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Posts Tagged ‘cloth diapers’

This summer has really got me thinking about global warming and the affect humans have on the earth. Normally at this time of year I’d be outside in the baking sun working on my tan and swimming in the river, but instead I’ve found myself wondering if the sun will ever come out and if the rain will continue to fall right through September and back into the fall. It’s not just the summer that’s got me thinking. Over the years of growing up in Northern California I’ve noticed a lot of change in winter as well. Ten years ago I would wait all winter just hoping for snow which rarely fell bellow the 1,500 feet elevation we lived at, but over the last few years and this year in particular it’s snowed several times a year instead of not at all, including a small unexpected snow flurry in late May.

Before becoming pregnant I could have cared less about global warming and the state of the earth. I was aware of these things humans were doing to endanger the planet we lived on, but I didn’t really feel like there was anything I could do because I was only one person so I didn’t do anything, but then my husband and I created a life, a life that was growing inside me every day coming closer to being a living, breathing part of this worlds, and I began to wonder just what type of world it was that I was leaving her.

It all started one afternoon when my husband came home from work and mentioned that a coworker and his wife used cloth diapers on their daughter and that it sounded like a great idea. I rolled my eyes and informed him that if he wanted to be in charge of washing dirty diapers and scraping poop into the toilet he was more than welcome to choose the diapering style for our yet to be born child, but I would not be going through all that extra hassle.

But being the curious person that I am I couldn’t leave it at that. I had to find out more. So I set my browser for google and searched cloth diapers. I was prepared to find what I think most people who know nothing about cloth diapering are prepared to find, a bunch of nonsense about flat white pieces of cloth, diaper pins and the dreaded plastic pants…

Oh how incredible wrong I was.

I was immediately transported into a new world, full of diapering concepts I had never fathomed. There were All in One (AIO) diapers that were the equivalent of a disposable diaper that you could just wash, there were diaper covers in every color of the rainbow, and not the nasty plastic pant kind of my childhood either, these were high tech with snaps and Velcro, and they were made from fabrics that didn’t crinkle when you touched them. The possibilities were endless and the online pro cloth diapering community was HUGE. I read blog after blog written by mothers just like me about their experiences with cloth diapers and how much they loved them. I learned tricks and tips to keep your diapers fresh and found a handy sprayer (like the one on a kitchen sink) that attached right into the plumbing behind the toilet and allowed you to spray poop right into the bowl and flush it away. Amazing.

I was convinced and over the next few months I ordered enough supplies to keep my unborn baby’s bottom covered until she was old enough to stay dry. After she was born through a little bit of trial and error we found the best system for us and cloth diapering has gone wonderfully all 6 of the months she’s been alive. (Check back for a post on our cloth diapering system)

And from the day I ordered my first cloth diaper I realized that besides being cheaper, cuter, chemical free and softer against my baby’s skin, cloth diapers were as an added bonus better for the environment and by choosing to use them we were keeping something like 5,000 disposable diapers out of a landfill, and preventing the need to produce the chemicals and pollution caused by the manufacturing every one of them.

After the birth of my daughter and as she grows before my eyes I’ve realized that I am not just one person, as a wife and a mother capable of influencing the people in my home I am really three people and that by making better, wiser decision for my family and promoting environmental responsibility in my own home I am raising my daughter to believe that this is the way you live and that minimizing your negative impact on the world is what you should be trying to do everyday. So with these thoughts our adventure has started and we begin to find the best ways to live “Green” as a family in hopes that one day through the inspiration of us and our children others will choose a more environmentally friendly path for themselves and continue to share what we have learned until we’ve made a real difference.

And though the steps may be small, like going No-Poo(shampoo free), or choosing a simple household cleaner such as baking soda and vinegar over chemical laden name brand cleaners, I hope that by making enough of them we’re able to make a bigger difference and raise a person who loves and respects the world she lives in enough to take the steps necessary in order to better preserve it.

Plus making the right choices for the environment also turn out to walk hand in hand with the best choices for your health and for your body! Talk about an added bonus!

 
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So many things to do, so many little clothes to wash, tiny socks to find, cloth diapers to fold, toys to clean and put away. The crib is set, the beds been made all waiting for her special day. I’ve read all the books, and picked through the best advice. We’ve made the choices as well as we can, but what do we really know?

Now I write this as a person who has never had a child before. Never been a mother past knowing and loving the person still being created inside of me, but I do have a theory, an idea of the best way to prepare for having a baby.

Stretch… Stretch a lot… Stretch your body, and most certainly stretch your mind because nothing is going to be as helpful as flexibility, as being able to let go of those preconceived notions of how everything is going to be, and how your life is going to look as a new parent. When I think about having my child I imagine her curled up next to me and her father in bed fast asleep. I imagine waking up to her softly rooting about as she expresses her desire to be fed, of pulling her close to me and dozing as she satisfies her hunger and then the both of us drifting back to sleep. This is my dream, my perfect utopia of motherhood at night. I would love for this to be my reality and in that desire I do hold on to the possibility that that is how it may be, but I’m also prepared to throw that picture out the window for the reality that will most likely ensue.

When I ponder those first months of being the mother of a Little Girl Person on the outside, I always try to add a little bit of reality to my fantasies, to remind myself that some things (okay most things) will not go as I envision, and to remember that the very best thing I can do for my sanity and the sanity of those around me is to be willing to change, accept, and appreciate my practices as a new mother.

I do hold on to one piece of sentiment that under no circumstance shall I let go, and that is the notion that in all of my daydreaming and fantasizing about the future I have only skimmed the surface of how amazing and wonderful motherhood will be, of what sort of experiences it will bring and how it will round and shape me as a person, and the bonds of our family.

I love my husband and I love myself, and I can’t even begin to grasp the love that I will have when I look into the eyes of a person made entirely out of us.

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