Sunday, February 26, 2012

Cloth Diapering: Laundry Routine

A huge part of cloth diapering is the laundry routine.   I know a lot of people are scared off by the idea of washing dirty diapers, but it really isn't all that bad.  In fact, I don't really mind it at all!  Here is our routine:

All of Lane's dirty diapers go inside this garbage bag, in a pail liner.  The liner is essentially a waterproof, reusable garbage bag.

 When its time to do a load of diapers, I pull the pail liner out and take it to the washing machine.  I empty out all of the diapers and inserts into the washing machine, and turn the pail liner inside out and toss it in as well.

  1. I first run a cold rinse on the entire load. 
  2. Then I wash everything on warm, with a scoop of cloth diaper safe detergent (see photo below steps).
  3. I then run a final cold rinse of everything, just to make sure all of the soap is out.
  4. The inserts go in the dryer.
  5. The pail liner and diaper covers hang on a clothes rack to dry.

With 25 diapers, I do laundry about every 2 days, just to stay on top of it all and to make sure we don't run out.  In the summer, I'll dry the diapers outside, and also the inserts.  The neat thing about the sun is it naturally bleaches stains out of the diapers!

It might seem like cloth diapering is complicated, but once you establish a good routine and get into the swing of things, it goes very smoothly and becomes second nature.

We love cloth diapering!

Friday, February 24, 2012

Cloth Diapering: Our Stash

Before Lane was even born, I decided I wanted to give cloth diapering a try.  I did tons of research- should we choose hybrids?  Pockets?  AIOs?  Prefolds with covers?

I ultimately decided to try hybrids (the option to use disposable or cloth inserts in a cover) for their versatility.  I ordered a starter back of gDiapers, and waited anxiously to try them on my baby.

I ended up loving the whole gDiapers system, but Josh wasn't a fan.  I loved how trim they were, the cute, bright colors, and the soft feel of the covers.  Josh had a hard time getting the fit right, which is a necessity to prevent leaks.  Lane soon outgrew the small size, and we decided to not order the medium size.

I love cloth diapers for a multitude of reasons- they're SO much cuter than disposables, we don't have as much trash each week, we aren't contributing to the growing landfills, and Lane's little bottom is always so much drier when I change a wet diaper than with disposables.  He also gets diaper rash less often, and I love being able to alter the "stuffing" to meet our needs.

I recently discovered pocket diapers and prefolds/covers, and that is what our diaper stash consists of now.  Here's a brief overview of the diaper types we use:

Sunbaby Pocket Diapers:

I have 13 of these diapers, and so far am really liking them!  The company was started by a mom, and the brand is slowly becoming more popular in the cloth-diapering world.

The outer layer is a waterproof material, and the inside is a soft fleece.  There are snaps to adjust the rise and waist size, and this diaper is meant to be "one size"- meaning they fit from birth through potty training (Approximately, of course.  Every baby is different sized and might be too big/small to fit the diaper at the point of potty training/birth.).  Between the outer layer and inner layer is a "pocket", where inserts are stuffed.
The inserts that are included are microfiber, and so far seem to be very absorbent.  I also have some bamboo inserts that I really like.

bumGenius 4.0 Pocket Diapers:

I was given 2 bumGenius (BG) diapers by a friend, and they have become two of my favorite diapers to use.  BG diapers are some of the most popular diapers out there, due to their quality and ease of use.  Basically identical in form and function to the Sunbaby diapers, its very easy for us to switch back and forth between the two brands.  I will say that the BG's seem to be of higher quality, but time will tell how the two brands hold up.  I have since bought 3 more bumGenius diapers, but these ones have velcro instead of snaps, which makes them more closely resemble disposable diapers.  Josh really likes the velco, as its much easy to get on a squirming baby!

The diapers come with two inserts- one newborn sized insert, and one larger.  You can use both at the same time for added overnight protection, or if you have a heavy wetting.  There are snaps on the larger insert, so it can be matched to the rise setting using the snaps on the diaper cover itself.  (See the arrows.)

Econobum Prefolds with Cover:

These diapers are a much more economical option for those wanting to try out cloth diapering, or if you don't care about the color/pattern of your child's diaper.  (Side note:  one of the fun parts of cloth diapering is all of the cute colors and patterns available.  None of my Sunbaby diapers of bumGenius diapers are alike- I have lots of colors and patterns!)  The Econobums are made by the same company that manufacters the bumGenius diapers; its just their "economy line".
With the Econobum diapers, there isn't a pocket to stuff.  There is just an outer waterproof layer with snaps, and the insert sits directly between the cover and your baby's skin.  The insert is a prefold diaper, folded into thirds.

I've found that the inserts getting softer and more "fluffy" the more I wash them!

Because diaper creams can cause repelling of cloth diapers, Desitin, ButtPaste, etc. are a big no-no.  I found CJ's BUTTer, which is an all-natural cream that works great to prevent/treat diaper rash.  We haven't had any issues with repelling, and I love all of the scents available (Lullaby Baby Lotion is my favorite!).  The cream comes in a tub, squeeze tube, stick (think chapstick), and even a spray.  We have a large tub on the changing table, a spray in one diaper bag, and a squeeze tube in the other diaper bag.  The spray is great because you don't have to get your hands messy, and if your baby has a bad diaper rash, you don't have to hurt them by touching it.

Here are the three diaper types we use lined up side by side:

And here's part of our stash!  I keep this basket on the changing table, filled with diapers already stuffed and ready to go.  We have 13 Sunbaby's, 5 bumGenius diapers, and 4 Econobums.  (I also just ordered 3 Charlie Banana pocket diapers, but they haven't arrived yet, so I can't review them.)

Next I'll be posting our cloth diaper laundry routine!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

A Trip Down Memory Lane

While going through the videos on our video camera, I found this one from while I was in labor with Lane. Josh was bored and playing with the camera, and I was lying in bed after getting my epidural, just waiting until it was time to push. I can still feel that anxious excitement, knowing our son was just hours from being born.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Mr. Laughalot

This kid's laugh just melts my heart.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Lane: 4 Months

Dear Lane,

 You are now a third of the way through your first year of life.  Unbelievable!

You are changing weekly now, always gaining some new skill or losing one of your newborn attributes.  Every time someone sees you now that hasn't seen you for a week or two, they are so surprised by how quickly you are becoming a little man.

You are so much more active now, and have a near-constant need to be entertained by someone.  You want to be held much more now, but that's just so you can sit upright, or stand on your feet.  You love being quickly lifted into the air, as it tickles your tummy.

You have almost figured out how to roll from your back onto your tummy, but all the necessary motions haven't quite come together yet to make you successful.

At your 4 month checkup, you were 26 1/2 inches long (5 inches longer than your birth length), 15 lbs 1 oz (about 6 1/2 lbs more than birth weight), and a little advanced in your development (way to go buddy!!).  Dr. H suggested we start feeding you rice or oatmeal in a few weeks, just to see how you like it.  We're going to hold off on any other foods until closer to 6 months though.

Sleeping is going just the same- you're still in your bassinet at night, as Mom isn't ready to move you yet.  We're still swaddling you most of the time, but sometimes you fall asleep without it, so we don't risk waking you to do it.  You would still much rather sleep in our bed though!

You still love the TV, and are becoming more and more aware of your surroundings.  You now notice Molly and Maverick, although you're not too sure about them yet.  You also really like your hands, and they are always stuffed in your mouth.  You love chewing on anything you can find, and I don't think it'll be long before you're teething.  You often pull on your legs down, and lift them up into the air.  You're slowly finding your feet, but they still aren't as neat as your hands.  

You've slowed down on your growing, and I think you'll be in 3-6 month clothing for a little longer than any of the other sizes you've worn.

You love to cuddle your teddy bear now, and also your "lovie" or "snuggly", which is a small blanket with a teddy bear attached.  You cover your face with your blankies now, and rub your face into them to fall asleep.  It's adorable!

You survived your first cold, and boy was it a doozy!  You had a horrible cough, a congested chest and head, and to top it all off, Mom had it too!  We spend many hours sitting in the bathroom with the hot shower on, making our own steam room.  We had to take you to the doctor once, and then to the Emergency Room when you started throwing up from coughing too much.  Luckily, it was just a virus that ran its course, and you were soon back to being our happy, healthy baby.

Lane, we are so proud of the little boy you are becoming.  You are giggly, flirty, happy, active, cuddly, and just all around perfect.  We are so blessed to be your parents!


Mom and Dad