Monday, March 24, 2008

Cloth and Boobs

So, the last week or so has been difficult for me, because I am a planner and a doer. For example, I literally made my packing list for college and began packing the week after I graduated from high school. I'm not kidding.

In order to satisfy my craving for planning, I spent much time on the laptop in New Orleans, creating lists of baby items we like to call registries. (Don't worry, I did this in the courtyard of our hotel, beneath a gauzy canopy, leaning on trendy pillows and sipping Abita Amber, not huddled in our room.) I'm told many mamas-to-be (adoptive and biological) are equally obsessive (and early) about registering.

And, of course, each item had to be carefully researched to check: price, consumer reviews and availability of free shipping (don't you LOVE Amazon?). Part of this process for me also involved making some major decisions about caring for Clio. Namely: cloth diapers or disposable? bottle or boob? (You might be confused about this last question, and never fear, I'll address it below.)

First question: cloth or disposable? My bias has always been toward cloth, because Amy F's pregnancy diary was the first diary I read on iParenting, and the reason I joined eventually. I can't remember precisely how I first came upon Amy's diary (it was for Peter, of course), but I read it all and was (and still am) in awe of her almost super-human mothering skills (i.e. homebirth, cloth diapers) because I had never before considered doing those things. However, I was also intimidated by the many brands and types of diapers that she uses and reviews, and her knitting skills (for covers). I am a quilter, but never got the knack of knitting. So, Linda's blog was key for me in showing a way to do cloth diapering more simply and cheaply (I'm hesitant to invest in expensive all-in-one diapers in case Clio is an only child). Particularly, this post from Linda's blog came at exactly the right time, as I was sitting in the courtyard sipping my beer and deciding about how to contain Clio's waste products. So, here's what I'm registering for:

From Target:

3 dozen diaper service prefolds

1 dozen gauze weave flatfolds

1 dozen birdseye flatfolds

(my mom did cloth with my younger brother and suggested 5 dozen is a good amount, and I want to try some flatfolds because my mom says she liked them better)

From Amazon:

4 snappis (do I need more?)

60 unbleached flannel baby wipes (too many?)

Bummis diapers covers (3 newborn, 6 small and 6 medium)

Also from Amazon:

Huggies and Pampers disposables and some disposable wipes, because I want to have some on hand for meconium and traveling

I'd appreciate any input from those of you who have done cloth regarding my quantities and choices...I like advice! Jen's advice was that I'm crazy to do this (I think her exact quote was "but, babies crap every hour!" (I love you, Jen!). So, she's betting me a measly $10 that I can't make it 3 months as a cloth diaperer. We'll see. :)

Okay, second question: bottle or boob? In a couple of the books we read before our adoption homestudy, I read about the possibility of breastfeeding an adopted infant. Again because of some of the women whose blogs/diaries I read, I know that breastfeeding is a wonderful and healthy thing, and I would definitely have been an avid breastfeeding momma for my own biological babies if I'd had any. My brother and I were breastfed for the first year, and my husband was breastfed, so it's not a weird thing in my family at all. However, some of what I've read is very pessimistic about an adoptive woman's ability to produce very much milk at all. My debate was this: if we bottle feed, then J can help me out, whereas if I use an SNS (supplemental nursing system) or the Lact-Aid, the baby is still getting formula but I have to do it all, just as in breastfeeding (but even worse because the SNS/Lact-Aid needs to be cleaned and sterilized between uses, and it's expensive to buy multiple units). However, I finally found an article on the La Leche League website about how to help ensure that my body produces as much milk as possible: attachment parenting! Turns out that while adoptive women in our country tend to have difficulty producing enough milk to feed an infant, women in developing countries more easily produce enough milk. The difference? The researchers who did the study believe it is because the adoptive women in developing countries have the babies sleeping next to them at night and carry them on their bodies during the day. So, this will be controversial because J is adamant that Clio will not co-sleep. Stay tuned for new developments.

So, a few of the websites I read recommend that an adoptive mother begin pumping ahead of time, although her milk supply will take weeks to come in and will be only drops or a trickle until the baby arrives. Heeding this advice, my Avent Isis manual breastpump came in the mail today, and I went to Target to buy Lanisoh (since my nipples are SO not ready for this). Based on what I've read, I need to use the pump a couple of times a day for a few minutes at a time. I'll let you know how it goes; some women see drops in as little as 7 days after beginning ,while others take 12 weeks to see any milk. Wish me luck!


  1. Woman, you are amazing! First of all, I had no idea that adoptive moms could breastfeed. That's so incredible and wonderful, and kudos to you for getting the snack bar up and running!

    Secondly, you go, girl, on the cloth diapers. I was all into cloth diapers, and freaked out Jake's family when I told them so. Jake and I went to the gigantic baby store, all set to load up on cloth diaper gear with our registry gun until we got a look at the whole slew of stuff that's involved. We were dizzy in seconds flat. It was then that I realized there was no way I could do cloth diapers as a working mom. If I were able to stay home, I would be much more willing to give it a shot, but it's way too much maintenance and complication for the time I'll have to deal with diaper issues. (Although, I still am committed to at least using actual cloth wipes.) I'm really disappointed about the cloth diapers thing, but would love to see you follow it through! Go Team!

  2. I would love to learn more about how the breastfeeding part is going. Deanna has left a comment on my blog about you. I am just having the same question. I look forward to hearing from you at yokaadopts at


I love comments! If you ask a question, I'll probably reply in the comment thread, and I try to visit the blogs of everyone who comments.

My Shelfari Bookshelf

Shelfari: Book reviews on your book blog