Friday, March 30, 2012

Am I a hoarder?

We've gone through several dramatic changes in the last few weeks in this family. Moves, packouts, joblessness, new jobs, SAHM status, anger, resentment, elation, boredom, adventure, TEETHING. Let's just say we have all the ingredients necessary for someone in this family to go postal. Okay, maybe not postal, since my husband informed me several months ago that that expression comes from an actual event in which a postal worker went nuts and shot up his I'm assuming former workplace. Would you have kept someone like that on? He's always on-time, and friendly enough with the customers, which in this business is a rarity, but the random shooting episodes might taint the place as "unsafe."

So, anyways, now that I'm home more, I have more time to think about all the diapers I want to try, blogs I want to write, and so I do both. Except for I act on the former more than the later. I've already bought several diapers online. My husband knows about two, but not the other six that I won on eBay. I guess he'll find out when he reads this post. (Honey, if you're reading this, I want you to say Chicken ten times fast next time you see me.)

I was thinking about this last night after I was looking on eBay for deals and I came across this womens' store who makes wool covers out of recycled sweaters. In her store description she started talking about just using one cloth diaper a day, and in doing that, you would save $5 a week. Then you could save that money and invest in another cover until you had an entire stash. It's a frequent argument that cloth diapers save you a lot of money over disposables. You really can save beaucoup if you do it right.

For example. If you want to do it the absolute most dirt cheap way imaginable, you can buy a dozen prefolds for each size around $200, 3 one-size covers used for about $15-20, and a couple of snappis for about $5. This is to diaper your child from birth until potty training.

That's pretty incredible if you think about it!

So then how much would it be if you wanted to use disposables. Well, I'm lazy and don't want to do the math, so I just googled it, and it seems to run anywhere from $3,000-4,000.

Now, I'm not naive, and I know that when you cloth diaper you have to buy all of the accessories that go with it to make it more convenient. I also know there is a phenomena that happens to mothers in which they *might* start hoarding diapers, which I will happily refer to as Diaper Joy. I have Diaper Joy right now. I think the fact that I'm blogging about diapers instead of my child's milestones might be evidence on some level that I have a slight problem. I'm not getting paid for this. I'm buying diapers to use and write blogs about because I enjoy it. If  you would have taken me aside five years ago and said, "In the future you will be obsessed with cloth poop and pee catching devises" I would have smiled, thanked you for your time, and then figured you were a really, really bad fortune teller. You must have mistaken me for the future, black haired Alicia Silverstone.

Now I'm also thinking about the next baby and how much I want to have another bundle of joy to expand the family. However, I can't help thinking I'm really just wanting another baby so I can diaper two babies at the same time, with different diapers. Think of the possibilities! I want a boy next, and there are so many cute robot, firetruck, owl, and skull and bones diapers with our little munchkins name on them!

Hoarder? Let's just say not quite yet. Diaper Joy? I've got it bad. Here is some of my stash. (I've loaned out 12 diapers to my brother and sister-in-law to see if they like them. Plus my newborn stash is on loan to a friend and all my prefolds are in transit.)

This is my wool stash.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Show me your fluff!

Recently I moved due to my husbands job, and I decided that instead of cloth diapering for the last two days of the move, I would switch to biodegradable disposibles and wash/stip all of my diapers. While I was packing my diaper suitcase I realized that I bought quite a few diaps. Maybe too many in some peoples' opinion (husband). But for me, everytime I put another diaper in the suitcase I said to myself, "One less week of diaper rash for baby girl and one less landfill full of poopy diapers for everyone else." Then I thought, I should probably take a fun picture of all these diapers to post on my blog. Well, from there I started thinking about my friends who cd, and I decided to bring you this post with a showcase of all of my friends fluff stashes. Thank you to all the ladies who contributed!

Mom 1-Heather Hearne-Walker

I have all Bum Genius except for the owl pocket from SweetPea that you gave me. :) I LOVE my Bum Genius pockets, but sometimes I prefer my Flips and inserts (inner circle). I think it's nice sometimes to be able to reuse the cover a couple of times before you have to change it again. Then again, the plus side to the pocket I feel is that you can wait a little longer to change before a leak would occur. I love the artist series so much! They are so precious and can go for either sex. I love my fluff collection, and I just ordered 6 brand new ones that no one seems to want to trade b/c they're so darn cute. :)

Mom 2-Jamie Thorne

I've got about 30 pre folds that are great for the first few months. A friend loaned me her covers for my first. The Thirsties were the best at stopping leaks so I bought 5 for baby #2. I also have about 30 pocket/all-in- ones. That stash is almost exclusively Bum Genius, though I've got a couple Happy Heiney's, Fuzzibunz and Gro Via. Even though they're not the cutest, the Bum Genius are still my favorite. They seem to expand the most and will be the last to be outgrown. I also like how easily I can double stuff for overnight and the lining of the pocket does an awesome job wicking away moisture. I line dry the pockets- they dry super fast hanging on a line and I need to extend the life of these diapers for at least 1 more kiddo! Oh, and I finally replaced my wipes warmer so I've been using cloth wipes again. My kid loves warm wipes!

Mom 3- Heather Mispagel Ganio

We have about half pockets (both sunbaby and bumgenius 4.0) and half bumgenius elemental. We also have some randoms like rumparoo, grovia, gogreen, kawaii baby, thirsties fitteds and two wool covers.
My go to is always the pocket sunbaby and bumgenius. They're the easiest to wash out, clean and rarely leak.

Mom 4-Bryna Fahey Thompson

I am using your bum genius all in ones right now mostly, and I love them. So easy to use! I have lots of pockets for later, and I'm using a couple of them now. They aren't as easy as the AIOs. I also have some gpants that I have been using both with the disposable and cloth inserts. The disposable inserts are great for when we go out on errands and I have to change his diaper. I am also using a few of the booroi diapers that I just put a g-flapper in. They are ok, but the AIOs are my favorites so far just because they are so easy to use. I will be buying some more when Torin outgrows your bumgenius AIOs. :)

Mom 5-Aimie Trumbly Runyan

We use Best Bottoms from Nickis's Diapers in Wisconsin. They are an AI2 system we have been using since birth. We currently use 24 large organic cotton liners, 24 large stay dry liners, and 4 doublers along with 16 covers. As you can see one size does fit all...species! We also use Planet Wise wet bags and I made my own wipes using the cool recycle logo fabric shown. When Ciaran was smaller we used the stay-dry liners exclusively...24 in Small and Medium. We didn't need the small night time doublers because he wasn't sleeping long enough for it to matter!
I also made some fleece diaper protectors for rashy days but they see very little use. Eveything gets stored in the 4 blue buckets you see in the picture. We never use the disposable linerws that will fit this system, and I can't remember the last time he wore a disposable of any kind. We're hooked!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

What's under that cover?

When using a wool cover, you're also going to have to have something absorbent underneath since the wool cover acts only as a waterproof barrier.  When deciding on what you want to put on underneath, it really comes down to personal preference. I currently use fitted diapers, which look just like AIOs without the waterproof layer on the outside.

Here are the ones I currently own:
3 Kissaluvs Organic Cotton/Hemp Fitted Diaper
Front snapped to it's smallest setting. There are no rise snaps on these.
The inside has a snap-in doubler that you can fold in the middle to add even more layers of absorbency (for girls).

2 Ecoposh One-Size Fitted Pocket Diaper in Love
Snapped to the smallest setting with both inserts included to the left.

You can see the pocket in which makes this fitted unusual and really a great nighttime diapering option!
Here is the largest setting of the Ecoposh up next to a Rumparooz on it's largest setting. They are both made by the same company but the Ecoposh really is bigger.

1 Sustainablebabyish Snapless-Multi Fitted Diaper in Mocha 
This fitted comes without snaps, but they do sell them with snaps so don't worry. I use a Snappi instead of a pin.

The diaper also comes with two inserts which you can layer in to add extra absorbency depending on how heavy a wetter you have/age.

All three of these diapers are ostensibly one-sized and will fit till potty training. There are tons of fitteds to choose from out there and they even come sized for a snugger, trimmer fit.

Another option, if you don't want to go the fitted route is to get some prefolds and use them with a Snappi under your wool cover.

Whatever you decide, just make sure the fit is right so that the cover doesn't get dirty. When you take these off baby, just throw them into your drybag or wet pail and wash with all the rest of your diapers. However don't do this with your wool cover.  Also, when you take the cover off, turn it inside out to air dry. 

Monday, March 26, 2012

Lanolizing wah?

You've gone and done it. Here you are, the proud new owner of a wool cover and fitted diaper to try out, after having been inspired by my last blog. You've gotten to this place by either desperation, curiosity, extreme hippy tendencies, or a combination of all three. (Don't worry hippies, I am right there with you.) The problem you now face is what the hell is lanolizing and why won't you speak English already?

I know the cloth diapering routine by heart. Take the stuffing out of the pocket, put the tabs down, place in your dry bag and wash at least every two days. Done. I'll just do the same with my fitted and my wool cover. I've got the special soap already. I know if my water is hard or soft. Enough already and let's get this baby sleeping through the night!


No wait, it's stop, look, and listen? That's not it either. Stop in the name of love? Okay, it's not funny, I give up....Just stop wherever you are, and slowly pull out the wool cover from the dry bag. I won't tell a soul.

Wool needs to be washed separately from all of your other dirty diapers. You can place your fitted in the dry bag, but the wool cover needs to stay separate.  If you have reached this blog because you have tried out your wool cover and it leaked all over, don't worry. I can help you.

Okay, enough babbling, tell me what to do already.

Pre-steps for washing/lanolizing wool

1. Buy more soap. (I know, I know. You have to buy more stuff. Or, you could find a sheep, sheer it and harvest the lanolin from it's wool.) You will need pure lanolin to lanolize with. (Fun fact, laine is wool in French. Do you see the link? Eh? Eh? )Wool wash will not do. It's nice, and will help with the lanolizing process, but you will need the gooey yellow stuff to get your wool waterproof. Baby shampoo will also work fine with the lanolin, so don't feel like you have to buy a wool wash as well.

2. Make sure that you follow the instructions that came with whatever wool cover you have. I have three different kinds, but the manufacturers instructions are all about the same, so I just follow the ones from sustainablebabyish. I have their wool longies. I don't own every wool cover ever made, so I can't say definitively that you should just ignore their instructions and follow mine, despite how highly I think of my own experiences.

3. Be prepared to wait one to two days for your cover to dry. My sustainablebabyish wool longies take FOREVER to dry. Do I love them? Yes. Do I want all of the products that they sell because the wool feels like butter? Yes. Does it test my patience sometimes? Do bears piss in the forest? You get my drift. (Sorry if I'm being crass. I'm not your typical STAM. So much so, I don't even know if that means stay at home mom or something completely different.)

Steps to lanolizing wool

1. Get your stinky or new wool cover. It's go time.

2. Measure out about 1 cup of water and put it in the microwave for 1 minute so it gets really really hot. Then melt in one tablespoon of pure lanolin (not wool wash) and squirt in a little baby shampoo (this is where you use your wool wash) and stir until the water becomes nice and cloudy. You don't want chunks of lanolin.

3. Then fill up your kitchen sink, bathroom sink, bucket, cauldron, or whatever with warm water.

4. Add the lanolin water mixture and stir.

5. Put your wool cover(s) into the water and gently rub the wool, trying to get the water fully integrated into the cover. You want to get all that nasty yellow goo into the wool. This is what makes it repellent.

6. Let it sit for at least 15-20 min. I usually let mine soak for about 1-1.5 hours.

7. Gently squeeze out the excess water. Dont' wring it too tight.

8. Get a towel out and roll the cover up into the towel. Unroll and do it again on the dry side.

9. Lay the wool cover on a dry towel and wait.

10. You probably won't have to do this for another couple weeks. If your cover is new, you should probably lanolize it several times before use. Unfortunately, it needs to get more lanolin and coarse to become more water repellent. Afterwards, you should be able to go to up to a month before lanolizing again. If the cover gets soiled, you'll need to wash it with wool wash and then lanolize it again.

Good night and good luck.

Up tomorrow, the fitteds that I stash and which one(s) do I prefer.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Grovia AIO and why every working mom needs one

Most cloth diapering mommies opt for pocket diapers for several reasons. One of the most popular is that you can adjust the absorbency easily. On the other hand, we've all had to pull out the insert of more than one brand of pocket that was covered in poo. One of the less fabulous sides, but not any worse than a poopsplosion that goes up their backs and into other mysterious and physics defying areas.  So enough about that, you may be asking yourself why do I need AIOs or AI2s? I am a pocket pro, wool aficionado, fitted fanatic, and snappy sultan. AIOs are for wusses.  I say to you, rubbish. If you are a working mommy who is lucky enough to have your care provider use your pocket diapers, you probably haven't asked them to pull out the inserts after they are used. Which means, you probably are doing that yourself, hours later, with peanut butter poop gluing the pocket shut and the pungent smell of urine on your fingers.   So what? Well, I personally don't enjoy that part of the cloth diapering experience, so I decided to invest in some AIOs for the baby sitter. When I send those with her, I just empty them into the drybag, and voila, no need to touch the dirties.  I have Grovias and Bottombumpers that serve this function perfects. You can also use Sweetpeas (since they have openings on both ends) to do the trick if you can't bear the thought of having an AIO in your stash.  Please excuse any mistakes, as I wrote this on my iPhone in an attempt to distract myself from packing.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Nighttime and wool: Do you believe in magic?

This post has been something I've wanted to do for awhile, but I've just not had the time to sit down, and really write about everything I want to regarding wool and fitted diapers.  For those of you who are new to the world of reusable diapers, it gets even more hippy than pocket diapers.  Let me now introduce you to the wonderful world of wool.

When I first heard of wool as an option, I thought it was voodoo for sure.  How in the world could wool be used as a waterproof solution for cloth diapers?  The thought disgusted me and I thought surely, anyone who used wool must also be shearing it from their own sheep, washing out the manure, picking it, carding it, roving it, spinning it, and then knitting it into a diaper cover. Any other process was not plausible.  So you might be asking yourself, how then did you go from witch doctor voodoo crazy magic to writing this post?

Well, I have four words for you: sleeping through the night.   

I was on an eternal quest since my daughter stopped breastfeeding to get her to sleep through the night.  I knew that if I got enough food in her belly and I could find a diaper combination that was bulletproof, I would again be snoozing blissfully through the night.  Cloth diapers are great for baby bottoms on so many fronts, but one of the downsides to them is that babies typically feel wet quicker.   Because of this, they also feel colder, and thus you get screaming baby at 2:00 am wanting a diaper change.  Well, I was going to find a solution to that problem because mommy needs her beauty sleep, or as some like to call it, the "I teach high school students and I will go insane if I don't get some rest because they drain every ounce of life out of me by 3:35" sleep. 

So after several dates with Mr. Google, I found that unlike my ridiculous assumptions before, I would not have to visit some dark alley in New Orleans a la "The Princess and the Frog" to sell my soul to a voodoo doctor to get a waterproof wool cover that could keep my baby warm and dry throughout the night.  Here is the readers digest version of what I found out about wool.

Wool-Awesome nighttime diaper solution

(If you'd like to know more, read this explanation from the Diaper Pin. I am a French teacher and will not attempt to paraphrase what I do not understand. See earlier voodoo comments.)

People have been using wool covers since the dawn of time, or at least, since before I found out about them.

Because you want your baby to sleep through the night. If you don't want your baby to sleep through the night you are lying to yourself. Everyone wants their baby to sleep through the night.  Stop trying to be super mom. It's okay to admit that after several months of waking up several times a night you just want your baby to Go the...actually, just go here and I'll let Samuel L. Jackson explain.

On your babies butt. You put a wool cover over your babies derriere and it keeps them warm with science.

Your baby.

A wool diaper cover.  I own this one and this one.

Basically all you need is a fitted diaper and a wool cover of your choosing and you're good to go.  I recommend the Kissaluvs Hemp and Organic Cotton Fitted diaper.  I have three, but I just got the sustainablebabish fitted that I will be trying out tonight.  Fingers crossed! The next post I will be discussing how to clean the cover and how often you have to do it.

Good night and good luck.

And the winner is....

Brenda! I hope you and your little one enjoy this necklace as much as we do! Congratulations on your win and I hope to hear back on how and when you start using it!

Thanks again to Chewbeads!