Monthly Archives: October 2011

Double duty

So, tonight is the first night of the Flip Diaper night trial run for Jack.  The whole excitement about him telling me he tee-tee’d in his diaper was just that…one time excitement.  Oh well, he won’t be 15 and still wearing diapers…right?  Back to the topic…I used 2 inserts in his diaper and I will update tomorrow if we had any leaks or dampness on his legs.  It is obviously a bit more bulky than a disposable and a little more bulky than using just the one insert but he didn’t complain or fuss about it, so I assume that he is comfortable with it.  Did I also mention that I am using a Bambino Mio Nappy Bucket and diaper bags for dirty diaper storage? So far, we have not had any smells or problems with it.  And it’s quite convenient that I can just pick up the entire bag and dump my dirty diapers (along with the bag) in the wash and their is no nastiness to clean out of the bucket.  Wow, I wish I had researched this whole process 2 years ago…might have saved quite a few bucks. For those of you who are unfamiliar with a Flip diaper, or any up to date cloth diaper/cover here is a picture of how it looks.  It really couldn’t be easier!  Right now I am using the Stay Dry insert and it has kept my man soft and dry thus far and all I have to do is wipe down the inside of the cover and use it again.

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Why not use disposables?

So really, why I am going to spend more time washing and line drying and sunning diapers when I can just replace and toss in the garbage? Well, my answer is tri-fold….essentially I am doing this so we can:

1. Save money

Saving money is a key component in our decision to cloth diaper.  With my first, we were spending (on average) about $30 a month on diapers.  Multiply that times 24 and you get a whopping $720.  Maybe you are thinking that doesn’t sound so bad because after 2, your child will be potty trained right? Maybe they will, if they are ready.  But my little man just isn’t ready yet so let us recalculate. Jack will turn 3 in March so let’s add 7 more months to that total and thus far we have spent at least $930 on diapers since he has been around.  And we use the Up & Up brand from Target!  So far, I have spent about $115 on cloth diapers thus far and plan on spending about $150 more and then I plan on spending nothing.  So that’s a total of less than $300 all in all.

2.   Keep unnecessary chemicals away from my baby’s skin

I know there are some of you coupon ladies out there who can spend about $5 a month on diapers by driving all over town and clipping and saving and etc… but how does that keep the nasty chemicals that are in diapers away from your kids? Is it worth it just because you aren’t spending much?  Read this information I found below about the chemicals found in disposable diapers and you may rethink your decision:

Dioxins

Most disposable diapers are bleached white with chlorine, resulting in a byproduct called dioxins that leach into the environment and the diapers. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), dioxins are among the most toxic chemicals known to science and are listed by the EPA as highly carcinogenic chemicals. According to the World Health Organization, exposure to dioxins may cause skin reactions and altered liver function, as well as impairments to the immune system, nervous system, endocrine system and reproductive functions.

Sodium Polyacrylate
Sodium polycarbonate is a super absorbent chemical compound that is used in the fillers of many disposable diapers. It is composed of cellulose processed from trees that is mixed with crystals of polyacrylate. This chemical absorbs fluids and creates surface tension in the lining of the diaper to bind fluids and prevent leakage. Sodium polyacrylate is often visible as small gel-like crystals on the skin of babies and is thought to be linked to skin irritations and respiratory problems. This chemical was removed from tampons due to toxic shock syndrome concerns. As it has only been used in diapers for the last two decades, there is not yet research on the long-term health effects of sodium polyacrylate on babies.

Tributyl-tin (TBT)
Many disposable diapers contain a chemical called tributyl-tin (TBT). According to the EPA, this toxic pollutant is extremely harmful to aquatic (water) life and causes endocrine (hormonal) disruptions in aquatic organisms. TBT is a polluting chemical that does not degrade but remains in the environment and in our food chain. TBT is also an ingredient used in biocides to kill infecting organisms. Additionally, according to research published by the American Institute of Biological Sciences, tributyl-tin can trigger genes that promote the growth of fat cells, causing obesity in humans.

Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs)
Disposable diapers frequently contain chemicals called volatile organic compounds (VOCs). These include chemicals such as ethylbenzene, toluene, xylene and dipentene. According to the EPA, VOCs can cause eye, nose and throat irritation, headaches, damage to the liver, kidney and central nervous system as well as cancers.

Other Chemicals
Other chemicals often used in disposable diapers include dyes, fragrances, plastics and petrolatums. Adhesive chemicals are used in the sticky tabs to close the diapers and dyes are used to color and make the patterns and labels that mark diapers. Perfumes and fragrances are used in some disposable diapers to help mask odors.

All the above information came from http://www.livestrong.com/article/111348-chemicals-disposable-diapers/

3. Seriously reduce the amount of waste my family produces

Why do I care about reducing our waste? I am not one to harp on someone else about throwing things away instead of recycling. But it is common sense that when you look at the facts about disposable diapers, it is plain to see that we can intervene and actually save some space in the landfills for things other than diapers.  I mean, if every child uses on average around 5000 diapers before they are potty trained then I am saving a lot of space in the landfills and I am saving resources used to make the diapers (i.e.  trees)  when I choose to cloth diaper.

I hope this gives everyone a basic understanding of our reasons for making this change and hopefully can encourage and influence others to rethink their own decisions about diapering.

 

The diapers are here! … and potty training?

Like most moms, I get super excited when I get something in the mail, which is one of the reasons I love ordering online. I mean, don’t get me wrong, if the 1 store in town that carries the diapers I want to use actually sold them at an affordable price I would love to support them but right now I need to save the extra $15 a box. So, last week my 2 day packs of Flip diapers and my unbleached cotton pre-folds arrived. I immediately tore into the box and was pleased to find the blossom and grasshopper colored diaper covers and the stay dry inserts that I found.  I also had ordered some Rockin’ Green detergent and immediately got to work pre-washing my diapers. I washed them twice through and hung them to dry on my rack along with the pre-folds that I will use while Lucy (my little one in my belly) is a newborn. Oh, I also ordered some Snappi ‘s which I hear are indispensable when using basic pre-folds around the house.  So, now I am almost set….right? I just need a baby to use these on! I got so excited that I decided to try my 2 year old (who has no interest in potty training) in a Flip diaper. He immediately fussed and fussed when I put it on him but soon after got used to the way it felt and pretended like everything was normal.  Something interesting did happen though the next day when I had him in one.  He immediately came to me after I put it on him and told me that he had tee-tee’d in his diaper.  Wow…he had never said that before! I guess because he could feel it! So, maybe these diapers will be the first stepping stone for Jack in using the potty full time…I’ll keep you updated.

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Why cloth diapering? Why now…

Here I am two weeks away from having my second child and I have had this fabulous idea of starting a new blog.  I am a 28 year old stay at home mom with 2 part time businesses.  I am wife of 5 years to Matthew and mother to Jack (2 years) and we live in Gardendale, AL a small community in Jefferson County just 10 minutes north of Birmingham.  When my son Jack was born 2 years ago, a passing thought about cloth diapering came and went but it seemed too overwhelming to take on.  I mean, I had bigger concerns, yes?  Like…figuring out how to be a mom!

He was born with bright red hair, blue eyes and super sensitive skin.  Every time I changed his diaper his sweet newborn skin was red and bumpy but I figured that there was nothing I could do about it but use diaper cream.  So, we continued to buy and buy and buy lots of disposable diapers and some diaper creams, spending what little money we had.

About 9 months ago, we became pregnant with our 2nd child and I started mulling over the idea of cloth diapering.  I did a little reading here and there but it all seemed incredibly overwhelming.  I didn’t know the difference between pocket diapers, diaper covers, pre-folds, etc.  But a friend of mine introduced me to a friend of hers who started cloth diapering with her 2nd one last year and I decided to spend the day with her watching her every move and hoping to soak up as much knowledge about cloth diapering as I could to determine if this was going to be a good fit for us.  At the end of that day, I was ecstatic at how easy everything seemed to be!  And when I went home and did the math (I’m a numbers gal) and saw how much money we were going to save cloth diapering with our next one, I couldn’t help but jump on board the cloth diapering wagon.

Deciding to join in on this community is very exciting for me.  Not only will it help me flesh out this process but it can hopefully be a place where like-minded moms and dads, perhaps even in the Birmingham area can come to find out how to start and continue the journey of cloth diapering.  Since I myself am brand new to this endeavor, here are a few questions I have/had…

  • Why are people spending tons of money on pocket diapers when you can use inserts and a few covers over and over and save 100’s of dollars?
  •  How do you cloth diaper a newborn?
  • Is it okay to take your own cloth diapers to the hospital when your little one enters the world?
  • What are the advantages of cloth diapering besides saving money?
  • How do you switch your toddler over to cloth diapers?
  • Are there health concerns as well as environmental concerns?
  • Also, how much do I need to initially invest to get started?

These are just a few of the questions that I am going to flesh out over time here and I hope you will join me with lots of questions and comments so we can all learn and make the best decisions about covering the bums of our little ones.

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