Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Custom Made Wool Covers

With a newborn, diaper sizing can be difficult.  Sometime, PUL covers are too wide, too long, too anything that makes the diaper a pain to use.  I have loved using fitted cloth diapers, made of hemp, under a nice cozy wool cover. 

The up side of this system is 2-3 wool covers work just fine.  I have around 15 fitted cloth diapers to go with the covers.  This lasts about a day and half.  When I wash just the hemp fitted diapers, I can dry them faster on high heat, or drip dry them.  The wool covers need to be washed in their own load, by hand or the gentlest cycle in the washer.  Use wool specific soap to make sure they stay waterproof.  It is the lanolin in the wool that makes these covers work.  One needs to air dry the covers, but they dry pretty fast.  I would say have that 3rd cover on hand just to make sure one has a dry cover while washing the other two.

These covers do not leak, but eventually feel damp if the diaper under it gets really really wet.  Usually the baby is screaming for a diaper change before this point.  I do not use these once baby is around 3 months old because I prefer AIO diapers once baby is big enough to fit in them comfortably.  I would assume more frequent diaper changes would be needed on a bigger child with these covers.

Overall, I love these covers.  They seem like a gentle intro to cloth option for baby and mommy.  They go on like a pair of pants, in a warm enough season, these are great with just a shirt, for fast diaper changes.  Plus, since wool is breathable, I have had no rashes with this option.

If you are interested in a wool cover, contact me on my FB or Etsy page. or

I custom make these to order and I knit them by hand so it takes up to two weeks for me to make two of these, longer when I need to order supplies.  I can make stripes or solid color diapers.  This is knit with Rowan 100% wool.

Monday, March 4, 2013

New Washing Machine

I lived in the same house with the same washing machine for 6 1/2 years and just last week my family and I moved to a new house.  The washing machine is the same brand and a slightly newer version of what I used to have, but I am missing some of the old features like the soak cycle and an optional extra drain and spin. 

In my reading of different ways to add a soak cycle I have learned to wait until the machine fills up with water and simply stop it for 30 minutes or so to soak cloth diapers.  I tried this today and it seemed to work well.  Then I added the soap and went back to the hot wash and cold rinse cycle.  I attempted to also add another drain and spin, but this backfired as it seemed to add more water to the load and I ended up with some super wet diapers to dry.  It took forever to get the diapers damp enough to line dry overnight.  I should have skipped this step. 

My lesson to myself...all washers are different.  I feel like I am learning to wash my cloth diapers all over again.  Do not get discouraged if you find it takes you some time to strike a balance in your cloth diaper washing routine.  I know I have not found our new balance yet and I have been cloth diapering for 4 years now. 

Friday, January 25, 2013

Cloth Diaper Sizes

When I first began cloth diapering, I bought only bought diapers that I could a adjust to multiple sizes.  This was handy because I was not sure if my two year old or even my three year old would be fully potty trained by the time baby number three would arrive.  I used Fuzzi Bunz one size cloth diapers, where one adjusts the diaper with the elastic inside the diaper.  The benefits to this kind of diaper were there were several size settings, leg holes could be snug, and I was able to fit them on an eight pound baby and my three year old.  However, the down side is these diapers don't last for years and years.  At least mine did not.  When one buys diapers for different sizes of babies there are more diapers being used for a shorter amount of time.  I know people who have used their Fuzzi Bunz for six different kids.  I had other problems with the Fuzzi Bunz, not related to them wearing out, but if you buy a diaper to fit you child for two plus years, you cannot realistically plan on making work for the next baby.  My Flip diapers were great for one child, but pretty trashed by the end of two years.

I started to make diapers sized to fit my baby.  For me this made sense because I did not want to invest in a snap press right away and I could make so many more diapers and still spend less money than buying 20-24 one size cloth diapers.  I used old clothing for the material in some of my diapers, and bought nice fabrics for others.  Old prefolds became AIO diapers.  It is nice to not have to change the length of the diaper elastic or snap diapers to be the right size and shape, even though it is not hard to change diaper settings. 

For RubyRumps, I decided to make three sizes of diapers.  People don't always want to start cloth diapers the second a baby is born.  Sometime one wants to start around 6 months old.  Most of the cloth diaper size changes happen in the first six months where baby is doubling his or her birth weight.  Then I have noticed on my own children I can get to size L cloth diaper, but then once baby is seriously crawling and then walking, a size M may fit again.  I would say that my youngest daughter is in size L or M at this point because I like the fact that the L has a bit more coverage, but she fits nicely into a M too.  She's around 16 pounds, maybe 17 by now, so she is on the small and slim side for a one year old.  My two year old fits into a size L more perfectly.  I can even get my skinny three year old into a size L diaper.  For special requests I may make a larger diapers, but size L works for a lot of different weights and shapes.

Recently I gave in and started to make some size newborn cloth diapers.  I have cloth diapered a newborn and these diapers last two to three months depending on babies birth weight.  They look so cute and it is nice to have a perfect fitting cloth diapers for baby the first day.  It can get a bit expensive to buy tons of cloth diapers for a newborn, but one can also consider part time cloth diapering.  Newborns get through so many diapers it is nice to have some cloth ones.  Also, most one size diapers will not fit on a newborn baby.  They work well for eight pounds and up.  Most of my babies have been in the five to six pound range.  I have never tried to put a one size diaper on them, but even a newborn paper diapers has been too big for some of my babies. 

Sizing diapers can be confusing and frustrating, but really think about it like this: Size small is similar to a 1 or 2 size paper diapers, Size medium is a 3, Size large is a 4 or 5 paper diapers, and upon special request my newborn diapers are about the same size as a newborn paper diaper. 

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Where to Buy RubyRumps

After about three months of figuring out how to sell RubyRumps I have focused on selling them three different ways.  My first focus is selling local.  There are so many cloth diaper brands and companies out there, that it is difficult to expect to match up with some of the leading names.  However, there are a couple of things very important to me:  I want to be able to know where my diapers are made and I would like to be able to buy them from a local business.  Quality materials are also a must.

Since downtown Port Townsend is not filled with families and strollers, there are not tons of different places to buy baby items, just a handful.  Of that handful of places a smaller amount sell handmade things.  I decided I wanted to sell my cloth diapers at Seams to Last because there is a focus on local made baby clothing.  These items are quite beautiful indeed and I am proud to get to sell my stuff there too.  Seams to Last is located near the ferry dock, near The Public House.  My mom has bought my kids some gifts from this store and it is a fun place to look around. 

As I started to set up shop, friends of mine also asked about ordering RubyRumps who do not live in town.  It has taken me some time to get an Etsy website together, but now those people can buy from Etsy.  I also set up a Facebook page for updates and cloth diaper tips.  One can contact me about buying diapers on this page as well. 

Custom orders of 6 diapers or more will take at least two weeks.  Less than 6 diapers takes about one week.  If I happen to have what you want made, I can ship it within one to two business days. 

Diapers at Seams to Last

Custom Order

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Cloth Diaper Extras

So you have your diapers and you might be thinking, what else do I need to make cloth diapering work for me.  I learned some things the hard way, so let me give you some ideas that actually work.  Do not put your cloth diapers in a plastic pail.  I used an old Diaper Genie because I did not have the money to buy a wet bag right away.  This makes your pail and cloth diapers seriously smelly!  Instead, try to buy one wet bag.  If this won't work I have read that one can turn and old wool sweater into a wet bag.  Things like old fleece blankets will also work.  The best thing to do if money is not a problem is the buy two large wet bags and one small one for the diaper bag.  I love hanging diaper pails, so I am working on my own design to start selling these.  For the diaper bag a drawstring or zipper work well. 

Cloth wipes seem crazy at first.  For one thing, the price for about ten wipes was close to fifteen dollars and I could not imagine only needing ten in one day.  I wanted something like forty around.  Maybe twenty five would do.  I found and old flannel sheet and cut it up using an actual Pampers wipe for the sizing.  I used a zigzag cut so I would not have to sew them all.  Then I looked up wipe solutions ideas on the internet and found one can add a drop of baby soap to water and put wipes in a box of some kind to use and then wash with the diapers on laundry day.  I kept up with this for a few weeks, but then I got sick of it and bought wipes.  It would be easier to have wet wipes around for car trips and much more.  Then I learned about having some kind of wipe solution in a spray bottle.  One can travel with dry wipes and have nice smelling water around to use during diaper changes.  Everything can go in the wash this time.  I admit, I still like having just wet wipes in my diaper bag, but this system does work well.  Plus, cloth wipes are stronger than wet wipes.  Also, the wipes one buys are often two sided and one only need one to two wipes for a messy diaper.

Boosters, diaper liners, and all that stuff can make very little sense to a new cloth diaper person.  I had a friend who showed me a pocket diaper.  She stuffed it with two inserts, then placed a liner one could flush down the toilet on top.  It sounds simple, but I remember thinking, this is so much work for each diaper change.  I had two kids in diapers at the time.  All these extra work for different needs, but on does not need them at first.  Start simple and if you notice, my baby is soaked, consider a hemp booster.  When baby starts eating solid food, maybe having a liner to flush down the toilet will be less stressful than trying to get solid waste off the diaper. 

Cloth diapering can be just as easy as regular diapering.  Yes, one needs to add in some more laundry.  Poop does not just disappear.  However, if one makes a cloth diaper washing schedule, there are always diapers around.  Husbands will not find themselves driving to the store at 10 PM because all the diapers are gone.  I have enjoyed picking out my diapers and learning to make my own.  Let's face it, diaper changes a never super fun, but they aren't that difficult either. 

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

AIO or Fitted Diapers With Covers?

There are so many different kinds of cloth diapers around.  One hears about all in ones, two in ones, prefolds, flats, and diapers that are cute and leak without a cover.  Most people don't want to try out every system to figure it all out.  I would not have tried everything I could think of if I had only had a few kids, but I have had up to three kids in diapers at the same time and one needs to find the diapers that work best for this situation.

The AIO diaper is super easy.  If I did not want to stuff diapers, then this is a good system.  You put the diaper on and you are ready to go.  With an older baby, getting solid waste of these diapers is not super fun, but most of the time one can shake it into the potty and be done.  I sometime use a liner made of hemp so it soaks up more liquid and I can just take that and shake solid waste into the potty.  I know one can buy liners that flush down the toilet, but I have not found much data on if that works well with a septic, plus it is added cost.  Why would one not like AIO cloth diapers?  They take more time to dry.  That is the main difference for us.  I gave into the dryer time because my husband I have so many diapers to change it is nice for everything to be ready to go.

The cover and fitted diaper combination is another favorite of mine.  I love this system because the fitted diaper has elastic and so does the cover, so the chances of a mess are rare.  Even with an infant I did not have blowouts.  These diapers can be dried a bit faster on high heat and one does not need a cover for each diaper.  I have made it with two to four covers using this system.  The down side, you have an extra set of Velcro or snaps to deal with.  This is not that big of deal of course.  Also, if one wants to use a ruffle cover it could last longer than one diaper cover.  I loved using ruffle diapers under my baby girl's dresses.  Sometimes they even matched.

I am not making pocket diapers because I myself got sick of stuffing diapers, but this system can work like the fitted and covers, only one needs a cover for every insert.  One can use extra inserts for a baby that gets too wet.  Prefolds also work as inserts.  It can work well for many families.  I would rather lay a booster in an AIO or a fitted diaper for long car trips and nights.

If I ever find time to knit, I would like to make some wool covers.  These were great with an infant because they kept my baby very dry and the fit was perfect.  Some PUL covers are too bulky with a tiny baby.  One can also make covers out of old wool sweaters.  I have seen some really cute wool covers on different websites.

Really, the best system is up to the buyer.  The cheapest way to cloth diaper is to buy 2-4 covers and 12-24 prefolds and the system that requires little work is the AIO cloth diaper system.  

Thursday, October 11, 2012

How To Wash RubyRumps

Why not just wash the diapers the way one washes everything else?  I suppose one could look at diaper washing this way, but the life of the diapers might be shortened along with the absorbency.  Since diapers, unlike clothing, are holding in liquid and solids, it is good to take good care of them.

Never use detergent with dyes or perfumes.  Bleach will take away strength from the cloth fibers.  Don't use rash creams that are not cloth diaper approved because oils and creams can coat diapers causing them to leak.  These are just a few things to think about.

Picking out a soap for cloth diapers is easy.  It may seem like a hassle to consider buying laundry soap over the internet, so if you just want to buy something from the grocery store when you are out shopping, consider Tide free and clear.  This is the basic go to soap I see recommended for cloth diapers.  I have been using Allen's Naturally for a few years now and I also started using The Honest Company laundry soap on my diapers.  Both of these soaps have worked great.  For a special treat I have bought Rockin Green soap because it smells amazing, can strip the diapers of odors, and has different mixes depending on what type of water one is dealing with.  I live somewhere with hard water and found hard rock soap to be great for my diapers.  There are many brands of cloth diaper soaps.  Try to pick something that is simple.  I am only giving a few suggestions.

I usually put my diapers on a cold soak cycle before washing them.  This gets rid of everything on the diapers.  Then I add soap and put my diapers on a hot wash/ cold rinse cycle.  Often it is worth it to rinse the diapers again.  If there are any bubble in the wash, rinse again.  Diapers are absorbent and too much soap can lead to rashes.  If there are always bubbles use a little less soap.  Then to making drying take a little less time consider an extra spin cycle to get rid of excess moisture.  Don't expect diapers to dry super fast unless you live somewhere hot and dry.  In WA I have left my diapers out to drip dry all night and they are still wet.  I takes me about 2 hours to dry my diapers on medium heat.

If you buy AIO (all in one) diapers, one cannot dry the diapers on high heat.  If you buy fitted diapers and covers one can dry the diapers on high heat and then add the covers in at the end for about 15 minutes on medium heat.  High heat will eventually damage the PUL on the diaper (with PUL attached) or diaper cover.

When one first purchase AIO diapers or Fitted diapers, wash 3-5 times to make sure diapers are most absorbent.  Hemp/Cotton, will shrink a little bit, but should not change the size of your diapers much. 

If your diapers start to smell, then it is time to strip them.  One can use Rockin Green soap (they have instructions) or consider oxygen bleach in the soak cycle.  One can soak diapers for a few hours.  Try not to soak AIO diapers too long though. 

Stains are part of a diaper's life.  One can put diapers out in the sun right after washing them to try and get rid of stains.  Some people even add a little lemon water.  With hemp/cotton, stains will absorb into the fabric a bit more than with fleece.  

When baby is not eating solid food, on can just wash the diapers, but once the poop is mixed with food, put in the the toilet.  Get a diaper sprayer or just scrape it into the toilet. 

Remember, diapers are in investment and worth taking good care of.  Good luck.