Category Archives: Cloth Diapering

How to Prep Prefold Diapers {And Why I Ditched Microfiber}

How to Prep Prefold Diapers

For awhile I considered ditching all my microfiber inserts and using cotton prefold diapers to stuff my diapers instead (we use bumGenius 4.0’s). I replaced about half of them a few months ago and was happy with the results, but I just hadn’t gotten around to replacing all of them.

Well, in the last few days, I replaced all my microfiber, prepped the rest of my prefold diapers, and I’m only using cotton prefold diapers now. I am thrilled with the results.

Don’t get me wrong: microfiber gets the job done. Microfiber inserts (the ones that come with bumGenius and many other types of diapers) are very absorbent.  I had very few leaks, and I microfiber allowed me to feel confident about cloth diapering when I first started. Truth be told, microfiber worked really well for us for about a year. Once we hit 13-14 months, I started to suspect that my diapers–or at least the microfiber inserts–weren’t getting clean enough (see this post about my cloth diapering troubleshooting.)  We have really hard water, and even with a softener, I suspected that my wash routine wasn’t working for us. David and I were completely frustrated, and we were close to throwing in the towel and being done with cloth diapering once and for all. It got that bad.

I pretty much solved that problem when I started using Tide and switched up my wash routine a bit; however, the problem was only solved temporarily.  A HE washer and our hard water were just making it too difficult to get the microfiber clean.  I researched about what the best option was for pocket diapers and discovered Green Mountain Diapers (cue the hallelujah angel music.)

There are many types of prefold cloth diapers out there, and I’m sure many of them will work just as well, but I purchased the Cloth-eez prefolds, and I am obsessed. They are so absorbent, and here’s the best part: they get really clean.

I purchased the medium red-edge diapers which cost $37.00 a dozen (about $3.08 per diaper.) You can purchase replacement microfiber inserts for roughly the same price, but I knew if I went that route that I’d just need to replace them again after another year or so.

I want to be honest. There are a few cons to using prefolds:

1) They make it a smidge harder to stuff diapers

2) They are not one size; I probably need to purchase the large, brown edge diapers soon

3) You have to prep them ahead of time (meaning they are not super absorbent and ready to go right out of the package)

Prepping the diapers is really easy, though. Essentially, you could just wash the diapers on hot several times (about 5-6) and they’d be good to go. However, I wanted to speed up that process a bit, so I decided to boil my inserts.

I filled my biggest stock pot with water and once boiling, I carefully placed 5 of the prefold diapers in the pot. I made sure all diapers were submerged and set the timer for 20 minutes. I also checked on them every few minutes to make sure I wasn’t burning down the house.  Once the 20 minutes were up,  I carefully removed the diapers with tongs and placed them in a colander set over a large bowl.  I allowed the diapers to cool, and once I could handle them by hand, I washed and dried them on hot 3 more times.

After this process, the diapers were super fluffy, and you could tell they were ready to be used. You can see the difference below. On the right, I have 6 prefold diapers straight out of the package, and on the left, I have 6 that have been boiled, washed, and prepped.

How to Prep Prefold Diapers

As the picture below shows, they do shrink a tad after prepping. Do you see how soft and cushiony they are, though?

How to Prep Prefold Diapers

On another note, my switch from microfiber to prefolds has changed our night time diapering routine just a tad. I still LOVE the Best Bottom diapers, but I’ve started to pair a prefold with a BabyKicks hemp insert.  I do this and either stuff in a bumGenius 4.0 or place in a Best Bottom diaper cover. Either way works and we haven’t had any leaks! Best Bottom also has hemp+cotton inserts that I might try!

So thank you, Green Mountain Diapers for reviving my love for cloth diapers!

 

 

How to Build your Cloth Diaper Stash for Cheap!

ClothDiaperStash

I don’t think I am a cloth diapering expert, but I do have some tips for building your cloth diaper stash for cheap. Now, this may seem like a contradictory statement because let’s face it: cloth diapers are expensive. If you’re committed to cloth diapering, you will have to put up a big chunk of money up front.

Cloth Diaper Collage

I love Kelly’s Closet. That’s where we bought most of our cloth diapers (for reasons I’ll get to later.) A few months ago they advertised a “savings plan” that makes saving up for cloth diapers seem a little less painful. Obviously this type of plan is more geared towards pregnant mamas, women who are trying to conceive who want to eventually cloth diaper, or women who would like to transition to cloth in the future. I wish I would have come across this plan when I was pregnant!

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Seems easy enough, right? I’m sure you could set up an automatic transfer with your bank account, so you wouldn’t even have to remember to set the money aside. You could also adjust the amounts or length of time to better suit your needs as well.

Okay, now let’s return back to the topic of this post: how to save money on cloth diapers.

Tip #1: My first tip is to register for diapers. Many websites allow you to do this, and Kelly’s Closet has a baby registry that would make this even easier. I registered for cloth diapers, and I’ll be honest: we did not get very many of our diapers gifted to us. I think a lot of people are nervous about cloth diapering, and if they don’t know a lot about it, they shy away from it. I think people tend to buy things they know and would recommend. I did have one friend who gifted us some cloth diapers from our registry, and even though we had to buy the rest of them ourselves, having a few already paid for really helped.

Tip #2: Another way to save a lot of money if planning to cloth diaper is to choose a brand of cloth diaper that is specifically advertised to be more cost effective. I don’t think this automatically translates to less effective cloth diapers, though. As I mentioned in my Glow Bug Diaper Review, it’s possible to cloth diaper a baby from newborn to potty training age for $277! Even though I only have one Glow Bug diaper, I will not hesitate to purchase them in the future if I need to.

Tip #3: You can also buy gently used cloth diapers. There are many reputable sites that allow you to do this, such Cloth Diaper Trader, re-Diaper, and Cloth Diaper Outlet. If you have gently used cloth diapers, and you’d like to revive your stash, you could sell on these sites as well!

Tip #4: Buy your diapers from Kelly’s Closet! This is how we purchased the majority of our diapers.

1) They have a rewards program that allows you to save up points to use for future purchases. The more you spend, the more points you earn. You can buy a lot of different products from Kelly’s Closet, so you’re not limited in what you can buy to earn points and what you can purchase with your points. I highly suggest signing up!

2) Kelly’s Closet runs deals all the time that allow you to earn a free cloth diaper with your order. For instance, right now if you spend $39+ and use the coupon code REMEMBER, you get a free one size cloth diaper!

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Now, you don’t get to choose the brand or specific diaper, but I have earned four different cloth diapers for free this way. One time I got lucky, and received a bumGenius 4.0, which is the cloth diaper we use most. The other times I received different cloth diapers that I wasn’t interested in using. They were all cloth diapers I had read good things about, but I’m a creature of habit and wanted to stick with our bumGenius, so I sold them brand new on eBay (Craigslist would be another option), and since I got them for free anyway, that was just money in my pocket!

3) Kelly’s Closet also periodically runs a buy 5, get 1 free deal on bumGenius diapers. This is an excellent deal that really can’t be beat. Unfortunately, they aren’t running this deal right now, but check the site often, because I was able to get a few free diapers this way, too! I know I recommend bumGenius a lot, but they also sell a myriad of other brands. Right now Kelly’s Closet is featuring a 10% off sale for all KangaCare products.

Want to try cloth diapers, but you’re not sure you want to commit? Kelly’s Closet even offers a 30 day trial program. What do you have to lose?

 

 

Glow Bug Cloth Diaper Review + Giveaway!

Glow Bug sent me one of their adorable cloth diapers to try and review, and they were generous enough to offer one to one of my readers, too. Make sure you enter the giveaway at the end of the post!

Bum Genius 4.0’s make up most of my cloth diaper stash, but I was definitely open to trying a different brand, especially because Bum Genius diapers are pretty pricey. Glow Bug diapers are only $12.50 per diaper, and they advertise that you can diaper your baby from newborn to potty training for only $277.00! This is an unbelievable deal. I asked for a gender neutral print, and here’s the diaper I received.

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While I like many of the prints that are shown on their website better, I was still pretty happy with the print I received. When I first received the diaper, I inspected it and was immediately impressed with the quality. I loved the snaps and the diaper itself and insert were so soft. I had no apprehensions about putting the fabric against Porter’s sensitive booty.

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The first thing I noticed when I put Porter in the Glow Bug diaper for the first time, was that it seemed a bit bulkier than the Bum Genius diapers that I was used to. There seemed to be a lot of extra fabric hanging off of his butt, but it was tight enough around the legs, so I knew it wouldn’t be a problem as far as leaking goes.

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This picture is now one of my favorites! Maggie and Porter are the best of friends lately!

Glow Bug diapers are a little different than many other brands out there because their diapers have a unique 360 degree gusset design which offers 360 degrees of protection. I was definitely intrigued by this and was excited to put it to the test! Porter has worn the Glow Bug diaper a number of times now, and I’ve never had any issues with leaking. Not only did it survive nap time (Porter is a heavy wetter, so I did stuff a hemp insert underneath the insert that is provided with the diaper) but it has also contained all poop, too.

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The insert snaps in place which is another unique feature of the Glow Bug diaper. I feel comfortable knowing that with all the running around that Porter has been doing lately that the insert was going to stay firmly in place. The only time I haven’t tried the diaper is at bedtime. I’m pretty happy with our current bedtime solution, so I’m just going to stick to using the Glow Bug diaper during the day.

glowbug-10Oh my goodness. Look at those tippy toes. It kills me!

Overall, I would definitely recommend Glow Bug diapers to any mama or mama-to-be who is interested in cloth diapers. Glow Bug only sells in packages, though, and you can purchase a system for $277.00 that includes 24 diapers in the most adorable prints, 36 microfiber inserts, and two matching wet bags. They also offer a smaller package for $157.00 which includes 12 diapers, 18 microfiber inserts, and one matching wet bag. If you’re interested in purchasing, Glow Bug has made it possible to purchase directly through my blog. Click here for more information on purchasing a package of Glow Bug cloth diapers.

Here are some of the adorable prints that Glow Bug offers. I seriously cannot get enough of them!

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As I mentioned at the beginning of the post, Glow Bug has so generously offered to send one of you a cloth diaper to try. You will get your choice of a girl diaper, a boy diaper, or a gender neutral option. You can earn multiple entries, and the giveaway will be open for two weeks! This giveaway is open to all U.S. and Canada residents. Good luck!

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Washing Cloth Diapers with Soap Nuts

Awhile back I wrote about our problems with detergent/ammonia build up, and I experimented until I found a new wash routine that works for us. While I still love Tide and what it does for our diapers, I recently discovered soap nuts, and I have been impressed so far.

Soap Nuts

About a month ago, a few of my girlfriends and I went to Lake Geneva, Wisconsin for a few days, and we came across this eco-friendly bath and body store. The owner of the shop gladly walked us through the whole shop and told us all about several products that she carried. I was especially interested when she started talking about the Soap Nuts because I had read that some people use them with cloth diapers. She gave us her spiel, and all three of us ending up buying some of the Soap Nuts.

I don’t know a whole lot about Soap Nuts and there are several brands out there, but essentially the nuts are actually a berry grown on a tree in the Himalayas. The shell of the nut contains a natural soap called saponin, and while I was skeptical, they actually work!  When washing, you place anywhere from 4-6 nuts in a muslin bag (mine came with a bag) and then you toss the bag in with your wash. You reuse the bag with the same nuts for 5-10 washes (I think this depends on regular vs HE washing machines) and once you’re done with the nuts, you can throw them in the yard or compost.  Soap Nuts are very economical, too.  I paid $12.95 for my bag, and it will last for 87+ washes (+ for HE washers.)

When I first used the Soap Nuts, I really wanted to put them to the test. At the time, Porter had an ear infection and the antibiotic gave him diarrhea. Since I had some really nasty dirty diapers, I thought this was the perfect time to see how well these Soap Nuts really worked.

You’re about to see a picture of a poop stained diaper (but not actual poop.)

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Are you sure you want to see this?

You've been warned...

diaperprewash

Like I said, this diaper is just poop stained--I rinsed it first using a diaper sprayer, but nonetheless, you can see that Porter's antibiotic induced diarrhea left quite a stain.

So I washed a load of diapers according to the directions (I've read that hot water works best) and hoped for the best. I was really nervous that once the load was done that I would pull them out for them to only still smell like poo and pee, but to my surprise, they looked and smelled clean!

In fact, when I pulled them out of the wash, I realized that that load had two green diapers, and I couldn't even tell which one had been the poopy one! From the crappy iPhone picture and poor lighting, it might seem like the top one is a little discolored, but I swear it's not. It is just the green PUL showing through a little bit. Both diapers were both as white as they were when they were brand new (or close!)

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Even though I was impressed with how well they washed my diapers, I don't plan on ditching my current wash routine with Tide.  I have continued to use the Soap Nuts with our other clothing, though, and I haven't had any problems with our clothing not coming clean!

I couldn't find the particular brand that I bought anywhere online, but there are numerous brands of soap nuts such and NaturOli and Eco Nuts.

Have you heard of soap nuts? Have you used them?

Note: I've been having problems with WordPress and/or HTML. In almost every blog post, there will be a random paragraph that is indented, even though I didn't indent. Does anyone know how to fix this? It's driving me nuts!