Get Adobe Flash player

Cloth Diapering

Giveaway: L’il Baby Chaps and Prefold Belt from EC Wear — $28 ARV {9.8; Worldwide}

This is a joint giveaway with Vibrant Wanderings and Natural Parents Network. You may enter at one site only. Please find the section marked “Win it!” for the mandatory entry and optional bonus entries.

EC Wear is offering our readers a giveaway of some great, EC-friendly clothing: a pair of L’il Baby Chaps and a Diaper Belt, a value of $28.

L’il Baby Chaps are split pants with an open design that allows babies and toddlers to potty quickly and easily, and caregivers to notice when a diaper is wet so they can change it without a hassle. Diaper belts are designed to hold a prefold in place while still allowing easy access for diaper changes and potty visits.

____

When my two-and-a-half-year-old daughter was born, I knew I wanted to practice elimination communication (“EC”) with her from the very start. What I didn’t know was how much of a hassle it would be to remove and replace a cloth diaper every single time she needed to pee — especially given her sincere distaste for being diapered at all. I was determined to stick with it, but wasn’t quite ready to ditch the diapers altogether, so I started researching solutions. Enter EC Wear, an online shop selling EC friendly apparel, where I found some cute infant training pants to try. Not only did I end up loving the trainers, but I was so happy with the shop and its friendly and knowledgeable owner, Marija, that I couldn’t wait to place another order and try out a new diapering solution or two. I was thrilled to know that EC Wear is owned and operated by a mom not unlike myself, and that she makes a special effort to source products that are responsibly produced and fairly traded. Continue reading

Everything You Need for Cloth Diapering

… and Anything You Could Possibly Want.

Photo Credit: Amber Bee Cee on Flickr

I was browsing a cloth diaper forum one day when I came across an interesting question: “If your only option was a dozen prefolds and some plain white covers, would you still cloth diaper?”

It was a good question, particularly for those of us who can’t seem to quit buying diapers, but it gave me a bit of a chuckle because it is precisely what I started with. I planned all along to practice elimination communication with my daughter, but to have cloth diapers as a back-up. It wasn’t the cuteness that appealed to me in the beginning; I’m inclined toward all things crunchy as it is, so I didn’t need any convincing. I knew I would do it, I just didn’t know how many options I had and how very simple it could be! My stack of prefolds and my three white covers got me off to an interesting start. I have managed to pass some things up in the interest of saving money, but I have found so many conveniences since those super minimalist early days of cloth diapering. For those just starting out, I present to you a list. This is by no means a list of things every cloth diapering family needs, but it is a list of everything you could possibly want.

Continue reading

Gratitude and a Giveaway **CLOSED**

I'm also pretty grateful for pumpkins, but who isn't? Image credit: Penguinbush on flickr.

The transition from my old blog to this one has left me feeling even more grateful than usual for the insightful, supportive community I have found in this space and around the web. With that in mind, I felt it only appropriate that I join Amanda of Let’s Take the Metro for a gratitude post as I complete the settling in process. Stick it out to the end (or scroll down), because I have a prize for you, too!

This week, I’m grateful for: Continue reading

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.

***

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. 

***

freedom of cloth carnivalVisit
Natural Parents Network
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.

Cloth and Travel: Laundering Diapers on the Go

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.

***

Photo Credit: Andy Callahan
Used by Creative Commons License

This time last year, I embarked on a two month long journey with my then five month old, cloth diapered daughter. Our trip was to include a sixteen hour flight to our first destination, a few two-three hours flights between states, and another sixteen hour flight home. While traveling, we were to stay in three different homes and one hotel. While planning for this trip, I got a great deal of advice saying things like: “Use disposables!” “You would be crazy to attempt cloth!” “Don’t make things needlessly hard on yourself. Disposables will make your trip so much easier!”

Clearly none of the people giving this advice knew me terribly well, because if they had, they would have known that I could take it as nothing other than a challenge. It was a challenge I took very seriously, too. I gathered my supplies and packed carefully for this epic adventure of traveling with cloth diapers.

Thanks to careful preparation, I managed to make the day and a half long journey to my first destination without leak or blowout. I even got some elimination communication in on the plane. It was a breeze. What I wasn’t sure of, however, was how I would do laundry. Fortunately, as they often do, things fell into place nicely and we didn’t have any issues, but I learned a few things along the way that will surely make it easier in the future. These are the main things I will consider in the future:

Which Diapers to Bring
Most people seem to travel with a simplified version of their diaper stash. If you’re short on space, this is probably the way to go, while more or less unlimited space (if, say, traveling by car) could allow you to pack all of your diapers and worry less about frequent washings. Personally, I relied a lot on prefolds and trainers while traveling as both took up little space and washed and dried quickly, but I brought a lot so that I could get away with washing every 3-4 days. Traveling may be a time to avoid wool and other items that require special care in washing, for simplicity’s sake. It all depends on where you’re going, for how long, and what facilities you’ll have available.

Dirty Diaper Storage
My first concern was what I would do with the dirty diapers while away from my regular pail system. I remembered seeing soft, hanging pails while shopping in the past, so I did a search and found the Planet Wise Wet/Dry Bag. This option ended up working really well as our travel pail and I would highly recommend something similar. I love that it zipped and was therefore great at holding in odors, but a pail liner with a drawstring would do the trick, too.

I also brought a small bottle of lavender essential oil to use as a deodorizer. I put a few drops on a cloth wipe and kept that in the wet bag to keep odors at bay.
If you’re planning to do a lot of day trips where you’ll be outside your hotel or room, a generously sized wet bag in addition to what you would normally keep in your purse or diaper bag is advisable, too. I found that the smaller sized Planet Wise wet/dry bag was great to hold one day’s worth of diapers. I kept an even smaller wet bag for individual diaper changes, and transferred that to the larger bag when/if needed. 

Facilities

Naturally, when traveling with cloth diapers one needs to find a place to do a bit of  laundry. If you’re not visiting friends or family members who you can simply ask for the use of a laundry room, there is always the laundromat. Many hotels have coin laundry as well.

I was staying with friends and family throughout the duration of my trip, and I knew that all of my hosts had washing machines, so this wasn’t a concern. I was a bit worried that they would be uncomfortable with the idea of diapers in their machines, especially since I was staying with some rather meticulous housekeepers. Worst case scenario, my plan was to visit a laundromat every few days, but as it turned out everyone was gracious and accommodating. I do think that in the future I’ll ask my hosts in advance – just to ease my mind –  as I was a bit anxious due to lack of planning on our first trip.  Something along the lines of, “I’ll be needing a place to wash diapers every two or three days. Is there someplace convenient to you that I’ll be able to do that?” That way they’re not obligated to offer their machine if they don’t want to.

Detergent
Traveling with detergent can be a hassle, especially when you’re trying to pack light. Fortunately, there was a cloth diaper retail store in the city I traveled to first, so I picked up a box of powdered detergent and used that for the duration of my trip. In the future, I may order a bag of a cloth safe detergent I trust to be shipped to a friend or relative’s house so that it’s waiting for me when I arrive and I don’t have to run errands while on vacation.

Wipes and Wipe Solution
I use a dry method for my cloth wipes, so I just packed a 3oz. (TSA approved) spray bottle in my carry on luggage and that was more than enough for most of our long trip, but I had everything I needed to make a refill among my toiletries for the trip. If you use cloth wipes, you will definitely want to think about how much wipe solution to bring, or whether you’d prefer to simply buy some when you arrive.

Stains
I have found that placing a stained diaper just inside a window works nearly as well as drying it on a line for stain removal, so don’t fret too much about not being able to sun your diapers while you’re away.

Extra Considerations


If it’s important to you that you have specific items, like a changing pad or wool dryer balls, be sure to pack those. One thing I have already purchased and set aside for next time is a roll of liners. My daughter was still exclusively breastfed when last we traveled, so our diapers didn’t contain solids, but this time they will and I’ll want some liners to make removal of them easy no matter where we are. We actually ended up with our first and only diaper rash while traveling, so I ended up making liners by cutting apart one of my Gerber prefolds/burp cloths to protect my diapers from rash cream.

If you use a hybrid diapering system and you’re not up for your usual amount of diaper laundry while traveling, you could also consider trying out biodegradable, disposable inserts. They’re still a more earth-friendly option than full disposables!

***

freedom of cloth carnivalVisit Natural Parents Network 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.
Multicultural Kid Blogs
Shop Montessori Services

Categories

Archives

I participate in

Montessori Monday
BabyLinkUp500px