Sunday, January 31, 2010

:: playing with newborns ::

This article is fabulous! I often wondered in the first days if I was playing and stimulating our little guy enough, or in the right ways. Turns out our natural instincts to talk, sing and make faces at our little babies are right on target. Here is the link: Playing from 0-3 Months - an article from BabyCenter and there are many more ideas for playing with babies of all ages

When we first brought our baby home, we were stricken with terror. Would the baby suddenly stop breathing? What if she choked? Did the other people on the road always drive this dangerously?

As the days wore on, the fear ebbed. Okay, we could keep the baby alive. But what were we supposed to do with her? She stared into space, showing no particular interest in our efforts to sing or dangle toys in front of her face. "Look, baby, look at the monkey!" Nope. Just vacant stares, and then some crying to liven things up.

Now that we both know a lot more about babies — or at least
our baby — we know not to expect a lot of interaction from a newborn. But that doesn't mean playing with your brand-new baby isn't important.

From day one, your baby's interested in what's going on around him. Deep in his head, there's a lot going on. Connections are being made and information is being sorted and categorized.

Playing games helps fit the puzzle pieces together — as your baby grows,
play is crucial for his social, emotional, physical, and cognitive development. Play also brings you and your baby closer and makes your time together that much more enjoyable. Remember: The more your baby laughs, the less he cries!

A few notes for the novice baby-entertainer: Repetition is important. Many games won't work the first time you play them, but if you keep up your efforts your kid will eventually start cracking up the minute you reach for a particular toy.

Your baby's attention span will vary a lot, depending on his age,
his temperament, and his mood. Sometimes he'll enjoy a game for as long as 20 minutes, but more often you'll need to modify the game every five minutes or so. You'll know your baby's loving your antics when he's turning toward you, smiling, or laughing. But if he squirms away from you, looks away, or cries, it's time to change the activity.

Some babies are easily overstimulated. If yours starts to
cry during playtime, don't despair. Switch to calmer activities like cuddling, looking at picture books, singing soft songs, or nursing.

Keep in mind that not every baby will catch on to every game that's supposedly perfect for his age range. Don't allow this to freak you out, as in:
Oh no, Noah's not reaching out for objects yet — there's something wrong with him! There's probably nothing at all wrong. Your baby may be a little slower than the mythical "average" baby in this way, but he's probably ahead in another way. Of course, if you suspect your child has a developmental delay, talk to his doctor.

Birth to 3 months

To the outside observer, a newborn basically seems like a pooping ball of protoplasm. Your baby will mostly just lie there, except when he's crying. So how can you connect with him and have fun?

Your best chance of doing this is to engage your baby's senses: touch, sight (remember, your baby is still
very nearsighted), smell, and hearing. (Let's leave taste out for now.) By the end of his first three months, your baby may reach out and try to grab things and will be fascinated by sounds, smells, and patterns.

Note: It may take your newborn several seconds to respond to you or he may not respond much at all. Be patient — you may need to keep trying or wait a while for him to enter an alert, responsive state.

Dance, Dance Revolution
In the afternoons when my baby got grumpy, nothing worked as well as dancing with her. I'd put on some music — she preferred soulful tunes from Stevie Wonder and James Brown — and either put her in the sling or hold her in my arms.

At first she preferred soft swaying. Later on she liked me to swing her in the air or bump her up and down rather rudely. (Just be sure to offer neck support and don't shake your baby.) When your arms get tired, put your baby down and keep up the dance.

Silly exaggerated movements like jazz hands or shaking your butt are particularly funny to babies. Close the drapes so the neighbors won't see.

Let's Look at Stuff
Most of your early playtime will be spent showing your baby stuff. Any object in the house that won't poison, electrocute, or otherwise hurt him is fair game. Babies love egg beaters, spoons, wire whisks, spatulas, books and magazines with pictures, bottles of shampoo or conditioner (don't leave your baby alone with these!), record albums, colorful fabrics or clothes, fruits and vegetables, and so on.

Keep a little stash of objects beside you and sit with your baby. When the moment's right, whip something out like a magician. "Look, Kyle, Daddy's bicycle bell." Hold the object still about a foot from his face and stare at it yourself. Hey, now that you look at it, that bicycle bell is kind of interesting. Congratulations! You're thinking like a baby!

Oh, and don't expect babies to really "get" books at this age. You'll know they're enjoying them by their way of getting still and watchful when you
bring a favorite book out.

Babies don't tend to sit through a whole story, though, and when they're a few months older they'll grab the books from you and close them. This is all developmental stuff. Babies love looking at books and cuddling close to you, but they usually don't care about the plot.

Journey Into Mom's Closet
You haven't spent a lifetime accumulating a closetful of bright, slinky, tactile clothing for nothing. Dig into your closet and show your baby your cashmere sweater, your cottony-soft favorite jeans, your brilliant plaid skirt. Run soft or silky fabrics over his face, hands, and feet. Lay fuzzy stuff down on the floor and put your baby on top of it.

In a few months, your baby will want to run his hands over anything beaded, embroidered, or otherwise embellished. But for now, he may just be content to gaze in wonder.

Hey! What's Over My Head?
You'll be amazed at how much fun you can have with the simplest stuff around your house. Here are three ideas to start you off:

Tie or tape some ribbons, fabric, or other interesting streamers onto a wooden spoon and dangle them gently over and in front of your baby's face.

Take a floaty scarf and fling it into the air, letting it settle on your baby's head.

Tie a toy to an elastic string (like the kind used for cat toys) and bounce it up and down in front of your baby's face, saying "Boing! Boing!" every time it descends.

Remember, never leave your baby alone with strings or ribbons that could encircle his neck or that he could get into his mouth.

The Diva Within
You may have a terrible voice — but your kid doesn't know it! Now's the time to sing at volume 10, so set free that opera voice inside you.

Your baby may like absolutely anything you sing, but there are some classics you should know.
"Itsy Bitsy Spider" was the only song that made my baby stop crying when she was on a jag. And most kids like any song with movements — "The Wheels on the Bus," "Row, Row, Row Your Boat," "Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes," and "Patty-Cake," to name a few. (If you don't remember the words to a favorite song, try an Internet search. )

You may feel silly at first, but as your child gets into it, so will you. Try adding your baby's name to the song: "Old Mac Ethan had a farm," "Kate is my sunshine, my only sunshine," and so on. Try songs with silly sounds or animal noises in them, like "Witch Doctor" or "How Much Is That Doggie in the Window?"

Try singing a song in a low growly voice and then in a high squeaky voice, to see which gets the most reaction. Try singing the song breathily into your baby's ear, or use a hand puppet (or a napkin or sock willing to play the part of a hand puppet). And get used to singing, because this could begin to eat up a significant portion of your day.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

:: washing cloth diapers ::

It's laundry day here at our household and I am washing all my new cloth diapers for the first time. Once again, I want to share a fantastic article from Zany Zebra all about washing new and used cloth diapers. Seems like our old top loaders will work just fine. Can't wait to put our little guy in the new diapers this afternoon :)

If you use cloth diapers on your baby eventually you'll have to wash them. Don't worry, you CAN have fresh, clean diapers with a minimum of effort! Washing cloth diapers requires a little more care than washing clothing, but it's easy once you find a routine and a detergent that work for you. To find your perfect routine, start with a couple of basic steps then try different variations to fit your circumstances, or whenever you want to try something different. The proper detergent is essential for washing cloth diapers, so be sure to pick a good one. Finally, browse our tips and tricks for more ways to make washing your cloth diapers easy!

Do you Know the Right Way to Wash Cloth Diapers?

If you ask one hundred families how to wash cloth diapers you'll probably get ninety-nine different answers. What works for one family may not work for another, so how do you know which routine is the right one? Actually, the only "right" way to wash diapers is what works for your family. Your laundering routine will depend on what kind of diapers you have, what kind of water you have, what kind of detergent you use, what kind of washing machine you have, and other variables.

To help you find a routine that works for you we've compiled a list of
basic rules to get you started. Once you've mastered those you can experiment with some variations, and incorporate our tips and tricks too. Soon you'll be an expert and everyone will be asking YOU how to wash cloth diapers!

How to Wash Cloth Diapers - New Diapers

We know you're itching to get your new fluff washed and on your little one, but before you start up the washer take a moment to read these tips:

  • Try the diaper on your child before washing; use a wipe or other barrier to keep the diaper clean in case it doesn't fit.
  • Remove any construction marks with plain cool water - detergent or heat may set the marks.
  • Remove inserts from pocket diapers. Snap-in inserts and doublers don't need to be unsnapped.
  • Close embellished diapers like our applique diapers inside out to protect the embellishment.
  • Wash hand dyed diapers separately a few times, just to be safe. Don't let wet dyed diapers lie against other fabrics as the dye may transfer.

How to Wash Cloth Diapers - The Basics

These are the bare-bones basics; follow these rules and you'll have a good start in creating a washing routine that you'll love.Wash Cloth Diapers - Diaper

  • Remove as much solid matter as possible if your child is not exclusively breastfed.
  • Place soiled diapers in the diaper pail.
  • Wash every 2 or 3 days to avoid smells and excessive staining.
  • Start with a cold rinse.
  • Wash in hot water.
  • Use the highest water level your machine allows.
  • Use 1/4 the amount of detergent recommended by the manufacturer.
  • Rinse in the warmest water possible.
  • Do an extra final rinse.
  • Dry on warm or hot in the dryer* or hang outside for extra freshness and to bleach stains.
  • Do NOT use bleach or fabric softeners, including softener sheets.
*I've heard that Microfiber inserts will stay absorbent longer if line dried or dried on low, but since we don't use microfiber I can't say from personal experience.

How to Wash Cloth Diapers - Variations

Wash Cloth Diapers - Baking Soda and Vinegar

This is where it gets tricky, or fun, depending on your perspective. Start by trying one variation for a while and if that one doesn't work, try something else.

  • Add baking soda to the initial cold rinse to fight stains and odors.
  • Use 1/2 to 1 cup of white vinegar in the final rinse to soften your diapers and remove odors.
  • If you have hard water try adding a water softener to the wash cycle.
  • Try adding 1/2 C lemon juice to the wash cycle to help remove stains.
  • Bac-Out has been said to help eliminate odors and stains.
  • A couple of drops of Tea Tree Oil can be used in the final rinse to help with odors.
  • A sunny window will work as well as hanging outside if you can't hang your diapers outside.

Tips and Tricks for Washing Your Cloth Diapers

Finally, some hints to help you wash your cloth diapers with ease. If have a great tip or trick not listed here please let us know so we can add it.

  • Wash all new diapers before use.
  • Don't wash more than two dozen diapers at a time.
  • Hemp can be used after one wash but will become more absorbent through the first 8-10 washes. It may also shrink up to 10%
  • Avoid Desitin and other zinc oxide diaper creams as they will stain your diapers.
  • Fasten hook/loop closures to avoid the dreaded "diaper chain".
  • Use flushable diaper liners with zinc oxide rash cream, or to make it easier to get rid of solid matter.
  • Wash Cloth Diapers - Top Loading Machine
  • Don't allow dyed diapers to lie around wet or the dye may transfer to other diapers.
  • Fasten diapers and covers inside out so the insides get clean and to protect any applique or embroidery.
  • Avoid laundry "soaps" as they may leave a residue on your diapers. (Dreft and Ivory Snow are detergents and OK for diapers)
  • Avoid detergents with "brighteners" or "enzymes" as these will break down your diapers and may cause a rash.
  • Take a "sniff test" after washing. If your diapers smell like detergent do another hot rinse, or try stripping to get all the detergent out.
  • Use a Downey ball to dispense vinegar in your rinse cycle if you don't do an additional rinse.
  • Apply lemon juice to stains before sunning to help get rid of stains then rewash those diapers before use.
  • 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.
  • Running an extra spin cycle will help your diapers - or any laundry - dry faster.

All things considered, it's just as easy to wash cloth diapers as it to do any other laundry. In fact we think it's easier to wash cloth diapers than our delicates - and with all the bright colors and prints on our diapers it's a lot more fun too!

Friday, January 29, 2010

:: cloth diaper trial ::

Hunter and I went and picked up our cloth diaper trial yesterday at Babes in Arms - a fabulous Calgary store specializing in babywearing and cloth diapering. We are so excited to try out all these different types of dipes!

Here is what we are going to try over the next 3 weeks. If you are a Calgary Mom and you want to do a cloth diaper trial - you can get more information here.

  • 2 organic cotton pre-folds
  • 2 birdseye cotton flats
  • 1 MotherEase bamboo Sandy
  • 1 bumGenius 3.0 one-size pocket diaper
  • 1 bumGenius organic all-in-one one-size diaper
  • 1 AppleCheeks pocket diaper envelope cover
  • 2 AppleCheeks flat inserts: one hemp, one bamboo
  • 1 Dream-Eze all-in-one
  • 1 SuperBrite cover
  • 1 MotherEase AirFlow cover
  • 1 MotherEase Rikki Wrap cover
  • 1 WonderWrap one-size cover
  • 1 Snappi (diaper pin alternative)
  • 1 Hemp Babies hemp doubler
  • 1 bag of Claudia’s Choices detergent

We'll keep you updated as to which ones we fall in love with :) Happy Weekend!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

:: how many cloth diapers do you need? ::

I found a great new resource last night: Cloth Diaper Blog! It is well-laid out and chock full of good information, reviews and resources.

I loved this post about building your stash. How many cloth diapers do you need? The answers are here!

How many cloth diapers your baby needs is directly related to the type of cloth diapering system you choose, the age of your baby, and how often you want to wash.

We recommend washing every 2-3 days.


A diaper that sits is a diaper that stinks. It will be to your advantage, and your diapers’ durability and longevity, to stock up enough cloth diapers to wash every 2-3 days.

We recommend the higher quantity indicated for babies 0-9 months and the lower quantity for babies 9 months and up.

  • Cotton Prefold Diapers
    • Quantity per size: 24-36
    • Diaper Covers per size: 4-6
  • Fitted Diapers
    • Quantity per size: 18-24
    • Diaper Covers per size: 4-6
  • One Size Diapers - We recommend more one size diapers. Since they last from birth to potty training, they will get more use. A bigger supply will reduce wear and tear.
    • Quantity per size: 30
    • Diaper Covers per size: 4-6
  • Pocket Diapers - Basically just a diaper cover, pocket diapers require an absorbent prefold or insert stuffed inside. You will need to purchase an equal number of cotton prefold prefolds or diaper inserts to stuff the pocket diapers.
    • Quantity per size: 12-18
    • Diaper Covers per size: N/A (when stuffed, pocket diapers are a diaper and cover in one)
  • All In One Diapers
    • Quantity per size: 18-24
    • Diaper Covers per size: N/A
  • Contour Diapers
    • Quantity per size: 24-30
    • Diaper Covers per size: N/A

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

:: cloth diaper accessories on etsy ::

We read yesterday about the Top 10 reasons to cloth diaper, and if you know me at all.....I loooove reasons to shop, and I love love love to shop on Etsy.

Check out some of the fabulous and funky accessories available for the cloth diapering mama I found on Etsy. There are so many shops on Etsy selling cloth diapers and accessories, and this website - Etsy Cloth Diapers - is a great place to start discovering them. If you have any recommendations for me, I would love to hear them!

Cloth Diaper Covers by ReThinkCrafts - Aren't these beautiful? Lined with PUL (polyurethane laminate), these are waterproof covers to go over fitted diapers. I love the funky patterns!

Yummy Smelling Cloth Diaper Detergent by Crunchy Clean - I have been using Crunchy Clean detergent for a while now and I love their scents! I can't wait to order some cloth diaper detergent....I am thinking of trying Pink Sugar this time :) This is available on Etsy, and now available at Canadian online store Chiquita Baby! Yay for cheaper shipping!

Wet Bags by Petunias - These IckyBags are just gorgeous! Perfect for your diaper bag to bring soiled diapers home. But.......if you are not a cloth diapering mama, they can be used for oodles of other reasons (I know you are trying to think of some - they are just so cute!). Makeup, Toiletries, swimsuit, sippy cups.....the possibilities are endless!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

:: why cloth? ::

This top 10 list of reasons to choose cloth is via Caterpillar Baby - a great Canadian (yay!) online store selling cloth diapers of all types. The eco-mom in me loves reason #1, the frugal mom in me loves reason #2, and the girly girl shopaholic in me love love loves reason #8! The people at Caterpillar Baby have been kind enough to offer Mon Petit Amour readers a coupon code to start up or add to your stash. Check out the sidebar for details.

Stay tuned tomorrow for some fun and chic cloth diaper accessories!

Cloth diapering is the traditional way to keep your child clean and fresh and it’s a method that is tried and tested. Like breastfeeding, it went out of vogue in the 20th century, being deemed “too old fashioned” for modern lifestyles. But cloth has made an incredible comeback over recent years as parents recognize the wisdom in choosing reusable cloth products.
Unfortunately, there is a lot of confusion surrounding the differences between cloth and disposables. Here are a few facts:

1. Cloth diapers prevent landfill over-use – Billions and billions of disposable diapers are used each year, and most find their way into landfills. In Canada alone, more than 4 million diapers are discarded every day.

2. Cloth costs less – Cloth diapers can save you hundreds, even thousands, of dollars. New parents change over 2500 diapers in a baby’s first year, and disposable diapers cost $2500-$3000 per child from birth to potty training. They require a small investment up front, but once you buy them they will last and last. And if you use them for more than one child the savings are even greater.

3. Cloth promotes proper treatment of waste – Despite instructions printed on disposable packages, few people deposit solid waste from their diapers in the toilet, leaving tons and tons of fecal waste in our landfills.

4. Cloth diapers use fewer non-renewable resources to produce – Disposable diapers use a great deal more energy to produce, not to mention the runoff materials associated with their production. Consider the amount of energy required to manufacture and ship every single-use diaper your child will ever use.

5. Cloth may be healthier – Disposable diapers can contain chemicals which have been linked to serious health conditions. Why take the chance?

6. “Green” disposables are no match for cloth – There are a few disposable products on the market that use bio-degradable materials and are made without bleaches or chemicals. These products still contribute greatly to landfill and fossil fuel usage.

7. You will know your choice is making a difference – When you choose cloth you know that your diapers aren’t going into landfill. Those who live in cities with Green Bin programs may say, “But our city composts disposable diapers!” We thought our city did too, until we found out that they were being put into landfills or incinerated. The truth is, most of us don’t know where our trash goes once it leaves the curb.

8. Cloth is more fun - Cloth diapers and accessories come in a range of fantastic colours and designs that you and your baby will enjoy.

9. Cloth will inspire you - Once you start using cloth diapers, you may be inspired to make other environmentally-motivated changes to your lifestyle. We found that diapers were just the tip of the iceberg, and discovered fantastic alternatives for household cleaning supplies, personal care and more.

10. Cloth may save you money at the curb - As more and more municipalities initiate "pay per bag" structures you may find that you are saving a bundle in garbage disposal fees. In fact, families that use disposable diapers may find that they are the single largest contributor to their household waste!

Monday, January 25, 2010

:: cloth diaper types 101 ::

One of the biggest obstacles (for me) to starting to cloth diaper has to do with all the lingo out there. This is probably why I opted to do a diaper service when H was first born.....well.....that and the laundry!

It seems like it is such a confusing world with so many new words and acronyms to learn! I came across these fantastic definitions with a quick google search and I think I may be on my way to speaking cloth-diaper-ese.....

I have linked to the sources as well, these are great websites with tonnes of fantastic information.

I have decided it will be cloth diaper week here at Mon Petit Amour. There is so much to learn! Watch for more information as I navigate the world of bubble bums this week :)

Super helpful chart from The Diaper Jungle.

PrefoldsAIOs/AI2sPocket DiapersFitted Diapers
Prefold Cloth DiapersAIO Cloth DiaperPocket Cloth DiaperFitted Cloth Diapers
Requires a wrap or a coverDoes not requires a wrap or a cover - this feature is built in.Does not requires a wrap or a cover - this feature is built in.Requires a wrap or a cover
May require a fastener such as pins or a snappiUsually fastens with snaps or hook and loop (velcro)Usually fastens with snaps or hook and loop (velcro)Usually fastens with snaps or hook and loop (velcro), sometimes a snappi or pins may be used.
Usually made of cotton, gauze, Birdseye flannel, hemp, or velour.Outer layer is waterproof...usually made with PUL, Procare, fleece, or wool.Outer layer is waterproof...usually made with PUL, Procare, fleece, or wool.Outer and inner layers are not waterproof and may consist of many different fabrics types.
A doubler will increase absorbency. A separate stuffer or doubler lays inside an AI2.Requires and absorbent stuffer material to be placed in the pocket before use.A doubler will increase absorbency.
Usually has elastic and legs and back area.Usually has elastic and legs and back area.Usually has elastic and legs and back area.

More Cloth Diapering Lingo Help from Zany Zebra.

AIO - All in One
AIO cloth diapers are shaped very much like disposable diapers with an hourglass shape and elastic in the legs and waist to keep messes inside. All-in-one cloth diapers consist a waterproof outer, an absorbent soaker, and a one-piece inner. They close with snaps or a hook and loop system similar to Velcro, called aplix or touchtape. All-in-one diapers come in different sizes to fit from birth to potty learning. There are two types of AIO: True and Quick Dry. AIOs are one-piece diapers that do not need a cover. This makes them one of the most simple types of cloth diapers.

AI2 - All in Two
AI2 cloth diapers are similar to AIOs except that the soaker in an AI2 is separate from the diaper body. Usually AI2 soaker is snapped to the diaper body, but it may be laid or sewn in also. AI2s do not need a cover because the diaper body has a waterproof outer layer. One advantage to AI2 cloth diapers is that the body and soaker separate for thorough cleaning and quick drying. Another advantage is that the soaker can be replaced if it wears out before the diaper body.

Contours - Contour Diapers
Contour diapers are hourglass shaped but do not have elastic in the leg or waist areas. They are very similar to prefold cloth diapers, but are easier to use because they do not need to be folded. Contour cloth diapers do not have attached closures so they must be fastened with a snappi or diaper pins. Contour cloth diapers do not have a waterproof layer so you will need a cover, unless you plan to let your child go coverless.

Contours - Contour Soakers and Inserts
Contour soakers and inserts are usually rectangular or hourglass-shaped and consist of several layers of absorbent fabric. Contour soakers are separate from the cloth diaper body and may be laid in, sewn in or snapped in to the back of the diaper. Usually QD contour inserts and soakers are left open on two or more sides so the absorbent layers will separate during laundering for thorough washing and quick drying.

Many cloth diapering parents do not put covers over contours, flats, prefolds, or fitted cloth diapers when they are at home. Going coverless allows for better air circulation and is a cool option in warm weather. We let our son go coverless around the house in the summer, but our winters call for wool pants!

Diaper Covers
Diaper covers come in different styles and are made from various waterproof materials. PUL, Windpro fleece, and wool are popular diaper cover materials. Diaper covers are used over contours, flats, prefolds, and fitted cloth diapers to provide a waterproof outer layer. Generally diaper covers consist of an hourglass shape with elastic in the legs and waist to keep messes inside. Some diaper covers fasten with snaps or a hook and loop system similar to Velcro, called aplix or touchtape while others simply pull on. Diaper covers come in sizes to fit from birth to potty learning, and when paired with prefolds or flats are a low-cost cloth diapering system.

Diaper Cover Clothing
Diaper cover clothing is known by many names. Longies, shorties, wool pants, wool shorts, soaker pants, and soaker shorts are some of the more common names. Diaper cover clothing is usually pull-on pants or shorts, although skorts, bloomers and capris are popular choices for girls. They are worn over flats, prefolds, and fitted cloth diapers to act as both a diaper cover and article of clothing. Diaper cover clothing can be knit from wool or acrylic yarn, or sewn from wool or fleece fabric. Diaper cover clothing is convenient because it replaces both a diaper cover and regular clothing.

Doublers are similar to contour soakers but usually have less layers than a soaker and may be a bit smaller. They can be added to any cloth diaper to add absorbency for naps, long trips or if your child is going through a "super soaker" phase. Some doublers can be used as soakers inside newborn diaper covers or as inserts for newborn sized pocket diapers.

Fitteds - Fitted Diapers
Fitted diapers are very similar to a disposable diaper with an hourglass shape and elastic in the legs and waist to keep messes inside. Fitted diapers close with snaps or a hook and loop system called aplix or touchtape. Fitted diapers are not waterproof and usually require a separate diaper cover, unless your child is going coverless. Because the closures on fitted diapers keep them on without a diaper cover, they are a perfect choice for under wool or fleece diaper cover pants or shorts. Fitted diapers come in true,QD, and pocket styles, and sizes to fit from birth to potty learning.

Flats - Flat Diapers
Flats are probably the type of cloth diapers your grandmother used, and what most people picture when they hear the words "cloth diapers." Flats are large rectangles, usually made of a few layers of diaper gauze. They must be folded and fastened with diaper pins or a Snappi. Because they do not have a waterproof layer they must be covered with a separate cover, or wool or fleece diaper cover clothing, unless you choose to let your child go coverless. Flats wash and dry very quickly because they do not contain many layers of fabric. They are not the most absorbent choice of cloth diapers, but with diaper covers they are a low-cost cloth diapering system.

Inserts are the absorbent material in pocket diapers, and come in many different sizes, styles, and fabrics. By using different amounts of inserts and inserts of different fabrics, you can always provide the perfect absorbency for your child's needs. Inserts can be contour or trifold. Prefolds, flats, hand towels and other absorbent materials can also be used as inserts.

"Longies" is anotgher term for wool pants and usually refers to knitted or croched pants. For information about longies, please see diaper cover clothing.

Night Diapers
Night diapers can be as simple as doubled prefolds, or may be diapers made to meet the unique requirements of nighttime diapering. Most night diapers are more absorbent than regular diapers, and may be more bulky because of the extra absorbency. Pocket style night diapers are a great option because the absorbency can be customized to meet your child's changing needs.

PFs - Prefolds
Prefold cloth diapers are sometimes considered to be a step up from flat diapers. Prefolds are rectangles of absorbent fabric, usually serged on all four sides, similar to flats, but with extra layers of material in the center section. Prefolds need to be folded, then fastened with diaper pins or a Snappi. Prefolds need to be covered with a separate cover, or wool or fleece diaper cover clothing unless your child is going coverless. Prefolds come in several sizes to fit from birth to potty learning and when paired with diaper covers are a low-cost cloth diapering system. Prefold cloth diapers unfold in the wash for thorough cleaning and quick drying.

Pocket Diapers
Pocket diapers are similar to disposable diapers with an hourglass shape and elastic in the legs and waist to contain messes. Most pocket diapers consist of a waterproof outer layer and a stay-dry inner layer of microfleece or suedecloth, however pocket-style fitted diapers without the waterproof layer are gaining in popularity. Pocket diapers and pocket style fitted diapers are often used at night because the stay-dry lining helps baby sleep better. Pocket diapers are unique because the front or back edge is left open for stuffing with an absorbent insert. The insert comes out of the diaper for thorough cleaning and quick drying, and can be replaced if needed without replacing the entire diaper.

QD - Quick Dry
QD cloth diapers have an hourglass shape and elastic in the legs and waist to keep messes inside. The soaker in a QD diaper is separate from the diaper body and may be laid into the diaper, sewn, or snapped to the diaper inner. QD soakers come in trifold or contour shapes. One advantage to QD diapers is that the body and soaker separate for thorough cleaning and quick drying.

"Shorties" is another name for wool shorts. For information about wool shorts, please see diaper cover clothing.

Snappis are three legged plastic devices that fasten cloth diapers by grabbing the fabric with tiny teeth. Two legs are used to fasten the diaper horizontally and the third keeps the fabric from drooping in the front. Snappis are often used in place of diaper pins because they can be applied without worry about poking the child. Snappis do wear out over time and should be tested prior to each use.

"Soaker" can refer to two separate cloth diapering products. Often it refers to the middle layer in cloth diapers that absorbs wetness. An absorbent soaker can be contour, trifold, or true. The term "soaker" can also refer to a pull on style of diaper cover.

Trifold inserts and soakers are rectangles of absorbent fabric serged on all four sides and folded into thirds for use. Trifold inserts are stuffed into pocket diapers to provide absorbency. Some trifold inserts are large enough to be folded and laid into a cover like a prefold. Trifold soakers may be laid into cloth diapers or have snaps in the middle section to snap into a diaper body. Some trifold soakers have microfleece, suedecloth, or another fabric on the sections that touch baby's skin. Both trifold inserts and soakers unfold in the wash for thorough cleaning and quick drying.

True AIO or fitted
"True" is a term sometimes used to describe a cloth diaper that has its soaker sewn inside the the diaper body so the entire diaper consists of a single piece. True AIO diapers may take longer to dry than Quick Dry and some parents worry that they don't get as clean as diapers with a detached soaker. Because "true" style cloth diapers are one single piece they are a very easy transition from disposable to cloth diapers.

WIO - Wool in One
A Wool in One is not really "in One" because wool fabric requires different care than diaper fabrics do. WIOs are similar to AI2s, having a waterproof outer diaper body made of wool, and a detachable soaker in an AI2 separate from the diaper body. Usually a WIO soaker is snapped to the diaper body, it cannot be sewn in because of the different care required for each fabric. WIO cloth diapers are easy to care for because only the soaker needs to be laundered after each use, the wool outer does not. Like AI2s, the soaker of a WIO can be replaced if it wears out before the wool outer.

WI2 - Wool in Two
"Wool in Two" is a more accurate name for the diaper system known as a WIO.

Wool Pants, Wool Shorts
Wool pants and shorts are a type of diaper cover clothing. Generally they are made of wool fabric instead of knitting or crochet. Knitted or crocheted items are often called longies or shorties.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

:: cloth diaper chic :

Kissaluvs in Zoo Marvel Print

BumGenius in Moonbeam

Grobaby Cloth Diapers

Now that our little guy is getting a bit chunkier, we are ready to make the switch to cloth diapers. We had a diaper service for the first couple of weeks but found the diapers were just too big for him and we were using disposables a lot when we went out during the day. I cancelled the service and decided I would buy some cloth diapers once he was a bit bigger. Little did I know there are SO MANY freaking choices! And they are all so cute!

I am all about the pretty colours, but I know I should be reading the reviews about how absorbant and leak-resistant the dipes are. Here are some beauties that caught my eye. Any advice for a cloth diapering newbie?

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

:: newborn pictures by tickled pink ::

Hunter is lucky to have such a talented Auntie! Amy of Tickled Pink Photography captured our tiny little bundle in newborn pictures when he was 8 days old. You can see more on her blog.

Monday, January 18, 2010

:: diy moby style wrap ::

Project for today:

1. Visit Fabricland
2. Find some cotton jersey
3. Cut it up and make 3 moby-style wraps! 1 for me, 1 for my sister-in-law and 1 for future baby shower gifts!

Instructions from

Make a No-Sew WrapMinimize
Use either medium-weight fleece or cotton knit with edges that curl up when stretched.
Start with a strip of fabric that is 60 inches wide and 5 yards (15 feet) long. Remember that cotton cloth shrinks when washed, sometimes it shrinks a lot. So you may want to wash it before cutting.Cut into strips that are at least 20 inches wide and 5 yards long.
Stripes that are 30 inches wide will also work. Okay, even 45 inches wide will work, but might be a bit bulkly unless your cloth is very lightweight.
Give away two wraps. Keep one for yourself!
ALL cotton JERSEY is cotton knit.
Some cotton knit is also cotton jersey.
And both jersey and non-jersey work just fine.
Lightweight cotton weaves such as gauze can work well, too, but would need to be hemmed or serged to prevent fraying. Polar fleece can work, but will be too hot except in winter or indoors.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

:: my hungry hungry hippo ::

Here is a video of our sweet little boy eating his arms during tummy time.
The best part is, I called the midwife in a tizzy about an hour later about the
mysterious purple mark on his arm that I was convinced was a rare blood disease....
yep, it was a hickey! Silly Mommy!