Tuesday, December 6, 2011

I am a proud cloth diaperer... with some tricks

Don’t you love the reaction you get when you say, “I am going to try cloth diapers.” Usually there is thought and research behind such a statement with a 6 inch retreat backwards as you brace yourself for questions such as why?! I have also heard, “Yeah, that won’t last long” and “It’s not good for the washing machine. You should use a service.” For some, a service is not a bad option, but in my case I was ready for it. I had the diapers picked (yes, more than one brand) with a wet bag (yes, more than one). The truth is you really don’t know what you are doing until you start to do it. Just like everything else in life.
Here are some of my tips & tricks that have gotten me through the last year of cloth diapering (use at your own risk):
-        Be sure you have a butt balm for cloth diapers. Some are oil based and will repel your diapers. I use Earth Mama Angel Baby (matter of fact I use this brand lotion & wash too).
-        My life saver: liners! Just remove (with poop) and flush. Did you know that you should remove poop from disposables and flush too?! You can also get a sprayer and spray poop into toilet (not me) or you can dunk & swish (never me). Oh and the liners can be used to protect the diaper from any creams on babies butt that may cause diapers to repel (not 100% foolproof).
-        No, no, no softeners, no dryer sheets. Again, repels the diapers. I have gotten away with (unoiled) dryer balls. Also, I use baking soda if they get crunchy.
-        Wetbag vs. pail liner: I never had a “pail” but out of my 3 bags I use the pail liner the most because it is the largest and can handle at least 3 days of diapers.
-        Wipes - I took bounty & tore it into strips and kept a water/oil/soap mix in a glass container - no crazy chemicals & cheap :)
-        Oh washing cloth diapers - regular machine - cold rinse before & after a good wash. Secret: blue Dawn (dishwashing soap) once a month or so for a deeper clean. Front load machine - add a saturated towel to trick the machine into filling the water up & wash on whitest whites. I do a quick rinse at the end.
-        And for stains – lemon juice, water & sun. I swear it works and I was hanging in a window during a NY winter and the stains still came out.
Don’t get overwhelmed with AIO, pocket, hybrid, one size, blah! It really is trial and error. Same with fabrics, wool, microfiber, hemp, this & that. I was so overwhelmed I thought I needed an online class because I wasn’t leaving the house with child to go figure this out and I didn’t have a store that carried these items much less a variety of stock. If I was able to get through this so will you. There is a natural learning curve that happens with some anxiety and apprehension from within and those around you, but remember there are life changing benefits (reducing chemicals your baby is exposed to, decreased diaper cost –in the long run, reducing the landfill, etc.). Feel free to email me with questions. I am not an expert, just a mum that has been in your shoes.