CLR is NOT for Cloth Diaper Stripping!

Sometimes, moms can figure out some pretty amazing ways to resolve issues with their cloth diapers.  After all, that’s why there are so many different methods for cloth diaper stripping.  Other times?  I see something come up that I just can’t get on board with using.  The first time that I’d heard of CLR for cloth diaper stripping was over the weekend. [Read more…]

Ethical WAHMs Have Standards

I have been feeling a lot of love for WAHMs as of late.  Of course, my diaper dealer, Kerri of Cozy Bums, is a WAHM.  I’m also enjoying cloth diapers made by several WAHMs as of late: Diapers by Chris, Ella Bella Bum, and Tadpole Jones Diaper Supply (among others).  There’s one important thing about all of these ladies: They are ethical WAHMs.

One of the best things about ordering cloth diapers from ethical WAHMs is that you can often get custom diapers.  In fact, Diapers by Chris and Tadpole Jones Diaper Supply pretty much exclusively do custom cloth diapers in lieu of setting up a store with weekly stockings.  It’s pretty easy to get a unique, one of a kind diaper made to your specifications from them.  It takes longer, of course, than ordering a ready made diaper from a weekly stalking, but that’s one of the trade offs of getting a completely custom diaper.

Ethical WAHMs Have Standards (Cloth Diaper Addicts)

HK Musical Scrappy by Ella Bella Bum. Image used with permission.

Ethical WAHMs take great pride in their work and building their fan base.  [Read more…]

Cloth Diaper Co-Ops – Right or Wrong?

Cloth diaper co-ops.  It’s a topic that’s been coming up lately.  It’s been popping up here and there for years, but recently I’ve seen posts from Jennifer Labit on her personal blog and from Bummis on Facebook.  I’m sure cloth diaper co-ops have popped up in other places over the last couple of months, but those two have been the ones that immediately registered with me.

I’m not going to come right out and oppose cloth diaper co-ops.  The simple fact of the matter is that there are a wide variety of them and they are run by different people with different methods for different reasons.  Really.  How ethical a co-op is or is not depends entirely on who is running it.

But let’s look at the basic criticisms of cloth diaper co-ops. [Read more…]

Formula Feeding and Using Cloth Diapers

The other night, I was wasting time on Facebook.  I like to do that when I’m not chasing after my kids or trying to be mom of the year.  A question that I thought was kind of funny popped up.  She asked who was formula feeding and brave enough to use cloth diapers.

Wow.  Obviously, my formula feeding days are long over since Eudora is approaching two and Norton is approaching four… but I certainly do have experience with formula feeding and using cloth together.  I didn’t get the bravery part of it.  It was just… how I did it. [Read more…]

Cascade for Stripping Diapers

Lately there’s been a trend: when someone asks about what to do for mineral build up, a suggestion to use Cascade for stripping diapers is offered.

Why Cascade for Stripping Diapers is Suggested

People often suggest using a product like RLR for stripping diapers of build up, stink, and other issues.  According to Cadie’s MSDS for RLR, it is 100% pure sodium carbonate… which is washing powder.  Prior to getting the MSDS, I would liken it to “washing soda on steroids.”  This is still essentially correct, as Arm & Hammer washing powder is 85% sodium carbonate.  RLR is roughly $2 per pack. [Read more…]

Low Income Is Not a Barrier to Cloth Diapering

I’ve been on a lot of cloth diapering groups as of late.  A lot.  Sometimes I’m more vocal than others.  I realized today, though, that I can never leave cloth diapering groups.  Not because of the brilliant conversation, the opportunity to engage in “spirited debate” over the virtues horrors virtues of bleach, or the opportunity to find more blog fodder… I can’t leave because I don’t want people to find that being low income is a barrier to cloth diapering.

[Read more…]

Cloth Diaper Detergent – Does it Matter? (Diaper Advice)

“I don’t want to use some special cloth diaper detergent.  What if I just use whatever I have on hand?  Right now I think it’s Baby Purex.”

Don’t.  As much as I love using cloth diapers, a lot of people who want to don’t because of the initial start up investment.  I spent over $300 on diapers before my kid was even born, and that was with a volume discount.  I made the mistake of using Tide Free and Clear because the directions said that they were okay.  It took forever to get the stench out… and this was only after a month.  I was constantly stripping my diapers (without really knowing what I was doing) trying to get the stench out after I switched to a cloth diaper safe detergent.  I started using Country Save, and while my stinky cloth diapers didn’t stink any worse, they weren’t getting any better. [Read more…]

Diaper Laundry, New Stink, and Change (Diaper Advice)

Lately, I’ve seen a whole lot of posts on Facebook groups about cloth diaper laundry routine changes.  The posts are all the same.  Again and again.

“I just changed to x brand of laundry detergent and my diapers STINK!  They didn’t before.  What should I do?”Diaper Laundry, New Stink, and Change (Diaper Advice) - Cloth Diaper Addicts

I am a Rockin’ Green evangelist.  As far as I am concerned, Rockin’ Green is the best detergent out there.  A large portion of my local cloth diapering community agrees.  However, there’s one time that I will never recommend that someone try Rockin’ Green on their diaper laundry: when they have an effective cloth diaper laundry routine already. [Read more…]

Cloth Diaper Start Up Fees #SchoolofCloth

Starting cloth diapers.  There are a number of reasons why parents want to do it, but there are two main reasons why parents fear it.  Reason #1 is fear of poop.  After realizing that smells and contact with feces can be less in cloth, we get to objection #2… which has nothing to do with “number two.”  The last intimidating hurdle is the cloth diaper start up fees.

school of clothCloth Diaper Start Up Fees – Less in the Long Run

It’s really easy for people who are sitting back with a calculator to point out that the cloth diaper start up fees are significantly less than the long term cost of disposable diapers.  Sure, $3,000 is a lot less than $300… but if you’re doing great to manage the $12 for a pack of disposables, $300 is way out of reach.  If you’re doing okay financially, $300 can still be a good chunk of change to put down on something you’re not even sure will work for you.

The good news is that it doesn’t have to cost $300 up front.  There are ways to get around it and make it cheaper.  This way, the cloth diaper start up fees can be broken down into a more manageable, “bite size” purchase.

Start with All-in-Two Diapers

All-in-two or hybrid diapers from your big name manufacturers can make the cloth diaper start up fees far less painful.  If you’re in Canada, you can get a Flip Day Pack for around $61 at Cozy Bums.  (You can also find a Flip Day Pack at Nicki’s Diapers in the States for $50.)  A Flip Day pack will get you 6 diaper changes, which is a full day for a toddler and half a day for a very young baby.  Flip also has a disposable insert option if you’re having a rash problem, need to travel, or are not ready to cope with carrying a wet bag of dirty inserts for whatever reason.

Best Bottom also provides a cost efficient way to start.  You can get an equivalent package of Best Bottoms (2 shells, six inserts) for $65.50 at Cozy Bums or $57.60 at Nicki’s Diapers.

Prefolds and Covers

If you’re starting with a newborn, prefolds and covers are an absolutely fantastic beginner option.  Sure, they’re a lot like the diapers that your mother or grandmother would have used, but you can avoid pins and they’re wonderful for little newbies.  (Less amazing for bigger babies that will kick you in the face during a diaper change, but that comes later.)  You can get 6 newborn prefolds and 2 covers at Cozy Bums for under $35.  A same size package can be put together at Diaper Junction by hitting what’s on clearance at the time of post for $20.82.

These will provide you with about half a day’s worth for a newborn.  When your newborn outgrows that size, you can use those same prefolds for a ton of different things.

China Cheapies

I’m not going to tell you that your China Cheapie brands like AlvaBaby and Sunbaby are just as good as the premium brands out there because, well, they aren’t.  Not with their warranty, not with their ability to absorb.  But I will tell you that China Cheapies like Sunbaby can be an excellent place to start.  If your finances allow, you can always upgrade to better diapers later.  That being said, they are pocket diapers, which are popular because of their similarity to using disposables.  They are cheap, which puts them in reach for most people.  They can even be bought in co-ops if you can find one.

The only brights sides to them are that the prints are cute and they can be a “gateway drug” to finding better diapers out there.  The downside is that there are enough people who have problems with them that give up on cloth altogether because they think that all diapers are created equal.  (They aren’t.)  They can be found for around $45 for six changes, or less if you get them from a co-op.

Buy Used

What makes cloth diapers so amazingly sustainable?  Not only can they be used on more than one of your children… but they can also be sold when the family has no further use for them.  Buying used cloth diapers can be a great way to try a brand without making a huge commitment.  It can also cut your costs down by as much as half.

Find Sales

A lot of cloth diaper retailers have “price breaks” for buying multiples.   There are also diapers that go on sale because the manufacturer is having a sale or has discontinued a color or print.  You can get these diapers for 15 to 25% off, which can be a huge savings for you when you’re starting out.

Win Your Stash

This takes a lot of luck and dedication to entering giveaways on your part… but at any given time, there are at least 30 diapers up for grabs.  In fact, I currently have four cloth diaper giveaways up on my blog at the time of publication.  We do joke in my local community that one of our members has a Golden Horseshoe based on how frequently she wins giveaways.  It seems to be contagious; diaper wins in our area are up.  (And they aren’t just winning on my blog, either.)

Cloth Diaper Lending Banks

There are organizations out there that have one mandate in mind: get cloth diapers on babies’ bums.  These organizations are meant to be sustainable because it’s a one time loan per family, and that family can return the diapers when they are no longer needed so that they can be loaned out to the next family.  Cloth for a Cause is one such organization that services Canada.  Giving Diapers, Giving Hope and The Rebecca Foundation Cloth Diaper Closet offers assistance across the United States.

As you can see, cloth diaper start up fees can be easily adjusted for what your family can afford.  You can spend nothing or you can spend a fortune.  It’s all a matter of what you find that works for you.

What suggestions do you have for reducing cloth diaper start up fees?

Starting Cloth Diapers #schoolofcloth

I’m pretty sure we’ve all gone through this.  You’ve pondered.  You’ve looked over the pros and cons.  You’ve seen the adorable cute fluffy bums.  Then you take a deep breath and tell your partner that you’re considering starting cloth diapers.  The more you talk about starting cloth diapers, the more people look at you like you’ve sprouted two heads.school of cloth

Then you realize that starting cloth diapers can be confusing, overwhelming, and there’s a plethora of information out there.  Some of it contradicts each other, which makes it even harder. [Read more…]