Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Giveaway WINNER

Okay, I nearly forgot about this because it's been one of THOSE days today. (Thanks to my best friend for texting me to remind me!)

According to the true random number generator on the main page of, the winner of the BumGenius Giveaway-Again is comment #19, Sarah Scipione!

Sarah authors two blogs. One is called Dear Boys, and is a chronicle of her life as a stay-at-home-mom. (And seriously, check out her self-and-baby portraits in this post here - Sarah, could you be any more beautiful??) Her other blog is called Try It, You'll Like It, and is a collection of kid-approved vegan recipes - how fun and creative!

So congrats to Sarah, and thanks to everyone who entered and shared their fluff fantasies with us. I would love, love, love to do more giveaways in the future, because it's always so neat to hear from people.

Sarah, shoot me an email* at diaperdiaries (at) hotmail (dot) com with your information, and we'll get your BG 3.0 Ribbit on its way to you!

* If I don't hear from Sarah by noon Eastern on Friday the 2nd, I'll pick another winner.

Saturday, September 26, 2009


For those of you who were around for my first get a second chance! Greta, the winner, has decided not to pursue cloth diapering. And she has generously offered to ship her (still brand new) choice to the winner of a new giveaway - Greta, you are so awesome!

When she won she chose the BumGenius One-Size 3.0 pocket diaper in Ribbit.

So, yes, the picture is huge, but you get the idea! Ribbit is kind of a grass green - great gender neutral color!

So leave a comment - ONE comment - telling us (just for fun) the most extravagant item on your fluffy wish list to enter the giveaway. I'll leave it open until 10 pm Eastern on Wednesday, September 30, and then I'll use a random number generator to pick a winner. Good luck!

(Oh, and just to get you started, my most extravagant wish is a GoodMama GoodNight fitted and a Dancing Bears fleece soaker. Is it wrong to drool over cloth diapers? I submit that it is not.)

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Busy Little Bee!

If you've read my series of reviews, then you know I have a tempestuous relationship with velcro and aplix. As in, I hate it.

I have several diapers that I love, except that the velcro is nappy and full of lint that I can't get out no matter how long I sit there picking. And somehow, even though the velcro is shot enough that the tabs won't stay closed, it's incredibly still sticky enough to attach itself to e-v-e-r-y-t-h-i-n-g else in the washing machine. And so a lot of my diapers look pretty awful from velcro snags from other dipes.

Do you see this??

Look at that velcro! It's so's just so bad. And this is after just one washing! I pick this junk out of the velcro every single time.

So I decided to do something about it! At first, I thought about replacing all the velcro with aplix. And then I thought about having to do it all again in another year, and quickly scrapped that idea. I really wanted a snap press, but I just couldn't justify the cost. But one day when I was browsing on KAMsnaps, I came across a snap plier set! For just $30 (NO tax, and NO shipping!), I got snap pliers and 200 complete snap sets. The customer service was friendly, and the shipping was really fast.

KAM recommends that you watch their instructional videos online. The first video was about 6 minutes long, and so easy to understand. I sat down at the computer with my pliers and worked through everything as the video showed it. I couldn't believe how easy this was. It truly is as simple as using a hole punch.

So today I sat down with my seam ripper and removed the velcro from one of our diapers in most desperate need of a makeover (DryBees Fleece overnights), and used another diaper with snaps as a template for snap spacing. Total time for diaper makeover was about 30 minutes!

Here's my set up: A tv-tray, a Law & Order:SVU marathon, some diapers, and my new snap pliers and snap sets. Sweetness! You can see the 'before' on the left, and the 'after' on the right. I'm so thrilled with how easy this was, and how great the diaper turned out!

This is a really easy way to rejuvenate older diapers, but if you're not into DIY, there are plenty of snap services available. Mama Momo offers reasonably priced snap services, and on Very Baby, there's a directory of WAHMs who likewise offer snap services.

Let me know if you try this out. I think if you do you'll be very pleased with the results.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Night-time Cloth Diapering

A couple of posts ago, I had a question in a comment about what to do about night-time cloth diapering. The mother said that her baby would wake in the night, but would quickly return to sleep after a diaper change. Obviously, this is no good, both for the baby's sleep...and the mama's! And of course, you don't want to establish a routine of night-waking if it can be avoided.

This is fresh on my mind because I just got done putting my children to bed, and my kids are definitely "bubble bums" when they have their night-night fluff on! (My son has been potty trained for nearly a year, but still wears a "just in case" overnight. And on a separate note, he has suddenly started soaking his bed at naptime - the past 3 days in a row - and having tinkle accidents during the day. He has never done this before. Help? Sympathy? Advice? Commiseration? All is welcome.)

Anyway, I don't know if I have the be-all, end-all answers to night-time cloth troubles. But let me tell you that my kids can flat out SOAK THROUGH a diaper. When my son was 18 months old, he would "pee out" (my own gross little expression for soaking through a dipe) a Happy Heiny with both inserts during just a 2-hour nap. On a regular basis. So we had to find another solution. After multiple trials and errors, I feel like I've hit upon a couple of different approaches and hints that really work for us.

Tip #1: Main absorbent material in the diaper

I know there's a bit of debate about this, and frankly it may just be one of those things that comes down to opinion. But I have found that when comparing thicknesses of different fabrics, inch for inch, Chinese prefolds are much more absorbent than microfiber towels or soakers. Does that make sense? Let me try to explain it a different way:

So let's say that you have a premium infant prefold (blue edge), and you lay it out long and fold it into fourths. (In half, perpendicular to the seams, then in half again.) Let's say, for the sake of example, because I've never actually measured it, that this folded up prefold was 1" thick. If I had microfiber towels, and stacked them together to make 1" of thickness, it just wouldn't absorb as much, thereby giving us more time per diaper.

So all that to say, I use a prefold as the real meat and potatoes of stuffing a pocket diaper for nighttime. (And, if I haven't said it before, or if I've changed my mind since the last time I talked about it, I am definitely a fitteds girl during the day time, but use pockets for naps and overnights.)

For my 3 y/o's just in case diaper overnight, I use a toddler-size prefold. And it is such a badonka-diaper. But he doesn't seem to mind, because to him, it's just his nighttime routine. It would have to be a very rare occasion that this prefold didn't make it through the night. Like if we let him have an extra cup of water/juice/watered down sweet tea (welcome to the south Honey, pull up a chay-air) before supper, then he might wet a little more overnight.

Tip #2: Doubling up and using multiple materials

Have you ever wondered why hemp and bamboo diapers are a little pricier? One reason is because you get what you pay for! :) The other reason is probably the current cache of those types of materials, but that's another rant for another post.

For my daughter's nighttime diapers, I start out with a blue-edged prefold and fold it into fourths as I described above. Then I use a microfiber towel from the automotive section of Wal-Mart ($5 Bag of Rags), and fold it into thirds. I place this against the prefold on one side. Then I use a hemp/cotton blend soaker that came with my Cricketts Diapers on the other side. (And now might be as good a time as any to mention that these diapers are positively out of this world. They are truly amazing - I have no flowery words for these pure and simple fitted diapers. I've told you how much my kids wet, so the fact that I can afford to use the diapers without the additional soaker they come with should say a lot about them!)

So, now I have a stack of absorbent material: hemp on the bottom, prefold in the middle, then microfiber on top. And here's a little secret a lot of parents may not know about: The order matters! Microfiber and prefolds are fast absorbing, while hemp is long absorbing. So when I stuff the pocket, I put the materials in with the microfiber closest to her bum.

Tip #3: Wicking the moisture away from baby's skin

If a baby feels wet, they're naturally going to be uncomfortable. So it is essential that whether you use fitteds, pockets, or AIOs overnight, the layer next to your child's skin needs to be a kind of material that will wick moisture away, giving your child a more comfortably dry feeling. This will also help to cut down on the rashes that we sometimes see after our babes have a long, wet night in one diaper.

For most pockets, this isn't a problem. In most pocket diapers, the layer designed to be next to your child's skin is either polyester fleece or suedecloth. Both of these work great, although some parents may find that one is more effective over the other for their kids. Just try it out and see what works.

Now, if you're already using this kind of diaper, and it doesn't seem to be enough, you could also try using an additional wicking layer. The easiest and cheapest way to do this is with fleece. You may even have some un-needed polyester fleece baby blankets laying around that you could cut up. Just use an existing diaper as a template for shape and size, and cut out several liners. Fleece doesn't ravel, so you don't need to do anything to the edges! :) If you don't have any extra blankets, check the goodwill stores - or even your own closet - for an old fleece pullover. Then just place the fleece liner in between the diaper and your child's skin.

Tip #4: Outer layers and leaks

I know that this doesn't really apply to the original question, but I may as well include everything within my perspective on nighttime cloth solutions.

It seems 100% counterintuitive. I know it does. But trust me. Go with me on this one.

Fleece and wool covers and outers will provide an infinitely more leak-proof system than PUL ever can.

I don't understand it. I wish I did. But all I know is that when we switched to cloth diapers for my son, he would wake up with wet jammies and sheets every single morning until I ordered some DryBees Fleece Nighttime Pockets. Then we were wet free!! I did have to change him immediately, because if he sat down in his pj's and wet nighttime diaper, he'd have compression leaks. But that's really my own fault, of course.

I think it has something to do with how these fibers breathe a little bit naturally, so maybe the wet is evaporating...? Although that's a bit strange to think about.

You can get fleece pockets, like the DryBees, but you'll want to replace the velcro either with better Aplix or snaps. You can also get fleece covers for fitteds.

Unfortunately, I don't have any personal experience with wool...YET. :) I'm about to be brave and go for it when life calms down. Which will never happen. So, what I really mean is when I get my nerve up and get a chance to talk to some friends who use wool.

So there's my spiel about nighttime cloth. I hope you guys have found some of it helpful!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Diaper Sprayers

I don't have a lot to say about diaper sprayers.

When I first started cloth diapering, I read about diaper sprayers and thought, "Oh wow - that's really cool!" And then my husband said, "Let's try cloth diapering without one. If you really feel like you need it, and you're definitely going to stick with cloth, then we can look into it."

And you know what? Before I knew it, washing out poopy diapers wasn't a really big deal. I got an extra pair of yellow kitchen gloves, and wrote "BATHROOM" in thick black permanent marker on them, and donned these whenever a diaper needed washing. I dumped, dunked, swished, and used the cloth wipes to wash out the poo. No big deal!

Really, truly. No big deal. If you have a regular toilet, this is plenty sufficient!

Then we got low-flow toilets. With a suuuuper low water level. Suddenly I was having to flush the toilet 5 and 6 times per poopy diaper. Not exactly a water saver, you know?

So I ordered a diaper sprayer. It changed my life.

Or at least my diaper laundry.

Seriously, I got along just fine without a diaper sprayer for a very long time, and the only reason I got it was because of our toilets. The water pressure is incredible, and I got one with an adjustable valve, so I don't have a problem with spraying poo-water all over the place when I wash out a diaper. And, I actually use the sprayer to rinse out all the dipeys, even just the wets, so we have less pailing work to do now. Sweet!

But I still wear my gloves. And use hand sanitizer when I take them off. (Shudder.)