Saturday, March 16, 2013

What is the best fitted cloth diaper to use with wool?

We are asked this question time and time again. What is the best cloth diaper to use with a wool cover? Cloth diapers seem to be like technology....  if you stop using it, everything seems to change before you know it.  Our last little one potty trained over 5 years ago and in that short amount of time, so many new (and awesome!) cloth diapers have arrived on the scene.  Many of the diapers we used with Caleb are no longer available, so when asked the infamous question about what to use with a wool diaper cover, I find I am quickly becoming out of touch.  We already established in the previous post, that the diaper underneath your wool cover is the foundation to successful diapering. With all of the overwhelming information out there it is tough to know what to choose.  Plus cloth diapers can be a pretty big investment and you want to make sure you are investing in something that will work.   With the help of our "well-seasoned" customers, I am going to work on compiling a list of the top trending fitted diapers.  At the moment this is going to be a rough draft list in progress and I will be adding links and more information as I go.

You might ask, well what exactly is a fitted diaper?  A fitted diaper is a cloth diaper comprised of natural fibers such as cotton, bamboo, or hemp. There are no waterproof layers in a fitted diaper which means that you will need to top off the diaper with a cover that will keep wetness from the diaper leaking through to clothing or furniture.  Covers commonly used to cover the diaper are made from wool, fleece, or PUL (we will talk about all of these in another blog post).

This list can be overwhelming and doesn't come close to covering every single fitted diaper.  Over the next few days we will work on getting this list a little more organized and easier to browse.

Kiwi Pie
Muttaquin Baby
Sloomb/Sustainable Babyish
Bagshot Row Bamboo
GMD (Green Mountain Diapers) Workhorse
Bubu Bebe (B4)
Little Boppers
Pianisimo Cloth
Piddle Poddles
String Beans
Babee Greens
The Cloth Canoe
Tinkle Traps
Twinkie Tush
Tots Bots Bamboozle
Dunk N Fluff
Zimsy Wimsy
Zany Zebra
Orange Diaper Co.
Lil' Pooligans
Poppy Fields
Bum Stoppers
Cherub's Kiss
Holden's Landing
Baby Ten
First Class Baby
Urban Bums Boutique
SOS Diapers
Little Fancy Pants
Rainshine Designs
Sun Seedlings
Monkey Snuggles
Itti Bitti

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Does Your Cloth Diapering System Leak at Night?

One of the most common emails I get is from frustrated parents that are waking up at night with wet sheets and a wet baby.  They are sleep deprived most of the time as it is, and they have tried many things only to end up in frustration and often resort back to disposable diapers at night.  Getting a good diapering routine can be a bit of a challenge..... believe me I know!  One big reason why leaks are so much more prominent at night is that as your little one sleeps soundly, they begin to hold urine for longer periods of time.  Then when they go, they really GO.  If you don't have an adequate diapering solution in place and ready for the flood, you probably will experience leaks around the legs and front.

There are many successful ways to cloth diaper at night and a solution that works for one, may not work for another.  I am not going to talk about all of the options out there.... I am just going to cover using the breathable option of a fitted diaper plus wool.  Whatever option you go with, one thing is the same....It all starts with having a really good foundation with your diaper.  The diaper needs to have several layers of absorbent materials.... the more, the better.  I had posted on our Facebook page asking what diapers our customers were using with their Woollybottoms.  Since my little diapered baby is going to be 9 this year, I wanted to stay in touch with what diapers were being used successfully today.  We had an overwhelming positive response to Sustainable Babyish aka Sloomb diapers ( I have a date in a couple of weeks to talk to our local Rotary Club about Woollybottoms and cloth diapers so I needed to get my hands on a "modern" cloth diaper for show and tell and this Sloomb diaper is to be my model. I received this diaper in the mail last week and immediately I said now this is a GREAT diaper!   OK people.... look at all the layers of material in this diaper!  It is amazing!!!  I think there are 9 total layers of organic bamboo/cotton fleece in this thing.  No wonder this diaper is a success at night. There are enough layers to handle the flood your little one throws at it.  The urine is slowly absorbed through the layers without just shooting straight through everything.  In conclusion, you MUST have a good diaper with plenty of absorption power. If you have a diaper that doesn't seem to cut it, you can easily add layers!  We had success by simply tri-folding an infant prefold and laying that inside our not-so-absorbent diapers and that gave us the extra layers we needed.

So, now that you know what to look for in a diaper, you need to find the right cover.  Again, there are many options out there for covers and many of them work wonderfully!  However, nothing is going to allow air flow like wool.  I can feel some wool intimidation from some of you already and we will cover that on the next blog post :) I don't want to hear from any of you that wool is too hard to care for, too scratchy, there is no way it can hold back urine, the thought of lanolizing wool is scary, yadda yadda. Just trust me on this one OK? We will debunk the wool myths soon enough. On a wool cover, you want to make sure it is on the thicker side for overnight use.... just like the diaper.  All wool covers are not the same. An extra heavy weighted wool will help ensure you will make it through the night with dry sheets.  There are tons of wonderful options out there for wool and again, we will cover those in a future blog post.   Pictured here is a Woollybottoms pull on style soaker made from a gentle felted recycled lambswool and there is an added sewn in layer of wool in the wetzone.   This Sloomb/Woollybottoms combination is destined for success!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Finally Some Sewing For Us!

Poor Caleb has been after me to make him some footies of his own for oh, at least a year (he is now 7 1/2). I had the greatest intentions of getting right on that project. After all, I make footies all the time so what was one more for my son? I even went so far as to purchase fabric just for him.... adorable Corduroy the Bear fabric. I had the perfect piece of wool to use too. I had received an ankle length fine merino wool skirt that was the perfect material for him since it was light weight, soft, and had plenty of length that I could use to get his footies. I pulled everything out and had Caleb here so I could tailor them to fit him perfectly and I was ready to go. Caleb had decided though that the oh so perfect bear fabric was no longer so perfect. My little boy had decided I think that it was a bit on the babyish side. Now he is into "cool" things like cars and pirates and he dug through my fabric stash and decided that the pirate skulls was the most awesome material ever so I obliged. I wondered how I could have allowed this planned project to go on as long as I did and kind of sniffled at the sewing machine as I realized just how fast he was growing up. I got the footies done and was rewarded with the most awesome hug and kiss as Caleb stripped down as fast as he could to put them on. That was worth more than sewing up 100 pairs. Why don't I do this more often?

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

More T-Shirt Recycling!

It has been a VERY busy fall this year with sewing. We have had so many new retailers and we barely have time to breathe in between orders. I decided to carve out some time this weekend to tackle my laundry room. The laundry room has become the abyss of all things forgotten, unwanted or dirty. It really is a great room to throw things in. So I decided to jump in with both feet and found some cool things and some not so cool including some garlic bulbs I had intention of growing and they dried completely out into some kind of petrified hard to recognize thing. I found a big package of playsilks I had bought to dye up and a pile of old T-shirts James had put together for me to donate. Usually whatever James decides he can't wear anymore is in really sad shape and I would be ashamed to donate to anyone (OK, so the hummingbird shirt was NOT his :) ) I hated to just throw them away though. I also came across some yardage of great cotton terry toweling fabric that someone had graciously sent me along with some sweaters probably over a year ago. So, I cut rectangles out of the old shirts, cut a layer of toweling, and simply serged them together to make hand towels. Some of them I just serged together 2 layers of T-shirt. They turned out wonderfully and they work so well! We use hand towels in all of the offices and kitchen at work so these made great additions to our stash. Plus Caleb especially enjoys seeing his daddy's shirts turned into a towel and it seems like I don't have to remind him as often lately to wash his hands :) This is a great way to recycle and only takes a few minutes to do. Don't worry if you don't have toweling material! Putting 2 layers of T-shirt together makes a really absorbent and sturdy towel. Another idea is to use those flannel receiving blankets as a backing.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

The End of a Season

School officially starts again for Sarah and Caleb tomorrow morning. Where has the summer gone? As a working mom, it has been a real trial to balance work with helping to create a magical time with the kids. We had the BIG "planned" trip but the kids seemed to have just as much fun with a spur of the moment trip to the lake, fish hatchery, or Collin's Creek... all just minutes away. It has been fun to watch the kids grow and learn this summer. We have ended our summer with memories of our first views of the Rocky Mountains at sunrise, feeding Stumpy the mallard off the back of the boat, Caleb finding the courage to jump off of the top of a houseboat, Sarah learning to ride a dirt bike, and so much more.

One thing I have just started doing this summer is carrying my camera EVERYWHERE. For the past couple of months, it has been as important as my phone or wallet. I could have kicked myself when I forgot it yesterday. Sarah had been feeding a red ear water turtle off the back of the boat and then actually picked it up out of the water. The thing was not small and I would have loved to get that on camera as it fondly reminded me of myself at that age. I can not encourage everyone enough to keep the camera handy at all times. While it is sad to see the end of summer, I know fall will bring many more wonderful memories.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Awesomeness in Arkansas

We are finally enjoying some cooler temperatures after what has seemed like endless weeks of extreme heat. Not just heat.... heat plus super high humidity. Give me a dessert out west any day compared to this weather. Everything green has pretty much died outside and swimming in the lake feels more like taking a warm bath. As we headed home from work today, we ran into some serious rain. The kind of rain where you are driving and really can't see anything. To my shock, we got several inches of rain within probably an hour. As soon as the rain and lightning show ended, I sent the kids out to play and let the chickens out to free range. I was so happy I had the camera home today because what came after the storm was sheer awesomeness. First we had a rainbow in a dark sky in the backyard. Then a few minutes later the show moved to the front yard with these mammatus clouds. God's handiwork is truly awesome.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Throw Your Sweater Shaver Away...

Or run over it with the car or bury it. I hate those obnoxiously loud things that can't suck up a lint ball or hair if its life depended on it. Believe me... I have threatened them and it doesn't work. Working with wool every single day I tried many things. Each Woollybottom that we ship out must look like new wool when it leaves here free of lint, fuzz, and those matted pill balls. We have received some pretty nasty wool. When we get a shipment of sweaters, we have no idea what kind of life it had previously. Everything goes into a hot wash to remove any impurities and to gently felt the wool (felting helps a diaper cover be more effective). While this cleans the wool it doesn't take off the pill balls and fuzz. In a time of desperation and sore fingers, I picked up a pumice stone in the beauty department of a local store and took it back to the shop. I found that it worked better than I could have imagined. Just lay the wool flat and "brush" it with the stone and everything collects in a ball at the bottom of the wool. The stone is gentle and even putting a lot of pressure on the wool, there has never been any damage to the wool. I have this piece of gnarly lambswool and did half of it as you can see here. It took about a minute to completely clean the left side of the wool and it looked brand new! If your woolies are looking kind of shabby (as they will from normal use) brush them with a pumice stone, gather up the fuzz and you will have a brand new looking pair of woolies again. If you have black wool, you can take a piece of packing tape and press it on the wool to remove any lint. Hopefully these tips will make life a bit easier on caring for your wool. And if you are wondering how long that pumice stone will last, well we haven't been able to wear one out yet. We have used a single stone literally on several thousand pieces of wool. If you buy a new stone, you may want to pre-rinse it in water to remove any dust or loose particles. You may see some small particles come off with the first time you clean your wool. If that happens, just shake the wool out and with further use, the stone will not do that after the initial use.