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Cloth Diapering

Fluffy Butt Series: Favorite Cloth Diaper Accessories

We have been cloth diapering going on two and a half years now. I have learned a lot along the way and can still say after all this time that we love it. Although it isn’t always the most convenient, each time I change out a diaper and it goes in the hamper instead of the trash I get a little warm and fuzzy inside. We don’t exclusively cloth diaper and do opt for disposables on vacation, long day trips, and for daycare (not by choice) which isn’t ideal but it still means our kids are sporting a fluffy butt 90% of the time.

Over the years we have tried our share of products and through trial and error have found our favorites. Below are some of things things that have made cloth diapering a little easier and a lot more enjoyable.

Collage

bumGenius Sprayer  |  Diaper Extenders  |  7.9 Gallon Stainless Steel Round Step Trash Can  |  Bumkins Reusable Flannel Wipes  |  Thirsties Hemp Inserts  |  16 oz Glass Spray Bottle  |  Wet Bags  |  GNEDBY Shelf Unit  |  Essential Oils from Young Living

We have been using the bumGenius Sprayer  for about two years now. Although it is a little pricey, we picked ours up at Buy Buy Baby and used ones of their 20% off coupon. Hands down I LOVE this thing. It makes cleaning off the messiest diapers easy and quick. I also thing is has contributed to the fact that even after 2+ years our diapers have no stains.

The GNEDBY Shelf Unit from IKEA was a perfect addition to the kids shared changing station and excellent way to organize all of our diapers while displaying them at the same time. It’s also an easy conversation started when we host play dates or have guests over. I love spreading fuffy butt awareness and all of its advantages.

We have tried several different pails and ended up finding the 7.9 Gallon Stainless Steel Round Step Trash Can. I didn’t realize it at the time of purchase but the large wet bags my mom had made using pull material from Jo Ann Fabrics fit perfectly in the trash can. It keeps out the smell and we just pull out the wet bag on laundry day.

We always keep some of our Alva Wet Bags in the diaper bag for on the go in the rare case of a blowout. They are also handy for when you are taking a trip to the pool or to hold dirty laundry on a short weekend away.

We had initially planned to start potty training P after Christmas but he didn’t show much interest so we decided to focus on phasing out the pacifier and retry this summer. Since buster boy is now 40lbs, he is maxing out our bumGenius 4.0s. We decided it would be cheaper to invest in some Diaper Extenders and Thirsties Hemp Inserts. Both have been working out really well and were great investments.

I recently took the plunge and joined Young Living and started incorporating Essential Oils into our cleaning sillies, medicine cabinet, and daily living. One of the things I was most excited about was making a solution for our cloth wipes and a safe balm to use on red bottoms. For the wipe solution I purchased a 16 oz Glass Spray Bottle and a few sets of Bumkins Reusable Flannel Wipes. We will still use disposable wipes for soiled diapers but when they just need a little wipe we will use the cloth with an Essential Oils mix. Next week I will be sharing my recipes for our cloth wipes and a safe cloth diaper balm for red bums.

Now it’s time for a little show n tell. I would love to hear what some of your favorites products are!

Shared Changing Station

Even though I am still finishing up Parker’s room and anxiously waiting for baby girls room to be painted, I was able to get their shared changing station in the guest bathroom complete.

Since Parker is still in diapers and we aren’t in a rush to potty train with baby girl on the way, I will have two in diapers for a little while. I didn’t want to take up space in both their rooms with a changing station or worrying about sharing products back and forth or purchasing duplicates of everything. Since our guest bathroom is a decent size, we decided to move Parker’s changing table in there and make a shared station. I didn’t have a vision of what I wanted when we started out but now that it is complete I am ecstatic. There are still a few things I need to add but it has been fully functional for a few weeks and working out really well.

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The changing table is an old purchase from IKEA, maybe 6 years ago, and one of the best purchases I have ever made. This piece of furniture has lived in 4 different places all serving a different purpose. Parker and baby girl will each have a bin on the top for jammies. The bottom two bins will hold extra inserts, disposables (yes, we do use them on occasion) and other supplies. The cloth diaper tower, GNEDBY from IKEA ($49.99), fit perfectly in the space and is a great way to show off our stash. It’s narrow and tall so it doesn’t interfere with the door but still holds a lot of diapers.

DSC_4745 v2One of the challenges we had at first was where to store all of the creams, wipes and medicine. I decided to pull out two of the IKEA BEKVAM spice racks ($3.99/each) that I had stored away for a rainy day. They work perfectly in the space and help keep everything out of the way, organized, and easily accessible. For the moment, each mason jar on the left has a different medicine with the corresponding dropper. I am ultimately trying to find boxes that fit side by side instead of the glass. Especially with two kiddos at home, I want to make sure each of their medicines and doses are properly marked and organized so there are no mistakes at 2am. The wipes container works perfectly as the front can be opened in place allowing you to retrieve wipes 1 handed.

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I also decided to move Parker’s calendar and set up baby girls while I was at it. Iv’e been keeping a calendar by the changing area since Parker was first born. It was a really easy way to jot down any memorable events or milestones each night after we changed him for bed. I used the calendar quite a bit to help with his monthly updates.

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Since all of the changing will be happening in bathroom now I wanted to find a bin to prevent all the dirty laundry from piling up on the floor. Since we only open the linen closet on the rare occasion, I decided to buy the Thirty-One Room For Two Utility Tote which fits perfectly in the doorway. It has a zip up divider so I can separate right away and has handles to make it easy to carry downstairs.

Although we don’t let P roam this floor unattended and use a Safety 1st Grip N Twist Doorknob Cover we still decided to secure the shelf using the same Plastic Pipe Strap we used throughout the house. You can read more about it in my Baby Proofing Our Home post.

The only things left to finish are the boxes for medicine and cutting out a quote on my Cricut with vinyl to go above the changing table. I was thinking, “fluffy butt headquarters”. What do you think?!?

Fluffy Butt Series

When P and I were at his 9 month wellness visit, the doctor noticed that he was wearing a cloth diaper and asked how my experience has been. I ended up talking her ear off for about 10 minutes. She asked if I would be willing to put together a sheet she can had out to her families. Apparently, she gets asked quite a bit about them. I was so honored and excited to take this project on. Cloth diapering can get pretty complicated with the huge selection of types, brands, cleaning agents and accessories. I am by no means an expert but I have learned a lot along the way and am slowly venturing into all of the cloth diaper impossibles and combination.

My plan isn’t to have set days that I post on this series or within a certain time frame. As a SAHM to a 10 month old boy, life gets in the way and when I set deadlines to my blogging, it becomes another item on my to-do list and not a hobby I enjoy.

Here is what I was thinking at the moment:

– The low down on cloth diapering including some numbers I put together on the cost benefit
– Extensive glossary of terms
– Types of cloth diapers
– Brands of cloth diapers
– Cleaning products, tips and tricks for keeping them clean
– Accessories available
– Cloth diaper resources

Did I miss anything? If there is something you were hoping to learn in particular, send me an email and I will make sure to include anything I know or can find out myself.

Here are some quick links of a few posts I have already done to keep you busy until my first post:

Getting Started
Prepping for Baby
Check In

 

Green Baby ~ Cloth Diaper Check In

Several Mommies have asked me how the cloth diapering is going. Since we had hit a few snags, I thought it would be nice to share some of the things I have learned since my last post. All in all, we are loving it! There is just something about putting nothing but cloth on my babies skin that makes me happy.

One of the things I noticed was that the inserts had a little funk to them. I realized that it was reccommended that you run them in a cycle with bleach once a month. It has now been two months and I hadn’t done it yet. Wow, I noticed a difference right away! I ran the inserts on a normal pre wash cycle with cold water. Then ran a full cycle with an extra rinse on the hot/cold cycle with 1/4 cup bleach. Then I ran that cycle again with the Rock In Green. They came out smelling like new. I will make sure to add this a monthly cleaning to-do list.

Originally, we chose the Baby Trend Diaper Champ Deluxe for our cloth diapers. While it keeps most of the funky smell out, it really isn’t large enough to hold the
cloth diapers and they get stuck in the compartment. We have to open the whole thing to push it through which really defeats the whole purpose. We decided to use that for wipes and disposable diapers and purchase one of these from Amazon (my favorite store in the world)!

I also decided to return the bumGenius Diaper Sprayer. It’s a great idea and maybe if we had installed it I would use it but right now I just rinse them off in the sink. Maybe when P starts eating solids I will purchase this again to help with “more severe poop”.

What are your thoughts? Do any of you CD Mommies use this?

We are LOVING the wet bags my Mom made for us! The small zipper ones are perfect for the diaper bag and anytime P stains his clothing. The larger green wet bags are being used in the cloth diaper pail and downstairs in the basement when I change his diaper during the day. Once I am brave enough to use cloth diapers while traveling, they will also come in handy to transport them home.

Green Baby ~ Cloth Diapers Part II

We had gone back and forth about using cloth diapers and once I showed Rob the numbers, he was sold. Here is a post I did awhile ago talking about the diapers we chose and some of the accessories we purchased.

I wanted to share an update on how our preparation to use cloth diapers is going as Parker just reached 8 lbs 3 oz and we have decided to start using them this week. You may be asking yourself, “what possible preparation do you need to use diapers?” Well, there was a lot more than I had thought myself when deciding to “Go Green” and use cloth diapers.

We had to first wash them which in itself was a little complicated. The packaging provided instructions to was the cotton items a certain way however, the diaper nor the inserts are made of cotton…? We decided, after consulting my CD expert over at Home For Three, to wash the inserts 5 times using a pre-wash, wash and extra rinse. We then did the same with a load of the lighter color covers and darker colored covers. Once that was done, Rob and I assembled the diapers using the booster insert since that is all P will need at the moment.

To help with washing the diapers, I created this bulletin board for the laundry room with the specific preparation and washing instructions for the cloth diapers. I think it adds a little character to the space since it is shared with Rob’s workroom.

My Mom made these awesome wet bags for me using special fabric from JoAnn’s. She made several small bags for our diaper bags and then larger ones to fit the diaper pail and then a few for dirty cloths when we travel. I have already used them during our last outing when P pooped through his clothing. It was so nice to be able to put them in the wet bag, zip it up and not have to worry about it until we got home later!

We decided to use the Baby Trend Diaper Champ Deluxe for our cloth diapers. We liked that you lifted the handle and a compartment opened just big enough to put the diaper in. This will hopefully keep out as much odor as possible. My Mom made a few wet bags to fit it so we can take that and throw it into the wash along with the diapers.

We started using cloth diapers on P today. I am so excited to get him out of the disposables and into something softer and better for his skin! I will update in a few weeks about how it is going! 

A sneak peek of my new fluffy butt little boy!

Green Baby ~ Cloth Diapers Part I

I always wanted to be able to cloth diaper my children but wasn’t sure if it would be an actual possibility. A few months into my pregnancy, Rob and I started talking about it more and researching the pros and cons. Based on the fact that I will be a SAHM(ish) and looking at the benefits of helping the environment, keeping unnecessary chemicals away from our baby and the cost we decided to go CD (cloth diapering).


Let’s talk numbers:
At the end of the day, this is what sold Rob on the idea (well, that plus the fact that I would be doing most of the laundry while staying at home). Let’s say a baby goes through 10 diapers a day (the average seems to be 8-12) which amounts to about 3,650 diapers in their first year. The cost of diapers ranges so much depending on brand I couldn’t really come up with an average. To get the whole picture, let’s say you buy Huggies Supreme – Little Snugglers at Costco. You can purchase a box of 84 for $26.99. That equals about .32/each and at the end of the year would total about $1,168. The great part about this is that we can purchase enough diapers for $400, use with all our children and then sell them for 1/4-1/2 their original cost depending on condition. While I chose not to purchase used, there are many women I know of who have and are.

Helping the environment:
As I mentioned above, our Peanut will go through about 3, 650 diapers in their first year. I sat back for a moment and imagined what that would look like. The thought made me a little sick. Of coarse we have the option of biodegradable ones and although they are still free of many chemicals, it doesn’t help with cost. While I am guilty of running the shower before I get in and often taking 15+ minutes more than I need, I have always cared about recycling and eliminating as much as I can from going to landfills. Yes, I was the one who collected bottles and brought them home to NJ when I was in graduate school.

Keeping unnecessary chemicals away:
This is something that is very important to Rob and I. While we know we can’t protect our baby from everything, I think it’s important to protect them from what you can. One chemical that was common in my readings was dioxins, a byproduct of the bleach used in most diapers, that can have side affects from interaction with babies skin. Other chemicals used to help with absorbency such as Sodium Polyacrylate, to mask odor and dyes to make the cute little patterns could all have negative reactions to a babies bottom and more.

Potty Training:
A lot of the information and blogs from CD families talk about having an earlier and easier time transitioning off of diapers. Children are more aware when in cloth diapers and are ready to potty train earlier. While every child is different and this may not be a benefit, it’s still a bullet point on my list!

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When all was said and done, Rob and I decided to purchase two BumGenius Diapers bundles from The Green Baby to give us 24 diapers total. We chose Velcro as it is more flexible with baby size and gender neutral colors so we can use them with additional children down the road. While 24 diapers means laundry will need to be done every other day, it will be easier with me home and will ensure I stay on top of washing them before stains set it. We chose BumGenius Diapers because of their great reviews and how “real” they look. They have two inserts; infant/booster and then the larger liner. The infant/booster is used first, when they get older you switch to the larger liner and when they get even older, you use both.

Some people decide to buy used and a few here or there. We decided to get all the same diapers. I asked a husband of a good friend what his thoughts were on cloth diapers. He said he loves them but gets frustrated because they have several different kinds. He can never remember which liners are for which diapers. This reason alone was the deciding factor to buy all the same.

About 30 minutes after I placed my order, I got a call to verify everything turns out I ordered all Velcro except for 1 diaper and they wanted to make sure it was not a mistake. Green, competitive prices, a fairly small company and from what I can tell, amazing customer service. They have by business for life!

A special thank you to Jen over at HomeFor3 who was my go-to-girl with about 100 questions! 

We also decided to get these accessories to help a little.

Wet bags & diaper pail liner:
I will be making wet bags for travel and a liner for our diaper pail from special fabric from JoAnn’s for the diapers. I am excited to make them because I can choose from fun patterns and make them the sizes I need/want!

Depending on how big Peanut is when he/she is born, we may need to use disposable diapers for awhile. Thanks to my good friend Jamie, she introduced me to a biodegradable, as natural as possible option at Diapers.com. I am very excited to have this option and will always have a pack or two on hand for emergencies when we can’t use the cloth diapers.



Informational websites:
http://pregnancy.about.com/od/thenursery/a/reasonscloth.htm
realDiaperAssociation
http://www.livestrong.com/article/111348-chemicals-disposable-diapers/
http://voices.yahoo.com/the-truth-disposable-diapers-379910.html?cat=25
http://www.wired.com/science/discoveries/news/2004/04/63182?currentPage=all