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!
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!
And here’s a perfect video on how to care for the covers:
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!
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!
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!”
So lastly in your choices of cloth diapers are pockets and AIO’s. These have a PUL cover and the absorbent insert together as one. The difference between a pocket and an AIO is with a pocket you can remover the soiled absorbent insert. This makes for faster drying and the benefit of easily adding more absorbancy as you wish.
These diapers come with the choice of snaps or Aplix for fastening like covers, and come with different options for inserts. Depending on brands, you can also choose sized or One Size options.
I have ZERO experience with AIO’s, I’m going to leave that up to you! I have always chosen pockets for the cleaning and drying aspect.
Here are some of my favorite brands:
FuzziBunz have great sized and one size options that fit well. They are only available in snaps as far as I know, but are still really easy to adjust and put on baby. Microfiber can be a bit fussy (later discussion), but these are super absorbent. FuzziBunz now sells minky and organic cotton insert options for those who do not really like microfiber.
bumGenis makes a great OS option with either snaps or APLIX. These come with microfiber as well, but bamboo doublers are also available for purchase. I only have the APLIX option, which make for a great, adjustable fit. They also sell refresher kits with really simple instructions for replacement of the velcro. They also sell AIO’s that you might be interested in.
AMP are made in Canada and have a variety of diapers. I really like their OS Duo with bamboo inserts. These have fit to fold inserts and they do not use microfiber for any. One thing to keep in mind when buying these is that the insert is not included, they must be bought separately. The space to insert and remove the insert is in the front of the diaper where as FuzziBunz and bumGenious is in the backs of diapers.
These are my main 3 choices for pockets. Pockets and AIO’s are as close to disposable as you can get, which makes them an excellent choice for daycare.
If you have any questions about any diapers, or want to know my opinion or what I have heard, feel free to ask! Also, everyone check out New and Used Diaper Co. on Facebook! We’re having a contest the month of November!
So maybe you’ve decided to use prefolds, fitted or flat diapers. Now you need a cover. There are really only a few choices of fabric out there; PUL (Celtic Cloths explains what that is), fleece or wool. It’s really your preferance what you would like to use and how you feel these choices work for your family. Here’s a list of covers per fabric choice I would personally suggest:
Bummis makes great covers with wonderful color and print choices. I have only had the Aplix fastener type, but have never heard a complaint about the snaps. Their sizes are generous and once your out of the smalls, the mediums will last you a very long time. My daughter went into her mediums around 6 months and wore them until potty trained around age 3. Can’t go wrong there!
Thirsties also has a wonderful PUL wrap system at a reasonable price. They have 2 sizes to choose from and also comes in snaps or Aplix. I have size 2’s of these wraps and I really like that they are a little higher in the rise. Again, my daughter wore her size 2 Duo Wrap until she was potty trained.
Sweet Pea also have a One Size option that I have only heard great things about as well. It is an American company, but is available in many stores here in Canada. One thing worth mentioning about all One Size options is that sometimes if your baby was on the smaller side, it can take a little bit before they grow into the diapers. Most say starting at 8 pounds, but my babies were all bigger then that and they were closer to 12 pounds before they could wear our One Size diapers with proper fitting.
I have only had experience with one fleece diaper. It was a Sugar Peas fleece diaper cover. It worked fine for the days, but not for nights. And I do like the fit, the elastics on the legs were comfy and did not leave marks on my kids legs. The sizing runs a little small, so keep that in mind when ordering. The perks to fleece is that it’s more breathable then PUL but more user friendly then wool. If you’ve had more experience then me, please feel free to comment.
Wool is a perfect natural product to choose when cloth diapering. I won’t go into all the perks, but you can read all about it here. Again, I’ve mostly made my wool covers but can tell you a few popular choices to help guide the way. Aristocrats, Woollybottoms, and Kissaluvs all make great wool products that I drool over all the time. I have never bought any only because I can make my own wool covers. But trust me, if my husband wouldn’t notice, I’d have one or two of these in my stash! Here’s the pattern that I use to make our covers.
I’ll discuss taking care of your wool in another post.