ABB Blog and Info

02/27/2014
by Jess M

 

Newborn Cloth Diaper Essentials

10/27/2016
by Jess M

As I prepare for the arrival of baby #3, I have started to gather some items that are going to make cloth diapering from day one, easy peasy. When I cloth diapered baby #2, aka Kian, I made a bunch of my own diapers. They were a fitted diaper that required a Snappi, and they were amazing. Initally I made my own covers, but quickly realized that sewing PUL is a tricky task and I decided purchasing Thirsties Duo Wraps were the way to go.

Anyways, for this go around, I started to collect newborn all-in-one's, as well as fitteds, one-size all-in-one's, and a few piles of newborn prefolds. But, I think my absolute favorite find that I will be using are my Luludew Newborn Fitteds! They have 8 layers of super soft and absorbent cotton velour; snap closures too so no fiddling with my Snappi and they go up to 14lbs. They even have a snap rise adjustment so I won't need to worry about covering up the umbilical cord or getting leg gaps on a skinny baby.

The great thing about using fitteds, I can also cover them with the Sloomb Playwoolies I splurged on! I am really excited to use wool on a newborn. I did not venture into wool until Kian was a little bit older, probably 9 or 10 months old, so this will definitely be a learning experience.

Prefolds for absorbency are also a great option, mostly because of affordability, but having the fitteds mixed in with my aio's and prefolds, is really going to make my newborn diapering a breeze. Currently in my stash I have 6 of the Luludew Newborn Fitteds, 9 prefolds, 4 waterproof covers, 3 pairs of wool leggings, 3 Snappi's, and a dozen or more aio's. I think I might need a couple more waterproof covers, but for now it's a good start, especially since I have the wool to use.

A few other essentials that I wanted to have on hand for when baby arrives were diaper wipes and diaper cream. I like to make my own wipes. In fact, you can find my homemade wipes in the store (ABB Cloth Wipe 6-Pack). They are a 100% cotton, two layer wipe that I designed when Kian was a baby, with one side being flannel and the other side birdseye diaper fabric. Birdseye has a diamond weave to it which gives a little texture that makes it nice for stuck on messes. The shape was perfected so it wouldn't be too small or too big. That allows you to utilize every part of the wipe on the baby rather than having to fold a larger wipe in half. The ABB Wipes fold nicely into a wipe pouch, case, or warmer and can be washed right along with your cloth diapers.

Of course no diaper stash, newborn or any other size, would be complete without a wet bag to store all those dirty diapers! This time I opted to go with a large Planet Wise Wet Bag so I could just hook it to the crib/changer area. I have one other smaller GroVia Wetbag that is for the diaper bag, and I will need to get one more to have when that one is dirty. Plus, I don't think I could ever just be happy with only one wet bag!

 

Well, there you have my current list of newborn cloth diaper essentials. I hope it was helpful and if you have questions about getting your newborn stash started, or setting up for any stage of cloth diapering, myself and the staff here at ABB are happy to assist!

 

Successfully Cloth Diaper at Night

09/28/2016
by Jess M

 

I hear on an almost daily basis, customer's reporting that they cannot cloth diaper at night because their kiddo is such a heavy wetter. Let me be the one to tell you that you can absolutely cloth diaper a heavy wetter successfully through the night. The trick is to find the diaper that fits your situation. Also, be aware, that you may have to change a time or two in the middle of the night. Even disposable diapers can leak at night, so nothing is fail safe. But, with a little patience, and a guide like myself ;) you can cloth diaper at night!

First thing to being successful, is choosing the right diaper with the right absorbency. Pocket diapers are a great choice for nighttime because you can maximize absorbency and keep your little one drier longer. Now, maximizing absorbency can be tricky because there is a fine line between having too many layers and not enough. Chances are if you stuff 3 or 4 microfiber inserts into a pocket diaper, you will have leaks still. That many thick inserts do absorb, but they also provide too much bulk causing the moisture to roll towards the leg gussets, eventually wicking to the outside of the diaper. My favorite pocket diaper to use for night (and even day) is the Thirsties OS Pocket Diaper. It uses the perfect fabric combination, microfiber and hemp, to create a crazy absorbent diaper that should work for most babies. The hemp insert packs 5 layers of crazy absorbency and when paired with the fast absorbing microfiber insert, you just can't go wrong. Just one little trick to this diaper, make sure you put the hemp insert under the microfiber. So, the microfiber should be closest to the baby (inside the pocket). Hemp absorbs a ton, but sometimes does it a little slower than microfiber.

Not a fan of pocket diapers? No worries, you can still use an all-in-one (aio) or even a cover system for your nighttime cloth diapering. Again, you just need to have the right stuff! Usually what works for you during the day, isn't always going to work at night. So be prepared to have a couple diapers that are really just for night. All-in-one's are a great diaper for daytime, and can be just as good at night. Typically I have found that when using an aio at night, most people are going to have to add an extra absorbency insert. My go-to insert for extra absorbency is the Thirsties Hemp Insert.  With 6 amazing, butter soft layers of jersey hemp, you can easily add this trim insert to your aio and get peace of mind. But, if you would prefer to have an aio diaper that has everything built into it for night solutions, you might like the GroVia O.N.E. The fit is great to accommodate extra absorbency and it comes with all of inserts that you will ever need, for daytime use and nighttime.

If you prefer using covers with inserts though, you definitely have options be leak free at night. First tip you should know, do not plan on reusing your night cover without washing first. I have always found that the cover for night usually reeks of pee. Just plan on throwing that cover into the pail for washing, or do a quick hand wash. I love using covers and inserts for their versatility and night time is no different. The options are vast, but again, you can overstuff causing leaks, so pay careful attention to how many layers of fabric you are trying to put in that cover. If you are a fan of prefolds, take those lovely Thirsties Hemp Inserts and add them to your cotton prefold. Trifold the prefold around the hemp insert, or lay it on the prefold before you wrap and fasten it around baby. An even better suggestion though would be to substitute out your cotton prefold for a hemp, bamboo, or organic cotton prefold/trifold. A few good options include the Thirsties Hemp Prefold, GroVia Bamboo Prefold, or Flip Organic Cotton Insert (Night Time).

Another option you can use for overnight, is fitted diapers and covers/wool covers. There are a variety of fitteds to choose from, so be sure that the one you are using is designed for nighttime. I recommend using the Sustainablebabyish Overnight Bamboo Fleece Fitted. It isn't necessary to use fitteds with wool covers; you can definitely use a regular pul cover like Thirsties Duo Wrap or Flip Cover. The wool cover just provides an almost bullet proof cover that when properly lanolized, can prove to be just what you need to successfully cloth diaper at night. I would sometimes even put my wool pants over a pocket diaper at night, just in case our normal nighttime set up didn't live up to its full potential.

As you can see, just like your normal daily cloth diapering routine, there are quite a few options for being sucessful at night! Now you just need to find the one or two or three, which work best for you. I've tried them all and I personally really like using overnight fitted diapers with covers and pocket diapers stuffed with hemp. But, there are pros and cons to each and it all depends on your situation. Still not sure what to choose? Come on by the store anytime and I am sure we can help you find a solution that will work for your little one!

Wool diapering can be easy!!

08/10/2016
by Jess M

Ever wonder what it would be like to use wool covers/longies in your diaper stash? Maybe you have wondered and looked up some tutorials but thought, "No way do I have time for that!" Well, I am here to tell you that you do and you can, and it really is a pretty simple chore to take care of your wool. Choosing wool is a great option for anybody who struggles with a heavy wetter, a little one with sensitive skin, or maybe you are just trying to find all-natural fibers. The other day I had a few new woolies and one old pair that needed to be lanolized. I decided what a great time to do a quick tutorial for my diaper fans. I originally intended on making a video, but I'll be honest, I have no clue how to record myself and I don't think my kids would have been able to handle that! So, we have pictures instead! If you have been to my Wool Care Class, you have seen this process in action and I have said to many customers how easy this bin/basin system is for washing & lanolizing. It keeps my sinks free of stuff soaking for hours, and then I also don't get the lanolin all over the place. Anyways, here is my wool wash & lanolin tutorial!

 

Step 1: Get prepared! I use two bins; one for wash & one for lanolin. I can fit 2-3 wool longies in these particular bins. The bins are great because when I am done, I can put all of my stuff in the bins and store them away somewhere. To start though, you will definitely need a few items. Wool wash is necessary for washing wool diapers. It should be a gentle, non-sudsing wash. I like to use the Soak Wash because it is super gentle. Next you need to make sure you have lanolin. Sloomb Solid Lanolin is perfect! I highly recommend using emulsifying cubes with your lanolin. Basically, the cubes help emulsify or break down the lanolin so you don't have lanolin clumps floating in the water. The BGN Emulsifying Cubes work really well because they are already in the small cube for a single use. Plus, if you get the fragranced kind, they smell amazing and make your woolies smell yummy too!! I also like to have a dedicated glass measuring cup, spoon and towel for my wool process.

 

Step 2: Start washing your woolies. In the first bin, you are going to wash your woolies. Fill the bin with warm water and add your wool wash. The Soak Wash uses 1 tsp per gallon of water. I believe my bins had 2 gallons in them, so I used 2 tsps. Place wool into the wash bin and gently hand wash. Do not scrub, twist, or roughly agitate your wool.  You can press the wool down into the water so that the air bubbles are released from the cover and the wool item is completely immersed in the wash bin. Let the woolies soak in the wash bin for about 15 minutes or less. Then go ahead and turn your wool inside out, gently squeeze out any excess water, and set on the towel to be lanolized.

 

Step 3: Prepare your lanolin bin. While you are waiting for your wool to soak in the previous step, you can prepare your lanolin and lanolin bin. First, fill your second bin with with warm water  Then, to get your lanolin ready, fill your measuring cup or a small bowl with very hot water. I actually boil water in my teapot when I first start getting my wash bin ready. Then it is perfect temp for when I am ready to prepare my lanolin. Add 1 tsp - 1 tbsp of solid lanolin to the water and drop in an emulsifying cube. Stir together until the water is milky white. You want all of the lanolin dissolved in the water, which means you don't want to see any yellow floating blobs in your cup or bowl. If you still see lanolin floating in the water, drop another cube in and stir some more. Pour the lanolin mixture into the lanolin bin, and stir the warm water together with the lanolin mixture.

 

 

Step 4: Lanolize your woolies. Once you have your lanolin bin ready, it is time to add your woolies. Make sure your wool is close to the same temperature as your water in the lanolin bin. This is another good reason why you want to get your lanolin bin prepped while your woolie are still in the wash bin. If your wool undergoes drastic temperature changes, it can case the wool to felt. You should soak your wool in the lanolin bin for at least 15 minutes, but a longer soak will give better results, especially when the wool is new.

 

Step 5: Almost done!! Once your wool has soaked for at least 15 minutes in the lanolin bin, gently squeeze out the water (don't wring or twist your wool). Then just lay flat to dry. I have a sweater dryer that works very nicely for drying wool, because the air flows through the top and bottom and you don't need to turn the wool. Just place it on the rack and go along with your day. I also like to take my wool and place it on the towel prior to it going onto the dry rack. You can roll the wool gently up in the towel, or flip it over a few times while patting it into the towel to help remove moisture. Now, go do something fun while you wait for your woolies to dry!

 

Seriously, it is that simple to take care of wool. It isn't a huge production. Once you get the hang of it, the whole process only takes about 30 minutes. Washing wool doesn't have to take place every day or even every other day. Once or twice a month was all I ever did, but that did depend on whether we got any poo on our leggings. That was pretty rare, since I always used a nice fitted with my leggings. But on the chance that baby does get poo on your wool, don't fret, just wash and lanolize.

 

If you have any questions about how to take care of your wool, or why wool would be a good addition to your diaper stash, feel free to come by the store anytime and chat! On occassion we do offer a Wool Care Class, and you will basically get an in person tutorial on all of the steps I have outlined in this post. Thanks for following along and happy cloth diapering!!

What do I do with the... well you know?!?

06/22/2016
by Jess M

 

 

"What do I do with the poo?"

Hands down this is the number one question I hear when I have Cloth Diaper 101 attendees or anybody that is new to cloth diapering. It is a great question though! What on earth should we be doing with that poo?

 
Well, we could ignore the poo and pretend it doesn't exist, but that would probably mean we are using a disposable diaper not cloth. Cloth diapers need some tender loving care when it comes to dealing with poo, otherwise we might end up with some gnarly stains and even worse, STINK!! Follow along for a few tips on how to manage that pesky poo diaper.
 
First thing to know, babies who are exclusively breast fed (EBF) have water soluble poo. This means no need to rinse, scrape, or spray that poo away. Just take your dirty cloth diaper and place it into the wet bag or pail. Soaking the poo diapers is totally unneccessary. But, I will let you in on a little secret. Diapers that have EBF poo on them and are not rinsed off prior to going into the pail/wet bag will likely retain some yellow stains. Again, no big deal though because EBF poo is so organic, the stains are easy to get out. Put your freshly washed, still stained diapers out on the porch on a nice sunny day. The stains will bleach out in the sun! You can also just keep using the diaper, stains and all. Totally up to you! After several wash cycles, the stains will usually dissappear.
 
Of course to keep from having to worry about stains at all, try and rinse the diaper immediately after a poo and before you place it in the pail. I used to just rinse right down the drain in my bathtub and then spray my tub down good. A nice big laundry utility sink would work wonderfully for rinsing also.
 
But, what do we do then if we have to use formula or when we start solids? Well, non-EBF poo is not watersoluble, so it does not like to pass through the drain on a washing machine. The best way to deal with more solid poo is to get a diaper sprayer. It is truly the easiest way to get rid of the poo. This lovely contraption attaches to your toilet so you can spray the poo right off the diaper and then flush it away. Then you just put the diaper (sans poo) into the pail/wet bag. Again, so darn simple!!
 
Of course there are a couple of other methods that are used to get rid of poo. Next best thing after the diaper sprayer are bioliners. This is a flushable insert that is paper thin, and goes directly on top of the absorbent part of the cloth diaper. Baby poo's on the bioliner (liquids move through, but solids stay on top) and then you just flush or throw the liner away. Other methods include scraping off with a spatula or toilet paper, dunking & swishing in the toilet, or trying to plop the poo into the toilet. Those are workable methods, but not always easy or appealing!
 
My favorite methods are hands down the diaper sprayer or bioliners. I have on occassion used other methods to remove poo from my cloth diapers and it was not fun. Trust me when I say, a sprayer or bioliners will make your diaper experience so much easier!

Winding down from the holidays.

12/08/2015
by Jess M

Owning a small business during the holiday season can be especially fun, but it can also be a very stressfull time of year. I am lucky that I have some amazing customers that continue to support my small business, even though the craze of Black Friday swirls around. We are bombarded this time of year with emails, commercials, facebook ads, and radio ads, that companies have produced in an effort to convince us we need to purchase more stuff! Over the past few years, I have truly become a minimalist. I attribute that to my beginnings with cloth diapering, oh so many years ago. When we start to see what we really need/want, we realize that some things aren't worth the deal. Then we have to answer the question "Am I buying this because it is a good deal? Or because I really need/want it?"

 

ABB does participate in Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and Cyber Monday deals, but store hours stay the same through the shopping weekend. The week before is filled with preparation for the sales; making signs, setting the pricing discounts in the computer, making sure the website is current with inventory. Stock preparation has to be done weeks in advance, to make sure there is enough of everything. The week following the shopping weekend consists of recovery mode! Shipping orders, getting together any custom orders that were placed, refilling stock, following up on order tracking, and updating the inventory on the website again. It's a whirlwind of a couple weeks and not even this business owner can escape the wrath that is Black Friday!!

 

But, honestly, I wouldn't have it any other way! I love helping my customers find what works best for them. I have a great time introducing new products and sharing with others the cool, unique, fun items that they may need/want. And even though I can't offer up the biggest discounts out there, I still feel good about being able to provide something for my loyal shoppers. Without our local and even online shoppers, we would not be able to sustain and continue to grow. Every community needs a cloth diaper/natural parenting store and I thank every one of you for keeping the dream alive!!

Snowflake Search!

10/27/2015
by Jess M

Many of you may have noticed that in the past few months, ABB has an updated logo and website. Along with the new website, I give you the Snowflake Search!!! Once a week, there will be a snowflake picture hidden on our website. Find the snowflake and you could win a $5 gift certificate code to be used online.

Simply go to www.arcticbabybottoms.com, search through the product listings, home page, basically everywhere on our site, to find the snowflake. Once you have found it,... send a message through Facebook with a link to the page where you discovered our snowflake. The first person to send a message wins!

The snowflake has already been hidden and is ready for you to find it!

Hint: it looks just like the snowflake above the "i" in arctic of our new logo.

 

 

 

 

Back From ABC!!

10/23/2015
by Jess M
I just returned back from the ABC Kids Expo in Las Vegas!! I have been attending the show for four years now, and even though I see a lot of repeat products, I always seem to find something new for the store. One of the coolest products that I found this year is Baby Paper! Baby Paper is perfect for keeping small hands occupied and sounds like crunching paper. A great activity to keep babies entertained! Look for Baby Paper in the store very soon!!
 
 
 
 
I also found a brand new diaper to add to our fabulous array of cloth diapers! Luludew diapers will be arriving at the store soon. Get ready to see some amazing fitted diapers that are absorbent, ultra soft, and easy to use.
 

Diaper Enthusiasts Monthly Meeting

08/31/2015
by Jess M

This coming Wednesday (Sept. 2nd) is the first Diaper Enthusiasts meeting! Join other parents for a laid back gathering to discuss all things cloth. Chat about wash routines, share your stash shots or even bring a few favorites with you! Light refreshments will be provided. Hope to see you all there!

 

Wednesday Sept. 2nd @ 11am

Blogging is Hard Work!

07/20/2015
by Jess M
It has been so long since I have blogged about the store! Lots has happened and I will do my best to keep updating posts. Our website has recently been updated, and I am able to keep blog posts right on the website! So, keep an eye out for some updates in the coming week!

Washing Cloth Diapers

07/16/2014
by Jess M


Washing cloth diapers shouldn't be difficult and with all of the information going around about what is the "right and wrong" way to wash, I thought I would share a bit of information on the subject. Many parents get fed up with stinky diapers, but don't throw the baby out with the laundry water!  We can troubleshoot with you to find what is going to work. This is a long post, but well worth the read. 
 
First off, everybody is going to have a different wash routine. Your children are different, your wash machine is different, the water in your pipes is different, your detergent is different, etc. There are a few things that are pretty standard across the board though. Diapers need to be washed in hot water for at least 45 minutes. The amount of water that is in your washing machine is crucial. If you have a front loader, it may be necessary to add some water to make sure there is enough flowing through the diapers, getting them clean. Too many diapers in the washing machine is going to cause problems, especially with a front loader. Don't overload the machine or they won't get clean; 12-18 diapers is plenty in one load. Also, leaving diapers in a wet bag for more than 2 days will cause them to grow more bacteria and you will have difficulty getting them clean.

Now for the detergent; it is not necessary to use a detergent that states that it has been made specifically for cloth diapering. You should however, stay away from detergents that contain brighteners, dyes, perfumes, and softeners. Fabric softeners of any kind are a big no, no. Certain cloth diaper fabrics have a tendency to hold onto some of the above mentioned ingredients more than others, causing absorbency and stink issues, along with rashes from the chemicals. Many of the reasons why parents have chosen cloth diapers is because they would like to keep harmful chemicals away from their baby. Read the ingredients of your soap and then decide if that is something you would like on your baby. The brands that we carry in our store are free of some of the more harmful chemicals for both baby and the environment. The thought that detergents are disinfecting your diapers is untrue. Detergents clean diapers, but it does not matter which brand you buy, it does not sanitize. If you need to sanitize you should make sure your water is up to temp and even possibly use a sanitizing agent (i.e. bleach, tea tree oil)

To bleach or not to bleach, that is the question! Most major diaper brands state that you should not bleach your diapers. That does not mean that it is the diaper apocalypse if you do, it just means, that they cannot warranty your diapers because you did not follow their washing guidelines. Diapers that are made of organic cotton, bamboo, hemp, and laminated covers, have a tendency to deteriorate when they are bleached repeatedly. Microfiber diapers are more resilient to the effects of bleaching. When you do bleach, it should be for good reasons; yeast rash, bacterial rash, or when you buy a used diaper.

Stripping isn't something that is necessary for everybody, and shouldn't really need to be done on a regular basis. If you have a good wash routine down, are using enough water, washing at least every 2 days, and using the right amount of detergent, you typically won't have problems. But, that being said, with "new age" diapers, it can be trial and error to get to the point of knowing what works for you and your baby.

There is no real "right or wrong" way to wash cloth diapers, but there are good suggestions and guides to go off of. If you are having issues with your wash routine, and need help, feel free to come by the store for a consultation. Bring a few of your diapers with you so that we can feel and yes, SMELL the material. Lots of factors in the washing process can be causing issues, but with a little guidance, I am confident you will be on your way to cloth diaper washing success!!
 
 
Recommended Diaper Washing Routine
 
20-30 Minute Cold Soak
Heavy Duty Hot Wash Cycle (at least 45 minutes in length)
Extra Rinse