Posts Tagged ‘cloth diaper’

How to Upsize Onesize Diapers

Tuesday, October 18th, 2016

10-14-16-upsizing-diapers-2One-size diapers usually offer several rows of snaps on the front of their diaper so that you can best customize fit for your child. A number of variables exist for when to size up and down. I’ve always just gone with my baby’s gut. As in, I take a look at my babe to assess when I change rise settings. A few things to consider when you assess your babe’s individual needs:

Each brand varies and fits each babe differently.
Most brands have three settings though a few have a third row of snaps allowing for a fourth, smaller size. Some brands have rows of snaps that may change the fit around the leg of babe when compared to brands with one row of snaps. Some brands are cut more trim or generous, both in their width and length (rise). If that was all gibberish to you, simply know that each brand is uniquely cut and so you may change the rise setting on one brand before you need to on another.

Consider weight.
Some brands have, specific suggestions based on weight or rise measurement (usually in inches), usually listed on their website within the diaper listing’s specs and sizing details. Every babe is built differently, but generality is helpful. The lowest rise setting usually is for a babe 8-15ish pounds. And medium rise setting(s) usually fit babes 15-25ish pounds. The largest rise setting (not snapped down at all) covers baby 25ish pounds and beyond. I use the “ish” because each brand varies as does each baby. I say to consider weight because if your baby weighs 14 pounds it is very unlikely (though possible) that you’d be on the largest setting.

10-14-16-upsizing-diapersOther size matters.
A tall slim baby and short plum baby can both weigh the same thing but the diaper fit very differently on the same settings. Height matters. Other particulars of a baby can make a difference in rise as well, like a babes particular bum size (large or flat, adequate or plump… whatever words you choose to use).

Make room for absorbency.
Diapers you use with increased absorbency (for night or naps) may require more space for the additional inserts. One easy way to get that extra space is by upsizing the snap setting.

Leaky baby?
If you are getting leaks around the legs you might be too tight (causing compression leaks) or too loose (allowing mess to leave the diaper before having the chance to absorb). You may need to size up (for compression) or down (for a diaper that’s loose).

Red lines.
Not unlike the red line on that pregnancy test you took months ago, red lines on the babe’s thighs let you know your babe is a growin’. While lines do not typically mean your baby is uncomfortable, a red line across the top of the thigh can mean the diaper is hitting low on him or her. Adjusting the rise to a larger size allows the diaper to sit higher on your baby’s body.upsize

Gaping front.
If the diaper gapes open under the belly button in spite of your attempts to close the diaper snug, it may be time to size up.

After considering all of the above particulars, if you still aren’t sure try changing the rise on just a few of your diapers and see if the fit just seems better.  Sometimes there is no clear answer as there are so many ways you can customize fit (rise, waist, and hip snaps). Generally you want to check that the waist and leg elastics are snug but not too tight, with the diaper sitting just under the belly button. If the fabric is droopy or excessive between the legs, you may be able to size down. The child shown in the diaper at each size setting could wear the diaper at two of the rise settings with success.

If you make it to the largest rise setting and your babe isn’t even walking yet, do not fear! Many babes “thin out” as they become more active. You may find you eventually need to size the rise down, though as a child gets taller the rise generally continues to grow longer.

(Side notes: Baby in photo is 6 months old, 18 pounds, and 28 ½ inches long. A few brands, like Fuzzibunz and Smart Bottoms utilize adjustable elastic to ensure the best fit on their one-size diaper options. Other brands put the snap size system in the interior of the diaper, like Bottom Bumpers that employs a snap method in the back interior.)

Lynette is a mom of three children from 6 months to age four. She has cloth diapered all three since birth and enjoys all things eco-friendly and mindful living.

Thirsties Update: What’s New

Friday, October 14th, 2016

Thirsties updateOne of the gold standards in cloth diapers is Thirsties. We use their hemp inserts in literally every diaper we use. The year our diapered babe went to childcare we immediately purchased a stack of their AIOs. Thirsties is the only brand of which we own every single one of their products. They offer an outstanding company ethic too, a Colorado-based family company that stays connected to their clientele, committed to sustainability, and partnered with Giving Diapers Giving Hope.

If you’ve been away from the cloth diaper scene for a couple years, but especially the last year, Thirsties has made some major updates on most of their products that you’ll want to know about. In the last several years they updated their aplix to a larger tab with a higher quality aplix. It is arguably the best on the market if not one of the best. They also introduced a one-size pocket diaper with a hemp insert that is trim and absorbent. At the same time they’ve kept the quality and double-gussets that offer superior protection.

thirsties-6The most recent additions to Thirsties in the last 6-12 months include:

  • Cotton organic doublers—a natural-fiber alternative to the cotton velour doublers.
  • Natural fitteds in one-size and newborn options—Bamboo cotton replaces the old style fitted cotton mix. The inserts are also updated, and no longer fully sewn in like the older design.
  • Natural AIO in one-size and newborn options—The updated AIO has inserts of hemp and organic cotton, an update to their previous micro terry version. The material adds absorbency with its natural fibers. Change in design of the inserts (two sewn in at one side of the diaper) cut down on dry time and add versatility in how you place the absorbency for your child’s specific needs.
  • Sized covers now cover down to four pounds with the newborn size option.
  • Organic cloth wipes—updated from velour to an irresistible organic cotton and terry.

Thirsties also released a slew of prints in the last 18 months including the Ocean Collection, Woodland Collection, and a handful of limited and seasonal editions. Pick yours up today!

Lynette is a mom of three children from 6 months to age four. She has cloth diapered all three since birth and enjoys all things eco-friendly and mindful living.

Why I Love Cloth Diaper Flats

Thursday, August 11th, 2016

cloth diaper flatsWhen it comes to cloth diapers we’ve tried them all. That includes different styles, brands, price points, and more. I recall buying a package of flats before our first was born about five years ago. I heard they were intimidating and… they were! Actually, it wasn’t the flats that were intimidating so much as the flats on top of, you know, that whole being a new parent and all the new things and choices that come with parenting. Flats were just one more thing to learn.

I ended up selling that ½ dozen of flats but made another purchase about two years in at the encouragement of some other cloth diaper mamas. “So easy,” they said. They were right. I love them! They make up about a third of our stash now, mostly because I don’t want to invest in more when we are mostly through our diapering years. So why should you give them a try?

Flats wash easy. Being only one layer thick your detergent does not have to make its way so deep into many layers of an insert to get the muck out. This is especially helpful if your needing to diaper a toddler with ammonia strong urine. Flats don’t tend to hold smell like some synthetic materials or thick inserts do.

Flats fold easy. Sure you can do the fancy but really you just bring corner to corner until the right size for babe. You can tailor the basic fold to add absorbency in the front or between the legs or at the bum depending on if you have a boy or a girl, belly sleeper or back layer. Because they can fold quite trim, adding a second one does not add a lot of bulk, especially when folded to wrap around the babe as a fitted.

Flats are cost-effective. You can find very inexpensive flats options in the kitchen section of many stores. Most all flats are (bleached or unbleached) natural fibers. They can vary by weave. Ultimately most are cotton, sometimes with a blend of hemp or bamboo for additional absorbency. These tend to be more expensive but still cost-effective when compared to inserts of similar makeup. If you are really on a budget, are the supreme of eco-friendliness, or are in a pinch you can use many things as a “flat,” including t-shirts and dish towels.

Flats last. There is rarely need to buy multiple sizes. You can fold small for newborns or turn long ways and still fit on a toddler. This is one reason they are so cost-effective.

Flats shine in specific circumstances. Washer on the fritz? Prefer to hand wash? Going camping? Traveling? Flats win. In many situations flats are a great go-to for all the other reasons listed combined.

Flats are many things to a diaper. You can fold them more intricately. You can pad fold them simply. They can go into a cover or into a pocket. You can use them as more of a fitted. Whatever you need a flat can be that.

Flats have other uses. Flats make great burp cloths. They also are fantastic cleaning cloths for around the house once babe no longer needs them. Again, this makes for a cost-effective, eco-friendly choice in cloth diapering!

Lynette is a mom of three children from 3 months to age four. She has cloth diapered all three since birth and enjoys all things eco-friendly and mindful living.

Blue Poop and Other Surprises

Wednesday, July 15th, 2015

Blue poop and other surprisesLet’s talk poop.

When babies start solids—either whenever your mom starts bugging you to, or around 8 to 10 months if you’re starting baby led weaning—get ready for a fun surprise.

If you’ve been breastfeeding up until now, you have been enjoying fairly odorless diapers. Not always pleasant, but it’s nothing compared to what’s coming. Because after baby starts solids, you’re in for a real treat!

When baby starts solids, you’ll discover that poop comes in every color of the rainbow. And many different textures. This can be really alarming if you’re not expecting it, however. Many colors and textures are totally normal depending on what baby has eaten.

Here are a few discoveries I have made over the years.

Foods with more fiber than I ever thought possible: Carrots, corn, peas, tomato skins, raisins, bananas. These foods may appear in original form in your baby’s poop. Super fun if you are cloth diapering. I found tomato skins the most alarming, since they may look like blood at first glance. Carrots, corn, peas, raisins, and other bite-sized foods may appear unchanged. Bananas leave weird, black  strings. As your baby’s digestive system gets used to solids, the diapers won’t look as much like last night’s dinner plate.

Foods that make everything change color: Berries, carrots, spinach. The first time my kids discovered blueberries, they gorged themselves. My kids love every kind of berry. Blueberries won’t stain your cloth diapers, but they will create a hue of poop that will cause you to pause and take stock of all the blue crayons in the house. This is normal. Foods with a lot of pigment will turn your baby’s poop that color. The good news is that weird-colored poop is almost never an indication of a digestive problem; it’s just gross.

Also super fun: Hair. If you, your spouse, or other children have long hair, you’ll likely find yourself pulling a single, long hair out of baby’s butt at least once during a diaper change. I don’t know why or how any of my kids ate my hair, but it’s happened with all three around the crawling/mouthing stage. All you can do to prevent this is to sweep or vacuum frequently in areas where baby is crawling, or wear a ponytail/bun/topknot when you are in these areas. A single hair here and there won’t be a problem, but keep baby away from large amounts, such as after a home haircut or if you have pets with thick fur that shed.

Poop should generally be the consistency of hummus. It’s not always possible to ID a poop problem in a diapered baby since the specimen has often been jumped on, sat on and fallen on by the time you get to it. Poop should be soft, whatever color it is, and not watery or mucousy. Hard pellets are a sign of constipation. Diarrhea is always a sign of problems, but can usually be treated with breastfeeding as long as there are no other symptoms, like fever or vomiting, and it doesn’t last more than a day or so.

If the changes in your baby’s diaper alarm you, or if you want to be sure that any changes are food-related, keep a food diary as you feed baby that you can refer to after any alarming diapers. As always, consult your doctor or naturopath if you notice anything consistent that worries you or if baby is in pain or uncomfortable.

Erin Burt is a freelance writer and mom of three. She lives and writes in Oklahoma City.



When Your Daycare Doesn’t Do Cloth Diapers

Friday, June 26th, 2015

When Your Daycare Doesn't Do ClothOur children are attending childcare for one year. For the first 9 months, the infant class teachers were happy to participate in using cloth diapers. We started the conversation kindly, and all three teachers were onboard immediately.

Not every journey is so easy. When our youngest son transitioned to the toddler class, his teachers were not as keen on the idea. If you’re considering cloth at a childcare facility that isn’t interested or just doesn’t know what cloth is about, here are a few things to consider in approaching the issue:

  • Know your state’s policies: Almost every state either specifically allows or does not prohibit the use of cloth diapers. You may have to sift through the policies of your state or you can google as cloth diaper state policies to find some lists already compiled. Verify that their information is still current and accurate. If your childcare facility is large or part of a larger entity, they may already have policy in place.
  • Consider friendly engagement: Begin the conversation, but there’s no need to go in cloth diapers blazing. Ask if they’ve ever used cloth, considered it, and would be willing to talk more about it. Be kind. For example, if they say your state doesn’t allow it and you know your state does, offer the information kindly. “Oh, that’s funny. I thought I was reading the other day that Texas did allow cloth in daycare. I’ll look into that more. If they do, I’d love to show you how easy it is!”  If there are other families at the facility that use cloth, work together when approaching the staff.
  • Demonstrate: Showing is a great way of them seeing that their worst fears aren’t likely. Take time outside of class time—when it is convenient for them, not in the rush of drop-off or pick-up times— to show them how the diapers work. Keep it very simple and to the point. I love to talk about pockets and flats and brands and styles, but that is not necessary when you are convincing someone about the ease of cloth diapers. Let them try out a few and then offer a trial run so they don’t have to have an absolute answer immediately.
  • Make it easy: We used Blueberry and bumGenius snap pockets as they are cut somewhat similarly. The other half of our daycare stash was Thirsties size 2 AIOS (no longer made) aplix. Each teacher had different preferences. We always had them ready to go, with a liner. They always had a few extra on hand. We sent a wet bag with a handle every day. I also took time to ask on a monthly basis how it was going and if there was anything we could do to keep it going well. Don’t expect them to take the effort to clean them as thoroughly as you might at home.
  • Find another facility: I know, it sounds like defeat. Instead, I encourage you to think of it as finding a more congruent fit with your parenting style.

If you end up using disposables at your childcare facility, use cloth at home! Especially over the weekend, we can get a small load of diapers and, after a prewash, I add a few towels in to get a full load that washes really well. Also, even if you don’t use cloth at the school, leave the situation positive for the next mama who comes along.

The diaper seeds you sow may harvest with another child in the coming years. The transition to cloth may prove especially difficult at a place where numerous people need to be on the same page (director, multiple teachers, possibly multiple classrooms for your family). Recognize that you are laying the groundwork that other advocates, perhaps some of the staff or another parent down the road, can build on. The road where all baby bums are fluffy!

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.