Monday, December 15, 2008

My Take on Cloth Diapering

So, today I was catching up in blog land, and found out that Steph is ready to start using cloth diapers! GO STEPH!! I can't believe how excited I get when one more mom decides to make the switch. There are just SO many reasons to cloth diaper, and I thought it was time for me to post about this topic again. You can read my Cloth Diapering 101 post here.

I first started with cloth diapers when Rowan was almost 2. I wanted to 'try it out' and see if it was something I wanted to do when Bria arrived. I bought 6 pocket diapers to try. Things worked out really well for us, so I decided to go for it with Bria.

My original intention was to save money. So, after the initial pocket diapers I bought for Rowan (3 Bum Genius 2.0 and 3 Baby Kangas) I bought a bunch of cheapo fitted diapers. I regret that decision a lot. They worked OK, but it sure could have been better!

Over the past year and a half, I have kind of changed my reasoning behind cloth diapering. Sure, I've probably still saved SOME money, but the health benefits are so much more worth it! Bria had a constant rash in the 2 months she wore disposables. Also, anytime I had a few disposables from a friend or whatever, she got a rash. Then, I also read up on the facts about the chemicals in disposables, and I really regret all those times I thought I'd take the 'easy' road. Especially with Rowan. I knew about cloth with him, and considered it. I just thought it would be too much work. WHAT WAS I THINKING!!! It's sooo much easier than people think. And I will never run out of diapers again!

So, with our new little one coming in July, I'm planning on using cloth diapers from day one, or at least day one at home! I think, if I'm not mistaken, our local hospital also has cloth diapers. I'll have to check on that.

Since I have no experience with cloth diapering a newborn, I've been reading up like crazy on Diaper Swappers. This is the most awesome thread over! It's called 'What do you wish you knew then? CDing a newborn'. Make sure to check it out! From reading through on that thread, here is what I have decided is a good newborn 'stash' of diapers:

2 dozen orange edge Green Mountain Diapers prefolds
6 Kissaluvs Size 0 fitted diapers
6 xs Sandys bamboo fitted diapers
6-8 covers (I haven't decided what brand yet)

What do you think?

With all the diapers I currently have for Bria, I likely wouldn't have to buy many smalls, but we'll see what happens, and what fits this new baby best.

You might be curious to know what I have in my stash right now. It's big. WAY too big for one baby in cloth, but yet I still can't seem to part with anything :)

This is what I have in my 'regular' rotation right now:
2-3 dozen Brown edge GMD prefolds (I use these at night with a flat diaper folded inside)
11 Premium Unbleached Indian prefolds (I butchered one to make a prefitted, which I still haven't finished!)
1 Mother Ease One-Size bamboo fitted
1 Sandys fitted (our favorite night diaper)
2 Pampered Cheeks fitted diapers
1 Bijou Baby Gear fitted diaper
5 Wee Ones fitted bamboo diapers
6-8 flat diapers
6 Yellow edge GMD prefolds (I use these trifolded in gdiapers)
LOTS of wipes :)
6 Mother Ease Air flow covers
1 Thirsties cover
2 Fleece soakers
2 pair of Fleece longies
1 Wool interlock soaker
1 pair of wool interlock longies


And then there's the box full of diapers that we don't use right now...

The rest of my 1 dozen Brown GMD's
1 dozen Regular prefolds
1 1/2 dozen infant sized Indian prefolds (way too small at this point, will be great for the new baby)
8 or so hemp prefolds that I made (anyone want these?)
a couple random fitted diapers that I still have.
There is probably something I forgot, but hey, it's too much to remember :)

For Rowan I have 2 Sposoeasy All In One diapers that I really like! The reason I bought these ones is because they are all cotton inside, and do not have a stay-dry liner. It's hard to get a child to realize they are wet when they don't FEEL it! We just got them to use for naps, since he was still wetting a lot. He's doing really well, and maybe soon we'll try without the diaper. Nights are still bad though. He wets an ocean!

As far as washing, I have now found the EASIEST way to wash diapers. Yup, no more crazy wash routines :) It all has to do with my detergent though. I made my own, based on the ingredients in a very popular new detergent called Jenny's Simply Clean. Here's my recipe:

1/3 bar Zote laundry soap, grated (cheese grater works well)
1/2 cup washing soda
1/2 cup borax

That's it! I mixed it all together in the food processor. Here's my wash routine now:

Cold rinse with 1/2 cup vinegar
Hot wash with 2 Tbsp of the above detergent
Dry in the dryer (except covers and wetbag)

So simple, and even Bria's morning diapers smell just like pee, and not like ammonia. I was having trouble until I tried this new method.

There is so much information out there on cloth diapering. A lot of people tend to make it sound complicated, but it really isn't. And if you really do want to use cloth to save money, go with prefolds and covers! So simple, so cute :)

And just for fun, here's my little sister, Heather, in a cloth diaper, oh like 21 1/2 years ago :)


Anonymous said...

If I may - I recommend Thirsties for daytime covers for you NB. Those gussets contained EVERYTHING for us. But I used a mother ease airflow SNAP cover at night (velcro rubbed his belly) because they allow the diaper to breathe. They don't have gussets so they didn't help much with poop containment during the day. Love your post too! :)

Bruce and Heather said...

Hey, who gave you permission to post a naked pic of me!!! Just kidding:) Good post... you forgot about your 3 dozen flats.

Andrea said...

Great post!! Yep, cloth diapers rock! I've used them from day 1 with both my kids and don't regret a second of it. :) Oh, about that laundry detergent recipe you posted - where do you buy zote laundry soap? And where do you find washing soda? I'd love to try this recipe out! Oh...and you said you mix it in the food processor? And then you just rinse/wash it out and it's safe to use again for food, right?

Anonymous said...

Wow, that is some stash of cloth diapers and "accessories"! I never ever did that kind of research even on laundering - very impressive. I did use cloth diapers for Rachelle and Sonja because it was our only option when we were living on the ship. Because they are only 15 months apart they were both in diapers at the same time. My Mom sewed me some prefitted diapers and along the way I found or was given different brands I do not remember. I also used flat diapers. Rachelle had diaper rash from wearing cloth diapers but maybe it was from the laundry detergent. Anyway I had to get disposables then - it was the only thing that helped get rid of the rash even with the use of cream.


amy said...

That was Very interesting to read! I cannot believe that you have collected that many daipers. I just purchased my first new daipers. I bought 12 bamboo OS ME, I'm so excited to get them, they are in the mail now. I do need some more ME AF covers in the ML, if you know of any used ones?
Your soap sounds really great, do you use it for all of your laundry? And where do you get your ingredients from?

PhotoJen said...

Found you through DiaperSwappers. Wanted to second the suggestion of Thirsties covers. DS is going on 11 weeks, and we started CDing at 4 weeks, but of the Imse Vimse, Bummis, and Thirsties covers, the Thirsties rocked. YAY gussets - especially for breastfed liquidy poop!

smbwallace said...

We have very similar laundering methods! I make my detergent, too, except I use Ivory and don't bother with a food processor. Which reminds me, I need to make some more.

And, DiaperSwappers ROCKS! I'm michellemomx3 there and I hang out in the Back to Basics thread. ;)

Barbra said...

I am so glad I happened across your blog this morning. I am making my own detergent (same recipe you use) and I was very curious how it works on cloth diapers. I love my cloth diapers but the special detergents they recommend are getting a little pricey. I am in love with Bumgenius, we started with pre-folds and bummis covers, they worked great but when my son it 6 months they became too bulky. Thanks again for your wonderful info!

Aimee said...

OH, i miss cloth diapering! I gave up when my second turned 2 months. I regret it, i really do. If i ever have another child they will be clothed. I love this post and great stash!

as said...

Just found this post now. :) So, what cover did you go with? I want to use the Kissaluv size 0 diapers on a newborn next time around. That is why I sell them :) I will have to try your laundry soap recipe. Where do you get the ingredients?