Thursday, April 5, 2012

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Becoming a Crunchy Mama

When my husband and I found out we were pregnant, there were many things to talk about and decisions to make. Thankfully, this is how our discussion on diapers went:

Me: So I’m planning on cloth diapering, is that OK with you?

DH: Yep, sounds good.

For us, there are a number of reasons we wanted to cloth diaper, economy, health of our baby and protecting the environment are among some of the reasons. Luckily my best friend had cloth diapers both of her little ones before me so I knew that modern cloth diapering was much different than when my Mom did it. I’m so proud to say that to date, my precious baby girl has never worn a disposable diaper (although we do use the occasional gRefills in our cloth diapers).

I have to admit that I’ve become another cloth diaper fanatic, spending probably way too much time researching and learning about cloth diapers. Unfortunately for me, I don’t live in the US or any other country that actually has modern cloth diapers. My parents were able to bring us some cloth diapers when our little one was born, and I’ll definitely be adding to my stash this summer when we visit our home in the US.

Being and expat though, has led to other issues, such as finding an appropriate cloth diaper detergent. One thing I’ve discovered living abroad is that we in the US have OPTIONS. In other words you can find just about whatever you want, and have 10 options to boot. Not so much where I live. There really isn’t any commercial detergent that I can use that is safe for us let alone our diapers, which means I had to come up with a solution by doing a bit of research and making my own.

I’ve been able to successfully find a detergent recipe that I feel good about using on our cloths and diapers, even without finding Borax here. All that hard work and research to make detergent (which in itself is actually really easy to make…3 ingredients, grate, mix, done!) led me to many great websites about green living and homemade cleaning/beauty supplies.

One of the first projects I worked on (after the detergent) was an all-purpose cleaner made of vinegar and orange peels. It was convenient to make because at the time hubby and I were eating about 6 Satsuma oranges a day. This cleaner is a miracle worker and as an added bonus, I felt safe using it while I was still pregnant. Now my cleaning supplies consist of our orange cleaner as well as lots of vinegar, baking soda, hydrogen peroxide and a few essential oils.

I’ve also been finding was to take better care of myself, including making my own face wash, shampoo and conditioner and hubby and I have been incorporating more Green Smoothies in our diet to help get in our fruits and veggies.

While there are plenty of ways I’m not as green and “crunchy” as I’d like to be, I know I can continue working on them one at a time. And having an adorable baby girl is great motivation. Knowing how easy, fun and cute cloth diapering is for us makes going crunchy that much easier too!

Bio: Elizabeth is baby wearing, co-sleeping, breastfeeding, cloth diapering crunchy mama to her beautiful 2 month old daughter. She and her husband are international teachers and world travelers, currently living in Brazil.

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