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Life is beautiful whether you're soaking in sunshine or caught in a thunderstorm. I take the beauty of life for granted too often. I have a supportive husband who I don't want to live life without, a beautiful son who is always reminding me of the simple things that really matter, and an independent daughter who is teaching me to throw schedules out the window and live in the moment. My day is made when free samples fill my mailbox. I love discovering a new product and sharing it with others. I hope you will enjoy reading my posts and will share your stories with me as well.

Friday, April 22, 2016

3 Months into Cloth Diapering

 First of all, Happy Earth Day!  I thought this post on cloth diapering would be perfect for Earth Day.  Before you completely tune me out or cringe with the words cloth diapering, try to be open minded as you read about our experience with cloth diapering. 

I was like most everyone where I would roll my eyes and/or cringe at the thought of giving cloth diapers a try.  "That's disgusting" or "that's so much work" would be the first thoughts that jumped into my mind.  When I was pregnant with Savannah, I knew I needed to find ways to save money.  Diapers are one of the biggest expenses with babies and even with my CVS deals and coupons, it still cost me $30-$50 a month in diapers and wipes.  I knew my time would be limited with two kids and our CVS isn't as conveniently located here as it was in South Carolina.  Coupons and sales aren't as great here either. 

I had one friend that was a huge cloth diaper endorser and I loved seeing the cute pictures of her son on Facebook wearing his cloth.  I emailed her to get some information and the scoop on difficult cloth diapering really was.  I knew she would be honest and tell me all the details.  One email from her and I was 70% sure that I wanted to give it a try.  I joined a Facebook cloth diapering group and posted a question.  One girl invited me to come to her house and check out her stash.  That visit sold me completely on the idea of cloth diapering.  To see and feel the diapers in person changed my perspective.  It was so much easier than I had imagined.  Not only were the diapers adorable, they were so simple to use.  

I chose to buy my cloth diapers brand new.  There are so many sites selling used diapers and you can get an awesome deal when buying used.  I'm not a seamstress and many times these used diapers need a little work which is something I can't do.  I'm also going to be honest and say buying used diapers kind of grossed me out.  But I'll have no problem selling our cloth diapers when Savannah is potty trained.  That's the beauty of cloth...they have a great resale value!

I have tried several brands and my favorite is BumGenius.  They fit Savannah perfectly and I've never had one leak or blowout when she wears that brand.  I also love their one year warranty which I've already used once.  I had a snap crack on one of the diapers and they sent me a brand new diaper to replace the damaged one.  I bought my BumGenius pocket style diapers from Maine Cloth Diaper Company.  I love their rewards program!

I have three 2-in-1 hybrid cloth diapers from BB-Cloth.  The prints are adorable and I like the bamboo blend insert a lot more than the BumGenius microfiber inserts.  I prefer the pocket style feature on the diapers so I haven't used it as an all in two diaper where you put the insert on top and just change inserts when the baby pees.

I do not recommend Baby City cloth diapers.  The lining has already come apart in just 3 months of use.  Savannah also has had a couple leaks when wearing that brand.

I started using cloth diapers on Savannah when she was one month old.  There are so many transitions going on in the first month, the last thing I needed was to figure out cloth diapers.  And most of these one size diapers fit properly once the baby is 8 pounds.  Savannah was a little over 6 pounds when she came home from the hospital.  We used Seventh Generation diapers for the first month.  I was also nervous to try the cloth.  As excited as I was to be a cloth diapering Mom, it was nerve wracking to actually begin the process. I had invested $300 in cloth diapers, what if they didn't work and it wasn't as easy as I thought it would be?

The first couple of days, diaper changing took a little longer by figuring out which snaps to use and which ones fit her the best.  After one week, both Mike and I were cloth diapering pros.  We were both amazed at truly how simple it can be.  Mike loves that I never call him on the way home from work saying we are out of diapers and I need him to stop at the store and pick up a pack of diapers.  I love that I don't have to waste time cutting diaper coupons and looking for store sales.  Every time I put a diaper on her, I think about the money I'm saving by not using a disposable.  I think about the fact that it's one less diaper taking hundred of years decomposing in our landfills.

Now for the dirty part...washing the diapers.  It's truly not as gross as you are imagining right now.  All the used diapers get thrown into a wet bag after each diaper change.  The wet bag can hold a LOT of diapers.  I keep the wet bag unzipped to keep air flowing in there to prevent mildew on the wet diapers.  And yes, believe it or not, there is no stench when the bag is unzipped.  I wash diapers every 2-3 days and there are normally about 12-15 diapers in a load.  I have used Charlie's Soap in the past but I'm currently using Seventh Generation laundry detergent.  There are several ways you can wash the diapers depending on your washer and its cycles.  My method is washing the diapers in warm water first in pre-wash heavy/soak cycle with an extra rinse using 1/2 the amount of detergent.  Then they get washed again in hot water using the cotton heavy load cycle with a second rinse and full amount of detergent.  The liners are hung to dry while the inserts can be put in the dryer.  Once Mike installs my outside clothes line, everything will be hung outside to dry which will help speed up the drying process.  The liners are hung in my cold basement so they usually take 8-10 hours to fully dry.

Savannah is a breastfed baby so her poop is going to be different from a formula fed baby or a baby eating solids.  I'm in the easy stage where her poop is water soluble and no pre-rinse is necessary before washing the diapers.  We have started her on rice cereal and on occasion her poop will be thicker so we use the diaper sprayer to rinse her diapers in the toilet first.  We bought the Smarter Fresh cloth diaper sprayer from Amazon and it was so easy to install and use.  I do not recommend the Luxe cloth diaper sprayer...it didn't install well and we ended up returning it.

About the wipes.  I made my own using Mike's old white undershirts.  I cut out the bottom half of the shirts into small squares and they work perfectly.  Seriously the best wipes ever.  I keep them in the top drawer and when she has a dirty diaper, we wet the wipes in the bathroom sink and clean her bottom.  No bum spray or homemade wipe cleaner is necessary.  Just water and cloth.  The wipes get thrown into the wet bag also and are washed in the same load as the diapers.

Savannah had her first diaper rash pop up last night but she's in the middle of heavy teething which I'm sure is the cause of the rash.  It happened to Bradley all the time.  I used Motherlove diaper cream which is safe for cloth diapers.  One use of that cream and her rash was gone the next morning.  

There is so much more I could tell you about cloth diapering.  It truly is so much easier than people imagine.  The only drawback is the addiction I now have to the adorable prints.  I have to remember that I chose this route to save money.  The biggest piece of advice for any of you looking into cloth diapering is to find a group of Moms that cloth diaper.  Ask to see their diaper stash in person.  Try the diapers on your baby or ask to change their baby so you can see how simple it really is.  Read, read, and read some more.  Find a cloth diaper Mama and ask questions.  I just emailed my friend last night asking her a question.  My favorite cloth diaper might not be your favorite cloth diaper.  You may want to store your used diapers differently.  Your wash cycle might be different.  Either way, give cloth diapering a chance...you will be surprised!

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