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Happy Mother's Day!

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Our lives are so busy nowadays, it can be hard to slow down enough to allow our loved ones to show their appreciation. To all the hardworking moms out there: enjoy your day! I hope your kids (and spouses) treat you like the queens you are, and I hope that you are able to find the time to breathe deep and take it all in. 
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We often get asked if it's possible to start cloth diapering from day one or if it's possible to cloth diaper a smaller newborn.  In short, the answer is....YES! The biggest consideration for diapering a newborn is containment.  This is key to success (meaning no leaks and the ability to confidently say to nay-sayers that it IS working out for you!). 

In the newborn phase, your baby is changed often and their bladders are not all that big, so super absorbency is as high on the priority. So how to you achieve great containment?  A good fit, particularly around the legs and waist, the ability for the fabric to absorb readily and the two barriers that a fitted diaper (like a Kissaluv Size 0) and a Diaper Cover (like a Bummis Super Brite) go a long way in extra insurance! And if you want to start from day one, you'll need to consider having a diaper that allows your baby's umbilical stump to be open to the air to heal.  Once it's healed (usually 1 - 1.5 weeks), having a diaper with a higher rise that covers the umbilical stump is absolutely fine.

Top rated on consumer sites like, the Kissaluvs Size 0 paired with a Bummis Super Brite is our first recommendation for parents wanting a functional and easy to use system for their brand new babies. Have a look at the video (caution - I can speak very very fast) and let us know what you think. 

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Let’s face it – caring for our babies can get expensive fast! But  cloth diapering is one way to save major bucks.

Most babies go through more than 7,200 diaper changes in the first three years of their lives. This adds up to an average of nearly $3,300 in an mid-range disposable diapers over those three years. If you use other diapering systems, specialty disposables, or a cloth diaper service, that amount can easily be even more.

However, if you choose to purchase your own cloth diapers and launder at home, the average cost for three years ranges between $900 - $1,500 - for a savings of about $2,000-2,500! And if you use your diapers for more than one child, the savings multiply three- or four-fold.

Here’s a quick look at the numbers for different systems:

For a mid-range disposable, considering the addition of wipes and accessories for each age range:

0-3 months = $478.80
3-6 months = $320.40
6-30 months = $1929.60
30-36 months = $561.60 (toilet training)
TOTAL of 7200 diaper changes for 3 years = $3290.40

For various cloth diapering options:

Most Economical Set (Prefolds) + Covers + Snappis + Accessories = $393.48
One Size Pocket Diaper (bumGenius) Set + Accessories = $773.62
A perennital favourite and easy to use Diaper Diaper Set (Fuzzi Bunz) + Accessories = $941.35

Beyond paying for the diapers and accessories themselves, the average cost of laundering your diapers every two days, including the cost of running your washer and dryer and buying detergent, is $3.42 per week over those three years. Sixty-one percent of that cost is dryer usage, so if you line dry when you can, your savings will certainly add up!

A great way to start to build your collection of cloth diapers is to create a gift registry and let your friends and family know.  And let the practical, useful gift giving begin! 

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Recently a customer emailed about a concern with the safety of using Polyurethane Laminate (PUL) covers for her newborn. She had done some preliminary research that left her with some questions. Let's take a look at PUL.

PUL is a very common fabric used in the diaper industry.  It is used in many other industries as well.  For the purpose of the following information, we are only looking at PUL specifically manufactured for cloth diapering. PUL is used for the outer layer of diapers or as the fabric for diaper covers and functions to keep the wetness in while allowing airflow to reach the baby's skin.  It is very durable, even under the rigorous washing conditions associated with washing cloth diapers.

Thanks to Shirley of Bummis, we have some good (and reassuring) information to share with you.  Bummis is the manufacturer of the Canadian made and gold standard Super Whisper Wrap and Super Brite Diaper covers. Firstly, all of the fabrics used in these diaper covers meets or exceeds US Government CPSIA standards indicating that there are no diisocyanates present in the polyurethane lamination.  Diisocyanates are a respiratory hazard for which inhalation and dermal contact should be avoided. 

Other potential toxins that are standard for CPSIA testing include hydrogen cyanide, pthalates, formaldehyde or lead.  While these are not expected to be present at any level in PUL testing confirmed that the levels of these potential toxins were zero. On the making of PUL - PUL is formed by reacting polyol with diisocyanates in the presence of suitable catalysts and additives. This makes the thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) from initial stages of the polymerization. 

This process is completed in a factory within a controlled environment.  Once the polymer is made, these initial substances cease to exist as they were and have formed another compound known as TPU. The newly created TPU is an inert material. The Material Safety Data Sheet for TPU states that it only releases harmful chemicals above 428F degrees. This is true for all plastics. 

If any TPU was heated to such a high melting point, they could release toxic fumes but this is not the case in a stable product with regular use. TPU is used on open wound dressings as the waterproof film that stops fluids from seeping out.  One of the reasons TPU is used in this application is that it is not an irritant.  Beyond dressings, TPU is used in many medical invasive applications approved by the US FDA. So with that all said, are PUL diaper covers safe for your little one?  Yes, with regular use and care, they are comprised of inert substances that will not expose your child to potentially toxic fumes or chemicals.

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For many urbanites, apartment dwelling involves a shared laundry room, coin operated machines, and designated time slots for using the washers and dryers.

Can families really still manage cloth diapering in these circumstances? The answer is a resounding “yes, oh YES!”

Dealing with cloth diapers outside of one’s own suite may seem like a nuisance, not to mention expensive when you’re shelling out coins in hand. In reality, it’s quite easy and the cost is usually comparable, if not less, than paying for the extra energy usage on your monthly utility bill. Here are four tips for using cloth when you don’t have insuite laundry:

Choose cloth diapers that unfold or come apart to wash easily and dry quickly. Pockets, prefolds and flats are great options for this. If you use fitteds or all-in-one’s, choose ones that have multiple, separated layers for ease of washing and drying.

Sign up for time slots or make your schedule to allow you to wash every two or three days. If you can’t get three slots a week, try to sign up for two slots that are 3 ½ days apart, such as a Monday evening and a Friday morning.

Consider line drying. Since most laundry-room machines are coin operated, line drying will certainly save you $$$. If you've got the room either in your suite or in your building's laundry room, give it go. Inexpensive drying racks can be found at Ikea or any hardware store or mass merchandiser.

Do a short cold wash cycle first or choose your own rinse. The fact that many coin-op machines can’t do an isolated rinse cycle adds unwanted cost and time to the washing process.

If you prefer to avoid this cost, consider two cheaper and faster ways of rinsing your diapers (and of course, as always, it is preferable that you knocked off all solids into the toilet at the time you changed the diaper!):

In the diaper pail – Place the diaper pail in a large laundry sink or bathtub. Fill with cold water and swish with a stick. Pour out as much water as you can, then dump all the contents into the washer and start your normal hot wash. This method requires a strong back, but try it with the ever popular Planet Wise Pail liners and keep the diaper contained while washing to ensure you never have to touch the dirty diapers!

In a laundry sink – Dump the dirty diapers from your pail into a large laundry sink, fill with cold water, and agitate them with a stick or with your hands. Drain the water from the sink, pressing on the diapers as the water empties. Toss the diapers directly from the sink into the washer and wash on hot with detergent. Presto change-o, you’re done! With a bit of planning and some considerations about how to save even more money with cloth diapers, laundering in a shared laundry or a coin-op laundry is definitely do-able.

Are you are a "no in-suite cloth diapering family"?  What is your best strategy for making it work for your family?


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