Sunday, August 9, 2009

FAQ - Cloth and the Umbilical Stump

Submitted by Mama Kalila. Thanks, Mama!

"We're planning to start out w/ prefolds on our next baby... but a little unclear on how to do the belly button thing. Is there a type of diaper or cover or fold that works best for that or any other advice? Thanks!"

As far as a prefold during the umbilical stump phase, most folds can be modified to fit underneath the cord. You can use a jelly roll fold, and just fold it down a little in the back first to shorten the prefold, so it fits right under the belly button in the front. This is probably my favorite newborn fold because it really holds in that explosive newborn poop. But even the newspaper or bikini twist can be customized this way. So pretty much any fold you an find is fair game, you'll just need to fold down the prefold in the front or back a little to make the rise shorter.

As far as covers, Thirsties XS Diaper Covers are my very favorites. They are fairly roomy, so an XS will last a long time... no growing out of them after two weeks! LOL. They also have a little dip in the front that fits nicely under the umbilical area. Bummis Super Whisper Wraps are great for this reason, too, although they run a little smaller so my Ruby outgrew them pretty quickly.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

"Fake" Diapers

My husband officially luuuuuuuvs cloth diapers.

I bought a pack sposies for the meconium phase, but since Ruby was in the NICU, we never used them. They've been sitting on a shelf in the bathroom collecting dust.

Yesterday hubby was going to change the baby so I told him that I already put one of her Fuzzi Bunz out for him. He asked "Is it this one that's sitting on top of the fake diapers?"

I love that he now considers disposables "fake" diapers! This from a man who relentlessly teases me about all of my "hippie crap," as he calls it.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

FAQ - Method Baby Wash in Wipes Solution

Submitted by Valerie. Thanks! =-)

"I am cloth diaper user and we also use cloth wipes. Recently I started making my own wipe solution (previously had just used water) and I am really loving the solution. As I was putting the cloth diapers and wipes into the washer I had a thought. Am I supposed to wash them separately now that I have a solution on my wipes (Method Baby Wash with Grapeseed Oil). Will my solution hurt my diapers?"

A little grapeseed oil in solution won't hurt your diapers if washed together. I was reading up on the Method wash, though, and I saw a lot of reviews of mom's complaining that it wouldn't rinse off of their babies, but rather left an oily film. So I'm guessing it has something in it that could potentially coat your diapers. I would have to research into this a little more to give you a definitive answer, but my gut instinct would be to wash separately if you are using any type of natural soap. Natural soaps are a big no-no for washing diapers, so I think enough wipes coated in them could pose a problem in your wash.

Friday, July 31, 2009

Savvy Chic Kids Consignment Sale has Cloth Diaper Deals!

Savvy Chic Kids


Savvy Chic Kids’ Consignment is a twice-yearly consignment sale event, held in the spring and the fall, where families can come to BUY great name-brand, gently-used items at amazing bargains and also SELL their unwanted and outgrown children’s items and turn them into cash! Consignors can also DONATE their unsold items to worthy Inland Empire Charities.

The best part? In addition to baby and child items of all kinds, you can find gently used cloth diapers for deep discounts!

SCK 2009 FALL CONSIGNMENT SALE

October 16, 18-19, 2009

Riverside Community Church

4850 Jurupa Ave

Riverside, CA 92504

Visit the SCK website for sale hours and details!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Donate $5.00 or more to Miracle Diapers and receive a $5.00 Coupon Code to Earth Angels Diaper Co.!

Reprinted with permission from Julia Clark at Cloth Diaper News



Earth Angels Diaper Co. proudly supports Miracle Diapers and their continuing efforts to provide needy families with cloth diapering and natural parenting items.

Currently, the gals at Miracle Diapers are trying to make the move into a more comfortable office/warehouse environment. They need our help in raising the money they need to fund their move.

Earth Angels Diaper Co. will be providing a $5.00 Coupon Code to anyone who donates $5.00 or more to Miracle Diapers as a THANK YOU for your generosity and support. The coupon code will be automatically sent upon completing the donation through PayPal.

Please donate through one of the links at Earth Angels Diaper Co. to take advantage of this offer.

And, as always, Miracle Diapers is also accepting donations of cloth diapers, accessories, and other natural parenting items.

Thanks for reading!

Ruby Mae is Here!

You may have noticed that it's been eerily quiet around here...

Between those last few agonizingly uncomfortable weeks of pregnancy (in 90 degree heat, mind you!) and a quick labor ending in a very unexpected c/s and a sweet little babe in the NICU, it's been a crazy couple of months!

After arriving at the hospital at 8 centimeters, an initial monitoring strip scared the living crap out of all of us. For an entire half hour after we arrived, the baby's heart rate was never once anywhere near normal. It would alternate between super-low and racing-high. After 30 minutes of trying an amnio infusion, oxygen, and different positions, we all agreed that a c-section was in order ASAP! Turns out she had an extremely thin cord, and had also aspirated and swallowed the nastiest meconium any of the medical professionals in the room had ever encountered! Nasty!

But after a stay in the NICU, our baby girl is home and perfect as can be. Life is settling down, and we are getting back into the rhythm of life. I've been having so much fun cloth-diapering my new baby girl, and I'm excited to get back to blogging!

Here's a picture of our sweet little Ruby Mae while she was still in the NICU. The photo is a coupe of weeks old, but since she's been home I've been too darn lazy to get the USB cable down from the closet so I can upload the newer pics from my camera. Because taking 30 seconds to do something like that is a big deal when you've just had a baby...

Thursday, May 21, 2009

HUGE Sale at Crunchy Bunch!



Through May 31st, enjoy HUGE, FABULOUS, AWESOME discounts on everything, STOREWIDE! =D

* Kozy's, Moby's, ZoloWears and more ~ ALL Babywearing items are 30% off!
* ALL Under the Nile organic items (clothing, bibs, blankets!) are 30% off!
* ALL Under the Nile TOYS are 25% off!
* ALL Bamboosa products are 50% off!
* ALL EclipseSpa products are 35% off!
* ALL Earth Mama Angel Baby & Nature's Baby Organics are 30% off!
* ALL SOS From Texas items are 50% off! (Organic onesies, bibs, receiving blankets, etc.)
* Nurtured Little One organic hooded towels and shopping cart covers are 30% off! and much much more, throughout the store! Just add the items you desire to your cart to see the savings! I promise you, absolutely EVERYTHING on this website is at LEAST 20% off, and you don't even have to mess with any coupon codes!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

FAQ - "How Do You Keep Baby Secure in a Ring Sling?"

Submitted by Valerie! Thanks again, Valerie! Keep 'em coming! =-)

"I have a ring sling and I want to continue to use it, but I always feel like he is wiggling out of it and I don't feel like he is secure. How long can I wear him in a ring sling? And can you give some pointers on the best way to wear him in it so that he and I both feel he is secure?"

You can wear a baby in a ring sling as long as the baby is within the manufacturer's weight guidelines (many are up to 35 lbs, but be sure to check your particular brand), and as long as it is physically comfortable for you. If the ring is positioned correctly (in front of your shoulder, rather than on top of your shoulder) and the fabric is spread to distribute the weight, most people can wear their babes up to the manufacturer's weight recommendation with no problems.

There are a couple of key points to making sure that your baby is secure in a ring sling, in the carrying positions designed for older babies (hip and back carries, for example).

1. Make sure the fabric is spread not only under the baby's butt, but well under the thighs. I always spread the fabric almost all the way to the underside of my son's knees, which creates what I call the "butt hammock". You can then cinch up that edge of the fabric through the ring to make sure the baby has a "seat" ("butt hammock") for their little buns to sink into a bit, thus securing their weight.

2. Spread the other edge of the fabric up by the baby's armpits or shoulders, and be sure to cinch this edge up through the ring as well. This keeps the baby's torso close to you, so the baby can't lean away from you and create a dangerous situation.

By spreading the fabric both low (knees) and high (shoulders) and tightening each edge, you are able to keep your baby snug and secure as they get older and curiosity makes them more wiggly! =-)

No Sugar Added Opens a Storefront in Southern California!

I have friends who will happily drive over an hour to visit a brick and mortar store which specializes in cloth diapers. Heck, I would! But this is a testament to the rarity of being able to find cloth diapers in person as opposed to the internet. Nothing beats touching and feeling different brands and styles in person.

This is why I am positively giddy to announce that No Sugar Added (a website I personally shop from) has opened a storefront in Claremont, CA! You can now find cloth diapers, baby carriers, toys, and pretty much anything else you could want for your natural baby in real life!!!

No Sugar Added
141 Yale Ave.
Claremont, CA 91711
MAP

Hours:
Mon - Fri / 10am - 6pm
Sat / 11am - 5pm
Closed Sundays

Due to an illness making the rounds at my house, coupled with being gigantically pregnant, I have yet to make it down there, but I can assure you that I am dying to visit!!! As soon as I do, I will post a review, but in the mean time if any of my readers have made it there in person, post a comment! I would love to hear from you!!!

FAQ - "Which Wrap for an Older Child?"

Submitted by Valerie. Thanks Valerie!

"I am wondering about using my Moby with a one year old? Is that reasonable? I wanted the opinion of a mom, not just something that the makers say. I know that the longer he is in it, the stretchier and looser it becomes, so is it something you can use with a kiddo that weighs over 22 pounds? Just wanting a mama's opinion. Thanks"

It really depends on how heavy your one-year-old is, but as the baby gets bigger, "stretch" gets less fun. I like a non-stretchy wrap for an older kid. 100% cotton wraps are nice because they really don't stretch, so they offer more support when wearing a big-kid, especially for a longer period of time.

My all-time favorite is the Ellaroo Wrap, but you can also search Hyenacart and Etsy for great mom-made wraps which are a little less spendy!

Monday, April 6, 2009

WAHM Interview - Amy of Denver Diaper Co.

Ever wonder what life is like when you own a diaper business? This month I was able to interview Amy of Denver Diaper Co. Keep an eye out... a storefront is in the works!

Visit Denver Diaper Co.


Q. How did you first get interested in cloth diapers? Did you always know you wanted to use them, or did you come around to them?
A. I did want to use them before I had my daughter. I needed to find a way to save money after she was born, because I wouldn't be returning to work.

Q. Tell me a little about the beginnings of your business. What made you want to sell cloth? Do you have a background in business?
A. At the time that I started my business, there was nowhere near me that I could go to get hands on experience with cloth diapers. I decided to fix that:). I really don't have a business background. I was in the medical field before this.

Q. How do you manage to run a business and balance family life?
A. Balance? What's that, lol?!? It's really hard and I don't succeed nearly as well as I would like to. I'm still figuring it out. I'm not sure that I ever will. I am trying to get better about prioritizing. So what if the carpets don't get vacuumed or the dishes done? As long as everyone gets fed, has relatively clean clothes, and gets teeth brushed I feel pretty good.

Q. If you had $1,000 and an entire day to yourself to do whatever you wanted, what would you do?
A. SPA!!! I love massages and all that girlie stuff, even though I'm really not that girlie, lol! Then I'd probably go raid Barnes & Nobles. I love reading.

Q. What is your very favorite part of being a WAHM?
A. I get to be with my daughter. I would have missed things if she had been in daycare.

Q. What is the hardest thing about being a WAHM?
A. I feel like I'm always working. There's always one more thing I could do before I quit. Since my office is in my house, I really can't ever get away from it.

Q. What is your favorite meal?
A. My husband is an awesome cook. He makes several things that I just love! His version of Applebee's Tequila Lime Chicken is soooooo good. Better than Applebee's actually (I know because I used to work there, lol!).

Q. In addition to being a wife and Mama, how many hours do you put in each week on your business?
A. Boy, I honestly don't know. It has to be full time or more. I work when she naps in the afternoon, several hours most evenings, and then several hours each day on the weekends while daddy watches her. I check email a lot during the day while she's awake and with me, too.

Q. What have been your happiest moments as a business owner?
A. When customers who came to me, either still pregnant or with a little one, with no cloth diapering experience and totally overwhelmed, tell me later how glad they are to be using cloth diapers. I like helping people figure out what diaper system will work best for them and their family.

Q. What have been your happiest moments as a mom?
A. Wow, there are so many! Lately, it's been when Morgan says new things and the way she says them.

Q. What do you have in the works at Denver Diaper Co.? Anything new and exciting?
A. We have some VERY exciting things in the works! We are currently working on opening up a storefront in the Denver area. We hope to be open sometime this summer.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

FAQ - "Should I add to my carrier stash?"

Submitted by Brandi. Thanks Brandi! =-)

"If you were me and already had a pocket sling, a ring sling, a Baby K'tan, and a Moby (I know, I have a problem!) would you also get a mai tai or would you call it good? :) I don't see myself using one right now a lot because I love my wraps, but with my kids being so, well, big, would it be something I use a lot when they're heavier? Oh, and which brand do you recommend?"

I may be an enabler here, but I have to answer with a gigantic "YES!" Why, you may ask?

1. As your babies get bigger, I promise that you are going to love having a Mei Tai. They're very sturdy, which makes for comfortable back carries. And with a variety of ways to tie the straps, you can find the fit that suits you best.

2. Babies are only "wearable" for such a short time! Those first few years will fly by in the blink of an eye. Seize the day!!! Once they are big kids, you can sell the 84 carriers you have collected during those first few years and recoup some of your money. Cherish this time while they are teeny-tiny!

As far as a recommendation, Baby Hawk is a very popular brand. They have the cutest fabrics, and the quality is very consistent. And as long as I'm enabling... you have to check the design your own Baby Hawk page. For about the same price as the in-stock carriers, you can choose from dozens of fabrics and match it up with the strap color of your choice. This post has taken me over a half-hour because I can't stop designing custom carriers.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

CONTEST! Link to me *or* submit a question for a chance to win BabyLegs!

Announcing a super-easy contest! If you have a blog or website, link to Cloth and Carriers 101 for a chance to win a free pair of BabyLegs! You can also enter by submitting a question you'd like to see answered.


The details...

1. Place a link to Cloth and Carriers 101 ( http://clothandcarriers101.blogspot.com/ ) on your blog or website. You can also place a link as part of a shout-out on a public forum, but it must be a forum that I can view to verify without having to become a member. Then email me at ClothAndCarriers101@yahoo.com to let me know where I can view the link you've placed.

2. You can also enter by emailing me a cloth diaper or baby carrier related question you'd like to see answered. Just email your question to ClothAndCarriers101@yahoo.com.

3. Each person may enter twice... Once by linking to me, and once by submitting a question.


4. Entries must be received by 11:59 pm Pacific time on Saturday, April 4th. After that time, all eligible entries will be placed into a random drawing. The winner of the drawing will receive a free pair of BabyLegs!

5. I will contact the winner via email to find out where to send your BabyLegs. If the winner does not respond to my email within 5 days, the winner forfeits the prize and a new winner will be drawn from the remaining entries. If you have sketchy email, you may want to also include a phone number so you don't miss out if you are the winner.

6. Your contact info will only be used for the purpose of this contest. You will not be spammed or contacted in any other way, and your info will never be shared with a third party.

So that's it! Have fun, and GOOD LUCK! =-)

FAQ: "How can I get to know cloth diapering moms in real life?"


Do all of your local mommy friends look at you like you have 3 heads when you mention cloth diapers? Have you never met another cloth diapering mom in real life? Well, as scarce as cloth-diapering moms may seem at times, we're out here... just waiting to get connected! Why not get to know some local cloth diapering Mamas?

Check out Meetup or Yahoo Groups to search for a local group in your area... one may already exist, undiscovered!

If you can't find a local group devoted to cloth diapers, why not start your own? Yahoo Groups are free, and fairly user friendly.

I personally organize my group through Meetup. I prefer Meetup to Yahoo because it's a bit more snazzy. You can customize the look, and we've had great success expanding. I started the group in November 2007, and less than a year and a half later we are up to 90 members! Imagine knowing 90 cloth diapering moms in your immediate area. And that's with me putting forth absolutely NO effort trying to find new members. With Meetup, local cloth diapering moms will find you. And no, I make absolutely no sort of commission for promoting Meetup. LOL! I just really love it!

Meetup does cost a nominal $6 per month on a 6 month subscription. This can be offset by charging small dues to members, or better yet, by finding a sponsor. Local natural businesses will often jump at the chance to sponsor a group of their target audience for such a low fee.

Why are local groups awesome? Well, besides just the sheer coolness of having real-live friends who love cloth as much as you do... you can buy, sell and trade used cloth locally with your group members. This way you can avoid destroying your hard drive by visiting a certain online community who shall remain nameless. In our group, we have fluff parties where everyone brings examples from their stash to show off. This is a wonderful way to see a myriad of brands and styles in person before you decide to buy online. The group is also an excellent resource for those who are new to cloth or thinking of switching, and would like to get tips and advice from those who are more experienced.

You can check out my group if you're in the Inland Empire area!

If you have any questions about how to start a local group, just give me a holler at ClothAndCarriers101@yahoo.com. I'd be more than happy to impart any wisdom I've gained over the last year and a half!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

WINNER! Jennifer's Cloth Diaper Boutique $10.00 Gift Certificate

Jennifer's Cloth Diaper Boutique

We have a winner for Cloth and Carriers 101's first contest!

Lynda of Jennifer's Cloth Diaper Boutique generously donated a $10 Gift Certificate for the prize! I'd like to say thank you so much to our sponsor!

Congratulations to our winner: Brianna

Keep an eye out for future contests!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Living in the Dark Ages

I probably only have about 3 minutes before the internet stops working, so this will be brief. We are having major issues with our cable internet (Time Warner... avoid them at all costs!), and are appalled at the customer service we have received over the last week. We have already signed up with another provider, and they will be here on Wednesday to install. So until Wednesday when I can get more than 5 minutes online at a time, I'll be scarce. Just didn't want anyone to send out the search party!

Friday, March 6, 2009

FAQ - "How do I wash my sling?" (And a Wallababy Coupon Code!)


Submitted by Valerie. Thanks Valerie! Great question!

"I have had my Wallababy Ring Sling since my son was born, but I haven't used it very often. I used my Moby Wrap a lot, but now that he is older I am using the Walla. I love it, but now I want to wash it and I am unsure of anything special I need to do. I have tried to find the washing instructions but came up empty handed, so I am calling in the expert. How do I wash this (hot, cold)? Is it dryer safe? I am going on a trip and I want to take it along, but it has got to be washed first. Thanks for the info."

The vast majority of slings can be washed in the same basic way. That being said, of course if a particular manufacturer's instructions advise washing any other way than what I'm about to detail, be sure to follow the manufacturer's instructions. Okay, disclaimer over...

A general rule of thumb for most ring slings (especially cotton) would be to machine wash cold and lay flat or hang to dry. Some can be machine dried, but if you aren't sure it's better to err on the side of caution and air dry. If you don't have a clothesline handy, you can do this by laying one end of the sling over the back of a dining chair, and the other end over the back of another chair.

Wallababy brand slings can be machine washed on cold. Hang drying or laying flat is ideal, but if you can't wait that long, the manufacturer gives the a-okay for machine drying. She recommends putting a sock over the rings so they don't clang too much in the washer and dryer!

Since Wallababy slings were mentioned by name in this FAQ, I emailed the manufacturer to double check her brand's washing recommendations. When she replied, she was sweet enough to offer a coupon code for Cloth and Carrier 101 readers to use!

Use coupon code cc09 at Wallababy.com to receive $5.00 off any order!

LAST 2 DAYS! Get Your Entry in for a Chance to Win a $10 Gift Certificate to Jennifer's Cloth Diaper Boutique!

Jennifer's Cloth Diaper Boutique

It's the last 2 days of Cloth and Carriers 101's first contest!

Lynda of Jennifer's Cloth Diaper Boutique has donated a $10 Gift Certificate for the prize! You can even use the Gift Certificate towards the purchase of a pre-order diaper!

How do you enter? It's easy!

1. Just email me at ClothAndCarriers101@yahoo.com telling me you'd like to be entered in the Jennifer's Cloth Diaper Boutique drawing. I pinky swear that you won't be spammed. I will only use your email address to contact you if you are the winner. If you have testy email, you may want to include a phone number for me to try you at as well. Again, there will be no phone-spamming, either! LOL

2. Only one entry per household, please.

3. All entries must be received by 11:59 pm Pacific time on Saturday, March 7th, 2009.

4. After that time, all eligible entries will be entered into a random drawing for a $10 Gift Certificate to Jennifer's Cloth Diaper Boutique.

5. I will contact the winner by email. If I don't hear back from the winner within 1 week, the winner forfeits the prize and another winner will be drawn from the remaining entries. So that's why if you have testy email you might want to leave a phone number, too. ;-)

Thank you so much to the sponsor of this contest, Jennifer's Cloth Diaper Boutique!

Monday, March 2, 2009

WAHM Interview - Stephanie of CutieBooty Diapers

Ever wonder what life is like when you own a diaper business? This month I was able to interview Stephanie of CutieBooty Diapers! Despite several major life events being thrown into the mix, Stephanie has continued to cherish being a WAHM. Read on!


Q. How did you first get interested in cloth diapers? Did you always know you wanted to use them, or did you come around to them?

A. I started using cloth diapers when my first child was born in 1991. I used the Gerber Birdseye diapers with plastic pants and a few Gerber covers. As a young military wife at that time, I started with cloth because of the cost savings. As time went by, I actually enjoyed using cloth diapers. I never had to make a diaper run and there was just something I liked about folding a load of diapers fresh from the dryer. There are so many more options for cloth diapering now and it can really become an addiction. (All you have to do is take a peek at some of the posts on DiaperSwappers or Diaper Pin to see what I mean). I do love picking out which diaper I am going to use next. Its fun to match the diaper with an outfit or pair it with some baby leg warmers. Every diaper change can be a different look.

Q. Tell me a little about the beginnings of your business. What made you want to sell cloth? Do you have a background in business?

A. I first started thinking about opening a business when my 3rd child was born in 2005. I knew that I wanted to find a way to be home with my kids and also bring in some extra money. My background was in office management so I knew about the business side of things. What I was unsure of was my ability to effectively run a business without sacrificing my family time. So I started researching different options. Everything that I read about starting a business said to do something that you love. I loved cloth diapering my babies and wanted to share that with other moms. A cloth diaper business seemed like the natural choice. That’s when the first seed for CutieBooty Diapers was planted. During the spring of 2006 my husband was laid off from his job so I decided that was the time to get started. I had found a wonderful woman named Conley Roberts who was selling her business, Weeware Cloth Diapers. I purchased Weeware and combined the two

Q. How do you manage to run a business and balance family life?

A. I would like to say that I am one of those women who is totally organized, has a devoted work space, and has specific time slots for working, and everything is neat and tidy. That however is not the case. Right now my business and family life are meshed together quite a bit. At any given moment in a day you may find me sitting on the couch nursing a baby with my laptop beside me trying to answer emails, update my site, work on advertising, or ordering inventory. I try and work on things when my kids are napping or outside playing but things don't always line up like that.

My children are homeschooled which gives me the opportunity to involve them in the business. My 5 and 3 yr old love to help sort merchandise, pack orders and go to the post office with me. They are helping me and learning new things at the same time.


Q. If you had $1,000 and an entire day to yourself to do whatever you wanted, what would you do?

A. I would love to spend a whole day at the spa. Having my nails and hair done. A facial and massage the whole works!

Q. What is your very favorite part of being a WAHM?

A. My favorite thing is being able to do something that I enjoy and not be away from my family.

Q. What is the hardest thing about being a WAHM?

A. The hardest thing is that I am not away from my family. Sometimes it is hard to get things done when kids are running through the house jumping over paperwork or getting into the merchandise. It would be easier not to have anyone around while I was working, but not near as exciting.

Q. What is your favorite meal?

A. Pretty much any meal that I do not have to cook myself. I love seafood. I would have to say oysters are my favorite.

Q. In addition to being a wife and Mama, how many hours do you put in each week on your business?

A. I have never sat down to figure it out. I work when I get a chance and for as long as I can until someone needs me. If I had to guess, I would say at least 25-30 hours. Some weeks more and some less.

Q. What have been your happiest moments as a business owner?

A. My best moments come when I know that I have helped another mom. Introducing people to cloth or helping someone solve diapering issues makes me happy.

Q. What have been your happiest moments as a mom?

A. Watching my children grow and see the person that they are becoming. I am fortunate to be able to spend so much time with them on a daily basis. I hope that I can continue to teach them and learn from them as well for many years to come.

Q. What do you have in the works at CutieBooty Diapers? Anything new and exciting?

A. Since starting CutieBooty Diapers, we have moved twice, had a job lay off, and had our fourth baby. For 2009 I am looking forward to spending more time growing the business. We are looking into offering some local diapering classes and are currently researching new products. I would like to bring in an organic clothing line and possibly design our very own CutieBooty Diaper. Our main dream for the future would be to open a CutieBooty Diapers brick and mortar store. It would be nice to offer a local resource for cloth diapers in NW Oklahoma City.



Monday, February 23, 2009

15% Off! Fat Tuesday Sale at Earth Angels Diaper Co.!



Earth Angels Diaper Co. is holding a 15% off sale on February 24th, 2009, for Fat Tuesday! It will be store-wide with code FATT until midnight on Fat Tuesday ONLY!

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Gift Certificate Giveaway - Jennifer's Cloth Diaper Boutique!

Jennifer's Cloth Diaper Boutique

Yay! It's Cloth and Carriers 101's first contest!

Lynda of Jennifer's Cloth Diaper Boutique has donated a $10 Gift Certificate for the prize! You can even use the Gift Certificate towards the purchase of a pre-order diaper!

How do you enter? It's easy!

1. Just email me at ClothAndCarriers101@yahoo.com telling me you'd like to be entered in the Jennifer's Cloth Diaper Boutique drawing. I pinky swear that you won't be spammed. I will only use your email address to contact you if you are the winner. If you have testy email, you may want to include a phone number for me to try you at as well. Again, there will be no phone-spamming, either! LOL

2. Only one entry per household, please.

3. All entries must be received by 11:59 pm Pacific time on Saturday, March 7th, 2009.

4. After that time, all eligible entries will be entered into a random drawing for a $10 Gift Certificate to Jennifer's Cloth Diaper Boutique.

5. I will contact the winner by email. If I don't hear back from the winner within 1 week, the winner forfeits the prize and another winner will be drawn from the remaining entries. So that's why if you have testy email you might want to leave a phone number, too. ;-)

Thank you so much to the sponsor of this contest, Jennifer's Cloth Diaper Boutique!

Free Shipping, Preorders on New Diapers, and Buy 12 get 1 FREE at Jennifer's Cloth Diaper Boutique!

Wow! Lynda at Jennifer's Cloth Diaper Boutique has a some great promotions going on right now!

FREE SHIPPING:
Through March 1st, 2009, all US orders are eligible for free shipping! Just use the code FREESHIP at checkout!

BUY 12, GET 1 FREE:
Order a 12 pack of any brand of diapers and get one FREE! No coupon code needed for this deal... just mention it in the comments at checkout. Click here for diaper packages! Ends March 7th, 2009.

TAKING PREORDERS ON NEW ONE SIZE DIAPERS:
Gro Baby One-Size Diaper
bumGenius! Organic One-Size w/ Snaps!
Fuzzi Bunz One-Size Diapers
Reserve them while you can! These new diapers are selling like hotcakes from what I hear.

Friday, February 20, 2009

How did I get into cloth diapers, and why did I start selling them?

Submitted by Brandi. Thank you! =-)

"I also have a question for you- what made you make the change? Just curious, really- I try to think back about myself and why I changed- I know exactly when and why, but I was trying to remember what I knew about cloth diapering before that and I can't remember- I know I had been into Kissui, but I can't even remember if I looked at the diapers or not! Anyway, just thought it would be interesting to hear what made you change to cloth, like was there a turning point? Oh, and when did you decide to start selling them online? Thanks!"

I switched when my oldest was 16 months old, and I was about 6 months pregnant with my second. Before then, I had never seen a cloth diaper.

When Brandon, my first was born, it never even occurred to me that cloth diapers still existed. I didn't know anyone who used cloth diapers. Everyone I knew gifted me with pack after pack of disposables. No one had ever mentioned cloth diapers as an option, so it just never even struck me as a possibility.

When Brandon was about 5 months old, I went to a La Leche League meeting to get to know some other breastfeeding mamas. At the time, I was the only breastfeeding mom I knew. My family had all breastfed their children, so I had that support, but I really wanted to also get support from ladies closer to my age with babies. So anywhoo, at the LLL meeting, one of the moms mentioned that she used cloth diapers, but that was about the extent of it. I was kind of surprised that anyone still used cloth diapers, and I remember wondering why someone would do that on purpose. I was picturing flats and safety pins, dunking and swishing, stink and stains. I still hadn't seen a cloth diaper at that point, so I was still very misinformed.

When Brandon was 16 months old, and we were expecting baby #2, I was hanging out on my birth board just killing time. When you have only one baby, you still occasionally have time to kill. That doesn't happen anymore... There was a thread on my birth board about Fuzzi Bunz. I clicked the link and fell in LOVE!

I would love to say that there was something more noble to the story, but that would be a lie. I started out on cloth for a relatively shallow reason... THEY WERE WAY TOO CUTE! I wanted my Brandon's butt to be in these adorable, vibrant, colorful cloth diapers - not the ugly disposable diapers he was currently napping in.

So while I switched for a superficial reason, the point is that I switched. I jumped right into cloth diapering and have never gone back. And once I actually began cloth diapering, I learned about the ecological and health benefits of cloth diapers, and became very passionate about cloth being the superior choice in every way. This has led me to a more eco-conscious mindset in many other ways as well, so the cute factor can be a gateway in that sense.

As far as selling diapers, I didn't actually set out to sell diapers. When my second son, Seth, was about 6 weeks old, he had to have tests that required us to be at the hospital for a series of x-rays spanning 6 hours. I was wearing him in my Maya Wrap, pacing the halls for the hour in between each x-ray. During that time I had literally dozens of people ask me about my sling and how they could buy one. By about the 10th person I made a mental note that I should look into the legal requirements for obtaining a wholesale account and re-selling Maya Wraps. I intended to keep a few in my truck to have on hand when people asked where they could buy one.

So I did just that. But legally retailing anything in the state of CA is a gigantic PITA, so I figured if I was going to go to all of this trouble (permits, licenses, etc.), I had better sell more than just Maya Wraps. I was well into my obsession with cloth diapers by then, so I began checking into wholesale accounts for cloth diapers as well. And it just kind of snowballed from there. I initially had no intention of doing business on a large scale, but it just kind of happened.

So I guess I just sort of fell into cloth diapers in the first place, and then kind of tumbled right into selling them!

FAQ - "How do you strip your diapers when needed?"

Submitted by Mama Kalila. Thank you! =-)

"Quick question... If you don't recommend Dawn [in the washing machine] (and your explanation makes a lot of sense) then how do you strip your diapers when needed?"

Good question!

For general repelling (when the diapers just don't seem to be absorbing very well, or moisture is leaking off instead of being absorbed) the cause is usually detergent buildup. You can also tell if this is the likely culprit if you notice that there are suds or scum in the final rinse when you do your normal wash routine. To help with detergent buildup, wash your diapers in hot with 1/2 the recommended amount of detergent. Then follow that with hot washes with NO detergent. Run hot washes with no detergent as many times as needed until there are no suds or scum in the rinse cycle. You can see why Dawn would be counter-productive in this case since you are trying to remove all suds from your diapers.

If someone (hubby, mother-in-law... never you, of course!) has done the unthinkable and put a cloth-unfriendly diaper cream on without a liner, the cream will stick to that diaper like there's no tomorrow. This will cause repelling (and likely staining) in the area where the diaper cream came into contact with the diaper. To remedy this, I do recommend Dawn, but in the kitchen sink... not the washing machine. Using hot water, a squirt of plain Dawn, and a super-soft bristle toothbrush (think baby toothbrush) you can gently rub out the diaper cream. Just squirt a little Dawn right on the affected area of the fleece or suedecloth, and very softly rub with the toothbrush. After you've scrubbed one side of the fleece or suedecloth, flip the diaper inside out (if possible) and scrub the opposite side as well. This will not be a two-minute fix, but it will save your diaper. It just takes some diligence and a lot of patience. After you're done, rinse the diaper as well as you can in the sink, then wash in the washing machine as usual. Just be sure that there are no suds left in the rinse. You may need to do extra rinses.

And of course I recommend prevention above all! To avoid buildup in the first place, be sure to use a cloth-friendly detergent, use only 1/2 the recommended amount, and do an extra rinse after every wash cycle. Avoid diaper creams when possible. When necessary or prescribed by your doctor, use as directed but use a fleece or flushable liner as a barrier between the cream and your dipes!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

FAQ - "HE Washer Woes!"

Submitted by briannalc.

"Hello! I was a customer of Keen Bambino and I am very glad that you decided to start this blog. Anyway, I used prefolds with my 3rd child. My older 2 were potty trained, so no need to start them, too. We will be trying for a 4th baby sometime late spring/early summer, and I really want to
cloth diaper again. The problem has to do with why I stopped cloth diapering. When I bought cloth diapers, I had a top loading old washing machine. After about 4-5 months of cloth diapering, I had to get a new washer and dryer because mine died. I bought an HE front loading set. Soon after using the new set, my son started getting horrible rashes. I know that my machine was just not getting them as clean as he needed them. I think it is because of how little water my machine used. I just used baking soda, vinegar, and a squirt of dawn. I ended up going back to regular diapers because I was so frustrated with those diaper rashes. After that long explanation... what is the best way to get diapers clean in an HE machine? I have an LG model, if that makes any difference! I have friends with different models and they never had a problem."

Let me start out by saying that I have a top-loading washer which is at least 10 years old. The stupid thing runs like a champ and I have never had to have a single repair on it. It just won't die. I wish it would so I could have an excuse to buy a fancy-shmansy new washer. But I guess if appliances NOT breaking is the biggest problem around my house then I should count my blessings, huh?

HE machines are a mixed blessing. On the one hand, you can cut your family's water usage which is nice for your checking account and nice for our planet. But HE machines and diapers are just fundamentally opposed, it seems. Diapers need to be thoroughly rinsed to avoid detergent residue buildup, so a machine that's designed to use a fraction of the water of a traditional model can be an issue.

As much as it seems to defeat the purpose of an HE machine, when washing diapers many parents find that they need to do 2 or 3 extra rinses (instead of the usual 1 extra rinse recommended when washing diapers in a top-loading model). Rinsing is so important, I really can't stress it enough. Yes, it's lame to have to do several rinses in a machine that's designed to save water. But the alternative is stinky diapers and rashy bums... and that's even more lame, isn't it?

My other suggestion would be to NEVER use Dawn in any washing machine... especially an HE machine. Dawn is not designed for washing machines. I know it is widely recommended on diapering forums, but remember that these ladies are not washing machine technicians. Think of how incredibly sudsy dish soap is. Now pair that with an HE machine which we know doesn't really rinse clean. It is very likely that there was a ton of Dawn residue in your diapers, which was what was causing the rash. Over-sudsing can also be damaging to your washing machine, so I really wish people would stop recommending it.

I would recommend using a detergent specifically designed for HE machines, and then using 1/2 of the recommended HE amount when you do diaper laundry. When choosing a detergent, be sure to avoid those with softeners and/or brighteners like the plague. Fragrances should be avoided if your baby's skin is sensitive to them. There is some debate about enzymes, as well. Some parents find that detergents with enzymes cause a rash on their baby, while others find that detergents without enzymes aren't sufficient when tackling something as nasty as human waste. My boys had recurring rashes until I switched to a detergent with enzymes (we use plain, basic Tide with great success). However, I still won't recommend enzymes across the board. It's really a matter of what works best for your baby and what you are comfortable with trying.

So in your situation, I'd say give it another try next time around! Just be sure to do extra rinses, avoid the Dawn, and use an HE-specific detergent.

FAQ - "What is the best carrier for plus size mommas ?"

"What is the best carrier for plus size mommas ?"

Also submitted by Jenn! Thanks again! =-)

I am just barely on the lower border of plus-size as far as clothing stores are concerned (size 12 on a good day), but I do have some pretty hefty DD knockers for my 5'4" self, so I'm definitely not a stick figure either. I do, however, know what my plus-sized baby-wearing customers raved about, so I can provide a list of some of my top-sellers for plus-sized Mamas:

Sleepy Wrap Baby Wrap Carrier (Wrap Carrier):
If you're looking for a wrap-style carrier, this would be the way to go, in my opinion. The material on the Sleepy Wrap is just slightly more stretchy than on other brands I have tried, which means you can get a great fit no matter what your size. Don't let the word "stretchy" scare you, though. It truly is just slightly stretchy... definitely not ridiculously stretchy where the material loses shape and the baby is hanging down to your knees after 5 minutes.


New Native Baby Carrier (Pouch):
I love pouches because they are so simple, yet so versatile. You can wear your baby in so many different positions and there are never any buckles or belts to adjust. And they fold up incredibly small, which makes them so easy to bring along. I would suggest that plus-sized Mamas who are looking for a pouch should check out the New Native Carrier. The company's standard lineup goes up to XL, and they will happily custom make slings from 2XL to 5XL. It's a very easy carrier to size yourself for (just measure your chest above your bust), and there is detailed sizing info available on the manufacturer's website. if you're still not sure about size, the manufacturer even provides a toll-free number that you can call for guidance.

ERGObaby Carrier (Soft Structured Carrier):
The ERGO is probably my very favorite carrier overall. My younger son is a hefty guy, so it wasn't long before he was just too heavy to be carried comfortably for long periods of time. The ERGO has been AMAZING! At 30+ lbs, he would pass out on my back while we were out walking and I could carry him for hours if that's how long he decided to sleep. I have tried a lot of soft structured carriers, and the ERGO is hands-down the most comfortable. That's one major reason why it gets my recommendation for plus-sized Mamas. Another reason is that the carrier's waist straps fit up to a 43" waist, and you can also add an extender which brings the waist to 51".

If you are a baby-wearing plus-sized Mama, I'd love to have your input! Which carriers have you fallen in love with?

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

FAQ - "What is your fave OS Pocket ? Sized pocket? "

SQUEAL! My very first FAQ submission!

This FAQ was submitted by Jenn. Thanks Jenn!

"What is your fave OS Pocket ? Sized pocket?"

I was asked these questions all the time as a retailer. Since I took it upon myself to try everything I could get my hands on, I can give an honest opinion about both.

Mandi's Favorite One-Size Pocket:


The winner is the bumGenius 3.0 One-Size Cloth Diaper.

I *love* this diaper. I've been using them since they came out (I used the 2.0's long before that), and they just have such a nice, trim fit. I'm generally not a huge fan of hook & loop closures, but the laundry tabs on my bG's keep the Aplix closed during the wash much better than any other hook & loop diaper I've tried. Mine are used in heavy rotation (no diaper is used "gently" around here!) and they've held up very well. I love that they come with a newborn insert in addition to the one-size insert. That means that even on a newborn there is a nice, trim fit.

I have quite the variety of diapers in my stash, but I always reach for my bG's in regards to a one-size diaper. They're just an all-around great diaper, very well-made, and relatively competitive in price.

Mandi's Favorite Sized Pocket:

The winner is Fuzzi Bunz.

These diapers have lasted over TWO YEARS of daily use, and still have life in them. Every baby is shaped differently, so preferences will vary on that front, but for my kids FB's are simply the best fit. They are super-adjustable in the thigh area, which has been really nice. My oldest was very skinny, and my youngest had thighs like the Michelin Man. Fuzzi Bunz fit them both perfectly. There is a great selection of colors, and I love that the prints are made of the same material as the solids.

You can see in the picture at right how trim Fuzzi Bunz are. This particular diaper was being worn during sprinkler time, and it even had the insert in it. That diaper was soaked, and look how trim it is!

A close second for my favorite sized pockets would be Knickernappies Disposanots. They are also fairly trim-fitting, and come in an equally adorable array of colors. The quality and durability of KNDs are top-notch, as well. The only reason they are my second favorite is that the sizes are a little smaller than the Fuzzi Bunz, and my little linebacker outgrew each size more quickly than he did in the Fuzzi Bunz. For my chub-a-lub I prefer the more generous sizing of Fuzzi Bunz... but if you have petite babies, I would actually recommend Knickernappies.

These are my preferences based on trying one of everything ever made (just about!). But every baby is different. My first and foremost recommendation to anyone starting out is do not invest in dozens of any one particular diaper until you have tried it out first!

Monday, February 16, 2009

Submit a FAQ!

Do you have a burning question about cloth diapers or baby carriers you'd like me to answer? Submitting a question is easy!

Either-
1. Post your question as a comment to any previous post

Or-
2. Email your question to ClothAndCarriers101@yahoo.com

I'll post your question (and my response) ASAP!

What are my credentials, you may ask?

* I have cloth diapered 2 children, and soon I'll be diapering my third!

* I have experienced "converting", as I switched to cloth when my oldest son was 16 months old. Until that point I had never even seen a cloth diaper. So, yeah, I've been on both ends of the spectrum in that sense!

* I cloth diapered my second son from the start, so I am familiar with diapering a newborn, as well.

* Because of my time as a cloth diaper retailer, I have literally tried every major brand and style of diaper out there. I've also tried many smaller-scale WAHM-made brands.

* I have worn both of my children in just about every carrier imaginable... from the mainstream Snugli, to the Maya Wrap, woven wraps, the ERGO... and everything in between.

* I have basically lived and breathed cloth diapers and baby carriers for the last 2 years, during which time I was a retailer.

So whether you're an expectant first time mom weighing your options, or a seasoned pro with a specific wondering, email me your question and I'd be happy to weigh in!

Advertising Opportunities

Since this blog is brand-spankin’ new, and I’m still working to build up a following, I am offering ad space at a very affordable rate. This price will likely go up in the future, as my following grows, so grab up a space now at the super-cheap rate!

BANNER ADVERTISING:

Left-Side 125x125
3 months $5
6 months $10 *and get an extra month free!*

Top 468x60
3 months $10
6 months $20 *and get an extra month free!*

GET TO KNOW THE WAHM:

I know first hand that customers love to know the Mama behind the business! Let Cloth and Carriers 101 interview you so your customers can get acquainted with you! For only $5 I’ll post a Q&A about you and your business, and offer you 1 month of free 125x125 banner advertising. Your link will also remain permanently on the “Get to Know the WAHM” archive.

SUBMIT YOUR PRODUCT FOR REVIEW:

Have a brand new product you want to introduce? Submit it and I’d be happy to post a review. Items submitted for review will be donated to Miracle Diapers or another appropriate charity after the review, or can be returned to you at your shipping expense - your preference.

I’ll be adding more affordable advertising options as they pop into my head.

Please email me at ClothAndCarriers101@yahoo.com if you are interested in any of these advertising opportunities, and I’d be happy to answer your questions!

FREE WAHM Opportunities

Okay, before I get started with the super fun blogging part (reviews, FAQs, random ramblings), I want to get the basics of Cloth and Carriers 101 out of the way! Let’s start with FREE WAHM opportunities.

I’ve lived the WAHM life and I know how very valuable every potential customer is. So I am thrilled to be able to offer free WAHM advertising opportunities. If you are a business owner involved with cloth diapers and/or baby carriers, and you’re interested in any of the following free opportunities, just email me at ClothAndCarriers101@yahoo.com!

SALES AND COUPON CODES: If you’d like to announce a sale or coupon code, do it here for free! Email me the details:

- Coupon Code (if necessary for discount)

- Discount Amount or Sale Description

- Valid Dates

- Your URL

- A Graphic (if you’d like one to be used)

- Any other info you’d like included

ANNOUNCEMENTS: Want to announce your store’s grand opening? How about your new gift registry feature? If your business has something big happening, I’d be happy to post it here for free. Just email me at ClothAndCarriers101@yahoo.com with the details, your URL, and a graphic if you’d like one to be used.

CONTESTS: Donate a gift certificate or tangible prize of any amount large or small, and Cloth and Carriers 101 will run a contest for your item! I’ll promote your item and store for the duration of the contest, offer you 1 month of free top left 125x125 banner space, and put your link permanently on the “Previous Sponsors” page.

Get creative! I’m writing this post at 5 months pregnant, so my brain’s not exactly working at top speed these days. If you can come up with another creative way to promote your store, email me to run it by me! In today’s crappy economic times, it would be my pleasure to be able to help WAHMs to succeed. =-)

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Cloth and Carriers 101... What the heck is this?

Hi! I'm Mandi, the Mama who created, owned and operated Keen Bambino, an online boutique specializing in cloth diapers and baby carriers.

A few months ago, I made the decision to close Keen Bambino. Odd as it sounds, the business became too successful! When I opened Keen Bambino, I had no idea how quickly my business would grow. After a year and a half in business, I was exhausted. I have a 2-year-old, a 3-year-old, and one on the way. Because of how little my kiddos are, it was impossible to work while they were awake. So work (all 40-50 hours per week) was strictly done during nap time, after bedtime, and on the weekends. This left about 4 hours for sleep each night, and a pitiful amount of family time on the weekends. =-(

Since closing Keen Bambino, I have become a new woman! I am rested, un-hurried and able to focus 100% on my family. It's been bliss, and since I've gotten out of retail, I am more convinced each day that I made the best decision for both my family and my personal sanity. LOL

However, anyone who knows me knows that I need to have a "grown up" outlet. This idea came to me on a whim tonight, and it will be a perfect fit for me. I am very excited!

So what is all this? Well, I am insanely passionate about cloth diapers and baby carriers. But I also need a project that will not commit me to working full time. To reconcile my passion and the reality of 2 (soon to be 3!) small children, I have come up with a project that will truly be as much or as little work as I want it to be.

In this blog, I'll review, promote, and de-mystify all things related to cloth diapers and baby carriers!

Reviews - During my time as a retailer, I made it a point to try everything (and I mean EVERYTHING) that I carried on my site. This included dozens upon dozens of different "makes and models" of cloth diapers and baby carriers. However my ventures didn't stop there! I also loved to try brands which I didn't carry, including smaller WAHM-made goodies. I did this strictly because I felt that an informed retailer should be knowledgeable about the broader cloth diaper and baby carrier markets... certainly not because I have an addiction to cloth and carriers... wink, wink. So even if I never buy another diaper as long as I live (which ain't happenin'!), I think I could blog for about 45 years and never run out of material.

Promotion - As a former WAHM business owner, I know how awesome any advertising is! I will be tipping you off to my favorite cloth diaper and baby carrier shops, as well as learning about new shops an brands that come along. I will also be open to providing very affordable advertising and promotion opportunities to WAHMs. If you own a business and are interested, please email me!

De-Mystifying - As a former retailer, I know which questions are asked the most! I will be posting answers to some of the most common questions about cloth diapers and baby carriers. I'll also happily accept questions from readers! If you have a question, just let me know and I'll answer it for you! You can post your question as a comment, or email me.

So there you have it! After closing Keen Bambino, I felt this innate urge to continue promoting cloth-diapering and baby-wearing in some way. With this blog I can do just that, and still get a full night's sleep!

Shopping!