Cloth Diaper Experiment

Journey to Homemaker

Okay, call me crazy, but inspired by a poster on a webboard, plus all the nesting hormones I've got going, I've decided to try cloth diapers once again. I tried twice before (also urged on by pregnancy hormones, if I remember correctly, lol) but got frustrated and gave up. I think part of my problem, besides my natural laziness, is that I was going about it all wrong. First, I used cheapo Gerber prefolds from Walmart. They are small, thin, and not too absorbent. Second, I only washed them once before using. Third, I was using cheapo vinyl elasticized pants from Walmart and/or yard sales as covers. Fourth, I was using a wet pail method, which I've read on many sites isn't the best way to do cloth diapers. Also, I have no idea what type of detergent I was using, and it might not have been a good one.

Now, with even more research on my part, I hopefully have addressed these issues in the following ways:

I bought good (supposedly) prefolds from a natural food store. They were called Baby Dreams. They were big and seemed to fluff up well after several washings...however, they started to unravel with each washing, more and more. I returned them and plan to buy some Chinese DSQ (diaper service quality) prefolds from a natural baby/toy store. They are $19 a dozen, fairly expensive, but I've heard that Chinese prefolds are the best way to go if you choose prefolds. I have already bought from that store some microfiber inserts that hold an amazing amount of liquid, for my Fuzzi Bunz, which I will describe below. I am loving these microfiber inserts, I'll have to find out what the brand name is.

For covers, I tried a couple of Proraps Classic covers. They have nice leg gussets and Aplix (like Velcro, but better) closures. Haven't used them much yet, but no problems so far. I think they'll fit my kids for a while, so the sizes are a good range. I also FINALLY found a local store that carries Fuzzi Bunz diapers, after hours of online research...the natural toy store I went to happened to have them. From all the reviews I've read online, these are the BEST for overnight leak protection. I've heard they have had quality control issues over the years, and that these have supposedly been addressed. Even those moms who didn't consider FB their favorite diaper still used them at night. These are pocket diapers, in a class of their own. They are not covers, nor AIO's (all in ones). They consist of a waterproof outer layer and a fleece inner layer, with a pocket in between. The opening is along the back edge of the diaper. You put in some kind of insert, like a prefold, a microfiber insert, etc. They need to be washed after each use, unlike a cover, which if not soiled, can be hung to dry between uses, and not washed after each use, but after a few uses. I love the Fuzzi Bunz, they look and feel so comfy, and there has been virtually no leakage problems so far. However, after a couple of washings, one of them has a small bit of stitching coming undone. If this continues to happen, I'll exchange it, and hope it doesn't keep being a problem. FB's are expensive, around fifteen dollars each. They also have fleece and wool covers, but they can be expensive, and will eventually leak if you don't change them often, which I probably wouldn't! There's also Happy Heiny diapers, which are a pocket diaper like FB, but are slightly different and have Aplix closures, which I think might give more flexibility in diaper fit. I'm going to try one. I've heard good reviews of them, but not as good as FB. Same price though.

As for washing the diapers, I've read that you're supposed to wash prefold diapers several times before using. Recommendations vary, but it seems that five times for bleached (white) diapers should do the trick, whereas for natural diapers (unbleached, usually a natural beige or tan in color) must be washed about eight times in order to get all the natural oils out of the diapers, and fluff them up. This is necessary for them to be absorbent enough. They will continue to get more absorbent after the next few washes. You must dry the diapers in between each of these washes. A pain, yes, but better than having leaky diapers and giving up!

For people who hate diaper pins, there's an invention called a Snappi. It's a stretchy plastic thing that grips the corners of the prefolds. Hard to explain, but you'll see if you google it. I've used it once, but it seems to work great. They also nowadays make fitted or contour diapers for those who don't like prefolds. The fitted diapers tend to come with Aplix closures, or sometimes snaps. The contour diapers don't, but you can use pins or a Snappi to hold them closed, then use a cover. In my non-expert opinon, if money was no object, I think I might like to use Fuzzi Bunz with the microfiber inserts, and/or a fitted diaper with a Prorap cover.

As for what pail method to use, I think the wet pail was a mistake for me. Especially when you're just getting started, and mixing cloth with disposables. The diapers can sit in the pail a long time, and folks, they get NASTY. I'm not going to admit how long they got left there the last time, but let's just say after that I gave up on cloth! I've heard adding a little detergent or a few drops of Tea Tree oil helps. But you have to keep the pail locked if you have a mobile baby or other kids, and most pails are not sealed, so even locked a toddler could tip it over and....eewww! Plus you're supposed to change the water every day or two if you're not washing every day. Plus you have to figure out how to dump out the water in the toilet, but not the diapers, and not make a mess. Some people dump it all in the washer and run a spin cycle to get rid of the water. I'm not big on that idea. Many people now advocate the dry pail method. They say the poop won't get dried on. But I tried it. My daughter often passes vegetables or beans not completely broken guess what I had to clean out of my washer? 'nough said!

Now, I could dunk and swish them in the toilet, and they have a plastic invention called the diaper duck for that, but then you have to ring it out, or figure a way to get it to the pail or washer without a mess. And I don't like the idea of rinsing it in the sink. If we had a laundry sink, okay, but not the bathroom sink. Yuck. There is a cool thing called the Mini Shower, a sprayer that attaches to the toilet water supply line and hooks to your toilet tank. It's meant for personal care, but has variable pressure and I've heard rave reviews about it easily rinsing off sticky poop. I've heard it's easy to use this to rinse off FB diapers, because it's easier to rinse poop off of fleece. Then at least the diaper won't be completely dripping. This sounds like the easiest method to me, and I've already ordered one of these babies.

They also have diaper liners. Some stores sell them. They're flushable. You put them inside the diaper, and hopefully it keeps most of the poop off the diaper itself, then you just pull it (and the poop with it) off the diaper and flush it all away. Unless you have a very active wiggly two year old, in which case it will get twisted and most of the poop will end up on the diaper anyway! :-)

So right now I'm just experimenting. I just ran out of disposables for my two youngest, so I have a feeling I'll be getting some good cloth diaper experience in the next few days, and I'll report the results of my "study"!

By the way, I just set up a new diapering "station", maybe I'll post some pics soon. I'm so proud of it! Hey, you gotta do something when you're going to have four in diapers!

Anyone with recent cloth diapering experience is welcome to post a comment with any advice, comments or suggestions...I could use them!

0 Responses to "Cloth Diaper Experiment"

Post a Comment