Details on how to score entries by liking our page, sharing, tweeting the giveaway, etc. can be found here.
The contest starts Friday, March 7, 2014 and ends on Monday, March 10, 2014.
Details on how to score entries by liking our page, sharing, tweeting the giveaway, etc. can be found here.
The contest starts Friday, March 7, 2014 and ends on Monday, March 10, 2014.
Myth #1: Cloth diapers are difficult to use.
Reality #1: Many people envision cloth diapers of long ago, with large flats, plastic covers, and pointy pins. Today’s cloth diapers are so much simpler. PUL outers, cotton inside, and snap-in soakers are a breeze.
Myth #2: Cloth diapers are expensive.
Reality #2: Yes, cloth diapers do have a much larger price tag than disposables….when you first buy them. But you can use them again, and again, and again….Once you have spent $300-400, you can have a decent cloth diaper stash. I believe most people spend that much within a year of using disposable diapers. You can also use many diapers for subsequent children.
Myth #3: You have to touch the poop.
Reality #3: Google ‘diaper sprayers,’ ‘flushable liners,’ or ‘poop spatula.’
Myth #4: Your regular laundry will have poop on it.
Reality #4: Nobody has ever pointed out poop on my clean clothing in 11 years of cloth diapering four kids. Food and spit-up, yes. Poop, no.
Myth #5: Cloth diapering is unsanitary.
Reality #5: Provided that you remove poop from diapers of babies that are not exclusively breastfed, your washer does truly clean your diapers, just as is does your underwear, or underwear that may have been peed in by your toddler.
Myth #6: It is too much work.
Reality #6: Parenting is hard work. I’d personally rather have to throw on a load of laundry every 2-3 days than to remember to buy more diapers all the time. Or worse, have to pack my kids in the car to go out and get them if I forget. Washing diapers is a very simple process and really only takes a few minutes of your time each week.
Myth #7: You have to use a special detergent to wash cloth diapers.
Reality #7: It is true that you need to use an additive-free detergent for cloth diaper loads, however they are readily available in a variety of formulas, and most can even be used on your normal wash loads.
Myth #8: It raises your electric costs.
Reality #8: My bills have been the same whether I have been cloth diapering or not over the past decade, controlling for regular energy cost increases. I’ve never met another cloth diaperer who has claimed a spike in their electric bill.
Myth #9: It uses too much water.
Reality #9: It does use a lot of water to wash a cloth diaper load properly. However, I believe the environmental impact of that water use still comes out ahead of the output from the manufacturing, transporting, and distributing of paper diaper products. Then there is the landfill consideration. I don’t have any hard evidence, but I’d say cloth diapering wins.
Myth #10: They will make my baby’s butt look ridiculously large.
Reality #10: Babies don’t care how big their butts look. Cloth diapered bums are the cutest!
Over the years I have received the question repeatedly…what in the world do you do with your dirty diapers when you are out and about? It is a valid question, and one I had when I began cloth diapering in 2003. Back then, there were only a handful of online cloth diaper retailers, and I wasn’t a big online shopper.
I started by carrying sealable plastic storage bags for containing soiled diapers. Gross. Soggy cloth with urine and poop does not like plastic. Lesson learned.
On an online forum I learned about these fancy little inventions called wet bags. I hunted one down and bought it, and it revolutionized my cloth diapering experience.
The beauty of the wet bag is that it’s waterproof, mostly smell-proof, and washable…with your diapers! That’s right! You can throw your soiled diapers inside your wet bag, put it in your diaper bag, empty it in to your pail when you get home, and throw it in to wash all together. If someone walks by your diaper bag, they won’t be able to smell the soiled diapers either.
Now what to do with poops, you ask? Some people use the dunk & swish method if baby poops out in public and they have a restroom available. I love my diaper sprayer, so I just wrap those diapers up and deal with them when I get home. It does prevent me from just dumping everything into the pail (unless of course baby is still exclusively breastfeeding), but it only takes a few seconds.
There are many sizes and styles of wet bags available, and my personal preference is for zippered wet bags which are great for keeping smells contained. My suggestion is to invest in a few in a variety of sizes. They are useful far beyond your diapering years…for wet swimsuits, gym clothes, makeup, to keep books or electronics dry, and to keep in the car while potty training your toddler.
Whether you are birthing in the hospital, birthing center, or at home, cloth diapering the first few days after baby is born is really simple. After you have chosen your newborn stash, make sure to prep everything before baby is born. If you want to pack a bag to take with you, or a small basket to keep at your bedside at home, this information may help you.
How many diapers do I need for the first few days?
Newborn breastfed babies will generally pee and poop one time each per day of life for the first 5 or so days. So day 1: 1 pee, 1 poop. Day 2: 2 pees, 2 poops. Day 3: 3 pees, 3 poops, and so on. Most people return home from birth centers after 1 day, so packing about 6 diapers would be appropriate in this situation. Hospital stays are generally between 2 to 3 days, so a dozen diapers diapers is generally a good amount. If you are planning to stay longer, add diapers accordingly. It is also important to remember that the output baby will have the first few days will not be great in quantity, so your chances of experiencing a blowout is very slim.
What will baby’s first poops be like?
The first few bowel movements baby will pass will actually be meconium, which is a black or green, sticky, tar-like substance. Many people fear this will stain their newborn diapers and choose to use flushable liners to catch it and flush it away. I chose to spray the meconium off of our first few dirty diapers, but I was at home with a sprayer handy. You could also choose to dunk and swish it in a toilet if you are away from home. I have also heard that people have avoiding meconium staining by running a cold rinse before their wash, and others have placed their clean, wet diapers out in the sun to bleach the stains as they dry.
Breastfed babies generally start their “transition” poops between days 2 to 4 of their lives as mom’s milk is coming in. These poops are characterized by their green or yellowish-brown color and may appear grainy or seedy. At this point, I have foregone removing the debris on the diapers. Shortly after this, the typical “breastfed poop” appears. It can appear light yellow to bright green, be runny or curdy, look creamy like mustard, or even be seedy. This might change from diaper to diaper, or day to day. But the best thing about breastfed baby poop is that it is COMPLETELY WATER SOLUBLE! This means that until you add anything else to an infant’s diet, their cloth diapers DO NOT NEED TO BE RINSED! Just throw them in the pail, and wait until laundry day.
What else will I need during the first few days?
Bring a wetbag or pail liner to store your soiled cloth diapers in until you get home. Don’t worry, it won’t smell up the room. Most people claim that breastfed baby poop has very little scent to it at all. Others describe it as “curried yogurt” or “buttery popcorn.” Either way, it will not stink up any space you might be limited to.
Pack about a dozen cloth wipes. I also prefer to use a spray bottom cleaner to wipe off the stubborn sticky first poops. Throw them right into your wetbag or pail liner along with the diapers and wash them all together when you return home.
As previously mentioned, you may want to bring a few flushable liners for the first few diaper changes. After that, you may save the rest of the roll for later when baby is introduced to solid foods.
It is very unlikely that your baby will develop any kind of diaper rash during this period, so don’t worry about packing any creams, ointments, or other types of baby toiletries.
I also like to have a cloth changing pad to change baby on near my bed and in my diaper bag at all times. You may or may not need it in a hospital or birth center, but I find it useful even when changing a wiggly baby on my bed. Cloth changing pads, which can be washed with your linens, can protect your beds, couches, or floors from baby messes. They are also great for changing baby on the go.
What about the umbilical cord?
Until baby’s umbilical stump falls off, it is a good idea to fold or place diapers so that the area is clear to keep it from being rubbed or becoming damp.
Researching and choosing cloth diapers can be extremely overwhelming! Many parents become stressed out and ask what they really need to successfully cloth diaper their baby. I’ve broken it down for you here into *Must Haves* and *Might Wants*.
Diapers – 36 for newborn stage, 24-36 for infant and toddler stage. If you choose sized diapers, you will need 24-36 diapers in each size your baby reaches(some potty train before reaching the largest size. If you choose one-size diapers, you will need 24-36 total. There is a chance that you might need to replace worn items on occasion after extended use.
Wet Bag – Waterproof bags designed for storing your dirty diapers when you are on the go. They keeps messes and smells contained and come with either zipper or drawstring closure in a variety of sizes. Throw them in with your diaper load to clean. Many parents prefer to have two or more.
Cloth Wipes - I suggest 24-36. Many parents claim that they are planning on using disposable wipes, but it really makes sense to throw everything in one container rather than running with a poopy diaper to the pail and poopy wipes to the garbage. And they are useful for other things too…runny noses, bloody knees, spilled juice.
Pail Liner – Waterproof bags used to store dirty diapers at home between washes, either inside diaper pails or hanging on doorknobs or hooks. Simply push your dirty cloth diapers into your washer and push the bag in after them. Many parents prefer to have two.
Detergent – Use a cloth diaper safe detergent free of enzymes, dyes, fragrances, brighteners, and softeners.
Swim Diapers – Many public pools require washable swim diapers now as the stuff the disposables are made of clogs their filters.
Diaper Sprayer – Attaches to your toilet and makes the removal of solid waste as easy as a spray. Otherwise, you’ll need to dunk-n-swish or use a poop scraper.
Wipe solution- Designed to use in spray bottles or to otherwise moisten wipes. Made with gentle ingredients for baby’s skin. Must be diluted or mixed by you.
Wipe Spray – Pre-made spray to be applied directly onto baby bottoms and wipe clean with a cloth wipe.
Wipes Warmer – Use a solution or plain water to keep wipes moist and warm at home.
Small Wet Bag – Keep your dry wipes and spray organized and protect from leakage when you are on the go.
Flushable Liners – For easy cleaning of soiled diapers
Soakers or Doublers – Customizable to the needs of your child, these add absorbency to your diapers.
Are you trying to decide between sized or one-size diapers for your stash? Bottombumpers offers both, so here are a few pros and cons of each to consider before making your choice:
Can be more economical
Easier when more than one child is in diapers
Will last for last for a longer span of baby’s diapering time
Generally fit babies from 8-10 pounds to 30-35 pounds, depending on the shape of the baby
Provides four size settings
On the smallest settings, the folded material and inserts can create quite a bit of bulk on a tiny baby
If baby is under 8 or so pounds, one size diapers have a tendency to swallow baby up
There is a greater chance for user error when changing the settings of the diaper
May leak if not properly adjusted for baby’s size
As simple as paper diapers to use…just fasten and go
Provide a trimmer fit, especially on very tiny babies
No size adjustments needed
Price per diaper is less
May last through several children since they are used for a shorter duration
Some children potty learn before reaching the large size
Price of buying several sizes
Inability to share between two diapered children of different sizes
Require storage space when not in use
I personally love sized diapers for newborns and large toddlers, but like the one-size option for my babies between about 2 months and 2 years. Since my children grow quickly and very large, that’s a great combination for us. My newborn and large sized diapers have easily survived wear of 3-4 babies since they were used for short periods of time. My often used one-size diapers have needed some replacing along the way.
If someone other than you is caring for your baby, they might be willing to use your Bottombumpers AIOs. Here are some suggestions for speaking with them about it:
1. Take your Bottombumpers AIOs to show them rather an asking, “will you use cloth diapers?” They will see how easy they are to use compared to the flats, diaper pins, and plastic pants that would probably spring to mind if you just mentioned cloth diapers.
3. Explain that cloth wipes can be used and thrown in with dirty diapers. Give them the option of pre-moistened wipes that you provide daily or dry wipes with spray.
4. Give the caregiver choices about wet bag types. You might provide separate bags for wet and dirty diapers, so you can deal with the poop later. Some caregivers may be okay with getting rid of the poop themselves. Some may require a small wet bag for each change. If they are watching other children they may require that the wet bag hangs or zips.
5. Provide your own diaper cream and label it with your child’s name. Let them know that some diaper creams are not cloth diaper safe.
6. Tell them cloth diapers need to be changed every time they are soiled. If you have an idea of how often you change baby or how baby acts when they need a change, note this information for the caregiver.
7. Explain the situations that may cause a cloth diaper to leak.
8. Make sure they understand your washing routine if you expect them to do it.
You might be pleasantly surprised that use of your Bottombumpers can extend beyond the times you are with your baby!
Sometimes cloth diaper terminology can be extremely confusing. One area that causes frustration for people is determining the difference between soakers and doublers and determining which they may need.
All Bottombumpers AIO diapers come with a Snap in Soaker. They are designed to be used with this system to provide absorbency inside of the waterproof outer shell made of PUL – Polyester Urethane Laminated Knit. These soakers are made with 4 layers of 100% Certified Organic Cotton and topped with Organic Bamboo Velour/Rayon, which stays soft next to baby’s delicate skin. Without the soaker, the AIO would likely leak if baby soiled it. If your soakers become worn out or stained, you can replace them with new soakers for only $5 and make the inside of your diapers like new!
Doublers are only needed regularly for babies who are heavy wetters. Other babies may need them occasionally for long periods like napping, car rides, or for overnight use. Bottombumpers doublers are made of 2 layers of 100% Certified Organic Cotton and are designed to be placed under the Snap in Soaker. They are cut trim to add extra absorbency without adding bulk that would cause a poor fit for the elastic around baby’s legs which may lead to leakage.
I normally advise people to buy about a half dozen doublers for their cloth diaper “layette,” but to find out what kind of wetter baby is before going overboard adding them to their stash. There is a strong likelihood that everyone will add doublers at some point during the cloth diapering years, but there is also a strong likelihood that most babies will be okay with the absorbency provided by the Snap in Soaker most of the time.
One-size diapers are fantastic for getting a perfect fit on your baby. Bottombumpers One Size AIOs have several color coded settings available to make achieving a great fit a breeze.
Here are some signs that baby’s diaper needs to be adjusted:
1. It falls off baby when they move around.
2. When baby sits, it gapes out around their tummy.
3. It droops down off their bottom and around their legs.
4. It leaks. Leaking does not necessarily mean poor fit, but poor fit can cause leaking.
5. It chafes baby’s skin.
6. Any part of baby’s anatomy that shouldn’t be showing outside the diaper is (i.e. butt crack or penis). If so, the rise of the diaper needs to be increased.
7. Baby’s circulation is being cut off (their legs appear purple).
8. Baby has red marks that seem to bother him or her. All red marks are not bad news, as most clothing, especially with elastic, can leave marks on delicate skin. If the mark is light pink and looks like an elastic imprint, it is probably fine. If they are deep, purple or red, and don’t fade away quickly they may be hurting your baby and you should adjust the fit immediately.
If you’ve ever caught a whiff of a cloth diaper and almost fainted, there’s a good possibility you are smelling a build up of ammonia. These diapers can be tricky, because they smell clean and fresh right out of the washer, dryer, or off the line, but as soon as urine hits them…BAM! The knockout burn-your-nostrils ammonia smell emerges. This occurs because tiny ammonia crystals become trapped within the diaper layers. These crystals are activated by the urine, which is why they smell fine after a wash, but nearly knock you out after baby pees. I am not a chemist, but as I understand it, the urea in urine and ammonia have similar chemical compositions and react with one another. I even read that a single molecule of urea can turn into two molecules of ammonia, leading to a stink fest before you know it.
If this has happened to you, keep reading. I’ll explain how to get rid of it. If this has not happened to you, keep reading. I’ll explain how to avoid it. A general rule of thumb is, if you don’t *know* it is ammonia, it isn’t ammonia.
If you have ammonia, “stripping” your diapers is the first line of defense. The way in which you strip your diapers will depend on the type of diapers, the hardness of your water, and what you personally feel comfortable using. Like most things cloth diaper related, it can take some trial and error to determine what works best in your situation.
Here are a few options for stripping:
1. Repeated hot water washes without detergent – I have heard that people with soft water have successfully removed ammonia crystals by running diapers through 3-4 hot washes of water only. I have not heard of this method being efficient with any other water types.
2. RLR – At only a few dollars per packet, this is a very economical choice. This works for moderate or hard water, but is not suggested for soft water conditions. To us RLR, start with clean diapers. They don’t have to be dry, but I have had the best results when I have used RLR following a wash cycle. Open the packet of RLR and sprinkle it on top of the diapers inside the washer basin. Set your washer for a long, hot wash with extra water. Follow it with several cold rinses. I normally do four. You can check while it’s washing to see if there are a great deal of suds. If you still see suds, keep rinsing. If not, I’d still suggest between 3-5 cold rinses.
3. “Rock the Soak” – This method involves soaking your diapers in Rockin’ Green Soap , preferably overnight, but for at least a few hour minimum. Since I have a front loader that doesn’t allow for easy soaking, I cover my diapers with water in the bathtub and add 6 scoops of Rockin’ Green. I hand rinse them in the tub, then bring them to the washer for my regular wash routine. I follow the wash up with two extra rinses to make sure everything is removed.
4. Funk Rock Soak – Soak up to 20 diapers using 4T of Rockin’ Green Funk Rock. Place the diapers and Funk Rock into the tub or washer as you would if you were “Rocking the Soak.” With this product, the diapers only need to soak for 30-60 minutes instead of overnight. After you use Funk Rock, rinse and wash as normal.
5. Dawn dish soap (the regular blue formula) – I haven’t personally used this method, but I see it recommended frequently. People report that a squirt of Dawn and several rinses removes stinky residue from diapers. I’ve also heard of people soaking them in Dawn and following the procedure outlined above in “Rock the Soak.”
5. Line drying in the sun – I have never found this method to work by itself, even in the Arizona sun in the summer, but adding line drying in after the stripping methods above are performed may certainly work as UV rays are a natural bleach and fresh air is always goof.
Here are ways to avoid ammonia build-up:
1. Use a cloth diaper safe detergent from day one – The chief culprits for ammonia smell are detergent scent and detergent residue. Many cloth diaper stores now sell detergent formulated for cloth diaper washes, but if you want to use a different type, it is a good idea to check the ingredients first to make sure there is nothing listed that may be detrimental to cloth diapers. These are the main offenders to look for:
Enzymes – naturally break down materials, may also cause children to break out
Dyes & Fragrances – harsh chemicals that may lead to skin irritation
Brighteners – leave build-up leading to smell issue
Softeners – waterproof the fibers so that diapers will no longer absorb
2. Use the correct amount of detergent – Most people find that 1T of detergent is good for HE machines, while those with regular top loaders need to use 2T. Once again, finding what works for you may take some trial and error. Remember, clean has no smell. If you are pulling out diapers that smell like detergent, you are probably using too much. If you are pulling out diapers that smell musky or poopy, you are probably using too little. If you see suds at the end of your wash cycle, you are also probably using too much.
3. Find a wash routine that works – We suggest a short cold wash/rinse to get the messes off the diapers. Then wash on HOT with a cloth diaper safe detergent to sanitize, sterilize, kill bacteria, etc. Follow that up wth an additional hot rinse if you see suds in the washer. Then tumble dry or line dry. Other routines may work as well, but this is our suggested method.
4. Pre-rinse or spray all wet diapers – This should be done immediately after they come off baby if possible, or before placing them in your diaper pail or wet bag if you are unable to do it at changing time. You can swish them in the toilet, use a diaper sprayer on them, or rinse them in a sink or tub. This will rinse off most of the urea and prevent it from reacting with the ammonia in your pail, wet bag, or beyond.
5. Add Rockin’ Green Funk Rock to your wash cycle – Used preventatively, this ammonia bouncer helps neutralize the ammonia crystals.
Good luck keeping the stinkies away! Let us know what works for you!
Susan is a cloth diapering, breastfeeding, babywearing, homebirthing, homeschooling, natural-living mama to four boys. She has enjoyed trying a plethora of cloth diapers, carriers, and other baby products over the past decade and loves to share her experiences with others. Read More…
Becky Schreiber-Reis lives in Colorado Springs with her husband, her two and a half-year-old son, and a rescued beagle. She is an east coast transplant, who loves exploring the beautiful Rocky Mountain front range and has recently started hiking. Read More…
My name is Kristin and I live outside of sunny Phoenix, Arizona. My husband and I moved here from the Midwest about 5 years ago. At the time we were young newlyweds with nothing to hold us back. Fast forward five years, one toddler, a baby on the way, two dogs, one cat, one house, and I think something about a partridge in a pear tree and you have my current state. Read More…