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Hey All! I'm Pamala of Nobles Ink. You can find me online at Pamala Nobles.com 

Monday, November 28, 2011

One Year Anniversary!

Woo-Hoo! I made it! A full year of cloth diapering! It's surely been an adventurous journey.

When initially introduced to the idea I shuddered in fear. My first thoughts centered around time and work. I thought there weren't enough hours in the day to cloth diaper and on top of that it was unnecessary extra work to commit to. But, I can tell you from personal experience not only is it super simple, it is well worth it.
As previously stated I began cloth diapering my child at six weeks of age. I started as a part time cloth diaper-er only using reusable diapers 30-50% of the time. It wasn't until my baby reached three months that I decided to commit to full time, using reusable diapers more than 80%.

Since I was home for the most part my preference were Pre-folds with a waterproof PUL cover. At that point, it seemed to be the most economical choice as the cover could possibly remain clean all day.
*Wondering how to fold a pre-fold around you baby? Click here for step by step instructions*

As I started to get out of the house All-in-Two's or Pocket Fitted's became top choice. These styles allowed for a quick change and snug fit around my baby's waist and thighs so I didn't have to worry about those dreaded blow outs. When it came to traveling with cloth diapers I found it fairly easy to manage a quick change, even with the poo diapers. As my little one soiled the diaper I used homemade solutions to spray on and store in the wet bag until I reached home to perform the pre-rinse. As I continued using cloth diapers it became easier and easier to incorporate them into my everyday life.

I made a conscious choice to commit to cloth diapers not only for the health of my wallet, but, more importantly my child. It may be said disposables are the best fit, but, I encourage you to research how disposable diapers are manufactured and the possible effects associated with their use. If you're not sure what to research please click here for some information.

Cloth diapering can be a challenging thought, but, rest assured time gets easier with their use. 

If you're looking for a jump start on cloth diapering without the initial financial commitment enter our New Year Raffle Giveaway! You could win 3 One Size Diapers!

Monday, November 21, 2011

How to Fold a Prefold

A Pre-fold merely suggests absorbency layers pre-folded into a diaper. The following will give you step by step instructions accompanied with pictures to help you successfully pin this style diaper around your baby's bottom.

Your Sadie's Babies flat/pre-fold comes with a tag located at the center back. This tag should face out when folding the diaper around your baby's bottom.

Newborn (NB)/Small Fold:
 Flip the flat over so the tag faces down
On the opposite side, fold the fabric down about 3 inches

Along each long edge fold the fabric inward to meet the parallel center stitches

Lay your baby down so the upper edge sits right below the waistline

Bring the corners of the lower edge together...

and pull through the baby's legs opening the corners out. The pre-fold should rest right below the bellybutton. If not, fold the bottom side of the fabric down more.

*You may have to tuck the fabric in at the crotch area so it is not too bulky*

Reach behind and open out the back wings (previously folded corner)

Lay the front tabs down following the contour of the baby's waistline.
Wrap the back wing around and hold in place.

Using your forefinger and middle finger insert them inside the diaper to serve as the barrier between the baby's skin and the safety pin. 

Pulling slightly upward, pin the outer and inner layers of the diaper together.

Repeat on the other side to complete.

Don't forget your waterproof cover.

With practice this will be a breeze!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Why Should I Choose Cloth?

There's a lot  more to cloth diapering than it just looking ultra cute on your baby's bottom. For one, think of all the money saved not only from your wallet, but, the environment as well. 
Inclusive, there are a number of health benefits associated with cloth diapering. 

Did you know disposable diapers contain:
  • Traces of Dioxin, an extremely toxic by product of the paper bleaching process. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) lists this carcinogenic chemical as the most toxic of all cancer linked chemicals. Dioxin is banned in most countries although not the U.S.
  • Sodium Polyacrylate a super absorbent polymer that increases the risk and growth of toxin producing bacteria. This is the gel that forms when the baby soils the diaper.
  • Tributyl-tin (TBT), a toxic pollutant well known to cause harmful effects on the hormonal, immune and nervous systems in mammals and aquatic life. Even in the smallest concentrations it can impair the liver and interfere with sexual development.
As well, the prolonged use of disposables on boys greatly increases scrotal temperature; either blunting or completely abolishing the natural cooling mechanism for testicles important for sperm growth (spermatogenesis.)- Archives of Disease in Childhood, May 2000

On the environmental side, disposables generate 50% of household waste. Though it is not completely known, it is estimated it takes 250-500 years for a disposable diaper to decompose. 

Now I'm not totally knocking disposables, they have their advantages. The most popular of which is convenience. Disposable diapers can be purchased at almost any retail store and yes when it comes down to it, it is easier to just toss the disposable in the trash. 

If concerns arise with the aforementioned facts, look into alternative choices of disposable diapers such as; the chlorine free, fragrance and latex free eco-friendly brands (7th Generation).

All in all, the decision to use cloth diapers rests with the parents.

 Dioxin, World Health Organization
 Sodium Polyacrylate, ChemistryExplained.com
 Tributyl-tin (TBT), ScienceDaily.com

How Do I Take Care of Cloth Diapers?

There are several ways to care for cloth diapers and it all depends on what works best for you. Here I'll expound on the 2 forms I've tried and which I like best.
Generally when washing cloth diapers you want to use an oxygenated soap like Dr. Bonners, Sun Detergent or 7th Generation. These soaps aid in releasing possible set in stains. Additionally, ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS  dump solids into the toilet before beginning the wash routine.
Some tools I find helpful and certainly handy are:
  • 2.5 Gallon ( or larger) Bucket
  • Bowl/Large Cup/Small Pail
  • Washboard
  • Latex Gloves
  • Stain Remover
  • Dr. Bonner's Soap (used for pre-wash)
When washing your diapers in the washer use cold water and remove inserts. Pour in 1/4 of the recommended amount of detergent along with some baking soda and my personal fave 2-3 drops of tea tree and/or lavender essential oils. Once your wash and rinse cycle are complete perform an extra rinse. Some washers give you the option of an extra cycle; if yours allows for this KUDOS no need to run back to the laundry room. Upon full completion, either toss them in the dryer or hang to dry. Allowing your diapers to dry outside where the sun can hit them is a wonderful option. The sun acts as an antibacterial agent along with a stain releaser for those stubborn spots.
**IMPORTANT** Do not use fabric softener or dryer sheets when drying your diapers. This will shorten the life and decrease absorbency.
Now, on to the soaking/prewash methods...

First is the soaking method. Fill a bucket, diaper pail etc with lukewarm water and toss your diapers in until it's time for the wash (remember to dump those solids.) When the time comes, pour everything including the water into the washing machine. Start with the spin cycle and allow the water to spin out before beginning the regular wash routine.
Although this method is the least hands on, there is an odor build up, so, you'll want to change the water everyday to every two days because odds are the odors will set into your diapers. Baking soda can also be used to absorb possible odors.
Second is the dry method, which I prefer. When my daughter soils her diaper I fill the bucket with just enough hot water to begin a pre-wash and rinse. I then add a drop of soap to the water and repeatedly dunk the diaper in and out. For "poo" diapers I add a little bit of Dr. Bonner's soap to the blemished areas, work it into a lather and use the washboard to get the rest out. If you don't have a washboard simply perform a handwash. Thoroughly rinse the diaper, ring it out and store in your pail until time for the wash.
With consistency, you'll begin to notice washing your diapers and keeping them in rotation is a feasible feat.

How Many do I Really Need?

Now that you know what cloth diapering is all about let's get down to the nitty gritty of the quantity needed.

The top two questions I'm always asked are:
"How many diapers do I really need?" and "Do you have to change the baby more often with cloth diapers?"
Naturally, there are varying responses to each question because it depends on whether you will commit to full or part time cloth diapering. 

**One should also keep in mind it is recommended to change newborns (0-3 months) every 1-2 hours and 4 months and older every 3-4 hours.**

To find out how to keep cloth diapers in rotation click here.

If you anticipate using cloth diapers full time expect to have 3 dozen or more assorted varieties. This allots for washing every third day.
It is estimated newborns go through 8-12 diapers in a day and older babies 6-8.
Given a dozen diapers a day seems like a lot of changes, but, you'll always want to account for the "just in case." Like when your baby goes potty just as you're getting the clean diaper under his/her bottom (Trust it has happened to me) OR the moments where they'll soil the diaper as soon as you take them off the changing table (yep this too.)
For part time cloth diapering you can easily cut your stash in half to about 1.5 dozen.
Try different varieties of cloth diaper styles and routines to find your best fit!