Cloth Diapers: Tips, Tricks, and Lessons Learned

Cloth Diapers_Tips, Tricks, and Lessons Learned

Cloth diapering is cheaper and arguably better for the environment than using disposable diapers. While they’re easier and more convenient than most parents realize, they do have their quirks. After using cloth diapers with two kids, here are a few lessons learned and tips I’ve picked up:

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Growing Through the Seasons

Growing Through the Seasons

My years are measured in seasons now, not months or years. Each brings a flurry of activity and opportunity for growth.

Fall:

Roaming the local pumpkin patch, we find the most perfect bumpy, little pumpkin for our little boy. Around campfires and hay bales, we breathe in the cooling air.

The leaves shift colors and drift down. As much as my two-year-old loves jumping on the bed, he’s never jumped in leaves before. We start with a slow-motion fall, easing our way down with giggles and flailing. After a few jumps, he piles the leaves into the wheelbarrow by the armful.

The week before, we had stripped the garden, pulling out monstrous tomato plants and prickly squash. Now, we empty the composter, scraping the sides of the dark sludge and shreds of newspaper caught there. We break down the straw bale that held our Jack o’lantern, layering it in with the compost and leaves. The pile nearly comes up to my son’s head.

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Science Adventures: How Animals Create and Use Seashells

Text: "Science Adventures: How Animals Create and Use Seashells" Photo of half of a ribbed, white seashell on white sand in Cape Cod.

This post explores the biology and ecology of seashells at the beach, including the animals who use them and how they create them. It’s part of a series I’m doing on using everyday situations to help young kids explore science – particularly ecology and biology – more in depth. 

The opportunity
As the summer wraps up, many families head out to the beach. While you’re there, use the opportunity to learn about seashells and the creatures that once lived in them.

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Saying Goodbye to my Childhood Home

Saying Goodbye to my Childhood Home

The Victorian-influenced sun and moon wallpaper, that I felt so grown-up picking out. The musical theater posters on the wall, including one from West Side Story signed by the touring cast. The photograph of two manatees kissing at Homosassa Springs that my dad took when I was in third grade. The glow-in-the-dark stars on the ceiling, interspersed with painted clouds. All fundamental elements of my childhood bedroom, now all gone. Instead, it’s some other child’s bedroom, empty and awaiting his dream of what he wants it to be.

Last month, my parents closed on my childhood home in upstate New York so they could move closer to us. They sold it to a young family with two small boys. Like my parents 30 years ago, the mother and father were excited about the good school district and suburban neighborhood. While I’m glad everything worked out, it’s still a bit bittersweet for me.

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Best Nature-Focused Activities for Kids in Cape Cod

Text: "Best Nature-Focused Activities for Kids in Cape Cod; We'll Eat You Up, We Love You So." Photo of whale tail sticking out of the water.

Cape Cod is full of activities for children, from sand-castle building to mini-golf. But Cape Cod is also home to unique ecological habitats and natural landscapes that are wonderful to explore with kids. Our family visited the Cape last week and these were some of our favorite activities:

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How to Encourage Your Child to Explore

How to encourage yoru child to explore

Encouraging my child to explore the world is one of my core values as a parent. On a practical level, explorational parenting involves exposing children to as many types of experiences as possible, providing the atmosphere to build appreciation as well as skill. It also uses exploration as a way to see the world through a bigger, kinder perspective, helping children value other people and the world around them.

I won’t make any promises, but I think embracing these ideas in our parenting have made my son more willing to try new things and appreciate a wide diversity of people and experiences than he would otherwise.

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An Ode to Daniel Tiger

While our household has strict limits on kids’ screen time, there is one show we consistently allow Sprout to watch- Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood. This Mr. Rogers’ spin-off captures much of the charm of the original, even though it’s animated rather than live action.

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