Welcome to the First Annual Freedom of Cloth Carnival
This post was written for inclusion in the Freedom of Cloth Carnival hosted at Natural Parents Network by Melissa of The New Mommy Files and Shannon of The Artful Mama. This year’s carnival will run from Sunday, July 3rd through Saturday, July 9th. Participants are sharing everything they know and love about cloth diapering, including how cloth has inspired them.
Welcome back to another post in my series on My Parenting Inspirations. Instead of a person, book or parenting philosophy – I am going to share with you a rather overlooked inspiration. Cloth Diapers. Oh yeah!
Having a baby changes EVERYTHING! It changes your home, your heart, your mind and your soul. For a lot of parents, having children awakens a new sense of priorities. Issues like “going green” suddenly take center stage as parents come to realize that someone had better do something about this planet of ours; if our children are going to have a shot at living a long, healthy life on it!
I always knew that cloth diapering and cloth wipes were going to be a priority for me. Researching and purchasing my daughter’s diapers was absolutely thrilling. I felt so ecologically responsible. It also felt wonderful knowing that my daughter’s skin was going to remain chemical free in yet another way. (For those of you who might be unaware, disposable diapers are chalk full of chemicals.) Cloth wipes were a natural extension of this. Why stop at cloth diapers?
Yessssssss….WHY STOP AT CLOTH DIAPERS?
So I didn’t.
After the birth of my daughter I began to slowly build my empire of cloth. My end goal is to be as paper and plastic product and disposable product free as possible. Certainly, there will be exceptions but I want to make a green lifestyle part of what “we do” as a family and not a lifestyle that we pretend to embrace so we can feel like we are doing our “job.” I outlined all the steps I needed to take in order for this to happen and decided that making a transition to cloth products was the easiest and most cost effective steps to begin with.
Here are the product trades I made:
- When I was a leaky, milky mess of a new breastfeeding mom I used cloth breast pads instead of the disposable option.
- Instead of using plastic bags to store dirty cloth diapers while out and about, I use wet bags.
- Instead of paper towels, I use dish towels and cloth wipes 99% of the time. Cleaning up the cat’s hairballs requires the use of a paper towel. (Sorry – it just does!)
- Instead of using paper napkins I use cloth napkins.
- Instead of using paper tissues, I use these cute little cloth squares that are super soft on your nose.
- Instead of plastic sandwich/snack bags I use washable cloth bags.
- Instead of using plastic produce and bulk item bags at the grocery store I bring my own reusable mesh bags.
- Instead of having my groceries packed up in “paper or plastic” I bring my own reusable canvas and cotton totes.
- Instead of the commercial cotton balls I use cloth cotton balls/makeup remover pads that you just throw in the wash. Pretty cool right?
- Instead of using toilet paper or baby wipes on myself, I now use cloth wipes. This is my most recent change and I have been exclusively using cloth wipes for almost 8 weeks. Let me just share that cloth wipes feel amazing. Wow! They are so soft compared to toilet paper. Plus, I can throw them in with the diaper laundry. Pardon me? What will I do when Tiny no longer wears diapers? Easy – I will still use cloth wipes. I will just buy more so I can get away with only washing them two times a week. Hey – don’t knock it ‘til you’ve tried it. Your bum will thank you. Trust me.
- I have just ordered some specially designed reusable cloth trash can liners. These will not be used in our main kitchen garbage can. I personally do not think that this would be sanitary. However, our little trash cans around the house do not need to be lined with those plastic liners. Nothing exciting goes into them so a cloth liner makes perfect sense. Plus if it does get dirty, I can wash it.
My next cloth feat is to use Mamacloth instead of tampons or pads. I cannot currently make this switch as my cycle has not yet returned. (Yes, Tiny is 27 months. No, I am no bragging. Ok, I am a little. And so the day after this post publishes, I will probably have the worst period of my life.)
For those of you concerned with the cost of cloth please note that you can reuse all kinds of cloth found in your own home! Holey socks, underwear, and shirts can be cut up and used. Old towels are another great option. All of the receiving blankets I
stole asked to take from the hospital have been cut up and repurposed. Same with the ones I received as baby shower gifts that Tiny no longer uses. You just have to look around in your home. You will realize that there is a lot of cloth waiting and willing to take the place of paper and plastic disposable products!
I am very excited with the changes that we have been able to implement and am hoping to find a few more. What do you use in your home? What cloth additions are you hoping to make?
Natural Parents Network for the most up-to-date news on the Freedom of Cloth Carnival!
Please take time to read the submissions by the other carnival participants on the following themes. Articles will go live on the scheduled theme day:
- Sunday, July 3rd, 2011: Cloth Related Recipes — Writers share their best cloth-related recipes and tutorials.
- Monday, July 4th, 2011: Choosing Your Cloth Style — Today’s posts discuss parents’ individual journeys to finding the cloth diapering “style” that best suits their families.
- Tuesday, July 5th, 2011: Cloth Diapering Must Haves — Parents talk about the most important items in their diapering “stash” and why they love them.
- Wednesday, July 6th, 2011: Wordless Wednesday, Inspired by Cloth — We asked parents to share their favorite cloth-related photo with us and turned them into a fluffy Wordless Wednesday photo montage on Natural Parents Network. Link up your own Wordless Wednesday post there!
- Thursday, July 7th, 2011: Cloth Through the Stages: From Infancy to Potty Independence — Today’s participants explain how cloth diapering has served their families throughout one or more stages of their children’s lives.
- Friday, July 8th, 2011: Cloth Troubleshooting and Laundry Day — Seasoned cloth diapering parents share their best tips and tricks for handling common cloth problems and tackling the diaper laundry.
- Saturday, July 9th, 2011: Inspired by Cloth — For today’s theme, we’ve asked writers to explore the ways cloth diapering has inspired them to become “greener” overall.
Photo Credit: Kelly Irene