Monday, May 2, 2011

The Blowout Blog: A Debate of Doo Doo Pooportions

What diapers handle blow-outs better: CLOTH or DISPOSABLE?

I'm sure by now, we've all seen this commercial. I've heard some pretty interesting comments about it from several people, including my mother. And like her, I am a little bit grossed out by watching this. At first, yes, it is very funny. But then you realize exactly what's filling those diapers...then, you think back to the last blowout you had to clean up....then you remember all the poop everywhere. You had to clean poop from nooks and crannies that you never even knew existed on your little bundle of joy. Then, and only then, do you think about this commercial and maybe get just a little bit queasy!

Since I am a CD'er 99% of the time*, I'm not sure how well these Luvs actually work and I don't want to purchase them for fear that the chemicals in them may just suck the life out of my son making him baby jerky. OK, that probably won't happen but have you ever really wondered what kind of magic chemicals go into absorbing THAT much poo and pee??? I'm not real comfortable putting that next to my baby's skin.

*To clarify on my disposable usage, we use the ones that are given to us for vacations and longer stays away from home and if we have to purchase them we buy the expensive natural kind...which aren't that good at catching blow-outs in our experience.

Back to Blowouts... Lindsey and I use several different brands/styles of CD's and here's a list from best to worst on how well they've worked for us (knowing that all babies are different, these results are from our experience):

  1. FuzziBunz One Size

  2. BumGenius 3.0 Fitted (Small so far)

  3. Tots Bots EASY FIT One Piece One Size Pocket Diaper

  4. BumGenius 4.0 One Size

  5. Prefolds with Thirsties Diaper Covers

  6. GroVia All In One

Again, let me say that these are from our experience and with our baby's poop and pee. You may or may not have had similar experiences. The one that really confuses us is the GroVia, we're not sure why it's not holding in as well???? We've stripped the diaper, we've asked for help at the local CD store, we've tried everything. I don't want to put all the blame on the diaper, so we'll take some of the blame (the same goes for the prefolds and covers....I'm sure we're doing something incorrect). With that being said, this is our list. Take it or leave it, but please comment on it!!! :)

Of all the diapers you use, how would you rank them? I'm curious to know if there are any similarities or differences? For one, Nathan poops off to the side most of the time and on rare occasion, it wraps all the way around the front above his manhood. Another is I am not sure how tight to make the diaper. I feel bad when it pushes in on his stomach too hard. But again, what experience do you have?

Oh yeah, I almost forgot about disposable diapers. If I had to rank them, I'd put them right along with the prefolds and diaper covers. When Nate has a blowout there always seems to be poop coming out of the legs or up the back. We've not seen that with the FB's yet (knock on wood). Like I said earlier, we haven't tried the new Luvs so I can't give you a completely fair assessment of disposables. But I still don't think they'd be a match for the FB's.

One thing we have done with our diapers is add in hemp inserts. This has been a huge help in the battle against blowout. The hemp, although slow at absorbing, in combination with another insert (microfiber, cotton, etc) proves to help with keeping the mess at hand. Yes, it adds some extra weight and bulk, but not nearly as much as doubling up on the inserts. We found a great deal on 10 of them used on eBay! If you use cloth and don't have hemp....get some! If you don't use cloth....start to!

Please, please, please commend on this post. I'd really like to know what is working and what isn't for other people. I also want to know if anyone has any suggestions on the can't be that bad, can it?

As always, thanks for reading!

Dan the Diapering Dad!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Homemade Utility Sinks and Cloth Diapers....hold your laughter till the end!

Hi all!

So, I've been a busy daddy since the last time I posted a blog (I really had no idea parenting an infant was this much work)! A quick update on Nathan (shown above in his green Thirsties cover with matching pacifier), he's so much fun to be around lately. He just had his 2 month check-up yesterday and Doc says he's doing really well. Then they gave him his, not so great! But he'll get over the pain soon -- I hope! Although last night was pretty rough for the little guy.

I love how alert he's been lately, I think he's actually starting to recognize me. Raising him is going to be a lot of fun, then when I'm old he'll take care of me....the circle of life!

Why did I title this Homemade Utility Sinks and Cloth Diapers..........? Keep reading!

Project #1 - My Homemade Utility Sink

After 2 months of cleaning off cloth diapers, I've finally had enough of getting poopy back splash all over my clothing, the walls in the bathroom and who knows where else. So I went on a mission to find a solution. I had this great idea about inventing a brand new sprayer that I would call the Poo Poo Wand, but since i have no idea how to find all the right fittings, glue and whatever else you need to turn a PVC pipe into a spraying wand I decided to go a different route.
I went on Google and searched something like "reduce back splash with cloth diapers" and came across very little that was helpful. Then I saw something that looked like a 5 gallon bucket on top of a toilet and thought to myself "self, that looks like a good idea". The one online was very elaborate with hooks and a larger base and holes for sprayer hoses and whatnot. The only thing that really got my attention was the fact that they put a hole in the bottom of the bucket to drain into the toilet. So I decided to try to make something similar. These three pictures show you what I came up with.

Basically, I took the 5 gallon bucket, drilled a 1.5" hole in the bottom and bought a drain plug/stopper and put it in the bottom. Then I bought some clamps (as seen in the pictures) which ended up being free after a mail in rebate. I was going to use the clamps to hold the diaper to the side of the bucket, but that took too long. On top of that, the bucket did not sit on the toilet seat the right way so I decided to use the clamps to hold the bucket into position by clamping it to the toilet seat lid. It works perfectly now.

When washing diapers, I hold the diaper inside the bucket (about halfway down) and start spraying. This virtually eliminates all back splash onto me and it stays inside the bucket. I do caution spraying diaper covers, they seem to splash back a lot probably has something to do with the waterproof "plastic" lining.

The best part is, with the hole at the bottom I'm able to use this as a utility sink in my apartment for when I need to clean off things like paint brushes, muddy boots, etc. It's perfect!

Please feel free to critique, offer suggestions or mock me by commenting on this post!

Project #2 - My first (and maybe last) attempt at a cloth diaper

In my last blog, I talked about attempting to make my first fleece diaper. Well, I tried. It was hard to find a pattern and when I finally did I was excited. Lindsey went out and bought some camouflage fleece fabric and I bought some velcro and elastic. Once we had everything, I started working on the diaper.

Since this was my first time ever following a pattern, I had no idea what I was getting myself into. I cut out the patter, cut out the fabric and started sewing. Everything seemed fine until it came to the elastic. I have no idea how to sew elastic onto anything. I broke 3 needles trying to do it. I had a conversation with my mom and a sister-in-law and they told me what I was doing wrong....I was pulling the fabric too hard through the machine putting too much stress on the needle. Once I got through that I was done....take a look below:

I still have yet to put the velcro on the diaper because, as you can see, this diaper is huge. It's almost big enough to fit me! My mom went online and found the same pattern (I think) and ran into the same issue. So, if there is anyone out there with a good diaper pattern (this was a fitted diaper) can you please send it to me?
If I can get my hands on a better pattern, then I'll try again. Until then, I'm going to put my sewing skills on hold.
The good part about trying to make this diaper is, I have something i can give Nathan when he turns 16!!!!!!!

What about diapering?

I'm glad you asked. Lindsey and I got our hands on some used Bum Genius velcro All In Ones a few weeks ago. They are size small, so they should fit Nathan for a few more months (we hope). I LOVE THESE DIAPERS! They are so easy to use and wash. There is no removing or putting in inserts, spraying them down seems easier than the other diapers we have and they fit perfectly.
I think I change my mind every time I put up a post. For now, my favorite CD's are AIO's!!!!*

*my opinion is subject to change at any time without notice :)

That's all I have for now, as I leave please enjoy the cartoon I've placed at the bottom. Also, I love comments and feedback so please let me know what you like/don't like/want to see me do or do differently. I wont be offended by anything you say (most likely).

Thanks for reading!

- Dan the Diapering Dad!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Fussy Baby and Fuzzy Fitteds

Hola Amigos,
I'm not necessarily looking for advice, maybe I just want to vent a little so here it goes. Nathan (who is now 7 weeks old) has been a bit of a terror at night....heck, who am I kidding...he's been pretty fussy non-stop all day. Every time we think we have the solution, it stops working. We've had him diagnosed with acid reflux due to a weak muscle in his esophagus and he's been prescribed medicine. That seemed to help a little, but he's still fussy. We also use Mylicon which helps as well, but still doesn't fix the problem....they just seem to be band-aids.

It always seems to be related to his stomach...gas issues. He'll fuss around for about an hour or two, let out a couple big farts then fill his diaper with more poop than it can handle and he's good for an hour or so. Then we're back at it again!

-- I would like to know how to get the poop stains off of the elastic on our diaper covers....any suggestions??? --

The worst part is, we don't know what's wrong so we really can't help him. We feel bad for him! If you're the praying type, please say a prayer for us (more importantly for him) that we can get past this so he can be a happy baby.

Aside from the above issues, Nathan can be a fun baby! I think I was able to make him smile at just 3 weeks and we've been working on building up to the first laugh....can't wait!!!! Another great thing about him is that when other people are holding him, he's well behaved and in a good mood. Maybe we just need to have people over ALL THE TIME!

I have a confession to make, but I don't think it's completely my fault. I think this whole notion that Dad's are kind of moronic when it comes to babies is sort of true. Last night, for instance, Lindsey was going to a meeting so I took Nathan over to a youth event with me. The LAST thing she told me before she left was to get the milk and bring it with. So she left and then I left. We met up a few hours later at the youth event and Nathan started to get fussy. Lindsey went to look for the milk and to her surprise it wasn't there. When she questioned me, all I could say was....I forgot! How the heck did I forget? It was the last thing she said to me before I left the house? A word of advice to Dads -- DON"T PUT OFF WHAT YOU NEED TO DO RIGHT NOW, CAUSE YOU'RE JUST GOING TO FORGET! Seriously if she tells you to bring milk, turn off the TV get off your can and go to the fridge. Put the bottle in the "to-go" bag and put it in the diaper bag. LEARN FROM MY MISTAKE....DON'T PULL A DAN!!!!!

OK, I'm off my soapbox...I hope that I can save just one man from making this mistake! God Speed gentlemen.

Now let's talk about diapers...this is a diapering blog after all!

Lindsey and I have been having some difficulty with the absorbency of prefolds. They are leaking through our covers after one pee, which isn't good cause we thought we'd get a minimum of 2 uses per cover before washing. This sent Lindsey on a mission to find a better diaper to use with the covers. After much research and conversations with friends and fellow CDers, she found that fitted diapers would be a good way to go.

Looking online, she found some in wool and some in fleece and all were very expensive compared to prefolds. So she decided to stop by our local cloth diaper store, Comfy Bummy, to pick one up in fleece to see how it would work. We ended up loving it and here's why:
  • soft material that pulls moisture away from skin
  • full wrap-around coverage
  • can be put in the dryer
  • the elastic around the legs adds another barrier to keep unwanted poo and pee off of clothing.
  • (I just figured out that I can use bullet out!)

Since the price is so expensive for the fitted diapers, Lindsey and I are going to try and make our own using a pattern we found online and some fleece we bought at the local fabric store. Our friend Amanda is the inspiration for this project. Since we really like Velcro, we'll be adding that to the diaper. The only concern at this point is how exactly to sew the elastic into the diaper. The good news is, we can use the million extra flat-folds we have to practice. I hope by the time I put up my next post, I'll be able to show off our handy work!!! Something to look forward to....right? OK, don't answer that!

Have any of you made your own fitted diapers? Where did you get the patterns? Any advice or suggestion for us before we move forward?

Thanks for reading and have an awesome day!!!!!

I'll talk to you soon,

Dan the Diapering Dad

Sunday, January 30, 2011

The (Almost) 1 Month Check-In

We're a month into our "Adventures in Cloth Diapering" and Thor is nowhere in site. Who needs a blond haired red hat and sleeveless shirt wearing dude anyway. He was the best part of the movie! Or maybe the best part was that diamond shaped building in downtown Chicago because every time I go to Chicago and see it, I think of that movie. In any case, I'm torn between that movie and "Don't Tell Mom The Babysitters Dead".

I know what you're thinking, you wanted to know how Cloth Diapering has been going, right? Fine, I guess we won't blog about the best movies from our childhood (this is it, by the way) and I'll get right into my experiences with several different brands and styles of CD (that's right, I've earned the right to use CD instead of typing out cloth diaper - booyah!)

Let's get right into it (if you just ignored the first two paragraphs, that is)! In a previous blog I said that I prefer using snaps over hook and loop (Velcro). I think I'm starting to change my mind a little. It can be pretty difficult to work with snaps when you've gotten up for the 4Th time and it's like 2:30 in the morning. I've found myself reaching for the Velcro more and more. My big problem with Velcro is the fact that poop always seems to get stuck in it. Then, when I go to spray the diapers out, I have to spray the Velcro, then the water ricochets off of the Velcro diaper and into my face, on my cloths and all over the floor. I'm pretty sure at the end of the night, I've got more poop on me that Nathan does with a full diaper. Either I am doing something wrong or......heck, I'm probably doing something wrong.

About cleaning the diapers, I did purchase the Bum Genius Diaper Sprayer. All I can say is that I have a love/hate relationship with it. I love it because it makes fast work of spraying poop off of diapers and getting them ready for the wash. I hate it not only because of the reasons given in the above paragraph, but also because there is really no way to control the flow of the spray. I know what some of you are going to say, and it's not possible unless you have three hands. You see, the sprayer has a trigger on the spray head and there is a lever to control the flow of water where the unit connects to the toilet. So, if I wanted to start the water slow, let it build to a crescendo, then take it back down slowly I would just hold the trigger on the spray head and use my free hand to move the lever. My only problem with this is there is without a third hand, I cannot hold the diaper to spray the poop off of it. So if anyone out there is reading and can fix this problem, please do. I can't be the only one with this issue, can I?????

For now, I'll just keep bothering my neighbors every time I let go of the trigger and the water stops so fast that the pipes rattle. Sorry neighbors!!!!!!!

What are we having the most success with???

Disposables.........ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha .... ha ......... ha .......... ha ............................ ha ............................. ha ........................................... ha .............................................. ha (just kidding)!

I really like using the POCKET and ALL-IN-ONE diapers right now because they are so very convenient. If I had one bad thing to say about them is that they are very bulky and I feel like they get dirty way to fast. Which is why I am also loving using DIAPER COVERS with prefold (yes, I finally bought real prefolds). As long as the mess isn't too big, you can get away with using the covers a few times before putting them in the diaper bag. I also really like using the prefolds because of how easy they are to clean, wash and most importantly fold and put away. If you compared the cleaning and putting away of a Pocket, an All-In-One and a prefold, the prefold wins hands down. I'd rather wash and fold 50 prefolds than 10 Pocket Diapers any day of the week.

We still have yet to use a few other diapers that we have acquired over the past few months, but as soon as we do I will be sure to let you know how that goes.


My last blog had to do with my mistake when initially registering for prefolds and ending up getting a whole lot of flatfolds that just don't have the absorbency my little boy needs. I've come up with a solution that will require a sewing machine! Good thing I watched my mom sew for all of those years growing up.

Fuzzi Bunz diapers come with 2 microfiber inserts that can irritate a baby's bottom (they irritate the hell out of my hands so I could only imagine what it does to his you know what)! I've been wanting to use those extra inserts with the diaper covers to see if they would hold more that the prefolds we just got. I just couldn't figure out exactly how to cover them. I tried wrapping the insert in a prefold....way too big. Then I tried wrapping the insert in a flatfold....still too big because I had to fold it over 4 times. Then, I realize that I have a sewing machine (it's actually Lindsey's - I promise). So I have started to make pockets (socks) out of the flatfolds so that they cover the microfiber insert completely and do not take up too much space. Once I finish with the sewing, I'll start using them. Then I'll tell you how well it works....I promise!

That's enough for now, thanks to everyone who read all the way through this one! I'm going to watch a movie with Lindsey now....which means Nate will wake up any second.

Have an awesome Day!

The Diapering Dad

Monday, January 17, 2011

Day 12 - I have a confession to make

Alright, so a few months back when Lindsey and I were registering for the baby shower I came across some cloth diapers at Babies R Us and thought that I would save some money by registering for my prefolds there. That's not a bad idea, right? Don't answer that just yet.

You see, cloth diapers I actually registered for (and I registered for a lot of them) were the Gerber cloth diapers that they sell at Babies R Us. Here's a picture of what I wanted to register for:
Now, here is what I actually registered for:
See the difference? .........well????? Alright, before I tell you the difference let me first show you what a really great friend did with all of the cloth diapers from our registry after buying them:
Yup, that's all of the cloth diapers along with some Chicago Bears towels, pacifiers, footballs and a sock monkey in a Chicago Bears onesie. Thanks Kevin! This was an awesome gift so we left it put together for several weeks until we had the baby's room setup. Then we pulled the diaper cake apart to start the 6 pre-washes to get the diapers ready for business.

As we unwrapped the cake I was surprised to see the way the diapers looked, they didn't really look like the prefolds my mom used to use, but it's been more than 20 years since I've really seen a true prefold so I went ahead and finished washing them and put them away. I kept telling Lindsey that they remind me of cheesecloth?? hmmmm?

Alright, so now it's 12 days into having baby and about 9 days or so of cloth diapering. We've been using these diapers with Thirsties covers (by the way, I prefer the snaps and Lindsey prefers the Velcro) and the cloth diapers have been working really well except they don't seem to absorb as much pee as I thought. So I did some research and found out that I registered for the wrong cloth diapers.

So let's go back to the pictures above to take a closer look to see what the difference is. Still stumped? The difference is I registered for FLATFOLD diapers! The packaging is almost identical. AND, since I'm a dude and they gave me a scanner to register I got trigger happy and didn't take the time needed to make sure I scanned the right item. Me...the same guy that made fun of Lindsey for double and triple checking everything. An "I told you so" is definitely in order on this one.

Here's what a flatfold diaper is from my point of view: Flatfold diapers are just a very large flat piece of fabric. In order to fit them in Nate's diaper covers we have to tri-fold them, then fold them in half. And even then they don't have the absorbency that Nate needs.

So, with my tail between my legs I need to go back out and purchase some pre-folds. Sorry Kevin! This time, I'll make sure I buy actual pre-folds. So I don't make the same mistake twice, I'm going to open the packs of diapers at the store to make sure that they are what think they are.

Good, now that I have that off my chest and I have humbled myself quite a bit (I started getting a big head about everything I knew about cloth diapers) I can feel good about talking about cloth diapers, how they're working for us, and anything else that comes up.

Thanks for reading & Stay Tuned!

Dan - The Diapering Dad

Thursday, January 13, 2011

It's been 4 long months, but....I'm baaaack!

Hi everyone!

Happy Halloween, Happy Thanksgiving, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

The reason why I haven't posted in 4 months is because I've done all the talking I could do about diapers. I felt that without real life experience, I wouldn't really be giving you an honest to goodness opinion about how things are going. So I made you all wait....and for that, I'm sorry!

But the good news is...wait, the great news is...the best news I've ever had is:

On Wednesday January 5th 2011 at 7:45 pm Nathaniel Miles was born weighing in at 8.5 pounds and 20 inches! What a life changer this is!

I love this kid so much , and I don't even know him. The emotions and feelings I've had since his birth have been all over the place, from extreme excitement to extreme fear. If I didn't know any better, I'd say that I have PPD! With all of that being said, I really haven't been happier for myself or Lindsey. This is what we've been talking about for several years now...and we're finally here!

One special note: I'd like to thank Lindsey for EVERYTHING she's been through to get us to this point. You've been through so much physically and emotionally over the past two years as we've tried to get pregnant and hit some pretty big rough patches. Thank you for being the woman you are!

So now that Nathan's here, we get get down to the dirty business of diaper reviews!

Although we asked for no disposables at the showers, we still managed to get a few packs of them which wasn't a bad thing. A conversation I had at Comfy Bummy in Downtown Naperville, IL (a brick and mortar cloth diaper store!) put me at ease about having some disposables because the "tar" poo that infants have can be very difficult to clean off of disposables. So with that in mind, we started to burn through the disposables rather quickly.

But he didn't have the tar poo for to long, so we jumped into cloth the day after we got home, and it was exciting and fun! To be honest, I'm also not used to the whole cloth diapering methods yet and there were a few times in the middle of night where I reached for the disposables because they were easier than putting a prefold in a cover and snapping! Now that I have a few more nights under my belt, there is nothing to it. I can cloth diaper with my eyes closed.

Fear not, we are down to our last 10 disposables and haven't used one in 2 days now and we don't plan on purchasing any more. I love cloth diapers!!!!

Remember when I talked about cloth diapers like they were different makes and models of cars? I can wait while you go back to my previous blog and read through those.............

...... I'm still waiting. No worries, I have time.......

......OK, now that you've read through them I'm going to say something completely crazy. Go ahead and disregard the rankings. I put them in order of features and bells and whistles. While this isn't a bad way to organize them, I found that ease of use may be a better way to organize things. So, as I get another few weeks in I'll let you know my new order to how we're doing things.


Since Nate is still a newborn, we are sticking mainly with the prefolds and diaper covers. Lindsey likes the Velcro closures better than the snaps. I like the snaps better, I think it's all just personal preference. We did try a few pocket diapers and they worked great, he's just a little to small to make those his daily diapers. I opted for the one size on the pockets, so I knew ahead of time that he may be a little bit too small at first. If we went with the sized pocket diapers, he'd be in them. But to stay frugal we opted for one size on the pockets and supplemented with covers and prefolds until they fit better.

People think we're crazy for using cloth diapers, and they have valid points. It is so much easier to wrap up a cloth diaper and throw it away. It may be easier, but it is more expensive and who knows what chemicals are in cloth diapers that make the pee just disappear? At least with cloth diapers I know I am saving money and I know exactly what is coming in contact with my kids skin. For those two reasons alone I think everyone should use cloth. At our first (of many) doctor visits, the doctor saw that we were using cloth and didn't say a thing.....hmmmm...I guess we're not that crazy after all!

Thanks for reading....send me a message to let me know what you think or what you want to hear me talk about!

Have a great day!