Thursday, June 26, 2008

Win the Essential Babywearing Stash!

Along for a ride is having another contest but this one is BIGGER AND BETTER!!!! This time you can win FIVE carriers! Go to their site for more information! Win the Essential Babywearing Stash from Along for the Ride (one Beco Butterfly, one Hotsling baby pouch, one BabyHawk Mei Tai, one Zolowear Ring Sling, and one Gypsy Mama Wrap)

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Why choose cloth diapers?

Fleece and suedecloth, which are common interior diaper fabrics actually stay dry feeling when wet. It takes A LOT of moisture for these fabrics to actually feel wet. This results in baby's skin remaining dry and not feeling wet after he's peed. It makes him feel more comfortable. Hemp and bamboo are actually naturally antibacterial and antimicrobial which means that they can ward off rashes and help heal rashes.

As for absorbency, microfiber can absorb approx 7x it's weight. Hemp and bamboo are even more absorbent. I use 2 microfiber towels, folded in thirds together inside his "pocket diapers".

Cloth diapers breathe. He gets far more air in these then he would get in disposables. Disposables have actually been proven to cause the temperature of the skin to rise because they can't breathe. The heat that can generate under that diaper has been linked with male infertility. This is really no different than the reason they tell you a man shouldn't hold a laptop on his lap as the heat can cause him to become sterile. This is the same exact concept. Extreme temperatures can cause harm to the testicles and cause them to permanently have problems. Disposables contain paper and plastic along with artificially created gels that absorb. The process of making these gels alone is toxic. The fumes that come off in the factory during production are harmful to all of us. The gels themselves have been linked with toxic shock sydrome and if leaked out onto the skin (and this happened A LOT with Adam so I know first hand that it does happen frequently with various diaper brands) and released into the blood stream, it *can* cause kidney damage. These are actually very dangerous chemicals that are used to make the disposable diapers absorbent. Also, we used disposables with Adam, we had leaks *all* the time. We constantly had to change his clothes along with his diaper. Logan started in disposables and we had the same problem. Every brand leaked after a short time and we had constant "poop blowouts". Since switching him to cloth, this hasn't been a problem.


It also takes 500 years for 1 disposable diaper to degrade. This is not me being very weird or anything but if everyone keeps using disposable diapers, we'll end up overfilling our landfills and quite seriously be a planet full of disposable diapers. Cloth however, will break down far before disposable diapers will so when the diapers are really worn out, there's no harm in throwing them away (after several uses for several children- they last a long time).

There's also the fact that we have saved a ton of money. We've seriously been using the same sized diapers since he was 4 months old. We haven't had to buy more diapers since we bought enough to last us. If you need to see the math for cloth vs. disposable, this site is pretty accurate http://diaperline.blogspot.com/2007/06/sposie-math.html , http://diaperline.blogspot.com/2007/06/sposie-math-two.html

The amount of work to wash them is nearly non existent. First- the argument I usually hear is "well you use more water to wash them" and, well, this is just blatantly untrue. As I said, with disposable diapers, you have to change a lot of the kids clothes too so you're washing a lot of laundry. Cloth diapers don't leak so I have less laundry to do, the occasional load of diapers isn't hurting anything water or electricity wise. Second, I wash 2 loads every 4 days or so. That's once or twice a week depending on which day I wash. I don't presoak them- I just throw them into our pail after he uses them (I just shake the poop off into the toilet, takes about 2 seconds) and then on wash day I wash them.

Here's some links with more info-http://diaperline.blogspot.com/2007/06/why-use-cloth.html , http://www.thenewparentsguide.com/diapers.htm , http://diapersafari.com/diaperinfo/whyclothdiapers/ , http://www.thediaperhyena.com/disposableanatomy.htm , http://www.parentingweb.com/misc/cloth_facts.htm , http://www.thediaperhyena.com/diaper_drama_scene3_health.htm , http://www.zany-zebra.com/cloth-vs-disposable.shtml , http://www.borntolove.com/facts.html , http://www.jilliansdrawers.com/tutorial1.html , http://www.realdiaperassociation.org/diaperfacts.php , http://www.jilliansdrawers.com/whyclothdiapers.html , http://www.justduckybaby.com/index.php?action=cloth_diapers_and_your_baby

and some great places to buy from-
http://www.thanksmama.com/?Click=20432
http://www.kellyscloset.com/?AffId=209
http://www.momsmilkboutique.com/categories.php?PARTNER=Danielle
http://snootybootydiapers.com/store/aGo.asp?aff=5012
http://www.betterbums.com


Monday, March 24, 2008

Having to defend my own decisions!

Now normally I'd say when someone feels the need to justify why they do what they do, they are just reassuring themselves because on some level they feel guilty. In most situations, I don't care why you do what you do! If it's not affecting me then it's not any of my business, please don't feel like you have to defend your actions to me because I'm really not judging.

This is a bit different though. This is everyone one of my decisions being questioned. Not me just lashing out and offering justification, this is me being outright doubted. My family and the "in-laws" are questioning my actions- not to me but to my loved ones. My Aunts are making comments to my mother about what I do and my in-laws are making comments to the hubby about what I do. It's getting rather annoying to be perfectly honest!

Every. Single. Parenting. Decision. I. Make. Is. Thoroughly. Researched. BEFOREHAND. Why can't they grasp this? I don't just go lunging into things head first. I research. I present the idea to hubby, share the information I learned from researching and then we discuss. Every choice we make is what we HONESTLY feel is best for OUR children. Yes, OUR children- not my aunt's children nor my in-laws children. These are OUR children and WE are the ones responsible for their well being. Us and us alone. So why does it matter to everyone else what the hell I'm doing? Ugh.

Little man's cloth diapers are being questioned as well as my breastfeeding him. Our attempt to homeschool Bigger Little Dude was also addressed. The fact that we cosleep was critiqued. Everything just gets questioned.

The cloth. Heh. Hubby and I have discussed this and we're very firm on our stance. We're not budging. My Aunt N's comment was something to the effect that cloth is nowhere near as absorbent as disposables (sposies) and cloth leaks. Neither statement is even remotely factual. They're both flat out wrong. My Aunt L's comment, well I'm not quite sure what she said exactly other than in essence I do everything wrong as a parent- because we all know that she's perfect *rolls eyes* I could really lay into her and expose her for what she really is but I'll move along and be kind. Step Mother-in-law (SMIL) commented to Little Man that if she ever watched him, she'd have to buy him some "real" diapers. Uhhh yeah, no. She hasn't really said anything since- at least not to me. Mother-in-law (MIL) however is constantly insisting that Little Man's teething rash is cloth diaper induced. She bought us sposies and expects me to use them. The kiddo has been in cloth since he was 4 months old. He's now 19 months old. He ONLY gets a rash when he's cutting teeth and to me that makes it quite obvious that he's NOT rashy because of his dipes. She also believes sposies are more absorbent.

Breastfeeding. Breastmilk is natures perfect food. It's what babies thrived on before formula. It's a live fluid containing antibodies that help build a healthy immune system. The WHO recommends nursing until AT LEAST 2 and then for as long as mutually desired. That's exactly our plan. After he's 2 I'll be letting him self wean and I have no intentions on budging on that matter either. My Aunt L, being the genius she is *rolls eyes* felt the need to inform my mom that since Little Man is allergic to milk, I have to watch what I eat too. Ok, again, he's been nursing for HOW LONG? I know this. The woman who has never breastfed and is not a lactation consultant should not be giving the woman who has breastfed for 19 months and aspires to be a lactation consultant breastfeeding advice. As arrogant as it sounds, I think I've got this covered L, I don't need your help. Leave me be and please, don't give up your day job, FSM knows we need all the "nurses" we can get. SMIL and FIL pushed for the longest time to get me to wean or pump exclusively for Little Man. No. Ain't gonna happen. I know that pumping exclusively can harm ones milk supply and I'm not looking to wean him before he's good and ready. I've done the research. I know what's best for him. He's going to be my booby baby for as long as he needs and until he's at least 2. MIL now has this CRAZY idea that Little Man's milk allergy and his eczema are caused by my breastfeeding. Say what? Oh no way! Hubby even told her "that makes no sense". If breastmilk caused allergies, how the hell did we even survive as a species? Wow. I know better but just wow. FIL has made it clear to hubby that he does not approve of our extended nursing. Hubby just ignores him. He's a good hubby like that. He supports my decisions and I take comfort in that. There is no way he'd let me choose to do something that he felt was harmful to our children.

Homeschooling. Ok. There's no argument here. Statistically speaking, homeschooled kids are better off. Public school teachers teach for the dern standardized tests. The kids don't really learn anything. I graduated in '04 with a bunch of folk who can barely read, can hardly write and can't spell worth crap. They're fairly close to being illiterate despite graduating highschool! It's not just this area though. A lot of the public schools are like this now. A homeschooled child is taught to learn- not to pass the test. They are taught differently and because they have a 1 on 1 opportunity with their teacher, and less distractions, they learn better. Colleges do indeed accept homeschooled children. I want to homeschool BADLY. I've seen the statistics. I feel it's the best choice but there's not a nearby homeschooling group so I was pretty much on my own in this journey. Not knowing where to start, I sought help from the online charter school. This is a program that allows the child to learn from home but using the public school curriculum. It's paid for entirely by the public school. It IS public school. They had get togethers too and it seemed like it would be a great stepping stone into the homeschooling journey. What happened though was all the IL's didn't approve and voiced their disapproval and then when Bigger Little Dude refused to pay attention to me they all acted like children and pretty much went "neener neener neener". They think they were proved right. No, they really weren't. Bigger Little Dude had issues in where he didn't view me as an authority. He's getting much better with this. We've agreed that if we move to an area that has local homeschool groups we're pulling him out of public school. We will try again because we feel it's the best choice.

Cosleeping. Well...I've heard it all. With Bigger Little Dude I heard how unsafe it was, how I'd roll over on him, how he could roll off the bed, how he'd never be able to sleep alone, how I'd regret it, blah blah blah. Well, at first I did regret it. I tried for a few years to get that kid OUT of my bed and into his own. When I gave up and let him leave at his own pace, it was only a few weeks before he chose to sleep in his own bed. We saw what happened and have decided that we're a cosleeping family now. The kids will leave the bed when they're good and ready. MIL has told me how I'll never get Little Man out of our bed. WRONG. I'm happy to report that as of this very moment both offspring are fast asleep by themselves. Now, Little Man will wake up shortly, get his dipe changed and I'll whisk him off to my room and nursie him back to sleep and he'll stay there all night- that is if he wakes up. Some nights he sleeps in his bed, by himself, all night long. Other nights he needs me. The point here is that he coslept most of his life and is perfectly capable of sleeping on his own- in fact he can put himself to sleep too!

What it boils down to is simple lack of respect. I am the mother of these 2 kiddos. Hubby is the father of these 2 kiddos. No one else's opinion matters unless they're asked. I'm the one doing all the research while they're all spewing ignorance trying to imply that I'm making bad choices. Furthermore, even if they don't agree, I'm not abusing my children, I'm doing what I feel is best for them and that should be respected.
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