Is Cloth Diapering Really For Me?

This post is brought to you by Eco Chic Baby.

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I know what you’re thinking “Cloth Diapers” as in pins, plastic covers, swirling poop and gigantic baby booty right?!!  WRONG!!!  Cloth Diapers have come so far in ease, function, use and cuteness!  For the record it’s not just hippies that cloth diaper, modern working families are cloth diapering, stay at home parents are cloth diapering, and work at home families are cloth diapering. It is for anyone and everyone! The other thing I know your thinking is “cloth diapering is too much work.”  Well let me tell you I’m a mother of three, a doula and business owner and I cloth diaper full time. Which means…YOU CAN TOO!

When you realize the benefits of cloth diapering for your bank account, your baby and our environment, a few extra loads of simple laundry is nothing!

Here are some basic reasons on why we love cloth:

  • Save MONEY:  on average $1500 per child
  • Save the earth:  (keeping thousands of diapers out of landfills and your neighborhood garbage can)
  • Non Toxic:  (no chemicals: dixon, TBT, SAP & more) – go to realdiaperassociation.org for more information
  • Soft & Cute:  that’s right these diapers are a fashion statement and you won’t be needing diaper covers for these!
  • Save time:  no last minute runs to the store for diapers and you end up buying other items which were not on the list. Face it you are already doing laundry as a parent, a few extra loads is nothing!
  • It’s not old school!  No pins, swirling, folding etc. Diaper on, diaper off and into the wet bag until washing day.
  • It’s NOT gross or hard!  Your washer takes in some pretty nasty stuff and baby poop is not the worst of them especially if you are breastfeeding (water soluble/organic). Should you choose to use our cloth diapers, we have made it simple for you with a washing guide and YouTube videos via our YouTube Channel (Eco Chic Baby). As well as for the older babies don’t spaz about that poop just spray it with a diaper sprayer or use flushable liners!

What about blow outs and leaks?

Well cloth diapered babies have LESS blow outs and LESS leaks if used properly! I have NEVER ever known anyone using cloth that has had a “real” blow out (up the back, cut off the onesie type). The back of the diaper is a nice fit versus a flat paper that allows for up the back blow outs. Also, especially when using natural fiber diapers (organic cotton, hemp, bamboo) you will see there is little to no rashes with cloth diapers!

Is it too late?

Is your baby 6 months, 12 months and you think why start now?

It’s NEVER too late. If you have an older baby you can get by with buying about 12 diapers versus 24 or more. As well as still save money especially if used on your next child.

All done having babies is it worth the cost?

YES, even if you have one child you will save $$$ and you can resell your diapers and make some money back! Bought diapers from us? We (eco chic) will buy them back or consign them if you don’t want to fuss with putting them up for sale.

How can you save $1500 per child by using cloth diapers?

Here is the breakdown:

  • On average you are going to spend close to $150 a month on disposable diapers, wipes, diaper trash bags, trash service, gas to get you to and from the store ….and wait, what about the other things you pick up while you “just go get diapers.” Also, our cloth diapers are ONE SIZE, 8-35lbs with adjustable snaps for small, medium and large!
  • So take that $150 or to be safe $100 x that by 12 and that is ONE YEAR of your baby’s diapers!
  • So far that is $1200 on ONE BABY for ONE YEAR…now keep adding…
  • Second year $1200 and third year $1200 (as most toddlers are trained somewhere in between).
  • Now that number is $3600 on scratchy paper diapers that have toxins in them and each diaper is sitting in a landfill for almost 500 years – YIKES!!!
  • Now as you know you change a baby about 12 times a day so take that and times it by 365 and that is 4380 disposable diapers for ONE YEAR!!!!! Now because babies get changed less as they get older I’m going to throw a average number out there for 2 years of diapering.
  • You can buy 7000 disposable (scratchy paper/expensive/toxic) diapers that cost you $3600 OR you can use 24 soft ORGANIC cloth diapers (bum genius elemental) that cost you $995 – or less.
  • Now that $995 is including bells and whistles aka Wipes, Warmer, dryer balls, diaper cream, detergent, wet bags (leak and stink proof bag that is handmade, washable and cute for holding dirty diapers) and so on.

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Now let’s recap here:

  1. Do you want to buy 7000 disposables for $3600 or 24 cloth diapers for $995?
  2. Do you want to be part of the growing green movement and keep those diapers out of our landfills and keep toxins away from your precious little one? Then Cloth is THE WAY.
  3. Before you go to the biggest online retailers to buy cloth diapers, consider “shop small” as well as getting exceptional customer service along with our (eco chic baby) price matching.

If you are in the area stop in for a free cloth 101 class, set up a diaper party or reserve a diaper rental!

Do I need special detergent or creams?

YES as mentioned in our washing guide it is crucial you:

1. wash diapers every 2 days

2. use only cloth diaper safe detergents and creams other wise you clog the pores of your diapers and they leak

3. The appropriate water to diaper ratio to ensure they are clean

4. YES you must do rinse, wash, rinse!!!

5. NO fabric softeners or dryer sheets!

Want to get your hands on a copy of our Cloth Diaper Basics E book? Head over to our facebook page and share one of our statuses to get your copy!

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Guest Blogger Chrissy Helmer, Founder, Eco Chic Baby

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Chrissy is a mom of three, business owner, childbirth educator, doula, and natural living consultant. She is passionate about empowering mothers to make healthy, eco-friendly choices for their families. A few of her favorite things include: cloth diapers, baby wearing, green smoothies, eco-friendly fashion, and Trader Joe’s peanut butter cups. She and her family live in beautiful Northern California and enjoy bike riding, camping and cooking organic foods. We are a family owned and run retail/resource center. We offer cloth diapers, gear,toys, handmade clothing & accessories along with Organic Skincare, Vitamins and more. We have over 10 classes geared toward new and expectant parents with 3 of them available via skype. And check out our Eco Chic Retreat for moms to rejuvenate their mind, body and soul. To find out more about Chrissy and Eco Chic Baby, visit her website at www.ecochicbaby.org.

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Thank you for following my weight loss journey!

Week 6

Initial Weight Week 1: 130

Final Weight Week 6: 123

Thank you for following my weight loss journey for the last six weeks. I still have a couple of pounds to go but I am proud of my success so far.

For me, the hardest parts of reaching a healthy weight are exercising, avoiding eating out, and skipping convenience foods. I am still in search for ways to make my exercise more effective… thinking about getting jogging stroller, but I can’t justify the cost unless I am sure I will use it (and I’m not sure).

Here is my prescription for a healthy diet:

–          Choose water has your main beverage

–          Try to eat as many vegetables as you can (especially bright colored ones)

–          Eat fruit when you want something sweet (preferably ones that are in season and locally grown)

–          Experiment with new healthy foods that you haven’t tried before

–          Bake, broil, or roast meats

–          Limit total grain intake and choose whole grains

–          Try to  limit eating out to once a week (very difficult for me)

–          Exercise often (the recommendation is 30 minutes on most days)

–          Treat yourself, but don’t cheat yourself!

Remember that life is all about balance and making the changes and choices that are right for you and your family!

What is your healthy eating “prescription”?

Adding Exercise

Olivia ready to exercise

This guest post is by Rachel Tainey, and is part five of a six week series.

Week 5

Starting weight: 125

Ending weight: 123

It’s almost go time! Three more weeks until Miami, and I am pretty happy with my weight loss so far. I have already lost seven pounds and I hope to lose at least three more. This week I have continued to be dairy free…. well, mostly. (I had cheese twice.)  I am still loving my coconut milk and coconut yogurt. Somebody told me about coconut ice cream and I’m dying to try!

As a dietitian I teach people that in order to lose weight and keep it off, a healthy routine should include nutrition and physical activity.  In addition to helping you reach a healthy weight, exercise has numerous benefits, including mood elevation–and as sometimes-sleep-deprived mamas, don’t we always need that sometimes? For me, healthy eating is much easier than exercising.

I wish I liked exercise. My mom is one of those people that goes to the gym every day and sometimes twice…but I have never really liked going to the gym, despite having memberships on and off throughout my adult years. I am the kind of person who is always in search for the right “fit” when it comes to exercise. I have gone through many phases looking for the perfect exercise match (kind of like exercise dating, ha!). I have tried roller blading, hot yoga, aerobics, home videos, and spinning–to name a few! The only thing that I have stuck to is walking. I love to look around and clear my head and the best part is that I can do it any time, any where, and with DD.

This week Olivia and I have been vamping up our walk routine and have been taking longer and much more intense walks. One day we took a nice walk with friends through the steep hills of Westchester, and my butt thanked me later! This morning we participated in a beautiful two mile walk at the NY Botantical Gardens. DD loves being outside and so do I. Ever since she was a newborn, we would take walks together, even if it was just five minutes so that we felt that we did something for the day!

Walking is all good, but I need ways to make it higher impact. I’m going to try walking faster, hiking up steeper inclines, and walking with weights (which would be hard to do with a stroller).  Do you have any ideas?

What types of exercises have you tried? What’s your go-to way to get moving?
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Did you know The Other Baby Book: A Natural Approach to Baby’s First Year is now for sale? Are you interested in learning more about gentle, mom and baby-friendly practices that foster a joyful, connected relationship? Want to introduce a pregnant friend to natural parenting? Check out our website or head over to Amazon to grab your copy today!
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Part I–(Postpartum) Depression: Let’s Talk

Wordle: Let's Talk PPD

No one wants to talk about depression.  In all of my talking with other moms, in all of the threads on all of the mother- and baby-boards I’ve visited, I’ve encountered little discussion of depression of any sort.   Why don’t we talk about it?  Perhaps it is because depression has no measurable, tangible or visible symptoms, like high blood pressure, a cough or a rash, so why go to the doctor if you’re just in a funk?  Or maybe it’s because so many people, including some of those with depression, feel that it’s just a bad mood, and it should simply be a matter of “snapping out of it”.  But that just isn’t the case.  Depression (see also “clinical depression” or “major depressive disorder”) is a very real and very serious illness affecting millions of people around the world, and is especially prevalent among women.  For example, an estimated 13% of women will experience postpartum depression (PPD).  Think of all the women who gave birth in your town, on the same day that you (or your partner) did.  More than one out of every ten of those new mothers experienced PPD.

Postpartum depression is a particularly nasty bit of work.  Unlike “the baby blues”, which are comparatively mild and last only a few weeks, postpartum depression (or PPD) is an episode of true depression occurring in the first year after pregnancy and lasting more than two weeks.  In addition to the normal run of symptoms associated with depression, a woman experiencing PPD may also feel a lack of interest in her baby, or even have thoughts of hurting her baby!  Then there’s the guilt for feeling that way, or having those thoughts.  And all of this is at a time when the mother is already exhausted, drained, and sleep deprived.  It’s a nightmare, and can definitely interfere with the mother’s ability to care for her child.

I can tell you from first hand experience that depression is a bitch, and PPD is even worse.  I have struggled with depression intermittently since I was a pre-teen.  I can’t tell you how many trips we made from my small hometown to near-by Orlando, visiting different doctors: a child psychiatrist, a counselor, an eating disorder specialist. I’d been on three or four different antidepressants by the time I graduated high school, during which time I acquired a new doctor and a new therapist.  I went off the meds in college, but saw the on-campus counselor for several months.  I went back on the meds after moving to Germany with my husband,   but improved enough during my first pregnancy to leave off of the antidepressants completely. That only lasted until my baby was about a year old, at which point I had my doctor put me back on Zoloft.  A few months after that, I became pregnant with my second child and my doctor switched me to Prozac.  I had a bad spell during the pregnancy, but it was smooth sailing in the months after my second daughter was born.  I stayed on a low dose of Prozac throughout*.

Now, I’m still fighting it.  It can still creep up on me, slow and subtle and insidious.  Life will start to lose its luster, activities that I enjoy will start to lose their appeal.  I start letting the house work slide, and the meals that I prepare become simpler and simpler.  I play with my children less, and lose my temper more.  I lose the ability to moderate my emotions, so that I fall apart at the slightest bump in the road.  Even the simplest tasks begin seem overwhelming. I find myself ruled by lethargy, sadness, frustration, and guilt that I’m not doing what I know I should.  Then I start to realize that I’ve been living for weeks in a gray murk.  I begin to recognize that things are not as they should be, and at that point, I seek help.  That is the important thing, especially now that I’m a parent.  I go back on the meds, or I raise my dosage, or I go back to counseling, and the murk begins to clear.

That’s where I am now in my fight against depression.  I’m clearing the murk and wondering, how many other women are walking this path with me?  How many women are not seeking and receiving help, because they don’t know that they should, because they are ashamed, or because they don’t know who to turn to?  Those are the women who break my heart, and those are the women I want to be talking to right now.  Take a look at some of the links below for information about depression in general, and PPD in particular. Try to evaluate your recent feelings and behaviors.  If you are depressed, there is absolutely nothing to be ashamed of.  (Should a diabetic be ashamed that he needs a doctor to help him manage his blood sugar?)  If you don’t know where to start, ask your doctor or try talking to a loved one.  But please, do something.  There is no reason for you to suffer.

In addition to being a veteran of PPD, Adrienne is a craft junkie, Navy wife, and stay at home mother to two beautiful little girls near Norfolk, Virginia.  She blogs about it all at http://the-green-world.blogspot.com/ .

*According to the Ask Dr. Sears article on PPD, either Zoloft or Paxil would have been safer during breastfeeding, but I’d not heard that until now.  I plan to ask my current doctor about it at my next appointment.

Sources:

The Mayo Clinic on PPD

Dr. Sears on PPD

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Did you know The Other Baby Book: A Natural Approach to Baby’s First Year is now for sale? Are you interested in learning more about gentle, mom and baby-friendly practices that foster a joyful, connected relationship? Want to introduce a pregnant friend to natural parenting? Check out our website or head over to Amazon to grab your copy today!
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The surprise benefits of going dairy free

Week 4:

Starting weight: 127

Ending weight: 125

This is my fourth week of trying to lose weight and get healthy! This week was a little different… Last week my five month old daughter was diagnosed with eczema. I felt so bad for her. Her skin is so dry and I think that it itches, causing her to be mildly fussy. The pediatrician told us to use several topical lotions including a steroid cream. Besides the side effects of steroid use, there is strong evidence that steroid use is linked to osteoporosis later in life. I have had eczema and asthma my whole life and have been on various types of steroids many times, so my chances of getting osteoporosis are very high. I  really didn’t want to increase DD’s chance of complications later on. She’s only five months!

I decided instead to use coconut oil mixed with breast milk as a topical ointment and to try a modified elimination diet. The most common dietary triggers for eczema are dairy, wheat, eggs, and nuts. This week I decided to eliminate dairy from my diet to see if it would help. This is a big deal for me; I LOVE cheese, yogurt, and all things dairy. But I love DD more. I cried on the first day. For real–real tears. However, overall it really hasn’t been that bad. I have been using a blend of coconut and almond milk in my coffee and it’s quite tasty. I have also been eating almond yogurt, which is a little hard to get used to. I think I like coconut yogurt better. The hardest day for me was when I went to a mixer for the school I will be attending in the fall, and all they served was a platter of stinky delicious cheeses, crackers, and hummus. I was so proud of myself for abstaining from those amazing looking cheeses.

I am not quite sure if the dairy elimination is helping DD yet, but her skin is much softer, and she seems a little happier, so I am going to continue being dairy free for a while. The best side effect of the dairy elimination project was that I lost two pounds this week without really trying! Dairy, especially cheese, can be high in fat, especially the dangerous saturated fat. By cutting the saturated fat out of my diet, I also cut out extra fat. Amazing!

Are you on or have you ever been on an elimination diet? What did you eliminate? What was the most difficult adjustment ?

Parenting in Recovery

Emily’s gorgeous girl

This is a guest post by Emily Reisler.

I am an alcoholic and drug addict in recovery. And I am a mommy of a beautiful 7 month old baby girl. I state these things in that order intentionally, because in order for me to be effective in the latter role, I must never forget the former.

I have not only been blessed with a second chance at my own life, but with the gift of starting a new one with a man who I consider to be my soulmate. The crazy thing about it all is that I could have missed out on everything.

Being sober and in recovery has a profound affect on not only how I “do life,” but how I parent. And to be perfectly honest, on most days I am actually grateful that I am an alcoholic. In gaining some recovery from a seemingly hopeless state through a 12-step program, I have developed and continue to develop, the type of self-awareness that I am not sure I could have achieved otherwise. I have also gained an awareness of others, and learned about serving others, and owning my part during conflicts. Perhaps for a non-addict these things come naturally, but I can only share my experience.

I am not a religious person by any means, but I do have a strong spiritual consciousness and connection of my own understanding. I think most mommies would agree that if you didn’t believe in something greater than yourself before childbirth, you probably do now. Prior to getting in to recovery, my perception of that ‘higher power’ was not a loving one. I was in fear of being punished or having things taken away from me, probably as a result of how I was living my life. In getting sober, it became apparent to me that I was spared  by the grace of something greater than me, and it couldn’t possibly be a mean or punishing entity. Though talking about God can ruffle feathers, it is a huge part of my story and how I relate to others, so to leave it out would be not telling the full truth.

The biggest challenge I face is balancing it all. I would imagine this is a common struggle, but because I view the maintenance of  my recovery and spiritual condition as a life or death situation, it can get tricky. I attend 12-step meetings regularly, because the disease of alcoholism is cunning, powerful and baffling. I consider being a sober mommy an honor and a privilege, and  I love the life I have today. There’s a saying, ‘Don’t let the life that recovery gave you, take you out of recovery’. This isn’t my first bout of sobriety, but I genuinely hope it is my last.

My commitment to staying sober and being part of a program is likely stronger post-baby, for the simple fact that my daughter makes me better than I am. I am excited about raising my little girl to be self-aware, helpful to others and conscious of her feelings. I want to pass along the art of identifying resentments, making proper amends to others when necessary, and developing a spiritual connection to the universe.

Most of all though, I’m looking forward to teaching her this, by example: how to show up for your life.

Emily lives in South Orange County, California. She works full-time as a Mama, and part-time as a hairstylist. Emily has been sober for 2 years, 8 months.

Are you a mom in recovery? What have been your biggest challenges and joys?

Hooray for small, healthy changes

Initial weight: 128

Final weight: 127

I was determined to get back on track this week and I am satisfied with the one pound weight loss (although I wish it was a little more).

There are things that I am proud of myself for this week:

  1. Sticking to my no juice, no soda rule- I have always had an issue with water–it’s just so plain! I know that water is crucial to every function in our bodies and I preach the benefits of water to clients daily…. but it has always been a hard one for me. I haven’t had a any juice or soda and I have increased my water tremendously! I really owe it to my new water bottle. I have a new pretty, purple, brita water bottle that I am obsessed with. It makes me want to drink water! I am like the stubborn two year old that will not drink from a cup until she is presented with the prettiest Dora cup. That’s me! I know it sounds ridiculous but it’s true, and if it gets me to drink water, then hooray for the pretty purple water bottle!
  2. Saying no to the dessert case- Every week I go to Starbucks to do work and every week I am confronted by the display case of yummy looking desserts (see picture). For the last three weeks I have successfully ignored the case and have only purchased decaf coffee (with skim milk and a little sugar).  To satisfy my sweet tooth I made yummy blueberry muffins which were delicious and had all natural ingredients.
  3. Branching out- I had fallen into a lunch/dinner rut of eating all of the same foods all the time. This week I made a spinach pizza on whole wheat crust that was amazing. I also had a delicious spinach and butternut squash salad that I bought at a local gourmet supermarket (If you live in Queens or Long Island go to North Shore Farms!).
  4. Walking- Olivia and I have been walking every day for about 30-45 minutes. It’s great, we both love being outside! I do need to ramp up my exercise though, I am thinking about buying a baby and me yoga video.

Overall, I feel that I have made some positive changes, but now I really need to crank it up for the next three weeks!

Have you made any small healthy changes that you are proud of?

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Did you know The Other Baby Book: A Natural Approach to Baby’s First Year is now for sale? Are you interested in learning more about gentle, mom and baby-friendly practices that foster a joyful, connected relationship? Want to introduce a pregnant friend to natural parenting? Check out our website or head over to Amazon to grab your copy today!
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