Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Thinking about cloth?

     I wish that I had someone that I knew, or more information about cloth diapers while I was pregnant with DS.  I wanted to start a few months after I had DS but DH was a little unsure, and so we stuck with disposables.  I do not even remember how I got information about cloth diapers, or where the idea even came from.  I simply knew I did not want to keep buying disposables.  March of 2012 I learned about "The Great Cloth Diaper Change."  I was not sure the specifics of it, but decided it would probably be a good place to learn about cloth.  At the event I won a gift certificate to Jack Be Natural, and this is how I got started on cloth diapering.  I picked up my first ever cloth diaper.  It was a Gro-Via hybrid.  I had not done any research on cloth diapers yet, I had no clue all the different type of cloth or where to even start.  So, I had to do some research.  I was amazed and overwhelmed by all the information and varieties of diapers, I didn't know what to start with.  So, I want to share what I know and have learned in hopes of helping others who may want to try cloth but are unsure of where to start.

Getting started

How many diapers will I need?
       Depending on the age of the child to be diapered a diaper stash of about 15-20 diapers is needed.  A baby or younger toddler will dirty more diapers in one day than an older toddler.  Diaper stash is dependent on how often you want to do laundry.  I initially bought 15 and was washing every other day.  I currently have a stash of 17 newborn diapers and 50 One size diapers (WOW!). 

What do I clean their bottoms with?
      Cloth wipes, disposable wipes, or flushable wipes are common options.  Cloth wipes can be wet or moistened when changing the diaper.  I like to use baby wash cloths as cloth wipes.  I keep them dry and have a small bottle of water mixed with a small amount of baby wash that I spray when changing the diaper.  I also use flushable wipes.  This is convenient because I just put the dirty wipes in the diaper as I use them and then dump it all into the toilet and flush.  However, it is not recommended to flush more than two at a time.  Disposable wipes are another option.  When we started cloth diapering I still had some disposable wipes left and used those until I ran out.  I do not really like this option because then I have dirty wipes I am throwing away.

I have dirty diapers, now what?
    Dirty diapers can be kept in a laundry basket or trash can lined with a pail liner or wet bag.  There are several different kinds of pail liners and wet bags to choose from.  I have a pail liner that is actually just wrapped around a cardboard box.  I plan on getting a pail eventually just forget every time I am out.  After changing the diaper separate the inserts from the shell and toss it into the bag.  On wash day I grab the bag and dump all the dirty stuff into the wash and then turn the bag inside out and toss it in as well. For on the go a small wet bag is beneficial.  I keep one in my diaper bag when I am out and about.

Can I use regular laundry detergent?
     Most manufacturers have a laundry detergent that they recommend to clean the diapers.  Researching on the internet I have found mixed reviews on what commercial brands are safe and what is not.  When I started using cloth I read that Tide original was safe and I used that for a little while, until I found Rockin Green detergent.  It comes highly recommended by many crunchy moms and by several cloth diaper manufacturers.  However, there are other options for detergent.  Many places that sell cloth diapers will also sell cloth diaper safe detergent.

Cloth Diapering Accessories

A few things to help make the diapering easier but is not required to cloth diaper.

  • Diaper sprayer- A sprayer that attaches to the toilet.  Used to spray poop off the diaper to prevent poop from going in the wash.  (Also helps prevent staining as the poop will not be in the diaper until it is time to wash)
  • SprayPal-  HIGHLY recommended if using a diaper sprayer.  I have one and LOVE it!  Prevents poop or water splatter when using a diaper sprayer. 
  • Fasteners- Fasteners such as snappi, boingo, or pins to fasten flats or prefold diapers.
  • Extra Inserts- Extra inserts are good to have for overnights, car rides, or for days that your child may wet more than usual.  Hemp inserts are good to keep on hand because they are super absorbent and trim. 
  • Liners- Liners are typically flushable and are used to protect the diaper from poop messes and makes dumping poop into the toilet easier. 

Click here for basic cloth diaper terms and abbreviations.  

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