Questions You Should Ask Before Buying Used Diapers

Posted 06-27-2015 at 11:42 AM by Agla

prepping

There are some that would never consider buying a used cloth diaper, but those that frequent Diaperswappers.com know that buying used cloth diapers is a great way to save money and make less of an environmental impact.  However, before leaping into our For Sale or Trade (FSOT) forum, it would be wise to do a bit of research.  Here are some questions that might assist you in narrowing down what you are looking for:

Questions To Ask Yourself

What size baby will you be diapering?

Which diapering system currently fits your needs?  AIO? Flats? Prefolds?

Are there particular types of closures you prefer?  Snaps? Aplix? None?

Do you prefer natural or synthetic diapers?  Wool?  Bamboo? Cotton? Microfiber?

How much do you want to spend for a particular item (this figure should be based after researching the current retail price and the current demand)?

Questions to Ask the Seller

Sellers should be very clear about disclosing any imperfections or issues.  Unfortunately, sometimes descriptors such as EUC (Excellent Used Condition) and VGUC (Very Good Used Condition) don’t give enough information about the condition of a diaper, as these ratings can be very subjective.

Can I please see pictures of the inside and outside of diaper?

How are the closures?  Is the velcro sticky?  Do all the snaps work?

What fabric is this made of?

How is the fabric?  Is the PUL still waterproof?  Is the wool felted? Are there any snags?

What detergent has been used to wash this item? Is there any staining?

Is your home smoke free? Pet free (if you have pet allergy issues)?

It might seem daunting to ask questions, but most sellers on Diaperswappers are more than willing to answer questions and provide pictures.  The great thing about buying cloth diapers, new or used, is that once you are done using your cloth diapering purchases you can recoup some of your money spent by reselling your items right here on Diaperswappers.

 

Diaper Swapers

Like the Brady Bunch but Not Really

Posted 06-19-2015 at 11:33 AM by Agla

As a child I watched the Brady Bunch and dreamed of being part of a big family.  I didn’t realize that I would eventually become part of large family but, unlike my childhood fantasies, I ended up playing the part of the mom instead of one of the fun-loving kids.

Having a larger family isn’t exactly how it is pictured on television. I’ll go over some of the major differences between my family and the Brady Bunch:

I don’t have a maid.  Alice on the Brady Bunch was an awesome maid that cared for the children as if they were her own.  The house was immaculately clean and there was never a stray toy in site.   I get to clean everything on my own until the kids are old enough to pitch in.  But unlike Mr. Brady who was always too busy working in the office for housework, I have a husband that does help clean.

I don’t have the equally gender balanced family.  The Brady’s had exactly 3 boys and 3 girls.  My household is boy heavy.  I’ve been living toy cars, wooden trains, and Lego for over a decade and there doesn’t seem to be an end in sight.  Luckily, I had one daughter so that I at least had a small window of shopping in the girl’s section.

My kids weren’t already potty trained when I got them.  The Brady’s became a family by blending two families with older children.  I had to diaper and then potty train all of these kids.

Our problems don’t come in increments of one that are easily resolved in a half hour period.  In the short time I’ve been sitting down to write this piece I’ve had to deal with a broken lightbulb, lost sneakers, fighting over snacks, helping put on socks, and a toilet that won’t stop running.

Even though my life doesn’t match that of the Brady Bunch I will always appreciate the show for leaving me with the impression that a large family could be loving and supportive of each other.   Even when we have our worst days I have never wished for a smaller family.  I’m grateful that I was able to get positive messages about larger families as a child. Thank you, Mrs. Brady!

 

Help! I Want to Cloth Diaper but I Have No Money!

Posted 06-19-2015 at 10:35 AM by Agla

One of the most asked questions that we get on our forum is how to cloth diaper on a very limited budget.  While many people choose to cloth diaper to save on diapering costs there are many who struggle with the initial investment needed to create a stash.

Here is a sampling of some of the most popular inexpensive diapering options available:

Flats

Flat diapers are an inexpensive but useful diapering option that can be used for a large range of sizes.  There are now “elite” flats that come in gorgeous fabrics but the budget minded cloth “diaperer” can make their own flats by using fabric that might already be in the home.

T-Shirt Flats-  Old t-shirts can be cut and made into flats.  T-shirt material will roll at the edge when cut but will usually not fray, which makes the t-shirt flat one of the best inexpensive options for those that do not feel comfortable sewing.  If absorbency is a concern an inexpensive doubler can be added for extra wetness protection.

Receiving blanket flats-  Thin receiving blankets are also an inexpensive solution.  They can be purchased new for as little as $2 a blanket and usually they can be found at tag sales or thrift stores for even less.

Flour Sack Towels- These are an option that have gained some popularity as people realize how versatile they can be and how easily they can be found.  Once you are done using them as a flat diaper then you can use them pad folded in a cover, as an insert or even as a doubler.

Covers

There are now cover options available to fit every type of budget.  But if those options are still out of reach there are some basic and functional cover options that require minimal investment.

Upcycled Wool- Wool sweaters can be used to make soakers and longies (wool pants.) With my fourth child I got busy recycling old wool sweaters to make longies to wear over CDs.  It was surprisingly easy and I ended preferring some of my upcycled wool to wool that I purchased new or had made.  Several soakers can be made from a large sweater and absorbency can be increased by sewing an additional layer of wool into the soaker area.

Fleece-  Fleece soakers and longies can be made inexpensively by upcycling old sweatshirts or buying yards of fleece while on sale.  Fleece can also be used as a stay dry liner.

Training Pant Covers-  Otherwise known as Gerber pull on (although I’m sure there are other brands) are a basic no frills pull on cover.  They cost about $2 a cover and are now being sold in prints as well.

The cloth diaper industry has gone through a transformation in recent times, but the changes and innovations have come with increased prices, or, in some cases reduced prices but questionable business ethics.  Fortunately, there are still ways that a parent can choose to cloth diaper while keeping out of pocket expenses to an absolute minimum.

 

Cding: The Quest for the Perfect Solutions

Posted 06-19-2015 at 10:22 AM by Agla

I came across the word “skincaretainment”  used to describe the enjoyment that skin care enthusiasts take in finding, testing and sharing information about skin care products.  I found the term amusing not only because the word fit exactly the concept of what draws people to skin care forums but because I felt that the concept had so much in common with our cloth diapering world.  We already have created the word “Cding,”  which is not only an abbreviation for cloth diapering, but is also a term that covers the experience, enjoyment and sometimes frustration of finding products that fulfill our specific cloth diapering needs.  While skin care enthusiasts look for the perfect facial wash or nighttime cream, cders look for the following perfect solutions:

The Night Time Solution-  This would be the perfect combination of diaper, soaker/insert and cover that allows baby to wake up in dry clothes and bedding.

The True AIO-  This would be the all-in-one diaper that would ideally take your child from the newborn stage all the way to potty training.

The Perfect Wash Routine- The perfect ratio of water: detergent accompanied by the most efficient number of rinses.

The Best Fitted- The fitted diaper with the most absorbency and the best fit.  This diaper would contain most blowouts but would not so bulky that it would be distracting.

The Best Cover- The cover that would be the most pleasing to the eye that lasts through repeated washings without losing efficacy.  It would also have the most effective closure system and the best fit so that they are comfortable to wear while still keeping everything in.

A parent may find the perfect solution only to have to start the quest again when the solution doesn’t work for the next child.  Still we continue our research and eager trips to the mailbox because for many of us cloth diapers are more than functional, they are also an entertaining hobby.

Preparing A Toddler For Financial Changes

Posted 06-3-2015 at 06:44 AM by Matrivine

Financial change is hard on most people, but it’s hardest on smaller children They don’t quite understand what’s going on and why things are changing. They want old luxuries that are no longer available to the. It can be hard on mom and dad too, as they try to help their toddler accept the new reality of their life. Here are a few things to keep in mind if you should ever find yourself in such a situation.

Talking About It

Toddlers don’t understand the concept of money. What they will understand is that some of the things they are used to will be taken away. That’s why it’s important to take away as little as possible. For example Netfilx and cable may be downsized and with them shows your child likes to watch, but you could find some free shows on Hulu. You could also have DVDs or downloads of favorite shows or activities so there isn’t an expense attached to the luxury.

Look On The Bright Side

Rather than saying that you won’t be able to afford pudding cups, talk about how you will get to make pudding together. Instead of saying that you will spend less time at museums or water parks talk about discuss how you will spend more time in the back yard working on the new garden or at the local public park. This can introduce a sense of calm to your child and the assurance that they will not be giving up all the fun in their life.

If Changes Require A Move

Try to keep the things your toddler owns. Use the same bedroom furniture, stuffed animals and night light. Make sure they keep their special toys on hand, so they know it’s not being left behind and make a big deal about it. This won’t just save money. it will give you child a sense of security when they are on the move and settling in to a new place.

 

When Everyone Is Crying

Posted 06-1-2015 at 08:39 AM by Matrivine

It’s one of those mornings. Everyone is crying. Someone didn’t want toaster pastries for breakfast. Or at least not the toaster pastries on their plate. Someone who is learning to walk has fallen down again. They keep trying to use mom as a steadying object but mom moved because she didn’t know. Oh the betrayal! Mom is longing for a time when she made people happy and the world was quiet.

We have all been there and it’s not the Disney Land of parenthood. So how do we get through the gauntlet of tears without losing our own minds?

Remember You Tried

It’s so easy to forget that five minutes ago your child made the choice of what he was eating for break fast, or that you spent fifteen minutes walking your daughter around while holding her hands. Then before you let go you made sure she was steady. Some days the storm of the toddlers is coming no matter what you do. You tried anyway and responded in love.

Act Silly

During the season of tantrums it’s difficult to find your funny bone, but when you do you can turn all those tears to laughter. Pretend to cry too. Throw yourself on the floor. Tell your child to make you breakfast. It often throws you children off guard and they begin to laugh themselves. When all else fails start a tickle war. You may not have a whole lot of time, but this could make the rest of your morning routine easier for everyone to get through.

Hold Your Ground

In spite of the tears of your little one, you need to hold strong on family rules and how they treat others. Enforce a quick time out and tell them that angry or sadness doesn’t buy rude or violent behavior. Then hold on until the storm blows itself out.

 

First Birthdays And The Older Sibling

Posted 05-28-2015 at 07:55 AM by Matrivine

Your second child is turning one. Congratulations. You want to throw a great party for them and that’s your right as a parent. Your older child ( most likely in their toddler or preschool years) aren’t so sure what that means. How can we make their siblings birthday a special day without making or older child feel left out? Here are a few tips.

Plenty Of People Your Oldest Knows

One of the best ways to keep an older child from feeling left out at your one year old’s birthday party is to have plenty of family and friends around that they know. Even though your little one year old is getting a whole lot of attention, your older child will also have plenty of attention.

Make The Oldest Part Of The Ritual

Have your toddler pass the presents to their younger sibling to unwrap. Let them “help” unwrap some of the bigger items that you know your one year old just isn’t going to be able to tear into.

Let Your Toddler Play With The Presents

Often there are more presents than a one year old can play with at one time. Let your little birthday baby pick a few to play with and then let your older children play nicely with the rest. make it clear these are the one year old’s toys, but also let your child know that sharing goes both ways.

What Is The Oldest Looking Forward To?

If your older child is looking forward to cake on your one year old’s birthday use that to get them excited about the party. If they are looking forward to seeing grandparents, use that to help them look forward to the party. Make sure that they get plenty of time playing with Granny or that favorite uncle, or that they get a nice piece of cake. Older children look forward to the fun of a party, not the birthday baby turning one. That’s a parent thing.

 

No More Naps

Posted 05-25-2015 at 11:01 AM by Matrivine

It’s finally happened. Your toddler has been put down for their nap. You sit down with a blanket and a good book. Then a shadow crosses the doorway. There stands your defiant toddler. Nap time is over before it began and this is becoming the normal routine. How do you adjust to the lack of nap time in your life?

Quiet Time

Try transforming nap time into quiet time. Your child doesn’t have to be in bed and the bedroom door doesn’t even need to be closed. It’s just a time for them to play quietly in their room. It gives them time away from you, the ability to entertain themselves and you a little peace and quiet. It can also lengthen the time that your child can remain patient. Don’t make quiet time as long a nap time, but forty five minutes to an hour can be beneficial to both you and your child.

Fun Time Afterwards

Quiet time should immediately be followed up by something fun and possibly out doors. It could be blowing bubbles or water play. It could also be going into the kitchen and making a snack with mommy. Use a child friendly recipe so you little one can be a big help in the kitchen. Another thing that you could do is give your child a choice between three activities after quiet time. This give them the opportunity to pick what fun activity to have, but leaves you in control of the choices.

Not A Punishment

Quiet time should never be used as a punishment. This doesn’t teach your child to play quietly or to keep themselves occupied. It teaches them they will be put in their room every time the act up and quiet time should be avoided at all cost. Instead, when putting a child in time out, use a chair the have to sit in rather than their room. Make sure there is a defining difference between timeout and quiet time.

Picking A Park

Posted 05-20-2015 at 09:01 AM by Matrivine

Picking a park used to be as simple as walking down the street to the park closest to you. It’s not quite so easy anymore. There are many other things that need to be considered when picking a park for you and your little one to visit.

Other Children 

One of the first things you want to look at when picking a park to visit with your child is the number of other children there. While you may not want an overcrowded park, you don’t want you child playing there only with you either. Make sure there are plenty opportunities for along side play. You can do this by picking a time after work hours or after school when more parents come out with their children. You can also schedule a park group with like minded friends to ensure that someone is there to play.

Clean

You need to make sure that the park area is clean and maintained regularly. This can be done by visiting a park a few times. Check for broken glass, cigarette butts and other debris. Also check for adult materials (used condoms or needles). Many parks are great at first glance, but under more scrutiny are not a place you want your child to hang out at.

Condition Of Equipment

Are the swings broken or unhinged? Is the equipment old? What kind of material will your child be falling on if the should jump out of the swing or go down the slide to quickly? Also consider the bar gaps of the play equipment. I know it sounds silly but you don’t want anyone one’s head stuck between the bars.

Partially Enclosed

You want the park to be a t least partially closed off from the parking lot. It keeps kids from running out in traffic. It also corrals them a little and makes it easier for you to keep track of them.

 

Dealing With The Violent Tendencies Of Toddlers

Posted 05-18-2015 at 07:53 AM by Matrivine

We would all like to say that our children would never do that. My child would never bite, hit, scratch or kick someone. If they did it was in self defense and the other child must have done something to instigate it. It’s sad when we are faced with the reality that’s just not true.

Toddlers can be violent. I know from experience. My little one went through a phase where he seemed to want to knock my teeth out with the back of his head whenever he didn’t get his way. How do we deal toddler tantrums and nip that tendency for physical violence in the bud?

More Violence Is Not The Answer

In many countries corporeal punishment for children is outlawed. In many states in the US the same applies, and the number is growing. Whether you believe that spankings or hand slaps are a proper form of punishment or not, you have to acknowledge that this way of punishment will soon not be accepted by our society.

It’s just as well. It’s incredibly difficult to teach children the value of not behaving violently by behaving violently towards them. The only thing that teaches our children, is that violence is not acceptable until you are big enough to get away with it. They may obey you for now (for fear of physical retaliation) but they will start testing that line again when they are old enough. Not only that, they may incorporate it into their parenting style later in life.

The answer is not getting our way by acting in the way we are telling our children is not acceptable.

What Then?

There are many ways to get through to a child without the use of physical punishment. There are time outs, taking toys away, or removing them from a fun situation. Insist on apologies when a child does something wrong. Take away television, internet or device privileges.

Set rules and limits as well as consequences and post them in a place your child will see often. Make sure that you and your spouse are on the same page and work together. Together follow through with the consequences. Remain calm as you explain to your child why they are being punished, even when the child is having a melt down over the consequences of their actions.

When all else fails call in the professionals. I don’t mean your parents. Talk to your pediatrician about tactics to use with your child.

This will take a great deal of patience and, most likely longer to get through to your child, but it will be worth it.