3 Valuable Tips...

My son just turned one year (Insert the 100th heart-sigh I have had this week... kids really do grow up way too fast), which means I have been cloth diapering for almost a year. I thought I would share my thoughts about it for any who are curious, BUT FIRST (since many of you may not be AT ALL interested in reading anything having to do with diapers) I wanted to share 3 VALUABLE THINGS that I learned from cloth diapering that will seriously benefit you too, whether you are cloth diapering or not.


1. Thirsty Towels- Who likes big, thick. thirsty towels? I do! CDing is all about maximum absorbency (i.e. "thirsty"), so I have learned that in order to get "thirsty" towels, use laundry detergent that has no fabric softeners added and do not use a dryer sheet. Fabric softeners actually leave a residue in your fabric that make it harder to absorb liquid, same with dryer sheets. Fine for clothes. Not so fine for towels. See this list of detergents to see if yours measures up (note: just look in the column labeled "softeners"... unless, of course, you care about all that other stuff.)

2. Dryer Sheets?- Want to save money on dryer sheets and money on energy bill? Cloth diapers are thick and do not dry quickly so I tried using wooly rounds (balls made entirely of wool) in my dryer. They absorb static, and bouncing balls in your dryer keep the laundry tossing around better, so it dries faster and stays fluffy. I now use these with all my laundry. Only problem: these wooly rounds were almost $13 a pop... so I tried tennis balls... and they work too! The wooly rounds are better at absorbing static, but not $13 a piece better in my mind. So now, I save money by rarely using dryer sheets (only when doing my bed sheets and fleece), my laundry is fluffier, and I shave a few minutes off my dry time. Want to do this too? It takes 5-7 tennis balls bouncing around in that dryer to be most effective.

3. Swim diapers- Did you know that a cloth diaper cover can double as a swim diaper? They make covers in an adjustable one-size so that it grows from 8lbs to 35lbs. One cover costs the same as one bag of swim diapers. And they come in adorable prints. You can save yourself the money from running out to buy a bag of swim diapers every time you get the notion to take your 0-4 year old swimming and just use a reusable diaper cover (note: this is a link to the company I use, but there are other good ones. If you are interested, you are looking for the key words one size and waterproof diaper cover. They also make reusable swim diapers, but they cost a little more.)

Cloth Diapering at One Year update.

Warning: This rest of this post is entirely devoted to cloth diapering and may contain graphic language or things that may seem like "TMI." Side effects from reading this may include rehashing rough memories from your diapering days or may reduce your maternal desire to have babies. This post may also be used as an effective form of birth control. Consider yourself warned. 

(Haha I am cracking myself up... it's not that bad.)

I can honestly say that for the first 6 months of cloth diapering, I loved it. Truly. I am not lying.

You can look here and here if you want to see the beginning of my journey with it.

I loved the way Jed rarely got diaper rash. I loved that they were chemical free. I loved the cute covers. I can't explain why one would love cloth diapering, but I did. (Okay maybe love is a bit too strong of a word... but I definitely, and perhaps strangely, more-than-liked it.)


After the sixth month mark, my love has gone down to a I-prefer-it-to-disposables-diapers... barely.


Just being real.

I love the money savings. I haven't needed to buy ANYTHING related to diapers in over 6 months.

I HATE rinsing out poo-filled diapers. HATE.

For the first sixth months, rinsing the diaper of a breastfed-only baby isn't really necessary... and then they get to solid foods...

And then. Yeah.

And then your baby starts getting extra wormy-and-squirmy and they grow and their muscles get stronger and they start demonstrating a will of their own, and that extra 5 seconds of diaper time that never bothered you before, now adds to your daily frustrations. Child, won't you please just lay still so I can get this diaper on you? Puh-leeeease!

If all diapers were free, I would have cloth diapered for 6 months and switched to disposable. But they're not, so still I persist.

Some hope:
  • Now that Jed is near the 1 year mark, about 2 weeks ago we turned a corner. His poo is now more solid and much easier to rinse. He doesn't go #2 as often either (like once, maybe twice a day) In fact, sometimes, it's nice and solid and just falls right into the toilet, no rinse necessary (I warned you this may contain TMI...)
  • I am still seriously holding on to the hope that CDing will make potty training easier. All my fingers and all my toes way super crossed.

My sanity keepers:
  • Some days I just really, very seriously need to be able to throw the poo in the trash, so I keep some free-and-natural diapers (usually 7th Generation brand) handy. They are usually cheaper than huggies/pampers but a little more than generic. They are environment and sensitive-bum friendly.
  • I use a spray wand attachment for my toilet. Like seriously... seriously... if you are going to CD, get one of these. I may hate rinsing diapers, but I don't even want to think of how I'd feel if I couldn't rinse them out into the toilet. Big "ew!" for rinsing them in bathtubs or sinks. Like I tell my daughter, "Poo-poo and pee-pee go in the potty."
  • I only rinse diapers once a day, I just leave the poo-poo ones the top of the diaper pail, and rinse them when my kids are in the bath, since I have to be in the bathroom to watch them anyways. Might be gross to wait till the end of the day to rinse them, but it's also gross to rinse them, so...
  • I don't have room in my budget to switch to disposable diapers. This also helps. I am helping my family every time I take that wand in my hand and spray.   
  • Oh, and laundry... I don't fold my diapers anymore. I put them in a stack and plop 'em down on their designated shelf. It doesn't bother me to wash and dry laundry... it's the folding and putting away that gets me. I make that part really easy on myself.


    In summary: Cloth diapering is great for the first 6 months. Poop is nasty and not fun to clean. Cloth diapering can save you money.

    I may have just forever convinced you to not try cloth diapers, or maybe I convinced you to try them out. Or maybe you were one of the people who thought I was crazy to try them out in the first place and is now secretly happy that I have joined the diapers-are-lame club. Whatever the case, I would rather be honest than try to sell you on something I do.

    Me and my prefolds are pressing forward.

    Wishing you joy even in the poop that life sometimes produces!


    DIY Cloth Wipes and Wipes Solution

    While researching cloth diapers, I gave the only friend I knew of who CD'd a bombardment of questions and along with a ton of other information, she said that she also used cloth wipes. Her logic: if you already have to clean diapers, might as well do the wipes too.

    Makes sense to me.

    She even told me how she made her own wipes. Thank you friend!

    More money saved!

    To make my own wipes I took 2 pieces of 9"x9" baby flannel fabric and sewed them together using a tight zigzag stitch (practice on some scraps till you find what you like. I had my machine set to the widest zigzag setting and then had my stitch set to a little over a "1"). This project ended up being a great chance to use up some of my funky leftover thread that was cluttering my sewing drawers. The corners were a wee bit tricky, but other than that it was easy. A little time consuming, but easy. Confession: this project made me have dreams of owning a serger. So if you are blessed with a serger, serge away knowing there are girls out there suffering from a small case of serger-envy.

    I bought 4 different baby boy fabrics in 1/4yd measurements. And 1 yd of a plain baby blue and white stripe for the backside of the wipe.

    Tip: Tell the person behind the cutting counter that you want 1/4 yd. from grain to grain so you actually have 9 inches of usable fabric. My wipes ended up smaller than I wanted because the cuts were slanted.

    These wipes are SO soft. Confession: after making these for my son I was tempted for one brief second to get rid of toilet paper in the house and use these luxurious guys. Then I realized how much nasty laundry that would make for me and the idea was gone just as quickly as it had came. But seriously, these wipes are so soft, so durable, and after four months of usage, I have only had one diaper change that required more than one wipe. My son has one happy little heiney!

    This momma, who was definitely nesting at the time she made them, loved her fabric choices. Now that my son is 4 months and the thought is looming over me that one wipe per diaper change will not do the trick when I start him on solids and I will need to make more... I realize: They are wipes. Wipes. For poop. Do they really need to be cute? Ha! Okay, maybe a little... what is it about moms wanting all things to be cute for their babies... even wipes?! Now, my next project will be turning an old t-shirt and a couple of receiving blankets from my abundant stash into wipes. No baby pirate print, but they will do the trick.

    For the Wipes Solution, just plain old water could do the trick, but for the sake of a smoother and softer baby bum I make my own solution.

    • Hairspray bottle (these bottles makes for the gentlest spray on a baby's bum. Way better than a spray bottle.)
    • 1 squirt of Aloe Vera (about a tsp)-this will keep your baby's bum nice and fresh
    • 1 squirt of Baby Oil (about a tsp)- this helps keep your baby's bum soft. Little bit of oil also helps the mess come off nice and easy. (Olive oil could also be used for you all-natural momma's... I use baby oil because, well, I guess I like to have something that positively affects my sense of smell when working with stuff that negatively affects my sense of smell.)
    • 1 small squirt of Calendula cream (about 1/2 tsp only because too much will clog your spray pump) (optional): this is a great all-natural diaper rash treatment. I usually add this too, but I am out. 
    Put ingredients into a clean bottle and add water till bottle is full. Shake before each use.

    This bottle lasts me a little over a month.

    Please note: Though I did some research before making solution, and I am positive I am not the only one that uses a solution like this, I am not a medical professional and this has only been tested on my son's bum. Use at your own risk.

    So Far...: My Thoughts on Cloth Diapering

    My son is coming up on 5 months old, which means I have been cloth diapering for 4 months. I have saved somewhere between $240 and $320 on diapers, of course, I have probably spent $200 on buying some extra covers and the next size up in prefolds. But considering Jed won't outgrow this size of prefolds till after he's one year and does not need another diaper cover... We are going to start seeing about $60 a month staying in our pockets. (Does that mean I can go shopping?!)

    I still like CDing. I can't say I LOVE it,--they are DIAPERS, people!--but I do like it better than disposables. I figured I better write my thoughts on it now because in one month we will be starting solid foods.  My opinion could change... we'll see. (To see my first thoughts, as well as my pro and con list to CDing click here.)

    Last night, I had one of those desperate diaper moments. You know, when you realize you are completely out and no there is not an extra one hanging out in the car or hidden in the diaper bag. Between celebrating our anniversary to having to be at church early Sunday and then also needing to spend some time at my parents, we did not get our diapers cleaned in a timely fashion. So, here's the discovery I made: an old dish towel will do the trick. Prefolds definitely work better, but the dish towel saved our night. So there you go, one more benefit to CDing... when you find yourself diaperless... improvise with anything cloth that can absorb liquid.

    I have finally settled on my favorite diapers. I like the Flip covers with a mix of prefolds and inserts. I love the Flips because the velcro is "sticky." I like that they give me the option of either using inserts or prefolds. One of my favorite things about them is that the piping around the legs is out of the same color fabric as the entire cover rather than being white. White piping holds stains and my diaper covers that have it look nasty at this point. It's a really a simple, rather shallow thing, but seriously poo stains look icky... so thank you Flip for taking this into consideration!

    Here's a Happy Heiney's cover and a Flip cover so you can see this white piping of which I speak.

    A good ol' angel folded prefold holds more liquid and prevent more blowouts than any other method I've tried... but it takes time. Time is precious. So I use prefolds at night and in the morning till Jed's morning BM (I know, seems like TMI right? But this whole post is dedicated to diapers so...) The rest of the day I use an insert (well until I run out, I haven't purchased many of these things yet). No snappi's, no folding, just stick it the cover and you are good to go. When I run our of inserts, I use a prefold folded in thirds and just stick it in the cover like I would an insert.

    In case you are curious or clueless, here is a 1) an angel-folded prefold with a snappi, 2) a prefold folded in 3rds placed in a Flip cover, and 3) a Flip insert in a Flip cover.

     My favorite item for cloth diapers are LEG WARMERS!!!  But if you read my blog, you already know this. If you stumbled across this blog as a momma-to-be doing so research on cloth diapers, click on the leg-warmers link and make yourself some while you are nesting. You will NOT regret this :)

    Oh and one more thing to mention, Jed has only managed to blow through ONE diaper cover onto his clothes, so his clothes are poo-stain-free and so are mine (ever have had that precious baby sitting on your lap poop through their clothes onto yours?! And, of course, you brought them a change of clothes, but you, well... you get to proudly sport that poo stain on your white shorts for the duration of that summer BBQ). 

    That's pretty much it. I like cloth diapering. I do not regret my decision. So far I have saved the planet from roughly 1080 diapers (that's 10 diapers a day in the first 2 months and 8 diapers a day in the most recent 2 months) sitting in a land fill, I have made it into the black with my savings... over $40 now, and will continue to increase the savings by about $60 a month now, and even if I should decide to stop when we get to solid foods because I don't want to handle that much poop that closely (I am still traumatized from Addy's potty training "adventure." What can I say? I am sure I will recover, but definitely not any time soon... ha!) I will still come out on top. Reminds me of the saying "Nothing ventured, nothing gained." I ventured, and I have gained!

    I will report back when get to solid food. Till then...

    Cloth Diapering: If you only knew what other cloth diaperers know...

    I think it may have been a tight budget combined with a body full of nesting hormones that caused me to look into cloth diapering. I only had one friend (a now distant friend from college) that I knew of that CD'd (cd=cloth diaper from now on). While researching CDs, I came across the facts that each baby puts about 6,000 diapers into land fills in their first 2 years of life. I don't consider myself a "green" fanatic, but the idea of 6,000 poo-filled diapers times the number of babies in the U.S. sitting in a land fill is kind of a nasty thought! That thought combined with the money saving numbers, were all I needed to convince me to try it out. By the way, the average person spends about $1600 on diapers alone per child assuming all children potty train at the magical age of 2 and never need a diaper again (and since I am still in the middle of potty-training my almost 3 year old, to that I say HA!). This number-cruncher added up what she thought she would need to be successful in her CDing endeavor and came up with $450 (which is just my number, depending on how you CD, this number could be less or more) I also decided that since I am already washing diapers, why not go all natural and wash homemade wipes as well? So, I get to live with the satisfaction of adding $40-60 to this homemaker's monthly savings and the feeling that I am helping out the planet.

    To help you out, if you are considering CDing, I made my own list of pros and cons that I have discovered thus far. Also, I provided you with some links to some of the sites that helped me in my research.

    Jedidiah sporting a Thirsties Duo wrap cover.

    1. Money Savings! Oh and I forgot to mention: they can be re-used for each baby. The more babies you have the more you save. Also, people buy used CDs, so if you only want one baby... sell them when you are done! 
    2. The feeling of doing something good for the planet. I seriously feel REALLY good about CDing.
    3. I have yet to have a diaper blow-out and only had one diaper leak on me. For you first-time preggos: maybe my kids are just poo-machines, but diapers blow out A LOT! I tried Pampers, Huggies, Luvs and quite a few off-brands and could never find a diaper that prevented this entirely... that is, until I tried CLOTH DIAPERS. I HATE changing clothes as often as I diaper. So, maybe I have more laundry in diapers, but I have less laundry in stained clothes. This makes me HAPPY!
    4. Cloth diapers are CUTE! Yep, that's right... no more nasty plastic pants that your grandma used on her babies. CDs come in all kinds of different prints and colors. This also makes me very happy. I think diaper butts are cute and I love me a picture of my baby in just a diaper, but now imagine a cow print diaper butt or sailor print or bright blue or kangaroo print or... I think you get the idea. Sorry, Huggies, your expensive, limited edition, denim print disposables fail to impress a CDing mom!
    5. Now I am not here yet, but it is my understanding that CD'd babies potty train easier and faster. Hey, it's worth a shot! (and Puh-lease, Lord, let it be so!)
    6. Snappi's. You don't have to use scary diaper pins anymore. Snappi's are fast and easy to use, and, because of how they go on, they can't accidentally come in contact with your baby's skin.
    7. Breastfed-only poop doesn't even need to be rinsed out. I stick my pre-folds into a diaper pail lined with a PUL fabric pail liner (same leak-proof, smell-proof fabric used for most diaper covers). I wash my prefolds in hot water and dry them in dryer and haven't had a stain or noticed a smell yet. (Though I am aware, once we start solid foods, I will be changing my system.)
    8. Toilet-attachable spray nozzle. When we do get to solids, I can spray the poo directly into the toilet. This has been my sanity-keeper with my potty-training daughter.
    9. Less diaper rash. No harsh chemicals and they seem to "breathe" better which makes for an overall healthier heiney.
    10. Doesn't add much time onto diapering. (Same amount of time to put on a prefold as a regular diaper and maybe a couple extra seconds to put the diaper cover on? But if you use all-in-ones, there wouldn't be any extra time added)
    11. Different companies offer trial run deals. If you end up hating it, you can send them back and get your money back. Or you can do like I did, commit to trying it out for one size and just get enough for that size. I hardly had anything to buy because my baby shower took care of almost everything I needed. Score!
    12. No weird or harsh chemicals on your baby's precious bum. Like seriously, how do disposables get all that liquid to absorb?!? Have you ever seen the insides of a disposable and then poured liquid into it?... It's weird and so not natural! (Okay, and maybe i am a little weird because, yes, I've tried it)

    1. You will need to do laundry every 2-3 days. (diaper services are an option, though they will cost you about the money you save going cloth).
    2. Cloth diapers require special detergent (though not necessarily more expensive depending on what you use)
    3. For you mom's who swear by the purple desitin or butt paste for diaper rash, these are not an option. Special diaper rash cream must be used. (petroleum based creams get into CDs and affect absorbency). Not too hard to find it, but I am one of those mom's who swear by the aforementioned products. The non-petroleum products have not been as fast at working in my experience. I have heard you can use diaper liners to protect your diapers while using these products, but have not tried it for myself.
    4. Maybe a funny con, but seriously, the diaper butt is HUGE! My son requires a size larger in onesies and jeans to accomodate his large diaper rump. I am sure as he grows larger his butt will look more proportional, but for now it looks a bit silly to me. To give you an idea, they are about the size of 2 disposables put together.
    5. Most people have no experience with CDs. I can imagine child care workers and babysitters that just simply won't CD your child. Most people are open (and curious) but it can be hard to give a crash course on the angel fold while trying to get to dinner appointment. My solution was to get a couple all-in-one CDs (they work just like a regular disposable except that you don't throw them away).

    Best wishes in your diapering journey!


    http://www.realdiaperassociation.org/diaperfacts.php If you want all the cloth diaper facts, here they are!

    www.diaperjunction.com I have had a great experience getting diapers from them. In my research, they have the best prices, are the easiest to obtain free-shipping from, and have the largest selection. Also, if going with prefolds, their diaper-rite prefolds are the cheapest and work great! Scroll down to their "Information" section and look at their articles. They have a list of definitions and some great "how-to's" for those who have no clue about CDing.

    http://allaboutclothdiapers.com/ A great cloth diaper product review site.

    http://handmadebyrita.blogspot.com/ For you DIYers, here's a blog with some great FREE patterns for making your own cloth diapers.