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Quick & Fun
Games for Babies
Almost every minute of every day presents an opportunity for parents 
or care givers to share a new learning experience with their children. Turning these experiences into games makes life fun for both children and adults. Click on book to order.
Family Homesteading Advocate
Simple Living for the Urban and Rural Homesteader

Baby Care Information & Resources

Frequently Asked Questions about Cloth Diapering   Answers the why, what and how of cloth diapering.
Baby Sign Language - Help your baby communicate with you.
Are You Preventing Your Baby from Sleeping Through the Night? A good question! Find out if this is so.

Baby Items 
Links and Resources
Click on this link to find out where to buy cloth diapers and covers, natural fiber clothing for your baby and more!

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Natural Baby Care products

Frequently Asked Questions about Cloth Diapering 
The Cloth Diapering FAQ is straight from Mothers Nature online section of diapering articles in their Babies community.  Be sure to visit it!

I. Why Use Cloth?
1. Cloth diapering is much cheaper than disposable diapering. It has
been estimated that parents spend about $2500 on diapers from birth
through potty training. With cloth, however, diapering a child generally costs under $500; in addition, these diapers can be used on subsequent children!

2. Cloth diapers can be a healthier option for your baby. Many parents
find that cloth diapered babies have less diaper rash. In addition,
cloth diapers, unlike disposables, are all natural. Disposable diapers
are thought by many to be a health hazard due to the potentially
dangerous chemicals used to create them. Sodium Polyacrylate, which
makes disposable diapers so absorbent, often comes loose from the
diaper, appearing as small crystals on your baby's skin. It has also
been found in the urinary tract of babies and has caused severe diaper rash and bleeding in perineal and scrotal tissue in some babies. It literally draws ALL moisture away from the genital area. No independent studies have been conducted on the safety of this chemical; consequently, many parents simply do not want it touching their babies' skin and genital areas. In addition to Sodium Polyacrylate, organochlorines (chlorinated toxic chemicals) are also found in disposable diapers, albeit in trace amounts. Polyvinyl chloride (PVC), also found in disposables, has been known to cause cancer.

3. Cloth diapers are a more responsible environmental choice. Disposable diapers account for 30% of the non-biodegradable waste in landfills. In today's wasteful society, cloth diapering is one small way to reduce the amount of garbage we contribute to the landfills.

II. What Are My Cloth Diapering Options?

1. Prefolds: These are the basic diapers many people use as burp cloths and dust rags. They are flat squares of cotton folded in thirds with an absorbent middle layer. Prefolds can be pinned on and worn with pull on covers, or they can be used without pins if a Velcro diaper wrap is used.

2. Contour Diapers: These are flat diapers with an "hourglass" shape;
they can be used with Velcro or snap diaper wraps.

3. Fitted Diapers: Cloth diapers which look like disposables; they have
gathered elastic at the legs and use Velcro or snap closures. Velcro,
snap, or pull on diaper covers can be used with fitted diapers.

4. All-In-One Diapers: Fitted diapers with an integrated cover. These
diapers do not require the use of a diaper cover.

III. What do I Need to Buy?

To get started, you will need at least 2 dozen cloth diapers. Prefolds
are the most economical choice, but you probably want some fitteds for outings or overnight use. You will also need at least 4 diaper covers and 12 washable diaper liners to increase absorbency.
Ideally, you should have at least 4 dozen cloth diapers (a variety of
prefolds and fitteds), 6 or 8 diaper covers, and 12 to 18 washable
liners. This should provide enough diapers that you have to wash only
twice a week.
In addition to your diapers, you will need:
-- 1 large diaper pail
-- 2 nylon bags to use as diaper pail liners
-- 1 small nylon bag for diaper bag (or you can just use plastic grocery bags)
-- Flushable diaper liners (these are great to use when out of the

IV. What Are the Most Popular Diapers and Covers?

1. Diaper Service Quality Prefolds: Gerber is generally considered the
most absorbent, and Chinese prefolds are the softest. These diapers
generally cost about $25 a dozen.

2. Fitteds: Snap to Fits and Kushies Classics are two very popular fitted diapers. They cost about $7 each and are quite absorbent. Many Work at Home Moms also make their own fitted diapers, which they sell on the internet. The best way to get opinions on these "WAHM diapers" is to ask about them on diapering message boards.

3. All-in-Ones: Kushies Ultras and Motherease AIO's are very popular all in one diapers. These diapers generally cost between $9 and $12 a piece. Many people find that all in one diapers are not the best value, since the waterproof outer layer often loses its waterproofing over time.

4. Velcro Covers: Proraps, Diaperraps, Gerber EZ Wraps, and Bummis
Industrial Whisperwraps are the most popular velcro diaper covers. They cost between $5 and $8 each.

5. Pull-On Covers: Alexis Featherweights are the most popular pull-on
covers; they cost about $5 a piece.

VI. How Do I Use Cloth Diapers on My Baby?

Using fitted diapers is pretty self-explanatory, so this will focus on
diapering your baby with a prefold.

1. Traditional Pin Method: Lay the prefold flat, and slide it under your
baby's bottom while lifting his legs. Fold the front of the diaper in
thirds to form a "V" shape. Next, fold the front portion of the diaper
up, and bring it up between your baby's legs. Bring one side of the back of the diaper toward the front, overlapping the front part of the
diaper. Hold the diaper together with you thumb and forefingers. With
your other hand, place the pin through the top two layers of the diaper, from front to back, and fasten the pin. Repeat on other side. Finally, put the diaper cover on; make sure none of the diaper is hanging out of the cover.

2. Twist Method: Lay diaper flat and lay baby on diaper. Twist the
bottom half of the diaper 180 degrees, so that the "twisted" portion is
situated between baby's legs. Pull the diaper up between baby's legs and pin.

3. No-Pin Method: You can do either of the above methods with no pins, if you are using a sturdy, snug-fitting velcro wrap. In addition, You can do the following to avoid using pins - Lay diaper flat and fold it in thirds; place in a velcro wrap. Place wrap snugly on baby. This
method is most effective when baby is not very mobile.

VII. How Do I Store and Wash Cloth Diapers and Covers?

1. Wet Method: Fill your diaper pail about a quarter full with cold
water; add a half cup of baking soda or vinegar. If you are using a wet pail, make sure you have a locking lid, and keep it closed and locked. After shaking off any excess poop into the toilet, simply toss diapers into the pail. Wash diapers about twice a week. Toss the entire contents of the pail into the washing machine, then rinse out pail with hot water and bleach. Run diapers through a spin cycle to get rid of water, then wash on longest cycle HOT/COLD with your favorite detergent and a half cup of baking soda. Use vinegar in your fabric softener dispenser, or add during the rinse cycle. Put diapers in dryer for at least 60 minutes, or hang in sun to dry.

2. Dry Method: Put a nylon liner in your diaper pail and sprinkle some
baking soda inside. If you are using a disposable liner, throw soiled
liner in toilet or trash, and toss wet diaper into the pail. If the
diaper is soiled, scrape the poop into the toilet, run cold water over
the diaper, spray some stain remover on the diaper, and throw it into
the pail. Keep lid closed. Wash your diapers at least twice a week; take diaper pail liner and diapers, put in machine with a half cup of baking soda and pre-soak in cold water for about up to an hour. Wash with detergent on longest cycle HOT/COLD. Go through a second Put vinegar in fabric softener dispenser or rinse cycle. Hang up liner to dry and put diapers in dryer at least 60 minutes or hang in sun.

3. Washing Diaper Covers: Covers can be washed with your diapers; however, many people prefer to wash them with their baby clothes on WARM/GENTLE. Consult washing instructions on your covers and decide which will work best for you. Covers should not go in the dryer; after washing, be sure to remove from washer and hang to dry.

You can discuss more on cloth diapering on the Diapering Board at:
This article has been posted on the Family Homesteading Advocate website courtesy of Paula Bobbett of Mothers Nature website.  Mothers Nature website provides a gathering place for mothers who do what comes naturally. You'll find a wealth of articles, products,
forums and a mom-to-mom real time chat room! Be sure to check 
out the auctions where you can buy or sell mom and baby stuff.

Keep up to date on the latest diapering trends! Get a FREE subscription to Diaper Pin Newsletter. Even after using cloth diapers on all five of my children I learned some new things from reading this newsletter. You can sign up by sending and email to:
Also check out their website for diaper reviews and interviews of Work At Home Moms who make diapers and diaper covers. A very helpful site for anyone who uses or is considering using cloth diapers.

The Natural Newborn
Your complete source for natural bath and skin care products for babies and kids featuring natural baby washes, handcrafted soaps, all-natural diaper rash treatment and insect repellent.

Baby Sign Language
by Kay Green
Baby Sign, the teaching of sign language to hearing babies. Why? When? How?

I have always had an interest in sign language since knowing my deaf aunt and uncle as a little girl. I myself know a little sign for worship at church. I read about the new idea of teaching sign to hearing babies and immediately knew I would like to do that with Haley. My adopted daughter will be 1 year old on Tuesday.

I admit I did not teach sign to me 3 teenagers when they were babies. However with baby number 4 in my home with me at age 40, there are a lot of things I do differently this time around.

Sign language for babies uses a different part of the brain then speech. Studies have shown that these babies who learn sign are less frustrated because they can express their wants and needs. It also says that these babies are actually ahead, not delayed, in speech development. Babies are able to do many signs before they can speak the words.

Our babies all do some signs without us even thinking about it. They wave Hi and bye-bye. They point to things they want. They make animal signs or sounds. Haley loves to do fish lips and blows kisses, nod yes and no. When your baby starts learning to wave it is a perfect time to begin teaching other signs.

When Haley was about 8-9 months old and could wave I started showing a few signs consistently. Milk, more, kitty, all done. I remember well the day Haley got the sign for MORE (fingers tips together in front of your chest). She has always been very verbal and clear about what she wants. That usually meant yelling at you. I was working on the computer. I had a bag of baby cookies. She would have one, then come back and scream indicating she wanted another and I gave it to her. After 5 or 6 times I thought "Wow, I am teaching her to scream for what she wants." The next time she came I said "MORE?" and did the sign with my fingers. I repeated that for several times. Then the next time I did it with her fingers and said the word. We did that a couple times. Then she came up and did the sign the next time, without screaming. YEAH! Success! That was too easy. I realize how quickly she got it and started showing her other signs.

I did a similar thing for nursing. Her signal usually was to lay down in my lap or tug at my shirt. I taught her the sign (squeeze the hand together like milking a cow. Yah I Know LOL). I started using it with her before and during the time she nursed. At first she would reach up and do the sign while she was nursing. Now part of the time she will come up and do it to tell me she wants to nurse.

She loves animals so we are working on naming all the animals both in words and signs. Her first few attempts at kitty (fingers across the cheek like whiskers) were actually done on top of her head. Now she can get one finger across her cheek and she says the word also. For Big Bird, she does one finger on her nose instead of the beak motion with two fingers. It is not so important that babies do the signs perfectly but that you and she both understand.

I got a great book called Baby Signs - How to Talk With Your Baby Before Your Baby Can Talk.  It gave me some super tools and tips. I also bought the great fold out sign cheat sheet, Sign With Your Baby.

I hope this article will encourage you to teach your baby a few signs too. They really think it is a great game. Give it a try.
©2001  Written by Kay Green, author, Christian homeschool WAHM mom to 4 kids ages 1-18 yrs. Currently running and 

Sign With Your Baby Complete Learning Kit (ASL-based Book, Training Video & Quick Reference Guide combination)
by Joseph Garcia

Check This Out!
Comfy Bummy offers on their website a handy Savings Calculator
so you can calculate the savings from choosing to use cloth diapers over disposable diapers.

Mothers Nature Auctions
Great place to find diapers, diaper covers, childrens and adult clothing, nursing clothes, books and more at great prices.  Starting bids are usually very reasonable. Alot of WAHM  (work at home mom) items.