Friday, November 1, 2013

My Baby's First Month in SoftBums- Shannon's- Intro

Meet Shannon & Otis!

Hello fellow cloth fanatics! My name is Shannon and I am a Registered Nurse in the Emergency Room at the Red Lake Indian Reservation working for the Department of Public Health. I am also (and more importantly) a brand new mom of a little one named Otis.

Otis and our homegrown potatoes!

He joined our family on Aug 12 one day after our wedding anniversary.

My family consists of my husband (Justin) of 6 years

our three dogs



   and our two horses

Sugarfoot and Thunder

Otis weighed 6 lb 15 ounces and was born at 41 weeks and 6 days and I tell you what- this little man is stubborn!  My pregnancy was good for the most part with one blip of some preterm contractions at 35 weeks.  Delivery was quite the experience as I went all natural taking no pain medications.  I probably scared anyone that was on the border of getting an epidural into getting one after hearing me screaming all over the hospital.  I thank god for my ever-supportive husband who helped me through each and every contraction and really supported me in going all natural.

Otis lovin' his Ocean Echo!

My Background:

I grew up in what I call “yuppiville,” a small town in MN where I in retrospect lived too wastefully, spent too much of my parents’ money, and threw away too much.  I never really thought about garbage, the environment, or saving money. I had been struggling with “who I am” and then one day I met the man of my dreams and was intrigued by his way of living. I found my ‘fit’ in this world was in part living much more simply.  We saved and saved our money and now live on 30 acres on a northern MN lake
and live very differently than how I grew up.  Growing our own food, hunting our own meat, and caring about our impact on the world have been some of the big changes in my world.  My dad never imagined he would be buying me my first gun and not one for my brother! This more down to earth life is also where cloth diapering came into my mind.  As we began planning for Otis’ arrival, we really evaluated our life, changes we should make, and how we were going to raise him and our future children.  We decided that with all the chemicals in diapers, the waste to our already huge garbage problem and minimizing our impact on that problem, going cloth was for us. Then I found SoftBums! I didn’t want some complicated system or a system that I would have to change over and over as Otis got bigger so I decided on a one size system. Natural fiber was important to me- which SoftBums came with a bamboo option. Finally, SoftBums is from Minnesota not from China or some other place where I worry about what is really in the product.

Our Decision to use Cloth Diapers:

After I decided cloth would be important- then came convincing my husband. He is a wildlife biologist and certainly understands and agreed with me on our impact with disposal diapers. But he was worried about making a big investment in diapers and then making sure we would actually carry through and do cloth and all that is involved with it.  We agreed to buy about ½ the stash we would need so that if we decided we hated cloth our investment it wouldn’t be too big. I found it is really hard to know what I would need for a newborn and a growing child when you don’t know your child, and had never been an exhausted new mom before.   I bought 12 covers and 15 mini bamboo pods and 25 large bamboo pods from  I liked their point system for free stuff, free shipping and they had a couple styles that were HTF on other sites.  This cost me about $550. I know you can do CDing for much cheaper but my husband was not cool with used diapers.  His response to that idea was, “it’s like buying someone else’s underwear when you know they go to the bathroom in them on a regular basis.” And he is a bit of a clean freak so I understood. I wanted the bamboo as they were stated as trimmer than microfiber and have the antimicrobial, antifungal properties and wanted to reduce risks for diaper rash as much as possible. I had already fallen in love with Earth Mama Angel Baby products during my pregnancy on the suggestion of their stretch oil from a friend so I decided I would continue to use their baby products on Otis.  Finally I was going to make my own wipes but paper towels are expensive and so are the oils etc and could get disposable natural care wipes online for $0.02/wipe and loved them right off the bat, absorbent, don’t seem to irritate his bum, and take a bit of work off my shoulders.

The Stash:

My current arsenal which I expanded after Otis’ arrival and a week of CDing and deciding it was something we definitely wanted to continue.

-20 Shells (2 omni 18 echo-currently a mix of snaps and aplix but switching to aplix as I found they are so much easier to size the waist)


-2 Pail Liners which I use in a stainless steel foot lever garbage can

-1 Wet/dry bag medium for trips to town etc.

-1 Diaper sprayer (Aquaus Diaper sprayer) (attached to my toilet by me!)


I followed the directions for diaper and pod prepping by washing in one quarter of the recommended amount Tide Free & Gentle with cold water followed by a hot cycle. I then did 4 more hot cycles as people recommended 3-10 times for best absorbency results.

I removed the shells after initial hot cycle and dried for about 20 min to seal the sew holes.

My Setup:

An antique dry sink
I wanted a piece of furniture that our child could use to store clothes and possibly put fun stuff in the “changing area” part covered with a piece of glass which would give them a dresser like top for more storage down the line.


 Right now it is in cloth tote boxes which I don’t love but dad is going to build some wooden boxes to a make it more convenient.

Diapering a child:

I watched SO many videos to learn how to do this on YouTube, also some trial and error episodes were necessary to see how important “correct diapering” is. Read, watch videos and ask questions on SoftBums Superfans (the women in this group are amazing, so helpful  and make you feel very welcome to the world of CDing.
As my mom says, “cloth diapering is so different than it was when you were a baby.” There are so many options, styles, bling or basic. Anyone can find a fun and best way to CD for them. You are paying yourself every time you put a CD on a bum, not adding the waste into a landfill that a sposie would, and supporting a USA made company of SoftBums!

Continue to follow Shannon & Otis on their journey into cloth diapering each week throughout this series of My Baby's First Month in SoftBums!

Check back next week to see if they hit any bumps in the road of cloth diapering!
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