Monday, September 27, 2010

Diapers and Wipes: Bring on the Cloth!

Over the weekend, we transitioned the Magster into cloth diapers. We did not start with cloth diapers right away mostly because we wanted to wait until after she was done passing the muconium stool and for her umbilical cord to fall off. Her umbilical cord fell off at exactly one week but she still had some scabbing there, so we waited for it to heal.

I did a lot of research on cloth diapers, reading some books/websites and talking with friends that use them when I was pregnant. I thought we would start with the prefold/diaper cover route since that is the most cost friendly and also try a variety of the all-in-one/one size pricier varieties to figure out what we like best. (Diaper definitions are on this site.) I found all of the prefolds and covers on Craigslist - brand new, never used for CHEAP. If you are at all interested in trying cloth diapers, I highly recommend Craigslist because a lot of people seem to invest a ton of money into cloth diapers when they are pregnant and then never use them once the baby arrives. Also, this way, I wouldn't feel so bad if we didn't keep up with the cloth diapers since my whole investment in them has maybe been $50.

Saturday was the big first day. We started using prefold diapers and the bummis super whisper newborn sized covers. We began just by putting the cloth diaper in the cover and not using pins or a Snappi. All day it went well - no leaks. Then nighttime came. It was fairly cold Saturday night so we upgraded her usual Halo Sleep Sack from the knit version to this woolly looking warm sleep sack that our neighbors handed down to us. She looked so cute in it -I kept calling her a sheep. We have two different kinds of the covers - ones that snap and ones that velcro. We did not have any more clean snap covers left by the time 3 AM on Sunday rolled around so I changed her and used one of the velcro variety. At night when she wakes up, I change her diaper, feed her and then put her back in the pack and play next to my side of the bed. She usually grunts and moves around some before falling back asleep. Well amidst her grunting, I could hear the velcro moving around. I knew I should have checked it but I was so tired and half asleep that I just left it.

At 6 AM, when she got up to eat next, I picked her up and noticed a huge stain on the pack and play sheet. I looked at her back and noticed the sleep sack had a huge yellow stain too. Uh oh. This called for reinforcements. Nate woke up and changed the sheet and I took her to her changing table to assess the damage. Apparently the velcro did come undone, therefore the diaper was no longer really secure on her, so the sleep sack was now a sh** sack. EW EW EW. We cleaned her up and got her changed and this time I put the prefold on her using the twist fold that CD recommended for girls. This allowed the prefold to be slimmer and lay flatter to her body rather than basically doubled up the way we were doing it, which allowed the cover to fit better. Since then, we have been using the twist fold with the prefold and securing it with a Snappi and have had no other issues.

Last night, I tried one of her BumGenius 4.0 diapers for the first time. LOVE THIS! I am now pricing them out among different sites to order some more. These really are way easier (although costlier), espeically at night. CD bought us one of the snap variety and one of the velcro. Given the velcro incident, I was nervous to use the velcro one but the snap one was awesome. I imagine that eventually we will transition to using all of these one size type diapers. They are just way easier than the prefold kind.

We still have a couple of the Flip diapers with inserts that we haven't tried yet because the smallest setting is still a bit big. I think we have four of these diapers that I got for free through various promotions I stalked during pregnancy. They basically seem to be the same as the prefold/cover variety. I also ordered a Bebe Britches cloth diaper that is amazing but also still too big.

Other than the huge blowout (which was total user error on my part), we haven't had any leaks or problems with the cloth diapers. We did have several blowouts and leaks during our tenure with disposable diapers. I think no matter what type of diapering you do, you should probably expect some of these things!

Now that we went over our trials so far with actually diapering, the other part of the cloth diaper equation is laundering. After we take off a dirty diaper, we put it in a big garbage pail in the nursery that has one of these planet wise bags in it. Once this bag is full (basically every other day), I take the entire bag down to the washer and dryer and dump the contents in the washer. I followed these washing instructions. Everything I read about washing cloth diapers says that you don't really have to worry about breastmilk poo because it is water soluble. However, the poo diapers in our first load of wash came out stained. They did not smell or anything but visually looked kinda bad. I ran them through a second wash and they were lighter but still stained. I consulted three of my cloth diapering friends and they suggested putting them in the sun. Seriously 5 minutes into the sunning process, they were white. Crazy! I am glad this worked but am not really about to drag out my clothes drying rack and hang cloth diapers outside in the winter so I am experimenting with water levels and detergent amounts in this next load to see if the stain problem can be avoided. Today I did another load and using this hose we have connected to the duratub next to our washer, I sprayed all of the poo diapers with very cold water before putting them in the washer. They have sprayers you can get for your toilet, but given that we have this set up in our basement, I don't think we will go the diaper sprayer route if this works.

After all this, you are probably thinking that cloth diapers sound like way too much work. I actually really like them so far but I also have time right now to figure out the best system for us. I have heard that using cloth diapers prevents diaper rash so we will see. It is much easier to tell when Mags needs a diaper change with cloth as she does not like sitting in a wet cloth diaper! Where we could have let her sit in a dirty disposable diaper all day and she would not have cared.

Along with cloth diapers, we are trying cloth wipes. We actually transitioned to the cloth wipes on about day 5 when our stock of Pampers Sensitive wipes ran out. We both really love the cloth wipes. Even Nate, who was very dubious about the cloth wipes. During pregnancy, I used a bunch of flannel material to make 2 ply wipes with a serged edge. We make a baby wipe solution out of the Lusa Baby Wipe Juice in a big bowl and then put all the wipes in there and then stack them in the old Pampers waterproof box. These wipes also go into the same diaper pail and get washed with the diapers. We like them a lot better because with each diaper change, we only have to use one wipe versus like 10 of the Pampers ones. Also, the cloth wipes seem to remove poo from her skin a lot easier than the disposable wipes. Another bonus of the cloth wipes is that the "juice" smells heavenly and helps deodorize the diaper pail so that we haven't had any problems with smell yet. Even if we don't stick with cloth diapers, we will stick with the cloth wipes. You can read more about cloth wipes at this site, which also includes a DIY baby wipe juice recipe.

Stay tuned for more adventures in cloth diapering.


Sarah said...

If sun-bleaching ever fails you, try ammonia. It stinks, so use it in a ventilated area away from Maggie. Spray it on the area and let it sit for a while to soak into the fabric (rub it into the fabric for particularly tough stains), then wash as normal. It should get everything out!

Silky Jess said...

It actually sounds pretty easy. Makes me wish I had invested with baby 1. I also hear it makes potty training easier, which makes sense (when we put Ella is her cotton training pants, she definitely notices as soon as she is wet).

Have fun on those nights out at Silks!