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We’ve heard it countless times - “it’s what’s inside that counts.” And when it comes to diaper bags, that statement couldn't be more true. What's the point of having a gorgeous designer bag if it doesn't help you be relaxed and ready whenever you want to head out the door?

Be prepared and you’ll be the coolest cucumber at your next mama’s group gathering or afternoon of running errands. Besides the obvious need for diapers in your diaper bag, here are three items we propose should be in your bag the next time you venture from home (and every other time too!).

A wetbag – this is a waterproof bag that holds 2-6 diapers. It provides an easy place to put the dirties and keeps everything else dry and smell-free. You’ve got your choice between drawstring and zippered options – the preference is all up to you.

A change pad – a mobile change pad is a must in our book, just because you never know what’s going to be available when you need to change your baby. A change pad covers your bases whether you’re changing on the front seat of your car, on a grungy public washroom change table, or on the floor at the rec center. It’s also great at home, especially if you don’t always change diapers in the same place in the house. A change pad also rolls up small and doesn’t take up much room in the diaper bag.

Our favorite is wool, as it’s soft and made entirely of natural fibres, but there’s also organic cotton with a waterproof backing if you so prefer. If you’re on a tight budget, you can also use use a large prefold (one size larger than the standard “infant” size”), which can come in handy later anyway for a multitude of uses. (Stay tuned for our blog post on Why Prefolds are a Smart Choice for Every Family!) Hemp/cotton wipes – Cloth wipes are not only more gentle on your baby’s skin and save you money, but they’re great to have on hand for runny noses and ice cream covered hands, too.

We find it extra-easy to keep them in a travel-size disposable wipes container and just wet them right before we go out the door. That way they’re ready to handle any size mess no matter where you go. When you’re done, just toss them in the wetbag and wash them with the next load of diapers.

Easy peasy! Here’s wishing you happy trails wherever your diaper bag takes you…

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One of the most common frustrations for cloth diapering parents and one of the most common reasons we know of why parents decide to quit cloth diapering is leaks.

But leaks are fixable – and often easily so. Read on for a checklist to see how you can keep your baby AND his clothes dry. Typically, leaks happen because of issues related to fit, size, absorbency, or because bits of the diaper are peeking outside the diaper cover. Also, leaks commonly happen when a baby is “in between” sizes or when a “one-size” diaper is too big on an itty-bitty newborn. Let’s look at each of these scenarios by itself:

FIT: Each baby’s shape and size is different. Some babies are long and lean and some have those lovely rolls of baby fat around their thighs. Thus, even though two babies may be the same weight, the same diaper will fit them differently. Basically, just make sure that once your diaper is on that there are no gaps anywhere around the thighs or back of your baby. Everything should be tight, snug, and secure (and don’t worry – it’s difficult to get a diaper too tight.) A second, though less common, “fit” issue is with how a diaper is sewn in the legs. On some babies, certain diapers will tend to “roll up” at the thighs and this can cause liquid to wick out. If you see any “inner” part of the diaper showing, such as fleece or cotton, try to roll it or tuck it back into place.

SIZE: It may seem obvious, but make sure you’re using the right size diaper. If the diaper is too big, there will be gaps around the legs or back where pee and poo can escape. (Gaps may be obvious or not. Basically, if you can easily fit more than one finger in between the elastic of the diaper and your baby’s leg, liquids will have no problem getting out.) Likewise, if the diaper is too small, the elastic around the legs and back may get stretched too much and they can’t do their job of containing everything. Often diapers that are too small also have a very low rise over the crotch. Especially with boys, this can mean there’s just not enough diaper where the liquid wants to go and the leaks will happen at the front. The fix? Check for gaps, over-stretched elastic, and your diaper’s rise and adjust which size diaper you use accordingly. If you are “in between” sizes, where a “small” is too small and a “medium” is too big, consider adding a bit of bulk, such as a doubler, or changing the brand or type of cover you use, which often fit differently, to get you through those two or three interim weeks.

ABSORBENCY: As a baby goes from a newborn to toddler, the amount and frequency of the baby’s wetting changes. Typically, as a baby grows she will pee less often but with a greater quantity. Thus, make sure you are using a diaper with adequate absorbency for your baby. If you need to increase the absorbency but aren’t ready to switch to a different size, add a doubler or two.  Also, if you use pocket diapers, consider adding an entire prefold or flat for night time leaks.

"TUCKAGE": This one is especially easy to fix and is incredibly common, even among experienced cloth diaperers. “Tuckage,” while perhaps not even a real word (darn!), merely refers to the times when a bit of the diaper doesn’t get tucked into the cover during the diaper change. Especially when you’ve got a wiggly baby, it can be difficult to remember to check that everything is tucked securely inside the cover, but this one step will make sure everything stays dry!

BAGGY ONE-SIZE DIAPERS ON NEWBORNS: One-size cloth diapers can be real budget-savers and a great way to only have to buy diapers once in your baby’s diapering lifetime. However, they can be too baggy in the newborn days. In this case, we recommend adding a hemp/cotton cloth wipe folded in half. This will add some bulk, but it will improve the fit until your baby fills out the diaper a bit more.

Here are a few products that seem to excel at keeping frustrating leaks at bay: FuzziBunz UNIQUE one-size cloth diaper Bummis Super Brite covers Tots Bots Easy Fit All in One cloth diaper in Hook & Loop or Snaps

Have you solved your leaking problems in a creative way? Please let us know! We'd love to pass your advice on to other parents.

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GroVia Hybrid/All-in-two System

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GroVia's All-in-two cloth diapers consist of a waterproof cover and separate absorbent insert. The insert is snapped to the diaper cover and you can reuse the diaper cover if it is not soiled.

We typically recommend 1 cover for every 3 inserts. We offer a variety of size packages, as well as, individual products - shells, soaker pads (organic and stay dry), boosters (organic and stay dry) and BioSoakers (disposable inserts with sticky tabs - great for outings, vacations, daycare, etc.).

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A very common question from New-to-Cloth Parents is: Do cloth diapers stink? After further discussion, it comes out...parents don't want their homes to smell like an outhouse because of their diaper pail.  Valid concern, we think. Here is our take on it and some solutions we have found.

  1. Please remember that a diaper is a diaper.  What goes into it may smell.  Cloth diapers do not have all the (really bad for you) fragrances embedded in them, so you get what you get, in all it's glory.
  2. What a newborn puts out is not offensive, in any way.  They are too cute to make stinky poop!
  3. When poop is at the stage that it gets aromatic, you are most likely into solids.  This poop should be flushed and should not sit in your diaper pail.
  4. When children start to eat a more "grown up" diet, their urine gets stronger.  The smell that you get from a diaper pail is largely the ammonia that has metabolized from the pee in the diapers.

Okay, enough observations about pee and poop.  Here are some solutions for you. 


  1. Use a pail with a LID
  2. Use a diaper pail liner (it keeps the pail cleaner over time)
  3. Each time you take a load of diapers out to launder, wipe down the inside of your pail with a 50/50 water/vinegar mix. We keep a sprayer with this handy (useful for the potty clean up, too).  This will sanitize and freshen.
  4. Wash your diapers at a reasonable frequency; we suggest 3 days as the longest interval to leave them
  5. Use a diaper pail deodorizer.  At New & Green, we have Bamboo Charcoal deodorizer to offer you 


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One of the most common questions we’re asked at our New & Green Cloth Diapering 101 workshops is about cloth diapering at daycare. Do daycares allow cloth? Which diapers are best? Do I need any special equipment? From the bit of research we've done, it seems the vast majority of daycares in the Lower Mainland are happy to accommodate cloth-loving parents, provided the process is made easy for the care providers. 

We definitely recommend that you “know before you go” – call your daycare (or prospective daycares) and find out what they specifically prefer so that you don’t end up buying diapers and supplies you don’t need. Also, check out the Real Diaper Association’s excellent tip-sheet for some great info. Basically, when it comes to cloth diapering in a daycare, it boils down to this: KISS (Keep It Simple, Silly): Make it as easy for the care providers as possible.

  • Use diapers that are most like putting on a disposable – either an All-in-One or a pre-stuffed pocket diaper with Velcro closures. Velcro closures make diaper changes both easy and speedy
  • Have a zipper-closure wetbag big enough to hold all the diapers from the day. A bag with a hanging loop is extra handy
  • Considering using a disposable liner such as Bummi's Flushable Bio-Soft liners and pre-line all your diapers. This way, poop is easy to deal with for the care provider and you’re less likely to have super-poopy diapers coming home for you to deal with later! (Always a plus!)
  • Remember that some daycares require that everything belonging to the child must be labeled, including cloth diapers. You can either stick these labels right on the diapers or hand-sew a little tag onto the diaper to hold the label so that you can easily remove it later. Laundry-safe labels can be found by searching online for “children’s clothing labels” (or some such variation)
  • If you want cloth wipes used as well, consider having them pre-wetted in a travel-size disposable wipes container so they are easy to grab and ready to use.

Be prepared: About 93% of the daycares we surveyed on the North Shore  stated that they would be happy to use cloth diapers, provided they were shown how to use them. At your first meeting with the provider, bring along samples of everything you’ll be sending with your child and be prepared to show them how to use it. It often helps if you’re upbeat and positive, emphasizing how easy the process is!

Be flexible: If your daycare isn’t quite sure about cloth diapering - even after your enthusiastic tutorial – perhaps propose a trial period, say three weeks, in which to try cloth. Likewise, choosing a different type of diaper may help the daycare as well. Be flexible in accommodating their needs as well as your own - some of them may never have seen modern cloth diapers. Be happy: We believe that choosing cloth is a wonderful, fun, and sustainable choice for you and your family. Extending that choice to other people who care for your children can require courage, wisdom, and knowledge – you should be happy knowing you’ve prepared yourself for this journey and your child will reap the benefits. Hip hip hooray!

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