Sunday, September 28, 2008

Its the last day of our diaper week!

So whats the end result of my cloth diapering experience? We love it. Connor's butt has never looked better and our rash problem has dramatically decreased. Though we have had a few accidents with Connor removing his diaper, I've had no issues with leaks except the first week when I did not know how to properly wash the cloth diapers. Really any issues we have had have purely been user error. As far as saving money I'd say you end up saving a little over half the cost of disposables by using cloth as you still end up using money by washing them but honestly I think you save more by buying enough diapers that you don't have to wash every single day especially if you go the route of a one size diaper as you use the same set of diapers pretty much throughout the lifespan of your diapering venture. If your a first time mom planning on having more than one baby you can save an astronomical amount as you can most certainly use the same cloth diapers really throughout several children.

Here are a few tips I've acquired just from using cloth diapers for a few months.

  • Though velcro diapers are the most convenient and daycare friendly, snap diapers last longer and are better for babies who learn how to remove velcro diapers. Id recommend purchasing a few of each for your stash as I always send Connor in velcro to daycare as there is no explanation necessary.
  • Properly washing your cloth diapers is the most important aspect of learning how to cloth diaper. If you do not properly wash them they WILL leak. I will share my cloth washing routine below.
  • Try several different styles of diapers as as your baby grows you will find some diapers work better for different situations, I don't necessarily recommend going with just one style of diaper.
  • If you decide to go the used route, consider buying new inserts as really the inserts are the most important aspect of the diaper as its truly the absorbent layer. I also recommend buying several extra inserts and doublers (inserts that lay on top of the diaper instead of go in the pocket) as double stuffing or using a doubler is very helpful at night, on long car trips, or anytime a frequent diaper change may not be a possibility. I use a doubler when we go out to dinner or family events just for my own peace of mind as well.
  • Cloth diapers are in my opinion one of the best things you can do for the enviorment when it comes to having a baby.
  • Don't throw away those cloth diapers when your done with them, sell them, trade them, or give them to another mom in need. They can most certainly be used again and again on some cloth diaper trading/selling sites you can get up to 50% or more of your original purchase price if you've taken good care of your diapers and they are free of stains. Pay attention to washing rules however as different sites have different procedures on how you need to wash your diapers to sell or trade them. I won't be parting with any of my diapers until I am 100% positive I won't be having more babies.
For those of you that I've asked here is how I wash my diapers and thus far its working very well for me.
  • First I unload my wet bags, I usually wash twice a week so its not uncommon for me to have three fully loaded wet bags ready to go into the wash. (Around 12+ diapers with extra doublers and our Bummas) I just sit the wet bag up on the side of the washing machine and pull each diaper out carefully and pull out the inserts with the tips of my fingers and make sure any velcro diapers have the velcro folded down for washing. When the diapers are out I just throw the wet bag in the wash with them.
  • All the diapers go through a quick wash cycle on cold you do not need to add anything to this cycle, on rare ocassion I'll add a teaspoon of Borax but there is some debate if this is a good idea or not.
  • After they have gone through the quick wash cycle, I turn my washing machine to hot and add just a few teaspoons of a cloth diaper approved laundry detergent. You'd be surprised how little you actually have to use and less is better. There is a pretty good detergent chart here. I usually just keep a list of four star detergents in my bag and find whatever is cheapest on grocery day.
  • Then once they are done with the second wash I do a sniff test. If they smell even slightly off I do another cold rinse with a capful of tea tree oil or lavender oil (Whatever I found on sale) that will take out any smells and will leave the diapers with a fresh scent. NEVER use softeners on your diapers.. NEVER.
  • Then I run them through the dryer and check them to see how dry they are. Sometimes the all in one diapers and hemp inserts may still be a bit damp after a dry so I lay those out to finish drying while I put away the others.
The big point I will make, anytime I've found that one of my diapers is leaking the usual suspect is washing them incorrectly or not enough before using. All of my new arrivals go through two wash cycles (with the other dirty diapers) before I even attempt to use them though I've found especially with the hemp inserts its almost better to put them through three washes. The only diapers I've had leak on me either didn't go through enough wash cycles or were washed in the wrong detergent. A careful choice of detergents will also prolong the lifespan of your diapers and your investment.

That's all, hopefully we will be doing more diaper reviews in the future as I am still looking to expand our diaper database. If your a cloth diaper manufacture or seller feel free to contact me if you'd like to be included. I have had so much feedback on this feature I know we will want to revisit it soon especially when it comes to cloth diapering accessories and custom diapers!

1 Comment:

Anonymous said...

Bring it on for Alvin

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