Thursday, June 26, 2014

Cloth Diapering: It’s How We Doo…Doo

Like what I did the title there? I know, so clever. So, here’s the deal. This is how WE do it. When this journey of pregnancy and parenting began, I learned quickly that I wanted to learn from others, but that was all I wanted. In turn, I try not to give advice unless asked. I believe in making informed and educated decisions that are YOUR OWN. Figure out what works for your family, and if it’s cloth diapering, I hope this helps! This is only from my own experience.

Why? Why not? We already do laundry. Despite arguments that it increases water and electricity bills, we didn’t notice any change when we converted when M was 2 weeks old. It takes a little time, but not much more than folding laundry. In fact, I fold clothes and stuff diapers in the same sitting. It’s good for our wallet. It’s good for our world. It works for our home. That’s enough for me! 

How many? I’m actually not totally sure how many we have. I think it’s around 36. We have 24 newborn size and around 36 one-size. That was our goal when we started buying them. Everything I read said to have about 12/day…so if you don’t want to be forced to wash all of the time, plan accordingly. I will say that I wash about every other day. Sometimes I go every three days. By the way, NO WAY older babies use 12…that’s only for the tiny ones.

 The newborn diapers we have are all prefold. These are the old-school ones that are now most known as burp cloths. 

The majority of our one-size lot are pocket-diapers. These have inserts made of different things. I sometimes use the newborn diapers as inserts. We have a few one-size all-in-onesThese are pricey, but convenient. 

We also have several one-size prefolds that I bought on Ebay for super cheap. I’ve accumulated covers as they’ve been inexpensive on Ebay as well. These are good when there’s a diaper rash; I put him in one without a cover so his behind can breathe a little more and I know when he’s wet instantly.

Cleaning? When we take diapers off, we toss them in the dry pail. If a baby is solely breastfed, the poo is water soluble. There is, seriously, no need to do anything about it. If you think it’s gross, consider…newborns have blow outs…I mean, SERIOUS poo. Poo all over pants. Poo all over shirts. Poo all over mom’s pants. In my house, after those incidents I didn’t rush to do a load of laundry every single time. It’s all right. It comes out. Now, I can’t vouch if a baby is not breastfed, but breastfed baby poo is easy squeezy.

Our Pail
As the little poo maker gets older, things change just a tad. This is where diaper sprayers make a lot of money; however, J (my husband) and I decided they’re totally not worth it. Most poo just slides right off into the toilet. If it doesn’t, we use the little spray bottle they give you (mama) at the hospital after you had the little one. It works just fine to get those little pieces into the potty where they belong.  You can also use flushable or reusable liners so that the poo doesn’t stick to the diapers. These last forever and work fine as well.

The Squirt Bottle Thing
In terms of detergent, we used Ecos Free and Clear for the longest time. It was the best bang for our buck, and it did just fine. Now, I make my own using the same one that my fellow blogger, Donna, taught me. To wash, I do one short rinse cycle. Then, I add about half of the detergent I normally would and put it on the longest cycle. Now that I’m stateside and it’s an option, I wash with hot water about once a week. Every now and then when I feel they might be getting a tiny bit stinky, I put a few drops of tea tree oil in the wash. It’s magical. Then, I rinse again, and I hang dry.

When it's sunny! 

When it's rainy!
Aside from diapers? I strongly recommend having extra inserts. I haven’t felt the need as strongly as I do now that my little guy is older. It’s getting necessary to double up inserts for naptime.

You need a bucket or trash can that is a designated diaper pail along with wet bags. We have three and it works wonderfully. There’s usually one being used in the pail, one hanging to be dry, and one ready to be used at all times. They make some so that you can unzip the bottom and the diapers fall out into the washer. These are fine, but just regular wet bags work as well. You can easily dump diapers without touching them. 

You also need a few travel wet bags. These are small for you to put dirty diapers in while traveling.
These are some of our extras. We do have some wipes, but we rarely use them. The top, funny shaped things are snappies for prefold diapers. The brown bag is a small wetbag, and the folded pile of white, blue, and red are our big wet bags. The rolled up case are flushable liners that we don't use very often. The CD was from Real Nappies. 

Kushies is a simple, affordable travel wetbag.

G-Diapers products are good. I like their big wet bags. We just don't use their diapers because they don't do a lot of one-size. 
Cloth diapers are not friendly with powder or regular butt paste. Good things to have on hand are coconut oil just for baby’s bum and Grandma El’s Diaper Cream (check that out HERE). These are, of course, if your little one HAS TO have a diaper on. If not, let that little rash air out.

Of course, if you're super intense on not having any trash, you'll want wipes and such too. 

Buy used? The majority of our diapers were purchased new; however, we do have some there were used when we bought them. Some feel that is gross. I feel like I buy used baby clothing that was potentially peed and pooed on as well. If I trust the lack of stains to mean that it’s all right to put on my baby, then I feel the same about used diapers. I will not buy crazy stained diapers, but I will buy used if they look all right.

Brands? This is where my experience actually contradicts what I will do in the future. It’s a “If I had thought then what I think now” moment. I will just tell you what I have, and what I feel about them. I’ll also tell you my plans for future purchases.
Real Nappies- all of our newborn diapers are Real Nappies. They are prefolds and I love them. They are made in New Zealand and they have a 2 kid guarantee. After using their prefolds as inserts, I believe the guaranteed whole heartedly. Check them out HERE.
Alva- Many of our pocket diapers are Alva. They are extremely affordable and they are good diapers, BUT, they are truly too good to be true. In the same way that we have been striving to eat local, real food…we have been convicted to try and be a little more aware of where our money goes. These are unfortunately straight from China. We will not be buying them again.
Kawaii-We have a few of these diapers. I do really like them; however, they find me in the same predicament as the Alva. Even though the price is right, I probably will not purchase these again.
BumGenius-These are my favorite!! Unfortunately, when new, they are pricey. The quality of these diapers is far superior to the Alva and Kawaii. To top that off, they are made in Colorado and a newly opened factory in Egypt. I am a fan. Check out their story HERE.
Happy Heinys-These are my second favorite! This company is based out of Indiana and run by two lactation specialist mama’s! The diapers are not cheap, but I really like them. They get the job done, and there is an evident difference in quality when compared to the China-made brands. Read about them HERE. 
Smitten Baby- I can’t vouch for these diapers…yet! They’re on special on Zulilly AS I TYPE. My biggest draw to these diapers is that they’re 100% made in Canada. It’s so difficult to find diapers that are not made in China that when I do, I get excited and curious! Check them out HERE!

ALWAYS cloth diapering? Not in this house. We didn’t start cloth diapering until our little guy was about 2 weeks old. Then, we only did it at home. Now, it depends on how long we will be out. You do need to change cloth diapers more frequently than you change disposable. So, if we’re going to the store to be home by lunch, I will let M stay in cloth. If we’re driving an hour and planning to visit for a while wherever we’re headed, I will put M in disposables until we go home. Currently we do disposables at night because I haven’t quite figured out how to maintain his new heavy-wetter status! It’s just easier that way. Otherwise, cloth diapering is not much work at all. If you’re thinking it could be for you then it probably is. If it’s your first baby, I recommend requesting a shower exclusively for diapers. If you know you’re going to have more than one…use one to start your stash!

I mean, it doesn't get much cuter than that little cloth covered booty! Well, that’s that. Let me know if there’s anything I missed.  Happy cloth diapering!


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