Monthly Archives: November 2011

Prepping New (or used) Diapers

I just bought some bamboo inserts for our pocket diapers from Enchanted Forest over the weekend and am waiting on an order of flats and prefolds from Caterpillar Baby and thought that I should do a quick write-up on how to prepare your diapers for that initial wearing.

Some diapers take a little more work than others.  Microfiber inserts, covers and pocket covers only need one regular wash before you can use them.  There are no oils on them that need to be washed away to make them absorbent.   Other diapers need a bit of effort put into them.

Natural fibres (hemp, cotton and bamboo) have an oil on them that must be washed away before you can use them.  And they can’t be prepped in your regular diaper laundry.  All the oils will leach onto your other diapers, and you will be stripping your entire load.

So what can you do?  These materials need at least 5  HOT washes to be absorbent and may take up to 10 washes to be at the absorbancy that you are expecting.  This can be time-consuming and irritating.  Who wants to use that much hot water?  Wasteful.

BOIL THEM!  I put a few diapers at a time in my big stock pot and boil them for about 5-10min.  Then I put fresh water in and boil them again for the same amount of time.  Then I wash them once or twice in loads of towels or bedding.  Don’t forget to wash them in the same detergent that you wash your diapers in.

This can be time-consuming (as in you actually have to do some work) but it could take up to a week or longer if you wash them with other laundry.  This way you get to use your new diapers in just a few days.

What if you’re prepping new to you diapers?  I always treat used diapers the same way that I treat new diapers.  If I know that they have been used for a bit, then I normally just boil and wash and be done with it.  I know that they are sanitized and get all the stuff that other people put in them.

Never boil your microfiber or PUL.  Guarantee for trouble.  If you are concerned about what might be on them, add boiling water to your washer and a squirt of Blue Dawn and rinse until there are no bubbles left.  This is the same as stripping them and will get anything out of there that you don’t want.

So head out and get some diapers!  You have the tools now!  Here are a few stores here in Nova Scotia to get you started!

Happy Diapering!

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Wool! I LOVE WOOL!

I LOVE wool!  It smells so good, warm and comfy.  I’ve been known to be found with my face full of our wool blankets.  I always take a deep breath when we walk into Lismore Sheep Farm. Weird?  Maybe.  But wool diaper covers are little pieces of heaven that you can put on your baby, whether you use cloth or disposable diapers.  They keep your baby warm in the winter and cool in the summer.  Longies, shorties, soakers, skirties, your options are endless.

Why would you choose wool?  Wool is naturally antibacterial, anti-fungal, and antimicrobial, wicks moisture away from your baby, is super breathable, less likely to leave your baby with a diaper rash, and is a sustainable option for mommas out there.

Wool is a bit scary to some.  You need to wash it with care (not very often), and it needs to be lanolized to keep working.  To lanolize just means to put the natural water-resistant oils back into the wool.

I took the liberty of finding you a couple of links on how to care for your wool.  Here ya go!

http://www.thenappysite.co.uk/nappy-articles/how-to-use-and-care-for-w-23.php

http://www.greenmountaindiapers.com/lanolize.htm

And here’s a perfect video on how to care for the covers:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xjyuiNCE2pw&feature=related

Happy Diapering!

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Enchanted Forest is open!

And to celebrate Andrea’s giving us the chance to win a $30 gift certificate!  So excited.

There will also be an open house Saturday (26th) and she will be at the Christmas Show and Sale the same day.

Here’s the store website: http://www.enchanted-forest.ca/store/Default.asp

And here’s her blog with the contest details!:http://enchantedforestmama.wordpress.com/2011/11/23/enchanted-forest-is-back/#comment-8

And yes, I am entering!  lol!

Happy Diapering!

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Washing your Cloth Diapers.

So.  You bought your diapers, your baby has used them for a day or two and now it’s time to wash them.  How are you supposed to get them clean?  I mean, think about what your baby just did to them.  Is there really a way to sanitize them and make them really clean?

I think that this is the part that deter most people from using cloth.  I’m the first to admit it.  It’s gross.  Isn’t it much easier just to wrap up the disposable and throw it all out?  (By the way, you’re not supposed to put human waste in your garbage, even in disposable diapers.  Gross.)

It’s not hard.  It’s not gross.  I have never touched my child’s poo while washing diapers.  It’s not time-consuming.  Unless you’re in the creek beating them on a rock, honestly, not difficult.  It’s 1 extra load of laundry every couple of days.  The hardest thing that I find about washing diapers is to remember to go downstairs and turn the dial on the washer.

Here are a few links that will help you get started:

And here’s what I do:

First off, I use a dry pail system.  All diapers are thrown into a pail without any water or soaking agent.  Dirty diapers are taken to our second bathroom where the diaper sprayer is, sprayed off and placed in our second pail.  I do a wash every couple of days.

When it’s time to wash a load, I put all the diapers in my washer and put it on the soak option that I have on my top loading washing machine.  Depending on how long it’s been since I washed diapers or how many dirty ones I have I might do a cold or warm water soak.  In the winter when I can’t hang out my diapers as often, I might throw some OxiClean in the soak as well.  The next setting on my washer is a prewash.  It just agitates the diapers a bit more after soaking and spins out the dirty water.  The length of time that I soak my diapers for depends.  Some days it’s only half an hour, but other days I get wrapped up in other things that need to be done and it could be all day.  The soaking and prewash are an important step because they help loosen up any dirties that are on the diapers and help get them cleaner.  I used to only do a prewash, but I find that the diapers do come out cleaner with the soak.

The next step is the actual washing.  I use HOT water with the longest wash cycle I can.  My machine also automatically has a second rinse setting that I always use.  I use cold rinses.  I use Allen’s powder detergent and put about a TEASPOON or a teaspoon and a half if they are really bad.  THAT”S IT!!!!!

You might be thinking, eww!  That’s not enough detergent!  I only ever use the minimum amount of any laundry detergent.  The key to getting any piece of clothing clean is having enough water and agitation between the clothes.  Detergent is only a small aspect of your laundry routine.

After they have been washed and have their second rinse, I either put them in the dryer or hang them up, inside or out.  Hanging diapers outside is a perfect natural stain remover, and the UV in the sun helps kill germs as well.

PROBLEMS WITH YOUR DIAPERS

Sometimes your diapers may smell, either right after baby pees or fresh out of the dryer.  This could be a detergent build up.  A couple of questions to ask yourself:  Do I use fabric softener?  Did I put too much detergent in?  Or not enough?  Were there too many diapers in the load?  Are there bubbles left in the washer during the final rinse?

  1. Fabric softener is pointless.  Yes, it makes your clothes smell nice.  But it’s just an extra chemical close to your skin.  We don’t use ANY fabric softener and our clothes are still soft, no static and I know there is nothing rubbing on our skin.  It leaves a residue on your clothes that coats them.  It also coats your diapers and makes them nonabsorbent.  IF you still feel the need to use fabric softener, please use vinegar.  Even if you only use fabric softener on your clothes, it will coat your washing machine and dryer with a film that is being rubbed all over your diapers.
  2. The detergent issue is a fine line that takes a bit of experimenting to figure out what works best for your diapers, washer and water.  Start small and work your way back up.
  3. Too many diapers means that there wasn’t enough water swishing through your diapers to help them rinse out.  Too few diapers, and they aren’t rubbing against each other to get stains out.
  4. Bubbles in the final rinse?  Keep rinsing until the water is clean.  And the next time you do a load, use a little less detergent.  Soon you will find the perfect combo.

Sometimes if your diapers are really bad, you may have to “strip them”.  I won’t get into the details here, but just know that if your washing routine is working, a little OxiClean or RLR in your soak should be all you need every couple of weeks.  If you do think you might need a strip, here are some links for you.  Please not that natural fibres such as cotton, hemp and bamboo RARELY need stripping, just a new wash routine.

So that’s it.  Once you get a wash routine down, you’re on easy street.  No running to the store because you ran out, or keeping piles of packages of diapers in your house that you bought on sale.  Always prepared!  If you have anymore questions, please don’t hesitate to ask me!

Also, have you liked our FB page yet?  You still have time to get a chance to win a tub of CJ’s diaper cream!

Happy Diapering!

 

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A Frugal, Generous Christmas!

In our family we’re trying to teach our children that Christmas is about family and friends, not about gifts.  Yes, a lot of it is because we have A LOT of people to shop for and it adds up quickly.  Here are some of the ways that we are trying to be generous and not spend a lot of money.  I can’t give a lot away (people will see!), but here’s the general idea.

  • Grandparents love pictures and handmade presents.  So that’s what we’re doing.  Updated pictures, and a special handmade gift.
  • We don’t buy presents for the Aunts and Uncles.  Instead we give a food gift, pictures, or a little knick knack that the kids have made.
  • Extended family only get a card from us with a little note inside.  This saves a lot of stress as we have a very large family.  Some get pictures, some not.  I feel that just to know that we’re thinking of them is a great gift, and that’s all I would want as well.
  • Our kids are limited to 5 or 6 presents each.  We then donate a gift that matches their age and gender to Christmas Index.  They pick out the gift themselves, and we discuss that some families have a difficult time and they are helping Santa out.
  • We donate to the big food drive that our local radio station holds every year.  I mentioned this and the gift giving in an earlier post.
  • We give clothes that we find in EUC at clothing sales to the kids whenever possible.  This saves a lot of money that can be used towards that special something that they really want.

So that’s really it.  We have changed Christmas from  a gift grab into a special family time that we treasure instead.  We see all our family over the course of a few days and cherish the time we have together.  That’s really what the holidays are about anyway!

For some handmade holiday ideas here are some of my favorite links:

Good luck with your frugal Christmas!

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Favorite Resources

  • Here are a list to some of my favorite resources to help you along the way!
  • The Community boards over at Babycenter Canada.  The ladies over there know what they are talking about and always have a hand out to help.
  • Nurtured has Cloth Diapering 101 and Babywearing 101 pages on their website.  If you ever are in Halifax and have any questions, they are super friendly and more than willing to help you along the way.
  • If you ever want to see how other moms rate diapers that you may be interested in, check out diaperpin.com.  You can go on this website and rate diapers, accessories and stores.
  • For folding tips, I like Born To Love and The Cloth Diaper Connection.
  • Diaper Junction has a great how to resource page on just about everything you might need to know.
  • Dr. Sears website has information on babywearing, attachment parenting, breastfeeding, and anything else you might need help with along the way.

 

Also, since our site is not up yet, I thought I`d be a team player and suggest some other online Mommas who are running cloth diaper businesses.  These are the pages that I frequent the most, in no particular order.

Happy Diapering!

 

 

 

 

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Why used?

Why would you buy used diapers over spending the money and getting all new diapers?  Used diapers are basically diapers someone else already used?  Isn’t that sort of…I don’t know, gross?  NO!!!  Do you think that when you buy used clothes or buy anything used?

The benefits of used diapers is you get to try an assortment of diapers at a discounted price before committing to spending a lot of money.  No one diaper works well for everyone, and I truly believe that you should have an assortment of diapers in your stash.  Some diapers work better when babies are smaller, some are better for overnight and naps, and some just fit better than others.

 

My Diaper Stash

Above is my stash.  As you can see, I have an assortment of diapers and covers.  Some are used more frequently than others.  This picture does not include my prefolds.  Yes, I probably have too many diapers.  But!  I know that whatever stage J2 is in, I have the diaper for him!  Some of these diapers were bought used and some were new.  Many times I buy only one or two of a certain brand before I commit to anymore.

Another perk of buying used is that MANY people buy cloth diapers, wash them once or twice and NEVER USE THEM!  This means that you are buying excellent diapers at a discounted price.  Even if they are gently used, diapers are made to go through at least 2 children.  A little strip (another post) and you’re good to go, without all the annoying prepping (another post as well.)

I truely believe in buying used items.  Saves money and the environment.  As the saying goes, “One persons trash is another persons treasure!”

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