Cloth Diaper Kids Blog

FuzziBunz cloth diapers and other green baby products


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Cloth Diapers and Yeast

150x150LogoFor any parent whose baby has struggled with a diaper rash caused by yeast, I wanted to share some ground-breaking research with all of you.  The RDA (Real Diaper Association) has begun conducting scientific testing of yeast on diapers in an effort to once and for all determine proper washing recommendations for cloth diapers used on babies battling yeast.

Traditionally, many different theories have swirled around regarding the treatment of yeast in cloth diapers.  Everything from bleach to grapefruit seed extract, tea tree oil, boiling and more.  Ultimately, there has never been any proper research specifically with cloth diapers and home washing conditions until now.  So, while there is still lots of research to be completed (which of course takes time, facilities and money) I wanted to show you the very first results coming out of this research.

The findings are currently showing that yeast cannot live on cotton prefold diapers that have been washed in hot water with detergent.  See the full article here.

This is fantastic news for cloth diapering parents as is suggests that no special steps need to be taken to ‘disinfect’ cloth diapers that have been exposed to yeast other than regular washing.

Of course lots more tests need to be completed to see if this result holds true for diaper fabrics other than cotton and for other diaper styles beyond prefolds.  However, the findings are encouraging and I eagerly look forward to the release of further testing results!

Stay tuned…

The RDA Mission: The Real Diaper Association is a collective non-profit organization in which parents and small businesses take the lead in creating a cultural shift to increase the use of simple, reusable cloth diapers. We connect current cloth diapering parents to the long history of cloth diapering. Cloth diapers are real diapers. The Association organizes local advocates and activists for cloth diapers through a member-supported resource center which plans campaigns, trains organizers, distributes educational information, supports local groups, and connects users to the Cloth Diaper industry. Local Real Diaper Circles reach users face-to-face with knowledge and tools to make cloth diapering accessible and acceptable to parents, who have the power to change the world one baby at a time.

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DO NOT DO THIS EVER! – The Worst Way To Strip Cloth Diapers

Before I begin this post, let me say that I rarely pass such a strong opinion on what people choose to do with their cloth diapers in their own homes.  If you want to go against the years of research and testing that manufacturers put into the washing instructions on their products, and do something contrary to the manufacturer’s guidelines in your quest to find the perfect wash routine – fine by me.  Whatever works.  I’ve done it too (I don’t recommend it, but I’ve done it 😉

BUT please please please don’t EVER put your cloth diapers into your DISHWASHER to ‘strip’ them clean.  This is terribly terrible, very bad, ill-informed and DANGEROUS ‘advice’ stemming from inexperienced cloth diaper users that sometimes floats around the internet.

Here are but a few reasons why you should NEVER EVER put cloth diapers of any kind in your dishwasher in an attempt to get them clean:

  • It is a fire hazard – there is a heating element inside your dishwasher.  If it touches any fabric it will melt or burn it.  You could start a fire.
  • A dishwasher is made for dishes – not diapers that contain human waste.  Do you really want to wash poopy residue out of your diapers and then wash your dishes in that machine?  That could be a health hazard.
  • It will void all your warranties – the diaper’s warranty will be gone as well as the warranty on your dishwasher.  Simple as that.
  • Dishwashers heat the water up to be scalding hot and generally speaking diapers should not be washed in super heated water.  Hot yes, super hot, no.  It can cause fabric breakdown, elastic degradation and premature delamination.
  • It’s a hassle and a half – it’s much easier to tweak your wash routine to troubleshoot rather than resorting to a dishwasher.

If you’re having issues with your cloth diapers of any kind, do what you would do when you have car problems.  Consult a professional (ie. an experienced retailer or the manufacturer of your diapers directly).  We have years of experience helping lots of clients and manufacturers spend money perfecting wash routines and running tests on the materials they use in their products.  We can help you.  So please, don’t believe everything you read on the internet, even if they claim to be experts.  And don’t ever put your diapers in the dishwasher.

REVIEW OUR SIMPLE WASHING INSTRUCTIONS HERE


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I Hate Laundry. How Much Extra Laundry Will Cloth Diapers Make?

Lots of people get on the Cloth Diapering Wagon because they want to save money, keep diapers out of landfills and keep baby healthy, but when it comes to actually putting words into action the issue of laundry often gives them pause.  When cloth diapers are mentioned it’s not uncommon for me to hear the ‘I hate laundry’ excuse or the ‘Haha, I already do enough laundry’ comment.  But let’s consider how much ‘laundry’ is really involved in cloth diapering shall we?

Generally speaking we advise that you plan to wash your diapers every 2-3 days.  Why?  Because then you don’t need to store too many diapers, there are fewer odors and you get less staining.  Prompt washing also keeps the diaper fabrics in better shape over the long-term.

So, that gives you maybe 3 loads of laundry a week.  But you know what?  You’re going to be doing a lot more laundry with a new baby anyway and while clothing needs to be washed, dried, folded and put away, diapers just need washing and drying.  You only have to fold your diapers if you want to, it’s not mandatory at all.  In fact, I rarely do it.

Plus it’s nowhere near the effort required to haul smelly bags of disposable diapers to the curb, especially in a Canadian winter.  And just the thought of running out of disposable diapers and having to pack up baby and go to the store at an inconvenient time is more than I can handle.  Throw your cloth diapers in the washing machine.  30 seconds.  Done.

Conclusion?  Yes.  You will have a couple more loads of laundry.  But no.  It’s not a big deal.  You’ll probably find you like doing diaper laundry more than any other kind of laundry too.

Still not convinced?  Try cloth diapering part-time.  Discover the benefits and figure out first-hand, without a big investment, how little ‘work’ it really is.

Pick 6 Cloth Diapers Starter Kit + Free Gifts


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WARNING: Cloth Diapers are Addictive

Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

You sat newly pregnant in my Cloth Diapering 101 class.

You laughed at me when I told you not to try a Blueberry Simplex diaper unless you were prepared to love them so much that you’d want 40 when you only needed 20. You ignored me when I told you that once you had one TotsBots print you’d want one of each to complete the set. And you scoffed at me when I told you that some Applecheeks diapers are worth hundreds of dollars on the used market.

“Phft that’s ridiculous” you snickered to your friend as you left my seminar. “I’m only buying that 12 pack starter package they have on sale. I want to cloth diaper because I’m frugal after all” you promised. And you didn’t give my comments another thought.

Well now it’s 2 years later. You’ve successfully cloth diapered a baby who turned into a toddler. You started out with just that 12 pack starter package and it was perfectly fine. But curiosity got the better of you and you preferred not to do laundry every day anyway, so it didn’t hurt to get a couple more diapers in different styles just for the sake of variety.

“Woo hoo” you thought. “These cloth diapers are pretty awesome”. Your baby never had poopy blow-outs and that fluffy bum looked so gosh-darn cute. Plus look at all the money you saved. This justifies buying a couple more diapers to complete that storybook set of prints you really liked. After all, if you had the Humpty Dumpty diaper didn’t you need Incy Wincy Spider too? These are classic childhood rhymes after all.

Your husband turned a blind eye to your hoarding.

You found yourself pregnant with baby #2 wondering what it would be like to cloth diaper a newborn. So you started collecting a newborn diaper stash as soon as the stick tuned positive. Meanwhile your toddler became a heavy wetter and started sleeping through the night. A perfect opportunity to try those super absorbent fitted diapers that are great for nighttime. Maybe you even tried a wool cover.

Your friends rolled their eyes that your obsession was no longer a money saving venture.Superman

“It didn’t matter” you thought. “It wasn’t all about they money” you said. “It’s healthier for baby of course”. And now you sit, reading this, wondering how you got in so deep, trying really hard not to click the ‘BUY’ button next to that super cute Superman diaper with the detachable cape on the bum. “Tomorrow I’m going to sell off some of my diapers at that community swap meet” you think to yourself. “And then I’m going to yell at that woman who owns the diaper store for getting me hooked on these soft and fluffy diapers”.

“But I warned you”, I’ll say as you buy the new Elephant print. I really, really did.

You’ll wink at me and chuckle, “At least I’m still saving the environment right?”

That you are Mama, that you are.


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The Reluctant Dad – 7 Tips To Get Daddy On Board With Cloth Diapering

Do you have a reluctant Daddy in the house?  Not every Dad is on the same page as Mom when it comes time to decide how to diaper that adorable little baby bum.  Here’s some tips for making sure Daddy will be happy to participate in cloth diapering too:

  1. Make it easy
    Make sure you have super user-friendly cloth diapers in your stash.  For Dads and other caregivers (think Grandma or babysitters) easier is better and the less thinking required when trying to diaper a wriggling baby is always a bonus.  So, consider all-in-one (AIO) diapers.  AIOs are all one piece with the absorbent layers and the waterproof layer all together with no stuffing or fussing required.  You just put them on and take them off.  Nothing fancy.  These are very intuitive and are the closest thing to putting on a disposable you can get.  Generally a big thumbs up for ease of use.  Alternatively, if you’re wanting to do a pocket type diaper, look for one that can accommodate Daddy’s bigger hands.  Applecheeks diapers for instance were designed with the diaper changing Daddy in mind.  Their pocket opening is specifically placed at the widest point of the diaper, making stuffing the absorbent insert inside very easy.  Plus, if Daddy forgets to pull the insert out before washing, no big deal.  Applecheeks inserts will agitate out in the wash on their own anyway.  See?  Easy.  Note: when using pocket diapers, if Mom pre-stuffs them ahead of time, then it’s even easier for Dad 😉
  2. Address the poop issue and home washing concerns
    This can be a big thing for Dads and is one of the first questions that comes up in our Cloth Diapering Workshops.  Lots of Dads have never changed a diaper in their lives and have no idea what baby poo even looks like.  No wonder many of them balk at the idea of having to change diapers and wash them in the machine at home.  When you let the imagination run wild it often comes up with something way worse than reality, so address this issue up front with him.  Assure him that newborn poo is hardly scary and barely has any volume at all.  It’s all water soluble and can be easily handled by the washing machine in a clean and sanitary way.  No scraping, dunking or rinsing required.  Just change that diaper and toss it in the wet bag with no further thought for babies 0-6 months.  Once baby starts solids, Dad will be getting used to changing diapers, but with the introduction of solids comes some interesting bowel movements.  Never fear, that’s where flushable liners come in.  Simply show Daddy how to lay the liner on top of the diaper and when the diaper is soiled you shake it into the toilet along with the poo and flush it away!  The rest of the diaper goes in the wet bag for washing.  Whatever is left the machine can handle, I Promise.  A diaper sprayer can also be of assistance during this phase as an option for easier cleanups.  Plus Daddy can show off his home improvement skills by installing it (no tools required and it easily attaches to the water line of your toilet with simple instructions included).
  3. Discuss health and environmental issues
    These things are easy to find just with a little ‘googling’ or browsing our website.  Daddy may not have time to do all the research, but if you do, then condense some of the pertinent info and share it with him.  He may want to know that keeping his little boys’ testicles cooler in cloth diapers might contribute to better fertility down the road.  And he may not realize what kinds of chemicals are in today’s disposable diapers.  Don’t bombard him with info, but do share the facts and discuss how your family can save thousands of diapers from ending up in landfills for the benefit of future generations.
  4. Smells be gone
    Cloth diapering smells a lot less than disposable diapering if you ask me.  And yes, I’ve done both!  But if Daddy is worried about, or sensitive to smells, keep things fresh with an open diaper bag (yes, open to the air smells less than closed off options) and products like the Rockin’ Green Pail Freshener.
  5. Crunch the numbers
    Dads often like to see cold numbers and facts, so give it to him straight.  Show him on paper how much money can be saved for how many children you plan to have and it all becomes quite black and white.  Here’s a great cost breakdown to make it easy for you which even addresses the cost of machine depreciation, water and heating costs and detergent requirements.  As for the up-front cost of getting started, this is a legitimate concern.  Depending on the style of diaper you go with, your initial stash can run you a few hundred dollars.  But, telling your friends and family that you want to cloth diaper and starting a registry for cloth diapers can help get you started.  And you have 9 months to build your stash up slowly while waiting for baby.  In the end, remind Dad that those cost savings can go towards other fun things like vacations, a new car or your kids’ university fund 😉
  6. Show him how cloth diapering will make his life easier
    Mention to Dad that with cloth diapers, he’ll never have to cart stinky trash to the curb every week, or run out at night to grab more diapers from the corner store when you run out.
  7. And if all else fails…
    Don’t push Dad into it if he just isn’t there.  Perhaps do half and half.  When Mom changes baby, use the cloth diapers, when Dad changes baby, he can put on a disposable.  Often, once Daddy sees how easy it really is and that you have cloth diapers that match the colors of his favorite sports team…he’ll come around to cloth diapering too.


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My Cloth Diapers Smell – How Do I Fix Them?

When it comes to cloth diapers, there are different smells and different ways to deal with them.  But one thing that holds true in all situations is that your diapers are smelling because they aren’t getting clean enough in the wash.  Here’s how to fix them and how to tweak your wash routine so it doesn’t come back.

Diapers smell like a ‘barnyard’
If you have a smell that’s kinda like a barnyard (sorta poopy and gross) it generally means you need more detergent.  You are either using a detergent that isn’t strong enough to deal with dirty diapers or not enough of it.  Use the proper amount of detergent as recommended on the package for the size of the load you are doing (regardless of whether you’re using a mainstream commercially available brand or a cloth diaper specific brand).  Bigger load needs more detergent.  Have you added water to your load or increased the water level?  Then increase your detergent accordingly.  You need the proper ratio of detergent to water to clean properly.  Diluted detergent or incomplete rinsing = poop residue left on your diapers = barnyard smell.

Note: changing to a different detergent (Tide or Charlie’s Soap is great) or adding a water softener like Calgon (1/4 cup in with the detergent) to your wash can also help if you have harder water.  Remember, detergent that works well for one person won’t necessarily work well for you.  Water quality, type of washing machine, diaper fabrics and style (prefolds vs. pockets vs. all in ones) can all play a large part in finding a wash routine and detergent that work to achieve proper cleaning.

Diapers smell strongly of ammonia
If you have ammonia issues, see our post on how to deal with it here.

Still have questions?  Contact us or get in touch with the manufacturer of your diapers for more troubleshooting advice.

 


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Baby Break Out – My Poor Little Niece

Does your baby have sensitive skin?  My niece does.  But who knew?  Sensitive skin doesn’t run in our family, she isn’t particularly fair and she doesn’t have any specific allergies that we know of.  But for some reason little Lainey Bug has had raised red itchy patches all over her body since shortly after she was born.  She was constantly wiggling and trying to scratch herself and was a poor sleeper due to discomfort.  Thinking it was eczema, her parents took her to the pediatrician who said, no, it wasn’t eczema, just ‘sensitive skin’ and to stop using all products on her skin.  Then she gave them medicated cream.

Not wanting to use medicated cream unless it proved necessary, they stopped using their highly scented commercial laundry detergent, the hypoallergenic Live Clean Baby Wash and Johnson & Johnson Baby Lotion.  But then they were unsure of how to keep Lainey’s laundry and skin clean and they asked me for help.

I suggested Charlie’s Soap for her laundry.  It’s biodegradeable, non-toxic, cloth diaper safe and great for all skin types (not to mention free of artificial fragrances).  Plus the company has been around for over 100 years.  How’s that for a track-record?  Then I switched them onto the Delish Naturals’ Skin Care Line.  Safe, effective and great for the whole family, Delish Naturals’ products are handmade in small batches right here in Canada so we know exactly what’s in it and time and time again it has shown how great it is for a baby’s skin with nourishing natural ingredients.  Lastly, we made sure she was in cloth diapers – free from carcinogens and plastics and more breathable for her bum.

And what happened you ask?  Well she’s better of course!  The red patches are completely gone, the itchiness has subsided, she no longer squirms and fusses and she started sleeping better.  How long did it take to see a change?  3 days.  Just 3 days.  Sometimes I think we take for granted how delicate the skin of a little human really is.  And even if your baby doesn’t have ‘sensitive skin’ it’s nice to know the products you’re putting on them are the gentlest there are right?

This is why we carry Charlie’s Soap and the Delish Naturals Skin Care Line.  Not because they make us lots of money, not because we get a kick-back from a big multi-national company, but because they’re safe, they’re effective, and they make my niece feel better.

Love you Lainey Bug!

Laineyc
P.S.
Baby wipes (even ‘sensitive’ or ‘hypoallergenic’ ones) are one of the biggest offenders we see for babies that have persistent bum rashes when using cloth diapers.  Delicate baby skin often can’t handle the necessary preservatives they have to put in them to keep them bacteria free.  Cloth wipes and warm water fixes that problem and will save you about $100 a year.