Posted 11-26-2013 at 09:38 AM by yoliyoda
Tide for our linens, Dreft for baby clothes, BumGenius for cloth diapers, homemade soap for everything else–it was all just too much!
It seems that if you asked 100 cloth diapering moms how they tackled laundry, you’d get 100 different responses. So, to see just how diverse viewpoints were, I took a poll here on the site. I asked moms what type of laundry detergent they preferred. As of the date of this article, of the moms that answered about 63% used a major-labeled brand, 15% used cloth diaper specific detergent, 14% used a home made or natural option, and 8% weren’t picky about what they used.
One of the detergents that I noticed kept coming up in the thread was Tide. Some mom’s opted for the Free & Gentle version, while others stuck to the traditional. Some moms used powder, while I’ve heard other moms swear by the liquid. Some moms went for the more generic brands like Foca and Kirklands.
When it came to the natural store bought option, Charlie’s Soap kept being mentioned. For the price of $24 for 128 ounces, it is an affordable no-frills natural option for those who want to keep it basic. Allen’s Naturally Liquid, at around $42 for a gallon, was another option mentioned.
The option of making your own powder is always near and dear to me. I actually enjoy making our laundry soap, other household and beauty options. A few moms used SoapNuts, while others mixed their own concoctions. A few were even nice enough to share. One of the recipes is listed below for newbies.
Other factors that came up in the discussion about which type of detergent was selected by moms for their cloth diaper loads is the type of washing machine that they had, and if the local water supply was hard. High Efficiency machines and standard top loader seem to need different type of soap. Also, just like hard water can
I have been trading on Diaperswappers for several years now. Trading has been a great way for me to build my stash, get rid of things I do not need and not spend a lot of cash in the process.
Breaking into the trading world on diaperswappers can seem a bit daunting to a newbie trader. There are two main areas that trading takes place on the site. There is the ISO/IHA forum, this is where you post a thread listing all the items you have available for trading and what things you are looking for. The same rules apply to this forum that apply to the rest of the fsot boards.
There is also a swaps group that you can join on diaperswappers. You have to opt into this area once you meet all the requirements. The swap area of diaperswappers is a lot of fun. There are all kinds of different swaps that go on and I have been able to get a lot of new diapers and woolies for my stash from these swaps.
I have put together a list of tips for newbie traders. These are all based on my experiences over the years and things I have learned along the way.
1. Be very descriptive.
– Posting an IHA (I have available) is just like trying to sell your items. When you post make sure to include details about your items. This is very important for diapers and woolies. Posting size, any issues and other details will make people more likely to message you. I know that I will skip over posts that do not include this information. I do not always want to take the time to PM for details when I am looking for a certain item.
2. Do not undersell or oversell yourself.
– Be fair in your pricing. You are more likely to get trades with well established traders if you are fair with your stuff. People would not want to buy from you if you over price, the same goes with trading. You do not have to undersell yourself either.
I totally get why some people suspend cloth diapering their kids while traveling. Our closest family, geographically, is a 4-hour drive away, so when we visit them I always have an extra bag full of cloth diapers, covers, extra wetbags, wipes, etc. It’s not a huge deal since it’s only a 4 hour drive and we know we have access to a washing machine, etc, while there, but it is still one more bag to pack and worry about. I can’t blame anyone who says “screw it” and picks up a pack of disposables so they don’t have to deal with cloth on top of all the usual traveling stress.
Who wants to think about cloth diapers when you have this view to look at? Oh, that’s right, me.
However, I have a tendency to never do anything the “easy” way so we do cloth full time, all the time, no matter what. Reasons include:
What is a COOP?
- A coop is a large group buy where you can get a product at a discount. The “host” is who communicates with whoever you are buying from. You add your order to a spreadsheet ( or in some cases you give your order to the host ) and you pay the host. The host then pays the company. In most cases all the items are shipped to the host, who then sorts and ships each order to the buyers. There are a few coops that are called drop ship, these coops are where the company mails directly to each buyer.
There are a ton of diaper coops out there. I have taken part in several of them and they are the reason I have been able to have a large stash. I have also bought diapers as gifts for other people from coops. When my friend first started using cloth diapers, she had a very limited budget so I wanted to help her out. The best way for me to get her a large amount of pocket diapers, was to order them from a coop.
Diaperswappers hosts many coops, facebook has coops and there are many other places as well.
Almost all the diapering coops that I have taken part in are diaper companies from china. I have several alvas and sunbaby diapers. I am on a diaper buying break until after I find out the gender of my baby but I plan to hit up coops as soon as I know what the baby is. I will be buying from overseas as well as wahms.
Posted 10-3-2013 at 08:36 AM by yoliyoda
In today’s society we tend to obtain the things we need in rather traditional ways… “Will that be cash or charge?” However, if you started cloth diapering for financial reasons it’s good to remember that there is another option–bartering.
Bartering, often called trading, is where two or more parties swap or exchange items or services in their possession in order to obtain things that they need. Doing so can help you get the items that you need with little or no cash exchanged. The cloth diapering community is especially trading friendly. You’ll find groups all over the internet to swap or trade items. Take a few minutes to look over the IHA (I Have Available) or ISO (In Search Of) boards on this site and you’ll find that the movement to get what you need without exchanging cash is gaining momentum.
However, trading is an art form. Once you get a hold of it, you might realize that you can obtain the cloth diapers you need without blowing your budget! One of the most skilled traders on the site is expaik. I was able to speak with her to find out a few secrets for trading newbies….
Why did you start trading items online?
I find trading to work out much better than selling. The value of what I can get in a trade is typical 2x – 3x the value of the paypal I could get from selling.
What is mama cloth?
– Mama cloth are reusable cloth menstrual pads.
– They come in several sizes and can be custom made.
– Ranging from panty liners to postpartum flow.
There is a large variety of different fabrics available for mama cloth. Most are PUL or fleece backed, I have both in my stash. Tops can be cotton, flannel, OBV and more. My personal favorites are minky or OBV, they are very comfortable and both work very well. Mama cloth is widely available online. You can buy individual pieces or sets of mama cloth. You can find mama cloth makers on etsy, facebook, hyena cart and diaperswappers. Washing was easy. I wash my mama cloth with my diapers most of the time. I keep the cloth in a small wetbag after use until wash.
I have been a mama cloth user for several years now. The biggest thing that made me switch was the money saving end of it. At first I was hesitant to make the switch. I liked tampons because they were discrete and easy to use. After reading several threads on diaperswappers about mama cloth, I started to get curious. It did not take long for me to see that mama cloth was a much better fit for me.
– Reusable, saving you time and money
– Free of harmful chemicals that are in disposable pads and tampons.
– Very comfortable
Posted 09-25-2013 at 01:34 PM by yoliyoda
I’ll admit it– sometimes cute diapers on sale make me lose my mind. I think it’s healthy to admit the problem so that you can get some help… or at least make more room by the changing table for the next inevitable buy.
And I’m not the only one. When a momma on DiaperSwappers announces that Cotton Babies Seconds Sale is open, or Kanga Care has packages of diapers on discount it’s a virtual mad dash, sure to slow down any site’s server.
While having your baby sport a “cute bum” is one of the benefits of cloth diapering, it can get out of hand. For example, there is a brand of diaper that I fell in love with. Positively adorable! I decided to look up the prices to purchase them new. The listed prices ranged from what I’d consider a bit steep to utterly ridiculous. It’s fine and dandy to buy something extra nice if you can afford it. However, paying triple digits for something my son is literally going to crap in just isn’t for me.
I often have to remind myself when looking at the asking price for some diapers that everyone’s reasons for cloth diapering is different. For some people it is all about the look. Maybe they need that one diaper for a special occasion and cost is not object. For other people it probably has something to do with nostalgia and the love of collecting things. Other mamas might just look at expensive diapers as an investment, sure to have a high resale value.
This happened to me.
My 1 year old was all registered for summer swim lessons. Like a good mother, for days I enthusiastically told her all about swimming and water and that it would be great fun. She toddled around chanting “Sim sim!” and was super happy even though I’m sure she still wasn’t entirely aware of what “sim sim!” was. As we got ready to leave on the first day of lessons, I tossed towels and a snack in a tote bag, reached for the swimsuit and swim diaper–
Huh. I forgot to buy a swim diaper. Most stores sell disposable swim diapers, but there’s plenty of reusable ones on the market as well. But what IS a swim diaper, exactly?
Have you ever noticed that the pretty disposable diaper on the picture looks NOTHING like the faded, wrinkled print in the package?
“Normal” diapers, disposable and cloth, have one function: Catch all that lovely pee and poop from your kid so you’re not stepping all over it on the floor. This means that they are created to be fairly absorbent. This is a good thing—unless your child is going into the water. A regular diaper will immediately become waterlogged upon hitting the pool or lake and either drag your child down by the butt, or sag, unfasten, and fall right off.
One of the biggest reasons that my family made the switch to cloth was the health benefits. My oldest daughter has very sensitive skin, it was ever worse when she was a baby. She reacted to ever diaper we tried, she could tolerate Luvs but those even gave her rashes. We tried and tried for almost six months before we just made the switch to cloth. There are many other reasons why we switched to cloth and I have never regretted our decision.
1. Better on baby’s delicate skin
– I know that my daughter is not the only child to react badly to a disposable diaper. Cloth means keeping chemicals like Dioxins ( highly toxic, known to cause reproductive and devolpmental problems, cause cancer and damage the immune system. ), Tributyl-tin ( toxic, can be absorbed through skin and is known to hurt your immune system), sodium polyacrylate ( this is what makes disposable diapers so absorbent but it is a known skin irritant it can strip skin of all natural oils, leading to rashes ) and many other chemicals off your babies delicate skin.
– One of the biggest causes of diaper rashes is excessive moisture against the babies skin. Just because a disposable can hold enough liquid to go many hours between changes, does not mean you should. Even though the diaper is made to absorb more liquid then a cloth diaper, your child is still sitting in their waste which is very unhealthy. A baby should be changed as soon as a diaper is soiled. Cloth diapering usually means more changes because parents know when a child is wet and do not want to let their child sit in a soiled diaper.
Posted 07-16-2013 at 01:11 PM by Krista
I have talked in the last few articles about the Dave Ramsay Money Makeover. I should probably go ahead and provide a disclaimer: I am not being endorsed or paid by Dave Ramsay! That would be great, wouldn’t it? Anyway, I thought I would write and share some of the struggles I’ve had with it so far.
It’s interesting—and annoying, that too—because I’ve always considered myself to be the “frugal” one, the one who was good with money. And while it’s true that I’ve kept our financial records and balanced our check book for many years of our marriage, I have come to see that I haven’t been managing our money near as well as I could have or as I thought. It’s disappointing to realize that, but humbling too.
I think it’s so easy to get into the habit of blaming your partner or circumstances for your financial state. Truth be told, lack of financial planning and lack of discipline could probably describe what happens to most people’s finances. I am not saying any of this to sound holier-than-thou; believe me, I have my own work to do, and have definitely have made my own mistakes.
My husband has been blamed for the state of our finances for a while, because I didn’t see how it could be my fault. Now I see it a bit more clearly. For one, we have a gas card. We thought it was OK if we only put gas on it, but part of the problem there is that we never paid attention to how much we were putting on—I gasped and grabbed for my heart nearly every month checking the balance—and didn’t care about staying in to save gas. Because, after all, if we needed it we could just put it on the card.
The card offers 15 cents off on every gallon of gas, but with the interest on purchases we were just breaking even. If you’re not saving any money there’s really no point to the card, is there? Truth is, make excuses as we might, credit cards keep us in the debt.