Monday, December 23, 2013

The Gift of Cloth Diapers

I can’t believe that the holidays are just around the corner. The holiday season is one of the times where the most money is spent on buying gifts for other people. Whether you are buying gifts for family members, friends, or even those in need this holiday season, why not think about giving the gift of cloth diapers.

If you are reading this blog article, it probably means that you have or know someone with young babies in cloth diapers, or are even thinking about using them yourself. If this is the case, why not give the gift of cloth diapers to someone you know?

Too often around the holidays we get and even give gifts that are not always the most practical or useful. I know for me personally, I would love it if some of the gifts I received helped in my everyday life, and as a new mom, that includes diapers! I would love it if my boys had received cloth diapers as a Christmas gift! It could and would have been an item I used all year around! It could and would have saved us a ton of money on cloth diapers if people had bought them for us! It is a practical yet economical gift to give or receive.


If You Would Like to Give Cloth Diapers

Pay attention to the family and friends around you who might be curious about cloth diapers. Take note if they make comments indicating they might want to try them out. For instance, I have a friend who announced on her facebook page that she was looking for unused cloth diapers. It doesn’t get much clearer than that! This is the perfect opportunity to give the gift of cloth diapers. You can start off with a single diaper, or even a small gift set depending on your budget!

If You Would Like to Receive Cloth Diapers

Make it clear what you need. I always have this problem with my family. I am never clear about what I might need and then end up getting things I don’t need or end up returning. It is better for all parties involved if you make it clear to them because they will appreciate getting you something you will use, while you will appreciate saving money and a more practical gift! If your family does not ask what you or your baby would like, why not make a “Wish List.” Many online stores allow you to make a list of items you would like. Simply e-mail this list to friends and family and you are all set to go!

Have you ever given or received the gift of cloth diapers?

Contributed by: Julie

Monday, December 16, 2013

Pant Choices and Alternatives for Bulky Cloth

Cold weather has arrived for most of us. This means going pants-less is not an option for our cute fluffy tushy babies. There are many cloth diaper options out there that are slim and allow for wearing of normal pants, but others are bulky whether it's the style of the diaper or the need to add extra inserts for absorbency. So, what are your options when your baby’s diaper is too bulky for normal bottoms?

The first option you have is to find pants with a little extra stretch to them. Infant/Toddler jeans with stretch in the fabric or jeggings are a good option for fitting over the bulk and not having to worry about moving up sizes and dealing with too long of pants. Stores that I’ve seen stretchy jeans/jeggings at include Walmart, Target, Crazy 8, The Children’s Place, and Baby Gap to name a few. Also non-jean fabrics are generally a good option for stretching over diapers [a few options in here would be cords, sweatpants, cotton fabric or fleece bottoms]. Just be sure that once on they are not causing too much compression upon the diaper which could lead to leaks.

A second option is buy pants with adjustable waist bands in one size larger than what your child wears. That way there is more room within the pant to accommodate the diaper but you can adjust the elastic in the waistband tighter so the pants aren’t falling off your baby. In most cases the extra length won’t be a huge issue since the diaper will raise the pant up a little, but if you do find the pants are a little longer you can fold the hem up if need be- luckily this time of year many children are wearing boots so you are able to hide the folded hem inside those J A few stores that I’ve seen carry adjustable waist bands include Target, The Children’s Place and Old Navy.

A third option is to find alternatives to pants. In less chilly areas, this could be skirts with thick tights for girls. Boys are much harder to find alternatives too since you can’t put them in a dress or skirt. For boys in warmer climate areas can do baby legs in the winter, but for majority of winter areas you’ll probably have to use first or second option.

Whatever option you choose, to avoid leaks, choose a pant or pant alternative that will not cause compression issues and are loose enough for baby to have a free range of leg motion.

Let us know what has worked for keeping your cloth diapered baby’s legs warm during the winter seasons!

Contributed by: Alex

Monday, December 9, 2013

Battling Ammonia

It has happened to the best of us. We think all is going well with our wash routine, and then ammonia hits. Nobody can mistake that horrible smack your face burning ammonia smell, and whether its while the diaper is on your little one, or if its when you open the diaper pail or forgotten wet bag it can knock you off your feet. Ammonia may seem like it happens all of a sudden but it builds up over time.

The first course of action against ammonia is stripping your diapers. I strip with a normal wash with a little extra detergent, then just keep running rinses until the bubbles are gone. I usually end up with about 3-5 cycles without soap, then I throw the diapers in the dryer as usual. The sneaky thing about ammonia is even when the diapers smell clean from the washer, and still smell clean from the dryer, there can still be ammonia crystals hidden in the absorbent layers of your inserts/diapers. I have unfortunately stripped our diapers only to retain an ammonia smell, so what to do?

Some people will recommend a Dawn strip, but I personally don't unless you were cleaning non cloth diaper safe diaper cream or other grease from your diapers. I've also heard some people doing a vinegar or baking soda strip, but if you have hard water the vinegar can react and cause worse stink issues than you have now. There are products on the market you can add to your cycles to help prevent ammonia build up but these again have mixed results depending on your water type.

I personally do a bleach strip, which is recommended by some diaper manufacturers and not others. I have a wide variety of diapers and have bleach stripped them all at one point with no adverse reactions. As long as its only a once or twice a year phenomena I don't believe bleach stripping will ruin anything. If you are needing to fix ammonia more often that that, i suggest changing your wash routine because it isn't working for you; this could mean you need different soap, more/less soap, more water, its up to you to figure out.

Bleach stripping is pretty simple and not much different than a regular strip. I still add the detergent and wash on hot cycle with extra rinses. What turns a strip into a more effective bleach strip is simply adding bleach. Depending on your wash load, you can add up to a half cup of bleach to the wash cycle. Be sure to rinse rinse rinse to get any bleach out because bleach on baby butts isn't good, but neither is ammonia so make sure you run 4-5 rinses.

As I said, bleach shouldn't be used every wash or often at all. It can make your elastic weaker, effect the color/pattern of the diapers if applied directly, and possibly weaken your PUL. Bleach stripping is the only way I personally have found to completely knock out ammonia before it knocks me out. The best way to fix ammonia is prevention, so be sure that you are pre-rinsing your diapers, and not letting them sit dirty too long, because that is one of the main sources of ammonia!

Contributed by: Miranda

Monday, December 2, 2013

How To Deal with Diaper Rashes when Using Cloth Diapers


It really depends on the person you ask whether diaper rashes tend to occur more or less often in cloth diapers vs disposables. If you're currently battling a rash, you may tend to lean on the side of more, but most cloth experts {where their stats come from, who knows!} tend to say that rashes occur less often in cloth. No matter, like I said, if you're in the midst of battling a diaper rash, it can seem overwhelming when all you want is to make it go away!


 Honestly, I feel like the cloth diapering community tends to over think some things when it comes to cloth diapers. Diaper rashes in cloth should be approached in the same ways that a disposable diapering parent would approach the same issue. First step in dealing with a diaper rash is to identify the rash and culprit. If your rash is Yeast, that's a whole other ball game. But normal rashes can be caused by a multitude of issues and it's best to identify the cause so you can stop it from recurring. Some of the most common causes of diaper rash in cloth diapers are:

  • Are your cloth diapers clean? Sometimes you may be using such little detergent that bacteria is actually hanging around your diapers.
  • Using too much detergent? Maybe your diapers have build-up? Stripping your cloth diapers can help in this situation.
  • Baby is Teething or is Sick.
  • Prolonged wet or dirty diaper.
  • Allergic Reaction to Fabrics {could be synthetic, fleece, PUL, etc.}

 If it's possible to identify the reason for the rash, the worst part is over because you now know how to help it from happening again. But what do you do now to get the rash gone for good?

  • Change your baby's diaper often.
  • Use a good, cloth safe diaper cream. One of my favorites just happens to be Coconut Oil! It's a solid, but melts at body temperature and is water soluble so it washes right out in your cloth diaper laundry.
  • Use a disposable or reusable fleece liner. Not only will the liners help keep baby's bottom a little more dry, they're also a great barrier for cloth creams {that are both safe for cloth diapers and some that aren't}. If you use a cream that isn't safe for your diapers, just be sure to wash the reusable liners separately than your diapers. Here are some great tips on making your own reusable liners.
DIY Reusable Diaper Liners

Have you dealt with Diaper Rashes in Cloth Diapers? Do you feel like the occur more or less often than with disposable diapers?

  Lindsey is the author behind the So Easy Being Green blog. Once she decided to use cloth diapers on her children, she started making green-er choices in all areas of her life. SEBG is a resource for parents who want to make small changes that will make a big impact on their path to a green-er life.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Why Miranda is Thankful for Cloth

there are many things for my little family to be thankful for. health, food, clothing, love. november has become a month of reflection of all we are thankful for, and to start off on a light note, im thankful for our decision to cloth diaper. or actually my decision since i was told babe would no longer change diapers if i switched. i was the main diaper changer anyway so it didnt matter, and after a few months he came around. there are many reasons to be thankful for cloth, and here are my top ten...
1. the cuteness
i am thankful for the cuteness of my cloth diapers. this is why i started cloth diapering. there are other reasons (some listed below) but the main reason was the cuteness of designs. sposies are pretty boring. theyre white and flat. the tabs are there. my cloth are fluffy, fun, festive, unique, and can even have fun snaps if i choose.
2. the environment
i am thankful to be doing a little to lesson my carbon footprint by using cloth. i may forget to throw all little pieces of paper in the recycling instead of the trash, but cloth diapers are the ultimate in recycling...they get used again and again and again, baby after baby (more on that in a bit). instead of helping fill a landfill every time toddler2.0 feels the call of nature, we get to lesson the garbage.
3. the cost
im thankful for cloth diapers saving me money. theoretically i could have spent under $200 and been set for life with china cheapies (less if i chose prefolds and covers). that $200 would have bought about 33 diapers which is a nice sized stash. not only wouldnt have had to buy more the entire time toddler2.0 is in cloth, but with belly3.o coming i still dont need more diapers...i can continue using the ones i already have. of course im a sucker for cute (see #1) so i have spent over that on diapers, but i didnt have to, i chose to. sposies by comparison cost about $800 a year. if you potty train at 2 thats $1600, and next baby you get to do it all over again.
4. the resale
im thankful for cloth diapers having a good resale value. when sposies are used they are trash, and that money is gone. once im finished having babies i can sell the diapers at close to what i paid for them, as long as they are still in great condition. even in bad condition i can regain some of the cost by reselling to someone who is a fixer. save money and get some refunded.
5. no middle of the night runs to the store
im thankful for cloth because i will never run out in the middle of the night and need to make an emergency walmart trip. im pretty bad when it comes to noticing im low on something disposable. if we used sposies i know i would inevitably reach for a clean diaper and find none. scary people are at walmart in the middle of the night. i dont want to go through that. as long as i do diaper wash every other day or every few days we are golden.
6. no diaper rash
im thankful for cloth diapers lessening our diaper rash. toddler2.0 has had 3 rashes in 17 months, and one was more of a reaction to a new detergent. cloth diapers are made from more natural and breathable materials, so the chance of diaper rash is reduced. my niece is in sposies and i cannot tell you the last time she didnt have some degree of diaper rash.
7. supporting small business
im thankful that buying the majority of my cloth diapers helped small businesses. a lot of them are from work at home moms, so i know my money went to support a family, not into the belly of a giant and faceless corporation like sposies. even the "bigger" cloth companies were mostly started by moms and grew. its also nice to buy USA made products, although i do have a few imports.
8. easier potty training
im thankful that cloth diapers help potty training. i dont speak from personal experience, but friends have confirmed this. when a toddler is in sposies, the wetness is wicked away so they cannot tell they are wet as easily as when in a cloth diaper. we potty trained child1.0 by putting him in undies, and it took one wet sock for him to realize he did not want to feel wet. once toddler2.0 is ready, he will be able to easier recognize and avoid wetness!
9. less toxins on the baby
im thankful that cloth diapers lessen the amount of toxins my babies come in contact with. there are toxins everywhere so unless i build bubbles they arent totally safe, but i do all i can to limit the amount around/in them. while cloth diapers are made from natural fibers, sposies are full of chemichals i cannot pronounce like sodium polyacrylare. what is that?
10. friendships
im thankful that cloth diapers have led me to be introduced to some great friends. through meetings and online, we not only share a love of fluff but friendship. i cannot name one person i bonded with over sposies when we used them on child1.0!

Contributed by: Miranda

Monday, November 11, 2013

Transitioning to Cloth Wipes

If you've decided to make the switch to cloth diapers, deciding to use cloth wipes also might be an easy decision. However, it took months before I was comfortable giving up disposables wipes for cloth. Why? Honestly, I'm really not sure. I was a little overwhelmed with all the different types of cloth wipes {just like diapers}, what type of solution I should use, how I would store them... Turns out, transitioning to cloth wipes was super easy and indeed adds to the money savings of cloth diapers too! Tossing your cloth wipes right into the pail with your cloth diapers and you'll have virtually no waste coming from using cloth diapers! cloth wipes Cloth Wipes usually range in price anywhere from 50 cents to $2 a wipe, depending on the style and brand. One way to make the transition without investing is to make your own cloth wipes!

DIY Cloth Wipes

Making your own cloth wipes simply couldn't be easier. There are a variety of materials that you can use - cotton, flannel, terrycloth, even bamboo velour. The first wipes I ever made were small squares of cut up old t-shirts and old hand towels. I sewed the squares together so I would have one side for scrubbing after messier diapers and one side that was soft. You can even go as simple as cutting up old receiving blankets that you don't need and baby washcloths make perfect cloth wipes too!

Storing Cloth Wipes

cloth wipes storage I store my wipes in a disposable wipes box. No matter what size of wipe you make, they fit easily folded or not. I also store mine wet in the wipes box, but make sure to use them within a couple days so they don't mildew. You can also store them dry and use a squirt bottle {or simply wet them in the sink} when you're ready to use!

Cloth Wipe Solutions

There are just as many option for cloth wipe solutions as there are for cloth wipe materials! Plain water is an option, but if you're looking for a little more {or simply want those cloth wipes to smell good}, you can add in essential oils or even a drop or two of Baby Soap. There are also companies that sell Cloth Wipe Solutions that come in forms of liquid and soap bits. No matter how you decide to store your cloth wipes, what solution and materials you choose - I think you'll find that using cloth wipes goes hand in hand with the cloth diapering process and is quite an easy transition!

 Lindsey is the author behind the So Easy Being Green blog. Once she decided to use cloth diapers on her children, she started making green-er choices in all areas of her life. SEBG is a resource for parents who want to make small changes that will make a big impact on their path to a green-er life.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Wool Dryer Balls: A Simple Eco-Friendly Drying Solution

With winter just around the corner, the hours of sunlight and the days of “sunning” your diapers will be quickly dwindling. While you can still “sun” your cloth diapers in the winter time because of the UV rays, it is a little more challenging. Have you ever thought of using wool dryer balls to help get your cloth diapers dry in an eco-friendly, cost saving way? These little wool dryer balls may just be your answer!

Wool dryer balls are essentially pure wool wound into a ball. The wool can come in all different scents, styles, or colors depending on the manufacturer. The wool dryer balls are then put into your dryer with your cloth diapers or even laundry. You may start with 3-4 dryer balls, but the more you add, the quicker the drying time and thus the more money you save. Ideally, you would want to be using 7-8 dryer balls to get the maximum cost savings and drying results. The more balls put in the dryer, the more it allows for the clothes or cloth diapers to lift up and dry more efficiently.

One of the best part’s about the dryer balls is that they will last you a very long time. I have had my dryer balls for over 1 year and they are still looking and working great! In addition, they provide your clothes or cloth diapers with an all natural way of softening your fabrics so they don’t feel “crunchy.” There is nothing worse than taking a load of cloth diapers or clothing out of the laundry to have them feel stiff and hard. Another great thing about wool dryer balls is that they don’t put any chemicals on the fabrics that they come into contact with. Unlike traditional fabric softeners or dryer sheets that leave chemicals all over your clothing/cloth diapers, wool dryer balls leave nothing!

So what are you waiting for this winter season? Why not give wool dryer balls a try and see if you like the results. It may change the way you think about traditional laundry methods.

Contributed by: Julie

Friday, October 25, 2013

Storing Dirty Cloth Diapers until Laundry Day

It may seem like it would be a simple answer to a simple question, but there are actually a few different options for storing dirty cloth diapers until laundry day. Depending on which method you choose, could determine what type of cloth diapers are best for your stash!

Wet vs Dry Diaper Pail

Although wet pails aren't recommended much anymore, there are some cloth diaper users that swear by wet pails. A wet pail is simply a bucket/pail/bin filled with water where you leave cloth diapers until laundry day. The diapers soak in water, which some say helps keep away ammonia smells. In a dry pail, you simply put your dirty diapers into a container just as they are - no water is included in the pail.
Pillow Case Diaper Pail
You can put them straight into the container and just wash it out every so often, or use a pail liner {or pillowcase if you're on a budget!} - simply toss it in when you wash your cloth diapers. Most cloth manufacturers actually recommend dry pails because sitting in water for long periods of time can actually lead to breakdown and delamination of your PUL diapers. If you're using a stash made up of mainly prefolds and diapers that aren't made of PUL, then a wet pail might be an option for you. Each pail method has pros and cons and it's important to evaluate how often you'll wash and what type of diapers you use to determine which is best for you.

Hanging Wet Bag

A hanging wet bag is an excellent choice for cloth diaper users that are limited on space. A hanging wet bag can be hung on the wall, door knob, hook... anywhere! Most have a zipper closure that keeps smells and dampness inside the bag. When Laundry Day comes, you simply empty out your diapers in the washer and toss in the wet bag at the same time!
No matter what method you use to store your dirty cloth diapers until laundry day, you want them to be contained well so there's no escaping smells, but also still breathing... so mold and mildew can't grow. Don't shut them up in a pail and leave them for days without opening. You also want to make sure to have a laundry routine where you're washing, ideally, every 2-3 days.

What method do you use to Store Dirty Cloth Diapers until Laundry Day?

Lindsey is the author behind the So Easy Being Green blog. Once she decided to use cloth diapers on her children, she started making green-er choices in all areas of her life. SEBG is a resource for parents who want to make small changes that will make a big impact on their path to a green-er life.

Contributed by: Lindsey

Friday, October 18, 2013

Sunning Diapers in less than Ideal Weather

Many cloth diaper parents love sunning their diapers not only for stain removal but for killing bacteria. The Sun’s UV rays are magic in my opinion! But what do you do when the weather is less than ideal for sunning, or what about during the winter- especially if you live in areas where it snows heavily?

I've come up with a list of things that I do and what I've found others do, during times like these, to ensure their diapers stay clean.

Personally, I do not take my diapers outside during freezing temps. We live in an area where it snows A LOT and the temperatures drop into the negatives. I’d be afraid of the wear and tear on my PUL that would happen after freezing and defrosting them so much. Instead, I like to sun dry next to a window that has full on sunshine coming in. It’s not the full effect of the Sun’s UV rays, studies show windows let in about 50% of the UV rays, but in my opinion half is better than none during those cold winter months! If you choose to do this it’s helpful to have a drying rack, but even just laying diapers in a window sill or on a table next to a window will work.

Racks like these can be found in the laundry section of many retail stores.

Call me crazy, I’ve even made use of our car when needing to sun diapers. Our car’s dash gets a lot of sun shine during those winter months- better than the windows of our house. We've used that lovely warm dashboard for sunning diapers!

In my time as a cloth diaper parents, I’ve come across many other options that people choose when it comes to sunning diapers. Some are completely ok with sunning their diapers outside in any time of weather- sunshine, rain, freezing snow. They swear by it! They say during freezing temps, sun your diapers on a rack and when they are done, move the rack back inside to defrost before moving any of the diapers off the rack. Like I said before, I’d be afraid of the wear on the PUL from freezing and defrosting but maybe it wouldn’t be any worse than it is on PUL washing them in hot water or drying them in the dryer. has some creative ideas for how to hang out diapers and inserts up inside the home to attain the best sun exposure. Another mother said she lays her diapers on her tanning bed to sun during the winter! I would assume you could purchase a UV light bulb to sun your diapers with, but I’m not sure how long that would take to sun a whole stash with one light bulb ;)

How do you sun your diapers during the cold, winter months?

Friday, October 11, 2013

Miranda's Cloth Stash!

i know i have a ton of diapers. it doesnt help one of my friends runs a diaper making shop. she kills me with cuteness and i cannot say no. i started with a reasonable stash and it mushroomed...BUY ALLL THE DIAPERS! or review them, like i was fortunate enough to do. now that i have an actual count, it may seem excessive, but im telling myself its ok, since i will soon have two in cloth! plus theres the resale value once im done having babies. so whats in my stash?
first shot we have is (12) "other" diapers. i didnt know what to call this selection. these are the ones which didnt fit into any of the categories to come. my three awesome score goodmamas are on the left, which i found for $5 each. probably my proudest buy. included in here are my two go-to nighttime diapers, and my "dream diaper" the albert, which i wanted sooo bad and finally sound on a seconds sale.
photo two is my (9) covers/swim diapers. the covers are the top picture and include a cute batman fleece cover i completely forgot i even had until i did this post. last cloth diaper meeting i borrowed a fleece and a wool cover to try out for nighttime, unknowing i had this one in the drawer the whole time. i really dont ever use covers, i dont know why im hoarding them...i say im waiting for a yeast rash or something so i can protect my regular diapers, but 17 months later it hasnt happened. the (3) on the bottom are our swim diapers, with one that was a diaper wars contender i won the bid to buy and a ninja turtle one i made from a ruined alva.
photo three is supposed to be my (17) work at home mom diapers but i see its actually 14 wahm and 3 glowbugs. either way, most of these i was fortunate enough to review while blogging, and some of them are from my friend's shop timbutt2oos which were not free, but are some of my favorites because they are so fluffy. these are the ones which i use most, and contain some of my favorite patterns
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photo four is the newborn stash for belly3.0. up top are (13) AiO newborn diapers, five of which were homemade for a friend and passed down. the bottom contains (15) tiny gpants i won at mommycon. i won 17 but donated 2 to my cloth diaper group's lending library. not honestly a fan of gdiapers because they always ended up leaking when i tried them on toddler2.0 but i have friends who swear by them so im going to guess it was user error. plus they were free and belly3.0 will only be in them until he/she can fit in the OS stash i have for toddler2.0. these are all so cute and tiny!
finally, rounding up the stash are our (24) china cheapies. when i switched from gdipes to pockets, these are how i built an instant stash cheap. there were more which have been given away/tossed along the way, but my spongebob and spiderman are still two favorites.
yikes. that brings me to 62 dipes, if you dont count the 28 newborns...what in YOUR stash?

Contributed by: Miranda

Friday, October 4, 2013

Incorporating Cloth Diapers into Your Halloween Costume

Can you believe that Halloween is less than 4 weeks away? Have you thought about what your little one’s dress up as, or if you will be dressing them up for your own photo shoot? If your baby is still in cloth diapers, Halloween/Harvest Parties are the perfect time to show off those cute fluffy bums, and maybe even convert a few mom’s or dad’s to cloth diapers as well.

Here are a few simple ideas on incorporating cloth diapers into your Halloween costume.

• Pick a fall colored cloth diaper. Smartipants makes a vibrant line of colored cloth diapers ranging from Hot Chocolate Brown to Fire Engine Red. These are perfect to celebrate fall.

• Match your cloth diaper to your costume. Whatever your child may be this Halloween, there is certain to be a diaper to match. Here are some examples:

1. Cookie Monster – True Blue
2. Elmo – Fire Engine Red
3. Dog – Hot Chocolate, Jet Black or White
4. Thomas the Train – Fire Engine Red,
5. Princess – Think Pink, Lovely Lavender, or Bubble Gum Pink

• Add in some babylegs or a matching wet bag. Babylegs are essentially leg warmers for babies that look super cute with cloth diapers. Babylegs come in all different styles, colors, and prints. There are many different manufacturers that make these “cloth diaper accessories.” You can even coordinate with the outfit ideas listed above. For instance, try a red and white stripped pair for Elmo or a blue and red argyle pattern for Thomas the Train. Be creative!

No matter what costume or fall outfit you pick for your little one’s you will be sure to find the cutest cloth diapers from Smartipants. Since your diaper will be the talk of the party, this is also a great and non-invasive way to share about your love of cloth diapers with other families! You never know!

What are your ideas for incorporating cloth diapers into your baby’s costume?

Contributed by: Julie

Friday, September 27, 2013

Fitting that Fluffy Fanny into Pants for Fall

When I first started using cloth diapers, I loved the fact that they made my baby’s bum look so “fluffy” and cute. Not only does this fluffy bum provide some extra cuteness, it is always helpful during that “learning to walk” stage as well. But have you ever thought about what clothing challenges you might face with that fluffy bum? With cooler weather right around the corner, it is important to have pants and winter clothing that will fit your cloth diapered baby while keeping him or her warm.

Here are some tips on using cloth diapers with clothing this fall and winter.

• You may want to buy lower body clothing one size bigger. While my son was very small for his age, and was always behind in the clothing size as compared to his actual age, I found that he would fit better into the pants rather than the shirts. The fluffy bum allowed him to help hold his pants up a little better. This may or may not be the case with your little one, but if you buy the pants slightly bigger, your chances of a better fit are much higher.

• Opt for cloth diapers that tend to have a trimmer fit on your baby. In general, Smartipants cloth diapers are fairly trim. You can even try the Smartipants covers with an added inserts for less bulk as well.

• Seek out pants specifically made for cloth diapered bums. You can search for WAHM items on Etsy or Hyena Cart. In addition, Project Pomona, a newer brand of clothing carries some super cute fluffy bum friendly jeans.

• When shopping, look for pants them seem wider in the bum area and include an elastic waist. The elastic waist will allow for some stretch to get the pants over the cloth diaper. Simply by looking and comparing different styles and brands while shopping will help to give you a better idea of what will fit and what won’t.

• Try Baby legwarmers. There are a ton of different brands of baby legwarmers that will keep your baby’s legs warm while allow you to show off that fluffy bum.

What are your ideas or tips for fitting those cute fluffy bums into clothing this fall?

Contributed by: Julie

Friday, September 6, 2013

Cloth Diaper Fit

When beginning to cloth diaper, you may wonder what the perfect fit would be when it comes to putting the diaper on baby. I want to stress to you all that you do not want your diapers fitting too tightly. With this post, I decided to make a cloth diaper fit check list:

  • Diaper leaves no red imprints on baby’s legs or waist. If you find your diaper fit is leaving red imprints, your fit is too tight. Try adjusting the rise snaps and waist snaps [or waist velcro].
  • You can easily still stretch the elastic to fit a finger or two between diaper and baby. This can easily be fixed by adjusting the rise and waist fittings.
  • There is minimum bunching of the diaper. Run your fingers along the diaper to make sure all is smooth. If you find the insert is bunching a lot, your fit may not be ideal. Bunching means that not all is fitting right and the diaper may be too tight. Try adjusting the rise if need be. This check mark also includes checking the wings for bunching. Try to pull and straighten them underneath the top layer so they lay comfortably against baby.
  • Diaper is pulled up. There should be no diaper sag. Make sure to pull the diaper up comfortably to baby’s waist.

A good fit is vital! Ensuring you have a proper cloth diaper fit is not only important for your child’s comfort, but to avoid problems such as rashes, elastic irritation, and leaks. Diapers that are too tight prevent air flow which can cause diaper rash. Elastic irritation can happen in babies with sensitive skin, but even babies with non-sensitive skin will be prone to irritation and sores if the diapers are too tight and digging into their skin. Nearly all parents understand that diapers that are loose-fitting with gaps between the diaper and baby’s leg will cause leaks, but not all understand that diapers that are too tight can also cause leaks. These are called compression leaks. When the diaper is too snugly fit against baby, the pressure will cause any liquid to squeeze out the sides of the diaper, or even out the back or front. 

Diaper fit takes practice, and sometimes the understanding that not all diapers will work for every baby. 
Do you have any experiences with diaper fit, or any insight you can share with us? We’d love to hear from you!

Contributed by: Alex

Friday, August 30, 2013

Simplify Your Wash Routine

Laundering cloth diapers should be simple. In my opinion, if your wash routine isn’t simple you’re not doing it right. Overcomplicating your wash and especially adding too many extras in with your wash can cause issues, especially if used over time. Smartipants diapers has made it pretty clear on what is ‘ok’ to use on their one size pocket diaper and what is not. Most of us know dyes, enzymes, fragrances, whiteners, and brighteners are all things you should avoid in your wash. What else should we avoid in our NORMAL wash routine? So, let’s go over some additives that can complicate your washing routine and eventually cause you issues.


Whether it be liquid softener that is added to your wash, or detergents with fabric softener included, this is something you want to avoid like the plaque. DO NOT USE FABRIC SOFTENER ON YOUR DIAPERS! I don’t think I can emphasize this enough. Fabric softener leaves residue on your diapers that will affect the absorbency. If you diapers don’t absorb then they aren’t doing their job! This residue on the diapers is also a magnet for stink! Steer clear, my friends!


Did you know vinegar is a softener? It breaks down minerals and is a natural antimicrobial, which is why you may hear about people using it often in their wash routines. Vinegar should be avoided in diapers that contain PUL. Vinegar will break down soft plastics, such as PUL and will wear on your elastic. Vinegar should only be used when absolutely necessary and with care-never too much!


Baking soda absorbs odor, as well as breaks down fibers. As you’ll come to find, many additives have pros as well as their cons. Baking soda can be helpful when you have stink issues, but on a normal basis should be avoided as an additive in your wash. Smartipants specifically recommends against regular use of baking soda. It should be noted that any diapers containing bamboo rayon should NEVER be washed with baking soda, since baking soda breaks down fibers it will destroy the bamboo rayon.


I would hope most know that adding chlorine bleach to your wash is a BIG no-no. This can break down your cotton fibers and ruin the PUL, as well as affect the elastic in your diapers. If you NEED to add “bleach” to your wash to help with stink or residue, choose an oxygen bleach. Oxygen bleach is a mixture of hydrogen peroxide and washing soda. Please remember less is more when it comes to additives like these and they should not be used in your regular wash routine.

A simple wash routine is your best bet to finding cloth diaper laundering happiness. The wash routine that has been working for our family for years is a cold rinse, hot wash with 1/4th the recommended amount of original powder Tide with a cold rise, followed by a 2nd cold rinse.

What wash routine is working for you?

Contributed by: Alex

Friday, August 16, 2013

Importance of Newborn Diapers with Small Babies

 I started my newborn stash little by little with AIO, AI2, prefolds, fitteds, and covers. I wanted to have a variety of diapers. Since I wasn’t really sure what I would like on a newborn baby. Newborn babies are so tiny and some have tiny legs. Some one-size diapers do not work well and will cause you a lot of headaches and leaks. The first few days, I found myself reaching for the AIO and AI2 diapers more than my fitteds and prefolds. Reason being was because I couldn’t find a diaper cover that would snuggle his legs without having leaks. His one-size diapers were still too big. 


  What is a mom to do in this situation? 

Consider buying a small stash of newborn diapers or using sized diapers. I took the newborn diaper route and I am so glad I did. I used smartipants and a few other brands that ended up not being my favorite. Nonetheless I recommend buying a newborn cloth diaper stashes since babies are so little and delicate not to mention tiny diapers are just too cute. The sized diapers are also a great alternative, the only thing with that is having to buy diapers as they grow. In my opinion buying newborn diapers and transitioning to one size was great. My son now fits into one-size diapers and he is now 4 months. A word of advice would be to try different types and brands of diapers before settling into one. You may find that the diaper you least thought would work, ends up being your favorite. Cloth diapering a baby can be challenging at times but once you figure out what works best, it’s easy.  

What worked best for you ? 

Contributed by: Pollyanna

Friday, August 2, 2013

How Diaper Covers Can Save You Big Bucks

Cloth diaper covers can be a real budget saver especially if you are looking to cloth diaper multiple children and your primary goal in cloth diapering is cost savings. Cloth diaper covers provide an inexpensive alternative to pockets, AIO’s and fitted diapers.

Here are some of the main reasons that diaper covers make up the majority of my cloth diaper stash.

• Cloth diaper covers are one of the most inexpensive types of cloth diapers.
• Cloth diaper covers can be used multiple times before laundering. Simply wipe down the inside of the cover and let dry. Once dry, replace with a new insert and re-apply to baby.
• Many cloth diaper covers are available with double gussets to help keep the poop in the diaper.
• Cloth diaper covers can be used with different types of inserts, for instance: stay dry, prefolds, flats, or even over fitteds.
• Cloth diaper covers come in many different fabrics: PUL, TPU, fleece, and even wool.
• Cloth diaper covers are available in aplix or snaps.
• Many cloth diaper covers are available in the “one size” option which allows for small, medium, and large settings. Therefore it grows with your child. No need to purchase different sizes as your child grows.

The next time you think that cloth diaper covers might be too difficult to try or too expensive, why not pick up a few to try. Cloth diaper covers can be used with almost any type of insert or fabric making them very versatile. For those hot summer months, fleece or wool cloth diaper covers actually allow your baby’s bum to breathe and stay cooler.

Next time you are tempted to purchase a cloth diaper, (because we all know you will) make it a cloth diaper cover. You won’t be sorry you spent the little amount of money for the great versatility.

Are you a cloth diaper cover fan?

If so, why??

Contributed by: Julie

Friday, July 26, 2013

Cloth in Summer

We’re well into summer time now! Hot temperatures, plenty of sunshine, water, and lots of fun!

Cloth diapering can be so much fun during these warm sunny months. I’ve found for our family that our cloth routine seems to change a little in the summer compared to the other seasons of the year. I wonder if our routines and habits during this time are anything like yours!

WATER! Summer fun usually includes water, am I right? Cloth diapering makes preparing for water activities easy. Who wants to waste money on those expensive swimming diapers? Not I!!! We love using our cloth in the water. We have yet to buy a swim diaper too, we prefer picking out a few of our older pocket diapers and turning the shells into our designated swim diapers. There is no need to use inserts when using a shell as a swim diaper, it’s actually not recommended at all since it will just absorb all the water and weigh the diaper down. We found Smartipants pockets without the smart sleeve makes the PERFECT swim diaper! We've even converted some friends who were hesitant to even think about trying cloth to adopt Smartipants shells as their swim diapers!

AIR!  Have you found yourself air drying your diapers more? Summer time is the PERFECT time for air drying diapers. The higher temps make the drying time quicker, not to mention full on sunshine will help remove stains and kill bacteria on your fluff.  To get the most out of sunning your diapers make sure you sun them while damp, even adding a dash of fresh lemon juice will help whiten them.  I’ve found ourselves a few times grabbing diapers fresh out of the wash while in a hurry and throwing them in the dash of the car to quick dry for our next change- works like a charm!

EARTH! Are you more likely to let your baby go out in just a cloth diaper with or without a shirt around the house or in the backyard? How cute are those fluffy bottoms? Get pictures of them playing outside in their diapers while you can! Before you know it they’ll be potty trained and grown, you’ll want the memories on them playing in the dirt in a diaper down the road.

Have you noticed any other changes in your cloth diapering routines this summer? Share with us!
Post pictures on the Smartipants Facebook page!

Contributed by: Alex

Friday, July 12, 2013

How to Convert a Smartipants Pocket Diaper into a Swim Diaper for the Summer

I am not exactly the best do-it-yourself kind of gal when it comes to anything sewing. In fact I am totally clueless. I wish I knew how to make things like cloth wipes, liners, or even diapers, but unfortunately right now, I just don’t have the time to learn. But I have a little secret to share that involves NO SEWING, CUTTING or TIME at all! I know, I know, it is hard to believe, but true. It is one of those “known” secrets amount cloth diapering mamas and I will be sharing it today!

1) Take any Smartipants pocket diaper. I prefer to use ones that may be a little more “loved” or “worn” and un-stuff it. Un-stuffing means to take the insert out of the diaper.

2) Apply the un-stuffed pocket diaper to your baby and hit the pool! 

You may be thinking…really? That’s it? Don’t you need more for a real swim diaper?

The answer is NO. Even with disposable swim diapers, they are not meant to absorb pee, they are only used to hold the solids or poop. If you have a good seal on the leg elastics, the unstuffed diaper makes the perfect swim diaper. Remember that you will have to rinse it out good, especially after use in chlorine. Over time the chlorine can wear away at the elastics. Simply rinse and wash with the rest of your diapers, and you are all set!

Personally I like to designate pockets to use as swim diapers so I don’t have to worry about switching back and forth between using them for the pool vs. regular diapers, but this is your preference. On occasion, if I forgot my swim diaper on-the-go, I will use any pocket I have in my diaper bag for a swim diaper. When a baby’s got to swim, a baby’s got to swim!

Contributed by: Julie

Friday, June 21, 2013

Wondering How to Replace Elastic? Here's a "How To"!

I'm sure we all would love our diapers to last forever, sadly they wont. There is a way to save them a bit longer though. After all the wears, washing, and drying elastic on diapers tends to stretch making the diaper non wearable because there is no support around the legs at this point, to keep messes in. So what is a mom to do in this case ?? Replace the elastic and hold on to them for a bit longer which will save money on having to buying new ones. It's very simple even if you don't sew much. (The diaper's elastic shown in pictures in not stretched, I currently don't have a stretched diaper is why I hope you can all still understand it.) Supplies:
  • 1/4 or 3/4 elastic
  • Scissors
  • Safety Pin
  • Polyester Thread
  • Seam ripper
  • Sewing machine or needle
You will get your seam ripper find where the elastic ends and unstitch from the first star to the last star. (Use this same technique for other brand diapers, you want to unstitch any stitches made on elastic to be able to pull the elastic out). You will do the same for the other side. After that is done, you will then use your seam ripper where the end of elastic is at and make a small cut on both sides so that you are able to take out old elastic. Once you have that down take out the "old stretched elastic" and add a new one you can use about 6" for legs and 4" for the back of the diaper.  
Now your here, use a safety pin to pull the elastic through. Once you get it to the other side, tack down the side without safety pin down. So you will sew the same lines as you unstitched. Once you got that down stretch the elastic to your liking and tack the other side with the safety pin. You can tuck the rest of the elastic where the ripped material is at or you can just cut the remaining elastic. Thats all !! You will then have a new elastic. You will repeat this same steps for the other side of the leg and or the back elastic if need be. Also if you don't have a sewing machine you can also hand-stitch all this (it will take a bit longer but it can be done.)

Contributed by: Pollyanna

Friday, June 14, 2013

Pockets vs. Covers: Which is for Me?

When I was a baby, there were only a few types of cloth diapers available, and most were not very user friendly. Your choice was either flats or prefolds with rubber pants. End of story. The modern day cloth diapers that you see now have come a long way, even over the past 10 years or so. So that might bring you to the question of which modern day cloth diaper type is for me? In this article, I hope to examine the pro’s and con’s of two of the most popular modern day cloth diaper types out there, Pockets, and Covers. 

Pockets – Pocket cloth diapers consist of a waterproof outer layer often lined with a soft stay dry material. An absorbent insert is then placed (stuffed) into the stay dry material to absorb the majority of the baby’s waste products.

 • Pockets are very simple to use. Once they have been “stuffed” they are user-friendly and ready for any daddy or daycare. Simply snap on and go. There is no adjusting the insert.
 • While pockets are very easy to use, they still require the stuffing which should be factored into the time spent prepping them.
 • Pocket cloth diapers cannot be reused. After they are wet or soiled, the entire diaper must be washed.
 • Pocket cloth diapers tend to be a little more expensive, but in most cases only slightly as compared to covers.

 Covers – Covers are as they sound, a waterproof cover that requires the placement of a separate absorbable insert on the inside before putting on baby.

• Covers can have a bit of a learning curve as the insert may need to be adjusted to fit properly for the baby.    
• Covers do not however require stuffing any inserts. Simply lay the insert in place and go.
• Covers can also be re-used if they are not soiled (poop), making them more economical because you can often get multiple uses before laundering. Simply wipe the inside of the cover down and hang dry until the next change and re-use.
 • Covers tend to be a bit less expensive than pockets and can be used with a wide variety of inserts (prefolds, flats, fitteds, etc.) 

So whatever your reasons may be for choosing to use either pockets or covers, you can be sure to find both of these types of modern day cloth diapers at Smartipants. Smartipants carries both pockets and covers in a one-size option allowing you to save money on diapers from birth to potty-training.

 So which do you prefer, pockets or covers? And why?

Contributed by: Julie

Friday, June 7, 2013

Storing Your Cloth Diapers Long Term

Your child is starting to potty train and it’s about time to decide what to do with your cloth diaper stash! Here are some tips and things to consider for storing your diapers for long term.

The first thing I want you to consider is how long will your diapers be in storage [approximately]? More than 2 years? If it’s more than 2 years, I want to suggest possibly selling your stash and saving the funds from selling it to purchase a new stash when the time comes. Elastic wears over time- especially when in storage. Imagine a rubberband laying out, over time it will become hard and brittle. This can happen to the elastic in your diapers. It is called “dry rotting”. The elastic slowly breaks down and will crack upon use after being stored. This will not always happen, but it is very likely and something you should be aware of. Another option if storing for a long time is having the elastic replaced after being in stored [assuming the elastic did break down during it’s long hibernation]. This can be a cheaper option as opposed to buying a new stash.

If you decide storing them long term is the best choice for you, here are some tips to contemplate:

1. Giving your stash a good and final wash before storage. You want to be sure to get those diapers nice and clean before storing them. Washing and stripping is a good idea. Remove any extra buildup so it doesn’t wear your diapers over time, or leave a place for bacteria to grow. Bacteria growth is the main cause for diaper stink. You don’t want bacteria sitting on those diapers for 2 years in storage; imagine the stink you’ll come back to! Wash those diapers and rinse, rinse, rinse! I HIGHLY encourage sunning the diapers before storage instead of using the dryer. The sun will disinfect and remove unwanted stains so they are pretty for you next baby. Be sure your diapers are 100% dry before storing or you will be greeted with mildewy/moldy diapers down the road.

2. Picking a storage container. Some people prefer air tight bags and others say you wanted a breathable container so your diapers don’t develop a musty smell. Whatever you choose, pack the container/bag loosely, you want airflow. I recommend adding a lavender satchel to repel insects from your precious stash. 

3. Pick a place to store. Do not store diapers in attics or garages. Too hot or cold temperatures can affect the life of your PUL and elastic. Also make sure the area you choose is cool and dry and avoid direct sunlight- UV rays will shorten the life of your elastic.

 Have you had to pack up your diapers yet? What experiences do you have to share?

Contributed by: Alex

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Cloth Diapering While On Vacation

Cloth Diapering While on Vacation

I have been dying to write about cloth diapering while you are on vacation because I know this is one thing that I do get a lot of questions about.  I always cloth diaper on trips.  I am pretty much anti disposable diapers for any reason, so I had to figure out this one thing so that I could continue to travel as much as I do.  

I travel an awful lot because I live in Virginia while my family lives in either New York or Florida (which is a 12 hour drive either way).  So, I started out using pocket diapers for trips.  That didn't work out too well for me, so then I started using fitted diapers and that worked great!  Basically, you want a diaper that works for your child overnight for the car trips (but that doesn't mean to leave your child in a diaper for hours just because it is more absorbent).  So, when you are packing your bags, remember that for the car trip.

Another thing that might be useful is more than one wet bag for the trip.  I actually bring 5 with me because I don't bring my pail liner.  I bring enough diapers for three days and make sure I stay in a place with laundry facilities.  You can find those in even low end motels too, so they are really not that hard to find.

Now, for the actual time that we are there, I usually use either pocket diapers that agitate the insert out themselves (like Smarti Pants) or AIO diapers just because they are SO much easier to wash!  This makes using someone else's washer a little easier on you.

Another thing that I always make sure I do is that I save up samples for trips.  Some great samples to have are washing powder, diaper rash cream and wipe solution.  This makes it much easier to carry everything around with you.  I know that I would never want to carry around a whole large bag of cloth diaper detergent, so this makes everything much better.

A different way that some people go is that they use disposable inserts for the trip.  This makes it much easier for some, but honestly, I really don't like to use them.  But if that is easier on you, that is what you should do as that is better than using non-biodegradable disposable diapers!  Any little thing helps remember ;-)

But, whatever you choice...just know that you are helping the environment!

Contributed by Nicki

Thursday, April 11, 2013

How Often Should You Wash Cloth?

Did you know Smartipants Diapers recommends washing your diapers every 3 days? 3 days should be 
the maximum you go without laundering your cloth. After 3 days your diapers can become a breeding 
ground for bacteria.

Warmer days are approaching, which means higher temps inside those diaper pails. Bacteria thrive in 
warm, moist areas.  This is especially important in humid climates. Humid climates are more at risk of 
their diapers growing mold if not laundered correctly.  Along with the bacteria and mold risk, going 
longer than 3 days between washes can increase the chances of your diapers developing a stink [a 
stink that remains after being washed, no one wants that!]. This is because of the bacteria inside your 

If you do happen to go longer than 3 days between a wash, or find your diapers develop a stink, I 
recommend disinfecting them. 

How to Disinfect Your Diapers

To disinfect cloth diapers, I suggest doing a few hot washes [as hot as your washer will allow- check your water heater to see if you can turn it up] with as much water as possible in the washer. Only the first 
wash will need detergent included. The rest can be plain water, or any additives recommended by the 
link below.  In my opinion the best bacteria killer is the sun. Sun dry those diapers to sanitize them.  If 
you decide to use the dryer, be sure that after the cycle is done that those diapers are completely dry. 

Do not let them sit damp as this increases your chance of mold/mildew growing.

If sunning isn’t an option or if you’re dealing with mildew/mold stains, please refer to this site for help. 
They provide many options for killing mildew and bacteria safely on cloth and removing the nasty stains 
they leave behind.

Also, please be aware that more humid climates may need to do more frequent washes. Watch your 
pail and be the judge of if 3 days is ok or if more frequent washes are needed.  Wet pails are also not 
recommended since in warm temperatures it becomes a breeding ground for bacteria.

Contributed by: Alex

Thursday, April 4, 2013

The Benefits of Sunning Your Cloth Diapers

You may not even realize it, but the sun can be a very valuable (and free) tool for your
precious cloth diapers. Now that we are entering the spring and summer seasons here in
New England, not only am I excited for the warmer weather, but also because I can put my
cloth diapers outside.

There are many benefits to “sunning” your cloth diapers. Here are just a few:

  1. They just smell good after being outside in the fresh air.
  2. It is FREE to sun your diapers outside.
  3. It decreases the use of your dryer, decreasing your electricity bill.
  4. The sun helps to remove stains.
  5. The sun also adds an antimicrobial/antibacterial property (the heat and UV rays). In a way sanitizing your diapers.

Some Warnings about Sunning:

1. You may become addicted and like being outside way too much.
2. Your neighbors may think you're “the crazy lady” hanging diapers in your
3. Bring them in before it rains, unless you like your diapers sopping wet and then
have to re-dry them.
4. Watch out for bugs!!!! I had a bad experience with a spider in one of my diapers.
5. Wind can take your diapers flying all over the yard.
6. Be careful in extreme heat/sun with your PUL and TPU diapers as high
temperatures can cause delamination.

Most of the warnings are just little things that I have experienced while sunning my
diapers. Don’t let it deter you from using the sun as it can be an all natural and powerful
agent in drying your cloth diapers.

Do you sun your cloth diapers?

What is the best way that works for you?

Contributed by: Julie

Friday, March 29, 2013

The Dangers of Cloth Diapering

Cloth diapering was my first step into the world of GREEN. I am going to come out and warn you that
cloth diapering is the green gate way “drug”. I came across cloth diapering when I was pregnant with my
first baby. I’m the type of person that read a snippet on cloth and thought it completely made sense and
was something I wanted to do. I’ll be honest and say I was not the most earth conscience person on the
planet. I didn’t know, or really care =/, about being green. BUT cloth diapering made sense…I was on a
budget and needed to save money where I could.

So, we started cloth diapering. Since then we’ve adopted many more green concepts into our home.
After cloth diapers, we quickly adopted cloth wipes into our diapering routines. Made more sense right?
If I’m washing my diapers, I don’t want to be picking out dirty wipes. We quickly found we love how
versatile they are. They’re great to have on hand for runny noses, dirty hands, and cleaning up messes.
Soon after cloth diapering we needed to find more ways to save money, and turns out when we want to
save money our options are usually greener. We started making our own laundry detergent. This saves
us a ton of money, and cuts down on our plastic waste! No detergent bottles to throw away! Soon after
making our own detergent, we found recipes for deodorant! Much healthier for our bodies and also cuts
down on plastic!

It wasn’t long after my first baby and liking all the cloth diaper pages and blogs, that I discovered mama
cloth. Maybe I really have an open mind but it was a no brainer for me there too. I sewed up my own
stash of mama cloth and have never thought about going back! So much more comfortable and better
for my body!

Once we started researching chemicals in detergents and deodorants, we quickly realized we needed to
reevaluate the food we are putting into our body. We are definitely not perfect and we’re starting slow,
but week by week we’re trying harder to cut out processed foods and put more raw, fresh produce into
our bodies.

We’re now looking into possibly switching into family cloth. Just saying that sentence makes me laugh.
3 years ago, there is no way I would have ever even considered something so green.

Smartiparents, you have been warned: Side effects of becoming a cloth diaper addict may include
considering and/or adopting green lifestyle changes.

Contributed by: Alex

Friday, March 15, 2013

How does Cloth diapering make Pollyanna green??

Cloth diapering our children, as you all may know, is better for the environment. Anything in general if reusing instead of disposing of it is being green.  Reusing cloth diapers over and over is avoiding us adding on more waste to landfills. It’s pretty amazing to know that if using disposable diapers from birth to potty training each baby will need about 6,000 diaper changes each diaper will need 250-500 years to decompose. Is that crazy or what?

We only have one earth; we need to take care of it. I mean there is only so many landfills. I’m sure we don’t want to live near waste landfills.  Cloth diapering my son’s is helping the earth be a bit greener. While some may say the investment is too much, you can get some good deals on new and used cloth diapers! Plus in the long run you will be saving yourself a lot of money, the environment, and the well being of your baby(s).  Not only do I use cloth diapers on my son but also use cloth wipes. Cloth wipes very simple to use. They're the same as using regular wipes except you're not throwing them away! They also don’t have harsh chemicals and will not irritate your baby's bum. There is many other ways to being green, but cloth diapering is just one way I help out the environment. We also use cloth napkins in our home, as we do not buy hand napkins. I will be cloth diapering two baby boys very soon as well. I want the very best for them and I will do everything in my power to accomplish that. I want to be able to change the world a little bit at a time.

How has cloth diapering your little ones made you greener???

Friday, March 8, 2013

How Cloth Diapering Made Nicole "Green"

Cloth diapering ended up taking over a lot of my life after I started in.  When I first started, I decided to start researching on why disposable diapers were being put down so much in the cloth diapering world.  What I found was HORRIBLE news to me.  The statistics of how long it might take for just one disposable diaper to decompose and realizing how many of those I put into the world is stunning!  That is when I started to research everything.

I found out how long it took for trash bags to decompose first.  And that is when we bought a hose.  Now we just put all the trash in the trash can, throw it out, clean out the trash can outside and repeat.  No trash bags for us which means that our trash decomposes MUCH faster than what it used to.  Not only that, now we only throw out about a total of 1 1/2 trash cans a week...which is awesome for a 4 person family!

We also decided to go to cloth wipes.  When we did that, of course the cloth wipe solution came with it...which meant that everything we were using for the babies bottom was now all natural.  So we just assumed that we should do the same thing for all of our showing/bathing soaps and shampoos.  Also our detergent.  We were buying natural detergent for the diapers anyways, so it just made sense to switch over to all Eco Sprout.

We also use unpaper towels and napkins and NEVER use disposable plates or cups...what a waist of money all that was as well!!!

I think cloth diapering has just really opened up mine and my families life on how easy it is to live a bit more naturally and a bit "greener".  Not to mention, I would LOVE for my planet to be safe for my great great great grandchildren to be living in instead of them all living on top of our trash!  Think about it :-)

Contributed by: Nicole

Friday, March 1, 2013

Cloth Diaper: Gateway to All Things Green?

I started my cloth diaper journey as a necessity. In order for me to stay at home with my son
most days, our family decided that we needed to cut back on expenses here and there. When
I found out about cloth diapers, I saw this as a HUGE way to decrease monthly baby expenses.
But as I learned more and more about the added benefits to using cloth diapers, besides saving
money, I began to have a “greener” outlook on life. Let me explain…

Not only are cloth diapers more environmentally friendly than disposables, but they make you
think about all of the chemicals that would have gone on your little one’s bum. The chemicals
found in disposables are not present in cloth diapers, thus your baby is not being exposed
nearly 24 hours a day to chemicals. This got me wondering…what other chemicals is my family
being exposed to that I never really thought about… detergents, fabric softeners, food, and
cleaners just to name a few. I quickly realized that these harmful chemicals were all around me.

Slowly over time my thoughts and attitudes about these harmful chemicals started to change.
I no longer wanted my son or my family to be as exposed to them. I started to do research
and discovered that there were little things I could change that wouldn’t break the bank. For

1) We grow our own garden, this saves us from having to buy organic produce during the
spring and summer seasons. When there is extra money in the budget, we try to splurge
on fruit and meats without added hormones, pesticides, etc.

2) I make my own cleaning solutions. Many with vinegar and other all natural ingredients
found around the house.

3) I make my own powdered dishwashing detergent.

4) I use Wool Dryer balls instead of fabric softener or dryer sheets.

5) I try to recycle as often as possible…either putting items in the recycling bin, or re-using
glass jars or containers.

So are cloth diapers really a gateway to going “greener.” For my family and I, the answer to that
question is yes. It was not a huge change all at once, but more so a gradual realization of what
was surrounding my family’s immediate environment.

What about you? Do you think cloth diapers are a gateway to other “green” lifestyle changes
in your families’ life?

Thursday, February 14, 2013

6 Reasons Why I Love Smartipants Pocket Diapers

6 Reasons Why I Love Smartipants Pocket Diapers

With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, there seems like no better way to celebrate my love of
Smartipants than to list the reasons why I love their diapers! So in no particular order, the 6 Reasons I
love Smartipants.

Bright Colors - Smartipants carries a big selection of bright and bold colors. From pink to red
and even black they are sleek and stylish. In addition they have really cute names such as Hot
Chocolate and Think Pink.

One Size – Smartipants makes their diapers with snaps in the front to adjust the size of the
diaper from small to medium and then to large. The diaper is made to fit babies from 7lbs to
35lbs. Simply adjust a few snaps and you arrive at the next size. This feature helps to save a lot
of money.

Dual Pocket Openings - Dual pocket openings are when the opening to stuff the insert in the
diaper is located both in the front and the back. If there is a diaper with poop on it, you can pull
the insert out from the front, but if the diaper only has pee, pull the insert out from the back.
This makes for easy access to the insert and allows you to stuff your diaper easier.

Crossover Snaps – If you have a skinny baby, crossover snaps will come in handy. Crossover
snaps allow for a more snug fit around the baby’s waist by overlapping the flaps of the diaper. I
used this feature a lot, especially when my son was young.

Green Stitching on Inserts – Did you ever have the problem of figuring out which diaper inserts
goes with which diaper? Smartipants adds lime green stitching around the outside of the insert
to identify the inserts. I always know that the green stitching means that the insert belongs to

Made in the USA – With many diaper brands going overseas to be made, you can rest assured
that Smartipants proudly employs and thus supports our economy here in the USA.

Contributed by: Julie

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Ideas for Creating a Cloth Diaper Stash on a Budget

The upfront cost of cloth diapering can be quite scary. I know it was for me. I was determined to get my
hands on some fluff for my baby though! I knew in the long run that I would be saving my family a lot of

I didn’t get my hands on cloth until my first daughter was 4 months old. Boy, do I wish I had just figured
it out before then and bought some sooner. I did the math and if I had purchased cloth from the
beginning, I would’ve saved an extra $300 during those first 3 months of my daughter’s life! $300! That’s
more than a pack of 24 Smartipants cost.
Buying your stash in bulk would be the cheapest option, but it’s also the most overwhelming. If buying
a bulk stash to receive a discount isn’t in the cards for you, you could always buy a few at a time. You
don’t need a full stash of cloth to start cloth diapering, even just doing one or two cloth diaper changes a
day until you can buy more helps save you money.
Another option is to consider buying seconds quality diapers. Smartipants offers seconds quality diapers
at a discounted price. If you’re on a tight budget, it’s definitely something to contemplate since they
are still useable, just usually have a cosmetic flaw of some sort. Smartipants sells their seconds quality
diapers for $7.95 a diaper, that’s nearly a 50% discount. So, if money is really tight and you don’t want
to purchase used diapers, I highly recommend looking for seconds quality diapers to build your stash.
A few other ideas for building a stash on a budget include, buying used, entering cloth diaper giveaways,
and if you’re really desperate for help considering applying for a cloth diaper loan through programs
such as Giving Diapers, Giving Hope. If looking to buy used, you can find people selling on Diaper
Swappers and Cloth Diaper Swap. You can find cloth diaper giveaways on Change-Diaper’s Cloth Diaper
Giveaway Round-up.

What have you done to help build your stash on a budget?

Contributed by: Alex

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Velcro vs Snaps

When my husband and I first decided to cloth diaper we weren’t at all sure exactly what we wanted and
what would work well for us so we bought a variety of diapers and closures. We originally thought that
the snaps would work the best, but decided to also get some diapers with Velcro because we knew that
they would be easier for grandparents and babysitters.

Fast forward to my son’s arrival and I was very grateful that we had gotten the Velcro diapers. I have
rheumatoid arthritis and after my son was born my joints went into a severe flare (basically it was very
difficult to do anything and my joints hurt all of the time) and I had a very difficult time with the little
snaps on the diapers. For the first six weeks of my son’s life he was almost constantly in Velcro diapers.
The closure was very easy for me to get on and to achieve a good fit, even though I was having difficulty
using my hands. Once I got the mobility and strength back in my fingers, the Velcro diapers went in the
regular rotation with the snap diapers.

When my son was about four months old I noticed that the diapers with the Velcro closure were
wearing faster than the others. I made sure when I did the laundry that the Velcro closures were
securely on their laundry tabs, but the Velcro was still wearing pretty quickly. Since I didn’t need to use
them as much because my joints were feeling better, I decided to pull them out of our regular rotation
and save them for when my son was with his grandparents or a babysitter only.

By the time my son was eight months old, almost all of the diapers with Velcro closures were worn out,
even though they had only been used full time for a few months. While I love the simplicity of Velcro,
I can honestly say that since those original ones wore out, we haven’t bothered with replacing them.
One of the reasons we wanted to cloth diaper was because it was so cost-efficient and since the Velcro
diapers wore out so quickly, they just weren’t as economical.

If I were recommending cloth diapers to somebody I would make sure to tell them that while the Velcro
diapers are easiest, and I would definitely keep some on hand for those not familiar with cloth diapers, I
wouldn’t plan on building my stash out of them because they just don’t wear as well as the snaps.

Contributed by: Katy

Thursday, January 17, 2013

The Challenges of Cloth Diapering a Toddler

When I initially started cloth diapering my son I figured everything would be fine and dandy. I mean just stuff the diaper, put it on your baby, rinse and wash and do it all over again. Much to my surprise as your “baby” gets older things tend to change some for the best and some not so much.

1.  Poop – As your baby grows so do their poops I was not able to breastfeed my son so I cant say much on breast milk. What I will say is that formula milk when he was little was not bad at all. Now that he is older and eats solid food, its like “dude what did you have to eat?” His poop changes everyday some days its those ones that your like “ahh really” then it’s the pebbles kind. Which if it’s the pebbles its awesome because I just toss them in the toilet but if its those sticky ones. That’s where my awesome DIY diaper sprayer made by my husband comes in handy. A sprayer will become your best friend. Also if you don’t have a diaper sprayer disposable liners is another alternative.

2.  Heavy Wetter – Say what?? You mean you need to stuff more into the pocket?? I thought that the one or two inserts that cloth diapers come with when purchased was all you need. Wrong! As my son has gotten older he is drinking more fluids, and wetting his diaper more frequently.  I get that, I just didn’t know that I would have to stuff his diapers more. Even just during the day I have to add the regular size inserts plus a doublers, when before I got away with just the regular insert. Not to mention for night time diaper I have to stuff that baby up. My son ends up having a really fluffy butt J Sometimes but It works and sometimes I doesn’t so it’s a trial and error try different options even fitted diapers sometimes seem to be your best bet.

These are the two challenges I have been faced with while cloth diapering my mini toddler. Again this is all learning processes so don’t give up just find a solution and then just stick to it. It’s easy peasy !

What challenges do you face with cloth diapering a toddler? 

Contributed by: Pollyanna