Jul 31, 2011

Especially for Bronny...

I made this fleece soaker for [my niece] Bronny, and have to say I am very impressed with it - definitely the best sewing I've ever done

a milestone most look forward to

... a milestone that all parents seem to look forward to, is their child being potty trained and out of diapers - a case of "yay, no more shitty diapers to change"... but for me, I am actually dreading when the time comes that Emersyn is ready to potty train.  I am loving cloth diapering so much, that I wish I could do it again and again and again, but considering the fact I have had my tubes tied - this is it for me, no more babies - which means no more babies to cloth diaper.


I am trying to think of how I can continue my love of cloth diapering, when it is something that will no longer be a physical part of my life.  At the moment, I am hoping that maybe I'll have the sewing skill and ability by then, to actually make my own diapers to sell... at least then I can give the cloth diaper bug to others, even if I can't use them myself.

I guess there aren't many parents who can say "I am going to miss diapering", so I guess that goes to show just how un-terrible and un-disgusting cloth diapering actually is. 

Jul 17, 2011

getting my creative groove on

Anyone who knows me 'in real life' will know that I am NOT the most creative person in the world - hell, I'm not even the 5,000,000,000th most creative person in the world, but it seems that I am starting to become a little of a wannabe homemaker, because I have started SEWING...  Sewing is something that's never interested me until now - at high school I failed our little sewing module terribly... possibly because my best friend and I were paired up and were more interested in breaking our machine.............

Moving on... A couple of weeks ago [or was it last week??] I completed my VERY first sewing project EVER..... a pretty pink fleece soaker for Emersyn.  I think I have mentioned it on my blog, but keep forgetting to put photos up - because I've been concentrating so much on the night time issues we were having.  But now that's all resolved, I've had time to actually do some of the bloggy things I've been meaning to do, including posting these photos of my very first soaker.

front view of the soaker - not too bad if I say so myself 

and the back...
 THEN yesterday I decided "hey, why not try to make a proper diaper", so got my thinking cap on, and decided that I could probably trace around a diaper I already have - and use that for my initial shape, then surely I could just use some fabric for the outside, the inside - and the absorbent pads inside the diaper, which I decided had to be a fitted that pins up [because I lack elastic and velcro or snaps, and waterproof material]....  what follows are the photos of the diaper that I saw in my mind - and it's actually turned out to be pretttttty much exactly what I had imagined in my mind...

diaper in its pre-use state
my little Emmy-Boo modelling it
action shot number 1
action shot number 2
What none of the above photos tell you, is that BOTH of my creations were made using recycled fabrics that I already had at home...  The fleece soaker was once upon a time a big fleece blanket, that had gotten a bit ratty over time, and the fitted I made?  The outer material is from a baby blanket that is no longer in use, the inner fabric is from a long sleeve t-shirt that I no longer wear - and the absorbent pad inside the diaper is made from the sleeves of the long sleeve t-shirt. 

I believe the term for all of this is 'upcycling' - and I quite like the concept too.  I now find myself looking at clothing and manchester in a whole new way, particularly fleece that has embroidery on it.... infact the soaker I'm working on now has a butterfly on the back - that was once on the fleece blanket.  I always feel like I"m wasting things when I throw them away, or shove them in the wardrobe knowing they'll never be used again, but now it's kind of like these items get a new lease on life.....

Jul 13, 2011

fpp challenge day 3 - introducing the kite fold

I guess my 'challenge' isn't REALLY much of a challenge, because I enjoy using flats and prefolds so much...  My one issue (I believe I've mentioned it in the last fpp post) is that I can't get flats snug enough around the legs, they're always gapey - I think I need to find a fold where I can do a 'jelly fold' at the legs, to get the best fit possible.  That said, I'm wondering if perhaps it is the fabric of the flats that prevents getting a snug fit around the thighs - they are made of flannel, and a lot of the flats I have seen pictures off online - mainly on DiaperSwappers and JustMommies, look to be made of a more stretchable cotton material.  I aim to have the perfect fold by the end of the week! 

I promised some folds-tutorials back on Monday, and seeing as it's now Wednesday, I thought I should come through on that promise...  So I now present to you - the kite fold....

lay flat out... well, flat... baby crawling on the flat is not a required part of the fold.. nor a recommended one....
with the flat in a diamond shape in front of you, fold one corner into the center
repeat with opposite side - you now have a kite shape... as the name of the fold suggests!
fold the top of the diamond down - you now have an upside down triangle shape
fold the bottom of the 'kite' up toward the top - as high as you want (this forms the rise)
fold down the top a little - I go with about 2 inches
again fold one side in toward the center
and repeat with other side
open up the top of the diaper - this creates the wings to do the diaper up with
place baby on top of diaper
bring diaper up between legs
bring wings up and over babies belly
then pin!  if required hold babies feet at ankles so you can actually take a photo of the completed diaper....
then chase the baby when she escapes your clutches...
put cover on & then release

and it's solved.

Hooray - our night time issues are solved [insert exclamation mark here... since my keyboard exclamation mark doesn't work]

I have tried the Ecobubs, prefold, microfiber, fleece cover combination for two nights now, and both mornings she has woken up dry, we probably could have gotten away without the fleece cover both times... but since i made my first fleece cover, I've been wanting to use it LOL [did I even blog about my cover??? I don't think I did...].

It is such a relief to have this finally worked out, and I'm thrilled with the combo that eventually worked because it is actually really trim - I don't think it is a lot bulkier than a daytime diaper with two microfiber inserts inside it... and I think that helps Emersyn to sleep better at night too - night before last she slept through from 10.30pm [as usual she woke up during Desperate Housewives and the SERIES final of Brothers and Sisters...], and then last night she woke an hour after going to sleep, but went back to sleep after I gave her her dummy/pacifier - and didn't wake up until early this morning.

If it turns out that an uncomfortable diaper is what has been preventing Emersyn from sleeping through the night, I am going to kick myself.

Moral of the story - if you are having a hard time with cloth, keep at it, you will EVENTUALLY fix the problem, or find a new solution.... and then you will feel a whole new renewed love for the fluffy side of life.

Jul 11, 2011

Night time update, y'all



I think that after 4.5 months of battling leaks and explosions and frustration, I have finally found THE night time solution for us... well, for Emersyn. I posted last week about my success using a toddler prefold, bamboo insert and microfiber insert inside a pocket diaper... with a fleece cover over top - I'm still using much the same system, I've just refined it a little.  

To start with I was using a bamboo terry trifold insert, wrapped inside the prefold, but I decided to give the [trimmer] bamboo fleece a go... luckily that worked just as well as the bamboo terry.  I also wondered if there was a way to fold the prefold so it would actually be the length of the pocket, and I wouldn't have a bunch to fold over - which added a lot of bulk to the whole diaper... I remembered seeing infant prefolds being trifolded width ways, as opposed to length ways [see photo later in post], so I tried this and VOILA - it was the perfect length... it also cut down on quite a lot of the bulk, which if you remember was one of the issues I had with that whole diaper setup.  Last night I began wondering if I even really needed the bamboo inside the prefold - because I know the bigger prefolds are more absorbent, so decided to give it a go and leave out the bamboo.  This morning I was pleasantly surprised when there were no leaks.  

So if you've lost track, the new diaper 'set up' is a toddler prefold trifolded width ways, with a microfiber insert on top of the trifold - and then it's all inserted into a pocket, and a fleece cover is put on top.  I am now wondering if I can eliminate the fleece cover by using a better fitting pocket diaper... I have been using FuzziBunz petite, which fit Em well when they are just stuffed with microfiber inserts during the day, but I find that when they are stuffed to the max they gape at the legs, and the top of the diaper doesn't fit snugly on the tummy - that also gapes.  Those two issues were the reason I used the fleece - I knew the fleece would catch any leaks up the top, or down at the legs.

Upon a suggestion from one of my lovely blog followers, I decided to take another look at some pockets I have - Ecobubs woolen pockets... These are side snapping diapers, and I know they get a really nice fit around the tummy during the day, so I decided to put all my absorbency in and see how it looked on Emersyn.

BINGO.  It was a LOT trimmer than the FuzziBunz, and there was absolutely no gaping around the legs - and the fit across the tummy was nice and snug.  Obviously I need to wait until tomorrow morning to give an official verdict, but I think that if she wakes up leak free [or relatively, depending on how many bottles she has overnight, and how long she sleeps in the morning], we may have found our DREAM night time solution.

Here is a visual representation of the diaper composition, for those of you who like visuals...

step one - the toddler prefold, obviously pre trifolding.  if you look closely you can see the two horizontal lines in the fabric, which would normally be vertical
step two - sides of prefold are folded into the center.  again if you look closely you can see the two horizontal lines
step three - the prefold is then folded into a pad type shape [ie completing the trifold]
step four - the microfiber insert is then placed on top of the prefold
step five - the prefold and insert are then placed inside the pocket - microfiber closest to the microfleece layer [white] of diaper 
step six - 'here is one I made earlier' - place the diaper on the baby.  this photo was the actual diaper that Emersyn wore to bed - I decided to do a photo tutorial AFTER she'd gone to bed..
a better view of the fit around the legs
I will hopefully have a positive report in the morning.. I sure hope so anyway.  If it does work, I guess I need to invest in some more Ecobubs too...

The fpp week long challenge.... day one

in her first fpp challenge flat
This week I have decided to take on a 'flats prefolds and pins' challenge as the name suggests, I'm only going to use flats or prefolds - pinned, breaking the rules slightly while she's at daycare [where they prefer not to use flats or prefolds] and at night, although at night time I do USE a prefold inside a pocket, so I guess technically I'm still keeping with the challenge, for the most part.

I decided that since I'll be using flats, it's going to be the perfect opportunity to do some 'folds tutorials' on my blog, so for anyone who is curious about the various folds out there, stay tuned.  I'm sure I'll find there are some folds I like more than others - and I hope to find a fold that fits well around the legs, because at this point all the folds I've tried have gaped at the legs.  Right now she is in an origami folded flat, which is probably the fold that most people think of when it comes to flats - I shall do a tutorial later on today.

origami folded flat, covered by Bummis Super Brite
There is however one issue with this week long challenge.... I am due to get a Jade Bitti D'Lish this week - which means I will have to wait until next Monday to use it........ How WILL I resist the temptation to put the jade beautifulness on her???

Yes, beautifulness is a word... I said so....

Jul 7, 2011

Dare I mess with a good thing?

The last three nights we've had success with our overnight diaper [insert canned applause here]... the one issue I have with it, is the utter bulk of the whole thing.  I am wondering if perhaps using my trimmer bamboo FLEECE insert would make it just a tiny bit trimmer than the bulky [but admittedly very absorbent] bamboo TERRY insert.  I don't know if I want to try it and then fail... but at the same time, if I can make it a little trimmer - and find it's still working, then I win.  Well... Emersyn does... 

I guess it could be kind of like a process of elimination - who knows, perhaps all I REALLY need is the toddler prefold and the microfiber insert that I'm using on top of it all?  I've also been noticing the outside of the diaper is dry when I take it off in the morning - so maybe another possibility is not putting the fleece soaker over the diaper, which would also eliminate a little of the bulk.

End of the day, whether I try it or not, I know the prefold/terry/microfiber/pocket diaper combination works - and it isn't as if her waking up damp/wet is something new to me [or her], so maybe it is worth trying the different bamboo insert tonight, and seeing how dry [fingers crossed] she is in the morning....

Yes, I think that's what I'll do.  Hopefully tomorrow I can report back with positive news.... 

Jul 5, 2011

Hallelujah.. maybe?

Well. We had success last night - Emersyn officially woke up with her wetness contained to her diaper - yaayyyyyyyyy.

I checked the various absorbent layers when I took her diaper off, and while all were wet, none were really saturated - there was still a lot of absorbency left in the prefold in particular, so I am thinking that toddler prefolds will be part of my night time combo from now on.  I just wish there was some way to make the whole diaper a bit trimmer, but at the end of the day it's more important for the diaper to work, than to look good.

Tonight.... I think I will try the same combo again - make sure it wasn't a fluke.  She had one bottle during the night last night, which seems to be the norm, so hopefully it WASN'T a fluke.  Could I potentially have found the combo that is going to work??????

Stay tuned... again.

Jul 4, 2011

fingers crossed... aka night time diaper, take 10225

Righty ho ho ho....
Seeing as stuffing pockets worked pretty well at the end of last week, I've decided that tonight I shall again go with a stuffed-to-the-max pocket diaper, covered with my trusty fleece soaker.

For anyone who is interested, THIS is the combo I am using....

here we have a toddler size Real Nappies prefold, folded down to the correct length, with a trifolded bamboo booster in the center...
the said prefold is now wrapped around said bamboo insert... into a little parcel [as Gaby said]
But wait there is more [absorbency] - a microfiber insert is then placed on top of the little prefold parcel 
It was then all stuffed into a FuzziBunz petite pocket
the diaper was then placed on a very unhappy Emersyn.  Yes, it's rather bulky - but if it works, then it's worth it...
finally a fleece soaker is placed over top, for added protection...
 ... please wish us luck. It would be nice if this little combo actually worked, but I'm not really holding my breath, purely because nothing else really seems to want to work.  I do think there is enough absorbency there though, so who knows..

stay tuned. 

epic fail... again

I'm scratching my head right now... the night time combo I tried last night failed verrrrrry badly, Emersyn woke up soaked through.  I had her in a Bummis SWW with two padfolded flats, and a Real Nappies night time booster pad.  I think if I had her in a fleece cover/soaker we would have been okay, but no - I decided to test fate and see what'd happen without the magical fleece layer.

Le sigh.

Tonight I'll try a SWW again, but with fleece over top - see if it happens again... If it does, I guess we'll be back to the pockets, because they did work for the two nights I tried the flats inside them.

At this stage I am wondering if ANYTHING is going to work overnight.  I REALLY don't want to consider using disposables, but I'm getting sadly close to it.  That said, I don't know that disposables would work anyway, because they seem to be less absorbent over long periods, than cloth.

Once again, 'we will see'... I guess...

Jul 3, 2011

the night time diaper debacle... continues...

The stupid earthquake in February seemed to bring with it my what now feels like NEVER ending issue - finding the right night time diaper, or really the right night time diaper combination...  To begin with we were quite happily using a pocket diaper with two mirofiber booster inserts and an extra insert, or a microfiber booster, but then all diaper hell broke loose, and suddenly our tried and true combo just wouldn't work.

Sooooo I got hold of some bamboo trifold inserts and threw one of those in with our microfiber - very bulky - but it worked... for a start.  After that I began putting in two of the bamboo inserts instead of the microfiber - again it worked... sorta... but not well enough.  Eventually I began fooling around with prefolds and bamboo, and recently flats and bamboo [and covers, of course].  Both of those worked better than the bamboo-in-a-pocket combo, so perhaps I am on the right path?

What I know DOES work, is using fleece covers - I have a Bummis fleece cover that works well enough - but I do find if she gets too wet, it leaks out the sides and up the top.  I have a FunkyBumz fleece soaker which I LOVE - it works better than any other cover I have... and I'm also still using my fleece-blanket-cheapskate-cover - and may I add, still without a leak too.

So I generally know I'm okay if there is fleece on top - but preferably a cover with two layers of fleece [as with the FunkyBumz and my homemade pinnable cover].  I BELIEVE that pad folded flats may be the answers to all my night time issues, I have used them the last two nights in a row, and Emersyn has been dry upon waking.  To this point I have been using them inside pockets - primarily because of the staydry layer the microfleece on the inside of the diaper provides.  Tonight we might try something new though...

It's been suggested to me to use the padfolded flats, inside a cover - because the way a pocket goes when it is stuffed to the max, can sometimes cause leaks, purely because the urine rolls right off the diaper - and that makes sense.  So tonight... I'm giving it a go and trying the flats inside a cover, as always with a bamboo booster for a little extra absorption.  I will put the fleece soaker over top - because I really don't want her to wake up at 4am soaked through.... but maybe... just maybe... with the flats/cover combo, I won't need to worry about a fleece soaker.

I think that one of the reasons I've been having so many problems, is that lately Emersyn has been waking up once or twice a night for a bottle - so she ends up having a lot of urine output, and it makes sense that a diaper can't handle 12-14 hours with all of that output.  It can only be pushed so far before there is no more absorbency left.  The first night I used flats inside a pocket, she slept through completely - ie, no extra liquid intake/urine output, and then last night she had one bottle early in the morning - but luckily she still woke up dry.  Obviously one simple solution would be to change her diaper when she wakes, but for some reason it doesn't occur to me, particularly if she's woken me during a deep period of sleep... it's not unless she keeps me awake for a prolonged period that I think "ohhhh.. change her diaper"... so maybe I need to just try to remember to change her diaper when she's up during the night - but that is so much easier said than done, particularly with the sub-zero mornings we've been having lately.  Not that that's an excuse.

What I know works is fleece, flats and bamboo boosters. 
What I know annoys Emersyn is the lack of a staydry layer between her skin and the top layer of the diaper
The obvious solution seems to be:  Using flats, with a bamboo insert and some form of staydry layer, and a fleece cover over the top.
Still to work out is whether flats work better for Emersyn when they are used inside flats, or when they are used inside a pul cover with a fleece liner over top of the top flat [for the staydry layer].

I hope like heck that the above little 'equation' is my getting very close to the end of this whole debacle, and finally finding a night time solution that works.  I'd love to find a night time combo that isn't hugely bulky - but right now I'd take one that is horribly bulky and works, over a trimmer option that DOESN'T work...

.... I guess time will soon tell.