Tuesday, April 6, 2010

my thoughts on cloth diapers

A friend of a friend emailed me this week about cloth diapers. I get asked about them from time to time (more a few ago than now) and am always happy to share my thoughts. I have 4 years of cloth diapering under my belt. I love them. As much as someone can love a diaper. I realize that this topic is not relevant to most- so, see ya tomorrow for my guest poster.

(This is Lou at maybe 6 months ish)

Here's my standard response to friends who ask- in fact I copied and pasted the reply to my friends this week:

I say go fuzzi bunz all the way. I can't say enough good things about them.

cost and number- We bought 14 or so with Bee and then were able to use them again with Lou. They lasted 2 years on each kid! Then I was still able to re-sell them! The 4 year used ones went for like $4 a piece (the elastic was pretty much shot, they were only good for 'at home' use. The 2 year used ones went for $6. We got them for $12-15 a piece (although I see they are $18 now). With Lou, we picked up an additional 6 or so, then we didn't have to wash every day. With Bee, we just washed everyday or 1 1/2 days. They were easy to use and even hubby was on board with them.

size- We bought Bee's when she was 4 months old and she wore size medium from 4 months- 25 months when she potty trained. With Lou, we bought some size smalls and he wore them from 3 weeks- 4 months. Then he wore mediums from then until 24 months when he potty trained. Honestly, Bee can still squeeze into a medium at age 4 (she still needs a little something at night time and every once in awhile, we run out of what she wears and I stick her in a fuzzi bunz).

Routine- with Lou: We used them all day, except at night (because Lou would sleep through the night (generally) if we didn't change his diaper. He was a time pee(er) at night and would soak though a FB. anyway. He wore them all day. You do have to change more frequently than with disposable. When we went out we carried a wet bag (a small cloth bag lined with some fabric laminate) and just changed as needed and put the wet ones in the wet bag. You just have to make sure that you empty those out when you get home and not leave them in your diaper bag for a few days. stink! We threw them in a laundry basket on top of the dryer and just washed every other day. The smell was minimal because they were not in a closed in area and in a breathable basket. Some people buy a large wet bag and use it like a laundry bag. It was not a big deal to throw in a extra load. With Bee, we filled up the washing machine tank with some water at the beginning of the day and just threw in both parts of the diaper (you pull out the insert) as we changed her. At the end of the day, we washed.

Doing the laundry- We sometimes dried them in the dryer, but a lot of times, we hung them on the drying rack. To wash- you'll find all different methods. If the tank was full of water, I would finish that rinse and then do a hot wash with a tiny bit of laundry soap and then another cold wash no soap. If the tank wasn't full, I did two hot washes and called it a day. Sometimes I did a cold rinse, hot wash, cold rinse. It doesn't matter, you'll find what works for you. Here's a site that compares different laundry soaps on cloth diaps.

(This is Lou's first Christmas. He and Bee are watching a little puppet show- He is 7 months here and bee is 2 1/2)

Poo- most people are scared of the poo. With breast fed kids, the yellow mustard seed infant poo is no big deal. You just throw it in the wash. It's doesn't stain the diaper at all or smell on the clean diapers. When they start eating solid food, it thickens up you know. I would just shake off any 'chunks' (lovely to talk about!) in the toilet and throw the rest in the wash. This is gross, but if it was chunky but kinda stuck to the diaper, I might have taken a piece of toilet paper and tried to wipe some off. The FB are lined with fleece and the poo actually kinda 'peels' off as you give it a little shake over the potty. I never swooshed them in the toilet water, like you have to with old school cloth diaps. We did try some old school folded diapers and didn't like them- we also tried some all-in-ones and they took forever to dry. I also didn't like the hemp. It was crunchy.

Sunning and stripping- Occasionally, you have to 'strip' the diapers. They get a build up from the laundry soap (you never use diaper cream, bleach, or fabric softeners!) and you have to strip that off. This is also easy. You just throw in the diapers with a few drops of dawn dish soap and wash on hot at least 2 times. Maybe 3. Some people add a bit of vinegar too. Then, I would sun them. To sun them, you just hang outside with the lining side facing the sun. It really gets them fresh and clean.

Flannel wipes and diaper cream- You can use regular wipes, but you are washing anyway, so using cloth wipes is just as easy. They just get thrown in with the diapers. I used flannel wipes made out of old receiving blankets. (I sewed mine together to be 2 layers thick) I kept them wet in a wipe warmer. I added 1-2 drops of tea tree oil and some water in the tub and it kept them wet and warm and fresh. If we were out, I would just run them under water in the bathroom or I had a tiny wet bag (or zip lock) and got them wet before we left the house and just used them out of the bag. Also, since diaper rash cream will mess up diapers (you'd have to strip them all day to get it out), you can use a little and then place a one layer thin flannel wipe between that and the diaper. I so rarely needed to use rash cream because you are changing more often and the fleece wicks away the wetness. Plus there aren't those chemicals sitting on the tush all day to irritate it. Plus, generally cloth diaper parents are breast feeders (just what I've seen), there are less diaper rashes there too for a number of reasons.

Drawbacks- One draw back is that their tush is fluffy. Bee and Lou needed clothes a size bigger for some time. Although they were chunky babes, so they needed the looser pants anyway. It is easier to have them in sweats or other loose/stretchy/comfy pants rather than jeans or something tighter. This may throw off your sizing for awhile. But- on a good note, Bee had jeans (18mo or 2T) that she wore at 12 mo (rolled up) that we wore as capri as 2 and shorts at 3. She just needed that room in the waist and bottom as a tiny tot.

Potty training- I also think they potty train faster. They seem more aware of when they go and there's a bit of motivation to have a bulky diaper off. Disposable diapers are so thin and easy, I think some kids don't mind wearing them. Lou trained the month he turned 2 and bee was almost trained at 18 months- then was in the hospital for a week with rota-virus and we reverted. She was fully trained at 25 months. (expect admittedly, nighttime)

There's my book. I've typed all that out a number of times for friends, now I can just tell them to go look it up.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

You never cease to amaze me!

Love Always,