So the LAST thing I thought I'd do when I had a baby was cloth diapering! Cloth diapers!!??? ARE YOU KIDDING ME? Cleaning messy baby poop off myself, all the extra laundry and what about traveling? And who knew what they even entailed-diaper pins and rubber pants was all that I could remember of cloth diapers back in my baby days.
But then, THEN I started researching the costs of cloth vs. disposables and found that cloth diapering is waaaay cheaper. And THEN I saw how CUTE the new cloth diapers are and how easy they looked to use, (along with the wonderful world of matching diapers to outfits!) And THEN, I noticed how my friend's baby didn't have any diaper rash using cloth while my poor little guy's bum was always red and irritated. And not to mention they haven't leaked once on me! And of course there's the Earth issue. Who can forget about the EARTH!!!???? I sure can't. I've been trying to go green ever since I saw how cute Reese Witherspoon looked in US Weekly carrying her canvas bag with the green peace sign to the supermarket. So posh. Oh and the Whole Foods bag that Sheryl Crow designed-yeah I got that one too. Most of my household cleaning products are earth-friendly...ect. you get the idea. So why not give it a whirl? I knew I'd have a better conscience knowing I wasn't one of the people contributing to the estimated 27 BILLION disposable diapers being put in our landfills here in the U.S., which by the way we have no idea how LONG they take to decompose. So instead of being drowned in a black hole by millions of diapers full of baby poop, I chose cloth.
The best website I've found so far for cloth diapers of all kinds, the "creme de la creme", is called Kellys Closet. Kelly also writes an entire blog devoted to her love of cloth diapers! An entire BLOG???? When I first came across this I think I almost choked on the carrot I was chomping, "How can you devote an entire blog to cloth diapers and WHO in their right mind would read such a thing???!!!!!" Well, aaahhh-hem, I just happened to check it out and became hooked. There's good advice for caring for your diapers, weekly giveaways, stories of closet cloth diaper freaks who choose their entire baby's outfit depending on which colors of cloth diapers are available that day....it's hilarious! I never knew there could be such a love, such a cloth diaper cult in our society. Oh but it's there. For some moms they even seem to be a status symbol. Designer patterns...oh my!
So here's a quick tutorial of MY cloth diaper pickings and how I care for them. I chose the Bum Genius One Size Cloth diaper. It fits babies from 8lbs up to 35 lbs! It adjusts through snaps and secures itself with velcro. There is a pocket where you stuff the insert liner which absorbs the moisture. These awesome diapers have never leaked once and keep Aiden's little tushie completely rash free. They also keep moisture away from baby's skin and come in a wide variety of colors. Apparently they are the best because the Cloth Diaper Whisperer said so in one of her postings so now I have confirmation from the best critic!
My laundry routine is not that much more work either. I thought I'd be doing loads and loads of extra laundry each day. As if I do not have enough as it is with a new baby! But really it works out to two extra loads a week and to me that's not bad considering all the benefits that cloth bring to the changing table :)
So as I continued my research on cloth diaper care and found out a few helpful hints:
1) First, the best soap to use is Charlie's Soap. It gently and effectively removes all the yucky stuff leaving diapers soft and fresh without all the harsh chemicals and waxy buildup that most other detergents can leave. Most other detergents are not good to use on cloth diapers because they leave a waxy buildup over time which can clog the "pores" of the diaper which prevent them from absorbing moisture over time and may cause them to leak as a result.
2) Washing-First cold cycle with a half teaspoon of Charlie's Soap, then hot cycle with another half teaspoon of the soap. Line dry the diaper and put the inserts in the dryer if you wish but the best way to dry them is on the line. The sun happens to be the best disinfectant and stain remover around!
3) Get a Planet Wise diaper pail liner which is made from the same material as the diapers so it will hold all moisture in and keep odors at bay. Use this to store the dirty diapers in until they are ready to be thrown in the wash.
There you have it! My shortened cloth diaper story! More to come as questions arise :) I am now a converted cloth diaper hippie. And my baby hippie has the happiest heiney on the block! :)