February 2, 2011

I'll NEVER use those!!!

"I'll never use those, I'm quite happy with my current system, thank you very much."

"Ewwwwww."

"Why would you want to wash it when you could throw it away?"

These comments could often describe some people's reactions to cloth diapers, but they will pretty much always describe their reaction to reusable menstrual products! 

Diva cup
Yep, time for a post on mama cloth and Diva Cups!  Bet you're excited...but please keep reading.  You see, I once made those comments above.  Even after I was cloth diapering my daughter, I had no desire whatsoever to use cloth on myself.  I was a loyal tampon user and had no intentions of switching.

But, as moms often find, my body shape wasn't quite the same after birth.  When my period returned a year after my daughter was born, my favorite brand of tampon didn't fit anymore.  It hurt and leaked and just felt awkward.  What to do?

Cloth Diaper Outlet was carrying mama cloth by then, so in desperation one night I grabbed a couple of cloth pads and gave them a try.

Wow!  So comfortable, so non-scratchy, so soft.  By my next period, I had most of a pad stash and a small wet bag ready to go.  I found that heavy pads worked well during the day for my first days, then regular or even light pads worked fine until the end.  At night, I used really long heavy pads and for the most part, they did well. 
Moonbow Cloth Pads
I used 100% cloth pads for several months, then a friend suggested a Diva Cup.  I read into it but it sounded intimidating.  The friend finally tried it and raved about the cup, so I broke down and bought one.  Yes, they do have a learning curve.  That first month with my cup I almost tossed it in frustration.  The next month, we were on vacation when my period was due to arrive.  We were trying to conceive, so I wasn't sure my period would come at all.  I didn't want to pack a whole suitcase of pads if no period came, so I did something very brave...I only packed my tiny Diva Cup.  Sadly, my period did arrive right on time.  But happily, I fell in love with the Diva Cup that week. 

That was 5 years ago.  I am a devoted cup and cloth user now.  My stash has evolved over the years and now consists of my cup, about a dozen Moonbow Petite pads, and two or three Stackable Menstrual Pads.  I haven't bought a paper pad or tampon in over 5 years and that feels wonderful!! 

What about washing?  This is super easy if you also have cloth diapers to wash.  Simply wash them together.  If you're not washing cloth diapers, then I recommend rinsing out the pads alone and then washing with towels or whatever laundry you're comfortable washing with. 

Here's my routine for stain-free pads:
1. Remove pad and run briefly under cold water.  I don't soak the pad or anything, just run water over the stain.  Then I fold in half and place in a wet bag.  I have a pretty wetbag that I chose just for me.  I keep it behind the trash can in the bathroom. 
2. I usually wait until my period is over to wash, then wash them all at once.  I dump them into the wash, along with diapers, and run a cold rinse.  Then hot wash with detergent, then dry. 

My pads come out almost completely stain free, which is amazing since I use cotton or bamboo velour pads. 

Diva Wash
How about the cup?  On my first day, I empty the cup three times (morning, midday, night).  On subsequent days, I empty just morning and night.  When I empty it, I wash it with warm water and Diva Wash.  At the end of my period, I wash it extra well and put it away.  Cups can also be rinsed with alcohol and boiled, but I don't usually do those anymore.

And more miraculous, my period has gone from a solid 7 days to a mere 3.  I had always heard rumors about chemicals in tampons causing longer periods.  I don't know if it's true, but I know that for me, my periods are shorter and I cramp a lot less. 

February 1, 2011

Trophy Tuesday - Bumkins Liners

For many cloth diapering families, using a disposable liner is a must.  They catch the poop, make clean up easier, and can help prevent some types of stains.  There are lots of liners on the market these days, from "thick toilet paper" style liners to rice paper liners that can actually be washed a few times. 

Bumkins liners offer something a little different than most liners...a conveniently sized box with a tissue-style opening.  Easy to reach with one hand and pull out a single liner.
Bumkins liners are very soft against the skin.  Generously sized to work for either infants or toddlers in any type of diaper. 

100% biodegradable and flushable, Bumkins soft Flushable Diaper Liners are the easiest clean-up solution for soiled diapers. Compatible with any cloth diapering system, these liners provide added convenience and stain protection to any cloth diapering routine. Simply place liner on diaper and when soiled, just flush liner down the toilet.
  • Measures 8.5" by 11"
  • 100 liners per box
For Trophy Tuesday, we have these liners for 20% off and free shipping while supplies last!  This is a fabulous deal for Bumkins flushable liners.