Saturday, January 12, 2013

Cloth Diapering - Update

I figured it has been a while since I wrote about cloth diapering, something I've really enjoyed. 

Our first born is almost two now! How time flies! So that means we have been using cloth for about 20 months? I took a few months off my total because we started when he was a month old. I wanted to wait until the newborn poop was all done (meconium) and the umbilical cord was off. I should have mentioned it before, but I was glad to not have invested in newborn cloth diapers. Since our first born was 8lbs and 11ounces birth, he fit our all-in-ones pretty much right away! 

We also used disposables when we were on vacation (which hasn't been very much). I know some people do it, but I just couldn't wrap my head around it since we didn't have access to our own washing machine.

Then recently, for a month and a half, he was in the disposables again when I was dealing with some mad morning sickness with this pregnancy. I could BARELY change his diaper as it was. Life hits you sometimes, right? We do what we can to survive...

For the time that I have been cloth diapering though, it's been pretty smooth sailing. We are still really happy with our stash and they have held up really well. I wouldn't consider myself an expert, but our system has worked for us and is relatively easy. 

In our stash we have:

It's not the biggest stash, but its enough for 27 changes. 

I really like the assortment we have because they pretty much have had us covered this whole time. We use our "Flip" covers with our organic cotton inserts for everyday alongside the "BumGemius all-in-one Elementals". Then we use a "Flip" cover with a stay dry insert for nap times. We use a Flip cover with an "Apple Cheeks" bamboo insert layered under a "Flip" stay dry insert. YAY! 

Early on, I decided to stick to buying cloth diapers all from the same manufacturer so that when it came time to wash them I could do all of them the same way. It is SO SO important to check what the manufacturer recommends because... well they know their diapers the best and will know how to tell us how to get the most life out of them. Also, companies like Cotton Babies (who is the manufacturer of our diapers with the acceptation of our Apple Cheeks inserts) will offer a warranty that could be voided if the recommendations aren't followed. 

With a small stash, we have learned that it is really important to rotate the diapers evenly so that they get even wear. What we do, which has worked really well, is a system with two baskets, a drying rack and a diaper pail with two liners. 

Usually every 2-3 days we wash all of the cloth diapers that are in the diaper pail (usually there are half of them in there). 

Solids must be rinsed thoroughly into the toilet. If they aren’t there will be poo in the washing machine. Rinse the solids using the diaper sprayer, before putting them into the diaper pail. We have a roll of flushable liners that help with the #2 mess too. Just lay them on top of the diaper, between the cloth and baby’s bottom.

Our Regular Diaper Routine:
1. Dump all of the diapers and pail liner into the washing machine with ½ a tablespoon of Nellie’s Laundry All-Natural Laundry Soda or Rockin’ Green (we will have one or the other). We have been using Nellie's since I was able to find the 50 load bag of washing soda at Winners for only $5.99 CAD!

2. Do an additional wash with another ½ a tablespoon of soap. 

3. Dump all of the inserts and all-in-one diapers (Bum Genius Elementals) into the dryer on a low heat setting. Hang dry all of the diaper shells/covers (Flip), and the diaper pail liner inside-out to dry.

4. Usually the diapers will not fully dry in the drier (after about half an hour), which is what we want. We hang the inserts and the all-in-ones up to finish the drying process. 

5. Here comes the rotation! I have one basket under the change table that has all of the diapers from my previous wash. I move these, and fold them neatly into the basket that is on top of the change table. Then I grab the diapers (inserts, shells/covers, and all-in ones) off the drying rack and dump them into the basket (the left one in the picture) under the change table. In the right basket under the table we keep wipes, our extra wet bags, a small stash of disposables, and our first born's towels. 

I think that washing and stashing diapers away, really only takes about 5-8 minutes of my time every 2-3 days. Not bad, not bad at all! 

It is rewarding to think about all of the money we have saved (at least $900 by now) and more importantly all of the diaper changes that haven't ended up in a landfill. Plus, our first born has really sensitive skin, and we have noticed that he does better in the cloth. Horray! A happy baby makes a happy mommy.

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