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June 30, 2010

How to get started

Like many families deciding to switch to cloth diapering, I too had no clue how to get started. How many diapers will I need? What is a pocket diaper, All in one (AIO)diaper, a fitted diaper? I had no clue. So I started searching left and right for information on the web to help me clear some things up. I was still undecided as far as what I wanted to do, and still slightly confused. I didn't really have anyone to ask about cloth diapering because I didn't know anyone who did it. After a while I finally found a place that sold cloth diapers that was local to me. A friend of mine who was pregnant had registered for her baby shower at this store and so I checked them out online. They also have a store front that you can visit. So that's what I did. I headed on over to the store and had a mini lesson on all the different types of diapers and it cleared so much up for me. I now knew what people were talking about when they said AIO, fitted, pockets etc.

I would recommend to people if they option, to go to a store that sells CD's and physically touch them and explore the different kinds offered. If you look at them you will get a feeling for what you want to use. Some people like the simplicity of an AIO diaper, no stuffing to be done, no folding needed, you just put it right on baby. Others prefer a pocket diaper so that they can adjust the absorbency of the diaper, especially during night time, nap time, and trips away from home. One of my favorites is the option of prefolds with a cover. Yes it is a little more work to get the prefold folded the correct way then place in the cover then on the baby but I enjoy it plus its the cheapest way to go.

If you use prefolds and covers you will probably want around 2-3 dozen prefolds and about 4-6 covers. If you like snappi fasteners have 2-3 on hand. Also optional items are 6-8 doublers for night time and 12-18 fleece liners to take moisture away from the baby’s bottom.
If you prefer a Pocket Diaper or AIO Diaper you will probably want for babies around 20-30 diapers and for toddlers 15-25 diapers. Doublers for night time and inserts for the pocket diapers.
If you want fitted diapers with covers have about 2-3 dozen fitteds and 3-4 covers on hand.

These are just suggestions and once you get started you will more than likely start buying different types of diapers and have a huge stash in the bedroom to use.

A lot of online stores have the option of doing a Cloth Diaper Trial. This gives you the opportunity to try out the diapers for a couple of weeks and find out what style(s) suits you best. Here are a few good site I have found that offer trials.

Jillians Drawers - They offer a 21 day trial with a security deposit of around $150 depending on what size you get. After the 21 days are up you mail back all the diapers and get refunded all but $10 of your money back as well as a percentage off your first purchase. This is probably one of the best trials I have seen because it comes with the most diapers, a good time frame to use the diapers and the cheapest...however this might be harder for people to do because you do have to do the security deposit of the $150.

Ecobuns - They offer a trial package for $25 dollars. There have three different trial packages you can choose from that are tailored to fit more of what you are interested in.

June 24, 2010

Bummis Cotton Prefolds

Bummis Organic Cotton Prefold Diapers

Made of 100% certified organic cotton twill!

A little about Bummis prefold diapers taken from Bummis website:

Introducing our new ORGANIC Cotton Prefold diapers! These are a totally affordable luxury. Made of 100% certified organic cotton twill, they are wonderfully thick and thirsty. They come in a gorgeous unbleached colour and are incredibly soft. And the more you wash them, the softer they become!

Our ORGANIC Cotton Prefolds are available in 3 sizes:

  • Preemie: 2 - 4 kg (4 - 9 lbs) - 2x6x2 ply (perfect fit with a Super Brite Newborn!)
  • Infant: 3 - 9 kg (7 - 20 lbs) - 4x8x4 ply
  • Baby: 7 - 18 kg (15 - 40 lbs) - 4x8x4 ply

These cloth diapers should be washed and dried 3-5 times before using to remove the natural oils and waxes. Please expect an approximate shrinkage of about 20-25% after completing the pre-washes.

Each half dozen cloth diapers comes in its own beautiful organic cotton packaging bag with a colourful snap closure.

Our ORGANIC Cotton Prefold diapers are made in Pakistan. We are currently working with our supplier on obtaining SA 8000 certification in social accountability.

I've been using the Bummis prefolds on my newborn and have been quite pleased with how well they work and how much moisture they hold. The only time they have leaked was because I didn't have part of it tucked into the cover correctly! There are many different ways you can fold the prefolds, and you can also use a snappi or pins with them to hold it together. I prefer to just lay it in the cover and secure it on with just the cover. However, if your cover is to big you might find that the prefold slips down below the butt. I typically hang dry the prefolds on a clothes line to dry, mainly for the natural sun bleaching option, which works wonders on EBF baby poo! The prefolds get softer and softer after each wash. I have tried a few different brands of prefolds and have to say that so far the bummis are my top favorite. They seem like they will last forever and not break down over time due to washing and regular use.

June 23, 2010

Terminology and Abbreviations

One of the biggest issues I came across when starting out researching cloth diapering was trying to figure out all the 'secret codes' so to say. What the heck is an AIO, fitted, pocket, or cover? I searched and searched all over to find out as much as I could before choosing my diapering style. Here I hope to give as much information I can to help you figure out the cloth diapering lingo.

AIO - All-In-One - AIOs are diapers that have an outer waterproof layer. This layer is typically made of PUL (Poly Urethane Laminate) or polar fleece. These diapers most resemble a disposable diaper in the sense that they are all once piece, no stuffing or folding. All absorbent materials are sewn right into the diaper.

AI2 - All-In-Two -AI2 diapers are a lot like AIO except that the absorbant material is not sewn into the diaper. You place a second separate liner within the diaper. These have a faster drying time than the AIO's.

Contour Diapers - Hourglass shaped diapers that have no elastic. They are held together with snappi's or pins and need a diaper cover over them.

Diaper Covers- Diaper Covers are an outer cover to put over contour diapers, fitted diapers or prefolds. They provide a waterproof outer cover for non water proof diapers.

Doublers - are extra absorbent soaker pads that you add to a diaper to increase absorbency. These are good for night time and when you won't be able to change a diaper for a while (Car trip).

Flats - are one layered diapers, usually made of cotton gauze and dry quickly, folding and pinning are usually required with these.

Fitted Diapers - Fitted diapers are slightly like disposable diapers. They have a contour fit and have elastic on the legs and back. They have either velcro or snaps to hold the shut. These need a waterproof cover over them.

Hook & Loop - These are Velcro-like closures. Since the Velcro brand is not very soft, many diaper makers use Aplix or Touchtape brand hook and loop.

Liners - Liners are thin layers of cloth or paper that are placed inside the diaper to aid in the cleaning of solid waste. In the case of paper liners, the solid waste collected on the liner can be removed from the soiled diaper and either thrown away or flushed. Cloth liners must be washed, but aid in laundering. They also help protect the actual diaper from staining.

Longies - Longies are wool soakers that have longer legs to form pants.

Pre-folds - Pre-fold diapers are rectangular shaped diapers that must be folded into the shape of a diaper. They are similar to flats, but have multiple layers with more layering in the middle. They often have 2-4 layers of absorbent material on either side and 6-8 layers in the middle. You may see a pre-fold described as being 4x8x4. This describes how many layers there are in the outer and inner sections. Pre-folds are usually the cheapest type of cloth diapers available. They must be used in conjunction with a cover.

Pocket Diapers - Pocket diapers are like AIOs orAI2s. They have an outer layer of a waterproof material and an inner layer of a stay dry material, like microfleece or suede cloth. They have a pocket opening that allows for the absorbent material to be stuffed in the pocket during use and then removed for laundering. You can use inserts, prefolds or doublers inside the pocket of these diapers to adjust the amount of absorbency needed.

Snappi® - A plastic piece that fastens a cloth diapers. These are often used instead of diaper pins.

Soakers - The term soaker can be applied two ways. It often refers to the absorbent middle part of the diaper that absorbs the moisture when a baby wets. Soakers may be sewn inside the diaper, partially sewn to form a flap, snapped in inside the diaper, or simply laid inside the diaper.

AIO - All in One diaper
AI2 - All in Two diaper
BF - Breastfeed
CD - cloth diaper
CPF - Chinese prefold
DSQ - Diaper service quality
EC - Excellent condition
EUC - Excellent used condition
F&C - Free & Clear (used referring to detergents)
FLer - Front loader washing machine
FS - For sale
FSOT - For sale or trade
HE - High efficiency (when referring to washing machines)
IPF - Indian Prefold
ISO - In search of
LMK - Let me know
NAK - Nursing at Keyboard
PUL - polyurethane laminate, a material used to make diaper covers/wraps
ROFLOL - rolling on the floor, laughing out loud
SAHM - stay-at-home mom
TLer - Top loader washing machine
WAHM - work-at-home mom

Diaper Brands Commonly Referred To With Abbreviations:

BG - bumGenius
FM - Fluffy Mail
FMBG - Full Moon Baby Gear
FB - Fuzzi Bunz
HH - Happy Heiny's
LC - Little Caboose
ME - Motherease
GAD - Green Acre Designs
SEZ - Snap E-Z

June 21, 2010

The first week: doubt

After cloth diapering my 2nd son (first son in cloth) for about a week I suddenly got struck with this feeling of doubt.

"Oh no, what did I get my self into? Is this really what I want to be doing? I just dropped how much money into cloth diapers and now I'm not sure I even like doing it! "

So many thoughts were passing through my mind. I was so tempted to just give up on the whole idea of cloth diapering but I knew from the start that once I committed I had to stick to it. I had made an agreement with my husband before any purchases were made that once I started I had to keep with it, mainly because its a large up front cost. I had regrets about wanting to cloth diaper. I had regrets about the kinds of cloth diapers I had chosen. I had regrets about not doing a trial to see which kind of diapers I liked best. Instead I just jumped right in and made my purchases after a brief 'class' about the different kinds of diapers out there now days. I had made my purchase of covers and prefolds, the cheapest option, and good option for a new born.

After doing my many washes to prep the diapers before their first use I was finally able to use them on my little boy. I got out my cute new cover and neatly folded the prefold to fit perfectly inside and velcroed it on his little bottom. HOW CUTE! Slowly the doubts, the worries, the regrets disappeared and I started looking into other kinds of diapers to try out on my little guy. We have now switched our oldest who will be 2 in a few months over to cloth and love it just as much.

I now have prefolds, covers, AIO's, Pockets, liners, inserts, doublers, cloth wipes, wet bags, special laundry detergent, wipes solutions and probably more than listed! I now find myself constantly researching new diapers that I haven't tried and reading reviews about them. Cloth diapers are constantly on my mind, probably because I am constantly looking at how cute they are on my little guys bottoms!

Starting Off In Cloth

After much researching and debate My husband and I decided to give cloth diapering a try. This was a hard decision to make because I didn't want to have a baby wearing a huge bulky diaper and honestly, shaking a poopy diaper above a toilet does not seem that appealing to me. (and it still doesn't) We are hoping this will get us one step closer to allowing me to be a stay at home mom by helping us save some money. I have been keeping track of the amount of diapers used since Ezekiel was born. We used around 190 newborn diapers and around 100 size one diapers in a mere 4 and a half weeks! Now granted I did get great deals on those diapers and didn't pay full price for any of them, but I don't know if I will always be able to get the good deals in the future. So anyways we are taking the great adventure and are trying out cloth diapers. There is a local company in town called EcoBun (www.ecobuns.com). It is ran out of a ladies home and she has great insight on all the items she sells. My Sister in law and I went over to her house one day and she gave us a mini diapering class and explained all the in's and out's of cloth diapering. She showed us all the different types of diapers and how they worked and shared the pros and cons of each kind. We ended up being there for almost two hours going over things and trying to decide what way we wanted to go with for our diapers. I ended up buying prefolds and covers and SIL got AIO (all in one) diapers. So far we both love our diapers and have purchased more. I will still be using disposables for long days away from home and when we go camping just because we don't have the supply needed to make it through the longer periods.

There is a new way of cleaning off poopy diapers too, Its a sprayer that hooks to your toilet. It is kind of like the sprayer that is in your sink but it is hooked to the water behind your toilet and you can spray off the poo into the toilet rather than having to shake it out and worry about dropping the diaper into the toilet.

Elijah is still using disposable diapers at this point. We wanted to see how it goes first with Zeke and then make the decision to switch over with Eli or not. I might buy a couple of nice AIO's for him at night though instead of buying overnight diapers.

Disclosure and PR

I am so pleased to provide you with information about cloth diapering and other great parenting products. It is my goal to inform you of as many great products as possible.

On our journey through cloth diapering on this blog I will share with you numerous reviews on different products. The reviews are entirely of my own opinion and I do not receive any compensation for writing them. Occasionally I will receive a product to review from the manufacturer as a free sample.

Giveaways are provided by companies unless I find something special to purchase with my own money and giveaway.

Again please remember that this blog is of my own personal experiences, ideas and opinions. Some things that works for me might not work for you!

If you would like for me to review your product please contact me at kristna@clothdiaperaddiction.com