Introducing ClothReviews.com

win a qdspray sink connected diaper sprayer

I’m excited to introduce my readers ClothReviews.com, a new resource for the cloth diaper community. This site is designed specifically to feature consumer-submitted cloth diaper reviews. To celebrate the launch, Cloth Reviews is giving away LOTS of awesome prizes every day this week! Each giveaway has five winners and is only open for 24 hours.

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Cloth Diaper Grammar

I’m a grammar nerd. I can’t help myself. In the ninth grade I won a gold medal for some grammar test we took in my English class, and I was way proud of that bling.

(And hey, I’m not perfect, but when I do find grammar or spelling errors on my blog, I experience almost the same level of embarrassment as when I accidentally dropped my underwear on the floor at Starbucks.)

Welcome to today’s lesson on parts of speech.

cloth diaper grammar

cloth diaper

klôTH/ˈdī(ə)pər/

noun

  • An adorable piece of fabric material wrapped around a baby’s bottom, providing both function and fashion to the tiny wearer.
  • “I am addicted to cloth diapers.”

verb

  • To put a cloth diaper on a baby.
  • “Before I even got pregnant, I knew I was going to cloth diaper my baby.”

adjective

  • One who uses (and possibly obsesses over) cloth diapers.
  • “I just read a really a strange blog post about grammar from that cloth diaper weirdo.”

How to Prepare for a Great C-Section

I never considered the possibility that I would have a c-section. My first son was born at home without complications, and my husband and I were planning another home birth for our second child. My second pregnancy was just as easy and enjoyable as my first (yay for no morning sickness!), and at my 35-week appointment, the baby was in a good position with his head down.

Much to our surprise, at 37 weeks, we discovered that our baby had moved into the transverse (sideways) position. Suddenly I was faced with the possibility that he might have to be born via c-section, and I was absolutely terrified. I cried. Over the next two weeks, I tried everything to get the baby to move – handstands in the pool, chiropractic care, funny positions on the couch, and finally, an external cephalic version in the hospital. Nothing made him budge.

At 39 weeks with a still-transverse baby, I had to accept the fact that a c-section was going to be the only safe option for delivery. I cried about it some more, but then resolved to be mentally prepared for the experience so that I could be relaxed and happy on my baby’s birthday. However, most of the resources I found online about c-sections were covered with admonitions about how to avoid them and reminders that it is MAJOR ABDOMINAL SURGERY that shouldn’t be taken lightly. (Seriously, why does everyone have to say that phrase over and over in all caps? I get it already!)

So there I was, nervously facing a scheduled c-section, having tried everything I could to avoid it. I didn’t want to be a panicked mess on the day of my baby’s birth. I spent the next week working to find a sense of peace, and in the end, I had a beautiful c-section experience. If you’re in the same situation as I was, I hope these suggestions will help you to have a joyful birth experience as well!

How to Prepare for a C-Section

Word Play

I only had a week to get used to the fact that my baby was going to be born via c-section. Every time I thought about it, I was overwhelmed by scary images of being sliced open on a cold operating table and being left with a Frankenstein-like scar afterward.

Then I remembered a little word trick that some natural-birth advocates use. If you’ve read many natural birth books, you’ll notice that lots of them don’t use the word contraction – they say things like surge or wave. Why? I think it’s because contraction has become too synonymous with pain, so for many women, it automatically invokes a sense of fear. Use a different word, and you don’t think about the pain aspect so much.

Therefore, I made a conscious effort not to use the words c-section, operation, or surgery. It was simply birth. This took my mind off my fears and reminded me of the joyous event that was going to take place.

Visualization

I checked into the hospital about 10 days before my due date to try an external cephalic version, a procedure where the doctor tries to turn the baby into the right position with his hands on your belly. Unfortunately, it didn’t work for us. I had to stay for an hour after the procedure so that they could monitor the baby, so I took the opportunity to talk to the nurses about what to expect on the day I checked in for the birth. Although it made me nervous to talk about it, I knew I needed a play-by-play of what was going to happen.

I also watched some YouTube videos of c-sections from the perspective of the parents. It was such a relief to see those moms smiling and talking through the procedure. It wasn’t torture at all! (Warning: There are a lot of YouTube videos out there with graphic footage of what’s happening on the sterile side of the curtain. I steered clear of those – that was more detail than I wanted or needed!)

Finally, I asked a few close friends about their c-section experiences and recommendations. Not only did I get some great practical advice, but it helped remind me that these friends are happy, healthy, active women who recovered just fine – and so would I.

Each night before bed, I would close my eyes and visualize our arrival at the hospital, getting an IV, getting in a wheelchair and being rolled to the operating room, receiving the anesthesia, having my husband sitting by my head, and finally, seeing our baby for the first time! The first time I went through the visualization process it made me extremely nervous (yes, I think I cried). But after a week of doing it, I felt a lot more confident!

Music

While I was in labor for my home birth two years ago, we played gentle music and kept the lights low to create a relaxing atmosphere. Unfortunately, you can’t really control the ambiance in the OR – the lights will be very bright and the doctors and nurses in the room will probably be chatting away about what they did over the weekend. (Actually, the chatting was kind of comforting – it reminded me that they knew what they were doing and it wasn’t a tense life-or-death situation!) However, I really wanted to have my own music with me, especially for the 10 or 15 minutes between the start of the surgery and the time when we got to see our baby!

I made a playlist on my iPhone and asked my husband to lay it down next to my head. Once our son was born, my husband walked to the other side of the room to take pictures while the nurses cleaned him up. For those few minutes while I was alone and still being stitched up, I had my music to keep me happy and relaxed. I think I even might have been singing along to it out loud – I was just so filled with happiness that I couldn’t help myself!

Affirmations

For those who aren’t familiar with the concept of “birth affirmations”, they’re just short, positive statements that you can repeat before and during labor. Typical natural-birth affirmations might read:

  • My body knows how to give birth.
  • My baby will be born easily.
  • Each contraction/surge brings my baby closer to being in my arms.

I’ll admit, when I first read about birth affirmations I thought they sounded stupid. I rolled my eyes and swore I would never do something that lame.

Lo and behold, though, when I was in a particularly intense part of my home birth labor, I grabbed my copy of Birthing From Within in desperation and started spouting off affirmations like crazy. And it helped! I was in labor land and my brain wasn’t working the way it normally does. I didn’t need a lot of logic, I just needed the repetition of those easy, positive statements – it really gave me an enormous boost of confidence and energy.

Therefore, in preparing for my c-section experience, I thought that affirmations might help to clear away any last-minute nervousness. My list of c-section birth affirmations was a little different, but included things like:

  • God wants us to rejoice at the miracle of birth – no matter how it happens. 
  • God designed my body heal quickly and easily.
  • I am thankful that my baby can be born safely this way.
  • I will feel no pain; only joy at the birth of my son.
  • I trust my doctor, the anesthesiologist, and the nurses.

It’s now been two weeks since the birth of my son, and my recovery has been fantastic! I’m so thankful that my c-section experience turned out so great. If you’ve been through a c-section, comment below with your advice on how to prepare!

Paleo Resolutions

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On January 1, my husband made an impressive resolution: to start the oh-so-trendy, all-over-the-blogosphere Paleo diet. I believe he made this resolution in his mind on December 31 without really having any knowledge of the Paleo diet other than having seen some fantastic before-and-after photos of someone who had supposedly followed it for 30 days and lost a lot of weight.

In response to my dear sweet husband’s announcement that he wanted to “go Paleo”, I must confess that I was much less than an encouraging, supportive wife. It’s just that this man doesn’t really like vegetables, and based on my fuzzy recollection of the Paleo guidelines, I was pretty sure that vegetables were supposed to play a large part. I mean, he once happily lived on cereal for breakfast, sandwiches for lunch, and cereal for dinner every day for over a month I was working on the other side of the globe. How did he think he was going to give up grains??

While trying to figure out what to buy at the grocery store, I found myself constantly asking my husband about which foods the Paleo Powers that Be would permit. He got tired of answering me, so he boiled it down to two simple questions, which I have illustrated below in a handy flow chart:

The Paleo Diet, simplified (by a man).

So now you can understand why it’s really been more the “Bacon & Eggs” diet going on around here. I can’t believe I’m actually saying this, because I normally love bacon, but reaaaaaally I’m getting tired of the smell of it. I mean, isn’t there a limit to how much bacon should actually be good for a person!?

I certainly don’t have anything against you if you’re into the Paleo thing, it’s just that I’m largely pregnant and very stubborn and I personally have no interest in it. Plus, I thought that the original premise of the Paleo diet was to eat like a caveman. If so, why do I see nothing but “Paleo Chocolate Chip Cookies” and “Paleo Thin Mint Cookies” recipes plastered all over my Pinterest feed? I don’t think cavemen baked cookies, folks. That’s just your wishful thinking.

Homemade Baby Products: 20 Recipes

Natural, Homemade Baby Products: 20 Easy Recipes

Many moms choose to use cloth diapers to keep chemicals away from their babies’ delicate skin. Do you follow this same line of thinking when it comes to other baby products as well?

There’s a growing movement of concern about body (including baby) products that contain carcinogenic chemicals such as 1,4-dioxane and formaldehyde. Phthalates and parabens, both of which have been linked to hormonal and reproductive abnormalities, can also be found in many personal-care products. Unfortunately, none of these chemicals are regulated in the United States. Plus, the ingredients in fragrances don’t have to be disclosed – manufacturers can just lump all those chemicals into the word “fragrance”.

I’m certainly not an expert in these issues, and I don’t mean the above paragraph to cause unnecessary fears. Sometimes I’m not sure whether these things are worth worrying about. We’ll always be exposed to things like this in some regard just by living in modern society.

However, I’ve been having fun and $aving Money by experimenting with making my own baby products lately, and by doing so, I have confidence that I’m not putting weird preservatives or other unknown chemicals in products that touch my baby! If you’re looking to try your hand at making a few baby care products yourself, start with the list below!

Homemade Diaper Ointments

Make your own diaper rash ointment

Homemade Baby Wipe Solutions

Make Your Own Baby Wipe Solutions

Homemade Baby Shampoo

Make Your Own Baby Shampoo

Homemade Baby Lotion

Make your own baby lotion

Homemade Teething Remedies

Homemade Teething Remedies

Homemade Nursing Balms

Three-Nursing-Balms-For-New-Mothers

Typical Ingredients

Homemade baby products are generally less expensive than store-bought. Plus, if you start making several different kinds of baby care products, you’ll find that you’re using a lot of the same ingredients in different ways, so you can buy the ingredients in larger quantities to save even more money!

The most common ingredients found in the 20 links above include:

affiliate link disclosure


Do you make your own baby products? If so, what’s your primary motivation – cost savings or chemical avoidance? Feel free to link up your favorite recipes from other sources in the comments below!

DIY Natural Diaper Rash Cream

The easiest make-your-own diaper rash cream recipe EVER! Safe for cloth diapers, too!

I’m not much of a do-it-yourselfer, and I’m highly partial to Grandma Els, so the thought of making my own diaper cream had never really crossed my mind. It was just something people on Pinterest do.

Then one day, while picking up some Christmas wrapping supplies at my local craft store, I passed the aisle with supplies for making your own candles, soap, and lotions. Who has time for that? Apparently, lots of people. The aisle was pretty crowded.

Suddenly, the irrationally competitive side of me woke up. I can be like those make-their-own-soap-and-candles-and-lotions ladies. I’m going to make my own… umm… something. Glancing around, I saw beeswax and shea butter. DIAPER RASH CREAM IT IS. The little voice inside my head questioned, “Are you MOM enough?!?”

Oh yes. Yes, I am Mom enough to make homemade natural diaper rash cream. Challenge accepted.

Ingredients for making your own diaper rash cream

I brought my supplies home and took a closer look at some of the do-it-yourself diaper rash cream recipes that I’ve seen on other blogs. Again, let me remind you: making stuff from scratch isn’t usually my thing. I quickly get overwhelmed when looking over recipes with too many ingredients or steps. I like simple things.

I’m the kind of girl experiences a feeling of euphoria upon learning new keyboard shortcuts.

Therefore, when I saw that other diaper cream recipes called for using a double boiler, I made the executive decision that the microwave would have to do for my recipe. I’m happy to report that the microwave edition of my homemade natural diaper rash cream was a success and clean-up was a breeze. I used four simple ingredients, mixed and melted them, and now I have two and a half jars of ointment that will last me forever. (I’m using one jar on the changing table, one for hand cream, and one for lip balm.)

I hereby present to you the easiest homemade natural diaper rash cream you can find:microwave diaper rash cream recipe

The ingredients include:

Place all ingredients in a microwave-safe glass container. Heat in 30-second intervals at 50% power, stirring in between. When completely melted, pour into jars or tins and allow to cool.

And don’t worry – this cream will NOT wreck your diapers or cause repelling. How do I know? Check my cloth-safe ingredient list!


Do you ever make your own body or beauty products?

Cloth Diaper Deals for Black Friday

BlackFridayClothDiaperDeals890

The Black Friday to Cyber Monday weekend is hands-down THE BEST time of year to catch sales on cloth diapers. If you’re expecting, still expanding your stash, or simply addicted to buying cloth diapers, now is your opportunity!

The list below contains hundreds of special deals available now! By default, the list is sorted by the item name, but you can click on the column headers to sort by store name or shipping destination.

Item(s)DealShips ToStore
A Happy Green Life 10-20% offWorldwideKissed by the Moon
Aden + Anais (All Products)20% offIn store onlyFiggyFuzz Baby Boutique
AMP OS Duo Diapers and Stay Dry AIO10% offCanadaLagoon Baby
AMP One-Size Duo Pocket25% offUSOver the Moon Diapers
AppleCheeks (All Products)15% offWorldwideFiggyFuzz Baby Boutique
AppleCheeks 10-15% offWorldwideKissed by the Moon
AppleCheeks (All Products except packages)15% offCanadaLagoon Baby
Baby Bear Crafts (All Products)15% offWorldwideFiggyFuzz Baby Boutique
Baby Greens 10-20% offWorldwideKissed by the Moon
Baby NasoKleen (All Products)30% offWorldwideFiggyFuzz Baby Boutique
BabyHawk Mystery Hawk Mei Tais & Oh Mei!50% offWorldwideFiggyFuzz Baby Boutique
BabyKicks (All Products)20% offWorldwideFiggyFuzz Baby Boutique
BabyKicks Basic Pocket Diaper$9.95 each over 30% offUSGreen Baby Elephant
BabyLegs 10-20% offWorldwideKissed by the Moon
BabyLegs (All Products)20% offCanadaLagoon Baby
Balm! Baby Teething products15% offUSBasic Baby
Balm! Baby 10-20% offWorldwideKissed by the Moon
Bamboobies (All Products)15% offWorldwideFiggyFuzz Baby Boutique
Bamboobies (All Products)10% offUSGreen Baby Elephant
Best Bottom Covers & Inserts10% offUSGreen Bean Babies
Best Bottom 10% offWorldwideKissed by the Moon
Best Bottom (All Products)10% offUSOver the Moon Diapers
Birds and Bees Teas Teas20% offUSBasic Baby
Blueberry/Swaddlebees Coveralls15% offUSBasic Baby
Blueberry/Swaddlebees (All Products)25% until 10am then 20% OffWorldwideFiggyFuzz Baby Boutique
Blueberry/Swaddlebees White/Bleached Flats30% offWorldwideFiggyFuzz Baby Boutique
Blueberry/Swaddlebees One-Size Combo Inserts40% offWorldwideFiggyFuzz Baby Boutique
Blueberry/Swaddlebees 10-20% offWorldwideKissed by the Moon
Blueberry/Swaddlebees All diapers and covers15% offCanadaLagoon Baby
Bluebird Diapers Cloth Wipes20% offUSBasic Baby
Bluebird Diapers DSQ Prefold DiapersBuy 3, Get 1 FreeUSBasic Baby
Boba 3G Carrier15% offUSBasic Baby
Boba 10% offWorldwideKissed by the Moon
Boba Baby WrapReceive a $10 Over the Moon gift card with purchase (put Boba in cart; gift certificate will appear as a pop-up)USOver the Moon Diapers
Boba 3G CarrierReceive a $30 Over the Moon gift card with purchase (put Boba in cart; gift certificate will appear as a pop-up)USOver the Moon Diapers
Boingo (All Products)10% offWorldwideFiggyFuzz Baby Boutique
Bottombumpers All Products (excluding customs)Buy 5, Get 1 FreeWorldwideFiggyFuzz Baby Boutique
Bravado Nursing Bras15% offUSBasic Baby
bumGenius all diapers10% offUSBasic Baby
bumGenius (All Products)25% until 10am then 20% OffUS OnlyFiggyFuzz Baby Boutique
bumGenius select styles/colors only30% offUS OnlyFiggyFuzz Baby Boutique
bumGenius 4.0 Pocket25% offUSGreen Bean Babies
bumGenius FreeTime All-in-One25% offUSGreen Bean Babies
bumGenius Elemental All-in-One30% offUSGreen Bean Babies
bumGenius Select 4.0s$13 Door Buster: Wave 1 10-11 PM PST Thanksgiving, Wave 2 5-6 AM PST Black FridayUSGreen Diaper Demos
bumGenius (All Products)20% off Black Friday - Cyber MondayUSGreen Diaper Demos
bumGenius 10-20% offWorldwideKissed by the Moon
bumGenius Elemental All-in-One10% offUSOver the Moon Diapers
Bummis Newborn, Small, Medium and Large Super Brite and Super Whisper Wrap Covers20-30% offCanadaCloth Diaper Kids
Bummis (All Products)20% offWorldwideFiggyFuzz Baby Boutique
Bummis Covers and Prefolds15% offCanadaLagoon Baby
BunchaFarmers (All Products)10% offWorldwideFiggyFuzz Baby Boutique
Changing Diapers Book 5WorldwideFiggyFuzz Baby Boutique
Charlie Banana OS Diapers and Hanging Pails10% offCanadaLagoon Baby
Chewbeads Necklaces & Teethers (all styles)15% offUSBasic Baby
CJ's (All Products)25% until 10am then 20% OffWorldwideFiggyFuzz Baby Boutique
CJ's BUTTer & Bug Banisher25% offUSGreen Bean Babies
CJ's Samples$1 Door Buster: Wave 1 10-11 PM PST Thanksgiving, Wave 2 5-6 AM PST Black FridayUSGreen Diaper Demos
CJ's Pot$10 Door Buster: Wave 1 10-11 PM PST Thanksgiving, Wave 2 5-6 AM PST Black FridayUSGreen Diaper Demos
CJ's Tub$15 Door Buster: Wave 1 10-11 PM PST Thanksgiving, Wave 2 5-6 AM PST Black FridayUSGreen Diaper Demos
CJ's Spritz$7 Door Buster: Wave 1 10-11 PM PST Thanksgiving, Wave 2 5-6 AM PST Black FridayUSGreen Diaper Demos
CJ's 10-20% offWorldwideKissed by the Moon
CJ's (All Products)15% offUSOver the Moon Diapers
Creative Knitwear Sports Apparel15% offUSBasic Baby
Delish Naturals (All Products)25% until 10am then 20% OffWorldwideFiggyFuzz Baby Boutique
Destiny Boutique 10-20% offWorldwideKissed by the Moon
Disana Wool CoverJust $19.95USOver the Moon Diapers
Diva Cup (All Products)20% offWorldwideFiggyFuzz Baby Boutique
Dry Mama Nursing padsBuy 1, Get 1 Half OffUSBasic Baby
Earth Mama Angel Baby Teas15% offUSBasic Baby
Eco Sprout (All Products)10% offWorldwideFiggyFuzz Baby Boutique
Eco Sprout Laundry Detergent25% offUSGreen Bean Babies
Eco Sprout (All Products)10% off Black Friday - Cyber MondayUSGreen Diaper Demos
Eco Vessel (All Products)10% offWorldwideFiggyFuzz Baby Boutique
Eco Vessel Scout Bottle, Cloth Rocks40% offWorldwideFiggyFuzz Baby Boutique
Eco-Kids (All Products)20% offWorldwideFiggyFuzz Baby Boutique
Econobum (All Products)15% offUS OnlyFiggyFuzz Baby Boutique
EcoPosh One-Size Hybrid Fitted DiapersJust $26.95USOver the Moon Diapers
Episencial Babytime! Sunny Sunscreen5WorldwideFiggyFuzz Baby Boutique
Episencial Playful Wash20% offUSGreen Bean Babies
Episencial Protective Face Balm20% offUSGreen Bean Babies
Episencial Soothing Cream25% offUSGreen Bean Babies
Episencial Sunny Sunscreen25% offUSGreen Bean Babies
Flip (All Products)10% offUSGreen Baby Elephant
Flip Select Covers$8.50 Door Buster: Wave 1 10-11 PM PST Thanksgiving, Wave 2 5-6 AM PST Black FridayUSGreen Diaper Demos
Flip (All Products)20% off Black Friday - Cyber MondayUSGreen Diaper Demos
Flip 10-20% offWorldwideKissed by the Moon
Flip One-Size Cover20% offUSOver the Moon Diapers
Flip Daytime Organic Inserts (3-pack)Buy 1, Get 1 FreeUSOver the Moon Diapers
Flip Stay-Dry Inserts (3-pack)Buy 1, Get 1 FreeUSOver the Moon Diapers
FREEBIES: *First 10 orders that are placed will get a free Delish Yum Bum Butter Mini or Pipestone Handmade Soap included in their order :)0CanadaCloth Diaper Kids
FREEBIES: Level 1: Detergent sample OR Diaper Rash Cream Sample OR Lip BalmFree with $15+ PurchaseWorldwideFiggyFuzz Baby Boutique
FREEBIES: Level 2: Baby Legs or Reusable Snack Bag + lower freebiesFree with $25+ PurchaseWorldwideFiggyFuzz Baby Boutique
FREEBIES: Level 3: AppleCheeks wet bag OR Piggy Paint + lower freebiesFree with $40+ PurchaseWorldwideFiggyFuzz Baby Boutique
FREEBIES: Level 4: Full Size Bath or Skicare Product + lower freebiesFree with $65+ PurchaseWorldwideFiggyFuzz Baby Boutique
FREEBIES: Level 5: One-Size Diaper (RV $17.95+) + lower freebiesFree with $100+ PurchaseWorldwideFiggyFuzz Baby Boutique
FREEBIES: Level 6: Aden + Anais Swaddle Blanket + lower freebiesFree with $175+ PurchaseWorldwideFiggyFuzz Baby Boutique
FREEBIES: Level 7: Onya Baby Cruiser Carrier or $100 Gift CertificateFree with $500+ PurchaseWorldwideFiggyFuzz Baby Boutique
FREEBIES: Too many to list!Various free items with purchases.USGreen Baby Elephant
FREEBIES: Level 5: Get a free Crow Mountain Crafts soap sample, a free Planet Wise sandwich bag, and a free medium or wet/dry Planet Wise bag (value approx. $28.25-$30.25)$150.01-$199WorldwideKissed by the Moon
FREEBIES: Level 6: Get a free Crow Mountain Crafts soap sample, a free medium or wet/dry Planet Wise bag, and a free 8 oz. tub of CJ's Butter. (value approx. $35.25-$37.25)$199.01+WorldwideKissed by the Moon
FREEBIES: Level 2: Get a free Crow Mountain Crafts soap sample and a free full size Crow Mountain Crafts bath salts (value approx. $6.25)$30.01-$60WorldwideKissed by the Moon
FREEBIES: Level 3: Get a free Crow Mountain Crafts soap sample, a CJ's sample, and a free Planet Wise sandwich bag (value approx. $11)$60.01-$99WorldwideKissed by the Moon
FREEBIES: Level 4: Get a free Crow Mountain Crafts soap sample, a free Planet Wise sandwich bag, and a small Planet Wise wet bag (value approx. $18.75)$99.01-$150WorldwideKissed by the Moon
FREEBIES: Level 1: Get a free Crow Mountain Crafts soap sample (value up to $1.25)0-$30WorldwideKissed by the Moon
Funky Fluff Diapers & Wet Bags 20% off, Bundles 15% offCanadaLagoon Baby
Funky Fluff (All Products)15% offUS & Canadathe Joyful Giraffe
FuzziBunz OS Elites15% offCanadaLagoon Baby
FuzziBunz One-Size Elite+15% offUSOver the Moon Diapers
FuzziBunz Trickle Free Trainers All Sizes and Prints80% offCanadaCloth Diaper Kids
Geffen Baby 10-20% offWorldwideKissed by the Moon
Grandma El's (All Products)15% offWorldwideFiggyFuzz Baby Boutique
Green Eats In stock only50% offUS OnlyFiggyFuzz Baby Boutique
GroVia All diapers & accessories10% offUSBasic Baby
GroVia In stock only50% offWorldwideFiggyFuzz Baby Boutique
GroVia One Size All in Ones All PrintsBuy 2, Get 1 FreeUSGreen Baby Elephant
GroVia One Size Shells All PrintsBuy 2, Get 1 FreeUSGreen Baby Elephant
GroVia Organic Cotton Soaker PadsBuy 2, Get 1 FreeUSGreen Baby Elephant
GroVia Stay Dry Soaker PadsBuy 2, Get 1 FreeUSGreen Baby Elephant
Grovia New Print Shells and OS AIO, and soakersBuy 2, Get 1 FreeCanadaLagoon Baby
GroVia One-Size AIOsBuy 2, Get 1 Free (put 2 in cart; free diaper will be offered at checkout)USOver the Moon Diapers
Haba All Toys15% offUSBasic Baby
Hape All Toys15% offUSBasic Baby
Happy Green Life 10-20% offWorldwideKissed by the Moon
Healing Amber (All Products)10% offWorldwideFiggyFuzz Baby Boutique
Healing Hazel (All Products)20% offWorldwideFiggyFuzz Baby Boutique
Healing Hazel 10-20% offWorldwideKissed by the Moon
Hemp Babies (All Products)10% offUS OnlyFiggyFuzz Baby Boutique
Imagine Baby FlatsOne free size 1 Snappi with a 6-pack purchase of prefoldsUSGreen Baby Elephant
ImseVimse Stain Soap40% offWorldwideFiggyFuzz Baby Boutique
iPlay Bathing Suits & Swim Diapers30% offUSGreen Bean Babies
itti bitti Tutto All-in-Two Cloth DiaperAll Tuttos on sale for $19.95CanadaBumbini Cloth Diaper Company
itti bitti Soaker Sets (Stay-Dry & Bamboo)Buy 2, Get 1 FreeCanadaBumbini Cloth Diaper Company
itti bitti discontinued d'lish Snap-in-One$13.50 Door Buster: Wave 1 10-11 PM PST Thanksgiving, Wave 2 5-6 AM PST Black FridayUSGreen Diaper Demos
itti bitti (All Products)10% off Black Friday - Cyber MondayUSGreen Diaper Demos
itti bitti (All Products)25% offCanadaLagoon Baby
Janod All Toys15% offUSBasic Baby
Jellystone (All Products)10% offUSGreen Baby Elephant
Jellystone 10-20% offWorldwideKissed by the Moon
Knickernappies PrefoldsOne free size 1 Snappi with a 6-pack purchase of prefoldsUSGreen Baby Elephant
Laundry Tarts Detergent and Tumbler Tarts 10% off, Shakers and Scent Kits 15% offCanadaLagoon Baby
Lil Joeys In stock only30% offWorldwideFiggyFuzz Baby Boutique
Lily & Momo Hair AccessoriesBuy 3, Get 1 FreeUSBasic Baby
Lin Taylor Accessories 10-20% offWorldwideKissed by the Moon
Little Beetle "One" Fitted Diaper50% off - use code BLACKFRIDAY13WorldwideBumbini Cloth Diaper Company
Little Boppers (All Products)20% offWorldwideFiggyFuzz Baby Boutique
LoveyBums Wool30% offCanadaLagoon Baby
LunaPads (All Products)30% offWorldwideFiggyFuzz Baby Boutique
Lunette (All Products)10% offWorldwideFiggyFuzz Baby Boutique
Lunette Menstrual Cup20% offUSGreen Bean Babies
Lunette 10-20% offWorldwideKissed by the Moon
Magic Bum Diaper Rash & Diaper Oils20% offUSGreen Bean Babies
Maya Wrap Ring Slings15% offUSBasic Baby
Maya Wrap (All Products)15% offWorldwideFiggyFuzz Baby Boutique
Maya Wrap Ring SlingFree with $350+ PurchaseWorldwideFiggyFuzz Baby Boutique
Mel's Crocheted Creations (All Products)50% offWorldwideFiggyFuzz Baby Boutique
Momma Goose amber & hazelwood15% offUSBasic Baby
Momma Nature (All Products)20% offWorldwideFiggyFuzz Baby Boutique
Monkey Foot Designs (All Products)20% offWorldwideFiggyFuzz Baby Boutique
Monkey Foot Designs (All Products)15% offCanadaLagoon Baby
Motherease 10-20% offWorldwideKissed by the Moon
Motherease Covers and DiapersBuy 5, Get 1 FreeCanadaLagoon Baby
Motherlove Herbal (All Products)15% offWorldwideFiggyFuzz Baby Boutique
MotherMoonPads 10-20% offWorldwideKissed by the Moon
NoseFrida (All Products)10% offWorldwideFiggyFuzz Baby Boutique
Onya Baby Cruiser40% offWorldwideFiggyFuzz Baby Boutique
OsoCozy All Products (except Toddler Prefolds that are 40% off)20% offWorldwideFiggyFuzz Baby Boutique
OsoCozy Toddler Prefolds40% offWorldwideFiggyFuzz Baby Boutique
OsoCozy Diaper Sprayer15% offUSGreen Bean Babies
OsoCozy Flushable Liners15% offUSGreen Bean Babies
Piggy Paint Polish or Remover10% offUSBasic Baby
Piggy Paint (All Products)40% offUS OnlyFiggyFuzz Baby Boutique
Pink Daisy (All Products)20% offWorldwideFiggyFuzz Baby Boutique
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Zinc Oxide and Cloth Diapers

Does ZINC OXIDE Cause Repelling in Cloth Diapers?  -via Diaper Wrecker

I don’t have to tell you that repelling is a dirty word amongst cloth diapering parents.

“You used WHAT BRAND OF DIAPER CREAM? Omg. You’re totally going to have repelling issues.”

You probably know that fabric softeners and ultra-greasy diaper creams are common culprits when it comes to repelling. Remember when I tried to ruin a diaper with Downy and Desitin? But how about zinc oxide? It’s an ingredient found in a lot of skin-care products and it’s hailed as a great cure for diaper rash.

Zinc Oxide and Cloth Diapers – Can They Get Along?

It’s a question that most cloth-diapering parents would like an answer to, considering the large number of popular diaper creams that contain zinc oxide – some marketed as “natural” products and some not. To name just a few, you have Desitin Rapid Relief, California Baby Diaper Rash Cream, Aveeno Baby Diaper Rash Cream, Boudreaux’s Butt Paste, Badger Organic Zinc Oxide Diaper Cream, and the new GroVia Magic Stick “Z”. Plus tons more.

More often than not, I read warnings that zinc oxide and cloth diapers aren’t exactly… sympatico. (Yes, I wrote that thinking in the voice of Flynn Ryder from Tangled. I’m putting that on my list of movies to watch again soon.)

Tangled

For example:

  • According to a page on the Earth Mama Angel Baby website: “Zinc oxide coats cloth diapers and renders them non-absorbent.”
  • Similarly, the Motherlove blog indicates that ”Zinc is not a cloth diaper friendly ingredient; it’s made to repel moisture from a baby’s skin so if it comes in contact with a cloth diaper unfortunately it will also work the same effects in the place where you really want absorbency.”

However, Anne over at the Zephyr Hill blog makes a fabulous case that zinc oxide has been unfairly blamed for repelling. Anne argues that it’s actually a matter of what else is in the diaper cream – after all, zinc oxide is a powder, so it has to be mixed with other ingredients to form a cream that can be applied to baby’s bottom.

Zinc Oxide Plus What?

Let’s take that list of diaper creams and examine the creamy/oily/greasy ingredients in each. Taking those other ingredients as an indication of whether the product is cloth-safe or not really matches up with most of the anecdotal evidence I’ve heard from other moms about which creams cause repelling and which don’t:

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What’s been your experience with zinc oxide and cloth diapers? Leave your wisdom below! 

A “Real Food” Thanksgiving Challenge

Crunchy Nana's "Real Food" Thanksgiving 2012

Thanksgiving 2012 with my three daughters (and one of my four grandchildren)

When I was a young mom, I had visions of “Little House on the Prairie” when it came to raising our family and keeping our home. I cloth diapered all our babies (at a time when disposables were the new and popular thing to do), breastfed those babies, sewed almost all of our clothing, knit sweaters, tended a garden, canned the harvest—well, you get the idea. The years passed quickly and I found myself juggling the demands of three busy little girls and their activities, church duties, PTA meetings, a sewing and alteration business, raising pug puppies, and running an in-home day care for anywhere from 1-5 preschoolers. I started falling into the habit of using a fair amount of processed foods just to speed things along in the kitchen. It didn’t seem like a big deal; I still made most of our meals at home.

I Saw the “Real Food” Light

Fast forward to 2011. All of our children were grown, but I was still in the habit of using convenience foods in my kitchen. One of my daughters found a blog that she thought I would enjoy, so I started following 100 Days of Real Food.

I couldn’t read about this “real food” thing fast enough! I quickly began to clean out the processed foods from my pantry, refrigerator and freezer. The more I read, the more I wanted to make a lot of changes to the way we were eating, and it felt almost overwhelming.

I had so many things to learn about which products to buy, which cooking techniques are best, and which new kitchen tools would be helpful. In my typical way, I wanted all those things to be accomplished yesterday! (I tend to be a little OCD sometimes – or CDO if you prefer the letters in alphabetical order!)

Encouragement for Your Healthy Eating Changes

Since I began cutting processed foods two years ago, I’ve lost 40 pounds. This happened gradually with no change to my regular exercise routine.

Crunchy Nana lost 40 pounds by cutting out processed foods!

Over the last several years, I’ve done some things “wrong”, but many more things right. My biggest mistake was feeling guilty when I didn’t do everything perfectly- which defeats the whole purpose of adopting a healthy lifestyle. It’s okay to strive for perfection, but realize that you will have fallbacks and triumphs. Most importantly, enjoy your journey and keep it going!

If you’ve recently begun your own journey to eat in a more healthy way and use safer products in your home, take a little something from me: It’s ok to take it one step at a time! Any change you’re making for the better is a good one!

Following the 80/20 rule is a good way for me to stay in balance. I try to “eat real” 80% of the time, and other times, when I eat at restaurants or  with friends, I don’t worry or feel guilty. The important thing is that you are making changes that will benefit you and your family for years to come.

Tools I Recommend

After I cleared my kitchen of processed foods, I slowly began to collect tools that would make cooking from scratch easier and more efficient. I now regularly use my Kitchenaid Mixer for making homemade bread, pasta, or pizza dough. I also have a Crock Pot and pressure cooker to save time on days when I’m going to be gone most of the day.

To save money, I invested in a FoodSaver. Most of the time I am cooking only for my husband and myself, but I still like to purchase food in bulk and make food in large batches. When I come home from my farm co-op or Costco, I spend a little time packing up smaller amounts of food for storage in the freezer or pantry. I am able to get the food at a great price and reduce waste—win/win!

Last week I added one another fun item to my “stash”, a Nutrimill Grain Mill. It makes grinding my own flour a breeze and I feel good about using organic wheat berries that I buy in bulk. Now I’m looking forward to playing around with some other types of whole grains!

Crunchy Nana’s Thanksgiving Challenge

With Thanksgiving just around the corner, why not try to incorporate some “real food” into your traditional meal?  I know this is a busy time of year, but these changes don’t have to be big or time consuming.

Try buying an organic turkey, making a simple dish of fresh fruit, or incorporating organic canned pumpkin (from a BPA-free can) into your pumpkin pie. You could also make this homemade cream of mushroom soup recipe for those green bean casserole that show up on so many tables this time of year. (We had it last year, and it is delicious!)

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How do you keep it real and what are some of your favorite resources? Crunchy Nana would love to chat with you in the comments section below!

Cloth Diaper Sticker Shock

A couple of weeks ago I had the opportunity to educate moms-to-be about cloth diapers at a breastfeeding expo in my town. This scene played itself out many times:

An expectant mother glances over a poster comparing the cost of disposables versus cloth diapers, nodding with excitement and a huge smile. She moves to the display of cloth diapers, picks up the one with the cutest print, turning it over, then touches the inside and marvels at how wonderfully soft it is.

Then comes the question: “How much are diapers like this one?” 

I explain the range of prices for different brands and types.

“But I can get a whole package of Pampers for the cost of just one of those!”

how-much-for-one-cloth-diaper

Some people seem to get that cloth diapers can save a ton of money, but as soon as they hear the price of an individual cloth diaper, they get all confused again. Sticker shock, I suppose.

The same scene plays itself out in many ways in the financial decisions we face as adults. There are a lot of smart things we could do with our money by paying for things upfront, but it’s just more convenient to go with the payment plan.

My husband and I learned this lesson the hard way. During the first four years of our marriage, we bought into that mentality and racked up a serious amount of debt very quickly. (Thanks to the advice in Dave Ramsey’s Total Money Makeover, we got serious and paid off our $50k of debt in just 13 months. I will share that story another time – but if you are struggling with debt, you need Dave!)

You see, disposables are the payment plan in the world of diapers. If you don’t look carefully at the big picture – your total costs – it can seem cheaper to buy diapers one package at a time.

After all, you can easily spend $400 to $700 if you buy a full stash of new cloth diapers and all of the accessories in one pop – which sounds like a lot. It sounds like a lot, that is, until you compare it to the $1,500 to $2,500 you’d spend on disposables during your baby’s diapering years.

Disposable Diapers are a Payment Plan

But let’s say you understand the financial benefits of using cloth diapers and you can afford buy everything you need before your baby arrives. Even then, it might not necessarily be wise to do so. Two years ago, when I was pregnant with my first child, my husband and I were debt-free and living the easy life with two full-time incomes. I knew I wanted to use cloth diapers, so I bought everything I thought I wanted (and then some) upfront a few months before our son was born. Unfortunately, after I had the chance to use those diapers on my baby, I decided that I wasn’t crazy about them. I sold almost everything in online trading forums and started building a new stash slowly, trying different brands and styles every month or so.

I encourage parents to take their time deciding on what cloth diapers to buy. Ease into cloth diapers gradually by taking advantage of a newborn diaper rental, layaway, or cloth diaper trial program. Many specialty cloth diaper retailers such as those listed below offer these types of programs for their customers. (You won’t find that level of service on Amazon!)

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This blog post is a part of the November 2013 ”School of Cloth“ event.  This is a month-long educational event sponsored by the Real Diaper Association, cloth diaper businesses, and various bloggers.

week2