Category Archives: Special Situations

Cloth diapering is possible in many different situations. Here we talk about how to make it happen, successfully.

Baby Registry

registryHaving a baby (yippee!) and know you want to cloth diaper?

Create a baby registry with us and select all the cloth diapers and accessories you would love. Then, your family and friends can help celebrate the new arrival with all the fluffy goodness you will need.

Please visit our website for more information and to start your cloth diaper baby registry.

Newborn Rental Program

newbornrentWould you like to use cloth diapers right from day one?  But you don’t want to spend a lot of money on a really great newborn cloth diaper system that will only fit for a few months….well, this Newborn rental program is the solution!
 

For more details, please visit our website

Special Considerations: Newborns

Whether you decide to cloth diaper your newborn while you’re still at the hospital or whether you start in the first few days, there are few things to keep in mind that will make those early weeks a breeze.

Containment

Since young infants take in only liquid and their little tummies and colons are still developing, their stools tends to be quite runny and are part of every diaper change. Also, since their bladders are quite small at this stage of life, their amount of pee is not copious. Thus, containment is more important for this stage of diapering than absorbancy is.

For containment success, choose well-fitting diapers and covers with good leg and back elastics, such as prefolds inside a Bummis Super Brite or the small AMP Duo pocket diaper.

Umbilical Stump

Until the umbilical stump falls off (somewhere between 4-16 days), it’s important to make sure nothing rubs against it to aggravate it and that there’s enough air flow to keep it dry.

Covers and diapers created with newborns in mind are designed with a notch to fit around the umbilical stump – perennial parent favorites are the Kissaluvs Size O fitted diaper and the Bummis Super Brite cover. The all-new GroVia Newborn AIO is shaping up to be a fave as well.

The Joys of Meconium

Meconium is the blackish-green tar-like substance that your baby cleans out of his or her system in the first day or two of life. It is sticky and stains diapers easily, so we definitely recommend investing in a few liners with which to line your diapers. There are flushable options, natural fibre options, and fleece options – so every parent’s diapering objectives can easily be met. Liners are also great through the first few weeks as the baby’s stools go through various phases (not to mention colors and consistencies!) These make clean-up easy and minimize staining.

And of course, if you do get any stains on your diapers, setting them in the sunshine for a few hours will do wonders for whitening your diapers and erasing stains.

Skinny Legs

Babies come in all shapes and sizes – some have lovely rolls of baby fat while others tend to be long and skinny. What to do to keep the diapers fitting if you’ve got a lanky child?

You can either have a few teeny-tiny diapers on hand, such as the extra-small Fuzzi Bunz pocket diaper or the TiniFit All-in-One (one of our all-time best-selling diapers), or have on hand a few extra newborn covers. The overlapping velcro tabs and extra gussets on the Bummis Super Brite newborn cover do a superb job of adjusting to your baby’s smaller size.

Fit

One issue that often frustrates new parents is that the small diapers they so carefully researched and purchased before their baby was born don’t seem to fit. And it’s often true – there is something about newborns that makes an 8-pound newborn fit differently in a diaper than an 8-pound, 6-week-old infant.

Despite the intent of various diaper manufacturers to have larger diapers “fit from birth,” more and more leaders in the cloth diaper industry, New & Green included, are recommending that parents set aside their one-size and sized diapers until about 6-8 weeks of age and use newborn-sized diapers at birth. There are some great options that will allow you to keep using those newborn prefolds long past the newborn stage, and avoiding all that extra bulk definitely makes the extra investment worth it.

And as always, if you don’t want to purchase extra diapers, you can always rent them. Easy!

But now, we want to hear from you – how did you successfully get through those early days? What made the difference in your family?

 

Photo Credit – SCA Svenska Cellulosa Aktiebolaget

New Baby on the Way? Prepping Cloth Diapers and Siblings.

bigsisterWhile we talk a LOT about considerations for your cloth diapers and how to prepare them before your new baby arrives, we want to take the chance to talk a little about the rest of family life with a new baby.  Especially life for your first little one(s).

Introducing our guest writer, Sarah, who will chat with you about preparing your children for the arrival of a new baby.

Your other children will benefit from some preparation before baby comes along.  Life as you know it will never be the same, but the transition can be smoother by doing a few things with the brother or sister to be.  Here are our top tips:

  • Changes such as moving to a big bed, moving bedrooms, or new childcare arrangements would be better done well before the new baby is born. You can expect some regression of already mastered skills, like potty training.
  • Spend special time with your other child and remind visitors to pay attention to the sibling and not just the new baby. Include sibling in pictures and other activities.
  • Ask for your child’s help and involve your child in baby’s care. Even very young children can help by getting a diaper for you, picking out clothes, or patting burps out of the babe.
  • Try to let go of guilt. There is no way to give both children equal attention.  Do the best you can and create a support network.
  • Remember that one of your gifts to all of your children is the sibling relationship they will have with one another.
  • Consider allowing your child to participate in the birth of your new baby, if they are comfortable doing so.  Please be sure to have a special support person on call for your child, as they can be as unpredictable with their feelings and needs as the birth experience itself.

Sarah Farhangi is the mother of three beautiful children.  She teaches sibling preparation classes with her DoulaMamas partner, Bonnie Jarvis.  Both ladies have a wealth of experience as early childhood educators, mothers of siblings and birth doulas.

-Photo Credit to Ben Grey

Cloth Diapers on Vacation :: Camping

Some may say that using cloth diapers when out in the wilderness is difficult, but given a bit of forethought and planning, it’s actually quite straightforward. Here are a few tips to keep in mind.

What you’ll need:

Your diapers: Decide whether you want to wash diapers in the campsite or if you want to save everything for once you get home. Take along as many diapers as you normally use each day, plus two extra per day. You don’t want to run out! (Children also tend to drink more when they’re outdoors all day.)  Organic prefolds are definitely the most space-efficient and easiest to wash, with pockets as a close second.

Wipes: Calculate 1-2 wipes per change, so 2-3 dozen should cover your three day trip.

Suds: If you want to wash in the campsite, also pack some detergent. Rockin Green Laundry Detergent is biodegradable and camp-friendly.

Rope: You’ll need a clothesline! You can include clothespins if you so desire.

Campsite Storage: Bring a wetbag or waterproof pail liner large enough to hold all your dirties.  Or if you are car camping (and have space) you can bring a small rubbermaid tote to use as your diaper pail.  If you are in bear country make sure you are “bear aware” and either store your dirty diapers in your car or hang them from a bear pole, or something similarly safe. A small wetbag will help you manage your system if you do day hikes or spend time away from your campsite. This will provide you with an easy way to transport the dirties back to camp.

A basket, tote, or backpack: Keeping your clean diapers organized will keep you sane. If you’re car camping, stack them neatly in a basket or laundry tote. If you’re backpacking, group them in large Ziploc bags to keep them dry and pack them in your backpack. (In the backcountry, you have to pack out whatever you pack in anyway, including garbage, so using cloth rather than disposables is actually easier AND lighter. Bonus!)

It’s Change Time!
If there’s poop, deal with it before you put the diaper in the dirties’ bag. In camp, dump it in the outhouse. In the backcountry, bury it as you would your own.

With urine-only diapers, either toss directly in the bag or if it’s going to be several days before a wash, rinse them first. You can do this in any running water that is downstream from other campers (n.b. NOT a lake) – and in the backcountry, if you’ve got time to let them dry, you’ll lighten your load considerably.

How to wash in camp:
Take your diapers to the nearest stream or collect fresh water in a bucket. Sprinkle soap on the diaper and scrub away. (Again, if you’re at a stream, make sure you’re downstream from your water supply and other campers.) Then hang the diapers with any stains facing outward and you’ll have nicely sun-bleached diapers ready for use in a few hours. If you’ve got the luxury of time, hang two diapers together – they’ll dry more slowly but they won’t be so “crunchy” when they’re done.

A wash routine when you return home:
If you bring home several days-worth of diapers to wash, you don’t have to do much differently than your normal routine. Make sure you do a cold rinse cycle at the beginning, and throw in a ¼ cup vinegar in the final rinse cycle – this will both soften your diapers and help to rinse out any detergent.  They’ll be as good as new!

There – that’s all there is to it. Now you’ve both “saved” the environment and enjoyed the environment all at the same time.

Storage

Cloth Diapers on Vacation :: Planes, Trains, and Automobiles

In two excellent recent guest posts, two moms have shared their experiences using cloth diapers while away from home.  With lots of families traveling in the summer months, here are a few of our tips for while you’re in transit. For ideas for washing when you arrive at your destination, check out this blog post from Karen, one of the N&G Mamas.

Regardless of what mode of travel you choose – air, land, or sea – storage is the biggest issue as you go. You obviously want to take as many diapers as possible while taking up as little space as possible! Good absorbency is also key since you may need to go several hours between changes.

Prefolds and pockets are a great way to satisfy both of these requirements, as are the new Flip diaper and the Babykicks organic fitted diaper. These various options take up the least amount of room, plus prefolds are very absorbent, especially if paired with a doubler, and pockets are very customizable in the amount of stuffing you put in them.

If you’re headed on a long plane trip, the Flip is a great option – the organic cotton inserts don’t take up much room or you have the option of using disposable, biodegradable inserts, in which case all you’ll have with you at the end of the day are the shells. Talk about saving space while still being environmentally-resposible!

If you’re traveling using a car seat, it’s especially important to have covers or diapers that have a good seal around the legs and back. The harness of a car seat tends to cram up against a diaper, so a well-fitting diaper cover ensures you won’t have any leaks over a period of several hours.

It can also be helpful to have a few diapers “locked and loaded.” When you’re on the go it can be hard to find a place to change  your baby, and it may be a juggling act even once you do find one. (Picture an airplane washroom or the floor on a jostling train.) If you have your diapers ready to go – prefolds folded inside a cover, pockets fully stuffed – your job will be much easier. Make sure your wipes and your wetbag are easily within reach before you start and the change should go as quickly and smoothly as is possible in such situations.

Oh, and one note about airplane trips – when packing your diapers, disperse them among different suitcases in case one gets delayed or lost. Then, take a few extra on the plane with you for the same reason. That way, you’ll never be without at least a few diapers on hand.

What to do with the poop?
If you’re in a washroom when you change, you can empty any solids into the toilet and then carefully fold and roll your diaper to contain any remaining mess. If you’re in a place where you won’t be able to get to a washroom for a bit, just roll up the diaper, put it in a small wetbag and empty the mess the next time you’re in a place where it’s easy to do so.

Don’t skimp on the wipes
Remember to bring an ample number of wipes with you in your carry-on or easily within reach in the diaper bag. These not only are great for bums, but they do double service to wipes hands, noses, and faces happy with ice cream. They can also serve as a great pick-me-up for you – bring a travel-size spray bottle with water and a bit of peppermint or lavender essential oil, spray some on a wipe, wipe your face with it, and you’ll be the most relaxed, confident, well-prepared mama on the road.

Want to Do Cloth from Day 1? :: Preparing for your Hospital Birth

If you’re a parent who wants to swaddle your newborn baby in cloth as early as possible in life, and your baby will be born ina hospital, consider taking cloth diapers with you.

There are a few good options for just-born newborns. Preemie-size prefolds paired with newborn Bummis covers are a convenient, easy-to-pack, inexpensive option and is a great option for nearly every newborn. The new TiniFit All-in-One is a great fitting, no-thought-required diaper, so it’s especially easy to use when you may feel a little fuzzy after the labour of labour! There’s also the extra-small Fuzzi Bunz Pocket Eiaper – so cute and especially great for smaller babies, such as preemies and multiples.

We also recommend bringing a few fleece diaper liners or Bio-Soft Liners. Meconium, the tar-like poo of the first couple of days, is quite sticky and it’s just easier to deal with when it’s on a liner. Liners makes clean-up easy.  Meconium will likely stain, just so you know, but the green-ish undertone of the inside of your diapers will disappear with an afternoon in the sun.

You won’t need many wipes, but bring along a few for the small messes you may encounter, maybe a dozen or so. Beyond that, you’ll just need a wetbag to transport the dirties home.

Oh, and one more thing to keep in mind. For the sake of being sanitary, all supplies provided to a patient must be used or disposed of. This applies to the disposable diapers some hospitals provide as well. It may seem odd to espouse disposables as the best environmentally-friendly option, but if the disposable diapers are going to end up in the landfill either way, it seems more practical to USE them first. And if you just can’t stand the thought of a disposable on your baby’s bum, consider taking them home to give them as gifts to someone else or passing them onto a service that provides supplies for families in need.

(As a side note, St. Paul’s in downtown Vancouver provides prefolds for in-hospital use to all maternity ward patients. Talk to your doctor or midwife to see if there’s anything special you need to bring.)

We wish you a safe, healthy delivery and many blessings on your journey with your new babe in arms!

Special Situations :: Preemies – Tiny Cloth Diapers for Tiny Bums

It’s easy to ooh and ahh over a newborn’s cute itty-bitty bum, but those ooh’s and aah’s can quickly subside if your diaper is leaking because it’s too big. What to do for your extra-small little one?

There are some excellent extra-small diapers on the market these days and all are both practical and fashionable.

For an easy, budget-conscience option, use preemie size organic cotton prefolds and lay them inside Newborn-size Bummis Super Brite Diaper Covers. These covers fit babies as small as four pounds, include a notch in the front to fit around the umbilical stump, and have a great reputation for containing every mess. This is an especially nice feature early in life when that gastro-colic reflex that makes your baby poo after every feed is in full swing.

You can also use Organic Bamboo Flat Inserts in your covers in place of prefolds. Bamboo offers greater absorbency than cotton and is extra-soft against your baby’s bum.

As a second variation of the prefold/cover combo, use small hemp-organic cotton Joey Bunz inserts inside a newborn size cover. They will provide ample absorbency for a small bladder, will catch all the messes, and best of all, require no folding. Joey Bunz are very versatile in their uses, so it’s great to have a few on hand for other diapering needs too!

There’s also the new TiniFit All-in-One diaper, and it’s a soft, well-crafted diaper out of Scotland. This diaper is convenient and easy to put on, as well as absorbent and very trim fitting. It features bamboo rayon, which is Oeko-tex certified, and the diaper itself is both ethically and sustainably produced. It fits newborns as small as five pounds. Definitely one of our favourites!

Pockets are a great way to go to get a trim fit as well. Extra-small FuzziBunz fit babies down to four pounds and offer the trimness and flexibility for which pockets are known. These are great diapers to use if you want the convenience of a diaper that goes on in one step, but want a diaper with variable levels of absorbency. This can be especially welcome if you have twins who pee differently – one who tinkles through the day and one who floods every few hours, for example.

Here’s to all the parents whose extra-small babies take up an extra-big place in their hearts!  What has your best solution been?  How did you figure out what would work well?

Swimming :: With a Lighter Footprint

With warmer weather and days at the pool just around the corner, it’s high time for a post on using cloth at the swimming pool.

Swimmi swim diapers offer all the protection you’ll need for summer pool parties and public pool outings. These swim diapers don’t require anything else to be used underneath them – like disposable swim diapers, they’re designed just to contain messes.

And contain they will! These swim diapers have extra-strong Aplix (think really strong Velcro) to ensure a snug fit around the waist and stretchy lycra to make sure there’s a snug fit around the legs. They’re also lined with a sports mesh to make mess clean-up simple. We just recommend sizing down, both to make sure you’ve got a good snug fit and because you don’t need to account for the bulkiness of a diaper underneath.

What we especially like is that they’re no-fuss. Just put them on like a wrap-style diaper cover, whether using them alone or under a swim suit (for the few public pools that require two layers of protection on babies).

A wet bag is another essential item for swim time. These waterproof bags are not only designed to carry dirty diapers home from a day’s outing, but also wet clothes, bathing suits, towels, and other swim gear. While you only need one swim diaper, consider in investing in several wet bags since they have so many uses – their usefulness will come in handy for years to come!

We love the functionality of Swimmis so much, we’d like to give one away.

Stay tuned to the blog tomorrow for details!

Special Situations :: Eczema Considerations and Care

For those of you who struggle with a baby with extra sensitive skin, eczema, or chronic diaper rash, we feel your pain.  Caring for babies who are constantly itchy, sore, or suffering from open wounds can be a form of torture all its own and is often miserable for both you and your child.

The good news is that cloth diapers can significantly help. Depending on the condition, cloth diapers can either minimize the frequency and severity of outbreaks or can completely clear up some skin irritations. Here are a few ways to keep your baby’s skin as healthy and comfortable as possible.

Use natural fibres. The most important part of getting the skin to heal and not become irritated is to allow air to get to the skin. Thus, the breathability of your diaper is of utmost importance. Any cloth diaper will offer significantly more breathability than a disposable, but even within the range of cloth diapers available, diapers with natural fibres will allow much more breathability than diapers with synthetic materials. Some especially good choices are organic prefolds, (available in both unbleached cotton and hemp), Kissaluvs cotton fitted diaper, BabyKicks organic cotton/hemp one-size fitted, and the Bamboozle bamboo fitted diaper.

Use wool covers. Wool is the champion of natural fibres and offers the best breathability cloth diapering can offer. Especially at night or at naptime when you can’t change the diaper as often, wool is an excellent option for allowing air to get to the skin and helping the skin stay dry. Getting air to the skin keeps yeast and other bacteria at bay, as well as it also dries out the uric acid and other irritants that can badly inflame the skin.

There are many more reasons why we love wool, but we’ve taken up excessively long posts singing wool’s praises before, so we’ll refrain from doing so again here….

Change often and allow for diaper-free time. Change your baby often – even more often than it seems necessary – just to keep Baby clean and dry. Make sure that once you wipe your baby down, you leave the skin exposed to the air until it’s completely dry before closing up the diaper. It can also be a great help to give your baby “diaper free time” a few times a day, especially if it’s sunny. Just lay out a blanket on the floor (maybe an extra-large blanket if you have a boy…) and let the baby play while his or her skin is left to dry and heal. Air and sunshine on an irritated bum can work wonders!

Protect if necessary. While making sure skin stays dry is the best way to heal, there are times when you just need to slather on a salve to calm and heal a major outbreak. In that case, Bum Bum Balm is an excellent naturally-derived and locally-produced diapering salve to soothe your little one’s bum. We just recommend in this case that you use a liner inside your diapers to keep the salve from coating the diaper’s fibres, which could decrease their performance until dealt with.

Lastly, we love to learn from other parents – do you have a tried-and-true solution to healing a baby’s bum or a diapering product that has helped you? If so, we’d love to hear from you!