Wipes Warmers: A Moral Quandary

We’ve gone on the record saying that wipes warmers are completely unnecessary and probably even evil. They’re made of plastic and require electricity—they represent everything we abhor! At least, that’s what I used to think. Lately I’ve been reexamining some of my long-held convictions and I’m confronting some painful realities. For example, after years of denial, I’ve come around to accepting that diaper sprayers might be a good thing. (Or—even better—try the DIY diaper sprayer option.)

Today the difficult philosophical question I’m asking is this: Can wipes warmers be green? Here’s a little story to help us decide: Joy admitted she didn’t use cloth wipes  with her first child. Why? Because she thought it would be too much trouble to take the five seconds to wet the wipe with a spray bottle or squirt bottle. I’m happy to report that she changed her tune with her second baby.
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DIY Diaper Sprayer for a Lot Less!

Rebecca and I survived years of poopy cloth diapers in our households without the help of a diaper sprayer. Still, if I would have seen this video and learned how to make one for so little, I may have taken the leap! (They’re about $50 on many websites but the do-it-yourself version comes it at less than $20 and takes just 20 minutes to set up!) Do you have a diaper sprayer? Have you yearned for one and felt they were too expensive? Check out this link to the video and you’ll have one for much less in no time at all!
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How Do You Wash Cloth Diapers?

Do you have a complex system of soaking and pre-washing, or are you cloth diaper slackers like Rebecca and me?  How do you handle smells and stains?  Do you use hot or cold water?  What’s your favorite detergent?

Cloth diapers were a total mystery to me in those early days of parenting–as was cloth diaper laundering.  I didn’t have a copy of our book, The Eco-nomical Baby Guide, to help me with selecting and caring for cloth diapers, so I was lost!  I have to confess that I even bleached our pre-folds a few times at first before a friend taught me that it’s unnecessary and also very tough on the fabric.
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What is Hardest About Green Parenting Right Now?

Is it deciphering cloth diaper vocabulary?  (Like hybrid, chinese prefold, pocket diaper, all-in-one?)  Is it being able to afford the organic produce you’d like to buy?  Is it the physical challenge of early breastfeeding?  Do you need some homemade babyfood recipes? Or are you still trying to prepare for baby’s arrival with the planet in mind?

My children are now leaving the realm of babyhood and hearing your questions and challenges keeps us connected with what our readers need in those early days of parenting.  If you have a problem, chances are there are dozens of other women face the same dilemma.  Thanks for sharing ideas that we can present to our readers for future Friday questions!

Let’s Talk about Diaper Sprayers

Even when I was pregnant, I knew I wanted to use cloth diapers. This went hand in hand with my desire to save money, and I became almost obsessed with the idea of spending no more than I possibly had to on diapers and diaper accessories. Suffice it to say, a diaper sprayer is something I lived without–and I survived just fine.

Years later, I have to look back and wonder at my own frugality. Is it possible that twenty dollars here, fifty dollars there might have reduced some of the burden of those early days with a new baby? Take the cloth diaper sprayer, for example. Attach this gizmo to your toilet and use it to spray off those diapers. No more disgusting dunking and swishing! (For the record, I had to dunk and swish under a dozen times during all 2.5 of my diaper-changing years. But it left an impression.)
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The SmartKlean Laundry Ball Review and Giveaway

Just what is a laundry ball, you ask?  It’s a device designed to replace laundry soap that lasts for an entire year.  (If you wash approximately 18 pounds of laundry per day.)  The SmartKlean Laundry Ball is a perforated plastic sphere filled with ceramic pellets.  Don’t ask me about the specific chemistry involved, but the product claims that the pellets eliminate mold and bacteria, elevate PH levels to simulate soap, and break down water clusters to reduce rust in washing machines.  Honestly, the other features of these pellets are a bit too science-saturated for me to grasp.

Skipping detergent altogether and throwing a ball into a washing machine filled with stinky socks and sour milk smells seemed a bit crazy, but I have to say that it works.  You can hear the ball bouncing around inside which must help agitate the laundry a bit more.  We even used it with our diapers, which are mostly wet these days since Jovi uses the toilet for bowel movements, and they came out smelling great!  It doesn’t do a whole lot for stain removal, but if you pretreat your clothing, it comes out just fine.  (The company also recommends adding white vinegar and sea salt to very soiled clothing to boost the cleaning power.)
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The Eco-nomical Baby Guide: 60% off on Amazon!

As frugal souls, we love that you can get our book for free at your local library. It’s even more exciting when the price of The Eco-nomical Baby Guide randomly falls to below eight bucks on Amazon! You can now score a copy for just $7.98, which is sixty percent off the original price of $19.99.  Considering that our little gem can save you hundreds if not thousands of dollars, it’s worth the meager investment in a green baby guide that’s infused with humor and humility.  These price dips usually last just a few days so you might want to pick up a few for gifts while the sale lasts. Good luck!

Nighttime Toilet Training Before Age Five: It’s Possible!

When my son still hadn’t potty trained through the night at age four, I wrote a post about trying to keep him dry through the night. (Most of which totally didn’t work at the time.) Many readers commented that bladder control for boys doesn’t developmentally happen until they’re older—possibly around age six.

Giving up altogether seemed rather strange to me. My post on The History of Potty Training in America, shared that potty training ages in this country have gone up across the board—partly because of the ease of disposables. If everyone waits to even attempt night training until their children are older, there are years of waste (and expense) that could be avoided with some effort.
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Do you use Eco-friendly Baby Wipes?

I didn’t with my first child.  They seemed so much more expensive than the standard brand that I couldn’t bring myself to make the switch.  Then, with my second baby, Rebecca inspired me to make the leap to cloth wipes.  They’re easy, incredibly inexpensive, and much more eco-friendly than green disposable wipes.  (I just picked up a few packs of baby washcloths at the dollar store and that three-dollar investment is holding strong almost two years later.  We simply spray them with water before using them.) What wipes do you use?

 

 

The Frog Shop Supports Community While Going Green

If you live in Merced, California, you can wander on down to The Frog Shop any old day and buy adorable children’s garments at cut rate prices.  And as you stride out the door, you can know that the green glow wasn’t just about the wall color, but about the fact that you just recycled while having a lovely shopping experience.

This is the second half of our interview with The Frog Shop’s owners, Corinne and Heidi Britt.   Check out the previous part of the interview in last week’s post.

What are some of your customers’ favorite products?

Our customer favorites are as varied as the parents who buy and sell in the store. One thing parents comment on is our “mompreneur” hand-made section. We sell hand-made hairbows, hats, blankets, bow-holders, booties, diaper bags, seat covers and jewelry. We love being a place where crafty stay-at-home moms can sell their wares. And our families love shopping the unique items we carry. They can’t find these items anywhere else. I think we all feel good knowing the money is going to a stay-at-home-mom to help her stay home, as well.
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