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FuzziBunz cloth diapers and other green baby products

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Point the Penis Where? Tips for Cloth Diapering Boys

Is cloth diapering different for boys as opposed to girls?  Well, yes it can be.  Here’s some tips to keep little boys happy and dry.

Point it down!
This is the best piece of advise I can give you if you’re diapering a boy.  Make sure, at every change that you gently point the penis down between the legs.  This will help keep the majority of pee hitting the diaper where it’s most absorbent (in the middle of the crotch).  Point it to one side and you’ll get leaks out the legs; point it up and pee will flow up the tummy, over the hip and out the back making a wardrobe change necessary along with a diaper change.

More absorbency in front
This one can seem pretty obvious, but it’s often overlooked.  Add absorbency where it’s needed which is up front for boys.  When you add an extra insert or booster, don’t center it.  If you’re using prefolds that are a bit on the big side and need to be folded down to size, fold down the front, not the back for extra protection.  Extra absorbency concentrated at the front is especially useful for older boys who like to sleep on their tummies.  This trick can help prevent those nap time tummy leaks.

Keep the rise up
In addition to more absorbency in front, preventing leaks for boys goes hand in hand with proper rise.  Rise is how far up baby’s waist the diaper sits.  Say no to Plumber’s Crack and a droopy fit.  If you’re getting leaks, it might be time to size up to a larger size diaper or adjust your one size diapers to a larger setting.  The rise of the diaper should fit level with baby’s belly button providing full coverage over the bum.

Prepare for the torrent
So it seems from experience that some little boys like to pee a lot very quickly all at once.  This catches some diapers off guard, especially synthetic fabrics like fleece or minky that appreciate some compression before they start to absorb.  This is most often a problem we see with newborns and small babies who spend lots of time on their backs.  Baby pees lots at once and it all goes down and leaks up the back without ever absorbing where it should have.  Solution?  Natural fabrics.  Natural fabrics absorb instantly without a need for compression.  Contact with pee is all they need.  So, consider diapers with natural fabrics inside or simply lay a booster made with natural fabrics or even a soft cotton washcloth on top of any synthetic fabric diaper and presto, problem solved.

There you go, easy tips for a happy and dry little boy.

Owner, Cloth Diaper

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Cloth Diaper Troubleshooting App: Introducing ‘Wrap Up’

Another amazing innovation from one of our favorite Canadian manufacturers, Bummis.  They have just come out with a virtual app to help with all your cloth diaper troubleshooting questions.preamble

Baby have a rash?  Cloth diapers leaking?  Can’t get rid of ammonia smell?  Residue problems?  This app covers it all.  Simply follow along, answer the questions and *BAM* the solution to your problems will be revealed leaving you with clean, fresh, absorbent diapers, just like the day you bought them 🙂

Ready to try it out?

View it on the web here:

Get the app on iTunes here:

Get the app on Google Play for Android here:

Test it out…what do you think?

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Treating Diaper Rash Without Commercial Ointments or Rash Creams

While babies using cloth diapers generally will experience fewer and milder diaper rashes (if they get a rash at all), they can occur on occasion due to allergies, illness, teething, sensitivities, and for many other reasons not necessarily related to your cloth diapers. Do not use any commercial diaper rash ointments with cloth diapers as this will void any warranties and cause them to repel.

We recommend changing the diaper often and allowing the baby to air dry as much as possible. You can also use cornstarch based baby powder on baby’s bottom to aid in healing. If you need a “paste,” mix the powder with a little bit of water and rub onto the rash to give it more staying power. *Note: do not use cornstarch with a yeast rash*.
coconut oil is also great and safe to use with your cloth diapers as is lanolin if you prefer a nice thick moisture barrier (you know, that stuff you put on your nipples when you’re breastfeeding).  Our personal favorite for helping to heal rashes is Therapeutic Blend Yum Bum Butter by Delish Naturals.  It’s all natural and infused with therapeutic grade essential oils to soothe and speed healing. 

Sometimes though a commercial or prescription ointment or rash cream is necessary and in these cases a liner such as Bummis Bio Soft Liners should be used between baby and the diaper to protect the diaper from the cream.

*Note: if your baby’s rash is persistent, severe, blistered or does not show improvement in a day or two.  Please see your doctor.


How Do I ‘Strip’ My Cloth Diapers?

Basically ‘stripping’ just means removing any build up in your diapers which might be causing repelling, smell, leaking etc.  Note that here is no need to strip your diapers unless you are having issues and a proper wash routine can prevent you from having to do it at all.

Long story short, there are a number of ways to do it, but this is what we like to do. You can also do this periodically as part of your regular diaper maintenance to prevent problems as well and prolong the life of your diapers (aprox. every few months) if you want.

RLR Strip
Most commonly used to remove mineral buildup and whiten diapers especially in Canada where harder water is common even in cities.  RLR is an additive that helps suspend residue in the wash water so that it can rinse away instead of re-depositing on the diapers. Best for sprucing up older, dingy diapers or those whose absorbency has been compromised do to mineral buildup in the fabric.  RLR may help for smell issues, but Funk Rock is usually better for this (see stripping with Funk Rock below).

– Simply add the packet of RLR to a clean load of diapers (12-16 diapers) and do a hot wash followed by several rinses with no detergent.

*Alternatively for a deeper clean, put clean diapers in the bathtub, add hot water to cover them.  Add the packet and mix around to dissolve.  Leave to soak 3-4hrs or overnight.  Transfer diapers to washing machine.  Do a hot wash or rinse with no detergent until they rinse clean. Dry as usual.

Simple, Fast & Cheap
Before spending money on any stripping method.  First try a few hot wash cycles with no detergent followed by drying as usual.  This can often help a lot of cloth diapering issues, especially if baby is having rashes because of detergent left behind on the fabric that they are sensitive to.  In this case, change detergents after stripping and make sure you’re using the correct amount for the load size you are washing.

Funk Rock Strip
For ammonia buildup, and smell issues.

– Follow the package directions and add the recommended amount of Funk Rock to clean diapers in a bathtub similar to doing an RLR strip.  Then transfer diapers to your washing machine and wash on hot WITH detergent.  Rinse until no bubbles, dry as usual.

Oxiclean Strip
Good for a deep clean once in a while.  Doesn’t treat any particular problem specifically.

– Put your clean diapers in the wash and run a hot soak or rinse cycle with NO detergent of any kind.
– Then add 4-5 scoops of Oxiclean Regular or another oxygen bleach (NOT the Oxiclean Free and NOT chlorine bleach) and run a hot cycle. (Use the Oxiclean that comes in powder form). Dry your diapers as usual.

Blue Dawn Strip
This is one I don’t often recommend, but it is rampant on internet message boards and is often thrown around as a ‘cure all’.  Read more about it here.

Remember, you shouldn’t have to strip your diapers all the time.  If you’re needing to strip for any reason more than every 3 months or so, it’s time to look at changing your wash routine to be more effective.  A simple, effective wash routine should minimize or eliminate the need to strip in the first place.  And PLEASE make sure you are using a good quality detergent in the correct amount recommended on the package for the size of your load to wash your dirty diapers.  And as usual.  Contact us if you have questions.



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Babies Diaper Leaks During Naps Or At Night Time. What Should I do?

Some babies wet more than others. If you are experiencing persistent leaking, we recommend adding more inserts to pocket diapers or over prefolds during naps and for night time. A combination of a bamboo insert with a micro terry insert often works well without adding too much additional bulk.

If an additional insert or booster isn’t cutting it, then you have a Heavy Wetter and a fitted diaper is what you need to look at.  A fitted diaper absorbs all around, not just within an insert between the legs and as such has a greater total capacity.  A fitted diaper paired with an additional insert and a PUL or wool cover is what you need to wake up dry.


My Cloth Diapers Are Leaking, What Is Wrong?

There are only 3 reasons that a cloth diaper will leak…ready for it?

#1) Improper Fit 
Look at the fit of your diapers on baby. Is it too loose or too tight?  The diaper should fit snugly around the waist and legs with no gaps.  Move baby’s legs up and down, side to side.  If you see any gaps, you’re going to get leaks, so check the adjustment.  Fit issues are seen most commonly with newborns (who tend to have skinny legs) and after baby has a growth spurt.  Chubby thigh babies who suddenly slim out when they become walking toddlers can get leaks if your diaper adjustment hasn’t followed suit.  Don’t be afraid to tighten diapers well.  You won’t hurt baby.  Elastics in cloth diapers are nice and stretchy.  Note: If you are using FuzziBunz One Size specifically, sometimes parents will over tighten the leg elastics thinking that the snugger it is the better the leak protection will be. However, this is usually in fact counterproductive, contrary to what was said above. If this sounds like you, try loosening the legs slightly to see if your leaking situation improves.  Also, if you are using a two piece diaper system such as prefolds or fitteds with a cover, ensure that all of the diaper is tucked into the cover so prevent wicking leaks.

#2) Repelling Issues
If the fit of your diapers is good, the next thing to consider when your diapers are leaking is a repelling issue due to buildup on your diapers. Are you using a cloth friendly detergent in the correct quantity for the type of washing machine you are using? Have you used rash creams or ointments that got onto your diapers? Has daddy, grandma or the sitter used a rash cream that got on the diapers?  Have you pre-washed your organic cotton or bamboo diapers properly? Are you using dryer sheets in the dryer?  Too much detergent or other unnecessary additives in the wash without adequate rinsing?  Toddler put a wax crayon in the dryer that you didn’t see?  Do you have hard water?  All of these can be factors in repelling issues.  If this sounds like you, consider stripping your diapers.  You will know you have a repelling issue and not an insufficient absorbency issue if when you go to change the diaper, the insert is still dry or there was clearly more capacity to absorb, but the diaper wasn’t able to.

#3) Insufficient Absorbency
Do you have a Heavy Wetter on your hands?  If the diaper is leaking and you notice that it is fully saturated when you change it, then the leak was due to over saturation.  Solution?  Add absorbency (think booster) or change more often.  Baby should be changed aprox. every 3 hours during the day or whenever they are dirty.  Every baby is unique, and some are just heavy wetters. If your baby needs more absorbency, and you are using pocket diapers, then use two liners in the pocket or a combination of one bamboo and one micro fleece liner in the pocket. Or add an additional liner on top of your prefolds. Adding an extra bamboo insert can work wonders without adding bulk. This is especially helpful for naps or nighttime when baby goes longer without a diaper change.

And remember, change your baby often. Babies are not meant to sit in a wet or soiled diaper for many hours at a time and frequent changing will help prevent diaper rashes too 🙂

Some rare causes of diaper leaks that don’t fit the factors above
Not every leak fits the common ones above though, so here’s a few others that might apply to you:

– If you have a boy, make sure the penis is pointed down between the legs at diaper change time.  Pointing up or to the side can cause leaks.

– Compression leaks – some synthetic fabrics like microfiber and minky need some compression to begin absorbing.  Newborn baby on their back = no compression=pee that flows quickly to the side instead of into the insert (natural fabric diaper or a natural fabric booster on top next to baby is the solution here). On the other hand, a fully saturated insert that gets squished with a car seat buckle for example may also spring a leak.

– Manufacturing defects – usually covered under warranty and would be present very early on with a new diaper.

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Can I Use Diaper Rash Ointments or Creams With My Cloth Diapers?

Diaper rash ointments and creams can cause diapers to repel and not function properly, especially creams that are zinc oxide based (you know, that white sticky stuff).

If your baby requires the use of these kind of products, you should use them sparingly and pair it with the use a liner such as Bummis Bio Soft Liners between baby and the diaper to make sure none of the cream touches the diaper.

If you mistakenly get diaper rash ointment on your diaper and experience repelling as a result, wash your diapers normally with the hottest water you can get and then apply some dishwashing liquid, like Original Blue Dawn, to the affected area in the sink. Scrub the affected area with a toothbrush or other soft bristle brush. Rinse the diaper out thoroughly to get rid of most of the suds and then wash it again normally with your regular diaper laundry.  While this is a suggested method, it may not always work (depends on the ingredients that were in the cream). Diapers affected by diaper rash ointments are not covered by warranties. (Note: never put Dawn or any other dishwashing liquid in your washing machine).

The good news is that many cloth diapered babies experience little or no diaper rash 🙂

Some excellent cloth diaper safe ointments are available when needed to help soothe and heal rashes.  Therapeutic Blend Delish Naturals Yum Bum Butter is our personal favorite.  What makes them cloth diaper safe is their low melting point (ie. they easily rinse out completely during a hot wash cycle).

You can also try pure lanolin (the stuff you use for sore nipples while breastfeeding), coconut oil or cornstarch based baby powder if the skin on baby’s diaper area needs some temporary healing assistance.

Creams and powders do not need to be used at every change once the rash has cleared. **Do not use cornstarch if baby has a yeast rash**

Also, if you are using disposable wipes and you find baby has a persistent rash, they may be sensitive to the chemicals and preservatives and switching to cloth wipes will solve the problem.  For info on using cloth wipes look here.