Thursday, December 22, 2011

And the winners are...

Thanks everyone for entering to win some great loot from PinStripes and PolkaDots!  The winners have been drawn and the names/profile names are below...

The following 3 cloth diaper fans win a wet bag from GroVia!
Jamie Fifarek

The following 4 mamas win a cloth changing pad from KangaCare, makers of Rumparooz!
Lisa Gesterling
Reyna Smith
Jamie Howe

Winner of a BumGenius Elemental AIO
Christine W.

And I added another...winner of a GroVia AIO
Beth O.

If your name was selected, please contact me with either shipping information/local pick-up arrangements.  Also send me the sex of the baby the diaper or accessory is for as I'll do my best to send you gender appropriate colors/patterns.

Congratulations to everyone and thank you to all of you who are now following my blog!  Check the sidebar (on the side) to see if your name is up there--if not then click "follow" on the blog so that you can be entered in to future giveaway--oh yes, there will be future giveaways!!


Monday, December 19, 2011

Holiday Giveaway

For my blog followers, I'm giving away some nice stuff!  A BumGenius Organic Elemental AIO, cloth changing pad from Kangacare and GroVia wet bags...

Extra entries if you post any comment in the below blog entries...

And just in time for the holidays...remaining stock of all artist series BumGenius diapers are on sale and remaining stock of my GroVia shells and AIO in Cosmos and Ice.

And...a special coupon just for you.  Save 10% off your order of $50 or more by using coupon code BLOG10OFF at checkout.  Coupon expires on December 31st.

Winners announced on Friday!  Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays from PinStripes and Polkadots, LLC!!!

Cloth Diapering on Vacation

So, have you done it?  Or are you afraid to do it?  I'll admit, I haven't been on a long trip where there wasn't immediate access to a washer/dryer so I cannot attest to cloth diapering on a long vacation but, I've done the long weekends, short weeks, etc. and I have to say---I love it.  It's so easy.

This past weekend we went to Chicago.  I brought the appropriate amount of diapers and stuck them into a large Planet Wise Wet Bag.  The handy-loop on the bag attached nicely to our overnight bag.  Once in the hotel, we stacked the diapers on the dresser of the hotel for easy access and then again, that loop on the Planet Wise bag came in handy as we hung it on the door of the closet.  Amazingly, even after a couple of days, the wet bag did not stink at all.  When I unzipped the bag to put a dirty diaper in it, of course it stunk to high-heaven but the zippered closure kept all smells at bay.

For a day out on the town when I didn't want to mess with any leaks, I stuffed a layer of Blueberry One-Size Bamboo Insert into my daughter's BumGenius 4.0 Pocket Diaper.  This is the same bamboo so many of my clients use at night.  Because the bamboo is so trim, it didn't make the bulky look or feel bulky.  My daughter drinks a lot of water in the morning and she pees a lot throughout the day.  We went nearly 5 hours and had no leaks.

Obviously for the diaper bag I had a Planet Wise medium wet bag, a small wet bag for cloth wipes and a cloth changing pad.  Next time, I'll probably grab my Planet Wise wet/dry hanging bag just so that I can keep all of her diapers, clean and dirty, together in one place.

So, comment below if you've used cloth on vacations and how it's gone for you!

Friday, December 9, 2011


Yikes...keep your clothes on!  This is a family-friendly post about stripping our diapers of mineral build-up!

I receive so many emails from moms who tell me that their diapers are STINKY!  The minute baby pees in them, the ammonia smell is so strong that it makes everyone's eyes burn.  Yikes.  I've been there.  And I'm sure it's caused more than one mom to throw the cloth in and move to disposables.

There are a lot of, shall I write, opinions on how to best get rid of stink.  Enzyme cleaner, Dawn detergent, more detergent, less detergent, hot water, bleach, soak diapers in their diaper pail, vinegar...I could go on.  And if you tried all of the above at least once, you may find that your diapers smell better for maybe one wear and then the dreaded stink returns.

Why do our baby's diapers get liked that?  For the vast majority of us in the U.S., we have very hard water coming out of our faucets.  Rockin Green has a great map here that shows how much of the country lives with hard water.  It's what makes our skin, hair and even clothes look dull.  For our diapers, hard water is their nemesis.  The hard water, over time, causes little itty-bitty mineral deposits to cling to the fibers in the fabric of the diaper.  Those mineral deposits lead to detergent build-up thus causing stinky, eye-watering ammonia smell, possible repellency issues (meaning diapers don't absorb moisture well) and even really bad diaper rash (open sores, burns, etc.).

The best way to take care of these mineral deposits is to strip them away from the diapers.  Dawn won't work.  I don't recommend enzyme cleaners either.  I recommend a product made specifically to remove hard water minerals from your clothing.  Calgon Water Softener, RLR and Funk Rock are just a couple that I've had great success with.  Calgon can be purchased at most major grocery stores.  Funk Rock can be found at PinStripes and PolkaDots and RLR can be found on Amazon.

To use, simply load your washer up with hot, hot, hot water, (this is after an initial cold rinse on dirty diapers) add all of your diapering items and add ~1/2 the amount recommended on the label (use full amount recommended on Funk Rock).  Let those diapers soak for as long as your machine will allow.  Some of my customers soak overnight.  My washing machine will only allow for a 3-hour soak.  After soaking, let the machine spin the clothes.  Follow the soak with your regular wash routine.  I always throw at least one additional rinse at the end of my wash routine to make sure all of the water softener has been rinsed away.

That's it.  No bleach.  No enzymes.  No wet pail.  Easy as pie.  And what's great about having a water softener laying around is you can add it to your wash routine for your clothing and it will help brighten colors.  In general, my daughters diapers can probably use a mineral stripping every 1-2 months.  I've gone as long as 6 months.  I just know it's time when that really nasty ammonia smell is back.

Now I write all of this with the caveat that you can strip your diapers a million times but if your wash routine is off or your not using a good detergent, you will have stink issues more often and your kiddo may have some dreadful diaper rash.  Email me if you'd like to talk about a good wash routine or check out my website here.

Happy stripping!!

UPDATE**  The aforementioned methods of stripping works great!  But, as you probably know by now if you've practiced any of these methods, it takes a lot of time.  Since I wrote this blog post, a great new product arrived on my shelves from Grovia, Grovia Mighty Bubbles.  It takes the hassle out of stripping and works GREAT!

Hollywood Setting the Stage for Unrealistic Post-partum experience?

Well, I've got a rant.  It's off-topic from cloth diapering but, in my line of work, I see A LOT of moms who, weeks after giving birth, are trying to figure out up from down.  These moms are falling in love awith their little bundle of joy.  They're in baby bliss but still trying to figure out what the new "normal" will be.  Breastfeeding is either working beautifully or barely working.  Baby is either sleeping in 4-hour stretches or not sleeping at all.  I know.  I've been there and some days, I feel like I'm still there.

That's why my blood boils when I stand in line at the grocery store and see those nasty magazines with covers blazing "Mariah Carey Flaunts Post-Baby Body" or "Jessica Alba Sheds Baby Weight."  Really??  So apparently, postpartum moms must now add the list of things to worry about, "lose all baby weight within 1 month."

So why does this make my blood boil?  Because seeing these headlines are starting to create this societal expectation that women must concentrate on returning to their post-baby figures ASAP.  This is dangerous.  If you think about what a woman goes through during pregnancy and postpartum, her body needs to be nourished.  Her body needs rest.  Her body should not be deprived of proper nutrients or put through a rigorous exercise regimen.  Further, if a mother is breastfeeding, she needs to eat to feed herself AND her baby.  Once a mom starts depriving herself of food, she starts depriving baby.

I'm not saying go on a McDonald's-Krispy Kreme-Pizza Hut binge.  That's not healthy for mama or baby either.  And I also think that exercise can be a very important part of making a mom feel better emotionally, especially if some postpartum hormones are kicking in.  I remember taking long walks with MJ was a very important part of helping me "feel whole" again after giving birth.  And, running to the gym for a little bit of away time also made me a better mom.

I just want all of you expecting moms, new moms or even not-so-new-moms to give yourself a break.  Let the dishes go dirty in the sink.  Who cares if the floors aren't vacuumed.  And for the love of yourself and your children, do not put unnecessary pressure on yourself to be "back to your old-self" within a given amount of time.