Category Archives: Cloth Diapering

Top 5 Tips for Potty Training Your Toddler or Preschooler

1. Camp out in the bathroom naked with a loop of Dora on your iPad for 5-7 days.

2. Can you say, “dog crate”?

3. Wait until Kindergarten — the embarrassment of wearing diapers all day at 5 will be enough for them to train themselves!

4. Rent a hotel room for the duration of the training. The mess will be theirs, not yours.

5. If nothing else works, contract the job out. I hear potty training is going for pennies in China.

Ok. Kidding. I do have some more, uh, implementable tips for all you parents getting ready to potty train or already wrestling with your nonstop-pissing dragon child. These are gleaned from experience, of course. If you have any sure-fire advice of your own, we at Punkernoodle would love to hear it!

1. Start early. By this, I don’t mean trying to potty-learn your child at 5 months (although lots of parents report great success with elimination communication, a technique we’ll explore in a later post). What I mean is start early to make it normal. By the time your child is standing, you should have a small potty in every bathroom in your home (I don’t mean the child’s seat that attaches to the toilet; small kids need their own accessible, self-contained potty sized just for them). Put their potty on the floor next to the toilet. Encourage them to sit on the potty with their clothes on or off. Help them foster a relationship with their potty. Name it. Put stickers on it, whatever. Don’t badger them about “getting dirty” when they inevitably rub their hands all over the potty (teach them about germs, and always wash hands, but don’t paint the potty as a negative, icky thing).

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2 Cloth 101 classes!

Due to high demand, Punkernoodle Baby has two Cloth 101 classes for you this upcoming weekend.

In south Seattle on Saturday, April 16 is our class through the Parent Trust of Washington. This is a complete diaper education, including info on EC, resources and a helpful cost calculator sheet. Register here:

Sunday April 17th in our Ballard showroom we will teach the basics of cloth diapering to new and expectant parents. Email us at to reserve your spot!

Top 5 Reasons to Switch to Cloth Diapers

Most of the parents we see at the Punkernoodle Baby showroom are expectant parents, researching cloth diapers and setting up their stash before baby arrives.

Still, every week or two we do help a parent who wants to make the big leap, the switch to cloth for their already disposable-diapered baby. Because we’re on the cusp of a new year, and it’s as good a time as any for resolutions, we thought it would be a great time to revisit the Top 5 Reasons to Switch to cloth. Because really, it’s never too late to change how you diaper.

1. It’s cheaper! The average week in disposables for an infant costs $21.00! About $85 per month, $1,000 a year and about $2,500 for 2 1/2 years of diapering! Setting up a cloth diaper system with one-size diapers, All-in-Ones or prefolds and covers can cost as little as $500.00 and can diaper two or more babies for a lifetime! Even if you’ve spent a few months, a year or more buying disposables, you still stand to gain a ton of savings with cloth.

2. Baby’s health. Disposable diapers contain chemicals such as Dioxin that most parents would not want up against their babies’ most sensitive areas 24-7. I know I didn’t. As a new mother I had enough environmental pollution and chemical-laced products to worry about. Using cloth means choosing a natural or safe fabric in place of chemical-laden plastic. It’s a logical extension of choosing healthy food for your family and making a marketplace choice to say no to dangerous products.

3. The planet. Would you throw away your clothes every day? One baby will go through 8,000 disposable diapers during their babyhood. It all goes into a landfill where it sits for hundreds of years before breaking down. We shouldn’t be a throwaway society. We have no reason to be, and it’s not what we should teach our kids.

4. It’s easy. Putting a cloth diaper on your child is just as easy as fastening a disposable — really! Modern cloth diapers have Velcro or snaps and are easy enough for freaked-out mother-in-laws and the most skeptical dads to put on in the dark. Can you change it in the rain? Can you change it on a train? Yes!

5. All the cool kids are doing it. Ha. No, really. Cloth diapering is going mainstream. No one is going to look at you askance when you pull out a super soft, super cute Watermelon-colored FuzziBunz instead of a crumply, chemical-smelling “Snuggies.” In fact, you’ll likely just get a lot of ooohs and ahhhs and “Where can I get me some of them hot-to-trot heiny hiders?”

 So there you have it. Our Top 5. Don’t be scared — it’s smart, it’s easy, it’s cool. Switch!!!!!

SUN! Get Those Problem Diapers Out

Here in the Pacific Northwest, we get true sun about, oh, maybe 3 or 4 times all winter (or so it seems). So it’s hard when parents ask me how to deal with funky problems that come up in their diapers during the darker months (smell, repelling, staining, even yeast) and all I want to say is “sun them.”

Well today, as if to ring in the New Year, it is bright and gorgeously sunny in Seattle. So I will use this incredible weather as a reminder: Go sun your diapers! Sunning is a natural, effective way to bleach out problems. It is also good maintenance so sun them even if they are in good shape.

If your diapers are funky, I suggest this basic recipe:

  • First, run your dirty diapers in a regular wash with detergent to get soil out.
  • The mix a cup of warm water and a few drops of Dawn dishwashing Liquid (the blue kind) and add that to a new wash cycle. Wash diapers on Hot. (If diapers are particularly leaky or downright repelling, use a scrub brush ti scrub the surface of each with the Dawn solution before putting them in the Hot wash).*
  • Run a warm rinse.
  • Hang your wet, clean diapers outside in the sun.

*If you have confirmed yeast problems and believe you have yeast in your diapers, washing with a few drops of Tea Tree Oil can help, or on occasion a little bleach must be used. Then sun bleach. Be sure you treat yeast effectively on your baby and yourself if you are breastfeeding or the cycle will continue. Yeast rash is common in babies regardless of diaper style, and breastfeeding mothers are susceptible to thrush. 

If your diapers are stiff or cold after sun-drying, pop in the dryer for 5 minutes. And always remember to use a cloth-safe detergent, cloth-diaper-safe diaper creams and NEVER any dryer sheets at all to maintain top diaper performance.

Cloth Diaper Class in Seattle Saturday!

It’s time for another popular Cloth 101 class! Sign up or pass this along to someone you know who needs the cloth lowdown.

Punkernoodle Baby, Seattle’s only full-service cloth diaper shop, will be hosting Cloth 101 class this Saturday, Nov. 6 from 11-12:30. Come learn about all the various styles of cloth diapers and how to choose which is best for you. This class covers it all – the important washing info you need to do it right, how to fit your baby into one-size cloth diapers, what to do with poop, and how to save thousands of dollars by choosing cloth over disposables. We’ll also cover hybrid systems, traveling with cloth and troubleshooting. Class is $10 per person or $15 per couple, with a redeemable gift certificate to the shop included. The class takes place in our Ballard showroom, so you can see all the diapers and accessories in person. We have a few spaces left. Email us at to secure your spot.

Happy Diapering!

Seattle Green Festival

Punkernoodle Baby is back from a cloth-diaper-studded Day 1 at the Seattle Green Festival 2010. The event was huge again, with tons of fantastic booths offering information, products and samples of everything from Theo Chocolate to Mama K’s Aromatic Play Clay (Wow we loved this stuff!), Global Exchange Coffee and some abnormally good almonds from (gasp) California.

The festival was a bit tricky, because it also happened to be the sunniest, warmest day of the year so far (hello, June). So traffic was a bit slow, but we did get to talk to lots of parents, grandparents, aunts and aging hippies about cloth diapers and hand out lots of business cards. Tomorrow is supposed to be sloppy rain all over, so if you are thinking about coming down, just do it. The Kids Zone is so superb, it’s worth more than an admission to the Seattle Children’s Museum, honestly. Punkernoodles 1 and 2 spent the entire day there,hearing music, doing art, hanging with the patient folks from the Wilderness Awareness School and playing on the lovely wooden play area seat up by (I think) Olympia Waldorf (definitely some Waldorf school around here). I even proved my mad sewing skills by making my girls tiny felt gnomes at the Waldorf craft station, thereby saving face to the Waldorf mothers of the world in general. Though when they asked Mr. Punkernoodle about whether we’ve been involved with Waldorf, he glazed over our little experience there by saying we couldn’t afford it (huh?!) Anyway, I digress…

Punkernoodle Baby will have lots of cheap cloth diaper goodies in our $8 and $10 bins tomorrow, Sunday June 6, plus a drawing to win a cloth mini-stash. We’ll also be doling out advice at our Troubleshooting Cloth Clinic so bring your worst problems. Finally, during the last 3 hours we will have a Seattle Green Festival; 5% off everything, including Sale items. Woohoo!

Punkernoodle out.

New Seattle Cloth Diaper Class Coming Up!


Punkernoodle Baby is hosting a spring Cloth Diaper 101 class in Seattle at the Seattle Holistic Center in Wallingford!

Learn everything you need to know about the dozens of styles of cloth diapers, how to compare the costs of various diapering systems, which diapers are greenest for the planet and which are healthiest for your baby!

We’ll also cover the basics of Elimination Communication, how to care for cloth diapers, what you need to use Diaper Service, and answer all your burning questions.

Join us Saturday, April 17 from 12:30 to 2 p.m. with your friends, partner, or just bring yourself and get prepared to diaper your baby. $20 per person, $30 per couple, with a $10 coupon to use later on anything at our Seattle cloth diaper shop.

To register or for more information, send us an email at – See you there!