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Sunday, 26 May 2013

Flats and Handwashing Challenge Days 6&7

I skipped Day# 6 blog post because I was just too tired...I'm rolling it into the final post....What I have learned from this challenge. 

I did learn that flats are a lighter more breathable option for summer, which was what I set out to determine. However I feel like I'm still unable to answer whether this would be a viable solution for those in need...ill explain why. 

Flats are clearly much cheaper than disposables and for this they are amazing. Handwashing on the other hand (besides the fact that it sucks), I don't know that it's manageable. I'm currently on maternity leave and I found it hard to hang in there for the week as Handwashing is really tough. You have to find the right routine, right amount or soap, rinses, time washing, etc. I felt as though I was giving up precious moments with my daughter while I was trying to stay afloat with the washing. I don't think I would have managed had I still had a newborn. I say all of these things because I know I have another option at my fingertips, maybe I would feel differently if I had no other choice.  Also if I was struggling to put food on the table, I would be working crazy hours and would not have the time or energy needed to wash once I got home. 

I am surprised to learn that flats are just as absorbent as microfibre when used in a pocket diaper. I found out my daughter pees frequently throughout the day but isn't necessarily a heavy wetter. Wetness causes problems super quick for my little girl, and I still love wool covers. I made a couple fleece covers that were super easy and work great too. 

All in all, I'm glad the challenge is over and I can use my machine again. I have to admit that I'm not cut out to hand wash full time. Thank-you for following my journey through this challenge, I'm pretty sure I won't be participating again, but I'm proud I completed it.  

Friday, 24 May 2013

Flats and Handwashing Challenge Day# 5

What is and isn't working

Ill start on a good note and explain what is working. I guess first and foremost the flats themselves are working for me, I love the absorbency and the options they give. My favorite flats are my receiving blankets, they seem to absorb a bit more and have more thickness. I also like that they are a touch bigger, that helps with folding. The biggest plus with the receiving blanket flats is that the teeth of the snappi (y-shaped closure with teeth to grip the fabric) don't go all the way through and scratch her skin. Love the snappi, never even touched my pins. Love, love, love the wool cover I made...I need to hurry up and finish the one I'm currently working on. My micro fleece liners have saved my sanity, Hadley started to get red from the wet (flats keep the wet against baby's bum) I was scared I would be battling diaper rash the entire week but the liners keep her dry. I have managed to work out a wash routine that works, which I explained in my last post. I wash once a day, too lazy to do more. The folds that have worked the best for us are the pad fold (used in a cover or as a doubler), origami fold, and gaynors fold. 

What isn't working
I'm not a fan of my store bought covers, the edges of the Velcro scratch little Hadley's legs and they just seem to rub her in different spots. TEETHING...I haven't changed this many poopy dipes since she was a newborn, this afternoon has been better. Lets hope her bathroom schedule is back to normal for the rest of the challenge and I'm back to cleaning pee diapers only. Ill be honest, I was close to giving up today when my dirty pail had 13 diapers in it and she was still going through them like crazy. But I figure in the spirit of the challenge, I must continue. We are trying to show that this is doable full time....if I gave up now I would be negating the fact. 

Almost there! I can hear my washing machine calling my name...I haven't done any laundry, I'm afraid to even look at my machine lol. Monday morning will be here soon. 

Flats and Handwashing Challenge Day #4

My Wash Routine
I've been trying to make my wash routine as simple as possible. I figure if we are doing this challenge to prove that it is a viable option for those less fortunate it has to be easy enough to do it full time. 

I keep my dirties in a pail without the wet bag. I remove the diapers, liners and wipe then fill the pail with hot water and two tablespoons of Laundry Tarts detergent. I rinse and unfold each diaper and throw them in the pail. I swish them around for a minute and then leave them to soak until the next nap. While I'm waiting every time I walk by I give the dipes some more swishes. Once Naptime comes I rinse each diaper in the sink. This is where I'm still unsure about whether I'm fully water doesn't seem to suds up. So I just rinse til I feel there is no more soap. Then I wring each one as much as possible and hang them on the line. 

This isn't easy, I would never want to do this full time. I cannot wait to be able to use my washer again!

Wednesday, 22 May 2013

Flats and Handwashing Challenge - Day #3

Today's Blog topic is bloggers choice....I will be writing about my plane ride with  flats and our partial EC (elimination communication). 

So yesterday we travelled back to Thunder Bay from Orangeville, 1:45min plane ride. The last time we traveled we used pocket diapers which are great at containing messes and smells. This time we were in flats and a homemade wool cover....bad idea. 

For the past two months Hadley has been going number two on the toilet, I have missed the cues a total of five times during this time (not including what happened on the plane lol). We have a potty seat that fits on the regular toilet at home. Hadley's schedule fell apart with all the travelling we have been doing the past two weeks, but we have managed to stick with the EC. 

Yesterday....I had to wake up at 5am I changed her before we left Orangeville around 6am and again before heading through security at 7:30am. We are about to take off, seatbelt sign is on and she starts grunting, I'm thinking everyone can tell what she's up to so I try to make some noises to detract from her noises. I can smell a dirty diaper and I'm praying that no one else can. As soon as we are cruising and the seatbelt sign goes off I bolt for the bathroom. The change goes surprisingly well for being on a plane and using flats. We get back to our seats and I can still smell the dirty diaper smell, I'm blaming that on the two kids behind us lol. The flight was super turbulent so the seatbelt sign was on for most of the trip. Just as we start to descend Hadley starts at it again this time I had to wait til we landed to change her. At home we made it to the potty two more times that day, which was unheard of for her. I ended up having to wash three loads of flats by hand between lunchtime yesterday and 2pm today. Hopefully our schedule will get back on track and the number of flats we use a day will drop. 

I'm using all 12 each day so far, with pockets it's usually 8. How many diapers do you go through in a day?

Tuesday, 21 May 2013

Flats and Handwashing Challenge-Day 2

The Supplies I'm Using and the Cost

12 Birdseye Cotton Flats and 1 snappi - $10 bought from a lovely women on our local cloth diaper Facebook page Thunder Bay's Cloth Diapering Mommas and Dads

6 Flannel receiving blankets - FREE from baby shower

1 Wool cover - $7 handmade by me

2 Kushies covers - $8 and $4 (one was bought at a yard sale still in package)

1 Bummis cover - $13

I am knitting two more covers hopefully I can finish them before the challenge is over - each ball of wool cost $7

I am going to try and sew a couple fleece covers tomorrow if I get a chance, out of some fleece that was gifted to me by a good friend

In total the cost of what I'm currently using is $42 and if I finish both of the wool covers on time it will be $56. But shhhh don't tell my husband because I have definitely spent to s more than this on my other diapers lol!

Flats and Handwashing Challenge-Day 1

I know I'm a day behind......I was visiting my family in southern Ontario the day the challenge started. I managed to survive, things can only get easier being at home right? 

Why I decided to participate?
First of all anyone who knows me knows that I ever shy away from a challenge. When I saw a challenge involving cloth diapers, I knew this was for me. There are definitely more than just one reason to take this challenge but if I'm honest with everyone my reasons were more selfish than most participants. For the past few months I've been researching ways to keep my baby's bum cool in the summer. PUL (the waterproof fabric on the outside of a pocket diaper) isn't very breathable and I have it in my mind that I needed something cooler for summer (if it ever comes to Thunder Bay). My research led me to flats with wool covers, which lead me to Dirty Diaper Laundry's Blog where I found out about the challenge. I figured what better way to test out how I liked using them by entering the challenge. 

After looking into the challenge an reading some articles, I feel that it is important to show people there are other options out there. Whether it be needing to save money, the environment, or your baby's bum. Cloth diapering isn't for everyone but there is certainly a cloth diapering option for every family no matter the situation. 

How did my day go?
Things were going great, diapers were going on well and Hadley was in high spirits. Then came Handwashing time......I managed to use all 12 diapers yesterday and figured I'd do them all in one load after she was sleeping. Bad idea, I managed but today I already started a load and its only 11am. 12 diapers is way too man to wash at one time. 

Tuesday, 7 May 2013

Flats and Handwashing Challenge!

I'm stupidly excited to participate in this husband thinks I'm crazy, but he is happy to not change any diapers for a week lol! A flat is a single layer of fabric folded and either fastened on to the baby or just laid inside a waterproof cover. In other words, old school. The point of the challenge is to show that there are many ways to diaper a child inexpensively, and that no child should have to go without. The challenge is May 20-26th checkout dirty diaper laundry's website if you are interested in joining. I will be posting about my week!

Tuesday, 2 April 2013

Upcycled hybrid fitted made by me

Lately I have been drooling over all the gorgeous custom hybrid fitteds on Hyena cart. I figured if I had a good enough pattern I should be able to make my own. I didn't want to spend a bunch of money on fabric if it was too difficult or time consuming so I searched my house for fabric that I could use for my first try.  I ended up using one of my DDs sleepers that she had grown out of, one of my favourites. I used a fleece sleeper for the hidden fleece layer and a remnant of minky that I had left over from making blankets. For the soaker I used half of a microfibre towel that I bought at Dollarama, folded it in four longwise and sewed some of the minky on top of it. The pattern I used was Rita's Rump Fitted and I made some adjustments to the wings.  I haven't tried it out yet, ill put it on my babe in the morning and let you know how it works. For now here are some pics of the finished product, I'm pretty proud of it!

Friday, 15 March 2013

I love my Mystery Fluff!

I know I said my next post would be a review on my Kawaii diapers, but I am too excited to share my Mystery Fluff with you!

I placed my Mustery Fluff order on March 3rd from Kissed By The Moon I chose the Loved Mystery Fluff "Butterfly Kisses".  This means the contents of the package are unknown to me and they are previously used diapers. The cost for the package I chose was $30 plus $10 for shipping from California. The order form asks for colour preference; boy, girl, or gender neutral, size; small, medium, or large, an there is a section for other comments. In the comments section I wrote that I would like to try out some hybrids or other options besides pockets due to the summer weather coming. 

This is what I received:

A TotsBots Easyfit in Hansel & Gretel
This is a really cute print with an attached soaker and a super soft polyester
material on both the soaker and the inside layer of the diaper. The soaker can
either be tucked inside the pocket or just laid on top. This allows you to add another absorbing layer for nighttime. I have only used it once and I love how trim and light this diaper is. 

A Swaddlebees Simplex in Butterflies
Also an adorable print and is the same idea as the TotsBots with the attached soaker. The inside of this diaper is made of birdseye cotton as well as the soaker. Additionally, the soaker has a fleece outer layer to lie against the baby's bum. This diaper isn't quite as trim and light but being made of cotton it's super breathable. 

Both diapers retail for $23.95us so I got a great deal. Not to mention there was a cute little note on the invoice from the owner Tammi, saying she hopes I 
enjoys the diapers and that they are two of her favourites.  I would definitely do this again (as soon as my husband lets me), it's so exciting to see what you get and to try something new.

Once again if you enjoy my posts, please follow me and tell all your friends about me.

Monday, 11 March 2013

DIY Easter Dress

I have copious amounts of fun fabric at home, so I decided to make my little one's Easter dress. I think it turned out pretty good for having no pattern!

Are cloth wipes actually better than disposables?

Since I began cloth diapering, I have been struggling to switch to cloth wipes.  I even went so far as folding a ton of washcloths so they pop out of the wipes container when you pull them.  I have homemade butt wash in a spray bottle that I really like, but somehow I just keep grabbing for the disposables. I don't know I could be wrong, but isn't it easier to throw out the poopy wipes instead of rinsing them off. I use the flushable liners so I'm not even rinsing the diapers. I think that's where the wheels fall off. 

I imagine if I had proper wipes it would be easier too. Right now, using the washcloths leaves lint all over her butt, they don't absorb the liquid, and they are pretty scratchy. My next DIY will be to make some flannel wipes and see if they work better. I'm not ready to give up on cloth wipes, I just have to find what works. Anyone out there use cloth wipes and have some advice for me?

Thursday, 7 March 2013

Diaper Prepping

All new diapers need to be prepped before you use them.  This ensures that all the oils on the fabric wash off, allowing for full absorbency. I know that this has to be done with fleece, microfibre, bamboo, and hemp.

Fleece and microfibre
To prep my pocket diapers I washed the diapers a total of three times, and the I setts four times.  I did the first wash with diapers and inserts together and added detergent to help wash off the oils. In between each wash you must allow  everything to become completely dry. The next washes I did without detergent. 

Hemp and Bamboo
These natural fibres contain more oils than the fleece and microfibre and take more washes to reach maximum absorbency. For these it took me five washes for both the diaper and the insert but it can take up to eight from what I have read. I did the first two washes with detergent and the last three without. Only problem with these diapers is that it takes much longer for the natural fibres to completely dry and I'm not a patient person lol. 

How do you know when the diapers are ready for use?
I would take one diaper and one insert from the load, I did this after the wash cycle prior to drying (save me from having to dry again). Pour some water on them, if the water stays in beads on top then it will need more washing before use.  If the water absorbs right in, you can dry them fully and use them. My diapers usually feel pretty dry after the spin cycle on my washer, if they come out wet you may want to let them dry before testing the absorbency. 

Please follow my blog and pass it on to your friends. Next post will be a review of the first diapers I purchased, Kawaii pocket diapers. Ill explain why I use these second last in my stash. 

Sunday, 3 March 2013

My Wash Routine

The wash routine is by far, the hardest part of cloth diapering. It has nothing to do with the amount of washing, it's just all the adjusting to find what works for you. Ill list the steps I do first, then ill explain why I do them at the end. 

I do my CD (cloth diaper) washing every other day. I start by emptying my wet bag into te washer, I just turn it inside out so I don't have to touch anything. I put the wet bags in as well. 

Set my washing machine to rinse & spin with an extra rinse. This removes any left over poop particles. 

Then I fill my diaper pail with water and one loads worth of detergent. I then remove all the inserts from the diapers that didn't come out on their own in the rinse cycle. I also unsnap the rise settings, then all the dipes and liners go into the pail for a soak. The soak is for at least an hour. I set the wet bags aside. 

Following the soak, I put everything back into the washing machine including my wet bags.  I squeeze some of the water out but I try to leave them pretty wet. Without any detergent, I set the washer for super wash with an extra rinse. I repeat this wash twice. 

Then I take the inserts and put them in the dryer for 60min with no dryer sheet. The diapers dry on a drying rack along with the wetbags. 

Once everything is dry, I re stuff all the diapers and snap down the rise. This just makes it easier when you go to grab a dipe. 

In the beginning I was having troubles with the inserts still smelling and some leaks. My washer is an HE washer therefore it uses the least amount of water needed for the weight of the load. By adding the soaking step I'm adding as much water as I need and I'm ensuring the detergent has enough time to wash out any bacteria (causes the smell). The double wash cycles with no detergent removes all soap residues from the diapers. These residues build up and prevent  absorption, causing leaks. 

So far this has been working perfectly. It sounds a lot more involved than it is, the washer does most of the work. 
What's your wash routine like?

Friday, 1 March 2013

DIY Pocket Diaper-first try

Finished making this puppy last night and I'm pretty proud of it. It is the first one so there is definitely room for improvement.  Tried it this morning and it worked great!




Wednesday, 27 February 2013

A day in the life...

At the moment the bulk of my stash is made up of Hipkiddo pocket diapers.  I have four Intelligently Hip diapers, 18 Classically Hip diapers, and two Naturally Hip.  I will post a review of these diapers soon.  

This is my diapering set up
For the first change in the morning (usually 5:30am/6:00am) I switch out my microfibre insert and replace it with a bamboo insert (soaks up 3x more). We were having leaking issues with this change before, we haven't had another since (I also use the bamboo inserts whenever I'm going to be out for a while).  Then baby goes back to sleep for a bit.

I tend to change her after every feed (approx every two hours). Until this week changing the diaper was just switching it out for another and covering her bum with powder (pure cornstarch kind). The powder just keeps her bum that much drier and helps prevent any redness from moisture.  We introduced solids about 2weeks ago and a few days ago her poop changed to real poop.  Breast milk poop is water soluble and can be rinsed off in the wash.  Anyways, now I place a flushable liner on top of the microfleece layer of the diaper, that way I can just peel off the liner and flush extra rinsing needed.  

Diapers go straight into my Rubbermaid pail lined with a wetbag, there is no liquid in the pail. Right now I'm still using disposable wipes, but I'd like to eventually switch to cloth because I feel like I'm cheating by using them. It really wouldn't be much more work. On average we go through 8 diapers/day. 

If you have any questions about my daily routine, leave me a message.  If you like what you see, follow my blog and recommend it to your friends.  Watch for my next post....The "wash routine". 

Monday, 25 February 2013

Cloth diapers? Really?

When I found out that I was pregnant, I was pretty shocked as well as scared.  How would we afford to provide our little munchkin with the best of everything she needed?  All the frugal, thrifty mothers out there recommended cloth diapers as a way of saving money and so the research began.  I spent months reading and watching videos, yet it only took minutes to fall in love with the oh-so adorable fluffy baby butt.  How could something so cute save us money, especially when each diaper costs an average of $15?  Easy, it's a one time purchase (or multiple purchase addiction-but I'm talking about saving some money).  I read somewhere that it costs roughly $2000 to diaper a child in disposables for two years, cloth diapers are roughly $500 for the same amount of time and can be used for multiple children.  So we saved about $1500 right there.

Most people scoff when I mention cloth diapers, or say something like "they are so much work, I don't have time for that".  I doesn't take me any longer to put one on my baby, or take one off and it's just an extra load of laundry added to the countless loads I do already.  The only extra time I put into them is searching for cute new prints to buy and stuffing and folding them, which I enjoy because I get to admire my collection.

On top of all that I feel like I'm doing a good deed for my babe. Today is her five month birthday and in the three and a half months that I've cloth diapered, I have yet to have a blowout or a diaper rash.  What made you decide to use fluff? Or what's stopping you?

Look for my next post chronicling my cloth diapering routine.