Thursday, April 5, 2012

Confessions of a "Newbie"

Contributed by Miracle- our newest employee!

When I first discovered I was pregnant with my oldest son in 2007, I immediately began thinking about the best way to birth him and feed him. Like any pregnant or new mother, you research the best options for your child, from car seats and cribs, to daycares and pediatricians.

For me, breastfeeding was a given, as was attempting the most natural and intervention free birth possible. For some reason, it never occurred to me to think about using cloth diapers as part of a more “natural parenting” lifestyle. Diapering was hardly a blip on my radar!

After my son was born, a friend mentioned her use of a hybrid cloth diaper and this allowed me a tiny peek into the world of cloth, but I was still unconvinced. It seemed like this unreachable goal for me and I kept visualizing dipping diapers into the toilet and smelly, stinky mess everywhere. I did not have the
confidence in myself as a new mother to try out a new system. (I have since learned that I am capable, strong, and absolutely can do this!)

As he grew older, I discovered multiple problems with using disposables. He would break out into a rash, they always seemed to leak (up the back blowouts anyone?), they were expensive and smelly, we ran out constantly, and it felt as though my trash was always overflowing. I also started thinking more the environmental impact of these diapers…where do they end up when they are used? A landfill? What resources are being used to make them? What exactly are in these things?

All of these questions continued to follow me through the course of my son’s baby and toddlerhood, but I did not have adequate information, support, or resources to make a decision at that time. When I discovered I was once again pregnant with baby #2, I made a firm decision to research cloth diapering.

What I found was definitely surprising. The variety, ease of use, and flat out cuteness of cloth diapering was amazing. I knew this time I would be able to have success with cloth, I just needed someone to inform and encourage me. With the help of my sister and several people at the store, I was able to stock different types of diapers and covers. Since the birth of my second son, I have not only had success with diapering, but I have grown to love cloth and trying out and collecting different diapers. My husband teases me whenever I come home with new diapers! One of the best moments I have had with cloth diapering is my grandmother telling me how proud of me she is for using cloth. If cloth was good enough for her, it is good enough for me!

So, my confessions are that I was not a faithful cloth user with my oldest son, but I am a loyal cloth user now and I am so glad I made the change! It is never “too late” to try cloth. Even if your child is a toddler, you did not use cloth with your older children, or you just aren’t sure what is out there, switching to cloth can still be a very cost effective and helpful change,. So if you aren’t already using cloth or
considering, give it a try!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Spontaneous Product Review: purEcosheet

Confession: I love fabric softener and/or dryer sheets. I love the smell. I love the feel of fluffy towels. I think part of my adoration stems from warm, fuzzy memories of my mom giving me clothes straight from the dryer that still smelled like Snuggle :)

Sadly, my love affair with "main stream" dryer sheets and fabric softener had to end when I started cloth diapering my son. Part of it was because I knew that they were bad news for the absorption factor of my stash. The bigger issue was my newly gained knowledge of what is actually in those products. Just a few of the ingredients found in fabric softeners like Downy and Snuggle: alpha-terpineol (causes CNS disorders), benzyl acetate(carcinogen-linked to pancreatic cancer), choloroform(neurotoxic, carcinogenic, anesthetic, ethyl acetate (narcotic), linalool (narcotic). Pretty scary, right?

After learning about the potential poisonous side of fabric softener I went cold turkey. I found that using better detergent like Country Save eliminated some of the static automatically but not completely. I've experimented with Ecover's line of fabric softeners but was not overly impressed. Bayla, our fearless leader here at Soft and Cozy Baby, ordered a product called purEcosheet and I was intrigued.

PurEcosheet bills itself as having "all the advantages of a traditional dryer sheet, with none of the chemicals. The perfume, dye and chemical free way to keep your fabrics soft, natural and free of static". I figure it was worth a shot. Two reusable sheets (good for 100s of loads according to the box) is $14.95 so fairly comparable in price to other options out there. The package gives instruction for how to prep (wash in any load of laundry after their first three uses) and maintenance (wash again every 3 months for best performance). After about a month I can tell you that these really do work! My towels and sheets feel softer and my clothes have less static. I cannot think of a single drawback!

Here are some other great things about purEcosheets:
*made in North America
*100% hypoallergenic
*safe for use on infant's sleepwear, cloth diapers, technical fabrics, fine linens and towels
*safe for allergy and eczema and allergy sufferers
*great for baby's sensitive skin
*available from Earth Angels Diaper Company!

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