Thursday, July 3, 2014

My Adventures in Cloth Diapering


When I was pregnant with my daughter, who is currently 3 months old, I decided I wanted to cloth diaper.  The reason was simple really: I wanted to save money.  I thought my husband would be happy with this, after all, money is to be saved! But he wasn't.  He didn't want the hassle of extra laundry and definitely didn't like the upfront cost of cloth.  I assured him, it would save money, just give it a try. He agreed (probably because I was so incredibly lucky that my sister's friend provided me with everything I needed to get started). 



So, there I was, a newborn baby in hand and a pile of  gDiapers on the changing table.  So, what do I do now? I'm not going to play it cool here, I was confused about even the most simple principles of cloth diapering.  I had never used them before. To answer my questions, I did what I always do: I did some research and asked other moms.  Hopefully my experience can help you along with your adventures in cloth diapering!

1. First things first, how do these things work?
I am using gDiapers, mostly because they were given to me, but also because I like them.  I do use some Bum Genius as well, which I also like.  For the g's, you do have some work involved with assembling them each wash, but because you swap out the liners during the day, you don't have to wash the actual diaper part each time there's a messy or wet diaper.  Also, the g goes on the back, which is opposite of what I thought!  The Bum Genius have a cloth insert to catch all the wet, but the whole diaper does need to be washed each time.







2. How do I wash them?
The first thing I wondered, was what kind of detergent do I need to use on these and will that be expensive? I did some research on the best and worst detergents to use and found that Gain is the worst, and that Honest Co. is the best. I already get my Honest Co. supplies every six weeks so this was perfect!  It's what I've used on the diapers ever since and works great.  A little goes a long way, which is wonderful, because you only need a couple tablespoons per load. 

Without subscribing to the bundle, it is $12.95 for a bottle.  Pricey, yes, but you only need a little.  I use this on the baby's clothes too, so the bottle lasts awhile since I'm only using it on this.  If you get the bundle, you get 5 full sized items for $35.95, so you can save by doing this.  

Also, Target just announced that have Honest Co. in stock, so you can try it out without subscribing to anything.

I'm sure everyone has different ways of washing and used different products, but this is what I do and what works for me.  I wash every couple days.  We part time cloth, using disposables during then night and if we are out and about.  90% of the time, however, its cloth.  When I am ready to wash a load, I add about two tablespoons of detergent and wash on the warm cycle, all of it thrown in together, including my cloth wipes (which are mostly just baby wash cloths).  Once that cycle is done, I do another wash with no added detergent, on the hot cycle.  When it comes time to dry, I air dry the plastic inserts and toss the rest in the dryer on the regular setting, with a big towel in the dryer with them to soak up some of the moisture and make them dry faster.  Or, line drying is always great, too.

**Be sure to close the velcro tabs before washing or they will be a tangled mess!**

To avoid the staining and ruining of the diapers, it is advised that you don't use diaper cream or anything with them, but since starting them at about a week old, my girl hasn't had many rashes, compared to those she was getting with disposable (poor girl with her sensitive skin!).

 

 

3. How are the dirty diapers stored between wash days?
This took some trial and error on my part, and I haven't perfected my method yet. I started with a bin, with the lid on, thinking that would do the trick, but it got very smelly in there when the lid was removed. I switched to a lidded trash can with a mesh laundry bag inside. When wash times comes, I wash the laundry bag with it too.  I am going to upgrade to a wet bag soon, I just haven't gotten around to it.

4. What about cloth wipes? How do those work?
I began cloth wiping from the start because my kids tend to have sensitive skin.  With my son, I cloth wiped for the first few weeks and then switched to sensitive wipes.  My daughter has used cloth for the most part and free and clear wipes when I am out and about.  To make the wipes solution, I mix:

-1 cup warm water
-1 tbsp baby wash
-1 tbsp baby oil

I gently mix it and add it to a container or spray bottle.  I prefer the spray bottle, but it does get clogged with the baby wash sometimes.  I used Honest Co. but any kind you use on your baby at bath time is great. I used what I had handy and what I knew didn't upset her skin.  I have heard coconut oil works well instead of baby oil.  When a cloth is used, I toss it in with the diapers to be washed.

For the actual wipes, I made some, and also use little baby wash cloths.  


4. Why cloth diaper and wipe?
For me, it was to save money.  Yes, the environmental reasons are great too, but I mostly wanted to cut down on cost.  Babies use a lot of diapers and if I can cut down on how many I purchase, that is reason enough for me.  Sure, my electric bill might be slightly higher with the extra laundry, but not enough that I have noticed it.  Here is some great information on cost and cloth diapering in general.

5. But isn't it a pain to constantly be washing?
Yes, and no. Sometimes, it is annoying that I have extra laundry to do.  But at the end of the day, I have a ton of laundry, constantly, anyway, so its not that big of a deal for me.  I am home with my kids, so it works for me.  I can toss them in the laundry during nap time, no problem. It has just become routine for me, and honestly, not having to buy diapers often is a huge relief. My husband has come around on using them, as long as he doesn't have to wash them, which I agreed to.  But the long and short of it is, they work for me, so I'm sticking to it.  My girl is breast fed, so it makes the yucky diapers easy to clean, which is great.  We'll see what happens the food starts!

As with all things parenting, I am still learning this system, but am here to answer any questions I can about my experience.  I'm sure everyone does this different, and that's ok! Do what works best for you and your baby and feel free to comment with or message me with questions, that I will do my best to answer.

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