Your little needs a diaper change.
You play with baby happily as you prepare them for a diaper change.
You have everything set up and begin the diaper change process.
As you open the cover, your face drops.
These Darn Red Marks!
You feel horrible thinking that maybe your baby’s diaper was hurting them. Don’t worry!! We are here to help you determine what is normal and what is not when it comes to leg marks. And what to do to ensure your baby’s diaper fit is not too tight.
We are often asked, “how do we wash and dry our Lil Helper cloth diapers and inserts?” It’s not as straightforward as you’d think. A bit of water and too little detergent is what most people new to cloth diapering think is the magic formula. Then they end up with the dreaded Funk.
For those who are goal-oriented and don’t have the time to whip through this blog, we have made you an “infographic” explaining the proper washing and drying routine for your Lil Helper Cloth Diapers. Click here to view it. Otherwise, read on! It’s Hump Day and we feel like having some fun!
What’s The Funk?
a) The whiff of a ripe dipe (aka your cloth diapers smell bad)
b) A 1960s music genre.
c) How you feel on Monday morning.
d) All of the above.
If you chose d), you’d be bang-on, and you’ve probably experienced The Funk.
We feel there are enough sites out there telling you NOT to get The Funk. We’re a lil different here at Lil Helper Cloth Diapers. We think it’s better for you to know how you DO get it (think of this as “positive reinforcement”).
Top Ten List of How to GET The Funk
For those who feel they’re missing out.
10. Wash too many of your insertsat a time. Too many dirty dipes and inserts is like a big fish in a small pond. There’s just not enough water to go around.
9. Do not spray or shake off solids (ew) from the diaper. Who wants to get their hands icky? Not me. Just dump that full diaper into the pot. (Of course this is a prime time for me to plug our Stay Dry Liners but that would be self-serving to post a link here. Or here.)
8. Do not use a lot of water when washing. See notes above. Little water, no shaking, and lots of inserts and covers make for a yummy poo stew.
7. Use non-cloth friendly detergents or softeners. These will coat the fibres, inhibiting absorption. Less absorption means more leaks for you! (And we know what THAT means… your baby goes through more clothes and well, it’s time for some retail therapy and a few episodes of Glee thereafter).
6. Wash your covers in HOT water. This will ruin the waterproof barrier which is heat-bonded to the cover.
5. Wash your inserts in stone cold water. Most of the time, cold water is fine to wash your cloth diapers in. But if you’ve been making errors in your wash routine, you might need to switch to using hot water to get rid of The Funk.
4. Don’t use enough detergent You’ll find lots of cloth diaper washing instructions online that tell you to use less detergent to wash your diapers (we even used to recommend it ourselves 😱). This is not good advice. How much you use is determined by what kind of detergent you are using. We recommend you use Tide Original powder – line 1 in the prewash and a full scoop in your main wash. Read more here.
3. Use soap. Soap is not your friend. Detergent is your bestie. Read more about why soap is not recommended for washing cloth diapers here.
2. Dry your covers in a hot dryer. This is particularly effective because the waterproof barrier is heat-bonded to the shell. Too much heat will cause the PUL to detach and deteriorate.
1. Let ’em stew. Don’t wash your cloth diapers quickly after they are soiled. Let the microbes grow if you want a good Funk. If you let them sit for longer than 3 days the uric acid will cause ammonia build up and they will be much harder to clean properly and they will have long lasting “funk” issues.
For those who are more visual (as opposed to the link at the top for the “goal-oriented”), we have made you an “infographic” explaining the proper washing and drying routine for your Lil Helper Cloth Diapers. Click here to view it.
Charcoal? Bamboo? Cotton? What’s the difference between Lilhelper.ca’s Cloth Diaper Inserts?
A lot, actually.
Welcome to another edition of the randomly appearing…..
….Tales from Lil Helper Customer Delight Email Pile…
I see notes like these every day (well, almost every day).
We first introduced the Charcoal diapers as a response to babies with horrible diaper rash. While all the inserts have their merits, when it comes to wicking moisture away from a suffering baby’s bum, Charcoal is what you need.
Charcoal wicks. They are designed to be changed frequently, to help your poor rashed baby recover as quickly as possible. And with diligent use of our Charcoal inserts, that should be in about two days.
The Cotton inserts are made with two outer layers of unbleached cotton. Interior layers (three of them) are micro fleece. Combined, these Cotton inserts will suck up at least 180 mL.
The Bamboo inserts are similarly made. Outer layers of bamboo, inner layers of micro fleece.
What’s the difference? For these two inserts, it’s ultimately a question of personal choice. Some prefer Bamboo, others, Cotton. Some find one softer than the other. Some prefer Bamboo because it grows like crazy and is an environmentally friendly fibre. For some, bamboo is the new Cotton.
Others are more comfortable with a fiber they grew up on: Cotton. Breathable. Absorbent. Quick to dry.
When it comes to absorbency, both are winners.
When to Use Which Cloth Diaper Insert
One of the biggest “leak” problems that comes the way of the Lil Helper Customer Delight Service is the issue of leaking Charcoal diapers—usually from the legs and tummies. If it’s coming from the middle of the diaper, that may be another issue. Generally people are surprised the Charcoal diapers “leaked” when the inserts don’t feel “full”. The fact is, they aren’t “full” in the literal sense. They’ve done their job, but it’s the wicking job, not the absorbing job you were possibly expecting.
This may leave you asking, if we don’t have rash issues, why would we use charcoal? The simple fact is that at some point in time, nearly every baby experiences some sort of rash, whether due to diapering issues, illness, or just having eaten something very acidic. So let’s tackle rash first.
It bears repeating: the big thing to remember about using Charcoal inserts over Cotton or Bamboo inserts is the wicking. The Charcoal inserts are specifically designed to pull moisture away from your baby.
That means more frequent changing (the inserts also aren’t as thick as Bamboo or Cotton) because the wicked moisture will naturally comes to rest on the inside cover of the diaper… and eventually wick to the edges and voila! The diaper “leaks.”
What you need to know: Use Charcoal for rashes, when you need that wicking, and remember tochange your baby more frequently.
For heavy wetters (who may rash or just want to get through a nap without feeling wet), consider a combination of the smaller Charcoal insert on top of a Bamboo or Cotton larger insert. I cleverly call this “The Combo” (alright, not terribly clever, but very functional!).
The moisture will be wicked away by the Charcoal, to the absorbent Cotton or Bamboo insert, thus minimizing the opportunity for leaking/wicking to the edges of the diaper.
Overnight / Naps
Try our Overnight inserts which NOT ONLY are Charcoal (to wick away, so your baby doesn’t feel wet at night) but ALSO they have extra absorbency layers within the covers. The bottom of the larger insert is lined with waterproof PUL, which means there’s little or no wicking to the edges of the diaper, therefore out the legs or up the tummy.
To cloth diaper or not cloth diaper the Newborn, that is the question.
And the answer is “yes, it CAN and HAS been done.” I cloth diapered my guys from day one (and the first day one, I had NO laundry facilities). So it’s doable. That doesn’t mean you need feel guilty if you didn’t, can’t, or won’t. We don’t thrive on guilt here. I’m just letting you know it’s possible. I have seen, personally, 7-pounders rock our diapers. Oops, here’s one now.
While some babies don’t mind the bulk of two inserts, other do. It’s personal choice, really. If you use one insert (the smaller), please be prepared to change your baby very frequently. Those sweet little creatures are Nature’s Perfect Fountains.
For absorbency, you can’t beat Cotton or Bamboo. For rashing, you want some Charcoal. Because the Charcoal insert is somewhat less bulky than Cotton or Bamboo, you may get away with “The Combo” for a newborn. You baby and the Charcoal will “feel” dry though, so check the lower Bamboo or Cotton insert to see if it’s time for a change.
Have any questions, or something to add? Drop us a comment or email us at delight <at> lilhelper <dot> ca.
And last but NOT least… a video of our Chief Doo Doo Office (well, his email signature reads “Chief of Everything Officer”) Mohammed Gandhi, showing and telling a bit about what’s in Lil Helper’s inserts.
WARNING: Those of you who are sleepy may miss some good stuff. Just sayin’…. We like to have fun here.