Where to begin – there are so many life aspects that could be more natural. I’m going to start with cloth diapering. Personally I love my cloth diapers. (Don’t get me wrong I do not use cloth diapers on myself – this is not that kind of blog.) Not only did these diapers cost less – a lot less to purchase, they also make me feel good. (I like the Diva cup rather than pads – why wouldn’t I use something reusable for my baby.)
I know that the diapers are clean because I cleaned them. I know if they’ve got soap residues because I’d be able to see, hear and/or feel suds. I know what kind of soap/water/softener combo I’ve used. (I don’t like softener and the water is really good where I live if albeit rather heavily fluorinated.) And unlike disposables, I know my cloth diapers don’t have residues of factory vermin, bugs, bacteria, fungi, viruses or parasites. And if you think this is a non-issue, is it really possible that a society that is genetically similar to the ones of the last 100 years is suddenly allergic and sensitive to everything under the sun (from a very young age) by coincidence. Personally I find that very hard to believe. I think a major contributing factor is the means by which we have automated all aspects of production – from food to clothes, pharmaceuticals to medical supplies.
I hope it becomes clear that with test parameters – what is considered an acceptable amount of error suddenly becomes unacceptable really quickly. (Necessary to state and define but in too many circumstances unacceptable. For a more indepth read on this – check out the You Get Well Soon blog.) I just didn’t want to take chances with my kiddos if I didn’t have to. I’m very lucky to be able to be a stay-at-home mom. Naturally I don’t find every aspect lucky but as far as monitoring what my kids are exposed to – I feel like I have a bit of an edge by being at home with them. That’s why I use cloth. I can ensure what’s next to their skin is basically the same. The fabrics might differ but how they are treated is not. I think this is a big plus if I needed to investigate a sensitivity or allergy. It’s one variable I could control for with ease.
Because of the cloth diapers I also find that I am more attentive to changing. With my first one she occasionally got rashes that were rather severe. And naked time just wasn’t cutting it. So I asked everyone I could think of and came up with a series of solutions. I never did use baby wipes. (I know this is a weird one but since I was already doing extra loads of wash for the diapers I figured what’s a bit more for cotton cloths. I use them with a personal cleansing bottle of water (that I first got at the hospital after delivery) or as needed with a soap solution. I had found a recipe online for how to make your own baby wipes. They wanted you to use paper towels and a dispensing container but I just made up the solution and used another bottle to dispense it onto the cloths. It’s 1 part liquid baby soap, 1 part glycerine (vegetable or mineral) and 8 parts water. This will clean up anything.)
Another trick I learned for rashes was to use a hair dryer on low – with my hand practically over the zone to verify the temperature and move the air stream away every few seconds. This did help to ensure that the skin was genuinely dry at least for portions of every day. Other than that, the zinc oxide-based diaper rash prevention/treatment creams I found to be very similar. I did do one other thing that was helpful – I put calendula tincture on top of the zinc cream and let it dry. Then I’d use that calendula-zinc cream and found that it was more healing. The rashes never got so bad that I had to worry that it would become open sores. And with little #2, I know to change or check every waking hour and so far no problems at all.
Cloth diapers are also a lot better than they used to be and I don’t just mean a lack of pins. They come in multi-layered construction so that the layer closest to baby’s skin isn’t the same as the centre and/or exterior. This really helps with keeping the skin dry and an added bonus is that they wash up easier. (I’ve got both kinds at home – ones of single type of cloth and ones with multiple layer and now that I’m using them for a second child I’ve found that it’s far easier to keep the multi-layer ones clean / non-stained.) Cloth diapers also come as single units and diaper with cover. Either way, I’ve never had a problem with leaks, ever. I don’t know if you caught the Funniest Commercials that featured a mom with a tot in the car. They were talking about #1, #2 and then the nasty but still funny #3.
As an aside, I heard a terrible story about a #3. I was at a mommy lunch and was told of a little one who hadn’t pooped in a long time – more than 3 days. Well he was in the jiggler in the living room while his mom was in the kitchen. Then, out of nowhere, she heard it. . . #3. Before she even went back to the living room, she picked up the phone and called her husband. So she could relate the scene as she was seeing it: poop was everywhere. All over baby, pooled under the jiggler, on the walls – it was a nightmare. She actually ended up taking the jiggler with baby to the tub. Her hubby offered to clean up the jiggler and clothes which left the baby, walls and floor to the mom. Yikes! (Personally, I don’t know if these stalls in digestion are due to a lack of bacteria in the intestines or lack of sufficient peristaltic motion – but every parent is aware of this #3 possibility.)
OK I digressed from the diaper story – but hopefully it wasn’t a painful diversion.