Saturday, November 5, 2011

Cloth Diapering

Well we have completed our first week and then some of cloth diapering and I have to say they have gone pretty well so far.

I would have posted this earlier but we were out of town and didn't have internet access.

I have received a lot of flack about cloth diapering, people calling me crazy, telling me how stupid I am for wanting to do this. Then when they see how truly easy it is they seem to change their tune. So I thought I would create a post about the easiness of it and help calm some people down.

We (well more me) decided that we wanted to cloth diaper. I am somewhat of a hippie and want to help conserve our environment. It has always bothered me how wasteful disposable diapers are and therefore wanted to do my part to try and help out.

I always knew I wanted to cloth diaper because I had done some research that told me that they were better for baby, help potty training earlier and they were overall better for the environment. I know that some people will disagree on the better for the environment because of all the "extra" water to wash them. Well to be honest thus far I've only done 3 loads of diapers and they are small, and I have a high efficiency washer so the amount of water is really minimal. Plus the poop from his diaper goes where it is supposed to, down the drain instead of in a landfill which according to my research is the worst part of disposable diapers because of the fumes of the decomposing poop.

So anyways before Lincoln was born I did some research and we went to a class to learn about cloth diapers. In first entertaining the whole idea of cloth diapering it can be overwhelming, there are several different types and not every way works for each baby. We have a small cloth diapering store here in Fishers and they offer a class on cloth diapering 101, having someone just simply show you how and the different types of diapers is really helpful. We chose to go with primarily prefold diapers with covers, but also have some pocket diapers too. to help illustrate my point I have some pictures.

We chose prefolds and covers because they were what seemed to be the most economical, but they are also one of the more complicated. Prefolds are what everyone thinks of when talking about cloth diapers. They are the cloth diaper that grandma used with the pins only today instead of using pins you use a cover.

This is where we store some cloth diapers and covers on Lincoln's changing table.

The extra ones are stored here, along with the toddler sized prefolds. Obviously an infant prefold will not last for the entire time baby is in a diaper so there are two sizes, well 3 really but we only used 2. They are newborn(we didn't use because they are only in those for like a week or so) infant, and toddler.
 These are the covers. You only change a cover for every 4th wet diaper or every dirty diaper. Since I'm breastfeeding, Lincoln poops a lot, but its small amounts and doesn't get on the cover normally. So I don't change the cover every poppy diaper, only if needed or if he has had several wet diapers.

 You must wash the prefolds 3-4 times before using them to help with the absorbency. Here are part of our infant(green edged) and toddler (blue edged) diapers.
 This shows the difference in an unwashed prefold  and washed prefold. They shrink and get that used look that we are used to seeing.
 There are several different types of covers. You can have a perfect size that are good for a specific weight or a one size that has snaps that you can adjust as baby grows. With the perfect size they can come with snaps or velcro. We chose the one size flip diapers by BumGenius. This way the covers will last us from now until Lincoln is potty trained. This is the smallest the diaper will go.

 To put the prefold in the cover simply fold it so that it fits inside the cover. This is an exaggerated fold, you really want the fold to come all the way to the edges of the cover for maximum coverage.

 once the prefold is in there you just have to put it on baby. I make sure the sides are wrapped around Lincoln since his legs are still really skinny. Depending on how big or little his stomach is I adjust the width of the diaper to fit him

 The other type of diaper we use is a pocket diaper. It is also called a 2 in one. because it is 2 pieces and one of them is a pocket for the other piece to go into. It also comes with two different sized inserts one for infant and toddler hood. It too comes in one size or perfect size and we chose the one size. It has adjustable straps with a guideline for the weight of the baby.

 you simply take the insert and put it in the created pocket of the diaper
 Here are the adjustable straps, you can make it bigger or smaller depending on the size of baby
 Once the insert is in, all you do is put it on baby like you would a normal diaper. SIMPLE!
the disadvantage to pocket diapers is they are on time use, so you need more of them and they can be pricey. However they are more user friendly if you have friends or family who are not too keen on the idea of cloth diapering. All they have to do is change baby normally only don't throw the diaper away.

SO now you may be asking what do you do with the dirty diapers. Well thats simple. We just bought a trash can with a removable insert and when the diaper is wet I just throw it in there. When the diaper is dirty I take it to the toilet and spray it off. You no longer have to stick your hand in the toilet to clean them off unless you don't have a sprayer (which we didn't while we visited Adams parents, but with a breast fed baby it's not too bad) then you just ring it out and throw it too in the diaper pale.

If you are out and about or at a friends house and need to change baby you have what is called a wet bag. It's a bag that is lined and you simply put the diaper in there and zip it up. It is also where I have my sister or parents put his diapers if they change him. Then I do the spraying off.

So while cloth diapering requires a bit of an explanation, they really are quite simple. When I get a full diaper pale I just throw them in the laundry on a heavy soil and then dry them on high heat, fold and put away.

While they are not as convenient as disposables. They are not as bad as some people think.

So there you go, there is my explanation of cloth diapering, I hope this eases some people's minds and perhaps opens them to the idea of cloth diapering.

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