Cloth Diapers & Accessories, Tips & Tricks

Using cloth wipes on the go

No Comments 29 April 2016

Recently, we sent out an email about how to use cloth wipes at home (Link coming soon). Many people ask us “But what about cloth wipes on the go?” Since we try to keep our emails easy to read, we’re bring the on-the-go topic over here.

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If you use cloth wipes at home, using them on the go is really easy. Simply take a few of your wet cloth wipes and tuck them into a small wet bag. However, as easy as this is, it created a problem for me. I would forget about the wet wipes inside the wet bag long enough that they became a mildewy mess. So I changed my routine a little bit: instead of putting wet wipes in the wet bag, I stowed dry cloth wipes and a bottle of bottom spray in the wet bag. Putting the dry wipes in the wet bag kept them clean, but I didn’t have to remember to take them out every evening to prevent mildew.

The bottle of bottom spray can be whatever you want: a small spray bottle (or peri bottle) of regular water works great. You can also mix up a bottom spray from concentrate or even make your own.

When we needed to have a diaper change away from home, I sprayed water on my son’s bottom and wiped him down with a dry cloth wipe. The dirty wipe(s) and dirty cloth diaper went in the bigger wet bag for transport home to the diaper pail. All I had to remember to do was restock some dry wipes if we were running low.

This was the system that worked best for our family. There are many ways to use cloth wipes at home and on the go. We’d love to see your routine on our Facebook page!

News, Tips & Tricks

Cleaning Legos with Charlie’s Soap

No Comments 03 February 2013

I love Charlie’s Soap. We use the laundry detergent on all of our laundry, and the Indoor/Outdoor all-purpose cleaner is just about the only household cleaner we use any more.

Today, we got out daddy’s old (and I mean 25+ years old) Legos for our son to play with, but they were pretty dusty and grimy. What to do?

Bust out the Charlie’s Soap, of course!

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We filled a medium-sized sweater bag about halfway with Legos, poured in a glug or two of full-strength Charlie’s Soap Indoor/Outdoor concentrated cleaner and filled the sink about halfway with warm-to-hot water. Swish for a few minutes, watch the water turn yellowish and gross, then rinse a few times by refilling the sink with warm, clean water.

Then we poured the Legos into a colander to drain while we put them in small batches through the salad spinner to get out the water. Finally, we laid them on towels in a bucket to dry completely.

P.S. This cleaning method would work well for any toy that is fully submersible.

Car Seats, Tips & Tricks

top 5 tips for safe car seat installation and use

No Comments 06 December 2012

Position the chest clip at the child’s armpit level.

Babies especially have flexible shoulders. Keeping the chest clip at armpit level helps keep the shoulder straps correctly positioned on the child’s shoulders and prevents baby from being ejected from the seat in the event of a crash.

Install the seat with EITHER the LATCH anchors OR the seatbelt, but not both.

This is hard for a lot of parents, because it’s easy to think more is better. Car seat manufacturers crash test their seats with seatbelts or LATCH, but never together. Using both systems together could negatively impact the seat’s ability to protect your child during a crash. Also, don’t use extraneous systems like bungee cords to secure the seat to the vehicle.

Many parents (ourselves included prior to our training) feel that LATCH is safer to use than seatbelts. Remember that vehicle seatbelts are designed to hold adult males securely in the event of a crash, so it will hold the car seat securely as well. Use whichever method fits your car best, works best with your car seat, and which you can install safely every single time.

Car seats expire.

Plastic isn’t permanent. Regular exposure to the elements – heat, cold, direct sunlight – will deteriorate plastics over time and affect the performance of the seat. Check your car seat’s manual or labeling to determine the seat’s expiration date. Replace the seat if you notice fatigue in any area of the seat or the plastic gets brittle, whether the seat is expired or not. If you can’t determine the expiration date of your car seat, assume it’s expired after 6 years.

Harness position is important.

Rear facing = at or BELOW shoulders
This prevents a rear-facing child from being thrown or compressed against the straps.

Forward facing = at or ABOVE shoulders

Don’t use aftermarket products that are made by a manufacturer other than the manufacturer of the seat.

Car seat manufacturers don’t crash test their seats in conjunction with other manufacturer’s accessories, such as seat savers, seat covers, toys, etc. If you must use an accessory with your car seat, try to purchase one made by the car seat manufacturer.
Other things to consider:

  • If your car seat has been involved in a crash of any kind, check your car seat manual for advice. Some seat manufacturers include specific criteria for whether a seat should be replaced after a crash, some state flatly that it should be replaced after any type of crash. Most car insurance companies will cover the cost of a replacement seat, but you will likely need a copy of the police report.
  • Harness straps should fit snugly. This is the pinch test – tighten down the harness, then pinch the webbing at the child’s shoulder. If you can pinch any webbing between your fingers, the harness is too loose and needs to be tightened further.
  • Don’t forward-face a child too early because their legs are bent or hanging over the edge of the seat. In the event of a crash, it’s very unlikely that a rear-facing child whose legs dangle over the sides of the car seat will suffer a leg injury. Even if they do, a child is more likely to recover fully from a leg injury than from a spinal injury suffered when forward-facing.
  • Seat installation needs to be tight. Whether you install the car seat with the LATCH or seatbelt, put your weaker hand (if I’m right-handed, my left hand is the weaker hand) at the belt path and try to move the seat. The car seat should move less than one inch side to side or up and down at the belt path.
  • Know the weight limits for LATCH. Some vehicles and car seats have weight limits for LATCH. Check your vehicle manual and car seat manual for these limits. If no limits are indicated, assume you should stop using LATCH and install the car seat with the seat belt at 40 pounds.
  • Don’t machine wash car seat straps. Harsh detergents, water or dryer temperatures, and machine agitation can damage car seat straps. Check your car seat manual for instructions on how to clean all parts of the car seat.
  • Bulky winter coats & carseats don’t mix. Adjust your child’s car seat harness to fit properly while they are wearing regular clothing (shirt and pants). If you have to loosen the harness to fit the child in the seat while wearing a coat, the coat is too bulky. The air spaces in the coat that keep your child warm compress during a car crash and prevent the seat from holding your child securely. We know cold babies can be unhappy babies, so here are a couple of tips for safe winter car seat use: Take your child’s coat off right before you put them in the seat. Secure the harness, then put their coat back on backwards. Keep a small blanket by the door in the house (so the blanket is warm). Take it to the car with your child, secure them in the seat, then tuck the blanket around them. Warm the car up for a few minutes before loading your child into the car. Just remember to keep your car doors locked. If you park your car in a garage, never let it idle with the doors closed. Open the garage door for proper ventilation.

Have more questions?  Call Green Bambino today to schedule a car seat check by one of our nationally certified Child Passenger Safety Technicians (CPSTs).

Car Seats, Tips & Tricks

what to look for when buying a carseat

6 Comments 29 November 2012

When you are shopping for a car seat, there are a few key things to keep in mind to make sure you select the best seat for your needs.

Test fit the seat in your car BEFORE you buy.

  • Not all seats will fit in all cars, especially when rear facing.
  • Not all seats install easily in every car or seat position.
  • You won’t know how the seat fares in your car until you try it out.  We experienced this personally when trying to put a Diono (one of our personal favorites) in my brother’s car. As much as we love the seat, it just wasn’t compatible with his vehicle.

Many people ask us “what’s the best seat?”

  • The answer: the best seat is the one that fits your child, fits your car, and that you can install safely every time.

Do you have to buy the most expensive, top of the line seat on the market?

  • No. An inexpensive seat installed safely can be just as safe as a top of the line seat if it fits your child, fits your car, and you can install it safely every time.
  • Some inexpensive seats can be more difficult to install, so make sure you try it out before you buy.
If possible, buy a seat that rear-faces as long as possible.
  • It is recommended that children rear-face in a car seat until at least the age of 2 and 30 pounds, OR the upper limit of the car seat.
  • Many convertible seats can be used rear-facing to 40 or 45 lbs.
It is not typically recommended to buy car seats used or second-hand.
  • If you must do so, only buy from someone you know personally that you trust to tell you the history of the seat (whether it has been in any kind of crash).
  • Don’t buy it if the labels are missing – you won’t be able to find the model number (to check for recalls) or the manufacture date (to determine the seat’s expiration).
  • We don’t recommend buying car seats from consignment sales.

 

How-to videos, News

How to install a FLO diaper sprayer

No Comments 17 August 2012

Planning to buy or have you just bought a Swaddlebees FLO diaper sprayer? Here’s a great video showing you how to install it!

News, Tips & Tricks

Taking your own container to Whole Foods

No Comments 03 August 2012

Did you know you can take your own resuable container to the salad bar at Whole Foods? No, you don’t pay for the weight of the container. To help you waste even less, we’ll walk you through the process.

First, select a cool reusable container. Green Bambino has tons! Here’s the one I took today:

When you get to Whole Foods, take your container to the customer service desk to be weighed. They’ll write the tare weight on a sticky note. The tare weight (pronounced like “tear” a piece of paper) is the weight of your container and will be subtracted from your purchase at check out. By the way, the folks at Whole Foods are super-nice, so don’t be embarrassed to ask for help.

Next, head over to the salad and hot food bar. It all costs the same (as of this post, $7.99 a pound), so load up with whatever looks yummy. I chose beef stew, mac & cheese, green beans, mashed potatoes and pineapple. I was hungry and my stomach got the better of me. This was way more food than I needed.

For those of you who think you can’t get enough food in a reusable container, I packed a whopping 1.36 pounds of food into my compact little ECOLunchbox.

Finally, head to a check out stand. Hand them your container(s) and the sticky note(s) with your tare weights. They’ll subtract the weight of your container, leaving you to just pay for the food inside!

FYI – this tutorial is accurate for containers weighing less than one pound. If your container weighs more than a pound, the cashier will subtract the ounces over a pound at the register, but you’ll need to go back to customer service to get the first pound refunded. Again, the folks at Whole Foods are happy to help, so don’t hesitate to ask.

Tips & Tricks

Earth Day tip #2

No Comments 06 April 2012

Make it a full load!

Run your dishwasher only when it’s full. Don’t pre-rinse dishes – tests show pre-rinsing doesn’t improve dishwasher cleaning, and you’ll save as much as 20 gallons of water per load. When you buy a new dishwasher, look for one that saves water. Water-efficient models use only about only about 4 gallons per wash.

Read more about using water wisely.

Information taken from www.epa.gov.

Tips & Tricks

Earth Day tip #1

No Comments 01 April 2012

Teach your child to turn of the water while brushing teeth. Leaving the water running can waste up to 5 gallons of water per person, per day. Even greener – use a jug or cup to catch the cold water as you wait for water to heat. Drink it (we could all drink more water) or use it to water houseplants.

Tips & Tricks

Where to put the detergent

No Comments 26 February 2012

Some detergent manufacturers say that since their detergent dissolves instantly, you can put it either in the dispenser cup or in the tub of an HE machine.

We’ve been experimenting, and our discovery is that things seem to get cleaner if detergent goes in the dispenser cup.

If you’re using an instantly-dissolving powder detergent such as Charlie’s Soap, Rockin’ Green or Country Save, you can add the powder to the dispenser cup. HE machine send water through the dispenser to distribute liquid and powder detergents.

Disclaimer: Every machine is different, so you may not experience our results. Please experiment with your own washing machine and read the manual to determine what will work best for you.

Tips & Tricks

Reducing static naturally

8 Comments 05 February 2012

Got static cling? Don’t load up on chemical softeners like fabric softeners, dryer sheets or static sprays.

The easiest way to reduce static electricity in your clothing is to not over-dry your laundry. Try lowering the temperature setting on your dryer a bit, or reducing the amount of time your laundry is in the dryer.

For our family, a good rule of thumb is that when the waistbands of our jeans and pants are still just barely damp, that’s enough time in the dryer. Any more heat or time and we have tons of static.

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