April 9, 2014

Keepin' It Simple, Cloth Diaper TIPS for beginners!

Here are a couple easy, yet sometimes unobvious cloth diaper tips!
diaper pail

Pocket Diapers - If you're new to pocket diapers, here's my favorite method of washing them...when you change your baby's diaper, take the insert out right then and lay it inside the diaper, along with any cloth wipes you've used. Fold the diaper in half, then use the dry outside of the diaper to carry it to the diaper pail. Toss it in! That way you don't have to touch wet dirty diapers a second time. On wash day, dump the pail into the washing machine.

Pail Liners - Speaking of diaper pails, one item that I recommend everyone buy is a pail liner. These are waterproof bags big enough to fit most trash cans and diaper pails. They protect your pail from wetness and odor plus make it much easier on wash day. Just lift out the pail liner, dump diapers into washer, and toss the pail liner in. It can be washed and dried with your diapers. These are a great investment as they last forever. My oldest one is over three years old and still works great.

Do you practice either of the above?

Ready to shop for cloth diapers?  Find a great selection at Cloth Diaper Outlet!

March 25, 2014

Product Spotlight: Knickernappies Diaper Sprayer

If solid foods are in your near future, a diaper sprayer should be too! Diaper sprays make diaper laundry a breeze! Just remove the diaper from your baby, spray the waste into the toilet, and flush! No messy dunking and swishing or keeping up with some kind of tool to scrape the poop away. The Knickernappies sprayer is just the tool you need to make your life easier!

Features:
  • Brass fittings (instead of plastic) for long-term wear and tear
  • Sturdy supply hose that won't bust or leak
  • Complete shut-off valve
  • One year warranty!
  • Assembled in the USA
  • Wall bracket (or use it to hook the sprayer to the side of your toilet)

This easy to install sprayer is very well made and at only $43.99, the Knickernappies diaper sprayer is a great price compared to other sprayers! The shut-off valve prevents messes from curious children or accidental sprays. You control the water pressure by pressing more or less on the trigger.

The best part about this diaper sprayer is it will last you well past your cloth diapering years! There are tons of uses for your sprayer! Make washing the dog, potty training, or cleaning your bathroom a breeze with the help of your diaper sprayer!

February 12, 2014

Things you may not know about pocket diapers!

Is there anything YOU do not know about pocket diapers?


Pocket diapers are the most popular style of modern cloth diapers. There may be a few things you didn't know about your pocket diapers.

Did you know....

You don't have to use the inserts that came with the diaper! Most pocket diapers come with inserts, usually microfiber. If you aren't a fan of microfiber or are tired of taking the time to match the correct insert to the right diaper, You can mix and match your diaper inserts or you can completely replace them with things like hemp inserts or flats. 

If you need more absorbency, you can use two inserts or you can add a doubler to one insert to boost the absorbency! 

You can use them as swim diapers! Remove the insert and let your baby wear your pocket diapers to the pool or beach. *Be sure to check with the manufacturer of your diapers. Some brands recommend using diapers for swimming, while it may void the warranty of others. 

You can use them as covers! Are you tired of stuffing diapers? Use flats, prefolds, or other inserts (anything but microfiber) on top of the pocket instead of inside! 

What tips and tricks do you have for pocket diapers?

February 10, 2014

Cloth Diaper Must Haves vs. Cloth Diaper Nice to Haves!

If you are new to cloth, you may be wondering what are the "must haves" and what the "nice to haves". This list will help you pick out the things you absolutely need to get started and weed out the things that are nice, but not necessary.

THE MUST HAVES


1. Diapers! You can't cloth diaper without, well, cloth diapers! The amount is up to you. If you'd like to cloth diaper full time, you'll need a stash large enough to get you through at least one day. To help your diapers last longer, a bigger stash is recommended. It is best to wash your diapers every 2-3 days, so a stash large enough for 2-3 days is a good place to start.

2. Cloth diaper safe cream OR liners! It is important to know that many mainstream diaper creams, like Desitin, are not to be used with cloth diapers. These creams contain ingredients that can cause repelling. Instead, invest in a cloth diaper safe cream, like Grandma El's. If you would like to keep using products like Desitin or need to use a prescription strength diaper cream, fleece liners can be used to protect your diapers.

3. Cloth diaper safe detergent! You'll want to wash your diapers in an approved detergent. For best results, consult the diaper manufacturer's list of recommended detergents. In general, you should avoid detergents that contain softeners, enzymes, brighteners, and added scents.

4. Wet bag or pail liner! You'll need a place to store your dirty diapers. Wet bags or pail liners hold in the moisture and contain the smell of dirty diapers. Just wash the bag or liner with your diapers and you're good to go!

THE NICE TO HAVES


1. Diaper sprayer! Once your baby is on solid foods (or if your baby is formula fed) you will need to dispose of the waste before washing your diapers. A diaper sprayer makes this an easy job!

2. Cloth wipes and solution! Cloth wipes are just as easy to use as disposable wipes and you may find that using them is actually easier with cloth diapers. By using cloth wipes, you won't have to separate the wipes from the diapers at diaper changes.

3. Drying rack! A drying rack makes line drying or sunning your diapers easy if you don't have a clothesline. If you have a clothesline or don't want to invest in a drying rack, outdoor furniture works well too.

Is this list consistent with what you consider nice to have or must have?  Let us know!

Shop for cloth diapers and more at Cloth Diaper Outlet!

February 3, 2014

We're Sponsoring a Giveaway at Cloth Diaper Revival!



The Knickernappies diaper sprayer is one of Cloth Diaper Revival's favorite things, and we're giving one away in the "Favorite Things" giveaway hop grand prize!

Head over to Cloth Diaper Revival to enter to win the grand prize, which includes over $200 in diapers & accessories, then hop to other blogs to enter to win their favorite things too!

January 20, 2014

Save MONEY on diapers by switching to cloth!

Starting 2014 on a budget?   Interested in saving the most amount of money possible?  Well, I have one answer. Cloth diapering your baby is an excellent, and surprisingly easy, way to save money.

Prefolds and covers are inexpensive. You can cloth diaper your baby from birth to potty training for about $300 with prefolds and covers. There's a learning curve with folding them, but most parents master this within a couple of days. After all, you'll get a lot of practice!

If you'd prefer to start with something more similar to disposables (ie...as easy as possible!) then there are lots of great options for you. BumGenius and Happy Heinys both have an excellent "one size fits all" diaper. Both fit from about 7 pounds to 35 pounds. These are pricier up front but still save lots of money in the long run.

For the best fit and easy to use, there are pocket diapers and All-in-Ones. These are both very easy to use, easy to wash, and because they are sized (small, medium, large) they'll fit your baby like a glove from beginning to end. Knickernappies, Fuzzi Bunz, Dream-Eze, Thirsties, Snap-Ez, and Drybees are all examples.

A stash of these diapers, birth to potty training, runs from $300 to about $800 dollars. Still a significant savings when you consider the average baby will use over $2000 in diapers from birth to potty training!

Finally, some news to be glad about! Visit my store, www.ClothDiaperOutlet.com, to find out more about these great new cloth diapers. Find out for yourself how easy it can be!

-Heather, Cloth Diaper Outlet

January 17, 2014

How to deal with the poop!

One of the biggest questions people have when choosing cloth diapers, is what do you do with the poop? With disposable diapers, you just wrap it up and toss it. Cloth diapers are a bit different. It may sound gross, but never fear! There are easy contraptions that help make it easy and keeps the mess away!

Parents of exclusive breastfed (EBF) babies, you are in for a treat! Poop from EBF babies is water soluble! No extra steps! Just toss that diaper in the pail and wash on laundry day. The poop will wash away in your washer. It sounds gross, but I promise your washer will not hold onto the poop and contaminate the rest of your laundry.

If your baby eats solid foods is or formula fed, you'll want to dispose of the poop before throwing the diaper in the pail. There are a few options:

1. Diaper Sprayer - Diaper sprayers hook onto your toilet. These handy contraptions are used to spray the waste into the toilet. Most diaper sprayers have a shut off valve to prevent accidents when not in use. Diaper sprayers are so useful for things other than cloth diapers. They make a great bidet for potty training toddlers, cleaning the bathtub is a breeze with the diaper sprayer, and if the stomach flu invades your home, vomit clean up is much easier with a diaper sprayer!

2. Flushable Liners - Flushable liners are laid on top of your diapers. They catch the poop. When it's time for a diaper change, just slide the liner and poop into the toilet and flush! Note: Many flushable liners are not septic safe.

3. Dunk and swish - This method has been around for a while! Just hold your diaper into the toilet, shake the poop off into the water, and flush. Be sure to hold the diaper tightly or you may end up losing it in the pipes!

4. Scrape - Some parents choose to use a plastic spatula or scraper to scrape the poop into the toilet. Don't forget to clean your scraping mechanism!

P.S. Did you know you aren't supposed to throw away the poop with disposable diapers?

December 19, 2013

How to survive the holiday chaos with cloth diapers!

The holidays are here and life may be a little crazy! With all the cooking, shopping, traveling, and other things going on you may be tempted to put away your cloth diapers for the season. Here's a few tips to get you through the holidays.

1. Don't feel guilty!
If you need to cheat on your cloth diapers to keep your sanity...by all means, do it! It's more important that you create memories and enjoy time with your family than it is for you to be worrying about when you'll get the next load of cloth diapers washed.

2. Consider disposable inserts
If you really, really want your baby to stay in your cloth diapers, consider using hybrid diapers with disposable inserts. You'll still get the outer look (and cuteness) of cloth, but the convenience on disposables on the inside.
http://www.clothdiaperoutlet.com/grovia_bioliners.html

3. Flushable liners to the rescue!
If you are sticking with your cloth diapers, but will be away from your diaper sprayer over the holidays, make your life easier with flushable liners.

4. Add doublers!
Nothing is worse than raving about your cloth diapers to your friends and family, only to have your baby leak all over the place. Even though you know this isn't the norm, everyone else will think cloth diapers don't work. Double stuff your diapers or add a doubler to boost the absorbency. This will help when life is crazy at family events and you may forget to change your baby on schedule.

5. Use easy diapers!
If you want your family to help you take care of your baby while you're visiting, bring along cloth diapers that are easy to use. Friends and family that aren't familiar with cloth will be more willing to help if you hand them a diaper that works similar to a disposable diaper. All in ones and pockets are much less intimidating than prefolds or flats.

Will you be traveling with your cloth diapers this holiday season?

December 7, 2013

Cloth Diapering a Newborn, What are your options?

If you are currently pregnant and planning to cloth diaper you may be wondering if you should purchase newborn diapers. First all, congratulations! A new baby is such an exciting life event to look forward to! If you've decided to cloth diaper from birth, you may be wondering what kind of diapers will fit your baby best. There are a few options.

Sized Pocket or All-in-One (AIO) diapers
Newborn sized modern cloth diapers are very convenient in the first few weeks. With AIOs, there's no extra work other than laundry and aside from washing the diaper, they function very much like a disposable diaper. Pockets are also convenient, but you will have the added step of stuffing the pocket after washing. These diapers are easy to use and can be such a blessing when your life is turned upside down by a newborn that needs to eat around the clock and is depriving you of precious sleep.

The downside to using modern cloth diapers in newborn sizes is that they can be expensive and your baby will most likely outgrow them within a few weeks. They will fit great from the beginning (and the diapers are so tiny and cute), but your little baby will grow so quickly that you won't get much wear out of them. On the flip side, some babies are born larger than others and you may find that you get much less use out of your newborn diapers.

Prefold or flat diapers with covers
Prefold diapers typically come in sizes. You can purchase a newborn size and they will fit your baby from birth. Flat diapers are usually one size, but can be folded down to the size your baby needs. You will only need a few diaper covers, since most of the time you'll be able to reuse the diaper cover between uses. This is the most economical option for a newborn size diaper. Once your baby grows too big for the prefolds, you can use them as burb cloths or as an insert inside pocket diapers. Flats can be used until your child is a toddler! You will only need to add a few new diaper covers into the mix in a size that fits your growing baby.

The downside to using flats and prefolds is they aren't as easy and convenient as modern cloth diapers. They aren't hard to use, but you will want to research folds to fasten the diaper onto your baby.

One Size Diapers
Many one-size diapers claim to fit from "birth to potty training". Depending on the diaper (and the size of the baby at birth) this may or may not be true. Typically, birth to potty training means somewhere around 8-35 pounds. Not all newborns are born at 8 pounds. Some 10 pound babies still don't fit well into the one-size diapers. It really depends on the shape of your newborn if the diaper will fit properly. You could take your chances with a stash of one-size diapers, but you may find that they aren't going to fit right away.

Did you cloth diaper from birth? What diapers did you use right away?

December 6, 2013

PCOS to Pregnancy: An Unexpected Miracle

I've been blogging about our journey to conceive a second child since February. We've been hoping to get pregnant for a year and half. Every month that it hasn't happened, there have been tears. So many tears. Infertility is a roller coaster. A new cycle starts and I'm hopeful and excited...this is the month! I ride on that high for a few weeks and then...bam!...just like that my period comes or I get a negative on a test. It's days of depression. Tears. Sadness. Self-pity. It's not fun. I feel terrible for my husband.

We were supposed to take a break last month. Our savings is gone and we need a break to get financially stable for more treatments. We weren't supposed to do fertility treatments this cycle, but five minutes in my doctor's office changed everything. There was a treatment plan still available that would be covered by insurance. We didn't think it would be too expensive out of pocket, especially since my deductible was met. In the end, this cycle with all of it's medications and ultrasounds ending up being more expensive than we anticipated, but we had already jumped in.

We agreed from the start of this past cycle that even though there was still one more month left in the year, this would be it. If we didn't get a baby this month, we agreed to take a break. Christmas, the death of my husband's car, and our empty savings account left us with no choice. No more fertility treatments for now after this cycle.

Despite the finality of this decision, I went into this cycle incredibly hopeful. I was happy every day, analyzing every possible symptom that could mean good news. It helps when the doctor and nurses are so hopeful and encouraging as well. They had me convinced this month was going to work. After a week of injections, everything looked beautiful and perfect! All we had to do was pray that a little baby would form. There was no visible obstacle.

During my two week wait, there were many symptoms. Unfortunately, symptoms can be misleading. Pregnancy and premenstrual symptoms are very similar. I held unto hope and prayed. Daily I prayed. We prayed as a family. We hoped so much that this would be our month for good news. My prayers centered around "please let us have another baby" but also on "give me strength if this isn't your plan." When last month didn't work out, I cried for days. It was terrible. I was so heartbroken. I didn't want to be there again. I wanted so much to trust.

As badly as I was dying to take a pregnancy test during my two week wait, I stayed far away from them. I refused to buy them. The temptation is too great if we have them in our home. My plan was to wait for my period to start (or not). We packed our bags for a Thanksgiving road trip and I brought my Lunette cup just in case.

Thanksgiving morning arrived and the cramps started. It was a day or two earlier than I expected for a period, so I wasn't super worried. When I got pregnant with my son, I had period-like cramps. I was waiting for a period and I turned out to be pregnant. So Thanksgiving morning, I was still hopeful. about an hour after the cramps started, so did my period.

I titled this blog post "An Unexpected Miracle". You may have clicked the link thinking it was a pregnancy announcement. I'm sad to report that unfortunately, it's not. The miracle is this....

I got my period on Thanksgiving morning and I didn't cry. I barely even thought about it. I went about my day like nothing had happened. At first I thought it was just the chaos of being with family, but that night, alone with my husband...nothing. No tears. I was okay.

The next couple of days, again...nothing. My family would ask if I was okay and I actually had to remind myself why they were asking. It's been a week and still no tears. No depression. I wanted it to work. I wanted to be pregnant. I wanted to give my son a sibling. But I also wanted to be okay if it didn't work out. I didn't want to be devastated and depressed. I wanted to trust. I know I only have so much control over my life. Another child may not be in the grand plan. Another child right now is obviously not the plan. I don't know what the future holds, but for now, I know that I have a beautiful family. I have a sweet little boy and a husband that would do anything to give me another child.

I know this is a long post. If you're still with me, thank you. Thank you for reading this post and all the others throughout the year. I promise that when we start back up on our journey with fertility treatments to update you. I promise that if I get pregnant by some miracle, I will come here and share it with you all! In the meantime, I'm closing out this series. This will be the last post. You can still find me writing about cloth diapers, children, and toddlers on this blog and my own blog, Cloth Diaper Revival.

This journey didn't end how I had hoped or wanted it to, but I'm at peace and incredibly grateful for that!

I'm Jenny, the mama behind the blog Cloth Diaper Revival.   I'm a stay at home mom to Noah and a wife to Chas, the cloth diapering dad.  I used to be a 3rd grade teacher until I was blessed with the birth of my first child, Noah. I'm currently trying to conceive my second child while struggling with infertility due to PCOS. This series covers my journey and my experiences along the way.