Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Are There New Regulations For Home Made Baby Food at Daycare Centers?

From a blog by Tanalicious
By Anonymous Guest Blogger
I always dreamed of being a stay-at-home-mom but that is not how my career choice worked out.  Now, as a working mommy of two children, a four year old and a seven month old, I want to provide and do all I can for my children (like most moms) regardless of the hours I work.  One of my personal desires is to make and provide my own baby food for my children. Other than the 10 jars of organic baby food as “just in case” items in the cupboard, my oldest exclusively ate baby food I made.  I gladly gave those remaining 10 jars to a coworker when they were no longer needed as potential back up. 

Both children enjoy homemade food, the youngest still enjoys the pureed version.  When my oldest was younger, we were fortunate to have a daycare that allowed me to bring in homemade food and even pack him a lunch until he was about 18 months old.  However, at 18 months the tides turned and they have remained turned!

New Rules

From Baby
I was told the facility could no longer allow me to pack a lunch “because other children were wanting his food, and he was grabbing for other kids' food.”  I was very frustrated and thought this kind of assimilation request was a bit ridiculous considering the excuse I was given was something absolutely age appropriate…grabbing.  I would have had no problem with them seating my child a seat away from the other children because heaven forbid a piece of food would end up in the wrong hands.  And of course, I made certain to adhere to the “no peanut” policy, and even went as far as to make foods as similar as possible to what the center was providing; however, my homemade foods were much healthier versions that omitted the over-processed, sugar added, nutrient lacking re-fortified gunk!  My child enjoyed chicken and fish breaded with homemade breadcrumbs from whole wheat bread, ground flax seed, and wheat germ.  Ground dried lentils and beans were also regular additions to foods.  He also enjoyed fresh fruit instead of jarred sugar-added fruits, and fresh vegetables instead of canned salt-added vegetables. 

Recently, I have been fighting a fight that seems to be leading nowhere.  Days prior to starting my then six month old at the same daycare, I was told I would not be able to provide homemade baby food.  Ironically, we are still at the same daycare, the director and assistant director as well as many of the teachers have remained the same during our time with the center, but apparently “regulations” have changed.  However, in my opinion, “desire” has changed. Nevertheless, the center insists that “regulations” have changed. 

So What Has Changed?

From Win and
I have looked into the “changed” regulations, which apparently include both the Department of Human Resources (DHR) and the local health department. I have not yet been able to determine what has changed in the past few years to prevent baby #2 from enjoying and being nourished with homemade baby food just the same as baby #1 was allowed to do.  I have read the DHR regulations online; the regulation apparently “Effective January 22, 2001/Reprinted April, 2009” is indeed the same one that was in effect when my first child started day care in May, 2010.  

I find it quite interesting to read the DHR “Minimum Standards For Day Care Centers And Nighttime Centers Regulations And Procedures” that specifically states on page 73 “Formula and foods to be provided by the licensee to infants shall be planned with the infant's parent(s)/guardian(s) or by the child's physician with the parent(s)/guardian(s) knowledge and consent.”  I found this so mind-boggling that I called DHR and talked to the area representative who also talked to her supervisor and confirmed that indeed I am allowed to make and provide the daycare with homemade food to be served to my baby at the center.  They stated they would even get in contact with my daycare to inform them of this right.  After recent discussions with the daycare, I am not sure if this took place or if my daycare is quoting additional regulations from yet another agency or if my daycare is simply taking a stance against this right that I know is indeed supported by DHR. 

Prior to my second child starting at the daycare center, I provided the center with a note from the doctor specifically stating my child is to receive food prepared from home, just like I had done with my first child.  Not even a doctor’s note will suffice this time around as an exception to the apparent daycare rules.How can it be that moms can pump and provide “bodily fluids” (a.k.a. breast milk) to a daycare to be administered to their child, but homemade baby food is not allowed to be administered to their child?  

Whose Requirement Is It?

From Daily Women Talks

Is it DHR?  Is it the health department?  Is it new regulations?  Is it a daycare center that wants to limit additional duties?  Or is it unknown food preparation methods apparently now regulated by ServSafe (that administers a serving food safely certification course)?  Perhaps it is a need for labeling. Do I need to list the ingredients, additives, calorie, fat, protein, carbohydrate, sodium…contents of my homemade food? I am not sure if I am losing my mind, but wouldn't a parent providing food for their child at daycare be the same as a parent providing food for their child in grade school?  Do I need to take a ServSafe certification course to “pack” food for my child as a baby or even as a toddler?  Will this become a requirement for parents who opt to pack school lunches rather than have their child purchase a lunch prepared on the premises? 

In my current situation, the daycare center, DHR, health department, whomever has no idea how I maintain my “bodily fluids” from the time of production to excretion to storage to consumption!  I imagine there is some sort of trust that must be involved in knowing a parent would not do anything to tamper with the integrity of the “fluid”, either from a powder, can, jar, or natural source, to be provided to their child at a daycare.  The same would hold true regarding the integrity of homemade baby food to be provided to their child at a daycare. 

One Mother's Battle

From the blog I Want to Be a Homemaker
My battle is for homemade food to be provided to my baby, but this may easily extend to my desire to also provide a packed lunch during the toddler years.  Unfortunately, with my oldest child, I did back down when at 18 months I was told “you can no longer pack a lunch.” While I thought the “grabbing” excuse was just that, I also felt pleased with the start I was able to provide by introducing my child to whole foods rather than processed foods.  I do think about how I would prefer to pack my oldest a lunch, but I opted to end the battle in hopes of not pushing the issue too much, knowing I would have a second child. I knew I would want her to have the ability to enjoy homemade food and packed lunches just like her older sibling did through 18 months.

My conviction on this food front is not to make food an “issue” but rather to allow parents to have the opportunity to be as involved as they can in whatever areas they desire to be involved in their child’s well being, even when they are in the care of others.  My personal goal regarding foods is simply to introduce my children to the wonders of food and to enjoy a diverse naturally nutritional diet to the best of my ability rather than simply letting them think everything has to have a certain sugar or salt flavor to it.

6/18/2014 Update: DHR has confirmed that they do indeed allow homemade baby food to be brought into a day care facility. However, they were not willingly providing this updated information to all daycares. The daycare in question in this article sought out further clarification in response to this post, and we are thrilled to report that they are letting mamas bring in their own baby food for 6-12 month old babies! 

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

The Grief of Weaning Before You're Ready

John Carl, Anna and I at a La Leche League meeting in Lima, Peru.
He was already weaned by the time this was taken.
by Glenni Lorick, IBCLC
When I awakened throwing up at 4:00 in the morning on Friday, I assumed that the hamburger I had eaten the night before must have been bad. I spent the next several hours in the bathroom with increasing abdominal pain. We were headed to Atlanta for a missions conference with a church that we hoped would sign on as one of our supporting churches. My college friend Diane attended the church, and I was looking forward to catching up with her. Although this happened 13 years ago, I remember it like it was yesterday!

Around noon on Saturday we connected with Diane to check into the hotel the church had reserved for us. I told Diane about the pain I was having, and she took me to a walk-in clinic where the doctor said he thought it was viral, but it could be appendicitis. He told me to head to the ER if it got any worse.

That evening my husband headed off to a dinner at the church while I lay on the sofa in ever-increasing pain. My last baby who was 2 1/2 lay beside me much of the evening. He has always had a very sensitive nature, and he knew Mama didn't feel well. He nursed off and on that night. I don't think I had the presence of mind at the time to realize that would be our final time to nurse.

When Keith got back to the hotel later that night, I was feverish and felt like I was dying, so Diane said she would take care of the kids while Keith got me to the hospital. I did indeed have appendicitis, and after waiting several hours in the ER waiting room where I couldn't even sit up any more, I begged them to let me lie down and to do something for the pain. They got me on a gurney in the hall, and by 5:00 in the morning I was in surgery. Because of the delay, my appendix was about to rupture, so they couldn't remove it laparoscopically. I awoke some time on Sunday, but don't remember much about that day.

Monday morning came, and they discovered I had pneumonia. Keith brought the kids to see me, and we made the decision that since no one knew how long I would be in the hospital, the smartest thing for him to do was head back to Florida where he would have his mom available to help with the kids. My sweet John Carl crawled up in my bed and snuggled me, then I hugged everybody and they left. Even now 13 years later the sense of emptiness and loss I felt at that moment brings fresh tears to my eyes.

I knew that I would never nurse John Carl again. I realized that by the time I got home, what little milk I still had would be gone, and I also instinctively knew that recovering would take all my energy, so it really was the right time for us to wean. But I also knew that John Carl was my last baby. I had spent the last 13 years of my life pregnant and/or breastfeeding. I LOVED nursing my babies.

I picked up the hospital phone to call the IBCLC on duty, but didn't get an answer. Even though I was an IBCLC myself, I just wanted to talk to somebody who might understand how I was feeling. I ached inside as I grieved this abrupt and unexpected weaning.

Tuck a letter into baby's book. Someday your baby
will read it when he or she gives you a grandbaby!
Since then I have had the privilege of working with other mothers in similar situations who for one reason or another are faced with an untimely weaning. I have found that usually they just need to talk about it. They need someone to listen, to tear up with them, and to show compassionate understanding. However, I have also discovered the cathartic effect of writing, so I have a suggestion that I make to every mama who finds herself in this situation.

Write Baby a Letter

Write a letter to your child talking about your reasons for nursing, how you felt when you nursed him or her and why this was such a special relationship for you. Then write about the weaning and how you feel about that. You might even include nursing pictures of you and baby if you have them. Put the letter in an envelope addressed to your child, then tuck it in the baby book or memory box. When your child becomes a parent, you will be able to give that letter to him or her. It will be a treasure for both of you as your child is reminded of your incredible love and begins the journey of passing that love on to your grandbaby.

You will probably cry as your write the letter. That's okay. Weaning, especially when it is unplanned, can be emotionally devastating. But after the tears, you will be able to see that your life with your baby is entering a wonderful new phase. It just helps to get a little perspective, to allow yourself to feel the emotions, and to recognize that both you and baby will learn and grow together in new and different ways.
Each new stage of their lives brings new joys!

A Series of Weanings

Parenting really is nothing more than a series of weanings. The Merriam-Webster Dictionary has as one of its definitions for weaning "to detach from a source of dependence."  As your child grows through various phases, your goal is to help him become increasingly independent in the healthiest way possible. You and your child will experience multiple "weanings" from going to school or going to a friend's home to spending the night with grandparents, to going away for a week to camp, to getting a driver's license, to leaving for college. With each successive separation, you may feel a twinge of grief, but if you have given your child a firm foundation and lots of love, you can trust that it's going to be just fine, and you can allow each new parenting adventure to bring a whole new set of joys into your life!

Friday, April 18, 2014

Join the 3 Mary's at the Foot of the Cross

The Sorrowful Mother by French artist James
Tissot. From the Brooklyn Museum of Art
by Glenni Lorick, IBCLC

Today is Good Friday. I've always wondered why it was called that when we are actually remembering one of the most tragic days in all of human history. Today we reflect on what, from a purely human perspective, seems like the senseless abuse and torture of a truly innocent man who had done nothing at all to deserve such punishment.

The Bible mentions that there were 3 women at the cross, all of whom were named Mary. The first Mary was Jesus' mother. The second one, Mary, the wife of Clopas is identified by John as his mother's sister. Although it seems odd that two sisters would both be named Mary, perhaps they were sisters-in-law or step sisters. However, some commentators identify this Mary as the mother of James and Joses and believe that Mary's sister may have been Salome. The last one is Mary Magdalene, a woman whom he had rescued from a life of prostitution filled with evil spirits.

Several years ago I wrote about the Lord's First Supper and how Mary, his young mother, must have felt. Now just 33 years later she is standing, transfixed by grief, watching her son die a criminal's death. What happened to the angelic promise given to her so long ago that He would save His people? How could God allow His Son to go through this?

What our Saviour Saw from the Cross by James Tissot
Perhaps she had a flashback to the moment in the temple when she and Joseph had brought Him to be presented before The Lord. She remembered the words of the aged prophet Simeon who had blessed them and told her that a sword would pierce through her own soul also. Today that prophecy was being fulfilled. Oh the unbearable grief of watching her sweet Son suffer!! Maybe she wished that for just a moment he could be a baby in her arms once again so she could shelter Him from the cruelty of His Roman executioners.

As his Aunt Mary watched Jesus suffer and saw her sister's pain, she must have been at a complete loss. The Bible talks about women who supported Jesus' ministry, and it is likely that she was one of them. She had heard His teaching, knew the story of His miraculous birth, and must have been stunned at the turn of events during the last few days which had led to this moment.

Finally, we see Mary of Magdala, a woman who owed Jesus everything, her life, her sanity, her very being. She had witnessed first hand the power of His transforming forgiveness, grace and love. She knew that He had power over evil. Perhaps the most mind-boggling aspect of the crucifixion for her was how evil could have won the day.
From the Passion of the Christ

Or maybe these women did understand that Jesus was dying as a sacrifice. That He was voluntarily laying down His life to take the punishment that they (and we all) deserved. Even if they did, on some level, realize that in His death He was fulfilling prophecy, it didn't make the spectacle any easier to watch.

Of course they didn't know what was just around the corner. They didn't know that in just 3 days they would see their beloved Jesus again in His resurrected body! They couldn't fathom how quickly their grief would turn to joy as He explained how His suffering had fulfilled prophecy and set them free from the guilt of sin. For now all they knew was the incredible overwhelming grief at seeing Jesus suffer. It is that grief which fills my eyes with tears tonight because I know that He suffered for me.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Pro-Midwife Family Man Aims for Congress

By Amy Castor, Guest Blogger

Servant Leader with Integrity, Strong Convictions; an Innovative Thinker and Philosopher, Teacher, and Problem Solver. Those aren't exactly the words that might come to mind when you think of a politician....but wouldn't it be nice if that's how we described our elected leaders? Well, those words are what comes to mind when I think of my friend, Mark Bray, who is running for US Congress in AL, district 5 (all of N. AL). But we need to get 7,000 signatures by June 3rd just to get him on the ballot, so we can have a choice to vote for our next Representative instead of just being handed the same one automatically. (Read to the bottom to find out how you can sign and help). But first, let me tell you about him!

Long Term Friends

 He and his wife, Carmen, were what I call my first "adult" friends. We met when I was in college, and engaged to my husband, who was under Mark's training and leadership while working his first real job after college out at NASA. The Brays invited us into their lives and we had a great time getting to know them and their kids (actually met Cayla on her first day in the hospital) over meals,  Nintendo Wii games, diaper changes, and long discussions about politics, NASA, Miami Dolphins, and my favorite - the Bible and it's prophecies, particularly in Revelation and Daniel. As I listened to Mark teach, I knew he had a deep understanding of the way things work and could put pieces together to find unique solutions to issues that baffled me.
As I watched Carmen nurse her baby and raise her children, I have been inspired by the way she and Mark teach their kids (yeah, they homeschool), nurture their talents, and train them in what is right. I would say it probably inspired me to not be ashamed to breastfeed or homeschool.

Pro-Midwife, Pro-Life

Mark has also made it very clear he wants to support midwives and get them back in the birthing industry - on a national level. Midwives are so important to having healthy, happy, empowered births for mommies and babies.

Also worth noting is his wonderful stance (in my opinion) on women's rights and pro-life. It makes so much sense to me, but don't know I've heard this position before. This is from his website: 
"I am a pro-life Christian. I value life and I want to see our country support and nurture a culture of life. I am encouraged by the declining trend in the rate of abortion... I pledge to work with all who wish to see a continuance of this decline. If we are to continue reducing the number of abortions, we must improve reproductive education and the economic conditions for women. 
I am willing to consider every solution that will reduce the rate of abortion to virtually nonexistent, with only one exception. I will not support any law which makes them illegal. There are two reasons for this exception. First, I believe our Constitution protects personal liberty and the Federal government should not legislate restrictions on personal liberty. Second, I believe banning abortions will not prove effective without creating other unintended consequences. 
I believe we can work together to reduce the number of abortions without infringing on Constitutional protections..."

Come Meet Him Yourself

If you want to hear more from Mark Bray and his family, shake his hand, ask him a question, or tell him your concerns for our district, state, and/or nation, he would love to meet you this Friday the 18th from 4:30-8pm (light refreshments will be served) at501 Boulevard South, Hampton Inn Lobby, very near A Nurturing Moment - just North of it on the Parkway.
You can sign the petition to get Mark on the ballot then, but if you can't make it (I know it's Good Friday), feel free to stop by A Nurturing Moment - Glenni has some forms there where you can add your "John Hancock", or you can just print a petition from his website - it's the red button on the top right of every page - sign it and if you can fill up the page with 5 other registered voters you know, that would be a tremendous help! 
We are looking for more volunteers, so if you are as excited as me to get a real leader - not a career politician - in office, then contact us through the website so you can learn more!
Here's to new leadership bringing us solutions over stalemate, principles over politics, and vision over vindication!

Friday, April 11, 2014

Check Out Our Great Mother's Day and Father's Day Promotions

Save up to 25% on this chair!
Spring is in the air; flowers and trees are blooming, and we are approaching the time of year when we celebrate Moms and Dads. We've been working on some special promotions that we think you will absolutely love!!

Get A Chair By Mother's Day

We've got the perfect gift for mom, and if you order this weekend you will have guaranteed delivery by Mother's Day! Choose any Best Chair StoryTime glider or recliner and save up to 15% on your order if you place it by Saturday, April 12. If you would prefer a chair that is already on the floor, you can save up to 25%! To receive this discount and make sure your chair arrives by Mother's Day, you much order no later than tomorrow!

Give Mom the Gift of Safety

We have partnered with Claymore Krav Maga to offer a safety class designed just for moms. The cost for the two hour class is just $20, but we have come up with a way for you to get it for free!! If you spend over $100 in one purchase with us between now and Mother's Day, you win a free class! Space is limited, so take advantage of this offer before it's too late! The class will be held on May 24 from 12:00 - 2:00 at Claymore Krav Maga in our shopping center.

Give Dad a Baseball Game

For our dads, we have partnered with the Huntsville Stars to provide family 4 packs of tickets for any purchase over $100 between now and June 4. The dad who spends the most money with us between now and June 4 will have a chance to throw out the first pitch of the game! Now that's exciting! The tickets will be for the game on June 14. We do have a limited number of family 4 packs, so get yours quickly.

Contest Rules

Each purchase can only count for one contest. In other words, you can't spend $100 and get both prizes. In order to win both prizes, you must have two separate purchases totaling over $100 on two different days. So you can't just divide your ticket in half the same day. There is no cash value to the prizes, and they are not refundable. We are excited about these two contests and can't wait to show our ANM families some love!!

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

100,000 Blog Views Giveaway!

Marley's post about Monaco has thousands of page views.
We are less than 900 page views away from having our blog posts viewed 100,000 times. That's pretty exciting. Since we started Nurturing Moments with our very first post on Oct. 6, 2011, we've had some posts that have really been fan favorites. Our readers really like current-issue based posts like this one that dealt with American Airlines and this one that dealt with Target stores a couple of years ago. Recently we had a very popular guest blog about this year's legislative session and the bill to decriminalize home birth.

One of our most viewed posts was written by Marley Phillips when she was interning with us last summer. Marley was studying the relationship between childbirth culture and infant mortality in countries with very low infant mortality rates. Her post about Monaco still gets hundreds of views each week!

Another one of our top five most frequently viewed posts is one I wrote about insurance and breast pumps. The information is still relevant! Of course no review of our blog would be complete without making mention of our most DELiCiOus post ever: the recipe for Mommy Milk Cookies!

One of my personal favorites will always be the post I wrote when my precious grandson was born prematurely two years ago! (He turns 2 next month and you'd never know he started out so tiny!)

In honor of this approaching milestone, and because it is almost Easter, we are having a special contest. Two winners will receive a special Easter Basket gift of their choosing. We just ask that you tell us in the comments below what YOUR favorite post ever in Nurturing Moments is and why. The contest will end the day that we hit 100,000 page may one day, it might be two, but I'm pretty sure it won't be more than three! So enter now!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Beyond Forgiveness

By Glenni Lorick,IBCLC

People can really hurt us. Even worse, they can really hurt our kids. Sometimes they even think they're doing us a favor or somehow doing the "right thing," but they go about it the wrong way.

Years ago our family experienced that kind of hurt - the deep hurt that leaves permanent emotional scars. We were serving a missionaries in South America in a middle-class church planting situation. Our philosophy about many things was pretty different from that of our teammates. They honestly didn't think my work with breastfeeding mothers would open any doors for us, but they were so wrong! It opened doors for me to travel all over the country. Then they didn't like it when we invited a young Peruvian seminary student to live in the tiny room on our roof. The final straw happened when we took our daughter out of the missionary kids' school and put her in a top-notch Peruvian-British girl's school where she would be able to get an International Baccalaureate (IB) diploma.

From Life According to Steph
In all fairness, our family certainly wasn't perfect; our kids had flaws like most normal kids, and we had a lot to learn. However, the scathing way in which they sent us home was demeaning and demoralizing. Even when another mission asked if we could transfer to work with them because they loved my husband's ministry, we were told by our mission that we had to leave. It was a horrible time.

I told myself that I had forgiven them, but for years every time I thought about our team members, I felt my pulse quicken and the adrenaline of my "fight or flight" response kicked in. I certainly never thought about wishing them well in their current ministries.

Until last week. I am in Acts in my devotions, and I began to realize that we have to go beyond forgiveness to the point of truly embracing those who have hurt us and wishing them well. This is exactly what some of the believers, especially Barnabas, did with Paul, the man who had actually carried off many of their number to be imprisoned and even encouraged the stoning of Stephen! Talk about having a reason to hate and fear somebody - but Barnabas was obedient to the leading of the Holy Spirit and reached out to Paul.
Push through the wall and go beyond forgiveness to the point of Blessing! You have Nothing to lose!
That is so painful and so hard to do. Yet I found myself praying for our former teammates to be blessed abundantly in their current ministry situation. I truly long for God's blessings on their teaching and preaching, and pray for a rich harvest there. I honestly hope that those on our team who have retired are experiencing God's riches blessings in their retirement.

How freeing it is to think this way! Holding on to our hurt is really just unforgiveness. This leads to crippling bitterness which destroys a person from the inside out. Nobody likes being around a bitter person. The truth is that the ones who wounded you may not even know you are still languishing in hurt. And even if they do, it certainly isn't affecting them like it affects you! So it is completely worth the effort to push through the wall and go beyond forgiveness to the point of blessing. You have absolutely nothing to lose except your hurt!

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Share the Love

By Sarah Bailey
 Early in 2012, I responded to an email from Cotton Babies, a cloth diapering company in St. Louis.  Cotton Babies was seeking volunteers to start local cloth diaper banks.  A few months later, I became a Cotton Babies Share the Love Host for Huntsville, Alabama.  As a Share the Love host, I serve all areas within 40 miles of Huntsville.    

Share the Love is a sustainable, local cloth diaper bank.  Huntsville is fortunate to have supportive and giving residents.  Our bank has flourished as a result.  Community members recognized the success of this bank and started another bank.  Many banks struggle to get donations to meet the demand of applicants.   Huntsville Share the Love is seeking applicants, and has diapers ready to loan. 

As a host, I accept donations on behalf of the program and grant cloth diapers to qualifying families.   As a completely cashless diaper bank, local Share the Love host sites accept the following donations:

  • New or gently used cloth diapers
  • Cloth diapering supplies
  • Cloth baby wipes
  • Wet bags
  • Cloth diaper detergent
  • Cloth diaper repair supplies -  snaps, velcro, elastic
  • 100% cotton t shirts (we sew these into diaper inserts)
  • Flannel fabric or flannel blankets (to make cloth wipes)
  • Empty conventional baby wipe boxes (cloth wipes are loaned out in a box) 

Donations can be dropped off at A Nurturing Moment, Posh Mommy and Baby Too, or at my home. I will also pick up any donations if you are not able to drop off donations at these convenient locations.  Please contact me to verify that this diaper bank can use your diapers prior to donating.  Most products and brands are accepted, but there are a few exceptions according to guidelines that are being continuously updated by Cotton Babies. 

Many of you may want to support this diaper bank but do not have gently used items to donate.  An easy way to donate new diapers or supplies on a national level or local level is by visiting and making a purchase from the Cotton Babies Share the Love Registry.  You will find a variety of cloth diapering items local banks can use.  You may specify which of the banks you would like your donation to benefit. 

Another way to donate to cloth diaper banks is to purchase diapers from local cloth diaper retailers.  Cloud 9 are cloth diaper retailers in our area that I am familiar with.  (Cloud 9 does not yet have a collection bin.)  In addition, every new Cotton Babies product purchase supports the efforts of Share the Love local cloth diaper banks. 
Simply place your donation in the bins located at the local cloth diaper stores.  A store associate will be happy to help you make a selection.  A Nurturing Moment, Posh Mommy and Baby Too, and Cloud 9 are cloth diaper retailers in our area that I am familiar with.  (Cloud 9 does not yet have a collection bin.)  In addition, every new Cotton Babies product purchase supports the efforts of Share the Love local cloth diaper banks. 

Help grow our bank by sewing or collecting supplies.  Volunteers are needed to cut and/or sew cloth wipes and t-shirt cloth diaper soakers.  Share the Love has provided a video with instructions for making t-shirt cloth diaper soakers.  Holding a drive to collect items such as flannel or t-shirts would make a great service project for scout troops.  Share the Love would be delighted to collaborate with local sewing groups from women in churches to crafting guilds. 

We need help advertising.  Share information about this program by posting on social media outlets or taking fliers to businesses or places families gather.  Other volunteer opportunities may be available.   For more information regarding volunteering, contact me via FB pm being sure to provide your email address.  I will follow-up with you via a official Share the Love email.

Suds Diaper Service and Soft Bottoms Diaper Service have both graciously offered to help launder, sanitize, and prep all donations.   Having the help of these professional diaper cleaners is truly wonderful and literally lightens my load.

Families qualify for a cloth diaper grant if they are receiving federal food and nutrition supplements via WIC. Huntsville has diapers ready to loan to families receiving WIC in all sizes.  Each family receives 15 diaper changes made up of a variety of cloth diaper brands and types depending upon current inventory.  Apply for a grant by clicking here.  In addition to issuing diapers, I help families throughout their cloth diapering journey, providing washing and care instructions.  When families are no longer using the diapers or children turn three years of age, the diapers are returned. Diapers are sanitized, refurbished if necessary, and issued to another family in need.   

The connections I've made with the community and the families I have met via my volunteering have been phenomenal.  Providing diapers in a time of need has tremendously helped families in more ways than I would have ever dreamed.  One family returned the diapers after just six months as the parents were able to buy their own cloth diapers every month with the money they saved from not purchasing disposables.  The diapers they returned are already on the bums of children in another family.  Most of the families have given back to the program in some way. 

Helping families would not be possible without our community working together.  Every donation and contribution helps Share the Love help families keep the bottoms of babies dry and clean while freeing up money to use for other necessities for the family.  Thank you so much for supporting Share the Love, providing our local area with resources to make things a little bit easier for struggling families. 

Facts and tidbits about Cotton Babies Share the Love

Across the US, Share the Love has

  • Provided diapers to more than 100 families.
  • Recruited volunteer hosts in more than 100 areas of the country 
 As of April 1, 2014, Share the Love Huntsville Host site has . . 
  • Provided diapers for 9 children
  • Accepted over 100 diapers as donations in the first quarter of 2014
  • Shared information at over two dozen community events, including Green U, The Bake, Babypalooza, Holistic Wellness event, Rocket City Weather Fest, Rocket City Sling Swap Monthly Meetings and events (6), Cloth diaper swaps at A Nurturing Moment (4)
  • Shared fliers and information in businesses including local pediatrician’s offices, WIC offices, preschools, Lowe Mill, Starbucks, Garden Cove, A Nurturing Moment, Posh Mommy and Baby Too.
  • Been featured on in the following three posts.