Overnight Cloth Diaper Solutions: Hemp Inserts

Hemp Diaper InsertsMy son is intelligent, funny, and has the bladder capacity of a small elephant.  From his first few months on this planet we’ve been unable to layer enough cloth diapers on him to keep him from leaking at night.   We tried doubling, using wool and fleece liners, and using pocket diapers with an extra liner.

The results were mixed—but all bad.  He ended up with wet sheets, yeast infections, and lots less sleep.  Finally, after several dozen attempts, we just surrendered to using disposable diapers at night.

Now with our second child, I was determined to try again with cloth at night.  She doesn’t have the huge bladder of her brother, but even if she did, I think the new hemp liners we’ve been using might be able to handle it.  They wick away the moisture, absorb quite a lot, and are a natural fabric that breathes nicely.  We’ve never had any yeast issues while using the hemp liners and being wet hasn’t woken her up.  (Oh, she’s up regularly!  But it doesn’t seem to correlate to the dampness of her diaper.)

HappyBaby Book Review + Giveaway at the End of the Post

HappyBaby: The Organic Guide to Baby’s First 24 Months is the latest offering from Dr. Robert W. Sears, co-written with Amy Marlow, the dietician for HappyBaby organic baby food. Dr. Sears co-wrote The Baby Book, that classic tome on Attachment Parenting you’ll either embrace or—overcome by a creeping sensation of guilt and inadequacy—throw across the room. HappyBaby is a kinder, gentler introduction to the world of the Drs. Sears. In fact, the mantra in this new book may very well be “Relax! Don’t worry too much. Just take it one small thing at a time.” This attitude makes it easy to digest the information inside without worrying about doing something wrong—either for your baby or the planet.

The Friday Question: Tips for a Winter Baby?

The day my daughter was born, it was cold and rainy. We felt trapped indoors for weeks—months!—because of the weather. (Of course, the fact that I was on crutches didn’t help.) If you had a winter baby, what did you do to avoid getting housebound? What are your tips for keeping warm and entertained with a newborn in the house?
winter baby in snow

Holiday gift ideas for yourself or another new mom: Momma Zen: Walking the Crooked Path of Motherhood

There is nothing that quite compares to the bliss and brutality of those first few months with a newborn. It is truly shocking to realize that suddenly all your needs (including showers and trips to the bathroom) are secondary to taking care of another tiny life.

If you are currently in the mist of that fourth trimester, you deserve to treat yourself with a gift that can give you some perspective and patience. No matter what your spiritual beliefs, you will find practical wisdom and humble support in the pages of Momma Zen: Walking the Crooked Path of Motherhood by Karen Maezen Miller.  For the last few weeks I’ve read one chapter of this book every night before bed and I can’t believe how it has helped me be more attentive and appreciative as a parent.momma zen great gift for new moms

The Friday Question: Will you vaccinate your baby for swine flu?

swine-flu-babyThose of us with tiny babies are in a rough spot this winter.  Should we get vaccinated for swine flu while breastfeeding or take our chances?  My little one is just four months old and as an educator I’ve already seen the virus leave very sick teachers and students in its wake.  I don’t want to bring it home to our baby but I’m also hesitant about getting the shots.  After much deliberation and a visit to the pediatrician, we stood in line for five hours with both our children just to have a bit of vaccine squirted up our noses.  Do you fall in the high risk group?  How do you feel about getting vaccinated?  Are you avoiding public places where your child could pick up the virus? Will you just let your child lick a pig instead? (Kidding!  But it would be easier…)

The Thrift Store Thrill

I am an addict.  My blood pressure rises ever so slightly when I walk through the doors of my favorite second-hand shop and get ready to hunt for treasures.

Thrift store shopping to save money on clothingIt wasn’t always like this.  When I began my adventures in thrift store shopping there was hesitation. I thought most things were scuffed up, stained and shrunken and that you always had to shlep through junk.

But when I started making thrift stores my first stop as part of a commitment to greener living, I was shocked by how often I could find what we needed at a fraction of the cost.  Night lights, bathroom scales, furniture, Tupperware, toys, and, most importantly, clothes.

The Multipurpose Nursery

The multipurpose nurseryWho needs a nursery?  We thought we didn’t. We moved the changing table and dresser into our bedroom, co-slept for the first few months, and stubbornly held onto our idea of having an office in our home.

It worked for awhile, but we reached a point of frantic sleep deprivation when our baby girl reached four months.  She needed to sleep in her crib and the co-sleeper wasn’t doing the trick.

We decided to opt for a creative solution.  It was tempting just to head out and buy several items to accommodate our new plan, but we decided to first try to work with what we had to avoid the expense or environmental impact of buying more stuff.

The Upside of Deprivation

When we fill out those long registry lists and stockpile our homes with newborn garments, our thoughts often fall along the lines of “I want the best for my baby.”  After all, how could you scrimp on your infant?

simple baby less stuff more mom timeThe funny thing about babies, however, is that the monetary value we assign to things is totally foreign to them. They’re like little aliens who perceive a wooden spoon as being just as valuable as a fifty dollar bamboo teether. Often they’re more impressed with a cardboard box and wrapping paper than they are with the pricey stuffed animal inside.  Most importantly, they would rather have our time and attention than any gadget under the sun.

The Saturday Question: Should You Let Baby Cry It Out?

sleeping-baby-1Emptying the compost bin, washing the cloth diapers, and tending the garden are all regular green lifestyle routines, but they’re tough to keep up without sleep.  Some parents are resolute about  nursing on demand and happily sacrifice sleep for a few years. Others declare that letting baby learn to self-soothe by crying it out is best for everyone in the long run.  What has your experience been with sleep (or the lack thereof)?

Bottom Balm for Moms and Babies Review

I’ve extolled the virtues of home remedies for diaper rash, but when we were gifted with a tub of Angel Baby Bottom Balm I thought I’d give it a whirl and report back.

natural diaper rash creamsBefore I ever cracked it open, I was impressed that the first two ingredients are olive oil (which we’ve recommended before as a homemade solution for diaper rash) and calendula oil.  It’s also loaded with essential oils, shea butter and jojoba.

The cream has a heavenly lavender smell, a smooth consistency and good coverage, which makes the diaper changing experience just a bit more pleasant. Located right here in my home state of Oregon, Earth Mama, Angel Baby Organics is a small company that specializes in natural products for mothers and infants.