Insert Choices: Bamboo!

     Bamboo is one of those fabrics people love to love.  From clothing to towels, sheets and diapers, it just feels nice saying "it's bamboo".  
What is it?
     Bamboo fabric is a natural textile that's made from bamboo trees (for the technical people out there, bamboo is actually a grass!). Bamboo fabric can be made mechanically or chemically. Mechanically, the woody parts of the bamboo plant are crushed and then natural enzymes break the bamboo walls into a pulp so that the fibers can be combed out and spun into yarn. This is a pretty labor -intensive method and is how 'bamboo linen' is made.  Chemically,  crushed plant parts are put into a bath of chemicals which break them down, then into more chemicals to produce fibers.  The process is basically the same as getting fibers out of wood for paper making and is the process that's been used when you see 'bamboo rayon' on the tag.  It's also the most common process used.
Good Points:
   Bamboo is a sustainable and renewable resource.  It's also natural and durable.  Bamboo's incredibly soft, antibacterial and hypoallergenic.  It has great absorbency and therefore you can get a nice, trim diaper that absorbs as much as it's bulkier cotton counterpart.  Residue issues are rare with bamboo diapers compared to microfiber.
Not so good points:
    Bamboo diapers and inserts are usually more expensive than cotton and microfiber.  Although it's a durable fabric, it's still not AS durable as cotton or microfiber and therefore might not last as long.

Some awesome bamboo products!

So that's the scoop on bamboo!

Wednesday Blog Hops

Wednesday's here and so are the hops!  Please leave me a comment here so I can follow you back!
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How to remove stains from a wool cover

    Am I ever glad my hubby changed Eli yesterday morning, because he waited until the diaper was off to do his #2!  Although it wasn't too bad to clean up (so I was told), some poop got on the outside of his wool cover that was laying beside him.  Wool is fairly resistant to staining, but poop left on it will stain eventually.  If your LO does have an accident that gets on your cover here's a quick and easy way to get it spotless again!  And as with any stain, the sooner you can treat it the better!

1.  Fill your sink/bucket with some COLD water and set the cover in it, swishing it around a bit to make sure the stained parts get wet.
2.  Let it sit for about 10-15 mins to try and lift the stain out.  

3.  Drain the water and rub the stains with a bar of olive oil soap, some wool wash, or a bar of original Ivory!  Very gently work the soap into the stain.  At this point the stain should be pretty much gone.

4.  Fill the sink back up with cold or tepid water, put the cover in and swish it around.  Again, gently rub the spots where you rubbed the soap on to make sure it's all out.

5.  Drain the water, gently lift the cover and set it onto a towel.  Roll the cover up in the towel to remove excess water.
6. Remove from the towel and lay flat to dry.

If you want to give the whole cover a cleaning while you're at it, just add a capful of Eucerin to step #4 and let it sit for 15 mins before draining :)  The key to each step here is to always handle your wool cover gently, never rubbing too hard or else you might felt it.  Also, never use HOT water or else it'll probably shrink up on you!
Nice & Clean!


Monday Blog Hop!

Here's today's blog hop!  Please let me a comment with a link to your blog so I can follow you back!  If you 'like' on FB, please let me if you'd like a 'like' back :)

Find the Hop here

Insert Choices: Hemp!

      Hemp is one of the earliest known domesticated plants!  In the past 10 years, it's has become very popular and there are currently over 50 000 products that can be made from it; from food to textiles.  It's really taken off in cloth diaper products as well and is personally my favorite fabric for doublers.
What is it?
     Hemp is a fiber that's made from a cannibus plant.  It has the texture of linen which can be slightly rough and is why many doublers/inserts you find will be combined with cotton or fleece (usually in a 55% hemp/ 45% other blend).
Good points:
     Hemp is environmentally friendly because it comes from a renewable resource and can be grown without the need for pesticides.  It's super absorbant and stable; it isn't likely to leak from compression (baby sitting on it when it's soaked and squishing the pee out!). It's easy to wash and is less prone to residue than microfiber.  
Not so good points:
     Hemp is a slower absorber so if your little one has a forceful pee stream, it might not absorb quick enough and you could get leaks out the sides of the diaper.  It can also get pretty stinky if you get residue buildup...and hemp ammonia stink is a beast of a smell!   Hemp also requires prepping before you first use it which is more work than microfiber.

Some awesome hemp products!

   And that's the scoop on hemp!

This article was posted in The Hemp Network News!

Insert choices: Microfiber

   When it comes to diapers there's a few different fabric choices out there, and a lot of people have no idea when or why to choose one over the other.  When it comes to pocket diapers especially, most come with microfiber inserts.  Some people love microfiber, others hate it with a passion!

What is it?
     Microfiber's a synthetic fabric most commonly made of polyester.  It's used in things like clothing, cleaning cloths and diaper inserts!

Good Points:
   Microfiber's known for its softness, durability, absorption and wicking abilities. It absorbs liquid very quickly and holds a ton!  It's trim and dries quickly.  It's also very inexpensive as opposed to cotton, hemp and bamboo.

Not so good points:
   Microfiber comes from a non-renewable resource and doesn't biodegrade, which sucks some of the eco-friendly right out of cloth diapering!  It's also flammable, which might be an important fact for some moms.  
   When it comes to cloth diapers specifically, microfiber has a bad reputation for residue issues leading to stink and repelling, driving many cloth diaperers to replace their microfiber with other fabrics.  Also, because it wicks wetness away you can't use it directly against baby's skin or it'll dry it out in a hurry and irritate it.  One last issue is that microfiber can leak if it's too wet and baby squishes it (sit on it too long in a car ride, sleeping on a full insert, etc);  this is called compression leaking.

So that's the scoop on microfiber!

Make sure you leave me a comment with a link to your blog so I can follow back!

Happy Hopping!

Frontloader vs Fluff: my constant battle

     I feel like I'm having the same fight with my washing machine every time I do diaper laundry...there's just not enough water!  Hey, I like being environmentally friendly as much as the next girl but my 'high efficiency' frontloader is killing me!  Everyone knows the only way to get a really clean diaper is to get as much water through them as possible.  When I started CDing, we had a tiny apartment sized washer and dryer.  I wanted a top loader so incredibly badly because I knew how amazingly more easy it was to get a fabulously clean diaper out of one.  Unfortunately, my space only allowed me to have a stacked frontloading laundry pair so when it came time to shop for them, I drooled at the 'old fashioned' top loaders as I passed them on the way to the fancy new frontloaders (which my hubby drooled over).  We settled on a humongous LG pair that was as best for cloth diapers as I could get. It has an prewash, sanitize, extra rinse, delicate cycle; everything I could need.  Best of all, it has an option to add more water!  I read every page of that manual beforehand and nothing told me just how  much water was 'more' water, but it was better than nothing.  Now, having used the machine, I'd say it gives me only a little more water; enough that I can see about an inch more water in the tub than when I don't choose that option.  I guess a little is still better than nothing so I'll take what I can get!  I do other things as well to 'trick' my machine into filling with more water.

Here's what I do to get the most water through my HE frontloading washer:

  • choose the "water plus" option on the washer
  • run a cold water cycle for about 5 mins or until I know the diapers are soaking wet.  Then, I turn off the washer and restart the cycle.  This way, the diapers are super heavy and the machine thinks it has a large load and adds more water.  (Alternatively, some people add a few sopping wet towels to the load at the beginning to trick the machine in the same way.  I find my way easier and less messy!)
  • Take a bucket and pour water into the soap dispenser.  The water pours directly into the washer this way.  (My machine allows about 2 medium buckets of water this way, after that I get an error message and the machine drains all the water and stops the cycle).  This way gets me the most water but is the most work and messiest.

     We don't get stink too often, and now that we're using Thirsties Pre-wash I'm barely noticing stink at all anymore (maybe once every 6 weeks or so..and even then it's mild).  When we do get stink, I'm pretty sure it's because my hubby has forgotten to fill the water softener with salt and I've been washing in extremely hard water for a week.  One run of my inserts through the sanitize cycle takes care of it though :)  I still dream of top-loaders some days though...

     Anyone have another trick for more H2O??

Time for some blog hops!

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Happy hopping!

Let's talk diaper pails...

     I recently had a comment from someone about not knowing what to do with their dirty diapers...and thinking about it I realized how many different ways people store their dirty dipes before laundry day.  
A note on poop!:  Breastfed baby poop is water-soluble so until solids or formula are introduced you can just throw all diapers into the need to rinse poop off first :)

Wet Pail:
A wet pail in a pail/bucket filled 1/4 way with water.  When a diaper is changed, it goes straight into the pail where it soaks until laundry day.  The water needs to be changed each day though to keep grime and stink to a minimum.  
  • keeps stains to a minumum
  • usually less stinky than a dry pail
  • decreased microfiber stink because of 'pre-soaking'
  • potential drowning hazard
  • heavy to lug to the washer or sink
Wet pails used to be the standard in cloth diapering before the concerns of them being potential drowning hazards.  They're still used now, but with pails that have locking lids or are off-limits to curious little ones. 

Dry Pail:
With a dry pail system, all diapers are placed straight into the pail or bag without rinsing of any kind.  If the diaper has poop on it, just shake it off into the toilet before tossing into the pail.
  • quick and easy
  • no drowning hazards
  • light load to carry to washer
  • can use a hanging wet bag instead of a pail to save space
  • more chance of staining
  • higher chance of stink
This is the most common type of diaper pail used nowadays.  If you're doing laundry often (every 2-3 days) staining shouldn't be too much of an issue.  If you use liners (disposable or fabric), staining will really be minimal.  Stink can be kept under control with a sprinkle of baking soda on top of the diapers once in a while and by using a pail with a well-fitting lid.  Lots of hanging wet bags have zippers to keep in the odour and some have a small fabric patch inside to put a drop of tea tree oil on for extra help with stink!  Some people swear by an open-pail to keep odour down, which seems crazy but the air circulation is supposed to help. I've never done it but the option is out there!

Wet/dry pail:
A wet/dry pail is just what it sounds like, a mix between the two systems! You don't put any water into the pail, but you rinse each diaper before putting it in.  (You really should use a pail for this one as the diapers get heavy and the bag can still leak with all that liquid in it). 
  • minimizes staining
  • minimizes stink
  • no drowning hazard
  • no pouring out the water and refilling each day
  • heavier than a dry pail
  • no option of a hanging wet bag
  • easier to keep by a sink or toilet so not as convenient as having it beside the change table like a dry pail
My change station
My Wet/Dry Pail equipped
with rubber gloves!
     Personally, I use both a dry pail and a wet/dry pail.  I have a dry pail beside my change table for quick 'pee' changes and 'poo' changes where the liner caught everything!  I just toss the liner into the toilet if soiled or into a tiny trash bin beside my dry pail if not soiled and throw the diaper into the dry pail.  For larger poopy messes, I have a wet/dry pail in the bathroom equipped with rubber gloves and a spatula for scraping off whatever won't swish off!  So far I'm loving the wet/dry pail because it really helps dilute the nasties out of my microfiber and I'm noticing a major decrease in stink after washing!  I've even started rinsing some heavily peed on inserts in the toilet and tossing them in the wet/dry pail just to keep the ammonia at bay (I have a front-loader so any diluting of urine is a huge help!).
My Dry Pail
    Diaper pails don't need to be anything fancy either!  I use a $30 step-on trash can from Canadian Tire as my dry pail and a $10 step-on from Walmart for my wet/dry pail.  My dry pail is in my family room and there's never been an odour from it even when I dont wash until the 3rd day so don't feel like you need to run out and break the bank on a 'cloth diaper pail'!

Stylish Blogger Award!

I want to give a HUGE thank you to 'Home Growing Happiness' for awarding me the Stylish Blogger Award!  Having been working at this blog for about a month now it's so nice to know others are liking it...what a great reward for doing something I love!

Part of accepting this award is to fill everyone in on 7 things about here we go!
  1. I LOVE cheese fondue!  I could eat it for breakfast!
  2. I can't have cheese fondue because Eli has a milk sensitivity :(
  3. I have a Bachelor of Science from the University of Guelph
  4. I had an unassisted waterbirth with Eli (just me and my hubby, midwives were too late!).  He only gave me 1.5 hrs of labor...back labor...but short labor none the less!
  5. My guilty pleasures are David's Tea and Lush 
  6. My oldest son speaks more Ukrainian than he does english which keeps my hubby on his toes!
  7. Blogging is my new favourite hobby :)
Some other seriously stylish blogs!

Emmas Lunch

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The Happy Spitter


To accept this award the recipients are asked to do a few things:
  • Thank and link back to the person who gave you this award.
  • Share 7 things about yourself
  • Award 10-15 blogs you feel deserve the award
  • Contact these bloggers and let them know about the award.

Cloth Diapering Lingo!

    In the world of cloth diapering, there's a whole new language to learn.  Sometimes you get reading a blog, facebook page or anything else fluff-related and 3 sentences in you have no idea what's going on!  Some of this might seem really obvious, but it wasn't all the obvious to me when I started out so maybe someone out there might just get a hand from it!

Here's a list of the most common lingo and abbreviations you might come across:
aplix:  velcro
AIO:  all-in-one diaper
AI2:  all-in-two diaper
BG:  Bumgenius
CD:   cloth diaper
CPF:  chinese prefold
dipes:  diapers
doubler: an insert that 'doubles' the absorbency of the diaper
DSQ: diaper service quality
FB:  Fuzzibunz
FL:  front loader washing machine
fluff:  cloth diapers
HE:  high efficiency (washing machine)
HH:  Happy Heiny's
IP:  Indian Prefold
Lanolize:  adding lanolin to wool covers to make them waterproof
LO:  little one
PUL:  polyurethane laminate.  Added to covers to provide a waterproof            barrier
RnG:  Rockin Green detergent
"Rock a soak":   soaking your diapers in hot water with Rockin Green 
snappi:  a product that takes the place of pins in securing prefolds and 
sposies:  disposables
stripping:  a process of removing detergent residue from diapers

sunning:   laying your wet diapers out in the sun to bleach stains out

TL:  top loader washing machine
wet bag:  a waterproof bag to keep your dirty diapers in whie away from home
wicking:  when the wetness from inside the diaper gets pulled out to the outer  edges of the cover, causing the baby's clothes to get wet

Making sense of diaper styles

     I distinctly remember my first experience at a cloth diaper store.  I walked in thinking I knew what I was looking for, pocket diapers.  When I hit that wall of fluffy goodies though, I was totally thrown back!  There was a sea of diapers in front of me; fitteds, pockets, prefolds, snaps, aplix, wool, hybrids!  Hybrids?  Now I was lost for sure and I no longer had a CLUE what I was doing.  Even after speaking to the wonderful ladies in the store, it was just too much info to take in all at once.  I hope for those of you out there that are new to cloth diapering or are thinking of making the switch this post gives you a little hand in understanding the sea of diapers out there!


     These are the most basic diaper available and also the most economical.  People love flats because they're versatile, easy to wash and dry and inexpensive.  A flat is one layer of fabric (usually cotton) that measures around 30"x30" depending on brand.  It can be folded in many ways to customize for a girl, boy, night-time, etc.  These diapers require a snappi or pins and a waterproof cover.  I personally haven't ever tried flats but I've heard lots of people who really enjoy their ease of use and care.

Average cost/diaper:  $2.00 per flat, $10-20 per cover


                               (A prefold, trifolded into a cover and the cover done up)

     Easy to use, versatile, easy to clean and durable.  Prefolds are essentially rectangular pieces of fabric (usually cotton but you can also buy them in hemp and bamboo) that have more layers in the middle and less on the sides, placing the greatest absorbency where you need it most.  They come in either the 'cadillac' 4x8x4 or a thinner 4x6x4 (# layers on one side x # layers in middle x # layers on other side).  I've always used 4x8x4's and love them.  The thinner ones will dry faster which is a pro, but if you have a heavy wetter, it may not be absorbent enough.  There are lots of ways to use prefolds; pinned, snappi'd, trifolded (like in the picture) in a waterproof cover.  They're also great stuffed into a pocket diaper.  You will need enough prefolds to last one day, and about 3-4 covers per day (you can reuse them as long as they're not soiled).  Prefolds also have lots of other great uses such as burp cloths, change pads, etc.  When you're done diapering, you can also use them as fantastic cleaning cloths!
Average cost/diaper: $3-4 per prefold, $10-20 per cover

           (Motherease Bamboo Sandy's fitted diaper)
     Taking the prefold a step further, you get a fitted diaper.  Fitted are diapers made completely of absorbent fabric such as cotton, hemp or bamboo and do NOT have a waterproof cover.  They'll have snaps or aplix to fasten them around baby (instead of pins or a snappi) and then are wrapped up in a cover. They're great if you want a natural fiber on baby's skin but don't want to fiddle with pins, etc.  If paired with a wool cover, fitteds provide a very breathable diaper which is great to fend off diaper rash.
Average cost/diaper:  $10-20

                                                       (Fuzzibunz Perfect Size pocket diaper)     
A pocket diaper has a waterproof exterior and an inner layer of usually a stay-dry fabric such as microfleece or suedecloth (some don't have a stay-dry lining but use a natural fabric such as bamboo, etc. like the Blueberry Bamboo Deluxe diaper).  There is an opening at the front or back of the diaper that is stuffed with an absorbent insert to catch and hold the baby's pee.  These diapers are very customizable to your absorbency needs and come in sized as well as one-size options.  Since they're waterproof, they don't require a separate cover.
Average cost/diaper:  $15-30
All-in-One (AIO):

                           (Grovia All in One diaper)
     Usually the most expensive option, AIOs are the closest thing to a disposable diaper.  The waterproof layer, absorbent layer and stay-dry layer (in most but not all) are all sewn into the diaper so all you need to do is put it on and then take it off and throw it into the laundry pail.  There are lots of different options for AIOs but they all follow this basic structure.
Average cost/diaper: $25-30
Hybrid diapers:
    Hybrid diapers allow you to use a reusable cloth insert or a biodegradable insert that can be thrown or flushed away.  Usually the inserts snap into a waterproof cover, or some have a pocket for when you want to use the cloth and when you want the biodegradable insert you would just lay it into the cover.  These are getting popular because they offer the convenience of a throw-away insert for travelling, etc while being able to use cloth other times. With this diaper, you can have enough liners for 2-3 days but only need 3-4 covers (the covers can be re-used as long as they're not pooped on!).
Average cost/diaper:  $20 for the shell/cover, $5-10 per cloth insert, $8-10 per 20 pack of biodegradable inserts
    When shopping there are A LOT of options but I hope this helps break them down.  These are also just the most common styles of diapers, I'm sure there are others out there and for each style there are lots of variations on small details.  For most people, there's no one perfect option.  If you check out "What's in my stash" on the right hand side of this blog, you'll see I like to have a little of it all :)