I have a few mommy related posts that I started and never got around to completing. With Mother's Day approaching I thought this would be the perfect time to bombard the blog with chatter about boobies, poop, and all things baby....
Shall we start with poop?
I was back and forth about cloth diapering when I was pregnant. After some research and speaking to a few mom's who were doing it I decided with some hesitation to go for it.
If it's something you're considering, especially as a first time mom, I
recommend giving yourself at least 2 weeks to get adjusted to
motherhood, sleep deprivation, and breastfeeding before adding in the
stress of keeping up with laundry. I started when Riesling was about 4 weeks. I decided to get the all-in-one
diapers that adjust as the baby grows (7-35lbs), rather than brands that offer a different one for each weight/size category.
Although they say you can start at 7lbs a lot of websites and blogs I
read recommended waiting until 10lbs for a better fit. Riese weighted it at 8lbs at birth and hit the 10lb marked really quickly but I still decided to wait and make sure I had a handle on motherhood, plus newborns go
through a million diapers a day at first. Either way waiting 4 weeks
seem to work best for us.
We use two varieties of bumGenius. I have some of the 4.0 one size, which are a outer shell which you stuff with a fleece type liner as well as some Elemental, they are all sewn together so there's no stuffing involved. I actually think I
like the ones you stuff better. The Elemental are REALLY thick and seem
to take forever to dry (2 dryer cycles). I usually hang them to dry overnight on a clothesline Jim constructed in our basement laundry room then but them in the dryer for one cycle the following morning. With the others I
can just put the fleece inserts in the dryer and hang the outer diaper covering and they
dry really easily and much faster. I also feel like poop gets stuck in the folds of
the Elemental right now since i have it adjusted to the smaller size
which makes rinsing a little bit of a pain.
Jim installed a diaper sprayer, which I still can't decide if it makes a
difference at this stage. I know a lot of moms don't spray them when
exclusively breastfeeding because the poop is 100% water soluble. I have a medium size trash can next to the toilet in our second bathroom and spray out the super poopy ones once a day, usually after Jim gets home from work and put the days worth of diapers in a wet bag in the laundry room (unless it's the night I'm going to wash diapers in which case they are rinsed and right into the washer). It take less than 5 minutes. I may have to develop a new system once we start solid food (and know the sprayer will be helpful then!) but for now this system works for us. To control any odor (which I haven't actually noticed as a problem) I put a rag with a few drops of essential oil (lemon, tangerine,etc) on it and hang it over the edge of the trashcan.
I have about 23 diapers and wash a load about every other
day. I basically following the care instructions that came with the diaper. I run a cold rinse only cycle first, followed by a hot heavy duty/deep clean cycle. I use Charlies Soap that I get off Amazon.com and put any that have stains out in the direct
sunlight when wet and it bleaches out the stain...it's actually pretty
amazing. After they are dry I stuff the ones that need it ahead of time and organize them all in the top drawer of Riesling's dresser which is also her changing table.
For day to day outings I carry a medium size wet bag in the diaper bag for any soiled diapers and just take along 2-3 diapers depending on how long we plan to be out and about. They do take up more room in the diaper bag which is sometimes annoying.
When we traveled to Charleston we switched back to disposable (chlorine free) diapers. This is when I realized how much we really loved the cloth diapers. Riesling had at this point never had a "blow out" in one of the cloth diapers. With those stupid disposables we had at least one poop explosion incident a day. She did have her first blow out in the cloth diaper last week, but I adjusted the size to make it longer and we've had no problems since.
I'll admit it's not for everyone. The two biggest things I hear from other moms are: It's gross/they hate dealing with poop or the smell; it's just one more thing to add to their 'To Do' list. Personally I don't really mind poop, blood, etc. Not that I exactly like it but it doesn't really bother me. And yes, I'll agree, it's just one more thing to do but once you have a system down it's not so bad. I can see it being a bigger problem
for moms who are at work all day, especially if your kiddos are in
daycare vs. a relative watching them at home who might be able to throw a load of laundry in for you now and again.
Other things to consider:
Cloth diapers are a big initial investment but good quality ones will last for years and through several kids. That was a big factor for Jim and I because we plan to have at least one more little Robinson.
I view it as eco-friendly investment as well but there are those out there that say the extra water usage cancels out any benefit of producing less trash. I don't know that I agree completely but extra water usage is a valid point. We have a high efficient washer and I try to air dry as much as possible to save on electricity but our water bill has increased slightly. I also think we just do more laundry in general with the arrival of Miss Riesling due to burb cloths and changing her cloths (and sometimes mine!) due to slober and spit up.
All in all, we LOVE
them! I'll continue to use chlorine free disposables when we travel but otherwise I couldn't imagine switching back. If you're considering making the switch and have any specific questions, let me know.
And a couple of good websites:
Cloth Diapers Made Easy