The Language of Cloth Diapering

There is a lot terminology associated with cloth diapering. Here is a breakdown of common terms and abbreviations as they relate to cloth diapers:

AiO: All in one, a CD that is all one complete piece and does not require any extra parts. Requires a new diaper each after each change and takes longer to dry.

CD: Cloth Diaper.

Covers: a waterproof (PUL) diaper that is placed over fitteds/contoured/flat/prefold diapers.

Fitted(s): (or contoured) are commonly made of cotton,hemp or bamboo. They are secured with Velcro/Aplix or Snappis and require a cover.

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Babies and Coconut Oil

One of the reasons I started using cloth diapers was because I was of the terrible rashes my daughter used to get with disposables. Upon learning the basics of cloth diapers, I also learned what is safe to use with cloth in case a rash appears: organic unrefined coconut oil.

Coconut oil has a very low melting point so it won’t coat cloth diapers causing them to repel. It is a great skin moisturizer and has tons of other uses.

You can cook with it (so delicious for popping corn), moisturize your skin and hair. It is good for treating skin rashes, stretch marks, and eczema. It has antibacterial and antiviral properties and I also good for your metabolism… Amazing! Personally, I used it to treat my baby’s cradle cap: I applied it to his scalp after each bath and brush his head with a cradle cap brush.

Regardless of whether or not you are cloth diapering, after learning so much about the benefits of coconut oil, I believe it’s a good idea to keep a jar of coconut oil handy. With so many possible uses, you’ll be finding yourself using it all the time.

A few tips on purchasing coconut oil:

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Having kids, losing friends

Changes in your life happen, it’s inevitable. A downfall of having children at a young age (I suppose it happens at any age but this is from my personal experience) is the loss of friendships.

When you first break the news you will be sure to find lots of congratulations and encouragement. Not all friends will lose touch during a pregnancy, some will wait until the baby is here to skip out. It sucks, but it’s the moment you realize who your real friends are.

I’m not sure if people assume that having kids equals not having time for anyone else. Maybe it’s the assumption that having a baby changes you so much that you no longer have anything in common. It could be that making plans in general is hard, lets not factor in the problems that come with planning things with kids. Sorry, my daughter wakes up sick sometimes or my plans for childcare have a tendency to fall through. We don’t mean to be flakes but it happens. These friendships require patience.

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Cloth Diapering: It’s not too late to start

Cloth diapering doesn’t have to start from birth or during the newborn stage. Maybe you’ve just gotten into the groove of being a mom and caring for a baby for the first time. Now that the overwhelming part is over, maybe you’re looking into what other moms are doing with their babies right now. Explore the world of cloth diapers, you might fall in love!

Beyond all the different types and styles of cloth diapers, there are tons of colors and patterns available. These aren’t you grandma’s diapers…

Bumgenius 4.0 Pockets

Encouragement for Breastfeeding Moms (who want to give up)

My mother weaned me off at 13 months. This came after an incident at a law office where I walked over to her, said “Mama chi-che!!” and proceeded to pull her buttoned blouse open for all to see. The next day she put peanut butter on her nipple and convinced me it was “caca“, I never nursed again.

Apparently, weaning my sister was not as easy. I guess she was just more astute as an infant than I. When my mom did the peanut butter bit she looked at it confused, wiped it off with her hand and proceeded to latch on. It would take the bitter taste of mustard to convince her that the “chi-che” was no longer in service.

When I gave birth to my daughter, I knew I would be breastfeeding. Little did I know how hard the beginning would be. First, the whole process of nurses man-handling my breasts was uncomfortable to say the least. Then they hooked me up to a medical grade breast pump and I thought my nipples were going to fall off. The next two weeks were not any better. Honestly, I had no idea what I was doing and the bad latch was doing terrible things to my skin.
I reached out for help, I visited the lactation consultant and sought advice from a close friend who had breastfed. The thing that stuck with me was “IT WILL GET BETTER”.

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Cloth diapering: Getting started

Once my son was born, I knew I would soon be starting cloth diapering him. I must admit, I was apprehensive at first. The idea of washing diapers and not bring sure if I was doing it right was pretty scary.

I had one pack of newborn size disposables that I had received at our baby shower. My goal was to not buy any disposables. At about three weeks of age, once his umbilical stump fell off and the circumcision had healed, I knew it was time.

My diaper had been prepped and assembled for a while at that point. I began with 4 a day, only during the day. I had based my stash mostly on gDiapers with a two pack of Bumgenius 4.0 one size. The gDiapers are so cute! However, my whole plan on cloth diapers would soon change.

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Natural aftercare for infant immunizations

It may be a cultural thing, but one of the of the things I remember about my childhood were the home remedies my parents used to take care of me. One of the worst ‘at-the-doctor’ memories I have was when I was 5 and was given a immunization injection with a needle the size of my arm (I’m sure I’m exaggerating but I was 5, give me a break!).
The aftermath of immunizations can be a nightmare. At least I’ve heard it can be. From my understanding, children can get hard knots in their legs as a result of the injection missing a blood vessel and having the fluid injected under the skin, ouch!

My parents always did a saltwater compress and I never suffered from the big swollen red legs. Now, with my own kids, I never take a chance. The saltwater compress is one of the first things I do after my babies get their shots.

Here is the process:

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DIY Cloth Diaper Detergent

The not-so-magic ingredients

Cloth diapering is a great way to save money. When I started rounding up my supplies to get started, I ran into the difficult decision of what cloth diaper detergent to use. First, I trekked around the internet looking for reviews from fellow moms on what worked best. Once I’d narrowed it down to a few, I went over to Amazon and searched pricing. Then it dawned on me… having to buy special cloth diaper detergent on top of my regular detergent for clothing isn’t very cost efficient, I thought the whole point of this was to save money. Since then, my friend gave me a recipe for her own homemade detergent. I tweaked it just a little because we have hard water.

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Getting started living green

With the population of our planet only increasing, being “green” is not a fad, it’s here to stay and I believe it’s important for everyone to do at least a little bit towards living “green”.

My journey began when I made the decision to cloth diaper. I am inspired by women like my mother in law, she is an adamant recycler and compost user.

The idea behind being green is finding ways to produce less waste and thereby reducing your carbon footprint. The kicker with this is that you’ll often times find yourself saving money as well.

As an interior designer, one of my favorite things is recommending money saving products to my clients. That high efficiency washer you paid a little more for will end up saving you in water bills in the long run. The energy efficient appliances you purchase will do the same for your electricity bill. Replacing your old toilet, upgrading your water heater, or installing weatherproofing around your home are all great things to do. All of these have long term effects on how much you pay in utilities. Even starting small; installing aerating faucet adapters on your faucets is a simple step towards saving water.

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