Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Crash Course in Cloth Diapering

I am a huge researcher, anytime I start something new I research and read up on it as much as I can. And when I started the cloth diaper journey I read a ton and watch a lot of youtube videos, so I figured I better do my part....before we start potty training!!!

I started cloth diapering when Little Young was almost 6 months old. I had a few cloth diapers I had bought before he was born (we figured if the government tells you to have a
few months of food stockpiled, then we better have a few emergency diapers too).  I have purchased a large assortment of diapers to see what we liked best. Ever family and baby is different, so like everything else I jumped right in and started buying just a couple of each brand that seemed to work well (per other people's reviews). We cloth diaper all the time, except night time.....Little Young has been the most difficult sleeper, so I was afraid he would leak and wake up or not like bulk....anything the keep him sleeping!!!! Some people don't cloth diaper when they are out or only on the weekdays. I don't find it any harder to cloth diaper while out, so I always bring them with.

Anyway, I started with the cheapest diapers I could get and it was a rocky start. I'm going to list a few basics about cloth diapering and then in different posts break down the different brands we have tried. Here we go......

What you need to start.....

-DIAPERS- you'll need enough cloth diapers to last 2-3 days (that's how often you'll be washing).
My diaper pails
 For a newborn that's going to be anywhere from 24-36+ diapers, you can't really wash more than that at one time anyway.
For an older infant the number will go down, with Little Young right now he uses 10-15 diapers in 2 days.

- DIAPER PAIL- or somewhere to store your soiled diapers. Lots of people use an empty kitchen trash can or large wet bag. I use containers that are meant for dog food, they have a nice rubber seal that keeps the stink in. I originally bought one that was too small and then had to buy a bigger one, so I use the bigger one for the wet diapers and the smaller one for the poopy diapers. My only regret here is that with that tight seal the diapers have no air circulation and have had ammonia build up (this is mostly due to my hard water and poor detergent). Also, I would like to have a "pail liner", this is a waterproof bag that fits inside the diaper pail and you just throw that in with your diaper laundry....instead of washing the pail all the time like I do.

-A WASHING MACHINE (and detergent)

-And of course.....A BABY

The wonderful diaper sprayer

-DIAPER SPRAYER- this is just like a kitchen sprayer and it hooks up to your toilets plumbing. When your little one has a stinky diaper you just hold it over the toilet and spray out the poop. It sounds easy, but it can be tricky your first couple times. I didn't have a sprayer until we had cloth diapered for at least 6+ months. They can be expensive, so I wanted to make sure I was going to stick with it (I got mine off ebay and paid less than $30).

-DIAPER LINERS- these are another option to make poop diapers easier to clean out. They are either made of fabric (normally fleece) or are disposable. When I didn't have a sprayer I used disposable liners occasionally. They are relatively cheap and you get a ton. You can also buy some really cheap thin wipes (they need to be extremely thin) and dry them in the dryer....instant liners.

-WET BAG- this a waterproof bag with a zipper on top. They are very handy to have when your out....just throw your soiled diapers in there until you get home. And they come in very cute prints!

-Change diaper like normal (I do not use cloth wipes)t
-Take insert out if a pocket diaper
-Spray out diaper if poopy
-Throw in diaper pail

1- Prewash, Cold water, no detergent (I just run a "quick wash") This just gets them rinsed out and ready for washing
2- Wash , Hot Water, detergent (I use the "heavy duty" setting on my washer)
3- Extra Rinse
4- Hang to dry, you can dry some things in the dyer, but anything with PUL (waterproof material) or elastic will wear out much quicker.
~SUNNING~ dry your diapers in the sun as much as you can. The sun is great at getting rid of stains and keeping them fresh.

-If you have detergent build up/residue or hard well water (like mine) you may have to strip your diapers of this build up periodically. To do this I put all my CLEAN diapers in bathtub for a long hot soak in detergent, Calgon, or bleach. I let them soak for 4-8 hrs, so I refresh the water with hot every few hours. Rinse them a couple times in the tub and then put them in the washer for a rinse and spin.

This is a touchy subject, but it's worth talking about. I use TIDE Free and Gentle. I have used several "cloth diaper approved" detergents and they never cleaned my diapers and I had a huge ammonia problem. Since switching to Tide over 8 months ago I'm happy and so is Little Young's bottom. If I hadn't switched, I would have stopped cloth diapering. Some diapers companies will void your warranty if you don't used an "approved" detergent, but when they start stinking and having yeast and ammonia issues, you have to use a product to fix those things that will void your warranty anyway.

There is a ton of different diaper brands and I plan on talking about the ones we've tried next time.

I'm sure I'll think of more later and add to this post. If you have any questions or comments pleases leave me a message in the "comment" section!

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