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Old 01-11-2011, 09:52 AM
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Mom-to-be questions re: cloth diapering and formula suggestions

Hi All,

As I prepare for the arrival of our little one, I have two babycare items that I haven't totally prepared for -- diapering and feeding. I was going to wait and see what my daughter was like and what her habits/preferences were before committing to something, but I thought I would solicit the advice/help/experience of the other AF mamas on here

(I'll preface all this by saying that even though I'm a first-time mom, I have lots of experience caring for kids and raising my baby brother, so it's not like I've never fed or diapered a baby, but when it comes to my own, I am trying to a tad more cognizant of my choices)

I'll start with diapering because that's easier I have lots of disposables at the house that I got at my shower, from friends & family, etc, but I am really considering going the cloth diaper route and then supplementing with disposables. I've invested in starter sets of two kinds of cloth diapers -- a few All-in-Ones and some pre-folds with waterproof covers. Has anyone ever cloth diapered? What has your experience been like and do you have any recommendations? I did my own research online, but am wondering what others have experienced

As far as feeding, I would like to breastfeed and pump (because I plan on going back to work full-time), but since I can't be prepared for things out of my control (baby doesn't want to BF, i'm not producing enough milk, etc. etc.), I want to be prepared just in case. I haven't bought any formula or anything, but I am thinking I should have some in the house before she comes home, just in case (or for supplementing). For those who use formula, what kind would you recommend? The brand I've seen used the most for babies I've taken care of is Similac, but I know tons of other brands are out there as well.

Any suggestions on either will be greatly appreciated Thanks!!!!

Oh, and I'm full-term today
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Old 01-11-2011, 10:07 AM
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congratulations, anna.

i formula fed my first. that was 6 years ago though. we tried enfamil, similac, and nestle good start. he seemed to do the best on good start. i think enfamil, similac, etc all have good formulas, so imo it's just up to whatever you decide to use (hopefully you won't need to use forumula ) and how well baby tolerates it. eta: i'm sure you know this already... i wanted to add that i don't recommend switching formulas quickly. it should be a gradual thing if baby doesn't tolerate it. i switched formulas for my son over a 6 month period because he was always so fussy after eating and seemed to be having a hard time digesting it.

i tried cloth diapering with my first and quickly gave up, so i can't really offer any advice/suggestions there...

sorry, i'm not much help.
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Old 01-11-2011, 10:36 AM
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congrats on being full term!

i cloth diapered when at home and used disposables when i went out. we had a service here and i bought some myself. the biggest issue i had is that they tend to be bulky as baby gets chubbier, lol. a couple of mine had some thunder thighs and i'd be challenged to get those cloth diapers beyond the thigh folds. i liked it and it was a good compromise to have them wear disposables when we were out. i didn't feel so tied down to poopoo issues.
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Old 01-11-2011, 11:36 AM
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Sorry, I'm no help. I went all in with breastfeeding and my motto was, "failure is not an option" we did have some samples that were given to us of Similac from the OB and the hospital. It's still hanging out in the closet. If you do decide to go with formula sign up on their web page and they will send you formula checks in varying amounts (like a coupon) Some of the formula checks that i have received have been up to $12. Though I have never used a single on, I do know people who formula feed so I pass them along.

I wanted to cloth diaper because I thought it would be more economical in the long run...since we plan to have more than one I would have been able to use diapers for a second baby. However, I got talked out of it and the more I thought about how much I just really dread doing laundry the more I was able to talk myself out of it. LOL Either way, I'm sure your little darling will be happy! Good luck.

Oh, and you should pick Jasmin's brain! She is currently cloth diapering Samson and started using them when he was just a few weeks old I believe. I'm sure she'd be more than happy to share her experience.
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Old 01-11-2011, 11:41 AM
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I cloth diapered my first and in the beginning I like pre-folds and fitteds (Kissaluvs were very nice) with waterproof covers. As she got bigger, I liked pocket diapers. I like Fuzzi Bunz and BumGenius which are a one size fits all style. They are pretty much like all in ones, but you stuff the absorbant material into a pocket. They are a little more work with laundry, but they dry so much faster than all in ones, I think it is worth it.

For going out, I would usually take her out in the cloth, but if I needed to change her I would use a disposable. I just carried a wet bag in my diaper bag to carry the used cloth diaper.
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Old 01-11-2011, 01:38 PM
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Congrats on being Full Term!!! Yay!

We use Similac Advanced for Ruby and I exclusively formula feed. She tolerates it well. Of course every baby is different. Our oldest was also fed this and she did well with it too. I guess I've never looked at other formulas but I think they are all pretty comparable price-wise.

I'm no help with the diaper question -- good luck with you quest!!
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Old 01-11-2011, 02:46 PM
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I cloth diapered! didnt go the formula route because I was lazy (yes lazy and cloth diapers dont really go together in most peoples minds, lol) There are so many awesome different types of cloth diapers.. but we did use disposables for some outings because sometimes I just wanted to throw the poo away and not carry it around with me in a bag.

If you have any cloth questions, feel free to PM me
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Old 01-11-2011, 03:23 PM
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I didn't do cloth diapers I've formula fed my baby and she gets Enfamil Soy. Before that she was on regular Enfamil, which I've had to switch back to before when none of the stores around here have any of the Soy kind in stock, which I know isn't good for a baby's tummy but it seems like the whole area wants Soy at the same time that I do so I've learned to keep 2 cans on stock. I've learned the hard way but formula is expensive so make sure you sign for all the baby coupons and formula coupons in advance so that you can get some good deals. My son was also formula fed Soy, don't remember what brand. My daughter was fed breast milk, supplemented with Neosure for a couple of months.
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Old 01-11-2011, 07:37 PM
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I didn't cloth diaper or formula feed, but I would suggest just waiting on buying formula. Like Lauren said, you'll likely get some at the hospital. I got two diaper bags from each baby, one each from Similac and Enfamil. Each had samples, and somehow I got signed up on their lists and they even mailed me cans once in a while. So sign up now I know a lot of people like Good Start, too.
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Old 01-11-2011, 07:48 PM
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Thanks ladies for all the wonderful tips!! I just signed up on Similac, Enfamil and Gerber's websites Every little bit helps
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Old 01-11-2011, 07:59 PM
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Oh, don't forget Huggies, Pampers and Luvs! Even if you do go the cloth route, if you want to do disposables when you're out and about, the coupons are nice.
Whoa, I didn't realize that Gerber owns Good Start now
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Old 01-11-2011, 08:50 PM
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I used Huggies for both babies, cloth diapers grossed me out (but I am weird I guess) I don't breastfeed. I use similac advance with my daughter now and she likes it, I guess it just all depends on the baby because my son spit up ALL the time with Similac so we used enfamil for him.
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Old 01-11-2011, 09:21 PM
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I didn't use cloth diapers, but I did formula feed. In the hospital there was only the choice between milk-based Enfamil & Similac when I had K. We gave her the Enfamil, and on the day we brought her home she threw up everywhere. When we started feeding her at home we noticed she was really having problems digesting the formula. Our pediatrician recommended switching to soy-based formula. Once we started feeding her Similac Soy she was fine! So this time I'm bringing the soy-based formula to the hospital. They sell big cans of the soy formula at Costco She's fine with small amounts of milk now though.
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Old 01-11-2011, 10:02 PM
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Hi!

So I cloth diaper Sammy and he gets formula when I am at work so hopefully I can be of some service to you. I use these diapers because they are CHEAP and good quality. They are basically bumgenious copies. Home - Kawaii Baby Diapers - theLuvYourBaby.com I am convinced disposables give my son a rash. I use disposables when ever I am on vacation and low and behold Samson got his first ever awful diaper rash while I was on my longest disposable binge. I also use disposables at night because I couldn't find a cloth diaper that could hold up at night and I have heard wool diaper covers work well at night but they gross me out. I will say that it is REALLY hard for me to cloth diaper part time because it is SO tempting to use the disposables because they are in the house. Also you can't really take days off from cloth diapering because then you won't have a full load to wash and you can't put off diaper laundry. I don't know who is caring for your LO when you go back to work but some places won't use cloth diapers. Also I have heard cloth diapered kids potty train earlier. My nephew totally potty trained at 18 months and he was cloth diapered. Samson will only take liquid good start. If you are totally dedicated to breast feeding I wouldn't have formula in the house. The first two weeks of breastfeeding CAN be really challenging and if you start supplementing it can mess up your supply and then you won't have enough and then you will be supplementing more etc. I know that if I would have had formula in the house during that time I would have given up on breastfeeding.

Wow I wrote a lot. Sorry.
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Old 01-12-2011, 07:01 AM
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I never used cloth diapers. That whole thing scares me
I found the Costco brand diapers to work the best. They didn't leak like Pampers, Huggies, & Luvs did. And, the ever dreaded blow outs weren't as bad.

I breastfed 6 months then formula fed til 12 months. Similac & Enfamil both made my babies really gassy & they spit up a lot. Good Start was the best for all 3 of my kiddos.

I'm so excited for you!!!
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Old 01-12-2011, 07:23 AM
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See, what'd I tell ya!? Jasmin came through! Good luck
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Old 01-12-2011, 07:36 AM
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I didn't cloth diaper with either of mine. I used Huggies with Abram until I figured out that the Walgreens brand is AWESOME. Way better than Huggies or Pampers. I also nursed Abram for 3 months and then tried to find a formula that he could tolerate.....and it was the Wal-mart brand Parent's Choice. Every other one would make him scream from gas.

With Evan I use Luv's because they have improved the stretchy tabs, but I also use the Walgreens brand because like I said before they are awesome. Evan was breastfed until 9 months and then I used the Walmart brand formula with him because he was a major puker and he tolerated it best. I tried all kinds. I did start him on whole milk this week, he will be 1 tomorrow (WTF).

I am so sad.

YAY ANNA!!! You are so close. Once she is here....you'll be able to make a decision on diapers and feeding. But seriously if you think you want to breastfeed, do not buy formula. Buy a good pump and lots of ointment for your tata's.
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Old 01-12-2011, 11:47 AM
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Oh! I just remembered, the target brand disposables were actually pretty good
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Old 01-12-2011, 12:15 PM
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I feed baby James Similac Advance and he is happy with it - a few people recommended the Target equivalent so I tried switching him (it costs about 1/2 as much as Similac) but it made him constipated and cranky so he's back on the Similac. I might try to switch him to something more economical once he's a bit older and his tummy isn't so sensitive - he's a big boy (almost 12lbs already at 6wks), so it will be quite a big savings...

also, as far as breastfeeding/pumping, check with your health insurance b/c I was able to get a Medela Pump in Style for free (the lactation consultant from the hospital even delivered it to me at home)! BF ultimately didn't work for us (I couldn't keep up with his big appetite) and it made me feel like a total failure, but when I saw how much happier he was when he was getting enough food from the formula, I knew it was for the best.
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Old 01-12-2011, 01:32 PM
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I was too lazy and post-partum-ish to even consider cloth diapers, so I used disposables - Pampers at first, and then the Target disposables - they are very good.

I can't help on the formula front, my baby never took a bottle (he HATED every kind I bought), but I know I left the hospital with a bag full of samples, so there is no need to rush on buying any, I guess.

Congrats on being full term!
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Old 01-12-2011, 01:59 PM
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Anna – I don’t have much to say about cloth diapering, as I never did it. But for disposables I think the pampers swaddlers are great! And you’re wise for being prepared with at least a little bit of knowledge on formula. I went in thinking that I would be able to breastfeed successfully, didn’t even consider the possibility that it might not work out. Well, it didn’t work out and I had no bottles, no formula, no knowledge of sterilizing or anything. So there I am with a hungry newborn trying to figure it all out, running around to various stores, and completely overwhelmed at the different kinds of bottles! Anyway, take as many formula samples from the hospital as they’ll give you, they’re very convenient. Dr. Browns bottles are what I ultimately settled on, whether or not they’re that much better than the others, who knows… And for the first few months I mainly used Carnation Good Start formula because my lactation consultant told me this brand was closest to breast milk. But I eventually ended up switching to the Costco brand.

Amanda – Do you have a Costco membership? The Kirkland formula is roughly the same price as the Target brand formula and my son’s nurse said it’s the same as Similac. I actually don’t think it’s EXACTLY the same, but it’s probably very close. I used it with James (I have a James too!) for months and he did great on it. Saved a ton on money too!
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Old 01-12-2011, 02:47 PM
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I cloth-diapered my son from about 3 months till he was about 14 months old. Then he started developing allergies to the fleece in the pocket diapers I was using. Long story short, after 2 months of trying EVERYTHING (short of buying new types of diapers), I switched him back to disposibles and the horrible rashes he had disappeared.

If I were to do it again (and I probably will with our next baby), I would start with some prefolds and covers. They are much cheaper than pocket or all-in-one diapers, and you can easily adjust the absorbency by adding or removing layers. Plus, you can get organic cotton which is much better for babies' skin as it's unlikely she/he'll develop allergies to it (much more common with fleece/polyester/microfibre diapers).

As for formula, I never used it. My son was 6 weeks early and it was a trying process to breastfeed (I had to pump exclusively for the first week that he was in the NICU), but I never regretted the time I spent doing it. He nursed almost constantly for many months which was tiring, but it was all for the best for him. He self-weaned at about 18 months, which was a little sad, though I was ready to be done.

One thing I'd caution you on is signing up for free samples on formula companies' websites. I don't ever recall signing up for them (I might have inadvertently done so by entering a contest at a maternity store) and I STILL get coupons/ads/samples that I will never use.

I hope the rest of your pregnancy goes well
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Old 01-12-2011, 03:16 PM
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Yeah, I never did the cloth diapers either. Pampers swadlers were the best until both boys were in a size 1 or 2, then I usually got the huggies bulk boxes from costco. For store brands, Target was also awesome (hated white cloud, parents choice, safeway brand...and I know I tried a few other cheapies that were horrible), and luvs were also good.

I never did end up using formula, but had a few of the sample tins around the house just in case. I got free samples from the hospital and in the mail.

Good luck with the diapering Anna! I always thought it would have been nice to cloth diaper, so we didn't produce so much landfill waste, but I couldn't handle washing the diapers.
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Old 01-12-2011, 03:23 PM
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This is why AF is so awesome -- you guys are the best and such a plethora of information Thank you everyone for the helpful suggestions! I'm noting all of them and am sure I'll go through some trial-and-error before I settle on what works best for my baby.

I'm not a crazy environmentalist or anything, but I think cloth diapering would be good to try, and I've read about it being better for baby's skin, which is a huge plus for me. I was born in a tiny village in China (so was one of my brothers) and spent the first two years of my life there, so I grew up on cloth diapers and my mom is a pro at them. She will be a good resource for me, but when I say they have seriously old-school methods, I mean SERIOUSLY OLD SCHOOL . We're talking pieces of cloth that are pinned together with a pair of baby-chaps over them. I've seen baby pictures of myself (the few that exist) and I look hilarious. But, one of the biggest benefits, and I've heard this from my mom and other parents too, is that it encourages early potty training (from both sides). My brother and I were both potty trained before 2, and my youngest brother, who was born here and raised on disposibles, wasn't fully trained until after 3. That's a big enough push for me to want to try it
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Old 01-12-2011, 03:34 PM
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my experience with disposable diapers...

pampers are great for boys, but huggies are better for girls.
however, i do not like pampers anymore since they started using "dry max" for most of their diapers.

i really hope cloth diapering works out for you though, anna. i would have loved to keep it up, but it was just too much work for me.
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