Safely Cloth Diapering on a Budget

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In my last post we discussed “China Cheapies” and how unsafe and unregulated diapers are being marketed to people who don’t have a lot to spend on diapers.

Thankfully, there are other ways to cloth diaper cheaply, without having to compromise on quality and safety.

Allow me to introduce you to Flats, Prefolds, and Covers.

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These are not the prettiest of cloth options and they take some getting used to but they are inexpensive and work great! In fact, I still reached for flats even when I had other options.

Flats

Simply, flats are large squares of 100% natural fiber, they can come in cotton, hemp or bamboo.  They can be folded in a number of different ways and used on their own with a water proof cover, or as an insert in a pocket diaper.  The cheapest and easiest way to purchase flats is to buy “Flour Sack Towels” at your local store (Target and Walmart both sell them, with the dish towels and pot holders).  I have paid as little as $2.99 for a pack of 4…you can’t go wrong with that price!

Prefolds

Prefolds are basically already folded flats (hence the name).  They can come in a variety of different materials including cotton, hemp, and bamboo.  They are a  bit easier to use than flats (less folding) and the most common way to use them is to fold them in thirds and lay them inside a cover. They can be purchased at cloth diaper retailers.

Covers

Both prefolds and flats are very absorbent but they aren’t waterproof.  That’s where the covers come into play. Covers are a waterproof layer that you put over the top of the prefold or flat.  They keep everything contained and keep baby dry.

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My favorite brand to recommend when people are looking to cloth diaper on a budget is Econobum.  Their “full kit” is only $59.99 and has everything you need to diaper for 1 day.  I typically recommend 2 kits so that you have extras and can spread out washings a bit.  This kit is a great way to build your cloth stash and holds up really well.  *Econobum, like everything at Squigglybugs is CPSIA compliant.

Want to learn more about cloth diapering? Visit my facebook page for more information and to ask questions!

*I am a consultant and educator for Diaper Parties by Squigglybugs.  All opinions are my own and this post contains affiliate links.

Are China Cheapies a Safe Cloth Diaper Choice?

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Have you ever heard the phrase “China Cheapies”?  It’s commonly used in cloth diapering groups to describe very inexpensive diapers that are made in China.  Now you know that I’m all about saving money and finding good deals, but there is more to these diapers than meets the eye.

Most brands of cloth diaper are either made in the US or made internationally while following the US Consumer Product Safety Commission regulations.  Specifically, the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act which regulates products designed for children.  This act includes cloth diapers and requires testing for lead, phthalates, durability, and safety.

The brands that are called “China Cheapies” aren’t tested to meet these standards.  (You can see a list of companies that don’t meet these standards HERESo while you may be getting a “great deal” on them,  you are also bringing diapers that may have lead and other not safe chemicals into your home (and putting them on your baby!) LEAD ya’ll, no way am I playing with that.

There are other issues with purchasing brands like these.  There isn’t any quality control so you could quickly end up with leaks, bad elastics, and broken snaps.  I love that my cloth diaper stash will easily diaper a second child and maintain some resale value.  I would hate to spend money on them only to have them not work.  They also often don’t have any sort of warranty so getting your money back on those faulty diapers is pretty impossible.

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I love teaching people about cloth diapering, in general it is better for the baby, better for the environment, and better for your wallet…but these “China Cheapies” are giving cloth a bad name.  There are so many safe, ethical diaper brands out there who do some serious good for this world and their business is suffering because companies are taking advantage of people and selling unsafe, faulty diapers.  I won’t give them my money and I hope you won’t either.

*Want to purchase your cloth diapers from a company that does all the ‘double checking” for you? All of the diaper brands that we carry at Squigglybugs are safe, compliant, and easy to use.  The owners and consultants are all moms and these are the brands that we put on our own children!

Stay tuned for part 2 and to find out how to safely cloth diaper on a budget!

*Questions about cloth diapering? Please ask either here or on my facebook page I’d love to help!

I’m throwing a party! – Cloth Diapers and Natural Family Care

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The week of April 4th, 2015 I’m throwing a big mystery hostess party on Facebook! Hop on over to my facebook page to sign up for all the fun.  Through out the week I’ll be posting games, special sales, and be available to answer questions about cloth diapering, babywearing, or natural family care!  At the end of the week anyone who made a purchase will be entered into a drawing to win all the hostess gifts including a Ju-Ju-Be fuel cell!

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Because this is a special event anyone who purchases from me will receive free shipping and a free reusable grocery bag (make sure to join the event to find out how).  You can shop at Squigglybugsllc just make sure that you list Kailyn Shippee as your consultant.

Spread the word! The more people who join and make purchases the more gifts get added to the drawing!

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Ditch the Disposables – Earth Day Challenge

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Some of the awesomest (yes that’s a word) brands in cloth diapers have joined together to host a “Make Cloth Mainstream” challenge for Earth Day.  I’ve jumped on board and even though I don’t have a little one in diapers I’ve challenged myself to look for ways to ditch the other disposable things in our lives (paper towels, plastic bags, etc.)  SO…

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Join us! 

If you have a little diaper wearer consider making a switch to cloth diapers, if you already cloth diaper part time than try and go full time.  I’m here to help answer any questions you might have, point you in the direction of brands / products to try out, and if you live local you can even borrow some of my diapers!  Visit my Diaper Parties page for more detailed information about cloth diapers and why you should give them a try.

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If you are past the diaper stage consider ditching some other disposables.  Trade out paper towels for cloth, plastic bags for storage containers or reusable grocery bags, you could even ditch the to-go cups for a travel mug! Every little bit makes a positive impact on the environment and on your wallet.

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Head on over to our facebook page and tell us how you are ditching the disposables! We’ll be sharing information for the next 3 weeks to help and we’d love it if you posted updates and questions for us too.

Let’s ditch the disposables and #MakeClothMainstream !

3 Ways to Save Money With Kids

Everyone always says that kids are expensive, and to some extent they are right.  But, raising children doesn’t have to be quite as expensive as its made out to be.  Here are 3 ways that we save money on all that ‘stuff’ that kids need.

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1. Cloth Diapers

The average family spends $2500 on disposable diapers for one child…That is a lot of money going right into the landfill! Switching to cloth diapers can easily save you $2000 dollars or more! Plus, since they are reusable, you can use them on future children and save even more.  I love being an educator and consultant with Squigglybugs, teaching people how to save money, help the environment, and naturally care for their little ones is a huge passion of mine.  If you want a hand switching to cloth or have any questions please email me at DiaperPartiesbyKailyn@gmail.com or visit our facebook page.

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2. Consignment Sales

A few moms got together and started a large (twice a year) kids consignment sale that happens locally for us.  These big consignment sales take place all over the country though so go ahead and google “kids consignment sale in _______” and see what you find! I absolutely love these sales and find amazing deals on clothes, gear, toys and everything else you can possibly need for little ones.  I’ve even started consigning Tilly’s old stuff so this past fall I managed to walk away from the sale having broke even…that’s right I got all of Tilly’s fall and winter clothes / gear and a few presents for her birthday and Christmas for FREE! It does take a little work to get items ready to sell but that time was so worth it.  Our big spring sale (Be Green Consignment Sale) is coming up next weekend and I can’t wait!

3. Library Trips

We love our local library! We usually try and plan a trip every two weeks so that we can return books and pick out new ones.  The kids room in our library has a ton of great books as well as puzzles, blocks, felt toys and perfect little kid sized furniture.  Tilly loves going and I love that it’s a free way to spend an afternoon, especially this winter when the weather was often bad.  We always bring home a few books that we keep upstairs in Tilly’s room for bedtime, it keeps our bedtime routine fresh and gives her something to look forward to, which has helped to make bedtime quite a bit smoother.

How do you save money? I’d love it if you shared your ideas in the comments below

*This post contains an affiliate link for Diaper Parties by Squigglybugs, if you choose to place an order I’d appreciate it if you listed Kailyn Shippee as your consultant as it helps fund our homesteading adventure. Thank you! 

Potty Learning or Training with Cloth

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“Cloth diapered babies potty train faster”

Or so the old wives (or is it wise?) tales goes and perhaps there is some truth to it.  You see, cloth diapers allow a baby to feel that they are wet a little bit more than disposable diapers do.  Over time the baby begins to associate going potty with feeling wet and that can make learning to use the potty easier since that is one connection that has already been made.

Now, sure there are lots of other factors and it definitely isn’t a sure fire way to get your child to use the potty but I took a little survey of my Squigglybugs consultants and got the sense that they considered the use of cloth as a help in getting their child potty-ing like a big kid…and let’s face it we all need a little help.

Our little Matilda is now 27 months old (yikes! that was fast) and completely potty trained.  She wears a simple diaper cover with a hemp insert to bed at night but most mornings wakes up dry (we’re working on eliminating those too) but during the day (even out and at day care) she wears real-deal big girl underpants…and I mean big the smallest size Target had was 2t/3t and there is definitely “room to grow”.

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To teach Tilly to use the potty we started by bringing home a little potty chair and talking a lot about going potty.  Any time we changed her diaper we would point out that she had gone potty “Your diaper is wet, you went potty in your diaper” and so on.  They started doing the same thing at day care and then added bringing her to sit on the potty before her scheduled diaper changes.  Once she started using the potty occasionally we invested in cloth trainers.  These are like disposable pull ups but way more cost effective, look and feel more like underpants (making the switch to underpants that much easier).  After another week or so of keeping those dry we switched to underpants and have never looked back.

Rumor has it that boys tend to use the potty a bit later than girls so that may have factored into it but I definitely think the cloth diapers and trainers played a big role too.

*The cloth diapers and cloth trainers that I talked about in this post are available at Squigglybugs

Did cloth help your child learn to use the potty?

Homestead Goals for 2015


We aren’t big new years resolution people.  We’d rather set some small attainable goals to work towards over the course of the year.  Think of it as our yearly to-do list, man I love crossing things off a to-do list.

Our overall goal for life here on the homestead is to be as self-sufficient and sustainable as possible.  In order to get closer to that goal in 2015 we’ve planned out the following “to-do list”.  

Expand the garden…again
The garden did get expanded last year but there is still room for more.  There are two trees that are preventing the garden from getting as much sun as we’d like so, they are coming down! I’m also toying with the idea of replacing the flowers in front of the house with herbs (roman chamomile, echinacea, and calendula most likely).   


Harvest the four older chickens
It’s the circle of life my friends, the 4 older hens are getting old and aren’t laying as consistently as they once were.  They have served us well over the years and it’s time for them to serve us one last time.   This will be a new and important skill for us to learn and I’m grateful to have friends to help. 

 
Add to the flock
We just added 4 younger hens to our flock and are planning on adding some more come spring.  8 or 9 total is an ideal number for us, providing us with enough eggs plus extra to sell.  


Get approval to sell home canned goods
I love to can especially jams, jellies, and pickles.  We have done a good bit of research on the state laws allowing us to sell these items and the biggest hurdle to jump is getting our kitchen inspected by the department of health.  Once they approve our kitchen then we can begin to sell at local markets and fairs.  This would be a huge step for us and I’m really excited about the possibility.  

Grow my Squigglybugs / Cloth by Kailyn business
I am loving my work as a consultant and educator for Squigglybugs.  Teaching families about cloth diapers, babywearing, and natural baby care has been such a great opportunity for me.  It has been slow to grow and I know that I need to spend some more time and energy focused on making my business great! *Check out my store HERE

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We’re always been the kind of people to DREAM BIG but we are realistic enough to know that it takes time and that we are better off taking things one little step at a time.  What little steps are you taking toward your goals this year? 

 

Camping in Cloth Diapers

This past weekend we took a little family vacation.  We headed up to New York for a camping adventure, and it was great!  Now, I could have left the cloth at home and brought disposables for the weekend.  I know this is pretty common among cloth diapering families on vacation but I wanted to see how cloth diapering on a camping trip really was….turns out it’s just about the same as at home!

As for diapers, we brought along our BumGenius 4.0s, flour sack towels, and Thirsties Hemp Inserts.  We decided to use disposable wipes, though now that I think about it cloth would have worked just fine.  We also used disposable night time diapers since our usual nighttime diapers are a little bit trickier.  

We used the hemp inserts for the long drives and never had a single leak! In fact, we were leak free the whole trip.  We changed her on a typical schedule of every 3 hours, unless it was clear she needed a change before that.  The wipes we tossed in the trash and the diapers we kept stuffed (4.0s are pockets) in our wet dry bags.   We kept one wet bag in the cabin that held our dirty diapers and one in our diaper bag that we would use when we were out and about.  The system worked great! The cabin didn’t smell, the car didn’t smell, you would never had known we had dirty diapers with us.

The first thing I did when we got home was give all the diapers a good rinsing before starting our usual wash routine.  Since BumGenius recommends bleaching once a month, I went ahead and did that as well.  I dried them in the sun to brighten them up (which i usually do anyway) and they look as good as new.


Have you ever been camping with cloth diapers?

Linking up with: Homestead Barn HopHomemade MondaysModest Mom

Cloth By Kailyn

If you’ve taken a look around the blog or our Facebook page than you’ll know that I am pretty much in love with cloth diapers.  Good for baby, good for the environment, good for my wallet its a win-win-win situation and I’m hooked.  I was lucky enough to have some awesome mamas in my life that taught me the ins and outs (hehe) of cloth diapering and since then I’ve been looking for ways to pass it on to others.  And so… I’m excited to announce that I have become a consultant and educator with Squigglybugs.

Yes, cloth diapers are so exciting we throw parties for them (well, about them really).  And not just diapers but also baby-wearing, natural and homeopathic remedies, mama cloth…all kinds of fun stuff.
newbusinesscardYou’ll notice that I said consultant and educator.  That’s because it’s not about making money (though that is a nice bonus) it’s about teaching people natural ways to care for their baby.

When you purchase through my site or through a party that I am hosting you not only get awesome products but you get me! your very own consultant.  I’m available to answer any questions, give demonstrations, and help you troubleshoot…for FREE. Consider me your personal diaper fairy.

Check out the link above to see and learn more about our products (including the top names in cloth diapers and baby carriers) and start asking those questions!

The Leaky Diaper Blues

If you follow us on Facebook than you know that for awhile we were having some pretty serious diaper issues.  My tiny, little girl is apparently a force to be reckoned with and our diapers just couldn’t keep up.  

 

It went like this, bed time would roll around and Tilly would get good and fussy.  A fresh “night time strength” diaper would go on, followed by PJs, some snuggly nursing time, and then bed.  Doesn’t sound too bad right? but wait for it…
1:00 am would roll around and we’d awaken to a crying baby and a wet EVERYTHING. Diaper, PJs, crib sheet, the works.  This went on for months.  We tried every combination and suggestion we could find and still we were wet, literally on nights when she was extra fussy and co-sleeping.  
Honestly we tried everything, including…
 
“Night time” cloth diapers, “Night time” disposable diapers, Backwards disposable diapers (She leaks out the top, the back was supposed to come up high enough to prevent that), Hemp inserts, wool soakers, waterproof covers over the disposable diaper…EVERYTHING
 
And then my amazing cousin (and her equally as amazing family) came to visit.  And SOLVED our leaky diaper problems! 

 

A square of fleece folded up on the front of the diaper was all it took to keep Tilly (and everything she owns) dry all night long.  Fleece is a wicking material so the square at the top of the diaper pulls moisture down into the core of the diaper, instead of out the top.  
 
Seriously, That tiny piece of fleece solved one BIG, wet, stinky problem.