Posts Tagged ‘diapers’

What is a Limited Edition Cloth Diaper?

Monday, July 27th, 2015

what is a limited edition cloth diaperIf you’re newer to cloth diapers, you may not know the pre-limited edition cloth world. People bought the diapers they liked. End of story. But with the advent of limited edition prints, it hid the fervor of dedicated collecting under the “need” to have more diapers. You know, for the baby.

In the several years prior to 2014, retailers often learned of new prints at seasonal expos. Sometimes there were pre-orders and usually those prints or colors were around for a full season or, at least, a second shipment. Many brands continue to market this way. Last year the diaper world was thrown for a (hook and) loop when limited editions came to larger production brands, namely bumGenius (Cotton Babies brand along with Flip).

To be fair, WAHM brands like RagaBabe already had a corner on the highly-coveted, low-availability market. The shake-up happened, in part, due to bumGenius’s larger availability in stores and their fan base as a top-selling brand across all styles of cloth diapers. Their tiny socialite artist series paled in comparison to the drop-and-gone approach of the later Genius series of diapers in 2013-2015.

We bought an Albert with no difficulty when we first entered the world of children and cloth diapering in late 2011. I thought nothing of it; nobody did. Then at some point between Maathai and Irwin, I noticed the tension. I recall stepping back when I saw small retailers staying up at all hours of the night trying to update their loyal shoppers on when diapers might arrive and how many and of what styles they might get. Even retailers were left in the dark in the limited edition craze of Caroll, Jules, Audrey, and Chaplin.

In the midst of this, the old socialite series was offered in a limited release by some retailers. This was hard to swallow for some who paid double–and triple–for used versions of these hard-to-find prints. Then Cotton Babies/bG re-released Maathai. bG has taken the brunt of some buyers’ hard feelings as some people buy up more diapers than “needed” for the purpose of reselling at exorbitant prices. Websites crashed. Poor reviews were posted on retailer sites. Mamas got mad at mamas. I’d say it was the best of times and worst of times, but I don’t want to buy into the drama.

The world of cloth diapers forever changed after 2013. Some were turned off by limited edition offerings (by any brand that specialized their brand). Others became even more committed to gathering their entire rainbow of one brand; they enjoy the hunt on buy-sell-trade pages for the one or two hard-to-find prints they seek. Given the excitement over prints, families new to cloth diapers got enthusiastic and old regulars became excited anew to see what each creative team would come up with next.

Two years later, most of the limited dust has settled, though it continues. The limited edition craze definitely added spice to a world that maybe was getting too settled in its ways. It pushed creative boundaries and vision of what all a cloth diaper can encompass. It’s good for a business to sell their inventory, so at least for the brand-name business is good. A lot of people have bought in, making them lifetime customers, both inviting brand-loyalty if you want a rainbow and brand-bridging if you want all the cute prints.

Just as before the limited edition craze, brands like Rumparooz and AppleCheeks continue to ramp up their social media for reveal parties of retiring and new colors and prints. Generally, their offerings are not limited. Some brands continue to work under their old model of a monthly or seasonal type of production, often akin to Softbums and BottomBumpers. With a monthly print, you know it’s going to change and there may be a shorter supply or limited availability in that they produce with the expectation of selling for one month.

Blueberry Diapers recently launched their Blueberry and Me website that offers several new prints, available only for a few weeks. It offers some of the high-demand and surprise aspects of limited editions in a predictable, managed way. Blueberry also has “exclusive” prints available through only a select retailer or two. Rumparooz teamed up with Ju-Ju-Be diaper bags. Some other brands offer an exclusive print at a single event, like MommyCon or The Great Cloth Diaper Change.

I didn’t think I was into it all. In fact, I wasn’t particularly happy with bumGenius and the way some small retailers had to handle the challenges of limited edition prints. Then at a diaper swap I eyed an Irwin in the distance. For $2. I don’t think I’ve ever moved so fast across a room. (For the inquiring mind: I paid it forward.)

Lynette Moran shares her life with her husband and two sons, ages 1 and 3 years. She has cloth diapered both since birth and enjoys all things eco-friendly and mindful living.

Sunning Your Cloth Diapers

Thursday, April 23rd, 2015

Sunning Your DiapersDaylight savings? Check! Warmer temps? Check! Sunny skies? CHECK! None of these things are necessary elements of diaper sunning success, but doesn’t it just feel like it’s time to open those windows, pull out your clothes pins, and get those cloth diapers in the sun?

Generally, I am a big-bang-little-buck kind of mama, minimal if you will. I’m not against oxygen bleach, chlorine bleach, or other additives, but I am cautious as they may cause wear and tear and void some warranties.

Prevent stains first by never letting them set. Use a disposable or fleece liner to catch most or all of the stain. Hopefully you are able to change poopy diapers as soon as possible, mostly for the sake of your kiddo’s comfort and cleanliness. Quick changes will allow you to address the stain before it sets. Water is also your friend, whether you spray, dunk-and-swish, or rinse.

Enter the sun. Allow it to work for you most by setting out your washed, damp diapers in direct sunlight on a bright, shiny day; Know that even a cloudy, rainy, or cold day will prove effective. If it’s chilly or you can’t leave your diapers outside due to housing rules or safety, lay them out by a sunny window inside. If a stain proves unruly, try adding a squirt of lemon juice to it for another sunning session immediately or when you next have time to sun. You can also try a natural stain stick like buncha farmers to aid the process.

Beware of excessive heat if you live in a climate that reaches excess of 120+ degrees in the sun. Though unlikely, your TPU/PUL waterproof materials and elastic may also experience unneeded wear and tear if you leave your diapers out for hours on end. Speaking of which, don’t forget to bring your diapers in when you’re done! Yes, I’ve been there and done that! Line drying in the sun not only saves energy and adds freshness to your load of laundry, it also serves as a cost-effective, natural, and non-toxic bleaching agent. Enjoy your fresh fluff!

Lynette Moran shares her life with her husband and two sons, ages 1 and 3 years. She has cloth diapered both since birth and enjoys all things eco-friendly and mindful living.

Repurposing Your Newborn Gear

Friday, February 20th, 2015

Repurposing Your Newborn GearNewborn gear helps you through some rough stuff. I surely would have had fewer showers if it weren’t for the magic of that electric swing with grasshopper sounds. I’m forever indebted to the mobile that bought me those five extra minutes at least once a day. We were a little disappointed with how quickly our sons grew out of some contraptions though and were happy to find a way to repurpose them. Of course, we generally try to bring less in the home so we have less left over to begin with. That said, if you’re moving out of that newborn stage you may consider ditching a few of the things listed below. I encourage you to use your imagination before you put them in the “toss” bin!

Receiving blankets: We never used these as our sons came out baby mammoth size. Instead I cut them into 8×8 squares (serging the edges will lengthen the life of your new hankie). We have a pile of about 50 of them from over three years ago. We still use them daily to wipe noses, clean off hands, and clean up small spills. Burp cloths can also serve a similar purpose.

Infant bath tub: We tried going without an infant tub but gave in because I just couldn’t trust my slippery hands. We now use it as a little pool or water/sensory table in the dining room and a sand box on the porch. Fill it with rice, cotton balls, or anything in between for a fun way to pass a rainy afternoon away!

Newborn cloth diapers: All-in-one diapers aside, any other newborn diapers are easily usable down the line. Infant size prefolds are perfect for stuffing alone or with a booster into a pocket. Newborn size inserts are great boosters for that little-something-extra you might need as your infant grows toward toddler! You may have to pack away the AIOs, pockets, and covers. Keep the inserts, prefolds, and flats out for continued use!

Bottles: We didn’t have many of these around the house, but we now use them in the bath tub as a play cup, filled with pebbles to make instruments and little cups to hold paint or paint water. The brand we purchased was for our pumped milk, so they came with flat lids in addition to the nipple lids. Of course you can improvise if you don’t have that lid option! If you buy glass jars of food, again those are great for holding paint though they are breakable.

Enjoy your newfound items you didn’t realize you already have!

Lynette Moran shares her life with her husband and two sons, ages 1 and 3 years. She has cloth diapered both since birth and enjoys all things eco-friendly and mindful living.

Troubleshooting Your Cloth Diapers

Wednesday, February 4th, 2015

Troubleshooting Your Cloth Diapers

Between our two boys, we’ve gone through our share of troubleshooting cloth diapers in the newborn stage of life. This is not to say cloth diapers are so difficult you need a guide to get through those first few months, but that these are common issues that many families encounter, all of which usually have straightforward solutions.

Newborn stains: Maybe it’s the many bowel movements per day or perhaps just something in the poop, but newborn stains often stick around wash after wash. You might prevent some of the stains by washing every one or two days. You can also spray or rinse the diaper if you feel particularly strong about preventing stains. A natural stain fighter, like Buncha Farms or Bac-Out, can also penetrate some pesky marks.

For stains that persist, sunning diapers (even if cloudy or cold out) can allow the sun to do the hard work. Adding a little lemon juice to the stain before sunning can help. Additives like bleach may help, but be aware this might void warranties or unnecessarily wear out your diapers.

Sensitivities: A red bum is enough to keep a parent up at night. If a rash concerns you, please consult your pediatrician. Redness often is associated with detergent left behind in the diapers. Consider if you need to lessen your detergent, change to a detergent with fewer additives or fragrances, or add a second rinse to ensure they are clean. Also consider if your babe may have sensitivity to either synthetic or natural fibers. Don’t fret! You need not replace all your diapers. Natural fibers are often associated with wetness, so a fleece or stay-dry liner can help. If the issue is synthetic fibers, a cotton liner might solve the problem.

Time: Every parent knows time is a valuable commodity. If you don’t have a washing machine in your home, consider using prefolds and flats as they wash most easily and dry quite quickly compared to most all-in-one diapers. Also, keep your routine simple! I know poop (In. Your. Washer!) seems a little scary at first.  All you need is a rinse to get most of the muck off, a full wash cycle to clean them, and a second rinse to ensure all detergent is washed away. Warm to hot water is ideal, but keep it under 120 to 140 degrees (manufacturers vary) and make sure there is enough water for the diapers to agitate against each other but with enough space that the water can get in and rinse away the muck.

Lynette Moran shares her life with her husband and two sons, ages 1 and 3 years. She has cloth diapered both since birth and enjoys all things eco-friendly and mindful living.

Potty Training Dos and Don’ts

Friday, November 21st, 2014

Potty Training Dos and Don’tsPotty training- intimidating, exciting, and a whole new ballgame. For me, it has been a definite adventure. From buying “Frozen” panties to sinking to new levels of bribery, potty training has been successful but definitely something I have learned a lot through. As your child approaches this adventure, here are some dos and don’ts I’ve learned along the way.

Do encourage potty training. Don’t push it.

Many moms see the signs that their little one is ready to start potty training from 18-24 months of age. For my daughter, this was the case. She began to tell me when she was wet and the first time I sat her down on the potty, she went. It’s great to encourage your child towards potty training at this age, but don’t push it.  Many 2 and 3 year olds are still wearing diapers. Pushing your child to potty train usually backfires. Stress, the need to please mommy, and anxiety can creep into your little one’s head and all of a sudden it’s not a fun adventure anymore for anyone.

Here are some signs your little one may be ready to start potty training:

  • They tell you when they are wet or dirty and seem bothered by wetness.
  • They can follow basic instructions and understand them, as well.
  • They seem interested in the potty.
  • They start to know how to pull their own pants up and down.


Do praise for good success in potty training. Don’t lose your cool when accidents occur.

Potty training opens up many opportunities for positive reinforcement with little ones. Stickers, treats like m&ms, and the opportunity to wash their hands like big girls and boys, are all great rewards. We’ve used them all. You can find fun, printable charts online to use to track your little one’s progress and get the whole family involved. As your little one starts to potty train, accidents will occur. My daughter had several accidents in the beginning of wearing panties. She knew she had to go, but she didn’t tell us she had to in time. Getting upset or frustrated is easy. Maintaining your cool and being calm with your child is not, but it is important. Make sure they know it’s okay and you still love them. We all make mistakes and move on. Don’t make too much of it. They make all kinds of carpet and sanitizing cleaners for a reason.

Do get your little one interested in their own success. Don’t worry or stress.

You can find fun, entertaining books about potty training online and at your local library. Some of my daughter’s favorites are My Big Girl Potty and Big Girl Panties.  Use potty training as a bonding experience. We read books, sing songs, and laugh a lot during potty time. Johanna looks forward to having our attention while she’s on the potty. Don’t worry if your little one doesn’t catch on right away. Several things can influence the timeline for potty training. For us, introducing a new baby in the middle of potty training was a roadblock. Johanna started losing interest and having accidents. Thankfully, that has passed and she is doing great now.

Remember, you are supermom. You are there to teach and build-up your child. Potty training is a new way to do this. So go get some fun panties and let the journey begin!

Karyn Meyerhoff is a mom of two in Northeast Indiana. Her daughter requests a pretzel after going potty these days.