Posts Tagged ‘troubleshooting’

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.

Cloth Diapers and Your Circumcised Baby

Tuesday, March 3rd, 2015

Cloth Diapers and Your Circumcised babyThose first weeks after baby’s birth are filled with interesting things happening in and around the diaper. There is meconium; the umbilical cord stump also needs a little attention. For some families, their newborn’s care needs include aftercare for circumcision. Whatever brought you to the need to diaper your circumcised son is not my interest here.  You may choose to use disposables until the site is healed. Instead of (or addition to) that option, below are a few helpful hints that doctors and nurses may not know when dealing with circumcision and cloth diapers. To be clear, please follow your doctor’s instructions for aftercare as it can vary by procedure, individual baby needs, and physician preferences.

The major obstacle is the petroleum jelly that most physicians suggest to aid in the healing process. Petroleum jelly sticks to diapers and can cause them to repel (not soak in) moisture.  Ask your doctor if unscented CJ’s BUTTer is an appropriate alternative. Some pediatricians give it the green light while others are hesitant due to lack of research to ensure its safety in caring for a circumcision. Talk with your physician. Be prepared with a sample and ingredient list if possible.

To care for your child’s incision site, you likely need a dollop of your ointment loosely covered with a barrier. Gauze is the go-to in the hospital, but a fleece liner, cotton make-up pad, or cut-up cotton shirt, or receiving blanket are all great options. If you want additional protection for your diaper, add a disposable liner in the diaper (though a disposable liner offers minimal protection).

If you are particularly cautious, you could diaper using flats for those first few days. Flats, with just one thin layer, wash most easily. They don’t have PUL or TPU (the waterproof material that a pocket, AIO, or AI2 have), so you can wash them in very, very hot water without concern of causing damage to your diapers. In the end, if a smudge of Vaseline winds up on your diaper, add a dab of blue Dawn to very hot water and scrub with a toothbrush. Do this before washing the diaper with others so that they are not also inflicted with the jelly.

If you are still considering leaving your son intact or are unsure about the concerns, consider this information on the circumcision decision. If you have your babe here already, enjoy your new squish and look forward to this stage lasting just a few more days. Congratulations!

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.