Apr 112014
 

So we’ve shifted a bit away from cloth as Lia’s shown interest in potty training (! yes..she’s potty training…all on her own) but they still come in quite handy on a child that has decided clothes are a convention that she’d rather not partake in. She’s found it quite hilarious to take off her pants and then take off the diaper and run around bare bummed. This is particularly funny at bed time because she knows it means I have to pick her up to put it all back on (we’re sleep training…another post for another time..). Last night, after having to put her disposable back on 3 times, I whipped out a snap BumGenius cover and popped it on her. Problem solved. She’s not strong enough to get the snaps undone which meant that it had lost its novelty. She still slept pants less but at least she had a diaper on.

Tonights trick – a one piece sleeper so maybe she’ll have the luxury of having her legs covered (although it didn’t seem to bother her last night).

Jan 252014
 

HE…LL….is more like it. I’m still adjusting to our new washer when it comes to our cloth diapers. When we got the new house we purchased a beautiful new HE washer and dryer. I felt so grown up with this fancy schmancy top loading washer that sings to me at the end of the cycle. Then I did diaper laundry in it… I knew going into it we’d have to adjust but I was not prepared for how much (and I’m still not adjusted). To make matters more complicated it’s agitator-less too. Great for those monster sized loads of laundry, not so great for diapers that need the friction to dislodge the ground in dirt.

First load I did using a similar pattern to my previous life and even after a full wash and two rinses they still smelled like poo….boo! So I shifted to a longer rinse cycle, longest hottest wash cycle, and two more long rinse cycles. There was a marginal improvement. Then I tried doing a rinse, then a hot wash where I added a pre-soak but the presoak was in cold water. So I dumped 5 buckets of scalding hot water into the machine. Finally I’m starting to make headway…so…we stand today at:

1 super long cold rinse (longest I can get it)
1 super hot wash with presoak where I dump in buckets of hot water
2 super long rinses

total time for this effort if I stay on top of it..?? 8 hours give or take some change. And sometimes, if they’re especially dirty I have to toss a second wash and soak in there to get the smell out. So..10 hours…

This is the point where I’m really glad I have enough diapers to last us three or 4 days between washings because between work and life it takes me about 2 days to finish a load.

I know we’re still adjusting but I’m holding strong with the cloth. She’s 18 months now and if she’s like her brother, we’ll start potty training her in about 6 months…so really we don’t have that much longer in diapers. *Crossing my fingers*

Anybody else have significant issues when they switched to a high efficiency washer?

Apr 082013
 

I love love love that so many of my friends are thinking about or even fully on board with cloth diapering. My mom thinks I’m obsessed and perhaps I am a bit I’ve had a lot of questions from them so I thought I’d stick them all in one spot.

Q: What brands to you use?
A: We have a mix of BumGenius 3 and 4.0’s One Size and Fuzzibunz one size pockets for the most part. I added prefolds and thirsties covers for Lia as well as Bum Genius Free Time (which I LOVE!)

Q: What’s the difference between fitteds, AIO’s, Pockets, prefolds etc…?
A: AIO’s or all-in-ones have the absorbent layers along with a waterproof outer layer all in one sewn together package. They are by far the easiest diaper because they mimic a disposable almost exactly. They take a while to dry which is one of the biggest drawbacks. The next level down is a pocket diaper. These ones have a waterproof outer layer that has a sleeve in it that you can stuff with absorbent layers. They’re great because you can customize the absorbency based on your child and since everything comes apart they wash and dry pretty quickly. Drawback on these is that you have to stuff them every time before you use them. I generally stuff them as I pull them out of the dryer. Fitteds look like a disposable and they’re all absorbent material. They don’t have a waterproof cover so you’ll need to buy one of those to go with it. And then prefolds and flats are what you think of when you think of cloth diapers – just a flat panel of fabric that you fold up around the baby and either secure with a snappi and then cover with a waterproof outercover (or just cover in my case..) In the case of prefolds, the are sewn in thirds with extra absorbent layers in the center of the three panels. You simply fold them on the seams or across and put them on. Flats require a bit more origami because they’re all one layer however they are by far the most cost effective option.

Q: Do you put anything on their bums when you use them?
A: Not usually. Regular diaper creams like Destin and A&D can damage your diapers and cause them to repel so we don’t even generally keep them in the house (I do have one tube of Destin for emergencies and I keep it far away from my diapers so there’s no mistake). That said, there are creams that are CD safe (California baby is our fav) and I will put it on them if they look a little red. I find that I do this more with Lia than I did with Noah. I think she’s just a bit more sensitive. However, we’ve never had a full blown diaper rash with either of them. For the most part there’s no need to put any creams or powers on when you CD.

Q:Do you use special detergent?
A:I do. Most commercial cleaners have enzymes and brighteners that can cause build up over time which in turn causes repelling. There are a few safe ones out there but I decided to use a special CD safe product from Rockin Green Soap. I keep this as a reference if there are any questions. It has some great data on detergents.

Q:You talk of dryer balls…what the heck are those?
A:Dryer sheets again can cause build up on your diapers and cause repelling (plus have you ever looked at the chemical make up of them? yuck..) Dryer balls are a natural way of softening your clothes and speeding up drying times. They are softball sized balls made from felted wool and they bounce around in your dryer with the clothes/diapers and keep things moving. Some come with fragrance, mine didn’t. I’ve both made my own and bought them. Obviously the purchased ones are better quality. I found mine on etsy but you can find them on most any cloth diaper website.

Q:Are they really that cost effective?
A:Yes, I believe they are. You spend roughly $1600 for two years of disposable diapering, add in another $600 or so if you’re child is in the average for potty training. I think for both children I spent $1000 or so on my stash. You figure you have a marginal cost for water but not nearly enough to make up the difference.

Q:Is your waterbill higher?
A:It’s hard to tell. Yes, but not too terribly much and much of it can be contributed to the fact that we added a nightly bath for another body.

Q:What resources have you used to learn about CDing?
A:I spent a lot of time on TheBump.com’s cloth diapering board asking questions and reading answers. I also spent a bunch of time on these sites:
http://www.theclothdiaperwhisperer.com/
http://www.diaperpin.com/home.asp <-- diaper reviews http://www.jilliansdrawers.com/ <-- store front with lots of CD related information http://simplemom.net/cloth-diapering/

And while I didn’t use them, there are local CD stores that are so helpful getting started (here in NoVa we have one – http://www.abbyslane.com/ and I know there’s one in Pittsburgh for my PGH friends – http://www.happybabycompany.com/ )

So there you have it…some questions that I have been asked over the time. I’m sure if I sit here long enough I can think of more:) Don’t hesitate to ask in the comments if you have any others. I don’t claim to be an expert but I’ll do what I can do help:)

Mar 032013
 

I don’t think there’s enough cloth diaper talk happening on this blog lately:) I used to talk about it all the freakin time (at least it felt like that..). Anywho, we’re still a happy little cloth diapering family over here! It was kind of a no brainer with Lia since we’d done it for so long with Noah and little has changed since I did it with him.

Our stash is still a mix of BumGenius and Fuzzybunz although I’ve invested in a few more snap Kawaii diapers (some came for free and I purchased a few others). They’re nice and cheap and you can stuff the heck out of them. The only thing I noticed with Noah is that they’re larger and they stretch out over time. Neither of which is a problem, just something to look out for.

Additionally, this time around I’m using covers and prefolds more often. Mostly so I can save my pocket stash for daycare and when daddy’s diapering but also because I can super customize the absorbancy (plus they were all that fit when she was a tiny babe). I’m to the point tho with most of my covers (except the Flip covers) that I need to upgrade to the next size. No biggie, they’re not expensive, just something I have to remember to do soon. My favs are my Thirsties Duo covers…

warmStripesS

Another new one to my stash is still a BumGenius diaper but it’s a different line (and I think I’m in love!!) It came as a freebie one time when I ordered a bunch of others and I liked it so much that as I retired a few more of Noah’s old ones, I purchased these in it’s place. I find that I go to them now when I’m in a rush getting the diaper bag together because there’s no stuffing! They’re an all-in-one but the center flaps open up so it washes and dries faster!

Bum Genius Free Time

via CottonBabies.com

via CottonBabies.com

I also added two large pail liners this time around and while I don’t actually use them in a pail, I do use them. I simply hang them over the edge of the changing table and cinch the top shut. Since I have a larger stash now I don’t have to wash as often and the pail liner is the perfect size to go those few days (I still wash at least every third day).

Anyways…things are swimming along here and we’re happy with our choices so far in diapers. I do need to finish the post I started over a year ago on how to get started. I’ve had a few girlfriends that just had babies or are due soon to deliver that have gone the cloth route and in answers all their questions I have a pretty good getting started post. I just need to finish it up….so who knows…maybe you’ll get two cloth diapering posts in one month (haha, maybe you’ll get two posts in one month in general, I’ve been slacking lately…)

Sep 242012
 

When we decided on cloth for Noah we didn’t actually start using them until he was almost 2 months old. I was so new to things that I didn’t even want to entertain the idea until we had a routine going. For Lia I thought that I’d try to switch to cloth earlier..you know, being an experienced momma with the “I’ve got this” mentality (bwahahahaha). It was actually quite easy to start earlier although it did take a different type of diaper to make it work.

With most all in ones and one sized pocket diapers (like the Fuzzibunz and BumGenius we used for Noah) you can’t start using them until the babe is larger (10lbs ish). Lia was born barely 6lbs and dropped below 6 after we left the hospital. Even before she arrived I knew I’d have to buy additional smaller diapers to accommodate her at that early time. However, they’d only work for the first month or two. So, to keep the cost low I decided on prefolds with covers.

A quick browse of my favorite diaper sites and boards I settled on two different covers – a Thirsties extra small and the Rumparooz newborn covers. I also decided to splurge on some Rumaprooz Lil Joey all in ones.

The Lil Joeys are what fit first. They were so tiny and with the double gusset they contained the poo pretty well (we had one splosion:( ). I really liked them but they took forever to dry! I only had 4 so at first we were using those and disposables.

Once she got back up to her birth weight the Thirsties cover started to fit better. They also have a double gusset and it does a great job of containing things:) That poor cover has been washed more than all the others because I used it so much. I really wish I’d gotten more than one.

The last to fit was the Rumparooz. They started to fit her around 2 weeks old. They’re still pretty big on her but that’s fine, they’ll work as she gets older. I was surprised at how big they were. The diaper claims to fit from 6 – 12 lbs. Really, at 10lbs I would say they’re finally starting to fit her well and at 6lbs they were just too big (they covered half of her body and I couldn’t get the legs tight enough to prevent gaping).

The last challenge I had was finding a prefold that actually fit her. I used Bummis Organic Cotton size 1 and they were just too bulky on her tiny little frame initially. I was discouraged. I didn’t want to go buy more stuff so I started using the newborn inserts from my pocket diapers. It actually worked okay. Then I found some Gerber birds eye cotton prefolds at Target that were a lot less bulky.

Today I’ve started using my pocket diapers and my small Thirsties covers along with the Bummis and Gerber prefolds (and the newborn covers). My stash is to the point where I don’t need to wash for at least a week (not that I let it go that long…I’m still washing every other night) but I think the Lil Joeys days are limited. They’re just getting too tight around her belly. I can’t believe how quickly she blew thru those (anyone want to buy 4 Lil Joey’s? Pink and Purple…i’ll cut you a deal!)

Anyways, CD’ing a newborn isn’t that big a deal and if you plan carefully it’s not all the much more expensive. I figured 3 sets of prefolds, 3 covers and the 4 Lil Joeys cost me around $100 and at least 2 of those covers and many of the prefolds will last me well into her first year.

Jun 132012
 

I’d always hoped that my original stash of diapers for Noah would hold up long enough for me to use them for baby #2 but alas, all of our originals have simply fallen apart:( The biggest problem is that they’re no longer waterproof and while I’ve tried to re waterproof them, it only seems to hold for a few washings and then we have to do it again. Certainly not a sustainable option.

So, as Noah moves on with potty training (which is another post entirely) and off of his cloth diapers, I’ve been retiring the oldest and replacing them with pretty girlie colors (bonus!). We still have quite a few of his newer pockets that have held up so we’ll also use those. (at this point, knock on wood, I should only have 1 in diapers by the time she gets here!)

I also decided that I wanted to try starting to CD earlier with baby girl. I waited until Noah was 10lbs or so before I got up enough nerve. This time around I’ve ordered a bunch of newborn covers and flats/prefolds to try as a large chunk of our stash. Still a very cost effective option if you ask me. I do have a few new Kawaiis (freebies!), Bum Genius’s, and Fuzzi Buns pockets..but at this point the bulk of the stash are Thirsties and Flip covers with some birds eye flats and a bunch of random hemp prefolds.

I’ll keep you all posted as we try out these new options. I have to say, it’s going to be an adjustment again getting back into diaper laundry! Potty training has been going so well that he’s only using a diaper during naps. He’s in pull-ups at night and undies during the day!!! Yay!

Dec 072011
 

So, our cloth diapering has taken another turn and presented a new challenge. Nothing like keeping you on your toes! Noah’s been consuming milk and water like it’s going out of style (to the tune of 8oz of milk and 12 oz of water before bed – not to mention the 6,8,12 oz of h2o or milk in a sitting during the day!). He’s been peeing thru his diapers left and right. We’ve adjusted our daytime changes to happen more frequently or closer to the times he consumes those vast quantities of liquid but at night we have a whole different challenge – I’m not waking a sleeping baby!

I’ve tried cutting him back to just the milk bottle but he just stands in his crib and cries. I even let him cry it out for like 10 min before my heart broke and I gave in. I filled his cuppy and he was out in 5 min! So…it seems we’re left with a camel of a child whose diapers cannot contain the river of pee he generates. I gave up for a while and used disposables at night out of shear desperation (mamma needs her beauty rest!) but then was mad at myself because we’ve made it 21 months without having to resort to disposables for more than just an occasional thing. So I was on the hunt for ideas. We tried all hemp, we tried more pads, less pads, tested the diapers for repelling, bought new diapers…nothing was working.

It wasn’t until I was organizing his diaper stash that I remembered he had a few wool shorties that I bought back in the day. At the time they were a little large and I just didn’t quite have the hang of them so we tossed them back to the back of the rack. If you’re read on here before, wool is amazing at absorbing moisture. Plus it’s antimicrobial and some how doesn’t retain the toddler pee smell even if it gets a little damp. So, it was worth a shot and I’m sooo happy I tried it. He had a dry night in what seemed like forever. Trying to prove it wasn’t a fluke we tried it again the next night…dry again! Woohoo…

Slowly I stopped worrying about how much he drank in the evenings and came to love that the woolie has stood up to the test! So, for those interested, here’s the system:
1 BG 3.0 whose PUL is questionable
1 microfiber insert
2 joeybunz hemp inserts
1 woolie over all of it

Plus we put him in fleece PJ’s because it’s cold in his room which acts as yet another barrier since fleece has great moisture properties too. In the AM the woolie is a wee bit damp and the inner diaper is soaked. I just turn the woolie inside out and lay it flat to dry. We’ve used it for a week and it still doesn’t smell – color me impressed! I ordered two more off etsy last night so we have some to rotate thru as they need washed and I can’t wait for them to arrive!

The bonus? Noah loves is “undies” to the point where he cries if I don’t put them on fast enough! Win win!

Oct 272011
 

It’s bound to happen with as much abuse as our diapers take – they’ve started wicking! The PUL has broken down and now even a moderately wet diaper soaks right thru the cover. Rather disappointing but not surprising, our diapers have been put thru the ringer. So, since they were wicking and pretty much useless to me I figured here was no harm in trying to re-waterproof them. I’d read somewhere that the spray on Nikwax would work well so I sent DH to REI to pick up some.

Avail from your local sports store (REI for us)

I just followed the directions on the container (it said to dampen the cloth before application, spray it on, let it set, wipe off the excess). I actually had to spray it down a few times because it kept soaking in.

After they'd been sprayed, the dark spots are where the waterproofer was soaking in

To prevent the waterproofing from coming in contact with the fleece I used our overabundance of plastic grocery bags and stuffed them in the diaper.

To keep the waterproofing from hitting the fleece...

Once they were coated, I hung them to dry on the rack overnight. In the AM I noticed they still had a bit of a chemical smell so I tossed them in for another round of wash. They came out smelling normal so I figured it was safe to use them.

Verdict?

So far so good….I used one of them the other night and there was no wicking. Now the test will be to see how long this lasts. I figure any use we get out of them beyond this is bonus so it was worth a shot.

Jun 242011
 

When I told my friends about how easy CD’ing was, many of them replied “yea, but you work at home…you can do the wash whenever” and that was true. Getting those diapes washed was so easy because I could walk by the laundry room and turn on the various cycles throughout my day. By the end of the day I’d have freshly clean and dried diapes all ready for the next day. I always thought that we’d have to alter our routine if I ever went back into an office work situation but never really worried about it because I never thought I’d be back there while Noah was still in diapers. I was wrong.

I’ve been commuting now for 6 weeks and while we’re still finding balance in everything else, I’ve managed to get CD wash routine that still works for us. We’re doing them every other night like we did before but it takes until the next evening to get things done (which is fine for us). So, after Noah’s down I’ll run the cold rinse and then before bed I’ll start the hot wash. Next morning before I head out the door I’ll run the second rinse and I’ll start the drying when I get home from work. This means I often times pack his daycare bag in the AM but I’ve found that we’re waking up earlier anyways so I always have time.

So, there you have it! I’m not super mom and I certainly don’t have everything figured out but I have figured out a way to make CD’ing work even when I’m not working out of my house.

Apr 192011
 

After a year of wear and tear, the velcro is starting to go on my BG diapers. The tabs are starting to curl and the strip across the front is starting to unravel so I think it’s time to fix them up. Now, I could just buy a refresher kit from BG and sew new velcro on but since Noah is getting savvy about velcro, I figured I’d convert them to snaps instead.

Velcro before, unraveling and just beat

Tabs before, not horrible but starting to curl

There are a bunch of places on the web that will show you how to convert to snaps, there are even places that will do it for you for a premium! As you’ve noticed, I’m a DIY’er so I found my instructions on Kamsnaps.com which is actually where I bought my snaps and snap press from. It may sound excessive to buy a press just for this but I figured, when I added the cost of the snaps and presses and added in my time, it was still less expensive than buying 18 new diapers to replace the worn ones.

Tools of the trade

The process is simple enough but rather time consuming. The steps are outlined in the linked article above but in a nutshell, you use a seam ripper to undo the velcro on your diaper, use the template provided to mark the holes, use the aull to poke thru the PUL, then you pull out the snap press and snap pieces and mush together (okay, overly simplified but Kamsnaps does a great job explaining above).

So far I’ve replaced the velcro on 4 diapers and I have two more in the works. I counted the other day and i still have 6 to go that are in various stages of decomposition. 1 or 2 of them will likely need replaced soon.

In the end it’s totally worth it. I get a new life out of my old diapers and Noah hasn’t yet figured out snaps so there’s no worries about nekked morning suprises. haha…

Apr 182011
 

That’s my diapers after a 30 min soak in Rockin Green…ewww…and that’s how it looks after every 30min soak which i’ve been doing prior to every load now.

Okay, let me step back….

Noah’s diapers started to get a little funky. Not ammonia thankfully, just not clean. This seemed to happen right around the time the water company jacked up the chlorine content in our water.

(small aside: you could just smell it in the water – I made a comment to DH about cleaning the bathroom while Noah was in the tub but he said he did nothing of the sort…then as I got closer to the tub, I realized it was the off gassing from the tap water! Safe to say, we fill the tub and let it sit for a few until the smell is gone. This happens around this time of year because they switch the type of chlorine they use as well as jack it up as they flush all the lines)

Anyways….I did an overnight soak in Rockin Green and OMG the stuff in the water! So, now I decided to rock a quick soak just prior to each wash and it seems to be helping.

So, here’s todays wash routine (every other or every third day depending on how lazy I am):

– quick cold rinse to get the major stuff out
– fill the tub with hot hot hot water and 3 tbs of RnG, let it sit 30-60 min
– finish the cycle (longest cycle on my machine – 19min, three rinses)
– 9 min cycle on hot
– cold rinse
– the pads go into the dryer, the pockets head over to the drying rack.

So far, we’re doing much better. No more funk and not a ton more work really. The 30 min soak is fine and often turns into 60 or 90 min because I forget..haha…no biggie though. We’re not having any trouble with build up, repelling, or stink now! Woohooo….

Apr 122011
 

There have been a few battles raging in our house over the last few weeks. Some we’re winning (but not ready to declare victory) the other, well, we’ve been defeated and will regroup in a while and try again!

1. The ants!
The little tiny black critters are always a problem in the spring. Va is just not cold enough to kill them off each season and our house is definitely not sealed up well enough to keep them out. We’ve done a better job sealing things as we renovated but nothing’s perfect. Case in point, they used to come in under the kitchen window around the sink. Since we sealed that up with spray foam during the renovation, they’re resorted to finding a way in thru the dining room under the window and base boards. I’m not about to rip the base boards up to spray foam so it was time to find another way to keep them out.

We tried a number of methods to kill them – spraying outside, ant hotels, Terro. We also cleaned very thoroughly, sealed up every thing in the pantry, and moved from eating in the dining room (noah’s high chair is a particular challenge to clean) to eating in the kitchen. Nothing was working and I was hesitant to spray inside because of the dog and Noah. So, we found this stuff, Home Defense, that was safe for pets and kids once it was dry. It was worth a shot. I sprayed along the baseboards of the outside wall and then around the corner into the kitchen. I also sprayed around the base of the kitchen cabinets where they were crawling up. While i’m not ready to declare victory, today was the first morning that I walked into my kitchen and didn’t see any of the little black critters crawling on my counter tops!

My hunch is that the Terro and the ant hotels were encouraging them to come inside and they’d never make it back out so they poison wouldn’t make it to the nest. With the Home Defense stuff, they never even make it inside! Win!

2. Noah’s sleep!
For now at least Noah’s back on a good sleep trend (and as I say this I’m totally jinxing myself). He’s easy to put down and when he does wake in the wee hours he’s usually just thirsty so a quick bottle with just water and we’re back to sleep. I kinda miss our snuggle time but I’m learning to love my sleep more (and the cuteness that he is when he wakes up rested in the AM)

3. Diaper leaks!
Now that he’s getting a little water in the middle of the night to quench his thirst we’re finding that his old diaper solution wasn’t holding up. The more I stuffed to get absorbency in there, the further off his body the diaper would sit and gap at the legs etc…I bought new inserts that are nice, trim and supposedly absorbent but all but I think need a few more washes to live up to their hype.

On a whim I decided to try a Kissaluvs fitted with a Joey Bunz booster and an Econobums cover. Two nights running and we’ve woken up dry! I hope this continues!

4. The bottle!
Okay, this is our one defeat. Noah’s no longer getting bottles at daycare or with meals and that’s great but we haven’t been able to break the bed time bottle or the one in the wee hours. Plus, he LOVES to just chew on it while he plays (and I attribute it to his new found ability to put himself to bed). I’ve been trying really hard to take it away when he’s not actually drinking something but man, if you don’t hide it quick you hear about it! The kid is obsessed (but easily distracted)…I figure we’re still doing okay with everything else, this is one I’m not going to fight just yet.

Anyways…for your patience in reading all of this, a little Noah cuteness…

Apr 012011
 

There’s a new fixture over there on the right side bar that I hope you’ll visit. I’ve decided to become an affiliate of Kelly’s closet because it’s where I’ve bought the bulk of my cloth and I’ve been really happy with their selection and service. They have all of my favorite brands as well as a whole host of other CD accessories, baby gear, gear for moms and other natural home products. Plus they have awesome sales on a regular basis and free shipping on orders over $49 (which is not hard to do when there’s so much cute fluff to pick from!).

I hope if you’re considering cloth or just need to buy more fluff that you’ll click thru on my banner over there and pay them a visit!

Mar 262011
 

So, over a year in cloth and everyone was right, your needs change as your LO grows up. We still have our staple BG 3 and 4’s and FB’s but I’ve added a few others to our stash as I try to solve our night time diaper problem. I thought I’d run thru the main parts of our stash with my experiences noted for others. These are all one size pocket diapers (unless otherwise noted in my write up). They are a bit more expensive to get started but are much closer to a disposable diaper experience which was important for DH and daycare. My general routine is to stuff them as they come out of the wash so they’re ready to go – just lay one down and strap it on:)


Bum Genius 3.0/4.0 One Size


This makes up the bulk of our stash. We have 15 or so of these babies in both Aplix and Snap. Over time I’m finding that I prefer snaps because the velcro wears out, starts to separate from the diaper and curls. It’s all fine, I’m simply replacing the old velcro with snaps as they wear out.

This is our night time diapering go to and we use it all the way open (all the sizing snaps undone so it’s as big as it gets) with one regular pad and two infant pads stuffed in the pocket. It’s quite bulky at this but pretty much bullet proof – well, at least until lately. We went thru a spell there where he’d wake up every morning soaked because his PJ’s managed to lodge themselves over the top of his diaper and wicked like crazy. I found that as I triple stuffed his diaper to get enough absorbency for night the rise of the diaper fell lower on his belly, fine for daytime when he’s sitting or upright, not good for a belly sleeper at night. I’m on the hunt for a higher rise diaper but also made an adjustment to the pad inside and unsnapped it the whole way too. That makes it less bulky in the front and seems to be doing better.

FuzziBunz One Size

This is another major brand in our stash. I have about 8 of these guys. They only come in snaps and the adjustments are done with elastic in the legs and across the back. Initially I had a harder time getting a good fit on these guy with a little effort it worked out (for a while there he was leaking around the legs something fierce!) and now I love them. I love the color selection and the super soft interior too. The pocket isn’t as large so I can’t as easily triple stuff it for night but it does make for a nice trim daytime option.

Flip Diapers One Size

This diaper is made by the same folks that make the BG’s so it’s very similar in size and shape. The biggest difference is that this is part of a system that provides a prefold stay-dry, organic, and disposable option in one diaper. It’s basically a waterproof cover with your choice of absorbent layer. I got this one for free when I ordered another set of diapers and actually like it. The problem (if you see it as that) is that it takes more to “assemble” since it’s a prefold. This is not one DH will use so it’s generally a backup/standby when we’re all out of others. But, for no other reason other than it’s a tiny bit more work to get it assembled and onto a squirmy Noah.

Knickernappies One Size – side snap

This is a new diaper to my stash and we only have two. I read a bunch about how they’re more generously sized and would work for larger babies so I thought they’d solve my rise issues for night time. The verdict is still out since my first pass I didn’t add enough absorption so we were soaked again in the AM. They’re both in the wash now so we’ll give it another go in the next day or so. They are just fine for the day time and are certainly more generously sized than the other diapers (kind of like the kawaii’s below). I think they’ll work well as part of our stash – that is once I get used to the side snaps.

Kawaii Baby

This was another freebie and I only have one. I’ve been looking to get more and for the price you can’t beat it! They’re definitely the cheapest on this page by a long shot ($10/diaper on average vs. $15-20 for the others). This is a night time go to as well when it’s clean. It’s very generously sized and has an enormous pocket that does well triple stuffed. So far I’ve not found anything to dislike about this diaper (other than it’s a little hard to come by…). Oh, and the laundry tabs are shot after only about 6 months of washing (then again, my BG’s are too…velcro is just like that).

There are a few others in our stash including a MonkeySnuggles or two as well as an assortment of Kissaluvs fitteds that I need to get new water proof covers for since Noah’s out grown the ones we had.

Overall we’re still very happy cloth diapering Noah. I’m content in my stash (mostly). I do want to add a few more BG 4.0’s and some FB’s just to replace one or two where the PUL is wearing out but other than that, our initial investment (still under $500!) is serving us well.

If you CD – what’s your favorite brand?

Sep 272010
 

Alright, 7 months in and we’re still CD’ing strong! It’s now just a fact of life and part of our routine just like bottle washing and eating are:) Even with the introduction of solids things are still swimming along. I thought I’d give a run down of our routine for those that may be interested…

7am – Good Morning Noah! First diaper change of the AM. Usually it’s just a wet (VERY WET) one that I wrap up and drop in the wet bag that hangs on his closet door knob. If he happens to have left me more then it’s a quick trip to the toilet to shake it off and into the wet bag it goes.

9am – Diaper change number 2. This one generally has more fun thing in it since we just had breakfast. Quick trip to the toilet to shake it off and into the wet bag it goes.

I send 5 diapers to daycare with this and they generally use 3 or 4 of them. They come home to me in a smaller wet bag. All they’re doing at daycare is taking the diaper off and wrapping it up then putting it in the wet bag. On wash days I just drop the bag in the wash room. On non wash days I take the bag upstairs and will deal with them later.

7pm – Bath time. Diaper comes off and goes into the wet bag.
7:30pm – Last diaper of the day. I usually use a BumGenius 3.0 triple stuffed (one regular liner and two newborn liners). This system will get him clear thru until 7am!

8:00 – Time to deal with the other diapers! On non wash nights I’ll go thru the wet bag and shake the poopy diapers off in the toilet. The wet diapers get transferred straight to the bag.

On wash nights I’ll start laundry around 8:30 or so. It’s pretty easy. Just make sure the velcro is adhered to the laundry tabs, shake the inserts out of the diaper (sometimes I have to pull a bit) and into the washer, run them thru a cold rinse then hot wash with detergent and an extra rinse. I’ll hang the shells out to dry on the drying rack in the sun room and toss the inserts in the dryer. Some days the inserts go on the drying rack too…just depends on what the weather is and what the temp of the sun room is.

Generally we go thru 6 or 7 diapers in a day. With the number of diapers we have, I can usually do one load every third night. In the AM I’ll grab everything and stuff them so they’re ready to be used! Our active stash consists of BG 3.0, BG 4.0, FuzziBunz, and Gerber prefolds and covers. I have a stash of fitteds but for some reason I just dont use them anymore. I think it’s because they get sooooo wet all over and his skin gets clammy if I don’t change it super frequently.

But that’s it! Simple huh?? Okay, it is a little work but really, in the scheme of things, knowing that I’m keeping that much out of the landfills makes it worth it (not to mention his bum is totally cute in the colors). I can’t wait till the BG 4.0 Artist Series comes out in Oct – I better have a job by then because I dont think I’ll be able to contain myself!

Aug 182010
 

It’s been a while since I’ve talked about cloth on this blog and I figured some of you may be interested in how we’ve done traveling with them this summer (mom, you can stop reading for now…I’ll post more Noey pics later:) ).

Most of our trips have been weekender to my parents or in-laws (or a quick trip to the beach). In those cases it’s pretty easy – I just wash everything Friday morning and make sure I bring enough diapers to cover the weekend. Then I end up washing when we get home on Sunday. No big deal there. I take both wet bags and a duffel full of diapers (pockets and prefolds).

For our longer trips, we’ve only done two of them – one with access to a washer and one without. I have to confess that for the trip without a washer (to San Francisco) we did use disposables the whole week. It was just too much to ask DH to find a laundromat to wash them mid week and even though we have family and a number of friends out there, I’m not about to go knocking on one of their doors begging to use their washer to wash poopy diapers:) It did remind me though why we do cloth – that week we had to use diaper cream almost every day to keep his bottom from getting red!

My biggest success was our trip to the Outer Banks with my parents. We had access to a washer and dryer so I figured it’d be no big deal to keep using cloth and you know what? It wasn’t a big deal:) I took half of my pockets (6 of them), 2 fitteds and 12 prefolds with 3 covers. In the end I didn’t use the fitteds – I stuck with the pockets for outings and night time diapering and prefolds for any other times. I ended up washing on the 2nd or 3rd night there and then again on the 5th or 6th night there. I did take my laundry detergent with me but not the dryer balls. They just dried without anything and were totally fine.

Overall not much different than when we’re at home and totally doable!

Jul 282010
 

Why yes, yes it is – you gotta problem with that??

There’s a story behind this outfit thought. See, I have this wool soaker that I’ve been wanting to try but was not quiet sure how it worked. Yes yes, you put it over a fitted or prefold, I got that part…but since it is a great wicking layer, I don’t know if you should put a sleeper over it or let it stand alone. My experience from my skiing days leads me to believe that I could probably put something over it but that it may get wet so tonight is an experiment – woolie alone. And since I couldn’t put him in a sleeper and I couldn’t let him go naked I used the only long sleeved shirt I had – brown and blue stripes. Then, I noticed that his little legs would probably get cold since the soaker only came to his knees so on went the babylegs (yes, the green ones were the best option out of all the legs we have). Thankfully Noah’s not picky about his fashion sense because they all don’t match and actually clash quite horribly.

So, mommas that use wool…how do you do it? Wool alone with a shirt and babylegs? or under a bodysuit?

Jun 262010
 

Alright, so today it is painfully obvious that I should just stick with photography:) I’m not a seamstress by any stretch of the imagination. The pattern looked simple enough (and it really is), I’m just terrible with the sewing machine:)

Anywho, here’s my attempt to sew my own fitted diaper. I think my end product is usable but we’ll see! I found the pattern at Fern and Faerie and made a few modifications on the shape (using my monkeysnuggle fitted as a guide) but followed the same basic premise as the instructions describe. 4 layers of cotton t-shirt material and soakers made out of 8 layers of t-shirt material (in contrast to my purchased monkeysnuggles which is organic bamboo and cotton and other super absorbent materials..)

All in all not a bad attempt, if I was just better with the sewing machine. Plus I dont have a serger which I think would have made this easier. I’ll have to try again when I go to my moms since she has one.

Jun 192010
 

So I had a tall order for this diaper – overnight coverage! We’ve used our pocket diapers overnight with no problem but I wanted to give them a break (since they make up 95% of our stash and are constantly being rotated and washed). I’d heard that fitteds with wool covers can let little bums breath better and are a good alternative when you’re home or for overnight but I’m too cheap to buy a wool cover (they can run anywhere from $30 – $50! I really need to learn how to knit!). So, I used these diapers with a Thirsties Duo cover. I should note also that I bought the fitted from the Monkeysnuggles etsy shop where it was a “second”. There’s a tiny tiny bobble in the serged edge but nothing enough to make any sort of different in the function of the diaper – saved me some cash so I was pleased!:)

Overall it did great! I diapered him up around 7:00pm and didn’t change him until he woke the next morning around 7:00am! We had a tiny bit of leakage but seriously, for 12 hours of coverage I was amazed!! Our pocket diapers don’t even do that well! Noah must have weighed 5 more lbs in the AM with the full diaper.

I used both soakers in addition to the main diaper. It was pretty bulky but heck, he was only sleeping. It’s not like he was trudging/toddling around in that set up (well, partly because he doesn’t trudge/toddle…but you get my jist).

Here’s what the MonkeySnuggles website has to say about the make up of these diapers:

This fabulously soft diaper is made of a layer of organic bamboo fleece (70% bamboo 30% organic cotton) sandwiched between a layer of organic bamboo velour (70% bamboo 28% organic cotton 2% polyester) on the inside and a cute cotton knit fabric on the outside. Includes two 4-layer velour topped snap in soakers.

I couldn’t agree more! Super absorbent and super soft! These are one size diapers too so they should work for him until he’s potty trained (they say from 10lb to 35lbs or more). I did have to fully extend it but I think that’s because I had both soakers snapped in. If I reduce it to just one or none then we’d have to cinch it down using the snaps.

Regardless, I’m super happy with this fitted. Now if I could only get their pocket diaper to perform as well we’d be in business! The verdict is still out on that guy.

Jun 172010
 

How cute are these?

Little monkeys on his little bum! These are from Monkeysnuggles and so far I’m still on the fence about them. They’re totally cute and fit okay on him (they’re one size pocket diapers with snaps). But, both times I’ve had him in them they’ve leaked on me. I checked the fit and that seems to be okay. I think I need to either use a different insert or wash the insert I have a bunch more times to unlock its absorption. I’m going to try it later this week with a different soaker in it and see if things work differently. I want to love these because they’re super super cute.

So, for now I’ll withhold an opinion until I can give it a second chance:) The gDiapers got three chances and finally proved themselves, maybe the Monkeysnuggles will only take two!?

Next ones to try will be the Monkeysnuggles fitteds with a ThirstyDuo cover.

May 302010
 

So, first off – cloth diapers are addicting!  Once you make the switch and get into the groove, you want to add to your stash and try different things out (well, I do at least).

We’re two weeks in and doing great!  DH’s even stuffed a diaper or two and voluntarily put it on Noah! What’s even more surprising is that he changed a poopy diaper and actually rinsed it out instead of leaving it for me!! I’m floored!! And as if it couldn’t get any better, I went to change him this AM and realized that he had cloth diaper on him when I didn’t put one on him at the start of the night.  DH did it all by himself!  (Noah ended up in a disposable because all the cloth ones were in the wash).  So, needless to say, things are going well!  Daycare has even commented on how easy these diapers are!

Our stash is almost exclusively BumGenius 3.0 one sized diapers although I ordered two MonkeySnuggles one sized, three MonkeySnuggles fitteds, and a FuzziBunz one sized and am waiting for them to arrive.  Plus we have a few gDiapers floating around here with reusable and disposable inserts. I still need to get a cover for the fitted diapers and I hope to one day know how to knit well enough to knit a wool soaker or two for little man (basically wool covers which breath better than the waterproof ones do – great for summer time here at home to let his little bum get some air)

Half of the stash – the other half is in the wash or at daycare!

So, in case you’re still not convinced that cloth diapering is easy and worth a shot think about this.  Aside from the obvious green benefits there’s a cost benefit too to cloth.  Figure it this way (i’m calculating based on Noah’s average right now)

We use 7 diapers a day (give or take 1 or 2) x 365 days a year = 2555 diapers a year! (yea, i realized the heft of that when I was walking a 10lb bag of diaper trash to the can every week!)

If I get my disposable diapers on sale they’re about $.20 a piece.  So, 2555 x $.20 = $511 in diapers for the 1 year.  Multiply that by the 3 years he’ll probably be in diapers and we’re $1533 in diaper costs – for one kid!

For the stash I have now here’s the run down:
12 BumGenius 3.0 one sized diapers @ $18 each = $216
2 MonkeySnuggles one sized @ $18 each = $36
3 MonkeySnuggles fitteds (seconds) @ $18 each = $54
1 FuzzyBunz @ $18.00 = $18
5 Hemp inserts for my gDiapers (which were all gifts) = $25

Grand Total = $349  for his life time in diapers (plus maybe hundred or so for replacement soakers etc down the road)! You can even do it cheaper than that with exclusively prefolds and covered or getting more used.  I went for the more expensive yet more convenient and more like a traditional diaper with the pocket diapers.

Not to mention the space in a landfill you save and the fact that I can use these for our second child and then sell the ones that are in good shape when we’re done using them (yes, there’s a market for used cloth diapers and it’s not as gross as you think!). 

 I just wish I’d done this sooner! I can’t believe how many disposables we’ve gone thru (at least 500 in his first 12 weeks) and how much that has cost us (over $150!).

May 292010
 

So, in our journey to cloth diapering I’ve learned that you shouldn’t use fabric softeners and/or dryer sheets because it can stop your diapers (and your dish towels for that matter) from absorbing. So I was on the hunt for another way to keep my diapers nice and soft while not affecting their absorption.

Enter the dryer ball.  There were two options for dryer balls – the plastic PVC ones with nubbies all over them or all natural wool dryer balls.  Since the plastic ones can give off chemicals when heated I opted for the all natural version.  I searched around the web and found lots of options on etsy.com.  However, they were expensive – about $20 for three balls and you’d need 4-6 for a normal sized load of laundry I read.  Being the crafty (or wanna be crafty) gal that I am, I asked Mr. Google how to make my own wool dryer balls and voila – the Goodmama had a spectacular tutorial to guide me along!

I followed her instructions pretty closely and am very happy with the results.  You can see in the pictures below the balls ready for their first felting.  I actually ran them thru two hot washes and then dried them.  That got them felted up nice and tight.

The image below is the after the final felting before I started using them.  They’re about the size of a softball, maybe a tad smaller.

I’ve been using them for a week now and have noticed a difference in my drying times.  Plus, my clothes are as just as soft and static free as if I was using dryer sheets.  With smaller loads you do notice the bumping of the balls as they tumble in the dryer but I just close the door to the laundry room and forget about it.

I used 100% wool yarn I found at Michaels (Lion brand) and one skein was $8.  I made 2 balls from one skein and still have a bunch left over (so much that I think I might get another ball or two out of it).  So, for $8 and a few hours of work I have 4 dryer balls (I of course wanted different colors so in reality I spent $24 on yarn – but I have enough to make many more balls or even a woolie soaker once I figure out how to knit!) 

So there you have it!  It’s a definite worth while DIY project! Especially if you’re a knitter already and have scraps avail!  Then you really get to use everything up and get your money’s worth!

(i must mention of course the best way to dry your cloth diapers is on the line outside but as a working mom that’s just not practical for us except for the weekends)

May 152010
 

Before Noah was born I went thru all my options for diapering.  I’d always liked the idea of cloth diapers because for every diaper I reused, that was another that was kept out of the landfill. However I just couldn’t get over having to put poop into my washing machine and without a utility basin that’s basically what I’d be doing.  So, when I found gDiapers I thought I’d struck gold!  The gDiaper is a hybrid system with biodegradable disposable inserts and the reusable outter shells (i’ve blogged about them here, here, and here).  I really like them because they were the best of both worlds. However, after using them for a while I’ve found that for the work involved I think I’m just as well off doing full cloth.  Don’t get me wrong, I like my g’s (once they fit Noah) but for poopy diapers I had to rinse out and then wash the liner anyways so why not just go full cloth and keep everything out of the landfill (plus I finally got over poop..)!

Off again I went to research what type of cloth I wanted.  I wanted something easy like a disposable so that hubs would buy in and that we could get our daycare to use.  Lucky for me cloth diapering has come a long way from the days of my parents!  There are a plethora of choices ranging from All-in-ones (AIOs) that have an outer shell and absorbent center all sewn together to traditional cloth diapers with covers, wool soakers, and the like.  Since I was looking for something simple the AIO’s appealed to me a lot.  However, I read that they don’t withstand the test of time because the waterproof outer cover wears out over time and you can’t replace it.  Enter another hybrid called a pocket diaper!  It consists of a waterproof outer cover that has a pocket in it where a super absorbent soaker is inserted to catch the liquids and what not. 

Most cloth diapering mammas recommend a combination of systems depending on the situation (night time vs. day time, day care vs. home care etc…). However, since I’m just trying this out and haven’t yet committed to all cloth diapering I settled on the bumgenius one size option for now.  It’s a pocket diaper that has adjustable snaps that “grow” with the baby so you only have to buy one set of diapers (unlike other cloth options where the covers are sized). You do have to “stuff” them but you can adjust the absorbency by adding more soakers.

Today was our first day using them and everything went well – although I discovered that it’s really nice to have a wet bag instead of using the sink to store the rinsed out but still not clean diapers – off to diapers.com I go!  They are a bit bulkier than the gDiaper and certainly more bulky than a disposable but nothing to the point where I’m putting him in a size up clothes to accommodate.

They absorb just as well as our disposables and don’t leak either (and Noah’s a heavy wetter!)  I was a little concerned that it kept his skin damp but I supposed that the lack of chemicals that you find in disposables out weigh that point.

I know I have a few followers that are debating right now so I wanted to put this out there.  The upfront cost of cloth seems huge but if you consider the number of disposables you go thru in a lifetime you’ll save yourself a ton of cash in the long run!  You can also build your stash slowly…like I bought 3 to start with and just ordered 5 more to add to the stash. I’ll mix g’s, cloths, and disposables as necessary.  Ideally I’d be using cloth only but there are situations that disposables are just plain easier.  I want to get to the point where we’re primarily cloth and only using a disposable in an emergency (or a very long car ride:) ). 

Anyways, I’ve gone on long enough. You can be sure I’ll continue to talk about this as we get deeper into it.  As for the resources I found when looking I found some great info  here , here, and here during my search.

Apr 212010
 

So, now that Noah is a bit bigger (i’m betting he’s pushing 12 lbs – we’ll find out on Friday) I decided to try the g-diapers again.  I have to say they weren’t a total fail this time around.  We did have a leak by the leg so I had to wash the outer cover but it didn’t leak to his clothes and I think the leak was because I didn’t insure the plastic inner liner was firmly embedded in the crease of his legs.

We have our third attempt on now so I’ll let you know how it goes.  From what I can tell it’s common to have to replace the plastic inner liner (or at least rinse it off ).  It’s also helpful that he’s firmly in size 1 diapers and a bit bigger.  If I had it to do over again I’d try the tiny g pants first (designed for newborns) and then move to the regular g pant when he was bigger.  The tiny-g is basically the liner with a soft cotton outer shell and fastening tabs.

 I’m still not brave enough to do these overnight but if we can do them during the day and a disposable over night then we’re at least cutting down on our waste by a good chunk.

Stay tuned…

Mar 232010
 

Okay, so it may be a bit early to call it a total FAIL but my first attempt at using g diapers did not go well.  We sprung a  leak around his belly and had poo flowing out the side by his leg:(  I had to wash the plastic liner and throw the cloth liner in the wash after one use.  If that keeps up we’ll be bankrupt trying to either keep them washed or buying enough to get thru a few days worth of diapering.

I read a lot about them leaking (only after I’d bought the set up of course) but read that it gets better as they get bigger and fit the diapers better.  Noah’s on the low end of  8lbs which is the lower end of the range for the small gpant so I figure I’ll keep trying them here and there until I find something that works.

If anyone out there reads this and has had success please enlighten me:)

Oct 072009
 

I like to think of myself as eco conscious or eco friendly. I’m not overly committed to all things green (and should be more) but am conscious of my actions and what they do to contribute to or repair environmental damage.

We’ve tried to implement what we can around the house with energy efficient bulbs, lighting timers, recycling, buying local or growing your own produce, etc and are cognizant of the trades offs of not recycling vs. letting that truck drive 100 miles to the nearest center…..however, with the impending birth of our child it opens a whole new set of things to think about – the biggest of which is diapers!

It really bothers me to know that 1 disposable diaper can last up to 500 years in a land fill and that over 50 million diapers enter landfills everyday! However, I’m not sure I can handle full cloth diapers. I plan on going back to work not long after our little one is born and not many places around here will deal with cloth. So I set out in search of more information and options – thank you Mr. Google!

While looking up more info on cloth diapers I came across a hybrid of sorts called gDiapers and I think I’m in love! They’re the best of both worlds! They have the cloth/waterproof outer cover but have a disposable/biodegradable liner that gets flushed in your toilet just like TP, tossed on your compost pile to add to nitrogen rich fertilizer or can be tossed on the trash! They bio degrade in 50-150 days vs the 500 years of a fully disposable diper. How can you go wrong with this? You dont spend the extra water and soap to wash them (you wash the liners like you do the rest of LO’s clothes) and they can contribute to next years tomato crop (okay, that sounds a little gross). It’s a simple as recycling your newspaper according to the website. AND – i’m happy to report – Target has them in the store so on the registry they go (once we actually register!) and diapers.com sells them as well so we can stock up any time we need to.

We’ll likely have to use disposables while LO is a newborn as the gDiaper starts at 8lbs but that shouldn’t be for long and heck, if this child is anything like his/her father, we may start out at 8lbs (or more – ouch!) so then we’re saved! I’m sure we’ll keep a disposable or two in the house in case of emergency but it makes me feel better that we’re not contributing to increasing our landfills (or adding to the emissions when things are burned).

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