Thursday, February 18, 2010

Why I Chose to Cloth Diaper

When I first started reading about cloth diapering, I wasn't too sure what I thought about it.  It sounded gross to me, and I really couldn't find any evidence to support it saving us money. (Obviously, I wasn't looking hard enough).  I had been around Mamma's at LLL that were cloth diapering, and I had friends that were planning on doing it, but I wasn't.  One of my good friends kept telling me about it, and encouraging me towards it. (Check out her blog here ). Slowly but surely, the more I found out about them, the more research I did, and the more Mamma's I was around that cloth diapered, my mind changed.  My Bradley instructor was also a big factor in my decision to cloth diaper, too.  By the time Goober Pie arrived, we had decided to cloth diaper.  Boy, was I excited!  We decided not to do prefolds and covers, but to start out when he was a bit older.  We were blessed to be able to invest in a good stash of Bum Genius 3.0 One Size cloth diapers through my Ma, Mother-in-law, and my husband's Grandma.  I was so excited to get them and eager to try them out!!  I decided to use Purex free & clear to wash the diapers with, that was what was recommended to me.
So around 8 weeks of life, my little man became a fluffy bummed guy.  Or as my Dad like to call it "prehistoric diaper butt" or "ghetto butt". Lol!  We were still using disposable wipes, too.  I didn't know if I'd try cloth wipes yet or not.  I didn't think the disposable wipes were hurting, and they weren't too big of an expense.
Cloth Diapering was going great, until I foolishly decided to bleach my diapers.  The instructions said to bleach the diapers.  And I thought I was doing an injustice to the diapers by not bleaching them since that's what the washing instructions said to do and I was following them religiously! Before I bleached, whatever stains I had always came out with sunning-no big stain issues-perfectly white diapers! BOY do I regret bleaching my diapers.  Stupid me! I should have done research on bleaching cloth diapers.  I know now it's not recommended in very many circles and for very many diapers...It can cause a rash on your baby's behind-hello! it's bleach, and it's harsh...It can also be extremely hard to get out of the diapers.  So I bleached, and had severe staining issues like I'd never experienced before...and they didn't want to come out.  Wouldn't come out washing, sunning, tried bleaching again...I was severely upset and saddened.  I called the diaper maker and they didn't have very helpful advice.  The customer service lady said she had never ever heard of this even happening.  She suggested I try switching detergents because the stains might be because I had hard water...but obviously not in my mind because the stains were not there before I bleached.  I decided just to live with the diapers, and warn all my friends who cloth diapered to NEVER bleach their diapers.  My diapers have never been the same since that day...  But life moves on and so did my career as a cloth diapering Mamma.  Goober Pie's little bum didn't handle the bleach very well, and he started having a consistent and recurring diaper rash for months...I could not figure out why.  I tried everything I knew to clear it up.  But it always came back.  It wasn't bad.  It didn't bother him.  It bothered me! 
My next step was switching to cloth wipes.  I had heard great things about cloth wipes and I found a great organic wipe recipe .  I bought the cheapest baby washcloths I could find and they've worked out perfectly.  I absolutely love using cloth wipes-they are super easy-just wipe and throw in the wetbag with the diapers and then they all get washed together! No more messing with disposables and two different bags-1 for diapers and 1 for wipes.  And, no matter how dirty your little one's bum is, it usually only takes 1 cloth wipe as opposed to 4-5 disposable ones.  And I'm more at peace because it's better for Goober Pie's bum-no wipe with synthetic fibers and chemicals semi-cleansing my child's precious baby bum.  I also saw an improvement in his recurring diaper rash.  
I decided to take the lady from the cloth diaper company seriously and switch detergents since Purex Free & Clear was not the best choice for diapers.  I had heard Charlie's Soap was great for washing cloth diapers-so my MIL got me some.  I was excited to start using it since I had heard so many great things.  It didn't end up working for us...My diapers never got very clean looking or smelling.  And it didn't help Goober Pie's diaper rash clear up at all either. Bummer...what was I to do?
The same friend who turned me on to cloth diapers mentioned she was going to try Rockin' Green Laundry Soap .  She said that it was supposed to be some of the best stuff out on the market for washing cloth diapers.  I asked her to let me know about it once she tried it out. She got back to me and had rave reviews about it-her diapers were whiter and cleaner, plus it was scented and it came it two formula's! And you can buy samples off the website to try before committing to a whole bag.  So I decided to try it.  Best. Decision. Ever.  I did what they call a "Rock the Soak" where you do a super hot soak with your diapers in the Rockin' Green-and my diapers came out WHITE!  I'm talking, brand new, fresh out of the package white!  Even the velcro was white (it had discolored an icky off white color after bleaching)!  I had to have me some of this! So, I ordered some! And I've been using it ever since!  It has completely cleared up our recurring diaper rash, not to mention it keeps the diapers whiter between washes.

Here is my wash cycle for those of you interested: (In a breastfed baby, their poop is water soluble.  So no need to dunk, or spray it off.  As they get older/start eating solids, you'll need a good quality diaper sprayer to spray the poop off into the toilet.)
-Cold wash with no detergent
-Hot wash with 2-3 tbsp of Rockin' Green
-Extra Hot rinse
-Extra Cold rinse
I then dry the inserts and cloth wipes in the dryer.  As long as it's not raining/snowing, I hang my diaper up on my clothes line I made for them.  If it's rainy/snowing, I lay them out to dry inside.  I dry my covers about once every 5 wash cycles.  I also strip my diapers once per month to rid of any build up and help with the absorbency.  After I've finished my regular Hot wash cycle, I do another hot wash cycle and add 1 tbsp of blue dawn and then rinse until there are no more bubbles.

Cloth diapers and cloth wipes have saved us so much money.  It's also made our carbon footprint much smaller.  And we know that what is on our son's bum does not contain chemicals, and won't sit rotting in a landfill for the rest of our lifetime plus some.  I love being able to introduce someone else to the easy and fulfilling world of cloth diapers.  It's a new generation-it's not the world of prefolds, plastic pants, diaper pins, wet pails, and swishing in the toilet anymore, people!  It's very modern, becoming very vogue (even celebrities are doing it!) and very easy.

Here are some of my favorite sites for Cloth Diapers and info: (If you order from Vilate, tell her I sent ya!!)

That, in a nutshell, is why we decided to cloth diaper.
Cloth diapering has been one of the best decisions I have ever made for my son! I'm so thankful to those who didn't give up on me, and kept encouraging me to check it out for myself.


Cheryl@SomewhatCrunchy said...

I really loved cloth diapering my little guy :)

Chanda the Eco-Cheap Mom said...

It's hard to imagine using disposables now, huh?!
Great job, mama!

I'm your first follower! :)