Tuesday, May 5, 2009

It's Our Anniversary

An event took place last month that I didn't take the time to blog about.

You see, it was our anniversary--my cloth diapers and me.
I've been putting them on my babies' bottoms for a whole year now.

They have gotten disgustingly dirty,
and sparkling white
over and over and over and over and, well--you get the picture.

There has been a learning curve for me.
I have learned a lot about how best to care for them.
I used to have trouble with leaks at night, and so I started doing disposables at bedtime. This added up in a hurry and it seemed I was needing more disposables too often (just what I was trying to avoid!
Then, I remembered reading that if you put a dappi over everything, no more leaks!
Problem solved.

For those that want more of the "details"--here you go:
I use Chinese prefolds; I have both 6- and 8-ply. Elijah wears the 8s and Ruby the 6s.
For a time, I had THREE in cloth.
Admittedly, it was a lot of work, but at least I wasn't running to the store for more diapers all the time.
When Ruby was a newborn, I used birdseye prefolds . These were much less bulky than the chinese prefolds for her tiny newborn legs.
I have 12 of them and they lasted her for about 7 months.
When she was about 7 months, I switched her to Christopher's old 6-plys.
Since he was/is such a slender toddler, I used the 6s on him while Elijah has always only worn the 8s.

I am now able to see the fruits of my labor, so to speak, as I am reusing from an older child. I so wish I had begun cloth diapering a few children ago, as it would have saved us a lot of money and probably 1/4 of a landfill.

For wipes, I use baby wash cloths and keep them in a
wipes warmer. I get them wet prior to putting them in the warmer,
and I wash them along with the diapers.

I use Thirsties covers now, although I started with some Bummis and Nikkys.
Ruby uses all Thirsties, and Elijah has all three brands.
I have 6 covers for Ruby and now I have about 12 for Elijah.
The reason Elijah has more is that I had both he and Christopher in cloth and needed that many covers to keep up with the two of them.

I like the Thirsties the best as they are the least expensive and work really well.
I also love the colors!
I like the Bummis as well; both the Thirsties and Bummis have the fold-over laundry tabs so the velcro doesn't stick to the other covers when I wash them.
Not so hot on the Nikkys, but oh well.

I use a doubler at night time or for going to church.
Sometimes I still use disposables if I think storing the dirty/wet ones will be too difficult while I'm out.

I use a snappi for Elijah.
I don't for Ruby--the difference is that Elijah walks.
As a toddler, he is up and about and climbing and running and jumping and--again, you get the picture. His diaper has a tendency to scrunch--the snappi helps keep it in place.
I'm sure when Ruby starts cruisin', I'll use one on her, too.

I have ordered all these things from Babyworks.
I LOVE this company!
They have an excellent return policy and have been so great to work with!
I also LOVE their catalog--it is like a "how-t0" manual for cloth diapering.
When I first entertained the idea of cloth diapering,
I requested their free catalog and literally poured through it.
Chock-full of valuable information--I kid you not.

To wash all of this, I use Bio-Kleen detergent.
I have been very satisfied with it.
So many people comment on how white my--I mean their--diapers are!
I run them through a few rinse cycles, and then one sanitary cyle with a double rinse.

I used to soak them in a tub of water, but I don't do that anymore.
I realized that they were basically soaking in sewage. Yuck.
Now, I just rinse them in the utility sink,
wring them a bit and put them in the storage tub that I use as a "pail".
Sort of a mix between the "dry method"--no soaking or rinsing,
and the "soak method"--putting them in a container of water.

When they're all done washing, I run them in the dryer for about five minutes to "fluff" them just a bit and out to the clothesline they go.
I like that the sun is a natural "bleach".

I would say I now use about 6-8 disposables a month;
not for each--total.
I've moved from thinking "wow--that's a lot of work" to
"I can't believe I'm just going to throw this away..."

A great read on cloth diapering is here:
and bean makes three.

So--that's the scoop on the poop around here.
Fascinating, I know.

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