Have you heard about the Great Cloth Diaper Change? All around the world people are learning about how using simple, reusable, cloth diapers can make a BIG impact on a family’s finances, environmental waste and pollution, as well as the health of your baby. To help spread the word about the benefits of cloth diapering, an event called The Great Cloth Diaper Change was dreamed up and the Real Diaper Association turned this dream into a reality.
The Great Cloth Diaper Change is an annual event (in its third year) where parents and caregivers gather with their babies to change a diaper in an attempt to set a world record for the most cloth diapers changed in one day. You don’t even need to be a cloth diaper user to participate because most sites will let you borrow a cloth diaper for the event (and once you try it, you might find it’s easier than you think!)
All around the world local hosts set up a location for “the change”. Some locations will be intimate, smaller gatherings, and some events are so large that they need multiple venues to contain their hundreds of participants! Many locations, like my Ventura, CA location, take this opportunity to invite relevant people and businesses from their community to make this event a baby/parenting fair where parents can learn about businesses and services that will benefit them. All events focus on cloth diapering advocacy and education. We also collect donations for the Real Diaper Association so that they can continue in their efforts to advocate and support local advocates in cloth diapering. Last year there were 8,251 qualifying participants!
If you are a parent of a child in diapers, are expecting your first child or are a business that supports natural minded parenting, I encourage you to visit GreatClothDiaperChange.com and search their map to find a location near you! Your local host would love to have business sponsors and as many participants as possible!
Save the date on Saturday, April 20th, 2013 for the Great Cloth Diaper Change and meet your local cloth diapering resources and community. Talk to cloth diapering families and see how much money they have saved. Ask about laundry, leaks, poop and blowouts. I think you might be surprised at how doable it is to use cloth diapers. I cloth diapered twins! P.S. What’s a blowout? (Cloth diapering parents might not even know what a blowout is!)
When it comes to cloth diapering there aren’t many rules. You can mix and match absorbant material and waterproof covers from different brands. You can upcycle just about any absorbent material you have around your home into diapers for those on a strict budget or when you’re in a pinch. (Wash cloths, dish towels, t-shirts, receiving blankets & old sheets make for great diapers!) So being flexible with cloth diapering will definitely save you some cash.
So what’s with the rules? Here are a few cloth diapering rules to help you use cloth diapers with a bit more ease and will help you to extend the life of your diapers!
I hope these tips will help you avoid some common mistakes in your cloth diapering journey! What’s your best cloth diapering tip? Let me know in a comment below!
What do you do when you only have one night time diaper a day to wash? Do you wait a week and wash 7 at once? That would mean you would need 7 night time diapers. That may also make for some pretty stinky diapers…. When faced with this dilema, some moms have decided to throw in the cloth towel and use disposables. Don’t fret! There are at least a couple solutions to this problem and non of them require you spend more money or expose your toddler to the disposable diapers you had previously been avoiding.
I don’t quite have one diaper a night (since I have twins that still sleep in diapers) but I have found a couple ways to continue washing night time diapers. The dilema boils down to, how do you get a full load of laundry out of one diaper? It is recommended that you wash cloth diapers at least every 2-3 days to avoid growth of any kind. You have several options on how to wash them.
First you can collect all your whites, socks, underwear, towels etc and wash them with your two night time diapers every other day. My favorite option as been to increase our home cloth use! Cloth diapering has helped us to be even more “green” than we were before our kiddos were born. My suggestion is to get even “greener”! I like to wash our few diapers with our cloth napkins, unpaper towels, momma cloth, and washcloths that we use to clean up the kids after meals and at bath time. (Did I mention adding the underwear and/or trainers that are soiled during this trying potty learning time?) I alternate washing these items with either the sheets and mattress protectors from the kid’s beds or with two white towels. (Yes, I wash them with napkins. Diapers get washed more thoroughly than anything else in our home and are the cleanest load of laundry!)
Another option for washing very few diapers a week is to wash one diaper a day by hand. This may seem intimidating but can be much easier and cost effective than running an entire washing machine load if you don’t have anything else to wash the diaper with. For hand washing made easy, we often use two flat diapers (one birdseye flat and one receiving blanket turned flat diaper folded your favorite way), a washcloth as a doubler, topped with a layer of fleece which helps keep the kiddos from waking by keeping them feeling dry. Wrap this up with your favorite cover and you are all set! Flat diapers are easier to hand wash due to having only one layer of material. They also line dry fairly quickly! (Dry time will vary depending on your climate.)
So, if you have been a fan of cloth, don’t give up while potty learning! Get even “greener”!
Let me just start by saying that our flight to Mexico was great. The kids loved the one on one time they got to spend with us which happens much less frequently than it should. The girls all sat in one row (DD, my mom & myself) and the boys in the row ahead of us (DS, daddy & grandpa). The trip home was another story all together.
We hopped our little plane from Cozumel to Cancun and had to wait over 3 hours until our connecting flight boarded to take us home. The “layover” started out well. I was hopeful that the trip would be eventless (diaper-wise) because both the kids had already pooed for the day that morning. When you have chronically constipated kiddos you rarely get more than one poo a day per kid. Because of this, I packed the diapers that weren’t in my diaper bag into our check on luggage. I had one cover with a flat set up in it, two trainer shells and several trainer inserts. This, under any resemblance to normal circumstances, would have been more than enough to get us home – especially since the kids have been doing so well making it to the potty during waking hours.
So we get through customs and have settled in to chairs at our boarding gate and decided to take the kids to the bathroom. My parents hung out with the carryon luggage, I took DD and hubs took DS to the bathroom. Hubs returns grumbling from the bathroom about poo. Apparently, while DS was standing to pee he pooped as well. I’m sure you can imagine the mess. I’ll spare you the details about how we had to clean up more than one person after this event. What hubs failed to express to me was that this poo was runny. So, about half an hour goes by and DS has his trainers full of Montezuma’s revenge. I whisk him off to the ladies room, apologizing in advance to everyone in attendance, and proceed to freak out about how in the world I’m going to manage DS’ diarrhea on the plane. Thank goodness I had a few ziplocks in my diaper bag. I was not going to throw that entire trainer full or rhea in my only wet bag. I inspected my diaper bag and found I had enough for two poopy changes left. (We could have made it days with out poo but I guess that point is moot.) What options did I have?
I wish I could tell you that I found some duct tape and MacGyvered my way out of this situation but I didn’t. For the first time in my children’s lives, I was forced to purchase plain old, non biodegrading, disposable diapers. I hated it. It caused me physical pain in my gut to make the purchase. AND, I had no idea what I was doing. The guy at the Mexican pharmacy just kept saying “Jumbo”. I don’t know what size jumbo is but that was all he had so I just prayed it would contain the rhea. PS I’m very aware that blowouts happen more with disposables so I was just waiting for this. I put our only cloth diaper cover over the disposable diaper in hopes that we wouldn’t ruin the carseat on the plane.
Guess what happened? Yeah, he didn’t have another bout of rhea until the next afternoon. Poor DS. But can you imagine the aftermath if the rhea would have continued every half hour? Lesson, number 2,456,834,284: Always pack more diapers than you think you will need & consider the worst possible scenario.
I am taking part in the Second Annual Flats and Handwashing Challenge hosted by Dirty Diaper Laundry. For 7 days I will be using only flat cloth diapers and handwashing them in an effort to prove that cloth diapering can be affordable and accessible to all. You can learn more about the rules and why this challenge was started by visiting the announcement post. This year there are over 450 participants from all over the world!
Why on earth would I choose to do this when I have a perfectly good washing machine? There are many reasons. What if there is a natural disaster and my washer and dryer don’t work? I have NEVER handwashed my laundry. In just two generations our world has changed in SO many ways. My grandmother handwashed her cloth diapers and her laundry for a family of 5, two of which were a set of twins. Can you imagine? And she had to figure out everything on her own. She didn’t have the internet to turn to for laundering tips. (Yes, I’m sure she had neighbors and friends to go to with questions but still!) I still remember her clothes line out in the back yard. Of course, by the time I was born, she had gotten a washing machine but she still made good use of that clothes line! So, reason number one that I’m taking the Flats Challenge, is to gain a basic skill. It’s a skill that happens to save money (on electricity and detergent), is better for the environment, and will better prepare me for the zombie apocalypse - because you just never know!
I also want this experience as an RDA cloth diaper circle leader. I want to be able to teach from experience. I need to know what it is like to handwash, and what diapers are easiest to handwash, when I am educating parents who need to cloth diaper because they can’t afford to diaper their baby in any other way. Experience is the best way to learn and the whole reason I became a cloth diaper circle leader was to support, educate my local community and get help to low income families in need of diapers.
Last but not least, this challenge is raising money to donate to a nonprofit organization called Giving Diapers, Giving Hope. They provide cloth diapers to families in need across the United States. If you are struggling to diaper your child/children and have to make decisions between diapers or food/shelter/clothes, please contact Giving Diapers, Giving Hope.
Join me on this week long journey. I’ll be blogging about my experiences daily following along with the dirtydiaperlaundry.com themes. If you would like to help me spread cloth diapering awareness, share my posts and vote for MommaWords.com HERE every 24 hours (until May 23rd) at the circle of moms top 25 mother’s of multiples blogs. Your votes are greatly appreciated!