Tuesday, July 3, 2012

on cloth diapering

Recently, I've had a few people ask me questions about cloth diapering. A few even said that I'm the only person they know who cloth diapers. I can't believe that! And if that's the case, then I need to better my campaign to convert everyone to them! This started out as an email to a friend but since a few have asked, I thought I would post it.  

 I'm sure my neighbors love my cloth diaper laundry. The sun is great for bleaching out smells and stains. With gInserts they recommend you do not use a clothes line and instead lay them flat to dry-- hence spreading them from one end of the deck to the other!

We use a couple of different brands. My favorite is a Blueberry pocket diaper. It is one size with an adjustable rise on it which means they wear them from birth through potty training. I feel like they are the best bang for your buck. They are pretty expensive ($25ish per diaper). But when you consider how long you're using it, it's a good investment I think. They look exactly like a disposable with a Velcro closure and the same design. They come in the cutest patterns too!
Blueberry one-size pocket diaper in white. Bet you thought it was a disposable!

We also gDiapers with their cloth inserts. I use those same inserts with a Thirsties cover. The gDiapers are sized  so you have to buy more as they outgrow them. We bought ours secondhand from a friend so I got a good price-- I might not have bought them new. We have had some problems with leaks. Dane is a very heavy wetter so I double the inserts to keep him dry longer. Thirsties are also adjustable so you get a lot of use out of them. They come in two sizes but we bought the larger and just adjusted the waist and rise way down while Dane was small.
modeling his gDiaper

fluffy butts are cuter!
I would recommend cloth wipes too. Disposable wipes shred in the wash and are not fun to clean up! Since you're already washing diapers, wipes are easy because you can just toss them in the wet bag too. I bought a bunch of those thin baby washcloths and store them in an old wipes container. I mix water, baby shampoo and some olive oil together and pour it over them. You can read more about making wipes in this post.

I don't use a diaper sprayer because Danes poop usually just falls right into the toilet-- but there have been a few times when I wishes we had one because I will not swish a diaper around in the toilet. Gross. 

I also don't buy special cloth diaper detergent, I just use All Free &Clear. When the diapers start to stink-- when you open the washer and they still smell or if he smells like poop and hasn't pooped-- it's time to strip them. I put a couple squirts of blue Dawn in and wash them on hottest setting and rinse until the suds are gone. Sometimes I add bleach if they are really bad. gDiapers doesn't recommend bleach but I have used it a few times when even Dawn didn't do the work. I strip diapers probably every six weeks.

I don't think cloth diapering is extra work. I throw the diapers in the washer, then the dryer and then dump them in a laundry basket and usually use them right out of there! I started out folding them all but I got lazy. And, when you're low on diapers you don't have to run to Walmart, you just throw in a load-- that's my favorite part!  

The number of diapers you'll need depends on how often you want to do laundry. We have approximately 15 diapers and I do laundry about every other day. Sometimes more, sometimes less. I don't like to let the wetbag sit for too long because then it stinks up Dane's room. We bought the DiaperChamp diaper pail because I read that it worked for cloth diapering. Rather than the special bags like the Genie system, it just uses a regular garbage bag. My wetbag it too thick so the lid won't shut right. We just hang the bag on a hook at the end of the dresser/changing table. We use gDisposable inserts (biodegradable and flushable--not to mention chemical-free!) at night sometimes so we keep the diaper pail lined with a garbage bag for those.

I love cloth diapering because I know we are saving so much money every month. After our initial investment of about $300, we haven't had to spend anymore except for the roughly $3/month our water bill has increased. And you can't buy a month's worth of diapers for $3! It's been great seeing our families get on board with it and even hearing my mother-in-law compliment our decision to do it. 

As long as this post is, I STILL haven't covered everything! I'm happy to answer questions. I'm by no means a professional but I have read every CD blog and website out there and have had to learn by trial and error how to wash using an HE washer, how to diaper a heavy-wetter for nighttime and how to CD while traveling. Give it a try! You won't regret it!

in a Thirsties cover. couldn't you just eat him up? 

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