How to: Cloth Diaper

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Cloth Diapering:

Since diapers are SO expensive it’s important to consider all of your options. It’s also mostly important to consider cloth diapers because of the impact that disposables have on our environment. God has called us to, literally, be stewards of this land he has blessed us with. I believe that this is a good way to respect that rule. That said, disposables are an option, and we stopped with Sam when he was 12 months and had gone up a size. We just couldn’t afford the “down payment” of another installment in his wardrobe of dipes, so we started buying throw-aways. We found that the only kind he didn’t break out in were Huggies and Target brand. So, naturally, he now wears Target. They’re considerably cheaper and better than Luvs and Pampers. He wears Huggies Overnights to bed. If I could find some free toddler size I’d do cloth again. I’ve heard it helps with potty training. Also keep in  mind that we used disposables at night because you just can’t keep a baby dry enough for long periods in cloth. Some people swear they’ve found away. I am NOT your resource for this method.  Ebay was the only source I was able to use in buying my diapers because I live in a moderately small town. Some people can actually do diapering services or buy the diapers new. That wasn’t an option here. You can also try Freecycle. I just gave away hundreds of dollars worth on Freecycle today – which is what inspired me to finally write this.  The woman I gave them to also told me about this resource: www.MiracleDiapers.org. It sounds fantastic. If you try it, let me know how it works out for you.
 1. Wash and dry all diapers before use. Do this at least three times – some people say 12, but I’m not nearly as OCD when it comes to that stuff.. I live in WI so there are about two months out of the year where line drying was possible, but I never had enough to actually wait between uses for them to line dry, so mostly all of my diapers went into to dryer. I’ve heard that line drying makes them smell better and that the sun helps them be bleached, but my point here is to make it easier for you to use cloth diapers, not hinder you. Besides, disposables are bleached, too, so you’re still helping the environment by not throwing yours away…

** There are usually three parts of cloth diapering. 1. Actual diaper frame – the part that looks like a diaper with all the snaps/velcro. 2. The insert. This is either snapped into the diaper frame or tucked inside. Some diapers come with inserts, can be bought by themselves, or you can just fold up a prefold diaper (this worked best for me). 3. The Cover. There are SO many types of covers out there. The best I found were actually the simple crappy ones from Wal-Mart that acted like underwear. They just slipped on and off. Remember that if you use AIO you don’t need these – although I often used them just in case. With cloth you can never be too careful.

2. When you’re ready to use your diapers it’s important to be ready to go. A squirmy baby rarely lets you get all the parts together without pooping or peeing all over, so be ready with your three (or 2) parts.

3.To store dirty diapers some people say to keep a diaper pail full of water and baking soda, but I’ve found that this just breaks down the fiber of the cloth and since I only had enough diapers for a day and a half I washed them every day anyway – not enough time to start stinnking. I used an empty diaper pail. If there was just pee on it I’d just throw it in right away, but if there was poop in the diaper you have to wash it out first. To do this you need to take it to the bathroom and wash it out in the toilet. If the poop is hard enough you’re lucky and can just shake it out, but more often than not it’s necessary to get down and dirty and scrub the crap out of it (pun so totally intended). Squeeze, then run to the diaper pail. Our bathroom is so small that a pail didn’t fit in there. If you have room keep an extra trash can or something next to the toilet and you won’t have to do the run. Make sure you wash your hands like crazy. And then be ready to do it again in a hour because babies can’t stay in cloth for too long.

4. When it comes to cleaning the diapers run a full load on rinse cycle. This can be cold because all you’re doing is getting the smell and extra poop pieces out of there. Once this rinse cycle is done wash in hot and run a heavy cycle. With this I also found that detergent wasn’t enough to tackle the pee smell. I always threw in a cup of vinegar and 2 TBS baking soda. This also keeps the diapers soft since you’re not gonna use fabric softener – it makes the dipes less absorbent. I honestly bleached all my diapers because the thought of “hoping” that just plain old soap and hot water would kill poop bacteria got too much for me and I finally broke down. If you decide to use bleach you must make sure to run an extra rinse cycle to get all the chemicals out of the dipes before it touches your baby’s skin.

5. Then dry, again without the softener, or you can line dry.

That’s really all. Really. The worst part, believe it or not, was NOT rinsing out the diapers. It was an extra load of laundry a day. BUT the good thing about those is that there’s no folding involved. And I loved folding them all up. I actually still love doing my son’s laundry because I get to touch and fold all his liitle boy clothes. And that was the best part for me about the diapers. But the washing of part sucked.

**This information is assuming that you’re using Two-in-one (2IO)s or All-in–ones (AIO). When you use prefold diapers like the ones you can buy at Wal-Mart there are less steps and basically just includes washing, drying, and snapping up. If you do use safety pins I’ve found that it’s easiest to store the pins in a block of bar soap to keep them slippery between uses.  My baby was a happy boy in cloth. And I was a happy momma. And my hubby was a happy man because it saved us 20 bucks a week. Remember that it’s not fair to make you do all the poop scrubbing. My husband did it as much as I did when he was home. That’s the way it goes. I wanted a baby and so did he. I hope your man feels the same. If not, send him over to me…

Happy Poopy Diapers!

-Kellie

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