Showing posts with label reader contributed articles. Show all posts
Showing posts with label reader contributed articles. Show all posts

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Tips to get you started with cloth diapers!

Tips to Get you started on your cloth diaper journey

Are you considering the big switch to modern cloth diapers? Don’t be overwhelmed! One Google search and you will quickly become overwhelmed by all the brands, types, and information out there. Here are a few tips to get you started.

Find a copy of Changing Diapers: TheHip Mom’s Guide to Modern Cloth Diapers. Stay away from Google and read this book first! I wish it had been available when I started cloth diapering. I was so weighed down with all the information I found on the internet, but this book really sums it up plainly in a non-intimidating way! 

Visit a local baby store that sellscloth diapers. Be careful with this advice. Stores like Target, Walmart, and Buy Buy Baby now sell cloth diapers. These are not the stores I’m talking about! I suggest, if possible, to find a store nearby that sells a variety of modern cloth diapers and is knowledgeable about what they are selling. The employees should be experienced in using modern cloth. Most of these stores will host a free Cloth 101 session. This is how I helped myself, and my husband, understand more about how modern cloth works. The great thing about this tip is you’ll get to touch and play with the diapers and see firsthand what you like.

Plug-in to an online community. Join in on the Monday night Twitter #clothdiapers chat. Lots of retailers and experienced mamas are around at 9 pm EST on Twitter to help each other out with any cloth diaper questions. Not only will you learn something, but you may make a new friend or two! If Twitter isn’t your thing, find a message board or Facebook page. There are many great ones out there that can help you navigate the world of modern cloth diapers.

Once you are ready to buy some diapers, don’t make a huge purchase just yet! I suggest starting with a very small stash with a few different brands and types of diapers. Just because one brand works great for your best friend doesn’t mean it will be your favorite diaper. Start small and then once you decide what you like, buy more! 

Don’t give up! Expect to have leaks and lots of questions in the beginning. I remember crying the first couple weeks because my son leaked out of every diaper I put on him. I was tired of changing his clothes (and mine!) with every diaper change and the sheets with every nap. I wanted a cloth diaper fairy to visit my house and tell me what I was doing wrong. When this happens, take a step back and seek help! This is where a local retailer or online community comes in handy. Don’t be afraid to ask for help! We’ve all been there! Just by asking for help I was able to solve my leak problems.

Have fun! It’s easy to become a cloth diaper addict. You will quickly develop an obsession for cute prints, colors, and the latest brands. Your friends and family may think you are crazy, but your cloth diaper friends won’t.

About the Author: 
Jenny is a cloth diapering stay at home mama. She writes about her cloth diaper obsession on her blog, ClothDiaper Revival

This post is provided to Knickernappies via the She Thinks Media Bloggers Network.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Top 5 Reasons Why I LOVE my Diaper Sprayer


Guest post by Julie of My Cloth Diaper Stash

When I first started cloth diapering, I had no idea that there was such a thing as a “diaper sprayer,” never mind what it actually did! I read a few articles online and decided that I NEEDED one. I am so glad I made the decision and purchased one because now I cannot live without it!

So without further adieu, and in no particular order, the TOP 5 Reasons why I love my diaper sprayer:
  1. Makes poopy diapers fun – I know I am sick! When I first got the diaper sprayer and the hubby hooked it up, he would laugh every time I would use it. He said “you are getting way too excited about spraying poopy diapers.” And indeed I was! It has been 5 months, and I am still loving it! I guess it brings me back to childhood and playing outdoors with the sprinkler!
  1. Helps to prevent stains on your diapers – I like to consider my diaper sprayer a pre-pre rinse, the pre-rinse before the rinse in the washing machine! The longer the poop sits on the diapers, the more prone to stains they are. I am such a neat freak when it comes to my diapers, and like to get the poop off as quickly as possible! The diaper sprayer helps to get this done in a quick and easy way!
  1. Doubles as a bathroom/toilet/tub cleaner – This is one of the features I never thought about when I bought my diaper sprayer. It has come in handy many times, especially when cleaning out the toilet or the sink. I just spray the affected areas with a cleaner then rinse with the sprayer! Depending on how long your tubing is, you can even spray down the tub!
  1. Super easy to use, install, and store – The diaper sprayer is very easy to attach and install. No plumber needed! It connects directly into the drain line with an easy attachment piece that is included. The hubby did it in less than 10 minutes! I love how the sprayer hangs nicely on the edge of the toilet tank out of the way too. I can only imagine what visitors to my house must think I have hanging on my toilet. I get a lot of questions!
  1. Makes poopy diapers easy – We all know that poopy diapers are not always easy! Rinsing them without a diaper sprayer can be a challenging task! Using the sprayer allows for the poop to come off easily in seconds. All of the poop goes into the toilet, you flush, and you are done! It is as simple as that!
Bio: Julie is a semi-stay-at-home mom to her handsome son J.T. who is 7 months old and wife to hubby Jered who is a teacher and pastor. J.T. provided her motivation to start Cloth Diapering! Not wanting to expose his little bum to all those chemicals in disposables and not returning to work full time, she was looking for a safe and inexpensive alternative. Cloth Diapering were her answer! Julie considers herself an advocate for cloth diapers and with her blog, My ClothDiaper Stash, she hopes to share her passion and help others reap the benefits too.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Tips for Troubleshooting Pocket Diaper Leaks!

Guest Post by Bert

Sometimes cloth diapers leak. Heck, some times disposable diapers leak! The truth of the matter is that unless you practice early elimination your baby needs to wear diapers. What do you do when your cloth diaper is continuously leaking?

I like to go through a process of elimination when it comes to solving cloth diaper leaking problems. First, I look at the way I put on the diaper. Are the inner tabs pulled up causing the urine to wick up the clothes? Is the diaper the right size; is it too tight or too loose around the legs causing a gap?

Pocket Diaper Leaks
The main reason for pocket diaper leaks start with what makes a pocket diaper stand out from the rest of the cloth diaper pack – their ability for the user to tailor absorbency by adding and removing inserts. If you have too many inserts in the pocket it will cause gapping between the diaper and your baby’s legs. If you don’t have enough inserts your diaper will leak.

Most pockets, at least the more popular brands, are one size. If you’re experiencing leaking in a one size pocket diaper, particularly around the legs, I encourage you to try moving your baby up or down a size. If the diaper’s too small there won’t be enough area for the insert to absorb the urine. If the diaper’s too big then you’ll have leaks around the legs from gapping.

The other cause for pocket diaper leaks could be due to a build up of detergent. A detergent build up can happen with both the pockets and the microfiber inserts (if you use microfiber). If this is the case you need to strip the diapers to get rid of the build up. What’s a simple stripping method? The original blue Dawn detergent. Yes, that’s right, Dawn detergent. Two squirts into a very hot washing cycle of clean diapers will do the trick. Do an extra rinse cycle after that and you’re done. You can also use baking soda or vinegar. I haven’t used either of those methods because Dawn works for me so let me know if you’ve had success with either of those.

If you notice that there’s leaking that’s happening and it’s not in the common problem areas of the legs or near the top of the pocket chances are that your waterproof liner (aka the PUL) could be worn down or peeling. You can tell if this is happening by turning the diaper inside out and holding it up to the light. If you can see through it, if there are breaks in the liner or it’s not shiny then your leaking problem is the PUL. There are ways to re-waterproof your pockets otherwise you’ll likely need to restock on new ones. Once the waterproofing of a pocket diaper isn’t working it’s got a very short time before you’ll need to replace it or buy a cover.

Now of course there are other reasons for leaks in a pocket diaper. These are the most common causes for pockets. If you’ve found other causes please comment below and share your knowledge.

Hope this helps!

Elizabeth (aka Bert) Anderson married her college sweetheart in 2005, and started her journey into motherhood in 2008 with the birth of her son.  She started blogging in 2009 as a way to keep track of her thoughts on being a first time mom, especially her struggle with postpartum depression, and as a way of reaching out to other moms who are struggling with the same things.  This June, Bert had another first in her motherhood travels - a little girl!  Even though she's newly a mother of two, Bert maintains that no matter how many children you have you will always be a "first time mom" because there's a first time for everything!  Visit her blog, at FTM. Bert is a contributor for She Thinks Media.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Sometimes pictures can do all the cloth diaper advocating for you!

Guest Post by Lisa B.

I'm not sure why I decided to clothdiaper this time around. With my daughter, who's now 4, I never gave a thought to buying diapers box after box after box. Sure, I felt it was a waste of money, and who knows what happens to those things in the landfill? But cloth diapers were a bit of a mystery.

This time I need to save money any way I can, so I asked a friend about cloth diapers. She is so passionate about it that I was convinced. I ordered a few and rushed to the mailbox each day to see if the “fluffy mail” had arrived. (Since we didn't find out the sex of the baby, I couldn't really wash clothes. Washing those cute, colorful cloth diapers gave me something to do when the nesting urge hit.)

I became a bit addicted to cloth diaper blogs and websites, cruising through the pages to see all the different types and reading testimonials from moms. I couldn't wait to wrap my baby in cloth.

Most of the sites urge you to spread the word about cloth diapers, but how could I when I was a newbie? I was still figuring out what “prefold” meant. (Did it come prefolded?)

Enter social networking, in this case, the wonders of Facebook. Without even trying I've let my friends know about cloth, just by the simple act of posting a photo with my baby sporting a cute cloth diaper. This isn't even intentional – I just happen to think that chubby babies wearing only a diaper is about the cutest thing in the world.

The most recent photo, taken by my 4-year-old, captured my baby boy's grin as I covered his cheeks with kisses. Being a hot summer evening, he was wearing only a red Knickernappies diaper. (Or maybe his clothes had been stripped due to his messy eating – it all just means more laundry to me.) At any rate, I posted that image as my “profile picture” on Facebook.
His contagious smile garnered lots of responses, but that bright diaper caught one friend's eye. She asked me about it, and then wanted to know my favorite brands. I immediately responded, probably gushing a little too much. And I added a few of my favorite websites as well.

Some days I find Facebook annoying, when I see people update their status hourly. But it has become a great networking tool in our world, and I monitor the news feed every morning to check for cloth diaper news and giveaways (I even won once!). And now I can use it to spread the word about cloth diapers in a quiet way – I'll let my baby's cuteness and round, cloth-diapered bottom, do the talking.

Bio:  Lisa J is a freelance writer who lives in Eastern Oregon with her husband and two children, Olivia, 4, and Max, 7 months.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Before I was a Mom...

Guest Post by Bert

Before I was a mom I vowed that I would never allow my children out of the house with mismatched clothes and no shoes. I promised that I would always make sure that their hair looked good and not like they had just rolled out of bed (or were in need of a bath). Before I was a mom I claimed that my children’s faces would always be clean when we were out in public and that I would never let crusty boogers or runny noses go unkempt.

Before I was a mom I looked at other mothers with their screaming toddler in the aisle of Target and said to myself, I would never let my child behave that way. I said, before I became a mother, that I would always leave a public place if my child was misbehaving or making a scene so that I wouldn’t disturb others. I vowed that I would never become THAT mother with the screaming, misbehaving children in tow.

Oh foolish vanity! To think before I had any inkling what it would be like to care for and be responsible for the well being of another human life that I would do it better than those who had gone before me. I stand here as a mother who has taken her child out in public with mismatched clothes, crazy dirty hair (because her son went through a stage of being fearful of washing his hair), and dried up boogers clearly in view because her son wouldn’t let her clean his nose! I am a mother who has had to chase her child through the patio dining area of a restaurant, pick him up like a sack of potatoes and say to him, “Just wait until we get home,” because she didn’t want to cause any more of a scene than what was already playing out. And I am a mother who has had to finish her grocery shopping with a kicking and screaming toddler simply because she had no other option but to buy food then and now.

Going forward I promise to give a sympathetic look to the other mothers I see with kicking and screaming children. I vow to smile and giggle with the mother of a booger faced toddler and then point to my toddler, shrug and say, “Him too!” I will support you and encourage you on your rough day because I have been there. I promise to not judge you because I know that the best behavior isn’t always displayed in public but that doesn’t mean you are doing a terrible parenting job. Maybe if you join me in support and encouraging other moms like us we can all feel a little less pressure to be perfect.

Elizabeth (aka Bert) Anderson married her college sweetheart in 2005, and started her journey into motherhood in 2008 with the birth of her son.  She started blogging in 2009 as a way to keep track of her thoughts on being a first time mom, especially her struggle with postpartum depression, and as a way of reaching out to other moms who are struggling with the same things.  This July, Bert had another first in her motherhood travels - a little girl!  Even though she's newly a mother of two, Bert maintains that no matter how many children you have you will always be a "first time mom" because there's a first time for everything!  Visit her blog, at FTM. Bert is a contributor for She Thinks Media.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

FIVE uses for Cloth Wipes besides wiping baby's behind!

Guest post by Bert

To use cloth wipes or not to use them?? Ah, the grand question every mama asks herself once she feels confident in cloth diapering her baby. To help you make your choice (and to encourage you to come over to the ever so fluffy side…) I’ve compiled a top five list of ways you can use your cloth wipes other than wiping your baby’s behind.
  • A softer and greener way to wipe those messy noses during cold and flu season. Certainly if a cloth wipes is soft enough for your baby’s sensitive skin then it’s also sensitive enough for their chapped noses and lips.
  • Clean your house with the wipes. Add a little water and vinegar to a spray bottle and get to those dirty mirrors, counters and windows. For a natural dusting solution on varnished wood simply use a few drops of lemon oil in a spray bottle with ½ cup of warm water, spray onto the wipe and wipe away. For unvarnished wood you can mix two teaspoons each of olive oil and lemon juice together and add to the wipe, then wring the wipe out to distribute the solution into the cloth. Wipe away using wide strokes so the oil goes on the wood evenly.
  • Bathtime fun! Most cloth wipes are made out of natural fibers which means that those tough to get clean areas are protected because you’re using a natural material.
  • Kitchen face cloth. I don’t know about you but I like to have a separate wash cloth on hand to wipe my kids’ faces after meal or snack time. I have purchased wash cloths from retail stores and after two years of heavy wear and tear they have bit the dust. My cloth wipes on the other hand are still going strong and are so soft on my son’s eczema prone skin!
  • Use them as a protective liner when your baby has diaper rash. You cannot use a diaper rash cream on a cloth diaper unless it is made for use with cloth diapers. You can, however, repurpose your cloth wipes to protect your diaper from the non-cloth friendly oils. You have to wash these cloths separately from your diapers as you will not want for the oils to invade the entire load of diapers.
I hope if you’ve been on the fence about cloth wipes this little list will have helped entice you to give it a try. You’re already using cloth diapers so you might as well go all the way in, right? Right!

Elizabeth (aka Bert) Anderson married her college sweetheart in 2005, and started her journey into motherhood in 2008 with the birth of her son.  She started blogging in 2009 as a way to keep track of her thoughts on being a first time mom, especially her struggle with postpartum depression, and as a way of reaching out to other moms who are struggling with the same things.  This July, Bert had another first in her motherhood travels - a little girl!  Even though she's newly a mother of two, Bert maintains that no matter how many children you have you will always be a "first time mom" because there's a first time for everything!  Visit her blog, at FTM. Bert is a contributor for She Thinks Media.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Leaving the house? Tips for packing a bag for an outing!

Guest post by Elizabeth

The great Minnesota get together AKA the State Fair has been occurring for the past two weeks in the Twin Cities. My hubby and I decided that we’d do the Fair this year with our two-and-a-half year old son, Buggie, and our 11 week old daughter, Lady Bug. Now this wasn’t Buggie’s first time at the Fair – he experienced the fun last August. This was, however, one of our first big outings since having Lady Bug so I wanted to be extra sure that I packed all the essentials. Here’s what I packed:
  • 1 Diaper Bag – I have a great diaper bag that I ordered custom made off of Etsy. It’s the perfect size and it’s so cute that I can use it as my purse. Before we went anywhere though, I needed to go through and take all of the non-essentials out of it so it didn’t weigh me down.
  • Diapers, diapers and more diapers – We use cloth diapers, however, for an outing like this we opt for disposables, but that's up to you. It’s just easier for us, mainly me, b/c I’m able to do a quick diaper change like I had to with Lady Bug in her infant carrier and I can just toss her diaper. We so rarely use them that I don’t feel terrible about it. Buggie’s in the thick of potty training so I had extra training pants for him too.  If you were to pack cloth diapers you'd want to make sure to have extra in the event of an emergency.  Pre-stuffed pockets like Knickernappies would be great and super convenient!
  • Wet bag – I bring my Leslie’s Boutique wet bag with me everywhere, even when I’m not using my cloth diapers. It’s great for accidents in clothes and blow outs from Lady Bug. Definitely an essential for any diaper bag.
  • Bottles – I exclusively breastfeed Lady Bug but on an outing like this I brought along two bottles with my milk. It’s just easier to feed her that way than to have to get the cover out. I feel like I don’t really pay attention to her and what she’s doing when I’m breastfeeding in public which is why I like bottles in busy public settings.
  • Nursing Cover – I do still bring my cover, however, in case Lady Bug decides to be a girl and change her mind. That way I’m prepared. Always be prepared.
  • Extra clothes – One long sleeved t-shirt and shorts for Buggie and a pair of pants and onesie for Lady Bug. I also brought a little sweater for her because, after all, this is Minnesota so layering is an essential part of any outdoor activity.
  • Wipes – Even though we use cloth wipes primarily, I always have hordes of disposable wipes with me because they are great for cleaning pretty much anything. You should have seen Buggie’s face after he inhaled his bag of cotton candy!  If using cloth wipes it would be easiest to bring them pre-moistened with your favorite wipe solution, and extra for those sticky situations!
  • Band aids and ointment – You never know and hopefully you won’t have to use them but it’s better to be safe than sorry!
  • Antibacterial gel – There are public restrooms at the Fair, however, for the amount of eating that we do it’s just not feasible to make a stop to wash our hands. This is a must. I maintain that last year Buggie contracted the cold sore virus from a shopping cart. (Yeah that was a great experience.)
  • Baby sling/carrier – I pretty much wore Lady Bug yesterday. She was a little over stimulated by the noise and lights of the Fair so this was the best way to comfort her. Plus, it’s so sweet to snuggle and wear your baby!
  • Sippy Cup – Did I say that my Buggie gets cold sores? Yeah, he does and he has one right now. He had to have his own cup for this trip; otherwise, we probably would’ve shared everything. Cold sore or not though I always bring a cup of water for him. I want him drinking water rather than needing to make a stop to get something from a machine because I wasn’t prepared.
As you can see, I didn’t pack any toys or anything like that for this trip. Normally I do but when the outing is at a kid friendly place and your little one is going to be entertained there simply isn’t a need to bring that extra baggage with you. I’ve noticed (and tell me if you have too) that as a breastfeeding mom, my back is sore the majority of the day just from the weight of my “girls.” Add needing to sometimes carry a 33 lbs. toddler and wearing an 11 lbs. baby and you’ve got the perfect ingredients for a sore back. That’s why I packed light for this outing. My advice if you’re going out for a fun little family outing – bring the essentials, leaving the rest at home and be prepared for anything that will need immediate attention. Now let’s get out and experience life!


Elizabeth (aka Bert) Anderson married her college sweetheart in 2005, became a "mom" to a beagle named, Chula, that same year and started her journey into motherhood in 2008 with the birth of her son.  She started blogging in 2009 as a way to keep track of her thoughts on being a first time mom, especially her struggle with postpartum depression, and as a way of reaching out to other moms who are struggling with the same things.  This July, Bert had another first in her motherhood travels - a little girl!  Even though she's newly a mother of two, Bert maintains that no matter how many children you have you will always be a "first time mom" because there's a first time for everything!  Visit her blog, at FTM.  Bert is a contributor for She Thinks Media.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Tips for being Green on a Budget!

Guest Post by Tiffany

According to Dr. Sears in Happy Baby The Organic Guide to the first 24 Months, the deepest shade of green is the mother who breastfeeds, uses glass bottles, reusable nursing pads, etc. The problem is that all of those are expensive. Here are a few tips that I have found work great to stay green and keep your green in your pocket.

1. Glass Breastmilk Storage

As you all know I work full time, and pump at work. When I first started I was concerned as to how to store my milk for long term on a budget. Bottles are expensive and I was not about to freeze a stash like that in bottles. But I was determined to keep as little my milk as possible in plastic. My solution – Mason Jars.
I use half pint mason jars. It is really the best solution. The portion sizes are small (8oz) they are reusable, and easily sterilized. Also they are easily marked with dates. I use a Dry Erase marker to easily wipe off the date after the milk has been used.

**NOTE** In order to prevent glass from shearing off into the frozen material inside, only use glass specifically marked for freezing. More information can be found here, http://www.wholesomebabyfood.com/FreezePage.htm

2. Breastfeeding Tank Tops in lieu of Designer Tops

While my entire closet is not decked out with tank tops, a great portion of it is breastfeeding tanks. Why? Because I can easily turn any top into a breastfeeding top when layered with a tank. My abs are covered, but I have access to the goods. The only thing is that the top layer needs to be loose or lifting it will be prove difficult.

3. Breastpads

I only purchased a few reusable breastpads, land I used them for less than 12 weeks. I have never used a disposable breastpad EVER. This is really the healthiest thing to do for yourself and your pocketbook. Your body needs to breathe, so let it. If I have a MER or Milk Ejection Reflex at an inopportune time then I just politely cross my arms and apply a little pressure. If any leaks through then it is minimal and drys quickly. 

4. Coconut Oil

I have found this to be an inexpensive miracle cure for most skin ailments. AND CLOTH DIAPER SAFE! I think it cost me $10 for like half a pound or a full pound at Sprouts. The exact size is not important. The stuff goes for miles so it makes it extremely inexpensive. I use it on dry skin, eczema, diaper rash, heat rash, and dry skin. Totally worth it.

5. Buy used

I buy used whenever possible. This is a no brainer. It is both cheap and the greatest form of recycling. I rarely pay retail for anything largely because of craigslist and eBay.

How do you save money and stay green?

My name is Tiffany Carra. I currently work away from the house in a 9-5 job and balance cloth diapering, breastfeeding, and chasing my infant son while writing my own review blog www.dudsordeals4moms.com and running our family computer business www.facebook.com/tandsdigital. I also have been active with my local chapter of Birth Network National. A non - profit organization that promotes the Mother Friendly Care Initiative.This was originally posted on my blog http://www.dudsordeals4moms.com/2011/04/green-on-a-budget/ this April, but it got a good response so I thought I would share.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Cloth Wipes 101: The Basic of using Cloth Wipes!

Guest Post by Elizabeth

So you’ve taken the plunge into cloth diapering and you’re on the fence, should you continue using disposable wipes or try your hand at cloth wipes? You’ve come to the right place because you’ve stepped into Cloth Wipes 101!

First things first you need to decide on the kind of fabric you want your wipes to consist of. There are many fabric choices out there and like any parenting decision you are going to make you need to choose the one that best suits your family. Here are a few choices you’ll find out there:

Fleece (pictured): The benefit of this fabric is that it absorbs your solution easily and also creates a nice, moist surface to wipe your bambino’s bum. I have found that I only need to use two wipes per dirty diaper change when using my fleece wipes.

Flannel: This fabric is thinner and often is used on one side of the wipe. Careful though most flannel fabric will fade with use which is understandable given the job they have been assigned to do. 
Velour: Yes, get your old track suits out of the closet!  (Just kidding!) Like a fleece fabric, velour
absorbs the solution quite well and is also incredibly gentle on your baby’s bottom.

Terry Cloth:  Calling all washcloths! That’s what you’ll find with this kind of wipe fabric.  Beware though, if your baby has very sensitive skin and is prone to diaper the terry cloth might be too harsh on their skin.

Sherpa: This fluffy fabric is soft and cushy on the skin and also very absorbent.

Once you’ve made the decision on the kind of wipes you’re going to use you need to decide how you’re going to store the wipes. There are two ways this can be done.

1. You can use a wipes case, found to store disposable wipes, fill the case with your dry wipes and then add the solution to the case. The thing you’ll need to be careful about with this method is to no let your wipes sit in the solution too long or they will start to smell.

2. You can also use that same wipes case to store the dry cloth wipes in and then use a spray bottle filled with your wipes solution. When you need to use a wipe simply take it out and spray the wipe to your desired wetness.

There are retailers that sell wipe solution or you can make your own. I found this basic recipe and have been using it since I started using cloth wipes:

Warm water
Baby Oil (I use the cap as a measuring tool –
one cap fill)
Baby Shampoo – One long squirt.

I combine those ingredients into a Mason jar and then shake it up. The solution usually lasts me about a week or week and a half. The thing I love about making my own solution is the control I have over it. If one shampoo or oil bothers my son’s skin, I simply try another one. For example, I used a lavender scented
organic shampoo once and sure enough, the scent bothered his rash prone skin.  So it was back to the basic, unscented shampoo. No fun for Mama, who likes to fancy up her cloth diapering, but it worked for him.

Lastly, you’ll simply wash your wipes with the rest of your cloth diapers. I would recommend rinsing/washing your wipes separately from your diapers if you decided to store them in the solution.  The oil can cause absorbency issues for your diapers if they’ve been saturated in the solution for days.

Best of luck! Hopefully you’ll be as happy with the decision to use cloth wipes as I was. It’s made a huge difference for my son, who’s skin is very prone to diaper rashes. I think you’ll find that it’s not as intimidating as you thought it was!

About Elizabeth:  She's the mama behind the blog FTM, First Time Mom.  Married since 2005 to her college sweetheart and mama to 2yr old Brennan. Elizabeth is  expecting her second child, Kendall, soon.

Elizabeth says, "I really feel that even though I'm into my second pregnancy I will always be a first time mom - FTM.  Brennan will always be my "experiment" and my first everything.  Thanks for reading and joining me in on this little thing we call "motherhood.""

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Cloth: What you need to know before taking the plunge!

Guest post contributed by Caitlyn

Once you’ve made the decision to try cloth, naturally you may wonder, what next? As with any new endeavor, it is important to understand what your priorities or goals are. In other words, what do you hope to accomplish, aside from the obvious purpose of diapers of course. With that in mind, I have a few suggestions based on the underlying reason you are considering committing to cloth.

Economics
If your main motivation for switching to cloth is economic, then prefolds are may be an option you'd like to explore. They are the least expensive form of cloth diapering, and are fairly straightforward in terms of use. After preparing the prefolds (via several cycles of washing and drying) you can simply use them in conjunction with a diaper cover, or some other waterproof containment mechanism. Though you will need many of the prefolds, you do not necessarily have to have an equal number of covers, in fact, many are the type you can wipe clean during changes, and only need to switch out in case of a leak.

Additionally, there are many accessories out there, that although they make cloth diapering more convenient, they are not necessities. It is easy to get wrapped up in the absolute plethora of choices and overspend. Thus, you should evaluate what it really takes to diaper baby on your budget and decide accordingly.

Environment
According to at least some source, it takes approximately 500 years for a disposable diaper to decompose. Plus, the use of disposable diapers puts what should be going to the wastewater treatment plant into the ground, thus adding to the preexisting solid waste in landfills.

If the environment is your primary reason for switching, then your purchasing decisions literally run the gamut. Among the prefolds, pocket diapers, hybrids, etc. You can choose not only what is the most convenient, but certain companies are now using waterproof liners that are biodegradable over a term of years. As an aside, I personally prefer pocket diapers when it comes to the laundering aspects of cloth diapers since I’ve found prefolds can be messier and thus more difficult to deal with. (In the scheme of things, however, dealing with cloth diapers and washing them is a minor inconvenience in comparison with the wider consequences you can personally affect.)

In addition to choosing the diaper that’s right for you, you can also consider the environmental impact of the detergent you are using. Because only certain detergents are considered “safe” for cloth diapering, you can choose among those that are biodegradable, and take it one step further by using that detergent for all of your laundry.

Additionally, you can purchase a drying rack or laundry line to dry your diapers in the sun, rather than using a dryer, further decreasing your environmental impact.

Overall benefits to baby
I like the juxtaposition of imagining whether you would prefer to expose yourself to a complex concoction of chemical crystals and gels or organic cotton, fleece, or suedecloth. Especially when making this decision for your baby, it seems the choice is obvious: those materials which are the closest to nature and involve less potential toxins and potential for chemical reactions. Many moms tout the far lesser rates of diaper rash with their little ones, whether due to chemical reactors, or the fact that disposable diapers may be changed less often because of their enormous capacity to absorb.

Potty Training
In addition to the other seemingly “too good to be true” claims of cloth diapers, there is that babies who are cloth diapered potty train on average a year earlier than their disposable diapered peers. This is because babies who are cloth diapered are more likely to feel “wet” than in disposable because the moisture is not completely wicked away, (although there are microfiber diaper liners that do remove the moisture) they thus feel uncomfortable, and the concept of what is going on becomes clearer sooner. There are even cloth diaper potty training pants when your child enters that phase.

(Additionally, just one of the benefits of a diaper like Knickernappies, is the side snaps, which make the diaper more difficult for a toddler who doesn’t quite understand the purpose of a diaper or why they need it, but still enjoys taking it off anyway, occasionally creating disaster. My 20 month old, for example, has been able to remove disposable diapers, cloth diapers with aplix closures, and even a cloth diaper with snaps in the front, but she has not once been able to take of her Knickernappies!)

Thus, as with anything else related to child rearing, or really life in general, figuring out what you hope to accomplish can help steer the direction your cloth journey takes.

Bio: Caitlyn is a stay at home mom/attorney. A newcomer to the cloth diapering world, she has two girls, Isabelle (3), and Maya (almost 2), with baby brother due to arrive this May. Her website is http://www.obolskytaxlaw.com

Monday, April 18, 2011

Green your Cleaning: Tips and Tricks for Natural Cleaning with Vinegar and Baking Soda

Reader Contributed Article by Amanda

Natural cleaning with items like vinegar and essential oils isn’t as out of the ordinary as you might think. There are actually a lot of people that use these natural alternatives to save money in addition to those who use them to reduce their impact on the environment. You really don’t need to use commercial cleaners, which can cause respiratory distress, asthma attacks and even lower consciousness, to have a spic and span home.

What do you need?

Vinegar:
Let’s just pretend for a minute that you never want to use chemicals for cleaning again and need to use items like vinegar, reusable cloths, and Castile or other natural soaps only. There are tricks and tips for cleaning EVERYTHING in your home without resorting to chemicals. For example, consider the following:
  • Spray your mirrors down with vinegar and use an old newspaper to clean away streaks. The result is a sparkling mirror.
  • Lemons and baking soda mix with enough vinegar to make a paste can whiten and brighten countertops while also killing germs.
  • Baking soda mixed with vinegar isn’t just for making volcanoes during Science. Sprinkle greasy pots and pans, even those with dried on bits, with baking soda then add a little vinegar. The foaming action cuts the grease and dried food within seconds. It’s an amazing way to do dishes, just make sure to wear gloves or avoid touching the mixture directly since it can irritate skin. I just fill the pan with water after the foaming to avoid irritation.
  • Vinegar can be used to whiten and soften laundry. We use about a half a cup of white vinegar in the rinse cycle for our cloth diapers and the result has been wonderful. As a caution, don’t use vinegar if you have hard water because it can interact with the minerals in the water.
  • Vinegar can be used full strength on tough grime, grease or filmy glass. You can also mix a little bit in a spray bottle with plain water for general, day to day cleaning. I use about a fourth a cup of vinegar in a filled twelve ounce spray bottle of water. The sudsing action of a couple of drops of castile soap is also a nice touch, too.
Essential Oils:
For the super tough messes I was once a person who always turned to chlorine bleach. Why? Because I felt that bleach was the only thing that could kill germs successfully. That simply isn’t true, and bleach can in fact cause a lot of health issues for your family. Vinegar can actually kill germs and bacteria even without added essential oils. If you want to have a scent left behind then you can add some grapefruit seed essential oil, which also kills germs. Other germ killers include orange oil, tea tree oil, lavender essential oil and four thieves essential oil.

You may not like the smell of vinegar, but I guarantee that by the time the vinegar and water mixture you use to clean with is dry you won’t be able to smell it at all. The same for clothes. You can add the vinegar into the rinse cycle and when your clothes are dry you can’t smell it at all.

Taking the time to learn more about natural cleaning can save tons of money. A gallon of vinegar is less than three dollars and will last at least a couple of weeks for regular cleaning. If you do decide to use essential oils in your cleaners you will want to research the best option for your family.

You can read about and experiment with different essential oils to find that that are right for your family. It is also vital that all cleaners, including essential oils and vinegars mixed with the oils, be kept up where your kids can’t reach them to reduce the risk of ingestion by children. With a little research you can have a clean, green home without using any commercial cleaners at all.

About the Author:
Amanda Hall is a green mom of six kids and a blogger who also writes professionally. You can check out her blog at Cloth Diapering Mommy to Six or her business website at www.SEOProOnline.info.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Cloth Diapering, Venture into the past!

Reader contributed article by Caitlyn

It’s sort of ironic to think that something as routine in babycare, diapers, could serve as a way to connect with older family members. A child of the 80s, I was formula fed and disposable diapered, as presumably many (if not most) others of my generation. Discussing my decision to cloth diaper with my mom was sort of different from what I expected, given my upbringing, but I think she was interested in learning more because it has become more popular and in fashion. My mother in law, on the other hand, couldn’t wrap her mind around why I would want to do something like that when I didn’t have to.

It’s funny to think that when my parents were babies, there was no other option. It was cloth diaper or nothing. My grandmother, or grammie as my girls affectionately call her, confirmed this when she was telling me about some blue polka dot prefolds she received as a shower gift when pregnant with my uncle in 1956. She has been amazed with how far cloth diapers have come, I’ve discussed the leopard, cow, and camouflage prints, and how prefolds are still around, but come with adorable covers. After just our first conversation, I could sense her excitement, and she even offered to help build our stash.

Unfortunately, I was somewhat shocked to find that there were no cloth diaper stores nearby, and the only mothering store nearby carried only one brand, not what I was looking for. Thus, our cloth diapering shopping trip has yet to take place, but I enjoy showing off the new styles I pick up for my daughter, and soon to arrive son. She tells me about how when she used cloth diapers, aside from there being a lack of options, she had to hand wash. It definitely makes me appreciate how far the field has come, and how little effort it actually takes, especially considering the tremendous benefits for the environment and our bank account. Cloth diapering across generations, who knew?
Bio: Caitlyn is a stay at home mom/attorney. A newcomer to the cloth diapering world, she has two girls, Isabelle (3), and Maya (almost 2), with baby brother due to arrive this May. Her website is http://www.obolskytaxlaw.com

Monday, April 11, 2011

Tips for organizing your cloth diaper stash!

Guest Post by Emily

We’ve got them all. Pockets, AIO, AI2, Hybrids, prefolds and covers, etc. Each diaper serves a purpose and is used regularly. So in order to keep them all handy and ready to go, we had to organize them in a way that would be easy to keep track of. We decided to use baskets on our changing table shelves, and add a diaper hanger and hanging organizer to the side.
Pockets and AIO go into one basket. It’s in the middle and easiest to grab since they are our go-to diapers for home.  The pockets are pre-stuffed for an easier change since putting a diaper on baby is like trying to dress an eel, or alligator, or squirmy little baby who really hates wearing clothes in general. 
Doublers, some snap in inserts, and newborn inserts go into another basket.  These aren’t used quite as often, but I do like the keep them within reach in case I have to add some absorbency mid-change. I also keep the spare diaper pail liner folded beside it.
Overnight diapers and flats go into another basket. We only use the flats as burp cloths right now, and they have a tendency to disappear. But we can usually fit all 12 of them in the basket along with the overnight diapers.
Prefolds, Flip stay dry and organic inserts, and one lone overnight insert go into the diaper hanger. This makes it easier to just pull out the prefolds/inserts and lay them right into the covers.  
The hanging organizer is home to the container holding cloth wipes and a squirt bottle in the top pocket, diaper covers and AI2 shells in the second, GroVia soakers taking up the third, and the bottom pocket holds miscellaneous baby essentials such as the diaper cream and baby oil.
This was the easiest way for us to set up the diaper stash. But there are many other ways! You can store them folded in drawers, stuffed or unstuffed, stacked, sperated by type, or all throw in together. The important thing is that you organize it in a way that is comfortable and convenient for you and whoever else might be changing the baby!

About Emily:   Emily is a Navy wife and WAHM to a handsome baby boy. Sh has been cloth diapering her son since he was a month old, and is a self-proclaimed fluff addict.

Monday, March 21, 2011

How to change a Wiggle Worm: A Lesson in EXTREME Diaper Changing!

Reader Contributed Article by Amanda Metro


Step by Step Instructions on How to Change a Wiggle Worm's Diaper!

Somewhere along the line, our passive, pleasant, angelic babies turn into non-stop motion-loving moving
machines. For most of us, this makes diaper changing a challenge, especially with certain types of cloth diapers.  Here, I will give you step-by-step instructions for how to handle this new obstacle.

Step 1: Join your local summa-wrestling club. If you don’t have one and do not want to spring for a plane ticket, visit a local high school and ask if you can participate on their wrestling team. At the very least, they should give you some pointers.

Step 2: Gather your materials. You may need any of the following: diaper, wipes, facemask, knee and elbow pads, helmet, genital cup, steel-toed boots and a net. Oh, and toys.

Step 3: Decide which strategy works best for your child. Do you need to hide behind a wall and pounce on him as he crawls by? Should you chase her around the house and wait to make your move, finally leaping on top of her and wrestling her to the ground? Perhaps your child is initially compliant, but once on the floor or changing table, you need to physically restrain her legs in order to do the change. Sometimes switching it up can do the trick. If they never know how it’s coming, they will have a harder time resisting.

Step 4: Create a distraction. You could hire a mariachi band. You could place a large cardboard box in the center of the room baited with a cute and cuddly stuffed animal. You could open the dishwasher or the refrigerator since these objects always seem to draw attention. You could even break into a fancy Irish jig that ends with you leaping on top of your stunned child and if you’re quick enough, you can change the diaper before she notices what you’re doing.

Step 5: Change the diaper. You should probably practice by putting a diaper on your cat or dog and seeing how fast you can take it off and put on a new one. If you don’t have an animal that will cooperate, try doing it on your husband. Once you feel you are ready to tackle the child, give yourself a pep talk. Drink some water. Put on your ‘Sweatin’ to the 80’s’ headband. You can do this! Own the diaper change!

Step 6: Relax. You’ve successfully changed a challenging diaper and you deserve to kick back. Besides, you’ll probably have to do it all over again in about 5 minutes.

*Note: No mariachi bands were harmed during the writing of this post.

Amanda is passionate about natural parenting and green living. She enjoys chasing after her two daughters, cooking, sewing, writing and gardening. In her spare time,  she volunteers as an articles editor for Natural Parents Network. Her blog, "Let's Take the Metro," is about as diverse as it could be. 

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Knickernappies Onesize Cloth Diaper Review by Kristi!

Retailer Contributed Article from WeeLittleChanges Blog!

Monday, February 28, 2011 marked the start of our tenth Knickernappies One-Size Giveaway on the Wee Little Changes blog. Because of that, I thought a review of this diaper was in order!

We’ve been using our Knickernappies diaper for at least six months now and, I must say I love it. For one thing, the side snaps make it more trim than its fellow one-size diapers. My son has a notoriously small bum, in fact I’d call it completely absent. Lol. While this diaper does still give him the appearance of having a bum, it doesn’t look quite so big as it does in some of his other one-size pocket diapers.

While we’re talking about the fit...I must say that Ian started on the second snap setting when he first wore this diaper six or so months ago. It’s only been in the last month or so that we’ve had to change the snap settings to the largest. He’s currently around 24-25 pounds. It really looks like he’ll still be spending many more months in this diaper without any issues. I think it’ll definitely get us to potty training time.
Another thing I love about this diaper is the color! We have the chocolate brown Knickernappies and it is just beautiful. You can’t get it in a lot of diapers. It’s one of those unusual colors that doesn’t seem all that unusual. Many of my other favorite brands don’t offer it, so it’s nice to see it from Knickernappies. Plus, it’s definitely a gender neutral color, so if I want to keep some of my pockets for our next baby to use, I can hang onto this one regardless of whether we have a girl or a boy.

The inner lining of this diaper is fleece which seems to have only gotten softer as time has gone on. It seems, in my experience at least, that the fleece is really good at acting like a stay-dry barrier between my son and the very soggy inner. This is one diaper that keeps him feeling dry. Many of the other pockets we have make him red after just a short time in the diaper. But not this one!

If I had it to do over again, I think I would have gotten a KN just-hemp instead of the microfiber inserts. It’s not that the inserts don’t work or don’t fit or anything like that. I just don’t like microfiber. We have smell issues with it and so I choose not to use it. Instead we stuff our pockets with tri-folded prefolds. The Just-Hemp insert is exactly what it sounds like: Just hemp. Lol. I like hemp. It doesn’t hang onto smell for us the way microfiber does and it holds a lot more liquid, which is great for my somewhat heavy wetter.

All in all, I love this diaper and I really think anyone who likes pocket diapers will feel the same about it! So if you haven’t yet entered our giveaway from February 28th, you should enter so you can have a chance to try it out too. Who knows? Maybe this is your new favorite and you just don’t know it yet!

Kristi Stokes has been the mom behind the Wee Little Changes blog for nearly a year now.  She is a stay-at-home mom to four awesome kids and started cloth diapering 3 years ago.  You can visit Wee Little Changes, a Knickernappies retailer, at http://www.weelittlechanges.com and enter to win a Knickernappies diaper each month at http://www.weelittlechanges.blogspot.com.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Why Cloth Diapers Have Made Me Greener

Reader Contributed Article by Amanda Metro

A long time ago, my aunt told me about the benefits of using vinegar in the laundry.  I brushed off the advice because I was happy with my detergent at the time (and childless, and unmarried) and I didn’t need to remove any ‘detergent residue’ from my clothes. When I made the switch from disposables to cloth diapers, I revisited the idea of vinegar when someone suggested I add it to my diaper routine. That was just the beginning.

It started with the vinegar. I added some to the rinse cycle of my diapers and it really works for us. Then I started adding it to the rinse of all our other clothes and loved how fresh they became. I began looking up all the other uses for vinegar and I was amazed at how versatile this simple substance can be. I used it to clean my washing machine, I combined it with water to clean windows and glass, added it to baking soda for scrubbing stainless steel, and eventually filled a spray bottle with it and called it my all-purpose cleaner.

Now that my house smelled like vinegar, I had to get out of it more often. Therefore, I took my reusable shopping bags to the store! Most of the time, I would forget them at the house or forget them in the car, but gradually it became more of a habit to take them with me as I was leaving. Now, if I forget my bags when I go to the store, I bag with paper so that I can throw my recyclables in them at home. I actually enjoy carrying my reusable bags around, partially because some of them have pretty patterns. This got me thinking…

Around the holidays, I started reading about how many people are turning to reusable, cloth gift bags instead of wrapping paper to present their gifts. What a great idea! I could make one for each of my children that Santa could fill every year and I could make more to give away! And while I was at it, why not make all of my gifts? I baked cookies, made jam, baked dog biscuits, blended a lavender bath salt scrub and sewed a couple of plush ducks for my children. Not only did I minimize waste and impact on the environment, I put time and effort into the gifts I gave instead of just picking something off a shelf.

After making so much stuff at Christmas, I dove even further into cooking by making my own pastas, pierogies and broths. Then I started using old burp cloths to do my kitchen cleaning and some of my excess of cloth wipes to clean my children’s hands and faces instead of using paper towels. I even up-cycle old clothes and other items I no longer find useful. In short, my attitudes have changed a lot since I started cloth diapering. I want to be a better, more environmentally conscious person to provide a positive example for my children. It’s amazing how one change can initiate a chain reaction that can alter a person’s entire life.

Amanda is passionate about natural parenting and green living. She enjoys chasing after her two daughters, cooking, sewing, writing and gardening. In her spare time,  she volunteers as an articles editor for Natural Parents Network. Her blog, "Let's Take the Metro," is about as diverse as it could be. 

Friday, February 18, 2011

Breastfeeding Hurdles? Even the most experienced nursing mom can have issues.

Just when you think you know all there is to know about breastfeeding a new baby comes along and puts you in your place. 

Reader Contributed Article by Leia Tippey

I was that annoying mom that had no issues breastfeeding my two older daughters, until Samantha was born. She began testing my breastfeeding knowledge within the first hour of her life. To start things off she wouldn’t open her mouth wide enough to latch properly. So here I am trying to encourage her to open her mouth, which means, pulling down her chin, while holding her head at the right angle and my breast at the same time.

Of course you know what happens next, her vice grip like jaw and octopus suction grab a hold of the tip of my nipple. Not so much fun for mom. One too many of these episodes left me wondering if it had been too many years since my last child or it I had forgotten how to breastfeed all together. Fortunately, we got the hang of the latch in a few weeks and everything seemed to be in place, until she began teething at six months.

My first two children did not break teeth until 10 and 11 months respectively, so even though I nursed them until 12 months, there was very little biting. I was taken completely by surprise when Samantha bit me with her puppy sharp tooth. My reaction was to let out a scream which, in turn scared her. She continued to bite every time she ate for the next 48 hours.

My reaction was similar each time. I didn’t mean to scream but man it hurt enough to make you pee down your leg. Needless to say my overreaction to the biting caused her to go on a “nursing strike” for two days. A nursing strike is exactly what it sounds like, refusing to breastfeed. Samantha would scream whenever I tried to nurse her. My only option was to give her a bottle and pump to keep my milk supply. It was a very long two days, with many tears shed by us both.

Now, you may be thinking did I give up nursing her? The answer is simply no. Things are different with Samantha. The way I get through these hurdles is to joke and talk with my fellow mommy friends. It doesn’t matter if they breastfeed or not because we have all been that sleep deprived person with the half crazy look in our eyes. We mommies and even the daddies, have to stick together.

Leia’s BIO:
I am a wife and SAHM of three daughters living in Northeastern Colorado. I like to think of myself as a waste not, want not kind of girl and love to share my ideas with others.

You can read more of Leia's articles by becoming a Follower of her Blog, Little Green Helper.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Switching from disposables to cloth: A Tale of TWO [types of] Diapers.

Reader Contributed Article by Amanda Metro

I knew I wanted to use cloth diapers before my first daughter was even born. Having been an
environmentally conscious person for most of my life, I felt it was the best option for the planet before even knowing it's other benefits. I was totally “gung-ho” and even had my future husband on board, until I met the naysayers. “Why would you want to do that?”, one person said, “Don’t you already have enough to do?” Well, I thought, I guess it would be a bit more work, but I’d still like to try it out. Then I was told “Cloth and disposables are equally bad for the environment, so why go through the extra hassle with cloth?” That was the kicker and against my first instincts (and better judgment), I went with the disposables.

Several times during the first year of my daughter’s life, I thought about switching to cloth. The desire was still there but the support was not. A few (and by a few, I mean two) of my friends started cloth diapering and were starting to tell me how wonderful it was. I believed them, honestly, but I was absolutely terrified of switching.  At the insistence of my friends, I started to do research on cloth diapers but each time I started, my head began to throb with information I didn’t quite understand and I reverted to the happy valley of ignorance.


When I became pregnant with my second daughter, who would be born when my first was 15 months old, I began to panic about the sheer amount of diapers I would be changing and how much this would cost us for such an undefined period. Still my curiosity lingered and I wondered whether we could afford this switch.  After I got over my fear of the cloth diaper, I was still burdened in my mind by the staggering upfront cost. I tried to remind myself that with two children, the savings would ultimately outweigh the start-up, but it was still a hard pill to swallow. Finally, I had a talk about this burning issue with my husband and he gave me the go-ahead, acknowledging that since I spent more time with our children I generally knew what was best for them. I settled into a new level of comfort knowing that if it didn’t work, I still had disposables to fall back on.

From the moment I took the plunge, I knew I would never go back. Though I went through a few different types before I finally settled on a one-size diaper to fit both my girls, the sheer act of exploring the wide variety of diapers available became less like work or research and more like food for my new addiction. I started to discover a new world of mothers with similar beliefs and values to my own and I felt like I was making a difference in the lives of my daughters. I am very proud of the switch I made and hope to be a resource and inspiration for my friends who have not yet had children. After all, if I have to spread an addiction, shouldn’t it be one that positively impacts the lives of others?

Amanda is passionate about natural parenting and green living. She enjoys chasing after her two daughters, cooking, sewing, writing and gardening. In her spare time,  she volunteers as an articles editor for Natural Parents Network. Her blog, "Let's Take the Metro," is about as diverse as it could be. 

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Why Family Cloth is Right for Me!

Reader Contributed Article by Rebecca Alvarez

I haven’t used toilet paper for six months.

Well, at least not at home.  In the comfort of my own house, I prefer to use family cloth, otherwise known as cloth toilet paper.  It sounds gross, but it’s really not.  Keep reading.

Making the switch to family cloth has two major obstacles: the name and the eww factor.  The term family cloth is just awful.  Remember that dingy roll of cloth towels you used to find in public restrooms?  Yeah, that’s the image hearing “family cloth” evokes.  People automatically think that family members share the same dirty wipes, which fortunately is not true.  The reality is much cleaner and more sanitary!  Once a single wipe is used, it’s thrown into a wet bag or container to await laundry day.

That brings me to my second point.  I generally don’t have to deal with my bodily waste.  I just wipe (wetting the cloth first if necessary) and throw the family cloth into the bag.  It’s surprising how little, um, residue is left on the wipe after defecating.  Think skid marks.  On very rare occasions I may rinse a wipe if it seems especially dirty, to avoid staining. The majority of the time, however, cleaning myself with family cloth is no different than using toilet paper.

I don’t even have to worry about touching used wipes when I wash the family cloth.  I simply turn the wet bag inside out into the washer.  Since my daughter uses cloth diapers, I wash my family cloth with them, and as cloth diaper mamas know, a good hot wash and drying cycle (or sunshine) is enough to kill any germs, so I have no worries there.

Basically, it comes down to this: instead of using rough or fragile paper and throwing it into the toilet, I use soft, yet strong cloth that I throw into a wet bag.  Instead of dealing with toilet paper lint (ladies, you know what I’m talking about), I feel fresh and clean.  Instead of clogging landfills or sewage systems with paper, I simply wash my wipes and reuse them.  Instead of worrying about other environmental and personal effects of making and using toilet paper (such as massive water usage, tree usage, and dioxin), I can feel good knowing that reusing cloth is a green and healthy choice.  Instead of constantly purchasing toilet paper, I buy it very rarely (for my husband and for guests) and the rest of the time, I laugh all the way to the bank.

Intrigued by Rebecca's article?  You can read more about her reasons for using family cloth, how to make the wipes, and details on set up and usage, by visiting her profile page at Associated Content and checking out her articles.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

My husband made me do it!

Reader Contributed Article


My husband convinced me to use cloth diapers.

When I got pregnant, my husband suggested we use cloth diapers.  I was thinking prefolds, pins, and plastic pants.  So I objected.  Apparently he was thinking of the same system, but he was all for it.  He figured if it was good enough for his mom, I could do it, too.  “It’s easy,” he said. “When you have a dirty diaper you just hold it in the toilet and flush.”  Now I know he was talking about the dunk and swish method.  But there was no way I was going to do that.

My husband persisted, though, and brought it up several times.  Each time I told him I was just not going to deal with it, and that holding a diaper in the toilet and flushing was too gross.  Finally, one day I gave in and told him I’d look into it.  I changed my status to “Sarah is considering cloth diapers.”  What a reaction I got!  Most people just got grossed out but I got a couple of helpful starter hints.  I followed the links I got and searched for the brands they mentioned, and a whole new world opened up to me.

Very slowly, I learned about modern cloth diapers.  It took me awhile to figure everything out, but I just kept going.  I learned what a pocket diaper was, what an all-in-one was, what prefolds were (although it took me awhile to figure out why they were called prefolds if you still had to fold them) and so on.  Eventually I got the hang of it.  I read up on washing routines, detergent, and I looked into dozens of brands and stores.  I’m pretty sure all my nesting energy as a pregnant woman went into cloth diapers.

My husband has been great the whole way.  He’s great about trying all the different brands I come across, though I do try to save the easiest closures for him.  I know getting the husband on board is often the hardest part of cloth diapering and I realize how lucky I am!  He describes cloth diapering as “virtuous” and he was happy to learn about the modern advancements - flushable liners, diaper sprayers, and no more dunking and swishing. Unless, I guess, you really want to.

Sarah's Bio:
I am from Salt Lake City, Utah and graduated from Brigham Young University with a double major in Linguistics and German.  Now a stay at home mom to Nathan, born July 2010.  I'm learning how to cloth diaper on a budget while my husband is in law school.  I enjoy clogging, I dabble in sewing, and of course, I love cloth diapering! 

Sarah is also a blogger, you can visit her at her Blog Left Handed.

 
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