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My First Experience Cloth Diapering

by Amanda on April 23, 2009
category: 0 – 1 year (baby),Finances,Potty time

clothdiapers Happy Earth Week!

Cloth diapering keeps disposable diapers out of landfills and it can save money, so I decided to cloth diaper my second child. Amelia has written about the benefits of cloth diapers before and I always wanted to try it. My problem with getting started cloth diapering was spending the time researching what to buy and spending the money on them. You can’t exactly just walk into a Babies R Us and buy everything you need.

Getting the Supplies

I spent a lot of time figuring out the different types of diapers and where to buy them. There are prefolds and covers, all-in-ones, fitteds with covers, pocket diapers, and so much more. I made my list and added up how much everything was going to cost and put it in our budget. However, every month something would come up and it got moved the bottom of the priority list. Then a lady at church heard I wanted to cloth diaper and very generously gave me a gift of prefolds, fitteds, Thirsties covers, Y-straps, and two wet bags. I also gave her forty bucks to “round out my stash.” She used diaperswappers.com to buy everything I needed. I am very thankful that I didn’t have to spend the time and energy to get everything while I was more focused on having my baby.

Using Cloth Diapers

After getting breastfeeding established with my son I decided to tackle cloth diapering and learn this new skill. We quickly learned that you need to be sure to tuck the all of the prefold diaper under the cover, so they won’t wick out on to his clothes. Also, it is helpful to be organized and set up a station. I bought two dollar store trash cans. One is for the cloth diapers and the other is for wipes and other trash. I only had a few blow outs of poo or sometimes the pee would seep through the cover onto his onesie. I am not very good at changing his diaper very often so I use 2 prefolds inside the cover.

Traveling with cloth diapers is fine as long I am sure to bring everything I need – extra diaper cover, extra prefolds, and my wet bag for dirty diapers. They take up more room in a diaper bag than disposables.

Washing and Cleaning

Once I figured out how to fold them and use them I had to learn how to wash them. It seems that every cloth diaper user has their own system. I went with the one that seemed the easiest. Amelia told me to run them through a cold wash first, then a second wash with hot water and soap. I use an regular detergent like All’s Free and Clear. Washing them is easy and it isn’t too dirty to touch the diapers, because they have newborn poo which isn’t that gross.

What is gross is leaving them too long before washing them. I got sick one weekend and went a few days without cleaning them. One fitted diaper grew fuzzy mold. After that weekend when I went to wash them I let the diapers soak in the washer over night in cold water. Then I ran them the next morning. When I took them out of the washer a few diapers had black mold spots. Either they grew from the soaking or from me waiting too long to wash them. I tried oxi-clean and even bleach, but the mold spots never came out.

Sometimes the diapers come out stained with yellow spots, so I sun them. All I do is hang them outside in the sun and the stains go away. (Those are my diapers in the photo.) I have no idea how this works, but it does! They come back to being perfectly white.

Is Cloth Diapering Working For Me?

I am currently cloth diapering about 50% of the time. I may not be 100% percent all the time cloth diapering, but I still feel like my 50% makes a difference on the environment. My husband changes my sons diapers during the night and in our sleep deprived state I didn’t want to make him change a cloth diaper. Also, I think I may not have enough cloth diapers, because I need to wash them every other day to keep up. I am not very good at washing them often. Also there are some days where I am super busy and overwhelmed so I don’t want to mess with them. We were given many disposable diapers as gifts as well, so I haven’t had to spend any money in diapers for my 7 week old son yet. I think when I have to spend my own money on diapers I will be more intent on cloth diapering more often.

How about you? Have you tried cloth diapering? What were your first few weeks like? Are you like me and always wanted to, but never wanted to spend the money to start?

4 Responses to My First Experience Cloth Diapering

  • Gravatar
    Comment by Kristi_runwatch
    April 23, 2009 @ 5:23 am

    I have used cloth on both my kids. I use disposable when we’re out and about for convenience, but at home cloth is really no big deal at all!! I use chinese prefolds with a snappi fastener and prowraps.

    Happy diapering!

    I wrote out the basics of what we do here: http://runwatchplaywait.blogspot.com/2008/07/cloth-diaper-info.html

  • Gravatar
    Comment by Susanne
    April 23, 2009 @ 6:30 am

    We did cloth with my son until he was 3 months old. We live in a condo and only have a stackable washer and drier and I got tired of doing the laundry associated with it. I enjoyed cloth diapering. Bumkin diaper covers with prefolds worked great for us. I also used mother-ease diapers. The two kind of diapers worked great for us. When he started to sleep long stretches at night, we starting to use disposables (so he would not wake because of a wet diaper). I am actually thinking about using cloth again because we are moving in a month to a home where I can have a normal size washer and drier. I have also started infant potty training with my son. he will poop on the potty, but he still pees pretty frequently in his diaper. I think it is because the disposable diapers keep him feeling drier for longer. If I do make the switch, I might do all-in-one cloth diapers to keep it simple. All-in-one diapers have the cover attached to them. That way when I take my son the the toilet I will not have to do two steps (take off cover and diaper). Glad you are giving it a try. Even if it is only part time, you are still helping the environment!

    oh…try Charlies’s Soap to wash them. It will keep your diapers in better shape for longer because it has not whiteners in it. I did a ton of research and that was the detergent that kept coming up! Also, soaking them in oxy clean (must not have chlorine- i think it is called free and clear) will help to remove some of the stains. I would just fill the washing machine up at night with warm water and let them soak in oxi clean. (Walmart makes a brand of oxy cleaner called sun and that does not have any chlorine in it and much cheaper.) All the lovely breastpoop stains came right out! If you also notice a little smell to the diapers, try filling a downy ball with white vinegar. It helps with the smell.

  • Comment by Sharon M
    April 23, 2009 @ 9:31 am

    I got lucky with baby #1 — my MIL gave me two month’s worth of cloth diaper laundering service, so I didn’t have to wash the diapers for two whole months! That was a real treat (Debbie Does Diapers has a service for the Austin/ San Antonio area, I highly recommend them).

    Only in San Antonio would the diapers mold!

    We’re still cloth diapering with baby #2. I only use disposables at night (and at church on Sundays); I tried Fuzzy Bunz for a while, and I discovered that, while they’re great for naptime, they don’t work so well for 11 hours at night. I have a neat little assortment — Chinese prefolds w/ Snappis and Bummi wraps, then a few Bumpkins and Fuzzi Bunz for the sitters and hubby :-)

  • Gravatar
    Comment by Smalltowngirl
    April 27, 2009 @ 10:27 pm

    Wow- I am impressed! It sounds like alot of work—

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