The Secret to Cloth Diapering in the Child Care Setting

May working moms want to cloth diaper and they’re completely sold on it, until it comes time to think about childcare. If family will be taking care of baby, then it’s pretty easy to figure out (odds are grandma and grandpa are familiar with cloth diapering and will excited to see the spiffy new diapers out there!), but if you’re looking at a child care facility like the traditional day care, you might have some trouble. Have no fear! We have successfully had two children in daycare in cloth diapers for a little over two years now and I’m going to give you the secrets to making it work! Continue reading “The Secret to Cloth Diapering in the Child Care Setting”

Trash Talk

HAPPY EARTH DAY!!!
This is probably my favorite awareness day all year long. Two years ago I wrote about some simple steps towards more sustainable living that give you very quick and easy little tips to live a more sustainable, earth-friendly life. Today, I want to talk a little more deeply on one specific area that we’ve been focusing on in our home: trash.
Trash is an inevitable part of our lives, but what we do with it can make all the difference. You probably remember being raised with the Three R’s: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, but now it’s commonly the Four R’s with repair/repurpose added in. Using these four principles, you can greatly reduce what of your waste becomes trash to sit in our landfills.
Reduce
This is the first, biggest, most important step in reducing waste. The concept is to reduce the potential trash that makes it into your home. Here are some tips to reduce your waste:
  • Borrow instead of buy. Ask a friend to borrow a dress for a formal occasion. Borrow that tool that you only need once a year from a neighbor. Borrow books from the library. Rent movies from a local video store. By buying less, you’ll have less waste coming into your home from packaging, receipts, tags, etc.
  • Buy used. Check out pawn shops, consignment shops/sales, garage and yard sales, church rummage sales, etc. for things you need and will use often. Kids clothes are a great item to buy used as they out grow each size so fast that there’s usually a plethora of used kid’s clothes that are hardly worn. Check out garage sales for appliances that need replacing or for unique housewares.
  • Buy in bulk. Buying in bulk can help reduce the packaging that comes into your house. Just don’t get fooled by bulk packages that are really just multiples of the normal package with extra packaging holding them together.
  • Don’t buy single use items. Paper plates, napkins, and towels, plastic cups, flatware, and bags- these convenience items are a terrible drain on our resources. Whenever possible, use reusable alternatives and if you have to buy one-time use items, try to recycle or compost them afterwards. (Go the extra step and eliminate single-use diapers, toilet paper, or feminine hygiene products.)
  • Bring your own packaging. Bringing your own shopping bags is becoming more and more popular, but you can also bring your own reusable produce bags or mason jars for loose items.
Reuse
Reusable items can make any home more sustainable with minimal extra effort. Most items will simple need to be washed in between uses. Here are some reusable items to consider: cloth diapers, un-paper towels, cloth snack and sandwich bags for kids’ lunches, glass food storage instead of plastic bags, cloth rags instead of paper towels for cleaning, cloth menstrual pads, menstrual cups instead of tampons, cloth wipes instead of toilet paper.
 
Also, reuse items that are designed to be single use.
  • Save gift bags you receive to use again when you have a gift to give.
  • Rinse and reuse plastic food containers.
  • Save bread and tortilla bags and reuse to hold snacks or as trash bags for road trips.
Repair or Repurpose
How many times has something around the house broken and you immediately thought to go buy a new one rather than repair the one you have? It’s an easy thing to do and we’ve been told for over a generation that we shouldn’t have to repair old things. Whenever possible, repair broken items or buy a replacement part rather than replacing the whole thing. Learn how to fix a busted seam and sew a button back on. Ask friends to lend their skills to help you fix appliances or tech as it breaks. See if there’s a trade school in your area that would like to have the item to teach students.
When something is truly past repair, repurpose the item. Find it something new to be. Many household items can be changed into interesting planters or lawn art. Cut up worn out clothing for cleaning rags. Shred magazines for packing material. There are craft projects on Pinterest to cover just about anything from bottle caps to burnt out light bulbs. Before tossing something in the trash, make sure you can’t find some sort of use for it.

Recycle
Most of us think of taking bags of plastic bottles and soda cans to big green dumpsters when we think of recycling, and while that is an awesome way to reduce your trash output, there are other ways to recycle things around the house as well. If you’re just getting started, check out these tips on recycling.

Composting is the ultimate green recycling. Home composting can take your kitchen and yard scraps and turn them into glorious dirt, perfect for growing your own organic veggies. There are plenty of ways to compost and I’m sure you can find a system that works for your household. (Foods that can’t be composted can usually be sent through the garbage disposal instead of doing in the trash bag.)

Return food packaging to the producer when appropriate. Local egg farms usually love for you to return your egg cartons as they can be pretty pricey to buy new. Some companies will take back their glass bottles to refill them (many companies stopped this program some time ago, but there are still some accepting bottles, check with any local bottling plants).

You can do it!
We just took our trash can to the curb to be picked up for the first time in over a month (maybe about six weeks). It took us that long to fill the can up. It may seem cumbersome at first and it can be trying, but if you just take it one step at a time, you can significantly reduce the amount of trash your household produces.

Here are some Pinterest boards to help you find tips and tricks to reduce your trash output:

  • Tips to Reduce Waste: http://www.pinterest.com/OurLittleClan/waste-less-reduce/
  • Reusable items: http://www.pinterest.com/OurLittleClan/reuse-no-more-disposable/
  • Composting: http://www.pinterest.com/OurLittleClan/compost-creation/
  • General “green” tips: http://www.pinterest.com/OurLittleClan/greener-life/
  • Canning Info (great way to keep food from being waste!): http://www.pinterest.com/OurLittleClan/canning/
  • Cloth Diapering: http://www.pinterest.com/OurLittleClan/cloth-diapering-crazies/
  • Reduce, Reuse, Recycle: http://www.pinterest.com/OurLittleClan/reduce-reuse-recycle/
  • Earth Day Activities for Kids: http://www.pinterest.com/OurLittleClan/earth-day-activities/

Great Cloth Diaper Change in Abilene

Ok, another late post, but I just realized I never posted these photos!

The Great Cloth Diaper Change is an event put on by the Real Diaper Association to raise awareness of cloth diapers. Each year we try to break/set a new world record using cloth diapers. In 2013, each site through out the world hosted their change at 11:00 am local time.

At exactly 11:00 each baby was changed into a 100% reusable cloth diaper. This was Abilene’s first time to participate and we had 46 babies changed at our location. Worldwide we had 8,331 qualifying babies changed!

I’m already planning for next year’s event on April 26th. I’m hoping we can go even bigger and better (and maybe make the top 10 locations!)

Here are some photos from last April

Alex and I were very honored to be on KTAB 4U to promote the GCDC.

Before the change, everyone holds up their 100% reusable diaper.
Afterwards, everyone holds up their freshly changed baby!
It’s not a race, but Philip was very proud to be one of the first to finish. 😉
We were blessed to have a great photographer offer family photos and take our official before and after shots. Emerald Lemmons is a wonderful lady and great photographer.
You can find more about Emerald here.
Here’s Alex in his outfit for the big day!

We were blessed with a number of sponsors who provided samples and coupons for our participating families.
This was when I first learned about Milkin’ Cookies. You can find more info on them here (affiliate link).
We had tons of great giveaway sponsors including local WAHMs,  Kid’s Village, Baby K’tan, Nose Frida and so many more!

Here is a complete list of our local sponsors. (Links provided if available.) Thanks again to everyone who helped out and changed their babies for making Abilene’s first event a huge success!

Kid’s Village 
Chickapea Baby 
Baby K’Tan
Frida Baby
Casa Campbell Soaps

Cloth Diaper "Cakes"

I have several friends expecting right now. I’ve really enjoyed getting creative with gifts for them. Here are a couple of cloth diaper/wipe “cakes” I’ve made recently.

Here’s a rose I made out of six cloth wipes
from Chickapeababy.com
for a friend’s gender reveal party.

One of my male co-workers’ wife is expecting.
They aren’t using cloth diapers (can’t convince everyone)
but I made a motorcycle out of blankets and
Gerber prefolds (my fav burp cloths ever!).

Side view of the motor cycle.
This includes 10 Gerber Prefolds, 3 receiving blankets,
two pairs of socks, one bottle, and one teddy bear.

Diaper Review: Chickapea Baby Extended Tab Prefolds


I am an avid pocket diaper lover. They comprise most of my stash, but don’t really work for us over night. Alex is just too heavy of a wetter. We’ve been using a couple of fitteds at night but were getting leaks. The diapers were soaked in the morning and so were his jammies. So, even though I was not particularly interested in prefolds, I jumped at the chance to try Chickapea Baby Extended Tab Perfolds.

Chickapea Baby Extended Tab Prefolds

Chickapea Baby is a mom-owned business run by Melony, mom to four here in Abilene. Current offerings include the homemade extended tab prefolds, cloth wipes, teething jewelry or “bling”, and boingos. You can read my review of the boingo here.

I prepped the diaper and booster on the stovetop to make it a bit quicker and hung both pieces on the line. Putting the diaper on seemed a little daunting, but I studied Melony’s instructions and practiced a few times diapering a stuffed animal first. I was able to get the diaper on and secured properly. I was pretty proud of this and may have done a little happy dance. (No judging.) I will say that when Alex is particularly squirmy, it can be a challenge. I think once I’ve gotten more used to it, I’ll be able to do it faster.

We had no leaks that night! Or any other night we’ve used this diaper. Some nights, the diaper doesn’t even feel soaked all the way through. I’m using a hemp diaper with a booster “insert” for added absorbency. Overall, it’s a great diaper and much less daunting than it seemed! I might just be a prefold convert!

We’re trying to find the cover that will work for us but have used a Flip and a Sweet Pea cover with success. After the diaper was prepped I just included it with our regular diaper laundry. It does take longer to dry then my pockets, but it’s so much thicker!

I’ve already picked up another medium (the size Alex fits now) and have ordered two larges for when he grows out of this size, which probably won’t be any time soon. You can get the diapers in hemp (what we used) or bamboo. There are a variety of prints. We have “All Crabby” (so cute!) and a striped one.

I received our All Crabby diaper at a discounted price as part of a small test group. I was not compensated for this review.

Boingo: Cool Name and It Works!

Boingo Diaper Fastner (photo from Chickapea Baby)

Over the weekend I tried my first extended tab prefold (review to come). This was my first diaper that didn’t have snaps or aplix and I was a little worried. I had seen Snappis before, but they were a bit confusing and I couldn’t ever find them locally (I probably wasn’t looking in the right places). Anywho, I was trying out this diaper and decided I’d give the Boingo a try.

The Boingo is two little gripper pieces on a tight rubber band type thing with awesome stars on each end. You attach one side to each side of the diaper and you’re done. It really was pretty simple and now I don’t know why I always thought they were so daunting.

I was worried about using it as I had heard that the Snappis aggravated reflux in some babies, but I didn’t notice any problems with the Boingo. (I’ve never tried the Snappi so I can’t compare the two from personal experience.)

I got mine from Chickapea Baby for $5 per pair. (Link to purchase) It worked really well and was really cute. If you’re going to be using any type of diaper without built-in fasteners, this would be my recommendation.