Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Traveling With Cloth Diapers

As many, including myself, are packing bags and getting ready to travel during this Christmas season, I thought I would compile a list of helpful tips for traveling with babies or toddlers.  The first few of these tips will be for cloth-diapering parents. 

1.  If you're currently using cloth diapers, resist the urge to make a temporary switch to disposables!  It's tempting to switch to disposables while traveling (I've even done it myself before), but let me tell you from experience that using cloth away from home is totally doable!  If you don't have enough stash to last throughout your trip, I'm sure there will be a washing machine somewhere nearby that you can use.  We usually stay with family, and they don't mind me throwing in a load of diapers or training pants while we're there. 

2.   Be sure to bring your favorite diaper detergent with you!  You never know when you'll need to use it.  Also, wet bags are a must-have item for me.  I bring a Knickernappies doorknob diaper pail, my large Planet Wise wet bag, plus 2 medium wet bags for any daytime outings.  I keep clean diapers in my doorknob pail, then start filling the other wet bags with the soiled ones. 

3.   Put an extra insert in your baby's diaper before going on the road, or use a nighttime diaper to help withstand the trip.  I always used a LoopyDo along with a microfiber insert for car trips.  Now we're in the potty-training stage and I use Bumbledoo or Super Undies on the road.  

4.  Make a portable diaper-changing station (diaper pad, a few diapers, wipes, wipes solution, rash cream, etc.) to have easily accessible while driving.  You might have to stop a time or two to change, and trust me, it's the worst feeling in the world to know your diaper supplies are buried at the bottom of your trunk!

Here are some tips in general and lessons I've learned about traveling with a baby/toddler:

5.  Bring A LOT of clothes!  Once you've packed 3 or 4 outfits for every day, pack several more!  Don't forget to bring several bibs, burpcloths, and washcloths as well.

6.  Bring some toys, also easily accessible in the car, for your baby/toddler to play with.  Even babies need to be entertained sometimes on the road. 

7.  For us, pacifier, fuzzy blanket, and glow-worm had to travel with us or we would get no sleep at night.  We eventually got smart and left an extra pacifier, blanket, and glow-worm at both of the grandparents' houses after forgetting them a couple of times!  

8.  Make sure your baby is riding safely in his/her car seat.   Here's a great article to read: 

9.  During all the holiday excitement, don't forget that your baby/toddler might get anxious around the crowds and strangers.  Try to schedule in some quiet time each day.

10.  Last tip:  Germ-X, Germ-X, Germ-X!  The last thing you want is yourself or your baby to catch a bug while you're gone!

If you've got other tips to add, please add them in the comments below!  I would love to hear them!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Bye-Bye Build-up! How to Strip Your Diapers

 Some of you may ask, "What in the world is stripping?"  No, I'm not turning dirty on this blog!  Stripping in cloth diaper terms does mean getting rid of something, but has nothing to do with being naked...

As you use your cloth diapers and wash them over and over, you will start to have a build-up of detergent residue in your diapers.  The extra rinse cycles help to eliminate some but not all of this build-up.  Also, if you use any rash creams, this residue may start to gunk up your cloth.  (I highly recommend using liners with ANY kind of rash cream and then washing them separately from diapers or using disposable liners that you can just toss after use.)  
Stripping is the process you will use to "de-gunkify" your diapers (remove the build-up). There are a lot of different ways to strip your cloth diapers.  You may want to do a little Internet research before stripping for the first time...after all, every washer and every baby is different, but here is the method I used.

How to Strip Your Diapers

From time to time you may notice your diapers are smelling funky or are starting to have leak issues.  This does not mean you aren’t getting them clean…but it does mean that you have some buildup of oils and detergents in the fabric.  Have no fear!  There is an easy way to fix this problem!

Stripping your Diapers:

Step 1:  Wash your diapers like you normally would. 

Step 2:  Run your diapers through a hot wash with no detergent.  You may want to add a drop or two of blue Dawn liquid dish detergent to help break up the oils, or a bit of OxyClean to help with staining, but this is not necessary. 

Step 3:  Run an extra rinse at the end of your wash cycle (2 or 3 if you added anything to the water in step 2). Then rinse one more time with a little bit of white vinegar to remove all detergent residues from the diaper.  Don’t worry!  Your diapers won’t smell like vinegar once they’re dry. 

Step 4:  Rinse 2-4 more times, or until you don’t see any more suds appear.  This means you have gotten all of the detergent residue out of your diapers.  In case you hadn’t heard, you should only use ¼ to ½ the amount of detergent you would normally use with a load of cloth diapers.  This decreases the amount of detergent residue in the diapers.  Also, the Free-and-Clear varieties don’t work very well.  I would recommend a regular detergent, like All or regular Tide, or you can use a detergent especially made for cloth diapers, such as Rockin’ Green or Country Save.   

Step 5:  Sunlight is a natural stain killer and germ remover.  If you can, sun your diapers outside to dry.  If this isn’t possible, dry them in the dryer on a low or medium heat setting.  Follow the manufacturer’s instructions on drying if you have any doubts about the heat level for drying. 

You may need to strip your diapers as often as once a week, but your diapers could last a month until they need stripping.  I stripped my own diapers every three weeks, but everyone’s water is different.  Everyone’s baby is also different, so use your best judgment about how often to strip. 

There are other methods of stripping as well.  If this technique does not work for your baby or your water, do some research to find other stripping methods.  I recommend checking the online diaper blogs,,, etc. 

Saturday, December 11, 2010

BCD Photo Contest Winners

The votes have been counted, and here's how they went! 

1st place overall:  Trick or Treat 
 $25 store credit at +$10 Baby Gap gift card

2nd place:  Good to Be Green
$10 store credit at + 8x10 seasonal print from the professional gallery of Digital Treasures Photography (Megan Kampen, Ankeny, IA)

Fluff Baby: Boots
Free Knickernappies 2G pocket diaper or bumGenius AIO diaper

Congratulations to our winners!  I wish we could give prizes to all contestants...they are all adorable! 

Check back with us in June 2011 for details on another photo contest.  This one will have a different flavor, with chances to win in the following categories:  "People's Choice" (similar to how you voted this time), "Professional's Choice" (I'll have a professional panel of judges consisting of photographers), "Fluff Baby"  (judged by a panel of diaper company owners), as well as a "Morgan's Choice" award (judged by my daughter).  

Merry Christmas from Bum Covered Diapers!