Thursday, April 14, 2011

Cloth Diaper FAQ

I have been asked a lot of questions about the practicality of using cloth diapers.  I will attempt to answer those here.

Q: Is it harder than disposable diapers?
A: Not at all!  I don't have to run to the store late at night to get a diaper because my daughter got diarrhea suddenly.  I don't have to look for coupons or go to the cheapest store. 

Q: Do you use cloth when you go out?
A: you bet!  Since we started using cloth over a year ago, we've only used disposables a handful of times, and mostly that was because they were free.  I carry a wetbag with me and put my dirty diapers in there in the diaper bag.  No, my diaper bag doesn't stink.  In fact, when I used disposables I would carry my dirty diapers around in that too until I got home.  I never felt right throwing away pee and poop-filled diapers in somebody else's trash.

Q: Do you need special things in your diaper bag?
Nope.  Just the diapers and the wet bag.  I used to carry around plastic bags for my disposable diapers; that just was substituted with a cloth bag for my cloth diapers.  I still take a change of clothes and wipes (although cloth wipes now) and a binky or two and hand sanitizer and a sippy cup and sometimes teething rings or toys.  Depends on where we're going and how long we'll be out.

Q: What about daycare?
A: I'm lucky in that in the state of California, all daycare centers, whether in a home or commercial facility, are required to use whatever diapers I want.  So ... my daycare provider uses cloth.  And since my girls are the only two not fully potty trained, they're is no confusion in whose diapers belong to whom.  I have a bunch of a single type ... Flip ... and that's all I send her with.  That way changing is easy and not at all confusing.  She gets a wet bag and my wipes.

Q: What about poops?
A: the super solid poops get dumped in the toilet.  The breastmilk poops just go straight in the diaper pail.  The in between, sticky poops get rinsed with the diaper sprayer.

Q: Is there a special washing technique?
A: YES.  This is the most important thing to know about cloth.  How to properly wash and care for your diapers.  The goal of cloth diapers is to absorb liquid, so it is very important to not use a product that could cause the diapers to get what is called build-up and thus repel the urine.  The diapers are also going to be against a very sensitive part of the baby's body and the cleaner the diapers, the better.  Is is important to have a detergent that is free of whiteners, brighteners, softeners, enzymes, etc.  Nothing oily or greasy.  Just cleaner.  There are many diaper-friendly detergents on the market, and depending on your particular water supply, it is often a trial and error method to finding what works best for you.  For drying ... the best way to dry is in the sun.  But that's not possible for everyone.  So dry on medium in the dryer.  To decrease drying time and to help with some of the stiffness, Wool Dryer Balls are AWESOME!

Q: How do you store the dirty diapers? Do you need a wetpail?
A: I use a simple trash can with a lid.  I have it lined with an AWESOME Planet Wise Pail liner.  I have two liners, that way I can put a clean one in the trash can when one is washing.  I store the can in the garage, but have stored it in the bedroom too.  No wet pail is needed.  If you want to prevent staining on the diapers, rinse immediately and completely with previously mentioned diaper sprayer.  

Do you have any questions that I have not addressed here?  If so ... leave them in the comments section or shoot me an email.  I LOVE talking about cloth diapers.  It's one of my favorite topics.

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