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!!