April 20, 2012

Signs your little one might be ready to potty train and tips for less stress!

If you're stressing out about potty training, you don't have to. There are some simple tips that will help you and your little one go stress-free! Read my thoughts on stress-free potty-training below.

1.  Wait until your child is ready – don’t force them into it. Signs that your child may be ready for potty training are the following (and no your child does not need to exhibit all of the signs, at least a few of them) :
  • Staying dry during and after a nap and is able to wake up dry after the night 
  • Taking cloth diaper off when it’s wet or dirty 
  • Telling you that he/she are peeing or pooping 
  • Has good verbal skills and cognitive understanding; they really need to be able to communicate to you that they need to go as well as be able to understand simple instructions 
  • Attention span is at least five minutes 
  • Can get dressed and undressed particularly undressed alone 
2.  Understand that potty training is not a sprint, it’s a marathon. While this might not be the case with every child, some may “get” potty training in less than a day, it’s better to have the mentality that it might take a longer time than what you want. That doesn’t mean your child isn’t ready nor does it mean they are never going to get it. Sometimes it really is two steps forward and then one step back before its full proof.

3.  Timing really is everything. Look at your calendar. What events do you have coming up in the next month? Is there a new baby on the way? Are you moving houses? Changing daycares? Kids need and like routines and potty training is a major change in the routine. If you have a major change occurring that’s going to rock their little world maybe postpone potty training. It’s frustrating enough to disrupt the routine with some kids don’t add to your stress level or your child’s by adding yet another change.

4.  Figure out what matters to your child and use it as a reward. Punishing or shaming your child into going potty will not EVER work. Let me say that again – Punishing or shaming your child into going potty will not EVER work. Okay that we’ve got that out of the way, figure out what your child cares about. Does he like to see his progress by putting stickers on a potty poster? Does he like little toys he can put his hands on when he does it right? Does she love chocolate and would be motivated by the promise of one M&M if she goes in her potty? Be willing to really study and look at your child to figure out what makes them excited and then use that to work with them.

5.  Once you’re in potty training mode, stay in and never look back! You really need to commit to it, especially if your child is acting like she’s interested and ready. There will be accidents and it might take a few days before she recognizes that she has to go and makes it to the potty in time. Don’t give up. Stay on the course and never return to diapers again during the day.

6.  Understand that for some kids, even though they may be ready they might still have accidents at night; this is not their fault nor are they trying to act out against you. Studies have shown that there is a hormone that must be present in children in order for them to not wet the bed at night. Some children do not have this hormone present until they’ve matured a little more. It’s a biological thing and nothing they can do to prevent it from happening. Be careful with their little hearts and remember that they’re more frustrated and embarrassed about wetting the bed than you are.

Elizabeth (aka Bert) is a stay-at-home-mom and contributing writer for She Thinks Media. She lives in the Twin Cities with her husband, Ben, her son Buggie, and daughter Lady Bug.  When she's not trying to convince Buggie to expand his interests beyond Thomas the Train or put his pants back on she's writing about her experiences as a mom on her blog, First Time Mom (FTM). After all, Bert maintains there's a first time for everything, even if you  have more than one child! 

April 19, 2012

Washing Cloth Diapers:Learning from others mistakes!

In our store, we give store credit for gently used diapers.  This is a very interesting way to see how other people treat their diapers.  It's like taking a cross-section of diapering society and getting to inspect it at my leisure, like looking through someone's medicine cabinet.

Most diapers are very clean, stain-free, and ready to resell.

But some diapers clearly need some help and these are the reason for this blog post.

Barely used but reeking of detergent 
Every now and then we'll get diapers that smell crazy-strong of detergent, even before we open the package.  Automatically I know that these diapers leak.  They have detergent built up on them so much that there's no way they can work properly.  Usually I'll send a nicely worded message back to the owner letting them know that if their other diapers leak or smell bad, it's probably time to strip them and then use less or different detergent.  Most of the time, they'll write back and say "My gosh, they DO leak constantly!  How did you know?  What can I do to fix it?"

Grey-tinged fabrics
Sometimes grey-tinged fabrics are due to well water or hard water.  Sometimes it's due to detergent...usually lots of it.  I go ahead and wash these diapers and oh my, the suds!  I've had suds from a small load actually reach the top of my washing machine, up to the lid.  After a few hot rinses, these diapers and inserts always look a lot brighter and whiter, and that's without adding any detergent of my own.

Diapers that just plain smell
Because we're an online store, we don't have the opportunity to see used diapers until we actually get them. And sometimes, the diapers are...not so fresh.  They look clean, but one whiff tells me something wasn't going right.  These, too, go into the wash and again...suds, suds, suds.

Do you see where this post is going yet?  Washing routine is so important in the care of cloth diapers. Sometimes it can take time to find the right detergent and the right amount.  You can head off trouble early by using a good detergent, not necessarily one that gets the most marketing or costs the most at the store, but one that is rated as good for cloth diapers.

What detergents?
These are some of the ones best rated and most often recommended: Tide Free, Mountain Green, Country Save, Allen's Naturally, Planet, BumGenius Detergent, Rockin' Green, Tiny Bubbles, Ruby Moon.  There are others, this is by no means a complete list.  But these are some of the most common, many of which are available locally in grocery stores.

How much detergent?
This depends a lot on what brand, your machine, and your water type.  In general, if it's a mainstream brand (like Tide Free or Allen's Naturally) start with 1/2 the amount recommended on the label for your machine type.  If it's a diaper brand, like BumGenius Detergent or Rockin' Green, use the full amount recommended on the label.  Then adjust for hard water, soft water, top loader, front loader, etc.  Rockin' Green has an EXCELLENT website detailing detergent needs for water type and machine type.

How to strip diapers
The easiest way is to wash in hot water, over and over.  Always start with clean diapers, so if you have to wash them first, then wash as usual.  You can at this point remove any wet bags, wipes, pail liners, or diaper covers.  Then run a hot water wash with just enough water to get them to agitate well.  You want the diapers to rub together and create friction, so if you have a top loader, run the water so it just covers the diapers.  In a front loader, you can probably use the usual water setting that you always use.  Watch for suds during the agitation cycle.  If there are suds, repeat. And repeat.  And repeat.  Yes, it may take awhile if detergent build-up is severe.  If you're just washing inserts, pockets, and prefolds, then you probably don't have a very big load and you can use a lot less water.  I often can use the lowest water setting on my top loader.  Continue running hot washes/rinses until the water is absolutely clear with no soap bubbles.

The moral of this story?
Strip your diapers if you ever experience leaking or odors.  It may help to have a friend or family member who doesn't live in your house sniff your diapers.  Do they smell like detergent?  Or anything?  Clean diapers should just smell like fabric.  They shouldn't smell like detergent AT ALL.  But this is often a sign that diaper owners miss because they're so used to the smell of their own detergent.  And please, please, PLEASE, if you're sending diapers to me for credit, strip them first.  :)  You'll get a lot more credit.  If  I smell anything at all in your diapers, the credit is automatically reduced because I'll have to strip them before I can resell them.
Heather, Cloth Diaper Outlet

April 18, 2012

Trade in those gently used cloth diapers for new ones at Cloth Diaper Outlet!

Has your baby outgrown a specific size or style of cloth diaper?  Has one simply become your least favorite for one reason or another?  Then you need to consider trading them in for credit towards new ones!

Selling your gently used cloth diapers online in forums can end up being a lot of work.  That's why at Cloth Diaper Outlet we have come up with our Reduce, Reuse, Reuse; Cloth Diaper Buyback Progrram!

With Cloth Diaper Outlet's Buy Back Program you can find out in advance what we might pay for the diapers you've got to trade in.  You won't have to haggle with individual buyers, you won't have to worry about whether they'll like them or if they'll pay when they say they want them.

We take excellent used condition diapers and in exchange for them we give you store credit!  It's that simple!

Here's how it works:

1. Check below to see the trade-in value of your diapers, inserts, and accessories. 
2. Make sure your diapers are clean, stain-free, lint-free velcro, and include inserts.
3. Mail them to us at the address below. 
4. We'll inspect them and issue a store credit within 3 days of receiving the diapers.
5. Use your store credit anytime on whatever you need!

You can view our value guide before you decide and get an idea of what sort of credit you can expect.

So what are you waiting for?  Contact us today!

April 17, 2012

Trophy Tuesday: 15% off Swim Diapers and you can enter to win one!

Summertime...dooby dooby doo. Is that how the song goes?  Well maybe not, but regardless, it's almost summertime.  That means it'll be time for swim lessons, the beach, lake, pond, camping, playing in the hose outdoors or the kiddie pool, and you'll need a poop catcher, trust me!

People wonder all the time, can I just use this or that for a swim diaper?  The key is that a swim diaper needs to be lightweight and not have gaping leg openings.  If the diaper, underwear, etc. gets too heavy with water that it sags, well then the poop is going to run right out of the diaper and it won't be contained like it should.  Nothing ruins fun in the sun like poop in the pool!

For Trophy Tuesday this week we're discounting our 2012 Imse Vimse Swim Diapers by 15% when you use code TROPHY at checkout!

Plus...we're giving you a chance to win a swim diaper

The Imse Vimse Swim Diaper is a swim diaper and bathing suit in one. Wear it alone or under a swim suit or swim trunks. Do not add anything to the inside; you do not want a swim diaper to be absorbent - it would just absorb pool water and could weigh the child down. The design is based on containment. Make sure it fits snugly without leaving red marks. When you get out of the pool, make sure to put on an absorbent diaper to prevent accidents.

Enter to win by clicking MORE and using the Rafflecopter below.

Winner of our Trophy Tuesday Giveaway for (2) RaR Doll Diapers is...

Somebody's baby doll is going to be sitting pretty!  The winner of last weeks Trophy Tuesday Giveaway, who will receive two Rumparooz Doll Diapers, is Amy Marsen!

Congrats Amy! Please check your email to claim your prize.

Didn't win?  Don't worry, Doll Diapers are just $4 each regularly.  Also, stay tuned for our next Trophy Tuesday Giveaway coming up today!