Motherhood is Hard, But It Isn’t Hard Forever

Motherhood is Hard, But It Isn’t Hard Forever

I went to the post office today without my older two. My 3.5 year old changed his mind last minute and came with me but I have, in the past, gone without him too. Then I came home and put the baby in his seat and he watched his brothers play Lego while I folded a bit of laundry.

Freedom.

Due to children, health problems, pregnancies, newborns, business,  you name it, I don’t often get to do what I want when I want. This morning was like a breath of fresh air.

And then I see moms in the thick of it with young ones, pregnancies, health issues… I feel your struggle. Technically I’m still there, with a needy 5 month old and a bad back. And, as low maintenance as older kids can be, I am still overseeing and nurturing 4 children.

How can I still (mostly) feel at peace? Because I know it won’t last.

Some days are so frustrating. Actually, most days are still spent either nursing or bouncing or holding a sleepy baby while doling out motherly wisdom from the couch. Dirty floor, dishes everywhere, and piles of laundry is just where I’m at right now.

How can I still (mostly) feel at peace?

Because I know it won’t last. Pregnancy wasn’t easy for me (except the first time) but I have never been pregnant forever, so it was hard but it had a very clear ending. Depression sucks but I’ve made it to the other side before. My back healing journey had a major setback but it is already improving. I didn’t know if my skin issues would ever heal but, by the grace of God, my skin is mostly clear now.

The baby will not be a baby forever. He will eventually learn that mornings don’t start at 5:30am in this family. He will learn to fall asleep without 10 min of bouncing followed by 10 minutes of rocking. Soon he will learn to crawl and won’t need to be in my arms all day.

 

Soon it will get easier. Hard right now is not hard forever. Whether it gets easier due to children moving through ages and stages, or miracles of healing, or maybe because you find a way to give yourself enough grace to just keep putting one foot in front of the other, this too shall pass.

 

We are not designed to stay stuck. We are designed to grow, heal, and survive. So, until you are done with this hard stage in your life, just keep plodding along. You’ve made it so far and you’ll make it out of the tunnel eventually.
Unexpected Pregnancy and Unassisted Birth

Unexpected Pregnancy and Unassisted Birth

In order to do his story justice, I need to start months before he was even conceived.
Right after my 3rd son turned two, I became pregnant. We were overjoyed as we had always wanted 4 children. We choose to keep my pregnancies secret for the first 3 months and this time was no different.

Actually, it was different. I didn’t have morning sickness or first trimester fatigue. After being sick for 7 or 8 months with my previous two pregnancies, the healthy feeling was a welcome relief. I had spent the previous two years making big changes to improve my health and I guess it helped.

I called the midwife and she had an opening and was excited to take me on. there was no midwife in the area for my previous pregnancy so I had no choice but to have an unassisted birth.

I felt the baby move at about 9 weeks, around the same time as his or her older brothers. It was a surreal feeling to have no morning sickness. If it wasn’t for the movement I regularly felt, I wouldn’t have believed I was even expecting.

I had a pattern of a miscarriage before healthy pregnancy with my first two and, when I conceived my third son, God told me to trust Him and I felt secure in the pregnancy. That was the first time I didn’t have a miscarriage. This time I felt like He was just telling me to wait on Him.

This time I felt like He was just telling me to wait on Him.

And wait I did. I believe my heart always knew that that baby wouldn’t be with us for a long time. Around 9.5 weeks I had a bit of spotting and it started to feel like a waiting game. I waited on Him and I waited to say goodbye. I miscarried the baby at almost 11 weeks.

After my first two miscarriages, I conceived on the next cycle but this time was different. Cycle after cycle came and went with nothing. Apparently God wanted me to continue waiting. Eventually I made peace with the fact it could be God’s will for us to have 3 biological children instead of 4.

After 6 pregnancies conceived after 1 try, pregnancy number 7 was an unexpected surprise after 6 months of waiting. As excited as we were, I still had that surreal feeling. I called the midwife and she was unavailable during the time I was due so I had to start wrapping my head around another unassisted pregnancy and birth. I didn’t have morning sickness. I still hadn’t felt the baby move at 10 weeks. And then not at 11 weeks.

I didn’t feel pregnant.

Maybe I wasn’t really willing to believe I was, just in case. The midwife, who had become a friend, was able to get me booked in for an ultrasound, as per my request, which is something I hadn’t wanted for my previous pregnancies.

At 12 weeks, the day before the ultrasound. I thought I may have felt the baby move.

Thankfully the ultrasound technician confirmed what my husband already trusted to be true: we were going to have a baby!

I experienced only two weeks of morning sickness, from week 14 to 16. Though my uterus got huge (people commented how I must be excited for my Christmas baby and were shocked and embarrassed when I told them I was only 5.5 months) I didn’t have any water retention and didn’t feel like I gained as much weight as my previous children. (For the record, I did. I just carried it differently. I gained over 70lbs each pregnancy.)

I hired a doula who I met when she and I both attended my friend’s birth. She seemed a bit unsure about an unassisted pregnancy and birth but, as she got to know me better, became more comfortable with the idea. We exchanged birth resources (I have quite a home library) and swapped pregnancy and birth advice. She came to pray for me and encourage me when I ended up in the hospital at 35 weeks (for a non pregnancy related incident).

I sent her a text a few weeks before my due date to let her know I had been having fairly strong pre labour contractions every evening for a week. I kept thinking, hoping, I would wake up to have a baby but they always stopped when I went to sleep. It was very similar to my first three experiences of prelabour: 3 days for my first, 5 days for my second, and 8 days for my third.

The week after I had nothing. I hoped for an early birth because I get SPD pretty bad near the end and spent most of my day sitting on my couch so I didn’t injure myself. After 5 days of no prelabour, I figured God wanted me to keep waiting. I made peace with the fact that it would be another two weeks before I could meet my baby and be done with the SPD pain. That was Thursday morning. My doula let me know she wanted to head to the city on Friday (a drive of more than 2 hours one way) and I joked with her about bringing back 3 or 4 Ikea bookcases for me.

That evening I went to bed and snuggled with my 3 year old. I cherished his nighttime snuggles, knowing it was nearing his daddy’s turn to take over his night-time needs. He curled up around my belly and I breathed in the fresh scent of his dirt and grass infused hair.

I woke up around 4:30am to go to the bathroom. (I don’t think I mentioned another symptom I didn’t have was a baby sitting on my bladder so nighttime potty breaks weren’t a regular occurance.) Our bathroom is down the stairs and on the other end of the house so, after traipsing through the cold house, I was very ready to crawl back into my nice warm bed.

I was nearly asleep again when I got what felt like a contraction. I checked the clock (it was 5am) and started timing. 6 to 7 minutes apart. I started 2 minutes apart with my third son so I figured I had lots of time but, after 3 or 4 contractions, I realized I couldn’t sleep through them. Poked my husband and told him he wouldn’t be going to work because we were going to have a baby. He mumbled and I headed downstairs. I started my contraction timer app and noticed that walking downstairs had shortened the interval to 2 to 3 minutes. I shouted up the stairs to Adam to get the pool ready and sent a text to my doula. She didn’t respond so I waited until a contraction was done and called to let her know she should probably reschedule her trip to the city. It was pretty close to 6am at this point and she was getting up anyway and lives less than ten minutes away.

She came in the door and was surprised by how far into active labour I already was.

Adam was heating water on the stove and filling the pool. I was so concerned about the pool because it had a leak and I was convinced he hadn’t taped it up well enough. The hose also didn’t fit on our faucet so I was concerned about the water spraying all over the kitchen. She got right to work and held my hips and rubbed my back in a way that calmed me. We were joking around in between contractions and Adam was making fun of me for being so obsessed with the pool issue (that according to him wasn’t an issue at all).

Jesse, the 3 year old, came down the stairs first. He was some great comedic relief as he jumped on the mini trampoline beside me like a bouncy little energizer bunny. I love how he asked why the pool was downstairs and we told him the baby was coming and he just went with the flow. Birth is not something thst kids naturally fear. Caleb and Isaac, almost-9 and 6, came downstairs right after I got into the pool. They were so quiet but so excited to see me in the pool and knew that the baby would be out soon. I thought they were quietly excited anyway. Apparently they were making fun of the noises I was making. (I’m a pretty vocal birther). Jesse was holding my cup of water and made sure to offer it every time I looked up at him. My doula was holding my hand. Adam was telling the boys to be more polite and keeping track of the water temperature and level.

So that is what the rest of them were up to while I did my thing. I am always surprised by how coherent I am, even during the final stages of labour. I laboured in the pool for a while and gave myself pep talks about how I could do this and to breathe the baby down in between contractions. During contractions I would say, out loud so everyone could hear, about how it wasn’t working and that I just wanted to be done and that I was taking too long and things didn’t seem to be progressing.

During pushing contractions my inner pep talks all but stopped as I tried to figure out why the baby wasn’t out yet and why it was taking so long. I quickly discovered the baby wasn’t in a good birthing position and I went from hands and knees to upright on my knees. He immediately went from being pushed backwards to going forwards and crowning . I told them all I didn’t know what way he was going to go, behind me where someone else would have to catch him or forward where I could grab him.

His head came out and I felt something very soft and squishy. During pregnancy I had thought he might be breech so I wondered if that was confirmation. Then I felt his eye and breathed a quick sigh of relief, knowing his head was out and the hardest push was done. It felt like ages until the next contraction came and his little body came sliding out into my waiting hands.

He opened his eyes and looked straight at me the instant he was out of the water. He has been awake and moving all during labour and was totally ready to greet the world. I kept saying, “he’s MY baby!” The emphasis on “my” because he is the first of my sons that I see myself in. It felt like a little me looking back at me. He looked over my shoulder at his brothers and I said to Jesse, “he sees you.”

My husband was in disbelief and asked, “it’s another boy?” That was when I realized I didnt actually know and should probably check. Sure enough, he was all boy.

Since the day my husband and I started talking about having children, we wanted 4. I always said I would rather have 4 boys than 4 girls and, over the years, my heart grew more and more fond of the idea of 4 sons. With Asher, which means “happy” in Hebrew, I felt like my heart would burst with joy at my dream coming true.

He is now over a month old and I still spend most of my day on the couch, snuggling a sleeping baby or starting into the eyes of a very attentive newborn. People have asked if I’m disappointed to have only sons. I tell them I couldn’t be more happy.

Asher was born at 7:28am and was 7lbs and 18.5 inches long. What felt like a long labour was only about 2.5 hours with only 6 pushing contractions. I thank the Lord that everything went so smoothly!

If you would like to read about my third son’s birth, it was a truly spiritual birth experience. I also plan to make a list of my top 10 favorite birth books so sign up for my newsletter to hear when I publish that resource.

Motherhood is Hard, But It Isn’t Hard Forever

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6 Tips for Surviving When You Feel Like You’re Drowning in Motherhood

6 Tips for Surviving When You Feel Like You’re Drowning in Motherhood

Exhausted, brain not thinking clearly, no time or energy to do much of anything so you’re overwhelmed and behind. Parenting is sometimes like that, isnt it? Sometimes it is because of a round of sickness, sometimes it is a season of busyness, maybe it is cabin fever after a bout of bad weather. For me right now it is a newborn.
Those on my email newsletter or who follow me on Twitter may have read my announcement that our fourth son entered the world just over a week ago. As I type this out, he is sleeping in my arms as I sit on my couch. Other than getting up to change a diaper or get a cup of milk for the 3 year old, I have been doing next to nothing since he was born. By noon my brain has turned to mush and having a complete intelligent thought is nearly impossible. (I don’t think I was ever this bad with the others!)  I felt like I was in a similar position after a round of a stomach virus hit us last winter.

By noon my brain has turned to mush and having a complete intelligent thought is nearly impossible.

Here are some tips for surviving when you feel like you’re drowning in motherhood:

Stay hydrated

We all know the benefit of drinking enough water yet many of us still have a hard time doing it. Find ways to make it easier on yourself. Set a timer to remind yourself to have a cup every couple of hours, have a big cup first thing in the morning with breakfast and have your regular coffee afterwards, use mason jars or water bottles and commit to when you want to finish them, remember you don’t have to drink just water. (I have fallen in love with the Takeya ThermoFlask Insulated Stainless Steel Water Bottle. We found it at Costco a few weeks ago and it is everything the description says it is. My husband fills his with ice water every evening when he games and he was totally surprised and impressed when he filled it for the second evening and there was still ice in it from the night before! I try to drink 2 of the 40oz bottles each day, in addition to a coffee, milk, and sometimes tea. Sometimes I throw a lemon wedge in there too.

Sleep

Go to bed early. Nap. It is critical to health and sanity and we all know it. Yet so many moms refuse to do it. I understand you want to have some kid free quiet time in the evening but you’ll find that it doesn’t compare to the sanity gained by an adequate amount of sleep. Napping gets a bit tricky when kids get older and no longer nap but lock the doors, throw on a show or pull out the playdough, and doze on the couch, within earshot. (One of my most popular posts has some more tips on how to survive on interrupted sleep.) Even 20 min of resting your body and mind can be very rejuvenating. My current bedtime is around 9:30pm. Sometimes I go to bed earlier but never later. I sacrifice time with my husband (he does bedtime routines for our older 3 at 8pm and comes back downstairs around 8:20 on non gaming nights) but he and I have been through this stage before and know it is only temporary. Even when I am through the exhausting newborn phase, I still rarely go to bed after 10:30 and set an alarm on my cell phone if I find I’m making excuses to stay up later. And the older boys have learned they are to stay in bed until 7am. The 3 year old sometimes wakes up at 6 but he is still in the side-carred crib, next to my husband, so they snuggle until 7am. Teach them how to read a clock young.

Easy Food

Hit up the frozen meals aisle. I normally prefer to cook from scratch (or mostly scratch anyway) but during this season I’m relying on frozen lasagnas, frozen pizza, canned soup, and easy prep foods and snacks like toast, cereal, yogurt, grilled cheese, noodles, precut veggies, and bananas. Even my 3 year old can prepare himself a simple breakfast and my older two can start the oven and pop a meal in. I’ve also been blessed with an amazing church family and friends who have dropped meals for us.

Maintain Peace

Sometimes this means allowing your 3 year old to have a chocolate chip cookie during breakfast. This may mean using technology more than normal. Or using it less, as it goes in my house. Sending kid to separate rooms for a portion of the day when squabbles get heated. Part of my peace comes in the boys clearing all the toys out of the living room before supper. I have barely looked in the playroom but I breathe a little easier when my main room has some semblance of order after they go to bed.

Housekeeping

Ignore the mess. Truly. Yes, you’ll get behind and yes you’ll feel overwhelmed when you are finally able to catch up but you will catch up, step by step. The only one putting pressure on you is you. All you really need is moderately clean dishes (there are no housekeeping police saying you can use breakfast’s toast dishes for lunch’s grilled cheese and a veggies and dip snack) and moderately clean clothes (no housekeeping police here either so wear the same jeans all week and make your kids do the same and don’t worry about folding and putting away for the time being).

Enlist help

More often than not, our spouses are willing to help out. They just aren’t always good at seeing how much we need or what they can do about it. Let him know you feel like you’re drowning and that you need him to rescue you. And give him bite sized and practical solutions. Don’t say the housework is overwhelming, can you clean the house? Tell him the dishes are stressing you out and can he please fill and run the dishwasher. Or the laundry needs to be switched over, or gathered from bedroom floors and tossed in. And be honest with him (and yourself) about what is most important. If the toilet isn’t bothering you, don’t ask him to clean it. If you still have clean clothes, don’t ask him to do laundry. Kids can do the same. They are often more capable than you give them credit for. Be honest with them about the need to come together as a team to keep the household running.

Some seasons of parenting are harder than others.  There is no way around that. But you also don’t have to drown. So take care of yourself, let go of the housework, and focus on relationships and teamwork within your family. I know that I will get through the newborn hazy days, and I know that you will get through the tough seasons too.

Do you have any other tips to get through the tough seasons? I’d love to add them to my list. I’m sure that there will come a time when all 4 of the boys will get sick at the same time and I’m not looking forward to that!

Motherhood is Hard, But It Isn’t Hard Forever

I went to the post office today without my older two. My 3.5 year old changed his mind last minute and came with me...

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Dealing with Worries as a Mother

Dealing with Worries as a Mother

Fevers and illness, daring activities that lead to injuries, potential kidnappings, government interference… there are so many things that we worry about as mothers. It’s so easy to spiral down into those worries and start to panic.

As an INTJ, my typical response to worries is that I make a plan to deal with it and imagine myself coming through the other end. I like to plan out the alternative paths the particular concern could take and my potential responses to it. Usually that helps bring me some peace about the situation and puts things into perspective to remind myself that it isn’t the end of the world and that, no matter what, we’ll make it through to the other side (even if the interim is unpleasant, to say the least).

 

After plotting out all my potential conclusions, I remind myself that my kids are not my own. They belong body and soul to God the Creator. And as much as I love my children, God loves them more. I give them, and all of my worries surrounding them, back to Him and to His master plan for them.

As much as we love our children, God loves them more.

Moments like that are a good reminder that we aren’t in control. Which can be scary but, if you really analyze it, is actually a good thing. You and I don’t know everything that is happening or how everything in this world intertwines to affect each other. It’s a good thing that God does. All knowing and all powerful. It doesn’t mean that things will always make sense to us. It just means that we can trust that He really does know best and have our ultimate best interests at heart. Worrying is a sin. It shows that we lack trust in God’s power and love.

I read a great quote a while back: “We just think we are in the land of the living and that we are going to die, but when we believe in God the opposite is true. We’re in the land of the dying and because of Jesus we’re going to the land of the living. The land where there is no more pain, no more tears, and where we’ll be with Christ for eternity.” (The Kissing Bridge by Tricia Goyer) As Christians, we can find comfort in the fact that this isn’t our world. It’s easier said than done, especially when our worries seem very big and legitimate, but it’s the plain and simple truth.

We act like worrying is a natural part of mothering but worrying is a sin. It shows a lack of trust in God’s love for us and His ultimate power over this world. I need to give my kids back to God every morning and every evening. I had been daily giving my pregnancy and my birth plans to God. A few weeks ago I had a scary incident that resulted in an ambulance ride (for myself, at 35 weeks pregnant) and a couple nights in the hospital. With no answers as to what happened, that’s one I give to God anytime it crosses my mind. I have some chronic health problems that made me worried I wouldn’t be able to hold my baby properly to nurse and cuddle when he arrived (which was 4 days ago, St Patricks Day, by the way. Stay tuned as I plan to share his birth story in the next month). So many things I could dwell on! I’m learning to trust Him more every day. So today, and every day, give your worries to God and trust that He’s got this. I know it’s easier said than done and this is a sin that many of us struggle with on a regular basis.

What worries have you been holding on to lately? Feel free to share them in the comments so we can pray for you. Or just say a prayer right now to give them to God. And give it back to Him every time you find yourself spiraling. Regular prayer time is critical to our walk as Christian mothers.

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Normalizing Birth for Children

Normalizing Birth for Children

My eldest son witnessed his first birth around 1.5 years old. He stood with his little rubber boots on the fence and held on to the cable and watched as the calf emerged, feet, then face, then a wet body slipping out onto the bedding pack. I’d like to say it was a beautiful and life changing moment for him, but it wasn’t. He didn’t think there was anything much special about it. He saw calves of various sizes every day and he must have just realized that the life of a calf has to start somehow. So when I told him that the mama cow was pushing a calf out of her body, he took it as a perfectly normal occurrence.

Over the years, he (along with his brothers) has witnessed numerous births. Thanks to YouTube he has seen elephants, giraffes, horses, dolphins, and several others. Births he has witnessed live include numerous calves and kittens as well as the births of his younger brothers. Yes, you read that right: he witnessed the births of his brothers. And he will likely be present when our newest baby makes his or her appearance earth-side in a few weeks. (If you are interested, the story for the unassisted home water birth for my third son.)
I have been asked by friends and care providers whether I was concerned about traumatizing my kids by having them at their siblings’ births. I explain that I do some prep work including talking about the process, reading stories about birth, and even watching birth videos online. Sometimes this convinces them that it’s “okay” for me to have my kids present (as if I need their permission) and other times they remain skeptical. Inwardly, I’m reminded of how warped most people’s opinions of birth are.

Birthing a child is not a medical disorder or event any more than conceiving or carrying that child is.

My eldest’s attitude toward birth hasn’t changed from the first time he witnessed it: it’s a normal process that has been happening since the beginning of time. Birthing a child is not a medical disorder or event any more than conceiving or carrying that child is. It’s a time that requires privacy, love, and intimacy, much the same as the event that created that new life in the first place.
I believe that farm life has allowed our children recognize that birth is a natural process and not something to be feared or managed. Through farming research and experience, my husband knows that cows labour better if they are left to their own devices and we have a much lower intervention rate than on farms where farmers intervene or manage births within their herd. That was the number one reason why he shifted his mind on human birth (yes, he compared me to a cow, and no it wasn’t the first or last time).
I enjoy research and statistics and all of the research shows that birthing is largely influenced by the mother’s mindset. Speaking from an evolutionary standpoint, women have been birthing since the beginning of time and, therefore, must be properly suited to such a task. From a God standpoint, women were designed to birth and God doesn’t make mistakes. While I’m grateful for the availability of medical intervention when necessary, most women don’t need it and their birth experience is only aggravated by it.
This evening my eldest, nearly 9, asked me why his friend’s sister was born at a hospital and through surgery. I told him that was the mother’s choice based on the information she had received. He told me it seemed silly to need a hospital and surgery for something a simple as having a baby. I agree son. May you keep this peace and trust regarding birth when it comes time for your own wife to have your children.

What are your thoughts and/or experiences with children attending birth? 

Motherhood is Hard, But It Isn’t Hard Forever

I went to the post office today without my older two. My 3.5 year old changed his mind last minute and came with me...

Unexpected Pregnancy and Unassisted Birth

In order to do his story justice, I need to start months before he was even conceived. Right after my 3rd son turned...

6 Tips for Surviving When You Feel Like You’re Drowning in Motherhood

Exhausted, brain not thinking clearly, no time or energy to do much of anything so you're overwhelmed and behind....

Dealing with Worries as a Mother

Fevers and illness, daring activities that lead to injuries, potential kidnappings, government interference... there...

Cloth Diaper Tips

Cloth Diaper Tips

These cloth diaper tips were written for a new cloth diapering mama, by a mom who has cloth diapered 3 little men over the course of the last 7 years. It was written to be a cheat sheet of tips, not a full blown tutorial. You may also  like to read about my favorite cloth diapers.

cloth diaper tips

  1. When changing baby, make sure you fold the Velcro laundry tabs down as you remove the diaper.
  2. Wash every 2 to 3 days at least. Going longer makes it tougher to get them clean.
  3. Start with a soak cycle. If you don’t have a soak cycle, drench the diapers to their full absorbency before washing by adding extra water to the washer drum or adding to the pail liner before tipping into the washer. (You don’t need to rinse until baby is on a lot of solid foods. At that point, tip any poop that comes off easily into the toilet and do a rinse cycle before soaking.)
  4. Use an eco friendly detergent (norwex, Seventh generation, shaklee, homemade, Rocking green, Laundry Tarts etc)
  5. Dry until fully dry, not damp. I just throw the covers and pail liner in the dryer too but you could air dry them (they should last longer if you do).
  6. Chuck them in the basket or drawer and they’re ready to use again.
Extra Tips:
  • Disposable wipes have a tendency to go through the washer so most people find cloth wipes (I use dollar store baby face cloths) much more convenient. 30-40 wipes should be plenty for a newborn. You’ll need less for older babies/toddlers.
  • A mesh laundry bag (held up in something like a large peanut butter container) for dirty wipes prevents wipes from getting lost. Be sure it is big enough to give the wipes lots of room to wiggle clean. Get two, one to wash and one to use. (I also has issues with wipes getting into my washer drainage hose and the mesh bag solved that problem.)
  • A small container of water on or near the change table, freshened every few days, makes it easier to wet a wipe when needed. Pre-wetting wipes is quick but can result in musty wipes that need to be washed even if they haven’t been used.
  • Wet and wring wipes and put them in a plastic sandwich bag for going out.
  • Use a pail liner. Turn it inside out to push the diapers into the washer and you’ll never have to touch the dirty diapers and you’ll rarely have to wash your diaper pail.
  • Keep the diapers in a cool part of the room with good airflow. Avoid sealing the lid onto the diaper pail because they may start to get hot and fermenty. They actually smell less than disposables because you don’t have that icky chemical smell mixed in.
  • Under normal circumstances, you should not have to strip diapers more than about once a year. If you are having problems that require your to strip more  frequently, try revising your wash routine.
  • Most diaper creams are not cloth diaper safe. Coconut oil may help any bum rashes you encounter or there are some great cloth diaper safe creams put there. My personal favorites are Earth Mama Angel Baby and Thirsties.
  • For using cloth on the go, remember your diapers, covers, pre-wetted wipes, a wet bag, and a change pad (flat cloth diapers work well for that).