Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Cloth diaper journey

What was I thinking? Cloth what? Yes, cloth diapers (CDs)! During my pregnancy Leonard & I decided that we would use cloth diapers for baby Maggie to save $$$$ & the environment. I did alot of research online, attended a CD class, and worked with a great local vendor (Jen Starks @ Ecological Babies). My initial stash consisted of several dozen pre-folds with Thirsties Duo covers, 2 bumGenius, a GroBaby starter pack, and one FuzziBunz. Jen suggested that I try out a few different ones so that I can choose which one works best for me & my baby. I am soooo glad that she recommended that. Initially I was sold on the bumGenius and was going to invest in several of those. Nine weeks into using my stash, I have a different opinion.

To say the least, this CD journey has not been completely smooth. We've had a couple of bumps in the road. First, Maggie developed a rash at 2wks. The only time I've had to deal with a diaper rash is when Hannah had massive diarrhea when she was about 12mos old. Why did Maggie have one now? So, this was a little discouraging at first. Unlike disposable diapers, common diaper rash ointments/creams cannot be used with CDs because they ruin the diaper. And I did NOT want to have to buy a disposable diaper. I immediately starting using a CD safe ointment called the Magic Stick. However, after a couple of days of using it, the rash appeared worse! I was ready to pull my hair out. I did what I didn't want to do and bought a pack of disposable diapers & Desitin. I continued to change her diaper every 2 hrs around the clock & slather her bottom with Desitin for a few more days with NO improvement. The Ped said it was yeast and prescribed Nyastatin & Triple Butt paste. So, after another week of disposables there was minimal improvement. Then I found a cure in Motherlove's Diaper Rash & Thrush ointment & it was ok to use with CDs! Actually, a friend recommended it & I should have used it from the beginning. It literally worked overnight!

Our second bump was figuring out the best way to wash the CDs. See, we have a front load HE washer that uses cups of water (not gallons) to wash. I knew that breastmilk poop was water soluble & did not have to be removed before washing. Yeah, that's true if you DON'T have a HE washer! I would go to remove the diapers from the washer & ALL of them would be covered in speckles of yellow seedy poop. Now what? I certainly wasn't going to buy another washing machine. The point here was to SAVE $$$! Then I remember one of my baby shower gifts....a bumGenius diaper sprayer. I finally figured out what cycles and how many with what temp to keep our stash "so fresh & so clean clean!"

In short what I have learned thus far:

  • U need the RIGHT detergent & the right amount (a very small amt)
  • CDs needs to be rinsed thoroughly of ALL detergent (I think this may have been the culprit to our rash)
  • Magic Stick is GREAT for preventing rash & treating mild flares
  • Motherlove is GREAT for preventing rash & treating aggressive flares
  • HE washers don't use enough water to dissolve breastmilk poop
  • A fleece liner is amazing at wicking moisture with a pre-fold

So, 9wks in & no regrets! Maggie is starting to sleep a little more at night & I'm trying to figure out the best diaper for night time. The jury is still out on my preference for the BEST diaper. Hands down, the pre-fold with cover is the most reliable....no blow outs or leaks yet!


Anonymous said...

Hurray for cloth diapers! I think that once you have your own system figured out then it's pretty simple. We use prefolds and pockets. I love the thrift of prefolds but I'm in love with pockets. Right now I need to learn about stripping my diapers because they have have detergent build up in them - totally the hubby's fault ;).

Mireille said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mireille said...

Very informative. We're planning to use CDs too. Any tips on which detergent? We have a front loader as well.

Darcel said...

I love cloth diapers. It can be a trying adjustment at first. Once you get into the swing of things, it's so much fun. At least it is to me :)

Anonymous said...

My husband's grandmother said that if you want to prevent diaper rash w/ washable diapers is to let them soak in vinegar and water...bleach and water builds up chlorine which is irritating to baby bottoms. I use disposable so I filed this away in my memory banks.