Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Cloth Diapering Update (Months 0-9)

I'll start with a warning: diaper talk below! If you're not really interested, or eating breakfast or something, just scroll through the cute pictures. :-)

I thought I would take a moment to share our cloth diapering situation with Hugo. After all, here he is 9 months old and all, and here we are, still cloth diapering him (just look at that big cloth diaper bum!). This is actually the longest we've cloth diapered any of our kids: with Zosia, we called it quits when we moved from Boston (and when she was 9 months old herself) first because we were staying with my parents and didn't want to impose our cloth diaper on them, and then because our washing machine was an old rickety thing, and we didn't think it could handle the extra work. Well, here we are, two washing machines later (one salvaged from a house about to be demolished, one actually purchased from the store), and we're back to cloth diapering and I'm happy to say it's pretty easy peasy.
We start the week with a changing table that looks something like the above picture. We have about 6 covers, and then something like forty prefolds: my favorite covers are thirsties with snaps (which hold up better over multiple kids than velcro), and just plain old prefolds are the best as inserts. This quantity just about gets us through the week (sometimes we end up washing diapers a day early): the trick is reusing the covers unless they should get messy. And yes, we actually just wash them once a week. We store them in a wet bag, and then come Friday, we soak them overnight, run the rinse cycle, then in the morning wash them on hot with some Charlie's soap, dry them, and that's it. They come out clean and sanitized.
He wears a disposable overnight and whenever we're leaving the house, because we don't really care to sacrifice sleep or ease of travel for diapers. But when we're home, throwing on a cloth diaper is just as easy (and a lot cheaper!) than using a disposable. That's what keeps us doing cloth diapering: it is easy, practical, and cheap.
Now I will say that these past few weeks, we have noticed a change. During months 0-9, as you probably know, babies mainly just drink breastmilk. Their diapers aren't too messy or stinky, nor do they get very stained. However, right around 9 months, their diapers start to shift in consistency and texture. Suddenly, it becomes quite necessary to shake out the poopy diapers in the toilet every time (a step that those breastmilk diapers never required). This extra step is sometimes easy, sometimes tricky, and often a bit of a hassle, truth be told. Especially with two bigger little kids playing in the house and a dog who actually enjoys eating the contents of messy diapers (so they may not be left anywhere other than a zipped bag for any amount of time). Yuck.
So perhaps in nine more months I will share an update about cloth diapering in months 9-18, or perhaps this summer we'll switch over to disposables. In any case, I am quite thankful for these trusty old cloth diapers and the help they have been! We've gotten by on a handful of disposable diapers (as opposed to a box a month, which is about what we went through with Lily), which has saved us hundreds of dollars.

If any of you have tips on cloth diapering in this more mature phase of babyhood, I would love to hear them!


eidolons said...

We've used cloth on both of our youngest - in fact they are both still in diapers. They are 3.5 and almost 2 years old. We use fitteds with Thirsties and Blueberry covers. We've found that shaking diapers is fuitile and use a bit of toilet paper to sort of scrape them, instead (as soon as we're done changing or when we get home, if we're out). We keep our wet bag in the bedroom and wash every other day (because we have so few diapers). I found prefold to not stay where I needed them once the kids got too big/active. It was likely user error, though. (:

Best of luck!

Rosie said...

Fleece liners (which you can buy or make yourself) have made poop removal a breeze for us - we've used them since JP was just starting solids. If you're using cloth wipes, those are often big enough to use as a liner, too. Prevents the incredibly obnoxious swish & flush!

Angela said...

We installed a diaper sprayer on our toilet-It's like a sink sprayer that attaches to the tank ours was a bum genius- it was only 60 bucks and it really helped when we started on solids. You just have to give it a little spray and the poop comes rolling off.

a2zbaby said...

Really fantastic post covering with great info such kind of post, I always like diapers for babies

Adele said...

We are going to try the suggestions one by one, and hopefully they will work. So thankful for the input.

The Benningtons said...

After cloth diapering triplets with Thirsties, I'd have to say my two biggest pieces of advice (echoing some of the other commenters) are: 1. cut up some fleece to lay on top of your inserts - the poop literally peels right off!) and 2. For the messy poops, we bought a cheap dog bath hose sprayer and hooked it to our shower head (close to our toilet) so I could just grab that and spray off the messy ones into the toilet! Voilá!

Adele said...

I feel like if you could do triplets, I should be able to do one little baby! I'm cutting up fleece liners this morning.