Saturday, September 18, 2010

The Fluff Newbies Get Started with Cloth Guide- Part 2

In the last "Get Started" post, we talked about the different types of cloth diapers out there as well as their costs, brands, and some acronyms most commonly used in the cloth diapering community.

I highly suggest reading that post first, you can find it here

Today I want to talk about diaper accessories! This is a fun part of cloth diapering (just as fun, in my opinion, as picking out the cute colors and prints for your diapers!)

There are A LOT of accessories options out there, and I'm going to break down for you (in my opinion of course!) what you can't live without, what you necessarily won't need but might want, and what you don't really need at all.

Here we go!

Can't live without:

  • Diaper fasteners if you're using prefolds, flats or other diapers in need of a fastener. You have two options for fasteners and I'm not 100% sure of how many you would need, but I would guess 3 to 5 of either option:
    1.  Pins- These are the "old school" diaper fastener out there, and are frankly the cheapest way to fasten a diaper. You can usually get a 4 pack of diaper pins (much bigger and sturdier than a regular safety pin) $1.50.
    1. Snappi Diaper Fasteners- These come in 2 sizes, baby (size 1) or toddler (size 2). They are made of 100% stretchy polyurethane and are t-shaped with grips on all 3 ends. You just grip one end to your diaper and then stretch them and fasten them to the other parts of the diaper. These look super easy to use and seem like they're pretty durable. One Snappi usually costs about $3.95, and I have seen two packs somewhere for about $5.95. 
    1. Cloth diaper friendly detergent: This is a MUST! use the wrong detergent and your diapers will get serious build-up which will result in repelling and leaky diapers! and from what I hear, stripping diapers are no fun! There are several cloth diaper friendly detergents out there, some include Rockin' Green, Tide Classic Powder, bumGenius Cloth Diaper Detergent, GroVia Tiny Bubbles, Thirsties Pre-Wash and Super Wash. If you're using wool covers there are also specific washes out there like Eucalan Wool Wash, (I'll get into wash routines in the next post). Cloth diaper friendly detergent can range from $8.00 to $20.00 depending on how many loads you can do per bottle. For a great guide on cloth diaper safe detergents look here.
    • Cloth Diaper Safe Diaper Rash Cream: This is an essential! All babies can get diaper rash and it makes more sense to use a friendly cloth diaper cream. These creams are usually chemical free and all natural or organic. If you do decide to use a regular diaper rash cream (Desitin, A&D, etc) make sure you put some sort of barrier between baby's bum and the inside of your diaper (could be a fleece liner, cut up t-shirt, etc.) so that you don;t get the cream on the diaper. Regular diaper rash cream can cause serious build up in your diapers that will be super hard to get out. Some CD safe diaper rash creams are Grandma El's, Weleda, GroVia Magic Stick, etc. Cloth diaper safe diaper rash cream will cost anywhere from $6.00 to $15.00 depending on what you buy.
    • Diaper Pail/Hanging Diaper Pail/Diaper Pail Liners: This is another essential. You will  need one of the following: 
      1. A Diaper Pail - Diaper pails can be anything and everything. You can use an old lidded kitty litter bucket to a Diaper Champ/Diaper Genie to a Diaper Service Quality diaper pail to a regular lidded trash can, it all depends on what you want and how much you want to spend. If you do not want to rinse or wash your diaper pail out after using it, you can also invest in 1 or 2 diaper pail liners. Liners are usually made of PUL (Polyurethane laminate) and are water proof and will also keep any smells inside the pail. Some brands of pail liners are Planet Wise, e, GroVia, Kissaluvs, and bumGenius. Diaper pails can range from free (if you have something on hand you can convert) to $50.00, it all depends on how much you want to spend and what will work best for you. Diaper Pail Liners can cost between $12.00 to $20.00 each
      1. A Hanging Diaper Pail- These are exactly what they sound like, they're a diaper pail that hangs somewhere. These can hang off a hook or a doorknob and also allow you to bring the diaper pail with you when you travel. Some of these will zip at the opening where you put dirty diapers in (to keep smells contained) or will just have an opening at the top. Some hanging pails also have a zipper at the bottom of the pail so all you have to do on laundry day is zip open the bottom and all the dirty diaper come out. Some brands that make hanging diaper pails are Planet Wise, Knickernappies and FuzziBunz and these will cost you $20.00 to $30.00 a bag. I suggest buying 2 so that you always have a clean one while the other is being washed. I have 2 hanging diaper pails and I love them, we just hang it on our bathroom door and we're good to go!
      1. Wet Bagsstinkies at bay while out and about! Some brands out there are Bumkins, Bummis, GroVia, PlanetWise, FuzziBunz, and many more! Depending on the size of the wet bag they will cost anywhere from $7.00 to $25.00 a bag. I would suggest getting 1 or 2 small ones and 1 or 2 medium or large ones, this will make going out, whether it's all day or just out for a couple of hours, you have the right size. For me I have 4 large wet bags, 2 small ones and about 3 medium ones. I use the large ones for day care, and the smaller ones hardly get used unless I'm away for the week and need smaller ones for out and about, or I'm only going out for an hour or two.I really love my wet bags with zippers because they are more leak proof than the drawstring ones, but the drawstring wet bags are great for other items. I also use my wet bags for other things like my mama cloth, and dirty clothes!
      Won't need but might want:
      • A Diaper Sprayer- in my opinion, this is a must have, but a lot of families make use without one, so it really is a won't need but might want item.If your little one is exclusively breast fed, you won't need to rinse their diapers out until they start solids. If your little one is on formula, you'll need a way to remove the solids from your diapers, whether it's the dunk and swish method, or you use a diaper sprayer. I love my diaper sprayer! It took all of 5 minutes to install, and all I have to do is flip the handle to turn it on and wash all the poo away. If you purchase a diaper sprayer, you need to make sure you have a flexible water supply line on your toilet, or you can't install it. They do take some getting used to, especially when it comes to figuring out water flow so you don't have back splash, but they work great and I spend a lot less time getting poo off my diapers. The reason you don't necessarily need a diaper sprayer is that when the time comes for you to start rinsing diapers, you can use the dunk and swish method and I have heard of some using their shower heads to rinse diapers as well. I prefer my sprayer because the dunk and swish takes too long for me. A diaper sprayer will cost you around $40.00.
      • Cloth Wipes- this is another true money saver. They work just like disposable wipes only they're reusable. These you don't need, but may want. I found that after we switched to cloth, it was obnoxious having to remember to throw away the disposable wipe and then put the diaper in the wet bag, so we switched to cloth wipes. It is so much easier to throw the cloth wipe in with the diaper! Cloth wipes can be bought anywhere or be anything, you can use baby washcloths if you like, or cut up old cotton or flannel receiving blankets! Cloth wipes will cost you anywhere between free and $12.00 depending on what you buy. Some brands include Happy Heinys, Kissaluvs, FuzziBunz, GroVia, etc.
      • Cloth Wipes Solution- Another don't need but might want is a cloth wipes solution. These you can use to either wet your wipes down like disposable wipes or you can put in a spray bottle. There are many pre-made cloth wipe solutions out there along with concentrated liquid solutions, wipe cubes, and DIY wipe solutions. Just make sure they're a CD friendly solution since you'll be washing your cloth wipes with your diapers. Some brands out there are Happy Heinys Heiny spray, Thirsties Booty Luster,  Baby Bum Soap, and Kissaluvs Diaper Lotion Potion. You can also use just plain water in a spray bottle. Wipe solution can cost you nothing to about $13.00 depending on what you buy.
      • Diaper Liners- Diaper liners are another item that is not needed, but is mighty convenient, especially when you are out and about or on vacation. Diaper liners are used as a way to "catch" the poo and make clean up a little easier. You lay the liners on the part of the diaper that will be touching baby's bum, and you can use it for 2 things, either to catch poo or to act as a protective barrier when using diaper rash cream. They also come in two different forms: reusable and flushable. I LOVE these when I am visiting my family and don't have access to a diaper sprayer. These are really wonderful for those who have just started to cloth diaper and aren't too keen about the poo just yet, liners make it super easy, especially the flusable ones! 
        • Flushable liners are super easy, just lay it in the diaper, and when you go to change baby, just pull it out of the diaper and flush it! Flushable liners will catch about 90% of the mess, so you still may need to clean/spray your diaper out a bit, but it's nothing too bad, these are also a great barrier if you're using non CD friendly rash cream! Some brands that carry flusable liners are Bummi's and GroVia, and can cost you anywhere from $6.00 to $10.00 for 100-200 liners.
        • Reusable liners are also wonderful, we just switched over and I really like them a lot. They come in a couple of different materials, ranging from fleece, raw silk, and jersey. You can also choose to make your own by cutting up old t-shirts, receiving blankets, or anything that is going to be soft against baby. We have 2 different sets of fleece liners and they are great, they catch most of the mess, and then all I have to rinse is the liner instead of the whole diaper! It makes it a lot easier, especially if I'm staying somewhere that doesn't have a diaper sprayer. A few brands that make liners are Bummi's and Cotton Babies and they can cost anywhere from free (if you make them yourself) to $5.00 for 5.
      • Odor Removers- These are great if you go more than a day between your diaper washings and can really help neutralize any odor problems you might have.  I always end up using my odor remover when I use my one hanging pail since it doesn't have a zip opening and little mans diapers sometimes have a strong ammonia smell. They are definitely something you may or may not need and is a complete individual preference. Some odor removers out there are bumGenius Odor Remover and Rockin' Green Shake it Up! Odor Remover, and Diaper Pail Deodorizing Disks. These will cost you anywhere from $1.00 to $7.00. 
      • A Drying Rack/ Line- Whether it's outside or in, if you would rather line dry your diapers instead of drying them in the dryer, I would suggest investing or finding a way to line dry your diapers.
      What you can probably live without:
      • Doublers- These are something you probably don't need. Most one size pocket diapers come with 2 inserts so that you can customize your absorbency, so there really isn't a need to purchase doublers unless your diaper didn't come with one. I ended up purchasing a whole bunch of these thinking I was going to need them, when in reality I don't use them because I have so many from the diapers that came with 2. Doublers can be useful if you are using AIO's or other diapers that might need more absorbency at night, but I would hold off on these until you figure out if you really need them or not. Some companies that make them are Happy Heinys, FuzziBunz, bumGenius, GroVia, Thirsties, and Kissaluvs. Doublers will cost you between $2.99 to $12.00.
      • Wipe Warmer- I think this is just a waste of money. I understand that some want their little ones tush to be wipes with a warm wipe instead of a cold one, but i really don't think it's worth the money it costs to buy one. I also think that mixing cloth wipes and a wipe solution in a warm container could be a bacteria breeding ground, and I really would rather wipe my sons tush with a cold wipe than risk the chance of bacteria on him. You can pick up a wipe warmer at any baby store and they cost around $20.00 to $40.00.
      That's really it for what you need, may need, and don't really need in the accessories world. Next post will be all about washing your diapers!

        Tuesday, September 14, 2010



        I apologize for the silence the past 3 or so weeks! I started school on the 23rd and since I'm in a new full-time position as well as now having the little man, things have been a bit hectic (to say the least).

        I'm usually out of the house for about 11-12 hours between commute and work so by time I get home, I am exhausted! I try to get stuff done, but there are never enough hours!

        Thankfully things are starting to settle down a bit. I will post a blog tomorrow continuing the get started guide, and I should have 2 big announcements  up and ready to go by the end of this week also!

        Stay tuned and thanks for the patience!!

        Sunday, August 22, 2010

        On Cloth Diapers and Day Care

        About a month ago, I stopped into my sons future day care with my deposit check and a bumGenius 3.0 cloth diaper ready to talk my day care into cloth diapering the little man. I was so nervous, especially since we had just decided that this was the day care for little man regardless if they took cloth diapers or not. We picked this day care for several reasons, it was (sort of) on my way to work, it was the most inexpensive of all the day cares, it was super clean, super friendly, and my cousin has her two little ones there. So the cloth diaper part was going to be a huge plus if they took them, if not I would have sucked it up and bough some chlorine free diapers, but I was going to be as convincing as possible for them to let me use cloth.

        I prepared myself several ways for this (potentially) tough conversation. First I headed over to the RDA (Real Diaper Association ) website and read their Daycare tip sheet. This was a great resource and really helped me prepare the way I would approach the cloth diaper question. I made sure to go in with an example of the diaper I would be using, explain how they worked, and if they were hesitant ask them to do a trail run for a couple of weeks. I also made sure to read up on Pennsylvania's regulations in regards to diapering in a day care facility. Once I got to the day care I talked with the center director first and explained the diaper to her, she said that it wouldn't be a problem and to go talk to the women in the infant room about it. I was so relieved that the director didn't think it would be a problem! Once I got to talking with the women in the infant room I explained that we were cloth diapering little man and showed the how the diaper worked. I explained that they worked just like disposables, and they were all for it! They asked me some questions about how they worked and what they needed to do when they changed little man and I gave them the whole run down of how they worked. The one woman was so surprised at how easy the diapers were and told me that she wished they had something like our diapers around when she cloth diapered! I was so relieved when I left that I was shaking and I was so happy that I was able to continue to cloth diaper the little man full time!

        So tomorrow is little man's first day of day care, I'm both sad and happy about this. I'm happy because I'm going back to work and starting as a full-time librarian this year instead of a part-time traveling one like the last two years. I'm sad because that means I won't be home with my little man all day loving on him and playing with him. I'm so happy I found a day care I really love, is relatively inexpensive (as far as weekly rates go around here), is clean, friendly, AND they agreed to cloth diaper him!

        We have 20 bumGenius 3.0's (6 of those still need to be prepped...I better get on that!) and I have 2 medium Planet Wise wet bags (I may need to buy 2 more since we also use the medium bags for sprayed out diapers in our bathroom). I also plan on packing a few Ziploc bags for poopy diapers (maybe I'll even see if I can just use some of my small zip wet bags to save on plastic). I was able to show the two women in the infant room how to use the diapers (they were really impressed with how easy they were to use), and I'll explain again to them tomorrow how to use them and how to put them in the wet bag (I'll have the fold them up like disposables so I don't get a diaper chain with the aplix).

        I'm going to make sure that I write out instructions for diapering and disposing of diapers for them as well as a sheet of what his routine is usually like. I'm hoping it will be successful and that little man will like day care!

        Wednesday, August 18, 2010

        The Fluff Newbie's Get Started With Cloth Guide Part 1

        Since I have gotten questions from a few friends and acquaintances about the cloth diapers we use and what you need to get started, I thought I would write a guide on what you would need (In my opinion). I'm going to explain in a series of posts what you need to get started with Pocket and All-in-One cloth diapers and an explanation on everything you need to know to get started.

        The cloth diapering community is WAY confusing to a newbie with no cloth experience and since I have traveled this road mostly on my own, I would love for others to learn from my mistakes and get feedback from a true newbie! Especially since I've only been at this for a little over a month!

        Today's post will start with  basic definitions of terms that you will find throughout cloth diaper forums, websites, and shops. I will also outline types of materials used, cost per diaper, and some brands associated with that type of diaper.

        • This is the "old school" diaper (aka the one mom may have used on you).
        • It is made up of several layers for absorbency.
        • It can be  folded in several different ways and then pinned or snappied onto baby. 
        • Prefolds require a waterproof cover. 
        • Some brands that make prefolds are Gerber , Bummi's, Thirsties and Econobum. 
        • Prefolds can come in cotton, bamboo or hemp. Some prefolds are noted as DSQ which means Diaper Service Quality- these are either Chinese or Indian Cotton and would be the type of prefolds you would find in a diaper service package. 
        • Organic fabric options available
        • These will either be one size, infant size (7-15 lbs), toddler size (15-30 lbs), and sometimes newborn size (usually 4-8 lbs)
        • Price range $2.00- $8.00 per prefold, can be bought in packages too.
        Flats or Flat Diapers:
        • This is like a prefold only it is one large piece of fabric. 
        • It can be folded in several ways and then is snappied or pinned on.
        • You can fold the fabric in many ways to meet the absorbency of your little one.
        • Requires a waterproof cover.
        • Some brands that make flats are Gerber and Hemp Babies.
        • Can come in Hemp or Cotton.
        • Organic fabric options available.
        • Is the most inexpensive way to cloth diaper your baby.
        • These usually only come in one size, but sometimes you can find them in infant or toddler sizes.
        • Price Range: $1.50-$7.00 per flat, can also be bought in packages.
        Fitted/Contour diaper:
        • These are diapers that look the closest to disposable diapers.
        • No folding required, just snappi or pin into place. Some fitteds even come with snap or aplix (hook and loop) closures to make it easier to put on baby.
        • Require a cover, but can be used without a cover while at home and while trying to clear up diaper rash.
        • Some brands that make fitteds are Kissaluvs, Kiwi Pie, Mother-ease, Baby Kicks, Tiny Tush, Cow Patties, BSRB (BagShot Row Bamboo), Nifty Nappies, PLUMP Diapers, CC Bums, CozzyBunz, Cheeky Diapers.
        • Are composed of a variety of fabrics such as cotton knit, cotton, bamboo, hemp, microfiber, terry cloth, suede cloth, zorb, minky, etc.And also sometimes come in prints.
        • Can be One Size (8-35 lbs), or sized. Size options are usually Newborn (5-15 lbs), Infant (10-25 lbs, and Toddler (25-40 lbs).
        • Are one of the best options when diapering a newborn.
        • Are usually the most absorbent of diapers (especially for heavy wetters) and are virtually leak-proof when put on correctly.
        • Price Range: $10.00-$30.00. You can also sometimes buy them in packages which will save some money.
        Diaper Cover/Wraps:
        • These are used over a flat, prefold, or fitted diaper.
        • Are either made of Wool, Fleece, a Polyester and Polyurethane laminated material (sometimes call PUL), waterproof nylon, or any other material that is waterproof or laminated.
        • Are either one size (8-35 lbs), Newborn (4- 10 lbs), Small (8-18 lbs), Medium (15-25 lbs), Large (25-35 lbs), and Extra Large(35 + lbs).
        •  They can be pull on covers or covers that use snaps or aplix (hook and loop) closures. 
        • Come in great colors and prints.
        • Will sometimes have gussets added for leak protection.
        • Some brands that make covers are: Kissaluvs, Happy Heinys, Tweedle Bugs, Flip, GroVia, Little-to-Big Beetle, Bummis, Aristocrats, Thirsties, CC Bums, Nifty Nappies, Cheeky Diapers, Cow Patties, Gen-Y and also look on for other mom made covers, especially wool.
        • Wool and Fleece covers can be made to look like diapers, shorts (called shorties), pants (called longies) and also skirts (called skirties which are like skorts). Wool also needs a special wash routine (I'll talk about that in another post)
        • Price Range: 
          • For PUL/Nylon/Waterproof Fabric Covers- $9.00-$18.00.
          • For Wool covers- $27.00-$50.00
          • For Fleece Covers- $15.00 -$30.00
        All-in-One Cloth Diapers (called AIO's):
        • These are diapers that work just like disposables. The cover and the inner of the diaper are all sewn together.
        • These diapers either have snaps or aplix (hook and loop) closures.
        • The outside of the diaper is usually polyester backed with PUL (Polyurethane Laminate), while the inside can be a topper of fleece with absorbent layers of cotton, hemp or bamboo sewn in, or can be just organic cotton, hemp or bamboo.
        • Very day care friendly.
        • Come in a variety of colors and prints.
        • Some brands that make AIO's are bumGenius, Rumparooz Lil' Joeys, Kissaluvs, Mother-Ease, Bamboo Baby, GroVia, CC Bums, RagaBabe, Forward Thinking, BSRB (BagShot Row Bamboo), PLUMP Diapers, Bumbledoo, Swaddlebees, and a ton of other WAHM brands
        • Price Range:
          • For organic AIO's: $23.00-$35.00
          • For Regular AIO's- $15.00-$30.00
        Pocket/ All-in-Two (called AI2's)  Diapers:
        • These are diapers that are either stuffable or have snap-in or lay-in soakers instead of having the material already sewn in.
        • Dry faster than AIO's.
        • These diapers have either snaps or aplix (hook and loop) closures.
        • These diapers have 3 components:
          1. A waterproof cover typically made of polyester and PUL.
          2. A stay dry barrier, this is what sits against baby's bum and keeps them dry by wicking moisture away. This is made of either microfleece or suede cloth and is sewn to the cover.
          3. A stuffable absorbent insert. This can be made of microfiber, cotton, hemp, or terrycloth, zorb, minky, flannel, etc.
        • These diapers are very convenient to use. All you do is stuff your insert into the pocket created by the cover and inner barrier and go. AI2's are easier because all you have to do is snap or place the insert into the diaper.
        • These diapers will come in a variety of colors and prints.
        • Very day care friendly.
        • Come in one size and sized options.
        • Organic options available.
        • Some brands that make AI2's and Pockets are: FuzziBunz, bumGenius, Happy Heinys, Rumparooz, SmartiPants, Thirsties, BabyKicks, Flip, Tweedle Bugs, Tots Bots, Knickernappies, Kawaii, Katydid, Doopsy, PLUMP Diapers, Forward Thinking, Blueberry, Cheeky Diapers, CC Bums, Bumbledoo, RagaBabe, Nifty Nappy, Cow Patties and a ton of other WAHMS.
        • Price Range: $9.00 to $30.00
        Hybrid Diapers:
        • These are diapers that offer Eco-friendly alternatives to disposables. They are seen as a really easy way to get into cloth diapering.
        • Hybrids combine the idea of cloth diapers and covers with that of disposables, allowing parents to choose how they diaper their child.
        • Hybrid diapers are composed of a reusable diaper cover and two options as to what goes in the cover:
          1. Disposable, biodegradable or flushable inserts
          2. Organic or regular cloth inserts.
        • These are usually one size diapers, but gDiapers are sized.
        • Can be found in snap or aplix (hook and loop) closures.
        • Some brands are GroVia, Flip, BumEssentials and gDiapers
        • GroVia diapers offer a one size cover to use with either a 100% certified organic snap-in soaker or flushable/compostable liners which contain no plastic, fragrances, dyes or chlorine.
        • Flip diapers offer a one size cover to use with either an organic insert, a stay dry insert (suede cloth on one side and microfiber on the other) or a disposable insert that is fragrance and dye free and also is the only disposable insert that has achieved Oeko-Tex certification (meaning there are no harmful substances in the insert).
        • gDiapers offer a sized cover to use with either a 100% polyester microfleece/hemp/cotton insert, or a biodegradable/flushable/compostable disposable insert that are plastic free, fragarance free, and chlorine free.
        • BumEssentials offer a one size cover with snap in soakers. You could also use any of the above disposable inserts in a BumEssentials diaper.
        • Price Range: $13.00 - $20.00.
        Now, lets talk abbreviations and acronyms for diaper talk. Below you'll find an alphabetized list of common diaper talk terms. These abbreviations will be found in any cloth diaper forum, on some blogs and also on facebook where there might be cloth diaper discussions.

        AI2: all in two , usually has a snap in liner
        AIO: all in one diaper

        APLIX: brand of hook and loop similar to velcro
        BKT: burly knit terry

        BV: bamboo velour
        CD: cloth diaper
        Colorway: The color of the yarn
        CPF: Chinese prefolds

        DSQ: diaper service quality

        Fitted: Fitted diapers.

        Flat: a diaper that is typically 27"x27" square, single ply diaper to fold
        FOE: fold over elastic

        FS: front snapping
        Hemp: hemp is made from the inner bark of the hemp plant. It is becoming popular for use in diapers because of its durability, absorbency and natural anti-microbial properties

        IPF: indian prefold
        OBV: organic bamboo velour
        OC: organic cotton
        OCV: organic cotton velour
        OS: one size - a diaper that usually fits a child from birth up until about 35 lbs
        OV: organic velour
        PF: prefold - diapers that need to be folded to fit the baby
        PUL: polyurethane laminate, a material used to make diaper covers
        SC: suedecloth 
        SS: side snapping
        T&T :Turned and Topstitched 
        UBCPF: unbleached chinese prefolds
        UBIPF: unbleached Indian prefolds

        WAHD: work at home dad
        WAHM: work at home mom

        WIO: wool in one -AIO with a wool cover rather than fleece or cotton
        Wool Soaker: A wool soaker is basically a diaper cover made exclusively of wool

        I hope you found this post useful and informative. I really tried to break down and explain each item from a newbies point of view to help you make a more informed decision. This was part 1 of my get started with cloth guide. In each post for this guide I will include an explanation of what I am talking about and also a guide of abbreviations and acronyms that are relevant to that topic.

        In part 2 we will be talking about cloth diaper accessories!

        Feel free to add anything that I missed in the comments section, I tried to be a thorough as possible, but I may have missed some key points and details, I am a newbie after all ;-)

          Tuesday, August 17, 2010

          I Traveled With Cloth Diapers and Survived!

          I just completed my FIRST week away from home with cloth diapers AND wipes! It wasn't as hard as I expected it would be, and probably because the baby and I were at my parents for the week and we had access to a washer and dryer. BUT I did have a few challenges that I didn't expect.

          I want to go through what I packed, how I washed, and the challenges I experienced.

          What I packed:

          As many diapers as i could fit into my big Planet Wise hanging wet/dry bag, probably about 25/35 diapers.

          Cloth wipes (about 30 or so) I had enough to fill my wipe container twice.

          Flushable diaper liners (so far I really love the CuteyBaby Keep It Clean Biodegradable Flushable Liners, and they're super inexpensive, I can get 100 for $5.99 at Kelly's Closet!

          My spray bottle with wipe solution in it ( I still have some Happy Heinys Heiny Wash, but I will be switching to water once that runs out)

          8 diaper doubler's for overnight diapers (LOVE my bumGenius diaper doubler's!)

          My Rockin' Green for diaper laundry

          My Rockin' Green Shake It Up! pail freshener

          An extra hanging wet bag (my other hanging bag is a FuzziBunz hanging diaper pail)

          4 wet bags for out and about

          A pack of disposable wipes (just in case we ran out of cloth wipes before I could wash diapers and for when Grandma and Grandpa watched little man)

          1 Medium Planet Wise wet bag (to hold all my diaper accessories)

          How I washed my diapers: 

          Since we were at my parents house I had to change up my wash routine just a bit. My mom is a heavy user of liquid fabric softener, bleach, stain removers and OxyClean. I didn't know what to expect when washing my diapers in her washer, so I originally turned to DiaperSwappers and the discussion boards on the facebook page. I got a wealth of useful information on how to wash my diapers without ruining them or causing them to build up an repel.

          With the advice given, I decided to do a few washes of my own dirty clothes and a load of my moms towels using only Rockin' Green. The towel wash was also done on hot so that it would kind of strip any build-up in the washer). With these washes, I also got to show my mom how much more awesome wool dryer balls are than liquid fabric softener!

          With my first load of diapers for the week I did a cold prewash (she has a fancier machine than I do so I was excited to use all the options that I don't have on my ancient washer). A hot wash/ cold rinse with an extra rinse with 3 tablespoons of Rockin' Green (I used classic rock in barenaked babies). My diapers came out fresh and clean smelling. I then did a 60 minute dry with 4 dryer balls and the heat set on delicate (again I don't have this option at home, I have a timed dry or a more to less dry option, no heat settings). My diapers were nice and dry within the 60 minutes except for my bumGenius Elementals, but those always take a bit longer to dry.

          My second wash of the week was a little different because I had some stink issues with the first load after my little guy would pee in his diapers. I ended up doing a cold pre-wash, a hot wash/cold rinse with an extra rinse with 1 tablespoon of Rockin' Green and then an additional rinse. My diapers smelled wonderful out of the washer and dryer AND after my little guy peed in them! I got great advice from Kim at Rockin' Green on the wash routine I used with the second set of diapers and it was really nice to be able to talk to the creator of Rockin' Green and have her help me solve my stink issues!

          I'm glad I found a great wash routine I can use at my parents house, it will help us tremendously to be able to wash diapers when we stay there. I definitely plan to pack less diapers next time since I know I have a solid wash routine there.


          I only had a few challenges while visiting my parents, they weren't HUGE challenges, but they definitely made cloth diapering a teensy bit difficult.

          The first challenge was rinsing poopy diapers without a diaper sprayer...Oh how I missed my diaper sprayer while I was away. I'm thankful that my little man is a once every other day pooper, so I only had to rinse about 4 diapers out, but man is it super heard to wash out formula poo from a diaper without a sprayer!! I had to spend a lot more time squatting by the toilet, getting the poo out of his diapers than I would have with a sprayer. I did use liners, but sometimes I forgot and the liners don't always stay put on my squirmy boy so I always end up with poo on the diaper somewhere, and it's usually 1/2 in the liner 1/2 on the diaper. This wasn't a HUGE deal for me, they rinsed clean as long as I got my hands in there and scrubbed a bit.

          The second challenge was definitely the wash routine. Thank goodness for the facebook page, DiaperSwappers and Kim from Rockin' Green! without those resources I would not have been able to solve my problem and I would have been dreading washing my diapers at my parents each time I visited.

          Monday, August 9, 2010

          Featured Fluff Addict!

          This week I'm the Featured Fluff Addict over at the Knickernappies blog!

          Go and check it out here!

          I'll have a new blog post up some time next week about my guide to getting started with cloth diapers!

          Thursday, August 5, 2010

          Writers Workshop: If You Could Do It Over Again...

          Well this Writers Workshop prompt seemed a great way to review my first (almost) month of cloth diapering. I would TOTALLY do the way I chose to start cloth diapering all over again!

          A month into cloth diapering and I have learned that while I love my cloth diapers, I approached the beginning stages the absolute wrong way.

          I went into cloth diapering head first (that part I would do again), but I don't think I researched it well enough OR took the advice of others.I bought 15 FuzziBunz, and then bought 12 BumGenius 3.0's thinking that those were the best and what I needed. I never thought to follow the advice that said "start with a trail pack of diapers so you can find the brand or brands you like best" and another piece of advice saying that I should buy one to two of each brand of diaper I thought I might like and try them out before committing my whole stash to one or two different types of diapers. In the long run, I ended up keeping my BumGenius 3.0's and buying some of their organic diapers as well as a couple of their 4.0's ( I still want more of those!). The 15 FuzziBunz turned into 20, and then I quickly sold 13 of them off. It's not that I don't love my FuzziBunz diapers, it's just that the adjustable elastic is a pain to constantly adjust, I would rather have the adjustable snap rise. I had bought a few random diapers to try as well as about 4 GroVia shells and 7 soakers, and 4 Happy Heinys diapers, and I ended up selling all of those diapers because I didn't like them.

          If I could start cloth diapering all over again, I would purchase a risk free 30 day trial pack so I could keep the diapers I liked and returned those I didn't like. I would buy one or two of each diaper I was interested in, instead of just buying one of random diapers (and never using them) or buying lots of one diaper. I would have definitely found my favorite brands more quickly and would have spent A LOT less money. I know that the diapers I chose would probably be the same, but I think I would have been happier with the way I got there.