Saturday, March 26, 2011

My Favorite Styles

This is like tutorial part 2, where I give you more specifics (and more opinions) on what covers, inserts, and accessories are best. Every one's opinions will differ, but mine are the right ones (LOL) so I thought I'd share.

I love designer cotton printed covers with wipe clean PUL inners, but even my best ones wick a little of the moisture to the outside when the diaper gets really wet (like every time with Julian). Check out The Eli Monster, Brookiellen, or Diaper Circus of course, all on Etsy.

For a really basic cover to solve the wicking problem go with all PUL. Our Flip covers are great for this, but I the snap down rise is just a mess. I am dying to try Bummis Super Lite, because they are sized.

I like Mini Diapers, which go by many names. Chelory has one she calls an elasticized contour, but they are pretty small. I think they'd be a rockin' newborn insert. Bumkins have some, but they are enormous. The one I have that hasn't shrunken to half its original size has to be folded over on all sides. Loveybums has a "snap-in diaper" for their Loveybums-in-One, but I haven't tried it. Personally I think my own pattern is the best.

I also really like Trifolds. This is like a Prefold only it's made out of a stretchy, fluffy material like sherpa, french terry or fleece, in hemp, organic cotton, or bamboo. This sounds like a lot of options, but they really aren't that different. AMP has several varieties. Green Mountain Diapers has a Cotton Sherpa one, which is by far the cheapest available. There are several hemp brands at mainstream diaper shops, but they can be a little pricey, and the measurements seem iffy to me. Again I think mine are best; Hemp Fleece, or Bamboo Double Loop Terry 14x14" for $5. They are as simple as a prefold, but a lot softer, and more trim.

I bought some plain 9x9" 1 ply cotton terry baby wash cloths, and I like them loads more than any other type of cloth wipe I tried. Simple, cheap, you can get them anywhere. Forget the fancy wipes potions and spray bottles, just wet them with water.

Pail Liner:
The first pail liner I tried was a Bummis Large Tote for $16 from Cotton Babies. It has been perfect from the beginning and I've never felt the need to try anything else. End of story.

Wet Bags:
Bummis Fabulous Wet Bags have all of the qualities I like for a good price, but I've never actually tried them. I have one from a precut kit on Wazoodle, and a WAHM made one from American Country Designs on Etsy in a cute print. This is pretty flexible. You just need something made of PUL with a zipper that will fit in your diaper bag. It can be as simple or as fancy as you want.

If you must have an All-In-One:
Envibums are the best! I don't really think it's more convenient, because I have to stuff it out of the wash anyway, and most babies will need more absorbency than is attached, but the small fact that the stuffing goes in between layers makes it a lot less intimidating for parents and nursery workers. The bright minky is adorable, they are one size (and actually fit well) and $2 from each purchase goes to a charity.

my super basic cloth diaper tutorial

There are hundreds, maybe thousands, of cloth diaper how-to's, and while all of them claim their purpose is to show you how simple it is to cloth diaper, I am scared when I finish reading them, and I already know it's not that hard. So this is the true simple cloth diaper story:

You basically need 6-8 covers and 24 diapers. If you want it a little easier, and have room in your budget up that to 12 and 36. If you have a tight budget and don't mind a little more work you can get by with as little as 4 and 18. You also need about 24 wipes, 2 or 3 travel wet bags, and 1 or 2 pail liners. Again you can go up or down depending on your budget to convenience ratio. I also like to have about 6 fleece liners for when we use diaper rash cream.

When you get your diapers wash and dry them 3-5 times on hot to "prep" them. Most natural fabrics have oils on them that repel water and this removes them.

Now, stuff all of your insides into covers and arrange them in a basket or something. Fold the remaining inserts and set them aside. Wet wipes and stack them in a used disposable wipes container. Put your pail liner inside a small trash can (with a lid) in a convenient place, and put your wet bag and a smaller wipes container in your diaper bag.

When baby needs a change, you change them the same way you would with a disposable. If it is dirty you dump solids into the toilet, then put it in the pail. Exclusive breastfed poo (EBP) is water soluble and goes straight into the wash. If it is only wet put the absorbent part into the pail and hang the cover to air dry.

When you run out of stuffed diapers, or just as you go about your day, stuff the air dried clean covers with new inserts and put them back in your basket.

Every other day dump all of the dirty diapers from your pail into the wash, add 1/4 Allen's Naturally Biodegradable detergent, super easy with the gallon pump, and wash on hot with a high water level. Tumble dry inserts, hang dry covers. Stuff. Repeat.


This is per size. If you really want to save money you can go with a one size system, but be warned you may have babies like mine that they never really fit very well. Most babies will wear small and medium their whole diapering time (depending on the fit of the particular brand).

There are also diapers that come with the absorbent and waterproof components attached. These are called All-In-Ones. Or there are pocket diapers where you stuff the absorbent piece between the waterproof cover and a stay-dry layer. These brag of being more convenient, but are a lot more expensive, and don't save much work in my opinion. I still stuff them all when they come out of the wash, but I can get by with a lot fewer covers.

These wash instructions are for a top load washer. Apparently front loading high efficiency machines can be a little trickier. There are several places with more instructions, like The Cloth Diaper Whisperer. I am not qualified to advise, since I have a simple old fashioned machine.

If you pin your inserts you can use wool covers which are natural and breath. They are rather expensive, but you need only a few. They only need to be washed every 3 or 4 weeks. Melt 1/4" Lansinoh into 2 cups hot water and them pour into a sink full of water. Briefly soak wool things, pat them dry (don't wring), and lay to finish drying.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Haha Try Again

I just realized my last post has a 1. with no more numbers in the catch up section.

Let's try some quick takes

1. I just went to my first MOPS meeting this morning (Mothers of Preschoolers) it was really great. We talked about making "me time" count so you don't lose yourself in being a mom. It's not that most of us don't have some moments free from babies, but we do stressful things and so still feel deprived when it's over. You have to "work" to make sure you are getting what you need out of the free time you have. I can elaborate on this maybe if I have time this week.

2.Last Saturday we went to my grandparents for the family birthday, and Papa had us go through his books, since they are moving into a smaller house. It was hard for him to say goodbye to so many, but he knows they need to downsize. He said he was happy for us to have them instead of people at a garage sale who would pay very little and not appreciate them. It was better than Christmas. I have not only many wonderful contemporary books for reading, but several theology books and 2 sets of commentaries which are like family heirlooms from my forefathers in ministry, including my Gramma's father Russell Dennis whom Julian is named for (Julian Russell). We also got the boys some Summer clothes on the way home, which is good since Julian is too big for Efrim's clothes from last year.

3. Before that I thought that I was so spoiled when my Thirty-One bags came in the mail the day before. I have two diaper bag sets, with little matching zipper pouches, an overnight bag, and a terrific wallet that fits everything, but is super trim. I love these products, and hope to become a consultant when the recruiting freeze ends this Summer. It will be another way to supplement our income with less investment and growing time than my own business.

4. We have a turtle again! Her name is Lola and she lives with six silver minnows in our living room. We have missed having one so much. She is such fun to watch, and Efrim will just stand by the tank and stare for the longest time.

5.Efrim is starting to say words, finally. Uh-oh, Dog, Ball, Pa, Dad, Hi.

6. Lent. The short story is I'm giving up my lack of self discipline, but my specific rules are; no junk food (especially no sugar)- this mostly has to do with bored mindless snacking all day at home alone, getting into a homemaking routine again, disciplining Efrim more consistently, and bible study.

7. Which brings me to number seven. I found this terrific Bible reading plan on Passionate Homemaking. This gives me the structure I've been needing, and has been such a blessing the last few days.

Ahhh. That's better.

A not so "7 quick takes Friday"

I didn't want to do this, quick blog on a set day of the week thing. During my good times I can post nearly every day. However, I'm afraid I have to do this, or I will continue to be a feast or famine type of blogger.

So, a lot of people are doing this 7 quick takes Friday thing. And I don't want to do that per say. For one thing I don't really want every post from now on to have the same title. So I guess what I'm doing is setting a minimum. Part of my routine should be to post every Friday with some important things for the week.

So, here's today's quick catch up.

1. Just because I haven't blogged since I posted goals doesn't mean I didn't do them.

I did pretty good with the organizational tasks, but this is definitely an area with on-going room for improvement. I like to think of it as an "extra" task every day. I keep up with laundry, dishes, feeding and clothing boys, and general tidying up. The goal would be to accomplish an additional task each day that looks more like making progress than maintenance; sewing projects, organizing some area, cleaning the bathroom, sweeping, etc.

I ended up breezing through Your Money or Your Life, to get the general principles, but haven't done all the tedious steps. We are going our own way in this area. Saving what we can, investing in home businesses, and praying for the day when we can afford for RJ to work from home, or when we all spend our days at a Non-Profit Coffes House, which is our dream.

Chris Smith no longer works at the Credit Union and they didn't get grant funding this year, so it looked like the business would be on hold, but thanks to our tax refund we are making some nice progress.

Breakfast Church is growing nicely and organically, although I still miss the other young couples with kids we saw when we were going to Midtown Sunday mornings. Incidentally the girls and I are working on a modesty study, but this happens at different times.

Lent has helped with the no sugar thing, but that deserves a post of its own.

I have continued a heavy reading streak, which has fueled a really refreshing time of growth. My grandfather just gave me a huge load of books so this will continue, Yay!

So these are the things I want to keep you up to date on week by week:

1. Homemaking. This is so important. I really want to chart my growth as I go through the "mommy at home coping/thriving" journey. I'm not sure exactly how this looks, but the main thing is to keep making progress in how our home develops, and be really transparent about my journey. This will include; cute baby anecdotes, diet reform, organizational strategies, and so on.

2. Spiritual life. That is part and parcel with #1 for me, since I feel very certain right now that this is t ministry God has been preparing me for all my life, I only say it separately, to insure that it isn't overlooked.

3. Business. This is such a big part of who I am, and I really want to use this blog as a home base for that. The big picture goal is for this business to be a real community for ministry and helping people shape their lives around obedience to Christ and making families that honor him. This blog is the human face of that.

Anything else I need to talk about? Let me know!