Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Cloth Diapering

Today features our first guest blogger, Rachel from In No Simple Language. It's been really fun to get to know Rachel over the last few months because her sweet girl and my little boy share a birthday! I love reading her baby's updates and nodding my head right along with her. Check out what she has to say about Cloth Diapering (her post is slap full of great info!!). Enjoy!

Today I'm going to be writing about something I chose to do as a new mom that I often gets me some crazy looks when I tell people we've made this choice....cloth diapering!

2 Disclaimers: 
1. I should start this post by saying, I am not very "green." I really wish I was, but other than recycling and using our reusable bags, I've never been one to make a big effort to reduce my carbon footprint.  I think a lot of people assume I'm "crunchy" for cloth diapering, but that couldn't be further from the truth! (although I wish I was a little crunchier sometimes!)
2. I am NOT an expert in this at all. I am learning as I go, and I couldn't do this without the help of other momma's who have been doing this long before my baby arrived!

Why I Chose CDing...
Before I was even pregnant, I had been pondering with the idea of cloth diapering our future babies. I had seen lots of bloggers mention it, and I liked the idea of how much money it could save us. But I will admit, it kinda grossed me out at the same time. Wasn't CDing messy? And smelly? 

Ultimately, I decided to go with CDing for one big! We are only four months into this adventure, but I'd say we've already saved about $125. Over the course of the next few years + a few more years for any other babies we have, that amount of money will begin to add up! 

I wouldn't say I'm CDing for the following benefits, but they are some nice additional perks: it's better for the earth, better for my baby's bum, and it (allegedly) will help M potty train sooner. We'll see about that last one...if you're considering it, here's a great list of reasons to CD with some wonderful statistics about the amount of diapers that end up in landfills each year + how long they take to decompose. 

So where do you start....
When you begin to look into CDing, you'll find that there are dozens and dozens of diaper choices out there and it can be really overwhelming. I listened to friends and we went with just two types of diapers, both made by the same company. But if you're interested in reading about other types, I'd suggest visiting this blog. They do a wonderful job answering ALL the CD questions you may have.

We chose to use Bum Genius 4.0's (a pocket style diaper...this just means the diaper has a pocket in it where I put an insert) and Bum Genius Elementals/Freetimes (both are All in One -AIO- diaper, meaning it's one diaper, the inserts for absorption are already attached). I was lucky enough to get all of our diapers barely used for a great deal. I would suggest looking into this if you know someone who is selling their old diapers. 

When did you start using them?
We started with CD when M was about 4.5 weeks old. At this time she was 11 pounds and her thighs were just starting to chunk up. I know you can use prefolds (another type of CD) or buy newborn pocket diapers for the tiny babes, but I decided before she even arrived that I wanted to get a hang of mommyhood before jumping into cloth. My original plan had been to wait until the start of the new year and get past all the holidays, but when I realized she was big enough at one month, we just kind of went with it and haven't looked back. 

How do you organize them?
However you choose to organize, make sure it works for you! Our system is what we've found is best for us.

In the photo above, you can see how we keep everything on her changing table. I bought these baskets at Homegoods and they're the perfect size for our diapers. To the left is other random baby necessities. You'll also notice we keep a stash of disposables and we're using disposable wipes. We use disposables when I know we're going to be out for a long period of time and when we travel. But other than those times, we're only using cloth. I had been using them at night, but have found that our AIO's work well for us at nighttime and rarely leak.

How do you clean them?
Wet diapers go straight into our trash can lined with this bag of which we have 2. Dirty diapers get sprayed with Bac Out and then into the pail. Breastfed babies poop is completely water soluble, so if you're BFing, you don't need to do anything else to your dirty diapers. Once M starts eating solids in a few months, this will get much trickier. But for now, this system works great. We'll likely get a diaper sprayer when the time comes. 

We have a HE top loader by Kenmore that we purchased last summer. I do a cold soak and rinse (no detergent), and then I follow that with a hot wash + a second rinse while using one tablespoon of Rockin' Green Detergent. I then follow that with a third soak/rinse in hot water. I dry my inserts and line dry the diapers. If I notice an insert has a stain that isn't washing out, I line dry it in the sun, and that does the trick every time. It's amazing what a few hours in sunshine will do for your diapers! 

So there you have it! 
I know CDing can be overwhelming to any new mom, but I really can't emphasize enough how much we love it! It's so simple, and really, the extra laundry just becomes a part of daily life. I don't really notice it as extra work. 

Some other great resources I used to help us out....
  • My good friend Kate and her blog! These two posts helped me lots: 1 and 2
  • This great post from Young House Love
  • The Awesome Cloth Diaper Blog
  • Classes! I took a class for free at a local baby store. If you're interested, see if there's a place in your town that offers help to a new and curious mom!
If you have any questions about it, feel free to send me an email -

Thanks to Hollie for letting me share over here!

1 comment:

Allison said...

A friend gifted us with cloth diapers that i am very interested to try with Tristan. I always thought about it with Garrett, but in an apt with no washer and dryer we decided the time wasn't right. I'm exited about my new cd adventure.

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