Update: Dave Ramsey scholarship contest

Hey everyone – thanks for all the votes and support so far!  I just wanted to remind everyone that you can vote for us once per IP address, per day.  Please tell your friends about us and keep voting!

http://www.daveramsey.com/entreleadership/contest-entry/entryId/158/

Like I said in our last entry, if we win, we’ll be giving away a $100 gift certificate to someone who has voted for us and commented on this blog.  But then I got to thinking, I appreciate everyone’s support so much, that even if we don’t win, we’ll be giving away a $20 gift certificate to one lucky voter.  So please, continue to vote every day.  Each vote (and comment) gets you one entry into the drawing, and the more you vote the better chance you have of winning AND the better chance you have of getting us to the top and making it a $100 gift certificate instead of $20!

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EntreLeadership Scholarship Contest Entry: Elisa

EntreLeadership Scholarship Contest Entry: Elisa.

Please vote for us at the link above – it’s a contest, sponsored by Dave Ramsey, for small businesses.  The prize is a 1 week business seminar by Dave in Cancun, Mexico.  You can vote once a day. 

If you vote, please comment below – if we win, we will give away a $100 Babies Bottoms and More gift certificate to someone chosen randomly from the comments below (who has commented to say they’ve voted.)

Thanks, everyone, for your support!

Diaper Fabrics

One of the important things to know when shopping for cloth diapers is what fabric it is made of.  Different fabrics have different absorbency levels and other characteristics, like care instructions and whether or not they feel dry to the touch when the diaper is wet.  But who really knows the difference between a hemp/cotton blend fleece and a bamboo french terry?  Read on!

The first thing to remember is that the name of a fabric will contain two words.  The first word refers to what fiber the fabric is made of, like cotton, polyester, silk, wool, etc.  The second word describes what has been done to the fiber, how it was woven or knitted.  You need to know both pieces of information to figure out what the fabric will feel like in your hand. 

For example, polyester fleece is made from polyester and has a thick, fluffy, stretchy texture.  There is also cotton fleece, bamboo fleece, and hemp fleece.  (All three of these are absorbent and used for inner diaper materials, polyester fleece is not absorbent and depending on the thickness can be used for a stay-dry liner against the baby’s skin or a water resistant diaper cover.)

We’ll go over absorbent fabrics today, and save the waterproof fabrics for another day. 

Diaper Twill,  flannel: Woven, non-stretchy cotton fabrics.  They are relatively thin, but usually are layered together to make absorbency.  Prefolds are made from diaper twill, which is also used inside some fitted and all-in-one diapers. 

Terrycloth: towel-like texture.  Regular terrycloth is not used often in diapers, usually it is french terry or burley knit terry.  French terry is knit (stretchy) and has tiny terrycloth loops on only one side.  Burley knit terry is like a very thick, chunky french terry. 

French Terry in several colors

*Microfiber terry is a terrycloth made from polyester microfiber.  It is very popular for pocket diaper inserts, but should not be used directly against the baby’s skin.

Sherpa: Kind of a cross between a knit terry and a fleece, sherpa is burley knit terry that has been brushed to cause the loops to puff out, fluff up, and get softer.  It is used mainly in fitted diapers and cloth wipes, chosen for it’s great texture that is soft, yet absorbs very quickly because of the large surface area.  Happy Hempy’s fitted diapers are made from sherpa.

Fleece: A fuzzy, thick fabric, very similar to the inside of a new sweatshirt.  Some fleece is only fuzzy on one side, like a sweatshirt, but other kinds are thicker and fuzzy on both sides.  Babykicks hemp prefolds are made from hemp fleece; Tiny Tush Deluxe cloth wipes are made from cotton fleece.

Prefold made from Hemp Fleece

Jersey and Interlock: t-shirt fabric.  Jersey is thinner while interlock is thicker and generally softer.  BumGenius one-size Elemental diaper has organic cotton interlock on the inside. 

Velour: like velvet with a stretch. Bamboo velour is very popular.

Bamboo Velour fabric

Pocket Diapers: invented just 10 years ago!

A BumGenius pocket diaper has only one opening

If any of you have talked to your mothers, grandmothers, or anyone from the older generation, you will find that their conception of cloth diapers is pretty much limited to prefolds, pins, and rubber pants.  I have such fun showing pocket diapers to expectant grandmothers who come into our store, because most have never seen such a diaper!  This is because pocket diapers were invented only 10 years ago. 

A pocket diaper is a new spin on the all-in-one, designed to address common AIO problems of long drying time and lack of absorbency. 

Anatomy of a Pocket Diaper:

A pocket diaper has waterproof outer fabric and (usually) stay-dry inner fabric. They are sewn together with leg elastic and some kind of waist fastener (usually velcro or snaps).  There is a space, usually in the back of the diaper, where the two layers are NOT sewn together but are left open to make a POCKET opening between the layers.  By itself, this diaper is not absorbent, but when you put one or more absorbent INSERTS into the pocket opening, the diaper is absorbent.  At this point you can put it on in one piece, just like an all-in-one.  (In fact, the teachers at my youngest daughter’s mothers day out think the pocket diapers I send her with ARE all-in-one’s.  I don’t want to scare them with anything complicated, so I’ve never told them the inserts come out.)

Why Would Anyone Choose a Pocket Diaper Over an All-in-one?

When putting the diaper on, a pocket is just like an AIO.  The difference comes in the washing/drying/folding.  Before washing, most pocket diapers will need to have their inserts removed.  Just pull it out from the pocket opening and drop the now-unstuffed diaper in your diaper pail along with the insert.  Some brands of pocket diapers, including Mommys Touch, Thirsties Duo Diaper, and Tweedle Bugs, are self-unstuffing, so you don’t have to do anything.  Just drop the entire diaper in the wash and the agitation of the wash cycle will cause it to unstuff itself.  When looking at a pocket diaper, check to see if it has pocket openings on both the front and the back of the diaper or only one.  If it has two openings, it will unstuff itself in the wash.  If you (or daddy) forgets to unstuff a regular pocket diaper before washing, the insert will bunch up at the front of the diaper.  If this happens I usually unstuff it and wash it one more time to make sure it gets all the way clean, so you can see why I really prefer my diapers to unstuff themselves!

Mommys Touch pocket diapers have two openings and will unstuff themselves!

The removable inserts have to benefits in the laundry: they are able to get cleaner faster than an AIO, and they dry much more quickly.  The trade-off to this convenience is that when the diapers come out of the dryer (or off the clothes line), you will need to re-stuff each diaper before putting it back on your changing table. 

One other benefit to pocket diapers is that unlike an AIO, you can customize the absorbency.  As your baby grows you can use larger inserts, or double-stuff the pocket diaper with two inserts.  Sometimes people will even triple-stuff them at night time, or use a super-absorbent hemp insert along with the microfiber one.