Inspiring natural, happy, healthy families!

Are One-Size Diapers Worth It? July 27, 2011

Filed under: Fluff Stuff & All Things Cloth — My Natural Family @ 11:38 am

When you begin to cloth diaper, you will find no shortage of choices: Snaps or velcro?  Microfiber or hemp inserts (or bamboo or cotton)?  Pockets or prefolds?  Wool or PUL?  Sized or One-Size?  AIOs or AI2s?  Microfleece or microsuede…you get the idea.  It’s enough to drive any newbie over the edge…heck, sometimes this option overload is enough to make a seasoned cloth diaper expert throw up their hands in defeat.

An option that initially confused me was “Sized vs. One-Size.”  When I was first introduced to cloth diapering, I thought, “Why on earth would anyone buy a sized diaper that will only fit a kid for a few months when they make diapers that will fit from birth to potty training?!”  I soon came to learn that a diaper that will fit from birth to potty training and a diaper that will last from birth to potty training are two different things.  Yes, one-size diapers will save you the most money up front, and are probably the best option if you’re diapering multiple children at the same time, but will they really do their job and do it well for 18-36 months?  Double or triple or quadruple that if you want them to last through more than one child (and if you’re up to quintupling it, you go mama!)

The answer on this depends on two major factors: how well you maintain and care for your diapers, and how many you have in a wash rotation.  If you’re not washing with recommended detergents, using too much detergent and not enough water, using diaper creams that contain zinc oxide (Desitin), or consistently drying your PUL on high heat, you will not see most pocket or AIO dipes last past a year (prefolds and flats have more staying power despite how much you use and abuse them, but alas, even they have their limits).  And sadly, no matter how well you do wash and care for your diapers, if you’ve only got 12 of them and was them every day they will most likely last you for the entirety of one child (yay!) but be too worn to make it through another (boo).

Despite this new-found knowledge, I am still opting for a stash that is predominantly One-Size.  For me, it’s an excuse to get a boat-load of diapers, as having 50+ and washing every-other-day will ensure that each diaper only gets washed an average of once, maybe twice per week.  How can one obtain 50 cloth diapers without going bankrupt?  My game plan is to buy a bit here and a bit there throughout the next few months as opposed to all at once, plus take advantage of circle ME’s super sweet registry rewards program 🙂  I will probably get a handful of newborn diapers and Thirsties size one fitteds and covers, as there’s no guarantee that this kid’s coming out at 8 lbs…which, by the way, is another thing to consider: if you have a baby that weighs less than 8 lbs at birth, most one-size diapers will be way too big for your little one.  Alas, if our family lineage has anything to say, it’s that Baby will most likely be greeting us at closer to 10 lbs (hooray). 

Am I bummed that I will be spending a healthy chunk of change on diapers that will only fit my kid for a few months, or should people who purchase mostly sized diapers reconsider?  Not really.  An advantage to sized is that since they will be worn and washed less, they will be in better shape for your next child or, if you’ve decided you’re done with your glory days of pregnancy and birth, will have a much higher resale value than your one-size diapers.  It all comes down to your priorities and current financial situation.  Do you want to save more money now or get more back later?  Do you want to be able to diaper more than one child at a time with the same diapers or let each kid have their own stash?  There is no right or wrong choice, but know that whether you opt for sized or one-size diapers, you can take solace in the fact that either way you’re still saving A TON more money than you would by purchasing disposables!


No One Likes The Stinkies July 11, 2011

Filed under: Fluff Stuff & All Things Cloth — My Natural Family @ 3:41 pm

Lately it seems like case after case of ammonia-laden diapers has plagued our poor customers.  If your olfactory glands have ever been sucker-punched by the distinct smell of ammonia during a diaper change, then you know that that odor and that odor alone is enough to make even the most determined cloth diapering parents throw in the prefold and switch to disposable.  What’s even worse is the chemical burn your baby can get that often accompanies ammonia build-up 😦

So how can you combat that offensive ammonia build up in your otherwise perfect fluff?  I think the answer lies in being preventative rather than reactionary: build up a defense against those stinkies before they even have a chance to ravage your diaper stash!  With this strategy, a little product called Bac Out will become your best friend.  It’s a naturally derived enzyme-buster that you can use as a pre-wash treatment for your dipes to start attacking odor-causing bacteria immediately.  It’s a concentrated eco-friendly cleanser, so you fill a spray bottle with 1 part Bac Out /6 parts water and voila!  Simply spray the non-toxic, bacteria-hating solution on your diapers and inserts before you throw them in your wetbag or diaper pale.  It’s a step that will add all of 5 seconds to your diaper changing routine, and save you from hours of soaking and stripping diapers.

It can also be used as an addition to your cold-rinse/wash (sans detergent) when you do your diaper laundry.  Just three squirts of Bac Out right from the bottle  (no need to dilute) right into your pre-rinse will and it will attack any and all bacteria that like to cause ammonia.  And because it’s a gentle “green” cleaner, you don’t have to be overly concerned with rinsing and rinsing and rinsing like you would with bleach:  a single extra rinse ought to do the trick!  A super awesome bonus:  Bac Out works as a non-toxic household cleaner as well!  Told you it would become your best friend 🙂

But what to do if you’re already experiencing the ammonia stinkies?  First, if you’re a pocket-lover, try to recall how long you’ve had your microfiber inserts.  After about a year of use, no amount of stripping, bleaching, soaking, screaming or crying will rid that microfiber of the ammonia smell.  Luckily this doesn’t mean you have to buy a whole new diaper stash, just some replacement inserts.  Your pocket covers will benefit from a good stripping.

So what are some stripping tactics to fight already present ammonia?:

1) Dawn Liquid Detergent.  Yup, just regular old Dawn soap.  The blue kind though…for some reason it only works with the blue kind.  If you’re not one to fool around, you can manually scrub the soap onto each diaper/insert with an old toothbrush.  If you’re low on elbow grease, simply putting 1-2 tablespoons of the detergent into your wash cycle will do the trick (the Dawn replaces your usual detergent in this case; don’t use both simultaneously).  Whichever way you prefer to use your Dawn, you will have to do many, many rinses to make sure that there is absolutely no residue left on your diapers.  Even when it looks like there are no bubbles left in the water, stick your hand and feel to make sure you can’t detect a hint of soap film still present in the water.

2) Funk Rock.  A product brought to you buy the makers of Rockin’ Green Soap, this stuff really does rock!  Simply toss your diapers in the washer, sink, tub or bucket; add 4 tablespoons of Funk Rock with hot water; let your dipes soak for 30-60 minutes (the longer the better); rinse, and wash your diapers as usual immediately after.  I’ve heard lots of customers rave about how wonderfully this stuff really does kill ammonia-causing bacteria! (We have a few packets of this left at circle ME right now at half price, only $6.95!!!)

3) RLR. Especially designed to strip diapers of soap build-up and residue that can cause repelling (and it erases stains!), word on the street is it works wonders for ammonia build-up as well.  Just do a soak like you would normally do a pre-wash vinegar soak  (as a side note, you may find that vinegar soaks in areas that have hard water can actually make things worse!!!  Something about how the acid in the vinegar reacts with particulates present in hard water in a way that can increase build up and odor…?).  RLR is not a bleach, blueing agent, or detergent. It is gentle and safe for all fabrics and PUL, and it is free of perfumes. You can use it once a month, or more frequently if you find you need it.  Always rinse thoroughly until it’s all out.  Fabrics are actually said to last longer with regular use of RLR!  Neat.

4) Tea Tree Oil or Grapefruit Seed Oil.  A tablespoon or two in your pre-rinse will attack bacteria with fervor!

5) Bleach.  If you’re not particularly crunchy and don’t mind using chemicals that tend to be a bit harsher, bleach will definitely do the trick as a pre-wash rinse treatment!  Just add a cap-ful into your water and let it agitate for a bit before you throw your diapers in, and make sure you rinse, rinse, rinse!


You Can Help With Cloth! July 8, 2011

Filed under: Fluff Stuff & All Things Cloth — My Natural Family @ 2:38 pm

circle ME is hosting a cloth diaper drive in an effort to help members of CrossBridge Church on their mission trip to Lira, Uganda.  They will be helping in a children’s village run by Children of the Nations (COTN).  COTN focuses on ministering to orphaned and destitute children, and nurturing them so that they might one day transform the current condition of their nation.

LaTava of CrossBridge Church reached out to us for help in providing much needed supplies, namely cloth diapers!  Right now, the babies of Lira are using rags as diapers because they do not have access to the proper materials to make their own diapers, nor do they have the financial means to purchase current modern cloth (or even disposable) diapers.  We were initially just going to donate a great number of prefolds, flats and covers, but we realized sponsoring a diaper drive could enable us to help even more babies!

So here’s the breakdown: come into circle ME during business hours between now and Wednesday, July 20th with new or used flats, prefolds and/or covers and for every diaper you donate, circle ME will match your donation up to 150 diapers!!!  We are so excited to have this opportunity to help those who do not (yet) have the means to help themselves.  Don’t have used dipes to donate?  Come on in and purchase some new ones and we’ll prep and wash them prior to donating them to the missionaries 🙂  For less than $10.00, you can provide a clean and healthy diapering option to children who live day in and day out without easy access to food, clean water and medical care.  Most of them were orphaned at a very young age.  It’s a small way to help, but we are honored to be a part of their mission in any way we can.  For more info on the missionaries and their outreach programs, you can visit their blog.

“You will find as you look back upon your life that the moments when you have truly lived are the moments when you have done things in the spirit of love.” – Henry Drummond


Wooly Love (and how you can win a free soaker!) June 4, 2011

Filed under: Fluff Stuff & All Things Cloth — My Natural Family @ 10:27 am

Sokay: I’m not sure if I have yet described my love affair with wool covers.  It seems crazy that wool could adequately protect furniture and bed sheets from leaky diapers, but it does…incredibly well, as a matter fact.  Once wool is lanolized, it acts a waterproof yet breathable fabric, making it the perfect cover for nighttime and a full-proof system for even the heaviest of wetters.  It makes me feel good knowing that it is a 100% natural fabric, so even if my baby ends up having sensitive skin it won’t act as an irritant and lead to rashes (unless of course the little guy ends up being allergic to wool.  Then my plans are foiled and I’ll probably even cry a little).  Add to that the low maintenance factor (wool need only be washed once a week to once every two weeks or if poop gets on it; it’s naturally anti-microbial) and the adorable factor, and you’ve got yourself one perfect cover!  The craziest part is, because of it’s naturally occurring properties, it will actually keep your kid cool in the summer and warm in the winter.

The biggest (and perhaps only) turn off when it comes to wool is cost.  Wool covers can get rather pricey, ranging anywhere from $20 up to $50 (I’m sure there’s some crazy, custom-made $200 cover out there that I just haven’t come across yet).  Definitely worth the investment, but for those of you who really want to try wool but just can’t pony up the dough, there is an answer to your problem: The Sleepy Sheep.  A Work-At-Home-Mom business based in Louisville, NE, Sarah from The Sleepy Sheep will custom make gorgeous and functional wool covers for any size baby, toddler or even adult (because of its trimness, wool makes a great cover for adults suffering from incontinence).  Her turn around time is super quick, and because she loves what she does and truly cares about each and every one of her customers, she is an absolute delight to work with!  Yet another bonus: her costs are ridiculously low.  The covers from her that we sell at circle ME are as low as $11.00, and most are well under $20.  She uses up-cycled sweaters (this über crunchy mama loves it!) and doesn’t have to pay any employees or compensate for overhead or advertising, so all her savings get transferred to you!

I’ve got even better news:  Brynn’s Boutique (another amazing WHAM business) is hosting a Sleepy Sheep Giveaway!  Go to this link to find out how to enter to win a soaker from The Sleepy Sheep.

Here you can also see adorable pics of beautiful Brynn in a custom made wool skirtie from The Sleepy Sheep, and very helpful wool care and maintenence instructions.  Good luck all you wool-lovers out there!


Fluff at First Sight May 23, 2011

Filed under: Fluff Stuff & All Things Cloth — My Natural Family @ 1:59 pm

Perhaps this is too lofty a goal, but I would really like to start cloth diapering my future kids from the very beginning.  I mean fresh out of the oven, before we leave the birth center, cloth and cloth alone will touch my baby’s bottom.  Challenging? Yes. Impossible? Definitely not.  And because I am such a stubborn weirdo, I’d really like to be able say things like “When my kids were little they never once wore a disposable diaper.”  As much as I’d like that to happen, I’m not sure I’ve met a single cloth diapering parent who has managed to avoid the dreaded we’re-visiting-distant-relatives/we’re-going-camping-for-the-week/we-messed-up-our-laundry-cycle-again and at least once had to resort to wearing a disposable.  If any of you have who are reading this, let me know: I’d love the inspiration!

So maybe I won’t be able to avoid using a sposie just once over the course of my child’s three-year stint with diapers, but I KNOW I can at least get the newborn diaper phase under control.  I think what intimidates people the most about diving in head-first (butt-first?) to cloth diapering their brand-new babies is the idea of the meconium tainting one of their gorgeous new diapers.  I concur.  Many manufacturers claim that the meconium won’t ruin your diapers, but that stuff is frighteningly unreal and I’m fairly certain that if it can damage a cotton t-shirt, it can damage a cotton diaper.   I tend to error on the side of caution when it comes to stuff like tar-poo, so luckily for me biodegradable liners were invented and are here to save the day.  These little God-sends line your diaper and protect it from things like aforementioned meconium and diaper creams, and clean up is easy as 1-2-3: (1) Fold liner over and pick up by the corners (2) Throw in toilet (3) Flush toilet.  Bing, bang, boom, done…and no dealing with trying to figure out how to scrape that yucky stuff out of your diaper.

Another thing I’ve heard people say is, “I don’t want to spend a bunch of money on a newborn diaper that’s only going to last me a month before she/he grows out of it.”  This is a totally legit concern.  Not one that I may necessarily have to worry about, as both my and my husband’s families have a history of big, deliciously fat newborns (I’m actually more concerned with the possibility that I’ll eventually have to deliver a ten-pounder, but that’s neither here nor there).  That makes the problem easily solved for me or any one else who delivers bigger babies, as most one-size diapers fit 8-35+  pounders.  But fear not:  if you’re one that tends to deliver on the light side, Rumparooz OS pocket diapers fit all the way down to 6 pounds!  Hopefully you’re not going to deliver a baby that weighs too much less than 6 pounds, but plenty of beautiful, healthy children are born at that weight or less and if that does end up being the case for you, then newborn diapers will be there to help you out.  Since they go from 4 pounds all the way up to 12, they will last your little blessing for a nice long while.   The cool part is that since they will be worn for a shorter amount of time, your resale value on them will be incredibly high (if you’re done having babies) or they’ll be in like-new for the next one (if you’re not).  And I’m sorry but how unbelievably cute is this?:

This is the Lil’ Joeys by Rumparooz, a no-hassle all-in-one that even has a precious snap-down button to make room for the umbilicle cord stump.  So yes, with this option you’ll spend about $15 per diaper and only be able to wear it for about three months, but between the resale price you’ll be able to charge or the low cost-per-use you’ll be able to get by using them on multiple children, it ends up being a money-saver.  Another solution for wee-babies is to go the fitted route, especially the Thirsties brand.  Their Size One Fab Fitted goes from 6 to 18 pounds and will fit for a nice, long time 🙂  If you deliver a baby that weighs less than 4 pounds, then no one is going to fault you for not giving a flip what diaper is being used on your baby: chances are your priorities are going to be elsewere.

So wish me luck.  If their fluff-obsessed mother gets her way, my babies’ brand-new tushies will never know what it feels like to sit in a disposable diaper.


The Movers and The Shakers. April 26, 2011

Filed under: Fluff Stuff & All Things Cloth — My Natural Family @ 12:43 pm

Boy I have been slacking on the posts!  Between the re-diaper sale, a State Farm-sponsored Earth Day Fair, The Great Cloth Diaper Change and Lincoln’s Earth Day Fair, it’s safe to say that April has been one hectic month.  It has also been a truly enjoyable one to boot, though.

The State Farm-sponsored fair was a great experience for me, since it was predominately made up of people who had no idea what the modern cloth diaper looked like and, before they saw our booth, had absolutely zero interest in cloth diapering their little ones.  The most rewarding part was seeing the pregnant women’s eyes light up as they realized they didn’t have to spend thousands of dollars on stuff they’d have to throw away after one use.  The most deflating part was getting laughed at as other women sternly declared, “Yeah, no thanks.  I’d like to deal with poop as little as possible.”  I think for the next booth we have, I’d like to put an enlarged poster of something like this up:

What is this?  It’s the side of a box of disposable diapers specifically instructing users to shake their baby’s poop into the toilet before they toss the diaper (they use the far more eloquent word “soil”).  The manufacturers even claim this step is IMPORTANT, so important, in fact, that you will find this warning on any and every box or bag of disposable diapers.  Why is this an important (but often overlooked) step of baby-bottom-care?  Because throwing poop into a dumpster where birds, mice, insects and other fast-moving creatures can ingest the doo and then carry it with them wherever they go isn’t just nasty, it’s a health hazard.  The adolescent punk in me felt like blurting out “Newsflash Lady, you might as well buy a diaper sprayer because you’re supposed to be cleaning poop out of your diapers whether you reuse them or not.”  But I try not be rude, especially when I’m representing a company of people who are collectively far more mature than me, so I just smiled and said, “Ha ha. I totally understand. Luckily they’ve made it so easy to use and clean cloth.  Here’s a pamphlet.”

I do understand the initial hesitancy with using cloth, trust me.  Like I’ve said time and time before, I was once in the same boat.  To someone who hasn’t researched the benefits, ease and accessibility of the modern cloth diaper, it DOES seem like a hectic nuisance that would add unnecessary work to a parent’s already busy day.  But between diaper sprayers, (flippin’ cute) wetbags, pre-treatment enzyme-busting spray, and detergent made specifically for cloth diapers, fluff manufacturers all over the world have made cloth maintenance an absolute breeze!  Alas, I realize I am probably preaching to the choir here.

Whatever feelings of deflation happened at this fair, however, were quickly countered with total elation during the Great Cloth Diaper Change.  What an honor it was to be a part of such an amazing event! I have to admit I got a bit choked up as 38 parents, some even using cloth for the first time, came together to make a statement about what fluff does to save our planet.  A little voice inside my head spoke up and said, “They’re all doing this for them,” them being the 38 babies these parents held high in the air as they finished changing their diaper.  These parents are using cloth for their kids, not just for their health now, but for their future as well.  I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: We didn’t inherit this earth from our parents.  We are borrowing it from our children.  If you really want to take care of your kids, do what you can to take care of the earth as well.


A First Time for Everything April 6, 2011

Filed under: Fluff Stuff & All Things Cloth,Raising Little People — My Natural Family @ 12:37 pm

The re-diaper sale was such a hoot!  It was so much fun to see all these parents care so much about what goes on their baby’s skin (natural materials) and what ends up in landfills (not their diapers), and save all kinds of money!  I especially enjoyed seeing new moms bring their moms to the event.  I saw a lot of jaws dropping that day as women who cloth diapered years ago saw what cloth diapering had become over the last couple decades.  Fuzzi Bunz got this whole modern cloth diaper movement started back in 1990 and there’s been no turning back since, and older moms were so amazed and impressed by the ease and accessibility that defined these newer styles. 

Wait, 1990 was two decades ago?!  How did that happen?  Now I feel old.

Anyway, moving on.  You know what else made my heart skip a beat this weekend at the sale?  Seeing all the couples.  So many parents shopping and planning for their baby, some with their first on the way, some with an entire brood waiting for them at home.  They all seemed so at ease and comfortable with each other.  Yes, we were busy and crowded and people had to wait in long lines, but all this love and excitement of welcoming a new little person into the world was shining through the congestion. 

I started thinking about how them being here all started with a first date.  There was the first glance, perhaps one that took their breath away immediately.  Or maybe there were years of friendship before the recognition that they wanted to spend the rest of their lives together gradually crept upon them.  There was a first time one of them mustered up the courage to call the other, a first time they held each other’s hands, a first kiss.  After all those first times, there was the one and only time one asked the other if they would marry them.

It’s probably because it’s the time of the month where I’m wearing my Fuzzi Bunz mama cloth, but I got a little choked up thinking about how great it is to be in love.  In love with your husband.  In love with your wife.  In love with your child.  I started thinking about how even though there’s so much darkness in our world, people still fall in love enough to want to bring a child into it.  Not just because “they want to have a baby” or because their biological clock is ticking, but because they realize that love doesn’t divide, it multiplies.  The children who are shown unconditional love and support from their parents grow up to become adults that show unconditional love and support to others.  That’s something our world could use a little bit more of, I’d say. 

So yeah, I got all this from participating in a diaper consignment sale.  What can I say?  There must be a lot of love in cloth diaper stores…:)