Tuesday, February 28, 2012

What's In A Diaper?

So I was going through all my bookmarks on my computer (a little housecleaning) and I came across a great post at Peaceful Parenting on the ingredients used in disposable diapers.  With our fourth child, she would have diaper rash all the time.  Her bottom was so raw with big sores that would never heal.  I would slather on all different kinds of diaper creams to no avail.  After more than enough crying and screaming with every change, I decided to go 100% cloth with her.  The change happened in just a couple days.  Her skin healed without creams and ointments.  Her skin healed by ditching the disposable diapers and wipes.  There is nothing better than water on a wash cloth and a cotton prefold to keep sensitive skin healthy.  

This article is worth a read especially if you are just starting to learn about cloth diapers and need that final nudge to make the commitment.

Another Dr Visit, but I'm Losing My Mind.

I had my next doctors appointment last week.  We scheduled my glucose test so I pretty spent most of the morning in the clinic.  I had a good book with me, but the office was bustling because there was also a health fair going on where people could come in for blood work for a minimal price.  Anyway, I chugged my drink and waited for the hour.  During that time, two nurses came to get me to watch some videos.  For the last two children I declined because I had seen them already and honestly there is nothing in the videos that I don't already know.  Well anyway, they had some new ones and I was to watch them.  I respectfully declined, but I think I surprised one nurse.  I don't think she was expecting to hear a no.  Anyway, I had to sign a paper stating I was declining the video. The videos were about newborn screening, vaccines, and shaken baby.  

Me at 23 weeks.
So after a bit they took me back.  The highlight of the day was when I stepped onto that scale.  That's right.  I was happy to see that number.  It was the same as it was four weeks prior.  To date, I have gained only 5 pounds.  My bp was a bit high 142/75 but after 5 minutes or so the nurse took it again and it was 125/74, so that was better.  The doctor came in and here is where I realized I have totally lost my mind.  He sat down looked at my chart and he said that we are at week 25.  Really?  I said I thought it was more like 27 weeks.  Um nope.  That day marked the first day of week 25.  And here I had been telling everyone that I was at 27 weeks!  Now, that's just two weeks difference, but two weeks means a lot when it comes to a growing baby in the womb!  I'm just hoping that we did not do the glucose test too soon.  Heartbeat was fantastic at 159.

So now we wait another 4 weeks when I will be 29 weeks.  Dude, I really feel like this pregnancy is just crawling!


Wednesday, February 8, 2012


The banner is flying, the flags are waving, horns are trumpeting and the villagers are dancing in the streets.  The elusive and deadly ammonia monster has finally been slain.  *cue happy dance*  

It only took one soaking for my microfiber inserts to come out smelling clean.  I have sniffed every peed in insert so far and all I smell is urine.  Imagine that!  It took a little more work with my flats and prefolds, but I knew I could get my inserts clean.  What I did do though, is wash my covers separately from the inserts.  I didn't want to douse my covers in bleach (inserts are a bit tougher) so I simply washed them with a bit of Tide liquid (I was out of homemade detergent-yea for back up!) and dried them on low in the dryer.  I'm a bit impatient when it comes to my covers drying.  Anyway, I then threw the inserts into the washer with Tide liquid and hot water on a heavy wash setting.  I put them in the dryer on medium heat.  Stuff, fold and viola they are ready to be used.

Yesterday afternoon and now this morning I have been using them and there is no smell to them at all except for the two poopy diapers I've already changed on my son.  You don't know (well some may) how good this makes me feel.  I really was getting to the point of calling it quits.  A simple change in routine, rather than a complete revamping of routine, has solved the problem.  Now bring on baby #6 so I can continue on the fluffy goodness!

Monday, February 6, 2012

Part A Solved: WoHoo!

I have finally solved my ammonia delima in my flats and prefolds.  It has taken a while to come up with a solution.  I have been actively working for the last 5 weeks, though I have been dealing with stink for many months now.  

I wanted to get away from bleach.  When my diapers came out of the washer, they smelled so strong.  Not a poop or unclean smell, but the bleach smell.  It just seemed so toxic to me.  I tried to cut it out completely, but that was just not going to cut it.  However, what I did do, was alter my wash routine.  And I am finding it is a bit of a unique routine compared to many.  Fortunately I believe I have been able to cut out some utility use as well with my new routine.  

First of all, if I smell ammonia, I soak.  I take my trash can and pour in 1/8 cup or less of bleach and put in some water.  Just enough to cover the articles in the bucket.  Once I take the diaper off the child, I rinse/wring out the diaper (flat, prefold, AIO which I use only for nights) in the sink to get any saturated urine out.  Then I simply soak the item in the bucket.  I have to maintain an every other day wash routine to stay on top of the stink, so the items will be in the bucket for no longer than 2 days.  

When it is time to wash I throw the items from the diaper pail into the washer and wring out the items from the bleach bucket and put in washer.  I set it for a cold short wash (some do just a cold rinse, but with the small amount of water that my machine uses, I have to do a whole cycle).  With that cold wash I will dilute less than 1/8 cup of bleach in a cup of water and add that to the cycle.  I let this bleach water swish and soak in to all of the diapers and covers in the machine.  I think this is the most effective part, alongside of the soak because my machine will add and spin out the water about 3-4 times during the whole cycle.  Okay, so when that is done, I switch to a hot heavy cycle with 1-1 1/2 cups of homemade liquid detergent (side note:  I used 1 cup Borax in my mixture).  From there I can toss everything into the dryer on low heat for 60-70 minutes.  

So where did I cut something out?  I have cut out at least one whole "rinse" cycle after the hot wash.  I had been adding bleach to my bleach dispenser in the hot wash, but as I had mentioned this was leaving them smelling so heavily like bleach.  I would then run a whole short wash to try to rinse out the undiluted bleach.  

I feel (totally my opinion and not scientific fact) that adding the diluted bleach to the first cycle aids in killing all the bacteria and breaking down the ammonia.  Oh, but the biggest factor here is definitely the bleach soak.  

Now this has all been done on just my flats, prefolds, and 4 AIO used for night.  I will still occasionally have some very slight ammonia in a night prefold if it is totally saturated.  If so, then I just do the soak with it.  I'm not having to soak 3/4 of my load anymore; rather I've only had to do maybe 2 prefolds.  What a huge difference.  

My next step is my pockets.  I've begun my bleach soak today.  I am first starting out by soaking only the microfiber inserts.  I know many will say that bleach on pockets won't damage them, but I feel if I am soaking them for two days there will most definitely be an effect on them in some way.  I say this only because I had soaked a white Knickernappies pocket and the white does not look quite so white.  The inside does, but the outside looks a bit more, well off whiteish/pinkish.  Not sure what happened to it, but I don't think the bleach soak was very good for it.  What I am hoping will work for the pockets will be the diluted bleach that I add to the pre-wash cycle.  Since the pocket lining is so thin, I think this will be adequate enough to break down any ammonia in them.  

So, I am glad to be confident in my routine for my flats and prefolds.  Now to see if it will work on my pockets. 

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Let The Nesting Commence....Part II

Picture this.....35 weeks 5 days pregnant.  But who's counting? 
-Baby bassinet put together?  CHECK 
-Baby clothes washed, in the drawers and ready to go?  CHECK 
-Hospital bags packed for Mommy, Daddy and not so Lil' D?  CHECK
-Stalk mom about getting her bags packed to travel out here for baby?  CHECK
-Replace necessary items such as infant car seat and bouncer that were attacked by mold and mildew in the basement of our old house?  CHECK
-House clean, pantry stocked and ready to go food frozen in freezer?  kinda-CHECK
-Diapers prepped, clean, organized and ready to go?  CHECK

Ahhhh....the diaper stash!  As I mentioned in the previous blog post, we did not start cloth diapering our son until he was a toddler.  With baby #2, we plan to start as soon as we get home.  As promised, here is the stash I have collected:

*5 fitted diapers including 2 Thirsties Fab Fitted and 3 OsoCozy unbleached cotton
*13 prefolds including 6 generic Gerbers, 3 knickernappies unbleached cotton and 4 Thirsties Duo Hemp
*3 OsoCozy unbleached flats
*5 Snappi's
*3 (soon to be 5) Thirsties Duo Wrap covers

Collecting the stash has been fun.  I already had the Gerber prefolds as they were used with Lil' D as spit up cloths.  Oh boy, could that kid puke, just ask my cousin Debbie.  I also had the Hemp prefolds because hemp is so so SO very absorbant.  I used them as extra stuffing for Lil' D's diapers.  The rest came from Nicole Dente, Cloth Diaper Expert.  Take a look at her site to get the specifics on pretty much everything but the Gerber prefolds.

As for the Snappi's, if you don't know what they are for, they replace the pins in case I choose to use the flats/prefolds as fitteds and not just to lie inside the covers.  I can't lie, pins on babies still freak me out a bit.

I made a point to try and purchase items that will be able to be used for the long haul.  Or, as long as possible.  Many one size cloth diapers are not ideal for newborns.  And if this baby is anything like his or her big brother, skinny-mini is going to be the rule for a month or so.  I do have several more covers, fitteds and all in ones for when the baby chunks up a bit.  But, showing those may or may not give away the gender of the baby.  Which, as of this point, I am not at freedom to divulge if said information has or has not to me been passed.  ;-)

Once I am able to grab those last two covers (blue and green) from Nicole, my newborn stash will be complete.  Don't think the purple means anything.  Did you see them Ravens?  Real men wear purple. 

Probably some morning at 3am when baby is nursing, I'll be able to tell you what worked, what didn't and why.  At least for our family.  Each kid is different.  Each family is different.  Cloth diapers are not for everyone.  Don't worry mom, we do have Newborn disposable diapers and pull ups for when you are here.  Like I said, cloth diapering is not for everyone.  But, it is for this family.  At least right now.

Sharon Underwood is a SAHM of one awesome little 2 year old boy Derrek.  She and her husband live in a rural town in Nebraska.  Through mutual friends, Sharon and I have learned quite a bit about raising our families "naturally".