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The Ultimate Guide to Cloth Nappies

A version of this article was also published in Nurture Magazine Spring 2014

Are you looking for one strait talking article with independent research that will cover all the aspects of Cloth Nappy Research that you Need without trying to sell you their brand?

This article will help you to consider all the aspects of understanding and choosing the best Cloth Nappy before you purchase. We want you to feel great about the cloth nappies you buy for your baby.

Whether its 100% or 50% of your nappy use, everything you need to know is here. We hope this information helps you feel confident with all the issues and terminology you will face with our Ultimate Guide.

Please note that any references or studies referred to are linked at the end of this article. Thank you and Happy Reading!

Welcome to this comprehensive Cloth Nappy Guideline. Below you will find:

Cloth Nappy awareness is on the rise in Australia thanks to some important university research and a huge change in eco-consciousness among parents. Last month, the Australian Nappy Association (ANA) was launched by some passionate business women to unify and grow the nappy industry. This comes on the back of two landmark studies on the environmental impact of disposable and cloth nappies. One in 2008 by the UK Environmental Protection Agency and one in 2009 by the QLD university School of Engineering.

Local Councils throughout Australia are also getting on board supporting cloth nappy libraries and even subsidies in some cases, to acknowledge the waste reduction that can result in their local communities. Nappies are becoming serious business.

Meanwhile, in the home, parents are discovering that cloth nappies are a joy to use, saving them thousands of dollars and ending the urban myth that they are hard work. Cloth Nappies are also pretty cool fashion statement with many companies producing seasonal designs in line with fashion trends.

So if the cloth nappy buzz has not hit your parent circle yet, let us guide you on where do you start and how to set the trend in your local area. We show you how to research them, How to buy them and How to use them? We even anticipate your pitfalls and problems and offer easy solutions. If you already use Cloth Nappies, then you are in for a treat. We hope you find more inspiration and discover new facts about those niggling questions you may still have. Grab a cup of tea and enjoy this Ultimate Guide!

Whether you choose the 100% cloth nappy experience or a part-time usage, the biggest surprise for you will be the joy and deep satisfaction that comes from using them.

Using cloth nappies or reusable nappies as they are also known, bring your family huge financial savings and health benefits for your baby. These real and immediately benefits are compounded by the satisfaction of your lighter environmental footprint, a fact now finally supported by university studies and based on scientific research.

I love the look on the face of a first time cloth nappy user. Their eyes bulge wide and a passion rises in their voice, its much easier than I imagined! They are so cute! That’s easy! So how does the idea of ‘hard’ remain associated with the word cloth if the majority of Aussie parents if this is the reaction of the nappy changers?

Working Parents find it just as fun and easy to use cloth nappies as stay at home parents’ so if you are having visions of piles of washing and time consuming work, stay tuned. Its one of the many myths we can dispel for you.

Myths are easy to create. You plant an idea that people have no reference point for so they cannot disprove it and just wait a few decades for it to take hold as the ‘truth’. In the case of nappies, 95% parents have been using disposable nappies since the 1980’s so there are a lot of myths about cloth nappies perpetuated by people who have never tried them. It’s been 50 years since washing nappies was an impossible task. Memories of our grandmothers leaning over boilers or twin tub machines in the outside laundry are out dated. With the added weight of a highly successful billion dollar disposable nappy industry and their marketing machines, we can start to understand how the myth of hardship has taken hold for most parents.

Work at home mums are the driving force behind the cloth nappy industry. Inspired by the benefits of cloth nappies, modern designs, financial savings and environmental factors. The recently formed ANA believes in supporting families through education and resources as well as the provision of cloth nappy services and products. Empowering families with the ability to save money through the use of cloth is a major goal. 80% of cloth nappy retailers are run at home by parents just like you. 20% of the industry are manufacturers, wholesalers and retailers. They are run on passion more than resources and they rely on parents taking that first step of trying cloth, the conversion is natural from there.

There is no other baby activity or equipment used more in a home than the humble nappy! Yet most new parents do minimal or no research regarding the best nappy to use.

You change nappies 8-14 times a day for a newborn and 6 – 10 times a day as they grow older. Good research into options and costs will give you a lot of satisfaction and potentially save you up to $5000 per child.

Once you get interested in cloth nappies, you realise its about a lot more than the nappy!   The use of baby basics as disposable has become normalized in the majority of the parenting world. It’s not just the nappy, it is the disposable nappy accessories like baby wipes. This disposable mentality leads sway to other practical items such as disposable breast pads, swimmers and change mats. This increases the dollar value of baby basics dramatically and is considered ‘normal’. As parents, it’s time we claimed back the right to reuse products and save money for our families.

Becoming a passionate cloth nappy user is as easy as starting. Soon, the myth of their burden will be the catalyst for a small financial and environmental revolution in your own home.

The Decision Making Checklist for your cloth nappies.

Step 1: Do some research and discover what is important to you.

Step2: Find a trusted retailer on line or locally that you can worth with. You want to know you can go back and talk to them about any ‘problems’ that arise and to get solutions and support.

Step 3: Talk to all the caregivers in your home, it’s a lot easier if everyone is on board with reusable nappies.. Look outside the home for support too. Join a parent forum or contact a cloth library. Stay friendly with your retailer.

Step 4: Have a good set up at home and for when you go out so that the whole cloth nappy experience is one of joy and ease. Keep reading, we show you exactly how to do this in this guide.

If you are starting to feel nervous, that’s okay! Its new and daunting for some. Hopefully you soon feel excited about cloth nappies. Take your time, enjoy the journey and change as quickly or as slowly as suits you.

How do I choose a nappy style and brand?

All cloth nappies fall into one of two categories. 1 – Flats and Pre-folds; Which are the traditional Flat Nappies that you fold. Pre-folds are similar but have extra padding . 2 – Fitted Nappies; which are shaped like a disposable nappy and close with cloth tabs. There are lots of styles within this second category but we can get to that detail later. Both styles of cloth nappies are used, washed and reused. Once you get into the nitty gritty, you will discover words like AIO, AI2, PUL, Pockets and boosters. Discover these terms as you need to, not before you start, or you may get overwhelmed.

We have created a glossary at the end of this article ( or see link above in the index at the top of the page) that you can refer to on your cloth nappy journey. The Glossary is not meant to be read in one go! Just use it as a reference or you will get overwhelmed.

The common theme I observe as a nappy retailer, is that people buy nappies to suit their personalities! So if you know yourself well, I would use this as a starting point. For example. Are you flexible? Do you like fixed systems? Is fashion important to you? Is organic and eco-friendly important to you? Are skin allergy’s as issue? Once you know your main driver, this is your best starting point.

Questions that Help you Know What You Want

Once you start looking on the internet or at baby expo’s for nappies, it can get very overwhelming unless you know what you are looking for. But how can you know that? This is new territory for you, right? Use this checklist before you research or shop. We recommend you refer back to this short questionnaire whenever you hit overwhelm during your nappy research and decision making.

To learn what you are looking for in a nappy, number these qualities in order of importance.

  • Style
  • Design
  • Price
  • Fabric
  • Absorbence
  • Certified Organic
  • Eco-Friendly
  • Quality Brand
  • Longevity
  • Drying Time

These questions are a great starting point because they get you thinking about your priorities. If you come across a product that does not fit your top 3 ideals, move on…remember, there are over 100 nappy sellers out there and you can’t visit them all because then you will really hit overwhelm!

Come back to this list once you have researched at least 3 types of nappies. Have your priorities changed? You may be surprised by what is important to you.

PRO AND CONS OF FITTED NAPPIES VS FLATS

Flats and Pre Folds Fitted Re-usable Nappies (MCN’s)
Takes an extra 20 seconds to fold the nappy and further 10 seconds to add nappy cover. Least Expensive of all Cloth Nappies. Dry Fastest on line and in dryer. Usually Made from Cotton or Bamboo or Hemp so washing is straight forward. This also means they are 100% Natural and Breathable and easily purchased as certified organic less Manufacturing involved.Considered a little bulkier than fitted nappies but this is only if they are not folded correctly. Quicker to Put on Baby ( same time as a disposable nappy) Easier to use in Awkward Situations like the back of a car or with a restless toddler. Cost a little more but worth the fun, fashion and time saving. May have special washing instructions due to the myriad of fabrics now available. Man made fabrics wick moisture away quicker than cotton.Certified Organic Natural Fabrics and Wool Nappy Covers available but less options available in these fabrics.

I personally had 3 styles in my nappy collection. The reason is that some nappies are just better in certain situations. In my personal collection, I loved Flats and Pre-folds at home. I then used a few brands of Fitted Nappies ( also known as MCN) as my ‘going out nappy’. Certified Organic Cotton was my priority and it determined my fabric choices. I also love plain colours. I used 100% cloth and worked from home with 2 small young children.

My girlfriend was quite different to me. She loved bright colours and did not mind what fabric was against her babies skin. She had a big collection of brands and worked part time out of the house. She had 3 children. The last child was full time cloth.

You may end up with one brand of nappy that you love no matter what the situation. Or you may have a few styles for different situations like I did. Again, this is usually a lifestyle decision. There are some terrific deals out there, often called ‘Full time packs” which allow you to get a bargain when buying one brand, one style in bulk. This method suits people who have a clear commitment to using cloth and they are ready to dive in once they have found a brand they love.

If you are less clear, I suggest looking for what are often described as “sample packs or starter packs” which most retailers will offer. These allow you to trial different styles and brands. You can then decide if you want to jump in for a full time pack or keep them for a certain occasion while trialling other brands to compliment your stash.

The ‘best nappy’ out there is different for every parent. Different styles suit different babies. You can look up cloth nappy reviews on line but they vary widely so they are not always helpful. My best friend loved a brand of nappy so I invested in them but did not like them! I realised my baby had quite a different body shape and they leaked a lot for me. She never got leaks and loved them. So I traded them with another mum and got a brand more suited to my baby. You just need to get a little creative sometimes so its great to be flexible, be prepared to adapt to any situation that arises and have a small community of that you can share and swap with if necessary.

My personal experience is that depending on the age of my baby, different nappies do seem to fit better. Babies grow fast. Babies bodies change. Your lifestyle and daily routine also changes. Some babies have cherub legs and some babies have thin legs. Quality brands cater for these kind of body changes. Ask the advice of your retailer regarding the brands that may best suit the shape of your baby’s body.

If your baby has not been born yet, there are quality brands out there that can adapt to any shape so again, ask your retailers advice. They know their product best!

Are Cloth Nappies Really Better for the Environment?

Until recent university research examined this question, there has always been a reasonable question mark over the environmental impact of detergents and washing compared to disposable nappy production and waste disposal. The University of QLD lifecycle assessment study in 2009 by the School of Engineering, concluded cloth nappies has less impact.

“Overall, based on the four environmental indicators used in this study, home washed reusable nappies have the potential for the least environmental impact if washed in a water efficient front loading washing machine in cold water and line dried. “

The Four environmental indicators examined were water resource depletion, energy consumption (renewable and non-renewable), solid waste and land area for resources (cotton for reusable nappies, softwood for disposable nappies). Accounting for as many variables as possible including usage rates and washing values. When following the best practice washing regime, cloth nappies were proven to have less environmental impact.

We encourage you to read the full study in our links section below.

What is the best fabric for a Cloth Nappy?

The answer to this question depends on what is most important to you? Allergies? Drying Time? Moisture Holding capacity? If you want to have minimal environmental impact, then certified organic natural fabrics ensure there is no chemical use from the moment a fabric plant is planted, grown and processed. Organic Cotton and Organic Wool are the quickest drying fabrics. Bamboo and Hemp hold more wee but can take longer to dry.

There are some amazing stay dry fabrics that are polyester based. But if you don’t like that fabric, they may not suit you. If the function of the nappy is to stay dry is more important, then you will love them.

The answer always depends on the detail in the question, so speak to your retailer about what is important to you.
When you are ready, you can skip to our Glossary of All Fabrics Available for Cloth Nappies at the end of this article. You can also find a link to this Glossary Quickly at any time by simply using the index at the top of this article which has hyperlinks direct to the Glossary of Nappy Fabrics, Nappy accessories and Nappy Terminology.

It’s great if you can be familiar with these terms before you speak to your Cloth Nappy Retailer so you are informed before you start shopping.

How many nappies will I need?

This depends on whether you plan to use cloth full-time or part-time. It can also depend upon the brand you use. The age of your baby will also determine how many changes per day you need. Your retailer is knowledgeable on the needs of the brand they sell so they are the best adviser in this regard.

As a guideline, most retailers will recommend between 20-30 Flat or Pre Fold Nappies if this is your full time choice. Fitted Nappy quantity recommendations vary from 15 – 30 depending on your washing routine, aged of baby and lifestyle.

The amazing thing about dealing with a reputable retailer, is that they are just as invested as you are in finding the most workable and economical system for long term nappy use. So trust the passion they have in their own products.

What you need to buy if using Cloth Nappies?

The Cloth Nappy Shopping List

Flats and Pre Folds Fitted Re-usable Nappies (MCN’s)
2 Dozen
6 – 8 Nappy covers
200 Flushable Nappy LinersOptional
20 washable nappy liners
Booster Pads for Night
15-25 Cloth Baby Wipes
Nappy Soaker Agent
Detergent
1 or 2 large nappy buckets
1 x small container for used nappy liners (if you are not close to toilet for immediate flushing)
3 x nappy fasteners.
1 x Nappy Change Mat/table for home
1 x Portable Change Mat and Nappy Bag for when out and about
15-30 if full time and depending on how often you want to wash
200 Flushable Nappy LinersOptional
Night Nappies or Booster Pads
6 – 8 Nappy covers
15-25 Cloth Baby Wipes
Manufacturer Recommended Detergent or pre soak.
1 or 2 large nappy buckets
1 x small container for used nappy liners (if you are not close to toilet for immediate flushing)
1 x Nappy Change Mat/table for home
1 x Portable Change Mat and Nappy Bag for when out and about

What age do I start using cloth?

Newborn is a great time to start using cloth as it sets you up for eco-friendly parenting from the beginning and the best financial savings are to be had from day 1. Having said this, any age that inspires you to start is a good age.

Parents come to cloth nappy retailers at all ages, usually when they sick of stinking bins and rushing to the supermarket when they run out! Any age is a wonderful age to start using cloth and there are still thousands of dollars to save and a lot of joy to be had.

Some of the most successful cloth nappy converts are parents with babies at around age 3-12 months The second most common conversion age is toddlers which is when parents are thinking about toilet training. They change to cloth nappies for easier toilet training.

Parents having their second or third child are surprisingly the next group of converts. There is a myth that with more kids parents are looking for time so get disposables. In our experience, we find its more like…”omg, I don’t want to spend all that money on disposables again, I’m going cloth this time.”

How long will my nappies last?

Like most things in life, this depends entirely on the quality of the fabric and the brand you purchase. Those cheap $6 nappies may not be looking so great after a few months! The price of the $25-30 nappy suddenly makes sense when they keep their absorbency and don’t leak. Flats and Pre fold can almost claim to have an unlimited shelf life if you purchase a good quality brand and good natural fabric.

A second major factor is your laundry care. Follow the manufacturer and retailer instructions and you will get a long life from your nappies.

QUESTIONS TO ASK YOUR CLOTH NAPPY RETAILER

Why do you select these brands to sell?
Why are these nappies this price?
How many nappies do I need with this brand?
What is your personal experience with cloth nappies?
Can I have a demonstration?
How will you help me if I have problems with the nappy?
What is the product guarantee on this brand?
Do you have any testimonials about this nappy?
What is your return policy?

Cloth Nappies seem expensive?

It is one of the largest false economies there is to compare a packet of disposable nappies that will be gone in a few days to a cloth nappy that will be used many times, even with the cost of detergents, water and electricity.

The style of nappy you choose will determine how much you need to spend. You can get a set of full time, organic cotton nappies for only $200 but you can spend up to $800 on fashionable fitted nappies. The extra cost of fitted nappies is worth the convenience to many cloth users. All these costs are thousands of dollars less than disposable nappies and their accessories.

Costs comparison chart for cloth and disposable nappies per child

Cost estimates covers variation in brands. We encourage you to do your own cost comparison based on a specific brand once you have chosen a brand of nappies and accessories.

CLOTH DISPOSABLE
Nappies
Nappy Covers and boosters
Nappy Wipes
Face Wipes
Breast Pads
Change Mat
Swimmers
Bibs
Water,Elec,Detergent
$200 – 600
$200
$90
$75
$50
$30
$30
$50
$500
Nappies
Nappy Wipes
Face Wipes
Breast Pads
Change Mat
Swimmers
Bibs
*Council Garbarge Rates not included
$3-4000
$1000
$500
$250
$300
$500
$300
TOTAL COST $1000+ $6000+

Isn’t washing a hassle? I don’t want to clean poo!

Thanks to the invention of the wonderful, paper thin nappy liner which 99% of cloth nappy parents use, there is a lot less hassle for dealing with poo these days. A Nappy Liner is laid inside your cloth nappy before use to ensure you can toss or flush the poo in the toilet easily. This leaves only wet nappies to wash.

Washing Nappies are no different to baby clothes and bedding. I have timed cloth nappies to take 8 mins a day to organise and wash. While this may seem like a lot of time to some parents, it was often a joyful part of our daily routine with the right attitude. I would talk and sing with my baby and he would sit in my baby carrier on my chest as I hung nappies on the line. It was just part of our routine. A healthy happy attitude to washing as one of the many joys of parenthood certainly helps!

25yrs ago, a common gift for new parents was a nappy washing service. These are almost extinct today. Lavenderia nappy washing service is the only dedicated nappy washing service in Australia. Based in Sydney, they cater for fitted nappies and Flats Nappies which is unique. The Yellow pages list Laundries in Kyneton and Riddles Creek in Victoria as offering a Nappy Service. If you want to approach your local Laundromat, you need to check they are following the national health guidelines for nappy washing.

A washing routine at home is one that is simple and organised looks something like this.

  • Ideally wash every second day rather than every day ( not always possible in first 6 weeks)
  • Nappies are placed in nappy bucket as they are removed from bub. ( same amount of time as throwing a disposable nappy away so no extra time added here)
  • Every evening, Place Nappies in Machine according to instructions below. ( approx. 1 – 3 mins)
  • Wash Nappies in Regular Cycle using water temperature and detergent as recommended by Manufacture..
  • First thing in morning, Hang Nappies on line. ( 2 – 5 mins)
  • Afternoon: Remove Nappies from line ( 2 – 5 mins)
  • A good routine such as the night and day cycle described above is simple and adds only 5-10 mins to your day.
  • Compared to shopping for disposables, there is approximately 8 extra minutes of time per day for cloth nappy laundering.

Quick Washing Tips

  • Toss Poo in the Loo!
  • Use a Nappy Liner to make the above easy.
  • Rinse or soak soiled nappies before washing if necessary.
  • Have enough nappies so you only need to wash every second day
  • Line dry instead of the dryer will prolong fabric life
  • Full Sun will fade Nappy Patterns so turn nappies inside out on the line
  • Fabric Softener and bleach may reduce the absorbency of fabrics
  •  The Sun also is a natural bleach and will whiten nappies if minor stains are still evident after washing.
  • Check the drying time of fabrics with any nappy you purchase! Depending on your climate, you could be in for a lot of drying time. Nappies must be practical as well as cute.

Washing: It needs to be simple and organised

Nappies need to be washed every second day using a dry or wet system. It is good to give yourself a day off washing with a well organised system and enough nappies on hand. ( You can wash every day if you prefer, this way you need less nappies)

1. Wet Pail Method: You need two buckets. One for pooey nappies. One for wet nappies. Half fill your bucket with cold water; add a pre-prepared nappy soaker if preferred. After shaking off any excess poo into the toilet, simply toss nappies into the pail. ( If your child’s poo’s are too wet to do this, consider a nappy liner that you can flush in a toilet. Or – use a Nappy Sprayer- a hose that attached to your toilet that squirts poo off a dirty nappy easily into the toilet.

If you are using a the wet method, make sure you keep the lid closed and lock the laundry if you have toddlers who like to explore! When its time to wash there are two ways to get your nappies in the machine. Top Loader – empty the whole bucket into the washing machine. Run nappies through a spin cycle to get rid of dirty water, then wash on longest cycle HOT/COLD with your favourite earth-friendly detergent. Rinse out your nappy bucket with hot water and optionally with ti-tree or lavender to disinfect. If you have a front loader, you can use the same method but you will need to hand feed the wet nappies into the machine.

2. Dry Pail Method: This may be preferable if you have an inquisitive toddler in the house or have a water shortage issue.. Also great if you are the one doing the washing and may find a wet bucket too heavy to lift into the machine. A better option in terms of caring for your back! Also a great option if you are on land relying on tank water.

Sprinkle a few drops of lavender or tea tree in your empty nappy bucket. This reduces the smell that will come from a bucket of wet nappies. There are some other products on the market that absorb smells like bamboo charcoal that you can try as well.

If you are using a disposable liner, throw soiled liner in toilet and toss wet nappy into the bucket. If the nappy is soiled, toss the poo into the toilet, run cold water over the nappy, spray some stain remover on the nappy if you wish, and throw it into the bucket. Never put Pooey nappies that have not been rinsed in a dry method pail. Keep the lid closed. When you are ready to wash use the same instructions as above. Place nappies in dryer 30 – 60 minutes or preferable, hang in sun to dry.

Before using either of the above methods, check with your retailer. Each Brand of Nappy will have specific care instructions based on the nappy fabric used. There are too many types of fabric to list them all here but your retailer will be very helpful.

© Jannine Barron, Owner Nature’s Child.

The following information is to be used as a reference guide. As you scan this list of terminology, fabrics and nappy accessories, put a mark next to anything that jumps out at you! That way, you will instinctively know what is important for you.

GLOSSARY OF CLOTH NAPPY TERMS

Here is a list of the lingo you may come across when researching cloth nappies.

All In one nappy (AIO)
A fitted nappy with the water resistant layer sewn on the outside of the nappy, creating a one step nappy that is quick to use. Usually take longer to dry but liked for the one step.

All-in-two Nappies (AI2)
Similar to all in ones except the booster usually snaps in and out easily. The purpose is to ensure faster drying times and to aid the absorbency of the nappy. Waterproof outer layer and absorbent inner layer can be washed and dried separately

All in Three’s (AI3)
Three items to one nappy. A booster, the main nappy and a nappy cover.

Aplix
Another brand name for hook and loop fastener, it is just like Velcro. It is used to fasten nappies rather than snaps.

Acid Wee
It can dramatically damage some nappy fabrics so its worth investigating if this happens to you. Best to look this one up as there is a lot to say. See our reference guide at the back of this article for links to more information.

Booster
An absorbent pad made from any fabric, which is added to a nappy to increase its absorbency.

Cloth Baby Wipes
A fabric square or rectangle, usually made from flannel, bamboo or terry, that is used instead of a disposable wipe to clean baby’s bottoms. You add water or use dry.

Cloth Nappy Library
A Modern Cloth Nappy (MCN) Library gives parents opportunity to trial a variety of nappies, primarily MCN’s and learning what works for their family. A great idea when there are so many choices on the market.

A professionally laundered and sanitized cloth nappy library service (ask if they meet Australian Laundry Standard AS/NZS 4146) is vital to protect your baby’s health, preventing transmission of disease.

Contours
Multiple layers of fabric in an hourglass shape. No folding required. Fits into most nappy covers.

Cover
A cover is used over some Modern Cloth Nappies, Fitted Nappies or traditional terry squares to stop wetness from wicking through onto baby’s clothing. Covers are usually made from waterproof breathable fabric such as PUL (polyurethane laminate), wool or 100% polyester fleeces. Some people refer to covers as “wraps” or pilchers.

Doubler
Another name for a booster – absorbent pad made from any material. Place inside a nappy to increase absorbency.

Dry Pailing
A no water solution for dirty nappies. Dirty nappies are placed in a dry bucket until washing day. 24 hours max is usually recommended to avoid staining and smelling. After dry pailing, nappies can be placed strait into the washing machine. A cold pre-rinse may be required, followed by an ordinary warm wash. This method is more environmentally friendly than soaking and is useful if water shortage is an issue. Always refer to manufacturer instructions before using this method. Dry Pailing will prolong the life of most nappy fabrics.

Dryer Balls
If you ever dry your nappies in a dryer, these balls are a natural fabric softener. Pure wool dryer balls or plastic ones prevent the need for conventional fabric softeners. Dryer balls claim to cut drying time by up to 25% per load. They reduce static and wrinkles.

Fitted nappy
Another name for Modern Cloth Nappies. It is a shaped nappy made from absorbent material. Usually fastens with snaps or VelcroTM type closures, and may include or require a separate water resistant cover. Fitted Nappy styles may include AIO, AI2, Pocket or other styles.

Flat nappy
Includes traditional cotton, muslin, bamboo or flannelette squares. They are usually folded and fastened with a pin or snappi, and require a waterproof cover. Budget friendly and fast drying times are the major benefits. No pins or snappi’s needed depending on the style of nappy cover you use.

Hook and Loop
A generic name for velcro, apilix and touch tape, which are all used as fasteners for nappy products.

Hybrid Nappy
This refers to a reusable nappy cover that can have cloth or disposable insert. Hence the term hybrid. You determine if you need a disposable or cloth insert depending on your activities that day. Disposable inserts are usually biodegradable but not always. Check with your retailer.

Insert (or ‘stuffer’)
A specialised absorbent booster pad used inside a pocket nappy to make it absorbent. Usually a pocket nappy term.

Lanolin
Lanolin is the grease from sheep’s wool. It is used to help water-proof wool nappy products. The wool absorbs the lanolin which increases it’s hydrophobic properties. You can buy specialised lanolin wool soakers in various brands or use lanolin from a tube diluted in water. Your Wool Nappy Retailer will have full instructions.

Liner
A much loved accessory for any cloth nappy user. Disposable or Cloth options available. Designed to make cleaning cloth nappies easy and to reduce nappy staining. Poo is collected on the liner and you simply remove the liner for flushing poo, then place wet only nappies in your nappy bucket or machine. Disposable liners are made from flushable materials like bamboo or corn-starch. Cloth liners are usually made from polar fleece, micro fleece, polyester, wool or silk as these allow the moisture to wick through to the absorbent part of the nappy.

Longies
Knitted woollen long pants which are a also a nappy cover. They double as clothing sometimes depending on design. An outfit and nappy cover in one!

Modern Cloth Nappy (MCN)
This is a general description referring to any pre-shaped nappy that involves little or no pinning or folding. They include nappies like AIO,AI2 and pockets.

Nappy Bucket Deodoriser
Various Brands Available. Designed for Nappy Buckets. Absorbs strong odours.

Nappy cover (wrap)
A shaped water resistant cover which goes over a fitted or flat nappy to make it waterproof. Fabrics may be fleece, PUL or Wool.

Nappy Free
No or Few Nappies Required! Also known as elimination communication. This is the practice of training babies from birth to communicate their elimination needs. No nappies required. Worth researching and doing part time or full time. from birth. The techniques can also be used for good toilet training at any age.

Nappy Pins
Nappy Pins are like a super large safety pin, usually with a coloured plastic top. They fasten Flat nappies and Pre folds. Considered old fashioned and rarely used. Replaced by the Snappi TM

Night Nappies
An MCN with extra padding built in or as boosters to help a cloth nappy last all night. Bulkier but prevents night changes

OSFM
One Size Fits Most.

OSFA
One Size Fits All

Pail Liner
Is a large waterproof bag that sits in side a nappy pail, allowing you to remove your soiled nappies with ease from a nappy bucket.

Pilchers
Sometimes this is used as a name for any nappy cover. Usually refers to the old style of nappy covers. PVC Non-breathing plastic pants used to cover fitted or terry flat nappies. Not recommended these days but still available for purchase in some supermarkets for about 50cents each. They are virtually disposable as they do not last very long. They tear easily.

Prefold
Similar to a flat nappy with a thicker pad in the middle. Can be used as a newborn nappy and then a booster pad later on. Can be fastened with pins or snappi and requires a waterproof cover.

Pocket nappy
A shaped nappy made from an outer water resistant layer, and in inner stay dry layer. A pocket opening at one or both ends allowing the absorbent material to be ‘stuffed’ inside the nappy.

Poppers
This refers to a type of nappy closure. Looks like a button but is easily fastened and unfastened.

PUL Polyurethane laminate
You can say this as either P-U-L, or Pull). PUL is a soft clear coating of polyurethane that is chemically and heat applied to the back of fabrics resulting in a product that is both waterproof and has a small amount of breathability. The size 1MIL, or 2MIL etc refers to the thickness of the laminate. The laminate is applied to either cotton fabric or polyester fabric.

Pull-up Pants
Refers either to Training Pants or a Nappy Cover. The latter allows you to pull on easily over any nappy. No clips or fasteners. Imagine undies with wide elastic and leg bands that are stretchy and easy to pull on.

Re-usable Nappy
Any cloth nappy. Flat or Fitted. Can be washed and reused.

Square Nappies
Usually refers to Terry Flats. See below under T

Shorties
Knitted woollen short-legged nappy cover.

Snappi
Actually it’s a brand name but has made our way into our vernacular. Snappi® is made from a stretchable plastic which is T-shaped with grips on each end. These grips hook into the cloth nappy to ensure a snug but comfortable fit for baby. Snappi® makes using environmentally friendly cloth nappies easy and ouch less! They replaced the old fashioned nappy pins about 25 years ago. A collective sigh of relief for parents!

Soaker
A knitted woollen nappy cover. They are also referred to as woollies. Short-legged soakers are also referred to as shorties and long-legged onesies can be called longies.

Strip Wash
A washing technique for when nappies suddenly seem to be less absorbent or smells. Only needed with some fabrics. Instructions can be found on line using a homemade solution of detergent. Some new products are on the market now for strip washing as well.

Swim Nappies
Fabric pants are fitted like a nappy but not designed for absorbency, usually made from nylon and sometimes with a fabric lining. Designed to keep poo in the pants, not in the pool. A great alternative to disposable swim nappies which seem to be widely accepted as standard, even though they are a product that is only 15yrs old. Babies have been swimming for a long longer than that!

Terry flats
This is the traditional Nappy that has been around for a century. A square of Towelling designed to be folded in a variety of different ways to adjust the “wet zone” and fastened by pins or snappis. Nappy covers are required.

Towelling Nappies
Usually refers to Terry Flats. See above.

Training Pants
A training pant allows you to make the transition from nappies to underwear with ease. It is not a nappy. It is a padded pair of undies that your toddler can pull on and off themselves when they are learning to go to the toilet. The padded undies catch minor accidents, giving your toddler some independence and control over the transition process.

Water resistant fabrics
Popular choices are PUL, wool, Nylon, fleece and polyester. There are new ones coming on the market all the time. Check for breathability as a feature when choosing fabric. This is vital for baby skin health.

Wet bag
A reusable waterproof bag to store used nappies in, usually features a drawstring or zip closure. Very handy for when you are out and about.

Wet/Dry Bag
As above but with two compartment. One for wet and one for dry items.

WAHM
Work At Home Mum. This term refers to people not nappies! 80% of sellers and makers of Modern Cloth Nappies are mums running business from home whilst caring for their children.

Wraps
Wraps are an old fashioned nappy cover. Lay flat and wrap around the baby. They close with by tying them on baby. Usually made from Nylon. Still available for sale in major baby stores and used in some hospitals but is diminishing in popularity.

What Nappy Accessories are essential?
You will come across all sorts of possibilities. Some are listed in our glossary.. Each Nappy retailer varies in what they provide and what they recommend.

Glossary of Nappy Accessories

Here are the basics for successful cloth nappying.

Bottom wipes, Cloth Wipes or Baby Wipes
Cloth nappy wipes are used to clean baby’s bottom at nappy time. You simply wash and reuse, just like your nappies. They are inexpensive compared to disposables.

Barrier cream or Nappy Cream
Not always necessary but useful for preventing nappy rash. The balm creates a barrier against urine sitting against babies skin for too long. Some barrier creams or nappy balms are not suitable for MCNs. Check with your retailer for suitable brand for your nappy. Some nappy creams are skin conditioners and do not work as a barrier, but as a skin healer.

Baby Powder
Used instead of a barrier cream. Dry’s babies skin quickly and provides comfort for a wet bottom if you need to whip a nappy on quickly.

Change area and Change Mat
You need 2 Change systems. A fixed area at home and a simple going out system that fits in a nappy bag. A change table is essential for good back care at home and keeping you organised. A change mat preferably has a waterproof mat underneath a soft layer for baby to lie on.

Nappy Bag
A Nappy Change bag is for when you leave the house and need to keep organised for nappy changing on the go. It needs enough compartments to make sure you are not fumbling for the basics. Be prepared and find a bag that is practical, not just beautiful. The best bag is one that best suits you and your lifestyle.

Nappy Bucket
Necessary to put your dirty nappies in at change time. Store dirty nappies in bucket either using Dry Pailing or Water with pre wash soaker. Buy a proper nappy bucket for sturdiness and safety. Should have a lid that only adults can open if you have toddlers around. A 20litre bucket is ideal as it Keeps smells in and holds a full days nappies easily.

Nappy change mist
A handy spray, you can make your own or buy one. Can be water only or have essential oils added to make cleaning baby’s bottom easier when using a fabric baby wipe.

Nappy Hose or Sprayer
A handy hose that can be attached to the toilet cistern to wash poo off cloth nappies easily. Prevents the need for wipes and liners. The only Australian Brand is Little Squirt but there are other brands from overseas. Check they will fit your cistern before buying.

Nappy wipe solutions
You can make your own natural solution with essential oils or most parents just use water. If you want something else, look for nappy sanitiser as they are sometimes called.

Wet bag
Wet bags are for used nappies when you are out and about. Usually made from PUL with zip closure or drawstring for easy handling.

Washing Powder and Pre-wash soaker
There are plenty of well-known soak solutions on the market, your decision is whether to use the natural, non-bleach approach. There are pre-wash soakers you can buy or you can use home made recipes such as vinegar, bicard or simply soak your nappies in water with a few drops of Tea Tree essential oil.

If you are using cloth nappies because you care about the environment, its best to choose a washing powder that is biodegradable and no bleach. As well as being better for our earth, non- biodegradable washing powders build up on the nappy, inhibiting absorption with some fabrics.

What Nappy Fabrics can I choose from?
Eco-friendly, absorbent, skin friendly…what is important to you?

Glossary of Nappy Fabrics

Bamboo
Super absorbent depending on the weave. Bamboo is considered a renewable resource produced mainly in China. Can take a little longer to dry than other fabrics but that’s’ because its highly absorbent.

Flannel/Flannelette
A traditional nappy fabric from last century made from 100% cotton. It is densely woven and brushed cotton. Light, non-bulky, easy to dry. The least absorbent nappy you can get but popular last century. If you ask your grandmother, she may say she used them. Rarely used now, hard to find.

Fleece
This term can refer to natural fabrics or synthetic materials. Some Fleece is made from recycled product. (See Microfleece below) Fleece can made from Cotton, Hemp or Organic Cotton, in this case, it refers to the brushed nature of the fabric creating a softer fabric to go against the skin. Check with manufacturer for breathability and fabric content.

Hemp
Feels like linen so is usually combined with other fabrics like cotton for softness. Highly absorbent but can take a little longer to dry. A sustainable fibre that is absorbent and has more longevity than most natural fabrics. Not necessarily chemical-free but likely. Check with your manufacturer for certification on Hemp Fabrics. Very little water is needed to grow and harvest hemp.

Microfibre
Usually 100% polyester, or a blend of polyester and polyamide (nylon)
The fabric is soft, hardy, absorbs well, dry’s fast. Is usually found sandwiched in between other fabrics to help with absorbency.

Micro fleece
A synthetic fabric often, but not always, made from recycled PET (Polyethylene terephthalate). It’s very soft, often coloured or printed. Sometimes sits on the part of the nappy that touches baby’s skin but also used as a stay dry outer or nappy cover. It is hydrophobic, making it wick water away from baby’s sensitive bottom and into the absorbent part of the nappy. Micro fleece is a finer fabric than polar fleece making it popular for the lack of bulkiness. A lighter weight or micro fleece used as liners or inners to keep moisture away from baby’s skin. ( Also See Fleece Above )

Minkee
A super soft modern fabric that feels like plush velour. A short fur texture. A man made 100%polyester fibre. Also spelled Minky.

Organic Cotton
No chemicals used in growing or manufacturing. Always check the company can provide certification from a recognised international body for authenticity. Ideal for allergy prone babies with sensitive skin. Highly absorbent. Holds moisture and does not wick it away from skin.

Modal
Modal is a type of rayon often made from beech trees. Modal is used alone or with other fibres (often cotton or spandex) Manufacturers claim the fabric is about 50% more hygroscopic (water-absorbent) per unit volume than cotton, colour-fast when washed in warm water, resistant to shrinkage and fading but prone to stretching and pilling.

Polyfleece
A fluffy soft fabric that is 100% polyester. Sometimes made from recycled plastic. Used as nappy cover or liner. Also commonly seen in jackets and blanket manufacturing.

PUL
Polyurethane Laminate – applied to fabric to make a moisture proof yet breathable layer. See Glossary above for further explanation.

Sherpa
Sherpa refers to any ‘brushed’ fabric. It is an absorbent terry knit fabric that has been brushed to raise the fibres and give a fluffy soft feel. Most Sherpa used for nappies has a high cotton content. Some Sherpa’s contain a small polyester content. You can also get Bamboo Sherpa, Organic Cotton Sherpa, Cotton Sherpa. The ‘Sherpa’ refers to the brushed nature of the fabric.

Soy Velour
Soybean protein has the lustre of silk making this a popular fibre for extreme softness, smoothness and lightness. Often combines with other fibres to increase absorbency. Depending on the weave, it is easy to wash, fast to dry and hard to crease.

Terry
Soft absorbent fabric covered in tiny loops for good absorbency and quick drying. Most commonly found made from Cotton but bamboo Terry also available.

TPU
TPU is very similar to PUL. (see above) TPU is bonded to cotton or polyester using a heat bonding lamination process which is said to be more environmentally friendly. During the lamination process, solvents are not used, and thus TPU is said to be exposed to fewer harmful chemicals. Whether this is true or not remains to be proven. It may be marketing talk? Fiona Ward from the ANA says “The terminology of PUL v TPU is not standardised, some brands who use a heat bonding process on their laminated fabrics still refer to it as PUL as that is the more recognisable term”

Suede cloth
A 100% polyester fabric that is very soft to the touch. It is used as the lining in nappies and wicks wetness away from babies skin. It is highly stain resistant.

Velour
Velour is a velvety fabric made from a mix of cotton and polyester for cotton velour, or bamboo and polyester for bamboo velour. It is used as a liner for nappies, or as boosters and in fitted nappies. Check with your retailer for fabric composition.

Wool
Wool refers to fabric woven or knitted from the shorn hairs of sheep (merino, lambs wool, etc.), goats (cashmere), or llamas/alpacas. Nappy covers or longies made from wool are naturally durable, breathable and water resistant. They are excellent for night time due to wicking ability.

Wool is the only natural fibre that is super absorbent. There are nappies made from wool now, but its commonly known as a great nappy cover. Also called a Soaker (a Wool Cover) or Longies (a Cover with extended pant legs) Can be loose knit or felted. Some need hand washing, some are pre shrunk and can go strait in the wash. Always check with your retailer. Wool allows you to go for days without being washed if felted as it just doesn’t seem to get wet (think sheep standing in the rain!)

REFERENCES and Recommended Reading.

1. LIFE CYCLE ASSESSMENT: REUSABLE AND DISPOSABLE NAPPIES IN AUSTRALIA
http://s3.amazonaws.com/zanran_storage/www.crdc.com.au/ContentPages/44777470.pdf

2. UK NAPPY STUDY
https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/291130/scho0808boir-e-e.pdf

3. 2008 UK nappy life cycle assessment
https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/291132/scho0808bois-e-e.pdf

4. The Australian Nappy Association
http://www.australiannappyassociation.org.au/

5. Nappy Laundering
http://nappylaunderingaustralia.weebly.com/

6. WAHM – If you like the idea of beinga work at home mum. This site offers an on line forum and support
http://www.wahm.com.au/

7. One of the first Health Studies I ever found 15 years ago was this study. It still amazes me that there is not more public awareness of this
http://adc.bmj.com/content/83/4/364.full

8. Participate in the next Gusiness Book of Records attempt
https://www.facebook.com/greatclothdiaperchange

9. University of Ohio “ the diaper decision. Not a clear issue”
http://www.mindfully.org/Plastic/Diaper-Not-Clear.htm

10. Charity that collects unused disposable nappies.
http://www.thenappycollective.com/

11. Cloth Nappy reviews and awards
https://www.facebook.com/ClothNappyAwards

12. Disposable nappies, are they stinking up our planet?
http://www.australianscience.com.au/environmental-science/disposable-nappies-are-they-stinking-up-our-planet/

13. Myth Busters http://cgmrb.blogspot.com.au/2013/10/cloth-diaper-washing-myth-busters.html?m=1

Using Cloth Nappies out of the House

 

 Easy Tips for Using Cloth Nappies When Out and About!

  • Take a reusable waterproof nappy bag for wet nappies when you are out. Or use brown paper bags or biodegradable cellophane nappy bags to store used nappies. These can be washed, reused or composted. Wotnot bags and other brands are biodegradable if you prefer to buy a brand in a box. Wotnot nappy bags can be purchased here http://www.natureschild.com.au/store/wotnot-nappy-bags-biodegradable.html
  • Take a wet terry face washer in a container for wiping bottoms. Nature’s Child Organic Cotton Baby Wipes are $9.95 for a packet of 3. This can save you a small fortune instead of buying wet nappy wipes all the time. If you prefer wet wipes, I recommend Gaia, Wotnot or Seventh Generation Wipes. View our full range of cloth and disposable nappy wipes here http://www.natureschild.com.au/store/search?orderby=position&orderway=desc&search_query=nappy+wipes
  • Flushable nappy liners are great for when you are out of the house or for every nappy change so you don’t need to store stinky, wet nappies. Flush poo in the loo wherever you are and just bring your wet nappies home.
  • Invest in a wet bag or make your own! A wet bag costs between $9 – $18 or you can make your own wet bag. It needs to have a zip or cord for easy closing and opening and holding in the smells and wet nappies. It needs to be easy and effortless to transport or you won’t use it! Nature’s Child Sells Wet Bags at this link http://www.natureschild.com.au/store/nappy-bags-and-changemats/baby-beehinds-wet-bag.html
  • nature-s-child-organic-cotton-baby-wipes-

HOW TO GET YOUR CHILD TO BEG TO GO TO BED by Margaret Saunders

As you know, it is not always easy getting your child to go to bed, let alone staying there and then falling asleep. Your child may be the “stay-up late, no matter what” type. You know, its ten o’clock and you’re bleary eyed but he is wide awake and bushy tailed. Or its 3 a.m. and it’s the fifth time your angel has woken up and called for you from her bed. Perhaps it seven-thirty, bedtime and your “adored one” won’t budge from the television set and lounge room. Or, all of these scenarios apply to your household or its something else and you too are drop dead tired. Sound familiar?

 

It was like this too in our house, and on top of all this one of my daughters liked to wake up at 4.30 a.m. and that was the time she expected us to start our day, and for a while we did. However, the time came when all this stopped and I invented a fool-proof never-fail-go-to-bed-routine which also included both my daughters falling asleep fast! Yes, a dream come true – for us all!

 

It did take a while, but not forever, and it did happen and now daughter number 2 who is 7 goes to bed happily at 6.00 p.m. and is asleep by 7.00 p.m. without a fuss and her older sister who is nearly 11 goes to bed at 7.30 pm. and is asleep by 8.30 p.m. Night after night after night!! I have the philosophy that there is no guarantee that I will have my daughters tomorrow. Things can happen. Just as life is given to us it can be taken away. I use the attitude that this day may be the last I have with them, and that this night may be the last one that I put them to bed. And that if this is the last night I have with them, well I want them to have bedtime bliss and fun at bedtime.

 

When I wake up I want to remember that the last moment I had with them was a happy one. So with this in mind, I make going to bed fun. Sometimes there is a treat for my child by her bed. Sometimes I may do something amusing, like dress her favorite teddy in her pajamas and have her tucked into my daughter’s bed. I use a lot of humor. We all laugh a lot at bedtime, and my routines and activities are strictly adhered to over and over again and they are now embedded into my children’s subconscious minds. So if your child won’t leave the television set at 7.30 p.m. why not try horse backing him all through the house with outrageous horse noises and jokes until you eventually get him to the bedroom.

 

If it’s the fifth time your angel has woken up calling out for you why not sing in your sleepiest voice a go-to-sleep song that you have made up just for her as you tuck her in one more time. And if it is ten o’clock and your child is still wide awake and bushy tailed this is the time to get serious about considering a bedtime routine to get him into bed at say 9.00 p.m. for a week, 8.30 p.m. for the next week, 8.00 p.m. for the next week and then 7.30 p.m. for the rest of the year.

 

This takes planning and tenacity and courage, which is definitely worth while which eventually leads to the “in bed by 7.30 p.m. and asleep by 8.00 p.m.” stage and you all become wide awake and bushy tailed at 7.30 a.m. and ready for your day. When I did this for my eldest daughter the routine fell into place so well that there is one memorable night that she actually asked to go to bed early and it was a Saturday night. It was 6.30 p.m. Who were we to refuse such a request. It sounded too good to be true. And to top it all off she was fast asleep before 7.00 p.m. We had the rest of the night all to ourselves. Heaven and bliss! Until … we remembered that this was the night daylight savings was changing over and the clocks were to go back an hour. She had sort of gone to bed at 5.30 p.m! Oops! By now it was too late to change things, and we braced ourselves, and yes, she woke at 5.30 a.m. bright eyed and wanting to start her day. So we did! There were other times when she wanted to go to bed early, and that was OK with us, but, when it came to daylight savings change over we always took note of what time she went to bed. Both my daughters really adore a “go to sleep song”. I made one up and with individual words just for them. I am not musical, I do not sing well, but when I sing their song, especially at night I sing it very, very sleepily and the words are very, very sleep orientated. I cannot recommend this enough especially if your child is a baby or very young. After you have sung your own song a few times, your child will recognise that this is a go-to-sleep time and it is especially handy, if your child has woken in the middle of the night, had a bad dream, is restless or is sick. It can also be used to relax your children as you are driving in stress inducing traffic. These are just a few ideas and suggestions for getting your child to beg to go to bed. Here’s a summary Step by Step 1/ Use the attitude as if this is the last night you may have with your child. 2/ Make going to bed fun, use humor, jokes, horse-back rides or something unusual or funny on or in their bed. 3/ If your child stays up really late, start a go to bed routine, and put him to bed half an hour earlier each time on a weekly basis until he is in bed at a designated time of say 7.30 p.m. (More details of how to do this are in my manuals – see below.) 4/ Make up your own tune and add your own words and sing it to your child or children in a really, really sleepy voice when they are in bed. Please do not under value the simplicity of these suggestions and ideas which work best by implementing them over and over again. This article was written by Margaret Saunders at Bedtime And Toilet Training Solutions. visit www.BedtimeAndToiletTrainingSolutions.com.au

Aware Parenting – it may work for you!

Aware Parenting – What is it? Will it work for me?

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Parents drawn to Aware Parenting are attracted to the idea of listening to their baby’s feelings.  They believe that holding and being “present” when their babies cry, allow a baby to be fully heard and accepted. Parents who practice this, report great healing, joy and many other benefits from viewing crying in this way.

If you believe that children and babies cry because there may be sadness, grief, confusion, and frustration. That needs to be “heard” then the journey of aware parenting will be a very fulfilling one for you.  Aware parents believe that if we can accept all of a child’s feelings, and allow, and teach children to be present with their feelings, children will not repress feelings via habitual behaviors or physical discipline. Do you believe you can help your children to stay connected to their true essence through being unconditionally loved?

Next time your baby or child cries, hold them in your arms, or sit next to them, and just be. Do not be distracted but find a way to be fully with your child and hear them. Once the crying if finished, notice your child’s behavior. Notice how you feel? When babies and children regularly laugh or cry to express their feelings, a great sense of emotional safety is created for painful feelings to be expressed.  Families will notice more connection and experience joy in seeing children get to heal from fear and powerlessness, and healing happens all round.

Aware parenting is not just about crying! It is about laughter, valuing everyone’s needs, and finding ways for everyone to get their needs met.  The more you value yourself, the more you can contribute joy and laughter and fun to your family.

Marion Badenoch Rose from Parenting with Presence says that “Babies and children who are not given the opportunity to express their painful feelings with loving support may seem contented, but tend to express less joy than babies who have been loved and supported in their painful feelings.  Babies and children who are distracted from their uncomfortable feelings may smile less, and may make less eye contact. On the other hand, as I mentioned above, when we play laughter games with our older babies and children, we also help create more safety for them to express their more uncomfortable feelings with us.  Laughter and crying both get freely expressed, and the paradox is, babies and children then become more present.  They are more aware of what is going on in the here and now, are more available for connection, and are more able to take in new experiences and information.”

If you would like to learn more about aware parenting. We recommend www.awareparenting.com and www.parentingwithpresence.net

 

 

 

A new way to think about babies crying?

A different way of looking at crying by Marion Badenoch Rose
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Often crying is seen at face value, a child cries when put in his car seat, or when picked up.  This is interpreted as “he doesn’t like the car seat,” or “he doesn’t like to be cuddled.”  But what these other parenting options suggest is that crying in these types of situations can be a way of healing from past pain.  This beholds the parent to work out when the child is crying to say that his needs are not being met in the present moment, and when the child is crying to release his hurt feelings related to past incidents.

This is the key to Aware Parenting – distinguishing feelings related to present needs – such as hunger, closeness, support, choice, play, respect, etc. – and those related to the past.  How on earth can this be done?

Distinguishing between the two is to some extent an experimental method.  Day by day, a parent can discover what their child is expressing by watching his responses.

For example, when my daughter was between 12 and 18 months old, she would protest and cry whenever I tried to put shoes or socks on her.  For months I would try and then stop when she cried, and so for that period she did not wear shoes or socks at all.  But eventually I began to think that perhaps her protests and crying were to do with feelings that were being triggered by me putting her shoes on – I imagined it might be to do with the trauma of the heel prick test at 3 days old – when the nurse pricked her heel several times …as well as other feelings related to being independent and making choices.

When you have tried meeting your child’s need in many different ways, and the crying still occurs, that might be an indication that some healing is ready to happen.

Telling the difference is not always straightforward, but knowing that crying and protesting may be about what it seems to be about, or may not, gives us parents another option to help our children.  I still love learning to tell the difference!

 

For more articles by Marion Badenoch Rose  visit http://www.parentingwithpresence.net

What is Aware Parenting by Marion Badenoch Rose

AWARE PARENTING – A Brief Introduction

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The first key is self-awareness and self-responsibility.  If we are stressed, then our children will probably be stressed too.  Finding out what we are telling ourselves, what we need, what we are feeling, and doing our own healing; all of these are essential when we want to be “Aware Parents.”

The second is asking the question – is this expression of upset indicating a present need, or is it releasing a feeling from the past?  This can often be the most tricky – most other parenting methods tell us that an upset child is expressing a present unmet need, and so do everything to stop the feeling, They believe that if a feeling isn’t being expressed, then all is well. With Aware Parenting, being present with feelings related to the past leads to true calmness, rather than suppression or dissociation.

The third is finding the balance of emotional safety and connection with the feeling.  A baby or child needs to feel safe enough to heal.  If a baby is left alone to cry, this is not safe but traumatic.  A baby needs to be held in order for healing to occur when he cries.  On the other hand, an older child might sometimes need a little distance from their parent in order to feel the feeling enough to let it out.  For each child, at each age, in each situation, there is a point at which the balance occurs and the healing can happen.

For more articles by Marion Badenoch Rose  visit http://www.parentingwithpresence.net

Attachment Parenting and Babywearing

Extract from longer article by Hugabub Owner Suzanne Shahar (childbirth educator, Doula, and mother of 4)

In our culture, there is currently a resurgence of an ancient practice called attachment parenting. Still widely practiced, mostly in non-western countries, attachment style parenting is an instinctive way of raising an infant where the baby is carried close to the parent in a sling or pouch for a substantial period of the day, fed when hungry and comforted when distressed. This method of parenting allows a busy parent the freedom to continue their normal daily routine while still able to meet their infant’s essential needs for food, warmth and security.

Baby wearing is hailed as the single most important factor in the healthy physical, intellectual and social development of infant by baby health researchers and physicians. Doctor William Sears devotes one whole chapter to the benefits of ‘babywearing’ in his book “The Baby Book”. He said in his book ‘if we were stranded on a deserted island without the advice of baby books, doctors psychologists of in-laws… you would care for your child instinctively – breastfeeding, holding and carrying your baby during the day and sleeping with your day at night.

Social conditioning has led parents to believe that if a baby is held or carried too much they will be ‘spoilt’, ‘clingy’ or ‘demanding. Modern Research reveals quite the opposite. Physical and physiological benefits associated with babywearing encourage children to feel secure and content with a solid state of self-esteem.

With modern living, the invention of the telephone and faster transportation, families spread out and nuclear families replaced the extended one, leaving the task of raising children generally to one person- the mother. Of course the sooner babies could sleep alone, feed themselves and soothe themselves the easier… and so was the beginning of denial of infancy as a time of deep dependency.

 

The famous ’behaviourist’ John Watson led the movement toward ‘detached’ parenting. Mothers were told, “hold your babies too much and later they will hold on. – Let them cry it out and they will become self reliant, hardy” – the qualities necessary to survive in a competitive world. The following excerpt form his 1938 book ‘ the psychological Care of the newborn” reveals the severity of his views which shaped our parent s and grandparents upbringing. ” Never hug and kiss them, never let them sit on your lap. If your must, kiss them once on the forehead when they say goodnight”

In one foul swipe, these anti –touch ‘experts’ denounced the womb comforts that have served babies for eons. Deprived of necessary holding, warmth, rocking and sucking, babies spent long periods hungry and frustrated, and parents turned form being a source of loving comfort to one of frequent frustration.

Anyone, who has ever been to Indonesia,  South America, Africa where these traditional styles of parenting are still practiced, would have noted something very unusual. They rarely cry and they are usually attached to a busy working parent. By age 3 or 4 these children take an active roll `in the family chores and the caring of other babies. Responsibilities we would rarely leave to our children.

Attachment parenting works because it respects the individual temperament of the child. All babies come hardwired for survival with certain needs, and the ability to give cues about what these needs are. The parents, by first being open to the child’s’

Cues learn how to read them and respond appropriately. The response helps the child feel right. He learns to cue better and parents learn to respond better. A cue giving child and a responsive parent bring out the best in each other. On the other hand, detachment parenting with its restrained responses brings out the worst in both. The child’s cries become more disturbing and parents become angrier. Baby and parent learn not to trust each other and eventually become insensitive to each other.

 

There is a wonderful website called the Marni co. collection which has an article called ’43 Reasons to Carry a Baby”. In it she lists benefit after benefit for babies who are carried and touched frequently. From lowering stress hormones, enhancing motor development, balance, co-ordination, reduced crying and colic, strengthened immune system, aides digestion, sleep deeper and learn better – these are just a fraction of the benefits for the baby not to mention the benefits for the mother.

As humans we are all born premature. We are completely reliant on our parents to provide us with life giving nourishment for many months. Providing our infants with the richest environment to grow and learn is simple matter of holding them as you go about your day. As their parent we are the only experts worth trusting when it comes to knowing what is best for our child. All we need to do is listen to our heart.

There is no place more wonderful for a baby to thrive than in his parent’s loving arms.

Suzanne is co-creator of the wonderful baby carrier Hug-a-bub and is very passionate about the reasons we ‘wear’ our babies as well as her own creations.

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10 Facts About Chlorine and 10 Things you can do about it now!

FACT 1: Dioxin is  a chemical by-product of the manufacturing of
chlorine-bleached paper, is believed to be the single most carcinogenic chemical known to science.

ACTION: 1 – Do not buy any products for your family that uses chlorine bleach. Just check the packet before you buy. 2 – Start planning now if you want to finish what’s in your cupboard first.

FACT 2: Scientists can find residue of this cancer-causing dioxin from chlorine-bleaching may be found in
products like disposable nappies, paper towels, toilet paper and coffee filters.

ACTION: Its easy to buy chlorine free alternatives to all these products either in the supermarket or shops like Nature’s Child. It’s worth the few extra cents.

FACT 3: Dioxin has been linked to endometriosis,  immune system impairment,
diabetes, neurotoxicity, birth defects (including fetal death), decreased fertility, testicular atrophy, and reproductive dysfunction in both women and men.

ACTION: Detox and stop buying chlorine based products. Start slowly. Start with easy things like your tea and coffee, your butter and milk, your bread, your cleaning products. Once you change these simple things, you will find the rest of change easy. Change may take a year or more…be kind to yourself. Set a goal, take your time.

FACT 4: If you suffer from asthma and other lung problems, Chlorine products should be avoided as the vapors can irritate your lungs, increasing the risk of onset.
ACTION: 1 – Ask your friend or relative who suffers from asthma if the following products bring on their asthma, and share this information with them. 2 – Research a good mattress before you next buy one! Latex, wool or organic cotton are not usually made with any chemicals that can off gas.

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FACT 5: If you use commercial dishwasher powder that has appealed to you in ads where plates and glasses shine, remember that when you open the door of your dishwasher, the toxic volatized chlorine from dish detergent and tap water is released into the air.  That’s the smell that makes you step back and gasp when you open your dishwasher.

ACTION: Tri Nature Citrus Dishwashing powder is one of the products you can purchase that will not have this affect and does not use chlorine bleach but will make your dishes sparkle! Available from Nature’s Child of course! Just click on cleaning products.

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FACT 6: Most household poisonings are caused by household cleaning products that are chlorine based. Don’t get sucked in by cheap prices and fancy commercials. Just don’t buy their products. IT IS MUCH CHEAPER TO PURCHASE LESS PRODUCTS THAT HAVE MORE USES MADE FROM ORGANIC COMPOUNDS. View our cleaning products here http://www.natureschild.com.au/store/natural-cleaning-products

ACTION:  Good old water, vinegar, bi carb and essential oils will clean most surfaces! Use your search engine to look for recipes and ideas that do not include chemicals. Purchase TRI NATURE products or SONETT products found on our website. We have done the research and chosen a few simple products that cost very little and last a long time. Contact the companies and let them know why you are not buying their products. If they don’t hear from people regularly, they won’t make an eco-friendly product. Boycotting is good for your family but to help the whole planet, we need to educate our family, friends and manufacturers so they will stop using these products that pollute our waterways.
FACT 7: If you love your coffee and especially filtered coffee, think carefully before you next drink it. Studies show that forty to seventy percent of the dioxin in bleached coffee filters can leach into your coffee; dioxin. Likewise, if you love your tea, choose unbleached tea bags and leaf tea where possible.

ACTION:  Buy unbleached coffee filters or drink espresso. There are many organic and fair trade coffee and tea companies on our supermarket shelves, at health food stores and on line stores. Everything we do is  a habit, just create a new one by finding a fair trade organic brand that you love. Leaf tea has a higher dose of antioxidants and minerals. Purchase an easy to use tea pot with a built in filter making it just as easy to drink leaf tea as teabags.

FACT 8: Many White food containers such as milk cartons potentially contain chlorine bleach that leaches into the milk you drink.

ACTION: 1 – Ring your milk company and ask them if they use chlorine bleach. If they say yes, tell them you will not be able to buy their product any more because they do. 2 – If you have access to a farm, purchase milk direct from the farmer – unprocessed. 3 – Many farmers markets offer local milk. 4 – Ask your local health food store. They may know a source, even if they don’t advertise it. 4 – Buy on line.

FACT  9: Pregnant women in their first trimester who drink five or more glasses of chlorinated tap water a day may be at a much higher risk of miscarriage than women who drink non-chlorinated water. Sorry, don’t mean to be scary but I find this amazing!

ACTION: Buy a good water filter and only drink filtered water, especially if your council adds chlorine to your tap water.

FACT 10: Our skin is the largest organ in our body. Cancer-causing chemicals like chlorine found in many household items and personal care are easily absorbed through the skin.

ACTION: Check your ingredients. Use only organic skincare and chlorine free household products. Buy in bulk to save money. Check out Tri Nature Products at Nature’s Child Online Organic Baby Store or visit your local health food store for alternatives.

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Greenpeace Campaign.

Huge thanks to Greenpeace who was the lone voice on the dangers of plastic for many years. We are grateful for your voice and your impact on our children’s world.

Greenpeace actively campaign against the dangers of Chlorine. Avoid PVC products, it is so easy to phase out this product and produce safer items like toys, furniture, flooring and even window frames. Of all the plastics available, it is the most damaging but the good news is that its also the easiest to avoid. The same goes for BPA free products. Bisphenol A is a hormone disrupter and thankfully is now easily avoided through the ready availability of BPA free products. Nature’s Child was one of the first companies in Australia to educated consumers about BPA free products. We were seen as a bit of a cowboy to have this philosophy until the Canadian government finally banned the chemical in products such as baby bottles. This changed everything! It made commercial manufacturers, who denied it for the first few years, final wake up and make the change. It took people like you and me and organizations like Greenpeace to campaign to make the government listen. We are all connected in the future of manufacturing. Take a stand, make that step and let manufacturers know that you don’t want their chemical laden products. Suport business’s who only sell chemical free products. Its best for your health, its best for our environment. PVC production requires vast quantities of toxic substances, and toxic by-products are released into the environment in the process. When PVC products are burned by intentional waste incineration or in accidental fires, toxic emissions such as hydrochloric acid result. It is not necessary and YOU and ME have the power to influence this.

 

Easy Product Alternatives to Chlorine and Plastic

Unbleached printing paper and notebooks.

Eco Pens.

Chlorine free nappies.  Cloth and Disposable.

Water Filter in your home.

Chlorine free household cleaners.

Unbleached toilet paper and tissues.

Hydrogen peroxide is not chlorine bleach; you can use this if really necessary.

 

Article by Jannine Barron, Nature’s Child.

How To Choose A Nappy That Is Right For You?

How to choose a nappy? This is a short article designed to be an overview of the different styles of nappies available for Australian Babies.

There are 5 criteria to help you decide what nappy you need.

1.      Convenience: It needs to be easy to use

2.      Price: It needs to suit your budget

3.      Environmentally Issues: It needs to take care of our earth

4.      Healthy Issues: It needs to be good for your baby

5.      Washing Needs: It needs to be simple and organised

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1 – Convenience: It needs to be easy to use

There are four styles nappies on the market. Standard disposables, eco-disposables, moderncloth nappies and traditional terry towelling square nappies.

You can buy standard disposable nappies from most supermarkets and chemists. These are made from layers of paper and plastic and contain gels that hold moisture. Looking the same as mainstream disposables but with significant differences, eco-disposable brands are available with limited release at some Australian Supermarkets but primarily sold online or in health food stores. More on eco-disposable nappies below.

Modern cloth nappies have been developed over the last two decades and are now very efficient in design. Available primarily online, they are a response to the contemporary need for an easy to use cloth nappy. They retail between $15 – $40 each, depending on the quality, country of origin, fabric used and whether it’s a business or cottage industry. Some brands are one-size fits from newborn to toddler and other brands have small, medium and large sizes. They are very economical and easy to use, and can be used on more than one child in a family. Modern or fitted cloth nappies look like disposables; they have gathered elastic at the legs and use Velcro or snap closures. Velcro, snap, or pull on nappy covers can be used as well. No folding or pinning is required. Ninety-eight percent of cloth nappy brands can be found online. Before you choose the nappy, ask yourself what is most important. The fabric they are made from? The design? The price? Narrowing down this criteria will help you significantly when you are browsing. For example. Decide Organic Cotton or Bamboo only. This will narrow down your search. It gets very confusing with all the choices once you start looking if you don’t have a criteria in place!  Cloth nappies are still in the minority as a nappy of choice, but this trend is changing fast due to better designs, better information and a passionate drive from the creators.

Many people find traditional square nappies to also be convenient with practice and a well-organised system. It’s no secret that these are certainly my personal favourite. Ask your mum what nappy folds and tips she can give and share these with other mums, or else consult the internet. Terry towelling nappies are available at most major department stores and on the Internet. The Nature’s Child Organic Cotton Luxury Towelling Nappies are in my view, the best quality nappy available, the cheapest organic cotton nappy you can purchase and have the added benefits of one size fits all, easy to dry, inexpensive and more. See our YOU TUBE channel or just search you tube for HOW TO FOLD A CLOTH NAPPY NATURE’S CHILD – you will find this one minute video helpful, informative and educational. Watch the Video here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r_eBRVGf-TE

There has been a flood of “eco-disposables” on the Australian Market in recent years. Disposable Nappies that have no bleach, have biodegradable parts or that can be composted can all be found conveniently and introduced as part of your cloth nappy system as a back up. The Gently Nappy has the added benefit of having a traditional disposable shape with the majority being biodegradable. The tabs are not. Many councils will now take these nappies as part of a green waste disposal system. Ask your local council or contact us for a list of participating councils. View our recommended biodegradable eco-disposable nappies here. http://www.natureschild.com.au/store/hybrid-nappies-

Eenee Weenee Disposable Nappies have been available in Australia for over 15yrs. They are still little known but make a great disposable nappy pad that can be used alone as a disposable nappy or combined with a cloth nappy for extra absorbency.

We also love BAMBO disposable nappies. We think Bambo are a premium, affordable disposable nappy for parents. View Bambo Nappies here. http://www.natureschild.com.au/store/disposable-nappies

Remember, this article is a summary, we could go on and on but we are aiming to make this an introduction for you to discover the types of Nappies available for your baby. Once you have a feeling for a style of nappy you like, then you can delve more into that type of Nappy for your baby.

 

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2 – Price: It needs to suit your budget

If you choose a full-time disposable (or eco-disposable) system, you will need to spend between AUS$3,000-5,000 on disposable nappies for one child from birth through toilet training. Then there are accessories like wipes, bibs (WHAT ARE BIBS?), change mats and swimmers, which are an added cost.

Fitted-Cloth nappies for the same period for one baby will generally cost approximately AU$400-800; these nappies can sometimes be used on second and third children too!

Square nappies that you fold in terry towelling, muslin or flannelette cost under $200 to set up in the beginning. You have on-going costs of nappy liners, fasteners and covers but these are minimal.

Environmentally friendly washing powders and nappy soak costs approximately $120/ year. Environmentally-safe washing products are surprisingly cost-effective compared to their conventional counterparts and sometimes cheaper, too. Additional costs of water and electricity need to be considered at approximately $3 a week.

 

3 – Environmentally safe: It needs to take care of our earth

There have long been arguments around about cloth and disposable nappies being equally environmentally safe. In 2005, a UK Environment Agency report concluded that ’overall there are no environmental benefits to using either disposable or washable nappies‘. After a four-year study involving more than 2,000 parents, the agency found that ’there is little or nothing to choose between them‘. The findings were attacked as ’seriously flawed‘ by the Women’s Environmental Network, who questioned how the disposal of about three billion nappies each year in Britain’s landfill sites could be comparable with using washables.

Belinda de Montfort, the waste reduction officer at Kent County Council, which campaigns to persuade women to use washable nappies, even offering a £30 gift token for all ’converts‘, said she was ’astounded‘. Disposable nappies create about 400,000 tonnes of waste each year in the UK.

The disappointment from cloth nappy advocates regarding the scope of the research could be heard with a roar when this report was produced. The list of flaws was longer than the terms of reference. Environmentalists agree that there still has not been a worthy report looking at this issue with complete accountability or independence to give us an accurate picture. A packet of disposable nappies may use similar or less resources than a set of cloth nappies to make. But if you need to buy three years of packets, vs. one set of cloth, the differences to cloth advocates seem too obvious to mention.

Until an independent study is undertaken that looks at all factors, you need to use your own intuition and what facts you have on waste, cost, health and landfill.

If you choose a conventional or eco-disposable nappy, make sure you follow the instructions on the packet and don’t throw the poo away with the nappy. Raw sewerage in our landfill is a health hazard and is illegal. While disposable nappy companies take care in telling you this in their instructions, the design of the nappy means it is more likely people will throw the whole nappy with undisposed poo away in the bin. Untreated sewerage is a health hazard.

Please read our article Responsible Use of Disposable Nappies to learn more about this topic.

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4 – Healthy: It needs to be good for your baby

The main issue with nappies that people fear is nappy rash. Nappy rash is primarily caused by an acidic diet or skin trapped by warmth and wet. Speak to your naturopath for advice on your diet and give your baby lots of nappy free time (see sidebar). See belowWhen using cloth nappies, use a cloth or disposable nappy liner that absorbs the wetness away from baby’s skin or a compostable disposable nappy liner that will protect their skin and also ease the mess at change time.

If your baby regularly gets a rash in a disposable nappy, it could be chemical burn or other reaction to the bleach and gels in disposable nappies. Many parents put up with this thinking it is nappy rash but our babies sensitive skin can react to these ingredients. Try an eco-disposable. They use a lot less gels and cloth nappies have no gels at all. Many parents who switch to cloth report an instant improvement in their babies skin condition.

Another reason babies may have nappy rash, is due to a digestion issue. See your naturopath for assistance with nappy rash that seems more dramatic than normal. To try our world famous certified organic bottom balm. Click here. http://www.natureschild.com.au/store/lotions-and-oils/nature-s-child-bottom-balm-50ml.html

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5 – Washing: It needs to be simple and organised

The big appeal of disposable nappies is no washing. The action of taking a fresh, clean nappy out of a packet, using it, throwing it away and grabbing another one equally neat and clean when you are ready is very seductive. When it comes to throwing them away however, the horror of a full and smelly nappy bin may not impress you at all. Many councils are now reducing their pickups to fortnightly as well which is creating a longer lasting stench in wheelie bins. This experience has led many parents to wonder, how bad is it washing nappies? The fear and hassle about this chore has been so blown out of proportion over the years that simple help instructions are now required to assist parents. We mentioned above that some councils have green bin waste for disposable nappies, but only for two brands that we know of when this article went to press. Gently and Eenee Nappies are the only nappies approved for Green Waste Disposal in Australia. View both these nappies here. http://www.natureschild.com.au/store/hybrid-nappies-

 

So here is the good news – it is simple to wash cloth nappies. Read our other nappy articles to learn how to wash nappies with ease. For now…here is a little bit of information.

Cloth nappies need to be washed every day or every second day using a dry or wet system. You can have a day off washing if you have a well-organised system and enough nappies on hand. Bleach products have traditionally been used to whiten nappies when soaking, if you are concerned about environmental impact, it is not suggested you use whitening products. Bleach is a dioxin that is a major cause of animal and soil chemical contamination. Modern cloth nappies are less likely to require bleach and there are many environmentally-safe and cost-effective soakers available online and in health food stores. We recommend Tri Nature Pre Wash Soaker as the best, Australian Made, Eco-friendly detergent and Pre Wash Soaker for Australian Nappies.

We recommend our ULTIMATE NAPPY PACK which gives you a variety of Nappy styles to try. Mention that you have read this blog and we will include 1 x FREE pkt of eco-disposable nappies for you as well at no extra cost. View our ULTIMATE NAPPY PACK here http://www.natureschild.com.au/store/search?orderby=position&orderway=desc&search_query=ultimate+nappy+pack

 

 

Babies – Temperature and Clothing

Until a child is at least 14, they should not be left unaided to make choices in how warmly they dress according to Lisa Romero, Anthroposophical Healer and Teacher. Romero recommends Children need to be thought of as ONIONS! They need LOTS of LAYERS.

A baby is born without physical protection; they begin their life dependent on the care of their parent. It is vital that a hat and shoes (beanie and booties) are placed on a baby upon arrival into the world and daily until the toddler years. Their body is learning from this very young age to balance heat and cold. As your child grows, s/he has to re-establish warmth if they are to grow as a full and healthy person. This sense of balance is one of the foundation senses that are acquired gradually during the first seven years of life. Often when the child says they don't want to wear a cardigan/singlet/long pants/long- sleeved top they are saying it from their sense of life. That is, they may not like the "feel" on their skin or the sensation of something around their neck.

Adults need to take responsibility to help a child dress appropriately for the weather. For the child under 7 it is vital they are kept warm, this is when they are working with the development of their organs.
 

Two points to consider when dressing your child for these winter days are:

1 Layers of clothing - Undergarments: singlet and tights. We often see children running around with bare backs and tummies. The region of the liver and kidneys so these organs need warmth.

2 – Fabrics - Are they wearing natural fibres or synthetic fabrics? The skin is an organ, the outer boundary of the body. It continuously has a relationship with the body and the surroundings. It needs to be able to breath and it is the organ that constantly experiences the sense of touch. Touch is also a foundation sense that is important to the first seven years.

This may support you in considering why it would be beneficial to choose natural organic fibres rather than synthetics where possible. Clothing has become about fashion more than health. The power is in your hands as the parent for as many years as possible to be practical more than fashionable. Take charge in this area for as long as possible to give your child a healthy start more than a fashionable one.