Diaper deal love

I snagged an awesome deal today! 2 GroVia covers, 4 inserts and 2 boosters (about a $100 value taxes included) for $30!

Ok, so….. I didn’t need any more diapers but for that price I couldn’t turn it down. They are very lightly used (ie. used for 1 week). I honestly don’t think the person selling them knew she could have easily gotten double her asking price but heck… who am I to fill her in?

So CD parents… Don’t forget to check your local buy and sell sites for cloth diapers, you never know what kind of deal you will find!


Baby watch update: any day now! Can’t wait to meet my little man!

High-tech diapers

Today I will diverge a little from my cloth diapering posts to express my opinion on some up-coming disposable diaper trends, specifically the new ‘smart’ diaper by Pixie Scientific (read about it from FoxNews.com) and the Huggies TweetPee device (learn more from DigitalTrends.com). While I generally think that new technology always has a use in our society, I feel that these products have missed the mark.

 

Pixie Scientific ‘smart’ diaper:

If I understand correctly, this diaper has an embedded QR code on it and when your child pees, the code will change colours. If there are any abnormalities, you can scan the code with your phone and find out more precise info to determine if you should bring your baby to the doctor. While I do think this sounds pretty cool, the idea in general worries me for a number of reasons.

First of all, has technology allowed us to become so far removed from reality that we cannot tell that our children need medical attention? What will happen if the technology in the diaper fails and a parent does not notice? Will parents ignore other medical symptoms if their child’s diaper is still telling them that all is well? Regardless if your diaper is designed to tell you that your baby is sick, parents should know what to look out for and be actively keeping an eye on their children’s health. If they are doing that and they suspect a problem, properly trained medical professionals will be able to run the appropriate tests to get the same info the diaper could have told you (and likely more). Perhaps at that point, when a problem has been suspected, this diaper could be used to gather preliminary data on the baby to help expedite diagnosis but I don’t feel that it is an adequate every-day replacement for watching out for changes in your child. I worry about the families that may use it as such and possibly miss or ignore other medical symptoms because they have become dependant on their diapers.

Secondly, disposable diapers are already full of chemicals! In order to create this colour changing QR code that is supposedly precise enough to measure bacteria levels, chemical reactions are needed. In other words, chemicals are added to the diaper that react with urine to create the colour change. Our babies are exposed to enough and now we want to add more exposure in order to track their health (which we have been able to do all along without the help of a diaper)? It just doesn’t make any sense to me, even if the chemicals used are currently considered safe. By ‘currently considered safe’, I of course mean ‘for now’ as many products are considered safe for a long time to be promptly pulled from the market due to causing detrimental health problems.

Learn More: http://www.foxnews.com/health/2013/07/10/new-smart-diapers-track-babys-health-alert-parents/

 

Huggies TweetPee

Moving on to the Huggies TweetPee, which is currently being tested in Brazil. This is not so much a diaper as it is a gadget that works with your diapers. Huggies has launched an official website for this diaper gadget but since it is in Portuguese, my understanding of how it works has come from the news. Basically, it is a device that attaches to baby’s diaper and it sends your phone a message whenever baby needs to be changed. It also tracks how many diapers you use to tell you when to buy more.

My concerns with this device mostly circle around the idea that parents need to be told when to change baby. Shouldn’t we be in regular enough contact with our baby to know if it is time for a change? Huggies already has a colour changing wetness indicator to tell you if baby has peed but now we suddenly need our phones to tell us too? Is that a sign of the times that we are spending more time on our phones than with our babies? Perhaps if you think this product is an awesome idea, you should be asking yourself “why do I not know my baby needs a clean diaper?”.

I will give this product a little credit however. Some parents tend to leave their children in disposables longer than they should, simply because it saves money if they can stretch a few extra hours out of each diaper. Personally, this practice irritates me because if a baby is wet or dirty then they need to be changed as soon as possible. Adults wouldn’t want to live in a dirty or wet diaper for any longer than necessary, why should a baby? So I will credit TweetPee for helping to reduce this problem if it works to remind parents to change baby as soon as a diaper is soiled.

Learn more: http://www.digitaltrends.com/social-media/tweetpee-sends-tweet-when-baby-pees/http://huggiestweetpee.com/

The Magic of the Sun

UV rays make stains disappear (they also help kill bacteria)!

smartbottoms

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Stains happen. Even the most faithful cloth-diaper-laundresses are not exempt from this unsightly truth. Cloth diapers, and all clothes for that matter, will get dirty and they will stain. That’s (laundry) life.

In such desperate times, many will turn to bleach. However, this is definitely not the safest option and we cannot in good conscience recommend it to our nature-loving, crunchy mamas.

  1. It’s not good for the environment. Though it is up for debate whether dumping it into your machine is actually harming the environment, the bleach-making process is extremely detrimental (read up here: http://bit.ly/19rE486). This is enough reason for many tree-hugging parents to avoid buying it altogether.
  2. Bleach is bad news bears for you and your baby (well, for basically any human being). It can cause problems in your respiratory and nervous systems and can cause pretty nasty burns. Ick. And that’s just bleach as a solo artist…

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Hidden Diapering Costs

When considering whether cloth or disposable is right for you, one of the main reasons why people chose cloth is because it can save you money. You will find countless breakdowns online of how basic cloth diapering set-ups can save you a ton of money compared to disposables but there are also some hidden costs on both sides that you may not have considered. Some of these include:

Diaper pail refills (disposables only)

Diaper pail (disposables or cloth): one time purchase but in either case, it can be as inexpensive as you make it

Garbage bags (disposables only)

Garbage collection fees (disposables only): some municipalities limit the number of bags per week, or charge more per bag

Gas (disposables or cloth, depending on where you buy): will be more for disposables as you need to buy them more often and may need to make ’emergency’ trips to the store when you run out

Shipping (cloth only): save by buying more at once to qualify for free shipping

Wasted diapers (disposables): when the sticky tabs break as you put a fresh one on, or baby soils it within minutes

Wipes (disposables or cloth): will cost more for disposable wipes

Laundry/water use (cloth): how much will your utilities increase?

Diaper repair (cloth): velcro may need replacing as it wears out (but this is cheap and easy)

Addiction (cloth only): can you really resist all of those adorable prints?

All of these things really depend on your own personal usage so there is no magic number in how much savings can be attained going one way or the other. Consider your own situation and how these hidden costs will factor into your diapering solution!


Learn More:

http://paddedtushstats.com/2012/04/30/the-hidden-costs-cloth-diapering-and-disposable-diapering/

Snaps vs. Velcro?

Thirsties Duo Wrap (Size 1 Storm Cloud) in *Snaps*

Thirsties Duo Wrap (Size 1 Storm Cloud) in *Snaps*

Most cloth diapers and covers come in either snaps or velcro (also known as aplix or hook and loop). Everyone will have their preference but like anything else, there are pros and cons of each type.

First of all, most all adjustable-size diapers and covers will have snaps to adjust the rise (vertical size) of the diaper. Some come in two settings, some come in more but most all of them have snaps. It is in the waist size and closure that you need to make the decision on whether you want velcro or snaps. Here are some things to consider when making this choice:

Snaps:

Pros: last longer, can be easily replaced, looks better, harder for a toddler to undo

Cons: can fall off (but most don’t), not as adjustable, may be harder for somebody not accustomed to CD (like occasional care givers), some daycares only want velcro

Velcro/Aplix/Hook & Loop:

Pros: very adjustable, easier to secure, easier for occasional caregivers and those who are not knowledgeable in CD

Cons: must secure to laundry tabs before washing (or you will get a diaper chain), wears out faster, harder to replace (sewing required), easier for a toddler to undo

Personally, I feel like more people choose snaps and that is why my whole stash is snaps. We all know that the more velcro gets used, the less sticky it can be and this is a problem true to CD as well. If you are handy with a sewing machine it should be no problem to replace the velcro when it wears out but if you are like me, and don’t even own a sewing machine, snaps may be a better option for you! They rarely fall off but if they do, they are simple to replace and you can get replacements at any fabric store.

There is one major draw to velcro however! I’m told it is much easier to get a good fit on baby with a diaper that closes with velcro. Sometimes babies are too big for one snap setting and too small for the next. I do not really have a solution for this problem, but if anyone has any great ideas, I would love to hear them. Nonetheless, most snap users love them and have no problems.


What do you prefer, snaps or velcro? Why?

Save Money on Cloth Diapers!

dollarsOne of the primary draws to cloth diapering (CD) is saving money! At least, that is the reason I became interested. I would love to say it was for environment reasons but when it really comes down to it, money was my main motivator. That is why I want to dedicate this post to ways I have saved money on my cloth diapers and accessories, as well as other great ways to save.

I am not talking about the actual savings in comparison to disposables! If you are reading this, you likely know all about that (if not, you can read about it here). I am not even talking about what diapers to buy that will be the cheapest for you (you can find that answer here). I am simply talking about ways to get the most bang for your buck!


Great ways to save:

Buy used: It seems that some people think they are going to use cloth diapers so they run out and buy a whole stash and then change their mind before they have ever put one on their child. Or, they try a bunch of brands and fall in love with one of them and don’t want the rest. There are lots of cloth diaper fanatics out there who have cloth diapered all of their children to the potty training stage and just simply do not need their diapers anymore. So for these reasons, it is easy to find cloth diapers for sale second hand (some of them have never even been worn). Try looking on your local Kijiji or Craigslist sites or check out http://www.clothdiapertrader.com. Don’t forget about accessories – these can also be readily found second-hand!

Close-out sales: Another thing to look out for is close-out sales! Sometimes retailers go out of business or change owners and this is prime time to shop! When I first started ordering my diapers and accessories, I came across a website that was in the process of changing owners. They were selling out all of their inventory before restocking under new management. Selection was spotty but I did score some amazing deals. I bought Grovia hybrid shells as well as disposable inserts (which I only wanted for emergency), cloth-safe diaper cream, pail liners and a number of other items. I saved about 25% on each item for a total savings of about $50 on my order.

Make your own diaper sprayer: A diaper sprayer is not a necessity but it sure is nice to have. I spent $50 on mine, which is about the going rate for most of them. Truth is, now that it is set up, I realize that it is nothing more than a sink hose (like the kind that pulls out from the kitchen sink). You can easily make one yourself by picking up a sink hose and attaching it to the water intake for your toilet. There are plenty of tutorials online, so let Mr. Google help you.

Make your own re-usable liners: If you go to the accessory page of most online cloth diaper retailers you will see ‘stay-dry liners’. These are liners that are used to turn any cloth diaper into a stay-dry diaper. Normal price is about $1 each. If you plan to use them regularly, you could need quite a few. Instead of spending that money on liners, it is is very easy to make your own. Here is how: go to Walmart or any place that sells fleece blankets. Find one that says it is ‘mirco-fleece’. Go home, cut it into rectangles and then wash (or the other way around if you wish). Done! I bought a $5 micro-fleece blanket from Walmart and I ended up with over 30 liners. They are re-usable but at that price, if a few get too disgusting to wash, I won’t be sad to have them go ‘missing’.

Re-use disposable liners: Most of the disposable liners you can buy can withstand a wash or two in the washing machine (or so I am told). Dispose of the poopy ones in the toilet/compost and reuse the ones that have just been peed on. You can try them in your washer (a lot of people have success with this), but if you are paranoid like me, you can also just throw them in a bucket and when you have a small collection, rinse them by hand with some warm soapy water (use gloves if pee scares you). Just make sure to get the suds out so it doesn’t irritate your little one’s skin. They will dry in no time and you can get another use out of them.

Sell your diapers: I am not saying right this minute but when all of your children have moved onto big-kid underwear and you no longer need your diapers, try selling them to recoup the cost. Anything that is still in good shape should sell no problem. Check out Kijiji, Craigslist or http://www.clothdiapertrader.com for the going rates on the brand/style of diapers you are trying to get rid of. Anything in good used condition often sells for about 50% of the original price and anything that was only lightly used can sell for even more!


Have you found other ways to save money on cloth diapering? If so, please share your ideas in the comments!

Disinfecting Diapers

I frequent a popular baby website on a daily basis and cloth diapers regularly come up. One of the questions I see asked on a regular basis is “how do I disinfect/sanitize my diapers?’. A lot of people think that human waste is full of diseases and that anything that touches is must be thoroughly disinfected in order to not spread disease. The truth is, unless your child is ill, simple washing with detergent after each use is plenty to remove the soiled matter and bacteria on the diapers.

This blog post explains clearly why disinfecting is not needed on a regular basis: http://www.ecobabysteps.com/2009/08/05/do-i-need-to-disinfect-my-cloth-diapers/

If you do find yourself with diapers that do need disinfecting due to illness or infection in the diaper area, there are lots of easy things you can do! For most bacteria, UV rays are enough to kill them, so sunning you diapers is an excellent idea and this has an added bonus of whitening those stains. If your problem is a little bit more complicated (yeast rash for example), refer to this awesome chart by CD manufacturer Thirsties: http://www.thirstiesbaby.com/blog/how-to-disinfect-your-diapering-products/