Wednesday, November 19, 2008

More on SALE!

We have a few more great sale items - we didn't want anyone to miss anything.

1. Pocket Change Pocket Diapers ONLY $13.00 ea.

2. Order 12 or more Bumgenius 3.0 Pocket Diapers and get a pair of FREE BabyLegs! (Make note in the comments which BabyLegs patterns you prefer or don't want.)

**New BG colors are in stock, ready to ship and just adorable too!**

As always, we offer free shipping on orders over $75 within the contiguous U.S.

Happy shopping :)

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

The Washing Dilema

After reading around on the various boards and having lots of customer questions, we thought it would be good to address washing instructions as well as issues that people often have keeping their cloth diapers clean AND residue free – the later probably being the most difficult, but oh so important. The instructions that we include with each purchase at our store include these very important points:

• Try to wash every 2-3 days
• Set the washer on the highest water level (usually large load on most washers)
• Wash 10-15 diapers at a time
• Do an initial cold rinse with no detergent – then a full hot wash with 1/3 the normal amount of detergent – then follow that with one last extra cold rinse

In the final rinse cycle, people often like to add something - a splash of vinegar (we don’t recommend this for people with hard water) or even a couple drops of tea tree oil, for its disinfecting properties and fresh scent. Adding a bit of baking soda to the hot wash along with the detergent also helps to release soap buildup as well. As for drying, it really varies depending on the diaper. Obviously, the less you use a clothes drier, the longer your diapers will last regardless of their type. Diapers with PUL lining (that is the waterproofing inside of covers, pockets and usually AIOs) should be dried on hot about once a month even if you don’t on a regular basis as this helps re-seal any cracks or holes that occur as part of normal wear. Other than that you should refer to each diaper’s separate instruction to see which ones recommend drying and which recommend hanging.

We get requests for detergent brands from customers all the time. At our retail store we sell this – and it is what most of our employees use, since it’s locally made right here in Maine. The most important things to look for in a diaper detergent is actually the absence of these ingredients (which is more difficult that you would think to figure out just from reading the labels on the detergent containers!) - the following ingredients will leave buildup on your diapers and over time their absorbency and often their quality will decrease exponentially.

• Artificial brighteners, whiteners and softeners
• Enzymes
• Artificial scents
• Pure soap

This chart is actually a great resource. It contains just about every detergent on the market and rates it based on the presence of all these ingredients as well as a few other things.

There are so many things that we have heard customers and friends tell us about their personal perils with cloth diapering. I thought I would pick a few and talk about them – that is, typical mistakes people make.

1. Using fabric softener or sheets: This is a really bad idea! These products stick to your diapers and essentially prevent them from absorbing wetness. Also, I recommend not using them on your regular laundry as well as they tend to build up on the insides of the washer and drier and then are deposited on the diapers. Before you wash your first diaper, if you have used softeners in the past, give the insides of your machines a good wipe with a cloth and a bit of white vinegar just be on the safe side.

2. Washing other things such as rags with your diapers: A lot of things like cleaning product and certain types of spills contain oils and residue that can be deposited on your diapers during washing and drying and will decrease or prevent absorbency. We recommend washing just your diapers by themselves – I have heard people ask about washing cloth wipes with a solution that is part oil – personally we have not had not any issues with this, our wipes go right in the pail and then in the washer along with the diapers. Of course if you feel like you put an excessive amount of oil in your solution then that might be something to take into consideration.

3. Using rash creams with fleece, suede cloth and microfiber: It is so hard to avoid this sometimes – I can’t say I haven’t done it but will warn that it is very difficult to remove from these fibers. What we recommend would be either a paper liner or when your babe has a rash that requires cream, use prefolds. These can be boiled if the cream doesn’t come out in a couple of hot washes and the natural fibers are so much easier to clean.

Lastly we thought it important to talk about residue removal or what most people call “stripping” the diapers. Depending on your water type and the quality of your detergent, you may need to do this anywhere from twice a month to every other. The best method that we have found is using about a tablespoon of plain old blue Dawn original dish liquid. Add this to your normal hot wash instead of your normal detergent and then follow up with as many rinses as it takes before you don’t see bubbles. This will vary – soft water will take more rinsing, hard water less. The other way that many people strip their diapers is to just do a couple hot washes in a row with no detergent, you will need to experiment with this as each person’s situation differs slightly.

These points really just touch the surface of issues and questions people have. We welcome any other questions or comments right here on the blog, by email or by phone (1-866-586-MCDC). Thanks – and happy diapering!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Fall Sale Items

Hi everyone! We are working on a new article, but I thought I would hop on real quick today to tell you all about some new sale items we have up.

1. Bravado Nursing Bras now ONLY $20 (reg. $39.99)

2. Magic-Alls AIO now ONLY $11.50 (reg. $17.99)

3. California Baby Sunscreen now ONLY $9.00 (reg. $17.99)

4. Thirsties V1 Covers now ONLY $8.50 (reg. $11.25)

5. Baby Beehinds One-Size Fitted Diaper now ONLY $19.99 each (reg. $22.50)

Those are just a few examples....visit our Sale page to see the rest!

Also we have several new products in stock!

1. All New Version 2 Thirsties Diaper Covers $10.95

2. Thirsties Hemp/Cotton Inserts 2-pack $7.75

3. Bumgenius One-Size Pockets in new vibrant colors! (zinnia, clementine, moonbeam and ribbit) $17.95

4. Bumgenius Diaper Sprayer $39.95

Again, that is just a sample of the new products we have added. Check out our NEW products page to see the rest.

Oh and stay tuned in the next few days for a great article about care and washing of cloth diapers. And as always, happy diapering!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

It's "almost fall"

Hello everyone and greetings from Maine! We have a few things going on this month and an exciting new product to introduce (I will save the best for last).

Firstly we are running a sale on summer products, some are up to 50% off the original price. This includes some organic summer clothes as well as those awesome California Baby products that I talked about a couple posts ago. It’s a great time to stock up on them for next year too even if the sun isn’t still shining where you live. Our second sale is on both the Thirsties AIO Pockets (version 1) and the Magic-All AIOs. They are $13.50 each and are great diapers ESPECIALLY for that low price. We are almost out of mediums so hurry and get them while they are hot! Our last sale is a special 5% off any order of $50 or more. Just use the coupon code – almostfall (expires September 15, 2008).

The next order of business is the happenings on our site. As some may have noticed, we had been experiencing some technical difficulties several times last month which forced us to change providers and servers and all that technical stuff…so if you are surfing around and have any problems or have any questions PLEASE contact us and ask/let us know – either by phone (1-866-586-MCDC) or email. We are also making changes to help everyone find things better and make the process more streamline and quicker (because we all need a little extra time in the day!)

Lastly our most exciting announcement is that we have added Fuzzi Bunz to our store! These are the new improved version that fits so well and people just love them. Everyone should try some, they really are great – comfortable, great fitting, self containing and you can you stuff them so full for bulletproof nighttime dryness or stuff with just the microfiber insert that is included for a trim daytime option.

As usual we look forward to hearing from everyone, let us know what you like, what you don’t, what you wish we had and any challenges we might be able to help you out with – oh and happy diapering :)

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Decisions, decisions...One-Size vs. Sized Diapers

One of the most popular things that people looking into using cloth on their kids ask us is the pros and cons of sized diapers (sm ,med, lg) vs. a one-size/os variety (e.g. , Bumgenius, Baby Beehinds, Happy Heinys). The idea of only having to buy one set of diapers is not only ideal from a convenience standpoint but certainly from a financial standpoint. We have lots of parents that come to the store with the intention of buying 18-20 os diapers and then recycling them through 2-3 or more kids, which may not be realistic. This seems like a perfect plan before thinking about some of the factors that we want to point out below.

There are several factors that influence that life of a cloth diaper. The most important thing would be your washing routine. If you read the directions for washing on most of our diapers, they say something similar to – wash on hot with a mild, additive free detergent, follow up with a cold rinse and then either tumble dry low or hang to dry (some people like to do an initial cold rinse to help with stains as well). The detergent is very important and if you need recommendations, please ask. Also, depending on your lifestyle and the size of your diaper stash, it may not always be feasible to hang your diapers to dry each and every time. Even if you plan on line drying, also plan on having to use the dryer every once in awhile when you are in a rush! The last factor is the actual number of diapers you have which obviously directly influences the number of times you have to wash your diapers per week which in turn will influence how long they last. For example - a dozen os pocket diapers that are washed every 1.5-2 days for 2 yrs are going to wear out twice as fast than if you had 2 dozen diapers and washed just twice a week (on average that is the difference between 100 and 200 trips through the washer per year).

The next thing to consider is the actual diapering needs of infants v. toddlers. As seasoned parents can attest to, the older the child, generally, the less diaper changes needed. In those early infant weeks and months, when babe is likely needing changing all the time, you will certainly go through twice as many diapers as say a 10-12 month old child. The need to change so often starts spacing out substantially as the child gets older - especially when solids are introduced. We generally recommend 2-3 dozen diapers for a newborn (or more if you don’t like to wash as often), this would be way more than one would necessarily need for an older child – this certainly lends itself to thinking that it might make the most sense to have a separate nb/sm stash of 2-3 dozen diapers and then moving up to a smaller stash of meds when the babe grows out of the smaller collection. This also would allow families of multiple and different aged children to cycle through the sizes – especially if you plan on having several children and using cloth on all of them. The wear on one set of os diapers through 2 or more children is going to be quite substantial and you could be disappointed when they begin to wear out earlier than you had hoped. Although you will most likely get quite a bit of wear out of an os diaper, it may not be feasible to expect any piece of cloth to withstand being washed every other day for upwards of 2 years. Another thing to consider is the resale value. There is a good market for well taken care of, but used cloth diapers – so if you do end up with more in a particular size than you need or if they still have some life in them once your own kids are done with them, you quite possibly could recoup some of your investment.

If you do choose to have a stash consisting mainly of os diapers, you want to make sure that it is large enough that you only wash a couple times a week and really properly care for them to extend their life. Our recommendation is that if you know you want to have 2 or more children, sized diapers may be your better choice – 2-3 dozen nb/sm, 1-2 dozen meds and some kiddies don’t even need large as they potty train before they grow out of the meds. If you are having your children close together, having 6-12 os diapers added to the mix might be good for outings and to streamline a little bit and make the diaper bag easier to tote around! Its important to make sure your expectations for any wear product is realistic – we want to make sure that everyone finds the type of diaper that will suit their family. We welcome any questions - here on the blog, by email or stopping into our retail boutique. We also have several other helpful articles at the bottom of our home page Thanks for reading and happy diapering :)

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Beach Bum Babies

Happy summer from Maine! Yes we actually have summer up here, for those of you that think otherwise :) We have some exciting new products available for your summer activities, including supplies for the beach and our new Sckoon organic cotton outfits for baby!! I have heard more and more mothers on mainstream boards talking about what is most effective on their babies bums while they swim. The disposable swim diapers sag even though they are not supposed to hold water and you end up changing them so often that a trip to the pool or beach can be very costly in a “sposie” world. More and more mothers that don’t normally cloth diaper are turning to washable swim diapers. Our Kushies swim diapers are awesome, they fit snugly in the leg with extra gussets and both velcros and ties up in the front with no gaps so that nothing “gets out”….if you know what I mean! Perhaps this is going to be the vehicle for spreading the cloth diapering word to the masses - wouldn’t that be great? Think of the environmental impact of even a 20% reduction in diaper waste. Also in our Summer Fun section we have some great products from California Baby - SPF 30 sunscreen lotion, bug repellant and then an awesome repellant/sunscreen combo lotion which saves so much time and hassle - especially with wiggly toddlers. We love this CB combo lotion for our kiddos because it is all natural and made with essential oils - its also waterproof. We also carry a variety of other CB products.

We are excited to show off our new store and expanded products - so stop in if you are in the area or visit us at Bring the kiddies in to play and we can talk fluff! We are happy to answer any questions you might have either in person, by phone or email and wish everyone happy diapering!