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I have this amazing friend, who does amazing things. Read on to meet her, laugh at her stories, and learn all about….cloth diapers!

My awesome, crafty, godly, and super fun friend Elesea asked me if I
would like to
do a guest post on her blog. DUH! Of course I said yes, but due to new baby
and lack of brain cell function as a result of misfiring synapses
(something to do with lack of sleep perhaps…?), I am now writing it about 5
months after she asked me….yikes.

Before I actually talk about my topic, I have to say it took me awhile to
decide on what to talk about. At first I wanted to do something really deep
and meaningful. After failing miserably to think of something good, I
decided to write about something that currently is a big part of my life
right now. Take a guess! No, not a baby….but close. CLOTH DIAPERS!

Now before you click away from Elesea’s fantastically spiritual,
entertaining, and crafty blog, saying “I can’t believe she let that post go
up!”–hear me out. I used to be a cloth diaper atheist myself-too much
work, too much time and energy, and not to mention–wait, am I allowed to
say poop on here?!?–well, I am going to say it: poop. There. Done.

I am going to walk you through my cloth diaper experience thus far. I have
been using cloth diapers for 6 months now. I don’t think there is a right
kind of diaper or right way to cloth diaper, but there are tips that are
helpful and I want to offer truth to all who want to know how I have
figured out what works best for us. I will not make things up like, “Yeah!
Baby poop is not gross at all!” or “I can’t wait to get home from work to
wash diapers!” I am going to be honest about every detail.

First, a brief review.  I have only tried one kind of cloth diaper, so I
can only review the one: BubbuBibbi, One Size Pocket Diapers.
http://www.bububibi.com/store/packages/bamboo-cloth-diapers-original-solid-color
-2.0-packages/They

are the cheapest, high quality one-size diaper around. They are made
of organic cotton and bamboo. They are wonderfully soft, wash very well,
and are extremely adjustable. I didn’t have William wear them until 5 weeks
old mainly because 1. we had disposable diapers from showers and 2. I
didn’t feel like doing laundry on maternity leave.

Oh maternity leave—how wonderful you were….

Sorry, back to diapers.

William was a pretty skinny guy when he came out so pee leaked a few times
at first. The poop never leaked-go figure! But once he hit 8.5ish lbs, he
plumped up a bit so the leg holes were snugger and it wasn’t a consistent
problem anymore.  I have only had poop leak out of the cloth diapers about
four times total, whereas I have had him in regular diapers very rarely and
have had at least that many if not more leaks. These are also great because
he can wear these until he potty trains—they are so adjustable!

Step one

Retrieve your diaper receptacle. I use a simply plastic tub with a snap
lid. It is not fancy, expensive, or extra-sealed. It was $6 at the dollar
store. It keeps odors in and works great.

Did I mention we got our washer and dryer for $75? Seminary budget score.

Step Two

Take the inserts out of the diapers. You should do this to ensure
everything gets washed thoroughly. You do not have to pre-rinse your
diapers—some like to rinse when the little one starts eating solid foods,
though I still don’t have to because it now just dumps easily into the
toilet, even without this snazzy guy:

http://www.cottonbabies.com/product_info.php?products_id=1228

Step Three

Throw diapers in the washer and do a rinse cycle on COLD. The reason to do
the first two cycles on cold is because warm water sets stains in (remember
those fun tie-dye projects back in third grade? Yep, your teacher used warm
water).

Look at this……are you ready???

Oh my gosh! Look at all the….wait, what? No grossness in my washer? Well,
that is surprising! Most people are turned off by poop in their washer. I
completely understand this, but as you can see it is not a problem, I
promise.

Step Four

Wash a regular cycle on cold with your laundry detergent of choice. I
suggest Charlie’s Soap, Rockin’ Green, or other natural/organic soap (these
two are both all natural and great for diapers-the Rockin’ Green is
actually made specifically for cloth diapers). You should not use a regular
laundry soap because it will leave your diapers with residue build-up.

Step Five

Do *TWO* rinse cycles on warm/hot. The reason for the warm water now is
that warm water rinses the soap out better than cold water does. It is very
important to get the soap out because SOAP RESIDUE IN THE DIAPERS WILL
CAUSE MORE LEAKS. You want pure organic cotton and bamboo to absorb messes,
not push them out.

Step Six

Hang dry. It is ideal to hang them outside in the sun because the sun
naturally bleaches the stains out. I tried it one day and it worked!
However, a bird also pooped on one of my inserts.

I was not a happy mama.

I thus dry mine inside our house since we don’t have an overhang or an area
without trees in our tiny backyard.  I thought about putting them in my car
in the sun, but haven’t tried that yet. You can dry these diapers on low
heat in the dryer, but it shortens the life of the diapers so I say hang
dry all the way.

I use this:
http://www.walmart.com/ip/Whitmor-Chrome-Folding-Drying-Rack/3342185

That is it! The diapers are now ready to wear. If this sounds
time-consuming, let me tell you it really isn’t. I am a full-time working
mom. I told my husband that he would not have to wash the cloth diapers if
he agreed we could do it, so I gladly do it all myself. It doesn’t take
more than 5-10 minutes of my day.

In regards to cons of cloth diapers, I only see a few for us so far:

1.       If you get behind on time or just want to be lazy and thus don’t
wash diapers, you won’t have any. This does happen from time to time.
However, we keep a pack of disposable ones around for times when we travel
or when someone else is watching William. I would suggest doing the same
for such an occasion.

2.       They take up a lot more space in the clothes. This is the only
thing that is really a “negative” in my mind. Because they are more bulky,
he can’t wear onesies the last extra week I could squeeze him in if he were
wearing disposables.

A few extra tips:

1.       I throw a load in to rinse and wash right before bed and then when
I wake up I do the last two rinse cycles and hang them. That timing seems
to be really good for our schedule.

2.       I have 21 diapers. I do one load a day normally, but have done
them every other day. Now that he sleeps through the night he is only going
through 7-8 diapers a day versus 10-12 like at first. If you had more than
this, you can wait longer to wash, but I wouldn’t go longer than three days
because of stains.

3.       Once your little one hits about 4 months, they need two inserts at
night. I would say to have 5-7 extra inserts than diapers would be perfect.

4.       Do not use fabric softener when washing (leaves that yucky
residue).

5.       You cannot use most creams on your baby’s bottom with your cloth
diapers because it will ruin them. William hasn’t had diaper rash yet, but
it is best to do disposable while you put the cream on them, and then start
cloth again when it clears up.

6.       You may have to eventually “strip” your cloth diapers. After
multiple months, cloth diapers sometimes have an odor (I haven’t had this
yet). What you must do is when they are clean, rinse them in very hot water
multiple times. You can boil them in a giant pot, or if your washer has a
super hot setting, you can rinse them 3 or 4 times on that setting.

7.       If you really want to try cloth diapers, but your husband isn’t
quite convinced, show him! Men are visual and need to be shown how
something works. Jon was not so sure at first until we went to a friend’s
house and we were talking about her process of cloth diapering. She was
showing us where she keeps them. My husband turned around in the doorway of
her kitchen and saw a container of dirty diapers. He realized they didn’t
smell at all, didn’t look gross, and saw how easy it was for her to do a
load while we were even there at her house. He was on board from that day
forward!

OK—so this all sounds good, but you still aren’t quite sure, I know. Well,
there is a really neat resource my friend told me about the other day:

http://jilliansdrawers.com/products/clothdiapers/tryclothfor10/tryclothfor10

This company allows you to try cloth diapers for 21 days! You pay $150.99
and a non-refundable $10 in shipping. They send you all kinds to try. Then,
you send them back and they refund you $140.99, even if they are stained.
Thus, you are paying only $20 to see if it is something you realistically
want to do. Can’t get much better than that!

Yes, there are days I would rather not take the extra ten minutes to wash a
load of diapers at 9 pm and hang them to dry the next morning before work
at 6:45 am. However, this little bit of extra work saves my family money
for other important things, and also gives my sweet boy a rash free and
comfy experience. It also means less trash. I say it is worth it!

*to read more friendship friday posts check here and here.

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