Friday, January 30, 2009

Working with Wool

I'm no longer afraid of it! It's so much easier than I thought it would be!!!

The key to wool care is not to "shock" the wool by extreme temperatures- either too hot or too cold. That can shrink the wool- and we don't want to do that!

I read this great tutorial about how to care for wool, and it was funny as well as informative. I, not being cocky enough to think I could do better, will just pass on the link, rather than make my own instructions! :D

The only things I did differently were to use a "wool wash" and a liquid lanolin- both made by Northern Essence. They made my wool smell nice- bonus!

Don't be afraid of wool! It's a beautiful, soft, natural, breathable material. Not to mention that there is some CUTE wool available out there!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

The Cutest Bumble I've Seen!!!

Now, please ignore the "reminiscent of Grandpa's dark socks on white chicken legs" look... Please focus on the bum instead. He's wearing a Kiwi Pie fitted with a Luxe Baby wool cover over it.

Someone please explain to me... Why did I waste so much time with pocket diapers and all-in-one diapers when this cuteness was available???

I'm a fitteds with covers convert, I tell ya!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Kiwi Pie Fitteds- How Kiiii-ute!!!

My new love! Kiwi Pie fitted diapers. Squishy soft bamboo with a cotton knit outer, lay-in soakers, and hidden snaps. They're a one-size diaper, and so stretchy!

The prints... SO CUTE!!! These diapers are well-made and look really durable. I haven't gotten to try them out yet, but I can say that they're love at first sight! :)

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Bagshot Row Bamboo

An Ode to Bagshot Row Bamboo

Oh squishy softness!
Your cute prints, how I love thee!
Your leg holes are so gentle,
I have planets, I have bees!
I love the way you Snappi
I love your material within!
Now, if only I could be brave enough
To use you with a pin!!!

Fluffy Mail!!!

I can't tell you how exciting it is to open your mailbox and find it STUFFED with packages- and you know they're diapers. I found that yesterday!

My two new Holden's Landing Bedbugs came. I *LOVE* them!!! My 3 custom Wiggle Worm Bottoms covers came. Four of my new wool covers came, 2 Mother-Ease Sandy's, and my Sustainablebabyish Magic Diaper! Along with some pins for my Bagshot Row Bamboo diapers (if I get gutsy enough to try them... I'm already having nightmares about poking a little belly).

Fluffy Mail days are always good days!!! :D

Monday, January 19, 2009

Wool Willies... Be affeeeared!

I've gotten over my wool willies- I'm going to try it! Now if I can just keep from making it grow sheep by getting it wet or something (think Gremlins)... I have two wool covers coming- Luxe and Sugar Peas- to try over my new fitteds. I'm nervous, but excited!

We can do it..... right? Wait, I mean- Yes, I'm sure we can do it! (Did that sound at all convincing?)

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Experimenting with Fitted Diapers & Covers

I started out with pocket diapers, moved on to all-in-one (AIO) diapers, and now I'm entering the realm of fitteds with covers! This week I'll be trying out:
* Bagshot Row Bamboo (I have three coming! YAY!)
* Muttaqin Baby- Babyshaped and 3SR
* Holden's Landing Bedbugs (I already have one going right now!)

I also have some Mother-Ease Sandy's and Nana's Bottoms coming.

I'm still looking for a Goodmama and a Sustainablebabyish that I can afford- they're spendy!

Stay tuned for my results of the Fabulous Fitted Frolics!!! :D

Thursday, January 15, 2009

The Tide Controversy

Is Tide recommended by cloth diaper manufacturers? No. Why not? Because it can break down the PUL in pockets and AIOs, and the elastic in covers, AIOs and pockets. The reason it is "harsh" on diapers is because it contains additives.

I've been reading a lot lately about how peoples' diapers were giving out after a year- and many people asking about replacing ruined elastic and parts of their diapers. Cloth diapers don't last forever... There's not much that does.

Now my thinking is this: You can use Tide, and get your diapers clean and stain-free. It seems to eliminate the need for "stripping" in most cases- that means no bleach, vinegar, baking soda, etc. No need for tons of hot washes and rinses to get rid of build-up. No worrying about how to strip diapers that have stains or stinkies. To me, the regular stripping has to be harder on the diapers than the detergent is.

So when I was deciding if I'd take the leap to Tide instead of sticking with my other more "diaper safe" detergents, I asked myself this question: Would I rather have a simple wash routine where I use one detergent and it gets my diapers CLEAN, stain- and-stink-free, or would I rather use something milder so I can possibly extend the life of my diapers a little bit?

I chose Tide. And don't my diapers look fresh! :)

Tuesday, January 13, 2009


"Re-Stashing". This is what happens when you have tried a BUNCH of different types of diapers, decided what you like, and get rid of the ones you don't like. I'm in the process of re-stashing at the moment. I have HALF the diapers I had before- if that!- and I have lots more diapers coming in the mail! (My poor postal delivery person.... I get a couple packages in the mail every day!)

Cloth-diapering is like a science experiment... Some diapers work great off the bat, some have to be modified so that they work, and some just won't work, after much trial and error. I've spent $50 (a-hem... possibly a little more than that, but in case my husband reads this, I don't want to give him a heart attack with the real number) buying a stash, I sell it for a little more than half what I paid, and then I re-stash at full price again. Perhaps it's a math problem more than a science experiment: How much does it cost Stacy to re-stash, if she makes back half of what she buys them for, and does this 8 times. The answer? I'd probably rather not know!!! ;)

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Dryer Balls NOT Created Equal

After 2 uses, my Lyv Naturally dryer balls (on the left) are falling apart- shedding everywhere all over my diapers and laundry. They smell GREAT, and will from now on be "air freshener balls" in my laundry room. ;)

My Buddha Bunz balls are doing GREAT. After 2 uses, the middle balls hardy show wear and are working great. The balls on the right are the Buddha Bunz I've been using for a while- at least 20 uses- and they still look great! They took a long time to get to me, but were worth the wait! :D

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Sewing Insert Bumbles

It was bound to happen... I kept buying these expensive inserts and doublers for the diapers, and I thought, "I bet I could make these myself." So I ordered supplies (various hemp and bamboo materials) and I went to it!

Tonight I made a 4-layer heavy bamboo fleece insert, a 2-layer fleece doubler with bamboo velour on top (SO SOFT!) and a second, smaller doubler. I don't own a serger, so I just top-stitched the fabric and trimmed the edges. Hey, not horrible for a first try! They may not be pretty, but I bet they'll work!

*Note* You might see a follow-up post where I'm crying about how they don't work. ;)

Friday, January 9, 2009

"The Stash"

When you have cloth diapers, you have to have a place to put them. With disposables, you just buy a plastic bag at a time and then replace them when that bag runs out. When you have cloth, they need a nice "home". :)

This is where I keep mine. Now, mind you, there are over 30 diapers missing from this picture (please refer to the "addiction" post further down).

I like to organize my inserts/doublers by type- hemp, bamboo, and microfiber. And then I have a bin for different types of diapers, too- pockets, hybrids, all-in-ones, night diapers, and trim "going out" diapers.

Yes... I guess you could say I'm a bit anal-retentive.... ;)

Thursday, January 8, 2009

An Awesome Prize!

Last week I got an email from one of my favorite sellers- Rachel at Two Little Whales- saying I had won her surprise package. She personalized it for me, and sent it out. It was SO MUCH FUN to open a package of free stuff! And she was VERY generous!

* Snap-Ez Eco Pocket
* Thirsties AIO
* Drybees AIO Hybrid
* Wahmies mini wet bag
* A BabyLegs legwarmers set
* Reusable grocery bags for my older kids
* Samples of wipes and rash cream

Winning anything diaper-related is a cloth-diaperer's dream!!! :D

You Know You've Become an Addict When...

So... I realize that I've become somewhat of an addict when it comes to cloth diapers... I use the term "somewhat" loosely. I think of diapers, I dream of diapers, and when I have some extra money, what do I want to buy? Yep, you guessed it! Diapers.

It's gotten so bad that when it's a non-wash day (I was every other day) I'm kind of disappointed. And when my little guy poops, I don't argue with my husband about whose turn it is to change the diaper like I used to with my other kids in their "sposies". I look forward to poops, so that I can put a new diaper on him and use my cloth wipes.

What has my life become????? ;)

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

How to Wash Cloth Diapers

Once you decide which detergent to use, it's time to wash your diapers! There is probably no "right" way to wash them... but this is what works for me. :)

* Cold rinse/spin with a squirt (probably a tablespoon) of Bac-Out (a natural stain remover)
* Hot wash with 1/2 the recommended amount of laundry detergent
* Cold rinse
* Cold rinse, extra spin

I'm able to set the rinse/spin first, and then set the whole wash, rinse, rinse in one cycle after that- so I don't spend all day at the washing machine pushing buttons. :)

Bum-Ware Extreme or "BWX" AIO (all-in-ones)

I am a little bit in love with these diapers, which is strange considering that the first time I used one, I wrote to cancel the other ones I had on order. My first experience was horrible leakage... But since then, I've used these for HOURS with no leaks, and I love them!

These are the trimmest AIO I have tried- they fit under jeans or tight pants, and don't look much bigger than a disposable diaper! If I can get the pants over my son's chunky thighs, I can get it over this diaper. It's so thin, and yet so absorbent!

Admittedly, I add a doubler- just a small bamboo doubler- in this if I want to go over 2 hours with this diaper, but that's just for reassurance. I think the diaper could go longer!

The aplix are GREAT, and I have one of the snap versions, too- also GREAT. These just look so cute, and come in such GREAT colors that you can customize!

Cost is upwards of $18 per diaper, but in my opinion- they're worth every penny!

My rating: 5 out of 5. Absorbent, Cute, Very Trim, Sturdy, and just Awesome!

SposoEasy All-in-One Diapers

Oh, the joys of finding a new diaper that works! And these little things don't instill confidence when you first pick one up- the insides are made of 100% cotton, and you think to yourself that there's no way they will be absorbent. But alas! You think wrongly!

These fit trimly, they look cute, and they absorb a deceivingly large amount of pee! And with the ultimate test- runny baby poo- they hold true and don't leak.

Will this diaper last all night as-is? No. But throw in a doubler or two, and you might have a workhorse diaper on your hands! In my experience, when I add a doubler, it draws the rise down too much and creates plumber's crack on my little guy, so I couldn't trust it for nights.

Cost is $18, shipped, from the manufacturer. The nice thing is that these diapers fit a wide weight range- the mediums fit up to 30 pounds!

I give these diapers a rating of: 4 out of 5... Absorbent, Cute, Wash Well, Great Sizing, but not Night-Worthy

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

A Butt Buzz

Tonight I was telling my dad about how my son's diapers have organic cotton, bamboo, and hemp in them for absorbency. How does my dad respond? "Hemp? He must have a butt buzz!" *rolling eyes*

Gone are the days of putting a disposable diaper's polyethylene and sodium acrylate on my son's bum... he now sports a hemp "butt buzz".

The Detergent Debate

Oh the horrors... You've just gotten your new cloth diapers, and it's time to do the dreaded "hard cloth diapers" washing!!! So what do you use?

With regular laundry, whatever you pick up at the grocery store is probably going to work. With cloth diapers, it's a bit more difficult than that! If you use the wrong thing on your diapers, you can cause them to repel (make pee run off of them) or to wick (leak out the legs) or to stink!

Okay, so there has to be a hard-set rule of what's safe and not safe to use, right? Well, not really, unfortunately. The hard-set rules are like this: don't use perfumed detergents, detergents with additives, optical brighteners, or enzymes. And NEVER use fabric softeners. Bleach is controversial... some people use it without problems, but most say it's a diaper no-no.

Some companies and brands recommend using Free & Clear detergents, while others say definitely NOT to use them. Some say use the popular brand Charlie's Soap, while others have reported that Charlie's can cause severe rashes in babies- OUCH.

I've tried lots of detergents: Mountain Green, Planet Ultra, All Free & Clear... I wasn't happy with any of the results of those. I ended up with stains and stinkies- two things you don't want with diapers! The diapers just didn't seem CLEAN. So what did I do? I started using Tide HE in my front-loading washer. It contains lots of no-nos... enzymes, brighteners, and scents. But my diapers have never looked cleaner, and smelled so good! Lots of people use Tide for years without problems. Until I see a problem, I plan to keep using it. I can't officially recommend it... but I can say: It works for us! :)

Wool Dryer Balls

Well, my husband giggles like an 8-year-old boy every time I say "dryer balls", but I still think they're fun.

The point of dryer balls is to help make your laundry (in this case- diapers) dry faster and fluff them up to soften them. They don't help with static like dryer sheets do... but since you're not supposed to use dryer sheets with cloth diapers, these are a fun alternative!

You can buy them lightly scented, which will actually make your laundry smell nice. The scent doesn't last a very long time, but you can re-scent them with essential oils or fragrance oils.

People use 2-9 balls in their dryers at a time. And yes, they *DO* make a thumping sound while drying!!! ;)

Why I started cloth-diapering

It took me a long time to have this baby... After my two older kids were born, I lost 6 pregnancies, had 13 foster placements come and go, and was told we could adopt a baby, only to have the mother change her mind. I knew when I *FINALLY* had my baby, I would want to pamper him/her!

I started researching cloth-diapering about 2 years ago. I am a bit OCD (obsessive-compulsive) when it comes to researching, and I pretty much learned all I could about buying, washing, fitting, etc.

And then in September of 2008, I was able to start putting my knowledge into experience! I started using cloth diapers on my little miracle baby, and I've enjoyed every second of it!

I think of it as a hobby... a very fun- sometimes expensive- hobby. I ENJOY doing laundry- I am disappointed on non-wash days. When my other kids had poopy diapers, my husband and I used to argue about whose turn it was to change them. Now, when my little guy poops, I get excited to change him. Yep! It's like that!!! :D