Never thought about cloth diapering? Grab a coffee and let's talk. There's a whole new world out there, and for me, it all started with cloth diapers...

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Welcome to The Diaper Lady

I am a former mainstream parent who fell into cloth diapering on accident. When that happened, the door to a whole new world was opened! Decisions that I once let doctors make for my baby became very different, from vaccinating, to making my own baby food, and even SIDS prevention measures I first learned about on the internet. What I've learned is that natural parenting is about doing what's best for our babies, rather than doing what everyone else is doing, even if the advice comes from a doctor.

My introduction to natural parenting was through cloth diapering groups, which I joined to learn more about cloth diapers. It didn't take long to realize that Fuzzi Bunz pocket diapers were the hot thing on the market. Before long, I had both my two month old and twenty-one month old in Fuzzi Bunz diapers full time. I had already practiced many attachment parenting techniques such as baby wearing, room-sharing, and breastfeeding- though I didn't know they were called "attachment parenting" at the time.

A few months later, I learned about the BabeSafe mattress cover, which was perfect timing,
because my daughter was approaching 6 months and I was tired of fearing "the worst!" This product  had a 100% successful SIDS prevention track record for over a decade- surely it would work for us, too!

Soon after, I learned about the danger of chemicals in personal care and cleaning products, and I switched over to natural baby care, and even started making our own cleaning products!

When my focus began changing from cloth diapers to other health related products, I started Eve's Best. I now have many other websites and blogs relevant to sharing what I feel is the common sense approach to daily living. Enjoy your visit and let me know if you need anything!

Cloth Diapers Overview

When my son was born, there was no question what I would put on his bottom 24/7... disposable diapers. What else was there? Weren't those "cloth diapers" at the store supposed to be used as burp cloths? mean people still use those as DIAPERS? Why in the world would they do that?!

Yes, people still use those, but not me. Those rectangular pieces of cotton cloth (prefolds) and even diaper pins are still used, but people who are afraid of that need to realize that there are MANY more choices available to them, and they DON'T have to use disposable diapers! To make it a little easier for you, I will tell you what I've discovered about cloth diapering and the choices available, in hopes that you will find something that sounds appealing enough to make the switch.

So what ARE your options? Below are some examples of diaper types and definitions. While some die-hard naturalists would never use anything else but prefolds and wool diaper covers, you might be more interested in the cloth diapers which are more like disposables, such as all-in-ones or pocket diapers. Or perhaps you are kind of in the middle and prefer fitted diapers with a separate cover. No matter where you fit in, there is definitely a diaper out there that your baby will fit in that you will be happy with, too! Here we go...


These are the rectangular diapers that were once folded and pinned on. They can be made from all kinds of cotton fabrics like flannel, gauze, birdseye, and others. For the most absorbency, they should be made from 100% cotton or hemp. These diapers can also be put on with a "Snappi" or can be laid into a diaper wrap (a special cover) and held on by it. Some people even still use pins! They are available in assorted sizes, and you will find a few popular kinds- Chinese Prefolds (CPFs) Indian prefolds, or Diaper Service Quality (DSQ). From what I have read about the two, CPFs seem to be the more popular, but it always comes down to your personal preference. Prefolds work better the more they are washed and generally need to be washed 3-4 times in hot water to reach acceptable absorbency.
PROS- They are the cheapest solution for diapering, and they can be re-used later on for burp cloths and cleaning rags, or even to diaper subsequent children.
CONS- Unless you use the diaper wraps to put on the prefold, it will require a little more work to get the prefold on (pins, Snappi, etc.) and they will need to be folded correctly if you pin or Snappi. They are also quite bulky. You will also need to use a waterproof cover, or make sure you change your baby immediately after soiling (which you should be doing anyway!)

Contour Cloth Diapers

Contour cloth diapers are a cross between prefolds and fitteds. They can be used in a diaper wrap similar to the way prefolds are held on by the waterproof cover/wrap. They are hourglass shaped like a fitted, but do not have elastic or means of closing attached to them. They must be held on by pinning, Snappi, or diaper wrap.
PROS- Cheaper than fitteds, they are easier to use than prefolds because there is no folding. They are also easy to make yourself, which could save even more money.
CONS- You sacrifice some absorbency by using these instead of prefolds. Compared to fitteds, they will leak more because they don't have the elastic to hold in those explosive poops we all know so well (and if you're new at this...just wait!) This may result in having to wash covers more frequently, because what the diaper doesn't hold in will often get onto the cover. So unless you want to wash more frequently, you will need to purchase a few more covers.

Fitted Cloth Diapers

Also called "fitteds," fitted cloth diapers are hourglass shaped, similar to disposables, and will have elastics along the legs, and probably front and back as well. They are made from either cotton knits or wovens (knit has stretch, wovens don't) and also from hemp. They will usually either snap or close with touch tape or Velcro. Depending upon the absorbency of the diaper, you may need an additional lay-in soaker. The core of the diaper is called the soaker. A lay-in soaker (extra layer of absorbent fabric) lays inside the diaper and will touch the baby's bottom.
PROS- Fitted diapers hold in explosive poops quite well, as long as you have a good fit. They are easy to put on, and come in cute prints if you want your baby to go coverless.
CONS- You may need a waterproof cover. They take longer to dry than prefolds or other diapers that come apart or unfold. (Some are made with a soaker "flap" sewn in just one spot in the diaper so that the diaper will dry faster).

Cloth Diaper Covers

A cloth diaper cover is a waterproof outer cover that fits over the cloth diaper to help protect your baby's clothes and bedding. They are made of vinyl, PUL (polyurethane laminate), Pro-care, wool, fleece, acrylic...generally anything waterproof or that doesn't hold water can be made into a cover. You will find covers that snap on, Velcro (or touch tape) on, or even pull-on. Covers are more commonly used at night or for outings. Some people will never go without a cover, others only use them when necessary. Some covers are also "wraps" that will actually wrap a prefold or contour diaper on so that you can skip the pins.
PROS- Will protect clothes, bedding, or car seats from getting wet, especially for "heavy wetters." Can be reused; they don't have to be changed as often as diapers so you don't need that many.
CONS- Can be an extra step in the diapering process. Lets less air get to baby's bottom. They don't hold up as well as diapers and usually need to be laundered differently.

All-In-One Cloth Diapers

These are just what they say- the diaper and cover in one. Very much like a disposable, there is only one step to the diapering process. With All-In-Ones (AIOs), the waterproof fabric is attached to the cotton/absorbent part and all are laundered together.
PROS- Great for day care, church, or dads who refuse to use anything else. Easy to use.
CONS- It is difficult to get these clean. Water can't circulate to the innermost core of the diaper, and water can't come in through the waterproof part, so you can imagine what hangs on inside the diaper. It is also difficult to dry them and when it stays a little damp deep in the diaper...I won't even go there. Let's just say things will grow. The waterproof fabric will wear out faster, as you have to launder it along with the other soiled part. If you can find an AIO with a sewn in flap soaker, that would be your best bet. But I would not use these for full time use!

Pocket Diapers

Pocket diapers are the newest type of diaper on the market. Generally, but not always, the diaper is made with a fleece lining and a waterproof polyurethane laminate (PUL) outer. All edges are sewn together, except for an opening in the back, which is where the "pocket" comes from. Inside the pocket you can put anything from prefolds to custom made inserts to microfiber towels. You can even put a kitchen towel in it if you get desperate!

When the diaper is soiled, you simply remove the insert and put both pieces in your pail. A clean pocket diaper and insert must be used each time. In a pinch, however, I have been known to lay a towel inside a "wet" pocket diaper and it worked just fine. The benefit of fleece, or other polyester fabric such as microsuede, is that because these fabrics don't hold onto wetness, the baby's urine flows through the lining and is absorbed by the insert inside the pocket. It pulls wetness away from baby's bottom like a disposable diaper (but without the gel!)  Because the diaper can be disassembled for washing, some are even making cotton pocket diapers because they dry faster, and some prefer natural fabrics like cotton.
  • They come in lots of styles, so you are sure to find one that fits your baby well.
  • You can adjust the absorbency for your baby by using extra inserts for heavy wetters, or fewer for light wetters.
  • They are very adjustable, and are available in one size options as well. 
  • They hold in poop and pee very well as long as you have a good fit.
  • The pocket diaper is a great choice for dads, babysitters, and day care workers who want a one step diapering process.
  • They are the more costly choice. Custom designed diapers are the most expensive on the market, but as a basic diaper, pocket diapers are generally at the top of the list.
  • It is more difficult to tell if a baby is wet in a fleece lined diaper. Other caregivers will not know your baby needs changing unless they take the time to notice how a wet insert feels (sort of a heavy feeling).
  • Some choices do not hold up well. Avoid diapers with a cotton PUL outer if you plan on using your diapers for another baby. These are usually the cute prints (some prints are not cotton- make sure you ask). Cotton PUL pocket diapers will fall apart much, much faster than those made from synthetic fabrics. Cotton also wicks, so even though the waterproofing is laminated onto the cotton, wetness will find its way around the front of the diaper and wet baby's clothes in the process. Cotton PUL diapers are better for daytime use for this reason. Nighttime diapers get more saturated, and they are more likely to wick the wetter they get; daytime diapers are typically changed before they get this wet. 
Fuzzi Bunz, the first pocket diaper on the market, was once known as a nighttime diaper, but people quickly realized that they make a great full time diaper. The microfiber inserts are a favorite for many pocket diaper users because of the high absorbency rate while keeping the diaper trim as well. Others prefer hemp inserts, or a combination of microfiber and hemp. While hemp is a natural product, the hemp inserts don't hold up as well as the microfiber inserts.

Why Cloth Diaper?

If you are thinking, "Eeeeewwwww! How gross!" then you need to get educated about cloth diapering. I thought the same thing when someone first mentioned to me that they use cloth diapers. I was very ignorant about them and put up every argument I could think of: they lead to more rashes, you have to change them more often, they are as environmentally detrimental as disposables, and way more inconvenient. Why in the world would I switch? I started doing research, and the picture in my head of the old cloth diapers (you know, the ones we use for burp cloths) and pins quickly faded away. What I found was a slew of mommas out there who knew WAY more about diapering than I could imagine, and they were making their own diapers! To quash the arguments I had previously given- here are the things that I learned:

Myth 1. Rashes. ANY baby who is left in a wet diaper, whether cloth or disposable is prone to rashes. The fact is, babies are more likely to develop rashes in disposables because they do not allow the sensitive areas to breathe, and babies are more likely to react to the chemicals in disposables. Many moms started cloth diapering BECAUSE their babies were suffering constant rashes from the chemicals in disposables that we cannot even pronounce.

Myth 2. You have to change them more often. Well, shouldn't we be changing our babies when they wet or soil their diapers? With disposables we try to get our money's worth  so we leave them on until we can feel the squishiness (you know what I'm talking about) and sometimes until the gel inside is bursting at the seams.

No matter what diaper you use, your baby should be changed as quickly as possible after soiling or wetting. Would you want to sit in a wet diaper all day? Also, if you use a polyester-lined diaper, the liner gives the same stay dry effect as the disposable diaper. The lining of the diaper wicks the wetness away from baby's body, making it a perfect diaper for night time. They can be used during the day as well.

Myth 3. They are not environmentally superior to disposables. This is a common misconception. You would think that using all the water to wash the diapers, and all that detergent (don't you have to use bleach?) would really lower the environmental friendliness of cloth diapering. But it doesn't. To make disposable diapers, MANY trees have to be torn down to make the fluffy wood pulp, bleaching with chlorine gas gives them the nice white color we all like (which produces toxic chemicals), and dangerous chemicals (the gel) are added which has caused many problems for babies. This doesn't even touch on the non-renewable natural gas needed to make the waterproof backing and packaging; and THEN they have to be driven to your local store, right?

Let's look at cloth. Even IF cloth diapers were as dangerous to make, because they are used over and over again, they far outdo disposables in environmental friendliness. You do use water to wash them, but don't you use water to wash your clothes? You don't have to use bleach, and as a matter of fact, VERY little detergent is used to get them clean- 1/2 to 1/4 the recommended amount. Any time you are able to reuse something instead of throwing it away, you are helping the environment. And while we're on the topic, have you read your disposable diaper package lately? Did you know that you are supposed to dump poop from disposables into the potty before you throw them away? Our landfills are not set up to handle the enormous amounts of poop that are filling them up, but our water systems are. If you prefer using disposables, please flush the poop.

Myth 4. Cloth diapers are not convenient. Well, neither are the rashes your baby gets, the asthma caused by the chemicals in disposables, driving to the store at midnight because you just ran out of diapers...for that matter, changing a baby isn't convenient at all! Take it from me, I have two in diapers as I write this and I am changing diapers all day long. There is a little more work involved in cloth diapering, but the benefits far outweigh the extra time.

Since we have already established that we are supposed to dump poop with either disposables or cloth, I will go on to the other things people might find inconvenient: storing dirty diapers and washing them. I use a regular trash can with a lid. Nothing special. And the good thing about cloth is that they don't smell as bad as disposables when they are soiled. Disposable diaper users (I once was one) search far and wide for a diaper "genie" or some other gizmo that will get rid of the diaper pail odor. Honestly, we store our cloth in a trash can in a very small bathroom and you wouldn't know it was in there if I didn't tell you!

As for the laundry, that was my biggest fear. I hate laundry. But when considering cloth, I discovered what I hated about laundry was the folding, hanging, putting don't have to do any of that with the diapers. You can toss them all in a cute basket and store them that way, and pull them out as you need them. The machine does all the work!! With a cloth diaper, you remove it, put it in the pail (dump out any poop), wait until you have enough to wash, and then wash. And no more lugging out 25 lbs. of soiled diapers every week! The only thing I don't like about using cloth: the sticky poops that don't fall off the diaper. We have a hose for that, connected to our potty.

Other benefits of using cloth?
  • They are MUCH cheaper. You will spend over $2,000 for disposable wipes and diapers, and only $200 to $600 for cloth. And the best part: if you hold onto your cloth diapers, you can diaper subsequent children for FREE! 
  • Baby's comfort. I hated wearing pads during my period- I certainly don't want my baby (who spends 24/7 in diapers) to feel the same yucky I felt. Cloth diapers breathe, and are much softer to baby's delicate skin.
  • Potty training is easier. When they can feel the wetness, toddlers are much more likely to want out of diapers. Cloth diapered babies are more aware of their eliminating functions because when they wet, they feel it.
  • They are more attractive. This benefit was irrelevant to me until I had been using cloth diapers for a while. A diaper's a diaper, right? NOT! You can get cloth diapers in so many cute fabrics and colors. Photographers prefer cloth diapers because they are so much cuter, and I agree. Disposables are a dime a dozen (don't you wish?!) and it's rare to find a baby with a cute cloth diaper.
  • For more facts and statistics, visit Real Diaper Association.
Now, if you are thinking, "Eeeeeewww! How gross!" I hope you are thinking about disposables and not cloth. Because it is YOUR baby's poop (which doesn't smell, right?), your baby's bottom, and your baby's environment that disposable diapers are affecting the most. And if you want to do what's best for your baby, well, I think you'd agree that cloth is the way to go.

Washing Cloth Diapers

Washing routines vary according to where you live, hardness of water, etc. but I will share my simple routine that has worked for some time. I have probably tried EVERY washing method and too many detergents to count, so I consider myself an expert when it comes to getting Fuzzi Bunz clean! These instructions are for Fuzzi Bunz diapers, but in my opinion, they are the toughest to get clean because polyester tends to hold onto smells. So you can do this with any other diaper and should find it easy and effective.

First, when you remove a wet diaper from your baby, you will need to shake the insert out of the pocket. Put both into a covered pail. If the diaper is poopy, dump the poop into the toilet. If there is sticky poop on the diaper still, you can swish it around in the toilet. I recommend getting a spray hose connected to your toilet line that you can use to spray off diapers. This is not only much easier, but your husband can get involved with the diapering process by getting out his tools and doing something mechanical! Don't have a husband? Well, it's actually easy enough for anyone to do it! You can buy these on-line or you can get the parts at Home Depot and do it yourself.

When it's time to wash the diapers, set the water level on the appropriate level (probably medium for one diapered child, large for two diapered children) and run them through a rinse cycle. After this, run a long hot wash. Put in 1/2 the recommended amount of detergent. The only detergents I can strongly recommend are Sensi-clean and Allens Naturally. I alternate these two to help keep detergent build up down. Do not use All Free and Clear or Melaleuca. Both of these caused the fleece to repel and caused leaks. There are others that will as well, and if you start having leaks out of the blue it is probably your detergent. Also, detergents with strong perfumes will hold in stink.

You may want to rinse out the diaper pail, but it is not necessary every time.  When it is finished washing, run a short hot wash/cold rinse cycle with nothing added to help rinse out any leftover detergent. After this cycle, remove a few diapers and smell them. If they don't smell clean, rinse again. Rinse until they smell clean. You may need anywhere from 1-3 rinses.

If your diapers don't seem to get clean, you may need to adjust your water level. If you have too much water the diapers will just float around in the machine and not benefit from the agitation provided by the correct level. If you are washing less than 12 diapers, you may need a "small" water level. But more than 18 diapers will require a "large" water level. It depends on your machine, and the best way to judge is to open up your washer and watch what is going on.

If your baby is exclusively breastfed, you don't need to do anything with the poop; just dump the entire soiled diaper (shaking out the insert) into your pail. Once you start your baby on solids, you will need to do a little more because the poop will start to smell at this point, and will see...LOL.

Washers require maintenance in order to prevent scum build up. If you notice a bad smell in your washer when you remove your clean clothes, it is time for maintenance! Here are instructions on how to do this.

Cloth Diapering IS For Everyone!

I am a busy parent. Are any parents not busy? I have a 27 month old son and an 8 month old daughter. Unfortunately for my son, I learned many of my mistakes on him that I now do differently for my daughter. He’s turned out all right (so far!) but I feel I’ve learned a lot along the way about not just doing for our children, but doing what’s best.

I stumbled into cloth diapering on accident. My son had been wearing disposables for a year and a half, and then my daughter came along. It’s amazing how your viewpoint changes when you see twice the number of dirty diapers leaving your house each week! Yikes! I still never considered cloth, because I didn’t want to mess with those pesky rectangular poop catchers that you somehow had to fashion onto the baby with pins without drawing blood, and well enough to hold in poop. People who used cloth were crazy!

Then I caught wind of a new cloth diapering generation, where diapers were fitted, contoured, with snaps or Velcro. They had elastic, colors and fun prints! Some even had the cover built in, and some were even self-cleaning! Okay, maybe not self-cleaning, but these things were cool. Different styles and makers can be found on the internet, where work at home moms dominate the market place. You will not find the best selection at big name baby stores like Babies R Us, because I guess they don’t think the 15% of babies who are cloth diapered are a big enough market. There are also so many different kinds available, they probably wouldn’t know where to start.

Even with all of the cool diapering products out there, most people run from the thought of cloth diapering because they abhor laundry. And adding more to their current load is just out of the question. But it really isn’t that bad. I was afraid after my $200 investment I would grow tired of the laundry and give up. Not only did I keep it up, I added my son into our cloth diapering venture and we have been at it now for 7 months. I won’t pretend that I’ve never thought to myself, “I have to wash diapers again?!” But for the most part, it’s so easy that I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Diapers don’t have to be soaked in a wet bucket. They don’t have to be dunked and swished in the toilet. They don’t even require much detergent! Only about half to one-fourth the recommended amount is necessary to get the diapers clean. Any more than that, and you might have detergent residue problems that will actually make the diapers stink. When I change a diaper, I wipe with a wet cloth, dump any poop into the toilet, and then place the dirty diaper into the pail. With disposables, I would do the same thing (and yes, you are supposed to dump poop from a disposable as well) except the diaper goes into the trash- adding to ALL of the disposable diapers that have still not disintegrated from the very first disposable diaper ever used. Diapers don’t require bleach to be “clean.” If any stains remain after a good washing, you lay them in the sun for a few hours, and the sun will bleach them out naturally.

And most importantly, you don’t have to be rich, or poor for that matter, to cloth diaper. The initial investment is substantial, but in the long run you end up saving thousands of dollars. Even more savings add up when you use the same diapers on subsequent children. The most expensive cloth diaper out there will still save you big bucks when compared to disposables. And the cheapest- the good ol’ prefolds that you fold and pin (or Snappi) are still used by die hard naturalists who want nothing but 100% pure or organic cotton next to their babies’ bums. There is something available for everyone and every size baby. If one style doesn’t seem to work, believe me, there will be others that do. There are even stay at home moms that will make your baby custom fit diapers. And no matter which version you choose, you can bet that they will be more comfy than the paper and plastic you are currently putting on your baby’s most sensitive body parts.

I really do believe that cloth diapering is what’s best for our babies. It’s healthier, more comfy, and better for the environment that we will be handing down to our children. I am a busy parent. But not so busy that I can’t take a little extra time each week to do what’s best for my babies. And if you think I’m crazy, you should talk to one of those elimination communication parents that don’t use diapers at all! ;o)

I wrote this article many years ago and reading it brings back memories of my kids in diapers! They are now 13 and 15, and before long I will hopefully have grand kids in cloth diapers. If you are a mom with a diapered baby, cherish these years, because they fly by fast!

Baby Wearing

For mainstream parents, the term "baby wearing" may seem very odd. Why would you want to "wear" a
baby...and HOW do you "wear" a baby?! When my son was born, I had seen the infant carriers in stores and before I gave up had tried 3-4 of them. Mainstream baby companies tend to make everything with buckles, snaps, straps, loops, and pockets to make their products more appealing. All those bells and whistles also get in the way. So I wanted to address a few pointers on baby wearing so that ALL parents can get a feel for what it is and its benefits.
Baby wearing is just like it sounds...strapping your baby onto you and going about your day. Why in the world would someone want to do this?! Here are a few reasons:
  • Baby wearing helps satisfy the baby's need for closeness, touch and affection.
  • Baby wearing promotes and strengthens parents' emotional bond with their baby.
  • The movement that naturally results from carrying your baby stimulates his neurological development.
  • Babies cry less when worn or held.
  • Holding helps regulate your baby's temperature and heart rate.
  • Baby feels more secure.
  • Baby wearing facilitates easy outings and travel.
Companies like Graco, Cosco, Fisher Price, and Safety First just LOVE pregnant women! Especially if it's your first baby. They have convinced us that we need travel systems so that we can carry our baby around in a plastic seat all day, and swings, exersaucers, play gyms, and bouncy seats. I know that there is a place for all of these. Both of my children were very active at early ages, and I could not wear them for long before they wanted down. But we think that because all of these are available, we must have them all, and from day one. Not so!
Baby wearing can be hard on you. If you start from the beginning, you will get stronger as your baby gains weight. Sort of like how we get "mommy arms" from holding and picking up children all day. It is much easier to leave your baby in swings, exersaucers, and bouncy seats, but if you want what is BEST, then spend more of your day wearing your baby and use your gadgets for moments when you are doing things that are
impossible to do while wearing your baby. If you are a working parent, it is especially important to wear your baby during the times you have together. If it is important to you, you may even be able to find a caregiver that will wear your baby during the day while you work. I have a friend who wore twins that she cared for. And you would not believe the things she could do while wearing them!
I feel it is important for moms to know about baby wearing because it would have helped me a lot when my son was born. He was a high needs baby, and wanted to be held ALL the time. He cried constantly. He would not sleep. But at that time, I wouldn't have even known what to look up on the internet for help! The carriers I tried were not working, and I tried the Nojo sling with no success, probably because I didn't have help using it. But now you can find all kinds of styles and prints of slings, and moms (and dads) are wearing their babies all kinds of ways.
So what kind of carrier do you need? I wish it were that simple. We are all made differently and want different things. Some parents like the bells and whistles on the carriers found at stores. Many parents like a simple piece of cloth that ties around in a certain way. There are so many options out there! If this is the first time you've heard of baby wearing, try a search on the term under Google or Yahoo. If you have someone close to you, it would help to try on carriers so that you can find one that is comfortable. If the first one you try isn't comfortable, try another one until you are happy. Sometimes it is just a matter of tying it differently or pulling it tighter or more loosely. Just find one that works because it is well worth it in the end!
Our thanks to Heather at Mom4Life for furnishing baby wearing pictures for this article.


I don't know everything when it comes to breastfeeding, but I do have some unique information based on my personal experiences. I planned to breastfeed my son, but did not plan on having a high needs baby. I didn't even know there was a name for his behavior until much, much later. So even though I had the best of intentions, I did not know how to handle this difficult baby and how he made me feel. The biggest problem was that I didn't know why my baby was crying and constantly wondered if it was my milk or something else. And if it was something else, what was it?!
After two weeks of trying to nurse my son, I gave up, and pumped milk for the next two months, supplementing his formula. After that, he was on formula exclusively, which I hope to NEVER have to do again. All those bottles were such a pain, and I know that formula was not the best thing for my son and that was very hard.

Breastfeeding Support

The most important thing I can tell new parents about breastfeeding a high needs baby, or any baby having difficulties nursing, is that it requires LOTS of support. If a new mommy is struggling, the last thing she wants to hear is that, "formula isn't so bad," or, "if it's easier, let's just give him a bottle..." She needs encouragement, sleep, meals cooked for her, sleep, foot rubs, sleep, and lots of love, not to mention sleep. When I was pregnant with my daughter, I told my husband, "No matter what happens, I am relying on you to help me nurse this baby. Don't let me use formula if it's easier. Do everything else that possibly needs to be done in the house so that I can work on my nursing relationship with our baby. I am depending on you to encourage me no matter how much I may want to quit." Luckily, it was much easier with my daughter, but I felt very comfortable that I would have the support I needed if we had problems. It still wasn't easy, but once the first four weeks or so went by, it got easier and easier, especially because she was sleeping so well and I was getting more rest.

Breastfeeding Is NOT Always Easy

That is the second thing I like to tell new mommies. It isn't always easy. With my son, I kept thinking I was doing it wrong, because the class I had taken made it seem natural, easy, and painless. I didn't learn until after I had weaned him that it CAN be painful, and usually is, to an extent. It is not excruciating, but it can be uncomfortable until your body gets used to having somebody sucking on it 8 hours a day!
If you do feel excruciating pain, there could be something wrong. There are a number of places to call or contact if you have problems. If it is during normal office hours you can try your midwife or doctor, or even your local La Leche League. They will be able to tell you what the problem might be, and remedies to fix it.

Breastfeeding Problems

Blocked Ducts and Mastitis

I suffered from mastitis (a breast infection) with my son, and it was very bad. The breast pain was nothing compared to the way my body felt. I had a fever of 103, chills, and could not sit up because I was so exhausted. Mastitis can develop from a number of things, usually from having a blocked milk duct that gets infected. A blocked milk duct can be described as a localized ache in the breast. To prevent or relieve them, nurse often, use different positions, and if necessary, use warm compresses before you nurse or pump. Because my daughter slept for such long stretches, when I felt a blocked duct coming on, I would pump while she was sleeping and store the milk for later. To help relieve the duct, I would massage the painful spot while I pumped and usually it was gone within hours.


One thing almost every nursing mom experiences is engorgement. This is where either the milk supply has finally come in, or baby has slept a long stretch and a feeding was skipped. Engorgement is characterized by hard, plump breasts that are somewhat painful. They can be relieved by taking a warm shower and hand expressing a little milk. Cabbage leaves also help. Try applying chilled cabbage leaves for 15 minutes, but be very aware that relying on this or using this technique too often will lead to diminished milk supply. You can also pump a little bit before the baby nurses. It is harder for the baby to latch on to an engorged breast. By following some of these steps, not only will you be more comfortable, your baby will not become frustrated and will be able to latch on like she normally would.
Booby Tubes 


Something I was terrified to get was thrush, which is a yeast infection. It is very difficult to get rid of and painful as well. It can be easily diagnosed by a phone consult, and your doctor or midwife can give you something to help it go away. Symptoms include cracked, swollen or red nipples and possibly itching, flaking, or a burning sensation of the nipples. The baby's mouth may have white patches on the tongue, cheeks, insides of the lips, or gums.

Cracked Nipples

Something that lots of breastfeeding moms suffer is cracked nipples. Breastfeeding properly will help prevent cracked nipples, but just one improper feeding can lead to an awful disaster. Once they are cracked, you have to pamper them in order for them to heal. The best thing to do is rub in some expressed milk after baby nurses, and let as much air to your breasts as possible. If you are wearing a button down shirt, leave it open. Wear cotton shirts or night clothes. Naked is best, especially once you realize that a shirt rubbing on cracked nipples can be excruciating. My solution to this was wearing my bra, but unhooking the shells so that they were open, but covering my nipples and protecting them from a shirt rubbing back and forth on them. If they don't seem to heal, try lanolin by Lansinoh. It goes a long way, and can be used later for diaper rashes if necessary.

Baby Allergies

Sometimes, babies don't respond very well to our breast milk and you may see reactions such as general fussiness, eczema, runny nose, and even bloody diapers. All of these are signs of allergies. BUT, don't worry! Your baby is not allergic to your breast milk, but to something that you are eating. The usual culprit is dairy, but it really can be anything. Cybele Pascal, author of The Whole Foods Allergy Cookbook, was not sure what was wrong with her baby, but after trial and error, soon found out that he was allergic to a LOT of stuff. Her second son, Montgomery, faired no better. But lucky for them, their Mama was an expert at cooking and proved to do just as well with limited allowable foods! She shares her recipes with the world in her book, including 200 recipes which eliminates the top eight food allergens as identified by the FDA. These include milk, eggs, wheat, soy, peanuts, tree nuts, fish, and shellfish. If you suspect that your baby has similar allergies, you should definitely get her book. We love the recipes and it has something for everyone, no matter what cuisine you prefer!

Milk Production

There are lots of other things that can go wrong with breastfeeding, including milk production, and failure to thrive. You would assume that if you had plenty of milk your baby would grow, but it's also important that your baby get the right kinds of milk- both foremilk and hind milk. If your baby doesn't seem to be gaining weight, what do you do? If you are certain that you have enough milk, the best thing to do is get a baby scale and weigh her before and after feedings. This way you will know how much she is getting. It is hard to realize how much your baby is getting when you can't count down the ounces like you can with a bottle. We usually know they are getting enough because they are able to sleep after nursing (they don't seem hungry), and they gain weight. If you determine that she is getting enough milk, is she getting the hind milk? There are three basic "kinds" of breast milk:
No More Milk Tea
  • Colostrum is the yellowish breast milk that is produced in the first few days after baby's birth and before normal lactation begins. Colostrum is especially rich in nutrients and antibodies, and is the perfect food for a newborn baby. Even if you have decided to use formula rather than breast milk, you may wish to breastfeed your newborn for at least a few days after birth, so that he or she can receive the antibody protection and nutritional benefits offered by colostrum.
  • Foremilk is the milk which is first drawn during a feeding. It is generally thin and lower in fat content, satisfying the baby's thirst and liquid needs.
  • Hindmilk is the milk which follows foremilk during a feeding. It is richer in fat content and is high in calories. The high fat and calorie content of this milk is important for your baby's health and continuing growth. Make sure to let your baby drain one breast before moving on to the other, to ensure that she receives all the benefits of both foremilk and hindmilk. The hindmilk is important not only for weight gain, but for brain development as well. Babies need fat for so many bodily functions, but especially for the brain.

The Breastfeeding Mom

This leads us to you and how you are taking care of yourself. Let's face it, right after having a baby is the last time we want to cook healthy meals that will benefit our baby the most. Nor do we want to drink gallons of water. But even though you've delivered your baby, you still need to watch what you eat if you are breastfeeding him. You may also find, quite by accident, foods that will upset your little one that can include chocolate; spices (cinnamon, garlic, curry, chili pepper); citrus fruits and their juices, like orange, lemon, lime, grapefruit (also including strawberry, kiwi, and pineapple); the gassy veggies (onion, cabbage, garlic, cauliflower, broccoli, cucumbers, and peppers); and fruits with a laxative effect, such as cherries and prunes. Another big one is dairy. I've known a few moms who had to quit dairy while nursing their babies, and they later turned out to have dairy allergies. You may have no problems with foods on this list and may even find that there are others that your baby has trouble with that aren't on the list! But other than these foods aversions, you really need to try your hardest to eat a well balanced meal, with a variety of foods, AND nutritional supplements. Notice I did not say prenatal vitamins.

Prenatal Vitamins and Nutritional Supplementation

Most prenatal vitamins are not worth the money you spend on them, and if you haven't already, find an alternative. I recommend Life Force Multiples by Source Naturals. It is not labeled as a prenatal vitamin, but it is chalk full of goodness for before/during/and after pregnancy.

Too Much Milk?

Speaking of an ample supply, one thing that can be aggravating in the beginning is squirting and leaking milk. Usually once your supply is well established you don't have these anymore, but I know moms who still had them months after their babies were born. The worst, however, is having a newborn baby get so much milk that she pulls away only to get a huge squirt in the face. If this happens, you can express some milk before your baby nurses, so that she doesn't get a big rush of milk. Leaking also happens when your breasts become full and the baby is either sleeping longer than usual or is not with you. Breast pads are available to absorb these leaks, and they fit right inside your bra. Be sure to change wet breast pads, because it is not healthy to keep wet pads on your breasts. Use cloth for better air circulation, and unless you are going out of the house, avoid the waterproof pads that prevent air circulation. Disposable pads are the worst, and cotton is the best to use for breast pads.

What about Breastfeeding in Public?

To learn about your rights as a breastfeeding mom, read this article by Elizabeth Pantley on Breastfeeding in Public. This topic has stirred up a lot of commotion recently in the US. Most of us form our decision about breastfeeding in public based on our own self-image and insecurities. There is nothing wrong with a modest mommy who only wants to nurse at home. But for others who believe the breast is more than a sexual object for men to ogle, feel free to feed your baby as necessary when out and about. It is your right!

Breastfeeding Your Toddler

Some of you new to natural parenting are cringing right now. I mean WHO would want to breastfeed a TODDLER?! Unfortunately, many parents feel that one year, or even less, of breastfeeding is enough. But if you really do your research, you will find that the health benefits of extending that period are well worth any stigma you might associate with a child who can ASK to nurse. We tend to transfer the child from breast to whole milk, and unfortunately, cow's milk is not particularly healthy. Not to mention, an early weaner might find that her toddler is allergic to milk or dairy. And THAT is a pain. The American Academy of Pediatrics currently recommends that "breastfeeding continue for at least 12 months, and thereafter for as long as mutually desired."  The World Health Organization and UNICEF recommend that babies be breastfed for at least two years. You can read more about breastfeeding your toddler.


Also called bedsharing, co-sleeping is the practice of sharing your bed with your infant. Co-sleeping practices are gaining in popularity, and I've noticed recently lots of discussion on the topic that is VERY negative in nature. Parents from both sides bash the other, with the idea that *they* know best and the other side is just ignorant. The biggest problem I've seen is misinformation from the pro co-sleeping side that no babies have died while co-sleeping. This is very untrue, and can be a problem for parents who are led to believe that it is much safer to co-sleep rather than put their baby in a crib. Here I will discuss the inherent risks of both co-sleeping and crib sleeping for babies.

Where's the risk?

With crib sleeping, we all know there is a risk of SIDS. We've also heard not to put certain things in the baby's crib such as soft bedding, pillows, and toys. But do we know why leaving these things out helps decrease SIDS risk? Most people assume that they are a suffocation hazard, because most people don't know the true cause of SIDS. (And most orthodox SIDS scientists don't either). They know that most babies found dead were either on their stomach, sleeping with a comforter, or sleeping on a pillow, etc. But the true cause is found not only in the baby's own mattress, but other products of synthetic materials that outgas a deadly nerve gas when fungus grows inside. You can read more about this Toxic Gas Theory for more knowledge on the subject.
Proponents of co-sleeping believe that their practice decreases the risk of SIDS. There is a very real possibility that babies that share the family bed are at less risk of dying from SIDS. This is only because many babies who co-sleep tend to sleep on their backs or in their mother's arms. This helps decrease the risk, because even though adult beds have the same toxic nerve gases as baby mattresses, the baby tends to breathe air away from the mattress which is fresher and contains little or none of the gases. But another risk comes into play that does not exist with crib sleeping. Actually, a number of risks. There is overlaying, falling from the bed, getting stuck between mattress and wall, getting covered by parents' blankets, and strangulation by various means. The Consumer Products Safety Commission collected these statistics:

A review of incident data from January 1990 to December 1997 linked adult beds to at least 515 baby deaths. Analysis of the deaths revealed four major hazard patterns:
  • Suffocation associated with the co-sleeping of adult and baby.
  • Suffocation where an infant becomes entrapped or wedged between the mattress and another object.
  • Suffocation due to airway obstruction when the baby is face down on a waterbed mattress.
  • Strangulation in rails or openings on beds that allow a baby's body to pass through while entrapping the head.
CPSC's study is the first to quantify the number of fatalities resulting from the practice of co-sleeping with babies. Of the 515 deaths, 121 were reported to be due to a parent, caregiver or sibling rolling on top of or against the baby while sleeping. More than three-quarters of these deaths occurred to infants younger than 3 months. The other 394 deaths resulted from suffocation or from strangulation caused by entrapment of the child's head in various structures of the bed. Entrapments occurred between the mattress and the wall, bed frame, headboard, footboard, bed railings or adjacent furniture.
The first thing most co-sleeping fans scream is, "but how many of those deaths were actually SIDS?!" This is because they do not understand what SIDS is. And let me go back to the whole reason they give for co-sleeping: it decreases the SIDS risk. Well, you can't have it both ways, so which is it?

IS Co-Sleeping Safer than Crib Sleeping?

If you compare the numbers, there are actually fewer deaths per year from co-sleeping than there are crib sleeping. But what we don't know is how many people actually co-sleep with their babies? Since most co-sleeping deaths are going to be labeled as those above, and not SIDS, we don't know how many of those 515 were actually SIDS. And if we don't know how many people co-sleep with their babies, it is hard to make a comparison. But this should be clear:  aside from SIDS risk, there are additional risks with co-sleeping that are missing with crib sleeping and those are the suffocation and strangulation risks above. Forgetting all SIDS statistics, 515 babies died while co-sleeping that would be alive today if they were sleeping in their own beds (assuming none of the deaths were SIDS deaths). Since there is no solid proof that co-sleeping decreases the SIDS risk, during co-sleeping you are introducing an additional risk to your baby that otherwise would not be there if the baby were sleeping in a crib.

What About Safe Co-Sleeping Practices?

This is where we calm down all the nay sayers that are reading this and fuming. The term "co-sleep" means many different things to different people. Some families will do everything they can to make the shared bed safe for their baby (outside of wrapping the mattress which is the most important element). Other families "co-sleep" because the mom or dad passed out from drinking or drugging and happened to be holding the baby when they did so. There are two extremes and everything in the middle. One of the "safe" co-sleeping points is to never sleep with your baby if you are exhausted from sleep many new moms do you know that AREN'T sleep deprived? Some sleeping environments are safer than others, obviously, but this still does not remove the SIDS risk from sleeping on an unwrapped mattress. Since you CAN wrap a crib mattress very easily, you CAN eliminate the SIDS risk in a crib while you cannot reduce it in an adult mattress. Unless you wrap an adult mattress, you are not safely co-sleeping, no matter how you set up your bed and what you remove from it.

How Can I Eliminate SIDS Risk?

First, I want to say that in this article, when I say "SIDS," I am referring to what is actually "crib death." I feel very confident in telling you that you can absolutely eliminate this risk by wrapping your crib mattress with a polyethylene sheeting such as the BabeSafe Mattress Cover. *If* Dr. Sprott was wrong about the Toxic Gas Theory, it would be irrelevant to the fact that his product has a 100% success rate. Here are statistical facts proving the importance of this theory and the BabeSafe Mattress Cover:
  • The "p" factor for the mattress-wrapping intervention was calculated by Dr Kapuste, in collaboration with experts from the Statistics Department of the University of Munich; result:  p = less than 1.9 x 10-22
  • Medical researchers regard “p” less than 0.01 (10-2) as good proof of a scientific proposition; and "p" less than 0.001 (10-3) as virtually certain proof.
  • The “p” factor for mattress-wrapping, 1.9 x 10-22 can be written as:  0.000,000,000,000,000,000,000,19
  • Put another way, the statistical proof that mattress-wrapping prevents crib death is one billion billion times the level of proof which is generally regarded as constituting certain proof of a scientific proposition. 
It is estimated that 235,000 babies have slept on wrapped mattresses with ZERO crib deaths. Statistically, over 200 babies should have died. Also important in this concept is that proper bedding protocol should be followed, since polyester fills, waterproof mattress pads, and sheepskin are also dangerous items due to their arsenic, antimony, and phosphorus content.

What if I Still Want to Co-Sleep?

You can still eliminate crib death risk and co-sleep as well. There are co-sleeper beds available that bump right up next to an adult bed that make co-sleeping safe from all standpoints. First, you can purchase a co-sleeper mattress cover to eliminate crib death risk. Second, you can keep your baby in a safe sleeping environment (away from heavy sleepers, harmful bedding, and entrapment possibilities). Your baby will still be close so that you and baby can bond, and nursing will be just as easy. Personally, my daughter loved being in her crib and slept through the night from four weeks on. As she got older, though, when crib death is not an issue anymore, she was welcome in our bed and still to this day will come into our room sometime during the night. So while you may turn your nose up at a co-sleeper for whatever reason you have, it is possible to have a safe, shared family bed once your baby is a toddler over the age of 14 months.

What if That's Not Good Enough for Me?

Well, then, you realize that you are taking the risk if you want to have the baby in bed with you. I have slept many nights holding both of my newborns all night, especially my son who was a classic "high needs" baby. We did not know anything about the real cause of crib death, and he even slept on his stomach more than back, because he would NOT sleep on his back. With my daughter, she was 6 months old before I learned about the true crib death risk, and she as well had spent many nights in my bed. But the difference between getting your baby from a co-sleeper or bassinet and having the baby right there next to you in the bed is so minimal. During at least the first couple of months of breastfeeding, it is not easy to get proper latch on while lying in a bed for most people. So I found myself heading for the glider rocker during the night, anyway. If you can do it, that's great. But your baby would be safer returned to her co-sleeper when she is finished nursing. And personally, I would sleep better knowing she was safe rather than worrying that something would happen to her during the night, by my own doing.

Homemade Baby Food

Your baby’s first experiences with food will likely form lifelong habits that will be either wonderful or hard to break. I have two children, one of which we fed jarred baby food and he is a picky eater. The other we fed homemade baby food and she enjoys a variety of healthy, tasty foods, and is willing to try new foods. I don’t think that this is a coincidence. I can't even remember why I decided to make my daughter's baby food. I think it just came as a natural progression from what we learned from the cloth diapering community. Some moms don't even "do" baby food; they nurse exclusively until the baby wants to eat the same foods they are eating from the table. Somewhere between 12 and 18 months, they begin eating solids, without experiencing pureed baby food at all. There is nothing wrong with this. You will hear all kinds of advice on what to feed your baby, and when to feed it, and really, the only thing you can do is what you feel in your heart is the best thing for your baby. That said, I can tell you that homemade baby food is the BEST baby food option if you are going to "do" baby food!

The Bottom Line

Because most parents will choose their babies’ diets based on what is sold on the baby food shelves, it is no wonder that children are starting out on very poor diets, with foods made as cheaply and quickly as possible by companies trying to make a buck- or millions of bucks. The first thing you need to know about jarred baby foods is that they are made by companies who are more worried about their bottom line than your baby’s health and nutrition. Even though organic jarred baby food is an improvement over the traditional, it is still not even close to foods that you can make at home.

Jarred Baby Food is “Convenient”

I would never suggest to anyone to serve jarred foods in their homes, but I can see why it happens. It’s “easier,” “faster,” and “more convenient.” After all, I did it myself, because I didn’t know that there was an alternative. These qualities are great- if you weren’t sacrificing the health of your child. Doing things easier, faster, and more conveniently is not a good trade off for the number of times you will be sitting in the doctor’s office because your child is getting illness after illness because she is not getting enough nutrients from her foods.

Where to Begin with Homemade Baby Food

You will need to arm yourself with some basic information about how to make baby food, foods to try and when, and things to look out for. The absolute best source of information regarding these is Super Baby Food by Ruth Yaron. It contains almost 600 pages of information, and provides updates at the website  This book is vegetarian, which is actually good. It talks about foods that you may never have thought about, and if you are a meat eater (I am, too) then you can introduce solid meats as appropriate at your dinner table. (Would YOU want to eat pureed meat?)

If You Want to Get Started Now

The main thing to remember when you start solids is that you should always breastfeed first. You don’t want foods to replace breast milk, you want them to supplement it. If you are feeding formula, I wouldn’t be so concerned about the order. Many people think that cereal is the best first food because that’s what doctors recommend. Doctors are not trained in nutrition, so please just smile and act like all is well if your doctor tells you what to feed your baby. The best first food is avocado. It is easy to prepare because you don’t have to cook it. Just spoon out the green “meat”, mash it,Waterwise Distillers and add water until it is a consistency appropriate for your baby. It has good fats in it that are great for brain development. Bananas are also easy to prepare. Mash, add water, and serve. (Always use distilled water). Egg yolk is a great source of iron, and some people even feed their babies raw liver for iron. The book suggests an iron supplement, but I have never given my babies iron supplements and they have done very well. If you are breastfeeding, it is important that you are getting the proper nutrition, including iron, so that your baby is getting this from you.

What is so Bad About Jarred Baby Food?

  • Jarred baby food was once filled up with “junk” to help fill up the jar. Once parents caught on to this and demanded change, many of these fillers were removed. The main concern I have is that the foods in the jars are over processed. This means that most of the nutrients are no longer there because they have been cooked out. Jarred baby food has a completely different taste from homemade food, so when the label says, “Sweet potatoes, water,” and the list stops there, something’s not right.
  • Depending on jars of food limits your baby’s experience with food. Not only does it taste bad, there is a limited variety that you find yourself alternating, and probably getting bored with it yourself! Making your food at home, and realizing all of the options out there (depending on the season) opens your baby’s world up to a very wide selection of foods to experience, improving his concept of “food.”
  • You aren't supposed to feed straight from the jar, and the servings in jars are bigger than what your baby will eat at one sitting. This forces parents to either throw away unused food, or some parents even feed their baby only one food during a meal so that they finish it. This is not good!
  • You don't get to see what the food was made from. Do you think that they select their best fruits and vegetables to make their baby food? Food manufacturers are always going to select the worst looking fruits and vegetables to make baby foods, just as they pick the worst oranges to make orange juice.

What About Organic Foods?

Organic jarred baby food is just as processed as the traditional foods, but at least it's pesticide-free. This is a big deal, but you can make your own organic foods at home that are not over-cooked. Even more important than organic fruits and vegetables, you should look for organic dairy and meat products as well. Dairy and meat contain more residual pesticides and growth hormones by far. Some fruits and vegetables contain more pesticide residuals than others and you can see a list of these fruits and vegetables to help you decide which are “okay” if they are not available organically grown. For the times when you do have to use inorganically grown fruits and vegetables, use a veggie wash to remove as much pesticides as possible.

Freezing and Thawing Baby Food

If you are like most moms, you will probably freeze your baby's food in ice trays or little bowls. It is much easier to freeze large batches and thaw as needed (keeping the food as fresh as possible). Homemade baby food shouldn't sit longer than a day or two in the refrigerator. Plan your baby's foods the night before, and move them from the freezer to the refrigerator. If you can find a way to heat the food without using your microwave, I highly suggest this. Food does not have to be warm, but your baby will probably prefer food at room temperature. If you can collect baby food jars from friends, store the food in them, and then place the jar in hot water when you are preparing your baby's meal.

Any Tips on Making Homemade Baby Food Easier?

  • Make the food in batches and store in the freezer. Pull out the amount you need for the next day and thaw in the fridge. Servings should be in one ounce portions until baby is eating bigger servings. Ice trays work nice. Freeze them in ice trays, then put the cubes into little baggies.
  • Select foods that are age appropriate that are also in season. The Super Baby Food book will tell you this, but you will also know when you go the store and see what is available.
  • Tell yourself if you ever “don’t have time” or “think it’s a pain,” that it’s only temporary! Before you know it your baby will be eating food right off your plate, which reminds me…
  • Change YOUR eating habits NOW! Once baby is eating solids, he is getting closer and closer to taking on your dietary habits. If you eat too much junk, recognize that and change it. You will feel much better planning for this rather than changing it once you realize how badly your toddler is eating. Children get into food ruts because we have limited their repertoire of foods. Always offer fresh fruits and vegetables, yogurt, nuts (when applicable), cheese, meat, hummus and other healthy foods before you resort to what’s easy and on hand- like cookies, chips, muffins, doughnuts, etc. Once you have moved on from preparing baby food, it is essential to make sure you have just as healthy foods available for munching!
  • Other Helpful Articles

    Growing Up On Chemicals - Our Children's Toxic Environment By Jane Sheppard

    Why Are Kids So Sick Today? By Evie Maddox

    Pesticide "Safe" Foods- Get this helpful list of foods that are safer to eat when organically grown, and those that are fairly safe conventionally grown (based on amounts of pesticides used to grow foods)

Vaccine Information

We have moved our vaccine information to Eve's Best, but we feel it is important enough to mention here as well. When we become parents, one of the biggest decisions we face is whether to vaccinate or not. Unfortunately, many of us put our blind faith into doctors who tell us not only that it's necessary, but that the benefits of mass vaccinations far out weigh the risks. According to whom?

Many "pro vaxers" have simply not done their research, or if they have, it is one-sided, or their trust is put in people who make statements that they don't go verify. Words coming out of someone's mouth does not make them true, just as words on paper (or on your screen) don't make them true! I know that there are people like this, because I was once one of them. I thought that people who didn't vaccinate were crazy, tree-hugging hippies that lived in the woods. Then, a very intelligent forensic scientist made a statement to me about not allowing my children to get vaccines with thimerosal in them. That is when I did my true research and found the information that is really easy to find, if you really want to find the TRUTH. Doing research does not mean only finding information that supports your "truth." It also means finding the other side's "truth" and finding the real truth from there.

Whether or not you vaccinate does not affect me or my family in any way. But we urge you to read the information and decide for yourself what is best for your family and your baby. Do not let the doctor tell you that if people stop vaccinating, we are putting everyone at risk. Either vaccinations work, or they don't, and if you do the research you will see how murky the truth becomes!

SIDS Prevention

Hearing the words "SIDS" and "prevention" together in the same sentence is such a bizarre thing for some, and offensive to others. But if you are a new mom, or a "mom to be" for the first time, you want to know everything you can about SIDS prevention. You want to unlock the mystery of this dreaded phenomenon and figure out how YOU can sleep well at night knowing that your baby is safe.

For decades, a movement called "mattress wrapping" has taken place. While the discovery of the need of mattress wrapping was accidental, history has shown it to be a very successful practice for SIDS (crib death) prevention. As a matter of fact, it has proven 100% successful. For the whole story, please visit  Prevent SIDS.

Also, please read my article, "10 Steps to Healthy Living for Babies." It is my personal belief that babies who die from crib death were more susceptible to the toxic gases from the mattresses because they were already overexposed to a number of chemicals that could be in your home right now. (This is also supported by one of my favorite books, The Infant Survival Guide- Protecting Your Baby from the Dangers of Crib Death, Vaccines, and Other Environmental Hazards.) A very well written article that you MUST read is "Has the Cause of Crib Death Been Found?" by Jane Sheppard. This is an article you will want to share with others!

Also, check out The Relationship of Crib Mattresses and Crib Death by Denton Davis, MD.
If you need more evidence, read the book The Cot Death Cover-up? by TJ Sprott.

SIDS prevention information is ALL over the internet, and I know that it is hard to decide whom to trust. Most sites will tell you that SIDS prevention is not possible; that you can reduce the risks, but can not prevent it from happening. Famous baby doctors will insist that SIDS prevention is just a myth- that we will always have to live with this fear until the baby is over a year when we can move on to other parental fears. This is just not true. I feel strongly that in the next 10 years, SIDS prevention- true PREVENTION will be known by every mainstream doctor and every parent with new babies. Many times new information comes out and everybody dismisses it; then slowly people accept it and before you know it, it becomes mainstream. And people can't remember when it seemed so odd. That is what is going to happen with the toxic gas theory for crib death and SIDS prevention methods.

Let me explain what's going on in the "SIDS industry" that you can probably understand. If you visit the sites of most SIDS organizations, you will find a place where they will gladly accept your money for SIDS "research." Some of this money will go into actual research (which is wasted money according to the toxic gas theory for crib death), but a lot of it will go into administrative costs, and into annual meetings, where everyone has to meet at a posh (read: expensive) hotel to discuss SIDS prevention and sigh that there is nothing new they have learned. This will go on year after year, and SIDS prevention will never come to light, because that would overturn the entire industry. (read: people would be out of jobs)

Dr. Jim Sprott has spent many years educating people about the toxic gas theory and true crib death prevention. More importantly, not one baby has died sleeping on a BabeSafe mattress, or mattress wrapped with a BabeSafe mattress cover. If you examine the evidence, I feel it is clear whom you should trust when it comes to SIDS prevention advice. It's not about the money, it's about the results. And if something is working, it needs to be spread from coast to coast.

Air Purifier for Baby

The Airwise Air Purifier and the Importance of Clean Indoor Air

The air you breathe may not matter much to you if you don’t have a child with asthma, allergies, or bronchitis. Perhaps you’ve never had a child wake up in the middle of the night with croup, or a 20 month old toddler with pneumonia. You probably haven’t thought twice about the air your baby, toddler, or older child is breathing everyday, whether in your home, day care, or school. Should you be concerned?
The US Environmental Protection Agency thinks you should, stating that indoor air pollution is one of the greatest risks to human health. As much as 100 times more polluted than outside air, possible health effects of poor indoor air quality include irritation, allergies, asthma, cancer, as well as reproductive and developmental problems. This has been evident to the myriad of families with children suffering from these serious conditions, but to the families who have not yet seen the danger of poor indoor air quality, the effects may not show up until much later when cancer invades the family. It is important to protect both sick and healthy children in order to prevent health problems later on. But what are we protecting them from?
  • Mold and mildew- Can be found in both older homes/buildings as well as new.
  • Pesticides and insecticides- Can come from yours or your neighbor’s lawn (or farm), as well as monthly pest maintenance.
  • VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds)- Chemicals used to manufacture and maintain building materials, interior furnishings, cleaning products, and personal care products. There may be anywhere from 50 up to hundreds of individual VOCs in the indoor air of a building.
  • Tobacco smoke
  • Pollen
  • Dust mites
  • Pet dander
The problem with these air invaders is that generally, all of them are present at the same time, in a closed house or school building with little or poor ventilation. Without fresh air, children are breathing irritants all day, since most children spend 80% of their time indoors. Babies spend even more of their time indoors. Since newer houses are built with windows and doors that seal off the outdoors much better than houses of centuries ago, we are living in tightly closed spaces with more irritants and chemicals bombarding us than ever before.
The result? Asthma rates among children are reaching alarming numbers. One in 12 children suffers from asthma - 8.7 percent or 6.3 million children in the year 2001 compared to 3.6 percent in 1980. While the specific reasons for this increase are still unknown, exposure to specific allergens, volatile chemicals and strong odors are known to trigger asthma and other respiratory symptoms. Headaches are also common, along with behavior changes, learning disabilities, eye, nose and throat irritations, and rashes. Absentee rates are typically higher in “sick” buildings, such as offices or schools with poor ventilation. Babies in homes with numerous chemicals don’t fare better when air quality is not a priority. Steps to improving indoor air quality is a top priority in families that want the healthiest children, and want to protect them from long-term damage.

How to Improve Indoor Air Quality in Your Home

  •  Do not install carpet. Carpet must be cleaned every 6 months to keep dust mites and other allergens at bay. Hard floors do not allow these things to hide and can be cleaned much more effectively. (If you do have carpet, you might want to get a No-Chem Tummy Time Mat.)
  •  Use a vacuum cleaner with a HEPA filter on hard floors.
  •  Dust frequently, and design your home with as few dust catchers as possible (dust catchers include knick-knacks, heavy drapes, sheers, etc.)
  •  Use homemade cleaners from soap, baking soda, vinegar, etc. or purchase cleaners from a health food store. Do not purchase “safe” products if you don’t know the ingredients. Some “safe” products are not as safe as they claim.
  • Do not use perfume, and use personal care products that have natural ingredients or ingredients that have been proven safe.
  • Stop monthly pesticide spraying around your house or in it. Use natural methods when possible. Most houses will remain bug-free even without monthly pest maintenance.
  •  Use low VOC paints when possible, and be wary of any new items that may release gases into a baby’s air space.
  •  Do not smoke. Even the smoke on your clothes can set off an asthma attack in sensitive children.
  •  If you have a basement and live in a humid climate, you MUST keep a de-humidifier in your basement. This helps to keep mold problems at bay.
  •  Provide fresh air through an open window, or take your children outside when appropriate.
  •  Do not use plug-in air fresheners or burn paraffin scented candles
  •  Use an Airwise air purifier in your baby’s room, or where he spends the majority of his day. (Also use for older children with compromised respiratory systems).
An Airwise air purifier is integral to improving your indoor air quality. If you skip all of the other steps, using an Airwise unit alone will greatly improve your indoor air quality by removing any invaders from the air. How does it work? The Airwise® Purifier is based on advanced technology that goes beyond mechanical filtration methods like high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) and other methods like electrostatic filtration, ozone, ultraviolet light and ionizers. Airwise technology (photocatalysis plus WisePointe™) oxidizes odors, fungi, mold and other parasites, and toxic chemical gases. At the same time, it settles dust and other large particles out of the air and destroys microorganisms like bacteria and viruses.

Airwise units create inductive warmth, drawing humidity into the purifier. When humidified air enters the target area, a photocatalytic reaction occurs and superoxide ions and hydroxyl radicals are created. As an added benefit, positively charged indoor pollutants are treated by the WisePointe technology which generates active negative ions at an accelerated rate, thereby enhancing the speed at which dust and other airborne particles are dropped out of your breathing space. Airwise technology works “outside of the box” so it is not necessary for polluted air to actually enter the purifier.

Airwise units are small and light, and can be moved from room to room. If you have a particular child you want to protect, you can move one unit from his bedroom to the living room during the day, or even send it to school or day care each day. If you examine the amount you have paid in doctor’s visits and medication, you will probably see that the cost of an Airwise unit is a drop in the bucket compared to possible future costs of healthcare. If you move into a brand new home, it is imperative that your baby sleeps with an Airwise unit in her room, at least for the first year or two. New building products, paint, wall paper, and carpet off-gas chemicals that are dangerous to developing brains.
We all want what’s best for our children, but if we don’t know the dangers to look out for, we are not able to protect them. We hear about safety measures all the time and how to protect our children from kidnapping, fires, car accidents, etc. But what about every breath they take in, day in and day out, that is full of air polluted by chemicals, toxins, and mold? Are we protecting them from the real dangers? Now that you know, please take this information and do what you are able to do to make a difference in your child’s environment. If you don’t, who will?

Author’s Note: Every air purifier comes with its own “mumbo-jumbo” so the above explanation of how the Airwise purifier works may mean very little to you. The proof is in the pudding, right? That’s what I thought, too. Then we were able to test Airwise units on ourselves. We are a family with a history of respiratory disorders. My son had croup as a baby, pneumonia at age 20 months, and allergies and asthma by the time he reached 3 years old. As a child, I got bronchitis at least once a year, was plagued with various ear, nose, and throat problems, and as an adult suffer chemical sensitivities as well as cat, pollen, and dust allergies. An allergic reaction can stick with me for weeks, so it is very important that I avoid them as much as possible. When we were able to put the Airwise purifier to a true test, I was astounded at the results. That is why I feel it is imperative to share this information with other parents. I don’t have to know the science behind it when I can see the proof for myself!

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