Sunday, December 5, 2010

How To: Cloth Diapers

OK. This isn't Christmas or Christmas related but I want to keep good on a promise to a friend and explain how I use cloth diapers. Now Jackie is the real "Pro" at cloth diapers. She has been diapering for 10 years and for 5 children. I have only been using cloth diapers for a couple of months for my first child, but it is easy and definitely saves money.

Wade was small for a long time and we received lots of Huggies Pure and Natural disposable diapers, so until 3 and 1/2 months Wade wore disposables. He still wears disposables at night time (a generic brand) because he is such a heavy wetter, but I hope to be transferring him soon into cloth at night as well. When you look at the price of a case of disposable diapers not to mention the large amount of trash they create you can see why cloth diapers can be appealing.

Now my grandmothers and my mother used cloth diapers but their options weren't as numerous as today's. You used a cloth diaper, a safety pin, and a plastic pull up cover. Done. Honestly, as confused as I was looking at all the options out there when it comes down to it, cloth diapers is the same then as now. The covers are just fancier and sometimes the cover and the diaper are one and sometimes the cover and the diaper is separate.

I was blessed to inherit some covers and so influencing the system I used. I received 6 medium sized covers and liners of the gDiaper brand. Now gDiapers could be one of the more expensive cloth diapering systems if you buy their gCloth and gRefills. Don't worry about any of that. Here is how I diaper:

Infant size Chinese Prefold cloth diaper, gDiaper liner, gDiaper cover
1. Rather than spend the money on the gDiaper brand items (other than the covers and liners) I used eBay and purchased 24 Chinese Prefold Diapers. Total cost was $30.00 (shipping was free). I do think that I will purchase 24 more around Christmas/New Years, but I have already seen my return on investment.
2. I received as a hand-me-down (I LOVE hand-me-downs) 6 medium covers & some well worn liners which saw me through until Wade turned 5 months old (he got big quick!). I purchased a bundle from gDiapers of 6 large covers and 6 liners for a total of around $80.00 including shipping.
3. I then purchase 6 addition liners on sale at a price of $14.99 for a total of $20.00 with shipping. That gave me 12 new liners and 6 old ones, several of which I ended up throwing out because they were so worn they had holes.

Once you are get comfortable at diapering you will need more cloth diapers and liners than covers. But getting used to diapering I needed to wash my covers more. I really don't go through covers very quickly at this point at all and liners don't need to be changed at every diaper change unless they are soiled or stinky.

Chinese Prefold folded into "thirds" and cover with liner snapped in.
Wash your prefolds a bunch before using because they shrink and make sure you buy infant size! The prefolds are still large for the liners but it ends up working out well for "padding up front" where Wade needs it.

Side view of how I fold over the extra diaper in the front
Diaper ready to put on baby
Last but not least what to do with dirty diapers...

I use a simple bag system but will probably be moving them to a trash can with lid in the future. The wet diapers simply get put into the bag. The soiled diapers are rinsed off in the toilet and then put in the bag. When I am running low on diapers I dump all the dirty diapers in my washer. Add some organic laundry soap and turn on the hot water wash cycle. I do add an extra rinse but to this type of laundry ONLY. This is also the only laundry I wash with hot or even warm water. Then line dry the liners and covers and if you have time the cloth diapers.

You have a happy baby and clean diapers ready to go again!

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