Fluffy Bottomed Babies

I asked my Facebook family and friends a few months ago to pick my brain about cloth diapers. They asked a lot of good questions and I hope to answer them on here!

1) When and why did we decide to use cloth?

Sebastian and I were married on December 27th, 2011. Twenty-eight to thirty days later, I had a positive pregnancy test. Newly weds and under the age of 20, we had to make a budget, and disposable diapers just couldn’t fit. Cloth diapers were our decision completely out of cost. I bought 100 baby city brand off of eBay for $100 and they served us well for 8 months. I would never recommend that brand for a family who plans to cloth diaper multiple children, but they did what I needed them to do. I researched more about cloth diapering, what materials were used, how to care for them, what the benefits were besides financial, and how I could make my own.

2) What is my washing routine/do I use special detergent/how often do I wash?

There are many types of cloth diapers. Prefold with covers (old fashioned), fitted, all-in-one (AIO), all-in-two (AI2), pocket, and hybrid are pretty common. Pockets are my favorite and what we use in our home, they’re easy to prep and easy for family and friends.

I have 54 pockets for Salem and 42 pockets for Maebel. I know that’s a lot, but I do laundry every 3-5 days! Three if I’m on top of my schedule, five if I’m running behind and cutting it close!

Both kids use 10-12 diapers a day. Sometimes Maebel starts wearing Salem’s size…

I wash my diapers on hot with an extra rinse, and 1/4 amount deterent for load size. I line dry. I use Dreft detergent with a small amount of oxiclean if we had a stinky week.

Do you have to use that detergent? No way. I know women that use tide, some only use homemade, and others swear by rockin green. Use what you know works on your diapers and what makes them feel and smell clean!

I advise avoiding chlorinated bleach on any cloth diaper except prefolds, and even then, cautiously. There are ways to use it, but it’s risky business and can cause a lot of harm.

Do you have to use my washing routine? Nope! Again, do what works. Washing with hot water makes me feel like I’m killing germs, line drying is how I preserve my PUL (outer fabric on pockets). If you want to save power and use less, wash on cold. If you don’t have the space to line dry or the time to hang up and take down, dry on low heat.

I wash my diapers with their inserts and cloth wipes, but I try to avoid washing the kids clothes, blankets, or any other fabrics. More for sanitary reasons than other.

5) What about stinky diapers? When to buy the diaper sprayer.

This is the gross part. Poopy diapers are bad enough, but now I’m asking you to wait a few days to wash one?

I’m unfamiliar with formula fed babies, but breast fed babies usually go without a poop for 1-3 days. On days Maebel poops, laundry is done. Breast fed baby poo is also water soluble, meaning I don’t need to spray her diapers before a wash, nor do I need to line it.

Unfortunately, formula fed baby poop is not water soluble. In this instance, a diaper sprayer is necessary early on. Or! You have the option of disposable liners. Public service announcement: Some say flush able, however, if you don’t mind tossing them in the trash, it’s actually easier on the environment than flushing. Just because they say flush able, doesn’t mean they will disintegrate.. If you plan on cloth diapering for the savings, liners cut into the savings.

When baby starts solids, you’ll have to line or spray.

Toddler poo is usually solid enough to shimmy on out. Sometimes it’s not, but it’s never anything our diaper sprayer can’t handle. (We have never used disposable liners in Salem’s diapers, and I don’t feel the need to start.)

Salem’s diapers rarely have residue, and Maebel’s are usually washed same day. So, no, you don’t have to have poopy diapers stewing around your home. There will be days, but it’s no different than a dirty disposable in the trash bin.

6) Materials used:

Prefold and fitted diapers are usually a cotton blend. You’ll use a fastening tool, snaps, Velcro, or snappis, and they have the option of a wool, fleece,
or PUL cover to allow a water proof effect.

AIO, AI2, and hybrid have a PUL or fleece outer (water locking/water proof) and an insert, usually a bamboo, cotton, hemp, or microflece, or a blend of a few. There fabrics vary from very absorbent to stay-dry, or wick the moisture away. Snaps or Velcro are usually the fastening tool.

Pockets have an inner layer, an insert that you manually insert and remove, and outer. The diapers I make usually have a stay-dry or wicking inner layer (minky, jersey, suede cloth), my inserts are a bamboo blend from Alva diapers, and my outer layer is PUL (polyurethane laminate). Snaps or Velcro are usually the fastening tool.

7) Additional benefits besides savings:
* Cloth diapered babies tend to be more aware of their eliminating needs, allowing for earlier potty training. Disposables pull moisture away quickly, so children tend to forget their early instincts. Cloth only has so much capability to wick away moisture, meaning children feel the wetness. This also means more frequent diaper changes (which isn’t necessarily a bad thing!)

* Cloth is less wasteful. There have been arguments that the utilities that are used to wash and dry diapers are equally as wasteful as throwing away disposables. But there is no way the energy used to create and dispose of disposables comes close to energy usage, especially if you have efficient machines and/or line dry.

* Disposable diapers have chemicals. That’s the hard fact. Sure, they’re deemed safe. No, I don’t think less of you for using them and I don’t think you’re endangering your child. However, that is an argument for cloth. Exposing your child, especially a young infant, to fewer chemical and synthetic compounds is good. It’s not better. No mother is better than another. This is especially good for mamas with sensitive skin babies. Cloth will help.

* No more midnight store runs. Using cloth makes you very aware of the amount of diapers you have left. If you realize you’re on the last diaper, starting a load and using the dryer means you’ll have fresh fluff 1-2 hours later, usually when the next diaper change occurs!

This isn’t even close to all of the information on cloth. It’s an intimidating world, but a rewarding one! There are so many brands and styles to choose from, cloth can really be apart of your life! even part time! Don’t let the number of choices, the variety of wash routines, and the cluster of confusing information overwhelm you. Find someone to ask for help along the way and dive in! And feel free to contact me with any questions you might have!



Some D.O. for our B.O.

Growing up, I never knew there was a difference between antiperspirant and deodorant. I knew I always owned antiperspirant, but I pretty much thought that they were interchangeable. I never took the time to learn about it. Crazy, I know.

It wasn’t until the last year, living in Hawaii, that I learned the difference. My husband kept buying deodorant and crying out in frustration upon realization when he got home.

“Why does it matter?” I asked
“Cuz, I hate sweating at work.”

So, I got curious. One allows you to sweat, one stops the sweating?

First of all: why do humans sweat?

The number one reason? Temperature regulation. Sweating is our body’s way of keeping all the important stuff cool. Just like car engines overheat, humans can, too.

Added benefit of sweating: body shedding toxins. Our skin is our largest organ, and, in turn, one of the easiest ways to rid of toxins inside the body.

Million dollar question: why does some sweat smell? Your body has two types of sweat glands, one that’s all over your body (eccrine), and these keep you cool, the other is only found in your underarms and crotch region (apocrine). The apocrine sweat glands have added proteins which are bonded to odorant molecules. When they’re bonded, they don’t stink. However, we have bacteria living on our skin, and they like to eat the protein in the sweat from those regions. In order to do so, they must separate the protein and the odorant molecule. End result: stink.

If you know me personally, you know how I feel about the kinds of birth control that halt women’s cycles altogether. I can’t believe that they’re at all good for our bodies. Well, I thought about halting sweating in our underarms and then it occurred to me that that’s probably not such a good idea either.

Commercial brands of antiperspirants often include parabens and aluminum.

Parabens are preservatives and are not included in all major brands of antiperspirant and deodorant, but they are in some. Parabens have been shown to mimic estrogen-like activity in cells. Estrogen promotes the growth of cells in our breast tissue.

Aluminum is a metal used in almost all major brands of antiperspirant and deodorant and causes the sweat glands to temporarily plug. The toxins have nowhere to go, and move on into our lymph nodes near the breast/armpit. This metal also mimics estrogen. As said above, estrogen promotes cell growth of breast tissue.

While there have been some studies done to decide whether or not these ingredients are causing breast cancer, there hasn’t been quite the right amount of proof yet, hence, the FDA still allows such ingredients in our products.

A potential for cancer of any sort is enough to make me do the reading and determine the risk for my loved ones and me. I decided that it’s not worth the risk. So! I made our deodorant!

You will need:
3 tbsp Coconut oil
2 tbsp Shea butter
2 tbsp Arrowroot powder
1tsp Jojoba/avocado (optional)
12 drops Lemongrass essential oil (find it here)
12 drops Peppermint essential oil (find it here)
Empty deodorant container (my recipe fills one of these here!)

I purchase all organic ingredients via amazon!

I heat the coconut oil, shea butter, and jojoba/avocado together in a glass jar in boiling water (because I don’t own a double boiler). Please be sure to not put cold glass in boiling water! Heat the glass gradually.

Once the mixture is melted, I pull the container out and add the arrowroot and essential oils. Don’t add your essential oils while you’re heating. It reduces their potency and effectiveness.

Then I pour into my empty deodorant stick and plop them in the freezer.

Once they have cooled to solid, I refrigerate mine. I live in Hawaii with no air conditioning, so it’s probably not necessary that you refrigerate yours unless you do, too. (:

Coconut oil, Shea butter, and jojoba or avocado are all oils that carry nutrients that are very good for your skin. Shea butter also allows a more solid stick.

I use arrowroot powder in place of corn starch or baking soda. It’s similar in use and texture, but kinder on your skin. Also, baking soda and corn starch have been known to cause discoloration of skin.

Why lemongrass? It helps with excessive sweating. It will not stop you from sweating.

Why peppermint? It’s cooling. It’ll help your body cool and reduce sweating.

I’ve been using this recipe for almost two weeks and I’m in love. I smell good! And if I can make the switch with no AC in a tropical climate, you can do it!

If you insist on an antiperspirant style, replace one tablespoon of Shea with beeswax. It creates a coat, much like commercial brands. However, it won’t last as long, so be realistic.

Give yourself a few weeks to get used to your new deodorant. Chances are, your underarms might be a little moody. When applying, you only need 1-3 swipes. No need to use a ton, it works!

Some of my ingredients above are doTERRA essential oils. These oils are certified therapeutic grade, meaning they’re okay to use topically and they’re not mixed with any synthetics. If you’re purchasing your oils elsewhere be sure to research and know all about what you’re using.

If you’re interested in learning more about doTERRA or enrolling, please feel free to contact me.


Read more about the cancer argument:

Where I added to my sweat knowledge: