Tuesday, July 30, 2013

New Mommy Files: Cloth Diapers Part II

It's funny.
Having recently gone on vacation, we exclusively used disposable diapers for two weeks. 
My best friend asked me, "Is it going to be such a pain to switch back to cloth?"

I really pondered on that. 
Because, man it was nice to not have to worry about cloth.
No need to launder diapers every other day.  
No fear of finding a stinky diaper lurking in the depths of my diaper bag.
Just change, roll up, throw away. 

But you know something?
I actually *missed* cloth. 
There was something quite comforting about coming home to cloth. 

I guess I'm a sucker for routine.
An intense creature of habit. 
And cloth diapering has become part of our everyday life. 

Well, anyway. 
If you missed the first part of this post, go check it out!

The Lazy Man's {Brief} Guide to Cloth Diapering 
Part II: Our Favorites and Daily Routine

Like I said in the last post.
We are probably not the poster children for cloth diapering.
But this is our personal guide.
Our favorites.
Our routines.
Our helpful tidbits.

So, let's just start from the beginning.

Cloth Beginnings. 
We didn't start out with cloth. Lyla left the hospital in a disposable, and we continued to use disposables for the next couple of months.
1). Because we couldn't justify purchasing newborn size cloth diapers when she'd only use them for a few months and
2). Because we'd never changed a diaper before in our lives. So we figured we should probably master the basics first.

But, we knew we wanted to do cloth.
We knew we wanted to save money.
Both of our mamas used cloth on us.
And some of my favorite bloggers cloth (a clear and obvious reason to make such a large commitment, right?)

And although cloth diapering may be super trendy in big cities, it is considered back-woods in Wichita.
*the irony*
I can't tell you how many, "You touch your child's poop?!?!" looks we get.

But we like to go against the grain.
Well, Gabe likes to go against the grain.
But I want to shout from the rooftops, "I'm totally normal. I don't touch poop, I swear!"

We did lots of cloth research leading up to Lyla's grand entrance.
And some of my friends graciously hosted a shower where we received a good cloth inventory.
Then we purchased a good amount with gift cards.

We used disposables until Lyla was about 11-12 weeks old.
We started using cloth one week before I went back to work.
*I really don't recommend that.*
Here I was trying to figure out how in the world I'd make it out the door with clothes on, let alone trying to figure out a cloth diapering system.
In hindsight, I should have gotten into a good routine about a month before going back to work.

But once we got into a routine, we actually enjoyed it.
It just became part of our day.

Our Favorites.
Sends me into a tailspin just thinking about all the decisions to make when it comes to cloth.

So we researched a lot.
Talked to friends who use cloth.
Experimented with different brands.

After reading hundreds of blog reviews and doing a lot of research, I was sure that we would stock up on Bum Genius All-in-Ones.
They are on the pricier end of cloths.
But well worth the initial investment.
Plus, so many in blog land raved about Bum Genius.
So we went to a local baby shop and bought two Bum Genius Freetimes to test out.

We loved them.
Sturdy. No hassel with stuffing. Adorable.
But there was a downside.
A *big downside* for this working mama.
They cannot go in the dyer.
And they take a long time to hang dry.
Especially when it's too cold/dark/wet to dry outside.
So, they came in at a close second for me, personally.
(We also tried Grovia and Bottombumpers brands.)

So our number one cloth diaper pick?
*Especially for working moms and dads*
Fuzzibunz One Size Elite Diapers.

Love at first wash (and dry).
They have all the convenience of Bum Genius AIO's.
But you can dry these bad boys in the dryer.
*Huge* bonus.
And in addition to multiple snaps to help properly fit baby, they have elastics on the inside that you can adjust.

However, they are technically considered a pocket diaper.
So there is an extra step that AIOs (All-in-Ones) do not have.
That "extra" step simply involves stuffing the diaper.
A step that literally takes 3 extra seconds.

The fact that they are a pocket diaper is exactly what makes them so easy to dry.
Because there isn't as much bulk and fabric attached like the AIO diapers.

How many do I need?
We have 17 diapers total.
12 of those are our beloved Fuzzibunz.
With 17 diapers, we do laundry every other day. 

Why 17?
Well, because we received most of our diapers as gifts.
I think we only bought an additional three.

We always talk about buying a few more.
Just so we could wash every two and a half to three days.
(I wouldn't go much longer than that to wash.
*I personally recommend 18-20 diapers so there is a nice rotation.*

Daily Routine. 
Our daily routine is fairly straightforward.

We change Lyla's diaper probably about 7-8 times per day. 

If the diaper is wet only, we take out the insert and throw into her diaper pail.
If the diaper is dirty, we either shake off the poo (if it's solid) or rinse off the poo (if it's not solid).  
Then take out the insert and throw the insert and shell into diaper pail.

Every day and a half to every 2 days, we wash the diapers. 
*If we had a few more diapers, we could probably stretch to every 2 1/2 to every 3 days.*

We unload the diapers from the dryer.
Put the diapers in her drawer. 
And stuff right before putting on her sweet little bum.

Amazing stuff, huh?

So Fresh and So Clean. 
I know. I know.
For all you clean-freak skeptics out there, you really just want to get to the bottom line.
How do we clean these things?

The steps are really quite simple. 

1). Take out entire diaper pail insert full of cloth diapers. 
2). Dump contents into washing machine (including washable diaper pail insert). 
3). Set washer to 2 rinse - hot cycle. (Any *ahem* residue left on the diaper is taken out after the first rinse).
4). Dry on delicate/low or in the sun. 


Another cleaning tidbit. 
I mentioned that we didn't start clothing (yep. totally a verb) until Ly was three months. 
And she was exclusively breastfed, which totally makes a difference in the "disposal" department. 
I couldn't believe how often a wee newborn could dispose of waste. 
It was a lot.
And it was runny. 
But luckily, breastfed poo's aren't stinky!
(Hey, I like to see the positives.)

So, at the beginning, we used a diaper sprayer.
It just attaches right to the water line for your toilet. 
You just hold your diaper against the side of the toilet.
Press the nozzle. 
And it sprays that nasty off. 

An added bonus?
It acts as a bidet as well. 
*Someone in our household has tried it out. 
And that someone isn't me. 
Hint: He likes to think we live in Europe sometimes. 

(Luckily, when baby starts eating solids, the poo comes right off into the toilet.
No spray necessary.)

A Few FAQs.

Handy Disposables. I always have disposables on hand. Just in case Ly has diaper rash (I mentioned before I prefer disposables so I can use Desitin to clear it up more quickly), or if we're out and about running errands or going to be gone for a long period of time. It's just cleaner and quicker to use disposables. 

Have Two Washable Pail Liners. We only have one right now. Only because I always forget to buy a second. But it would be nice to have two so that you always have a liner in the diaper pail. I can't tell you how many times I haven't had a liner in the pail and have had to just stack the diapers on top of the pail....wait, yes I can tell you how many times...this happens every single time I wash the diapers. So, just get two. 

Wipes. I started out using cloth wipes too. They worked just fine. However. It was one more thing packed onto my already on-the-verge-of-a-nervous-breakdown schedule. So, I eliminated the extra step. Now, we happily use disposable wipes. I wipe Ly's toosh, throw away into the garbage basket, and then put the cloth diaper in the diaper pail. 

Nighttime. Lyla's been sleeping 12-13 hours for a solid 8 months. And when I say solid, that means she doesn't wake up at all. Or if she does, she goes right back to sleep. That being said, she never receives diaper changes in the middle of the night. So, I put one insert inside the pocket of the diaper and another insert laying inside the diaper. Double the absorbency. Works brilliantly. 

I've been writing this post for way too long.
And you've been reading this post for way too long.
That is, if anyone is still out there. 
*Crickets. Crickets.*

I was planning to also share specifics on products we use. 
But this is your lucky day.
Because my wrists hurt.
So, I'm going to add on a Part III.
Lookie there.
Look at me being spontaneous and daring.

So more to come.
On the exciting world of baby waste.

Also, I linked up with Kristin for Baby Talk Tuesdays! Go over and say hello. :)


Mallory said...

My sister does cloth, and I'm totally sold just from her experience. Once I have babies, I can't wait to use those cute little cloth diapers!

Sarah said...

Love this! We only have two cloth diapers so far, both Bum Genius 4.0 and we were hoping to get more off our registry but didn't. I'm considering buying some other brands now, too. I've heard awesome things about Bum Genius but there are so many other cute diapers out there!

Carolyn said...

I love this post! :) We're planning to do cloth as well, and the ones we're doing seem similar to yours. Any other tips you want to share are greatly appreciated!

Shoshanah said...

Is it weird that I'm excited that you took a photo putting the insert in? Whenever I read cloth diaper posts I wondered how that actually works, and now I actually. Ridiculous how excited that makes me...

Sarah Butler said...

Loved your real mom breakdown of your routine including the good bad and dirty! :) shared it on our facebook page www.facebook.com/buttlerbottoms.