Category Archives: Saving Money

Cloth Diapers can save you a bundle. Find out how.

Using Cloth Diapers? What about Cloth Wipes?

As we all know, diaper duty can get messy. Really really messy.

Cloth wipes are a great way to deal with life’s messes. They’re soft yet heavy-duty, they don’t leave chemicals on your baby’s skin, and they’re a “green” alternative to the store-bought variety.

Here are a few reasons we love them:

They keep your baby clean, truly clean. Even when your baby doesn’t go “#2”, good wipes are important for the health of your baby’s skin. Uric acid that isn’t wiped away can irritate the skin and cause diaper rash. Even just a quick wipe with water or a mild soap solution will take care of all the acid build-up and keep your baby clean and happy. And of course, when there is a mess to take care of, cloth wipes are always strong enough for the job and don’t tear, keeping your fingers out of the goo.

They’re good for your baby’s skin. Disposable wipes are laden with chemicals, but wiping your baby’s bum with water and/or soap ensures there’s nothing irritating left on the skin afterward.

You don’t have to pick them out before doing laundry. There’s nothing more annoying than opening the washing machine to pull out your nice clean diapers and discover shreds of disposable wipes that you forgot to throw in the garbage can before you did laundry!

They’re green and they make life simpler. Since you’re doing diaper laundry anyway, they don’t add to your energy consumption, yet they keep garbage and chemicals out of the landfill.

They’re budget-friendly. No need to buy wipes over and over – surprisingly, stocking up with cloth wipes rather than using disposable ones can save you beaucoups bucks through your baby’s diapering years.

They’re tough enough to use for a myriad of other babying and parenting jobs, too. Keep an extra dozen around for wiping hands and faces after meals, catching runny noses, boosting a newborn’s diaper, taking off make-up, applying facial toner, or even as handy-dandy toilet paper when you forget to change the roll. Actually, they can replace most of the paper and cotton products you use in your home!

They’re so easy to use. You can either keep them in a stack near the change area with a spray bottle nearby to wet them, or you can pre-moisten them if you prefer so they’re just as easy as using the disposable ones. Using them dry is just fine too – it’s all up to what you and your baby choose. When you’re out and about, they’re just the right size to fold in half and fit inside a travel wipes container (found at your local drugstore).

As you can tell, we love cloth wipes! For more information and to check out our organic cotton/hemp wipes, check out our wipes page.

Today’s question: what do you love most about cloth wipes?

Washing Cloth Diapers :: A Case for Line Drying

Whether you use a chic, modern drying rack or an old-fashioned strung-up clothesline, drying your cloth diapers outside is an excellent way to save money, keep your diapers in tip-top shape, and remove stains all at once. Not only that, but your diapers will smell wonderfully fresh when you bring them back inside.

Sixty percent of your energy usage and cost related to cloth diapering comes from using the dryer. By using a clothesline, you not only save money but you reduce your environmental footprint.

Line-drying is a great way to keep your diapers in great shape, too, especially if you have diapers with elastic or waterproof outers. These diapers are certainly designed to be dried in the dryer, but years of dryer use can degrade the synthetic fabrics. By line drying your fabrics, you will prolong their life and keep them working and looking their best.

Sunlight is also great for your diapers.
Not only will the UV rays in sunlight bleach out your toughest stains, but they will also brighten your diapers and disinfect them. (Diapers don’t need to be disinfected after being washed, but every once in a while it’s just nice to have the peace of mind knowing they are absolutely clean.) This is also another way to save a few bucks – by utilizing the sunlight, you won’t have to buy laundry additives to remove stains.

And best of all, your diapers will smell wonderfully fresh after a day in the sun. There’s a reason various laundry product manufacturers have given their detergents names reminiscent of fresh air and sunshine – it makes laundry smell great!

So, with all these great reasons to line dry, here are a few tips:

*For the best stain removal, lay the diapers in a place where they’ll have the most sun all day.  We’ve found the most effective method for stain removal is to hang your diapers out when they’re wet out of the washer.

*Prefolds can sometimes feel stiff if they’re left out for long periods of time. To prevent this, either take them off the line right when they’ve finished drying or toss them in the dryer on a no-heat setting for ten minutes when you bring them inside.

So, consider hanging out your next few loads of laundry – you’ll brighten your diapers, remove stains, and save money, completely naturally and without any chemicals!

If you have more questions about diaper laundry, post a comment here or consider attending one of our popular Cloth Diaper 101 workshops where you can have your questions answered in person by one of our diapering experts.

NEWS:  For families in BC, you can earn $75 from BC hydro by reducing your energy consumption.  So beyond the actual savings of line drying, here is your bonus!  More details here.

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.

Have you rocked your cloth diaper laundry yet?

rockingreen

I know, I know.  We’ve been talking a LOT about this stuff.

But it works, it really works!

Want some, don’t you? Click here to grab a coupon code.  It’s only valid until Sunday and our stock will go fast.

Try it and then come back to us and tell us how much you love it.

Swimming :: With a Heavier Wallet (and a contest, too)

Jumping into the deep end with cloth diapers can be perceived as a difficult thing to do by some.  So let’s start in the calm waters of reusable swim diapers and do a simple comparison with two factors:

92 cents per use

Disposable Swim Diapers

1. Cost is almost $1 per use.

2. Garbage generation is equal to 1 diaper per swim – several per day if you are on holiday and coming in and out of the water/pool.

Reusable Swim Diapers

1. Cost is less than $13.50 all in (no per use cost to consider).  2 weeks of holiday and you’ve come out even.  Everything after that is gravy.

2. Garbage generation is nil.

Do they do the job?  YES!

Are they easy to care for?  YES!  Just throw them in the wash with the swimsuits after swimming.

To get you started on the right foot, we are going to give away a Swimmi to a family who’s never used one before and give away a Fabulous Wet Bag to a family who currently uses Swmmis.

Here is how you enter:

1. To be entered to win a Swimmi, leave a comment here about how you would convince your friends (non Swimmi or cloth diaper using) to try using a Swimmi for their little one.

2. To be entered to win a Wet Bag, upload a photo to Facebook of your little one wearing their Swimmi Swim Diaper.  Make sure that you leave a comment here that the photo’s been posted so we know.

Contest closes Sunday June 13th.  Winner announced week of June 14th.  Open to Canadian residents only.

Saving Money :: Using Infant Prefolds Beyond 15 Lbs

For those who cloth diaper with a budget in mind, prefolds are always a lovely addition to your system. But then comes that day when you grab the Snappi to fasten the diaper and can’t quite reach the sides of the prefold around your baby’s waist…

But no need to put those prefolds into storage quite yet! You can extend your savings by putting your outgrown prefolds to use in other diapering capacities.

Here are 4 great ideas:

  1. If you’re someone who uses pocket diapers, consider using your outgrown prefolds to stuff inside your pocket. Prefolds offer substantial absorbency, which is especially welcome as your baby grows (and pees more and more heavily) or for nighttime use. Also, for those wanting to use more natural fibres in your diapering routine, both hemp and organic cotton prefolds add that “natural edge” to your synthetic pockets.
  2. Outgrown prefolds can also be tri-folded and laid in a wrap-style cover to extend their life. This is a GREAT way to save money, as covers and prefolds are a very cost effective way to cloth diaper and it most certainly extends the length of time infant prefolds can be used on your baby.
  3. Another prefold idea is to lay a tri-folded infant-size prefold on top of your larger sized prefolds to work as a booster. This is definitely a super-absorbent option, but it’s rather bulky and will make your child look like the Weeble-Wobble toys of yore, so it’s an option best utilized at nighttime or on road trips, when a trim bottom end is not a priority.
  4. Even once they’re outgrown, having a few infant prefolds on hand as diapering accessories are very handy. They’ll serve you well as change pads on-the-go, big wipes for big messes, or as a protective cover for your boy who tends to pee during diaper changes.

Use your imagination… prefolds have a multitude of uses!

Saving money and being frugal is an art in this day and age – we hope your decision to cloth diaper has helped your family to feel satisfied in knowing you’ve saved significantly through your baby’s diapering years!

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.

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?

Prefolds :: A “Not So Scary” Solution for the Early Days

The early days of babyhood are often full of wonderment… and diapers. Newborns can easily go through 10-12 diapers a day, which means you may feel like you’re changing your baby A LOT.

That’s why prefolds are such a great solution for the first few months of life. They are the most inexpensive way to cloth diaper, they don’t have to be pinned or fastened in any fancy way, they ensure natural fibres are up against your baby’s newborn skin, and they’re easy to have ready to go for anytime you need to do a change, including those bleary-eyed, middle-of-the-night changes.

Let’s talk about cost first. Prefolds are a very economical way to cloth diaper, especially in the early days when you go through so many diapers per day and when you don’t typically need lots and lots of absorbency.  And even if your baby does pee copiously, prefolds are layered in such a way that they absorb quickly and effectively.

Second, they no longer require pins, and in some cases, not even a Snappi. When you pair prefolds with a simple wrap-style diaper cover that has Velcro closures, you can just lay a prefold in the cover, fasten the cover onto your baby snugly and the elastic and the Velcro on the cover will keep everything contained and trim-fitting.  Check our tutorial and learn to do the “poo pocket” fold and fasten your prefold snugly with a Snappi.

Third, prefolds are the ultimate in flexibility.  Because you can fold them in a myriad of ways, they offer great flexibility in putting absorbency where you need it AND they offer great versatility because they fold to fit your baby without a predetermined fit. The preemie size is good for bigger newborns too and fits perfectly in a newborn cover.

Fourth, they have no synthetic fibres as part of the construction of the diaper – no elastic, no snaps, no fleece or velour or microfibre – so they offer the most natural layer next to your baby’s skin. Choosing a wool diaper cover ensures a completely natural experience.

Currently the prefolds we have (and love!) are made from 100% certified organic materials.  The most economic prefold choice is an organic cotton prefold but if you are looking for premium absorbency and trimness, check out BabyKicks Organic Hemp Prefolds.  If keeping a tight budget is your primary goal, the Bummis Organic Cotton Diaper Kit is a great way to get all the basics you’ll need for a very economical price.

So, what’s keeping you from trying prefolds?