Wednesday, June 21, 2017

What is Delamination? and How Do I Prevent it?

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DELAMINATION!??

What is PUL?

PUL, or Polyurethane Laminate, is the water proof outer layer on most modern cloth diapers. PUL is Water-proof, flexible and durable. It is created by bonding a plastic layer to the fabric you see as the outer part of your cloth diaper.

What Exactly is Delaminaion and Why Does it Occur?

Delamination is when the waterproof laminate begins to pull away from the fabric. Cloth diapers are washed and worn MANY times, and, just like regular clothing, over time it is normal for cloth diapers parts to deteriorate, including PUL. Having a large stash is the #1 way to combat wear and tear on your diapers, its the difference of washing daily compared to a couple times a week. (you wouldn't was a shirt daily and expect it to hold up) Washing or drying in high heat are also common causes of delamination. SoftBums recommends washing in temperatures no higher then 140 degrees and to avoid the sanitize cycle as the water will get too hot. It is also recommended to line dry as often as possible or if you must use a dryer never to turn up past medium, aside from the initial 10-15 in the dryer on hot to seal the seams.



TIPS To Preserve the Life of Your PUL

  • Wash your diapers using recommended routine and detergent. Manufactures recommend routines that they feel is best for their diapers, following their advise is often the easiest was to insure a long like for your diapers. You can find SoftBums washing recommendations HERE.
  • Wash your cloth diapers often. 
  • Do not soak your diapers
  • No Additives as these can be SUPER Harsh on your diapers!
  • Do NOT Ever use the Sanitize cycle on your Washer.  It goes above 140 degrees F and is much too hot
  • Do NOT Dry too high of heat
  • Line dry Shells and never stuff your diaper while hot.
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Friday, June 2, 2017

Cloth Wipes are EASY and CONVENIENT!

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Why You Should Use Cloth Wipes

Cloth diapers and cloth wipes go hand in hand. BUT... even if you don't cloth diaper, using cloth wipes may still be a good choice for your family!
My favorite are SoftBums Bamboo Cloth Wipes They come in a 5 pack for $9.25

Cloth wipes save money, produce less waste, are softer on your baby's bottom and expose your baby to less chemicals! Cloth wipes are easy to prepare and they are convenient to use, especially if you are already using cloth diapers.


How to Store Cloth Wipes

If you are planning to use cloth wipes full-time, I recommend starting with 24-36 wipes. You can also see if you might want a SoftBums Wipes Bag to bring them on outings!

Store wet and ready for use:
I find this is the most convenient way for my family. I store our cloth wipes accordion folded and pre-moistened in a wipes warmer. You can store your pre-moistened wipes in any container that has a top/some sort of seal to keep moisture in.

Store dry until use:
Cloth wipes can be stored dry in a basket, or wherever is most convenient for you. If you store your wipes dry you will have to decide on a way to wet the wipes. Some parents choose to use plain warm water from the faucet and others have a spray bottle with a wipes solution at the changing station.

Wipes Solution

There are many different options to wet your cloth wipes:

  • Plain water
  • Homemade wipes solution
  • Wipes solution cubes
  • Water with a little baby soap 


Basic wipes solution that I use:
-2 tbsp melted coconut oil
-2 tbsp liquid soap (I love EMAB)
-1 ½ cup distilled or filtered water
Here is a link to our blog post with more wipes solution recipes, 

How to Wash Cloth Wipes

If you already cloth diaper or are planning to cloth diaper, then washing is EASY! Just store used wipes with your soiled diapers and wash together.

If you do not cloth diaper you will want a wet bag or a place to store used wipes until it is time to wash them. Rinse off any solids and wash with towels or baby clothing.






SoftBums Organic Bamboo Wipes are made with a bamboo organic cotton blend. One side is soft for a gentle clean and the other side has a grippy texture for the big messes.






SoftBums wipes can be used in many ways! I have used them as nursing pads!! Comment below with your favorite wipes solution and any creative uses you have for your wipes.

~Jessica


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Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Challenging Gender Roles with Cloth Diapers

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My Son (L) and My Daughter (R) in Fluffy Saurus
If you’re like me, cloth diapering with two kids in diapers means using whichever shell is clean on whichever child needs a diaper change.  Even doing laundry every day or two, some of your favorite shells (hello Arthur and Juliet) are bound to be dirty around half of the time.  Chances are, whether you intend to or not, sooner or later your little princess will be wearing Fluffysaurus Rex, and your little prince will be wearing Love Blossom.

While this may be accidental at times, I’d like to make a case for using diapers on your kids that don’t fit into traditional gender roles.  Remember, challenging gender roles doesn’t always mean putting a “girly” diaper on a boy, or vice versa, but rather allowing your favorite diapers of any color and print to make your children look great.

My son’s favorite diaper is Rainbow Connections; the colors and stars excite him, and he asks for it consistently.  And while my daughter certainly enjoys Juliet, she also loves the little red dragon on the Arthur print.  They are both noticeably happy when they see those prints, and love wearing them around the house, or out to the park.  There’s no rule that says girls can’t like dinosaurs, or that boys don’t like flowers: if it makes my babies happy, I’m happy.

My son in Hearts
Not only is it more convenient to swap diaper prints (no more sorting the laundry for boy and girl diaper shells!), but it teaches your kids from an early age that there are no limits to the things they can enjoy.  It frees them from the sorts of constraints offered in Toy departments, where the “girl” aisle is clearly defined by dolls and cascades of pinks and purples, and the “boy” aisle consists of robots, trucks, and superheroes, predominantly in bright primary colors.

On a more practical note, perhaps cloth diapering on a budget means you rely on Buy-Sell-Trade groups, and keep your eyes out for bargains and sales from your favorite retailers.  If you don’t mind which colors and patterns decorate your kids’ bums, you can cloth diaper without hurting your wallet.  Even if money is not a concern, denying typical gender and color expectations allows you to then be excited about every print as it is released, regardless of the gender of your kids, or the color or design on the print.


From a sociological perspective, it is good for children to feel empowered and safe in their homes, and while allowing them to choose any cloth diaper print regardless of gender relation may seem like a small thing, in raising children the small things often have the greatest impact.  By taking this small action, you are telling your children that it is ok to be excited about things they love, that you support them no matter what they decide to love, and, in a way that is not so small for your little ones, you make their world a happier, more colorful, and less constrained space.


-Keely E. 
Momma of 2
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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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