Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Cloth diaper update

You may remember that I recently made the switch to cloth diapers. You may also be wondering how things are going. Have I gone nuts, drowning in laundry? Do my kids smell of pee all the time? Read on and all your pressing questions will be answered.

Things are going very well. I had to work out a few kinks in the system but now things are smoothing out. I had to get used to changing diapers more often. I had a bad tendency with disposables to not change them until they almost fell off. I bought more diapers off of a friend that was switching to a different kind of diaper so we stopped running out and I could wait longer between washings. I also bought some fleece and hemp (hee hee hemp) doublers for nap time and the times when we are going to be out of the house for longer periods of time. The fleece helps keep the skin dryer and the hemp is incredibly absorbent and it also make cleaning the poo much easier.

I had to figure out a diaper pail system. We ended up using a really nice diaper pail liner in a regular trash can. I soak the super stinky poos in a bucket upstairs in the laundry area. The pail liner is nice because you can wash it with your diapers instead of having to wash out the pail every time. It also doubles as a handy bag to bring the diapers upstairs and back down again.

Laundering is also a little more tricky than regular clothing. You can't use a lot of detergent as it will build up and reduce absorbency. I also use a vinegar rinse to help get the pee smell out. Fabric softeners are a big no no as it reduces absorbency. The wraps are hung out to dry. I only have to do a load of diapers every other day so my laundry while a bit more tricky is not excessive. When I was not so careful about frequent changes I did have to change clothing a lot but now that I have it down my laundry load has settled down.

I must say that I actually like cloth diapering a lot. How else can you have ultra cute customizable diapers? I love that if you are handy you can make everything yourself. I also like that if you are not handy then there are loads of choices out there at good prices. I also love that my diapers will last through many kids and still be going strong. I am thinking about picking up a few fun diaper covers in the future. I am also having one of my sisters knit me some wool covers as a Christmas gift. I sent her the wool and pattern. She is a student and short on cash so I thought it would be a great way for her to help me out and I would get something that I really wanted. She is a better knitter than me and does not have to deal with little kids interrupting her all the time. I really can see how some people have actually become addicted to cloth diapering.


Nanette said...

Now, don't lie ;), you use the hemp to smoke so that it won't matter whether or not the cloth diapers work! Funny--Sounds like a good idea, but far too much work :)

Anne/kq said...

My kids are funny-shaped. Even my mom, the cloth-diaper-using-through-four-kids-including-one-with-a-hip-cast pediatric nurse mom couldn't get them to fit right and not leak, even with a special fold. We keep a supply around as part of our emergency storage, but it's just too much for every day, especially now that we don't have a washer and dryer again. I'm always happy when others can work it out, though! It's so much better for the environment.

chelle said...

I so love that you cloth diaper too! Most people (including my husband) think I am insane!

I am so going to try my hand at knitting soakers! If I can do it we are going that way for the babe to be! If not I think we may invest in Fuzzi Bunz.

(If I figure out the soakers I will have to knit you a few!)

Damselfly said...

Wow, knitted wool covers -- never thought of that!

Guinevere Meadow said...

I'm going to try cloth diapering when my little one is born in 5 weeks. (Yipes! That's so soon!) Anyway, a good friend of mine cloth diapers, and she loaned me pretty much her entire supply of newborn diapers so I can try out all the different kinds: prefolds with covers, pocket diapers, all-in-ones, etc. I also found some good deals on eBay. Congrats on making the switch, and I'm glad it's working for you! (There's a seller on eBay that has good prices on the Snappi fasteners. If you're interested, drop me your e-mail addy and I'll send you the link.)

Awesome Mom said...

With the wool covers you have to lanolize them to keep them waterproof but once you do that you are good to go. You will not even have to wash them unless they get poopy. I can't wait to get mine.

Thanks for the tip on the snappis but all of our diapers ahve velcro so we have not needed any other kind of fastener. Harry wiggles around way too much for diaper pins so I had to keep it to the velcro.

you da mom said...

you are brave, that's all i have to say.

Tracy said...

That's great that the diaper switch has worked out so well for you!

Meg4Meg said...

When my kids were little I used cloth diapers, except when we went out for long periods of time or travelled.
I survived and you will too! The laundry is not that much extra.

Vicky said...

I cloth diapered my older boy for eight months until we went to England for three months. I used disposables there and my habit slipped. With the second, I was so tired and drained (literally - had a massive bleed during his birth!) that I just went the easiest way with nappies, and that was disposables. I felt bad about it but too tired to do anything.

I agree, a cloth diapered bottom is very cute, and the babe's legs don't get splayed out with all the neat nappies that they have nowdays, unlike the old huge bath towel types.

What is the actual diaper material made of? In Japan they are all two layered gauze, which washes and dries in a trice, even in very humid conditions. There are ways and combinations of folding them so that the layers accomodate the volume of urine that gets put out at each stage.

It was a surprise to me when I first saw them as I was used to the English terry towelling type ones.

The Laundress said...

Hey there AM,

Glad you are going with cloth. It is better for your kids and for the planet. Plus, cloth-diaper kids toilet-train easier, they don't have the articial "dryness" of chemical-laden paper products.

We were cloth diaperers! But had a laundry service, that part was sweet and very affordable. Might want to explore your local options on that, if you haven't already?

My husband is the stay-at-home parent but he is no Laundress!

Good for you and for the boys!

Amber said...

I am the twelth person to think you are nuts. For using cloth diapers, that is. But to each their own!

We, however, are hemp eaters in our home...exceedingly healthy and good for you!

Anonymous said...

Glad they're working out!
I have velcro too. They are great, until they figure out how to pull them apart! logan can rip off those velcro tabs with a quickness and he does so every time he wets or poops!! That's were the the wool bottoms come in real handy!!
Keep up the awesome work mom!!