cloth diapers

Cloth Diaper Mythbusting: Do you need 3-4 dozen cloth diapers in order to cd full time?

by shethinksmedia

mythbusting,cloth diapersThis is week #2 in our “Mythbusting” series, week one covered natural fiber washing and “stripping”, it can be viewed here.

So how many cloth diapers do you really need?

This week brings us to our next topic, which is focused on cloth diaper quantity.  I think a big misconception on many cloth diapering forums is that you have to invest in 3-4 dozen diapers to get a “full” stash for one child, which of course is a tremendous investment for a family new to cloth.  Of course if you want to purchase that many, and absolutely have a large stash, that is your right, but our point today is that it isn’t *needed* to get into a regular cloth routine.

For newborns we recommend 18-24, older babies around 12-15, toddlers will be using 6-9 diapers a day. Some will say if you buy twice as many diapers, the wear and tear will be cut in half, and you will see them last twice as long. This may or may not be true, anecdotally I can vouch for many brands being washed daily with hot water and machine dried and lasting for years, and others will see they have worn out within a year’s time. The advice is kind of “six of one, half dozen of the other”.

You can buy twice as many, but on the off chance yours would have lasted, you would have spent half as much, and saved that much more money for the next size. If they wear out anyway, you will have to purchase more, and spend what you would have in the first place, so it didn’t cost you anything extra.

Also, we tend to see customers with dozens of diapers washing every 3-4 days, which causes huge amounts of wear and tear, the longer a diaper sits in ammonia in a dark pail, the shorter the life span of the elastic will be. Even if you swear you will be disciplined and still wash frequently, it will creep up on you that if you don’t *have* to, it won’t get done daily or every other day. Our advice, start small, enough for daily or every other day. If they go, buy more and you would have spent the same, if not, you just saved half of your diapering budget.

You can always add to your stash,we feel it is better to be diapering and say “gosh, three more diapers will be exactly where I want to be with my wash routine” then “man, I never get to the last 6 diapers in my stash, I could have used that money for the next size up.”

For tips on frugal cloth diapering, and making things around your house count as a diaper, take a look at our youtube video below.


MEGA GIVEAWAY! Win (4) bumGenius Tiny Socialite Bundles {ARV $230}

by shethinksmedia

tiny socialiteHave you been wishing for one or more of the Bumgenius/Chelsea Perry “Tiny Socialite” artist series diapers? Good news! For a short time, special limited edition packages are available. If you want one, be quick! They are available only at exclusive retailers, including Abby’s Lane, and once they’re gone, they’re gone!

Packages include one of each print – Jet Setter, Eiffel Towel & Free Spirit, as well as a coordinating wet bag. These sets are available in Bumgenius 4.0 ($53.85), Freetime ($59.85), Elemental ($74.85) & Flip ($41.85.)

When you purchase a set, you will receive an assortment of the same diaper, with 3 different prints pictured above PLUS a free designer wet bag. Wet bag will be in one of three assorted matching prints.

Now for the great news! Abby’s Lane is giving away four of these bundles, one in each type of diaper! ONE Winner will receive a 3pk of each style! That’s practically an entire stash of bumGenius products!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Cloth Diaper Life Expectancy, How long will they last?

by shethinksmedia

We are talking about the life expectancy of a diaper, many of you ask about how to make your diapers last for more than one child, so here are tips and advice we have:

-If you are saving your diapers for more than one child, store them in a temperature controlled room. Not the attic or unfinished basement, extreme heat and cold will rot your elastic and make aplix brittle.

-The diapers that will last the longest, through several children, is prefolds. If you want to invest in a system that is economical and lasts for quite some time and many washings, prefolds and covers are the way to go.

-Many mamas ask how many children their one size diapers will last through, and some are disappointed when their one size pockets only last from one child. We tell customers to expect them to last through one child for the size range of that diaper. Do you get lucky sometimes? Yes, we have had several brands of diapers last through 2 children partway, but usually halfway through the second child they are retired. Sized diapers will typically last through two children, but think of it this way:

A one size diaper, if started at birth or shortly thereafter, is washed three times as much and used three times as much as a sized diaper. Your cost is triple, too. You can buy a sized-diaper brand in small, medium and large and have them last through 2, possibly 3 children if cared for properly, but you have spent three times as much as if you had a one size pocket last for just one child. Being soaked in urine and feces, washing in hot, machine drying, being stuffed and worn puts wear and tear on a diaper over time, so keep in mind realistic expectations for your one size diapers. I know I used pockets as examples, the same can be said of one size fitteds versus sized fitteds. PUL covers seem to wear better, they aren’t soaked in urine and ammonia to the extent that absorbent diapers are, and they aren’t stretched out after drying so covers in general see more life than the actual diapers. Wool covers can last for quite some time if you keep them away from moths and wash them carefully.

-So reading the above, which do you recommend? It really is six of one, half a dozen of the other in the case of one size vs. sized diapers. It is up to you, if you prefer the fit of sized diapers, invest the money since you will love you fluff all the more, care for them and store them properly, and they will last. If you want the simplicity of a one size pocket, expect them to last for one child (if you start half way through with one child, expect some life in a second child), and enjoy your fluff. If you really want your diapers to last and last, invest in prefolds, wool covers and take care of your PUL covers in between.

-Always remember, cloth diapers are fabric, and how you care for them is important. Frequent bleaching will shorten their life span, as will regular vinegar use or abrasive cleansars. Now, sometimes with various washing situations you need these items, but using them sparingly will keep your diapers in the best condition~

Have a wonderful weekend, everyone, email us with any questions at AbbysLane@aol.com


Stephanie’s Newborn Diapering Tip for New Moms or Moms-to-be

by shethinksmedia
stephanie

Last week we went over some of my personal favorites for newborn diapering, based on my experiences with my most recent newborn this past summer.  We have an article on our blog worth a read for parents-to-be, I wrote it last year based on customer feedback and my own experiences with my previous babies.  You can find that article here.

What I did want to go over this week is a few other “how to’s” with newborn diapering, if you are a first time user of cloth stephaniediapers. My first baby, now 10 years old, was not in cloth diapers until about 4 months. When my second daughter was born, I had been doing diapers for about 2 years, but had never handled a newborn in them. It was a bit daunting, but over the years and subsequent babies, I have picked up a few tips and hints I would like to pass on, all personally tested and also appreciated by our customers.

Many of our first-time-moms we meet intend to have their babies changed at a location other than their own bed. Whether in a nursery, or a changing table in mom’s bedroom. Now, some will do this, taking the time and energy to change the baby at a location that requires standing up, being coherently awake and walking. However, if you find yourself taking power naps at red lights while driving with your newborn, and decide that diaper changes may take place closer to your pillow, here is what I advise.

  1. Set up a mini diaper station on your night stand. It is a very simple set up, 2-4 diapers, a stack of a few dry cloth wipes, hand sanitizer, a dish of water, a small plastic bag or wet bag and a light source.
  2. You could pre-wet the wipes to avoid having to wet them down, but toss whatever you don’t use in the morning in with the dirty diapers so they don’t get full of mildew.
  3. Baby changing can happen in the bed, one tip I do like is placing a large prefold or changing pad under the baby, in case of a surprise tinkle or poo-burst from the little darling on the clean sheets.
  4. In a perfect world, mom would wash her hands in the sink, then go back to bed to clean off after a change. For those of us living in a far-from-perfect world, I see enough science to suggest wiping your hands down with a clean wipe and water, than a dab of hand sanitizer is perfectly sufficient for what tiny residues may be left behind on your hands until the next time. And although this may be pushing the “TMI” envelope, if you are like me and postpartum nights bring night sweats, the usual postpartum rushing of fluids, some baby vomit running down your neck and some tears for good measure, a little baby poo added to the cocktail was the least of my worries.

Don’t be scared by that last sentence if you are a mom-to-be, not everyone has that experience, and even if you do that gorgeous newborn staring back at you has no idea you are a hot mess, and he/she will look so deliciously cute you really won’t notice it…much.

Next week we will continue with our conclusion of newborn tips and tricks, let me know if you have any questions.

Stephanie
www.AbbysLane.com


Newborn Cloth Diapers: TIPS from a mama who has cloth diapered FIVE newborns!

by shethinksmedia

After a very lengthy series of posts the past few weeks on washing, we are switching gears and chatting about cute, squishy newborns and the cloth diapers they love.
My little Ollie was born in late June, so he is now just over 2 months and right at the 16 pound mark (a happy, very chubby baby-LOL). Ollie is my 6th baby, but my 5th newborn in cloth diapers, as my oldest didn’t go into cloth until the 4 month mark.

Next week we will go over a more detailed newborn overview, but below are some of my highlights.
As a refresher, take a peek at a previous article regarding newborns and the umbilical cord stump, and why it isn’t a worry with cloth diapering.

I had a chance this time around to test some of the newer newborn diapers on my little lug, and here is my take on some of them:
Newborn Simplex, and Newborn Basix (by Swaddlebees/Blueberry): I loved these for Ollie when he was first born at about 8 and a half pounds. They fit right away, I especially loved the Basix for the stay-dry inner (but that is a personal preference, if you like natural fibers than Simplex is your diaper). Everything stayed contained, no red marks left on his legs.

Bummis Tini Fits: One of my favorites, fit right away, had a longer size range as he put on some weight, and easy to stuff with their booster for extra “oomph.”

Tiny Tush Minis: My overall favorite. Fit from birth, lasted until about 14 pounds. Great for accommodating two small microfiber inserts for heavy wetting. They were the bulkiest option of the newborn diapers, but for the cost lasted the longest size wise.

Now, for many babies we see one small insert holding a newborn until they poop, which is usually pretty frequently. Diaper changes are occurring under that 2 hour mark, unless at night, so absorbency is not usually an issue. However, if you have a particularly heavy wetter, and your standard AIO absorbency, pocket with one small insert, newborn fitted or infant prefold is leaking out, here are some tips:
-For prefold users, double up! You can do this by trifolding your prefold, or folding a preemie prefold in half, and laying it in the middle of the bigger prefold to wrap around the baby. Flip the one in the middle up over the belly before you twist/fold the second prefold underneath, so the one in the middle doesn’t get twisted up in your folding style.
-For fitted users, upsizing to a bigger size may help, however if your baby is very tiny still, a small joey bunz on top, or a stay dry doubler may be a good fit for what your fitted is. If your lay in is too big, put the doubler or insert under the fitted, between the fitted and cover.
AIOs users, see above for the fitteds 😉 Since you can’t lay them underneath, you are limited to what you can fit on top, email us if you have specific combinations you are curious about and we can troubleshoot how they will fit
Pocket users, double up on your small microfibers first, before moving to a small/big microfiber combination. The big ones you have to fold can cause wonky fits, or you can try moving up your size rise settings an notch to accommodate the larger size range.

My biggest piece of advice to my newborn users, don’t be afraid to move up a size. Some babies will outgrow their newborn stashes very fast, especially if they are tall/at a bigger size range. If your newborn is a heavy wetter, you may need the extra length of a bigger rise to catch everything. To show how this works, at about 4 weeks, my Ollie moved into a Flip cover fully opened up, and a size 2 Thirsties duo fab fitted, only snapped down one setting. It was up to his nipples, but it worked great, and no leg gaps. Also, little boys need to be pointed down, or they will out-wet the top of the diaper and leak before you have a chance to absorb downward.

Let me know what questions you have, at AbbysLane@aol.com


Tips for solving cloth diaper ammonia problems!

by shethinksmedia

Last week we wrote a rather lengthy article on Ammonia 101 in our advanced washing tip series, today we will keep it more brief with a solution to solving your ammonia problems.

For any sort of bacterial rash or odor issue, the solution that we advise for your diapers is to disinfect them. Your child may or may not need medical follow up due to these issues, but that decision is best made by your pediatrician. For the diapers though, the solution to ammonia is first to disinfect, then to change the wash routine.

Again, I am going to reference our fantastic washing article on our blog:
http://www.cloththatcounts.com/?p=997

To strip and disinfect the diapers, we recommend using bleach. Chlorine bleach is the only proven disinfectant for bacterial issues, and is safe to use on any of your synthetic fabrics, prefolds, coves or AIOs. The only diaper chlorine bleach can fade is any cotton fabrics that are prints or dyed, but depending on the severity of the rash, it may be a risk you need to take for the safety of your baby’s skin and health. If you have some of these diapers in your stash, you can bleach them with color safe bleach (which uses hydrogen peroxide rather than chlorine to do the bleaching), but if it comes back you may need to consider using the stronger, regular bleach. To bleach your diapers, wash and dry them as normal, then separate into piles of 12 diapers. You want to use 1/2 cup of bleach per 12 diapers per load, so you may need to do multiple loads. No detergent needed in this cycle, then rinse and dry as normal.
There are a number of methods you can research and google that suggest you can use essential oils, vinegar, oxi bleach, natural sunlight, plain hot water, or even drying on high heat to kill bacteria. Our official stance after years of research,working with hundreds of customers over the years, and continual reading on these method is that they are not as effective as chlorine bleach, and again, depending on the severity of the problem, may be the only thing that can fix the problem. A number of manufacturers approve bleach and recommend it for these issues.

I realize bleach isn’t “green”, but it is the more eco-conscious solution than disposable diapers, and when battling bacterial issues you really cannot work around the problem without disinfecting the diapers.

Additionally, we also recommend this treatment be used with any pre-owned diapers you purchase. Yeast and bacteria can live in diapers, and if you are buying from someone other than a family member or friend you know well, it is a process I highly recommend to avoid any contamination to your own child.

Next week we go over the wash routine itself in more detail.

Let us know if you have any questions!

Stephanie
www.AbbysLane.com


Abby’s Lane “Flip for Spring” Cloth Diaper Giveaway! ARV $80

by shethinksmedia

Flip for Spring Giveaway from Abby’s Lane

Ready for another new giveaway from Abby’s Lane?  This time we want you to Flip for Spring!

Enter to win and you could receive a Flip Organic Day Pack and Flip Organic Nighttime Inserts!

The Flip Cloth Diaper System is popular due to it’s versatility.  Use the Flip OS Cover with cloth inserts and you’re 100% cloth diapering with ease, use with your favorite prefolds, fitteds or flat style cloth diapers and you’re using just about the most economical method available or use with Flip’s hybrid biodegradable inserts and you’ve got the best of both worlds!

Flip Cloth Diapers are made by the makers of BumGenius and all Flip Diapers and Accessories ship FREE to the USA all the time when you order from Abby’s Lane!

This giveaway is open to the USA only.  Enter to win via the Rafflecopter below.

 
a Rafflecopter giveaway


New and Frugal Cloth Diapering Tips

by shethinksmedia

Last week we discussed some newborn diapering tips. Along those lines, I am going to cite a previous article we wrote on umbilical cord notches, worth a read if you are wondering if you have to wait until the cord stump falls off before using cloth diapers.

Many new families who are expecting their first little one to be cloth diapered come to me with the dilemma of using cloth diapers at all for the newborn stage. The question “is the cost really worth it for just 4-8 weeks?” is on everybody’s mind.  If saving money is your reason for cloth diapering it is a very valid question, my reason years ago for getting into cloth was 100% financial, the health benefits and environmental perks were great, but staring me in the face was the initial investment. I would like to offer a few different tips and solutions:

1)Create a Registry at our site: At Abby’s Lane we offer Free Ahipping on all US orders, this is a big perk to your friends and family. A registry is a great way to stock up on your needed items, and don’t forget birthdays and Christmas, if you are set on clothes and toys. A hint, on your registry, make sure you register for gift certificates. They are easy for buyers to get (since many don’t know what a modern cloth diaper looks like or how it works), and they are an instant gift. Instead of running off to Babies R Us the morning of the shower, they can checkout online, and instantly print the voucher to put in your card. Our best selling registry item is in fact, gift certificates. They don’t ever expire, too, so you can always use them for later diapering stages, carriers or accessories.

2)If this is your first baby, and you have plans for more, since the newborn size of diapers is used for a very short period of time, they will be absolutely useable for baby #2. Store them in a temperature controlled environment between kiddos, it will keep the in great shape. The hot summer attic or cold winter basement will wear on your elastic, make sure your storage area is at a reasonable temperature.

3) If this may be your only baby in cloth diapers, the resale value on a newborn stash is tremendous. We have had customers who reported getting 95% of their retail value back in their pocket for their used diapers. Craigslist, Ebay, Diaperswappers and Diaper Pin all have high traffic in used cloth diapers, and the perk for a newborn stash is your potential buyer knows it has only been used a very short time. Save your receipts to show the time period they have been used to increase your selling power.

4)Diaper economically! Prefolds and covers are a perfect newborn way to diaper, since you fold a prefold to customize the fit of it on your baby, it is a great way to contain leaks and blowouts. One of the most visited article on our blog is our frugal diapering article, I wrote this from experience with my babies, and what we have seen work for many customers over the years. Take a peek below:
Frugal Cloth Diapering

If you are still on the fence, email me with questions! Remember, if you are nervous about trying cloth with your newborn, it doesn’t have to be “all or nothing”. Try a little sampler of a few items, use the disposables you will inevitably get at your baby shower, and see how it works for your family. Any amount of cloth is fantastic, and one less diaper in the landfill! We are here to make it fun and easy, so let us know how we can help.

Thanks for reading!
Stephanie
www.AbbysLane.com


Join Us, at Abby’s Lane, Friday June 1st for a day of Babykicks Demos and Giveaways!

by shethinksmedia

We’re SO excited to announce that on Friday June 1st Babykicks will be in Manassas at Abby’s Lane!

Time:  11am-3pm

Join us Friday, June 1st for a day of Babykicks demos and cloth diaper instruction.  Get to see the new Basic and Premium cloth diapers from Babykicks and find out what makes them so special.

What else?  By coming to the store and participating in our Babykicks festivities you can enter to win FREE Babykicks products because there will be giveaways galore!

Babykicks is giving (6) lucky mama’s a chance to win!  Here are the prize/giveaway details.

2 winners for a Basic Pocket Diaper
2 winners for a Premium Pocket Diaper
2 winners for 2 Prefolds, 1 Premium JoeyBunz, & 1 original JoeyBunz

So what do you think?  Are you a local, will you be joining us?


Summer cloth diapering tips; Yeast, Eczema, Heatrash and Flies – Oh my!

by shethinksmedia

Yeast can be more prevalent, the hotter weather can make fungal growth easier, so make sure you go over our yeast articles if you are battling yeast:
http://www.cloththatcounts.com/?p=929 and http://www.cloththatcounts.com/?p=949

Eczema is typically better during the summer because of high humidity, but yeast and eczema can go together, so if your yeast treatments are not working, consider treating the child for eczema at the same time to see if that helps, under the guidance of your pediatrician. If your child normally has eczema during the winter months but not during the summer, consider this if you are running into yeast as well. Eczema creates an imbalance in the healthy skin flora, and opens up tiny hairline cracks in the skin where yeast can get a stronger hold. Many times a daily steroid cream with your anti-fungal will solve the problem.

I hate, hate, hate to include this one, but I have to because every year we get a handful of emails, this year being no exception. Keep the pail lid closed and wash frequently in the summer (1-2 days, not more then 3). Flies get in the house, flies love rotting matter, flies lay eggs that love warm and dark environments. If you find you have maggots in your pail, the diapers do need to be thoroughly disinfected (let us know if you need directions),  so make sure you keep the lid closed to avoid a very unpleasant surprise on wash day.  Again, it isn’t frequent or common, but it does happen so we have to mention it.

If your baby is suffering from heat rash (make sure it isn’t yeast, heat rash will be pink all over the diaper area with or without tiny red pinprick dots), add cornstarch to your diapers every change, and change more frequently. For babies who have a very hard time, you may need to switch up some options, but those first two steps usually quell most cases. Cornstarch washes out very easily from the diapers :)

Hope you’re having a good summer so far!

Stephanie, Abby’s Lane


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