Category Archives: Cloth Diapers

Potty girl!

“Me peed AGAIN, Mama!”
That’s my girl.
One happy mama over here!

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Three Day Potty Training

Yes, I’m serious.

No, it isn’t a gimmick.

No, you don’t have to give me any money to learn about how I potty train.

This is the third time I’ve potty trained. So far, I’ve consistently managed daytime potty training by 2 1/2 years old, and nighttime potty training by 3 years old.

Here’s what you need:

  • a toddler who is showing signs of being ready.
  • potty chair (I use the basic one from Wal-Mart)
  • a gated room with hard floors
  • drinks and salty snacks
  • a timer (I use a free app called Potty Baby)
  • washable toys in the gated room

Pick a room. When we lived in a different house, I used the kitchen because there was a bathroom attached and it was the only hard floor in the entire house. Here, it’s the dining room.

The potty chair and the toys go in the dining room, and a gate gets put across the doorway to keep the accidents on the hard floor. The toddler plays in this room all day for the three days while she is being potty trained.

IMG_20130924_102515Some of the washable toys in the potty-training room

IMG_20130924_102705And a happy little girl in a long shirt with no pants.

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So, here’s what you do.

  • On day 1, make a REALLY BIG DEAL out of not wearing/needing diapers anymore: “Since you’re such a big girl, you don’t need diapers anymore!”
  • Give the toddler lots to drink, and snacks like crackers and watermelon.I allow sweet tea and punch in larger quantities than usual.
  • Sit the toddler on the potty EVERY FIVE MINUTES until she goes once, then every fifteen minutes after that. (Yes, this is a very labor intensive 3 days).
  • You may have to build awareness of elimination. This is why you go COMPLETELY NAKED below the waist. She can directly see what she is doing, as it is happening.
  • If the toddler starts to have an accident, whisk her over to the potty chair before she finishes. Praise her for making it to the potty before finishing.
  • Get SUPER EXCITED every time she goes in the potty!

For the first little while, I give a small piece of candy every time she succeeds in using the potty. This time around, I’m using chocolate chips because I had them on hand. Two chocolate chips for #2, and one chocolate chip for pee.  Eventually the candy is phased out, but it really helps at first to build motivation.

I do still use diapers during naps and at night, until I start to see consistently dry diapers during these times. Then I put a waterproof pad on the bed and try a diaper-free nap!

Oh,  I should probably note that the poor kid isn’t by herself in one room for three days! Her siblings are with her a lot of the time, and I’m in there most of the time too. I sit at the table with my laptop, sewing machine, or a book.

You can read more about the three-day method here.

Cloth Diapering: How to Fix a Leaky Cover

I only rotate 8 covers between my two kids in diapers, so they get washed an ungodly number of times fairly often. I usually wash every other day, but there have been times that I’ve had to wash every day.  I would guess that each cover has probably been washed at least 100 times.

If these were expensive covers, I’d probably be more upset about the leaking. But since I only paid $6 each after shipping, I knew I was getting a somewhat cheaper product.

Lately, we’ve had MAJOR leaking issues. Especially with four-month-old Kid #4. And I’m not just talking about moisture on the leg elastic.. I’m talking about WET on the front and the back less than an hour after changing. Instead of buying or making more covers, I decided to take things into my own hands with a can of waterproofing spray.

waterproofing spray, cardboard, and a diaper cover
waterproofing spray, cardboard, and a diaper cover

The first thing to do is to find some good waterproofing spray. I picked this particular brand because it’s silicone-based and meant for clothing.

waterproofing spray
waterproofing spray

Prepare your work area. I used a sheet of cardboard to protect my counters. Also, prepare your diaper cover using duct tape. I covered all the hook and loop tape with duct tape, and added another strip on the top edge to help stretch the cover out.

2013-06-07_13-16-24_616Shake your can of waterproofing spray, then apply an even and thin coat over the entire surface, focusing on leaky areas and elastic.

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Let it dry for about three hours. Mine was dry faster because I stuck it outside in 105 degree weather…

After drying, feel free to test the cover’s new-found water resistance.

2013-06-07_14-41-55_616 2013-06-07_14-41-28_414

You can see that the water is beading on the cover instead of going through it. This means that the waterproofing worked! If the cover still doesn’t have enough water resistance, you may want to add a second layer of the waterproofing spray.

A cheap can of boot sealant gave my covers a second life. This was definitely a frugal and worthwhile project!

Cloth Diapering, Part 3: The Current System

This is the third and final part in a series about cloth diapering. You can read Part 1 here and Part 2 here.

My homemade diapering system was working well, but I was due with another baby any day and my current method was pretty labor-intensive. I had made only 4 covers with my yard of PUL fabric, so they needed to be washed quite often. They began wearing out after 6 months of constant use. I was also intimidated by the idea of using sharp pins on a wiggly newborn.

Fortunately, when my mother-in-law came for the birth of #4, she brought me a present: her old diaper stash from her diapering days! The stash consists of a dozen Infant diapers:

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2 1/2 dozen “medium” diapers

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And about a dozen toddler diapers.

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I had never used a fitted diaper before this and I completely fell in love with them! Unfortunately, they are not produced anymore. The closest product I’ve been able to find is the Workhorse Organic Fitted diaper made by Green Mountain Diapers:

Fitted diapers have definitely made my life a lot easier. The elastic around the legs keeps messes in, resulting in less laundry for me!

I have VERY heavy wetters, so I usually add a soaker (which is a folded up flat diaper or microfiber towel) between the diaper and the cover, like this:

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At night, I use 2 soaker inserts. Because a soaking wet baby in the middle of the night is no fun.

Notice the different cover in the last picture? Around this time, I also ordered 8 one-size waterproof covers from Kawaii Baby. 

They were only about $6 each after shipping, which is a real bargain compared to the mainstream brands.

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And, of course, I still use my beloved cloth wipes.

 

cloth wipes hanging on the clothes line.
cloth wipes hanging on the clothes line.

They’re holding up marvelously, 1 year later. The fitted diapers make changes almost as fast as a disposable!

I have enough diapers that I can wash every other day..

two days' worth of diapers ready to hang on the line
two days’ worth of diapers ready to hang on the line

some diapers and covers hanging to dry

And now with two kids in diapers, I’m saving at least $100-$150 per month. I also never run out of diapers and have to drive an hour to buy some. I’d call it a win!

Cloth Diapering, Part 2

This is Part 2 in my Cloth Diapering series. You can read about my first experience with cloth diapers here.

Fast forward 2 years – I decided to try again with #3.

Kid #4 hadn’t been born yet, so I only had one in diapers at this point in time. This time, I tried making my own diapers and covers:

two homemade diapers, shown folded and unfolded, and a doll modeling a homemade cover.
two homemade diapers, shown folded and unfolded, and a doll modeling a homemade cover.

The homemade diapers and covers worked pretty well and were cheap. We got by with these and some microfiber towels added in for absorbency.

I started using a dry diaper pail instead of a wet pail, and was finally able to line-dry my clean diapers. The hot sun and winds took care of the stains and smells like a charm! I was saving at least $50 per month on diapers.

At this point, I also made some cloth wipes to use with my diapers. I cut up a cheap fleece blanket into 5″-6″ squares. No hemming or sewing required!

cloth wipes hanging on the clothes line.
cloth wipes hanging on the clothes line.

To wet my wipes, I use a spray bottle filled with tap water and a squirt of lavender baby shampoo. The shampoo is really only in there to make it smell nice.

I was fairly happy with this setup. Eventually, I made some stuffable pocket diapers using Rita’s Rump Pocket pattern. 

These were great. I bought a pack of microfiber towels from the auto section of Wal-Mart and used these inside my pocket diapers. The absorbency was amazing, but the diapers were huge and bulky!

I used my homemade diapers and covers for about 6 months, right up until two days before #4 was born..

Come back tomorrow for part 3, where I’ll share my current diapering setup!

Cloth Diapering, Part 1

This is Part 1 in my Cloth Diapering series.

I have been aware of cloth diapers since before my first baby was born. I was even given two wool diaper covers as a baby shower gift. I am ashamed to say that I wanted nothing to do with the wool covers at the time. They were eventually packed away and lost. These days, I sure wish I still had those covers!

After losing the wool covers, I didn’t even think about cloth diapers for over two years. We were living in student apartments at a college in southern Florida. We were isolated from family and didn’t have a lot of wiggle room in the budget. Our oldest two kids were in diapers at this point. #3 and #4 weren’t around yet.

I drove down to our closest Wal-Mart and bought 2 packages of Gerber prefold diapers:

photo from justmommies.com

I also grabbed a few packages of plastic pants.

photo from ebay.com

Needless to say, I wasn’t off to a great start. The diapers weren’t very absorbent and the plastic pants didn’t contain moisture. I also didn’t have access to a clothesline to dry diapers on. I dried everything in an electric dryer and before long, I had some awful smells building up. I tried bleach, extra rinses, and soaking. Nothing worked. Eventually I gave up and went back to the expensive disposables.

I was frustrated and completely turned off to the idea of cloth diapering. I had no intention of ever trying again. I figured disposables, despite the price and the trash produced, were worth it since they didn’t leak or stink.

Come back tomorrow for Part 2 in the Cloth Diapering series!