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Monday, January 28, 2008

Modern Cloth Diapering

What? Does anyone use those any more? Of course! And now they're better than ever. They come in easy to use all-in-ones, prefolds, and fitteds, and covers come with elastic, velcro, and snaps!

I think they're easier to use than disposables; we don't have trash pickup, and you can bet that I don't want to be hauling buckets of dirty diapers all the way to the dump myself each week! Not to mention the cost of having to buy the sposie diapers, and that to get them for any kind of decent price I'd have to drive all the way to the city- about 100 miles round trip! Of course, you can cloth diaper expensively or inexpensively. We chose to do it the cheap-o way, I got second hand wool covers that were in excellent condition from a friend for $35, and then about 40 CPFs and 3 PUL covers in each size. Then I made some all-in-ones that are so easy to use, and we're set.

What's so great about cloth? They are reusable! They are cost-effective! They are comfortable! They are cute! They help with potty training!

A 14-dollar all-in-one cloth diaper will last through many many uses. Just in the past 2 months I have used one of our AIOs every other day (it's our favorite! like this cloth diaper at my store). That's 30 uses just in the past 2 months, $16/30=.53 a use. It is still showing no sign of wear and fits well. I am confident that we will be using it for at least another 6 to 9 months, for a total of 120 to 165 more uses, bringing the cost down to as low as 8 CENTS a use. These things are durable!

They are so soft against your baby's skin, I like mine to be as comfortable as I can make her, and I do not think I would be comfortable wearing Huggies paper around on my bum all day, especially with the chemicals in them. Personally, I am nervous about the chemicals in disposable diapers, so we have never used them, and if we were to, we'd use Tushies.

They are cute!

They help with potty training! Baby immediately is aware of when they are wet. It can be talked up, 'oh, let's go get you a nice dry diaper now', which is making the connection in their little mind even when they are tiny. I notice that my daughter does *not* go potty while I am holding her without squirming around a lot (she's 9 months old). She, regardless of what Dr. Spock might think, is aware of her movements, and does not wish to soil her momma. We have dabbled in Elimination Communication off and on, and though we haven't been 'hardcore' about EC (elimination communication) I think that cloth diapers will help lead her to earlier potty training.

They are respectful. They treat the child's bodily waste as something to be cleaned, not something nasty to be thrown away. I find that my attitude has changed about diapers. Instead of being something that I must do as a parent, a drudgery, they are a loving act that I do for the child. I prepare her pants for her and assist her to grow up independently and use the potty herself.

Well, you say, that all sounds good. But washing diapers is just gross! Here's how we wash ours. It's fairly simple. If you use paper liners, it is even simpler.

Pee diapers: Go in a wet bag (A waterproof lined fabric bag, or grocery store sacks work also) that hangs on a hook in the bathroom. The whole wet bag gets dumped in the washer. You can do this by simply pushing the diapers out from the bottom, turning the bag inside out, and you never have to even touch them ;) I wash every other day, but it's fine to go twice a week or so if you have enough diapers.

Poo diapers: If it's the yellow breastfed poo, just stick the diaper in the wet bag, no rinsing required. Until the child starts solids, the poo is eaisly washed away without any pretreatment. If it's a formed BM from a child who isn't solely breastfed, just plop it in the toilet. Put the diaper in the wetbag.

Covers: Wash with your clothes. I've found that's the best way to wash waterproof covers and keep the plastic part of them from absorbing stink, though I do toss them in with the diapers from time to time.

Wash: Pre-rinse on cold in the machine, then wash on hot/cold. We have hard water so I use the regular amount of detergent. If your water is soft, use half the amount.

Dry: I hang to dry in the summer, but I toss my AIOs and waterproof covers in the dryer once a week so they can restore their waterproofness. In the winter I just toss everything in the dryer and dry for 1-1/2 cycles.

Troubleshooting: If your diapers are stinky, then you need to do something a little extra in your washing routine. It generally is related to what's in your water. You can try adding half a cup of vinegar to the wash, a couple tablespoons of baking soda, washing on hot/hot (if your washer doesn't allow this, wash on warm/warm but turn the cold water off as it comes into your washer), or add a tablespoon of dish washing detergent to the load. Most of the time nothing extra is required, though, so if they're coming out clean, don't worry about it!

Feel free to ask me any questions in the comments section. I'd be happy to answer!

Visit Georganne's store for cloth diapers as well!

1 comment:

Georganne said...

Looks great! Lots of great info! Thanks for adding me to your EtsyMini! :o)