Monday, December 6, 2010

Guest Blogger: Little Helping Hands

Last month with annouced a guest blogging contest.  Unfortunately we did not get that many submissions.  If any of you are still interested, you can still submit a post to me by e-mail and if your post is used in our Blog, you will receive a $20 gift certificate to our store.

Our first guest blogger is Kristen. Kristen has actually just started her own blog if you would like to visit it at: www.cliffnkristensblog.blogspot.com  

Kristen was nice enough to submit a post to us about how you can get your little ones to help you around the house.  Here it is ...

"We have two girls, ages 6 and 7.  My husband and I are always looking for new ways to include them in the upkeep of the house.  Right now, they have chores 4 days a week (not counting the daily ones, like putting away clothes etc.)  However, as they got older their chores started becoming more involved.  They needed to use cleaners.  We talked about how to do this without A. costing an arm and a leg and B. not having them clean with any yucky chemicals.  Our solution?  A spray bottle with mostly water and a little vinegar.  Now our girls can clean the bathroom and we do not have to be stingy with the spray! They can spray to their hearts content!  And let me tell you, they LOVE to spray!  So if you are raising children and are in the same boat we are, give it a try.  It really works, is green, all natural and safe.  You may even find your kids begging to clean...ours actually did tonight."
 

Thank you Kristen!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Elimination Communication Series: Part 3 - A Success Story

As our final post of this 3 part series on elimination communication, here is a success story shared by Sarah.

I have practiced Elimination Communication (EC’ing) with two of my children. I was curious about “potty training” a boy, since everyone told me that ‘training’ a boy was so difficult and that boys take a lot longer to become fully potty trained. So, being the devil’s advocate that I am, I started to research this. My instinct told me that boys should not be any harder, and I wanted to know the role that a parent plays in teaching or guiding their child to use the potty. I was thrilled when I discovered Elimination Communication and that there was an entire community of parents out there that not only believed in it, but that there is research that supports it.
My husband wasn’t completely convinced, but after a few weeks of part-time EC’ing he was just as pleased with this method as I was, and we knew it was a good fit for our values on parenting. We agreed with the philosophy that children already know when they need to void and we didn’t want our child to feel forced to go to the bathroom in a diaper. We wanted to give him another option. I really appreciate that you can start EC’ing at any age and that there really is no wrong way to do it. I did get some weird looks from some people, and my neighbours probably wondered why my child played outside with no diaper on, but I just kept on doing what I felt was right for our family and my baby. My friends and family who knew that I was practicing EC’ing also realized the positive impact it had on our relationship and that I never fought or bribed my child to use the potty. It felt great to be reassured that it didn’t matter the gender of my child when it came to ‘potty training’, and that the entire process brought us closer together, and that we learned to trust and communicate with each other about when he had to use the potty.

Thank you Sarah for sharing your experience with us.

I'd love to hear anyone else's stories on EC'g.

Vicky

Monday, November 8, 2010

Elimination Communication Series: Part 2 - How to do it?

Last week we discussed briefly what is Elimination Communication.  In this second part of this 3 part series on the topic, we will discuss how you can actually put Elimincation to practice.


The wonderful thing about EC’ing is that there is no wrong way to do it. You can practice it full-time or part-time or just occasionally. You will find many indicators to measure you and your child’s success based on what you feel is important to your family. There are different ways to get started, and you can start at any age for your child. It is sometimes easier to start with the first ‘pee’ or ‘poop’ of the day as a starting point. You can offer potty time right in the morning. You can play, sing and sit on the potty. The older children can even get right in there and read to the youngest on the potty, it can become a family time :)!

It is very helpful to have an area set up with the things you need. At a young age of under three months you only need a small bowl or measuring cup, one that is clear and with a handle will make it much easier to tell when your child voids. As a child gets older you will want easy access to their bum, so split pants, cloth diapers with leg warmers or even just leg warmers and a long shirt to cover their bum. Once the child is mobile, you may want to have an area that is for diaper free time, depending on the set up of your home and how easy it would be to clean up any potty “misses”. Alternatively to diaper free time, is a time where your child wears a fitted diaper with no cover so you can tell when they have voided. If your older child is playing and then stops, you can go over and feel the diaper to see if they are ‘peeing’ and even say “oh, you’re peeing!”. This will help to create an awareness and communication between the two of you without making any mess on the floor. You will learn your child’s body language and even facial expressions, which can be communicated even when you are out in public to keep that communication going.

Like mentioned above, there are no wrong wau to do it.  Just do what feels comfortable for your and your family.

The last part of this series will go through a success story on EC'g a child.

Have a great week!

Vicky

Monday, November 1, 2010

New FaceBook Fanpage!

Just a quick post to tell you all that I have accidentally deleted our Ottawa Cloth Diapers Faccebook fanpage along with 2000 fans!!  Oh how I love technology!! 

We've had to create a new page.  If you would still like to follow us, please join our new fanpage at this link: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Canada/Ottawa-Cloth-Diapers/157767417593639

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Blogging Contest!

Blogging contest!  Are you interested in submitting a blog post for Ottawa Cloth Diapers?  I often struggle to find time to write blog posts so following my 3 part series on Elimination Communication, I am opening some spots for you!  From now until the end of November I will accept submissions of potential posts from you.  I will choose a total of 10 which I will run over the next year on my Blog.  You can write anything you like as long as it is related to cloth diapering, parenting, or babies and children.  You can do product reviews, personal stories, etc.  Video reviews will also be accepted.  All 10 posts chosen, will receive a $20 gift certificate to Ottawa Cloth Diapers.  For now, I will only accept 1 post per customer.  Let me know if you have any questions.  Please e-mail your posts to me at: vicky@ottawaclothdiapers.com

Elimination Communication Series: Part 1 - What is it?

Some of you may be hearing more and more about this "new" concept which we call Elimination Communication.  In this 3 part blog series, I will share with you What it means, How to do it and A success story from a family.  Happy reading.


picture source:
www.examiner.com/single-moms-in-salt-lake-city
What is EC’ing?

Elimination Communication is commonly referred to as Infant Pottying or EC’ing for short. It is an approach to communicating with your child about using the potty. It has been practiced around the world for centuries and is still the norm for many cultures today. It is based on the value that children are born knowing when they need to use the potty. By offering potty times from any age the child will in fact provide some type of signal before they void. In order for a parent to become aware of this signal, they need to spend time with their child to see what that signal could be. For example, watching your child play on a wet change pad and watching to see if there is a pattern of behaviour they exhibit right before they pee or poop. These are often approaches used by parents with young children to watch for signs. When the child does void, the parent makes a soft “pssss” sounds for pee or may even grunt if the child has a bowel movement. These are sounds that are used to communicate with the child along with a statement such as “you’re peeing!”

There are many variations of how EC’ing is practiced in North America. Each family is different and may practice EC’ing part time or full time. There is no wrong way to do it, and every family will find what works best for them. Additionally, there are many benefits to practicing EC’ing with your child. These include but are not limited to the following:

• Reduces frustration between child and parent;

• Supports a positive relationship between child and parent and reduces the likelihood of potty training struggles later on;

• Leads adults to change their perspectives on babies and culture since EC’ing focuses on “letting go” rather than “holding it”, which not only applies to bodily functions but to life in general;

• It can save parents money since they are not spending as much money on diapers;

• Babies and parents may feel happier as children are respected and parents feel good about meeting their child’s needs in a respectful manner.

This is the basics of what is EC'ing.  If you are interested, stay tuned for part 2 where I will go through how to do it?

Cheers!

Monday, October 4, 2010

Cloth Diapering the Newborn Baby

For the first three months your newborn will eat, sleep and poop. As new parents we often focus on the eating and sleeping and just want to forget about the pooping. Whether to use cloth diapers is now an added decision for many new parents that want to make the right decision not only for their baby, but for the environment too.


My 1 week old son wearing a size small
Happy Heinys pocket diaper

Cloth diapering the newborn can have its own set of challenges when compared to diapering an older child. Once you have decided on cloth diapering your newborn, the only thing left to do is figure out how to do it and what products to choose (and of course choosing the products is often the most difficult as there are so many to choose from!).

First, select the style of diaper for your newborn. If your priority is to save money you will want to go with prefolds and covers for your newborn or a system such as the Flip system from Cotton Babies which is very economical. The functionality of this option lies in the quality of covers, therefore, make sure you get a good quality cover and prefolds with at least a 6 layer middle thickness.

If selecting a fitted diaper, you will also want one with a good fit around the thighs to keep any messes in the diaper. With any two part system like this, you can expect your baby’s bottom to be quite larger so you may need larger sleepers or pants with an elastic waist.  You can also get the Onesies Garment Extenders which are quite handy.

If you want a trim fit, you will want to go with a pocket style diaper or and AIO or AI2 system. You can choose either a sized option or a one size pocket diaper, but keep in mind that a one size will be bulkier and you may not get as good of a fit around the thighs than with a sized diaper. Newborn leaks tend to happen either out the thighs or up the back of the diaper, so make sure to choose a diaper with elastic around the back waist and a good fit around the thighs.

If purchasing diapers before your baby is born, you should consider going to an information session to get all of the information and seeing the various diaper options before you purchase.  You may also consider a cloth diaper “trial” package where you get a variety of diapers to try on your baby. These variety packages whether you purchase or rent, allow you to learn which diaper you like better, and which style of diaper will work best for your child’s body type. When you are shopping, factor in the benefits you get with a more expensive diaper and if it will be worth it to you to spend the extra money. If you sacrifice fit for a lower price you may end up getting frustrated from a poor fitting one size diaper that you may give up on cloth diapers completely.

Here are some of my favorite diapers for the newborn baby ...

Prefold diapers
Bummis prefolds, infant or preemie size (a little bulky)

Fitted diaper
Bamboozle size 1 (especially at night) (bulky)

Covers
Thirsties Duo Wrap
Stacinator So Simple for night once you stop changing your baby at night (look like little shorts :)

Pocket diaperHappy Heinys mini one-size pocket
FuzziBunz one-size pocket (I prefer the one-size over the perfect size)
bumGenius one-size pocket 4.0 (this one will be bulkier)

All-In-One diaper
Definitely the AMP Stay Dry AIO
TotsBots Tini Fit AIO

All-In-2 diaper
By far the SoftBums AI2 with a mini pod (one-size but shrinks down really tiny)
Flip system with stay dry inserts if you are going for economical (a little bulky)

You should aim to have a minimum of 24 diapers with a newborn baby up to approx. 4 months of age to be able to wash every 2 days.  Other useful accessories to consider to make your cloth diaper experience successful:  A pail liner or waterproof laundry bag to store your soiled diapers, wetbag to store your dirty diapers on the go and a good cloth diaper safe detergent.  You may also consider using cloth wipes instead to disposable wipes.  You can wash these with your diapers.
Good luck!

Vicky

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Cloth Diaper Wash Routines

Learning how to wash your cloth diapers is much like an ongoing science experiment. What works for you may not work for your friend down the street, or in the next city.

First, consider the number of diapers you have or want to have into your diaper wash routine. For example, a cloth diaper stash of 20-24 diapers for a child up to 3 months of age is going to warrant a washing cycle every two days. However, the same diaper stash for a toddler is going to mean more days in between laundry cycles. At this point, it is important to ensure you are still washing every two to three days, even if your toddler or older child is not soiling all the diapers in your collection! Seasoned cloth advocates with a large stash can attest to the importance of washing every two to three days, even if your diaper collection goes way beyond that! The longer your diapers stay soiled the smellier they get and it will also decrease their lifespan.

Secondly, you may want to invest in a smaller size diaper detergent until you find one that is going to work for the water type in your home and your child’s skin type. Any child can react to ANY detergent, not just the ones they ‘warn’ you about on many popular cloth diapering sites. Additionally, once you find that detergent that works, don’t change it up! If it works, why change it? I have done that often when testing new cloth diaper detergents for my store. But I seem to always go back to my original detergent because it works for me (I am a Nellies all the way girl!).

Thirdly, always consult the diaper manufacturer’s website when troubleshooting. Often this is overlooked, and we assume that cloth diaper laundering is the same for every brand and style of diaper. For example, a problem you are having with pocket diapers may not be resolved the same way with a hemp fitted diaper. So remember to check the manufacturer’s website and even the tags for washing instructions.

Finally, don’t forget to go back to the store owner where you bought your diapers. They have a wealth of information to share with you, and will spend time with you to ensure that your cloth diapering experience is a positive one!

The key is to not give up as there is always a solution to smelly diapers. The problem is finding it. Sometimes it takes many attempts but you will eventually find out what works for you. I also recommend you keep your washing routine simple. Don’t start adding things to your laundry just for the fun of it. Keep it simple and if it doesn’t work then you should consider other solutions/ additives, etc.

Here are my first recommendations as a simple laundry routine for customers starting to use cloth diapers...

1) Wash every 2-3 days
2) Start with a pre-wash with cold water, no detergent
3) Follow with a hot cycle with an appropriate cloth diaper safe detergent (i.e. Nellies All Natural Laundry Soda, Allen's Naturally or Rockin Green)
4) Finish with a double cold rinse
5) Hang dry or dry on medium heat in the dryer

Your diapers should smell clean at the end of the cycle, they should not have a harsh smell when your baby pees in them and they should continue to have the same absorbency as when you started using them.

Hope this was helpful.

Have a great weekend everyone!

Vicky

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Attachment Parenting ... what does it mean?

The Attachment Parenting Book by Dr. William Sears and Martha Sears, is my favourite book on the principles of attachment parenting. They make it clear that attachment parenting (AP) is not a new style of parenting, but is an old way of caring for children. Dr. Sears best describes it when he says, “attachment parenting is what parents would do naturally without the influence of experts,” (p.26).

Dr. Sears and his wife base their book on studies that confirm that good things happen when mothers and babies are permitted to be in sync with one another. Attachment parenting is about responding appropriately to the needs of your baby and knowing when to say ‘yes’ and when to say ‘no’. It is not ‘spoiling’ a child, as some critics may argue. When you spoil a child it is a result of an inappropriate response. When a young baby’s needs are met they build trust with their caregiver, making it easier for them to deal with the “no” when they are older. An attached parent also gains the good sense of appropriate times to say “no” when the child is older.

Attached parents shape their children’s behaviour by encouraging positive behaviour, are quick to intervene and gently correct behaviour problems. Attachment parenting is an easy way to connect with your children and family. You grow as a family and become a more competent parent. Trust yourself and your baby and you will shape each other’s behaviour, feel loved, confident and secure to explore the world together.

Too many people label attachment parenting as being a "granola" type of parenting.  I'd love to hear what any of you think of the Attachment Parenting theory?  What does it mean to you?
 
 
 
Reference: Sears, W., Sears, M. (2001). The Attachment Parenting Book: A commonsense guide to understanding and nurturing your baby. Little Brown and Company: New York.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Why Choose Co-Sleeping?

Co-sleeping can be safe and beneficial as long as you take precaution when sleeping with your baby. Some babies have died while co-sleeping with an irresponsible adult; however keep in mind that a higher number of babies have died while sleeping alone mainly from SIDS (Fleiss, 2000). Research shows that co-sleeping assists in regulating an infant’s breathing pattern and body temperature. In addition, older co-sleeping boys between the ages of six and eleven had higher self-esteem than those that do not co-sleep, meaning that co-sleeping can affect independence, self assurance, confidence, self-reliance, intimacy and self-esteem as your child grows. Co-sleeping is an easy way to reach these positive goals that each parent naturally wants for their child.

So, how do you make co-sleeping safe? Here are a few tips:

• Sleep on a firm mattress that fits tightly in the frame, with no cutouts at the head or foot of the bed. You don’t want any places where a baby could slip down into a crevice – NO WATERBEDS!

• Do not wrap your child in blankets or cover their heads;

• No adult in the bed should smoke, take drugs, be obese, or be on any medication;

• No adult in the bed should drink alcohol – not even one drink! This is a potential danger to your baby;

• Clear the area where your baby will sleep from pillows, and never lie them face down on the bed;

• Seek a doctor’s advice if the baby has a fever

Fleiss, P.M., (2000). Sweet Dreams: A pediatrician’s secrets for your child’s good night’s sleep. Lowell House: Illinois, USA.

Canadian Pediatric Society, Recommnedations for safe sleep environments for infants and children: http://www.cps.ca/english/statements/cp/cp04-02.htm

What do you think and what is your practice with your kids?  I know that I have co-slept (and still do at times) with both my boys while breastfeeding at night as well as early in the morning.  There is nothing like cuddling up with your kids in bed.  I find it to be such a precious time!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Cloth Diapers at night, it is possible!

Cloth diapering at night is actually one of my favourite diapering moments. When I say that, people look at me like I am nuts! Keep these tips in mind when figuring out what works for your little one.

First, keep your baby’s age in mind. A newborn is going to wake up more frequently throughout the night, so it is more important at this stage to have a diaper that is EASY to change in the dark and when mom and dad are tired. My favourites are pockets or all-in-one diapers that allow for extra absorbency to be added as the baby sleeps longer and wets more.

Secondly, go for longevity. As your baby sleeps longer (you will want to as well), or once you make the decision to not change your baby through the night (usually once your baby stops pooping at night) make sure you have a diaper that is going to last as long as your baby sleeps – or heck, even longer! It may not be cute, and may be the infamous cloth diaper “bubble but”, but if that’s what you need to keep your baby dry for the night, that is what must happen! It may not be your prettiest diaper, and may even be a pink diaper for your son, but nobody else is peeking in your little ones diaper at night, so don’t worry about it!  My favorite night time conbination is a bamboo fitted diaper with a well covering cover (see pictures below).

Thirdly, remember to be flexible. Each child is different and may need to use a different combination or even style of diaper at night, so be flexible and try something new if you are having a hard time keeping your baby dry at night. You may have to give up your favourite daytime diaper for an alternative at night.  If you wash every 2 days, I recommend you have a total of 3 night time diapers or 4 if you wash every 3rd day.

Here are pictures of my favorite combinations for both my boys ...
overtop a Sustainablebabyish bamboo fitted diaper



Wonder Wrap Cover




Bear Bottom Night weight Fleece Cover by Dancing Bears
overtop a DryBees Gone Natural fitted diaper



Bear Bottom Night weight Fleece Cover by Dancing Bears
Sustainablebabyish organic knit wool cover
over a Goodmama bamboo velour fitted diaper
Sustainablebabyish organic stretch wool cover


Happy Night Time Diapering!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Fun Activities for Toddlers in the Summer!

Summer is a great time to spend outdoors with children. There is something about fresh air and the sun that rejuvenates everybody!

Here is a list of fun activities that toddlers will love to do:

• Fill a bucket of water with soap and a rag and let them wash your car or vehicle tires (my 2.5 year old loves this!)

• Run through the sprinkler

• Fill up water balloons and tie a mismatched sock around the balloon and play catch! That way when it breaks all the pieces stay in the sock!

• Have a picnic outside under a tree or at the beach

• Start an Ant Farm

• Collect bugs in a jar and observe them

• Lay in the grass and look at the clouds finding different shapes – then finger paint the ones you see

• Play any type of sport outside they may not have played before: Frisbee, badminton, hacky-sack

• Make a cabin outside with old sheets, lawn chairs, tables and sip lemonade while snacking on homemade granola bars or oatmeal cookies

• Get an old fish tank from a garage sale and fill it with a new summer theme each week. You can decorate it inside and out!

• Visit a local museum

• Go for a hike or nature walk and pretend you are Explorers – take pictures and books to reference what you find on your walk

• Blow Bubbles and have your toddler chase them

But best of all ... it is your love and attention they desire and nothing else. Happy Summer everyone!
Vicky

Monday, July 12, 2010

Protecting your baby from the sun (0-12 months)

Children love being outdoors during the summer months, but it is so important to teach them sun safety from a young age. This will ensure they continue healthy habits of protecting themselves from the harmful rays as they get older, reducing their risk of early aging and skin cancer. The American Academy of Dermatology states that 80% of our lifetime exposure to the sun happens before the age of 18 years, thereby making it very important to teach our children sun safety from an early age. In addition, you also are protecting your child from heat exhaustion and heat stroke.

Most mainstream sunscreen’s say to consult your doctor to use on children under six months of age, and sometimes even one year. So what is a parent to do? Well, your child’s best protection is limited or no sun exposure during the peak times when the sun’s rays have the most UV-ultraviolet light. However, many children’s awake and fun times are during this time, so follow these quick and easy tips as a reminder to keep your baby safe:

- Keep your child well hydrated with a bottle of water or frequent nursing’s throughout the day;

- Always have a hat on your baby. If they won’t keep a hat on, consider a different style of hat, or using a canopy or sun shade where the baby is sitting, playing or sleeping outdoors;

- Dress your baby in UV clothing in addition to keeping them in the shade

- If you need a Natural Sun Protection Cream that is safe for baby consider our Substance Natural Sun Care Creme for baby as an option

Be Safe and have fun this summer!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Summer Photo Contest 2010 - winners!

Hi everyone

I am really sorry for not announcing this sooner but it has been a crazy week for me and I am just getting aournd to this.

First, I'd like to thank eveyone who particiapted in the contest.  The response was amazing and with your help, you have definitely helped my fanpage and business get more recognition.  All of the pictures were so cute and I love looking at them when you e-mail them to me.  The contest was a lot of fun and it is quite unfortunate that I had to end it early due to politics.

I am aware that many of you spent a lot of time and energy in getting in your votes, and I really do appreciate your competitiveness and help.

Second, thank you for everyone who sent in their comments and suggestions in helping me decide on the best way to end this photo contest fairly.

The lucky winners of the Summer Photo Contest 2010 are ...

Winner #1 with 229 votes!
Loïck
Prize: $150 gift certificate to Ottawa Cloth Diapers



Winner #2 with 213 votes!
Little boy Eric
Prize: Summer Gift Pack (includes 1 Bummis Swim Diaper, 1 JamTots Wetbag, 1 iPlay Solid Flap Sun Protection Hat, and 1 Natural Sun Care Creme)




Winner #3 with 194 votes!
Jaysen and Jordyn
Prize: $25 gift certificate to Ottawa Cloth Diapers


Winner #4 with 151 votes!
Rowan
Prize: $25 gift certificate to Ottawa Cloth Diapers


Congratulations to all 4 winners, I will be contacting you by e-mail over the weekend about your prize.

But also ... congratulations to all of you who participated.  We are all so lucky to have such beautiful, healthy children!  I hope you all spend a fun summer with them.  Let's enjoy them as they grow up so quickly and these precious times will soon be part of the past.

Take care.
Vicky

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Happy Father's Day!

Daddy, take my hand in yours and you will plainly see
How very much I need you now to love and care for me.
As my little hand grows, I will need you even more.
Everything I do in life, I have never done before.
Teach me to be kind and loving, sharing and forgiving.
Show me through your acts of love the pure joy of living.
The years will pass by quickly and one day I will be grown,
I will pass what you have taught me onto children of my own.
Hold me always in your thoughts and remember when we are apart,
The special love between a child and a daddy's heart.
(Author unknown)

Daddies are so special inour childrens' lives, let's make sure we tell them on this special occasion!

Happy Father's Day to all the Daddies out there!!

Monday, May 31, 2010

Tips on Diaper Rashes


I often get questions around diaper rashes so I thought I might take a few minutes tonight to discuss a few key points around this topic.

Persistent diaper rashes are often a reason why some people look into switching from disposable diapers to cloth diapers. It is not a secret that the super absorbent disposable diapers that are on the market these days contain many chemicals such as Dioxin, a by-product of the paper-bleaching process that has been linked to cancers, birth defects, liver damage and skin diseases as well as SAP (Sodium Acrylate Polymers) the gel inside the diaper that allows the fabric to absorb many ounces of liquid. SAP has also been linked to side effects, including allergic reactions such as skin irritations, and toxic shock syndrome.
(For more information on Sodium Acrylate Polymers click here).

Personally, my eldest son who has very sensitive skin and eczema could not wear a Pampers without his skin getting inflammed and red. Huggies seemed to be ok. Going towards cloth diapers seemed to be a better choice for us and obviously we have never looked back.

However there are many people who actually believe the opposite ... that cloth diapers will cause more skin rashes than disposable diapers. Fact or myth?

MYTH! Babies using cloth diapers have a tendency to have fewer diaper rashes then babies using disposable diapers. The fact is that most diaper rashes are actually caused by the baby being in a wet diaper for too long. Diaper rashes are usually caused by bacteria, ammonia or chemicals coming in contact with the baby’s skin. Babies in cloth diapers are usually changed more often resulting in less diaper rashes. Also, many of the new modern cloth diapers have a moiture wicking fabric that will help maintain the baby's skin dry such as microfleece or suedecloth. So whether you are using cloth or disposable diapers, the key to preventing rashes is to change your baby often and keep the skin as dry as possible.

What else can cause rashes? Detergent residue on cloth diapers that are not rinsed properly can irritate your baby's bottom so make sure you use a detergent free of any extra additives, that you don’t use too much detergent and that you rinse your diapers properly.

What about diaper ointments?
Frequent use of diaper ointments, lotions or Vaseline can lead to build-up onto your cloth diapers which can cause problems with absorbency and odors. Ointments containing zinc oxide and vaseline are the worse to cause build-up. The key to preventing rashes or skin irritations is to keep your baby’s skin dry. The best way to do this is to change your baby when he/she is wet. Using microfleece liners can also help to keep the skin dry. If you do need to use diaper ointments, lotions or Vaseline, we recommend using microfleece or silk liners in your cloth diapers to decrease the chances of these products getting onto your cloth diapers (disposable liners are usually too thin and the ointment will go through it) . If build-up becomes an issue, you will need to strip your cloth diapers.

There are some ointments/barrier cream that are considered cloth diaper safe and that can be used to prevent skin irritations without causing build-up on your diapers. Two that are available at Ottawa Cloth Diapers are Dimpleskins Bum Bum Balm Diapering Salve as well as Gro Via Magic Stick. These both contain 100% natural ingredients as well as no zinc or vaseline. A thin layer can be used at every diaper change that will act as a barrier between the wetness or stool against the skin.

What about rashes caused by yeast infection?
Candidal skin infections can get quite severe and can be very hard to get rid of. You should definitely contact your physician to confirm the presence of yeast and discuss the various treatment options. The key is usually to ensure that both Mom and baby are being treated as if you are breastfeeding, you are both sharing the microorganism. Grapefruit seed extract (GSE) that can be found in natural product stores is known to work well on candidal infections. It can be used on both the baby's bum and the mother's nipples.

What else can you do to treat rashes? The best think is to leave your baby bear bum as much as possible as the air/oxygen will leave the skin dry and promote healing. In my 12 years as a neonatal nurse I have seen many many bad bums and air drying or we even use 100% oxygen to the bum seems to be the best treatment over any medicated ointments or other products.

If you have any questions or have any information you would like to add to this discussion, I encourage you to leave a comment.

Good night!
Vicky

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Great idea from "Beautiful Calling"

I'd love to find time to read all of the wonderful Blogs that are out there, but unfortunately I can't! In fact I actually neglect my own blog most of the time :(

I do however read some blogs now and then when I find something that catches my eye. Here is what caught my eye this weekend, and I am quite glad it did! Beautiful Calling is one of the few blogs that I read now and then. It is written by one of my customers (Jennifer) and it is nice and refreshing! Although I am not a very religious person, I really enjoy the simplicity of her posts as they inspire me to be the best Mom (and person) that I can.

This weekend one of her post was entitled "A box of rice on a rainy day". I immediately loved the idea and created one for my boys. They LOVED IT!! They played with it on Friday after bath time and today my son kept asking for the rice box again!

Thank you Jenn for the great idea! For more details on the "Rice Box" click here.

:)

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Ecobumz diaper giveaway - winners


Drum roll please ...

The winners of the Ecobumz giveaway are ...

#1 Mandy Claridge (North Bay, ON)
#2 Isha Tan (Ottawa, ON)

Congratulations to you both! You will be getting an e-mail shortly with more details. Thank you for everyone who participated in the giveaway. Stay tuned for more giveaways and contest!

Happy Mother's Day to you all :)

Friday, April 23, 2010

Ecobumz diaper giveaway

Wow it has been a while again ... my apologies. If anyone knows how to stretch their days into 48 hrs days, please contact me!

I thought I would take a few minutes and offer 2 lucky readers a chance to win an Ecobumz diaper.
*Picture taken from Ecobumz website

I have 2 brand new Ecobumz available for the giveaway.
  • 1 Ecobumz organic bamboo stuffable AIO, seafoam blue, size 2 (13-35lbs) *snaps closure
  • 1 Ecobumz basic AIO, light blue, size 2 (13-35lbs) *velcro closure
Although I do not sell this brand in my store, it is a brand that I have tested and really liked with my kids and may consider in the future. The outer fabric is very unique and the absorbency is awesome due to the raw cotton used (unlike any other brands). You can learn more about this diaper at Ecobumz.

How can you win?

To enter the giveaway, I would love to hear about your favorite diaper and why it is your favorite. You can comment on this blogpost to enter the contest. You can also increase your chances to win (2 entries) by entering your comment on the Ottawa Cloth Diapers Facebook Fan Page.

Deadline to enter the contest is May 7th, 2010, midnight.

Good luck everyone!
Vicky

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Baby Jogger - City Select Stroller


I am in love ... and this time it's not with a diaper but a stroller!

If you are searching for an awesome single stroller and think you will eventually need a double stroller, and you have a decent amount of money to spend, search no more, this stroller is for you!

The new Baby Jogger City Select Stroller has it all! It can be converted into 16 different positions from a single to a double stroller combining a mix and match of various positions using 2 full size seats, car seat and/or bassinet.

Here is how this stroller found its way to my home ...

When I found out I was pregnant with my first baby, my first purchase was a stroller system. I was specifically looking for a 3 wheel stroller as I wanted the easy maneuverability (is that even a word?). Anyhow, I found a nice stroller system from Safety 1st that included car seat, and a 3 wheel stroller. I was only 10 weeks pregnant when I purchased it. At that time, there was not that many choices of modern, high end strollers as there is now. We really loved this stroller but hated the carseat.

When I got pregnant with my second baby, the boys being only 18 months apart, I quickly discovered that we now needed a double stroller. I did not want to spend a lot of money, and I wanted the double stroller to be compact enough to fit in my car as the main use would be when we go out and needed to contain both kids. So I purchased a Joovy Caboose Stand On Tandem Stroller. We liked it but it was not the most comfortable stroller for my oldest son and it was not the greatest stroller for when I went out walking with the kids (I live in the country).

As you are probably aware, the stroller industry (or the whole baby industry that is) has boomed over the last 2-3 years and I now wished that these new strollers would have been available when I was first pregnant. Anyhow, after thinking about it and looking at various strollers online and on used Ottawa and kijiji I decided that I was going to splurge for a Cadillac (whether new or gently used if I was able to find what I was looking for). The first candidate was a gently used Peg Perego Skate. Although it looked awesome on the Internet, when I went to actually see it, I thought it was the most awkward, heavy overpriced stroller I had ever seen! I continued my search both new and used and in the meantime I sold both my other strollers as gently used.

And then I found it!! The best of both worlds and more. A single stroller that can not only be converted into a double stroller with 2 full size seats but that could also be set up with your carseat, bassinet, etc. - 16 different combinations! This was perfect for my needs now and for our future need with a third baby (not yet please :) ... The City Select Stroller from Baby Jogger is a brand new model that was originally designed for twins, making it great for anyone like me who has 2 kids that are close in age.

I have had the stroller since early February but because it was so popular coming out, I was only able to get 1 seat as the second seat was on backorder. I therefore used it as a single stroller from Feb - April.

As a single stroller, it is super easy to fold and pack in the car and it glides like magic. I can easily maneuver it with one hand :) I am able to switch the seat from front facing to forward facing in seconds. love, love, love it! I just received the second seat over the weekend and although it is a bit heavier to maneuver with the 2 kids in the stroller it is still a sweet ride. The fit is tighter with my 2.5 yr old depending on the positions you choose but at least you have options to choose from depending on the size of your kids. So far having the kids back to back works the best for us.

Other great features ...
Super big storage compartment on the bottom (I can fit my huge diaper bag and much more!)
Seat can be converted to a bassinet (conversion kit sold separately)
Most carseats will fit right onto the stroller frame (must purchase adaptor separately)
Handlebar has different height positions
Break is activated by hand (no kicking the brake with your foot!)
Easy to fold, not too heavy
Seats can be re-configured within seconds
Big canopy for sun protection
Seats recline from upright to flat
Available in red, black and grey

Not so great features
Seat harness a little hard to adjust
Seat could be is slightly bigger for older child (but then I don't think you could have the same versatility if the seats were bigger)
Many accessories available but all sold separately
A bit harder to maneuver with 2 kids due to extra weight

Lastly ... I did not mention price. Of course this is not a cheap stroller however if you are planning on having more than 1 child close together, I would strongly recommend you consider this stroller as a single stroller and then when the second child arrives, you can just purchase the second seat and now you have a double stroller. Purchasing a single and then a double stroller might cost you a much depending on what you purchase. Plus, this type of stroller, if kept in good condition, would easily be sold as a gently used where you can recuperate some of your cost.

So how much does it cost? I purchased mine for $599 and the second seat was $199.

You can find a full video review about the stroller at this link.

Let me know if ever you have any questions that I might be able to help out with. And no I do not sell it and am not being paid to right this review. I simply am really excited about finding a fantastic stroller for this summer and more!



Have a great day everyone!

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Chance to win 1 of 3 gift certificates to Ottawa Cloth Diapers

Win a gift certificate from Ottawa Cloth Diapers ...

OK ... so it is a fact that cloth diapers are bulkier than disposable diapers. Personally I love the squishy bum it makes :)

That said, it is sometimes more challenging to find good fitting clothes over top of some cloth diapers. Gloria, a mom entrepreneur from Ot...tawa is contemplating starting a business selling specifically designed clothing for cloth diapers. However, she would love to hear your opinions on this before moving forward with her idea. At the link below, you will find a very short survey. The survey will be avaiable for the whole month of April. All participants who fill out the survey will be entered into a draw for a chance to win 1 of 3 gift certificates that can be used towards your next purchase at Ottawa Cloth Diapers.

Click here to fill out the survey.

Good Luck everyone!

Friday, March 26, 2010

New products arriving shortly …

Wow, these last couple of weeks have been incredibly busy between my return to work, March Break, sick kids, etc.  But spring is in the air and I am so happy to see the sun shining on my diapers as they dry outside on my clothes line :) 

For this BlogSpot I thought I would take a few minutes to share with you some exciting new products that are on the way to Ottawa Cloth Diapers …  here goes …

1) The new Tots Bots Easy Fit and Pocket Tot diapers should be arriving any day now.  I have had some in the color white a few weeks ago that sold very fast and I have been awaiting impatiently for the gorgeous colors to arrive!  I have been testing and using these for approx. 2 months with both my sons and I absolutely love them!  Mt husband also adores them.  Stay tuned for a video review on my BLOG on these.  They have also been added to the diaper trial program and customers are loving them!

bummis-easy-fit-group-400 2) IPLAY swim wear and sun hats are on order and should arrive shortly.  These will be added to our website soon.  Items will include various sun hats, boys board shorts with integrated swim diaper,  girls tank suits with integrated swim diaper and one piece sun suits.

IPFLAPRO3) Cotton garment extenders (3pk) so you can fit your onesies over your cloth diapers.

4) Our well loved Sustainablebabysish organic bamboo fitted will be available in natural with contrast color stitching and snaps.  These should arrive in approx. 2 weeks. We are also waiting for more Sustainablebabyish knit covers and longies in the new color air.

contrastnaturals_largeknitairlongies 5) Goodmamas are coming your way!!  Yes Ottawa Cloth Diapers is bringing you a small number of the the luxurious Goodmama diapers (both fitteds and a few “The Ones”).  Stay tuned for more details on these once they are up on our website.  All updates will also be available our FaceBook fanpage.  

6) Other recently added products to the store are Thirsties duo wrap with snaps closure, Thirsties duo wrap in new prints, Thirsties Booty Luster, Planet Wise Mini wetbags, Planet Wise Swim/Diaper Bags, Monkey Doodlez wipes cubs refills and the super cute Dabba Walla lunch bags and backpacks (love these!). 

That’s all I can think of for now but visit our “NEW” section on our website for regular updates on recently added products.  You can also follow our Facebook Fanpage for any important updates and promotions. 

Also to come … a couple of great giveaways and a short survey on baby clothing over cloth diapers for a chance to win gift certificates to the store.  Stay tuned …

Have a great weekend everyone!

Vicky

Saturday, March 13, 2010

I'm still alive ...


Hi everyone ...

I just wanted to apologize for neglecting my Facebook page and Blog over the last couple of weeks. The return to work has been a bit of an adjustment plus everyone is sick at the moment with colds and I my Dad has been readmitted to the hospital (but is doing much better!) so it has been a very crazy week for us!! I should be back up to speed after March Break. :)

Happy March Break (for those of you who are on it ).
Vicky

Friday, February 26, 2010

And my baby turns 1! How time flies ...

Happy Birthday Gabriel! xox

These last couple of weeks have been super crazy for me between getting oral surgery, keeping up with the business, getting ready to go back to work (yes I do have another job) and introducing my little one to daycare.

Today my youngest turned 1 and I can't help but to feel sad when I think of how quickly time goes by. Exactly one year ago I was in the hospital holding my newborn baby in my arms and tonight I sit at my computer writing about his first birthday. I really wish we could slow down and enjoy every moment of life more :( We take so many things for granted and we forget to savour those little everyday moments (at least I know I often do).

On Monday morning I return to work (for those of you who did not know I have been a neonatal nurse for the last 12 years at our Children's Hospital). Don't get me wrong, I love my job but what I feel sad about is leaving both my children at a daycare all day while I go and care for other families' babies. I adore the NICU, the babies and the families, always have, but since I have had my own kids, my priorities have shifted a little and part of me wishes I could stay home with them all the time (except for when my 2 year old acts up, which is quite often lately ! :)

If all goes well, I will be able to work part time at the hospital and continue on with Ottawa Cloth Diapers, which I also love. The challenge is finding enough time to spend "quality moments" with my family and taking care of all the rest. If I could survive on 2 hours of sleep, I would!

When I started Ottawa Cloth Diapers 2 years ago, I knew it was going to be busy but I could never have imagined the amount of time and work it was going to be. I am proud of where the business is at so far and hopefully it will continue to grow slowly as I start this new chapter in my life.

I just wanted to thank everyone for all of their support and encouragement. Without all of you, there would be no Ottawa Cloth Diapers.

To finish, I just wanted to tell of all of you to enjoy every little moment with your family as time flies by so fast. Children are so precious ... everyday I try to teach them things but it is me who learns the most from them :)

I'd love to read your comments or personal experiences about balancing family and work and how to appreciate every little moments in life.

Have a great weekend!

Vicky

Monday, February 15, 2010

Photo Contest 2010 Winners ...


And the 3 winning photos for our 2010 Photo contest on Facebook are (drum roll please ...)

#1 Mila (Mommy Julie) - wins a $25 gift certificate


#2 Seth (Mommy Rebecca) - wins a $15 gift certificate



#3 Damien (Mommy Karine) - wins a $10 gift certificate


Congratulations to all 3 of you! I will be sending your gift certificates via e-mail this week. Thank you to everyone who participated by submitting photos and by voting! I love all the photos and all the babies are winners to my eyes :) I have enjoyed doing the photo contest and will certainly be doing another one sometime this year. Thank you also for bringing new faces to my fanpage, it is truly appreciated!

Vicky