Sunday, October 25, 2009

Wool Part 2 - Types of wool products for cloth diapers



I hope that everyone had a great Halloween. Weather around here was not that great but it got much better late afternoon and no bad weather can stop the little "monsters" from trick-or-treating!

Continuing with our wool discussion from 2 weeks ago, here are the types of wool products that are available as well as a little bit on the differences in types of wool and knits that you can find.

Wool products for cloth diapers available:

1) Wool soakers

Soakers are usually one piece pull-on covers.



2) Wool shorties
Shorties are exactly that, shorts. So a little longer than soakers but shorter than longies :) They can be used as a cover but also as clothing.





3) Wool longies
Longies are actually wool pants. These can be used as a cloth diaper cover but also as clothing.



4) Wool wraps
Wraps are similar to regular diaper covers you use for cloth diapers that close with either snaps or velcro.







5) Other
You can find other original wool products that are related to cloth diapers such as overalls, sleep sacks, wool tote bags, and more.



Types of knit and wool

As you browse the internet for wool products you will find many types of wool and knits available to you. Some products are hand knit, other are machine made. Some common wool fabrics used are wool flannel, wool jersey, and wool interlock.

Some products are made out of organic wool as others are not. Some are natural and many are dyed. Some products are made out of 1 layer and others have two layers (making it an even better choice for night time protection). Some products are also made from recycled wool such as old wool sweaters.

Most wool products are handwash only but there are some that are machine washable on the gentle cycle.

All of this to say that the possibilities are endless. There is something for every baby's needs.

Look for new wool products coming your way at Ottawa Cloth Diapers in the near future.

Currently we carry the beautiful Sustainablebabyish wool soakers and longies as well as Eucalan no rinse wool wash.

I'd love to hear from any of you about any wool products that you use with your babies.

Good night all!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Wool Part 1 - Why use wool covers with cloth diapers?


When I give information sessions to my customers I always mention that diaper covers can come in different fabrics such as PUL, polar fleece and wool. When I mention wool and specify that it needs to be handwashed I often get the wide eye reaction and the no thank you that follows. I used to think the same until I started using wool myself. It was actually one of my customers that encouraged me to use wool. She even knitted me a wool cover and a pair of longies to try with my oldest son (thank you Melisa!). Now I love using wool especially as a night time option but even during the day. So why should you choose wool as a diaper cover? Hopefully the following post will help you clarify this question.

Wool covers and cloth diapers ... why bother?

There are many advantages to using wool with your cloth diapers. And although it is usually not the first choice for fist time cloth diaperers, you should not shy away from the option.

First forget about the old scratchy wool sweater that you are thinking about as there are many wool options that provide a super soft, waterproof layer that can be used over top of all your fitted diapers. These can be used during the day, night, and all year round.

Did you know?

- Wool covers have been used with cloth diapers for over 70 years.

- Wool is the only diaper cover that is made of all natural fibers.

- Wool covers are breathable, preventing the risk of overheating as well as decreasing the incidence of diaper rashes (great option for babies with very sensitive skin).

- Wool helps to regulate the body temperature by keeping it warm during the winter and cool during the summer (who knew wool is a better option for the hot summer months!).

- Wool repels water and absorbs moisture making it an awesome waterproof cover, preventing even the most determined leaks (this is why many people turn to wool as a night time cover).

- Wool can hold up to 35% of its own weight in moisture yet it will not feel damp against the skin. The breathability of wool allows this moisture to evaporate, cooling the skin.

- Wool is easy to care for (even easier than doing a load of laundry - see below for more details on how to care for your wool products)

- Wool is naturally anti-bacterial, it does not need to be washed after every wear. Just air dry in between uses and wash only if soiled with solids, if the urine smell remains after airing out or if it is starting to leak.

- Wool contains natural lanolin creating a natural waterproof barrier.

- Wool is super comfortable for the baby as it stretches easily and offers a completely breathable diapering option.

- Wool is known for its durability making it a good option for cloth diapering more than one child as it will last you for years!

Wool is easy to care for!

Believe or not, I prefer washing my wool covers to doing a load of laundry for my other cloth diapers. It is that easy! Here is how I do it.

I wash my wool every 4-5 wears OR if it soiled with solids, if it retains urine smell even after airing it out or if it is not keeping its waterproof capacity.

I fill my laundry tub with a little bit of tepid water and add 1-2 tsp of Eucalan no rinse delicate wash. You can also use a mild soap such as baby shampoo but then you will have to rinse out the garment. Eucalan is a no rinse solution which makes my life much easier :)

In a separate small bottle, I melt approx. 1/4 tsp of 100% solid lanolin in hot water then add this to my tepid water and stir the water. I then add my wool covers/longies in the water. I squeeze them a few times (do not wring fabric) to take in the water and lanolin and let them soak for 30 min to 1 hour.

After soaking, I pull the plug from my laundry tub and let the water empty (this way I find more lanolin stays onto my garment). I then squeeze out the excess water by rolling the covers/longies in a dry towel then lay flat to dry (no dryer!).

Wool garments take a long time to dry (a full day for me) so I always make sure I have another option for night time such as another clean wool cover or I love the Stacinator So Simple cover for night time (not breathable as it is made out of PUL - but an awesome night option!).

Et voilĂ , the washing routine is done. Seems long when you write it out, but it really only takes me less than 5 minutes to put them in the tub and then less then 5 minutes to take them out and hang them. The rest of the time they are just soaking.

Lanolizing your wool is not necessary at every wash although I do it everytime but it can be done approx. once/month or when you notice that the cover is not as waterproof. New wool products are usually not lanolized so they will need to be lanolized before its first use.

In our next post, I will go over the different types of wool covers that are out these as there are many! I would love to hear about any wool products you love using and how you care for them, please feel free to add any comments.

In our store, we currently carry the Systainablebabyish organic stretch wool covers and Sustainablebabyish organic stretch wool karate pants which we adore! Stay tuned in the near future we will be adding at least 2 other wool products to our collection.

Also, please note that the super cute picture used in my post comes from Sustainablebabyish's photo gallery. Click here to see more very sute babies in wool!

Have a great week everybody and stay warm!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Happy Canadian Thanksgiving everyone!




Instead of boring you with cloth diapers tonight, I thought I would share with you a quick history of Canadian Thanksgiving. I am no historian so I found this brief summary from the following website: http://www.twilightbridge.com/hobbies/festivals/thanksgiving/canada/

I wish you all a great Thanksgiving weekend with your family and friends!

History and Origin of Canadian Thanksgiving
In Canada Thanksgiving is celebrated on the second Monday in October. Unlike the American tradition of remembering Pilgrims and settling in the New World, Canadians give thanks for a successful harvest. The harvest season falls earlier in Canada compared to the United States due to the simple fact that Canada is further north.

The history of Thanksgiving in Canada goes back to an English explorer, Martin Frobisher, who had been trying to find a northern passage to the Orient. He did not succeed but he did establish a settlement in Northern America. In the year 1578, he held a formal ceremony, in what is now called Newfoundland, to give thanks for surviving the long journey. This is considered the first Canadian Thanksgiving. Other settlers arrived and continued these ceremonies. He was later knighted and had an inlet of the Atlantic Ocean in northern Canada named after him - Frobisher Bay.

At the same time, French settlers, having crossed the ocean and arrived in Canada with explorer Samuel de Champlain, also held huge feasts of thanks. They even formed 'The Order of Good Cheer' and gladly shared their food with their Indian neighbours.

After the Seven Year's War ended in 1763, the citizens of Halifax held a special day of Thanksgiving.

During the American Revolution, Americans who remained loyal to England moved to Canada where they brought the customs and practices of the American Thanksgiving to Canada. There are many similarities between the two Thanksgivings such as the cornucopia and the pumpkin pie.

Eventually in 1879, Parliament declared November 6th a day of Thanksgiving and a national holiday. Over the years many dates were used for Thanksgiving, the most popular was the 3rd Monday in October. After World War I, both Armistice Day and Thanksgiving were celebrated on the Monday of the week in which November 11th occurred. Ten years later, in 1931, the two days became separate holidays and Armistice Day was renamed Remembrance Day.

Finally, on January 31st, 1957, Parliament proclaimed...

"A Day of General Thanksgiving to Almighty God for the bountiful harvest with which Canada has been blessed ... to be observed on the 2nd Monday in October.


Vicky

Friday, October 2, 2009

My Fuzzi Bunz Saga


It has been a while since our last post as we have had a couple of very crazy weeks!! However tonight I am sitting down to share with you my Fuzzi Bunz saga. Here goes ...



Ottawa Cloth Diapers is finally carrying Fuzzi Bunz products. When I started my cloth diaper store I decided not to carry Fuzzi Bunz just because I had to limit the number of products to begin with. I was already carrying other similar pocket diapers such as Happy Heinys and bumGenius so I figured that was enough to start with. I had the occasional customer ask about Fuzzi Bunz but that was it.

A few months into the business I considered retailing Fuzzi Bunz but I had heard a few negative comments about the company so I decided not to apply for an account, plus at that time the US currency exchange was getting high so I was happy to find new Canadian products instead.

A couple of months ago when Fuzzi Bunz came out with their One-Size pocket diaper I considered applying for an account again. Before making a decision, I decided to order a one-size Fuzzi Bunz from another retailer to try it out with my sons first. I received the diaper by mail and my immeidate thought was - what a big diaper! This could never fit a newborn. Then after opening the diaper and looking at the elastic adjusting system I was overwhelmed and thought there is no way I will have time to adjust this diaper between both my sons. That was it, I did not even try the diaper instead I decided to return it for a refund. Around that same time I heard more negative rumors about the company and comments around the high shipping rates plus I knew that the diapers were now being manufactured in China so I was happy with my decision not to carry them even though the company had accepted my application for an account. I could not imagine trying to sell a diaper that I did not even want to try on my own kids.

In the following weeks I had many many customers ask me whether I carried Fuzzi Bunz or whether I was planning on adding these products to my store. So I finally caved in and decided that if my customers wanted these diapers than I should listen to them. I also needed to keep up with the competition as most retailers carry Fuzzi Bunz. So I contacted the company again hoping that they would still accept me as a retailer. Thankfully they did.

Let me tell you now how wrong I was about these diapers and the company!! I received the products this week. Shipping was fast, easy and the people I have dealt with so far at Fuzzi Bunz have all been very nice and helpful!

I tried the perfect size pocket diaper first on my 2 year old son. The diaper was a great fit, was absorbent enough to last him through his afternoon nap with no leaks and did not leave any marks on his skin (my son has very sensitive skin). I also love the hip snaps that adjusts the leg opening seperately from the waist snaps. And I really like the fact that the size medium will fit both my 7 month old (17lbs)and my skinny 2 year old (25lbs).

Now lets talk about the one-size Fuzzi Bunz diaper. This is the same diaper if you recall that I returned to the retailer without even trying it first thinking I would just hate this diaper! Was I ever wrong!! What an awesome diaper! First it took me a good 5-10 minutes to adjust the sizing with the leg elastics and the waist elastics for my 7 month old son. So for sure this is not a diaper that I will be adjusting between both my sons as it would be too time consuming. However the fit is amazing as it can be customized to the perfect fit for every baby. Even though the diaper looks big it shrinks down to this tiny diaper that will fit your newborn. Much less bulky than other one-size that I have tried.

I have since tried the diaper on both my boys without any leaks and a great TRIM fit for both of them. Now I have to say that the one I originally returned was one of their first one-size version that did not have the hip snaps and was a bit different than the newest version that has been tweaked to perfection since then. Another great added bonus of this diaper is that it comes with a set of replacement elastics if you ever need to replace worned down elastics which happens frequently with one-size diapers as they get a lot of wear and tear. Also, Fuzzi Bunz offers a lifetime warranty on their snaps! With extra elasatics and lifetime snaps, you have much better chances that this diaper will last you from birth to potty training and even for more than one child!

So to sum up this very long story, I just wanted to share with you that I was very wrong about Fuzzi Bunz and that I am very happy (and even excited) that I have finally decided to carry (and try) their products. It just goes to show you that sometimes we are influenced by others and we make decisions based on rumors or wrong information.

Fuzzi Bunz were the pionneer of the pocket diaper and they continue to bring us great innovative diapering products. Ottawa Cloth Diapers is also carrying the Fuzzi Bunz changing pad and will be adding their super soft Fuzzi Bunz wipes (which I am using right now and really like!).

For more information on the Fuzzi Bunz perfect size and one-size diapers, visit our website at this link: http://www.ottawaclothdiapers.com/products/products.asp?id=14

They have many great colors to choose from plus a few new prints.

Hopefully you will like these diapers as much as we do! Please share your comments, I would love to hear from anyone who has tried or is planning to try these diapers.

Thank you to my customers who have kept asking about these diapers because I don't think I would have decided to carry them if I wasn't asked so many times about Fuzzi Bunz!

Have a great weekend!
Vicky