Monday, October 28, 2013

Passing the Green Torch

Dear Green Baby Customers,

Not only are the leaves changing outside, things are changing at Green Baby as well.  As you all know, our families are growing and time is flying by.  Around the first of November we will be slowly moving out of the store and a new wonderful woman and her family will be coming in to take care of our beloved customers.

Green Baby has been our home away from home for almost 5 years now.  We’ve saved hundreds of thousands of diapers from the landfills, met thousands of special customers who have turned into friends, watched many a baby potty train and we just now had a customer use the diaper service for her third baby. (Go Jennifer!)  We are so grateful that you have allowed us to share this special time in your lives with your precious babies and their little bottoms. 

When we decided that we would like to sell the business, finding the right individual was crucial.  Miss Polly compared it to giving her “baby” up for adoption. We feel confident that we have found the PERFECT person and family to fill our shoes.  Angie Harris, her husband Dan, mother Jane and two little ones, Elaina and Tyler are going to be taking the reigns.  Angie has been a teacher and she and her mom are long time friends of ours as well.  She has a real passion for cloth diapers and has fallen in love with the store and our customers.  We have confidence that Angie will continue on with the good parts of our business and she will also have some exciting improvements to make. We are sure you are all going to love her as much as we do!

As we say our farewells, please know that you have all touched our lives in so many ways.  This is a bittersweet exit, as each of our mommies, daddies, babies and grandparents that we have served over the years have become an extended part of our family.  Your loyalty and support of us and cloth diapers is valued more than you will ever know and we will miss you!

Yours truly,

Polly Buskirk
Liz Soffera
Thomas and Matthew

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Cloth Diapering in the Summer - Swim Diapers

When you're hanging out at the beach or the pool with your little one, remember the #1 rule: No Pooping in the Water. Buying disposable swim diapers is expensive. Using cloth swim diapers is so much more cost-effective, and it's easier than dealing with disposables. Why?

Cloth Swim Diapers are Easy On, Easy Off
Disposable swim diapers have to be pulled up baby's legs, which isn't easy, especially if baby is sweaty or sticky with sun tan lotion. If you purchase swim diapers that velcro shut, putting the diaper on is a breeze. If your little one poops in a swim diaper with velcro closure, it's easy to remove too.

Cloth Swim diapers are a Great Way to Experiment with Cloth
If you've wanted to try cloth but are intimidated by doing it full time, try it just for swimming. You'll get a feeling for the ease of using cloth diapers, and you'll save money since you won't have to buy disposable swim diapers.

Cloth Swim Diapers are Convenient for Vacations
If you're traveling, instead of trying to estimate the number of disposable swim diapers you'll need and trying to stuff them in your suitcase, bring along a couple of swim diapers. They are easy to wash by hand in your hotel sink, and you can reuse them the entire time you're on vacation.

Cloth Swim Diaper Alternatives
Some parents swear by using just a cloth diaper cover or a pocket diaper without the insert instead of a swim diaper. I've tried using a BumGenius pocket diaper (unstuffed) as a swim diaper before, and I'm sad to report that it didn't work. Yup, I was that mom whose kid pooped in the pool. Diapers that are meant to be used for swimming are great at trapping poop and not letting it escape. That's worth investing in a couple of cloth swim diapers.

How do Cloth Swim Diapers Work?
Just like disposable swim diapers, cloth swim diapers let the urine through, but they catch poop. Yes, your baby will pee in the pool. The chemicals in pools take care of the urine, so you don't have to worry about that. (Besides, all the other kids--and some of the adults--are doing it). Some swim diapers have mesh on the inside that traps poop, and others have semi-waterproof shells and tight elastic around the legs to prevent the dirty stuff from escaping.

Since most aren't very padded, however, you may want to add some padding on your way to and from the pool so you don't end up with a wet car seat. You can stuff the swim diaper with an insert from one of your cloth diapers, or simply sit your baby on top of a prefold in the car seat on the way to the pool or beach. Alternatively, you can just change your baby into the swim diaper when you get there. Because some swim diapers aren't padded enough to catch urine, if your baby falls asleep in your arms at the beach and you feel something warm, well.... you can guess what it is. But at least it's sterile. And you saved a boatload of money.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Cloth Diapering in the Summer - Travel

When you think of summer, you probably think of summer vacation. But traveling with a baby or small child can be stressful enough, even before you throw cloth diapers in the mix. You don't have to give up on cloth diapers over the summer just because you're out and about, though. Diaper liners, wet bags, and the good old sun are your best friends when you're back and forth to the beach or even taking a longer vacation.

Diaper Liners
In my last post, I talked about how flushable diaper liners can stick to your baby's skin and exacerbate diaper rash in the hot summer months. If you're traveling, though, diaper liners can make your life a lot easier. Basically, all of the poop sticks to the liner instead of your diapers. This means you can flush the liner, and all you have is a wet diaper and cover to wash. If you're staying in a hotel, that makes hand-washing your diapers pretty easy. And if it's a beach vacation, you can easily throw your just-washed diapers in a wet bag, bring them to the beach, and dry them in the sun. That will help sanitize them and get rid of any smells if you're not the best hand-washer.

Wet Bags
Having a couple of wet bags is really handy when you're on vacation. You can keep dirty diapers in one and clean diapers in the other. If you have a third, it's perfect for carting wet bathing suits and towels around. Planetwise wetbags come in a few different sizes and super-cute designs. It's almost as easy to become addicted to these as it is to become addicted to cloth diapering. Wetbags contain odors from your stinky diapers, too, so you can keep dirty diapers in your hotel bathroom or in your car if you're on a road trip.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Cloth Diapering in the Summer - Diaper Rash

Now that it's gotten a little warmer out and your kids are sitting in wet bathing suits for half the weekend, are you battling diaper rash more often? The warm weather combined with sweat, chlorine, salt water, sand, and less-than-breathable diaper covers can make your little one break out in a rash. Your go-to remedy might not work as well during the summer either.Why? Well, all the stuff I mentioned above provides a moist environment where bacteria can grow. The heat makes it grow faster, and stuff like sand and chlorine is extra irritating. Here are some tips for battling diaper rash in the summer months:

Use Natural Fibers
If your favorite diapers are Bum Genius pockets or Flip Diapers stuffed with a microfiber insert, you might need to find a second-in-command for the summer. Even though microfiber wicks moisture away from baby's skin better than cotton, all of that synthetic material creates a barrier that prevents air from getting to your baby's behind. Covers made of PUL make the problem worse by trapping all the heat and bacteria next to the skin. Switching to cotton prefolds or inserts covered by wool soakers will help air circulate, keeping your baby's butt cooler and keeping the diaper rash at bay. (This is the only thing that worked on my baby's sweaty butt last summer).

Change Up Your Diaper Cream
If you're used to slathering on thick diaper creams (with liners, of course), you might need to lighten up over the summer. Thick creams may provide a barrier to moisture, but they also prevent the skin from breathing, making it feel hotter and giving bacteria a breeding ground. CJ's BUTTer makes diaper rash treatments that are safe for cloth diapers and perfect for the diaper bag.
  • CJ's Butter Spritz O'BUTTer - This fine mist spray is light, mess-free, and won't melt in your diaper bag. (It also works great as a leave-in conditioner to smooth out frizzy hair.)
  • CJ's Butter Squeeze Tube - This diaper cream is more like a lotion and is a little thicker than the CJ's Butter Spritz. You can use it to treat chapped lips and dry hands as well as using it as diaper cream.
What About Your Diaper Liner?
Do you use flushable diaper liners? Those are convenient for quickly flushing older babies' poop or when you're using a thick diaper cream, but they also stick to baby's skin in the summer, which could make diaper rash worse. Switching to a fleece diaper liner can help your baby's skin breathe while still protecting your diapers from the grosser poops. If you use a fleece diaper liner, make sure to use a breathable cover, like wool, so you don't trap moisture next to your baby's skin.

Put on Baby's Birthday Suit  
When your little one is just running around the backyard or playing in the sprinkler, just take it all off. Exposing baby's skin to the fresh air and giving it a chance to breathe can be the best remedy for diaper rash.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Natural Insect Repellents for Kids

Now that it's getting warmer out--well, let's face it--it's been downright hot for quite a while--the bugs are coming out. And I'm not talking about the toddler pulling on your skirt or the 5-year-old begging you for a snack. I'm talking about the fat, eastern-NC mosquitoes that have been around since February. Has your child gotten a bug bite yet? Little M currently has three. And they are huge and red on his soft baby skin.

I never really loved to use bug spray because I couldn't stand the smell. If you can actually smell the chemicals, it's a constant reminder that what you're putting on your skin isn't good for you. And when I had kids, I definitely didn't use traditional bug spray on them, but I also didn't use it on myself because I didn't want them breathing it in as they nursed or getting it in their mouths as they drooled on my shoulder.

I bought Avon Skin-So-Soft before a camping trip I took a year ago, but it turns out that isn't all that good for you (nor does it work very well to keep the bugs at bay). So if you have kids and bugs happily intermingling in your backyard (or the park or the beach), do you just suffer in silence? Nope. There are lots of natural bug repellents you can use, including some homemade bug sprays for kids.

CJ's Bug Banisher
CJ's natural bug spray is available at Green Baby Diaper Service, so you don't have to blend your concoction in your kitchen. Just pick it up and spray! CJ's Bug Banisher includes a combination of citronella, peppermint, neem, lavender and tea tree essential oils to deter bugs naturally.

Bite Blocker Herbal Repellent Wipes
One review on says these smell like vomit, but the same reviewer said she took her 1-year-old on a trip to the Amazon (the real one, not the virtual one) and he came back without any bug bites. I would rather my kids smell like vomit than use DEET-laden products on them. Besides, don't they smell like vomit anyway? It contains Soybean Oil (2%), Geranium Oil (5%), water, coconut oil, glycerin, citric acid, sodium bicarbonate, and vanillin. A box of Kraft Mac n' Cheese has more chemicals! Plus, it's easy to wipe the repellent on kids' skin as opposed to dealing with sprays, gels, or lotions.

Homemade Bug Sprays for Kids
Homemade insect repellents may take a little more time, and collecting the ingredients may have you going out of your way a little. So why not join up with a few friends? Have each person grab an ingredient and get together with some spray bottles to do a little concocting. (Click on the titles to go to the website with the recipe)

Crunchy Betty Shoo! Spray Insect Repellent
This one combines apple cider vinegar with a little vodka and some essential oils

Homemade Bug Spray from Fresh or Dried Herbs
Wellness Mama makes a homemade insect repellent with witch hazel, distilled water, and fresh or dried herbs. In her super strong version, she uses apple cider vinegar.

Many herbs repel insects. If all you have on hand is fresh basil from last night's spaghetti, you can rub a leaf on your skin. You can do the same with lemongrass, lavender, peppermint, spearmint, or catnip!

Monday, April 9, 2012

Finding the Right Cloth Diaper Detergent

If you wash your own diapers, you probably have either found a detergent you love or are searching for that soul mate of soaps. Finding the right method for washing your cloth diapers can be just as overwhelming as starting to use cloth diapers. There are some people who swear by certain detergents and others who have trouble with the same ones. But there is one hard-and-fast rule: your detergent does matter.

Here's why.

Your soap or detergent can build up on diapers over time. This creates a barrier between the cloth and your baby's bottom, preventing the cloth from effectively absorbing urine. What you don't want in your detergent are all the additives. You're trying to clean your cloth diapers, not coat them in a bunch of chemicals and other junk. Here is some residue-causing stuff to avoid:
  • Fabric softeners - these cause liquid to repel or wick onto baby's clothes.
  • Optical brighteners - these are chemical particles that absorb UV light and reflect back a bluer light, which makes clothes look whiter. These particles can build up and cause residue, and some
  • Stain guards - stain guards prevent staining because they coat the cloth. You want your cloth to absorb the stain-causing materials. That's the whole point of a diaper.
  • Soaps - this is a little confusing, but soaps are actually different than detergents. Although they are natural, they can react with your water to create residue.
  • Natural additives - this is a biggie. A lot of detergents nowadays are marketed as being natural, eco-friendly, etc. That sounds like it would be great for cloth diapers, right? Not necessarily. Many of these contain oil-based surfectants. That means that the soapy stuff is made of oils. These oils can coat your diapers over time, creating a barrier to absorbency. Oils that you don't want to see in detergents are orange oil, citrus extract, and grape seed extract, among others.
Different water types and cloth types react differently to different detergents. If you use an eco-friendly detergent with an oil-based surfectant on microfiber, you could actually ruin your diapers. The way the oils coat the synthetic fibers makes it difficult to remove. It gets all rubbery and gunky, and you may not be able to remove the residue completely.

Using a detergent specifically formulated for cloth diapers can help solve your problems. From a totally objective standpoint, we have noticed that Rockin' Green is pretty popular with cloth diapering parents. Out of all the cloth diaper detergents that are available, this is the one we hear the fewest complaints about. In fact, I don't know if I've ever heard a complaint about Rockin' Green.

If you're still not sure, check out the cloth diaper detergent chart at The Diaper Jungle. This chart gives you ratings and pros and cons for lots of different kinds of detergents and may help you find the detergent that's right for you.

And whatever you do, use lots of water. Lots of rinses don't matter if your water level isn't high enough. Crank up the water, crank up the heat, and get washing.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

The Great Cloth Diaper Change

Have you always wanted to be famous? Well, even if you haven't, you now have a chance to be part of a new Guiness world record. On Saturday, April 21, 2012 at noon, cloth diaper advocates are trying to break a record for the most cloth diapers changed at one time.

How is that even possible? We are parents, but we don't have eight arms (although sometimes we wish we did).

The event is organized by the Real Diaper Association, with hosts around the world getting their communities together to participate. As of today, there are 232 hosts in 13 different countries. Each location will have leaders documenting the event and counting heads. At 12 p.m. sharp, everyone will change his or her child into a cloth diaper, and we'll make history. Let's get together and spread the word that cloth diapering is just as easy, affordable, and convenient as disposable diapering--and it's better for the environment.

What does this mean for Wilmington?

Green Baby Diaper Service is hosting the event at Shelter #15 at Hugh McRae park. The park also happens to be holding the annual Earth Day celebration, so you'll be able to join the festivities and really feel like you're doing your part for the environment.

To join the Great Cloth Diaper Change, go to the Facebook page we set up specifically for the Wilmington event and RSVP.

We need 25 people in order to participate. Sixteen people are attending so far; let's get nine more so we can join in this fun and unique event. Also, stay tuned to find out what kinds of fun stuff we have in store for participants!