry. It will kill the germs and the smell.
  • If you have a kid who is prone to diaper rash, keep a bottle of regular old liquid antacid on your changing table. If the rash appears, pour a little antacid on a cotton ball or cloth wipe and dab it on the rash. This will off set the acid in the pee and help clear up the rash faster. You can alternate this with a cream if you want.
Oh, one last thing. I have about 4 different types of cloth diaper covers and I would highly recommend the Imse Vimse brand. Originally, I thought the bummies were the cat's meow and they are still pretty darn good, but I think the Imses are just a little bit superior. They seem to be more leak resistant, with a better fit around the legs. Yes. Me likey.

So, no cute fluffy chicks, but hopefully some good info. And maybe there will be chicks tomorrow...


dig this chick said...

I can't wait to see your chicks tomorrow! Ha I love the visual of you and Avery in QS wondering if you had missed the delivery...I imagined the same thing you did what with the pushing and chick grabbing. Godd luck tomorrow, sister. Maybe the chickens will scare away the deer?

Jeff9 said...
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Beegirl said...

Oh no!! Wishing you all the best in getting your peeps.

Interesting post on the cloth diapers. We don't have kids, but I work in pediatrics. Have yet to see a mom pull out a cloth diaper...but I guess that would be difficult in the hospital? We go through millions of disposables. I was shocked to see what a pack of Pampers cost. No wonder the mom's are like "THANKS" when we tell them to take the open packs home with them!

autumndaesy said...

Love the post on diapers! I have been thinking about using cloth diapers with my new little guy, and we have just started using them at home during the day. I only have a few, but I am making more with a pattern from the internet. I do have one BumGenius, and so far, it has worked really well! I think I'll be buying a few more of those! I've never heard of Bac-Out, where do you buy it?

The Hip Homemaker said...

Thanks for your comments everyone!

digthischick: I was really hoping that perhaps the chickens could be trained as guard fowl. I mean really, they are right there...

Beegirl: We live in a more liberal progressive community and while the majority of mamas are still using disposable, I have a bunch of hip mama friends that have made the leap to at least part-time cloth. I know that we have saved a boat load of cash and I feel so much better about it. It was harder when she was younger because of the challenges of breastmilk poo and such. But even then I was only doing diaper loads twice a week. Now I am down to one load of baby laundry, including diapers, once a week, which is less laundry then my husband produces!

autumndaesy: Like I said with beegirl, it has been way cheaper and not nearly the work I thought it could be. When she was really small, her legs were just too teeny for the cloth covers so I had to use disposable. It gave me some transition time to figure out my system, which is good. My biggest suggestion is to experiment and see if you can try out a few types. Like I said, I have a definite preference with the covers and ended up altering the prefold to make them less bulky. The prefold/cover system is the cheapest, but if you can find a good pattern for other options, you could probably make some inexpensive options. My all-in-ones are Kushies, which you can even find at Wal-mart. I get the bac-out at the local health food store, I think it runs about $7, but it lasts a long time. You can order it on Amazon too. I think they even carry giant jugs of it. Good luck!