Saturday, April 23, 2011

Flushable liners for cloth diapers

I'll be honest, my husband doesn't seem 100% on board with cloth diapering.  I think he will eventually see how much money we will save and it isn't as hard as everyone says.  I am going to try to make it as easy on him as possible, so I have been researching flushable liners.  I know about gRefills, but I was looking for a flushable liner to use on top of the cloth insert.  Most of what I have read says that with newborns that are exclusively breast fed (which is what we are planning for) to not use these liners in the first few months because they will be messy.  The cloth tends to catch the water soluble waste better and there is less of a chance for explosions.....  Hmm, sounds interesting!  The first brand of flushable liners I'm going to try is made by Bummis.  It's their bio-soft flushable liners.  They come in a roll of 200 and will fit perfectly over the inserts in the gDiaper.  As for the newborn stage, I might use a fleece liner on top of the cloth diaper or no liner at all.  I will probably try both ways to see which works best.

***UPDATE*** While I was at the Pregnancy Awareness Month kickoff event in Santa Monica, I spoke with the owner & co-founder of gDiapers and they will be coming out with a flushable liner sometime in May.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Cloth've come a LONG way!

I was a cloth diaper baby and want nothing more than to use cloth diapers with our children, both because of the impact (or lack of) they have on the environment as well as our wallet.  In the past 30 years cloth diapers have advanced so much and now there are so many choices for parents.  After reading reviews, watching videos and talking to parents who cloth diaper their kids, I decided to go with the  gDiapers.  It's a hybrid diapering system, meaning you can use a cloth insert or a biodegradable insert.  The biodegradable insert can be flushed in the toilet or thrown away.  I plan on using the cloth inserts, but may on occasions use the biodegradable insert.  It is nice to know that if I happen to be out while using the biodegradable insert and I have to throw it away, it won't be sitting in a landfill for over 500 years. The insert breaks down in 50-150 days and that's something I can live with!  One of the best things about the biodegradable insert - wet waste can be composted.  We have a composter in our back yard, so this was a big plus for me.  I received my gBaby Bundle today and thought to myself how I couldn't have received a better delivery on Earth Day!  It includes 12 newborn tiny gPants, 6 small gPants and 80 disposable inserts.  FYI - the 6 small gPants come with the snap in liner included.  I ordered a pack of the liners just in case since I couldn't find any information if they did or didn't come with them.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Cloth diapering defined

Trying to figure out which diapering system would be the best took an extreme amount of reading.  I finally found the information below on the Zany Zebra Designs website.  They have the basic information and diaper lingo in one place.  Once you figure out which system you like best, then you can search for information on that particular type of diapering system. 

AIO - All in One

 AIO cloth diapers are shaped very much like disposable diapers with an hourglass shape and elastic in the legs and waist to keep messes inside. All-in-one cloth diapers consist a waterproof outer, an absorbent soaker, and a one-piece inner. They close with snaps or a hook and loop system similar to Velcro, called aplix or touchtape. All-in-one diapers come in different sizes to fit from birth to potty learning. There are two types of AIO: True and Quick Dry. AIOs are one-piece diapers that do not need a cover. This makes them one of the most simple types of cloth diapers.

AI2 - All in Two

AI2 cloth diapers are similar to AIOs except that the soaker in an AI2 is separate from the diaper body. Usually AI2 soaker is snapped to the diaper body, but it may be laid or sewn in also. AI2s do not need a cover because the diaper body has a waterproof outer layer. One advantage to AI2 cloth diapers is that the body and soaker separate for thorough cleaning and quick drying. Another advantage is that the soaker can be replaced if it wears out before the diaper body.


Contours - Contour Diapers

Contour diapers are hourglass shaped but do not have elastic in the leg or waist areas. They are very similar to prefold cloth diapers, but are easier to use because they do not need to be folded. Contour cloth diapers do not have attached closures so they must be fastened with a snappi or diaper pins. Contour cloth diapers do not have a waterproof layer so you will need a cover, unless you plan to let your child go coverless.


Contours - Contour Soakers and Inserts

Contour soakers and inserts are usually rectangular or hourglass-shaped and consist of several layers of absorbent fabric. Contour soakers are separate from the cloth diaper body and may be laid in, sewn in or snapped in to the back of the diaper. Usually QD contour inserts and soakers are left open on two or more sides so the absorbent layers will separate during laundering for thorough washing and quick drying.



 Many cloth diapering parents do not put covers over contours, flats, prefolds, or fitted cloth diapers when they are at home. Going coverless allows for better air circulation and is a cool option in warm weather. We let our son go coverless around the house in the summer, but our winters call for wool pants!


Diaper Covers

Diaper covers come in different styles and are made from various waterproof materials. PUL,  Windpro fleece, and wool are popular diaper cover materials. Diaper covers are used over contours, flats, prefolds, and fitted cloth diapers to provide a waterproof outer layer. Generally diaper covers consist of an hourglass shape with elastic in the legs and waist to keep messes inside. Some diaper covers fasten with snaps or a hook and loop system similar to Velcro, called aplix or touchtape while others simply pull on. Diaper covers come in sizes to fit from birth to potty learning, and when paired with prefolds or flats are a low-cost cloth diapering system.


Diaper Cover Clothing

Diaper cover clothing is known by many names. Longies, shorties, wool pants, wool shorts, soaker pants, and soaker shorts are some of the more common names. Diaper cover clothing is usually pull-on pants or shorts, although skorts, bloomers and capris are popular choices for girls. They are worn over flats, prefolds, and fitted cloth diapers to act as both a diaper cover and article of clothing. Diaper cover clothing can be knit from wool or acrylic yarn, or sewn from wool or fleece fabric. Diaper cover clothing is convenient because it replaces both a diaper cover and regular clothing.



 Doublers are similar to contour soakers but usually have less layers than a soaker and may be a bit smaller. They can be added to any cloth diaper to add absorbency for naps, long trips or if your child is going through a "super soaker" phase. Some doublers can be used as soakers inside newborn diaper covers or as inserts for newborn sized pocket diapers.


Fitteds - Fitted Diapers

Fitted diapers are very similar to a disposable diaper with an hourglass shape and elastic in the legs and waist to keep messes inside. Fitted diapers close with snaps or a hook and loop system called aplix or touchtape. Fitted diapers are not waterproof and usually require a separate diaper cover, unless your child is going coverless. Because the closures on fitted diapers keep them on without a diaper cover, they are a perfect choice for under wool or fleece diaper cover pants or shorts. Fitted diapers come in true, QD, and pocket styles, and sizes to fit from birth to potty learning.


Flats - Flat Diapers

Flats are probably the type of cloth diapers your grandmother used, and what most people picture when they hear the words "cloth diapers." Flats are large rectangles, usually made of a few layers of diaper gauze. They must be folded and fastened with diaper pins or a Snappi. Because they do not have a waterproof layer they must be covered with a separate cover, or wool or fleece diaper cover clothing, unless you choose to let your child go coverless. Flats wash and dry very quickly because they do not contain many layers of fabric. They are not the most absorbent choice of cloth diapers, but with diaper covers they are a low-cost cloth diapering system.



Inserts are the absorbent material in pocket diapers, and come in many different sizes, styles, and fabrics. By using different amounts of inserts and inserts of different fabrics, you can always provide the perfect absorbency for your child's needs. Inserts can be contour or trifold. Prefolds, flats, hand towels and other absorbent materials can also be used as inserts.



"Longies" is anotgher term for wool pants and usually refers to knitted or croched pants. For information about longies, please see diaper cover clothing.


Night Diapers

Night diapers can be as simple as doubled prefolds, or may be diapers made to meet the unique requirements of nighttime diapering. Most night diapers are more absorbent than regular diapers, and may be more bulky because of the extra absorbency. Pocket style night diapers are a great option because the absorbency can be customized to meet your child's changing needs.


PFs - Prefolds

Prefold cloth diapers are sometimes considered to be a step up from flat diapers. Prefolds are rectangles of absorbent fabric, usually serged on all four sides, similar to flats, but with extra layers of material in the center section. Prefolds need to be folded, then fastened with diaper pins or a Snappi. Prefolds need to be covered with a separate cover, or wool or fleece diaper cover clothing unless your child is going coverless. Prefolds come in several sizes to fit from birth to potty learning and when paired with diaper covers are a low-cost cloth diapering system. Prefold cloth diapers unfold in the wash for thorough cleaning and quick drying.


Pocket Diapers

 Pocket diapers are similar to disposable diapers with an hourglass shape and elastic in the legs and waist to contain messes. Most pocket diapers consist of a waterproof outer layer and a stay-dry inner layer of microfleece or suedecloth, however pocket-style fitted diapers without the waterproof layer are gaining in popularity. Pocket diapers and pocket style fitted diapers are often used at night because the stay-dry lining helps baby sleep better. Pocket diapers are unique because the front or back edge is left open for stuffing with an absorbent insert. The insert comes out of the diaper for thorough cleaning and quick drying, and can be replaced if needed without replacing the entire diaper.


QD - Quick Dry

 QD cloth diapers have an hourglass shape and elastic in the legs and waist to keep messes inside. The soaker in a QD diaper is separate from the diaper body and may be laid into the diaper, sewn, or snapped to the diaper inner. QD soakers come in trifold or contour shapes. One advantage to QD diapers is that the body and soaker separate for thorough cleaning and quick drying.



"Shorties" is another name for wool shorts. For information about wool shorts, please see diaper cover clothing.



Snappis are three legged plastic devices that fasten cloth diapers by grabbing the fabric with tiny teeth. Two legs are used to fasten the diaper horizontally and the third keeps the fabric from drooping in the front. Snappis are often used in place of diaper pins because they can be applied without worry about poking the child. Snappis do wear out over time and should be tested prior to each use.



"Soaker" can refer to two separate cloth diapering products. Often it refers to the middle layer in cloth diapers that absorbs wetness. An absorbent soaker can be contour, trifold, or true. The term "soaker" can also refer to a pull on style of diaper cover.



Trifold inserts and soakers are rectangles of absorbent fabric serged on all four sides and folded into thirds for use. Trifold inserts are stuffed into pocket diapers to provide absorbency. Some trifold inserts are large enough to be folded and laid into a cover like a prefold. Trifold soakers may be laid into cloth diapers or have snaps in the middle section to snap into a diaper body. Some trifold soakers have microfleece, suedecloth, or another fabric on the sections that touch baby's skin. Both trifold inserts and soakers unfold in the wash for thorough cleaning and quick drying.


True AIO or fitted

"True" is a term sometimes used to describe a cloth diaper that has its soaker sewn inside the the diaper body so the entire diaper consists of a single piece. True AIO diapers may take longer to dry than Quick Dry and some parents worry that they don't get as clean as diapers with a detached soaker. Because "true" style cloth diapers are one single piece they are a very easy transition from disposable to cloth diapers.


WIO - Wool in One

A Wool in One is not really "in One" because wool fabric requires different care than diaper fabrics do. WIOs are similar to AI2s, having a waterproof outer diaper body made of wool, and a detachable soaker in an AI2 separate from the diaper body. Usually a WIO soaker is snapped to the diaper body, it cannot be sewn in because of the different care required for each fabric. WIO cloth diapers are easy to care for because only the soaker needs to be laundered after each use, the wool outer does not. Like AI2s, the soaker of a WIO can be replaced if it wears out before the wool outer.


WI2 - Wool in Two

"Wool in Two" is a more accurate name for the diaper system known as a WIO.


Wool Pants, Wool Shorts

Wool pants and shorts are a type of diaper cover clothing. Generally they are made of wool fabric instead of knitting or crochet. Knitted or crocheted items are often called longies or shorties.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Wet pail, dry pail, no pail?! Decisions, decisions, decisions.....

Since we will using cloth diapers for our baby I am trying to decide which will be best for us - wet pail or dry pail.... or no pail.  I think each method has benefits and disadvantage so it will be an experiment for us. 

Using a the wet pail method basically entails having a bucket, tub or basin filled with water and some sort of solution mix for the dirty diapers to soak in before they are washed.  From what I've read this seems to be the best solution (pail filled 1/4 of the way with water, then add 1/4 cup of vinegar, 1/4 cup of Borax, 1/4 cup of Baking Soda or Arm & Hammer Washing Soda, 3 drops of Tea Tree oil.  You can add 2-3 squirts of Bac-Out Enzyme Stain Remover for heavily stained diapers).  With this method you wouldn't have to spend a lot of time with rinsing the diapers, you could just toss them into the wet pail.  The disadvantages (in my opinion) of this method is 1- you have to change the water and solution everyday and I plan on washing every 2-3 days.  If you don't change the water and solution everyday you could get a build up on the diapers. 2- It could get pretty heavy to haul around when you are ready to put the diapers in the wash (depending on where you had it located). 3-You would still have to get the diapers out by hand, but I guess you could use gloves if you wanted.  Let's be honest, I'm pretty open minded, but the thought of sticking my hand in poo water just doesn't sound that amazing to me.

Using the dry pail method consists of a flip top trash can with some type of liner or bag to hold the diapers.  I have read (but haven't smelled) that you don't even need a lid and sometimes letting the air circulate actually smells less than if you had a lid covering the dry pail.  To alleviate any smells you can sprinkle a little Arm & Hammer baking soda on top of the diapers.
There is also the method of using no pail and hanging a wet bag (or something similar) where you change the diapers.  You just put the dirty diapers in the bag and on wash day the diapers and the wet bag go into the laundry.  The only problem with this is how big your wet bag is or how many bags you have will be the deciding factor on how often the laundry gets done.

I am still undecided on either using a dry pail or using a wet bag.  We might go with the dry pail first and see how that goes.

Wet bag for the diaper bag

With all of the decisions I have to make at least one is easy.  The one thing I do know is I will need a wet bag for my diaper bag.  There were a few companies that caught my eye during my search for the perfect wet bag.  I scoured the internet for reviews from other parents and I have decide to go with a Planet Wise wet bag.   I watched a cup of water get poured in the bag and it didn't leak at all! That's pretty impressive if you ask me.  Not only are these bags good for storing dirty cloth diapers, but you can also put dirty gym clothes, wet bathing suits, etc. in the bag.  The best part is they are reusable and washable.

There is also a company that makes an odor eating patch you can toss in your wet bag and it helps to keep the ammonia smell at bay.  It's the Wee-Be-Gone patch by WeeHuggers.  The best part is, it gets "recharged" every time it gets washed.  I will keep this product in mind if odors start to develop.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011


I have always been a thrifty, healthy, crafty, "save the planet" kind of girl.  I've been recycling since I was a kid, helped my parents and family with gardening and canning food, when we shop for groceries we buy fresh fruits, veggies and meat and mostly stay away from the boxed and canned foods, I make my own lotions, face creams and oils so I know exactly what is being put on my skin, we hand wash and air dry our dishes, we have a small garden and composter in the back yard and if I can make it instead of buying it I will. Currently I am a wife and a mother of five.  Grant it my five babies walk on all fours and are covered in hair, I'm still their mommy.  After becoming a wife I can easily say I have become more like a cat.  No, I don't lay around all day and only get up to eat and use the bathroom, I have been domesticated.  Those who knew me before can probably remember me saying I won't get married and I don't want kids.  It's truly amazing how one person can make you see life in a whole new way. We are expecting our first child in about a month.  Once I saw her tiny body on the first ultrasound, I fell in love all over again.  It's crazy how much love I feel for someone I have never even met.  I guess that's what being a mom is all about.  She has been a pretty good tenant so far, but I think she's ready to move out into the big "real" world.  Either that or she is doing some major renovations in there because there is a lot of bumping, rolling, pushing and shoving going on in there.  I can't wait to teach a younger generation to take care of and respect the planet. In preparing for our little one, we were shocked by how many products are out there.  I'm a pretty simple person and I was blown away by the amount of choice there are for every single product!  I have done so much research on so many products, but I think I am finally realizing every person and every baby is different.  Finding the right products for our baby will come down to basic trial and error.  I've set up a You Tube account to post my reviews of the products I've tried in order to help out other parents in their decision making.  I'm a hands on person and I know actually seeing a product and how it works helped me more than reading about it.  I have also started a website that has DIY tips and ideas, recipes and helpful website links. I am hoping it should be going live in a week or two.  My You Tube channel will also have videos of my DIY and natural cleaning products in action.