This weekend, on Sunday was Orlando and I’s one year anniversary. To make a very long story short Orlando and I had to make a quick trip to Houston, the reason he told me was to just be with family – the real reason.. Well you’re just going to have to read.
We celebrated early Saturday night at The Rainforest Cafe at the Galleria in Houston, while his mom was at home moving the rings from one spot to another. Sunday morning he picked one out while I was distracted by The Sims Social on the computer and waiting on the queue to eat. However, the time to eat never came because two of our family members never showed up. We waited until 11:30 AM when we were going to eat around 8:30am, we couldn’t just go home because the car was at the family shop getting a tune up and oil change, making sure it was ready for inspection!! My almost father in law took us to get the car where we spend another hour or so talking about getting a second, family-friendly car and then we finally left.
We were SO hungry we stopped at the halfway mark Giddings, Texas, which is a small town, at this little hole in the wall place, best chicken fried steak ever. I insisted that I had the large when I should have gotten regular but I did eat most of it, so I give myself props even though I felt like I was going to explode! When we left, Orlando saw a little train station and since we love to take adventures, he said we should go check it out- so we did. It was really neat to look at, I wish it had been open so we could go inside and check it out but instead we just looked through the windows, next to it was a little gazebo and he walked (more like raced) over there, I slowly followed – or should I say waddled after him. When I got there he hugged me and said “I love you.” I was jokingly patting around his shorts and asked, “Alright, where’s the ring?” He busted out laughing, got down on one knee, for some reason I laughed but then I was speechless and he started tearing up, which made me all teary. He asked me to marry him and I just stood there for 30 seconds and hugged him and said “Of course, yes! You know I won’t say no!!” Then went back to laughing and just kept asking him and myself, “Did this really just happen?!?” As we walked back to the car…
I later called my mom to tell her (almost home at this point) and starting laughing/crying hysterically… She couldn’t understand what I was saying. Eventually she got it but I told her I’d have to call her later because all the mixed emotions/hormones were just overwhelming and I made myself sick.
He said to me me, “That’s why we went to Houston this weekend because I have always wanted to do it on our anniversary and I wanted to pick a ring out that made you feel like a princess.” I would have taken a string around the finger with a little bead on it and have no complaints. The fact that I am wearing one of his mother’s rings is absolutely amazing. There will be no major wedding plans going on because right now we’re just focused on getting our little one here, safe and sound!!! But once he is born, which isn’t too far away just another month, it’s so on!!!
Achievement Unlocked – Make Amanda Feel Like A Princess
I wanted to share the great news! I hope everyone had a fantastic weekend and has a wonderful week!
Monday, September 19, 2011
Friday, September 16, 2011
Disposable diapers are harmful to the environment. These diapers take between 250 - 500 years to break down. No one ones for sure because no one has ever lived to tell the tale. Not only do disposable diapers last forever but even though all disposable diaper packages state that solid waste should be flushed and not thrown out, people just throw it out anyway. Feces is hazardous waste, and bacteria from these diapers is making it's way into our water supply and air and spreading disease.
Cloth diapers are better for the environment than disposables. Some will say you're wasting water, but compared to the previous fact about how long it takes a disposable diaper to break down, the amount of water you use to wash your diapers doesn't even come close to that amount of waste.Cloth diapers can be used for more than one baby and then be passed on to another mama in need of diapers. So you tell me which is better!!
Diaper rash, the most common cause of rash is extended exposure to a hot soiled diaper.
A disposable diaper hides evidence that the diaper needs to be changed, often resulting in bacteria-caused rashes. Disposable diapers contain trace amounts of the carcinogen dioxin, as well as large amounts of chemicals for absorbency and perfumes. On the other hand, cloth diapers are natural fibers, if washed correctly, they will have no chemical residues. You can still get diaper rashes with cloth diapers, however they are more common with disposables.
Just a few things I thought I'd rant about!
Tuesday, September 13, 2011
We went over how to prep and wash your cloth diapers but what about how to clean your washing machine? Some know how to do this and some don't even know to do this but it is very important to keep up with your machine, especially if you are laundering cloth diapers. The inside of your washing machine is constantly being subjected to dirty water, mineral and detergent deposits. The mineral build up can really do damage to your clothes and your cloth diapers which can cause them to wear faster. So what can we do to get most of this out and get our washers back to the good old days?
Vinegar or Lemon Juice (2 cups of one or the other)
Q-Tips, quite a few of them
Spray Cleaner (Multi-Purpose)
1.) Run your washer on hot with two cups of vinegar or lemon juice to knock loose all of that nasty grime.
2.) Remove the fabric softener dispenser and soak it in hot water with a little bit of detergent/soap, if you need to get in there to remove some grime, use your q-tips!
3.) Clean the bleach dispenser with your cleaner, paper towels and q-tips.
4.) Wipe around the top rim of the wash bucket, there's usually a lot of build up there.
5.) Run one last cycle on hot while the washer is empty.
6.) Don't forget to put the fabric softener dispenser back when it is done soaking!
If you haven't replaced your hoses in a while, it may be a good idea to check your hoses and make sure they are not leaking because this can also cause a problem. If they are five years or older, it would be a good idea to replace them anyways!
If you have any questions, concerns, or just want to talk email me at Birdsnestsdiapers@yahoo.com.
If you have any questions, concerns, or just want to talk email me at Birdsnestsdiapers@yahoo.com.
Monday, September 12, 2011
In the last post I went over how to take care of your diapers, remember that you don’t have to do it exactly like I said. Every mama (and dad) has their own routine so find what works for you!
Lanolizing Wool Covers & Longies
You can lanolize a cover in about 15 minutes, it’s that easy. If you are using them in rotation with other covers and airing them out between uses you will likely not need to wash them more than once every week or two. When you wash your wool diaper cover, use a gentle soap designed for wool care. You can use a small amount of baby shampoo or a lanolin rich wool wash. **If you are using a lanolin rich wool wash, you will only need to lanolize your covers about every 3 weeks. **
How do you know when to lanolize your wool covers/longies? When the cover needs more lanolin, it will begin to leak or smell bad.
Wash your cover or longies gently in wool safe soap and warm water. Don’t agitate them too much or subject them to rapid temperature changes; this will cause the wool to tighten up, shrink and “felt.” Gently press the water out and then set the wool diaper cover/longies aside.
Prepare your lanolin.
If you are using a spray lanolin, just spritz it on; you want to use enough to dampen the wool, massage it in a little and allow your cover to air dry.
If you are using liquid or solid lanolin, add a little hot water to a clean sink or bowl. Add about 1 teaspoon lanolin and a few drops of baby shampoo. Swirl it around until it mixes into the water. When it’s nice and mixed up, the water will appear cloudy. Add enough warm water to submerge the cover/longies.
Place the wool diaper cover in the sink and allow it to soak for 15 minutes or longer, overnight is good. Gently drain out the water and wrap the cover in a towel to remove as much moisture as possible.
Finally, allow your cover to air dry. Do not put your wool in the dryer or try to accelerate drying.
After the cover/longies are dry, you’re done! Congratulations. If you don’t know where to purchase lanolin or curious to see where you can, I will post links in the “Helpful Links” area on the right.
Lets quickly go over how to wash wool!
Fill the machine with just enough warm water to cover your wool items and add a teaspoon of wool cleaner for each gallon of water. Soak for 1/2 hour. Squeeze gently by hand and remove. Spin the remaining water out. *You may also use a bucket or the kitchen sink as well.* Avoid hot and cold water as they will distress the natural wool fibers.
Have staining problems? To remove any stains on your wool products we recommend laying them flat in the sun however the sun can fade your colorful wool or leave discoloration and fading.
If you have any questions, concerns, or just want to talk email me at Birdsnestdiapers@yahoo.com.
Here it is! How to wash and prep your cloth diapers. If you use cloth diapers, you eventually have to wash them which can be a hassle if you’re not sure how to do it or find yourself with a routine that just isn’t working. When you’re first starting out you may be asking yourself, “Is there anything I need to do before I put cloth diapers on my little one?” The answer is yes, you have to prep them. If you’re using used diapers, they can just be washed by using whatever routine works for you.
Prepping NEW Diapers –
Before you put your diapers in the washer, hopefully you know what they are made of and how to successfully prep/wash them. If not, that’s okay; I’m here to help you figure it all out! Different diapers may require different prepping/washing methods in order to get the best out of them.
Normally Pockets, AIO, and AI2′s come with instructions on how to prep them for use and some even claim that they can be used out of the package. But in my opinion, before using your new diapers; all cloth diapers, covers and wipes should be washed on Hot with a Cold rinse and dried at least once before initial use. Wash with 1/4 – 1/2 the amount of suggested detergent. Dry your PUL lined diapers in the dryer on High heat the first time to help seal the PUL. Bummis Diaper Covers can be tumbled dry on low heat or hung to dry. Inserts and wipes can be dried in the dryer on normal heat.
Unbleached natural prefolds, any hemp diapers and Organic Cotton Velour diapers for the first time you will need to prepare them for use. Meaning, you need to remove any natural wax from the fabric and make them absorbent. Be sure to wash these diapers separately initially until the natural wax is removed. Prefolds arrive very flat, they will fluff up beautifully after washing and drying a few times. Wash on HOT with some detergent (1/4 -1/2 the normal recommended amount). Then, tumble dry on normal to high heat. Repeat this process 3 times. Test for absorbency by pouring some water onto the diaper. If the water absorbs readily into the diaper – your diapers are ready to use. If the water stays on top of the diaper, like it’s repelling then you need to do some more washes until it no longer repels. Hemp diapers may need up to 8 washings before they reach maximum absorbency but check after 3 washings as they may be ready to use at this point, why waste water if you don’t need to? Hemp can be used after one wash but will not have reached it’s maximum absorbency.
Congratulations, you just prepped your diapers!
Caring for your diapers
Do not wash more than two dozen diapers at a time! Do not leave poop in the diapers for more than 24/hrs, this will break down the cotton fibers and also leave some mean staining.
Run a cold rinse or soak with 1/4 the amount of detergent, this will remove any left over poop/pee and send it right down the drain! Wash on hot cycle, cold rinse again and then hang them out to dry. If that’s not an option, tumble dry!
If the manufacturer gives you different instructions, please modify your washing routine to their instructions.
Easy enough right?
Remember when I said you may have to “strip” your diapers due to a number of reasons. Smelly diapers, leaky diapers, fleece is “repelling” moisture most of this is caused by build up, so stripping everyone in awhile even if you don’t have these problems will help you out in the long run. So here’s how to do just that.If you wash your natural diapers with synthetics or do not get all of the detergent out each time you wash, is another reason why your fleece may be repelling and your diapers are leaking.
There are a couple of ways to strip your diapers.
1.) Your diapers need to be clean, they don’t have to be dry but clean!! Wash them on HOT 2-3 times without detergent. Rinse until the water runs clear, if you’re doing this because of too much detergent. Rinse until there are NO suds.
2.) Do the same as above except instead of not using detergent use BLUE (original) Dawn dish liquid soap with HOT water. You can do this in the washer but remember that Dawn is NOT low sudsing, HE approved detergent so be sure to check with your machine manufacturers before doing this. Some parents even do this in a pot or bowl. Don’t let your diapers soak for too long like this, especially diapers with PUL. If you do, the PUL will NOT be as effective!!
A few tips
Try to avoid detergents with “brighteners” or “enzymes” as these will break down your diapers and may cause a rash. Also try to avoid laundry “soaps” as they may leave a residue on your diapers. (Dreft and Ivory Snow are detergents and OK for diapers).
Fasten diapers and covers inside out so the insides get clean and to protect any applique or embroidery.
Take a “sniff test” after washing. If your diapers smelllike detergent do another hot rinse, or try stripping to get all the detergent out.
If your diapers are “crunchy” after drying outside toss them in the dryer on the fluff cycle for 10-15 minutes to soften them up.
Should you dunk in the toilet?
You don’t HAVE to dunk in the toilet, a simple shake above the toilet or maybe a little toilet paper to budge the tough spots will do the job. Once that is taken care of just through them in the diaper pail. If your baby is still only drinking milk (especially breastmilk) you need not worry about removing the poo as it will wash right out in the washing machine. If you want to dunk your cloth diapers or do the toilet paper method, a diaper sprayer that attaches to your toilet or bathroom sink is a great idea but not a necessity.
Do you have to use a laundromat?
Many parents may choose not to cloth diaper because of this, but it’s still possible! The good news – laundromat washing is that many times huge front-loading machines are available that can wash up to 40-50 diapers at a time. So if you can wash that many diapers, you won’t have to have as many trips to the laundromat as you though. One of the major issues is the detergent build-up that can occur due to others using the same machines. To avoid this is to wipe out the insides of both the washer and the dryer that you will use and the detergent dispenser if possible. If you’re like me and don’t really want to do that, run a load of regular laundry through FIRST with your diaper safe detergent or just wash your diapers last.
If you have any questions, concerns, or just want to talk email me at Birdsnestdiapers@yahoo.com.
So we talked about why you should cloth diaper and briefly went over how much the initial investment can be if you choose to cloth diaper. Granted, that initial investment can be intimidating but it’s really not if you know what you’re looking for. I also said something about used diapers, yes USED diapers, buying some of these bad boys can get you a LONG way. So this post is to help you find the best diaper system for you and to save money doing it.
A good starting number to have (in my opinion) is 24-30 diapers but this doesn’t mean go out and buy 30 OS Fuzzi Bunz diapers and expect them to fit or be your “dream diaper.” At least I wouldn’t suggest it, especially if you’re new to cloth diapering and you don’t know what system will work for you. So here are the different types of systems, are you ready?
- Flats – These are the old-school diapers your mama warns you about when you tell her you’re going to cloth diaper. They are a single piece of cloth usually made out of Birdseye weave cotton but this doesn’t mean that they’re totally “useless.” Some parents prefer to use these because they are easy to wash and fast to dry. It’s also the cheapest way and if you’re worried about absorbency, I know I would be, you can slap an insert in there or double up. Flats can also be folded in many different ways to fits your little ones bums and then they must be fastened with diaper pins or a snappi. You can also use these as burp cloths and inserts for other diapers.
- Prefolds – This is a system that is a favorite for newborn squishies! Prefolds come in ALL sizes, including one size. They are made up of layers of cloth and the middle part (has the most layers) is the most absorbent, they can be folded in different styles. These different styles include; newspaper fold, bikini twist, angel wing fold, sidewall (jellyroll) fold. They can also be used as an insert or a lining for other diapers, so they have MANY uses. With a prefold, you will need a snappi/diaper pin. If your little one is just hanging out at the house you don’t have to have a cover (or if they’re prone to diaper rashes), otherwise you will need to put a waterproof cover over! An ideal amount for a newborn is 2 dozen. (24)
- Contoured – These diapers are similar to prefolds except that they are shaped to fit your baby, they don’t have snaps/velcro but apparently don’t need a snappi or diaper pin. Like prefolds, they are made up of layers but the middle part has the most layers for maximum absorbency. These are not waterproof and will need a cover.
- Fitteds- These diapers are great for runny poo! So these are also preferred for newborns, these diapers usually have velcro or snaps. You will need a cover for these diapers as well, especially if you’re putting clothes over this diaper or going out somewhere. Like prefolds and flats you must change the WHOLE diaper when soiled even if you use an extra insert for more absorbency. You can let your little one run around without a cover around the house but beware that the outside of the diaper may become wet, if you’re going to do this I suggest adding an insert (or two) in there even if you have extra inserts in there on the go, you will need a cover. They also come in all sizes, including one size.
- Covers – So these bad boys are what you put over prefolds, flats, and fitteds (and other diapers that don’t have a waterproof casing); the newer, cooler (literally), cuter version of rubber pants. These come in all sizes as well; included one size. If you don’t know already, you need these to put over diapers that are NOT waterproof to prevent leaks and blowouts because we all know that both REALLY suck. They usually are made out of PUL, Polyurethane Laminated, which is used a lot in the medical field. PUL is stretchy ( too a point ), completely waterproof, durable, and is still comfortable enough to be worn next to skin. So usually it’s a piece of fabric then PUL and then you’re prefold/flat. But some diapers (a lot) are made with “hidden” PUL. Cool right? Covers come in all types of patterns, so these are the cute part.
- All-In-Ones (AIO) – These are easy peasy to use, I like to call them “daddy friendly”. They are EXACTLY like disposables except better because they’re NOT disposables. There is no insert to put in there, not cover to put over. You change this diaper exactly like a disposable, which means when the diaper is spoiled you must change the WHOLE diaper and then put it in your wetbag/diaper pail. These take a while to wash/dry due to all the layers. They come in all styles and sizes, including one size. You have the velcro/snap option as well.
- Pocket Diapers - These are similar to disposable diapers, you must change the whole diaper NOT just the insert. Before putting the diaper into the diaper pail or wetbag, you pull out the insert. These diapers ARE waterproof (they have the PUL we talked about earlier), so no cover needed. Pocket diapers have a liner with a “pocket” usually found on the top that you put the insert into. You control how many (or little) inserts you want and this usually depends on if your baby is a power wetter or not. A lot of parents like to use pocket diapers at night because you can double/triple stuff for maximum absorbancy. These come in cute styles and all sizes, including one size. You have the velcro/snap option as well.
- All-In-Twos (AI2) or Hybrids – These are just like disposables & AIO’s. The difference? You don’t have to change the whole diaper just the insert. This means you take out the soiled insert, replace with a fresh one, and continue to use the same diaper. These are also “daddy friendly” and it also cuts down on washing/drying time which cuts down on the wear and tear. However when washed they take a significant time to dry, just like the AIO’s. You have the velcro/snap option as well.
So now that we’re through the types of cloth diapers, what about the accessories I was talking about during the descriptions. Well here’s information on all of that too.
- Snappis - These are the safer (poke free) and faster version of diaper pins. They are shaped like a “T” and they only go through the first few layers of fabric but are nice and snug! They even make them for toddlers. See? Everyone is included!
- Diaper Pail Liners – These are basically just reusable trash bags. They come in different sizes and styles they are waterproof. You put your soiled diapers in the liner and then laundry day you throw the whole shebang in the washer.
- Wetbags- These are basically the same thing as pail liners except they are portable. They come in all shapes and patterns, when you’re on the go you stick your soiled diapers in there and then wash the whole shebang.
- Doublers- These are made to be put on top of inserts or stuffed in pockets to maximize absorbency.
- Disposable (flushable) diaper liners – You put these on the inside of the cloth liner and when it’s soiled you just throw the whole thing in the toilet and flush! Bye-bye waste!
- Diaper Sprayer – This is basically like a kitchen sprayer for your bathroom, used to spray off soiled diapers instead of holding your diaper in the toilet and holding on for dear life as you flush it hoping it doesn’t go flying out of your hand and into the drain causing the clog of the year. Because we all know THAT would be fun. You can also use your shower head.
- Inserts – Inserts come in different styles, colors, and sizes. You can add as many as you want for maximum absorbency, they come in different types of fabric to address your little ones specific needs. You can even make your own inserts out of any absorbent material you have around your house!
There are a few accessories for your little one’s cloth diapers. There are a few more things that we need to cover before we are completely done. Lets quickly go over your wool/fleece options and then we will finally be done! When you think of these two, you think “hot” but really they breathe better than PUL . Both fleece and wool fabrics have a different process to be prepped then your diapers listed above.
- Wool Covers - These are generally made out of a wool fabric instead of crocheting or knitting. However, they can be crocheted or knitted these are just called longies or shorties, I’m sure you can tell the difference between the two. Hehe. Wool covers need to be lanolized to help “waterproof” them and prolong the life. So it’s obvious how you use these bad boys, they’re covers!! These come in all styles and sizes, including one size.
- Fleece Covers- Fleece breathes a lot better than PUL, they’re soft, and they’re amazingly waterproof (great for all those super soakers). They can withstand all that laundry abuse and they’re quick to dry.
We’ll get into how to lanolize and care for these (and all other diapers) soon!
P.S. If you see any typos or have any questions/concerns; please email me – firstname.lastname@example.org
Well, why not! What most people don’t realize it that cloth diapering has changed so much over the past 10-12 years! When I first told my mom that I will be cloth diapering she told me that she tried it on my sister and her exact words were, “You’re really going to hate changing a cloth diaper because it’s like sticking your head into a sewage drain.” Thanks mom, that’s encouraging! However she’s referring to the old slap some cloth on the baby, use a HUGE diaper pin, and put some rubber pants on top. So after I explained to her the “updated” way of cloth diapering she became surprisingly interested.
Reason number 1, it saves you money. I mean that alone is great right? Usually when people have their snarky remarks I will say, “I’m saving thousands of dollars and I don’t have to go to the store in the middle of night to buy diapers.” Now the money-saving part is only true if you don’t go crazy buying all of the cute designs. Yeah I know but they’re SOOOOO cute but don’t worry, I have a great way to get all cute designs for a great deal. Now back to the money portion, the initial cost of cloth diapering IS pretty steep but remember that you don’t have to go out and buy $300 worth of diapers in one swoop. If you are expecting, save a little money here and there each paycheck for 6 months (doesn’t have to be that long) and then buy what you need/want, or take that money and go buy some diapers. If you’re using disposables and want to start cloth diapering you can also put a little money on the side and just buy one here and there while you’re making the transition.
If you think about it, you can get a box of Pampers (66 ct) for around $27 then calculate how many diapers your little one goes through. If you have a newborn, it’s recommended you change them every two hours and ALWAYS before/after nap time. So anywhere from 12-18 diapers a day, so how long is that pack of diapers going to last you? Not very long. I’ve put a link under “Helpful Links” to help you because I know my bath math skills aren’t very helpful. Keep in mind that some diapers are in a different price range then others, but this gives you an idea. Also; I know it has all the different cloth diapers, don’t worry! We’ll get into that in a later post! Like I said before, that is just an estimate of everything!
Reason number 2, skin and health concerns. This is another important thing to consider when comparing cloth and disposables. Cloth diapers are better for your baby’s skin and health. Diaper rash is “acceptable” when using disposables and it doesn’t have to be this way! Now, I’m not saying that if you cloth diaper you will NEVER have to worry about a diaper rash, let’s be real here. Rashes are increased with disposables because of the different chemicals and dyes that are used to make them. I’m not going to sit here and say that disposables cause cancer or anything, because I know my mother used disposables on me and I’m perfectly fine! All I’m saying is we can reduce diaper rashes by cloth diapering I mean let’s face it, no one wants to deal with a fussy baby that has a diaper rash. Like I said before you will still get a diaper rash here and there from using cloth but there are no harsh chemicals used when making them, they’re made from cloth. Cloth diapers are absorbent because of the layers of well, cloth.. Not absorbent gel. They’re made to breathe so they are safer for little boys especially because there is no plastic suffocating their private parts, which means less chances of a rash!
Reason number 3, they are convenient and Eco-Friendly! Like I said before, by cloth diapering I will not have to make a run to the store in the middle of the night for disposables. What’s not to love about that? Yes, they make biodegradable disposable diapers but just like regular disposables, they can cost you a pretty penny. So most people will buy the non-biodegradable diapers just to save money, but that’s no way to help save our planet. Now, I’m not a tree hugger or anything (no offense to those who are:) ) but I try to help in ways that won’t break the bank.
So there you have it, the three main reasons to cloth diaper. Cloth diapers DO have flaws but we will get into that later. And for those who are sold on it but can’t get your significant other on board, just bring up the money part and show them numbers. That usually does it.