BY CHANTAL SHELSTAD
If you know one thing about babies, it’s that they come with a lot of stuff. You could be going on a simple overnight trip and have the car jam-packed with baby-junk, because you never know what you might need when you’re away from home. Even when you stick close by, you still need plenty of help from the baby gear you’ve collected.
As a crunchy mom, I feel like sometimes I use a different set of baby gear from the conventional mother, because of our cloth diapers, elimination communication and nursing, among other things.
It surprises me how much I rely on certain equipment, day to day. Here’s a list of my favorite crunchy mom (but it applies to any mom!) essentials.
Cloth diapers: You have to have them! If nothing else, your baby needs clothes and diapers. Of course, FuzziBunz is my cloth diaper of choice and my stash is full of them.
Cloth diaper accessories: Think about everything else that comes with diapering. You’ll need a pail and pail liner to store the dirty diapers before washing them, wipes (whether they be cloth or disposable), wipe spray for those cloth wipes and laundry soap to wash the diapers.
Potty: If you’re practicing elimination communication, which we do part-time, then you’ll need a simple potty for the baby. I use a Bjorn potty. It’s light, easy to carry and the perfect size.
Baby carrier: Make sure you get a high-quality, safe carrier. You don’t want to forward-face your baby, because it isn’t good for their hips or back, and you want a carrier that supports their bodies fully, not a crotch-dangler that hurts the poor things! I used a Moby when she was young and then we moved to an Ergo.
Amber necklace: Amber has proven to be effective in helping babies with the pain of teething. Since my daughter was an early teether, we relied on the magic of this necklace, and she wore it all day long. If you’re nervous about a necklace, simply wrap it around their ankle or wrist.
Healthy snacks: We buy mostly organic, all-natural products and rarely get food from a box or can. My daughter, while still young, snacks on carrot sticks, apple wedges, avocado and bananas. We also give her powdered probiotics in her water to aid digestion.
Safe products: It is important to only use safe, natural products on our babies, when possible. I use an all-natural wash and lotion at bath time and use coconut oil as a preventative diaper rash cream.* Read your ingredients!
A good nursing bra: Confession – I realized 8 months in that I couldn’t still wear the one I got when she was born. That’s right, I was wearing the same two bras. First, everything had shrunk so they didn’t even fit. Second, they were falling apart! If you plan on extended breastfeeding like I do, you’ll need a good support system.
Everything else: When she was a newborn, I relied heavily on a set of receiving blankets, so I always tell new moms that those are a must-have.
Of course, you don’t need this baby gear to survive, because all babies want is their moms and a full belly. I’m just glad we have this stuff to help us out!
Chantal Shelstad, a self-proclaimed “crunchy” stay-at-home mom who lives in Alabama with her daughter, Penny and her husband, a pilot in the Army. Chantal is more than happy to own up to the fact that cloth diapering parents have to face plenty of difficulties, transitions, stigmas (and yes, plenty of poop!) …but it is still worth it in the end.
*Editor’s Note: FuzziBunz does not recommend use of any diaper rash ointment while using FuzziBunz®, as this will void your warranty and cause them to repel. We recommend changing the diaper often and allowing the baby to air dry as much as possible. You can also use a combination of a zinc oxide powder / cornstarch powder on baby’s bottom to aid in healing. Bee All Natural baby powder is a great choice. If you need a “paste,” mix the powder with a little bit of water and rub onto the rash to give it more staying power.