Sunday, March 20, 2016

Cloth Diapers: CLEANUP! Bum creams, Wipes, etc.

I wanted to post about my cloth diaper "cleanup routine" and what worked for us.  It's true that if you're already using cloth diapers, cloth wipes naturally come next.  We did use the "natural" throwaway wipes from Costco (hubby prefers them), but we also had (and still have, with Baby Sister!) cloth wipes in the mix.  For, shall we say, lighter jobs, I think cloth is definitely the way to go.

Wipes

For E., we just used a pack of baby washcloths from Babies R Us.  They did the job fine, but in retrospect it could have been better.  They were super floppy, not all that soft, and I could never fold them neatly so they just ended up scattered all over the place.

Image from Lover Of Life Designs
For Baby Sister (C!), I got these amazing flannel cloth wipes from Lover Of Life Designs (mini size) -- they are the PERFECT SIZE!  (I also got some from MooCowMomma, I think her 4x5 size, but now she doesn't seem to have what I bought, which was a pack of only maybe 8-10 of them.)  The L.O.L.D. minis are 2-ply, and fun with different prints on the front and the back, and did I mention they are the PERFECT SIZE?!  Oh, how I wish I had found these for E!  Soft, durable, CLEANS WELL.  You can clean your baby with any old scrap of cloth, but these are MADE to do that particular job, and that just improves the whole routine.

Image from Lover Of Life Designs
(By the way, I also got lovely Unpaper Towels for the kitchen in a slightly bigger size from Lover Of Life, as well.  You can pick which prints you want!  I keep them in a stack (or a big bowl), each folded in half, and use as I would paper towels. When done, I toss them in my Monkey Foot Designs wet bag that hangs by my sink!  When I remember, I dump it into whatever load of regular laundry I'm already doing.  I'm SO GLAD I went down the unpaper towel route; they work SO MUCH BETTER than paper towels, especially for wiping up a wet counter after you've cleaned it.  Also as napkins. We still have a roll of paper towels around, but I cringe each time I use one and throw it away -- which is rare now!)

OK, back to the topic at hand.

Wipes Solution/ "The Spritz"

I bought a little travel size spray bottle at a drug store, and here is my magic formula for the wipes spray!

Squeeze in some alcohol-free witch hazel (yes, alcohol-free!  Do you want to sting your baby's bum?  NO!!) to within an inch or half-inch of the top of the bottle.  With E. I was using The Homestead Company, but I found Thayer's for C.  Thayer's seems to be essentially the same, but cheaper.

Image from Amazon.com

Image from Amazon.com

(By the way, the Homestead Lavender/Chamomile P.M. formula is luxuriously nice to use on your face before bed.  I had to try it, and I'm glad I did!)

Next, squirt in a quarter-inch of CJ's BUTTer Spritz!

Image from CJ's BUTTer

It is oil so it will float on the top.  Put back the spray cap.  Done!  Before each use, just shake it.  I personally spray it on the baby, but some people spray it on the wipe, then wipe the baby.  I'm pretty sure it doesn't matter, ha ha!  I like that just from spritzing, I'm also stealthily applying some CJ's at the same time!

Bum Cream

What is this CJ's BUTTer I speak of?
Image from CJ's BUTTer
It is the ONLY bum cream I have ever used on my babies, and since it's proven to be super effective, come in fun scents, and be 100% cloth diaper safe, I've never seen a reason to try anything else!  Call me crazy, I know! ;)  Over time, CJ's has reduced their number of scents (WHYYYY?), but Nicki's Diapers carries "exclusive" scents and CJ's also has a "scent of the month".  I used to buy sampler pack after sampler pack to try all the fun scents in mini form (perfect for the diaper bag and various rooms of the house, too!).  Now I know what I like, so I just go for the giant tub.  It is also worthwhile to have their PLUS formula around for the occasional really bad rash.  Smells a bit weird due to neem oil, but it's essential to getting bad stuff gone.

It's not only for baby bottoms, but can also be used on dry skin, tangled hair (or just curly hair as a moisturizer), or just any weird skin ailment you may have.  Now that E. is 5, when she comes to me complaining of a scrape or bug bite or something, I say, "Aww, let's put some of the bumbum cream on it!"

Diaper Sprayer

By the way, as far as cleaning off the diapers themselves, have I ever mentioned on here that you will want a diaper sprayer?  I made my own, using this set of instructions!  Or should I say, hubby made it!  We would probably not cloth diaper without it!


* * * * * *
Just as a little end note, I did use some other products in this realm with E. that I'm not using with C.

I loved the Homestead Baby Wipes Companion Spray, but that product is long gone.  I guess telling you now is akin to reviewing all those discontinued diapers.  It was great while it was available!  Smelled amazing.

I used Kissaluvs Diaper Lotion Potion Concentrate after the above was gone -- and I still have some of the same bottle 4-5 years later!?  It never smelled as good to me, but I had bought it so felt obligated to use it up.  I gave up and decided to switch to the nice CJ's Spritz with my second baby (Oatmeal Milk and Honey is one of my favorite scents that is still around).  I should have thought of switching way earlier, but I guess I never made the connection to it as a wipes spray.  Also, I know Kissaluvs has gone out of business now, so I wonder how long the Lotion Potion will be available.

I also tried the Grovia Magic Stick on E., but that thing was a pain.  It never seemed to go on smoothly without a lot of pressure (it's essentially a giant chap stick of bum cream).  I much preferred the consistency of BUTTer.

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Cloth Diapers: wet bags

Since I'm doing all these cloth diaper reviews, I wanted to put up a recommendation for WET BAGS!

Image from Monkey Foot Designs
Specifically, Monkey Foot Designs!

I'm not sure where I first heard about her bags, but I have 3 (4?) of them now and I've never been disappointed!  They keep stink at bay, hold up over time, and are convenient to use.  The XL size with one strap was the main bag for E's room.  After washing this ONE bag for her whole diapering experience, it finally started getting some rips in the lining at the bottom.  It's still usable, but I got a new one just because!

I got one of the newer XLs with two straps and the gusset, which I don't like as much (only the outer is gusseted, not the lining, plus it hangs funny off the doorknob and falls down more often), but it's still great.

I will add here that I now have TWO of her medium double-pocket bags that I use as my everyday purse!!  They are SO cute.  I get compliments ALL THE TIME. She has done customs in the past (raises hand), though I'm not sure she's taking them right now.  Every so often she has done some made-to-orders out of fabrics she offers up (raises hand again!).


Image from Monkey Foot Designs; this is not one of the ones I have!

I also have a couple Planet Wise wetbags, which do the job, but I don't like them as much as MFD.  The zipper is harder to use (smaller pull) and my large one with 2 handles hangs off the door so weirdly that it can be hard to put diapers in there!  They also seem to let out a bit more stink.  The secret of course, with all wet bags, is to NOT close them all the way, or the stink gets stinkier!

Image from Planet Wise
(Ooh, Planet Wise now sells fabric by the yard?  I may have to get some to turn into other fun things!)

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Cloth Diapers: Potty Training: Flip

My photo from selling my replacement Flip trainer

Ugh, what a saga with the Flip trainers.  Long story short, I would never recommend these because they are poorly made (a snap broke off after about 3 uses), and are really difficult and annoying to use!  The velcro on the shell/pad was incredibly finicky to put in, and they made it so you can't use other pads in it (easily).  I've sort of put this out of my mind because I had such terrible customer service from Cottonbabies.  I do love their BumGenius diapers, but I kind of hate them over the shoddy Flip and my awful experience. :(

Don't buy the Flip trainer.