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15 March 2010

Monday Mayhem!

Meet Krystal! Visiting us from the awesome Country of Canada!
She's a WAHM (work at home mom) so be sure to check out her shop when done here! 

Cloth Diapering: It’s a crappy job, but someone has to do it. [Just kidding!]

Hey blog moms and dads, my name is Krystal from the Great White North of Canada [sorry about your hockey loss at the Olympics this year. Our prayers have been with you ;)], and have been avidly cloth diapering since my daughter was 3 or 4 months old. Upon excitedly telling my hubby that I was going to be writing this post, he exclaimed that perhaps he should be writing a warning blog for all the fathers out there to warn them about an affliction affectionately dubbed "CDO"in our house, or Cloth Diaper Obsession for the layman. Apparently it’s kinda like obsessive compulsive for cloth diapering. I have NO idea WHAT he's talking about. It’s not like I’ve spent copious hours on the computer, scouring Diaperswappers for deals, drooling over Hippy Pippy wool colorways, debating the merits of fitteds versus pockets, and "deal stalking", biting my nails anxiously waiting at my monitor for private messages about deals I was waiting to hear about.  NO IDEA. But I digress...

My journey started with my dear friend and supermama Miranda dropping off some covers and random white fitteds to try out. My mom had bought me some Kushies all in ones from Sears while I was pregnant, and my response was "Oh gee.... thanks, Mom..." while inside saying "Heck no!!! Eww!!" Before that, my idea of cloth diapering involved wet slop pails, folding white cotton squares with origami precision, nasty plastic marshmallow pants that chafed and stank, and wringing out poopy diapers by hand. NOT MY IDEA of a good time. Little did either of these stellar moms know that they would be influencing my most important choice in parenting to date.

From there, I was hooked! I tried prefolds with covers and snappis [the creator of the Snappi deserves a Nobel Prize, I swear!], pockets, all in ones, fitteds with wool and on and on and on. I went through so many different cloth diaper brands trying to find what worked for me. I would HIGHLY recommend buying one or two of the brand you're interested in used, beit off Diaperswappers or Craigslist or the like before you commit to any particular one. I loved Diaperswappers for that. They have forums, TONS of moms with great advice, and great deals! But beware; it may take over your life. At least for a little while.

Now down to the nitty gritty. As my daughter is 19 months and slender, what works for her might not work for another toddler of the same age but of the chunkier build. Keep in mind the following when starting your cloth diaper journey.

Important issues when choosing the right cloth diaper for you:

  • FIT. Make sure they’re snug without being a pain, literally. If your child ends up with red rings on their legs from the diaper, it’s not a good sign! A good fit is imperative to avoid blowouts, leaks and discomfort for both you and your baby. Once you find a brand whose fit works for you, you’ll be loyal for life.

  • Cost. Every family has different budget restrictions. There are SO many cost effective alternatives out there that are just as fabulous as the uber expensive diapers with the cult followings, so do your research!

  • Convenience. I know, to the newbie that might sound like a paradox, but cloth diapering ISN’T DIFFICULT! Honestly! But finding a diaper system that fits into your life is imperative. For instance, we do occasional wool and fitteds on the weekends, but during the week it’s all about the all in ones and some pockets at daycare. [BEWARE OF SHAMELESS NAME DROPPING AHEAD! These amazing mom-run businesses deserve a little recognition!] Lizzie Bits Baby Co in Kamloops, BC has a fabulous AIO by Bamboo Baby that dries quickly and is the main workhorse in my stash. I also love my WAHM made Dimplecheeks pockets, made by a local mom here in Kamloops. These diapers were my first WAHM love, and my daughter’s first birthday present was a beautiful ladybug embroidered diaper that is just amazing. At first I was cynical of the durability of home crafted diapers. After seeing Sharleen’s meticulous attention to detail and excellent craftsmanship, I was won over. Custom choosing the colors of the outers, inners and snaps is awesome! Plus, I find the velour wicks the moisture away from my babe’s bum and keeps her super dry like I have never seen. AMP makes nice one size pockets as well. Cloth diapering is easy as one more laundry load every 2 or 3 days. Simple as that! I’ve known moms in apartment buildings to do flights upon flights of stairs to go to shared laundry and never complain. It’s easy and you CAN do it!

  • Fiber. And I’m not talking Metamucil. I prefer natural fibers, such as wool, organic bamboo velour and hemp, as they’re naturally antimicrobial and absorb like synthetic fibers couldn’t even attempt to. Hemp can be boiled, so if you ever have an issue with stinky hemp inserts, you can just stick them in a big pot and boil them until they smell nice again [Don’t do this if they have a waterproof barrier, like PUL in them. It’ll break it down]. But that’s just my preference. Every cloth diaperer has their own.

  • Type of Diaper. As previously mentioned in a post, there are so many different kinds of diapers out there, each with their own pros and cons. We LOVE our organic bamboo velour fitteds, but they take more time, so the all in ones and pockets are our go –to’s.  We’re due with baby #2 in August, so we’ll be full time Dimplecheeks fitteds for the first few months there, pockets and all in ones for trips and outings, and transitioning to them full time after the babe outgrows the fitteds. It’s all about what you’re comfortable with.


  • Sized or One Size. The age old dilemma. To be frank, most one size don’t fit newborns. So unless you do disposables for the first few months, you will most likely have to suck it up a bit and purchase the extra small or small diapers, size being dependent on brand. But let’s be honest, the teeny ones are so stinkin’ adorable, you’ll most likely have no problem forking over the cash to take them home in your hot little hands.

  • Detergent. I’m so happy to see Rockin’ Green on this blog already. I have fallen in love with it recently and know how fantastic it works!! No more stinkies with that bad boy! And the scents… I may have just drooled a little bit. But really, detergent that works to clean the diapers well, avoid repelling, and be gentle to your babe’s skin is worth its weight in gold. It will keep your diapers fresh and beautiful, making your experience much easier.

There are so many other great items for cloth diapering, I could be here all year telling you about them. My “can’t live without ‘ems” include a diaper sprayer, diaper pail and pail liners. I never knew how miraculous a diaper sprayer was until I got one. Before that, I was a dunk and swish girl and thought that was just fine. That soon changed. This would definitely be on my list of things to take on a deserted island. How we’d get running water, I might not know, but this would be coming with me! A sprayer is a lot like a kitchen sprayer, and it hooks up behind your toilet to easily to quickly clean off the poop so you can throw the diaper in the pail and be done! I love pail liners as well. It’s so nice to just grab it out of the pail, put it in the washer, and invert the bottom. Voila! Dirty diapers in the washer, and I didn’t have to touch them! Sweet! In our home, I use the Wahmies pail liners because of the elastic around the top, it’s easy to stretch around my pail and stays put.

Oh, and you may be asking yourself “What’s Wool got to do with it?” as I mentioned fitteds and wool earlier. Wool is a beautifully naturally antibacterial diaper cover for fitteds, that when lanolized, make a waterproof barrier [lanolized meaning having taken a tepid bath in a sink of water and melted lanolin. Yep, that’s right, lanolin. The stuff you use in early breastfeeding when your nipples are sore. Multifunctional product, I tell ya]. And in the diapering community, it’s what the especially “crunchy” mommies do. My favorite are knitted items, and I especially love Hippy Pippy’s hand dyed colorways and hand knit items, and Little Cozy Cabin’s knits as well. Yes, wool requires special care, hand washing and wool wash in either liquid or solid form, but it’s a labor of love really. A wool obsessed mommy will tell you, woolie washing day is always a favorite. I love the wool wash bars that I make, the scents linger in the garments, which makes dressing your little one in their favorite woolies that much lovelier.

To end this big, long rant, I really can say with certainty that cloth diapering has changed my life. I work a day or two a week at Lizzie Bits Baby Co. helping my friend Jenn with her cloth diaper and consignment business, and I must say my favorite part is answering cloth diaper questions! I also started an all natural baby and body care business called Delish Naturals, which started as my tinkering to come up with a balm to heal my daughter’s diaper rash and my own eczema, was birthed out of my love for cloth diapers, salves, and fun scents. It’s a fabulous creative outlet for me, and I love hearing about how the bum butters have healed a nasty diaper rash or eczema patch. My daughter is happier in her cloth diapers than the rare disposable, she’ll actually yank the “sposie” off if she’s left to her own devices, and she’s well on her way to becoming potty trained earlier thanks to the feeling of wetness that cloth diapered babies get. Besides the fact that I don’t have to run out in the middle of the night for diapers, I get the satisfaction of knowing that when I’m long gone, there won’t be diapers that I’ve chucked in the landfills still going strong and ruining our planet. Cloth is the most cost efficient, earth and baby friendly choice for parents today, and I truly believe that it’s our moral obligation to choose properly with something that is so impact full for our children’s future. I hope you found this blog helpful!

Thanks Krystal!!! I loved reading this and appreciate your help with March for Cloth!


Corrie Howe said...

Wow! No kidding she has a cloth diaper obsession! I love the passion in her article. So glad we are past diapering in our house. But I love the idea of cloth over filling the landfill with wast.

Although Dave Berry wrote a very funny article about diapers, Diaper Genies and Saddum Hussein when my babies where wearing them.

bidetsprayerman said...

Bathroomsprayers.com has the best selection of Diaper/Bidet Sprayers which are actually hand bidet sprayers meant to be used to clean yourself, not a diaper originally. Great way to save allot of money on toilet paper and help the environment. They even have some stainless steel models that come with a 5 year warranty = the best in the industry!

Bloggy Mama said...

Nice work, Krystal. Way to go with spreading the word :)