Thursday, October 7, 2010

Cloth Diaper Info

So a Mom to be emailed me with a ton of questions about cloth diapering and so I tried to answer them all for her. I decided to post my reply to her so that you all can get the info that I gave her. Have a happy cloth diaper day. I hope this helps a lot of Mommies!

Ok "S" let's start with the first thing. Do you want to use prefolds or all in ones, or pocket diapers. First of all most of your questions sound like you are talking about prefolds.
Prefolds are these:

Now prefolds are really helpful when they are really little like NB to 4 months. After that though, while easy in a pinch it can be really tough to wrangle a older baby or toddler into those.
As far as prefolds go, the Gerber ones are fine, but like all brand new prefolds they must be stripped. Cotton is not absorbent on it's own. It actually repels water so you need to strip them by boiling them in a large pot with about ten drops of lavender oil for ten minutes. Another method (though it takes a lot longer) is to wash them about 5 times in a washer and dryer. Wash/dry five whole times.
Now with prefolds there is the question of diaper covers. Now the wool ones are great (just don't wash or dry them in a washer or dryer). Fleece ones are great to but not all that water proof. The vinyl ones work great  and with those you can get any brand. Ours are all different. PUL ones are the best. They basically turn a prefold into a all in one. As for doubling up at night we actually double up always when using prefolds. When they are super tiny you have to fold it all tiny and funny so sometimes you don't need to double up but when they get older you might need to.
Now for closures I highly recommend snappis. Snappis are these:
They are very simple to use and very safe for baby. Diaper pins can really hurt a baby if they accidentally poke them or like in my Dad's case with my sister pin the diaper to the baby. (ick)
Now ok before I start answering all your other questions I would like to advise you on the world of all in ones and pocket diapers.
This is an all in one:
They are just like disposables except they are cloth, usually cotton or fleece with a PUL liner on the outside and snaps to close it. A pocket diaper is pretty much the same except it has a pocket where you insert a soaker insert in between the fleece and the PUL liner. This is a pocket diaper:
Now the problem with these is they are pricey. At the cheapest end for a good quality one they are 5$-7$ a piece and at the high end 17-25$ a piece. You don't need a ton of them though. 15-20 is about all you need. That will get you through 2 days with a toddler and then you can wash them all. These are great for so many reasons. First of all most of them convert from NB to Toddler. This allows you to use one diaper all the way up instead of buying new sizes. This also is good if you have 2 kids in diapers. They can all wear the same diapers. They also are easier for people not used to cloth to understand. They work like a disposable just with snaps to close. If you decide to go this way I found a really inexpensive seller on ebay who makes the cutest diapers. I will send you her info.
Ok question answering time:
How to keep used diapers separate and unsmelly  when you aren't home?
Well if you really want to be green then a PUL "wet bag "
is the way to go. If you are really more concerned about smell they make plastic scented diaper bags.
These you just toss in the diaper and with the wet bags you zip it up, the plastic ones you tie and when you get home just drop the plastic ones straight into the diaper pail to be dealt with later or the wet bag take the diaper and put it in the diaper pail and then rinse it and hang it to dry.

What kind of Diaper pail?
Ok diaper pails. Most diaper pails today are designed for disposables and that can make it hard to find one that works for your purposes. If you are washing them within 2 days you can rinse the poopy ones when you go to wash them. Just dunk them in the toilet shake out the poop and put them directly in the washer. Now point of fact, this is only after you start them on solid food. NB poo is too runny to rinse off and comes off fine in the washer. So you can just put them directly in the wash. I found these pails and I have two. One for the nursery and one for the bathroom. They don't hold a ton of diapers but they are perfect for cloth.
We found ours at Big Lots, I think Walmart sells them too. I would greatly recommend finding one like that. The plus side is it doesn't use liners it is just a pail, you can use it dry or wet. It rinses and you can even put a deodorizer in the top.

How to get others to support your wishes to use cloth even with Church Nursery or Day Care?
We had this issue too, when we would go somewhere for the day, or church, or anywhere. I started packing disposables. Our reason was everyone was pushing disposables to the point where they bought me tons of disposables. So we had a lot of disposables that I felt like we HAD to use up and I hadn't realized I could stand up for myself. Now I stand up. We gave away all the rest of the disposables and started making sure people watching Aleks knew how to change him. If anyone had an issue (like at church) I told them to come and get me if he needed to be changed and I would do it. I would rather miss a minute or two of church then bend my principles. I like that you said you are stubborn. You have to be. Very few people respect cloth diapering. I wish honestly that at least if people are too lazy to do it themselves that they would at the very least respect those who do.
Should I use disposables when they are really small? Will they leak?
There are preemie and NB sized all in ones and pocket diapers, there are also ways to fold the prefolds so they fit the NB. We had no issues. Cloth does leak sometimes.. but so do disposables. Honestly diapers just leak. That is part of being a parent that people don't always tell you about. Once my son was about 2 months and he pooped in his car seat and all of a sudden I saw yellow running down the coffee table and onto the floor. He pooped everywhere. Sometimes these are the things... parents just have to deal with. We were forced to use disposables at the hospital because they won't use cloth anymore at my hospital. They said we could bring our own but that we would have to bring them home with us and wash them so that meant we would need to go home and already have most of our diapers dirty. So we just gave in. When we got home though we immediately switched. He transitioned into cloth really easily and after a few nights hubby even got the hang of it and now he is a pro!

Good luck "S" and to all Mommies who want to cloth diaper!

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