Well it has been a while actually since I used the Tide on our diapers.
I'm not even sure where the pics went of it because they have been taken off of the memory card and I don't want to track them down.

I have recently been hearing great things about Tide from other cloth diapering mamas.
I decided that I had to try it out for myself.

I bought an 80 loads box of powdered Tide from a big box store for a little over $10. I got the original scent but I had to get HE because the only "regular" kind they had in original scent was a tiny box.
I was very excited to try it out since it was so cheap!

I got home and did a load of diapers. Only a bit of extra suds in the rinse cycle and I did an extra cold wash with nothing after my initial hot wash with detergent to get all the suds out. They came out of the dryer stink free and smelling vaguely of Tide.
I thought, "Hey, this just might work!"
Oh, I was so wrong.

After having the diapers washed with Tide on Ethan for a couple of days I noticed he was getting diaper rash more frequently than usual (and he almost always seems to have a rash, we have yeast issues).
And this seemed like a bad rash, too.
I washed with Tide a couple of more times because I wasn't sure if that's what it was but I knew after the 3rd wash that we just can't do Tide. My boy is just too sensitive to it.

I got out the rest of my Rockin' Green (Classic Rock in Fresh Linen) and did an overnight soak on some of our diapers. The water wasn't too bad in the morning but I just wanted to get a head start on washing all of the Tide out of our diapers.

We are now just using Tide on our clothes and I'm even going to stop washing Ethan's clothes in it. He has some eczema on his belly that has returned (from when he was a newborn and we didn't know better!) so he must be allergic to it somehow.

So my conclusion is, if you have a child who does not have sensitive skin, Tide will work great for you! It did seem to get the diapers pretty clean. I could feel a slight residue on them after coming out of the dryer, so it must be that there is some kind of softener in the detergent itself since it's close to what fabric softener feels like.
If you have a baby with sensitive skin I would bypass Tide and if you must use a mainstream detergent then I would look into using a free and clear formula.

Right now we are using Rockin Green's Hard Rock, unscented, and things are going a lot better. We are just using it on our diapers for now so we can use up the rest of the Tide on our clothing.



Wow, where did the time go?
Every day is just passing so quickly now, I can hardly keep up.
I've got customs to work on, graduations and baby showers to go to.
Then I get the quiet moments like this, when Ethan is in bed and Mark is craftin' away in the dining room.

For the last couple of years I have had a bit of a writer's block.
I realized the other day that I am (was?) very much an emotional writer.
Words just flowed out of me when I was sad, or pissed off, or jealous.
I could drop a poem in ten seconds flat when I was so elated, so enamored.
It's now, when I am satisfied just... being, that it is harder to write.
Being content does not make for very provocative writing.

My mind used to always be somewhere else. It was either dwelling in the past, longing for something I hoped to attain in the future, or sticking my nose in other people's business.
Now I look to the future with excitement. Ethan matures every day in front of me and I wonder what kind of person he will be.
Will he be tolerant? Will he be loving? Will he be intellectual? Will he be really good at soccer?
I'm so excited and privileged to watch him grow up.
So I don't care any more if I don't write whimsical poems and political snark. None of it matters as much to me. If I dwell on things like that too long I get too fired up and it leads me nowhere.

I am totally content with being content.


The Benefits of Rearfacing & Car Seat Safety

We live in San Antonio and it is pretty much the norm to turn your baby around and face them forward in their car seats once they hit one year.
In fact I don't think I have seen any other children extended rear facing as we do.
I'm pretty sure this is because most people just don't know about the benefits of keeping their kids rear facing.

Here are some facts, taken from car-safety.org:
  • Rear-facing is safest for both adults and children, but especially for babies, who would face a greater risk of spinal cord injury in a front-facing carseat during a frontal crash.
    You are far more likely to get into a frontal or side crash than one from behind, especially ones at high speeds.
  • Rear-facing car seats spread frontal crash forces over the whole area of a child's back, head and neck; they also prevent the head from snapping relative to the body in a frontal crash.
  • Rear-facing carseats are NOT a safety risk just because a child's legs are bent at the knees or because they can touch/kick the vehicle seat.
    I don't know how many times I have heard that excuse for turning their children around: "Their legs will break if we get into an accident!" Besides, wouldn't you rather their legs break than their neck?
  • Rear-facing as long as possible is the recommendation of the American Academy of Pediatricians, and can reduce injuries and deaths. Motor Vehicle Crashes are the #1 overall cause of death for children 14 and under.

I can't begin to explain how passionate I am about this. It is so much safer to keep kids rear facing as long as possible, and I can't believe that hardly anyone extended rear faces.

Another important thing I want to note is the proper way to restrain your child in their car seat.
If they are in a 5-point harness, which is recommended for all children in car seats of any kind, make sure the"clip"part that goes up by their chest is level with their armpits. After you fasten them in make sure you pull the belt tight until there is no slack.
I honestly did not know the clip part was supposed to be up so high and I assume a lot of others don't know this either.

Something else very important is DO NOT USE AFTERMARKET PRODUCTS!
This includes little seat belt pads (which we used on Ethan's infant seat for many months until I learned better) and little car seat bells and whistles, like the toys that attach to the bar.
The rule is, if the product is not made by the same manufacturer as your seat and is not endorsed by them, then do NOT use it. Car seats are made to be "fireproof" and these aftermarket products are NOT! This includes seat covers and car seat "protectors" (that go under car seats). Aftermarket products are not tested for safety either, even if they have claimed to be.
(note: I do not know why everything is bolding now, it won't come undone.)

As for now we are extended rear facing Ethan in his Britax Marathon, which will allow him to rear face until 35 lbs, but we are going to start saving up to buy the Radian XTSL which rear faces until 45 lbs!

Addendum (8.19.2011): He is still rearfacing at 3 y/o and 35 lbs but we went with a Complete Air car seat which will rearface until he is 40 lbs. It has a pretty tall shell too.


Thirsties Prewash/Superwash Conclusion

I used up the last of my Thirsties Prewash/Superwash sample today.
I actually really like this detergent, and I think most of you would like it too.
Of course I only used it for a short amount of time, and we all know what it's like to successfully use a detergent for weeks before it goes stinky on us.

(Don't mind my strangely rotated picture. I don't know what happened!)

Did the prewash. This is the first time I actually did a prewash instead of a prerinse with the prewash detergent. Notice there are a few more suds this time than last.
I think this is because I actually added like 2 tbsp (or more?) of detergent instead of the 1 1/2 I was using previously. I just wanted to use up the rest of it.

Here is the rinse cycle after the hot wash. Notice there are still suds. I totally meant to do an extra rinse but got sidetracked because we were in the midst of leaving so I ended up throwing them straight in the dryer.

They actually do not stink much out of the dryer. I noticed less of a stink this time than last (which I didn't blog about, sorry!), so maybe it is because of the increased detergent.
I would really classify the diapers as "stink free" compared to the stink I have gotten with other detergents.

So all in all, here are the pros and cons of Thirsties Prewash/Superwash:

  • Seems to get the diapers pretty clean. I have experienced very little stink with it.
  • Made with all natural ingredients (including honey and lemon juice!)
  • Formulated specifically for cloth diapers.
  • Kind of pricey. I did a bit of searching and found that it was about $32 for the pack of prewash and superwash. And that's for only 64 "normal" sized loads. I for one know I would probably use more because I tend to do pretty big loads.
  • You'd have to buy separate detergent. I mean I'm sure you could use it on your clothes, but at $32 a pop I for one wouldn't want to "waste" my detergent on clothes too because that would get pretty expensive.
  • Not the absolute best at getting stains out. I have seen other detergents do better.
So despite the fact that this stuff is pretty expensive, it really does do a good job at cleaning diapers. It is the only detergent I've tried that did not give me stinkies of any sort out of the dryer! For that I will give it 3.5/5 stars.