Thursday, October 20, 2011

tales of cloth diapering

There's always that one weirdo in the crowd. The one who has zany parenting techniques and hair-brained ideas for how she's going to raise her kid. You know the one. The exclusively breastfeeding, co-sleeping (sometimes), cloth diapering, baby food making kinda parent? We don't have one in our circle of friends... oh wait... it's ME!!! Shouldn't I be barefoot and pregnant in my kitchen wearing lots of denim?! I hate that stereotype, thank you very much. I'm here to break the mold. 

I used to make jokes about parents just like me. Oh, the irony. Some of you are glad I'm admitting it because you've been talking about me for the last twelve weeks.  :) We did a ton of reading and research before Dane was born. I have been blessed to have a husband who supports me and we are in agreement on everything we do and decisions we make for Dane. In fact, in those weak, tired moments when I was at my wits end with breastfeeding he was the one telling me step away from the can of formula because I was a "trooper" and I could "do this". :) While he has yet to change a cloth diaper (I think. Mostly because he's away at work during the day) he's even on board with that decision. 

I had no idea there was so much information and so many different types of cloth diapers. We use some pockets, mostly Gdiapers and soon I'm adding prefolds (or flats) to the mix because I feel like I'm constantly running out of diapers! I'm loving this whole thing so far. First, knowing that we are saving a FORTUNE not buying disposables is wonderful- especially since we are transitioning to one income. Second, and, for me, the greatest thing, is that we won't be filling landfills with nasty plastic diapers that don't decompose. Gdiapers says on their website that if Christopher Columbus had worn disposables they would STILL be sitting in a landfill. That's a looooong time for something to sit and not rot... which makes me weary about putting it on my sweet boy's tiny bottom.

The G's we bought were a little big and needed Dane to grow into them so we have used disposables off and on since he was born. At home during the day I would use the just-a-bit-too-large G's because a leak (and the outfit change- for both of us!- that ensued after the leak) wasn't a big deal. When we were out though or especially before bed, we used disposables. I have yet to try cloth overnight... I've been reading on how to double up so you don't have to deal with soaked jammies and sheets every morning. The Boy is a heavy wetter... this may take some trial and error. 

When using cloth it took a little extra effort to separate the disposable wipes for the trash can and the diapers for my wet bag. So, I decided to try cloth wipes. I'm already doing the laundry. What's a few rags thrown in there going to hurt? 

Mostly I see people using flannel scraps or cutting up receiving blankets for cloth wipes. We got soooooo many little washcloths from baby showers that I knew we'd never need them. So, I kept the cute patterned or embroidered ones for bathtime and re-purposed all of the other ones for cloth wipes. Here's how I make a batch:
 I have a few of those big wipe tubs laying around and they are already made with an easy-open top and seal to keep things moist. 
After researching solutions, I decided to opt for just plain ol' olive oil and the bath wash I'm already using for Dane. Add two (2) tablespoons (roughly) of each to 2-4 cups of hot water. Hot water helps the soap to dissolve and the oil to blend. 
The amount of water you use varies depending on how moist you like the wipes. I started with two but they weren't wet enough for me. I think about 3.5 cups is best. If the wipes are too wet, I use a spare to pat Dane's bottom dry before I put his diaper one. I have handy little coffee mixer that works great for getting the oil, soap and water blended really well. 
Finally, fold a stack of washcloths width-wise and place a few at a time in the container adding some of the wipe solution. I find this works best to get the solution evenly distributed across all the wipes.The top wipe usually ends up a little frothy from the soap suds that settle in the mixing bowl.
That's it! We go through these pretty fast so I haven't had any problems with mildew or funny smells yet. 

For washing diapers and wipes, I run a sanitary cycle with a soak and extra hot water rinse on my HE washer. We use Thirsties Diaper wash and I use less than the recommended amount, mostly because I'm terrified of build up and having to strip my diapers. Then we take the load outside to air dry because I love the fresh smell AND the sunshine naturally bleaches any stains and kills odor-causing bacteria! BTW: not sure what I'm going to do this winter because winters in KY are AWFUL with little sunshine and LOTS of wet weather. In three months of doing this we haven't had a single problem! I love that I'm doing something good for the planet and my Boy's bottom. I mean if given the choice, you wouldn't choose plastic, chemical-filled underwear over breathable, cotton ones, right? :)

I'm insanely germophobic. In fact, my hands are hurting right now because I have washed/germX-ed so much since I've been back to work because I'm afraid I'll bring some weird germ home that will make Dane sick. So, if I, the germophobe who washes her dog's kennel blankets and the couch throw blankets once a week and refuses to sleep in something that she wore out of the house for fear of getting germs in her bed, can cloth diaper, any one can... you don't have to say it. I'm worried about how much I'll love cloth diapering after we introduce solids. Hopefully I'm in the routine and take the new elements (or should I say eliminations?) of CDing with grace. 
clean and carefree in his Gdiaper

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