Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Handwashing diapers is exhausting!

Last Friday was pretty much like any other diaper laundry day. I started with my cold prewash. While I waited for the cycle to finish I played around with Monkey. After a while I noticed a strange sound coming from the washer so I went to investigate the issue. I played around with it until I realized that my washer was broken. The darn thing wouldn't spin! I had a full load of dirty, dripping wet diapers in a broken washer full of poopy water. Luckily the washer (even though it wouldn't spin) would still drain the water. After I got the thing drained, I pulled out all the diapers (dripping water on the floor as I did so) and put them all in the bathtub. Luckily our bathroom is right by the washer and dryer, so it wasn't too far to haul the heavy basket back and fourth. Now what was I supposed to do? I had a bathtub full of diaper laundry that needed cleaned, because I didn't know when my washer would be fixed. 

I had my husband go to our apartment office to let them know the washer was broken. Unfortunately, they have someone else (besides their own maintenance staff) who fixes the washers/dryers and they are about an hour or so away. So we knew our washer would be out of commission until at least Monday. I had two choices, either find somewhere to wash my diapers or wash them by hand in the bathtub. I chose washing them in the tub, I mean, how hard could it be? Right...
Oh how wrong I was. So, so wrong! I spent roughly 2.5 hours going through my normal wash routine by hand. It was so time consuming, especially with taking breaks to nurse my little guy back to sleep. It was also extremely tiring. Leaning over the bathtub for that long playing in poop, sounds tiring just thinking about it.  

I did my prewash in cold water and let them sit for about ten minutes. After that, I drained the water and made sure to wring every last drop of water out. Then I filled the tub with hot water and soap and added the diapers once there was a good amount of water. I let them sit in the soap and hot water for about ten minutes (probably longer since I had to nurse my little man to sleep) then did the same as before. I drained the water and was sure to wring them each out, individually, every single last drop of water I could manage. By this point, I was exhausted from head to toe and just wanted to snuggle my baby and sleep. Finally I filled the tub again with water that was slightly warm, but mostly cold since I used all the hot water for the wash, and let those sit just for a bit. I realized after filling the tub a little bit that I just needed a good rinse and I needed to wring them out and rinse them individually. So I let the water out and started rinsing and wringing them out one by one. 

At this point, I'm not sure I had much left in me to finish. Honestly, to those moms who do this every time they do diaper laundry, I am thoroughly impressed! I was tired and frustrated, no, not tired... I was completely exhausted. I had nothing left in me. I wasn't even halfway through the rinsing process when my hands and forearms were screaming back in disapproval. I pushed through the aching pains and finished, finally! I put the inserts in the dryer and put the shells on the drying rack. I was so proud of myself for accomplishing this major task. However, when I got up the next day, I realized the diapers were still soaking and not smelling (or looking) clean at all. I was so frustrated. Here I spent so long washing them, taking time away from spending with my son, I wanted to cry.
I sorted them, shells in one pile, inserts in another. I figured I could wait until Monday when they fixed the washer and do two separate loads since there was no way by Monday, I'd be able to wash them all at once. Monday finally got here and they still didn't come to fix our washer.

  Tuesday came and went the same exact way. Today my husband went back down to ask them and they said they'd send them down, but they wouldn't be able to do it until around 4pm. That was fine, I just wanted it fixed. Well, surprise, surprise... it's still not fixed! I'm beyond furious at this point. I'm thankful for my Mom for allowing me to monopolize her washer's time for my diaper laundry. She even cooked some delicious meatloaf. I know, my Mom is super awesome!

So at this point, I still have a broken washer but luckily I have a big enough stash that I'm set on diapers for a few days at a time. I'm not sure what the plan will be if it's not fixed before I have to wash diapers again. I will probably go to the apartment office myself, call whomever is supposed to fix my washer and let them know exactly how I feel. I'm pretty bummed right now though, since I got a new diaper in the mail today and I can't wash it (or any other laundry for that matter) because my washer is broken... STILL.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Sloomb OBF Fitted Review!

 I'm honored to have been asked to test and review diapers for The Green Nursery. They're a great local cloth diaper store here. I wanted to share my very first review for them and don't forget to go to their blog to enter their giveaway!

We started cloth diapering our son, Monkey, close to a year ago. He's an extremely heavy wetter, especially at night since he wakes up to nurse a few times. Even after a year of cloth diapering, we still run into leaking issues at night. When it comes to nighttime diapers for heavy wetters, the Sloomb diapers have one of the best reputations. We have tried the Happy Little Cloud and the Snapless Multi Fitted, so I am excited to be able to test and review the Organic Bamboo Fleece for The Green Nursery. 

The Sloomb diapers come in different thread colors, all of which are extremely vibrant and very pretty. The OBF diapers are sized for a better fit and range from x-small (5-11 lbs) up to x-large (32 + lbs). The OBF has a unique feature with the front elastic, which prevents a tummy gap from happening, and it also includes a doubler which add absorbency. Similar to the Happy Little Cloud diaper, this one comes with a snap in soaker, thought the OBF soaker isnt as fluffy and soft. I would compare the feel of this diaper to the inserts of the BumGenius Elemental.

Because it's bamboo, I washed and dried it separately from other diaper laundry about five times before using it. This increases the absorbency by removing natural oils. Once it has been prepped in this way, it can be washed normally with your other diapers.  I dried the diaper and soaker overnight, like I do with all my shells and fitted diapers. The fitted diapers do take quite a while to dry, and when you hang dry them they tend to get stiff. When that happens, I put them in the dryer on the fluff cycle (no heat) just to fluff them up and make sure they're soft again when I put them on Monkey.

I'm thoroughly impressed with the fit of this diaper, especially since it can be hard finding the right fit for my son. He's really chunky, weighing in at 30lbs at 15 months! It was very trim fitting and worked very well, fitting around his huge thighs. (Sorry for calling your thighs huge, Monkey!) I like how trim the OBF is compared to the other two Sloomb diapers The Green Nursery carries (Snapless and Happy Little Cloud). The OBF is way less bulky and fits well under my smaller cover. The absorbency of this diaper was also really impressive.

The only thing I don't like is how long it takes to dry. You'll find this issue with any fitted diaper though, so it's not really a deal breaker for me.

This has become one of my favorite fitted diapers at TGN right up there with the GroVia Kiwi Pie. I like elastic on the front of the diaper because it eliminates the gap at the tummy we often get with other fitted diapers. With Monkey being a tummy sleeper, it can sometimes cause leaks, so the front elastic really comes in handy.

Finding a diaper absorbent enough is always a huge test when we consider a diaper. Monkey was able to make it through the night without any leaks, even after waking up a few times to nurse. This diaper is so absorbent that the backside was dry when I changed him in the morning! That's extremely impressive for a super soaking one year old.

The OBF really impressed me with the absorbency and the fit, and I can honestly recommend this diaper to anyone having leaking issues at night. It worked great for my heavy wetter and I'm sure it would work great for anyone searching for a nighttime solution.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Woolzies Review and Giveaway!

My husband and I have always used dryer sheets while drying our laundry. They helped (somewhat) with static, wrinkles and smelled nice too. When our son was born, I stopped using them in my laundry since we didn't use them in his; it became a habit for me not to use them. Of course, when we started cloth diapering, I wasn't going anywhere near the dryer sheets! I have heard a lot of people talk about how great dryer balls help the same way dryer sheets helped, but without the harsh chemicals and they were safe to use on our son's laundry and our cloth diaper laundry!

Woolzies are guaranteed to last at least 1,000 loads and are completely handmade. They are not mass produced by machine, so they come in various sizes, colors and textures. I have heard a lot of good things about dryer balls, so I was excited to be able to review them.

I was concerned about putting all six balls in the dryer at the same time that it would make a lot of noise. However, as soon as I started the dryer (all six balls inside) I was pleasantly surprised how quiet they were. I would be comfortable running the dryer with the dryer balls while C was taking a nap.
I first used Woolzies with C's laundry. Since I always put his clothes on lower heat so they don't shrink, it usually takes a bit longer to get his laundry completely dry. After having his laundry in for just over half of a cycle I decided to stop it to see how things were going. All of his laundry (except a pair of jeans) were completely dry. There was a little static in some of the pajamas so I let it go a little bit longer with the jeans. I was extremely impressed with how soft his laundry was.

I have never used fabric softener on his laundry, so it's never been this soft. After using Woolzies with C's laundry, I used them with my laundry. (It was a busy laundry day in my house.) I always dry my laundry on a little higher heat than my son's. Even drying them on higher heat, it takes roughly two (and a half) cycles to get them completely dry. With the dryer balls it cut the drying time down to about a cycle and a half. My laundry came out much the same as C's did; they were soft and didn't have much static. They also came out without wrinkles, which helps cut down on drying cycles.

Finally, I used the dryer balls on my cloth diapers. (I only dry the inserts in the dryer.) Normally when they're done in the dryer, there is so much static that some of the inserts are stuck to the sides and top of the dryer! While there was still a small amount of static, it was greatly reduced. There weren't any inserts stuck to the dryer and they hardly stuck to each other. I love that the dryer balls are safe to use with cloth diapers!

Six Woolzies dryer balls are enough for a small, medium or large load. They recommend using eight dryer balls if you are drying an extra large load. If you have an allergy to wool, you can still use Woolzies since the wool is not directly touching your skin and does not shed. 

In conclusion, I would definitely recommend these to others. I really love them and how well they work. The dry times are shorter, they soften better than dryer sheets and, in turn, are going to save on energy. I can't imagine using anything other than dryer balls now!


Buy them:
  You can purchase Woolzies Dryer Balls in a six pack for
Win them: Woolzies is graciously sponsoring a giveaway for a pack of their dryer balls! Enter below on the Rafflecopter form. Giveaway open worldwide! Giveaway ends 2-26!

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Woolzies Dryer Balls sent me their product for reviewing purposes. All opinions in this post are all my own.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Taking a look at All In Ones!

All in one (AIO) diapers are exactly that. They don't require stuffing, like a pocket. You don't have to snap inserts in like hybrids/AI2 (all in two) diapers. There is no extra insert stuffing required for this diaper. This is the reason I have been moving more towards AIOs lately. I've grown tired of pocket stuffing and AIOs are a really nice break. I personally feel that all in one diapers are a great diaper to start out with for a new cloth diapering parent. They are pretty easy diapers to handle and are a lot like disposables in the way that there is only one part to the diaper. There are many brands of AIO diapers, but I only have one brand and two different types.
  The first type of all in one I have is the bumGenius Elemental
This diaper is made with organic cotton on the inside, so if you prefer natural fibers next to your baby's bottom, this is your diaper. The inserts are sewn into the diaper. I love how absorbent this diaper is. We have an extremely heavy wetter, so we often battle leaks at night and first thing in the morning. I prefer to use this diaper first thing in the morning when he has his large pee. We don't have leaking issues with this diaper, even during heavy wetting. I only have a couple of issues with this diaper. The first thing I don't like about this diaper is the drying time. I hang the Elemental out to dry with my diaper covers and shells for the pockets. While they usually dry overnight, this diaper takes quite a bit longer. I end up putting it in the dryer (on fluff dry) for one or two cycles to get it completely dry. This also helps when the diaper is stiff from air drying. The other issue I have with this diaper is the fit. While I'm sure it works great for smaller babies, it's a little small fitting on my chunky son. This doesn't effect the use of the diaper, though.
  The next type of AIO we have is the bumGenius Freetime. The inserts are semi attached to the inside of this diaper.

 This allows you to adjust the absorbency to fit the needs of your little one. For a boy, you'll want more absorbency in the front. For a girl, you'll want more absorbency in the back. With the inserts being semi attached, it makes drying time much shorter than the Elemental. The inserts are stay dry, which are some of my favorite kinds of inserts, because they don't irritate our baby's bottom. I love the fit of this diaper, it's much like the fit of the bumGenius 4.0! We have two Freetimes in our stash. We have the Lovelace, which is one of my favorite prints and we have Grasshopper. The Freetime is so easy to use and is nice and absorbent. I've heard concerns about spraying the diaper when you have a dirty diaper. I haven't had any issues spraying, even with the flaps. Out of the two AIO diapers we have, I like the Freetime the best.
What are some of your favorite AIO diapers? Which ones do you find yourself recommending the most? I'm looking forward to getting more all in ones and take a break from my pockets. I would love to be able to try the GroVia all in one since we enjoy our other diapers from them.

Friday, February 1, 2013

A look into pocket diapers.

Pocket diapers make up the majority of my stash. This was completely by accident. When I first started cloth diapering, I wanted to use the easiest diaper out there and pockets seemed like a lot of work. I'm currently in a love hate relationship with my pocket diapers. After using them for close to a year, I'm pretty burnt out on stuffing. It can take quite a while to stuff the pockets. Although we needed to figure out a good nighttime solution though, and pockets are great for that. You can add absorbency to pockets by adding extra or more absorbent inserts. We started out with about four pocket diapers and ended up with close to 40! 
  When it comes to a favorite pocket diaper, it's a tough choice for me. Some pockets don't fit well on my son since he's so big and chunky. I really like the bumGenius 4.0 pocket diaper for several reasons.
 I think one of my favorite things about the 4.0 is how easy it is to spray the poop out. I haven't had many staining issues with this diaper. I will often use the bumGenius 4.0 at night when my fitted diapers are dirty or drying. If I'm being honest, I also use them when I'm feeling lazy and don't want to mess around with a fitted and the cover, especially if he's already asleep because he tends to wake up during diaper changes. I use the BG insert that comes with the diaper as well as the Flip insert that came with my Flip cover. These two combined will last through the night, but I usually change him right before I go to bed and change him right as soon as I wake up. I don't want to take any chances and leave the diaper on too long, because he is such a heavy wetter and will no doubt leak through. My favorite of the bumGenius diapers happens to be the Albert print. it's super adorable and looks great on my little man. (For those with girls, they can totally rock this print as well. My son rocks the Lovelace print quite often.)
  It's always great to have a husband's point of view on cloth diapers, so I constantly ask mine what he thinks about certain diapers or which is his favorite diaper. He seems to always have the same answer as to which is his favorite. He likes the Rumparooz pocket diapers. When I asked him why Rumparooz were his favorite, he replied, "I like how soft they are on the inside and I like the double leg gussets. I also like the quality of the diaper, they're very well made. The design of the diaper is pretty cool too." I have to agree with him, I like the Rumparooz as well. They fit our son, even though he's pretty chunky, really well. I also love the double leg gussets, because they keep messes inside the diaper. The one complaint I have about the diaper is that when our son has a poo, being breastfed, the poo sometimes goes up the back of the diaper and into the pocket opening. This creates a mess on the inserts and can be a bit aggravating.

  Overall pocket diapers are not bad diapers. They just take some patience when it comes to stuffing. It can be easy to get burnt out on them, which is why I like having a good verity of diapers in my stash. Right now, I'm just over all the stuffing, so I try to use the pocket diapers last. I tend to leave them sit until the next load is done in the wash and end up with even more stuffing to do.