4.22.2013

Lazy Moms Guide to Cloth Diapering

In honor of Earth Day I wanted to share with you all my cloth diapering routine. I would call it semi, or part-time cloth diapering, as we still use disposables for overnight and if we are out of the house for very long. I have convinced myself that even though I'm too lazy to cloth diaper full-time, I'm still saving a little bit of the planet, and saving a lot of my money!
Fat babies in cloth diapers are the cutest.
When I was first considering cloth diapering, I was scared. I think we can all agree that it sounds pretty gross, right? But after seeing how many diapers we went through with Lincoln, and really wanting to go green/save $$, I did A LOT of research and decided to at least give it a try.
I really liked the look and benefits of the bumGenius line, but wasn't a fan of the price. As Richard can attest, I have a tendency to be ALL about something, only to be completely over it seconds later. So I knew I needed to start with something that wouldn't be so expensive that I would be feeling uber guilty if I gave up after a week.
All those snaps make these diapers a breeze!
Econobum is by CottonBabies, the same company that makes bumGenuis, and they are a really inexpensive way to cloth diaper  A full kit that includes 3 waterproof one-size covers and 12 cotton pre-folds is only $48.95. And that, my friends, is all I have ever bought. When I initially bought the kit, I figured I would upgrade to one of the fancier, colorful styles once I made the commitment. But then I realized it's a diaper. It goes under my babies clothes and holds poop. Why the heck would it need to be cute? One bumGenius diaper can range from $18-$25. So I think I'll stick with my $50 12-pack, thanks. I bought this kit before Brooks was born, and now he is almost a year old. The covers have no stains and the pre-folds are still in great condition.
Storage: covers, folded inserts, roll of liners, wipes, and disposables for when I'm lazy :)
And these really are so easy. It takes no longer to lay a pre-fold in the cover and snap it closed than it does to put on a disposable. But that's not really the issue, is it? The issue is dealing with the shit. How can anything be easier than wrapping all that mess up in the diaper and flipping it into the trusty diaper genie?? I'm not gonna lie, it's a little more work than that. But not much.
I made one other purchase to complete my cloth diapering routine. I use Bummis Bio-Soft Flushable Liners, which you can get for $8 for a roll of 100 liners. These super soft liners come on a perforated roll, so you just tear one off and lay it on top of your pre-fold when you change your baby. Brook's is on such a regular schedule that I don't even use one every time, just on the diapers that I know he will probably poop in. The liners let the pee go through, and capture the poo, so you can just lift it out and throw the liner in the toilet. No touching the mess, no spraying or soaking diapers. Other than that, I throw the wet pre-folds in a diaper pail with a mesh laundry bag, and when it's time to wash I throw everything, including the bag, into the wash. I use one cover for the entire day unless it gets dirty, and usually do a load of diapers every other night.
layer it: cover, pre-fold, liner. 
bag o' diapers
 There are a few specific instructions for washing the cloth diapers. First, they need to be rinsed in cold water. I can set my washer on the extra small load setting, and do the rinse. Once they have been rinsed, I sometimes add a load of towels or whatever else I have in with them. You'll want to wash them on hot, then rinse them again on cold, with an extra rinse at the end. I use my normal detergent, which I make at home with Borax, washing soda, and Fels-Naptha laundry soap. You can use your normal detergent, as long as it doesn't irritate your babies skin. But don't use fabric softener  as it makes the pre-folds less absorbent. After that I dry them on the gentle cycle or let them air dry, depending on how soon I need one!
Pre-folds need to be washed 3x in hot water with detergent to make the super absorbent. It's like one of those  sponge toys that grow when you put them in water!
Notes:
If I was going to cloth diaper full-time, or didn't want to have to wash diapers as often, I would probably order another full kit. This would give me 6 covers and 24 pre-folds, and still be less than $100.
$50-$100 diapers to diaper your child from birth to potty training???? If your wanting to save money, the choice is obvious. These diapers have snaps instead of velcro, so they won't wear out. And they have plenty of size options, so they should fit the smallest to fattest of babes. Have you seen my chunk? And he's not even on the biggest setting yet.
Hope this helps make your decision to cloth diaper a little easier! It's really not as scary as it sounds:)

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6 comments:

Reduce, Reuse, Renewed said...

We cloth diapered, too, with prefolds. The mesh bag idea is great! I never thought of that. The worst part was emptying the diaper pail by hand, the bag would simplify things!

Jen B said...

we love our cloth diapers! we got a set of 12 as a shower gift before my first daughter was born (gifts are the way to go...) and i've added a few here and there as they've gone on sale or a certain pattern/color has been discontinued.

I also make my own laundry detergent- probably the same recipe :)

Ashley said...

I'm also a part time cloth diaper momma because I wasn't sure if I would like them, but I'm getting ready to increase my stash, so I will def look into the ones you mentioned! I'm happy to see that I'm not the only mom who adds more clothes after the first rinse cycle and uses home made laundry soap (same recipe btw)! All the other posts I have read say that they wash them separately and that you have to purchase special cloth diaper laundry soap.

Huckleberry Love said...

I'm a lazy cloth diaperer, too. Except we use gDiapers. I really like them and try to use them as much as possible!

Thanks for sharing with us at Much Ado About Monday. We hope to see you back next week!

Have a great weekend. :)
~Emily
www.huckleberrylove.com

Alex said...

Interesting reading! I'm 37 weeks pregnant with my second child and still scared about jumping into cloth nappies so it's interesting to read about your experiences! I've actually written about cloth nappies this week..

Found you via The Friday Baby Shower :) x

Mums make lists said...

Fab tips - do wish I'd done it at least part time like you.

Thanks so much for sharing at the Friday Baby Shower, Alice x