Saturday, November 9, 2013

"Mama Cloth" and Cloth Menstrual Pads

Like most of you, my first introduction to the "natural" world was cloth diapering. After months of research, blog reading, and shopping, I decided that cloth diapers were the way to go!

Fast forward FOUR years... I'm just now entering the world of cloth menstrual pads. I'll admit... it's a big jump to make! Most people, even those who would consider themselves "green," balk at the idea of cloth pads. Hopefully with this post, we can dispel some rumors and make it all seem a little...less...scary!

My reasons for switching to "mama cloth" (not sure I like that name, since it's not ONLY mamas who use it) were very similar to my reasons for cloth diapering: it's good for the environment, good for the body, and good for the wallet (long-term).

I've discovered I LIKE using cloth menstrual pads. I like it for the reasons above, AND I like it for a few surprise reasons! It's comfortable, simple, the pads are cute, and... no smell! (Seriously, the smell you associate with your period is the smell of your blood mixing with the chemicals in disposable pads and tampons.)

My hesitance? Also the same: washing.

Washing cloth menstrual pads is NOT hard, and it's not totally gross.

At home, many women rinse their pads in cold water (sink or bathtub will do; no need to dunk them in the toilet!) to reduce staining. Then, pads can simply be thrown into a wet bag until wash time (I hang mine from a towel rack in my bathroom... MUCH more attractive than used disposable pads filling a trash can.)

When you're out and about, simply use a smaller wet bag to store dirty pads (most of them fold and snap for convenience). You can either rinse your pads when you get home or not at all.

At wash time, most women find it easiest to follow a basic cloth diaper routine: rinse, wash with detergent, rinse. Here at MSDC, we even carry a detergent made specifically for cloth pads! Pads can be dried in the dryer or line-dried.



Right now, at MSDC, we carry Luna Pads. We hope to add to our inventory over time. Please contact us if you have any suggestions!

Do you use cloth menstrual pads??

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Traveling with Cloth part deux: Vacation!

Here is part two of our "Travel with Cloth" series. If you missed my post on every day outings, feel free to check it out here.

Today, I want to talk about vacation! We've vacationed with cloth from the start, and it's not hard to do. It's basically a bigger version of "out and about," right?

1) Packing: To be honest, we always found it simplest to take along an extra (small) suitcase, full of clean diapers and cloth wipes. Another option would be a hanging wet/dry bag, which has a section for clean diapers.



2) Storage: You'll probably still want a medium wet bag to keep in your diaper (or beach) bag. Same goes for wipes on-the-go (see this post for more info). While you're in your hotel (cabin, beach house, etc.), a hanging wet bag (or wet/dry bag) will work great. Who wants to bring a diaper pail and liner on vacation?!

3) Laundry: Here at MSDC, we sell convenient sample sizes of your favorite detergent. These do a couple loads each and are perfect for travel!



4) Make it convenient: Just like with out and about, disposable/flushable liners could be a big help. OR you could use Flip's disposable inserts inside any cover.

5) Swimming: I know it's hard to think about now (at least here in Lancaster! Brrrr!), but water is usually a big part of any vacation! Our Bummis swim diapers are completely washable and reusable. Can't beat that!



What are YOUR tips for vacationing with cloth???

Monday, November 4, 2013

Traveling with Cloth: Everyday Outings

This morning, a sweet customer (shout out to Samantha!) asked me if I found it difficult to travel while using cloth diapers. My answer was...in general, NO! But, it got me thinking. What are some things I wish I had known? I think I'll break this down into two posts: everyday traveling and vacations.

First up, everyday traveling:



1. Buy a good wet bag. I can't stress this enough. When you're purchasing a wet bag, it's worth it to spend a bit more and get a high-quality product. Sub-par wet bags will leak or stink (or both), which does not make for fun travels. Here at MSDC, we HIGHLY recommend Planet Wise. They're sturdy and well-made, work great at keeping in smells and leaks, AND...they're super cute! Can't go wrong there. I recommend a medium wet bag for every day outings.

2. Bring your wipes along. It's so much easier to throw dirty wipes into your wet bag (versus trying to find a separate trash can). You can read my post about cloth wipes here. For everyday outings, you could either: a) store wet wipes in a plastic or reusable baggie (a small wet bag works great) OR b) bring dry wipes and a spritzer/thermos/bottle of water along.

3. Try out disposable liners. I've never used these personally, but lots of people say this makes traveling with cloth much simpler! Simply lay this liner inside baby's diaper, and throw away (or flush) when soiled. This eliminates the dunking and storing of poop. Flip also offers disposable inserts, which I've heard are very handy for travel.

---------

In general, using cloth while out and about is pretty simple. Once cloth diapers feel natural to you, you'll be comfortable using them just about anywhere! What are YOUR tips for everyday outings with cloth???