Thursday, December 16, 2010

Babykin's Bootykins: Part 2 [Our Diapering System]

As promised, here is our cloth diapering "system" as some crunchy mommas like to call it:

The Products We Use
Choosing what diapers to use can be a really time consuming, frustrating task because there are SO many options out there. We ended up ordering a sample kit to get a feel for what we'd like and then went from there. Here is what we ended up choosing:

Diapers
Kissaluvs Fitted Diapers

http://www.everythingbirth.com/graphics/00000001/fittedcolorslg.jpg

These come in three sizes and we have LOVED them. They have snaps so they really aren't much more labor intensive than disposables as far as diaper changes. I felt like they were kind of the middle ground between the old fashioned "prefolds" that our grandmothers used and the expensive, trendy "all in ones" that seemed too bulky to me anyway. They fit well and are nice and soft. We always get white because they're cheaper, but they come in fun colors. We got about ten to twelve of these in each size.

Covers

Prowrap Classic Diaper Covers
http://www.prodiaper.net/images/classic-lg.jpg
We got these when AP was a newborn and have loved them, as well. They work really well and we haven't had too much of a problem with leaks. The main attraction is the price, though. They are significantly cheaper than the diapers themselves, which is not always the case with covers. They do have velcro, which makes them a little less durable and I ended up air drying them (they dry really quickly) so that they'd stay in good condition for longer. Also, with a really active child, snaps (or pens, but I can't do that!) do hold better than velcro. They come in five sizes (I doubt we'll make it to the fifth before potty training AP) and we usually get about six to eight in each size. [You don't need as many covers as diapers because if it's just teetee, you can just wipe it with a wipe and reuse the same cover with a fresh diaper.]


[Kissaluvs]


http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51RHF4oy4UL._AA300_.jpg
[Thirsties]

I ordered these recently exclusively for night time wear. They are just a little "stronger" than the Prowraps and it's easier to get them really fitted than it is with the velcro. You can just get the diaper tighter and it stays much better when they baby moves around. It was needed with a toddler! Honestly, if I had it to do over again, even though these are quite a bit more pricey, I might order all of either of these more substatial snap covers. We really never had a problem during the day with leaks and until now none at night, but the snap covers just seem like they'll hold up better. The other advantage is that they have multiple rows of snaps that make one size adjustable so they fit the child for a lot longer. I ordered two of the Kissaluvs and one of the Thirsties, just because I wanted to try both. I don't really have a preference; they both work really great. They both come in lots of fun colors or just plain white. The Kissaluvs are one size only and the Thirsties have two sizes.

Bummis Whisper Pants
http://shop.nappyeverafter.co.uk/ekmps/shops/nappyeverafter/images/bummis-whisper-pant-145-p.jpg
We had these pull on covers when AP was a newborn and they were GREAT and served us well at that time. They just pull on and off and have elastic around the legs and waist. They were really easy at that time when diaper changes were frequent and output was minimal. We ended up getting the Prowraps when these started leaking. They come in four sizes, but I can't imagine them being substatial enough for anyone over a few months old. I'd probably just get the Prowraps from the start if I had it to do over.

Liners

****This is an integral part to our diapering system, and honestly, was the product that sold me on the whole thing. I don't think I'd be doing this without them.****
We use disposable, biodegradable liners in all Ann Peyton's cloth diapers. They make the whole process much easier, because if there is a dirty diaper the liner (usually) catches everything and you can just flush it down the toilet! This prevents me from having to do any swishing in the toilet, soaking, or pretreating of her diapers. It's so easy! Really we've used all different brands and I've yet to see any comparable difference; they are basically just thick toilet paper. These Kushies Liners are a good example, though, if you're looking for a place to start.
http://trusca.imageg.net/graphics/product_images/pTRUCA1-5761911reg.jpg


Accessories

There are tons of little accessories and gadgets (sprays, hoses, ect.), but the one thing we've really enjoyed having is a Wet Bag. It stays by where we change her diaper and we fill it up all day; that way we don't have to make a trip to the diaper pail in the laundry room every time we do a diaper change. There are several different brands and I'm sure they are about the same. I chose a Wahmies Fun Print bag because of well, the FUN PRINT.

You also do need some sort of diaper pail. The one we use is actually made for disposables and it seals in the odor really well. It really doesn't matter what you use as long as it's sealed off and accessible.

Our Routine
Our routine is pretty basic. We use the "dry pail method" which means that the diapers aren't soaking in any kind of liquid. I know that grosses some people out, but as frequently as I wash them it's really not a big deal to me. It would gross me out more to have to deal with that yuck water. I chose this method because I just didn't want the hassle of lifting a heavy bucket of water and also because there are safety concerns (obviously) with having a bucket of standing water at your house once your child becomes mobile.

Changing Routine:


The Setup:
We started out with the changing table attached to the Pack N Play. Actually we originally just changed her on the floor on a tiny mat, but then we needed something a little more substantial. [Sidenote: the table isn't stained; somehow the light or some Lysol or something discolored it. I've scrubbed it with Chlorox, but it still looks super gross!]


She has actually started wanting in the Pack N Play occasionally for a few minutes and I knew in a few months the new baby would be sleeping in it, so we just moved the "table" under Peyton's dresser.


This is our "diaper drawer" in Peyton's dresser. I think it's a good setup!


The Strategy:
1. Remove wet diaper and put in wet bag (I usually unzip the bag before I even start the process; that way I don't have to put a soggy/dirty diaper on the floor or on the changing table).
2. Wipe baby and put wipes in wet bag [You can wash them and just take them out before you put the diapers in the dryer or after you dry them. They don't disintegrate in the wash or dryer and come out in tact. I then throw them away. This goes for wet liners, too. However, if the diaper is "dirty" I put the liner and dirty wipes in the toilet.]
3. Place new liner in fresh diaper and put on the baby.
4. Put cover on over the diaper.

Washing Routine:
Like I said, we use the dry pail method. I wash about every three days, typically. Sometimes a little more often if we're home a lot for a few days straight. Occasionally, I have washed on the fourth day and I've never had any kind of mildew or anything, but I wouldn't recommend going longer than three. I washed every one to two days when she was a newborn.


A Few More Things:

Getting Started

- Go with your intuition and JUST DECIDE SOMETHING. If it works, it works. If it doesn't, it doesn't. For example, I wasn't sure the dry pail method would work, but I was more comfortable with it, so I decided we'd just give it a try.
- Talk to an actual person if you can. Websites can be really helpful, but it's easier when you can ask questions and get a personal, unbiased opinions.
- Buying a sample pack really helped us. It's a little pricey, but worth it to figure things out. We tried them on the baby I was a nanny for when I was pregnant. Get a guinea pig baby!
- I think a good idea if you're unsure of if you'll like something is to just get a few in the newborn size and see. During those early days it can be overwhelming and more likely than not you'll end up being tempted to supplement with disposables, anyway. Just get a few if you're unsure; you can always order more!
- Once you pick out what you want, just Google for price comparisons. Websites change their prices and sometimes there are fabulous sales. Comparison shopping pays

Tips
- I usually wash diapers and then wash a load of towels, underwear and socks. Then I dry them together. In our dryer, if it's just the diapers, they won't dry as fast!
- Some places try to sell fancy detergent and I'm sure it is better in some ways, but Tide works fine for us!
- Don't stress out about it. If you are in an overwhelming season, take a break if you want to! There have been weeks that we've done disposables because I've been too tired to deal with the extra laundry or we were just super busy with other stuff. Just like everything, I've found it's best to give myself grace.
- Try to make sure both parents are on board if you expect your husband to help. I know for a lot of mommas it was hard to get their husbands to agree, but once they did, it ended up not being a big deal. Clearly that wasn't the case with us, but I've seen it. Especially in the early days, you'll probably both need to be changing a few diapers, so either let some slide and don't worry about using cloth exclusively or realize you're going to have a lot of work on you.
- Be flexible with other people who are keeping your child. For example, when the grandparents keep Ann Peyton, we use disposables even if they are at our house. I'm sure some people wouldn't care, but it's just a lot extra to worry about, and we try to show our appreciation for them by making their job as easy as possible!


Resources
- Thanks Mama This is where we usually end up getting most of our products. They have good prices in general, and sometimes have really good promotional sales going on (e.g. by this many of x and get one of y for free).
- Diaper Pen This site has a really good "how to" section that can answer a lot of questions. [Disclaimer: If you read anything on this site about "cloth for women", please know that is NOT something I endorse and it actually makes me a little uncomfortable. Although I won't judge you if that's a route you want to take.]

Whew! I'm sure I told y'all WAY more than you ever wanted to know about cloth diapering! Let me know if I left any rock unturned ;)

2 comments:

Amy said...

I thought this was a great, informative post! We don't cloth diaper and (sadly) I have really never even considered it. However, I really enjoyed this post, because I had NO idea how the whole process worked. We don't have any friends that cloth diaper (I guess we're not that "crunchy" - ha!) and I was always confused how the whole "process" worked. Thanks for clearing it up! And....if we ever decide to cloth diaper, I know who to send all my questions to! :)

Carrie said...

This was really interesting, SD! Even though I'm pretty sure we will never cloth diaper (haha, can you imagine?) it was neat to read about how it all works!