Do you Freecycle?

I learned about Freecycle when my husband and I first moved out to Halifax, Nova Scotia. During my unpacking I discovered quite a few things that I really didn’t want to hang onto any longer. I know it makes much more sense to make these decisions during the packing stage (less to move!) but with pregnant mommy brain at the time, this didn’t happen. I’m much more organized this time around. :)

In any case, the thought of throwing out all the “stuff” I had accumulated over the years just wasn’t an option for me. I grew up in a family that loved to garage sale. We loved having them and frequenting them. Unfortunately, I’ve lived in an apartment most of my adult life and it’s rather tough to have a garage sale without, well, a garage (or driveway, or walkway!). Not to mention the fact that this was November and I don’t think I would have gotten very many passerbys. I started looking online for local places to unload my stuff and came across Freecycle. You know that awe-inspiring music that’s heard in movies when you’ve “seen the light”? Well, you can insert that here.

Freecycle was started in 2003 in Tucson, Arizona to promote waste reduction and help save desert landscape from being taken over by landfills. The Network provides individuals and non-profits an electronic forum to “recycle” unwanted items. The Freecycle concept has since spread to over 50 countries, where there are thousands of local groups that have more than a million members. It’s truly a grassroots wildfire of people helping people by changing the world one gift at a time. As a result, approximately 50 tons of garbage a day is being kept out of landfills.

By giving freely with no strings attached, members of The Freecycle Network help instill a sense of generosity of spirit as they strengthen local community ties and bonds. People from all walks of life have joined together to turn trash into treasure. Over the past few weeks, while packing for our move back to Ontario, we’ve passed on furniture to friends, clothing to community members, toys to those who needed them more than us, office odds and ends to local small businesses and even food to a non-profit group that collects it for the homeless.

During your spring-cleaning this year you might consider participating in this fabulous movement. There really are no strings attached. I promise! To find a Freecycle Network near you, visit http://www.freecycle.org.

Prefold Cloth Diapers…which size to choose?

Can you use only Premium Sized Prefold Cloth Diapers for the entire time a baby is in cloth diapers?

We’ve gotten quite a few questions about prefolds lately, and this keeps coming up so I thought I’d post my responses here. Please keep in mind that every parent is different in terms of what will work for them, just as every baby is a different size and shape. What may work wonderfully on one baby, may not be such a great fit on the next. In general, the suggested size/weight for prefolds are as follows:

  • Infant Size Prefolds 6-15 lbs
  • Premium Size Prefolds 15-35+ lbs

You can absolutely use only the Premium size prefolds for the entire time a baby is in diapers. What you may find, however, is that they are rather bulky for the first few months. For parents on a tight budget, an alternate suggestion would be to have at least 12 Infant size prefolds on hand for during the day or when bulkiness isn’t favourable. I think most parents will find infant clothing today is NOT made with cloth diapers in mind, and will be rather snug over a larger cloth diaper. However, this generally is not an issue at all for nighttime, and it really doesn’t matter if there is extra bulk during this time. This is when you will more than likely use the larger-sized prefolds the most, until your baby grows into them better.

Another thing to consider is the fit of the cover over your cloth diapers. Your diaper covers are generally doing a lot of the work at keeping everything “in” your diapers and if there is gaping at the legs and waist, or too much diaper sticking out, the diaper cover can’t do it’s job effectively. You will get a better fitting diaper cover over the right fitting prefold which means less leaks both in the liquid and solid department. If a few leaks won’t discourage you, however, than this is less of an issue. ;)

The nice thing about the prefolds is that you will still be able to get a lot of use out of them, even when a baby has grown too big for the Infant size. You may need more absorbency with an older baby, and these make excellent doublers when folded in thirds and laid inside of a Premium prefold. They also make great burp cloths, rags, changing pads…etc. It’s never a bad idea to have a few Infant sized prefolds on hand as they will not go to waste!

Most parents get 3 months use out of their Infant sized prefolds, at the very least. I was lucky enough, based on my daughter’s shape and size, to get close to 10 months! Of course, every baby is slightly different in size, shape and weight, but I think most parents will find that it’s not a bad thing to have a few smaller sized prefolds on hand. As a bare minimum, 12 Infant prefolds and 24 Premium prefolds will do for the whole 2-3 years a baby is in cloth diapers, which is a very economical and environmentally friendly system. :)

Take your brain for a walk.

We’ve been busily preparing for our big move back to Ontario in the naturemom household and what a task this is. I’ve been feeling overwhelmed with my daily to-do list and I’ve been having trouble focusing. I realized as I was sitting here in my foggy haze that I hadn’t really been outside much in the last few days so I bundled up my one-year old and we went out for a quick walk around the block leaving the boxes and packing behind. Did I mention I’m an excellent procrastinator?

Actually, this breathe of fresh air was exactly what I needed. It did me a world of good. I got my heart rate up and felt completely refreshed and rejuvenated when we got home. Almost as though I had taken my brain for a walk!

So, the next time you’re feeling as though your walking around in a daze with a mind full of happenings, try talking a short walk outside and get that blood pumping. Your body (and mind!) will thank you.