Posts Tagged ‘Cloth Diapers’

Slimline Cloth Diaper Options

Friday, September 2nd, 2016

slimline cloth diapersWhile many of us appreciate the cuteness of a fluffy bum, sometimes the fluff is not so cute. For instance, when shopping for your toddler’s jeans, a fluffy bum literally gets in the way of things. You may find a brand of clothes that cater to a larger rump or perhaps you size your child’s clothes up sometimes, perhaps avoiding the more confining materials in favor of stretch. Another option is to evaluate how you can streamline the actual diaper.

Any diaper can become trimmer by replacing microfiber with natural fibers. Hemp and bamboo especially trim down the size of any insert by offering the same or more absorption in less material compared to microfiber. Natural fibers are why some diapers, from the get-go, appear trimmer. GroVia, Smart Bottoms, Bottom Bumpers, Simplex, Thirsties, and bumGenius (Elemental) all include hemp or bamboo in their diaper styles. While this is an investment, as most pocket diapers come with microfiber inserts, you can minimize this cost by getting just a few trim inserts to use when needed.

Sized systems also offer more trim options as they remove some of the extra PUL/TPU exterior material and using sized inserts, offering a more custom fit. Bummis offers a variety of sizes. Two-step systems are more common, with size one fitting as little as six or seven to eighteen pounds and size two fitting fifteen to as much as forty pounds, with some variance in size range depending on each brand.

Even among one-size systems some have a slimmer cut. Best Bottoms and GroVia cut trim. SoftBums offer elastic modification of their diapers, allowing you to tighten the elastic for very small babies. The end result may be trimmer as their one-size diaper distributes the extra material across the entire diaper area instead of bunching it in the front beneath the rise-snap system of many one-size diapers.

If you can’t change the brand or type of diaper you have, you aren’t stuck with a too-fluffy bum. By changing the diaper more often you can remove some of the, then unnecessary, absorption. Depending on your particular baby’s age, sleep schedule, and potty habits you may currently change a diaper every one to four hours (or after part or all of the night). If you are waiting until baby urinates more than once you could change after each void, requiring less absorption (and possibly providing more comfort for babe).

Also consider your inserts. Pre-folds are notoriously bulky but by using sized pre-folds instead of one-size you can get a trimmer fit (though this costs more as you’d need more than one set of diapers to get from birth to potty training). Other inserts are cut in a contoured fashion, trimmer between the legs. Length of insert can also contribute to bulk. A large insert on a tiny baby will need to fold down somewhere, adding bulk.

Ultimately babies can rock the fluff, but if you want to invest your time or money into a trimmer bum there are numerous ways to do so. That said, a fluffy bum will likely never be as trim as a sposie bum. But that’s not necessarily a bad thing.

Lynette is a mom of three children from 4 months to age four. She has cloth diapered all three since birth and enjoys all things eco-friendly and mindful living.

A Newborn Diapers Primer

Tuesday, July 26th, 2016

newborn diapersIn addition to adding a new baby to the routine, many parents consider adding cloth diapers to the mix from the very first days after birth. Here are a few things to think about as you begin to cloth diaper your newborn:

Baby’s size.
If you absolutely know you’ll have a smaller child (planning a delivery earlier rather than later, for example) you might want to invest more in newborn cloth. Many more established brands have newborn-specific diapers. Some go down to four pounds. If you are like my extended family where no baby was ever born smaller than 8 pounds then investing in extra small cloth may look a little different. Consider 2-size systems like Apple Cheeks, Blueberry, Bummis, and Thirsties that offer a 7ish to 18ish pound size range. You’ll get the more trim fit of a newborn diaper but with the longevity up to 18 pounds.

If the cloth diaper lingo is overwhelming, join a cloth diaper group that can aid and support you in your many questions along the way. They may even become online friends in those early morning hours while you are up, yet again, bleary-eyed and feeling alone. If you are really nervous about all the possibilities consider something simple like an all-in-one diaper or prefolds with covers. Pocket diapers are fairly simple as well with only stuffing required. If you’re very comfortable and open then the possibilities are endless. I began with mostly pockets but now have a variety and love flats just as much now.

Consider parents, grandparents, daycare, and anyone else who will change your babe’s diaper. If already ambivalent then Velcro/aplix diaper closures might work best. Snaps have a minor learning curve for the willing but may be intimidating for those less excited about cloth. Also, while trying a wide variety of diapers can help you find what you like best, sticking with one or two specific diapers (same brand, same style) can help. Within each style (all-in-one, pocket, covers, etc.) every brand tweaks the diaper in small ways. Snaps may be placed slightly differently, the cut of each brands diaper may vary from one to the next, and so on. This can be confusing to someone unfamiliar or less interested in cloth diapering.

If you begin from day one with cloth you may need to address meconium, the umbilical cord, or circumcision.  Meconium, your baby’s first stool passings, is dark and sticky and tarlike. If you’re concerned with staining you can use a liner. I have not found it to be an issue. For the umbilical cord some brands offer a snap down or cut the diaper to give space for the umbilical cord. I’ve found that some diapers can simply be tucked under in order to give way for the umbilical cord.

Washing expectations.
If you can only wash every 3 days you’ll need to have more diapers than if you’re willing to wash every 1-2 days. If you want the diapers to last through multiple children you may need a larger stash (though newborn diapers are used for a shorter period of time so they may last several children even if used daily). A newborn goes through 8-12 diapers per day, so 16-24 diapers for two days, and 24-36 diapers for three days’ worth of washing.

Flats or prefolds and covers are generally the biggest bang for your buck. They also wash very easily and can grow with baby. A newborn prefold can become a toddler doubler down the road. You can also use them as burp cloths or wash/cleaning rags one day down the road. A YouTube search can offer you many demonstrations on a variety of fancy folds (origami is our favorite) but almost anyone can master a simple pad fold. Consider used cloth diapers if you really want diapers you can’t afford. Often people sell nearly new diapers for deeply discounted prices on B/S/T (buy/sell/trade) Facebook groups. You can also vary the size of your stash to accommodate your preferences and budget. If you really want the more expensive diaper brand then buy fewer of them and wash more often.

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.

When Your Toddler has Outgrown Cloth Diapers but isn’t Ready to Pottytrain

Tuesday, June 21st, 2016

potty training cloth diapersI have two boys. Both of them were very large from birth, both were cloth diapered, but one of them was ready to toilet train fairly early, and the other’s arm had to be twisted to start using the toilet at a later date.

My reluctant potty user had grown out of most of his cloth diapers before he could use the toilet. I wasn’t very keen on purchasing disposables, so I had to do some research. I didn’t want to have to buy a bunch of stuff just for him to toilet train, either. Here were the options I found:

  1. Suck it up and buy disposables. If your kiddo is older or quite large for her age, you may have a hard time even here. Diapers meant for overnight use often have a larger size range, but they also tend to be pretty expensive.
  2. Purchase cloth trainers. Trainers can come in larger sizes and some systems have side extenders, but they aren’t typically designed to hold much volume. If your child is not ready to use the toilet, these won’t be the best option.
  3. Buy sized cloth diapers. My son’s overnight fitted diapers fit until the end because they were sized. Many covers also come in sizes (vs. one size covers), both in PUL and in wool. If you’ve been using cloth for any amount of time, you are probably aware of which brands tend to run smaller or larger by now as well.

What did I end up doing? Well, besides the overnight fitted diapers I mentioned before, we ended up going back to our old premium sized prefolds (these come in toddlers sizes now as well I hear) or sized terry flats underneath either PUL or wool covers. The only thing I needed to buy was the larger PUL covers, so it was a fairly inexpensive outlay. If it’s been a while since your kid has used prefolds, you may be a bit surprised at how much more they are peeing, even during the day. If the prefolds aren’t quite enough anymore, you can add an insert inside the fold (you can use a flat, a specially designed insert, and even the inserts to pocket diapers). If your kid is super sensitive-to-wetness, you can cut up fleece or purchase stay dry liners to put on top up against his skin.

Meaghan Howard is a stay-at-home mom to two little boys who have both been using the potty for some time now. These days, the toileting issues seem to deal more with aim than anything else.

My Pregnancy: Week 17

Wednesday, December 2nd, 2015

We were first pregnant in the spring of 2011. Just the other evening hubby and I were noticing a few things that have changed in such a short period of time. These musings are not so much an all-encompassing list of trends so much as a reminder to you, mama—the parenting world is always coming up with some new gadget, technology, or trend. Whether you buy into the newest thing or pass it by, know your awesomeness is timeless.

Baby GearScreen Shot 2015-11-22 at 4.05.38 PM

Baby gear is getting cooler; it is also becoming more fantastical. There are pack ‘n plays that open with the touch of a single button. I find this entirely unnecessary, but I am impressed by the cool new swings that now swivel and move in a circular motion, among other things. The baby rocker has been all the rage lately, many touting the Rock ‘n Play to be the sleep solution for those babes particularly eager to fight his or her zzzz’s. We’ll probably keep our old-style swing that goes just one way (and turns into a vibrating-optional bouncer!), but I may or may not have spent an hour looking at the reviews and picking out which model I prefer in the new rocker.

The mini-crib and bassinet have gotten a few updates, making some models more co-sleeping friendly than just a few years ago. For example, swivel sleeper designs are getting a big push in mommy circles. As I’ve had two C-sections and will soon have another, this design is enticing but we’re opting to save our pennies (a lot of them) by using what we already have. I could justify buying into a few of these new updates but turns out timeless classics, like the old-school swing, are timeless for a reason.

My Pregnancy Week 17Gender Reveal Parties

I’m going to go out on a limb and just say I don’t quite get the practice of “gender reveals,” or more accurately, sex reveal announcements and parties. I think my observation here is how trendy having a baby has become. In random daydreams I wonder if the baby industry saw how lucrative the wedding industry was and found a way to amplify everything. Then social media magnified things even more. Don’t get me wrong, I’m excited to hear someone else’s exciting news, but I also think this intensified anticipation about baby-ness contributes to the intensity of being pregnant.

After we found out the sex of each child, we called our parents and then texted or emailed our siblings and a few friends. That is way less stressful and low-key to me than a party, a photo shoot, or being surprised in front of a lot of people.  This may mostly reflect my style. I’m more introverted and subtle when it comes to my personal life (not so much when it comes to, for example, social justice issues). Whether the doctor tells me or I cut a cake, whether it’s at 14, 20, or 40 weeks—in all of the scenarios it’s an exciting, surprising moment.

We all have different ways of communicating things, and I appreciate that others enjoy the creativity and planning involved in sex reveal announcements.  Some have waited so long to be expecting that everything is worth celebrating! Continue on! It is, though, one example of how babies have become a trendy, share-worthy business lately.


Other eco-friendly, attachment parenting, what-have-you “trends,” like cloth diapering, might also fit into this category. I remember I was the first with a Moby, Baby Bjorn still only had the original, slim-seated model, and many of the popular brands—like Boba, Beco, and Ergo—had only their most basic styles. Tula was just a city in Russia. Baby wearing and other such things are more mainstream, seen much more often (though this may not be the case everywhere).  This last trend is one I’m definitely on board with!

Annie is a mom of a two- and three-year-old who finally is enjoying the full spectrum of food again. Hurrah and huzzah!

Cloth Diapering a Solid Food Eater

Wednesday, August 19th, 2015

CLoth diapering a solid food eaterThe days of only bottle/breast feeding come to an end eventually. Perhaps this is a time of joy if you are tired of washing bottles or you are feeling like a 24-hour drive thru window lately. With solid food comes a whole new world of diaper changes.

If your baby nursed up until this point you may have rarely dealt with cleaning bowel movements as exclusively breast-fed poop tends to be water soluble and can go straight into the wash.

The change might take time. When introducing solids, your child may take in so little that you don’t notice a difference. At some point between 6 months and a year, most kids undergo a change in the consistency of their bowel movements. It may be more marked for breast-fed children. You will know it when you see it. A child’s poop may look different than others’, some more plop-able and others more peanut-butter yucky. If you are unsure of your babe’s bowel movement tendencies and patterns always check with your pediatrician to ensure your babe’s health is in order.

Otherwise, consider these tips in dealing with the new poo:

  • Liners are your friend, especially for out and about if you don’t want to dunk and swish your diapers in public toilets or carry a very dirty diaper with you until you return home. Liners often catch everything or at least limit the mess. Some are cut wider or longer than others. We like GroVia liners best. Though they are wide enough to stick out of the diaper slightly, that means they also generally keep poop from getting into the elastic areas of the diaper.
  • Diaper sprayers add a level of intensity to your arsenal of diaper cleaning tools. Most attach to your toilet, though there are options that can attach to your sink. You can also use a shower head if it stretches to your toilet. The power of water helps to almost all remnants of poop removed from the diaper, but the power of spray can also cause messes.
  • Solutions for messy spraying. Get to know your sprayer. I find I can manage the water pressure with how tightly I squeeze the handle on my sprayer. You may be able to negotiate water pressure by turning the nozzle directly on your toilet, lowering the amount of water the pipe allows through. Or there is always the Spray Pal if you’d like another gadget where you can clip in your diaper and spray with all your might without fear of poop on your toes. Diaper Dawg also has a few accessories that can help with preventing messes.
  • Know your child. Maybe your kiddo is a morning pooper or napping pooper. The sooner you get that diaper off, the easier the poop usually comes off (and the happier your kiddo’s skin will be too!). Or use liners only at those times you know your kiddo often has a bowel movement so you don’t waste liners. (Some people reuse liners once washed if they were only urinated on.)
  • Likewise, spray/scrape/swish as you go if possible. Some prefer to wait and do all the poopy diapers at once. As they sit though they often dry, often making the poop harder to remove. If you are going to let them sit, do not leave out in the open where little hands can get to them. Wrap them shut and place them out of your child’s reach.

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.