Author Archives: Melissa

Stripping (Your Diapers): When, Why, and How

happybabyIf you’ve ever hunted for information about cloth diapering, you’ve likely run across the instruction to “strip your diapers.” Some sources make this sound like a dire emergency, while other sources ignore it completely. So we thought we’d take a quick look at what stripping is and when it’s useful.

What is Stripping?

“Stripping” merely refers to an easy process that strips any lingering residues from the surface of your diapers.  Residues can build up if you use a detergent that has additives or fabric softeners, if diapers aren’t fully rinsed after each wash, or if you have hard water in your area.

Why Should I Strip? (And How Often?)

Stripping isn’t a routine maintenance sort of thing – it’s only something you need to do if your normally soft and absorbent diapers are suddenly leaking or if there’s an undesirable odor that lingers in your diapers even after they’ve been washed and dried.

So, HOW Do I Strip?

There are various methods for stripping your diapers depending on your type of machine. And obviously, regardless of method, start with non-dirty diapers or you’ll have a whole new set of problems to deal with!

HOT water with no detergent (top-loader): Wash your diapers in the longest cycle your machine will allow using the HOT wash cycle and either HOT or WARM rinse. Lift the lid every once in a while to check for soap bubbles –  you need to rinse until you no longer see soap bubbles or a film on top of the water during the rinse, which may take as many as 3-4 rinses. But once the soap bubbles no longer appear, your diapers are fresh and fully stripped!

Rock-a-Soak (top-loader & HE): This is a super-super-effective way to get rid of lingering funk and residues. In a top-loader, fill the tub with hot water, add 3-4 tablespoons of Funk Rock Ammonia Bouncer, toss in your diapers, and let them sit for an hour or so. After the soak, run them through a hot wash and rinse cycle 2-3 times.

In a front-loader, add your diapers to the basket and put 3-4 tablespoons of Funk Rock in the detergent area of the detergent drawer. Start a quick wash cycle and hit “stop” or “pause” as soon as you notice that the Funk Rock has been washed into the basket and the water has been added in the cycle. Let this sit for an hour or so, then start a long, hot wash and rinse without adding anything else. You will likely need to wash and rinse 2-3 times.

Vinegar (top-loader & HE): You can also add 1/4 – 1/2 cup of vinegar to one of the rinse cycles. This is a gentle way to neutralize the acids and odors lingering on your diapers and it will help lift away the residues. You can add this via the detergent drawer or if you have a Downy ball, just place the vinegar inside and toss it in on top of the diapers.

Dawn dishwashing liquid (top-loader only): In a top-loader, you may also add one squirt of Original Dawn dishwashing liquid to the wash cycle. Dawn has been formulated as a degreaser, so it does very well in lifting off oily residues. (If your child has recently discovered Vaseline or petroleum-based diaper creams and smeared them all over his or her diapers, Dawn is also a very effective way to deal with that laundry issue!) Dawn creates lots of suds, however, so if you want to use this method with a front-loader, you’ll need to scrub the diapers with Dawn by hand and rinse them out before putting them into the washer. As with all the other methods, once the diapers are in the machine, wash on hot and – you guessed it – rinse, rinse, rinse.

So, as you can see, stripping your diapers doesn’t take much more effort than a regular load of laundry and doesn’t need to happen often. The best way to prevent needing to strip in the first place is just to make sure you’re using a long rinse in your normal wash routine or by occasionally adding a second rinse to your routine.

Happy diapering!

Photo Credit – iandeth

Setting Up Your Diaper Pail System

A diaper pail is an essential part of cloth diapering, although unlike its counterpart for disposable diapers, a diaper pail in a cloth system doesn’t need to be anything more than a pail with a lid. (Simple is good!)

Today we’ll walk through a few considerations to keep in mind as you set up your diaper pail system.

why dry pail

In bygone days, it was standard procedure to toss dirty diapers in a pail of water to allow the diapers to presoak. However, with modern washing machines that do a bang-up job of pre-rinsing diapers, it is no longer necessary to lug that heavy pail to the wash or have “poop soup” sitting around. Also, many modern cloth diapers have synthetic parts (elastics, velcro, PUL, etc), which break down by sitting in water.

Thus, we merely recommend “dry pailing” your diapers. Just place a waterproof bag in your pail, toss in the dirties as you go (dumping solids in the toilet first, of course), and then let the washing machine do the work of rinsing and prepping your diapers at the beginning of the wash cycle.

choosing a pail

You don’t need anything fancy for a pail – any container with a lid large enough to hold 2-3 days of diapers will do. Tall garbage can-size totes and round plastic storage bins with a lid and locking handles are especially popular among parents. These can be found inexpensively at any local general store or mass merchandiser.

where to put your pail

Put your pail where it’s convenient and a bit out of the way. Some people put it next to the change area, some put in the washroom next to the toilet or under the sink, and some have a small pail in each location. You just want to choose a place where it’s convenient for you and where pets and toddlers can’t get into it.

use a bag

If you’re in a small space or don’t have room for a pail, consider using a hanging bag instead. A “hanging pail” can be hung on a doorknob or wall hook and frees up floor space. A zipper replaces the need for a lid and keeps everything tidy. Large hanging wet bags can be part of your decor, too, as they come in various fun colors!

Setting up an organized system to deal with the dirties is easy and inexpensive. What tips do you have for keeping it simple?

Photo Credit – Vancouver photographer Amber Strocel who crafts a beautiful parenting blog, too.

Organizing Your Emergency Car Diaper Change Kit

We’ve talked lots here on the New & Green blog about organizing your diaper bag and how to cloth diaper when you’re away from home, but what about those times (that we all dread) when you’re caught unexpectedly and you aren’t prepared to change a dirty diaper when your baby really needs it?

An emergency diaper change kit to keep in your car is an excellent solution. Here’s a list of items to keep in your emergency diaper kit and a few tips for keeping it ready.

What to Stock in Your Emergency Change Kit

First, get a waterproof storage container. You’ll need somewhere to store all the items that will stay clean and dry no matter what the conditions in your vehicle. Containers such as a gallon-size Ziploc or a plastic storage container with a tight-fitting lid are excellent choices.

Inside your storage container make sure you pack:

 

Tips

Choose an older diaper to keep in your kit. Remember this is just for the times when you are left unprepared, so this doesn’t need to be fancy (just practical) and can be an excellent use for a diaper that’s seen better days but isn’t ready to face retirement yet.

Keep the kit “up to date” with the right size diaper. If you put a small diaper in the kit when your child is 3-months-old, but don’t end up using the kit for nearly a year, the diaper in the kit will be too small for your baby. Make sure you check it every month or so to keep the right size in stock. This can also be a great place to use a one-size diaper – that way you can be assured you’ll always have a diaper that will fit adequately without having to double check regularly.

Make sure to replace anything that gets used. If you use the wipes to clean sticky, melted ice cream off your child’s hands, make sure the kit is re-stocked with new dry wipes. If the diaper is used, put a new diaper in its place. This may seem obvious, but sometimes in the shuffle of a busy life, it’s easy to forget these little details, but that’s not so helpful the next time you’re in need of a clean diaper and there is none to be found.

If you’ve got more than one child in diapers, make sure your emergency kit has one diaper per child. Whether you use sized diapers (small, medium, large) or one-size diapers, make sure there’s one diaper per child. You may be caught in a situation where both children need to be changed, and you’ll want to be prepared.

Consider keeping a large prefold as a change pad in the kit, as it can double as a diaper if you’re really stuck for a long period of time!

Have you ever been caught unawares while away from home and had to do some “creative diapering”? We’d love to hear your story!

Organizing Your Diaper Bag

Keeping your diaper bag stocked and ready to go makes outings easy, yet we all have those days when we find ourselves madly sorting through the laundry basket looking for a clean cover as we’re trying to get out the door.

In an effort to make life simpler and more organized, here’s a list of items we recommend you make sure you toss in your diaper bag (or preferably, pack ahead of time) – just to make life easy.

Diapers: You should always have 1-2 diapers in your diaper bag ready to grab, but if you’re going to be away from home for more than an hour or two, we suggest tossing in a few more to cover you (or better said, your babe!) for as long as you’ll be out.

Also, make sure these are your easiest-to-use diapers! (All-in-ones and pre-loaded pockets are especially popular.) You never know where you’re going to end up changing your baby when you’re out and about – be in a public washroom, the back of your car, or a living room floor – and you need to be able to change quickly. If your baby is old enough to be rolling or finds the change area to be fascinating, you may also need to be able to change the diaper one-handed.

A change pad: Since you don’t know where you’ll be changing your baby during each outing, it’s a great idea to keep a change pad in your diaper bag to use under your baby. This can be as simple as  a prefold diaper or it can be pad specifically designed for that purpose – some diaper bags come with a change pad included.

Wipes: Wipes are an absolute necessity! Not only are they handy for diaper change time – sticky hands and runny noses benefit from having a stash of wipes on hand, too!  Pack as many as will fit in your wipes container – a repurposed travel-size disposable wipes container or an extra travel-size wetbag both work well. You can choose to wet them ahead of time or use them dry.

A note however – if you tend to keep the wipes ready-to-go in your diaper bag and you also like to keep them wet, make sure you change them out every 2-3 days, as otherwise they may mold. If you want to wet your diapers as you go, this is a great time to stock up on Taslie Cheeky Bum Wash – you just spray the mild wash solution directly on your baby’s bum and wipe it off. No worry about keeping wet wipes on hand and you’ve always got a spray for making sure all the uric acid and other rash-inducing substances actually get cleaned off the skin!

A travel-size wetbag: Travel-size wetbags make bringing home the dirties a cinch. If you keep two on hand, it ensures that you’ve always got a clean one ready to go in the diaper bag. Toss the dirty one into your diaper pail along with the dirty diapers when you get home and replace it with clean wetbag and you’ll never be hunting for a plastic bag to use when you’re out and about.

Extra accessories: It’s not necessary, but it’s definitely handy to keep extra accessories on hand specifically for keeping your diaper bag stocked. If you keep an extra Snappi and an extra tin of diaper balm in your bag, you’ll never be left wanting when you’re away from home and neither will you ever have to rummage around once you’re back home and half-way through a diaper change before you remember you left the Snappi or Bum Bum Balm in the diaper bag.

A toy or other diversion: Once again, since sometimes you end up changing your babe in an unexpected location, have a little toy or other distraction item in your bag ready in case your baby isn’t that excited about being changed in a new place. A familiar or at least distracting toy can give you the minute or two you need to complete the change without having to wrestle a fussy babe.

Here’s hoping your diaper bag gets to go with you on some amazing life adventures! Do you have any tips to share with the larger New & Green community for keeping your diaper bag organized? Please leave a comment!

Photo Credit – jencu

A Day in the Life: Gina – Cloth Diapering Since Day 1

Today our featured mom is Gina.

How old are you?
I’m 30

What did you do (from a working perspective) before your baby arrived?
I was an auditor and just received my CA (accountant certification) before going on mat leave.

Are you currently at home with your baby/children or working in/out of the home?
I am currently a stay at home mom and am working towards becoming a Hypnobabies instructor and doula.

How old is your baby?
Kaiden is 8 months 🙂

When did you decide to cloth diaper?
I started researching cloth diapers when I first got pregnant and decided that we would cloth diaper after taking the 101 workshop in my 2nd trimester.

When did you start cloth diapering?
Kaiden has been cloth diapered since day 1, the only disposable he has worn was the one the nurse put on him when he was born.

What is your favourite diaper(s)?
My favorite diaper changes all the time 🙂  Right now it’s my Bum Genius 4.0’s.

My day in a nutshell
Here is a peek into what a day looks like for us.  We don’t keep to a schedule so all times are definitely approximate!

6:30 am – Kaiden wakes me up, I roll over and am greeted by a big smile!  Then dad gets up with him, changes his diaper and gets him dressed.  After that he keeps Dad company while he gets ready for work and I get a little more sleep.  🙂 Dad puts the diapers in the dryer (they were washed after dinner the night before).

7:30 am – Kaiden joins me in bed again and it’s breakfast time.  He still has no interest in solids so he is still powered mostly by mommy milk.  Dad leaves for work.

8:00 am – Kaiden hangs out in the bathroom with me while I get ready for the day. I have perfected the art of showering and getting ready before Kaiden gets bored, which doesn’t take too long.

8:15 am – Time for another diaper change and a little hang out naked time.  Kaiden LOVES being naked.

8:30 am – Now we have some fun.  Sometimes we play, sometimes we go for a walk, and sometimes we do both.

10:00 am – Kaiden and I hop into bed, he has another bite to eat, and I lay with him until he falls asleep.

10:20 am – Now I get to have a bite to eat, prep some food for dinner, and get as many other tasks that I can done before Kaiden wakes up.

10:50 am – Kaiden gets up and we chill for a bit in bed and then change his diaper.

11:00 am – This is where things get switched up.  Some days we just go for walks & play, sometimes we get adjusted by our chiropractor, sometimes we go to a La Leche League meeting or meet up with friends to visit, go for walks, snowshoe – it is always something fun and exciting!

1:00 pm – Kaiden will have another meal and nap while we are out.  Sometimes he skips this nap, sometimes he doesn’t.  But it’s definitely time for another diaper change.

2:00 pm – We’re usually home by around this time and you guessed it, it’s time to hang out and play again.  The dogs are also a great source of amusement in the early afternoon.

4:00 pm – Back into bed for another meal and nap after another diaper change.

4:20 pm – Sometimes I’ll nap with him but if I sneak away I’ll try to get in some computer time.

4:50 pm – Kaiden gets up and we’ll play or hang out in the kitchen while I prep some more food for dinner.

5:40 pm – We suit up, go for a walk and meet dad at the train station.  If we have time we’ll pop into the library on our way and read some books.

6:15 pm – Dad and Kaiden hang out and play for a bit.  This usually involves a ton of giggling and smiles, dad is way more amusing than I am.  😀

6:35 pm – Kaiden gets ready for bed and we put him in his night diaper.

6:45 pm – Kaiden and I read Good Night Vancouver.

7:00 pm – Time for bed and the final meal for the day (well, except for the 4 snacks he’ll have throughout the night, hehe).  Once he’s fallen asleep I’ll sneak out.

7:30 pm – Mom and Dad make dinner, eat, and catch up on each others’ day.

8:15 pm – Take the diapers out of the dryer and fold them together (ok, I should probably be completely honest, Dad does 95% of the diaper washing and folding)

8:30 pm – Before relaxing for the evening I get some work done.

10:30 pm – Time to go join Kaiden in bed.

 

This interview was submitted on March 11, 2011.

Cloth Diapering Milestones: Moving from Liquids to Solids

It may seem from our title that we’re talking about food today, but as is inevitable in any conversation about diapers, today we’re actually discussing poo. (Sorry if we got your hopes up….) As any pediatrician or naturopath will tell you, watching your infant’s stools change from liquid to solid is an important, significant transition, and sometimes that can mean changing your diaper selection as well.

The Newborn Days

In the early days of life, your baby’s gut is immature. For the first few days, it’s excreting all the lovely, tarry meconium that is a by-product of life in the womb, and for the first few weeks is incapable of holding food for long. And obviously, the only food intake is in liquid form, so with all these factors together, you can count on a liquid-y, poopy diaper after every meal. (Diaper liners are a welcome accessory during this period!)

As for color and texture, due to the colonization of the gut with all the good bacteria it needs for nutrient absorption, you can watch the stool go from black to various shades of yellow and green. Your doctor or midwife will likely ask you at some point about the stool’s color and consistency as an indication of the baby’s health, especially if the baby has been jaundiced.

In terms of diapering, all of this liquid stool in the early days means that the most important factor to consider in choosing diapers is containment. You need a diaper or a cover that has good, snug elastic around the legs and waist to keep all the poo exactly where it belongs. Popular choices from New & Green parents tend to be a prefold, Snappi, and cover combo, a Kissaluvs size 0 + cover combo, and the (super cute) TiniFit All-in-One.

Regularity

At about 6-8 weeks of age, your baby’s stools will begin to change. While at the beginning poo tends to be runny, at this point it will begin to hold together and take on a firmer, more tacky texture. The upside to this is that the stool can be easier to shake off into the toilet, as well as that food is now moving more slowly through the gut, so it’s entirely possible that your baby will only move his or her bowels once or twice a day, sometimes at the same time each day. (Wahoo!) And as the months go by and as your baby begins to eat solid food, the poo will continue to solidify.

So as poo becomes more – shall we say, regular – containment is no longer the highest priority for a diaper, but absorbancy. Poo may not be as frequent, but the baby’s bladder is getting bigger and he or she is eating more.

Thus, parents’ favorite diapers tend to change: many still love the prefold + cover combo and the EasyFit All-in-One, but other favorites for this period include the Bamboozle bamboo fitted, the AMP hemp fitted, and BumGenius pocket diapers.

Watching your baby grow and change can be an incredible, joyful experience. We certainly hope that cloth diapering on that journey helps you celebrate the joy of watching your child grow and seeing the miracle of all the changes that your baby’s body goes through, including the myriad type of messy diapers.

And care to share your experiences? We welcome hearing your stories about how you have dealt with your “poo problems,” as questions about how to deal with poop are among our most frequent at our Cloth Diapering 101 workshops and here on the blog. Real-life stories are fantastic!

A Rash of Issues: Not So With These 6 Tips

Waaah!Occasional diaper rash is a normal occurrence for babies. When those sweet baby cheeks are inside of a diaper 24/7 for upwards of two-and-a-half years, you are bound to have a rash every now and again.

Some common reasons for rashes:

  • Staying in a wet or dirty diaper too long
  • Change in Mama’s diet (for nursing babies)
  • Change in baby’s diet (watch food introductions)
  • Teething
  • Sensitivity to detergent and/or buildup of detergent in diaper fabric

So with that in mind, here are six tips for preventing a rash or decreasing the incidence of rashes:

Give your baby diaper-free time every day.

Allow your baby’s skin to air out at least once a day for more than 10 minutes and preferably, expose the skin to sunshine. Rashes only flare up and proliferate in dark, humid, acidic environments – air and sunshine are the perfect antidote.

Cleanse your baby’s diaper area with just warm water and a cloth.

Make sure you wipe your baby’s bum at every diaper change, even if the diaper was only wet. While the urine itself on the skin will evaporate, irritating uric acid crystals will be left behind. By just wiping the skin clean with a cloth wipe and warm water, you’ll get rid of any residues, leaving your baby’s skin soft and irritant-free.

Make sure your baby’s diaper area is dry before you put on a fresh diaper.

Closing up wet skin in a watertight environment can be a recipe for a rash, so let the skin dry before you put on the new diaper.

These couple of extra minutes can be a really enjoyable bonding time between parent and child – often times newborns and young babies are alert at diaper change time and that’s when they’re cooing and looking around. Older babies sometimes love the routines that are associated with diaper change time – it’s the time when they get to play with a special toy or have a “conversation” with Mommy or Daddy. The minute or two that it takes for the skin to dry can become a lovely interactive time.

Change your baby often.

Leaving a wet or poopy diaper next to the skin for a prolonged period of time is a sure way to set off a rash. Although “prolonged” is relative – some sensitive-skin babies react to the presence of uric acid within minutes while others could go significantly longer before complaining. Regardless of length of time, however, the skin will flare up under these conditions, so it’s definitely in the best interest of both you and your baby to change the diaper as soon as possible once it’s soiled.

Create a stay dry layer.

If your baby seems especially sensitive to wetness, using a non-absorbent layer between your baby’s skin and the wet diaper can be a great way to minimize the skin’s exposure to all that dampness. Either choose a diaper that has fleece right next to the skin, such a pocket diaper, or add a stay dry layer by laying a liner in any diaper you use – fleece and raw silk are the most popular in this case.

Use wool.

If your baby is suffering from a rash and needs healing or in order to prevent a rash when your baby has to stay in his or her diaper for an extended period of time (ie nighttime), consider using a wool cover like the sloomb Knit Wool Covers. Wool offers the best breathability and allows moisture on the skin to evaporate, even when up against a wet diaper. We’ve heard it from parents again and again (and experienced it ourselves) – switching to a wool cover is the fastest, surest way to zap a rash when it starts.

Here’s to healthy, happy babies (and to all you mamas and papas who love them so well!).

~Photo Credit to Kyle Flood

Organizing Your Change Table

Check out the photo gallery at the end of this post to see how other parents have made their change areas work for them!

Diaper changes – perhaps surprisingly – can be a delightful bonding time between parent and child. However, if you’re not organized, sometimes the change time turns into more of a game of hide-and-seek for diapering accessories than it does a game of peek-a-boo with your little one.

Here are a few tips for keeping yourself organized.

Keep it simple.

The only “need” in organizing diapers is to have everything in reach. This is not only to make it easy on yourself, but once your baby is old enough to roll, it’s for safety too. You want to be able to keep one hand on your baby and still reach everything you need.

Also, separating your diapers according to type (pockets, prefolds, all-in-ones, etc) can keep things simple too – that way you can grab exactly what you want, especially if you’re in a hurry to get out the door or you’re bleary-eyed from lack of sleep. Just remember to keep your wipes handy too!

A change table doesn’t have to be a change table.

There are as many types of change tables as there are parents (well, almost, at least). There are certainly many styles of change tables that are designed exactly for that purpose, but there are lots of other options too. Some parents place a pad or a blanket on top of a dresser, a wide shelving unit, or a long countertop in the laundry room or bathroom. Others repurpose other furniture, such as a TV stand, for that purpose. Find what works for you, your budget, and your space.

Make it pretty (or at least pleasant).

Find bins and containers that fit your style and your space and that make diaper changing time enjoyable. These can be baskets, decorative bins, hanging shoe and shirt organizers, shelves, decorative hooks and bags, dresser drawers – anything that makes the job easy for you and that makes you feel good about your system.

Gather your accessories into one central location.

Keeping all your diapering and baby care accessories together, such as snappis, diaper balms, and nail clippers, will help little items from disappearing. Designate a decorative drinking glass, a basket on a shelf, or a clip-on basket on a hanging rail for this purpose.

Create a Mobile Change Unit (MCU)

For the times when you end up changing diapers on the bed or in the living room, or if you want to forgo creating a change table altogether, create what we at New & Green affectionately call a “Mobile Change Unit.” This is a canvas bag or handled basket that is easy to grab and take with you anywhere in the house and has everything you need for a diaper change – a change pad, fresh diapers, wipes, a bottle of wipes solution, extra snappi’s, diapering balm, a toy for distraction, and a bag to temporarily hold the dirties.

The best part is, all you need to organize your diapers are a bookshelf or dresser where everything is easily grab-able when you want to restock your MCU. Easy as pie!

Want ideas? Here are how other parents have organized their change tables:

 

Using dresser drawers…

5892094047_b062bf9217

from Liz

Using decorative baskets and bins…
6366536809_1c2c152397_n

from Christine

Using a bookshelf…

Using a wide shelving unit with cubbies…

Re-purposing a TV stand…

 Using a dresser top…

Using lots of baskets and a hanging rail to dry covers…

Change table organization

from Mrs. Faber

Do you have ideas for organizing a change table? What has worked for you? We’d love to hear your ideas!

 

A Day in the Life: Candace – Happy Mom of Two

Today our featured mom is Candace.

How old are you?
I am 28 years old.

What did you do (from a working perspective) before your baby arrived?
In my professional life I am a Registered Nurse.

Are you currently at home with your baby/children or working in/out of the home?
I am currently at home on maternity leave.

How old is your baby?
I have 2 children. My son is 29 months old.  My daughter is 5 months old.

When did you decide to cloth diaper?
When I was pregnant with Mr. H I had read an article online about the effects of chlorine on children and how diapers are one of the main sources.  I went into a local store looking for some advice but came away discouraged.  I was then at a baby shower for a friend and found out about your website and signed up for the trial.

When did you start cloth diapering?
I started cloth diapering when my son was 3 months old.  I started by doing your trial program and have never looked back.

What is/are your favourite diaper(s)?
I am in love with Fuzzi Bunz!  I initially used the Perfect Size and have added a few of their One Size diapers.  I like them because when I first started using cloth diapers they were the only ones that used snaps rather than hook/loop closures (I like not having to do the maintenance). I just started using Bummis and Kushies training pants.

My day in a nutshell
6:30 am – If I am lucky enough that Miss M has not yet woken up; my husband’s first alarm goes off.  I have yet to figure out his logic about the snooze button because all it does is wake me up since he doesn’t get up for another twenty minutes.  I guess it is the little things like this that make me love him so much.

7:30 am – Usually I hear stirring from one if not both of my children.  So starts the plotting of how I will breastfeed Miss M, get Mr. H on the potty and not loose my mind in the process.  I have started potty training Mr. H so I usually try for a short potty time while I change Miss M at the same time.  Stories in “Mommy and Daddy’s” bed give me time to breastfeed.

8:15 am – with a cloth diaper on Miss M and a cloth trainer pant on Mr. H our day can officially begin.  Breakfast and getting 2 kids dressed quickly is not a task I have mastered yet. However, a shower is my equivalent to coffee so it has to be squeezed in. Thank goodness for hot water!  Mr. H likes the big brother task of entertaining Miss M who patiently sits in her bouncy chair.

8:45 am – it is time to get out of the house! I usually change Miss M prior to leaving and check for any accidents from Mr. H.  I have come to realize that it is worth the effort to take the kids out.  You can catch us out and about in the Lonsdale area.  Strong Start and story time are currently our favourite past time.

10:30 am – I try to take Mr. H to the potty while out, which I have come to realize must look like a day at the circus with a 5 month old strapped onto my chest.  Oh well, all in a days work. Right?  I also change Miss M’s diaper while out and use our Bummis wet bag to carry home the dirties.

12:30 am – Lunch gives me a break, a moment to check my Facebook and e-mail.  I must keep up with the outside world somehow 😮

1:00 pm – NAP TIME!!! Both kids get new diapers at this time. After a couple books and a glass of milk Mr. H will go down first giving me a chance to breastfeed Miss M and put her down as well.  During naptime I prep dinner and hope to catch a nap of my own.

3-ish – Mr. H is awake followed shortly by Miss M.  Potty time and fresh diapers are put on.  We usually go to the park or the library prior to dinner.

5:00 pm – my husband is home and dinner is served.

5:45 pm – playing, reading books and tidying up keep us busy till its time to get ready or bed.

7:00 pm – Mr. H has a bath with dad.  One last try on the potty and Mr. H is ready for his diaper.  Stories and teeth brushing lead to bedtime.

7:45 pm –  Miss M has been bathed and we are ready to start diapers!
I currently live in building with shared pay laundry, so to save money I have decided to do the cold soak in the tub.  I wear rubber gloves to ring them out and I must say my tub has never been cleaner as I am forced to clean it every other day along with the diapers.

8:15 pm – All kids are now asleep!  Time to finish the diapers.  I ring the diapers out and put them back in the diaper pail.  They are washed on hot and I do a cold rinse about every second time.  I have not seen any increased leaking with missing the rinse.

8:45 pm – Having more than one laundry machine means I can wash clothes and then combine the laundry with the clean liners in the dryer.  I still hang the waterproof liner and now I have clean diapers and trainers for the next 2 days ?
I must say that I am not always done diapers by 8:45 pm and some days it is almost 10pm before I am done.  I try to remember that I am doing my part for the environment and limiting chemicals from being on my children’s skin.

9:00 pm – Clean, organize, and read the New and Green Blog!

11:00 pm – Goodnight!

 

This interview was submitted on March 1, 2011.

Washing Machine Hacks to Make Your Life Easier

No matter whether you have a front loader or a top loader, you’ve likely tried a few different things to get your wash routine just the way you like it.

Today we’re posting four hacks to help you know your machine even better.

For Top Loaders

Don’t be afraid to change the amount of water you use. Often it’s tempting to just set the machine on “extra large load” so that you’ve got tons of water for washing and swishing and rinsing. However, if you’re washing only a day or two or diapers, especially if you use lots of pockets, it can make a big difference to reduce the amount of water so that the diapers aren’t just swimming around, but are instead rubbing against each other, which is what gets them really clean.

Change the temperature of your water heater, not just the dial on your washing machine. Many detergents activate most efficiently between 55-60° C (130°-140°F), including Rockin’ Green, which is also the range at which most bacterias are killed. If you reduce your water heater to this temperature range, you’ll not only save money on your monthly bill, but you’ll get the most efficient wash as well.

For Front Loaders

The secret in the detergent drawer… Many HE washing machines arrive in your home set to use liquid detergent. Some cloth diaper manufacturers even tell you that liquid detergent is the only way to really get your diapers clean – but you already know the right temperature, enough water, and an appropriate wash time is a dynamite combination with any type of detergent, as we’ve discussed several times in our laundry science series.

It’s easy to change your machine to accommodate a powdered detergent, such as Rockin’ Green or Country Save. Just open the detergent drawer and either pop out the detergent cup or raise the bar that’s there and you are now equipped to just scoop your powdered detergent straight into the detergent slot – no more fussing around dissolving your powdered detergent in warm water! Fantastic!

Check out the Front Loader Database. We’ve written several posts on how to tweak your wash routine to make life easy with a front loader, but the owner of Rockin’ Green Soap has taken it even a step farther. She has put together a database of different brands of front loader machines and specific wash routines that tend to work with each model. Check out the database, use the information, and submit your own routine if your own works well for you!

 

Photo credit – apdk