Friday, November 15, 2013

Postpartum Mother Roasting

I am now a proud certified Sacred Postpartum Mother Roaster.  I couldn't be more excited, humbled, honored, and grateful that I did this training.  I am a true believer that the postpartum period is forgotten about.  Not only is it the most difficult part about having a baby, it is a true transition.  It really is the "fourth trimester."  So what is a Mother Roaster?

A Mother Roaster SERVES as a caregiver during the postpartum period.
A Mother Roaster SUPPORTS recovery and journeying into motherhood.
A Mother Roaster WELCOMES through gentle and loving care.
A Mother Roaster HEALS through the art of placenta prana (TM).  
A Mother Roaster NOURISHES through the art of conscious cooking
A Mother Roaster WARMS through the art of mother roasting.

It is the job of a Mother Roaster to hold sacred space and assist the momma in her transition. The momma that has just given birth has closed her journey of pregnancy and has begun her journey of motherhood. This applies to first time mommas and experienced mommas. Each child birthed is a different being, and each experience can be different for the momma. The momma needs to acknowledge their journey, embrace it, and explore new emotions. As a Mother Roaster I am there to guide them in this process.
With philosophies integrated from Traditional Chinese Medicine, Mexican, and Malayan beliefs new mommas are surrounded with warmth, support, nourishment, positivity, and love as they cross the threshold from maiden to mother.
​It is believed that, for 9 months, while pregnant a woman is in a state of warmth.  This state is immediately and suddenly changed after birth and the woman is left in an empty, cold, and unbalanced state.  Providing warmth is part of the process to help the woman restore balance and return to her normal state.  This process is slow and happens for the first ~6 weeks postpartum.  It is during this time that a Mother Roaster will vow to honor and serve, supporting the woman for a gentle return to balance.  
Some things that I can now offer include bengkung belly binding to help the abdomen, organs, ribs, and hips shrink back down into their proper place.  I can help hold ceremony to support and celebrate the new momma with relaxing baths and rebozo tuck in (the rebozo is a traditional Mexican long scarf.  It can be used as a garment but also as a tool to aid labor and delivery).  I can provide delicious, healthy, warm soups and teas for the postpartum period prepared with care and love in your home so that you do not have to think about meals for yourself and your family.  I can provide education about the benefits of Placenta Prana (TM) and connect to a practitioner that will meet your needs.  There is so much more to offer new mommas than what has been for so many years.  New mommas need support in physical, mental, and emotional ways.  I vow to serve these needs in whatever way possible to assure that forgotten postpartum periods are a thing of the past.  Let us celebrate from now on!

I will be slowly talking about these services in more detail soon.  This is just a taster...

Can you imagine how much better/smoother the transition into motherhood would have been had there been a Mother Roaster there to serve you?

Visit, learn, and immerse yourself in the movement of all things Sacred started by Anni Daulter here.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Infant Massage

When we had our daughter there was a lot to learn.  Of the two of us, my husband had the most experience with babies.  But that still did not mean we were remotely comfortable with having a baby to hold, comfort, and nourish.  She cried ALL.  THE.  TIME.  We self diagnosed her with colic.
According to Wikipedia colic is defined as a "condition in which an otherwise healthy baby cries or displays symptoms of distress (cramping, moaning, etc.) frequently and for extended periods, without any discernible reason. The condition typically appears within the first month of life and often disappears rather suddenly, before the baby is three to four months old, but can last up to one year."  Further stated, colic can be a "condition of a healthy baby in which it shows periods of intense, unexplained fussing/crying lasting more than 3 hours a day, more than 3 days a week for more than 3 weeks."

Not to say that we did not speak to her doc about her incessant crying.  We did, it just seemed to be something normal since there wasn't much discussion.  The crying would start at about 9 at night and last til about 1 in the morning.  NOTHING helped.  Surinne fit the criteria so colic it was.  Apparently not many others I knew had experienced this effect with their babies.  I was told many things..."just nurse her" was at the top of the list.  The problem with colic is that the baby doesn't want to nurse...they don't want anything in particular.  All the little baby knows is that something is wrong or uncomfortable and in their efforts to communicate to us what exactly that is...THEY CRY!

 To our relief this craziness lasted about 2 1/2 to 3 months and then abruptly stopped (which is when I went back to work, thank God!).  Not sure how many people are actually relieved to go back to work after having a baby, but I was definitely in that small group.

Now during this time, there was much research.  I came across a class online advertised to become a certified educator of infant massage (CEIM)...What an amazing sounding concept!  Infant massage!  As an occupational therapist I was a bit disappointed in myself for not thinking of this, although my specialty is geriatrics so I have never been in the know with anything pediatric related.  I had done some massage with Surinne based off common sense, but nothing formal or concise.  One thing that did help was

 baby wearing, which I thankfully was able to tolerate, and thankfully a friend had gifted us a Moby wrap so it worked well.   

So I was able to take the CEIM course from the International Association of Infant Massage (IAIM) to become a certified educator.  This class was amazing and taught by an international trainer from the IAIM.  Learning about the massage strokes, process, and theory was so wonderful.  I'll just say that there is a specific routine that is done for colic.  I am left to wonder how much this would have helped our baby.  I know for a fact that it would have helped us and truly feel that this is half the battle with colic.  As my husband says if the baby wasn't crying, one of us was crying...

Who knows why I feel pulls to learn what I do, but I know it is something that I had to do, and now will be able to teach others how to cope through what potentially can be very difficult and trying times. 

The future will unfold with group or individual classes to learn how to massage your baby... Yay!  You will meet my massage doll that I use to demonstrate with.

You can see the how classes will be calming for momma/daddy and baby.  

Have you heard of infant massage, and if so did you try it?  Would you be interested in learning another simple way to soothe, calm, and bond with your baby?  

(check out for more information)

Cloth Diapers...All the Good Stuff!

Lets's talk about accessories.  Definitely wish I meant jewelry, bags, and shoes.  But once a baby enters the equation, and you decide to cloth diaper there are a lot more accessories that get added into your life!  There are many different accessories that you can use with cloth diapers, and I'm sure that the info will differ depending on who you talk to.  Accessories can individualize each person's cloth diaper experience so there are a number of answers that can come up when you ask "what other things do you use?"

My husband and I tried out a few different things before we fell into a comfortable routine.  This is our list of MUST HAVES.  It is not all inclusive, and just know that there are new things coming to market everyday.  Also this post mentions poop, FYI...

1) Bioliners by Grovia: my husband calls them "tea bags for the poop."  Literally a necessity for us and our poop machine.  These liners make cleaning up poop soooo much easier!  When you take off the diaper, remove the Bioliner and solid waste and flush.  It's that simple.  Bioliners are made of 100% Ingeo™ PLA fibers, a renewable fiber loosely derived from plant carbons and dextrose sugars.  These liners contain no fragrance, chlorine, or dyes.  They catch the poop yet allow the skin to breathe.  There are many different brands of liners out there that work in the same way.  You can see a photo of the liner on it's own below, and on of how it lays right in the diaper.

2) Cloth diaper safe diaper cream/ointment.  There are many brands out there, but our favorite is Grovia Magic Stick (mainly because of the yummy smell).  Our baby always had some redness, and a few times even broke out in a nasty rash (which I will discuss a little later).  Regular diaper rash creams are not safe for use with cloth diapers.  This is because they are made to repel liquid from the baby's skin to allow for keeping skin dry in order to heal.  When creams get on the cloth fibers they stay there, potentially turning the diapers into non-absorbent repelling diapers.  This scenario would be highly ineffective for obvious reasons.  When you use a cloth diaper safe cream/ointment you can be assured that it will not affect the efficiency of the diaper itself.  It was clearly an obvious choice for us.  I do not have a photo, but again you can visit the Grovia website here for more info.

3) Cloth wipes.  This may not be an obvious choice, but my reasoning was "I'm already washing the diapers so might as well wash wipes too."  Cloth wipes are soft, and I love having them around for other messes too...sauce, ice cream, purple sweet potatoes, dirt, etc...for baby and for momma.  I personally always pre-moisented the wipes every day so that they were always ready.  Again, there are many different brands of wipes (as each diaper company seems to make their own).  We had many different ones and they all worked fine.  We even used a few baby washcloths since we had so many of those.

4) Wet Bags.  You HAVE to keep one of these in your diaper bag so that you can put the dirties somewhere when you are out and about.  There are so many different kinds of wet bags out there.  My favorite of the ones we have has a zipper closure.  This just assures that the mess stays in the bag.  There are also many different sizes of wet bags.  For a day outing you would probably want a medium sized bag, enough to hold 5-6 diapers.  Small bags generally hold 3-4 diapers for shorter outings.  Large wet bags are good for storing dirties at home until you are ready to wash and usually hold between 15-20 diapers and can easily hang on a door to save space.  This will allow you to wash every 2-3 days.  There are even bags that hold your moistened cloth wipes usually 10 or so of them.  Examples are below.  Again, there are many different brands, sizes, and styles.

5) Fleece liners.  Good for those times when you really need Desitin/ButtPaste or whatever heavy duty cream needed.  The cream will get on the liner and not the diaper so it will not be ruined.  No photo, but what I did was buy a yard of fleece fabric from the Walmart clearance bin and cut strips as wide and long as needed for the diapers.  Pretty simple, and no sewing needed.

6) Mini shower sprayer.  Good for spraying poop from the diaper straight into your toilet.  Makes clean up/rinsing easier.  Not much else to say about this.  Again, lots of different brands/styles out there.  Ipm pretty sure that you could even make your own from hardware store parts by googling it or searching Youtube.

7) Spray bottle or peri bottle.  Use this to hold solution to moisten your cloth wipes at the changing table in baby's room.  As I said earlier we used pre-moistened wipes for when we were out/daycare, but at home we just wet what we need at the changing station.

There are so many more accessories out there, but these are the ones we found worked best for us.  What have you found that worked?  Do you have any questions about anything listed?  Let me know in the comments and I'll be happy to address them!

Please know that any mention of particular brands in this post is simply my opinion based on what worked best for us.  There is no, and never will be, compensation for mention of specific items in this blog.  It is simply educational to help other people learn, research, and decide what will help them in their parenting journey.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Toddlerhood Lessons

Surinne is now 2 and 1/2.  She is ever the busy little girl, and definitely keeps us on our exhausted toes!
Being a toddler has is it's advantages for this momma!  As you know I am fully capable of managing a toddler in a much more civilized manner (most of the time) than I am a baby.  So I am still very glad that she is now bigger and, should I say "wiser?"

1) Potty training: This has been a struggle for most of us involved.  Surinne is still scared of most potty's and sometimes even the one at home...but is out of diapers during the day (thank goodness!) and working on being sure she goes right away when she feels the need.  She has resorted to telling anyone in the house "good job!" after they use the potty.  So if you happen to be the unsuspecting subject of her pleasure you will at least get a good laugh!

2) Clothing and Cleaning:  Love having Surinne pick her own clothes!  Being an OT has it's benefits in that supporting the child building their own independence comes pretty naturally for me.  Empowerment comes with choice..."Surinne, do you want this red shirt or this blue shirt?" is an easy example.  This also applies for me in the daily struggle to clean and keep my floor somewhat visible beneath the mountainous pile of toys.  "Surinne, you have to clean up one of these.  Do you want to keep your blocks out, or your puzzle?"  She chose, then we cleaned up the one she didn't want readily while we sang.  I figure at least it's a start!

3) Helping: Surinne loves to help!  (Thank God!)  She understands that when I say we are going to make pancakes/cookies/even wash dishes she will need her stool.  She loves to measure and dump ingredients (everywhere but the bowl), scrub cups (spill water all over the counter), and even "mix, mix" the batter/dough (splashing everywhere)!
Mostly though, I think she just likes to lick the beater...

4) The look: I feel like this really is an advantage...You know what I mean.  THE.  LOOK.  The yeah-right-you-are-crazy-mom look!?!  Of course this elusive face is yet to be captured by my camera, but trust me, I know it well.  Why is this an advantage?  Well it makes me check myself!  Am I trying to get by with a little white lie, as in "No games on the iPad cause momma lost it?"  Or am I trying to trick (oh wait, I mean bribe) Surinne into obeying my commands, "Surinne if you do this, you can have this?"  Either way I need to be sure that I am accountable for what I say.  This means that no means no.  Right away, there is no waiting, no testing.  Just say no, correct/take away the item/dangerous thing being put in mouth, and move on.
This does remind me of the convo I had with the husband a long time ago.  I may have been still pregnant or Surinne may have been just days old.  But it basically went like this.  "I can take care of a baby, no problem!  It's just like training a dog, and I've done that twice!"  Lessons learned in dog training gave me methods on redirection, quick corrections, and what Cesar Milan refers to as "calm, submissive."  Well in my world the things that worked with my dogs were use of a spray bottle, and a loud secondary noise (usually an old soda can filled with coins/pebbles).  As you may suspect we really didn't spray the baby in the face with water (which she actually likes, go figure), and we didn't shake a loud can by her ear.
But being accountable and following through with what I say has been difficult.  We are learning slowly as Surinne has finally remembered the "no hitting" rule yesterday by verbally recalling why she spent time alone in her room.  It's progress.

She really is just a goofs!  What lessons have you learned from your toddler/baby?  I'd love to hear about them.  

Monday, October 14, 2013

Being Toddler

Not much has been going on.  I guess except if you count survival on the list of accomplishments...
I have been wondering what to write due to lack of inspiration.  In my attempt to humor you,  I will fill your mind with this thought, as it is the only one on mine!

Life.  Would.  Be.  So.  Much.  Better.  If.  We.  Could.  All.  Be.  Toddlers.

I have decided that this approach to grownupville would make it all the more tolerable, and easier to get through on a day to day basis.

Observe your toddler and this may be something I hope you realize too.

1)  Want something?  Say it very loudly in a sing songy voice like this: "I want Miiiiilllllkkkk!"  End of discussion.

2)  Get mad?  No worries.  Just push it out, throw it down (or at your neighbor's head), and roar like a tiger.  An alternative would be to be to just tantrum it!  Get on the floor, kick, scream, flail, whatever it takes to feel better, for however long you need.  Stop every few seconds to check to see who is watching, then begin again.  This will add drama.

3) Don't like your co-worker?  It's OK.  Tell them straight to their face in order to get it off your chest.  "I don't WANNA work with you!  Go away!"  Then stick your tongue out at them and stomp away in the other direction.  This will definitely get the point across, then tomorrow you can act like nothing happened.

4)  Don't like your home lunch?  Scream at it, throw it on the ground (or again, at your neighbor), and flail your hands in the air as you start crying.  This will surely get some attention and possibly even a trade for some chocolate chip cookies from a friend just cause they pity you and your momma's poor nutritional choices.  Another option is to just eat someone else's.  Come on!  You know you wanna reach across the table and grab that greasy grimey cheesy pizza concoction that is right over there....

5) Hate cleaning up after yourself?  That's OK.  There is nothing wrong with keeping things out all over the floor.  It's more fun to kick them out of your way as you walk anyway.  Also, how else are you supposed to find your favorite item quickly?

6)  Everything going wrong?  When in doubt of your day, your skills, and your attitude, just hug momma.  Everything will be better in a few short seconds of hugs.

Anything else to add?  This list can go on and on and on....

Monday, June 10, 2013

Cotton Glam Maternity

Cotton Glam Maternity: comfort, ease, style...How much more can you ask for?

When you are pregnant there is nothing worse then being in an uncomfortable, itchy, hot, and binding piece of clothing.  I had a favorite shirt from The Gap that I really liked and would have worn everyday if I could have.  I mention this because I really only had ONE of those items.  ONE out of many pieces of maternity wear that I purchased for my pregnancy.  The absolute most important thing for me with this business was to find more of THOSE pieces.  Pieces that you, as customers, will LOVE and want to wear day in and day out.  I feel that I have found one company that seems to think along the same lines and it's called Cotton Glam Maternity.  They make items to order and I have the opportunity to select the colors.

Let's intro Cotton Glam Maternity in the way that I feel I would fit best.  Soft, comfortable, yet stylish pieces that would last throughout your pregnancy.  The bonus is to FEAR NOT.  The items may resemble your favorite stretchy t-shirt that you love from yoga class, but in actuality they are beautiful, stylish pieces that can take you from board room to grocery store.

I am only beginning to delve into their full line.  I have brought in the ONE piece that I feel will fulfill my requirements of economical, comfortable, and versatile.  This pencil skirt is sure to deliver because it is REVERSIBLE!

This skirt would have been a HUGE staple in my pregnancy wardrobe!  It is made of super soft modal/spandex.  It is side ruched to provide for your growing belly, and it beautifully follows those new found curves!  It is black on one side and navy/white stripe on the other. (Shown with an Old Navy tank).

Side ruching for adjustability as baby grows and to accentuate that belly!
This skirt retails for $60.00 which may seem high, but you get two skirts in one.  Can't go wrong with that!  For sale inquiries email

What other super soft comfy items would you want to see?

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Cloth diapers: the fancy, the practical, and the snaps!

Continuing on in the discussion of cloth diapers I feel the need to explain a little bit more of the details that may get you wondering "WHAT?!"  This is just to inform you and keep you in the know to understand some of the options out there.

DUAL LEG GUSSETS:  There are brands out there that swear by this built-in "leak dam."  This is basically an extra row of protection sewn right into the diaper that goes around baby's thighs.  I can't say too much else about this style.  Here are a few examples.

APLIX®:  This is a type of velcro.  Hooks on one side, and on the other side loops.  It is popular in cloth diaper manufacturing due to it's soft feel, but yet strong hold.  Also good for high use fasteners (  This type of closure usually has convenient laundry tabs.  As you can see below this is a tab to be sure to conceal the hooks of the Aplix® so that it does not stick to other items of clothing while washing (which will happen so this is a great feature to look for).
Aplix® is a popular choice as it is very quick to fasten.  My experience lead me to these cons.  Aplix® is easy for baby to remove once they are able, and in time it does wear out causing some of the fasteners to not hold very well.

SNAP: Just as simple as it seems.  Snap closure diapers are held onto the baby with snap buttons.  These are also a popular choice for strength of closure, long lasting wear.  There are many different options for snap fastening.  Some diaper brands use only one row of snaps at the waist  In the photo below you will see a two row snap closure.  This is popular as you can adjust the leg, or bottom, separately from the waist if needed to get a snug fit.  This is what I am resorted to doing with my thunder thigh baby!  Some may think that having to line up one extra button is too much time, but it is worth it in the end to get that snug fit and NO LEAKS! 

Again, this is not an exclusive list.  These diapers are just what I have available in my stash for photos, and can speak for from experience.

Up next...accessories!  Do you have a favorite cloth diaper accessory "must have?"

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Toddler Tantrums

It has been a while since I posted something personal about our Surinne.  She is officially 2 years old and I couldn't be happier.  Every minute means something even more is about to happen, be learned, or discovered. The wonder of toddler-hood is definitely not ceasing.

My personal fave moments have come to be the tantrums!  Early on, I reported that my favorite baby face is the "angry face," and that still rings true.  Nothing much has summed up pure of-the-moment emotion than "angry face!"  I think toddler-hood sums up how we as adults really want to act, but cannot.  Unfortunately we have to be adults: all responsible, presentable, professional, and crap.  Now that toddler-hood has entered "angry face" has gotten even more entertaining!  Surinne is learning that she has choices, desires, and disappointments!
Minnie Mouse over: tantrum; Wait inside while momma feeds the dogs: tantrum; "Can you go poo poo potty?" "NO!": tantrum; Not wanting to put on shoes when momma asks: tantrum; Putting on shoes  when momma says no: tantrum; Wanting to eat cheese instead of peanut butter sandwich: tantrum; "Do you want bread?" "YES!" and then when momma gives the bread: tantrum; No more crackers: tantrum; "I don't want that!": tantrum; "Mine!": tantrum; Time out: tantrum.  This list can go on and on...
Luckily, I captured one of the worst tantrum moments on video the other day!  A tragedy occured when I showed up early to pick Surinne up from day care.  The kiddos were watching a movie and the snack of the moment was POPCORN!  Who doesn't love POPCORN?  I for one could eat popcorn all day.  Apparently so can Surinne!  I know my sitter found this moment hilarious.  She is witness to Surinne's tantrum shenanigans on a regular basis.  Now you can be too!

Do you enjoy your child's "angry face?'

Friday, April 5, 2013

The WHAT About Cloth Diapers?

 So we have spoken about what cloth diapers are really made of.  Now it's time to really get down to it and explain what these things really are.
Here's the lingo....AIO, AI2, hybrid, pocket, trifold/prefold, cover just to name a few!
So what does all this really mean?
Well, lucky for you, you are reading this blog.  You have obviously done some research, thinking, and maybe even some talking about the possibility of using or switching to cloth diapers, otherwise I don't think you would be interested in what I have to say.  I have to admit...I am not an expert.  I am just a parent who has experienced the highs and definite lows of learning about, and using, cloth diapers.  I will admit that it is a confusing, frustrating, and often times, draining journey.
Let's start with my most favorite/used types of diapers and then go from there.

AIO: This stands for All In One.  This type of diaper is changed in the same way as a disposable. The whole diaper comes off, and you put a whole new one on the baby.  All In One means that the absorbent soaker pad is attached and sewn in and usually comes with an extra booster for heavy wetting/naps that you can either lay on top or snap onto the bottom of the attached pad. This is a very popular style of diaper as many people say it is very daddy, grandparent, and day care friendly.  These are very easy to use, fast, and usually not very bulky.  If you read my last post "Navigating the Cloth Diaper World," you will be able to know that most AIO's are made with cotton knit, bamboo velour, or polyester fleece.  The photo below shows an example of a cotton knit style with extra soaker pad snapped in place.  You can see how this sample looks on my baby model and snaps closed on the sides.

AI2: AI2, or All-in-2 diaper, is another popular option because it is pretty easy and a little more economical than the AIO.  Again there are many different styles/brands out there, but essentially the inserts are usually snapped in place inside the cover.  The theory is that when the baby is needing to be changed, unsnap the soiled insert and then snap in a clean one into the same cover.  The cover can be used a few times before needing to be changed (unless it is really soiled with poop/pee).  Very easy to use, however keep in mind that inserts are usually brand specific.  This means that not all inserts will snap into all covers.  These snap-in inserts are usually made of cotton knit, hemp, bamboo, and polyester or cotton fleece.  The photo below shows an example of a cotton insert.

HYBRID: This diaper is exactly what the name implies.  This is a part cloth/part disposable diaper system.  The insert that gets put inside the diaper is disposable/biodegradable and is typically held in place with an adhesive.  Every brand of this style of diaper typically sells their own disposable insert.  You may ask yourself, "If you are using cloth diapers why have a disposable insert?"  Well each person is different in their rationale, but my main reasonings are these...diarrhea, travel or long day outings, beach.  Of course I'll admit that it is also a good idea just in case you run out of clean diapers (yes, this really happens), or are too lazy or sick yourself to deal with cloth (yes, this happens too)!  The disposable option is just option.  You can always just use the cloth insert.  Disposable inserts are not necessary, and keep in mind that these are sold separately (and also brand specific) so it is an extra purchase!  The photo below shows what this looks like.

POCKET: This style of diaper is another very popular option for ease of use.  Again the whole diaper is removed during changing, and a new one is put on.  The term "pocket" is used because the diaper has a pocket that you insert the absorbent pad into.  These diapers usually come with a couple of absorbent inserts so you can boost absorbency as needed for your baby, or for longer periods of wear (naps or overnight).  The absorbent inserts for pocket diapers are typically made of microfiber fleece.  This style of diaper is also typically made of polyester fleece so that the baby will not "feel" the wetness upon urination.  The picture below shows an example of this style of diaper.

TRIFOLD/PREFOLD:  This style of diaper is popular for it's economic value.  I refer to this style as "old school" cloth diapers.  As you can see below the trifold/prefold is simply folded and put inside of a diaper cover.  Once this is done you simply put baby on the diaper, bring up the front, and secure it closed.  The economic value of this system is that trifolds/prefolds are typically only $1-$5 a piece.  If you are using a good cover, you will be able to take out the soiled fabric and replace it with a fresh one.  In essence, you will not need to purchase as many covers as you would diapers.  In the photo, you can see how the trifolds/prefolds work.  This choice of system definitely takes a little more getting used to handling and probably a little more explaining for the other caregivers in your baby's life as it is not as easy to put on as the above options (I can attest to this first hand, especially with a mobile toddler)!

COVERS: Covers are simply that.  They are made of PUL so that they are waterproof and hold in the wetness/mess when the insert is soiled.  A lot of covers are made so that they can be wiped clean between changes if needed.  There are many types/brands of covers, but the thing to keep in mind is that they can be relatively cheap.  I have seen covers from approximately $10-$17+.  It really depends on what you want. Economical covers are usually very thin and plain colored.  The fancier the PUL fabric, the more money you will end up spending.  In the photos below you will see a few different types of covers that I own.  They all basically work the same way.  Usually the recommendation is that the cover can be reused 2-3 times before needing to be replaced.  Two types of covers that I use are shown below.

There is more to come on this subject!  One thing you do not realize once you start using cloth diapers is how much you want to talk about them!  Let me know if you have any specific cloth related questions...Are you enjoying the info?

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Navigating the Cloth Diaper World

What does all of it mean?
If you are asking yourself this question and trying to figure out if you are understanding the cloth diaper information out there, then you are in the right place.  I know first hand how overwhelming, confusing, and difficult learning about cloth diapering can be!  This post will be the first in a series of helping you to understand what you really want to know.

First up: What are cloth diapers made of?

Excuse any staining you may notice...these are all well loved diapers.  At least you get the real picture! haha....

PUL: (what?!).  This stands for polyurethane laminate.  Wikipedia states that PUL is a compound fabric made by laminating a cloth fabric, usually a polyester interlock fabric, to a thin film of polyurethane (  In essence, this lamination creates a waterproof barrier to keep the "mess" in.  You can see an example of the shiny inside of the PUL in the above photo, and outside (the part of the diaper that you see when it is on the baby) in the bottom photo.  

Microfiber fleece: (say again?) This is the fabric that is typically used as inserts inside pocket diapers.  Microfiber is very absorbent and can hold up to eight times it's weight in water, is very strong, and soft.  In my research on wikipedia, I learned that in order for microfiber to be absorbent the fibers need to be split.  If they are not split they will not absorb.  This is the difference between the microfiber covering your couch and the microfiber in the photo below.  The couch fabric will repel liquid (hence the popularity with moms to protect furniture!) and is easily wiped clean.  It is important to know that microfiber is a synthetic product made from polyesters, polymides such as nylon or kevlar, and propylene.  Of even more importance in cloth diaper usage, microfiber inserts should NOT be placed against baby's skin because of their highly effective absorbency.  They will actually absorb the natural oils in the skin and cause rashes.  This is why they are stuffed into the diaper's pocket beneath the polyester fleece (see below).  For more information please visit

Polyester Fleece: (huh?) This is frequently what the top layer of the inside of cloth diapers are made out of.  It sits next to the baby's skin.  This fabric is commonly used because the moister from the urine will be whisked away into the absorbent layer beneath and the baby will not "feel" that the diaper is wet.  It is also a very soft feeling fabric.  This is the same fabric commonly used in outerwear jackets.
Polyester fleece is a manufactured product, and the process to make it is quite extensive.  Of note to me when I was researching cloth diapers is that this product is made out of reacting two derivatives of petroleum (ethylene glycol and terephthalic acid).  This is not to say that polyester is a bad fabric.  I was definitely just wanting to stick to more natural fibers.  I also do not personally enjoy the feeling of polyester fabric next to my skin when I wear it.  Below is an example of a polyester fleece lined diaper.  To read more facts about polyester and how it is made please visit:

Cotton:  In diapers, cotton is used in two forms, knit and woven.  Cotton knit is used in many types of diapers and also as an added absorbent pad.  Cotton knit is what your typical t-shirts are made out of and can come in an organic format.  Woven cotton is basically just like your bedsheets.  In either application the fabric is layered on each other and sewn together to provide for absorbency.  Woven cotten comes in many varieties: bleached, unbleached, combed, flannel.  There are tons of options out there and it all depends on what you want.  Cotton is a popular choice for many parents wanting to stick to all natural products against baby's skin.  This was my case since I knew that a polyester application, as mentioned above, is a synthetic option.  It is also important to note that since there is no polyester fleece over the cotton (in most types of cotton diapers) the moisture from urine is not whisked away.  This means that the baby will be able to "feel" the wetness more, and it is said that this is a good reason for early potty training when using cloth diapers.
The top photo below is an example of a cotton knit fabric, and the bottom photo is an example of woven cotton fabric.

Bamboo: Another popular natural fabric option.  Many diapers may use a combination of bamboo/cotton.  Bamboo is a stronger more durable fabric and more absorbent than cotton; it is naturally anti-bacterial and anti-fungal; bamboo is also hypoallergenic.  These fun facts are excerpted from
As you can see from the photo below the texture is similar to at towel.  Bamboo fabric will also let the baby "feel" wetness.

Hemp: Hemp comes in many forms as well: fleece, french terry, knit jersey, etc.  When used as fabric hemp is typically mixed with cotton fibers in order to soften the feel of it.  Hemp is a popular choice for cloth diapers in that the fibers are three times stronger and are more absorbent than cotton.  (, and
The photo is an example of a hemp insert/doubler.

There may well be other fabrics used out there, and I do not intend for this list to be exclusive.  I am just here to help.  What other questions do you have about cloth diapers?  Is there anything in particular you want me to cover?  Let me know.  In the meantime I will gather my thoughts to keep educating.