Maybe You’re Doing it Wrong?

Recently I was made aware of a blog post titled “The Disgusting Truth about Cloth Diapers, a recent post in the “Housewife Plus” blog at the Bangor Daily News. I had a bit of a hard time getting worked up about it. It is after all, just one person’s opinion about her individual experience, not a piece of researched journalism.

On the other hand, I just couldn’t let it slide, being a bit of a stubborn know-it-all myself. There were many moments in the blog that made me laugh, like the description of buying a diaper pail and obsessing about the color. That was my first clue about how her diapering experience may have gone wrong. I myself can get a little giddy about a new print or color of diaper, but in my life and in my store, I stress function over form. Some of the cutest diapers I have tried, with the most adorable names, have been some of the worst to use. Perhaps focusing more on what will work will lead to more satisfaction. Same goes for any product on the market: I have fallen victim to buying Upta Camp Beer, Haute Pockets, and many other products that looked great on the web or even on the shelf, but fell short of my expectation.

Part of the reason I opened this store in the first place (no, it wasn’t to get rich — cloth diapers have the worst profit margin in our store, or any store for that matter) was that I didn’t have the option of walking into a place to see products and pick the brains of people who had spent a lot of time thinking about the issue. Many of the first diapers I bought were less than awesome for me, but I figured out what I liked.

My next learning curve was figuring out how to help other people determine what works for them. The web is a sea of information, but it is boundless and largely unregulated. If when explaining pocket diapers to a customer they twinge a bit when we get to the part about pulling the insert out, then our response is, “don’t buy pockets.” Not rocket science here folks.

Likewise for “dunking” diapers. If that sounds gross, buy a diaper sprayer, or flushable liners. You don’t have to poo-poo the whole thing. Although dunking is not my day to day method, I have done it when I had to and those are not my most glamorous moments, but not much of parenting is glamorous.

And I can honestly say, I have yet to “scrub” a diaper. And that is not to say that I haven’t been up to my elbows in the stuff. Newsflash: babies poop and it can get here there and everywhere. I would love to meet the disposable diapering mom who hasn’t gotten the stuff on her hands at some point.

I truly believe that cloth diapering may not be a choice for everyone; nothing is, to each their own, etc., etc. The few times we have had to use disposables when traveling, or when Mabel was in the NICU, reinforced that disposables aren’t for me, but maybe they are for you — no worries, judgment or criticism.

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Audrey: Wow What A Ride

If you were on our website shopping for Audrey print bumGenius diapers between 4:00 and 6:00 on Tuesday afternoon, you know what a wild ride it was! Cotton Babies did a great job drumming up enthusiasm for this new print and retailers and consumers alike were whipped into a frenzy!

Even when retailers were ordering on their site, we kept crashing their page! I knew in that moment that I needed to order more than usual!

If you were one of the lucky patrons who got through and snagged yourself some Audrey, bear with me as we wait for the overloaded manufacturer to get product to us so I can get it to you.

If you have never ordered from us before, this is not typically how we operate at MCDC. Typically we sell products we already have in store, and I apologize to everyone for having to wait a bit longer than usual.

I will post here and on Facebook as new information comes through. To ensure you get the most up to date info, like our page and set your notifications to receive all our messages.

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Audrey: The New Genius Series Print From bumGenius

Genius Series Prints
The Genius Series prints have been inspired by well-known geniuses in history. From technicians to movie stars, each featured “genius” has made a mark on the world through their inspirational talents.

Audrey
Inspired by one of the most heralded style icons, this new Genius Series print embodies charm, elegance and sophistication. Some might say this diaper is simply darling. A classic combination of black, white and Blossom, this one-of-a-kind print proves to be a style fit for a star. Sunglasses and style! It’s the perfect addition to your store’s springtime collection.

As a film and fashion superstar throughout Hollywood’s Golden Age, Audrey has become an icon of style and grace – Not to mention, an outstanding actress and true humanitarian. She received the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President George H. W. Bush and was one of the few actresses to have won an Academy, Emmy, Grammy and Tony award. In her early life, Hepburn worked for the Dutch Resistance during World War II by transporting secret messages in her ballet slippers. The evidence of her talent, boldness, and hard work make her accomplishments truly worthy of a Genius status in our book.

Just like Audrey’s chic, timeless style, this Genius series print is sure to become a staple in the cloth diaper community and is ready to make a debut in your store’s cloth diaper collection. Get this limited edition print today! Available while supplies last.

 

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Tattle Tales Allowed

Few things drive me nuttier than hearing children bandy about the idiomatic expression “tattle tale.” Out of nowhere 2 year old Grant, when emotionally crushed, started saying, “I’m going to tell on your mommy” (or daddy, or Zoe… fill in the appropriate name).

Almost simultaneously, big sister Zoe, started saying, “Don’t be a tattle tale!”
Both phrases caused me to take a knee give a hug and mentally shake a fist at society at large, and not because I have a burning desire to stop at frequent intervals and play cop over every toy’s provenance.

Nope, it is because I want my children, children at large to know I am listening and their problems matter to me.

As adolescents, our children lock themselves behind closed doors and feel their way through adult situations without the advice of a trusty adult because we have conditioned them to squirrel their problems away and work it out Lord of the Flies style.

Today’s, “Grant is picking his nose,” is tomorrow’s, “Bobby is doing something harmful to himself,” and I personally want to be there for that conversation.
Our children ask for help, and it isn’t always convenient, but it is important to give them the language and the tools to work through the situation.

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Bye-Bye Baby Boogies

Nothing hinders baby sleep like a snotty nose can, and when baby can’t sleep, ain’t nobody gonna sleep.

When Grant was little, and had his first cold we went to town with bulb syringe and saline, and it wasn’t until after he contracted a sinus infection that I learned that bulb syringes are supposed to be single use, and they quickly become infested with mold a la this widely circulated picture of a bulb syringe cut open:

Well needless to say, we learned our lesson and looked for an alternative solution. Enter the NoseFrida. When I first learned of this handy device I was revolted at the idea of sucking boogies out of my baby’s face, but after a few uses, I was not only immune to the “ewww” factor, I actually found it strangely satisfying to clear his nose.

Combine the nose clearing power of this little device with some non menthol Baby Vicks, or the menthol and petroleum free BALM! Baby Eucalyptus Rub applied to the feet (eliminates the risk of rubbing it into eyes) for some easier breathing, and hopefully more restful nights.

Bulb Syringe: Gross!

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A solution for everyone

Recently, my family took a week’s vacation. In order to achieve the maximum level of relaxation, we opted for disposable diapers and wipes. I pushed the thought of dioxins and difficult-to-pronounce chemicals near my little Acorn’s parts to the very back of my brain. Of course, I couldn’t help but scan the tiny little words listed after INGREDIENTS on the back of the wipes package. Although I’d chosen a more “green” wipes option with no fragrance, dyes, parabens or phthalates, I wondered about the origin of those mysterious ingredients.

When we’re home and our life has assumed it’s natural rhythm, I make my own wipe solution. It’s easy and can be whipped up in less than two minutes. No time for anything fancy! I simply put a few drops of liquid castile soap into a spray bottle filled with distilled water and mix in a little bit of distilled white vinegar. (The vinegar is great for killing off yeast and/or harmful bacteria, if your little one is prone to infections.) I shake the bottle before spraying to evenly distribute all of the liquid, and spray on however much is needed.

When we’re traveling, I like to put wipe solution in a peri bottle, which is left over from my neonatal recoup package. The liquid comes out easily with a squirt, no messing around! I throw that and some smaller fabric scraps (see my blog on wipes) into the dry portion of a wet bag, along with a couple fresh diapers. (No brainer, but I feel as though I must mention: the wet portion of the bag is reserved only for used diapers and wipes.)

Wipe solution doesn’t need to be 100% homemade; Ruby Moon also makes natural wipes bits that dissolve in hot water. Lightly scented with oatmeal, soothing goat’s milk and honey, this solution is also moisturizing to baby’s skin.

If you don’t have time to mix your own, Ruby Moon also makes a vegan wipe solution, with jojoba and healing vitamin e oil. It’s completely dye and fragrance free, so no ingredient worries!

There’s also a ready-made and all natural bottom cleaner by bumGenius, able to boost the effectiveness of your disposable wipes or even use as a personal hand cleanser. And Happy Heiny’s Heiny Wash is a refreshing organic spray, made up of plant-derived ingredients and is also naturally anti-bacterial.

Isn’t it nice to know that baby’s sensitive areas can be completely protected? You’re already a concerned parent; this is just a little something to NOT worry about!

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Wipe out!

When I was pregnant and worried about how we were going to afford living with a new addition, I spoke with a few other expecting mothers (who were either planning to or already cloth diapering) about wipes. Just one of those tiny little things on the list of many must-have’s, they often get forgotten when there are bulkier items to worry about. I wanted to be prepared, and since I’m a fabric stasher, this was my chance to merge my own personal style and creativity with my baby’s needs. It was exciting, planning them out!

If you’re wondering what the best material is for wipes, cotton or flannel will do. I sewed two 5”x5” squares of flannel together (wrong side to wrong side) on three sides and then flipped them outside in to finish the fourth side. If you’re not into sewing, you can simply cut flannel or cotton scraps into squares with pinking shears. Thickness of the fabric doesn’t really matter. In fact, for really messy newborn cleanups, it’s a little easier if your fabric is thin and more pliable.

If you’re running out of creative time or don’t wish to pursue making your own, Maine Cloth carries flannel, organic cotton, and even compressed wipes (perfect for travel)! And check out this five-pack of sweet custom-made cotton and flannel. Choose from fun girl or boy prints. They’re so cute to have around, you could even just use them for wiping minor spills or dabbing little noses and hands. And Thirsties cotton velour/microfleece wipes are so soft, they can even be used for makeup removal. This colorful six pack is so cheery!

We use our wipes for so many things! I usually keep a few handy for baby finger cleanups, a quick wipe-down on the (high chair) table, and even runny noses. I’ve longed to sew some fabric to the center portion of my prefolds for a nifty little burp cloth, but that’ll come one day when I’m a grandmother, perhaps. What else do you use cloth wipes for?

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Ho-hum, time for fun

I’m sure you’ve had one of those weeks. Your kids (and most likely you, too) begin the day in slow motion… You realize if you don’t think of something to stimulate those brains within the next ten minutes, you’re either going to witness a meltdown or just have a bad day in general.

Time to pull out all the stops. Do you own a vinyl tablecloth? I swear I see a little flame flickering in my child’s eyeballs when he sees ours make it’s debut. Because mess is going to happen. Heck, it’s just plain welcome, when we have the tablecloth takes spotlight. Ever present during barbeques and outdoor picnics, adults have already come to realize what it means. But when a child knows that it’s 100% okay to make a mess (and indoors, even), there will be smiles.

At the end of the week, I’m fresh out of ideas and spark. My kids pick up on this, and they feel it, too. A little messy play to liven things up and some gross motor fun is a great answer. (Note: I don’t do this every week, it’s just a little something for special moments when it’s raining or snowing, or when I don’t feel like getting out of the house. But definitely a special occasion.)

I keep all of the kid’s art supplies in a small tacklebox. It holds what I need in a hurry when a little one is looking for something to do, while the other is crying for a nap. So here’s where the fun starts: (While my crawler sleeps,) I take out the paints, brushes, clay, paper, coloring books, crayons, stamps, stickers… all of it gets laid out on the tablecloth. Let that kiddo dig in, it’s time to get messy and discover what they can do! In the very middle, I place a few pails full of water, and a couple old hand towels. This is where they clean up if they get paint on themselves, or if they need to dip a brush, etc. I do have to keep a close eye on the water, just in case my toddler is burnt out and looking for some other kind of adventure (creativity doesn’t always strike during times of burnout, you know). My three year old loves to mix colors (and have me name them, to be sure I’m watching), see what shapes he can draw, sculpt families of snakes, and scribble every color of the rainbow in his coloring books.

When my curious 13 month old comes cruising through the kitchen, the paints, clay and wet stuff need to disappear, but he and my eldest can then enjoy playing in a foamy shaving cream sensory bin (I use a deep bin for this). Sooooo much fun can happen with gobs of it dotting the ground (ahem, tablecloth). Shave, draw in the clouds, get plastic toys all “snowy” and wash them off in the tub, you name it.

Everything goes. It’s one of those days, after all. Make what you like, and enjoy what you’re making. Chances are you’re going to have a few pieces to frame when the fun is all over.

Other great things to add to the mix and prolong the magic (when age appropriate):

scissors and paper scraps
clay cookies, cupcakes, or ice cream
glue + puff balls/buttons/popsicle sticks/paper plates/string
colorful pipe cleaners and googly eyes
string and macaroni (I can’t believe we still haven’t tried this yet!)
toilet paper and paper towel tubes

Anything you’d throw in? What do you do to stimulate your kid’s creativity?

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bumGenius freetime one-size diaper giveaway!

We are sponsoring a giveaway for one bumGenius freetime cloth diaper, your color of choice!  We are getting rave reviews on this all in one diaper!

Like us on Facebook and be automatically entered.bumGenius freetime cloth diaper

 

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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How To Lanolize Wool

How to Lanolize Wool Diaper Covers, Soakers, and Longies

Have you been curious about using wool covers?  Wool has some great advantages.  Here are a few…wool is naturally antibacterial and urine smells neutralize between uses.  Wool absorbs one-third of its weight in moisture.  Wool is breathable and natural.  Makes a great night time cover for heavy wetters!  Our favorite is Kissaluvs Wool Lover’s Diaper Cover. If you are crafty, you can make recycled wool covers out of old sweaters or knit some really cute soakers!

1. Rinse wool covers under running water to remove urine and/or feces.  If there are feces that will not come off easily, we recommend using a natural bar of soap to rub any soiled parts of the cover before proceeding to the next step.

2. Fill the kitchen or bathroom sink with room temperature water and a few tablespoon of Eucalan Woolwash. (Estimate is for lanolizing 4-6 wool covers). If you are using pure lanolin, you may need to melt it in the microwave first (baby jars with a little bit of water work great).

3. Put the wool in the sink and swish around for a few minutes. Let them soak for 30 minutes.

4. Remove wool and gently press to squeeze out excess water. Roll in a towel to dry further. Do not wring them out!

5. Hang wool to dry, or lay on a towel in a warm, dry place.

Lanolizing is often done once a month to help keep wool in tip top shape and to make sure it keeps repelling moisture so that baby’s clothing stays dry.

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