Thursday, August 22, 2013

End of Summer Bucket List

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In the beginning of summer we put together a Summer Bucket List. Basically things we wanted to do as a family this summer before our oldest son started preschool. 

Here's was our list: (we were ambitious)  

  • Go to the Wave pool 
  • *Elm Creek Beach
  • Take kids to a Drive-in Movie
  • *Take kids Fishing
  • Movie in the park
  • *Prairie park splash pad
  • Waite park splash pad
  • *Ikea kids free lunch Tuesday 
  • *Free movie morning at the theater 
  • Go to the Children's Museum
  • *Como Zoo
  • *County Fair
  • *Farmers Market
  • Watch movies all day on a rainy day
  • *Plant a vegetable garden with the kids
  • *Bike rides to get ice cream
  • Rides at the state fair
  • *Horse races 
  • *Have a Car Wash
  • *Pick berries at a patch
  • *Take the boys to see the raceway
  • *See a Demo derby! 
  • **Camping with grandma & grandpa
  • *Make s'mores
  • *Make sandcastle & moat
  • *Stargaze 

The ones with the stars indicates we checked them off our list!  I think we did pretty good on our first year doing a summer bucket list! 

What was on your list this summer? Did you check off as much as you thought you would? Did you have a special system for keeping track of your bucket list items? 
 
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Monday, August 19, 2013

Combating Yeast

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What is yeast diaper rash?


A yeast diaper rash (aka. Candida Albicans) is a common rash that develops on the bums of babies and young toddlers. “It’s very normal in infants and toddlers,” says Natasha Burgert, MD, FAAP, pediatrician at Pediatrics Associates in Kansas City, Missouri. “Yeast is a fungus that lives on your skin and in the intestines, and when you have a warm, moist environment in the diaper area it can grow causing a bit of a rash." A bad yeast rash can take weeks or months to completely go away, and can easily keep going away and coming back over and over, until you finally treat it properly & effectively.
 
What are the symptoms of yeast diaper rash?
  • a rash that sticks around for more than a couple days and doesn't change with use of regular diaper rash creams.
  •  beefy red, with slightly raised borders and "satellite" lesions on the outer edges of the rash.
  • look for red dots, if you see a red diaper rash that has little red dots on the border, that’s a classic yeast diaper rash.
  • on boys is tends to start on or generally be on the babies scrotum whereas regular diaper rash doesn't tend to get in the folds of the scrotum. (or cause redness in that area)
  • babies who've recently taken antibiotics (or breastfeeding from a mother whom has) might be more likely to develop a yeast rash.
  • it is also likely if a yeast rash going on in the diaper area, its possible there is thrush (yeast) in the babies mouth and/or on mothers nipples if breastfeeding. All of these areas must be treated as well, in order to completely combat the yeast overgrowth.  
Here's what you need to do to treat it:
  1. Wash your hands before and after changing your babies diaper.
  2. Change baby after every pee (right away!!!) & change more frequently that you normally do until the rash is gone.
  3. Keep the diaper area clean and dry. Bathe at least once a day with mild soap and rinse well.
  4. NO Disposable Wipes, apparently, there are ingredients in the traditional disposable wipes that feed yeast! Instead, buy or make cloth wipes right away. You can even use paper towels with plain water until you get cloth wipes.
  5. Use Earth Mama Angel Baby Balm,  or Motherlove thrush ointment at every change!
  6. Use lanolin, or nystatin (nystatin is a prescription, only goes on 3x/day) Remember to use liners for these, they are not cloth diaper safe! All rash creams should be applied using a clean applicator, q-tip, cotton pad etc. The reason for using an applicator is to reduce the chance of contamination. 
  7. Do not use Petroleum Jelly or Cornstarch when dealing with a yeast infection. Both of these will feed the yeast.
  8. Give your baby diaper free time for 1 hour everyday (timely after your baby poops) air out those buns! (outdoors if possible)

Treating your diapers after a bout with YEAST the BEAST:
  1. Anything that comes in contact with baby's bottom needs to be treated for killing the yeast each and every time after use (diapers, wipes, liners, soakers).
  2. Wash your diapers on HOT the first cycle with 3/4 the recommended amount of detergent and then 2-3 more cycles no detergent.
  3. Take your shells & pods out of the wash and toss in the dryer on med- low till dry.
  4. If the cause of your rash is worsened because of detergent buildup (see below on how to detect detergent build up), stripping at home, or at a Diaper Service will help that too. Stripping your diapers and then only use baking soda in place of detergent for a few weeks. When washing your normal load of diapers with detergent, use the least amount possible, we recommend 1/4 of the recommended amount for the load.
  5. Reminder: SoftBums doesn't recommend the use of vinegar or bleach on your diapers. Using these methods for stripping diapers will void your warranty. Never soak your shells (or if you do only soak them in water), and don't use the sanitize cycle if you have one. These things can severely degrade every part of your diaper, from the elastic to the fabric itself.
*Tips from SoftBums Moms:
  • Try using GSE (grapefruit seed extract, found on amazon) or tea tree oil in your wash to kill the yeast spores (15-20 drops)
  • Apply yogurt directly to the bum, the live active probiotics will help get rid of the yeast.
  • Let your baby sleep bare bottomed on a waterproof mattress pad and towels. Airing out time is good for their skin.
  • Change your baby right away, as soon as they pee.
  • Coconut oil can also be used as a barrier cream because it has antifungal properties, and its cloth diaper safe!
  • A solution of 2 cups distilled water, 2-5 drops of tea tree oil and 2-5 drops of lavender oil makes a great anti-fungal wipe solution!  
Always bring your baby to the doctor if it's severe, looks like its getting worse and it hasn't cleared up after a week using home remedies to treat it.

Prevention:
  1. Lessen the amount of detergent you use in your regular diaper laundry! Only use 1/4 of the recommended amount for the load, too much detergent can cause diaper rash!
    (for top loaders) use 1 tbsp. less for HE front loaders
  2. Try adding probiotics to their diet to help keep the good bacteria level up in their tummy.
  3. If on antibiotics, change their diaper more frequently knowing they are more susceptible to yeast growth, yeast can multiply in the right conditions in 20 minutes.
  4. Diapers should be changed no later than 10 minutes after you know they pooped and generally every 2-2.5 hours during the day.
  5. Apply a barrier cream (cloth diaper safe of course) at every diaper change.
  6. Make sure the diaper is never too tight fitting, if the bottom cant get air flow yeast will grow!
Rash Confusion:

It is easy to confused yeast rash with detergent build up rash because they look similar, and like yeast rash it wont go away until you do something about it. The easiest way to tell if you have detergent buildup is do a sniff test.  
  • On a dry clean diaper, it should mostly smell like nothing. If it smells like a strong perfume or other scent it probably has buildup.
  • On a wet recently peed on diaper, it shouldn't smell like much at all. If it smells like strong ammonia or perfume, it's got buildup. You need to strip your diapers and then wash with ONLY baking soda for a few weeks.

How do I strip my diapers you ask?

 
Hot Water Strip:  
1. Load washer with diapers, shells, pods, wipes.
2. Wash on Hot and Water Level HIGH with 3/4 the recommended amount of detergent
3. Wash on Hot and Water Level HIGH with NO Detergent
4. Wash on Hot and Water Level HIGH with NO detergent
5.  Pull wet diapers from washer, and sniff them.  They should smell fresh and clean.  (if they still smell a bit fishy or like ammonia still, repeat #1 - 3, but only use 1/4 the recommended amount of detergent. Rinse an additional 1-2 times till they pass the sniff test.


Read more about stripping diapers here: http://bit.ly/13A3by5
Read More about cloth diaper safe creams here: http://bit.ly/14icouR


What are some of your tips for combating yeast diaper rash? StumbleUpon
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Friday, August 16, 2013

I've got the Golden Diaper!!

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The First Golden Diaper has been found!! 


Congrats Jennifer & Zoe!! 


We have also received 2 videos of hopefuls, that didn't find the golden diaper but did earn a spot in our random drawing. Tiffani & Jessica.

There are still 4 more Golden Diapers out there waiting to be found!! Will you find the next? 

 

PRIZE: Bamboo SuperPOD



 

 How to Enter: 


  1. Simply purchase an August Calendar Bums Shell at SoftBums.com or your favorite SoftBums Retailer.
  2. Wait impatiently for your mail to get to your house.
  3. Open your Fluffy Mail
  4. Check the back snap on the shell if it is the MYSTERY color that isn't WHITE YOU ARE THE WINNER, You've Got the Golden Diaper!!
  5. Extra points if you take a video of yourself opening your Fluffy Mail and tag & share it with us on facebook (tag: #SoftBumsGoldenDiaper, @SoftBums), pinterest, (tag: #SoftBumsGoldenDiaper, @softbums) or email.
  6. IF you take a video of yourself opening your fluffy mail and you don't receive the "Golden Diaper" but you still send us your shared video, you will be entered in a drawing via random.org for 2nd place.

     This giveaway will be over once the Golden Diaper's have been found. We will announce the winner on this page & post their video if they had one. The Runner up winner will be selected once the Golden Diaper has been found. This may take a couple weeks.




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    Monday, August 5, 2013

    The Scoop on Poop

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    You've bought your diapers.

    You've prepped your diapers.

    You even put a diaper on the baby.

    But then...IT happens. Your baby USES the diaper. And not as a hat. But for its intended purpose!

    THE HORROR!

    Actually, no. No horror! We promise. It is very easy to clean a cloth diaper, and the visions of a poop-filled washing machine you have in your head? Not gonna happen!

    HERE'S THE SCOOP ON POOP

    Dirty diapers is the first thing people think of when starting cloth diapering because of the process they fear involving removal of solids from the diaper prior to washing. Some even think you just throw diapers in the washer without removing the solids at all..  

    Its funny really because this shouldn't be a hard concept to grasp, but our society has conformed to the way of thinking that babies poop in diapers and then you throw it in the garbage!! WHAT?? Take a second, think about that! As adults do we throw our poop in the trash?? No, that would be quite unsanitary. So why should baby poop be any different? It shouldn't and even disposable diaper companies don't suggest this either. It says right on the box:
     



    Cloth Diaper Washing

    There are two stages of cloth-diaper washing: pre-solids (breastfeeding or formula fed) and post-solids (eating baby food) .

    PRE-SOLIDS
    If you are nursing or formula feeding your child, just throw the soiled diaper in the wetbag. Then when you have a load's worth of dirty diapers, wash them. No, really, that's it.  No separating pee diapers from poop diapers. No rinsing or scraping. Breast milk poo is totally water soluble and will simply dissolve away in the washer.

    You CAN rinse or use a liner, but there is absolutely no need to do so and you're just creating an extra step for yourself. Of course, some people are uber-paranoid about the thought of poop spinning around in their washing machine, and if that's you, then by all means do what you have to do in order to ease your mind! But you don't have to do anything other than wash the diaper.

    Breast milk poop (and I assume formula poop) may stain your diapers a bright orange. That's okay. sun that stain away!

    (Note about meconium - it will come off, though you may want to swish/spray/scrape the diaper [see below], and any stains will sun out!)

    POST-SOLIDS
    Depending on how you introduce solid foods into your child's diet, you may immediately see a change in their, um, output, or you may continue to see the breast milk- or formula-type poop for several weeks or even months. We started solids using the baby-led weaning techniques, and it took two months for her poop to change from the seedy, sweet-smelling (seriously!) breast milk poop to the "real" poop of people who eat real food. Some people, though, see the change almost overnight.

    Once your child's poop has changed - and it will be obvious, trust me - you will need to start dealing with the poop. This is the point a lot of people bail. However, I promise - I've yet to get poop all over the place or even touch poop. I promise you if you were using disposables, you would have had to deal with a poop blowout at least once, if not regularly! Also, if you were using disposables correctly, you would be dealing with the poop anyway - you aren't supposed to put human waste in the trash, and are supposed to remove solids from the disposable diaper prior to throwing it away! (pictured above)

    Eventually, your child's poop may become "ploppable," meaning you can just turn the diaper over the toilet and the solids will drop right off into the toilet.

    In the meantime, your kid's poop may range from peanut-butter stickiness (um, you may not want to eat during this post) to hummus textured to mashed potato-like.  Those poops, you can't just drop into the toilet. They stick. They cling. They don't want to leave the diaper.

    You have several options on how to deal with those types of poops.
    Based of a short unofficial survey we did last week here is what real parents like you are using:

    1. Diaper Sprayer: being the most popular and also the most expensive.
    2. Flushable Liners: second most popular and second most expensive.
    3. Fleece Liners: third most popular and fairly inexpensive.
    4. Dedicated Spatula: Not as popular as an option yet very inexpensive.
    5. Dunk & Swish: The least popular option and yet its free!
    6. Other: This was for the people who said they used a cloth wipe or toilet paper to remove solids from the diaper and it was a fairly inexpensive option.

    How to Remove Solids using these Methods:

    

    1. Dunk & Swish
    You can hold the diaper in the toilet (by one corner, usually) and swish it around in the toilet water, eventually flushing the toilet while holding the diaper tightly so that the rushing water cleans off the diaper. Be sure to have a wetbag nearby, because you'll have a dripping wet diaper to dispose of! This is minimally messy, but it can be difficult to fully clean the diaper.  Plus? It's free and needs no additional equipment!
    

    2. Spray
    You can install a diaper sprayer on your toilet (or some enterprising cheapskates use their removable showerhead - brilliant!). You then use this sprayer to spray the poop off the diaper while holding the diaper over the toilet bowl. The key here? Don't use the full force of the spray, and spray DOWNWARD, not into, the diaper. If you spray into the diaper at full force, you will end up with a bathroom full of poop water. There's a bit of a learning curve to spraying diapers, but they get diapers quite clean. You do have to purchase a diaper sprayer or make one yourself, however, and again, be sure to have a wetbag immediately available because the diaper will be dripping wet.
     


    3. Scrape
    Using a (I hope) dedicated spatula, you hold the diaper with one hand and use the other hand and spatula to scrape the poop off into the toilet, sometimes finishing up with a swish. This is a cheap and generally fairly un-messy option, though some blow-out type poops that get in the elastic areas may be difficult to get off this way. If you don't swish afterward, the diaper remains relatively dry.
     
     
     
    4. Liner's
    Using a fleece or flushable liner can drastically cut down the diaper change routine time when you can just toss the dirty diaper and pod in the pail and either flush the solids & flushable liner down the toilet or shake them into the toilet and rinse the fleece liner before putting in the pail.

    Fleece Liners are also an easy way to add a stay dry effect on your bamboo pods.

    They also help reduce staining if that is something you are afraid of, or don't have access to a line to dry pods outside.
     
    

    No choice has a huge advantage over any of the other choices, and they can each work equally well at cleaning the solids off of the diaper. Once the solids have been removed from the diaper, you can put it in the wetbag and come laundry day wash it as usual.

    Solid food poop also stains, and also suns out beautifully. (sometimes after a couple washes)


    DRYING YOUR DIAPERS

    If you can, line dry the diapers in the sun. It helps the PUL and elastic last longer, and the sun acts as a natural sanitizer.  Your natural-fiber diapers and inserts might get "crunchy" (stiff and rough) when line dried. To combat this, you can toss them in the dryer for five or ten minutes on low to fluff them back up.

    If you use the dryer, dry on low or extra low, and don't stretch the elastic until they've cooled down.
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