Sunday, September 25, 2011

cloth diapers

I can't believe that Audrey is almost 9 months old and I still haven't done a cloth diaper post! When she was born, we used disposables for the first two weeks because she was so little. For the next two weeks, we transitioned using cloth during the day and disposables at night. We were so tired that first month that even something as simple as putting a liner into a cover seemed impossible at 2am! But when she was around four weeks, we went to cloth exclusively and that's what we've been doing ever since. So here's a basic rundown on what we use, how we do it, and what works for us:
  • We use Flip diapers and love them! LOVE them! They are one size, adjustable covers and contain messes very well. When we started using them Audrey was around 8 pounds and she is now around 20 pounds. We have simply adjusted along the way and have had no problems with them fitting her. We have had a few leaks here and there, but honestly, they're leaks that probably would have happened no matter what kind of diaper she was wearing!

  • We have 7 covers and 24 inserts, which works out to be just the right amount for us.
  • I wash diapers every other day. I could certainly buy more inserts and wash less often, but the idea of dirty diapers sitting there for more than 2 days grosses me out!
  • We use the Blueberry brand cloth diaper laundry bag. I haven't had any problems with it and the waterproof lining is still in great condition after 9 months. This is probably in part due to the fact that:
  • I do not wash the laundry bag every time I wash diapers. I have never had a problem with Audrey's room smelling either. Obviously, if you put your nose right up to the bag it smells, but other than that the odors seem to stay inside. I feel that not washing the bag every time helps keep the lining from breaking down too quickly.
  • I've tested several methods for actually washing the diapers. What seems to work best for me and what I'm currently doing is:
    1. Rinse cycle only with cold water.
    2. Wash full cycle in hot water with Dreft laundry soap (and sometimes a little OxiClean if the poopy diapers were particularly gross).
    3. Rinse cycle only with cold water.
    4. Put them in the sun to dry if it's a nice day. Most often they just go in the dryer though.
  • Now that Audrey is eating solid foods, her poop is obviously more solid too. At the advice of one of our cloth diapering friends, we use a simple kitchen spatula (that stays in the bathroom so there's no confusion) to scrape the poop off into the toilet. Then the dirty diaper goes right into the laundry bag. I don't rinse. I wash often enough that I haven't had a problem with staining.
  • When we're out and about, we have a medium sized Bummis Fabulous Wet Bag for wet and dirty diapers. I've never had it leak and it fits nicely in my diaper bag.
  • As for cost, all of my covers and liners were a gift for my baby shower, so I didn't pay for them myself. However, knowing the cost of them, the one time purchase of our supply is MUCH less than we would have spent in disposables over the last 9 months. Obviously, we have the added cost of water, laundry detergent and electricity to wash them, but the increased cost in those things has been minimal. 
  • We decided to use cloth simply for Audrey's benefit. There are so many chemicals on disposables that we just didn't want her exposed to. Some people use them for environmental reasons. While I'm happy we aren't filling the landfill with diapers that take forever to break down, we are using more water, so to me there's good and bad environmentally.
  • They really are just as easy as disposables and take no more time when changing Audrey. The only added effort is the laundry and I feel like I'm doing laundry every day anyway so it really doesn't make a difference to me!
  • After 9 months, my supply is still in excellent condition! I don't see any evidence that they won't last us until Audrey is out of diapers completely!
  • Then there's the cute factor, of course! A cloth diapered bum is just so much cuter! I love her fluffy little bum! And no cartoon characters in sight!
 I mean, come on! How cute is that bum?!

So I think that's it! Do you use cloth? What's your routine like? Feel free to ask any questions if I left anything out!

Everyone has different opinions, preferences, and techniques that work for them. This is simply what works for us! We love cloth, but have nothing against anyone who uses disposables. In addition, I was not compensated in any way by any of the companies mentioned in this post. These are my opinions only and the links are for your convenience.

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