Wednesday, July 28, 2010

How to Easily use Cloth Diapers

I have heard several of the issues with cloth diapers & I think people have valid concerns. It is definitely either something you're interested in or something you know just isn't for you. For those of you who think you may be interested, but are trying to figure out exactly how it works, I've decided to share our set-up! I've found them to be easier than I expected & even more user-friendly than I had originally thought! I thought about splitting this post into separate posts so it'd be shorter, but I've just left it all as one thing.

Pick your brand
First of all, we use GroBaby, although they are now re-launched as GroVia. I will refer to them from now on as GroVia since that is their new official name. We just don't have any of the new kind yet, but after this video I shared the other day, we are absolutely going to buy a couple! One of the things I really liked about GroVia is that they can be used when the babies are really small. We started Isis on cloth once her umbilical cord stump fell off, so at about 2 weeks. She was about 7 lbs at this point.

(Didn't like these fitted ones - the WHOLE thing got wet - including the part that goes around her thighs & everything)
I tried several different kinds of cloth diapers (fitted w/ covers, pocket diapers, folded with covers, etc) and I found that I'm not a cloth diaper girl in general, I'm a one-size kind of girl - specifically GroVia. So my first piece of advice is study, study, study & figure out which kind is going to work for you. I'll also say, you probably won't know for sure until you put one on your baby & see what it does. I thought the fitted ones with covers were so cute until I used them. You also may find you like one kind for daytime & a different kind for night. I've liked GroVia for both, so you just have to find what works for you.

Bags & Liners
We use a 30 gallon white trash can from Wal-Mart with PlanetWise diaper pail liner. The thing I like about the PlanetWise diaper pail liner is that it has elastic around the top, so it holds great in the can. I have another brand that has a drawstring at the top & I hated it. It also has a much more flimsy feel than the PlanetWise. When I looked around in reviews, PlanetWise was raved about & I have found myself to have similar reviews.

We use PlanetWise wet bags when we are going out. I have 2 small ones that fit 1 shell with a soaker or 2 soakers. I use these for running errands or going to lunch or something where I'll only be out for 1 or 2 diaper changes. 

If we are out all day, we use the larger (can't remember if it's medium or large) PlanetWise wet bag, which holds anywhere from 5+ diapers - depending on if you do shells & soakers or just soakers.

We use regular Huggies wipes usually, but I have found that a plain, dry cloth wipe does much better with the poop. I'll get everything cleared off & then I'll use one regular Huggies wipe to actually clean everything before putting on a new diaper. Some use cloth wipes with a wipes warmer & some solution, but I found buying the wipes was just easier. The cloth wipes we have were actually made by my mom. She bought a couple of flannel receiving blankets & cut them into squares & just sewed around the sides.

Diaper Sprayer
I cannot say enough about my diaper sprayer. The idea of dunking the poop diapers really grossed me out. (See, I can do cloth, but only a specific way - that's why this is the easy version of cloth diapers!) We got a BumGenius diaper sprayer which attaches to the water line going into your toilet. You just spray off the poo into the toilet & throw the diaper into the diaper pail. No mess, no touching poop. It does take a couple of times to get used to spraying it the right way so that it doesn't shoot poop all over the place, but once you get it, you're golden. 

I read a million different ways to wash cloth, but I ended up just washing on Hot with an extra rinse. I use 1 scoop of Tiny Bubbles detergent. Make sure that no matter how many you are washing, you set the water level to the highest setting. This will help prevent detergent buildup. I didn't do this at first & Isis got a lot of diaper rash. As soon as I started washing with the highest setting of water (& after I stripped the detergent buildup off the diapers) she hasn't gotten diaper rash at all. I wash every 2-3 days. It was more like every other day when she was smaller & pooping around the clock, but as the poo has slowed down, so has the washing. But I never go longer than every 3rd day.

I dry the soakers in the dryer on medium heat. It takes about 1.5 cycles because they absorb so much moisture. I hang the shells to dry. They normally end up just being draped over the chairs in the kitchen overnight, but we also try to go to Lew's parent's house occasionally & hang everything in the sun. This bleached all the stains out in 1 day!!! So if you have your own house, I highly recommend just drying everything on a clothes line if you can. It bleaches stains & dries them naturally! The shells only take about 2 hours to try if they're hanging.

Our babysitter is wonderful & hasn't had any complaints about our cloth diapers. I don't expect anyone but me & Lewis to wash our diapers or use our diaper sprayer. If the sitter is at our house, I tell her to just put the dirty diaper on a rug in the bathroom & when I get home, I spray it off if it's poo & throw it in the diaper pail. If she's out, I give her the large PlanetWise bag & tell her to just throw everything in there & I take care of it all when I get home. As far as she is concerned, she doesn't do much more than she would with a disposable. Rather than throwing the diaper in the trash, she throws it either in the wet bag or in the floor of the bathroom.

Anything you'd add to this list?
What works for you with cloth diapers?
Any other cloth diaper questions I can answer?

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The Planet Pink said...

All I have to say is that I could have totally used that diaper sprayer when we were (are) pottytraining. I think it would be genius for dirty panties too! Sadly, I've thrown away way too many in the name of NOT dunking them in the toilet. Sigh.

Asashia said...

I use cloth diapers as well. I use the Envibum brand (mom4mom cover with T-liners) as well as the Flip brand (with the organic inserts). I would love to have all-in-ones but I can't afford it. I love, love my Flips and I love the liners and pads by Envibum but not the cover. Because the inserts of both are a little bulky, Little Bit can suffer from what I call "fluffy butt!"

Be very careful about the kind of material you choose for cloth. Little Bit was HIGHLY sensitive to microfiber and would get burns. We solved this by switching to organic materials and using "cloth-approved" diaper cream (Method Baby Squeaky Green Diaper Cream). He suffers from eczema and needs that extra barrier on him.

I have a diaper sprayer as well but I run a full cycle without detergent and then a full cycle with an extra rinse as well as detergent (Rockin Green sensitive). I have to be very careful to not have build up because of his skin issues.

Mama Smors said...

love it all!!! everything that i have read.... this is my kind of cloth diapering. i needed it to be easy and not ANY more work. i am too busy once school starts! my mom was shocked at how far cloth diapers have come. they are so stinking cute :)
i think we are going to go for it with baby Tula! excited for her big 'ol diaper booty!!

That Mama Gretchen said...

This is such an awesome cloth diaper re-cap! My baby is due in October and I starred this post in Google Reader so I can reference back when I am an "in-action" cloth diapering mama :)

tracy said...

I am not a cloth diaper fan as I cannot bear to wash poop - but just wanted to say that your baby girl is simply adorable!

Bethany said...

Great post! Thanks for checking out my blog. One day I'm going to get around to posting about our setup, too ;)

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