January 15, 2011

Plan ahead for Spring Break and Summer Vacation

I know, I know.  It's only January and most of the country is socked in with snow and not even close to thinking about summer vacation.  But maybe that makes this the perfect time to plan ahead for warmer weather and swimming pools!

It seems that swim diaper sales always pick up in February.  I think a lot of families take a spring break vacation or start travelling again to hotels with pools. 

In fact, just the other day I got a phone call from a mom wanting to know...do cloth swim diapers really work? 

The happy truth is YES!  When our daughter was little, we had two swim diapers.  One was merely a pocket diaper that was too small to use with an insert but perfet as an insert-less swim diaper.  The other was a "real" swim diaper.  It was handy having two because if she pooped in one, we could change to the other and not spoil a swim outing. 

One day, we were at the public swimming pool and she was about 2 years old.  She'd eaten a lot of fruit the day before and you know how warm pool water tends to make things move... sure enough after about 10 minutes in the pool, she pooped.  Swim diaper held it all in, whew!  Off we go to the changing room and out we come in swim diaper #2.  About half an hour later, she goes again.  This time, it's the fruit poopy...a bit soft if you know what I mean.  And again, big relief, the swim diaper held it all in.  Those were the only times we ever did a real-life test of a swim diaper, but both times the diapers passed. 

Fast forward to present day and we have our son.  He wears Imse Vimse swim diapers.  They are so cute and well-designed.  They fit quite well and have wide weight ranges so you can get the perfect fit but you know it'll last all summer.  He hasn't pooped in a swim diaper yet, but I'm confident that if he does, the Imse Vimse swim diapers will hold it in just fine.

And for girls, Imse Vimse also has adorable matching tankini tops so you can have a full swim suit.

One of our favorite stores, Puddle's Place, just got their first shipment of Imse Vimse diapers for the season.  They will continue to get shipments throughout the next 6-8 weeks until they are fully stocked with all sizes and colors, ready for spring break and summer time! 

Some bonus tips...take two for vacation, but be prepared to handwash.  Pretty much any soap can be used since these don't need to be waterproof.  They will dry in a couple of hours. 

Swim diapers, even the disposable kind, aren't intended to hold liquid, so dress your baby at the pool, not prior to leaving for the pool. 

Many pools require cloth swim diapers.  Turns out the disposable kind can split open and shed contents into the pool, which can clog filters.  Our own local public pool banned disposable swim diapers a few years ago.

January 14, 2011

Winner for Trophy Tuesday

The winner of this week's Trophy Tuesday is TVPG!  Congratulations!  I will email you for your information.  You'll need to respond within 48 hours or a new winner will be chosen.

Winner of the FuzziBunz diaper with hemp insert.

January 13, 2011

When did this become a Monkey Cage?

If you've done cloth for very long, this scenario may have happened once or twice:

You walk into your baby's room only to discover that a band of invisible monkeys has moved in and the place reeks.  When did this room become a monkey cage?

That musty, musky, stinky odor is coming from the diaper pail.  But I thought cloth wasn't supposed to stink? 

Good news...it's not.  And a stinky diaper pail is usually pretty easy to solve.  Here are my tips:

1. Unless you have a dog that likes to eat diapers, leave the lid off of your diaper pail.  That's right, take it all the way off and leave it off.  The more air that circulates in the pail, the less diapers will smell. 

2. Wash every other day.  Poopy diapers stink.  Poopy diapers left for 4 days stink a lot worse.  Wash often and the smells don't have time to build up. 

3. Follow a good wash routine.  Often the cause of a stinky diaper pail isn't the pail, but rather the diapers themselves.  Okay, that sounds really obvious but follow me here...properly cleaned diapers usually don't smell.  But if they have detergent residue build-up, then they're going to smell a lot worse.  If your diapers stink as you take them off of your baby (ammonia, poopy when they aren't, etc) then it's time for a diaper stripping

4. Use a washable pail liner.  Tossing diapers into a plastic trash can is fine, but even if you wash the can out every use, the plastic will eventually hold odors and then it stinks even when it's empty.   A washable pail liner protects your diaper pail and makes it easy to wash the diapers...simply lift out the pail liner, dump out diapers into the washing machine, then toss the liner in. 

5. If your pail is still odor-ific, use a deodorizer like Fluff Dust.   Shake a little bit over the diapers (just a dusting!) every time you put a diaper in the pail.  Fluff Dust absorbs odors and is safe to use in moderation with all brands of cloth diapers.

6. Late addition tip!  Thanks to Brandy for reminding me of this... most pail liners and zippered wet bags have a fabric swatch sewn inside.  Simply put 1-2 drops (a little goes a long way) of your favorite essential oil on the swatch to help mask odors.  We like lavender and tea tree oil, but there are lots of choices.  

1000 Fans on Facebook = Giveaways!!

When we reach 1000 fans on our Facebook page, we'll give away 10 diapers to lucky winners.  Will it be you?!  No entries required, just being a fan is all you need to do! 

And bonus...if we also reach 1000 fans on our blog, we'll DOUBLE the prizes!! 

January 12, 2011

YOUR interview of ME

I thought it might be fun to do a Reverse Interview where readers ask questions and I answer them.  For the past week, I've been collecting questions and today is the interview!

"Old Style" FuzziBunz
What is the first diaper you sold?
My first diaper sale was for FuzziBunz in December 2005, two months after Cloth Diaper Outlet opened for business.  Back then, the tabs were pointy and there were a lot more colors (like black, burgandy, forest green, hot pink, and lime green to name just a few!). 

Any idea how many diapers have you sold in the last 5 years?
I had to call my bookkeeper for help on this one.  Our estimates show that we've sold enough diapers (not counting covers, inserts, doublers, etc) to keep over 14.5 MILLION diapers out of landfills!!!!!  That's amazing.  Carry the numbers a little further, and we've helped families save well over $2 Million dollars on diapers alone, not counting wipes or other reusables.

What is your most popular diaper?
BumGenius, no secret there!  BumGenius released their first diaper, a white nylon diaper that became known as BumGenius 1.0, in December of 2005.  It was instantly a hit with parents.  We received our first shipment just 4 months later and they've been our best sellers ever since.

How long did it take to turn a profit with Cloth Diaper Outlet?
Technically, about 6 months.  I purchased in small quantities and sold it quickly.  I took nothing from the business and ran it on a shoestring budget.  But how long before I could pay myself anything?  Over 2 years and even then my paychecks didn't cover our grocery bill. LOL  My first paycheck didn't even cover pizza! 

Are there influxes of business during certain times of the year or is it pretty steady year round?
October through December are by far our slowest months.  I think families are gearing up for the holidays and just not thinking about diapers.  But then January rolls around along with New Years' Resolutions followed by Earth Day and summer babies, so spring is a busy time for us.

Have you ever thought or have plans to open a brick and mortar store and/or teach classes or seminars? 
Yikes, no!  My husband and I owned a brick & mortar bookstore for 5 years and we learned our lesson.  I would much rather refer local customers to another store than run a b&m myself.  I very much enjoy working from home and spending quality time with my kids.  I wouldn't mind teaching classes or seminars someday.

What are your top 5 favorite diapers?  
In no particular order, our favorites are Knickernappies Custom Fit, Fuzzi Bunz Perfect Size, BumGenius Elementals, BumGenius 4.0s with snaps, and GroVia with snaps.  We prefer snaps and own very few velcro diapers.  We don't generally like one size diapers, instead we prefer the exact fit of sized diapers.

How many companies do you work with?
Currently we carry products from 40-some companies.  This changes a bit throughout the year.  Sometimes we drop a company for one reason or another, more often we add companies so the number usually increases!

What is the criteria used for accepting used cloth diapers?
We don't actually take used diapers.  The ones we sell on our site are almost exclusively from our own son's stash.  But we're considering starting a used diaper buyback program this year.  When and if we do it, we'll post on this blog and on Facebook first!

You just drop ship everything, right?
Nope!  We actually stock nearly everything we sell.  Our garage is a 500 square foot warehouse with rows of shelves up to the ceiling.  The only things we dropship are Allen's Naturally detergent, Tummy Tubs, and organic mattresses, all because of shipping restraints.  Detergent and mattresses are just plain too heavy to ship twice and Tummy Tubs are a weird shape.  Every other item is in stock in our warehouse.

What was the very first diaper you ever used?
Our daughter was 7 weeks old when we switched to cloth.  Our very first diapers were two used Happy Heinys that I bought from eBay.  One leaked like a sieve but the other was a great diaper and stayed in our stash for a long time.  It was enough to convince us to use cloth.  Shortly after we added more Happy Heinys and FuzziBunz.  The first new diaper we ever had was a Snap-EZ (now out of business).

6 months - prefold with GroVia cover
How many diapers do you have?
Our son is 7 months old.  He has 20 prefolds and about 30-32 diapers (mix of pockets and AIOs).  We don't use them all, though.  I wash every other day so we use about 20 at a time and rotate them around.

How long have you and your husband been married?
We got married on October 16, 1999, so we've been married 11 years.  He works with me in our business.  His job is to pack orders and manage the warehouse. 

January 11, 2011

Trophy Tuesday - FuzziBunz One Size Diapers with Hemp Inserts

FuzziBunz Vanilla with Hemp insert

 This week for Trophy Tuesday, we have a FuzziBunz OneSize diaper with a hemp insert.  These extra-special FuzziBunz diapers are the same diapers you know and love, but with an all-natural hemp insert instead of a microfiber insert.  Superior absorbency, natural fibers, and the great FuzziBunz fit! 

You can buy this awesome diaper on sale for 10% through Sunday, January 16.  That's a great sale, PLUS you still get quantity discounts for 6 or more!

Or better yet, you can WIN a FuzziBunz hemp diaper!  We're giving one away to an extra-lucky winner.

CLOSED to new entries