Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Building your Stash!

Building Your

 On Limited Funds

Our guest blogger, Mallory Crain, from A Beautiful Surrender, has helped to answer one of the biggest hurdles in cloth diapering, starting up without having funds for the initial investment. Read on to find some great suggestions and tips on how you can build or bulk up your stash!

You have heard all the great things about cloth diapers. In fact, you are excited to start trying them right away with your baby. Then, reality hits. Despite knowing all of the savings you will experience using cloth diapers versus disposables, you just don’t have the money to invest in a full stash of diapers. You could just walk away, disappointed, and use disposables, but you don’t have to! There are options. Trust me, I am writing this as someone who has been there.
Let me give you a quick background. I had my first child in 2010. We didn’t have a lot of money, but we knew we wanted to cloth diaper, so we went ahead and invested in them. We had found a few tricks for affording them that time. Then, just a few months ago, we welcomed our second child. We needed a new stash of diapers (there was an unfortunate incident with bleach…don’t ask), but this time around we did not have a penny to our name. We were without a job and without an income. Disposable diapers were an expense we really couldn’t afford either, but it felt so much more doable to find small amounts of money versus a larger investment. However, we knew we had to figure something out…we loved cloth diapering the first time around and we were ready to do it again. This time, we had to get creative.
Sell Something 
Walk around your house...I bet you can find some things that are just sitting around and no longer in use. List it on Craigslist, have a garage sale, just make some money off of it! It won’t take you long to have enough cash to invest in some diapers.

Be Resourceful 
This may mean you need to do a little DIY (do it yourself). We love using cloth wipes since it is another way to save money and it’s so easy to just throw into the wet bag with the diaper. Instead of spending money on fancy wipes, make them yourself! You can choose to buy flannel and sew them…or make it even cheaper and simpler. Go grab an old t-shirt or a receiving blanket you aren’t using and cut it up into squares. Works great! Can’t quite afford to buy an entire stash of inserts for your shells? Use flour sack towels like they did in the flats challenge recently. You can find 5 towels for under $5! That is less than $1 for an insert. Amazing!
Embrace Secondhand 
While it is always nice to have brand new diapers, sometimes buying used is your only option. Check out Craigslist, local secondhand shops, keep an eye out for “seconds” sales, check garage sales, websites that sell used, and also look up buy/sell/trade pages on Facebook. Just be aware of who you are buying from and confirm that the condition is still good. If buying used is still too difficult, check with friends to see if you can borrow (if they aren’t using them of course).
Find Extra Money 
Have a “diaper fund” jar and drop all loose change in there. If you live in a state that gives you money for cans/bottles/water bottles use that money towards diapers. Start asking around to see if there are any side jobs available. I watch a dog for a family when they go out of town and have been able to use that money to build our stash. Get creative; there are lots of ways to make a bit of extra cash.

If someone asks what you want for a gift, ask for diapers! Friends and family will oftentimes ask what you want most for the new baby, so let them know that you really want to cloth diaper. Many people are excited to give you something that you truly need…and if you show them how cute cloth diapers are, they won’t be able to resist your request!
Now What? 
So what if, after everything, you still don’t have enough for an entire stash of cloth diapers? No problem! Just build it slowly. This may mean using some disposables and some cloth for a while, but guess what? You are still saving by doing that! Put a tiny amount aside each month, if you can, and buy a cover or an insert. Eventually you may be able to completely stop buying the disposables. Let’s look at the numbers, shall we? For this example, let’s pretend you use 10 disposable diapers a day. Both Huggies and Pampers average out to $0.34 per diaper. So, you spend $3.40 on disposables per day. Let’s look at cloth. You can buy one Rock-A-Bums diaper for $16.95. This includes a cover and 2 washable inserts. You can wash them and reuse them the entire time your child is in diapers. In 5 days of buying disposables, you will have spent the amount it would have cost you to buy one cloth diaper. So, every time you buy a cloth diaper, you will be using less disposables. You can then calculate those savings and put the extra money you had been spending on disposables each month towards more cloth diapers. 
There really are ways to cloth diaper on a disposable diaper budget! It may take some creative thinking, but don’t give up! You are well on your way to a full cloth diaper stash! 

 - Mallory

Now - Enter to win your OWN Rock-a-Bum Cover, Insert, and Wet Bag! What better way to build your stash than with a FREE diaper package?

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, June 20, 2013

I Used to.......

I used to......

I used to wake up to an alarm......but now I wake up to a talkative toddler

I used to be early everywhere I went.....but now I settle for a little late and a disheveled appearance

I used to go to the bathroom by myself.....but now I have a shadow that follows me in there

I used to have an organized kitchen....but now I open drawers and find baby dolls

I used to always put make up on before leaving the house...but now I find myself in the store with two different shoes (sad, but true)

I used to think of vacations as tropical places....but now I realize they are kid-less trips to Target

I used to listen to rock music while cleaning the house.....but now I listen to "Toddler Tunes"

I used to put moisturizer on my face every morning...but now I wipe avocado off my face from an excited toddler and call it good.

I used to brush my teeth first thing every morning...but now I get to lunch time and try to remember if I ever actually made it to that step

I used to grab my purse and head to the grocery store for one or two items....but now I have to grab Scout, the kitchen ladle, three books, cheese sticks, a banana and  a sticker for our two second car ride

I used to gag when a child would have a snotty nose.....but now I suck it out and wipe it off like the best of them

I used to have a lot of views on parenting....but now my game plan is to make it to bedtime 

I used to leave the house any time I wanted....but now I carefully plan around naptime, eating time, and grumpy time

I used to decorate my house with beautiful pieces...but now I decorate with toys

I used to think my heart was full.....but now I know it is

Love being a mom!

Do any of you have I used to, but now I moments?

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Dads on Diapers

Our guest blogger this week, Brandon Laws, is coming to us from www.ParkerLaws.comBrandon is one of the increasing number of dads that has changed his perspective on how babies should be diapered.

Dads on Diapers
A Cloth Diaper Experience from an Open-minded Daddy

Months before my son, Parker, was born, my wife and I decided  to use cloth diapers. In reality, my wife, Angela, coerced me into using them. Truth be told, in hindsight, I am glad she made that decision for our family. Before we began using cloth, I could care less about diapers; however, I have since developed a strong opinion about them. Regular diapers are ugly, hard to get rid of, loosely fit and hang really low when there's a nice present for mom and dad (that present is poop, by the way!). Cloth diapers are cute, soft, easy to use and cost-effective for our family.

I admit, as skeptical as I was about cloth diapers at first, I still remained open to using them. Particularly because my wife spent, oh, about 10 hours a week researching them via Facebook groups, blogs, videos and other forums probably found by search engine. I'm not being hyperbolic, mind you; she developed an obsession around cloth diapers that was sort of frightening from a man's perspective. Perhaps some of you can relate to this! That funny tidbit aside, I am fiscally conservative and I couldn't bring myself to purchase disposable diapers on a regular basis only for them to be peed on once and thrown away. I think that's why cloth was intriguing to me, they seemed to be cost-effective if you did all the washing yourself, of which, I rarely do! :-)

What I couldn't stand about using cloth diapers wasn't so much about the product itself, it was the opinionated people around us who thought we were crazy for using cloth diapers. We got asked a lot about diaper services and pins holding the cloth together, as if cloth diapers are the same now as they were in the 60's. It is comical that people would still think that, but, in truth, cloth diapers have come a long way, and even I had no idea what they had become until my wife began researching what they are-high quality cloth with varying patterns, buttons, Velcro and interchangeable inserts.

The biggest hurdle for me to get over was understanding how to get rid of the clumps of poo stuck to the diaper after an explosion. The handy sprayer installed and attached to the toilet, I was told, will get the job done; that is, if I somehow spray it into the toilet and not onto my hands, the walls, or the floor (which I have done plenty of times). In reality, it's actually really easy to do once you get the process down. It has since been a non-issue for me.

Up until a few months ago, Angela had washed every dirty diaper load. So panic set in for me when there was a week she traveled to Florida and I was responsible for the boy and keeping the house clean-meaning I was I charge of washing diapers, too! I was anxious about what I was going  to experience, no doubt. The most challenging aspect of unloading the dirty diapers into the wash was the awful smell. Through this first experience, I found that it is much easier to put the entire pail liner full of diapers in the washing machine and fold it inside out so I don't have to take in the big whiff of poop remains or touch the soiled diapers. Oh the things you learn while your wife is away... As it turns out, I am very capable of helping with the entire process (but don't tell her that!).

At home we now have an efficient system in place, and I can honestly say I love using cloth diapers. I much prefer them over disposable, and we will continue to use them for our son, and daughter when she is born in a few months. Like I mentioned earlier, the styles are unique and we think our son looks so cute in the different colors and patterns of diapers. Oh, yeah, and we've saved hundreds of dollars in the process. Perhaps I will save that discussion for another time!



a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

The Forgotten Wet Bag

"Honey, will you get my glove out of the trunk"

You run out to the car, open the trunk and BAM there it is, the smell of death....or close to it.  You open the trunk to see your beloved diapers sitting in a wet bag....and the awful part is that you aren't sure how long they have been in there.  You contemplate washing or tossing...

How to recover from misplacing your wet bag:
Step 1: Put on a gas mask (seriously, these things will be STINKY)
Step 2: Put on gloves (you're not really sure what's in didn't even remember they were there in the first place!)
Step 3: Take everything to a toilet where you can rinse any solids down
Step 4: Take the wet bag full of diapers to your washer and don't breathe while you are emptying the wet bag into the wash (make sure to toss the wet bag in there too)
Step 5: Turn your washer to a wash cycle and make sure the temperature is on HOT
Step 6: Run the cycle without adding any soap
Step 8: (this is for people who survived step 7) Turn your washer to the longest cycle you have available, with the most amount of water, and add detergent AND baking soda (like a full scoop of both)
Step 9: Turn your washer BACK to the wash cycle and wash them on hot again (no detergent)
Step 10: Turn your washer to rinses and rinse, rinse, RINSE those diapers until you don't see suds. 
Step 11: Take the diapers out and sniff them.  If they smell fresh, go to step 12, if they are still stinky, repeat steps 8-10 with about half the amount of detergent/baking soda you used. 
Step 12: Take your diapers out and if at all possible, hang them to dry in the sun (nature's bleach).
Step 13: Enjoy your wonderful, non smelly diapers :)

Please enter below if you would like the chance to win a Rock-A-Bums cover, insert AND wet bag!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Rockin' a Swim

Rock-A-Bums, Rockin' a Swim

Now the weather is starting to turn nice, and our minds start shifting from mud puddles and umbrellas to flip flops and swimming pools.  The sounds, smells and surroundings of summer are finally here...

Every family has their own way of beating the heat, but for us, we like to be outside (lathered in sunscreen of course) and in some form of water.  Now, since we exclusively cloth diaper, finding a swim diaper is not all that difficult, we have a stash full of them.  It only takes one MINOR adjustment to our every day Rock-A-Bums cover to turn it into a swim diaper.  I take the cover, (which is on the middle rise snap setting for my daughter), and I snap it down to the smallest rise setting.  That is all.  I know what you’re thinking, “it really can’t be that easy,” but, it REALLY is!  Once I have it snapped down, all I have to do is put it on her, along with her swimsuit and she is set! 

When using the Rock-A-Bums diaper as a swim diaper, you want to make sure that you leave OUT the insert.   No insert is necessary when using it as a swim diaper, you just want the cover to hold in any messes. 

Do you know what I love best about using my Rock-A-Bums diapers as swim diapers?
1.       The inside is GRAY fleece, so if she makes a mess inside of it, it won’t show a stain

2.       They are reusable, so I won’t be creating any waste

3.       I don’t have to rush to the store to find the right “size” before my little darling can splash in the pool. 


It’s a win for everyone! 

Would you like to win your own Rock-A-Bums diaper, insert AND wet bag?  Well, enter here for your chance to win!!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

I will leave you with a couple pictures.... :)