Cloth diapers


Cloth diaper 101

Folks ask me about cloth diapers a lot so I thought it might 
be helpful to put my thoughts on cloth in one place.

Using cloth diapers with my two younger children was 
such a better choice for us than disposable diapers, for many 
reasons. 

Here are some Frequent questions I have been asked:
Why Cloth?
Personally I like that I am not putting any chemicals against 
my baby. I like that they are natural fibers. Did you ever take 
off a disposable diaper and see that gel residue on your baby? 
Also I don't like the smell of disposables. Ever since my first 
pregnancy I have developed a very strong sense of smell and 
disposables just really have an off putting odor to me. Of 
course it is a nice bonus to know I am doing a solid for the 
environment and not adding a diaper that takes roughly 500 
years to disintegrate.
Of course there is cost. I use cloth diapers all the time, and 
cloth wipes (which are just baby wash clothes that I have 
bought in bulk). I don't have to pick up a package of 
disposable diapers ever at the grocery store. I used to spend 
about $40 a week on disposable diapers.
Also you can reuse your cloth with subsequent babies. 
Recycle the cotton diapers as cleaning cloths when you 
are all done having children. Or opt to resell them, yes 
cloth diapers have great resale value.

Is it difficult to use or kind of gross?
On difficulty, definitely not. It's as easy as doing a load 
of laundry. Is there a method to washing them? Yes but 
it's as simple as learning how to wash your delicates on 
a different cycle than your towels and sheets. It becomes 
second nature and becomes a simple part of your regular 
laundry routine.
Is is gross? Honestly no more off putting than changing a 
regular diaper or wiping your newly potting training toddlers 
back side. Until the baby has a solid bowel movement you 
just toss the diapers in your diaper pail and then in the washer. 
When baby has a solid bowel movement you do need to 
dump that in the potty, but you are supposed to do the same 
thing with disposable diapers as well so in that regard there is 
no difference.

How do I start?
Well there are two ways to go about cloth. The most inexpensive 
route, or the expensive route.
I tend to walk the middle ground on this.
I prefer cotton pre-fold diapers. 
It's called a pre-fold diaper because you don't have to do any 
folding of them like you would an old school
cloth diaper (like the ones your parents or grandparents might 
have used).

You have options for using these in various ways.
I'll share a link here for this:

My preference for this specific type of diaper from my 
experience is that they are, the easiest to wash, feel 
nice and soft, are versatile, and very absorbent.

I prefer to use wool covers in the form of wool pants or 
wool pull on covers. This is nothing like an old scratchy 
sweater. My reasons for using wool are (I live in a desert) 
and it's cool in the summer yet warm in the winter. It's 
a wonder fabric. It's so soft and you can go 6 weeks 
without having to wash a wool cover (unless you get 
any number 2 on it that is). You can read the benefits 
of wool here: Why I love Wool

I purchase my wool from these sellers as I love their 
products:
Lovey Bums wool covers (I love their pull on wool 
covers, they are nice and trim under baby clothing and 
so absorbent)
(I like their wool bottoms and their undershirts are 
great on babies and keep them toasty)

Nova Naturals (these nappy pants both long and short 
are great). For girls you can use them under skirts and 
dresses instead of stockings and they act as not only 
a diaper cover but to keep baby warm. They work 
on boys or girls as I'm using the same pants on my 
daughter that I used on my son.

knit knacks for baby she makes all kinds of wool 
baby bottoms. I've used her shorts and pants on my 
son and loved the shorts on my son for summer 
clothing with a t-shirt.

My daughter wears a pre-fold diaper like this 
under a wool cover:
And I purchase my pre-folds from Little Lions
Gina at little lions is amazing! And I've purchased 
much from her because I like having lots of pre-folds.
And of course a snappi (instead of using pins is 
what I prefer). I always buy her seconds diapers. 
There is nothing wrong with them and best of all 
they are cheaper.
My daughter who was 10 ½ pounds at birth used 
the infant diapers for only a small time (which I 
had on hand already) but then we quickly went to 
the toddler size and I just fold down the waist of 
the diaper so they are not too long on her). The 
reason I prefer the toddler size is that I like how 
thick they are absorbency wise in the wet zone. 
These are $25 per dozen but she has sales at time 
and overstock and I've been able to get them as 
cheap as $17 a dozen. Have at least 2 dozen on 
hand and that should be great. Toddler diapers 
can take you up to potty training. If you have a 
smaller baby you might want to use the premium 
size. It's all personal choice.
Also infant or premie size diapers make great 
doublers (what you'd use in your diaper to 
make the diaper extra absorbent, for night 
if needed, or for heavy wetters).

I would not advise on using Gerber flats. Yes 
they are cheap but they are not absorbent 
enough. They do make great cheap doublers 
though so if you see those out and want 
something simple to add a bit of absorbency 
to a pre-fold or other diaper, these are great.

If you want to go the cheapest possible route:
-Pre-folds
-Dappi Covers or covers of your choice 
(http://www.nickisdiapers.com/ has free 
shipping on diaper covers)
-3 snappis
(I would have at least 24 pre-folds and 3 
diaper covers on hand).

If you are not concerned about price they 
make diapers called All in One diapers or 
Pocket diapers which go on like disposable 
diapers. You can see these on the Nicki's website.
I have about 17 pocket diapers. I am not a huge 
fan of these because, I don't like the material 
on the inside, it's not a natural fiber, and 
they can be a pain to wash because if they 
get detergent build up they will repel 
urine and have leaks. It seems that happens 
more than not so that's my complaint on these.

I only had a few All In One diapers, these are 
just what they sound like, one piece, most 
like a disposable. I am not a fan of the drying 
time of these, but if you hang them you can 
save power, or you might not worry about 
how long they take to dry, so that would 
not be an issue for you.

Those in daycare or leaving babies with 
husbands might like one of these options.
When we first used cloth these were what 
my husband would grab. Now he just 
uses pre-folds too.

Here are all the different types of 
diapers: Types of diapers

Just a side note, those fleece pants you 
can buy in many stores (Old navy and 
others) act as a diaper cover as well 
as long as you do not wash them with 
fabric softener.

My washing routine:
-Take diapers out of pail. (this is a full 
pail and my pail is the size of a large 
kitchen trash can, just for comparison). 
I do not use a diaper pail but an actual 
kitchen trash can with a lid that I use 
in the laundry room only for diapers. 
It has an oversized wet bag in it, but 
that's not a necessity. (I used to have 
the wet bang hanging on the back of 
the laundry room door). All the stores 
above have wet bags if you like that 
option. I do use a wet bag (small size) 
when we go out for dirties.
-Place in washer.
-Use a plastic Teaspoon (heaping) in 
washer. (I have an LG HE washer 
with an add water feature)
-I set it on: speed wash, heavy soil 
setting, cold water, add water feature 
and no spin.
-Next I run a Normal wash cycle, 
one wash on hot wash cold rinse 
setting, no spin, add water feature.
-Next I run a final Normal wash 
cycle cold wash cold rinse, add 
water feature, heavy spin.
-After that I put them in dryer on hot. 
(Mind you I'm only using cotton pre-folds 
so hot is fine for this)

The reason you do a short wash first 
in cold is so any stains come out. 
Also since you are putting dirty 
diapers in you don't want to wash 
your diapers in this as an only cycle. 
Also the subsequent washes get 
the diapers clean and extra rinsing 
gets the detergent all out.

Choosing a detergent: here
Do not use your regular detergent 
and do not use fabric softener 
ever on cloth. Also on a side 
note, Fabric softener has toxic 
chemicals which have cancer causing 
ingredients. There are non toxic fabric 
softeners to use in place of say, downy 
or snuggle. I use Purex natural 
elements when needed on clothes, 
my own homemade version as well 
(just depends what I'm in the mood for).

I personally like Country Save 
(which I buy from Amazon.com 
and use this on all my cloth and 
at times on my regular clothing. 
I also use my own detergent on 
my clothes but not on my cloth).

Obviously this has nothing to do 
with cloth, but for those looking 
to cloth I'm going to assume it's 
for eco and health reasons. So 
I'm going to share a website that 
allows you to check if the personal 
care products you use on your 
baby or yourself are toxic. For 
example Johnson and Johnson's 
baby lotion and soap are an 8 on 
the scale out of 10 for having toxic 
chemicals and cancer causing agents. 
That can be found here: 
Is your baby lotion hurting your baby?

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