Saturday, September 3, 2011

Cloth Diaper rant Part 4: Washing and Caring for...

Many people care for cloth diapers in different ways. I am trying to cover most of those ways and then add in what I do.

Washing and Caring for
This is probably the part you worry about the most, washing! Have no fear, if you have ever washed clothes before, you can wash diapers! Some people wash every day (I think they are crazy and wasting water...) Some ever other day, and others on the third day. I would not wait until after the third day because you may be dealing with some stank issues after that!
If baby is being breastfed or bottle fed with out solids then you just put your diaper in the wet bag (or pail) with out rinsing. The waste disolves in the washer. Once baby is on solids you can either hook a spray up to the toilet and spray the waste off, or you can "plop" it in (depending on the waste of course), or some people scrap it in (which icks me out.) After scraping or plopping the diaper should be swished in the toilet. I should note that some people soak the diapers in the toilet, this seems REALLY yucky to me but I guess it is personal preference.
When you are ready to wash simply take the bag or liner to your washing machine and start a pre wash in cold. Prewashing gets all the waste and wet out so your diapers are not actually washing in it. When the prewash is done wash the diapers on HOT (this disinfects) at the highest water lever. You want the highest water level so you can get the most soap at as possible. Add detergent (make sure the detergent is CD safe, that post is coming soon), and let the diapers complete the cycle. Many people do one to two extra spins and rinses to get all of the soap out.
Drying- When I say line dry it can be indoor or out.
 Some people strictly line dry, others only dry in the dryer. I recommend reading the caring instruction's that come with your diapers.
Prefolds, fitteds, inserts- All can be dried in the dryer, but beware of shrinking! (they will shrink its a fact of life.) They can also be hung on a rack or on a line to dry, once dry you can fluff them in the dryer to make them nice and soft for baby!
AIO- I find most people who use AIO's line dry for most of the time then finish drying in the dryer.
Some who just use the dryer for them find that they need to go in for a second cycle.
Covers, Pocket Shells- Most line dry these, as they dry very quickly and last a lot longer if they don't see the dryer often. How ever, they do need to be put in the dryer every so often to reseal the lining. This helps keep them water proof.
Wet bags- They can be either line dried or be put in the dryer.

 Sometimes because of weather or time the dryer is just the best choice.

 Poop=stains need I say more? The best way to get stains out is to hang or lay in direct sun light. 98% of the time the stains come out. (If you live in a snowy area like NH a window works fine.)

Cloth Diaper rant Part 3: Cost and Amount

  Ok so I decided to split up the cloth diaper posts to make them easier to read, and to answer specific questions.
 The real cost of CDing
When I first started to research CD's I was shell shocked! Twenty bucks for a diaper? Please how the heck is this cheaper? It's true that dropping the initial money on a CD stash can be quite a big (but it doesnt have to be!) I would say that the average CDer pays $200 to $300 on CDs. Here is where they SAVE money.
A. They can be used for multiply children. (Just remember to buy majority of them in neutral colors!)
B. If you buy one size they can last you through potty training.
C. You can resell them! (chances are you wont make all your money back, but you may be able to make half of it!
**WARNING** Buying and selling CD's can become ADDICTING (Just ask my Husband who brought in 3 CD packages today...)

How many do I need?
This really depends on what kind of diapers you want to try and when you are planning to start.

Newborn- So here is the thing most OS diapers do not start until 8 to 10 lbs. (I don't think L fit in hers until she was 9 lbs, even then they were a tad big but still worked.) So many people buy a separate stash for the NB faze. For Prefolds and fitteds it is recommend to have 24 to 30 prefolds (if you are going to wash every other day, add more if you want to wash every third day). I would say you would want 6 or so covers. The other popular choice for the new born faze is AIO's. If you chose these 24 is probably a good amount to start with,
What I did- I did not use CD's on L until we got out of the tar poop faze, and her belly button healed. When I did start I used mostly g diapers (tiny and small), they worked great until she could fit in her OS flips. She started full time in CD's (flips and BG's) when she was around 3 weeks old. Honestly if you are a new mom using sposies for the first couple of weeks is not a bad idea. You are probably going to be soar and exhausted that adding a couple loads of laundry may be a really big project.

Infant and up- This again depends on how often you want to wash, how the child wets, and remember each kid is different. Different diapers work for different kids!
Prefolds/fitteds/covers- 20 to 24, if you have a heavy wetter you probably will want more since you will have to change more often.
Snappis- 3 or 4
Pockets/AIO- From what I have seen 24 is a good number to have.
AI2s- At least 6 covers and  24 inserts
Wet bags- 2 or 3 of each size, that way if you are washing and need to dispose of a diaper you can.
Doubler/liners- This is preference and need only.
Diaper pales- Probably just one, but if you have a large house and find yourself changing diapers in more then one place then maybe get more.
Cloth wipes-30 to 50

What I have- Currently (since I am still learning and buying diapers have become and addiction), I have
All of my diapers on one size, it just makes more sense to me.
36 flip stay dry inserts (this is just a guess, but I know I have A LOT)
6 Flip covers (my favorite)
2 Econobum covers (they are ok one I bought used it has leaked a few times, the other I got free new from with my order of flips this one works just as well as the flip covers.)
1 WAHM cover (work at home mom, more on that later)- I just bought this one and she leaked in it it the first hour she wore it, needless to say despite the cute ruffles it will be resold soon)
1 Bumgenius pocket diaper with 3 microfiber inserts (2 came with some flip inserts that I bought used)- This diaper is wonderful, its easy for Jason to use and when I leave L with a sitter I leave this diaper prestuffed because it is so easy.
1 Blueberry pocket diaper- This is one of my newer diapers, (I bought it gently used) the elastic in the legs were a bit stretched out so it leaked the first time I put in on her which was over night. I replaced the elastic and it has been leak free since.
1 Happy heinys pocket- This once just came in the mail today! So I will keep you updated!
10 Bummis fleece liners- These are supper soft I only use them if L is a little red and needs cream. Or if we are going to be some where for a while, and I don't know when I will be able to change her.
5 or so Bumgenius doublers- I have yet to have to use these :)
2 Hemp doublers- I have used these at night, they work GREAT!
Diaper pales- 0
Wet bags- 2 hanging large ones (Best bottom, planet wise) 1 medium (planet wise), 1 small (planet wise).
The medium and small go in my diaper bag (which is the size of a suit case :) I put all of my extra diapers and wipes in the medium, and if I change while out the soiled ones go in the small bag. This works great for my stroller because the Phil and Teds basket is rather small so it fits nicely.
Cloth wipes- 30 or so. I made my own out of cheap thin Gerber burp cloths (they look and feel like large wash cloths) I cut them down the middle the long way and then into three pieces each.

This is all I can think of for now as always I welcome questions and comments!