Thursday, January 29, 2009
Saturday, January 24, 2009
Ok, I'm doing the right thing for my baby, environment, my bank account by using Cloth Diapers... Cloth Wipes will be the next step. Maybe.
At least that's what I thought initially. I'll work my way up to cloth wipes. Disposable wipes seem so much simpler; they don't make that much garbage; and how bad can they really be? Plus, I could ask my babysitter to use cloth diapers, but cloth wipes too?
So we were using just disposable wipes for a while. But the cloth wipes seemed so much softer and they didn't provide that cold shock effect upon contact with my baby's soft, warm bottom. So I gradually worked my way into them.
Your natural reflex when changing a diaper is to wipe, drop the wipe into the diaper, wrap up the diaper and dump it. When you get your first shredded wipe in your dryer, you might think twice about switching to cloth.
According to Thirsties, you can spend up to $800 on disposable wipes during one child's diapering career. They're basing this number on using 3 boxes of wipes a week, at $2.50/box. That sounds a little excessive. I don't think we've ever gone through 3 boxes of wipes and you can get them cheaper in bulk. Punkin Butt figures 1.5 boxes/month at $4.50/box. That's $203 if your baby's in diapers for 2.5 years! But calculate for yourself - how many times a month do you buy wipes at what price? And then see how much money you can save switching to cloth. And think about it - no more late night trips to the store to buy more wipes!
Plus cloth wipes can be reused with your next child and can be used for hands, dishes, you name it, if you're currently going diaperless!
Another reason people switch to cloth wipes is the ingredients factor. I can't even pronounce half of the ingredients in disposable wipes, let alone know what they are! I mean, why is there Xantham Gum in my wipes? And what is Sodium Hydroxmethylglycinate?? Even the "natural" brands of wipes have weird things in them. If your baby has sensitive skin or even if she doesn't, you may sleep better just knowing what's going on her most sensitive area.
So how do you use cloth wipes?
There are myriad options available and I will present just a smattering for your consideration.
1. Put them in a wipes warmer with a solution. This is nice because you have warm, wet wipes available at any time. The downside is that you shouldnt leave them in a warm, wet solution for an extended period of time as that may allow for bacteria growth and mildew.
2. You can put a solution in a spray bottle and either spray the wipe or spray the bottom and use a dry wipe.
3. You can use warm water from the sink or in a spray bottle.
What can I use as wipes?
I carry 2 types: Thirsties and Punkin Butt. But you can really use anything. You can cut up a receiving blanket, a piece of fleece or other material, or use baby washcloths (though not as soft).
I love Thirsties Fab Wipes. They are 8x8 inches and 2 ply. One side is a textured cotton velour for the big messes. The other side is a microfleece for drying or lighter messes. They are so soft and colorful. They just make me feel good to get to use them! They come in a package of 6 in assorted colors. http://www.softandcozybaby.com/thirsties-fab-wipes.html
Punkin Butt makes a great flannel wipe. It is one ply which makes it a thin, easy to maneuver material. They come in great patterns and are available in boy, girl or neutral. http://www.softandcozybaby.com/punkin-butt-flannel-wipes.html
What kind of solutions should I use?
1. Plain old-fashioned tap water works great. When my baby has a huge blow-out that no wipe will clean -- you know, the up the back type -- I either put him straight into the tub or under the faucet.
2. You can make a solution of baby shampoo, baby oil and water.
3. Punkin Butt makes an Organic Wipes Solution which I carry in my store. A 0.5 oz bottle of concentrate makes over 3 gallons of solution. You just put 10 drops into 1 cup of boiled or distilled water. Ingredients: Organic Vitis Vinifera (Grapeseed) Oil, Organic Prunus Armeniaca (Apricot) Kernel Oil, Organic Lavadula Angustifolia (Lavender) Oil, Organic Melaleuca Alternifolia (Tea Tree) Oil. http://www.softandcozybaby.com/pubuorwisoco.html
4. Here's another recipe from Punkin Butt:
3/4 cup distilled or boiled water
1/4 cup aloe vera juice
3 drops Tea Tree oil [do not use full strength - will irritate - must be diluted]
1 drop lavender essential oil or apricot kernal oil (optional)
1 pump baby shampoo or wash
The aloe vera is soothing and healing. The tea tree oil kills bacteria, viruses and fungus that can lead to diaper rash or infection.
5. A simpler recipe by Punkin Butt:
1 cup distilled or boiled water
3 drops Tea Tree Oil
Thursday, January 22, 2009
If you need something custom, I'm sure Brandy can accomodate. I can't wait until Dovy is old enough for these!
His latest thrill is eating Cheerios. It's unbelievable. We can seat him in his highchair with a handful of Cheerios and keep him busy for a half hour! And he loves his exersaucer. He doesnt really even play with the toys anymore - just jumps.
So I'm looking for ideas for occupying an 8 month old so I can actually accomplish things. I have been wearing him some, but he loves being able to move around. Any babyproofing tips?
Monday, January 19, 2009
I wasn't at first sure about the whole diaper sprayer concept. Until my baby started eating solids...
Plenty of people do without a sprayer and do just fine. And then there are those who swear by diaper sprayers. They say they wouldn't cloth diaper if not for their sprayer. It's like their second best friend (well they didn't exactly say that...)
And I am starting to appreciate the diaper sprayer. As long as your baby is just drinking breastmilk, his poop is water-soluble and the diaper can be thrown straight into the washing machine. One cold rinse later, and there's little remembrance of that explosive diaper.
Once solids come into the picture, the colors change a little (no pun intended). When my baby had his first solid poop, I was so excited. Now I can do this whole "dump in the toilet thing." So I put the diaper on top of the pail instead of inside while I put a new diaper on him. Then, holding him in one arm (I wanted to share the exciting experience), I picked up the diaper with my other hand. And the poop fell on the floor. Yes, it was that hard. Ewww. Ok, sorry if I'm getting too graphic. Now I had to pick it up with the diaper and try to get it to the toilet. I did succeed, but some toys had to be sanitized as well... That was one of the easy solid poops - there was almost no residue on his diaper at all.
It's those peanut buttery poops that you just dont know what to do with. It's too much to go in the wash so you kind of scrape it off and try to dump it into the toilet. But it doesnt always come off cleanly.
This is where the diaper sprayer comes in handy. You can spray off all the excess that you don't want to touch. It goes cleanly (is that a word?) into the toilet and your diaper is ready for the wash.
Plus they are very simple to install. They can be installed in 5-10 min. All you need is a pair of pliers or a crescent wrench. We attached our nozzle to the side of the cabinet next to the toilet so you can't even see it when you walk into the bathroom.
You can find them here: http://www.softandcozybaby.com/sidisp.html
Saturday, January 17, 2009
This is a great article from the New Yorker. I highly recommend reading it.
It's something you never think about. It actually condemns pumping! The author, Jill Lepore, gives a great history on the evolution of how women feed their babies. We've gone from poor women eating dark bread and nursing while rich women eat white bread and feed formula - and now it's the opposite!
The point of her article is that pumping and feeding breast milk from a bottle is NOT the same as breastfeeding. Many of the benefits of nursing are not available with bottle feeding, including the closeness, bonding, and love a baby feels while nursing.
She condemns American society by saying that instead of making it easier for women to physically nurse their babies, its actually making it harder by promoting pumping. Women only legally have 12 week of maternity leave but it is recommended to breastfeed for a year. Instead of bringing the baby to the mother or allowing the mother to stay home longer with her baby, the laws are promoting pumping stations in the workplace. In fact one pumping room has a sign that says "This room is not intended for mothers who need a space to nurse their babies."
Are we no longer nursing mothers but milk pumps?
Tuesday, January 13, 2009
Save big money now before prices go up all over the country due to the mandatory expensive testing of all childrens' products! The details of the law still haven't been finalized, so contact you congressperson NOW!
We are clearancing up to 40-50% off!!!
All Maya Wrap products! Reduced to as low as $30!
All Doll Slings! Now only $10!
The wonderful Tinokis wrap! Now only $50! Why would a foreign company want to deal with our crazy laws? Some quality foreign toy companies are pulling their stuff off American shelves across the country.
Our adorable Ditto Daddy trainers! Now only $12! Custom made by a work-at-home mom who obviously can't afford to have them tested. She hasn't had a sale since Christmas. ;( In stock merchandise only.
Wool Soakers - Now only $18!
Get them NOW before they're gone! Remember, if this law goes into effect as is, you may not be able to buy this stuff again!
Monday, January 12, 2009
I believe to be a CDer in general, you have to be obsessed about it. It's just one of those things that if you really didn't care either way, you probably wouldn't stick with it. Most of the CD mamas I've met are all out CD addicts and will make a stink about their obsession. Am I right? ;)
Similarly with detergents: If you've found the detergent and wash routine that works perfectly for you and your diapers, you want to tell the whole world. And you'll become so obsessed with your find that you'll insist that it is the only way to go.
Well I haven't become addicted to one detergent yet. I thought I had a couple times but then I would find a new one and be excited to try that out. I have a friend who's the same way. Every time I get in a new detergent, she says "oh no, now I have to try a new one!"
So here's my detergent story:
When I first started CDing, I started with All Free & Clear 3x. I used that anyway for the rest of my laundry and when some CD sites said it was good for CD's I was excited. I wouldn't have to change detergents. We went to my mom's house for a couple weeks and I washed my dipes in her machine with All. My mother commented that the used dipes smelled like ammonia. And I said nonchalantly, "Yea, cloth diapers smell like urine. They're not like disposables that soak up all the urine and smell like baby powder anyway." I thought cloth diapers were supposed to smell! It wasn't overwhelming or awful, just a fact that there was a little urine smell that came with the package.
As I got more into the CD cyberworld I read about how Free & Clears make diapers smell! Oh, so they're NOT supposed to smell! But I really wasnt going to spend money on some fancy detergent that I had to pay for shipping and could only use on my diapers.
Next I read about Tide. That sounded easy enough. But only Tide Original powder. Ok, ok. I can find it. So I went to Target. They had Tide with this and Tide with that, but no Original powder. How can Target not carry Tide Original?? Tide must not make it anymore... I asked one of the friendly Target team members but he looked at me like I was crazy. There are a million detergents, why would you need that one?? Finally I found a small box of Tide Original powder at a small grocery store near my house. It was like $5 for a small box, which seemed like a lot at the time... But I knew you only use 1/4 of the recommended amount for diapers. So when I got home I told my husband, "this is only for the diapers!" Now I realize $5 is nothing to pay for a CD detergent! (have you noticed I just found and am having fun with the italics??)
So Tide it is. I started using it with a vengance. It was easy. The only thing was I had to make sure to rinse until there were no more bubbles in the rinse water. Simple enough. Except when you have a baby and have to time it to run down to the washer every time you think you're mid-rinse. And then you get there and the cycle is done. So should I do another rinse or assume there are no more bubbles?? It depended on my mood. In general I would do usually 2-3 extra rinses after the rinse that automatically followed the wash.
When I started selling detergents, of course I had to try them out for myself. I first used Sensi Clean. Initially I was only using it for stripping but when I ran out of Tide I started using it as a detergent. However there are some warnings of severe rashes with Sensi Clean so I would always do an extra hot wash and sometimes an extra rinse afterwards. But the Sensi Clean got boring and it's only 34 washes in a bottle! (Plus there was a new one to try!)
Fuzzi Bunz joined up with Vaska to produce the first detergent that a CD manufacturer put its name on. Fuzzi Bunz and many others were really excited about it. So was I - I had to try it! The FB detergent was even easier! There was no extra rinse or wash required. Plus, since you only need a 1/2 ounce per load of diapers, one bottle can do 96 loads! That's an awful lot of diapers! So I used that for a while. Until...
clothes and diapers. I box washes 80 loads for top loaders and 160 loads for front loaders! And you only use 1/2 or less of that for a load of diapers! So that's up to 320 loads of diapers for front load washers! Plus, the bonus for me was that I could order a case of Country Save off of Amazon for free while I had to pay a fortune to order a case of the Fuzzi Bunz detergent. The Country Save people are brilliant!
So that's where I am right now. I have 5 open containers of laundry detergent in my laundry room. I try to stick with one at a time, but when I get bored I switch to a different one! I know what you're thinking -- my husband thinks I'm crazy too! But like I told you at the beginning, CDing and your wash routine become an addiction!
Sunday, January 11, 2009
For example, Work-At-Home moms who make cloth diapers or other baby products will likely go out of business as they do not have the volume nor the funds necessary to do the mandatory testing on every minute detail of the products they produce. Every part of the products - snaps, elastic, velcro, zippers, each individual color and type of fabric, etc. -must be tested.
If this law passes as is it will be destructive to much of the "mom & pop" type businesses that make up the backbone of America. It will be illegal to sell on the free market any baby products that you may have made at home unless you spend a large amount of money having that product tested.
Some of the products I carry as well are made by small businesses out of their homes. As they likely will not pay for testing, I will not be able to sell those products.
You can also contact your lawmakers directly. The American Apparel Associate has made this very easy if you followthis link:
It will automatically send an email (or allow you print a letter) to your Senators & Congressman based on your address and allow you to modify the text.
Please feel free to do your own research or contact me directly.
Thank you for your consideration!
So we had a really nice workshop today. A few very sweet mamas-to-be joined us and we shmoozed about CDing and babywearing. It was nice, intimate and informal.
Some things we touched on were the differences between the diaper covers - such as Bummis Super Whisper Wraps (SWW) vs. Super Brites (SB) vs. Originals vs. Whisper Pants. The differences between Bummis, Thirsties and Prorap covers.
SWW - the classic, ever-popular Bummis cover. If you read reviews online, people swear by them! I started CDing I guess at the tail end of their popularity - though those who loved them still love them - so I don't get their greatness. But they are a nice, simple cover. They are made of a PUL coating with a polyester inner lining.
SB - then Bummi came out with these newer covers. I LOVE these. Better than the SWW. They are made of PUL but don't have that polyester lining. So there is a shiny, sleek inner surface that's very easy to wipe or rinse clean. Plus they have the double leg gusset - which is that extra piece of fabric and elastic along the leg which just holds everything in better! Especially when you're using a prefold and you have to make sure all the fabric is tucked in perfectly because if it's not, anything it touches will get wet. The SB makes it easier to contain that fabric.
Bummis Original - they have a mesh-type of fabric on the inner surface so that provides better airflow. Plus they're cheaper for some reason!
Whisper Pants - So here's my thing about the WP. They're obviously not cute. But they come in sooo handy! When my baby was a newborn and I was using prefolds from the diaper service, instead of pinching and poking to get the fabric into the diaper cover, I used the WP and they just pull up over the diaper and everything is contained. Especially in the middle of the night, they're just easier to use! Yea, they're not cute - so only use them at night! Plus, contrary to popular belief, they're not "plastic pants" like they used in the olden-days. They're made out of nylon, which basically feels the same (I'm assuming...) but is actually much nicer. And they're so cheap!
Thirsties makes a great, adorable cover that comes in lots of fun colors. They also have that double leg gusset and I have never had a problem with leaking.
Proraps are the workhorse of diaper covers - they're Diaper Service Quality (DSQ), which means they'll never wear out. They're heavy duty and durable. Plus now proraps makes color diaper covers in blue or pink. The Medium and Large sizes even have a buckle in addition to the velcro closure so that your baby won't pull off his/her diaper! Ingenius, I think.
And of course I would be remiss if I failed to mention Wool Covers. In the "CD Glossary" I explained the different types of wool covers - soakers, shorties, skirties, and longies. These can be made of wool or fleece, crocheted, knitted, or interlock material. They are super because they are very absorbant. They only need to be washed when they get dirty; if they're wet you can let them air dry. They are naturally anti-bacterial and they'll keep your baby warm in the winter and cool in the summer. Wool can only be hand washed and must be "lanolized" to become absorbant. This is done by using some type of lanolin and soaking the wool in it. It's scary at first (at least for me!) but once you get the hang of it, it's soo easy and super fun! Plus they're adorable!
I went to check on my baby last night right before I was (supposed to be...) going to bed. To make sure he was covered and not smashed into the side rails. And the second I opened his door, he woke up! Then he cried and cried. Finally I just went in and nursed him back to sleep.
I hate leaving him to cry and respect those who don't let their babies "cry it out." But I feel like he'll keep expecting to eat in the middle of the night. And while animals never let their babies cry it out, they don't have to go to work in the morning!
Recently, though, we're getting on a better schedule. And the few days that we've managed to stick to the schedule, he's been sleeping great. 2 hour naps and sleeping through the night. I guess more sleep helps them sleep better after all.
She recently posted a video of how to put a prefold on a baby who's tummy-down! It's great for those kids who won't sit still long enough to diaper!
Saturday, January 10, 2009
Well, as I mentioned, when I was researching CDing online, it was SOOO overwhelming! There were so many sites and so many types of diapers! I just didnt know where to start or what was best. All I had to go on was a small icon on a website and feedback from other mamas.
I looked around for a local CD store and only found one store who carried a couple types of diapers. She has a great store with lots of fun products and is a great resource for classes, but Cloth Diapering was only a small section. I wanted more options!
So I did some research (I spend WAAAY too much time online) and the great entrepeneur I am, I realized that it was just way too easy to start my own little store. I chose some top quality diaper manufacturers with good reputations to start with. I told my husband I was only going to have a few brands of diapers and that was it...
I also decided I would have a Babywearing section as they go so well together! My sister-in-law introduced me to the Tinokis wrap - a long piece of fabric that can be wrapped in versatile ways, made in Israel. Dovy absolutely loved it. At first he wouldnt calm down long enough for me to put it on. But later on as he soon as he saw me pulling it out, he would calm down and get excited (at least I thought so!), knowing I would be wearing him soon! I also decided to carry the Maya Wrap and Hotsling - popular slings with varying benefits.
As I've expanded (but I thought you were only carrying a couple types of diapers...) I've found other fun and related (or random) baby-related and eco-friendly items to carry.
My little boutique is outgrowing my dining room!
A Cloth Diapering Mama is advertising for diapers.com???
Well, I was surprised as well to see the vast selection they offer. They even have a tab on the top labeled "Green Baby" with their eco-friendly products.
Besides regular sposies and wipes, they also have baby food (organic too!), bottles (BPA free!), clothing, toys, breastfeeding supplies, skin care, detergents, and more!
They carry eco-friendly sposies for those who need something to fall back on and eco-friendly disposable wipes. They even carry Cloth Diapers - including Kushies, Bumkins, bumGenius, Happy Heinys and gDiapers.
So, go ahead, save $10 off your first order of CD's at diapers.com and then come back to my store for the rest of your stash! No shipping charges with in-store pickup! Plus you can see and feel the diapers at my store. Leading to my next post...
First of all, the basics of CD'ing. Every diaper needs 2 parts - the absorbant part and the waterproof part. Some diapers come as one or both parts.
CD = Cloth Diaper
AIO = All In One - these are diapers that are one piece, and have the absorbant and the waterproof parts. They are shaped like and as easy to use as disposable diapers. They are the most dad and babysitter friendly! They have elastic in the legs and close with snaps or velcro.
Aplix = the generic name for velcro
Contour = This is the absorbant part of the diaper. It is shaped like a diaper but doesnt have elastic, velcro or snaps. It needs a diaper cover.
Diaper Cover = this is the waterproof part of the diaper. This can go over a fitted, prefold, flat or contour. They come in PUL, nylon or wool.
Fitted = These are the absorbant part of the diaper. They are shaped like a diaper, have elastic in the legs and close with velcro or snaps. These need a cover to be waterproof.
Flat = this is the original cloth diaper. It is a long thin piece of fabric that has to be folded in various ways to make it absorbant and fit your baby. It requires a cover.
Longies = these are wool or fleece diaper covers that also serve as pants. The absorbant material
One-Size = these diapers are meant to be used by your baby throughout his/her diapering career. They are made to be adjustable to get bigger as the baby grows.
Pockets = these diapers have a (usually) PUL outer and a material (such as fleece) inner. They have one edge open which creates a pocket to add an insert. The pocket is the waterproof part. You have to add an insert or doubler to make it absorbant. You can add more inserts the more absorbant you want the diaper to be, such as for night-time use.
Prefold = these are what you might orginially think of when you think of your grandmother's cloth diapers. They're called prefolds, because unlike Flats, they're sewn with layers to make them absorbant. Most prefolds are 4x8x4 or 4x6x4. This is the ply or layers of fabric. 4x8x4 means the outer sections have 4 layers of fabric and the middle section is 8 ply. Prefolds can be folded in various ways and put in a diaper cover.
PUL = polyurethane laminate - usually a polyester or cotton fabric laminated with polyurethane film = NOT plastic!! - This material is used to make many types of diapers waterproof. This can be used for diaper covers, AIO, and pockets.
Shorties = these are wool or fleece diaper covers that look like shorts. The natural material is absorbant and makes the diaper waterproof. An absorbant material, such as a prefold or fitted, is needed underneath.
Skirties = these are like shorties but have little skirts over the shorts
Snappi = this invention is the next best thing since sliced bread! It replaces the diaper pin so now dad has no excuse to not change a diaper! It is T-shaped and has little teeth on the edges which grab the fabric to hold it together. The teeth are sharp, so keep it away from your baby when not in use. It can be used with prefolds, flats and contours.Soakers = these are diaper covers made out of wool or fleece that resemble underwear or shorts. The natural material is absorbant and makes the diaper waterproof. An absorbant material, such as a prefold or fitted, is needed underneath the soaker.
Sposies = disposables
Let me know if I'm missing something!
After much searching, I finally found a diaper service located in Virginia which delivers to Baltimore. I was surprised there wasn't a local diaper service available. But also, during my searches, I discovered the wealth of information on Cloth Diapering in general. I didn't realize this was a fairly new phenomenon. The diapers available were so cute and versatile. I was prepared for diaper pins! But there was almost TOO much information out there. I didn't know where to start.
After Dovy was born, I signed up with the Diaper Service. I pre-registered for 4 weeks of delivery. We went out of town for one of those weeks, so it ended up being over a 5 week span. When the diapers first arrived, I was surprised that they were prefolds. I'm not sure why I was surprised -- that's what I initialy expected when I first started looking for a diaper service. But I guess that after seeing all the fun options out there, I was disappointed that I had prefolds and boring white covers. Plus, I later found out, there ARE diaper services that offer a variety of types of diapers.
Anyway, by week 3 of diaper service, I was itching to go out on my own and try the fun diapers. So I went online and ordered some diapers. I got a few All-In-Ones and a few Fitteds. By week 4, I was using the diaper service prefolds as burp cloths and alternating when I had to wash my small new diaper stash. But my new diapers were so fun and easy to take care of that I cancelled the service all together. And I've never looked back! (except on those days/nights that I ran out of diapers and forgot to do laundry!)
I never thought I'd write a blog before. The same as I swore I wouldn't read Harry Potter or Twilight. Or have a Facebook page... There are just some things that turn out to be a better idea than when you first thought about it.
So how did I get here? Well I started reading Harry Potter after my high school English teacher, who I really liked, recommended it. I figure if she's read it, it might actually be good. I started reading Twilight when my friend said she didnt think she'd find anything as good as Harry Potter ever again... until she read Twilight. And then I realized the entire world (well at least part of my small world) was also reading it! And I created a Facebook page when I realized how many people are on Facebook. I still dont really know how to use it, but almost all the Cloth Diaper (CD) companies have pages. And bumGenius even had a photo contest. But I'm still not obsessed with it... yet.
Oh, and my blog. Well I've always liked writing. I used to write all the time in school. I never considered writing a blog but have noticed that many do have them. So I thought I'd give it a shot. All the musings in my head (well, some of them) I will now share with you!