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After a few number of days without sleep this family was again on hold.

Thankfully I think we have found a solution for us!

The answer is read about 4 baby sleep books and take a little piece of advice from each book, mix it with some sage advice from friends and VIOLA! Sleep solution!

Since we are only on Day 3 of sleep solution 529onadime style we will wait a few more days to give a full report!

In the meantime we have giveaways, more photo blogs, and product reviews coming up this weekend!


10 Things I Wish Someone Had Told Me Before I Started Breastfeeding

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Last week at my La Leche League meeting there were four mothers there who were expecting. We spent most of our time discussing what we all wish someone would have told about breastfeeding before we started. Since not everyone goes to La Leche Meetings (and they should) I thought this would be a good topic to share. Please note this is my personal opinion and I have been exclusively breastfeeding my daughter for the past 5.5 months and plan on letting her wean herself when she is ready.

10. La Leche League is not just for people who already have kids.

I seriously wish someone would have told me to go to a La Leche League meeting WHILE I WAS PREGNANT. I had a bit of a bumpy start because I was completely ignorant and freaked out by breastfeeding.

9. When your milk comes in, it will hurt, and it is perfectly normal.

I wish I would have known that engorgement while my milk was coming in was perfectly normal and it too shall pass. I was under the impression that breastfeeding was not going to feel any different than my breast did pre-baby. When your milk comes in it will hurt. This is by no means a reason not to breastfeed it is just an FYI. I had no idea what the heck engorgement meant until my milk came in. Matt could not be in the same room as us when I was breastfeeding because he could not watch me be in that much pain and listen to me cry. I had no idea what was wrong with my body and everyone kept telling me it is this beautiful thing and it is never going to hurt. After the third day of engorgement I was scared, in pain, and if I was allowed to drive (I had a c-section and was forbidden from driving for two weeks post operation) I would have gotten formula.

It was only then that I looked up my local La Leche League group and called the leader on call. After some tears she told me what I was going through was perfectly natural and yes it was going to hurt until my milk came in. She told me to put some green cabbage leaves in the freeze. Put the frozen cabbage leaves on my breasts for 10-20 minutes. Then try a nice warm shower followed by some nipple air dry time and some Lanolin. She suggested trying breastfeeding for another 24 hours and call her back. We did this for about a week where I would call her every 24 hours to check in, and low and behold it got better.

8. Ask for help BEFORE you are ready to quit

This is a great segway from number 7. If I would have asked for help before I was past the point of a meltdown I would have saved myself a lot of tears and frustration.

7. Come up with a support system.

This includes family, friends, La Leche League, online breastfeeding forums, and even finding places outside of the home where you will be comfortable breastfeeding.


Matt went above and beyond the call of duty by writing me daily notes of encouragement and placing them in the spots I usually breastfed. He would even cut up my food and feed me during some of our 45 minute newborn nursing sessions. My water glass was always filled and he always told me how proud of me he was and that I was doing great. Unfortunately, not every significant other is as supportive as Matt and that is ok. You have to go out and find other people in your life that will be that supportive. There is a wonderful online community that gushes support, and there are plenty of other women going through the same things as you are that can be your shoulder to lean or cry on!

Monterey Bay Aquarium Open Ocean

Monterey Bay Aquarium Open Ocean

If you are anything like me you will need to get out of the house. By the time baby was 6 weeks old I knew every comfortable breastfeeding spot in our town. My favorite was the Open Ocean exhibit at the Monterey Bay Aquarium. There is a quiet little bench right by the pump room in the back of the exhibit. A nice quiet hum, dark lighting, and beautiful sea creatures to watch while nursing my daughter to sleep, what more could a girl ask for! I also found out that my local shopping mall had a breastfeeding friendly family room next to the food court, complete with nursing “stalls” which had comfy chairs, and a curtain if you wanted to be discreet.

6. You will become a boobie slave.

That is right your newborn will want to nurse almost every hour until they hit about 10-12 pounds. Guess what, that is ok and perfectly natural! That is not a sign that you are not producing enough milk, it is a sign that everything is going swimmingly! Your newborn’s stomach is the size of a walnut and cannot hold much milk therefore he or she is going to need to feed often. Formula is not naturally occurring and takes longer for a newborn to digest thus formula fed babies tend to eat less often than breastfed babies.

5. Do not compare your breastfed baby’s growth and development to a formula fed baby’s.

Formula fed babies are going to develop at a different rate than breastfed babies. Again this is perfectly normal. It is expecting the growth rates of children who are raised in New York and children who are raised in Columbia. No offense to anyone from New York or Columbia but the diets are completely different and thus children develop differently. I am not saying either is wrong or incorrect it is just different.

The CDC growth chart is based more on children who are forumla fed. This is because most children in the United States are formula fed. The World Health Organization growth chart is based on children who are breastfed, because most of the children in the world are breast fed. If your pediatrican or family is worried that your little one is not fattening up fast enough make sure you ask what scale they are basing it off of and then politely tell them to bugger off.

4. Do not knock it until you have tried it for at least three months.

Much like your newborn every other day your routine will change. The first three months after having your baby are like a mini boot camp. You are going to be under extreme amounts of physical and emotional stress. It is not fair to you or to your newborn to give up breastfeeding until you have tried it for at least three months. Your body is going through a hormonal roller coaster and right around the three month marker it finally begins to even out.

Yes it is true that some women cannot physically make enough breast milk, and there are scientific tests that I imagine are like an ultrasound for your boobs. Do not feel like you are not producing enough just because your mother-in-law feels like you are feeding the child too often or because your baby is not gaining enough weight. Make sure you insist on getting tested to see if you have enough mammary glands before you throw in the towel.

This should really be number 4.5 but mastitis and thrush may feel like the end of the world and great reason to quit but they do clear up and get better. I was scared to death of those two words and I still am to this day. During the first three months of my breastfeeding career I would massage my breasts every time I fed the baby to makes sure my ducts never got clogs. I also took and still take an acidophilus supplement to help ward off any thrush. From the other women that I know who had had both double mastitis and thrush I can honestly tell you they all survived and it did go away.

3. Know the laws and what you are entitled to.

Introducing Bailey the kitty Lactation Consultant!

Introducing Bailey the kitty Lactation Consultant!

Do not pay out of pocket for that new breast bump or for a lactation consultant. Thanks to Obama Care insurance companies are now required to cover both for each pregnancy. If you are going back to work I highly recommend taking some time before the baby arrives to research what laws your state has in place to protect a nursing mother and allow adequate space and time for pumping. If you are going to have split custody again I highly recommend you look into your state’s laws regarding custody and a nursing mother. If you live in the state of California you are exempt from jury duty until your child is weaned off of the breast. Again research the laws of your state regarding nursing in public, jury duty, visitation rights, etc. It is very vital that you are prepared before baby comes rather than be caught blindsided when the situation arise!

2. The baby does not come out with a natural ability to breastfeed.

For the love of everything that is good in the world breastfeeding is natural but it must be learned by BOTH the baby and the nursing mother. I was completely dumbfounded when my daughter came out and had no idea how to nurse. She knew to open her mouth and attach to anything that looked like a nipple but it was very rough and I got a bunch of blisters from bad latching. I was under the impression all I had to do was hold her up to my nipple and nature would take over. After a couple of visits with a lactation consultant we were both on the right track.

1. It is by far the most beautiful memory you will have of your newborn.

Before I had my daughter I was completely grossed and freaked out by breastfeeding. Seeing a woman breastfeed in public made me uncomfortable and I always felt that they should be more discreet. Now that I am a nursing mother myself I still do not whip out my boobs in front of a large public gathering, but not because I am embarrassed or grossed out. Rather I do not want anyone else to interrupt or share in the intense bonding moment that is going on between my daughter and I. Watching her little jaw move like an adorable hamster is a mental memory I will have for the rest of my life. When she wraps both arms around me and holds me close is another moment that still causes me to feel more love and closeness than anything else in my life.

Nothing makes me happier in my current life than seeing that little 15 pounds of joy smile every time I take my shirt off!

Sleep… It Is What a Family Needs, But at What Cost?

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sleeping beauty

sleeping beauty

How to get your wee one to sleep through the night has been a hot button topic for many years. Parents will spend any amount of money to “guarantee” that their child will sleep through the night. They will spend money on different sleep attire, noise/music playing devices, light displays, and even pay someone to sleep in their child’s room.

Our little family came to a grinding halt this week when our precious little bundle of joy went through some serious sleep regression. Before I go any further I must present a disclaimer. I am in no way endorsing or suggesting positively or negatively a certain method of getting your infant to sleep. We are in no way passing judgement on how you get your wee one to sleep. The following is our story and what has worked for us.

We lucked out in the baby department and our little girl slept through the night starting at about 6 weeks. I set alarms to get up to feed her until she was 8 weeks old and my pediatrician told me I was nuts. Stella was gaining weight and height like a champ and I no longer needed to night feed! Matt and I both subscribe to Dr. Harvey Karp’s Happiest Baby on the Block method.

Then about two weeks ago, Stella started waking up in the middle of the night. At first it was because she has pooped herself and would nurse back to sleep with no worries. Then a few days later she stopped pooping at night and would just wake up between 2-3am every night to play and it would take until about 4:30 am to get her back to sleep. Fast forward another couple of nights and she was waking up at 11pm and then 9 pm and would just shriek and cry. Nothing was calming her down at this point. I would pace with her for 2 hours and then wake Matt up to pace with her for 2 hours so we both could have some kind of sleep. We attempted co-sleeping in an act of desperation and it ended with Matt in the guest room and my straining every muscle in my neck and shoulders. We made a feeble attempt at the cry it out method and it only lasted 30 minutes before I thought my brain was going to explode, and my mother bear instincts were chomping on my ear drums.

After 72 hours of little to no sleep I was walking zombie and was praying to be hit by a car so I could nap in the hospital guilt free. I was driven to the wonderful world of the interwebs and with credit card in hand was ready to sign away however much it took for “THE” answer to our sleep problems. This led me to purchasing a 40$ sleep suit and two books on non-crying it out sleep methods. Just in case it was a bad case of gas I was ready to give up all caffeine, dairy, gluten, and soy products. As a mostly vegan this was a depressing prospect.

Of course the very next night she slept like a champ for 11 hours in her new sleep suit and with her air conditioning unit set slightly lower than I thought she would like. The books will still be an interesting read, but whoever would have thought that the baby liked sleeping in a lower temperature?!?!

The moral of the story here is that there are companies out there that prey on very very vulnerable parents. Listening to baby screams and being forced to stay awake is considered a form of torture. You can pay 5-10 thousand dollars for a sleep consultation when you can get the same advice from a 5$ used book from Amazon. I saw a very appropriate quote on the Facebooks the other day, “A worried parent does better research than the FBI”. Do some internet research on the subject and read a varied amount of sources.

If you are curious we will be reviewing the sleep suit and the two books once I have time to fully test all three products!


Photo Blog: May 2013 Monterey Cloth Diaper Party

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Today we had the pleasure of being part of the Cinco De Mayo Monterey Cloth Diaper Party! Matt and I got to share our babywearing addiction and our prefold love with expecting and new parents! Here are some photos from today’s event!

DSC_4684 DSC_4682 DSC_4666 DSC_4645 DSC_4648 DSC_4659 DSC_4651 DSC_4655 DSC_4657


Master of ceremonies Karla holding the raffle money and tickets!

Master of ceremonies Karla holding the raffle money and tickets!

My trusty prefold demo assistant!

My trusty prefold demo assistant!

awesome raffle donation by Rockin Green

awesome raffle donation by Rockin Green

Thirsties very generous prize packet donation!

Thirsties very generous prize packet donation!

Delightful donation and diaper display by Expressed Luv

Delightful donation and diaper display by Expressed Luv

Very cute donation by LuxEase

Very cute donation by LuxEase

super yummy donation by milkmakers!

super yummy donation by milkmakers!

Beautiful display by Melaleuca

Beautiful display by Melaleuca

Super cute donation diapers from Soft Bums

Super cute donation diapers from Soft Bums

Overwhelming generous diaper starter pack from Krocket Pocket Diapers!

Overwhelming generous diaper starter pack from Krocket Pocket Diapers!

A very special thanks to all of our raffle donors we made $116 for the Monterey Rape Crisis Center!

Rockin Green Detergent


Mighty Mamas



Krocket Pocket Diapers



Diaper Ferry by Sarah Jones Ferry

Expressed Luv

Someone even managed to sneak in a nap during all of the hustle and bustle!

Someone was all worn out by the end of festivities!

Someone was all worn out from all of the festivities!

Matt, baby, and I had such a delightful time meeting new friends and are looking forward to the next one!

Giveaway: FirstBike Balance Bike

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We have teamed up with Baby Dash to bring you a great giveaway!

Check out Baby Dash’s review of the FirstBike HERE

I am excited to tell you that I will be giving away a FirstBike Street Bike, color of choice to one of my readers (value $159)! I think I am just as excited as you are!


This Giveaway is brought to you By:


Enter below to win!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Our 529 College Savings Plan – Where are we so far

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As of 3 days ago, Stella is now a five month old.  Bring on the teething!  It’s also a good time to check-in on the ole 529.  That is what got us started here afterall.

Today her 529 account closed at $1,904.49.  As it’s only been open 4 months, to keep things simple we’ll call that an average of $476/mo we’ve been able to put into the account.  As that is quite a bit more than my car payment it feels rather considerable, but in the grand scheme of planning for college, not so much.

Screen Shot 2013-05-04 at 8.01.48 PM

Based on our current savings plan we’re on track to be $107,000 short of paying for in-state tuition.  Worse yet, the average monthly is skewed a bit as we had some gifts from family that are included in that total.  At our current rate of $300/mo we’re investing into the account it will actually be closer to a $140k shortfall – Time to hit up the grandparents.

What’s the plan?  I pitched the idea of buying a classic Porsche that would appreciate in value and easily pay for college in 18 years, but that plan was rejected fairly quickly (although it’s not all that crazy).  For us it includes finding some additional sources of income to supplement our savings.  Rachel now spends an hour or two a day researching vendors and wholesale pricing as we’re in the process of starting a small online store.  Our goal is to create a very modest $250-500/mo that we can put towards college.  While we’d love to shoot for the stars, this has to be a business that is manageable by a busy full-time mom and a dad who works a good bit more than full-time.

While our plans may not work for everyone, I do recommend getting a good handle on expenses.  We are fairly religious users of to track our finances and investments.  This is a great way to aggregate all accounts into a single system that lets you create goals for college, paying down debts, saving, and investing.  Before we started using it we mainly flew by the seat of our pants with our finances.  Having our financial status in our face (we do try to go at least once a week) has been a great way to keep our spending in check and our savings on target.

Note – That’s not an advertisement.  I just find it to be a really great product… which also happens to be free. 



Is Breastfeeding Best? Scientifically Speaking

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In 2011 the American Surgeon General published an 87 page “Call to Action to Support Breastfeeding”.

In 2009 Australia voted to invest well over 3 million dollars into the Australian National Breastfeeding Strategy 2010-2015.

Norway has banned all advertising for infant formula.  – The Guardian 

Why you ask? Because there has been a gigantic push to get more babies on the breast. Breastfeeding rates are the lowest in the United Kingdom and the United States with not more than a quarter of the population breastfeeding at 6 months post partum.

Any breastfeeding page, forum, or support group will spout of numerous statistics and studies stating that breastfeeding will reduce everything from ear infections to ovarian cancer rates in the breastfeeding mother. However there is one woman who is a professor of gender studies at Texas A&M University who is challenging the science behind first world countries’ push towards force-feeding breastfeeding.

In her 2010 book, Is Breast Best? Taking on the Breastfeeding Experts and the New High Stakes of Motherhood Wolf challenges the legitimacy of the scientific studies on breastfeeding. Many in the breastfeeding community have attacked her book and it has received a largely negative response.

“Women who choose to go through the labour of breastfeeding have made a commitment to go the extra mile for the sake of their baby’s health,” says Wolf. “They are likely to be doing all kinds of other things too. Their homes are clean. They wash their hands. They will be reading more, talking more, serving more fruit and vegetables …

“When you look at all of those things and hold them up to the very small differences that researchers find, it could very well all be down to these environmental factors.” – The Guardian 

Wolf’s point is that we are putting too much faith into studies which cannot prove or disprove the benefits of mother’s milk for an infant. The science behind the claims are inherently flawed and the resulting pressure on the mother can be overwhelming. The main point of her book is:

“I would not exaggerate the hugeness of the research into the benefits of breastfeeding. It’s lovely if you can do it. But formula is the next best thing. I don’t think it makes much difference either way if you provide lots of love and cuddles.” Some things science can’t disprove.” – The Guardian 

We here at 529onadime promoted breastfeeding as a way to save for college, but this is without taking into account the cost per hour of the mother’s time to actually nurse and pump versus the cost per hour of a formula feeding mom to prepare bottles and formula feed. Do I smell a future blog post coming! If there are any formula feeding moms out there who would like to participate in a light hearted loosely based in science study please shoot us an email rachel (at)


Other Uses for Woven Wraps

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For the first night in quite some time the baby went to bed early… Matt and I found ourselves bored with nothing to do, and thus this blog post was created!

Have you been looking at the fancy expensive woven wraps? Haven’t been able to justify the cost to your significant other? 529onadime here to show you some other uses for woven wraps besides plain old wrapping! If these don’t help you justify that $200 purchase nothing will!

Ground Cover

Gone out for a picnic in the park and forgot your blanket? No worries if you are using a woven wrap!


soaking up the rays!



Superman Cape

faster than a speeding baby!

faster than a speeding baby!

Play Fort

queen of the world!

queen of the world!




Cat Bed

this wrap was thoroughly lint rolled after this photo was taken!

this wrap was thoroughly lint rolled after this photo was taken!


replace mei tai with woven wrap!

replace mei tai with woven wrap!

Table Runner


Shower Power




we highly recommend only using this when all else has failed!

we highly recommend only using this when all else has failed!

Mummy Wrap/ Adult Blanket


Dress or Toga



Airplane Neck Pillow



Carpet or Stair Runner



Fashion Scarf or Shawl


No wraps were harmed in the making of this blog post. All wraps were lint rolled and washed after the photo shoot!

Please note this was all in pure fun we absolutely do not encourage actually using your wraps for these purposes. For the love of everything that is good in the world do not leave your infant alone with a woven wrap. Do not try this at home, but please do send any other suggestions you have for other uses of woven wraps!

Chinese Mothers Arrested for Smuggling Baby Formula

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In Hong Kong, the number of arrests for smuggling baby formula this year outnumbers those for drug traffickers for the all of 2012.   The demand for formula made in the UK or USA is now so high, it has been rationed to ensure that other countries have sufficient supplies for their citizens.

This obsession with imported baby formula dates back to 2008 when 6 children died and over 300,000 infants became seriously ill.

The Chinese company Sanlu had illegally added the chemical melamine to diluted milk products to falsely boost protein levels. While the company was sanctioned by the state, consumers had no standing to get redress in court. Comedians in Hong Kong joked that “Made in China” should come with a skull and crossbones warning.

While one would think that would have resulted in significant new regulation in the Chinese formula industry, the problems persist.  Contamination  has become a frequent concern not only for the baby formula, but also eroding confidence in other food products manufactured in China.

In the past year three different Chinese companies, Mengniu, Ava Dairy and Yili group have run into problems. The first two recalled baby formula containing high amounts of aflatoxin, a fungal carcinogen probably introduced via the feed for cows. And Yili issued a recall of its formula due to high mercury contamination.

Since that time, Chinese parents have primarily turned to Japan as a source of baby formula.

But with the Fukushima nuclear disaster in 2011 rumors spread of radioactive contamination of many Japanese products. Most of these were unfounded, but to already concerned parents, they started to look further afield.

For those still seeking formula from China, the increased political tensions have made it nearly impossible to sneak shipments from Japan through more strict customs policies.

And what about breast feeding?   The number of Chinese  women who breast feed exclusively for the first four months is down 28% in the last ten years.  While many have been forced to use formula based on work demands, feeding your child formula has become a status symbol in the country.   It is increasingly used as a way to show off to other parents that you are more affluent.


Source – Forbes

What is the Best Way to Start Cloth Diapering?

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tumblr_mdg4vxk6yy1r2rerao1_500Interested in saving money and the earth by ditching disposables, but too scared to pull the trigger? The most frequent question I have seen and have received about cloth diapers is, “How do I start?”

Well in the immortal words of the Nike advertising slogan, “JUST DO IT”.

You can hem and haw, ponder, and worry until you are dead about cloth diapers (or anything in life for that matter), but the only way you are going to know if you like it is to just jump right in and DO IT! To take the sting off of jumping right on into the icy waters we have come up with a frugal guide on how to tackle this wonderful revitalized world of cloth diapering

Cloth Diaper Trials

These are awesome ways to try out cloth diapering for a large deposit but you get your money back minus $10-30 at the end of the trial period. I highly recommend these if you have a tough to fit child and are trying to find out what brand/fit/style etc will work with your babe. Some popular cloth diaper trails are:

Diaper Swaps

You can find a million and one facebook buy/ sell/ trade pages for diapers. This is another great way to try a million different pockets, AIOs (all-in-ones), fitteds, covers, prefolds, etc. Since the diapers are used all of the manufacturers’ warranties are going to be voided. Since they are voided I highly recommend doing a quick wash with about 1/3 vinegar and then another quick wash with 1/2 cup bleach and then 3-4 rinses to get the bleach smell out. This will ensure that you have killed beyond a shadow of a reasonable doubt anything that may have accidentally hitched a ride on your diapers.

Newborn Diaper Rentals

The majority of babies will only be in newborn sized diapers for between 4-6 weeks. If you are planning on diapering two or more children then it would be wise to invest in some newborn diapers. However if you are not sure I highly recommend renting newborn diapers or purchasing used ones off the swaps. Do not go out and purchase 50+ newborn diapers you will turn around and have to purchase 50+ one size or the next size up diapers before the quarter is over. Here are some popular newborn rental programs:

Diaper Service

If you have some extra money to spend you should explore the wide world of diaper services. This is also a wonderful baby shower present for a new mom! I would have given my left arm to have a month or two of diapering service when my daughter was first born! These are just like back in the 1950s. They come pick up  your dirty prefolds and leave you clean ones for the week! Try a google service for a cloth diaper service in your area!

Helpful Reminders

  • Cloth diapers will last you through 2-3 kids’ entire span of diapering, but only if you follow the manufacturer’s washing instructions. If you purchase new diapers plan on following the manufacturer’s washing instructions until the diaper is out of its warranty period.
  • Cloth diaper hold their value. If you purchase brand new diapers and get two or three months into diapering and decide it is not for you then rest assured you will be able to make the majority of your money back by selling your diapers on the swap groups.
  • Try a variety. Do not purchase all of one brand/type of diaper until you have tested it out and compared it with other brands of diapers. No spouse goes out and purchases 25 pairs of the exact same jeans for their significant other without knowing which style, color, brand, and size work best with that person’s body type.
  • Exclusively breast fed babies’ poop is water soluble. There is no need to rinse diaper they will rinse out in the wash. If you get yellow stains hang them up in some sun to bleach out the stain!
  • If dealing with poop is what is holding you up, you can get disposable liners to lay on the diaper. You can flush or throw the poop away! I prefer liners over diaper sprays because you will not have a hose hooked up to every bathroom you will have to change your child in!
  • Some children will have allergic reactions to manmade fabrics. If you have a sensitive child stick with all natural fabrics like 100% cotton prefolds.
  • If you want to use traditional diaper creams on your cloth diapers you must use a liner or you will ruin your diaper’s absorbency. We personally stick with Terra Naturali’s Baby Bum Bum Balm or expeller pressed coconut oil (which is recommended for fighting yeast infections) which are both cloth diaper safe. HERE is a more in depth article about cloth diaper save diaper rash creams.
  • LAUNDRY You will want to stick with the list of approved diaper detergents. You do not have to but if you want to extend the life of your diapers you will want to stick with it. HERE is a list of cloth diaper laundry detergents. Again the best way to get rid of stains is the sun. If your diapers are out of warranties and you have a super stubborn stain try oxyclean and a toothbrush. Get prepared to do laundry every 2-3 days. It is surprisingly predictable and very routine. I personally hate doing the rest of the house’s laundry but I do not mind the diapers!

I was convinced we were going to use AIOs and bought 24 of them before my baby was born. Once my little miss arrived I quickly realized that I prefered pockets, my husband and rest of the family prefer to use aplix and hook and loop over snaps, and prefolds and covers are the least expensive way to go but I am the only one in the family who will use them. My daughter has turned into a skinny waisted and chubby thighed baby and there are certain brands that will not fit her. Again cloth diapers are like jeans no two skinny leg jeans are alike!

I cannot stress enough that cloth diapering is not as overwhelming as the internet makes it out to be. Try it out and then only worry about the “what-ifs” as they arise otherwise it is all worry for nothing!