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Friday, November 22, 2013

How we cloth diaper

A couple of months ago I shared our plans for cloth diapering once our baby boy was here and big enough. Well... we are about 6 weeks into our cloth diapering venture and absolutely loving it so I thought I would share how it is going, my wash routine, etc.

Nothing cuter than a cloth diapered booty

After researching the different kinds of CDs, I knew right away that pocket diapers were for us. Especially with a boy, I love the option of doubling up on inserts at nighttime or whenever I perceive he will be a heavy wetter. We have 24 Bum Genius 4.0 one size snap pocket diapers. Most CD mamas have a variety of styles, brands, etc but the OCD in me wanted every diaper to be the same so we have 6 of 4 different gender neutral colors. For all things cloth diapering, I order from Other supplies we have: 2 Kissaluvs diaper pail liners, 2 Itzy Ritzy wet bags, a Bum Genius diaper sprayer (that we don't use yet), and a diaper pail. Oh and coconut oil! I bought a giant tub of it at Costco for super cheap and don't imagine I will go through it all EVER. Since you can't use traditional diaper cream on CD booties, coconut oil is a CD safe and natural alternative. I scooped some into a smaller container and keep it at his changing table. 

Ford is 100% cloth diapered all day, every day. I love it. To be honest, the days leading up to when we started (I wanted to wait until A. he was big enough for the diaps and B. he wasn't going through 12 diapers a day), I thought "What the heck did I get myself into?! I don't wanna cloth!". I was terrified. Looking back I'm not really sure why I was so scared but cloth diapering is a piece of cake. The first weekend we started, we stayed home most of the time just to be cautious. We weren't really sure what we were doing and an explosion is easier to clean at home than out and about! And it took all of 2 days for me to be Team Cloth! We did use disposables when we traveled to Dallas and Ohio, it's just easier than packing bulky diapers and washing away from home. I was SO ready to get back to cloth since Ford kept leaking out of the disposables. *To prep our diapers we washed only once and have had no issues. 

So our routine. Ford goes through about 5-7 diapers a day and I wash every 3rd day with about 2-3 diapers to spare. Y'all.... the washing is so easy! I hate when I hear people say "oh cloth diapering doesn't save time or money because of the washing." It is so easy to keep up with and we haven't noticed an uptick in our bills. 1 extra load in the washing machine every 3 days, that's cake. And I hang dry so there is no added electricity there. Since Ford is exclusively breastfed, there is no need for me to rinse his poopie diapers. Potty diapers are easy. Unsnap and throw into the diaper pail. Poop is basically the same but with added wiping and I usually smear coconut oil on his tush just for preventive care. As gross as it may seem, I take off the soiled diaper, fold it, and put it right into the diaper pail. The only semi yucky thing about dealing with the poop is on wash day I remove all the inserts from my diapers and that can smell a little funky. Breastmilk poop doesn't stink per se, it just has a different smell. 

On day 3, I remove the inserts from my diapers and throw everything into the washer. We have this washing machine if you are interested, we love it! It is so easy to use and huge. I pour about 2 tbsp of Purex Free and Clear detergent into the slot and set up my wash cycle. I'm gonna pause for a sec and say that after tons of research on cloth diaper safe detergent, I found that Purex Free and Clear is 100% safe and SO cheap! Many people use detergents made by the diaper companies that are incredibly expensive but Purex is so darn cheap. I believe you can use some sort of Tide Powder but you have to be VERY careful about dyes, additives, brighteners, etc. Back to my wash cycle. I program the cycle to start with a cold rinse followed by a HOT wash and an extra rinse and spin at the end. This cycle seems to be working really well for us and we haven't run into any stink issues yet. Luckily stripping diapers is pretty easy if we ever have barnyard smells. And believe it or not, my washer does NOT smell either! The whole cycle takes about 1 hour and 20 minutes and once done, I hang dry my diapers and inserts outside on our deck. 

My laundry helper

One thing I was worried about was poop stain on diapers because let's face it, babies can poop like crazy! I was discouraged after my first wash when my poop diapers were stained. If you are a CD mama or considering it, I highly recommend joining The Cloth Diaper Compendium on Facebook. It is such a great resource and full of awesome information. I was told that sunning my diapers would magically remove the stains and what do you know... it worked! Even dried poop stains are GONE with a little sunshine. In fact, I haven't had a good day of sun my past few wash days so I've hung dried inside and earlier this week put them in the sun and boom. Stains gone. Once my diapers and inserts are dry, I usually stuff while playing with my little man and that takes about 5 minutes. 

I was initially really nervous about changing cloth diapers out and about but it is pretty much the same as changing a disposable except I carry a wet bag with me for dirties. The wet bag locks in any liquid or smells and I empty the diapers into my pail right when I get home. One thing I am currently weary about is having to spray my diapers once Ford starts solids but hey, we will cross that bridge when we get there!

Honestly I am so glad we decided to cloth Mr. Ford and will definitely be cloth diapering future babies. Not a day goes by where I don't think, "Hey! I've saved $15 in diapers this week." Yes the initial investment is high but cloth diapering pays for itself very quickly and continues to pay for itself for years to come. If you have an older baby in sposies and are considering cloth diapering, my sweet friend Teressa wrote an awesome and informative post titled, "Is it too late to start cloth diapering?". And my fellow new mommy Kaitlyn wrote a great post this week explaining the different kinds of cloth diapers and the pros/cons of each. One thing I will say is if you are considering cloth, your husband HAS to be on board. Men (and women too!) have a hard time getting over the 'dealing with poop' aspect of CDing and it's not something you want to force your spouse to do when you're already dealing with caring for a new little one.

If I forgot anything, feel free to ask any questions in the comments! Make sure your email address is attached so I can respond!


Jane {In The Pink & Green} said...

This is awesome Ruthie, glad to hear things are going well! Cam FOR SURE wants to CD when we have a baby one day (pretty sure he said that when we were dating because that's how much he cares about the environment haha) but I definitely am a little unsure about it...glad to hear it's working out well for you guys! Have an awesome weekend! xoxo

Bridget said...

Not only do we use the same cloth diapers, but we have the same exact washer!! haha. I too love cloth diapering Turner. I am bummed when I think about having to put disposables on him when we travel. Have you ever checked out the 'spray pal'? Google it. We use it when we spray off the diapers and it makes spraying so much easier because I don't have to worry about stuff spraying all over!!

Emilie said...

Hi Ruthie!

How did you "prep" your CD's? We are starting cloth in a week and I want to prep them first. Did you follow the BG instructions for prep or do something different?

And thank you for the heads up about purex! I have been using Charlie's soap and I feel like I go through it so quick and can only buy it from Amazon.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the shoutout! And I am glad we hopped on the cloth bandwagon too - it really is SO easy!

jessi bridges said...

I'm so glad it's working out for you guys! Have you considered prewashing and/or rinsing in vinegar? I find that it strips the poop easier (especially when they start eating solids) and I think it makes it so I don't have to strip the diapers from detergeant as often. ;)

And sun bleaching is like magic right? So glad we have a yard now and I can hang dry. It kinda sucked living in a townhouse with no yard for that.

DanielleWoods91711 said...

When you first started with Ford, did you use the newborn insert or the fullsize? I went ahead and pre-stuffed mine with the newborn but not sure. Thank you :) Oh also, any military momma's who read, you can use the All Free and Clear "military version" available at the PX. Here is a link to other info about laundry soap.

DSM said...

Hi Ruthie:

I noticed Ford has one of those Amber necklaces on. My son is 16 months and slow in the teeth department and is now pretty much getting all his teeth at once. He has some days and nights where they really bother him.

I am wondering how the necklace works and if its helping Ford.



Anonymous said...

This post is brilliant! I love the idea of cloth nappies as it seems like such a monumental waste to be constantly throwing away so much plastic in the form of disposable nappies. But I have heard a few people say that it wouldn't be worth it, blah blah blah, so it's really reassuring to hear a positive experience! A friend of mine uses Bum Genius as well and loves them :) Thanks for all the info!

Lauren Elliott said...

Thanks for sharing, bookmarking for later ;) and passing along to some new mommy friends!

Maria said...

All your GREAT new mommy posts makes me wish I was a new mommy again. Except for the lack of sleep.... :) You would have had me thinking about going cloth instead of disposable.

Ford is so cute!!!!
Thanks for always being honest when sharing.

Unknown said...

Thank you for your sharing, looking forward to your next published, preparing for both in advance of your birth can help you and your baby get the best start in life, such as the reusable diapers

Carolyn said...

Yay! I'm so glad that it's working so well for you guys!!

Sharon Smith said...

Really i am also so glad it's working out for you guys! Have you considered p rewashing and/or rinsing in vinegar? I find that it strips the poop easier (especially when they start eating solids) and I think it makes it so I don't have to strip the diapers from detergent as often.
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