Archive for the ‘Cloth diapers’ Category

Printalicious is here!

Back in the beginning of June, I heard of an exciting event in the cloth diapering community called Printalicious from one of my favorite diapering blogs, All About Cloth Diapers.  The company Applecheeks was revealing it’s new diaper prints.  I had never heard of Applecheeks at the time, but in my new hobby of cloth diapering, I found myself excited anyway.

It was a month of firsts for me and my cloth diapering journey.  It was the first time I participated in a live web chat, where the creators of Applecheeks explained their diapers, the new prints and gave away a ton of really great prizes.  It was the first time I actually pre-ordered a diaper, just like I used to pre-order concert tickets in my 20s.  It was also the first time I finally admitted to being a cloth diaper junkie, something I never thought I would say only six months ago!

Delish…straight from the orchard

The Applecheeks company is owned by two likable moms, Ilana and Amy, who were super sweet and sincere in the live webchat.  I liked them, and I liked the idea of their product, a trim-fitting pocket diaper that unstuffs itself in the wash – genius.  I also loved the two new prints, Delicious, which is as yummy as an apple pie, and Wild Child, which is like an adorable box of animal crackers.  Both of them are cute in design and unisex in colors.  I love prints, but I’m picky.  I’ve seen many Blah prints out there, and I’ve also bought diapers solely because I love the print.  I had to have one of these, however.  I would have liked both, but I really fell in love with Delicious with it’s blue and green apple-logo design.  It matched perfectly with the brand new Hello Kitty Apple-a-day Babylegs I had just bought Nika!  And anyway, I love apples.  Perfect apple goodness.

I was excited to try it.  Two things are the bane of  my diapering existence right now – laundry tabs and unstuffing.  In fact, I never unstuffed a diaper for the first few months when they were on small settings with minimal stuffing.  I rarely had a problem with a diaper not unstuffing itself in the pre-rinse cycle.  Once the REAL diapering commenced and my girl started heavy wetting, however, that was no longer the case.  It’s not the end of the world, but there are times that unstuffing a poopfest is pretty nasty, and she hasn’t even started solid foods yet.

Bring out your wild side

So, Delicious has now been in rotation for about one and a half months and I’m happy to report that it has always unstuffed, even when filled with night-capacity stuffing.  It has also never leaked, making it a great night option, though it is so cute that I hate using it for nighttime.  I’ve actually gotten compliments on how cute it is!  It is still in that ‘new pocket’ phase, so I can’t be sure it will never need stripping, but so far so good.  It is also so soft and very trim, which is actually my favorite characteristic.  I sized up because Nika was in between the two offered sizes, but now at 18 pounds she fits in the diaper without much excess and I can actually fit her into age-appropriate clothes.  With my other pockets, I often have to put her in sized-up clothes because of the bulk.

I also noticed that the diaper came in an envelope marked EcoEnclose.  Curious, I looked up the company.  It provides compostable mailing supplies.  Their mailers and bubble-mailers are made from polyehtylene plastic that is treated in order to break down into humus during composting, or even in a landfill, in 9-60 months.  They also provide 100% recycled boxes and packaging.  I am still too wary to put it into my own compost, but am glad to know it will degrade even in a landfill and I’m happy to see some companies tackling the unsustainable shipping-waste issue.  The prices aren’t bad, either.  The mailers start at 16 cents each and even after shipping are still one-quarter the price of the post office supplies that I buy.  It’s a good way to vote with your dollar and support a sustainable business practice if you ship things often.

It’s so hot even my diapers are Thirsties

I’ll admit it.  The main reason I purchased a Thirsties Duo Snap Wrap diaper cover was for the print Blackbird, a print perhaps even more beloved than those sassy little monsters the Ooga Boogas.

Blackbird, blackbird, have you any PUL? Yes, sir!

I’ll also admit that on those bleary-eyed newborn mornings, a pre-stuffed pocket was a welcome sight over the two-step diaper-and-cover process.  I never quite got the hang of newborn prefolds.  Originally, I bought a dozen Bummis newborn prefolds and a set of three Snappis.  From my research, I thought I would use the prefolds often.  I was right – except I ended up using my prefolds to lay baby on for changing and to make sure her little bummi was nice and dry before a fresh dipe (and I still use them for this!)

Don’t fear, though.  My Thirsties never got neglected.  For the the first four months (to 15 pounds) that it fit, it was perfect over fitted diapers (Under the Nile and Green Mountain Diapers fitteds).  Also, oddly enough, my husband actually preferred the prefold/snappi routine over all other diapers.   This was one of the reasons I decided to get a dozen infant-sized organic prefolds and a Thirsties Size 2 when Nika needed to size up.  Now, I am enjoying the power of prefolds.  I’ve got the Snappi-dance down and the organic cotton is soft, smell-free and great for days at home.

I do have a few words of caution.  My new Size 2 is a solid color (rose).  I washed according to directions and still had some color bleed into the white seam, so I would recommend a careful first wash.  Also, be gentle with the snaps, as always, but especially with the rise snaps.  I found that they are more easily dislodged than on the Size 2 for some reason.

That being said, I would love to try some other Thirsties products like pail liners, prefolds, doublers, or even the diaper cover, which is said to have a roomier fit than the trimmer wrap for nighttime stuffings .  They have a give-away every week called Thirsty Thursdays.  Check it out.  This week is wipes and diaper bags!

A Wipe for every Dipe

One of my biggest revelations when I started shopping for cloth diapers was that there are cloth wipes to go with them.  Of course it makes perfect sense, considering you use multiple wipes per diaper change.  And likely they are among the easiest things to make yourself, though I am neither handy with a needle nor do I own a sewing machine.  But really it’s like napkins – I start to feel kind of swindled when I think of how much I have been convinced to pay for disposable paper squares!

I couldn’t believe when I saw in several baby books that it was recommended to wash the wipe to use it on a newborn.  This is because even the most hypoallergenic wipes still require preservative chemicals that keep them from getting moldy which may irritating baby’s sensitive skin.  Wash the wipe?  Really?

Even when I was still unsure about cloth diapers, cloth wipes made sense to me.  I invested in a setup recommended by Green Mountain Diapers, which includes having a Thermos pump pot, Kissaluvs Diaper Potion and, of course, wipes!  I originally only purchased two dozen including one dozen 5-by-8 inch velour and one dozen 5-by-8 inch two-sided terry and flannel wipes. It was recommended to start with 4-5 dozen, and I have since expanded my stash to include two dozen more, including Organic Birdseye wipes.

Wipe central

The whole setup sits right on the end of the changing table: Thermos with a little bowl and a washcloth underneath to catch drips, and a little basket next to it with wipes, cleaner, snappis, lanolin, and even a thermometer or other little things we might need.  I boil water in the kettle to ensure it is sterilized to put in the Thermos pump pot.  The Thermos keeps the water HOT for at least half a day, so much so that sometimes I have to let it cool for a few hours before I can use it comfortably.  After that the water gets cool before it’s gone, but my baby never minded even when it was cool temperature-wise.  Now that it is hot the cool water feels good!

I’m glad I tried a variety of wipes.  The two-sided terry/flannel wipes are great.  The terry side really grabs at solids and the flannel is smooth for a wipe-down.  These wipes are a bit thicker, however, so it’s nice to have a velour or Birdseye to grab after the initial wipe to clean out the creases or to make sure baby is nice and dry.  The Birdseye wipes are the thinnest and most like disposables.  They fold and fit easily into a travel case.  I found they took longer to “break in” but after six or so washes they are soft and much more absorbent.  I keep the Kissaluvs (all-natural) diaper potion handy to.  Water is all I need usually, but I’ll give it a spray of Kissaluv’s if its a major mess and not near bathtime!

I was still using disposable wipes sometimes during travel or laundry, and I found that Nika was getting red blotches that I believe were from the wipes, so I think clean, soft cotton wipes and water are so much better.  They’re so nice I’ve even considered using them myself!  The wipes go in with my regular diaper laundry and I’ve never had smell/stain issues at all with them.  The only real difference is having to boil some water every few days.  Oh, and not having to go buy wipes!

What I paid:

Thermos pump pot $17.99

2-sided wipes $9.95 per dozen

Organic Birdseye wipes $9.95 per dozen

Velour wipes $10.95 per dozen

Kissaluvs Diaper Lotion Potion Spray $7.95

Bye, Bye Blueberry

Today was a sad day for my diaper stash.  When I was changing Nika and realized her diaper made her look like a mini plumber-in-training, I knew it was time – time to say goodbye to her Blueberry MiniDeluxe newborn diaper.

The MiniDeluxe was always a favorite.  It’s soft and trim and was one of her best fitting diapers until she outgrew it.  I consider myself  lucky though – it fit from day one at 7 pounds and lasted until month 4 at 16 pounds (it’s tagged to 15 pounds).  Because of the trim fit I only used it during the day.  It fit well under clothes, but wasn’t as accomodating for extra nighttime stuffing.  I usually only used the microterry insert with it and can’t recall any leaking issues aside from it needing a stripping cycle at about 2 months of daily use.

The Blueberry was costlier for a newborn diaper at $19.95 (though I recently saw it listed at $17.95).  I considered it the splurge diaper for my newborn stash.  I love the color – meadow green with blue snaps – but moreso I love the quality.  It is always so soft and smooth.  No bunching or balling anywhere on this diaper!  And the company, which also makes Swaddlebees, is dedicated to using non-toxic cotton.  Truly a green diaper!   Hopefully I will soon be able to get a one-size to replace my mini Blue.  Until then, Blueberry season is officially over.

Peace out, green Bluey

My Goodness, My GroVia!

As a cloth diaper newbie, I couldn’t decide on just one type to try, so I did my best to get a good sample of what was available.  I bought prefolds, pockets, fitteds, all-in-ones (AIO) and all-in-twos (AI2).  Not all of my stash fit at the beginning, but my baby has now had the opportunity to try and even outgrow some of her diapers!

GroVia

My GroVia snap shell (in owl print) is my favorite diaper right now.  It finally began to fit at about 12 pounds/2 months.  I typically use the Organic Cotton Soaker pads, but I’ve also used the BioSoaker disposable insert.  I’ve yet to use it with a prefold but I think it’s great that it will work that way also.  The diaper has stood up to washing so far.  I try to hang dry the soakers as they won’t completely dry in one cycle anyway.  I haven’t had a leak with this diaper *yet* and I’ve used it at night.  I have had a few smelling issues with the soakers, but I haven’t perfected my wash routine and so far an extra rinse seems to have helped.  The soakers have little wings on the sides that have been really successful in containment, allowing the shell to be used again even after a big “event”!

GroVia, cute as can be-a

I also have a GroVia AIO in Mod Flower print.  It has been just as successful as the AI2 but with a few exceptions.  I love the ease of the AIO, and as this is my only one, it was in daily rotation.  Similar to the shell, it didn’t fit baby well enough to use until month 2 and since then it has been used daily without a leak.  She is a heavy wetter and I still haven’t needed the extra snap-on soaker that came with it yet!  My complaint is with the wear on the diaper.  I was washing daily for a time, but I follow the instructions and either tumble or air dry.  Still, there is noticeable wear to the cinched leg area.  Also there is a seam where the soaker is attached that catches solid matter.  Even after a pre-rinse, wash and extra rinse and sun-drying, there is still discoloration in the seam and it looks a little crusty.  It needs a little more attention to clean than the other diapers.  Perhaps that is the trade-off for the ease of using the AIOs.

One thing I love about GroVia is availability.  They are available at Costco and I have at least one store in my town that supplies them.  Great to save on shipping.  I’ve also noticed that they do have periodic sales.   This makes them a convenient diaper with great options.  I would like to expand my shell and soaker collection in the future, though for the price of the AIO I would expect it to last much longer.

What I paid:

$16.95 Snap shell

$17.95 Soaker 2-pack

$22.95 AIO

$7.99 BioSoaker inserts 20 count

Diaper Decisions

First of all, I have to pre-empt this by saying that I had not changed a single diaper before the birth of my daughter.  Even then, her dad changed all of her diapers except for one in the hospital!  So, my experience with diapers before the age of 32 consisted only of a stuffed bear I used to practice on while pregnant.  Seriously.

I do like to weigh all of my options and do some research before making decisions about things, including talking to those I know, and there was no more controversial subject than cloth diapering.  I had already decided I wanted to try it, especially since I had no preconceived notion of the ease of disposables but I did have first-hand experience with the mountains of disposables that sit in a landfill for 200+ years.  Every human activity has environmental impacts on resources, so I had to weigh out my own somewhat obsessive conclusions.

Cloth Diaper Pros

  • cost less, by up to thousands in the long-run
  • less waste – in landfill as well as less smelly garbage for me to haul out to the curb
  • less contact of potentially irritating or carcinogenic (i.e cancer causing)  material with baby’s skin
  • no more diaper runs to walmart or target
  • adorable and extremely varied to fit individual needs
  • Choice! Choice! Choice!  colors, patterns, materials like organic cotton or sustainable bamboo, supporting work-at-home moms, some will even custom make sizes and patterns for you

Cloth Cons

  • Larger up-front investment
  • Can be overwhelming amount of choices
  • Require washing and can be temperamental to wash
  • Require energy and water to wash, or a washing service
  • Most baby clothing is made for the fit of disposables

No one I personally knew had tried this.  Most of my friends were supportive but I did encounter very vocal opposition about how it was either unsanitary or ridiculous and that I would not be able to do it.  Before long, I stopped telling people.  And I gave myself permission to not feel like a failure if it didn’t work out.

While pregs, I found The Great Cloth Diaper Hunt and spent the entire month of November perusing the many sites to familiarize myself with the mechanics, terminology and pricing of cloth diapering (CD) products.  Plus, there’s puzzles, riddles and prizes to win.  It was fun, and I wasn’t aware that anything that had to do with diapers could be fun.  (I was NOT a fan of that candy-diaper game played at baby showers!)  I would see that diaper-hunt icon in my sleep, though.  I was like a pregnant internet pirate searching for treasure, but more importantly I learned many things and made my first purchase for my baby girl: an adorable diaper!  It was a Baby Sweetbottoms orange newborn-sized pocket, and it was my favorite for the 3 months it fit!