I Don’t Have Time for Cloth Diapers

All-in-one cloth diaper from Tots Bots

Are you sure you don’t have time to use cloth diapers? If you choose to use cloth diapers, you can use time-saving strategies and no-fold diapers to fit into your busy schedule. Your choices make a big difference.

Consider these factors to save yourself time:

  • which style of diapers you choose;
  • how many diapers to have on hand, which leads to
  • how often to wash diapers; and
  • simple cleaning habits.

Which style of diapers will save you time? If time is your limiting factor, choose a diaper that doesn’t require stuffing or folding.

Perfect choice: All-in-one diaper

At bynature.ca we carry several brands of all-in-one cloth diapers (or AIO diapers, as many call them), like the Tots Bots Easy Fit one-size diaper

All-in-one one-size diaper

To save time, have more diapers on hand. That means you won’t need to wash as often. There are drawbacks to this approach, though.

  • Money. You will need to invest more money up front to buy more diapers, if you wash less often.
  • Clean Diapers. Your diapers will be easier to clean if they don’t sit dirty as long.

Doing more small loads of cloth diaper laundry will save you money in the long run because you won’t need to buy as many diapers, and the diapers won’t suffer damage from sitting too long in waste.

Save time AND money with simple habits. Every morning, before you get busy with your day, start a load of laundry. Every other day, make that diaper laundry.

That means you need enough diapers for 3 days—two days between washes and one day to get the laundry done. For a newborn, you will need 35-40 diapers for this method. For an older baby, you will need 25-30 diapers. For a toddler who is nearing potty learning, you will need 18-20 diapers.

Save more money by washing more often, at least during the newborn months when you will be changing diapers more often.

Cloth Diapering Basics

This month we are answering some of those common questions and comments that we get in the bynature.ca store about cloth diapering basics, like “I can’t afford cloth diapers,” “Don’t cloth diapers leak?” and “Aren’t cloth diapers gross?”

We want to answer YOUR questions. Tell us your cloth diaper questions in the comments below.

The Best Natural Lubricant – Yes!

Yes organic lubricant

 

As children take more of your time, don’t let that keep you from taking care of yourself. Women are happier when they maintain a healthy sex life.

Which brings up another issue. If you are ridding your life of toxic, non-natural substances, what do you do about personal care products like lubricant? The most popular product in stores includes parabens (estrogen mimics), glycerine (skin irritant and Candida nutrient), and glycols (cell wall disruptor). You have a choice, though; you can avoid these.

That’s why we carry Yes organic lubricant.

Organic Personal Lubricant

Ingredients are important to us. We care about eco-friendly ingredients, and we avoid allergens and irritants. Yes is hypoallergenic and non-toxic.

No distracting perfumes. No chemicals masking your own signs of desire. Just a velvety, sensuous feel to add to your body’s own lubrication.

Choose Water- or Oil-based Natural Lube

Which formula is for you?

  • Water-based Yes gives realistic lubrication that helps with dryness or discomfort. Water-based is compatible with condoms.
  • Oil-based Yes is a strong, long-lasting alternative to chemical lubricants. The sweet almond oil and cocoa better is so gentle that oil-based Yes is suitable as an intimate massage oil.

Yes lubricant are made from organic plant extracts.

Ingredients in Water-based Yes Lubricant
Aqua (water), Aloe barbadensis (Aloe vera), Cyamopsis tetragonolobus (Guar gum), Ceratonia siliqua (Locust bean gum), Linum usitatissiumum (Flax extract), Pehnoxyethaol, Potassium sorbate, Xanthan gum, Citric acid.

Ingredients in oil-based Yes Lubricant
Prunus dulcis (Sweet almond) oil, Butyrospermum parkii (Shea butter), Helianthus annus (Sunflower) seed oil, Theobroma cacao (Cocoa) seed butter, Cera alba (Bees wax), Natural tocopherols (Vitamin E).

Safe Lubricant When You Are Trying to Conceive

Yes Baby lubricant kit safe for conception

Healthy conception can mean managing vaginal pH. The Yes Baby kit gives you the lubricants you need through an ovulation cycle: sperm-friendly lubricant for your most fertile period, vagina-friendly lubricant to restore pH after the most fertile period, ovulation tests, and simple, illustrated instructions.

Both formulations of Yes lubricant are safe for use during pregnancy.

We carry travel-size Yes lubricant.

Ethical Company

We like UK-based The Yes Yes Company, as well. They are committed to ethical trade, no animal testing, organic and sustainable sourcing, and profound purity. They are our kind of people.

Self Care: Sleep Matters

Mother sleeping

 

You keep your family functional through your strength, your health, your happiness and mood, and your focus. The one most important thing you can do to take care of yourself, the one thing that all other self care builds on, is getting enough sleep. Putting on your own oxygen mask first starts with sleep.

It’s so simple!

Sort of. Tough for a young mother but simple in theory.

You probably remember when it was easy to stay up all night and keep going the next day. That was before you had responsibilities for others, children to care for, and a long list of tasks you just have to get done every day. If you go without sleep now, you don’t feel your best the next day. A study of doctors showed that, when fatigued, their performance was comparable to having 3-4 cocktails.

Lack of sleep leaves you impaired with slower reaction times. This does not help your family. Beyond the immediate effects of impaired judgment, lack of sleep triggers health effects: lower immunity, metabolism changes (weight gain), and even more serious disease. This is just the beginning.

Abusing your body by doing without sleep will have a long-term impact. I write from experience. I know getting enough sleep is a very difficult thing for the mother of a young child, but it has both short- and long-term impact on your own health and on everyone around you. Right now you are bridging from your youth to your middle age, and the choices you make for your health make a difference for your present and your future.

Sleep does matter. You must take care of yourself.

Your Sleep Routine

Create routines that protect your sleep. In order to help your baby sleep with love and compassion, you need routines that signal to everyone that it is time to wind down and let go for the day. If you have figured this out for your baby, you already have an idea how developing a routine works. Your routines involve more than just you, of course. Especially if you are co-sleeping, you need to create routines that work for your entire family.

Start with what is working. When have you found that you slept really well recently? What did you do the day before or the evening before that great night’s sleep? How did you wake up? Can you replicate that?

Tweak your routine over time, but don’t assume it will all work out on its own. You need to protect your sleep time. If you can’t handle everything in the time your have available, ask for help.

How much sleep do you need? Every person is slightly different, but the general rules apply. Most adults need 8 hours sleep per night.

Self Care Means Love & Compassion for Yourself

Approach your own needs with love and compassion—as you would for your children or spouse. That doesn’t mean lining up excuses and accepting every one. Loving yourself means understanding your deeper needs and focusing there rather than on the superficial. Loving yourself means not prioritizing your needs below those of everyone else.

Finding a way to meet the needs of all family members can be difficult. You will undoubtedly come up short, but that doesn’t mean you don’t keep trying.

Understand that taking care of yourself matters. Getting enough sleep matters.

Sleep well.

For more details on the effects of lack of sleep, read “Sleep for Health.”

Image ©  | Dreamstime.com

Alternatives to Candy on Valentine’s Day

Candy for Valentines Day

Has your child been asked to contribute candy to a Valentine’s Day party? We can turn this into an positive opportunity. Let’s think of this as taking a treat—a treat of any kind—rather than approaching negatively as NOT taking candy. You can just quietly send a fun treat that happens not to be food.

Crayons
Kids love crayons. Give them out in the original shape, or you could make a craft of it and use a candy mold to shape melted crayons into hearts. Our Soy Rocks Party Box gives you 64 colorful crayons to give out.

Lip Gloss
Make lip gloss. It’s easy and exciting for kids to make lip balm in many flavors and colors. Don’t call it “gloss” and you might get boys interested as well.

Bouncy Balls
A ball is a small gift that won’t cost you a lot but will get used a lot.

Pencils
A common non-candy gift for children is a fun pencil. They come in great variety (including our tree-free pencils), they are easy to decorate and personalize, and kids will use them.

Wooden Toys
We often find situations where kids might want to give small gifts, and we don’t want to create more plastic clutter of throwaway gifts. We want to give eco-friendly gifts that children will actually use. That is why we created a loot bag section in our Green Celebrations department. We have a couple of tiny toys that would be perfect for Valentine’s Day gifts: mini wooden kaleidoscopes and wooden pop tops.

Friendship Bracelets
An older child can use cotton embroidery floss to create friendship bracelets. To make it a Valentine, add a small tag with a message.

Wooden Yo-Yo
For a special friend, a red wooden yo-yo is great gift that will be played with for a long time.

The Recurring Candy Issue

Yes, it’s nice to take a positive approach. I can be tiring to think, “Great. Another holiday, another opportunity to explain why we don’t give out candy.” Sure, we don’t have to focus on explaining. We can just nudge expectations away from sugary treats to other treats.

The issue will continue to come up, though. If you want to deal with Valentine’s Day, Halloween, and all of the candy holidays all at once, if you are tired of navigating the candy and food issues, help your school or district develop policies that will make it easier not just to manage allergies but to meet nutrition goals.

A lot of schools have no-food or no-candy policies for celebrations. This makes it a lot easier for schools to manage food allergies and sensitivities. Sell them on the benefits for the school, and they might be willing to work with you.

Image ©  | Dreamstime.com

10 Easy Steps to Care for Yourself Every Day

Woman listening to music

You know you have to put your own oxygen mask on before helping others. What is your oxygen mask, though?

We suggest 10 easy ways you can take care of yourself each day. Separately, each of these is a tiny step in your life. Taken together every day, these steps can help you nourish yourself, breathe deeply, and keep yourself ready to care for your children and family.

1. Sleep. When you are parenting a baby or a young child, sleep can be a difficult issue. Sleep is the most important factor in your physical and mental health, though. You need to arrange family routines so you get what you need or the rest of the structure will suffer. Sleep is your own oxygen mask.

2. Greet the Sun. Whether you do a yoga sun salutation or you just step outside to acknowledge that the day is beginning, this simple act of greeting your day consciously can heighten your awareness to keep your from drifting through your day.

3. Work Out. Does it seem impossible to get dressed, grab your yoga mat, and leave the house for an hour? If you are busy and never get through your whole list, you can easily convince yourself not to leave home for a workout. You do have other options to stay physically fit. The 7-minute workout is a scientifically based series of 12 exercises. It is intense. Turn on the online timer, and just do what the timer tells you to do.

4. Groom Yourself. Before you had children, you would not have thought that you would need to remind yourself to take basic grooming steps, but it is easy to forget when the day sneaks up on you. So, before you forget, brush your teeth, wash your face, and brush your hair. Quick. Simple. Done.

5. Write a paragraph in your notebook. What?! Don’t have a notebook? Get one. One notebook to rule them all. You have a lot to keep organized, not just information about house and family but your own thoughts. It really helps to have one constant anchor. For me, that’s a notebook, and I use the bullet journal method to keep myself organized. I think it’s important to have a physical notebook rather than a phone app. So, write a paragraph in your notebook just for you. Tell yourself about yesterday; write out loud about today; tell your worries or share your joys. Just write for you.

6. Remind Yourself. When everything is so busy that you are tired and a little cranky, it’s easy to forget that the work you are doing matters. Raising your beautiful little human beings is a job that sends ripples of positive effects through the world and through time. Take another moment to bring yourself to awareness, and remind yourself of the good you do in the lives of people around you.

7. Eat well. Not all food is equally nutritious. Especially when you are stressed and tired, you need foods that will boost your immunity so you don’t crash. The key is to stock the healthy foods rather than the low-nutrition foods. Then, when you have only a few minutes to make food for yourself, you can grab dark vegetables and fruits and make yourself a smoothie.

8. Listen to Your Music. Bring who you really are to your parenting. For a lot of us, music is a big part of identity. Forget those collections of baby songs or children yell-singing pop hits. Turn on your own music. Sing your songs to your baby. Dance to your songs with your toddler. Make driving singalong time.

9. Read a book. Before you laugh, think of the time you spend breastfeeding your baby. In addition to gazing at this beautiful little human being you get to hold, give yourself 5 minutes here and there to read a book. Fiction, non-fiction, whatever takes you away or reminds you who you are—whatever you need right now.

10. Drink a cup. At night, when the baby is finally asleep, drink a cup of Peaceful Mama tea. The chamomile, lemon balm, and oat straw are calming. Just take a few minutes by yourself to reflect on your day.

If you can’t take every step every day, it’s OK. Just keep taking steps and moving yourself forward.

Image ©  | Dreamstime.com