Archive for February 2011

Method to the Madness

I've had a few questions about cloth diapers, so I'm just going to go ahead and type up a second post about them.

First, what I use and where I got it:

I use Thirsties diaper covers and Bumkins unbleached prefolds. I got them from amazon. If you're going to order diapers, you should sign up for an amazon mom account if you don't already have one. You should be able to get free two-day shipping with the first three months of the account.

I use these Bumkins Prefold Diapers and these Thirsties Diaper Covers. You can get Thirsties covers with snaps instead of Velcro, but I really like the Velcro. Per boy, we use 8-10 diapers and about 1-3 covers a day right now. You don't have to change the cover every diaper change-- just when they get poop on them. If you have good covers, I don't think you need snaps or pins.

Second, how I care for them:

Every dirty cloth diaper is tossed into a plastic bin I have near our changing station. Some people use wet bags that you can throw into the washer, and I might actually look into getting one of those soon, but for right now, I don't feel like I really need one. When the boys are in disposables for the night, I toss the diapers, covers, and any other dirty whites generated in the house during the day (why waste the washer space, huh?) into the washer. You could probably get away with doing diapers every two to three days if you had more diapers.

I use about half the recommended amount of All brand Free Clear detergent (no dyes, no perfumes, allergen-free) and run a cold cycle to basically rinse everything. Then I fish the diaper covers out, hang them up to dry (they dry quickly) and run the washer load again-- a small amount of detergent, hot cycle, extra rinse. This has pretty much gotten every poop stain out so far. You aren't supposed to use chlorine bleach with the bumkins prefolds, but I might look into oxygen bleach if staining becomes a problem. I've also heard that sun-bleaching works wonders, but haven't had to try it yet.

Then, finally, I toss the load into the dryer and run it on a normal cycle. Ta-duh!

Third, and finally, the diapering:

I took some pictures!

Here's the cover, opened:

This is the diaper:

I use the folding method the Bumkins company recommends for boys, so from the flat diaper, I fold it like this:

Then each side over, like this:

I tuck the front end into the flap at the front inside of the diaper cover, like this:

Then I put it on a boy! The bulkier part goes in front, to absorb more pee. All done, it looks like this:

(Smirk is optional.)

I think that's it for tonight. Let me know if you have any more questions! I'm just a newbie, but I can always find more info or just give you tips from the few weeks I've been cloth-diapering my own kids.

I'm Not Crazy, I Promise

So, I'm almost two weeks into cloth diapering. And you know what? I'm enjoying it. As much as one can enjoy diapers, that is. I had toyed with the idea of cloth diapering from the beginning, but we were doing laundry at my parents' house and it wasn't feasible to cloth diaper two boys and wash stuff there-- I would have needed a ton of cloth diapers just to make it from washing day to washing day, and while some might be able to do it, I didn't want to deal with that.

But then we got a washer and dryer! And I already had almost a dozen cloth diapers that had been given to us as burp rags, and two diaper covers. I decided I'd start cloth diapering during the day and leaving the boys in disposables at night, which I'm still doing. The cloth diapers I had were getting us about halfway through the day, and if a cover got "stuff" (um, yes, poop) on it, it was out of commission until it was washed.

Until last week, when I got to order more diapers! I got a dozen bumkins prefolds to add to my gerber prefolds collection, and four thirsties covers to add to the two bummis ones I had. It's definitely enough to get us through the day, and I just do a load of laundry every night after the boys go to sleep in their disposables.

Here is my diaper basket, as it looks in the morning, freshly stocked:

There are a few reasons I wanted to cloth diaper, and these were my top two:

1. To save money.
2. I think their bottoms are better off for it; the less time their skin spends in close proximity to chemicals, the better. Also, cloth breathes better.

Here are some trade-offs:

1. Laundry every night.
2. Because cloth doesn't pull moisture away from the skin, it means changing diapers more frequently-- like, ten a day instead of five.

But, I've decided the pros outweigh the cons. Laundry takes all of fifteen or twenty minutes to toss stuff in, move it from one machine to another, push buttons, and fold diapers. And diaper changes, eh. I'll live.

There have been a few people extremely influential in my decision to cloth diaper. One of them is a former coworker named Jenny. I babysat her little boy several hours a week over the span of almost two years, and he was pretty much exclusively cloth-diapered in that time. If it hadn't been for her and my experience with her baby, I don't know if I would have been brave enough. But I got all that practice changing and folding diapers! I knew, before the boys were born, that I liked the prefold-with-cover system.

Another was a friend named Charli, whose money-saving skills never cease to amaze me. She gave us the bummis covers and a few diapers and was very, very encouraging.

Finally, a blogger helped a lot. I don't know her, I've never met her, I don't even remember how I found her blog, actually. But this entry here has an amazing breakdown of disposable vs. cloth cost. Those numbers stuck with me whenever I thought about cloth diapering.

So, that's one of the things I'm doing right now. Theo and Sam don't seem to mind. Adam's been a trooper, and very, very supportive!

Also, the boys are now fifteen weeks and we're starting solids in about a month! Homemade rice cereal and banana baby food on the horizon; my boon spoons are supposed to come in the mail today. I had heard about them before, but was won-over by this post by Molly Piper, at Her twin survival tips have been absolutely amazing, and since her babies are just a few months ahead of mine, it's like I get her next tip at exactly the right time.

I should go get my dilly-doers, though. It's about time to be awake again.

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