Last year I was very pregnant and very bored. I worked two part time jobs with a lot of down time in between them. I spent hours in coffee shops reading, crocheting and researching my most favorite subject of all. Cloth diapers. My sad little tale starts at Target (as most of my sad tales do) when I stumbled upon an end cap stocked with the cutest little cloth diapers I ever did see. They don't carry them in stores anymore, but I did snag one when they were on clearance. And let me tell you, I cannot resist that little red sticker. It is my kryptonite.
I fell deep into the world of CDing (cloth diapering for you non-crazies out there). There were so many cute colors to choose from, and then I realized… colors are only one option. There are pocket diapers, all-in-ones, fitteds, prefolds, flats. I eventually decided to go with a few different options, and have since simplified our "stash" of diapers considerably.
Since I've spent way too much time researching cloth diapers, and I want to feel less guilty about neglecting my husband because of it, I figured I can share some of the info I've gathered. I've had several girlfriends contact me about CDing, and I feel like I completely drown them in information. So this will probably be a series of posts because, by golly, poop is just too dang fun.
This first post will focus on how we cloth diaper now.
First, the things we use:
1. We use what are called flats, and they're probably what your grandma or great grandma used, and maybe some of your super crunchy mama-friends. They are one large square of cotton cloth that is folded and either fastened or placed into a waterproof cover. Get them here for about 2 dollars a diaper. We have about 28 in rotation.
(These are a bunch of flats folded into pads)
2. Depending on the fold, we might need a fastener to hold the cloth part of the diaper in place. Some people like using pins, I just haven't gotten the hang of it, so I use this fancy little guy called a Snappi. It has little grippy parts that hold onto the cloth and secure it in a T shape.
3. For naps or long drives, I usually add in a doubler. It's several layers of cotton sewn together for extra absorbency.
5. Wipes! You could make these yourself, or purchase them on the cheap here. Some people use fancy wipe solutions with cloth wipes, but we just use water. You can keep a little bottle by the diapers or just wet them in the sink like we do. They're flannel on one side and terry on the other. I really don't think it makes a lot of sense to use disposable wipes if you're cloth diapering. With these you just throw it all in the wash together.
6. Next comes the fun part. I know a lot of people go overboard with cute cloth diapers because of the covers. I tried to keep it simple. We have 5 waterproof covers, and 5 wool covers. That should last us through potty training. For the waterproof covers we went with the Flip covers by bumGenius. I got mine here. There's the snap closure and a hook and loop closure (essentially velcro). I heard that some babies get really good at undoing the hook and loop closures, so I figured snap would be best, and I haven't had a problem. Snaps also give the covers a longer life, and I hope to use these for several more children. They fit babes from 8-35 lbs. depending on how you adjust the covers.
7. Night time diapering. Iggy tends to sleep a good 8-10 hours over night before getting a diaper change. For night time we use bumGenius Freetime diapers. They have two flaps sewn onto the diaper in the front and back. Each flap has microfiber on the bottom and fleece on the top. I avoided going exclusively with these because a) they're expensive at $20 a pop and b) microfiber tends to hold on to detergent over time and starts to have stink and diaper rash issues. They're just more work. But because we only use one a night, we haven't had any problems.
8. People often ask "But where do you put them?". In the garbage. Sort of. I bought two of these pail liners that have elastic and fit perfectly in an averaged sized kitchen trash can. When it's time to wash, I take the whole thing and throw it all in the washer and put a new bag on. Easy peasy.
When out and about we use these wet bags. They have a compartment for wet diapers (and/or soiled clothes) and a dry compartment which I usually use to keep an extra set of clean clothes.
That's essentially our cloth diapering "stash". I've tried some of the fancier and more expensive detergents to wash the diapers in, and honestly they just don't leave them smelling clean enough to me. So I just use the powder version of Tide. Iggy hasn't shown any sensitivity to it, so I just started using it for all of our laundry.
Here's how I wash the diapers:
-I throw all the dirty diapers, covers and wet bags in together.
-Everything gets a quick rinse and spin with cold water.
-Run one hot cycle with the detergent and diluted vinegar in the rinse
-One more extra rinse
My washer allows me to tack on the extra rinse to the big wash cycle. If I'm feeling lazy everything but the covers goes in the dryer, but we were able to cut our electricity bill significantly last month when I line-dryed all the cloth. These particular cloth diapers dry in about two hours inside our home. Probably even faster outside.
This is the most inexpensive way to cloth diaper (sans wool, which can be pricey). Prefolds would be the next cheapest option. After that you get into the land of expensive microfiber or cotton all-in-one diapers.
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