Thursday, May 13, 2010

"I Can't Possibly Add to my Laundry"

As a mom new to cloth diapering, I know many Moms thinking about using cloth are worried about the added laundry. I'd like to help alleviate some of that concern. Let me start by saying, I hate laundry - with a passion. It is one my least favorite house chores. I don't mind the actual washing, but folding it and putting it away just makes me want to scream. The good news is, I don't hate diaper laundry. When reading about laundering it can seem quite overwhelming, but once you actually get down to the nitty-gritty, it's not so bad.

My Laundry Routine **See 7/23/10 update**
(Every other day, in a top-loader, using the highest water level)
Store in dry pail, with pail liner
Throw it all in the washer, including pail liner
Cold rinse
Hot wash, cold rinse - 1/4 "cup" (manufacturer's cup) of plain old powder Tide
2nd cold rinse if needed to remove suds and detergent residue (haven't actually had to do this yet)
Dry on low in dryer (Hang dry some covers that specifically say not to machine dry)
Take out and stuff pockets if needed, then throw in storage bin - no need to fold and put away in so many drawers!

I usually do the diaper laundry after I've put Little Man to bed, and I'm done before it's time for me to go to bed. Quick and Simple.

I will admit that I haven't been doing it for long, and I know I may run across some issues in the future, but so far this process has worked really well for us. The detergent is easy to buy anywhere, so we don't have to special order anything.

Sun-bleaching Stains
Why have I not done sun-bleaching with other clothing? The sun is miraculous! If you have any stains after the wash cycle, just lay them out in the sun to dry, and voila: no more stains.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

First Review and Giveaway Coming Soon

5/12 Update - I just received an email from Bumkins, and they "jumped the gun" on saying they would sponsor a review and giveaway. They have decided not to do so, so the review and giveaway is canceled.

I will be reviewing and giving away a Bumkins AIO soon...stay tuned.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Stash Update

Definitely Using:
BumGenius Deluxe AIO - 3
BumGenius OS pocket - 1
Bummis/Tots Bots Easy Fit - 4
FuzziBunz OS - 2
GroBaby (soon to be GroVia) - 2 shells, 4 or 5 soakers
Rumparooz - 7
Smartipants - 3
Sposoeasy AIO - 4

Bottombumpers AIO - 1
Bumkins AIO - 1 - If I like this one, I REALLY want the Dr Seuss prints. 5/12 See update on more recent post about review and giveaway.
Bummis Swim - 1
DryBees AIO - 2
Imse Vimse Swim - 1
Monkey Doodlez AIO - 1
Thirsties AIO - 4

Saturday, May 1, 2010

The Quick and Dirty

There is a lot of good information out there about the basics of cloth diapering. When you are new to it, all the different kinds of diapers and how to wash them can sometimes seem overwhelming. I am nowhere near an expert on the subject, but since I'm new to it I think I am poised to give a short, basic lesson in cloth diapering. This lesson is by no means extensive and there is a lot  more to know, but it will give you a basic start.

So here's the quick and dirty:
  • Cloth diapers are better for the environment than disposables. Yes, it uses more water. But water is a renewable resource. Disposable diapers sit in landfills, it is thought for 200-500 years. All the chemicals in them also seep into the ground.
  • Cloth diapers may help keep babies' bottoms rash free.
  • Toddlers may toilet train early.
Myth: Washing diapers is difficult and time-consuming.
Fact: I hate laundry and I find it very easy. I wash every other day with the following cycle:
  1. Cold rinse on highest level of water
  2. Hot wash, cold rinse cycle on highest level of water with basic Tide powder detergent (only 1/4 of regular amount).
  3. Dry on low. If there are stains I put them out in the sun to dry and it bleaches them right out.
Basic Types of cloth diapers:
  • Prefolds - also called flat or chinese prefolds. These are like your grandmother used, but you don't need pins anymore. They are often secured with snappis, and then a cover goes over them.
  • Fitted - often goes on like a disposable, and then a cover goes over them.
  • Pockets - has a stuffable pocket where the absorbent layer goes and can be customized for absorbency. No cover needed.
  • All-in-one (AIO) - No stuffing, no cover. Just the diaper.
Sized - Sized for specific weight ranges
One Size (OS) - Adjusts through various ways so that you use the same diaper, birth to potty.

Preparation - You do need to prep your diapers. Depending on the type of fabric, some just need one wash, while others need several washes, separately from other diapers. All diapers gain absorbency the more you wash them. If they do not come with instructions, check the manufacturer's website.

There is much more to know and learn, but I think this will get you started. Most of the online stores provide extensive information, as do many other blogs.

Happy Cloth Diapering!