Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Our First Leak

We had our first leak today. For the record it was a prefold in a Thirsties Duo Wrap with aplix (velcro). Kind of disappointed because it was in the front on my tummy sleeper.

I'm really starting to fall out of love with these Thirsties.

The wet came up and over the top of the cover and soaked the whole front of it. Sadly the prefold inside really wasn't all THAT wet...so I'm confused about how that happened, especially with Thirsties having the gathering at the front.

So now I am perplexed and confused, and scared to let him nap in a Thirsties. If I keep having these issues I might put the Thirsties up for sale and invest in more Flips - I'm just not that thrilled. They aren't fitting that well and he's dead smack on in size. I've had to let the whole rise out but he's on the smallest waist setting. I'm just not impressed. I'm really starting to believe there are better options out there.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Cloth Diapers 4 Days Later...

Okay - We are now 4 days into our cloth diapering journey. I now know that I made a few errors for long term cloth diapering, but am still immensely pleased with my overall choices.

Everything is still working swimmingly. We've now washed covers and changed our "covers" routine. We're now throwing them in with everything else since all but 1 is "authorized" for hot water and according to other moms it does just fine in hot water anyway. So for covers we washed with everything else and pulled them out after the last rinse and hung them up to dry overnight. First thing in the AM they were ready to rock and roll since it's been raining/snowing here for the past 3 days. Yes, that said snowing. Yes, I know it's May.

A few more lessons learned:

1. If you want to leave the house in cloth diapers, you need a small traveling wetbag for on the go. I ordered one on Friday when that dawned on me and we had to don a disposable to go to town. Ordered a PlanetWise Small WetBag from Cotton Babies for $9.50.

2. Cloth diapers are highly addictive. You're going to need a system to manage your expenditures vs. your budget. I know I might want more pocket diapers so I ordered a BumGenius 4.0 to try ($17.95 @ Cotton Babies). IF I like them I will order half a dozen to play with. If I don't, I'm going to wait to purchase anything else. Here's the deal - until I've made back the amount spent on diapers and covers, I'm not allowing myself to purchase more diapers. I do, however, have plans to purchase a few more items.

3. I'm short 1 more thing I need - a diaper sprayer. Do I NEED it? No. Will it pay for itself? Yes. So it's now on my "wishlist". I've decided if I'm going to invest in one, I want the best darn one I can find and the recently released FLO Diaper Sprayer from Swaddlebees/Blueberry is my pick. I'm allowing myself that, a Snappi, and one more PlanetWise Wet/Dry Bag as budget allows prior to meeting requirement #2. :)

4. I'm still loving this, but I can DEFINITELY see down the road that there will be times when I'm ready to throw in the towel. I had a talk with myself and for every $1 I save by using cloth after reimbursing myself for the cost of the diapers and covers I have purchased I will put that $1 towards something special for ME that I want. :) Looking forward to picking out my reward soon!

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Washing Cloth Diapers

Okay, I had a few friends ask what we're doing so I figured I'd post it here and stay with the "keeping everyone informed" thing. We're officially on Day 3 of cloth diapers. I'm not brave enough to be at full time yet, but I did have to wash almost all of my prefolds after yesterday so I feel like I've done a pretty good job. I left out 2 and only changed 4 diapers yesterday during the approximately 12 hours we've been cloth diapering in our home (from when I'm 100% conscious in the AM until I go to bed at night).

Here is what we have learned thus far:

1. Wetbags ROCK!!! Okay - I'm dead serious here!!! I'm in LOVE with my wetbag!!!
2. This is definitely long term doable.
3. I was changing WAY too often!! Apparently 2 hours (unless poopy!) is the beginning of my changing window, not the end. YAY for less changes!
4. Cloth diapers are addictive. I've already placed another order.

And MOST importantly 5. We FINALLY have a good use for that washer no one uses in the basement because it doesn't have all the fancy schmancy stuff the other one does. It's PERFECT for washing cloth diapers!!!

As of right now I'm favoring the Flips over the Thirsties. I'm not sure if I just have the rise set wrong on them, but they're really cutting into my little guy's thin thighs. It doesn't seem to bother him, but I'm reminded of that feeling when you take off a bra that's a bit too tight and you take it off and it's itchy and at the same time you feel so relieved. I don't like that feeling and I don't imagine he does either.

The Flips also have the advantage of their little flaps in the front and back. For trifolding prefolds that's PERFECT because it keeps the diaper in place which means I don't have to keep trying to adjust it while I'm trying to put it on a squirming infant. Definitely a perk. Kind of thinking maybe I should try a few other covers with that feature like AppleCheeks. Hmmm.....

So....first day of washing. I have studied washing routines like a madwoman prior to making this choice. If I'm putting something my child pooped on BACK on his rear you had better BET it needs to be CLEAN. After PILES of extensive research and worrying endlessly about my VERY hard water I settled on starting with this because it made the most sense and my mother decided it was a good idea...so that's what we went with. :) LOL

1. If poopy use a baby wipe to remove the poop on top. Yeah, I know - he's EBF and this is not "necessary" but I don't want yellow/orange diapers and I definitely felt better about step 2 when I'd done this first.

2. Swish in toilet - even if it's just urine. Again, NOT necessary but the bottom line is it makes ME feel better. And apparently a few people I know have had some problems with super acidic urine eating diapers...so a few seconds to swish is better than a trashed stash. :)

3. Ring out thoroughly and place in wetbag hanging on bathroom door. Rather than using a pail and pail liner I'm just using medium sized wetbags. This made WAY more sense to me than trying to fit a pail in my bathroom (so not happening) and gives me the chance to display my pretty wetbags because the one I have really is that cute!

4. On wash day bring the wetbag(s) downstairs. This is where that extra washer is coming in REALLY handy because I did my homework! Empty wetbag into washer, turn wetbag INSIDE OUT, throw wetbag into the washer, and run a full "extra large" load on cold without detergent. I washed 10 prefolds and my wetbag. Note, this does NOT look like a full load for a REASON!!! Why "extra large"? Because we want to rinse the SNOT out of everything icky in there to give the detergent the chance to do it's best work on what it really NEEDS to work on rather than cleaning stuff that's just going to get swished out anyway!

5. After the "extended rinse", add detergent and run a SMALL cycle on hot/cold. This is why no one uses this machine. It has "small" and "extra large" - useless for us most of the time but PERFECT for cloth diaper laundry! For the record, it's "small" fills the basin ALMOST to halfway, so it's really a "1/2 load". Cutting the wash cycle to a 1/2 load size was recommended by a few websites and the more I thought about it, the more it made sense so I figured we'll start with this.

6. Do one more "just rinse and spin" on cold but turn the knob back to "extra large". Maximum amount of rinsing is good. Get that detergent which is SO often the stinky guilty party OUT!

7. Transfer prefolds to the dryer and hang wetbag inside out to dry. Last time it took 1 1/2 cycles on the dryer to get the prefolds completely dry just for reference. As they continue to fluff up I'm completely expecting it to take 2 full cycles to get them all the way there.

Now to talk covers.

I don't have to wash any yet!! LOL Each cover has only been used twice and only one would need a washing. Each time I take them off I wipe off with a disposable wipe (since I don't have non-disposables yet) and that freshens them and gets them ready for their next run. Then I hang them up to air out and every single one (except the one that got poopy) smells sweet and looks perfectly clean. I plan to wash them specially the next time I do laundry. I've read that hot washes can damage the PUL on covers and since they aren't absorbent it made sense to me to wash those in cold rather than hot. I'm also reading that TPU covers/pockets should never be washed above warm to protect them but other cding mommies are telling me that's total bunk. So now I'm debating what temp to wash them at. I'm accepting kind guidance below. :)

So, for the record, we've made it through 2 whole days (and are on our third). I have one dirty cover and 4 "clean" ones (for those wondering, my dirty cover was a Thirsties - both of them seem slightly less good at holding the mess directly ON the prefold vs. the Flips...I'll let you know if this trend continues since I find it noteworthy). I have survived washing my first cloth diapers and they came out beautifully.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Our First Day of Cloth Diapers!

As our family has grown we decided to take a journey down the road of cloth diapering. After MUCH research and tons of bugging friends we settled on beginning with slightly more than the "bare basics". Our journey began yesterday when the diapers began to arrive and I have to say I wanted to write this up to share with all of you how we began this road we hope to travel until our newest addition is potty trained and for any future children.

We chose to wait on cloth diapering until our son was big enough to fit in "one size" diapers. I'm pleased with this choice even after beginning our journey. Our family's decision to cloth diaper was driven primarily by price, not "being green" or being fashionable so the $250+ investment in cloth diapers for a newborn that would have only fit until maybe 2 weeks from now would have been ridiculous vs. the $50 we have spent TOTAL on disposable diapers for his first 4 weeks of life.

Our journey begins on the day after his one month birthday.

The beginning "I want to try this but don't want to waste my $$" stash is:

3 Flip Covers: $27.90 @ Cotton Babies (on a buy 2, get 1 free sale) - 2 snap, 1 aplix
2 Thirsties Covers (size 1): $25.10 @ Amazon (supporting FOV!) - 1 snap, 1 aplix
12 Osocozy Better Fit Prefolds (infant): $27.99 @ Sweet Bottoms Baby
1 Kawaii Snazzy Minky: $10.25 @ Sweet Bottoms Baby
1 Planetwise Wet/Dry Bag: $21.00 @ Amazon
1 Rockin' Green Hard Rock 45/90 Load Bag: $16.80 @ Amazon

Total Shipping Cost: $0.00 :)

Total Cloth Diaper Investment: $129.04

Please note if you're using this blog to research cloth diapers (apparently far into the future because this is the only post right now! LOL) this is NOT enough to diaper full time. We are planning to diaper part time while we figure out what we like before we purchase the rest of our stash. Initially we had planned on doing the trial from Jillian's Drawers. However losing $20 of deposit and getting some diapers we weren't interested in trying didn't seem wise for OUR needs. We would have still needed to purchase cloth diaper detergent (due to extremely hard water where we live) and at least one wetbag so the total cost to try would have been $192.34 and would have been out $57.80 if we decided cloth diapering wasn't for us. This just made more sense and since I have friends using everything I have listed here I can pass it on to someone I know will use it if we decide this isn't for us.

Now let's talk diaper prepping. If you're new to this you may not know that cloth diapers need to be prepped. I chose to prep the prefolds using the "boiling" method. The dozen prefolds were done in 2 "loads" in my pressure cooker pot I use for canning. I used the same water for all of them and boiled for 30 minutes. Then I threw them in the washer and ran a rinse cycle. Then I added all the covers and Kawaii inserts and ran a wash cycle on warm. Then I pulled out the covers and pocket diaper and put them in the dryer on hot (to "seal" any mini holes) while I ran the prefolds and inserts on another cold rinse. Once the rinse was done I took out the covers and pocket and put in the prefolds and inserts to the dryer and dried for 2 cycles. I hung the covers and pocket to finish drying while the others were in the dryer. Voila - prepped diapers! (all were wonderfully absorbent and performed well when used.)

Okay - that disclaimer aside, let's get down to the meat and potatoes of how today went.

Our son, as of today, is approximately 10 lbs and 22 inches long. He's 1 month old.

Our FIRST foray was a Flip with snaps stuffed with an Osocozy BF Prefold.

We did 3 of these back to back. Here is what I learned:

1. Set up your covers with prefolds ready to rock and roll in advance to make diaper changes fly by. A squirming screaming 1 month old is NOT fun to try and corral - hence the one sock, we'd dunked the missing one in a messy diaper! :)

2. If you have leftover disposable diaper wipes, they're excellent for wiping out the covers and giving them a nice "scent" after they've been used but are still able to go another few rounds.

3. Hang covers to dry and air out after use. Don't plan on reusing the same cover right away to avoid stench.

4. Set a timer. If you're new to cloth diapers, set it for 1 hour until you know how long your baby can wait between diaper changes so you don't end up with unnecessary unpleasant surprises.

5. Preset multi-setting covers to the right size. Not something you want to be attempting either!

6. Leave velcro attached to laundry tabs until you're going to put it on the baby to prevent snagging your prefolds or covers.

The good news is I did all of this in advance! :) I can say after going through 6 cloth diapers today changing roughly every 1 1/2 to 2 hours we have not had a single leak or blowout despite having an EBF baby! :) I'm so pleased by this there aren't words!!!! Not a single problem with the Flips with a prefold. I'm thrilled - really! When putting on the 4th diaper of the day I honestly had the thought of "I can DO this!!!" That's pretty impressive for someone with post-partum depression. :)

And now for the Thirsties:

Worked just as wonderfully and despite the purple protesting baby looked MUCH better on. That said this cover was just as functional but will not fit above 18 lbs. - a definite consideration.

Overall I'm pleased with how the experiment went. No leaks, no blowouts, and it was VERY easy to just swish the diapers ad toss in the wetbag. For day 1 and 6 changes I feel like we did awesome!!!!