Friday, March 1, 2013

Cloth Diapering, Month #1: Tips & Advice From My Perspective

Here are a few things I have learned so far, and a few things I appreciate because of Cloth diapering....

~~~~Month #1~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Who survived the first month of cloth diapering..?? THIS girl!!
I'm happy to say that it is not at all as hard as it seemed.

  • Hospitals do NOT have diaper sprayers!  
    • This is probably a given but it was not something I considered beforehand. Carlin was put into maybe 2 disposable diapers right after he was born, but after that... We wasted no time starting our cloth diapering adventure. YES, it feels good to put your newborn into soft cotton material with no chemicals against their brand new skin (AND I'M GLAD I DID!), but consider the meconium. It is as thick as tar and black-green, so simply swirling it around in the toilet doesn't really do the trick. So that is just something you will need to think of when it comes to starting cloth diapering right away. 
  • PREFOLDS for newborns! 
    • We purchased a few different styles of diapers... All in Ones, Pocket Diapers, Prefolds.. But I have found that the prefolds fit Carlin the best. (He was born 7lb, 4oz). They are not too bulky and hold in the breastfeeding poo just fine.  We purchased about 25 newborn size prefolds and about 25 general size prefolds, along with 3 newborn covers, 3 small covers and 3 medium covers. I recommend Prorap Classic Diaper Covers. FIRST OF ALL, they are made right here in USA, so they get extra Hippie Points for that!!! (Yep, Hippie points... That's just something I made up. Just now.)They are reasonably priced and, as long as you fold your prefold well (and as long as the poo is not incredibly massive beyond the norm), they do not leak. We need to wash our diapers about every 2 days.
    • The Newspaper Fold worked well for Carlin's little poops for the first few weeks, but in this last week and a half I have had to transition to the Jelly Roll fold to stop the leaks. (Refer to videos on YouTube for different folds and see what works for you!)
  • Buy the Snappi!
    • Cloth diapering is made so much easier with the Snappi. No more big safety pins! 
  • Cloth Wipies - Cut up receiving blankets! 
    • Receiving blankets can be purchased at thrift stores for under a dollar, usually. Cut them up evenly into squares and wah-lah! Done. They start to fray a little at the ends after several rounds in the wash, but you can trim them up if they get too bad. It's worth saving the money. However, if you are savvy with a sowing machine (which I am not) you can easily line the ends with some thread. Get creative with different colors of thread! Cloth diapering is an adventure. Make it fun any chance you get. 
    • You can also purchase baby wash rags at thrift stores for a dollar or less and those work perfectly too. 
  • My Wipie Solution & How I do it:
    • Dr. Bronner's Hemp Castile Soap - Unscented, 1tsp
    • Almond Oil, 1tsp
    • 3 or 4 drops of Lavender Essential Oil (you can also combine this with 2 drops of Tea Tree EO, which is also a healing oil)
    • About 4 to 6 oz of water
      • You can use a small pump bottle, or a small spray bottle. I use a coconut hair oil on my hair and saved a couple of the bottles, which have pumps. First I fill the the bottle with the soap and oils, and simply fill it to the top with cool water. It is best to use a 4-6oz bottle because the solution should be used within 2 weeks and you don't want to end up wasting any. Just a few squirts on an end of a folded wipie and that is plenty for Carlin's little bum, so far. 
  • Diaper Champ = Great Wet Pail:
    • You can hang your diapers in a wet bag and wait to soak them in the washing machine before each wash, or you can put them in a wet pail and have them soaking before you need to wash. We chose the wet pail and the Diaper Champ is perfect for that. 
    • Add about 3 gallons or so of water and 1/4 cup of baking soda. Add a few drops of lavender oil if you wish too. This can make the pail very heavy, so it may be best to put it as close as you can to your laundry area.
  • Bum Genius Diaper Detergent:
    • The scoops are small and it only takes one scoop (or two if the load is large and/or extra soiled). 
  • Forget the Stains!
    • Having a new baby, even if it is not your first, is enough work. Plus, you'll want to spend all of your time cuddling and napping in the beginning, and you can never get those times back. For the most part, only your family will see the stains. So just forget them and enjoy life with your newborn and make cloth diapering easy on yourself. If you can't get over the stains, try spraying them with lemon juice and sunning them for a little while outside. I have not tried that yet. Not just because I don't mind the stains right now, but also because it is pretty wet where I live most of the time. But even with overcast, people stand by this method. 
    • The way I do it for now..... Breast milk poo's do not really have a smell. ENJOY THIS PHASE! I pile the diapers up over night, then spray and put in the diaper wet pail in the morning. Then I pile them up until about midday, then spray and put in pail, and I repeat that before the end of the day. 
  • Diaper Sprayer = Great Investment:
    • You can assemble one on your own or you can purchase one. It connects to the back of your toilet and is, I find, what ensures my success in cloth diapering. The newborn breast milk poo is mainly liquid but if one sits too long, it hardens a bit and is more difficult to get off by swirling it around in the toilet. 
  • Buy 3 Wet Bags, at least:
    • It helps to have enough to rotate through the wash (wash them with your diapers), and maybe to even keep one in the diaper bag so it is one less thing to think of when you need to get up and go. 

This is all I can come up with for now. If you have any additions to make based on your experiences, or if you have any questions, leave a comment! We're all in this together! 

<3 MHM

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