Thursday, July 12, 2012

Cloth Diapering Review: Part II

In case you missed it, you can read Part I here.
So, now that I've talked about our decision on which type & brand we went with--onto our day to day process of using cloth diapers! 

I mentioned briefly in the first post that I use Ruby Moon cloth diaper detergent.  I haven't had any experience with using any detergent beside this one, but I can say that I do enjoy my Ruby Moon.  For HE washers, the recommended amount per load is 2 TBSP and one package is supposed to last for 90 HE loads. In almost 2 months of use, I am about halfway through the bag which seems to coincide with what the package claims. One of my cloth diapering friends gave me this link to all the cloth diaper approved detergents on the market with their rating & cost per load--very helpful chart, I recommend taking a look! 

I have REALLY enjoyed cloth diapering.  I can honestly say that I do prefer it to using disposable, one because we are saving money & I am always on board for that, but also, I just genuinely enjoy the process of it all and don't find it to be a great burden.  Maybe I just hate going through so many trash bags, I don't know, but it makes me happy not to throw things away.  Also, have you noticed how cheery the colors are?  I love grabbing a new diaper each time & being surprised by which color he will wear next!  It's almost like an outfit change ;)  And sometimes the diaper is his full outfit (we like naked days!), so at least its a cute one, right?

A few things differ from disposable when changing a cloth diaper.  One is rash cream.  Just as there are special cloth diaper detergents, there are also rash creams that are made specifically for cloth diapering.  Using normal rash creams will stick to the cloth & ruin the absorbancy of the diaper.  So be careful when choosing a rash cream!  I have heard that just using straight olive oil or coconut oil on their little bums will work just fine with cloth.  I bought a Kansas City local's homemade hiney rub and we are liking it so far--it smells like lavender, which always makes me happy.
Target also sells a brand called California Baby that is safe for cloth. 
With cloth, you can also choose to use cloth wipes.  It's recommended to have somewhere between 25-50 cloth wipes if you choose to go this route.  In preparation for using cloth wipes (I haven't fully transitioned over yet), I made a cloth wipe spray consisting of water and a few drops of lavender added to a spray bottle, which I will spray on the wipes before cleaning his hiney.  Lavender has antibacterial properties & it also smells great.  Win win.

You also need a wetbag or a diaper pail with wetbag pail liner for storing dirty diapers after a changing.  With all in one diapers, you can just throw them in the pail after cleaning off the dirty diaper (a nice perk), but with pocket, you need  to remove the pocket insert from the diaper cover so that when you throw them in the wash, they are cleaned thoroughly. The pocket is not very difficult to remove though, just an extra step in the process.  I made two wetbags which I wrote about here.

I do love my wetbags.  When they are full & ready for a wash, I just dump the contents into the washing machine, along with the wetbag...super easy & minimal touching of dirty diapers ;)
I think, eventually, though I will invest in some sort of diaper pail with a foot press that lifts the lid.  It can be very difficult to supervise a baby on a changing table & unzip a wetbag at the same time.  I think a hands-free diaper pail would be much easier to use! 

Ben & I also invested in a diaper sprayer & have been very glad that we did so.  It's not quite as necessary to have with newborn poo, although we still use it, but I think it will really be needed when he starts on solids.

As far as the "hassle" of cloth diapering goes, I really haven't found it to be an extra burden.  I just have to be mindful of when my clean diaper count is getting low & throw the dirties into the wash.
It takes about 2 hours to wash the diapers as they need to run through a cold water quick wash cycle, as well as a hot water heavy duty cycle.  I usually throw the dirties in after E's early morning feeding and they are ready to hang out to dry by 9 am or so.  In my opinion, the washing machine really does all the work.  The extra laundry doesn't really bother me because having a baby creates plenty of extra laundry any way, so what's one more thing? ;)

On top of the two wetbags I made for the home, I also made a portable wetbag that fits 2-3 diapers in it.  When we go out for the afternoon, I take this wetbag with me, along with a couple of extra cloth dipes & when he needs a changing, store the dirty ones in the wetbag.  I haven't had any problems with odor (typically newborn poo is not too smelly), but there are odor sprays & pail powders that you can use to neutralize smells.  Also, Sassy sells a brand of disposable bags that are odor neutralizing, I've found these to be a good option as well.
Of course, if we are on a trip and will be gone more than just one afternoon, I do switch over to disposable. But for day errands  & trips, I've found that I can still use my cloth without any extra difficulty.

I am by no means an old pro at this cloth diapering thing, but this is what has worked for us so far!  I was intimidated by it all at first, but have been pleasantly surprised by how easily it has flowed into our daily routine!  Hopefully I covered most things, but if you have a question or something to add, please feel free to leave a comment!

1 comment:

Whitney said...

So fun to see you enjoying mommyhood! Maybe every baby is different, but I saw you mentioned you might have to use the sprayer more as he transitions to solids- that may be the case during the transition, but I wanted to encourage you that once Cameron was fully on solids we could honestly drop his solid poo in the toilet from a disposable diaper and then fold up the diaper and put in the normal trash to avoid bringing a stinky one outside. Soooo, maybe that'll be nice and easy for you down the road!Hugs!