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