Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Cloth Diapers...the plan

We plan on cloth diapering our child.  We plan on it, we're excited about it, we know it'll be work, we know we'll encounter poop, we know it uses more water, we know, we know, we know.  So if you're going to rain on our parade, I'm not interested in hearing your comments.  You guys should have heard some of the comments we've gotten!!!  A bunch of Debbie Downer's out there, I tell ya! 

Today, I thought I would give you all a rundown of our cloth diaper plan and basics about cloth diapering so that you can stop imagining me with giant safety pins and buckets of sloshing poop water.  No more misconceptions!

The reality of the situation is this: I am very used to poop, and no one has ever died from exposure.  Also, they're so much cheaper (especially if they are re-sold or used for future kiddos) than disposables.  Plus, it makes me sad that 2+% of the garbage created in the US is disposable diapers.  Finally, I won't have a job for at least awhile after we have this kiddo, so I will have more time than a working mama to care for our cloth diaper stash.

Speaking of stash...wanna see? 
Chevron rumparoos, white Imagine, and Green patterned Bummi's alongside a prefold

This is the newborn stage stash.  I'm not so enthusiastic as to claim that we'll exclusively cloth diaper our child from the very beginning, but we're hoping to do a 50/50 mix once our baby's tummy is past it's first few nasty sticky days.  We have 3 covers, a used Bummi's superbrite, an Imagine, and a rumparoos.  These are used with any small/newborn size prefold insert (the white square with orange edges, ours are Nicki's Diapers brand). 

So the diaper-er just folds up the prefold (there are about a million ways of folding them depending on skill level and your kiddo) and then treats the waterproof cover like a disposable and Velcro's it on over the prefold.  If kiddo peed (and no poopy mess), we just change out the prefold insert.  If there is a mess or it's been awhile, we change out the insert and the cover. 

With most of our bigger cloth diapers, we chose snaps instead of aplix (velcro) because it's said to wear longer and not get so stuck to everything in the wash.  But with the relatively short newborn stage, we weren't picky and got what we thought was cute.  The Rumparoos and Imagine diapers came from Nicki's Diapers, and the the used Bummis cover came from the most wonderful consignment sale in the world (although Dillon thinks the whole place smelled like pee a little bit.  There was something funky in that building).

The other 50% of the time with our newborn, we'll use disposables.  We were generously given a bunch as gifts so we'll see how long those last us!

Now, for the other stash: the "big kid" stash, if you will.  These were mostly a gift (THANKS, MOM!) so all we had to supplement were the newborn size since these all-in-ones would be too big for any baby for awhile.

Stack of white flip inserts, blue flip cover, yellow used bumgenius elemental, and teal bumgenius freestyle

We have 3 used flip covers with 8 used flip inserts, 2 used bumgenius elemental All-In-Ones, and 8 new bumgenius freestyle All-In-Ones.  This means we have 18 total diapers which will hopefully last us for one entire child!  We can always supplement a few if we need to, but doing a load of diapers every other day is my goal so we'll see how many we truly need.

The flip diapers are pretty easy, just fold the insert to the small/medium/large size you need & slide it into the little pocket in the front and back of the cover (all of our "big kid" diapers can be sized up or down using all those snaps you see on that blue one!).  Like the newborn prefolds/covers, the flips can be reused until the cover is dirty.

The All-In-Ones are super simple, you just put it on the baby like any disposable diaper.  Once we figure out the sizing with all those snaps, it should be a breeze.  Later, we can add another layer of prefold inserts to the center if needed for absorbancy overnight.

Now the part that has the most people concerned: "what do you do with the dirty diapers????"
This depends on when we are talking about.  We're hoping to do exclusive breastfeeding for a nice long time, so hopefully that will make it easier for us.  Yup, runny breastfeeding poopies are supposed to be easier.  That's because exclusive breastfeeing poop is completely water soluble so you can just throw the whole shebang in the washing machine without so much as looking at your toilet.  You do have to use fancy cloth diapering approved detergent; we got Bumgenius brand.  It should last quite awhile because you use a pretty small amount. 

Diaper pail with pail liner, Ikea bin, and (iforgetthebrand) zippered polka dot wetbag

We got this cute pail liner to put in our ikea recycling bin (can't find it online anymore!) to use in the nursery.  Hopefully the lid will contain any odors.  We'll just dump in our cloth diapers and when it's time to wash, we will take the whole liner downstairs and turn it inside out in the washer, and throw the liner in the wash right along with the diapers.  Easy peasy.  We got the small zippered polka dot wet bag for when we're out and about because it can fit a few used diapers in the diaper bag.  The newborn diaper covers and flip covers should be line-dried, but the prefolds go in the dryer.  The All-in-ones should be line dried if possible, just to save the wear and tear on them.  We've also heard that high efficiency washers (like ours) don't work as well for cloth diapers because they don't use enough water, so we'll have to experiment with our washer settings to see what works best.

Once we stop exclusively breastfeeding, things get slightly more complicated.  We'll still do the same things with pee diapers, but poop diapers will need to be dumped/scraped/sprayed into the toilet before going into our pail liner.  We don't know what we'll do yet.  A lot of people have success with a spatula dedicated to poop scraping.  Yup.  Or we can spend around $50 for a diaper sprayer that hooks up to the water lines in the back of your toilet so that we can spray any poop into the toilet before putting in the pail.  We'll see how much money we have when the time comes, I guess!  I vote for poop sprayer, but that's just because the idea of a spatula grosses me out a bit. 

 These are some of our accessories we've collected for our cloth diapering:

Yellow/Blue cloth wipes, California Baby diaper rash cream, Bummi's liners, and Target spray bottle

We are planning on using cloth wipes along with our diapers.  Once we're already doing the laundry anyway, it doesn't seem like much more work.  Actually, separating the garbage diaposable wipes from cloth diapers sounds like MORE work, to me!  I made our cloth wipes out of flannel I picked up from JoAnn's. The size doesn't really matter unless you are planning on putting them in an old plastic wipes container (like most tutorials online will show you to do).  We aren't planning on fooling around with pre-moistened wipes; instead, we'll mix up a bit of solution and spray it with our little spray bottle on the wipe just prior to wiping the bum.  If we did pre-moistened, I would be concerned with mold if I ever don't use the wipes fast enough!  This website has a ton of recipes for solution: The "Castille Wipes" is the basic recipe we're planning on using for wipes.  It'll have to be changed out weekly. 

We also got a pack of bummis diaper liners.  I like the idea of these rather than carrying around a poopy diaper or figuring out how to dump the poo when we're out and about; I'm planning on putting a liner in the diaper whenever we are planning on going out and that way, if poop happens, it's more dump-able into whatever toilet we are nearest and the liner is flushable, too.  I've heard good things about these and they were only $6, so why not try, right?

The last thing I'll mention is that we have to use specific "cloth diaper approved" diaper rash cream if the opportunity ever arises.  Otherwise, the not-approved stuff can build up on the diapers and make them much less absorbent. 

Are you less scared of cloth diapers yet?  Did you enjoy my first attempt at creating a .gif?  Are you completely grossed out by the amount of times I mentioned poop?  Did I confuse you, or give you confidence to do it yourself?  Do tell!

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