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Category Archives: Green Living

Natural Baby Parenting Series

I’ve scheduled the next round of classes.  All classes meet at Natural Baby from 6pm-7:30pm.  The cost is per student/couple.  If you are a single mom or your partner cannot come, you may come alone or bring a friend/family member.  The cost is 20.00 per class or you may register for the entire series for 80.00.   To register for the entire series, please email j_byers@bellsouth.net or stop by Natural Baby.  Please rsvp for all classes so that I have enough swag and handouts.

Try to See It My Way:  “Why is my baby crying? Is this normal? I don’t understand what she is trying to say!”  Come learn about infant communication and cues. We’ll also discuss birth bonding, attachment theory, soothing skills, and finding balance. Plus lots of tricks for calm parenting. Babywearing lessons included!  This class is appropriate for parents-to-be or new parents. Babies are welcome in all classes.

Breastfeeding:  In our breastfeeding class, we’ll learn about the biology of breastfeeding.  We’ll discuss common issues, finding help through community resources, and returning to work.  Babies are welcome in all classes.  20.00 per student/couple the night of the class.

Now What?  The First Six Weeks:  The first six weeks can feel like a whirlwind of emotions and the learning curve may seem steep. Learn what to expect during the postpartum. For mom, we’ll discuss physical changes, healing from birth, and creating a postpartum plan. For baby, we’ll look at common issues such as jaundice and gastric changes. And we’ll learn about baby care basics, newborn procedures at the hospital, and vaccine choices.20.00 per student/couple the night of the class. RSVP at the link to let us know you’re coming. This class is appropriate for parents-to-be or new parents. Babies are welcome in all classes

Sleeping Like A Baby:  *Yawn* Who came up with the phrase “sleeping like a baby” anyway? Learn about the physiology of infant sleep. We’ll talk about naps and nighttime parenting. And, of course, tips and tricks for getting restful nights for the whole family. 20.00 per student/couple the night of the class. RSVP at the link to let us know you’re coming. This class is appropriate for parents-to-be or new parents. Babies are welcome in all classes.
Having a Baby without Breaking the Bank:  Having a baby does not have to put a giant hole in your wallet! Learn practical tips for DIY, saving money, and what is safe to buy used. In fact, saving money can also be a sustainable and non-toxic choice. We’ll talk about creating a lean and green baby registry. What do you really need to raise a baby?  20.00 per student/couple the night of the class. RSVP at the link to let us know you’re coming.  This class is appropriate for parents-to-be or new parents. Babies are welcome in all classes.
Parenting the First Year:  Parents have many decisions to make the first year. This class will discuss solid-feeding, safety, teething, discipline, learning through play, and infant development.  20.00 per student/couple the night of the class. RSVP at the link to let us know you’re coming. This class is appropriate for parents-to-be or new parents. Babies are welcome in all classes

Cloth Diapering While Trekking Overseas

Warning:  this post is more than many of you want to know about cloth diaper travel and my anxieties about it.  Feel free to skim.

I have some vanity issues. Once I’ve “never done” or “only ever” it is incredibly difficult to step out of my corner.  The principle of the thing, you understand.

Cedar had never worn a disposable diaper. Never. Not once. No disposable wipes either. And she’s two. When I realized she was not going to potty-learn before our big trip, I faced a dilemma. Do I attempt to exclusively cloth diaper or do I get over my vain self?

I seriously worried over this question. I didn’t make a decision until two days before we left for Thailand. My husband thought I was ridiculous and he was not excited by the thought of cloth diapers during a 24 hour travel day.

I also felt paralyzed by the choices on the diaper aisle! Sizing, design, print. It had been a long time. It took several trips to the store to work up the nerve to buy something. 

It’s ok. You can make fun of me.

I settled on seventh generation for the big travel days there and back. I tried one on Cedar. She immediately complained that she didn’t like it. It was too hot. 

Also, disposable diapers = once snug clothing falling off.

I put her in a disposable the night before we left and she wore disposables on the 15 hour flight, layover in Korea, 5 hour flight, and overnight in Bangkok.  And not surprisingly, she did not poop until we arrived at our hotel in Bangkok.  She is a die-hard private pooper.  As soon as we checked in (2am local time, 1pm our time), she hid under a cabinet to poop. 

My biggest complaint about the disposables:  when she had gas, the smell seemed to get stuck in there! Oh how it lingered. It also tricked me, and others around me, into thinking she had poop. Have you noticed people get gassy on planes?

The next morning began my hybrid cloth plan. I wasn’t sure what sort of laundry conditions I would face in Thailand. I knew most Asian toilets had a sprayer attachment but I didn’t know if there would be any laundry soap or facilities. I borrowed some gDiaper covers from my friend Erin. They are cloth covers with a waterproof layer inside that snaps out. For whatever reason, they fit Cedar better backwards. So she always wore them that way. Plus, Cedar loved these diapers because I told her they belonged to her little friend, Griffin. She called them “Gwiffin’s diapers.”  And Erin gave me permission to abandon any diapers that were beyond help, if you understand what I mean.  I didn’t have to.  

Here is a cute, trim gDiaper worn backwards:

I stuffed the gDiapers with the amazing Grovia BioSoaker. This disposable insert had sticky tabs so it stayed lined up perfectly with my little mover and shaker.  And oh my word, could it ever soak up!  When we woke up in Bangkok to continue our trip to the coast, she was wearing the cloth/disposable hybrid. Usually, I changed the BioSoaker before it leaked onto the cloth layer. The poop was contained. Yes! I felt wildly successful that the poop did not reach those covers. If I thought the waterproof pouch needed it, I could easily snap it out and rinse it in the sink. A few times, I sat on the porch with a big bowl and hand-washed the covers with the laundry soap we were provided. The sun dried them.  

I could live in a village. 

Did I mention I loved the Grovia BioSoaker? And that it kept all the poop (even Thai food poop) off the covers?

When we arrived in Cambodia, I switched to prefolds with the gDiapers. I knew I could borrow some of Asher’s cloth diapers if I needed extra. My sister had a washing machine and Charlie’s Soap. She only has cold water so I added a bit of bleach to the prefolds. And dried them in the sun. 

Of course, in the heat, it was tough to keep clothes on Asher or Cedar.

(Can you see the bald spot in Asher’s hair from the zhu zhu pet incident?)

Flying back, I skipped the seventh generation and went with the hybrid plan.  Again, no pooping until we were home and she could close (and lock) her bedroom door.

I arrived home with one BioSoaker and 10 disposables to spare.  I ran out of seventh generation wipes in Cambodia and had to buy more wipes there.  If I had to do it all over again, I would skip the disposables and stick with the hybrid/prefold combo. 

Also, changing a toddler’s diaper in an airplane bathroom = not easy.

Locals: busy Saturday!

We have two exciting events this Saturday and I know I’ll see many of you there.

First, the Great Cloth Diaper Change.  The cloth diaper community is trying for a Guinness World Record: the most diapers changes simultaneously.  And, of course, the event will raise awareness about sustainability for Earth Day.

Natural Baby is a host location for Greenville.  Please take a bit of time out of your Saturday to join us–your friendly neighborhood changing station!  Even if you don’t cloth diaper, you can join in.  Just check the appropriate box on the registration and a cloth diaper will be provided. 

Go here to register and print your eticket.  The event begins at noon but arrive 30 minutes early please. 

After you’ve changed your baby’s diaper, go for a walk and have some lunch.  Then come back at 2pm for our April Blessingway.  April is Cesarean Awareness Month.  We’ll hear Erin’s Greer Hospital VBAC story and Angie’s planned cesarean story.  Our local ICAN leader, Jenn Anderson, will talk about steps to achieve a VBAC in the upstate.  Of course, little ones are always welcome! 

See you there!

Men of the Cloth

I’ve taught five Cloth Diaper 101 classes since December.  Each time, I think…surely there won’t be any students left in Greenville who will attend.  And each time, there is a crowd.  Bring in some more chairs!

Yesterday’s class was no different.  Except the students were all pregnant for the first time.  And each pregnant mama was accompanied by a dad.  Perfect dad attendance. 

Not only that–some of these dads could have taught the class.  They had studied up on cloth!  I was amazed at their comments and questions. 

While we don’t get gold stars in parenting for using cloth diapers, I’m thrilled that so many couples in Greenville are making this environmental choice.  Each parent who makes the choice to cloth diaper reduces our local landfill space by over 2 tons per child. 

Well-done, you environmentally savvy couples!

If you’d like to learn more about cloth, the Cloth Diaper 101 class is offered every 3rd Saturday at 1pm.  It is free!

Easter Traffic

Two of my old posts always get loads of traffic around Easter:

Natural dyes for eggs

and

Cadbury Eggs

Update:  it looks like Cadbury Eggs in the US are still slave-made.  What can we do??  Global Exchange has some great ideas including a printable coloring page for children to mail to Hershey.  I’m considering throwing together a screening of The Dark Side of Chocolate to share in my community before Easter.  We’ll see if I can pull that off.  What will YOU do?

Upcoming Free Events

Greenville Babywearing Group  meets Thursday night (Jan. 20) at 6pm.  We’re enjoying our new home at Natural Baby.  Come to learn, try out a new type of carrier, or teach someone else.  Bring your carrier(s) and bring your baby.  Or if you’re pregnant, you can practice with a stuffed animal.  Dads are always welcome to attend!

Cloth Diaper 101:  I can’t believe how many people came out for this class last month!  So we’re offering it again.  I’ll show you lots of options for cloth diapering.  We’ll talk about poop.  We’ll talk about money.  We’ll talk trash (or lack thereof).  Dads need to come, too!  1pm at Natural Baby. 

Blessingways:  A Gathering of New and Expectant Families:  Join us for our monthly gathering. We’re meeting in a new place for 2011. When you arrive at Natural Baby, head toward the back of the store where you’ll find a comfortable lounge. Our positive birth story this month is Noelle who had her first baby at home with a midwife.  Our speaker is Ady Orezzoli, the owner of Natural Baby.  She will share her expertise on “Saving Money While Going Green.”

Pregnant couples are encouraged to attend.  New mamas and papas as well as experienced families are welcome!  Bring your babies or older children.  We expect it to be a bit noisy.  Hope to see you there!

A note about Natural Baby.  I’ve moved many of our events to this store because the owners opened the store, in part, as a place of education.  And they sincerely love parents and children.  Parking is available around the corner in the garage on Richardson street (credit card payment accepted) if you can’t find a spot on the street.

Free Class!

I’m teaching Cloth Diapering 101 at Natural Baby on Dec. 11 at 2pm.  The class will last about an hour.  We’ll look at lots of examples of cloth diapering choices and systems.  And, of course, I’ll talk about poop.  What would a cloth diaper class be without a thorough discussion of dealing with the poopies?

Join us!  No need to rsvp.  Little ones are welcome.  I encourage dads to attend. 

Email me if you have questions:  j_byers (at) bellsouth (dot) net.