Tuesday, February 11, 2014

an update on cloth diapers

last time i talked about cloth diapers, we had been using cloth diapers only about 1 month and were exclusively breast feeding.
here is an update!

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**this first section was written back in october but never posted**
we have about 8 months of cloth diaper experience under our belts and here's what we've learned

1. for about a month i was really struggling with leaks during the day and the diaper had a really strong ammonia smell in them after he peed. stripping the diapers was the answer and worked pretty well. i put 1 tablespoon of blue original dawn dishsoap into a load of clean diapers and wash 1 full cycle, then i'll do 2-3 more rinse cycles to get all the extra soap out. i have to do this about once a month but it keeps the diapers absorbing really well and not smelly

2. cloth diapers DO leak and they CAN have blowouts. blowouts were far and few between and only minor though, seriously, nothing that was utterly awful and it only happened a handful of times probably due to poor diaper putting on skills. overall they're still way better than disposable i'd say because when we did travel and use disposable i definitely had more blowouts on those weeks. for leaks, if i change him every 3 hours i don't get leaks and we are set. there is only a set amount of liquid those inserts can absorb and once it reaches that point it will squeeze out when weight is applied, not cool so you gotta stay up on changing and stuff.

3. for a couple of months i definitely had problems and frustrations with a night time solution. no cloth stuff would work and he'd pee out of disposables even at night time. very very frustrating. once he stopped randomly waking up in the night time though, i think there was a little less pee and i was able to use 1 hemp insert wrapped in 1 thirsties pre fold. it seemed REALLY bulky at first but did the job and he wakes up dry now without a disposable, yay! i have 3 sets.

4. i don't know if it's because it's summer time and more hot in the rooms, but sometimes when we go in there the diapers in the diaper bag have that ammonia smell you get a wiff of just walking into the room. i think i may look into buying a trash can that has a lid i can that my diaper bag will attach into somehow so the smell will stay  a little more contained. our solution thus far has been to use air freshner, we bought one of those automatic ones from airwick and it actually has worked really well so when we go into his room it smells all freshy!

5. on the poop side. we haven't dealt with it much because we run maxson over to poop on the toilet when we can tell it's happening. he's a pretty consistent with his poop schedule so i don't usually use liners. if his schedule gets a little off and i'm not sure when he'll poop i do put a liner in the diaper just in case i don't catch his cues. if there's a liner in the diaper  the poop hits it correctly, it comes off so clean and there is honestly little to no effort involved, it's great. if there's not a liner on there it just depends, sometimes the poop comes off with no work involved, sometimes there's a little more work invoveld and to be honest, no it's not my favorite thing, but it could be worse

***NOW we have done cloth diapers for 1 solid year. he's 14 months old and doesn't breast feed at all. here are my thoughts***

1. sometimes i thought i'd do cloth diapers just the first year  because it would be harder after that, not the case. they are just as awesome now as they were the first year.

2. i have put 5 diapers away and only use 13 to rotate through still 3 night time usually because i do laundry at night. since he goes through less diapers a day, waiting that long to wash through them was making them stink more, with 13 diapers i wash like every 2 days or so and the smell doesn't get bad, we don't have to use air freshener in his room to cover smells

3. my first problem in the post above dealt with leaks during the day and trouble shooting them. i learned that all i had to do was double stuff the diapers during the day. so i put 1 med/large insert in and 1 small insert, both microfiber charlie bananas i got when i originally bought them. works like a charm and i RARELY get leaks and change him as normal as i do with disposable. i don't strip the diapers with the dawn dish soap on a regular basis anymore.

4. night times are bomb in cloth diapers now with my inserts. as i said earlier i use this insert wrapped up in this insert. i have 3 sets of night time inserts i can rotate through. they were definitely a little pricey to buy but they were MAGIC and can hold SOOOOO much pee, he leaked out of disposables all the time during christmas break but still hasn't in these. the 1 thing about hemp/bamboo inserts is they tend to strongly smell ammonia-y after night times.  i hear that's just the nature of natural fibers, once they're in the diaper laundry bag you don't smell them.

5. i do use diaper liners now. around 9-10 months he started getting mad when we'd put him on the toilet to go #2, so we stopped. the liners catch the poop pretty perfectly most of the time. he still poops on a consistent schedule so i just use 1 insert a day. i cut the inserts in half. we have started putting him on the toilet again every once and awhile for funnies and he's fine with it now so maybe we'll start doing that again! we've not gone through even half of the liner pack we originally bought.

6. i definitely have felt like i need a break from cloth diapers every 3 months or so and about every 3 months we go on vacation which makes us use diposable and yes it's a nice break, but after that week or so i'm always ready to get back to my cloth diapers. i love them for so many reasons.

7. i do put 1/2-1 cup of vinegar in the washes to combat the ammonia build up, it DEFINITELY helps tons doing this. i still use the same detergent as before. my wash cycles always vary depending on the load but for the most part i do 1-2 pre rinses in HOT water. 1 full wash cycle in HOT/COLD water with detergent and vinegar. 1 full wash cycle on HOT/COLD without any detergents. i then put all the inserts in the dryer and hang dry the outer shells. it's been working great.

8. in the past year maxson has gotten little to no diaper rashes. seriously it's been great. one time his little boy area got an infection due to little boys just being too curious and grabby down there, we switched to disposable for a week to help it go away with the special ointment given to us. pretty much what i've learned when it comes to ointments/creams and cloth diapers (for boys): if it's in the bum area cream it up, put a liner between the skin and diaper and you're good. if it's in the front area it's best to use a disposable for a day or two to help it go away completely (we always have a couple on hand due to trips). the liner in the front area doesn't allow it to heal enough.

9. when it comes to poop, it pretty much always stays contained, so that's great. the liner still does WONDERS in the diapers, seriously it makes clean up snazzy fast and un yucky 99% of the time. if ever for some reason the diaper is a messier clean up than usual i'll usually hold the diaper with the outside fabric touching (making sure my finger tips don't touch any yuckies) and kinda just dip the diaper in and out of the toilet until it all comes off. sometimes it only takes a few dunks, other times it takes more than a few, but it's really not bad. it is a cloth diaper after all...

10. IN SUMMARY. cloth diapers are still working grrrrreat for us still!

you can email or comments with any questions anytime!


AN Petersen said...

I tried the vinegar when i washed my diapers yesterday after I read your post, and I loved it. Definitely going to be a new thing. Also I have some of those natural inserts too but i try not to use them because you are right, they smell of ammonia alot more then the other ones.

Patria Jase said...

I used to wash my Diaper Bags using detergent. The idea was horrible. Now I use Vinegar after reading this blog post. Thanks for writing and giving useful information!

Patria Jase

Nicole said...

yay for updates! you know you are my inspiration in life.