Thursday, December 26, 2013

Cloth Diapering: Part V

In our fifth and final cloth diaper post, we'll be tackling questions and I'll be doling out free advice!  Picture this like the grand finale of the fireworks show...there'll be information spouting off from every direction!

And, I'll admit it.  These are my questions I had for my pal Patty from GroVia when I was just starting out.  Enjoy.

How do I “prep” (prepare) my diapers? Just wash with appropriate detergent and tumble/air dry approximately 5 times or according to manufacturer instructions to prepare your diapers BEFORE first use.  NOTE: Websites may say that diapers need prepped about 5 times to reach full absorbency – FALSE! They need closer to 8-10 washes to be fully absorbent! Use diapers during day time until you reach that 10 wash mark and then add in at night time. If they’re still leaking, try adding a booster!

What does “Tuck under laundry tabs (on hook and loop shell)” mean?
This is for your Velcro shells – just Velcro tabs and tuck under the loops so the Velcro doesn’t stick to other items in the wash?

Is a wet bag the same as “dry diaper pail”? Yes. This is for your dirty soaker pads or AIO’s.  Use a separate storage bag for shells only.

Are boosters recommended for night time use/ heavy pee use only? Pretty much.  You’ll know you need to add in these guys when your baby starts leaking.  Side note: Leaking can also be caused from an absorbency problem...It may just be that your diapers haven't been washed enough to be FULLY absorbent.  My son is 15 months and we're still not using boosters during the day.

Can BioLiners be reused if not poopy?  Yes, but it’s not recommended to re-use more than 2-3 times.

Is homemade laundry detergent OK to use?  Theoretically, yes…but since the weight, ingredients, quantities, etc. aren’t carefully regulated – NO!!!!  Do yourself a favor and stick with brands specifically geared for cloth diapers.  We like Bum Genius detergent, Rock N Green, and Tiny Bubbles.

Do shells need to be washed in special detergent, too? Nope. Shells can go in with your regular clothes and detergent on a warm wash. LINE DRY.

What harmful bacteria stuff do I need to be aware of?  Not much!  If your child gets a yeast infection, you’ll want to give your cloth diapers a special mild bleach wash on clean diapers.  Use 1/8 cup of bleach and wash on warm with a couple extra rinses at end. If you’re using a balm like the GroVia Magic Stick, be sure to cut off ¼ in of stick so as to not transfer bacteria.   You’ll want to use a BioLiner while using any medications on your baby’s bottom, or if you decide to use disposable during this time, wait 48 hours after the infection is clear before reintroducing cloth.

What diaper rash/balms can I use? The reality is that you can use any diaper cream while using a BioLiner, because it will keep the cream from making direct contact with the cloth.  Creams and detergents affect absorbency, so you’ll want to stick with brands specifically recommended for cloth diapering to protect your investment.  We like the GroVia Magic Stick.  You can also use Coconut Oil sparingly if needed.  Talc free powder is also OK to use directly on the diaper soaker pad.  Be sure to check ingredients and make sure any powder you use has a cornstarch base.

My baby still has wet poop – do I use bioliners? This is personal preference - I chose not to.

Do I need a sprayer hose if I choose to not use liners 100% of the time?  This is a personal preference, but we recommend a sprayer if you choose to cloth diaper full-time.  All it takes is one really messy diaper for you to wish you had a sprayer if you don’t. ☺

My diapers are clean, but have stains.  Any tips?  Simply place in the sun (inside or out) for a couple of hours to get rid of any unwanted stains.

I’m smelling a strong ammonia smell when I empty my diapers into the washing machine. Help! Try a second rinse on your diapers and increasing your detergent.  Instead of one scoop, try a scoop and a half.  Also, you may be storing your wet bag in an area too warm, which increases the bacteria growth.  Keep your wet bag open just a couple of inches to allow air flow.  Use blue dawn dish soap and a tooth brush to scrub out any areas that you know may have gotten an unapproved diaper cream on them. Mighty bubbles by GroVia will help rid ammonia build-up.

Laundry made easy: Wash on warm every other day with a 2nd rinse. Throw your wet bag in with every wash, too!  It’s that simple! (Remember – shells can be washed in warm with your regular laundry, but be sure to line dry these.)

Had enough of me talking? just. a little. more.

Rachel’s Rules:

1) Stick with one brand.  You don’t need to have all of the same styles, but the same brand will help you organize and wash your diapers more easily and efficiently.  Both of which will lengthen your diapers lifespan.  And your husband and babysitters will thank you.

2) Learn your stuff.  Make cheat sheets. Hang them in your laundry room. Have customer service on speed dial.  Take your time learning the ropes and ask for help when needed.

3) Be flexible.  I wasn’t going to pre-wash my diaper 10 times to have them reach maximum absorbency before using. I just wasn’t.  So instead I had disposables on hand and used those at nighttime until I had reached about 10 washes and was ready to use the cloth.

4) Get organized.  Find a system that works for you, especially if you’re in this for the long haul.  You don’t really want to be staring at that makeshift laundry line strung across your window for 2 years, do you? Make an IKEA run and grab that wall mounted drying rack and other necessities.

5) Do a trial run first.  It’s an upfront financial investment and an overall time commitment to cloth diaper.  Try out a couple of different styles.  Allow yourself to change your mind.  Give yourself permission.  This one always frees me up to make the best decision for my family and me.

Ok, that's it on cloth diapers!  Any questions I can help answer?  Who's up for giving cloth diapering a go?

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