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May 24, 2010

New to Cloth - Easy to Wash

Thanks to Mama to 3 Blessings, the next topic in my series will be all about washing your cloth diapers. Don't let the washing of cloth diapers scare you! Really, it is not difficult to wash cloth diapers. You also won't be adding that many loads of laundry per week either by switching to cloth.
When buying new diapers you will need to prep them. you always want to follow manufacturer's instructions, but usually this means to wash in HOT water and dry anywhere from 2-5 times before use. Diapers will also gain absorbancy as they are used and washed more. How great is that!?!
If your Little One makes a particularly messy diaper and you want to rinse it before stains get too bad, rinse the diaper in COLD water, rubbing it with a bar of white soap. White soap (like Ivory) works wonders. I can't believe how much it can do!
Now on to my regular wash routine...
First I keep my dirty diapers in a dry pail. This is just a regular trash can with a lid that I put a duffle sized wetbag in. Lids on cloth diapers pails are a HUGE thing, it helps keep any odors you may experience from getting in to the room too much. The wetbag I made has a square for me to put essential oils on to help with odors as well.
 my wetbag duffle in the pail

Okay, so from the pail the bag and dirty diapers so straight in to my washer. You will want to make sure inserts have been removed from the diapers so they get cleaned. I wash my diapers when the pail is getting full and that is about every 2-3 days.
First I start with a COLD rinse with some baking soda. This can help with reducing staining. 
Second, I set my washer up on the longest cycle possible and as HOT as possible. I use Rockin' Green detergent and they state to use 2-3 tablespoons per load of laundry. I usually use two tablespoons and it works well for us. 
Third, set your washer to do an extra rinse after your wash cycle. This helps to ensure that all the detergent is rinsed clean from your diapers.
I then put all my diapers in the dryer. I do have two GroBaby (now GroVia) shells that say they should not be put in the dryer in order to last longer. Also, I do not put covers in the dryer, I don't know why, I just don't.
When we move we will have the ability to hang our clothes outside on a line. Then I can start hang drying more of the diapers.  The sun is a wonderful thing for diapers, especially stained ones. Sun is a natural bleacher.

So, that is my washing routine. Sounds easy, right? Well, it really is and I only end up with two or three more loads of laundry than our normal wash.
Don't let the washing of cloth diapers scare you!
Until Next time....Happy Diapering!

Cloth....What is out there?

Next up in my series "New to Cloth" is Cloth...What is out there? This post will focus on the different types of cloth diapers. There are many different types of cloth diapers out there and when you are first starting in the world of cloth, it can be a bit daunting. I would suggest finding two types of diapers that you would like to try out and then buy just a few of those types. Who knows, you may not like them at all. When I first started with the idea of cloth, I loved the idea of the gDiaper. We bought a starter pack with two diapers, three liners, and some flushable inserts. Let me tell you where they are now. In one of the "extras" boxes being hardly ever used. What I thought would be a fav of mine, became one of my least favorites. Then again, I originally thought that we would be a hybrid family and not go full on cloth diapering. You see how that turned out....can you say ADDICTED! :)
Okay, back on track, here are the different types of cloth diapers.

All-in-one (AIO): An All-in-one diaper is really just that, all parts in one diaper. They usually have three parts to them. There is the waterproof outer, the soaker (sewn in) and then an inner layer to wick moisture away from baby's skin. All the parts are sewn in to one diaper and it is usually the closest to disposable. I like AIOs, but they do take longer to dry since there are more layers involved. A lot of time I have AIOs take two Heavy Dry cycles in my dryer. There is elastic at the legs and usually the front and/or the back to help keep messes in.

All-in-twos (AI2):  These diapers are just like AIOs, but the soaker is removable or only partially sewn in. This is to help cut down on drying time. I have seen AI2s that have two soaker parts and each one is sewn to either the front or back of the diaper. Soakers can also be snapped in. There is elastic at the legs and usually the front and/or the back to help keep messes in.

Pocket: A Pocket diaper has the waterproof out layer and an inner liner. Then it has a pocket in either the front or back for stuffing an insert in to the diaper. These diapers can allow for the most customization in my mind as you are fully able to choose how much absorption power you add to the diaper. The insert is then removed for cleaning and helps with a fast drying time. There is elastic at the legs and usually the front and/or the back to help keep messes in.

Fitted: Fitted diapers do not have a waterproof layer and need a cover. These diapers are all about the absorption as the layers are all basically there for soaking up wetness. They are held closed with either snaps or hook and look closures. This can make them perfect for use under wool or fleece covers. One primary way that fitteds differ from contours is that they have elastic at the legs.

Prefold: Prefold diapers are layers of absorbant material that have been folded in such a way to have more layers focused at the center of the rectangle. These need to be folded and then secured with pins, snappis, or a snug fitting cover. There is no waterproof layer so you do need to use a cover of some sort. They tend to come in a number of sizes to accommodate babies changing size from birth to potty training. This can be one of the most inexpensive ways to cloth diaper as they can be bought fairly cheap.

Flat: The flat diaper is the most like what mothers used of the past. It consists of a flat piece of cheesecloth like material that needs to be folded to provide more absorbing power. Again this is not waterproof so a cover does need to be used.

Contour: A contour diaper is alot like a fitted diaper except that it does not have elastic in it. Also many times these diapers do not come with snaps or hook n loop, so you need to use a cover, pins, or snappis.

Hybrid: Hybrid diapers are a type that is a little newer on the cloth diapering front (at least in my eyes). These diapers come with a waterproof shell that you then snap a soaker in to or lay in a disposable (usually flush-able) biosoaker. Some moms prefer these when traveling, but they can also be nice when just making the transition to using cloth.

Diaper Cover: Diaper covers do just that. They do not have soft inner layers or any soaker material. They are a waterproof layer used to cover non waterproof diapers. Covers can be made from PUL coated materials, wool, or fleece. Covers can usually be used for more than one diaper change as long as they do not become soiled.

Inserts: Inserts are made from absorbent material and mostly used in pocket diapers. There are a variety of different sizes, shapes and materials that they can be made from, like cotton, hemp, micro-terry, and bamboo.

Doublers: Again, the name implies the use of this product. These are meant to help increase the amount of wetness a diaper will soak in, but they cannot act on their own. They are usually made from fewer layers of material (1-2 layers).

I hope this was an informative post for those who are just considering cloth diapers. I know it is a lot of information, but there is a lot of different types of diapers, and each mother has her own opinion of what is best to use because each child is different. Some kids don't do well with AIOs but do well with contours because of sensitive skin issues with elastic. This is something you may have to try a few types to find what works best for you.
Until next time....Happy Diapering!

May 18, 2010

Cloth Diapering Links!

I get asked all the time if I know some good websites for interested mommas to check out and get more information about cloth diapering. Well, now I am putting them in to a post so you can always come back and check them out. If need be, I will also update this post with new great links when I find them.
I am adding this to the "New to Cloth" series so that moms can easily find this post along with great other posts geared for those new to cloth diapering or just considering it.
I am leaving the urls totally visible so that even if the links do not want to work, you can still copy and paste.

First let me show you some Fellow Bloggers who have helped me a lot when it comes to cloth diapers.
Coupon Mommy of 3 - http://www.couponmommyof3.com/
Family of the Cloth - http://familyofthecloth.blogspot.com/
Happily Domestic - http://happilydomestic.blogspot.com/
I'd Rather Be Changing Diapers - http://www.ratherbechangingdiapers.com/
Makin' It - http://beccasclothdiaperblog.blogspot.com/
Mam Dweeb - http://mamadweeb.com/
Minnesota Mamas Must Haves - http://www.minnesotamamasmusthaves.com/
My Silly Monkeys - http://www.mysillymonkeys.com/
Obsessed Cloth Diapering Momma - http://obsessedclothdiaperingmama.blogspot.com/
The Eco-Cheap Mom - http://www.ecocheapmom.com/

All about cloth blogs:
Cloth Diaper Blog - http://www.clothdiaperblog.com/
The Cloth Diaper Report - http://www.theclothdiaperreport.com/
Dirty Diaper Laundry - http://dirtydiaperlaundry.com/ (great video reviews of diapers)
Thanks Mama - http://blog.thanksmama.com/ 

Company Blogs:
Kelly's Closet - http://www.theclothdiaperwhisperer.com/
AppleCheeks - http://diaperingrevolutionary.typepad.com/a_reusable_diaper_revolut/ 
Bum Covered Diapers - http://bumcovereddiapers.blogspot.com/
Bummis - http://blog.bummis.com/
Cotton Babies - http://clothdiapers.blogspot.com/ 
Earth Angels Diaper Co - http://diaperdiscussions.blogspot.com/
Soft Bums - http://loveclothdiapers.blogspot.com/
Knickernappies - http://knickernappies.blogspot.com/
Nicki's Diapers - http://nickisdiapers.blogspot.com/
Nifty Nappy - http://niftynappy.blogspot.com/
Rump*a*rooz - http://rumparooz.blogspot.com/
The Diaper Wagon - http://diaperwagon.com/blog/
Green Diaper Queen (FuzziBunz) - http://greendiaperqueen.blogspot.com/
Urban Fluff - http://urbanfluffblog.blogspot.com/
Katydid - http://katydidcloth.blogspot.com/ 

Company Sites:
Happy Heinys - http://www.happyheinysonline.com/
FuzziBunz - http://www.fuzzibunzonline.com/
BumGenius - http://www.bumgenius.com/
Rocky Mountain Diapers - http://www.rockymountaindiapers.com/ClothDiapers.html
Rump*a*rooz - http://www.rumparooz.com/
Knickernappies - http://www.knickernappies.com/
SmartiPants - https://www.smartipants.com/
*I have personally tried each of these brands and recommend them.

Stores or purchasing sites: 
DiaperSwappers - http://www.diaperswappers.com/
Kelly's Closet
Diaper Junction
Cotton Babies - http://www.cottonbabies.com/
Diaper Shops - http://diapershops.com/ 

The next post on the varying types of cloth diapers will be coming soon.
Until then....Happy Diapering!

May 17, 2010

Menu Plan Monday

So I am once again posting for Menu Plan Monday. When Hubby was out of town for three of the four weeks in April, I don't really plan things as I don't cook much for LJ and I. But here it is, my menu for the week.

Cheese Burger Mac (hamburger helper)
Maybe some corn for veggies

Ham Rice Soup
(Cream of celery soup, a can of chopped ham, long grain rice)

Crock-pot sloppy joes on rolls or maybe over pasta
Veggies in the sloppy joe mix

Chinese Night

Marinated Chicken Breasts over coucous
asian mixed veggies (steam fresh)

Dinner Out

Left overs from the week

May 13, 2010

Why should I cloth diaper?

Welcome to the New to Cloth Series on Lynifer's blog!

I am like many cloth diapering mamas who get asked the infamous question, "Why?" Well, here is a post solely dedicated to answering that question.

Cloth Diapers save Money: let's face it, with a young child (or a child of any age), money can be an issue. They cost a lot of $$. I always liked saving money where I could, but it wasn't really a big deal until LJ came along. Then I really started to pinch pennies where I could and as much as I could.  Everyone can find tons of sites out there that will save how much an average family may be able to save when using cloth versus conventional disposables. Really though each family needs to sit down and think about how much they are going to save themselves.
I want to share a recent bout with disposables to give you an idea of the savings.
Recently LJ and I went to Connecticut to visit Hubby while he was up there for work. I bought a "jumbo" pack of size 3 Luvs diapers for the trip. It cost about $8 for the jumbo pack that holds 36 size 3 diapers. That pack lasted the week. So, now, think of this. At two years of age I went through 36 diapers in one week and spent 8 dollars. Multiply that by one year and you are spending $416 dollars to diaper one two-year-old child. This is a time when they are not going through as many diapers as when they are infants. As an infant, LJ could go through a jumbo pack in like 3 maybe 4 days. I would say that since we started using cloth I have spent maybe $300 on cloth diapers. Yes, that may sound like a lot, but you know what? I can use those diapers for our next child, and it is still less than I would be paying for one year of disposables for a two year old. 
Oh, and I plan to sell any diapers I can when we are done using them, so there is a bonus for us and chunk of that cost given back. That makes for a happy mommy.

Okay. I must stop myself and get back on track...
Reason two to use cloth:  
Cloth Diapers save the Earth: Every disposable diaper you use, has to be thrown away. Where do they go? In a landfill where they will sit for a very long, long time. What happens to cloth diapers after they are used? They are washed and used again. When you are done using cloth diapers, you can sell them. I am like almost every other mother out there that used to use disposables and I had never heard that you are supposed to put the poo from every diaper (cloth or not) in to the toilet. But poo aside, disposable diapers are filled with varying chemicals and plastics that will not go away, no matter how long they sit. Certain things just cannot be broken down by nature. Those chemicals then can stay in the soil and contaminate it, leaving it unusable by plants and animals, us included.

Cloth Diapers are Healthier for Baby: You know those chemicals I said are in every disposable diaper? Before it hits the landfill, you have those chemicals next to your baby's skin. Have diaper rash? Those chemicals could possibly get in to your baby's body through wounds. If antibiotics can get in to your system to help you when you get a wound, why couldn't chemical compounds found in the diapers you are using?
Cloth diapers are also healthier for baby because they can allow baby's skin to breathe more. This also reduces diaper rash. To all ladies out there that think cloth may increase rashes, they don't. They make things a whole lot better because the chemicals aren't there and the natural, breathable fibers are there.

Cloth Diapers help with Potty Training: A lot of kids that are cloth diapered are potty trained earlier than their disposable diapered pals. I have heard estimates of 6 months earlier or more. My son was 18 months old when we started to cloth diaper. Before cloth he had no interest in even thinking of telling me when he was wet or messy. Within about two weeks he was started to pat his diaper when wet or messy. He has remained pretty constant with this routine now ever since. There is a very real possibility that he could be trained by 2 1/2 years of age. What is the average age of boys being potty trained? I believe you could be looking at 3-4 years of age. 
Cloth diapers do wick away moisture and let the bum breathe, but they do retain the feeling of slight wetness, which tells the child they have gone potty and they need to be changed. Yes, disposables hold more wetness away from baby, but that doesn't help them potty train, it hinders it. If they don't feel the sensation of being wet, how will they learn when they need to go?

Cloth Diapers are Better: Yes, they truly are for many reasons. I have less leaks than we do with disposables. I also have a lot less blow outs. Modern cloth diapers have been made to conform to baby's body and keep wet and mess in while letting the air in as well. Many moms who make the switch will say they experience a lot less leaking than they do with disposables, and I am one of them. When LJ is in a disposable, I have to go with the sizes they give me, where with cloth I can make the diaper fit him like it is supposed to. The legs of one size diapers can be adjusted to fit the baby. 
Lots of cloth diapers have elastic around the legs, but also around the back area to help keep messes in as well. A good friend of mine is testing out cloth for the first time and I will bet that one thing she will finally be able to get away from is the blow outs she experiences all the time with the disposables. Breastfed babies have different poo than table fed babies and it can make for more blow outs at times. Cloth holds it where it is supposed to be, in the diaper!

And lastly, but certainly not least:
Cloth Diapers are so much Cuter! How many different colors or patterns do you find on disposable diapers? Not many. First off, the color is usually white with maybe a pattern on it. The patterns are usually one of like three out there with maybe some slight variations. Most disposable diapers are made in a hand full of factories. Store brands are made right next to name brands with almost no difference. 
Cloth diapers are only limited by the design of the materials that the makers find. There are many cloth diapers out there that are actually made by moms. They are made from organic materials to old T-shirts. Top of the line Hemp to cotton to wool. You name it, you can probably try to make a diaper out of it. You can get every color in the rainbow in your diaper stash and then go and get all the patterns you crave as well. A girlie-girl can have all pink and purple flowers on her diapers while he mans-man brother can have camo. You just can't get that with disposable. 

So, I have tried to list many reasons why moms make the switch to cloth over disposables. I hope I didn't bore and I helped inform. Next up in my "New to Cloth" series will be the different types of diapers out there. 
Until next time... Happy diapering!

May 11, 2010

New Series starting soon!

In the next few days I will begin a series of posts geared for the beginner cloth diaperer. I will go through basics like types and such, but also give some of my own advice as to what I do, what I like and don't like, and also cover reasons for switching to cloth. I want to open this post up for anyone (even those who do cloth diaper) to post questions in the comments section. These can be questions you have about using cloth, or questions you have been asked. Then I will work to answer those questions in the coming posts. I hope to make this as interactive as possible, so please, feel free to leave a comment. :) I hope to have the first post "Why should I cloth diaper?" in the next day or two.
Until then...!

Great Scavenger Hunt

Thanks to a post on facebook by Coupon mommy of 3, I found a great scavenger Hunt online. It is called the Green Quiz Quest. I would highly recommend you check it out. The list of prizes they already have or are getting in soon is a great list. there are going to be a grand prize, first and second. I think this will be a great way to find some really fantastic ways to live better while on this earth.
Here is the link again:

Call for links and info

Hi ladies! I am working on a series of posts geared for beginner cloth mamas. I am going to go over some of the usual things like types and brands and such, but I also get asked often what sites I recommend checking out. This is where I would love your help. What are some sites that you always use or recommend to other mommies who are looking for information about cloth diapers? I have tons of sites that I use, but they might not be the best for beginners as they may get overloaded with all of the options in the stores. I love my kellyscloset.com link, but I know when I started, seeing all the links to different kinds of dipes really got confusing to me. Thanks ladies!

May 3, 2010

My BlogFrog

Hi all! I just wanted to send out a quick post about a new community I found a couple weeks ago. It is called BlogFrog. It is another way for bloggers to connect as a community and not just static numbers. I love trying to build and foster a community of fellow moms, bloggers, and women. I would love if you would come join me on BlogFrog.

McNeil Products Recalled

First I want to thank Baby Center for posting this particular recall on their facebook page as that is how I found out and I am glad I did!
If you use Tylenol drops, Motrin drops, Zyrtec for kids or Children's Benadryl, please check out their information website for recall information.
The only Bendaryl liquid that is recalled is the Dye-Free Benadryl, Bubblegum flavored. I want to pass this on to all moms, especially those, like me, who do not get to watch the news as much as they may want.
McNeil Consumer Healthcare company is recalling almost all Tylenol drops along with a host of other products. This recall is due to products that "may contain a higher concentration of active ingredient than is specified; others may contain inactive ingredients that may not meet internal testing requirements; and others may contain tiny particles." ( taken from the website)
I have a bottle of the Tylenol drops and the Bendaryl. I have already requested my high value coupon for when "safe" products become available. This won't help me tonight, though, when I had planned on giving my son some Benadryl to help with the allergies he seems to be dealing with.
Again, here is the link:

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