Cloth Diapers #4: How do I wash these stinky things?

30 10 2007

Okay, I know that you all are wondering how do you wash these stinky diapers. We’ll let’s start with what to do with them while they are dirty, but you aren’t ready to wash them yet.

1. Make sure you have a spot for them (like a laundry pail, see post #3 on diapers).

2. If your child has peed in the diaper, remove it from him/her, and put it in the diaper pail…do not rinse.

3. If your child has pooped in the diaper and is ONLY breastfed (no cereal, formula or food) then you may place the diaper in the pail without rinsing it. If they are older and have pooped in it you will need to dump the poop into the toilet. You do not need to scrap it, just get all the big stuff off. Then place the diaper in the pail.

Now it has been about 2 days and your diaper pail is full and you are ready to wash those diapers. First put the diapers in the washing machine and rinse them only in cold water! This gets out the urine etc. After they are rinsed put the water temp on HOT on the washing machine. Add only 1/4 of the normal detergent to the washing machine and wash the diapers. After they are done, rinse one more time.

That you right you rinse, wash and rinse and do an extra rinse. For a total of 3 rinses. The reason for this is that detergent holds in odor!!! If you diapers stink they probably have a build up of detergent in them.

Now you are ready to dry the diapers, I hang all my covers and pocket diapers and I put everything else in the dryer (this includes all the All In One Diapers). Then after they are done I assemble them and put them away. It works great.

Now, you will read EVERYWHERE not to use bleach on your diapers or detergents that have bleach in them. This is true; it will wear down the threads in the diapers and can make them wear out faster. However I Have found that if I add about 1/4 of a cup of bleach to the wash load ONCE a month then they smell a whole lot better and I enjoy using them more. It will not change the pretty cover colors it will just kill all those germs and make them really FRESH!

I wash at least every 2-3 days, any longer than that and they seem to stink. We also use a disposable diaper at bedtime. My kids sleep about 11-12 hours and they wet so much at night that it is just worth our money to put them in a disposable diaper.

Happy Diapering!

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Cloth Diapers #3: Now I have my diapers what else do I need?

27 10 2007

Here is where things get a little tricky. Depending on your family, number of children in diapers, how busy you are and how much you want to spend you may choose not to buy these things.

I have just found out that the easier I make cloth diapering the more willing I am going to be to do it. I also have found that having 3 children I am a little busy, so I sometimes need to just make it easier! Many of things I am going to link here have made my life easier.

One thing you will need, you can’t get around it, is something to put your dirty cloth diapers in at home. I have found that the Safety First Easy Saver Diaper Pail is the best for use at home. You are able to use just cheap garbage bags to fill it and it also have a holder in the top for a Deodorizer Disk, which helps keep the smell neutralized.

The second thing you can not get around is having something to put your dirty diapers in while you are on the go. There are two different ways you can do this. 1. Is to buy a reusable bag like the Bummis Tote Bag. This is my favorite way. It is cheaper in the long run and it is easy to find in the diaper bag (due to the great bold color) and can be used to hold wet bathing suits when you are done cloth diapering or you can buy two just to have one for the bigger kids etc. I have a size small and it works great for us! 2. Or you can use Disposable bags to put your diapers in. I have done this and it works great as well. We did this way for the first 2 children and it became a little expensive. A little tip for all of you out there thinking “hey, I have some old grocery bags I could use and it would cost me almost nothing” DON’T do it. They smell horrible and I have had them leak on me on more than one occasion and they make a mess!!!

Some of things you will want when cloth diapering is some doublers. These are inserts that you place in the diaper to give it a little extra absorbency during naptime or outings. For the infant diapers we use the Kissaluvs Booster Doubler. It fits in the diapers great and can be used in the size medium and large diapers when the child out grows the Kissaluvs Size 0 Diapers.

One thing that I have on my Christmas list this year is the Mini Shower Wand. I have never had one of these in the past, but after having to dump and swish poopy diapers in the past I am getting one of these for Owen when he starts solid foods. (More on that in Laundry post). I can’t say if it is worth of the money at this time, but I have read great reviews on it from other diapering mamas.





Cloth Diapers #2: What are my favorites

26 10 2007

Here is where it gets fun! I love to pick out and try out many different types of cloth diapers. (This has cost me some money and some time, so I am more than willing to pass this info on to you!)

There are 4 different sizes of diapers usually…small or infant, medium, large and a one size. We will start with infant diapers.

My all time favorite infant diaper is the Kissaluvs diaper in size 0. It is easy, unbelievably soft and great for those explosive diapers newborns have. The size 0 also has a snap down so the newborns sensitive umbilical cord stays safe. These diapers are called a fitted diaper, which means they are snug around the legs and the waist and they use snaps to hold it in place. These diapers are all cloth and require you to use a cover. Our favorite cover are the Bummis Super Snap Wrap. These are soft, fit great and wash great!! The picture of Owen at the top of my blog is of a Kissaluvs cloth diaper without the cover on.

When using these diapers you will need about 15-20 diapers and about 5-6 covers. When using this amount you will wash diapers about every other day. (More on washing diapers in another post).

My all time favorite diaper for size medium-large is the Bum-Ware cloth diaper. These are the best diapers I have ever used and have very few flaws! These diapers are so thin that you can’t even tell your little one is in a cloth diaper. Another plus with these diapers is that they are made by a stay at home mom, which means she takes pride in every diaper she makes! On the down side her diapers carry a little higher price tag, but I have to say they are worth it because they hold up wonderfully. All of our size mediums are on the 3 child and still have tons of life left in them. When using these diapers you will need to have about 15-18 diapers for size medium and about 15 of size large. The diaper we have is Velcro and they tend to get all tangled up in washing machine, the Velcro laundry tap seems to be a little too tiny, but she has fixed this problem by making the same diaper with snaps! When we order some more we will be buying them with the Velcro. Also, she has the most amazing colors to choose from! These diapers are All-In-One diapers which means the cover is sown into the diaper and it does NOT require an additional cover.

Another diaper that I have used is the Wonderoos cloth diaper. This diaper is made to be used from birth to potty training. The idea is great, but I have found that they are way too big and bulky for infants and way too tight around the waist for toddlers. These diapers held up good for m first, but on child #2 they started to fall apart and on child #3 they are almost unusable. We have found that it is just better to buy 15-20 diapers of each size this way they aren’t too big or too small and hold up better than these did.

Now that you know what my favorite diapers are I wanted to list an honorable mention…it is a great pocket diaper (a diaper that you fill to the amount of absorbency that you need, like a Wonderoo). The difference between these and the Wonderoo is that they come in different sizes to have a better fit and they have held up over 3 children! These are Fuzzi Bunz diapers. They are really a great diaper, but are usually a little bulky compared to the Bum-Ware diaper.

Edited: I forgot to add a diaper that I really do love. It isn’t overly absorbent, but it is sooo thin. It works great during potty training when you are trying to catch an accident or when your child is wearing a very snug pair of pants. It is called a Bumkins All-in- One diaper.





Cloth Diapers

25 10 2007

I am going to be starting a series on cloth diapers. It will include which ones I love and don’t love so much, how to wash, tips and what accessories are the most important.

Dave and I have been cloth diapering for over 3 and 1/2 years and do so to be good stewards of our finances. With Dave in seminary and working part-time we needed to cut corners everyway we could! With diapers costing an average of 45-75 dollars a month (depending at what stage your baby is at) we knew we needed to do something and fast.

So I started spending hours at the computer researching cloth diapers. Diapers have come so far…what was an AIO, what was a fitted or a pocket? WOW, I had a lot of learning to do. And since I have more people call, email or ask me about diapers I thought it would be good to get it all in one place.

Here are some facts about cloth diapers:

The average parent will spend $2000 on disposable diapers from birth to potty training (average 3 years)

Over 80% of a disposable diaper is not biodegradable.

You no longer have to use pins with cloth diapers.

Cloth diapers are “daddy” friendly and can be easy to use!

Cloth diapered children potty train on the average 6 months sooner than disposable diapered children.

We have spent about $550 on cloth diapers in 3.5 years and 3 children later, making it about a 1/4 of what we would have spent on one child in 3 years!!!!!





Ready for Fall

21 10 2007

My kids have all their new clothes washed and hung up in the closet. I have put away all my maternity (:-)) and pulled out my fall clothes. I made my husband go through his clothes and get rid of things that don’t fit.

Now we are just waiting for some cooler weather. It is 85 degrees today and it is the middle of OCTOBER! What is going on? I am ready to rake leaves, bake pumpkin pie (everything is bought, just waiting), pick apples, make apple butter and play football without sweating to death.

Anyone else ready for some fall? This is one of my favorite times of year and I feel like it is passing by. I did hear that maybe on Tuesday it will cool off, but the weather forecasters have been telling us that for weeks.

Well, I will be ready when the time comes.





She Helps Me Enjoy More

18 10 2007

Gracelyn is such a joy to have as a daughter. She is sweet and very loving. One thing I have noticed with her is she helps me to enjoy baby Owen more. She is like a fist time mommy, taking joy in every mile-stone he has. Today she exclaimed “mommy, mommy, mommy…Look! He is grabbing his toes. He is so cute.”

She helps me to take notice of the little things and to soak up all the joys of being a parent. I am so thankful God has placed her in our home for us to care for her.





Goals

16 10 2007

I am happy to say that I have met one of my goals for this year and after meeting have made another goal.

You guys know I have struggled with my weight and with keeping my priorities in check these past few months. Now that I have my perspective correct (see spritual growth) I have met a goal. A goal to be able to run around with my kids and not get tired. This past weekend I ran my first 5K! I ran it in about 32 minutes. I am so excited! This meant a lot to me, not just because I was doing something I had set out to do, but because it was the Komen Breast Cancer run. On July 7th (the day Owen came home from the hospital) my Auntie Karen passed away from breast cancer. This also marks the 2 year anniversary of my Aunt Cindy being a survivor and of my mom’s double mastoamy (sp?). My family has been hit with a freight train these past few years. I know that I may never see a cure, but I wanted my curly hair, shoe loving little princess to live a life free from the fear of breast cancer.

Goals are interesting things. They push you to do something new and exciting. This goal pushed me to my limit; I had never run more than 2 minutes prior to training for the 5K! I have now set a goal to run the 6.25 mile race in the spring. I hope that God will give me the power and strength to do it. It pushes me mentally and physically. I totally give God the credit for me being able to finish the race; I am just not a good runner.

To all the woman who have had to face Breast Cancer, you are my Hero!