I’ve been getting some messages from various awesome Mamas asking, “So, how is cloth diapering going?” I haven’t written about our experiences yet, almost expecting something to go wrong. But to be honest, nothing has gone wrong. (Of note: I just knocked on wood.) So, let me set you up with our setup.
We’re exclusively using Fuzzi Bunz (though I did just jump on the Goodmama bandwagon and order one and a few small Thirsties covers; I’ll review those soon). We waited to put LittleBrother in cloth until we were home from the hospital and all of the meconium had passed. For those who don’t know, meconium is some nasty, tarry like poo that would basically ruin the nice, stainless fleece of cloth. Once that phase was over, we moved him into his cloth.
Small Fuzzi Bunz said that they were good for seven pounds and up. To be honest, I was worried about the transition. You see, LittleBrother was born with FirDad’s legs: skinny, skinny. No thighs at all! When I first strapped him into his first cloth diaper, I was one-hundred percent sure that anything coming out of him was also coming out of the leg hole of the diaper. I was pleasantly surprised. Everything stayed where it was supposed to stay. I was stoked.
You see, even when BigBrother was a newborn, he peed through disposable diapers. Some times it was a size issue, his green parents not knowing when to move up a size. Other times? Well, it goes back to the reason that we moved BigBrother to cloth at night: he pees a lot and pretty darn hard. Disposables couldn’t keep up with him. From the time he was very little, I was washing sheets with ridiculous regularity. Not so with LittleBrother and cloth diapers and, trust me, he can pee just as much and just as hard.
So, now everyone wants to know: what about washing?
It should be noted that LittleBrother is exclusively breastfed. Breastfed poop is something special! All you need to know is that it is water soluble. And so, my washing routine goes something like this: twenty minute cold soak cycle with some baking soda followed by a hot wash cycle (with cold rinse). During the hot wash cycle, I use about half of the recommended Purex Free & Clear for a large load, a capful of Calgon Water Softener because we have very hard water and a few squirts of Dawn Original Dish Soap. (More about cloth diapers and detergent here.) If I’m thinking that the load was exceptionally dirty, I will do another wash cycle on cold after that one is finished. Then, since it’s winter and drying outside isn’t possible, everything gets thrown into the dryer on low. And everything comes out clean. We’ve had one stain stay after a hot wash. Thankfully, it was a random sunny and warm day. I put it out on the back deck with a little bit of lemon juice on the stain and “sunned it out.” It was fine after that!
Of note: We have twenty-seven diapers. (Soon to be twenty-nine.) I was washing every day because I was panicked about running out of diapers. I’ve slowly worked myself into an every-other-day routine. Washing every other day is easier on the diapers but makes stains a concern. I always make sure to check for staining before I toss diapers in the dryer. (Drying a diaper that has a stain will set the stain. Always check first!) Still, washing every-other-day for over two weeks now, we have only had one diaper that needed to be washed a second time. I think we’re doing just fine!
And then everyone wants to know: Do you always use cloth?
Yes. I don’t even know what size LittleBrother would wear in disposables now. It’s much easier just to throw the diapers and a wetbag in the diaper bag and go. I even used them when we got snowed in on TheFarm over New Years. I just simply ran them through the wash at my Mom’s and, voila!, everything was good. (Of note: she now keeps some Calgon and some Dawn on hand for me.)
Obviously, cloth diapering may not work for everyone. We’re lucky in the fact that I work from home. We’re also lucky in the fact that FireDad is not phased by poop, pee or cloth. When he saw how well cloth worked for containing BigBrother’s pee issue, he got right on board. The Grandmas have been quick to learn how to change a cloth diaper and the Great-Grandmas are impressed at the advances made in cloth diapering since their day. (Speaking of advances, check out this article in Time!)
Not only are we saving money by going the cloth route, we’re also doing something good for the environment. And, quite frankly, with our gas-guzzling SUV, it probably wouldn’t hurt for us to do something nice for the Earth. Oops.
If you’re interested in cloth diapering, don’t hesitate to ask me a question. I also can’t say enough about DiaperSwappers.com as a great place to get information as well as find diapers or diapering accessories at greatly reduced price.