Friday, November 18, 2011

So Many Options!

There are so many options out there when it comes to diapering your baby!  I'm hoping to demystify that a little for you. . . when it comes to what you can use under wool anyway.

First lets discuss absorbent diapers that can be used with wool.  Really, anything can be used. 

Disposable Diapers with Wool? 

Maybe you're strictly a disposable diapering parent.  Or possibly daycare doesn't accept cloth but you're tired of the excess amount of blowouts that seem to happen with newborns in disposables.  Just slide those wool pants over their 'sposie and they'll be the most fashionable tot around!  This is a great fashion statement as well as an extra insurance policy against messes.

Most thrifty and trim option?

Flats baby!  With some 'tricky-looking' (but EASY to learn) folding techniques, you can save TONS on your diaper stash.  I don't know of any day care centers that will play with those, but they are an option for home use!  If I was able to start all over, I"d go with all flat diapers and only use fitteds when we're away from home, having a sitter etc.  They are wonderfully absorbent as well.  For over-night simply lay two flats out before folding, and as they get older add a doubler over night as well!  Hemp or Bamboo are said to be wonderful for flats!  Use a snappi, diaper pins or a boingo to fasten.  Toss on a soaker and let that wiggle worm free.  Yes, it is possible to put a flat on a newborn, but if you're scared of pinning baby (don't be. . . just put your fingers between diaper and baby!) I'd suggest the snappi or boingo.

What about just a little easier?

Prefolds all the way!  Prefolds still require some folding, but not as much.  They're just as absorbent but take more time in the dryer, as they've been pre-folded and have more layers throughout.  This also uses a snappi, boingo or pins to fasten.  They even come in many sizes.  Newborn (I only suggest this for preemies smaller than 6 lbs), small/baby, toddler/premium and capri.  Many people like the capri size on a larger baby/toddler, but I prefer the premium or toddler size.  It's just  a little longer and seems to be easier to manipulate where the most absorption is!  I suggest getting the small/baby size the the toddler/premium size.  I still can fit the baby size on my youngest at 20+ lbs though it's not very absorbent.

How about the most convenient choice of all?

Well, really that's up for debate.  Flats take much less time, energy and effort in washing.  You can even hand wash with little effort and line dry if you want or don't have access to a washer/dryer.  Fitteds on the other hand should be washed in the washer or you'll really need to put in some major effort in scrubbing due to the many layers.  They also take longer to dry.  However, they work just like a disposable.  Snap or velcro on and off, toss in the washer.  However, it's crucial that you use a cover if you want to protect outer clothing or stop leaks.  There are also contour diapers, which are a blend of the prefold and fitted. They are shaped like a fitted but often do not have any elastic and do require a fastener of some sort.  I really love fitteds for their ease of use and the looks I get from moms who think cloth diapers only consist of big flat squares and huge scary pins. 

What about All in Ones or pockets?

I've known people who've bought a big stash of all in ones or pockets only to find out that they leak.  Instead of buying a whole new stash, toss a wool soaker over the diaper!  Since the wool isn't getting saturated it wont even need to be washed as often and likely you could get away with only one or two covers. 


Wool is great overnight!  Bear in mind that when a urine soaked cloth diaper is sitting over night, it's going to smell pretty bad in the morning.  I"m telling you that my boys morning diapers will burn the nose hair off you!  Wool helps with that a little, but isn't perfect.  It is the best option for ammonia filled diapers in my opinion.  First you need to make sure the diaper you're putting on baby is highly absorbent.  Preferably more absorbent than they need on a nightly basis.  You may need to add a doubler or extra layers etc.  Then choose a THICK wool cover to go over it.  I actually suggest purchasing a custom order from me for an overnight diaper to ensure that it's thick enough.  In the winter I suggest longies so you don't have to put so many layers on baby to keep her warm.  Give it a few nights before changing up the diaper or amount of absorbency.  You may find that your kiddo is wetting through every night, so bump up the diaper a bit.  If the outer of the cloth diaper is bone dry, then consider taking the doubler out to see what happens.  If you'd like to know the truth, I use a disposable at night.  I know. .  bad advertising here, huh?  I don't want you guys to think there's anything wrong with feeling like giving up. . . you're not really giving up if you use a disposable at night.  You're also not harming your baby any at all.  As far as the brand I use. . . it's what ever is cheapest, whether it's by a sale or it's the store brand.  I've never purchased an 'organic' or 'bio-degradable' diaper ever. 

Well, that's it for now.  I really need to go spend some time with my boys, they've had a rough morning!

I hope you can see that really, anything can work with wool, so pick what's best for you!  I highly suggest a combination of flats and fitteds.

Next week I"ll talk about the choices you have in wool covers!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

What Woolies to Wear?

As I looked outside today at all the wet ground, I wasn't stumped about what woolies to put on my youngest son, in case he should want to run out side and grab the snowy weather by it's slushy grey wings.  Then again, many people seem to have questions on this area. 


In general, if my kids are playing outside, I tend to put pants or shorts over a soaker.  This keeps my woolie free of debris.  Most of the time that is.  I can't always help it if they're at Grandma's or friends come over and they want to go out RIGHT NOW.  And that's ok.  It never hurts to wash a little extra.  If we're camping I leave my nice woolies at home and use good ol' PUL!  With flats.  Easy washing, so you have no stinky diaper bag in the car on the way home.

Wet or Cold Weather

In wet or super cold weather it's very easy to just toss snow pants on over longies.  Just make sure that you tuck the longies into the snow pants to keep them away from wet weather.  Then make sure cuffs of snow pants are tucked safely inside snow boots to keep toes warm.  Tall rubber boots are a great option for warm rainy days, but I"d put them on over thick jeans, which would of course be layered over a soaker.

On the Run

If you're running errands all day long, pack an extra pair of woolies if you tend to change less often than when you stay home.  I pack 1 fitted diaper for every 1 1/2 hours I will be gone.  This is a little much, I know.  You never know when you're little one will pick a moment to explode.  You also never know when you'll be stuck somewhere longer than you'd planned.  (Says the girl who, on Christmas morning was stuck in a snow drift for what seemed like hours while prego with Lil' Gee while Dizzy was pretty little.  That was not my fault.)  If I'm going to be packing more than 6 diapers I plan on leaving a stash of 2-3 in my bag to carry in, and the rest in the car.  If needed I'll keep a large wet bag in the car to empty my smaller one that's attached to my bag.  With this system a cloth only mom could technically just carry a purse with 1 diaper and small wetbag (with a pocket for wipes of course).  As far as what wool to put on them?  Depends on the weather:)  Use your best judgement.  On the most humid of days or the wettest, put shorts, jeans, sweats or fleece (my favorite for cool wet weather, as it also has some water repelling qualities) over the soaker. 

Going away for the weekend? 

On short trips going all cloth is easy and doable!  Just find the system that works for you!  Really!!  For me, and I will be traveling soon enough to do it, that would be longies (bcs it's cold!) and fitteds.  I"ll have to have some prefolds unless I want to be up until midnight sewing.  Trying to travel light, saving space for souvenirs or flying?  I'd suggest weighing the cost/convenience of packing all those space hogging diapers.  You may find using 'sposies would be a better option for you.  Don't feel guilty about it, just do it. Keep in mind you probably wont need to wash your woolies, but do grab an extra one or two just in case something disasterous happens.  Pack a woolie refreshing lanolin spray, such as available from CJ's all natural.  In a pinch you can do a quick rinse and spray to help keep your woolies presentable.  As far as the cloth itself goes?  Make sure you'll be able to wash where you're at.  We'll be visiting relatives this month or next and I plan on checking first to make sure they wont mind me washing diapers in their home.  I"m not willing to go to a laundro mat while on vacation, so there.  Make sure to take your washing stuff with you.  Use a plastic container for powder or a travel bottle for liquid.  Don't repurpose a bottle, use a brand new one for this.  Save it for future excursions.  You wouldn't want residue to cause stink on your diapers would you?  Double check to see if they have a high efficiency or old washer.  If you're used to washing in one type of machine and they have the other. . . don't chance it.  If you're lucky enough to know how to use both with out causing problems on your diapers, then great!  Using a HE on cloth diapers the first time, can cause problems with out a lot of research. 

What if it's crazy hot out?

Well, in my humble opinion, skip diapers all together!  ha!  We're lucky enough to have all wood flooring, expect where we have tile.  When it's hot out I leave mobile babies in undies or naked.  I also use fitteds w/out any cover at all in hot weather.  Then, every so often, walk around with a prefold under your foot and catch any wet messes.  Solid messes are usually contained in undies:)  If you're child is regular enough, then you could guess when to put a diaper on them!  Going outside?  Great!  nothing to mop up then!  Do not let them wander naked outdoors though.  You don't know what creeps are watching, nor do you want them getting scratches in places that a diaper may hold wet material against.

I hope this helps!  Please comment with any questions!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Local Fire Destroys Family Business

I woke up yesterday morning and knowing I'd be taking my boys to the zoo with their Grandpa and Uncle I walked outside a few times.  It looked foggy but felt like it would warm up.  Right before I pick out their clothes I check the weather station, just to be safe.  That's when I got distracted and checked Facebook as well.  Then I saw that my neighbor had posted about a fire in her hometown taking down the hardware store.  She's MY neighbor. . . her town is MY TOWN.  Her hardware store is in sight from my front window.  I run out to look and sure enough all that thick white fog was actually a billowing pillar of destruction.  I could see the coloring in the smoke as I looked at it knowing what it really was.  There was a hint of orange.  Not much, just what was reflecting from the embers still being smoldered out. 

I can't seem to figure out how to post the picture on my blog or share the article on my blog, so here's a link

What am I going to do about it?  I have an open house this weekend.  I"ll be donating 10% of all the proceeds of this open house to the hardware store for whatever they'd like to use it for.  I'm not sure who's collecting funds for such a ministry, but in this small town, no one is hurt this deeply with out the whole town pulling together their resources. 

Every family in Louisville and probably quite a few in surrounding communities have been effected in some way by this.  My house, being up wind, smelled like a BBQ pit all day yesterday and the view from my front porch will never be the same again.  Makes me wish I had taken a picture.  Is that a real effect?  Yes, but only be default.  Many families now will be forced to drive out of town to get a simple box of screws to finish a project.  Deeply effected are the families who worked there.  I'm not sure how many families counted on an income from that store, but even one family missing an income (likely two incomes in the case of the owners) is one too many. 

Whether  you're local or far away, these families will need your prayers.  If you're local you can do more than that, very easily.  Drop off a meal or two, help stock their pantry.  Offer to sit for the children so families can gather and discuss the hard decisions coming up.  Make sure they've got warm coats for the kids and themselves, hats and gloves and scarves too.  Let them know you still support them, while giving them space to grieve.  This wasn't somebody getting fired or laid off.  This was somebody that likely woke up to a phone call saying they lost a very substantial business.  One they've owned for at least the 7 years I've been in Louisville.  That's like loosing an old friend. 

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Coming Soon. . . A Website!?

Yes!  After much deliberation and stressing out I have decided to take the plunge and dive into a website with 1and1.  They offer a nice beginner business website with a shopping cart for $11.99 a month, designed for brand new businesses!  Even better they have a three month free trial!  How awesome is that!  So, for the moment I am waiting for a confirmation email and then will shortly begin to get my site up and running. 

For new entrepreneurs here is the link I found to this great deal!

I can't wait to get started!  I just signed up and they said within 24 hours I should be able to get started making my site ready for viewing.

I'm not sure I can wait that long.  In fact, just since I started writing this post I've double checked my email 3 times.

******Edited to add*******


Well, I suppose I"ve got about an hour to kill before I have to make dinner and head out for the evening bible study, so I"m going to go take killer pictures to post on my site!!!!!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Open House

If you haven't heard already, I'm hosting an open house with a guest vendor Danni Lee Baby BoutiqueDanni Lee has some wonderful items for every baby!  There's bows and headbands, clips and tutus and more for little girls!  Bottle caps for all, ties and more for boys! 

The open house starts at 2pm on Saturday November 5th.  During the event there will be baby sitting for kiddos that are comfortable being away from mom and treats for all.  At 3pm, for those interested there will be a live demonstration on using and caring for wool soakers and covers.  Other than that the entire time will be open to shopping and conversation! 

The first person in the door will get a free LamBums one sized fits most fitted diaper for testing.  There will be an additional drawing for another free tester.  Everyone else will have the opportunity to receive a free tester diaper with the purchase of $30 or more in any product, whether it be from The Sleepy Sheep or Danni Lee Baby Boutique.

I will outline Host/ess benefits for hosting a LamParty at the open house! 

I can't wait to see who makes it out!


Saturday Nov 5th 2011
2pm- 5pm
214 Maple St
Louisville, NE 68037

Thursday, October 27, 2011

LamBums and Something Called Zorb

 Here is a LamBums on an old Baby Alive doll.  (maybe 10 yrs old if anyone really cares. . .)  The diaper seemed to fit fine, though my plastic model probably couldn't complain if she wanted to!  I would say that the rise is a little high and the diaper overall is a little bulky for a newborn.  Personally I prefer infant prefolds with a snappi for noodly newborn legs, though I would say that this diaper should fit well enough to use.  The diaper is snapped down to it's smallest size.
 On my cranky 1 1/2 year old.  he is roughly 20-25lbs and this is a great fit for him.  Though I have to say that as he's on the skinny side, I should think about making the diaper for chubbier babies.

Here my favorite LamBums is on my Favorite 3 1/2 year old.  He let me put it on him but couldnt' wait to get it off.  My 30lb kiddo is just too big to be comfortable in this.  I think the rise is perfect overall, but adding adjustable elastic in the legs and more room in the waist would make an easier fit for more babies and toddlers.
Just had to show off the my favorite side!  This diaper is not for sale.  I've fallen completely in love with this little Monkey Butt!

 Well, with the help of a few friends and family I have decided on the name LamBums for my upcycled fitted diapers.  Each of these fitted diapers are made of at least 75% upcycled t-shirts.  The other 25% is sewing notions and a material called Zorb.  I am using Zorb on a trial basis.  My first set of diapers will not have any Zorb added to them, but after this batch is sewn up and sold I plan on using Zorb for the long fold over doubler for maximum absorbancy.

I have included links to articles on Zorb above, but here is the rundown.

  1. Zorb is made up only of materials already found in most AIO diapers.  These fibers are 'tangled cellulose fibers of Bamboo/cotton/viscose and poly micro fiber' (quoted from What is Zorb?  Do you know?Viscose is becoming synonymous with rayon.  Poly Microfiber is the microfiber found in inserts and other diaper making materials.  You should note that microfiber should not ever be used next to the skin as it will leach the moisture right out of the skin, causing burns/rashes.  Most all in ones inlcude microfiber on the inside of their diaper, using fleece or other fabric in between the micro fiber and skin.
  2.  According to Wazoodles, Zorb is made in the US and Canada in modern facilities safe for workers and the environment.
  3. Every 2 layers of Zorb could replace either 8 layers of flannel, 6 layers of french terry, 5 layers of cotton fleece or 4 layers of sherpa.  As far as thickness goes, it's about the same as 3 layers of flannel or 1 layer of sherpa.
  4. It is said that compression leakage is much less, due to the ability to quickly move liquids around.
  5. It's Hemp free.  Why?  I don't really know.  Wazoodles is against using hemp in diaper or healthcare products.  I'm assuming it's because they are against the use of pot as a medication, but maybe I'll do some research and post on it.
This post is based on the less expensive original Zorb.  I am posting this in formation to see what kind of reaction people have to zorb.  It's not entirely natural and is man made, as well as not being upcycled from previously loved materials.  I'm not sure why I struggle with using new materials.  I have to remind myself that thread and elastic really aren't salvageable!  

Monday, October 24, 2011

Are my prices really fair?

Overall I've had a few people question my prices, but most people realize that I'm asking competitive prices for the products I"m selling.  I usually check on Etsy before making a final price, looking to see what others are selling them at.  The reason I think some are shocked by the amount that I'm charging is because I"m using 'old' items found in the thrift stores.  However, I still have to purchase them along with the necessities to make them into the final product. 

I thought that this might be a good time to let people know why I charge what I do, and what kind of money goes into making the final products.  The amount in green is the starting price for each group of items.

Soakers & Longies:  $5-$10 in materials for each one, plus 1-2 hours of time spent making each.  $14
LambLegs:  $2-$3 in materials, 3-6 made in one hour.  $6
LambKlips (coming in November): $2 in materials, est 3-6 in an hour.  est $5
LamBums:  (testing to begin November):  est $5+ in materials, est 1 an hour.  Est price after testing:  $12-$15

The cost in materials does not account for various business expenses like business cards or brochures, taxes etc.  It does not account for booth fees, website costs, bank fees for transactions etc.  In starting this business, I'm learning a lot about overhead.  Will my prices ever change?  Unfortunately they probably will.  For instance if I start selling on Etsy I have to pay even more fees.  If I start a webpage with a shopping cart, that's going to start at $20 a month, for a bare bones site.  If I start accepting credit cards that's going to add more banking fees.  If I get a cell phone (I don't have one at all at this point) that's another raise in my business costs.  It's not cheap or easy to run a business. 

When I first started shopping for unique handmade items I noticed how expensive it was.  I was very naive and thought "Wow!  What are these people thinking?  I could make that for half that price!!"  And I could.  However most of the time I was looking at hours of learning how, a few hours of making it and enough of the cost in materials to make it much easier to buy it already made for the 'super expensive price'.

This is why I"ve written this post.  I wanted to share a little that I've learned by starting up this business.  People don't just spend money on the materials to make the things you purchase from them.  They purchase special tools in a lot of cases, plus, if they're taking their crafting seriously and turning hobby into business, they have a lot of other costs as well. 

So next time you look at a price tag, go ahead and gasp horribly, on the inside, and give a friendly smile to the vendor!