I was folding diapers the other night dreaming of the sun. Why you ask? Because winter and teething has been hard on my cloth diapers. Most are showing the effects of hanging inside in our basement or being put in the dryer to dry. They are stained. A few are quite nasty.
OK…so why was I dreaming of the sun? Because it gets stains out! With no effort on your part!
Think about it…what happens when you leave something in the car window for any amount of time? What happens to the side of your curtains that face the window? What happens to your lawn furniture cushions? They fade! The UV which is so nasty for your skin is the best thing that ever hit a diaper.
The key is to hang them out wet. If they are dry, it doesn’t work. This time of the year, if you are really desperate, you can wash the really nasty ones and lay them flat on a drying rack in front of a window. It works, but nothing like a clothesline in the warm weather.
And honestly, is there any other view from your window that you’d rather see? Or that great feeling of sticking it to the Power company?
Bare with me here…I apologize for the poor video/sound quality. I hope these are helpful to someone! There are a few videos, so please take a minute to watch!
So you get pregnant. Planned or not, shortly after the shock/excitement sets in, so does panic about how are you going to be able to afford this kid! This panic has set in for myself 3 times and these are the ways that I have dealt with it. Most of these were learned when I had my son almost 12 years ago and had NO money. I’ve carried them over with my last two children. It’s helped us save loads of money, and with an ever-expanding grocery bill (a preteen and two little piggies will make you cry at the grocery store every time!) we need all the help we can get! So here’s a few of my tips!
- Breastfeed….as long as you can! Not only is it free (and easy), it’s best for babes. The longer you nurse, the longer your baby receives the benefits. My oldest son nursed full-time until I went back to school when he was 9 months, then he continued to self wean until he was around a year. My daughter nursed until she was 15 months, with bottles as well starting around 10 months. My younger son is almost a year old and shows no sign on stopping nursing. He refuses bottles.
- If you have to formula feed, use coupons! It helps a lot.
- When it’s time to start solids (please not before 6 months! Or under the recommendation of a GOOD doctor.), make your own baby food. I always found that my kids hated jarred food (who can blame them? Have you ever smelled it?) Plus the savings are tremendous! 1 jar of sweet potatoes baby food costs about $1. You get, what, 2-3 servings? I bought a medium sweet potato for $2 and got more than 12 servings. You just steam the veggies (keeps the nutrients in) until very soft, then puree. Freeze in ice-cube trays. That’s it. Plus, my kids only ever ate puree for a few weeks, so I had lots of puree to throw into things like spaghetti sauce or chili. You can also do some research on baby led weaning.
- Ask around for hand-me-downs, check out www.kijiji.ca, find local consignment shops, and keep an eye out for local clothing sales. If you’re in Nova Scotia, keep an eye on the Facebook page. I’ll be posting starting in the spring all the local sales that I hear about. These sales are also great for getting things like swings, seats and toys.
- Use cloth diapers. Even if you just use them part-time, you’ll save so much money! To save money when buying your stash, shop for used diapers (www.kijiji.ca), stalk your favorite sites for sales (there’s some really good Boxing Day sales out there right now!), register for cloth diapers for your baby shower, or stick to flats/prefolds and covers. If you’re looking for something a little different for your baby shower, check out The Fluff and Stuff Shop diaper parties! They also have a virtual option for those with family far and wide.
- Ask yourself if you really need all those toys/swings/seats/etc. You can save a lot of money (and space!)if you don’t buy any of the extras. The only item I really needed/used was our exersaucer. I bought it used at a yard sale for $15, used it for 2 kids, then sold it for $10. Can’t complain then.
- If you really need the extras, buy used. Most are rarely used and are in great condition.
- For wipes, even if you use disposable, use cloth. You will get 100’s of those tiny little wash cloths at your shower, so grab a few and use them for tushies. I regret not doing it before.
THINGS THAT MUST BE BOUGHT NEW:
- Car seats and cribs. Don’t mess around with those items. Use the savings from above and get the best that you can get! You never know what has happened to them before hand and you can get good quality for a fair price.
Good luck to you if you’re pregnant/planning on becoming pregnant, just had a baby, or are losing your mind every time you walk into the Wal-Mart with your children. Kids are expensive, but there are ways to ease the pain! Leave me a comment on ways that your family saves money!
This is a common question that many people have. The cost of buying cloth diapers can be a little intimidating when you are first starting out. You must keep in mind that this is most likely a one time cost. There will be no running to the store because you are out of diapers! If you chose to still use disposables at night, you can get through without too many worries. We keep the smallest packages of disposables in the house for night, so we go through a 40 pack about every month or so.
OK…so how many do you need? With a newborn, I would suggest a minimum of 25. This will most likely not give you more than a day, day and a half at the most between washing. When they are older, I would say a minimum of 18. This again will not get you far. But it will get you started! Be prepared to do washing more frequently, and there will be more wear and tear on your diapers.
To be comfortable, minimize the wear, and have a day or two between washings, I would recommend 36 for newborns, and 25 for older babes. You can always add more of less depending on your preference, how many days you want in between washings and such.
I always want to suggest as well, that when you are starting your stash, please purchase a mix of diapers. Whether it be brands, or types (such as pockets and prefolds), this will let you know what works on your baby, and will also help minimize the costs. (It will minimize costs because you will nt be buying an entire stash of something that you don’t like!)
Here are some links with more info for you!
We just recently started using cloth wipes. I don’t know why it’s taken us so long, but I’m in love. Here’s our system:
I only fold up about 10 of those cheap baby face clothes that you have 100’s of already from your baby shower. I only do a few at a time so that we don’t get a mold situation. Here’s how I fold them. I use a Prince Lionheart wipe warmer that I found at a used clothing sale for $10.
The solution that we use at the moment are Monkey Doodlez wipe cubes. I bought mine from The Fluff and Stuff Shop during the Cyber Monday sales. I keep a 500ml mason jar with 1 cube diluted in the fridge. 1 cube will do 2 fill ups in our warmer. If you want to make your own, just do a quick search for wipe solution and you will find lots of different recipes to suit your family.
Whenever my sewing machine and serger find each other again, I will be making my own wipes. The face clothes work well, but I find them a little small. All personal preference though.
To go out, I just grab a few and put them in a ziploc baggy, or through them in the travel case. I don’t store them in my diaper bag, just because of the mold situation that can occur.
To wash, you just throw them in with your regular diaper laundry. If you don’t use cloth, they can go in with your towels.
You can also use a dry method with your wipes. All you do then is keep a spray bottle and spritz the wipes as you need them. I personally prefer a warm cloth for J2’s tushy, but it’s all up to you!
So about a week ago, I prepped some prefolds and flats. You can read about prepping diapers here. I wanted to share some pictures from my prepping. I always boil natural fabrics before washing so I don’t need to wash them as many times. I boiled about 4 or 5 diapers at a time for about 10 min. and then washed them as I normally would twice. Then they were ready to go.
I’d also like to say that I’m in LOVE with my flats. OMG!!! I’m kicking myself for never buying them before! These are the ones that I bought. I think I mentioned before that I used flats when I had my son almost 12 years ago *tear, but they were flannel and there was no
such thing as a Snappi so I had to pin. It kind of threw me off of flats. But they wash like an old dish rag and dry really fast. I hung diapers up in my basement yesterday afternoon and by evening, the flats were dry! And they don’t get crunchy like prefolds do when hung up. And they are absorbant and easy to use!
So here’s my photo lesson on prepping!
Check out all the suds! There is nothing in the water, but this picture shows why you don't want to wash new diapers with your old stash!
This is what the water looked like after boiling just a few diapers. There is no flash, it's really that yellow.
I hope you can see how much the flats shrink down in this picture. All ready to use!These you can really tell the difference! Look how quilted the prefold becomes when it's prepped! So pretty!
These you can really tell the difference! Look how quilted the prefold becomes when it's prepped! So pretty!
Check out the workshops that Enchanted Forest and The Fluff and Stuff Shop are hosting this month! These are a great way to learn about babywearing and/or cloth diapering from Mommas that use them!