Urban OrganicaThis is my beautiful and inspiring cousin, Maya’s blog. I absolutely LOVE her blog and hope my blog can be swarmed with so much loving and inspirational information for others to read soon.
I always leave her blog feeling moved and motivated with my journey of parenting and living the organic and eco-friendly lifestyle…
Saturday, January 16, 2010
Yep there sure is! And here I was, thinking that with us cloth diapering that I was at the top of my game with being eco-friendly! But I should know better than that - there’s always room to learn how to be more Earth conscious just like there’s always more room to learn how to grow spiritually, emotionally and heck even physically (although most of us prefer not growing bigger in certain parts of the body) LOL! ;o)
So, would you like to know what it is? Well, it’s called an assortment of names: Elimination Communication (otherwise known as “EC”), Natural Infant Hygiene, Diaper Free, Infant Potty Training and my favorite, Potty Whispering). For the sake of keeping it simple, we’ll use EC’ing.
I had heard and even did a little research online about EC and had even dibble dabbled with it here and there with Andrik when he was 7 months old (but wasn’t consistent enough with it - or perhaps it was because I was overwhelmed with yet another project to research with, that it kinda went on the backburner). And then 3 months later, here was that word again (ECing) that kept popping up into my life. First it was from our friends, Eva and Travis talking about ECing with their son, Rylo. And then Hubby and I joined a Holistic Mom’s Network (HMN) group in the San Fernando Valley chapter and I heard families sharing about it within that circle (which by that time, I wanted to learn more about ECing and was excited to know that I could possibly get support from other moms/families doing this). But it wasn’t until my cousin, Miriam emailed me about her wonderful experience with EC’ing their daughter Azalea that I decided to take the plunge and purchase the book Miriam referred me to called “Diaper Free - the Gentle Wisdom of Natural Infant Hygiene” by Ingrid Bauer.
And dove right in, I did! I finished reading the book within a week (hey that’s pretty impressive when you’ve got a little one and a hubby to love and spend time with, as well as, a full time job)!
Ok so I’m pretty sure you’re wondering by now, what the heck is this woman talking about?!! So I guess I better explain what all the excitement is about and why I’m all Gung Ho about this topic!
Elimination Communication (EC) is a conscious and loving practice between the parent/caregiver and the baby with tuning into the baby’s elimination needs. It is a gentle, natural and non-coercive method that not only helps effective communication with your baby’s elimination needs but it also can help to create an intuitive connection and trust.
That right there is what really drew me in. This is what kept pulling at my heart and why I truly feel the Universe kept bringing me back to the desire of wanting to learn more about it. Because Dalmacio and I are all about Connection Parenting and having ALL our needs be met. Which, by the way “Connection Parenting - Parenting Through Connection Instead of Coercion, Through Love Instead of Fear” by Pam Leo is an awesome book/workshop that we did in our Family Love Gathering - a group I formed with other like-minded parents wanting to support one another with alternative, natural, conscious parenting choices.
Sorry just had to spread the love too! Ok back to EC’ing: this concept has been done all over the world and considered the “norm” in most cultures except of course, for ours, which ain’t no big surprise. The norm for our society is “What will bring in the big bucks for Corporate America?” The deeply saddened answer is disposable diapers and formula - sigh…don’t get me started on this subject!
Oh and another thing that also caught my attention while reading the book is the fact that with all this disposable diapering going on - where most parents leave their children in their diapers for 3-4 hours before having to change them is really teaching these children that it’s ok to stay and feel wet and icky in their diapers! It’s no wonder toddlers get confused and upset when parents feel it is time to transition them from being in diapers to potty training them! Our society has basically been teaching these children to wet and soil their diapers for the first few years and then all of sudden out of nowhere are trying to un-teach this. We, as a society, are basically teaching them to forget how to use their sphincter muscles and bodily functions (which they do know how to use from birth). Society once again, just doesn’t give babies enough credit for what they are capable of doing. Like I said, don’t get me started…LOL - Ok deep breath in (inhale and exhale)…and moving on…
So after reading Ingrid Bauer’s book, I started furthering my research on the subject (and if anyone who is reading this knows how I am, once I start researching a topic, boy do I delve in)! And because Ingrid’s book caters more towards EC’ing from birth than for late starters (such as myself), I wanted to find support with other families that started after 6 months. Thankfully I found this group: Infant Potty Late Starters. And this forum on my favorite magazine called Mothering: Mothering Discussion Forum.
Another awesome resource is Diaper Free Baby They even have a section where you can join a local group in your area (which I joined). And another great resource is Tribal Baby (which really helps to ease the pressure of trying to do EC’ing full time - it gave me peace of mind that I can do this part-time until I feel ready to do full-time).
And of course, after doing extensive research, it opened up yet another world of what is called EC wear (clothing that makes it ALOT easier for the parent to take on and off to help the lil ones go potty). And boy was I glad to stumble onto this! Because let me tell you, it was a pain trying to take his pants off and then his diapers off in time for Andrik to go pee or poo in the potty! Most of the time I would miss the “pottytunity”! I know, cute, right? I’m getting used to this new vocabulary.
Speaking of vocabulary, it’s a whole other world (just like cloth diapering). There’s words like EC wear, Split crotch pants (which are exactly how they sound, pants that split in the middle so that it makes it easier for the little ones to eliminate). Then there’s wool puddle pads, leggies…the list goes on.
So I thought I’d provide you with some helpful shopping links that I saved to “My Favorites”:
1. Eca Ware Baby (Ingenious design!)
2. Tribal Baby EC Clothing
3. The EC Store
4. EC Wear
5. Bongo Baby
6. Continuum Family
7. MamaRoo Pants
8. The Cozy Bunny (soft wool puddle pads)
9. Eco Moon
10. Knotty Baby Wear(A wonderful Etsy store that has a plethora of leggies to choose from! And the best customer service)!
11. Tweet Baby Designs(another Etsy store with leggies)
12. Inspired By Finn (they have AWESOME sales all the time on alot of organic leggies. My favorite leggies are their organic wool leggies - which by the way, wool is great for both winter and summer because it keeps you warm in the winter and cool in the summer. Plus, wool is antimicrobial/antifungal so you don't have to wash it every time your lil one wears it, unless of course they get really soiled).
Just so you know, leggies are a godsend when it comes to EC’ing! If it’s a litte chilly, I just put Andrik in leggies and a cloth diaper (without the cover - this way it makes it easier for me and him to know when he is wet) or his new Eca pants and call it a day! OR I let him roam around for some diaper free time, as well. I do also like his wool split crotch pants that he got for Christmas too for the colder days.
Oh can't forget to mention the various potties and toilet reducers available! Sheesh, probably one of the most important parts of ECing! LOL! The following is a list of potties and accessories that I researched and preferred to mention in my blog:
1. Continuum Family (they sell a transparent potty that is very beneficial so that you can actually see when your lil one is going to the restroom)
2. Baby Bjorn (you want to get the little Baby Bjorn. Dalmacio and I jumped the gun before we even started ECing and purchased the big potty and although it was efficient when we started him at 10 months, it will be too big if you're starting your baby at a younger age. Even at 10 months, we wish we would've had the smaller one - thankfully a friend gave us an extra one that she had. Now that Andrik is about 14 months old, we keep the big Baby Bjorn in the bathroom until we purchase the Potette Plus - see below. We keep the little Baby Bjorn potty in the car and either keep a cloth insert on the bottom of the potty so there is no splash when Andrik goes pee OR we cut a gDiaper biodegradable insert in 1/2 and put at the bottom. This was an awesome suggestion the same friend who gave us her little Baby Bjorn potty had given and so far has been working out great for us!)
3. Potette Plus (after much research, we have decided to purchase this one for when we travel. Now that Andrik is at the stage where he likes to use the Big Adult Potty, we need to purchase this as a seat reducer for home. The best part is that it's great for both home and travel! Since I can't seem to find anything on the plastic bags to see if they are biodegradable, I will not be purchasing these bags that you can buy separately for the Potette Plus. Instead after reading reviews, I will see if the biodegradable Sassy bags that I have will work instead. I will write another post with an EC update once I receive the Potette Plus).
4. Growing Up Green (an eco-friendly bamboo toilet seat reducer. We were planning to purchase this one but again decided upon the Potette Plus to use at home and for travel since it will be more eco-friendly to purchase just 1 product for multiple uses).
Sooooo if this at all stirred an interest with you to perhaps try this with your little one, please know that you are not alone on this journey! There are alot of resources and online groups that are willing to support you, including myself! It may be overwhelming at first, but it’s well worth it! Oh and if you start to get frustrated with the process, that’s when you know you need to take a break from the whole thing for maybe a day or 2. And just start back up when you are in a place of ease and feel ready - you and your little one will thank you for it! :o)
Guess what’s going to be our next topic for the Family Love Gathering group? ;o) I’m even purchasing a dvd called “The Potty Whispering” for our group to watch. Check out: The Potty Whisperer
I think that’s all I can discuss on this topic…my brain is fried (as I’m sure yours is too) and it’s 2:30am and realize I better get some zzzzz’s before the little one wakes me up to go potty! Oh which reminds me, that’s another thing I discovered was that all those times that Andrik would cry in the middle of the night, sometimes it was because he had to go pee. That was his way of trying to communicate his need to eliminate! Instead of trying to make him go to sleep unsuccessfully, all I had to do was take him to his potty. Every time that I’ve done this so far, he usually goes right back to sleep. Go figure! Thankfully now, I have one more tool in my tool belt that I can use with communicating with my beautiful lil man!
So here’s to one more thing to check off my list of things that are made with EcoLove! Because whenever Andrik communicates to me his elimination needs and I take him to his potty and he does his thing, not only do I feel a rush of excitement that we’re understanding each other, it is also one less diaper(s) that I have to wash…I am grateful that the Universe brought me down this path again! Thank you!
So along with my craze for cloth diapers, also came the craze for cloth baby wipes. Not only is it eco-friendly because you don’t have to dispose of the wipes but you know exactly what ingredients are going in it because you’re making the solution yourself!
There are several different recipes that you can make. I especially look for all organic ingredients when making the solution. My favorite has a mixture of Tea Tree oil (which helps aid with rashes and is anti-fungal/anti-bacterial) and Lavender oil (which is used not only for it’s calming effect but it’s also an antiseptic and antifungal). I also include a chamomile tea bag in mine. If your little one has a diaper rash, you can also add Calendula oil.
Some items that you’ll need in order to begin your baby wipe journey are:
1. Cloth baby wipes (which I’ve found several great stores on etsy.com - I’ve also mentioned a couple of sites in a previous post Cloth Diapering - Did You Know It Takes Approximately 500 Years For Just One Disposable Diaper to Decompose?!?”). Or you can make your own baby wipes. I, on the other hand, am not so artsy craftsy. I leave that to my amazing husband since he’s the one that knows how to sew. But to make things simple, I bought a couple dozen or so with adorable patterns. You can of course use paper towels but I feel getting cloth baby wipes is the way to go, especially if you’re wanting to be eco-friendly and have one less thing go into the landfills! Plus cloth wipes are much softer on your baby’s bum!
2. A glass jar to mix the baby wipe solution in, as well as, store any leftover solution. I’ve found that a thoroughly washed/sanitized pasta sauce jar does the job perfectly!
3. A container to store the cloth baby wipes in. The perfect container is the plastic babywipe tub. Ya know, the one that you used to store the disposable babywipes in but now are wondering what to do with it because you don’t want to add more waste into the landfill! Yep, this is the perfect storage container!
Baby Wipe Solution:
3 cups of boiling hot water
Organic Chamomile tea
4 drops of Organic Tea Tree oil
8 drops of Organic Lavender oil
2 Tbls of Organic Olive Oil
1 Tbls of Nature’s Baby Organics Shampoo & Body Wash (this can of course be any type of baby wash but I’ve found that this particular body wash is amazing and Andrik never gets any skin rashes from it)
Step 1: Boil 3 cups of water
Step 2: Pour the 3 cups of boiling water into the sanitized glass jar.
Step 3: Seep the Chamomile tea bag for about 6 minutes. After 6 minutes, take the tea bag out and re-use the tea bag and make yourself a nice and relaxing cup of tea. Afterall, we’re all about recycling and reusing things, aren’t we?? :o) Then let the chamomile and hot water cool BEFORE you add the rest of the ingredients. You do NOT want the Tea Tree oil or Lavender oil “cooking” in the hot water. To cool, will usually take at least an hour or more so you want to make sure if you’re running low on your baby wipe solution, to make it in advance before you run out.
Step 4: Once it has completely cooled down, add the rest of the ingredients. I normally add the oils first and start with the Tea Tree oil, then the Lavender oil and last with the Olive oil. The reason why I do this is because when you finally add the baby wash/soap, it goes in rather smoothly because of the residue from the oils on the spoon.
Please note: about essential oils - I have heard from several resources that the best essential oils are Young Living Essential Oils. Although the picture is not showing this product, I hear it truly is the best (which I plan to start using from now on).
1. Store the baby wipe solution in a cool, dark place.
2. You want to use the baby wipe solution within a week so it doesn’t spoil.
3. If you’re out and about and you find that not enough baby wipes fit in one to-go baby wipe container because of the bulk, just pack another to-go baby wipe container so that you have 2 fully packed containers ready to go! If you don’t have a spare to-go container, I suggest buying one because it comes in handy. These wipes are great for not only wiping their bums, but for wiping up messy hands and faces! I’ve found it great to wipe my hands with it too!
VOILA! You’ve got yourself some organic, aromatherapeutic baby wipes that your little one’s bum will appreciate! Not only are you being eco-friendly but you’re doing it with love!! ;o)
CLOTH DIAPERING – DID YOU KNOW IT TAKES APPROXIMATELY 500 YEARS FOR JUST ONE DISPOSABLE DIAPER TO DECOMPOSE?
Ouch! When I was pregnant, I started doing a lot of research and one of the topics was cloth diapers. My husband, Dalmacio and I were trying to decide if we wanted to do cloth diapers or not. And then when I googled information on how long it takes for disposable diapers to decompose, I was horrified. WHAT? 500 years??!! And that was just for 1 single disposable diaper! Can you imagine all the disposable diapers decaying with the feces and leaching chemicals that are in our landfills from the millions of parents that use them for their children? That information alone helped us to make the decision to look further into purchasing cloth diapers.
And so the research craze began. I couldn’t stop - I had to know more information on cloth diapers and how to incorporate it into our lives. While perusing through the pages of my favorite magazine called “Mothering” (a very awesome magazine that highlights informative articles on breastfeeding to vaccines to heart-warming birth stories to eco-friendly stores and websites, etc.), I came across a cloth diaper online store called Mother Ease. After thoroughly reviewing the section "Info and Education" that’s when we decided to definitely purchase some cloth diapers and see how challenging it would be to incorporate it into our lives.
I have to admit though that it was a little overwhelming with the different choices of cloth diapers out there. The choices seemed endless - anywhere from fitted diapers to AOI’s (All in Ones) to pocket diapers to one size diapers to prefold diapers, etc. And then there are diaper covers made out of PUL (Polyurethane Laminate) and then of course there’s my favorite, the wool covers (which is another category of its own with a selection of soakers, longies, shorties, etc.). And then there’s the choice of snaps, Velcro, well, you get the picture. So yeah at first it took me some time getting cozy to the idea of cloth diapers but once we dove in, it wasn’t so bad at all.
For any of those considering going cloth, I actually did a search on the different style of diapers and there is actually a Cloth Diaper dictionary! A few helpful links are:
1. Babe Hause
2. Cloth Diaper Dictionary
Other great resources on cloth diapering are:
1. Cloth Diaper Blog
2. Diaper Pin FAQ
3. Clother Diapering - has alot of great articles on cloth diapering
4. All About Cloth Diapers - has posts on the top 10 diapers
After the overwhelm had somewhat subsided, we thought before investing too much money into one diaper company, we decided to try it out part time. Ya know, cloth diaper when we’re at home and then use gDiapers when we go out. In case you’re wondering, the gDiaper Starter Kit is a hybrid diaper system that has a biodegradable liner that decomposes within 50-150 days.
We decided to go with 12 One-Size diapers from Mother-Ease and well, let’s just say, after a couple of months of cloth diapering part time, we never looked back with disposables and soon went full time with it. We chose One-Size diapers because we felt it was the most cost effective for our money where Andrik could wear them from birth until toddler age (roughly 8 lbs to 40 lbs).
It really felt good knowing that not only was my son having less diaper rashes from all the icky chemicals that they put in disposable diapers but more importantly that we are making a big difference with our blueprint with Mama Gaia (Mother Earth). Not to mention the savings in our pockets! Sure it may seem a lot when you’re initially purchasing cloth diapers but realistically parents are spending wayyy more on disposables.
I know, I know…you’re probably thinking “Isn’t it tedious to have to wash the diapers?” Truthfully, no it actually isn’t. We thought it would be but once we got the hang of it, it became second nature to us. And it definitely helped purchasing the Bum Genius Diaper Sprayer that attaches to the toilet so you can rinse the soiled diapers before washing them. Just the reassurance knowing that we’re one less family that will be dumping approximately 5,300 disposable diapers into the landfill (that is how many parents will go through for each child from birth to toilet training) made us feel that we are definitely making a difference for our planet!
And then there’s also the debate of whether cloth diapers are really more planet-friendly than disposables because of the energy it takes to wash and dry the cloth diapers vs disposables. Trust me, I looked into that, as well. Here are a couple of links that can shed some light. 1. Environment and 2. The Cloth vs. Disposable Dilemma. Either way, we felt choosing cloth diapers over disposables was the right choice for our family and we feel good about this choice!
Although our introduction to cloth diapers started with Mother Ease diapers, it didn’t end there. I had remembered purchasing some bellydance costume items from an online store called Etsy. I remembered there being a plethora of hand-made items from various designers and thought heck, maybe there are designers that make cloth diapers. And man was there ever a variety of cloth diapers (and cheaper than other online stores). I soon discovered that I had become a cloth diaper geek. Yes there is such a thing and I am damn proud of it! :o)
I was like a kid in a candy store, viewing through the many etsy stores to choose from. I have to honestly say that Etsy is where I go now. And most of the WAHM’s (Work At Home Mom’s) are amazing and offer so much information and help. Just a little tip, there are also some great organic clothing stores and natural, non-toxic wood toy stores, as well.
But since we’re on the topic of cloth diapers, I figured it would be great to highlight a few of the etsy stores that I’ve purchased from.
For cloth diapers, I’ve gone to the following:
2. Twinkle Toes Diapers
For Swim Diapers (which I actually won a contest by naming part of the diaper “Snappy Swimz-ease – I came up with the SwimzEaze part and the short description):
1. Vilate's Nifty Nook
For Wool Longies/Shorties:
For cloth baby wipes:
1. Monkey Snuggles Diaper: Monkey Snuggles Diaper
2. Twinkle Toes Diapers
For Wet Diaper Bags:
1. Mommy Earth
2. Wee Ones by JaJoc - they not only make wet diaper bags but diapers, as well.
But to tell you the truth, our favorite cloth diapers that we use all the time are the ones my cousin donated to us called TotBots. Perhaps it was because they were more fitted than all the other ones that we purchased that were one size diapers. Although I believe the ones that we have are no longer made because it looks like the ones they have now are a bit different (but they actually look even better).
There were also a couple of other online stores that I found on one of my Mothering magazine issues that could be useful (although I didn't use them for ourselves). So check out the following:
1. Cloth Diaper Clearance
2. Jillian's Drawers - they have a very cool program call Changing Diapers, Changing Minds program that allows you to try several different styles of diapers to see what you and your baby like best.
3. Nicki's Diapers
4. Kelly's Closet
5. Green Mountain Diapers
So in case you and your family ever want to make the transition from disposables to cloth diapering, just know that there is a medley of information out there to help support you with your questions and transition. I hope my words of encouragement and the links I’ve given can give you some insight and peace of mind.
Welcome everyone and anyone willing to read through my stuff. :o)
So what is “Made With EcoLove” you are wondering? Perhaps you would like for me to elaborate on this a little more now that I have some time to (because as we know from my first post, I didn’t really have a chance to and typing with one hand while holding Andrik in the other arm, just wasn’t happening). Andrik had other plans for ways for us to enjoy each other’s company (zerbert style)! :o)
I had this vision (and still do) of creating or perhaps co-creating a community of like-minded beings who are on the same journey of conscious eco-living, eco-creating, eco-being, eco-loving with one another and especially with ourselves. Yeeah…yeah…some friends may call me a hippy but I like to call it being conscious of our planet, of our humanity, of our relationship to animals/mammals, of our being-ness.
We are all made of the same stuff, same energy…it’s just a matter of being conscious to it and uplifting ourselves to a higher vibration in order to live a sustainable lifestyle so that we can help to re-build our natural resources and just live a more meaningful life…so why not now create a shift that is not only made with love but made with eco-love?! Because we all know when things are made with love, the outcome is so much better. Now imagine creating whatever it is you desire not only with your love and positive energy - add conscious earth-friendly spice to your recipe and it’s Heaven on earth - literally!
My biggest contribution and example to this is whom Dalmacio and I created together. Our son, Andrik Darius Pueblos. He was born in our home on January 26, 2009 at 5.33pm, weighing in at 7 lbs 8 ozs and stretched out to 20.5 inches.
Andrik is the epitomy of eco-love! Naturally brought into this world (yes Daddy caught him while mommy was squatting on the floor by the edge of the bed). Yes perhaps a little more visual than you were probably expecting but hey I’m gonna be all real here! So yes our home birth was very natutal, very primal yet VERY amazing and empowering!! As our midwife Elizabeth had said, I had triumphed with my birth. The reason why she used the word “triumph” is because first of all, Andrik was asynclitic (meaning his head was crooked going into my cervix which is why him and I had worked doubly hard with pushing), he was OP (he was face up instead of face down) and his umbilical cord was too short. All of these “triumphs” would’ve been a worse-case scenario if we would’ve had a hospital birth - meaning the doctors wouldn’t believe that a natural birth could actually happen with all these so-called “complications” a.k.a meaning they would’ve made unneccesary interventions and I would’ve had a c-section (not saying that there’s anything wrong with having a c-section when it’s absolutely necessary but this just goes to show that my triumphs if at a hospital would’ve gone down that path). And for sure everyone in the hospital would’ve been in a panick if they would’ve seen all the blood that I had lost after the midwives assisted with taking the placenta out. But because we were in the comforts of our own home and in really good hands with our spiritual midwife, Elizabeth and our technical midwife, Callie - we had the best of both worlds.
I just knew deep in my heart that God/Godess/Universe/Higher Source didn’t have Dalmacio and I together for 13 years and to finally have a baby after 3 years of “trying” that I would be leaving this planet after giving birth…there was just no way. I believed that everything was going to be ok (even though how painful it was having Callie’s hand in me checking for where I could be bleeding from. More painful than giving birth! Hey, I said I was gonna be real here) ;o)
Of course with chanting the Love’s Pathway (from the awesome book ”The Greatest Manifestation Principle in the World” by Carnelian Sage) that my step-mom/Nona Tutti and my dad/Gdaddy, Bobby had taught me, helped a great deal. It was very powerful and surreal having me, Dalmacio, my mom and my sister all chanting the Love’s Pathway at the same time: “I am the full expression of God’s love. Just as God is love, so am I. I am LOVE.” Ahhhh the power of love and our minds…I was living proof of how powerful our minds can be in creating our own sicknesses (a by-product of fear) or wellness/health (stemmed from love). I chose love (and will continue to choose love) and because I chose love, I strongly feel helped to stop the bleeding.
So yes even with all my triumphs I would not change a thing about my birth…it was my own beautiful experience with my son which began our bond of strength and shall I say, eco-love!
So from being born naturally in the comfort of our home and 2 midwives along with my beautiful doulas (my mom/Nanna Dotti, my sister/Tia Vivi, our 2 cats: Dartagnia, Star and our pitbull, Chachi) to putting my placenta into freeze-dried pills (which gave me and Andrik plenty of nutrition and I hear it helps with post-partum depression) to cloth diapering (even down to cloth baby wipes and homemade baby wipe solution - ooh there’s a topic I’ll be blogging about!) to breastfeeding (which is very eco-friendly - no manufacturing/delivering costs needed with this one) to very soon making our own organic homemade babyfood (ooh yet another topic has flourished from this blog) to green, biodegradable animal cruelty-free products (which has been a staple in our family for a long time, even before Andrik was born)!! Now if Andrik ain’t made with eco-love then I don’t know what is! LOL
So this is just one example of things I’ll be blogging about - things or in this case, beings that are made/created/manifested for a higher consciousness of living and being on this planet…I may not always specifically share things that I’ve made with eco-love, but I will be sharing ideas, thoughts and perhaps highlighting others creations on my blog…
Again, welcome to my blog and I hope you come back soon…and now it is time to rest my sleepy eyes and go cuddle with my 2 favorite men. :o)
Good night and blessed dreams…