Saturday, January 7, 2012

Cloth Diaper School: Use and Maintenance of Diapers

Welcome back!
This post will be a little easier to write than the first or the third.
It's about the "how" instead of the "what."

First, here's a little tour of our diaper area, and then I'll post a few up close pictures of what I mentioned on the movie.

Above, the orange bag is one of our two diaper pail liners.  
I also show one of our wet bags.  Our diaper pail liners and our wet bags are Planet Wise brand, although I bought them from a retail shop on eBay.  

Our wipe warmer and cloth wipes (microfiber towels found in an automotive department that I got on free rebate.)

Bac-Out, the only chemical we use on our diapers (and we actually only use it on the soiled ones in the winter time.)  I also use home-made lotion and always apply some to Million's legs and tummy (his dry skin areas) during a diaper change.  We also use hand sterilizer even though we wash hands.  We're a little parasite-phobic at the moment, because we saw what parasites can do (even though it's all resolved.)  

Just two last pictures of the diaper pail and our whole changing table area. 

In the video above, I promised I'd include our wipe solution recipe.

Here is a link to a bunch of wipe solution recipes.  I currently use something between the lanolin & glycerin and "no measuring" recipes.  

Now to the nitty gritty details.

What do you do with the diapers when they're messy?
Option A) Just urine in the diaper.
I take the liners out, and put the liners and the pocket diaper or AIO  in the diaper pail.  Simple.

Option B) Stool in the diaper. 
Michael and I do this differently.  It doesn't really matter the order.  I take the liners out first, Michael takes them out last.  In any case, take the liners out when you put the diaper in the pail because you don't want to be un-lining the diapers at the washing machine.  Gross.  The aim is to not touch the diapers at all after you put them in the diaper pail.  

So back to the poopy diaper.  (That's a transition I doubt I'll ever use again.)  I bring it to the bathroom, spray off the stool (video below with no actual stool, since I didn't want you to lose your lunch), bring it back to the changing table, in the winter I spray Bac-Out on the cover where the stool was touching (to prevent bacteria and odor buildup), and then put it in the diaper pail.  If we're out in public we do have to end up swishing a diaper in the toilet, but it's fairly rare that we do this, maybe three times a month.

This is a really poor quality movie, taken during Million's bath-time so I couldn't zoom out, and you can see some of our post-Christmas chaos in this one.  

How do you wash your diapers?
Okay, so you've got the diapers in your diaper pail in a diaper pail liner that is washable.
Michael's here to tell you how to wash them.

But in case you don't catch it, details are  below.

We use a cloth-diaper (and eco-friendly) laundry detergent called "Country Save"---which you can purchase on amazon or some good food stores.

We wash one time on a cold setting.
Then we wash one time on a hot setting with a second rinse.
The total washing time, for our washer, is 2 hours, 10 minutes.
We air dry everything in the spring, summer, and fall.
We air-dry on a drying rack the AIO's, the pocket diaper covers, the wet bags, and the diaper pail liners in the winter.  We use our clothes dryer for the wipes and liners during winter months.

Two things about washing and drying that I have to note here, because there is really no other good place to put them.

  • Line drying really does bleach out diaper stains.  They look brand new after each drying (although you notice from the picture I dry them with the stain side upward so as not to sun-bleach the colored part of the fabric.) I am so looking forward to spring for that reason.  It also prevents any bacteria. (Why we use the Bac-Out in the winter.) 
  • If you choose to cloth diaper, really consider your laundry soaps.  Many common laundry soaps have softeners, scents, or coloring chemicals added, which will cause buildup in your diapers and make them less effective (read: leaky).  Same goes for diaper rash cream, although we've never had to use any with cloth diapers.  (I've heard that coconut oil works well as a diaper rash cream, and that would be cloth-diaper friendly.)  Cloth diaper laundry-appropriate laundry soap isn't that much more expensive, and like you saw in the video, you really don't use all that much of it. 

How many diapers should I have?
How often do you want to do laundry?
Those questions are linked.  I didn't want to be doing laundry every day, but I knew that doing it less than every other day could cause bacterial buildup.  So I settled on an every-other day regimen. That meant I needed diapers enough for two days.  Million came home at 16 months of age, so I really don't know that much of infant "statistics", although many websites say they go through 8 to 12 diapers a day.  Million's gone through anywhere between 7 to 12 diapers a day (the 12 was on some really bad days.)  He averages about 6 now.  (He's going to hate me for this some day...)  We started purchasing diapers before we knew if we were going to have one or two children, so we are ALWAYS the wrong people to ask this question, as we have, I think 42 diapers.
All of the cloth diapering websites that I know of say that you should have 12 to 36 diapers on average, for one child.

We'll see you back here later today for details about finances/how to choose a diaper.

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