Monday, 31 March 2014

SECOND HAND DIAPERS - do it with honour.

I have had the chance (in the past) to thankfully receive 2nd hand cloth diapers from friends and neighbours.  It was actually my introduction to diapers other then Kushies, as well as some different styles.  The diapers I was gifted were clean and fresh.  No stink, no ammonia.   Freshly laundered. 

Here's the thing I received them in good condition, the same way I gift second hand items: in good condition.  

I have also passed on diaper stashes (after baby #4 and #5), when I thought I do longer needed the stash.  Did I pass on my entire stash?  Nope.  I passed on the ones in good condition.   The others went to diaper heaven (aka: the rag bin). 

I never had ammonia so that wasn't the issue.  And thankfully baby and I never had to fight thrush.  So they were all healthy diapers that I washed clean, sun bleached,  ironed and folded so they would be like new to the next mom and baby.  Ever heard the term "New to me"?  Well that's not just about having something 2nd hand you didn't have before,  it should be about receiving something 2nd hand in the best condition so it feels as new as possible. 

In fact anytime I pass on items second hand, or donate items second hand I do two things.  1. launder them with care.  2. sort out what's in good condition and what isn't.  I dont just garbage bag up my junk and pass it onto someone else to deal with.  I was taught to pass on in an honourable manner. To pass on for someone else's enjoyment,  not for my convenience.   I thought all people were.  Apparently I was wrong. 

I recently have heard 3 reports of people buying 2nd hand diapers only to discover they have ammonia.   If you have had ammonia once, cleared it properly out of your diapers, then.continued to use your diapers.without issue, sure pass them on or re-sell them...but be honest about the diapers history.   If you have reoccurring ammonia issues (they stink often and / or you need to strip often), or if you just stripped for ammonia and are now done with the stash (having not gone back to using them you cant know the issue is gone), then your diapers are not fit to pass on or re-sell!  Why would anyone think passing on an issue like this is ok?  It's not ok!  Ammonia causes painful rash on babies bums so passing on that diaper is essentially hurting someone else's baby! 

Like I've said a few times, Im old to cloth diapering but new to the internet world of cloth.  I dont know much about these buy/sell/trade sites.  I haven't ordered diapers off eBay.   I almost received diapers off kijiji but it fell through.   But I do know this. 
when giving/selling : Be honest about your diapers history.  If your embarrassed of its history then send it to your rag bin.  Tell the receiving person up front:
•If baby has had a yeast problem. 
•If diapers have had ammonia (stink), if so how often, how you treated and how  long without ammonia were they last used.
• If and how often you stripped the diapers
• did you add bleach,  scents, fabric softeners to your laundry.
• Any atypical use or care. 
•Any absorbency issues
• Any question the buyer / receiving party has!
When receiving / buying second hand: You want to receive a clean healthy diaper so be prepared:
• Ask questions (see above list).
• Ask about return / refund policy and make sure it's practical
• Only purchase healthy, clean diapers
•Be wary of those stripping and bleaching often and choose a different buyer.  Cuz even if the diaper no longer has an issue, that much wear will be producing some tare. 
•make sure you can test and return. (soak in water and check for smells, inspect diaper for damage).
• Dont get diapers connected to sites that have unending ammonia / stripping habits. 

One would wish that everyone would pass on or re-sell  with honour.   But apparently that's not the case.  So be honourable when you pass on and be wise when you receive.  If your fave site for second hand has issues then suggest some rules, a history of items sold, a buyer and seller rating system and a standard return policy that is reasonable to the buyer and the seller.  Or set up your own site, perhaps a local one where all diapers go through those managing the site to make sure items are always being passed on in an honourable way. 

DIAPER POLITICS? When did this happen?

I might be old hat to cloth diapering but I am very new to internet + cloth diapering.   Getting ready to sell my own wahm diapers means that I needed to find that online cloth community.   So I've started my own blog, been slowly finding others and its been fun.  I've also found a few cloth diaper boards.   I thought that would be fun....but not so very much.

The blogs have given me some idea that there are cloth politics but those boards showed it to me.  Being new to it I keep my mouth shut a fair bit.  Apparently on these boards each has their own flavor and views and any advice contrary to that is unwelcomed. 

The arguments tend to be around laundry (really,  talk about killing part of what can be enjoyable in using cloth).  So here (for cathartic release) is the opinions of an 18 yr cloth mama known as Mama Moss aka Beth Newell. 

Some fall short in solving ammonia / stink issues.  These ones blame how you use your washing machine.   Yep that can be the problem - sometimes.   But so can how often you change the diaper, how often you wash the diaper, you dirty diaper care and storage, fabric.  Basically all aspects of laundry. 

Some groups argue exclusively over detergents.  Back in the day when I started washing cloth diapers (18-13 yrs ago), I never heard of rules.  I also never heard of specific cloth diaper detergent.   So I used my regual detergent.  Of course not all detergents are created equal.  Know whats in your detergent and use something that's gonna wash but not leave behind unwanted stuff on your diapers.  enzymes, softeners, bightners, bleach. 

Some groups advocate barely any detergent.   Others advocate lots of detergent.   Neither is correct.  you need to wash it without having to rinse 6 times.  Which is a waste of water, a precious resource.  

Some advocate bleach.  Bleach is hard on the skin and breaks down fabrics and elastic.  It breaks down fabric in your clothes to.  It's a smaller issue in your clothes cuz you don't wash the same shirt every 2 days.  We do wash the same 20 diapers every 2 days. 

Homesteader washing:  How can people take issue with this?  Well apparently some can.  Now we all know I looked forward to boiling diapers regularly (over on occasion), but since I've added elastic to my prefolds it will remain a casual option.  I'll build a camp washer instead.  Why?  They work, just need the right meathod for the right diaper.  Don't believe they work?  Ask if grandma or great-gramdma had ammonia issues.  Home made detergent?  Of course it works, (see above grandma comments) .  Just need one that has good cleaning agents, not harmful or weak ones.  

Some promote laziness.  Yes you do need to wash often.  Yes you have to change often. And Yes you need to rinse off poop and rinse urine filled over night diapers.  Poop goes in the toilet .... by law.  It does not sit around your house in a diaper pail ands it does not go in your washing machine.  Come on, that's just the same common sense as changing a diaper.  the same common sense our grandparents had that in today's instant culture has disappeared and been caste as myth. 

Build up.  Yes its real.  Detergents of all kinds build up.  They build up in your hair from shampoo, in your dishwasher, in your shower stall, in your washing machine, in your clothes.   All these things even have specialty items for this very issue.  What makes it a bigger issue for your cloth diapers is (as I earlier said), your washing the same cloth diaper every 2 days.  Solutions?  Dont use to much, rinse if suds are present, add some vinegar to your rinse cycle or give a vinegar soak and stir before washing.  Know your water type (hard or soft).

Think Im wrong and all these sites and rules are correct?  Check out how ammonia tops these discussions.  How expert these people are in treating it (or stink as some prefer to call them).  I've never had ammonia. I've not got stripping experience.   I have clean laundry experience.   If the common wash routine your reading includes regular bleach use, or a wash routine that sounds like it takes forever or anything else out if the ordinary,  be assured that its a routine that is compensating for a problem.  

If someone is totally radical about an idea and wont allow other ideas then enjoy the community but ignore wash and care advise.  And use your common sense, ask questions, dont be bullied,  especially by the expert of 5 months,  or the expert who strips regularly it is treating non stop rash.  

Know your diaper and fabric.  Different styles and fabrics will require different wash solutions.   I use all cotton prefolds.  My fabric is natural and basic.  It will wash according to older meathods.  My diaper is of basic construction and relatively flat (just a bit of gathering at the leg), so yes it will wash, rinse and dry easily.   I don't have an 8-11 layer thick diaper.  Again it will wash, rinse and dry easier.  So yes a flats, prefold and basic fitted's mama will have a much easier go of it.  To be honest if you have constant issues with your fleece, microfiber, minky, pocket, AIO etc diaper, then my advice is switch to cotton or hemp basic diaper for a clean all natural option.  Im not saying other styles and fabrics are bad, just more complicated.....well there is one fabric I will call bad (read on)....

Microfiber:  As I mentioned before it was designed for cleaning and traps bacteria - by design!   This to me is not a good sounding diaper option.  In fact I will call this a bad diaper option.  Having issues, switch to a fabric not designed to hold bacteria. 

It may sound like there is a lot to learn out there.  Yes to some degree there is.  But its mostly basic common sense.  Also the KISS principal holds true. (that's "S" for simple, no "L" for lazy).  Simple diapers and fabrics with simple laundry and care solutions works simply.    

Sunday, 30 March 2014


I've been doing lots of sewing to prepare for The Great Baby Market (and my diapers debut to the local market).  Today I did minimal sewing however as I have spent most of the day asleep lol.  today I also reached 37 weeks so my body is in prep mode I guess.  i do worry about bby coming before the Matket and what I'll do then.   So I thought some diaper sewing tips would be a good post for today. 

1.  Keep your machine cleared of fluff build up, keep it oiled, change your needles regularly. 

2.  Measure twice,  cut once.  It's an old saying but it's very true.  I keep my measuring tape around my neck so It's always handy.   This keeps me using it often throughout.  The odd time I don't, I usually regret it later.
3. Prewash your material.  you want shrinking to occur before you sew. 

4. Iron.  Iron your material and seams all the time.  The results will be visable.  Ironing takes a finished piece from good to great everytime. 

5. Diapers and liners (etc) get washed more then any other type of laundry.  Therefore they need good sturdy sewing to stand up to the extra use.  French seams, top stitching, zigzag, diamond stitch or serge.  These will keep your diapers together. 

6. Experiment!  Yes its a scary thought but it generally leads to improvements making a better product as you move along and progress.  If I hadn't worked up the nerve to experiment I'd be making basic prefolds still.  I'm so very glad to be making my own design based on all I want in a diaper. 

7. Trust your ideas!  When you make a decision (especially based on your own ideas and experiments) , people often add their 2 cents "oh ands do this, Id do that this way, lots of people like this instead"  Know what you want and need.  Create that!  yes lotsa of people like certain things over others, just as many people don't like those same things.  The variety in cloth diapers is large.  You need to know what you want....just you.  If your making for others also (as I will be) this is still important. Cuz there will be others who want the same things. 

8.  Enjoy the process.

Thursday, 27 March 2014


So I completed a set of 4 diaper art diapers.  They are my Prefold hybrid design still just with some art on them.  I didn't use heat and bond cuz I didn't want that in my diapers.  Luckily flannel on flannel sticks a little when ironed on a hot setting, enough to applique simple designs anyway.  I'm very happy with them. I see them as being a custom order option mostly.  The set of 4 features 4 woodland animals on the back and their paw prints on the front. 

Wednesday, 26 March 2014

Can You CD Without Ammonia? - I believe so

Can Ammonia Be Avoided?
I believe it can.  I have cloth diapered 5 babies in the last 18 yrs and about to CD baby #6.  I have never had ammonia.  Either I'm lucky or it is avoidable.   I dont tend to be lucky except in cards and board games (to my family's dismay lol). 

3 Rules to avoid ammonia :
1. I only use natural fabrics.  No micro fiber, no minky, Velour or fleece (except on the outside and seperate as a cover).  Cotton is natural and its know to have less ammonia issues.  Hemp is generally natural also.  Bamboo is chemically processed and after learning this im interested in what happens to the few prototypes I made with a bamboo core before learning this.  I'll update for sure.  I suspect it wont have the issues of micro fiber and others. 

2. Regular Laundry!  And I mean that in ever sense of the word.  Wash often!  And fill your machine as you would any load if laundry (as in dont over or under fill).  Why not underfill?  More room to agitate?  Sure, but it also means a less concentrated wash.  It just doesn't work.  Dont skimp on detergent.  Washing often 2-3 days means your diapers are not sitting in urine longer then needed.  Keep your diaper pail clean and dry.  If its holding water, review your system. 

3. Change that diaper!! I can't stress this enough.  Babies are not supposed to be sitting in their own piss no matter how dry that diaper feels.  If baby pees, change baby!  Its just hygienic.   This keeps ammonia from building up at the very first step.

What about overnight?
Ok so I get you wont be waking a sleeping baby to change them.  But I do change an overnight sleeper part way through.  Also I soak and rinse that night time diaper first thing.  Then I wring it out and hang it over the shower rod.  Why?  Cuz I dont want a soaking wet diaper in my dry pail. 

I hope this helps.  I dont have expert stripping advice (obviously), but I can help you prevent future issues.  I dont promise my change and wash routine to help all diapers cuz if they aren't natural I think thaye part of the problem.  Good Luck all!!

Tuesday, 25 March 2014


This is what I'm working on; A specialty set of 4 woodland animals

BUSY SEWING - Prep for Great Baby Market in Kingston ON

As the title says, I've been sewing.   I tend to assembly line sew. Which means at this point I have completed diapers in 5 of the 9 prints I bought.  I haven't done the logos yet.  I'll do that all at once.  Today I have an additional idea which I am working on. Pics as soon as completed. 

Link to great baby market.

Whats in the final edition of the Mama Moss Diaper? Well first it is a prefold hybrid of my own design (after a few prototypes) . You can see opened up it looks like a prefold except the gathering at the legs and the Velcro. It dries quick and washes well. It also gets folded up like a prefold. Here I've folded in Angel Fold. Jelly Roll with a poop catcher (I have blog posts on different folds) When you fold up with a poop catcher just wing out the Velcro tabs. There is an extra piece of loop Velcro so the diaper can be done up tighter for smaller babies. Looking at the Velcro tabs; there is an extra piece of loop beside the hook for laundry tabs. In the pic below one side is done up on the laundry tab and one side left open. Then when the diaper is all done up it fits like a fitted diaper thanks to the elastic in the legs The final construction of my diaper is 2/4/2. The diaper's exterior is cotton flannel and the interior is cotton flannel and cotton needled batting (unbleached).

Friday, 21 March 2014

WOOL WOES - edit at bottom

So after much internal back and forth I decided I want wool covers so wool diaper covers I will make. 

That was supposed to be then ends of decision making and just getting down to work. 

But life didn't work that way....*sigh*

Fabricland barely got any wool this year and didn't have what I need.  Other local fabric stores also dont have any wool.  Found a store online that is in a nearby town where my parents occasionally work and they carry wool interlock.   I can't get a hold of them to make an appointment to visit their actual store.   I thought that better and faster then shipping.  However no response makes me nervous.  Do I order online anyway even though I'm in a time crunch and would need to know it was being shipped out quickly? (Mail from there to here should only take days).  My fear is that the store may no longer be in business and then I have a problem.   I can upcycle wool.  I like the idea a lot.  However it has draw backs too.  Can I get a reliable supply?, A cost efficient supply? I will need to travel to multiple stores, I dont drive so this isn't easy.  Could be a long shopping day with my dad (the king of thrift). 

So tonight I am sleepless as I contemplate my options.  When my head is full its hard to sleep.  Hopefully the answer comes soon. 

An Answer
so my dad and I went to get my 6 yr old a kite.  We poured over tonnes until we found a beautiful dragon (we really felt it should look like a kite and not Batman).  In the process there was time for much chatting....and my dad tellss me what my mom and I never knew: Nearby Perth, ON has a fabric store that carries thousands of fabric, quilt and craft supplies at great prices.   Why has he never told us before?  Cuz we never asked him.  So we will take a family trip up to Perth for the day with my parents soon.  Daddy Moss (my partner)  has never been and in my dad's world view all small towns are treasures that you must see.  

Tuesday, 18 March 2014


Earlier I tested my diapers and liners with warm water.  I used toilet paper to see if there was leaks.  And it worked well.   Later I will add to that test when the wool covers are done. 

In the meantime however my liners got an unexpected live testing.   With just over 30 days left in my 6th pregnancy my own bladder isn't what it used to be. 

So my boyfriend suggested I us the baby diapers...great idea but they won't exactly fit lol.  So I used the liners.  

They have proven useful a few times this week and stood up well to my pregnant accidents.   Although a little embarrassing to admit to this live test I have worked up the nerve to share it.  And I suppose on the plus size what better way to test,  then to test it personally lol.  

Sunday, 16 March 2014

Sick Day

One of the difficult things as a Mom is getting sick.  I had a bit of a sinus cold this week.  Started feeling better then woke up today with a sinus infection.   I'm prone to these as I have an incredibly large number of allergies.  On the plus side for me, I dont have really little kids anymore, and only one who is small enough to need supervision, meals cooked etc.  Thankfully the other kids can take over for me when I get sick.  So big kids look after each other and my (current) youngest.   My boyfriend looked after me.  For moms of little wee ones, dont worry this day will come, I promise.

Should have been a relaxing day of recovery in bed.  But with the crunch on to be prepped and ready for my commercial debut on April 6th I felt like I was slacking.  Then my mom called to say our shopping day for fabrics for April 6th would be tommorow morning following my midwife appointment.  
Oh yeah, feeling the pinch.  My 13 yr old is also a great seamstress.   She has been able to sew dresses and applique since she was 10.  She helped sewing liners for her brother's diapers.  And I got some computer work done.  Also had numbers to crunch for tommorow's shopping trip.  Somehow it all came together.  

It was however a reminder of how life is about to change.  When baby is born I will have lots of help but Mom can never really take a proper sick day, especially while nursing.  So I kinda thought of today as my last sick day as a mom to big kids.   It probably was also a good thing....any idea how hard it is to get your hands on a laptop all day when you have multiple teens? Lol.  Being sick won me sympathy and they were all to happy to help.

Thankful to my family today, that's for sure.  And now, bath and bed.  Tommorow the road to taking my diapers from sewing for my baby to wahm business begins.   Good thing its just the shopping.   My mom will be pre-washing fabrics.  Hopefully Im healthy again by Tuesday.  

Saturday, 15 March 2014


Bamboo fabrics tend to feel soft and silky like rayon, because they are rayon.  Bamboo grows tall and strong cuz it is chalk full if Lignin.  This makes it difficult to produce fabric from, and requires a lot of chemicals to break it down. So the bamboo gets put through a cellulose process to create a viscose fabric.  In the states it is no longer allowed to be called a natural or organic fabric.  Unfortunately it also appears to lose its antimicrobial properties that helped make it popular with cloth diapering moms.  This applies to bamboo flannel,  fleece and Terry etc, also zorb.

Bamboo linen however is put through a mechanical (natural)  process and is still considered a natural fabric due to its natural processing.

I first read about this a short time ago through a post at change diapers.  The post is on bamboo-rayon absorbency. However a link is included to explain why they refer to the bamboo fabric as bamboo-rayon. 

When I read this it took a bit to digest the info.  Then I started doing additional reading.  It kinda hurt, like when you've been lied to....oh yeah we were.

Curious, I looked into hemp fabrics also.  Most of the info I was able to find was promotional (from retailers and manufacturers).  What I did learn however is that most hemp fabric is mechanically (natural) made.  But not all.  Here's how to tell the difference.   Hemp fabric wrinkles Lots.  Some people don't like this so manufacturers have found a way to reduce and/or eliminate wrinkles (sometimmes refered to as relaxed)...and you guessed it, its chemical. So with hemp you can test for wrinkles if you want to go for natural hemp fabric.  Sadly that would likely be after purchase.

So to keep these diapers green I will be sticking with cotton fabrics from mechanical processes.  I do have to say I found this all very dissapointing.  I am however thankful I discovered this in the protype phase.   My first diapers I made for baby moss do have a bamboo core. 

Do I think other cloth diaper companies have been lying to us?  Not at all!  I think they simply have had the bamboo pulled over their eyes.  

Friday, 14 March 2014

100% NATURAL PLUNGE - A Change In Direction As My Journey Continues

I have finished the diapers for my  baby #6, finishing the liners is next.  I have also been finializing details for making diapers,  liners and covers to sell.  And in doing so I've once again contemplated wool covers.  This will require a slight change in direction, so my cloth journey continues. 

I've been struggling to decide on PUL or taffeta covers.  They work, dont get me wrong, I've used them all this time.  However they aren't natural.   And this weighs on me (thanks mom lol).  My biggest issue against using wool is cost.  Not just for my personal use but selling also.  Selling a product that would be to expensive for most people to purchase is not an acceptable option for me on a socially conscious level.  Being poor helps to make one (me) feel this way too.

So I have been researching and thinking and writing out my thoughts (little bit of talking to myself also lol).  And I think I can do this at a reasonable price.  I can't be 100% in that till my mom and I go to fabricland and see what our local cost would be, but based on prices on the internet, it should be possible.  

I want to be able to buy fabric at a local retailer because it means less transportation of the fabric (environment), and it comes home right away which gets me sewing faster so products for people are ready sooner.  And with the Great Baby Market being my big retail debut, well time is of the essence.  

Here is some of my thought process too.   The average price of a diaper cover is $10 (give or take).  I would like to be able to make a wool cover I can sell for about  $15, and still make a small profit.  I think that's a reasonable goal.  Yes a bit more then a PUL cover, but not outrageously so. 

So how does this equate to a change in direction when I haven't event started making covers due to my internal conflict? 

Well fleece night wraps would be redundant and bulky under a wool cover.  And if I'm going to go 100% natural I must give up the fleece night wraps.  Dont get me wrong, I still like my idea of how to use fleece in a way that works with my cloth diapering sensibilities.  But it is what it is.  And hey; if moms at home want to whip up some for their  babies, well that's awesome!  In some ways its sad to say goodbye to an idea I am fond of.  But I will if needed. 

Will I replace my night wrap with a different night time option?  Yes of course.  If this is the root I go, I will for sure.  What I will do is make a night time doubler (thicker liner) using the batting as a core between flannel.  Made one today to test it out.   Next will be deciding how to make it easily  identifiable from the regular liners. 

This is also going to require some updates to current blog posts.  But that's ok. 

One huge benefit is marketability.   100% natural diapering.   Yes cloth diapering is environmental but it's not always 100% natural when cloth moms (like myself) are commonly using one or several non natural fabrics. 

Now it's time for the journey to continue and discover where it takes me. 

Thursday, 13 March 2014

Mama Moss's First Diapers On sale in April!!

I was writing another post today (which might end up finished tommorow now). But I was excited and want to share.  A local store called Go Green Baby. Is hosting an event April 6th for local artisans in the baby/children's category.  The even is "the Great Baby Market".  My mom has offered to put up the up front costs to prepare enough retail to sell at this event if i put up the hours to be ready for it.   I wasn't really expecting to sell any before June but I am in!  This event and my mom's offer is a chance not to be passed up.  I feel excited and nervous. Lol.  I have been contemplating how to sell my diaper products and have been thinking in bundles which would include: 4 diapers, 4 cloth liners, 1 night wrap & 1 cover.   I haven't even made a solid decision on covers.  That was to be a scouting mission at the fabric store to help decide.  At this rate it looks like PUL.  Not sure how I feel on that so decision not final.  I did however put together a diaper cover pattern with double gussets on the legs.  Lots of sewing to finish, decisions to finalize and my diaper care and use posts on this blog written and pulled together under a single posts with all needed links.   I will be putting that posts URL on the package labeling for buyers.  My dad helped me decide on enviro ways to do packaging.  


One concern parents have about diapers is diaper rash.  The good news (if your cloth diapering) , is that cloth diaper babies are less likely to develop diaper rash.  

DISPOSABLES: With disposable diapers rashes are often caused by baby sitting in a diaper way to long,  perfummes in the diaper, that weird gel stuff inside the diaper (its a chemical compound designed to soak up liquid) or the stay dry layer.  Different babies react differently to different brands although I hear the most complaints about Pampers.   In fact when I gave birth in a Hospital (first two kids I didn't have a midwife), they used pampers and my baby had a rash in less then an hour.  The nurse looked upset but told me some babies just react this way to that brand. 
Lesson: disposable diapers have 3 major rash downfalls.  1. They are loaded with chemicals, 2. Stay dry layers, 3. They encourage parents to not change baby enough. 

Yeast: A rash caused by yeast looks like bad acne.  It is usually caused by babies diet or (if breastfeeding)  moms diet.  Also if you and baby are nursing and there is a yeast infection you will both need to be treated.  You should see your doctor / caregiver for dietary changes and treatment.  Also check babies mouth for thrush.  A nursing mom will pass a yeast infection to a babies mouth also.  thursh is white and can be mistaken for milk in the mouth.   During and after the yeast infection your cloth diapers need thorough cleaning (possibly stripping) and should be sun bleached so the UV rays can kill off any bacteria.  

Food: sensitivity to foods can cause diaper rash.  If your introducing foods to baby one at a time this will help lots.  Often a sensitivity to a food will result in a diaper rash.  The reason being is that food is touching babies skin via the poop.  Eliminating the food should help.  It is also important to let your child's caregiver know about the possible sensitivity so they can assist you in properly following up on this.  For Native families like ours milk is the number one culprit for this.   You can see if drinking just whole (homo) milk helps, but sometimes baby (and mom if nursing) need's to eliminate all milk and milk products. 

Teething:  sometimes teething causes a bit of rash, check to make sure there is no other reason.  Treat with a rash care product.  If it is teething you will likely notice a bit if rash on babies cheeks also.

Several things about diapering can cause a rash.  Lack or air (circulation,  breathability) can cause a rash.  diaper covers are the common culprit.  If your cover or diaper has PUL or other non-breathable layers you may need to consider diapers and covers that are breathable.   Many cloth moms  who do use PUL covers use them only part time and avoid them in the summer.  Clothing items such as baby leg warmers leave the diaper exposed but baby's legs covered.   I have a post titled: SO EXCITED ABOUT BABY LEG WARMERS - clothes can be an issue when cloth diapering that covers Baby leg warmers and dressing a cloth diapred baby. 

Number of diaper changes:  sometimes the diaper needs to be changed more often.  We have both disposable and cloth diapers now that can allow baby to pee for hours without being changed.  Even if your diaper is dry, the urine is still there ands baby is still sitting in it.  Please change frequently.  

Ammonia:  this can be built up in diapers as it is a by-product of urine.  It can build up in Diapers that are not changed often (see above reason for a rash).  Also if you wait to long to wash your diapers (longer then 3 days), dont use enough detergent,  over or under fill your wash machine you may get ammonia build up.  Also fleece and micro fiber are prone to this.  Ammonia causes rashes. 

Dried out or irritated skin:  some materials do not belong next to babies skin.  If it wicks away moisture (such as micro-fiber) it will wick moisture out of babies skin.  This will leave baby with chapped bum just like a chapped hand in winter. 

Also if you use to much detergent and it is being rinsed out it will build up in the diaper and may cause a rash.  It also decreases diaper absorbency.   Adding vinegar to your rinse can help prevent this problem. 

If you have a rash on baby treat the rash with a rash care product.   It is your choice what you use and maybe you want to experiment with various types and methods.   When using a rash treatment use a disposable liner to protect the cloth diapers, liners etc.  Some treatments such as coconut oil are safe for cloth and wont need a disposable liner. 

Give the bum some air time!  Taking off the diaper and exposing it to air is an old and proven way to help a diaper rash heal. 

Consider diapering for circulation using wool covers or no covers over your diapers. 

TREAT THE CULPRIT: Check all the above possibilities, when you know why there is a rash you can work to prevent it from re-occuring (except for teething). Check your diapers and liners! If they smell then ammonia is the problem.  Treat all diaper products and develop a routine where this wont happen again.  You might also need to choose more natural fibers. 

*note: if you are frequently stripping diapers (as in you've done it more then once), you need help with your routine to prevent this.  Also multiple strippings will wear out your diapers faster and lead to leaks. 

What's Inside That Diaper?!

Maybe, just maybe sewing and writing about diapers and being pregnant again is making me mildly crazy / obsessed lol.  But when I read about a diaper I want exact details. 

Ok maybe its not related to the above reasons cuz when I learn about things I tend to want all the details in general.  As a kid / teen in my school days I think it drove some teachers nuts cuz I wanted info the text books didn't offer lol. 

Back to diapers....
So when I read that something has an "absorbent core" or "water repellent layer" for example, it drives me crazy wondering what exactly that layer is. 

If you've read other posts you know I've liked Kushies diapers as they were my first.   But they do this too!  Well I have two on hand that I got for free second hand.   I've been resisting the urge to cut it open and see what the absorbent core was ... today I did it.  Im a seamstress so I can fix it and still use it.  Its needled batting like I'm using.  Well except im using natural unbleached cotton.  This is bleached.  Its a well used diaper but I think it's all cotton, not 100% sure its not a blend so dont quote me on that.  Having used them all these years and never having ammonia makes me more certain its 100% cotton.

I wonder if other mama's do this?  I kinda hope I'm not the only one. 

I wish all diapers were specific about the details.  I guess there is some worry that if they did others would copy but really, they are diapers, there is only so many styles and designs.   Some moms are gonna re-create construction to some point just be coincidence just cuz there are only so many ways to slice it. 

Know what else I wish?  I wish they were more specific about what a fabric is.  Like bamboo.  I was excited to get bamboo Terry...was able to discover through research however that natural bamboo fabrics are not so natural.  The blending is where this happens.  That's really dissapointing to me.  Glad my final version is 100% cotton fabrics with out these issues. 
Any how, just thought I'd share for curious moms like me. 

Monday, 10 March 2014


My due date for baby #6 is just 40 days away.  I'm starting to feel that drive to be ready.  It's really intense too.  To the point where it is keeping me awake at night.  I spent my day sewing yesterday (and I have more to do).  And I spent the middle of the night organizing clothes, accessories,  diapers etc. 

I don't remember the nesting feeling being so intense that I couldn't sleep....but it's been 6 years.  My memory is possibly foggy on the issue.  I am however pretty sure I got more sleep then this. 

I have been assembly line sewing the diapers.   That's working well.  Next its liners.  At some point I also need to attach the strap to the moss bag and finish baby's quilt. Here is a pic of my the diapers I have finished. I'm close to done. 

In my organizing I have a basket of clothes ( shirts & sweaters, pants, leg warmers, diaper shirts). I need socks! The other basket is night time clothes (sleep sac, nightgowns), receiving blankets, face cloths along with hats and booties. Its my sleep and accessories basket. I have also been wondering what baby's first outfit would be. To indecisive so I got input from friends. Below is a photo if the winner. I have black and white stripped baby leg warmers that should arrive via mail this week. They will go with this for a complete outfit for my (expected) Easter baby.

Saturday, 8 March 2014

NO WE DONT USE DIAPER PINS - doing up cloth diapers

In my Moms day (when she was cloth diapering my siblings and I), cloth diapers did up with diaper pins.  They were cute, useful after diapering days were done and they leave a lot of sposie parents worried that if they were to try cloth they would prick their baby. 

Well that was several decades ago. Today cloth diapers are not generally done up with diaper pins. I'm not even sure where you would buy them if you wanted to use them...eBay as a vintage item perhaps?

Today the majority of cloth diapers do up very much like disposable diapers. All the various forms of fitted's (fitted, AIO, AI2, pocket) do up either with Velcro (aplix), or snaps. And prefolds are usually done up with snappi's (or similar product), or held closed by the diaper cover.

Velcro is a popular and easy choice. It has a reputation for being the easiest way to close something up. Children's running shoes being a great example of this reputation. For Moms sewing their own diapers Velcro is also an easy choice. My mom even added to my prefolds for my toy dolls, likewise I have added it to my prefold hybrids. If baby has older siblings who will also be helping with diaper changes, they will find the Velcro an easy choice to learn too (my 3rd child loves babies and learned to change baby #5 in fitted Velcro diapers at age 7 - her choice, she really wanted to, now 13 she says he was like having the best doll ever). The down fall of velcro is that it can get worn out over time. Take care of your Velcro doing it up before laundering. This prolongs it's life. On the plus side if the Velcro on your diaper is wearing out you can easily replace it yourself. Fitted Velcro diaper. By prefold hybrid with Velcro. Note extra piece of loop on tab to do up hook side of Velcro during laundry time.

The other popular choice for the various forms if fitted diapers is snaps. These are also an easy choice (not as easy as Velcro, especially for young helpful siblings but still easy). One of the benefits of snaps is that with multiple snaps placed on a diaper you have great variety in sizing (smaller, bigger, looser it tighter). For moms sewing thier own diapers these are easily available in fabric stores and come in a multitude of colours. On the downside they do not handle very high heat well as they are plastic, check manufacturer's instructions before laundry time, and ask other cloth moms. You can see from this picture how the snaps add a variety of sizing options.

Prefolds and flats dont usually have snaps and Velcro, but they also dont usually have pins anymore either. The most common way to do up flats and prefolds is with a snappi. A snappi has 3 points in which it hooks into the cloth of the diaper and holds it all in. They are also very inexpensive and you only need a few - unless you loose small items due to misplacing, which in my house happens often. We find things in the oddest of places lol. I hope this is helpful to parents unsure about cloth and diaper pins, and to moms sewing their own diapers.

Friday, 7 March 2014

A SENSIBLE CLOTH DIAPER TEST - waste not, want not

My partner (Daddy moss) will be cloth diapering for the first time this April.  Like many using cloth for the first time he asked "how do you know the diapers will work?"  I told him I just do based on fabric choices.   He wished he could just see that they do.  OK, I get that.mp60;

But I also think the other cloth diaper tests I have seen are a little ridiculous.   As I've said the diaper doesn't need to absorb 1/2 a cup of fluid or more, and it certainly doesn't need to do so all at once. 

So why not test to see that it functioning in a realistic way?  Yeah I can do that.  Now I do have 2 versions to test, plus a night wrap.  And since I was contemplating weathered to use 1 or 2 layers of batting in my %100 cotton version, rather then going with more to just be safe, why not use this as a way of seeing if I need 1 or 2 layers?

See I was raised by environmentalists. And an environmental lifestyle is more then recycling, less garbage, upcycling and all natural.  Being environmental is also about not consuming more then you need.  That's why with baby #5 I bought the baby basic fitted diaper by Kushies over the ultra; because I knew the multiple extra layers were 1. Un-necessary (in amount of materials consumed and money spent) & 2. Longer to dry, which can result in an increase in energy usage. 

So I'll use this as a test to see what is needed. 

• Hold 2-3 urinary outputs for daytime use, a bit more at night. 
* rather then leave baby in a diaper all night I tend to change baby again when I go to bed so as not to leave baby in a wet diaper longer then needed.

That means the diaper needs to hold about 1 1/2 oz of urine (a baby urinates about a 1/2 ounce per pee, or 1 tablespoon).  Also it doesn't come all at once, but over time. 

1. I will lay out the 3 diaper versions (with a liner) on  some toliet paper:
• diaper A - first prototype with zorb and bamboo Terry
• diaper B - all cotton with core made up of 2 layers cotton needles batting
• diaper C - all cotton. With core made up of 1 layer batting, 1 layer flannel.

2. Next I will pour 1 tbsp of coloured warm water on each diaper.

3. I will repeat every 20 minutes, checking toilet paper for signs of leak. 

4. Results: I will score each as pass or fail. 

5. The diaper that is made of the least amount of fabric receiving a pass will be tested in the same manner with a night wrap and liner  

6. Record results.   Some babies need 1 night time liner, some need 2. 

I like that this will do two things:
1. Use only what is needed to make a good diaper that properly functions without wasting resources (making it more environmental).  2. Show that my diaper is a great and reliable choice.

Note about the test:
Because I am testing before all these diapers are sewn (so I can make a good decision), these diapers have not yet been pre-washed.  Cloth diapers (particularly prefolds) need 3-5 pre-washes to get rid of natural oils ands fluff them.  This makes them more absorbent.  consequently these diapers will be more absorbent when finished then at the time of this test.

And now onto the test. 
1. Diapers A, B, C (left to right).

2. Pour one tblsp of warm coloured water onto each. I added some compression since baby would have diaper against the body.

3.Re-testing after 20 minutes. 3. Again, another 20 minutes 4. Every diaper received a pass. Each one staying dry after 3 urinary outputs if an average baby amount of 1 tblsp. At this point a diaper should be changed (at the latest), even if the diaper is still dry.

5. A construction of flannel / batting core / flannel core / flannel is all that is needed in this diaper. The diaper is fully functional without access use of material. So now we test it with a night wrap.

6. Added night wrap and continue testing And another round (that's 5) RESULTS AND COMMENTS: After 5 urinary outputs or 5 tablespoons , both pieces of toliet paper are still dry. I can feel dampness on the outside of the prefold diaper for the first time. This is with one liner. If baby sleeps more then 5 hours, or is a heavy wetter you would add a second liner (as is common nighttime practice). Yay. My diaper passed. *big smiles* I now feel very confident I have created a great diaper and am also pleased with my prefold hybrid gathered leg design. Yep, these are a good diaper to proudly sell to others and use in my own newest baby.

More Diapers and slight change in fabric

I've been sewing this weekt.  My Mom took me to fabricland and we both bought material for a few more diapers, cloth liners and breast pads. 

However, rember I ordered bamboo Terry and zorb last time? Well I can't buy that locally and my Mon said if I want to make amf sell my diapers it would be best to pick fabric I can buy locally.   Cheaper too (my mom is big on the selling them idea).  Well still have flannel, that I got locally before anyways.  But what about the core?  I honestly was unsure what I would use.  So we looked and looked and then we saw the unbleached needles cotton batting.  It's fiberous, absorbent and has some thickness too it.  so that's what I've chosen.  I've cut and been prepping these but haven't sewn yet. 

Whats the hold up?

I can't decide if I want one layer flannel and one layer batting? Or two layers batting.  Its about half the thickness of zorb (and half the absorbency)  I really keep going back and forth on this.  On the one hand I think the zorb will be more thickness then necessary.   On the other hand, I could start out thick and feel confident I made a good diaper.  And as I write this those words clear it up....feel confident I made a good diaper.

**EDIT: Been thinking about this all day. And since I dont like to waste, anything including material, I need to figure out whats needed...figuring that out will be the next post.

The needled batting is about $1 more then the zorb, but no shipping.  Using two layers batting is still less then zorb + bamboo Terry. 

I've also been doing general baby sewing.  I made a care pack for another mom (3 if my diapers, 1 night wrap, 3 flannel liners,  2 sets of breast pads, 1 shirt and leg warmers to match).  I also made a baby shirt for my baby to be.  It will go with the black amf white stripped leggings I ordered. 

And I'm exhausted.   I am at that point in pregnancy with only 6 weeks left where I am so tired and can barely sleep.  Im just uncomfortable.   I am wanting to be done and deliver lol but I still have sewing to do and 3 more weeks for baby to reach full term...patience is not my strong more sewing to help.  However I do need some sleep to sew.  Today's applique on baby shirt isn't my usual.  Daddy moss likes it, and it does have a cute cartoon / kid feel to it so I accepted it....and like I said Daddy moss is a big fan. 

Needles cotton batting. Prep work for new diapers (also in orange amd yellow, cute ennit? Cute little hard core baby Easter shirt. This is am upcycled project, made from a long sleeved adult shirt.

Sunday, 2 March 2014

HOW TO FOLD A PREFOLD PART 4 -The Open Leg Fold- using my prefold hybrids

So this is the final prefold tutorial (I think lol).  Im going to show it on the night wrap over a finished diaper.  It can be used for diaper or night wrap (they all can).  The Open Leg Fold is beneficial in that it can give you a good snug leg.  So here we go...<br>
(shown on the night wrap)

1. So start with an open wrap. (or if using on a diaper, start with it fully opened.) 2. Fold front of wrap straight up and tuck in upper sides around baby. 3. Do up Velcro. 4. Tuck in sides smoothly around baby. This fold creates a trim but effective leg barrier for leak protection.

Well this is the end of our tutorial. I do recommend trying out the open leg fold, at least to see how you like it. Also this one is best practiced on a stuffed toy or actual baby.

I hope these posts were helpful. I also hope they eased any worries And leave you well prepared to cloth diaper with confidence.

HOW TO FOLD A PREFOLD PART 3 -Jelly Roll Fold- with my prefold hybrid diapers

In this tutorial we will cover the Jelly Roll Fold.  This is a popular fold during the first 6 months while Baby is exclusively breastfed.  Breast milk only poop is runny!  This fold catches it.  You can of course add in the poop catcher variation, although I wont re-show it.  The Jelly is similar to the Angel design wise.  It does not have the extra layers in the centre, or at the front.  Liners can add the same absorbency if you feel the poop barrier of the Jelly to be needed.   <br>

1. Lay diaper open on cover. 2. Roll each side in till you reach the core. Flare out Velcro. 3. Add liner and/ or poop catcher if desired. 4. Do up diaper and cover and your done!

See these are pretty simple aren't they? A little practice and you'll feel like an expert. Next and last fold tutorial will be the Open Leg Fold.

HOW TO FOLD A PREFOLD TUTORIAL PART 2 - Angel Fold & Poop Catcher - Using my prefold hybrid.

In the second part of this Tutorial I will be showing you the Angel Fold and a variation called the "poop catcher".  These are my go-to folds.  I find the angel fold simple and it works great.  The fold puts extra material in the wet zone, especially for boys.  The "poop catcher" does as the name suggests and is a great way to size down a prefold for a smaller baby.  Interesting note; what I had always been told was a Newspaper fold, is actually an Angel Fold.  Im not concerned about that, its the skill, not the name that's important.  The 2 folds are actually very similar.  <br>

Pic of diaper in finished angel fold

In these pics I will be placing my night wrap as I would for night time, or as I would if it were a diaper cover. Just picture it as the cover. 1. Place diaper on cover and fold one side over on an angle, leaving Velcro winged out. 2. Repeat on other side. 3. Put insert in centre (if needed). You can lay insert flat as shown or fold to create more layers up front for boys or in middle for girls.

Poop catcher variation Fold back down, creating a pocket to help with backside poop explosions. Or to size down for a smaller baby. 4. Close diaper folding up front and doing up Velcro. If you used the poop catcher variation, wing out back Velcro to fasten. Your done. Do up cover or wrap. See easy again. Practice and you'll be a pro. I tend to put my diapers away in angel fold with insert in place. Saves time when diapering. Next tutorial will be the Jelly Roll Fold.