Tag Archives: Learn

Video Learning Series :: Kissaluvs for your Newborn

We often get asked if it’s possible to start cloth diapering from day one or if it’s possible to cloth diaper a smaller newborn.  In short, the answer is….YES!

The biggest consideration for diapering a newborn is containment.  This is key to success (meaning no leaks and the ability to confidently say to nay-sayers that it IS working out for you!).  In the newborn phase, your baby is changed often and their bladders are not all that big, so super absorbency is as high on the priority.

So how to you achieve great containment?  A good fit, particularly around the legs and waist, the ability for the fabric to absorb readily and the two barriers that a fitted diaper (like a Kissaluv Size 0) and a Diaper Cover (like a Bummis Super Brite) go a long way in extra insurance!

And if you want to start from day one, you’ll need to consider having a diaper that allows your baby’s umbilical stump to be open to the air to heal.  Once it’s healed (usually 1 – 1.5 weeks), having a diaper with a higher rise that covers the umbilical stump is absolutely fine.

Top rated on consumer sites like TheDiaperPin.com, the Kissaluvs Size 0 paired with a Bummis Super Brite is our first recommendation for parents wanting a functional and easy to use system for their brand new babies.

Have a look at the video (caution – I can speak very very fast) and let us know what you think.  If you have any questions about your newborn diapering choices, email customercare@blog.newandgreen.com for further direction.

PUL-eez tell me it’s safe! A look at the safety of PUL fabric in Cloth Diapers.

PUL-Printed-Fabric

On Twitter tonight (it’s Wednesday) there is a chat called EcoWed.  Folks on Twitter chime in on topics that are eco-related and also often health related.  One of the frequent discussions is around the safety of plastics.

Recently a customer emailed about a concern with the safety of using Polyurethane Laminate (PUL) covers for her newborn.  She had done some preliminary research that left her with some questions.

Let’s take a look at PUL.  PUL is a very common fabric used in the diaper industry.  It is used in many other industries as well.  For the purpose of the following information, we are only looking at PUL specifically manufactured for cloth diapering.

PUL is used for the outer layer of diapers or as the fabric for diaper covers and functions to keep the wetness in while allowing airflow to reach the baby’s skin.  It is very durable, even under the rigorous washing conditions associated with washing cloth diapers.

Thanks to Shirley of Bummis, we have some good (and reassuring) information to share with you.  Bummis is the manufacturer of the Canadian made and gold standard Super Whisper Wrap and Super Brite Diaper covers.

Firstly, all of the fabrics used in these diaper covers meets or exceeds US Government CPSIA standards indicating that there are no diisocyanates present in the polyurethane lamination.  Diisocyanates are a respiratory hazard for which inhalation and dermal contact should be avoided.  Other potential toxins that are standard for CPSIA testing include hydrogen cyanide, pthalates, formaldehyde or lead.  While these are not expected to be present at any level in PUL testing confirmed that the levels of these potential toxins were zero.

On the making of PUL – PUL is formed by reacting polyol with diisocyanates in the presence of suitable catalysts and additives.  This makes the thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) from initial stages of the polymerization.  This process is completed in a factory within a controlled environment.  Once the polymer is made, these initial substances cease to exist as they were and have formed another compound known as TPU.

The newly created TPU is an inert material.

The Material Saftey Data Sheet for TPU states that it only releases harmful chemicals above 428F degrees.  This is true for all plastics.  If any TPU was heated to such a high melting point, they could release toxic fumes but this is not the case in a stable product with regular use.

TPU is used on open wound dressings as the waterproof film that stops fluids from seeping out.  One of the reasons TPU is used in this application is that it is not an irritant.  Beyond dressings, TPU is used in many medical invasive applications approved by the US FDA.

So with that all said, are PUL diaper covers safe for your little one?  Yes, with regular use and care, they are comprised of inert substances that will not expose your child to potentially toxic fumes or chemicals.

The genius behind bumGenius! diapers talks with New & Green

jenn5

I’d like to introduce to you, Jenn, the owner of CottonBabies and inventor of bumGenius Diapers.

First of all, tell us how many children you have and their ages. I have 3 kids – Andrew is 6. Oscar is 3 and Elsie is 4 months.

What was your biggest inspiration for your bumGenius Cloth Diaper invention? All of our products have been designed out of a need for something different. The Cotton Babies One-Size Microfiber Insert (now the bumGenius One-Size Microfiber Insert) happened one night when I was sewing some inserts up for a customer. I had a snap press in the laundry room and late one night, totally on a whim, I added a snap to the insert to try making it shorter. I still remember walking out of the laundry room, showing Jimmy the insert and asking him what he thought! He loved it and we were off and running. We both thought it made sense to design a diaper to work with our insert. The demands of a growing business and having another baby meant that it took some time for that dream to become reality. When it did though, bumGenius was born.

Can you tell us about your decision to have your products made in Egypt and what the factory is like there (working conditions, etc)? The decision to open the Egypt factory was based on the growing demand for bumGenius and to meet the international market. The majority of the diapers we distribute in the US are made in our Colorado factory. The Egypt factory was established with very deliberate intention of making sure we not only meet, but far exceed, Egyptian labor standards of living and working. Our priorities are a positive and healthy work environment.  Our staff there is happy and well-paid. They are skilled workers and are able to meet our high production standards.  We are proud of the factory that has been established there and the work we get to do with them.

Do you recommend a one size diaper for families planning on using their diapers for more than one child? The one-size fits most babes from 7-35 lbs.  The number of diapers in a stash and the quality of the care for those diapers will determine how long the overall diaper stash lasts.  We recommend a minimum of 24 diapers for one baby.  We can’t guarantee that those diapers will last through a second child, but with good care it is possible.  Our own diaper stash has been used on Oscar (now three) and is now on Elsie (four months).

What is your best tip for families just starting out in the world of cloth diapers to help them be successful? Just dive in and use your diapers!  If you have questions, call our customer service line at 888-332-2243.  We’re here to help with everything from first-time-use questions to how to wash your diapers.

What is your best tip for mothers who have a dream of starting their own business? My biggest tip for anyone would be to avoid debt. And always put your family first.

Can you tell us some of your strategies to balance your roles of mother and business owner? I bring Elsie to the office with me every day. I also try to take Fridays off so we can spend more time together as a family.

Thanks Jenn, we appreciate your time spent with us.  Keep up the good work.  Your diapers are changing the world!

Buy 5 Get 1 Sale August 2011

Use the code BFGO811 during your checkout

The New & Green Mamas – Kristin

photo-for-blog-kristin

Name: Kristin, Workshop Facilitator & Diaper Tester Program Leader

Number of Children and Ages: A beautiful and active daughter aged 2

A little “About Me”, Please. I love sewing and being crafty, scoring mid-century treasures on Craigslist, on-line shoe shopping, reading, watching Project Runway in all it’s glorious incarnations, The Office, breaking out of the house to see live bands, covetting my partner’s new iPod touch.  Little know fact:  I love the theme song from the Backyardigans!

Why cloth diapers for your family? With healthy options for my family always in mind- I purchased most of our cloth diapers before our daughter was born.  Our daughter Amina was born in the middle of the summer 2007 civic strike. My partner and I saw how much garbage began to pile up with her disposables so we jumped right into using the cloth diapers we had on hand.  We haven’t looked back since!  What we’ve learned from our cloth diapering journey:  It’s important to pay attention to your lifestyle and budget and choose products with a good fit to make your experience the best it can be.

Why do I love to tell folks about Cloth diapers? Using my trial-and-error experiences with cloth, I feel that I can  provide new parents and new-to-cloth parents with many ideas about how to choose the right cloth diapers and products for their families. I feel very fortunate to work alongside supportive and inspiring women in a great, nurturing environment!

What is my best tip for parents new to Cloth Diapering? Make your cloth diaper system as simple as possible and make sure it works for your family. Keep a few AIO’s or pockets in your purse or diaper bag, with a tote and some extra wipes- that way you’re never caught empty handed. You may be surprised at how little space this takes up in your bag.

Our Current Favourites: For daytime, AMP Duo or bumGenius OS Pocket stuffed with Hemp Flat Inserts.  Love, love, love hemp!  For night time or naps, a Bamboozle Bamboo with an Aristocrats wool cover or Polar Bummis cover.

The New & Green Mamas – Karen

mom-and-the-girls

Name: Karen, Owner of New & Green

Number of Children and Ages: 2 Girls, 2.5 and 6 months

A little “About Me”, Please: I am a lover of cooking, gardening and the ocean.  With 2 small children and the business, that means fast meals and dreams of days when I’ll be able to spend time in the kitchen again, a garden with some flowers and edibles but a lot of weeds and walks with the kids on the seawall and at the beach.  Sitting beachside and contemplating the ocean view is one of my favourite places to nurse.

Why cloth diapers for your children: When I was pregnant with our first daughter, I started to think about the parent I wanted to be.  One of the things that rung true with me was using cloth diapers.  Why – it just seemed to make sense.  And more and more sense once I started researching what diapers were made of and the effects of disposables on my children’s health and our environment.  For me I feel great that I am using reusable diapers because they are healthier, they are better for the environment and they make a rather mundane daily chore a LOT more fun!

Why do I love to tell folks about Cloth diapers? I love to teach and help people reach their goals.  I am a firm believer of the old proverb that speaks to teaching people to fish…Cloth diapers can really make a difference in a family’s life and I love showing people how to do it and watching them succeed!

What is my best tip for parents new to Cloth Diapering? Be ready to learn about diapering.  It’s okay to make mistakes and you may get a leak here and there.  There is always a solution to be found and that’s what I am here for – to help.  Cloth diapering will most likely enable you to get to know your little one better – you’ll spend a little more time at a diaper change and you’ll learn when they pee and poo.  Trust me, that’s useful!

Our Current Favourites: AMP Duo with a Hemp Insert during the day and bumGenius Organic All in One for nights.

Nice to meet you!

Changing the Change Table

With a baby in the house and a 2.5 year old in the house, I was finding that the traditional change table just wasn’t meeting my needs.  Sure it looked lovely all set up in the girls’ room with the diapers, the wipes and all the necessities but it wasn’t working.  I change Clare on the bed, on the couch, on the floor  – it seems anywhere but the change table.  So I asked myself why?

The answer is:  I need to be within “eye-reach” of my 2.5yr old so we change diapers where she is.  And she typically doesn’t stay in one place for long.  So to make sure everyone is safe, we just change on the go, where necessary.  This led to a pile of diapers and changing gear in the family room, albeit easy to access, but not terribly tidy.  Didn’t appeal much to the type A portion of my personality.

So the MBC (Mobile Changing Unit) was born.

mobile-change-unit

I love our MBC – it has our wool puddle pad, diapers and wipes all in one handy spot.  There’s usually a squirt bottle with wipes solution in there too, but the toddler ran off with it just before I clicked.  It’s her mission in life to get that darned bottle and get everyone wet!!

So where we need it, it goes.  My toddler can even be a big helper and bring it to me.  So now when the diapers get washed, the MBC gets re-loaded.  It’s working.  For now.

What’s your change table solution?

Hello Sunshine!

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:

bamboo-doubler-with-poop-stains

And this is the bamboo doubler after sitting out in the UV light (on an overcast day) for about 3 hours:

bamboo-doubler-after-sunning-for-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.

Okay, lay it out for me. If budget is my only consideration, what is the cheapest option among all these diapers?

bummis-organic-prefoldsParents choose to use cloth diapers for a variety of reasons.  Saving money is becoming one of the top reasons and it’s not hard to see why.  You can save more than 2K per child by choosing cloth.

In the world of cloth there are many many options (as I’m sure you’ve become keenly aware of!) and each option has its own merits and serves different purposes.  For the families that are choosing cloth with their budget in mind, here is your solution.  It’s cheap, it works well & its ORGANIC!

Here is what you need for your basic budget cloth diapering system:

Everything you’ll need from day one to potty:

  • 24 Organic Cotton Prefold Diapers (8-15lbs)
  • 24 Organic Cotton Prefold Diapers (15-30lbs)
  • 4 Small White Bummis Super Whisper Wrap Diaper Covers
  • 4 Medium White Bummis Super Whisper Wrap Diaper Covers
  • 2 Snappi Diaper Fasteners
  • 1 Diaper Pail Liner
  • 1 Out and about tote bag
  • 36 Cloth Reusable Wipes

That’ll take you to a total of just over $400.  Add about $530 for washing costs for three years.  That’s it.  Simple system, small budget, even smaller footprint! (Quick comparison – this’ll do for siblings later on as well.  Mid-range disposables will rack up a bill of about $3300.  Yep – and that is for each one in diapers!)

Check out our Prefold Tutorial to learn how to effectively use these diapers.

The good, the bad and the….poopy

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):

  1. Good choice for your baby’s skin and overall health
  2. Save up to $2K over the time your child is in diapers
  3. Hands down, better for the earth
  4. It’s fun
  5. It makes your baby’s bum cuter than it already is
  6. A bit of research and learning is required for best success
  7. Learning curve involved and ongoing problem-solving may be required
  8. It adds 2-3 extra loads of laundry each week (zero trips to the store)
  9. Never run out of diapers
  10. 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!).

Smart Care for Your Cloth Diapers – How to Get the Most out of Your Cloth Diapers

When we do Cloth Diaper 101 Workshops in the Greater Vancouver area, one of the handouts that often renders long gazes and quick mental calculations is our cost comparsion sheet.

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:

  1. 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.
  2. Use appropriate detergent – we highly recommend Nature Clean Powder and Wonderwash Detergent.
  3. Do not use bleach on your diapers – they will prematurely wear and break down.
  4. 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.
  5. Hang to dry when able – especially your pocket shells, covers and tote bags.
  6. Close those velcro tabs to prevent the hook velcro from catching on other fabric and snagging it.
  7. Do not use fabric softeners in the washer or dryer – this will decrease the absorbency and performance of your diapers
  8. 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.
  9. Do use a microfleece liner inside your diapers when using a bum cream to avoid coating the diaper with moisture repelling creams/ointments.
  10. 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?