Monday, January 28, 2013

The best nighttime diaper solution

I was recently asked what is the best diaper for nighttime.  As far as extended absorbency goes, I always lean toward bamboo.  My absolute favorite are Sustainablebabyish organic bamboo fleece fitteds. 
They are oh so soft, and bulletproof as far as absorbency is concerned.  I'm not one to change diapers in the middle of the night on a newborn and these diapers do the trick of getting baby through the night and keeping PJs and bedding dry.  I have 3 newborn ones, but they are a bit on the pricey side running at about $24 per fitted.  So when my baby grew out of these, I went on a search for another fitted that would last through the night, be cost effective, and a one-size.  I came across Pooters bamboo fitteds
and purchased 3 for $14 a piece.  They are wonderful!  Not quite as soft as the Sbish fitteds, but when paired with an Econobum one-size cover, boy did they do the job as far as lasting a good 10-12 hours through the night and avoiding wet  PJs and bedding.  Pooters come with a fold-out insert that snaps in the front and you can fold it to where you need the most absorbency.  They also come with an additional lay in booster as well, providing you with 6 layers of absorbency per diaper.  
Like I said, they are a GREAT diaper!
What is your bulletproof nighttime solution?

Happy diapering!

Monday, April 23, 2012

Diaper Deals Roundup

Hey Everyone!

I came across these deals this morning and thought I would spread the word if you're in the market to buy some cloth diapers whether it be to build up a stash or add to your already existing stash.

Kelly's Closet has a special going on for FREE SHIPPING regardless of the amount you purchase.  This is good through April 24th at 9am EST.  

Also at Kelly's Closet they have a deal going on for Fuzzibunz Elite one-size and also Fuzzibunz Perfect Size to get 10% off, making the Elite diapers only $17.97 (regularly $19.97).  Offer good April 22-29th.

Nicki's Diapers is doing a deal on their one-size Rumparooz in the Aplix version for only $18.50!  They are regularly $23.50 a diaper.  Great deal!!  Offer good April 22-May4th.  Many people shy away from Aplix (velcro) because it tends to wear out faster than the snaps, but here is what Rumparooz has to say about their Aplix:

"Rumparooz wants you to give Aplix (Hook & Loop) a chance with their GRAB ONE promotion!  Now you can try Rumparooz Aplix style diaper for only $18.50. Sale ends May 4th!

You may have heard that Hook & Loop diapers don't last long, that they lose their grip or create diaper chains in the laundry. BUT Rumparooz uses an Aplix brand of hook and loop that they have had engineered specifically for their diapers. This Aplix can withstand hundreds and hundreds of hot washes and runs through the drier without ever losing its grip. The loop material doesn't fuzz or fray and the laundry tabs stay put in the wash. Just try Rumparooz Aplix diapers and you will find that they are maintenance free and will always stay secure."

Plus, Nicki's Diapers offers free shipping on all of their pocket diapers!  Ya can't beat that!  Nicki's Diapers is also doing 10% off all Fuzzibunz Elite one-size pockets and Perfect Size.  Their's are a tad cheaper at $17.95 (regularly $19.95 on this website).  

Nicki's Diapers has a diaper line of their own called Imagine.   Their one-size pocket diaper  runs for only $9.95! and comes with one size-able microfiber insert.  I ordered one of these to try it out so that I could pass the word on to all you (full review to come soon), and I think it is just great!  Fits from 8-35+ lbs.  Great quality, nice and stretchy PUL, and great price.  You could buy more inserts by themselves to double up if you needed for naptime, long car rides, or bedtime.  Their Nicki's Diaper inserts are $2.50 a piece.  I would probably order some small sizes if I were using them to double up with the Imagine pocket diapers since the Imagine diapers already have an insert that can be set to the large setting.

Nicki's Diapers also has a daily deal where they offer 10% off on a different product each day.  So be sure to check back daily.

Happy diaper shopping!


Wednesday, April 4, 2012

you mean THAT is in my baby's diaper??

I am currently an advisor for my church and work with the Young Women, girls ages 12-18.  Last night for a combined Young Women/Young Men activity we had a Materials, Science, and Engineering scientist (he is a member of our ward) who just graduated with his masters from the University of Utah come and show us some cool demonstrations and experiments.  One of the things that I thought was very interesting was when he put just a spoonful of sodium polyacrylate (a fine powder) into a container and asked how many spoonfuls of water we thought it would take to dissolve the powder.  Many guesses were thrown out there from as little as 4 spoonfuls to 20.  He began putting spoonful after spoonful of water into the powder and finally poured the container clear full of liquid.  Check out the video below to see what happened.

The powder never dissolved, only kept expanding!  Then the scientist asked, "What do you think this material would be used for?"  Someone shouted out in question, "Diapers?" and he said, "YES!"  Then my sister-in-law followed up that answer with, "Not if you use cloth diapers!" That made me wanna shout out an "Amen, sister!"  That made me feel good knowing that I don't even have to deal with that stuff.  I remember a few times while using disposables with my first child of those gel, urine-soaked crystals coming out of the diaper and being on his skin.  Yuck.  It made me wonder just how much a disposable diaper could hold until the paper outer of a disposable diaper would just begin to rip.  Apparently, sodium polyacrylate can absorb up to 200-300 times its weight in liquid!  The sad thing is that some babies are left in those diapers until they are just about to rip due to the expense of disposable diapers.  That cannot be healthy.

Cloth diapers have many, many benefits.  While I began using them solely for financial reasons, I have continually come across more and more benefits to using cloth over disposables.  Another demonstration I have come across lately that I found interesting was comparing the breathability of PUL in cloth diapers (the waterproof layer) to that of disposable diapers.  This was demonstrated by the maker of Oeko Popo diapers:

And the winner is?

Just a few tidbits of information that I found interesting and thought I would pass along :)

Happy Cloth Diapering!


Monday, April 2, 2012

FAQs of Cloth Diapering a Newborn

Many have had questions about cloth diapering a newborn.  There are obviously many ways of doing it and what I did may not be what works for you, but I thought I would address a couple of different factors that come with cloth diapering a newborn to see if I might be of some help.

While in the hospital, I just had my baby boy in disposables that they provide at the hospital, although  I have heard of some babies who have only had cloth touch their bums from the moment they were born.  It is do-able to cloth diaper while at the hospital.  You would want to make sure and bring enough cloth diapers for the amount of time you are in the hospital and a large wetbag to store them in until you get home to wash them.  Also, you will want to make sure and inform the nurses that you are cloth diapering so none of your diapers are misplaced or thrown away.  This may mean that you will have to do all the diaper changes while at the hospital, but even in disposable diapers I did the majority of diaper changes anyway while in the hospital.

Many are worried about those first tarry, black poops (meconium) and what they'll do to their cloth diapers.  While meconium is messy and may stain initially, it isn't anything that sunning your diapers won't remove.  Most of it will come out in that initial cold soak/prewash in your washing machine.  I have read in many places that breastfed poop stains more than meconium.  My baby left the hospital in a cloth diaper and since I only stayed over one night in the hospital, I think we had about 2 days of meconium.  But I don't remember it being a problem or staining my diapers.  If you are worried about this, you could try cutting a piece of flannel and laying it in the diaper.

Cloth diapering a baby boy can be different from cloth diapering a baby girl if you have your baby boy circumcised.  Because you are often instructed to use some sort of ointment on the area of circumcision to prevent the diaper from sticking while it heals, you will want to use some sort of barrier between your baby and the diaper so you won't end up with diapers that repel liquid (don't absorb).  Vaseline and ointments are a big "No-No" with cloth diapers as they coat the fabric and then don't allow the urine to pass through into the absorbent layer of the diaper.  Because I did have my baby boy circumcised (please no negative comments if you choose differently) I simply purchased a box of 2 x 2 inch gauze squares from the pharmacy and put Vaseline (the ointment I chose to use) directly onto the gauze and then placed it over the area.  Then come time to change baby, I took the gauze out of the diaper and threw it away and replaced it with a clean, new gauze with ointment on it.  I only had to do this for a couple days until the circumcision healed.

One thing that I didn't find out until later with cloth diapering my newborn was that (I was mostly using fitteds) the baby feels wet the whole time wearing them.  During the day this is not a big deal as you change them often (usually about every 2 hours), but at night time I wondered if my baby would sleep better if he felt dry.  Something you may try would be to cut up some thin fleece (maybe from a blanket) and lay in the diaper as fleece is not good at absorbing liquid.  The wetness will pass through the fleece and into the absorbent layers of the diaper allowing your baby to feel more dry than if the wet fabric was directly against their skin.  I will definitely have to give this a try the next time around and do until my baby is able to fit into pocket diapers.

Hope this info helps answer some of those questions about cloth diapering a newborn.
Enjoy your new little bundle of joy.

Happy Cloth Diapering!


Saturday, February 25, 2012

So...what's your latest run-in?

Even with all the information out there on the web, you may still have hang-ups and snags with cloth diapering (pun intended).  My latest dilemma that I came across was ammonia.  Oh, that dreaded dead fish smell that would smack me in the face some mornings when I would open my son's bedroom door or when I would open the wetbag to toss in a dirty diaper.  This had to go, PRONTO!   I guess as children get older, their urine contains more urea and so it becomes much more potent.  After doing lots of research and thinking, here's what I came up with and decided to give it a try:

After reading this post of a woman who decided to give it a try, I did exactly as she did.  After buying the smallest bottle of Top Fin Ammonia Remover from the pet store ($4), I did the following:

 First, I washed my diapers so that they were "clean".  Then I filled up my washing machine with HOT water and added 15 mL (there's a nifty measuring cup in the lid) to my washing machine with my diapers in it.  I left the lid open and let them sit and soak for 30 minutes, then closed the lid and let them run through a wash.  I followed it up with another HOT wash with a COLD rinse without anything added to make sure everything was rinsed out good.  Then followed it with another COLD rinse.

The results?  Amazing!  No dead fish smacking me in the face in the mornings anymore :)

Ammonia can build up and get pretty strong if there is no air circulating around a urine-soaked diaper.  So to avoid ammonia altogether, I make sure to change my son first thing when he wakes up (better chances of it only being soaked with urine) and then afterward I rinse out the diapers worn at night in the sink and hang it over the shower rod to dry.  Then when it's dry it either goes straight into the washing machine or into the wetbag until wash day.  Simple enough for me :)

What problems have you run into lately?

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Cloth Diapering on the Cheap

There's no doubt that cloth diapering can be expensive, with all the different styles, colors, prints and what not.  But there are definitely ways that you can cloth diaper on the cheap while still having the "cute" factor.  There are many different routes you can take and so many different diapers you can purchase.  As mentioned before in previous posts, with a newborn, fitteds and covers are a no fail solution.  They can also be very inexpensive, especially if you make your own.  That's right!  If you can work a sewing machine and a pair of scissors, you could sew your own fitteds.

I have recently taken on the challenge just to see exactly how easy they really are to sew, how absorbent, and just how small I can make them.  After googling for a free fitted pattern, I found one that I love!  I also found another website that informs what types of materials you can use.  You could easily buy aplix (Velcro) at a fabric store to use for closure, but it tends to wear out and/or lose its stickiness over time with multiple washings.  So then I got looking into buying my own snap pliers and snaps.
Here are the details:

1.   I found this newborn pattern online by Darling Diapers.  She includes two different sizes for FREE.  Can't beat that!  The only thing is she did not include instructions.  So after watching a few YouTube tutorials on making cloth diapers (I know, right?  Who would have thought that YouTube would have tutorials for this type of'd be surprised!) I figured out how I want my fitted to be along with instructions.  I am in love!  I haven't played around with the larger size yet, or tried a pattern for a larger infant, but keep in mind that fitteds work wonderful for nighttime on any age/size of baby.

2.  After finding a pattern that looked like it would be the size I wanted (for a newborn and not huge.  I compared it to a Lil Joey newborn diaper as I really like the sizing of those), next came figuring out what types of materials to use to make the diaper.  I found a website that specifically suggested using cotton interlock or stretch french terry for the outside layer.  For the hidden layer, cotton interlock or an old T-shirt.  For the inner layer (the one baby's skin will be against) cotton velour (blend of 80% cotton/20% polyester).  Cotton velour works well as it feels less wet than other fabrics and it is absorbent as well.  You can really make the outside layer out of just about anything you have laying around the house.  T-shirts, old fabric scraps, sheets, etc.

3.  I looked around and found snap pliers that were very inexpensive through KAMsnaps and also purchased some plastic snaps in black and white (just basic colors, but something that would match anything I made).  I love the snaps!  They are quite easy to use and they give it such a nice, finished look.  My snap pliers were only $20.95 and right now they are doing a deal where you can buy one get one for $2!  So you could go in on it with a friend, get the $2 pair, and split the total cost of the pliers.  Great deal!  I bought my snaps in complete sets of 100.  Each complete set of 100 is $5.  Not bad at all!  So for 2 snap pliers and the tools needed to set snaps, and 200 complete sets of plastic snaps it cost me a grand total of $33.95 with tax, shipping, and all.  And they arrived very quickly as well!

4.  I had some leftover elastic (I used 1/4") so I used this to try them out with.  If you want strong, lasting elastic it is suggested you use Elastin or Diaper/swimsuit elastic.

Here's what I used and instructions of how I put it together:

I found this Free fitted pattern by Darling Diapers.  It has two newborn patterns in different sizes (a 5-10.5 lbs and 7-12 lbs).  I used the smaller one in red.

I first found an old shirt in a stretchy cotton and used that for the Outer Layer of the diaper (the one in green).  The second go around I just used a pretty print cotton in a fat quarter I had (you can get 2 diapers out of a fat quarter) which was nonstretchy.  The stretchy is a little bit more difficult to work with, but turns out very soft.

I had an old flat cloth diaper (that I have only ever used for spit up rags) and cut a layer out of that for my hidden layer.

This pattern also provides a pattern for a hidden soaker (for added absorbency) and/or a booster that would lay in the diaper.  I chose to go with a hidden sewn-in soaker.  I used some automotive microfiber towels I already had and cut one in half, folded it on top of itself, and sewed the 2 layers together.  Microfiber is wonderfully absorbent, but if you were to make a booster out of it to lay in the diaper, you would want to make sure and cover it in some other fabric.  Because microfiber is incredibly absorbent it draws the moisture out of anything touching it.  If baby's skin is laying against it, poor baby will end up with a raw bum.  Make note!

For the inner layer, I got the idea from my Kissaluvs size 0 newborn fitteds.  With them being terry like a towel, I just used some terry cleaning cloths I have.

Assembly (use 3/8" seam allowance):
Note:  Make sure to wash and dry all your fabric on HOT prior to using.
1.  I cut out all the layers for my diaper out of the different fabrics.
2.  Sew the Hidden layer to the wrong side of the Outside layer .
3.  If using snaps, now is when you will want to use your template to mark the location of the snaps.  I first poked holes in the template and then laid it over the right side of my Outside layer and using an ink pen, dotted the places for the snaps.
4.  Now you will want to set the snaps that are on the front (belly side) of the diaper.  (The diaper will be much too thick for the snaps to go through all layers and the hidden soaker as well).  I used females snaps on this part with the flat caps of the snaps on the inside.
5.  Pin soaker to backside of Inner layer of diaper and sew in place.  Make sure that your soaker does not extend all the way to the edge of the diaper (on the belly side) as it will be extremely difficult to place the snap down umbilical notch snap through all layers of the diaper when finished if it has to go through the soaker as well.
6.  Take the Outside layer (which is now attached to the hidden layer if you've chosen to use one) and the Inner layer and place right sides together.  Sew around the edge making sure to leave plenty of room at the front (belly side) of the diaper to flip right side out.  I place a pin at each end of my opening, start at one pin and sew around to the other.
7.  Using your pattern template, mark the placement of elastic (sunburst markings).  Sew on the elastic on the OUTSIDE of your stitching that is holding your diaper fabrics together.  (I hope this makes sense).
8.  Turn the diaper right side out and topstitch around the edge, making sure to go out and around the elastic while stretching the elastic to make a casing.  Make sure to fold under the opening at the front of your diaper and hold in place while topstitching across it to close it up.
9.  Attach male snaps onto the wings of the diaper as well as  in the front near the top edge for the umbilical snap down.

And you did it!  You can also make a cover with PUL (polyester urethane laminate) using this same pattern as well.  Use the pattern as-is and bind with FOE (fold over elastic).

You can see in my pictures above that the diapers turned out a little differently from one another.  The green one lays nicer, I think because of the soft, stretchy T-shirt fabric I used, but the pink one was definitely easier and quicker to sew.  The green one was the first one I made.  I didn't like how long the wings were, so when making the second one (pink) I shortened the wings on my pattern by about 1/2".  I also decided to put only one snap on each wing with the second as I found all the others were not necessary, especially after shortening the wings.  The picture of the 3 diapers from the side shot are comparing the two I made to to the green Lil Joey on the far left.

Now get looking around your house for things you can make diapers out of and cloth diaper your newborn on the cheap!


Friday, January 20, 2012

Q & A Friday #2

It's Friday!  Don't you just love the weekend?  I sure do and always look forward to them rolling around again.  Here are a couple of answers to questions that were thrown my way throughout the week:

1.  Will a Charlie Banana cloth diaper fit a skinny baby like a Fuzzibunz?  My husband isn't convinced that cloth diapers are a good thing and so I am afraid of spending money on something that won't work as well.

In my opinion, after doing some research, it looks as though Charlie Banana diapers (left) and Fuzzibunz (right) diapers are built very similarly, so they would probably be very similar in fit.  Both diapers come in sized options from XS through XL, as well as one-size options.  Both have hip snaps and both use an adjustable leg elastic by means of a button hole.  There are a couple differences in the one-size diapers, however.  Charlie Banana diapers do not have an adjustable elastic in the waist and the leg elastics do adjust similar to Fuzzibunz in that they use a button hole adjusting elastic system, but only on one end of the elastic.  The other end is sewn in, which makes for a more difficult task of replacing elastic if need be.  Fuzzibunz do have an adjustable waist elastic and each leg elastic has a button on both ends so you can easily unbutton both ends and pull the elastic out if it needs to be replaced.  Each Fuzzibunz diaper also comes with replacement elastics as well.  One of the biggest differences between the diapers is the placement of the pocket.  Charlie Banana diapers have the pocket up front, whereas Fuzzibunz is located in the back.  The Charlie Banana pocket has a flap over closure and you can use a disposable insert, which would lay on top of the pocket and the end of the disposable insert slides under the flap where it would be held in place.  This is different from the Fuzzibunz pocket, which does not have a flap closure.  The prices on these two diapers are also very similar:  Charlie Banana one-size is $20.88 for a solid color or $21.88 for print (Charlie Banana diapers can be purchased at Babies 'R Us).  Fuzzibunz one-size costs $19.95, but do not have a print option and can only be purchased online.

2.  How do you deal with cloth diapers in public? Or when you're not near a toilet to dispose of the "soil"? 

With a good ole wetbag :)  Planet Wise medium size wetbags are great for the diaper bag.  Have you ever had a disposable diaper that you were unable to dispose of right away?  When I was using disposable diapers with my first child, I would carry a couple of plastic bags and in these situations I would simply fold up the diaper and place it in the plastic bag and tie a knot.  As soon as I came across a garbage can, I would then dispose of it.  It's kind of the same with cloth diapers.  If you aren't near a toilet to dispose of the "soil" when changing a cloth diaper, you simply close up the diaper (I just kinda roll it and bring the flaps around front) and then place it in my wetbag (as in the picture above on the right) and zip it up.  The smell and "soil" are contained within the wetbag and when you come across a restroom or toilet, you dump the waste.  The diaper goes back in your wetbag to take home to launder.

3.  What do you do when you leave your kids with babysitters that don't know how to use cloth diapers? Do you train them or just let them use disposables? Especially if you're leaving your kids for a few days?

Depending on your preference and the reason you are using cloth diapers to begin with, this question has a couple of different answers.  If you're using cloth because you want to save money, or your child has very sensitive skin and isn't able to be in disposable diapers, then yes, training your babysitter on how to use cloth is the route you would want to go.  I personally don't like having to switch to disposables for babysitters, because that defeats my reasoning for using cloth in the first save money.  I will usually pull out my easiest cloth diapers (the ones closest to disposables as far as simplicity goes) such as my AIOs or pockets that are already stuffed and ready to be used, and do a quick rundown on how to use them before leaving the babysitter with my kids.  I will either pull out an empty wetbag that usually goes in my diaper bag and ask the sitter to place any diapers changed into the wetbag.  I don't ask them to clean out my diapers or do anything to deal with them other than to fold them nicely and put them in there, wipes and all, after changing baby.  I try to make it as simple as possible for them.  It is very convenient if you can use the same babysitter who already knows how to use them, or have someone who uses cloth themselves sit for your child *wink*.  If I am leaving my kids for a few days with someone, unless they would be comfortable using the cloth diapers and laundering them (which is highly unlikely) then I will usually supply them with disposables.  Also on long vacations, if laundry facilities are not available or it is not feasible to bring all my cloth diapers, then I will bring along disposables.  It's all a matter of preference.

Thanks to Monica, Heidi, and Brittney for this week's questions on Q & A Friday.  I hope I've answered them clearly for you.  Feel free to throw out any others you may have!

Have a great Friday and a fun weekend :)