Monday, March 1, 2010

Cloth Diapers

Cloth diapers are making a resurgence as more moms realize that cloth diapers are so much more convenient than they used to be. When people see me changing G's cloth diapers, I hear a lot of questions about every day cloth diapering. So, this post is a brief tutorial. Later I will answer the question why? Today is just how.

Basic supplies:

This is cloth diapering at it's most basic (almost - you can do flat diapers and plastic pants - no thanks).
At the top left, a diaper cover - the revolution in cloth diapering. No more plastic pants! I really like Thirsties and Bummis Super Brites. They fit my girl's bird legs without leaking. In the middle under everything, an indian prefold (named for the country of origin). These are very basic cloth diapers that can be folded to fit any baby and used as doublers after your baby outgrows them. Just like disposables, cloth diapers come in multiple sizes (newborn - large). In the center are two types of fasteners - you can use pins or Snappies. Both are great. When G was first in cloth diapers, I had to use pins to hold the fold correctly around her really tiny thighs. Now the Snappies work just fine. Finally, the fleece pad on the right is a type of doubler. It provides extra protection at night or for a long car ride.
With new advances in fabric, there are cloth diapers for every need. All-in-one's (like bumkins) wrap just like a disposable diaper and are the most intuitive for untrained helpers (like church nursery workers). Pocket diapers (like fuzzibunz) still resemble a disposable diaper but dry much faster because you can remove the lining. Pocket diapers are also very easy to sew yourself. I have made several that I am doctoring on. I'll post them when I'm finished.

Homemade wipes:
For some reason, I thought cloth diapers were cool, and cloth wipes would be gross before I actually started using them. If you are already using cloth diapers, cloth wipes make so much sense. They don't increase your laundry, and they clean better than disposable wipes. Just cut flannel in 5"x5" squares - no sewing necessary. I keep mine in a diaper warmer, but a tupperware container will work.
The recipe:
1 c of water and 1 T of Castille soap (this works best for sensitive bottoms). You can also use baby oil and baby wash instead of Castille's soap. Johnson's baby wash worked okay for us, but Huggies caused a chemical burn. I would be careful with the baby wash.
Another big question I get - "Isn't the diaper pail gross?" Not at all. You don't need a big pail of sewage sitting in your bathroom. I just drop the dirty diaper in the pail and sprinkle baking soda over it if it's especially stinky. As her poop becomes more solid, I will shake it out in the toilet. The pail does not smell thanks to the baking soda.
Finally, how do you wash cloth diapers? I wash diapers twice a week. To start, empty your diaper pail into the washer and run a rinse/spin cycle. This will remove the poo from the diapers. At this point, they are no dirtier than any other laundry that your baby has spit up on. Then add laundry detergent and 1/2 c of baking soda. All Free and Clear is pictured because it's safe for baby and diapers. Check for more laundry soap listings. Not all detergents are okay for cloth diapers. Add 1/2 c of vinegar to the rinse cycle. I use a downy ball for this. Run a "HOT/COLD" cycle. Ta Da - clean, ready to reuse cloth diapers.

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1 comment:

  1. katie,
    we use cloth diapers as well! we started with the prefolds and bummis super brites, but moved on to the bum genius one size fits all pocket diapers when oliver turned 4 months old. we love them! also, we have a little shower head hooked onto our toilet so we can spray off all the poo in the toilet before throwing them in the diaper pail.

    i always wondered about putting cloth wipes in a wipe warmer. i was always trying to find a good way to keep them wet b/c oliver's room is nowhere near the bathroom. i'll have to try that!

    it's always exciting to find someone else using cloth diapers. :)


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