Oh heeeeyyyy nooooo – did you just say cloth diaper? Errmmm, well, yes I did.
A friend asked me the other day where all this green-stuff came from and specifically about what I did when the boys were small regarding natural products.
As a pseudo hippie living in Vancouver, I was encouraged by the West Coast air in my lungs, along with the doula, midwifery and placenta ‘encapsulator’ world around me to go the cloth diaper route. Being frugal students (and by the look of the bank balance, the consideration of the environment and the super-cute-and-trendy style of MANY of the cloth diaper products available on 4th Ave – I’m a marketers dream) it was a bit of a no brainer. I gave it some thought, and I liked the idea – not realizing just how important it would be once Clayden (my oldest) was born.
Back to where it all began…
I find myself at home after an incredible doula supported birth (…that’s a WHOLE different post). I’m in my cosy little Vancouver apartment, staring out my window at the beautiful spring-going-summer weather, sipping on a cup of tea, cradling my perfect 6 week old little human… with a bum rash SO BAD it is raw, blistering and bleeding. Not your typical ‘grab the Bennett’s Bum Cream’ rash – this was BAD. Break your heart bad.
I sought all the help I could. We tried a plethora of creams, oils, ointments, powders, both medicated and not. I had to eliminate all wet wipes (definitely no disposable nappies, and at times any form of nappy) and had to sit with him in our 1m by 1m back garden with his bum facing the sun. I did a LOT of laundry.
Eventually, a new product arrived at my midwives clinic called Clay Powder (ironic, I know) so I grabbed it, and used it in conjunction with a calendula based cream that was also new. With astonishment, after a day, Clay’s bum began to heal. And it inspired me to get on the Googles. As it turns out, what one thinks is just the norm in terms of baby buys, isn’t. Let us start rethinking this shall we?
What was with clay powder and calendula? I landed on a blog called Wellness Mama, and it changed my life. The word calendula popped up everywhere, as well as the dark side of disposable nappies, chemical ridden wipes and other fairly harmful baby products and, thanks to the Canadian system of a year’s maternity leave, I had time to read, research, rethink, play, and create.
I jumped online I bought $100 worth of natural goodies and I started from scratch. I made my own (natural, organic, chemical-free, toxic-free, perfume and scent-free) baby wipes, cloth diaper cream, baby powder and oils, moisturizers and safe eucalyptus rub. I had organic coconut oil, shea butter, arrowroot powder, bees wax, calendula and chamomile flowers. Together, armed with my essential oils, vitamin e and mason jars by the dozen, I created my own mini factory of natural goodness. Cloth diapering was a huge part of this healthy lifestyle and both my boys have thrived in cloth.
This is just our story, and as a disclaimer – I haven’t done my own personal research into all the evils of many of what are presumed to be perfectly acceptable baby-related purchases, and as always, I’m certainly not getting this 100% right (at all). I’m also not judgmental of people who use only disposables and off the shelf baby products – not at all. Our decision was very much weighted by health, a big concern regarding creation care and having seen the hardship Clay’s poor buttocks experienced.
And also, cloth diapers are really not that gross. Really. They’re stinking cute.
Also, have you seen pictures of landfills lately?