Welcome to Little Red Parkas

Little Red Parkas,

here to bring resources, guidance and support for mothers of young children as based on a poem from the Bible about a Virtuous Woman.

Looking for the Cloth Diapers from the demo class? check out the "Cloth Diapering" page below.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

tips for buying used cloth diapers

I can hear what you are thinking.

Used cloth diapers!?! People actually sell those!?!?!?!


Buying gently used cloth diapers can be a great way to save for your "ultimate" stash, and find out what brands and styles you like.

Some quick pointers for buying used.

~Ask about the condition of the PUL/waterproff layer. Old diapers can have cracked or separating/bubbled PUL which will cause leaks.

~Is the elastic still tight? Shot or tired elastic will allow gaps at the legs and can allow leaks and blowouts.

~If the diaper/cover has aplix closure (like velcro), does it still have good stick to it? Over long use, Aplix can get pilly and loose it's grip, causing it to not stay closed.

If snaps, are they all functioning properly.

that is all for now, more to follow.

so, how many diapers do I need?

Everyone wants to know how many diapers they need.
Let's face it, cloth diapers do have a higher start up cost than disposibles.
so, the question on everyone's mind...What is the minimum?

Well, on the one hand it should be as easy as
number of diaper changes(dc) times number of days before washing(db4w) plus 3-4 extra just in case.

So, for you mathmatical types, here is our minimum number of cloth diaper formula.
(dc x db4w) + 4= minimum number of diapers.

So for example, a newborn may need as many as 16 diaper changes a day. What did you do, I just changed you!?! So, take 16 times the however many days you want to go inbetween washing and tada!

Well, it is still not quite that simple.

Having a larger rotation of diapers is often a better choice than the bare minimum.
~More diapers gives mom a little break from laundry (let's face it, kid's create a ridiculous amount of laundry, you don't necessarily want to add washing diapers twice a day just to keep up!)
~More diapers means less wear and tear on the individual diapers. They will last longer, often through multiple children, and have better resale value. (yes, gently used cloth diapers have a huge market!)

more in a little bit....gotta play hide and seek with the kids and hubby

Sunday, April 24, 2011

a random confession

I am always so excited when someone asks about cloth diapers (I know, so silly, huh?) but then I am immediately annoyed that I have yet to finish even one post that I really feel good about in terms of explaining the various types of diapers.

I know what you are thinking, you need to get a life if a blog about cloth diapers is your biggest concern.

Well, the thing is, I have a life! hence the lack of posts and finished pages!!

And, the things that concern me lately?...
~my 3 and a half year old daughter "S"...
-she has the emotions of a pre-teen. How do I reach her whem she seems so overwhelmed sometimes by her emotions?
-she is completely refusing to potty train. I'm fine with it in general, she will learn when she is ready. Still, she has 4K in the fall and really needs to learn before then. What happens if she does not? Will she really have to stay home over diapers?
-hopefully she will go to 4K in the fall. How will she respond to other adults in authority? How will she cope with a room full of other children, some who may be more dominant than her?

~my 20 month old son "E"...
-he is a momma's boy. I love it and yet am wary of how he will handle new baby coming in August. How do I comfort him, nurse the baby and discipline Sydney at the same time?

~my little girlie due in Aug.
-while in some ways we are very prepared, there is still so much to do!
-sew a lot of cloth diapers, buy small covers, sort Sydney's old clothes, set up baby bassinet, figure out grandparent care for S and E, make and freeze a bunch of meals and more!

Things that excite me lately...
-S counted to 15 the other day! I was pretty impressed and surprised because we have not been working on numbers for a while.
-E is showing signs that he may be ready for potty training (I know! He'll be trained before Sydney at this rate!)
-S is starting to show some great "big sister" qualities. She has defended her little brother (sometimes unnecessarily) from other children at the lirbary or park and makes sure they are nice to him.
-E is jabbering away like crazy. He has a great vocabulary of words and enjoys pointing and showing off his knowledge.
-Baby is kicking and doing wonderful.
-Hubby and I are in a really great place in our life. We are so blessed in our relationship and I couldn't love him more.

well, that was really random, but there it is.
I'm here...living life and that life is keeping me busy!

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Aplix vs. Snaps

Let the great debate begin... (pictures soon)

ok, well, I'm actually going to just share my opinion, and you can make a choice from there.

Aplix is a "hook and loop" closure used on cloth diapers. (real quick side note...Aplix is a brand of "hook and loop." A more commonly heard of "hookd and loop" brand is "Velcro.")
Pros: Aplix allows for a more exact fit as the tabs can be placed at exactly the best position required. Aplix goes on quick and easy.
Cons: It is easier for older baby fingers to pry loose. If not closed securely when put into wash, a diaper chain can form. (a literal chain of diapers formed from the aplix of one diaper connecting to another and another) Over time the Aplix can lose it's grip. (Most people I have talked with have had their aplix diapers last through one child just fine. Also, aplix is relatively easy to replace, even without a sewing machine.)

Snaps: Snaps are pretty self-explanitory. :) Plastic snaps are attatched to the side "wings" of the diaper that wrap around and then get attached to the front of the diaper which has a row of snaps. Some diapers have a single row of snaps, others have a double row.
Pros: Harder for little fingers to pry loose. No worrying about diaper chains in the landry machine.
cons: Due to placement of the snaps, the diapers are not quite as adjustable as velcro. A little slower to put on than Aplix (some diapers have 8 snaps to snap! Most just have 4.). While they are very sturdy, snaps needing replacement will likely need to be sent in for repair as replacing the snaps requires a special tool.

Inspired by Organization

So, I just got back from the 13th Annual Ladies Breakaway in Chilton, WI. I had so much fun. I helped out my friend, Paula, who was a seminar speaker. She lead a seminar on Creative Organization for Your Home. I even took notes...which is a big deal for me. Lots of photos, combined with very creative ideas lead to an inspiring time of relfection and, well, inspiration! I'm hoping to get a book she referenced and do a simple recap of some of her points from the discussion. ...maybe even complete with my own photos. anyway...also hoping to finally get some more detailed posts up about specific cloth diaper types. well see.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Time Management, or lack thereof

Do you know where the last day, week, month went!?!
I'm not sure what happened but I think I blinked and it was nearly three months later.
I struggle with feeling like I don't have time to do the things I want to do. Meanwhile, even the things that need to be done are being neglected.
Surrounded by dishes and laundry, it can be easy to get discouraged and:
  • leave it til later
  • hope that someone ELSE will do it
  • take a torch to it (ok, that is not an actual suggestiong, although the thought has likely crossed your mind)
  • do something else you enjoy
  • or what seems to happen to me most often: do nothing

When it comes to chores, or chores-like tasks, I've found that the dread of it is far worse then the actual chore itself. It often takes less effort and time than I thought and I feel so much better having at least made an effort to find the kitchen counter or the laundry room floor.

It reminds me of a object lesson I saw as a child.

Imagine your day as represented by a small glass jar. The things that need to be done, 10 large walnuts. And the things that are "fun" or "extra" as grains of rice.

If you put the rice in first, there is not enough froom for the walnuts.

But, if we do the things that must be done each day first, the "extras" will have room in our life. And I think we will be happier and more confident, having accomplished important things in our home and life. Things that bring order, peace and even cleanliness!

So, on that note, I'm off to change diapers and get some work done!

Friday, December 3, 2010

Focus on Cloth - Pocket Diapers

(a little more info still to come, along with pictures, but here is a start) Just the Facts, ma'am. a quick review from cloth diaper page: Pockets: These diapers consist of a waterproof outer layer (often PUL [poly urethane laminate] fabric) and an inner layer of fleece or suede cloth. Like the style implies, these diapers have a Pocket opening (usually in the back of the diaper) into which you add absorbent insert/s (included when you purchase new) inbetween the outer waterproof layer and the inner fleece/suede cloth layer. When "serviced" the inside fleece/suede does not feel wet, but allows the pee to pass through to the absorbent insert inside the pocket. Inserts are often made of microfiber, a very absorbent material that holds much more liquid that cotton.

Change whole diaper (pocket and insert) when wet, use a new Pocket diaper with insert each time.

*Happy Heiny brand Pocket diapers can be purchased on the Happy Baby Bum website.

Let's break it down - a little more details.

Raves: Pockets are daddy, grandparent, and baby-sitter friendly. They go on similar to a disposable diaper, making them a favorite for many families.

Stay-Dry: Moms love pockets because of the "stay-dry" effect of the fleece or suede. Baby's bum stays feeling dry and happy. While some babys may have a sensitivity to the fleece, most find that the "stay-dry" of the fleece helps keep rashes from popping up. (Babies with a family history of skin sensitivity may have a reaction to fleece or suede...try just buying a couple diapers at first to see if there is any problem...gently used cloth diapers have excellent resale value, try craigslist, ebay or an online diaper site diaperswappers.com [registration required]).

Adjustable Absorbancy: Pockets are also a favorite because you can easily adjust the absorbancy of the diaper based on how many and what type of insert you place inside the pocket. One insert for general, daytime use; two for naps or car trips, and overnight. Many one size pocket diapers include two inserts; a small and a large insert. Use the small for newborn/small settings, the larger insert for medium/large settings. Use both inserts simultaniously for heavy wetters or overnight.

Overnight Solutions: Again, because of the stay-dry feature of pockets, it is a popular choice as an overnight diaper. However, for your older sleep-through-the-night child, both inserts may not be enough. Extra inserts can be used or inserts made of differnet fibers may be purchased. Hemp is very absorbant and is a popular choice. Hemp is a slow absorbing material, whereas microfiber is fast absorbing. If using a combination of inserts, the microfiber inserts should be placed in the diaper so that it is closer to baby with hemp being underneath.

*For my 3 year old, we used a hemp insert sandwiched between two microfiber inserts in order to keep her dry. It was a little bulky, but she was a sleep and did not mind...and she was dry!

How does sizing work? Pockets can be purchased in as SIZED POCKETS, from preemie (from approx. 4lbs) to XL (up to around 45lbs). Many brands also offer ONE SIZE (OS) Pockets. One Size diapers feature snaps up the front of the diaper that snap down to adjust the rise of the diaper. Most have three rows of snaps, (Happy Heinys has four rows) to create the various sizes from (x)small to large.

Washing Pockets

Is that your final answer?

You've made your choice, you've got your pocket diapers.

you're ready to put them on your baby, right?


First, what type of inserts came, or did you purchase, with your pockets? All cloth diapers should be washed before wearing for cleanliness and to be prepped.

Microfiber (the most common insert included with pockets) will be fine with just a single wash and dry. Detergant is optional for a first wash.

If you purchase natural fiber inserts (cotton, hemp or bamboo) they need to be washed seperately from other diapers to remove the natural oils and make them absorbant. (if you wash with other diapers/inserts, the oils will attatch to them causing them to be less absorbant). These should be washed and dried 5-6 times before use and will keep getting more and more absorbant until around the 10-12 wash. They can also be boiled (provided they do not have any snaps) if you need to prep a small amount of inserts.

Washing Your Pockets. Before washing, you need to remove the inserts from the pocket. While some pockets advertise that the inserts adgitate out while in the washer, I tend to want to pull the inserts out anyway to expose them to the maximum amount water. I believe most moms remove the insert right away when placing the soiled diaper into the wetbag/diaper hamper. I often forget as I only use them for overnight. Removing the insert right before putting the diaper in the washer does not harm the diaper, although it may insult your nose. As will all diapers, if your pocket has a 'Velcro' closure, attatch the wings to the landry tabs to avoid a diaper chain (a literal chaing of diapers that connect to each other's 'velcro' closure while adgitating in the washer or dryer). Snap closures do not require any special prep before landrying.

Focus on Cloth - Intro

When I tried to complile a simple yet informative page on cloth diapers, I quickly realized I could easily make an entire website devoted to explaining the various types of diapers as well as pages and pages of tips and recommendations. While there are many sites out there, it can be difficult to find a good comparison of various styles, the pros and cons of each and so on.
All that to say, I'm going to attempt to focus on each type of cloth diaper over the next several posts and get more indepth with my information.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Lead Me

My husband and I are really moved by this song lately, and I just wanted to share it with you.

Lead Me, by Sanctus Real

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Love - Pass it On

One of our daughter's favorite books is "Love You Forever" by Robert Munsch. Every night, we have to read, or at least sing the song from, Love You Forever. She'll grab my hand and say, "Forever, Mommy, forever?"

And I'll pull her into my lap and read the book and sing the song the mommy sings to her son...

"I'll love you forever,
I'll like you for always,
As long as I'm living,
My baby you'll be."

The mommy sings this song everynight to her son...
...when he's a cute little baby,
an active two year old who flushed her watch down the toilet,
a messy 9 year old,
a teenager with strange friends, clothes and music,
and a grown man who moves away to his own home.
It ends with the boy, now a grown man, singing I'll Love You Forever to his own little baby girl.

While it is just a simple little children's book, I love the message it carries.

Tell your child daily (hourly!) that you love them. Whether they are obediant or disobediant, having a good day or bad day, make you smile or make you cry.

Our children face many struggles and challenges in this world. They can be plagued with doubts and fears...don't let them question your love for them.

Children are a gift from the LORD;
they are a reward from him. Psalms 127:3

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

coming up for air

Whew, what a busy few weeks. Touched Twice event went superbly with hundreds of people being helped and lots of moms checking out cloth diapering.
There are a few things in the works:
-giving cloth info to The Crossing Pregnancy Center (I will be available demonstrate cloth diapers to interested moms/-to-be)
-co-ordinating with the Health Department to do a demo
-adding pictures and even 'slide-shows' to the various pages to give a better understanding of the diapers available for display.

As always, feel free to contact me! I'd love to answer any questions you may have!

Friday, August 6, 2010

Cloth Diaper Demo at Touched Twice - Free Clinic Manitowoc

Little Red Parkas will make it's cloth diaper demo debut Sat. Aug 14th at Faith Church on the south side of Manitowoc (map). Past Touched Twice events have seen 600+ people come through the doors to receive free medical screening, eye exams, haircuts, family portraits, groceries and even counseling in various life matters.
Cloth Diapering will be demonstrated near the Child Care Area... which I believe is in the sanctuary.
These are NOT your grandma's diapers...modern cloth diapering has come a long way and I will be there to show you the way! (Hey, I warned you about my personality quirks.) Are you interested in saving up to $800 a year, per child? I'll see you there!

Friday, May 14, 2010


Little Red Parkas exsists to offer resources, guidance and support to mothers of young children as based on the Virtuous Woman in Proverbs 31:10-31.