Wednesday, February 19

Cloth Diapering: Beyond the Basics

Last week I started talking about my experience with cloth diapers. While I didn't get into lots of detail, we have discussed the types of cloth diapers, why cloth diapering is a good idea, and on average how many you will need; but you're probably still wondering where you can get the best price, how do you know they fit and won't leak or even worse "blow-out", how in the world do you get the poop out and where do you keep them when they are dirty. Yes. It's tricky and a little more complicated than disposing of the diaper, but once you go for it and get a routine you won't look back.

Getting a Good Fit
If you are using a prefold, it will take a little more practice to get the hang of getting the exact right fit, but it can be done. I solely use what I call the sushi roll. If you are looking at your prefold vertically, simply take each side and roll to the thick middle, fold up on to your baby (keeping the roll intact), pull the back corners up and around, then fasten with a snappy. It's easy as 1, 2, 3.
1. Roll
2. Fold
3. Fasten
Of course don't forget the cover on the outside or we'd be talking about a whole other mess. The trick with the cover is to ensure that none of your cloth is sticking out. The reason I use this fold exclusively is because it has been most effective. I have literally never had anything escape from the diaper. It works for both girls and boys too! If your diaper is a little long or big, you can fold the diaper down in the back or front. This will act kind of like the elastic waist band on huggies.

For a fitted diaper, you just secure it using the snaps as if it were a regular disposable diaper then put the cover on. You still want to make sure that the cloth is completely covered by the cover. No leakage! It's paramount!

Finally if you are using an AIO or Pocket diaper, it is rather straight forward. If yours has is size adjustable be sure you use that to get the best fit. Right now Nora weighs about 14 lbs, is 6 months old and is in between 3 and 6 month clothes. I snap the bottom row of snaps up to the third row of snaps on her BumGenius and JungleRoo diapers. Hopefully that can give you something to go by. The key to getting a good fit is to not have any space between their leg and the leg holes of the diaper. Of course you don't want it too tight to where it is uncomfortable. Getting the right waist and leg fit is key and once you figure it out it will be really simple.

Care and Cleaning
I bought my cloth diapers, what's next?
You know those tags that say "wash before wearing." Yeah, I never do that. But now is the time you should follow the rule. It's like if you don't wash your bath towels before using them they wont ever be as absorbent. Well the same is true for your diapers. You should wash and dry any prefold, fitteds, or bamboo or hemp inserts 3-5 times before using them. AIO and Pocket diapers need to be washed at least once if not twice. *Always read the manufacture's instructions in regards to pre-washing.

I was really confused as to what I needed in terms of storing the dirty diapers in between washes. I read so many different posts on what type of diaper pail to use, or if you should do a wet pail, dry pail, or both. Finally I decided to go simple. I bought an inexpensive diaper pail at Babies R Us. I don't use liners. Up until recently I have put the diaper straight into the pail no rinsing or anything. Nora has been exclusively breastfeed. Breastfeed babies stools are completely water soluble, so it is taken care of 100% by the washer. Since she has just recently started eating apples and pears, I have begun to spray them off and then squeeze as much water out as possible then put it in the bucket.

I wash every other night. Load the washer with your diapers, making sure the inserts are out of your pocket diapers. I run a COLD rinse cycle and add just a tablespoon of oxyclean every other wash. After that I turn it on HOT wash cycle with diaper approved detergent, right now I am using ECOS. I have read mixed reviews on this soap for cloth diapers. So far so good. I'll let you know if anything changes. I have ordered some BumGenius detergent to see how I like it. Finally I do one more COLD rinse. I then air dry everything. You can dry the inserts, prefolds, and fitteds in the dryer if you'd like, but I figure why not save the electricity and let them dry over night. Overall the process is super easy. I usually just start washing them right after Nora goes to bed and hang them to dry right before I go to bed.

STAINS!?!? Yes, stains happen. The good news is I have noticed that the oxyclean every other wash is really helpful in combatting stains. Also, the sun is a natural bleaching agent. During the summer I dried all the diapers out in the sun. Stains magically gone!

I could type all night, but it's time I go hang up the diapers to dry... and I'm tired.
Come Back next week. I promise I wont leave you hanging.

Cloth Diapering: Where Do I Start?

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