Bathing Your Newborn

It has been a while since I have done a post specifically aimed at new moms, so here is one just for you – tips for bathing your newborn.

As you know, a newborn is completely helpless and you have no choice but to do everything for them. Bathing is one thing you may find difficult until you figure out how to do it.

For starters, you can’t give your baby a tub bath until the cord stump has fallen off, so until that happens (anywhere between 8 and 20 days after birth – 8 to 10 days is average, but some do take longer – Scarlett’s took 17 days) you will have to make do with a sponge bath.

You may find it easiest to give a sponge bath on your bed, or perhaps on a table or changing table. I always liked the bed because then I could sit during the bath. First gather the items you will need: soap, shampoo, lotion, diapers, towel, washcloth, clothes, changing pad. Lay the changing pad down first to protect the bed from getting wet, then put the towel on top. Make sure the room is warm. Turn off the fan or close windows if there is a breeze. In winter, heat the room well before undressing your baby.

Get your water in a small basin and make sure it is not too hot. Place this basin on the bed next to the bath area, or if you are ok to bend, put it on the floor. I always found it easier to keep it on the bed, though. Undress your baby carefully. Don’t yank the clothes off, but gently remove their limbs. If you have to lift something over their head, undo the snaps or stretch it as far as it will go and carefully pull it over.

Newborns will often pee as soon as they are undressed so you may want to put a cloth diaper or a folded towel under the baby’s bottom to protect the bath towel, otherwise you can leave the diaper on until you are ready to wash their bottom.

Using a soft washcloth, wet it and gently wash your baby’s face first. Then using some soap, wash the neck, arms and torso, taking care to clean all creases and behind the ears. Newborns have lots of folds in their skin, so you have to clean between them to avoid rashes, irritation or infection. You will have to gently pry their hands open and clean between the fingers as they gather an amazing amount of lint and dirt.

Next take the diaper off. If there is doo-doo, clean it away with wet wipes, then wash with your cloth and soap. Make sure you avoid getting the cord stump wet. Last of all, wash their legs and feet. Dry your baby well, gently patting instead of rubbing. If the skin is dry, apply some baby lotion, gently massaging it in.

Once the cord stump falls off, you can use a baby bath tub for baths, or you can take your baby with you into the regular tub or shower. You may not get yourself too clean, but perhaps you could have someone there to help you and they could hand you the baby after you wash yourself.

Logan at 10 weeks – his first tub bath.

If you are using the baby bath, make sure to support their head, neck and torso the entire time, and never ever lay them down in the tub on their own. The chance of drowning is there so don’t take the risk. Get everything you need together before you put the baby in, and if you do forget something, ask someone else to get it or take baby out.

Unless you have one of these tub supports. Even then, never leave your baby alone in the tub.

For hair washing, simply use your hand to wet the hair, add a drop of baby shampoo, rub gently, then rinse. If you are giving a sponge bath, use the washcloth to wet the hair, add the shampoo and rub, then rinse with the cloth. Newborns have such thin hair that a drop of shampoo is all you need.
If you have had a cesarean delivery, I recommend that you either have the tub at a level where you don’t have to bend, such as on a table or bed, or put it on the bathroom floor and sit there. You shouldn’t be lifting after the delivery, so you will need help to fill and move the tub. Or you can use something to scoop the water in and out of the tub, or just stick with sponge baths until you can bend comfortably.
It is important to dress a newborn warmly after a bath, and wrap them in a blanket too, as they can get chilled easily. You may find they will nap right away afterwards, so it is good to plan bathtime before naptime.
Do you experienced moms have any other tips to add to this list?

Christmas Gift Ideas for Babies and Toddlers

The season is now upon us: Christmas!!! I love Christmas, even more now that I have children to share it with. I have been excitedly buying and stashing gifts for them, some requested and some surprises.

Maybe it is your child’s first Christmas and you want to make it memorable. Or maybe you have opted to make their second Christmas special since on their first they were too young to join the fun and enjoy it. (I can understand this because two of my kids were born in November and were only about 7 weeks old on their first Christmas.)

But as a first-time mommy it is understandable that you might be stumped as to what to get them. You see so many great things, but what is best? My top recommendation is Fisher-Price toys. Why?

1. Quality – they are sturdy and solid.
2. Colorful – they attract children and are fun to use. I find them attractive for me too.
3. Educational – the majority of them teach some skill or educate the child in some way.
4. Most importantly – they don’t break. Toys that break after a few uses are a waste of money. Invest in quality items and they will last a long time.

Here are some of the Fisher-Price toys my children have or had.


This was Logan’s first Christmas gift and his first toy. It is still attached to my stroller even now and Scarlett is using it.

I bought him these trucks when he was three months old and we still have them, except for the smallest one. It got lost.



This was Logan’s first birthday gift. He loved it and played with it until it didn’t make noise any more. He just kept those songs going and going all day long. (Warning: Noisy toys can make mommies go crazy. So if you really want to get a toy like this, do yourself a favor and get some earplugs too.)




Another gift. See it in his hand?


Lila was 8 months old on her first Christmas so I got her something she could work with, as opposed to a rattle. She figured it out quickly.


For her first birthday, Lila got these two toys. Too bad the book got lost; they enjoyed it a lot. We still have the shape sorter and Scarlett uses it now.


Scarlett just had her first birthday and I got her this Tiger Stacker. She really enjoys it.


And for Christmas, she is getting this toy, the Growing Baby Musical Xylo Fish. I can’t wait to see how much she enjoys it.

While I consider Fisher-Price a top brand for small children’s toys, it is by no means the only good brand out there. Some other good ones that I am familiar with are Duplo and Playskool. I also love good wooden toys, though I don’t have a specific brand in mind for that.
I hope this is a help to you. Happy shopping!
Disclaimer: I’ve written this as an idea-giver. It is not a review for Fisher-Price toys. I was not asked to do this and all thoughts and ideas are my own.
What is your favorite toy brand and what do you think you will be getting your child this Christmas?

Caring for Your Baby’s Teeth

Ok, I’ll admit that when it comes to tooth care, I am not the best one to talk about it. I have not taken good care of my own teeth; actually, except for daily brushing, I’ve neglected them entirely. I don’t like dentist visits (had a painful experience once), and I actually let one of my teeth rot during my pregnancies rather than get it taken care of. Bad, I know.

But just because I don’t like it for myself doesn’t mean I should ignore my children’s dental needs. If anything, I should teach them proper dental care so that they don’t have to suffer cavities like I have. 

When my oldest was a baby, somewhere around his second or third tooth, I decided to get him a toothbrush. Since then, I have tried to faithfully brush my kids’ teeth twice daily. Here are some things I have learned about children’s teeth care.

– You have to start cleaning their teeth once they begin solids. You don’t have to clean them if they are only breastfeeding.
– Use a soft bristle toothbrush that is made for babies, but don’t buy an outrageously-priced one. Those are no different from regular brushes; they are just made by companies that want your money and know you will pay any price for something that is for your baby if their logo is on it.
   I recently got a good one for Scarlett made by Johnson and Johnson for a decent price. Colgate has decently-priced ones too.
– I remember reading about a dentist who recommended using a little gauze on your finger to wipe your baby’s teeth and gums after eating. It may work well, but if your baby is a biter (what teething baby isn’t) you may find a toothbrush will save your fingers.
– Since a baby doesn’t chew its food, you don’t really have to scrub their teeth. Just gently brush them.
– Toothpaste is not needed for babies. I started putting a small smidgen of it on the brush, just barely a hint of it for taste when they were past their first birthday.
– Special children’s toothpaste is not needed, unless you are having a hard time getting your kids to brush their teeth. Mine have always been ok with the regular minty stuff.
– Teach your child to spit the toothpaste out from the beginning. Most will swallow it at first, which is why I put so little to begin with, but will eventually learn to spit it out.
– Let your child see you brush your teeth and they will want to do it to.
– You will have to do the brushing for your child for a few years, until they learn how to do it properly on their own. Right now for my kids, I brush their teeth first, and then let them do some so they can learn how to handle the brush.

Here are a few links with reference to when it is best to begin dental checkups and how to find a good pediatric dentist.

Oral Care and Dental Health for Toddlers and Children
Your Child’s First Visit to the Dentist
Majority of parents schedule child’s first dental visit two years too late

Which reminds me, I’d better look into finding a pediatric dentist myself.

Mommies, what has your experience been in caring for your child’s teeth and taking them to the dentist? Do you have any tips or advice you would like to share?

Packing Your Diaper Bag

Picture this: it is your first outing with your newborn. You are excited about going somewhere since you have been stuck in the house for so long, waiting for your baby to be old enough for outings. You get dressed, dress the baby, grab your purse and head out. It isn’t until you get where you are going that you remember you were supposed to bring … something. What was it?
Baby decides it is time to do one of those poops, the kind that leak and spread all over his clothes … and you. Now too late, you remember what you forgot – the diaper bag.
Hopefully this hasn’t happened to you. I’d never wish such horror on anyone (unless I hate them. Then I might just laugh.) Going out with your baby means lugging enough supplies for a small army. How can you keep it down without forgetting anything?

The following is a basic list of items you should pack in your diaper bag. Not everyone will need every item, so I have divided them into must-have’s and optionals.

Elegant yet practical.

2 or 3 disposable diapers – how many you bring will depend on how long you plan on going out for
Package of wet wipes
Changing pad – some diaper bags come with one attached. If yours doesn’t, pack one.
Change of clothes – in case of diaper leaks, throwing up, etc.
Empty plastic bag to place soiled items
1 – 2 bottles and formula – if you don’t breastfeed or if your destination doesn’t provide privacy for breastfeeding. You could either bring the sterilzed water in the bottles and the can of formula, or carry the water in a separate bottle and measure the formula into the clean bottles before you leave. How much you bring will depend on how long you will be out and how many feeds your baby will need in that time frame. Bring a bottle brush if needed.
Hand disinfectant – so you can clean your hands even if you aren’t near a bathroom.
Light-weight sheet for covering baby or to put down on a seat or bed before you put the baby down.
Tissues or a handkerchief.
Sun hat and sunscreen
Sweater or jacket, other warm clothes
Drool or meal bibs
Snacks or baby food – if your baby is old enough for solids and will need them.
A toy or two.
Fancy and fun
Bag options are endless, so whether you have a bag with lots of pockets for sorting everything (my personal favorite), or you have one where everything goes in one place, try keeping it sorted and organized in some sort of order so you don’t have to dig through it when looking for something. Keeping each item at your fingertips will make it easier for you to use your diaper bag. It should be your friend, not something you come to dread carrying.
Mommies, care to share what you put in your bag and how you use it?


Teething is often a painful experience for a baby. Why is it so difficult? I wish I knew. It has been different for all my babies.
Symptoms can vary from general fussyness, having a runny nose and more frequent naps to non-stop crying and fevers. You can tell where the tooth is coming by a slight swelling in the gum. Often a baby will rub this area with his tongue or finger. They will also drool a lot (though this can also vary, see below).
Often a teething baby will stop eating solids because it is painful on the part of the gums where the tooth is coming in. They will either nurse more, or stop eating altogether. Their sleep may also be disturbed; they will wake more often and be fussy.
Logan always got at least a 24 hour fever before his teeth broke through. I spent many days carrying and cuddling him as he was very fussy when teething and refused to be put down. Lila drooled a lot but I don’t recall her ever having fevers. Scarlett got her first teeth early, at only 3 1/2 months. She drooled then, but with later teeth she didn’t. The last 3 came within 10 days of each other – not a happy time for us. Amazingly, she never drooled. Instead, she makes this “ck” sound all day long and I think she is swallowing the extra saliva (she still does this even though she isn’t teething right now).
Difficult as it is, there is no way around teething. The best we can do is make them comfortable and walk through it with them. Here are some things you can try to soothe your baby:

– First-time teethers may find comfort in gnawing on your finger. Just don’t try this once the teeth are through, especially top and bottom, cause you will be bitten for sure. And teething babies bite hard!
– Something cold to bite may be soothing cause the cold will lightly numb the gums. Try using a water-filled teething ring, chilled in the fridge (don’t freeze). A peeled carrot could work too, though don’t continue this once they are able to bite chunks out to avoid choking.
– You may be able to interest them in something cold to eat, like blended fruit or yoghurt.
– Some babies may like to bite wooden spoons or any large spoon from your utensil drawer.

If your baby is crying non-stop and seems to be in a lot of pain, you could first try giving them gripe water. I don’t know what it is about it, but my kids always stopped crying almost instantly after having it. If you feel it is needed, you could also give them a children’s painkiller. Here I get Crocin in a syrup. Look for whatever you have locally available and make sure to follow the dosage exactly. Also, make sure it is for babies, as some are specifically only for children over a year or two.

If the bottle comes with a dropper, use that. Otherwise, get your own dropper or use a medicine spoon or bottle. These make it easy to give medicine to a baby. Make sure you don’t just drop it on the tip of their tongue or they will spit it out, and medicines can stain. Use a cloth or bib to protect their clothes. Squeeze the dropper into the back of the mouth so that they swallow it right away.

I have never used teething gels, mainly because I always heard they were dangerous. But I have never researched this so I can’t say for certain. I’d recommend doing some research before trying it.

Happy Teething!

Mommies, do you have any tips to share? We’d love to hear them.

Drooling and Neck Care

Often one of the first signs of teething is when your baby starts to drool all the time. Since there is nothing you can do to stop drooling, you will want to do what you can to make sure your baby stays dry so as to avoid infection.

Each baby drools differently. Some just a little and others enough to fill a jug. Most, though, fall inbetween. You will want to have on hand a stack of cloth bibs to protect the clothing and keep your baby dry. The ones I like best are thick cloth ones that absorb well. You can also get bibs with a plasic lining on the back so that the drool doesn’t soak through to your baby’s clothes.

Whichever you choose, you will need to keep an eye on how often the bib gets wet and make sure to change it as soon as it is wet around the neck. Because of the fat rolls a baby has around their neck, it is easy for infection to set in if the creases get wet and dirty and are not cleaned well.

You may find, like I did with Lila, that no matter how well you clean those creases, you will still smell a rotten cheese-type odor in part of their neck. I thought I was getting everything clean, but she had so many creases and folds on her neck that it was easy to miss parts. I would wash her and still smell that smell and could not figure out where it was coming from. I finally had to tilt her head to the side and open the folds and I found a part that was infected.

To get rid of such infection, the area must be dry. Easier said than done with a drooling baby. Since the infection will most likely be under the chin or on the side of the neck, you will need to tilt your baby’s head to clean it. Wash with water and soap, then dry well. Don’t rub it dry; just daub it gently so as not to hurt your baby. To help it heal, apply an antibiotic powder (I used Neosporin). This will keep the area dry too.

Do this as often as needed throughout the day, until it is healed. You may find, as I did, that the same area will be prone to repeat infections, and that it will continue until your baby gets bigger and the folds of fat disappear with growth. In hot weather you may need to clean baby’s neck a few times a day. This is easy to do with a washcloth.

In summary:
– Use bibs when your baby starts drooling to keep their clothes dry.
– Change wet bibs as often as needed.
– To avoid infection, wash the creases in your baby’s neck well daily, or as often as needed.
– If infection sets in, wash and dry the affected area, then apply an antibiotic powder.

How have you handled such a situation?

Baby Needs, Part 2

Picking up where we left off… (pt.1 is here)
Here is a list of basic items you will want to have on hand before your baby comes.

Receiving blankets – at least 3
Warmer blankets – only needed in cold climates
Sheets – for the crib, 3 or 4; you may also find some thin small ones useful for when you need to put your baby down somewhere other than the crib, for the first few months.
Plastic sheet – to cover the crib mattress if it isn’t already protected. That way you won’t have to scrub things like pee and vomit out of the mattress.
Set of bumper pads to go around the crib – for wooden cribs

(Important: avoid pillows for babies. They could cause suffication if the baby were to get face-down in it and not be able to move back. Children don’t really need pillows in bed until they are around 3 years old.)

Puddle pad – for protecting surfaces during diaper changes
Changing and bath supplies – diapers, wipes (useful for the early months and outings), washcloths, baby shampoo, soap, cologne, and lotion or powder (lotion is for dry weather, powder for humid).
Nose bulb – for removing excess mucous either after birth or when baby has a cold.
Medicine dropper or bottle – in case you need it.
Baby hairbrush
Nail clippers – don’t get a baby manicure set no matter how cute it is. People who invent such things obviously don’t have babies. Only get the clippers.
Bottles – even if you plan on breastfeeding fulltime, it is a good idea to have one or two 4oz. bottles on hand, with the correct size nipples, in case you need to express milk or give formula.
Bottle brush – for cleaning the bottles
Diaper bag – ones with lots of pockets are more practical for keeping items sorted. But you don’t have to carry a real diaper bag. You may prefer to opt for a large purse or shoulder bag, something that expresses you. Click here for my post on diaper bags.
Toys – a mobile is nice for over the crib, and a few soft toys. But don’t buy too many. You will probably be given lots at your baby shower.

For you:
Breast pump – useful if you have more milk than baby can drink, or if you need to pump so baby can have milk at home while you go out.
Breast pads – you can get either cloth or disposable ones. These are very useful in the early months when you have so much milk and it leaks when nursing.
Nursing bras – nursing bras open so that you don’t have to take your breast out to nurse. Buy them when you are about 8 months pg., and you may need to go for a cup size larger than you normally wear. It will fit well when your milk comes in.
You may want to have a nipple cream on hand in case you need it.
Stock up on sanitary napkins now. You will need lots. I found the extra-long nightime ones were best for the post-natal flow. You can return to your regular ones when your period returns.

What is your most essential baby care item?

Cradle Cap and Ear Piercing

About 10 days ago I got Scarlett’s ears pierced. Finally! It is not that I didn’t want to do is sooner, but I held off because she had cradle cap on her ears from birth. She is the only one of my kids to get it. It covered the top of her scalp and her ears – inside, outside, behind – everywhere.

I cleaned her ears daily with a wet cloth and my fingers, getting all the crust off her ears. It would cake up if left, especially behind her ears, so daily cleaning was a must. On her ear lobe it was easy to pick off.

For the top of her head I used (and still use) Johnson’s Baby Hair Oil. I just put a small amount in my hand, then apply it gently with my fingertips. Because of the soft spots, it is important to be gentle when cleaning off cradle cap. Allow the oil to sit and loosen the cradle cap for a half hour or so, then remove by gently rubbing with a baby hair brush, using a circular motion all over the head until it all comes off. Wash the hair afterwards with shampoo.

You may be tempted to use your nails to clean it off, but I know from experience that doing so scratches the baby’s head and seems to hurt more than using the brush. Make sure you are using a baby brush with soft bristles and not an adult one with hard ones.

In Scarlett’s case it took several months before her ears no longer had any cradle cap on them. She still has some on the top of her head, in lesser quantities than before, so it is going down. But it will be some time before it is totally gone. For most children, it clears up by age three, but for some it continues up to six or seven.

Update Dec.2012: She still has it at 2 years old and I needs it cleaned about every 2 months.

If you do decide to get your baby’s ears pierced, I’d recommend doing it earlier instead of later. The longer you wait and the older the baby is, the harder it will be to get it done. If you want to wait for her to choose when she is older, then wait. But if you want it done, then do it early. I actually waited a little too long with Scarlett (though I didn’t really have a choice). She plays with the piercings at times and that can hinder the healing, whereas a younger baby won’t do that because they can’t. I had Lila’s done at 6 months and she never touched them.

Everyone has their own idea of what should be done for them to heal properly. I used to use rubbing alcohol for cleaning the piercing, but read somewhere that it actually hinders healing by destroying the tissue instead of healing it. Here in India they recommend coconut oil, but I never tried that. Instead I use the most common thing for cleaning any open cut or sore that actually helps it to heal – water.

I have found – from cleaning my own piercings to Lila’s and now Scarlett’s – that just running some clear water over the piercing daily and turning them at the same time helps them to heal well with no infection. A piercing is like any open wound – touch it with dirty hands and it will get infected, so make sure your hands are clean before touching, or else do it when bathing your baby. That is actually the easiest time to do it, and it really only needs to be done once a day. Make sure to rotate the earrings so that the ear doesn’t heal onto them.

What do you think about baby ear piercing, yea or nay?

Baby Needs, Part 1

Shopping for your new baby before it comes is lots of fun. There are so many things out there that you could get, some important and necessary, others that are nice to have, and yet others that are perfectly useless yet are sold as something you just “have to have”. How do you this important job of preparing for your newborn without ending up with a lot of clutter and an empty wallet?
The secret lies in having a list and a plan.

Before you enter that shop with all those adorable baby items that call to you, take some time to plan. Are you setting up a whole nursery, or just a corner of your own bedroom? Are you expecting one or two or more babies? Do you know the baby’s sex? What is your budget? Sit down and make a list with these questions, plus any more you may have, then make your list.

But if this is your first baby, you may be clueless about what you really need right away, what can wait until later, and what you won’t need at all. Below I’ve written some lists of things you will want to get before your baby comes, based on my personal experience.

Equipment: Immediate
– Crib – Even if you plan on having your baby sleep with you, get a crib from the beginning. That way, you can put your baby there during nap times. Especially as they get older, it is safer for them to sleep in a crib to avoid falls off your bed.
– Car seat – try to get one that you can use past the newborn stage so that it will last longer.
– Stroller – very useful if you plan on lots of outings. Some have detachable carry seats for newborns. When you get it, think about how you plan on using it. Strollers come in varying qualities and strengths, so think about if you will use it for long walks, carrying groceries (like I do), exercising, or just short strolls.

Equipment: Later
– Highchair – You won’t need this until your baby is able to sit up, somewhere around 6 months or so. With Logan and Lila I used a booster seat that has a detachable tray and it ties on to a regular chair. Lila is still using it now and Scarlett has a regular highchair.
– Walker – I’ve writen what I think about walkers here.

Equipment: Optional
– Carrier – this is very useful and practical when your baby is small and light. You can use it indoors or out. There are many styles to choose from.
– Bouncer – a bouncer is nice for the first few months when you need a place to put your baby and they can rock in it.
– Changing table – this can be useful if you have back problems and bending is difficult. Some also have a bath attachment. I never used one. Instead, I changed the baby on my bed and gave them sponge baths on the bed until I was able to bend.
– Bath tub – I used one once I was able to bend post-delivery and hold the baby up. It is also useful for when baby is able to sit up alone and play, especially if you only have a shower stall. Of course, you could also use a regular tub and a bath seat instead.

Babies grow rapidly in the first six months of life, so if you are able to get used items instead of new ones, you will save a lot of money. Don’t turn down offers from friends and relatives. Buy on discount if you can. Baby clothes cost as much as adult clothes, but will use them for less time than you would, so only buy new what you absolutely must. Also, buy unisex unless you already know the baby’s sex.
With all my kids I had people give me clothes. When Logan was born I had nothing, but within the first week, bags started showing up from all over the place. Lila was the most well dressed. She had so many clothes that she outgrew many of them before she had a chance to wear them. I’ve had to buy the most new things for Scarlett, but I also saved whatever was still nice of what Lila had outgrown. Do hang on to things if you plan on more kids. It will save you money in the long run.
Some of my personal favorite clothing items for babies are one-piece items, jumpsuits, pajamas, etc. They are comfortable, easy to wear, and practical. Always think practical when buying baby clothes. Think comfort.

For your newborn you will need:
– Onesies – in hot weather they are a complete outfit and in cold weather they are a layer of warmth. Buy cotton cause it breathes better than polyester. You will need a good amount on hand, especially if you are using cloth diapers.
– Pajamas – get the ones that snap up with the covered feet. Newborn ones often have an extra piece at the wrist to cover the hands, or else they come with mittens.
– Mittens – a few pairs. They are not just for warmth, but to keep baby from scratching himself in those early weeks when the nails are still fused to the finger and you can’t clip them.
– Warm hat – needed for newborns and those born in winter.
– Socks
– Booties – for extra warmth

These are the best items for newborns. Save outfits with tops and bottoms for when they are older.

To be continued… click here for part 2

Cloth or Disposable?

One thing every new mommy puts a lot of thought into is diapers. After all, they are going to be an integral part of your life for a few years or more, depending, of course, on how often you have a baby.

Eventually the question comes: which is best, cloth or disposable? What should I use? You research, ask other mommies, get a list of pros and cons, and each person’s reason why you should use one or the other – and you are still no closer to making a choice.

Here is the reality: the option you choose really depends on you, your lifestyle, whether you will be home with your baby or they will be at daycare, your finances, your preferences, etc. When it comes down to it, you have to find what works for you, and it may take some experimenting until you find what you are comfortable with.

When Logan was born I chose to use cloth diapers because they are more cost-effective, but I quickly discovered that, while they worked during the day, I hated him being wet for so many hours at night, and there was no way I was going to change diapers in the night. So I decided that I would use disposables at night and cloth during the day since I was home most of the time.

Here is how it works for me now:
– Cloth at home during the day.
– Cloth if going out for no more than 1 1/2 hours, close to home (ie, the park, that way should I need to change it urgently, I can go home easily, though this has never happened).
– Disposables for outings longer than 1 1/2 hours, or if we are driving where we are going.
– Disposables at night and during sickness, fevers, etc.

I have also found it more practical to use disposables when the weather is cooler, since cool weather makes a baby wet more often and usually their clothes get wet too. I used to get frustrated when Logan got his clothes wet and I had to change his full outfit several times a day during cold weather, because he would go through outfits so fast and laundry doesn’t dry so quickly when it is rainy or cold (no dryers available here).

These are the plastic pants.
Inside I put a cloth diaper.
Scarlett at 5 months.

The only good plastic pants I’ve found are ones that close with velcro but don’t have elastic around the legs. These are perfect in hot weather (what we have 99% of the time) and I use them a lot, so it isn’t such a big deal cost-wise for me to use disposables when things cool off.
If you want to use cloth diapers, look around and see what is available locally. Ask mommies who use them what they recommend. Every country is different in what they have available, which is why I’m not recommending any particular brand. What I use is most likely not available anywhere else. 🙂
For disposables I like Pampers. For one thing, they are the cheapest of the good quality brands I can find here, and for another, they work as advertised. Try different brands if you like, then stick with what works best for you. I have tried other brands in a pinch but always come back to Pampers.
I usually start with disposables for about the first two months to give myself some time to adjust to a new baby and have one less job (diaper washing), then switch to cloth when I am ready. It always made those first months easier.

What have you found that works for you?

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