Author Archives: Lisa

Bittersweet

>It is with mixed feelings that I log on now for the last time to bid you adieu as the owner of EverythingCloth.com. The past year has been a whirlwind for me in my personal life–our sweet little baby girl turned 1, I returned to full time teaching at a wild and wacky junior high school, and I have most recently found out I’m pregnant with Baby #2 (and have the horrific “morning sickness”–more like all day sickness–to show it!)

Running multiple websites has been too much for me to handle as of late, hence the lack of updates recently. When approached by fellow cloth diapering mama, Mary, recently, I was happy to find just the right person to turn the site over to. As of immediately, Mary will be joining EverythingCloth.com as admin, moderator, and blogger extraordinaire πŸ˜‰ I hope you’ll join me in welcoming her as well as staying tuned for all the exciting updates and tweaks that are to come!

That being said, if you still want to find me on the web, I’m keeping up with my other blog, ClothDiaperContests.com and you can always say hi over on our Facebook page for that site.

Wishing all of you lots of love and fluffy bums! πŸ™‚
<3 Lisa

This Messy Job We’ve Gotten Ourselves Into…

>I stumbled upon this popular blog post the other day and both cringed and faintly smiled as I read it. Entitled “The 2 Reasons I Would Never Switch to Cloth Diapers”, the author promotes her faithful love of disposable diapers, with their convenience and overall inoffensiveness in the pee & poop department. Although I can agree with some of her statements (yes, there really *does* need to be a 28th hour in the day for mommies!), several of them made me cringe a little, like this one:

I get that cloth diapers can be cheaper. But the cost of disposable diapers is more than worth it to me. There is no price tag on the satisfaction of permanently disposing of the memory of one’s urine and bowel movements. Not to mention permanently disposing of the actual urine and bowel movements.

Let’s face it, folks–the pee and the poop factor are there regardless of what type of diapers we use or, heck, even if we use elimination communication from birth! Babies poop, pee, spit up, and partake in tons of other less-than-favorable actions! Our society is trying to make raising our babies an overly sanitized thing, where their milk comes pre-packaged in pretty little cans and bottles, and their every little milky burp cloth and dampened diaper can be crumpled up and whisked away before it offends us. Are we mommies seriously that offended by our little ones?! If so, then maybe we need to get over ourselves a bit! Of course, I’ll agree that there is a yuck factor to lots of parenting jobs, but let’s not forget–it doesn’t end with poopy diapers! After newborn poop comes the dreaded toddler poop, wretched and foul in their little nappies, and we think nothing may be worse–until they have a diaper-less accident on our rug while trying to be potty trained! Even once potty trained, diaper days are traded for alternate messes–spills, ketchup smears on the walls, nighttime puking sessions. I’m sure parents of teenagers would agree that the parenting messes do not go away once your kids hit thirteen–just take a whiff of any sixteen year old boy’s room to know as much! πŸ˜‰

I’m not saying that as moms we should be martyrs and subject ourselves to every disgusting and horrific thing just for the sake of it; by all means, there are some modern conveniences that do help to make our lives easier and more pleasant. However, let’s just think beyond ourselves for a little while here (because heaven knows as moms we’re going to have to be doing it for the rest of our lives, anyways!)–the poop that “offends” us so much for twenty seconds during a disposable diaper change then sits around for days festering in our garbage pails or garages before it is left to fester further in our landfills–becoming someone else’s problem–for literally hundreds of years. This notion of “permanently disposing of the actual urine and bowel movements” that the author above mentions is actually a total facade. Disposable diapers are not a permanent disposal of waste–they are, in fact, much closer to a permanent storage of it. On the flip side, taking the extra twenty seconds to be “offended” by the poop in a cloth diaper does in fact lead to its permanent disposal. Once flushed down the toilet, that waste is properly treated by our water treatment plants, leaving no lingering by-products or wastes.

All I’m saying is this: if we stop to realize that, as moms, we’re really in this whole parenthood thing for the long, messy haul anyways, then a quick little change of one dampened pocket diaper really shouldn’t be such a big deal now, should it?!

I’d love to hear your thoughts… πŸ™‚

Childish Notions & Bambino Mio

>http://www.childishnotions.com business

Mailing Address:
1A 2900 John Street
Markham, Ontario L3R 5G3
Canada

ph. 905-480-9054
toll free. 1-877-968-4667


Childish Notions began in Canada in 1997. This business, which imports and distributes juvenile products within Canada, was founded by Judith Berman and Leanne Segall. Prior to the business start-up, Judith had been traveling to South Africa with her husband, Jason, and their newborn son. While there, Judith and her family went away for a long weekend with her husband’s oldest friend, Derek, and his wife, Leanne, as well as the couple’s newborn daughter. The little ones were only 4 days apart in age and the South African family was using a product called the Daphne bath seat when giving their baby a bath. It was an incredible product, and that night over dinner Judith and Leanne sat discussing how it was not available to parents in Canada. Budding forth from that kernel of conversation came Childish Notions. The two women formed an inseparable friendship and knew that they would be able to play a critical role in bringing amazing international baby products to the Canadian parent market.

Since its inception, Childish Notions has grown from the idea of sharing one simple bath product to a varied range of baby items. As a small company, Childish Notions continues to hand pick unique baby accessories from countries all over the world–items that make a difference to parents (often mom- and dad-invented) are the baby accessories that they focus on bringing to Canadian parents and caregivers. Childish Notions products are clever, practical, and the kind of things you wonder how you ever lived without.

Judith shares: “Once a parent uses one of our products, they tend to tell their friends about it and it is through word of mouth that their availability spreads across Canada. Our product lines are found at most baby speciality stores across Canada. Our products are not necessarily always ‘pretty’, but they are functional and well made. That is how we began working with the Bambino Mio line of reusable cloth nappies. We recognized the impact of disposable diapers on our environment, on clients’ pocketbooks, and on babies’ skin, and we knew that this particular brand (which we import from the United Kingdom) is modern, convenient, and easy to use.”

Bambino Mio reusable cloth nappy products

The Bambino Mio brand name of reusable cloth diapers has become somewhat synonymous with the Childish Notions name here within Canada. Offering a variety of different healthful and environmentally-conscious diapering options, Bambino Mio slots perfectly into the overall business philosophy for Childish Notions. Judith and Leanne continue to be passionate about each and every product they select. They care more about practicality than ‘prettiness’ or ‘poshness’. As a result, they choose products that are well-made, respectful of the environment, and are genuinely useful for parents.

Judith (originally of Montreal, Quebec), and Leanne (originally of Johannesburg, South Africa) still run Childish Notions jointly, and, nowadays, it is based out of Markham, Ontario. When they are not busy with the business, both women enjoy spending time with their families–husbands, children, dogs, and all!

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Touching Base

>Hello dear readers–

I feel I owe you a bit of an explanation and an apology for my long absence.  It seems life, with all its ups and downs, has somewhat got the best of me.  These past three months have been filled with plenty of moments and milestones, both happy and sad.  We watched our baby girl turn one, and I returned to working outside the home (in the harried role of a junior high school teacher, no less!).  I also lost one uncle to cancer, saw another admitted to the hospital, and underwent minor surgery myself.

Of course, in the midst of all these trials, tragedies, and new learning curves, mommy life plods on, as it has a tendency to do.  Bums get diapered, diapers get washed, cooking and cleaning somehow find their place amidst the chaos.  The precious few spare moments I’ve had to treasure have gone into an immeasurable number of kisses and laughs with our gorgeous baby Aurelia.  She now chatters away at us with some of her first words as she finds her way through this mysterious language that will become her mother tongue.  She not only has learned to walk but has also learned to RUN! and does so at every opportunity.  Cupboards have been fastened shut with safety devices, and stairways have been blocked with gates.  Ours is a happy, lively house.  Our baby girl is our family’s treasure, our unified pride & joy, that has brought us together through all the hard times, including the immensely difficult loss of a loved one.

I hope you understand a glimpse of just how and why this blog fell by the wayside for a while.  I do endeavor to be “back” now, interacting with you, sharing helpful tidbits & articles, and networking through all your wonderful questions and business savvy.

I hope these past few months have been kind to you all, and as winter threatens to sneak up on us at any given moment, I wish you plenty of happy, fluffy, snuggly bums in your very near future πŸ™‚

Lisa

Maintaining Your Cloth Diapers

>It’s funny. Some people avoid cloth diapering because of the idea that it is so much work. Granted, it is more work than simply pitching five to ten diapers in the garbage every day. Yes, it may require some sorting, laundering, folding, and “tuning up” from time to time, but most things in our adult life are like that. Think about it: from time to time, your computer needs to be defragmented, scanned for viruses, or cleaned out of old files. Every once in a while, your modem or PVR might need to be reset from the main hub to get it ticking along nicely again. Your carpets and furnace need periodical deep cleaning, and your car has to go into the shop for oil changes, tune ups, and recalls every now and again. Your cloth diapers–like any permanent fixture in your life–require (and deserve!) the same respect and attention. Putting the time into a good maintenance routine every now and then will keep your diapers working better and lasting longer–well through the diapering lifespan of one of your children, and probably through multiple kids.

Everybody’s maintenance routine is slightly different depending on what type of diapers they use, how comfortable they are with using certain products, the type of access they have to different care products, and the time they have to set aside for maintenance and tune-ups. Following are a few bits of maintenance that are popular in the CDing community:

Daily & Preventative Maintenance:

  • Rinse all diapers prior to depositing in pail of dirties for storage (can rinse in toilet—with or without a sprayer, or in a sink, by hand). This helps prevent stains, residues, and build-ups (particularly of ammonia!) before they can set in and create a real problem
  • Use liners (reusable or disposable) in your diapers to prevent stains or residue deposits from diaper creams
  • Use Rockin’ Green detergent to “Rock a Soak” for 20-60 minutes before you begin your normal laundry machine (allow diapers to sit in the hot, soapy water right in your washing machine and then wash normally without adding more soap)
  • Add extra hot water by hand to your HE and front-loading machines during every rinse cycle. High hot water levels when rinsing are the best prevention for all types of problems.
  • When possible, line-dry your diapers in the fresh air and sunshine. Not only will this prolong the life of your diapers, but UV light also has the ability to kill smells & bacteria.

Weekly Maintenance

  • Allow your diapers a short soak in vinegar before your regular laundry routine. This can help to break down ammonia particles so they wash away better (note: vinegar can be associated with certain problems like wearing down PUL & elastic over time; it can also intensify stinky smells if used with hard water; if concerned, check with your city or diaper manufacturer if you are unsure about whether or not vinegar could help you.)
  • Clean your diaper pail well (even if you normally use a pail liner). Swish with hot, soapy water, vinegar, or even a dash of bleach to help keep smells and bacteria at bay.
  • Consider using antimicrobial essential oils (sparingly!) to combat bacteria and odors, whether in your pail, pail liner, or in your diaper wash water.

Monthly or Semi-Annually Maintenance

  • Add 1/4 of bleach to your washing water for prefolds and inserts (or even to your entire diaper load, if you are comfortable doing so). Bleach is one sure-fire way to eliminate any lingering odors and bacteria that may remain in your diaper fibres. Of course, bleach can be very hard on your diapers, so use it sparingly and rinse numerous times after using to ensure that it won’t irritate your baby’s skin afterwards.
  • Use Rockin’ Green to rock an overnight soak. For you front-loader users, use your bathtub and the hottest tap water (turn up your water heater if necessary) you can. Get all the diapers submerged (stir them once in a while) and allow them to soak overnight. In the morning, squeeze them all out, transfer them into your washer, and launder with lots of hot water (no extra soap). Keep rinsing on hot until no bubbles remain. Your diapers should come out super clean and fluffy! Top-loader users–you’re lucky: you can rock your soak right in the washing drum itself!
  • If you are experiencing lots of troubles with your inserts and prefolds, you may want to boil them in small batches on the stove (or, just boil the problematic or stinkiest ones). Be sure not to boil any diapers with elastic, PUL, or plastic snaps. Boiling diapers should release all the residues and soap suds that might be stuck deep in the fibres of your diapers.
  • Strip diapers using good, plain old hot water. Re-wash your (clean) diapers in your machine with as many hot washes as needed to ensure no soap bubbles or stinkies remain. You really shouldn’t have to do this more than a few times a year if you are using good laundry habits in between.
  • Once or twice a year, tumble all your PUL diapers & covers dry in the dryer on high heat. This can help to re-seal microscopic holes or tears that could cause leaking in your covers. Don’t overuse this strategy though, or you could actually create worse problems for yourself!

What other maintenance procedures do you use to keep your diapers clean and effective? Please share in the comments section below to help out other cloth diapering mamas & papas! πŸ™‚

Charity Auction Announcement

>Please take a moment to consider joining in the following charity auction to benefit a family within our extended community who is coping with a son’s battle with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia. You can view the auction’s Facebook album here if you’d like to get involved or place a bid. The proceeds will go to such a great cause!

Hello,

My name is Cristina and I run the Tailor Made Momma Facebook page and blog.

A good friend of mine recently received the news that her three year old son, Sean, had Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia. While this is a very treatable and curable form of cancer, this little boy has a long road ahead of him that will most likely include close to three years of chemotherapy treatments! In order to help his family get through, we will be holding a charity auction to raise money for Sean, his parents, and his three older siblings. The family’s insurance will cover much of the medical costs but other bills are going to quickly add up as both of Sean’s parents are missing tremendous amounts of work.

Here are the details of how the charity auction will run. We will also be running a regular auction at the same time. As a work at home mom, I know that we all work very hard to make ends meet and giving up items for even such a great cause can be difficult, so everyone will also have the opportunity to auction off an item for their own profit.

Part 1: Auction to Benefit Sean and His Battle with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia

You can donate as many items you want to this auction. All proceeds will benefit Sean and his family as they battle this disease. Shipping on these items should be free. Funds for these items will be sent to me and I will advise the seller once payment of their item has been received. All benefit items will start bidding at $1 with $1 increments in price.

Part 2: Auction to Benefit You

In order to be a part of this auction you MUST donate an item to the auction for Sean. You can have one item this auction for each item you donate to the Benefit Auction. Shipping can be charged and should be included with your item description. You will also be able to specify your item start price, but bid increments will be a set $.50 to keep things consistent. When the auction closes, the winner will be announced and will be required to contact you the seller to claim their item. If the item is not claimed within 48 hours, please let me know and we will move to the next highest bid.

Please send all inquiries and submissions to me at [email protected].

To Flush or Not To Flush–What Do You Do With Solid Waste in Disposable Diapers?

>From a Baby blog at The Stir at CafeMom.com, a very interesting article and topic of conversation has sprung forth! How many of you have heard the rumor or debate about having to dispose of poop in disposable diapers into the toilet to be flushed? The warning and advisory, after all, is printed on the sides of many disposable diaper packages (though it is less common to see it than it used to be, especially on some of the big name brands).

So, head on over to read this article and find out: is there really a federal law against putting baby’s dirty diaper in the trash?. Writer Amy K. dug around and did her research, going right to the governmental level to get the true scoop.

Once you’ve taken in this article (and the very interesting set of comments that follow it!), head on back over here and leave a comment on this post. I’d love to hear your take on this scenario. Have you always been in favor of flushing the poop? Will reading this article cause you to think differently about anything or make any changes to your personal routine? Do you know of any alternate laws in your area? We’d love to hear your take on it all!

A New Diaper Fastener is Debuting!

>I stumbled upon some exciting news just recently. Up until now, there have basically been two ways to fasten a prefold or flat diaper–using the tried & true diaper pin method, or utilizing the more modern Snappi fastener.

Now, new on the market, a set of new diaper fasteners is about to debut from Boingo Baby Products! Rather than being a single fastener like a Snappi, these similarly clawed fasteners should be purchased in pairs so that you apply one to each side (more like the pinning method). They boast stronger grip and safer features and come in a variety of cute, vibrant colors (or you can buy them all in a variety pack).

Starting at only $3.59 each, these would likely be a very simple, inexpensive way to complete your stash of foldable diapers! I’m very excited to read the reviews on these once they come out–please let us know if YOU would like to post a guest review with us when these fasteners debut after pre-order! πŸ™‚

Thursday Thoughts

>Our baby girl turns one next week, and I’m having a lot of sudden parenting epiphanies I thought I’d share with all you sympathetic mamas & papas!  Though not all cloth-diaper related, I figured most of you would still be able to relate to nearly everything I’m about to say anyways πŸ˜‰

1) Buy them all the toys and gadgets in the world, and none of those things are still nearly as enjoyable as attempting to stick those little fingers in a socket (why do North American sockets have to look like happy faces, anyways??), peeling off palm fronds in the hope of eating them, and scooting at lightning speed towards mama’s favorite decor items or a temporarily ungated set of stairs.

2) I feel more like a rodeo-callibre calf roper than a diaper changer most days

3) I’ve been tempted more than a few times to take a swig out of the sippy cup after spending the afternoon in the hot sun or in a hot car.

4) “Sid the Science Kid” is my new early morning TV hero.  When we’re up at 5am, I confess our darling daughter gets more quality time with Sid than with mama.

5) Related to the above: if anyone ever deletes Sid the Science Kid off my PVR, I just might murder them.

6) Seeing the awe in her eyes at everyday simplicities makes me appreciate life more.  Some of her favorite sights these days: watching the wind ruffle the leaves on the aspen trees, seeing other kids laugh and play, and the sight of birds absoutely anywhere (“Dut!” shouts my little duck-lover, at anything winged, even the seagulls at McDonalds)

7) Entertainment for a little one is extremely cheap or free to come by.  Going to the pet store is just as good as going to the huge zoo three hours away.  A sandy playground is just as much fun as some distant beach.  No movie or TV show is nearly as funny as mom and dad humiliating themselves (especially in a public place).  The Dollar Store is a great place to go for a toy extravaganza–there’s so much fun to be had, you can even leave without buying anything (after all, the toy will no longer be nearly as fun once you bring it home!).

8) When all else fails, Cheerios will fix all woes.

9) Though I said it would never happen, my dogs have reverted to being “just dogs”.  They drive me berserk daily but redeem themselves when I see how much joy they bring her with their antics and horribly irritating habits.

10) Going to church with a baby just means driving to a whole new location, all just to still sit in the basement and play with toys πŸ˜‰

I’m so excited to see what the next year will bring, and then the year after that, and the year after that …