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Are You a Blogger? Here’s a great Free Event for you!


Mom to Bed by 8 is excited to present the Housewarming Dyson Event from June 1 to June 15. This is a free blogger event and accepting signups now.

Join the Housewarming Dyson Giveaway event today, grow your readership and offer one fantastic cleaning tool giveaway!

There’s no fee, nothing to do other than post the giveaway when it goes live on June 1st.  This is a fabulous way to grow your numbers and give your readers a chance at winning an awesome prize!

If you do sign up for this Event, I’d love for you to put So Easy Being Green as your referrer!  Thanks!

Fluffy Friday: Charlie Banana OS {giveaway!}


Pocket Cloth DiapersI love trying new diapers… it’s one major plus to writing SEBG because I love to try all different types of cloth diapers that are on the market that I probably otherwise wouldn’t get the chance to try!

This is true of the Charlie Banana diaper that I’m reviewing today.  Snaps became my best friend once Sophia figured out how to undo the aplix diapers.  But with Moreaya, I primarily reach for my aplix.  I just think it’s easier to get a good fit and faster to put on her, well, until now!

When my One-Size Charlie Banana diaper arrived, oh my!  The print!  I just absolutely love the Robot Girl print on the Hot Pink!  It’s so adorable in real life and I probably would have never taken a chance on the print otherwise, but I’m super glad it’s the one we got!

Charlie Banana Cloth Diaper

The adjustment of Charlie Banana’s are a bit different than any other OS on the market.  It’s hidden inside the diaper, which is nice and is less bulky than snap-down OS diapers, but they use a “bra strap design” sizer.  It’s super easy to use and you simply slide the metal part to which letter “S, M, L”.  This works so much easier than a numbered system, I think AND you only have one on each side to adjust.  I’m actually using it in the middle of the Small and Medium setting for Moreaya right now and we’ve yet to have a leak in this diaper {and we have quite a few leaks from some of our others} because I’m getting such a good fit!

The OS comes with 2 microfiber inserts and we’re only using the smaller one right now.  I know a lot of companies are switching to minky, and although I love the trimness of minky, I still think the microfiber absorbs and holds more.

This diaper is the first diaper I reach for if it’s clean and I’m most definitely going to be adding a couple more to our stash!

Charlie Banana also sells disposable inserts that can work with this shell, as it has a large flap at the front {where you stuff the inserts} that can hold the disposable insert in place.  I haven’t tried that feature of the diaper, though.

Buy It:  The Charlie Banana OS diapers range from about $19.88 – $21.88 depending on where you buy them.  You can purchase straight from the Charlie Banana Website or at a variety of retailers!

Win It:  One super lucky So Easy Being Green reader is going to win their own Charlie Banana One-Size cloth diaper!



The Top Three Uses For Beads


The world that we all reside on provides us with many different natural materials that we can use to our benefit. For example, there are plants that can be used for foods or medicines, water that can be used for basic hydration or to assist us with providing life to our plants, and then there are stones.

Stones are also extremely useful to the world, they have many different uses. While some of these materials have been harvested to make metal, there are other types of stones that are used to create artistic accessories. In fact, due to the advancements in technology, we are now able to create imitation stones, which are commonly referred to as beads.

The imitation stones, or beads, also have a wide array of different uses, and are popular all around the world. Beads can be used to help create jewelry accessories, as an additional clothing accessory, or as some type of decorative ornament. Beads are commonly found in a lot of the modern day jewelry that women and men adorn today. A lot of necklaces, bracelets, rings, and earrings are made from this material. When used in clothing, beads will add a little bit of contrast to your outfit. They add more valuable to the attire that you are adorning, making it appear elegant and decadent. Aside from being used to create clothing, beads are also commonly being used to create household ornaments. Household ornaments such as door knobs, bird feeders, and other types of crafts can be made from beads. Beads are extremely popular with women and girls, as opposed to guys. The reason being is because women desire to be surrounded by pretty things, beads fall into this category.

These are only a couple of the uses for beads, there are so many different things that you can do with them, it is difficult to name all of the uses that these materials have. Regardless of what you choose to use your beads for, there is one thing that will be evident about your creation, it will be absolutely stunning. Now, with beadsbarn.com you can get top quality beads and other jewelry making supplies.

Disclosure

Earth Day Event Hop Sponsor: Zephyr Hill Blog


Rounding out our “Baby Earth” Prize Package comes one of my favorite cloth diapering accessories… hemp inserts!  Anne who writes the Zephyr Hill blog wants to share her love of Thirsties hemp inserts with one of you lucky readers!

First, a bit about Anne and Zephyr Hill… My Button

Here at Zephyr Hill I blog about cloth diapering, cooking, gardening, hobby farming, sewing, homeschooling and more.  I named my blog after our home and farm which we call “Zephyr Hill.” We are a homeschooling family with 5 children here on Earth and 1 little girl named Margaret who went to Heaven when she was 6 months old.  Being a mother of five keeps me good and busy, and I wouldn’t have it any other way!

Anne has been a fabulous lady to get to know and I am absolutely loving her blog… you’ve never seen a cuter design!  Get a head start to the giveaway by connecting with Zephyr Hill on Facebook and Twitter!

Just like me, she’s an avid cloth diaper user and knows the importance of having hemp inserts in your stash.  Once your child starts urinating more at once in their cloth, you’ll definitely need to stuff with more absorbency!  Hemp is a great fabric as it is super trim AND holds more liquid than microfiber!

You really can’t beat the Thirsties hemp inserts either… we have about 6 of these in our stash.  They are a 55% Cotton / 45% Hemp blend, made here in the USA {just like all Thirsties products!}.  For the price and the quality of these inserts, they definitely rank as one of my top favorite hemp inserts!

Buy It:  You can purchase Thirsties Hemp Inserts {sold in packs of 2} at a variety of Thirsties retailers.  They usually run about $9.00.

Win It: Zephyr Hill is contributing a 2 pack of Thirsties Hemp Inserts into the “Baby Earth” Package for one lucky So Easy Being Green reader!

Earth Day Hop Event Sponsor: GroVia Cloth Diapers


cdai2categoryAlthough I blog a lot about cloth diapers, I realize that there are some of you out there that may not use them or may just use them part time.  Today’s post is just for you!

When I saw GroVia’s “Curious About Cloth Kit”, I thought it would be a perfect fit into the “Baby Earth” Prize Package for the Earth Day Event!  What better way to save the Earth than to try cloth!  Even if you’re an avid cloth diaper user, you will still appreciate this kit, so don’t feel left out cloth Mama’s and Dads!

Each Kit contains: 2 Cloth Shells, 2 Stay Dry Soaker Pads, 20 BioSoaker® Pads {disposable}, & Wetbag

The Curious About Cloth Kit from GroVia is perfect for anyone who wants to try cloth, especially an easy All-in-Two or Hybrid system, without investing too much.  It’s also perfect because they include cloth and disposable options to make you feel more comfortable and let you see that cloth diapering can go any way you choose!There are 3 options of this Kit available: Girl, Boy, or Unisex.  The only thing that changes in the kit is one of the shells {the other is Vanilla}.  I was sent the Girl Kit to review with Moreaya, with a cute Mod Flowers shell!

I was excited to see that the shells were aplix.  Lots of cloth diaper users prefer snaps, but I think aplix is the way to go when a person is new or curious about cloth.  It works most like disposables and is often easier to put on a baby.  The GroVia system is great because it works as a hybrid system so that parents will be able to save money by re-using shells a couple of times before they need to be laundered.  This was also a huge thing that I considered when I first thought about cloth diapering Sophia over 2 years ago!

Although we don’t use the BioSoakers often, they are nice to have in the diaper bag, if you don’t want to fool with carrying around dirty inserts in a wetbag.  I like the BioSoakers and think they’re quite absorbent and they’re really easy to use.  I think it’s great that GroVia thought to put a wetbag into the kit, although I really prefer wetbags with zippers, as it’s one less thing that a new cloth user needs to think about!

The only thing that I would like to see is maybe 1 or 2 more double pack of Stay Dry Soaker Pads, as 2 just doesn’t really cut it.  I think it would be great if the Kit could sustain a new parent through 1 whole day of cloth diapering {in that case you would need about 6-8 Soakers}.  I’m also a big fan of the Stay Dry Soakers… they are more trim than their organic counterparts and I think new cloth users would appreciate that more!

 Get a head start to the Giveaway by connecting with GroVia on Facebook and Twitter!  {Have you seen their new Prints that are coming soon!?  ADORABLE!}

Buy It:  You can purchase a “Curious About Cloth Kit” on the GroVia website or at any of their fine retailers!  The Kit retails for $59.99.

Win It:  GroVia is offering a “Curious About Cloth Kit” to be included in the “Baby Earth” Prize Package for one lucky So Easy Being Green reader during the Earth Day Event!

{almost} Wordless Wednesday – 3 Months


3 Months Old

At 3 months, Moreaya is:

  • talking non-stop!  We’re in trouble because I thought Sophia was a talker but this little girl loves to babble at you when you talk to her.
  • close to rolling over from belly to back, but not there yet.
  • following her Big Sister around {with her eyes} wherever she goes.  I swear you can already see the admiration in her eyes for Big Sis.
  • laughing out loud.
  • making blowing sounds with her lips.
  • trying her best to scoot on her belly – which she does in her bed at night.
  • making me smile and love her more and more everyday.

Moreaya 3 Month Collage

exederm Flare Control Cream


I knew from very early on that both of my girls had sensitive skin.  I just didn’t know how sensitive!

Sophia started getting small red patches on her inner thighs and behind her knees.  I would put lotion on them, but it wasn’t helping at all.  I contacted a friend of mine who’s a dermatologist PA and she recommended a combination of hydrocortisone and a thick lotion, as it looked like eczema.  It took the spots right away, but I was a bit concerned with putting a generic brand of regular hydrocortisone cream on her skin everyday so I chose to only use it when the outbreak was pretty bad.

Not necessarily the best plan of action because I hated seeing Sophia in any sort of discomfort.  We did notice a HUGE difference in the amount of flare ups when I started bathing her in the Baby Eczema Wash from exederm!  Although they do still come up occasionally.

When I found out that exederm now makes a Flare Control Cream, I really wanted to try it.

Exederm Flare Control Cream is the only paraben-free hydrocortisone cream available in US. It is also the first and only hydrocortisone product to receive the National Eczema Association’s coveted Seal of Acceptance with a perfect 5 out of 5 score.

Dermatologists rate 1% Hydrocortisone to be the “Gold Standard” for mild to moderate eczema.  BUT, not all hydrocortisone creams are the same, always check the label.
Our philosophy is simple … avoid eczema triggers, always use the mildest ingredients possible.
The ‘base’ cream or ointment to which the active ingredient is added can often be very different. Many of these ‘bases’ contain potential irritants such as paraben preservatives or unnecessary botanical additives.  Most drugstore products are formulated for the average person with insect bites, stings or poison ivy type skin rash. They have been designed to treat a one-off problem for someone who does not have overly sensitive skin.  We believe that eczema, dermatitis and sensitive skin sufferers are different. Eczema sufferers have very sensitive itchy skin and need to avoid even mild irritants whenever possible.

It really does work well with Sophia’s skin and I’m not at all concerned with putting it on her anytime she needs it.  The Flare Control Cream seems to relieve her itching and takes away the flare ups relatively quickly!

I can’t say enough about the exederm brand… We love their Shampoo and the other products I mentioned!  They are sold in many local stores and right now you can get a $1.00 coupon for your store of choice!

Simply visit the exederm website, go mid-way down and right above the Products Pictures there’s a form to put in your Email and Zip Code… do that and you can choose which store you’d like your $1.00 coupon for!

Buy It:  The Flare Control Cream retails for $14.99 for a 2 oz. tube… which should last for quite awhile!

Elimination Communication FAQs


Diaper Free Baby EC

My name is Rachel. I became a mom to a beautiful little girl on 2011-11-11. I am a trained Speech Language Pathologist therefore, I am very interested in anything that has to do with communication. I think that’s why Elimination Communication appealed to me from the first time I heard about it. I read ‘The Diaper Free Baby‘ by Christine Gross-Loh and decided that this approach would fit perfectly with the way we want to raise our daughter. I’ve been ECing her since she was born.

First of all, let me say that I’m really happy to share my knowledge of EC (Elimination Communication). I don’t claim to be an expert but I can share what we do, what works and doesn’t work for us.  Before I share my personal experience (in a future post), I’ll start by answering the top 10 questions people ask me all the time. If there are other ECers reading this, feel free to add to the discussion 🙂

{Click to jump to a specific topic}

1. What’s the idea behind EC?

2. Why should I consider EC with my baby?

3. I don’t have a lot of time. Is EC a full time commitment?

4. My child is older. Is it too late to start ECing?

5. Okay, I might give it a try but… How do I start ECing? What should I look for?

6. My baby is too small to sit on a toilet or potty. How do I hold my baby?

7. How long do I keep my baby on the toilet/potty for?

8. How do I cue?

9. What do I do when my baby eliminates in the toilet/potty?

10. What about nighttime EC?

1. What’s the idea behind EC?
All babies, from birth, have the instinct not to soil themselves. Obviously, they don’t have the physical control of hold it in but they are aware of their bodily functions and will try to communicate their needs with you. Most parents will report that their baby will pee or poop as soon as they remove the diaper or just after they put a clean one on. That’s one of the ways babies attempt to stay clean. I’m not saying that they are planning the whole thing, but they do have the instinct to try and stay clean.

In countries where diapers are not readily available, children tend to be toilet trained at an early age because their parents are tuning-in to their elimination needs from the beginning and are responding to them. When a baby’s communication attempts are repeatedly missed or ignored, she learns to go in her diaper and to tolerate being wet or soiled. This is what usually happens in Western cultures and it might be part of the reason why many parents struggle to toilet train their toddlers (it’s difficult to re-learn to become aware of the need to go and to react to the feeling of being wet or soiled when a child is accustomed to ignoring it).

Basically, the main goal of EC is to respond to your baby when she’s telling you that she needs to go. Your baby is already doing her part, all you need to do is focus on her signals and respond promptly. If you already understand when your baby communicates her hunger, her fatigue, her discomfort, you’ve already learned to look for and decipher her signals. EC follows similar principles and patterns. One of the positive consequences of EC is that babies are toilet-trained without going through the traditional toilet training procedure (EC itself is not viewed as a toilet training method though).

Remember that it’s a very gentle method: no punishment, no sticker charts, no bribes to keep your baby on the potty. Also, we don’t talk about ‘accidents’ but about ‘misses’. A ‘miss’ is simply a missed communication opportunity between your baby and you, nothing to stress about or get frustrated over.

2. Why should I consider EC with my baby?
There is a list of 75 benefits of EC on the Diaper Free Baby website. There are health benefits, attachment benefits, environmental benefits, and even financial benefits! For me, it just seemed like a very natural way to interact with my baby. I don’t see her elimination needs differently from her other needs (hunger, fatigue, etc) and I try my best to respond to them. I also like the fact that EC makes traditional potty training unnecessary.

3. I don’t have a lot of time. Is EC a full time commitment?
Let me reassure you, EC does not need to be done full time to be successful. In fact, many parents can only EC part time because they work full time, they have other young children to care for, etc. It’s definitely not an all-or-nothing approach. Some people do it as little as a couple times a day and others do it all day and all night. It’s flexible enough to fit any lifestyle. All you want is for your baby to retain her awareness of the need to eliminate and her ability to communicate it.

4. My child is older. Is it too late to start ECing?
Nope! It’s never too early or too late to start ECing. My experience is based on ECing a baby from birth but many parents begin to EC when their child is older and are still successful. Your child may not be as aware of her need to go anymore and her signals may be different but the same principles apply. Christine Gross-Loh’s book has a whole section devoted to ECing with older children.

5. Okay, I might give it a try but… How do I start ECing? What should I look for?
The good thing about EC is that you don’t need fancy equipment or training to start. If you have a baby and a toilet, a potty, or container of some sort, you’re all set!

At first you have to try and learn your baby’s elimination habits. This involves a lot of observation with your baby either without a diaper, or laying/sitting on an open diaper, or with a loosely attached diaper on. (Again, I want to remind you that you don’t have to do this all day. Even a couple hours a day will give you a lot of information.) You want to look for a few things:

  • How often does your baby pee/poop?
  • How long does it take after each feeding for your baby to eliminate?
  • What was your baby doing right before she eliminated?

The first 2 questions refer to the timing of elimination, the 3rd question, which may be a little more tricky to answer at first, refers to the signals that your baby sends before she eliminates.

A lot of people start ECing using a timing approach. There are certain times when your baby is almost guaranteed to eliminate: first thing in the morning, after a nap, and shortly after or during a feeding (the delay between the feeding and the elimination can vary from baby to baby, and is also influenced by how much the baby drank). In my experience, these are the easiest catches, as long as you can bring your baby quickly enough to the toilet/potty.

As you’re using a timing approach, you will continue to look for your baby’s signals. You should look for changes in behavior, such as whining or crying, grunting, vocalizing, kicking of the legs, going still, going quiet, etc. There are probably as many signals as there are babies but you will soon learn which ones your baby sends. Personally, I found it was helpful initially to treat any change in behavior as an EC attempt when I knew that my baby was not hungry. Eventually, I learned to narrow it down to a few signals: whining and going quiet/still. As an aside, many moms, myself included, have noticed that their baby will stop drinking and unlatch in the middle of a feeding to eliminate but will resume feeding after they eliminate.

As you provide elimination opportunities, you will also begin to learn about your baby’s behavior on the toilet/potty: how long do you have to hold her before she eliminates? Does she grunt? Do she whines? Does she turn quiet? Does she kick her legs?

My daughter, for example, whines before she pees or goes quiet and still if she’s playing. When I see either behavior happening, I put her on her potty immediately and cue her (I’ll talk more about cueing in a minute). When she has to go, she will stop to cry almost immediately when I hold her over the potty. If she doesn’t have to go, she’ll usually kick her legs. Obviously, there are times when I hold her on the potty and nothing happens but that’s okay: my baby still learns that I respond to her and she’s given the opportunity to eliminate regularly.

6. My baby is too small to sit on a toilet or potty. How do I hold my baby?
Often times, babies are too small to sit on the toilet or potty, or sit anywhere at all! So what do you do? There is a way to hold your baby so she feels comfortable and that promotes her elimination. Basically what you do is you put her back against your stomach and wrap your hands under her thighs. This way, you can safely hold her over the toilet/potty, the sink, or any container. If you choose to use the toilet, you can sit on it backwards (you and your baby will face the seat cover) or forward. Many people will choose to use a small container or potty and will hold it between their legs. This position works best for us. Here are a few photos from the Diaper Free Baby website showing how to hold your baby in different positions.

7. How long do I keep my baby on the toilet/potty for?
Most ECers I know don’t hold their baby on the toilet/potty for very long unless they see signs their baby needs more time such as grunting or whining. I usually wait 10-20 seconds for her to pee, and around 30-45 seconds for her to start to poop. You have to keep in mind that it can take quite a long time for a baby to poop but from my experience, you should see signs that your baby needs more time. I personally prefer to hold her on the potty a short time and if nothing happens, try again in few minutes later, rather than keeping her over the potty for a long time.

You may find it difficult at first to know if your baby is whining or crying because she doesn’t want to be held over the potty or because she’s trying to eliminate, especially if she has to poop. I would recommend waiting a little longer even if she whines (not if she’s distressed and crying a lot) because often times babies will cry until they eliminate and stop immediately after. If your baby cries a lot when held over the potty, you might have to troubleshoot (use a different potty, change position, etc) and/or take a step back for a little while.

8. How do I cue?
Cueing is important because that’s how you can let your baby know that she is in position to eliminate (without soiling herself). By consistently pairing you cue and her elimination, she will learn to associate them. As you observe your baby for cues, you will see your baby eliminate many times and might not have time to react quickly enough to catch them. Don’t worry about these misses, see them as perfect opportunities for you to cue. Each time you offer an elimination opportunity, use your cue to tell your baby it’s okay to go.

You can really use any cue that makes sense to you. Most people use a ‘pssssss’ sound (as if peeing) and use it for both peeing and pooping. It’s not necessary to have a separate sound for each because your baby probably does not make a clear distinction between both types of elimination but you can if you want.

9. What do I do when my baby eliminates in the toilet/potty?
Not much actually… ECers do not use punishments for misses nor rewards for catches. The inherent reward for your baby is that she is in charge of her elimination and she’s clean and comfortable. I personally verbalize to my daughter what she did in a matter of fact tone of voice (ie. ‘Oh, you peed’). I admit that I’ll give her a kiss too – whether she eliminated or not – but she gets dozens of kisses a day anyways so it’s not really a reward in my mind.

10. What about nighttime EC?
Nighttime EC is not a requirement. Lots of parents don’t venture into it until later, or choose not to do it at all. Those who do will provide opportunities to eliminate when their baby wakes up to feed or if they notice their baby’s signals. You can leave your baby diaper free all night or part of the night or keep her in diaper until you feel more confident. Again, it’s not an all-or-nothing commitment. You can do it occasionally and build on your successes. If you co-sleep or observe your baby at night, you will notice that your baby sends similar signals as she does during the day: squirming, kicking her legs, crying, etc.

baby

If you choose to EC at night and go diaper free, you may want to leave your baby naked on a folded towel or another absorbent piece of fabric (flannel, fleece, etc) and put a waterproof layer underneath to protect the mattress. I’d suggest keeping a few extra towels by the bed just in case.

I hope that you found this information helpful. Should you want to give it a try, I’ll leave you with a few tips to make your EC journey successful:

  • Be relaxed and patient
  • Dress your baby lightly because clothing may interfere with your ability to observe her and may take too long to take off. I strongly recommend just a t-shirt and legwarmers (babylegs).
  • Remember that there will be a lot of variation from day to day and you may experience some temporary setbacks (for example if you child is sick or if she’s learning a new skill).
  • Misses are not failures, don’t put too much emphasis on them. Focus on catches!  🙂
  • Share your experience and the bumps you encounter along the way with other ECers.

If you have more questions, I recommend reading Christine Gross-Loh’s book ‘The Diaper Free Baby‘ and visiting her website at http://www.thediaperfreebaby.com. There is a really helpful FAQ section.

You can also visit the Diaper Free Baby Organization‘s website.  Look for support groups in your area or for online ones on Big Tent and Facebook. It’s always nice to share and troubleshoot with other people who are going through the same process. I would also be happy to answer more questions and share our journey.