- Disposable Diapers: This was the first thing we ever changed. And not for the fact that we were going through diapers at the speed of light. But because they were cheap. We're cheap. Easy to make the change. We started four years ago with Esther, but weren't super committed. It got better with Abigail. And now, at a month old, Lydia has never worn a disposable diaper. We're pretty proud of that! After more research we've found that disposables contain chemicals that we really don't want on our baby's skin or to put into the environment. Those weren't intentional reasons - just bonus reasons! Score! We've used a few different types and brands and settled on the absolute cheapest way to go: prefolds and covers. We like Flip covers because they're adjustable and durable. Some people use a wide variety of diapers, but I just wanted a nice, streamlined process.
- Disposable Baby Wipes: This took me a while, too, really out of shear laziness. I thought it wasn't a big deal and blah blah blah. But really, if you're going to cloth diaper, you should definitely cloth wipe. It's silly to have to put the soiled cloth diaper into one receptacle and the wipes into another. Why not streamline? I have several friends who make their own wipes, which is awesome and easy. I just went to Toys R Us and bought cheap wash cloths (did you read I'm lazy?). They do the trick! I use water in a spray bottle when they're super little and add a few drops of tea tree oil when they're older (simply to protect that tiny newbie skin. And really, with an exclusively breast fed baby, you won't need more than water anyway).
- Paper Plates: Definitely the easiest change. Just stopped buying them. That simple. Last year for Christmas, we received Correlle dishes - they don't take up a lot of space and are super easy to wash. Perfect solution for us. They're also chip and break resistant, which is great with kids. I have broken one plate - I dropped it on the tile floor. And my sister-in-law's cats have broken a large number of them, which is hilarious, but maybe for another post. For us, they work out great.
- Paper Napkins: This one took us a while. We don't use napkins
a ton, but definitely find the need on
- Paper Towels: It took us a long time to nix the paper towels. They're just so convenient!! And we were sort of addicted, using them for everything from spills, to household cleaning, to wiping out the cast iron pans, to cleaning off little faces. So easy! But alas, we have discontinued use and moved to rags. We have some specific rags for food stuffs - wiping out pans and whatnot. And specific rags for cleaning. They work pretty well, sometimes even better!
- Cotton Balls: A silly little simple thing that we really don't use often in our home, but still a very easy change to make. I just took an old cotton shirt and cut it up into nice little squares (I didn't even finish the edges). So easy to use and they take up no space to store. (well, SOME, but not a lot). I mostly use them for cleaning off eye makeup. I have a little mesh laundry bag that I throw them into for cleaning lest the sock monster steal them.
- Toilet Paper: OK. This is a big one. I know what you're
thinking. You're completely grossed out and are reaching for the mouse
to navigate away from this has-to-be-fiction story. I was once you. I
read an entire Facebook thread on this idea, judging each individual
person for how revolting it was. And then, for whatever reason, it
clicked. If I'm using cloth wipes for my babies and toddlers, why switch
to paper when they are using the toilet? Seemed a little backwards. So,
I bought a fistful of wipes off my friend to use for our new family
cloth adventure. They're two-ply and flannel. And fun prints, which
makes bathroom time so much more entertaining. After a little trial run,
I was convinced and so were my girls. I made up some more to bulk our
stash up and we haven't looked back. I actually had to defuse a giant
tantrum from the two year old because we ran out of family cloth and had
to use toilet paper. Yipes. I keep the wipes on the back of the toilet
in a cute little basket and have a little
Mama cloth and family cloth
- Feminine Products: Again, calm down. I've had all the same thoughts you have, just hear me out! It never occurred to me to use anything else than paper products during my cycle. I suppose I didn't even know there was another option, probably also didn't care. Again, I read through a Facebook thread, in complete disgust at the thought. But then started to do some research as recommended by said thread and found out the amount of chemicals that are in these disposable products. More complete disgust. I decided to give the 'green' method a try and low and behold, I'm a believer. I'm a big fan of the Diva Cup - easy to use and comfortable to wear. Of course, you can't make use of this product post partum, so I used cloth pads. Take a deep breath and read on. It took me a while to come around to the idea of using cloth. I just really thought it would be uncomfortable. I was wrong, oh so wrong. I hate paper pads in general, but these were different. And awesome. I could not be more happy with my decision to use mama cloth while post partum (I haven't used a paper product at all!). I feel way more comfortable. If you're interested in researching your options, Hobo Mama gives a great and extensive overview at the Natural Parents Network. It's a great place to at least start, but it is what convinced me to take the plunge. The mama cloth I love are Moms Crafts 4 U - they're inexpensive, handmade by a mama and well made! Full disclosure, I haven't tried anything else, but I'm not willing to now that I've found my mama cloth soul mate.