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Freedom of Cloth Carnival

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.

EC Trainers: From Newborn to Toddler

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.

***

I have to admit that I’m a bit compulsive in that I feel a need to try every cloth trainer on the market. If I see one I haven’t tried, I have to buy it. After all, what if the perfect trainer is out there and I just haven’t found it yet? This would obviously be a tragedy. And so I shop.

What works best for us trainer-wise has changed with each new stage, and is likely to change again soon. What works for the newborn does not necessarily work for the toddler, or even for the three month old. While we use many of the same trainers we have used from the outset, our favorites at each stage have varied. What has worked for us may not be ideal for other families, but may give those planning to practice EC some ideas for things they would like to try. Here’s what each stage has looked like for us:

Newborn
Unique Issues
Size: It’s tough to find trainers that fit properly throughout infancy, but at this stage especially. Most popular brands of training pants are designed for children who have reached traditional potty training age. The smallest commercially available pants usually start at 18 months, but even those can be tough to find. For the infant, I have found the following brands:

  • EcaPants by EcaWare Baby (waterproof or non-waterproof trainers) 
  • Bikini Britches by Daisy Doodles (waterproof or non-waterproof trainers) 
  • WhyMommy Trainers (waterproof training pants, no longer being made, but you can look for seconds or clearance items)
  • EcoNix (non waterproof training pants, often sold out)

Frequency of pees: Newborns “go” a lot, and since families practicing EC usually aim to change the infant as soon as they become wet, this means that you may need a larger quantity of whatever you’re using for backup.

What Worked Best
At Home: Since newborns aren’t mobile, it’s easy to do a lot of diaper free time at home and simply place them on an absorbent blanket, large prefold, or waterproof pad in case of a miss. This cuts down on the number of diapers or trainers needed. When I was needing a break from diaper free time, I preferred a prefold and diaper belt.

At Night: Our daughter has been squirmy from the start, so a prefold was hard to keep in place at night without a cover. My preference for sleep at this stage was waterproof training pants.

On the Go: Waterproof training pants were great, but I wasn’t brave enough to try offering “pottytunities” while out at this stage, so I sometimes opted for a prefold or fitted diaper with a cover instead.

3-6 Months
Unique Issues
Frequency of pees: At this stage, pees are still frequent, but becoming less so, and are greater in volume. This means what used to be absorbent enough may not be anymore.

Increase in movement: As baby starts to squirm more in preparation for crawling, it becomes harder to keep them on a waterproof pad for diaper free time.

What Worked Best
At Home: Prefolds with a diaper belt were fantastic, as were fitteds with no cover, since they stayed in place beautifully despite squirming. Diaper free time was still important, but we practiced it a bit less.

At Night: Our daughter started squirming off of the waterproof pad protecting our sheets at this age, and since misses were of higher volume this caused problems here and there. I had to start adding an insert to our EcaPants, or using a fitted with a cover. A pocket or AIO with side snaps would have been great at this stage, but I did not have any.

On the Go: Waterproof training pants were my preference, as this was the stage when we really began using the potty on the go and these made that much easier to do.

6-12 Months
Unique Issues
Volume: The transition from frequent little pees to super soaking wets happened right around six months, so we really had to start thinking about absorbency.

The squirm factor: The biggest changes in this period that affected our use of cloth were crawling and walking. Annabelle had always been wriggly, but when she began walking just before nine months, the squirm factor increased one hundred fold. She was suddenly driven to move. All the time.

Velcro: It was around nine or ten months that Annabelle learned to undo tabs on diapers. This is not so large an issue for the ECing baby as it is for the traditionally diapered child, and in fact it sometimes served as a cue that she needed to go, but it’s still something to consider.

What Worked Best
At Home:  Because the squirminess made diaper changes quite a challenge, we did a lot more bare bottomed time. A prefold and belt was still a viable option, but it was sometimes just too much to fuss with.

At Night: With the volume of misses, and the increase in movement making it difficult to stay on top of the waterproof pad, I had to begin using a diaper with a cover at night. We still had only fitteds and prefolds, so that’s what we used.

On the Go: Waterproof trainers were great for errands that were just us, but they did leak a bit. To avoid getting others and their furniture and clothing wet, if we were going out with friends who may hold Annabelle, or visiting someone’s house, we generally went with a fitted diaper and cover just in case.

Under the Nile training pants peeking
through. Still a little too big, but they w

12 Months and Beyond
Unique Issues
Leaking: Waterproof trainers now leak when not changed promptly. This is by design, but means extra attentiveness on the part of the caregiver is required to avoid damp clothing.

Increased Independence: As infants become toddlers, they become more able to do things, like pull up underwear, for themselves.

Teething and Other Stages: At all ages, there are periods where misses are more common due to things like teething, or the child being engrossed in the practice of a new skill and subsequently forgetting to signal when they need to go pee. For Annabelle, these stages have been all the more common since about twelve months.

More Options: By this time, there are a few more options for training pants since the child is nearing traditional potty learning age.

What Works Best
At Home: We have begun to lean toward training pants that pull up and down easily, both waterproof and non-waterproof. This way Annabelle can practice pulling up and down without as much help from me and her dad. When we’re in a smooth patch where misses are uncommon, we often use plain cotton training pants, like those made by Under the Nile, and even Gerber training pants. I have also found that bloomers from now too small dress sets make fantastic, easy to pull up and down underwear.

When I am particularly touched out, or misses have been frequent because of some other change in development or mood, we opt for waterproof trainers at home, since our heavy wetter goes right through the alternative. Bikini Britches and WhyMommy are the at home waterproof preference since they pull up and down, which means practice for Annabelle.

Bloomers/Underwear on the head, and
Gerber’s waterproof training pants on the
bottom. These are the one thing I wish I
had never tried! Annabelle thinks they’re
hilarious because they make so much
noise!

At Night: Misses are not terribly common, but they were frequently ending in wet pajamas and wet sheets when we tried to use trainers at night, so we switched full time simply for comfort and ease of mind. We invested in a few all in one and pocket diapers which we put on just before bed. GroVias work beautifully since their side snap design makes them easy to pull up and down like a trainer. I just recently purchased some fleece covers that I may try over trainers at night to prevent leaks, but still allow for quick and easy pottying since we usually make at least one visit a night. We’ll see how that goes!

On the Go: Now that using the toilet in public places and others’ homes is the norm, we don’t have to worry about diapers while out. We generally prefer waterproof training pants for ease of mind, but we rarely find that we have to change them while outside the house. A few times I have been brave enough to use non waterproof pants, and soon we’ll probably be able to switch to them exclusively, but for now we err on the side of caution. I love EcaPants for outings simply because public toilets can be so large, making it hard, even with her potty insert, for Annabelle to sit on them comfortably with training pants at her ankles. EcaPants have a drop down flap instead of needing to be pulled down to the ankles, so they’re ideal for these situations.

One of the wonderful things about cloth and EC is that it has taught me to go with the flow. Things are constantly changing, requiring us to rethink our options and find new solutions as problems arise. Each new stage brings a new challenge, and a new excuse to adjust our stash of cloth training pants.

***

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.

Giveaway: EcaPants from EcaWare Baby **CLOSED**

***This giveaway is now closed. Stay tuned for an announcement of the winner!*** 

This is a joint giveaway with The New Mommy Files: Memories, Milestones and Missteps and Natural Parents Network. You may enter at one site only. Please find the section marked “Win it!” for the mandatory main entry and optional bonus entries.

Having blogged for over a year, I have never written a proper review – until now. When I thought about what I’d like to review first, EcaPants were on my mind. I have been using them since my daughter was a wee newborn and I absolutely love them, so I was thrilled when Lisa, the Work-at-Home-Mama behind EcaWare Baby agreed to give a pair away to one of our readers.

“Blueberry” EcaPants worn by our daughter at 4 months

EcaPants are a unique, patent pending solution for families practicing Elimination Communication (EC), or for anyone who needs an easy to change diapering solution. These trainers come in waterproof and non-waterproof varieties and are designed to hold one pee for a short period of time. My husband and I have practiced EC with our daughter since she came home from the hospital, and EcaPants have made that so much easier!

What we love about EcaPants

I ordered our first pair of EcaPants when my daughter Annabelle was ten days old. Within the month, I had placed another order, and as time went on I placed several more. I was hooked! These trainers have become the most used item in our diaper stash. We love them for a few reasons:

Ease of use: Our daughter has never been one for sitting still to have her diaper changed. The design of EcaPants makes them easy to put on a child who is standing, squirming, or even walking away from you. They were created with squirmy babies in mind, which makes them ideal for us!

Practicality for EC: EcaPants have an elastic waist band that attaches with a snap closure and holds the trainer securely in place around the waist. A separate Aplix or snap closure fastens the front panel of the trainer to the back. These allow the front panel to be opened for easy pottying, while keeping the trainer securely fastened around the child’s waist. When finished, the front panel is closed once again by quickly reattaching the velcro or fastening the snaps. No need to re-position the trainer around your child! Without an insert, they are just absorbent enough to hold one missed pee, but not so absorbent that we can carry on without realizing that we’ve had a miss.

The trim fit of EcaPants makes them easy
to use under clothing.

Trim Fit and Adjustability: EcaPants are by far the trimmest waterproof trainer we have found. Even when stuffed with two inserts, they fit beautifully under clothing with no bulk at all. Their trim design also makes them the perfect thing to toss in my purse when we go out.

The elastic waist band fits snugly, but never leaves a mark on my daughter’s skin and has two settings for adjustability. There are several settings for the snaps or aplix, allowing for a highly customized fit.

I tend to be rather frugal, and being able to get a lot of use out of a product is important to me. I typically order diapers and trainers a size larger than I actually need and just fasten them snugly so that we can use them for as long as possible. While I have done this with EcaPants, it really has not been necessary. My daughter is still able to wear every pair that she owns, in sizes small, medium, and large. Designed to fit 11-17 pounds, the smalls are getting a bit, well, small for my 20 pound toddler, but they still do the job and don’t seem to be uncomfortable for her at all. The large, designed to fit 20-30 pounds has worked fine for months on the smallest setting, and the mediums are just right. I love that I still have not had to rotate any of our EcaPants out and that we’ll be able to use them with our next baby.

Adjustable Absorbency: I absolutely love that the absorbency of EcaPants can easily be increased by adding an insert or two, and even with this added bulk, the pants are super trim. As my daughter has gotten a bit older, she has started waiting longer between pees and become what many parents would call a “super soaker.” A few times, when she was particularly well hydrated, Annabelle satured her EcaPants in a matter of moments, leaking onto the ground beneath her. With the addition of an insert or two when we think we’ll need it, we no longer have any problem with containing a miss. Another beautiful thing is that the inserts come out on their own during the wash, so there’s no need to fuss with them after a miss.

15 Months old in “Popsicle Orange” EcaPants – our favorite!

While EcaPants were by far our favorite thing when Annabelle was tiny, I’ll admit that I find myself gravitating more toward trainers that pull up and down now that she’s an increasingly independent toddler. The only drawback to EcaPants I have found is that they are not designed to be unfastened without the help of a caregiver. Of course this isn’t an issue with ECing babies, since their motor development doesn’t allow them to remove their own pants anyway, and toddlers really can learn to do anything. It’s a small issue, really, but something to be aware of.

The only other thing I have noticed is that the aplix on EcaPants seems to wear out rather quickly. I purchased a couple of pairs with aplix closures early in our relationship with EcaPants, but quickly decided to switch to snaps. It’s no secret that aplix and velcro wear out after awhile on any diaper or trainer, so this is to be expected and can be avoided by simply ordering snaps.

The price seemed a bit much to me at first and almost deterred me from buying that first pair of EcaPants altogether. Now that I see how long they last and how well they work, however, I’m happy to pay full price, especially knowing that my money is supporting another mother.

I can enthusiastically recommend EcaPants to anyone who practices, or plans to practice EC and would like a trim-fitting, easy to use diapering system for back-up. EcaPants need to be changed right away when wet, so I do not recommend them for families who aren’t concerned with changing their child immediately with each and every wet. That said, they would also be a great choice for children who have trouble with persistent rashes or highly sensitive skin. Since they encourage caregivers to change the child right away and become wet enough to alert the child when he or she has peed, they would also work wonderfully for families trying to avoid skin issues, whether practicing EC or not.

BUY IT!

You can purchase EcaPants from the company’s online store, as well as from several different online retailers. The full list of retailers is available on EcaWare Baby’s website.

WIN IT!

For your chance to win a pair of EcaPants from EcaWare Baby, enter in the comments below! The winner can select their preferred size, color, and closure based on what’s in stock. Contest is open to readers worldwide.

MAIN ENTRY: Visit EcaWare Baby and tell us one thing you learned about the company.

Leave a valid email address in at least one of your comments so we can contact you if you win. You can write them like this to foil spambots: mail {at} naturalparentsnetwork {dot} com.

This is a joint giveaway with The New Mommy Files and Natural Parents Network. You may enter at one site only, and we’ll be recording IP addresses to ensure that there are no duplicate entries. That said, please do visit and enjoy both sites!

BONUS ENTRIES: enter for more chances to win using the bonus entries after completing the mandatory entry above (leave a separate comment for each so we can count them all):

  • Visit EcaWare Baby’s online store and tell us which of their colors or patterns you like most.
  • Subscribe to The New Mommy Files in a reader or by email (1 entry for each).
  • Subscribe to Natural Parents Network in a reader or by email (1 entry for each).
  • Leave a relevant comment on a non-giveaway article at Natural Parents Network and tell us which post (comment on separate posts for up to 3 entries total).
  • Like EcaWare Baby on Facebook.
  • Like The New Mommy Files on Facebook.
  • Like Natural Parents Network on Facebook.
  • Post this giveaway on your Facebook page or wall and leave the link (1 entry). You can use this status update: Enter to win a pair of EcaPants from EcaWare Baby @The New Mommy Files: Memories, Milestones and Missteps and @Natural Parents Network. Contest ends August 9 and is open worldwide.
    Be sure to attach the contest URL to your update! (http://naturalparentsnetwork.com/giveaway-ecapants/)
  • Follow @NewMommyFiles on Twitter and leave your Twitter name in the comment.
  • Follow @NatParNet on Twitter and leave your Twitter name in the comment.
  • Tweet about this giveaway (up to 5 times total, at least 24 hours apart). You can tweet this text: #Win a pair of EcaPants by EcaWare Baby from @NewMommyFiles & @NatParNet! #giveaway #FreedomofCloth http://bit.ly/m340Re {8.9; Worldwide}
  • Enter another of the giveaways on Natural Parents Network (1 extra entry per giveaway — check back for more).
  • Put The Freedom of Cloth Carnival badge on your website. The HTML code is on the bottom of page at the previous link. Leave your site URL in the comment.
  • Put the Natural Parents Network badge on your website or add http://NaturalParentsNetwork.com to your text blogroll for 2 extra entries each. The HTML code for the badge is in the right sidebar. Leave your site URL in the comment.

RULES:

  • Contest open worldwide.
  • Contestants may enter at either The New Mommy Files or Natural Parents Network but not both. Entries will be combined for the drawing of a single winner.
  • Leave each entry as a separate comment so we can count them all.
  • For actions like following and subscribing, if you already follow or subscribe, just let us know in your comment.
  • For tasks that garner you multiple entries, you can copy and paste the comment with a #1, #2, etc.
  • You don’t have to do any of the bonus entries, but you do have to complete the first mandatory one.
  • We will pick the winner through Random.org after the contest closes and send an email notification. Leave a valid email address as you comment so we can contact you if you win. If we can’t reach a winner or don’t hear back within a couple days, we’ll draw a new name.
  • Any questions, let our interim giveaway coordinator know: ShannonR {at} NaturalParentsNetwork {dot} com

Contest closes August 9 at 11:59 p.m. PST.

Disclosure: Our reviewer used EcaPants she purchased and owned prior to planning this review. We try to seek out only products we think you would find relevant and useful to your life as a natural parent. If we don’t like a product, we won’t be recommending it to you. See our full disclosure policy here.
Photo Credits: Author

Giveaway: Wool Prefold Belt from EC Wear **CLOSED**

***This giveaway is now closed. Please stay tuned for the announcement of the winner! ***

This is a joint giveaway with The The New Mommy Files: Memories, Milestones and Missteps and Natural Parents Network. You may enter at one site only. Please find the section marked “Win it!” for the mandatory main entry and optional bonus entries.

I have been practicing Elimination Communication with my daughter since she was born, so I was thrilled when she was a few days old and I happened upon EC Wear. EC Wear is a work at home mom-run business that sells clothes, trainers, and other accessories for easy elimination communication, as well as traditional cloth diapers for back up. All of the products sold by EC Wear are sweatshop free, and many are mama-made, so I always feel good about the items I purchase. One of the most practical and economical items sold at EC Wear is the wool prefold belt.

The prefold belt is a product made exclusively for EC Wear using quality wool scraps left over from the manufacture of Little Beetle wool diaper covers. This soft, elastic band goes around your baby’s waist and holds prefold or flat diapers in place with no need for a cover, pins, or a snappi. Inside the soft wool outer is a length of buttonhole elastic, which makes the belt fully adjustable, so it can grow with your child.

We have been using a prefold belt, creating what we lovingly refer to as the “sumo diaper,” for some of our at home EC needs since my daughter was only a few months old. She has always been squirmy, never wanting to be still for diaper changes, so the ease of use of the prefold belt has been fantastic. I simply pull it up around her waist and tuck a prefold in. When it’s time to visit the potty or change a wet prefold, I just slide the diaper out from under the belt and replace it. It can be done in seconds while my baby is standing.

Changing diapers as soon as they become wet or soiled is a priority when practicing EC so that babies do not become accustomed to being wet. As a parent, it’s not always easy to remember to check a diaper as frequently as I would like. Because prefolds are so absorbent, however, they soak up an entire “miss” with no problem, so going without a diaper cover at home is easy. Because I can easily see when an uncovered prefold has become wet, changing diapers immediately is an easy task. Going coverless also allows for plenty of air flow in the diaper area, which is a huge plus for babies with sensitive skin or a tendency for diaper rash. In addition to the ease of use and ability to go coverless, another benefit of using a prefold belt is that it allows for independent toddlers to remove their own diaper when they need to use the toilet.

A prefold held up with a belt is a great
solution for bottoms in warm climates.

The only trouble with this diapering system is that it doesn’t keep the prefold or flat super snug against baby’s skin. This is fantastic for air circulation, but not-so-fantastic when a breast fed baby has a bowel movement. It also makes for some serious bulk at the top of the diaper in both the front and back, so it’s not terribly practical under clothing. For this reason, we have limited our use of the prefold belt to times that we’re home. It’s absolutely worth having, however, even if only for home use. I should also note that I have rather bulky, Indian prefolds, so a thinner variety may work much better under clothing.

I would recommend prefold belts to anyone who practices either full or part time EC. A belt would also be a great addition for families who cloth diaper full time but want a breathable option to give their baby’s skin a break. If you live in a cold climate and your baby’s lower half needs to be covered at all times, you might have better luck with an option like split pants.

BUY IT!

You can buy your own wool prefold belt from EC Wear’s online shop, along with a variety of other specialty EC products, cloth diapers and diapering accessories, and sweatshop free clothing selected with easy EC in mind.

WIN IT!

For your own chance to win a wool prefold belt, enter in the comments below! The winner can select a belt from in stock colors and sizes. Contest is open to readers worldwide.

MAIN ENTRY: Visit EC Wear and tell us about one other product you like and why.

Leave a valid email address in at least one of your comments so we can contact you if you win. You can write them like this to foil spambots: mail {at} naturalparentsnetwork {dot} com.

This is a joint giveaway with The New Mommy Files and Natural Parents Network. You may enter at one site only, and we’ll be recording IP addresses to ensure that there are no duplicate entries. That said, please do visit and enjoy both sites!

BONUS ENTRIES: enter for more chances to win using the bonus entries after completing the mandatory entry above (leave a separate comment for each so we can count them all):

  • Name one thing you love about EC.
  • Subscribe to The New Mommy Files in a reader or by email (1 entry for each).
  • Subscribe to Natural Parents Network in a reader or by email (1 entry for each).
  • Leave a relevant comment on a non-giveaway article at Natural Parents Network and tell us which post (comment on separate posts for up to 3 entries total).
  • Like The New Mommy Files on Facebook.
  • Like Natural Parents Network on Facebook.
  • Like EC Wear on Facebook.
  • Post this giveaway on your Facebook page or wall and leave the link (1 entry). You can use this status update: Enter to win a wool prefold belt from @The New Mommy Files: Memories, Milestones and Missteps and @Natural Parents Network. Contest ends August 6 and is open worldwide.
    Be sure to attach the contest URL to your update! (http://naturalparentsnetwork.com/giveaway-wool-prefold-belt/)
  • Follow @ECWear on Twitter and leave your Twitter name in the comment.
  • Follow @NewMommyFiles on Twitter and leave your Twitter name in the comment.
  • Follow @NatParNet on Twitter and leave your Twitter name in the comment.
  • Tweet about this giveaway (up to 5 times total, at least 24 hours apart). You can tweet this text: #Win a Wool Prefold Belt from @NewMommyFiles & @NatParNet! #giveaway #FreedomofCloth http://bit.ly/iOBSLv {8.6, US}
  • Enter another of the giveaways on Natural Parents Network (1 extra entry per giveaway — check back for more).
  • Put the Natural Parents Network badge on your website or add http://NaturalParentsNetwork.com to your text blogroll for 2 extra entries each. The HTML code for the badge is in the right sidebar. Leave your site URL in the comment.
  • Put The Freedom of Cloth Carnival badge on your website. The HTML code is on the bottom of the page. Leave your site URL in the comment.

RULES:

  • Contest open worldwide.
  • Contestants may enter at either The New Mommy Files or Natural Parents Network but not both. Entries will be combined for the drawing of a single winner.
  • Leave each entry as a separate comment so we can count them all.
  • For actions like following and subscribing, if you already follow or subscribe, just let us know in your comment.
  • For tasks that garner you multiple entries, you can copy and paste the comment with a #1, #2, etc.
  • You don’t have to do any of the bonus entries, but you do have to complete the first mandatory one.
  • We will pick the winner through Random.org after the contest closes and send an email notification. Leave a valid email address as you comment so we can contact you if you win. If we can’t reach a winner or don’t hear back within a couple days, we’ll draw a new name.
  • Any questions, let our interim giveaway coordinator know: ShannonR {at} NaturalParentsNetwork {dot} com

Contest closes August 6 at 11:59 p.m. PST.

Disclosure: This review is based on a product that our reviewer personally purchased and owned prior to planning the review. All opinions expressed are those of the reviewer. We try to seek out only products we think you would find relevant and useful to your life as a natural parent. If we don’t like a product, we won’t be recommending it to you. See our full disclosure policy here.


Photo Credit: Author
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