In this post: The Great Cloth Diaper Change 2015, homemade baby wipes, and cloth diaper tips from a newbie. Hello dear ones! I know it’s been awhile. Life with a new baby is truly an adjustment especially when you have another child as well. So I’m trying to catch up and find my normal. I have a flood of posts coming your way hopefully. First, I want to start a series called “Life with Baby”. I’m trying new things with my second child. It’s been nine years since my first and there are different trends in the baby world. I want to share my experience as an old newbie ;). And so here I am learning about cloth diapers. It’s like a different universe has opened up to me…things that I didn’t think about with my first born. Like natural child birth… https://amberdover.wordpress.com/2015/04/28/knit-together-leelands-unmedicated-birth-story/ Cloth diapers are awesome. They’re cute and soft, they don’t contain harsh chemicals, and they are a great investment. Instead of paying 20 bucks for disposables every week you can buy a cloth diaper for that (or cheaper if used) and use it for a year. How did I get introduced to cloth diapering? My best friend Hannah (the super breastfeeding-cloth diapering-natural birthing-mom that I always talk about) cloth diapered her youngest two kids. She blessed me with several cloth diapers. I’ve bought a few since then but most of my diapers came from Hannah. Boy was I nervous when I began cloth diapering. It’s not as hard as it sounds though and I’ll share my tips at the end of this post. First, let me tell you about The Great Cloth Diaper Change. Here’s Hannah and I at the GCDC. Hannah had a La Leche League booth at the GCDC and she invited me to it. The Great Cloth Diaper Change is a cloth diapering event that just started in recent years in the city of Columbus, Ga. This year (2015) over a hundred women attended the GCDC and set a record for babies being cloth diapered at the same time. There were booths of all kinds. People selling used diapers, natural products, a La Leche League booth, and even a booth to weigh your baby. Several years back, cloth diapering was rare. Not many people knew about it. Now, the cloth diapering trend is on the rise. Baby thrift stores sell used diapers. There are cloth diapers with every sort of pattern. It’s glorious! Here are some of my favorite diapers. Two of these I bought for a couple of dollars at the GCDC. One is brand new and the others came from Hannah. It’s great when you have cloth diapering friends. Everyone passes the diapers around. The diapers get washed like clothes so it’s completely sanitary. So no worries there.
- When I arrived at the GCDC I had less than a minute to sit down behind the line with the other hundred women and prepare to diaper. I rushed to get Leeland ready to be changed before the timer started. This was our first public outing since Leeland’s birth. He was a couple weeks old I think. Anywho, I was still getting the hang of cloth diapering but I did well. It was fun being a part of the cloth diapering community. You don’t get that with disposables. No one really cares what disposable brand you use. You don’t have Pampers groups.
When the timer went off all of us held up our diapered babies and cheered. It was good clean fun. Thank you Leeland for giving me this new experience. Yeah, Leeland slept the whole time. I did get a certificate saying we participated. It’s in his baby book. So one day we can laugh about how silly his mama was. There was a raffle at the GCDC and I won two very nice all in ones diapers (more on types later). I also took a gift bag home. It felt like a birthday :). Our husbands hanging out. This wasn’t really a guy’s event. My husband agreed to go because Hannah’s husband James was there. My hubby is awesome about changing diapers but he doesn’t get excited about it. He could care less about the patterns and types. Chris is still getting the hang of cloth diapering. Sometimes they frustrate him. I just remind him of all the money we’re saving ;). The bigger kids took advantage of the gym. Michael had a blast playing basketball with his friends. Leeland taking a peep! Too cute! I spiked his hair. Tips and Advice from a Cloth Diapering Newbie We used disposables in the hospitals and frankly I was nervous about leaving my comfort zone and trying cloth diapers. I had made a committment though and we are on a budget. Thankfully I had Hannah come over, that first week home with the baby. She showed me how to put on his cloth diaper. I had tried before Leeland was born. The hubby, Michael, and I cloth diapered a stuffed bear. Still, it’s different with a squirming lil one. Here’s what I know now.
- There are different types of cloth diapers. The ones I’m familiar with are the prefolds and all in ones. Actually there are five major types but I am only fluent in the two I mentioned ;).
http://www.thenaturalbabyco.com/diaper-experts/the-five-major-styles-of-cloth-diapers/ It turns out I’ve been using fitted and pocket diapers more than all in ones. I just called them by the wrong names. I basically knew that the diapers you folded and that required a water proof cover were prefolds and then you had the ones that looked like a disposable diaper. There are some that have snaps and some with velcro. Some require inserts and some have them sewn in already. We mainly use prefolds during the day and the other diapers (pocket, fitted, and all in ones) at night. Prefolds can be bought in packs of six or you can make your own out of burp cloths or cloth napkins. They are basically a piece of cloth that you fold into thirds and secure with either pins (the old fashioned way) or these neat rubber fasteners that have little teeth. Then you put a plastic cover over the top. Prefolds are cheaper because you can buy a large pack for the price of one of the other diapers. Also, you can use the same cover all day. You just have to change the cloth inside. Here’s a picture of Leeland wearing one. Note* Make sure the cover covers every part of the diaper (especially the leg area) or you will have soaked outfits. Just to be cute… Here’s a pocket diaper I believe. You put a cloth insert inside the lil pocket. Then you snap or velcro the diaper together. This kind of cloth diaper including all in ones and fitted are a lil more expensive unless you buy used. I save them for the long stretches at night. They have such cute patterns (like the Dr. Seus ones several pictures up), you don’t need to put pants on the baby (if it’s warm of course).
- Use hot water to wash the diapers and add a touch of vinegar if they get smelly. I use Tide Free and Clear as my detergeant. Some moms swear by special baby detergeant or cloth diaper detergeant. Tide works fine for me. Every baby is different though. Some are sensitive to certain brands. I don’t know much about “stripping” diapers, but I know that vinegar helps with bad stink. I use it for my hubby’s sweaty clothes. I also know that cloth diapers get very stinky and cold water just didn’t do the trick. I wash our diapers with the baby’s clothes, bibs, blankets, and burp cloths. It’s easier and saves water. Stripping diapers is the process you use to get the oils and things out that are left over from diaper balms and fabric softeners but I’ve heard it used for getting the stench out when diapers get that mildewy smell. Sometimes diapers don’t want to dry after they’ve been washed several times.
Here are different methods for stripping. I’ve yet to try them. I just use vinegar and wash my diapers once. I wash them on extra heavy. I’ve only had a few used diapers that got the mildewy smell. http://myclothdiaperstash.com/six-ways-to-strip-your-cloth-diapers/ Here’s a post that says not to strip diapers. Everyone has their opinion. http://www.gro-via.com/blog/enough-stripping-already/
- Instead of fabric softener sheets use a ball of aluminum foil to get up the lint. It works great and you don’t have to spend money on fabric sheets. Also you don’t have to worry about stripping the oils off your diapers.
- Have a wet bag! These are life savers. A wet bag has a water proof inside and cloth on the front. You put the diapers and cloth baby wipes inside the wet bag and zip it up so you won’t smell them. I just got one for the diaper bag. It was a pain using grocery bags all the time and it was smelly. I had a wet bag at home though. Hannah gave me her extra and it really helps. You can buy these at Walmart too.
- Separate the cloth inserts from the covers when you wash them. This makes sure they get clean good.
- Give cloth baby wipes a try! It took me a bit to have the confidence to start using cloth wipes. I guess you can say I took baby steps. Cloth wipes are super easy though. You simply wet them with solution, wipe the baby’s bottom, and throw the wipe in the wet bag with the diapers. At first, I kept the wipes soaking in the solution but it turned the solution colors and went bad quickly. So now I keep the wipes beside the solution and just wet them before use. I ring the wipes out to save on solution. Right now I only put a cup of solution at a time. It’s not hard to make so I don’t mind refilling. I could probably keep two cups in at a time. When I’m out of the house I fill a squirt bottle with solution and take it with me. Here’s the solution recipe I use:
Baby Wipe Solution 1 cup hot water 1 tbsp coconut oil 1 tbsp baby wash First, heat the water in the microwave for a minute and a half. That’s enough for the oil to dissolve when you mix it in next. Then add the baby wash. Let the water cool before you use it of course. *Some people add essential oils.
- What to do with poop: Nothing at first. If you are breastfeeding or have a newborn then it’ll come out in the wash. The poop will become solid when your baby starts eating solids. I’m not at this point yet but Hannah is. She says you just empty the poop in the toilet. If it’s smooshed then you can use a paint scraper to get it off. Much easier than buying a sprayer to attach to your toilet.
Well, I hope I’ve encouraged you to try cloth diapers. It can be scary if you’re new like me. Cloth diapers aren’t as complicated as people make them out to be. Most of the diapers work like disposables. You just have to wash them. And the prefolds are easy once you get the folding part down. You’ll change diapers so much with a newborn, that you’ll get the hang of them in just a few days. I can literally do it in my sleep these days (well, half asleep). So I hope to have more Life with Baby posts soon. When I do I’ll add the links below. Well, God bless & remember the High King lives! ~Amber Dover
Life with Baby:
Breastfeeding and Baby Wearing
Life with Baby: Monthly pics
Life with Baby: Baby School