New to cloth diapers?

If you are just starting out and want more information on cloth diapers, check out my posts in October and November of 2009. This will give you information on types of cloth diapers, washing routines etc..... You are welcome to email me if you have any questions.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

My favorite AIO (all-in-one) diaper

I wanted to talk more about All-In-One (AIO) diapers. These cloth diapers have absorbent layers of material sew to a waterproof outer layer. So effectively you have a reusable diaper that is as easy to use as a disposable. These diapers are a hit with daycares and with daddy's. My husband loves them. Sposoeasy diapers are my favorite brand. They are made in Los Angeles California by a company called Blue Penguin. They come in cute colors and are 100% cotton on the inside. They have 6 layers of cotton terry and flannel with a quick dry style flap soaker (sewn down only on one end) for ease of washing and drying. They also come in an organic cotton version. You can purchase these diapers with either aplix (velcro) or snap closures. They come in size extra small (for small newborns), small, medium (shorter rise), medium/long (longer rise) and large. I currently have 6 of these diapers in size medium/long. They are great for outings and for quick changes. They contain well, never had a blow out with these, and they are plenty absorbent (although not absorbent enough for night). Check out the Blue Penguin website for more information on sizing etc, they offer free shipping and a discount for purchases of 5 or more diapers.
Sposoeasy diapers are also available locally at:

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Wool Interlock Soakers

I just wanted to let you all know that my favorite wool interlock (knit) soakers are made by the owner of Royal Buns. She is having a sale on her soakers, any size for only $18. That is a great price. These are custom made for your baby out of thick, soft wool/lycra blend fabric. They are hand dyed a variety of colors and you get to choose you favorite. Here is a link to her hyena cart shop.

12/3/09 Update, looks like the sale is over, but shoot her and email if you wish, she has great customer service.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Cloth diaper sales

Black Friday through Cyber Monday will be a great time to stock up on stuff to cloth diaper your baby. If you have been holding out due to start up costs, the weekend after Thanksgiving will have lots of online deals on things you need for baby. Check out these websites, many of them even have free shipping.

For handmade diapers/covers/wool and other handmade items for all ages check out:

Some other sites with good deals on second quality products are:

These stores have nice organic and wool options:

Note: I haven't purchased things from all of these websites, but do know that they are all reputable online merchants. Rember my favorite sites are those with links at the right of the page. Please note that this blog is completely of my own accord. I am not getting compensated to mention certain online merchants or to endorse specific products. I will give you my honest opinions and personal experience.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Babyworks Sale

Babyworks, one of my favorite cloth diaper shops, is having a sale. They just launched a new website and are offering 10% off everything. No coupon code needed. Check it out.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

More on washing: Diaper Covers

I realized that I didn't touch on how to wash your waterproof diaper covers. Waterproof covers need to be treated a little differently than your prefold or fitted diapers. Follow the manufactures recommendations when washing diaper covers. I would recommend washing them separately from your diapers. This will prolong the life of your covers greatly. Make sure to use the same detergent that you use for your diapers and rinse well to remove any residue. Sometimes I will wash a cover or two with my regular clothes. This seems to work fine for me, just remember to fasten the hook and loop or if the cover has laundry tabs, fasten them. This will keep your hook and loop from collecting lint. Hang them to dry. This will also keep them nice longer and save on energy. PUL and nylon covers dry fast. Fleece soakers can be washed with your regular laundry. Wool covers need to be hand washed in tepid water with a soap that is made specifically for washing wool diaper covers. (Do not use Woolite). I recommend Eucalan wool wash. More on wool later.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Diaper Washing Routines

Washing diapers can be can also get complicated. Especially with the more expensive diapers and front loading washing machines. More expensive diapers are made from various fabrics, such as bamboo, hemp, microfiber and these may be blended with cotton and/or polyester fibers. In my opinion these fabrics are harder to keep clean than 100% cotton. Below is my normal washing routine that works very well for my 100% cotton prefold diapers.

First rinse/spray off all solid waste into toilet.

Cold Rinse: to remove urine and any lingering solid waste.
Very Hot Wash: With cloth diaper recommended detergent. I have used Allens Naturally, Bio-kleen liquid and Country Save with good results on cotton diapers. (more on detergents to come). Make sure the water is at least 120 degrees. I have to turn off my cold water to the washer to achieve this.
Cold Rinse
Extra Cold Rinse to remove any lingering detergent.

This routine works well for 100% cotton diapers and those who use a top loading washing machine. Top loaders (not the newer energy efficient washers) make cloth diaper washing easier because they use plenty of water. Diapers need to have plenty of water to "swoosh" around in, in order for them to become clean. Variables like microfiber diapers and front loading washers will change the wash routine somewhat.

Diapers made with fabrics other than cotton, i.e. microfiber inserts that come with pocket diapers, are harder to wash in my opinion. Synthetic fibers tend to "hold on to" detergents and seem harder to rinse clean. Over time the inserts will stink like ammonia when the baby urinates. These inserts then need to be "stripped" or sent through several hot wash cycles with no detergent to remove build up. There are various methods and opinions on stripping diapers, but I think using plain very hot water works well. The inserts made of microfiber may also need to be bleached occasionally to remove smell that doesn't improve with hot water washes.

Each diaper manufacturer has there own specific recommendations for washing there particular diapers. If you plan to use pocket diapers with microfiber inserts, like Bum Genius, Fuzzi Bunz, Knickernappies or others.....consult the specific brand website for instructions on washing. I have used Fuzzi Bunz diapers with great success, but I do not use the microfiber inserts that come with them, I use plain cotton prefolds as inserts. I personally have had problems with Bum Genius pocket diapers. I found the suede cloth very hard to keep clean. My diapers started to repel urine (urine just ran off the diaper instead of soaking in). I contacted Bum Genius ( and they suggested that it was my detergent (I was using Bio-kleen liquid at the time) that was causing the problem. They have specific detergent that they recommend for there brand. I switched detergents and still had a problem. They replaced the diaper that was giving me problems (very good customer service). I have since removed most pocket diapers and synthetics from my daughters stash. I do have some cotton diapers that have a blend of polyester in them. I have had problems with these diapers as well. It seems that any amount of polyester in the diaper can cause problems with smell. That being said I did love my newborn size Kissaluv diapers. These are a cotton/poly blend. When in the newborn stage, washing tends to be easier because the baby's urine is not very concentrated, they are being changed more frequently and washing usually takes place more often. I have found that presoaking the diapers and washing smaller loads more frequently really helps to eliminate stinky diapers. I also suggest keeping your diaper pail open to some air. This will eliminate the overpowering ammonia smell that is caused if dirty diapers are left in an airtight pail.

For more information on washing cloth diapers check out these links:

Bum Genius:
Fuzzi Bunz:
Detergent comparison chart: Remember your choice of detergent depends on your type of water (hard, soft) what is available to you and your baby (babies can be allergic to various ingredients found in mainstream detergents, such as colors, perfumes, enzymes etc...) This detergent chart is just for your information.

In general it is good to choose a detergent that is free of pure soap (like Dreft), dyes, fragrances, brighteners, softeners, and bleach. Enzymes do help with cleaning, (they "eat" organic matter) but some babies are very allergic to them. So I would recommend a detergent that is free of enzymes as well. If your baby gets a bright red rash after being in a wet diaper, switch to an enzyme free detergent. One additive that I do recommend is some type of oxygen bleach (like Oxo-brite which is found at Trader Joes or Oxy clean free). This helps to whiten the diapers and also disinfect them. Regular laundry detergent cleans but doesn't disinfect. This can be used with each wash in a lesser amount than recommended on the package, or you can use it occassionally. One more important thought that I want to include is: use the sun, when possible, to dry your diapers. Not only is the sun a natural way to disinfect your diapers, but it is also great at removing stains. Hang your wet diapers outside (even if its cold) on a sunny day and you will be amazed at its stain removing power.

I hope these thoughts well you with your adventures in washing diaper laundry. Let me know if you have any questions.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Ideas for a Newborn "Stash"

Sample newborn/small stash for a modest budget.

3 Dozen Infant size prefolds
6 Thirsties, Bummis or Prowrap covers size newborn and 6 size small. Alternatively try Dappi Nylon Pull on pants in size newborn and small.
2-3 Dozen cloth wipes
1-2 Wet bags (for transporting wet/dirty diapers)
2 Snappi fasteners
2 Sets of pins
1 Pail liner (optional)
This stash would last from birth to about 15lbs.

Cloth diapering a newborn baby can be a scary thought for some. Newborns go through quite a few diapers each day and tend to have lots of "explosions"....if you know what I mean. I started with cloth diapers about a week after the babies birth. This was in part because I had several size newborn disposable diapers that were given to me and in part because I didn't want the meconium staining my beautiful new diapers. I have since discovered that using a diaper liner, either flushable or made of fabric (like an old cut up t-shirt), will protect the diapers from significant staining until the meconium passes.
I used newborn size fitted diapers for the next 6 weeks until the little one outgrew them. I had about 18 fitted diapers and I had 4 pocket diapers (Fuzzi Bunz) that I used also.
Most babies will outgrown there newborn size diapers and covers quite fast, usually between 6-8 weeks. Some can use them for the first 3 months. Newborn size diapers and covers are nice for most average size newborns of about 7 lbs. If you know that your baby will be small (5-6 lbs) start with preemie size prefolds and covers. If your baby will be large (9-10 lbs or more) start with size small covers. Babies will need a minimum of 3 dozen diapers, either prefolds, fitted diapers, all-in-ones or a combination of these. With the average newborn needing 12 or more changes a day, this will require you to wash every other day, having some extras on hand for wash day. I recommend a minimum of 4 diaper covers, with 6-8 covers being best. Newborn babies poop frequently and the covers will need to be washed more often because of this. More covers = more convenience. Some more sample ideas for a newborn stash would be:

Diapers: 2-3 dozen Newborn prefolds (These can be purchased at
1 dozen small/infant size prefolds (to have extras on hand and also for when baby has a grown spurt and no longer fits the newborn size)
Covers: 6 Newborn covers (examples are: Thirsties, Bummis Super Whisper Wraps, Bummis Super Brites, Imse Vimse, Prowraps, Dappi Nylon pants, Nikkys, etc....) Each brand of cover has its own recommended size range, so make sure to check this information. For example Bummis Super Brite newborn covers are quite small and could fit a preemie starting at 4lbs. Thirsties newborn covers size range from 6-12 lbs. Imse Vimse preemie size covers actually fit typical newborns quite well and there newborn size is generous and will fit longer that 6 weeks. Do your research on covers and try a few brands to find your favorites. Each will fit slightly different and one may be better depending on your babies weight and build.

If you have a larger budget you might want to add some fitted diapers. These will contain newborn runny poo quite nicely. This can be achieved with prefolds also if you use a snappi device or pins to fasten the diaper around the baby. All-in-one diapers are nice for quick changes and are Daddy or sitter friendly. A larger budget mainly pays for more convenience.
If you have a very limited budget try flat diapers. These come in one size and can work from newborns to potty training. Four dozen flats and 4-6 covers in each size would get you through the diapering years. Make your own cloth wipes and get a couple sets of pins or snappies and your set.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Cloth diaper accessories

Below is a list, in no particular order, of cloth diapering accessories and terms related to them. These items can make your experience with cloth diapering easier and/or more convenient.

Pins: Special safety pins used to fasten flat or prefold diapers. These have a special locking mechanism to make them hard for little hands to unfasten. Come in both metal or plastic head varieties.

Snappi: An alternative to pins. It is a T-shaped stretchy plastic device which grips the "wings" of the diaper and pulls down to form a Y. This will hold a prefold, flat, or contour diaper together without the use of pins. Snappis work best on fabrics like twill, terrycloth, sherpa, birdseye, cotton or hemp fleece. They don’t work on tightly woven fabric like flannel, or soft fabric like velour.

Aplix: Aplix® is a name brand of 2-part hook and look fasteners commonly used on cloth diapers. Other brands of hook and loop fasteners used on cloth diapers include Velcro® and Touch Tape®

Liners: Fleece liners are a thin layer of fleece material used between the baby's bottom and the cloth diaper itself. Fleece liners both keep poop off the surface of the diaper for easier clean up and also provide a "stay-dray" layer against the baby's skin. Single use liners are made of biodegradable fibers and are flushable after use. Liners can also be used to protect the cloth diaper when rash creams are needed (commercial rash creams can often stain cloth diapers). Using a silk or cotton velour liner can also provide a "stay-dry" effect, while using natural fibers against baby's skin.

Inserts: Separate multi-layered absorbent pads for use inside pocket diapers. These can be made from a variety of absorbent materials such as microfiber, hemp, cotton or bamboo and can be rectangular in shape or contoured.

Doublers: Multi-layered pads that are inserted between baby and the diaper to provide additional absorbency in the wet zone, without the additional bulk that comes this double diapering. These are recommended for heavy wetters or for night-time use.

Cloth Wipe: A fabric square or rectangle, often of cotton flannel or terry cloth, to be used in place of commercially available disposable wipes.

Diaper sprayer: A wonderful device that is similar to a kitchen sink sprayer or a hand held bidet. It attaches to the water source at your toilet and consists of a long hose with a sprayer attachment on the end. This is used to spray of soiled diapers. Waste is flushed down the toilet and the diaper is placed in the pail ready to wash.

Diaper pail: Diaper pails are still commercially available, but many moms use either a lidded bucket or a tall kitchen garbage pail.

Diaper pail liner: This is a large waterproof bag made usually made from PUL material. This is used to line the diaper pail. Diapers are placed in the liner and when ready to wash the liner is removed from the pail, transported to the washer, diapers are emptied into the washer and the liner is washed with the diapers.

Wet bag: This is a term used for a small waterproof bag, usually made from PUL or nylon, that is used to transport wet or soiled diapers. Essential for the diaper bag when using cloth diapers while away from home. Wet bags can also be made from wool.

Watch for more information on how to make your own cloth wipes in the future. Also look for more information on my personal diaper "stash", diaper reviews, washing instructions/recommendations, fabric choices, diaper rash issues, and info on using and caring for wool diaper covers. Those are my ideas for now. Please follow the blog and I would love to hear your comments and/or suggestions.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Types of cloth diapers and diaper covers

Below is a list of the common types of cloth diapers and covers that are available. This is just a list and is not necessarily in any particular order. I will give you more information on cloth diaper accessories, general terms and my personal favorites at a later time. This is not meant to overwhelm you, but just to inform you of your options. Please email me or reply to this post if you have any questions.

Prefold: A flat, layered rectangular diaper with extra layers in the center for added absorbency where it is needed most. Most are either 4x6x4 or 4x8x4 and are made of 100%cotton in either a Birdseye weave or twill. They come in bleached (white) or unbleached (natural colored). Unbleached cotton contains natural oils and will need to be washed several times before use to remove the oils and make them absorbent. Diaper service quality prefolds (DSQ) are usually from China or India. These are superior to any prefolds that you can buy at a retail chain store as these usually have a polyester center (not very absorbent). Commonly used with a fastener and waterproof cover. Or can be trifolded in a snug fitting diaper cover. Prefolds are one of the most economical diapers.

Flat: A single layer cotton fabric square that can be folded where absorbency is needed most, or folded into a rectangle and used like a prefold. Economical and one sized. This diaper can work from birth to potty training. Must be held together with pins or a Snappi. Waterproof cover is needed

Fitted: A shaped diaper that includes elasticized legs and waist. Most commonly has a hook and loop or snap closure. This diaper is more expensive than a prefold but is better at containing explosive poo. A diaper cover is needed to make this waterproof. Fitted diapers can be made from a variety of fabrics such as cotton, hemp or bamboo.

Pre-Fitted: A fitted diaper that has been made from a prefold. May have snaps or hook and loop closure, or require pins or a Snappi. You need a cover to make this type of diaper waterproof.

Contour: Shaped, like a fitted diaper, but without elastic and usually without attached closures. Commonly used with pins or a Snappi. You need a cover to make this type of diaper waterproof.

Pocket Diaper: A diaper with two layers sew together with a “pocket” opening in the back of the diaper. This diaper requires the addition of an absorbent insert. The outer layer is most commonly made of Polyurethane Laminate (PUL), with the inner (the part that sits against baby's skin) being a "stay-dry" fabric (micro fleece, or suede cloth,) that allows moisture to seep through to the insert, keeping baby's skin dry. This diaper needs to be washed after each use. No extra waterproof cover is needed.

All-in-one Diapers (AIO)
All-in-ones are fitted diapers that have an outer waterproof layer built-in and don’t require a separate cover. AIOs are a convenient diaper for quick and easy changes for daycare or on outings. They are most like a disposable and also the most expensive.

All In Two (AI2): Similar to an AIO, but with a removable absorbent layer for easier washing and faster drying. Absorbent layer is usually snapped in place inside the diaper, sitting directly against baby's skin. You do NOT need a cover to make this type of diaper waterproof.

Diaper Covers
Cloth diaper covers come in all shapes, colors, fabrics and sizes. They are used over a cloth diaper to keep baby's clothes dry. Diaper covers are shaped to fit over a fitted or prefold diaper and fasten with snaps or hook & loop or pull on without fasteners. Covers can be made of nylon, PUL, polyester, treated cotton, wool or fleece.

Polyurethane Laminate (PUL): The waterproof fabric commonly used for diaper covers. These can be reused for several changes before washing, unless soiled with poo. This can be make into wrap style diaper covers that close with hook and loop or snaps.

Nylon: Another waterproof and breathable choice for diaper covers. Most commonly used to make pull on style diaper covers. Very economical.

Wool: Wool yarn can be used to knit or crochet diaper covers or long pants (longies) that, once treated with lanolin, are quite waterproof. Wool fabric (felted wool or knit wool fabric) or recycled wool sweaters can also be used to make soakers or longies. Wool covers also offer breathability that PUL covers do not. Wool can be used many times before washing is needed, unless it has become soiled. Just air dry between uses. Most wool requires gentle hand washing, but some wool can be machine washed. MORE ON WOOL LATER

Polyester Fleece: A synthetic alternative to wool, fleece can be treated with fabric softener for water resistance and used as a diaper cover. Fleece needs to be washed more frequently, but can be washed with regular clothes.

Plastic Pants
Plastic pants were commonly used in the 50s – 70s and are still available from Gerber. They are made of vinyl, a material that releases dioxins when warmed and can crack and degrade with regular washing/drying. They are not the best choice, but are economical and waterproof. Vinyl does not allow air circulation so rashes can be a problem if vinyl covers are used exclusively.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Tops reasons familys decide to use cloth diapers.

#1 Economy: Cloth diapers are much less expensive than single use "disposable" diapers. Based on varying estimates parents can spend from $1500 up to $3000-$4000 on disposable diapers over a 3 year period. Depending on what type of diapers and how many you purchase you can save hundreds, even thousands of dollars by using cloth. They can even be reused on more than one child if cared for properly. Save even more money by using cloth wipes. If you sew you can easily make your own diapers and wipes.Many people also buy excellent condition used diapers. This can cut your cost in half or more.
#2 Environmental: Cloth diapers do not add any waste to the landfills. They can be washed and reused hundreds of times. Biological waste is disposed of properly in the waste water system. Cloth diapers use less energy to produce and to use than disposable diapers.
#3 Better for your baby: Cloth diapers do not contain hazardous chemicals like disposable diapers do (Superabsorbant Polymers and perfumes) Disposable diapers have even been linked to male infertility due to the excessive heat that being diapered in disposables can cause ( Cloth is cooler and more breathable.
#4 Easier toilet training: Cloth diapers allow your baby to feel wetness and this can make toilet training easier. On average cloth diapered babies toilet train faster.
More information can be found here: