April 20, 2012

An Ode to Cloth Diapering

In honor of Real Diaper Week and The Great Diaper Change I wanted to share our experiences with cloth diapering most of the time and hopefully full time soon!

What is it about cloth diapering that is so much fun? I don't know. I can't figure it out because when you list it out it sounds like a lot of work.  Really gross, super smelly, work.

Here's the thing though. It's not. It's easy peasy and honestly it takes about one hour of hands on time per week, and that time is broken up into about four different times. On the smell front, don't breathe through your nose! Seriously it sounds simplistic, but it's the best way to avoid the smell. Yesterday we finished our stash off for the most off. We will now have twenty-four BumGenius 4.0s which we purchased from The Green Nursery online. I will have to have an Albert pattern and a Lovelace pattern when they are back in stock, and on the recommendation of a friend I might order and try a BumGenius AIO and a Swaddlebees. Supposedly the AIOs have a bit bigger of a thigh opening and we all know Evie has some chunky little ham hocks! But on the whole, our stash is pretty complete.

So, I'm going to share how we make cloth diapering work in our household. I work forty hours outside the home per week and my husband works close to fifty hours outside the home. We have four dogs, two cats and a thirteen month old. We own our home so we have a lot of upkeep there. So yeah, our "free time" is limited. I knew when I started CDing I would have to find time and really work a system. So this is what I do.

Most days as soon as Evie wakes up I get her dressed in a sposie and she spends her weekdays in them while at daycare. I am hoping this will change soon. As soon as we arrive home from daycare, after rinsing her booty and letting it air out I change Evie into a cloth diaper. She also sleeps in a cloth diaper every night and is in cloth full-time on the weekends.


I wash my diapers on Fridays and Sundays (as late in the day as possible) occasionally I will throw in a Tuesday wash if the bucket is smelly or we've had a lot of poopies. I find this timing creates the best swish to get the diapers clean and together with my "wash plan" I have not had stink issues at all.


Retrieve CD bucket from back porch
Open washer door
Get LYSOL wipes at the ready
Open door to the second bathroom and turn the water on warm
With bare hands one by one remove inserts from pockets and throw it all in the washer
Shut washer door with my hip
Go to bathroom (water is already running) and scrubs hands, dry hands
Back at the washer fill detergent and rinse cycle slots with white vinegar (no detergent)
Turn on to a short wash on COLD with an extra rinse.
Use Lysol wipes to wipe down inside and out of bucket
After short wash I turn onto a heavy duty wash on HOT with an extra rinse.
I use 1.5 scoops Fresh Granola Cloth Diaper Detergent and a tiny drizzle of TIDE (Fresh Granola is on hiatus for a bit, so I just bought some Rockin Green and with that I won't use the tide) and fill the rinse container with vinegar again.

Then I put in the dryer on medium heat and the next afternoon or Morning if it is Saturday I stuff the diapers and put them in the bin in her nursery.

It takes me about 15 minutes to get them into the washer and about 15 minutes to stuff them once they are dry. Other than shaking poop into the toilet or using the sprayer on poops that need it, that is all of my hands on time. That is only 60-90 minutes extra per week, and it's all spread out so it doesn't even feel like that much. I have a really sensitive nose, and our solution to the ammonia smell is to put the bucket outside (which we will have to change this summer since the heat makes it worse) and wash it really really well every few weeks and then hose it out.

***EDITED: After my friend Melissa suggested I just throw the diapers in with the inserts still inside the pockets I started doing that. Turns out, most of them come out on their own and it's a lot less smelly to take out the ones that don't just before the second long/hot wash.***

We originally started cloth diapering as a way to save money and unexpectedly grew to love it. I know it sounds weird to "love" poop sacks but we do and here are some reasons why.

Cloth Diapers are so soft. If it were me I wouldn't want that crinkly paper against my bum all day.

The BumGenius pocket diapers do a great job of wicking moisture from Evie's skin.

I love that we are literally removing tons of trash from our landfills by doing this. We have a HE washer/dryer so our carbon foot print is even further reduced.

Sposies are also filled with chemicals that help them absorb as much urine as they do. I would much rather double stuff (regular insert + new born insert) a diaper for Evie to wear overnight than have her sitting in a chemical mess that gives her rash.

Cloth diapers are stinkin' cute. I don't care who you are or how you diaper, that is a fact. CD cuter  than Sposies any day.

From one former doubter turned believer, I would encourage anyone who is thinking about trying cloth diapers to go ahead and take the plunge. You can always re-sell your used diapers and get most of your money back, or you can rent them to give it a try. These are not the cloth diapers of our mothers and grandmothers! Heck they are even sold at Target these days.

(PS I highly recommend The Green Nursery for CDs. Their prices are good and their rewards program is the best. You get points for buying and for writing reviews. I had enough for $10 off my last order, and earned $8 off my next, that's a whole diaper!)