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All about Cloth-Diapering for Savannah!

I really want to but there are so many factors discouraging me :( all of my in laws think its so weird :/ and im incredibly confused by it!! how many diaper changes do you do a day?? Did you buy yours online?? And I don’t really understand how they even work!! Do they have pockets inside and you put the inserts in it?? How do you wash them?? And sterilize them or something?? If I had too many questions you don’t have to answer them all hahahaha

I totally understand about the in-laws not backing you up. My in-laws think it’s SOOO weird- my mother-in-law looked at me like I’m a freak when I brought them over, and my sister-in-law (who is having a baby at the end of March/early April) was sure to point out that she was going to use disposables, as if cloth diapering was gross or hippie-ish. :| However, don’t let that bother you! First of all, if they watch Tristan, you could always bring over disposables OR you could make sure to buy a few diapers with velcro tabs (they are easier for grandparents or derpy dads, but I prefer snaps for me because velcro can wear out easier)!

Okay, so… for number of changes: I would say you need around 8-12 diapers per day. So maybe get a total of 24 diapers if you want to wash every couple days (the best idea since you don’t want them to get stinky or the pee/poo to sit too long).

Where did I buy my diapers, inserts, and soap? I got some from:

  • Kawaii Baby diapers (they are looser on the legs- better for average to chunky legs.)
  • SunBaby diapers (I got the size 1, which is perfect for Lucas’ skinny legs, but they have a size 2 for chunkier babies.)
  • CottonBabies (I got 3 BumGenius 4.0 Artist series diapers because they were on clearance!)
  • Planet Bambini (I have bought some inserts, a Thirsties Duo diaper, BG Freetimes, BabyLegs, and some wool dryer balls from this local store- the lady lives just down the street, and if you buy from her tell her I referred you so I can get a local discount!)
  • Cloth Diaper Mamas on Facebook (This is a private group, but I can try to get you added if you’re interested- I bought a huge stash from a lady who couldn’t continue cloth diapering anymore due to being overwhelmed with work and a few kids.)
  • Charlie’s Soap (I use the powder version- only about 1/4 of a scoop for each load of diapers.)

As for how they work- there are all sorts of different diapers:

  • The All-in-One diapers (AIO) have the insert already sewn in, so you don’t need to stuff it (though they sometimes have a pocket so you can add inserts for naptime or overnight).
  • Pockets have a little flap or slit in the back (or sometimes front) and you stuff inserts into them to absorb the pee/poo.
  • Fitted diapers are not waterproof, have a snap-in “soaker” (like an insert but no pocket stuffing), and need a cover (I only have a couple of these and one cover, and they are great for nighttime because the soaker and the fitted diaper all absorb the pee inside the cover).
  • All-in-Two diapers (AI2) are basically a cover that you snap a soaker into or lay a prefold into (a prefold is like the typical piece of material that people used to pin onto the baby- I usually just fold in in thirds and put it in the cover instead of actually pinning it on Lucas).
  • Also, you may see the terms “sized" or "one-size (OS).” The sized diapers only last for a certain weight and height range (like disposables), but OS diapers can be snapped and unsnapped in height and width to potentially last from birth to potty-training. Lucas has only a couple sized diapers- I personally think OS are better because they are more cost-efficient. (Oh, and SunBaby diapers’ sizes are not “sized”- they are just different cuts, basically. Both size 1 and 2 diapers are OS, but they are cut for either skinny or chunky babies.)

Personally, I like pockets because the inserts dry faster than the AIOs, and because the insert absorbing all the pee isn’t right on his skin (like it is in a fitted or AI2). However, it does take a little time to have to stuff the inserts into the pockets. Make sure not to put microfibre inserts directly on the baby’s skin- however, hemp and bamboo inserts are fine (that’s usually what fitteds, soakers, and prefolds are made from). Hemp and bamboo are more absorbant than microfibre, but it takes the pee a little longer to absorb into them, so make sure that if you stuff a pocket with a combo of microfibre and hemp/bamboo, the microfibre is stuffed so it is on top (nearest to the pee). (To clarify- pockets have fleece that seperates the microfibre insert from your baby’s skin and also keeps the pee away from his skin after it quickly absorbs into the insert.)  Also, if Tristan has a rash, make sure you google cloth diaper friendly booty ointments/balms- you can’t use the normal zinc oxide or petroleum jelly creams since they can coat the diaper and make it less absorbant. I use Angel Baby Bottom Balm or CJ’s BUTTer. :) Here is a chart by Pinstripes and PolkaDots I really like for determining if your diaper cream is “cloth diaper safe”: “Diaper Rash Creams for Use with Cloth Diapers.”

As for washing, I use Charlie’s Soap- make sure you buy a cloth diaper safe soap or detergent. It has to be free of surfactants, enzymes, and scents. If you google, there are several sites where they list good cloth diaper soaps/detergents. I personally REALLY like this “Cloth Diaper Detergent Chart" by Diaper Jungle. But every soap is different for each person because your water varies from area to area.

This is my wash routine (I have a front-loading HE washing machine): Cold/Cold rinse, then Hot/Cold wash on “Heavy” setting with 1/4 scoop of Charlie’s Soap with an extra rinse and spin, then another Cold/Cold rinse. Every few times or so, I add 1/8 - 1/4 cup of organic distilled white vinegar to the wash cycle. Then I put everything (except my covers which are hung on a towel rack) into the dryer with 3 wool dryer balls (you cannot use any dryer sheets or softeners!) for 1.5 hours on low heat. The hot water combined with vinegar and heat in the dryer is enough to get the diapers clean. They are not 100% sterile, but then again- think about it: Do you sanitise or sterilise your panties? ;) Make sure when you get your diapers that you wash them at least once or twice before putting them on the baby- it helps the absorbancy and gets them clean. :) Also, if you get hemp or bamboo inserts, make sure you wash and dry them seperately at LEAST 3 times before using and washing with other diapers. This is because they have natural oils that need to be washed off in order to help the absorbancy, and if washed with other diapers at first, it can cause the oils to coat the other diapers and make them less absorbant or cause them to completely repel (or not absorb) the pee.

Lastly, I use a large waterproof laundry bag (I bought it at Target- it’s a big dark blue drawstring bag), which I lay into a large basket, for storing dirty diapers. I prefer to leave the bag open so that it can air out and ammonia doesn’t build up. Ammonia builds up when pee and warmth get together in a sealed bag, and can cause diapers to stink and even burn your baby.

Sidenote: I also use cloth wipes. These can be ones you buy from a cloth diaper website, or you can just use baby washclothes! I typically just pat Lucas dry without any water or wipe solution spray, but when he goes poo, I get the nasties off with the Bum Genius wipe solution spray. I also use disposable wipes for poop, too, as it can be really overwhelming, and I don’t want to mix poopy wash cloths in with his clothes hamper.

Okay, my dear! I hope that helped. I know it’s a novel!!! Ack!

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