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Journey to a Disposable Free Household

Welcome to the First Annual Freedom of Cloth Carnival

This post was written for inclusion in the Freedom of Cloth Carnival hosted at Natural Parents Network by Melissa of The New Mommy Files and Shannon of The Artful Mama. This year’s carnival will run from Sunday, July 3rd through Saturday, July 9th. Participants are sharing everything they know and love about cloth diapering, including how cloth has inspired them.

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Photo Credit: Ray King
Used by Creative Commons License

I have been on a journey to be kinder and gentler to the environment since long before my daughter was born, but her birth and the decision to cloth diaper definitely gave me the extra push I needed to take that journey more seriously. I knew from the start that I would use cloth in combination with elimination communication, but as I researched my options and learned how easy it was to use cloth, I took things a bit further.

Using cloth caused me to think more about other single-use items in our home and I have slowly been replacing these with options we can use again and again. The most obvious switch was from disposable to cloth napkins, but later we moved away from our use of paper towels for cleaning. I was surprised to see how easy it was to use cotton cloths in their stead, even for things like mirrors and windows. Making one small change at a time has made the switch to cloth for all of our household needs an easy one. My most recent change has been away from disposable feminine products and it was quite easy thanks to my “Keeper Cup.”
As I gave more thought to the products I was using to wash our diapers, I also began to examine all of our household cleaning products and that has been instrumental in my switch to a chemical-free household. Not only is this safer for my family, but it has me buying fewer products in disposable containers. We do use a large amount of vinegar that comes in plastic gallon jugs, so my current eco conundrum is how to reduce those. The change in our choice of cleaning products in turn made me look at the products I use for my own self care: shampoos, soaps, and other cosmetics. I have slowly made changes in this area as well, switching to products that don’t contain harsh chemicals and that use less packaging and disposable containers.
By no means am I perfect, and I’m sure that my family is not making all of the “right” choices, but the point is – we’re thinking about it, and we’re making changes one at a time as we see a need. Cloth diapering has been a giant stepping stone in our journey toward awareness and conscious, mindful living in our environment. 

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for the most up-to-date news on the Freedom of Cloth Carnival!

Please take time to read the submissions by the other carnival participants on the following themes. Articles will go live on the scheduled theme day:

  • Sunday, July 3rd, 2011: Cloth Related Recipes — Writers share their best cloth-related recipes and tutorials.
  • Monday, July 4th, 2011: Choosing Your Cloth Style — Today’s posts discuss parents’ individual journeys to finding the cloth diapering “style” that best suits their families.
  • Tuesday, July 5th, 2011: Cloth Diapering Must Haves — Parents talk about the most important items in their diapering “stash” and why they love them.
  • Wednesday, July 6th, 2011: Wordless Wednesday, Inspired by Cloth — We asked parents to share their favorite cloth-related photo with us and turned them into a fluffy Wordless Wednesday photo montage on Natural Parents Network. Link up your own Wordless Wednesday post there!
  • Thursday, July 7th, 2011: Cloth Through the Stages: From Infancy to Potty Independence — Today’s participants explain how cloth diapering has served their families throughout one or more stages of their children’s lives.
  • Friday, July 8th, 2011: Cloth Troubleshooting and Laundry Day — Seasoned cloth diapering parents share their best tips and tricks for handling common cloth problems and tackling the diaper laundry.
  • Saturday, July 9th, 2011: Inspired by Cloth — For today’s theme, we’ve asked writers to explore the ways cloth diapering has inspired them to become “greener” overall.

6 Responses to Journey to a Disposable Free Household

  • Guest says:

    Hi New Mommy; it's the Annonimous-OvertheOcean Mom again. I still peek at your posts here and there, and you and Annabelle and your EC experience has crossed my mind recently, since my baby Petra started playfully communicating her needs. I'm keeping her in plain regular pants during the day (being summer and all) and I noticed that sometimes she doesn't "leak" for couple of hours, while sometimes she has "accidents" a couple of times in an hour. So maybe you could shine some experienced light on this confusing rhythm of toddlers' pees: what would you say is considered to be a "normal" frequency of urination?
    The reason why I ask is that I am terrified of urinary infections and always fear that frequent urination is a first signal of a developing infection :(
    Any thoughts to share?
    Best wishes to you and your super-toddler!

  • Melissa says:

    What a treat to hear from you again! 
    I have definitely noticed a rhythm around here, with two or three pees within an hour of waking and then nothing – often for three or four hours afterward. I think the frequency in the morning is just because she drinks so much milk at night, but rarely wakes to pee. I have also seen that she waits much longer between bathroom visits when we're out. It seems like she actually prefers to use the bathroom at home, so will hold out if she can. In the transition from infancy to toddlerhood, I started to worry, thinking she may not be getting enough milk because she would go so long without urinating. Now that I have seen this to be a pattern over time, I don't worry about it. If there are no other signs of discomfort, I would think your daughter may just have a similar rhythm. I do hope that's the case!
    I hope all else is well. It's nice to hear a bit about what's happening with you!

  • Rosemary says:

    The great thing about not always making the "right" choices is you're constantly learning. What may seem like a right choice today can easily be replaced by an even better choice as new things are discovered down the line. Hooray for progress!

  • Shannon @ The Artful Mama says:

    Melissa this certainly has been a joy to work with you on this carnival as well. I've learned so much and have been grateful to have a place to share stories and experiences. I think my favorite "Inspired by Cloth" moment has been this friendship we have formed over cloth. It has been nice to read about how everyone uses cloth and what little changes that choice has helped them change their homes. Thank you for letting me accompany you on this journey of cloth!

  • Melissa says:

    What a fantastic point, Rosemary! Thanks for that reminder :)

  • Melissa says:

    Shannon, I couldn't have done this without you! I am glad to have had the opportunity to get to know you and work with you on this project. I'm so glad you were up to it!

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