A mama from our New & Green Family shares her recent experience travelling with cloth diapers. Anne recently participated in our Diaper Tester Program with her little guy and hasn’t looked back. Her faves include: Bamboozles and AMP Duos.
“When we first decided to use cloth diapers, I honestly thought that there would be instances I would have to use disposables. For example, if we were away from home. Then I went out during the day with cloth – I took home a dirty diaper in a neat little bagand realized it was not a big deal at all. But I still thought if we went away from home overnight I would have to buy a pack of disposables. I was worried my hotel room would get stinky or it would be too much stuff to travel with.
Last weekend I decided to try going away overnight with cloth. It wasn’t thinking of the garbage factor, or that I’d rather treat myself to a latte or two while I’m on my holiday than spend the money on a pack of diapers – it’s honestly that that our cloth diapers fit Benjamin so well and work so well for us, AND that he really is so darned cute in them, that I really didn’t want to leave them at home!
So, we packed a little garbage pail with lid to use as our home away from home diaper pail. I didn’t have a drawstring bag that fit it, so I used a garbage bag to line it. I stuck a deo disc on the lid. I packed enough cloth diapers for the two nights we were away, along with wipes. When I set up the playpen and other stuff in our hotel room, I set up our home away from home changing station. It was easy, nothing smelled, and it didn’t add much to our luggage at all. Best of all, Benjamin was cozy and cute in his cloth diapers.
And, on the same reusable front – we also used a cloth swim diaper in the pool – it worked great!”
Thanks for sharing your story with us Anne. It sounds like you’ll be back on the road again with cloth in no time!
Many parents who attend our workshops want to know how to use cloth diapers when they are away from home. They can visualize how the system would work at home, but out and about or more far fetched – away on holiday or camping? How does that work??
It can be done! Here are our best tips for daytrips & outings, vacations and camping.
Daytrips and Outings: Not hard – at all. And you don’t need to bring a suitcase of stuff. What’s in our diaper bag? We carry 2-3 one step diapers (pre-stuffed pocket diapers or all-in-one diapers), a travel case of cloth wipes, a bottle of water (to drink or use on the wipes) and a wet bag to carry home the diapers we take off our little one.
Vacations: If you have access to a washing machine, whether it be in-suite, in building or at a laundry mat, cloth diapering can be done. Consider how often you can access the washer and then bring enough diapers to get you through. So you may only need one day’s worth of diapers or you may need three. Store your dirties in a drawstring diaper pail liner for easy transport and containment. Use flushable liners for poop management.
Camping: You can handwash your diapers and hang them to dry – we’d recommend a prefold diaper or pocket diaper system with this scneario, though. All in ones are best left to a washing machine’s skilled agitation to get really clean. Another alternative is to use a compostable gDiaper insert in one of your pocket diapers. This would allow you to use your pocket shell as the cover and either lay a gDiaper insert inside the diaper or stuff it inside. We have had good results with laying the gDiaper insert inside of the AMP Duo or stuffing it in the Duo or bumGenius Pocket. With this method you toss or bury the insert (use common sense, please, not by a water source and don’t throw in an outhouse) and all you have to rinse/wash is the pocket shell. There is minimal hand-poop contact if you use the insert on top of the diaper shell instead of stuffing it inside.
So just to warn you – this post is about poo stains. Yep. If you are reading this blog you are most likely a parent or soon to be parent so this is or will be a topic that will get way more air time at the dinner table than ever before in your life.
Lots of parents worry about staining on their diapers. Before we look at one natural and very effective solution, let’s recap what we’ve said before: Stains do not equal dirty! Your stained diapers are clean and totally usable, just not as pretty as they once were. Think about grass stains, mustard stains. All okay; not pretty, but okay.
This is a bamboo doubler (belonging to my littlest one who is 6 months old) that came out of the wash the other day:
And this is the bamboo doubler after sitting out in the UV light (on an overcast day) for about 3 hours:
Yep, the sun is an amazing thing. This doubler looks brightened and whitened, all without a single chemical. One more round of washing and sunning and you’d never know that it was used to catch poop.
The forecast is for sun for the next 6 days (in my part of the world). Go ahead, sun those stains out – I dare ya! Read a step by step on how to use sunlight to whiten your poop stained diapers here.
A question that often arises in conversations with parents making one of the many many decisions about their baby’s gear is:
“What are the pros and cons of cloth diapering?”
Here are our top ten pros and cons of cloth diapering (warning – we love cloth diapers, so this may be a little skewed):
Good choice for your baby’s skin and overall health
Save up to $2K over the time your child is in diapers
Hands down, better for the earth
It makes your baby’s bum cuter than it already is
A bit of research and learning is required for best success
Learning curve involved and ongoing problem-solving may be required
It adds 2-3 extra loads of laundry each week (zero trips to the store)
Never run out of diapers
Keep one TON of waste out of landfills (per child).
So if cloth diapering is so great, why do people quit/give up? Misinformation or not enough info, diapers that don’t match their lifestyle and misconceptions of “what it’s like”.
Arm yourself with info by reading up on cloth diapers. Attend a workshop. Get the information you need to make a good decision for your family and then find someone that you can ask your questions to and support you along your way (that’s us!).
Off the bat, it sounds like cloth diapers are a luxurious, expensive venture. But when it comes down to it, they can save you money, and lots of it! Regardless, you are laying out some bucks and want to make sure that you are wise with your spending. Our friends over at ParentingbyNature.com inspired us to consider how we help New & Green Families keep their diapers in tip-top shape and fend off those nay-sayers that say it’s too much money!
At New & Green, our top 10 recommendations to get the most out of your cloth diaper investment are:
Have enough diapers in rotation so that your diapers aren’t getting excessive wear and tear. We recommend 24 for newborns, 16-18 for older infants. If you are using a One-Size solution and expect to use your diapers for upwards of 2-3 years, we suggest you add 6 onto these numbers to ensure their longevity.
Do not use bleach on your diapers – they will prematurely wear and break down.
Wait until your diapers have “cooled” out of the dryer before restuffing them or stretching the elastic – it is a great stress for elastic to be stretched when it is hot.
Hang to dry when able – especially your pocket shells, covers and tote bags.
Close those velcro tabs to prevent the hook velcro from catching on other fabric and snagging it.
Do not use fabric softeners in the washer or dryer – this will decrease the absorbency and performance of your diapers
Do consider re-selling your diapers when you are finished with them. Craigslist Vancouver is a great place to re-coup some of your initial investment by selling your “no longer needed” diapers to other families.
Do use a microfleece liner inside your diapers when using a bum cream to avoid coating the diaper with moisture repelling creams/ointments.
Use a “dry pail” to store your dirty diapers to laundry day and wash those diapers every 2-3 days.
With this insurance policy, you are set to get the most out of your cloth diapers!
What are your best tips to keep your diapers in great shape?
It’s toally exciting to get REAL mail, especially when it’s not a bill and when it’s a package with soft, fluffy diapers in it! By all means try on the diapers to ensure a good fit but you need to prewash everything before you use it.
Here’s the down-low.
Natural fibers – Hemp, bamboo and cotton need to be prewashed 3-5x to remove the natural oils and waxes from the fibers and render them absorbent. If you use your natural fiber diapers before prewashing, expect the pee to roll right on out, like water off a duck’s back! They will get better and better with each washing! Also – do not pre-wash these diapers with any synthetic diapers (pockets, all in ones) or covers. You don’t want those oils to transfer onto these fabrics. If you don’t have enough to make a full load, then wash them with other household laundry that can be washed on hot such as towels or sheets. When can you put all your diapers together? When your natural fiber diapers are absorbent. After that 3rd or 4th wash, when you take them out of the dryer, squirt some water on the fabric. If it beads up, continue pre-washing. If it soaks in right away, then you are finished with this phase, ready to wash all your diapers togehter and best of all, it is ready to put on the cutest behind in the house (that’d be the baby:))
For synthetic based diapers (pockets, all-in-ones with microfiber inner cores and covers, except wool), they just need to go through the wash once to make sure they are sparkling clean before you put them on your delicate little one’s skin.
And that is it.
With every diaper purchase at New & Green, you’ll receive detailed instructions via email with your order confirmation. We take you step by step through pre-washing, storing and routine washing of your diapers and covers, including washing and lanolizing wool.
Stained cloth diapers can be a real turn off for parents new to cloth diapering. How to deal with stains is one of the most common concerns that parents express to us at New & Green. There is no doubt that newborn poop has some potent staining ability, more so with natural fibers than synthetics. While stains do not = dirty, parents do like to have “clean” looking diapers to put on their babies. Stains are manageable and there an easy way to deal with it, without using harsh chemicals like bleach.
UV light from exposure to sunlight will naturally brighten and disinfect diapers. UV light can make stains fade away and eradicate bacteria and spores that may be present after a yeast infection rash).
Directions for freshening, whitening and disinfecting your diapers:
Wash diapers as normal
Take clean, wet diapers outdoors on a sunny day (overcast is okay but not as potent) and lay the diapers stain side up in the sun or hang them on the line
Let them dry outside for as long as it takes and you’ll find yourself with whitened, fresh diapers – without the use of chemicals!
Try it – I didn’t believe that it would work until I tried it myself!
It’s one of the things that new parents fear most when venturing into the world of cloth diapering. How do I wash these darned things? Isn’t it easier to just toss it??
Washing cloth diapers is not hard, at all! It doesn’t involve touching dirty diapers and it doesn’t mean you have to be chained to your laundry room in the basement all day on laundry day. For a basic routine for washing your cloth diapers and wool covers, click here. You’ll find a handy reference that you can print and post in your laundry room for those early days when just putting on your underwear seems like it should gain you an intellectual award!!