Monday, November 18, 2013

Why Miranda is Thankful for Cloth

there are many things for my little family to be thankful for. health, food, clothing, love. november has become a month of reflection of all we are thankful for, and to start off on a light note, im thankful for our decision to cloth diaper. or actually my decision since i was told babe would no longer change diapers if i switched. i was the main diaper changer anyway so it didnt matter, and after a few months he came around. there are many reasons to be thankful for cloth, and here are my top ten...
1. the cuteness
i am thankful for the cuteness of my cloth diapers. this is why i started cloth diapering. there are other reasons (some listed below) but the main reason was the cuteness of designs. sposies are pretty boring. theyre white and flat. the tabs are there. my cloth are fluffy, fun, festive, unique, and can even have fun snaps if i choose.
2. the environment
i am thankful to be doing a little to lesson my carbon footprint by using cloth. i may forget to throw all little pieces of paper in the recycling instead of the trash, but cloth diapers are the ultimate in recycling...they get used again and again and again, baby after baby (more on that in a bit). instead of helping fill a landfill every time toddler2.0 feels the call of nature, we get to lesson the garbage.
3. the cost
im thankful for cloth diapers saving me money. theoretically i could have spent under $200 and been set for life with china cheapies (less if i chose prefolds and covers). that $200 would have bought about 33 diapers which is a nice sized stash. not only wouldnt have had to buy more the entire time toddler2.0 is in cloth, but with belly3.o coming i still dont need more diapers...i can continue using the ones i already have. of course im a sucker for cute (see #1) so i have spent over that on diapers, but i didnt have to, i chose to. sposies by comparison cost about $800 a year. if you potty train at 2 thats $1600, and next baby you get to do it all over again.
4. the resale
im thankful for cloth diapers having a good resale value. when sposies are used they are trash, and that money is gone. once im finished having babies i can sell the diapers at close to what i paid for them, as long as they are still in great condition. even in bad condition i can regain some of the cost by reselling to someone who is a fixer. save money and get some refunded.
5. no middle of the night runs to the store
im thankful for cloth because i will never run out in the middle of the night and need to make an emergency walmart trip. im pretty bad when it comes to noticing im low on something disposable. if we used sposies i know i would inevitably reach for a clean diaper and find none. scary people are at walmart in the middle of the night. i dont want to go through that. as long as i do diaper wash every other day or every few days we are golden.
6. no diaper rash
im thankful for cloth diapers lessening our diaper rash. toddler2.0 has had 3 rashes in 17 months, and one was more of a reaction to a new detergent. cloth diapers are made from more natural and breathable materials, so the chance of diaper rash is reduced. my niece is in sposies and i cannot tell you the last time she didnt have some degree of diaper rash.
7. supporting small business
im thankful that buying the majority of my cloth diapers helped small businesses. a lot of them are from work at home moms, so i know my money went to support a family, not into the belly of a giant and faceless corporation like sposies. even the "bigger" cloth companies were mostly started by moms and grew. its also nice to buy USA made products, although i do have a few imports.
8. easier potty training
im thankful that cloth diapers help potty training. i dont speak from personal experience, but friends have confirmed this. when a toddler is in sposies, the wetness is wicked away so they cannot tell they are wet as easily as when in a cloth diaper. we potty trained child1.0 by putting him in undies, and it took one wet sock for him to realize he did not want to feel wet. once toddler2.0 is ready, he will be able to easier recognize and avoid wetness!
9. less toxins on the baby
im thankful that cloth diapers lessen the amount of toxins my babies come in contact with. there are toxins everywhere so unless i build bubbles they arent totally safe, but i do all i can to limit the amount around/in them. while cloth diapers are made from natural fibers, sposies are full of chemichals i cannot pronounce like sodium polyacrylare. what is that?
10. friendships
im thankful that cloth diapers have led me to be introduced to some great friends. through meetings and online, we not only share a love of fluff but friendship. i cannot name one person i bonded with over sposies when we used them on child1.0!

Contributed by: Miranda

Monday, November 11, 2013

Transitioning to Cloth Wipes

If you've decided to make the switch to cloth diapers, deciding to use cloth wipes also might be an easy decision. However, it took months before I was comfortable giving up disposables wipes for cloth. Why? Honestly, I'm really not sure. I was a little overwhelmed with all the different types of cloth wipes {just like diapers}, what type of solution I should use, how I would store them... Turns out, transitioning to cloth wipes was super easy and indeed adds to the money savings of cloth diapers too! Tossing your cloth wipes right into the pail with your cloth diapers and you'll have virtually no waste coming from using cloth diapers! cloth wipes Cloth Wipes usually range in price anywhere from 50 cents to $2 a wipe, depending on the style and brand. One way to make the transition without investing is to make your own cloth wipes!

DIY Cloth Wipes

Making your own cloth wipes simply couldn't be easier. There are a variety of materials that you can use - cotton, flannel, terrycloth, even bamboo velour. The first wipes I ever made were small squares of cut up old t-shirts and old hand towels. I sewed the squares together so I would have one side for scrubbing after messier diapers and one side that was soft. You can even go as simple as cutting up old receiving blankets that you don't need and baby washcloths make perfect cloth wipes too!

Storing Cloth Wipes

cloth wipes storage I store my wipes in a disposable wipes box. No matter what size of wipe you make, they fit easily folded or not. I also store mine wet in the wipes box, but make sure to use them within a couple days so they don't mildew. You can also store them dry and use a squirt bottle {or simply wet them in the sink} when you're ready to use!

Cloth Wipe Solutions

There are just as many option for cloth wipe solutions as there are for cloth wipe materials! Plain water is an option, but if you're looking for a little more {or simply want those cloth wipes to smell good}, you can add in essential oils or even a drop or two of Baby Soap. There are also companies that sell Cloth Wipe Solutions that come in forms of liquid and soap bits. No matter how you decide to store your cloth wipes, what solution and materials you choose - I think you'll find that using cloth wipes goes hand in hand with the cloth diapering process and is quite an easy transition!

 Lindsey is the author behind the So Easy Being Green blog. Once she decided to use cloth diapers on her children, she started making green-er choices in all areas of her life. SEBG is a resource for parents who want to make small changes that will make a big impact on their path to a green-er life.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Wool Dryer Balls: A Simple Eco-Friendly Drying Solution

With winter just around the corner, the hours of sunlight and the days of “sunning” your diapers will be quickly dwindling. While you can still “sun” your cloth diapers in the winter time because of the UV rays, it is a little more challenging. Have you ever thought of using wool dryer balls to help get your cloth diapers dry in an eco-friendly, cost saving way? These little wool dryer balls may just be your answer!

Wool dryer balls are essentially pure wool wound into a ball. The wool can come in all different scents, styles, or colors depending on the manufacturer. The wool dryer balls are then put into your dryer with your cloth diapers or even laundry. You may start with 3-4 dryer balls, but the more you add, the quicker the drying time and thus the more money you save. Ideally, you would want to be using 7-8 dryer balls to get the maximum cost savings and drying results. The more balls put in the dryer, the more it allows for the clothes or cloth diapers to lift up and dry more efficiently.

One of the best part’s about the dryer balls is that they will last you a very long time. I have had my dryer balls for over 1 year and they are still looking and working great! In addition, they provide your clothes or cloth diapers with an all natural way of softening your fabrics so they don’t feel “crunchy.” There is nothing worse than taking a load of cloth diapers or clothing out of the laundry to have them feel stiff and hard. Another great thing about wool dryer balls is that they don’t put any chemicals on the fabrics that they come into contact with. Unlike traditional fabric softeners or dryer sheets that leave chemicals all over your clothing/cloth diapers, wool dryer balls leave nothing!

So what are you waiting for this winter season? Why not give wool dryer balls a try and see if you like the results. It may change the way you think about traditional laundry methods.

Contributed by: Julie