Monday, March 29, 2010

Spring Giveaway

Spring has sprung (despite today's cold rainy weather). There's no better season to enjoy the wonders of the earth as new plants sprout up through last fall's unraked leaves. Using cloth diapers is one of the many ways that we can help our planet. Growing food at home is another.

This spring, as I watch the tomatoes, peppers and herbs that my daughter and I planted together it makes me marvel at how much changes in a year. Last year my seedlings were toys that she took out on the front porch so she could play with the dirt. This year, at 2-1/2, I watch her touch her plants tenderly, water them, and blow on them to make them strong. She has stopped asking whether we can eat them yet, but I have hope that this year the seedlings may live long enough to produce fruit.

Planting seeds is an annual tradition in our household as we emerge for winter and prepare to welcome spring. How do you welcome spring?

Bums Away is giving away one Pomegranate Easy Fit diaper ( To enter, post a comment about how you welcome spring to your home. One winner will be randomly selected from all entries.

Contest is open to Canadian residents only. Entries must be posted before April 21, 2010 midnight EST. The winner will be announced on Earth Day. Please include your email address with your entry.

Extra Entries - Please leave a separate comment for each extra entry.
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Sunday, March 7, 2010

Odor and Cloth Diapers

The most common complaints about smelly cloth diapers are (1) stinky diaper pails and (2) diapers that smell fine when they come out of the wash but get more and more stinky as they get soaked with urine and (3) diapers that smell when they come out of the wash.

Luckily there are solutions to both of these problems. And even more luckily, cloth diapers rarely (if ever) get as stinky as a garbage can full of a week’s disposable diapers.

So, to solve problem #1: a stinky diaper pail. The best solution for the stinky diaper pail problem, in my experience, is to stop using a diaper pail and use a hanging diaper bag instead. A hanging diaper bag allows air to circulate in your dirty diapers and reduces the buildup of stinky anaerobic bacteria. Other tips for reducing smell of your hanging diaper bag are to:

- - add one to two drops of tea tree oil or lavender oil to a cloth and throw it into your hanging diaper bag

- - make sure that you are washing your diapers often enough (at least once every 2-3 days)

- - use an enzyme based deodorizer either on your diapers or place it in the room near your diaper bag

- - make sure that you don’t have any residue problems (see below)

Problem #2 (diapers that smell find when they come out of the was but then get stinky when soaked with urine) is caused by residue on the diapers. Over time, detergent and urine residue can buildup on the diapers. This tends to happen more quickly when using a high efficiency washing machine but can also occur when using a good old-fashioned top loader as well.

To get rid of residue, run your clean diapers through 3 cycles of hot wash/cold rinse in the washing machine with no detergent. If you have a high efficiency washing machine you should manually set the water level to high. If you can’t manually adjust the water level, throw a wet towel or 2 in with your diapers to trick the washing machine into adding more water. This should get rid of your residue problems. As an aside, this technique will also solve about 90% of problems that you may have with cloth diapers so it should be the first thing you try if you’re having problems.

Cleansing diapers with baking soda and vinegar tends to be more of a band-aid solution, as your diapers will soon become stinky again. Vinegar can also react with urine to create stink in diapers.

As for problem #3 (diapers that smell when they come out of the wash), you should first make sure that you’re washing with hot water except if your hot water is really hot as this will cause damage to the laminate layer in your diapers. You should also consider switching detergents as the one you’re using may not be cleaning your diapers properly.

Bums Away carries a variety of products to assist in reducing diaper odor in the Cloth Diaper Accessories section of our website:

Monday, March 1, 2010

Yeast: Those little red dots that are so hard to get rid of

There's nothing more frustrating than when your little one gets a yeast infection. We battled with it for months before finding a solution that actually worked.

Both boys and girls get yeast and it happens in kids wearing cloth or disposable diapers.

How do you know if your baby has a yeast infection? He or she will have little red dots in the diaper area. If using cloth, the spots usually get progressively worse with time and will usually clear up when you switch to disposables.

The reason that they clear up if you switch to disposables is NOT that disposables are any better than cloth for preventing yeast (in fact they may be somewhat worse as they are less breathable than cloth). However, if you're using cloth and your baby has yeast, then there is yeast on your diapers.

Treating a yeast infection when using cloth diapers is a two-step process.

The first is to actually treat the yeast infection. Speak with your child's doctor to find out what s/he recommends, but usually over-the-counter yeast infection cream will do the trick.

To get the yeast off your diapers, you need to cleanse them with a combination of hot water/cold water cycles. Start by cleaning your diapers. Then run your diapers through 3 hot wash/cold rinse cycles in your washing machine with no detergent. If you dry your diapers in the dryer, they should not have any smell when they come out of the dryer. If they do smell, repeat the 3 x hot water wash/cold water rinse cycle without detergent until they don't.

If you have a high efficiency washing machine, then set the water to the highest setting possible for washing and cleansing your diapers. If you cannot change the water setting on your high efficiency washer, then add 1 or 2 wet towels to the load to trick your washing machine into adding more water.