Hey all you cloth diaper mammas, this post is for you. This is a little tip I discovered after searching for solutions to get rid of that ammonia smell that comes with the diaper territory. Every nursery, whether using disposables or cloth, deals with diapers and diaper odors (blah) – but the disposable diaper market offers a host of great solutions while cloth diapering is a little behind.
You might remember that when we started this whole cloth diaper thing over six months ago, I had outfitted our nursery with the recommended supplies:
Wet/dry bag for dirty cloth diapers, smaller bag for on the go, and Charlie’s Soap for washing. We still use that great, Planet Wise zippered small bag (have two now, actually) for the diaper bag, but have made updates to our washing routine and diaper pail.
First, we’ve switched over to Tide for cleaning (Charlie’s Soap is great, Tide is a little more readily available and in the BIG cartons).
Second, I converted a traditional diaper pail to function as a cloth diaper pail. Here’s the old set up:
The wet/dry bag worked well. But it wasn’t perfect. So I went on a hunt to create a smell-proof solution for the nursery and came up with only a handful of traditional pails that let you deposit one diaper in at a time (without lifting the entire pail lid and getting a smell ‘blast’) while also allowing for a reusable bag. The Diaper Champ was the solution. You pull back the handle and deposit diaper in the top, flip the handle and the diaper drops into the lower area where the liner is.
I’m so happy with this set up that I’ve invested in two Diaper Champs, when one fills up it makes its way out to the garage (and next to our laundry machine) while the other takes its place. When CD laundry day comes (twice a week), I pull the entire bag out and empty it into the machine, throwing in the bag as well. Sometimes I don’t even use the liner in the pail and just give it a good wipe with a rag to clean it out (since we fold up all diapers after changings, the inside of the pail doesn’t ever get messy).
The only times now that you get a bit of that diaper smell in our nursery is if I don’t swap out a full pail quickly enough. Other than that, problem solved!
Posted in Family & Friends, Going Green | 7 Comments »
Today’s post is a quick follow up to my last cloth diaper follow up from Monday. I had mentioned that we don’t cloth diaper when we travel, but being huge proponents of the whole Go Green thing, we found a simple solution that’s still earth friendly (I’m such a fan that on days when Kev takes Liv out for errands, I happily hand over these disposables, too).
They’re called Broody Chick Diapers and they are fully compostable and completely biodegradable (GroVia makes a version as well). What a great combination! We roadtrip tested these and they receive an A+ for zero issues (you know, the usual issues that might make you nervous with a plastic-less bum hugger).
But – and that’s a big but – for that sweet earth friendly combination to work out, you must dispose of them in an equally biodegradable bag or your entire mission is foiled. See, what a lot of people forget is that when you wrap a diaper (or anything for that matter) in a traditional plastic grocery bag or trash bag, it’s now a plastic diaper ball encased in a material that won’t allow it to break down, even if the diaper is a compostable one.
That’s why when we travel I also tote around a small roll of biodegradable sacks (the same kind you probably use when you take your dog for a walk) so that I can seal up a dirty diaper and then dispose of it in a dumpster (rather than a trash can which is also lined in a plastic bag). When on long journeys, such as a recent week-long family trip to Sedona, I keep a 3 gallon BioBag in our bathroom which I slowly fill up with Broody Chick dipes – and then toss into the dumpster upon leaving. Just like you might throw away a diaper pail’s worth of normal disposable diapers.
If you’re a CD momma, then you know that a second option for traveling would be hybrid diapers, or diapers that allow you to use a cloth or disposable insert. My choice for a hybrid solution is a WeeHugger diaper cover plus a biodegradable gDiaper insert (gDiaper medium cloth inserts work great with these as well). PS cloth diapers make great swim diapers! So they get two points for their space in the suitcase.
But you kind of end up in the same dilemma – unless you’re tossing that biodegradable disposable insert into biodegradable bag (or flushing it or composting it), you’re thwarting all of your good intentions. The plus is the bags are readily available and super duper hardy – we’ve experience no breaking or splitting that you might expect from a cornstarch sack. Yes, degradation of an insert in a biodegradable bag in a landfill will take longer than composting, but it’s a whole lot quicker than the 500+ year alternative.
And as for the non-biodegradable disposable inserts, my thought is you might as well use a disposable diaper OR a cloth diaper and a small travel wet bag (to carry your dirty cloth diapers) since chances are you’ll be toting around a soiled/wet diaper cover by end of day (disposable inserts mean you can use the cover two-three times with a wet diaper before needing a new one, but the possibility of a dirty cover is always there).
By the way, if you’re new to and interested in cloth diapering, check out Dirty Diaper Laundry’s AWESOME Cloth Diaper Finder tool to search through hundreds of diapers for your preferred style, size, material, closure and more. Such a great tool – wish I had known about it six months ago (Thanks, Elle, for sharing).
And there you have it – I tote a small wet bag and extra CDs when running errands around town, and Broody Chicks or WeeHuggers + gDiaper bio inserts and biodegradable bags when it comes to long trips for business or play!
Posted in Family & Friends, Going Green | 3 Comments »
We’ve been using cloth diapers on Liv for a little over 6 months now and I thought I’d share a little update.
First, while it’s a bit more work than the conventional, we really love it. It’s environmentally friendly (reduces our waste by about 2,500+ disposable diapers), tush friendly (no diaper rash to date) and wallet friendly (to the tune of about $1500 over Liv’s first two years). Plus, they look great with a little dress. Sometimes I even color coordinate Liv’s outfits based on her diaper colors for the day .
Liv’s crawling! I can’t believe it. Shortly after she turned 6 months old she began the unsteady rock, and then two weeks later, zoom – she can now follow us from room to room.
Back to CDing… As you might recall, I tried out quite a few of the cloth diapers currently on the market hoping to find that ‘perfect fit’ (in terms of type, sizing, material, etc). Here’s more on CD testing/reviewing 1, 2 and the initial results. In the end I found pros and cons to all of the different brands and styles. The biggest lesson? It’s all about personal preference and what works best with your little one.
So… now that Liv is rounding 17lbs we’re getting ready to size up. Maybe half of my diapers are actually ‘sized’ diapers rather that a ‘one-size-fits-all’ diaper. The sized diapers we use now are extra small and small, and we’ll need to move to size medium soon.
We don’t use all OS (one-size) diapers because I actually really prefer the sized versions. They fit Liv more snugly and without as much bulk. That aside, the benefit of OS diapers is that you can invest in just one stash from about 8-35lbs (so economically it is the smartest solution).
In about a month here, I’ll be retiring maybe 12 small diapers and investing in 12 mediums to rotate into the mix. Which one am I ordering? Of all of the versions that are in my stash, I always reach for the BumGenius 3.0 all-in-one sized diaper first. (Though I must say, my stash of mini/small Happy Heinys is a close second!)
I had mentioned before that Liv is a little bit of a soaker, so I love that this AIO (that’s CD speak for all-in-one) has a built-in liner AND a pocket. I stuff that pocket with an extra insert and we’re golden. The fit is great, the velcro is a huge plus (easy to fasten on a super squirmy baby) and the design is leak-proof for us.
I know, I know – the one thought on everyone’s mind. What about the poop? Breastmilk poop is 100% water soluble so diapers from 0 to 6 months are tossed right into the diaper pail which is emptied right into the wash (yep, the same machine that gets sweaty athletic equipment, dirt-covered construction t-shirts and towels covered in sand from the beach clean does an awesome job on diapers). Just like not having to do a rinse cycle between loads of whites using bleach and regular clothes, your washing machine keeps itself really clean making it so easy.
Now that we’re to solid foods it’s a bit different… but happy to say, a much appreciated change. Solid food poop – pardon my French – plops itself right into the toilet. I occasionally use a flushable liner or gDiaper disposable (but still biodegradable) insert on top of the cloth diaper by laying one end under the above pocket flap and leaving the rest exposed. Then everything is contained and thrown into the toilet or trash (if I have a biodegradable bag in the trashcan). When our new bathroom is finished, I’ll probably connect one of these.
The bummer? BumGenius sized diapers are discontinued. I don’t know why, but this brilliant little bum hugger is no longer on the market. The plus? I’ve purchased nearly all of my BumGenius stash at a discounted rate through online and local suppliers. (Google them, they’re still out there!)
UPDATE: I have since had several smaller retail shops contact me about these specific diapers – if you’re looking to purchase sized AIO BumGenius 3.0 diapers, please shoot me an email and I’ll get you in touch with the sellers! All are willing to match the Cotton Babies discount price : firstname.lastname@example.org.
Here’s a great blog to subscribe to if you’re new to or interested in CDing: All About Cloth Diapers, a reader recommended blog: Dirty Diaper Laundry (check out the cloth diaper finder!), and a reader’s blog: Cotton Bottom Mama.
That adorable dress is from Tea Collection, which was just recently featured over at HauteLook at 50% off.
So we’ve used cloth diapers for 6 months now and I hope to use them until Liv is potty trained, and then to use the same cloth diapers on our next baby. But admittedly there are times when a disposable diaper is WAY more convenient, and I’ll be back to share our favorite way to diaper while traveling.
Don’t worry, if you’re not loving all of the dirty talk around here, our office/guestroom is really coming along and it’s just about ready for an update!
Posted in Family & Friends, Going Green | 10 Comments »