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How “Babies” (2010 Documentary) Reminds Us How Precious the Human Experience Can Be

I recently watched the 2010 documentary Babies and thought I would share my feedback. This film documents the amazing journey of the first year for 4 babies in 4 different corners of the world: from Mongolia to Namibia to San Francisco to Tokyo. We see these babies come into the world and how they experience their world as they grow and develop into toddlers.

The film has almost no dialogue, yet it tells a rich and powerful story about how we are all connected no matter how diverse our global community may be. While watching, I felt as if I was seeing the world through the eyes of a newborn developing into an infant, then a crawler, and then taking their first steps. I was reminded how precious the experience of birth and development is…if you have not seen it, you really must!

Fathers Play a Crucial Role in the Well Being of Your Baby

Dad's Play a Vital Role to a Child's WellbeingWe frequently tackle the prenatal and early parenting issues expressed by mothers and moms to be;  but it is also  important that we acknowledge the vital role that a father plays in a baby’s development.

I came across this article in The Natural Child Project and was touched by her candor and appreciation for fathers of very young children.  It only seemed appropriate to share with our readers and we hope you enjoy!

Daditude: How the Special Love Fathers Have for Their Children Cannot (And Need Not) be Measured Maternally

by Lu Hanessian

Dads have something within them that they may not realize. An intangible force that’s as powerful and as valuable as mother’s intuition. Dads don’t think of it as Father’s Instinct. And new mothers, striving to find their own intuitive voice, aren’t likely to define it this way either.

But it’s there. It’s real. It’s curiously overlooked in a culture that focuses on (and markets almost exclusively to) the mother-baby relationship. And its power and potency is as immeasurable as any love on earth.

It’s daditude.

Not an attitude or agenda, but rather a spirit of intently yearning to connect. Many fathers know they have this gift inside them, this natural longing, and this ability to realize this connection in action. And many spouses of these men recognize their unique love for their children, how they may approach a child’s needs differently, or how they may find a window into a child’s world otherwise closed to many others.

Sometimes, mothers don’t see it. Some moms feel, because of their own needs, as though they must define dad’s role for him. Some harbor unconscious fears of letting go of their own desire to be needed, to fulfill a role that may unwittingly impede space for the other parent to explore his role more fully and to flourish in relationship. Some mothers, perhaps still living their own unresolved stories of longing for an absent or dismissive father, may unintentionally create one in their spouses, projecting their expectation without realizing it, even choosing a relationship to play out an old pain.

Fathers have a profound role to play with their children, a bond to forge that obviously cannot come from carrying a baby in utero or nursing him. Some fathers painfully retreat in the face of the mother-child bond. “I’m not needed here,” some might feel. What my husband affectionately dubbed the Chopped Liver phase. He could feel the swirl of heady, mixed up emotions inside him, marinated with bone-tired fatigue and the shifting sands of marriage. The whole new world of three can bring up a lot of old unmet needs in even the most conscious parents.

What a father does with those mixed feelings, and whether he chooses to tap into those unmet emotional needs from his own youth, is what allows “daditude” to take root and grow – or what thwarts it. Just as a mother’s intuition can get buried amid the cacophony of voices warning and advising, so too can a father’s daditude go underground. Dads who feel good about the depth and authenticity of their relationships with their kids are fathers who have claimed their daditude and invest in it daily.

Daditude infuses a father’s spirit with a sense of personal, quiet confidence, regardless of circumstances, and in spite of anyone who doubts, interferes, or criticizes. Granted, it’s not easy to thrive in his bond with his child if he is being second-guessed at every turn. I remember the sullen look on a father’s face in a park several years ago when his wife admonished every move he made with their young son: how fast he pushed on the swing, how far behind their toddler he should follow, whether he should stand under or next to him when he explored the playground equipment. I watched his slumped shoulders and his sluggish gait, and wondered at the time how he got to that point in his life where he felt he must receive this burden and carry it. Where is his daditude? Can he find it under the weight of his assumed “wrongness”? How might it be retrieved even in the unforgiving shadows of blame and the barbed wires of someone else’s unmended (de)fences?

When we vie for who is right or in control or is the more effective parent, we undermine each other’s efforts at healing our old stories. Power struggles keep our truth and authenticity under the thick gauze of our childhood wounds. If mothers can make room for fathers to be imperfect too, to embrace their flaws as they wrestle to do the same with their own, parents can co-construct a strong vessel that keeps the whole family afloat on the open seas.

I think I finally awakened to the first whiff of daditude in my husband when our older son was 20 months old, and I discovered the two of them reading books behind a walk-in closet door in our bedroom. There they were, huddled happily on the carpet, with a few flashlights, ski hats, goggles, and some pretzels. “Hi mommy! We read books on da closet wit Daddy!”

In my admiration and awe, all I could muster was, “Yes, yes you do…”

In that instant, after many months of trying to carve, and on not a few occasions assert, my own Special Place as Mother, I saw my husband as a Father. Special Father. Loving our son in his own unique way. My ear became tuned to my husband’s fatherly voice. His paternal intuition, if you will. In the nine years since that watershed moment, I have witnessed the way it has redirected him home when he has been temporarily derailed by circumstance, by fear, by old stories. Our two boys have grown in the presence of it. Of him. Even on a self-proclaimed “bad” day, he takes the detours with confidence, because he has learned the power of how his daditude – his own internal compass – guides him by heart.

Copyright 2009, Lu Hanessian All rights reserved.

Lu Hanessian is the author of Let the Baby Drive: Navigating the Road of New Motherhood, an award-winning journalist, former NBC television anchor, national speaker, and founder of a unique online parent growth webinar series called Parent to Parent U . Her upcoming books Joyrideand Raising the Future are due out in early and late 2011 respectively. Her special areas of extensive study are the neurobiology of attachment and the ways that lost connection can be repaired in parent-child relationships to create optimal health and resilience. She is the grateful mother of two boys, 8 and 11. Visit her websites Let the Baby Drive and Parent to Parent U . Lu is also the founder of WYSH: Wear Your Spirit for Humanity.

Stress Free Shopping with Babies and Children? Tips to Make Shopping Easier

ShoppingAsk any parent of a baby or a young child; and it is likely they have had at least one bad experience taking their child on a simple shopping errand.   How many times have you been in a store and observed a frazzled parent trying to get a handle on a temper tantrum from an overtired and overstimulated baby or child?

We live in a world that tends to rush and operate at a hurried pace; and that presents big challenges to new parents.  What if  a simple shopping excursion can be turned into an opportunity to teach your child about the world outside our home?  I came across this article by Jan Hunt, founder of the popular parenting site: Natural Child- and felt this is something parents everywhere will appreciate.

Though it is 20 years old, this article gives very practical and sage advice for any parent of families of all sizes and ages.  It is very much in line with Rachael and Abraham’s approach to patient parenting.  Enjoy!

Ten Tips for Shopping with Children by Jan Hunt

1. Remember that children have limits. If you are shopping with children, be alert to their needs: are they tired, hungry, overexcited by the noise and confusion, or simply in need of fresh air and exercise, or a reassuring hug?

2. Remember that children are naturally curious. Children are naturally curious; this is how they learn about the world around them. If they want to examine an attractive item, please don’t scold them. Instead, help them to hold the item safely, or let them know that it can be viewed but not touched. You might say “This is breakable, so let’s just look at it together.” Even if an item cannot be purchased, it can be helpful to share the child’s enthusiasm and interest in it.

3. Shopping with infants…Shopping with an infant will be far easier if the trip is made after they are rested and have been fed. Babies and small children can become dehydrated in the dry air of shopping malls, so be sure to take frequent nursing or juice breaks.

Babies are almost always happier when carried. A sling or carrier worn by the parent provides far more comfort and emotional security than a stroller or grocery cart. A small child-proof toy can help a baby to cope with the inevitably lessened attention from the parent, but remember to stop as often as possible and take a moment for gentle words, eye contact, and hugs.

4. Shopping with toddlers…Toddlers can begin to be included in shopping decisions. Involving the child with questions such as “which of these peaches looks better to you?” can turn a boring, frustrating experience into a more pleasurable one, for both parent and child. Children of all ages enjoy and appreciate being able to make some of the product choices themselves. Bringing along juice, a favorite snack, and a well-loved picture book, or a newly-borrowed one from the library, can also be very helpful.

Being surrounded by a crowd of adults can be intimidating to small children, especially when stores are busy. Using a backpack can be one way of bringing toddlers up to a height where they are more contented. It can also prevent the common, frightening experience of losing a toddler in a crowd.

5. Shopping with older children…An older child can be a great help in shopping, if approached in a spirit of fun and appreciation. If the parent brings along clipped-out pictures of food from the newspaper grocery ads, the child can help to locate the item. Children mature enough to shop by themselves can help shorten the trip by finding items alone, returning periodically to put items into the cart.

6. Avoid the crowds. Shopping just before dinner, when stores are crowded, and parents and children are tired and hungry, can be very stressful. Try shopping in the morning or early afternoon on weekdays, or move dinner up and shop during the quiet early-evening time between 6 and 7 PM. When we can avoid the stress of crowded stores and long check-out lines, we can have more energy and creativity for responding to our child’s needs.

7. The check-out lane can be a challenge…Check-out lanes which have colorful, enticing gum and candy packages can be a real challenge, especially as they are encountered at the end of shopping, when both parent and child are most fatigued and hungry. Bringing a favorite healthful snack from home can allow an easy alternative: “That package looks pretty, but candy isn’t very nutritious. Here’s the oatmeal cookie and juice we brought.” Shopping at stores which have “child-proof” check-outs without candy can be well worth a longer drive. If there is no local store with such a check-out, you might suggest this feature to a store manager, promising to shop regularly if this option is made available.

8. When you need to say “no”…The most important part of saying “no” is conveying to the child that we are on his or her side, even if we can’t satisfy all desires immediately. It might help to say, “That is nice, isn’t it? Take a good look and when we get home, we’ll add it to your wish list.” As the educator John Holt once said, “There is no reason why we cannot say ‘No’ to children in just as kind a way as we say ‘Yes’.” And remember that smiles, hugs, and cuddles are all free!

9. If you reach your limit…If you reach the limit of your patience and energy, try to show by example positive ways of handling anger and fatigue. You might try saying, “I’m starting to lose my patience. I think I need a break from shopping for a bit. Let’s go outside for a few minutes so we can both get refreshed.” Even a few moments of fresh air away from the crowds can make a big difference for both parent and child.

10. If your children reach their limit…If, after trying some of the above suggestions, your children have simply reached the end of their ability to handle any more errands, please respect that. Shopping can wait; an exhausted, hungry, or overly-excited child cannot

Remember that all children behave as well as they are treated. A child who is regularly given our time, undivided attention, patience, and understanding will have more tolerance for a shopping trip – and any other challenging situation – than the child who must face stressful situations without this emotional support.

Copyright © Jan Hunt, M.Sc.,1989.

Photo Credit:

Baby’s Organic Nursery Product Spotlight: Diaperaps® Swim Diaper

Available for Immediate Shipment
Diaperaps Swim Diapers
We have been offering swim diapers for over fifteen years. We hope you will visit us online where it’s easy to order and we’re always just a phone call away to help you out. Our swim diapers are made in the U.S.A. and have been used by Swim Schools , Swim Parks and lots of Happy Parents.
Rachael & Abraham, owners of Diaperaps
Made in the U.S.A.        Low minimum order of $200            $5.90 each
Visit us online
or Call 800-477-3424
Why Diaperaps® Swim Diaper is the Answer
1. Our Swim Diapers have a unique waterproof lamination between the cotton blend liner and the outer layer of fabric. This contains accidents.
2. Our special design fits snugly around the legs and waist to prevent accidents from leaking. And there’s NO Velcro to come undo in the pool.
3. Our sleek Swim Diaper is lightweight. This makes it more comfortable for baby.
4. These features give parents the confidence they need to enjoy the pool or beach with their babies.
5. Our beautiful prints and bold colors will make baby the best dressed swimmer in the neighborhood.

Swim DiapersEach month, we will feature an organic baby product carried by Baby’s Organic Nursery and give you the story behind the people who create  it.  I felt it would be appropriate to launch this series by  featuring  Diaperaps® Swim Diapers- created by our very own Rachael & Abraham!

Rachael Flug & her husband Abraham, owners of Baby’s Organic Nursery, exemplify an ideal business partnership.  The couple works seamlessly together to fulfill their commitment to find the the healthiest products for babies while serving their loyal customers.  It is their passion to teach parents how easy it is to “do the right thing” for babies and the environment and go through a rigorous process to select the products they carry.  They only offer organic products from companies they know are committed to Fair Trade practices as well as Certified Organic Standards.

Rachael, who oversees product development, has always relied on her sharp instincts to make the best choices for their 3 children (now grown) and now relies on those instincts to create healthy, comfortable and environmentally safe products for babies.   She says her guiding principal to making the right choices is asking herself: “What products would I want to surround my 1rst grandchild with?”

These very instincts combined with their innovation led to the launch of Diaperaps® 26 years ago.   The Diaperaps® Swim Diaper is one of the most popular products from this line and has been been used by swim schools , swim parks and many happy parents for over 15 years.  In Rachael’s own words:

Baby Foot Massage Swim DiaperI introduced my swim diaper in 1993 and today Diaperaps offers the largest selection of infant swim diapers in the world. Most swimming pools now require infants to wear tight fitting covers for hygiene reasons. My swim diapers are the solution to a messy problem and give parents the confidence they need to enjoy the water with their babies.  Our unique construction combines a cotton blend knit fabric laminated to a stretchable waterproof barrier. Only the soft cotton touches baby’s gentle skin. Our special design fits snugly around the legs and waist to prevent leakage and is lightweight and comfortable to allow free movement in the water.

  • My swim diaper has a unique waterproof lamination to contain accidents.
  • My special design fits snugly around the legs and waist to prevent leakage.
  • My sleek style is lightweight and comfortable to allow free movement.
  • My beautiful prints cover baby in style.
  • NO VELCRO to come undone in the pool!

“Ask Rachael” & You Could Win A Fitted Organic Hemp Diaper with Organic Cover

Ask Racheal Series
We are launching a new initiative titled “The Ask Rachael Series” that is intended to reach out to new parents with questions. Parenthood is the most exciting, and fulfilling journey a person can make- but we can’t do it alone.  Every parent has questions- and Rachael Flug, who is the co-owner of Baby’s Organic Nusery has answers. Whether it is about product safety, cloth diapering, healthy choices, or just simple parenting advice- Rachael has dedicated her life’s work to raising her 3 children (now grown) and educating other parents on making healthy choices for babies and our environment.
To kick things off- we will randomly select a parent who posts a question for Rachael before March 31 on our Blog or Facebook Page and send them a free Fitted Organic Hemp Diaper with Organic Cover.
Our Hemp diapers provides the softness of a natural fiber with superior durability. It is more absorbent than cotton and is naturally resistant to mold.
All you have to do is “Ask Rachael” your cloth diapering/parenting question and you could win our popular fitted organic hemp diaper product for your baby AND have your question answered in our blog next month.
The winner will be chosen and announced on our Blog April 1- so don’t be a fool and miss this opportunity (ha ha ha)!
Back in the day (1976) when I had my first home birth, it was way before home births became popular. I used cloth diapers before there was a green revolution. And I even stopped using teflon pans before it was discovered that this coating was toxic. So I have always been just a little bit ahead of the times and the news. This doesn’t mean that I am always right but I have great instincts and I do a lot of research.
I have always tried to have my work and my values support each other. This is why I started the Diaperaps company. I developed my products out of my personal commitment to healthy, comfortable and environmentally safe products for babies. We decided to expand this past year to Baby’s Organic Nursery. So I have practically driven myself crazy trying to find the very best organic products for a baby’s nursery. I have poured over material product safety sheets and asked detailed questions to the technical staff of organic mattress and crib companies. There was a lot to consider and weigh, in choosing the right products. But I did so with this guiding principle , what would I want to surround my first grandchild ?

“Ask Rachael” Your Cloth Diapering or Baby Care Question Before March 31 & You Might Win an Organic Hemp Diaper Product!

We are thrilled to be launching a new initiative this month!  “The Ask Rachael Series” is intended to reach out to new parents and help them with their most pressing cloth diapering or baby care questions. Parenthood is perhaps the most exciting and fulfilling journey a person can make- but we can’t do it alone.

Every parent has a list of questions in their mind; and Rachael Flug, co-owner of Baby’s Organic Nursery,  has answers. Whether it is about product safety, cloth diapering, healthy choices, or just simple parenting advice;  Rachael has dedicated her life’s work to raising her 3 children (now grown) and educating other parents on making healthy choices for babies and our environment.

We Will Be Giving Away A Fitted Hemp Organic Diaper & Cover This MonthTo kick things off- we will randomly select a parent who posts a question for Rachael before March 31 on our Blog or Facebook Page and award them a free Fitted Organic Hemp Diaper with Organic Cover. Our Hemp diapers provide the softness of a natural fiber with superior durability. It is more absorbent than cotton and is naturally resistant to mold.

All you have to do is “Ask Rachael” your cloth diapering/parenting question and you could win our popular fitted organic hemp diaper product for your baby AND have your question answered in our blog next month.

The winner will be chosen and announced on our Blog April 1- so don’t be a fool and miss this opportunity (ha ha ha)!

The Holistic Moms Network Reminds Us that Nursing is Normal

The general consensus among the health community (most pediatricians, The World Health Organization, and the CDC just to name a few) is the benefits of breastfeeding your baby are clear and widely supported in the scientific literature.

Despite this, the Australian media recently reported that young women are reluctant to breastfeed their babies due to fear of public embarrassment. Upon hearing this, members of The Holistic Moms Network, a non-profit organization, launched an initiative encouraging mothers to share photos of themselves breastfeeding in public locations all over the world.

The result is this empowering Nursing Our Future video featured on the organization’s website:

Please help make our culture more accepting of breastfeeding and help mothers find the support and encouragement they need to continue by sharing this video.

List of Resources Provided by HMN

Preparing to Breastfeed

Breastfeeding: Getting Started

Breastfeeding Information and Support

Nursing: It’s More Than Breastfeeding

Breastfeeding Links

How Does Your State Rank on Breastfeeding Support?

Healthy Child Healthy World Wants Parents of Young Children to Wake Up

Healthy World Healthy Child - CHEC Creating Healthy Environments For ChildrenI have been familiar with Healthy Child Healthy World for a number of years.  This is an outstanding organization that advocates for healthy and toxic free living for our children.  It was founded in the early 90s by Nancy and Jim Chuda after their beautiful young daughter, Colette, died of a non-genetic cancer.

They recently released a powerful video to spread their message even further….please watch this video and share with your friends- even non-parents need to be aware that there are small steps we can take to protect ourselves and our families from harmful chemicals and a toxic home environment.

Purpose and Goals
Expand awareness and understanding of environmental hazards to children’s health
Help the public learn about healthier practices, solutions, and products in the marketplace
Encourage daily action and informed lifestyle choices
Create standards and policies for safer products, foods, materials, and chemicals used in the home – promoting safer options and new alternatives
Advocate for and support corporate policies and governmental legislation that protect children from environmental risks
Engage communities to make wise choices and responsible decisions so families can flourish

Purpose and Goals of Healthy Child Healthy World

  • Expand awareness and understanding of environmental hazards to children’s health
  • Help the public learn about healthier practices, solutions, and products in the marketplace
  • Encourage daily action and informed lifestyle choices
  • Create standards and policies for safer products, foods, materials, and chemicals used in the home – promoting safer options and new alternatives
  • Advocate for and support corporate policies and governmental legislation that protect children from environmental risks
  • Engage communities to make wise choices and responsible decisions so families can flourish

Potty Training Your Toddler Requires Patience Patience Patience

Potty TrainingFor those of us who are facing “potty training”  with our toddlers,  just remember you will need endless patience, a sense of humor, and plenty of time to spend in the bathroom. The transition time between diapers and using the toilet has been a source of angst for numerous families.  And I am seeing that the pressure is really on working parents now that many pre-schools and classrooms require the child be out of diapers by the time they reach a certain stage.  It seems ridiculous to give a toddler a deadline doesn’t it?  These expectations have caused many to “push” potty training- but the results can have the opposite effect.

My husband and I are facing this pressure now as our daughter is moving rapidly through toddler-hood.  We see other children her age that are successfully potty training- and we hear the comments of their proud parents (don’t even get me started on competition).   However, we are extremely fortunate that her caregivers share our belief that she will be potty trained when she shows us that she is ready.  See Rachael’s tips on Signs of Potty Training Readiness to get a better understanding of what those signs are.

We decided to adopt this attitude of patience after watching my brother and sister in law go through an enormous amount of stress as they struggled to speed along the potty training process for our niece a few years back.  They, like many working parents, succumbed to the pressure that was placed on them from their daughter’s pre-school to get her out of diapers so she can move up to the next level in the classroom with the rest of her peers.

As a result- our niece developed anxiety towards the potty and would put her little body through great discomfort to prevent herself from “going” so she could avoid the process all together.  Obviously, this increased the tension and was a real cause of concern for my her well being.

I am happy to report that after months of patiently working with her to banish her potty fears- our niece is completely trained and was able to move along in her pre school program.   My brother and sister in law have also decided they will not rush the process with their second child…they will wait until he is good and ready and rely on their parental instincts to go through this process.  While I hate that they had such a difficult time as a family, I am grateful that my husband and I were able to learn from their experiences and have decided we will not let ANYONE tell us when our daughter should be using the toilet and trust that she will let us know when the time is right. We have a potty for her- we talk about the potty- but that is all I can do for now.   We will eventually add Training Pants to the mix- but we have to take it one step at a time.

Whenever I begin to question my abilities as a Mom- I remind myself of Rachael’s last rule from her post about Potty Training: Don’t give up hope. He or she won’t want to wear a diaper forever.

Photo Credit:  The Green Baby Guide

Grand-parenting 101- Advice for New Grandparents

Becoming a new grandparent is one of the most joyful and fulfilling roles one can experience- ask anyone with grandchildren and they will likely agree.  What a wonderful gift it is to witness the full circle of life as you watch your grown children share the experiences you had when you became a new parent.   In most circumstances, grandparents do not feel the parental pressures they felt when raising their children- so they are able to simply enjoy the new addition to their family and leave the sometimes difficult parenting responsibilities up to the baby’s mother and father.

Grandparents can also play an important role to a baby’s development by reinforcing her trust in the outer world by giving them nurturing love and attention.   They also can serve as an important support system for the mother and father.  I appreciate these helpful guidelines for new grandparents I found in What New Grandparents Need to Know - Ten Suggestions for Grandparents-to-be By Susan Adcox and wanted to share with our readers.

1. Smile when you get the news. When the expectant parents share the good news with you, act pleased, even if you are concerned about issues such as finances. Be sure to inquire before telling anyone else, and let the parents be the ones to tell close friends and relatives. If the couple would like to wait a bit before announcing the news to others, respect their wishes and don’t tell their secret.

2. Let them do it their way.
The expectant parents may choose a home birth when you would have opted for a hospital, or decide not to invite anyone into the delivery room when you were hoping to be present. No matter how you feel about their choices, don’t question them. Your future relationship with your child and your grandchild may depend upon your being supportive of their decisions.

3. Emphasize the positive. Tell funny and sweet stories about your experiences with your own babies. Stories about his or her own babyhood will probably especially interest the expectant parent. Never tell horror stories about your birthing experiences.

4. Be understanding of the mother-to-be. Expectant mothers are often very centered on what is happening with their bodies and their lives. If your daughter or daughter-in-law seems uninterested in your activities and thoughts, accept that this is a natural stage. She will regain her interest in the wider world some time after she gives birth. After the birth, be alert for signs of post-partum depression or any persistent sadness.

5. Go easy on the shopping. Pick up a few minor things and gauge the reaction. Some expectant parents welcome all contributions; others would prefer to make most of the choices about clothing and equipment themselves. For the latter type, a baby registry at the local baby store or a wish list posted online is a good option. If there is going to be a baby shower, work with the parents to make it fun and successful.

6. Hold off on major decisions. Don’t make dramatic changes in your own life in anticipation of being a grandparent. Don’t quit your job or plan to move until you see how much you are going to be needed and wanted in your grandchild’s life. Don’t agree to provide full-time child care without considering the decision carefully.

7.  Do help out, but don’t overdo it. Especially at the end of the pregnancy and right after the birth, the new parents will need some assistance, but don’t do too much. The mother or father who comes for a visit and insists on working the whole time is sending a message to the expectant parents that they can’t adequately take care of their own needs.

8.  Put doubts about the spouse on hold. If you have misgivings about your son or daughter’s mate, try to overcome them. That person is going to be your grandchild’s parent. Give the spouse a chance to prove his or her worthiness in this new role.

9. Be prepared to share.
Remember that in most families there is another set of grandparents (and sometimes two or three sets!). If you’ve not been sociable with the other family, you might want to plan a social occasion to get to know them better before the new baby arrives. Use diplomacy in handling possible conflicts over grandparent names. Communicate with the other grandparents to coordinate visits. A little planning and discussion before the birth will keep the new parents from being overrun with grandparents immediately after the birth.

10. Make peace with your ex. If you are divorced from your child’s father or mother, you may need to prepare to share grand-parenting honors with your ex. This potentially ticklish situation can go smoothly if you plan ahead and prepare yourself mentally. You will probably have to be in each other’s presence upon occasions such as the grandchild’s birthday, so why not start by being cordial before the birth?

Natural Tips for Cleaning and Sanitizing Cloth Diapers

VinegarLemonOur site features a detailed resource guide on how to properly care for and launder cloth diapers; and I wanted to share some wonderful tips I found in Readers Digest on using natural ingredients to get your cloth diapers (and other laundry) even cleaner and brighter!  Forget expensive stain fighting boosters, fabric softeners and whiteners.  Save your money- these inexpensive ingredients are non toxic and are probably in your pantry.  These tips are from the article:  8 Ways to Naturally Boost Laundry Detergent

Baking Soda
It may sound like a cliché, but adding 1/2 cup baking soda to your usual amount of liquid laundry detergent really will give you “whiter whites” and brighter colors. The baking soda also softens the water, so you can actually use less detergent.

To remove rust and mineral discolorations from cotton, pour 1 cup lemon juice into the washer during the wash cycle. The natural bleaching action of the juice will zap the stains and leave the clothes smelling fresh.


There are so many benefits to be reaped by adding 1 cup white vinegar to your washer’s rinse cycle that it’s surprising that you don’t find it prominently mentioned inside the owner’s manual of every washing machine sold. Here are the main ones:

  • A single cup of vinegar will kill off any bacteria that may be present in your wash load, especially if it includes cloth diapers and the like.

Rachael’s note : For diapers, vinegar should only be added to the rinse cycle. If you have hard water, the vinegar can combine with trace minerals in your water supply and this can cause your diapers to stink once peed on.  If you have normal to soft water you can use 1/4- 1/2  cup in your rinse cycle as needed.

  • A cup of vinegar will keep your clothes coming out of the wash soft and smelling fresh — so you can kiss your fabric-softening liquids and sheets good-bye (unless, of course, you happen to like your clothes smelling of heavy perfumes).
  • A cup of vinegar will brighten small loads of white clothes.
  • Added to the last rinse, a cup of vinegar will keep your clothes lint- and static-free.
  • Adding a cupful of vinegar to the last rinse will set the color of your newly dyed fabrics.

Rachael’s Addition : Don’t Forget the Sun
Hanging your clean wet diapers outside will reduce stains and give them an incredibly sweet , fresh smell. You can air dry them in the dryer afterwards to soften them up.