Sunday, June 20, 2010

Why I Cloth Diaper

I am asked time and time again why I have chosen to cloth diaper, so I decided to write a post to explain my reasons.

Personally, I love cloth diapering. I think it's fun. Do you ever go "window shopping" for clothes, either online or off? I know I do. I love looking at stuff for my kids as well as for myself. With cloth diapers, they have such cute designs and patterns now that it's like clothes shopping, but for your baby's bum. And when diapers come as cute as this one, who could possibly deny themselves the fun?

Photo courtesy of Nifty Nappy Diapers

But really, it's not just the looks that drew me in. Cloth diapers are really economically sound and when you live from paycheck to paycheck like my family does, cost cutting is necessary. Since December, our family has spent $200 on diapers and diapering accessories. At the rate we were buying diapers, wipes, etc, we've saved ourselves just in the last 7 months $300 or more. To us, that's a lot of money.
My stash includes 17 diapers of varying brands, cloth wipes and washcloths, a spray bottle and wipe solution, and a wetbag for travel.

Aren't they cute???
As well as being economically sound, they are also ecologically sound. Did you know that for one disposable diaper, up to 2/3 cup of oil (you know, that nasty black stuff spilling out into the ocean right now? Thanks again, BP.) is used? That's right. Pretty gross, huh? Also, did you know that it is illegal to dispose of human waste in a landfill? What that means is that even when you are using disposable diapers, you're still supposed to scrape the poop off into the toilet before throwing them out.

Which brings me to my next point: laundry. People ask me questions about diaper laundry all the time:

What do you do with the poop?/Isn't dealing with poop gross?

Well, like I said above, technically you're supposed to do the same thing with the poop whether you're using cloth or not: dumping it in the toilet. (Side note: If you are exclusively breastfeeding, the poop is water soluble, which means that it completely dissolves and washes away in water, so you don't have to start dumping the poop until your little one starts solid food.) Dealing with the poop can be a little gross, but this is how I look at it: before I started using cloth diapers, Kairi had poop blow-outs at least every other day, so I was already having to wash poop out of something quite frequently. Unfortunately, a lot of the clothes that she got poop on got stained regardless of how much I scrubbed. Since starting cloth diapers, I have not had to deal with one blow-out and I am much happier washing poop out of something that is meant to hold it than getting angry about washing it off of my favorite new jumper that my mother just bought for her. No matter how you look at it, when you have a baby, you're going to have to wash poop out of something at one point in time or another. It's just a fact of life.

Well, aren't you spending all your time doing diaper laundry now? Don't the laundry and energy costs add up to equal the difference you'd be spending on disposable diapers?

Nope. I do one extra load of laundry every other day. Granted, I have to buy special detergent for my diapers (the scents and additives in regular detergents cause build up that makes diapers lose their absorbency) but it costs a little less than a bottle of Tide and I only have to use one scoop every other day so it's not like I'm buying it very often at all.

What do you do with your dirty diapers while they are waiting to be washed?

I have a small trashcan that I keep them in. I rinse out the poopy diapers before putting them in the can. It's just as easy as keeping a small trashcan for disposable diapers.

Isn't cloth diapering harder than using disposables? Doesn't it take more time?

I don't think so. A lot of people ask about the time it takes because of the rinsing and the laundry, but really if you average out the amount of time that you spend driving to the store to shop for diapers, I'd bet it's about the same. Plus it's a lot more convenient because I never have those times when you forgot to buy diapers and you're down to the last one and have to rush off in the middle of the night so your baby will have a clean diaper in the morning. And rinsing the diapers doesn't take that long anyway - maybe 30 seconds per diaper.

I really do love cloth diapering. Like I said above, it's fun. And Kairi looks so cute in them.

Doesn't she look happy?
<3 Cloth Diaper Link Love <3

Little Squigglers is my absolute favorite place to buy cloth diapers and more! They've got the best brands and the most awesome accessories! The best things I've bought there so far are my Nifty Nappy pocket diapers and my Wee Essentials cloth wipe solution soap bits.

Speaking of Nifty Nappy Cloth Diapers, you should definitely go check out their page. They've got pocket diapers, fitted diapers, swim diapers, wool diapers and woolie covers that are made with some of the best craftmanship I've ever seen!

While you're out, go look at LuvYourBaby Products. They've got some great pocket and AIO (all-in-one) diapers for those of you on a budget.

And if you're really in a financial bind, The Cloth Diaper Foundation is for you! They are a cloth diaper "loaning" service. They only charge a small shipping fee of $15-30 (depending on what package you choose) and they just ask that you take great care of the diapers they send you and return them when you're done with them. They are also nation-wide and will be re-opening their services on July 16th so get ready to go fill out those applications for this wonderful service!

Link disclosure: I am posting these links of my own accord because I really do love and recommend these companies. I am not being paid or otherwise rewarded for mentioning them.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Quick Hit: The Chicken Pox Rant

I'm loving this: I didn't want to get the chicken pox vaccine for Gracie. I figured it was a mild enough illness and yeah, I know it puts you at risk to get shingles later in life, but I'd never met anyone who has had them, so how big of a risk is that really? The nurse guilted me into it, told me that I was ignorant, irresponsible and arrogant for thinking that I'm "smarter than science." She basically told me that she calls CPS on people who don't do their full vaccination schedule. So we vaccinated Gracie against chicken pox anyway. And now she has them. Some good that did.

This post was originally supposed to be a Facebook status, but it got away from me. 

Just a side note: As Gracie DID get her vaccine, her chicken pox are a little less severe than they would be otherwise. So, considering that she was gonna get them either way, I suppose I'm at least thankful for that. 

But still? It's all crap. 

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

The Sweet Smells of Summer

Welcome to the June Carnival of Natural Parenting: Outdoor fun

This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Carnival of Natural Parenting hosted by Hobo Mama and Code Name: Mama. This month our participants have shared their stories and tips for playing outside with kids. Please read to the end to find a list of links to the other carnival participants.


I love summertime and since I've moved to a different neighborhood, one that's not on the industrial side of town, on a road that isn't the business highway of the town, I am really able to bask in the warm glow of summer and breathe in it's rich, sweet smells when I'm outside with the girls.

While the girls spend their time running and crawling and riding bikes and tricycles around the car in the driveway, I lay back and relax - as much as I can, being a watchful parent responsible for a 5 year old and a 14 month old. When I find a particular scent heavy in the air, I call Gracie over to me and we try to identify it. She's getting pretty good at it too.

We have some honeydew growing along the side of our house and that's usually the first thing we smell. It picks up in the middle of spring and lasts throughout the summer. That smell is usually my first wonderful reminder that summer is on its way.

My neighbor up the street has got the most beautiful roses and their scent is so strong that you can smell it from the sidewalk two houses down. It's a nice, calming addition to our early evening strolls.

My dad's yard plays host to a huge variety of new scents for Gracie and I to take in. He's got the biggest, prettiest flower garden ever and to top it off, he's got a couple lilac bushes. He always sends me home with a Solo cup full of its blooms that I keep in my car for a day or two.

When we're not absorbing the scents of summer, we play just like anyone else. Like I said before, the girls love to race around the car in the driveway. Whether it be running (or crawling/partially walking in Kairi's case) or biking and tricycling (although we have to push Kairi along) and sometimes even the scooter gets broken out, those girls LOVE running the circle around the driveway.

When they get tired they like to draw pictures on the pavement with sidewalk chalk. Gracie drew a beautiful flower on the porch a couple nights ago. I'm so proud of her artistic abilities.

The girls have gotten better at playing together too. Last week when we were outside, they were sitting together in the driveway. Gracie was scratching Kairi's back and Kairi was just squealing with delight. Then, Gracie decided to give Kairi a "foot massage."

We're big fans of bubbles and balls too....

Yes. Summer is my favorite time of year. I can't wait until it's warm enough to go swimming! I smell the chlorine just thinking about it!


Carnival of Natural Parenting -- Hobo Mama and Code Name: MamaVisit Hobo Mama and Code Name: Mama to find out how you can participate in the next Carnival of Natural Parenting!

Please take time to read the submissions by the other carnival participants:

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Hey - At Least It's Not Twilight

Over the past few months, since February 1, to be exact, I've spent less and less time online (as evidenced by the lack of blog posts). Granted, my Facebook page is always open so I'm sure it appears that I'm online, but I'm not. No, in fact, I have been spending my time reading (get this) Harry Potter.

I have to admit, I am somewhat behind the times. When there is a huge fad, like the one surrounding the Harry Potter series in general, I tend to avoid it as long as possible. It wasn't until the second Harry Potter movie was on DVD that I saw the first. I waited at least a couple years before reading the Da Vinci Code. And you know what? I loved them all. I've seen each of the subsequent Harry Potter movies in the theaters and I've read every book that Dan Brown (author of the Da Vinci Code) has written.

I've come to this conclusion, folks: things become fads (at least these types of things) because in most cases, they're REALLY GOOD. And as much as I try to resist them, I always find myself falling victim to their siren song and becoming woo-ed into taking part, even if it is years after the fact. Then I find myself wondering why on earth I waited so long.

The Harry Potter series has been no different. I am LOVING it. I finished the 6th book, The Half-Blood Prince, last night and started the last of the series, The Deathly Hallows, immediately thereafter. I would like to say that I'm going to take my time with this book, that I am going to draw out as much pleasure from it as I can, but I know that I will end up whizzing through it as quickly as I have the 6 books before it. I have a feeling that once it's over there is going to be a void to fill, so the pleasure I'm taking in reading this last book is a little bittersweet.

I have begun to wonder what I'm going to do with myself once I'm finished. I am toying with the idea of reading another series, although I haven't found any other stories that appeal to me. Really, there is only one thing I know: I will NOT be reading Twilight.