Thursday, September 10, 2015

Cloth Diapering Our Newborn

I previously introduced you to the basic cloth options in my post How To Start Using Cloth Diapers.

Today I'm going to go over our journey with cloth in my son's first 2 weeks of life. His birth story might be coming later. I still haven't gotten to a place of writing about it yet, but to give you a small introduction:

Welcome, Nolan - 9lbs, 4oz, 20-1/2 inches long. He was born a little after noon on August 25, at 41 weeks along. It was a very difficult labor, but we are both doing really well.

I will be calling him "Little Hippie" or #littlehippie on Facebook. He is a very very laid back guy.

We started out using disposables in the hospital. They provided Pampers diapers (size 1 since he was over 9 lbs) and wipes. When we got home, we used the rest of the package they gave us and a box full of pampers size 1 that were given to us in a diaper cake at my baby shower. He wore 1 newborn diaper that was solo (came from the cake) but we returned the unopened newborn diapers we had!

Over the first few days of his life at home, we continued to use disposables because he was not making as much pee and poop output as he should have been. It was much easier for us to track how much he had gone in disposables. After about 3 days he started to get regulated, thankfully!

When he was 9 days old, I put him in his first cloth and took his 1 week pictures (just a little late)!

This is a GroVia newborn All-In-One (AIO) in the discontinued color Surf. I got this one from a local buy-sell-trade (BST) page. I don't reach for these much as we actually seem to get more leaks from them. It may be because he is a little bigger than a lot of newborns.

The diapers we use regularly are Kissaluvs size 0 fitteds with snaps and Thirsties covers. The fitteds are the absorbent part. They fully cover the baby's bottom like a diaper, but are not leak-proof, so you need a leak-proof cover on top. The beauty of the fitteds is that the elastic keeps all the mess contained. The only leak we have ever had in these is after Daddy put it on a little wonky (he only did that 1 time! We all have to learn.) 


As you can see from the fitted, there is an option to snap down the middle which keeps the diaper away from the umbilical cord. I love this diaper system and would recommend it to anyone! It's so easy. We were able to get this system as a rental from the online and in-store shop Itsy Bitsy Bums (search Newborn Diaper Rental), which is great because this is a type of diaper that is sized. Many diapers are one-size and can be adjusted as the baby grows, but these just have a few snaps along the belly to adjust for a few pounds difference in newborns. When he outgrows them (or in 12 weeks time when the rental is over) I just wash them and return. I can then use store credit from my deposit to buy larger diapers! The rental comes with 24 fitted diapers, 4 covers, and 5 boosters (for added absorbency overnight or on car trips). I would personally prefer more covers because it is possible for the covers to get poop on them or to get stinky from pee even if you are rotating and rinsing them throughout the day. This is where I supplement with my own stash of covers. 

His little fluffy bum is so adorable and we love the money-saving and the fact that they don't leak. 

We still occasionally use disposables on wash days or if we go out of the house, but cloth is my go-to for sure!

Wash Routine

We have done a 2 washes in the last week and the routine was not difficult. You may hear a lot of craziness online about washing diapers, but in my opinion there are just a few ground rules:
-Use a real detergent (Tide, Dreft, Gain, etc)
-No fabric softener or dryer sheets
-Do a pre-wash

Step 1: Put Detergent in my Pre-Wash Cycle I have an HE washing machine that asks me to put the detergent in the drum before clothes. I use line 1 (on the measuring cap) of either Dreft liquid or Tide Original powder in my Quick Wash cycle. Cold water is fine and I put it on Heavy Soil. Exclusively breastfed babies diapers can be put in the washer without having to scrape or rinse the poop into the toilet first. EBF poop is water soluble. When you start solids or if you use formula, you would need to dump the poop into the toilet before the pre-wash.

Fluff Love University says it best, "The goal of your pre-wash cycle is to remove as much of the easy poop and pee as possible. This allows the main wash to be much more effective as the detergent can then focus on cleaning the deep down inner layers of your diapers rather than try and clean the entirety of the diapers as well as the dirty water." 

Step 2: Dump the Diapers in the Washer I store my dirty diapers in a GroVia wet bag on the back of the door. See my post about Nolan's Nursery to see which pail. The beauty of this pail is that I can take the whole thing over to my washer and hang it on the clothes rod above the machine. There is a zipper on the bottom that I open and all the dirty diapers fall into the open drum. It's extremely simple. Obviously I shut the washer and hit start after this.

Step 3: Bulk Up the Load When the pre-wash is done, I add more dirty stuff to my washer. In order to get proper agitation, I like to put a bunch of kids clothes in my load for the Main Wash. Its usually best to use smaller clothes and avoid stuff like large towels and sheets that the diapers can get wrapped up in. You want the drum 3/4 full.

Step 4: Main Wash For this cycle, I use a full scoop of detergent on a Warm, Heavy Soil, Heavy Duty wash.

Step 5: Dry Throw the fitteds and clothes in the dryer. I don't dry my covers or pail. These are hung up on the clothes bar in the laundry room. Remember, no dryer sheets! These can coat the diapers and make them unable to absorb liquid. Not good!

Step 6: Optional Sunning If the fitteds have poop stains on them, put them out in the sun while they are wet and watch the stains disappear.

Boom, you are done. This looks lengthy only because I gave you explanations for each step. I have spent a lot of time on the Facebook Page 'Fluff Love and CD Science' in order to learn how to properly wash diapers. This is a closed group, so search it and then request to join. This is meant as a trouble-shooting page so you might see a lot of people with wash issues, but take into account that there are thousands of people following the page and cloth diapering who have NEVER had wash problems in their lives. 

How to wash cloth diapers can be controversial depending on who you ask, but I like the science behind this Facebook page and its website, which I have included a link to above. So far, I have only improved my personal laundry and had only success with my cloth while using their recommendations.

As you can see, the cloth is pretty trim. It doesn't give him a giant butt and it doesn't look awkward.

These past 2 weeks adjusting to a new baby and to using cloth have been great. I can say with certainty that we will stick with our cloth diapers and other than the occasional disposable when we are out of the house or visiting someone, we will never go back to paying thousands of dollars a year to trash the landfill.