What About Wool?

The most common material for diaper covers is PUL, or polyurethane laminate, a durable, waterproof fabric.  However, second in popularity is wool.  Wool, you say?  How is wool waterproof?  Why would anyone want to use wool? 

Well, for starters, wool is a natural fiber and fully biodegradable, so it has a smaller ecological footprint than either PUL or fleece (another popular cover fabric).   Here are some more Q and A’s about wool, courtesy of the mama behind  http://hyenacart.com/mizknits

Q. So how often does wool need to be washed?

A. Wool needs to be washed about every 2ish weeks, more if you get poo on them or if the diaper under them has stink issues.

Q. Is it hard to care for? You lanolize it first, right? It sounds complicated, but I’m sure it’s not.

A. They are very easy to care for, hand wash in luke warm water, gently squish some baby shampoo through them or wool wash. Then soak in a bowl or sink with warm water and lanolin (melt lanolin in water in a coffee cup or something microwaveable before adding to bowl or sink), squeeze water out, lay flat on a towel to dry.   If you’re using lanolin spray, then you would spray it on after washing and rinsing, and massage into the wool.

Q.  How many wool covers would I need if I were to just use them at night? (Wool comes highly recommended as a nighttime cover both because of how well it works and how breathable it is.)

A. I would get 2 wool covers if using just at night so you have a back up when one has been washed and is drying.

Q.  My baby gets really hot, would wool make it worse?

A. Wool is VERY breathable, so it will actually keep him/her cooler at night.   As long as you have enough absorbancy underneath wool should work well.
 
Q. I’m guessing Longies are wool, just in a pants version and you can you use them to cover a diaper? Do they get wet?

A. Longies are wool just in pants version. and you can use them to cover a diaper. They get damp on the inside just turn inside out to dry after changing the diaper, occasionally they feel damp on the outside but not wet, its like they feel cool to the touch, like they could be damp.. but not quite.. its hard to explain.

Take a look at our Imse Vimse wool cover here: http://babiesbottomsandmore.com/imse-vimse-wool-wrap-cover.html

Friday Giveaway: Bottombumpers diaper

First of all, congratulations to Amanda for winning the Formula Earth gift basket from last week. 

This week our giveaway is for a brand-new product: Bottombumpers one-size all-in-one.  These retail for $23.95 and are a side-snapping AIO with organic cotton and bamboo velour inner.  You can see them here:

http://babiesbottomsandmore.com/bottombumpers-onesize-allinone-diaper.html

To get your chance to win one of these diapers before they are even available to purchase through Babies Bottoms and More, leave a comment telling me what one item from our store you’ve been wanting to try and wish we would do a giveaway for. 

One different twist this week than last week, we will only be doing this giveaway if we get at least 15 entries.  Last week there were only a handful of people who entered the giveaway, and while the odds were great for the winner, it wasn’t as much fun for us. 😦 So please, tell your friends about this week’s giveaway!

Cloth Wipes

Why cloth wipes?

I admit, when we first switched to cloth diapering, I thought there was no way I was going to ever use cloth wipes.  “I’m willing to make a lot of sacrifices to save money,” I told my husband, “but I am NOT going to save THAT much money!”  We looked at our budget and decided that with all the money we would be saving with not buying disposable diapers, we could afford to “splurge” on disposable wipes.  “A Mommy luxury”, I thought of them. 

Fast forward a couple of weeks, to when my new baby had a huge poo-splosion in his diaper.  It was epic.  I mean it took 5 or 6 wipes to finally get him cleaned off.  After this messy job was done, I tossed the cloth diaper in the diaper pail right next to the changing table, and started looking around to find where I could put the wipes.  This was my first realization: you can’t put disposable wipes in with your cloth diapers. 

I knew you weren’t supposed to leave a baby on the changing table, but I had no room to put a clean diaper on him (since there was a mountain of poopy wipes on the changing table!) so I carried my half-naked baby to the bathroom where I put the wipes in the bathroom trash can.  This was when I had my second realization: Around here, we take out the trash when the trash can is full.  But with only wipes, no diapers, going in that trash can, it was going to be a LONG time before it got full.  And 3 month old poopy wipes were not something I wanted in my bathroom. 

At the next diaper change, I grabbed some baby washcloths (we had a million of those hanging around) and got them wet in the sink.  They worked GREAT, got my baby’s bottom super clean, and best of all, I could toss them right in the diaper pail!

But there was still a part of me that just thought cloth wipes were gross.  Cloth diapers made sense to me, but cloth wipes were just… weird.  But then I started thinking about cloth napkins.  Like wipes, napkins come in cloth or disposable.  Like wipes, the cloth ones just work so much better.  And like wipes, we put them against our skin and get them very dirty, then we wash them, and use them again. 

I realized it had never occurred to me when sitting down to eat at a fancy restaurant with crisp white cloth napkins, to ask the waiter whether or not this napkin had been used before.  Of course it has!  And not only that, but used by a perfect stranger, and washed by an anonymous laundry service somewhere – yet I trust that it’s clean.  How much more then could I trust that the wipes which had only been used before by MY baby, and had been personally washed by ME, were clean? 

How to use cloth wipes

You’ll need about 10 wipes to get started, but ideally you’ll want to have 1 wipe per diaper in your stash.  You won’t always use a wipe with each diaper change, but with some really messy ones you will use more than one wipe.  Pretty much anything can be a wipe – baby washcloths or squares of flannel work just fine in a pinch.  My favorites are the thicker ones made specifically to be baby wipes.  I make my own (and sell them in the store) that are sherpa on one side and printed flannel on the other.  My philosophy is, you’re going to be looking at these every day for the next two years, so make sure they’re pretty and you like looking at them! 

You can just get the wipes wet in the sink before each use, but most people like to use some kind of wipes solution.  We carry two different kinds of wipe solution soap bits, Sheepish Grins Washy Wafers and SweetSydneyBean’s Organic Soap Bits.  Just put one soap bit or wafer into a cup of warm water and shake it up.  It will dissolve to form a mild wipe solution (and will smell SO GOOD!).  Most people like to keep their cloth wipes in an empty disposable wipes container and pour the solution over the wipes to premoisten them.  I did this and my then-4 year old used them to clean the bathroom with, so now I keep my wipes solution in a squirt bottle and wet each one as I need it.  (A peri bottle from the hospital works GREAT for wipes solution.)

Friday Giveaway: Formula Earth Gift Basket

This week we have a gift basket from Formula Earth to give away.  To enter, leave a comment answering this question:

If only one personal care product or cleaning product in your house could be natural/toxin free, what would it be and why?  (For example, mine would be a toss up between bodywash and floor cleaner.  Bodywash because I put it all over my skin and I”m concerned about absorbing chemicals, and floor cleaner because  my kids are always on the floor, so I want to make sure they’re safe.) 

You can get extra entries by posting a link to our giveaway on Facebook or your personal blog, just comment with the link. 

So what’s in the gift basket?

1 oz Baby Booty Balm (*contains zinc oxide, so if you are concerned about staining please use a liner when using the Booty Balm with your cloth diapers.)

2 oz. Beautiful Body Balm to diminish stretch marks and scars

Colic Massage Oil for infants, just massage into baby’s stomach or soles of feet

8 oz Healing Synergy Bath made from Dead Sea Salts and essential oils, fights infections and germs while soothing and relaxing

4 oz All Purpose Disinfectant Spray.  This is my FAVORITE – a nontoxic, chemical free formula that kills 99.9% of germs and bacteria, can be used for fabrics, surfaces, or air.  With kids around, I do occasionally need to disinfect things, but I don’t like using bleach or harsh chemicals.  This is the first product I have found that allows me disinfect things, naturally. 

We will randomly pick a winner and post the results next Friday.  Thanks for entering!

Cloth Diaper Sewing

Just a quick post to share some of my favorite sites for sewing cloth diapers. 

http://www.diapersewing.com/  all inclusive website, directions for making all types of cloth diapers

http://fernandfaerie.com/frugaldiapering.html  good photos and creative ideas for frugal diaper sewing

http://handmadebyrita.blogspot.com/2007/10/classic-rrp-ritas-rump-pocket-pattern.html   the first diaper pattern I ever used, and still one of my favorites, it’s a fitted diaper (needs a cover).

Diaper fabric sources:

www.sewmanydiapers.com  – fantastic prices.  I get the sherpa I use to make my cloth wipes here.

www.verybaby.com – great selection of fabrics and notions.

Nursing Notes from a Mom

Now that we’ve gone through all the types of cloth diapers, I thought it was time to talk about breastfeeding.  Today I don’t want to talk about the benefits of breastfeeding (there are MANY) or the technical aspects (best to call a lactation consultant for specific problems), I just want to talk a little bit about my experiences as a nursing mom. 

In the store this Saturday a customer asked me about the purpose of breast pads, which got us started talking about nursing bras, and she said it was good to hear the little details. 

Nursing Pads

Breast pads, or nursing pads, are absorbent pads to put inside your bra to catch any leaking milk.  No, your body will not be leaking milk all the time!  But when something triggers your milk to “let down”, they will start to leak in preparation for feeding your baby.  Letdown can be triggered by it being “time to nurse” – if my baby nurses on average every 2 hours, my breasts get in this rhythm.  It can also be triggered by thoughts of your baby or hearing a crying baby (even one that is not yours!)  It’s amazing how well mothers bodies respond to their babies.  Even more strange, I always knew my baby was about to wake up because my milk would let down – even if she was sleeping in the other room and I hadn’t heard a sound yet!

So, back to nursing pads.  Some are purely absorbent, like our hemp nursing pads, while others have a waterproof PUL backing.  I prefer the waterproof ones for during the day or when I’m out of the house, to make sure my shirt doesn’t get wet.  I like the ones without a waterproof barrier for when I’m at home and especially at night time.  They are more breathable, and at nighttime I don’t really care if I get a spot of milk on my pajamas, I just don’t want to wake up in a puddle of milk! 

Nursing Bras 

Good nursing bras are also important.  I got mastitis THREE TIMES before Claire turned 6 months old, and each time I can trace the cause back to wearing a bra that did not fit.  An ill-fitting bra can put pressure on your breast tissue, preventing your breast from being completely emptied out during a nursing session.  This can lead to a plugged duct, which can get infected and lead to mastitis.  It was sooooo tempting for me to try to squeeze into my pre-pregnancy bras because they were so pretty.  Finally I realized what was happening and invested in some good, supportive nursing bras that fit me well. 

I’d suggest starting out with 2 nursing bras and purchasing these in the third trimester.  Remember that your breast size will increase once your milk comes in (about 2-4 days after your baby’s birth), so get comfortable, stretchy bras.  Then after your baby is about a week old, you can re-measure yourself and figure out what size you are.  At this point I suggest purchasing 2-4 more nursing bras.  Babies Bottoms and More does not currently carry nursing bras (as of September 2010) but we hope to in the future.  For now, here are some brands and links of nursing bras that I have found to be good ones:

http://www.bravadodesigns.com/ has lots of great breastfeeding info plus a great selection of nursing bras in ALL sizes.  These bras are designed to be nursing bras, not just regular bras with a nursing clip added on, but that doesn’t mean they’re not pretty, which I really like.  Their Original Nursing Bra is a great one to have on hand before your baby is born.  Another stretchy, comfortable nursing bra is the Carriwell Seamless Organic Cotton nursing bra.  We plan to carry this bra in-stock by January 2011.

Carriwell Seamless Organic Nursing Bra

Another brand I like is Medela.  I have several of their underwire nursing bras.  Normally, as a nursing mom, you need to stay away from underwires as they are more likely to lead to plugged ducts, but Medela makes their underwires differently to reduce that risk.  I like the support an underwire gives and the fact that when I’m wearing this bra, my clothes all fit normally.  Click on the link to see it here: http://www.medelabreastfeedingus.com/products/intimate-apparel/325/seamless-underwire-nursing-bra-nude

And finally, a nursing bra company that I have just discovered, HOTmilk!  How many of you mamas have ever seen nursing and maternity bras in black satin, royal blue sheer mesh, or red lace?  I didn’t think so!  HOTmilk has all of these and more, in a full range of sizes beyond the normal A-D cups. 

Nipple Creams

As your body gets used to nursing a baby during the first 4-6 weeks, your nipples will be tender and might need a little extra care.  Nipple creams like Earth Mama Angel Baby’s Natural Nipple Butter (link to purchase: http://www.babiesbottomsandmore.com/emabnipplebutter.html) are so soothing.  Whatever cream you choose, make sure that it is food-grade, because you don’t want to have to wash it off before every feeding.  Remember, breastfeeding shouldn’t hurt, so if you are experiencing true pain, please call a lactation consultant, but if you’re just experiencing a little tenderness or chapping, a nipple cream can help tide you through.  You’ll only need it for the first 4-6 weeks in most cases.