Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Consider the Switch!

Are you expecting a baby?  Do you have a baby or young child?  Have you given much thought about what kind of diapers to use?

I'm not talking about whether you should use pampers or huggies but rather cloth or disposable.

Now i know what you must be thinking, 'Cloth, are you nuts???  That is *so* gross!'.  Well, don't.
  Hear me out!  
Read this post and see how far cloth diapers have come from the "dish towel" your grandma used :)  It will take maybe 15 minutes of your time but the information in this post could end up saving your hundreds, if not THOUSANDS of dollars.

So here we go.

First, i think we need to dispell the thought that cloth diapers are hard to use.  This is not the case at all!  Cloth diapering can be as easy as you want to make it.  These are the popular options you have (stay with me!).

Flats are basically a simple flat piece of cloth.  You then fold them to create absorbent layers and then pin or Snappi them onto your baby, or lay them in a cover (i'll explain the snappi later!).  A positive to using these diapers is the fact that they are only one layer, this means they wash and dry easier than other kinds and are inexpensive.  But they can be more time consuming since you have to fold them up.  These need a cover.

 Most people probably think these are burp cloths, but you'd be wrong.  These are a perfectly acceptable form of cloth diapering :)  The prefold differs from the flat because it has been 'pre-folded', hence it's name.  The middle part is thicker than the sides.  So you just fold it around the baby and fasten it and go.  These also wash and dry pretty quick and they are also much more inexpensive than other diapering systems.  My sister actually uses only prefolds that she made herself.  These need a cover.


These are a step up from the prefolds.  They have the absorbent later in a middle and are cut into an hour glass shape so there is no folding required.  You just fasten it and go :)  These need a cover.


 Fitted are yet another step up from the contours.  These have an absorbent layer in the middle and snap or velcro on and have elastic in the legs (for a better fit).  So very easy to put on and use.  These need a cover.


Pockets are some of the most popular types of cloth diapers.  They have a waterproof outer layer (so NO cover is required), an inner layer that wicks away moisture and then a pocket opening (normally in the back, some have it in the front) that holds an absorbent insert.  What is nice about these diapers is you can customize how absorbent your diaper is.  If you have a heavy wetter you can add more inserts to make the diaper bore absorbent!  Also, because the insert and diaper are separate the diaper washes and dries better that other types.  These are the types of diapers i use.

All In One (AIO)
All in ones have been said to be the easiest diapers of them all.  The absorbent part of the diaper is sewn in and it has a waterproof shell so the diaper is all one piece (hence the name).  These have been said to be the best option for dads or grandparents who are hesitant about cloth diapers since they are the most like a disposable.  A down side to these diapers is the fact that they are thicker and one piece so it can be harder to get clean and take longer to dry.

All in two (AI2)
These are the same as the AIOs but the insert snaps in instead of being sewn in.  This makes washing and drying a bit easier than with just the AIO.  

Stuffable AIO

A stuffble AIO is just like it sounds.  It's has an absorbent layer sewn in but it also has a pocket so you can stuff it more if you need to.  The one above is from the Nivy Nap brand which is made by a friend of mine.


The hybrid diaper is fairly new on the scene of cloth diapers.  Hybrids are diapers that are both disposable *and* cloth.  Of the ones i have seen you have a cloth diaper cover and then you can either use a disposable insert (i know the G Diaper ones are flushable), OR a cloth insert.  If you use the disposable insert you'll still need to clean the cover when it gets dirty. 

Many people who want to try cloth but are not sure will try a hybrid first to see how they like it.  They may use a cloth insert at home, but a disposable when they are out and about.  Each hybrid comes with their own inserts but many people use inserts they already have on hand (for the cloth), like prefolds and such, cutting down on costs.

Hybrids are normally more expensive then other cloth diapers and even disposable and most can only be bought online.  *Some* local stores are starting to carry, but not many.  I found the Mabu Baby diaper at my local Walmart!  A con with the disposable insert is fit you want to flush them you must tear them open and then swish them with a stick to break them up first,
otherwise you will experience a clogged toilet.    Also, hybrid diapers use just as much water as normal cloth (if you flush the liner) since you have to flush the toilet every time you use a liner.  You also still wash the cloth inserts.   A pro to the diapers is that because you reuse the cover you and sending less trash to the landfill.

If you think a hybrid might be the diaper for you i just suggest you research the different options available and sales.

One Size
One Size diapers are diapers that adjust in size.  Normally this is done with 3 sets of snaps in the front rise of the diaper.  You snap the diaper down to create different sizes.  Sometimes it is done by folding down the rise of the diaper.  This type of diaper is very nice because you do not have to buy multiple sizes of diapers, one diaper works for most of your child's diapering years.  Another bonus is if you have 2 children in diapers you don't need a different stash for each child, the same diapers work for both children. Most of the time one size diapers do not fit newborn babies very well.  So most people have a small newborn stash until they fit into one size diapers.  One size diapers are available in many different types, like fitted, pocket and AIO. 

Covers are needed for diapering systems that are not water proof on their own (like the prefold.  They come in many different designs.  Some are made from wool, others PUL and yet other are fleece or other materials.They also fasten many different ways.  Some come in one size.

Your options for fasteners (if you are using a diaper system that needs them) are the obvious diaper pin, OR the new invention, the Snappi.  With the snappi there is no risk of poking yourself or the baby and they go on quickly and easily.  But they do cost a bit more than pins and don't last as long. 


So as you can see, some diapers are easier to use than others.  Some go on just like a disposable, and others need to be folded first.  There are pros and cons to every system.  You just need to decide which will work best for you and your needs.

Now lets go ver the "yuck factor".  Many people don't consider cloth diapers because they think they are gross and unsanitary and they do not want to deal with poop.  Well, let me let you in on a little secret:
You are gonna have to deal with poop no matter what kind of diapers you use!
Even if you use disposables many times they blow out onto your baby's clothes (and bed or floor or swing or car seat) and you will have to wash them.  There is just no way around poop :)

But with cloth diapers, most babies do not have as many blow outs!  The diapers are very good at chatching the mess!  big bonus.

But really, for me, poop is not a big issue.  If your baby is breastfed that means theat their poop is water soluable so all you do is put it in the pail, no rinsing required.  If they are on solids you just dump the poop into the toilet (by shaking the diaper) OR using a disosable diaper liner like this:

It lines the diaper so when they go poop the liner and poop go in the toilet and the diaper in the pain.  No work for you :D

There are also things called diaper sprayers that attach to your toilet so you can spray the diaper off if you would like.

As for the unsanitary part, that is just ridiculous.  Washing machines are meant to CLEAN our clothes.  You don't worry about any of your other clothes being unsanitary, you don't buy new underwear for yourself every day do you?  So how is it any different with a diaper?

Now lets cover the actual act of taking care of the diapers.
You just changed your baby's diaper.  Where does it go?  In a diaper pail of course :)  There are two options for a pail: Dry and wet.  A dry pail is just a pail you throw the diapers in.  A wet pail is a pail with water in it that you put the diapers in to soak.  This can lead to less stains on your diaper, but it can also shorten the life of your diaper because the water breaks down the fibers of the diaper faster.  It is also a hazard for little children to have a pail full of water around.  Most cloth diaper users use a dry pail (i do). 

My dry pail is just a kitchen garbage can with a lid that i got from Bed Bath and Beyond.  Nothing really fancy about it.  It has a pail liner in it that keeps the pail itself clean and when it's wash day i just pull the liner rout and turn it right side out in the washing  machine.  No need to touch the dirty diapers!

When wash day comes i take the diapers to the washer, put them in and then run a rinse cycle with some white vinegar.  Then i wash with hot water and detergent (i make my own) and then rinse on cold.  After the load is done i throw everything in the dryer and i'm done (other than folding).  It's really simple and doesn't take hardly any time!  The washing machine does all the work!

What about when you are on the go?  What do you do about the diapers then?  You put them in what is called a wet bag.
The wet bag is a water proof bag with a zipper to keep the diapers in until you get home.  Then you just dump the diapers in your pail and you can wash the wet back with your diapers :)  I have two so when one in in the wash i can use the other one.

So see, it is rather simple!  

Now lets go over some of the reasons to consider cloth diapers. 
For one, cloth diapers will save you A LOT of money!  Some people are put off of the fact that each cloth diaper can cost an average of $15, but remember that you get to use this diaper again and again and again!  And in the case of one size diapers you can use the same diaper the child's whole diapering years!  

Did you know that the average cost of disposables for 2.5 years is $2,000!!!  That is a BIG chunk of change!  You can get an entire cloth diaper system for less than $500!  Even with laundry costs (which are not much, you are maybe doing 2-3 loads a week extra) you are coming out ahead!  And you can easily get a diaper stash for less than $500!
There are some brands of cloth diapers that are very inexpensive, even $5-$7 for a one size pocket diaper!  So you could get all the diapers you need for $100-$150!  And remember, you can use them for more than one child!!  This doubles your savings!

Another things to consider is with disposables, if you have to use more diapers (like during the newborn period or when a child is sick), your cost goes up!  But with cloth diapers, the cost remains the same :)  

OK, onto reason two!
Cloth diapers are healthier for babies.
Disposable diapers have dyes, fragrances, sodium polyacrylate (the super absorbent gel, and has been linked with TSS in the past), Tributyltin (harmful to the human immune system and disrupts hormone function) and dioxin, which is a by-product of bleaching paper and a cause of cancer.  There are also links of rises in male infertility and asthma with disposable diaper use.  And then the fact that more babies have diaper rashes with disposable usage.  There is just a lot of nasty stuff that i don't want my baby sitting in for 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for an average of 2.5 years!!  

Then there is the environment.  Many believe that cloth diapers are better for Mother Earth.    Disposable diapers generate sixty times more solid waste and use twenty times more raw materials, like crude oil and wood pulp than cloth diapers.  The manufacture and use of disposable diapers amounts to 2.3 times more water wasted than cloth. Over 300 pounds of wood, 50 pounds of petroleum and 20 pounds of chlorine are used to produce disposable diapers for one baby EACH YEAR.  

Something else to think about is the fact that it is actually illegal to throw away human waste. Yet that is what everyone does when they use disposable diapers. That fecal matter in the landfills poses a threat to our water supply (it can leak down in the cracks and get into the ground water)! When you flush the solids and wash the diapers that water goes to a water treatment plant where they know how to deal with human waste.

And disposables takeover 500 years to decompose!  Even biodegradable ones since air and light are needed for decomposition and landfills do not get that.  Now think about the 27.4 billion disposable diapers are used every year in the U.S. and that we've been using disposable for about 20 years now and will continue to use them...that is a LOT of trash that is going NOWHERE!

Some argue that cloth diapers are not green because you have to wash them and that uses a lot of water and energy, BUT disposable also use water and energy to make but you use that diaper once and throw it away, with cloth you get to use them over and over again.    And many cloth diaper users dry their diapers on the line, thus saving energy and many also have HE washers, again saving energy and water :)

Ok, enough on that subject.

One of the last main reasons to consider cloth are the fact that they are so dang cute!  
I am restraining myself from posting more.  But i think i have made my point :)

So, i think that is about it.  
There is so much more information available on the subject, and if you want to know more, it is easy to find online (or you can ask me).  I hope that perhaps i have helped you to realize that cloth diapering is not a thing of the past, not yucky, not time consuming and is very possible to make a part of your daily life.  People all over are making the switch!  (i even heard that 10% of the U.S. use cloth diapers!).  Maybe you should make the switch too!

How many of you use cloth diapers or are considering it?  What made you 'make the switch'?

(just FYI, All the pictures except for the last ones came from, which, btw, is a great place to buy diaper and diaper supplies!) (and feel free to pass this post on to others!)

Monday, January 24, 2011

Natural Family Planning

Do you know what your options are when it comes to birth control?  Do you only think that 'the pill' is the only reliable form available?  Did you know that there is a form of birth control that involves NO hormones, NO barriers, NO inserting of anything, NO goop and is *just* as effective if not more so than the leading birth crotrol options on the market?

You have a choice.  And that choice can be Natural Family Planning. 
NFP is NOT the "rhythm method" and it can be very simple and you do not even h ave to take your temperature if that does not fit with your life style.

If you want to learn  more, please see my good friend's posts about it:

Educate Yourself: Natural Family Planning, what is it?

Educate Yourself: Natural Family Planning, why it is a feminist concept

 She is going to have more posts on this subject.

Have you ever heard of NFP and/or have you practiced it?


Naturall Healing

So with sticking with the trying to be natural lifestyle if i can help it, i would rather use something natural to heal my body, as well as my family's.

Well for over two weeks now our daughter has been fighting a cold and for the last week we had seen no improvement (for reference point she is 4.5 months old).  We tried a vaporizer in the room with tea tree oil, we tried tea tree oil rubbed on her chest before bed, we tried breastmilk up her nose, we tried saline solution up her nose, i tried MEGA doses of vitamin C but nothing was helping her improve.  All day she was coughing and well into the night as well.  Some nights she would cough for an hour or more yet she could not get the mucus out of her lungs.  I also have needed to suction her nose multiple times during the day and even night.  She also had lost her voice.

So finally i contacted a midwife friend of mine who makes herbal tinctures.  I bought some Mullin tincture and also Silver. (click links to find out about these tinctures) I started giving Rainbow the tinctures saturday night and then all day sunday.  Last night was the first night she has not coughed in over a week!!  I also did not have to suction her nose before bed like i have needed to do for 2 weeks now!  And she was clear all night as well.  She slept well and was easy to put to bed!  I was amazed!!  *I* finally got some sleep as well!

This morning she has started to cough a bit but she sounds so much better!!  It's amazing!!

And so, this is me *highly* recommending these tinctures!  She has many to choose from for anything you can think of.  She also can do custom blends for you!  She has tinctures to improve fertility in woman (and soon men) and even an amazing tincture (or so i have heard) for nausea (or morning sickness).  So go to her site and get some relief for your family!  You won't regret it!

(i also have placed a button to her site on the side of my blog, for easy access)

Have you had any experiences with "natural healing" that you would like to share?

Friday, January 21, 2011

Everyone Needs a 'New Year Resolution' Post right?

So it's the beginning of a new year and of course we look ahead and think about what we want to accomplish.  It's only natural.  There are so many things i want to do this year so i wanted to put them down on "paper" so i have a better chance of acheiving these goals.

I would like to *finally* follow my card system by the 'side tracked home executives'
I am just not a naturally organized person!  I have the desire and sometimes it actually happens, but it really is something i have to work at.  I envy my friends who just seem to have their lives in order and can so easily get things done and have their life in order!   If i just followed this system i would automaticly do so many of the things i want to do, like keep a clean and organized house, know what is for dinner before 8pm, remember people's birthdays and send cards, have time for my projects and so much more.  I have the system nearly in place, i just have to follow it!  I know my mother followed the same system when she had a young family and it worked for her, so now it's my turn!

Eat better
I've already talked about this in another post, but i figured i should mention it again.

 I would like to get my craft business off the ground.
I have big ideas, i just have to go through with them.  My goal is to have a booth at my home towns yearly celebration.

Be more social
Most would think i do not have a problem with this, but i actually do.  I blame it on my "anti-social" husband LOL.  I reallyu with we hung out more with friends and did more things with other people.  I plan on having more game nights and inviting people over more for dinner and such.

Stop Shaving
Ok, so most of you mgiht think this one is gross but i don't care.  Just because i will not be shaving does not mean i won't be clean.  I'm sick and tired of having to shave to please someone else.  My husband doesn't care if i do or not so why should it?  I will allow myself to trim the underarms as i see necessary but for one whole year i do not want to shave.  

Start Using Family Cloth
On the topic of things i'm sick of, i'm sick of having to buy toilet paper!  So this year i would like to finish our cloth wipes and start using cloth TP in our house.  I plan on making a seperate post talking about this.

Look into becoming a certified car seat technition
With how passionate i am about car seat safety i think it only makes sense that i become certified and do car seat checks and teach classes and such.

Now i could go on but i think these are the main ones right now and it's pretty hard to type with one hand lol. 

What are your goals this new year?

Rear-Facing Car Seats Aren't Just for Babies Anymore

Some of you may think that i spend too much time on car seat safety.  Some may feel it is none of my business what other's do with their children.  I read a great article today that i want to share and in it it makes a great point.

"Every mother makes mistakes. There's so much trial and error that it's impossible not to. But when presented with good, factual information, I believe most moms are willing to forgo their ego and admit fault to make their children safer. Right? There is always more to learn...Caring about the well-being of children is healthy and good -- don't you speak up if you see a child in danger? I don't want to see even more stories like Joel's, Kyle David Miller's, Alec's, or Ysabel's, where the mother cries about how she wishes she'd known better and blames herself for her child's death."

This is why i keep talking about car seat safety, and i hope you will too.  
Please read this wonderful article.

A Dads View on Breastfeeding

Yesterday i read an article that i found on facebook and i just have to share it.  I wish more dads and just people in general had this view when it comes to breastfeeding.

"Our job as parents, above all else, is to provide what we think is the best start in life to our little adults-to-be. If this isn’t your goal as well then perhaps you should think about doubling up on your contraception."

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Re-purposed Entertainment Center

If you have read my previous post i made about how i want more imaginative play for my children you will understand why i am so excited about this tutorial!

Do you have an old entertainment center like this laying around?

Well, get ready to turn it into an awesome play kitchen!
 (Pictures curtosy of Giggleberry Creations Blog)

Find a couple tutorials here to make this project :)
(I did not come up with this project i am only sharing it with you)

Monday, January 10, 2011

You have a Choice

I don't have much time so i will be quick.  

I saw this short documentary on facebook a couple days ago i i love it!  It is talking about how you have a choice when it comes to birth.  YOU are in charge of your choices.  It is up to you to do your research and find out what choice is best for *YOU*.  

Is that choice a Birth Center?

Is that choice the Hospital?

Or is that choice a Home Birth?

Whatever your choice is it is up to you to make it.  YOU are in charge of doing your own research and finding out what option is best for you.

For me personally i never knew i had a choice until my sister started making her own.  I thought you *had* to have a baby in the hospital and if you didn't it was just an accident.  I didn't know women still used midwives.  I also didn't know about all the routine unnecessary procedures hospitals do.  So i did my *own* research and made a choice that was best for MY family.  

You have a choice.  

Watch this short film and go do your own research.

You won't regret it.
"You Have a Choice" // A Short Birth Documentary from Mark Mroz on Vimeo.

What was your choice and how did you make it?

Monday, January 3, 2011

In My Arms

I saw this video/song today and i cannot help but share it with all of you.  It is so beautiful and makes me want to tear up. I will gladly hold my little girl close and i don't care what anyone says. 

The song is "In My Arms" by Plumb