Happy Family. Healthy Planet.®

Happy Family. Healthy Planet.®
Denver's Green Store for Cloth Diapers and More!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

It's Our Birthday!

Come help us celebrate our first birthday! Can you believe it's been a whole year since we opened our doors?!

Saturday, February 5th, stop by between 10AM and 6PM for treats, meet some of our local manufacturers, and enter to win free merchandise from these brands and more!
  • ERGO
  • Belle
  • Aidan + Anais
  • Charlies
  • Bummis
  • Thirsties
  • Planet Wise
  • Baby Ktan
  • Isabooties
  • Baby Bjorn
  • Baby Banz
  • Moby
  • gDiaper
You don't need to purchase anything in order to win a giveaway, but for every $25 you spend, you get to enter again! Here are a few pictures of the goodies we can't wait to give away!

gDiaper sent three gPants and a package of their fantastic biodegradable inserts.

Baby Banz sent sunglasses, hats, hoodies, and more!

Charlie's sent a container of laundry powder, cleaning solution, and a reusable bag!

Planet Wise sent these adorable reusable baggies!

Aiden and Anais sent the cutest swaddling blanket!

Bummis sent two diaper covers, an organic cotton prefold, fleece liners, bio-soft liners, and a wetbag.

Ergo sent an organic carrier, backpack and front pouch!

See you Saturday!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

AIOs: Easy-Peasy!

"Hey everybody! Wanna do some math?! Woo-hoo!"

So, I know that conversation probably hasn't ever happened. That's why I'm going to do the math for you so you can just sit back and use your cell phone for more exciting things like sharing the link to this article on Facebook. Hint!

Disposable diapers come in lots of different sizes and brands. Smaller diapers cost less per diaper, but you use more. Bigger diapers cost more per diaper, but you use less. They essentially average out to about $0.22 per diaper. At this price, you can expect to spend an average of $60 per month on something you throw away. Per year, it's $720, and if your child potty trains at two, that's $1440. Many kids aren't totally out of diapers by two, though, so it's more likely that you'd spend about $1800. Some kids are in Pull-Ups well into their fourth or fifth year which cost about $0.50 per Pull-Up! The price (not coincidentally!) continues to averages out to roughly $60 per month. Over five years that is $3,600 per child for disposables.

So, why are we doing math? I thought the title of this post had the word "easy" in it! Here's why: All-In-Ones, or AIOs, are definitely the easiest options for cloth diapering, but can be one of the more costly. However, when you put things into perspective, they are still so much cheaper than disposables that you could literally take a vacation with the money that you'll save!

AIOs are the easiest diaper because they just go on and off exactly like a disposable. They don't require any stuffing, folding, snapping or adjusting. These are the perfect diaper choice for anyone uninterested in the extra steps other diapers require. They're a great choice for babysitters, grandparents, daycare, new daddies, or anyone who wants the simplest possible option.

The only drawbacks are that they do take a bit longer to dry than other types of diapers since everything is sewn together. Adjusting for absorbency can be challenging in AIOs since not all brands have a pocket for stuffing. And lastly, they do cost a bit more than other options, but you don't necessarily need to buy the entire stash at once, so you can break up the cost over time. Additionally, if you plan to have more than one child, AIOs can be one of the cheapest cloth diapering options since they should be able to get through at least two kids.

AIOs are sized, as in:
  • Newborn
  • Small
  • Medium
  • Large
  • Extra-Large
Just like with your baby's clothes, after your baby outgrows a certain size of diaper, you put them in storage, or hand them down to a friend and move up to the next size. Since each size gets less use over time, they should be able to last through multiple kids, saving you even more money!

We carry three different brands of AIOs. The first is Monkey Doodlez. Inside, they are fully lined in soft, non-pill fleece. The outside is waterproof and microfiber or bamboo sandwiched in between make them super absorbent. They have overlapping velcro closures so you can get a perfect fit on skinny babies. They come in lots of sizes so you can be sure your baby will get a great, trim fit:
  • Newborn
  • Small
  • Medium
  • Medium-Long
  • Large
If you decided to use Monkey Doodlez AIOs for your baby from birth to potty, it would cost about $1560 for a total savings of $2040 over disposables! If you wanted to break it down over time, it would be:
  • $480 for 24 newborn sizes (if needed)
  • $480 for 24 smalls
  • $360 for 18 mediums
  • $240 for 12 larges (if needed)
Obviously, if you use them on two children, you'd cut the price in half to $780- a little bit more than the cost of one year of disposables. Have a great vacation!

Next, these are Lil' Joey's made by Rump-a-rooz. These super cute diapers will fit babies from four to twelve pounds and are the perfect choice for preemies, multiples, and newborns who don't quite fit into their one-size diapers yet. Lil' Joey's only come in one size since once they outgrow them, they should be ready to wear a one-size Rump-a-rooz diaper.
They come in tons of bright colors and prints. They are sold in two-packs with one solid color and one print per pack. You can mix and match to get the colors and prints you like the best!The waterproof material on Lil' Joey's is TPU, not PUL, which uses heat bonding instead of chemicals to adhere the waterproof coating to the fabric. These also biodegrade in 4 to 5 years as opposed to 500 or so years for disposables.

The front of Lil' Joey's snaps down to steer clear of a healing belly button. They also have two snap settings so you'll always get a nice, snug, comfy fit.
The inside of Lil' Joey's have their signature double-gussets to contain messy breastfed poos! No blowouts or leaks and nothing but soft fleece against your baby's precious new skin.
Lil' Joeys cost $30 for a two-pack. For 24 total diapers, it would be $360 and they should last for at least 4 months. Some kids could make it to 6 months, which would be the exact same cost of disposables for that period of time. After only 4 to 6 months of use, the diapers could definitely be put in storage for another baby in the future, cutting the cost in half!

And lastly, these are Bum Genius AIOs. They come in newborn, small, medium, and large sizes.
The newborn size is the only true AIO, since it doesn't have the pocket that the other sizes have to adjust absorbency. All the other sizes have a sewn-in microfiber insert and a pocket to add another insert for naps or bedtime. Here's a pink newborn size:
This orange diaper is a large size with an extra insert half-way inserted. Before you put these in the laundry, it's a good idea to pull the dirty insert out so it gets just as clean as the actual diaper.
I have good news and bad news: The bad news is that Bum Genius just announced that, except for the newborn size, they are soon discontinuing their AIOs! The good news is: that means ours are going on sale! Sizes small, medium and large are 40% off!
For 24 newborn AIOs, at $13 a piece, you'd be set for $312. If you act quickly, you can buy our small, medium, and large sizes for only $9.60 per diaper! At that price, you could get from birth to potty in the easiest cloth diaper for only $830.40!

You'd better hurry and book your cruise from your cell phone, while you're at it since you're saving $2770 over the cost of disposables!

Stay tuned as we continue to go through each of the different types of cloth diapers!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Fitted and Contoured Diapers

Last week, we did a post about prefold diapers, the flat, rectangular diaper that you fold into a diaper shape and cover with a waterproof cover. This week's post is dedicated to fitted and contoured diapers. Fitted and contours are essentially the same idea as prefolds; their job is to absorb and contain, but unlike prefolds, they are shaped to fit your little bundle of joy better, cutting down on bulk. Since they are shaped to fit you baby, you will also have less gapping around the legs than just a prefold with a Snappi.

Fitted and contoured diapers are not waterproof all by themselves and do need a waterproof cover, such as a Thirsties or Bummis. Since the diaper does most of the work of containing and absorbing everything, you don't need as many covers as you do diapers. The covers can be rinsed after each use and don't necessarily need to be put through the washing machine unless it has poop on it or begins to smell. We usually recommend four to six diaper covers so you always have a clean one on hand. For four Thirsties Duos, our most popular cover, you would need to add $56 to your first purchase of diapers. The first size of Duos will fit from six to 18 pounds, so you wouldn't need to buy the second set of covers until your baby outgrows the first size. Babies come in all different shapes and sizes, but most babies would be able to wear the first size of Duos for nearly a year or more. The second set of four Duos would be another $56 down the road.

Let's start with the fitted variety. Fitted diapers are different from contoured diapers in that they have a built-in closure such as snaps or velcro. Contoured diapers do not have either and can be Snappi'd or held on by the cover.

These are DryBees Bamboo Fitted diapers. They come in two sizes: newborn and a second size that adjusts in size with snaps down the front just like a one-size diaper. Bamboo is more absorbent than plain cotton and these are silky soft. They also have an attached insert for extra absorbency. At $20 for the first size and $22 for the second, 24 of the newborn size and 18 of the adjustable size would be $876, plus the cost of covers.

These are Happy Hempy fitted diapers. Like bamboo, hemp is more absorbent than plain cotton. These have a pocket to adjust the absorbency and come in three sizes so they are nice and trim. They close with velcro and are extremely soft. At $16 per diaper, 24 of the first size, 18 of the second, and 12 of the third size would cost $864 plus the cost of inserts and covers.

These are Kissa's Organic Cotton and Hemp Fitted Diapers. They come in two sizes. The smaller size snaps down in the front to avoid irritating a newborn's healing belly button. They are super soft and cozy. They have snap closures which can overlap for a nice, snug fit on a skinny baby. At $17 for the first size and $19 for the second, 24 of the first size and 18 of the second, these would cost $750 plus the cost of covers.

These are Kissa's Fitted Cotton Fleece Diapers. They are fluffy, fleecy cotton and come in three sizes. Like the hemp version above, the smallest size snaps down in the front to avoid irritating a newborn's healing belly button. They have snap closures which can overlap for a nice, snug fit on a skinny baby. At $13 per diaper, 24 of the smallest size, 18 of the middle size, and 12 of the largest size, these would cost $702 plus the cost of covers.

These are the prettiest fitted diapers ever! Kissa's Marvels are a one size fitted diaper. They will fit from 10 - 40 pounds so you might need another diaper in the very beginning. To fit these on a smaller baby, just fold the front down and snap it shut. They are lined with a bamboo velour and feel extremely gentle against the skin. They have snap closures which can overlap for a nice, snug fit on a skinny baby. At $25 per diaper, a set of 24 of these would cost $600 plus the cost of covers. Too bad you have to cover them up, right?!

Now for contoured diapers:
These are ImseVimse contoured diapers. They are soft cotton terry and very trim. They come in two sizes. You can either close them with a Snappi, like we did here, or just use your diaper cover to keep them in place. At $50 for a four-pack for the smaller size and $56 for a four-pack of the larger size, 24 of the smaller size and 20 of the next size, these would cost $580 plus the cost of covers.

These are JamTot's One-Size Contoured Diapers. They are super soft cotton, similar to a prefold. For a smaller baby, just fold the front down to adjust the rise of the diaper and close with a Snappi or just use a diaper cover to keep the diaper in place. Inside are two overlapping flaps that speed up drying time and would do a great job of catching everything. You could also tuck an extra insert under the flaps for added absorbency. At $17.50 per diaper, a set of 24 of these costs $420 plus the cost of covers.

These are Kissa's Hybrid One-Size Contoured Diapers. They are made of light, fluffy cotton fleece and have an attached insert that has super-absorbing microfiber inside and cotton fleece against your baby's skin. To adjust the size, just fold down the front of the diaper to shorten the rise. Close it with a Snappi or just use a diaper cover to keep it in place. At just $11 per diaper, a set of 24 would be $264 plus the cost of covers.

Finally, these are Bumkin's Cotton Contour Diapers. They are made of soft cotton, similar to a prefold. To adjust the size, just fold down the front of the diaper to shorten the rise. Close it with a Snappi or just use a diaper cover to keep it in place. At $60 for a six-pack, a set of 24 would be $240 plus the cost of covers.

That's all for now! Stay tuned as we go through all the different types of cloth diapers!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Prefolds: The Cloth Diaper Workhorse

Prefold diapers have been around for more than half a century for good reason: they get the job done! They are one of the simplest options, but can be pretty intimidating if you've never used them before. Here's a quick photo tutorial on this workhorse!

First off, there are a lot of different brands of prefolds on the market, but most of them are made of cotton, bamboo or hemp. It's a good idea to buy "diaper service quality" prefolds since they will last and last and are usually thicker and more absorbent. Hemp is about 60% more absorbent than cotton, so they are less bulky, but a bit more money. Diaper service quality cotton prefolds cost about $2 - $3 per diaper depending on brand and size and come in packages of 6. We offer several brands: Osocozy, Swaddlebees, Econobum, and Bummis organic cotton prefolds. Our hemp prefolds are made by a local, work-at-home mom and couldn't be softer or more well made!

Here's a photo of a cotton prefold as compared to a hemp prefold.
The cotton one, on top, looks quilted when it's washed and dried. Both are extremely soft. So soft, in fact, that many car washes use prefolds to dry and wax cars! We also have cute, colorful prefolds:
Since prefolds are not waterproof and only do the job of absorbing, you need a cover to go on the outside of the diaper. We carry many of the most popular brands, including Thirsties and Bummis. Each cover does a superb job of protecting against leaks, even on long, skinny babies.
They each come in lots of different bright colors and prints. Thirsties offers a velcro or snap closure, as well as their "Duo" that will grow with your baby.
Econobum offers a fantastic deal: a one-size diaper cover and three prefolds. The cover adjusts and grows with your baby. They come in green, pink, and blue.
Part of what makes prefolds and covers such an affordable option is that you don't need to wash the cover every single time you change the diaper. The soiled prefold goes into the wash, and unless it has poo on it, the cover can just be rinsed and air dried and should be ready by the next diaper change. If you're thinking of choosing this diapering method, we usually recommend buying at least 24 prefolds and 4 - 6 covers to make sure you've always got a clean one on hand.

We also have fantastic wool diaper covers which deserve a post all about themselves! Wool covers are a great alternative if you'd prefer an all natural option.

Now that you're familiar with prefolds, let me show you a few ways to fold them.
The first option is perhaps the easiest. Simply fold your prefold in thirds and lay in in the cover of choice, tucking up the end to make sure it's not too long. For boys, the fold can go in the front to add extra absorbing layers where he'll need it. For girls, the fold can go in the back.
Next, just lay your baby on the pre-built diaper and fold it around them just like a disposable. Folding your prefolds like this is great for a number of reasons. First of all, it's one less step than the other methods. Secondly, since it doesn't matter if the diaper is wide enough to reach all the way around your baby, as long as your baby isn't completely saturating the diaper, you can continue to use each size of diaper for a longer period of time. Finally, since the diaper itself isn't fastened around your baby, you don't even have to touch the diaper when you're changing them.
Be extra careful that nothing is sticking out from under the cover since it will leak and wick moisture to the rest of their clothes.
Check the leg openings and tuck any parts of the diaper inside the cover before you dress them.
The cover will keep the diaper in place without pins or Snappis.

Another way to fold the diaper is called the "bikini twist." This is a nice fold for newborns because it cuts down on bulk between their legs. As with any type of fold, start by folding down the back or the front to make the diaper the correct length- unless the diaper is already the correct length. For girls, I fold down the back, like this:
Next, just twist the diaper once, like this:
Next, just fold the diaper up like this:
And finally, use a Snappi to secure the diaper in place. Snappis replace diaper pins and are very easy to use. You can't accidentally poke your baby with a Snappi! They have tiny "teeth" on each end that hook the diaper fabric. It's made of a stretchy rubber that snugs the diaper up nicely.

Don't forget the cover!

Another option is the more traditional fold. For boys, I always fold the front up to provide extra absorbing layers in the front where they need it.

Next, fold the two front sides in like this:
Place your baby on the diaper like this:
Next, fold the front of the diaper up like this:Finally, secure it with a Snappi and don't forget a cover!

If your baby has the first signs of a diaper rash, you can try putting him in a prefold with just a Snappi and forgo the cover altogether. It will allow their skin to get plenty of air and make you a little more vigilant about checking to see if they need a new, dry diaper.
That's all for now! Stay tuned as we go through all the different types of cloth diapers!