Sunday, January 30, 2011

Final shakedown: Cloth Diapers, how to, why and well, just do it...

It's been almost 3 years and two kids in cloth diapers so can I consider myself a veteran? Yes, yes, I can. Do I still love them? Yes, I do. I've certainly had my moments, especially when both kids were in diapers for 6-8 months -- lots of diaper laundry but with one kid... PIECE OF CAKE! Here are my tips for cloth diapers. I will take a photo of my set-up and add it.

Supplies you need:
1) a baby that is 8-12 weeks (let's face it folks, who wants to wash 20+ diapers a day ? Rather than make yourself a slave to diapers-- I say wait until that poop is not happening every time you blink, and then start)

2) a good set of cloth diapers -- I'd say 15-20 is really comfortable. Do what you can afford but at LEAST 12. I use Fuzzi Bunz and YES I know they are made in China but really people, what isn't? I've had the same size medium Fuzzi Bunz with me since Owen was 3 months. MJ did a review of other cloth diaper ideas including g-diapers on this blog here.

3) Good detergent, I've used Charlie's Soap and now I'm using Vaska, which I can get locally at New Profieteers (I mean Frontiers), so I don't have to have it shipped and thus save the planet even more... ah hem anything you ship uses fuel...

4) Just bite the $50.00 bullet and buy a diaper sprayer. Do I have to go there? Believe me some sticky baby poop needs a little "shower" to release itself into the will thank me later.

5) a cloth can liner. Personally, I don't even have a disposable diaper trash can in my nursery...too tempting. Make it a hassle to use anything disposable... I mean, it's nasty anyway-- What's nasty you ask me? POOP sitting inside plastic disposable diapers rolled up in plastic bags shaped like a sausage so it doesn't smell like poop in your house... THAT is what is nasty. I use a regular trash can with a flip up top. We got it at Target and yes, I wish it wasn't plastic.

6) brings me to WIPES: that's right, CLOTH WIPES... might as well so long as you are washing the diapers. I get them on whatever site I buy the diapers from.. you'll need around 20-25. If you are crafty and can use a sewing machine, which sadly I cannot, then make your own from old soft towels. DO NOT, I repeat DO NOT have disposable wipes handy or you'll use them and guess what you won't have a trash can for them...thing is disposable wipes are nasty... believe me people I want as much cloth between my fingers and human poop as possible and flimsy little disposable wipes just don't cut it. I get grossed out anytime I have to use them.

7) While you are at it, get a cloth wipes warmer. I have a Prince Lionheart and apart from the little glowing heart being like 60watts, I love it. HINT: use black electrical tape to cover blasting light. This is the way to go for cloth wipes because they will always be WET and ready... and you guessed it, WARM!! I also used a friend's disposable wipe warmer when I was running my "two kids in two diapers" circus over here. It worked fine. Ask around, I'm sure someone has one. A trick is to put a wet cloth at the bottom of the warmer and don't let it get too dry. Here in AZ every damn thing gets dried out even a wet wipe warmer. I know, I know... it uses energy. So get some solar panels.

7) Use one disposable a day until they don't pee so much at night. Just trust me on this one. The peace of mind is worth the 365 diapers in the landfill. If you can do cloth diapers at night, my hat is off to you. Personally, I wanted the child to sleep and NOTHING was going to stand in the way, least of all a WET diaper. I buy Nature Babycare because they are supposedly compost ready but don't let me fool you, I also buy Huggies Pure and Natural because they work amazing. Harper is 15 months now and we are using cloth at night because she doesn't pee so much anymore at night... some babies and kids do... but those kids probably drink A LOT more liquids than my kids.

8) Some type of small cloth diaper tote thing that travels in your diaper bag. I have two and it's plenty. Yes, you can take your cloth diapers on the go. I have taken them on EVERY vacation we go on. The only time the child wears a disposable on vacation is on the actual day of travel if it's more than 10 hours... I just don't have room in my carry on for dirty diapers. When you travel with kids you are likely going to a place with a washing machine. The only glitch is that you need to remember your own detergent and have access to a washing machine. I have a small bottle that I carry with me on every trip. I usually only end up doing diapers two times... NOT that big of a deal. NOTE: if you are going to a hotel, call ahead to see if there is access to a washing machine, you will be surprised. If we are camping or traveling by car, I just pack one of our large diaper can liners and put dirty diapers in there and wash when we get home. Click here to view additional cloth diaper accessories.

9) A place to go with all the money you save. The average American family spends -- ARE YOU READY?? $3,000 on ONE CHILD's disposable diapers. Save yourself approximately $5,200* get some cloth diapers and hit the Caribbean! It's cheaper, folks what else do you need? *that figure assumes two children. I've spend approximately $700 on TWO KIDS!! My initial investment was $400 and then the accessories and replacing some inserts, etc.

1) NO EXCUSES. The moment you start making excuses why you should use a disposable, well, it's a slippery slope. I just limit myself to one a day. No exceptions.

2) You are worried about how gross poop is and what it does to your washing machine? Don't be silly, you are a Mom, you'll be cleaning up some serious S*IT in the next 18 years, this is literally the least of your worries. Once you've knocked out most of the solids, or flipped it out (if your kids hate veggies --really poop just flips right into the toilet after they start eating solid food), or sprayed it out, or sloshed it out... you'll find your own tricks... you flush it, and pop that diaper into the can liner and it won't stink because it's not a huge turd sitting in your nursery. You will need to wash diapers every 3 days at the most, which means about twice a week, WAY MORE with less diapers. Again get 15-20 - it's worth it.

3) All, I repeat ALL the grandparents, babysitters and nannies have used my cloth diapers with no problems. If a 14 year old girl and a 65 year old man can do it, trust me, you can too!

If you have questions, please comment here, I'll get an email and respond!

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Anonymous said...

OK - give me the rundown on how you prevent the ammonia smell in your fuzzy bunz. i.e. what's your method for stripping dipes?

Cameron Clark | baby business blog said...

Actually there comes a time when you just have to replace the inserts, maybe every year to 18 months. Before I replace them, I soak them in bleach. JUST the inserts. It works pretty well, then I re-wash the inserts with hot water, and rinse again. If it doesn't work, I buy new inserts.