Category : Mailbox Mondays

Mailbox Mondays

Mailbox Mondays 8/9/10


Every Monday I will answer user submitted questions.  They don’t have to be about cloth diapering!  I’ll always answer questions via email, but if you would like your question to be answered in a Mailbox Mondays post, send an email with the subject “Mailbox Mondays” to at gmail dot com!

Ash says:

Hi Maria! Love your blog! You were the first blog I found that I started following when I started blogging. 🙂

So right now I am exclusive to only one brand of cloth diapers. But I want to get some other brands soon. My question is…When you have more than one brand of diapers, how do you wash them? I know that most brands have different instructions for washing, so do you just keep washing with whatever you find that works, or do you wash each brand separately?

Thank you!

Ash from The Adventures of Ash and Rowe
OK let me stop doodling big puffy hearts around Maria + Ash and answer the question.  I love when someone tells me that they enjoy my blog, like my reviews etc.  It makes me feel all warm & fuzzy and happy.
This is a very, very timely question given my recent issues with my Rumparooz delamination.  Most of the differences in washing instructions (that I’ve noticed) have to do with the order of cold rinses/hot washes/cold rinses and when to use the detergent.  Some say it’s OK to tumble dry, some recommend hanging to dry. 
I always follow initial washing instructions, since some materials need to be washed separately a number of times to remove natural oils (like hemp.)  Some materials (usually organic cottons) need to be washed around 3 times to prep, and up to 10 times to achieve maximum absorbency.
Beyond that, I do what works for me.  Cold wash/rinse, hot wash/rinse with the occasional extra rinse.  I do not bleach my diapers, or use additives on them, though I do use an occasional dab of bleach (and/or RLR) on the inserts only, followed by many extra rinses.
If I had to keep track of specific washing instructions for each manufacturer and wash separately, I would lose my mind.
That brings me to the other issue.  Detergent.  The majority of diaper manufacturers have the same list of “no-nos” including enzymes, brighteners, whiteners, dyes, scents etc.  This issue is a hot button for me since the lack of “safe” affordable, local detergent is the #1 thing that stopped me from CD’ing from day 1 with my son.
Rumparooz, Drybees and at least one other (slips my mind right now) diaper company specifically recommend “standard” detergents like Tide, which contain dyes, scents and enzymes that are on the detergent black lists.
I stand by the idea that you should use what works for you.  Don’t use too much or too little, and rinse them clean. 
The problem with that is this: what if you have an issue with one of your diapers while it’s under warranty, and your claim is denied because you didn’t use the “right” detergent?  Well, I’m not terribly worried for myself, because my choices were disposable diapering, paying outrageous sums to have one specific detergent (that was on all of the “safe” lists) shipped, or to use what worked.
Also, warranties don’t cover staining, repelling or stink.  If a “safe” detergent isn’t getting my diapers clean, what good is it?
I really don’t like to use this thinking but, plenty of people have used any number of detergents with no issues.  I’m using what works for me and that’s that.  There’s no way I’m going to wash diapers separately so that some can be clean and stink free and others can be smelly, washed in pricey detergent, but covered under warranty!
In conclusion, yadda yadda, I bet you’re sorry you asked.  😉

Remember that my blabbing shouldn’t be taken as expert advice.  Always pay careful attention to the manufacturer’s instructions.  I’m not responsible for any damage or diaper injuries, insert other verbiage as you see fit to cover my hiney.  🙂

Bonus question since the first was so long, this is quick.  It’s just a snippet of an email since it wasn’t a MM submission.

How did you get your comments numbered?

I followed these instructions from Blogger Sentral.  Those are for use with blogger.  I’m sure I could fool around to get them nicer looking, but this was just one of my many HTML “projects” and I was ready to be done by the time I got it working!

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Mailbox Mondays

Mailbox Mondays 8/2/10


Every Monday I will answer user submitted questions.  They don’t have to be about cloth diapering!  I’ll always answer questions via email, but if you would like your question to be answered in a Mailbox Mondays post, send an email with the subject “Mailbox Mondays” to at gmail dot com!

Before I get started, I wanted to remind you that I’m going to be a regular poster at The Village of Moms.  You may remember my guest post series about cloth diapering.  I’ll be posting the first Monday of every month, and today is my first post!  I’ll be writing about cloth diapering, baby wearing, “green” and frugal topics, as well as crafts, recipes and more!  I’d love for you to read my first post, which is about Homemade Kool-Aid Scented Play Dough!

The first question is from Stephanie:

I know you answered a question last week about nighttime diapering, but I’ve got another one.

When it comes to nighttime diapering, I know the words trim and absorbent don’t mix. But, I am looking for a solution that is as trim as possible that will work for a 27lb 20 month old. Having a bulky diaper bothers her and she just cant sleep (I wouldn’t be able to either). She is not a super wetter, but needs good absorbency to make it through the night.


Night time diapering seems to be the biggest conundrum in cloth diapering, second only to wash routines!  The solution for your daughter will really hinge on how heavy of a wetter she is.  A pocket diaper with a Superdo insert is the trimmest you will get (in my opinion) and still get ultra-absorbency. 
At this point, my son actually doesn’t need that much absorbency anymore.  If your daughter doesn’t either, you might try the Loopydo insert instead, adding a hemp doubler if needed.
The flip cover with the organic insert is trimmer than others, and has proved a great solution for many babies.
Another thing to think about is using a wool soaker over an absorbent fitted.  My experience has been that the more absorbent fitteds are bulkier, but I’ve recently discovered that hemp fitteds can be very absorbent without the bulk. 
I wish there was an easy answer, that I could tell you exactly what to get, but it’s really trial and error!
The next question is from Amanda:
My little one has had a recurring yeast rash in his diaper area for several months now. We brought him back to the Dr last week and she told me to bleach all my diapers and then do an extra rinse before hanging them in the sun to dry. I am terribly afraid of using bleach on my dipes, especially since many of them specifically say on the tags NO BLEACH. Is there something else I can do to make sure there are no nasty yeasties living in his diapers? We use pockets with a variety of inserts-bamboo, hemp, microfiber and plain old cotton prefolds and all of his dipes have Bamboo or organic cotton lining. HELP!

I’m sorry you’re dealing with this!  Not fun for you or baby! 
There are other things you can try before you resort to bleach.  Around 3-4 drops (front loader, 4-6 for a top loader) of tea tree oil or grapefruit seed oil along with a hot wash, followed by drying in the sun.  Water temps need to be above 122 degrees to kill the yeast.  If you turn your water heater up to wash, be sure to turn it back down afterward!
Boiling water is also a good bet, but only on the prefolds.  You can damage the PUL, snaps and aplix on your pocket diapers.
I would definitely not recommend bleaching your diapers on a regular basis, however, 1/4 cup of bleach to a load of diapers will be very effective in killing the yeast, and doing this once will be very unlikely to damage your diapers.  Of course, do not pour bleach directly on the diapers!
You will want to use liners in your diapers if you are using a topical cream to treat the yeast.  I don’t usually recommend using disposables, but you might want to think about using a few until things are really cleared up.
As usual, these are my opinions, I’m not a doctor and I don’t play one on T.V.  Follow manufacturer’s instructions carefully, I’m not responsible for any damage or injuries.  (There, is my tushie covered?)

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Mailbox Mondays

Mailbox Mondays 7/26/10



Here’s the second installment of “Mailbox Mondays.”  I will always answer any questions you have via email, but if you would like to have your question answered on a Mailbox Mondays post, please email me at at gmail dot com and put “Mailbox Mondays” in your subject.  Questions don’t have to be diaper related!

I wanted to quickly tell you that I’m going to be a regular writer on The Village of Moms, which is where I guest posted my Cloth 101 posts.  I’ll be posting the first Monday of every month!  I’ll write about cloth diapering, babywearing, kid’s activities and crafts, frugal tips and more.

The first question is from Heather.  My answer is long winded as usual, but would you expect any less from me?  🙂
I had a question about stripping my micro fiber inserts. I have a horrible time with ammonia stink and have been told I should strip them because I have buildup issues (we have hard water). Every time I wash my diapers I soak them overnight in my washer with a cloth diaper detergent and them I wash them in the morning. My wash routine is like this:

Double rinse and spin
8+ hour soak
Heavy duty wash, heavy soil level, extra rinse
Hang dry in the sun

So what exactly should I do to get rid of my ammonia stink? Strip? Change my wash routine? Any help would be appreciated!

Heather A.
Oh Heather, I so feel your pain.  While I do not have hard water, I did battle the stinkies.  I tried so many things, I ran my washer 24/7 for at least two weeks I swear.  The good news is, I doubt we run any risk of ever running our well dry!
Wash routines are to me,  the most confusing part of cloth diapering.  If you ask a room full of cloth diaperers this question, you would get twice as many opinions as people in the room!
Stink usually comes from buildup as you know, but the hard part is, buildup of what?  It could be a buildup of detergent, a buildup of the minerals from your water, or a buildup of, ahem, “deposits” made in the diaper.
I find that the simpler you keep things, the better off you’ll be.  Since you have hard water, it’s not going to be as simple as most.  I don’t know what kind of detergent you are using now, but once you get the stink under control, consider trying Rockin’ Green’s hard rock detergent, or adding Calgon water softener to the load.  With hard water, your detergent is working so hard to take care of the minerals in your water, there’s no oomph left to clean the laundry!
Now back to the buildup.  If you run the diapers through with no detergent, do you see any suds?  If so, you may have a detergent buildup.  Try rinsing until there’s no suds, without adding any detergent.
No suds?  I commonly hear people say to use dish soap to strip diapers (original blue dawn.)  This caused more problems for me.  Lot of people have had luck with soaking diapers with Rockin’ Green, then rinsing a ton.
What worked for me was RLR.  RLR is a laundry treatment that you can use once a month or so to remove buildup for diapers and other laundry.  (Worked wonders on our towels & sheets too!)  I have an HE washer, well water and a softener, so I did not use a whole packet for a load.  You might need to.  Run a heavy duty wash with a soak, then rinse rinse rinse until you don’t see any trace of suds.  Then, I took the diapers out to dry and ran just the inserts through with a dab of bleach, then several extra rinses.  I know a lot of people will not use bleach, but it worked for me!
This really took care of things for me, and now if I start smelling some ammonia, I will use a bit of RLR, some extra rinses and a dab of bleach on the inserts.
Once you get the current issue taken care of, you of course want to keep it at bay as long as possible.  If you have a top loading washer, use the largest load size, regardless of the actual size of the load you’re washing.  Try not to wash more than 20 diapers at a time.  If your issue was detergent buildup, use a little bit less.  If it wasn’t, you may need to use a little more.  If you’re using a detergent that is formulated for cloth diapers, use the recommended amount, not 1/4 or 1/2 like you often hear.  I’ve also found that I need to rotate detergents.  One will work fine for a while, then suddenly doesn’t anymore.
I had such a hard time with this!  I like things organized and I like hard and fast rules (I’m weird.)  So it was hard for me that there wasn’t a list to follow that said use this amount of this type of detergent and do this wash cycle and you’ll be all set.  It depends so much on your water, your washer etc. 
In conclusion, don’t fret! Be patient and you will figure things out.
Next, a question from Alexis:
What do you use at night? Do you change in the middle of the night?
I’m going to answer these in reverse. 
Night time changes
Now, at 14 months, my son sleeps 10-12 hours most nights.  When he occasionally wakes, he has a quick “snack” and goes back to bed without a change.  When he was really little, nights went like they do for most parents of young babies.  Sleep a little while, wake up, nurse, change diaper, then the circus routine of getting him back to sleep, then repeat.  Most of the times he woke, his diaper was changed.
In between there, he started to sleep a bit longer, and I had to up my night time diapering game.  Then came the tricky time period.  My son wasn’t waking as often, and he was starting to drift off to sleep after nursing.  
This won’t win me any mother of the year awards but neither of my children have been great sleepers.  If my son happened to drift off while nursing, I would at least try to lay him back down.  If he stayed asleep, I would sneak out of the room, crawl into bed and pray he would stay asleep for a while!  I suppose I probably should have woken him to change his diaper but uhhh, not gonna happen.  If I tried to change his diaper first, before nursing him, he would have woken the whole household to express his disapproval.
What I use at night
During that in-between stage where my son was really drinking quite a bit at night, but not necessarily being changed every time, he was quite the heavy wetter.  I spent a lot of time and money trying different things, and for a while, I really had no choice but to wake him to change his diaper.
Right now, I wash every other day and I have 4 diapers specifially for night time use.  I’m still stuffing them the same, though I really don’t need as much in them anymore.
Two of my “night time” diapers are Bumgenius 3.0s.  Initially, I had them so overstuffed that I had a leg gap that made the diaper useless if he was on his side!  Now, each one has two full size inserts with a hemp doubler in between.
The third is a combo of two of my night time diapering desperation purchases.  It’s a Dypes by Dixon Sweet Slumber fleece diaper, stuffed with a Knickernappies Superdo insert.  If you are having night time issues, I highly recommend trying a Superdo.  It’s incredibly absorbent, but much thinner than multiple inserts (still thick though!)
The last one in my night time rotation is again a purchase made during my desperate search for a night solution.  It’s a Guerilla Fluff Utilitarian fitted topped with a Mobums night night wool soaker.  My GF diaper has: 3 layers to the diaper, 2 soakers with 3 layers each, a doubler with 2 layers plus a layer of wool and optional zorb added.  That sucker is absorbent!
In the thick (har har) of things, I decided to be redundantly redundant and top even the waterproof diapers with a Kissaluvs Wool Lover soaker, and I favored fleece PJ pants also.
He may have looked a bit like a snowman, but it was worth it!  Just a few hours in a disposable diaper gives my little guy an awful rash, but I know lots of people who use a single disposable at night.  I won’t tell anyone if that’s what you decide works best for you.  😉  We won’t throw you off Fluff Island.
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Mailbox Mondays

Mailbox Mondays 7/19/10


This is the new weekly feature where I will answer reader submitted questions. They can be about cloth diapers or accessories, babywearing etc., but they don’t need to be within the scope of this blog. I’ll answer questions about blogging, myself, whatever.

Send any questions you have to at gmail dot com. I will always answer any questions you have, but if you would like it to be answered in the Mailbox Mondays Post, please indicate Mailbox Mondays in your email subject.

If you missed my Bumgenius 4.0 review and giveaway post this weekend, be sure to check it out!

Here are the first few questions from Valerie:

How often do you wash the planet wise bag?  (She’s asking about the Planet Wise Large (hanging) wet bag that I use as a pail.)

I used to wash it every time but that seemed silly. Now I wash it every 2nd or 3rd time I wash dipes. Gross maybe, but when it’s empty, I give it a quick whiff. If I fall over, I wash it. Otherwise, I just leave it unzipped to air out until I put the next diaper in it.

Do you really need to use microfiber {inserts} or can you have all hemp and bamboo?

There are lots of diapers with just hemp or just bamboo and that’s totally fine. What I like about the microfiber/hemp combo is that the microfiber gets the moisture away from their bottom quickly, and the hemp really locks the moisture in. Hemp is really thirsty!

For peanut buttery poop, do you really need to get rid of it before washing it? Will it not just get washed and go down the drain?
I wouldn’t put a diaper with a big old mess in it, right into the wash. I just shake/scrape off whatever comes off easily, but I don’t spend a lot of time on it. Maybe twice, I’ve had some stuff (yuck, sorry) that didn’t get washed away, and I have to wipe down the inside of the washer. When my son was still mostly breastfed with some solids, I didn’t scrape them at all, but the poop wasn’t that super sticky (yuck, sorry again!) consistency at that time.
What do you use bagwise when on the go?  Do you remove the inserts from the diaper before you toss it in the bag?
I use a planetwise wet/dry bag on the go. I take the inserts out before I put them in the bag. That way I just dump them without having to touch them again.
I hope these were helpful.  How about you guys?  How often do you wash your wet bags?  What’s your favorite insert?  What’s your poop situation?  What do you use on the go?
Remember to send me any questions you’d like answered!

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