Just over a month ago I made the big switch to cloth diapers. There has certainly been a learning curve and a few unseen snafus, but for the most part? I’m really happy with them. I’ve been using BumGenius 4.0 (pocket) diapers with the microfiber inserts and just started using Flip diapers last week, alternating between the organic cotton inserts or the the disposable inserts when we’re out in public and poop hasn’t happened for the day.
Yeah, I’ll admit it, I’m a little high-maintenance when it comes to poop in cloth diapers. You betcha I’m going to make the process as easy on myself as possible. The Flip disposable inserts is one of the two poop-ease methods I employ.
The second poop-ease method are flushable diaper liners. You know those flushable wipes they give you in the hospital for *ehem* personal care? They’re very similar to those. They don’t keep the underlying diaper spotless but they contain the major stuff really well. I’ll use one flushable moist wipe (a staple when you have a smaller potty-trained child around) to get a majority of the gook and then finish up with flannel wipes. Once she’s all fresh and clean, I dump the liner and the wipe into the toilet never to be seen or smelled again and put the diaper in the pail. You can reuse the liners once or twice if they were never actually pooped on by washing them with your diapers and air drying them.
Another benefit to the Flip diapers that I’m discovering is that they are much more trim than the pocket diapers. Regular pants don’t fit chubby babies in cloth diapers. You know that scene in A Christmas Story where the little kid is in the wool snowsuit unable to move any of his limbs? Yeah, that’s Vivi in a cloth diaper in regular pants. Not a huge deal, she’ll just have to wear very stretchy pants for a few more months. I know I wouldn’t hate it if I never had to wear jeans again. (She actually went up a size even in stretchy pants upon switching to cloth … just something to be aware of.)
The last issue I’ve run into is the dreaded smell. The adjective that best describes it? Barnyard. I never thought people would have more opinions on how to clean cloth diapers than they do on pregnancy, birthing and breastfeeding COMBINED. You’re going to have to do a little research, find out what it is that’s making the smell linger in your situation and find the best way to fix it. Special thanks to my friend Heather over at Home Ec 101 for teaching me the science behind laundry … it has made all the difference. (My issue is super hard water and an HE washing machine. A cold wash cycle to remove residual protein, followed with a hot, heavy duty cycle with liquid detergent (ECOS) with a half cup of Borax followed with an extra rinse seems to be working for me so far. I had to spend an entire day stripping my diapers with hot wash cycles and Borax, the amount of detergent they had stored up was shocking considering I don’t use much at all.)
I feel like after such an intense and unsuccessful breastfeeding attempt, being able to figure out the finer points of cloth diapering is sort of healing over the disappointment of breastfeeding not working out. That may sound dumb to some of you, but it makes perfect sense to me.
What are your cloth diapering secrets?