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Family Focus: The Smalligan-Cooper Family

Posted by Valerie on 6/5/2013 to Family Focus

The Family Focus series allows us to spotlight a cloth-diapering family that makes our online community so strong. This month's Family Focus is on the Smalligan-Cooper family. Suzanne & David celebrated their fourth wedding anniversary in April and are proud parents to Henry, age 19 months.

How many diapers are in your stash!? 20+ prefolds (extra small and small) 12 Flip inserts, 3 Bum Genius, 3 BabeeGreens Hemp, 1 FuzziBunz, and about 15 Mother Ease One Size and 4 Sandy's.

What is your favorite diaper and why? Mother Ease One Size, once our baby was about 3 months. They NEVER leak, even with his toothpick skinny legs, and wash and dry great. He can even wear at night without any trouble with a stay-dry insert/doubler. We also like Flips for how fast they dry and for trimmer looks.

What was the thing about Motherhood that came the easiest to you? Having the baby! I had a wonderful midwife who really educated and prepared me well for the birth. My labor was fast, in the comfort of our own home, and the pain was tolerable enough that I was cracking jokes right through the final push!

What has been the hardest thing? Lack of sleep! Henry started sleeping through the night around 10 months, not 3 months like "everyone" said babies should. Nursing was also a struggle early on. Supply and latching were never an issue--I just wasn't prepared for how demanding and time consuming it would be. I was not ready to practice patience "on demand."

Are you a SAHM, Working mom or WAHM or does your spouse stay home? I work full time from home. I do travel to China though 5-6 times a year. I still pump and always take the expressed milk home with dry ice. In August, I checked a whole cooler full of frozen breast milk home with me from China!

What issues are important to you that led you to cloth diapering? Enviroment? Cost? Natural parenting? I wanted something reusable for future kids. I also think cloth diapers look cuter, and the breathability has certainly helped my son stay diaper-rash free for almost 18 months now. Disposables are indeed convenient until you have a trash can of them in your home that you can't wash [gag]. I don't mind washing the diapers and prefer having several different 'systems' for different diapering needs. It took my husband a while to understand what diapers were better for what time of the day/"pending poops" or different outfits, but even now he is a cloth diaper pro!

Has Cloth Diapering made you "greener" in other areas? Certainly. The most direct example is skin care. I received many tubes of diaper rash cream from baby showers--haven't used a single one. I started using coconut oil on my baby's bum to keep skin soft and hydrated after baths and before I put on his night time diaper. The coconut oil just melts beautifully into his skin. At some point I figured why not try it out for myself--and I love it. It's the best thing I've ever used as a lotion and costs a lot less than the "fancy" lotion I was using.

Tell us about your Hobbies. I love to cook. My husband and I "went vegan" early in my pregnancy and decided to keep it up after Henry was born. Surprisingly we eat more variety now than before we went vegan. We also enjoy distance biking on our vintage 1969 Schwinn Paramount. This summer, we hope to pull Henry along on some of our rides!