Thursday, July 26, 2012

A post all about Flats!

I've decided to do a series of posts on the different types of diapers. So since it's where cloth diapering started, I'm going to start with Flats!

What are flats?

Flats are a tried and true way to cloth diaper. Some people use receiving blankets as flats (And you can too if you strip used ones first with RLR, blue dawn, or the like.) Other's use birdseye flats, osocozy flats, etc. Flats are basically a big square of fabric that you fold in different ways for your baby. You should use a fastener such as diaper pins or snappis and a water proof cover to make it go from just a piece of fabric to a fully functional diaper! There are many different folds you can try and you should try many to find the right one for your little one. I also suggest washing flats a few times before using them so they are at their maximum absorbency. Flats are awesome because they are easy to wash and quick to dry. They are simple and versatile, flats and covers can take you from newborn to toddler hood without buying new diapers! Flats are the predecessors to prefolds and all other diapers!

I Recommend

OsoCozy flat diapers. You can buy them online here!

Flats may be for you if:
You are short on time or don't have your own washer/dryer. (they dry faster)
You are trying to go the most economical route. (receiving blankets can be found used for less than a dollar, stripped, and used or cheap flats run $1-$2 a piece)

Some Problems You May Encounter With Flats:

They can take more work and time to fold

They can take more time to fasten which is especially difficult with a sqirmy baby

May be difficult to get a tight fit

Monday, July 23, 2012

First Things First, the Lingo!

Cloth Diapering is an awesome hobby, one that comes with lots of funny terms and abbreviations that are kind of hard to get the hang of right away. I learned a lot hanging around the boards on BabyCenter and asking questions, observing, and, I'm not gonna lie, googling! I still don't know all the abbreviations and terminology but I learn more all the time! I figured I would share what I know and I'll keep adding when I think of more!

AIO - All-In-One are fitted diapers that are waterproof on the outside. This outside water proof layer usually consists of fabric that has a PUL (Polyurethane Laminate) backing, polar fleece or wool. These are great for people who like the convenience of disposables, for daycare, the babysitter, grandma's house, etc. They are a lot like disposable diapers because they are only one piece and the soaker/insert is usually sewn into the diaper. 

AI2 - All-In-Two AI2s are a lot like AIOs except the soaker/insert is not attached to the diaper at all. Usually they don't take as long to dry as AIOs.

Aplix - Velcro closure.

CD/CDing - Cloth Diaper/Cloth Diapering.

China Cheapies - cheap (affordable) diapers that are usually one size pocket diapers that are meant to go from birth to potty training but don't fit newborns too well. They are very affordable but shipping can take a while because they are literally coming on a slow boat from China.

Contour Diapers - Contours are preshaped diapers with no elastic like other diapers have. They are held together with diaper pins, snappis, boingos, or other fasteners. They aren't waterproof, so you have to have a waterproof cover. There is no folding required and they are generally cut and sewn into an hourglass shape.

Covers - Covers can be very different. There are different styles, shapes, colors, closures, etc. The purpose of a cover is to be a waterproof layer for diapers that aren't waterproof. They usually have elastic to give them shape and fit and fasten with snaps or Velcro and some pull on like pull-ups. They are usually made from PUL (Polyurethane Laminates), waterproof nylon, fleece, or wool.

CPF - Chinese Pre-Fold. CPFs have heavy duty stitching, mostly made of twill, stay nice longer, may pill more than other prefolds, soft but not the softest,  and it takes 7-10 hot wash cycles to make them usable and absorbent. I've never actually used these.
Diaper Service - a service that picks up, cleans, and delivers fresh diapers to your door eliminating the laundry part of cloth diapering for you.

Doubler - A doubler is an absorbent soaker that can increase how much a diaper can hold. They are great for long car trips, overnight, or heavy wetters.

Flats - a big square or rectangle of material, usually Birdseye cotton, that are folded and secured with a fastener like a snappi or diaper pins. They are not waterproof and need a waterproof cover on top of them. Flats are the most old fashioned diaper, the original cloth diaper. They dry really fast and fit children basically from birth to potty training. They are one of the more economical choices.

Fitted Diapers - Fitteds are a lot like disposable diapers, similar to AIOs. They are already fitted with elastic and fasten with Velcro or snaps. They aren't waterproof and need a waterproof cover to keep them from leaking. 

Hemp - hemp is made from the inner bark of the hemp plant. It is becoming increasingly popular for use in diapers because of its durability, absorbency and natural anti-microbial properties.

 Hook and Loop - Velcro closures.

GN - Gender Neutral.

IPF -  Indian Pre-folds. Indian Pre-folds are a type of pre-fold. Unbleached diapers wash up quicker (in as little as 3 washes), softer cotton, may wear out faster than CPFs, Lighter weight thread is used so the thread can wear out faster than the fabric.

Liners - Thin layer of cloth, paper, paper towel, etc that is placed in the diaper to make it easier to clean. There are disposable liners that go strait in the trash, flushable liners that can be flushed down the toilet, and washable liners such as fleece that are great for when you need to use regular diaper rash cream or something else that may affect the use of your diapers. Liners make it easier to clean up the poop and pee and protect the diapers from stains. 

Longies -  Wool Soaker that has long legs that form pants. They are very warm and absorbent so they are great for winter time. They can also be called soaker pants, soakers, or sweater pants. Can be made of fleece or wool.

NB - Newborn.

OS - One Size diaper that usually fits a from birth up until about 35 lbs.

Pre-Folds - The next step up from flats, pre-folds are rectangular or square shaped diapers that have to be folded. The main difference between flats and pre-folds are that pre-folds are thicker in the middle. They have three panels usually, the middle one being thicker than the outer two. Must be secured with a snappi, diaper pins, or other fasteners. The measurements are usually something like 3x6x3  which stands for how many layers are in the different sections: 3 layers on the left and right outside panels, and 6 layers of fabric in the middle section. Pre-Folds are more economical and are not waterproof so you need a waterproof cover over them. They are not a one size option, you have to buy different sizes. Preemie is usually the smallest and used for newborns. Infant is usually used for newborns, stuffing pocket diapers, and babies until about 15lbs.

Pockets - Diapers with pockets in them. They have a layer of waterproof material on the outside and on the inside is a stay dry material like suedecloth, microfleece, etc that wicks away moister. Inside the pocket these two layers form will be a soaker, doubler, insert, etc and the liquid gets wiked away from the skin and soaked into the insert, soaker, etc. They are similar to AIOs or AI2s in that once they are "stuffed" you can just put them on the baby. I like to stuff mine with a trifolded pre-fold. A lot of China Cheapies are pocket style diapers. They are waterproof and do not need a cover and come with fasteners already so you don't need diaper pins, snappis, etc. The absorbency of the diaper can be customized by adding more or less inside the pocket. Pockets can also be used as covers when a pre-fold is fastened on the baby and the pocket diaper is put cover the pre-fold. 

PUL - Polyurethane Laminate, a waterproof material used to make diaper covers/wraps, the outer of many pocket diapers or AIOs and the insides of wetbags. PUL needs to be sealed when you first get it and periodically to maintain waterproofness and prevent delaminating. To seal it you just have to put it in the dryer and dry it on high heat.

RLR - RLR is a
 laundry additive that softens the water and helps remove/prevent build for people who have hard water.

Snappi - a type of fastener used instead of diaper pins. You should have 1-2 at least of these. They don't get dirty and if they do they can just be wiped off with a baby wipe but they are easy to rip, stretch out, or loose!

Soaker - Either the absorbent part of the diaper that absorbs the moisture or a wool diaper cover. The first may be sewn inside the diaper, partially sewn to form a flap, snapped in the diaper, or you can just lay it in the diaper or stuff a pocket with it.

Stalking - Waiting for a product to stock. Sellers on Hyena Cart will make x amount of diapers and stock them on one day, and the more popular ones sell out almost immediately. People ask for stalking help to have better odds at scoring items on HC.

Stripping - Removes buildup of detergent, oils, minerals, and/or hard water. If you are using a cloth diaper safe detergent and avoiding rash creams, you probably won't need to strip but it is good to periodically strip the diapers anyway. Doing extra rinses to make sure your diapers get completly rinsed and using water softener like Calgon can greatly decrese the need to strip your cloth diapers. If you are using a detergent that does not rinse clean or that does not work well in your water, you may need to strip your diapers much more often.

Wagon - Going on the wagon is when you are trying to not buy anymore diapers. Cloth diapering is very addictive and can get expensive depending on what you are into so a lot of people go on the wagon to try and save some money. Not many people aer actually able to stay on the wagon long term.

WAHM - Work At Home Mom. This is usually used as "I got a great WAHM custom cover and I'm in love with it!" It describes a diaper made by a mom who makes and sells diapers.

Wet Bag - used to hold dirty and wet cloth diapers, usually when out of the house. I use wet bags in the house because they lock in the smell, zipper closed, and are completly waterproof. It's good to have 2 to switch out on laundry day! I turn mine inside out or else it will hold water. 

An introduction

Welcome to my cloth diapering blog! I am a mom to two amazing little boys and I am so excited to share our cloth diapering journey with you all! I adore cloth diapering and I'm no expert but I'm learning more with each passing day and would love to pass on everything I learn and all my experiences to whoever wants it!

Why Blog About Cloth Diapering? 

You might be wondering why I started a blog. I get asked by family and friends about cloth diapering a lot. Ever since people found out I cloth diaper they react anywhere from "eww that's gross, I could never do it!" to "Awesome! What kind of diapers do you use? How often do you do laundry? Where do you buy all your diapers?" etc! So I figured I would make a blog to kind of organize my thoughts, knowledge, and experiences. I know cloth diapering can be overwhelming at first, I sure was overwhelmed! But rather than give up I jumped right in and started experimenting. I am still experimenting, learning, and growing, trying to figure out what is absolutely best for us. What's best for us may not work for you, or it may just not be the best, but I hope to use this blog to help others explore options and have a starting point. I know it was rough to comb through thousands of pages, charts, pictures, formulas, testimonials, etc until I finally just started to buy stuff little by little and try it out! I just want to help people who may be interested in CDing and at the same time help myself keep track of the many resources and things that I have learned and am learning. I hope you find this blog useful and enjoy it!