Boutique Bummis

The art of being parents…naturally!

From theory to practice! Being a pregnant doula. By Natasha

Natasha works at Boutique Bummis. Her first baby is due for the end of August.

My first thought when I was asked to write a blurb about how it feels to be pregnant being a doula was how I am not different than other first-time moms. I am also not a seasoned doula, I have only followed a couple of women but not that many, so I have done the training but in many ways that is it. Yes, I do have lots of information as to what is normal but at the same time everything is new. I, like probably many of you, spend endless hours googling random questions that pop into my mind.

There were a couple of things that did relatively surprise me and I will share those.  I am warning that I will be blunt as to bodily functions so if someone does not want to hear/ know about them, they can decide to stop reading. But our bodies are wonderful and there is nothing shameful about this whole process. I think it is important to be real with each other as to see that it is normal for certain things to happen.

The first thing that I was surprised about was my self view as a pregnant woman was that I always thought that pregnant women looked glorious and so voluptuous (as we are!). But there are so many changes that it is hard to wrap one’s mind around our ever changing bodies. I am small framed and I was aware that I would gain weight and that my body would change. But I was not prepared to shop for new underwear since my thighs are huge compared to what they were, and there is the ever lingering thought that will I never feel normal again. Sometimes I have to remember that being pregnant is not forever and is only for a small amount of time.

In this line of subject, I had never spent as much time thinking about my bikini line as I have being pregnant. In many ways I don’t really care what goes on down there but I have always tried to keep things tidy. But when you don’t see anything, the idea of bringing scissors in the mix does not sound like a good idea. I did try once to shave blindly. After the shower I looked at the mirror and laughed at myself: it looked like a monkey or child had done the job. It was so blotchy and uneven, I said never again. So since then a forest has been – very unevenly – growing and I don’t care. I have been considering going to get waxed but I might not take the time to do that, who knows.

Vaginal fluids, there I said it. Lots and lots of it, all the time.

Little things that usually would not bother me about other people infuriate me. Here is an example: I was traveling with baby daddy and he had this tick of constant sniffling that I had never noticed before. I asked him passively aggressively if he needed a tissue, he replied no and continued to sniffle away. I was so upset with him that I wished he would just stop breathing for a bit so I could get silence. I am usually a more patient and kind person even in thought. But now every feeling is so heightened that it takes me by surprise every time.

The floor has never looked inaccessible as it does now. I have to plan my way down, and my body tells me quickly what it can and what it can’t do. But I have become an excellent floater in the pool, which I never was before, that is nice.

I think that every woman is apprehensive about labor, but I am a little afraid to be cerebral and analyze everything as this goes since I know so much about it. I, like everybody else, have to learn to let go and ride the contraction waves. I am planning on having a home birth with a midwife but I have already been training my mind to not have a set of ideas of how it should go, as no one knows and no one can predict.

A very vivid memory of my childhood was how my mom would ask me if I could pluck her chin hairs. I promised myself that I would never ever have that. Well, my body had other ideas and, when pregnant, I am certain that I could possibly grow a small beard if I let things grow, which I don’t.

There are no words to describe a baby kicking inside, it is fun, uncomfortable, amusing and weird. I enjoy every movement as it reminds me that a being who already has a personality is being formed as I type.

Last but not least, I never thought that I would already love so much this small baby that I have not met yet. It is a little scary to think that I will love him more than I do, but I know that when I will meet him and get to know him my love will be exponential. It has been fun and I am looking forward to the future and life as a mom.

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Here! Now! Breastfeeding in the Strangest Places

A little while ago, our very own MomOfThree@Bummis posted this on our Bummis.com Facebook Page: “If you breastfeed, at one point or another you have probably had to nurse your baby in places that are less than ideal… For me it was Halloween, and I was sitting on the curb at the side of hte road, in a costume, surrounded by kids on sugar highs, nursing my little pumpkin!”

What followed was a long list of hilarious and inspiring comments from moms describing the most unusual circumstances in which they’ve ever breastfed. Hey, if your baby’s hungry, your baby’s hungry. Sometimes the best place to breastfeed is HERE. NOW.

 

In 2010 Licia Ronzulli, a Member of the European Parliament in Italy, wore her baby to work.
Not sure whether she was breastfeeding, but people were nonetheless excited to see a baby in such an unexpected place, and the photo was widely circulated on the Internet.

So, where is the strangest place you’ve breastfed?

On a tractor.

At the Silent Film Festival in Topeka, Kansas! Note the word “silent” hence the need to nurse!

At my dad’s office.

Vancouver 2010 Olympics.

Marineland in Niagara Falls. My then 3-month-old nursed during the dolphin show.

During a pelvic exam at my postpartum visit.

At a restaurant while my three-year-old cousin came to see what we were doing and started flapping my nursing cover up and down so he could play peek-a-boo with my daughter.

Slow dancing with my husband at a friend’s wedding. My son was 2.5 weeks old, and he wanted to nurse, and I wanted to dance! All three of us got to dance!

During carnaval in the Netherlands, sitting in front of a bar, dressed in a costume, nursing my Pippi Longstocking.

At a hockey game amongst 3000 yelling fans!

At the circus. (Seriously).

In was in the E.R. with Gallstones and was nursing my 5-week-old while the male nurse put in my IV. Not a very fun nursing time, but I will nurse my little one through anything!

On a bench set up in between the port-a-potties at a flea market

Standing up in the viewing gallery of the B.C. Provincial Legislature as the Lieutenant Governor was entering the Leg for his throne speech.

Pirates of the Caribbean ride at Walt Disney Resort.

While baby was in the Ergo, while I was on the elliptical trainer.

During a doctor’s visit. The doctor did my physical while I had a baby attached to my boob. I still don’t know who deserves more credit, me or the doctor!

Home alone, doing an initial walk-through with 3 male movers from the moving company!

Giving out candy during Halloween and having a little girl scream IT’S A REAL ONE!!!

During a massage, during yoga class (you understand all the meaning of yoga when you are breastfeeding doing it), in the bath, on the toilet, at the restaurant (trying to eat at the same time). I’m breastfeeding on demand REALLY.

On my balcony in the snow in my pyjama shirt.

At the dentist while getting my teeth cleaned.

While having my IUD put in. My baby lost her mind during my exam and was hungry.

On an air plane, sitting between a congressman and a lobbyist.

In the bathroom at my wedding, in my wedding dress that had a corset top… so I had to bend the boning down… hence why I was in the bathroom!


Post written by Maeghan for our Bummis.com blog.

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Think it’s too hot for babywearing in the summer? My suggestions on how to make it a breeze… By Jin-Hee

People are predicting this will be a really hot summer, so what are your babywearing options in the heat? I would suggest a mei tai, a gauze wrap or a ring sling.

A mei tai is an asian type carrier which has 4 straps – 2 around the waist and 2 on the shoulders. It uses the least amount of material compare to any other two shoulder carriers out in the market, and is cool and functional and lovely!

If you are a wrapper and need something lighter, a gauze wrap is a good choice. They are very breathable, non-stretchy and super easy to manipulate. If you are expecting a baby this summer, I would definitely recommend this option.  My second son was born in August and I rarely touched any other carriers for the first two months. I had over 30 carriers in my stash and my gauze wrap was all I used!

I love ring slings! They are so pretty, compact and really quick to get a baby in and out of.  Yes, it is a one shoulder carrier, so use it for shorter periods.  Ring slings are perfect when you’re shopping, cooking, breastfeeding, going for a little walk, etc.

Remember, no matter what you do – carrying a baby in the summer is going to be bit hotter than usual.  So, stay in the shade, take lots of breaks and drink water!

About me

I am originally from South Korea, but have spent most of my adult life between London (UK) and Montreal.

I started babywearing with the birth of my first child in 2006.  Carrying a baby was not something “new” to me since I grew up seeing everyone do it in Korea. However, when I saw a woman carrying a tiny baby in a wrap on a bus after I had my first baby, I thought ‘“carrying a baby” was the coolest thing ever!

From then on, I went wild with babywearing, and soon discovered how many carriers there were out there. I loved the fact that when I wore my baby I was able take care of my son and get on with my “normal” life too.  It was also a good conversation starter on the street, in a mom and toddler group, cafe, etc.

Soon after I began baby wearing, I started up an online business selling slings. It took a while to convince local moms (in London), but once they tried it, they were all hooked.  I also gave workshops on babywearing.

Although I was already an experienced babywearer, I felt I needed more training in order to be able to teach others about it.  So I went and got certified at Trageschule in Dresden, Germany, and became the first certified babywearing consultant in the UK!

Fast forward a little to Montreal…

When I began working at Bummis, I often came across customers who, although they had a carrier, were looking for a new one. When I dug deeper, I found that often these moms already had a perfectly good carrier but didn’t know how to use it correctly.  That’s why we started a babywearing clinic at Boutique Bummis!

So, if you have a question about your baby carrier, you can just pop in during one of our clinics and I will help you as much as I am able to. The most asked about carriers are ring slings and stretch wraps, but some parents come to the clinic in order to improve their back wrapping technique, for example. I am glad to say the babywearing clinic has been hugely successful and I send a big  thank you to all the parents who are spreading the word to people who need help with babywearing!

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New Easy Fit (with minky!) Review

Let me start out by saying that when I initially heard that big changes were coming to the Tots Bots Easy Fit diaper, I was a little nervous. Ever since I won an Easy Fit in a Bummis blog giveaway, I fell in love with them and they have been one of my favourite diapers. My initial thoughts were “why mess with such a near-perfect thing?” However, I have been very happily surprised by the changes to the diapers. Apparently, near-perfection can indeed be turned into a whole new kind of perfection.

Some features that have changed:

The interior of the diaper:
The old Easy Fits were lined with two layers of fabric – one layer of rayon from bamboo, and one layer of microfiber. On the new version, the interior is made of minky. The minky interior should be far more durable, it eliminates the need for microfiber (which is more prone to stink issues) and, according to Tots Bots, it absorbs up to 20% more than the old interior and dries a LOT faster.

The elastic around the waist:
This is now wider, making for a tighter fit at the back, which keeps messy early poops in even better than before. Very conveniently, when I was sent these diapers for review I had a son at the top end of the weight range at about 34 lbs and was about to give birth and thus be able to test the diaper out on a baby at the bottom of the weight range at the same time. I was honestly a bit skeptical about how these would work on my tiny newborn girl, since the new stretchier waist gave a much more spacious fit on my son. However, I was happily surprised to find that they fit and worked on both children fantastically well. Kind of a shock to me, since I’ve always been more of a sized diaper kind of girl.

What I like about the New Easy Fit:

The wider waist and extra stretch gives a much nicer fit on a baby at the top of the weight range. Although our other Easy Fits (old version) still fit my 34lb son, they do tend to slide down off his bum and give him “plumbers butt.” This problem is entirely gone with the new version.

The minky interior is soft and stays soft even when line drying. A general complaint about diapers made of natural fibers is that they tend to get stiff and a bit crunchy when they are line dried. This was true of my older style Easy Fits. The minky is pretty much as soft as new, even after two months of only hang drying.

The drying time on these diapers is incredible! I live in Canada and was given these diapers mid-February in the thick of winter. I have been able to hang dry them every time because they dry so quickly. The actual drying time will of course depend on the temperature and humidity in your home, but at my house, when hung side by side, the old Easy Fit took about 12 hours to fully dry while the newer style dried in about 6 hours. Not only is hang drying better for the diapers, but it also saves money and energy not having to throw them in the dryer!

I like the snap version for my newborn, which was a complete surprise for me. I’m not a fan of snap diapers in general. My little girl has a tendency to be a bit gassy and the snaps on her provide a much less rigid line around her tummy than the hook and loop, so she can move more freely and get that gas out. She always cries less when wearing a snap diaper.

The look of them. The matching hook and loop and outer fabric look fantastic! It gives a much more polished look than the white hook and loop on the older version.

Minor issues for us:

The snaps are a little bit harder to do up and undo than other snap diapers that I’ve tried. It just means extra time putting the diaper on and taking if off, as well as needing to be careful to hold the fabric very close to the snap when undoing them.

The design of the New Easy Fit with snaps is slightly different than the New Easy Fit with hook and loop. To avoid having cross-over snaps for the smallest setting, Tots Bots made the front of the diaper slightly longer and the tabs slightly shorter on the snap version. This means that they fit fantastically on my little girl at just under 8lbs, but are on the last setting for my 34lb boy. They do fit him, but honestly it’s a bit of a struggle. That being said, the weight range on these is 8-35 lbs, so they do cover what they should.

In conclusion

All in all, I love the New Easy Fit. When I ask my son (who’s nearly 3) what he thinks, his response is that they’re like a teddy bear on his bum. He likes to snuggle with the minky. He’s extremely comfortable in his New Easy Fits, they absorb more than the old ones, they dry faster and they look great. What more could you ask for?

This review of the New Easy Fit was published by myself, but written by Malina, the social media coordinator at Bummis. You can find her on Facebook here.

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Our Cloth Diaper Record in Montreal!

 

What a great weekend we had for Earth Day. At Boutique Bummis we celebrated with the Great Cloth Diaper Change event, which we co-hosted with Baby Auric Diaper Service. We had 93 parents and babies gather together from all parts of Montreal, Laval, Sherbrooke, Trois Rivieres and even some coming from the Quebec City area, all to celebrate cloth diapers. It was so much fun seeing all the cloth diapered babies in the room!

While we counted down to 12:30 exactly, we read some wonderful stories about respecting our planet in honor of earth day.  We followed that with a great parent-baby yoga warm-up with Martina from StudioVie and face-painting and animation by A Painted Bouquet and Lulu the Clown. The the main event was a grand success thanks to our 3 official witnesses: human rights activist, Milton James Fernandes, Jamie Orchard from Global Television, and cloth diaper expert Lesley Everest, from MotherWit Doula Care. They were incredibly wowed with the families that attended and genuinely thrilled to be a part of our event.

 

 

Thank you to everyone who participated and braved that less-than-perfect weather to join us. We’ve been very excited to see photographs posted from around the world in the past couple of days, so we want to be sure to share favorites from our event. See more photographs on our Facebook page.  If you want to re-live the event on video, you can see also us on Global Montreal!

We cannot let this update go out without a big e-hug to all our friends and supporters. Our after-party was catered by Dolce Vita Bakery, all participants went home with amazing gift bags and 27 lucky participants also left with a rockin’ raffle prize too. In total we gave away over $15,000 of swag!  Please take a minute to look at all the generous companies below.  This event just would not have been possible without them.

 

 

Keep your fingers crossed, but once we get word from Guinness World Records about the results of the record attempt, we will be sure to post about it on the event page. All participants can then order official, personalized certificates from Guinness World Records as soon as the official record-breaking count is confirmed, but not a minute before!

Instructions to claim your certificate:

Visit: http://www.guinnessworldrecords.com/member/orderparticipationcertificates.aspx

Enter Claim ID 372250 and the participation code: jvzb4394JV.

See you next year, but in the meantime… keep spreading the world that WE ❤ CLOTH!

Love ot our sponsors:

Alca Distribution

AMP Diapers

Anoitement

Applecheeks

Baby Hawk

Baby’s Best Designs

Bébénuk

Béké-bobo

Bliss Distributing

BMB Distribution

Bravado Designs

Bumkins

Claudia’s Choices

Cotton Babies

Créations Mantoo

DBA Apparel

Directa Distribution

Dri-line Products

Druide

Feeleez

Fire the Imagination

Healing Amber

Kid Central Supply

Kidstuff Distribution

The Laundry Tarts

Le Duck Distributor

L’écharpe Porte Bonheur

Lesle-Ann Hine

L’OCCITANE en Provence

Luna Pads

Made in Heaven

Mamaluv

Medela Canada

Mothers Choice Products

Mummieslist

Natacha Silber Photography

Omaiki

Oyaco Products

Padraig Cottage

Peapod Creations

Pissenlit et Coccinelle

PuffinGear

Respecterre

Bobux

Sakura Bloom

Sheryl Shore

Signing Time

Smith Farms

Snap To It

Souris Verte

Stoney Mountain Farm

Stortz & Associates

TotsBots

Tuffo

Untangled Living

Westcoast Baby

Wrapsody

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How to Talk to a Baby Who Can’t… Talk

I was on the bus the other day, sitting next to a mother with her 10 month old daughter on her lap. All of a sudden the little girl started fidgeting and getting worked up. Her mother responded by making a gesture with her hands, opening and closing her fingers and saying to her daughter “milk?” The little girl wriggled with excitement and attached herself to her mother, who barely had time to unhook her nursing bra. Wow, baby sign language is pretty amazing.

 

Brief History

In the 1980s, two psychologists specialising in childhood development, Linda Acredolo and Susan Goodwyn, observed that babies who were unable to speak used “imitation” signs to designate objects. For example, they might sniff to say “flower”, or flap their arms to say “bird”. As a result of their observations, they came up with a system of signs based on American Sign Language, but using only basic words and no grammar. This simple language has allowed parents and babies to understand one another, and to be much, much less frustrated!

 

When Can I Start?

At the age of 5 or 6 months, when your baby begins to develop an attention span and to imitate his or her surroundings, you can begin to communicate with signs. At this stage, your baby will learn to understand the signs, without necessarily being able to respond with a sign of his or her own. Between the ages of 9 to 14 months, your baby’s motor skills will be sufficiently developed to allow him or her to reply.

 

Why Sign?

  • To allow your baby to be understood by the people around him or her, by some means other than crying
  • To stimulate your baby’s oral development, as signing will help to develop language skills in general
  • To help you as a parent to understand your baby’s first spoken words
  • To develop your baby’s motor skills, and intellectual and emotional development. It’s also good for your little one’s self esteem, as your baby will be validated for expressing him or herself!

 

A Few Basic Signs:

“Milk”

“Bath”

 

“More”

 

“I Love you”

Original post by Léa J. on the Boutique Bummis blog. Translated and adapted  by Maeghan B.

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musings on guilt and joy by betsy

On our retail store Facebook page, we have been having tons of discussions these days about breastfeeding and formula feeding! And it has brought up a lot of emotions from moms – both negative and positive. It makes me think about how even though we give lip service to the idea that a mom should not feel guilty about the choices she makes – do we really give moms the benefit of the doubt enough? Do we realize how complex the issues are sometimes around the choices women make? Sometimes a mom who doesn’t breastfeed is choosing not to because it would make her angry and resentful and bitter – for whatever reason. And she is choosing to do what she needs to do in order to be a good parent.

 

 

When my first baby was 15 months old, I became pregnant with the second. I was still nursing and didn’t really want to stop – but didn’t know anything about anything…. So I went to see a La Leche League leader who was tandem nursing her first 2 babies. After an hour with her I decided firmly NOT to tandem nurse unless I found it to be a divinely pleasant experience. She kept saying how important it was to do it for her children, and even though she didn’t enjoy it she did it anyway because it was good for them. At that point I realized that what’s good for me is good for my babies, and if I force myself to do anything I am uncomfortable with then it is an obligation and not a joy and they will GET that, even if I never allow them to see me complain – they will know that I am unhappy. And unhappy moms make for unhappy babies and children and grown-ups, and so the whole circus continues for generations. And it is especially loaded BECAUSE we are women and our bodies and boundaries may have already been compromised at some point in our lives, and thus the issue becomes a feminist and political one as well.

 

From that point on, a metaphor that I have gone back to over and over in my mind as a parent is the image of being on a plane with your child when all of a sudden the pressure drops and you need oxygen. The masks drop in front of you, and your instinct as a parent is to put that mask on your child FIRST. But in fact, you must put it on yourself first – because if you are unconscious you can’t help your child and then maybe neither of you will survive! So save yourself first. In applying this to parenting, I think it is REALLY important that we take care of mothers, and that mothers feel empowered – because if they are strong and joyful, they will pass that on to their children. I believe strongly that in this way you can actually interfere with if not break the cycles of abuse and exploitation and disempowerment that make people so cruel and unconscious! And honestly, I KNOW from experience (mine and many others) that un-interfered with birth and breastfeeding and the whole entire path of intuitive parenting can be such empowering and joyful experiences that they can help us heal our lives and families.

 

So I stopped nursing my first baby when my breasts became really sensitive during my pregnancy and it felt bad to have him nursing – and I didn’t tandem nurse after all. I re-started with my second son and nursed him until I was pregnant with my next and it started to bother me. Then later when I had my third baby I nursed him until he was 3 years old – not all day long – but in the morning, at naptime, to go to sleep, etc. I was working hard at starting up the business and gone sometimes, and the connection of breastfeeding was important to both of us. But when I stopped, it was because I simply did not like the sensation of it anymore – I felt like a mother cat getting up, shaking off her kittens and walking away. My husband was sad for my son – he said “But Bets, he’s so young!” which in retrospect we both find funny! But I knew that if I continued I would resent doing it, and that feeling would be transmitted to my son and become part of his emotional DNA and I didn’t want that. I prefer that he feel guilty about all the trouble he caused us as a teenager instead…. But hey – THAT’S another story

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Edible Ideas for Breastfeeding Moms

In spite of what we sometimes hear, there are not really any blacklisted foods that must be avoided by breastfeeding moms, except for substances like caffeine, alcohol and tobacco. The taste of your breastmilk can change depending on the foods that you’re eating, so it’s a good idea to pay attention to the foods that you’re consuming, and your baby’s interest in breastfeeding. Some babies don’t take kindly to spicy foods, dishes with lots of garlic or onion, or other foods with “strong” flavours. Trial and error is your best bet in terms of determining which foods you and your baby will find most satisfying.

The best-bet foods for breastfeeding moms are those that contain calcium, iron and fiber: whole grains, fruit, peas, beans and nuts. Quinoa is a great option as it contains iron, magnesium, phosphorus, fiber and vitamins B1, B2 and B6!

 

Quick and tasty chickpea & quinoa salad, courtesy of fussfree cooking blog

 

It’s best not to stress too much about your breastfeeding diet, you can eat pretty much anything in moderation. But to keep up your strength, you can try to incorporate good fats, particularly unsaturated fats (avocados and olive oil, for example), which will help with your baby’s neurological development. And of course, don’t forget to drink plenty of liquids! Water and herbal teas are great choices, whereas coffee and black tea contain caffeine, which is not great for baby.

 

Milk Production

Mothers sometimes worry about milk production, thinking that baby is not getting enough milk, or always seems hungry and is wanting to breastfeed too often. If you’re geniunely concerned about milk production, it’s best to talk to a lactation consultant. If you’re happy with your breastfeeding routine, but are just interested in upping the ante a little, here are some milk-boosting edible ideas:

  • fenugreek or blessed thistle (in capsule form)
  • fennel, galega officinalis and anise (in tea form)
  • raspberries
  • almonds
  • malt (you can try alcohol-free beer to stimulate milk production, or eat malt in cereal form)

Mint, sage and parsley might prohibit milk production if consumed in large quantities, but are generally without consequence if used in moderation to garnish a delicious dish.

Original post by Léa J. Translated and adapted by Maeghan B.

 

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Summer Sun: Choosing a Sunscreen

We’re experiencing a heat wave right now in Montreal. The temperature today is 32°C (90°F), and it feels like 38°C (100°F) with the humidity. And tomorrow? It’s going to be even hotter! You can have lots of fun in the sun, sure, but it can also turn nasty if you don’t protect yourself. In this kind of heat, protection is a must, especially for little ones with their sensitive skin.

Not all sunscreens are made alike, and not all ad campaigns offer a reliable portrayal of the actual benefits of any given sunscreen. A sunscreen “for kids” is not necessarily the best choice, or without any danger. It’s always best to check the list of ingredients. To help you make your decision, the Environmental Working Group (EWG) has put out a list of the safest sunscreens available in North America. These are some basic guidelines to help you make your choice:

Here are some useful tips from the EWG’s website:

Babies under 6 months should not be exposed directly to the sun because their skin has not yet developed enough melanin to keep them protected. Many manufacturers advise against the use of sunscreen on babies under 6 months of age, so shade and sunhats are a must!

Vitamin A (retinyl palminate) is good for the skin when ingested because it stimulates the production of melanin. In regular body creams, it acts as an anti-oxidant that slows the aging of the skin (not of great use to baby, but a little tidbit that might interest some moms). However vitamin A and sunscreen do not mix well. Combined with sunlight, vitamin A develops photocarcinogenic properties.

Sunscreens have either a mineral (zinc, for example), or non-mineral base. The EWG recommends mineral sunscreens, which penetrate less deeply into the skin, and therefore won’t change the skin’s composition. Non-mineral sunscreens may contain ingredients such as oxybenzone, which may act as a hormone disruptor in young children.

In any case, in the eyes of the EWG sunscreen should not be the primary method of protection against the sun’s rays, particularly for children. Best practices include wearing protective clothing, wearing hats, staying in the shade, and avoiding exposure to the sun during peak hours (between 11am and 3pm). When using sunscreen, it’s best to apply the cream one hour before going out, and then every 30 minutes once you’re outside.

And during a heatwave? Well… you might not feel like going outside at all!

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Battling Yeast in Cloth Diapers

Yeast. It’s one of those things that comes up occasionally in conversations about cloth diapering. Yeast can continue to grow in your diapers and reinfect your child after the rash is gone. Hard to get rid of? Not necessarily. In fact, this latest time that Malina had to deal with yeast in her household, she were able to keep her son in cloth while treating him and the diapers.

     
     Step One: Identify the Problem

Many rashes look alike, so it’s not always obvious to figure out what you’re dealing with. Yeast often manifests as bright red spots with bumps around them, like moons around a planet. It can look like chicken pox, or pimples, and is often concentrated in the creases and folds of the skin. Yeast often appears after a treatment with antibiotics, since they will kill both the good and the bad bacteria in the body; so if your baby has recently been treated with antibiotics, and has a rash matching the description above, there’s a good chance that you’re dealing with yeast. That being said, it’s important to consult with your health care provider to determine whether that is actually the case.

 

Step Two: Kill the Yeast!

In order to get rid of yeast, you will have to treat your baby’s skin and you’ll have to wash any cloth products that have been in contact with the skin (diapers, liners, wipes, towels, changing pads, etc.). It’s very important to address both issues in order to fully resolve the problem. Read on:

 

Part One: The Skin

You will have to apply a diaper cream at every change. You can try a natural cream that is specially formulated to treat yeast. Or, if natural creams don’t seem to be working, you may need to use a medicated cream prescribed by a doctor. It’s important to use Bio-Soft liners during this time to protect your diapers from the creams you are using, to avoid residue problems. Contrary to what many people think, it is not a good idea to apply powder, as the yeast will feed on the talc in the powder, and it will make the problem worse! You should also try to change your baby’s diaper more often, about every couple of hours.

 

Part Two: The Diapers

To properly rid your diapers, liners, wipes, towels, changing pads, etc. of yeast, you will need to switch to a more rigorous washing routine using oxygenated bleach until your baby’s rash disappears, and for five days afterwards, as follows*:

  1. Fill machine with hot water
  2. Add the maximum recommended amount of oxygenated bleach, stir until dissolved
  3. Add diapers etc. and soak for 15 minutes
  4. Wash on hot, with oxy bleach (same quantity as above) + detergent
  5. Rinse well, with lots of water
  6. Dry in the sun if at all possible (it really helps to disinfect), or in the dryer.

*Please defer to your diaper manufacturer’s recommendations if they differ from these.

Some people choose to use disposable diapers while treating their baby for yeast. If this is what you choose to do, you will still need to complete the routine described above once, and then to put your cloth diapers aside until your baby’s rash disappears, and for five days afterwards, to ensure that the yeast is completely gone. If you continue to use cloth diapers, wipes, change pads, etc. while treating your baby, you will need to follow this routine at every wash.
Part Three: Advanced Troubleshooting for Stubborn Problems

If you follow the above routine and you are still unable to get rid of the yeast, you can try chlorine bleach instead of oxygenated bleach. It is much harsher, but much stronger. Follow the same steps, but you can use warm water instead of hot if you wish.

If you have prefolds, you can try boiling them to kill the yeast. We do not recommend boiling any other type of diaper, or any type of wrap, as the elastics and PUL are not likely to stand up well to this intense process!

  
     Alternative or Additional Solutions

Some people swear by grapeseed extract or tea tree oil as remedies for yeast, so you can try one of those instead of oxy bleach if you wish. You will need to use between 20-100 drops each time you wash. You can also make a bum wash solution with grapeseed extract or tea tree oil to help disinfect at each diaper change.

Some people swear by acidophilus as a treatment for yeast infections. If you are breastfeeding, you can take it yourself and it will transfer to your baby through your breastmilk. If not, it can be given directly to your baby. This article is more specific to breastfeeding and thrush, but is also applicable to yeast infections and diapering, and offers acidophilus treatment ideas.

This blog post is the result of a collaborative effort between Malina, Shirley and Maeghan.

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