Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Cloth Diapers!


When I was pregnant with Little Man, I decided I wanted to use cloth diapers. I don’t remember why; I don’t think I knew much about them at all. One weekend I spent about 8 hours researching different types of diapers, then different brands, how to wash them, etc. & just ran with it. It’s been 3.5 years & I’m so glad that’s what we decided to do!

Perks of using cloth:
-          Adorable
-          Soft, fluffy baby booties
-          Toxin free
-          $$ CRAZY MONEY SAVINGS $$
-          Little to no blowouts/poo-splosions
-          Don’t smell as bad when soiled (pee + chemicals = stink)

Downsides to using cloth:
-          Extra laundry
-          Less convenient
-          Upfront investment

Types of Cloth Diapers

Prefolds – this is what people think of when they think of cloth diapers. These are flat, thick cloths that are folded in different ways to put on your baby. You fasten them closed with a snappi – no more pins, y’all - & you put a cover over it.
Fitteds – these are like prefolds but they are already shaped to fit your baby. These also need a cover.
Pockets – these diapers have a cover that you stuff with inserts, like microfiber, hemp, &/or bamboo. You pull the inserts out after the diaper gets dirty so it washes separately, then stuff them after they are clean & dry. These keep the wetness off of baby’s skin since the inserts are under a stay-dry material. 
All-in-one (AIO) – these are diapers that are one piece. So basically the absorbent cloth is sewn to the cover at the front & back. I have some AIOs but they take a little longer to dry & I didn’t like that there were more crevices for poop to get stuck in.
All-in-two (AI2) – these are like AIOs but instead of the insert being sewn at both ends, it usually snaps to the back of the diaper, so you can remove it to wash. This speeds up the drying time.

Pockets, AIOs, & AI2s all have some kind of fastener on them – either snaps or hook & loop (Velcro). Snaps are more durable & harder for babies to undo once they are older, but hook & loop allows more of a custom fit.

Also, many of these diapers are able to grow with your baby, so you don't have to buy different sizes. (Cha-ching!)

The Wash & Care Routine

This is going to differ a bit from person to person based on their washing machine, their hard or soft water, the detergent they use, etc. I think perhaps this is the hardest part of using cloth diapers to figure out, but once you have it down, you’re good to go.

After the diapers are dirty, you place them in either a diaper pail or a wet bag.  Now, I know this it the part that hangs everyone up – the poop. If baby is solely breastfed, you can just throw the poopy diapers into the wash. If baby is formula fed or eats any solids, you want to remove the poop into the toilet. You do this by either using flushable liners, a diaper sprayer, or you can let the diaper soak in the toilet a bit to get the poop off.

(It’s really not that bad.) J

Every 1-3 days (depending on the number of diapers you have & how often you decide to wash), you empty out the dirty diapers into the washing machine for a long, cold soak. After the soak, add your detergent, then wash them on hot. Some people add an extra rinse at the end. You want to make sure to get all of the detergent out of the diapers. Detergent left in the diapers will cause build-up which causes extra stinky diapers as soon as they are soiled, & can cause ammonia in those nighttime diapers. When in doubt, check the diapers during the rinse – if you see bubbles floating, there is still detergent present, so rinse again. If you run into build-up problems, just do an extra hot rinse or two to really get them clean.

You can either stick your diapers in the dryer, or you can hang dry them. Using the dryer uses more energy & costs more, but they get dry fast. Hang drying helps your diapers last longer, & doesn’t cost money, but it might take a long time for them to dry. When dry, you fold or stuff your diapers & put them away for use.

Accessories

Inserts: If you use pocket diapers, or just want more absorbency in any of the diapers, you will need inserts. There are several different kinds: microfiber, hemp, bamboo, & blends. Microfiber inserts absorb quickly but don’t absorb much (so they are good as a top layer – but you do not want them touching baby’s skin, as they will dry it out – so put them inside the pocket, or under a large piece of fleece). Hemp & bamboo inserts absorb slowly, but absorb a lot. So they work well as a second layer.
Cloth Wipes: You can buy thin cloths to use as wipes instead of disposables. It’s super easy; you just throw them in with the dirty diapers after you use them. I personally just use a spray bottle with water, & use a spritz of booty freshener (see below) if necessary, but you can make your own cloth wipe solution too.
Fleece Liners: If you have any diapers that don’t keep baby’s skin dry, you can buy fleece & cut it into strips that you lay on top of the inside of the diaper. This helps keep baby’s skin dry even after the diaper is wet.
Booty Spray: You can buy something like Kissaluvs Diaper Lotion Potion Spray to use on baby’s bottom to moisturize & freshen up baby’s soft booty skin.
Wetbag: I recommend buying two large ones (one backup) for all your dirty diapers, as well as one or two small/medium ones to keep in your diaper bag.

How We Do It

We use pocket diapers during the day, stuffed with one microfiber insert on top of one hemp insert. With Little Man, I use prefolds & covers until he was about 4-5 months old, then pockets afterward. I have owned & used a few AIOs & AI2s, & I just end up preferring pockets most. We buy Sunbaby Diapers – they are really cheap, really cute, & last us about 2 years before we have to buy new ones. We save so much money! I also used Alva Baby newborn diapers on Jack until he was about 2-3 months old.

We use fitted diapers at night (Sloomb & Bummis) with a PUL cover on top (Thirsties & Flips). Doodles will leak out of disposables at night, but not cloth! You can put extra inserts inside of them to make them more absorbent.

Until about 8 months ago, I just used our homemade diaper sprayer to get yucky poops off the diapers. But Doodles poops more than once a day, & it wasn’t of the pleasant variety, so I decided to start using flushable liners & OH how we love those things! Just dump the liner & all its contents in the toilet, & you’re done!

I wash diapers about every 2 days. I do a long cold soak, then one hot wash with BioKleen detergent (I use such a small amount, that I have only purchased two bottles of this stuff in 3.5 years!) & half a capful of Calgon (because we have hard water). Sometimes I will add another hot wash afterward if I feel I have some buildup due to stinky nighttime diapers. Then I throw all the diapers in the dryer for an hour.

Here is a website that outlines some facts about disposables vs. cloth diapers. It has some quick information & stats regarding cost, health, & environmental factors. Like we say with everything – go research!

Have questions over something I didn’t cover? Email us at goinggranolablog@gmail.com!


No comments:

Post a Comment