Monday, May 30, 2011

Flats Challenge Part 4: the Wrap Up

This week we are featuring guest blogger Kendra on her journey to cloth diaper using flats.

Well, I completed the flats challenge! I am a convert to flat-love! Yay! I'm very, very glad I did it. I'm glad I have the knowledge to diaper in any situation and I can keep those diapers clean as long as I have access to clean water.
I'm very thankful to have a washer and dryer where we live, but if I didn't handwashing definitely is feasible. A large aspect of the challenge was to be able to educate others on how inexpensively you can cloth diaper. Flats and covers are the cheapest and easiest way to cloth diaper with the only option as handwashing. I'm going to keep drying the diapers and our regular laundry on a clothesline and rack during the warm months and then fluff in the dryer for 10 minutes.
Handwashing also connected me to the others during this challenge. It's not so hard to do something, if you know others share in the experience. We share tips and tricks, frustrations and successes. I know a flat and my Econobum cover will always be in my diaper bag. Takes up so little space, I could shove it in my purse or place in a reusable bag and keep in my glove compartment for emergencies.
I encourage all cloth diapering families to try some flats and covers, handwash    them, and learn the basics. If they are in an emergency situation, they still can care for their children and educate others.
I love my All-in-Ones and pockets, but flats, prefolds, and covers are my workhorses of my daily diapering. The flexibility and price can't be beat. As I mentioned before, I love using cotton, with flats and prefolds my daughter's skin is clear and irritation-free, so I know she likes them, too.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Flats Challenge Part 3: the a-ha, this works Days

This week we are featuring guest blogger Kendra on her journey to cloth diaper using flats.

”#FlatsChallenge”It definitely took the first three days to get in the flat diapering groove for me. Thursday through Saturday I actually enjoyed the process a lot more. Thursday I  tried every flat fold I could find online. This was fun, we were home all day, so I wasn't worried about how many diaper changes I would need. This was a good day to be so flexible since my daughter was pooping like it was cool. We used the diaperbag fold, the kite fold, a variation of an accordion fold, a twisty bowtie fold. I did get a little worried when all my covers but the one she was wearing were drying.
Fortunately, she took a nice nap and when she awoke at least one was dry. Thursday night was another wash night for me. This time I did the first soak/rinse and final rinse in the tub, it gave me much more space and water to agitate through the diapers. I also used a plunger to push water through the diapers. This method tired me out very quick, so each diaper only received one pump during the first rinsing. I also got in tub and "stomping the grapes" style sloshing everything around after the washing.
Friday and Saturday I used my favorite folds which include the pad fold and the origami fold, which I was determined to have work. The pad fold definitely my favorite, but sometimes the poop runs out onto the cover. The origami fold is my favorite for coverage, but I wish was a little more absorbent. I could have used two flats, a pad fold inside an origami fold, but that seemed too bulky to be necessary. If I was using flats full-time, I would find make a soaker to add to the origami fold. I also became a pro at twisting the fabric  around her legs to get good fit.
One more washing tonight and then one more full flat diapering day Sunday and then I can wash in our glorious washing machine!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Flats Challenge Part 2: Days 1-3 Learning what works

This week we are featuring guest blogger Kendra on her journey to cloth diaper using flats.

”#FlatsChallenge”    My daughter is exclusively breastfeeding. My usual changing process is to rinse and wring in the sink, stick in meshbag hanging in the shower, and then take it down each night to sit in the washer. I haven't changed that for the Flats Challenge.

  Monday was my "emergency" day. I used two small flats, three receiving blankets, and one old tshirt. The flats and receiving blankets I folded in the pad fold. It was simple, easy, and familiar to how I fold my prefolds. I did go through three covers as my daughter is a "power-pooper" and I was tinkering with how wide each fold should be. The receiving blankets were my favorite, thick, soft, and surprisingly absorbent since they have been machine dried with fabric softener sheets their whole lives. The tshirt worked just as well as a flat, definitely a good choice in an emergency. Overnight, she slept in one pad fold inside a pocket cover. She is light wetter at night and doesn't poop until after waking. Full disclosure, we practice Elimination Communication, so after I remove her diaper, I place her over the toilet. So, we catch a pee or two day, and usually one poop.
Tuesday I used all flats. I started in the morning with the so far, so good pad fold. In the afternoon, I used the origami fold and pinned it. I changed her while we were out doing errands. The diaper was very wet and the cover was too damp for me to be comfortable using again. I went back to the pad fold, I like that all the layers are in the wet zone, no cloth goes around the legs. I used a Econobum cover for the first time and it lasted me the rest of the day Tuesday and through the morning Wednesday. I like that it holds the flat so close to her.
Origami Fold
  I washed Monday and Tuesdays laundry Tuesday night. Ugh, now I know why this a challenge. I used half my kitchen sink. I did a cold water soak for about 5 minutes with just hand agitation. Drained the cold, filled the sink with the hottest my faucet gets water and about half the detergent I use when I machine wash. I used rubber gloves because of the heat of the water. I rubbed the diapers against each other and with a kitchen wash rag with a "scrubby side". I wanted to do one wash without any special tools. I was surprised how easily the poop does wash out. Then I drained the water, filled the sink again with cold water and sloshed it all around for about ten minutes. Drained the water then ran cold water through each individual item, the receiving blankets held the most bubbles. I feel like I rinsed forever! I did this entire process twice once with all my "diapers" and once with the covers and wipes. Then I wrung out each item (eight flats, three receiving blankets, one tshirt, three covers, and about 15 wipes) as much as I could. I had the benefit of following on Twitter hashtag #flatschallenge and reading what worked for others who handwashed earlier. I laid each item in a towel rolled it up to press out as much water as I could. I hung up everything inside my shower, using the rail, a clothes drying rack and hangers. I ran the bathroom vent fan all night. Wednesday morning about eight hours later, the flats,wipes, and covers were dry, the tshirt and receiving blankets slightly damp still. I learned you can use a hot (no steam) iron to help dry and sanitize the still damp items. I didn't do this, but it's good to know. I rubbed my dry flats together to soften them a bit, but they didn't feel as rough as I thought they would. Everything looked and smelled clean, I just wonder if they are as clean as the machine gets them.
  So far, I like the flats pad folded. I think receiving blankets are the new luxury flat. And I hate handwashing, I feel like it takes so long and I'm using too much water to rinse. I'm going to try a couple more folds Thursday. My daughter's skin hasn't reacted to the handwashed flats, I was worried about that, too.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Flats Challenge Part 1: Deciding to do the challenge and preparation

This week we are featuring guest blogger Kendra on her journey to cloth diaper using flats.

”#FlatsChallenge”   I first heard of the challenge from Dirty Diaper Laundry as a follower of hers on Twitter. I started cloth diapering my daughter the second week in April when she was three mos old. So, my online life has begun to more accurately reflect my daily life, following less famous celebrities, following more mamas. My first impression of the Flats and Handwashing Challenge was that it was a little crazy. Why handwash when I have a perfectly capable machine? Flats? Good grief, on all the web sites those are the cheap options for travel and homesteaders! Those old, old type of diapers, even my mom padded my bottom with prefolds thirty years ago! I knew I would follow others' experiences, but I would happily read about it while listening for the spin cycle to end! I owned two flats, both small that I took from the hospital at my daughter's birth. I couldn't justify spending money on flats. As I thought more about it, I started to have a change of heart. I can do whatever I set my mind on. I had just pushed my daughter into the world, I could certainly handwash her diapers for a week! I won a $10 gift code, flats were $10, it was a clear sign. So, here I am.
My daughter in a t-shirt

My preparation was very easy. I started to boil my new flats within thirty minutes of the mailman delivering them to my door. Then I read on the flats' insert that bleached flats only needed to be prewashed once. Nice. Three of the flats boiled for about five minutes, then I poured them into the washing machine. I decided that my first day of the challenge I would use both my small hospital flats, receiving blankets, and old cotton T-shirts. True "flat" broke diapering. My version of emergency diapering. As recent natural disasters have demonstrated, if I am without power and water, my daughter still needs clean diapers. I should know how to get a T-shirt or blanket or old sheet around her. Thankfully is a great source of how to use basically anything absorbent to diaper, how to handwash, folding, etc. I personally feel very strongly about having natural fibers next to my daughter's skin, so everything I'm using for the challenge is 100% cotton. There is one exception, for my five covers, one of them is a smartipants pocket cover, but I am going to try to use that only at night. I have three Mommy's Touch covers, and one Econobum cover to use during the day. I have two old fashion diaper pins and that's all. It looks like this:
  • 6 real-size bleached flats
  • 2 small bleached flats*
  • 6 receiving blankets*
  • 3 old T-shirts*
  • 5 covers
  • 2 diaper pins
*used on my first "emergency" day and as needed during the week once the six flats are used.

Next up, how the challenge is going...

Friday, May 13, 2011

Fuzzi Bunz Promotion (with special sale this weekend only)

This weekend only if you participate in the FuzziBunz Bonus Bunz promotion, you will also receive a free pair of leggings.  At checkout, specify if you boy or girl in the comments.

Fuzzi Bunz promotion also includes 2 packs. You can order 1 two pack + 3 singles, and get a free single free.  Or two 2 packs + 1 single and get a free single. 

This promotion also qualifies you for a free sample of Rockin' Green and free shipping!

Hurry soon before this deal ends!  Most colors still available. 


daddy dialogues: My New Favorite thing

  Every week I find new things my daughter does that I'm in awe of. First it her smile, then giggles. Next it was her rolling over, crawling, standing, walking, eating. The list goes on and on and is always changing.  My new favorite thing is her wave.  It's amazing watching wave to strangers and smile like the little flirt she is. But nothing is better than walking into a room to see my little pumpkin look up, smile and wave to me.

  What is your new favorite thing your kids do?

    Mr. Sandbox, out.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Late night Cloth Diaper chat...

Are you on twitter and feel like you always miss out on the #clothdiapers chat on Mondays? Sandbox Lane is sponsoring a late night gab session called: #latenightclothdiapers. 

Time: 9pm PST (12am EST)

Hashtag: #latenightclothdiapers

To get the word out, we're giving away a $10 gift card the first week!

The Great 500 follower Giveaway

Thank you for helping us reach our goals of 400.  Now it's time to do a big giveaway when we hit 500!

  We are giving away:

There are a number of ways to enter:

  • Follow us on twitter (mandatory 1 entry)
  • Follow us on Facebook (1 entry)
  • Follow us on Google (1 entry)
  • Tweet about the Twitter giveaway "The Great 500 follower Twitter #giveaway: #Win #clothdiapers Prize pack from @sandboxlane Please RT & Follow!" (1 entry per day)
  • Blog about it and post the link (5 entries)
  • Post in a forum and post link (3 entries)
  • Post giveaway on Facebook and post link (3 entries)
  • Order something and let us know the name you order number to verify (5 entries)
  • Create an account and subscribe to our newsletter (1 entry)

For this giveaway, just leave us a comment here on this post and when we hit 500 will use to pick a winner from the comments!

We've got a big big one up our sleeves for the 1,000 follower giveaway.  The closer we get to 500 the faster we can give that away! Thanks for playing!

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Being a mom...

  I remember growing up and thinking how lucky my mom was to have a special day.  I always thought it was great how everyone showered her with gifts and cards and couldn't wait till I got something that seemed like an extra birthday.  Now being a mom, I realize its so much more. It isn't just for others to celebrate us, but for us to celebrate the lives we created.
  I look at my daughter and feel so very blessed I am her mother.  I feel lucky I am the one she will call when she is lonely or has happy news to share. I feel love with every smile, wave and cuddle she provides.  I feel joy and bliss with each passing day, seeing her grow and know I had something to do with her becoming the woman she will be.

  To all you mothers we want to wish you a very Happy Mother's Day. You work so very hard and hope that not only you are celebrated today but you celebrate the lives you made and touched!

Mr.Sandbox wanted to share his gratitude and made a few codes.  
  • MommyRules =  25% off all non sale items (excludes bumGenius, econobum, flip) 
  • Daddydrools =  Free Shipping
both expire May 8, 2011

Friday, May 6, 2011

daddy dialogues: The Man's guide to Cloth Diapers

Mr. Sandbox here, I've come to think of myself as a cloth diaper pro when it comes to my daughter. At our house, we always had this standing rule, my wife put the food in, I took the food out. Don't get me wrong, I've made my share of mistakes of not fastening the waist tight enough or even attempting to put on a diaper backwards. But all those mistakes taught me a thing or two and now I'm here to share.

Tools you need:
  • cloth diapers 
    • I prefer velcro.  It's easier to use than snaps. Snaps I just can't get right most of the time.
  • diaper pail and liner
    • easy way to toss everything into the washer and keeps the pail dry
  • cloth wipes
    • I'm a sucker for saving money.  If you are going the cloth route, my motto is suck it up and do cloth wipes.  The only difference I noticed is you don't throw away the cloth ones.
  • Diaper Sprayer
    • I know this isn't a must but in my mind it is. It spouts out power super fast and gets the gunk off quick. What can I say, I like tools and this is a tool.
  • toys
    • My daughter is the biggest wiggle worm on the planet. I feel like I have to have a dozen different items ready to hand her so I can get the poop off and clean her bum.
  • patience
    • The first week or so I felt like I was doing something wrong.  It seemed to easy but that was it, it was easy. The more I did it the better I got and wasn't afraid. 

     Overall, I'm really glad I opened myself up to cloth diapers. I think if people just gave them a chance they would be amazed at how easy and efficient they really are. Plus they'll look really cool once you put one on your baby. My goal for 2011 is to educate family,friends, and the general public about the benefits of cloth diapering a child and attempt to break the stigma that can be associated with them.

  What tips would you give to someone starting out?

Mr. Sandbox... out!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

May's Charity: March of Dimes

The last two months have been so successful giving to both Autism Awareness and Red Cross Japan Refief Efforts, we decided we wanted to make this a monthly goal to find a great cause.

This month is Pregnancy Awareness Month and couldn't think of a better way to acknowledge it by giving to one of our favorite foundations:

Portions of ALL sales will go to this wonderful cause.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Green Parenting...

We love to keep up on the latest news out there about green parenting and read a great article we wanted to share with you from the The Charlotte Observer. Below is an excerpt:

Green parenting is a trend that’s not going away, thanks to the bevy of pro-earth baby products on the market. The earth-conscious merchandise doesn’t just attract environmentalists, but the moms who simply want the best for their children, too. From natural rubber pacifiers and glass milk bottles to homemade baby food and the resurgence of cloth diapers, parents have hundreds of options to choose from.

Cloth diapers seem to be making the most significant comeback for environmental and economical reasons. And these days, cloth diapers aren’t the drab white cotton variety your grandparents used with safety pins. The newest line of baby knickers features organic cotton, snap closures and, in some cases, highly absorbent inserts that can be washed, flushed down the toilet or composted.
 Read more here

  What led you to become a green parent?