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Written by Mama Monday

Blog posts written by mamas on cloth diapering, green living, natural parenting.

father's day crafts

Father’s Day was kind of a bittersweet holiday in our household growing up. My mom was raising her four children alone after losing her husband to cancer, so it obviously brought up those empty feelings for us all year after year. Luckily, we had a grandfather who filled the role as best he could, so we took any of those negative feelings, along with our handmade gifts from school, over to his house to celebrate the day every year. Watching him turn over our precious, clumsily-made items in his hands with such joy and pride made everything better.

fathers-day-ideasFast forward 30 years and I now not only have a wonderful stepfather to celebrate, but a super loving father-in-law and, most importantly, my husband. I wasn’t sure what a role of “father” was supposed to be – what it really looked like – but he has surpassed any and all expectations. He has been the epitome of a parenting partner. Super caring and thoughtful, ever patient and willing to explain anything our 3-year-old, I couldn’t be luckier to be raising children with him and building a foundation of love, openness, and respect for every member in our household. Plus, the kiddos look a lot like him, which makes for cuteness overload.

To say nothing of the fact that he’s a HUGE fan of our cloth diapers. (I still remember when we first started dating many years ago and he’d have to LEAVE THE ROOM when a diaper commercial came on. He just couldn’t NOT be grossed out by the thought of a poop catcher. Fast forward seven years and he’s a pro. Isn’t it funny how that happens?)

So, what do you do for whatever special father (or father figure) you’ll be celebrating this Sunday? Here are a few ideas that I’ve dug up for those handmade, can’t-buy-in-a-store cards and gifts that will melt Daddy’s heart and hold a place on his shelf for years to come.

21-DIY-Fathers-Day-Cards-Fish-Card
via The Ramblings of a Crazy Woman

iDad

via She Knows

superhero

via Kaminski’s Creations

taped-card

via Solis Plus One

yoda

via i heart arts n crafts

dad-rocks

via CBC Parents

montessori-fill-in

via Miss Tyler-Smith’s Montessori Blog

Don’t tell my husband, but I think the taped coloring art/card will be part of his gift this year (along with a Himalayan salt lamp for removing those negative ions at work – shhh!), but I’m totally tagging that superhero one for next year!

What are you doing to celebrate any fathers this year?? We’d love for you to share your own ideas below!

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There’s a new diaper out that I am going absolutely crazy for. Ready for it?

gdgh-hope-1

I know, right? The design alone had me cry a good, old-fashioned Joey Tribiani “how YOU doin’?” With origami cranes and clouds (raise your hand if you remember trying to make 1,000 with the rest of your class back in the day!) and watercolor accents, it’s sweet and adorable while still super modern and fresh. But what made me actually click “Buy” was the cause behind the print.

Giving Diapers, Giving Hope is an organization that was started in 2011 as a local cloth diaper bank. Through the support of amazing individuals and companies (of which Thirsties is a humble and proud member), GDGH continues to thrive and grow, currently able to provide diapering assistance to 30-60+ families each month.

They can describe what they do way better than I can:

Aren’t those statistics hard to swallow?

Along with Kelly’s Closet, Thirsties is proud to help handle the inbound donations by sorting and shipping the cloth diapers to approved families.

gdgh

As a way to show Thirsties’ ongoing support of GDGH’s awesome efforts and to say “Happy 5th  birthday, thanks for all you do!”, all sales of the Hope diaper will go directly to Giving Diapers, Giving Hope.

Let me say that again. ALL SALES from the Hope diaper are going to GDGH. 100%. Not a portion (which would still be awesome). Not half. All the proceeds. That’s huge.

So, while this is a limited edition release and some vendors have sold out, it’s worth it to search out a style of your choosing (sorry, they only come in snaps!) to support such a wonderful cause.

gdgh-hope-diaper

Thanks for your support of not only Thirsties but of the Thirsties extended family – the ones who are working so hard to provide low-income families with the ability to majorly reduce the cost of diapering through the use of cloth diapers. By alleviating this cost, we truly believe that GDGH is offering what they set out to give; yes, diapers, but just as importantly, hope.

***And if your family hasn’t started cloth diapering and is having a hard time making ends meet, check out GDGH’s application policy to see if your family qualifies to receive free diapers.***

Memorial Day is often called “the unofficial start of summer.” Well, before I get into some fun summer ideas, I’m sure we would all like to take this chance to send out a thanks to those who gave the ultimate sacrifice to protect our freedoms and country. It simply can’t be overstated, and those who serve, knowing full well that they are being asked to make sacrifices big and small, deserve our pride and gratitude today and everyday.

(Can you tell that my grandparents – both of whom were Marines – helped raise us? They were the BEST.)

That said, I’ve been seeing lots of parents and teachers on social media talking about summer lately. Some are finishing school left and right; others (like myself) are still toiling away well into June.

Because of these inconsistencies, I figured I’d take Memorial Day as the opportunity to share some awesome, simple activities, recipes, and to help up your summer game without the added stress. (That last bit is the best part.)

toddler-fishing
Toddler Fishing
by I Can Teach My Child | Talk about simple fun!

tomato-300x300
Grow Your Own Salad
by KidsGardening.org | It’s never too late to get growing a simple garden.

Easy-Watermelon-Paper-Plate-Craft-Letter-Ww
Easy Paper Plate Watermelon Craft by ABC Creative Learning | A great, easy craft for the littlest artists (although we’re sure the older kids will want to get involved, too).

Strawberry-Creamsicles-SHK
Homemade Strawberry Creamsicles
by Super Healthy Kids | Or try one of the other frozen treats at this awesome website.

sand-dough
Tropical Sand Dough by Paging Fun Mums | A sensory activity that smells like vacation? All you coconut oil fans check this one out!

Vegetable-Tortilla-Rollups
No Cook Lunches for Kids
by Feeding My Kid | Eighteen (yes, eighteen!) yummy lunch ideas for those super hot, “what do I make?” days.

splat-balls
DIY Splat Balls by Paging Fun Mums | As fun as water balloons are, they’re not friendly for the environment or animals, to say nothing of the annoyance of picking up the pieces and filling them. Splat balls are the perfect (and super fun) solution.

fruit-pizza
Fruit Pizza
by Cooking Classy | A healthy pizza…for dessert. Need I say more? 😉

jump-rope-game
Ready Steady Jump Rope Game by Parents.com | For the slightly older kids, this simple, new spin on jumping rope makes for a fun (and wet) twist!

What’s your favorite tip to help make summertime fun and simple? We’d all love to hear!

Stress-Free Summer Fun Ideas

Along with the sheer joy and excitement of having a newborn comes a million questions. Where should baby sleep? Is that a “hungry cry” or an “I’m hurt” cry? Breastfeed or bottle feed? Did I put the car seat in correctly?

And one question we in the cloth diapering community hear lots: Should I cloth diaper my newborn or wait until he/she is bigger?

While it’s totally up to personal preference, there really isn’t any reason not to cloth diaper from the start. With our second child, we started shortly after returning home from the hospital, but many people are able to begin even when still in the hospital!

But, admittedly, it can be a bit scary. Cloth diapering a newborn can be trickier than cloth diapering an older baby. Between runnier stools and more frequent urination, skinny little thighs, and an umbilical cord stump, it can be confusing and a little daunting.

Well, today, we’re sharing some tips to hopefully help things go smoothly and answer any questions you may have.

 

newborn cloth diapers

 

– What kind of diapers do I choose? This and the next question are by far the most-asked questions for those starting out with cloth diapering. With so many styles on the market, it’s tough to know what’s best for baby, let alone a newborn.

To avoid leaking, you’ll need diapers that fit around those tiny legs. Many swear by the use of prefolds and covers to get the perfect fit. There are also adorable all-in-ones specifically designed for newborns that make the transition from disposables a breeze. You can even test out a few styles thanks to programs like these that offer a trial kit.

– How many do I need?! As you probably know, newborns go…a lot. That said, you’ll want a minimum of 12 cloth diapers per day. Many people start with 24-30 diapers if they plan on washing every other day (which is recommended). If you choose to go with prefolds/covers or fitteds/covers, you’ll want at least 8 covers…to cover yourself. Ha. How many times can I say “covers” in one sentence? 😉

– How should it fit? With how runny things are for newborns, it’s best if you have a snug fit around the legs and waste. A little leaking from time to time is normal, but shouldn’t happen every time; this usually means you need to adjust the fit. Also, try to keep the top of the diaper from rubbing against the umbilical cord; some newborn diapers (like Thirsties’ newborn snap closure AIO’s) have an umbilical cord snap down or for this purpose.

– What about nighttime? You’ll want to get as much sleep as possible when baby’s sleeping (believe us!), so you may want to opt for a diaper that is absorbent enough for 3+ hours to last between feedings. Because of this, you may not want to use the same style that you use during the daytime (that usually last for 1-2+ hours). Fitted diapers and prefolds with a cover are great for just this reason. The gussets on Thirsties’ Duo Wraps are a perfect nighttime solution.

– What about the poop? For some, the “ick factor” of dealing with poop is a deal breaker for using cloth. But, guess what! In my experience, I’ve faced far more gross poopy-related, um, incidents with disposables than with cloth. If Harper comes home from Grandma’s in a sposie and has a blow-out, my husband is now the first to say, “This wouldn’t have happened if she’d been wearing her fluff!”

But, yes, you’ll be dealing with poop. If your baby is breastfed, it’s actually water soluble and won’t need to be sprayed or dunked. Otherwise, you’ll need to get as much of it off the dipe as possible before giving it a wash. There are products like diaper sprayers and shields that make this far simpler and easier than it once was, but the “dunk and swish” works after some practice, too.
These are just a handful of tips to get you through the first few months with a newborn baby in cloth. I’d be remiss if I didn’t also shout out the latest, greatest product coming VERY soon from Thirsties for anyone who will be diapering a little bundle of joy anytime soon – the all-new, Natural Newborn All-in-One cloth diaper! They’ve got the same 8 thirsty layers of natural absorbency as Thirsties’ popular inserts (along with the snap closure’s umbilical cord snap-down feature), and is super trim-fitting. This new AIO seriously offers all the comfort that a new baby needs.
So, who here has some newborn CD success stories? We’d love to hear them in the comments! Show our expectant mamas it can be done!

 

Megan McCoy Dellecese is a wife, mother to two young children, freelance writer, and educator. She shares her attempts at simplifying, among other things, at her blog, Meg Acts Out. When not busy meeting deadlines and chasing cats and kids, she enjoys acting in community theatre (where she met her husband), watching old movies, and sharpening her history buff skills.

Every parent has a favorite, don’t they?

I’m not talking about your favorite child – that’s not cool! – I’m talking about your favorite style of cloth diaper.

Whether you #tryallthestyles or use the same one from birth to potty-training, there’s usually one kind that you always grab for.

favorite cloth diaper type

In my case, it’s all-in-ones. For those who may be new to cloth diapering, all-in-one diapers are closest to disposables as far as function. With an attached insert to make diapering as easy as one, two, three, many choose this option particularly for grandparents to use or to send to the sitter. Easy on, easy off.

But, AIOs have their downsides. The complaints I hear most are that they’re costlier and take far more time to dry. Totally legitimate arguments. Stilll, I prefer them.

Side note: I’ve discovered that not ALL AIOs are created equal. The new Thirsties natural AIOs are my new favorites, and I’m genuinely not just saying that because I’m a Thirsties ambassador here. Seriously! They’re super soft, have incredible absorbency, dry surprisingly quickly, and, of course, are natural (which tends to leave my daughter rash-free and better protected). Guys? I’m. In. Lurve.

So, anyway, back to my journey to favoring AIOs. I had purchased a stash of mostly AIOs with my first child, plus a stack of prefolds, a handful of covers, and a couple of pockets. My CD attempts were short-lived, but I honestly didn’t give much effort into trying out the prefolds.

With our second child, I’ve given lots of time and kept an open mind to several methods. This time, I had much better luck with the prefolds/covers early on, but as time went on, my old favorites kind of took over during diaper changes.

I will sometimes double up on inserts inside a pocket for bedtime, but Harper isn’t a huge wetter so it’s not necessary. More often than not, though, even bedtime is AIO time.

Isn’t it weird how we kind of get into habits that just stick?

What’s your go-to diaper and why? Let us know in the comments! It might be helpful for mamas who are trying to decide on what to get for their stashes.

Megan McCoy Dellecese is a wife, mother to two young children, freelance writer, and educator. She shares her attempts at simplifying, among other things, at her blog, Meg Acts Out. When not busy meeting deadlines and chasing cats and kids, she enjoys acting in community theatre (where she met her husband), watching old movies, and sharpening her history buff skills.