These cloth diaper tips were written for a new cloth diapering mama, by a mom who has cloth diapered 3 little men over the course of the last 7 years. It was written to be a cheat sheet of tips, not a full blown tutorial. You may also like to read about my favorite cloth diapers.
- When changing baby, make sure you fold the Velcro laundry tabs down as you remove the diaper.
- Wash every 2 to 3 days at least. Going longer makes it tougher to get them clean.
- Start with a soak cycle. If you don’t have a soak cycle, drench the diapers to their full absorbency before washing by adding extra water to the washer drum or adding to the pail liner before tipping into the washer. (You don’t need to rinse until baby is on a lot of solid foods. At that point, tip any poop that comes off easily into the toilet and do a rinse cycle before soaking.)
- Use an eco friendly detergent (norwex, Seventh generation, shaklee, homemade, Rocking green, Laundry Tarts etc)
- Dry until fully dry, not damp. I just throw the covers and pail liner in the dryer too but you could air dry them (they should last longer if you do).
- Chuck them in the basket or drawer and they’re ready to use again.
- Disposable wipes have a tendency to go through the washer so most people find cloth wipes (I use dollar store baby face cloths) much more convenient. 30-40 wipes should be plenty for a newborn. You’ll need less for older babies/toddlers.
- A mesh laundry bag (held up in something like a large peanut butter container) for dirty wipes prevents wipes from getting lost. Be sure it is big enough to give the wipes lots of room to wiggle clean. Get two, one to wash and one to use. (I also has issues with wipes getting into my washer drainage hose and the mesh bag solved that problem.)
- A small container of water on or near the change table, freshened every few days, makes it easier to wet a wipe when needed. Pre-wetting wipes is quick but can result in musty wipes that need to be washed even if they haven’t been used.
- Wet and wring wipes and put them in a plastic sandwich bag for going out.
- Use a pail liner. Turn it inside out to push the diapers into the washer and you’ll never have to touch the dirty diapers and you’ll rarely have to wash your diaper pail.
- Keep the diapers in a cool part of the room with good airflow. Avoid sealing the lid onto the diaper pail because they may start to get hot and fermenty. They actually smell less than disposables because you don’t have that icky chemical smell mixed in.
- Under normal circumstances, you should not have to strip diapers more than about once a year. If you are having problems that require your to strip more frequently, try revising your wash routine.
- Most diaper creams are not cloth diaper safe. Coconut oil may help any bum rashes you encounter or there are some great cloth diaper safe creams put there. My personal favorites are Earth Mama Angel Baby and Thirsties.
- For using cloth on the go, remember your diapers, covers, pre-wetted wipes, a wet bag, and a change pad (flat cloth diapers work well for that).
By Ross W. Greene, Ph. D.
I didn’t even need to read the description of this book to know that it was one I needed to read. Since shortly after he was born, I have struggled to understand his communication style, love language, stressors etc. The first years of his life were filled with a lot of screaming and tears, on both of our parts. Things are much calmer now but there is still so much about this little boy that is still a mystery. So I read and analyze and practice and pray. And I take a lot of deep breaths.
I felt that this book was largely targeted at people who have less attached styles of parenting than I do. There was a lot of talk about consistency and positive encouragement as opposed to degrading and punishing. Those are great tips but what’s a mom to do when she does all of those things and is still struggling? Many of the case studies were about children with disorders but some of the ideas were still beneficial to my relationship with my high need, intense son.
- these children have difficulty accessing their “hindsight file” and therefore are unable to access the information as to how they’ve handled similar problems in the past.
- they are unskilled at recognizing the impact of their behavior on others
- he and I need to take time to reflect on the accuracy of his interpretations, the effectiveness of a given response, or the manner in which his behavior affects others
- provide cognitive roadmaps that help him stay rational in moment’ he is likely to become explosive (perhaps give advance warning that this situation is something that may be difficult to deal with so pre-plan a way to deal with it calmly)
- we need him to look at us as people who can help him thing things through instead of as adversaries
- he becomes disorganized in the midst of frustration
- how does it feel to the child to be inflexibly explosive? (Probably frustrates him as much as it does me when he can’t maintain control)
- flexibility and tolerance are skills that need to be learned – they come more easily to some than others
- the consequence you administered on the back end following the last explosion must be accessible and meaningful to the child on the front end the next time he is becoming frustrated
- kids need help accessing the file in their brain that contains the critical information or roadmap.
- is a child resisting because he is not motivated enough of because he is incapable of maintaining the state of mind to walk through the pros and cons of compliance?
- a disorder is how the problem may be presenting itself but it doesn’t always give indication of the precise difficulties your child is experiencing
- in a vapour-lock situation, downshift slowly before going into reverse (otherwise you’ll blow out the transmission)
- Basket A: important behaviors worth inducing and enduing a meltdown over: safety, things that could be harmful to your child, other people, animals, or property, and other non-negotiables. Teaches child that you are an authority figure. (Should initially be a very empty basket).
- Basket B: Important matters but aren’t worth the meltdown. This is where you will teach your child the skills of flexibility and frustration tolerance. Most important basket. Teaches them how to engage in a give and take, staying calm in the midst of frustration, taking another person’s perspective, coming up with alternative ways to solve a problem. Tell your child, “If we disagree, I’ll let you know if I’m willing to work things out. We will try to think of good ideas.” Start with empathy to signal to your child that you understand what he wants and that you think it is a legitimate desire, and that you are his advocate rather than adversary. Then, “Let’s think of how we can work this out?”
- Basket C: Unimportant behaviors that aren’t even worth saying anything about anymore. Eating a variety of foods, wearing mittens etc. It is different than giving in because you decide ahead of time to put it in basket C.
- It becomes you, the parent, who is the primary determinant of whether or not he has a meltdown.
- Phrases such as No, You must, or You can’t automatically puts it into basket A, so use very rarely.
- The real world is a whole lot more about resolving disputes and disagreements than it is about blind adherence to authority.
- Sometimes basket decision making can be delayed. “I’m not yet sure if that’s negotiable or not.”
- some children have trouble actually recognizing that they are frustrated or even experiencing things like hunger or fatigue that is leading the to frustration
- Use rudimentary works for feelings: happy, sad, frustrated. At the end of the day ask “What made you happy? Sad? Frustrated?” Then start expanding to confused, disappointed, excited, bored, annoyed etc.
- A child walking away our of frustration is a good comping mechanism. He doesn’t want to hurt you.
- Keeping your child coherent in the midst of frustration is goal number one. A frustrated child needs help.
- Why is this so hard for my child? What’s getting in his way? How can I help?
- Sibling relations: each child needs help/attention in different areas.
- don’t allow inaccurate inferences about each other get in between relationships.
- Consequences not enforced detract from your credibility
- vapour-lock commencing means “I’m stuck. I need help!”
I don’t often (or maybe ever?) used my boys’ real names on my blog because I don’t need random passers-by to know all that information about my family. That being said, I promised Sue from Stories of an Unschooling Family over a year ago that I would, one day, tell the story of how we came up with our children’s names. So here are those stories:
Before I tell you about C’s name, I have to go back a bit to before I was pregnant with him. I was pregnant before him and my husband and I had for a girl and a boy name picked out within probably a week of conceiving: Rebecca or Jeremiah. Unfortunately, we lost that baby at about 8.5 weeks. There is no way to prove it but, in my heart, I know that we lost a little girl. So, the next time we conceived, I had a hard time thinking of a girl name. Adam figured that we could still use Rebecca but I just couldn’t agree. So we basically had one name that we agreed on: Jeremiah. We sort of added a few names to our list throughout the pregnancy but nothing concrete. We assumed the baby would be a boy named Jeremiah.
I had C as a c-section so I didn’t get to hold him until my husband brought him into the room when he was about an hour old. I had been telling all of the nurses in recovery how I was so excited to hold my little Jeremiah. They all told me it was such a beautiful and unique name. Adam laid our tiny little (just under 7 lbs) boy in my arms and said to me, “Honey, I’m really sorry. He just doesn’t look like a Jeremiah.” I agreed. So now we had to scramble to find a name. Our name list was at home. The only name I could think of was Caleb. A name that I had added just a few days before and had planned to ask Adam about. It has a lot of meanings but the meaning that we chose for our son was “faithful.” And it suits him completely. He also carries on Adam’s Dad’s name as his middle name. Everyone was convinced Caleb was going to be a girl. It’s a good thing he wasn’t, we never did agree on a single girl’s name.
With almost 3 years in between our boys, you would think we would had had lots of time to figure out some more names. Adam could still only think of Rebecca for a girl while I still felt like we already had our Rebecca as our first. We kept a list of names that each of us liked but truly couldn’t agree on any name. It was tough because everyone (including Adam) thought we were having a girl. I wasn’t convinced so, to be perfectly honest, I didn’t waste a lot of effort thinking of girl names.
When he was born, we sat with our list of names and… debated. My friend who attended the birth couldn’t help but laugh at us as we tried to present our case for our particular picks, only to change our mind right when we had nearly convince the other person. We were so busy trying to figure out a name that we forgot to call my parents (who lived right across the yard and had probably figured out something was up by this point) to tell them they had another grandson. He was also my victorious home birth after my caesarean so there was a lot of joy and laughter.
Isaac means “laughter,” or “he laughs.” The name felt rather unfitting for the first year with our high need son but, once we really started to get to know him, there is no better name. This kids has a gift for humour and the most contagious laugh in the world. It’s a perfect fit for him. He doesn’t have a middle name. We could barely agree on a first name so, true to my Dutch heritage, we chose not to give him one.
I can’t believe he’s over a year already. It feels like I was just recently sitting here writing blog posts while pregnant with him and imagining who this little person would turn out to be. I actually had a lot of fun making up a name list for him and it seemed that Adam was a lot more open to name options this time around. We had our perfect list of boy names and girl names. Once again, everyone was convinced it was a girl. Mostly because we had two boy so, statistically speaking, it should be a girl. I even had a week when God put it in my heart that I was going to have a girl and that I should mentally and emotionally prepare for that (I LOVE being a boy mom so the thought of a girl took some time to get used to). After that week, however, I was comfortable with birthing a daughter but truly still hoping and believing I was carrying another son.
He was born at home and we read through our handy name list as I sat on the couch while he was a few hours old. Adam, Caleb, and Isaac all agreed that he should be called Noah. Adam nearly called the whole family to tell them that Noah had made his arrival. If I hadn’t just given birth, I would have jumped off the couch to snatch his phone from his hand. Instead, I yelled at him. Not a mean yell but I had to raise my voice to get over their excitement. Noah was NOT going to work for this boy. God had laid a different name on my heart for the previous couple of weeks that seemed to match this baby’s temperament more. Noah seems like the name of a Type 3 boy (according to The Child Whisperer’s typing system): determined, physical, forward push type of child. This baby was still, laid back, peaceful, and the whole pregnancy and birth felt like a gift from God. Jesse means gift. It took me about 45 minutes of convincing but all three of them started to wrap their heads around Jesse. Now we look at Jesse and know he could never have been a Noah. (He also doesn’t have a middle name, just in case you were wondering.)
Caleb. Isaac. Jesse. Not the names that we expected but perfectly fitting for our boys.
Did your choose your children’s names because have a significant meaning? Did you know their names before they were born or did you choose a name to suit them after birth?