Tuesday, January 6, 2015

The Ultimate Guide to Prefold Cloth Diapers

Last week, we talked about flat diapers and why you should love them. Today's focus is on a close second: prefolds.

Like flats, prefolds are often snubbed because they seem complicated. However, we at Mulberry Street Diaper Co. believe they're a GREAT option for many reasons. Today, I'll take you through a) the benefits, b) the different options, c) prepping, and d) folding techniques/closures.

Benefits: Like flats, prefolds are very easy to wash and dry (though they do take longer to air dry). They are versatile; you can fold them many different ways for babies of all shapes and sizes. They're also inexpensive, ranging anywhere from $1.00 to $5.00 per diaper. Prefolds can also double as burp cloths or sheet savers (and make great cleaning cloths later on).

Options: Here at Mulberry Street, we carry a variety of prefolds for your baby's needs.

Original prefolds are absorbent pieces of fabric (basically a flat diaper, "prefolded") which must be wrapped and secured around baby (scroll down for more info).

unbleached original, unbleached better fit, and bamboo cotton prefolds

Better fit prefolds are just like originals, except they're designed to be trifolded and laid inside a cover (no securing required).

Stay Dry prefolds are great, because they include a layer of microsuede to wick moisture away from the bum. The stay dry prefolds we carry are better fit.

Cotton prefolds (a classic) are absorbent, versatile, and inexpensive.

Bamboo prefolds (new!) are absorbent, soft, and naturally antimicrobial.

Unbleached prefolds are a natural brown color

bleached versus unbleached prefolds

Bleached prefolds are a classic white. One disadvantage may be that bleached fabrics do not tend to last as long.

Indian cotton prefolds tend to be softer and quicker to prep, but may not last as long as Chinese cotton.

Chinese cotton prefolds are a more heavy-duty option, however they are not as soft and take much longer to prep (see below).

Prepping your Prefolds:

Prepping is the process of preparing your diapers for use. If you buy them new, they will not be soft or absorbent until they are properly prepped. Because natural (especially unbleached) fibers have oils in them, you'll have to either boil or wash them before use.

Boiling method (click for video link)

Wash method: To prepare prefolds in the washing machine, you'll need to do several hot washes (drying in between each). Detergent is optional. Indian cotton prefolds (like we carry) must be washed 3-5 times; Chinese cotton must be washed 7-10 times. Bleached cotton can be washed less than unbleached because it has been stripped of its natural oils already. Remember that your prefolds will shrink and quilt up. They will become more and more absorbent with each wash.

Folding your Prefolds:

There are so many great ways to fold a prefold! Below are a few of our favorite options:

Classic Fold:


trifold with a better fit prefold


A note on closures: There are basically 3 different options for securing a prefold around your baby: pins, Snappis, or Boingos. This is completely personal preference, so do what feels comfortable to you!

In closing:

Remember that all prefolds will need a cover, as they are not water-proof themselves. Here at Mulberry Street, we recommend Thirsties (conveniently correlate with our dual-sized prefolds), Flip, Rumparooz (newborn and one-sized), and Blueberry. Wool is also a great option!

Happy diapering! Remember, we're always available to answer questions and help you select the best option for your family! Contact information can be found here.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

How to Cloth Diaper with Flats (Even if They Intimidate You)

There are a lot of reasons to love flat diapers. They're wildly inexpensive, super easy to wash and dry, and one size can take you from newborn to potty training!

Unfortunately, many people won't consider them because they seem, well, intimidating. What is one to do with a giant square of cotton? How does this become a usable diaper?

Let us show you!

First of all, you'll want to prep your flats. You can do this by washing/drying 3-5 times in warm water and on high heat. Two things to note here: a) Be sure to wash them separately from any synthetic fibers and b) boiling is also an option. Your diapers should be soft and fluffy (and smaller) when you are finished!

After you've prepped them, they're ready to use! There are many different folds! We'd like to share a few of our favorites (click the links for helpful videos).

Pad Fold:

Jo Fold:

Newborn Fold:

Flats may be secured with pins, Snappis, or Boingos. Some people recommend pins, because Snappis or Boingos may "grip" the whole way through the cloth. Just something to be aware of (I, Erin, use a Snappi).

After the diaper is on the baby, it'll need to be covered with a waterproof cover. Some of our favorites are Thirsties, Flip, Rumparooz (newborn and one-sized), and Blueberry. You could also use a wool cover!

Flats are easy to wash. They're possibly the most "forgiving" diapering option as you're figuring out a wash routine. You can put them in the dyer OR they line-dry very quickly!

Do you use flats at your house? What's your favorite fold?

Our OsoCozy Birdseye Flats are on CLEARANCE! Get 6 for only $7.95!!

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Mulberry Mama's Top 10 Diaper Accessories

In our last post, we talked about the bare minimum you'd need to cloth diaper. Maybe it helped you relax and feel a little less overwhelmed?

Today, it's time to add on! We're talking accessories. There are many products out there that can make diapering simpler, cleaner, and more fun... and we'd love to share them with you!

Here they are! Mulberry Street's Top 10 Diaper Accessories (in no particular order):

1. Liners and Doublers: These are really two distinct things. Liners (disposable or reusable) lay on top of your diapers and against baby's skin. These will help to a) lessen the mess/clean up required and b) wick moisture away from baby's delicate skin. Doublers are inserts which, when added to a diaper, increase absorbency. We carry many different kinds of doublers like these, these, and these.

2. Diaper Cream: Diaper cream acts as a barrier to protect sensitive skin. It can also be used to help clear up the occasional rash. Make sure it's cloth diaper safe!

3. Snappis and Boingos: These are used in place of pins for diapers like prefolds, flats, and some fitteds.

4. Diaper Sprayer: Many cloth diapering families consider this a necessity! It attaches to your toilet and works much like the spray handle on your kitchen sink. You use it to spray messes from your diapers (read: no more dunking and swishing)! We carry a couple of different versions.

5. Spray Pal: This is a new product for us here at MSDC, but it's a popular one! No more splashes and splatters when you use your diaper sprayer! Check out a fun video about it here.

6. Diaper Dawgs: If the idea of touching poop stresses you out, this is a product for you! Diaper Dawgs are an adorable pair of tiny silicone finger-guards. They're especially great for removing soiled inserts from pocket diapers!

7. Wipes Solution: Although you can certainly use just water with your cloth wipes, many moms and dads like to increase cleaning power with a wipes solution. We currently carry Thirsties and Eco Sprout brands (which smell wonderful).

8. Stain Remover/RLR: Do your diapers need to be refreshed? Buncha Farmers is a fabulous stain remover! And it's not just for diapers! RLR is a customer favorite both for brightening/freshening up and for stripping stinky diapers.

9. Dryer Balls: Again, not just for diapers! Dryer balls will shorten your drying time while naturally softening your laundry (diapers included).

10. Training Pants: As your child eases out of cloth diapers, you do NOT have to resort to paper/plastic training pants! Here at MSDC, we carry Best Bottoms and Blueberry brand trainers. Simply wash and reuse!

So... There you have it! Is there anything you would add to this list?

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

The Minimalist Guide to Cloth Diapers (What You Really Need)

There is so much information nowadays regarding cloth diapers. You do not have to look very far before you're bombarded with choices: 5 main types of diapers, 2 size options, 2 closure options, and more accessories than you can count on fingers and toes.

While we at Mulberry Street Diaper Company love staying up-to-date with new products and designs, our greatest desire is to help you find what works for you. In general, my (Erin's) motto is "start with less, then increase." It's much simpler that way!


What does one really need to cloth diaper successfully? Not much! (Read on.)

We always recommend:

Of course, you'll need a detergent that works for you (but you're probably buying that anyway).

The most important thing is to make sure you're investing in quality pieces (we stand behind what we carry here)! 

Please don't get us wrong; cloth diapering can be made easier and more fun with the accessories we carry (and we will share them with you in the next post). We just want you to know that its simple. It's cost-effective. And (we hope) you'll love it as much as we do!

Happy diapering! 

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Get More Sleep! Overnight Diapering Solutions that *Work*

Each week, tired-eyed mamas (and papas) stumble into our store murmuring under their breath. I need an overnight solution.

OK, maybe I'm being a little dramatic. But it is one of our most frequently asked questions. As babies grow, they tend to sleep longer stretches. Unfortunately, they also start to pee a lot more at once. This can lead to wet pajamas, wet sheets, and tired parents.

What to do? 

We've gathered information from personal experience, dedicated customers, and across the web for your convenience. Here's to dry sheets and a little more shut-eye for everyone!

First, keep baby comfortable and prevent diaper rash. It stands to reason that the longer your child's bum is covered with a wet diaper, the more uncomfortable he/she is going to be. Try a diaper with a microfleece liner (like most pocket diapers), or use a liner like this to wick away moisture. Before bed, apply some cloth-diaper-safe cream to act as a barrier.

Second, decide on a sytem (Do you prefer pockets? Fitteds with a cover?) and max it out

Pockets: Most pocket diapers come with microfiber inserts. Microfiber is very absorbent; it's also bulky and tends to stink. Overnight, we recommend a natural fiber like hemp or bamboo. These tend to be very light-weight and thin, but they absorb a lot. Some mamas also use prefolds (we carry cotton and bamboo cotton!) as inserts for overnight. We'd also recommend bamboo or hemp for extra protection in an all-in-one.

Fitteds: Fitteds are generally a very absorbent option. Here at MSDC, there are two in particular that we recommend overnight: A Sustainablebabyish OBF or a Tots Bots S-T-R-E-T-C-H Bamboozle. Both are extremely absorbent (not to mention soft and comfy), and both can be customized with additional inserts.

Covers: Overnight, you want a cover with extra leg protection (both Thirsties and Blueberry have double gussets). Alternatively, wool is a fabulous, breathable, comfortable option! We carry beautiful Sustainablebabyish wool covers and longies (like pants). 

Whatever you choose, we wish you sweet dreams and dry sheets!

What's your go-to nighttime solution?

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

The Everyday Parents' Guide to Cloth Diapering a Newborn

Are you expecting? Do you hope to cloth diaper your little one from the start? We'd love to help make that dream a reality.

First, let's take a look at the newborn diapering options we carry at MSDC.

Prefolds and Flats: Easily the most versatile diapering system you'll find, prefolds and flats can be folded in tiny ways and worn under a newborn (or a Thirsties size one) cover. Wondering how to fold a flat? Here's a link specifically for newborns.

Fitteds: These work well for newborns because they're a soft and absorbent option. Here at MSDC, we like Sustainablebabyish Snapless Minis. We also carry Sustainablebabish OBF in extra small and Thirsties Duo Fab Fitteds (clearance!). Note: You'll also need a cover (see above).

All-in-Ones: We have a great selection of newborn-sized all-in-one diapers. You can't beat them for the convenience! Choose from Blueberry, Rumparooz, Tots Bots, or bumGenius; they're all fabulous (and super, super cute)!

Now that you've seen what we have, let's talk about something very exciting...

Our Newborn Diaper Rental Program!

All of the convenience at a fraction of the cost! Check it out here.

Whatever you decide to do, we wish you all the best as you prepare for baby!

PS: For more helpful tips, please follow our Newborn Diapering Pinterest Board!

Thursday, November 20, 2014

How to Defend Cloth Diapers *and* Keep Your Friends

The holidays are fast approaching!

For many of us, this means time spent with friends and family members we may not see regularly. And for many of us (cloth diapering parents), this means discussion about our diapers.

I remember many a family gathering where my diapers took a verbal beating. ("But why would you want to do that?" or "It's gross... you reuse those?") The funny thing is, much of this talk came from moms and grandmas who had cloth-diapered their own kids! (Tell me I'm not the only one.)

I thought it'd be helpful to remind us all why we chose to cloth diaper (and perhaps help us communicate that nicely to well-meaning-yet-critical-souls). Of course, if your friends and family are supper supportive (yay!), it's still helpful to be reminded once in a while! 

Here, in simple terms, are the reasons many of us chose cloth diapers:

  • They Save Us A Lot Of Money. The average American household spends $2,000.00 on diapers per child (according to Consumer Reports). A full stash of one-sized all-in-ones will cost under $500 (and that's one of the most expensive ways to do cloth)! These can be re-used for multiple children, making the savings even greater.

  • We Care About Our Planet. No, we're not all tree-huggers and not all of us use baking soda deodorant or clay toothpaste (If you do, rock on). BUT did you know that one disposable diaper can take up to 500 years to decompose (EPA estimate)?  Honestly? Cloth Diapering is Good Stewardship of the Earth. 

  • It's Good For (insert baby's name here). Wouldn't you rather have this on your bum than plastic? Plus, my kid is less likely to get diaper rash, and more likely to potty train sooner! I love having the soft, natural fibers against his/her skin! 

In all things, remember to speak kindly, with grace and lots of encouragement! You just may find that some of your more critical relatives will soon be asking you how to get started with cloth (true story)! 

Have a happy, cloth-diaper-filled Holiday season!