Monday, August 29, 2011

Cloth Diapers?!?


Warning:  This is going to be a long post so strap it in. 

Prep:  All cloth diapers (cds) need to be prepped (washed and dried) before they are put on your little one's tush.  Depending on the brand/style of your cd the prep will be different.  Make sure to read the care instructions for your specific brand/style.  Organic diapers need to be prepped more than their non-organic counter parts because the organic fibers have naturally occurring oils that need to be washed away.  The cds will not be at their peak absorbency until properly prepped so don't expect to get your cds and slap them on your kiddo the same day.  Once the prepping is complete your ready to move on to assembly and installation (I made cding sound like putting together Ikea furniture).  :o)  Most complaints about absorbency in the early days of cding are because the diapers have not been properly prepped, so don't skimp on this process.

Assembly:  I like to get my diapers all ready so when it comes time for a diaper change I'm not fumbling a fussy baby while assembling the diaper.  Of course, if you're using an AIO there is no assembly required - you lucky Ritzy Hippie Mammas!  If you're a  Penny Pinching Mamma and you're using a pre-fold and cover you will have to assemble during your install.  But if you're a  like me and you're a Penny Pinching Hippie Commando and using an AI2 system than I'm talking to you.  Depending on your AI2, different assembly may be required.  No matter if you have to snap, tuck, or stuff the insert into the cover, I'd suggest you have as much done beforehand as possible.

top basket - cloth wipes ready to be added to my wipes bucket
just below the colorful wipes you'll see the doublers - for  longer wears and nighttime
middle basket - assembled diapers ready to be applied
bottom basket - additional inserts
A side note on assembly.  I try and keep my diapers organized - I know, I know those of you who know me well are falling out of your chairs in shock (for those of you who don't know me well, you probably didn't catch my hyperbole).  With everything organized and easily at hand cding is a snap.

Install:  Once again you Ritzy Hippie Mammas are lucky because your install is just like disposable diapers.  Take off the old one, open up the new one, slap it on, close it up, and go.  For you Penny Pinching Mammas I would suggest you check out this site, try some of the folds and find the one or two that work best for you and your little munchkin.  Take off the old one, lay out the new one, fold and snappi (little plastic clips to hold on the diap instead of using sharp pins) it in place, put on your cover, and go.  For you Penny Pinching Hippie Commandos the install will be pretty easy because you've already taken care of most of the work during the assembly.  

You'll take off the old one,

 open up the new one and put it on,

close it up and then check to make sure all of the absorbent insert is inside the cover.
Because the insert isn't completely attached to the cover and your not fastening it to the baby itself,
it can slip outside of the cover while you're putting it on which may cause leaks.

If it is, you should be good to go for a leak free diaper until your next change.

Happy Baby!!

Lucky Daddy!

Care:  Well, they have to get clean and honestly this part is a cinch, but just like I said before make sure to follow your cd's instructions as they're all a little bit different.  If you follow the instructions you shouldn't have any problems with detergent build up.  Detergent build up is caused when the detergent isn't rinsed completely out of the diapers causing a coating to form around the fibers keeping the fibers from absorbing the moisture and pulling it away from the skin.  If this isn't prevented or caught early on it can actually cause diaper rash, leaks, and/or stinky diapers.  I haven't had any problems but then again I can be a bit obsessive sometimes and I can honestly say I've been very particular about how I care for these diapers.

  Here we go Penny Pinching Hippie Commandos, we just changed Alessandra, she has a clean diaper on her bum and is currently playing on the changing table.  I take the dirty one (just pee) and reattach the velcro closures to the laundry tabs (this keeps the velcro from damaging the outside of the diapers when they are waiting to be used and in the wash).

Then I unsnap the insert from the cover.  

I unzip my wet bag (a waterproof bag that holds wetness and odors in) that is attached to the changing table and stuff the wet insert in the bag, while holding the outside of the cover (just because everyone is always curious at this point my hands have not gotten in any pee or poop).  and set the cover aside to air out for use later on.  

For pee and newborn/pre-solid poopy diapers that's it until wash time.  Before babies start solids there poop is totally water soluble and trust me on this, it WILL get totally clean in the wash without you having to do anything but follow the previous care instructions.  Once your little one starts solids their poo will get more solid and will need to be flushed.  So here's how poopy diapers go.  I take it off, clean Alessandra up and get on a new diapy.  Alessandra goes on the floor to play while I take the entire diaper - cover, insert, everything - to the bathroom.  While holding the back of the diaper where the diaper snaps in to the cover I spray the poop into the toilet.  I unsnap the cover and set it aside (this next step is the only time my hands come into contact with the dirty diapers) and take the insert and wring most of the water out - you don't have to do this but I don't like carrying a soaking wet dirty diaper through my house.  I put the insert inside the cover and wash my hands, then I take the insert and cover and drop them in the wet bag.  Once I'm all done I wash my hands again.

Wash:  It's been a few days and your wet bag is getting full.  It's time to do a wash.  I take the entire wet bag to the washer, I unzip the zipper and unload the bag into the washing machine.  I then partially zip the wet bag and put it in the machine as well.  I pour in 1/4 of the amount of detergent that is recommended for a heavy load and run a heavy load cycle with cold water.  Once that is done I pull out the wet bags and covers and hang them up to dry.  Then it's time for the second short wash with no detergent and VERY HOT WATER (as hot as your washer can do - here in Germany that's 90C - I think in the States you only get 60C).

Dry:  My washer is a low water usage, HE machine that is a washer and dryer in one.  Once the wash cycle is finished I send it on a 60 minute dry cycle.  The dryer is pretty useless but even with my machine I am still able to get my diapers clean and mostly dry.  When the diapers come out they are still a bit damp so I reshape them (like you would a sweater) and I hang them up until they are completely dry.  If you had a real dryer you could dry them completely and skip that last step.

That's it!
Done and Done!!  
Easy Peasy!

So now that I've taken you through the Who, What, When, Where, Why, and How's do you have any more questions for me?

If so send me an email, a message on Facebook, or leave me a comment and I'll get them answered.


No comments:

Post a Comment