Sunday, March 27, 2011

I want my cloth diapers Made in the USA!

It seems in these days of outsourcing that it is very difficult to find products that are made right here in the good old USA.  We can all acknowledge that due to the current economy we can't possibly expect everything to be made in the USA, or for all raw materials to be sourced right here in the US, however, some people really want to support their own and Buy American.  By buying American we mean supporting local workers and keeping money right here in the US.  Also, with all the recalls lately of products made in China, people are very concerned with their safety. I'm constantly meeting people interested in cloth diapers, who ask, "so which one is made in the USA?".  Well, here goes:
  1. Happy Heinys products are all made right here the USA.  The Owner began making cloth diapers in her home out of necessity - wanting something better for her baby. This evolved into the successful business she has today. Happy Heinys specializes in pocket diapers.  They make sized pocket diapers, as well as one-size-fit-all pocket diapers that don't require a cover.  And they also make Happy Hempies which are hemp pocket diapers that require a cover - both in sized and one-size.  They also make a variety of accessories such as covers, wipes, washes & doublers.  Most the pocket diapers do not come with a doubler which gives the customer the ability to choose what type of doubler they want to use - hemp or microfiber, OR, to use their existing infant-sized prefolds as doublers.
  2. Thirsties products are also made in the USA.  Thirsties signature products is the "Duo" system.  Their Duo Wraps are adjustable covers that come in two sizes to fit newborns through toddlers, and the Duo Diaper which is an open pocket diaper that comes in two sizes for newborns through toddlers.  The great thing about the Duo Diaper is that there is no need to unstoff the pocket because the pocket is designed to have the doubler agitate out in the washing machine. Other things that Thirsties sell includes prefolds, fitted diapers, doublers, wipes, sized covers and many more.  One could definitely diaper their baby exclusively with Thirsties products!
  3. Gen-Y covers are made locally in Virginia.  The Owner tries to source the fabrics domestically, and all the sewing of the covers are done right here in the USA.  Gen-Y's mainstay is covers, and they make GREAT covers.  The coolest thing about Gen-Y covers is that all covers are limited edition because after the fabric is purchased and the covers made, another lot of that same fabric will never be bought!  And let me tell you, Gen-Y gets some super-cool prints!  Love them!
  4. Planet Wise makes the coolest wet bags and pail liners.  Their products are all made in the USA, and they choose the coolest fabrics to make their wet and wet/dry bags.  The wet/dry bags tend to sell VERY well at Eco Babies not only because they are so cute, but also because they are very versatile - one side to keep your dry clean diapers, and the other waterproof side to store your soiled diapers/wet swimsuits, etc.
This is by no means an exhaustive list of cloth diapers made in the USA, so, if you have any favorite diapers that are domestic please share!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

How do I deal with dirty cloth diapers when outside the home?

Inevitably one question I get when I talk to a mom and/or dad curious about cloth diapering they want to know what  to do when you're out on the town with the baby? Do you walk around with the soiled diapers for the rest of the day? Well, yes, you do, but, there are ways to make it not so messy. 
  1. Diaper bag: if you don't already have a fancy super-compartmentalized diaper bag then get a nice eco-friendly diaper bag from Dandelion.  It's a washable canvas bag that's not ginormous.  I have a ginormous diaper bag that is just too much, and a smaller one that at times is just too small.  This canvas bag is just right.  Plus, if some milk or formula spills in the bag, which you know will happen eventually, just throw it in the wash.  Love it.
  2. Wet bag or Wet/dry bag: these awesome bags by Planet Wise are cute and functional all at the same time.  Either get a medium-sized wet bag to put the soiled diapers, or, get a medium-sized wet-dry bag to hold the clean diapers, and to put the soiled diapers.  These wet/dry bags are great for day care or a day with grandma as all the diapers are in one place.  These bags are zippered shut so they contain odors well and hold 8-9 diapers comfortably.
  3. Flushable liner: Who wants to walk around with a poop filled diaper? To mitigate this I line my diapers with a flushable liner so that if baby poops I can just flush it away leaving minimal poop, if any, on the diaper.  Way better than walking around with a poopy diaper all day long. 
  4. Bamboo wipes: Nothing against cloth wipes, but, when I'm out I'd much rather have some disposable wipes.  I much prefer the bamboo wipes because they are so much stronger than the name-brand wipes, and they have natural and organic ingredients that are soothing for the baby, and smell lovely.

OPTION: If you don't want to do cloth when you're out, you can also do a hybrid diaper, like Gro-Via.  So carry an extra Gro-Via shell, and a bunch of bio-soakers which are flushable/compostable/bio-degradable.  If you're afraid of flushing them in a public bathroom, then feel guilt-free tossing them in the garbage.  A mom gave me a great idea the other day - use biodegradable dog poop bags to wrap up the diaper before disposal.  Gotta love it!

Am I missing anything?  Share your tricks of the trade with us.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Product Review: Cloth Wipes & Aleva Naturals Bamboo Wipes

In the cloth diapering world very few moms rely on disposable wipes that can be purchased at the supermarket. The truth is you never really know what's in them, and when you think of having to buy them on a weekly basis the cost can add up.  Cloth diapering moms tend to be environmentally friendly, health conscious and thrifty, so, in our normal every day we use cloth wipes.  If you're a cloth diapering mom that is washing her own diapers then using cloth wipes is really just an extension of that.  They go in your wet bag and get washed with the soiled diapers.

I see many moms talking about using some excess fabric, or running down to their local fabric store and making their own cloth wipes.  That's perfectly fine and quite noble, but, the rest of us purchase cloth wipes from their diaper retailer as many cloth diaper manufacturers do make cloth wipes.  What sets the pre-made wipes apart from the do-it-yourself wipe? Well, the really good wipes out there are double-sided - one side is a regular smooth cotton which is great for wiping up pee, and the other side is a fleece which is textured, which makes is great for the peanut-buttery poop that comes along when baby is eating purees.  For me, my cloth wipes do everything.  If baby's nose is running, I grab a wipe.  If she spills some milk, or has food on her chin, I grab a cloth wipe. So, they tend to be multi-purposed.

So, why buy Aleva Naturals bamboo wipes? Well, it's a great alternative to the brand-name disposable wipes because it contains only natural ingredients that are soothing for your baby's butt.  Each wipe is super soft yet very strong (I haven't had one disintegrate in my hands yet), they contain aloe vera, chamomile, tea tree oil & lavender oil and because of that smell awesome!  They're hypo-allergenic, contains no sulfates, parabens, alcohol or chlorine.  This is truly an all natural wipe.  Best of all, they are 100% biodegradable - so, flush them away guilt free.  I use these wipes in my diaper bag.  So when I'm out I don't have to worry about having enough cloth wipes with me, especially if baby makes a poopy, I can just toss the wipes, rather than walking around with the smelly wipes - cause you know to get off the sticky poop you'll need multiple wipes :)

So, cloth wipes are great! Bamboo wipes are great!  I use them both, and you should too :)