Thursday, March 29, 2007

Lost in Translation, Part IV: "Cook Learn Book"

An advertisement from the Bio Shop:

Globalization: Menus in Egypt

At the koshary place, you can also have a "Cordon Bleu" or "Mexican Chicken":

Of course, there is ham subsitute in the Cordon Bleu--looks like beef balogna.

At the Lebanese restaurant you can order "Thai Wings" and "Peking Spring Rolls":

Lost in Translation, Part III: Menus

Spelling, capitalization, and punctuation are often lost in translation on menus and everything else. Part of the reason is that these things, especially spelling don't seem to be very important over here. This can be especially frustrating when you are trying to learn Arabic and the teachers give you inconsistent transliteration. On menus, it is just funny. There is a restaurant on the way to Sharm that serves "Shiknees Food"

First example:

"Frensh" Dip

Cry Me Cheese?

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Breastfeeding Around the World: Motherwear

Tanya at Motherwear shared a few of my Breastfeeding Around the World Posts and then put out a call for other moms outside the US to send photos and comments. She put the first post of responses up today with another to follow.

Social Butterflies

Today, Ian and I met up with Caiden and Nicole at the Maadi House. There used to be a playgroup on Wednesdays, but no one was there. It was actually better for Caiden and Ian because they are so small. I spread a blanket and toys and the boys are actually starting to interact with each other. Usually, we just meet for lunch and they don't play or even seem to notice each other much. Caiden is almost exactly 2 months younger than Ian, but he outweighs Ian and is about the same length. I was able to capture of few pictures. Ian's hand is on the opposite side in the second picture.

There was another woman there with a 9 month old baby girl named Mikayla. We invited them to play with us. I am proud of myself for reaching out and making the effort to meet someone new. We all had lunch together and it was a nice outing.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Appetite for Knowledge

Ian is displaying an impressive, early hunger for knowledge. His "con-textural" analysis could be a performance art piece. He is deep. In fact, he is so inspired by the quest for information that he taught himself to crawl because he was trying to reach these items.

In other words, he loves to eat books, magazines, credit card bills, shot records and all things paper.

Found: "Egyptian Cotton" in Egypt

The coveted "Egyptian cotton" is hard hard to find in Egypt because the good stuff is exported. While I was registering for baby clothes and recently, looking for cloth diapers, I saw tons of overpriced items that were "100% Egyptian Organic cotton, made in Egypt". The nicest things that I have that were made in Egypt, I bought in the States. I wondered where I could get quality things here.

Yesterday, I went to a store called The Bio Shop and found some items by Sckoon and Under the Nile for reasonable prices. I think some of these items might be factory seconds or discontinued items or patterns. You do have to be careful because size mean nothing in Egypt. Clothing often has sizes, but they aren't standardized. Even within this store, I found two of the same item, with the same European size which is the child's height given in centimeters (ex. 68 cm), that were drastically different sizes.

I bought a very soft, "organic" cotton hooded towel, two cotton menstrual pads with inserts (that I have been thinking about trying), an "organic" cotton diaper and insert, a shirt for Ian and a natural colored "organic" cotton blanket with a light brown edge to coordinate with his brown-toned clothing for a grand total of 144 LE or about $25. Then, for fun, I checked out the same items on the Sckoon and Under the Nile websites and what I bought would have been over $100, not including shipping costs and using the lowest sale prices I found and assuming that liners were included. If, I add in shipping, regular prices and buy liners seperately it would be much more.

After I got home, I did a little research and found that the manufacturer is the Sekem Group. Supposedly, the farming and cultivation practices are certified organic by DEMETER. The Sekem Group provides schooling, healthcare and other benefits to their workers and operate through "fair trade". I found a list of stores in Egypt that carry their products. Good to know. The summer clothes are coming in this week, so I hope to find some good deals.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Lost in Translation, Part II

I saw a little girl wearing a head scarf and a shirt with the following phrase,"The Best Number is...69". I didn't have my camera with me to get a picture, though.

Friday, March 23, 2007

Thursday, March 22, 2007


Ian ate applesauce today! I used my finger instead of a spoon (as suggested by Dr. Sears) and he ate quite a bit.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

My Little File Clerk

While attempting to dig out from under all sorts of miscellaneous paperwork, I got some unexpected assistance from Ian who started to eat them! He has rejected bananas and apples but likes paper. I guess I will be trying rice cereal.

Friday, March 16, 2007

Breastfeeding and My Closet

I have quite a bit of clothes but it seems like I have nothing to wear. This was not caused by childbirth and breastfeeding, but both have certainly made things worse. I will be going to the States for 3 months from April through June and for once in my life, I want to pack properly. I usually wait until the last minute and then end up both overpacking and forgetting something important. Today, I started to go through my clothes in an attempt to reduce my wardrobe, the first step in prioritizing what to pack. Things I am getting rid of:

1. Cropped tops. I'm not talking super cropped, but shirts that are slightly shorter than necessary to cover your belly. Thankfully, that trend seems to have passed. A few years ago, that was all you could buy.

2. Faded, black cardigan sweaters. I love cardigan sweaters because they are a year round item, but they just don't last very long. I need to accept a maximum 1-year life span and toss them out. They fade slightly and become pilly and just look tired and gross.

3. Super short skirts. I still wear short skirts, but the micro mini has to go. I am just not going to wear them anymore. I hit 30 and have a baby now; it is time to give them up.

4. Clothes that don't fit correctly: too loose, too tight, doesn't lay correctly--it is outta here!

5. Clothes that don't feel good: things that get stiff in the wash or are scratchy.

6. Clothes that are not quite the right color. I have a few tops that are fuchsia and the color is just too strong/obnoxious for me. I do like pink and bright pink, but only certain shades. I also hate mauve. It makes me feel tired. I have a sweater set that is mauve and I am getting rid of it today.

7. Clothes with stains or holes.

Now, where does breastfeeding come into play? Well, I have lost most of my baby weight, but still need to exercise to tone up my stomach and legs before I am comfortably back into all of my pre-pregnancy clothes. However, my boobs are twice as big as pre-pregnancy, so there are some things that just won't fit until I stop nursing.

Things I am leaving behind (but not getting rid of) due to nursing:

1. Most of my dresses. Some don't fit over my breasts. Others, I can't nurse in. There are two non-nursing dresses that look better on me than before I had my baby, so I think I will take them in case I need to go to an event, but I can't really nurse in public in them, so I doubt they will get much use. Perhaps I should leave them at home. They were too big in the top pre-pregnancy. Some of these dresses should go as well, but since I can't fit into them right now, I feel I can't make a proper decision. I think I should send a few of them to my sister, like the black one with the JLo neckline, convenient for nursing, but I don't see myself attending any functions where it would be appropriate.

2. Fitted jackets.

3. Button down shirts. I don't wear them much anyway and I prefer to pull up my shirt rather than unbutton.

4. Tops that are now too tight, but won't be when I stop nursing.

What to do with the rest?

I've gotten as far as putting all the possibilities for taking to the States in a pile. I've completed the "rough sort". Now, I need to do a fine sort. I know there are things within that pile that I can get rid of and I don't need to take all of it so I need to go through tomorrow and decide after I do laundry.

In the future, I need to be more careful when purchasing. Maternity and immediate post-partum showed me how I can get by with a lot less. Even now, I have one pair of jeans that fits well and I wear them all the time. I have another pair that is too big and a few others that I can get on to wear, but they are still a little too tight. Maybe I will leave those here and pick up a pair or two in the States that are a little more forgiving. Oh the decisions!

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

5 Things About Me

I've been tagged by Jennifer at the Lactivist.

1. I've been in two movies: Dive "Girl on the Street #2"and Washington Interns Gone Bad "Mistress Bridgette" and "Summer". You can see the trailers for WIGB. One of the actresses threatened to make a sequel titled, Washington Interns Gone Baghdad, who would have imagined it would still be topical 5 years later? WIGB is a slapstick political comedy, not a porno. It just has a salacious title to get attention and comment on the intern scandals happening when it was made.

2. I was the Campaign Manager for my friend, Adam Eidinger's DC "Shadow" US Representative Campaign, the slogan was "4 Eyes on the Prize", which referenced his trademark glasses. He was a DC Statehood Green Party candidate. I am not Green Party in general. I am a registered Democrat, but my views are a combination of Libertarian and Social Progressive. I protested Bush's first election and cried (sobbed) for a week after his second election.

3. I was a vegetarian for years, but living with prostelitizing vegans drove me back to meat. The first red meat I had in 7 years was leg of lamb followed by diner burgers. I still eat tofu, but I love well-prepared beef and lamb.

4. I am a Bikram Yoga fan, unfortunately, there is no Bikram studio here, though I suppose I could do it myself outside in the summer. Bikram is a 90 minute class done in a hot room. The first time, your goal is just to stay in the room the whole time. You look at the regulars with space heaters right by their mats for additional heat and think they belong in the nut house. The second time is easier. By the third time you enjoy it and by the following week you are addicted. The heat clears you mind and it gently strengthens and stretches you so that you see immediate toning results. Wow. I think I've convinced myself to do it outside this summer. I really miss it.

5. I despise chat speak like "dh" "wahm", etc. but I do accept that most other people like to use it. Even in this post, I have used acronyms myself, you can't escape! Perhaps this dislike stems from my military childhood with its endless acronyms. I went to several DoDDs schools in USAREUR, which is OCONUS, shopped at the PX watched AFN, my dad worked at HQ and participated in NATO exercises. There were a couple SNAFUs along the way, but I learned a lot growing up that way. Or maybe it is because I have a long last name starting with "Z" and people were always trying to shorten it and didn't even try to pronounce it.

I tag Sukie in Tunisia, MamaBean and ltrajman.

I think it is great that the left and the right are coming together on issues like breastfeeding and the environment. Perhaps there's hope afterall...

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Good Advice: This is Not a Test

Welcome, Carnival of Breastfeeding Readers!

After preparing for a natural delivery, I had a cesarean due to my baby’s breech position. By the time of my surgery, I had accepted it (mostly), but I became more determined than ever to breastfeed. I felt that the baby’s position wasn’t under my control, but breastfeeding was a choice I could make. And it’s natural, so it should be easy, right?

During my pregnancy, I met many people who tried and failed to breastfeed. I chalked it up to lack of support, but I had a doula, lactation consultants, and two breastfeeding reference books. After my childbirth classes (both of which covered breastfeeding) and reading, I felt educated. I knew that pain could usually be corrected by adjusting the latch or positioning. I notified the lactation consultants of my cesarean date to ensure that I would be seen as soon as possible on the first day. I was prepared, just as I had been for the birth. I had my books, My Brest Friend pillow, nursing bras, nursing pads, nipple cream, cute nursing pajamas, the schedule for the hospital's breastfeeding support group, the contact information for the local La Leche League meeting, and even a sign for the hospital bassinet that read,"No Bottles, Please, I'm Learning to Breastfeed". Not only was I prepared, I was confident.

The cesarean went smoothly and a lactation consultant came to see me right after recovery as planned. An LC visited us at least once a day for the 4 days we were in the hospital. Ian was a great eater, but I had a lot of pain. I wasn't too concerned, I figured that I had the resources to work it out. Between my doula, my childbirth educator and the lactation consultants, I received only good advice, but nothing quite seemed to work. At 6 weeks, I was still just white-knuckling it, hoping the pain would end before the next feeding. I really dreaded feeding him because the pain had switched from just sore nipples to shooting internal breast pain. I was frustrated that with all the help and knowledge, we just couldn't get it right. Ian clamped down hard and fast and I just couldn't get him on far enough. I glared at the television as I re-watched “Follow Me Mum” where Rebecca Glover says,” Breastfeeding should be 100% pleasant and comfortable”. I went to the see the LC several times, but I felt guilty for not "succeeding". I didn't think she could help me anymore and I didn't want her to feel like she had failed. All the breastfeeding resources claimed breastfeeding was easier than bottlefeeding, I started to think that was a lie. I started to wonder why I putting myself through all the pain, but I didn't want to quit, or more accurately, I didn't want to fail. Something had to change or I knew I wouldn't make it.

After 6 weeks of pain and frustration, it was my mother’s suggestion to give him a bottle once a day that saved my breastfeeding.

I have to give my mother credit for supporting me. I was a formula baby. My mother gave birth to me, her first child, in an American military hospital in Germany by cesarean. She was completely out during the procedure. One of the last things she heard was,” Should we do a spinal or general?”

The answer came back,” Knock her out. The shipment didn’t come in”.

I’ve seen pictures and she was really out of it after my birth. Needless to say, there was no lactation consultant at that hospital. The nurses said to her, “Cesarean? You’ll bottle feed.” So she did.

I lived with my parents for most of my pregnancy and until almost three months after the birth. I couldn’t have asked for a more supportive mother. She didn’t always understand my choices at first, like having a doula, but she was open-minded and came to see the value. I’m not sure she understood my insistence on breastfeeding, especially since she never did it, but she didn’t try to talk me out of it. She talked me out of my perfectionism instead (at least on this issue).

Supplementing is often presented as a slippery slope to bottlefeeding, but if you are committed to breastfeeding and supplement sparingly, it can get you through the rough patches. It doesn't have to be all or nothing. Breastfeeding and childbirth shouldn't be viewed in terms off success and failure because doing so takes your focus off of your baby and puts it onto yourself. When I realized this and started allowing myself one bottle break a day, my attitude towards the learning process improved. I had a mental and physical break from the pain. Some days I would just rest, other days, I experimented with my breast pump to build up a frozen supply. I thought it was a matter of coordination and it would work itself out if I could hang in long enough. Taking that little break, gave me hope that I would see the other side.

A week into my "bottle break" day-by-day plan, my LC called to check on me. I felt guilty, but I told her I was still having pain. She pressed me for details and after I described my pain she suggested it might be Raynaud’s. My symptoms didn’t match completely, so she told me to come in to see her. In the meantime, she suggested using a heating pad to see if it made a difference in the pain. If we determined that it was Raynaud's, there was medication I could take. Fortunately, I did have improvement with the heating pad and decided not to take the medication. By 10 weeks there was dramatic improvement and I was able to give up the heating pad. By 12 weeks, I was pain-free. I ditched the nipple ointment and the daily bottle.

Today my son is 6 months old and we are still breastfeeding. In fact, I've breastfed in four countries and can honestly say that breastfeeding IS easier, especially during travel, once you get the hang of it. I do give my son a bottle occassionally (about once a month), but his primary source of nutrition is me. Based on my experience, here is the advice I would give to new mothers:

1. Get help early and often. Be descriptive about your pain/problems and keep going for help, until your problem is resolved.
2. If you need to take a bottle break, don’t feel guilty. Try to wait until 6 weeks to allow breastfeeding to get established and avoid nipple confusion. If you do it sparingly, it will help you through the rough period and increase your chances of reaching the rewards stage.

Check out the other bloggers in the Motherwear Carnival of Breastfeeding: Good Advice/Bad Advice:

*Tanya, at Motherwear gives you resources to find good breastfeeding advice.
*Breastfeeding 1-2-3: "How to get good medical advice on breastfeeding."
*Black Breastfeeding Blog: "The best breastfeeding advice I ever got."
*The Baby Gravy Train: "Best breastfeeding advice."
*Mocha Milk: "Welcome to the March Carnival of Breastfeeding!"
*Breastfeeding Mums: "Good Advice/Bad Advice."
*Stacie at the Twinkies writes,"If Only I Had Known..."
Andi at Mama Knows Breast writes about establishing your milk supply.
Jennifer at The Lactivist talks about Exclusively Pumping
Steph at Random Wonderings on "A Lot Learned from Bad Advice"

Wednesday, March 7, 2007

Ian Can Do It!

Eat Books.

Pick up and Hold a Ball.

Shake a Rattle.

6 Months Old

Ian is 6 months old! He is wearing his new outfit from Aunt Kate.

The kid has mad drooling skills.

He laughs when he touches Roxxy's face. You can see Roxxy's muzzle in the corner. She was not cooperating in this photo shoot.

She was preoccupied with trying to catch a fly.

Tuesday, March 6, 2007

Huge Wonder: Affordable Black Pants

What a search it was to find black pants for Ian that were less than $36 ($36 seemed to be the magic number)! I found these black "karate pants" at Huge Wonder for $12 with free shipping on orders over $20. $12 is still a little pricey, but little pull-on pants are work horses for little boys and I needed black to match the Dragon Robeez my sister bought him. I purchased two pair of black pants: 6-12 months and 12-18 months. Should keep him "cool" for the foreseeable future.

Monday, March 5, 2007

Traveling with Baby

This post is for ltrajman and anyone else considering traveling with a baby. Ian has been through 10 take-offs and landings in his short life, including a trip from DC to Frankfurt and then Frankfurt to Cairo. The rest have been fairly short flights in Egypt and the Middle East. I have found that traveling with an infant is slower, but easy. You can't move as quickly, but with priority boarding and the right attitude, it is fairly painless. As soon as the baby starts to walk, it will get harder, so go everywhere you can before your baby walks!

First things first, for international travel, babies need a passport. Ian had his passport picture taken at 6 days old because we knew we were going to Egypt. Also, if you are going somewhere that requires a visa, chances are the baby will need a visa as well. In places like Egypt and Qatar, you can just buy a visa at the airport after you land, but some places require an application. This is just a bit of trivia, but if you go to Israel, don't let them stamp your passport. You may have trouble getting into Muslim countries if you do. They can stamp a piece of paper and then remove it when you leave.

Next, on a long flight, if you can afford to purchase a seat for the baby, do it. The extra room is well-worth the extra money. It makes feeding, changing and entertaining so much easier. Even if you decide against buying a seat for the baby, you must get a lap ticket when you are making your reservations.

As for what to take, bring a baby carrier like the Beco or Ergo Carrier. These carriers are wonderful. I can't say enough about them. They are two-shouldered carriers with waist and chest straps. They can be used in front, side or back carries and are adjustable to fit a wide range of sizes. They are both lightweight and foldup, unlike a frame back pack. You can do lots of vigorous site-seeing with these carriers. I would probably leave your stroller at home for most international trips. If you do buy a seat for your infant, you need an airline-approved carseat for take-off and landing (most US seats are airline approved, but you should check). In that case, I might take the stroller to push the car seat around in th airport. The airline will gate-check your stroller and bring it back out to you when you land as you de-plane. I am actually trying to decide if I will take my stroller with me to the States in April. I will have the carseat to contend with, so I think I will. I will still carry him in my Beco Carrier, though. It keeps him calmer.

Luggage allowances for infants vary from airline to airline and also depend on what type of ticket (lap or seat) you have purchased. Generally, though, you can check the carseat in checked luggage and gate check your stroller with no extra charge, even for a lap child. Also, you can bring a diaper bag for the child at no extra charge. If you haven't travelled in awhile, the weight allowances per piece of luggage have decreased. Some airlines will weigh your carry-ons also and take them away if they are overweight. Others aren't as precise. Still, it is better to be well within your limits at the beginning of the trip to make room for any souvenirs you might bring back with you so check with your airline so you don't get caught throwing things out as we did on the way back from Japan last year. Another option is to pack an empty duffle bag so you can off-load some weigh into another bag. Weight is checked on each bag. It doesn't matter if you are under your total weight allowance, if you are over it on a particular bag, you will have to pay. Excess weight allowance charges can be hundreds of dollars. It was going to be $800 to get our excess weigh from Japan. Like I said, we just threw a bunch of stuff out.

For carry-on:
1. Baby Tylenol, Ear Numbing Drops (you can get these by prescription, they are usually for kids with ear infections), Anti-Gas Drops and any other medicine they are currently taking. Put them in a sandwich-size ziplock bag. The clear zippered bag is a requirement. Some airports with have these, others won't.

2. Feeding: If you breastfeed, you are all set with the exception of any solid food your baby might need. Travelling is much easier if you breastfeed. I have been on a few flight where they gave me baby food (Ian doesn't eat baby food, yet, we are starting tomorrow), but you should have what you need, plus water or expressed milk for mixing with the food. If you formula-feed have the bottles you need for the double the length of the trip (transport to your destination, not length of vacation). Delays can be long, be prepared.

3. Diapering: Bring twice what you think you will need for traveling. This should cover you in case of delay or lost luggage.

4. Miscellaneous: extra change of comfortable clothes like a onesie and a sleeper; a blanket; a toy or two.

Try to limit what you put in your carry-on other than the baby stuff and absolute essentials, especially if you don't have the help of another adult.

To Pack in the Suitcase:
1. Manual or battery-powered breast pump and extra batteries because the current is different so you won't be able to plug it in. If you think you will be separated from your baby for any length of time during the trip, say to climb a mountain while leaving the baby with daddy at the bottom, or you have problems with engorgement, or want to keep up your supply because you are a milk bank donor, bring your pump. Otherwise, leave it at home.

2. Diapers: you can get disposable diapers most places, but they aren't always the same quality (like here in Egypt) or the same price (like Europe), especially when you factor in the exchange rate. Consider what day and time you are arriving so that you at least have enough diapers to get you through to when the stores are open.

3. Miscellaneous: Clothing to layer (to account for drafty hotel room and unpredictable weather), sun protection, hat for the baby, etc., any additional bottles or feeding supplies you need.

At the Airport:

1. Take advantage of family pre-boarding policies. In some parts of the world, people push and cut and family pre-boarding is not enforced. If that is the case, board last. Don't fight the throngs of people if you don't have to. It is a lot harder with a baby and all the accompanying equipment, so just sit down and wait until most people have boarded if you can't pre-board.

2. If your baby has a seat and will be in a carseat for take-off and landing, have a bottle or pacifier ready to go in case baby's ears won't pop. After you get airbone, take baby out to nurse, if you are nursing. If you are holding baby on your baby, you can probably nurse on the way up, though, I think you are supposed to have them upright on your lap facing out for take-off and landing. Nurse, pacifier or bottle on the way down as well.

3. Don't rush getting off the plane. You will have to wait for your stroller anyway, so it is better to take your time. Especially with international travel, people will push you. The "zippering" concept does not exist everywhere, most international flights I've been on people take their big bags and push. When you've got a baby, it isn't worth it. Keep your hands over the baby's head as you exit to avoid falling luggage or pushy people knocking you into something.

In summary, when traveling with a baby, it is hard to pack light, so to pack smart instead. Know the resources, culture and accomodations of your destination when planning what to bring. Take your time and breathe. You can do and see a lot while traveling with a baby, just maybe not as much as fast as pre-baby.

A note for ltrajman: Great picture of Gideon on the front of his blog. I love that new baby look.

The "Breast" Advice Around

Angela, at Breastfeeding 1-2-3, just posted a great compilation of other breastfeeding blogger's reviews of all things motherhood. The emphasis is on breastfeeding resources and accessories, but she also included slings, cloth diappers, parenting books, strollers, shoes and more.

While not everyone has the same experiences and opinions, it is very helpful to read independent reviews before making a purchase. You will start to see a pattern and it can help narrow your choices. As you can see from my cloth diaper post below, I like to read reviews and compare until right before my head is about to explode and then I decide. It was actually Angela's Using Cloth Diapers post that pushed me over the edge to try them. I had been thinking about it off and on, but just never took the time to try to sort everything out and make a choice.

Friday, March 2, 2007

Cloth Diaper Madness

I never considered cloth diapers before I had my son because some very environmentally-minded friends of mine told me about the study showing that the environmental impacts of washing cloth diapers (waste water treatment, electricity, etc.) were about the same or worse than disposables. That couple opted for a "greener" disposable, the kind that can be found at Whole Foods Market. Lately, however, I seem to be hearing more and more about cloth diapering as it seems to go hand-in-hand with breastfeeding, babywearing, and attachment parenting. The advocates of cloth diapering claim that the frequently cited study was funded by Proctor & Gamble and contained a mathematical error. I suppose there are lots of factors that come into play when getting to the true impact, but there is one thing for sure, disposables make a lot of trash.

If you want the old burp rag style prefolds with pins and plastic pants, you can get those in Big Box stores, but there have been many improvements in cloth diappering including some that are almost like using disposables. Many are made by Work-At-Home-Mothers who sell solely on the web. The choices are mind-boggling. I checked out The Diaper Pin, an information and retailer web site. It overwhelmed me with information, but it was still hard to make a choice. Also, the new diapers are expensive. It is hard to compare the costs because with cloth the expense it up front and with disposables, the cost is steady so it isn't really noticed.

Why am I choosing to try cloth?

1. Reduce trash output.
2. I am a stay-at-home mom of one. Laundry is one of the few chores I actually enjoy, so I DO have time to do extra laundry.

There are lots of reasons to use cloth like relieving diaper rash (but
Ian doesn't have diaper rash), saving money (hopefully these work for us or I will have wasted money)and more, but the main reason I am giving cloth a try is for the environment and because I can.

After several days of reading product reviews, going to sellers' websites and reading gushing testimonials, I have made a purchase. I bought 6 Fuzzi Bunz Pocket Diapers and 6 Bum Genius One-Size 2.0 Pocket Diapers from Angel Bunz. I haven't received them, yet, so I can't review them, but here is why I made this choice:

1. I thought about pre-folds because they are cheap, but you have to master folding them, pinning or using a Snappi and then pay for a cover. Unless you go with the plastic pants of yesteryear, the covers are pretty expensive and you need to buy them in multiple sizes.
2. I thought about All-in-Ones, but they are expensive, harder to care for with longer drying times than most other types.
3. I thought about fitted diapers, but they are pricey, require a pricey cover and that seemed like it would be very bulky.
4. I thought about contour diapers. They are more expensive than pre-folds and usually less expensive than fitteds, but I thought they would have some of the same disadvantages of both.
5. I thought about a variety pack, but I couldn't find one that had what I wanted and it just became another layer of overwhelm-atude.

So, I decided to go with pockets. I went with Fuzzi Bunz and Bum Genius because:

1.Both styles were (overall) highly reviewed by a lot of people and I just couldn't look at anymore websites.
2. Both styles, Fuzzi Bunz size medium (15-30 lbs) and Bum Genius One-Size 2.0, should fit him for a long time. He is almost 6 months old and weighs about 17 lbs.
3. Pocket diapers and their liners are separated for washing and drying, decreasing the amount of time for drying.

I purchased from Angel Bunz because:

1. They had both types I wanted to try.
2. They offered free shipping.
3. All diapers come with an insert.

From reading, I will probably have to buy more inserts and pay attention to manufacturer instructions for washing both the diapers and the inserts, but I think it will work. I am hoping I like them since I am having them shipped to my mother-in-law and won't see them until April. I am not shipping them here, because I don't want them to come here while I am gone.

I spent $200 for 12 diapers, so even if they work only moderately well, I need to use them to get my money's worth.

I learned that many women are obsessed with cloth diapers and even collect cute patterns and limited editions. Other women have tried many different kinds and either resell or collect. For me, though, these past three days have been enough. I do not want to think about cloth diapers much more than that. i do not want to spend time trying to resell diapers that don't work. I don't want to get involved in collecting. i do appreciate cute colors and patterns, but I don't want to spend any more money than I have to. If these work out and I find I need more, I may buy more, but otherwise, I will just wash them everyday or mix with disposables. In other words, we'll see how it goes.