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Best Cloth Training Pants for Early Potty Training Infants and Toddlers

The best cloth training pants make potty training success come much faster than disposable training pants. That’s because when an infant or toddler is in thin cloth, the parent’s are more likely to stick to a potty routine and tune into their child because they are not relying on the training pants as a backup.

However, with the vast majority of parents waiting until a child is almost three to potty train, early potty training parents find it difficult to find training pants that fit their infant or under two potty trainer as the market does not cater to them. There are a few options available to you. These make the best cloth training pants list because they are easily found and will fit many toddlers younger than 24 months.

These cloth trainers will fit most 18 to 24 month olds, and some younger toddlers. You can buy them here on Amazon.

Gerber Training Pants – The Best Cheap Cloth Training Pants

We primarily used the Gerber cloth training pants, which are basically thick underwear. I liked them because they fit, seem comfortable, and were the cheap option. They did a good job of absorbing pee accidents so at least it didn’t run down the leg and we felt comfortable using these without a disposable training pant over the cloth pants when leaving the house during potty training. The cheap price allowed me to throw a few pairs away without cringing when the accident was too much to clean up.

The sizing starts out big for early potty trainers with an 18 months size being the smallest and recommended for toddlers weighing 24 to 28 pounds. However the 18 months size fit my girl when she potty trained at 18 months of age and weighed less than 20 pounds. The 18 months size also fit my boy when he started at 14 months of age and weighed less than 20 pounds. So these will work for most kids over 12 months of age.
If you want cheap cloth training pants and feel comfortable that you can get your infant or toddler to the toilet before an accident most the time, then buy the Gerber cloth training pants.

best cloth training pants for toddlers

These Blueberry cloth trainers will cost you more, but they are well worth the price. The fit smaller, even fitting some 12 month old infants, and provide more protection. Amazon sells these here.

Blueberry Potty Training Pants

The Blueberry cloth trainers run a bit smaller than the Gerber brand, with the small recommended for 22 to 30 pounds. Parents find that the small size does fit infants under 20 pounds and as young as 12 months of age. These usually cost more than the Gerber brand, but also come with more protection than the Gerber brand. These also pull on an off like underwear, but have a thicker cotton lining and waterproof panel.
If you need a smaller size and/or want more protection, then the Blueberry is a good option for you.

best cloth trainer

These FuzziBunz trainers feature side snaps, which is much more convenient when your child has an accident.

FuzziBunz Trickle Free Trainers

These are the more costly option. However, these cloth training pants also run small, which is a common complaint from the more traditional late potty training parents. But that makes them perfect for early potty training. Like the Blueberry cloth training pants, the smallest size is recommended for 18 to 24 months and 18 to 23 pounds. However, parents find they fit much smaller toddlers.

As an additional feature, these have two rows of side snaps so you can adjust the leg opening size. These snaps also make it easier to get on and off your child should she have an accident or if you are toilet training an infant that does not yet walk or even stand. One drawback of the cloth training pants that act just like real underwear is trying to remove the underwear carefully when your toddler has a poop accident. That problem is eliminated if you are using the FuzziBunz training pants.

If you are potty training an infant or very young toddler and/or just want more protection and adjustable snaps, then buy the FuzziBunz cloth training pants.

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Cool Coding Toys for Kids

What is Coding?

Coding is another term for computer programming; it’s the instructions (code) used to tell a computer what to do. And it’s a good skill for kids to learn. It’s not just your computer or tablet that was programmed by a coder, so was your iPhone, microwave, car, and maybe even your watch. It’s a skill that many software engineers, computer programmers, and many more need to have. There are different computer languages too that coders use. These include Python, Ruby, PHP, Java, and many more.

So coding toys for kids are not just fun, these toys teach a real world STEM skill that could help your kids someday get a good job. These are some of the 2016 best coding toys for kids of all ages (and their parents too!).

coding-toys-kids

You can also buy additional segments here for more commands such as silly sounds and lights.

The Caterpillar Coding Toy for Preschoolers and Kindergarten Kids

The Fisher-Price Think & Learn Code-a-Piller is a simple coding toy that will have preschoolers and kindergartners giggling as they learn how to tell their caterpillar what they want it to do. Each segment tells the body to do something like move forward or turn 90 degrees to the right. The segments are marked on the top with a picture so kids know exactly what each one does. Each segment comes off the body and kids can reattached them in any order. They learn what each configuration does by doing.

You can also buy additional segments here for more commands such as silly sounds and lights.

This toy is rated for ages 3 to 6, but with supervision even toddlers will love this toy and be able to figure out how to make it do what they want.  And older kids in the house will probably be unable to resist trying this toy out.

Although it will move on carpet, it’s much more mobile and fun to use on a hard surface.

coding-games-kids

This coding toy is a step up from the caterpillar.

Code & Go Robot Mouse Coding Set – Ages 5-15

This is another great coding toy for preschool and kindergarten aged kids, a bit more advanced than the caterpillar. Kids set up a maze that the robot mouse has to go through to find the prize, which is cheese of course. The set comes with activity cards that map out different maze configurations, or your kids can make their own.  The robot mouse has arrow buttons on his back that tell him which direction to go. The mouse is programmed by pressing those buttons as a sequence of instructions on the mouse’s back.

Kids don’t have to use the included maze. They can put Colby the robot mouse on the floor and create their own maze with their toys.

computer-coding-for-kids

No batteries needed! That’s always a bonus feature of any toy. It comes with a USB charging cable.

The Programmable Dash and Dot Robots – Age 8+

This set comes with two robots to program, Dash who moves on his own and Dot who needs interaction from your child to activate.

With a free app on your smartphone or tablet (iOS and Android), your kids can code to have this cute blue Dash robot dance, light up, make noises, and have adventures. Dash will even respond to voice commands. The apps come with a tutorial that’s easy for kids to follow and learn.

There are two different coding apps for Dash and Dot. The Wonder app lets your kids send immediate commands to the robot toy. The Blockly app lets your kids code a sequence of instructions for Dash to follow. The app may be hard to find if you just search for “Dash.” Do a search for “Wonder for Dash” and “Blockly for Dash.”

Kano Computer Kit – Age 6+

Kids and adults can quickly get hooked on all the activities in this kit. Instead of hours mindlessly playing on the iPad, this will keep you child creating and learning for hours.

This is a beginner’s computer building and coding kid used by schools and coding clubs. First kids build and set up their computer and then they learn to program it to make art, music, play games and more. It has leveled activities who they can work their way to up to more complex coding.

computer-programming-for-kids

The Kano Computer Kit teaches more than one coding language, including Python and Javascript.

The Kano Computer Kit is for kids ages 6 and up. Even kids in kindergarten can learn on this computer. For building the computer, the set comes with an easy to follow instruction booklet. Similar to a Lego instruction booklet, kids can follow the pictures to understand the step by step instructions.

The Kano Computer Kit doesn’t come with a monitor, but you don’t need anything too fancy to connect it to. Any HDMI monitor should work.

 

 


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Disposable Diapers vs. Cloth Diapers: Which one is Better for the Environment?

cloth diapers vs disposable diapers better

Cloth or Disposable? Is one truly better for the environment?

Disposable diapers vs. cloth diapers and the environmental parenting debate. Cloth diapering proponents proudly claim cloth is best for the Earth. Educated disposable diapering parents can be quick to point out the fallacies of such a claim. The complexities of evaluating the impact of cloth vs. disposable diapers on the environment have even made this topic a common research project for professors to assign to their students. But such an assignment is like giving a trick question on a test; there’s not one way to answer this question.

Disposable Diapers and the Environment

Once tossed into the landfill, your child’s diapers will still be there, in their entirety until long after your great-grandchildren are potty trained. Even biodegradable disposable diapers may be there that long. According to the University of Minnesota, “There are no established standards by which to judge the biodegradability of disposable diapers, so examine carefully claims to that effect.”

But the environmental cost of the disposable diaper does not lie solely in the waste it produces. You also have to consider production of the diaper. The major component of disposable diapers is paper made from trees. About 30 percent of disposable diapers components are synthetic, a product of oil. Producing the throw-away diaper involves trees, pesticides, machinery to cut down trees, oil, and a lot of energy.

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Cloth Diapers and the Environment

For every load of reusable diapers you launder, you use up to 50 gallons of water (a limited resource in many parts of the country), and detergents the cause harm to the local waterways. Many ingredients in laundry detergent are toxic to aquatic life, reduce the oxygen levels in waterways, and may disrupt the endocrine system of animals according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. You also use energy to heat the water and run the appliances. If that energy comes from oil or coal, there is an additional negative impact on the environment.

The production of cloth diapers has much of the same impact as for disposables. Most are made from cotton. To grow cotton, natural habitats must be cleared for farmland and pesticides and fertilizer used. According to the University of Minnesota, “The cotton from which most reusable diapers is made takes much more plant nutrients, pesticide, water, mechanical energy, and labor than does the production of trees from which disposables are made, and may tend to increase soil erosion and reduce species diversity, too.”

If a diaper service is used, then the energy needed to pick up and deliver the diapers must also be considered. And yes, by cloth diapering, the diapers get reused, often by many babies dozens of times. But eventually they do end up in a landfill.

What the Research Says

Research that compares the life-cycle of both types of diapers has been limited. The first comprehensive study was completed by the UK Environment Agency and released in 2005. The study concluded that the environment impact of cloth and disposable diapers is similar with no clear winner.

The results of how each makes the biggest impact on the environment is surprising. As reported by pediatrician Dr. Alan Green, “For disposable diapers, the most significant impact comes during manufacture; for home-laundered diapers, the primary impact comes from the electricity used in washing and drying; for commercially laundered diapers, the biggest impact comes from use of fuels and electricity.”

In a 2008 study by Milieu Centraal, a Dutch nonprofit environmental organization, looked at greenhouse gas emissions, water use, pesticide use, and land use. This study concluded found:

  • Cloth diapering creates fewer greenhouse gases.
  • Cloth and disposables use a lot of water (water is used in the production process for disposables).
  • Cloth production uses more pesticides.
  • Disposables use more chemicals since they are partially made from plastic.
  • Cloth diapers use less farmland than disposables. It takes more farmland to grow the trees for disposables than the cotton for cloth.

Milieu Centraal concluded that disposable diapers make the greatest impact on the environment during the production phase and use non-renewable resources such as oil, while cloth diapers have the greatest impact during use. This lead to the conclusion that cloth diapers made less of an environmental impact. This conclusion is largely based on the cloth diaper user’s ability to decrease their environmental impact by using water and energy efficient appliances and by choosing to buy organic cotton diapers.

Choosing Your Diaper

In the end, the choice between cloth diapering or convenience diapering should be based on what makes you most comfortable, as neither has been without a doubt proven to be better or worse for the environment. There is however, an alternative answer to the disposable diapers vs. cloth diapers debate.

baby-potty-training

Another option is to use fewer diapers all together and have your infant or young toddler use the toilet as much as possible. The Diaper Free Baby sold here can help you do that.

An Alternative Answer: Early Toilet Training is Better for the Environment and the Wallet

This is where early toilet training, whether it be through elimination communication with an infant or starting to potty train your 1-year-old, makes the most environmental and financial sense. Having your infant or toddler eliminate in a toilet does not create any more of an environmental impact than other humans in the house that regularly use the toilet, nor does it add to or strain the family budget. And it has health benefits for the child and caregiver as well.

Even if you only put your baby or toddler on the toilet once a day with success, that is one less disposable diaper to put in the landfills or one less cloth diaper to be laundered. Starting potty training early can save you hundreds if not thousands of diapers or loads of laundry and have an equal financial savings. The Diaper Free Baby by Christine Gross-Loh is a great resource for learning to potty training babies and young toddlers.

References

  1. EPA: Key Characteristics of Laundry Detergent Ingredients
  2. University of Minnesota: Diaper Choices
  3. ABC News: The Diaper Debate: Are Disposables as Green as Cloth?
  4. The Daily Green: Choosing the Diaper With the Least Environmental Impact
  5. Milieu Centraal: Nappies
  6. Milieu Centraal

*Diaper photo by Duplass/Bigstockphoto

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School Locker Accessories for Boys

School locker accessories for boys are harder to find than for girls, but with some creativity you can help your son make his locker his own. For some cool locker ideas for the guys, look for magnets and wall decals. While these may not have originally been make for school lockers, they will work in lockers. Just don’t forget the practical things he’ll need to keep the locker organized. Do check with the school’s locker policy first. In most cases the locker’s must be easily cleaned and left in their original condition at the end of the school year. So all wallpaper and other items should be magnetic and not stick-on.

Kids can build maps, landscapes, and more with these magnetic Minecraft blocks.

Kids can build maps, landscapes, and more with these magnetic Minecraft blocks.

Minecraft Themed School Locker Accessories

Minecraft is what many middle school boys are into. Minecraft magnetic wallpaper and other features are perfect for a Minecraft themed boys locker.

Magnetic Minecraft Sheets – These can be used for wallpaper. Each package comes with 2 sheets of 80 individual 1-inch square blocks so your child can make his own design inside the locker. Cover all the locker walls, or create a Minecraft style picture. 160 magnets is more than enough for one locker.

 

Chewing gum magnets! What more is there to say.

Chewing gum magnets! What more is there to say.

Chewed Bubble Gum Magnets

What boy doesn’t like a good gross joke. Magnets are useful in the locker to post important notes or homework so it’s not forgotten. These magnets that look like pieces of chewed up bubble gum, complete with teeth impressions will have the boys laughing. Comes in four “flavors,” bubble gum, green and white mint, and a yellow fruit flavor.

boy-locker-decorationsColored LED Light

This will light up the locker and give it some character. It sticks to the locker with magnets so can be placed on the side or the roof of the locker and moved around. It also comes with a guarantee that it will last for one year.

 

These sports wall decals can also be used as locker wallpaper for boys.

These sports wall decals can also be used as locker wallpaper for boys.

Wall Decals for Locker Décor

It is hard to find locker wallpaper that will appeal to many boys. Another option is to buy wall decals like these that will also stick on metal. These are easier to find in a range of themes such as sports, Star Wars like this collection, and even 3D dinosaurs. Just make sure you check out the size of the stickers before buying. Many are large and made for bedrooms. You’ll of course want small stickers that will fit inside the locker.

Keep your son organized and use all the space in his locker with this hanging book and binder shelf.

Keep your son organized and use all the space in his locker with this hanging book and binder shelf.

Five Start Hanging Locker Shelf

By the end of the first month, your boys locker may be more chaos than organized with important papers stuffed in the back lost forever and books getting damaged as they are just thrown in. You can help them keep their books and other school supplies more organized, easier to find, and in better condition with shelving. This hanging locker makes use of the small space by providing 2 shelves for books and binders and still leaving room in the locker for other supplies. Comes in red and blue and other colors.


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Best Toddler Step Stool for Potty Training

Some potty trained toddlers may be ready, even insisting, on doing the task from start to finish by themselves. And if your child is wearing clothes without buttons or zippers, he probably can take on toileting himself, although you probably should still supervise and help with wiping at this age. Since many toddlers, especially those who potty trained before age two, cannot reach the toilet to sit down, you will need to buy a potty stool if you are using a potty seat that sits on the toilet. Here are some of the best toddler step stools on the market that give the stability a young toddler needs and extra height without being so tall that your child is elevated precariously over the toilet.

BabyBjorn Step Stool

The BabyBjorn Safe Step stool is 8 inches tall and wide enough on the top to give your child some room to step up and turn around. This also makes the base wide and less likely to tip over. The top surface is rubber with bumps to prevent slipping. If you have an older child that can easily step up and down without toddling, then buy this cheaper potty stool. As a plus, it comes in several bright and cheery color combinations including pink and purple and green and yellow.

This wrap around toddler step stool gives kids a large stable surface to step onto.

This wrap around toddler step stool gives kids a large stable surface to step onto.

Summer Infant Little Looster Wrap Around Step Stool

The Summer Infant Little Looster step stool wraps around the base of the toilet.  It in the mid-price range and gives a child more stability than the BabyBjorn. This stool is also 8 inches tall, but it wraps around the base of the toilet. So if your toddler needs more space, then the Looster Booster is the one to buy.

This is the most stable potty stool you can buy for kids.

This is the most stable potty stool you can buy for kids.

 

The Potty Stool Wrap Around Step Stool with Handles

The Potty Stool step stool has a solid base, wide step, and large handles to grasp as the child climbs up. Once in place, this step stool does not move as children climb up and down. This is the best buy if you have a young toddler that needs to use her hands to climb up, or if you have a child with developmental delays, or just a fear of the toilet. It is the highest priced of the three, but if you have a child that needs this extra security to use the toilet, you won’t regret the purchase. Click here for more about this step stool.

toilet-trainer-with-ladderMommy’s Helper Step Stool With Potty Seat

This is an easy to use combo step stool with handles and cushioned potty seat. Unlike other similar products, this one is easy to set up and much more comfortable than a hard plastic seat. For the price this one is the best bargain considering you are getting both a step stool and the potty seat.

 


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