Sunday, November 27, 2005

The diaper hyenas are closing in

The Internet is being overrun by stalkers. Diaper stalkers, that is. They come from dozens of different countries and are constantly on the prowl, sniffing out deals on the best and most beautiful cloth diapers available online. They are the connoisseurs, and they call themselves hyenas.

Here are a couple of great articles that describe this growing Internet phenomenon. Enjoy!

If you'd like to actually meet some hyenas in person -- or at least chat with people who have some experience using cloth diapers and are eager to exchange information on the subject -- I suggest you pay a visit to the Diaper Pin. There you'll find hundreds of raging diaper fiends who would love nothing better than to share their cloth diapering stories, give you buying and washing tips, and rave about their own latest purchases.

'Bye for now. I'm off to join the pack.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Kushies diaper wraps: great if your baby's into rubber pants

As I mentioned in my previous post, I went on a bit of a diaper-buying spree a couple weeks ago. While shopping, I found a rack of Kushies diaper wraps that were on sale for CDN $7.49 (US $6.28) . I wasn't really in the market for a new diaper cover, but who am I to resist the lure of a sale? Besides, I hadn't been aware that Kushies even made diaper covers, and was curious to see what the quality of the wrap was like. After all, when you're writing a blog on cloth diapers, you have to do your research, right?

As soon as I opened the package and felt the diaper wrap with my own hands, I was determined to dislike it. It's made from a waterproof PUL (polyurethane laminate) that's far thicker and tackier (and by that I mean, tacky to the touch, not the eyes) than the Bummis SWW and Motherease covers I've been using. The Bummis and Motherease covers are thin, soft, and extremely pliable, and remind me of the finest Gore-tex jacket linings. In contrast, the Kushies wrap felt like the inside of a rubber boot.

The Kushies diaper wrap: thick enough to stop a speeding bullet!

On top of that, the Kushies wrap has a band of gathered elastic running along the inside of it, just above where Milo's diaper reaches. The thought of that elastic lying against his bare skin makes me shudder.

Having said all that, I must admit that the Kushies wrap isn't as bad as I first feared it would be. So far, it's worked just fine -- no leaks or rub marks on Milo's back or belly yet. I'm still not very fond of it, however. It's just not very pleasant to the touch. And, given the thickness of the PUL, I highly doubt it's at all breathable. I hesitate to let Milo wear it for very long -- I'm afraid he might develop a rash from it.

So that's my initial take on the Kushies diaper wrap. Overall, I give it a 2.5/5.0 I plan to keep on using it, though, just to see if it grows on me. But for now, all I've got to say is that diaper wrap is anything BUT cushy.

Friday, November 11, 2005

Is it wrong to drool over diapers? Not if you're talking about Motherease organic unbleached cotton terry dipes

Okay, I have to admit it. I'm a total sucker for all things organic. I'm not going to get into that whole "what's best for the environment" argument here; I figure it's one of those topics that people should research for themselves. For some people, organic goods are worth the extra money and effort involved in producing them; for others, they aren't. To each his own and all that, right? Right.

(Just in case you are curious to learn more about organic farming, however, Wikipedia's always a good place to start your research.)

At any rate, I am one of those people who gets all starry eyed and drooly when presented with the words "organic," "unbleached," "cotton," and "diapers" together in one sentence. So you can imagine my delight when I went to Discount Diapers, a local cloth diapers store, and discovered Motherease Sandy's and One-Size diapers. I bought one Sandy's and two of the One-Size dipes.

Both kinds cost CDN $14.75 each, which works out to about US $12.40. A little pricy, but worth it if they last a long time and actually keep Milo dry all night.

The Motherease diapers are made from organic unbleached cotton terrycloth that's OH SO thick and soft, I almost wish they came in adult sizes. But then, that would make me a bit of a sicko, wouldn't it? (Heh heh heh...)

The Sandy's comes in two sizes: small (8-20 lbs) and large (20-35 lbs). We bought a small for Milo just to give it a test drive. I put it on him at bedtime last night and it fit him perfectly. I'm guessing it will probably be a little too small come January or February, but nothing good lasts forever, right?

Motherease Sandy's -- cushie and cute

Wrong. The Motherease One-Size are made to fit all babies from 8-35 pounds, so they should last a baby for his or her entire pants-wetting career -- in theory, at least. (I'll let you know how well the diapers satisfy this claim a couple of years from now.)

Motherease One-Size -- Here's hoping that one size really DOES fit all!

Like Wonderoos, the Motherease One-Size dipes use a snapping system that allows the diapers to be adjusted to fit babies of all different shapes and sizes. You can also buy a snap-in liner that provides extra protection for night-time use.

That's actually why I bought these new dipes -- the nighttime system we'd been using with Milo just wasn't cutting it anymore. As I said in my last entry, his Aristocrats wool soaker has finally become too small for him (sob!). Same with the Driline fitted dipes we were using inside the soaker. We'd been stuffing a cotton prefold into the Driline fitted, and then putting the soaker on top of them. This whole combo was getting pretty tight and Milo didn't look like he was having much fun wearing it. And since he's a very LONG little boy, neither the diaper nor the 'crats soaker rose high enough up his back to prevent leaking. For the past three or four days in a row, Milo has just been SOAKED when I've gone in to get him in the morning. Yick.

(Not that he seems to mind very much -- which is good in a way, because it means that he's not waking up earlier because of his wet clothes. But on the other hand, how hard is it going to be to toilet train him, if he doesn't care if his pants are soaked? Shudder.)

Clearly, the time had come for us to try out a new nighttime diapering system. That's why we made the run to Discount Diapers. In addition to our marvelous new Motherease dipes, we also bought a new wool soaker (size medium -- should last Milo at least until he's 10 months old, we're hoping) and a Kushies diaper cover.

Joy of joys. Nothing makes a diaper addict happier than a whole new bundle of "fluff"!

Of course, all my lunatic raving aside, I wouldn't want you to get the impression that I think every cloth diapering option is the bestest thing on the entire planet. Tune in for my next blog entry where I give my first negative review...


Tuesday, November 08, 2005

All I want for Christmas is some new wool dipes

The Boy's Aristocrats wool soaker is starting to get a little small for him. It breaks my heart to admit it. Oh, how I love that piece of fluff.

As I mentioned in an earlier post, the 'crats wool soaker is the best possible night-time cover I can imagine. It soaks up a huge volume of pee, and only needs to be washed every two or three weeks (unless poo gets on it, in which case it must be washed. More about wool washing soon...).

But alas, the soaker does not stretch to fit the needs of a growing baby boy. And so now I'm on the prowl for some more wool. I don't want to stop at getting just another soaker, though. I'd like to try a range of wool diapering options. Wraps, longies, shorties, bring 'em on! Bring 'em all on!

To further this end, I recently gave my mother-in-law a free downloadable knitting pattern for wool longies to pass on to her mother, who, at the age of 89, is still an avid knitter and is always looking for new projects to keep herself busy. I'm hoping that Great Gramma will knit The Boy a pair of wool longies for Christmas -- that would be so unbelievably awesome!

(If any of you think I'm getting a little over-excited about a pair of hand-knit wool pants, consider the fact that such pants often cost up to US $85. Now do you understand why I'd be excited to get some for free? Especially when they've been knit by a great-grandmother? It doesn't get any cooler than that, I tell you.)

In the meantime, I'm thinking about blowing some of my hard-earned (heh) maternity leave money on some wool dipes and covers that are available for sale online. I've been hearing some good thing about the Sugar Peas line of wool diapering products. I'm especially interested in one of their wool flannel covers. Here, check it out:

I mean, seriously. Doesn't it look cozy?

And what's especially cool is that you can buy a wool diaper that snaps into the sugar peas cover and turns it into an all-in-one diaper.

Wool + wool = 1 drooling Diaper Dame!

So far, all I've done is a bit of research. But once I make a final decision and make a purchase, I'll be sure to post a blog entry that relates where I bought the wool, how much it cost, and what the customer service was like. And I'll give my new wool fluff a spin and let you know how well it works on The Boy.

Wish me luck on the wool hunt!

Here, sheep sheep sheep...

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

And they say cloth diapering is hard

As someone who regularly scans the online news sites to see if there are any articles about cloth diapers and cloth diapering, I've come across a lot of articles recently "elimination communication," or "natural infant hygiene."

It's basically a form of potty training that teaches babies how to recognize their own urges to urinate or defecate so they can start using the toilet at a very young age. Some "EC" toddlers have been totally potty-trained as young as a year old.

Yowza. Imagine the money you'd save not having to buy disposable diapers -- or cloth diapers, for that matter!

There is some controversy about the method, however. Some infant specialists warn against trying to potty train such young toddlers, worrying that to do so might traumatize them and cause them to fear using the toilet altogether. Others suggest that even "EC" toddlers will regress and engage in regressive bed- and pants-wetting behaviours during their terrible twos or threes.

Still, I've got to say is, "wow." Parents who try to use "EC" make a focused effort to carefully observe their babies throughout the entire day for months on end, so they can begin to identify the little signs their babies make when they're about to pee or take a poo. Then, once they're able to recognize these signs, they run with the little ones to the bathroom and, holding them over the toilet, make "sssst-sssst" sounds that trigger the baby's release mechanism.

Needless to say, this requires serious dedication on the part of the parents. I truly admire anyone who has that kind of patience and perseverance.

Me, I consider myself an observant parent if I'm able to recognize when Monkey Boy is ready to go down for a nap. It usually takes 15 minutes or so of eye-rubbing, yawning, and angry squawking before I finally smack myself on the forehead and realize he's jonesing for some sleep.

I couldn't imagine watching him 24 hours a day and thinking, "Are you going to go pee now? Now? Now? Oh! You blinked! Does that mean you're going to go now? No? How about now?"

Nope, no can do.

And, much as I hate to admit it, the level of complacency Monkey Boy shows when he's sitting around with a soaking wet bottom makes me suspect he'll be in diapers for the long haul. Thank goodness those nifty cloth and wool numbers are just so damned cute. He may have a lumpy bum a lot longer than those "EC" kids, but at least his lumpy bum will be stylish...