So far reading all of your input on using cloth diapers has only confirmed my interest in doing it. Oh, and I am totally going to try the cloth wipes too. So, sorry if that grosses you out. But, by and large, the general response from those who actually use cloth diapers is that it's actually simpler to use cloth wipes and just throw all the dirty stuff in the laundry together than to have a separate trash can for wipes and a laundry bag for diapers. So I'll be letting you know how that goes.
Yesterday I did make some cloth wipes out of that old flannel receiving blanket I was talking about. It was kind of wonky-shaped, but I generally just cut it into 7"x7" squares. I ended up with 16 wipes. The original edges were already serged, so I just did a tight zigzag around the raw edges and that seemed to work okay. I'll let you know how they hold up in the wash, if anyone's interested. I also loved Aleatha's idea to make reusable wipes from an old t-shirt. Especially since you don't have to finish the edges! Aleatha is brilliant. I miss having her as a neighbor. :) As for storage of the wipes, I plan to put them in the Huggies wipes dispenser that we use for regular wipes. I'm going to put them in there and then pour the warm water/baby oil with aloe vera/baby shampoo mixture in over it. I've heard some positive and negative feedback about this idea, but I'm going to go ahead and give it a try. I'll let you know how it goes. Oh, and I don't know if I'll always do this, but since I was bored last night and feeling rather proud of my little flannel wipes, I folded them like store-bought baby wipes, so that each time I pull one out of the container, another one will come up so it's ready to use. Is that not adorable? Okay, maybe I just have too much time on my hands.
A number of you left comments or told me in person yesterday that you're interested in cloth diapering and want to know how this all goes for me. So, clearly I am absolutely no kind of expert on the subject, but I thought I'd go ahead and share a little of what I've learned so far, mostly from all the great comments that were left yesterday.
I'll start by addressing my two major concerns with doing cloth diapers.
Concern #1. They say that you just plop the poop left in the diaper into the toilet (and flush it down) and then just put the soiled diaper in the laundry bag along with all the wet diapers. But what about mushy poo?
Here's my concern. Olivia isn't breastfed anymore (apparently for babies who are solely breastfed you don't need to wash things out ahead of time), so she's eating only solids, but her poo might tell you otherwise. No tidy little nugget poos from this child, at least not usually. So how am I supposed to get the nasty mush poo out of her diaper and into the toilet?
Solution: diaper sprayer. I first read about using a diaper sprayer in this awesome Q and A about cloth diapering that my friend Megan gave me the link to in the comments on the last post. (Thanks Megan!) I watched this video about how to hook it up and this video of someone using one (how gross am I to actually watch a video of someone spraying poo off a diaper?) to learn what it was exactly since none of the product descriptions explained it very well, but everyone said it was "a must for cloth diapering." Kudos to the woman in Crocs who gave up a little of her dignity in order to show me (and about six thousand other people) how to use a diaper sprayer.
Anyway, if you're gross like me and you watched the poo-getting-sprayed-off video you have also now seen for yourself how easy it apparently is to get mush poo off of a cloth diaper. Needless to say, I want to have a diaper sprayer on hand, set up, and ready to go before we actually start using the cloth diapers.
The Bum Genius diaper sprayer at Diapers.com that I linked to above is the cheapest I've seen so far, ringing up at $44.95 plus shipping. But when I was talking to my sister-in-law Holly last night she said that you can also just buy this at the hardware store for cheaper. Has anyone does this? Is it the exact same thing or do you have to buy parts and put it together? Any guesses about how much that might cost? Also, does anyone know if there are physical stores (as opposed to online stores) that sell diaper sprayers?
(In my head I just raised my voice a little to ask those questions so you could all hear me. Silly.)
Concern #2: Getting booed in the laundry room.
Like I said before, we don't have our own washer and dryer. We share a complex laundry mat with hundreds of other people. I know at some point someone is going to tell me I'm contaminating the laundry facilities by washing cloth diapers there. Eek! It makes me nervous just thinking about it.
Solution: Reading this totally comprehensive post about cloth diapering while living in an apartment without your own washer and dryer from Hobo Mama totally helped me out in that department. (A big thanks to my sister-in-law Holly for sending me the link.) I now feel that I can
Reading that article, along with the reassurance of most of the poo getting washed away by the magical diaper sprayer, has made me feel a little less nervous about this. But, let's be honest, it still makes me nervous.
Also, here are some other questions I have:
I'll label them by letter (since the concerns are by number) in case any of you want to address a specific one.
Question A: I'd like to make my own wet bags. One small one to take with me in the diaper bag and (preferably) two bigger ones that I can use as laundry bags for the soiled diapers. Does anyone know of a material that will hold all the moisture in (like a kind of plastic vinyl or something?), but that I can throw in the wash along with the diapers? I was thinking maybe the thicker kind of vinyl, oilcloth, or laminated cotton. ??
Question B: Say I have a poopy diaper and I spray it with the magical diaper sprayer. Do I need to let it hang in the bathtub or something to dry out before it goes in the laundry bag along with the other soiled diapers or can I just toss it in, still wet?
Question C: What brand and type of laundry detergent do you use on cloth diapers? My sister-in-law Holly sent me a link to this awesome chart, but I'm still curious to know what kinds you actually buy and use. I'm kind of going for "the cheapest kind that works well."
Question D: I'm interested in getting a drying rack to dry diapers on out on our balcony. I like this one at IKEA. Any thoughts/suggestions? Is $20 for a drying rack a worthy investment? Do you hang dry your diapers much? I'm interested in doing this to save on the cost of using the dryer, but also because it seems to help preserve the velcro on the diapers longer.
Well, I'm sure I'll think of a bazillion other questions, but that's all I'll ask right now. :)
As a recap for those of you (like me) who tend to skim over long, wordy posts with no pictures, here are a couple of great articles to read if you're thinking about cloth diapering:
BYU's 100 Hour Board discusses the pros and cons of using cloth diapers from a financial standpoint:
Read it HERE.
An awesome starting point if you're interested in using cloth diapers, but really know nothing about it. This article was great in a lot of ways. It answered questions I had and I learned quite a bit from it. Thanks Megan for sharing the link!
Hobo Mama discusses options for using cloth diapers if you live in an apartment complex and don't have your own washer and dryer:
Read it HERE.
This article was also great. I learned a lot about different options for apartment-dwellers like myself. And it helped me feel more confident about the prospect of using cloth diapers when we don't have our own washer and dryer. Thanks Holly for sharing the link!
A few of you also shared links to some other great posts about using cloth diapers. I didn't share them here (yet) because I haven't gotten a chance to read through them (yet). I'm hoping to tackle that soon. :)
Thanks again everyone!
I love all of my awesome readers!