Savvy Chic

tidbits, thoughts, and ramblings. . .with a Mormon twist

favorite cloth diapering sites June 30, 2007

Filed under: children,diapers,frugal,kids,thrifty tips — savvychic @ 3:47 pm

Cloth diaper info (these sites also sell diapers and covers):

Diaper Pin: Lots of cloth diaper info and reviews of diapers to help you decide what will work for you.

Born to Love: Tons of info on all aspects of natural parenting.

Punkin-Butt: Even more info and if you find something you like–you can buy it from this company.

Inexpensive cloth diapers:

ClothDiaper.com–great info and great prices

Kooshies –can be found in some Sear’s and Babys R Us

Prefolds (See the section on prefolds.)

Or, make your own! Can be the most inexpensive way to get cloth diapers, as long as you don’t go overboard on deluxe fabrics and attachments.

One size diapers:
Mother-Ease: Mother-ease also has other products. They also have a great introductory package if you think you will like their product.

Little Lambs

SunShine Diapers

Other Popular diapers:

Kissaluvs

Sugar Peas

Fuzzi Bunz

There are so many other types of diapers. Don’t be afraid to try somthing without a brand name! The information sites I have listed will show you lots of different diapers. Check out the diaper name on DiaperPin to see if there are comments about the diaper’s quality and the company’s customer service.

Prefolds:

Note: You want to get DQS (Diaper Service Quality) diapers so that they will last a long time.

Integrity Diaper Company: They have some of the best prices on chinese and european prefolds. (This company also happens to be located in Norman, OK!–for those of you that live there.)

Ebay!!! Lots of great deals to be had.

Snappi (no diaper pins!!!):

Heiny King: Best price for the 3-pack and shipping. Check out their other offerings too.

Diaper Wraps:
A favorite is the Alexis Featherlite side snap cover. However, the Alexis company is not making these any more, so you have to find these on ebay.

I LOVE wool soakers. These covers are the most breathable. Super-easy make-your-own instructions can be found in the free diaper patterns section. Wool covers do require a bit more care though–hand washing and relanolizing. An inexpensive source of lanolin is your local natural health store. In Norman, OK, at Dobson’s, a 4oz bottle of lanolin oil is about $4.

Wool Soakers

ProRaps

Babies R Us has a decent diaper cover for a great price. 2 for $7

Diaper disposable liners:

Gerber EZ liners: You used to be able to find these at Babies R Us. These are great so that you don’t have to clean up as much poop! Especially wonderful to use when you are away from home. Also, if they just get wet, you can throw then in the wash with your diapers and reuse them. However, Gerber has discontinued producing this product. You may be able to find it on Ebay though.

Kooshies: these are nice because they are flushable, however, they are not as big as the Gerber liners and if they get wet, you still have to discard them.)

Diaper pail liners:
Bummi bags

Google search of “Diaper Pail Liners”

Make your own! Wazoodle has ProCare fabric which is great for making a diaper pail liner and then use the scraps for making ditty bags. You will also need cord for the drawstring and a cord lock.

Free (mostly) diaper patterns:
http://diapershop.com/freelinks.htm
http://www.geocities.com:/Heartland/Oaks/1126/diapertext1.html
http://www.angelfire.com/biz/mothershelpinghands/mypatt.html (this site has instructions to make your own diapers, wool soakers, nursing pads, and other things)
http://www.diapersewing.com/
http://www.poopockets.com/ (This pattern isn’t free, but it is a good pattern–so I’ve been told)
Anther inexpensive diaper pattern is the better baby diaper pattern. It can be found at http://www.elizabethlee.com/patterns/speclty.htm

Fabric sites:
http://www.wazoodle.com/ (A Canadian company. They have ProCare fabric which is great for making your own diaper pail liner and ditty bags.)
http://diapershop.com (great prices on touch tape, patterns, elastic, and free fabric swatches)

Other hints:
*For a diaper pail, just get a trash can at Walmart with a foot pedal that lifts the lid–cost $8.
*Use terry washcloths for diaper wipes–Walmart has the 18 packs for $3.97. These also work well as diaper doublers when folded, or sewn, into thirds. You can also find baby washcloths 4 or 6 for $1 sometimes. These fit well inside of your existing disposable wipes containers.
*Cut fleece into 4″x12″ for diaper liners. The fleece wicks away moisture from the baby’s skin and keeps the skin dry.
*Never use fabric softener or bleach on your diapers. Bleach will wear the diapers out prematurely and creates the risk of hazardous fumes–bleach and ammonia (urine has the same chemical make-up as ammonia) are not good together. Fabric softener coats the fabric fibers and makes the fabric less absorbent. Use vinegar in the rinse cycle as a natural softener–I use a downy ball. It also neutralizes the pH of the diapers. Then hang the diapers in the sun to dry. The sun will bleach out any stains.
*You will need around 24 diapers to be on a 3-4 day wash cycle. Also, you’ll need 5-6 covers.
*Ebay could become your best friend. Unless you really know what you want, you may want to buy a used “lot” that has several different diaper types so that you can try them out.

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Also, see my posts on other really useful baby tools: ring slings and moby wraps.

 

Cloth diapers–tips and definitions June 19, 2007

Filed under: children,diapers,frugal,kids,laundry,thrifty tips — savvychic @ 9:45 pm

CD-ing (Cloth diapering) is an art and a culture.  I can tell you what has worked for me, but there are so many ways to go about it, you will just have to find what works for you.

Here is a tour of a cloth diaper. It usually has two symmetrical outside layers. One of the layers has a soaker pad sewn onto it. The elastic is sewn onto that same outside piece. Then the two outside pieces are sewn together. With a serger, this last step is really easy. Just using the sewing machine, I like to sew the outside pieces right sides together and then flip and topstitch. I just think it looks better and will last longer than simply zigzagging the outside pieces together.

The fabric used for making diapers can really be anything. Most of the websites recommend cotton flannel, fleece, or terry. I haven’t been too picky on this aspect. I have tried to use 100% cotton where possible as this is the most breathable and my little boy needs air! I don’t like terry diapers because I found they were more difficult to clean, though I have been told the opposite. I have used terry to make the soaker pads. I just used old towels. With a serger, again, this makes the process easy to serge the ends and then sew into the diaper. Another option is to buy the $4 package of washcloths at Wal-Mart and fold them into thirds and then sew that into the diaper. If you use flannel as a soaker pad, you have to use a LOT of it.

How I put a diaper on my wee one: I take the diaper (fitted or prefold), a doubler, a fleece liner, and a disposable liner and put them together in that order. It sounds like a lot–to eliminate a step, I sewed the fleece liners to the doublers so one step is eliminated. Then I put it all on my squirming little boy. Then I pull on his diaper cover.

At night, I use a prefold with two doublers, a fleece liner, and a disposable liner. I fasten the prefold with a snappi and then I cover the diaper with a wool soaker.

Definitions:
Doubler: I use a washcloth I have sewn into thirds. It doubles the absorbency of the diaper without adding much extra thickness to the actual diaper so that everything cleans and dries thoroughly.

Fleece liner: I used cheap fleece and cut it into rectangles 4×12 inches. (Some of them are 3×11 inches and they work fine too.) The fleece wicks away the moisture so baby’s bottom stays dry.

Disposable liner: I use Gerber EZ-liners. I like how I can wash and reuse them if they just get wet. They really make clean-up a lot easier. There isn’t much toilet swishing–if any at all. $4 at Babies R’ Us.

Soaker pad: That thick pad in all the diapers. You don’t want it too thick, or your diaper will never dry. That’s why you use a doubler if you need it.

An AIO (All-In-One) is a diaper (with a soaker pad because all diapers have a soaker pad–unless they are a pocket diaper) that has a moisture-proof fabric sewn into it so you don’t need a separate diaper cover. You can make an AIO using a regular diaper pattern just by adding barrier fabric between the layers or as the outside layer.

Diaper covers: the Alexis Featherlite was a favorite of mine. Alexis doesn’t make this cover any more, so your best bet is to find them on ebay. Wool soakers are my absolute favorite. There are many free patterns on-line to make your own.

Pocket Diapers: Diapers with usually only two external layers and an opening to insert the absorptive layers.  You can add as many doublers as you need and they stay put inside the diaper.

If you’re concerned about flannel or fleece in the summer, consider this. Cotton flannel wrapping your baby’s bottom versus plastic. The cloth diaper allows for breathability. There is more air circulation (if you have the right diaper covers) and there is a lower temperature than in a disposable. Even though disposables now feel like cloth, they are plastic and they retain the moisture, increase the humidity, and get really hot. Basically, what I’m saying is–don’t worry about flannel or fleece getting too hot in the summer. Cloth will be much cooler than plastic.

To make your decision whether to use diapers and diaper covers vs. AIOs, you’ll just have to decide which works for you or whether to use both. I prefer the separate diaper with a diaper cover most of the time. The AIO’s are really nice for Dad’s and babysitters so they have less to deal with. However, AIO’s take longer to dry and don’t hold up as well with the frequent launderings. 

And finally, the basics of what you need: approximately 20+ diapers, at least the same number of doublers, fleece liners (optional), disposable liners and a few diaper covers (4-6 per size). It’s also nice to have a diaper pail, a diaper pail liner, ditty bags for your diaper bag, and some wool soakers. For washing the diapers, you’ll need a gentle, clean washing detergent, baking soda, and white vinegar.

For laundering, you’ll learn to love vinegar (white). If you use a downy ball, you just fill it to the line and throw it in with the diapers so that it comes out during the rinse cycle. Do not use fabric softener or bleach on your diapers. Vinegar is a natural fabric softener, it neutralizes the pH, and it helps the detergent to completely rinse out of the diapers.

CD-ing does require a large initial investment($120+), but if you stick with it, you can save lot and lot of $$$, and you will help save the earth! I think the best way to get into CD-ing is to find out you have to for the health of your child! Without the option of going back to disposables, I had to dive into it head first!  And now, I am a major cloth diapering advocate.

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Also, see my posts on other really useful baby tools: ring slings and moby wraps.

 

Cloth diapers

Filed under: children,diapers,frugal,kids,savvy thoughts,thrifty tips — savvychic @ 12:55 am

Diapering your child in cloth used to be the norm. Now cloth diapering is done by those who want to save the planet, save lots of money, for medical reasons, or just to be more natural. Whatever your reason, starting a cloth diapering system can be overwhelming with all the choices now available. I hope this series of posts will help by explaining some of the different options and describing my own experiences.

My Story: I’m from a large family and all my siblings spent time in cloth diapers. That was really the only option for mothers then. My first son was a disposable diaper child. I loved the convenience and the freedom to just toss the diaper away when soiled. However, the price of the diapers hurt each time I went to the store, especially on a very tight student family budget. Also, the diapers STUNK!!! It didn’t matter if I used the diaper genie or whether I took each one to the outside garbage.

At one point, I decided to try out diapering like my mom did it. I went to the store, purchased some prefolds, diaper pins and rubber pants. It only took a couple days of insufficiently absorbent leaky diapers, hand swishing the diaper in the toilet, poking my fingers with the diaper pins because they were so difficult to get through the fabric, and annoying rubber pants, to get to the point were I just gave up. My oldest child finished his diaper career in disposables.

My next child started in disposables too. I had learned my lesson last time and wasn’t about to try cloth again. However, at three months, my baby had a diaper rash that just wouldn’t go away. I tried every kind of disposable, most every kind of cream, the doctor gave me prescription medication, and nothing helped. I became desperate, yet I still resisted the idea of cloth. There seemed no other alternative though, and so I began earnestly seeking information about new cloth diapering methods.

I had three requirements: I didn’t want to use pins, rubber pants, or put my hand in the toilet! Other than that, I was willing to try cloth diapering. I quickly discovered that there were so many options that met my requirements, it would be no problem.

First I purchased a used diaper set on Ebay. It included contoured diapers, fitted diapers with velcro attachments, a nylon diaper covers. I also purchased a Bummi bag diaper pail liner. I went to Walmart and bought a garbage can with a flip lid to use as the diaper pail. I also purchased vinegar, a downy ball (for vinegar, not fabric softener), and baking soda. I went to Babies R’ Us to buy Gerber’s EZ Liners so I wouldn’t have to swish diapers in the toilet.

At first I was overwhelmed by even the choices I had right then. I didn’t know how to start, especially for the night diaper. However, I decided the only way for me to figure it out was to jump right in and try it out. I put on my son’s first diaper and thus began his cloth diaper career. I was quickly assured that I had made the right decision, when after only a few hours of being in cloth, his diaper rash was noticeably getting better. I was convinced of my decision to do cloth.

Soon, I decided to make my own diapers since I needed more. I bought a basic pattern and made 30 one-size, velcro attached, fitted diapers. I mostly used fabric I already had. The diapers worked great, until my little one began to crawl and run.

It was then I that I truly began to appreciate prefolds and snappies. I put away all the fitted diapers and began exclusively using prefolds. I could get them on more securely and with less bulk than the other types of diapers. Friends who were now experimenting with cloth themselves, offered to let me try their deluxe cloth diapers. While very nice, I still preferred the prefolds in the end.

For the diaper covers, I used wool soakers almost exclusively. I liked how they allowed more air flow to my toddler’s sensitive skin. Also, because I made my own either by knitting or by sewing one together from an old wool sweater, wool soakers were much less expensive than others.

For diaper doublers, I used facecloths triple folded. At night I used at least two doublers. Sometimes, I used a fleece liner to wick the moisture away from his skin. The fleece liner was easily made from fleece fabric and simply cut to the desired width and length–no sewing needed. I placed the EZ liner on top of everything.

Also, ironically, I discovered that cloth diapers stank much less than disposables. Baking soda is an amazing odor destroyer. It also neutralizes the diapers and helps the diapers to rinse cleaner in the wash.

Leaving the house with cloth diapers was a little bit tricky, but soon I was able to work out those obstacles too. I would put together two or three diapers (prefold, doubler, liners), include an extra wool soaker, and make sure there were ditty bags (little water proof bags to hold a soiled diaper).

I plan to cloth diaper my next child. Cloth diapers are hardly more difficult than disposables and there are so many benefits in addition. Stay tuned for more information about cloth diapers, including definitions, websites to check out, and additional tips. Please leave your comments so that we can all learn for each other’s experiences!

Also, see my posts on other really useful baby tools: ring slings and moby wraps.