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Wednesday, August 24, 2011

We're cloth diapering!

I have a confession to make.  I've been cloth diapering.  And I haven't told you.
But, it hasn't been all roses (I mean, we're talking about diapers here), so there have been some bumps along the way. 
On my insistence, Isla June "received" 7 more cloth diapers for her birthday (now don't get all sad for her thinking she is a poor child who gets underwear and socks for presents.  She received tons more toys, dresses and books than any one yr old can ever need or wear).  And being the go-geter that I am,  I shoved all of the disposable diapers into the closet and vowed to only clothe her little tush in cloth. the smart turtle said, slow and steady is the key.  For me, jumping in head first into the cloth diapering was exciting....until is wasn't.  With the move to Myrtle, teething causing tons of loose poos (TMI??), and thus causing diaper rash, an extra load of laundry every night and about 3 flushes per diaper- I was spent.  And I was guilty.  Guilty of convincing my husband to spend almost 300.00 bucks on these things, guilty of causing diaper rash on my poor child, and guilty of failing as an all natural mommy.  So, I quietly stuffed placed the 12 colorful diapers to a drawer and wrapped IJJ's sweet bottom back in our trusty (but becoming expensive) Seventh Generation diapers.  and left them there.  For 5 weeks.  Thankfully, my husband said nothing.  And neither did I.
Then, about a week ago, I slowly opened the drawer. and I laid out the 12 dipes.  and I wondered, is there any way I can make this work?  So I googled around-cloth diapers causing diaper rash, stripping cloth diapers, etc.).   I stumbled across this website that instructed me on the best way to strip my diapers.  So, I threw all of them in the washer, set the dial to heavy and water temp to hot/warm and used NO detergent.  Some of my research indicated that using too much detergent can actually cause the diapers to smell MORE because of the build-up on the fabric (argh.  this completely goes against my more is more argument and gives credit to my husbands ever growing overuse of product standpoint).  And I waited.  When I pulled them out of the wash, they smelled fine and looked great.  I put them outside to dry(in the sun), googled some more and waited (again).
The next day, I set up our system ( cloth dipe hanging back in IJJ's bathroom next to toilet), stuffed all the dipes (we've got the pocket system) and gingerly placed the first "tank diaper"(as Jer calls them) on IJJ's behind.  I don't know why I was nervous.  I guess part of me was afraid that she would scream in protest.  But really, she didn't care.  And I waited (more).  I put her in a cloth diaper for probably 4 out of 8 diapers that day. slow and steady, remember.  And I did it again the next day.  And then the next.
And now, it's been a week.  And we're doing great.
So, here's what I've learned:
1) wash diaper every night on a heavy wash (same is true for front loaders) with as hot as you can get your water.
2) use 1/2 than recommended detergent
3) all natural detergents aren't always the way to go.  We were using Mrs. Myers and i think that the Lavender was too much for the dipes.  But, with that being said, Tide isn't the way to go either- there are plenty of additives in there too.  Something Free and Clear is best. 
4) sometimes Vinegar and/or baking soda can help.  Sometimes not.  It depends on how hard your water is.  If you use it during the wash and the dipes don;t come out smelling clean and fresh, then skip it.  I've heard Oxiclean can help, but it can also break down the fibers of the dipe, so use sparingly.
5) when changing baby, wipe bottom area REALLY well.  This was key for me.  I always cleaned her well, but now I do a much more thorough job every time.  I read that because cloth diapers don't "pull" the moisture away from the skin, you have to make sure to get the area clean and dry in between diaper changes.  This was key for us.
6) You don't have to use cloth ALL the time.  This was also key for us.  I keep the disposables on hand for when we are out of the house for an extended period of time and at night.  Maybe we'll go back to cloth 100% of the time.  But for right now this is working for us, so I'm not going to push it.
I guess all of this is to say, see, it's not that bad, you can make it work for you however it works into your lifestyle.  So, if you're thinking about trying it, go for it!  Maybe just start with 4 or 5 diapers though....
P.S.  the diapers we chose were the BumGenious 4.0 with snaps

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