Saturday, April 30, 2011

Cloth Diapering: 3 Things No One Told Me

 drying diapers

Drying Diapers by Simplyla

We started cloth diapering towards the end of my third pregnancy with my then-2-year-old, Meira, and resumed with our youngest, Natalie, six months after she was born. We were blessed to get so many disposables with our third that we didn't use the cloth until she was 1/2 year old! When you have a third baby, people just think you need lots of diapers or something... Wink.

I had a few reasons for wanting to swaddle my wee ones bums in cloth:
  • They costs less cold, hard cash. (which I have in very sparing amounts)
  • They are totally resusable.
  • I HATE the way used disposables smell. Ick.
  • I had grown sick of the constant trash heap of stinky diapers.
  • I didn't have enough to do already with three kids running around...
  • It's kinda the hip mama thing to do and I like to be trendy.
Here's what I've caught (read spent hours researching and experimenting) about cloth that no one mentioned when I got started....

1. Cloth Diapering is kinda like parenting
Cloth diapering is a constant journey. (just like parenting) Problem solving will be required (just like parenting) throughout your child's duration in diapers and then, as you have more kids, there might be different issues to work through (just like parenting). If you move, climate and water changes can affect your cloth diapering routine.

2. Cleaning those stanky thangs
The kind of water you have will affect how effectively you are able to clean your diapers. Soft water is easier on cloth diapers. Hard water is more difficult--minerals in the hard water can build up in your diapers and make cleansing more difficult. Lovely!

I don't recommend any of the "Free and Clear" versions of popular detergents. They eventually cause build up on your diapers which causes rashes and leaks. You should start using a diaper friendly detergent on your normal washings. You should also stop using fabric softener sheets in your dryer or fabric softener in your washer. Residues build up in both machines from those products and will cause build up on your diapers which will cause them to leak (and cause rash). Yikes!

Here is a comprehensive review of detergents. Personally, I use Crunchy Clean or Soap Nuts.

3. Water & The Machine: A Miracle or a Pain in the Arse...
If you have a nifty front loading washer, you might need to help supplement the water that your machine uses. I tend to use a 32 oz yogurt container to dump water in my washer when I am pre rinsing and during the final rinses. Diapers get clean with lots of water and front loaders clean by the clothes hitting each other, which is great for water conservation but bad for cleaning diapers. If your diapers don't smell clean, they probably aren't! Wash again! And rinse well--make sure all the detergent gets out which means you should not see any suds during the rinse cycle.

Bonus: My natural, free stain remover: THE SUN! If there are stains, an hour or two in the sun will make them vanish while completely disinfecting them naturally!!!

P.S.
If your baby gets sick or an infection it will transfer to your diapers. Kill the germs by turning your water heater up past 122 degrees F. and washing as normal. The germs won't be able to survive. Bru ha ha ha!

By the way....
I am working on creating an effective, diaper rash (all purpose burn, cuts, cracked skin, etc) remedy creme for my business soon. You can be assured it will be cloth diaper friendly. :)


I just gave you my three, hot tips for cloth diapering. This lady wrote a whole book on MODERN cloth diapering. (She wins!)

I'd love to read it. (Side note: I think I have a problem/obsession with diapers. Please send help. FAST.)

If you'd love to read it, click on the link in the side bar of my blog to purchase (and then let me borrow it? ;)). I'll get a little commission if ya do. :)

I help you and you help me. Hooray!

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