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Author: CuddleBearBottoms

Amazing Wetbag Uses

Wetbags are such amazing items to have even if you don’t cloth diaper. They are even great to have if you don’t babies or children. These bags come in multiple sizes and each size can replace so many different things.

The ✅ means it is a way I personally use wetbags

First up is the Mini Wetbag, this bag is exactly what it sounds like, a small bag. It measures 7×5.5 inches, has 1 pocket, and a handle. This wetbag has so many uses.

  • Cosmetics- it is perfect to keep all your cosmetics in one place and to keep anything that could leak from getting on all your other items in your purse or suitcase. ✅
  • Snacks- keep your packaged snacks all together in one place or put some loose snacks in to replace a zipper bag ✅
  • Medicine- Keep all your meds in one place and easy to find. This is were I keep my epipen and Benadryl in my purse and to make it better if I don’t want to bring my purse but think I might need it I can just carry it or put it in another bagmini we that holding medicine including an epipen and Benadryl
  • -First aid kid- A place to put all the bandaids, cut creams, cleaning towels ECT. that can be needed for any injury either at home or on the go
  • Hair things and gels- Keep all your hair needs in one place especially while on the go, and to make it even better all your gels or creams won’t spill into the rest of your bag. ✅
  • Period kits- Keep your pads, cup, tampons, ECT. all in one discrete place for easy access wherever you go. ✅
  • Baby items- A easy and great place to put bibs, spoons, teathers or extra pacifiers on the go.
  • Phone- Since these bags are water resistant they work great to keep your phone in at the beach or pool so it doesn’t get wet from other wet items in your bag. *Do not use it for your phone while in water ✅
  • Coins- These small bags are perfect to keep your coins or tokens all in one safe place in your purse. I love the handle since I can easily hold just this bag. ✅

Next are travel wetbags, these are the most popular and have the most uses. Travel wetbags are my personal go to for everything. These bags are 14×11.5 inches, most have 2 pockets and a snap closure handle.

  • Packed toiletries- These bags are about the same size as gallon zipper bags so they are perfect for packing all your toiletries for travel. They fit up to 4 full size shampoo bottles. What I do is pack 1 bag for each type of item just in case there are leaks. I do 1 bag for bath items, 1 bag for tooth care, and another for hair care. ✅
  • Beach\Pool bag- Do you hate that your dry clothes get wet of full of sand while having fun at the pool or beach? Travel wetbags are the perfect solution. The dry stuff gets packed in the main part of the bag (even the towel) and sunscreen in the outer pocket. When its time to change take the dry clothes out and put the wet in to keep the rest of your bag dry. ✅

  • Breast pump parts- Easily store your pump parts in a wetbag to keep dust and dirtiness off. I’ve even wiped off my parts after pumping and put the whole wetbag in the fridge.
  • Winter gear- Very similar to beach gear but if you love being out in the snow you can store all your damp hats, gloves, and scarves in a wetbag till you get home. *If you want use a large wetbag and put your snow pants and jacket in there too. ✅
  • Travel bag- No matter how your traveling, this works great to have all your entertainment in one place. I packed one for each of my kids last trip and filled it with an activity book, sketch book, colored pencils, fidget toys, and snacks. *Bonus points it works great for motion sickness bag too ✅
  • Sickness bag- No matter if its morning sickness or motion sickness these bags work great to catch all the mess. ✅
  • Extra clothes- Do your kids need extra clothes for school? Wetbags are my go to for this, I even used my cricut to heat their name to the bag. This also works for extra shoes ✅
  • Gym clothes- Similar to extra clothes, you can also store your smelly gym clothes in a wetbag and they block some of the smells from getting out.

Next are Large Hanging Wetbags, these are great for the large things you need to store. These bags are 18×25.75 inches, have 2 pockets and 2 straps to hang them.

  • -Kitchen laundry- If you are like my family, you must have lots of kitchen towels and rags that need washing weekly. I hand a large wetbag on a door in my kitchen to fill up and wash as needed. ✅

  • Small space laundry- If you need a laundry basket solution for small spaces these bags work perfect. You can hang one in a closet, on a door or from a hook. ✅
  • Dirty clothes while traveling- If you hate your clean and dirty clothes touching while on vacation these bags are perfect. ✅
  • Messy laundry- No matter what it is every house has that laundry, the really gross dirty laundry you don’t want touching your regular laundry. These bags are perfect for this. I keep my foster puppy crate towels from potty training in one after use and it keeps all the smell contained. ✅

Now just for the laugh, while I was researching this I found some funny uses for wetbags. Some of these might be practical but others are just for the laugh and could get you arrested or cause death.

  • S_x toys- Keep a bag by your bed to keep all your adult toys and lube. you can even have a pocket for cleans and dirtiees.
  • Bloody weapon from when you get to mad at hubby for ignoring you when you ask him 10million times to change the baby (not serious at all)😂
  • Baby\child storage or hiding because you know we can’t put them in plastic bags (again not serious at all since they can still suffocate in wetbags too) 😂

 

 

Is It Time To Size Up

Is It Time to Size Up Your Cloth Diapers? Here’s What You Need to Know

As much as we wish our little ones could stay tiny and adorable forever, the fact is, babies grow fast! And that means at some point, their cloth diapers are going to start getting a bit snug. But how do you know when it’s actually time to size up? Let’s break it down!

Newborn Diapers: The First Few Months

According to my research on how long do babies use newborn cloth diapers, the data tells us the average breastfed baby gains 4-7 oz per week in the first month, then around 1-2 lbs per month after that. Based on those numbers, most newborn diapers will fit from birth (or around 6 lbs, using average weights) until somewhere between 4-7 months of age depending on the brand and style. Larger babies would of course be able to wear them for less time, and smaller babies getting longer wear from those same diapers.

Cuddle Bear Bottoms’ newborn covers are estimated to fit from about 4-10 lbs, which would fit premie babies right away and for quite some time. For average babies that the would fit from birth to about 3 or 4 months of age.

Of course, every baby is different, so take these estimates with a grain of salt! You’ll know it’s time to move up to a larger diaper when you start struggling to get a good fit around the legs and waist. If the dreaded blow-outs start happening on the reg, that’s a dead giveaway.

One-Size Diapers: The Bulk of the Diapering Years

Once your babe outgrows those tiny newborn diapers, it’s time to move on to a one-size (OS). Most OS diapers are designed to fit from around 8 lbs all the way up to 30-35 lbs or more. So in theory, one set of OS diapers could last you from the end of the newborn stage until your kiddo is ready to potty train.

In practice, of course, it’s not always that simple. Some babies are chunk masters and outgrow the upper limit of OS diapers well before potty training. Others are so skinny that they can rock an OS diaper until age 3 or 4. It really depends on your kid’s unique build.

The Cuddle Bear Bottoms OS pocket diaper is a great choice for this stage, fitting from approximately 8-36 lbs. The hip and rise snaps let you adjust the size as your baby grows.

If you have some other cloth diaper brands and are wondering how Cuddle Bear Bottoms OS pockets measure up, check out the comparison article here.

When to Size Up: Trust Your Gut

In my experience, most parents start to get antsy about sizing up somewhere around the 9 month mark. And I get it – when you see those chubby little belly rolls squeezed into a maxed-out rise setting, it’s tempting to assume you need a bigger diaper ASAP.

But honestly, very few babies truly need to move up to a bigger size before 18-24 months.

That’s because when baby starts gets mobile — crawling and walking — their shape changes. Chunky baby thighs and tummy rolls most often turn into long toddler legs and torsos. You may even find yourself needing to adjust the snaps backwards and bringing in the rise long before you need to get

If the diapers are still fitting comfortably around the legs and waist and you aren’t dealing with constant leaks, you’re probably fine to stick with your OS stash a while longer. That said, there’s no harm in having a few larger diapers on hand just in case, especially if your kiddo is a heavy wetter as a larger diaper will offer more room for inserts. Cuddle Bear Bottoms Bigger Pocket Diaper is a nice choice because they can fit from 28 lbs (overlapping the one-size version) all the way to 45 lbs and up.

The Bottom Line

So when can you expect to size up your cloth diaper stash? Here’s a general timeline:

Newborn: Birth to ~10-16 lbs (around 2-4 months on average)
One-Size: ~8-36 lbs (from the end of the newborn stage up to 2-3+ years)
Bigger sizes: ~28 lbs and up (a few toddlers and older kids)

Remember, every baby is different, so use these estimates as a loose guide, not gospel. When in doubt, trust your gut! If your diapers are consistently leaking, leaving red marks, or feeling too snug, it’s probably time to size up. A comfy, clean baby bum is always the goal.

Author Bio:

April is the founder of Cloth Diapers for Beginners and author of The Cloth Diaper Wash & Care Handbook. Since 2015, April has helped well over 95,000 parents and caregivers cloth diaper their children through the Cloth Diapers for Beginners website, the handbook, YouTube, and the Cloth Diapers for Beginners Facebook Group. Her Complete Cloth Diapering Course is set to be released in 2024.

Cloth Diaper Brand Comparison

Cloth Diaper Brand Comparison

Something I’m always asked is how do CBB diapers compare to other brands? I have purchased a pocket diaper from a few of the top selling brands, including a couple that recently shut down. I will list them from smallest minimum weight to largest, as their websites advise.

Sweet Cheeks

Sweet Cheeks weight range is listed at 6.6-33lbs. These diapers retail at $11.25 and have tan AWJ, thick back elastic, tummy panel, 4 rise configurations and cross over snaps.

Photo of CBB on top of Sweet Cheeks Diaper, they are the same size.

Alva Baby

Alva Baby weight range is listed at 6.6-33lbs. These diapers retail at $5.69 and have white microfleece(AWJ available), 3 rise configurations and cross over snaps.

Photo of Alva Baby diaper on top of CBB diaper, CBB is slightly wider then Alva Baby.

Happy Flute

Happy Flute weight range is 6.6-33lbs. These diapers retail at $16.50 and have white microfleece and 3 rise configurations.

Photo of Happy Flute diaper on top of CBB diaper, CBB diaper is about 1/2 an inch wider.

Bum Genius

Bum Genius 5.0 weight range is listed at 7-35lbs. These diapers retail at $21.50 and have white microfleece liner, pocket flap, 3 rise configurations, snap or Velcro closure and mostly solid colors.

Photo of Bum Genius Diaper on top of CBB diaper, CBB is slightly wider.

Squshy Tushie

Squshy Tushie weight range is 8-35lbs. These diapers retail for $10.25 and have white microfleece(AWJ available), 3 rise configurations, and cross over snaps.

Photo of Squshy Tushie Diaper on top of CBB, CBB is 1/4 of an inch wider.

Cuddle Bear Bottoms

Cuddle Bear Bottoms AWJ weight range is from 8-36lbs. These diapers retail at $8.50 and have white AWJ, thick back elastic on some, tummy panel, 4 rise configurations, cross over snaps, and some charity themed diapers

Cuddle Bear Bottoms Microfleece weight range is 8-36lbs. These diapers retail at $7.75 and have white microfleece, 3 rise configurations, and cross over snaps.

Little Bear Tushies

Little Bear Tushies weight range is listed at 8-40lbs. Sadly, this store is closed but they feature gray AWJ, tummy panel, 4 rise configurations, and cross over snaps.

Photo of Little Bear Tushies Diaper on top of CBB diaper, CBB is 1/4 of an inch wider.

Mama Koala

Mama Koala weight range is listed at 8-40lbs. These diapers retail at $8.75 and have white microfleece liner(AWJ also available), pocket flap, and 3 rise configurations.

Photo of Mama Koala Diaper on top of CBB diaper, CBB diaper is slightly longer and about an inch wider.

Vida Mia Cloth

Vida Mia Cloth weight range is listed at 8-50lbs. These diapers retail at $12.55 and have printed AWJ, tummy panel, pocket flap, thick back elastic, 4 rise configurations, and cross over snaps.

Photo of CBB diaper on top of Vida Mia Cloth, Vida Mia Cloth is slightly wider than CBB.

Gordis Tela

Gordis Tela weight range is listed at 8-65lbs.  Sadly, this store is closing but the diapers feature white AWJ, tummy panel, 4 rise configurations and cross over snaps.

Photo of Gordis Tela on top of CBB diaper, CBB diaper is slightly wider than Gordis Tela.

Texas Tushies

Texas Tushies weight range is listed at 10-40lbs. These diapers retail at $9.95 and have white AWJ, tummy panel, pocket flap, 3 rise configurations, and cross over snaps.

Photo of Texas Tushies On top of CBB diaper, Texas Tushies is about an inch wider.

Suga Bums

Suga Bums weight is listed at 10-55lbs. These diapers retail for $12.50 and have gray AWJ, tummy panel, thick back elastic, 4 rise configurations and cross over snaps.

Photo of Suga Bums on top of CBB diaper, CBB is slightly wider than Suga Bums.

Arcadia

Arcadia weight range is listed at 10-65lbs. These diapers retail for $11.50 and have white AWJ, tummy panel, pocket flap with elastic, thick back elastic, 4 rise configurations, and cross over snaps.

Photo of Arcadia on top of CBB diaper, Arcadia is slightly smaller than Arcadia.

Veteran Baby Brigade

Veteran Baby Brigade, this site is currently under construction so weight range and price is still to come.  These diapers have colored AWJ, thick back elastic, tummy panel, front elastic, 4 rise configurations, and cross over snaps.

Photo of Veteran Baby Brigade on top of CBB diaper, CBB diaper is 1/8 of an inch wider and slightly longer.

Baltic Amber, What Is It And Does It Work?

Baltic Amber, What Is It And Does It Work?

Let me start by saying I am not a doctor, nor do I claim that Baltic Amber will be a magic cure to everything, but I will give you some background, facts, and my personal experience with Baltic amber.

What is Baltic Amber?

Baltic Amber is an organic substance that formed over 45 million years ago. It is a fossil resin produced by pine trees that grew in Northern Europe (Lithuania). Baltic Amber ranges in colors from light yellow to a dark brown color. It can contain water bubbles, gas bubbles, twigs, seeds, or even insects encased in the amber. From a chemical point of view, amber consists of 79% carbon, 10.5% hydrogen, and 10.5% oxygen. Studies that are done with a mass spectrometer show that amber contains over 40 different compounds as well as Succinic Acids, additives of salt of potassium, sodium and iron.

How does it works?

While wearing Baltic Amber the heat from your skin warms up the amber beads releasing small amounts of its healing oils, it is then absorbed through the skin and into the blood stream. The succinic acid in Baltic Amber is known to be a natural analgesic (pain reliever), anti-inflammatory, it can accelerate the healing of wounds, and help with relaxation. Baltic Amber is NOT meant to be placed in the mouth to relive teething symptoms, but it should rather be worn so the oil can be absorbed into the skin. You may not notice immediate relief of your symptoms since the oil needs to build up in your system. Also, every person reacts differently and may not experience complete relief of their symptoms while wearing Baltic Amber.

Is a necklace safe for my baby to wear?

There are a few safety measures taken to make the amber necklaces safe for a baby or child to wear. Each bead is knotted to prevent all the beads from coming loose in the event of the necklace breaking. Another safety measure is that the necklaces have a plastic screw closure that would break apart if it is pulled. This closure is not as easily broken as a pop clasp is, so there is less of a likelihood that the necklace will be lost. It is still important that proper safety precautions are used when your child is wearing an amber necklace.

How to care for your Baltic Amber and how long will it last?

Caring for Baltic Amber is very easy; it just needs to be wiped clean with a soft damp cloth then air dried. If you choose, you can place it in the sun after cleaning and it will give a boost to the oils being released. With proper care, the Baltic Amber beads will last forever but the string and clasp may need replacing after time. Since the beads are a softer texture, they may become damaged if placed or struck with harder materials; it is recommended to not wear with metal necklaces or to put a metal pendant on your Baltic Amber necklace.

My personal experience with Baltic Amber

I got my first amber necklace while pregnant with my middle son, it was intended for him once he was born but since I had it, I chose to wear it on my ankle. I wore it all through pregnancy and never had any of the common pregnancy related aches and pains. Also, my back pain that I had since the birth of my older child was no longer a problem. When I went into L&D after my water broke, the delivery nurse hooked me up to the monitor and to my surprise, I was having contractions every 5-6 minutes. They were not extremely strong contractions, but they were strong enough that I should have felt them, but I didn’t. I did feel contractions as I progressed in my labor, they were not horrible until I was ready to push. After my son was born, I chose to give him his necklace and purchase my own. I felt the need of acquiring my own necklace since my back-pain suddenly reappeared during the time that I wasn’t wearing the amber.  I had been living with this pain since I had my daughter 2 years prior. To my surprise, the amber has helped so much, and my back pain is nonexistent when I have my amber necklace on. I know most people are interested in Baltic Amber necklaces for their teething babies; here is what I experienced with my boys. Both of my boys wore their necklaces since birth but as a mom I knew instantly when they were teething. When they started teething and had their amber necklaces on, they had a reduced amount of drooling and needed less over the counter medication to help with pain and swelling associated with teething. Many don’t believe me and often question how I could possibly know the boys’ true health benefits from the Baltic Amber since they wore them from day one. The story I always tell happened during the summer months when the entire family spent a good amount of time in the pool and on the beach. We always took our necklaces off to go to the beach and pool. During this time, I always noticed that my boys were crankier and cried more.

Our Amber Necklaces

Safety precautions

  • Do NOT let babies or children sleep in amber (or any) necklaces. Amber necklaces should be

removed from neck while sleeping but you may wrap it around your child’s ankle under socks or

pajamas.

  • Babies and children should always be supervised while wearing any necklace including amber

necklaces.

  • Always let caregivers know that your child is wearing an amber necklace so that they can be the

judge if they feel it is best to remove it when in their care.

  • Amber necklaces are NOT meant to be chewed on and will break if bitten.

How To Buy Cloth Diapers On A Budget

Cloth Diapers On A Budget Under $180

The first question parents ask pertaining to cloth diapers is “Are they really worth the investment?” The answer is yes, they are completely worth it. If you have the time, ability and the desire to cloth diaper your baby, you can defiantly fit cloth diapering into any budget. Yes, with cloth diapers you are spending more money upfront since most people want at least a two-day supply of cloth diapers. For a little baby, two days’ worth of diapers is an average of 20 diapers in total. A two-day cloth diaper stash can cost under an astonishing $180 including 3 overnight diapers. I will show you how to do this in two different ways depending on how much you want to spend per shopping trip.

The first option is to buy all diapers at once:

  • (1) Cuddle Bear Bundle– $50
    Baby Basic All In Three
    Charcoal Bamboo All In One
    Alva Pocket Diaper
    Happy Flute All In Two
    2 Inserts
    Coupon for 15% off future purchase
  • (2) Baby Basic All In Three- $16.50 each
  • (10) Alva Pocket Diapers- $6.99 each
  • (4) Charcoal Bamboo All In Ones-$8.60
  • (1) Microfiber Insert 10 Pack-$8

This gives you 20 complete cloth diapers with inserts for $195.3, but don’t forget to add to the savings. All new customers can use coupon code “NEW15” to save 15% on their orders making the total only $166 with free shipping.

The second option is splitting your order in half:

First Order

  • (1) Cuddle Bear Bundle– $50
    Baby Basic All In Three
    Charcoal Bamboo All In One
    Alva Pocket Diaper
    Happy Flute All In Two
    2 Inserts
    Coupon for 15% off future purchase
  • (2) Baby Basic All In 3-$16.50 each
  • (2) Charcoal Bamboo All In Ones-$8.60 each

This gives you 8 complete cloth diapers for $100.20 but all new customers can use coupon code “NEW15” to save 15% on their order making the total $85.17. You can add more or less to this order depending on how much you want to spend on your first order. The important thing to buy in your first order is the bundle. The Cuddle Bear Bundle gives you a one-time use coupon to a future diaper order, making you able to get your second order of diapers at 15% off.

Second Order

  • (10) Alva Pocket Diapers- $6.99 each
  • (2) Charcoal Bamboo All In Ones-$8.60
  • (1) Microfiber Insert 10 Pack-$8

This order would give you 12 complete diapers for only $95.10, but since you brought the bundle in your first order, you can apply a special 15% off coupon to your total making it only $80.85 with free shipping.

Another way to save is to check our Sale section. This is always changing but has some amazing deals!

Pregnancy And Infant Loss Awareness

Pregnancy And Infant Loss Awareness

As many might know October 14th – November 1st is National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month. The shocking truth is that 1 in 4 pregnancies end in a miscarriage or stillbirth, for many families there are no answers as to why.  With this number being so high, there is still such a stigma associated with pregnancy or infant loss. No one ever knows what to say to the person in distress and if they do say something, chances are it’s not helpful. I have personally heard of many people reacting with “at least you weren’t further along” or “You can always try again” and so many more. These are not the right things to say and though you mean well, these words hurt.

Cuddle Bear Bottoms is a proud supporter of The Pink and Blue Project, this project is meant to spread awareness against the stigma associated with infant or pregnancy loss. We have a few products that were designed specifically for this project by Baby Basic. In addition to these items being adorable, a portion of the money spent to buy them goes to families suffering pregnancy or infant loss. Money collected is given to non-profit organizations Mommies Enduring Neonatal Death (M.E.N.D), Molly Bears, and Heavens Gain. M.E.N.D is a Christian organization; it offers a variety of monthly support groups and they host annual remembrance ceremonies. Molly Bears make weighted teddy bears to fill the empty arms of families enduring the loss of a baby at no cost to the family. Heaven’s Gain provides free services (baby loss Doula’s and grief counseling) and products to purchase at a reduced rate (caskets, urns and memorial gifts) for families suffering the loss of a child.

pregnancy loss

The Pink and Blue Project holds a special place in my heart, because like so many others I have suffered a miscarriage. Sadly, I am in the 2% that has suffered multiple miscarriages all around 9 weeks of the pregnancy. Fortunately for me, the doctors figured out the cause of my miscarriages and I was able to sustain my next 3 pregnancies. I don’t normally share this information because it is very private to me but would hope my story helps others heal. My first miscarriage happened when I was a junior in high school, when I realized I was pregnant I was too scared to tell anyone. I had no clue I was pregnant with twins till the day I started miscarrying. I passed the first baby naturally at home but something wasn’t right and my parent noticed. They brought me to the hospital where doctors noticed I still had a baby in me and assisted me in passing it so that I didn’t need a D&C. As a teenager, I didn’t let any of this affect me, I pretended it never happened and I wouldn’t talk to anyone about it. As an effect of not talking to anyone, I felt completely isolated for the remainder of high school.

I never knew the impact this experience would have on me till a few years later when I found out I was pregnant again. I was happy but was also kind of dreading it; I tried doing everything completely different since I thought my previous miscarriage was my fault.  I told lots of people, I went to the OBGYN right away, and started restricting my foods and activity to make sure everything was pregnancy safe. Even with taking all the precautions, I was still scared I would miscarriage, and then came the day when my 2nd miscarriage started. This time, I did have the emotional support, but I still wouldn’t talk about it with anyone, I took their kind words as just that… kind words. I got a tattoo to remember the baby I lost, my family thought it was insane and I was even told it was “disgusting” and “inappropriate” but it was my way to grieve. As a result, I felt these miscarriages were somehow my fault. When I became pregnant a third time, I didn’t allow myself to be happy or excited because I didn’t think the pregnancy would last. Now that I have my 3 healthy children and the causes of my miscarriages was found, I know now they were not my fault but, a hormonal issue.

I am sharing my experience because I honestly wish I knew how common miscarriages were when I suffered mine. I wish I knew that whatever you feel after a miscarriage, is okay to feel and it’s completely normal. I wish I knew that grieving a baby that “was never a real baby” was something completely normal to do.  I wish I knew what kind of support there was available for families suffering losses. If I went back in time, I’m not sure how different my experience would’ve been, but it is comforting to think that I am not alone in my experience. Pregnancy and infant loss is not something to be ashamed of or something that needs to be hidden and never talked about. I am so thankful there are organizations like The Pink and Blue Project that spread awareness because Pregnancy and Infant loss is something real and tragic that happens far too often.

Cloth Diapers: A father’s Point of View

To this day, I consider my experience with fatherhood as one of the most extraordinary blessings I could ever encounter. From the moment I witnessed my first born Jalissa’s arrival into this world, my life was forever changed. I knew from that moment on, all I wanted to be was the best dad that I could be, the best husband a wife could ever ask for and I wanted to always be there for my children. As a first-time dad, there was so much information about parenting I didn’t know about, and so many different ways out there to raise your children. When my daughter was two and a half years old, my wife brought up the idea of cloth diapering Jalissa. At that point in my life, the only experience I had with Cloth diapers came from when my when my youngest brother was a baby. Being that I was born in Central America 30 years ago, it was common back then to cloth diaper your baby mainly out of necessity.  My siblings and I were all cloth diapered until potty trained, and when I say cloth “diapered”, I mean just wearing flats and plastic pants.

My first thought to her sudden suggestion was to turn her idea down, because I felt like I could afford to pay for disposable diapers. I also thought cloth diapers would be an inconvenience or a nuisance. At that time, I didn’t know there were additional benefits from cloth diapering your baby other than to save a buck. I learnt early in my parenting career to respect and take into consideration my wife’s recommendations that concerned our children. I remembered being astonished at how natural it was for her to breastfeed and nurture our daughter; I also knew my wife was very determined to cloth diaper and it could turn into a losing battle if I was to oppose to this idea.

When we first introduced my daughter to cloth diapers, she was at the stage of potty training. I remembered being stunned by how much cloth diapers had improved since my brother was a baby. Not only did they look modern and trendy, but they were also absorbent. During the time my wife took to learn the ropes of Cloth Diapering, I still had my doubts about them and hoped she would soon lose interest. What really changed my mind and put everything into perspective was noticing how much my daughter’s skin improved after switching to cloth. Before making the change, (no pun intended) I remember having to constantly apply diaper cream to my daughter, as she cried hysterically from awful blistered diaper rashes. This is not a biased opinion from a cloth diapering father or even a sales pitch from a business owner, my baby’s skin truly made a remarkable improvement after switching from disposables. There was no need for more diaper cream because the rashes completely disappeared. After you noticed something like that, as a parent, you start to question what kind of chemicals you’re exposing your baby to.

Despite the fact I had considerable doubts about cloth diapering, my whole attitude soon changed, and I was fully on board with this parenting decision. I was more supportive of my wife and often offered her help with diaper changes as much as I could. I even hung cubbies that stored all her diapers on top of the baby’s changing table. A few months went by and we were pleasantly surprised to know that my wife was pregnant again with my 2nd born. This time around, we agreed to start cloth diapering him full time from newborn on. When Jayden arrived into our lives, we had put together a stash of pocket diapers plus whatever hand-me-downs Jalissa had grown out of. These one-size diapers have adjustable snaps that can work for most babies and toddlers. Yes, a full diaper stash of 30 or more diapers may be pricey, but soon you start to notice your investment pay for itself, after you consider all the savings due to the diapers’ sustainability.

 

Diaper storage
Cloth diaper shelving above changing table

 

A year goes by and my wife tells me she is pregnant again with baby number three. At this point in my life, cloth diapering has become the norm in our household. The fear I had of the “inconvenience factor” was diminished and proven to be less work than I originally thought. With the help of items like wet bags, diaper liners and a good ol’ washer and dryer, cloth diapering was breeze. By the time Tino was born, we had doubled up our stash count. I continued being supportive of this lifestyle with Tino as much as I did with Jayden. Fortunately for us, Tino is now fully potty trained and only uses cloth diapers at night as a precaution. Among many things, I credit my wife for making me cognizant of the importance of maintaining a low carbon footprint. My advice to new dads contemplating cloth diapering, is to weigh in the benefits against disadvantages; I understand this parenting choice is not for everybody but I’m very happy I gave it a chance. Whether you and your significant other agree or disagree on a parenting choice, you should always do the research and keep an open mind.

 

My Ins And Outs Of Cloth Diapers

Cloth diapers today have come a long way from your grandma’s generation of pins and rubber pants. Modern day cloth diapers are not only cute and fashionable but are built to last; they feature convenient button snaps or Velcro, elastic waists and sewn in or removable inserts.  The reasons I chose to switch to cloth diapers for my kids include my family’s cost savings benefits, my kid’s health benefits and the cute stylish designs options they offer. Cloth diapers fit perfectly with our natural parenting style and the benefits outweigh the negatives.

The biggest factor for me was the cost of cloth diapers. They range from about $5-$20 per diaper new, at first glance that could seem expensive, but that one diaper will be used multiple times and could be sold or passed on to siblings. A typical family will spend around $600 on cloth diapers and diaper accessories for one child compared to an average of $1500 on disposable diapers.  Once I factored that amount, the savings for us was huge especially since I had 2 boys in diapers at the same time. The only other cost associated with cloth diapers is washing and drying them. Some may notice a slight increase in their water and electric usage but I have not noticed a great increase on my bill.

cloth vs disposable

I’ve always heard how cloth diapers can be inconvenient, especially while being out and about with your baby. Yes this is true, you shouldn’t just roll up your dirty cloth diaper and throw it away but you can roll it up (wipes and all) and throw it in a wetbag to bring it home and deal with it later. Another great benefit of cloth is the fact that we haven’t had any poop-splosions. I know everyone dreads having to deal with them especially while being out. The tight elastic around the back and legs keeps all those messes contained. Since I’m talking about poop, yes you need to rinse solid poop out of diapers before you wash them. Yes this adds an extra step to diaper changes, but did you know it is recommended to dump poop out of a disposable diaper also?

rolled diaper

The worst feeling I’ve had as a mom is being helpless when my daughter (who only used disposables) would have a diaper rash; I’m allergic to diaper cream so that was not an option in our house. Since using cloth diapers on my boys, they have never had a rash. If you have a baby with sensitive skin, (like my youngest) you may want to add a stay dry fleece liner, since not all cloth diapers have a moisture blocking layer and could irritate them.

This is probably the most impractical reason why I chose cloth diapers for my family but it was the most convincing one (other than cost) for me at first. A cloth diaper is so cute, not only do they come in many different prints and colors but that fluffy diapered butt is so cute on a baby. That fluffy butt is cute but it does make it harder to fit in slimmer fitting pants.  I am so happy we decided to cloth diaper our boys and the pros for us really do outweigh the cons.

Tino and me

My Breastfeeding Journey (7 years and counting)

“Breast is best or Formula is best” seems to be one of the biggest parenting debates. While I agree fed is always best, breastfeeding no matter the amount of time should be considered an accomplishment and something to be celebrated. Since August 1St kicks off World Breastfeeding Week, I wanted to share my personal breastfeeding journey. I will admit I never imagined how much breastfeeding would impact my life.

Out of all my three pregnancies, I experienced the most difficult childbirth with the oldest of my children, Jalissa. I also encountered my most challenging breastfeeding journey with her. As soon as I delivered Jalissa I knew something was wrong, she was born not breathing for a few moments of her life and lacked oxygen; she quickly began to breathe in the delivery room but she was soon rushed to the NICU for a few hours before I could even hold her. My initial plan going into this first pregnancy was to exclusively pump breast milk for her and then bottle feed her. Since Jalissa was under NICU’s supervision for over nine hours after she was born, this unfortunately delayed my milk and it didn’t come in right away. This made it almost impossible to pump, so we supplemented with formula while I tried to breastfeed and that was fine with me. I quickly realized that pumping breast milk and then bottle feeding my baby was too much work for me at that time, so I gave up pumping in favor of just nursing her. When she was just 4 months old, her pediatrician brought to my attention that she was having mild failure to thrive. We started giving her baby cereal right away and continued feeding formula 1-2 times a day along with breast milk. She quickly gained the weight she needed and we never had another issue with her weight gain.

Not long after Jalissa turned two, I found out I was three months pregnant again. I was determined to not stop breastfeeding her even though the doctor advised against it because the increase in hormones during a pregnancy can decrease milk supply dramatically. I was fortunate and found a different doctor that was more supportive of my beliefs, and shortly afterwards Jayden came into our lives (six months after my pregnancy was first confirmed). I was very lucky my milk never dried up during my pregnancy, and it was exciting to learn that Jayden was born a master at breastfeeding. I was told in the recovery room to limit his milk intake to one breast per feeding since my supply was fully in. Even with Jayden receiving limited milk, he gained weight in the hospital instead of losing it like most babies do. Finally, my milk switched to colostrum at day three (I knew this was coming eventually so I had formula on hand just in case). We ended up using the formula for a couple of days until my milk came back fully. I was extremely surprised I had a slight oversupply, even while nursing both Jayden and Jalissa. By 6 months old, Jayden was almost 30lbs (the same weight as his older sister), but he stayed relatively the same weight for a while after that and just stretched into his chunkiness.

When Jayden was only 10 months old, I found out I was 3 months pregnant again with baby number 3. This time around, I was determined to continue breastfeeding both Jalissa and Jayden. I thankfully had the full support of my doctor and found a few Facebook groups geared towards nursing multiples babies at the same time (I even had a few local moms as extra support). All my family and friends thought I was insane for tandem nursing but that didn’t stop me. Jalissa weaned off the boob when I was 7 months pregnant, just a month before she turned 4. When Jason was finally born, he followed the same pattern as his brother; he was a champ at nursing and kept gaining weight rapidly. During this time, we never supplemented with formula and the oversupply I had with Jayden seemed to multiply even more with Jason. When Jason was an infant, he was diagnosed with both a tongue and lip tie but it was never an issue for him during him nursing.

Seven years ago, if you asked me if I would be spending 7 years of my life breastfeeding, my answer would have been no. I knew I wanted a close bond with my kids, but I never imagined nursing them past 1 year old or nursing more than one baby/toddler at a time. Here I am today, still nursing Jayden (4.5 years) and Jason (3 years). Even though I never stopped breastfeeding in between my babies, each experience was different. The most incredible thing was comparing my frozen milk from each baby; Jalissa’s had no fat layer on top, Jayden’s looked  more like heavy cream, and Jason’s was an equal mix of both. The most important thing I learned is the right information, knowledge, and support, can make a huge difference in anyone’s breastfeeding experience. I consider myself an advocate for breastfeeding; I believe this shows in some of the prints and merchandise I carry. While I had a relatively easy experience with my three children, this is not the case for all new moms. I would like to empower those women who struggle with breastfeeding and social acceptance, to not give up and I encourage them to continue their own journey.

Washing, Prepping And Stripping Cloth Diaper (My complete routine)

Washing, Prepping And Stripping Cloth Diapers

This is the exact step by step process of how I wash, prep, and strip my diapers. When I wash my diapers, I wash about every 5 days for my two kids in diapers. This is what works for me and my family and yes, I have had to wash using each of these methods at least a few times. These methods may work great for you or you may need to slightly tweak them to be the perfect match for your family.

Here is a list of all detergents rated from best to worst for cloth diapers.

Washing Your Diapers (standard machine)

1)        Rinse poop if baby is on formula or solids (not necessary when baby is drinking breast milk only). I choose to use a reusable liner so it is easier to rinse the poop off. I just plop or swish it in the toilet. I also choose to rinse all overnight diapers.

2)        Prewash is a short cycle to start the cleaning process of your diapers. You may use hot, warm or cold water. I choose warm water for this cycle. This cycle should have at least 6 minutes of agitation.

3)        Main wash should be your machines longest cycle with the strongest agitation (heavy duty, super wash). You can use any type of water you would like as long as diapers look and feel clean after. I choose to use cold water for this cycle. This load should have a full amount of detergent. I have found that tide or gain powder works the best.

4)        Extra rinse this is an optional cycle but I feel my diapers need this to get the last bits of detergent out. You can use the rinse and spin cycle for this.

5)        Dry in dryer or on clothes line. It is your choice. I choose to dry all in ones and inserts in the dryer and others on the clothes line.

*I used a standard machine for 2 years while cloth diapering

Washing Your Diapers (HE machine)

1)        Rinse poop if baby is on formula or solids (not necessary when baby is drinking breast milk only). I choose to use a reusable liner so it is easier to rinse the poop off. I just plop or swish it in the toilet. I also choose to rinse all overnight diapers.

2)        Prewash is a short cycle to start the cleaning process. When filling the HE Machine it is important that it is at least 2/3 of the way full so the clothing agitates properly. You can add towels etc. to make sure the drum is full enough. Again you may choose the water temperature you like. On my machine I do the Quick wash cycle with Eco-warm water.

3)        Main wash should be your machines longest cycle (heavy duty, super wash). You can use any type of water you would like as long as diapers look and feel clean after. I choose to use cold water for this cycle. This load should have a full amount of detergent. I have found that tide or gain powder works the best.

4)        Extra rinse this is an optional cycle but I feel my diapers need this to get the last bits of detergent out. I choose another quick wash with Eco-warm water

5)        Dry in dryer or on clothes line. It is your choice. I choose to dry all in ones and inserts in the dryer and others on the clothes line.

*this is my current washing method

Washing Your Diapers (hand washing)

1)        Rinse poop if baby is on formula or solids (not necessary when baby is drinking breast milk only). I choose to use a reusable liner so it is easier to rinse the poop off. I just plop or swish it in the toilet. I also choose to rinse all overnight diapers. With this method I would only wash 2 days of diapers at a time.

2)        Presoak dirty diapers in warm water with a little detergent for 30 minutes. Anything waterproof should only be put in for the last 10 minutes

3)        Prewash your diapers by putting just enough water to cover diapers and ¼ the amount of detergent (you may use a bucket, sink, or bathtub). Then use your hand or plunger to agitate your diapers. You may want to rub fabric against itself or use a washboard. Then let soak 10 minutes. Then squeeze out excess water (do not ring as it can stretch fabric)

4)        Check for staining if needed you may use a gentle scrub brush to remove staining.

5)        Main wash your diapers by adding warm water and full amount of detergent to your bucket/sink/tub. Add your diapers and swish them around making sure there is enough room for diapers to freely move. Then agitate and kneed your diapers for several minutes than drain water

6)        Repeat main wash steps (except adding soap) until all the bubbles are out of your diapers then squeeze excess water out of diapers and hang dry of put in dryer

*I have done this for 2 week it is a lot of work but in a pinch it does work great

Prepping Your Diapers

Synthetic material such as pockets, covers, and microfiber need no true prepping but it is recommended to wash once.

Natural materials such as hemp and bamboo need to be prepped to remove their natural oils that will affect absorbency. They should be washed at least twice with hot water if possible. There is no need to dry until both washes are done. My tip is I throw them in with our regular weekly laundry; I tend to wash them four times but not in hot water then dry at the end.

Stripping your diapers

Stripping your diapers should be done as needed only. I have been cloth diapering for almost 5 years and have stripped my diapers only 3-4 times; not counting the used diapers I have brought. Stripping diapers is only needed when detergent or ammonia builds up, which affects its absorption, or when diapers develop a smell; this happens when wash a routine isn’t perfect.

This is my step by step of how I strip my diapers

  1. Start with clean diapers in a well-ventilated room (I use my bathroom and the bathtub).
  2. Fill up a tub ½ of the way with very hot water (this is for stripping my whole stash of diapers; about 40 diapers; and would need adjusting if you had fewer diapers). In with water, I mix 2 packets of RLR laundry treatment, ½ a cup of detergent (tide or gain powder works best) and all my inserts. Then mix around until everything is wet.
  3. Mix thoroughly with a strong broom handle every 20 minutes for the first hour. After 60 minutes and the water cool cools down (to the point you can put your hand in it) I add my diapers with PUL to the tub.
  4. Continue to mix every 30 minutes for 4 hours. Then drain the tub and squeeze the water from the diapers.
  5. Next step, you fill the tub with cold water and do a quick rinse of the diapers (if washer is close by, put in for a quick cold water only wash) it is important to get mot if not all of the RLR and detergent completely out in this step. It requires lots of stirring and squeezing of absorbent parts of the diapers.
  6. Next step requires a bleach soak, this is important to get all the ammonia and bacteria out of your diapers and should not be skipped or you will most likely need to repeat stripping your diapers.** Again you fill ½ a tub with water and ½ a cup of bleach. Then you must stir up and let soak for 30 minutes.
  7. The last step is to wash diapers in the washing machine with warm/hot water with regular amount of detergent. I follow this with 3 quick washes with cold water only to ensure all the detergent, bleach, and RLR is off.

*The bleach soak may cause some materials to fade

Here is another great source for cloth diaper washing, including the difference in hard/soft water, different methods to empty diapers and different ways to store your diapers till washing day

Please feel free to contact us if you need assisting with your wash routine and we will try our hardest to assist you.

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