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Super Saturday Coupon

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Fluff Friday 182

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This week's Fluff Friday winner is Meghan V.!

She will receive:

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

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Fluff Friday 181 Winner!

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When I first found out I was pregnant, many thoughts went racing through my head. There were so many different things that were not allowed from cleaners to medicines to jumping on trampolines (because that is something I do ALL THE TIME, I kid, I kid). As soon as morning sickness started to go away and I could stay away from the toilet for a prolonged amount of time, I started looking at Earth friendly household cleaners that were pregnant lady safe. I found a few and they seemed to work great but they were very expensive. It was at this time I started looking at cloth diapers. I was set on it from the get-go but dear hubby was not. He was very against it. I kept learning all I could about diapers while I researched other environmentally friendly household cleaners.

How many of you know vinegar and all its uses in the home? What about baking soda? I found out early on these are the only cleaners I need in my house. Vinegar is a wonderful disinfectant and it also doubles as a window cleaner. I keep a spray bottle of half water, half white vinegar under the sink and use it to spray down the counters in the kitchen, bathroom, and many other surfaces. It also cleans windows to a lovely streak-free shine. And for those of you wondering, the vinegar smell goes away after a minute or 2. What about baking soda? Shortly before my husband and I moved out of a house we were renting we began cleaning all those hard to reach places. One of them was not so hard to reach but often forgotten about: behind the knobs on the stove. Of course that area was covered in a nasty, sticky, grease. Anytime my husband would scrub it, it just smeared. I broke out some baking soda and made a paste with some water and it cut straight through the grease. Dear hubby was blown away. He told me afterwords he didn't think it would work but he figured he would let me try it. One victory for the wife :D

That was all while I was pregnant and cutting down on chemical cleaners. As we got nearer to the due date, I kept pushing cloth diapers since it would be another way to save money and hopefully would keep diaper rash far from our little man. My husband still said he would rather not. I managed to talk him into using reusable bags for groceries (at first he thought those were crazy as well) so I knew I would win with the diapers eventually. It took about 5 months after our son was born for him to crack. I just kept mentioning how much money we would save every time we bought diapers and finally! The moment I had been waiting for! I got approval to get the diapers. I think the thing that made him snap was when I showed him the diapers I wanted and had him pick out a print he liked. He found one really liked so I told him I would order 2 just for him. With that he caved. Little man is now almost 1 and in cloth diapers full time. We also plan on buying most, if not all, our produce from the local farmers market once it opens up (this weekend). We are also trying to find a nice line clothes drying rack so I don't need to use the dryer that much. I can't say my want to go greener and cut back on our carbon footprint goes back to cloth diapers because it goes back to the little bundle of joy those diapers save the butt of. Using cloth diapers full time makes me think all the other things we could do to cut back would not be that hard. If I can cloth diaper, I can do anything :)

By Jessica
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Vinegar and Baking Soda, the new Mr. Clean

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I initially started cloth diapering my son because it just seemed more natural. Disposable diapers are papery, have an odd odor, and no amount of printed on cartoon characters is going to improve their looks. However, obviously getting started in cloth diapering is a financial undertaking, and I hoped to save money, as well. I started cloth diapering my son when he was about 4 months old. I was working full time, and while he was at daycare he wore disposables. I used cloth on the weekends, in the evening, and through the summer (I’m a teacher). With this system, I don’t know that I saved a ton of money. I probably broke about even, and maybe saved a little.

My daughter was born six years later, and I knew I would start with cloth right away. She first wore Kissaluvs size 0’s with Thirsties covers, and then when she was about two months old, I switched to FuzziBunz smalls and bumGenius. When she was about three months old, I went back to work. I was using a different home-based care provider this time around, and I approached her about using cloth diapers. I brought along a Fuzzi Bunz and wet bag to show her how it would work, and after seeing how simple the cloth diapers were, she readily agreed that using cloth diapers would be just fine. It’s no more work to change a pre-stuffed pocket diaper than a disposable one—the main issue was keeping all of the used diapers in a wet bag. Every day when I take my daughter to the sitter’s house, I bring along 4 pre-stuffed pocket diapers, 4 moist cloth wipes (in a disposable travel holder), and a small wet bag. The diaper bag also contains some Grandma El’s diaper cream, and a few disposable diapers and wipes in case of an emergency. For my cloth wipes solution, I use 10 oz. of water, 20 drops of grapefruit seed extract (to prevent a musty smell), and a drop of baby soap. This system has worked out perfectly. When I get home from picking her up, I go through the wet bag and separate the diapers and inserts, spray the diapers off if necessary, and toss them in my large wet bag. I wash cloth diapers about every 2-3 days.

Before approaching my sitter, I did check the laws for day care homes. These may vary by state, but in Illinois, the code specifically mentions cloth diapers. According to the Licensing Standards for Day Care Homes, “A toilet shall be easily accessible so that the contents of reusable diapers may be disposed of before placing the diapers in the diaper pail. Disposable diapers and their contents shall be disposed of in accordance with the manufacturer's instructions. “

My daughter Campbell is 8 months old now, and she’s been cloth diapered 99.5% of the time since the day we came home from the hospital. She’s only worn disposables a handful of times. She currently wears FuzziBunz size mediums and bumGenius. I wish I had kept better records of what I paid for the diapers I have and how much I’ve earned back by selling the ones we are no longer using, but if I had to guess I’d say we are currently getting close to the break-even point and from now on we will just be investing in detergent and water, assuming she is like my son and wears size medium through toddler-hood.

I am very thankful for my open-minded sitter who is willing to use cloth diapers. No only are we saving money, we are helping the environment, she has more natural fibers against her bottom, and she looks adorable!

Jan Scott - Mom of Evan, 6, and Campbell, 8 months
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Cloth Diapers in a Home Day Care

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Our family took a trip last week. Determined to stay in cloth, I packed up every last thing resembling a diaper that I owned, along with some flip disposable inserts as back-up, and took to the road/ boat. There were a few things on the agenda, some doctor’s appointments, errands, grocery shopping, and a quick trip to see my sister in another town while we were at it. I knew it would be a few days until we hit my sister’s house, where we could wash our diapers, so we did our best to make what we had last until then, using a handful of disposable flips to get us through.

At any rate, this post is about laundry…so here we go. I AM SPOILED! HUMBLED! Incredibly lucky in laundry! Please don’t hate me, but its true!

I knew from reading other posts that I had it pretty easy, but didn’t realize quite how easy until I was forced to use my sister’s system. She cloth diapers, and boy is she far more dedicated than I think I would be! My sister has a very small, energy efficient, low water consumption, euro-style washer/dryer (dryer element doesn’t work though, so she has a separate dryer also). She coached me through her routine, which varies, as she said she never seems to be satisfied with how clean her diapers are and has frequent battles with “funk”. The necessary routine involves a couple full heavy wash cycles, often an overnight soak in there somewhere, adding extra water whenever possible, and as I discovered, a pretty small load size to be “successful”. Even then, I am certain I could see the difference in brightness in just that one washing. All the same, my diapers were “clean” and ready to get me through the rest of the trip.

Neither of my sons has ever really had a rash. Maybe a bit of chapping for a very short-lived period, but nothing to ever be concerned about and nothing that lasted. Well, it seemed I had to change much more frequently to avoid him chapping up a bit after our little visit. Hmm. In addition, the diapers son had pooped in still had some staining, a problem I have not had at home thus far…

When we were close to home, but still a day away, I was running out again, and we were stopping overnight at my sister-in-law’s. She had washer, and was willing, so I threw our diapers in one more time. Alas, I forgot my “special” detergent! With apprehension, I dribbled just the slightest amount of hers into the washer, and crossed my fingers. My diapers came out looking better than at my sisters, but I had a sense of dread, and couldn’t wait to get them home and back through my own system. Sure enough, I have had a few leaks and more rashy bum than ever. My diapers are now in my own washer, getting stripped with dawn.

So, how can I be so lucky? In my two diapering experiences, I have had an old but trusty top-loading washer (safe for a good dawn wash), apparently great water, and only struggled a bit with son #1 and the dreaded wet diaper funk and buildup. Since then I have learned the wonders of dawn, the benefits of the “right” detergent, an occasional stripping, and the blessing of a top-loading washer. Son 2 has been a breeze.

To encourage those of you who might be daunted by the prospect of cloth diaper laundry, and see all the stories of horror as I have, I would like to offer my own routine as a positive possibility. You just MIGHT get as lucky as I now know I am! I will keep my fingers crossed for all of you.

My strategy…
  • Cold prewash (bf poop and all), sometimes with a small spoonful of detergent, sometimes not.
  • If my diapers have been sitting extra long or seem extra dirty, I might do a cold wash cycle with soak instead of the prewash.
  • Full heavy hot wash cycle with Charlie’s soap or Rubymoon
  • Follow with an extra rinse cycle.
  • Hang-dry shells, machine dry inserts…if it’s any consolation, my dryer is not as wonderful as my washer…nothing EVER gets dry with one cycle, not diapers, not baby clothes, nothing…but I will not complain!
My wash routine is easy, my diapers sparkly clean. I have had little to no staining in the diapering of 2 boys, in spite of the lack of Alaska sunshine for sunning diapers. I am lucky, and now I know it. It is easy for me to love cloth…for some of you, I commend your dedication and am in awe now of your love! Keep it up wonder-moms!

Lynnette Wright lives in remote Alaska, and is the lucky stay-at-home momma of boys ages 2 and 2 months. An originally reluctant convert to cloth, when not being entertained by her two boys, she likes to research new tricks and find deals on new diapers to “test” so that she can be a more fully educated advocate of cloth to others!
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One Lucky Laundress!

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My husband and I decided to cloth diaper for the usual reasons. It was good for our baby, the environment, and our pocketbook. What I didn’t expect were all the additional benefits of cloth diapering. These became evident the first time we put a prefold on our daughter’s bottom.

1) They let me know that my daughter was ‘getting enough’. Like many new moms, we had a rocky start with breastfeeding. The first day home we tried doing wet diaper counts with the small supply of disposables we had on hand. I had the hardest time telling whether or not her diaper was wet, which only caused more anxiety not knowing if she was getting the nutrition she needed. Switching to cloth took out the guesswork. Wet diapers are wet and dry diapers are dry. Cloth diapers told me when it was safe to stop supplementing with formula, rely solely on breast milk, and feel confident that Evelyn was well nourished.

2) Our dollars go to small business and communities that need it most.  Unlike disposables; FuzziBunz, Softbums, Gro-via, bumGenius and Oh Katy diapers all started as cottage industries and are still run by Moms here in the USA. I like knowing that my dollars are going to support families and communities that need it. Next time you order cloth diapers look and see where they come from. Chances are you will feel good about that purchase. I like that.

3) Cloth diapers help my daughter sleep at night. When Evelyn was 6 weeks old I realized that changing her diaper at night woke her up more, and made it more difficult to put her back to sleep. Obvious I know, but after 6 weeks of colicky baby sleep it felt like a major revelation. So we stopped. Now she is put in a Kissaluvs cotton hemp fitted diaper, fleece liner, and Thirsties cover after 7PM bath-time, and it doesn’t come off until 7AM the next morning. At 3 months she wakes up once a night to eat, and then goes right back to sleep. No more turning the light on or diaper change play-time. Friends with children the same age in disposables don’t believe a diaper so small can hold so much. What about poop you ask? She doesn’t poop at night. We accidently missed one early on (whoops) and it has not happened since.

4) It’s a great conversation starter: Every cloth diapering mother has been there. You change your child’s diaper in public only to have someone look over your shoulder and ask “that’s a diaper?” What a great positive conversation to have about parenting. I’ve had this conversation in churches, libraries, hospitals and even once in a plane at 10,000 feet!

5) Cloth diapers kept our house clean. Yes, prefolds are also great dust clothes, and my father still talks about how wonderful my old diapers were for washing the car. This is even better. Two days after Evelyn was born a client called my husband asking for 60 hours of work in 4 days. My response was “only if we get some help”. Enter Tanya, a fabulous cleaning lady who kept our place spotless during the grueling first few months. Her bill? Equal to the cost of disposable diapers. Having someone else scrub the bathrooms while I cared for our newborn was priceless.

While I was pregnant plenty of naysayers tried to convince me that my cloth diaper plans wouldn’t last. To the contrary, I’ve found plenty of reasons to love them even more.

Melissa Lindsey is on a short hiatus from a nursing career while she cares for her infant daughter and prepares for a cross country move. In the short space between Evelyn's bedtime and her own she enjoys reading, knitting, and spending time with her husband.
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A Full Night's Sleep and more NEW reasons to love cloth diapers

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Happy Mother's Day

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We are a proud family of spontaneous triplet boys born prematurely at only 28wks in Dec 2010 who are now thriving 16-mo-old toddlers!
What is the #1 reason you cloth diaper your baby? We use cloth mainly because of the cost savings. Diapering three little tushies is expensive!
Who has been your biggest cloth diapering supporter/cheerleader? When I announced I would be cloth diapering triplets I was met with much skepticism and doubt from everyone around me. Most of my initial support came from online strangers but since we began my family has grown to embrace the cloth lifestyle.
What is your favorite diaper and why? We currently love the ease and convenience of our bumGenius Elementals. They are a super soft fabric, one-size to grow with our boys, and the fact that they are AIO makes it easy for our helpers to be as comfortable with them as they are with disposables.
If you had one superhero power, what would it be and why? The power to make my children sleep when they are supposed to!
Describe your parenting style using three words. Passionate, efficient, elmo
What is one product you absolutely can't live without? Fleece Liners
How do you think being a mother has changed you? Becoming a parent has made me see that God's plan for me is so much greater than any plan I ever had for myself. My kids are amazing little miracles and as hard as it is to parent triplets, its ever more rewarding!
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Meet May's Spotlight MOM: Christina Probeyahn

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