Thursday, August 17, 2017

Washing Cloth Diapers

I'd like to start off with the simple statement that 
Cloth Diapers are EASY to Wash!!

When I first started cloth diapering, and didn't have any friends with babies yet, I just jumped right in and washed them like I would wash a t-shirt or pair of pants!  Then I realized that the instructions of most cloth diapers called for a quick soak in cold water, and less detergent, and to fit less in your washer overall.  So, I followed these directions next for many years without any problems!  I didn't really know what I was doing, didn't use special detergents, and had a really really old washer and the only problem I ran into was a bit of stink in my pail now and then.  

Cloth diapers do require some bit of special care however. This is because the fabrics that are used in Diapers are quite a bit different than most clothes, and they are washed multiple times a week, in usually very hot water.  The PUL, Velcro, and Elastic need a bit of babying if you want them to stay in top condition and last a long time.  It's still much easier to care for them than the cloth diapers that were out when we were kids!  Most of our moms who used cloth, used only Prefolds and covers.  And maybe a few All-in-ones here and there.  Those covers could only be washed in warm, and could Never go in the dryer!  

Most Diapers, like your SoftBums Shells, or other pockets and covers are made with a waterproof material called PUL (poly urethane laminate), elastic, and velcro, and are actually fairly easy to care for overall! 
You will just want to avoid a few things like:

  • Soaking in any detergent or other Additives (hurts PUL and elastic)
  • Excessively High Heat, so NO Sanitize Cycle (hurts PUL, and also hurt Velcro)
  • NO vinegar (it's acidic and will eat your elastic and can cause rash on baby if not rinsed out well)
  • NO oxyclean (it's very harsh on diapers and can cause rash on baby)
  • No HIGH HEAT in Dryer (Hurts Velcro, and elastic and sometimes even PUL)

There are MANY different opinions about the best way to wash cloth diapers. Information good or bad, right or wrong is out there and can be confusing to new parents especially when battling stink or other issues. I believe this confusion is turning people away from cloth diapering. 

There are many variables at play when it comes  to washing your diapers. 

Machine type
There are different types of washing machines and each type of machine may require you to tweak your routine. It is helpful to trick some HE machines into using more water. (which is needed when washing cloth diapers) You can do this by adding water to your inserts to add extra weight to the drum and cause your machine to use extra water.

Water type
Mineral content in water varies geologically and will affect how you wash your cloth diapers. If you do not know your total water hardness you can purchase water quality test strips. If you have hard water you may need to use a water softer with your detergent (we recommend washing soda) 

All detergents are not formulated the same. Cloth detergents that have less fillers and may require less detergent where mainstream may require a little more. SoftBums recommends using 1/4 of the recommended amount.

Load size
It's important to learn what size load your washer washes best at. Generally it is 2/3 to 3/4 full. 

Synthetic fibers vs natural fibers. 

It is recommend to line dry when possible. The sun helps with stains and is a natural disinfectant. 
If you have to use the dry dry on low or medium. Drying on high heat can damage many parts of your cloth diapers.
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Friday, July 7, 2017

What's inside my diaper bag?

Hi everyone! I wanted to show you which items I have in my diaper bag and why they are definitely a “must have”. I am excited to share a little bit about why I love each item and a bit about the brands. There are so many amazing small businesses for baby items and I love discovering new ones, so I thought you would too! Let’s take a look…

Logan + Lenora:  Hobo Bag – Audrey Stripe

Let’s talk about this diaper bag! There are so many great features that I have to share, I am not even sure which one to start with. I love the fabric on this. The outer fabric is a poly canvas that is stain AND wrinkle RESISTANT! That is right, Mia can put her sticky fingers all over this bad boy, because it wipes right off. The inside has a waterproof lining which I think is a great idea for a diaper bag. This is the first diaper bag I have owned that has this, and let me tell you, it is awesome! It also fits a lot more than I imagined. When I first received it I was a little nervous about how narrow it was, but it can fit a lot! I probably could have fit about double what is in the bag today. If you pack for multiple babies or like to carry a bit more, check out their other Waterproof and Washable Bags for Mommyhood

I think the best thing about this bag is how convertible it is. Not only can I use it as a diaper bag, but it is so fashionable I can wear as a purse and no one has to know it has diapers inside! Because of the stain resistant outer layer and waterproof lining, it is even perfect for the gym or beach. It is also totally affordable, only $35!
Where to buy: Logan and Lenora

Softbums: Echo Veg-O-Matic and Omni Pansy

Softbums are of course hands down my favorite cloth diaper. Nothing compares! My husband and I tried many brands, but once we tried a Softbums there was no going back. They truly are one-size fits all. We love the slide-2-size elastic which can even be adjusted while they are on the baby. I don’t know of another brand that does this! They are also super trim and ADORABLE! Today we have the newest limited edition print – Veg-O-Matic in Echo and Pansy in Omni. If you aren’t sure what the difference between Echo and Omni are, click here.   These are both great gender neutral prints and perfect for summer! We have them ready to go with a One-Size Bamboo Super pod (our favorite insert), already snapped in.
Where to Buy: Softbums

Softbums: Wet bag and Wipe Clutch in Cloud Nine

With cloth diapers, you also need a wet bag! I love that Softbums came out with coordinating accessories for their diapers! I wish every release had a matching wet bag! *hint hint* This print is Cloud Nine (of course I have the matching diaper). The small wet bag can hold 2 diapers and is perfect for wet clothes or wet swim suit as well!
I also love the Wipe Clutch! You can use disposable wipes or cloth wipes. We have even used this to hold beauty products, pens, and snacks! It is the perfect size for a reusable mini bag.
Where to Buy: Softbums

Earth Mama: Angel Baby Bottom Balm

I have heard amazing reviews about this product so I thought I would give it a try and ended up
loving it! This is a diaper cream that is very gentle and goes on very smooth. It is safe for cloth
diapers, which is very important in my house. We like to use a little of this every change, and it has helped prevent any diaper rashes. It is made with Organic Oils and Shea Butter and has been rated 1 on EWG’s Skin Database, which is the lowest hazard rating a product can achieve! WOW! I know some moms who also use this for scrapes, new piercings, and cradle cap! It doesn’t take up much room in the diaper bag, but is an item I never want to leave out.
Where to buy: Earth Mama

Project Pomona: Eco Fit Grow with Me Jeans - Pink Grapefruit

Every time I pack my diaper bag I always have a spare outfit. Today I packed my favorite baby jeans, which I am so excited that I discovered! There are so many reasons why you have to try these. First, they are so cute and comfy! They have so many cute colors and the fabric is super soft and stretchy. It is lightweight but also very sturdy.

The coolest thing about these baby jeans are how adjustable they are! Just like Softbums one size diapers, they are also easy to adjust in size. The pants can easily be rolled up or down, depending on the height of the baby. The inside of the pants have charming fabric so it looks super cute when rolled! Most jeans don’t stay rolled, but these stick and stay, even while jumping and running. My favorite feature of this product is the adjustable snaps around the waste. Can you say hallelujah?! These jeans are a little higher priced than I normally would spend, but well worth it! Each pair has 3 pant sizes in one, which makes it more budget friendly. The only thing I wish Project Pomona Jeans had was more prints and colors! J
Where to buy: Project Pomona

BirdRock Baby: Baby Moccasins - Champagne

Something else I always have to pack is a pair of shoes. My little one doesn’t like wearing shoes in the car, so we usually end up packing a pair. These moccasins are PERFECT for a diaper bag. They are so light weight and take up hardly any space. They are also super easy to put on and are so flexible that baby doesn’t even notice she is wearing shoes. They are also handmade from 100% genuine leather which means very sturdy with super soft soles! Of course they are adorable as well. Take a look at all of these Take a look at all of these options. I think Classic Mermaid or Wildflower are going to be my next ones!

Okay now that I have shared why I love these moccasins, I need to fill you in on how I feel about this company. I have been IMPRESSED. First, every time I email or reach out, I receive super-fast responses. They are so sweet and friendly every time I talk to them, I love it. They also have a lifetime guarantee on all of their products which is amazing. I don’t know of very many companies that offer this. Here is my favorite part about BirdRock Baby - for every pair of moccasins they sell, they feed a hungry child for one day through Feed My Starving Children. How cool is that!? As I mentioned before, I have used and searched for other baby moccasins, but I am so glad I found this brand.
Where to buy: BirdRock Baby

BabyLit: The Odyssey Book

One thing we can’t leave the house with is a book (or few). My girls LOVE to read and look at all the pictures. One of our newest favorite book brands is BabyLit. Today we packed The Odyssey  which has goofy monsters throughout the book. We also have A Little Princess and The Secret Garden (my favorite). These books are such good quality and the pictures are phenomenal. These sweet stories are a great way to introduce the little ones to classic literature.
Where to buy: BabyLit

Beauty by Earth: Body Sunscreen SPF 25

Another item you will want to include when you are packing your diaper bag is sunscreen! This Beauty by Earth Body Sunscreen is perfect to throw in your diaper bag. I love this product because it works for the entire family. I don’t have to have a separate sunscreen for my toddler or other kids, I can just throw this one my bag and am all set! It also has nice scent that isn’t strong or overbearing. Something I love about this brand, is if you don’t love it, they do have a 30-day 100% Customer Satisfaction Guarantee. But, I don’t think you will need to use that, since the product rocks!
Where to buy: Beauty by Earth

Beauty by Earth: Organic Peppermint Lip Balm

The last item is one of my favorite products I keep in my diaper bag (and everywhere in my house). I first wanted to try this when I saw over 600, 5-Star reviews on their website, and I can see why! This peppermint lip balm is smooth and makes my lips look AND feel great. I love that Beauty by Earth uses 100% natural beeswax as well. This pack comes with 4 lip balms, which is perfect, because I have one in my diaper bag, night stand, office desk, and the baby claimed the last one! I can’t wait to try the other lip balms they have too!
Where to buy: Beauty by Earth

Annndddd because we LOVE you! We thought it only fitting to do a giveaway of all our favorite things!

 Enter the Giveaway ----->>>>  Enter NOW!

I hope everyone enjoyed seeing what’s inside my diaper bag! If you have tried any of these amazing brands, please include your experience in the comments below. I would also love to know what “must have” items are in YOUR diaper bag!

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Wednesday, June 21, 2017

What is Delamination? and How Do I Prevent it?


What is PUL?

PUL, or Polyurethane Laminate, is the water proof outer layer on most modern cloth diapers. PUL is Water-proof, flexible and durable. It is created by bonding a plastic layer to the fabric you see as the outer part of your cloth diaper.

What Exactly is Delaminaion and Why Does it Occur?

Delamination is when the waterproof laminate begins to pull away from the fabric. Cloth diapers are washed and worn MANY times, and, just like regular clothing, over time it is normal for cloth diapers parts to deteriorate, including PUL. Having a large stash is the #1 way to combat wear and tear on your diapers, its the difference of washing daily compared to a couple times a week. (you wouldn't was a shirt daily and expect it to hold up) Washing or drying in high heat are also common causes of delamination. SoftBums recommends washing in temperatures no higher then 140 degrees and to avoid the sanitize cycle as the water will get too hot. It is also recommended to line dry as often as possible or if you must use a dryer never to turn up past medium, aside from the initial 10-15 in the dryer on hot to seal the seams.

TIPS To Preserve the Life of Your PUL

  • Wash your diapers using recommended routine and detergent. Manufactures recommend routines that they feel is best for their diapers, following their advise is often the easiest was to insure a long like for your diapers. You can find SoftBums washing recommendations HERE.
  • Wash your cloth diapers often. 
  • Do not soak your diapers
  • No Additives as these can be SUPER Harsh on your diapers!
  • Do NOT Ever use the Sanitize cycle on your Washer.  It goes above 140 degrees F and is much too hot
  • Do NOT Dry too high of heat
  • Line dry Shells and never stuff your diaper while hot.
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Friday, June 2, 2017

Cloth Wipes are EASY and CONVENIENT!


Why You Should Use Cloth Wipes

Cloth diapers and cloth wipes go hand in hand. BUT... even if you don't cloth diaper, using cloth wipes may still be a good choice for your family!
My favorite are SoftBums Bamboo Cloth Wipes They come in a 5 pack for $9.25

Cloth wipes save money, produce less waste, are softer on your baby's bottom and expose your baby to less chemicals! Cloth wipes are easy to prepare and they are convenient to use, especially if you are already using cloth diapers.

How to Store Cloth Wipes

If you are planning to use cloth wipes full-time, I recommend starting with 24-36 wipes. You can also see if you might want a SoftBums Wipes Bag to bring them on outings!

Store wet and ready for use:
I find this is the most convenient way for my family. I store our cloth wipes accordion folded and pre-moistened in a wipes warmer. You can store your pre-moistened wipes in any container that has a top/some sort of seal to keep moisture in.

Store dry until use:
Cloth wipes can be stored dry in a basket, or wherever is most convenient for you. If you store your wipes dry you will have to decide on a way to wet the wipes. Some parents choose to use plain warm water from the faucet and others have a spray bottle with a wipes solution at the changing station.

Wipes Solution

There are many different options to wet your cloth wipes:

  • Plain water
  • Homemade wipes solution
  • Wipes solution cubes
  • Water with a little baby soap 

Basic wipes solution that I use:
-2 tbsp melted coconut oil
-2 tbsp liquid soap (I love EMAB)
-1 ½ cup distilled or filtered water
Here is a link to our blog post with more wipes solution recipes, 

How to Wash Cloth Wipes

If you already cloth diaper or are planning to cloth diaper, then washing is EASY! Just store used wipes with your soiled diapers and wash together.

If you do not cloth diaper you will want a wet bag or a place to store used wipes until it is time to wash them. Rinse off any solids and wash with towels or baby clothing.

SoftBums Organic Bamboo Wipes are made with a bamboo organic cotton blend. One side is soft for a gentle clean and the other side has a grippy texture for the big messes.

SoftBums wipes can be used in many ways! I have used them as nursing pads!! Comment below with your favorite wipes solution and any creative uses you have for your wipes.


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Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Challenging Gender Roles with Cloth Diapers


My Son (L) and My Daughter (R) in Fluffy Saurus
If you’re like me, cloth diapering with two kids in diapers means using whichever shell is clean on whichever child needs a diaper change.  Even doing laundry every day or two, some of your favorite shells (hello Arthur and Juliet) are bound to be dirty around half of the time.  Chances are, whether you intend to or not, sooner or later your little princess will be wearing Fluffysaurus Rex, and your little prince will be wearing Love Blossom.

While this may be accidental at times, I’d like to make a case for using diapers on your kids that don’t fit into traditional gender roles.  Remember, challenging gender roles doesn’t always mean putting a “girly” diaper on a boy, or vice versa, but rather allowing your favorite diapers of any color and print to make your children look great.

My son’s favorite diaper is Rainbow Connections; the colors and stars excite him, and he asks for it consistently.  And while my daughter certainly enjoys Juliet, she also loves the little red dragon on the Arthur print.  They are both noticeably happy when they see those prints, and love wearing them around the house, or out to the park.  There’s no rule that says girls can’t like dinosaurs, or that boys don’t like flowers: if it makes my babies happy, I’m happy.

My son in Hearts
Not only is it more convenient to swap diaper prints (no more sorting the laundry for boy and girl diaper shells!), but it teaches your kids from an early age that there are no limits to the things they can enjoy.  It frees them from the sorts of constraints offered in Toy departments, where the “girl” aisle is clearly defined by dolls and cascades of pinks and purples, and the “boy” aisle consists of robots, trucks, and superheroes, predominantly in bright primary colors.

On a more practical note, perhaps cloth diapering on a budget means you rely on Buy-Sell-Trade groups, and keep your eyes out for bargains and sales from your favorite retailers.  If you don’t mind which colors and patterns decorate your kids’ bums, you can cloth diaper without hurting your wallet.  Even if money is not a concern, denying typical gender and color expectations allows you to then be excited about every print as it is released, regardless of the gender of your kids, or the color or design on the print.

From a sociological perspective, it is good for children to feel empowered and safe in their homes, and while allowing them to choose any cloth diaper print regardless of gender relation may seem like a small thing, in raising children the small things often have the greatest impact.  By taking this small action, you are telling your children that it is ok to be excited about things they love, that you support them no matter what they decide to love, and, in a way that is not so small for your little ones, you make their world a happier, more colorful, and less constrained space.

-Keely E. 
Momma of 2
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