May 9, 2009

More About Cloth Wipes

Lots of questions on the cloth wipes!

Here are some things that worked well for us:

At Home - we made up a batch of wipe solution in a squirt bottle (not a spray bottle--I didn't like using a spray bottle). Then we'd wet down a few wipes, maybe 4-6, and keep them in a plastic wipes container. These were ready for immediate use. Then the bottle of solution (we used Baby Bits and I also love Baby Bum Drops) was kept next to a stack of dry wipes. This way, the wipes never had time to get smelly and we always had plenty of wipes in case of a really messy diaper.

Out and About - When we were out of the house, our routine changed just a little for cloth wipes. I kept a small wetbag with dry wipes and a 4 oz squirt bottle inside. At changing time, I wet one or two wipes. The rest were always dry. This way, they didn't get smelly in the diaper bag and I didn't have to worry about running out of wipes or keeping them fresh. Dirty wipes went into the bigger wetbag along with the dirty diapers.

All of the wipes solutions that we carry are fine to use with any brand of diaper. The essential oils that are used are in such tiny amounts that it doesn't hurt anything, and most of the EOs used are diaper-safe anyway. Plain water works well, too. If your baby has very sensitive skin, then the Northern Essense TTO/Lav-Free is great. It has no tea tree oil or lavender oil so it's extra-gentle. The Baby Bits and Baby Bum Drops will last the longest and give the most for your money.

Gardening, Part 1

Oddly enough, I suppose due to the beautiful weather we've had, I've had several customers and friends mention they are starting gardens for the first time. Congratulations if you're starting one too!

Growing up, we always had a huge garden. I resented it every morning at 7 am when Mom would drag me out of bed to weed and water the garden. And I took for granted the yummy bounty of beans, peas, lettuce, tomatoes, etc that we pulled out of garden.

That is...until I became an adult. Just a few years on my own and I was yearning for a garden. We lived in an apartment for several years and I had a balcony garden...herbs, flowers, and more. I never tried veggies since we didn't get a lot of sun.

Now we're in a house and our landlord was sweet enough to let us put in a garden last year. We chose to do raised beds, partly so we could avoid tearing up our rented yard and partly so we could control the soil quality. Last year we grew a little of everything...tomatoes, tomatillos (those didn't work at all), potatoes, carrots, onions, broccoli, bell peppers, beans, swiss chard, romaine, spinach, garlic, zucchini, strawberries, blueberries, cantelope (that didn't really work either) and gosh, probably even more that I've forgotten.
This year we're growing fewer things but more of them. More beans, more broccoli, spinach, more carrots, swiss chard, and garlic have been growing since March. I just bought a couple of pepper plants today. We're still planning to do zucchini just because it's so fun and easy to grow.

Does it sound overwhelming? I promise it's not. We use a method popularly known as "Square Foot Gardening." More on that in Part 2!

May 7, 2009

Wipes - what's the difference?

After you've switched to cloth diapering, inevitably the question comes up: What about cloth wipes?

Many moms find cloth wipes are actually easier to use. If you've used disposables diapers and wipes, then you're already used to wrapping the dirty wipe into the dirty diaper and tossing it in the trash. You can do the same with cloth only it goes into the diaper pail to be washed. Washing everything together is easy to do and saves even more money than just using cloth diapers.

But when you shop for wipes, there are so many choices! Here's the lowdown:

Velour - very soft, can be pastel or bright colors, usually cotton (Thirsties, Velour Wipes)

Fleece - very soft, does not stain easily, white, can be harder to wipe up breastfed poo, polyester (Thirsties)

Sherpa - thick cotton, white or natural color usually, cleans up the worst messes easily (Velour wipes, Knickernappies, Wahmies)

Flannel - cotton, cute prints, great for a mini-bath (Knickernappies, Wahmies)

Bamboo - very soft, stays soft, usually natural color, thin like Gerber washclothes (BumGenius)

What are my favorites? The flannel & sherpa Knickernappies wipes! I have all of these in our stash, but the flannel & sherpa wipes are my favs.