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


Amazon.com is one of my more frequently used shopping sites because of the variety of products and prices, and usually extensive user reviews.   I’ve also made hundreds of dollars selling my old textbooks.  I just found out that Amazon also has a great feature for caregivers called Amazon Mom.

Amazon Mom is a free program.  You give them your stats to tailor ads to your Amazon account and they give you 30% off of select diapers and wipes, 15% off of other categories like Grocery and Household Supplies and free Amazon Prime 2-Day shipping for 3 months on eligible items, or longer, if you spend at least $25 in the Baby store.

I bought many baby items from Amazon, either because it was the best price or because it was the only place I could find things. I used to wait until I had enough to get the Super Saver shipping, so I think free shipping is great.  I live far from my family so I am always sending gifts and it will be nice to not worry about shipping charges for awhile, and 2-day shipping at that.  So that way when I’ve been up all night with a feeding baby and I forget someone’s birthday until just before, I won’t have to waste tons on express shipping!  Yay!  Plus, I’m sure I can spend $25 in the baby store.  I’ve even bought cloth diapers from Amazon!

There is also a Subscribe and Save program which lets you save even more if you put eligible items on an automatic delivery schedule.  Who knew?

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!


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

Stroller Independence Day!

Yesterday was a great 4th of July here.  100 degrees, sunny, and filled with picnicking and barbeque.  The best part was taking my daughter to the park behind our house, where an Independence Day celebration was happening all day.  It’s great living next to a huge public park complete with playground, pool and miles of trails.  I’ve been making it a part of our day to take advantage of the park as much as possible, so as a part of our daily routine we go on a little walk in the morning.  The Moby Wrap baby carrier is great for that.  Yesterday, people could not resist smiling at Nika when they saw her riding along with her little flag in hand!

I’m fortunate to live in a very eco-conscious community.  The creators of Moby (which stands for MOther and baBY) are even from this town, so I was excited to buy a Moby when I was pregnant.  I looked at Baby Bjorn and Ergo carriers, but purchased the Moby because it was half the cost and seemed to be very versatile.  In the first few months, despite watching the tutorials several times, Nika and I were not always very comfortable with it.  She would spend a half an hour or so in it every few days, though when it was comfortable in the cradle hold for her she would fall right asleep, which was helpful during the fussiest weeks.  Once she had better head control, however, she started to like facing forward and the I finally felt confident enough in it to start taking walks outside.  Now she is in it several times a day, and her dad likes to wear her around the park or while watering the garden!

Who needs wheels?

Nika loves the Moby because she wants to see what’s going on.  The stroller has it’s function, of course, but in the stroller she just gets bored and naps.  In the Moby, even a trip to the grocery store is exciting for her.  Other people love to see her as well.  Also, Moby wraps come in cute colors and patters, organic cotton, and are super portable.  I bought the natural color, and with all the folding I felt like giant fortune cookie the first few times I tried it on!   Now I’m a pro and people stop and comment on it all the time.  So, yesterday we celebrated our independence from strollers by going on Moby-walks so Nika could be in on all the action!

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!

Born Green Girl

Today is July 2.  My daughter turns four months old today.  It was a year ago on July 4 that I found out I was pregnant and my world got a little bit greener.  I was always environmentally conscious but that day I began to shift my focus from the big picture of world issues to the littlest picture of all – my baby girl.

Everything I did suddenly became a risk/benefit analysis.  I stopped using paraben-laden cosmetics, banned BPA products from the house and worried about everything from gas fumes to pool chlorine.  I also gave myself carte blanche to buy fresh organic food.  It’s been a long road from Pop-tart Jersey girl to crunchy Californian.  My daughter, however, was born a crunchy Californian.  And I continue to do everything in my knowledge and power to keep her life green.