Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Come on over

I have a couple of friends who are pregnant and thinking about cloth diapering. There are many reasons to cloth diaper, but for both of them I think it's the money-saving that is the most enticing. When I have people asking me such specific questions about the process, what to get, laundry, etc., it really makes me think about each aspect of cloth diapers more carefully than I would otherwise.

I guess I can't honestly say it's just as easy as disposables, but I think the extra work of laundry is so little compared to all the benefits. And the few times I use disposables and Little Man ends up with poop all up is back? It just reminds me that I actually handle messy poop less with cloth diapers than I did with disposables.

My initial reason for cloth diapering was for environmental reasons. I had people tell me that it doesn't end up helping the environment because of the water you use to wash them, but after doing my own research I just didn't find that to be true. I won't get into all of that here, but I'll just say that water is a renewable resource and, for now, is readily available where I live. And just the thought of all of those chemical-laden disposable diapers sitting in a landfill for an estimated 500-700 years? Cloth diapers are definitely better for our environment.

Now that I have been cloth diapering for awhile, I have so many wonderful reasons to cloth diaper, and I know we made the right decision for our family.

  • Saves money
  • Better for the environment
  • Better for baby's bum
  • No harsh chemicals lying around those family jewels
  • No more blowouts
  • It's fun
  • Fluffy bums are cute

Why did you start cloth diapering and what are your favorite reasons for sticking with it?

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Funk Rockin' It

I know it's sad that so many of my posts have been about dealing with stink issues. There is so much to love about cloth diapering, but isn't it always the hard stuff and stress we tend to talk about more? I'll try to be better about blogging the good stuff too, but, for now, I'm still on the stink.

I ordered a bag of the new Funk Rock, from Rockin' Green. This detergent is "guaranteed to knock out your ammonia problems in 30 minutes or less (or your pizza’s free!)"

My biggest problem diapers are my BG AIOs. They are my favorite diapers, so I hate that I have a problem with them. But I think it's because the microfiber is harder to get cleaned/rinsed because it is on the inside. I have started turning them inside out for the final rinse.

My de-Funk:

  • Washed them all with my regular process, using Hard Rock.
  • Turned them inside out and Rocked a Soak overnight.
  • Washed according to Funk Rock instructions.
  • Dried
Cross your fingers...

Monday, November 15, 2010

Back to Earth

I have ammonia problems again. I had stripped all my diapers and thought I solved the problem, but apparently not. I was feeling very frustrated that I couldn't solve the problem. I know many CD parents like the challenge of determining the problem, and then fixing it, but I don't. I don't want stink issues.

I even gave a fleeting thought to throwing in the towel...

Then I had a blow out. I put one disposable on Little Man while I stripped my diapers again, and he had a blow out. Poop up his back, down his legs, all over his clothes. I had forgotten about blow outs - we don't have them with cloth.

And so I was brought back down to earth. Yes, there are sometimes stink issues and problems to overcome, but I don't have blow outs, I'm saving money, and I'm not leaving mounds of disposable diapers in landfills for years to come.

It's nice to be back on Earth.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Snaps vs Hook and Loop, yet again

Wow, I didn't even realize I've been off the radar for about a month. Life sure does have a way of scooping me up and carrying me along without my even realizing time is passing.

I know the Snaps vs Hook & Loop debate rages hither and yon. I'm not sure I have anything new and valuable to add to the discussion, but I think I am a classic example of how one can go back and forth on the issue. I've been a fan of hook & loop from the start, but I can see the benefit of snaps. I've even been buying snaps when I buy large diapers, thinking I'll need them as Little Man becomes better at removing his diapers. Then he entered the squirmy phase. It is becoming increasingly difficult to get his diaper changed and if it's snaps - forget it! The rolling and tossing and crying make it very difficult to secure the snaps. 

Thank goodness for hook and loop...until the next phase...

Tuesday, September 28, 2010


Update on our ammonia stinkies: all diapers are stripped and doing well. 

I have added an extra rinse back in and I think we are good to go. I do think, however, that next time I buy detergent I will get the Hard Rock. We get soap scum build-up quite quickly, so hopefully that will help the diaper routine.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Did the cats pee in here?

The ammonia nasties have hit our house. With only a few hiccups in the wash routine, everything was going so well when bam! - ammonia stink. I hadn't read much about the ammonia problem because I wasn't having it. I had ignorantly thought I would smell it on washed and unwashed diapers. Now I know the smell comes out when combined with urine. I don't even know how long I've been having the problem; it was my mother who noticed it when watching Little Man this past week.

It's interesting that the ammonia smell can come from detergent residue not rinsing out, as well as from not using enough detergent. How's a mom to know which one is the problem? I'm first tackling the problem as if it were residue not rinsing out and if that doesn't work I'll go for the not enough detergent.

Two days ago I Rocked a Soak for 60 minutes and ran them through a hot wash without detergent, plus a couple of rinses. No dice. Last night I Rocked a Soak overnight, ran them through a hot wash without detergent, and rinsed a couple of times. They are now in the dryer while I'm at work. I was hoping that would solve the problem, but now I'm thinking I need to strip them more.

I thought running them through the wash and rinse without detergent was stripping them, but as I read up on stripping diapers, I see that I should rinse in hot water too. I don't have a hot rinse on my machine, so I will have to do a warm rinse.

I am also going to add an extra rinse to the end of my regular routine. I was doing one for awhile but have been lazy and cutting it out.

I think for now I'll stick with the amount of detergent I'm using and add back in the extra rinse. We have hard water, and I'm using 2 scoops of Classic Rock with the highest water level possible. If this next stripping doesn't work, I will try 3 scoops.

I guess the cats didn't pee in here after all. My apologies to Shepherd and Figaro for jumping to conclusions.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Nighttime Diapering: Foiled!

We were good to go with our nighttime diaper. We've been using several different kinds of diapers with their regular inserts, plus a Loopy-Do. Everything was working fine, until...Little Man started sleeping on his side. Side-sleeping changes everything.

So back to the drawing board. I know I've read posts and reviews out there about side-sleeping solutions, so I'll be on the lookout for those again. For now, I admit, we're using disposables at night. I think I may even stick with that for right now, before I go on a hunt again. We are having some sleeping issues, and while I tackle that, I don't think I want to add the dryness hurdle.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

To the Beach with Cloth Diapers

We have gone away for long weekends since I've been cloth diapering, but this is the first time I will be gone for a week. Our condo has a washer and dryer so I'll just have to tweek the wash routine a bit to get it right, and we'll be good to go. We're not allowed to hang out anything on the balcony, but I'm hoping putting a drying rack out will be allowed.

Whether or not I was using cloth diapers, I'm thinking about the regular diaper to swim diaper switch...keeping a swim diaper on for an extended period of time wouldn't make a lot of sense to me. But then again, do you make the switch just when you think you're heading down to the water? I have 2 swim diapers, and I know some Moms use their pocket covers as swim diapers, so I may try that too.

Here's to a fun-filled first Ocean experience for Little Man!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Spray that Poop: Musings on a diaper sprayer

When I started using cloth diapers, my son was still exclusively breastfed, so his poop washed right out so easily. When we first started solids, the poop was still washing out easily, and I still didn't feel the need for a sprayer. As days of solids moved into weeks of solids (and more food actually went down the hatch than on the floor) I started to see the benefit that having a diaper sprayer might have. Someone referred to it as peanut butter - stuck on that diaper, making your wash routine work that much harder to get those diapers clean.

I caved in, admitting I needed a sprayer, and spent the money. As I waited for the sprayer, I still wondered how a light spray would really help get that poop off. And then it arrived...

Holy Batman, that thing can spray! I quickly learned to hold the diaper as far into the toilet as I could after I ended up with poop sprayed all over the toilet, on the floor, and on me. I try to hold all the ends of the diaper together, as if making a parachute, and then spray as close to the water as I can. Sometimes I still have to wipe around the toilet rim, but that's better than around the bathroom.

No more poop languishing on diapers in our house - that diaper sprayer is a magic wand.

Monday, August 2, 2010

The final step in disposing of disposables: Cloth Wipes

I've been using some cloth wipes off and on for about a month now. A week ago my box of disposable wipes was about to be finished and rather than refilling it, I said, "Enough is enough." To cloth wipes we go...

Thanks to Dirty Diaper Laundry, I folded my wipes in that pop-up effect, placed them in the wipes container, filled a spray bottle with water, and we were ready to go.

I don't use a wipes solution at this point (although I've learned from experience not to say I won't do that). I just spritz one end with water, wipe with the wet end first, and then pat dry with the dry end.

Since I'm just starting with cloth wipes, I don't have any particularly useful insight, but overall I like them better than disposables. Using disposable wipes with cloth diapers was a bit of a pain in the tush, if you'll pardon my pun. I had to use the wipe and then have a little trash can in which to throw it away, while then dealing with the dirty diaper separately. Now I can throw the wipe right in with the dirty diaper; one less step. It's nice that the wipe easily wipes up the ickiness in one fell swoop. The cloth wipes are also much thicker than the disposables, so I don't feel like I'm getting poop on my hands or that they will break through. In fairness, I used low-end, inexpensive, store-brand wipes, so I'm sure the more expensive, quilted wipes were much thicker.

Right now my biggest issue is the softness on Little Man's tush. Even with the store-brand disposable wipes I was using, they were soft and maneuvered nicely as I wiped. I have two brands of wipes I've bought and the fabric is just not as soft as I would like it to be. I'd be happy to review other kinds of wipes to find what I like best, but I'm just not able to buy many brands to find just the right one.

What is your favorite brand of cloth wipe?
Do you use a wipes solution? If so, which one?

Friday, July 30, 2010

Friday Visitors

Welcome to Tush Tales, everyone. Thanks for joining me in the various blog hops. Please take a moment to look around and comment. If you let me know you are here through one of the programs and include your own link, I will follow you back.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Laundry Update

Since my last post on laundry, I had the leaking and wicking issue. From your comments, as well as more research of my own, I decided to switch laundry detergents. I originally chose Tide because I have friends who use it with great success, some sites that said it was fine to use, and it was readily available, so I figured it was a good start. In my case, it wasn't such a great decision, but I'll chalk it up to the learning process.

     Tangent: When doing research about anything, you are bound to find people who feel strongly about something and then on the next page someone who disagrees just as strongly - it is no different when researching cloth diapers. I can understand why people feel overwhelmed when they want to start cloth diapering. There is a lot of information out there and it can seem like an impossible task to process it all.

I am now using Rockin' Green. My first order of business was to Rock a Soak. This process gets rid of the detergent buildup Tide may have left behind. I then did a regular wash and have been using it for a couple of weeks now. I'm not having leaking and wicking issues anymore, except for one particular brand of diaper, so I think that's a different issue I need to get to the bottom of. 

As I mentioned in my side note, research will give you many options, and there are some people who do not recommend the Rock a Soak method. Apparently PUL deteriorates from soaking. Although I didn't read that bit until after I did it, I think my diapers will be fine. I don't plan on soaking them regularly and one soak did the trick at this point. If I feel I need to do it again I will look into a basic stripping, rather than the soak. And just on a side note, I love the handy-dandy laundry scoop I bought along with my Rockin' Green - I don't have to find the perfect scoop, and it's magnetic so it's always right there, stuck to my washing machine.

Problem Solved.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

My thoughts on The Mommy Wars

/Steps on soapbox

I've always known about The Mommy Wars - that back-and-forth among mommies, whose way is better, what you "should" be doing, etc. Now that I am a Mommy myself, I, of course, see it even more. It's on the forums, in the blog posts, on Facebook, and Twitter. I have two words for all of us. Stop It!

What happened to agreeing to disagree? Who ever said there was only one way to be a parent? This past year, at work, I've often found myself saying, "There are many right ways. We are choosing this particular right way." I have now taken on that mantra for parenting.

There are many right ways to parent. My way is not the only right way. And your way is not wrong. We all struggle with making the best decisions for our little ones and I firmly believe we will be better parents, and people, if we stop accusing other people of doing something wrong and instead concentrate on what we can do right.

I think I see it a lot because I am an advocate of two things that bring up hot feelings among mommies: Breastfeeding and Cloth Diapering. I believe we can advocate for those things that we believe in without belittling other women. I'm not going to stop telling people about the benefits of breastfeeding, for both mommy and baby, but I will not condemn you for not breastfeeding. I do believe cloth diapers are better for the environment, my baby, and my wallet, and I will be happy to tell you about it, but I do not think you are harming your child if you do not use cloth diapers.

So I ask the same kindness in return. If you truly believe what you are doing is right, there is no need for defensiveness, only knowledge-sharing.

I am not perfect. I know that I am sometimes quick to judge, but I continue to work on that because I truly believe we are all better off when we accept each other, rather than attack each other.

I know this sounds rosy-eyed, but if each of us chooses to accept that there is more than one right way, don't you think we can begin to end The Mommy Wars?

/steps off soapbox

Monday, June 21, 2010

Leaking and Wicking

I seem to have run into a leaking, or possibly wicking, issue. Many of my diapers that were not leaking or wicking at all before are now creating wet spots around the inner thighs. I have made sure they are fitting well around the legs, I tuck in the fabric, I've checked sizing, and I'm changing around 2 hours, or even shorter. I'm wondering if there is something in my laundry routine that is causing a problem.

It is not one particular brand of diaper, so I know it is not that. I'm going to do investigate and do some more research to see if I can determine the problem. Any thoughts out there?

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Swapping, Selling, and Buying calls for Stash Update

As you will see from this stash update, we've found we like AIOs the most, with AI2s coming in second.

Diapers and their inserts
8 bumGenius AIOs 3.0 - I would really love BG to come out with prints!
4 Bummis (Totsbots) Easy Fits
2 DryBees AIOs
2 GroBaby shells with 4 soaker pads and 2 boosters
2 FuzziBunz pockets with inserts
1 Soft Bums shell with 3 inserts
1 bumGenius OS pocket with insert and booster
1 bumGenious organic AIO
1 Knickernappies with 2 Loopy-Do inserts: 1 small, 1 large
1 Bottombumpers AIO with soaker
1 Bumessentials Bumbino shell with 1 bumpad

1 more large Loopy-Do insert
1 Bummis wetbag (small?)
1 generic brand wet bag
1 GroVia small wet bag
1 Tiny Tush large wet bag
1 Kissaluvs pain liner

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Overnight Diaper Success

I have been looking for a good solution for overnight diapering. (Aren't we all?) It's not that I've tried many kinds and they didn't work; it's that I was determined to find as trim a fit as possible without spending gads of money.

When I first started cloth diapering I tried a Goodmama good.nite with a Kushies cover. It worked really well - no leaks at all. But I didn't like how Little Man turned into a bowling pin when he wore it. I know many people are just looking for an overnight solution that works, so that wouldn't bother them, but for some reason I just couldn't put him in that every night. I also tried a Kawaii Goodnight Heavy Wetter. Again, it worked really well, but I didn't care for how bulky it was, and since he's a chubbo there were red marks on his thighs and back.

He's been wearing disposables at night, but in the meantime I've been trolling the web to find what other people are using at night. I had to narrow it down to what I wanted to try, keeping in mind cost (although all of it is cheaper than disposables), bulkiness, and what diapers I already owned that I could use. We had hit the end of our disposables pack and I didn't want to buy more, so I knew it was time to take action.

After making some lists and checking them twice, I decided to start with a BumGenius AIO 3.0 stuffed with a Knickernappies Loopy-Do insert. I already owned the BG (they're my favorite diaper so far) and I had just bought a Knickernappies to try, so I had the hemp insert. Success!

I placed a waterproof layer under him so that he would not soak our bed should it not work, but we had no leaks at all. Little Man was even kind enough to provide a small poop for the test round, and there was no wicking or leakage.

My first attempt after all that research and it worked! I am very happy with the results since BGs make up the bulk of my stash and I have a couple of Loopy-Do inserts already. I do wash every other day, so I don't even have to buy more inserts, although I may get a couple more so that I have a backup just in case. (I'll be ISO-ing on Diaperswappers soon!)

What do you use as a nighttime diaper?

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

OT: Nurse-In this Saturday, 6/5/2010

Although this blog is for cloth diapering, this Nurse-In is an important event I wanted to share.

A local woman was at a mall in Frederick, MD recently, nursing her 3-month old son, when she was asked to go somewhere else or cover up, both by mall employees and another mother in the area. She clearly stated it is her lawful right to feed her child anywhere, yet they still urged her to leave.

She has organized a Nurse-In at Francis Scott Key Mall in Frederick, MD for this Saturday, 6/5/2010, 11am-1pm. If you live anywhere near Frederick, join us to support Breastfeeding mothers and bring awareness to the law.

You don't have to be breastfeeding to join the Nurse-In! Anyone who supports breastfeeding is welcome, male or female, young or not-so-young.

To read the whole story and get more information, see the post on this forum:

Thursday, May 13, 2010

"I Can't Possibly Add to my Laundry"

As a mom new to cloth diapering, I know many Moms thinking about using cloth are worried about the added laundry. I'd like to help alleviate some of that concern. Let me start by saying, I hate laundry - with a passion. It is one my least favorite house chores. I don't mind the actual washing, but folding it and putting it away just makes me want to scream. The good news is, I don't hate diaper laundry. When reading about laundering it can seem quite overwhelming, but once you actually get down to the nitty-gritty, it's not so bad.

My Laundry Routine **See 7/23/10 update**
(Every other day, in a top-loader, using the highest water level)
Store in dry pail, with pail liner
Throw it all in the washer, including pail liner
Cold rinse
Hot wash, cold rinse - 1/4 "cup" (manufacturer's cup) of plain old powder Tide
2nd cold rinse if needed to remove suds and detergent residue (haven't actually had to do this yet)
Dry on low in dryer (Hang dry some covers that specifically say not to machine dry)
Take out and stuff pockets if needed, then throw in storage bin - no need to fold and put away in so many drawers!

I usually do the diaper laundry after I've put Little Man to bed, and I'm done before it's time for me to go to bed. Quick and Simple.

I will admit that I haven't been doing it for long, and I know I may run across some issues in the future, but so far this process has worked really well for us. The detergent is easy to buy anywhere, so we don't have to special order anything.

Sun-bleaching Stains
Why have I not done sun-bleaching with other clothing? The sun is miraculous! If you have any stains after the wash cycle, just lay them out in the sun to dry, and voila: no more stains.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

First Review and Giveaway Coming Soon

5/12 Update - I just received an email from Bumkins, and they "jumped the gun" on saying they would sponsor a review and giveaway. They have decided not to do so, so the review and giveaway is canceled.

I will be reviewing and giving away a Bumkins AIO soon...stay tuned.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Stash Update

Definitely Using:
BumGenius Deluxe AIO - 3
BumGenius OS pocket - 1
Bummis/Tots Bots Easy Fit - 4
FuzziBunz OS - 2
GroBaby (soon to be GroVia) - 2 shells, 4 or 5 soakers
Rumparooz - 7
Smartipants - 3
Sposoeasy AIO - 4

Bottombumpers AIO - 1
Bumkins AIO - 1 - If I like this one, I REALLY want the Dr Seuss prints. 5/12 See update on more recent post about review and giveaway.
Bummis Swim - 1
DryBees AIO - 2
Imse Vimse Swim - 1
Monkey Doodlez AIO - 1
Thirsties AIO - 4

Saturday, May 1, 2010

The Quick and Dirty

There is a lot of good information out there about the basics of cloth diapering. When you are new to it, all the different kinds of diapers and how to wash them can sometimes seem overwhelming. I am nowhere near an expert on the subject, but since I'm new to it I think I am poised to give a short, basic lesson in cloth diapering. This lesson is by no means extensive and there is a lot  more to know, but it will give you a basic start.

So here's the quick and dirty:
  • Cloth diapers are better for the environment than disposables. Yes, it uses more water. But water is a renewable resource. Disposable diapers sit in landfills, it is thought for 200-500 years. All the chemicals in them also seep into the ground.
  • Cloth diapers may help keep babies' bottoms rash free.
  • Toddlers may toilet train early.
Myth: Washing diapers is difficult and time-consuming.
Fact: I hate laundry and I find it very easy. I wash every other day with the following cycle:
  1. Cold rinse on highest level of water
  2. Hot wash, cold rinse cycle on highest level of water with basic Tide powder detergent (only 1/4 of regular amount).
  3. Dry on low. If there are stains I put them out in the sun to dry and it bleaches them right out.
Basic Types of cloth diapers:
  • Prefolds - also called flat or chinese prefolds. These are like your grandmother used, but you don't need pins anymore. They are often secured with snappis, and then a cover goes over them.
  • Fitted - often goes on like a disposable, and then a cover goes over them.
  • Pockets - has a stuffable pocket where the absorbent layer goes and can be customized for absorbency. No cover needed.
  • All-in-one (AIO) - No stuffing, no cover. Just the diaper.
Sized - Sized for specific weight ranges
One Size (OS) - Adjusts through various ways so that you use the same diaper, birth to potty.

Preparation - You do need to prep your diapers. Depending on the type of fabric, some just need one wash, while others need several washes, separately from other diapers. All diapers gain absorbency the more you wash them. If they do not come with instructions, check the manufacturer's website.

There is much more to know and learn, but I think this will get you started. Most of the online stores provide extensive information, as do many other blogs.

Happy Cloth Diapering!

Friday, April 30, 2010

To Snap or not to Snap. That is the question.

The debate on snap vs. aplix (velcro) continues to loom around the web. I understand the pros and cons of both options.

Aplix is easier to pull tight, to get on and off. Daycare providers tend to like aplix, as it is most like disposables. However, it can also wear out quickly in the wash, even with laundry tabs. And I've heard tell that toddlers are able to undo the aplix easily.

Snaps are also adjustable, given enough of them, and they are more difficult for toddlers to take off. Some parents think they are just as easy, while others find them more difficult to use. I see a lot of people asking about how to convert aplix to snap, so I know it is popular.

Although I've only been working with them a short time, and my son is young, so I don't have the pulling off issue, I like aplix better so far. I like that I can secure exactly where I want it, not just where the snaps are, which gives me less gap in the front. I also thinks it's faster and easier, which is great for "guest diaperers."

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Cloth Diapers: Take Two

I had planned on using cloth right from the start, but motherhood was overwhelming for me at first. I was dealing with my feelings from a birth that went so differently than I had hoped, and we struggled to get nursing going. I tried the cloth diapers several times, but just couldn't get it to work for me, so I decided not to do it.

Now that we are further into Little Man's life, I am excited to say I am starting cloth diapering again. When he was first born we used the prefolds and covers, but I didn't like those. So we are going with pockets and AIOs this time. I am having such fun choosing which ones to try. I have bought 1 of many different kinds so that I can see what I like. When you purchase at Jillian's Drawers, you can try the diaper for 30 days, and if you don't like it, return it (stain-free) for a full refund. Such a great way to try different brands!
I'm a bit obsessed at the moment and can see how this will become even more of an obsession for me. I love looking through the various cloth diapering blogs, reading about different kinds, and what people have done to find what works best for their babies. So far I frequent the various sections of Diaper Shops, especially Kelly's Closet. And I love their blog, The Cloth Diaper Whisperer. I also just troll the web, looking for deals, reviews, and discussions.
Here are the diapers I am trying:
BumGenius One Size 3.0
BumGenius Deluxe AIO
FuzziBunz One Size
GroBaby One Size
Flip One Size
GoodMama Good.Nite
Bummis (Tots Bot) Easy Fit
GoodNight Heavy Wetter
As I try them, I will jump on the cloth diapering review bandwagon and write my own little reviews.

One of Little Man's first cloth diaper pics: