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Wednesday, 10 December 2014

Strip washing isn't always the answer.

In today's technological world the Internet is full of so much information on how to look after your cloth nappies and what to do when they aren't working that often it becomes very confusing. Strip washing seems to be at the top of the recommendations list when troubleshooting problems.

As a cloth nappy user I belong to many cloth nappy facebook groups. They are wonderful and shocking at the same time. It is great to have a network of like minded parents to chat to and get advice on different brands etc.What I don't like however is how often people recommend strip washing as the first thing to try or how people moan that they seem to be strip washing their nappies every month. It just doesn't sit right with me.

Here in New Zealand there are 3 main ways of strip washing:
The dishwash method,
The Rockin green Method
and the Sodium Percarbonate soak method.

The dishwash method seems to be the one most people try last if other strips don't work and I can fully understand why. To strip your nappies with this method you basically wash inserts on hot with dishwash liquid and then rinse, rinse, rinse until all suds/bubbles are gone. The cheapest nastiest dishwash liquid is recommended as it is least likely to contain moisturisers which can cause build up. I personally wouldn't use this method as some of the chemicals in dishwash liquid can be harsh and would you really want that anywhere near your baby's bum? I am sensitive and allergic to most dishwash detergents on the market so wouldn't trust them not to cause rashes. 

The Rockin' Green method is the most common one I see being mentioned online. There are two ways of doing this one and it all seems dependent on how bad your nappies are and why you are strip washing. The first one is to do a 12-24 hour soak using regular Rockin Green detergent. Then wash on hot with no detergent and rinse, rinse rinse. The second is a bit more in-depth and more suited if you have major issues. You do an overnight(12ish hours) soak in regular Rockin Green then wash, then do a second soak for approx same amount of time in Funk Rock and wash again. 

The third and final method is the one most commonly used by people who use homemade laundry powder or are switching to it and want to strip their nappies first. For this method you soak your nappies in Sodium Percarbonate that has been dissolved in water for 12-24 hours and wash with no detergent then rinse rinse rinse.

Here is why I have never done a "strip wash" as such and believe that strip washing should be your absolute last resort.

Yes I have had smelly nappies, but no I have never stripped them. I found that initially my issue was the way I washed my nappies so altered my regular wash cycle. Then found that I started getting smells again so did a long hot wash with a 20-30 minute soak added to the cycle and they were fine again. When my son is teething I find I start getting smells but a hot wash solves that and to be honest nothing can really stop teething wee from smelling. 

Recently I have been getting leaks on a regular basis. I tried adding more absorbency and have had no problems since. I also had an issue with my night nappies leaking so after someone recommended adjusting the rise of the ones I use, I did it and have had not leaks since. 

So if your nappies smell or if they leak stripping isn't always the answer. Try a long hot wash first, adjust your wash cycle, add more absorbency or adjust the fit. Problem solve first then if absolutely nothing works try a strip. Doing it too often can be harsh on your inserts, elastics and waterproofing and can actually cause more issues.

So please I beg you try other things first.

Friday, 19 September 2014

It's lunch time: Tuna and Tomato Sandwiches.

So now that my prefold tutorial mini series is finished I thought I'd branch away from nappies/diapers temporarily and into sandwich fillings. After getting bored of making ham and cheese sandwiches every night for my partners lunch I challenged myself to get creative. So here is my first recipe:

Tuna & Tomato

Ingredients:
1 95g Tin of Tuna
1-2 cherry tomatoes
1 Tbsp of finely diced onion (I used red but Spring onion works just as well)
1-2 Tbsp of aioli or mayonnaise
4 slices of bread

Drain tuna and put into a small bowl. Flavoured tuna works well I used naturally smoked flavour today. Add aioli or mayonnaise.

Finely dice the cherry tomato and add to bowl with the onion.

Stir until combined, add more mayonnaise if required.


Spread onto buttered bread and your done. If your going to be eating it straight away you don't need to butter the bread, however if the sandwiches are going to be sitting in a lunchbox for a couple of hours before being eaten I recommend spreading a little butter or margarine on the bread first. This creates a barrier and stops the bread soaking up as much of the juice from the filling, soggy bread really isn't appealing.

To finish of my partners lunch I always add a piece of fruit, a couple of muesli bars and some home baking. My partner isn't really one to request vegetables in his lunch so I have to get creative. Chopped cherry tomatoes and onions add extra flavour but also extra nutrients.

Stay tuned for more sandwich filler ideas.

Monday, 18 August 2014

Prefold Tutorial: Newspaper Fold

This is one of the slightly and I mean slightly more complex folds for prefold nappies/diapers. It is most commonly used for boys as the bulk layers of absorbency are situated at the front of the nappy/diaper.

Step one: Lay prefold out in front of you.


Fold up the front of the nappy. How much depends on how long your prefold is and how tall you need the rise.







Fold over one side to the middle








Fold over other side to the middle to form a trifold type pad







Fold out the wings at the top.

 Place baby onto the nappy, bring front up between the legs, wings around the waist and fasten on the baby.







Lastly place your choice of cover over the top and you are all go.

Hints: If you find that your wings aren't quite reaching around to meet with the front of the nappy you can fan out the front bit a little to provide more coverage.



Check out my Facebook, Youtube and Instagram for regular updates and more


Prefold Tutorial: Jelly Roll Fold

The following fold is perfect for newborns and any babies still in the explosive liquid poop stage. Be sure to watch the video demonstration at the end and feel free to check out my Check out my Facebook, Youtube and Instagram for regular updates and more.

Step one: Lay prefold out in front of you





 Roll in one side


Roll in other side to form a second protective wall.

Fold over the front to shorten rise if needed

Place baby down on nappy, bring front up between the legs and fasten how you prefer. Here I have used a Snappi.


Hints: For extra protection fold back down to form a barrier for those very explosive liquid poops.









Prefold Tutorial: Diva Fold

This fold is the angel wing fold but in reverse. It is great if you prefer the bulk to be at the back of the nappy and also if you have a child who can get the covers off. It places the Snappi or Boingo at the back so your child cannot reach it to remove.

Step one: Lay prefold out in front of you.



Fold in one side at the front

 Fold in other side at the front, this forms almost a pyramid shape and creates the "wings" at the top of the nappy.

Fold up an extra rise at the bottom.

Place baby onto the nappy face down.

Bring folded bit up between legs

Bring the wings around to the bag and fasten with your choice of fastner, here I have used a Boingo.







Check out my Facebook, Youtube and Instagram for regular updates and more.Links are at the top right of the page.


Prefold Tutorial: Bikini Twist Fold

This is an easy fold that is great for girls and for wriggly babies.

Step one: Lay prefold out in front of you.

  Place baby onto the prefold with the back of the nappy approximately level with the belly button.










As you bring the front up between the legs twist to reduce the bulk and also to create a section with bulk absorbency right between the legs where its most common for girls to pee.





Fold down the rise and tuck the front around the waist







Bring wings around from the back and fasten with your choice of fastner, here I used a Boingo.
Check out my Facebook, Youtube and Instagram for regular updates and more.Links are at the top right of the page.






Prefold Tutorial: Angel Wing Fold

 This is one of the most common folds and is simple, easy and versatile. It is also great for boys and girls.


Step one: Lay prefold out in front of you.


Fold in one side at the front










Fold in other side at the front, this forms almost a pyramid shape and creates the "wings" at the top of the nappy.











Fold front of nappy up to decrease rise. How much depends on your baby and the size of the prefold.










Fold down the back if you want, this is great at providing extra protection if your baby is still in the explosive liquid poop stages.






 
 Bring folded bit up between legs.










Bring wings around the waist and fasten around the baby. Here I have used a Boingo.









Check out my Facebook, Youtube and Instagram for regular updates and more.