Disposable Diaper Buy Back

disposablediaperbuybackLet’s celebrate Earth Month 2014 at Nappy Shoppe.  During the month of April 2014 we will buy back your unused disposable diapers.  If you have been thinking of trying cloth, this is a great chance to get some credit towards your cloth diaper purchase, or if you have that half open pack of disposables that the grocery store cant take back, we will.

What are we going to do with these disposable diapers you ask?  After all we are a cloth diaper store!  We will use them for a window display for a short time, and then we will donate them to Hope’s Door Women’s shelter.  They are always in need of donations like disposable diapers for women in need.

Terms and Conditions

  • We will pay 20 cents per disposable diaper.
  • We will pay for a maximum of 50 diapers per family.
  • Payment will be in the form of store credit to Nappy Shoppe.  Total amount paid out per family is $10 ONE TIME in store credit.
  • Store credit to be used in the month of April 2014.
  • You are welcome to drop off more than 50 diapers in order to donate to the cause.
  • Offer valid from April 1st 2014 to April 30th 2014.
  • Offer valid in store only.
  • Diapers must be in a usable condition.  Open packets are fine.
  • We reserve the right to refuse unusable, dirty, mangled, etc. diapers.
  • This promotion is a one time payout per family of $10 maximum.  If you wish to donate more than the 50 diapers to the program, you may do so at your own cost.

 

Bethany’s Story – How to (sort-of) be an Attached Parent

Bethany is one of the girls who works at Nappy Shoppe.  She has been with us since 2012.  Her son Hendrik was born in late 2011.  Originally from Illinois, she moved down to the DFW area while pregnant with Hendrik.  In doing so, she took herself away from all her known resources.  This  is her story, and as she states in it, she fully expects a different outcome with her next baby, because now she has made friends in the area, including her co-workers at Nappy Shoppe.  She shares her story in the hopes that it helps others feel better when not everything goes according to plan.  Bethany is a wonderful mother.  Read on for her story …

Bethany and her husband Travis, and her son Hendrik.

Bethany and her husband Travis, and her son Hendrik.

I, like so many moms-to-be, whole heartedly assumed I would breastfeed until my child weaned himself. I abhorred formula and bottles. I had lovely Bravado nursing bras and tank tops and nursing pads and the Boppy pillow (the My Brest Friend is better, in my opinion, by the way). I read probably half a dozen breastfeeding books, chatted online with other lactating mommies, and went to La Leche League every time the doors were open. I was ready.

When my baby was finally born, unfortunately it was via cesarean section. I was devastated, and we can go ahead and subtract 10 points from my Crunchy Mama Scale. Luckily, he was so healthy, plump and beautiful. We initiated breastfeeding as soon as we could. I had been told that I would need a nipple shield, and blindly took the advice. I was never even encouraged to attempt a latch without it. By the time we left the hospital, I was so engorged, I literally could not place my arms by my side. My maternity top I wore home from the hospital was stretched so tightly I thought it would burst at the seams.

So we nursed, and nursed and nursed, as newborns do, every 1.5- 2 hours or so. The pain was excruciating, and only got worse as the days and weeks wore on. I remember having permanent knots in my stomach dreading the next feeding and crying the entire time he nursed. My husband gave me sips of ice water to distract from the pain. I went to the weekly breastfeeding groups, thank God, because the lovely lactation nurse caught my mastitis in its very early stages. I was placed on a round of antibiotics, which cured the infection, but not the pain. I went to the nurse practitioner at the pediatrician’s office for help with the latch, which was fine when someone was helping me, but not so much when I was alone. Same for La Leche meetings; I could get a good latch with assistance, but when we got home it was a different story.

The point of this post is not to discourage anyone from going to a lactation nurse or La Leche meetings, in fact, it’s quite the opposite. I am confident that had I not had that support, I would’ve had to stop breastfeeding much sooner than I did. The support groups are there. Find them. Go to them. Call them. Just do it.

Hendrik at around 10 months.

Hendrik at around 10 months.

The final straw was early one morning, before the sun was even up, after yet another unsuccessful latch, I pumped. My breasts felt like gigantic bags of marbles. I had warm compresses on each breast as I pumped. I pumped for 20 minutes and got a combined half of an ounce. I gave in and called my doctor. He is a wonderful man who knows me and the desires of my heart as a mother. He said, “Bethany, it’s time to stop. Your baby will be fine. You’ve done all you can do and it’s draining you physically and emotionally. You need to be happy and healthy for your baby. It will be ok”. My heart was broken. I still say that was probably the worst day of my life. Dramatic or not, that’s how I felt. As devastated as I was, and really still am, over the end of my nursing days, it was almost like I was ready for someone to tell me that it would be alright.

And I gave my sweet baby boy his first bottle of formula. Gasp!!! And you know what? He couldn’t have cared less. I know a lot of babies will not take a bottle, and I am so grateful that my little guy did. It’s like he knew I couldn’t, at that point, handle one more hurdle.

Yes, formula is expensive. Yes, it’s full of ‘chemicals’. Yes, I miss that skin to skin bond with him. But I don’t miss the pain, the tears or the ever-present anxiety and dread of the next feeding session. So I’ve done the best I can with what I have.

We loved doing skin-to-skin time in the Moby wrap. Oh, heavenly! I loved to snuggle up with him, fresh and warm from his bath, wrapped closely next to my non-lactating breasts. When feeding him his bottles, I would hold him in the cradle hold as if I was nursing, often with the support of the Boppy pillow, and kiss his sweet forehead. Never once did I ever prop his bottle under his chin and walk away. Never did I purchase that horrible contraption that hangs from the handle of the car seat and holds the bottle in the baby’s mouth. We don’t practice co-sleeping, and I don’t have any issue with anyone who does; it just wasn’t right for our family. But we do love to babywear and we enjoy that special physical closeness so much.

I’ve learned so much in this first year of motherhood.

#1: Don’t judge. You don’t know what you don’t know. Everyone you meet is facing some sort of battle.

#2: I now know that my breastfeeding issues were probably due to overproduction. Being new to the area, I didn’t know all of the resources I had. I have so many more experienced moms, lactation consultants and La Leche friends now, and I can call them at any time I have a question. I also recently learned about milk sharing. There are two wonderful groups with chapters in the North Texas area; Human Milk 4 Human Babies and Eats on Feets. There are lots of lactating mommies out there who would’ve been happy to donate milk to my baby in our time of need.

#3: Attachment parenting doesn’t always have to be so black and white. I love the theory and support it fully, but what happens when one portion of it fails? What about moms who’ve had breast surgeries and cannot breastfeed? What about parents who have serious back issues and cannot baby wear? Can they still be attached parents? YES, YES, YES.

Bethany and "Santa" with baby Hendrik at 1 year old.

Bethany and “Santa” with baby Hendrik at 1 year old.

For me, being an attached parent means attending to your baby’s needs as quickly and as lovingly as possible. Breastfeed if you can, it really is the best. Not to mention cheapest and most hassle-free (ugh washing bottles and toting formula powder everywhere!!). Babywear if you can. Co-sleep if it’s right for you. But please don’t judge. We’re all in this together, learning, trying to be the best parents we can be and we love our little ones to the ends of the earth. At least I do. :)

Sea Sponge Tampon Reivew

Written by guest writer MJ Martin.  MJ is a regular at the Nappy Shoppe.  She cloth diapers, babywears and she and her teenage daughters use natural alternative methods for managing menstruation.

MJ writes:

I’ve used tampons exclusively since I was about 15, so when I started searching for a greener alternative, I settled on Sea Pearls. As with any product, they have both their pros and cons.

Pros:

  • Easy to use. Really. I promise.
  • Totally comfortable. I sometimes forget that I’ve got it in.
  • Depending on tampon brand preference and usage, can save money.
  • They don’t dry out your vagina the way regular tampons do, therefore don’t carry the risk of TSS.
  • A natural, chemical-free alternative to tampons.
  • Reusable, and compostable when they begin to wear out.
  • Smells less than tampons. Seriously. The chemicals in sanitary products stink.

Cons:

  • It takes a little more foresight to use Sea Pearls when going out.
  • No applicator comes with them, so you have to stick your fingers “up there”!
  • They have to be cleaned.

spongesSo how exactly DO you use a sea sponge tampon? When I first received my Sea Pearls, I was somewhat apprehensive about trying them out. Straight out of the package they’re stiff, and huge! No way was I going to be able to stick that thing in my vag! Nevertheless, I was committed to at least giving them a shot, as I had already tried a menstrual cup and determined that it wasn’t for me. So I grabbed out the recommended cleaning supplies and disinfected them for the first time. Once the sponges got wet, they were totally soft and easy to squish into the right shape to wear. All I had to do was squeeze out the excess water, pinch it between my fingers and insert it just like a regular tampon. If you’ve ever used an OB style tampon that doesn’t have an applicator, it’s essentially the exact same thing, only with a sponge that you can reuse at the end. Once it’s in, I really don’t notice it at all. Sea Pearls absorb roughly the same amount as a regular tampon, so I gauge how often to clean it based on how frequently I would change a tampon. The biggest difference here is that sea sponges get heavier the fuller they get, so they will actually migrate downwards. Taking out Sea Pearls is more or less like putting one in, only in reverse. Pinch it gently with your fingers, and pull it out. Because they’re not drying, they don’t stick like tampons can. Rinse it out well in the sink, and put it back in. I usually disinfect mine once a day. To disinfect your sponge, soak it in a cup of warm water and one of the following for about 15 minutes:

2-3 drops of tea tree oil

1 Tbs apple cider vinegar

1 Tbs baking soda

1 tsp colloidal silver

1 tsp sea salt

¼ cup hydrogen peroxide and ¼ cup warm water – This method will also get rid of any staining

Let air dry, preferably in sun light. I fold a hand towel and leave mine to dry in the windowsill of my bedroom.

Leaving the house while using Sea Pearls does, admittedly, take a little more thought that just tossing a handful of tampons in your handbag. Personally, I prefer not to muck with cleaning my sponges in a public toilet, so I keep two sets in order to have enough. I certainly have, in a pinch had to rinse my sponge when I’m out, so it’s totally doable, I just prefer not to. Instead, I carry a small, double sided wet bag to keep clean, dampened sponges in one side, and used ones in the other to be dealt with at home. Washing with a mild soap and then disinfecting is recommended if you have to leave your sponges for a prolonged period of time. I usually use peroxide, because psychologically, seeing them bubble makes me feel like they’re cleaner.

One unexpected benefit of using Sea Pearls is that they smell less than regular tampons. Frankly, I don’t why this never occurred to me, as I’ve noticed the same phenomenon switching my teenage daughters from disposable pads to cloth, and also using cloth diapers. Whatever chemicals that companies use in their disposable products STINK when they get wet. Now, I’m not saying that you’ll smell like roses when Aunt Flo visits, but going chemical-free definitely reduces the smell factor.

How long a sponge will last can vary greatly from person to person, as it is largely dependent on body chemistry, and how they’re cared for. My first sets lasted me about a year, and to be honest, I tend to put them in my windowsill to dry and forget about them. I suspect they may have lasted quite a bit longer if I didn’t leave them exposed to the sunlight.

That’s really all there is to it. Sanitize before first use. Rinse as needed. Sanitize and leave to air dry in the sun. Easy, right?

 

Going Biodegradable

I am really not a fan of disposables .. after all I do have a cloth diaper store .. but there were times when I wished there was a guilt free option.  I did traditional disposables on my now 8 year old, and every time we threw one out, I hated it.  It plagued my greenie conscience and hurt my wallet (we worked out he cost around $4000 to diaper in the end).  With Braden the bulk of the time, I am perfectly happy to have him in cloth, but there has been the odd time that I wanted a guilt free disposable option.

I found that with three products, disposable inserts that biodegrade and in one case flush (if your plumbing can handle it).  gDiapers flushable inserts, GroVia biopads, and Flip disposable inserts (version 2 — version 1 was just like a maxi pad).  The gDiaper and Flip versions work best for me when you use a cover that you can tuck them in to, and the GroVia version works great in a cover that has no tucking as there is an adhesive.  We used these inserts on trips out of town.  That way I only had to wash covers if I needed to, although in both trips I took sufficient covers that I didn’t have to wash.  I didn’t want to ruin my regular cloth diapers by washing them in another washer, not knowing what detergents had been there before hand.

Recently GroVia came out with another option.  They now have a BioDiaper.  All bar the elastic in the legs and the closing tabs have been tested for being bio-degradable.  Pricewise, they are up around the cost of the more expensive disposable options, so they are not about economics, they are about convenience without harming the environment.  The smallest size was however too big for a newborn.  We had an 8 pound baby in the store recently and I asked the parents to try it out on him when he needed changing but the Size 1 was simply too big.  I was rather disappointed as I had hoped that the size 1 would be a great option for newborns before they had finished passing meconium.

So how does this new biodiaper perform?  Well I blush to tell you the test that I inadvertently had Braden do … my darling husband is not always as prompt as he should be when it comes to changing Braden’s diapers.  He came to pick Braden up at the store one day when I had to stay late to wait for a customer.  The biodiapers had just arrived and we opened a packet to test on him.  When I got home 3-4 hours later, I asked Greg if he had changed Braden … the answer was no … and I was saying “Umm he is in a new diaper that I don’t know how it will perform, he is likely a wet puddle!”.  But he was not.  That diaper was full but there were no leaks.  So it performs well.

I must confess that I wont be reaching for these for Braden.  They are pricey.  And it is still creating some trash, even though it will break down.  But if you need something for a trip, or a bad rash, then these do work.  They come in 4 sizes, but as I said the smallest is too big for an 8 pound newborn.  The size 3 just fit Braden at 33 pounds.  I will likely continue to use a the biodegradable inserts in his existing covers for when I need to deal with a rash or go on a trip, but it is really nice to know that if I had an extended trip planned, or did not know if I could wash covers, that this is an environmentally friendly solution.

So what about the all important costs?  Lets compare.

Brand/

Product

Cost per Packet Number per Packet Cost per Insert/

Diaper

gDiaper Flushables

Small

14.49 40 36 cents
gDiaper Flushables

Medium/Large

14.49 32 45 cents
GroVia Pad

20 count

7.99 20 39 cents
GroVia Pad

50 count

19.99 50 39 cents
Flip Disposable 4.95 18 27 cents
Grovia Biodiapers

Size 1

16.99 40 42 cents
Grovia Biodiapers

Size 2

16.99 36 47 cents
Grovia Biodiapers

Size 3

16.99 32 54 cents
Grovia Biodiapers

Size 4

16.99 28 60 cents

It has been a long time since I bought a packet of regular disposables, and I know that back with Connor I used to buy them in bulk from Sams club to keep costs down. I did a quick search on Amazon, who very nicely prices things out per piece, and prices of disposables varied a lot by brand, and tended to be anything from 20 cents a diaper to 45 cents a diaper. So yes the GroVia biodiaper is more expensive, but the costs to the environment are far less.

And baby makes four .. or five .. or six …

So you have brought home a brand new baby, and big brother or sister is not super thrilled to have to share your attention with this new baby brother or sister. They were so excited to be getting a baby brother or sister, but all it does is eat, sleep, cry and poop. It doesn’t sit up and play. It just takes all of mum and dads attention.

While I have never had a toddler when I had a newborn, I did have a very jealous 9 year old when my second came along. I was also a nearly three year old when my first brother came along and boy was my nose out of joint. He arrived on the 9th of December, and apparently I was not very nice to this new baby. So my mother was smart. She went and got me a baby doll, complete with bath and accessories. It was my Christmas gift that year. I actually do have memories of that Christmas morning, just before I turned three (my birthday is December 28th). I remember coming out to the living room and up against the wall in a big pink box with a clear plastic top was this beautiful baby dressed in pink.

From then on, when mum bathed my baby brother, I bathed my dolly. When mum changed my baby brother, I changed my brother. There was a lot less hitting from big sister, because big sister had her own baby to care for while mummy was busy.

When I was pregnant with my third child, my daughter who was then nearly 14, gave her then nearly 5 year old younger brother a bunny to care for. She helped him diaper and dress the “baby”. She used the toy bunny as a tool to help him prepare for the new baby brother that would soon arrive.

A mother was in recently with her newborn, and she had visited me several times while pregnant with her one and a half year old. A very sweet little boy. When she came in with the newborn, she came without little Knox, and I asked her how was Knox doing with his baby brother. She said, Knox was rather jealous of the new baby. My suggestion a baby doll. Don’t worry about if Dad thinks boys don’t play with dolls. But baby dolls can help both sexes just fine. Giving them something to care for while you care for the baby can help the older sibling feel useful. It doesn’t have to be a doll, it can be a stuffed animal. Just something that is something special for them to care for.

I have stocked toys for quite some time now, but after the visit from Knox’s mother I decided that we should add baby dolls and accessories to our line up. We have a lot of older siblings come in with their mums to the store, so why not help them kit out their “babies” too.

So here are some of the items we are stocking at the store for the older sibling:

Annie is a 12 inch doll complete with a cloth diaper, pacifier, bottle and potty.  Having a potty makes her a great tool for potty training too.

Diaper bag changing set. Complete with a bag, diaper, and cream.  Only available in pink though.

Happy Heiny doll diapers come in a variety of colours.  They will fit a 14-20 inch doll.  We choose the colour/print.

An extra bottle and bib!

A mistaken order turns into a great find

I am a great fan of Bac Out by Biokleen and I stock it in the store. I have reviewed it on my blog here and I try to keep it in stock for my customers who cannot find this wonder locally.

Well I needed to reorder some … but a little mistake occured. Biokleen uses similar packaging on several of their products, and I ordered All Purpose cleaner instead of Bac Out. Did I figure this out when the case of 12 bottles arrived? Umm no I did not! Did I figure it out when I carried a bottle I purchased for myself down the stairs to the laundry room on my cloth diapers? No! At what point did I figure it out? The point when I tried to squirt Bac Out into the washing machine which has the consistency of water and all that came out was a thicker substance.

After a few choice words at myself, and hastily running back upstairs to modify to the stock levels of Bac Out back down to 0, I decided to look at just what I had bought. Well thankfully it was a green cleaner, as I only use green cleaners. So I decided to try it out.

This stuff is magic! I put a tiny squirt of it in a spray bottle, fill it up with water, and I use it to clean pretty much anything in my kitchen and bathrooms. If I spray it on that horrid grape jelly splot my kids left after making school lunches on my cream laminate counters that stain easily and I watch it do it’s work right before my eyes.

I made this mistake 5 months ago, and I am still on my first bottle of this stuff and I use it all the time. In fact I am only about a quarter of the way through the bottle.  And I am more through it than I should be because other family members didn’t realise just how little they needed to use.

I have even used it in the swiffer wet jet mop. Just a tiny squirt and the rest water. It cleans the vinyl floors beautifully.  I had a sheet pan that I could not get the greasy baked on spots off, and I soaked it over night in this stuff (yes watered down, not neat) and I was able to clean up the pan!  When I tell my boys to clean their bathroom, that is what they get given to clean it.  It does the work, and it is SAFE for them to use, and it smells good!

So I made a mistake that I don’t regret!!!