Wednesday, October 17, 2012

My Yeast Enemy

So, about four months ago my daughter got herself a nasty diaper rash. After battling it with EVERY diaper cream known to man for a couple months with no improvement, I decided to ask the pediatrician. Conclusion...YEAST RASH! Since then, I've come to find out this is a cloth diapering mama's worst nightmare (although accidentally running a load of diapers through the dryer with a dryer sheet is right up there too in the nightmare category).

After the diagnosis, I rushed to my local pharmacy to pick up the prescribed Nystatin, and started slathering it all over my daughter's bum. Admittedly, my homeopathic, all-natural, "hippieness" went out of the window on this one. Her bum looked like a nuclear attack and yeast was the avenger. Something had to be done.

Within a week, I was rejoicing over my daughter's new and improved bum and was anticipating being able to use her cloth diapers without having to lay down my "barrier" biodegradable liner. Yes, my friends, life was good again.

Well, within a week, I could see the rash reappearing. Back to the Nystatin again. I started to do some research on this and realized that yeast and its spores can harbor in cloth diapers and that they must be disinfected. Something I didn't really realize. So, in researching all the methods of disinfecting, I decided to try a more natural oxygenated bleach (called Biokleen) that contained grapefruit seed extract. Sounds fancy. I washed my diapers in this several times along with my regular cloth diaper detergent and was feeling pretty good. The Nystatin would care of the bum yet again and the Biokleen would take care of the diapers. Problem solved. Wrong!



About two weeks ago, World War III started and my daughter's bum was the battlefield yet again. I now have her back on the Nystatin to clear it up, but am at a loss with what to do with my diapers. I decided I may need to pull out the big guns and try some...dare I say it? BLEACH! I'm not a supporter of bleach - I don't even have any in my home. In fact, I refuse to buy bleach so much so that I went knocking on my 85 year old neighbor's house to borrow some. Rule of thumb: all little old ladies have bleach on hand.

So, I guess I don't have a happy ending to this story yet. My cloth diaper life is rather depressing right now...I'm using Nystatin by the bucket loads, I have my daughter in disposables (GASP!), and am about to poor a product that I can't even pronounce the ingredients all over my wonderful cloth diapers. Yeast, I hate you, but I will win this battle!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Closure Conundrum


Snaps vs. Velcro? That is the question.

I get asked a lot what kind of closure I like on my diapers. Once again, it comes down to preference, but I thought I'd at least provide a more in depth look into the pros and cons of each:


Snaps


Pros: Harder for the baby to remove, which is more of an issue as your child gets older.

Cons: Sometimes harder to get a more custom fit on the baby as you are "locked in" to the placing of the snaps. Harder to get on a squirming baby or in those moments of sleep deprivation at night.

Velcro (a.k.a hook and loop or aplix)


Pros: Get a better custom fit on your baby. Often easier or makes more sense to caregivers who are less familiar with cloth diapers (i.e. grandparents, daycare, etc.). Closest to the closure of disposable.

Cons: Can wear out over time faster than snaps. With multiple washings, the Velcro tabs can begin to curl and become less "sticky" even with the laundry tabs that are provided to help prevent this. Easier for your child to remove.

So, what do I use you ask? Well, my newborn diapers that I used when my daughter was tiny were made up of Velcro, but my current stash of one-size diapers mostly made up for snaps, but I do have some Velcro on hand for when I'm in the mood.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Holla to the Hose

So, as much as I have preached cloth diapers to my family, my very own brother and his wife refuse to cloth diaper. My brother lovingly reminds me that he doesn't want to have a "hose" in his house. I tell him that it's a bidet, not a hose! Sounds classier in my opinion.

Things weren't so classy one weekend this past summer, however. I somehow got myself involved with a poopy diaper and an outdoor garden hose. My husband and I were spending the weekend at my in-laws' house and my daughter did her usual stinky. Initially, I just told myself that I would throw it in the wet bag and take care of it when we got home. I then thought to myself that I didn't want to let it just sit for another 24 hours. I'm definitely not a "dunker" when it comes to poopy diapers and the toilet, so the only other thing I could think of was to use the outdoor garden hose - which is certainly not the indoor bidet I was used to. So, there I was back behind the bushes hosing my daughter's poop off into the mulch, all the while my sweet father-in-law is assuring me that "it's a great fertilizer for the plants." I'm pretty sure they think their son married a nut.

And so, this blog goes out to my brother. Let's give a "Holla" to the hoses...and the bidets!

Sunday, September 2, 2012

My Glamorous Life

So, by now you know that I'm for real about cloth diapering, and I'm a bit of snob about it. We live in a less than perfect world, however, so let's be real about one thing when it comes to cloth diapering...spraying poop is not fun. Oh how I miss the days when my daughter was exclusively breastfed and I could just throw the poopy diaper right into the washing machine! Well, those days are long gone leaving me with an experience looking something like this...

My lovely daughter poops every morning before I leave for work. By now you'd think I'd know better than to change into my clean, professional work clothes before she decides to let loose, but no. Instead, there I am at 8:00 a.m. in my high heels and skirt, hanging over the toilet with my sprayer in one hand and one nasty looking diaper in the other. It's in those moments where I think to myself "My life is so not glamorous anymore." On the bright side, however, I am in my high heels, so I've got some glamour going on. For those moms who don't wear high heels on a regular basis, try putting a pair on while spraying a poopy diaper - it may help ease your mind. For those dads out there that are doing the spraying, please don't wear high heels.

Mastering use of the diaper sprayer comes down to one thing and one thing only - water pressure! Too little and the poop is still sticking to the diaper. Too much and you've suddenly got poopy water that has ricocheted off the diaper and is now dripping down your walls and floors, not to mention you. Yes, my friends, water pressure is the key.

Some people choose to bypass the diaper sprayer and use biodegradable liners that can just be flushed once soiled. These are a great option, but it's another step in the diaper changing process that can seem like an eternity on a squirming 16 month old. Of course, we all pray for "plunkers" as my husband and I like to call them. Those poops where it's just solid enough to "plunk" into the toilet with no spraying necessary. We love these kind so much and become so overjoyed at the idea of not having to spray that we start to chant "ker-plunk" as we're dumping it into the toilet. Our faces beam with excitement like we just accomplished something huge.


While we're on the subject of squirming 16 month olds, here's another piece of advice when it comes to spraying poopy diapers...shut the bathroom door behind you. My daughter's new, favorite activity is to come up behind me while I'm spraying and put her hand in the toilet. And one final tip...keep your mouth closed while spraying! Yep, this is my glamorous life.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Until Cloth Do Us Part

I have to start off by saying a huge thank you to my husband, Dan. He has supported me 100% with cloth diapering, loves it himself ("love" might be strong), and has been instrumental in the starting of Mulberry Street Diaper Co. Part of the success of us being able to partner together is our shared values that have led us to cloth diaper. Just as I do, he's sees the many benefits of cloth diapering.


I've talked to a lot of women whose spouses have not been as supportive and give an ultimatum to their wives that goes something like this - "it's disposables only or I'm not changing diapers." Seriously? I feel like we might be able to find some compromise here.

Cloth diapering has come a LONG way. Many kinds, such as all-in-ones, work just like a disposable. Give something a try and see what works for you. Ladies, find out what your men like and stock up! You may like one type or brand of diaper while your hubby likes another, so see it as a positive that he has an opinion and go with it. For awhile, I had pockets and hybrids in my stash and I noticed that my husband was always reaching for the hybrids. I finally asked him why he always goes for those and he told me that the pockets were just more work for me with all the stuffing (he's so thoughtful) and didn't seem as efficient of a system. He had a point! A week later I sold all my pockets and we are exclusively using a hybrid system during the day at home. Side note: This was a fantastic excuse to buy more diapers!

If it's the poop that's bothering your man, he can do what my husband does...leave it for me to clean up. I also do all the laundering of the diapers, but in my husband's defense, it's because I don't let him. I'm a bit of a control freak when it comes to who can wash my diapers, so the load falls on me, but admittedly by choice.

For you ladies out there who have tried everything and still can't get your spouse on board, then I hope you still feel you are able to cloth diaper even if it means most of the diapering duties fall on you.





Friday, August 10, 2012

Why Cloth Diaper?

Some people may need some convincing when it comes to cloth diapering, namely because of all the misconceptions that surround cloth diapers. There are a variety of reasons why someone may choose to cloth diaper, but the following are the main reasons why everyone should consider it:



  • Better for your wallet - Cloth diapers will save you money! (Unless you become an addict like me and then that's a different story). Keep in mind that with each change of a disposable diaper you are throwing away money. On average, one disposable diaper will cost you about $0.25/diaper. Each baby needs about 6,000 diapers in the first two years of life which comes out to be about $1,500 total or about $63/month. The cost of cloth diapers vary considerably depending on what type you choose. A full stash of prefolds and covers, for example, could be about $200, while a stash of organic, all-in-ones may run you $1,000. Either way, it's a savings compared to disposables! Remember, cloth diapers can be used for multiple children, so the more kids you have in cloth, the more savings.

  • Better for your baby’s health - Many disposable diapers contain some amount of synthetics and chemicals that have been linked to cancer or other long term health issues. By choosing cloth diapers, you are providing your child with a healthier start to life!

  • Better for the environment - Disposable diapers are the third most common consumer product in landfills today and can take anywhere from 250-500 years to decompose. Every baby wearing disposable diapers can generate as much as one ton of landfill waste before the age of two! Some argue that cloth diapers aren't much more environmentally conscious because of the water consumed in all the washings, but the manufacture and use of disposables actually ends up consuming more water than cloth diapers.

  • More convenient than ever - Cloth diapers have come a long way since the pins and rubber pants that our grandparents used to use. They are now offered in easier than ever snap or hook-and-loop (i.e. Velcro) closure that make them just as convenient as a disposable. Cloth diapers are also offered in a huge variety of colors and prints that will look so adorable on your little one's bum!

Statistical facts taken from Real Diaper Association and can be found at http://www.realdiaperassociation.org/diaperfacts.php.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

The Cloth Diaper Evangelist

"I think that you think that a certain something is not all that it could be, when, in fact, it is all that it should be... and more!" - Jerry Seinfeld

Cloth diapers, in some circles, have such a bad reputation. In all reality, it just comes down to peoples' misconceptions and misunderstandings about it all.

When I first started cloth diapering I vowed to myself that my decision to cloth was my own decision and that I wouldn't for one second judge people who made decisions otherwise. Wrong! I judge. Whenever I see the three inch white, plastic sticking out the top of a baby's pants, I cringe. It takes all self-control not to get on my high horse and start lecturing the parents on the adverse effects of disposables and the wonderful benefits of cloth. I give them the benefit of the doubt, however, and tell myself that they need a little education. So, I tug my daughter's pants down just enough so that her cloth diaper is exposed, thinking it may spark the interest of those around me and prompt them to ask questions. Wrong again.

So, let me digress as if someone had asked me a bunch of questions about cloth diapering...yes, I wash my diapers myself and don't have a diaper service. No, it really isn't that much more laundry. No, I don't use pins and rubber pants. Yes, I can throw breastfed poopy diapers right in the wash. No, I don't own a separate washing machine just for diapers. Yes, I'm saving much more money. Yes, I'm leaving less of a carbon footprint on this beautiful earth (while also teaching my children the same). Yes, my baby's cloth bum looks cuter than your baby's plastic, chemical bum. End of discussion.

I'm so pumped to be opening up Mulberry Street Diaper Co. My husband calls me the "Cloth Diaper Evangelist" so it seems fitting to start my own company doing something I'm passionate about and truly believe in. Thanks for following me along this exciting journey. Yes, you can ask me any questions you might have about cloth diapers. No, I won't judge (really, I won't).