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Friends and family members have given me all sorts of wonderful clothes for Paulie.  I’m learning which brands I do and don’t like.  Here’s my summary so far:

Carter’s: Oh how I love Carter’s baby clothes.  They’re incredibly soft and they hold up really well in the wash.  Even after being washed many times they still look brand new– no pilling or fading.  Paulie won’t keep his socks or slippers on, so I put him in fleece footsie PJs at night, or in Carter’s cotton footsie duckie pants if he’s sweating.  All of Paulie’s Carter’s clothes are high quality, from the onesies to the pjs to the outfits.  If you’re lucky enough to have a Carter’s outlet store nearby, you can buy Carter’s clothing there at 50% off.  Babies R Us frequently has sales on Carter’s clothing, and I believe that Sears does as well.  I bought my favorite set of Carter’s onesies for Paulie at TJ Max, and paid $10 for a five-piece set.  I’ve also found some Carter’s outfits and pjs at Sam’s Club at a really good price.  The Carter’s off brands at Walmart and Target (Child of Mine and Just One Year, respectively) feel scratchy and also feel thinner than the regular Carter’s, and so I haven’t bought any of those.  I did receive a Just One Year outfit for Paulie, and it’s gotten pilled in the wash.  The “real” Carter’s are more than worth the money.

Cisco: This Target brand is super-soft, and they have a display where you can mix and match baby clothes for $4 a piece.  I bought a onesie for Paulie that was too cute for words– it had a fish on it and said “I’m a keeper.”  These do start to pill some in the wash after a while, but I’ll keep buying them because they’re so soft, so cute, and so well priced.

Faded Glory Organic Cotton: Yes, you can afford organic clothes for your baby!  Walmart has three-piece sets of organic baby clothes for $7.  Right now they also have Faded Glory Organic jean jackets and jeans– soooo cute.  Paulie will definitely be getting some of those once the weather cools off.  A friend bought me a three-piece set that had a onesie, a shirt and shorts.  They’re incredibly soft, and come in the same baby “trends” (this one had lobsters) as more expensive baby clothing.  (Not that I really care about the trends, but it was nice that I could match the red lobster outfit from Walmart with the lobster hat I bought on sale at Gymboree).

Gymboree: Gymboree clothes are just incredibly precious.  I absolutely love the styles.  Paulie has a little alligator outfit that a friend bought him, complete with alligator socks and a matching alligator rattle.  It’s absolutely adorable.  Paulie also has Gymboree footsie pjs that I bought secondhand from my favorite consignment store.  I can see why moms get addicted to Gymboree– I love, love, love the way these clothes look.  However, they really don’t hold up that well in the wash– they start to pill– and considering how expensive they are, I expected a lot better from them.  They are nice and soft, though, so I’ll probably continue to buy Gymboree clothes for Paulie, at least for outwear, since I won’t have to wash the outerwear that much.  There socks are the thickest, softest socks that Paulie has, and on top of being incredibly cute they don’t fray in the wash and let loose lots of tiny strings that could cut off the circulation on Paulie’s toes!  I’ll definitely keep buying their socks.  As far as their regular clothes, though, they’re really too expensive, especially considering how poorly they hold up in the wash.  I found an item on the sale rack for $18!  Seriously!?  For the short period of time that Paulie fits into his clothes?  I don’t think so.

Koala Brothers: Babies R Us sells this brand of incredibly cute clothes.  They hold up really well in the wash. 

Okie Dokie: This J.C. Penny brand

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When I was pregnant I did all sorts of research on what babies needed (hey, I did that even before I got pregnant).  I thought I had it all figured out, exactly what my baby would and wouldn’t need.  Ha!  As usual, experience is priceless.  Here’s what I consider to be the best, most useful baby products:

Bouncy seat with vibration and toy bar: I didn’t think that I’d need a bouncy seat, because I was just going to wear my baby all the time.  AHAHAHAHAHA.  Thankfully a neighbor, an experienced grandmother, gave me a bouncy seat that her granddaughter had outgrown.  I quickly discovered that it was the ONLY PLACE WHERE PAULIE WOULD LET US PUT HIM DOWN.  Paulie is a sweet, easy-going baby, but he does NOT like to be put down.  If I turn on the vibration he’ll happily snooze in the bouncy seat.  When he got older and started spending more time awake, I added the toy bar, and he was very interested in it.  That kept him entertained for quite a while.  Our bouncy seat is by Graco, and it folds flat for storage, plus the cover comes off easily and can be thrown in the washing machine (which is extrememly important!)

Graco Travel Lite Crib: Most Pack n’ Plays look absolutely enourmous to me, and we just don’t have that kind of space in our apartment.  The Graco Travel Lite Crib is significantly smaller, yet still provides plenty of space for Paulie.  It doesn’t have a changing table– the entire top is the bassinet– but I wouldn’t use a playyard changing table anyway, as it would be too low for me.  I just use the changing table in Paulie’s room.  This playyard got top safety ratings from Consumer Reports.  We keep it in our bedroom– Paulie sleeps in it at night.  I bought ours at Target, and it’s a nice blue and brown.

Aden & Anais swaddling blankets: I quickly learned that Paulie would sleep much, much longer if he were swaddled.  And oh, sleep is priceless!  We stopped needing to swaddle Paulie once he reached two months old, but before then they were absolutely neccessary.  Most of the time he wouldn’t sleep for more than 10 minutes once we put him down, if he weren’t swaddled.  The Aden & Anais blankets are generously sized, and that made it easy to swaddle him.  Also, they’re made of this wonderfully soft muslin, which is nice and lightweight (overheating increases the risk of SIDS).  One night Paulie wet through all of his swaddle blankets (we still hadn’t figured out the diaper situation at that point), and so I had to put him to bed unswaddled.  He didn’t sleep for more than 1 1/2 hours at a time.  That was a looong night.  Needless to say, the next day I went out and bought four more of these swaddle blankets!  Note: these don’t have velcro or anything to hold the swaddle together, but the swaddle still stayed put, even though Paulie is a *very* strong and active kicker.  We tried a Miracle Blanket with him but he aboslutely hated the way it restrained his arms ($30 down the drain… sigh…)

Pampers Baby Dry diapers: Paulie is a heavy wetter, and he soaked through the Huggies Little Movers over and over and over again.  We tried the Earth’s Best diapers, but he soaked through those as well (plus he reacted to them– ouch!– Paulie has very sensitive skin).  I thought we were stuck with changing all of his clothes and blankets every time we changed his diaper, until I tried Pampers Baby Dry.  Oh, how I love these diapers.  We used only disposables when we first brought Paulie home from the hospital, as we were under too much stress to add in extra laundry at that point.  Paulie, my little Super Soaker, doesn’t soak through the Pampers Baby Dry!!  And he doesn’t react to them, either!  Hooray!  I haven’t tried the Pamper’s Dry Max diapers because I’ve heard of kids getting awful chemical burns from them.  I will say that they’re not as trim as the Huggies Little Movers, but you will appreciate all of that extra diaper space when it’s holding the pee, instead of letting the pee soak through your baby’s clothes.

Fuzzi Bunz Perfect Size diapers: I’ve only tried one other brand of cloth diaper, so I can’t say how these compare to, say, the Bum Genius, but I love them.  My little Super Soaker doesn’t wet through them as long as I change them frequently enough.  I bought Joeybunz hemp inserts to use with these, since Paulie’s such a heavy wetter.  These diapers are incredibly cute– I especially love the apple green color!– and the fleece inside is really soft.  The other brand of cloth diaper I tried is only available locally, so I won’t review it here– I’ll just say that it leaked.  My one complaint is that the sizing they listed is wrong.  The small size is supposed to fit up to 18 lbs– maybe Paulie’s thighs are chunkier than other babies’, but they only fit him up to 11 pounds, which was when he turned 2 months old.  Considering that I paid $18 a diaper for the Fuzzi Bunz that I bought new, I was expecting them to last longer than 2 months!  He’s in a medium Fuzzi Bunz now, but is already on the second-largest thigh snap setting.  I’m going to try him out in a large sized Fuzzi Bunz and see if that will fit, before I invest in more diapers.  At least I can use the inserts from the small Fuzzi Bunz diapers as doublers in the larger Fuzzi Bunz.  And I’ll be able to use the small Fuzzi Bunz for the next baby.  That helps the financial sting (ouch!)!

Fuzzi Bunz hanging diaper pail: this makes washing cloth diapers sooo convenient.  I just unzip the bottom of the bag, let all of the diapers fall into the washing machine, and then throw the bag into the machine with the diapers.  I love how easy it is!  I will say that this doesn’t trap smells like a sealed, plastic diaper pail does, so if you don’t do the wash often enough, the baby’s room will smell like pee.  But with the price of cloth diapers, I don’t want to buy more than I need to, so I don’t mind doing one extra load of laundry a day.  The diapers dry more quickly when I do a small load, anyway.

Safety First Complete Care Bath Center– Froggy: we bought this at Babies R Us for only $20 or $25.  It’s a three-piece bath set, which includes a bath sponge, a bath cradle, and a plastic bath tub.  We put the bath cradle inside the little tub, and then put the sponge on top of the bath cradle (the entire contraption goes in the big tub).  It’s perfect for bathing Paulie.  The bath sponge is incredibly soft and keeps Paulie from slipping down the bath cradle.  The entire thing drys thouroughly and easily, and it’s easy to store since it all nests inside one another.  I haven’t used the wash cloth that came with this set, as it’s scratchy, and I don’t use the matching cup because it’s too small.  This will be my future go-to baby shower present, though, as it’s a great price and is really convenient.

Gymboree socks: so far the best baby socks I’ve tried (not that Paulie will keep his socks on!).  The other socks I had (especially the Gerber) all looked pretty bad after just one trip through the washer– a bunch of little threads came lose, and I was afraid that one would end up wrapped around Paulie’s toe and cut off his circulation (I read about that in a parenting magazine).  I haven’t had this problem with the one pair of Gymboree socks I own, even though they’ve been washed a number of times.  Plus they’re made to look like little alligator feet, and are super cute 🙂

Carter’s fleece pajamas: since Paulie won’t keep his socks on, at night I put him in pajamas that have feet.   We like to keep our home properly refridgerated 🙂 so even though Paulie’s a summer baby, he still needs warm clothes for aroudn the house.  His Carter’s ducky pjs are incredibly soft, and have held up well in the wash.  I will be buying more of these!

Carter’s baby clothes: I love all of our Carter’s baby clothes.  They hold up better in the wash than the Gymboree clothes do– they don’t get all pilled.  They’re incredibly thick and soft.  Fabulous!  I haven’t tried the Just One Year Carter’s line of clothes at Target yet, so I can’t comment on those. 

Child of Mine slippers: I bought Paulie a pair of Carter’s Child of Mine puppy dog slippers at Walmart, and they stay on him much longer than socks do, at least while he’s in his bouncy seat.  I haven’t tried the Child of Mine clothes because they feel scratchy.

Here’s a picture of Paulie, swaddled in one of his Aden & Anais blankets:

What are your favorite baby products?

I’ve decided to try out Elimination Communication with Paulie once he’s born.  I just finished reading the book Diaper Free: The Gentle Wisdom of Natural Infant Hygeine by Ingrid Bauer.  I have a friend who successfully used EC with her son, and so I’m looking forward to having her for support.

When I first heard of Elimination Communication, I thought it was absolutely crazy.  I mean, it sounded as if they were trying to potty train babies!  Seriously!?  But it turns out that it’s not so much about potty training as it is about potty communication.  I still plan to have Paulie in a diaper (to catch the times that I miss), but I plan to use EC at least part-time.  I’ll start by pottying him when he first wakes up in the morning, and after naps.  I figure, if I can learn to anticipate when he’s going to use the bathroom, and what nonverbal signals he gives when he’s about to use the bathroom, then I may as well take off his diaper and hold him over the toilet.  It seems that this is the way that many people in traditional societies take care of their babies.  It makes sense that there must be a way to keep babies clean, even for people who don’t have access to the facilities to wash diapers.  And obviously disposable diapers are a fairly modern invention.

Here are some websites on Elimination Communication/Natural Infant Hygeine, in case anyone’s interested:

www.naturalinfant.com  Ingrid Bauer’s website

www.diaperfreebaby.org  DiaperFreeBaby Support Network

6 weeks, 4 days until Paulie’s due!

The American Academy of Pediatrics: http://aappolicy.aappublications.org/cgi/reprint/pediatrics;115/2/496.pdf

The American Academy of Family Physicians: http://www.aafp.org/online/en/home/policy/policies/b/breastfeedingpositionpaper.html

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists: http://www.acog.org/departments/underserved/breastfeedingStatement.pdf

I came across some wonderful information on breastfeeding toddlers.  I hope to breastfeed Paulie until he weans himself.

This first blog post has great references on the benefits of breastfeeding for both toddlers and their mamas!:  http://codenamemama.com/2009/12/01/mama-milk-dance/

This website also has thorough information on the benefits of extended breastfeeding– the best site I’ve found so far: http://www.kellymom.com/bf/bfextended/ebf-benefits.html

Here’s a post from another blog: “Breastfeeding until Age 3, 4, or 5: More Common than You Think? http://crunchydomesticgoddess.com/2009/01/02/breastfeeding-until-age-3-4-or-5-more-common-than-you-think/

I had to include a link from Mothering magazine, because I just love this magazine!  http://www.mothering.com/Extend-Breastfeedings-Benefits

I would love to hear about other people’s favorite resources for extended breastfeeding, or about any of your personal experiences!

Three of my friends are planning on having babies in the next year or two.  I thought I’d share some of the unique baby gifts I’ve found online, in case you have a baby shower coming up:

BabyLegs Leg Warmers  When Paulie’s at home, he’ll just wear a t-shirt, diaper, and leg warmers– that way I won’t have to remove his pants or unsnap a onsie every time I need to change him.  These are very practical and incredibly cute.  I’m partial to their “funky” line, which has patterns like Rainbow and Flame.  Available in regular, supersoft, and organic.  http://www.babylegs.com/

Baby Egg Nest  Three pairs of organic socks are rolled up to look like eggs.  They come in a nest with a beautiful bird sachet for the expecting mother.  Too precious.  The socks are available in dusty pink or dusty blue.  http://www.babybunch.com/baby-egg-nest-blue.html

Baby Diaper Sundae  I love diaper cakes, but most are prohibitively expensive.  You can make one yourself using instructions that are available online, or you can opt to give a diaper sundae instead.  These diaper sundaes are made of six newborn-size diapers, a teddy bear, two burp clothes, a wash cloth, a receiving blanket, a bib, and a fork and spoon.  Available in pink, yellow, or blue.  http://www.amazon.com/Baby-Diaper-Sundae-cake-Centerpiece/dp/B0030FIHK2/ref=sr_1_7?ie=UTF8&s=baby-products&qid=1265049062&sr=1-7

Cupcake Onesies  These adorable cupcakes are actually onesies packaged in an incredibly cute keepsake box.  You can buy sets of two, four, or six “cupcakes.”  Available in pink, yellow, or blue, or in unbleached organic cotton.  http://www.babybunch.com/products/cupcakes/

MooMee Organic Bodysuit in Milk Carton  If you’re looking for something fun that’s not too cutsie, this may be the ticket.  A cow print onsie is packaged in a decorative milk carton.  The cotton and dyes are organic, and the entire product is sweatshop-free.  Available in sizes 3-6 months or 6-12 months.  http://www.amazon.com/MooMe-Organic-Bodysuit-Milk-Carton/dp/B001AV72UY/ref=wl_it_dp_v?ie=UTF8&coliid=IEQOLC0J7ISFY&colid=2LBIOJ6TAYYJE

Babygags Organic Cotton Bib Set  These brightly-colored bibs are packaged in cute little baby food jars.  The bibs are made using organic cotton and dyes, and the entire product is sweatshop-free.  Available in strawberries and oranges or carrots and peas.  http://iparentingmediaawards.com/winners/17/27213-16-159.php

Have fun shopping!

Here are some of my favorite non-toxic baby products.  Please feel free to add your own favorites in the comments section!

1.  Tushies: The Gel-Free Alternative Diaper   This is the only disposable diaper that doesn’t contain sodium polyacrylate, the superabsorbent gel.  Diapers such as those from Seventh Generation aren’t bleached with chlorine, but still contain the superabsorbent gel.  We’ll be using cloth diapers for Paulie (see a previous post), but I plan to have these on hand for trips to Grandma’s house.  http://store.tushies.com/c-4-diapers.aspx

2.  TushiesWipes Unscented Natural Formula with Aloe  These wipes earned a zero rating from the Environmental Working Group’s Cosmetic Safety Database!  I’ll use cotton balls with water when Paulie’s first born, but these will be nice to keep in the diaper bag for when we’re out and about.  I’m thinking that, when we’re at home, I’ll use cloth wipes when he’s just wet, and disposable wipes when he’s poopy (there is a limit to the amount of  grossness that I can handle!)  http://store.tushies.com/c-2-wipes.aspx

3.  bumGenius Bottom Cleaner  I’ll use this with my cloth wipes.  There are a few different spray-on bottom cleaners available; I chose bumGenius’s because it doesn’t contain chammomile (I’m allergic to ragweed).  http://www.bumgenius.com/bottom-cleaner.php

4.  IPlay Organic Baby Clothes  Some clothes that are labeled “organic” are made from organic fiber but are still treated with bleaches, dyes, wrinkle resisters, and stain repellants that are unsafe.  IPlay’s baby clothes are not only made from organic fiber, but are also chemical-free.  I like the bright colors– it’s nice to find something organic that’s not just off-white!  Made from Oeko-Tex 100 certified organic cotton.  http://www.iplaybabywear.com/2006/Content/?mod=products&nav_mod=products&section=4

5.  Kee-Ka Organic Clothing  Adorable baby and toddler clothes with sayings like “sweet pea,” “cupcake,” “pumpkin,” “peanut,” and “You are my sunshine.”  Made from certified organic cotton and treated with low-impact dyes.  http://www.kee-ka.com/Merchant2/sfnt.html

6.  The Safe Starter  Stainless steel baby bottle with silicone nipple– see my previous post on this item.  http://www.kid-basix.com/thesafestarter.php

7.  MooMee Veggie Bibs  After reading that some baby bibs contain lead (gulp!), I set out in search of safe baby bibs for Paulie.  These are not only organic and sweatshop-free but are also incredibly cute.  They have photographs of fruits and veggies on them, and come packaged in baby food jars!  Adorable!  Winner of an iParenting Media Award.  http://iparentingmediaawards.com/winners/17/27213-16-159.php

8.  Mimi the Sardine  Cotton bibs coated with a water-based acrylic.  Comes in bright, cheerful patterns with airplanes, cars, jungle scenes, and more.   They also sell adorable placemats, lunch bags, and book bags.  Oeko-Tex 100 certified.  http://www.mimithesardine.com/kids_bibs.html

I don’t sell baby products, and I don’t make any money from recommending these– I just thought I’d share the results of my research for Paulie 🙂  Enjoy!

I was so excited about this product, that I just had to tell everyone about it.  Don’t worry, I’m not selling it 😉  It’s a stainless steel baby bottle.  I was thrilled to hear about this because using plastic bottles makes me really, really nervous.  Plastic leaches into liquids (among other things), and heat and plastic are not a good combination, and so even using a BPA-free plastic bottle didn’t seem safe enough to me.  But the thought of using a glass bottle doesn’t seem safe, either.  Maybe if I weren’t so clumsy.  I know that the glass bottles come with silicone sleeves, to make them less breakable but, well, if you’d seen my kitchen after I’d “exploded” our glass blender, and narrowly escaped injury… well, you’d understand why I’m nervous about glass.  No glass near my baby!!

I was reading a back issue of Parents magazine when I learned about The Safe Starter, a stainless-steel baby bottle from Kidbasix.  It comes with a silicone nipple, and has a silicone sleeve, which insulates it and also protects your hands from the warm metal.  Yes, it probably wouldn’t be good to get whopped with a stainless steel bottle if your baby decided to throw it, but at least it wouldn’t break.  And it’s not made of plastic!!!!

You can learn more about The Safe Starter here: http://www.kid-basix.com/thesafestarter.php  It comes in 5 oz and 9 oz sizes, in pink, blue, or green.  You can purchase nipples designed for 0-3 months old, 3-6 months old, and 6 months +.  In addition to this site, I’ve seen it for sale on Amazon and on the 1-800 Diapers website.  I’ve added a 9 oz bottle, in blue, to my baby registry for Paulie!

I’ll be breastfeeding Paulie, so he won’t be getting a bottle that often.  Only when I’m away from him for some reason.  But still, I only want him exposed to the safest stuff.  I don’t think I’m being overprotective– I think I’m just being a mom 🙂

I have some real problems with daycare centers.  But before I continue, let me be sure to say that I *don’t* judge anyone for putting their child in daycare.  Not everyone has the option of caring for their children themselves, and not everyone would be happy doing so.  It certainly wouldn’t be good for kids to be with a stay-at-home parent who was unhappy in that role.  Having said that, I thought I’d share some of my thoughts about daycare, for those of you who are considering staying home with your children.

I’ve had the privilege of working with children for many years.  My mother stayed at home when I was young, and cared for other people’s children, and so I had the company of not only my younger brother but also a number of other younger children.  I began babysitting at a young age, and one of my first ‘real’ jobs was at a daycare center.  My background is in psychology and education, and I’ve worked in early childhood and elementary settings.  My baby hasn’t been born yet, so I haven’t been a mommy for very long 🙂  but I do have a great deal of other experience with children, from itty-bitty babies on up.

I worked at two different daycare centers, both of which were considered among the best in their respective cities.  One was associated with a hospital, and the other had a number of successful branches.  Both daycare centers had wonderful directors who were mothers themselves and who were commited to the children in their care.  At both centers the children were safe and were kept clean and well-fed.  The facilities were in great shape and they had ample toys in addition to wonderful playgrounds.

But we all know that kids need more than just diaper changes and feedings.  To grow to their greatest potential, children need to have their social, emotional, and cognitive needs met by consistent, loving care providers.  One of my main issues with day care is that children do not get the amount of adult attention that they need.  No educational toy can substitute for playing with your child, talking with her, reading to her, and giving her the snuggles and kisses on which she thrives.  In the state where I live, day cares are required to have at least one adult for every four infants, one adult for every five “young toddlers,” a 1:10 ratio for two and three year olds, a 1:12 ratio for four year olds, and a 1:20 ratio for school age children.  In order to make a profit, day care centers have to put the fewest number of adults legally possible with each group of children.  These adult to child ratios especially concern me when it comes to the little ones.  Older children can interact with and learn from one another, and can interact with the materials in their environment more independently.  Infants, on the other hand, rely on adults to interact with them.  If your child is an easygoing baby, and will sit contentedly in a swing or a Boppy without fussing, then your child isn’t going to get much attention outside of being changed and fed.  This may not be what you see when you pick up your child, but that’s what happens when you’re not around.  Providers know when you’ll be coming for your child– don’t assume that the behavior you witness when you pick your child up is representative of what’s happening during the day.  It’s not that daycare providers are bad people, it’s just that they have a lot of children to care for.  The squeaky wheel gets the grease– if your child isn’t the type to seek out attention, then he’s not going to get a lot of it.

Another reason why children in daycare don’t receive the same quality of care as do children with stay-at-home parents is that substitute care providers can not possibly feel as strongly about your children as you do.  I’ve taught for years, and I care very deeply about my students.  I’ve always gone above and beyond to give them the best of me, and they have wrapped themselves securely around my heart 🙂  Having said that, when I’m overtired, or when I’m having a particularly trying day, I’m ready for my work day to be done, and getting through the day trumps giving the children my extra energy.  As much as I love the children in my life, I can plainly see that I’ll never care for them with the same depth and passion that their parents do.  Since becoming a mommy, I’ve been overwhelmed with the intensity of my feelings for my son.  Little Paulie hasn’t even been born yet, I haven’t even held him yet or gazed into his precious eyes, and yet I feel so strongly about my son that at times it almost scares me.  I knew a lot about love before becoming a mommy, but the devotion that I feel towards my baby takes my breath away.  Substitute care providers, by their very nature, can not give your child the same love and attention that a family member can.  When push comes to shove, they are just not as invested in your children as you are, not madly in love with every ounce of their beings in the way that you are.

Don’t get me wrong.  I don’t think that daycares are “evil” or that working parents care a drop less about their children than stay-at-home parents do.  From what I’ve seen, daycares are run by caring, patient adults who enjoy being with kids and who genuinely care about the children in their charge.  I also know that it’s easier for me to be with children all day than it might be for other people– I’ve chosen to work with children in my professional life.  I know that not everyone finds time spent with children as satisfying and magical as I do.  I just thought I’d share what I’ve learned, to give you some food for thought as you decide who will be caring for your children.

I’ve read the argument that cloth diapers are just as bad for the environment as disposable, but I have to disagree.  Articles I’ve read that compare the environmental impact of cloth vs. disposable diapers often only consider the fact that disposable diapers end up in our landfills.  They say that the use of water and electricty to wash cloth diapers makes them just as bad for the environment as throwing away disposables.  But disposable diapers’ environmental impact doesn’t start when they’re thrown away.  The manufacturing and distribution of disposable diapers has a significant impact on the environment.  Cloth diapers are manufactured once, then shipped to the consumer once.  These diapers can then be used for multiple children.  I bought about half over Paulie’s cloth diaper stash secondhand, so another child has already benefited from them.  I plan to save Paulie’s diapers to use for his future sibling, and when my kids are done with the diapers, I’ll pass them on to someone else.  I’ll probably end up using 18-24 size small Fuzzi Bunz diapers, and about the same number of diapers in size medium.  So all in all, no more than 48 diapers will have to be manufactured for my children.  Compare that to the amount of disposable diapers that other children go through in just one week!

Yes, washing cloth diapers does use energy.  But so does the manufacture of disposable diapers.  And remember, diapers have to be shipped from their manufacturers to stores, and then disposable diapers also have to be transported to the landfills.  Fossil fuels, anyone?

There are a number of things that you can do to make cloth diaper use more convenient.  First of all, you don’t have to use cloth diapers 100% of the time.  I’ll be purchasing Tushies gel-free disposable diapers to use when we go out of town.  Even if you have to send disposables to day care, you can still use cloth diapers at night.  Flushable diaper liners can also make cloth diapers somewhat more convenient.  Kushies, Imse Vimse, Real Nappies, and other companies offer diaper liners that can be removed from the diaper and flushed, along with the  mess that they contain.  I’ll be purchasing Biosoft flushable liners to use with Paulie once he starts eating solids.  They seem to be the softest liners available.

I’ll also be using cloth wipes for Paulie, when we’re at home.  Most of the time I’ll probably just use them with warm water, but I’m going to try out Bumgenius’s Bottom Cleaner.  I’ll wash the wipes along with the cloth diapers.  Using cloth wipes doesn’t mean giving up your diaper warmer– Prince Lionheart offers a diaper warmer made especially for cloth wipes.

Happy diapering!