Sunday, December 30, 2012

What I know about cloth diapers (4 month edition)

Although I was a bit fearful of using cloth diapers when I first considered it, I'm so glad we pushed through.  I've learned a few things along the way, besides the fact that they're super cute and provide a never-ending diaper supply.  As a certified expert (of four months), I'll now share. 
My model has some wicked awesome leg chub.

They're totally not disgusting.  Really - and I would tell you 'cause I would think so.  Since Leah has been on and off the potty training boat, I've dealt with poop in all kinds of forms, locations and consistencies.  Clearly Logan isn't pooping the solids poops yet, meaning we haven't had to deal with cleaning them out before tossing diapers in the wash.  Although the Class 5 Hazardous Substance (aka breastmilk-poop) stains don't come out completely, the diapers stay soft and smelling good simply by washing them according to the manufacturer's directions.   I should add that most people recommend sunning the stains out, and I'll cop to the fact that I'm too lazy and Logan is still eating too frequently for me to do this effectively.

Storage.  This is one of those things I worried a lot about, needlessly.  What would I do without my precious diaper genie?!  I bought a simple flip top garbage can from Target and lined it with a Planet Wise pail liner, which come in tons of delicious colors.  Leah liked the avocado and the orange, so we click-click-clicked them into our basket.  They get washed along with the diapers and it works as well as the diaper genie without having to haul long tubes of poop to the trash three times a week.  For clean diapers, I just pop them ready-to-use in the same wicker basket I used for Leah's disposables. 

Wipes.  It dawned on me after I bought the diapers that if I used the same disposable wipes I used with Leah, I'd have to throw them away separately, and since I had no diaper genie it would be in an open-top trash can when they had poop and pee on them.  Not my favorite idea.  So, after a bit of research, I found these awesome wipes from Charlie Banana.  They are awesomely soft and have cleaned up many a newborn soupy mess.  A squirt of Diaper Area Wash (available at Target) helps the process, and we're good to go.

On-the-go.  We have two wet bags purchased from Etsy that we rotate and store in the diaper bag for when we're out and about.  A wet bag is that special place a wet/dirty diaper goes so it can make it home.  While Leah was potty training (an effort we've given up for a while), it was also effective storage for wet panties, jeans, socks, and anything else that wound up in the line of fire.  If we'd had one the first time around, we would also have stored dirty bibs, forks, bowls, etc. in there.  Like a chump, I used disposable ziplock bags.  Truthfully, I can't say enough good things about them... every mom ought to have one in her artilery.  Plus, they're UBER cute and come in all kinds of shapes, patterns and sizes and they're machine washable (bonus!).  See exhibits A and BOoooh, and C.  Seriously, I could do this all day.  They're addicting.  Amazon is a good resource, too. 

Changing.  This has been our biggest hang up, since Logan takes his dooty duty very seriously.  He has to be changed every 2 hours, and is sometimes wet after as little as an hour.  It is routine for me to change his outfit 2 or 3 times a day.  I've also begun using disposables at night, simply because he was always waking up wet and I'm not the kind of mom who wants to change him once or twice every night until he's potty trained.  Rumparooz gives you the option of adding a second insert, which helps, but it makes the already-large cloth diaper almost unmanageable for a tiny baby (or even my not-so-tiny one), and he and everything around him were still wet by morning.  Before switching to a disposable at night, I was doing laundry every 36 hours.  Now I can go about three days, which is a HUGE difference and worth the price of admission in my book.  I also put him in disposables if we're going to be out in the cold for any extended period of time, just because I don't like the idea of his littly tushy being wet when it's freezing out.

Washing.  Cloth diapers need a cold cycle rinse, followed by a hot cycle and an extra rinse.  Again, it's recommended that the covers are line-dried to help remove the stains, which I skip.  They can be machine dried on delicate.  I'll let you know if that impacts the longevity of the diaper, but so far, mine are fluffy, soft and very, very lightly stained.  To keep them nice and fluffy, I use these dryer balls which seems to really help the entire drying process.

The best part?  The best part is that I'm not on the endless hamster wheel that is buying diapers.  We've spent a grand total - including all the stuff I just mentioned - of $567.29.  Yes, that includes two packs of disposables for night-time.  If I had to guess, I'd imagine we've spent at least tripple - maybe even quadruple (gulp) - that on the big girl's diaper habbit so far, and Logan's bill isn't going up any time soon.  The other best part is that the cloth diapers hold in newbie-poop so much better than disposables.  We have never yet had a "#3," which is the term we came up with for when the diaper isn't enough.  Yes, I have more laundry to do, but I have a lot less spot-treatment due to a leaky Huggies. 

So that's that so far.  The poop on cloth diapering.  Questions? Comments?  Concerns? 

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