## Thursday, March 17, 2011

### Store Credit for Reviews!!

You asked for it! Product Reviews are a major source of information for those considering different products. Let's ramp up the reviews at mamisandpapis.com !!

Leave your reviews, then enter your reviews on the form below! Use the form below for each review - if you leave 3 reviews, use the form below 3 times to give yourself proper credit - no limit!! There will be multiple winners for store credit each week, selected by random.org. AND...once entered, your entry remains valid until it wins you store credit!! So the more reviews you leave and the earlier, the higher your chance of winning!!

Make sure you've created an account so it can be credited if you win! The name in the form should be the name on the account :)

## Friday, March 4, 2011

### A few visual comparisons

More info coming soon, but I wanted to put up a few visual comparisons on some newborn diapers and trainers for those wondering about sizing while I'm working on full blog posts!

Left to right: bumgenius 4.0 one size, all the way snapped down, containing newborn insert only; bumgenius x-tra small; Rumparooz lil joey, micro-preemie disposable diaper (to fit 3-4 pound range)

Top row L to R: size 1.5 to 3 years, 20-33 pounds cotton trainers (like gerber); imse vimse super-large size; minkee blueberry size large (out of production, used for size reference)
Bottom row L to R: blueberry size small, charlie banana one size trainers, blueberry size medium

In the picture, it doesn't look like there is too much size difference, but the blueberry size small are definitely the smallest, with the charlie banana fitting right in between the blueberry size small and size medium.  All of the trainers except the size large blueberry pink leopard print are fitting right now, and our little trainer is right at 27 pounds and pushing 35 inches tall. The short story is, I am loving all of these except the fluffy pink leopard right now - for the "catch small accidents, not totally waterproof trainers", can't go wrong with blueberry, charlie banana (note only one size that runs small), or imse vimse trainers!

Hope this helps a little for the short term!
~Prima~

## Tuesday, February 8, 2011

### Review: sustainablebabyish | sloomb snapless multi and OBF fitted comparison

Grab your cup of coffee, latte, soft drink, or glass of water - this is a long one, and for good reason! We give you honest reviews and opinions, and sustainablebabyish | sloomb, inc.'s collections are some of our absolute favorites! I could go on and on...and I think I will!

The words I would use to describe sloomb's designs and color palettes are fresh, clean, pure, and simple. Don't be fooled - these are not your mom's or grandma's diapers! Long story short, our cloth diapering journey started over 7 years ago with fitteds and covers (not sloomb). I didn't really know what I was doing, didn't have any resources (or where to find them), and I ultimately "quit". Twice. We came back to cloth diapering (again!) with pockets for the birth of our third baby. So when I showed the sustainablebabyish diapers to my mom recently, she laughed, knowing I'd "failed" them before. She didn't laugh for long! The quality is outstanding, and while the diapers (especially with the snapless multi) are "simple", that doesn't mean they are not well-thought-out designs. Both the snapless multi and the organic bamboo fleece (OBF) fitted are very smart designs!

Both the snapless multi and the OBF fitted are fitted diapers, which means they are not waterproof in themselves - they should be paired with a cover. (Try sloomb's wool covers or knit longies from Mami's and Papi's or sloomb!) The snapless multi is a one-size diaper. As the name implies, it is snapless. You can pin it or use a snappi. If you're not using a wool cover and it's one with velcro or snaps, you may not even need to fasten it! Being snapless, it literally has INFINITE adjustment possibilities. The OBF fitteds are sized, have snap-closures, and have a snap-in doubler (snaps in the front so you don't risk touching poo!). Each type also comes with an additional lay-in doubler (the snapless comes with two)! I usually don't even need to use them, but my older baby (non-heavy wetter) can use the snapless as an overnight diaper with the two doublers, and the lay-in doublers can be used, left out, folded in half for extra absorbency right where you need it (even front-and-center for little boys).

With these diapers increasing in recognition, there have been lots of questions recently on the Mami's and Papi's facebook page. Yesterday on facebook, Erin from sloomb graciously answered some of our burning questions for us! Here is what she had to say, straight from the authoritative source!

"...OBF Fitteds do shrink (our patterns are made to accommodate shrinkage & we increased sizing last Fall slightly for a slightly more generous fit)...

Snapless-multi fitteds are made of terry - these are incredibly stretchy and are 3 layers in the body so that they have approximately the same absorbency as the shell of the fleece fitteds. Bamboo fleece is not a very stretchy fabric. It is beautiful, ultra absorbent, and soft. You should care for the fitteds well. Don't over dry them, wash with Ecover fabric softener if you need to, use dryer balls, and an awesome cloth diaper safe detergent (like Lulu's!).

Regarding sizing, I have always recommended people size up in our OBF fitteds if possible. Sized fitteds are more expensive and in our opinion should fit more than one size - they were designed this way. Our son could wear S, M, or L at the same time. This gives you a choice. You can use a smaller fitted for a trimmer fit or size up and have more room, but it will last longer. Our cross-over snap in the front allows for a tighter fit at the waist if you want to move up to the next size.

The snapless is just awesome, plain and simple. It is versatile, well loved for nights or day use, is highly absorbent (they come with bamboo fleece doublers), and is super stretchy so you can add as many doublers as you need. Even if you love the sized fitteds, I always try to encourage people to at least try the snapless. Pins and snappis are very easy to use with our fabric, grandparents/caregivers/dads love them too!

A great tip is to fold one of the doublers in half in the wet-zone. For OBF sized fitteds try folding one of the snap-in doublers before adding the extra doubler in. This gives you an extra 3 layers without adding bulk where you don't need it. Our snap-in soakers snap in the front so that boys can also benefit from folding.

Which one is our personal favorite? I like both. We only used sbish for our son. He had about 18 diapers total, aprox 10 snapless, 8 sized + tons of wool."

As Erin mentioned, yes, products from sloomb could be considered an investment. But if you're going to splurge or set aside money for a great diaper (or several)- these are the ones! The quality is exceptional, and the diapers are made in the USA!! The absorbency and fit are amazing. Our younger baby is a heavy-wetter, and the OBF fitteds in particular are worry-free for the mama of a heavy wetter, especially paired with wool for a breathable combination. Here's the post where these began to be known as the "magic diaper". I agree!

Oh, you'd like to see pictures??? Great! I have quite a few! And Erin from sloomb has allowed me to post the pictures she took of the OBF fitteds. Thank you! Pay close attention to the captions, as the diapers look similar.  For reference, our babies are 7 and 21 months. The 7 month old is right at 50th% in all measurements, weighs around 18 pounds, thigh measurement is 9.5 to 10", has a 14.5" waist, and approx. 11.5" rise. The 21 month old is mid-80th% in height, mid-40th% for weight, weighs 27 pounds, and is 34.5" tall with a 11 3/4" thigh measurement and 17 1/4 inch waist measurement.

 all sizes washed OBF fitteds

all sizes washed OBF fitteds
all sizes washed OBF fitteds

all sizes washed OBF fitteds and WOOL!!
I wrote a blog post on the OBF fitted a few months back, but thought it would be nice to bring back these pictures :) At that time, she was borderline for medium, so Mami suggested we size up. About four months later, the medium still fits great and lots of room to go!
 inside of OBF fitted with lay-in doubler

 OBF fitted on 4 month old
And here's the same OBF fitted on the same baby, almost 4 months later!

For our older baby, I put the snapless multi on just as it is, with the full rise. On our younger baby, I fold the top/front of the diaper inward, then pull the wings across the front and fasten.
 snapless multi, adjusted for smaller baby 7 months

 beautiful!
 snapless multi snappi'd

 snapless multi on both, two ways to pin, baby on right has rise adjusted

 OBF fitteds, size medium on left, size large on right

 OBF fitted, size XL, crossed over snap

Besides the reasons I've already mentioned, there's another reason I love these diapers so much. After a year or so of uneventful cloth diapering with our third baby, she began to develop issues. It started as rashes that were difficult to treat, then we experienced ammonia burn, open sores, infection, more open sores, more ammonia burns, and lots of tears from both her and me. On the advice of a few friends, switching to a clean-washing, simple diaper design made of natural fabric was one of three changes we made that ultimately kept us in cloth diapers. (With some medical background, I couldn't help but make these changes one at a time with a wash-out period so as not to get confounding results along with a re-challenge :) ) Getting the right wash regimen and the right detergent was another piece of the puzzle, as well as some great skin products when needed. Don't get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with pockets or all-in-ones. And our younger baby in cloth could care less what's on her bum, but once I eliminated pockets and all-in-ones (even natural fibers) from our older baby, her skin is beautiful and healthy!! I don't need to cringe in anticipation any longer when I take a diaper off, afraid of what I might find. I can't say enough how important that is after MONTHS of issues last year. (As a side note, I'm speculating that our particularly difficult water conditions, paired with the more complicated design of pocket covers and all-in-ones (multiple layers including an attached waterproof layer) as well as microfiber that "grabs" everything combined with the sensitive skin of our older baby caused the issues.)

Sustainablebabyish | sloomb diapers and wool are beautiful, soft, pure, clean, simple, and healthy. All those descriptors are what cloth diapering is really all about, right?? Healthy for my babies' skin, and healthy for the Earth! You can't argue with that! You can find them at Mami's and Papi's online store (snapless multi, OBF fitted, knit wool longies, knit wool cover) or from sloomb.com (snapless multi and OBF fitted, knit wool longies and covers). Watch out - some of the trim colors may leave you searching for a sweet treat! :)

*Whew!*
~Prima~

## Monday, February 7, 2011

### Wing-droop!

Have you heard the term "wing-droop" and are left wondering "What does that mean??" Simply put, wing droop occurs in front-closure diapers when the bottom layer of the overlap slips or slides out from under the top layer. I happened to catch an extreme case that occurred in our household on camera. You know we've promised honesty on this blog - here it is!!

(Disclaimer - if you happen to be able to identify the brand of diaper, I *believe* I have an older version than the version that is currently available with retailers now)

In my experience with several brands of diapers, this occurs most frequently with snap-closure, and when there is only one snap per side or two snaps without much spacing. In this instance, adjusting the rise of the diaper may have helped. I'm noticing that in the top picture, the snaps are not the same on both sides - I believe Daddy did this diaper change ;) Regular diaper changes, and getting a good fit when you put a fresh diaper on goes a long way in preventing wing-droop also :)

~Prima~

## Friday, February 4, 2011

### Review: Kanga Care (Rumparooz) Hanging Wet Bag

Mami and I first saw the new Rumparooz Wet Bag, Pail Liner, Changing Pads, and Doll Diapers at ABC Expo in October and were very impressed! We'll get to each eventually, but first up is the hanging wet bag!

A wet bag is a wet bag, right? Nope! Kanga Care has done their research, as this design is very well thought out. Some wetbags have been known to experience some wicking once the wet and dirty diapers are contained for any length of time. By using the same material that their pocket diaper covers are made of, combined with a new seam-sealing method, I'm pleased to say that I've not experienced ANY wicking while using this wetbag! Here's a close-up of the inside seam. In layman's terms, it's as if an extra piece of the waterproofing TPU is laid over the seam with a wide border to yet to spare. Very smart!

Another unique feature is the dimensional design. It's not just two pieces of flat fabric sewn together, but is put together with shape. Once filled with a few diapers, it begins to hold it's shape. It holds more diapers this way, and when hanging (or even sitting on the floor), the flat portion of the "D" lays nicely against the wall. No twisting! Here are a few shots with the bag containing about 8 diapers.

Here is another shot so you can see the dimensional design. I've collapsed the bag accordion-style vertically (it has 2 diapers in it in the picture), and you're looking at the bottom of the bag - you can see the "D" shape.

The overall quality is very very good. It zips and unzips easily, and the snap holds well when hanging, even when filled with diapers. It's a larger, more substantial snap than used on their diapers.

In our personal experience, this is the perfect wetbag for us if we're out and about beyond 2 diaper changes, as we have two babies in diapers. We can travel all day and even a short overnight with this - it holds up to 15 diapers! (If you're looking for larger storage, the pail liner is HUGE! Will hold way more diapers than anyone should be doing in one load ;) )When we're at home, it's afforded us the luxury of having diaper storage in our "little" bathroom as well as our big bathroom. The little bathroom literally has no extra floor space, so it hangs on a towel rack (I'll spare you the picture in that bathroom :) )

This is a diapering accessory that I will not be de-stashing after potty-learning! I look forward to using it on trips to the pool, the beach, and who knows where else!

~Prima~

## Thursday, February 3, 2011

### Snappi Service Announcement

Did you know that a Snappi has a limited lifetime? Having only started using them recently to fasten our prefolds and snapless fitted diapers, I knew how to use one, and knew to s-t-r-e-t-c-h it before use to get best results. I was vaguely aware to keep it out of UV light, which could damage it. I didn't pay much attention to the rest of the packaging when I opened my first one. I ordered a second one just in case my first "walked off" but kept it in storage until recently.

About 5 1/2 months after I started using it, it seemed to be "giving up" on me...and I started using the diaper pins again as it would pop off as I tried to pull the wool cover over the diaper. As I'd need to stretch it from almost her back hip to back hip to get it to grab, I began to think "This seems longer than I remember. How would this work for a newborn? It's a size one - it would have to start in the back on an itty bitty baby!".

I pulled out the new one and started using it with much better results. When I got a chance to compare the two side-by-side later that day, this is what I saw. The top one had been in use for 5 1/2 months, and we'd *used* it! The bottom one has been used 2-3 times in this picture.

*Then* I read the packaging, which states that the Snappi is intended for use for six months. So there you have it!

~Prima~

## Monday, January 31, 2011

### Review: Inspired by Finn amber necklaces

We promised you'd get the honest truth on this blog, right? Honestly, I have to admit that I was quite the skeptic of amber teething necklaces until recently. I have some pharmacy background, and while I don't rush to medications, I'm "used to" clinical trials and things of that sort to base my decisions upon. I was living a double-life for a while, not telling my pharmacy friends I wanted to try one, and not telling my crunchy friends that I was still a bit skeptical. *blush* Teething for lil J started to hit HARD, though...I wanted to buy one but I couldn't bring myself to make the investment on something that hasn't been "proven"! Then I received a surprise package from a special friend, and in it was an Inspired by Finn necklace!!! I was thrilled!

I had already done my homework to investigate the "mechanism of action". The amber is a resin, which when worn against warm skin, releases substances which include succinic acid. This has an analgesic effect. Amber is worn commonly for teething for babies and toddlers, and the jewelry should be worn close to the location of the discomfort, so a necklace is perfect for teething. I was expecting to be able to notice a difference in as early as 18-24 hours.

Unbelievably to me, lil J seemed to achieve some benefit within 4-6 hours... She'd been having fitful naps during the day and was up and down all night for several nights in a row. That day, she slept for 2 1/2 hours straight - a small miracle! Of course, most of me thought this was a coincidence, but after several more restful nights, I could no longer deny it's benefits.  My husband even noticed as well! In fact, we'd been using it on our younger baby, but we also had a *really* cranky toddler. We joked that maybe she needed an amber necklace during the first week we had one. Two weeks later, we decided something had to give with our older baby. One morning, I showed it to her, and the girl who wouldn't let me put anything on her like hair bows or any type of accessory "allowed" me to put it on her. I held my breath that morning, and had to mildly correct her only a few times when she wanted to play with it or put it in her mouth. When bedtime came around, I doubled it and put it around her ankle under footie jammies. The next morning, I took it off to put it back on her little sister, and she would have NOTHING to do with her little sister wearing it any more. SHE was going to wear it. And she has ever since! Could she *really* associate it with relief, or did she just decide she liked to accessorize all of a sudden? Jury's still out on that one, but the bulk of her fussiness is gone. You decide! :)

Meanwhile, little sister still has teething full force, so we got a second necklace and pretty well breezed through two teeth coming through in two days, then 2 more teeth the next week! I'm not going to tell you there was zero fussing, but with her being our fourth baby, I can confidently say this is some of the easiest teething we've been through.

One of the most common questions is, "what size"? Size is a preference. You don't want it too tight, but since it's benefits are when it lies against the skin, you do want a close fit. Also know your child's tendencies. If they tend to try to put things in their mouth, consider having one short enough that it cannot be put in the mouth by the child, as it is not intended to be chewed on. To get your perfect fit, take a piece of string to find the length you'd like, then measure it. The Inspired by Finn necklace will come as a length "range". The range is small (1/2 to 1 inch), but by nature, the beads are not exactly the same size, so there will be a small amount of variability in length.

I definitely had some safety concerns at first. A few things that made me feel confident is that the string *could* break with enough tension, and the beads are individually knotted. If the necklace were to break, beads would not go everywhere. As a mom, I don't want a necklace that won't break - to me, that is a higher risk than one that would break if it experienced too much tension. These are not recommended to be worn at night by a child. Many do without problems, but if you choose to have your child sleep with it on, the safe recommendation is to double it and have it on an ankle under pajamas.

Here are a few pics of the girls wearing theirs. The 2-different is a size 14-14 1/2 inch, and the butter round (lighter color on the smaller baby) is in the 12 1/2 to 13 inch range. Our girls are about 6 and 20 months old in the pictures, for reference.

Now the once-skeptic is waiting on her very own amber necklace!! I'm going to try one myself for occasional headaches, and I'm excited! Regular over-the-counter meds work, but if I can avoid them, great!

Mami's and Papi's has a few in stock here for children and here for adults, but through tomorrow morning February 1st, they are doing a SPECIAL ORDER!!! If they don't have what you're looking for, let Mami know at mami@mamisandpapis.com or on facebook, and she'll order it just for you!!

~Prima~

## Sunday, January 23, 2011

### Diaper Review: Happy Heiny's The ONE for ALL One-Size

I saw the new improved Happy Heiny's one-size diaper at ABC Expo this past Fall, saw the steps they'd taken to improve fit and eliminate wing-droop, and I was impressed! But when I got a chance to see their new glow-in-the-dark skull print, I nearly flipped out! I knew I'd have to have one some day, even for our two GIRLS in diapers!

I was honestly still a little nervous about the fit. I'd heard through the grapevine that even in the new, improved version, the snapping diaper was still having wing-droop. So we put this diaper through the ringer on our two girls, ages 6 months ~17.5 pounds and 20 months ~26.5 pounds. I can confidently say that it was a VERY nice fit on both girls with absolutely NO wing droop (and we definitely have other diapers that do!)! Other improvements from the previous Happy Heiny's one-size were to decrease bulk in between the legs and to reduce overall sagging/bulk. Hopefully the pictures speak for themselves!

As a one-size diaper, this is designed to fit from about 8 pounds to 35+ pounds. And as with most other one-size diapers, the cut would be large on an 8 pound newborn whose thighs haven't filled out. By about 6 weeks of age, however, these types of diapers begin to be a good fit. The Happy Heiny's seems to be one of the more generous cuts in our stash. The snap setting is on the "second" option for our younger baby, and is on the "third" for our older baby. This leaves the lowest setting for a tiny baby and one left to go for our older one! Many of our other one-size diapers are already fully unsnapped in rise on our older baby. At the waist, it is the only diaper we have where the tabs "meet in the middle" for our younger and only have one set "open" for our older baby...a good fit with plenty of room to grow!

For both girls in all the pictures, this stay-dry pocket diaper is stuffed with the larger insert only. As purchased, the diaper comes with two three-layer microfiber inserts. The smaller insert can be used in the pocket opening for a newer baby alone on the smallest rise setting. The larger insert can then be used as you move higher in rise settings, and you can double the inserts as needed for extra absorbency.

 If you look closely, you can pick up the glow-in-the-dark part. It's not the dark motif, but a lighter one...you can see one to the right in the picture, and there is also one not as easily seen "dead"-center above the lowest dark motif. Pun intended! Props to Happy Heiny's to listening to customer requests for improvements AND putting out a "killer" print! Skulls aren't just for boys!! (Have you also seen Groovy Circles, Retro Swirl, Giraffe, Owl, Ooga Booga, and the enfamous Cow Hide?? I could go on and on...) ~Prima~

## Tuesday, January 11, 2011

### The Long-awaited Laundry Post!

Let's get this blog rolling again, what do you say???

I hope this will be a good post to reference for many. The decision to cloth diaper is an awesome one, and for some, diaper laundry is easy! It was for me at times over the years, but in our current house, we have EXTREMELY hard water, and well water at that. Because of this, I not only have hard water to deal with, but inconsistencies in the water, based on the water table, etc. Our water table is pretty high, and our well is shallow, so very easily affected by local conditions. All that to say, this blog post on laundry may strike some as "over the top", but it's written from the "worst of the worst" perspective. Hopefully you have it easy, and you may not need all the steps outlined, but if you have a more difficult situation, you may find some tips to help you through!

Also, as much as we'd like it to be, diaper laundry is not yet an exact science...and may never be! For families, there are differences in water type, length of time between launderings, different washer types which affect the amount of water and length of time used to wash, varying water temperatures, dryer vs line-dry, sun vs no sun, dry pail vs wet pail, different detergents...and I've even found that different types of diapers launder differently, some easier than others.  There's no one solution that works for everyone, but I've tried to focus this on well-accepted, tried and true methods. There are some common tips and tricks out there that work well for some but that can wreak havoc for other (and that would probably be me!). So that leads me to the...

*DISCLAIMER*
This post was put together with the best intentions as a compilation of the most widely-accepted current practices. All information and techniques are used at the reader's own risk. Always be aware of your diaper manufacturer's warranty information and washing instructions (they vary)!

That was my best attempt at being my own legal advice :) Now that that's out of the way, let's get down to business!

The Basic Wash Routine

The basic, accepted, laundry routine is to wash every other day using a cold rinse, then a hot wash with detergent, then an additional rinse.

If you're lucky (like I used to be!), this is all the information you'll need! It's all I had when I cloth diapered my now 7 yr old, and I did just fine! But there's more to the picture for many, so here's a *little* more on the subject.

Water

Detergent

Detergent is the other workhorse of laundry. It is important to use “cloth diaper safe” detergent. Most agree that cloth diaper safe detergents are those that are free of enzymes and optical brighteners (think blue Tide - it's blue partly because of the optical brighteners in the formula). Cloth diaper safe detergent is NOT TO BE confused with “free” or “free and clear” detergents. Some sources (even a few manufacturers) will say that Tide can be used. Of the regular mainstream laundry detergents, Tide is the only one that is even remotely accepted. The issue is residues. Regular detergents have components the grab dirt, etc. and rinse.  They are better at “grabbing” than “rinsing”. When they don’t rinse well, they collect in the diaper along with everything they’ve grabbed. Over time this causes the diapers to stink, irritate baby’s skin because of what has been collected/"grabbed", or repel and leak. IF you choose to use mainstream detergent, you should use a 1/4 or less of the normal recommended amount. If you have any suds during a clean rinse, you may be headed for trouble...

Hard water can also cause problems for families washing cloth diapers. “Hard” water is common to many parts of the United States, and this type of water has “extra” minerals (usually calcium and magnesium) in the water.  When a detergent is added, the detergent is “used up” by binding to the minerals instead of working to clean the diapers.  They have water-softening agents added to assist with cleaning. Two diaper-safe detergents have developed different formulations to account for varying water conditions: Lulu’s In the Fluff, and Rockin’ Green

Bleach, vinegar, and other laundry additives

Vinegar: The concept behind vinegar is related to pH. Vinegar is an acidic substance, and urine (ammonia) is a basic substance. By adding vinegar, the intent is to neutralize pH, but there is MUCH more science behind “adding a little acid” (vinegar) to “neutralize a little base” (ammonia from urea from urine)....remember all the variables I mentioned above with water level, etc? How do you know just throwing a cup of vinegar in is the right amount? Unless you can run this equation, you probably should avoid vinegar ;)
$\textrm{pH} = \textrm{pK}_{a}+ \log \frac{[\textrm{A}^-]}{[\textrm{HA}]}$
Adding vinegar should be avoided in most cases, especially by those with hard water. It can make problems MUCH worse, and it can also decrease the life of elastic significantly with repeated use.

Bleach: Should be avoided for routine use. Some diaper manufacturers do not allow it per their warranties at all. Some allow an occasional bleaching (1/4 cup per load at the most) once per month. In my opinion, this is best left to inserts only, as bleach can cause tiny holes in PUL leading to leaks. Opinion alert!!! Even with our difficult water conditions, I've never found our covers to be the issue anyway! Some sources encourage monthly bleaching of microfiber inserts. If this is done, use a cup of bleach on inserts only, and rinse, rinse, rinse!

Other additives: generally not allowed or recommended per mfr., but oxygen bleach is sometimes used for stains, and products such as bio-kleen contain vegetative microbes to "chew through" organic waste. Opinion Alert!!! Stains are really cosmetic...a little sun goes a long way in reducing stains. I live in the Midwest, and have "overwintered" with stains that came out with either some chilly winter sun (I tried this last month - just make sure not to freeze your diapers...who knows what that would do to PUL!) or sunning late Spring!

A few last tips, thoughts, and opinions...

I personally categorize "stinkies" differently from "ammonia". Although, yes, ammonia stinks, it's a different issue (chemically) to me. You might have both stinkies and ammonia, but ammonia is serious stuff, and we've dealt with ammonia burns requiring medical attention in this house. I take it very seriously now for this reason. Opinion Alert!!! I honestly don't love using bleach, but when it comes down to it, using bleach eliminates ammonia, which allows me to keep my babies in cloth diapers. Using a cup of bleach a month, to me, still has far less impact on the environment than me using disposables, which was my only other option for a healthy bum for a while, due to the ammonia issues I was having. What worked for me was rinsing diapers after use prior to storage, changing detergents, and doing HOT instead of cold rinses. This allowed me to VASTLY reduce my frequency of bleaching. I'm currently testing/reviewing an ammonia-treatment, but so far still having slightly inconsistent results. When I get to the bottom of that, I'll be posting a review!

As a side-note, I'm finding that I have had the most difficulty with ammonia the ammonia battle in our all-in-one diapers. When it shows up, it's in those first, and ammonia doesn't prefer one diaper brand over another of all the all-in-ones we own, but it hits those first. I'm speculating that since the PUL is attached, the water and/or detergent can't "attack" (or rinse?) from all directions as easily. My natural-fiber fitted, flat, and prefold diapers are the "best", and with occasional bleaching, the microfiber-stuffed pockets are fine too.

To reduce "stinkies", I'm a no-poo-in-the-pail kinda mama...I know some will toss breast-fed only poo diapers in the pail without rinsing, but in my experience, rinsing EBF poo isn't too much of an extra step. It also goes a long way to reduce stink and stain! DEFINITELY once solids are started, plop/rinse solids in the toilet. Standard residential washers are not equipped to deal with human waste. And did you know that even disposable diaper manufacturers recommend plopping solids in the toilet??? Read the fine print on the box - it's there :)

If you're struggling with knock-you-over ammonia smell in only your nighttime diapers, definitely rinse those immediately prior to storage for wash day. Although the "dry-pailing" is now the recommended method for diaper storage, you may want to create a small "wet pail" for overnight diapers only. An economic solution is just to buy a small Rubbermaid-type storage container, fill it with water, and add a very small amount of your diaper-safe detergent. On wash day, spin these wet-pailed diapers out in the washer, add the rest of your diapers, and you should be set to go! Wet-pailing is not generally the recommended diaper storage method for a few reasons: there have been cases of accidental drowning, and it can drastically reduce the life of PUL and elastic.

Diaper creams should not be used in cloth diapers without either a disposable or re-usable liner. If re-usable liners are used, they should be washed separately. Diaper creams can cause repelling and leaking! Yes, there are cloth-diaper "safe" creams out there...Opinion Alert!!!! I still recommend using a liner. The diaper-safe creams have a lower melting point than mainstream petroleum-based diaper creams. Theoretically they should wash easier, but your diaper-safe detergents are meant to clean pee and poo...not necessarily creams. Some do just fine using diaper-safe creams without a liner...but some don't, and begin to have repelling issues. Until we can reliably predict, the safe route would be to use a disposable or reusable liner! Don't let this keep you from using diaper-safe diaper creams - there are some awesome ones out there...I love CJ's! It has worked small miracles for our family, and I wish I had discovered it a long time ago!!

Scented products should also be avoided (dryer balls, etc.). They may smell nice at first but can cause stink with time. If you love scented laundry (I do!), keep your scented balls a different color, and set them aside for use with your regular laundry! A few diaper-safe detergents have scent options. They're designed to be clean-rinsing. I think you'll still find that most diaper manufacturers will not recommend scented detergent, however.

I hope this is helpful - I feel like I've been through the ringer (pun intended!) with diaper laundry. In my years of cloth-diapering, I've had a top-loader, a front-loader, city water, well water, hard water, regular water, and used at least seven different detergents. Hopefully some of this experience has been helpful to you in this post!

~Prima~