Monday, March 28, 2011

How many diapers do I need?

Here's a great article on the number of diapers you need for each diapering age:

How many diapers do I need?

Below is a helpful chart that they created - but note that their estimates are on the low end. For example, a newborn goes through about 12 diaper changes a day, so you would want a minimum of 12 diapers to do laundry daily, and more like 14 or 16 to be safe. I'd use the maximum that they list (i.e. 12 for the newborn daily washing) as the minimum number to get, rather than the high end number. How many is too many? can never have too many!

Age Daily Wash Every 2 Days Every 3 Days
Up to 6 mos 10-12 20-24 30-36
6-12 mos 8-10 16-20 24-30
12-24 mos 6-8 12-16 18-24
Potty Learning 2-4 4-8 6-12

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Tell me about diaper trials!

When you're considering cloth diapering, you'll often hear people caution you not to invest too heavily in any one specific brand or type of diaper (read the "building your stash" posts for more information).  One way to test out a bunch of different types of is to try a diaper trial. In a diaper trial, you pay a certain amount of money and receive a number of different diapers. Once the trial is over, you can return all of the diapers and get most of your money back (most place only put you out $10-20) - or you can purchase all or some of the diapers!

For a list of some of the trials available, click here and scroll to the very bottom! Each trial contains different items, so it's important to compare and contrast to find the one that's best for you!

There are a few things to remember about trials:

One downside to a trial is that there aren't enough diapers in the trial to cloth diaper full-time, so you can fill in the gaps with prefolds/covers (super cheap!) or (gasp) even disposables.

Keep in mind that just because you don't like the pocket (or fitted, or AIO, etc.) that is included in the diaper trial doesn't mean you won't like ALL pockets (or fitteds, or AIOs, etc.).  When evaluating the diapers, try to determine if it's something about the system itself you don't like (i.e. you hate stuffing pockets, or you hate the two-step system of fitteds and covers) or if it's something about the diaper itself you don't like (i.e. the fit, the closure, not absorbent enough, etc.).  If it's something just about the diaper itself that isn't working for you, a different brand in that type could still work, so consider not dismissing them entirely. 

Also, a trial only lasts a few weeks, and it can take time to get comfortable with cloth diapering. It can also take time to experiment and find what works for you and your child (i.e. diaper/insert combinations, fit, wash routines, etc.).  If you haven't figured it out by the end of the trial, it could simply be that you need more time to play around, or that the specific diapers in the trial aren't a good match for you - not that all cloth diapers won't ever work for your baby.

Finally, diaper trials have great stuff in them! But they don't have everything.  Most don't have wool covers or hemp inserts, for example - two things that many people have great success with. They all have a very limited number of brands, and as we've mentioned over and over, different brands work differently for different babies.

All that said, though, trials are a great way to give it a shot and see what you think for almost no risk! They are highly recommended by nearly everyone!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

The Cloth Diaper Finder

Trying to figure out what diaper brand and type you should try?  Looking for a diaper that meets your very specific needs?

For want a diaper that is one-size, pocket, with snap closure, PUL outer, that's made in the USA? Now there's an easy way to find it! Enter your requirements into The Cloth Diaper Finder created by Dirty Diaper Laundry, and it will spit out a result! For those search parameters, the results are BabyKicks, Knickernappies, and Icredibella [I've never even heard of Incredibella...yet another diaper to look into!].

A one-size pocket under 13 bucks? Kawaii!

A newborn all-in-one with aplix? bumGenius or Smartipants!

It's not perfect yet: for instance, I put in dual-size pocket with aplix made in the USA, and got no results, but I thought Thirsties met those requirements. However, when I dug deeper I found out it's because they have Thirsties classified as a "sleeve" diaper versus a pocket diaper.   So you may want to try your search a few different ways to ensure that you're finding everything that meets your needs.

It looks like they are searching a database of 136 diapers and growing!  It's really fun to play around with.

UPDATE: They now have user reviews as well!
UPDATE 2: They simplified their categories, so Thirsties is now listed as a pocket.

Monday, March 21, 2011

What's the deal with diaper covers?

Rather than re-writing a whole new article when someone else has already done it so wonderfully, I'll just link you to her blog post.

All About Diaper Covers from The Mommy Goods

There are just a couple things I'd add:

One, there's another type of material that works identically to PUL, only it's called TPU.  Many diaper makers, such as Rumparooz, are starting to use TPU over PUL.  While PUL works great, it's not so great for the environment.  PUL is poly-urethane laminate polyester fabric that is created using a chemical process. TPU is a similar waterproof material that is solvent-free - it's the same polyester fabric, but instead of using a poly-urethane laminate that is done with chemicals, it's a thermoplastic polyurethane that is created with a heat bonding process.  It's lower in toxicity and better for the environment.  TPU is also biodegradable and will biodegrade in 4-5 years if composted. Since many people who cloth diaper have great concerns about the environment, this is something to keep in mind. (Wool would obviously be another environmentally friendly choice). Personally, I think that TPU is a tiny bit softer as well, but that could be my imagination.

Also, keep in mind that most types of wool often can stretch quite a bit to fit your child for a while; however, it is still a sized cover, and the same soaker won't take your child from birth to potty training. On the flip side, PUL and TPU covers can generally be purchased in either sized or one-size versions.

Both PUL and TPU can delaminate, which means that the waterproof part separates from the fabric part.  If this happens, you can try to return the diaper to the manufacturer for a replacement.  You can still use a delaminated diaper - be sure to line dry only! - but if the laminate part rips, the diaper will leak through the tear.  Line-drying PUL and TPU covers will help them last longer; however, both should be dried on high the first time you wash them to help seal the laminate (unfortunately doing that won't fix a delaminated cover).

Finally, if you put PUL or TPU covers (or diapers) in the dryer, do so on low heat (after the first initial high heat dry).  Try not to stretch the elastic in the diaper until it has completely cooled from drying to lengthen the life of the cover.

Wild Coconut Wear wool cover (soaker)

Thirsties PUL cover

 Thirsties PUL cover (open)

Wild Coconut Wear wool longies

WAHM wool soaker

Woolly Bottoms wool footies

Kissaluvs wool soaker

WAHM fleece soaker

Flip PUL cover (technically part of an AI2 system, but can be used as a regular cover)

Monday, March 14, 2011

What's the deal with one-size diapers?

First, what ARE one-size diapers? Are they the same as fitteds?

No! Fitted diapers are a TYPE of diaper. See the FAQs in the tabs above for a low-down on the different types of diapers. One-size diapers are a SIZE of diaper.

Diapers generally come in two types of sizes: sized and one-size. Sized diapers fit a very specific, limited weight range. For instance, they might be available in x-small/newborn (fits 6 to 12 pounds), small (fits 8 to 16 pounds), medium (fits 15 to 22 lbs) and large (fits 22 to 30 pounds). All sized diapers have adjustable waist options to fit both skinny and chubby babies (either using a hook and loop closure or snaps); however, the rise is set. Because your child is constantly growing out of one size and into another, going the sized diaper route can be pricey. Because they don't have any extra fabric to deal with, they are usually quite trim.

One-size diapers (often abbreviated as OS) are designed to take a child through multiple weight ranges and stages and often claim to work from birth to potty training.  One-size diapers have adjustable rises that allow the diaper to fit multiple weight ranges and child sizes.

They can go from very small to quite large:

A Rumparooz diaper on the smallest setting
 A Rumparooz diaper on the largest setting

A Rumparooz snap diaper on the smallest setting (left) and largest setting (right).

The rise usually adjusts in one of three ways:

Snap-down rises are the most popular. They have multiple rows of snaps on the front of the diaper that allow you to snap down the front of the diaper to different size settings.  To make the diaper the smallest, you would snap the top snaps to the very bottom snaps, causing the diaper to fold onto itself and become much smaller. To use it on the largest size, you just leave the rise snaps fully unsnapped.  Here's an example on a BestBottoms diaper, showing the rise snaps fully unsnapped all the way to fully snapped down:

Fold-down rises are most common on fitteds.  These diapers usually have a row of snaps on the waist that face the inside of the diaper. You simply fold down the top of the diaper to the correct height and use the inside snaps to close it.  Here's an example on a DoodleDypes diaper - on the top, the diaper as it normally looks; on the bottom, with the top folded over.

Some fold-down rises are snapless and must use a Snappi or diaper pins to close, as the SBish fitted below shows.

Toggle/button rises are the least common, used by only a couple brands. It's the hardest to explain! These don't have rise snaps, but rather allow you to adjust how tight the elastic is at the leg of the diaper, which also adjusts the rise by scrunching the diaper together and making it longer or shorter. In the picture of a FuzziBunz below, you can see the leg elastic sticking pulled out in the top picture, and if you look very closely at the bottom picture you can just barely see the hint of the elastic on both wings at the top of the diaper - this is how it looks for normal use when not being adjusted. You can pull this elastic tighter or make it looser to fit a variety of babies. This particular system uses buttons to lock the elastic in place; other systems might use toggles like you find on jackets.

Crossover tabs are another feature of many one-size diapers. To further the customization options of one-size diapers, most one-size diapers allow you to overlap the waist flaps to create a very small waist. You can see these crossover snaps in some of the pictures above, and below, you can see the wing has both male and female snaps that would allow the opposite wing to snap to this wing instead of the main part of the diaper.

In this Doodle Dype, you can see the white snaps on the bottom wing 
that allow the top wing to snap onto it.

The crossover wings snapped at the smallest setting.
Aplix, or velcro, diapers usually also offer the option of crossover tabs. As you can see in the picture below, the velcro tabs are two-sided, allowing the tabs to be fastened to each other.

Many one-size diapers also offer multiple inserts that allow you to customize the absorbency (and therefore the bulk) depending on the age of the baby wearing it and how heavy of a wetter they are.  Often this is in the form of a regular large insert paired with a smaller insert that can be used alone for newborns or with the larger insert overnight or for heavier wetters.

A bumGenius newborn insert/doubler (left) and regular insert (right)

Some all-in-one diapers such as the GroVia below have inserts that can be added and removed depending on the needs of your baby (you can see the smaller, snap-in insert laying across the bottom of the diaper).

Fitted diapers also usually offer a number of inserts and doublers. This Goodmama could be used alone, with the smaller insert alone, the larger insert alone, or both inserts.

 This bitti tutto comes with three separate inserts that can be snapped together in a huge number of configurations to customize your diaper as needed. 

So one-size diapers are GREAT, right?? One diaper to get me from birth to potty training? What a great investment! What a great amount of savings! How easy!!

Not so fast! One-size diapers ARE great and they do save a ton of money, and the vast majority of people use them for the bulk of their diaper stash. However, there are a few things to note:

1. One-size diapers will not fit newborns as a general rule. Despite the fact that they often claim to start fitting at 7 or 8 pounds, they usually will not fit a baby well until the baby hits around 10 or 12 pounds. If you have a very large, chubby newborn, you might be able to use them immediately, but don't count on it! If you are planning on having the majority of your stash made up of one-size diapers, you will need something different for the newborn stage. Many people use prefolds and covers during that time, since they're so cheap. Some people use disposables until their child fits into the one-size diapers. Some people buy x-small or newborn sized diapers. It's up to you!  Note: Some brands do have one-size diapers that get much smaller than other one-size diapers. Rumparooz, Happy Heiny, and Softbums are brands that are known to get smaller than most of the other brands. However, that doesn't mean they'll fit your baby immediately - you still might run into fit issues even with them, so you still may need a newborn solution.

2. One-size diapers can be bulky on anything other than the largest setting (and very bulky on the smallest!).  This might not mean anything to you, but some people are looking for trim diapers. Cloth diapers are already bulkier than disposable diapers, and one-size diapers are bulkier still, particularly when on the smallest rise. All that extra fabric has to go somewhere! If you're looking for trim, smooth diapers, you might want to consider sized diapers, or check out the review spreadsheet for one-size diapers that are rated highly for trimness (i.e. GroVia all-in-ones are known to be one of the trimmest one-size option).

3. One-size diapers may not last as long. Because they are used SO much and for SO long, one-size diapers may wear out faster than sized diapers. If you're going the one-size route, you may want to have a fairly large stash to spread out the wear and tear on the diapers (for instance, rather than using 12 diapers over and over and over, you could use 36 diapers in your rotation, which would mean each one is used less frequently).

If you like the idea of sized diapers but don't like the bulkiness or ill fit of one-size diapers, you can look for diapers that are hybrids. Some diaper companies, like AppleCheeks or Thirsties, have created diapers that come in two sizes, which offer a more customized fit (i.e. one size fits for 8 through 20 pounds, and the second size fits from 15 to 45 pounds) but also are slightly less bulky than one-size diapers.  However, again, there's a drawback - both of those companies are known for having a fairly significant gap between sizes. While they claim to overlap, a baby who has outgrown their size one diaper may still be too small for their size two diaper.

Despite the drawbacks, one-size diapers are a popular, economical choice that work well for most people. Almost all brands offer a one-size diaper option. Check them out!

Building a Stash, Part 2.

Continued from Building a Stash, Part 1

Ok, so you now understand why it might not be the best idea to drop a few hundred bucks on thirty of that diaper that looks super cute and has good reviews without trying it out on your little one first. But you want to start building your stash! Your baby is going to be born soon (or is already here) and those dresser drawers are just BEGGING for some fluff to fill them up!

You have a couple options.  One, you can do a diaper trial like the one offered at Jillian's Drawers.  These trials let you try a variety of types of diapers and brands, usually for a fairly low initial cost.  The one downside is that there aren't enough diapers in the trial to cloth diaper full-time, so you can fill in the gaps with prefolds/covers or (gasp) even disposables.  You can keep the ones that you like and send back the ones that you don't like - or send them ALL back and only be out $10!  It's a really great way to be introduced to multiple brands and styles of diapers. For a list of trials, to read more about them, and for some things to keep in mind when doing a trial, click here.

(pictured: Jillian's Drawer's trial)

Another option is to watch sales and used diaper sites (see the "Favorite retailers" tab at the top for a list of used diaper sites) and slowly build your stash one diaper and one brand at a time. It's like doing a trial in that you get a bunch of different diapers, except you can try even more brands and you're not limited to the diapers included in the trial package. On the downside, since you're buying the diaper outright, there's no one to send it back to or to refund your money if you don't like it. It also takes longer to get a good number of diapers. However, you can eventually easily get enough to diaper full time by doing this, and if there's a diaper that doesn't work for you, you're not out an entire stash - just that diaper! Often, you can even sell the diaper on one of the used diaper sites for the same price you paid if you have taken care of it.  Many moms will collect a number of diapers of every brand, shape, size, and type with the plan of trying them, keeping what works for them and eventually selling off those that they don't like.

You can also see if there's a local cloth diaper co-op or even a friend that is cloth diapering. If so, you might be able to borrow a few diapers at a time...for free!  You don't like it? No loss! You like it? Great! Return it and grab a bunch of your own!  Like the trial, this won't give you enough to cloth diaper full time at the beginning (unless your friend has a TON of diapers for you to borrow), but it's a great and CHEAP way to try as many out as you want to with no obligation!

Regardless of the route you go, I don't recommend trying more than a handful at a time - sitting and looking at 40 different diapers can be overwhelming. Keep it simple and try a few out at a time.  Otherwise, you might get frustrated and overwhelmed and confused (this is especially true for daycares and significant others, who often just want consistency!). If this means you don't have enough diapers to cloth diaper full-time, I recommend prefolds and covers to fill the gap while you experiment with finding your permanent solution. They are cheap and usually work well, especially if you get covers with double gussets at the legs.  You don't have to learn complicated folds and work with pins - just trifold the prefold and place it in the cover. Easy!

Of course, some looking at a pile of 40 diapers and experimenting, so diving in with dozens and dozens of diapers works for them.

Once you've played around and found diapers that work for you, you can start filling your stash with more of those brands, whether you buy them new, used, or on sale.

Will you end up with a stash that is 100% of that favorite brand or even 100% of a specific type of diaper? Often, the answer is no.  Many people end up with a large number of a specific brand or system that works for them, but then have other types thrown in for specific circumstances.

For instance: you might be an all-in-one (AIO) user 90% of the time, but use fitteds and covers overnight. Or you might use fitteds and covers 90% of the time, but use AIOs at daycare and on outings. Or maybe you prefer snap pockets, but your DH prefers aplix AIOs, so you have a 50/50 mix of the two.  Or you might have some cheaper brands on hand that you don't mind messing up (like if your baby needs to use antibiotics that will turn his poop atomic green and stain your diapers - it happens!).

(Note: When building a stash, keep in mind that most one-size diapers will not fit newborns at birth! For more about that, read this post. If you plan to cloth diaper from day one and you plan to use one-size diapers, you will need something different for the newborn stage.)

One last hint: take it slow, especially if you're still pregnant and your kid isn't here yet! Let me say that again: take it slow! When you start buying quickly and impulsively, you often end up with diaper regret. It's sooooo tempting to buy a bunch if diapers right away, when you first start thinking about cloth diapering, but try to resist.  Instead, watch for good used deals and sales and diapers that you really like. Otherwise, you could end up like me and have more diapers than you know what to do with (so much for saving money!) and diapers that you got at full price sitting in your stash that are now on sale for 10%, 20%, or even half off - or that you see in EEUC (extremely excellent used condition) for pennies on the dollar.  Diaper sales happen all the time and are usually great deals! Of course, if you read this blog you're way more educated at this point than I was, so you probably won't make the same impulsive mistakes I did! 

Also, keep it simple. Don't overthink it. Try a diaper. If you like it, great! Get more! If you don't, you can save it for later (if, for example, you don't like it for a reason that might be overcome with time, like it's too big for your child) or sell it. If you're ambivalent about it, try a couple other brands. You might find that in comparison, you really like it, or you may find another brand that you love more.

It can seem overwhelming and it can seem confusing, but you can do it! Just buy a diaper. One diaper is all it takes to start the process!

Finally, it can be addicting. Watch out and put a limit on yourself if you think you might get sucked happens to the best of us!

(Once you have your diapers purchased, click here to see what to do next!)

Building a Stash, Part 1.

One thing you'll often hear as a newbie to cloth diapering is to not spend a ton of money on one brand or type of diapers before you're able to try them with your child.  The reason for this is because different types of diapers and different brands of diapers work differently for every baby.  Until you know for sure that a brand works for your kid, it's smart to hold off on buying three dozen of them, even if they ARE on sale.

But WHY exactly? You've heard great things about Brand X diapers and you know you want to use them!

Well, let's look at Suzy. Suzy was sure she was going to love all-in-ones (also called AIOs...they're so easy - they're just like disposables!), so she bought a ton of GroVia AIOs on the advice of a friend, who uses them and just adores them. However, when she started using them, she discovered that they take WAY too long to dry, and she hated not being able to adjust the absorbency easily, and she slowly realized that AIOs just aren't for her family.  Or maybe she loves everything about AIOs and that type of diaper is working well, but the GroVia brand specifically just doesn't fit her baby's thighs and they leaked every time. So all that cash Suzy invested in GroVia? Down the drain while she tries to figure out what DOES work best for her baby. They worked great for her friend, but not for her.

And this holds true for every brand and type. There is no one type or brand that is going to work perfectly for every family!

Another example: Jane thinks that she's going to love pockets (the benefits of AIOs but they dry faster and you can switch out the inserts!), so she did a bunch of research and found that bumGenius are well reviewed - and she found a great sale! - so she buys two dozen. But she soon discovers that she just hates having to fish out inserts from poopy diapers. Or maybe she discovers that she hate stuffing the pockets after washing them. Or maybe after using them she finds out that her child has a suedecloth sensitivity and can't use bumGenius diapers because of that.

On the other hand, Mary thought she would be frugal and got all prefolds and covers. But in using them, she discovered that the process of trying to fit a prefold and a separate cover on her wiggly kid who hates getting his diaper changed is just too much of a struggle. Or maybe she finds that with her kid's sensitive skin, she needs a diaper with a stay-dry feeling.

So Mary, Jane, and Suzy now have to try to find a brand that works for them, figure out something to do in the meantime, unload the stash that they have (and possibly lose money in the process), and buy more diapers.  Now COULD you get lucky and find that the brand and type you invested so heavily in work perfectly for you on the first try? Sure! Of course! But it doesn't always work that way.

(Note: Prefolds and covers generally get an exemption from this rule because they're SO very cheap (i.e. you can get an entire newborn system for less than $75 if you look for used diapers and deals) and even if you hate them, the prefolds can later be used as doublers, inserts, burp cloths, changing pads, etc., so you'll get use out of them no matter what.)

So what should you do? Your baby isn't here yet so you can't figure out what works for you, but you really want to start building up your stash! Or maybe your baby IS here, but you're still not sure where to start, and reading all this didn't clear things up at all.

It's time to move on to Building a Stash, Part 2!

Saturday, March 12, 2011

What's the deal with buying used?

Used diapers? YUCK! Someone else's kid's poop on a diaper my kid will be wearing? No way!

Not so fast! Used diapers can be a very economical way - and yes, even sanitary! - to build your stash of diapers and to try new brands.

There are several popular sites to buy used diapers. For a list, check the "Favorite Retailers" tab at the top of the blog. The used diaper sites are at listed at the bottom.

Most used diaper transactions go smoothly and perfectly: the diaper is exactly as described and shipping is fast. However, it's not always that way! Here are some useful hints on entering the used diaper arena and avoiding any issues.

1. It's all about the diaper.

When you buy a used diaper, careful inspection of the description and pictures is very important! Each diaper will normally be listed by condition, for example, EUC means "Excellent Used Condition." However, these labels are VERY subjective, so it's extremely important that you look closely at the pictures and information provided about the diaper to see if the seller's idea of "Excellent Used Condition" is the same as your idea of "Excellent Used Condition."

A brief description of the various types of conditions, written by the great team over at, is below:

New - These diapers are new and never worn. Some have been washed but never worn. Others are New Without Tags and never washed. Some are New With Tags. [Another designation you might see is NIP, which means New In Package.]

Excellent Used Condition (EUC) - These diapers have been worn a few times, but are almost like new. There are usually no stains. We all know though that a diaper can be worn one time and get a stain. I try to disclose that information. The elastic, velcro/snaps, and PUL are in excellent condition.

Very Good Used Condition (VGUC) - These diapers have been used for a little while but are still in very good condition. There might be slight staining. The elastic, aplix/snaps and PUL are in very good condition.

Good Used Condition (GUC) - These diapers show some love, but are still in good condition. There might be light staining and slightly pilly fleece. They might have a small cosmetic flaw. They have lots of wear left in them with strong elastic, strong aplix/snaps, and good PUL.

(Read more here:

You often see people use descriptions like EEUC or VVGUC, which are just additional descriptors - "Extremely Excellent Used Condition," "Very Very Good Used Condition," etc.  You also may see diapers listed in "Play" condition. Play condition is under GUC and means that the diaper isn't suitable for anything more than, well, playing around and usually have stains, need the elastic replaced, have tears, etc.  Again, what is written above is just a guideline and there are no "official" rules that govern the listing of cloth diapers, so each person is responsible for a) listing the diaper in the most accurate way possible and b) fully vetting any diaper that they are going to purchase.  How do you do that? Again, read the pictures and description carefully. If you have any questions in the slightest, ASK.  You should be able to find out how the diaper was cared for (dryer or line dried? what kind of detergent was used?), whether the home was dog or cat friendly (do you or your LO have allergies?), if the home is smoke-free, if there are any rips, staining, pilling, etc. If that information isn't included in the listing, either be sure you don't care about it or ask the seller.

Hint: Don't rush into buying a used diaper. More often than not an identical or very similar diaper will be listed again quickly.  Take your time to check out the pictures and verify that it's a good price by comparing the price to a new version of the diaper and to other similar used diapers. 

2. It's all about the seller.

Another important step in buying is to check the seller's feedback.  Almost all sites where you can purchase a used diaper allow buyers to leave feedback on their transactions. Where the items as described? Was the shipping speed fast?  Did the seller follow through on all promises? Be sure to check out all the feedback. While it's up to you whether one bad feedback score is enough to dissuade you from buying from that seller, don't discount multiple negative feedbacks, especially if there seem to be trends (like taking weeks to ship something out).  Never be afraid to ask for feedback or references if none are listed - though on some sites, like Craigslist, that's not as possible.

3. Pay promptly.

Most used diaper transactions will use PayPal.  If you don't have an account, you'll want to get one. If you commit to purchasing a diaper, pay immediately. Some sites, like Spot's Corner, take a while to "time out" and clear the diaper from your cart if you don't pay right away. On those sites, and with transactions that are person-to-person, like, when you commit to purchase a diaper that diaper is being held for you.  If you take a long time to pay, the seller questions whether you're going to follow through. If you change your mind, the seller has lost precious selling time and likely turned down other buyers. It's just rude. Pay right away!  Always mark the transaction as a sale of goods - never mark it as a gift! Yes, marking it as a sale of goods allows PayPal to take out a fee, but if you mark it as a gift you have no recourse should the purchase go bad. Anyone that asks you to mark your transaction as a gift is a) skirting the rules and b) setting you up to lose money.

4. Be reasonable, but follow up.

It can take a few days or a week to ship a diaper that is in stock.  Don't expect overnight turnaround time, but if it's been a month and you haven't heard from the seller, definitely follow up. All sellers should provide you an estimated shipping time on when they can get the diaper out before you even buy - ask if not. Be sure you have a valid email or way to contact the seller outside of the site where the transaction took place, just in case.  Things happen - we've all been there. But if something prevents the seller from sending the diaper out promptly, they should keep you informed.

6. Check your diaper.

First thing, when your diaper arrives, compare it to the pictures and descriptions. Does it meet your expectation? Is it as described? Check all the snaps or aplix, any inserts, inside the pocket, around the outside, etc.   If anything doesn't meet your standards, contact the seller immediately to let them know and see if you can work out a solution.  For example, say you purchased a diaper under the impression that it was EUC, but the elastic is shot and you feel it's no better than GUC? Let the seller know, and propose a solution. Do you want to send it back for a refund? Do you want a partial refund but to keep the diaper?

5. Leave feedback.

Whenever possible, when your diaper arrives and after you've inspected it, leave the seller feedback.  Not all forums allow this (i.e. there's nowhere for feedback on Craigslist), but when the site does, take the time to leave it. It's important for their future transactions and many sellers rely on it for their reputation.  Be totally honest. If there was something you didn't like about the purchase, whether it was long shipping speed, the diaper not being in the expected condition, etc., include that information. Don't be worried about hurting their feelings - you are protecting future buyers.   If something was wrong but the seller rectified the situation, include this in your feedback - for instance, let future sellers know that you disagreed with the listed condition of the diaper, but that the seller was great in working with you to come to an agreeable solution. If you're not satisfied with the solution or it was an issue that has no recourse available (i.e. lack of communication or slow shipping), include this in your feedback.  Again, be honest.  Nothing went wrong? Diaper was perfect? Awesome! Be sure to leave this type of feedback as well.

6. Wash your diaper.

Chances are your diaper is clean and was cared for properly, but it's always good to check. When you get the diaper, smell it. Does it smell clean? Run some water lightly on the diaper. Does it absorb as it should?  If everything smells and absorbs good, just wash it once before using and you're good to go! If anything is questionable, consider stripping the diaper prior to using (see FAQs at the top of the blog for more information on stripping - minus the g-strings and dollar bills!).

7. Use your diaper!

Congrats! You are now the proud owner of a new diaper that you got on the cheap! Enjoy it!

How much can I save by CDing?

There are a variety of cost savings calculators available online.  Most families will save between $1,000 and $2,000 over the course of the child's diapering life.  However, this can vary from person to person and depends on the number of children you have (remember, CDs can be used for more than one kid!), what kind of diapers you get (prefolds + covers versus a stash of all $50 Goodmamas), etc.

Check out a savings calculator for your specific family here!

Friday, March 11, 2011

It's Friday, which means it's Goodmama Day.

If you are visiting the board on a Friday, you might notice that it turns to madness...all surrounding the mysterious acronym "GM." What does GM mean and what is happening on the board??? Check out these posts for all the information you could want!

What's the deal with GMs

Stalking Rules

Stalking a Goodmama Diaper

Having someone on the board stalk a Goodmama diaper for you (or a Twinkie Tush or any other number of popular brands) is a popular sport - and it really is a sport!

Thanks to pixy_stix for putting together these guidelines about stalking for another person:

If you have someone stalking for you, a few rules:
  1. Even if you change your mind and don't want that diaper, you still have to pay for it if you asked people to stalk for you.  If you end up with 4, you have to pay for 4 and find homes for them on your own.
  2. Please pay promptly.  I try to get tallies to everyone immediately after stocking ends.
  3. Remember to add shipping + paypal fees when paying your stalker. (heh, that sounds funny)  I charge a flat $5 that tends to cover all costs.
  4. Before stocking, work out with your stalker on how the item will be shipped (to the stalker first, change the address to you, etc.).  Keep in mind that Goodmama will not change the address, so the diaper *has* to be shipped to the stalker first.

Need help scoring a Goodmama diaper for yourself or someone else? Check out the tips for stalking here (a few questions down the page).

What's the Deal with Goodmama?

**UPDATE** Interestingly enough, much of the "luster" has gone out of this brand. They aren't nearly as collectible and aren't getting the same resale value as they once were. Other brands have taken their place, so the information is still relevant, but you're not nearly as likely to hear about Goodmamas any more. 

This is a question that gets asked ALL the time. They're expensive fitted diapers that require a cover to cover up all those cute prints, right? Well, pretty much. But it's a little more complicated than that.

Thanks so much to pixy_stix for putting together this "Guide to Goodmama"!

NOTE: This is specifically for Goodmama, but most can be applicable to any other "stalked" diaper or product as well. 

Are they really that great?
They're ok. GMs fit some babies better than others, some people like the quality better than others, there's a competitive buy/sell/trade market for them, and all put together that's why there's a craze for them. [That is, just like any other diaper, some people swear by them, some people are "eh" about them, and some people dislike them!]

Other fitteds work just as well, they're just not as popular.

They're fitteds? Why are you buying cute prints if you're going to cover them up? (Several answers!)
Yes, they're fitteds and you will need a cover. However, some people like to let their babies run around coverless to let the butt breathe. Others liken it to the reason why we buy pretty underwear, because we like to.

We use fitteds because they are breathable & absorbent! It doesn't matter if they have prints (like GMs) or if they don't (like the sbish) we would still use fitteds either way. The prints are just fun for me. Also, I figure DD will like them once she gets older - just like my step son likes to wear batman & toy story undies rather than plain white. That's my reasoning for the cute designs! :)

Why are GM fitteds more expensive than other diapers?
Fitteds in general are made entirely of natural fibers, which are more expensive than synthetic fibers. They are also hand made by WAHMs making fair wages. So time and labor are factored into the price. The prices of GMs are higher than other brands because of the high demand for them.

How can you justify spending so much on one diaper?!
Goodmamas (currently) have a high resale value.

How do I know the name of previous prints? How do you guys come up with print names for your GM ISO lists?

When does Goodmama stock?
She stocks every Friday. It’s usually around 11am Mountain time, but not always.

Where does the stocking take place?

Where and when are the previews?
Previews usually happen every Thursday, but not always. They can be found here:

How do I get one on stocking day?
* Go to the website ( and set up an account.
* Before stocking starts, make sure you are logged in to your account.
* Go to the 'diapers' page.
* Use your F5 key or 'refresh' icon on your browser to keep updating the available dipes until the one you want shows with 'add to cart'
* Once added to your cart, check out as fast as you can if paying via credit card or at least get to paypal so it does not get taken from your cart on the goodmama site.

Do I have to check out right away?
Yes. Very very quickly. The diaper is not yours until you have finished paying. If you leave it in your cart and someone else pays before you, you will loose it.

Do I have to pay separate shipping for each?
Yep. There are several cotton velours stocked on the page already. If you want some of those, load up your cart with them first and then when the print you want comes up, check out immediately.

How does it work when one person stalks for another person? Why do people do that?
GMs sell out in literally seconds, and people who have faster internet connections have better luck scoring them. Also, GM stalking happens somewhat unannounced, and sometimes a person has a thing or two to do on a Friday and can't sit around on their computer hitting refresh for hours on end. For these reasons, sometimes, one person will pitch in and stalk for another.

Check out this post for more information on stalking. 

If I have someone stalk for me can gm ship it directly to me? Or does it have to go to the other person first?
Goodmama cannot change shipping addresses. There are a lot of people stalking for eachother. If they let address changes happen, it would be a logistical nightmare. For this reason, you will have to have the mama who stalked for you ship the diaper to you when they recieve it. Be prepared to pay extra to cover the shipping to you and paypal fees so that your "stalker" isn't out money.

How long does it take to get my Goodmama?
4-6 weeks from stocking date. Some “stragglers” (already made diapers from previous stockings) can ship earlier than 4-6 weeks.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

New to Cloth Diapering?

Check out the FAQs at the top of the blog for answers to nearly every question you can come up with! If there are any left unanswered, come ask at the CD board!

If even that is too much, too soon, don't worry!  Check out this great series on YouTube called Cloth Diapering 101.  This will clear things up, I promise!

The first video is below:

Be sure to watch all seven installments for a very thorough introduction to cloth diapering!

Edited to add: We added a second "intro to cloth" video post - check it out here!

The Great Cloth Diaper Change

Have you heard about this yet?

The Great Cloth Diaper Change is an event being held on April 23, 2011 in cities around the world.  It's a Guinness World Record attempt at changing diapers!

For more information, to sign up, or find a location near you, check out these resources:

The Great Cloth Diaper Change website
Facebook group

Why Cloth Diaper?

The Real Diaper Association wrote a great article about the benefits of cloth diapering. Hint: it's not just about money!

Why should I cloth diaper?

Cloth Diaper Reviews

The Bumpies put together a list of their favorite - and least favorite! - brands of cloth diapers. They are reviewed for everything you can think of - trimness, absorbency, ease of use, and more!

Be sure to click the various tabs at the bottom to view reviews for all the different types of cloth diapers.

Cloth Diaper Review Spreadsheet

Have a review to add? Click on the spreadsheet, and add it to the last row of the spreadsheet! Don't worry about formatting or alphabetizing - we will clean it up later! Be sure to add it to the correct tab (click on the bottom of the spreadsheet). We love reviews, even if there are already a dozen for that brand!