Diaper Bag Pattern Review

Long time no see/write?!?  I’m still sailing along in this pregnancy with our BABY GIRL!  I am seven and a half months pregnant today and I cannot believe how fast it is now going by.

Adding a baby girl to our mix means that I finally get to make bows, pants with ruffles, and all sorts of things I never had the chance to do with two boys.  First on my list was a diaper bag I actually liked.  I have had the same plain black Jeep diaper bag since my oldest was born four and a half years ago.  While I don’t currently carry a diaper bag, I will need one when our sweet baby Rowyn Scarlett gets here.

I’ve had this pattern in my drawer for FAR longer than I should admit.  I kept meaning to use it and just never got around to it.  After finally making my nursing cover, I decided it might be fun to finally dive into this pattern.  The pattern is very detailed and easy to follow, I love Fishsticks Designs patterns for this reason.  I would NOT say this is a pattern for beginners.  You need to be highly organized and label all your pieces because there are A LOT to keep up with.  You also need to have a couple days or afternoons set aside to work on it.  Between cutting out all the pieces and sewing, I spent about ten hours on this bag.  I’m not really a fast or slow sewer, just kind of average I’d say.  I can make a pair of baby/toddler pants or a diaper cover in half an hour.  Or a pair of kid pants in half an hour to an hour depending on detail.  The bag is MUCH more involved than those, but I do LOVE this bag and pattern.

All in all, I think this bag is going to be GREAT for cloth diapers. It is super roomy and I truly cannot wait to pack it in a few weeks after my baby shower.  The fabrics I ended up choosing were gifted to me and they suit my personality and taste SO well!  They also match the nursing cover I made which is just fun for me.  The bag is super roomy, has TONS of pockets from standard to elasticized, even a zippered pocket.  I’m definitely far more in love with this bag than I ever was with the Jeep one!

*Click on a picture to view it larger and read the description.

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Kelly’s Closet Turns 14 {and They’re Giving Away Mama Cloth!}

KC14yrPinkLemonade

We are so excited to help Kelly’s Closet and DiaperShops.com celebrate 14 years of cloth diapering! KC has been my go to for modern cloth diapers and accessories since we started adding to our homemade stash a couple years ago.  Through them we have discovered CJ’s BUTTer, our favorite Thirsties diapers, and a plethora of other brands and products.

Kelly’s Closet first opened its doors back in April 2001 well before bumGenius, Rumparooz, GroVia and Thirsties even existed.  Kelly’s Closet is now home to almost 100 brands of cloth diapers, diapering accessories, and eco-friendly products for the entire family.  They are truly more than just a shop.  While located solely online, they give AMAZING customer service and product support that you won’t find in many store fronts.  They reach through the computer screen and engage with customers every day, providing cloth diaper education and support to thousands daily.

KellysCloset14yrsOn April 1st, Kelly’s Closet kicked off 14 days of giveaways to celebrate. Each day new items have been added and today I’m proud to bring to you a set of two Pink Lemonade Minky Pads.  These pads are fleece backed and are truly my favorite cloth pads!  They’re comfortable, stain resistance, and absorbent.  Not to mention, they’re super soft and pretty.  An even bigger bonus for me is that they were created by a WAHM, and that always gets big props in my book.

Be sure to follow both Kelly’s Closet & Diaper Shops social media pages for more chances to win.
Facebook: Kelly’s ClosetDiaperShops Cloth Diaper Support GroupThe Cloth Diaper Whisperer
Twitter: @DiaperShops #kellyscloset #fluffiversary #clothdiapers
Instagram: @DiaperShops #kellyscloset #fluffiversary #clothdiapers
Pinterest: DiaperShops
YouTube: DiaperShops1

Each giveaway will end at midnight ET on April 14th.

Use the link below to get entered and good luck!

https://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/b995e59b284/

 

*This post contains some affiliate links.  You can view our full disclosure policy here.

St. Patrick’s Day Cloth Diapers

StPattysDayCDSt. Patrick’s Day is just around the corner and whether you have Irish heritage or not, it can be a fun day to be festive with green and rainbows.  Children love to do festive crafts and pick out festive outfits.  Babies and toddlers don’t have to be excluded and can be decked out down to their diapers.  Here are some of my favorite cloth diapers for St. Patrick’s Day.

Bumgenius always offered fun colors and prints available in all their diaper lines.  Whether you’re a fan of the 4.0, Freetime, Elemental, or Newborn you can catch one of the St. Patty’s Day appropriate diapers.  Grasshopper is a muted, spring green while Hummingbird is a deep, rich green.  You could also grab one of the limited edition black and white prints like Osa and color it in with fabric markers for a festive rainbow diaper.  Flip fans can get the same colors in a fun, versatile cover.   Or you could opt for just a colorful trim with Econobum.

Thirsties is a personal favorite of mine.  I just love their diapers, they fit my children so well and hold up fantastically.  Celery and Meadow are available in a One-Size Pocket, Covers, All In One, and Duo Wrap Cover. If you have a newborn you can grab Celery and fitted lovers can pick up Meadow.

Rumparooz One Size fans can choose from Lazy Lime or Spring.  Or they could sport Invader, Jeweled, Preppy, or Quinn for a rainbow look.  These colors are also available in Lil Joeys, Covers, NB Covers.  You can even grab Lazy Lime and Spring in doll diapers!

Blueberry brings us Kiwi and Geo available in One Size, Covers, and Bamboo.  You can grab Meadow Green or Geo for your newborns.

AppleCheek’s Appletini brings a little fun to the St. Patty’s Day party.

Babykicks gives a punch of true Green.

Best Bottoms covers give us several options:  Dragonfly Ripple, Key Lime Pie, Green Giraffe, Camo, GI Jane, Open Season, and the beautiful rainbow that is Tie Dye or Dragon Scales. Even your potty trainer can have a festive bum with Pistachio and Playful Panda.

Bottombumpers brings us the appropriately named Shamrock as well as Kiwi.

Bummis has you covered with Kale and Pistachio Dot.  If fitteds be sure to grab be sure to grab green chevron.  If you prefer fun prints check out Green or Celery Dot.

Funky Fluff offers a Stay-Dry  or Bamboo Option in Green & Purple or Teal & Lime.

Imagine Baby brings you a bit of luck with their wool cover,  PUL cover, or pocket in Emerald.  Their Rawrgyle leggings are sure to complete the look.

Itti Bitti’s Wasabi and Seaweed offer fun punches of green while Shazam and Chilin’ bring us a rainbow of fun.

Kissaluv’s Grassy Green is the perfect St. Patrick’s Day Cover.  Lime Green is available in a soft fitted.  They can cover your Newborn with Spring Green.  If you’re looking for a print, consider Happy Bugs, Monkeys, Summer Dots, or Zoo Blue.

Moraki’s Green and Hippie are two more great choices.  Their shamrock bottom Celtic Pride was MADE for St. Patty’s Day.

Smart Bottoms offers a fun mix with Bloom, Ella, Emerson, and Tiedye.

SmartBums Sprout is bright and fun.

Tidy Tots gives us several more options with Lime Green, Spring Green, Sea Mist, and Dinosaur.

Tots Bots offers us Sweet Pea and Hey Diddle Diddle.  The striped Thistle is available in a fitted.

Which diaper(s) will you be choosing for St. Patty’s Day?

*This post contains affiliate links.  If you make a purchase via one of the links, I will receive a small portion of the sale.  You don’t have to use the links when you make a purchase, but we appreciate when you do as it supports our blogging efforts.  You can read our full disclosure policy here.

How To Handle Menstrual Cups In Public

Menstrual Cups in PublicIf you’re new to menstrual cups, I highly recommend reading this post first:  Menstrual Cups:  A Newbie’s Perspective.

I’ve used menstrual cups for about a year and I would NEVER go back to tampons.  They are far more comfortable and convenient to use than their disposable counterparts.  I don’t have to worry about buying menstrual supplies each month and I don’t deal with pain from inserting a dry, scratchy tampon.  Menstrual cups have made my periods much more manageable and less of an interruption to daily life.

When I broach the subject of menstrual cups with other women, the question that seems to always come up after how do you insert them, is how do you deal with them while out and about?  It’s a valid question, and an easy one to answer.

First of all, you can wear a menstrual cup for up to twelve hours before it needs to be emptied, cleaned, and reinserted.  TWELVE HOURS guys!  That means you may only need to insert your cup in the morning, empty it in the evening, and reinsert and forget about it until the next morning.  Compared to tampons which need to be changed every 4-6 hours, that’s a big change!  Twelve hours typically works for me.  If my flow is unusually heavy, I’ll go ahead and empty around the six-hour mark, but the Lunette I use has never been full at that point.  Since I typically only have to empty the cup once a day, I am almost always able to do so at home.  This is highly convenient since I have the privacy of my bathroom to empty, clean, and reinsert.  I do recommend doing several trial runs of emptying and reinserting the cup at home before you venture into public  restroom changes of the cup just to get yourself familiar with how it all works.

If you do have to be out and about when your cup needs to be emptied, it’s manageable and easy!  You used to carry a  bag with tampons or pads right?  Well, technically you can use that same bag for these disinfecting wipes.  However, the wipes are so tiny you could easily slip one in your pocket and no one would ever know.  To empty your menstrual cup in a public restroom:

  • Wash your hands (just as you should before changing a tampon!).
  • Remove the cup and empty the contents into the toilet.
  •  Wipe the inside and outside of the cup off with toilet tissue.
  • Once wiped well, use the cup wipe to finish cleaning and disinfecting your cup.
  • The wipes can be discarded in the trash or flushed if no trash can is readily available.
  • Let the cup air dry (it only takes a few seconds, you won’t be left sitting there for several minutes waiting).
  • Reinsert your cup.
  • Wash your hands.

See, no more complicated than changing a tampon.  If you’re worried about getting blood on your hands, you could easily put an extra wipe or an individually wrapped regular wipe in your bag or pocket to clean your hands before leaving the stall and washing them.  Once you’ve practiced emptying the cup at home several times,  you generally won’t have to worry about blood on your hands anymore than you would with tampons.

Have you made the switch to reusable menstrual care products yet?

*This post contains affiliate links.  If you make a purchase from one of the affiliate links, I will receive a small portion of the sale.  You don’t have to make a purchase using the links, but I appreciate when you do as it helps support my blogging efforts.  You can read our full disclosure policy here.

Valentine’s Diapers

Valentine's DiapersOne of the perks of using cloth diapers is that you can match the diapers to your baby’s outfit or even pick diapers to match holidays and events.  Cloth diapers have come a long way from plain white squares of fabric and rubber pants.  Nowadays, you can find cloth diapers in almost any color and print.  Here are some of my favorites for Valentine’s Day.

Thirsties Limited Edition Sweetheart Collection – A diaper with a fresh white background and a splash of pink hearts make this the perfect Valentine’s Day diaper.  Available as a cover, pocket, or AIO diaper you also gets lots of options to meet your cloth diapering needs.  Orchid and rose are also great.

BumGenius Dazzle and Countess.  A deep purple and a bright, hot pink make these adorable peeking out from under a cute Valentine’s dress.

Rumparooz Spice is a gorgeous muted red.  Sherbert’s purply pink is rich while Amethyst is softer.  Tulip is the perfect baby pink while Crimson is red hot.  Lux would also make a fun valentine’s print with it’s blends of pink and red.  Rumparooz offers so many Valentine’s friendly colors you could set up an assortment for the whole day!

Grovia’s Persimmon and Poppy add a little more color variation to the lineup.

Applecheek’s Love HappensSuddenly Royal and Jem add two pretty purples to the assortment.

BabyKicks Red would be perfect for your little gentleman.

Best Bottom’s Strawberry Shortcake gives us a little pop of yellow with our pink.  Very Cherry gives a classic red and white while Wild Berry blends two purples.  If you want to mix in a little green, try Plum Pie.  For a splash of black and white try Cookies N Cream.

ButtomBumper’s Cherry, Plum and Pixie are adorable.  Bubble Gum gives us a little bit of green with all the pink and purple while Licorice gives us a black and white chevron sure to compliment all those reds and pinks.  Sweet Cherry mixes it up a bit with fresh cherries and flowers on a pink backdrop.

Funky Fluff offers Love Bug and Pink.

I’ve always loved Itti Bitti’s rich, velvety colors.  Mulberry and Papaya are simply decadent.  Danube and Hanako add some adorable prints.  And Bubble Gum gives us another pop of pink.

Tidy Tot’s rounds out our Valentine’s Day diapers with Violet, Cheeky Cheetah, Pink Circles, and the adorable Tweet Heart.

Of course, the best part about all of these cloth diapers is that they can be worn every single day to add a bit of love to your baby’s tushy.

*This post contains affiliate links for which I will receive a small portion of the sale if the link is used to make a purchase.  Of course, you don’t have to use the links to purchase, but we appreciate when you do!  You can read our full disclosure policy here.

 

Fleece Pants As Cloth Diaper Covers

Fleece PantsI started cloth diapering my children to save money – plain and simple.  Sure, we reaped health benefits and we kept a lot of waste out of landfills, but primarily, we saved money.  Logically, we started with some of the lowest cost cloth diapering plans that we could.  For us, that meant that I sewed my own diapers using the Rita’s Rump Diaper pattern and homemade fleece covers and pants.

I was pleasantly surprised that I could use almost any pair of fleece pants and have it work well as a diaper cover.   As long as the fleece was 100% polyester and fairly thick it worked well.  Of course, fleece can be more prone to compression leaks, e.g. car seat leaks, but as long as my children were changed before they were heavily wet, this didn’t happen for us.  In fact, even after we graduated to using mostly PUL diapers, fleece was and still is our go-to solution for night-time diapering.  Fleece pants may feel cool to the touch when your little one’s diaper is wet and ready to be changed, but this is simply because fleece is breathable and the evaporation from the moisture below causes the cool feeling.  It’s easy to mistake the cool feeling for wetness in the beginning, but more often than not, it’s just evaporation and not a leak.

Brands of fleece pants that worked well for us.
As I mentioned before, most fleece pants that we already had in our closet worked well as cloth diaper covers.  These were our ‘top performers’.

  1. Garanimals.  Hands down, the thick Garanimals were my FAVORITE fleece pants to use as a diaper cover.  They were super affordable (less than $5 a pair) and they were really thick which meant my children stayed warm AND they had a lot of wetness protection.  Because they are readily available almost anywhere and in multiple colors and styles, we could use them for day-to-day wear or at night.  Garanimals also makes some fleece pants which aren’t super thick and those do work well, just not as great as they thick pants for extended wear like nap or night use.
  2. Carter’s.  Who doesn’t love Carter’s?  I think most babies have a closet full of it.  While the Carter’s fleece pants generally are not as thick as the Garanimals, they still gave us great daytime wetness protection paired with our Rita’s Rump Diapers.  They also last so well and for so long.  I also found that many of the Carter’s fleece sleep and plays would work well as cloth diaper covers.  Since they aren’t as fitted to baby’s bottom as a pair of pants, you may get some leaks, but generally they worked well.
  3. Old Navy.  Old Navy fleece, gotta love it.  It’s affordable and cute.  I found the thickness generally similar to Carter’s and it performed just as well.  Still not topping out my Garanimals for night, but for daytime wear, it was always great.

There were a few other various brands that we tried and honestly, as long as the fleece was 100% polyester and not super think, it did well for us.

Have you ever tried regular fleece pants or sleepers to cover your fitted cloth diapers?  Which brands worked well for you?

Postpartum Mama Cloth

Postpartum Mama ClothIf you’re a frequent reader of this blog, you know that I’m a huge advocate for mama cloth.  I’ve raved about it, I’ve sewn it, I’ve converted several friends, and I practice what I preach and use it.

Many people have asked me if you can really use it postpartum and if I did.  I’d love to tell you that I proudly packed all my mama cloth and carried it with me to the hospital, but I didn’t.  I knew I’d be tired, I knew I had a history of postpartum hemorrhage and very heavy postpartum bleeding, so I took the ‘easy’ way out and packed a box of giant maxi pads.  However, I do wish I’d taken my cloth as it would’ve been far more comfortable.  The disposable pads did their job well, but they also caused more soreness and chaffing than my cloth does.  As soon as I got back home, I grabbed my cloth and it was more than adequate for my postpartum flow.

Which cloth pads work best postpartum?  It depends solely on you and your personal postpartum needs.  If you’re someone whose postpartum flow is like a regular period, you can probably get by with whatever mama cloth you currently use.  If you’re like me and those first several days are far heavier than a period, you’ll want to go with a cloth pad designed for postpartum use and then ease back into overnight or regular pads as your flow decreases. If you’re in between, a nice overnight pad will likely work well.  For me, one of the keys was that the pad be longer than what I’d ordinarily wear.  Postpartum care can be rough.  There will be vaginal and perianal swelling, you may even have stitches. A pad that is longer will tend to be more comfortable as the edge won’t be hitting any spots that are understandably very sore.  Longer pads will also give you more absorbency and can allow for a bit of a looser fit as their coverage area is wider.  I didn’t find tight-fitting underwear very appealing during my postpartum period.

If you’re handy with a sewing machine, I would highly suggest purchasing this pattern and making some of these for postpartum use.  What didn’t I love about the Mamma Can Do It Postpartum Pad pattern?  Nothing, I loved everything.  It really is a winner, and no, I wasn’t paid to try it or say that.  It’s longer than your regular flow cloth pads and it acts like a shell that you can reuse a few times without laundering if it isn’t soiled.  You can put an ice pad or a rice bag in it for relief from postpartum swelling.  You can use it with cloth pads OR disposable pads.  Heck, you could even fold up a flat or prefold diaper in a pinch and put that inside this shell.  The bonus of making your postpartum pads yourself is that you can customize the length and width to fit your preferences and needs.

What if you don’t sew?  No, fear.  The lovely cloth pad makers out there have you covered with postpartum pads available for purchase.  Pink Daisy has postpartum pads available with stay dry tops or organic cotton tops.  Pink Lemonade pads are some of my personal favorites and they have some truly gorgeous 13″ postpartum pads that work great.  Wee Essentials is another personal favorite.

Can cloth pads really work for your postpartum flow?  Absolutely!  They can work great and they can make it a little more comfortable because sitting on plastic, even if it’s cotton topped, is just not fun.  With lush fabrics like minky, postpartum care can be far more comfortable with cloth.

*Some of the links provided in this post are affiliate links for which I will receive a small portion of the sale.  You don’t have to use these links to make a purchase, they just help support our blog if you do and for that we thank you!  You can view our full disclosure policy here.

Using Cloth Wipes On The Go

Cloth Wipes On The GoFor me, the scariest part of transitioning to cloth diapers was learning to successfully use them while we were out.  Almost three years later, I can’t believe I ever felt like cloth diapering was difficult, even for the diaper bag.  As a cloth diaper veteran, it all seems like second nature now.  I often get emails, messages, and comments from parents who are new to cloth and feeling a bit overwhelmed when it’s time to take their cloth diapers on an extended outing or even a quick trip to the store.  Let’s be honest, EVERYTHING is new when you’re a first time mom or dad.  You over pack the diaper bag, or you forget key components altogether.  It happens.  Here are a few tips to make taking your cloth wipes with you while you’re out easy and stress free.

  • Designate a certain amount of wipes for diaper bag use.  Luckily, cloth wipes are pretty cheap whether you make or buy them.  Make sure you buy enough wipes that you can leave a stash in the diaper bag .  Obviously you’ll need to restock when the diaper bag stash is all dirty, but you won’t have to worry about leaving yourself with no clean wipes at home if you’ve purchased or made enough to have extras.
  • Get a small wet bag to keep clean wipes in.  It’s always easier to grab your wipe pouch when you need it than rifle through a diaper bag for clean wipes.  A pouch keeps them together and easily accessible.  It also allows wipes to be moistened before a trip.
  • If you’re out and about daily, wet your wipes before you leave home.  If you’re going to be out a few days in a row, go ahead and wet your diaper bag wipes before you leave the house.  This way they’re completely ready to grab and go when baby needs a change.
  • If you’re not out daily, store diaper bag wipes dry and take a travel size spray bottle.  If cloth wipes are wet and left to sit more than a few days, they get stinky.  If you and baby aren’t making daily trips out, it’s easier to store your diaper bag wipes dry and  fill a travel sized spray bottle with wipe solution so you squirt the solution as needed.  These spray bottles are easily obtainable at most dollar and big box stores.
  • Keep a small stash of cloth wipes in your car.  Cloth wipes can be made very cheaply which means you can afford to have extras.  There will inevitably be a time when you forget to restock the diaper bag wipe box.  If you’ve left a small stack of wipes in your car and you can get to some water, you can get your baby’s bottom (or sticky ice cream fingers!) cleaned up quickly and easily.

*This post contains some affiliate links.

Sewing Tutorial: Mama Cloth Wet/Dry Bag

Wet/Dry Bag TutorialThis tutorial is a simple no measurements needed sewing project that will enable you to create a wet bag to hold both clean and dirty mama cloth.  Wet/dry bags are nice when you are on the go because you have one convenient place to store both your used and unused menstrual products while you’re out.

The mama cloth wet/dry bag we are creating in this tutorial has one large opening at the top that is secured shut with hook and loop tape.  You could also alter the pattern and install a zipper here.  The large top opening is designed to hold your dirty items.  There is a large pocket on the front with snap closures designed to hold your clean items.  There is also a handle that has a snap closure so that it can be hung not only on door knobs or hooks, but also towel racks or even the toilet paper holder.

You can choose whatever fabric design you like, the bag just looks like any other clutch so no one would ever know what is inside unless you showed them.

Materials Needed

  • Waterproof PUL fabric – amount will vary based on how large or small you want your bag to be.
  • Hook and loop tape (or zipper if you prefer a top zipper closure)
  • Snaps and Snap Pliers or Press
  • Sewing Machine
  • Polyester Thread
  • Scissors
  • The PDF tutorial with fully detailed and illustrated instructions.  Print the file as fit to page or follow along on-screen.  Click here to download file:  Mama Cloth Wet Dry Bag.

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Mama Cloth as a Gift

Mama Cloth As A Gift*Please note that in the USA the sale of cloth pads is regulated by the FDA and there are fees associated with selling cloth pads in and to the USA.  Don’t get yourself into trouble by gifting or selling in the USA unless you have gone through the proper licensing.*

 

I often get asked by friends and online acquaintances about natural, green living products.  Whether it be cloth diapers or mama cloth, friends sometimes refer others to me for more information.  I’m happy to share the knowledge I’ve gained about these products and am always glad to convert someone to a greener life.

What is the easiest way to get someone to try something new?  Give it to them for free.  I’ve found that some women are interested in mama cloth, but they are not interested in the higher cost associated with the transition to using it.  Sure, a disposable pack of pads is cheaper in the short-term, but any cloth pads you buy can normally be used for years and are actually cheaper.  The same goes for tampons vs. cups.

As an avid sewer I often do ‘fabric cleanups’ to use up scraps from past projects.  Cloth pads are fantastic for using up flannel, fleece, hemp, and bamboo scraps as they’re small and even lend themselves quite well to piecework when needed.  Now I’ve probably got you wondering if I really give cloth pads as a gift for birthdays and Christmas.  And I don’t.

When I gift  pads I prefer to do so as a starter kit so that the person can get a feel of what using cloth is really like.  I usually include five shells with about ten inserts and this will be enough for someone to get a decent feel of what using cloth is all about.  It’s also important to provide education with the pads.  Information on how to use, store, and wash pads is important.  Information on how much absorbency is generally needed is also quite helpful.

If you sew, you can easily make your own pads from our free patterns:
Adjustable Absorbency and Liners
Hidden Contoured Core, Overcast Edge
Exposed Contoured Core, Overcast Edge
Exposed Core, Overcast Edge

If you’re an avid sewer who wants to advocate for the use of cloth menstrual pads, you can use your scraps to make cloth pads for curious friends.  I never suggest giving cloth pads to someone who hasn’t expressed an interest, but I have been pleasantly surprised by the number of friends who do have an interest and a desire to try something new.

Below you’ll find a two-page informational sheet that I include with my mama cloth gift packs.  This sheet is written for sets with the adjustable absorbency pads as I find these are the most versatile and fit a wider array of menstrual flows.  I normally include different toppers so that the new user can get a feel of stray-dry toppers and flannel toppers to find what they like best.  I even fold the top pad and do a different array of inserts to show the new user how they work.  This is detailed in the sheet and can give you a guide on how to present the gift.  However, you can also use the sheets as a guide to create your own informational cards if your gifted sets differ from those detailed in the sheet.

Feel free to print them and use them, just please don’t sell them.

Mama Cloth Information Sheet:  Mama Cloth Starter Kit.