Thursday, October 29, 2009

Website Directories: Part 1

Whenever I'm changing my child's cloth diaper in public, among the most common questions I get are:

"Sooo....where do you buy those?"

And after I ramble for a few minutes, inevitably the question is:

"How on earth did you learn all this? How do you keep it all straight?"

Well, since my hope and the aim of my cloth blog is to help those parents who are new to cloth, and maybe just beginning their research, I thought I'd answer some of those questions as best as I can!

I think the logical first question is

How / Where do you learn about cloth diapers?

Well, to be honest with you, after a few short conversations with IRL friends who used cloth, I felt a little overwhelmed. So I honestly just sat down at my computer one day, and typed "cloth diapers" into Google.

I started by going through all the online store sites, making notes (and notes, and notes...pages and pages of notes) about the different kinds of cloth diapers, the brands for each type/style, price comparisons between stores, etc. It was tough. Although I feel like I now know a lot simply because of the way I researched, I honestly don't recommend doing it this way, because it can be so overwhelming that some parents may abandon the idea of cloth diapering altogether.

Now obviously, I started this blog to help people figure things out. I do my best to take the best advice I've found out there, and condense it, as well as share with you what I've learned along the way and my own little tips and tricks. However, if you want some more info than what I have here, or you're trying to find a balanced perspective to make your decisions, or you're looking for a dialogue, there are a few websites to help you figure this whole thing out (all links will open in a new window):

The Diaper Jungle - especially their Information Guide article directory, under the Cloth Diaper Articles tab on the home page. They also have a reviews page, and the BEST detergent comparison chart!

The Diaper Hyena - this site was created by a mom, just like me! They also offer reviews, a FAQs page, a folding 101 page, and a very thorough article index for articles on every topic you could imagine.

Diaper Pin - the #1 go-to site for reviews, in my opinion! They also have a FAQs page and forums for questions and discussions.

Diaper Swappers - one of the best forum sites for cloth diapering, once you get the "threads" thing all figured out (for some reason this site was confusing to me at first). You have to create an account, but then you can read (and post) discussions on cloth diapering issues. Sometimes it's just so helpful to read what other people are dealing with. You can also buy and sell used diapers here.

The Cloth Diaper Whisperer - a blog maintained by Kelly Wels, the owner of several online diaper stores, including Kelly's Closet. The blog is great, featuring new posts nearly every day from several different contributors about all kinds of cloth diaper-related issues, from beginners to professionals! Stop by and become a follower to automatically see the updates. One other nice thing about the Whisperer is that the posts are succint...unlike mine. ;)

Additonally, most online cloth diapering stores feature sections on why to choose cloth, how to care for it, cloth 101, etc. You can also check out "mom sites" like CafeMom, where you can join groups for cloth diapering and post discussions and questions.

Finally, one very important note about these sites, groups, and "forums." First and foremost, do yourself and everyone else in those forums and groups a huge favor:

DON'T GET ON THOSE CLOTH DIAPERING FORUMS AND POST SOMETHING LIKE "I'm really interested in switching to cloth diapers, but I'm totally new at this and have no idea where to start. Someone please help!!!"


The thing is, NONE of us knew anything about it when we first started, and you really need to do your research for yourself first. I'm not trying to be ugly, but most people on those forums don't want to spoon-feed anyone information. Take some initiative and plow through that stage of not knowing what the difference between a flat and a contour is. If you go on any of those forums and post a question like "What's the difference between a prefold and a fitted?" you're not likely to garner any kind response. :/

So that's my top choices of where to look for information. Of course, there are tons and tons out there, but these are just my few favorites. Please feel free to leave a comment with the URL to any other great resources you've found!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Diaper Stripping with Mineral-Heavy Water

This post is not going to make me very popular with the super green and crunchy crowd.

I'm sort of green...sort of "chewy," not quite crunchy. I pursue a lot of "green" living, a lot of self-sustaining things like doing baking at home, and mixing up my own cleaning concoctions (minus all-purpose cleaner spray, I stick with BioKleen for that). We recycle, and use mostly dish rags and only occasionally paper towels, and I'm planning to sew some linen napkins for us to use during meals.

I've talked before about my love for Charlie's Soap, and I use it for all our clothes, although I have been thinking about trying making my own detergent.

But sometimes, I really think it's okay to reach for some help in the cleaning aisle at a mainstream store.

Back in my post about disinfecting, I mentioned that I spoke with Charlie himself. He spent a lot of time on the phone with me, answering my questions about disinfecting.

At the end of our conversation, I happened to mention that where water tends to "sit" in our house (like the sink drain, the shower head, etc.), I often saw a reddish build-up. He said, "Well, it sounds like you have a lot of iron in your water, and that can cause a mineral build-up on your diapers - that could be why you keep on having repelling problems. You could try washing them with CLR."



I was skeptical, nervous, apprehensive...but it made sense. He said to try from 1/4 to 1/2 cup in a full wash load of *clean* diapers.

So last weekend I did it. I washed half of my clean stash with 1/4 cup of CLR and the regular amount of Charlie's Soap liquid detergent, and an extra rinse. I then did a hot wash cycle with 1 tbsp of Dawn original blue dish detergent, and a few extra rinses to get all the suds out.

I really think it made a difference! Even my Tiny Tush diapers, which haven't been functional in months, made it through some play time today. (However, I'm not rescinding my review of them, because the review was as much about the lack of customer service as it was about the diapers.)

If you feel like you're consistently having problems, especially with repelling, this could be worth a shot for you. I'm not going to make it part of our regular routine, but if I begin to notice a lot of the diapers repelling, then I'll bust it out again.

Remember, if you can see mineral build up in your sinks, then it's in your water. And it's in your washing machine. Even if you don't feel comfortable washing your diapers in it (although we truly are quite pleased with the results, and have no worries about residue due to the immediate subsequent Dawn strip and lots of rinses), you might want to think about running an empty wash load with some CLR in the water to help clean up your machine.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Giveaway winner ROUND TWO

Sadly, the first winner of this giveaway didn't contact me within the allotted time. :( The good news about that is that I had to choose another winner!

This time, chose comment #12, K. Jones.

Congrats K. Jones! Shoot me an email at diaperdiaries (at) hotmail (dot) com by 10 pm Eastern tomorrow night, Saturday the 3rd to claim your prize or I'll have to choose another winner.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Kissaluvs Outlet Open!!!

Hey fluff family! I got an email this afternoon letting me know that the Kissaluvs Outlet is now open! First come, first served on...(copied and pasted from the email)

Marvels Fitted Diapers in designer prints – mostly in the lovely Mocca print, and some Zoo-Blue, at incredible prices!

Kissa’s Fitted Cotton Fleece: in all three sizes – 0, 1 & 2.

Kissa’s Organic Fitted’s: in Size 1 only (super absorbent and organic fabrics).

Kissa’s Cotton Fleece Contours: both sizes, NB and M. Great for diapering on a budget.

Wipes: Organic, Premium Organic and Awesome Terry (pick your favorite or at Outlet prices you may want to get ‘em all!).

Doublers: both sizes- Boosters and Super Soakers (perfect for Size 1 & 2 diapers, pockets and g covers).

Diaper Lotion Potion Spray: New Formulation with No Alcohol, No Parabens and No Phthalates.

With every order of $50 or more, we will include FREE BONUS ITEMS. Simply pick from the list below and let us know in the comments field of your order, the item you prefer:

1. 6 Wipes (we choose from inventory)

2. 4 Doublers (specify Boosters or Super Soakers)

3. 1 Cotton Fleece Fitted Diaper (specify Size)

4. 2 Contour Diaper (specify Sizes)

5. 1 Diaper Lotion Potion Spray

We will try our best to give you the colors/prints you specify for all items, including Free Bonus items, but reserve the right to ship from inventory at hand.

FIRST COME, FIRST SERVE. Sale ends when we run out of stock.

So go shopping! Hurry, hurry, hurry! This sale stock never lasts long!!