The Eco-nomical Baby Guide First Anniversary Giveaway!

Exactly one year ago yesterday, our book, The Eco-nomical Baby Guide: Down-to-Earth Ways for Parents to Save Money and the Planet, hit store shelves.  It took us three years of hands-on research and thousands of drafts before we were satisfied with our practical green guide for new parents.  We flavored the manuscript with humor, anecdotes, and lots of humility as we tried to convey what we wished we would have known before our babies arrived.  The cloth diaper information we provide is highly user friendly, but there ‘s also information on buying less, buying used and buying green that helped each of us save over five thousand dollars on our babies’ first year alone.
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Greener Disposables—Compare and Contrast

It’s been a while since we’ve discussed chlorine-free disposable diapers on this site and in our book, The Eco-nomical Baby Guide. With my diapering days well behind me, I haven’t been able to try any of these out on a real-life baby. Has anyone had a chance to compare the brands below? Which do you prefer, and why?

Seventh Generation Chlorine Free Baby Diapers

Earth’s Best TenderCare Chlorine Free Diapers

Nature Babycare Eco-friendly Chlorine-free Diapers

Tushies Diapers

gDiapers

Bambo Nature Chlorine-free Eco-friendly Baby Diapers

Am I leaving out a great brand of chlorine free disposables? I know Whole Foods makes a store brand that ends up being more cost effective than Seventh Generation. What else do we need to know in this complicated world of greener sposies?

Stripping Cloth Diapers: Can You Avoid Detergent Build Up?

The funky odor.  The leaks.  Oh how I loathe detergent build up on cloth diapers!

With my first baby, I had no idea why his cloth diapers suddenly smelled like dirty sweat socks after being washed or why they refused to soak up even small amounts of liquid.

Then I learned how to use less detergent, I switched to greener detergents,(like Biokleen and, later, Country Save) and I found out how to strip diapers.

For us, one hot load with an extra rinse every few months totally does the trick.

Some people apparently have to strip diapers much more frequently and run them through several loads of hot water before the diapers work again.  But others don’t ever seem to need to strip diapers. (I’ve especially heard this from users of Charlie’s Soap Laundry Powder.)
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Our Green Family Vacation in Hawaii with a Baby

We just returned, browned and blissful, from our nearly two week family reunion in Hawaii. Family came from all over the United States and an aunt even flew in from Thailand to join the fun.  It was a glorious, peaceful trip that exceeded our wildest expectations.  (I should add that we never, ever could have gone without the generosity of our family.  The money we save with coupons and shopping at thrift stores would never add up to enough for our whole family to go.)

Was it packed with green efforts?  Yep!  We used cloth diapers 95 percent of the time by washing them in the rental home’s machines and later in the hotel Laundromat.  Since Jovi is also potty training at 20 months, she wore her cloth training pants a good part of the time. She’s showing off her Fuzzibunz pocket diapers in this photo.
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The Eco-nomical Baby Guide is Available on Indiebound!

What is Indiebound, you ask?  It’s a great way to support local bookshops without having to haul yourself away from your keyboard.  Simply search for any book through Indiebound, and it will be shipped to you directly from your closest independent bookstore.

What is The Eco-nomical Baby Guide?  It’s our entertaining and educational treatise on eco-friendly, budget friendly living with a baby in tow.  In fact, our frugal, green lifestyles helped each of us save over five thousand dollars on each of our babies’ first year, while staying true to our environmental ideals.  There’s hilarious humor, there are tips from the cloth diapering trenches, and there are hundreds of ways to keep the waves of plastic blinky toys at bay.  In fact, it’s pure, practical genius!  (Of course, we may be biased…)
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How Have You Re-Used Your Baby’s Cloth Diapers?

Have you sold your baby’s used cloth diapers?  Did you pass them onto a friend’s baby?  Did you use a site like Diaper Swappers to trade them in for a different size?  Does your local consignment shop accept secondhand cloth diapers?

We’ve happily passed some newborn covers and diapers onto other parents, but our small prefolds are currently stashed in a kitchen cupboard to mop up floor spills.  Those green-stitched cotton prefolds were purchased secondhand from a diaper service, then diapered both my children, and were also leant to a friend to diaper her two children before they became kitchen rags.  Some of them eventually get so ratty that I toss them into the compost bin, but about two thirds of my original diapers are still going strong!

Training Pants for Babies and Toddlers

If you read my post on the history of American potty training, you know that infant potty training was the norm until the 1980’s when disposables gained a growing market share and experts re-thought toilet training norms from decades past.  In fact, I can’t help but mention that in the 1950’s and 1960’s, 95% of all toddlers were toilet trained by 18 months!

Today, most of the mainstream training pants come in size 2T and larger.  My daughter is 18 months old and her training pants invariably end up around her ankles after ten minutes of running through the house.  I’m searching for a smaller pair of training pants that will accommodate  younger children.

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Cozy Wool Clothing, Diapers, and Blankets for Baby

Chilly winter weather has me thinking about cozy wool blankets and clothes. We adore wool—it’s warm, it’s natural, it’s absorbent. And of course all these wool baby items are soft against tender skin.

Organic Merino Wool Baby Sweater by LANAcare ($53.00-$61.00)

Merino Kids Baby Sleep Bag ($79.99)

Baby BeeHinds Wool Wrap Diaper Cover ($23.50)

Cocooi Babywrap Newborn Baby Swaddle and Cap ($69.99)

SmartWool Baby Sock Sampler ($18.75)

Did you splurge on any wool baby diapers, clothes, or blankets? Let us know what you think. For more wooly delights, check out these posts:

Has anyone tried wool diapers?
Product Review: Danish Wool Nursing Pads
Reusable Nursing Pad Reviews and Recommendations

Solutions for Nighttime Yeast Infections Caused by Cloth Diapers

We all want to consider the health of the planet, but when our babies end up with reoccurring rashes and yeast infections from cloth diapers at night, it can be tempting to switch to disposables.  I did.  Of course, first there were weeks of trouble shooting, but then exhaustion set in and I surrendered to disposables.  I tried to switch back several times, all with the same results.

Our readers have rushed to my aid with a host of tips for yeast infection prevention and treatment.  Perhaps they can keep you from using disposables in those hazy nights of early parenting. They inspire me to continue my quest for an all-cloth diaper lifestyle!
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Nighttime Cloth Diapering Success Stories

Yesterday Joy attempted to solve her nighttime cloth diapering problem using cloth diaper history. Ever since we started the Green Baby Guide in 2007, she’s been puzzling over her nighttime diaper dilemma, and after trying many of our readers’ suggestions, she still hasn’t found a way to prevent yeast infections with nighttime cloth diapering.


Two Chinese prefolds plus a basic diaper cover = my nighttime cloth diaper solution

I, on the other hand, never had any problem using cloth diapers at night. Why is this? Did my daughter have a remarkably small or extraordinary bladder? Were my diapers different? Did I employ some sort of miraculous laundering technique? Who knows?
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