The Cloth Diaper Chonicles: Part Poo

Last weekend, I wrote about the cloth diaper experiment I was undertaking, in spite of my hesitations and easily turned stomach.  I figured they’d be a way for my family to save money, provided the diapers are purchased cheaply enough. So far, I’ve spent about $50 on a handful of diapers and inserts, concentrated laundry soap and a wet bag.

When we last left off, I was awaiting Owen’s first poopy cloth diaper. Because I breastfeed him exclusively, his No. 2 isn’t that noxious, but I was still surprised how well the cloth and insert absorbed the yellow-y goop. Again, way less gross than I’d anticipated! Woohoo!

Next up was my biggest fear of all: Washing the diapers.

Now, with a few loads under my belt, I have no idea what I was fearing. It’s seriously no problem at all. I just dumped out the wet bag into the washer without touching anything. I washed them one cycle in cold water to get out the stains, and then one in hot to sanitize them. Into the dryer they go, and they’re perfectly clean. Of course, we haven’t started solids yet. I’ve been told diaper liners and a diaper sprayer are helpful here, but I’m still factoring those additional costs.

I’ve also gone out into public with Owen wearing a cloth diaper, but because I was only out about an hour, I didn’t need to change it in public. I’m still reluctant about carrying around a wet bag of poo, so that adventure is yet to come.

We also haven’t tried a cloth diaper overnight, and I’m not sure I will. Unless I do so for your amusement.

I am discovering a few things:

It really doesn’t work that well to use disposable wipes with reusable diapers. While I usually tuck the used wipe into the used diaper and throw it all into my Diaper Champ, now I’m just left holding a poop-covered cloth with no where to put it. I think I’ll look into making my own reusable wipes. A friend once told me you can keep them a wipe warmer (which I got as a baby gift) with some water and essential oil.

The wet bag I bought can only hold about 5 diapers and inserts. That’s fine for now, because I only have four, and will work well for going out and about. But if I’m going to keep this up, I’m going to need to get more cloth diapers. Washing such a small load is wasteful. So, I think I’ll also need to get a diaper pail (a plain old lidded garbage can, probably) and some sort of liner for it, so I can let the laundry pile up a little. But again, that’s more money to invest, and less potential savings.

Finally, I’ve discovered there is waaaaayyyyy too much information out there about cloth diapers. There are so many brands and styles and accessories and techniques for washing/wearing/etc., it makes your head spin. I need to start applying some common sense and trying my own thing, rather than finding the “right” way to cloth diaper. I don’t think there is a “right” way.

That said, I would appreciate any tips from experienced CDers (acronyms are big in cloth diapers, I’ve learned). What’s worked for you? What was a colossal fail?

8 thoughts on “The Cloth Diaper Chonicles: Part Poo

  1. Welcome to cloth diapers! I’ve got 3 in cloth right now and I have to say, I never thought I’d *enjoy* diapers in any way, shape, or form- but here I am. I’m a total addict.

    For storage between washing I started with a pail and a pail liner but ended up ditching the pail because I’d toss dipes in there while the liner was in the wash and then I’d have to wash the pail and it just ended up being more trouble than it’s worth. Now I just have a drawstring wetbag/ pail liner that sits on the floor next to the washing machine. When it’s time to wash I just dump it all in.

    Good luck! http://www.theslackermom.com/2011/12/15/biggest-cloth-diaper-event-ever/

  2. I love cloth diapering!! My daughter is 9 months old and we have been using cloth diapers since she was just a few days old. We use mostly Bum Genius and Fuzzibunz pocket diapers (for day care) and Flips and inserts at home. I prefer snap closures because I have heard they don’t wear as quickly as velcro, and when baby gets older, they are harder for them to unfasten themselves. :) I have purchased some locally (Pout and Eco Chic), some used online, and most new from kellyscloset.com. Kellyscloset.com usually offers a great free diaper with a minimum purchase, plus you earn points and can eventually earn a reward gift card. I have also ordered several “seconds” of the Bum Genius from cottonbabies.com for much cheaper and I can’t even tell what is wrong with them.

    You’re right, the breastfeed poo is much easier to deal with, but I find that even with the solids it isn’t that bad. I thought it would be worse, actually. I would definitely recommend a diaper sprayer, it really cuts down on the amount of poo you will (and you will!) get on your hands. If you’re really grossed out, just get a set of dishwashing gloves to use. I’ll admit, my toilet has never been cleaner as I wipe it down each night after I clean the poo diapers from day care (otherwise I just clean them right away).

    Regarding carrying around dirty diapers… if you have a good wet bag (I use Planet Wise), the smell is totally contained. I even cloth diapered my daughter on a 10 day road trip to Utah and Colorado with no problem (we did stay in condos with washer/dryer in unit).

    Some washing tips… I prefer to hang dry my diapers. It saves on wear and tear and also helps the cost be even less since you aren’t running a load in the dryer. When it is not frozen outside, I hang them outside so the sun can wipe out any stains (it is magical!). I don’t have a clothes line, so I hang them on hangers and then on one of those rolling garment racks that just has one bar. That way I can roll it out on to the deck in the sun or around my living room to keep it out of the way. :)

    I tried cloth wipes in the beginning (actually just used baby wash cloths from Target and a yummy smelling baby wipe “solution” from Eco Chic), but fell out of the habit. I’ve considered trying again, but I never used a wipe warmer, just got a travel size spray bottle and sprayed one at a time. I have heard they can get musty when sitting wet in a warmer.

    The only other tip I can think of is to look into hemp inserts. Hemp is super absorbant (but it does need to be “prepped” to get the absorbancy – I just boiled the inserts for about 20 minutes). They are perfect for night time (I layer them under the regular insert) or other times of the day when baby tends to fill em up quicker (for mine, she holds it all night and has a super wet 1st diaper of the day – good for potty training, huh?!) :)

    You’re right, there is SO much information out there about cloth diapering, I sometimes think that people don’t even want to try because they are overwhelmed (or because they imagine touching poo and using pins and plastic pants). You’ll definitely learn what works best for you and everyone does it differently! You can feel free to e-mail me with any other specific questions you have! I love teaching people about the benefits of cloth diapering! :)

  3. I should also add that I have not noticed one bit of an increase on my water/electricity bill since having a baby in cloth diapers. :) I wash diapers about every 3 days, have an HE washer/dryer, and hang dry as I mentioned before.

  4. We’ve used cloth for six years now. They clean up well and as long as you’re keeping up on washing them, you always have a supply on hand. Using portable bags if you’re out – don’t worry about it. They do a good job keeping the smell in. We use a drizzle or two of Shaklee’s Basic G in the wash to help sanitize them in cold wash and line dry.

  5. Sherri, you are SO brave! I tried cloth diapers back in the Dark Ages with my now-30-year-old. I don’t think we even had the Internet back then, so I was just relying on the experience of the older females in my family circle. Cloth diapers back then were a pain in the butt. Yeah, there were liners, but mine were bottle-fed, and so their diapers were a colossal mess! And then my second drank nothing but iron-rich Isomel. Ew. When my first broke out with MAJOR diaper rash, I caved in and went back to disposable. I used those cloth diapers as burp towels from then on.

  6. Cloth Diapering gets easier with time and you are correct that there is no “right” way for everyone. Find what works for you. One recommendation is to get the diaper liners. They are not very expensive and save a great deal of trouble with the solid waste. Just remove and flush. Generally you begin to notice your baby’s poop patterns and only need to use the liner when you “sense’ that time is near. If you are concerned about going out in public or traveling with cloth diapers consider a hybrid diaper (Grovia makes some great ones). Hybrids can use either disposable inserts or reusable one. The Gorvia Bio Soakers are $19.95 for 50 but keep in mind that you wont need to use them that often if you only use them when you need to.

    Since you are just getting started, Use coupon code “purebaby” at http://www.pureandsimplebaby.com for 10% off. If I can be of any help you can also contact me via the contact info on the website.

    Enjoy and remember, it does get easier and it is cheaper even if the initial investment doesn’t seem so.

  7. Pingback: Tales of a Reluctant Cloth Diaperer: Chapter Pee | Forum Mom

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