Friday, November 9, 2007

Cloth Diapers

I've been doing an internet scavenger hunt called the Great Cloth Diaper Hunt. It got me thinking about how I got into cloth diapers and why I continue to use and love them.

I started using cloth diapers when my son was about 4 months old. We started with disposables because it seemed like that was what everyone did. My husband had an aunt that used Elimination communication and cloth and had sent me some motherease one size fitteds. I read an article on cloth in a parenting magazine and thought wow maybe we could save some money and help the environment.

I did 3 days of research and found 4 Canadian sites. I was horrified about the effects of diapers on the environment and I calculated that in the four months my son had been in this world we had used approximately 1200 diapers. Our trashcan had never been full before. Now it was overflowing every week. The really scary fact for me was that disposables have been linked to infertility in men and asthma in children. The toxins in the diapers were found in the urethras of little boys. I could not wait to get my son out of them. Then I started looking at the diapers and I fell in love. They were soooooooooo cute!!!

We bought a couple wetbags, some motherease diapers and covers and some swaddlebees. I was so excited I wanted to try everything (still do). My husband wanted to find something and stick to it but he was also keen to start on cloth. He accepted it no problems. He was a little exasperated at my desire to talk over all my discoveries with him though. We started with cloth during the day and disposables at night. I didn't think cloth could hold up to all the pee since we were still nursing at night. We switched to all cloth when my son started blowing out of his disposables. I mean up the back and down the legs. This meant a lot of laundry and stains. I thought there had to be a cloth diaper that could go overnight. It was trial and error. We bought rumpsters and used those for a while. These still leaked at night and didn't fit as well as I'd hoped as I had a very chubby baby!!! We bought some Jam tots berry plush and found out that the inserts fit into the motherease diapers. This became our nighttime solution. They are still very bulky and I think with the next babe I will go with a wool solution or the thirsties fab fitted.
Swaddlebees makes up the bulk of our stash though Jam tots berry plush and motherease make up close seconds.

Now I'm on the hunt for a one size diaper that fits really well. We've had some blowout issues again now that my son is 19 months and running. His little bum and legs have really slimmed down. So we bought some medium swaddlebees and I cannot believe how well they fit. I also bought a baby kanga and a mommy's touch one size easy clean. Both of these are nice dipes no leaks but the mommy's touch is complicated with all the snaps and how to fold in the fleece. The kanga has wing droop which I don't like.

For inserts I absolutely love jamtots one size hemp 3 layer and one size 2 layer. They are so absorbant. Hemp is an awesome fabric. We also use prefolds and microfiber inserts to stuff. I am interested in trying bamboo and sherpa.

I really want to start my own cloth diaper showroom and store here in the north but I need to find out if the interest is there. I thought I might sew some diapers at first but now I realize that nothing I can make will compare to what is already out there. My passion lays in testing the diapers that other mom's come out with and showing off their products for them. I also really enjoy teaching other mom's about cloth. I love to share this passion. I'm sure that some of my loved ones get tired of hearing about it. Which is why I decided to blog about it.
My discovery of the new world of cloth led to many other parenting choices. For example making my own baby food with organic choices. Also delaying vaccinations but these are also huge issues and passions of mine to be discussed at another time.

The one myth I would like to dispell about cloth diapering is that it is any more difficult or gross than using disposables. This is so untrue. Yes I do have to wash my diapers but this is using my laundry machine in my basement. If I was out of disposables I would have to pack my child into the car and drive to costco, unpack the child get the diapers and several other items (because we all know you never go into costco for just one thing!). I would have to stand in line and then pack the diapers and my kid out to the car and home and unload into the house. No thank you!

As for the rinsing diapers. I DON'T, simple as that. I use flushable liners until the poop of the day, tip these into the toilet and throw the diaper into a dry pail with a little baking soda in it.
I wash my dipes by rinsing in cold first, then a hot wash with baking soda and a little detergent, then a rinse with vinegar and an extra rinse. I dry the inserts in the dryer and hang all my covers and pocket dipes on a line in my basement.
I am saving the world one cute cloth diapered butt at a time!!

Cloth diapers were really the start of my endeavor to become a Green parent.

Just thought I would add to this as we are completely potty trained and have been since about 25mo. I really think the cloth helped my son to know when he was wet and to associate when he as about to pee. The other discovery I made before potty training was that bamboo is the ultimate absorbant fabric and this with a fleece cover was amazing for overnight when my toddler would have enormous pees before waking. Bambinos 2 size dipes were great and so soft even after several washes. Now with a new babe on the way I will be researching the most effective way to CD a newborn.

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