Archive for Green

Yeast Diaper Rash

Oh my. Oh my. We’re cloth diapering and our son got a yeast diaper rash. I learned a lot through this whole experience, much of it with the help Karen (who sews our cloth diaper covers); the rest of it from internet research. Here’s what I learned. product_diaper_rash_relief

1. Only certain diaper rash creams should be used on babies wearing cloth diapers. Most commercial creams create a barrier on the inner material and cause the diaper to repel instead of absorb moisture. Others contain cod liver oil, such as A&D Ointment, and there’s nothing worse than fishy diapers.

2. Only certain detergents should be used on cloth diapers. Check out the list here.

3.  The yeast on the cloth diapers needs to be killed or the rash will continue to come back. I added a tablespoon or so of bleach to every hot water cycle, then added vinegar to the rinse cycle, and finally ran an extra cold water rinse with nothing in it until the rash was gone.

4. Some disposable wipe solutions will feed the yeast. So, I continued to use my cloth wipes and a homemade wipe solution. For the solution I mixed 2 t. vegetable oil, 1/8 t. Dr. Bronner’s Baby Mild liquid soap, and 1 c. water.

5. There are natural ways to treat a yeast diaper rash on a cloth diapered baby. We laid our baby out to air dry during the day. I rubbed virgin coconut oil (it has anti-fungal properties) on him and hoped he didn’t get too cold (since it’s in the 20s outside). He had to be in a diaper for naps though, so we used MotherLove cream since it is safe for cloth diapers and fights yeast. I also gave him acidophilus powder to suck off my finger since it is known to stop the growth of yeast.

Our babe is now better, but I am going to run one more cycle of bleach and vinegar in his diapers to make sure the yeast is long gone! Phew!

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Our Cloth Diapering Journey

Cloth diapering has been a journey for us. I wanted to cloth diaper our first child from the beginning but because he was to have casts up to his groin, we opted to begin with disposables. Then, when he was about 4 months old, a friend gave me all of her cloth diapers. I gave it a shot and loved it, but we still didn’t use them exclusively.

Our “baby” just turned 2 and we now have a 3 month old. Both are cloth diapered except when we’re traveling or at church (I just can’t ask the nursery lady to deal with a poopy cloth diaper). It took a lot of convincing for my husband to buy into it wholeheartedly. Whether or not he’s excited about it now doesn’t matter because he supports my conviction and I love him all the more for it.img_2586

So, here’s what we’re doing…
Diapers
* 2 year old — combination of a) fitted diapers w/ covers, b) one size diapers w/ covers c) all-in-ones (AIOs); all of these were given to us
* 3 month old — since his birth we have used prefolds w/ snappies and covers; we purchased them from a local seamstress
* Both boys get a diaper doubler at night.
Wipes
We use cloth wipes and a homemade wipe solution for both boys, except when the 2 year old has a poopy diaper. We use disposables for those jobs and flush them with the poo.
Dirty diapers & wipes
We toss them in a large waterproof diaper bag that hangs in the laundry room until laundry day. (The bag is scented with 2 lavender drops, which keeps any smells at bay.) If there is a nasty diaper, I soak it in the utility sink until the cling-ons are loosed. I’d say that happens about once a week. Then it’s taken directly to the washing machine.
Laundering
I launder the diapers and wipes every third day. I first soak them in cold water in the washing machine on my pre-wash cycle. (Cold water removes stains. Hot water sets them.) Then, I run a hot/cold cycle with Purex detergent. Once a week I run an extra rinse cycle on them.

I have been shocked at how easy it is to cloth diaper. If you’re considering it, ask those who cloth diaper lots of questions. Read and research. Then ask more questions. Figure out what is right for your family and go for it! I think we all have preconceived notions of what cloth diapering means. I sure did. If you really want to know the truth, ask those of us who are doing it. I am no expert, but I would be happy to share what has worked and what hasn’t. Good luck to you! It’s well worth it!

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How do you REUSE?

Okay, so the recycling part is easy. Reducing isn’t too hard either. It’s the reusing that has some “at a loss.” Here are just a few ways we reuse:

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* Reuse spice containers. They make great treat holders for the diaper bag, car, or purse. The contents won’t get smooshed, either. In this photo, the crisps are stored in an old spice container. If they were still in the original bag, they’d be pulverized at the bottom of the diaper bag.

* Store used ziplocs under the sink. Then, reuse them when appropriate. They are perfect for the banana bread that is already wrapped in wax paper or when you need something to contain the stench of the chicken fat you just trimmed while it sits in the garbage can for a few days.

* Save cardboard cracker & cookie boxes. Cut open the box and use the blank, brown side for kids’ projects.

* Keep egg cartons. Cut off the top and use the bottom for different colored finger or tempera paints. Your little artist can simply throw away the carton when she’s done.

Please, tell us how you reduce or reuse!

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Teeccino

Have you heard about Teeccino — a caffeine-free alternative to coffee? I just tried a cup of Maya Caffe and it was delicious. You might be wondering what the big deal is since coffee comes in two forms — caffeinated and decaffeinated. The problems associated with caffeine are well known. It’s the decaf that carries some concerns that aren’t as well known, in addition to the fact that decaf isn’t completely decaffeinated. For reasons why one might want to eliminate decaf, click here. pr-3-hr2

So what is Teeccino? It is a blend of herbs, grains, fruits and nuts that are roasted to taste like coffee. You brew it in your coffee maker. No new gadgets required. Teeccino also claims health benefits. According to their website, Teeccino is

  • Naturally caffeine-free – no processing, no chemical residues
  • High in heart-healthy potassium
  • Natural energy boost – from nutrients, not stimulants
  • Alkaline – helps reduce acidity and restore alkaline balance
  • Rich in inulin, a soluble fiber in chicory root, that helps improve digestion and elimination plus increases the absorption of calcium and minerals

If you want to give Teeccino a try, you can purchase their sampler which includes all ten of their flavors, from their site. Most local health food stores carry Teeccino as well. Give it a go. What I tasted was delicious.

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Organic Strawberries

It’s strawberry season! We all love strawberries in my house which is why we recently set out to a local farm to pick our own. They were good — much better than the “woody” store bought ones. Then we ran out. The grocery store had organic strawberries on sale, so I grabbed them. (Strawberries are one of the dirty dozen, you know.) Oh my! The flavor was better than the hand picked ones from our local farm. Wow! They were gone in a day. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again… Buying organic isn’t just to avoid pesticides and save the environment. Organic produce often tastes better. Well-balanced organic soil grows stronger, healthier plants that taste better and contain more nutrients. At any rate, this isn’t the first time organic has tasted better than conventional produce, but I was quite frankly shocked that the organic ones were better than our local farm’s strawberries, which were eaten right from the plant, rather than a few days later. So, if organic strawberries are on sale at your local supermarket, give ’em a try. Or maybe you shouldn’t — you’ll be hooked for life!

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Plastics & BPA

Plastic polycarbonate bottles such as Nalgene bottles are still popular as drinking water bottles. I should know. I just bought 3 more – one of which is a pretty cool sippy bottle for my son. (Note: now Nalgene is phasing out those bottles & replacing them.) I recently learned that polycarbonates in those and other bottles release a chemical known as bisphenol A (BPA). Then, I learned that 90% of all baby bottles are polycarbonates, which includes the brand we own — Avent. So, what’s the big deal? They’re still selling them, so they can’t be that bad, right? Not exactly…

Even though the plastic industry safety studies find no significant health effects from typical daily doses of BPA, 90% of government studies found harmful health effects to children and expecting moms as well as male sexuality and reproduction, according to Dr. Colleen Huber. She goes on to state that BPA acts as a “xenoestrogen,” which mimics the female hormone estrogen with the exception of the following: 1) it’s foreign to the body (which is what “xeno” means) and 2) it is much more harmful than our natural estrogen for both males and females. Breast cancers are much more of a risk in women who carry a high amount of xenoestrogens and both sexes are subject to a huge range of other harmful health effects. The most far-reaching effects are birth defects and miscarriages. Another effect is a disruption of beta cell function in the pancreas, which creates a pre-diabetes type condition of high blood insulin and insulin resistance. So it seems that none of us are safe from the affects of BPA.

A recent Canadian news source had the following to say:

“Bisphenol A manufacturers have said the trace amount leaching into food and beverages isn’t dangerous to people because it’s quickly metabolized into a form that loses its ability to act like a female sex hormone.
While the authors of the new assessment agreed that people break down some of the bisphenol A they absorb, they said since so many plastics and other products containing it are in use that “virtually everybody” in developed countries has chronic, low-level exposure to the chemical and measurable amounts of its biologically active version.
Typical readings are about two parts per billion in blood. Although this is an extremely small amount, hormones are active at this level, and at even lower concentrations.
Based on the amounts being found in people and what is known about the metabolism of bisphenol A from animal experiments, it also appears that human exposures are above the current U.S. safety limit, according to the assessment.

Now I should note that not all plastics contain BPA. We should mainly be concerned with plastics that come in contact with our food and water. You can learn more about plastics by reviewing the Smart Plastics Guide and matching the triangled number to what you currently own or are considering purchasing.

Here are a few items to consider for your baby. Oh, and be sure to read the San Francisco Chronicle’s article on the comeback of glass baby bottles.

1. Glass bottles. Evenflo makes them in two sizes — 4oz and 8oz. Siliskin is another brand that is totally hip. They come in 4 and 8 oz sizes as well and they have a silicone sheath that helps to prevent the bottle from breaking. WeeGo glass bottles are nice too. I believe they only come in 9oz sizes, but they are covered with a modern sleeve that will help protect the bottle from breaking.
2. Bio-plastic bottles. Born Free makes them in two sizes — 5oz and 9oz. Whole Foods and Amazon carry them as well as the company itself. Amazon even has their gift set with bottles and a sippy cup. Another option is the Green to Grow brand, which has a 5oz bottle and they’re so cute.
3. Snappies – Polypropylene breast milk storage bottles that enables moms to collect, store and feed from the same convenient container.
4. Medela breast pump storage containers and baby bottles are all made of Polypropylene, which is free of BPA.
5. Adiri Natural Nurser is made from 100% polycarbonate-free and bisphenol-a free materials that is warm to a child’s cheek, like a breast, when filled with warm milk. The nipple design helps alleviate nipple confusion for breastfeeding babies. Shaped like a breast, they encourage the same type of open-mouthed latching that is required for breastfeeding, making bottle feeding and breastfeeding more easily interchangeable. They come in three stages for three different flow rates. Each stage holds 8 oz. of fluid and is dishwasher safe.

Here are a few brands to consider for sippy cups:

1. Avent Naturally sippy cup (We currently use these and are happy with them)
2. Born Free sippy cup
3. Klean Kanteen water bottle with sippy adapter & spout
4. SIGG baby water bottles

If anyone has a suggestion on any of the above mentioned brands or any other brands not mentioned that you love, please leave a comment. We’d love to hear from you!

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The Best Breast Milk

I came across an interesting article in a current women’s magazine. According to a study in the British Journal of Nutrition, moms who ate more organic meat and dairy had higher levels of a fatty acid called CLA. CLA has been shown to boost immune systems in newborns and decrease the risk for eczema. You can read more about it here.

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