Category Archives: cloth diapers

Strive to Cloth Better

IMG_3486As you all know I cloth diaper.

I started this with my 2nd son and continued it now with my 3rd.

I love it. MOST of the time :)

However I will admit this time around it has been harder. Im working a lot more, home schooling now and just really behind on house work and LAUNDRY. It really is just a lot to keep up with. I think if I didn’t work from home it be a wee bit easier, but job or no job, im busy. When this happens I throw in the towel with my cloth diapering and will use disposables for a day or two in order to catch up. It happens and thats ok.

Cloth diapering is wonderful, if and when you can do it.
If a disposable is thrown in the bunch from time to time. So be it.

However…

IMG_7998copyIt really is worth it financially in the long run, if you diaper multiple children especially. More importantly to me I really believe it is better for our children and the enviroment. Not that I’m a super “eco-chic” gal, I like to think of myself that way.. I recycle and use natural products around our home but I’ve got lots to learn.

Its not so much about being eco-friendly….

 

When I read things like THIS by Noreen Kassem for DrMomma.org, about the chemical involved in disposable diapers… It just makes me thankful I decided to try cloth diapering. Think about it… our babies live in diapers the 1st two or three years of their life. Day and Night… They are constantly sitting on our children’s sensitive areas… So while I do not think a disposable diapers are “horrible” :) I do think the information regarding them is something we as parents should at least know about. Maybe im paranoid… Maybe I over think. But it is worth thinking about right?

Here is the post for those who don’t like to jump from blog to blog :)

Disposable diapers seem to be a necessity in today’s lifestyle of convenience and temporary items. Though they are commonly used, synthetic, single-use diapers often contain chemicals linked to long-term health conditions. A study published in the Archives of Environmental Health (1999) states that disposable diapers should be considered to be a factor that may cause or worsen childhood asthma and respiratory problems. The soft, sensitive skin of babies is also prone to rashes and allergic reactions due to the chemicals in disposable diapers.

Dioxins

Most disposable diapers are bleached white with chlorine, resulting in a byproduct called dioxins that leach into the environment and the diapers. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), dioxins are among the most toxic chemicals known to science and are listed by the EPA as highly carcinogenic chemicals. According to the World Health Organization, exposure to dioxins may cause skin reactions and altered liver function, as well as impairments to the immune system, nervous system, endocrine system and reproductive functions.

Sodium Polyacrylate

Sodium polycarbonate is a super absorbent chemical compound that is used in the fillers of many disposable diapers. It is composed of cellulose processed from trees that is mixed with crystals of polyacrylate. This chemical absorbs fluids and creates surface tension in the lining of the diaper to bind fluids and prevent leakage. Sodium polyacrylate is often visible as small gel-like crystals on the skin of babies and is thought to be linked to skin irritations and respiratory problems. This chemical was removed from tampons due to toxic shock syndrome concerns. As it has only been used in diapers for the last two decades, there is not yet research on the long-term health effects of sodium polyacrylate on babies.

Tributyl-tin (TBT)

Many disposable diapers contain a chemical called tributyl-tin (TBT). According to the EPA, this toxic pollutant is extremely harmful to aquatic (water) life and causes endocrine (hormonal) disruptions in aquatic organisms. TBT is a polluting chemical that does not degrade but remains in the environment and in our food chain. TBT is also an ingredient used in biocides to kill infecting organisms. Additionally, according to research published by the American Institute of Biological Sciences, tributyl-tin can trigger genes that promote the growth of fat cells, causing obesity in humans.

Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs)

Disposable diapers frequently contain chemicals called volatile organic compounds (VOCs). These include chemicals such as ethylbenzene, toluene, xylene and dipentene. According to the EPA, VOCs can cause eye, nose and throat irritation, headaches, damage to the liver, kidney and central nervous system as well as cancers.

Other Chemicals

Other chemicals often used in disposable diapers include dyes, fragrances, plastics and petrolatums. Adhesive chemicals are used in the sticky tabs to close the diapers and dyes are used to color and make the patterns and labels that mark diapers. Perfumes and fragrances are used in some disposable diapers to help mask odors.

Again this information came from Peaceful Parenting ( a new fav blog read of mine ) – She has lots more great information on her site. She even has a post called “The Joy of Cloth” which is long but informative.

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IMG_7458This is just food for thought.
Its something I NEVER thought of when I had my 1st child.

After all, disposable diapers are just easier… readily available and given out in the hospital when our babies enter the world.
Its a part of our culture to be honest. Cloth is old school. Or is it?

With so many awesome cloth diapering companies, forums, informational bloggers and great washing machines ;-) – I really don’t know why more people don’t at least give it a go. If it doesn’t work out, thats fine! At least you tried.

When I 1st started to cloth diaper my husband said “hah… we’ll see how long this last” and he honestly believed it last a week and after the 1st few stinky diapers I’d give in. Yet here we are 4 years later and im still at it.

If you strive to do something you can do it.

It just takes work…

 

How many of you cloth diaper? If so, what’s your fav?

Signs of Cloth

For about 2-3 weeks I got out of the cloth diaper routine with Owen. He caught a stomach bug somewhere along the line and it left him with horrible runny diapers for a solid 2 weeks. I think that bug on top of cutting 4 teeth at once, was just poop overload.. and I honestly got tired of dealing with washing so many stinky cloth diapers. So I gave them up for those few weeks. I however am not back into the routine and loving it all over again.

It takes effort peoples.

I wont lie. It is a commitment and something you have to be ready to invest your time in.
For me its worth it. For others not so much. Either way is fine.

I thought it was funny though that now after cloth diapering for so many years.. I clothed Taite for 2 and now Owen for 1… and so 3 years combined, I have a pretty good eye for what us cloth diapering moms like to call “the fluff” :)

I can tell when kids have cloth on. Its a gift, haha.. Maybe not, but its fun to guess.

Here 2 signs of cloth.

Instead of plumber butt… you have fluff butt.
& well the other photo speaks for itself.
Lets just say Owens rear is far from lacking in its volume :)

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& for fun.
A Burger Bum for memory sake :)

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Does this make my butt look big?

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One of the little silly joys of cloth diapering :-)
Oh and having to buy pants a few sizes bigger to fit.

Is it worth it?

IMG_6723As you all may already know, I cloth diaper. I started cloth diapering with my 2nd son Taite when he was about 4 months old. One day while browsing the internet I came across some cloth diaper sites… and the look of them just really appealed to me. I mean lets be honest, they are just plain cute! Fluffy, soft and colorful.

The more I thought about cloth diapers though, the more It made sense. We knew after having our 2nd child, that we wanted more. We also knew the more babies you have, the more money you spend on disposable diapers :) – To me it just seemed smarter to invest in a good set of cloth diapers, then to flush money down the toilet on disposables… Todays society is very on the go and rush rush… its all about convenience and whats FAST and EASY… Who has time for cloth diapers? – don’t we have enough laundry?

It honestly is an investment, not only to start (It will cost you around $200-$300 initially to get a good stash of cloth), but also an investment of your time. It does take an extra effort to cloth diaper, but I am not lying when I say its COMPLETELY DOABLE AND EASY once you get into the routine.

IMG_3573 copyI remember one day putting a disposable diaper on Taite… and it getting so wet that the chemical gels in it came out and covered him! – The idea of that chemical sitting on my babies new skin and “baby parts” really bothered me. Babies are in those diapers FOR TWO YEARS basically. Besides bath time and pool time, they live in diapers… I didnt want that for my baby…

So with the combination of wanting to save money, my baby look cute (really that was a pretty minimal reason) and keep my baby free from those chemicals, was enough to push me to use cloth diapers.

and I am so glad I did…

Someone asked me the other day “Is it worth it?”

YES YES YES.
It is worth the effort!!! It has saved us well over 2,000 dollars already and im sure more than that if I did all the math. Taite was in the same cloth diapers Owen is using (although I have gotten some new ones), our savings with Owen will be even more than with Taite. We plan to also have more babies (either biologically or adoption), so those same diapers Owen is using another baby will one day use… saving us even more… so lets say we have 2 more babies after Owen… if you add up the savings between Taite, Owen and 2 more, that is a total of like 8,000 dollars we will save by cloth diapering… and thats if our babies potty train by age 2!

Ive done cloth diapering post before… but wanted to do another one for those who may of missed previous ones.

So to those curious how I cloth diaper :)

_MG_0521Let me start with what I have.

1) Around 10-12 Unbleached Indian Pre-folds. – Size Normal and a few in the Size Newborn

2) 6 Diaper Covers (you really don’t need this many – Ive gotten a few for review – I think I maybe paid for 2?)

Diaper Covers I have:

- 3 FLIP Covers
- 1 Thirties Duo WRAP – size 1
- 2 Etsy Diaper Covers

My favorite cover out of the 3 is by far the FLIPS.

3) 1 snappi for the pre-folds – I like using a snappi with pre-folds instead of the tri-fold method, I find that it makes the diaper less bulky when this way.

4) 25-30 Bum Genius Pocket One-Size Diapers

I only paid for like 15 of those. Ive been blessed with the opportunity to do pictures for Bum Genius, so I didnt have to buy my entire stash, Most of what I have was given to me – which was a huge blessing… I also have around 15 BRAND NEW BumGenius 4.0 diapers in storage. I plan to save all of those for baby num 4 (whenever that day comes)

5) 3 size small Bamboo Fitted Diapers (*no longer sold*)

6) 1 Bamboo fitted Diaper from weeones.biz (she makes great diapers!!)

7) A pull up cover (for potty training) – from weeones.biz

8) A Cloth Diaper Pail and Liner from www.kidalog.com

9) A HUGE wet bag (that I use in place of the pail sometimes)

10) A Medium size wet bag for my Diaper Bag.
- these are awesome for wet bathing suits too btw or to put soiled outfits due to blowouts or whatever.

11) A basket to hold it all – 50% off from Michaels Craft Store!

12) A spray bottle to spray off any messes in the toilet (The bottles you get after you have a baby work great!)

13) Diaper Detergent. I am using the Bum Genius brand detergent currently but recently purchased Rockin’ Green Diaper wash samples and Love them!!! – Diaper detergent last forever btw – if you want you can use dye free and fragrance free ALL, I just prefer the diaper washes more. 1 Box of the Bum Genius wash lasted me 9 months – I use a scoop 1/2 per load. (the are prob equal to a tablespoon each)

14) A drying rack (from walmart) for indoor drying when its rainy out – otherwise I use a clothes line.

15) Dryer Balls – May soften things for you more, if you want. Although I don’t dry any of my diaper covers -just the inserts.

16) A good sized diaper bag (Cloth diapers take up A LOT OF ROOM in your diaper bag, so dont go with a tiny diaper bag if you plan to cloth diaper)
The 31 UTILITY TOTE is an awesome bag for cloth diaper moms – Its super roomy and easy to clean.

and….

I think thats it!

Lots to take in :)

Now… how do I tend to them…

1) I use mostly the Bum Genius diapers…
As of Jan 2011 – I am completely BUMGENIUS – I dont use my pre-folds anymore because I have so many of the BG diapers… however when I didnt have them this is what I did…

When at home I used covers and pre-folds. Also on days im doing diaper laundry I can use pre-folds and covers. For me personally… Im not a huge fan of the pre-fold method when out and about. Its just to much to do for me. With a bum genius style diaper you stick it on and off very fast. No snappi issues, soggy wet pre-folds flopping around :) – just easier to me to use the cloth diapers that have everything together.

2) When I finish using a Cloth diaper I unstuff it (if its a pocket style diaper), put the velcro tabs down (it teaches you this in the diaper instructions), then throw it into the diaper pail (that I keep beside our changing table)

3) I can go 2 days without washing… 3 if im really slack – but I try not to do this because diapers sitting that long wet and dirty can really stink!

Weeone Cover-What happens if a diaper is soiled?? I simply spray it off in the toilet, or let it soak… This may not be the most pleasant, but you do what you got to do :) -Also you can buy liners to put in your diapers that can catch messes if you dont want to deal with spraying a diaper… it cost extra tho, and for me its no big deal to spray off a little poop :) – they do have cloth diaper liners that are re-usable, I do like those! but not needed all the time.

Don’t be scared if the diaper has a little mess left on it. Washing machines are great inventions :) they can clean more than you think!

4) When I wash them I fill the washer with warm water, a scoop of the cloth diaper detergent, and if they are super stinky I will actually let them SOAK in the washer water (no detergent) over night… then in the morning throw in the detergent, shut the lid and it can then wash….. then they are ready to hung by like 9am! Dry by mid afternoon if need be.

- Sometimes if your diapers are really stinky you can wash them twice… but its not needed all the time.

I also wash my pail liners along with my diapers each time.

5) I hang dry my covers (outside or inside), if outside I also hang my inserts. If its rainy out I put my inserts in the dryer and hang the covers on my drying rack inside. The reason being is inserts take FOREVER to dry inside…

6) After diapers are washed and dry, I simply stuff all my bum genius diapers, fold my pre-folds and stick everything into one big basket next to the changing table. The Bum Genius are always ready to go… so my husband (who doesnt do well with pre-folds) can just grab the diaper, stick it on and be on his way. Travis has NO TROUBLE using the Bum Genius Diapers, AT ALL.

7) Your done! See not hard :)

If you stick with it, it becomes 2nd nature.
Ive actually gotten to the point I miss my cloth diapers, if I go for a period of time using disposables (for whatever reason).
I dont dislike using them at all – they have become a part of our routine.

Are you a bad mom if you don’t cloth diaper.

YES!

Kidding, noooo you’re not! I dont think cloth diapers work for every family. For me tho, it has been worth every investment and I would highly recommend every mom do it. Even if you only cloth diaper one baby, you still save.

To those who may wonder if I use disposables ever.

YES… I do :) Im not picky on brands either, I buy whatever is on sale. At night I use disposables. So 1 diaper a day. I have just found that my babies sleep better dryer.. There are thicker inserts you can use AT NIGHT in cloth diapers… I tried those, and even with thicker ones, my babies tend to wake up a bit to wet for my liking. So disposable it is – at night.

Also on days I run out of cloth diapers (due to getting crazy busy and not having time to wash), I will use disposables.. but that doesnt happen very often.

When we travel I use disposables as well because I dont always have access to a washer. When I visit my mom I will use cloth sometimes, since she has a washer I can use. I would just take my HUGE wet bag for the car and to use while at her home.

Let me know if you have any questions! I will try to help answer them as best I can :)

*note: the 2nd baby photo isn’t Owen.. hehe – Thats my 2nd son Taite wearing a Bum Genius*

And people think Cloth Diapers are hard

IMG_5631I think cloth diapering companies everywhere should pay me to show this video HAHA. Cause seriously, Caleb who is 5 is showcasing the ease of cloth diapering right here!

Sure its a little extra work… you have to WASH something else besides your socks… but its totally worth every bit of effort… This is baby num. 2 using cloth diapers in our home… and we plan to cloth diaper any more kids we have… just think of the savings!

I wont get off on a “you should cloth diaper” rant :) but I wanted to share this video. Caleb was holding Owen and I asked him if he wanted to change him, to my surprise he said yes. Caleb without hesitation ripped off the wet cloth diaper Owen had on… and began putting a new one on. I was surprised how easily Caleb handle things for his 1st time :) He didnt even seem to notice the wetness of the diaper he took off :-) I thought for sure that gross him out just a wee bit, but nope… Thats brotherly love for you. :-D


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To those curious what diapers Owen had on in this video.

He had a BUM GENIUS Bamboo fitted with an ETSY diaper cover.
Caleb then put on him a Bum Genius 3.0 One-size Pocket Diaper.