Wednesday, September 28, 2011

giant baby clothes

We struggle with clothes in this house. The giant baby is not only giant, but with cloth diapers comes the fluffy butt. It is getting cold around here which is really nice for people like me who sweat constantly! The cooler weather is nice, I can wear spring clothes and get away with it. The giant baby, however giant, is still a baby. He needs to wear clothes. He prefers not to wear clothes. I don't blame him, but people judge. Shirts are fine, we can get away with big shirts and roll up the sleves a bit. Pants are the challenge, either the waist is WAY too small, or the legs are WAY too long. Not only does the giant baby have a pretty cute big belly, but his legs are kinda short ;)

So what do we do? Baby legs, baby crawlers, baby knees, whatever you want to call them, are good for giant babies, but aren't always appropriate for the weather. Right now they are okay, but when its snowing...

Pants, we like "man-pri's" the pants that roll up and button. They allow for a bigger size, and fit just right, but are hard to find. Sweat pants are okay. Lets face it, okay, not cute.

The hubs and I were on a date and went to Target. Don't judge, its nice to go to the store without whining children :D We found some cute shorts in a bigger size, 2T to be exact. They are long enough to be pants-ish. I haven't tried them on yet, but this may be our solution.

I think I also need to hem some of big brothers hand me down pants.

If you have a giant baby how do you cloth your baby during the colder weather?

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

buh-bye line drying

Unfortunately, I live in Washington. As beautiful as this state is, we get rain. Im sure you've heard. We get A LOT of rain! I have a feeling today is the last day I will be able to dry our diapers outside. The weather *apparently* is supposed to be good today...ummm, well that's up for debate. It IS warm. But there is NO sun. Not here at least.

I want you to know there is hope. No not for our weather. It only gets worse from here. Soon we will be loosing power, A LOT. We kinda live in redneckwille and it happens a lot here. There is hope for drying your diapers, inside! Because I am the queen of making due with what you have and trying not to add a bunch of steps to my already busy life, I use what I can. Last night I hung covers on the laundry room cabinet doors to dry. This is pretty common for me. This drying method takes up the least amount of space in our obnoxiously disorganized and poorly constructed home. When the house isn't as warm I set up the small drying rack in the kitchen.

I don't recommend drying liners and inserts in the house, you might as well just use the dryer. Unless you are trying to save money on electricity and have enough to last you through the wait time.

I've seen great laundry rooms and basements with mini clothes lines. If you have the room and the resources this would be ideal.

welcome new followers!

Thank you so much to all my NEW followers! I am so excited to see people over there! Thank you a million times!

Stay tuned because there is a BIG giveaway coming soon! You wont want to miss this!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

I get to use rafflecopter!

Im so very excited to be invited to use rafflecopter! It is such an awesome and EASY way to enter giveaways!

One of my big goals on this blog, besides education about cloth diapers, is to be able to host giveaways for the readers! Rafflecopter is a great way simplify the whole process for everyone! LOVE!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

blog kick off giveaway

There are a few things you may not know about me.

1) I am a preschool teacher on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
2) I LOVE Giveaways! I enter many a week. Sometimes I win, sometimes I dont.
3) I am frugal, sometimes to a fault. Making my own fun is something I do...this includes play dough!

A good friend of mine, Heather, at Queen Bee Coupons asked me to do a guest post about making play dough at home. As preschool teachers we make a fair amount of play dough each year, but most people buy it. I think homemade play dough is SO much better. Read the post here:

I would like to offer a double batch of play dough to a new reader!

Giveaway ends on October 31st OR when I get 50 followers!

Giveaway rules:

You must follow giant baby adventures via GFC (google friend connect)
Offer only good in the US
Winner will be emailed and will be asked to verify within 48 hours or a new winner will be chosen.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

cloth diapers and detergent

I really should specify, cloth diapers and NO detergent!

Detergent is bad for cloth diapers. Most detergents and we all use for our regular clothes is just plain bad! As over user americans, we use too much of everything, laundry detergent included.

Cloth diapers and detergent don't get along. Inserts, prefolds, and doublers all fall victim to the grossness. Build up of detergent on your diapers will lead to what we cloth users like to call STINK! Boy is it stinky! Even these "clean" diapers smell. If you take a whiff of your "clean" diapers and they smell. Thats bad! You likely have a build up of detergent and you will need to strip them. Detergent build up WILL cause a rash on your baby's bum. In order to resolve the rash you will need to get rid of the build up. DO NOT USE RASH CREAM WITH CLOTH DIAPERS, unless you use a throw away liner or seperate liner you use just for cream use. Rash cream will ruin your diapers and lead to leakage. Just ask my hubs ;)

There are a couple of ways diapers get build up.
1) Too much detergent. You should only be using cloth safe detergent. Period. Many people make this mistake and it will ruin your diapers. Modern detergent has agents that are built to break down, soil, protiens, etc. Cloth safe detergents can be found even at your local grocery store. Make sure you choose something that is dye and fragrance free with no "get clean" additives like oxi clean or ingredients that will break down "dirt." Simple is better here. Only use 1-2 table spoons per load.

2) Not enough water. I made this mistake in the beginning. I figured since I was only running a small load I would use a small amount of water. That only lasted a couple weeks until I noticed the tell tale ammonia lingering. Also, don't fill it more than half way. Run a FULL water cycle with an EXTRA rinse. There is some debate about water temperature, but I like Hot. That extra rinse is crucial.

3) Night time diapers and diapers that are sitting too long. Whew! Pee-ew! those suckers are just plain hard to get fresh the longer they sit. That is why I like to wash every other day, NO MATTER WHAT! Even if I have to throw in the baby blankies (which get stinky fast too with all their love) or a few dirty baby clothes to feel justified with the water use.

How to resolve the stink.

1) Try running your diapers and inserts in a load set the water on HIGH, set it on HOT, run an EXTRA rinse with NO detergent. Watch them agitate. If there are any soap bubbles you have detergent build up. If you notice grimy dingy water, you probably have soil build up. I know this goes against every bone of frugal money saving, green water saving in your body, but run the washer until you see CLEAN water.

2) If you still have stinky diapers after the above step. You will need to strip your diapers. There are a couple of ways to do this.

a) put your diapers and/or inserts in the hottest water you can get from your tap with a COUPLE (2-4) drops of original BLUE dawn dish soap, in a bucket, bathtub, or pot. Do NOT put them in your washer. I know you're thinking, but you just said soap is bad. When you have detergent build up, you need to get it out. Think of those cute but sad Dawn commercials with the oil covered critters. Dawn gets rid of the grime. Let them sit for a while, a couple hours is a good place to start. Next, rinse and rinse, and rinse some more! I think doing this by hand is best that way you can make sure you wont flood your house with bubbles from your washer. Once you get all the dish soap out, you can then rinse in the washer. Make sure there are no more bubbles before you bring them out and declare them "clean." If the stink still persists...
b) Boil the inserts. This can ONLY be done with the inserts, prefolds, or doublers. You cannot boil diapers with laminate, it will ruin them. I have not done this myself yet. I have stinky inserts that I just done use, and have other new ones I do use currently. I have heard that this is pretty gross and super stinky. You may want to turn on a fan and open the doors. Reports are, that you need to boil them for at least 15 minutes, stirring constantly. I suggest rinsing them REALLY well in the bath tub and smelling them. IF they still stink. Do it again. Then run them in the washer.

Not only is stink, well, stinky, but it can lead to rash on your baby's bum. Remember, NEVER use rash cream with your cloth diapers unless you are using a liner.

Monday, September 5, 2011

stuck on velcro

Velcro is great for sticking to stuff, and great for stuff sticking to IT.

No matter what you do, if you have Velcro or Aplix (heavy duty closure brand) stuff is going to stick to it. When stuff gets stuck in Velcro, it becomes less effective. The giant baby and Velcro don't really get along.  There are several diapers with Velcro that all he has to do is sit down hard and they pop open.  The more fuzzies that are stuck the more easily they pop.

Here are a few helpful hints about de-fuzzifying your Velcro that has become less than effective. 

The closure before. Not too bad, but like I said, the giant baby and Velcro don't get along ;)

I use a kitty comb here, but any old comb is just as good.  I like the finest tooth I can find so it really grabs all the little fuzzies.

The after. All clean!

 All the fuzzies!

letting it all hang out

Hanging your diapers out to dry is the best! Not only does the sun help to get rid of any staining that may occur with frequent use, but the sun helps disinfect! You will be mistaken if you think that the average washer will disinfect your diapers. Don't you worry! We as family members are used to each others little germies.  This doesn't mean that you can skimp on good hygiene while laundering. It only means that you will not get sick from a few lingering germs in the wash.

I am all about saving money and using what you have available. This may mean using the corner of your shed and a tree for a clothes line. It works! We also use drying racks, but the line cuts down on drying time. I DID have two lines for a while...until the hubs fell off the roof ruining the line in the process. He was fine by the way, physically that is ;) its debatable about his mental state. Those of you who know him will not doubt it.

If you don't have a clothes line or a rack, a couple of chairs will do.

modern cloth diapering and the cost.

I get a LOT, and I mean A LOT of looks when I explain to people that we cloth diaper. Most people are truly perplexed. Not to throw them under the bus, but our own family was the worst. They did not understand why I would spend $100 on diapers. Even after I explained MULTIPLE times about how expensive disposables are.

1 pack of name brand diapers are $10 or more. This particular pack of 32 lasts a couple weeks. The math is astounding! The only plus of disposables is that the smaller your baby, the more diapers you get in a pack. Those of us with giant babies don't get the luxury of coasting by in small diapers. Believe me, we tried it. I don't recommend it.

Lets break it down:

9 diapers a day x 1 month = 252 diapers a month = 3,024 diapers a year

6 diapers a day x 1 month = 168 diapers a month = 2,016 diapers a year

Most brand name diapers are about $0.12 a piece on a GOOD day!

3,024 x $0.12 = $362.88 a year
2,016 x $0.12 = $241.92 a year

Now I know most of your are thinking thats not too bad, I'd rather just spend the money and get on with my life.

Remember this is the price of diapers on SALE! I just checked major chain store prices and the price per diaper is $0.17 per diaper with a price cut. This is a 56 pack of size 1's
A 34 pack of size 4's are $0.28 per diaper

Now lets do the REAL break down:

Newborn: 40 diapers @ $0.24 x 12 per day x 7 days x 4 weeks = $80.64
Size 1: 56 diapers @ $0.17 x 10 per day x 7 days x 4 weeks = $47.60
Size 2: 48 diapers @ $0.19 x 9 per day x 7 days x 8 weeks = $95.76
Size 3: 40 diapers @ $0.23 x 8 per day x 7 days x 24 weeks = $309.12
Size 4: 34 diapers @ $0.28 x 8 per day x 7 days x 12 weeks = $188.16
Size 5: 30 diapers @ $0.32 x 7 per day x 7 days x 52 weeks = $815.36
Size 6: 26 diapers @ $0.37 x 6 per day x 7 days x 52 weeks = $808.08 OR
trainers: 40 @ $0.40 x 6 per day x 7 days x 52 weeks = $873.60

Over three years:

You will spend an "average" of $2410.44

That alone should make you cry a little, I did. No not really, but I was disgusted!

(you can say you will potty train your kids in 2 years but that is not the average length of diapering years) mine chose not to potty train till he was 4 :) there is nothing you can do about it! There are only three things a kid can truly control in his life: eating, sleeping, bathroom control.

If there was a number 1 reason that I switched to cloth, it was because of the cost.

The cost of a single cloth diaper seems like a lot with the first glance. One diaper can cost anywhere between $5 and $40 some dollars. That is a huge gap. It boils down to personal preference and what is easiest for your family. We prefer pocket diapers for day use and covers for night use. Those run $5-$20 some dollars each.

If you do laundry every other day, which I prefer no matter how many diapers I've used, you will need 14-25 diapers. Or 25 prefolds and 3-6 covers. Conservatively.

25 diapers x $15 each = $375

25 prefolds x $4 each = $100 Plus 6 covers x $15 each = $90 =$190 for all

This is do-able. If you are on a restricted budget like we are, paying that much all at once can be too much. I highly recommend buying second hand. Cloth diapers retain their value long after their use and years of life. I bought a wonderful pack that we used for a solid 3 months exclusively, for $100 on craigslist. This is with the one diaper I won, as well as 6 my cousin gave to us preloved. This is a stash of 19 diapers and three covers.

I do laundry every other day, like I said, regardless. Diapers get stinky when they sit. Having a bigger stash would make no difference. The only time when having a bigger stash is nice is when you may need extra for travel, emergencies, etc.

If you do laundry less often you will need more diapers, Simple as that. This summer I got kidney stones, luckily I was still able to do laundry, but there were several occasions when my hubs had to ask me to put the diapers together. The nice thing about cloth is that you never truly run out!

Sunday, September 4, 2011

how we came to cloth diapering

You are all wondering, why on earth would you go BACK in time, spend the time, money, water, and energy cloth diapering! I will answer these questions and hopefully MORE!

This year I started entering some blog giveaways, one featured a cloth diaper. Im not sure what I thought exactly at the time, but one of the thoughts was, that is the cutest diaper I have ever seen! I didn't care that I had no idea how to take care of it or what I was going to do if I won. Well what do you know, I won! I was so excited because it was the first giveaway I had ever entered AND won!

When the diaper came in the mail I carefully inspected my prize, noticing the soft materials and simple construction. This diaper was made of soft fleece on the inside where it touched the giant baby's bottom. The outside was a star printed PUL (Polyurethene Laminate) so there is no leaking.

I threw it in the wash (not properly mind you!) and as soon as it came out I slapped it on the giant baby! Talk about cute! Next I noticed how simple the diaper was to put on. This particular diaper was made with snaps and was no harder to use than a disposable. In fact it was BETTER! If you have a houdini baby its going to be pretty hard to get out of a snap closure.

Cleaning: Dang, its not hard! I was almost hoping that it WOULD be! A pee diaper is as simple as unstuffing (in this case) and throwing it in the wash with a diaper safe detergent. A poo diaper is just as simple. The hubs prefers to shake and wipe over the diaper trash, but he also uses disposable wipes. I shake over the potty and do an old fashioned dunk if I ever need to but its rare! Next, throw it in the wash. Thats it!

Drying: Throw it in the dryer or hang to dry. We have the luxury of having the sun on our side with cloth diapering. The sun is a free dryer! Imagine that! The bonus of the sun is that it naturally bleaches out any stains and gets rid of germies! When we have no sun, it happens a LOT here in Washington! I hang my covers in the house and throw the inserts in the dryer.

Ta-DA! Thats it! I promise!

After I tried this one diaper I mentioned it to my cousin who offered her old diapers to me. I took her up on it and decided to give it a whirl. I had a discussion with my hubs about how my stash of disposable diapers I got from other kids at church that grew out of a pack before they finished, and my coupon stash was almost gone. My case was good. When I bought disposables I got them for less than $3 a pack! I stashed enough (as all good couponers do ;) ) to last a good while. Since I would be home for the summer on break, I could take on the "task" of diapering with cloth.

I researched craigslist, and found an AWESOME deal! This was just days after I pleaded my case. My hubs was super nervous about the price and what this new deal would bring. Im telling you, this was an awesome deal! Once in a life time type.

8 Sunbaby's with inserts
5 Bum Genuis 3.0 with inserts
3 Thirsties covers (large)

8 extra inserts for sunbaby's
12 prefolds
4 baby kick's hemp prefolds

A great starter pack for $100

We went full in right away. My hubs was a convert in a day! We haven't looked back since!