Friday, February 25, 2011

Have a bite of cloth diapering

My initial cloth diapering investment cost me about $250.  That was almost nine years ago.  I estimated that even if I thought it was the grossest thing ever and wanted to quit, I had to cloth diaper Pookie for the next six months to pay for it.  That's all.  Six months.  That's taking into account the water, detergent, and electricity.  And I did it. 

It really wasn't so bad. 

In fact, dare I say, I became addicted to it.  It was fun.  I felt like this natural earth mother when I'd hang up the diapers to dry on the clothesline. 

I felt the gap with my grandmother, great grandmother, great great grandmother, and myself close.

I felt peaceful about it.  About diapering!

Sure, people thought I was a little nutty.  And on occasion, you could call me a "closet cloth diaperer" because I didn't really want people to know.

My dad even said, "Are you sure you want to do this?  I remember those nasty plastic pants and diaper pails and diaper pins!" 

But times are a changin' my peeps.  Cloth diapering today is not like it was thirty years ago.  There are fun, cute, helpful things for cloth diapering parents of today.

Honestly though, if I hadn't cloth diapered right from the first child, I might feel overwhelmed at the abundance of information and products today.  If  I were just learning about it now (7 kids in the picture), I would feel like I didn't have the time to take in the what to buy, what works for different situations, how to wash, etc.

I was thinking this morning, how about I give you a bite of it?  Just a little at a time.  Maybe I'll keep up with it and make it a regular post.  If I have time.  ;)

Today's cloth diapering bite:  Do not use liquid fabric softener or fabric softener sheets when washing your diapers, covers, etc. 

This also goes for towels.  Do not use fabric softener on your towels.  Just toss them in your dryer without softener.  They will be much more absorbent without using the fabric softener.  If you like, you could use vinegar (distilled white) in the rinse cycle. 

Always hang diaper covers (and plastic pants if that's what you choose) to dry.  They will dry in no time at all. 

See?  Just a bite.  That's not too much, right?


Lisa said...

Thanks for the "Bite!"

I've been wondering about cloth diapering a lot. Maybe if I ask you some questions, you can slowly, ever so slowly, get around to answering them in some more "bite" posts?

First question: I've heard that cloth diapering really helps when it comes to potty training. I was *this close* to switching to cloth diapers when about to potty train Annalisa, because I've heard how the child is much more aware of their own wetness and discomfort. Is this true? I didn't get any diapers though, because it was expensive and I didn't want to do the investment for what I was hoping would be a few weeks more of diapering.

Question 2: is there more or less diaper rash with cloth diapers? I've heard both; more because they aren't as absorbent as disposables, but less because disposables contain chemicals that can irritate skin.

Question 3: do you have to change diapers much more frequently?

And question 4: I've heard of the "snappi" instead of pins. Is that what you use? If so, where can you find it, and how much does it cost? I can't bear the thought of a pin coming undone and poking my baby. My mother, mother-in-law, and grandmother have all mentioned how when their babies would cry, the first thing they checked was the diaper pins. I don't even circumcise my boys because it is too painful... how can I possibly stab them with pins? :/

Just some fodder for more blog posts, since all I seem to be doing these days is hovering over the computer waiting for blog posts, facebook updates, and new email. :)

Nikki said...

1. True- they potty train faster if exclusively cloth diapered in the last few months. Otherwise they ask for the disposable. lol

It is because they are aware of their own wetness and discomfort. However, this doesn't necessarily work with the child that doesn't care they're wet.

2. Generally less. More on this next time.

3. Instead of five to six diapers a day for an 18-month old, it might be 7 to 8.

4. I have a couple snappis. They work great, are fairly inexpensive, and don't poke babies. But I prefer covers and the easy way. More on this later.

I'm excited for your interest!

Lisa Loo said...

My kids are all growed up but I am interested in the towel thing. I like my towels to smell like my fabric softener. Do they smell like vinegar if I do it your way? I sure would like it if they were more absorbent....

Nikki said...

Lisa Loo- They distilled white vinegar smell dissipates upon drying-- whether line dry or tumbled dry in a dryer. I like to use Tide with my towels for the scent.

Nikki said...

Lisa Loo- One other note, don't ever use vinegar and bleach at the same time. They create deadly fumes.

Kellie said...

I thought about cloth diapering with my youngest (4 months). I did get a bit overwhelmed with everything that's out there. I also wasn't sure if I could figure out the math to see if it would be worth it with electricity, water, etc. factored into it. I think it's awesome that you've done it and that it works so well for you.

Kayleen said...

what a fun post! unfortunately, i'm past the diaper stages but maybe something you share will help me pass it on to friends or even my own kids someday.

Nikki said...

Kellie- I'll break down the prices more in the post after next. Even if you only cloth diaper one child, you definitely save money. Unless of course you're a consultant making $200 an hour. In that case, you could use a diaper service.

Kayleen- One day I'll be able to say I'm past the diaper stages. one day.


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