Showing posts with label cloth diapers. Show all posts
Showing posts with label cloth diapers. Show all posts

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Prefolds - Action Shots

One of the posts that brings people to my blog is my CD 101 post on prefolds.  I have always thought prefolds and covers were one of the simplest diapering options, and it is still one of my favorite parts of my stash.  If you're looking for cheap, if you're looking for easy, if you're looking for all the benefits of cloth diapering, look no further than prefolds.

But looking back on that post, while it has some great information, it still makes prefold diapers sound kindof complicated.  I wrote about different types to try to help explain options.  Likewise with folds.  I hope it doesn't discourage any mamas from trying prefolds and covers - it really is quite simple to cloth diaper with prefolds.  I probably would have never switched from prefolds as the main part of our diaper stash if it wasn't for starting daycare (where we need to use pockets).

1.  Pick a cover type and size.  If I had it to do all over again, I would go with Thirsties Duo covers in snap versions.  Two sizes cover the range from small babies to potty learning.  Those covers weren't out when I started, so I used Thirsties sized covers.  Which are still awesome, and we stopped at size Medium, but that still means we've gone through three sizes of covers (XS, S, M) and it would be four if my kid wasn't so darn petite.

2.  Pick a prefold fabric.  I prefer hemp because it's so darn absorbent.  But that also means expensive.  (Thirsties, Knickernappies, Baby Kicks, or my newest fave, Hemp Babies are my recommendations for hemp.  Panda Tushies is my recommendation for bamboo.  Little Lions or Econobum are my suggestions for cotton prefolds.)

3.  Pick the size prefolds that you need to fit in your chosen cover type and size.  (Preemie sized prefolds worked in XS covers, infant size worked well in S covers.  GMD reds work well in size Medium covers, but by then I had moved on to hemp.  Thirsties Duo Hemp Prefold in size 2 works magically in Medium covers.)

4.  Trifold the prefold.  Lay in the cover.  Fasten cover around baby.

That's it.  Prefolds boil to down to simply that.

Trifolding works awesome because it puts the most fabric in the wet zone.  I've tried - and describe in the prefolds post - a couple of other folds.  I've come around to the conclusion that trifolding is the way to go.

And now for some action shots of prefolds in covers on my kid.  Maybe she's so cute, she'll convince you.

Most recent shots of prefold in cover in the backyard swimming pool are here.
Prefold in cover on the beach can be seen here.  The green snap cover is a Flip with a prefold in it.

Others:

Econobum cover.


Purple Flip cover.  Doll stroller.


Econobum cover.  Grandpa shoes



Econobum cover.  Messy kitchen.  Melting down kid.
 As always, feel free to email or comment with questions about prefolds, cloth diapers, or anything else.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Community Shout Out

In the process of trying to pare down my diaper stash and get rid of diapers we are not using (and fighting the urge to "save them for the next baby" that I don't know if I'm even having), I thought I had my stash simplified.

Well, it is if you consider all my prefolds in a category called "prefolds".  Then I use "some Thirsties pockets" and "some prefolds and covers" and that's a pretty simplified stash, if you ask me.  It's a far cry from the many varieties of pockets that I did have in various totes in my kids room.

So I thought about doing this post.  A Community Shout Out.  Okay, MommieV Readers, what's in YOUR stash?  Diaper stashes tend to change over time for various reasons - your kid starts daycare so you get more pockets, you want to try some new diapers that you've heard about, your kid gets bigger and you need to size up or try One Size diapers, etc.  So while several readers have commented on various posts about what diapers they use, I thought this would be a good time to take a snapshot of what's in your current rotation.

I thought I would win the prize for the simplest stash currently.  Until, while folding diapers today, I started taking an inventory of the actual kinds and brands of diapers in my load.

Pockets:
12 Thirsties Duo Diapers, Size 2.  Used for daycare and supplemented for nighttime.

Prefolds:
7 Thirsties Duo prefolds (hemp/cotton jersey)*
1 Flip organic insert
3 Econobum prefolds
2 Knickernappies hemp prefolds*
2 Panda Tushie bamboo velour prefolds
12 GMD reds
As backup: a dozen Gerber organic cotton prefolds
(* I would buy a whole lot more of these if I had the money)

Covers:
2 Flip
2 Econobum
2 Thirsties sized covers
1 Thirsties duo cover
As backup: 2 more Thirsties sized covers with the laundry tabs coming off.

Inserts: (used to supplement pockets at nighttime)
3 Thirsties hemp
4 bamboo/zorb from a now defunct Hyenacart store
3 bamboo/zorb from Twinkletoes Diapers

And then, there's the 30 flats I was gifted.  I actually used one today during naptime.  My kid has heat rash, and I was looking for the absolute lightest diapering option I had.  I ended up pad folding a flat in an econobum cover, since she's sometimes dry when she wakes from naps.  It was damp, but worked nicely to help (try to) keep thighs and bum from being too hot.

So what about you?  What diapers are in your current rotation?  Do you have a "rotation" and then a "stash"?  Or are you simplified enough that you are using all your diapers currently?  Anything you are looking to get?  Describe a snapshot of what diapers you have right now.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Even My Kid Hates Disposable Diapers

One Spring evening at the MommieV household:

The first time she took the sposie diaper off.

The second time, I came out from stirring supper to find this.

The third time. (It's a perfectly dry diaper, and I REALLY needed to do diaper laundry).

At least she pulled her shorts back up.  Mostly.

The fourth time, I gave up.

And put her in a Knickernappies side-snap pocket.

Hey, yo, look at me now!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Joiner

Why am I joining?

Because I'm afraid of flats.

Ha!  Isn't that funny?  I've used cloth diapers for over two years.  I've used just about every kind of cloth diapering system available.  I'm one of those mamas that love the simplicity of prefolds and covers and for that I have been called "hard core".  I have shared what I have learned with others through this blog and posts to message boards. 

So .... me?  Afraid of a cloth diaper?

Well, how do you fold them?  Are they absorbent enough?  The other mamas don't talk about them as much.  There's no Awesome Brand that everyone clamors for.

I went with prefolds and covers.  Then investigated pockets when that was required for daycare.  I've used fitteds with covers, fitted with woolies, hybrid systems.  I've used zorb, bamboo, hemp, cotton sherpa.

I've never used flats.



With the stress of the semester I got a little burned out on using cloth.  Being on the tenure track means that every single day I have to take steps to make sure I still have a job in two years.  I pour my energy into accomplishing everything that I need to between 8 and 4 so that I can devote the few remaining hours before 8 pm to the greatest girl in the world. 

My Knickernappies are leaking so bad that daycare only wants me to bring the Thirsties pockets.  Which we don't have enough of for the three days a week that she is at daycare.  I force my mom to use prefolds and covers on her childcare days to save the Thirsties pockets for daycare, but I've still found myself on Thursday mornings without enough diapers to send with her for the day.  I don't want to buy more Thirsties pockets, even used, since we are so close to potty training over the summer.  We just need to get through May, I can't imagine buying diapers for just 6 or 4 or 2 weeks.

The diaper totes in her room are overflowing with fitteds that I saved to use with woolies, only her woolies didn't fit and I didn't crochet her any more.  There are pockets that are too big that I bought long ago on clearance thinking she would eventually fit a size Large diaper (which she won't).  There are leaky pockets that might just need new inserts, and there are diapers that I would feel bad even giving away because it might ruin some poor unsuspecting mama's experience with cloth diapering.  There's no time to do even the bare minimum around here to keep the house clean, let alone go through the diaper totes.  So I just cram clean diapers and training pants on top and keep going day to day.

So the other reason I'm interesting in doing the flats challenge?  Something new.  Something to help recharge my batteries on cloth diapers.  Something to help launch us into potty learning for the summer.  Something to help round out my experience with cloth diapers.  So if my girl does end up being an only child, and if I really am at the end of my cloth diapering days, then I will have tried everything, I will have done it all.

It's not going to be expensive to do the challenge.  It's not going to be a big investment like tons of new pockets would be.  And at the end, when I donate all my old diapers to charity because I can't deal with listing them all online to sell, then I can write them off my taxes for next year.  Sounds like a win all around for everyone to me!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

The Handwashing Flats Challenge (Edited)

”Dirty



Have you heard about this?  The environmental lover in me has been dying to do this - buy a bunch of flats and hang them to dry to save money and energy.  Now here's some motivation.
 
It's only one week (May 23-30).  You can buy flats cheap (and use them for household rags if it doesn't work for you afterward).  Do it!!!  You can still use modern covers.  You can still use your normal nighttime routine if flats don't work for you for that aspect.  It's a great project.
 
I'm a little miffed that you can only join the linky if you're not in daycare.  My daycare requires a one-piece diaper, so we use pockets for daycare.  I can completely understand not participating in the survey - you want a certain population of subjects when doing any kind of research.  I get that.  But to eliminate a group of people from the conversation because they are not in the circumstances to do it full time?  Do you think all your low income families that are the target of your project are stay-at-home moms?  You're letting people use whatever they want for nighttime, but you're not letting mamas join the linky if they don't use the flats all day every day?
 
But I'm not annoyed enough to not participate and tell everyone who will read about it.  And I encourage everyone to give it a shot.  This is the one kind of cloth diaper I haven't tried, and I'm excited about it!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Taking The Cloth

I got a couple of twitter questions about taking cloth.  I'd planned on posting about it in detail upon our return, but for now, here's some answers to those folks while I'm planning and packing.

This time I am only going Friday-Monday, so I won't need to do laundry.

My daughter is down to about 5-6 diapers per day, plus a nighttime diaper.  That means for the whole trip, I'll need about 24 diapers.  Factor into that (a) she will be swimming some, so will be wearing swim diapers too, and (b) the theme of the weekend might end up being "teach Wee One to use the potty" and we are also taking panties.  Given that I have about ten thousand diapers, it's not hard to pack a stash to take.  Okay, slight exaggeration.  But I can pack that 24 needed diapers in prefolds or I can pack it in pockets and still have plenty.

I am taking both.  I am on a prefold/cover kick whenever I can put those on her, so we are taking a bunch of prefolds and all our covers.  It's easy to pack those in a tote bag.  However, for the long car ride there and the long car ride home, and for naps/nighttime, I prefer the pockets.  I have diapers in the washer right now that just need a rinse/dry, and then those can be packed.

I am taking all our wetbags.  I will have two big wetbags at the hotel to keep diapers in, and I have three small ones that can be interchanged in the diaper bag for out-and-about.  I'll just accumulate 4 days of dirties in the two large wetbags, and wash as soon as we get home.

When we went on a road trip last June, I used cloth the entire time as well.  That was a bit longer trip, but still not a full week.  The first night we scouted out a laudromat to use, just in case.  That's what I would do for a longer trip.  Not necessarily because I would need more diapers, but because more than 4 days in a wetbag isn't a good idea.  (I still recommend an oxyclean hot wash upon the return to help keep the stinkies at bay.)

On that trip I did need to wash a poopy cover in the sink.  I take Thirsties detergent with me, so I can do any emergency washing in the sink.

Swim diapers will be the issue this time.  I only have two swim diapers.  Those I probably will have to rinse out in the sink and hang to dry and reuse if necessary.  I have packed two old, small pocket diapers, as I have heard those can be used well (that's really all the Bummi's swim diapers are anyway).  We will see how those work.  I also have a pack of disposable swim diapers in the trunk.  I don't want my kid to be the reason the pool has to be drained.  No sir, not me!

Hey, Jellybean Mama, aren't you excited about seeing cloth in action??!!

I'm trying to get used to referring to her by her real first name, but in my head she's still JM.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Search Terms

I was looking through my stats yesterday, and noticed some search terms that people used to land at my site.  In addition to "my little slice of mommie heaven", there were some that I thought I could address in a post.  Or Twitter, but that was more difficult.  Because you know, I like to ramble.

To the mama who wondered how she could tell if her prefolds were bleached .. bleached prefolds are white.  Unbleached prefolds are a natural/brown color.  They are actually "bleached" with peroxide to make them white, rather than hypochlorite, so "bleached" is a bit of a misnomer.  But "peroxided" makes us all think of bad blondes.  So, "bleached" it is.  Many times there is no price between bleached and unbleached (but sometimes there may be, so pay attention), so it's really just a matter of personal preference.  Organics usually come as unbleached, since bleaching seems counter to the purpose of organic fabric next to your baby's behind.

To the mama who searched for prefolds and nighttime ... yes, you can use prefolds at night.  You'll need to double or triple, and you might want to have a cover that is one size larger for nighttime use.  If you want to go this route, check out hemp prefolds, which give more absorbency.  I find microfiber really helps boost nighttime diapers, no matter what the type.  Go to the dollar store and find some cheap microfiber towels, and put one in between two prefolds.  See if that boosts your absorbency for nighttime.  Microfiber itself is irritation next to the skin, so always put it under a prefold, or between two.  Another suggestion is to use a fleece liner.  You can get some cheap fleece material and cut a rectangle.  This will wick the wetness away from the skin, so your babe isn't sitting in a wet prefold all night, which is likely to give a rash.   If I was going to do prefolds for nighttime, I would put a fleece liner over a microfiber towel, and back that with a hemp prefold.  I bet that's a bulletproof nighttime diaper.

To the person who searched for "shes peeing", I'm not quite sure what you were looking for, so I don't have much of an answer for you.  Yes, babies pee.  This is why we use diapers.

To the person who searched for "full diaper" ... hmmm.  First-time babysitter?  New dad?  I'm wondering who searches for "full diaper".  I hope to god it's not someone with a fetish.  Ugh.  Anyway, so I'll interpret that as "what do you do with a full diaper?"  With cloth diapers, you have a wetbag that you use to store diapers until laundry day.  If your baby is an exclusively breastfed newborn, the poo is water soluble and washes out easily in the wash.  So you just remove the diaper and put it in the wetbag, and replace it with a clean one.  If your baby is formula fed or has started solids, you will want to remove the poo to the toilet before storing the diaper in the wetbag.  This can be done by the dunk-and-swish in the toilet, as I do, or by using a diaper sprayer, as other mamas do.  Oh, get your hands dirty.  Then wash them, please.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

How Many Cloth Diapers Can You Fit In A Van?

Cloth Tushie Tuesday fans ... we're back with another installment!!  Traveling with Cloth!



Mommie V


I find cloth diapering to be incredibly easy.  Even the challenges we have (mostly rashes) have been pretty easily overcome.  I don't have a complicated wash routine, I have a relatively simple stash (when I leave well enough alone).

So when the time came to take a road trip with my mother and her two sisters (my cousin and her daughter joined us too) to see a cousin 3 states away, I knew the time had come to put my cloth diapering mettle to the test.  Would I travel with cloth diapers?

Given how sensitive my daughter is to disposable diapers, my answer almost immediately was yes.  Also, some of these family members had been part of a conversation that went a little something like "cloth diapers?  We'll see how long that lasts" and I saw this as an opportunity to demonstrate that we were doing very well cloth diapering, thankyouverymuch.

So, how many days are we going to be gone?  We're staying in a hotel room and there's no sign of a laundromat nearby?  How many diapers does she usually use a day?  I did all the calculations and decided how many I thought I needed.

I requested some advice from Jellybean Mama.  After all, it appears she drives from the Carolinas to Canada with her kid regularly, so she MUST have some tricks up her sleeve.  In her email she recommended to take twice the number of diapers and wipes as you think you will need.  I took her literally, and doubled the number.  That took us up to ... right about our entire diaper stash.
Too many to fit in that one tote.  Need a bigger tote bag.
Better, but they still don't all fit in there, either.  Gonna have to use both.

Doubling the number is easy when it's just another pack of slim disposables.  Cloth diapers take up space, yo. 

76 diapers in two totes.  I used just over half, I think, for the whole trip.
I packed most of the diapers in the "way back" and enough for the full drive through in the mondo diaper bag "up front".  I packed every wet bag we owned, plus the new one I had bought for the occasion.  At the beginning, I changed her every time we stopped, about every two hours.  After that first day, I relaxed on that.  On the way home I wanted her to sleep, so I put her in a massive nighttime diaper and let her ride.  You get into a groove for what works, and it will be similar to your normal routine.

So here's my advice:

Calculate the number of diapers you think you will need based on how many days you plan to travel, and how many diapers per day your babe uses.  I wouldn't exactly double that number, maybe one-and-a-half times is good.  If you have some backup prefolds/covers, take those.  They don't seem to take as much space as the pockets, and they'll do in a pinch if you do need to delve into your "extra" stash.

Make sure you have enough wet bag space, both in big ones (for the hotel room/guest room/camper) and small ones (for the travel/diaper bag).  You don't want to be lugging around your last four days' worth of diapers in your huge hanging pail because you didn't bring a wetbag for the diaper bag.  My big hanging pail holds 3-4 days, my medium hanging bag holds 3 days, plus the new bag, so I had plenty of hanging pail space.  Then three small bags for the "out and about" trips.

Use sposie wipes.  It's easier.  When you're at a rest stop on the side of the road, you don't want to have to find a water supply to wet your cloth wipes for the poo-of-the-century.  Unless you're very used to carrying your own wipes solution, and you have enough for your whole trip, sposie wipes are easier.

Scout out a laundromat as your "just in case" backup.  We did find a laundromat driving around the first night, and I kept it as a mental note in case I ran out or she started having poos that stunk up the van and they forced me out.  While I personally wouldn't find laundromat washing an ideal scenario, I knew it was there if I needed.  Also, the family we were going to visit said that I was welcome to wash diapers there if I needed to (once the surprise was out that we had arrived!)

Oxy-clean when you get home.  Normally I wash every couple of days.  After this trip, when I pulled the oldest diapers from the bottom of the bag, they were pretty musty and gross.  I just did a regular wash, then noticed they had the musty/almost-mildewy/stinky smell after she peed.  I put them all back into an oxy-clean soak and that killed it.

Honestly, I didn't find it cumbersome to cloth diaper while traveling.  Perhaps flying might have changed my approach (those two totes with the diapers were only a portion of all of the junk we packed into that van just for me and my girl).  Flying I might do more prefolds, which can lie flat in a suitcase and can take up less space than pockets, but I would need some microfiber for nighttime.

Think about how you normally cloth diaper, and then just think about how you'll need to alter that a little on the road.  It doesn't take much to be able to continue your cloth diapering routine, saving the planet and your baby's behind at the same time!

Thanks for coming by for Cloth Tushie Tuesday.  Have you ever traveled with cloth?  Thought about it?  Planning it?  Wouldn't do it on a dare?  Link up your post!

Monday, October 11, 2010

A Rave for Twinkletoes Diapers

I've bought lots of homemade diapers (usually referred to as WAHM diapers - made by a Work At Home Mom).  I've bought some that I've loved and re-purchased from those mamas, and then I bought a few that were pretty crappy.  So I got off the WAHM bandwagon for a while, and only bought more commercial brands of diapers.

My most recent purchase included the Flip and Econobum systems, which I recently reviewed for you guys.  (Um, like, in the previous post.)  I love the Flip cover (basically because of its snap closure), but I didn't love the insert, as I mentioned.

Meanwhile, I had previously purchased some narrow, thin bamboo/zorb inserts from a WAHM in Canada who seems to be out of business now.  I only have three inserts, and I use them to supplement my nighttime system.  So if I go more than three days between diaper washes (which I often do, but I don't recommend it because of The Stinkies), then I don't have enough of the nighttime inserts.



A search on Etsy led me to Vanessa at Twinkletoes Diapers.  I loved her selection, and bought several different things to try.

And I love all of them.


These are contoured bamboo zorb inserts.  They are nice and soft on both sides, and I have used them both stuffed in a pocket diaper as well as just laid into a cover.



These are my favorite!  These are suedecloth-topped bamboo/zorb inserts that I use in the Flip cover.  Nice and soft stay-dry top, nice and absorbent.


Laying in the Flip cover
Under-the-skirt action shot
 And this is the topper, the overnight bamboo/zorb insert.  This thing is hefty - not really in size, since it's really not that thick, but man does it absorb!  I haven't had the nerve yet to use it alone in the nighttime diaper, so I still use it with the Thirsties insert, but I've used it alone in a pocket during the day and it is very absorbent.


They are all very well-made products, and I highly recommend you check out her selection of inserts in her Etsy shop.

CD 101 - New (to me) Diapers

I started cloth diapering in April 2009.  Okay, so we did sposies for the first 6 or 8 weeks, so it was more like end-of-May-2009.  So who's counting?

I had seriously researched cloth diapers while I was preggo.  I mean, there's nothing better when you're pregnant than sitting on the couch stuffing your face and surfing the internet reading about baby stuff.  And fun baby stuff, not stuff about how horrible labor and delivery are, and all the things that go wrong with a newborn, or how you'll never sleep again until she's 22, and all that holy hell.

Some time after I had settled on a cloth diapering system that worked for us, Cotton Babies, the makers of the BumGenius brand of cloth diapers, came out with two new diapering "systems".  I pretty much stayed away from the whole conversation, for a couple of reasons.  (1) I had tried the Gro Baby system because people were so excited about a new type of diaper coming out, and I hated it.  I didn't want to get caught up in the hype of a new diapering "system".  (2) I knew what I was doing was working, and I didn't want to be tempted to try something else that might not work as well.  (3) I had a whole lot of diapers already and didn't need to spend the money on more.

But when I started getting titles like "Queen of Cloth Diapering" and "Cloth Diaper Czar", and also had some paypal that I needed to spend, I thought of you, my dear readers.  How could I, in good conscience, have those titles if there were cloth diapers out there that I haven't tried? 

So I bought the Flip and the Econobum systems to try out.

The Econobum system is just a prefold and cover system.  I knew that going in.  I have enough prefolds to diaper a small army of differently-sized children (except I gave some as a baby shower gift this weekend, so if a small army of diaper-needing children show up at my house, I have to call someone for backup.)  But the cover closes with snaps, and I am in need of snapping covers, since I have a child that strips naked at any opportunity to take off a velcro cover.  So I bought a single cover/prefold package.

The prefold is a little different than standard prefolds.  It doesn't have the extra thickness in the middle.  And instead of being three long panels, the stitching divides the prefold into six sections.  The prefold is still a rectangle, longer in one direction.  The instructions say that you can tri fold one way for smaller babies/covers (with the shorter length as the long length of the diaper), and then use the longer length as your baby grows.  The prefold is unbleached cotton, which I prefer for prefolds anyway.
Econobum prefold on left, Flip organic insert on right

The system holds up to its name.  Prefolds and covers are the most economical approach to cloth diapering anyway, and this system packages differing numbers of prefolds with covers so you can buy exactly what you need.  At 9.99 for a prefold and cover, that's a good deal.  The site recently had seconds of a prefold and cover package for 5.99.  That's an amazing price for cloth diapers.

While the cover works fine, it is definitely a cheap cover, compared to others I am using.  There is only a single row of snaps, which sometimes makes the fit a little strange.  The PUL is very thin, and I'm really afraid of the snaps holding up well.  I would hate for the snaps to tear through the thin PUL.  But at this price, it will be affordable to replace the cover if anything happens.

Covers come only in white, which is a drawback to me personally, but it's not a reason to not use the system.   Especially as affordable as it is.

I had a hard time choosing a color for the Flip cover.  Again, I wanted to buy the minimum to try - I was just doing this as an experiment for you people anyway.  I bought the Bubble colored cover with the organic insert, then I bought a standard insert to see how it differed.  I adore the color of the cover, it's a light grayish-purple color.  It's basically my go-to cover now.



The Flip cover is a snap-closure PUL cover with flaps in the front and back, which I think are pretty freaking useless.  They're there to hold the inserts in place, which they don't really do a good job of doing, and you don't need to hold inserts in place in the first place if the cover fits properly.  I've been using it as a cover to prefolds for a couple of weeks now, and I never use the flaps.  But they're there, and others may have a different opinion about their usefulness.
Standard (stay-dry) insert on left, organic insert on right

The organic insert is basically an organic prefold diaper.  You fold it in thirds to put it in the cover.  So if you're using the organic "inserts", the Flip system is basically a cover and prefold system anyway.

The standard insert is too freaking long.  If I had a bigger, older, taller kid and was on the full rise setting, I might feel differently.  Come back and see me in two years and ... she'll be potty trained well before then.  The idea is that you're supposed to fold over the extra length, but it creates quite a bit of bulk that way. (Please remember that microfiber cannot go next to the skin, it is too irritating.)  I bought some bamboo/zorb inserts from a mama on Etsy that I absolutely adore - I'm doing a rave next on those, so come back to see photos of those inserts in the Flip cover.  If I was doing the Flip as our regular system, I would either do the organic inserts or homemade ones that aren't as long.

I love that the cover has two rows of snaps, that helps the closure feel secure and fit correctly.  And I adore the colors that it comes in, even the darker ones.

Here's my honest takeaway on both systems:  if you're really strapped for cash and need the absolute cheapest diapers available, and want brand new, never used diapers, the Econobum system will help meet your needs.

I still prefer Thirsties covers for the leg gussets, though.  You can get used covers for what you're paying for the Econobum covers, and the Thirsties are better quality. 

If you like the idea of the insert-and-cover system in the Flip, you can still do that by just laying your insert in the cover.  You don't need half-an-inch of fabric to NOT hold it in place.  So if you like the Flip inserts, buy a bunch, and use them in a regular cover.  If not, find a favorite homemade insert (see next post for some good ideas).

I'm glad I tried them.  I have two snap-closure covers now, and that has helped my stripping-naked toddler keep her diaper on under dresses.  I really like the two-row closure on the Flip, as well as the color, and I use that cover all the time now.  But neither system seemed that revolutionary to me, and neither are that different than a regular prefold-and-cover that we use on the weekends anyway. 
Yes, she is sitting on her potty chair in the middle of the living room with her diaper on.  I was doing something other than cleaning, obviously.

And there you are, dear readers, the next installment in the Cloth Diapering Queen/Czar/Master of the Universe's Cloth Diapering 101 series.  The things I do for you ladies!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

It's My Way Or The Highway!

Whew, what a day.  But one more thing on my to-do list ... Cloth Tushie Tuesday!






Mommie V


So, tell on Grandma, Dad, or the Babysitter, who did you have to get on board with cloth diapering, and how did that go?

One advantage to being a single mama - I don't have to share parenting decisions with anyone.  Sure, I usually elicit some input from my parents - they live 5 doors down from me, and are involved with my Wee One on pretty much a daily basis.  So many of my parenting decisions do affect them on some level, and I do seek their advice on most things.  But the beauty of it is - we don't have to agree.  We don't have to come to consensus.  We don't have to make joint decisions.

I didn't have to have anyone else agree to co-sleeping, or when to teach her to sleep in her own bed.  I didn't have to have anyone else agree to extended breastfeeding, or when to try to wean (which is totally out the window btw when she wakes up in the middle of the night and I'm dead tired.  Or she has the hiccups, whichever.)

And I didn't have to have anyone else agree to cloth diapers.

At one of my baby showers, several of my female relatives made fun of me for saying I was going to try cloth diapers.  I got "yea, we'll see how long THAT lasts" quite a bit.  My mom, however, was very supportive.  She used cloth diapers with me when I was a baby, since I had skin that was too sensitive for the new Pampers that were coming out.  (I guess that's genetic, since the Wee One has it too.)  She had a diaper service for a while, but I'm sure she did her fair share of diaper laundry.

Now, she was a little stuck in the past, since she kept shopping for "rubber pants".  I had explained all about covers, and shown her some of the ones I bought.  She still insisted that I needed some "rubber pants" to go over the diapers.  I think she finally realized ... they don't make those anymore.

When the Wee One was born, I had some continuing health issues.  At the time I lived about 100 miles away from where I live now.  Once the baby cleared her first week checkup, my mom packed her and I back to Mom's where she could take care of us.  I packed the cloth diapers.  I was intent on trying the cloth diapers.  Problem was ... my baby was tiny.

Nothing fit her.

So I used sposies for about the first six weeks or so.  Except when we went to family gatherings, because BY GOD they were going to see cloth diapers on my baby if it killed me.

Finally, she was big enough for the covers I had.  I was trying to do some funky jelly roll folds, and it wasn't quite working as well as I'd hoped.  My mom was changing a diaper, and she did this really cool fold, where she lined the diaper up with the back of the cover, then laid the baby on it, then she folded the front into thirds... it was like magic!  I was watching a diaper magician!

Of course, I totally thought she knew what she was doing.  She had cloth diapered me, after all.  She later confessed that she was just trying to get the diaper on the best she could, and she didn't really know what she was doing after all.

That's how I put diapers on her for a long time, tho!  (Now I just tri-fold, it's even easier!)

Now, she has done some funny stuff.  She put a fitted on the baby once with no cover, and wondered why her clothes got soaked.  She bought a package of Pampers a few weeks ago because there were no diapers in the diaper bag - because I had left a huge stack of them on the chair in her living room that she walked past and totally didn't see.  So she has backups now.  But she started out very supportive of my choice to cloth diaper, she has been a trooper with trying the different kinds of diapers that I bring over all the time, and she's even done some diaper laundry (but she's knows I'm pretty particular about that.)

--

When I was first looking at daycares, I knew I wanted to try to find a daycare that would use cloth diapers if I could.  My Wee One's bum is so sensitive, and for a while she would get a rash if she even LOOKED at a disposable diaper.  If she had to spend 8 hours a day in a sposie, I'd be fighting a rash constantly, I knew.

The daycare I was most interested in was a very nice, well marketed, very expensive daycare.  I did the phone interview with the assistant director, and asked her about cloth diapers.  At the time, they did not have any children at the center using cloth diapers (now there is another family that does), but she said as long as it was a "one-piece" diaper that they could just take off her and replace with a clean one, that would fit with their "diapering procedure".  I told her all about the zippered hanging wetbag, and the diapers just get tossed into the wetbag, and they would go home each day with us.  I was SO glad that daycare would be on board with cloth diapers.

I wrote a little explanation about cloth diapers for her primary caregiver in the creeper room, and showed her about the diapers.  I showed her that when she takes off the diaper, she can just put the velcro on the laundry tabs, and just throw the diaper in the wetbag.

Unfortunately, she's used to using disposable diapers, and has her own little routine.  She rolls the diaper up and sticks the velcro to the outside of the diaper, just like you would a sposie before throwing it away.  She then pulls her latex gloves off over the diaper, so it becomes a little latex-covered ball, just like she would a sposie.  This girl is NOT deviating from her routine!  Only, instead of throwing it in the trash, she throws it in the wetbag.  Usually.

So when I get home every day from daycare, I have this:



A bag full of latex-covered diaper balls.  So I have to take the gloves off of each one, swish the poopy ones, and put them all back in the wetbag until laundry day.

But hey, my daycare uses cloth diapers, which many do not, so I am totally not complaining.  Maybe just a little.

--

I do have some tells, though.  When I was first using cloth diapers at their house, I had put a load of diapers in to wash.  My wash routine starts with a cold rinse with no detergent.  I went and did something else, and came back for my father to tell me in a very proud way that he had helped me out - by putting the diapers in the dryer!  They had only had a cold rinse, they hadn't even been washed with detergent, and he was drying them on hot!  There were some stains that ended up setting in the prefolds, but I tried not to make him feel bad.  He was so proud that he was helping with the diapers!  After that he wouldn't touch them!  Poor Grandpa!

A family friend had watched my girl with Grandpa one day.  She said that she had changed a diaper, but it didn't feel wet, so she put it back on her.  It was a pocket diaper with the stay-dry fleece liner, so while the insert was soaked by the time I got home, it didn't feel wet to the surface, so she just used it again!  Now I tell folks when they watch her to just go ahead and change her diaper every couple of hours, "even if it doesn't seem wet"!!

--

Do you have a post about getting someone on board with cloth diapering?  Link up and tell us your story!  Follow @funkymamabird or @MommieV1 on twitter and see what we have in store for next week!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

So You Want To Try Cloth Diapers?

Welcome to Cloth Tushie Tuesday.  A friend said he was trying to keep up with the blog, but every time he came by it was all about diapers.  Guess what J - come back tomorrow.  Or scroll down to where I had a meltdown this weekend - that's a good read.

Today we're talking about: What would you say to someone considering cloth diapers? The good, the bad and the smelly!

Mommie V


To a mama considering cloth diapering:

1.  Why are you thinking about using cloth diapers?  Answering this question first will help you determine what kind of cloth diapers to look at.  There are A LOT of options in the world of modern cloth diapers, and to help you narrow your search and focus on particular types/brands/styles, it helps to know what you want to get out of cloth diapering.

For example: are you doing it to try to save money?  Then you will probably go the prefolds-and-covers option, since that is usually the cheapest.  You will probably buy "one-size" covers that are adjustable to cover a range of sizes.  You will probably buy alot of gender neutral colors in case you want to use the diapers for other children.  And you should definitely not look at any cute adorable pocket diapers if you want to save money!

Are you interested in being environmentally friendly?  Then you will probably be interested in diapers that are low-maintenance, easy-to-wash (to use less water) and you will probably want to look into cloth diaper detergents that are environmentally friendly.  If you want to be green and save some green too, buy a bunch of flats and fold them in covers.  You can hand-wash flats in a small amount of water and detergent (saving electricity and water), and hang them to dry.

Are you interested in having all-natural fabrics next to your baby's skin?   While I was expecting, I went to a cloth diapering workshop at a store where I used to live (remember that, J?).  A couple that was there was planning to cloth diaper because they only wanted natural and organic fabrics next to their baby's skin.  They were even looking for alternatives to PUL covers, because they did not want to support the "polyester industry".  These folks were hard-core.  You can do it, but it will cost you.  Organic cotton prefolds are more expensive than "regular" cotton prefolds.  Organic bamboo prefolds are even more than organic cotton ones, but also much softer.  For covers, these folks will probably have to stick with wool.  (The store hosting the workshop was "all vegan" in their products, so they did not sell wool since it is an animal product.  They let the workshop presenter bring in one wool cover to show, but she had to specify that the store did not sell wool because of their vegan positioning.  Hard core, folks, hard core.)

Are you planning to be a mama that buys ONLY THE BEST for your baby?  Or you want SUPER CUTE diapers and you have some disposable income to spend?  There are tons of cute diapers that you can buy, so this one is easy!

Unfortunately following these motivations can involve some tradeoffs.  For example, you can save money by cloth diapering, but you will have to invest some dollars if you want to use only organic fabrics.  You can be environmentally friendly, but if you want to hang your diapers to dry, you probably don't want squishy thick fitteds. 

Understanding your reasons for wanting to cloth diaper is your first key step in choosing the types of cloth diapers to try.

2.  Make sure you have what you need.  I started out with only 12 prefolds and 3 AIO's.  I couldn't figure out why cloth diapering was so hard, then I realized that I didn't have enough diapers.  I was switching back-and-forth between cloth and sposies until I got to the point that I had enough diapers, and covers that fit.

3.  Give yourself a break.  I had a ton of guilt in the beginning.  I had bought all these diapers, and covers, and told everyone that I was planning to cloth diaper.  Then I had pre-eclampsia, was on bed rest, had a preemie, still had high blood pressure, and went to live with my mom for three months.  I didn't do the cloth diapering thing for about the first 6 weeks, and I felt horrible about it.  I remember standing in line at the Wal-Mart crying because I was spending money on a big box of Pampers Swaddlers when I had a stack of diapers at home that I had already paid for.  I had a conversation with myself (what, people talk to themselves at Wal-Mart in the checkout all the time) where I said "either use the sposies or use the cloth.  But don't beat the crap out of yourself for it."  I realized I was trying to live up to a standard that wasn't realistic for me at the time.  When it was easier and worked better for us, then we started.  Keep in mind, THEY ARE JUST DIAPERS.

4.  Your wetbag is your friend.  Don't leave home without it.  If it has a zipper, then there will be no smelly.

5.  When it works, stop buying diapers.  (Advice I totally ignored, cuz ... NEW COW PRINT DIAPER!)


And I guess, I would say one more thing: at least give it a try.  You'll be surprised at how easy it is, and you'll be glad you did.  Whatever reason you choose for cloth diapering, it will meet your needs.  And it will be one way you feel like you are doing something good for your child, and yourself.

What would you say to a mama considering cloth diapers?  Link your post:

Friday, September 3, 2010

Woot Woot!!!!

I am totally famous now.  I am Friday's Featured Fluff Addict on the Knickernappies Blog.  Soon, all the mommies in the whole world will be coming to look at pictures of my daughter's naked behind all my posts about cloth diapers.  Welcome mamas!


KnickerNappies

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Cloth Diapering 101 - Fitted Diapers

Tinkle Traps newborn size
So somewhere in all the CD 101 posts that I have done, I missed doing a post about fitteds.  I talked about fitteds in the overview post, and the post on fabrics, but I didn't give them a dedicated post as I had planned.

Wee One in a KL0 at the upper limit of wearing them - I had just realized I had never taken a photo of her in one!
Fitted diapers are a step up from prefolds.  You don't have to figure anything out with them, since they velcro or snap on.  They often have elastic around the legs to contain the poo.  But they are only made of absorbent material.  There is no waterproof layer to a fitted diaper, so you have to use a cover with them if you are putting clothes over them or want to keep wetness contained.

Country Cuttin's Newborn Size - only she's about 4 months old here.
I first heard about fitted diapers on the Diaperswappers forums, when I began research cloth diapers.  Lots of mamas recommended KL0s (Kissaluv brand fitteds in size 0) for newborns.  They contain runny newborn poo well, without blowouts.  And they are teeny, so they fit newborns well.  Some mamas said to use Proraps and some mamas said to use Thirsties covers, but overwhelmingly they recommended KL0s for newborns.

Then I started reading about mamas raving about Goodmama fitteds.  In fact, they all knew when the Goodmama Hyenacart was stocking, and they would go and pick out their favorite diapers and sit and wait for the stocking time (that's called stalking) to try to get it.  Some would get mad that the diaper would be in their "cart" and someone else would get it if the didn't complete the transaction in time.  One mama was two minutes late getting on, and her diaper was gone, so she was heartbroken.  Some mamas would get other mamas to "stalk" with them ("stalking help") to try to get a diaper they wanted.  Apparently there was some hype over these Goodmama fitteds.

At first I didn't understand the hype.  Sure, the diapers were unbearably cute, but they would be under covers so you would hardly see them.  One mama said it was like wearing sexy underwear to work - noone sees it, but you know it's there and it makes you feel good just to know that.

But then I bought a Goodmama fitted used off FSOT (at $30+ a diaper, I wasn't buying new!).  They are made of bamboo, so are very very soft in the beginning.  They are also very very very absorbent.  Some mamas even use them for overnight because they are so absorbent.

Later, I discovered what I think is an even better version - made by the mama who owns Bububebe on Hyenacart.  Her diapers are very similar to Goodmamas, with some great differences.  Let me show you.

Both are considered to be "one size" fitteds - one size will fit multiple sized babies.  This is accomplished by folding down the rise in the front on the Goodmama, and folding down the rise (and maybe snapping it) on the Bububebe.  As your babe grows, you fold down less of the rise, until you are using the full rise on the diaper for bigger babies.



One difference is that the GM has a two-layer insert that is sewn into the diaper.  The B4 has a three-layer insert that snaps together, so you can adjust the absorbency (and also the bulk of the diaper) as your baby grows.

The B4 has a short insert for use when the rise is snapped all the way down in the smallest size.

It has a medium length insert for use when your baby gets a little bigger.  The smaller insert snaps to the back of this insert, so now you have two layer absorbency.

There is a larger insert, that is longer at one end to cover the extra row of snaps and keep it from irritating your baby.  This gives you three thick layers of absorbency and is what makes this diaper great for nighttime.

I have a bunch of the B4s in several cute prints.  Some are lined with bamboo velour, and some with cotton velour - both are REALLY soft.

Top left is a birthday print diaper that Wee One wore in her First Birthday photos.
Some B4 action shots:






I have several other types of fitteds that I have used and love too.  Bumgenius bamboo fitteds are a particular favorite - although they take for-ev-er to dry in the dryer.  They are now discontinued, so you'd have to grab some used somewhere, but they will make a great addition to your stash.  DryBees makes a bamboo fitted (Gone Natural) that is really great that has a doubler that helps increase absorbency if you need it.

DryBees Size Two on her when I first bought some used.

A bamboo fitted I bought for $5 on Hyenacart from a mama going out of business.

BG bamboo fitted
Fitteds work really well under wool covers, so this winter we will probably go back to doing fitteds and wool on the weekends.

One benefit to fitteds - if you'd like your babe to run around the house one day in a breathable diaper made of all natural materials, that's easy to do with fitteds.  Some mamas leave their little ones cover-less when it's hot, when they have a diaper rash, or when they're just hanging out at home.  You can do that with a prefold if you use pins or a Snappi, but with the snaps or velcro of a fitted, it's easy to do.


Sustainable Babyish - same size diaper on two different settings to show size range - this is the old style

Made by Heather of Bitty Fluff