Tag Archives: baby

It’s the Absolute Ultimate!! #2

Gidget’s Ultimate Cloth Diapering Tips

We’ve been using cloth/hybrid diapers part-time for a few months now (I wish we’d started sooner!). Cloth diapers are in fact what started my whole green/eco-friendly/non-toxic kick that I’m gradually incorporating into our daily life. I thought I’d put together a little summary for my interested readers.

  • We use cloth (Bum Genius) or hybrid diapers (gDiapers) as much as possible during the day when at home. We use disposables at night and when we go out, most of the time.
  • I love gDiapers best because they are easy (flushable insert) and less bulky than the cloth dipes. But due to the expense of the liners, I use them less frequently. What I do like to do though, is use 2 BumGenius diaper doublers (each pocket diaper always comes with one of these) or one homemade liner in them.
  • If the Chiquita only peed in a cloth diaper, I often toss the liner in the pail and then re-use the diaper with 2 doublers or 1 homemade liner. The BumGeniuses are excellent at wicking away moisture & odor so they can easily be used again! (I do usually use the reused ones for naps just in case they smell a teensy bit peeish).
  • I insist on using these awesome flushable liners in all cloth diapers (Chiquita is a very sporadic pooper- you never know when she’ll strike) for easier clean-up. I order them from diapers.com who has free shipping if you spend $49. Refer me on your first order for a discount! My referral code is: NIBE4523.
  • I dream of getting one of these (or making one) in the near future for those times when a messy poop goes off the flushable liner.
  • In our bathroom upstairs, we keep a simple rubbermaid trash can from Home Depot with a washable Swaddlebees waterproof liner bag (I have 2 of these to switch out).
  • I do laundry about 2-3 times a week. Here’s my method: 1. dump in all diapers & liner bag; 2. short, cold rinse cycle with a scoop of Borax; 3. Hot/cold cycle: hot wash with Dreft + scoop of baby Oxi Clean, then cold rinse; 4. hang dry in sun (for natural stain-lightening). Never use fabric softener on diapers. The plastic liners that go in the gDiapers I hand wash and hang dry, unless they get poopy, then I throw them in with the rest of the diaper load.
  • With poopy cloth/hybrid diapers I use these flushable wipes. I don’t use these with disposables because they’re just not that great. But it works good with cloth because then you don’t have to worry about baggin’ up poopy wipes to throw away.
  • That’s all I can think of! Please let me know if you have any other questions, and good luck cloth diapering! If you’re interested in buying anything I mentioned here, please click my Shop link above and support this blog through my aStore, or use my referral code on diapers.com. Thank you!! 🙂

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“Green This!” Book Reviews

The two books in Deirdre Imus’ series, Green This, are both very informative.

Vol. 1: Greening Your Cleaning
I’m going to have to buy this one to keep on hand as a reference. She categorizes by room in the house and within each room gives specific tips, products, homemade recipes, etc for cleaning various surfaces. She also gives great background info on why it’s important to detoxify our cleaning routines.

Vol. 2: Growing up Green: Baby and Child Care
I didn’t read this one all the way through (library books are due back today and can’t be renewed this time around!) but I will definitely check it out again when I have another one on the way. What I did read was helpful in understanding how the environment affects our children (diseases & other medical conditions, like asthma & ADHD for example). One reference I found particularly cool was her list of websites for companies that sell natural (non PVC, pthalate, etc) toys.

I will be adding these to the Gidget Goes Home aStore if you’d like to get a copy!

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Homemade Cloth Diaper Liners

We use BumGenius one-size pocket cloth diapers and gDiaper hybrids during the day. In order to make the few we have last longer, I made a few extra liners out of 3 layers of microfiber towels cut to 6.5″ x 12′”. I just sewed a simple zig-zag around and then applied some Fray-Check to the edges because, man, does cut-up microfiber make a mess! Definitely keep a lint-roller handy when you make these! 🙂

Ready to be sewn together.

close-up for edge on finished liner

close-up of edge on finished liner

Stay tuned for more cloth diapering tips in this coming weekend’s edition of Gidget’s It’s The Absolute Ulitmate!

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Drastic times call for… Norah

I’m pretty rigid in my parenting. Rigid, but flexible at the same time, if that’s possible. We keep a schedule, have certain no-giving-in rules (No standing on the furniture!), and basically follow a Babywise philosophy. That said, flexibility and knowing what works for a particular child & circumstance are key ingredients for me in parenting.

Even though we are pretty rigid on some things, we are more lax on others… i.e. still using a pacifer at naps and in the morning in bed. NOTE: I’m so ready to be done with this little addiction. After our camping trip at the end of the month where I know we’re going to want her to have it for our (and the other campers’) sake, we will begin The Final Weaning Process off the paci. Also, because it has been so record-breaking hot here, and Chiquita gets the morning sun beating on her window, we’ve been bringing her a sippy of water in the morning because she’s been waking up early, upset & thirsty. Usually she’ll drink a little, take her paci that we bring her in the morning (to buy me a little more time for getting ready, Quiet Time, etc.) and go back to sleep. We’re hoping this morning drink doesn’t become another addiction…

she's supposed to napping here!

she's supposed to be napping here!

I just wanted to share that it’s a good idea to have some flexibility when the norm isn’t working for whatever reason. Here’s my best example: when Chiquita had her fussy moments as a baby, she always calmed down with some light, jazzy piano music. Her favorite was Norah Jones. I even bought another one of her CDs back then so we could have some variety.

our personal baby whisperer!

our personal baby whisperer!

Now that she’s older, she’s usually a great napper. But occasionally, be it due to teething or a catnap in the car earlier in the day, or whatever, sometimes she really fights going to sleep- I’m talking about hysterics. These occasions are now fewer and far between. But it’s nice knowing that if I get desperate, I can turn to our trusted baby whisperer, Norah. I have an iPod dock in Chiquita’s room for times like these, among others. I slip the iPod in there, let her cry it out while Norah croons, and usually she’s conked out before I know it.  I almost had to bust out Norah today… but alas, my good little girl finally calmed herself down and dozed off. So who knows, maybe she’s outgrowing this phase. But if not, I’m ready, iPod in hand.

**UPDATE: Chiquita woke up after about an hour. I gave her a little water (she was sweaty from napping in the heat), gave her back her paci & blankie, eventually put Norah on and… nothing worked. Don’t you just love the irony here? Classic parenting. Just when you think you’ve got something down, a secret weapon in your pocket say, it fails you miserably. So much for today’s to-do list.

Do you have any parenting hacks for flexibility or Secret Parenting Weapons to share?

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Win Free Cloth Dipes!

I just entered and you can too.
the Baby Cheapskate blog is giving away free Bum Genius diapers (my cloth dipe of choice!).
Here’s the link:
http://babycheapskate.blogspot.com/2008/07/giveaway-12-bumgenius-30-diapers.html

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G*reen Baby!

This whole green kick of mine really got started with cloth diapers. It’s a lot easier than I thought and definitely better for the environment than tossing away a million “landfill” diapers as I’ve heard them be called. We use about 2-4 disposables a day still (overnight and going out of the house for more than a quick trip), and then use cloth or hybrids at home.
Moondoggie even put up a clothesline for me as I read that the sun naturally bleaches out clothes! Not enough room for a full load of adult laundry, but I can at least do some of our laundry outside.

I use Bum Genius cloths along with gDiapers, which are hybrids with flushable inserts. I really like the gDiapers best as they are less bulky, but the inserts can be expensive, so I started using the cloth, microfiber inserts in them and it works great!

And look how cute little Chiquita looks!
The “little g pants” by gDiapers seem like they were made just for our Little G!!

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Sunscreen

The Issue
To exemplify the problem with cosmetics in the U.S. that I brought up in my last post, I wanted to talk a bit about sunscreen. All of you moms, sun-lovers, & sensitive-skin types will agree that this is especially important.
Now, you’d think that the supposedly “#1 Pediatrician Recommended Brand” would be a safe bet. Well, that’s because we are all being mislead by labels on packaging with catch phrases that may or may not be completely true.

I bought and have been using Coppertone WaterBabies QuickCover Lotion Spray SPF 50 for Gianna, along with a couple of others, but we’ll just look the CWB one for now. Click the sunscreen name to see it’s safety rating, keeping in mind that the label promotes it as #1 Pediatrician Recommended Brand– you’ll see that it has a very high hazard score!
You can click HERE to see check out the study that the EWG (Environmental Working Group) did on sunscreens, and find links to their recommended brands, and the ones they say we should avoid (like Exhibit A, above).

A Few Product Suggestions
In case you’re wondering, I’ve bought a couple of the Alba Botanica Sun products to try out for now (Aloe Vanilla Mineral Sunscreen SPF 18, which scores a 3 (moderate), and the Kids Sunscreen SPF 32 Water Resistant (I entered this one in the database so its score is not verified yet, but similar ones were rated moderate).
These are okay products according the safety ratings, although they do supposedly have the most important factors which are both UVA/UVB protection, paraben free, and the Aloe one does not contain ultra-fine nanoparticles (which is something to look out for).
**UPDATE (6/10/08)**
We tried out the new sunscreen today. They both worked great for a long walk and a dip in the pool. The Mineral SPF 18 goes on pretty thick & white but that is the price you pay for no nanoparticles sinking into your skin. The Kids’ SPF 32 one rubbed in nicely and protected Gigi great. My only caveat with the 18 is be careful with your clothes- it got all over the edges of my black swimsuit & blank tank top. I’m going to either have to be more careful, or put it on before my clothes. 🙂 The 32 didn’t seem to have that problem, probably because it’s not a mineral sunscreen.

Dr. Greene, author of Raising Baby Green, uses Baby Avalon Natural sunscreen (I chose to try the Alba Sun ones first because they were on sale!), but what I really want to try is any of the California Baby sunscreens, which are a little more widely available (Target, Babies ‘r’ us ( so I heard), diapers.com, etc.) and score very low on the hazard rating. However, apparently everyone else wants to try them too, because they are currently unavailable everywhere, even directly from California Baby. But I will definitely try them out when they come back to the shelf.

It’s hard to just throw away products that you spent money on, and I haven’t completely done this yet with stuff I use on myself, but with sunscreen I felt that it was worthwhile– they are supposed to protect us from skin cancer, but are they inadvertently exposing us to other forms of cancer, or other medical conditions? A friend of mine told me that she just did the same thing and her husband pointed out, okay, so we’re throwing away like $35 in sunscreen. Is that $35 really going to matter down the road if we’re exposing our daughter to dangerous stuff? And to quote my “#1 research assistant” & friend Sarah, you either “pay now or pay later.”

Side note: EWG also did a study on children’s personal care products which has a handy printable guide with recommendations & buying guidelines. See it HERE. If you are a little skeptical of this, read this article from Fox News.

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