Cloth Diapering 101 — Part 3 — Frequently Asked Questions

This is part three of a comprehensive three-part series that I wrote for parents who are brand new to cloth diapering. I have put a lot of time, research, and love into this  series, and I truly hope that it helps you on your cloth diapering journey. I appreciate any and all feedback. Please don’t ever hesitate to contact me with questions on cloth diapering, I will be happy to help! I hope you find this series helpful, and discover a love for cloth diapering! 🙂
Part 3: Frequently Asked Questions:
If you’re considering making the switch to cloth, you’re probably asking yourself:
1. How many diapers do I need to buy to cloth diaper full-time? 

The short answer is around 12-36, depending on the age of your baby, how often they need to be changed, and how often you plan on doing the laundry.
In order to decide how many diapers to buy, you need to first decide how often you are willing to wash the diapers. Diaper laundry isn’t a big deal: You just do one wash on cold to rinse everything out and one wash on hot to get them good and clean, then hang your  waterproof covers to dry and throw everything else in the dryer. (I start our diaper laundry at night a few hours before I go to bed, so it’s not another chore to add to my already busy day.) So you just need to decide how often you want to do this. Every other day or every 3rd day is what most people choose, since you don’t want dirty diapers just sitting around forever getting nasty. 
Next, figure out how many diaper changes your baby goes through in a day. For my 1 year old, that’s about 5-7. For newborns, it’ a lot more — more like 10-12. Then, just multiply to figure out how many diapers you will need. 
For my 1 year old, if I wanted to do the laundry every third day, I would need to buy 6×3, or at least 18 cloth diapers to be covered. It’s always nice to have a few extras, but you can get by just fine with the minimum. And you don’t want to be buying extra diapers all   the time, or you’ll run up your diaper bill in the same way disposables ran it up, defeating your purpose if you’re converting to cloth to save money. 

2. Which kind of cloth diapers should I choose?
The answer to this one is personal, and depends on what you’re looking for in a cloth diaper, as well as the age and size of your baby. Venturing into the cloth diapering world, you’ll soon discover that there are gazillions of modern cloth options to choose from. 
Not all cloth diapers are the same. They vary in shape, size, type of fabric, level of convenience/ease compared to disposables, absorbency, price, etc. Not only that, but there are gazillions of brands of cloth diapers to choose from within each cloth diaper type. 
I’ve broken down the different kinds of cloth diapers in Part 2, with some examples of popular brands that make them. 
But, because every baby is different (different size and shape, different age and stage, different skin sensitivities, different amounts of “wetting”) what one mom swears by might not work on your baby at all, and visa versa.
Before investing a whole bunch of money into a certain kind of diaper, your best bet is to ask the advice of retailers and/or search forums like and for reviews on the different diaper types and brands you’re considering. If you have a “heavy wetter” with long skinny legs, for example, chances are there’s another parent out there who has one too, and who wrote a review singing the praises of a certain diaper for it’s absorbency and good fit on skinny babies. 
Once you’ve narrowed your options down to a few kinds of diapers or a few brands of diapers that you think might work for your baby, I would suggest that you set yourself a little “sampling” budget, and buy one of each kind. (There are even some retailers that offer “trial” packages or have “love it or leave it” return policies, or you can buy a few used diapers from places like or ebay, to save a little money during the “trial” stage.) Try them out on your baby for a few days and see which you like best. You can sell the ones that didn’t work so well on diaperswappers or ebay (diapers sell super fast on the diaperswappers website!), or you can keep them as backup diapers. Then you can feel more comfortable investing in a whole set of a certain kind of diapers.
3. Is there anything else I need in order to convert to cloth diapering?

There are lots of fun gadgets and gizmos available that make cloth diapering more convenient. But if you’re sticking to a budget, the only other things you’ll really need are a diaper pail (ie. trash can with lid), a waterproof diaper pail liner that can be washed along with the diapers on wash day, a portable, waterproof, smell-proof, washable  “wet bag” for holding dirty diapers when you’re out and about or traveling, and a laundry detergent that is considered “safe” for cloth diapers. This chart can help you choose a laundry detergent, but keep in mind that it won’t necessarily harm your diapers to continue using whatever detergent you’re already using on your other laundry. (Yes, I am one of those cloth diapering rebels who thinks the whole “safe” cloth diaper detergent is a total myth!) 

Purex Free and Clear, Country Save, Tiny Bubbles, Rockin’ Green, and Tide are probably the most popular laundry detergents for use with cloth diapers.  

4. How do I wash the diapers?

Diaper laundry should not be complicated! I cannot stress this enough. In fact, I’m so passionate about this subject, I wrote an entire blog post about it here

The more you research cloth diapers, the more you are going to run into a plethora of potentially overwhelming laundry advice, much of which will tell you to use a minimal amount of laundry detergent in order to “preserve” your diapers, or prevent “build up.” FORGET this advice! Diaper laundry does not have to be this complicated. Diapers are cloth, just like anything else that you launder. Treat them that way, and they will get clean, and you will never have stinky diapers. 

How to wash:
Diapers, covers, inserts, diaper pail liners, etc, can all be washed together. Wash them at least once on cold without detergent to rinse everything out. Using cold water in the rinse will prevent stains from setting. Then wash them once on hot with plenty of detergent. (Don’t skimp like some well-meaning cloth diaperers suggest. Follow the directions for load size on your detergent bottle. Your baby is pooping on these things. You logically want to use more soap not less. If detergent doesn’t damage your clothes, it’s not going to damage your diapers.) Make sure to turn on the extra rinse cycle to get the suds rinsed out if your baby is sensitive to soapy smells/residue. The hot wash and using plenty of detergent will help kill all the yuckies in the diaper, so that they smell clean and fresh when they come out of the washer. The extra rinse will help rinse away any remaining suds, to prevent residue buildup that can mess with the absorbency of the diapers. Hang the diaper covers and pail liners to dry. Dry everything else in the dryer. Done!

If your diapers are clean but have some staining, you can lay them out on a sunny day and the sun will bleach out the stains.
It is generally not recommended to use bleach on cloth diapers, but read your labels. Some diaper manufacturers recommend it, others will void their warranty if you use it. Don’t be afraid to use a little bleach once in a while to kill those stubborn stinkies.   
Using vinegar and/or baking soda is controversial. If not thoroughly rinsed out of the diaper, the acid in vinegar can mix with your baby’s pee and cause a bad smell. But vinegar is a fabulous deodorizer and fabric softener (I use it on our regular laundry all the time) so the key is to use sparingly and rinse well.

5. Do I really have to scrape poop into the toilet?

It’s not as bad as you think. The general rule of thumb is to dump the dirty diaper over the toilet, and what doesn’t fall off, the washing machine will wash out for you. If you want, you can use a “wet pail” method, where, after dumping, you put the the dirty diapers in a pail filled with water and detergent to hold until wash day. But most people   skip this step, because wet pails have to be changed frequently, and they’ve been known to be drowning hazards for small children. The toilet-dumping method will work perfectly fine. If your child is like mine and doesn’t have “dump-able” poos, I feel your pain. But there’s a simple solution: you can invest in a diaper sprayer and spray the mess off the diaper into the toilet, or (my personal frugal remedy) cut up some fleece to make yourself some fleece liners to line the inside of the diaper. The poop will get on those instead of the diapers, and you can just swoosh the liner in the toilet while flushing, and the mess will be sucked off the liner and down the toilet. (Fleece naturally wicks moisture away, so it also makes a great stay-dry liner for babies who are prone to rashes when their bums get wet!)  

6. Does this mean I have to switch to cloth wipes too?

No! Not if you don’t want to. I did for a time, but I also use disposable wipes. You may want to consider cloth wipes if you are having rash and sensitivity issues. 

If you want to try cloth wipes, rest assured that it’s the easiest thing in the world. Even if you decide to stick with disposable diapers, cloth wipes are super convenient and work better than disposable wipes. For me, it takes a ton of disposable wipes to clean up my son when he has a messy bum. But it only ever takes one or two cloth wipes. Because it’s basically like washing your child with a washcloth — more efficient. 

I keep my cloth wipes in a wipes warmer, for the ultimate luxurious diaper changing experience. My kiddo used to throw the most dramatic tantrum whenever he had a messy diaper, and I finally realized one day that he was dreading the cold, rough wipes that were giving him a rash. As soon as I switched to cloth and a wipes warmer, his rash cleared up and he stays calm now when I’m cleaning him up!
How to make your own cloth baby wipes:
You don’t have to buy anything or do anything fancy. You can use baby washcloths or cut up some of your baby’s old flannel receiving blankets and sew the edges with a serger or sewing machine to keep them from fraying. You can make flannel wipes any size you want. 8×8 is a common size, and they fit nicely into an old wipes container or a wipes warmer when folded and stacked. I made some thicker, smaller ones that fit into the warmer without being folded by cutting up my son’s flannel receiving blankets and sewing two pieces together back-to-back.
If you do want to get fancy, you can buy some terry cloth and some flannel in cute baby prints from your local fabric store, cut to your preferred size, round the corners, and sew the edges, then top stitch. Voila! Terry cloth on one side for the messiest messes, and soft, cute flannel on the other!   
For the wipes solution, you can use plain old water, or you can mix 1.5 cups of water with 1-2tbs of baby wash and 2 tbs baby oil. Put the dry cloth wipes in a pot or Tupperware container and pour the solution over them, and swish around to let them absorb. You can find some fancier wipe solution recipes on the internet that contain essential oils and whatnot. Or, you can skip the whole homemade thing and buy a pre-made wipe solution from most online stores that sell cloth diapers.

7. Cloth Diapering Seems Expensive. Can I cloth diaper for less than $100? 

Absolutely yes! Now, you may have to be less picky about the kind of cloth diapers you buy and some of the accessories (I don’t mean skimping on quality, I mean the fancy-factor) but I believe that it is absolutely do-able. This makes cloth diapering a great alternative if you are trying to save as much money as possible on diapers. (This is also assuming that you are not cloth diapering a newborn. Things could get a little more expensive if you plan to buy newborn sized diapers and regular cloth diapers.) 

Here is a hypothetical cloth diaper stash that I put together for under $100. Keep in mind that you can probably find these diapers even cheaper during a sale or if you buy used:

$22.65 — 12 Imagine brand premium prefold diapers (My current favorite brand, but feel free to check out other quality brands listed in my other posts.)

$71.70 — 6 Econobum One-Size Diaper Covers (You can definitely find these for less than the listed price. Look for them for around $8 each during “seconds sales” on the Cotton babies website, look for them for sale on other cloth diapering websites, and look for them used.)

Total = $94.35

With this stash, you will have to wash your diapers every day up to every-other-day (which you should be doing no matter how large your stash is), and you will have to keep the dirty ones in an old pillow case or trash bag, as there is no special wetbag included in this stash. But for less than $100, these quality diapers should last you through several children, and you will be diapering for free for years! Prefolds will always be my favorites!


Cloth Diapering 101 — Part 2 — Types of Cloth Diapers

This is part three of a comprehensive three-part series that I wrote for parents who are brand new to cloth diapering. I have put a lot of time, research, and love into this  series, and I truly hope that it helps you on your cloth diapering journey. I appreciate any and all feedback. Please don’t ever hesitate to contact me with questions on cloth diapering, I will be happy to help! I hope you find this series helpful, and discover a love for cloth diapering! 🙂

Cloth Diapering 101 — Part 2 — Types of Cloth diapers:

The three most basics types: Diaper Covers, Prefolds, and Flats:

These are a lot like the cloth diapers your moms and grandmoms used, but much improved. I know what you’re thinking. “I’m NOT doing pins, so forget it. What else ya got?”  Pins and Prefolds have scared enough people away that some very creative people out there have come up with some pretty easy (albeit, more expensive) alternatives, which are explained below. BUT, if you are looking for an economical way to cloth diaper your baby (as opposed to just wanting to “go green” at any expense) the prefold or  flats system is worth considering. Once you understand them, prefolds and flats are actually two of the easiest, most inexpensive, and well-trusted systems to use — lots of moms swear by them. AND they’ve been improved and modernized. Read: NO PINS REQUIRED!

      1. Diaper Covers 

  • These are just that: covers. They are made from waterproof material (usually a material called PUL, but wool and fleece covers are also a popular option) and come in a variety of colors and cute prints. They are used to cover the absorbent diaper, usually a prefold, flat, insert, or fitted diaper (see below), and keep your baby’s clothes dry.
  • They look like disposable diapers and go on your baby in much the same way as a disposable, but must always be paired with a prefold or other absorbent diaper, as they do not contain any absorbent materials. 
  • They are secured on the sides with snaps or velcro, like a disposable diaper. (Some people with squirmy babies prefer the kind that velcro, because it’s a little easier and faster to attach. Others can’t stand the velcro because it can get funky in the wash and/or their kids pull the velcro off and/or the velcro can rub against a sensitive baby’s skin. (I thought I would hate snaps but have found them pretty easy, even with my squirmy 1-year-old.) 
  • Some brands sell diaper covers in one size, that adjust with snaps to fit a newborn through to potty training. Other brands sell them in several different sizes according to how much the baby weighs.   
  • While you will need to buy 12-36+ absorbent cloth diapers (depending on how often your baby needs a change and how often you want to do the laundry) you only need to buy a few diaper covers, as the same cover can be wiped down and reused with fresh cloth diapers more than once throughout the day. 

      2. Prefolds 

  • Paired with diaper covers, prefolds (and/or flats) are one of the most inexpensive cloth diapering systems available.
  • Prefolds are shaped like rectangles and are made of several layers of 100% cotton that are thickest in the middle and can be tri-folded and placed lengthwise in a waterproof diaper cover, or folded the old-fashioned way around your baby and secured — pin-less! — with an elastic device called a “snappi” and a diaper cover. 
  • They come in several different sizes, so you must purchase some in every size to cover your baby from infant to potty training, BUT they are very inexpensive (about $2 each), and the smaller sizes can be used to “double up” in your older baby’s diapers later on if they are a “heavy wetter” or need a little extra absorbency overnight. (You can also “double up” by adding an “insert” or “doubler” on top of a prefold — see below.)
  • Most stores sell 2 kinds of prefolds: “Chinese prefolds” and “Indian prefolds”. They are essentially the same, but the name denotes where they were made. Everybody has their opinion on which is better, but Indian prefolds are said to be softer. Indian prefolds are becoming more common of the two.
  • You can buy them “bleached” or “natural”. The natural is said to hide staining better. Bleached are said to be softer. You can also purchase them in organic cotton, if that’s your thing. 
  • You MUST prewash and dry prefolds at least 3 times before using them for the first time, or they won’t be fully absorbent. The retailer you purchase them from will give you directions, but generally, prefolds must be prewashed and dried 3-7 times in hot water, or they won’t absorb correctly. Some moms skip this step by boiling their prefolds and then washing and drying them once. It’s thought that the hotter the water, the more the natural oils of the cotton that inhibit maximum absorbency are drawn out. After prewashing, the prefolds will fluff up (aka “quilt up”) a little, shrink a little, and get a little softer. With each wash, they will become softer and more absorbent.
  • At $1-2 a piece, prefolds are the simplest, most economical cloth diapering system. They are among the most durable of diapers, and will last through all of your children. And, when you’re done having children, they make fabulous cleaning rags!      

      3. Flats 
  • Flats are the old-fashioned cloth diaper. They are very similar to prefolds, but they consist of only one, large square layer of the same thickness all the way around, and must be folded many times to create an absorbent diaper. Flats can be folded into the size and shape of prefolds, then used like prefolds, or they can be folded in many different ways and secured with pins or a snappi to fit your baby just right. A quick search on You Tube will bring up dozens of videos that can show you how to fold flat diapers.
  • They are the original “one size fits all” diaper. Some companies sell them in different sizes, but the standard size flat is 27×27 inches, and can be folded to fit a newborn, or folded differently to fit an infant or a toddler. 
  • They are generally available in two different materials: birdseye (bleached or unbleached) or muslin. Birdseye is more common, and said to be trimmer, while muslin is said to be slightly more absorbent and “quilty”. Some moms have been known to use old flannel receiving blankets as flats (they can be found for super cheap in stores like Ross and Marshalls). Flats can really be made out of any large square material that you can imagine! 
  • Many cloth diapering moms fall in love with flats after trying all the fancy new cloth diapering options, because they are simple, inexpensive, durable, long-lasting, easy to care for, and completely customizable. 
  • They are known to be the easiest diapers to clean and the fastest to dry, making them popular with moms who line dry or frequently travel.    
  • At around $15 per dozen, flat diapers are truly the most economical cloth diapering system available. For under $100, you could buy 24 flats and 4 covers to cloth diaper a newborn full-time!     

Other Types of Cloth Diapers:

1. Fitteds

  • Fitteds are more convenient than flats and prefolds, because they eliminate the need for folding and pinning. They are essentially pre-shaped prefolds, with elastic sewn at the legs and back. 
  • They are shaped more like disposable diapers, instead of just a flat piece of material, and come in various sizes and in a variety of materials.
  • “Prefitteds” is a term referring to prefolds that have been sewn and turned into fitteds. Other fitteds can be made from a variety of materials, including flannel, bamboo, and hemp. Hemp is a very absorbent, popular material for use with “heavy wetting” babies, and is also an option for “inserts” and “doublers” (see below). Many    “WAHMS” or work-at-home-moms make fitted diapers in cute prints, and they become sort of a collectible item. 
  • Fitteds are available for as little as around $6 each, or for as much as $26+. As explained above, the least expensive fitteds are sometimes called “prefitteds”, and are essentially prefolds that have been cut to the shape of a diaper and had elastic sewn at the legs. More expensive fitteds come in a variety of cute prints and colors, as well as a variety of materials like bamboo and hemp, and have snaps or velcro added for easy, snappi-less attaching. 
  • Like flats and prefolds, fitteds require a diaper cover. 
  • Like prefolds, they must be purchased in several sizes to fit a baby from newborn to potty training. (Though some companies make fitteds in a “one size fits all”.)
  • Unlike prefolds, however, fitteds can’t really be reused once your baby grows out of them. Newborn sized prefolds and small flats, on the other hand, make great “doublers” to add extra absorbency to an older baby’s diaper for overnight. The trade-off is that fitteds are much more convenient and need no folding or pinning/snappi-ing, and they are famous for their ability to contain “blowouts”. 

2. Pockets

  • Pocket diapers are slightly more convenient than fitteds, flats, and prefolds, because they have the waterproof diaper cover built in, and an absorbent fleece or suede-cloth lining on the inside that is meant to wick away moisture from your baby’s skin, keeping them feeling dry. 
  • Pocket diapers are basically diaper covers with a fleece or suede-cloth lining on the inside. Behind the lining is an opening, the “pocket”, which can be stuffed with various “inserts” to make the diapers absorbent. 
  • They are sold in various sizes, or in an adjustable, one-size-fits-all. 
  • Inserts are available in a variety of materials, such as cotton, organic cotton, bamboo, hemp, flannel, microfleece, etc. If you are looking to find just the right absorbency for your baby while avoiding “bowling butt” (ie, keeping the diaper trim looking) pocket diapers provide all kinds of options. 
  • Parents who have issues with rashes often try these because of the lining, which is supposed to help wick away moisture and keep baby’s bum dry. Other parents like pocket diapers because they are easier for dad, grandma, and the babysitter to put on! 
  • The great thing about pocket diapers is that they are flexible for the absorbency needs of your baby. If you have a “heavy wetter” or want extra absorbency for overnight, pocket diapers can be stuffed with as many extra layers of inserts as you  need. If you don’t need extra absorbency and want a trimmer diaper, you can just use one insert, or one prefold diaper, or other “stuffer” in the pocket.  
  • The drawback with pocket diapers is that, because of the attached lining, they can’t be re-used like diaper covers can. So you will have to buy as many pocket diapers as you will inserts, increasing your cost. This is where you have to weigh cost vs. convenience and see which is more important to you.

3. All-In-Ones (AIOs)
  • Aka “AIO’s”, these are the most like disposables and therefore the most convenient cloth diapers of all. 
  • They are essentially permanently stuffed pocket diapers, with the absorbent layers, fleece linings, waterproof diaper cover, etc, all attached. You don’t need to add anything, just pop the AIO off and on like a disposable, and baby is good to go!
  • They are sold in varying sizes, based on your baby’s weight. 
  • Many parents choose these because they are just as convenient as disposable diapers, and daycares, nurseries, and babysitters don’t have a problem with them. They’re great for travel too, because of their ease of use. 
  • Like pocket diapers, however, they must be washed after each use, so you will have to buy lots of them and re-buy them in new sizes as your baby grows. At around $20 each, this can add up big time. 

4. Hybrids (AI2s)

  • Hybrid diapers are a cross between cloth and disposables — they consist of a reusable diaper cover and a separate, biodegradable disposable “insert” or “liner”. 
  • Because the biodegradable inserts are designed to be thrown out instead of washed, hybrid diapers are a great option for eco-friendly parents who want the convenience of disposable diapers without the “500 years in a land fill” guilt that comes along with using disposable diapers. They are also great for traveling — not as much laundry! 
  • They are somewhat like pocket diapers, except that they don’t have any inside lining, just a place to attach or lay the absorbent insert. So, unlike with pocket diapers, you can throw away the inserts and use the covers more than once. In that sense, they’re more like diaper covers. 
  • Because you have to continually buy the disposable inserts, these are not really an option for those looking to save money with cloth diapering, but they are a great option for those who are considering cloth diapering their babies for the sake of the earth, and don’t want to deal with so much laundry.
  • That being said, many hybrid diapers also offer reusable cloth inserts, making hybrids a great option for parents looking for something like the pocket diaper system, but with the more economical re-usability and flexibility of the separate diaper covers.
  • Flips (by Cotton Babies) are a brand of hybrids that offer cloth inserts — these are one of my personal top choices for my kiddos, because of their ease, flexibility, and more economical price when compared to pocket diapers. The inserts are made of microfiber, and are almost as inexpensive as prefolds and flats, but slightly more    convenient (and more trim looking) than prefolds. The thing I love about Flips is that the covers and inserts are “one size fits all”. So I can use them with both of my children and don’t have to buy more in the future as they grow. And I can play around with the different types of cloth inserts that are available (or even use inexpensive prefolds!) to get just the right amount of absorbency for my kids. They’re fully customizable!  
 5. Wool

  • Wool covers are a popular alternative to PUL diaper covers, especially for babies prone to rashes who require a more breathable cover. Wool is also a popular overnight cover. 
  • Wool can absorb up to 30% of its weight in moisture, as well as repel moisture with it’s natural lanolin-containing properties. It is extremely breathable, as well as anti-microbial. 
  • Wool is a more expensive option, but for many parents who struggle with diaper rashes, it’s well worth the price. 
  • Wool covers are available in a knit/crocheted version, or a washable interlock (5% spandex) version. They are also available in the form of knit “longies” (pants), “shorties” (shorts), and “skirties” (skirts with soakers attached). Since wool soakers can be more bulky looking than other diaper covers, longies etc are a popular choice among parents who use wool as a day-time diaper cover, as it combines clothes and diaper cover. 
  • Wool is easy to take care of and only needs to be hand washed every 1-2 weeks. There is a great tutorial on washing wool here:
  • There’s some great information on wool here: 

Where to Buy Cloth Diapers/Well-Known Brands of Cloth Diapers:
(Note: This is definitely an incomplete list, but here are some links to some of the most popular and trusted brands in each category of cloth diapering. I have done a lot of research over the years that I am sharing with you — note that I do not endorse these companies or benefit in any way from you clicking on or purchasing from the links below.)
  • Wool: Sustainablebabyish, Woolybottoms, Loveybums, Wild Child Woolies, Hyenacart 
  • “Work At Home Mom” (WAHM-made) diapers: Mama-made diapers are a popular alternative to the major cloth diaper brands. WAHM diapers can often be custom ordered and can be found for sale on Hyena Cart and Etsy.

Confessions of a Pinterest Parent

Confession: I love me some Pinterest!  A one-stop place to peruse beautiful pictures of food, homes, clothes, crafts…with links to tutorials and websites where you can explore more?! What’s not to love?!

But, you have to admit that Pinterest (along with all social media) has really changed the way we parent. And maybe not always for the better. (Because now we know how other people parent — and compare ourselves to them? Because we’re on information overload and can’t make a confident decision? Because technology sucks up large amounts of the precious time we have each day? All of the above?)

…I mean, look at it this way: When I was a kid, it was pretty dang impressive to us if my mom made Kool Aide. (And that is not a dig at my mom. We loved that stuff!) Now, we feel like we’re not the world’s best mom if we don’t make organic baby food from scratch? And our baby’s wardrobe? And home school our four-year-old? All while looking trendy and put-together all the time?
The information age is a blessing when you need information. Not so much when you were just logging on to find that crock pot recipe, and now you feel like crap because you didn’t hand-make your kids’ halloween costumes this year.

So. Let’s relax for a second and keep it real.

From one Pinner to another, here are some real-life confessions:

Confession #1) I have 1,199 things pinned.

Confession #2) I have actually tried about twenty of them.

Confession #3) I have actually succeeded at maybe two of them. 

Confession #4) My three-year-old’s room currently looks like this:

Confession #5) Most of the time, I look like this:
(Prepare to cringe…) 

That exact face.

…Why, yes, that is a giant pile of unfolded laundry behind me.
And yes, that is actual crayon on the wall back there.

And…yep…unfortunately there are – count em’ – not one, but two honkin red zits on my un-made-up face. Don’t hate.

Confession # 6) All three of my children were formula-fed and jar-food-fed babies. (Not even organic. Gasp!) They are still alive. And smart. And adorable. And I know they’ll make it to at least 28 years old, because nobody thought, “breast is best” in the 80s, and I’m still here.

Confession #7) I have a bread machine, with which I have made homemade bread all of one time. 

Confession #8) I have a bunch of home-made, natural remedies pinned to my health board, which I love, because I like to keep it as natural as possible around here most of the time. Meanwhile, my two-year-old once stole and drank a half bottle of children’s ibuprofen. 
(Don’t worry, we called Poison Control. She’s still alive.)

Confession #9) I don’t even know how many hours a day my children watch TV. (Some days, we don’t watch any TV at all. Some days, we watch a lot of TV. Either way, they’re still alive, well-behaved, and their brains haven’t turned into mush yet.)

Confession #10) In my pantry, there are a few cans of organic diced tomatoes, some bags of organic dried beans and lentils, …and a whole truckload of non-organic, chemical-laden, processed-out-the-booty, takes-30-seconds-to-heat-up-and-put-on-the-table, cans of Beefaroni.

Confession #11) Sometimes I cook heathy dinners from scratch. Sometimes I do my hair and makeup. Sometimes I crochet cute little baby hats. Sometimes I deep clean. Sometimes I sit down at the table and do a crafty, educational project with my kids.

…..I have neverdone all of those things in the same day.

I don’t even think I have ever done all of those things in the same week.
I could go on and on and on confessing. 

Why am I telling you all of this?

Because just like everybody else, my Facebook page has cute pictures of my smiling kids with their hair combed, and a photo album of crafts that I’ve made and things that I’ve done with my children over the years. (I mean, who’s going to post a picture of themselves in their pajamas saying, “I’ve had a really crappy day, I’m eating my second twix bar, And this is how rough I’m looking.”  Not me!)

…Ladies, STOP measuring your life by Facebook and Pinterest, and STOP COMPARING YOURSELVES to other women!
Your Facebook friends don’t know your whole life history. Your upbringing. Your values. Your experiences, good bad and ugly. Your skill set. Your facebook friends don’t know your heart. All of these things, and more, contribute to who you are, and how you parent, for better or for worse!

Do you know who does know all of these things about you? 

The God who created you. El Roi (The God Who Sees.) Jehovah Jireh (The God Who Provides.) 

At the end of the day, He doesn’t care what you hand-made your kids. He doesn’t even care how much TV they watched. At the end of the day, He knows you, and He loves you, and He loves your kids. 

At the end of the day, regardless of what you’ve accomplished, if you have done your best to teach your children to know Jesus. To know love. To know mercy and grace. To know responsibility and to respect authority. To know joy. You have had a good day! 

I have to remind myself of this every day, because at the end of every day, my to-do list — let alone my pinterest-inspired, wish-I-could-do list — remains uncompleted, and I am tempted to think of myself as a failure.

…Just love your kids. Keep it real. Picture my rough lookin’ face, and remember that you’re not the only one out there who didn’t manage to ___ fill in your favorite pin here ___ today. 😉 

The Week in Bullet Points {Week of Oct. 7, 2012)

* Sad week. My upstairs neighbors moved away. 😦

* I cried. They were like family to me. The way these on-post houses are set up, we practically lived together. I will miss my friend and her sweet family with all my heart, but I keep telling myself that this is NOT goodbye. It’s a small army, and there’s always eternity someday! 

* So then I hauled my 3 hungry munchkins to the grocery store, because we were completely out of food, and I ended up with the dang broken cart! There’s one at every grocery store, and I always get it. The front wheel just stopped moving in the middle of the parking lot!

* And broken grocery store carts are totally my biggest pet-peeve. So I was livid. Then this poor guy comes up behind me and goes, “Your cart’s broken,” and I completely flipped out on him. So he brought me a new cart. Now I feel bad.

* On the bright side, we went to the city one day and had a ton of fun at the gun show!

* Yes, we took the kids.

* We’re redneck like that.

* I can’t fit into my bridesmaid’s dress for my brother-in-law’s wedding IN TWO WEEKS! This is bad!

* That’s when I realized that I’m still eating like I’m pregnant, and it has to stop!

* I mean like, I’m a total health-nut (more on that someday.) And I’ve actually been exercising. (I know! Shocker!) But I don’t watch my calories AT ALL. And I can’t seem to kick the coffee habit. (You’d be addicted too if your toddlers got up at the bootie-crack of dawn every day.) …Also I’m the kind of person that likes “a little coffee with my cream-and-sugar,” which is bad. …Also The Hubs still acts like I’m pregnant and brings me home Twix bars all the time, and I have no self-control, so basically I eat like 2 Twix bars every day.

* So yea. At this point, my options are a) don’t eat for two weeks (impossible.) or b) get my dress altered (depressing.) Oh well.

* This is my 1.5-year-old daughter. She loves to pose. She’s a ham. Isn’t she cute?  🙂

* Did you watch the debate? Just wondered. I didn’t. But I thought I should put something in here that has to do with current events.

* Well, I’m sorry that my week-in-summary was such a downer. Hey, I’m just keeping it real. Some weeks just stink, let’s be honest. But hey, my kids are healthy, my husband is a hottie, God gave me another day, we got paid today, and Jesus is my Lord. We’ll call it a good week! Amen? 🙂

The Week in Bullet Points {Week of Sep 23, 2012}

  • Dude, I was SUPER productive this week!
  • I actually managed, among other things, to keep the house in relative order, cook healthy meals, fold laundry, see (adult) people, go to Bible study, exercise, (once. I think it was Tuesday.) AND, I even found the time to deep-clean my kitchen sink, Fly Lady style!
  • Let me tell you, the above is a BIG DEAL when you have “3 under 3” (and a dog,) and most of your day — seriously — revolves around food and poop.
  • …And when you’re not dealing with hungry little people and poop, you’re mostly trying to keep your two toddlers from a) turning into ill-mannered, uncivilized, uneducated hoodlums when they grow up, and b) biting each other.
  • So anyway, deep cleaning ANYTHING usually falls by the wayside.
  • What’s with all the chevron-striped EVERYTHING all over Pinterest?
  • It was in the high-90s and sunny all week. 90s people! In the Fall. I LOVE that about Oklahoma. 
  • DD #2 started rolling over on purpose.
  • She used to roll over by accident. And then she would lay there, perfectly content, with her face smashed into the rug, too lazy to bother turning her head (she takes after me,) and unsure how to turn back over once she was done smelling carpet. It was adorable. But now, equally adorable, she rolls around all over the place and lifts her head to look around at everything from the belly perspective, then rolls onto her back and grabs at her feet. She’s fascinated with her feet. …I love babies.
  • I totally got rid of Facebook. (You WHAT?!?!) Turns out, life without Facebook is pretty awesome. I know, I’m as surprised as anyone. I’ll let you know how it’s going some time in the future.
  • I’m re-living my tween years and reading “Anne of Green Gables” all over again. I’m loving it. It’s just as adorable and as well-written the second time around.
  • The Hubs comes home from work one evening, and I’m burned out from a long day. I say, “PLEASE take the kids for a while hon, I really need a break.” And I run and hide in the bedroom to try to get some peace and quiet. …Not two seconds later, my 3-year-old son walks into the room:

    Son: “Hey mommy, what are you doing?”
    Me: “Hey honey. I’m just hanging out back here for a while. You can go play. I really need a break.”
    Son: “Oh…I need a break too.”  Proceeds to climb into my lap.

    …Aaaaand that right there about sums up Motherhood. And my week.    

    But I wouldn’t trade it for anything else in the world. 🙂

The No Stink, No Complications, Diaper Laundry Solution

Let’s face it. If you’ve been cloth diapering for a while, you’ve probably, somewhere along the road, run into the dreaded “stink.”
If you’ve considered cloth diapering in the past, but talked yourself out of it, it was probably because of what you’ve heard about the dreaded stink.
I’ve been there. I’ve done the research. I’ve tried it all.
And I’ve heard it all:
  • Your diapers stink because they have build up and you need to strip them. 
  • Your diapers stink because you used too much detergent. 
  • Your diapers stink because you used the wrong kind of detergent. 
  • Your diapers stink because you were using vinegar in your wash. 
  • Your diapers stink because you were not using vinegar in your wash. 
  • You need to bleach your diapers to get rid of the stink. 
  • Never bleach your diapers to get rid of the stink, you’ll ruin them! 
…It goes on and on. It’s enough to make your head spin.

When did diaper laundry become so complicated?!

When I first started cloth diapering, I used mostly microfiber inserts, one of the toughest fibers to get clean and stink-free. I was told by the experts to wash my diapers using no more than 1/4 the amount of laundry detergent I would normally use on a load of laundry. Not only that, but I needed to use a special kind of detergent that is considered safe for cloth diapers, if I wanted to prevent problems and build up, whatever that was. 
I was new and completely clueless about cloth diapering, so I took the advice, purchased some special detergent, and went my merry way. Fast forward to a few weeks of following this standard cloth diaper laundry protocol, and my microfiber inserts were disgusting. They stunk every time I got them out of the wash. They never seemed to get clean. I made it my mission to figure out why the things could possibly stink so badly after following all of the advice I was given to the letter.
I learned that “build up” is the fear of all cloth diaperers. We are so afraid of it, that we will do everything we can to prevent it, to the point of using as little detergent as possible, or even NO detergent in our wash routine. (Yes, I’ve had people tell me to just use hot water and maybe some baking soda in the wash.) The worry is, if you use too much detergent, or detergents that are not considered cloth diaper “safe,” you could end up with so much residue built up in your diapers that they won’t be able to absorb anything else, and they’ll leak the next time you use them on your baby.
So I thought, well, maybe I have build up. So I “stripped” my diapers and my washing machine and washed my diapers.
It didn’t work. They still stunk.
So I tried switching to a different detergent. I tried many “cloth safe” detergents, both store-bought and home-made. I tried soaking them in the detergents overnight. I tried changing my wash routine. I tried hotter water, more water, less water, more rinses, less rinses. I tried boiling my inserts. I tried vinegar. I tried it all. Sometimes, boiling or vinegar would seem to work at first, but then my diaper inserts would come back with a stinky vengeance a few days later.
Then, one day, an old cloth diapering pro told me to try more detergent. They told me to go to the store and buy some Tide, use the amount recommended on the bottle for my load size, and never look back.
I was worried about everything I had heard about “ruining” my diapers. But I was desperate. So I tried it.
I scrapped all the fancy wash routines and complicated laundry solutions I had heard about and washed my diapers in a hot wash with a whole cap full of Tide.
My diapers came out of the wash smelling like sweet nothing for the first time ever!
And I never looked back. 
So, what is the “No Stink, No Complications, Diaper Laundry Solution?” 

Our babies are pooping on these things. We should be using more detergent on our diaper laundry, not less. It’s counter-intuitive to use 1/4 the normal amount of detergent on your dirtiest laundry.
Diaper stink means diapers are not getting clean. Plain and simple. If a diaper comes out of the laundry and still stinks, it needs to go back into the laundry with more detergent, more hot water, and maybe even a little bleach.
Don’t be afraid of “ruining” your diapers. I know how much we all love our cutest diapers, but never forget that they are just diapers. They’re not made of lace. They can handle it. If you’re worried about something made with elastic or delicate materials getting “ruined” in a normal wash cycle with plenty of detergent and the occasional bleach, by all means, take that item out before washing. But remember that these are just diapers. Eventually they will wear out and need to be replaced. We can’t prevent that and prevent stink at the same time. They need to be washed. 

If your baby pooped on your favorite shirt, what would you do? I’ll bet you’d make sure you got that sucker good and clean. Why do we treat our diapers any differently?
It’s not about which detergent you use. That’s a personal family decision. Lots of factors may affect your choice of detergent: your concern about the environment, the type of water you have, your desire to buy from small businesses instead of big businesses or visa versa, your desire to buy at a certain grocery store, price, allergies, sensitivities, etc. But, in my opinion, which detergent you use is not as important as how much detergent you use. 
Don’t spend too much time researching the “best” way to care for cloth diapers. Remember that:
They are cloth, just like everything else. They are washable. They don’t need special treatment unless they’re made from delicate or special materials, like wool, or elastic. Even then, be aware that diapers will wear out eventually, just like everything else. 
Deal with build up as it occurs, not the other way around. Some cloth diaperers have been using Tide, bleach, and the like for years and have never had build up. Others have dealt with it several times. Either way, it’s not something to fear. It won’t break your diapers. It’s easily remedied with stripping and lots of rinsing. I’d rather have build up once in a great while than stinky dirty diapers every day.
Having problems with ammonia? This is a very informative and helpful article.
Look, I realize that this is a bit of a controversial topic, and that I’m in quite the minority with this kind of advice. (Although, from those that I’ve talked to, it seems that there are lots of closet Tide, bleach, and more-than-recommended detergent users out there!) I certainly don’t mean to imply that I know everything, or that all of the other cloth diaper laundry advice out there is wrong. There are lots of unique situations that account for the large variety of washing advice circulating around out there. I know nothing about allergies and sensitivities, for example, and I’m aware that rashes and allergies and sensitivities can add a whole new level to the laundry debate. But, I do believe that “more detergent” is the answer for many cloth diaperers who are dealing with stink and confused about what to do.  

Bottom Line: 
If your diapers stink, they aren’t getting clean enough. Try using a stronger detergent and plenty of it, before trying the more complicated remedies out there. 
This is an updated version of my original article that was posted on the Guerilla Fluff website, here.

This Post is Made Up Entirely of Bullet Points

  • Three words: Shortest. Week. Ever.
  • Seriously, I can’t believe it’s Saturday. 
  • I also can’t believe I haven’t written a blog post since last Sunday. ::Blush::  
  • Bad mommy blogger! 
  • Not that I don’t have a good excuse, because I totally do: 
  • My husband has been away on a military training mission these past few weeks, and he recently returned home. 
  • So before, I was just too crazy doing the whole one-woman-show to post anything. And now, of course, the hubs and I are too busy snuggling for me to post. 😉
  • Your regularly scheduled Where Ever After will resume on Tuesday, I promise. 
  • And we’ll kick it off with a fabulous FLUFFY review and giveaway!  🙂 🙂 🙂
  • In the mean time, I hope you’ll take a moment to enter my current giveaway, if you haven’t already. 
  • Because you seriously don’t want to miss out on this. 
  • You could win the most adorable hat ever, from a fabulous new Etsy shop — An interchangeable flower hat with SEVEN interchangeable flowers! 
  • The giveaway ends on Monday, so hurry over and fill out the easy entry form to get your entry in. 
  • I hope you had a wonderful week, I’ve enjoyed perusing the blogs of all of my new followers and those that linked up with the Monkey Around Monday and Mom Blog Monday blog hops, and I’m enjoying your posts! Seriously! I always learn something new from you mamas, thanks for blogging!
  • I apologize for my lazy bullet point post. 
  • I hope my college English professor never reads this.
  • Have a great weekend folks! 🙂

Conversations With The Hubs

A glimpse into our everyday life…

Romantic Word Games

Me: Ok you have to summarize me in three words. They can be nouns, verbs, adjectives, short phrases, whatever. I’ll do the same for you and we’ll go back and forth. Okay Go.

Hubs: Ok. …….’Eats like bird.’

Me: What? …Tchh …’Farts.’

Hubs: ‘tchhh’

Me: What is that?

Hubs: That’s the noise you make when you’re annoyed.

Me: So that is one of my top three characterizations? *Kicks hubs*

Hubs: Toenails of death

Me: I thought we were going to say cute and romantic things about each other.

Hubs: Like what?

Me: Like how about “LOVING?!”

Long Silence.

Blonde Moment

Hubs: My barber said today that I’ll probably never go bald.

Me: Why not?

Hubs: Because I have really thick hair.

Me: What does that have to do with not going bald?

Hubs: I don’t know. My dad has the same hair as me and he didn’t go bald.

Me: Good point. Good point.

Hubs: And his dad didn’t go bald either.

Me: Yea, but your dad doesn’t have the same hair as your dad’s dad, so type of hair might not have anything to do with it.

Hubs: Well then I guess my dad inherited his thick hair from my grandmother.

Me: Which grandmother?

Hubs: I’m going to pretend you didn’t just ask me that.

Diaper Conversations

Me: Thanks for changing the baby’s diaper hun. Did you have any trouble with it?

Hubs: No, I did the daddy fold.

Me: Oh, so you pad folded it instead of neat folding it? Yea, I’m really sorry that flat diapers aren’t the most “daddy proof” diaper, but I really like them because they’re the cheapest. …Oh, but I don’t mean that they’re cheap in quality. I mean, we made a good investment when we got these. Even though flat diapers are like the simplest looking diaper and the least expensive, they’re actually one of the longest lasting, best quality type of diaper. They’re really absorbent too. So you can see why I bought mostly flat diapers when we went with cloth diapers. Even though they take a little bit more work to put on, they’re… *15 minute monologue*

Hubs: I know honey. I read your blog.

25 Things About Myself

Gee, I hate to always be talking about ME. I feel like such a narcissist. I mean, this is a blog, so I guess I’m supposed to, right? But it just feels weird..

In any case, I’m SO pleased to have all you new blog followers on board! So, I thought I’d tell you a little about the mama behind the blog, “Facebook Notes” style, with 25 Things About Myself. If you find, through reading this, that we have something in common, by all means, I’d love for you to leave a comment below and let me know. Or, if you decide that I’m a total loser, you can tell me that too. Ok, here goes…
  1. I’m a smallish-town girl who married a great guy and had two kids with him. (So far.)
  2. I definitely just ate a Kit Kat for breakfast. 
  3. I can name the 50 U.S. states in alphabetical order in under 20 seconds.
  4. The only thing that I’ll admit is nerdy about that is the fact that I asked the hubs to time me.
  5. I also have a fur baby. Ginger. People think she’s an oversized Yorkie. But she’s not. She’s a Cairn Terrier, like Toto from the Wizard of Oz. 
  6. My husband says I eat like a bird. I have no idea what that means. But if you ask him what one of my defining characteristics is, that’s the answer he’ll give you. I know because I just asked him. (I couldn’t think of 20 more things about myself.)
  7. I secretly aspire to be a contestant on Wheel of Fortune.
  8. I am not allergic to anything at all whatsoever. One time, I had to go to the doctor to take an allergy test to see if I was allergic to anesthesia, and they put something on my arm that was like a control allergen, to make me have an allergic reaction that they could compare to. I wasn’t allergic to that either.
  9. When I read a book, I have to hold the book in a certain way so that it is barely open…so as to not bend back the binding too much. I learned this anal-ity from my dad. If I lend you one of my books to read, I’ll make you do it too. And if I see people reading with the pages turned all the way back and wrapped around to the other side so you can hold the book in one hand, I just want to puke.
  10. I like to cook, knit, crochet, and sew. If I owned pearls, I would probably wear them while I vacuumed. I am fully domesticated.
  11. In another life, I probably would have been an archaeologist. But not the Indiana Jones, killing world war two bad guys, “this belongs in a museum!” kind, unfortunately. (I’m not much of an out-doors-y person.) 
  12. I am perfectly comfortable in summer weather, up to about 90 degrees. I hate the air conditioner. This has been the source of most of the arguments between the hubs and I for 3 years.
  13. When I’m sick, I like to watch old movies and old TV shows, especially ‘I Love Lucy’ and ‘Bringing Up Baby’. I don’t know why, but it’s just really comforting to me. I think it’s because that’s what I used to do with my Mom whenever I was home sick as a kid.
  14. In order to win my husband in the early stages of our relationship, I pretended to like football so that I could have an excuse to see him on Monday nights. The funny thing is, now that we’re married, I really do like football! But I don’t understand a lick of it. 
  15. Most of my favorite movies are in some way connected with Nora Ephron and Rob Reiner. I didn’t do that on purpose. It just happened that way. 
  16. I’m pretty sure I contracted the swine flu last year. It was the first time in my life that I can remember having the flu. It was the worst few weeks of my entire life.
  17. I am really cheap. I once used a gift card at the Star Bucks drive through that had $.04 cents left on it. See this post.
  18. It is really hard to come up with 25 things about yourself.
  19. I think I might just change the title to “17 Things About Myself.”
  20. Oh! I just thought of one! I cloth diaper my kids! And I enjoy it! But I think you already knew that about me. 
  21. I like country music.
  22. I have never in my life been stung by a bee.
  23. Consequently, I’m scared to death of bees.
  24. As soon as I see a movie, I immediately forget most of it. I can enjoy a movie “for the first time” about 3 times before I start to know it too well. The hubs calls me “Dory.”
  25. Some of these things are really embarrassing. You are going to think I’m a lame-o. I think I have validation issues. Please leave a comment below and validate me. Thanks.