Why Cloth Diaper?
Most people cloth diaper to save money, others do it because of the healthier alternative it is than disposables with harsh chemicals in them, and others... well like it just because of how cute they are! I think there is a million & one reasons on why to cloth, google and you will find them!
Why I Cloth Diaper?
I cloth diaper because of a few reasons. First of all, I'm saving over $2100 dollars in diapers using cloth. Having 2 under 1 in diapers is going to be challenging enough as it is... I don't want to add depression to that as I shell out $50 in buying disposable diapers each month (or more). With my "one-sized" pocket diapers my stash of diapers will last me with both kids from now until potty training because they grow with your child. I also cloth diaper because I researched and informed myself of all the chemicals that go into making a disposable. Did you know that the chemical to absorb that used to be in tampons (now banned) because of it causing toxic shock syndrome is found in diapers? This chemical as well as others in diapers are also linked to infertility issues in children. I feel horrible for ever risking Rylee's fertility just because of convenience of a disposable. Some may think that it is gross to scoop or spray poop out of a diaper and into the toilet or trash but guess what? Go read your disposable packaging!! Your supposed to do that with disposable diapers too... not many do or know to because they don't read the fine print but yep... your supposed to anyway! Thirdly, I just can't get over how darn cute these diapers are. Adorable. I mean who really wants faded seaseme street prints on their diapers or (sorry to those who like them) but the horrid jean print diapers?
My favorite Cloth Diaper Type?
I love the ease of one-sized pocket diapers. These diapers have a waterproof shell, a removable insert, and a stay dry layer (the part that touches the skin). These diapers also have either a snap closure or aplix (velcro) closure. I'm torn on whether snap or aplix is better I like both at this point in time. Snaps are convienent and Ry can not get them off, Aplix makes it easier for a better fit but Ry has figured out the whole velcro thing and can take it off. These diapers also have snaps in the front for the rise of the diaper. There are normally 3 settings (Large, Medium, Small). At 20lbs/9 months Rylee is on the medium rise setting & smallest waist setting. So we have lots of room to grow on these diapers. Downside to these diapers? while they say they fit 7-35lb children, rylee didn't fit well into them until she was 10-12 lbs. Meaning they are not for newborns, or atleast small newborns even on the smallest setting.
My Favorite One-Sized Brand?
I, hands down, have to say that Sunbaby Diapers are my favorite. Not only is the price unbeatable ($6/diaper vs the $17-20 Name brand) but they are so adorable and well made. They are designed by a work at home mom (WHAM) from china. (And no she doesn't use child labor!). You can visit her webstore here: www.sunbabydiapers.com (you can purchase orders in qty of 12 or 24 diapers) if you wish to only purchase less than 12, you can visit her on ebay HERE to make smaller orders.
How many diapers do I need?
A good rule of thumb for someone who plans to wash every other day (as I do) is to have 2 days worth of diapers for your little one. So if a newborn goes through 12 diapers a day then you would want to have 24 on hand. Now that being said, most of us CD-ing mamas have well over that. (blush) lol I know that I have a minimum of 24 per child plus 8 night time diapers. And that doesn't' include Landen's newborn stash, or prefolds and covers for emergencies.
Click here to see how to purchase your entire stash on a budget!
How do you care for these diapers?
If you focus on finding which routine is the absolute best you will only drowned in the abundance of information out there. I have found this from experience. I was ready to give up cloth diapering in the first few weeks because it seemed so complicated and there were so many ways of doing things!! what changed my mind? Figuring out my OWN routine and what worked for me, baby and our diapers.
My wash routine consists of:
Stain Wash (approx a 1.5 cycle)/Hottest setting for water/Detergent/Rinse + Extra Rinse
Speed Wash (approx a 30m cycle)/Hotest setting for water/NO DETERGENT/Rinse + Extra Rinse
Reason for hot water is to of course kill bacteria as well as make sure the detergent gets completely mixed in. Why a cycle with no detergent and so many rinses? You need to make sure that the diapers get rinsed of any detergent. Detergent left behind can cause build up issues which will result in the "stinkies", ammonia, rashes & repelling of the fabric.
My Drying routine:
When it's nice out and sunny line drying your diapers is best. Line drying will preserve the PUL (waterproof part) and the elastic. However during the winter it's a bit harder to do in most places. So I put my diapers in the dryer on "air fluff" which is a no heat cycle for 60 minutes. If you dry your inserts separately, they can be dried on high for less time since heat will not hurt them.
Here is another topic that you can drowned in information from. There are so many opinions out there on what is best, what is safe, what is not, etc etc. Again, It's all trial and error. For me, after trying a few different recommended detergent and ending up with the stinkies I resulted to Tide HE free & Clear Powder. To avoid build up I only use enough to clean my diapers and still get them clean. So I use half way up to the "Line 1" mark. Best way to tell if it is out of the diapers is that there are no suds after your rinse cycles. If there is run another rinse if needed.
Here is a link to information about detergents and a list of detergents that are recommended for diapers but remember it's all trial and error!
Detergent Information :: Safe Detergent List
My Diapering Routine?
Once my diapers are washed, dryed, clean I stuff the pockets and get the ready for use. Sounds like work but it's not too bad sitting in front of the tv while Rylee plays next to me or watching my favorite show.
I use (1) Microfiber(MF) insert for daytime use & a combination of (1) MF insert & (1) hemp insert during night time. Microfiber is great for absorbency but sometimes it's not enough and 2 MF inserts are just too bulky. Hemp is excellent for absorbency but can't be used alone because it doesn't absorb as fast as MF and can cause leaks due to not being fast enough for the pee.
For my sake, I have white diapers & pale green diapers that are specifically set aside for night time use. this way I know which diapers are doubled for night time.
When I change a diaper if it's just pee I shake the insert out into the diaper pail and throw the diaper in there too. If it's a poopy diaper I set it aside, finish changing and then I head to the bathroom to my diaper sprayer attached to the toilet and spray the poo into the toilet and then toss the wet diaper into a pail next to the toilet. At the end of the day I dump the toilet pail into the big diaper pail. (I'll discuss accessories later).
My Diaper Station Set up?
I bought a 5- drawer sterilite dresser and a 3 drawer dresser (you may not need that much storage but with 2 in cloth I do! Anyway I stacked the dressers together ( I didn't know you could do that until recently!! lol) Ry has her own drawer, Landen has two (his os pockets for later and his NB stash). I have a drawer for prefolds, a drawer for night time diapers, a drawer for inserts & liners. It works for me well.
Again, you can go crazy looking for every single accessory someone reccommends and things that are must have for one may not be for another.
- Diapers (given!)
- Wipes - you can use disposable wipes (I do for on the go diaper changes) or Cloth Wipes (I do for at home diaper changes) though i'd like to convert to cloth 100%. They seem to clean up more in less wipes.
- Diaper Pail - I use a 10gal kitchen trash w/ snapping lid holds about 4 days worth of diapers. One swing top for sprayed diapers in the bath that's bathroom sized.
- Diaper Liner - I have two waterproof liners so that it keeps the pail cleaner longer. I rotate them and throw them in the wash with the diapers each time.
- Diaper Sprayer - I got mine on ebay for $20 new. The "name brand" ones are approx $45. It's not needed but is handy and less of a mess. Or you can just dunk your diapers in the toilet but be prepared to get your hands wet or messy.
- Diaper liners - you can buy sposie inerts (i dont' like them) or use reusable fleece liners cut from a CVS $4 fleece blanket. (makes about 20-30 liners). this helps keep diapers clean from creams if you use them (creams will make diapers repell!) and makes for an easier clean up of pooh and keeps stains off diapers.
- Inserts - there are many fabrics. most common is microfiber (MF) and hemp/bamboo. I bought the MF towels from the auto section, trifold them and they work great as inserts and very cheap too!
- Snappi - a device to secure prefolds (if you are going to use prefolds this will more helpful than pins (so I'm told!)