Tag Archives: Charlie Banana diapers

Things I swore I’d do before I became a parent

4 Sep

It’s fun to look back and see if I actually accomplished my goals.

1. Never use a pacifier

— Kinda! We never relied on pacifiers. But we started using them in the car when Walt was an infant because he screamed bloody murder every second I was driving. Nothing helped… except a pacifier. We didn’t need it after he moved out of his infant car seat at six months.

2. Breastfeed exclusively

— Yes! This one was very difficult. There were times I hated breastfeeding, especially at the beginning and intermittently til Walt was 10 months old. Then it clicked. Maybe because I stopped pumping (a great device if you are out of the house but it stressed me out so much) or because at 10 months they’re starting to eat, so you don’t have to rely 100% on boob. Either way, we’re still nursing now at 2 years+

3. Not have the whole house be one giant playroom

— Nope! There is at least one toy (more like mountains of toys) in every room of the house. Except maybe the bathrooms. Oh, sweet sanctuaries.

4. Immediately put the baby on a sleep/feed schedule so he’ll sleep through the night

–Nope! Ha, ha, am I right?

5. Use cloth diapers

— Kinda! Oh boy did I try. Try and try and try. About six months ago we gave up cause Walt always seemed to have a diaper rash (and I mean always). Now we don’t get frequent rashes, and when he randomly gets them we can use the type of cream that gets rid of them (we had all sorts of natural, cloth friendly creams that did nothing). Oh well. Maybe it’ll work on future babies. I still believe in cloth diapering, and we still use cloth wipes.

6. Natural childbirth

— Yes! 100% drug free, quick birth. I was lucky.

7. Homeschool

— Don’t know yet! I’ve always said I’d put Walt in preschool for early socialization, which we started this month going two days a week and he loves it. I plan on starting around 4 or 5. A lot of people I know homeschool their children, so it doesn’t seem quite as contrary as it once did.


Yes, even laundry can be fun

1 Oct

Over the past few weeks I’ve felt a bit overwhelmed, as if I will never catch up on everything I have to do, even when I work as much as I can around Walt’s schedule. Maybe it is because every day he is more mobile and moves like a whirlwind around the house, exhausting me with his energy and my need to clean up after every mess he makes. And he knows because he is completely adorable I will do anything he wants.

Saturday morning, before another busy day got started, the baby woke up and I took him back to our bed to nurse, like I do every morning. It’s a good way to wake up. Then before breakfast, we all went outside to hang laundry on our new clothesline. I asked Dave to install one for me specifically so we could sun dry Walt’s cloth diapers to bleach out the stains. But I like the idea of using natural energy to dry more things. Hopefully our neighbors won’t mind, since it has to be in our side yard to get the most sun.

I don’t usually like waking up with the sun, but since it’s not so early this late in the year and ever so beautiful peeking over our neighbor’s house, I didn’t mind at all, especially with the crisp fall air joining us too.


And then because hanging laundry outside seemed to slow things down, reconnecting me to a time when it was acceptable to wait for something to get accomplished, it wasn’t so much a chore anymore. I wasn’t plugging into the machine, hurrying on to the next task.



I’ll take life’s little pleasures where I can. It’s so easy to get sucked into my to-do lists, to believe that smaller and faster technology really is the best answer. I know it’s just laundry, but hey, it can be pretty too.


Mama’s Laundry Thesis

17 Jun

I used to never worry about laundry before in my life. I used Tide with Bleach or Oxyclean, and that was that. But now, with a baby, with cloth diapers, with my burgeoning sense of environmentalism, I am transforming.

Based on a friend’s recommendation I had switched the family laundry to Charlie’s Soap. I liked it okay. Our clothes didn’t smell dirty, at least, even if they didn’t smell like a fresh linen breeze like I was used to. But the cloth diapers were getting more and more stained every week, even with baking soda and vinegar in the wash too.

So I switched to Nellie’s Laundry Powder. And wow. The diapers are almost white again. I do need to get Dave to hang a clothes line, because the more my house feels like a family farm, the happier I am. Our clothes smell even better. And, the laundry container has this very cute picture of a woman and her dog happily doing laundry. That’s an awesome 1950s housewife sales tactic. I fell for it. Because if anything I’d like to be a 1950s housewife on a family farm; I could pull it off in those cute dresses.


I use our Downy ball for adding vinegar to the wash, both regular and cloth diapers. I have also stopped using dryer sheets and never used fabric softener. In the winter I put safety pins on clothes to help with static cling. I’m not sure that really does much, but apparently dryer sheets are the devil’s handiwork in terms of chemicals and such. I haven’t really needed to use baking soda since I switched to Nellie’s, but I’ll add it to things like sheets and towel loads for a little extra power.

How I wash our Charlie Banana diapers:
Knock off poop and separate before putting in dry hamper. We do a load every three days. Heavy cold cycle with 1/3 scoop of Nellie’s. Heavy warm cycle with 2/3 scoop of Nellie’s. Put in dryer for 65 minutes on low. Pull out covers, dry inserts for an extra 35 minutes. It took many, many tries before I figured out the pattern that worked for us.

Funny thing was, when we got back from California and started using cloth diapers again (we used disposables on our trip), Dave said, “I’m so glad we’re back to cloth diapers and wipes. They’re so much easier.” I never thought I’d hear him say that, but it makes me happy!

Mama meets cloth diapering

4 Jan

I definitely am not an “all-natural” obsessed mother (although I will promote natural birth any chance I can get), but the longer I am a mother the more interested I am in being “natural.” Actually, when I met Dave, I was influenced by my hippie friends to stop shaving my legs. I’m glad he wasn’t thrown by that (it was fall/winter after all) until I decided that I didn’t like hairy legs. I also had purple streaks in my hair at the time, which is definitely unnatural, but it did cause my future father-in-law to ask if I had Muppets in my lineage.

I have taken care of children more years of my life than not. I never even thought about cloth diapers until a few years ago when my babysitting family (so dear to me; the oldest girls were the flower girls at my wedding) introduced me to cloth diapers. They did not gross me out, but it did take a while before I understood the value of cloth diapering. Cheaper, reusable, better for the environment, and supposedly better for the baby. The pro-cloth websites advocate their product claiming that babies will have fewer diaper rashes because paper diapers have so many chemicals in them. This does and doesn’t make sense to me. On one hand, papers diapers keep the wet away from baby’s bottom. On the other, they do have lots of chemicals to keep them that way.

Well, despite the thousands of people online (and the ones I know in person) who love love love their diapers, my baby apparently is the one baby who just can’t wear them. He did really well at first, but his little thighs just weren’t big enough yet even for the smallest size I had, so we waited a few weeks. Man was I excited to use cloth. I felt like I was participating in this wonderful community who wanted to help both baby and environment be a better place. So when we started using cloth again and he would get the beginning of a rash within one diaper, I was surprised. But not dissuaded. I began to look into the possible causes of this tragedy.

It could have been the terrible detergent I was using. In the past I have liked the butcher detergents like Tide with Bleach and Oxy Clean. Baking soda seems a little more natural than bleach (although I think bleach has its place disinfecting my bathroom). I knew you had to use better detergents on cloth diapers, so I got the dye free/fragrance free kind for little boy’s clothes. Apparently, though, this isn’t good enough. Your washer holds on to buildup from all your detergents. So, I looked into the best detergent to get. Charlie’s Soap. All natural. I thought I would hate it since we’d have to use it on everything that went into our wash for it to work best. Turns out having your stuff smell clean and be clean without killing the environment isn’t really a bad thing. And it’s not more expensive than the top brands at your local grocery store.

I also found out that the cloth diapers I had bought were 100% polyester instead of 100% cotton. That can’t be good for baby’s bottom. So I’m getting cotton liners to see if this will help.

I will conquer this. He will wear cloth diapers. Disposables will not prevail!!!

At least I can feel good meanwhile that we use cloth wipes instead of the wet ones. Just a little bit of homemade wipe spray (a spray bottle, water, soap & oil is all you need) and I think it cleans him up a lot better!

We also use Burt’s Bees All Natural stuff for baby wash and diaper cream. And Earth Mama’s Baby Bottom Balm (miracle stuff that can be used all over baby). And when we get into solid food, you can bet I’ll be making his food from scratch. This baby gets better quality stuff than I do! I know this is probably the downfall of modern parenting, that your baby should always have and get what you didn’t or don’t, but I’ll fall into that trap. He’s just so darn adorable, how can I not?