Sunday, August 14, 2011

My Best Cloth Diaper Tips- By Guest Blogger Amanda

Hi there, Happily Domestic Readers! I’m a little nervous today, because I’m guest posting for the first time ever. Ever! I’ve blogged for over 2 years, but I’ve never ventured out of my cozy little corner of the blogosphere. So, I was thrilled when Beth offered me the chance to add my own voice to her Fluff Fest.

“Who are you?” you ask? “What makes you an expert on cloth diapering?” you ask? I’m Amanda, and I am NO expert on cloth diapering. There. I feel better now that we have that out in the open.

I have been cloth diapering my skinny little boy for almost 2 and a half years now, with only one make and model of cloth diaper. (See? I’m no expert!) While I did buy about 6 different diapers before Jack was born to see what I liked, I always came back to the BumGenius 3.0. I like that it’s one size, and that it’s very husband and grandparent friendly. So, I bought a 24 pack in 6 different neutral colors (no pink or white), a diaper pail, a small travel size wetbag, and a diaper sprayer and dove head first into full time cloth diapering. It worked for us and I’ve never looked back. (I have since bought new BumGenius 4.0’s for their cute prints, and someone gifted me about 7-8Blueberries with hemp/cotton inserts that I love).

I wanted to share with you some things I’ve learned over the course of 2 and a half years of cloth diapering. It’s nothing amazing, but it’s been life changing a big help with my cloth diapering success. Let me preface my list with these statements: This may not work for you, you may not agree with me, and you don’t have to. I’m just sharing what has worked for me in hopes that you can get a little something to help you.

1. Use enough water when you wash your diapers. Seems kind of like a ‘duh’ statement to me, but it I needed to figure it out for myself, how much was enough. My washing routine is 1) cold rinse, 2) hot wash/cold rinse with detergent, 3) cold wash/cold rinse with detergent, 4) cold rinse. I wash about 20-22 diapers at a time, every 3 days. I use a lot of water with all those loads, so I decided one day to switch my washer settings from medium load to small load. About the same time I changed my load setting, I started pulling out still-poopy diapers from the wash (after my 4 cycles). I thought it was my detergent, but it turns out all I needed was more water! Problem solved. And that first rinse cycle is SO important. It keeps your diapers from being washed in pee-water during the actual wash cycles. This also helps get the ammonia smell out of your diapers.

2. Hang your diaper covers to dry if at all possible. For 2 years, I put all my diapers – pockets and inserts – into the dryer on medium heat. Recently, I’ve noticed that my PUL is starting to look a little stretched. It’s still holding up to my son’s usage, but I can tell they’re not like new anymore. Now I hang dry my pockets and toss my inserts into the dryer. I usually let them dry overnight, which is when I don’t need to change Jack’s diaper anyway, so I’m not left with no diapers ready when I finish using the rest of my stash.

3. If you use hook and loop tabs (Velcro), clean them out every once in a while. Our 2 year old diapers weren’t staying fastened, and I was getting annoyed. So, one day, after they came out of the dryer, I sat for about an hour and pulled every bloomin’ fuzz and string out of every bloomin’ tab. It hurt my fingers like crazy! I have since learned that it doesn’t hurt at all if you take the time to pull the fuzz out right as you pull the diapers out of the washer. The hooks (or is it the loops?) are not as stiff when they’re wet. I don’t do this at every washing, but it does make a difference even after just a few weeks of not cleaning out the tabs. Of course, you can forego this worry with buying or making all snap closures.

4. Use cornstarch for diaper rash. It wasn’t until Jack was almost 2 that I learned this age-old trick. We were visiting my sister-in-law and family one weekend, and Jack had a horrible diaper rash (which we call Red Bottom) from something he ate. His Red Bottom is always from certain foods. Since I was away from home, and didn’t have anything for his rash, my SIL recommended putting cornstarch on his bottom. I had never heard of this, but she said her mom used it years ago when she was a baby (and my husband too, of course) and she used it on every one of her kids. I knew my MIL had used cloth diapers, so I gave it a try. The Red Bottom was gone in the next 2 diaper changes. It was considerably less after one change, and completely gone after a second change. I was FLOORED! I wish I had known about this miracle ingredient when Jack had first started eating solids. Now, whenever he has a sore bottom, he asks for the cornstarch. He loves it. My non-CDing friends have even found this useful.

I hope you’ve found at least one gem from this short list that will help you with your cloth diapering system and decisions. I wish I had a mentor when I was starting into this adventure, because I had SOOO many questions. If you want to get more information on any of these tips or even ask me about something completely unrelated, please email me and we’ll talk! And feel free to pop on over to my blog to see what other gems of randomness you can find.

Thanks, Beth, for letting me guest post today. I’m excited for the rest of Fluff Fest this month!

The End

Amanda has been blogging at Growth Chart Moments for over two years. She is a stay-at-home mom who taught and coached 9 years in the public school system. She is the mother of a 2 and a half year old, darling little boy who she has cloth diapered since he was 4 months old. Her blog is aptly described as "A wife and mother rambles her way through life taking time to notice her family's growth chart moments." It's a hodge-podge of wonderful randomness. Make sure you stop by her blog and say "hi!"

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Lori said...

Good advice! I am now a grandma but have diapered 3 babies of my own. Another amazing diaper rash healer is burnt flour. I learned this from my grandma. We just slightly burnt flour in a dry iron skillet and put it in a jar. It almost heals it overnight! The carbon is very healing to babies skin. I love the idea of hanging the diapers! You look very organized...:)

Amanda said...

Thanks, Lori, for the burnt flour advice. I'd never heard of that! I may have to try it out next time.

My laundry room was JUST organized and my husband had just figured out a way for me to hang my diapers with rope looped back and forth through my wire rack right before I took this picture. Somewhere on my blog you can see the before and after of my laundry room...I'm not organized really. :)

Thanks for the comment, I hope you get to see this!

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