Saturday, March 12, 2011

The Great Cloth Diaper Change

Have you heard of The Great Cloth Diaper Change? If not you will hopefully be hearing more about it as we get closer to spring!

Cloth diaper retailers around the globe have signed on to be hosts for the The Great Cloth Diaper Change! This is a worldwide event dedicated to spreading the word about cloth on Earth Day, April 23rd.

Heather McNamara, of the Real Diaper Association, says that “our local volunteers are finding growing numbers of parents coming to find out about cloth diapers, whether it be for environmental, financial, or health reasons - - or even because these diapers are just plain cute!” It is the hope of the organizers that this event will be an eye opener and an inspiration for expecting and new parents to use cloth diapers.

Here are the details:

· Help set a Guinness World Record™! Follow the challenge on Facebook and Twitter and, for frequent updates,

· Date and Time is Saturday, April 23 at 9AM Pacific / 12PM Eastern ‐
which means that on a global level some CD enthusiasts will gather and
do the diaper change in the middle of the night. Exact information is
available on a local level so that all participants, no matter where
they live, can find the appropriate location and time.

· A multitude of locations will be available for families all over the
U.S and around the globe, across the ocean, in Europe, Australia, and
the list keeps growing. Parents, care givers, educators, retailers,
playgroups, day care centers – anybody can apply to become an
organizer and host a location.

· Each group/location will have a minimum of 25 participants to count
for the record. Each local event will be unique, with many hosts
planning fun family activities for parents, friends and older
siblings, leading up to the specific “change” time. You won't want to
miss the local action!

· This event is part of a larger (and growing) movement. Participants
may contribute $1 (or more) at all North American events to benefit
the Real Diaper Association, the 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization
working to help families across the U.S. and Canada find and use
reusable cloth diapers.

I will be hosting a Great Cloth Diaper Change event in Toledo, and hopefully there is a retailer near you that is participating as well! For more information and to find a location near you visit

Here's to a great change!


Friday, March 11, 2011

Travel with Cloth

We, as a family, love to travel and have since the boys were itty bitty. Asia, the Caribbean, the Rockies, the beach, Grandma's house. It is just what we do as a family and how we spend our discretionary income. Often, I am asked about traveling with cloth. After many years and lots of trial and error, I have distilled my answer down to this: It is all about the washing machine.

Its all about the Machine

If the washing machine is one you trust (that of a family member or close friend), then I say go with it and there are lots of things you can do to make it easier. However, if you are relegated to using a public washing machine, I would say “Proceed with Caution.” While some public washing machine are spotless, top of the line, power houses, many are not. There is nothing worse than washing your diapers in a machine with loads of detergent build up or where the water temperature has been turned down to save money. Coming home from vacation with diapers that need to be stripped and smell as they didn’t get clean enough is no vacation at all. It can make even the most amazing trip memories turn sour quickly.

One issue to be mindful of when using a different washing machine is that the diapers might not smell and feel the same way they do at home. Water quality differs across the country. If you have soft water in your neighborhood but travel somewhere with hard water, there may be detergent build up. Perhaps you generally use the sanitize cycle on your washing machine but the one at your destination is more basic and does not have such a feature. Recognize that you may need to do an extra rinse or two and that is simply part of the adventure of travel. Don't forget to bring your detergent. We are big fans of RockinGreen and really love their sample sizes for travel.

What else do you need?

If you do have a good washer lined up and want to do cloth, there are some things that can make life easier. Invest in a great wet bag or for a longer trip, bring along a pail liner. Toss a citrus circle or diaper buddy in there in order to keep the smells down. One or both of these really are necessary for trips. You need a place to store all the diapers and the ability to keep any smells out of the hotel room or Grandma’s guest room. There are many great ones out there with my favorites being the whimsical prints of Leslie’s Wet Bags and the bright fun colors of the FuzziBunz wet bag.

My next suggestion is to Embrace the Disposable Liner. Disposable liners can be your best friend on trips. Being able to simply flush away the solids and not foul up the diaper too much with those can be wonderful. We know some people bring diaper sprayers along with them and attach to the toilet where they are visiting. That is simply too much work for us so the disposable liners are a great idea.

The diapers you bring with you can determine how much work you do. I am a big fan of the new hybrid diapers such as the Flip by Cottonbabies for travel. They offer several choices of inserts with the disposable being the easiest to use for travel. Just take out and toss the insert and put in a new one. Easy. Even if you choose to use the stay dry or organic insert, they are easy to wash and take up very little space in your luggage. The covers can be rinsed in the sink and hung to dry. So simple it is almost fun.

What not to bring?

Wool covers, while great and when properly lanolized, extremely waterproof, are hard to dry. They must be dried flat and can take a long time, particularly in humid weather. They do not tend to be a great traveling option. In addition, we have found that if being line dried, bamboo diapers can take a bit of time to dry in humid weather.

Whatever you do, have a safe and fun trip. Remember, the most important thing to bring is your senses of humor and adventure.

Happy travels!


Of course we have a Giveaway! We love Flip Diapers for travel and want you to try one too! So, a Flip diaper will be given away on Feb 25th to a randomly selected entrant. In order to enter:

- Fan Cottontail Baby on Facebook

- Join the Cottontail Baby mailing list

- Fan the Cloth Diaper Retailer Cooperative on Facebook

- Fan the Cloth Diaper Retailer Cooperative blog

Good luck!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Stripping? What's that mean?

I couldn't possibly count the number of times I get this question from cloth diapering families. I remember my first experience with hear this word associated with cloth diapers when my first set of cloth diapers were leaking. I remember standing in the kitchen calling the previous owner of Wee Willie Winks and saying I think my diapers are defective. I had just started using them and they were leaking. Kristy assured me they were not defective, but I need to strip them. I have had the same conversation with many families.

How does build-up happen? First of all it comes from using too much detergent. When you think about washing dirty, stinky diapers you would naturally think to use more detergent, but with cloth diapers using less detergent is more. Using half of the recommended detergent from the label is standard. Secondly, build up can just happen from having hard water. Hard water has more minerals in it than soft water. The minerals trap dirt in the fibers. Lastly, maybe your wash routine is not effective. A wash routine should consist of a cold rinse cycle, a long hot wash cycle, and a cold rinse cycle. That's three complete washing cycles.

What's an effective way to strip diapers? There are many ways to strip diapers. One of the first ways is to add extra rinse cycles at the end of your wash routine. If you are still seeing bubbles in the washer after rinsing the diapers on the last cycle then you need to rinse again. Bubbles indicates detergent still in the material of the diapers. If the material is full of detergent residue then they will leak. If rinsing is not working for you then you may want to first check and see what the manufacturer suggest you do to strip them especially if your diapers are still under warranty. Check on the manufacturer's name below for their recommendations:



Happy Heinys





All the cloth diaper companies vary slightly in what they recommend for stripping which can make it difficult when your diaper stash is a mixed lot.

My favorite method for getting out detergent build up is to use regular blue Dawn. With this method, wash your diapers first then add 1 Tablespoon (about half with a front loader) to a long wash cycle. You will need to do many rinses until all the bubbles are gone and the water runs clear. This can be a very long process because it's dish detergent and it bubbles up more than laundry detergent, but it's worth it.

If mineral build up is the issue with your diapers, then using RLR Laundry Treatment will help. RLR removes minerals from fabric. It's amazing what it will do for microfiber inserts. To use RLR, do a rinse cycle, then add RLR and a little detergent to a long hot wash, then follow with rinse cycles until bubbles are gone.

Another method is to soak in Rockin' Green Soap. I've soaked my diapers over night in the washing machine with Rockin' Green. Using Rockin' Green fill your washer with hot water and 3 Tbsp* of Rockin’ Green, along with your diapers. Let it soak for approximately 30-60 minutes. Then launder as usual, skipping the soap. If you have a lot of build up you may need to repeat this process a few times. Because Rockin' Green brings all the build up to the surface your diapers may get worse before they get better, but don't give up.

Leaking, stinky diapers are never fun! So if you are in this dilemma don't despair ask your local retailer for help or contact the manufacturer for suggestions.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

No Blues With This Denim Diaper

It's no secret that cloth diapers are cuter than disposable diapers. While it's not the main reason why parents choose cloth, it is a nice benefit. Disposable companies may also have taken notice of cloth's cuteness, judging from last year's releases of "designer" and "denim" diapers.

Mommy's Touch has taken the cuteness to a whole new level, however. With the new Baby Blues Denim line it's possible to enjoy a denim diaper that's both adorable and resusable.

Available in all style lines (all in one, pocket, cover, trainer), the denim diaper features brass-colored snaps and a dimensional rear pocket. As cute as they are in the picture, they are even better in person!

Mommy's Touch one size Baby Blues Denim cloth diaper is the perfect diaper as we near warmer weather. This is one diaper that you definitely won't want to cover up.
Until next month!
Snooty Booty Diapers

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