Monday, November 21, 2011

All About Cloth Diapering!

Hi, it's Brooke from Brookiellen Designs! My dear friend Aubrey has asked me to write up a little post describing my personal experience with cloth diapers, and so here it is!! Chock full of information, I didn't want to leave anything out. If you have any other questions, just leave a comment and I will do my best to respond! 

When I made the choice to cloth diaper my first son a little over three years ago, I was met with funny faces, rude comments, disbelief that I would actually be able to do it, and just overall negativity. It's kind of funny how it turned out, because as you know I am now selling my own diaper covers- and it all started because I decided to cloth diaper Cash! 

Fast forward to now, and I can tell you that MOST of my mommy friends are cloth diapering- the number seems to be rising with every new baby born! 

Let me just start by saying, it is NOT hard to do. Most people think it requires just too much effort. It requires about as much effort as doing regular laundry. And for me, the benefits (no chemicals, no heaping piles of trash, no blowouts, etc) make that little bit of extra effort completely worth it. It is also ridiculously cheaper than disposables- especially when you have multiple kids!! People also complain that it is just gross. How is it grosser than throwing out thousands of stinky, dirty diapers into your trash to go to a landfill to decompose for 500 years? Also, the gross factor definitely goes down when you have one of these babies...but more on that later! 

There are several types of cloth diapers out there on the market today, but I'm going to talk about what I use the most: pocket diapers and of course, prefolds or fitteds with a cover. For information on other types of diapers, check out Simple Organic, specifically this post.

Pocket diapers are made of two layers, the waterproof layer & a suede cloth (or similar fabric) layer. The inner layer wicks the moisture away into the insert that is stuffed in between the layers. And the waterproof layer keeps everything inside the diaper. This is a pocket diaper I made for West:

pocket2



While I do love the pocket diapers, my absolute favorite diaper is a prefold or fitted diaper with a fun waterproof cover.  This is what got me hooked on cloth diapering from the start and it is by far the cheapest way to cloth diaper your baby!!  The prefold diaper is a rectangle that you have to fold on to your baby and either use pins or a snappi to keep it secure (the one pictured has a snappi).


from simpleorganic.net
image is from simpleorganic.net

You can also just fold it so that it is one long rectangle (called Trifolding) and lay it into your diaper cover. Personally, I wouldn't recommend using the kind of prefolds you can get at Target or Walmart or BabiesRus- they should not even be called cloth diapers. The Chinese, Indian or Diaper Service Quality prefolds are the absolute best. The difference in absorbance is huge!! 
The fitted diaper is contoured around the legs and sometimes the back waist, and can be secured with pins, snappis, or some even come with snap or velcro closures. Here is a fitted diaper I made for West:
fitteddipe
We mostly use fitteds around here now because my son is unbelievably hard to change. A great thing about prefolds? You can easily convert them into fitteds- I did!! 

 Finally, you need a cover to keep everything inside that prefold or fitted diaper. And it would help if the cover was super cute right?
mixtape2


This is how I got started making covers. The package I had purchased only came with the bare minimum of covers, so unless I wanted to wash them every other day, I needed to get a few more. But I just couldn't find what I was looking for in prints...so I decided to try to make some. This was my first one:
firstcover


There are tons of other different cover options out there as well, such as fleece and wool. I haven't really used fleece, but the wool does work- one of my dearest friends made this amazing wool soaker for me when Cash was born:
cashsoaker1



Ok so now that I've talked about WHAT I use, here is my cloth diapering "routine:" 

 1. Change baby's diaper. Pee diapers go right into the wetbag, but if there is any solid poop, I use my AMAZING diaper sprayer to clean it off in the toilet. I never used a sprayer while diapering Cash and I seriously don't know why!!! It is so worth the $$, plus you can also use it as a bidet or to clean off your doggies in the tub! 

 2. Put everything, including fabric wipes if you use them, into a hanging wetbag such as this one made by yours truly! Mine is attached to the towel rack in our bathroom. 

 3. When the bag is full (I have a couple of bags, so I usually do diaper laundry every 3 days or so), take it down to the washer and dump everything in, INCLUDING your wetbag. For most pocket diapers, you have to remove the inserts from the shell so they get clean. But you can wash everything together-covers, inserts, prefolds and fitted diapers. 

 4. I wash my diapers in two cycles. The first cycle is a cold/cold cycle with no detergent. 

 5. The second cycle is a hot/cold cycle WITH detergent. I use homemade detergent, but there are a ton of cloth diaper safe detergents on the market. The key is finding something that has no fabric softener (ruins the fibers of the diapers, making them less absorbent) and something that gets your diapers super clean. We have used Rockin Green Soap in the past, as well as All Free and Clear and Arm & Hammer Essentials Free. The homemade detergent works best for us though. You can do a google search for homemade laundry detergent recipes- there are so many out there!! 

 6. When the second cycle is finished, take out your covers, pocket diaper shells and wet bags and hang them to dry. When the weather is nice I put EVERYTHING out on the line (the sun does wonders for stains!), but when it is too cold or rainy, I have a drying rack in my laundry room where I hang my covers, wetbags, & pocket shells. 

 7. Put all of your inserts, diapers and wipes into the dryer and dry on high heat (or if it is nice out and you have a line, you can hang them to dry). 

 8. You are all done! Time to put them away and start using them again! 

It really is not hard to get started. With all of the amazing products out there today, you are sure to find something that fits your needs. And like I said, this is just my personal method- you can tailor it to fit your needs. The best thing about this is that there is NO set way, you just do it and along the way, figure out what is best for you. I hope I've been helpful to first time cloth diaperers, or those who are contemplating it. If you have ANY questions at all, leave a comment here or you can email me at brookiellendesigns@gmail.com.

1 comment:

Wholesale baby clothing said...

Really the baby cloth design i have like. Every cloth most comfortable to fit the baby body!

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