Diaper Origami: What’s Your Favorite Diaper Fold?

I used to think I lacked diaper origami skills. All I did was fold a prefold into thirds lengthwise, stick it in a Velcro or snap cover like this Thirsties diaper cover or this Bummis super snap diaper cover (ooh, or this Thirsties duo wrap snap hoot cover) and put it on the baby. It turns out, as a reader informed me, that I was actually employing the newspaper fold.

This is a Babykicks fleece prefold. But don’t ask me what the name of this fold is. Newspaper?

Good old diaper pins. Never used them myself.

I just folded a prefold in thirds (newspaper style–yeah!) and placed it in a diaper cover like this one.

Poopy Cloth Diapers Solutions: Avoiding the Toilet Dunk

The concept of cloth diapers is glorious and hip, until you start thinking of solid waste. Many people can’t make it past the mental hurdle of the toilet dunk and give up on cloth before they ever start.

Here’s a shocking revelation: did you know that ALL poo-laden diapers, even disposables are supposed to be dunked in water? There is actually a written note on every box of disposables recommending that solid waste be rinsed off before disposal. After all, who wants human waste to be sitting in a landfill? (Even greener disposables like Seventh Generation recommend a toilet dunk with solid waste.)

Cloth Diapering Trial Program at Jillian’s Drawers: Try Cloth Diapering With No Risk!

What if you could try cloth diapers for 21 days, with lots of support, and a money back guarantee if it didn’t work out? Jillian’s Drawers Changing Diapers, Changing Minds program allows you to order $145 worth of diapers and use them for three weeks, risk free. At the end, even if the diapers are stained, you can return hem for their full value, minus the cost of shipping.

Many of our readers have recommended the Jillian’s Drawers cloth diaper trial program and and have kept the diapers at the end of the three weeks and continued with their cloth diapering efforts. Did you try a few cloth diapers at first or did you just take the leap and invest in a cloth diaper collection right from the start?

Are You a Cloth Diaper Aficionado /Fanatic? Take Our Cloth Diapering Quiz!

It’s difficult to maintain new hobbies in the early days of parenting, but cloth diapering can become pleasantly addictive. Do you love the cloth diapering experience, toilet dunking and all? We did.

For us, the thrill of experimenting with different styles, brands and laundering techniques was fascinating enough to begin this blog and devote a significant portion of our book, The Eco-nomical Baby Guide to cloth diapering. Have you crossed into the cloth-diapering-as-a-hobby phase yet? Take our short Cloth Diapering Quiz to find out.

1. You discuss cloth diapers

a. Rarely and only with people who ask about them.
b. With people who are obviously new parents.

How Many “Sleeping Spaces” Does Your Baby Have?

Yesterday Joy asked if you stowed your baby in a dresser drawer. Green minds think alike, because I was just about to ask the same thing. (We are somewhat obsessed with this idea of ultimate thrift and practicality. We’ve mentioned it once or twice. And I’m sure we talked about it The Eco-nomical Baby Guide a few times, too.) And here I must make the usual disclaimer that if you do choose to stash your baby in the drawer, please follow the following safety guidelines:

  1. Don’t set the baby in the top drawer.
  2. Don’t close the drawer.
  3. DO take the drawer out of the dresser and set it on the floor.
  4. (more…)

How Minimalist Did You Make Your Baby’s Nursery?

Did your baby sleep in a drawer or a cardboard crib? (The latter item really does exist and is pictured below.) Did you even have a nursery or did you simply pull baby into bed with you? Did you manage to outfit your baby’s nursery entirely with hand-me-downs or gear from Freecycle?

Of course having a minimalist nursery (or none at all) isn’t the only way to go green, but there’s so much pressure to gear up that it’s nice to know how people manage to creatively raise their babies without all the newest gadgetry. In our book, The Eco-nomical Baby Guide, we try to share a variety of money-saving options for going green with baby, but our favorite is to buy less and buy used.

Do You Need Co-Sleeping Gear?

We had no intentions of sharing our small full size bed with a newborn, but fatigue quickly convinced us to co-sleep. My son’s nursery sat untouched for the first few months of his life, as he either slept in the sling or in bed with us. Any other attempts were encountered with hours of shrill tea kettle shrieks that drove us to comply with his terms.

With our daughter, we were thrilled to borrow a co-sleeper from friends. We blissfully imagined having the bed to ourselves while our newborn snoozed safely nearby. In the end, my daughter utterly refused to be anywhere except right up against me while she slept. We found this out after breaking the co-sleeper while setting it up and sending it back to the company for repairs that cost just as much as the item itself.

What If There’s Carpet in Baby’s Nursery?

Should you rip up the rug in baby’s nursery, ship it off to the landfill, and replace it with sustainably grown bamboo hardwoods? Or would it be better to steam clean the thirty year old orange shag carpet and incorporate the color scheme into a homemade quilt? How do you balance your environmental ideals with aesthetic desires and budget restraints? Has anyone encountered this very dilemma?

In our old home, one of our children ended up in a carpeted room while the other spent her babyhood a nursery with hardwood floors. If I had a limitless budget, I suppose we would have donated the carpet to a charity and put in wood floors throughout, but the recycler in me couldn’t allow a perfectly usable rug to be dumped into a landfill. (Even though I know carpets are much less healthy in a home environment than hardwoods.) Did you struggle with issues like these while you prepared for baby?

Simplifying Your Baby Nursery: What Don’t You Need?

In The Eco-nomical Baby Guide,we share that we felt pressured to purchase baby-oriented gizmos to be “prepared” for the transition to motherhood. When our babies actually arrived, we realized that no amount of gear could compensate for grueling work of caring for a newborn. Life wasn’t a hardship because we didn’t own wipe warmers, it was hard because living without sleep and showers for extended periods of time was an absolute shock.

In the months before my baby arrived, Rebecca’s input helped me bypass the baby aisle and look to consignment stores and craigslist. My husband and I also repurposed what we already had to outfit the nursery. In the end we purchased only one new piece of new furniture–a combination dresser and changing table from Ikea—and ended up with a beautiful nursery. It was outfitted with a used rocking chair with homemade seat covers, (which honestly turned out to creak annoyingly every night from 3-5am….) homemade curtains, a solid maple secondhand crib, a used boppy with a new cover, and art given to us at our baby shower. Stacks of gently used pre-folds purchased from a diaper service and a dozen secondhand diaper covers filled the shelves as we waited for baby.

Did You Buy a Baby Tub?

I was sure we would simply slip our infant into a sink full of bubbles and save a large hunk of plastic from entering the landfill. When we found the kitchen sink bath to be far trickier than anticipated, my husband insisted on buying a baby tub.

Of course, now I realize that gently used infant tubs are everywhere! I do actually wish we would have searched for one while I was pregnant because I was too crazily exhausted to seek out anything other than food and showers in the months after I gave birth.

If I ever did buy a tub, I do think the Spa Baby Upright Baby Eco Tub is rather clever. It is made out of 100% recycled plastic without polycarbonate, bisphenol-A, or paint. Although it claims to be usuable for newborns to 10 month olds, I’m not sure how easily baths would go on either end of that spectrum.