Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Starting Your Soft Bum’s Stash for One

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How did your cloth diapering journey start? Do you remember some of the questions and feelings you had when you were considering it? How bout when you triumphantly (or nervously) got that first cloth diaper on your babe?

I remember a few lengthy conversations revolving around cloth diapers with my friend Becky when my husband and I were expecting our first child. I was sure I wanted to try them, but had hesitancy. She used a diaper called Soft Bums. Seeing how she’d been so successful with cloth diapering all 4 of her kiddos with them, (The two youngest still in diapers) I knew I had to check them out. There were 3 main reasons why I ended up choosing cloth. I have Becky to thank for a lot of it! But you can check out my blog post, “3 Reasons Why I chose Cloth Diapers” to read more, and see why I also chose Soft Bums exclusively.

Fast-forward a year and there I sat, looking down at a beautiful little girl now 3 months old.
After lots of research, some careful purchases and lots of determination I pulled out my little stash of Soft Bums and put them in use.

“Ok,” I breathed. “I’ve got to just do it, - so here goes!”
and with that, my first born wore her first cloth diaper. I quickly sent a picture off to my mom and sister, “We’re doing it!” I said, feeling excited, and yet nervous in the ways of cloth diapering.

 It took me a couple months of trial and error, adjusting, and building of my stash to get to a point where I felt confident in what I was doing with cloth.  I started out with 5 Shells, (3 Echo and 2 Omni I believe) and between 20-30 Mini Microfiber inserts and a handful of large ones.  In hopes to save you a couple months of trial and error yourself, and I’d like to share with you from my experience, and in talking with other moms- what I find is essential to your Start-up stash of Soft Bums cloth diapering for one child.

So, how many!?
I mentioned I started out with 5 Soft Bums shells, and I was doing laundry every night. Those early days, poops are pretty frequent and somehow those babes have lots of power to make it go everywhere. (except out; I Have RARELY gotten a blow out using Soft Bums,- score!) So you will be doing more frequent diaper changes, and using more shells. I wanted to have at least a two-day rotation in those early months, and so I’d tell my younger self- get a minimal of 10 shells to start out with. This should give you at least a 2 day wash rotation on an “Average” infant. I had mostly Echo, and ended up preferring the fit for my little girl. But was so glad to have Omni’s to use too, and I would highly recommend getting a few of both and seeing which you prefer, as your child may be different and you prefer one over the other.
A couple things to consider with Echos and Omnis:

Omni’s you have two ways to use: 

stuffing: the inserts go in the pocket of the diaper Suggested Uses: at night, makes the change a lot faster- can stuff more comfortably. Stuffing also makes it easy for others who are caring for your little one, to diaper change successfully- even if they aren’t confident with cloth.
Snap in: You just snap the insert into the shell without stuffing into the pocket.  If you don’t have a heavy wet, or poop- you can just take the insert out at a diaper change, and re-use the shell.

Echo’s, you could use the shell multiple times if there wasn’t a poop or heavy soak, and they are a trimmer fit.

For Inserts:

I stocked up primarily on Mini-Microfiber inserts, and had probably between 20-30. Again, if you want at least a 2 day rotation, I would suggest starting with a minimal of 20-30 mini inserts. (I also had a collection of about 10 large Microfiber inserts which came in handy as she got bigger and peed more.) I would double up with the Mini’s after not to long, as my daughter began soaking through just one. But she was never a real heavy wetter.
With inserts – you will have to figure out which is best for you, as each child is different. I would recommend getting a few bamboo, and a few micro-fiber Minis, and Large inserts and see what’s working best for your babe, and go from there. My second born is more of a heavy wetter then my first was, and I would prefer Bamboo inserts for absorbency. (bamboo is also a little less bulky in the shell- so, yeah!)

Ok, Let’s review: Again, this is what I recommend you’ll need, to start your Soft Bums stash for one child, based on a 2-day wash rotation:

Shells:
Ø  Minimal of 10 shells for a 2 day wash rotation.
Ø  Mix it up! Get a few Echo, and Omni and see which you prefer.

Inserts:
Ø  20-30 Mini Pods (a mix of Microfiber and bamboo would be good, to see what works best for you and your babe. *I used mostly Microfiber starting out)
Ø  6-10 large pods in the wings, - for when your little one starts to wet more- and you move out of that new-born/ little stage.
Ø  Remember: Every little one is different, so if you get a few of each to try, you’ll figure out which will work best for your little ones!

Cloth is one of the best decisions I made when trying to discern bests for my child. It’s got lots of benefits, and truly they’re not as challenging as some condemn them to be. If your feeling like Cloth is daunting, don’t fret! You’ve got this!

Here are some additional resources to help you on your journey, and to connect with others who are on their own cloth journeys. Don’t forget to check back here, on the Soft Bums blog for more tips and tricks!

Softbums Official Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/SoftBums/
Softbums Super fans: https://www.facebook.com/groups/151401331649086/
Softbums B/S/T Site: https://www.facebook.com/search/top/?q=softbums%20b%2Fs%2Ft
Softbums Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/softbums/


IF you would like to learn more about my little family, or would like to read why I chose cloth  diapering, checkout: “3 Reasons Why I chose Cloth Diapers” 
Checkout my blog:  www.thelupineline.com

-Christy Kangas


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Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Cloth Diapering Multiple Children

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When you start cloth diapering multiple children things can get a little tricky. Do you buy different size covers for each kid? Do you buy twice as many diapers for two children? Do you buy different types of inserts?

There are so many options out there and that is why we love SoftBums SO much! 

SoftBums have two different styles, the Echo and the Omni. BOTH of these diapers fit my 2 month old (11lbs) and my 2 year old (28lbs). And unlike your typical one size diapers, these are truly a one size diaper because you can tailor them for a custom fit.



You’ll find that the Omni is a little wider and can be used as a pocket diaper. There are also lots
of different pod options that you can use, we prefer the Dry Touch and use the small on our infant and the large size on our toddler, but we can make the small work for our toddler as well!

I tried both styles on my 2 month old when he was just a few weeks old and while the Omni was a little big, it still fit with just a little extra bulk! The Echo was a perfect fit and it also fits my 2 year old like a dream. How is this possible?



What makes these diapers so great is that instead of using a snap down rise, like so many other one
size diapers, you tighten the elastics around the leg holes to get the perfect fit. So you can use these on your brand new baby or your toddler who is close to potty training.


The Echo is great if you want a super trim fit, I don’t have to worry about purchasing bigger pants for my toddler or infant because of how slim this diaper fits. The Omni is great if you need extra absorbency for those heavy wetters – which for our toddler is especially true for an overnight diaper solution.

Love and fluffy bums-
Sarah M. (mom of 4)
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Monday, April 17, 2017

Wear and What's Normal for Cloth Diapers!

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GETTING THE MOST OUT OF YOUR STASH OF CLOTH DIAPERS!



One size cloth diapers will fit until potty training, but is it an unreal expectation that they will last that long? or for 2 children? Cloth diapers are worn and washed far more often then your every day clothing. Because of this they are subject to much more wear and tear. Many factors play into the life expectancy of a cloth diaper, here are some normal wear and tear examples and what you can do to extend the life of your diapers.

STAINS?
Staining is inevitable. You'll first see stains on your brand new diapers and worry that your diapers are not clean, or will stay looking like that forever!  DON'T WORRY! Staining is normal, and usually washes out eventually.  It does NOT mean that your diapers are not clean.  Try to relax about staining, and just enjoy your baby.  Try sunning your diapers (for 20 minutes max on bamboo)for a natural whitener instead of harsh stain removal products which can damage fibers. Never soak your diapers in bleach for stain removal, doing so will degrade every part of your diaper.

WEAR ON Hook & Loop (Velcro)
Hook & Loop will eventually get fuzzy. Line dry your shells.  You can throw them in the dryer from time to time and they won't "die", however it only takes a second to pull your shells out of the washer and hang them to dry.  Most of our customers just use a collapsible dry-rack and hang the shells on there.  They will dry overnight.  Your worst enemy for Shells is HIGH HEAT!  high heat can degrade Hook&Loop over time. You might notice fuzz, hair, or thread gets caught in the "hook" side, this is easy to clean using a toothpick! If its time to replace the hook and loop SoftBums sells their high quality Hook&Loop replacements HERE.

RELAXED ELASTICS
Relaxed elastics happen over time but can also be weakened by heat and chemicals. Line dry Shells when possible, if you machine dry never turn your dryer up past medium heat. Allow your shells time to cool after the dryer, stretching hot elastics can weaken them. Avoid bleach, borax, vinegar and other harsh chemicals that damage elastics. SoftBums elastics are easy to replace. You can purchase quality elastic from SoftBums HERE.

PILLING
Pilling on the inner of any fleece lined diaper is normal with use. Pilling around Hook&Loop strip is also common with use because the H&L is rubbing the outer PUL, but being careful when you attach wings can help minimize that pilling. Piling/pulls from the Hook&Loop can also happen if you forget to firmly secure the Hook&Loop to the washer tabs. These issues are generally cosmetic and will not effect function.

HOLES AND THINNING
Over time natural fibers can develop holes/balding. Following the recommended washing routine will help extend the life of your natural fibers, however there are many reasons holes or balding can happen prematurely.  Having a small stash and washing often puts extra wear on any diaper part that would not happen with a larger stash. Natural fibers cannot not withstand extreme washing conditions like very hot water or dryer temperatures, SoftBums recommends washing in water temperatures under 140 degrees and drying on low or medium. Soaking in vinegar or bleach and stripping/sanitizing often will degrade fibers, which causes holes.
Another place that can develop holes is on rise snaps, which are part of most One-Size diapers. Luckily this is not a problem with SoftBums thanks to the unique Slide2Size technology.


CONCLUSION + TIPS

  • Cloth Diapers are worn and washed so many times, because of this they will wear out faster then regular clothing. They are not made of steel!
  • Having a large stash will help reduce the wear and tear on your diapers, extending the life of your diapers. 18-24 one-size Diapers may not be enough to last through potty training, and it's okay to add more.  In the old days people had around 50 diapers!!
  • Natural fibers wear out faster then synthetics. If this bothers you, stick to DryTouch synthetic fibers instead, which can be a good workhorse Pod and will not develop holes or thinning as easily as natural fibers.
  • Holes aren't pretty but PODs with holes or thinning are usually still completely functional.
  • DITCH THE DRYER AND HANG ALL SHELLS, & BAMBOO PODS
  • DON'T DRY BAMBOO IN FULL SUN.  Bamboo is a delicate fiber and 10 min here and there is ok, but longer in direct hot sun will erode the bamboo fibers.
  • Anything with elastic should be hung to dry, aside from sealing the seams, this will extend the life of the elastics. 
  • NEVER SOAK DIAPERS!  Especially do not soak in bleach, vinegar or other cleaners.
  • DO NOT USE VINEGAR, OXYCLEAN, OR OTHER ADDITIVES
  • Use the natural whitening of the sun for staining.
  • WASH OFTEN!  Letting diapers sit for a long time dirty will make it much harder to get them really clean.




Storing your diapers long term 
Store your clean cloth diapers in a temperature and humility controlled space, like a closet or under the bed, in a breathable container. Make sure your diapers are very dry when you pack them away so they will not mildew. Sun stains and make repairs before you store, you'll thank yourself in the long run.


I have a large stash and I find it helpful to rotate my diapers by putting my clean diapers to the bottom or back of my storage system. This helps make sure each diaper is used evenly, which reduces overall wear. All cloth diapers are subject to wear and tear, but My SoftBums diapers have lasted a long time using some of these simple methods! Many SoftBums Diapers that belonged to my older daughter are still being used on our youngest and have a lot of life left! I have replaced elastics on a couple, but that was an easy fix! 

In the comments, tell me how you care for your cloth diapers to extend their life expectancy?

~Jessica


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Thursday, April 13, 2017

Non-Candy Easter Basket Ideas for your Little One!

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It's Easter time again- and this year we are on a mission to create a cute basket that doesn't involve sweets. Here's a practical baby basket that your little one will really enjoy. 

EchoCloud Nine w/Hook & Loop

This is one of Softbums newest prints. I think it is perfect for Easter and spring time. The rainbows really POP in person! We can't wait to put this one on the bum.


Price: $21.95

Cloud NineClutch Wipes Bag with Included Wipes


How could I not get the matching wipe wet bag? I LOVE that Softbums came out with coordinating shells and accessories! This one is especially great because it comes filled with their cloth wipes!

Price: $19.95 

SoftBumsPanda Keychain

Of course I had to add these cute little guy! It will be a perfect addition to her diaper bag. 


Price: $5.95



Okay, every baby loves puffs! These are especially awesome since they have fruits AND veggies. You definitely can't go wrong with these.


Price: $2.95


Okie Dokie Brunette Rattle Dolly



This little dolly is so precious. The dress reminded me of a perfect Sunday Easter dress! I had to go with the brunette to match my baby's brown hair. :)


Price: $11.99 


Okie Dokie 6-pk. Rainbow Heart Sock



My little one just happened to need more socks! When I saw these rainbows and hearts I knew they would be perfect to add with the Softbums Cloud Nine print. They are just darling.


Price: $10





We love books here. This book is cool because it actually has 9 mini books inside. They are just the perfect size for a baby to hold. So cute!


Price: $12.99 




Bath time wouldn't be complete without these little guys! We have chickens and the kids love everything chicken or farm related. Plus, who doesn't love a water fight at bath time? ;)


Price: $7.69

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Friday, October 7, 2016

Newborn Diapers! Grovia & Sweetpea vs SoftBums

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COMPARE FOR YOURSELF!

Are you considering cloth diapering your newborn?  SoftBums Echo shells are a one size system, however I do not feel they should be overlooked as a newborn diaper. In this post I'm going to compare GroVia's and Sweetpea's Newborn diapers to SoftBums Echo.



Weight Range


GroVia Newborn AIO fits 5-12+ pounds, however at about 11 pounds these just did not fit my baby well, she was a little chunky.

Sweetpea Newborn AIO fits 6-12+ pounds. I found these fit better around 8 pounds, I would get gaps in the legs before then, which caused leaks. And they did fit to around 12.5 pounds.

SoftBums Echo fits 5-35+ pounds. When you receive a new SoftBums Shell in the mail they arrive in the smallest elastic setting, I love seeing just how TINY they get. Actually the SoftBums Echo Shell in the smallest setting was to small for my newborn. My toddler is about 29 pounds, mostly potty trained, and the SoftBums Echo Shell still fits her with room to spare!

Absorbency

Grovia
Newborn AIOs are made from a cotton and hemp blend. I found them to be absorbent for the first couple weeks, however my baby outgrew the absorbency long before outgrowing the actual diaper.  I did try adding a small insert to them but that caused fit issues and leaking. Wished they would have had more absorbency options.

Sweetpea
Newborn AIOS are Microfiber, the absorbency is sewn into the cover.  The Sweetpea Newborn has a pocket which does allow for extra absorbency to be added, which I appreciated because my daughter quickly outgrew the standard absorbency and it allowed us to use them a little longer. However, I found stuffing the pocket to be a pain as it is very small.

SoftBums
 All-in-2, which means it is a 2 part system.  The outer waterproof Shell, Plus the Absorbent Snap-in POD.  SoftBums Echo Shells have a super soft fleece lining,  PODS come separately. The thing I loved and continue to love about SoftBums is how easy the absorbency is to customize, even for a newborn. I used a SoftBums Small DryTouch PODs in the beginning and simply added a second when one was no longer enough.
Now (at 9 months) I use those small pods as boosters for nights or car rides. I love having the option of Dry-Touch, Bamboo OR BOTH! I love being able to customize the absorbency levels to my baby, and my preferences that day, or week depending on what I was into. It is so handy to be able to swap out PODS and reuse the Shell as well.

Quality

SoftBums quality is through the roof!  Being made one at a time right here in USA with super high quality materials really makes me proud to use this diaper on my daughter, and I can trust that is won't leak on her either, which is so reassuring!  The Hook & Loop (velcro) is beyond my expectations and really lasts and does not curl like other brands we have tried.  It's so nice to find a brand that cares about quality, and does such a good job make a decent Hook & Loop diaper!




Conclusion

SoftBums Echo is a OS AI2 Shell(or cover), you can reuse the Shell which makes them a good value in comparison to an AIO. Newborns pee ALOT!  Being able to customize the absorbency my baby needs means that this system will continue to work in any situation. It was so nice being able to swap out the insert and reuse the Shells instead of having to get a whole new diaper. 

Comparing the value of any newborn diaper against a SoftBums Shell is a no-brainer because you can keep using the Shells until potty training.  The Slide2Size special internal sizing allows you to adjust the leg elastics so they fit a tiny newborn as well as a potty training toddler.  With other brands like GroVia and Sweetpea you would need a newborn diaper and OS to achieve the same weight range that SoftBums covers. 

We started cloth diapering our first daughter late in the game, but started with our youngest the day we got home from the hospital. I found having cloth wipes prepped and PODs snapped into shells, ready to go, extremely helpful. 

In the comments, tell me when you started cloth diapering. If you cloth diapered through the newborn phase, what did you find helpful? 

-Jessica
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