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Fluff Friday 178

1 Rumparooz G2 One Size Diaper with 6-r Soaker
1 Kanga Care Changing Pad

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Fluff Friday 179

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This week's Fluff Friday winner is Kelly Connors!

She will receive:

CONGRATULATIONS!!!!!! Please, contact us ASAP so we can get your winnings out to you!!!

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Fluff Friday 178 Winner!

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For some strange reason, my husband and I thought it would be a great idea to take four small children on a cruise to visit Central America - 2 first graders, one preschooler and Baby R - just about 18 months old. As the cruise approached, I realized that there were some details that I hadn’t thought out too clearly. One of which was our cloth diaper routine.

Generally, day to day, we like to use a variety of pockets, all-in-ones, and flats and covers. At night, we add some extra hemp liners and throw on some fleece pants or wool shorties. I wash my diapers twice a week and hang them up to dry. At this point, our system is pretty stable. When we travel to visit friends or family, I can usually stick to this routine, but as I contemplated the 6 of us in a tiny room at sea, I realized that I needed a plan B.

Our cruise ship room had a shower, a tiny sink, and a toilet. There would be no way that I could soak and hand wash more than a few flats at a time - this would certainly not do. I refused to give in to a complete disposable diapering siutation so I compromised by buying three packages of disposable Flip inserts and using them with our covers. I interspersed flats here and there to give his little bum a break but, for the most part, he did fine with the switch.

We were gone for about 8 days so I brought 3 packages of disposable Flip inserts, 8 covers, fleece pants, wool shorties and longies and some Charlie’s soap. I tossed the Flip inserts into the trash and rinsed and hung the covers to dry on the clothesline in the bathroom. As needed, I soaked the covers in some Charlie’s soap and water in the bathroom sink and gave them a little bit of an extra scrub.

For swimming, we brought our favorite swim diapers - we love the ones from Bummis. At the beach, he just wore a regular Bummis swim diaper and at the pool, we put a disposable swim diaper underneath the Bummis swim diaper to give us an extra layer of protection.

All in all, our adventure went well! The kids loved the trip, I was able to modify our cloth diaper routine just enough so that we could enjoy our vacation and not feel too guilty about using some disposables. If you have a trip planned soon, definitely check out your options with inserts!

By Erin Brighton
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Cruising With Cloth

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While pregnant I wanted to do cloth diapers, while my husband was all for disposables. Our families' opinions of cloth diapering was very much reflected in these biases as well. I wondered, is there a way to do both?

To help placate everyone I researched and registered for the gDiapers system -- a system that would do both depending on the circumstance. The gDiapers are technically considered all-in-twos, but have a very easy to use disposable insert available if necessary which classifies them as a hybrid system. There is a cover, a liner, and then the insert. Each liner is re-usable after you wipe it out and put in a fresh insert. The covers are as well, and when necessary they can go in the wash with clothes. The soiled insert is the only thing that is changed every time. They are sized (S, M, L, XL) which gives them a trimness that isn't seen anywhere else, except maybe the new fuzzibunz elite.

I figured, we travel a lot so having the option of a disposable is a great thing, but mostly we can use the cloth inserts. We also could use a disposable if out during the day and not wanting to cart around a wet-bag of diapers. The disposables were a few dollars more per package than a package of comparable number disposables, so not really a huge deal in the long run. Ultimately, this is something that has only been an issue if we didn't know where our next washing machine was.

After I approached my husband with my find, we did the math as only two people with three Chemistry degrees between them can. We figured that even though they were sized, since we only had to buy a few covers with many more inserts, it would really equal out to about the same price as a stash full of one sized diapers. Each "size" costs roughly $200, for those of you curious. This is for a stash of 8 covers and 24 cloth inserts. This is part of my current sized M stash, the ones ready to go on the left, unfolded so you can see the liner in the middle, and the inserts to be put in on the far right.

Now the real selling point for his family, (Remember, they didn't want us to use cloth. We've lasted much longer than the week they gave us.) the ability to flush the soiled disposables down the toilet! This means there is no "diaper" smell around the house anywhere. The waste goes down the proper receptacle.

The selling point for my family is the lack of space they take up. At 6 diapers to an inch in height when stacked on top of each other, a lot of inserts can take up very little space. They also simply stack on top of each other, no folding or stuffing when you pull them out of the dryer.

As I said, we travel a lot, and having the hybrid system saved our daughter's tush (she's actually allergic to every disposable that we've tried, except the gDiaper insert) when the airline lost our bag -- naturally it was the bag of my clothes and my entire stash of cloth diapers. We had 3 covers, 5 liners, and 6 disposable inserts and 6 cloth inserts in our diaper bag. After the initial, "What do you mean you lost my bag? Don't you realize that's a lot of time and money invested there?" we were able to run to the store to get disposable inserts to last until we received the bag.

A stash of one brand of diapers isn't really complete, and hybrid diapers round a stash out nicely for many different reasons.

Bio: Carolyn is a work at home mom to one 10 month old daughter. She regularly enlightens everyone to the ease and versatility of hybrids.
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Hybrids To the Rescue!

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While pregnant with my newest addition, I watched a video online of a mom who easily packed her very small diaper bag with her two kids’ cloth diapers and all the essentials she needed for a day out. After that video, I was convinced that finding and filling my diaper bag with cloth diapering essentials would be easy, painless, and fun. While I was still pregnant, we decided to cloth diaper and I jumped in feet-first. I made all the initial purchases of cloth diapers, cloth wipes, diaper spray, wetbags, snappies, and more. In order to carry all of this stuff, I then set out to find a diaper bag that would fit my needs. I now have a newborn in cloth diapers and a (mostly) toilet-trained four year old. Since my older child use ‘sposies, we had a pretty small diaper bag for him so I knew the diaper bag for my new baby would need to be bigger and better in order to hold all my cute fluff, as well as some basics for my older kid. I set out to find the perfect diaper bag. I thought it would be just as fun as picking out all the cute fluffy stuff!

Admittedly, I purchased (and then returned) at least half a dozen diaper bags, searching for the perfect bag that fit all of my criteria. I didn’t think my list was that long: 1) outside pocket(s) for cell phone, keys, and wallet; 2) long pocket across the back of the bag to hold the diaper changing mat; 3) big enough on the inside to hold at least four cloth diapers, wipes, and a wetbag; 4) have a long shoulder strap AND short handles; 5) be gender neutral (we didn’t know the gender of our baby before he was born AND my husband would also be carrying the bag so it would need to fit any and all situations). I would shop and find a bag that seemed to fit my criteria and bring the bag home to test it. I would pile up everything I wanted to put into the bag, then try to stuff it all in the bag and see if it fit while still being functional. In addition to the diapers and accessories I would need to carry, I also needed to fit in a receiving blanket, burp rag, a small container of disposable wipes, an outfit change and an extra pair of socks for the baby, and anything else I thought I would need for a day out. I’m a chronic over-packer so I tried really hard to only pack the absolute essentials.

My baby is now eight weeks old and I have committed to a diaper bag. It’s not perfect, but for now it’s working. It’s army green so it’s essentially gender neutral and as a bonus, it hides dirt and poop that happens to get on it; it has a long shoulder strap and short handles which makes it easy to carry in any situation; it has a large back pocket for my changing mat; it has plenty of outside pockets for my wallet, keys, cell phone, and a few extras; and it has adequate inside space. The bag isn’t perfect (I don’t think I’ll *ever* be able to find the perfect bag) but it works pretty well. I’ve carried four pocket diapers, two prefolds, and a cover in the bag along with a wetbag, half a dozen cloth wipes, a four-ounce bottle of diaper spray, two receiving blankets, a burp rag, a small travel case of wipes, two onesies, two pairs of socks, a package of “pacifier wipes,” my wallet, my cellphone, my car keys, and a 20 ounce water bottle. I’ve also recently started carrying a ring sling in the bag as well. It’s certainly a tight squeeze and the bag doesn’t always zip closed, but it fits. If I ever two babies in cloth diapers or stop breastfeeding and have to carry bottles and formula….well, maybe I’ll just have to go diaper bag shopping again!

Angela is a lucky mom to two amazing sons: a newborn and a four year old. Living in a small town that isn't cloth diaper friendly, Angela spends a lot of time online researching cloth diapers and trying to convince her husband to buy "just one more cloth diaper" to try out.
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My Diaper Bag Isn't Perfect

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We didn’t switch to cloth diapers until my oldest was almost 2.5 years old (and still in diapers).  So, needless to say the switch wasn’t something our families expected.  It wasn’t even something my husband expected.  But, he was willing to let me do what I wanted since I already changed most of the diapers.

Less than two months after we switched to cloth we traveled on the in-laws.  I asked before we went if they would have a problem with us using cloth while we were there.  My mother-in-law had no problems at all, although she had no clue how cloth diapers had changed.  She had used cloth on my husband and his closest brother, but she had used disposables with the younger siblings.  She asked if I needed a wet pail and other “chemicals” that they used 30+ years ago.  I quickly explained that all I needed was to use the washing machine.  Since they have an old fashion top loader for “work” clothes, it wasn’t an issue at all.

When we got there, I think they were surprised at how different modern cloth diapers are.  Recently I heard my mother-in-law talking about our decision to cloth diaper.  She was telling other family members how different they were from what she had used.  She was more than willing to use them when she was visiting almost 8 months ago when our youngest was born.  She even helped wash some for me while I was at the hospital delivering her (I started a load as soon as I went into labor so there would be clean ones when we got home).

On the other end of the spectrum is my parents.  My mom doesn’t understand really why we cloth diaper.  She is all about convenience, so it isn’t surprising at all.  When we go see them (about twice a year), she offers to buy disposables for us.  Since we are only gone 4 days, two of those in a car, I normally let her buy disposables.  I don’t want to spend half of our time with them at a Laundromat washing diapers, and I don’t want to let diapers sit for more than three days.  Luckily my kids don’t react to disposables.  And the next time we go my kids will be in (cloth) swim diapers about half of the time probably too.

A few other random things involving the grandparents:
  • My mother-in-law thinks the origami fold for flats is intimidating, yet she made her own flats and used pins with her first two kids.
  • Every time my parents come to visit, my mom assumes my kids’ fluffy rears are because they need a diaper change.  I have to “nicely” remind her that they are in cloth and their diapers don’t change size as a sign of needing changed.
  • My husband still doesn’t love cloth diapers, but he doesn’t complain when he has to do a change (when I am out of the house).  And he is more than willing to tell others that we do use them.
So, even if you get some interesting responses from family about your decision, stick with it!  We have been cloth diapering for almost 2 years now, and I love it!

Bio:  Stephanie is a mom to three kids – 4, 2, and 7 months old.  She is a WAHM who started using cloth apprehensively when her oldest was 2.5 years old and now is an advocate for cloth.
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Both Ends of the Spectrum

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When trying to get pregnant with our first child I began to research cloth diapers. While finances were a greater influence than the environment in the beginning, I was shocked to realize how much waste a child created just in disposable diapers by age two, (approximately one ton). So we agreed to use cloth diapers, cloth wipes and washable wet bags and left it at that. But within months of my daughter’s birth things around our house began to change. Money was continually tight and I became very aware of every disposable item in our home.

I resented the cost of paper towels, toilet paper, plastic snack bags and other such things. (I still hate buying kitchen trash bags given that when we put in out for garbage collection it is rarely full). Slowly, as my husband tolerated some of my strange ideas, I began moving forward with a few small changes to save money that have also led to a greener household. When my daughter began eating solid foods I decided that using papers towels or napkins to clean her up were going to be a huge waste and expense. So I used some cheap wash cloths instead. Soon after I planned to buy cloth napkins, but ended up being given some instead. We haven’t bought napkins in over a year. Then I cut up old T-shirts to wipe my daughter’s nose during cold season. We do still buy regular tissues for my husband and guests but I mostly prefer my cloth ones and I think my daughter believes that when I say “get a tissue’ I mean a pink and white striped piece of fabric.

Then, much to my husband’s horror I set my sites on my menstrual products. As someone who has used panty-liners almost daily since puberty I was horrified by how much garbage I had created and sickened by the rising cost of my preferred brand. (I had to buy Always Unscented because anything else made me itch). I did some research and bought a couple different brands, my favorite coming from a great seller on Etsy. A few months later I tried actual menstrual pads.

Again, I was pleased. Finally I bought a Lunette menstrual cup but never had a chance to try it because in the meantime I got pregnant again. I’m looking forward to trying it out once my post partum recovery is over. Other than the few I keep around for traveling or tucked into my purse for emergencies, there are virtually no traditional menstrual products to be found in our house now. I’ve even been trying to go mostly, if not completely cloth during my post partum period.

But things didn’t stop there. Cleaning cloths came next. Old wash cloths and hand towels became my bathroom and kitchen cleaners instead of paper towels. We are almost paper towel free at our house. I recently replaced my disposable Swiffer pads with mismatched or worn socks. Now that my daughter is potty training I still use cloth wipes rather than toilet paper much of the time. (I even use cloth wipes myself sometimes. They are much softer and gentler. P.S. Don’t tell my husband). This past Christmas I purchased my husband a reuse-able snack pack and a Wrap N Mat for lunch box. Ultimately I would like to get rid of all plastic bags, but for now I’ll settle for reducing our usage significantly. There will always be some disposable items in my house. I use plastic bags to freeze meat and homemade bread. But I reuse the ones for bread as much as possible. We still keep some paper towels around for messes involving raw meat or lots of grease and for cooking bacon. But we purchase a roll or two perhaps once a year. We buy very few disposable products anymore and as a result our grocery budget is surviving better than expected as the cost of food rises. But it’s still hard to believe that just three years ago, it all started with cloth diapers.

Bethany V. is the 29 year old SAHM to two and a half year old Althea and two week old Robin. She has been married for almost 9 years and loves providing cloth diaper education to friends and family. She blogs as The Laundry Lady at The Laundry List
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How a Fluffy Behind Led To a Greener Household

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