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Super Saturday Coupon

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Fluff Friday 188

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This week's Fluff Friday Winner is Sherri Smith!

She will recieve:
Set of 2 Lil' Joey's by Rumparooz

CONGRATULATIONS!!!!!! Please, contact us here ASAP so we can get your winnings out to you!!!
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Fluff Friday 187 Winner!

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For several years before I got pregnant I worked at a conservation society. The society promotes conservation in many many ways -- from using less electricity to recycling to walking/biking to work. As part of their information they had a bit about how long it takes for disposable diapers to decompose. I saw the number of years (500+, so, not a true number but a rough estimate since disposables haven't been around 500 years) and quickly did some math and thought, "There has GOT to be a better way."

During this time several of my friends were having babies. I had a few friends who used cloth and several more who used disposables. I listened to both, the gripes and the adores, and occasionally listened to a debate between opposing sides. One thing that kept sticking out in the debates was the cost of disposables, one theme coming from both sides. I even had friends asking me if I could buy them disposable diapers in bulk at Costco since they were spending so much elsewhere. I quickly did some dollar and cents (or is it sense?) math and decided, "There definitely IS a better way."

Then I got pregnant and it was truly going to be up to me about if I wanted to use disposables or cloth. Since I'm trained as a researcher, I did research. I looked at different brands of both disposables and cloth diapers. I talked with friends who were currently diapering and friends who diapered thirty years ago. I went to every cloth diaper store I could find to play with diapers on baby dolls. Occasionally I even took my husband. He regularly just stood there going, "Honey, I don't really care." Eventually I did convince him to decide if we wanted to do flat/pre-fold with covers or pocket diapers, and he piped up that pockets were the ones he would most likely use.

During the pregnancy I was quite quiet about the fact that I was pregnant, so it was a shock to some that I was expecting. I also did not find out if I was having a boy or a girl at the 20 week ultrasound. This meant I was able to register for a lot of more practical stuff that I could use for either gender, including a ton of cloth diapers.

When one of my co-workers looked at a registry she approached me and said, "Why on earth have you registered for so many cloth diapers? I wouldn't use cloth for anything."
I gave her my "how could I work at a conservation society and not try and conserve the earth?" speech. (Yes I had one down pat as friends and family started questioning my use of cloth diapers.)
Her response was, "I don't care if they fill up a landfill the size of Hawaii with disposable diapers, you couldn't get me to use cloth. I give you just a few weeks, then you'll be wishing you had disposables."

After baby came out we used disposables in the hospital. We were being charged for them and the nurses knew how to use them. As first time parents the staff being able to help us was kind of nice. However, by the time they discharged us baby girl had a rash. My husband figured out how to make the diapers fit on her newborn bottom and take into account her umbilical cord. After a day the rash was gone. We had a doctor's appointment and I didn't want the doctor to think we were crazy hippie parents, so we put her in a random disposable we had around. She got a rash. My husband then vowed to never put another disposable on her, and we haven't to this day, 13 months later. We essentially found the better way and who knew that baby girl would be such an environmentalist at such a young age? And not only is she an environmentalist, she also helps us save money since after 8 months we essentially "stopped" paying for diapers.

Now when I ask myself, "Is there a better way?" I really can't think of any.

Bio: Carolyn conserves as much as she can by simply using less stuff. This includes using fewer diapers, just using the diapers more than once!
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The Better Way

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I love, love, LOVE me some cloth diapers.

I have too many to count (ok...I could totally count them, but I am kind of afraid to - I might have to admit I have a real problem if I find out how many I actually own!). I have every accessory under the sun. I cloth-diapered my son as an infant and a toddler, and cloth-diapered my daughter from birth.

In the past three years, I have learned a thing or two about cloth diapers. Mostly, which ones I like the best, which hold up the longest, how to wash them properly...that sort of thing. But the lessons that stick with me are the ones that I had to learn the hard way.

So, I'm hoping I can help you out here.

Here are a few cloth diaper lessons I learned the hard way.

1. Bring the diaper bag in from the car after a day out with baby. Specifically? BRING IN THE DIRTY DIAPERS. And then, throw them in the diaper pail. This little step takes only a few extra seconds.

You know what takes a lot longer than a few seconds? Power-washing poop off a diaper that has been balled up for weeks in a wet bag in the back of your car.

Some might just throw the diaper away. But not when it's a bumGenius! In your favorite color! That you thought you lost! And were excited to find when you *finally* cleaned out the back of the car, until you realized, "OH. There's there..."

(I suppose this is would be a good advertisement for wet bags...they can really hold in the stinkies).

2. Always turn the diaper sprayer on the LOWEST SETTING when you go to squirt poop off a diaper.

A really messy diaper doesn't necessarily require fire hose-pressure from the diaper sprayer to get it clean.

Seriously - trust me on this one. Don't make this mistake. Unless you want to be like me, cleaning poop splatters out of every single crevice in your bathroom and then needing to take a shower afterwards, too. It's really not fun.

3. If you are using diaper cream (even cloth diaper safe cream!), use diaper liners.

I have an assortment of cloth diaper-safe creams that, on occasion, I use on my daughter. Well - a few weeks ago, she had a rash and I was using cream with every diaper change. And I got lazy. It said on the container, "Safe for Cloth Diapers!" and so, I decided to forego the liners and just put the diaper on her bare/creamed bottom.


A week later and all of my diapers are leaking/repelling. So fast-forward to now - several weeks down the road - diapers have been stripped (more than once) and I am *still* having issues with some of them.

So, here's what you do instead. Buy some disposable liners. Or, buy some reusable liners (you can make these yourself, and it's super duper cheap). USE A LINER EVERY TIME YOU APPLY DIAPER CREAM. And (I think this is just as important), if you are using reusable liners - throw the dirty ones in their own wet bag and wash them separately from your diapers. I can't say for sure, but I think that washing liners covered in diaper cream with all of your diapers is likely to cause repelling issues (all that diaper cream floating around in your washer!).

4. If something's not working for you, change it. Cloth diapering should make your life easier, not harder.

If you are sick and can't get to the laundry, use disposables for a few days (but throw that last load of dirty diapers in the laundry me...a diaper pail with three-day-old dirties, ummm, stinks).

If you can't sun your stained diapers every day (or even every week), let them have stains (in my experience, they'll come out whenever you do find the time to sun them).

If you are tired of spraying poop out of your dirty diapers, use disposable liners (hey, I think I'll take that advice myself tomorrow).

Cloth diapering should fit your lifestyle - not make you feel guilty or overwhelmed or overworked. There are no rules for cloth diapering!

But seriously, take it from me - turn that diaper sprayer down.

My name is Carrie and I am a Stay at Home Mom to two beautiful children, Jack and Claire. I like horses, tea, and getting fluffy mail.
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Cloth Diaper Lessons Learned the Hard Way

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My friends all joke that I have to have EVERYTHING organized and put away. They swore this would change once I had children. I would laugh and tell them that I taught my students for years to put things away and keep our materials organized. My classroom always had everything put away and neat. There was no reason I would be dis-organized once I had children of my own. So far, it has not changed. As long as I put everything consistently where it belongs, everyone who helps change my daughter is able to find what they need without knocking over stacks of diapers.

I started my stash with just Motherease diapers that were handed down from a friend. I bought a diaper stacker and had my wonderful husband hang it above my daughter’s changing table. There were pockets for wipes and covers. It even has a small shelf that holds diaper liners! I kept the wipe solution in a spray bottle on her changing table along with any creams and powders I might need. This method worked great…until I started building my stash. I realized there was a whole world of diapers out there and started buying lots of them!

In the picture you can see that I have several days’ worth of diapers. I could probably go a whole week without washing them. So, I kept my Motherease diapers in the stacker with the covers and wipes, but had to figure out what to do with the rest of my diapers. Luckily, the changing table has a little cabinet on the side. I sorted the diapers by shelves. The Fuzzibunz, KaWaii and BumGenius diapers are all on the top shelf. Next to those, I keep additional inserts. Underneath of the pocket diapers, I have a supply of pre-folds and swim diapers. They all get folded and separated by brand. I also keep additional wet bags in this cabinet.

I line dry my diapers outside. When I take them off of the line, I organize them by type so I can easily put them away once we get inside.

I have found that as long as I keep the organization consistent, my husband and family members are able to easily help with diaper changes. They can choose their favorite diaper and everything stays folded and neat!

Kate Flint is a full-time teacher and mother of a 9 month old baby girl. She started falling in love with cloth diapers as a little girl and has a serious obsession with fluff!
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Organization is a Way of Life

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Recently, my sister-in-law contacted me for some advice on behalf of her friend.This friend is in the process of adopting two little girls from Uganda. The orphanage they live in is so destitute, they can’t even afford to keep all 15 babies in diapers. With her giving nature, she wants to donate washable/reusable diapers so that the orphanage can focus on their other needs. Immediately, my mind turned to the 2nd Annual Flats & Hand-washing Challenge, hosted by Kim at Dirty Diaper Laundry. I knew the experience and knowledge I’d gained from participating this year was exactly what this woman was needing.

The least expensive and easiest to clean diapers are flats. I’m assuming the workers in the orphanage would very likely need to be hand-washing them. Flats need diaper pins and covers, (you can also just pad fold flats and go without any kind of fastener), but it’s really not that hard. Flats are one layer of fabric, usually about 28" square. They fit all sizes of babies because you fold it to fit how you want. They also line dry super quick. These are the kind of diapers my mother-in-law used for all 6 of her children. I actually have about 3 dozen flats I use regularly.

I replaced all the microfiber inserts in my pocket diapers with WalMart flour sack towels. They cost about $1/each and are actually really absorbent once they've been prepped. I don't like using them as regular flats, though, but I have & they work well enough.

Osocozy brand flats are really inexpensive and work well, but people seem to like Swaddlebees brand or Green Mountain Diaper flats the best. Flannel receiving blankets actually work really well, too. A lot of people also like the Ikea Vandring burp cloth as a flat (better than flour sack towels, but maybe not as well as some other "real" flats). I personally LOVE the GMD flats, but I’m really wanting some Swaddlebees flats to try out, too.

Prefolds are another good economical option, but you need to buy sizes. I don’t like “better fit” because you can’t fasten them on bigger babies. They’re better for stuffing pockets or just laying in a cover. That’s fine, but when you can fasten the diaper, there’s less chance for leaks or poop getting on the cover. In a situation where you’re limited on funds and supplies, this can be an important point. They're also made up of more layers, so they're not as easy to thoroughly clean like flats, and definitely take longer to dry. Snappis are really popular right now as a great alternative to pins, but they stretch out and need replaced. And, as weird as it may seem, I actually prefer diaper pins (like the Dritz brand). I feel like I can get a more secure fit with them, and then I have the option of going cover-less.

When I do use a cover (which is most of the time) my favorite is the Thirsties Duo Wrap. The Duo Wrap is made with PUL, so it’s waterproof, and they have a double gusset to really help hold the mess in. Some really inexpensive covers that have gotten good reviews: Diaper Rite (around $9) and Kawaii (about $7). Fleece covers would also be a good option.

In the end, she’s decided to try buying flats while in Uganda to donate to the orphanage. I think it’s a great idea since she’ll be helping to stimulate their economy and likely supporting a WAHM in the area there. The two girls she’ll be bringing home are older and won’t need diapers, but I hope after all this she’ll continue to advocate for cloth diapers.

BIO: Mary Ann is a SAHM who blogs about life with two gorgeous kids, a messy home, and cloth diapers at A Cloth Life. One day, she hopes things settle down enough that daily showers will no longer be considered a luxury for her, but she still loves the chaos that comes with having kids.

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Adopting Cloth

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My husband was actually the one to suggest we look into cloth diapering when we found out we were expecting our little bundle of joy. From what I have heard, it is usually the wife who gets into the cloth diapering world, and eventually her husband reluctantly climbs onto the bandwagon. Here is how the conversation went, though, in our house: We were discussing a couple we knew who had just decided to cloth diaper their baby boy.

"I think they're crazy," I said. "Don't you think so?"

I was expecting immediate assent, but to my surprise, my husband was quiet for a moment. I repeated my question, to which he finally responded, "I don't know. I mean I've been thinking about it... and it sounds like it would save an awful lot of money. Maybe it is something we should look into."

I would like to say I responded calmly and considerately that we could research it and figure out if it is a good option for us, but that was not what happened. In my defense, I was at that stage of pregnancy when you feel rather overwhelmed by every little impending change that seems to be bearing down on you, from the unrecognizable body you are inhabiting that prevents you from being able to tie your own shoes to the realization that you will never again be able to have an impromptu date night after baby is born. So I flipped out a little. I might have cried. I have tried to block out my overly-emotional response to his perfectly legitimate idea-- along with all my other unreasonable moments while pregnant (this actually leaves me with very few real memories of my pregnancy, but that's another story).

But skipping ahead a bit, I am glad to say I DID eventually come around after deciding I would research cloth diapering a bit (my initial purpose was to find evidence to convince him this was a crazy idea). Over the course of about a week of reading The Cloth Diaper Whisperer Blog, perusing Kelly's Closet, and watching Kim Rosas cloth diaper review videos on, I suddenly and unexpectedly found myself completely addicted to reading about and looking at cloth diapers. In fact, I could hardly wait to use them on our baby girl. And unlike some families who decide to do disposables until their babies can fit into one-size diapers, I was determined to start with the newborn stage (mostly, I admit, because the newborn cloth diapers are ADORABLE.)

My husband was actually a bit worried about my sudden enthusiasm for this idea that I initially so vehemently rejected, but he encouraged me since he knew it would save us gobs of money. (By the way, by this time, we both had learned the other great reasons to cloth diaper as well: like how it is a much more planet-friendly way to deal with your kid's inevitable poop, how much nicer it is to your little one's skin, and, as I mentioned before, how vastly cuter cloth diapers are than their disposable counterparts.) I am glad that I got so excited about researching cloth diapers because I ended up feeling very confident in the diaper purchases we made before my daughter was born, and I wasn't intimidated to begin cloth diapering since I understood pretty well the different kinds of diapers I had and what would be required of me in using them. I have even had the opportunity to share my cloth diapering excitement when a few people along the way have noticed my cute girl's cloth and began asking questions. In fact, my sister-in-law recently bought a few used cloth diapers at a consignment sale after talking to me about my cloth love, and she has enjoyed using them on her 6-month-old girl during the day.

I have tried not to be an obnoxious cheerleader about cloth diapers, but it is hard not to be overly-enthusiastic when I see how adorable my baby girl is in her cloth!!

BIO: Rachel is a stay-at-home mom of a wonderful baby girl. She is loving motherhood and enjoys looking for ways to keep a sense of humor about parenting, pregnancy, cloth diapers, and life in general.
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How I Went from Skeptic to Enthusiast

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