Cloth Diapering Report.

January 12, 2012

First off, I’d like to say thank you to all the sweet women who emailed me, FB messaged me, and talked to me in person. I got emails from other first time mamas, mamas of two, mamas of three, not-yet mamas, mamas who I thought had it all together, mamas who also had a hard time having children (and those still trying), mamas of newborns, and mamas of school-age children. It was just so refreshing for me to hear from such a wide spectrum of women who all struggle with the same thing. Ladies, we’re in this together. :)

Now, on to the subject of the day: cloth diapering, as shown above (clearly an old picture cause his hair is cuh-razy).

I posted awhile back that I was going to cloth diaper. Boy, was I excited about cloth diapers. These days? Not quite as excited about cloth diapers (or pee & poop, for that matter), but I’m still going at ’em strong & still think they’re good stuff. I started Ollie out in disposables when he was born cause he was itty bitty, had to have his diaper changed like 8x a day, and I loved having those wetness indicators when he was a newborn. Gotta be honest, I was dreading the switch over to cloth. But at 2.5 months, I did it & have not looked back. It is easy breezy stuff, man.

Laundry

We have about 24 diapers, and I wash diapers about twice a week. Not bad at all. Cold rinse all diapers once with no detergent. Then hot wash/cold rinse with a little bit of detergent and some bleach. Stick everything (waterproof covers, microfleece inserts, waterproof pail liner) into the dryer for ~40min. Take out waterproof items & dry the inserts for another ~60min. (Our dryer is pretty weaksauce, so it would probably be shorter in a normal dryer.) Stuff all my diapers with inserts, fold them up, and put them away into the top drawer of Ollie’s dresser. Voila.

With regular laundry to do too, it is quite a bit of laundry. There are weeks where I feel like I’m doing laundry non-stop. But this week, I did diapers, whites & colors all in one day and haven’t touched the laundry since. I think that’s the way to go. And as much as we do laundry, we have a heck of a lot less trash. At the beginning it felt like Steven was taking out the kitchen trash like everyday — it was just filling up with diapers so fast!

Leaks & Rashes

We have had a lot less leaks with cloth diapers than with disposables. We never had too many pee leaks with disposables, but we would always have those poops that would shoot up the back, resulting in lots of soiled onesies, changing pads, blankets, and brest friend covers (he liked going #2 while he was nursing). There is elastic on the back of cloth diapers (at least the ones we use — BumGenius brand) that kind of catches everything  & keeps it in. Not always, but for the most part, it is much better than disposables. We did have lots of pee leaks with cloth diapers at the beginning, but I realized it’s because Ollie is kind of a heavy wetter & quickly remedied that by adding in an extra newborn insert along with the regular microfleece insert.

Ollie has never had a diaper rash. I don’t know if it’s because of the cloth diapers, but he never had them before he started wearing cloth either, so it will forever remain a mystery. Just thought I would include that tidbit of information.

Fit

The thing I have found most tricky about cloth diapers is that it makes his booty mighty chunky. Which is probably why I have never put him in a pair of real pants. We stick to sweat pants and leggings around these here parts. I do realize that he is getting older now & probably should own a pair of real jeans, but it is pretty hard to find a pair of pants that fits his monster booty & thighs while not being too long for his short short legs (he unfortunately inherited my super long torso & super short legs). And you know how I love them skinny jeans… I just can’t get myself to put him in regular wide-leg baby jeans.

It is also a little tricky with his car seat. The crotch buckle is pretttttty tight. We probably need to upgrade him to a convertible car seat now, but haven’t gotten around to it yet. I do think he has this problem more than other babies because he needs the double-inserts for extra absorption.

I also wonder how long he’ll be able to wear cloth diapers. He is kind of on the bigger end of the baby spectrum, and at the rate he’s growing, I’m afraid the cloth diapers just wouldn’t hold him until he’s potty trained (which was my original intention). But then again, he might just be a fat baby & end up being a small or average toddler. So time will tell.

Sleep

Initially I was a little worried about starting cloth because I thought it might affect his sleep. Some people have commented that their babies are sensitive to the wetness and it causes them to wake early. Thankfully Ollie doesn’t seem to notice the difference, but he has never been one to wake early from a nap because he has a dirty diaper.

Diaper Sprayer

This item has been pretty awesome. Steven hooked it up to our toilet and we use it to hose down Ollie’s poopy diapers before we stick them in the dirty diaper pail. I will say that you have to be really careful with how you angle the sprayer and how high you set the pressure of the water, otherwise there will be poopy water spraying in every direction — onto the toilet, onto the floor, into your face…. In some ways, it is easier now that we’ve started solids because his poop is a little thicker, making it spray off more cleanly than the newborn poop. But solids poop is also stinkier. :(

Odor

We haven’t had any problems with odor, lingering in the bathroom or lingering on the diapers. Our dirty diaper pail is just a plain kitchen trash can with lid & seems to contain the smell pretty well (at least, I think!). I do hold my breath when I take the bag out to stick in the washer though… And bleach does wonders for the odor on the diapers themselves.

I think that’s it! Unless anyone has questions I didn’t address, in which case you can email me. The best analogy I have for how I feel about cloth diapering is how I feel about washing dishes. We took a little break from cloth diapering for about 2 weeks when we went up north to visit my family after Thanksgiving. It was just too much luggage to take all our diapers with us, so we switched him over to disposables for a little bit. Dude, it was nice. Just change it & throw it away. I was getting sad as we ran out of disposables, knowing that I had to go back to washing diapers, but once I started cloth again, it’s like I never stopped. It’s the same way I felt when we had Meals on Wheels after I had Ollie and we used paper plates & plastic utensils all the time. We never did the dishes & it was so nice. But eventually we ran out of paper plates & had to go back to washing dishes. I dreaded it, but kind of knew that it was time. Same same.

All in all, it has been totally doable & I will most definitely do it with all my kids (did I just say all?!).

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