Friday, October 31, 2014

One Momma's Guide to All Things Diaper



I have three children, plus a few handfuls of Safe Families kiddos.  One thing I know a lot about is poop diapers.  I was just looking back at a delusional adorable post I wrote three years ago when I was just starting out on the cloth diaper road.  Needless to say, since writing that post I have changed thousands of diapers and can speak with a bit more authority about all things baby butt.  There are a million ways to diaper (or not diaper) a baby.  I have tried a good number of them, but certainly not all.  I am sure that for everything I say, I can find someone who disagrees...and for a reason I will NEVER understand, people have really strong opinions about diapers.  Especially cloth ones.  Life is short, people!  I can only speak to my own experience...but I do get asked about this experience a lot...so here is my guide to diapers.  (and if you like this, check out my guide to baby gear)
Too many choices!
Part I: What Kind to Use
I use both disposables and cloth diapers.  I love both for certain purposes.  I mainly use cloth, but use disposables when we are on vacation, out and about, during diaper rashes, and at nighttime once the baby is a bit older...I have yet to find an overnight cloth diaper that will reliably hold what a 15 month old can't. 

Disposables: I like Pampers, Huggies, Luvs and Target Brand.  I don't go "lower" than Target brand because I have found them to leak.  One of my kids got a rash from Luvs, so those are not good for sensitive skinned kids.

Cloth: This is more complicated.  There are many, many kinds of cloth diapers today.  I will just tell you which ones I like the best and why.

Fuzzibunz Perfect Size Diapers with Snaps: I like these pocket diapers because they are soft and don't leak.  They dry very quickly in the dryer, and I don't have to flip them inside out to dry (like I did with All-in-Ones).  The snaps do not pill or catch on things like velcro (aplix).  They are not a One-Size-Fits-All diaper- I don't like OS diapers because I find that they are too bulky on a newborn, and by the time the child is old enough to need a very large size, they are too worn out to hold in what they should.  I prefer sized diapers.  Fuzzibunz Smalls fit Bee, who is average sized, from birth to 20 months (7 to 20 pounds).  You can use them as a swim diaper if you don't stuff an insert in (but wash out that chlorine).  Also, they are pretty and cheap.

If you are looking into cloth, I highly recommend doing the "Try Cloth for $10" program at Jilliansdrawers.com.  They send you several kinds to try out, and then you can return the ones you don't want.  This was very helpful for me.  

Babies look cute in cloth diapers!
Part II: Where to Get Them
As I mentioned, Jillian's Drawers is a favorite.  However, I now buy most of my diapers from FuzziBunzSeconds.  They are factory seconds, but honestly, I can't usually even tell what was wrong with them.  I had one that came with elastic that was too loose to work, and the nice lady there replaced it for me immediately.  They cost less than $12 each, and they usually have a buy some get one free deal.  They are not quite perfect...but considering the job they do...that doesn't bother me.

Still waiting for the Diaper Genie to come and empty the darned thing...
Part III: How to Dispose of Them
Those of you who labor under the delusion that I am somewhat crunchy and green may be shocked to learn that I OWN A DIAPER GENIE.  However, I recently got tired of shelling out $7 for a roll of bags, so we have started using regular trash bags in ours.  Google "Diaper Genie Bag Hack" and you'll find lots of instructions.

Sometimes things can get a bit messy.
Part IV: How To Clean Them
This is the million dollar question.  I don't feel that I have this down to an art yet...nor a science...but I have learned a few things.

Our routine: All wet and dirty cloth diapers and cloth wipes go into a wet bag.  I try to rinse off dirty diapers when I change them, but this doesn't always happen.  I own five small wet bags- three purple for "home use" and two yellow for the diaper bag.  That way, when I see a yellow one in the laundry I know it goes back into the diaper bag.  I also have a certain color of cloth diaper that is for the diaper bag for the same reason.

On washing day, I shake out the inserts of the wet diapers right into the washer.  I shake out the inserts of the dirty diapers, and take the dirty part to the utility sink.  I spray them off with a powerful sprayer (get a good one...don't skimp here!)  Yes, there is poop left in the sink...I'm sure you can figure out how to handle that (preferably without much handling).  I throw them into the washer and run a cold rinse cycle.  Then I put in a tiny dash of Charlie's Soap (do not use detergent with fabric softner- it will waterproof your diapers, which is NOT what you want!) and run a hot heavy wash cycle. Too much soap will make your diapers smell.  Then I rinse again in cold once or twice.  I throw them in the dryer on high for about 20 minutes.  Then I stuff the inserts back in and fold them.  I wash the cloth wipes and wet bags in there, too.

Every now and then they get stinky.  About once a month I "strip" the diapers.  First I wash them as normal.  Then I crank up my water heater or pour boiling water into the washer and run them on a very hot wash with a teaspoon of Dawn and a half a packet of this quaint stuff.  I really love the lady on the front of the package.  Then I run them on cold rinse three times and dry as normal.  I also try to hang the diapers out in the sun when possible.

** I touch poop.  And I think that really, any cloth diapering mother who says she doesn't is not being fully truthful.  But I don't really mind it, and I think it has strengthened me for all the other gross tasks of parenting (see the segment on potty training below).**

Diaper rash is ugly, so instead, I give you more cute baby.
Part V: Diaper Rash
For some unknown reason, my daughters both suffered from really bad diaper rash.  Like pediatric-dermatologist-appointments-bad diaper rash (which has placed them both on the dermatologist's Botox coupon mailing list...so they got that going for them).  We did a lot of experimenting and determined it had nothing to do with the diapers- we tried every brand of disposable as well as cloth and nothing seemed to make a difference.  Here is my advice on diaper rash.  

1) Do not use rash cream with cloth diapers.  You will ruin them and be sad.  Some people say liners will protect them.  These people lie.  That stuff gets everywhere.  They make rash cream that is safe for cloth diapers...unfortunately it is safe because it does not contain zinc oxide...which is the good stuff in the rash cream.  Buy yourself a tube of Desitin and a pack of disposables.

2) Domeboro Soak is amazing.  You dissolve the powder in water and then soak a washcloth in the solution, hold it on the rash for a few minutes, let it dry, then apply rash cream and a disposable diaper.  It really heals it up quickly.  I get mine from behind the pharmacy counter (no prescription needed), or online.

3) Never search for "diaper rash" on Google Images.  It may seem like a good idea.  It is not.

Judge not, lest ye be judged.
Part VI: Potty Training
Wait until your child is ready.  Not just showing some signs of being ready, but actually begging you to please Mommy, don't make me wear diapers anymore ready.  Do not try to potty train a child because a new sibling is on the way.  Or while you are breastfeeding a brand new baby.  Do not expect night training to happen at the same time as day training.  Don't worry if everyone else's kid is trained before yours.  Save face and just admit now that you will beg, bribe and threaten your child during this process.  You think you won't.  You will.  My mother-in-law told me that potty training her boys was the worst twelve years of her life.  I'm about six years in.  Pray for me.

Also, a child who is zipped backwards into his footed pajamas cannot take off his poopy diaper and sit all over his carpet, toys and air vent.  I have this friend...

*edited to say...we fostered a little man who COULD unzip his backwards sleeper, remove his diaper, and re-zip the sleeper.  Amazing child.  Safety pins.

Good job!  You made it this far!
Part VII: Cocktail Recipes
If you made it this far, mosey on over to Mommy Needs A Cocktail (or in the case of the pregnant and nursing crowd Mommy Needs A Mocktail).  Good luck!

***There are NO affiliate links in this post- nobody is giving me compensation of any type.  I am merely sharing the brands that I use and love.  Hope it has been useful to you!***

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