Friday, May 29, 2009

Boiling Diapers

Here and there, I've had questions from folks about boiling diapers, whether for stripping or prepping. And I've seen on my sitemeter that some people are stopping by here because they googled "how do i boil my diapers?" and my blog comes up.


I've been boiling diapers today. This is hot, hard work! It's exhausting! Let me give you some background as to why I did it, how I did it, and why I don't really think you need to do it.

About 2 or so weeks ago, my daughter started having a really strange diaper rash. It looked like big nasty zits, or mouth ulcers. I noticed that it started on one side, and transferred to the other side, where her skin was pressed together when her legs were closed. We were suspicious of it being bacterial, but it cleared up with the use of a barrier cream and some rice paper liners.

Then it came back. And cleared up again. And came back AGAIN. With a vengeance. Fiery red. Bleeding. Open weeping places. And the pimply things again. I was pretty certain it was bacterial, so we switched to sposies, and started using an antibiotic ointment (neosporin, or bacitracin if you've got it) along with a barrier cream, and lots and lots of clear water baths and naked time.

She is finally cleared up, but the thought of there being anything lingering in her diapers that could cause her to break out again had me determined that I needed to do something drastic.

Enter the stockpot.

So all morning, during the little one's naptime, with my son parked firmly in front of PBS Kids, I boiled our pockets, prefolds, fitteds, inserts, doublers, covers, and even our wipes. Even with our very large 3-gallon stockpot, you can only do so much at a time. So I set up a kind of assembly line:

On the right front eye of the stove, I had the stockpot with boiling water. On the left front eye, I had a slightly smaller stockpot with a colander resting in the top of it. On the back left eye, I constantly had a kettle of water coming to a boil. Sitting just beside the stove, I had a tall chair with my hanging diaper pail stretched over the back of it, with a mixing bowl set beneath (my hanging pail isn't super water-tight).

I would cook the diapers for about 5 to 10 minutes after the water returned to a boil, then remove them with tongs to drain in the colander. While they sat and drained, I would start the next "batch" of diapers cooking. Then, when the the diapers that were boiling were ready to come out, I would remove the drained diapers from the colander to the hanging pail, which was drip-drip-dripping into the bowl beneath. As needed, I would refill my stockpot with boiling water from the kettle, and refill the kettle so I would have hot water ready for me the next time I needed to refill my pot.

Once I finished boiling about half our stash (8 or so "batches"), I put it in the washing machine for one of our regular diaper wash cycles with Charlie's Soap. I still have a little less than half of our stash to boil, and then I can wash them and I'll be done!


Now, those suckers are clean. So clean they could pass for new. And I'm glad that I can start putting my baby girl in her fluff again with a mind fully at ease.

But all that said, for the time and the work involved, I really wouldn't recommend boiling your diapers unless you have a really compelling reason, as I feel we did.

There were a few things that made me apprehensive about boiling. One, I was worried my snaps would melt. (They didn't.) My other big concern was that it would compromise the PUL on my covers and pockets. The jury's still out on that one, as the first half of our stash is drying as I type this. I'll be sure to add a postscript to let you know how it goes.

In the meantime, though, just stick with the regular wash routine and machine stripping!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Pocket Diaper Reviews

Augh! At long last I return to my product reviews! I've previously reviewed the prefolds, fitteds, and covers that I've tried and/or use. Now I'm excited to get down to the main staple and workhorse of most of the cloth families that I know: the pocket diaper. Remember, a pocket diaper is a feel-dry liner sewn to a waterproof outer layer with one end open, leaving a pocket that you stuff to customize your child's absorbency needs.

** You're going to see very clearly in this post, just in case I've never said this before, I'm just a real mom. I have no affiliations with any companies or products, and no loyalties except to the products that I've fallen in love with.

Tiny Tush Elite One-Size Pockets - 1.75 thumbs down

Let's just get this one out of the way, shall we? I'm not even linking to their site.

I started out loving these diapers: a one-size with snaps, which - for some reason completely unbeknownst to me - was hard to come by when I first switched to cloth diapers. They were well constructed, a perfect fit, and hard-working diapers. For about 8 months. Then I started having problems.

At first, I thought my son was overflowing these diapers, which I tried to correct by stuffing with more/different materials. But his clothes still ended up wet. I did some research and contacted the diaper company, and they advised me to strip the diapers. They started "working" again! For about 2 weeks. Repeat. Ad nauseum. And I was nauseated with hand-stripping diapers once a month just so we could keep using them. My kids' clothes (by this time my son was potty trained, and my daughter was in the diapers), would end up wet, but the stuffing of the pocket was basically bone dry, which indicated a problem with repelling.

So I contacted the diaper company again, who told me to strip them. I informed them that I already had, about 100 times in as many different ways. I told them that I was using a cloth-safe laundry detergent, no softeners, no rash creams or vaseline, and let us not forget the clincher: I WAS NOT HAVING PROBLEMS WITH ANY OF MY OTHER BRANDS OF DIAPERS. Their "answer" was that they had never had any complaints before, and they didn't have anything else to offer me.

Now. Apart from the fact that these diapers failed within a year of correct use, I cannot support a company with such deplorable customer service. Any company, particularly one with proclaimed integrity, should have offered to replace the diapers. At the very least, they should have offered to let me send my dipes in so they could take a look at them for themselves. After too many emails and unreturned phone calls, I decided to abandon ship. I will NEVER buy from them again, and I recommend that you do not buy from them either. There are too many other companies out there who actually care about their customers for you to waste your time on Tiny Tush products.

However, they do still get .25 thumbs not down (but still not up), because I'm using the diapers (and selling a few, in anyone is interested) for cloth swim diapers.

On to better things...

Mommy's Touch Easy Clean One Size Pocket - 1.5 thumbs up!

The only reason these don't get 2 thumbs up is because I just don't reach for them that often. They're really great: well constructed, great fit, work really well. I've never had any problems with this diaper. There are tons of beautiful colors and prints to choose from. (Why am I not obsessed with this diaper?? I really can't figure it out.)

These are called "Easy Clean" because the pocket is open at the front and the back, which means you don't have to "unstuff" your diapers before putting them in the washing machine; the insert/stuffing will agitate out during your prewash cycle. Pretty cool, huh? (I still unstuff mine, because I'm just in the habit of it with my other diapers.)

The only thing I don't love-love-love about this diaper is that the wing/tab part is kind of wide. Not that big a deal. If you're in favor of snaps, these are a great choice! They also come in velcro/touchtape...but why?

Haute Pockets Traditional One Size Pocket - 1 thumb up

These diapers come in really pretty colors, and the company changes their color selection often, so there's always something new to choose from. The diapers are well constructed, and the fleece lining is some of the softest I've ever felt. There isn't a huge deficit with these diapers, but we just didn't love ours. (But hopefully Jenney does!)

My only real complaint with these diapers is that I feel they're cut smaller and trimmer than other one-size diapers, and as a result, my son grew out of this diaper (which was supposed to fit up to 35 lbs) long before he hit 30 pounds. If you've ever checked out our family blog, you know that my kids are anything but small and trim!

Hautes are also available with either snap or velcro closure.

BumGenius! One Size Pocket - 2 thumbs up

What can I say? Even people who don't cloth diaper have heard of bumGenius. These are some of the most well known modern cloth diapers. Superior construction and fit, gorgeous colors in soft and bright shades, and a super-soft, no-pill suedecloth lining.

A few cons: these are not sized quite as large as other one-size pockets, and the pocket itself is not overly generous. So you can't stuff it tons and tons. But the big thing is, the velcro issue! BumGenius uses some of the highest quality Aplix/touchtape velcro, but even that will eventually wear down and wear out.

Happy Heiny's One Size Pocket - 2 thumbs up

Happy Heiny's are, to me, just as well known as bumGenius diapers. Lots of colors and cute prints, and a very generous fit. Even my 41-pound son can still fit in one of these when it's stuffed with a toddler prefold and a hemp doubler. Pretty impressive!

A few cons: the fleece pills in just 2 or 3 washes. And, the velcro, once again! Velcro is made for convenience, not longevity. Happy Heiny's now offers their one-size diaper with snaps, but I don't have one. It appears to be a bit different in construction, based on the photos I've seen.

Happy Heiny's also makes sized diapers, but I haven't tried them.

FuzziBunz Perfect Size Pocket - 1 thumb up

FuzziBunz are another well-known name in the world of fluff. Maybe they were some of the modern cloth pioneers, maybe there's a cachet with having a FuzziBunz, maybe just because the name is so cute. But honestly, I don't see what all the hoopla is about these diapers.

Yes, they're well-made. They have lovely colors. They work great, and clean well. Easy on, easy off. Easy to take care of. But I think it's sort of like how I didn't see Jerry Maguire until about a year after everyone else did, and I had just heard for a year how it was the greatest movie ever, so when I finally saw it, my reaction was a very underwhelmed, "...Ehhh."

Also, though, now that they make a one-size FuzziBunz, why would you ever want to buy an entire set of pocket diapers in 3 (or 4) separate size groups, spending 3 or 4 times as much money in the long run?

DryBees Fleece Nighttime Pocket - 1.5 thumbs up

When we switched my son to cloth at 18 months, he was a nighttime super soaker, so I definitely had to give this diaper a try! Fleece breathes naturally and really is a wonderful overnight solution. These are sized diapers, and my son (who, as I said earlier, is 41 lbs), has been in the large size from month 19 to now one month before his 3rd birthday. They have a very generous pocket with ample room for super-stuffing. They fit great, and are our mainstay night diaper.


DryBees uses perhaps the lowest quality of velcro available, except what you can buy in the scrapbooking section at WalMart. Actually, the incredibly poor quality of the velcro on these diapers has been a major contributing factor to the early destruction of the velcro and Aplix on our other diapers. Big. Fat. Boo. When I remember, I safety pin the tabs down before I wash them so they won't tear up the other diapers.

So there ya go! My pocket reviews! I also use and love some all-in-one pockets, but I'm going to include those with the all-in-one reviews.

AS ALWAYS WITH REVIEWS!!! If you use/love/hate any products that I haven't included here, if you use/love/hate products that I have reviewed but you disagree, please leave a comment with your experience so that we all can benefit from a balanced perspective! :o)

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Free Shipping at Kelly's Closet!

Today and tomorrow (May 20 and 21) ONLY, get free shipping on all orders $35 or more at Kelly's Closet. This is a steal!!! Usually free shipping doesn't kick in until orders of $99 or more at KC.

Just enter coupon code FACEMAY at checkout.

Kelly's Closet has become one of my favorite diaper shop e-tailers. She has a lot of different products available in one place, and quite a few things that I've never found anywhere else, like KiwiPie fitted diapers. Their customer service is always friendly and prompt, and they even have a live-chat option where you can ask questions to a customer service rep in real time - fabulous feature, especially for newbies!

They also have sewing patterns for sale, if you're so inclined to make your own fluff. For expectant moms, Kelly's Closet has a gift registry option that will allow you to create a cloth wishlist. And of course, there's a whole lot to shop for other than diapers!

Take advantage of the 2-day shipping sale - happy shopping!

Sunday, May 17, 2009


Okay, so I'm here to let you know about another giveaway!

My bloggy friend is hosting a giveaway for a fabulous revolutionary pocket-style diaper. Be sure to enter and take a moment to browse around her blog. She's a super-cool, creative, crafty, crunchy (or chewy?) Mama to Baby C. Good luck!

monkeys on the bed!

Saturday, May 16, 2009


Okay, my fluff friends. I need some help from the Elimination Communication crowd.

My daughter has decided that she is done with pooping in diapers.

We are now 6 for 6 on pooping in the bath, and tonight when she got out of the tub, in the FIVE MINUTES of naked playtime I was letting her have, she squatted down and pooped on the floor.

I've tried helping her to "squat" on the toilet seat by supporting her under her arms with her feet on the seat, but she kind of freaks out.

I'd like to take this opportunity by the horns, but I just don't know that much about EC. I've known since she was just a few months old that she would be physically capable and mentally inclined to potty train young, but I just don't know what I'm doing here. I've potty trained a toddler, but this is kind of foreign territory to me.

Any helpful tips?

Monday, May 11, 2009


My very first giveaway is now over, and I must say, the winner will be excitedly eating her words. According to the random number generator, the winner is...


Greta, you now get to choose ONE pocket diaper:

1 BumGenius 3.0 One-Size pocket diaper

1 Happy Heiny sized pocket diaper
1 Thirsties sized Pocket/All-in-One diaper

Just send me an email at with your choice of diaper, size (if applicable), and color. Oh, and your address.

Congrats, Greta!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Sale at MonkeyBuns!

Here we go - another sale!

One of my most favorite work-at-home-moms, the creator of MonkeyBuns Diapers, is offering a Mother's Day special of 10% off all orders of $50 or more! Just enter coupon code MONDAY at check out. The sale goes from today, 5.7.09, through Mother's Day Sunday, 5.10.09.

And don't forget about entering the pocket diaper giveaway right here!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Kissaluvs Outlet Sale!

Okay, my fluff family! I've promised you before that I will do my best to pass along sale and clearance info from the newsletters I get from the cloth sites that I subscribe to, so here you go!

Tomorrow, 5.6.09, the Kissaluvs Outlet Store will open! They say they'll have great prices on fitted diapers, contour diapers, wipes, and more. They'll even throw in a bonus freebie with every purchase! It could be a doubler, wipes, or even the diaper lotion potion spray.

Until tomorrow, the link will direct you to their bundle-package deals, but beginning on May 6th, the link will take you directly to the Kissaluvs Outlet Store.

If any of you remember my reviews on Kissaluvs diapers, they received a hearty 2 thumbs up from me. Many veteran cloth mamas and daddies will tell you that if you could have only one diaper in your stash for a newborn, the Kissaluvs fitted size 0 would be it! I really loved these for my newborn, and I even got some size 1s for after she grew out of the 0s.

Anyway, I wanted to pass the word along. Please come back and leave a comment to let us know what you snag!

And don't forget about the giveaway - open through Mother's Day!

Friday, May 1, 2009

Crunchy Cooking: Granola time!

Here we go with another edition of crunchy cooking at the Diaper Diaries! Please don't forget about my giveaway - entries are open through Mother's Day, Sunday May 10th!

Granola is delicious and basically good for you. It's high in fiber, and you can boost the nutritional content by adding different things to it. It's great for breakfast, as cereal with either milk or yogurt. Actually, granola and dried cranberries in milk is probably one of mine and Husband's all-time favorite cereals. Granola is a fun topping for ice cream or frozen yogurt, and it's delicious to just eat a few handfuls by themselves as a snack. Obviously, my recipe is for "loose" granola rather than bars. I've yet to try a good granola bar recipe at home, they always taste raw in the center to me.

Here we go! Get out your wet and dry ingredients: lowfat sweetened condensed milk, canola oil (I use canola rather than vegetable oil, which is produced from soybeans, which I try very hard to keep out of my family's diet), vanilla flavoring; oats, sliced almonds, and sunflower kernels. I also put in three optional dry ingredients: powdered milk, toasted wheat germ, and flax seed. (Now remember, this is a post about a healthy recipe, so pay no attention to the pizza box in the background. It's optical illusion.)

Start by whisking - either by hand or in an electric mixer - 1 cup of oil with sweetened condensed milk. It's much faster to do it with a mixer, but I have only a stand mixer and don't feel like washing it for something as small as this. I usually use one can of lowfat milk, and one can of regular, just to keep the granola from drying too quickly in the oven, but you could probably use 2 cans of lowfat if you stay close to your oven the whole time. When you begin to whisk, the oil and milk will resist incorporating...

...but be patient, and go slowly, or you will slop oil over the sides of your bowl! Soon it will come together and look smooth. At this point, whisk in vanilla (if desired, it's optional). I just use "some" vanilla. When I pour it in, it looks like it's about a tablespoon.

In a separate large bowl, mix half of your dry ingredients: one half of a large can of old-fashioned (NOT QUICK!!) oats, half a bag of sliced raw (not toasted) almonds, half a bag of sunflower kernels. Make sure you buy the bag (6 oz) of sunflower kernels, and not the 7.25 oz jar, because the jarred kernels are tossed in a spice mixture for tasty snacking and salad topping. Here is my super high-tech way of estimating half a bag: I flatten it out, put my hand about halfway down, and then pour out the nuts to where my hand is.

You can also add your optional dry ingredients at this time if you wish. I use powdered milk for vitamins A and D, calcium, and potassium. I use wheat germ for vitamin E and folic acid, and flax seed for extra fiber and omega 3 fatty acids. I just use a scant 1/4 cup of each.

Mix half your dry ingredients together, pour half of your milk mixture over oat mixture and toss to mix well.

Grease and flour (or spray ^ with cooking/baking spray) 2 to 3 large cookie sheets or jelly roll pans. Has everyone heard this tip before? When you're using spray, open your dishwasher and place pans on the inside of the dishwasher door, so that the excess spray goes inside the dishwasher instead all over your counter or stovetop. Although don't do this if the dishes in your dishwasher are clean. Remember, I wouldn't tell you something like that unless I had done it.

How large your pans are will determine how many you need. I use 3. Be careful! If you use 3 pans, the granola will not be as deep in the pans, and may brown much more quickly!

Anyway, after you've mixed half your granola, put into prepared pans.

Repeat with remaining half of dry ingredients. This is what a scant 1/4 cup looks like, by the way.

Mix dry, toss with milk mixture, put into remaining prepared pans. Put pans into preheated oven (anywhere from 225* to 300* F), and bake for up to 3 hours, tossing every 30 minutes.

If you're baking the granola at 225* F, which I recommend, your total baking time will end up being around 3 hours. Baking it lower and slower allows the oats and nuts to really cook, and baking low and slow brings out a delicious nutty flavor in the sunflower kernels that lends a peanut-buttery flavor to the granola. If you're in a hurry, you can bake it at a higher temp, but I would stir it every 20 minutes instead, and your total bake time will end up being more like 2 hours. When you stir and toss it, rotate your pans around in your oven, because all ovens have hot spots!

Anyway, 2 or 3 hours is a long time to wait for something to cook. So you could clean the kitchen and be really productive...

Or you could be less so.

For tossing the granola, I like to use a heat-resistant rubber scoopula (concave spatula). It's gentle on my pans, and effective at scooping, stirring, and redistributing the granola around. You want to scrape the granola from the outside of the pan to the inside, pushing what was inside out to the edges. Toss it well, and check for browning. Return the pans to the oven. Find something else to do.

This does not make the time go faster.

Still waiting, two hours in.

Last half hour! I think it's going to be ready this time!

Mmmmm, see how rich and brown this looks compared to the picture of when I was stirring it?

The top right pan actually got a little too done, but it still tastes great. When you have multiple pans in the oven, it may be that one pan is ready to come out before the others. You'll know when it's done. Pay attention to your nose, too, because right when it's ready, you'll kind of suddenly smell the sunflower kernels.

Let cool completely, and then put into storage of your choice. I usually use this tupperware thing, which will hold an entire batch of granola, but it's home to Little Lady's "oh-oh's" right now.

So instead, I put half the granola right back in the oatmeal canister, and half into a clean, reusable animal cracker jar. You could also use gallon ziploc bags. Enjoy!

Granola (one more time, so you don't have to sift through everything):

1 large can old-fashioned oats
1 6 oz bag sliced raw almonds
1 6 oz bag sunflower kernels
about 1/2 c EACH powdered milk, wheat germ, and flax seed, optional
2 cans sweetened, condensed milk
1 cup oil
about 1 tbsp vanilla, optional

Whisk oil, milk, and vanilla if using. In separate large bowl, mix half of dry ingredients, and toss with half of milk mixture. Pour into greased and floured jelly roll pans. Repeat with remaining half. Bake at 225-300 F for up to 3 hours, tossing every 30 minutes.

Make it your own! If you like cinnamon, add some cinnamon. Or nutmeg. You could experiment with different flavor extracts and oils. I wonder if cocount oil would be really tasty...? Or in what proportion to put peanut butter into the wet ingredients? Let me know what you do to make the granola a perfect fit for you!

(One of my good friends told me she used coconut oil in place of vegetable oil, a bit of orange zest, and almond extract in place of the vanilla - yum central! She also added dried cranberries into the cooked and cooled granola. Please be sure to leave a comment and share with us some delicious variations on how you made the granola your own!)