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Carnival of Natural Parenting -- Hobo Mama and Code Name: Mama
Mindful Mama Carnival
A Little Bit of All of It: A Natural Parenting Blog
October Unprocessed 2012
Freedom of Cloth Carnival

Posts Tagged ‘cloth diapers’

Becoming Crunchy – Inspired By Cloth

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.



When I think back on how the whole ‘Becoming Crunchy’ phase of our lives began, the phrase “Inspired By Cloth” is simply an understatement.

Here’s how it went down…

Back when I was first expecting and had almost no conception of what it meant to be ‘crunchy’, AP, natural, etc., I realized towards the end of my pregnancy that I had been reading all kinds of books and resources about pregnancy, but very little about actually being a parent.

Along with that, I had this irrational fear of postpartum bleeding – for some reason, I had built it up in my head as this terrible thing (I was imagining my worst period times 10) and I was quietly searching around the web for some sort of mega-pad type solution to save me from becoming a Lady Macbeth covered in blood type figure directly after delivering.

(I know – but I was pregnant).

Anyway, my search led me first to mama cloth (cloth menstrual pads) – it was my first introduction to the idea that cloth could be used in place of something I would normally just assume to be disposable, like a pad.

And in the end, while I did find the idea intriguing, I rejected it – I didn’t really see it as worth the investment or believe that it would work.

But in that search that exposed me to mama cloth users, I came across bloggers who were talking about using cloth diapers. Read the rest of this entry »

Why Hate the Grains?

Fruit & Vegetable Box

Image by karimian via Flickr

Starting Monday, May 9th, the hubs and I embarked on an experimental 2 weeks of going grain free.

There are many reasons for this. I’ve been inspired by a few bloggers and Facebook friends. I’m trying to lose weight so I can win some cloth diapers. I like to try new things. ;)

But the main motivation behind it all is that I am also – duh duh – trying to cut out sugar.

Here’s the thing…when people were first suggesting the idea of going grain free to me, I was not interested. You see, if bread was a person, I would marry him. Or her. I wouldn’t care. I adore bread. I could live off bread.

Are you getting the picture here?

But then I read this article shared by Garden Variety Mama (one of the many bloggers I heart): Is Sugar Toxic?

I had always planned to keep sugar from the Bean until she was at least 2 years old, and this article made me start thinking it would be good to cut it out for myself too. I actually don’t have a huge sweet tooth, but every so often, that mini chocolate cake in the grocery store bakery calls my name, and I usually answer.

That’s part of why my journey to become more healthy has been something of a rocky one. I’ve had many successes – only 3 diet cokes consumed over the past 2 months; fast food only once. We’ve been eating a ton more veggies and fruits, a ton more home cooked, unprocessed foods…but then I get stressed or tired or lazy or just craving and I buy crap. And then I eat it. (Lovely picture, no?). Read the rest of this entry »

Weekend Update & a Sunday Surf


The Ham I Baked Today - 1950's Style Awesomeness

The Ham I Baked Today - 1950's Style Awesomeness

What a week!

Earth week, mama cloth reviews and a giveaway (still lots of time to enter!), an Earth Day Blog Carnival, guest posting at The Cloth Diapering Mama, The Great Cloth Diaper Change, and Easter!

Can I have another weekend please?

In spite of being tired (and still quite full), I feel almost ready for a new week to begin – just need a quick recap of the weekend first!

Bean came down with a bit of a cold and was miserable Friday night, so Saturday night we added some eucalyptus and lavender essential oil to the humidifier and it seemed to help quite a bit…she’s almost back to her normal self today (though we are still getting more nighttime wakeups than usual…poor Bean!). I was very thankful to mamas on Facebook for their helpful advice, though I DO have a bit of a beef to share!

Here’s the thing – I posed the exact same question on two pages (essentially: Bean has cold; natural remedies; how much oil should I put in the humidifier). On one page (an AP/natural parenting page that allows fans to post questions and get advice from other fans), I specifically stated that breastfeeding was not an option for us – I knew that if I didn’t, the answers would probably be filled with bf’ing remedies (not that I have anything at all against that – it just wasn’t something that was going to be helpful to me!). Read the rest of this entry »

That Cup Does What?

Diva Cup

Diva Cup

We’re doing a quick switch from mama cloth here over to the Diva Cup – a reusable menstrual cup made from healthcare grade silicone  that is plastic free, BPA free, latex free and sanitary.

It was created by a mother/daughter team, Francine & Carinne Chambers, about 15 years ago. The idea of the menstrual cup has been around for a long time, but this is probably the most popularized and available one in recent history.

I actually had a friend tell me about the Diva Cup…oh around 10 years ago now. I think I barely listened to her – my response was probably along the lines of, “Gross!” (Mary, if you ever by any chance come across this blog, I’m sorry I didn’t listen to you!).

Up until very recently, the Diva continued to NOT appeal to me…there was something about it I just couldn’t get into. But I wanted to be fair and give it a try – I’m not the type who likes the idea of a pad alone throughout my period, so I wanted to give some of the ‘tampon-like’ products their due.

The basic premise of the Diva Cup:

You fold it in half, push it up there (it does not go up as far as a tampon would), twist it a bit to create a seal, and it catches your flow. Every so often you pull it out, dump it, and clean it with a gentle soap (I just used my all natural bathroom hand soap, but you can buy a special Diva Wash if you’re interested).

You can find a video on how to do it HERE.

I’m trying to think of why I didn’t like the idea so much and I can come up with 2 things – it looks a bit weird and kind of big to be going up there (it’s certainly wider than a tampon) and then there’s the ick factor – you do get a little more up close and personal with your flow than you normally might with a tampon. Read the rest of this entry »

Well That’s Strange…My Period…It’s…Green!


Mama Cloth

Mama Cloth!

Happy Earth Week!

If you’ve been a reader for any time at all here at Becoming Crunchy, you’ll know my hubby and I have been making a lot of changes in our lives recently from very ‘mainstream’ living to being more ‘crunchy’, which entails quite a lot, but basically comes down to having much greater care for the environment, the food we eat, the products we use, etc., etc.

I’m not denying that we still have a long way to go, but I am pretty proud of many of the changes we’ve made – I think we’ve come a long way!

Because we celebrate Earth Day on April 22nd, I spent some time last month thinking about what I could do as kind of a bigger gesture toward becoming more sustainable.

What I came up with was Mama Cloth.

If you don’t know what Mama Cloth is (I didn’t until very recently!) you’re gonna get a whole bunch of information on it this week – I’ve ordered products to review from 5 different companies (including some awesome WAHM’s) and I’ve got a lot to share from what I’ve learned and experienced.

We’re gonna get into some intimate details here, but hopefully by the end you’ll come to be as excited about the whole idea as I am (if you’re not already!) – and if you’re mama cloth curious, a lot of your questions should be answered this week… Read the rest of this entry »

Moving Away From Household Toxins – an Update

Toxic Symbol

Toxic no more...

Our becoming crunchy family has made quite a few changes in the past few months when it comes to our personal care and cleaning products…I just wanted to do a quick share of what we’ve done along with some of the changes we’ve already begun to notice…

It all started with the laundry soap. I grew up using liquid Tide and those Bounce drier sheets…never thought much of it until the Bean came along. I switched to Tide Free for her clothes and diapers, eventually incorporating it for all our clothes, but I was still kind of looking for something different.

At the time we had a front loading HE washer and we’d been experiencing issues with that mildewy smell basically since we had the thing…if I didn’t take the clothes out to dry immediately after washing they would get stinky. I could not figure out what the problem was until I started to do a little research and found out that basically it’s a bad idea to use liquid detergents in front loaders…there are ingredients that basically get stuck to the outside of the drum and don’t go away, causing that icky mildewy smell.

Well that was sure nice to know!

So I looked around a bit and found Nellie’s Laundry Soda – an awesome all-natural powder detergent that only requires a tablespoonful for each load – even if it’s a load full of diapers. It’s quite affordable too because you use so little of it…a small-ish tin seems to last me forever (and I do a lot of laundry!).

As for the Bounce (fabric softener) I read that you should never use it with cloth diapers because it can affect the absorbency. That led me into reading that fabric softener really isn’t the best thing for you or your clothes anyway.

I wondered if it would be weird not to use it, or if our clothes would be all staticy.

Well, the short answer is no and no.

I’ve heard people comment that when you stop using fabric softener it becomes extremely noticeable from people who do; I was shocked to find a few months later when my MIL gave me a bag of baby clothes that I could hardly stand the scent…it is amazing what we get used to! (I also like the money I save…those Bounce sheets can be kind of pricey!)

What does my laundry smell like now? Well…it doesn’t. It doesn’t smell like anything.

I must admit I really like it.

As for other cleaning products, anything that could be labeled toxic is gone. I still have a stock of ‘green’ cleaning sprays and such, but as soon as they run out I’m switching to baking soda and vinegar. I’m also looking into how I might be able to use SoapNuts more effectively in different areas.

My personal care products have also gone through a drastic overhaul. Read the rest of this entry »

Let’s Talk About Poop!

Cover of "The Story of the Little Mole Wh...

Who Pooped on My Head?

I occasionally get overwhelmed with everything it is necessary to research and consider and question and decide upon when it comes to becoming crunchy…today in particular I was reading this post by Kitchen Stewardship over at Simple Organic about 10 Childbirth Norms Parents Can Refuse, and while I’m truly grateful for the information, it can start to make my head spin sometimes (there are dyes in our prenatal vitamins? awesome. :p ).

She also discusses refusing the newborn eye ointment, which I SO wanted to do, but I was told that it is the law here, that if I refused the hospital could actually report me to child services if they so chose, even if I signed a consent form.

It became one of those things that it seemed easier just to give in about…particularly as I find it more difficult than I would wish to contradict a doctor (some of them really have a neat way of making you feel incredibly stupid).

So I decided, enough of the difficult (admittedly very necessary) decision making and research this morning.

I want to talk about poop!

I know that if you are a mother, poop is probably very interesting to you.

I know this because I rarely have a discussion with a fellow parent that doesn’t at some point involve poop. I occasionally talk about poop in front of non parents and it quietly amuses me to see how uncomfortable it makes them. I once met a mom at a baby yoga class and within 5 minutes I was discussing poop with this total stranger.

A lot of people who are repulsed by the idea of cloth diapers seem to mainly have issue with the poop (though any cloth diapering mama can tell you you’re probably gonna have to deal with that no matter what kind of diapers you use!)

And I know for me, one of the reasons poop is so interesting is that it is an important key to what’s going on with baby. I’ve used this visual guide from Babycenter more than once in my 7+ months of being a parent!

But guess what? Read the rest of this entry »

I am Loving Becoming Crunchy!

My room, circa 1970

Can I be her?

I am loving becoming crunchy

Not the blog (though I do greatly enjoy writing it :) ) but the actual changes we’re making in our lives one step at a time.

I feel like becoming a parent has finally allowed me to become the person I’ve always wanted to be.

For as long as I can remember I’ve had secret leanings towards being one of those earthy, hippy, granola types. I always thought those people were so cool!

My admiration probably started with my older sister – she was crunchy before crunchy was in style! :) As little kids she had us organizing Earth Day clubs and studying up on Greenpeace.

As a mom for years now she’s set an amazing example to her kids of healthy eating, breastfeeding, and being active…I’ve always wished I could be more like her.

I don’t know why I never acted much on those desires…I don’t know if it was pure laziness or my focus was just on other things or I felt constrained by pre-defined roles or what…but now I just don’t care about any of that – my true hippy self is emerging in all its glory! Read the rest of this entry »

What’s in YOUR Diaper?

Pocket cloth diaper (insert goes in back) with...

Image via Wikipedia

Not long after the Bean was born, a friend asked me about what kind of cloth diapers I use.

I was so excited that she was interested that I sent her this crazy long, detailed e-mail with all the benefits of cloth diapers, what kinds are good to buy, all of the savings you can have, etc. etc.

The funny thing was, she was only asking me because she wanted to buy one for me as a gift and wanted to subtly make sure she was getting the right brand!

After laughing at myself and being a little embarrassed, I came to realize I am something of a zealot about cloth diapering (I know – aren’t there enough of them out there?)

And I’ll admit…I occasionally feel a small amount of superiority when I’m changing the Bean’s butt in a public washroom, but I also accept that that’s dumb. And the real reason I like to talk about them a lot is because I find them so exciting! (Hey, I’m a mom – poop conversations are a regular and important topic).

I was just thinking about it this afternoon because we have actually been using disposables for the past few days due to the awesomeness of our washing machine breaking. :p We’ve bought the PC Green brand, which work really well and are surprisingly affordable for green diapers – but the garbage! I can go for more than a week without the wastebaskets in my bedroom and the living room being full, but from just 2 days of disposables they are both overflowing.

Even if you don’t care about the environment, you still have to deal with all that trash.

Cloth diapering was actually another non-consideration for me before the Bean came along. I wasn’t against it or anything…I just didn’t even think about it. But then I started reading about other people who were using them, and seeing all the different kinds, and I decided to try it out.

I dragged hubby along to a cloth diaper workshop just so we could get all the confusing terminology worked out and see some of the actual products in person. I don’t think he was ever to thrilled about the idea, but he is mainly obliging to me, and the point of how much money we would save did draw him in.

I decided to start basic – with prefolds. Both because they were super cheap as far as cloth diapers go, and the place where I bought them said they used them all the time and they were wonderful.

They were a disaster! Read the rest of this entry »

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