In my previous post, I thoroughly examined the financial aspect of cloth diapering Baby P, as well as future babies. Boy were we excited about all the cash we are saving once we ran the numbers. (whoo hoo!) But then the reality set in: how would this work for our family? The answer: fabulously!
Our system works pretty well, borderline like a well-oiled machine. Is it perfect? Of course not. But by golly, we like how it’s turning out so far. 🙂
At our house, we have a small front-loading washing machine. It heats the laundry in there, sort of like an oven. It holds the equivalent of half of the large machines that most Americans have at their house. And yet we have never filled it completely with diapers. As we load the diapers into the machine, we do what I refer to as the ‘shake-open,’ which is a quick flick of the wrist as you drop the diapers into the washer. It helps them to unfold better in the wash. (This wouldn’t be necessary with a larger washer!) Then we proceed as follows.
-Exclusive breastfed baby poop is completely water-soluble, and therefore does not require anything extra. Once Baby P starts eating other foods, we will need to put the poop in the toilet, (which is an extra step that all parents should be doing anyway!) then proceed as usual.
1) Rinse cycle (cold water).
2) Hot wash for synthetics with 2 TBLS EcoSprouts (shortest hot wash possible on our machine, 60 degrees celsius//140 F), includes cold water rinse, about a 1-hour cycle.
3) Rinse cycle (cold water).
4) Remove and hang on indoor racks/outdoor lines, depending on weather.
5) Fold & place in diaper stacker.
6) Put clean diaper on Baby P.
7) Repeat (while feeling awesome!)
~COVERS/WETBAGS (CHANGING PAD/BIBS/NURSING BRAS & PADS too!)
-If Baby P only peed, a quick spray and wipe of the cover is sufficient, then hang to dry.
-When the cover gets dirty, we hand-wash.
1) Rinse as soon as possible after it is soiled & let soak a while.
2) Hot wash (hot tap water) with a dash of EcoSprouts, and soak a while.
3) Cold rinse.
4) Hang to dry.
That’s all, so so so easy.
We absolutely love using the flats and covers. We have been using the Origami fold for the past 3 1/2 months. We include what I refer to as the EBF twist when we put the diapers on him. This fold is great for heavy wetters, and the twist really holds the poop in. Seriously impressive liquid-holding power. Just recently, we have started implementing the pad fold during the day, and two flats pad folded and stacked for night time. We also use a cover sized up one step for night time, to allow the space for the extra bulk. Finally, we lay one of our wipes inside the diaper to have the softest material against Baby P’s most delicate skin.
In all honestly, diapering with flats and covers does take about 20-40ish extra seconds per diaper change. That has never been a problem for us though, because Baby P LOVES his diaper changes. We always take our time, wash his tush, put him in fresh clothes, talk to him lots, and it’s just an interactive and beautiful time together. He loves these moments with us, so taking the extra time with him feels really good, and makes him happier too.
On The Go
As I shared in my previous post, our diaper bag is an old small sized Puma backpack. We keep our wipes in a little fold-over satchel. We include 2 wipes per change, plus a spray bottle in there. The spray bottle is filled with water and a droplet of our CaliBaby soap. We bring one or both of our wet bags, depending on how long the trip is. We bring 1 diaper per 2 hours we will be out, plus 1-2 extras. We pack 2 covers usually for day trips, and 2 outfits. We also have our changing pad in there. We usually throw in a swaddler and/or a flannel blankie, as well as his Sophie, FanFan and his other Vulli teethers. That’s all! And realistically, we never go through all of this stuff. We could probably cut this list in half, but we have the space in the bag and we prefer to be prepared for the worst. 😉
Why Else We Do It
It’s so easy to use flats and covers, I can’t say it enough. And the money we are saving is another HUGE benefit. But for us, cloth diapering with the simple system of flats and covers is about so much more than convenience and saving money. The two most important reasons we cloth diaper our child are HIS health, and the environment. I don’t need to list the chemicals in disposable diapers, because you can read about the dangers of them here. You can find an extremely well researched explanation of how the diapers are contributing to the ruin of the earth here. Bottom line: disposable diapers pose considerable health risks to the wearer and to the rest of the world, too. Another benefit is that cloth-diapered children are more likely to learn to use the potty earlier than their disposable-diapered peers. (feeling the wetness/soiled diaper encourages early potty learning).
That’s about it for our how and why of cloth diapering in our house. It’s easy, it’s simple and it works incredibly well for us. If you are a parent of a diaper-wearing baby, or soon will be, I strongly encourage you to check out this system and consider giving it a try. You can spend $0-$50 to get started and just give it a whirl for a week. You most definitely will NOT regret it! If you know a pregnant momma, share this information with her. Cloth diapering your child is an incredible thing to do, and yet for us it is a simple part of every day life. And it can be the same for you, too.
**I wanted to add that in addition to the savings listed in my previous post, you can buy your cloth diapers used, plus resell them when you’re done, which can give you an even greater savings.