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What you MUST know about . . . Cloth Diapers (Part I)

July 22, 2010

You’ll have so many questions when you start thinking about choosing whether or not to use cloth diapers. I’m going to post a few comments and questions I’ve heard surrounding the use of CD’s and address them. I’ll get thru as many of them as I can today and then we’ll work thru more tomorrow and in future posts. I’ve got a lot on my plate today and over the weekend – County Fair this evening and going to our Annual Family Gathering for the weekend. It’s not your typical family reunion . . . we all LOVE being together and have a total blast – even if it is hotter than blue blazes! Anyways, I promise I will get to all your questions (soon). If you have questions that need to be answered NOW, head over to the pureMotherhood Facebook page. There are other moms on there who also cloth diaper and would be happy to share their knowledge. You can post on the wall or in the discussions tab. Don’t forget to *like* us while you’re over there!

Cloth diapers can be expensive (in the short-term) and I don’t want to choose the wrong kind.

You do not have to buy all of one kind right away, in fact, I’d recommend NOT buying a bunch of one kind of diaper to start. You may LOVE what other’s hate (and vice versa). You certainly don’t want to buy $300 worth of diapers you end up not using. What are you going to do then? Tell hubby you need another $300 so you can buy diapers you think you will like better? Use disposables and see $300 staring at you ever day and say goodbye to another $50 (or more) a month? If you want to use prefolds and covers, I say DIVE IN. The initial investment is minimal. I do not suggest diving in if you want to use diapers that cost $10-$30 each (yes, there are diapers that cost $30 and more out there – there’s a market for everything). So, what are your options? Many sites offer trial or sample packages. You can buy a wide assortment of used diapers (see sites below). Or you can buy one or two of the diapers you think you’ll like and then sell the ones you decide against over at Diaperswappers. Maybe you’ll get lucky and have a friend who wants to loan you some to try out. (If any of my local friends wants to try out prefolds and covers, I have some in sizes we don’t use that I’d be happy to share for a bit.)

What sites offer a Trial or Sample Package?

This is not an all-encompassing list but it’s a start. These are all sites with good reputations and/or I’ve bought from them myself. (If you’ve had a good experience with a trial or sample package, please post a comment on this post.)

Where can I get used diapers?

Again, not an exhaustive list. I’ve only purchased used diapers off of Diaperswappers but wouldn’t have any problem purchasing them elsewhere if needed.

How do I clean them?

It’s simpler (and less gross) than you probably think. First, if you exclusively breastfeed for the first six months (as recommended) then all you do is toss the diapers right into your washing machine, poo and all. Breastfed baby poop is water-soluble. You do a cold rinse, a hot wash and an additional cold rinse. Throw them in the dryer. That’s it. It’s a sanitary process. You don’t need to disinfect your washing machine after you wash poopy diapers and before you throw in your clothes. I swear. We’ve been washing poopy diapers this way for over 2 years now and no one has gotten sick from poop and I don’t find it in my washing machine. It gets a *bit* trickier when they start eating solid foods. You get poop that’s a little more solid and not water-soluble so you need to get the poop (or most of it) off the diaper before you wash it. I shake off what I can into the toilet, then dunk the diaper if necessary. Some people swear by a Diaper Sprayer. We don’t have one. It would probably be nice but I’m not so sure having a sprayer attached to a toilet is the best idea when you have an almost 3-year-old in the house. I can only imagine the mess.

A little explanation on the wash routine. The first cold rinse helps to get any stains out. You can let them soak in the cold water too, if you’d like. The hot wash helps to activate your detergent. Check out Pinstripes & Polkadots for a good comparison of detergents. Whatever you use, don’t use very much. I use Free & Clear detergents because my kiddos have super-sensitive skin and only fill mine half way to the ‘1’ line in the cup. The extra cold rinse helps to make sure you’re getting all the soap out. You don’t want soap to build up on your diapers because it can make them less absorbent and cause skin irritation. You can line dry your diapers if you want but the dryer is fine. Line drying can help remove stains and odors. It can also prolong the life of the elastic in your diapers. Eventually you’ll have a routine that works good for you. We have incredibly hard water so I throw in a bit of bleach every once in a while and vinegar here and there.

Darn, that’s all I have time for today! I’m not sure you’ll hear from me again about cloth diapers until next week. You will see posts from me over the weekend, just not about cloth diapers. We’re going to talk about VBAC’s (vaginal birth after cesarean). If you know anyone who would benefit from VBAC information, point them my direction!

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