Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Cloth Diapering Report #3

Eowyn is now 9 months old, fully mobile, and is eating at least some solid foods. The past 3 months have held both regular baby-sitting (while I worked 2 mornings/week) and travels in cars and by plane. Here's what's been going on in the Szrama diaper-front. (See past updates here and here.)

-- Daily use:
infant size 4x8x4 unbleached prefolds in a medium g-diaper (prefold: still using the factory seconds I bought for $11/dozen) It's been six months of using them daily, and they show no signs of wear. If they get a stain, it takes a maximum of 2 dryings-by-clothesline in the sun and they are nice again. I HIGHLY recommend good (unbleached) pre-folds to anyone! I also am very impressed with the g-diapers. This was sort of a surprise to me, since they are marketed to be used with disposable (biodegradable) inserts as a disposable-cloth hybrid. But two friends gave me their stashes (one with two whole packs of disposable inserts-- perfect for travel!) of g-pants, and after sewing new velcro onto one friend's very-worn set, I've been super-pleased! I just fold a pre-fold into thirds and stick a fleece liner over it, and ta-da! Éowyn is ready for another 4-6 hours. I've never had a blow-out and quickly found the source of a seepage issue (a worn-out holder). I love this system because it never marks up her legs, is easy for anyone, fits great around her waist, is super-cute, doesn't leak, dries stain-free and simply, is economical, and is pre-loadable (helps Daddy and diaper-bags out!). I even get use out of some random flat diapers passed down to me; just fold them up and slap on the fleece liner, and we can go for 3-4 hours.

-- While out-and-about, overnight, or for childcare:
- a double-stuffed pocket diaper (favs: M Green Acre Designs, OS Kawaii Baby, M Happy Heiny, M snap Swaddlebees), my favorite inserts being hemp. Not so impressed with Fuzzibunz... I'm actually trying to pass on half a dozen of them...send any interested my way. OR
- a regular-sized prefold, modified a la this webpage, with a diaper cover
I took 2 unbleached regular-sized prefolds (I have a dozen I inherited--they are too big for E now) and use them overnight (again with a fleece liner) with great results. I still like my M Bummis those leg-gussets!

Others used:
Bumkins Dr. Seuss covers (not sure what's up with the mesh in the back; if she sleeps in them it often leaks there)

Tricks & Tips learned:
- I'm sort of in love with this site...
- diaper liners: I cut up a fleece blanket into strips, and use these for my liners. I think they make a big difference in keeping her dry and rash-free. Also make for easier clean-up of poops, and also guard against lotions getting on the diapers themselves. They dry super-fast.
- wipe solution: ~1/2 T raw coconut oil, drop or two of baby wash, and ~1/3 wipe-box-full of water. So far my cloth wipes (just washcloths cut into halves or fourths) are holding up well. I'm zig-zagging the cut edges a bit at a time. Not sure if it's needed, but I think it will help them hold up longer.
- I had to strip several pocket diapers I bought used (they were repelling water!)...after washing them normally, I boiled them with white vinegar in the water, then I scrubbed them with a natural oxygen bleach powder (natural version of OxyClean) with a toothbrush, and then I threw them in the next diaper load. They've worked great ever since!!
- for diaper rashes (rare): Burt's Bees Carrot Night Cream, or coconut oil (raw). [I just bought Arbonne's Herbal Diaper Creme, and to my dismay found it contains soybean oil, so I can't apply it to her!! I have put it onto a disposable wipe and spread it on her that way. Supposedly it doesn't interfere with cloth diaper absorbancy...] Anyway I LOVE the night cream, and also put it on any skin irritation, etc on her. It doesn't treat anything, so probably wouldn't work on an infection, but it does nourish the skin & heal it up quickly!
- my laundry routine works like a charm: hot cycle with double rinse, using ~2 T of my homemade soap (grated soaps --most recently freebies from hotels,-- borax, washing soda & a tad of OxyClean), drying everything in the sun (usually). I have enough diapers to make it through 3-4 days easily. I just bought a pail liner (Kissa's Antibacterial) to make laundry faster and less gross. :) I have learned that I DO need that much soap-- any less and the diapers smell "swampy", and if I skip the 2nd rinse I risk giving my baby diaper rash. :( White vinegar helps too. I also think that using coconut soap or fels-naptha instead of random hotel soaps makes for a stronger detergent, meaning it might be better for diapers.
- for swim diapers-- meant to catch solids, not liquids: a g-pant (old) with a square of cloth from an old t-shirt folded inside (so her bum isn't touching plastic), and an old Dappi brand cover (it had nice mesh inside) that's too small to be worn over a prefold, also with cotton fabric folded inside. These worked great at the beach, and we'll be using them all summer long!
- for pocket-diaper inserts-- microfiber "carwash" towels from Target folded into 3rds. They really do work!

My stash: between each wash I regularly use 1 dozen unbleached pre-folds, 1/2 dozen flats, ~18 diaper liners, 4-6 diaper doublers, ~4 g-pants, ~6 g-diaper liners, 3-6 pocket diapers, 2 extra-absorbancy prefolds, and 1 diaper cover. I do diaper loads 2ce/week.

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