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Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Cloth Diaper Adventures

Catching Up 

I've been thinking about starting up blogging again for the last few months. As I dug out this old thing, I realized that I used to blog more than I remember, and I miss it. It was great to skim through my old posts and see who I used to be versus who I am now. I opened this blog because I'd like to share my latest in cloth diapering adventures, but since it's been 3 years, I'd like to do a little catching up.

I now have 2 children. My oldest, Bruce, is now 5. He'll start Kindergarten this August. My youngest, Bethany, turns 2 in May. I almost quit working to stay home with Bruce when he was born, but got promoted to Editor at work and decided it was worth it to stick around. When he was 18 months, I was working long hours and getting less and less happy with my job. I got a new job as a Content Strategist at Rackspace. I really loved that job until after Bethany was born. When she was 18 months old, I'd had enough, and I decided to stay home with the kids. With Bruce starting Kindergarten soon, my time for the stay at home mom experience was running out. I have been tempted here and there to get another job. I feel like I'm cheating the system. I can just live off my husband's job and stay home with the kids all day? That's amazing! It's not easy, and it's a lot of work, but they're my kids, and I love being with them.

Cloth Diapering

Cloth diapering began for me when I was pregnant with Bruce. I read a lot about cloth diapers, talked to moms who loved them, and bought a newborn prefold stash and one size all in ones plus the wet bags and diaper sprayer. I was ready to do this. Then when I decided to keep working, daycare didn't want to do cloth diapers, but I might have been able to talk them into doing the all in ones. That's not a deal breaker though. It doesn't have to be all or none. You can do cloth at home and disposable at daycare.

Bruce came into this world through an unplanned c-section at 3:49 a.m. after I was induced for pre-eclampsia 6 days after his due date. It was incredibly hard. Brad took on most of the diapers the first few days because I was recovering from surgery. Brad got very used to the Pampers the hospital gave us and didn't want to do cloth diapers. I used a few cloth diapers during maternity leave, but Brad really hated it. He thought cloth diapers were disgusting and I thought creating that much trash was terrible. At that point, my marriage mattered more to me than getting my way so I gave away all the cloth diaper supplies.

Now my second and last child is almost 2 and will be potty training soon. I don't want to rush her. Parenting isn't a race or a competition, but she'll probably be ready soon. Starting a few weeks ago, I couldn't stop thinking about cloth diapers. I tried to let it go, but I couldn't. Finally I brought it up to Brad and he said he won't stand in the way this time. Once again, I read all about the options, compared prices, and decided what I wanted to buy. I asked Brad one more time before I put my order in to make sure he was really ok with this, and he promised not to get in the way again. Cliiiiiiick! They came in Friday and were prepped (washed 5 times) and put to use starting Saturday.

Cloth Diapering Lessons Learned 4 days in:

1. The hardest part of cloth diapering isn't how to put a prefold on. It's poop. Some people love disposable liners and some people love diaper sprayers. I tried disposable liners, but I'm firmly in team diaper sprayer. Liners means managing diaper trash and diaper laundry. I'd rather just have diaper laundry, and I don't feel comfortable flushing those things. I soaked one in water for 24 hours and it didn't disintegrate at all. Let's not need a plumber to remove those from the pipes. Rinsing poop off of diapers is not fun, but neither is having stinky poop in your trash can.

2. You need more than 3 covers. You don't have to change the cover with every diaper change, but you do need to change it when she wets a lot first thing in the morning and if poop gets on it (probably every poop whether it gets on the cover or not because the smell lingers). I ordered 2 more to come today. Five should be good. It's also nice to have one in the diaper bag.

3. A medium (12.5 x 16 inches) wet bag isn't enough for 2 days worth of diapers. The goal is to wash every other day. I started with 2 medium wet bags to rotate, but needed large (17 x 21 inches). A good wet bag isn't cheap, but it's worth it to me. Wet bags were a big chunk of the expense of cloth diapering, but they contain everything and can be washed with the diapers. Some people just use plastic pails. Cloth diapers aren't as stinky as disposables because you rinse the poop off.

4. You can cut your finger with a Snappi. Brad learned this last night. Those plastic teeth can get you.

5. Prefolds are absolutely the right choice for me right now. All in ones cost more and you can't separate the covers from the absorbent part. I can wash my diapers in hotter water and use bleach on them if needed without hurting the covers. I also don't put the covers in the dryer ever. I hang the diapers to dry most of the time too, but can put them in the dryer if time is an issue. If you start with one size all in ones earlier, it's probably worth it. Since she's at the bottom of the large range, she's set until potty training.

6. Lanolin makes great diaper cream. It's sold as nipple cream for breastfeeding, but it's great to clear up or prevent a diaper rash and washes out of cloth diapers in hot water. I'm hoping I won't need cream much as cloth is gentler on her skin than disposables, but we'll see. Most diaper cream has petroleum as a base and is terrible for cloth diapers. I'm tempted to use coconut oil, but I suspect it would affect the absorbency and be harder to wash out than lanolin.

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