Julie Julie Ekstrom
Mother of Five! @julesekstrom
Julie Chad Ekstrom
Father of Five! @DaddyRooz
Calley Calley Pate
Mother of Two
Stacey Stacey Clover
Mother of Six
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Kanga Care
521 Violet St
Golden • CO • 80401

Monday, March 18, 2013

You've Come a Long Way, Baby...

Here at Kanga Care Headquarters in beautiful Golden, Colorado, we have a LOT of diapers. In fact, we have a whole warehouse full of 'em. You might be surprised, though, to learn that not all of them are Rumparooz, EcoPosh or Lil Joeys!

Over the years, we have received many diapers from all sorts of people for all sorts of reasons. We decided to do a little Spring cleaning and donate a couple boxes of new and gently used diapers to a really fantastic organization here in Colorado. But before we did that, we wanted to go through them all and make sure that they were still in good condition. As we were sorting the diapers, there were a few that--ahem--stuck out to us. Diaper nerds that we are, we decided to share some of our favorite finds with you. We hope this is as entertaining for you as it was for us!

Help us name these unique diapers in the comments below!

(1) Sailor Jerry? 

(2) Tell us what you'd name this one below in the comments! 

(3) Tell us what you'd name this one below in the comments! 

(4) Tell us what you'd name this one below in the comments! 

(5) Tell us what you'd name this one below in the comments! 

(6) Tell us what you'd name this one below in the comments! 

(7) Tell us what you'd name this one below in the comments! 

(8) Tell us what you'd name this one below in the comments! 

And, last but not least, our favorite one: 

(9) Tell us what you'd name this one below in the comments! 

These unique finds just go to show that making excellent diapers is no easy task! Our diapers have an amazing patented design that is sure to fit babies of all shapes and sizes--and they look fantastic at the same time! Thanks for playing along! 

Love, Kanga Care

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Friday, March 8, 2013

Making the Switch: Disposable to Cloth!

There are lots of reasons more and more parents are choosing to cloth diaper their babies. Specifically:

  • Huge cost savings! Save enough for a fancy tropical vacation! (Can we come?)
  • Better for the environment! Disposables take approximately 500 years to biodegrade!
  • Safer for babies, parents and pets. No toxic chemicals! Yuck.
  • Less gross. You heard me. Ask anyone who has made the switch!
  • Cuter. This is not even debatable.

We asked one of our Kanga Care Guest Bloggers, Mary Ann Smith, of to tell us her personal story of the switch she made from disposables to cloth. If you've been considering this switch, maybe Mary Ann's story will help you in that process!

Questions about making the switch? Ask below!

I have two kids, a 5 year old boy, "G", and a 20 month old girl, "N." With G, I honestly didn't give cloth diapers a single thought. Who uses those, right? Any sane person would know it's easier to just throw dirty diapers out (never mind the fact that, technically, you're supposed to flush the poop...).

We were in a pretty tight spot financially when G arrived. Even with a great insurance plan, we owed thousands of dollars to the hospital. I had quit working to stay home with G which meant the loss of over half our income right there, and we had to move into a basement apartment that I hated. And every week, we scraped our pennies together (literally and figuratively) to buy more disposable diapers to get by. At first, it wasn't so bad. We had a stockpile that we'd received at our baby showers. Once they were gone, we just made do.

When G was almost 2, my husband got a new job and we bought our first house. After years of not having access to our very own laundry, it was a relief. I made the switch from disposable training pants during the day to the padded training underpants you can get at the grocery store. It wasn't long before I found myself using the shower head to hose some poopy underwear off into the toilet and the thought occurred to me: I could do cloth diapers. Convincing my husband was not so easy. Once I became pregnant with N (what seemed like a lifetime later) I still had my mind set on cloth diapers. My husband was still set against them.

Making the actual switch to cloth diapers was complicated. To be honest, we knew disposable diapers worked. We knew what to expect from them. We knew how to budget for the regular expense. Why switch things up? Adding a new baby to the family is already a huge stress. But then it happened. I was eight months pregnant when my husband came home from work with the most depressed heavy-hearted expression. His boss was having to let him go. The business would be closing in TWO WEEKS. We would lose our income, our health care, and every benefit of employment on that day. If you know anything about COBRA, you know we didn't qualify. We made a LOT of sacrifices in a short period of time. There is a saying "Use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without." I clung to that as I prepared for our new addition. And more than at any other time, cloth diapers made the most sense for our family. I could not justify spending the money each week on something that would so quickly become garbage. And finally, my husband quit arguing.

The switch to cloth diapers was gradual. We were given quite a few packs of disposable diapers at our baby shower, so we decided to go with those until N was big enough for the one sized diapers we got. Unfortunately, there are no brick and mortar shops where we lived at the time, and very few friends using modern cloth. I didn't know about Rumparooz and how tiny their one size cloth diapers can get. Had I realized how simple they were and how well they would fit, I would gladly have bought enough newborn prefolds and Rumparooz covers to last through that first stage. Instead, each day, we had to take out an entire garbage bag filled with disposable diapers and wipes. Making matters worse, each time I changed one of N's diapers, her entire diaper area was red, and I had to slather diaper cream on every change to try to keep her comfortable.

When N was about 3 weeks old, I finally jumped into using cloth diapers during the day. I had just enough for that, if I washed them every night. The redness in her diaper area went away while she wore cloth. At night, we still used disposables. I'd read too many stories about how difficult nighttime diapering can be and it was like reading the side effects of an over the counter medication. So I didn't bother to try, even though I was having GREAT success with pocket diapers during the day including naps.

So we had a good routine going with cloth diapers during the day and disposables at night, but N was always very strong. She held her head up to look at me the day she was born, and she started rolling onto her side very early. This led to leaks. Three nights in a row, she woke up wet. Her pajamas and bedding would be soaked and I would have to change everything in the middle of the night before getting her fed and back to sleep. That's when I took the leap into nighttime cloth diapering and never looked back. I figured I had nothing to lose, and it ended up working great for us.

We have been completely transitioned to using cloth diapers and even cloth wipes full time for well over a year now. Yes, using cloth diapers means an extra few loads of laundry each week, but I don't mind it. In the beginning, we (more so, my husband) felt we had to justify using cloth diapers to others as if it were some totally weird thing. "They're not as bad as you think." "They even have Aplix." "It's a lot easier than it used to be." Over time, it has just became what we do with no excuses or apologies for our decision. And the diaper pail smells SO much better than my son's did since the poop is actually going into the toilet where it belongs instead of a garbage can in the nursery.

I really do wish we'd used cloth diapers with my son as well. It would have saved so much money, and it really is a lot easier than it may seem. It's just like any other responsibility you have around the house or with your kids. You get into the habit of caring for your cloth diapers, and you barely have to think about it.

If we have any more kids, I have decided to use 100% cloth diapers from the beginning. And really, at this point, I don't think I could resist those cute newborn diapers anyway.

Have you made the switch? Have questions? What was your experience? Tell us in the comments below! 

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Friday, March 1, 2013

First Friday Birth Story!
This month: Autumn Beck and her baby boy, Finley

We love birth stories! Each one is unique and amazing. If you'd like to share yours, you can use the button below to submit it. We will read (and probably cry) over each one, and then post one on the first Friday of every month! 

Mama: Autumn Beck
Baby: Finley
Due Date: Sunday, January 13, 2013
Birthday: Thursday, January 17, 2013
Visit her blog!

I never imagined I would have an unbelievable birth story to share. I prayed for an easy, fast birth- who doesn’t- but didn’t really think it was something my body could do.

On Wednesday, January 16th, I began feeling different enough to tell my husband, Michael, that a baby would be here by Friday. Nothing painful or distracting but I could feel that dilation was occurring. I had had a cough for the past few days and I knew that was the reason for the strong Braxton Hicks I was feeling.

I slept well (such a relative term) that night and woke up on Thursday at about 7:30am. I didn’t feel much different than the day before except that now the “contractions” were a little more uncomfortable. I put contractions in quotes because I really never thought of them as that. They were only concentrated in my cervix, no back or uterus pain.

I texted Michael, who was in a Greek Exegesis class, and told him to come home after class. I knew that would be about 10:30 and I could parent the kids from bed no problem.

I also sent a text to my prayer warriors just to let them know that today was probably the day. Honestly, I sent it thinking that sometime much later in the day I would say “this is it."

The text was sent at 8:21am as I was heading upstairs. I figured it would be a good idea to go upstairs to my bed and lay down just because I felt tired. By the time I got to the top of the stairs I felt like I needed to use the restroom. I headed to the potty and tried to go. It was a very odd feeling because I was trying to go but pushing hurt. I just figured it was because the baby was much lower.

Once I went I thought all was good. Then I got up and it hit--a real contraction! I moaned and had a moment of panic because I had never experienced a real contraction on my own. Michael had always been there for the hard part. I told God I couldn’t do it alone. As soon as it was over I quickly texted Michael “Come now!” (8:24am)

The next contraction started less than a minute later. I knew I needed to change positions so I went on hands and knees. Once there I thought “maybe if I just push it will help." I was in complete shock when I realized that pushing made the baby move a LOT. I put my hand down to figure out what was happening and felt the bag of waters and half the head! At this point I pushed the whole body out! (8:27am)
I kept thinking that (a) this didn’t really happen, and (b) this baby must have the smallest head! There was no pain in pushing, the only pain came down my legs when I stood during the first contraction.

I then yelled for Haley (10 year old daughter) who was already on her way up after hearing my growl. I told her to grab the baby and wrap it up. Once the baby was wrapped up Haley held him until I could turn over and take him.

At this point I snapped a few photos and sent one to Michael. He was completely shocked! It had only been 6 minutes since I texted him to come home!!
I then called Renee (midwife) and said, “I know this is crazy, but I just had the baby.” She was more shocked than Michael. Renee told Haley how to get me comfortable on the floor until she got there.

The kids and I talked about how crazy it was that I had just had the baby! CRAZY! The last they knew, which was just 10 minutes earlier, I was going upstairs to rest, and then they heard me cry out. I am so glad Haley wrote out her story and is old enough to remember all of that day's events. What a blessing this has been to all of us!

Michael got home a little before 9am. The kids ran down when they heard the garage door open and said “Daddy jumped over the front of the van!” I can only imagine what was going through his head as he was driving home.

Michael checked the gender and announced that we had a boy, like he expected it to be. Of course, we didn’t have a boy’s name picked out!

Renee arrived about 10 minutes after Michael and I was finally able to deliver the placenta and Haley cut the cord.

I don’t think I stopped laughing about this whole story until late afternoon. NEVER did I think a birth like this could be part of my story.

By lunch Michael and I decided on the name Finley Nathaniel. I have always loved the name Finley and Nathaniel means “given by God." He certainly was given by God as was his blessed birth.

Morning after conclusion: Whether you have a fast or slow, hard or easy labor you still feel like you’ve been hit by a train the next morning.

Many readers have asked if my previous five births were fast. Absolutely not! This is what makes Finley's birth all the more unbelievable for me. I have very long and painful transitions that typically last around 3-4 hours. Praise the Lord for His mercies in this birth! I'm not counting on having another birth THIS good but I am so grateful for my shockingly fast and unexpected birth of #6!
-Autumn Beck
Homebirthing mommy to Haley (my birth helper), Haven, Paisley, Sterling, Camden and Finley.

Thanks for sharing your absolutely incredible story, Autumn! We are so thankful that everything went so smoothly in spite of the circumstances. Give Haley a high five from us for being such a great helper! All our love to all of the Becks!!

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