A couple years ago, Joy asked our readers this question: What are the best summer slings? Toting a baby around in hot, summery weather calls for breathable, durable fabric. With that in mind, here’s what our readers recommended:
Maya wrap $67.46
They also suggested getting something in linen. I found the Snuggy Baby Linen Banded Ring Sling Baby Carrier for $85.
Two years have gone by since our last “summer sling” post, so we may be missing the latest and greatest in baby wearing fashion. What are your favorites?
I ran across Broody Chick 100% Natural Fully Compostable Diapers and wondered if anyone can attest to their fit, leakage protection, and eco-friendliness. Broody Chick diapers are chlorine-free, fragrance-free, and hypo-allergenic. They seem like a great product, especially if you are actually able to compost them curbside. (I don’t think they can be home composted.)
One package costs $17.99, and the customers who’ve reviewed them on Amazon seem happy with them. They come in four sizes:
If you’ve tried Broody Chick diapers, let us know what you think!
Mom’s Healthy Market is an online resource for high quality, eco-friendly products for children from companies such as Bebe au Lait, Green Toys, Apple Park Toys, Guidecraft, Tegu, Seventh Generation, E-cloth, Pure Rest Organics, and Eco Baby. Everything on the site is organized by room for easy reference. Check out the “baby room” for some great diapering products or the “kid’s room” for an extensive organic bedding selection, as just two examples.
Our favorite thing about Mom’s Healthy Market? They’re hosting a giveaway! The winner will receive a Safe2Go Kids’ Harness Backpack, worth $27. Choose from three cute designs: The butterfly, puppy, or teddy. Your child can use it as a backpack, and it doubles as a safety harness in crowded areas.
Four ways to enter the Safe2Go Backpack giveaway:
The contest ends on Thursday, June 23 and is open only to U.S. residents.
Tired of shelling out hundreds of dollars on disposables and lugging soiled diapers out to the trash? It’s time to make the switch to cloth! If you’re like most of us, cloth can seem overwhelming. Here is a short list of questions and answers that many new parents have about cloth.
What type of cloth diaper should I use?
In our book, the Eco-nomical Baby Guide (now on sale for less than $8 on Amazon!), we give you diagrams and advantages of each type of diaper out there. If you can’t get your hands on the book, be sure to get your hands on some actual cloth diapers. Go to a local diapering shop or ask around to see if you can find a family that uses cloth. Remember, you don’t have to settle on one type of cloth diaper. At our house we use a mix of pocket diapers, prefold diapers, and all-in-one diapers. If you can’t actually find any of those locally, check out this YouTube video. (One note–the video says that you need pins for prefold diapers, which is absolutely untrue. We never used pins or snappies with our prefolds. We simply tucked our diaper into a cover and placed it on our babies.)
How do I wash cloth diapers?
Eliminate the bad odors that disposables produce by dumping solid waste into the toilet. (If you’re baby’s waste isn’t quite solid yet, you may want to buy a diaper sprayer or make one yourself.) Then store them in a dry diaper pail and wash them in a heavy load. We both have great success with cold water, but some parents prefer to use hot. You don’t need bleach but might want to add an enzyme based stain and odor fighter like Bac Out. Then line dry or toss them in the dryer. Done!
Is it worth switching to cloth diapers now that my child is older?
Yep. If you buy used cloth diapers or new pre-folds, the cost that you invest will still be less than disposables. Plus, cloth-diapered children tend to potty train earlier since they have a better sense of what it feels like to be wet. And if you’re going to have more children, remember that you’ll have those cloth diapers when your next child reaches that age.
Why are cloth diapers so expensive?
Some types, like one size all-in-one diapers and one size pocket diapers, cost more but convert to fit baby from birth to potty training, so you won’t need to buy diapers for different sizes. Also remember that you can get any cloth diaper used. Check out websites like My Used Diapers or Jullian’s Drawers for preowned cloth diapers. You can also check at your local consignment shop or craigslist. Prefold diapers will be your least expensive option in new diapers, especially if you buy used covers. If you do decide to invest a few hundred dollars in new cloth diapers, remember that you’ll never need to buy diapers again! You’ll be all set for future children, or be able to resell them once your baby is done. (Which just can’t happen with disposables!)
What if I try cloth diapers and I just can’t make the switch?
If everyone in your family gets the flu or your washer stops working, you can always use disposables for a few days. The point is, once you do make the change, you’ll see that cloth diapering really is simple and fun. And you’ll save hundreds of dollars and dozens of trips to the grocery store for more diapers. (Plus you’ll keep one ton of waste out of the landfill for each child that you cloth diaper!)
If you’re anything like Rebecca and me, you may actually come to the point where you become a cloth diaper nerd. You start up random conversations with people using Fuzzibunz or inquire about the latest Bum Genius innovations. It’s tough to start hobbies as a new parent, but cloth diapering really does become one for many of us!
Remember today is the last day to enter the Monkey Foot Designs wet bag giveaway!
BumGenius and Fuzzibunz dominate the top five list, but Thirsties edged both of them out for the number one position! Why Thirsties? I’m guessing it’s the winning combination of the cute design and affordable price.
Thirsties Duo Wrap Snap , Blackbird, Size One ($13.75) (Note: This diaper is now disqualified, as it is just a cover–NOT a pocket diaper. See the comments.)
bumGenius One-Size Cloth Diaper 4.0 – Grasshopper – Snap ($17.95) (Now in first place! The image here is not right, but if you click on it, it goes to the correct product: a green diaper with snaps in the front.)
FuzziBunz One Size Diaper Big Sky, 10-45 Pounds ($19.95)
Fuzzi Bunz One Size Cloth Diapers 6 Pack Gender Neutral Colors ($116.70 for 6)
Now in fifth place:
Bummis Tots Bots Easy Fit Pocket Diaper ($23.95)–Now that the Thirsties has been disqualified, I’m adding this diaper, made in Scotland from bamboo fibers.
I had great luck with both bumGenius and Fuzzibunz pocket diapers, so I’m not surprised to see them take up four-fifths of the top-five list. I never did try Thirsties on my baby. (And I also never tried Bummis pocket diapers.) Anyone care to chime in with a personal report?
Summer is just around the corner. It’s homemade ice pop time again! It’s often easy to find popsicle molds at thrift stores, but if you’re concerned about BPA and other potentially harmful chemicals in plastics, you’ll want to get your hands on some new molds. Here are some BPA-free options:
Stainless Steel Popsicle Mold ($39.95)
Norpro Ice Pop Maker ($15.59)
Annabel Karmel Fill and Freeze Puree Pops ($8.75) Use this one to freeze purees—great for teething babies
Prepara Volcanic Pop Molds Set of 4 ($8.99)
Now all you need are a couple recipes to get you started. How about these classics from some vintage Green Baby Guide posts?
Organic homemade popsicles
Any more great popsicle mold suggestions? Send them our way!
Monkey Foot Designs Wet Bags are sturdy and functional, but also sewn from rich and colorful prints that almost make cloth diapering seem, well, glamorous! We’ve loved them for years here at the Green Baby Guide and one of our readers will be winning one soon.
In case you have no idea what a wet bag is, you should know that it can be used for toting damp items including used cloth diapers, swim suits, breast pump parts, and baby wipes. Although I initially stuffed a freezer bag into my purse for used cloth diapers on the go, I was so thrilled to have my Monkey Foot Designs wet bag. (For one, I didn’t always look forward to washing out that used freezer bag by hand and a Monkey Foot Designs wet bag can simply be tossed in the laundry!)
The inner part of a Monkey Foot Designs wet bag is made with ProCare, a waterproof material that keeps wetness and odor within the bag. The outer fabric is sewn separately to avoid leakage and all seams are serged for reinforcement. While other wet bags shut with drawstrings, Monkey Foot Designs bags zip shut to seal up odor and wetness.
I just received a lovely Monkey Foot Designs double pocket wet bag with the rich multicolored elephant fabric to review. My first thought was, “How sad that my daughter will be fully potty trained soon.” I think I may use it as a purse in the future simply because it’s so beautiful! It’s incredibly reasonable (just $30!) and has two pockets to accommodate more.
Today Monkey Foot Designs is sponsoring a giveaway of one solid black double pocket wet bag. This one little item will last you through years of cloth diapering! No one will know you’re hauling around wet gear in this sleek bag and you can use it after baby for years!
Four Ways to Enter the Monkey Foot Designs Wet Bag Giveaway:
1. Simply post a comment
2. Like us on Facebook (then tell us you did it in the comments)
3. Visit Monkey Foot Designs website and comment on what you learned.
4. Spread the news about the giveaway! Email someone, post it on Facebook, tweet it, blog it, or send someone a message about it via carrier pigeon. (And again, don’t forget to tell us all about it in the comments!)
This contest ends on Wednesday June 15th and is only open to U.S. Residents.
Last week we asked readers if they used Wipes Warmers for cloth wipes–and they did! I guess we’ll have to retract our previous disdain for them. So which models work best for cloth wipes? I found two good choices:
Prince Lionheart Warmies Wipes Warmer ($23.94). This product comes with some cloth wipes, though some users prefer to use their own cloth wipes.
Munchkin Warm Glow Wipes Warmer ($21.96). This one lights up for nighttime changes and can be used for disposable or cloth wipes (wipes not included). Customer reviews recommend it for cloth wipes!
Need cloth wipes, too? Try the Prince Lionheart Warmies Reusable cloth wipes (8 wipes for $9.99)–these wipes, derived from bamboo, go with the Prince Lionheart warmer mentioned above. Or try the Imse Vimse cloth wipes (12 for $16.11).
Also–make sure to check our other posts about cloth wipes:
Looking for the perfect teether? Vulli’s Sophie the Giraffe toy is a classic that parents heartily endorse. It’s always been BPA and phthalate free and has lots of lovely angles for baby to gnaw on. It’s currently 28% off on Amazon, making it just $17.00. It’s also much larger than other teething toys which will extend its appeal long after baby’s gums stop aching.
Parent recommendations are paramount when considering a new product, and Sophie the Giraffe was very positively reviewed by over 1,000 people. The toy is crafted from 100% natural rubber that comes from the Hevea Tree and decorated with food grade paints that are safe for babies. Sophie has been around since 1961, but was more popular in Europe than here in the U.S. Still, it’s always been natural and is again coming into fashion now that parents are worried about toxins in children’s teething toys.
Vulli, the company behind Sophie, also has a rubber soft chew toy called Chan Pie Gnon, which comes from the French word champignon, meaning mushroom. It’s had very positive parent reviews and comes with a built in squeaker device. It’s also crafted in the French Alps with natural rubber and food quality paints. You can pick it up for $13.00 on Amazon, which is almost 20% off.
Does anyone own either of these little items? Are they as magical as they seem? (We also believe in using cold celery sticks for teething, which work wonders as well!)
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.
I’ve heard of cloth-diapering parents using a wipes warmer for cloth wipes—thus eliminating that five-second hassle of wetting each cloth. As a bonus, the baby’s bottom gets treated to a nice, warm wipe instead of a bracingly cold one. If this little contraption keeps thousands of disposable wipes from getting used and discarded, is it—in its own roundabout way—a green product?