Some Updates

Wow.  I’ve been neglecting the blog.  January was busy, I guess.  And now February has been busy too.  I’ve been helping my husband with his blog and trying to workout and joined a book club so I’ve been sneaking in minutes here and there to read the book (tonight’s the night!  I’m hoping that the book club is nice.  I love reading and the last one I joined was pretty disappointing).  Today I thought I’d update on some of the natural product choice changes we’ve been making from The LIST:

#3: Stop Using SLS based shampoos and soaps.  Happy to say this is going well!  I’ve eliminated a bunch of products already: facial cleanser, shampoo, baby wash, bath gel, and toothpaste.  Yay for us!  We do use softsoap to wash our hands, though and I’m not sure but I’m guessing that also has SLS.  I need to look into that and also to see if Dove moisturizing bars contain SLS.

#4 – Begin Using a Natural Toothpaste.  We’ve been using a natural toothpaste from Trader Joe’s for several weeks now.  No complaints here.  My mouth feels clean and fresh.  The texture of the toothpaste is different from what I’m used to though.  It’s thicker, drier and grittier than the toothpastes we typically buy.  I haven’t heard any complaints from my husband either.  We’ll see if the dentist notices anything.  If not, then we’re sticking to it.  I bought a tube of Tom’s to try next.  I think I want to experiment a little and see what we like out there.

#14: Switch to cloth wipes.  I started using cloth wipes about two and a half weeks ago.  So far it’s going well.  I made up a solution of olive oil, baby wash, and water and have been spraying it onto wash cloths to wipe down baby.  I use them for both wet and dirty diapers.  It’s really not that bad.  I do still use disposable wipes but WAAAY fewer.  Sometimes on Karina’s crazy diapers, I’d use five or six wipes.  Now I’ll use a couple cloths and maybe a disposable wipe or two.  Much better.  And I really really like the idea that I’m not putting so many scary chemicals on her, like the kind that are toxic when inhaled.  Ugh.  I do use disposable wipes on the go, however.  I think now that I’m going to be using them more sparingly, I’ll buy the natural/flushable kind. I’m open to any recommendations if you have any!

On a side note, we’ve also switched the type of garbage bags we use.  We used to buy a big box of them for pretty cheap at costco.  We just started buying biodegradable garbage bags.  I’m not sure if my city shreds garbage before putting it in the landfill so I thought these couldn’t hurt help the contents of the bags biodegrade a little faster.  So far we haven’t had any issues with leaks or anything like that.  One thing that is a little more cumbersome is that the kind we bought don’t have drawstrings like the old ones did.  This makes things harder in two ways…first, I have to get a garbage tie and tie it up instead of grabbing the drawstring and tying up the bag on the way to the big garbage can in the garage.  Next, since there’s no drawstring, it slips out of the kitchen trash can more easily and I find that I’m having to re-fit it at least once a day.

Man. Being less green sure is easier.  Sometimes I think about whether or not I’d be more productive if I just trashed stuff like diapers and wipes and didn’t bother recycling.  I guess I would have a few more minutes in the day but that’s just not me.

 

 

#14 on the LIST – Cloth Wipes

Time to tackle something else on the LIST.  I’m going to start using cloth wipes.  Right now, I use disposable wipes that we had purchased before our baby was born.  We bought so many that they lasted us over a year.  Crazy, right?  Well we bought a whole case, which meant four boxes, each with nine packages that each had 88 wipes in them.  That’s a lotta wipes, folks.  I still have 3-4 packages but I wanted to start transitioning to using cloth wipes.  There are a few reasons for this:

  1. The wipes seem wasteful.  We produce a lot of extra trash because of these wipes.  I could probably buy the flushable kind and that would help but ideally, we would be greener than that even.
  2. I cloth diaper my baby so it’s easy to throw these wipes in the wash with the diapers.  Actually, using the disposable wipes is one extra step; I have to throw the wipe away.
  3. I don’t like the idea of poopy wipes hanging out all week until it’s trash day.  Especially now that baby has started taking interest in exploring the garbage.  Luckily she hasn’t figured out the step top garbage in her room but I was mortified to see her holding a used disposable that she had found in the trash.  The bathroom trashcan now sits on the counter out of her reach.
  4. Cloth wipes are cheaper than the disposable kind

I think I’ll need to ease into this.  My plan is to first start using the cloth wipes on wet diapers at home.  If that goes well, I’ll start using them on the dirty diapers too.  And if THAT goes well, I’ll consider using them while on the go.  At this point I’m thinking I’ll still need to keep disposable wipes in my diaper bag though.

So where to start?  I know you can buy cloth wipes.  I’ve also read that you can make cloth wipes out of old receiving blankets.  I’m going to use thin washcloths similar to these:

These are super simple – no border, cotton, small.  And they’re cheap.  I just picked up a four pack for a buck. I usually wash diapers once every other day or so, so I’ll probably need about a dozen cloths.

Next, I need to figure out what solution to use.  There are a ton of options when it comes to the solution so I think there’s going to be some trial and error.  I did a little research and found this site as well as this one.  Since I cloth diaper and my baby has sensitive skin, I want to start out simple and then I can get fancier as time goes on.  I am going to start with:

  • 2 Tbsp Baby Wash
  • 2 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 2 Cups water

I like it because it’s simple, natural, and I have all the ingredients on hand.  The baby was will cleanse her skin and the olive oil will help moisturize.  Easy peasy.

The next consideration is how will I store and apply the solution?  Some people use a spray bottle and spray baby’s bottom or the wipe, others store wet wipes in an airtight container, others put wipes in a wipe warmer with solution, and still others use a pop top bottle (like a sports water bottle) and drip wipe solution on to the cloth.  I think I’m going to use a spray bottle and spray the cloth.  It seems mean to spray Miss K’s bum with a cold solution.  I don’t think I’d like that so I’m assuming she wouldn’t either!

I’ve also read that you don’t want to make too much in advance otherwise the solution will get musty.  I’ve read that once a week should be fine. I was curious about whether or not other moms wash their dirty wipes before throwing them in the dry pail with the other used diapers.  I asked on the gDiapers facebook page and most moms said that they didn’t wash it out.  I don’t know how I feel about that.  I’m thinking that I would prefer to wash them off before putting them away, since I’m using the diaper sprayer to wash off the cloth inserts anyway.  We’ll cross that bridge when we get to it, I guess.

We’ll see how it goes!  Wish me luck!