Category Archives: Newborns

Here we talk all things newborn. What gear works, strategies, how to choose diapers.

The “Inside Poop” on Poop in Cloth Diapers

Let’s talk about poop.

Poop is rather an inevitable part of the conversation when you’re talking about diapers – but what do you do with it? Are there easy ways to deal with it? And will my diapers be stained for good if my child eats beets the night before?

Poop is easily manageable. In the early newborn days, the baby poops as often as he or she pees. If the baby is exclusively taking breastmilk, the poop is water soluble, so you can just toss the diaper – poo and all – into the diaper pail. If the baby is taking formula, it will be a bit more copious and slightly more solid, so you just need to shake off whatever you can and then place it in the pail.

After a few months as your baby’s digestive system matures and as the baby starts eating solids, the poop may be less frequent and be more… well, solid… so you can just let the poo roll off or you may choose to use the old “ four-corner dunk and swish” if you really need to.  The four corner dunk is taught at our workshops and is one of the best tricks you’ll learn from our instructor, Bonnie!

Of course, there are ways that you can make your job easier too. Biosoft diaper liners are strips of biodegradable material that you lay on the inside of your diaper and at diaper change time, you just lift off the liner and toss it in the toilet or take the diaper into the bathroom and flip the liner into the toilet (the no-hands touching method). Fleece liners and raw silk liners work similarly, except you wash them and reuse them rather flushing them. With any of the liners, there’s no more rinsing and dunking to get off the goo!

And regarding stains – stains are generally inevitable, especially in the newborn days, but they are easily removed, even when your child eats beets, strawberries, blueberries, or any other food that tends to colour the stool. Rockin’ Green cloth diaper detergent is great at getting diapers clean and at working on the stains, but for tough stains, sunlight is by far the best bleach and whitener. Stick your diapers outside on a sunny day and beets will be no match for you!

Cloth Diapers & Breastfeeding

August 1-7th is World Breastfeeding Week.

Breastfeeding is the natural progression of pregnancy and birth but it does not always come naturally.  Like cloth diapering, education is key.   Surrounding yourself with like minded, if not just plain supportive folks will also help you feel positive and succeed.

One of the biggest worries in the first days and weeks of breastfeeding is knowing whether your baby is getting enough milk.  In your first week getting to know your baby, your health care provider will likely have you monitor your babies output as what goes in must come out!  Monitoring output can be tricky as newborns don’t pee much in the first days.

According to Kellymom.com newborns should have at least 5-6 soaking diapers per day by day five of life.

To get a sense of what a “soaking wet diaper” should look/feel like, pour 3T (45ml) of warm water into your diaper.

By using cloth diapers, you will be able to see/feel how much your baby is peeing.  Without some modifications, disposables may not give you the information you need to accurately determine if your baby wetting as much as he/she should.

Knowing that your baby is peeing enough will help you to relax and enjoy your developing relationship with your baby rather than worrying about how much he/she is taking in.

For more information about output, check out this feeding log for your first week and mini cheat sheet from Kellymom.com.

Our top 3 cloth diaper recommendations to help you with your newborn breastfeeding are:  Kissaluv Cotton Diapers, Prefold Cloth Diapers, TiniFit All-in-One Cloth Diapers.

How did you feel about monitoring your newborn’s output with cloth diapers?  Did it boost your confidence and let you relax a little more?

Prefold Cloth Diapers :: Basic & Beautifully Functional

When we ask new parents what they rank number one as the most important feature of a cloth diaper, they almost always say “Easy to use!” or “Convenient”.   I believe this comes from the fear rooted in the notion that cloth diapering is hard, not user friendly and terribly inconvenient.

While prefolds do require a bit of learning to get you to the stage of “Hey, that’s not difficult..at all!”, they are really a do-able diaper option.  And they have lots of great benefits.

Here is a short list of our top 5:

  1. Organic Cotton –  one of the greenest, healthiest choice in textiles from production to end user
  2. Very absorbent
  3. Easy to wash and fast to dry
  4. Simplicity means no technology problems (ie nothing to break on it)
  5. Durable – many many babies can have these diapers grace their bottom and then they can be upcylced to cleaning cloths

So with all this behind us, lets take three minutes to look at Prefold Cloth Diapers in the Learning Series Video above.  This is your intro to get you into your prefold zone.

Enjoy and email us at customercare@blog.newandgreen.com if you have questions.  And remember, prefolds are the diaper that come in the ultra affordable Bummis Organic Diapering Kit.

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?

From a Mom-to-Be: Why I’m Choosing Cloth Diapers by Rachel M

As part of our Earth Day 2010 Contest, Rachel M (our winner in the Mom-to-Be category) shares her thoughts on why cloth diapers are right for her family:

Our first baby is due June 25th and we’ve decided to cloth diaper.  Both my husband and I are concerned about environmental issues, particularly climate change and the impact of our ‘carbon footprints’.  We decided that cloth diapering was something we could do that would actually make a difference – start putting our money where our mouth is so to speak (although we are in fact saving money in the long run, BONUS!).

My mum cloth diapered all five of her children but my husband was “disposable” or “single use” diapered. It may sound a bit silly but he wishes he’d had the choice to not pollute landfills with 2-3 years worth of his dirty diapers! And that’s the choice that we are making for our baby, our children are the ones inheriting this planet, I’d like their early years to be as environmentally-consequence free as possible. We can hope they make the right decision later in life…but at least we can make the right ones before they start making them for themselves. Change begins at home, one diaper at a time! 🙂

We understand it’s perhaps not going to be as “convenient” to start out with – we live in an apartment with a front loading high efficiency washing machine and of course no clothes line in the backyard, so there will be challenges.  But we are committed and I am confident we will get into the swing of things with a system that works for us in no time!

We have met with a bit of opposition in the form of the odd disparaging comment from relatives or colleagues at work.  Of course this just makes us more determined!  I have found online resources really helpful in looking at various types of diapering as well as getting feedback from other cloth diapering parents! I love the kinds of options that are available to us now – cloth diapering has come a long way from large cotton squares and safety pins!  It’s encouraging as a mum-to-be knowing that there is support and advice out there and we’re looking forward to being part of that community!

All the best with meeting your little one Rachel!

*The opinions expressed in this blog post are those of the contest entrant and do not necessarily reflect that of New & Green Baby Co.  We wish to thank all of our contest entrants who graciously shared their stories to help further the education and support of families wishing to cloth diaper their children.  Read more about our Earth Day 2010 Contest.

Changing a Newborn :: Yes, That Many Times!

One of the questions we are asked most often at our popular Cloth Diaper 101 Workshops is “How many diapers will I really need?” And what surprises most new parents is that they’ll need to count on using about ten diapers a day in the early newborn days. Yes – newborns pee and poo that many times each day! The old adage about “what goes in must come out” really holds true…

So, what do diaper changes look like in those early days?

Since you’ll be changing your baby often – including when you’re groggy in the middle of the night – it’s important to have plenty of diapers and covers on hand so that you don’t have to spend time scrounging up what you need right at diaper changing time or run short just before laundry time. It’s really a pain to have to hand-wash a cover in the middle of the night or have to dig through the diaper bag to find that one last clean diaper while your baby is crying on the change pad. Have everything ready and at hand and the experience will be a downright pleasant one.

Also, your midwife, family doctor, or pediatrician will likely want to know how many times a day your baby is peeing and pooing. These are indications of how your baby’s system is settling into life outside the womb and can be important indicators of how well your baby is feeding. Since disposable diapers absorb and wick away your baby’s pees, it can often be difficult to tell when your baby has voided, but with cloth it is much easier to know, so one could even argue that cloth diapers contribute to the health and well-being of your infant!

We also recommend (read: highly recommend) using liners for your newborn, especially in the first few weeks of life. Newborn poo, as well as meconium, can really stain like the dickens, so in order to keep stains to a minimum, just line your diapers with fleece or silk (or even an extra cloth wipe if you’re in a pinch).  And if you do have some staining after your routine washing, remember that the sun will do wonders at removing bio-stains!

We hope your journey through the early days of babyhood is a joyful one – and even more, we hope your choice to cloth diaper makes the experience even more satisfying. Let us know if there are any ways we can help you through this time of change and discovery!

For more tips on diapering your newborn, check out what we used with our first child.

CHANGING A NEWBORN :: YES, THAT MANY TIMES!

One of the questions we are asked most often at our popular Cloth Diaper 101 Workshops is “How many diapers will I really need?” And what surprises most new parents is that they’ll need to count on using about ten diapers a day in the early newborn days. Yes – newborns pee and poo that many times each day! The old adage about “what goes in must come out” really holds true…

So, what do diaper changes look like in those early days?

Since you’ll be changing your baby often – including when you’re groggy in the middle of the night – it’s important to have plenty of diapers and covers on hand so that you don’t have to spend time scrounging up what you need right at diaper changing time or run short just before laundry time. It’s really a pain to have to hand-wash a cover in the middle of the night or have to dig through the diaper bag to get the one last clean diaper while your baby is crying on the change pad. Have everything ready and at hand and the experience will be a downright pleasant one.

Also, your midwife, family doctor, or pediatrician will likely want to know how many times a day your baby is peeing and pooing. These are indications of how your baby’s system is settling into life outside the womb and can be important indicators of how well your baby is feeding. Since disposable diapers absorb and wick away your baby’s pees, it can often be difficult to tell when your baby has voided, but with cloth it is much easier to know, so one could even argue that cloth diapers contribute to the health and well-being of your infant!

We also recommend (read: highly recommend) using liners for your newborn, especially in the first few weeks of life. Newborn poo, as well as meconium, can really stain like the dickens, so in order to avoid using copious amounts of stain remover and to keep stains to a minimum, just line your diapers with fleece or silk (or even an extra cloth wipe if you’re in a pinch).

We hope your journey through the early days of babyhood is a joyful one – and even more, we hope your choice to cloth diaper makes the experience even more satisfying. Let us know if there are any ways we can help you through this time of change and discovery!

For more tips on diapering your newborn, check out what we used with our first child.

Special Situations :: Cloth Diapering Twins (or more!)

Some may say that cloth diapering twins or multiples must be too much work. But never fear! It’s easier than you think – it’s just a bigger load of laundry.

All the same “rules” apply to cloth diapering twins that apply to singletons:
count on about 24-30 diapers per child (+ 6 covers if needed),
use a pail with a liner so you can just dump them in the washing machine without any other work involved,
-and wash every 2-3 days.

The only difference is that it might be a good idea to have a few extra diapers on hand to give yourself more wiggle room between washes – say closer to the 30 mark per baby. You might also want to make sure you have an extra-large diaper pail to accommodate the extra diapers (or two pails in two different locations…. feel free to be creative.)  From talking to parents of multiples, we’ve learned that often twins (or more) are more on a routine schedule and may eat more regularly (ie every three hours) which helps to predict diaper changes more easily.

We also recommend choosing diapers that are easy-to-use and easy to have ready for diaper changes, just to keep life extra easy and to be extra nice to those who are giving you a hand with the extra baby care!

If you want a diaper that goes on in one step and doesn’t need a separate cover, check out Fuzzi Bunz diapers. The Fuzzi Bunz XS pocket diaper or the TiniFit All-in-Ones are extra appropriate choice because they both fit smaller babies – as multiples tend to be – all the way down to four-five pounds. (And talk about a cute diaper on a tiny little bum – oh my goodness.)  The big difference with these two:  Fuzzi Bunz are a tad smaller and have snaps.  Tini Fits have a velcro closure and pack a lot of absorbency with a relatively trim fit.

If, on the other hand, you’d like the most budget-conscious choice or you want to have as many natural fibres up against your babies’ skin, consider preemie-size organic prefolds and newborn-size Super Brite covers. These will make your life easy if you have a few preloaded ready for diaper changes. Merely fold the prefold in thirds and lay it in the cover. The diaper is then ready to use.  Having 6 covers per baby will allow you to “pre-load” several covers so they are ready to go when needed.

Oh, and don’t forget, if you want to use prefolds, the best way to stock up on them is with the Bummis Organic Cotton Diaper Kit. It has everything you need and offers great savings.  Note:  The Bummis Kit comes with prefolds that we find work best on babies at 8lbs+).

Both pocket diapers and the prefold/cover combo are great for adapting to large wash loads, as well. These types of diapers wash thoroughly and dry quickly, hopefully only requiring you to do two or three loads of laundry a week – the same as if you were cloth diapering only one child!

Cloth diapering twins is completely doable. We hope the rest of your adventure with your multiples is just as marvelous!

Washing Cloth Diapers :: What It Really Looks Like (hint: it’s easy!)

So, perhaps you’re new to cloth diapering or even just starting to consider it, or perhaps you’ve been using cloth for years but want some new ideas for your washing routine. Either way, washing isn’t what it used to be – it’s fast, it’s easy, and in most situations you never even have to touch the dirties. (Unlike the grandmother in our picture, who undoubtedly spent hours with her hands in the wash bin to get her diapers clean and white…)

There are just three steps to getting clean, ready-to-use diapers:

First, get yourself a big pail with a lid – you don’t need any specially-designed “diaper pail,” just anything with a lid will do. In many of the New & Green mamas’ homes, all you’ll find is a standard garbage bin with handles that flip up to keep the lid in place. You see, nothing special. Inside that pail, place a waterproof pail liner – this is what makes the process especially easy. Now your diaper pail is set up and waiting.

The second step is the diaper change itself. If there’s only pee on a diaper, there’s no need to do anything special – just toss that diaper in your pail. If there are any solids, simply knock them off into the toilet and then toss the soiled diaper into the pail.  Note:  Poop from a breastmilk fed baby is not considered “solids” and does not need any special treatment. Just throw it in the pail with the peed on diapers!

After two or three days, it’s laundry day!

Take the liner with all the dirty diapers in it to the washing machine. Dump everything into the machine, followed by the bag, then do a rinse on cold, a wash on hot (with detergent), then toss everything in the dryer or hang them up to dry – and you’re done! There need not be anything more to a regular washing routine than that. And you didn’t have to touch the dirty diapers since the time they were taken off the bum of your wee one!

Beyond routine, the only other considerations when it comes to diaper laundry are detergents and the added cost on your utility bill due to the increased energy usage.

Regarding detergents, there are a few detergents recommended by diaper manufacturers, which you can read more about on our “Diaper Care” page. And while there are a few no-no’s when it comes to which detergents to use, don’t let the decision stress you out. You won’t ruin your diapers by using the “wrong” detergent – the worst that can happen is that residue from some detergents will stay behind on your diapers and cause them to leak. In that case, throw some vinegar in a Downy ball, add it to your next few loads to strip off the residue (the diapers won’t smell like vinegar – we promise), then switch detergents and your diapers should be good as new.

As for the added energy costs, we find that the average for Vancouver and the Lower Mainland is an additional $15 on your utility bill each month if you use both the washer and the dryer for each load, assuming you wash every two days. If you don’t use the dryer, the you’ll drop your cost per month closer to $5-6.

Do you have a routine that works for you?

Video Learning Series :: AMP Duo Cloth Diapers + BabyKicks Organic Hemp

AMP Duos are a relatively new diaper to the market and very innovative.  These are one of the only pocket diapers that we have found that can work on a newborn baby and will fit them well right up until 18lbs.  There is a trick we have found that will make the fit perfect on a tiny newborn (watch for an upcoming post to see this in action).

We love this diaper with BabyKicks Hemp as the insert as it provides a lovely, trim fit and the option of laying the insert inside the shell or stuffing it inside.  The video discusses why you may choose one method or the other.

Enjoy and do let us know if you have been using this system.  We love to get reviews from our families about how their diapers are working for them.

And just a little aside – JoeyBunz Hemp Inserts are truly fabulous and families are beginning to take notice of this.  They are absolutely flying off the shelves!