Cloth Diapers

image Diapers. It’s a reality every parent faces (unless you’re doing infant potty training). For an eco-friendly and cost-efficient option, cloth diapers can’t be beat! There are SO many different options available now.

With my first daughter I used the the cheap chinese pre-fold diapers and pins that you can buy in most stores. They didn’t absorb well though and the pins were hard for me to manage so I couldn’t stick with it. I admire our mothers who raised all their kids on rubber pants that are a pain to get off and pins that poked them! Some women still use these! If you’re one of these women, way to go! :) With my newest daughter I decided to try what they call, “modern cloth diapers” and they have turned out to be so easy! I actually prefer them to disposables! They breath a lot better so they don’t smell quite as bad.

If you are considering cloth diapers, here are a few recommendations that I’ve been using:
Diapers:
Crickett’s Diapers This is a fitted diaper made of hemp.
Pros: They are VERY absorbent and hardly EVER leak. They’re really easy to put on with snaps that create a custom fit for your child as they grow. There are two sizes with this diaper, one for infants, and one for toddlers. I like that these diapers are made with hemp (although they now offer them in cotton as well). Hemp is naturally anti-bacterial and more eco-friendly than other fabrics. The Bummis covers that they recommend didn’t work well for me though. They leaked a lot and didn’t fit my daughter well. I recommend Thirsties diaper covers instead.
Cons: These diapers are less expensive than other fitted diapers but more expensive than pre-folds. Also, after several months of use they started to have a slight smell to them and I had to change my laundry routine to help keep it away. Hemp is workable but IS a bit more work in the laundering department. They also take a bit longer to dry because they are so thick.

Cloth-eez Prefold Diapers
Pros: These pre-folds are very good quality and absorb well. These are the only diaper I use now. I chose these over the other pre-folds due to them being the highest rated pre-fold diaper on the Diaper Pin forums. They are a fraction of the cost of fitted diapers! It’s also nice that they dry much quicker. A must with these diapers is the “Snappi” fastener. It is SO much nicer than the old pins!
Cons: The only downside of these that I’ve found so far is they leak (but only rarely) when they get extremely full and when my daughter poops in them the poop sometimes gets on the inside of the cover but that’s not a big deal. Anyway, I love them! You can’t beat the price for the quality you get!

Waterproof diaper covers:
Thirsties Thirsties diaper covers have been the best investment I’ve made with cloth diapering! Thanks to their design incorporating leg gussets they work extremely well. They come very highly recommended on the Diaper Pin forums. I wouldn’t use anything else! There are a lot of online stores that sell these but I got mine on sale at Teeni Banini. They are also available at the “Green Mountain Diapers” website where I bought my pre-fold diapers.

Wet Bags: These are a must with cloth diapering on the go. I bought a couple of large ones from Sarah’s Stitches that have worked very well and were inexpensive. You can also find a variety of wet bags on Etsy.

Detergent: After doing a lot of researching I decided on getting a cheap store brand. It works great at getting out the smell without harming the diapers. Here’s a chart to help you find the right detergent:
Detergent Choices

Diaper Rash Salve: Northern Essence This diaper “ointment” is great because it doesn’t cause buildup on the cloth diapers, it smells great, works well and is in a convenient push tube so you don’t even have to get your hands dirty!

As to how I care and launder my diapers, I follow the procedure suggested at this Cloth Diapering University. Doing the “dry pail” method has worked out really well for me. It’s SO much nicer than the “wet pail” method where you have to rinse the diapers and soak them in poopy water.

If you’re interested in trying cloth diapers and have any questions, just let me know.

Companion Planting in the Vegetable Garden

Spring is here and it’s time to plan out our gardens! If your hope is to grow an organic vegetable garden I highly recommend looking into using ‘companion planting’ to help. Basically when certain veggies, herbs or flowers are planted near each other, they can compliment each other by producing larger yields or controlling bad insects. There are a lot of companion planting charts online but I found the following guide to be particularly helpful:
Companion Planting Guide

Health and Wellness Fair - Grand Rapids

image If you live in the Grand Rapids, Michigan area you should know about the Genesis Health and Wellness Fair this Saturday, March 28th from 10am to 3pm. This free event will feature over 50 exhibitors as well as several workshops by holistic & natural health experts. There will even be some events for kids! I have connections with several of the exhibitors so I’m super excited about going! My midwife will even be one of the exhibitors! I think it will be great not only to get more information concerning health but also just to be around like-minded people. Living a natural lifestyle can be lonely sometimes in our current culture. It will be good to be with others who value whole foods, holistic health & sustainable living.

You can get more information and view the schedule here: Genesis Health & Wellness Fair

Wordless Wednesday: Aargh Matey!

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Freedom

Up until now I’ve tried not to get political on this blog. I guess I’ve never like politics because it divides people so much and because most politicians seem so fake. I’ve quietly voted as best as I’ve known how. However, with the way our government has been acting, I’ve found it necessary to suddenly BE political for the sake of my children and my friends who are without jobs. We’re moving deeper into socialism at an alarming rate. This will only give us LESS freedom to choose what’s best for our health.
It doesn’t take a genius to realize that sending our nation into further debt is NOT going to restore our economy. The federal government already owes $56 TRILLION (in liabilities and unfunded commitments). The only way to pay for this crazy “stimulus” is by inflation. This means the government will have to print more money, which will bring down the value of the American dollar. This in turn will bring the prices of everything even higher. So, will THAT inspire us all to spend more? No. This will only make us spend LESS (out of necessity) which will further destroy jobs. According to Campaign for Liberty, “At this very minute, an American child is born into $184,000 of debt.” What kind of life are we leaving for our children? The only way to heal this economy is to have LESS government involvement through cutting taxes (including the income tax) and decreasing spending. Congress was the one that caused all these economic problems in the first place. I was shocked to find out that the average American works for FREE for the government for six months out of the year. That’s right! Half of the average American’s money is stolen through taxes. This is NOT right! We’ve bought into the idea that it’s acceptable for the government to take our money and re-distribute it to the poor, because (of course) we want to CARE for the poor. The problem is, that’s not the government’s responsibility. That’s OUR responsibility. Caring for each-other is something individuals must do. People are already great at this! Just look at the Katrina recovery. Most of it has come through caring people, not the bureaucrats. Volunteers are the heart and soul of this country. Let’s face it, Americans are GREAT at volunteering! :)

image I’ve been reading “The Revolution: A Manifesto” by Ron Paul and it is excellent! It explains in very simple terms how we’ve gotten to this point economically and what needs to be done to right the situation. I can’t recommend it enough! I’m hoping to loan out my copy of the book to as many people as possible.

For more exceptional thinking on this crisis, visit: Campaign for Liberty

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