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.

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

Global Warming

Here’s a good article on global warming over at Fox News:

Ex-Astronaut: Global Warming is Bunk

Apparently that while it’s true that global warming is happening, the reasons that are often cited for it’s occurrence aren’t exactly true. Humans are usually the main ones blamed and yet we actually play a very small role in the matter. I sure would love to be at that conference!

Even with this information I think it’s important that we do take care of the earth. In seeking to live a healthy life we must also seek to nurture a healthy planet. 

Change?

This is sad. Is this the “change” we can look forward to? Is “going green” just something we talk about to sound cool?

Obama’s “Green” Inaugural Turns National Mall into Trash Dump

Saving Christmas Cards

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One of my favorite things about Christmas is catching up on the lives of my friends and seeing pictures of their families. After Christmas is over though, I just hate to have to recycle or throw away all those special cards, newsletters, and pictures.
So here’s what I do: 
I enjoy scrapbooking, so each year we take a family picture and I feature that as the very last page in the scrapbook. Then I take my favorite Christmas cards, newsletters and photos and place them behind the last scrapbook page (in the page protector. I also include our own newsletter. That way later when I’m looking through the scrapbook I can get out the old newsletters and reminisce about past years. It’s fun to see how people have aged.
If saving complete cards takes up too much room, you can just take off the fronts of them and save the messages inside. But don’t feel like you’re wasting the fronts of the cards, they can be made into gift tags for next year’s presents!
Note that I don’t save ALL the cards, only those that are very special to me. Handmade cards are my absolute favorite since I know how much time and effort go into them.
If you’re not into scrapbooking you could just have an album set aside for Christmas and each year put the cards in a page protector sleeve.

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