Saturday, May 31, 2014

Traveling with cloth diapers

This past week I was away from home.  This does not deter me from using cloth diapers.  I packed all the diapers up and headed to Maryland.  I was staying at my sister's house and she had tried cloth diapers before so she was familiar with them and knew what to expect.

Before I travel I wash all the dirty diapers so that they are all dry about an hour before I want to leave.  Then right before leaving I hand wash the last dirty diaper and hang it to dry.  This way I do not leave any dirty diapers behind.  While away I washed the diapers in my sister's washing machine.  I have never been anywhere with cloth that didn't have a washer.  My first time will be our camping trip this summer, which I intend to use flats and hand wash them.

At my sisters I did not have a diaper sprayer.  I had to dunk and swish.  I miss my sprayer every time I go without it.  It is not a necessity in diapering, but it sure does make cleaning them off much easier. The disadvantage to cloth diapering on the go is the space they use.  I am fortunate to have this nice suitcase.  I was able to fit Charlotte, Owen's, and my clothes in it, plus the cloth diapers.  I also had the diaper bag with diapers in it for on the road.  While driving the diapers were stuffed with a flat and a hemp doubler.  Using microfiber increases the chance of compression leaks, not to mention microfiber is thicker than a flat and hemp doubler.

I am a die-hard cloth addict.  I do not think I could ever use a disposable diaper again.  Going on vacation definitely does not mean disposables have to be used.  Traveling with cloth is just as easy as using disposables,

Friday, May 30, 2014

Memorial Day Weekend

For Memorial Day a bunch of my family got together at my Dad's house.  I stayed at my sister Michelle's house for the week.  She has two girls that are 2 and 1.  Owen and Charlotte really enjoyed having other kids to play with.  On Saturday my Dad had a cook out and it was the first time all his girls were together in a couple years.
May 2014

July 2012

November 2011

It was a wonderful week away and I am so glad I was able to visit with my family.  I wish we lived closer so all the children could grow up together.  

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Flats and Handwashing Challenge: Day 7

Overall Experience, What did I learn?

I found this week fun.  (How "crunchy" of me).  

I plan to continue using the flats, however I mostly plan to use them as inserts in pocket diapers.  Coming in to this week I thought after the week was over I would cut up the flats and use them for other things.  Which I may salvage some of them, but I plan to keep most of the flats just the way they are.  My main hesitation is trying to get the folds so that the poop stays in without making a mess all over the cover.   In addition, having the waste on the flat makes it more difficult for me to clean it off.  Instead of just having a small area soiled I have to put the entire flat into the toilet to try and rinse it.  This made it difficult to clean the cover as well.  

Hand-washing was a release for me.  I found it quite therapeutic to scrub the diapers clean.  It also allowed Owen to feel helpful.  He really enjoyed stomping the diapers and adding the soap to the water.  He is a great big helper and wanted to hang all the flats and covers all on his own.  Today was the last day of hand-washing for this challenge, but I know we will be doing more hand-washing in the future. 

I think that flats and covers will be a great alternative when we go to the beach next month and camping in July.  I will not have a washing machine either time and flats will make it easy to clean without needing a washer or dryer.  Plus, if it rains while we are camping it just gives the diapers an extra rinse without me having to do the work.  ;)

Day 1:  Why Are You Taking the Challenge?
Day 2: Show Us Your “Stash” and tell us what did it cost?
Day 3:  Challenge Update
Day 4:  What is your Washing Routine?
Day 5:  Flats Experience- Folds you love, Are they working, etc.
Day 6: Open Topic
Day 7: Overall Experience, What did you learn, Would you do it?

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Flats and Handwashing Challenge: Day 5

Day 5: Flats Experience- Folds

As mentioned in previous posts, I have never worked with prefolds or flats before.  I looked at a few folds on other blogs and youtube videos.  After talking to my friend over at Trial and Error Homemaking, she told me about the Happy Anteater fold.  I also use the pad fold and stuff it inside of a pocket.

So, how do I like using flats?  When the diapers are just wet it is ok.  The number one reason I avoided flats and prefolds in the past before was I did not like that the wetness would be all around the baby's bottom vs just in between the legs.  The pockets also have a layer of fleece to keep the wetness off of baby's bottom.  However, I decided it would not hurt to try and see what happens.  Maybe I would like it, maybe I wouldn't.

I will say, TMI alert, since Charlotte has started eating more solids her poop is a bit unpredictable and gross.  I have not mastered any folds in the past couple days.  This makes it a bit difficult when poop happens.  Yesterday we had a bit of a mess in the Rumparooz cover.  The cover has an extra layer of PUL where the snaps are, this creates a pocket.  Well, when the flat is not folded right, poop doesn't stay in it.  I have to rave about the cover because nothing leaked out of it!  Cleaning up the mess was a little difficult though.

I think I am going to stick with cheating by simply folding the flat and stuffing it in a pocket.

Stay tuned for more posts about the challenge!!

Day 1:  Why Are You Taking the Challenge?
Day 2: Show Us Your “Stash” and tell us what did it cost?
Day 3:  Challenge Update
Day 4:  What is your Washing Routine?
Day 5:  Flats Experience- Folds you love, Are they working, etc.
Day 6: Open Topic
Day 7: Overall Experience, What did you learn, Would you do it?

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Flats and Handwashing Challenge: Day 4

Day 4: Washing Routine

Normally I wash diapers on Monday, Wednesday, and Saturday.  I washed diapers Saturday morning and then hand-washed on Monday.  Since I had a couple days worth of diapers I dumped them all into the tub.   However, this week I have been washing daily.

Monday I put the diapers in the tub to soak for half hour.  After they soaked I then added hot water and Rockin Green detergent to the diapers.  We started out just reaching over the side but then Owen decided he wanted to get in and stomp, because that is more fun.  While he was agitating, I pulled each cover or pocket and checked for stains or marks.  Any diaper that had marks I scrubbed with my fingers and then rubbed the diapers together under the water to loosen any poo that may be stuck on the elastic or fleece.  When the covers were all scrubbed we drained the water and added more hot water.  Owen stomped those again for a few minutes.  We did this twice until we could not see any more soap suds.  Then I took them all outside to dry.

Since then I have been washing the diapers at night after the kids go to bed.  I have been washing them in the sink to use less water.  And hanging them on the shower curtain rod.  Charlotte typically uses 7-9 diapers a day.  Soiled diapers are usually sprayed with the diaper sprayer before putting them into the diaper pail.  In honor of this challenge, I am not using the sprayer and instead dunking the diapers in the toilet and swishing them to remove the poop.  (I miss my sprayer!)  I also rinse the over-night diaper so that the urine is not sitting in it all day, after being wet all night.  

Stay tuned for more posts about the challenge!!

Day 1:  Why Are You Taking the Challenge?
Day 2: Show Us Your “Stash” and tell us what did it cost?
Day 3:  Challenge Update
Day 4:  What is your Washing Routine?
Day 5:  Flats Experience- Folds you love, Are they working, etc.
Day 6: Open Topic
Day 7: Overall Experience, What did you learn, Would you do it?

Flats and Handwashing Challenge: Day 3

Flats and Hand-washing Challenge: Day 3  Challenge Update

I recently sold the remaining Thirsties AIO size 1 diapers that I had because Charlotte had outgrown them.  Well, they were perfect diapers for day-care because it was easier for them to change the diapers.  When I first started taking Charlotte there, one of the ladies in the nursery was amazed at how far diapers have come and how easy they were to use.  Because I sold all the last of the Thirsties I was trying to decide what diapers I wanted to put in her bag for day-care.  I put SunBaby pockets stuffed with flats and I sent her in wearing a flat and a cover, fastened with a snappi.  When I went to pick her up the lady in the nursery was surprised I went from the convenient aio hook and loop, to flats.  I told her about this challenge and that we were so excited about it that we started early.   She wished all of us flat users luck and talked about her experience diapering her children 40 years ago.

So far I am loving the flats.  I plan to continue to use them after this challenge but will probably use them as inserts.  I also plan to salvage a couple for mama cloth.  My neighbor was also curious when she saw my drying rack outside with the flats on them.  (little vent, it is not permitted by the HOA to have a clothes line, this saddens me.)

Charlotte rockin' a flat and Thirsties cover

Stay tuned for more posts about the challenge!!

Day 1:  Why Are You Taking the Challenge?
Day 2: Show Us Your “Stash” and tell us what did it cost?
Day 3:  Challenge Update
Day 4:  What is your Washing Routine?
Day 5:  Flats Experience- Folds you love, Are they working, etc.
Day 6: Open Topic
Day 7: Overall Experience, What did you learn, Would you do it?

Flats and Hand-washing Challenge: Day 2

Flats and Hand-Washing Challenge: Day 2   The Stash

I have never used flats before, so I bought a stash just for this week.  Sweet Bottoms had a promotion if you spent $55 you received three free OsoCozy Organic Flats.  So, I spent $55.

My Stash:


OsoCozy Unbleached Flat Diapers.........$1.91 each x 12 (sold by the dozen)
OsoCozy Organic Flat diapers................$4.50 each x   1
Flour Sack Towels.................................$0.98 each x   5 (sold in a pack of 5)
OsoCozy Organic Flat Diapers...............FREE x 3 (SBB coupon)

Kawaii OS Cover..................................$7.25 x 1
Thirsties Duo Wrap................................$12.75 x 1
Thisties Duo Wrap.................................$7.00 (Purchased used)
Rumparooz Diaper Cover......................$9.00 (Purchased used)

I am also using SunBaby pocket diapers.  I have about 30 of them, all of which I was given.

Wet Bags:
Blueberry Wet Bag................................$14.95
My homemade wet bag.............approx. $8.00

All off the wash cloths I received at my baby showers, so FREE! 

3 Snappis ..I received one free snappi at the past three Cloth Diaper Change events
1 boingo ...Received free from Cloth Diaper Change event in 2013

Total cost to cloth diaper using Flats and covers: $91.25

The FSTs I bought just to try out.  I hear everyone raving about them so I wanted to give them a try.  Between the FSTs and flats I have plenty to go two days between washing.  

Stay tuned for more posts about the challenge!!

Day 1:  Why Are You Taking the Challenge?
Day 2: Show Us Your “Stash” and tell us what did it cost?
Day 3:  Challenge Update
Day 4:  What is your Washing Routine?
Day 5:  Flats Experience- Folds you love, Are they working, etc.
Day 6: Open Topic
Day 7: Overall Experience, What did you learn, Would you do it?

Flats and Handwashing Challenge: Day 1

Day one of the Flats and Hand-washing challenge: Why am I doing it?

The flats and hand-washing challenge was created to raise awareness for cloth diapering and that it can be done by anyone.  Common hesitations to cloth diapering is lack of funds and lack of washing machine.  I personally have heard these two reasons time and time again.   When in all actuality, if money is tight, cloth diapering is the better choice.  Disposable diapers are not cheaper than cloth, it just happens that you buy the disposable a little at a time.  If while you are pregnant you know you want to cloth diaper you can buy one or two per paycheck you can buy enough for a complete stash before the baby is born. 

As for a washing machine, this week everything will be washed by hand.  Flats make it easier to wash and dry.  However, I have washed pockets and microfiber inserts by hand many times.  Before going on a trip I would hand-wash the couple of diapers Charlotte or Owen dirtied before our trip.  I typically hand-wash in the sink as it uses less water.   

I have never tried flats or prefolds before so I was really excited to start this challenge, so I started last week.  :)   I wanted to try out different folds and figure out what would work best and fit without leaking.  

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

We have a nine month old!

Charlotte is nine months old!  It really seems like yesterday that I delivered and brought her home.  What is even more amazing, as of 4:29 a.m. she has now been home for 40 weeks and 3 days!  At 40 weeks and 3 days Charlotte was born.  Making her here longer than she was in the womb.  Which just absolutely amazes me how quickly the time has passed.

Charlotte had a check-up on the 6th and she weighs 19 pounds 6 ounces and is 30.25" long!

As far as breastfeeding goes, we are still going strong.  Breast-milk is still her dominant food source.  She usually eats dinner with us but not every day and it is only a few pieces.  We still have not done any purees, despite me making a bunch.  When she does eat, it is all whole food.  She loves everything I have given her.

Strawberry face

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Breastfeeding Update: 9 months

We have now been breastfeeding for nine months.

 In the nine months I have had mastitis three times!  The last time was right before Easter.  That is no fun.  In addition, Charlotte has recently popped a tooth through the gums.  With Owen we did not make it to the point he cut a tooth, which happened at 11 months.  Charlotte tends to bite and I am desperately trying to stop that habit.

Charlotte still does not drink out of a bottle, and at this point there is no point in trying.  I have tried pumping and I now only get half an ounce to an ounce of milk from each side.  Charlotte still nurses about every four hours during the day and about 5 at night.  However, she does comfort nurse before naps, bed, and during the night.  One night she slept for 7 hours straight and I had to wake her up and feed her because my shirt was soaked.  It is sort of bitter sweet.  I am glad she is growing and amazed we have made it nine months already.  I am glad that I am past the point where I leak through pad after pad, but it is sad because I do not want our breastfeeding journey to end.  (although I would like to have my body back and not have bite marks and mastitis.)

I am happy we made it this long without any major problems and look forward to continuing this adventure.

Friday, May 2, 2014

Flats and Handwashing Challenge

With my attempt to be more conscious of my water, electricity, and waste I thought this year would be perfect to take the Flats and Handwashing Challenge.  I hope that I like it and use these more often. 

So, what is this challenge?  The purpose of the challenge is to increase awareness of cloth diapering and to show that expensive diapers are not required.  Flats can be bought new from $1.38 and up depending on what it is made of.  They can also be bought used for cheap as well.  Do not have any flat?  Anything can be used, old t-shirts, receiving blankets, flour sack towels, etc.  A cover is advised to hold in the mess, but not required.   Covers can be wool, fleece, or PUL.

Rules for the challenge can be found at Dirty Diaper Laundry

Materials Allowed

The following diapering items can be used:
• Any flat cloth diaper, store bought or handmade. A flat should be only 1 layer of material for easier handwashing and faster drying.
• 1 night time diaper per night of your choice although you are asked to make flats work for you (this diaper must also be handwashed)
• Doublers (not inserts meant to be absorbent enough to stand alone) if you absolutely must.
• A diaper sprayer.
• Wet bags/diaper pails for storage.
• Handmade “washing machine” for diapers such as the camp style washer I made last year.
• Non Electronic Portable washing machines (must be powered by you and cost less than $100.
• Commercially available or handmade covers.
• Commercially available or handmade detergents.
• Snappi, Boingo, and Pins for closure.
• Pocket diapers STUFFED WITH FLATS. (note that the potential for repelling on the stay dry lining could make your challenge harder but you can see what happens)
• Homemade or store bought fleece liners.
• Iron (to use in order to expedite drying time or sterilize)

Materials Not Allowed

• Electronic washer/dryer.
• Pockets with inserts other than flats, AIO’s, Fitteds, Contours, Prefolds, AI2’s, etc.
• Flushable liners.

Rules for Everyone

• You cannot use your washer or dryer.
• If for some reason something arises and an exception is made you need to disclose in the Conclusions Survey or on your blog if you are a blogger.
• There is no limit on the number of flats or covers you can use. Should you purchase 100 flats for $100 and go a whole week without washing? No. Use your common sense on this one. As a tip the more diapers in your camp washer/ sink/ tub the harder the washing will be.

All About Cloth: Update

Back in January I challenged myself to create less waste by using more cloth.  Here is an update to the switch. 

First, cloth nursing pads.  I still use some disposables, but I mostly use these cloth pads.  

Cloth wipes:  They are not just for baby butts.  I use a designated stack of wipes for Charlotte's bottoms.  We also use a stack of wipes as tissues.  In addition we have family cloth and will use mama cloth when the time comes.  

Next on the cloth switch was switching to cloth bags for grocery shopping.  I keep some in the car and the bulk of them stay in the house and I grab them on my way to the store.  I do keep some disposable ones for miscellaneous things.  The rest were dropped off at the recycling box at the grocery store.

The object that started this whole switch, kitchen towels.  I keep a stack of towels and wash clothes in the drawer by the sink.  I also have a stack of microfiber diaper inserts that I use for cleaning blinds, fans, etc.

Which brings up the question of is this wasting water and electricity?  Yes, and no.  The water goes back to the waste water plant and is treated and reused.  I do try to wash as much in one load as my washer can handle and still clean. This reduces the need for multiple loads and excessive water and electricity usage. The laundry is either hung outside to dry or in the bathroom.