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Alternative title:  The One Where I Talk About Baby Poop

Cloth diapers were the one thing I was looking forward to most about having a baby, but also the thing I feared the most.  I knew I wanted to use cloth diapers even before we decided to have a baby.  However, there is so much things to know about cloth diapers since they’ve changed so much in the last 30 years.  I actually had to teach my mom how to use them, but I assure you, they are much easier than the diapers of cloth diapering past.

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After praising having disposables on hand in the first few weeks after MacKenna was born, I am so happy to have transitioned over to the cloth diapers.  Although we are starting using them earlier than most people, we are actually starting later than I anticipated.  (She was a month when we started using them and have been using them full time for 2 weeks now.)  After doing my research on cloth diapers, I decided that we would probably save money by purchasing newborn cloth diapers prior to the cloth diapers we will use until MacKenna is potty trained.  And I’m happy we did!  MacKenna was so small when she was born, I have a feeling we would’ve been using disposables until she was 4 months old – and that would have cost us way more money than the newborn cloth diapers.

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So, how is it going?  It’s going wonderfully!  MacKenna is still trying to fill them out (her legs are still a little to skinny for them, but we’re making them work), but for the most part we love them (or at least I do)!  I have 24 newborn cloth diapers on hand and we go through about 10 to 12 per day (homegirl poops A LOT – and likes to wait until I put a brand new diaper on her to do her business).  I can usually go a day and a half to two days before having to do laundry.  Until laundry time, they are stored in a wet bag that is washed with the diapers (I have 2 on hand so we can still “dispose” of the diapers while the other one is in the wash).

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Laundry is another story though.  I don’t mind doing it at all, but I’m still trying to figure out the routine.  We have an HE front loading washer, which unfortunately is not the preferred washer of choice since it senses how much water needs to be used.  A top loading washer will fill with a little more water, helping the diapers soak and get cleaner.  Currently, I am setting the washer for cotton/sturdy with a heavy soil and a warm wash + cold rinse.  I also add in a presoak and extra rinse to really make sure the diapers have a chance to get clean.  This seems to be working well for now.

As far as detergent goes, I am using Seventh Generation Free + Clear for now.  I know this is probably not the best detergent to use, but it is getting the diapers clean and doesn’t have any enzymes or essential oils that can ruin the diaper.  I’m not sure if this will help with the life of the diaper, but we shall see.  I just am not willing to shell out a whole bunch of money for fancy detergents quite yet since this is working just fine.

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Other things of note:

  • We have fleece/hemp liners that we put in for at night so she can go a few more hours with the diaper on
  • We have some leak issues with urine – if we don’t change her or forget to change her (which sadly has happened), it will leak.  This is only a problem with little potty though – big potty stays in just fine.
  • We are NOT using a diaper sprayer right now since she is exclusively breastfed.  Liquid poop rinses out in the wash much better than solid poop.
  • MacKenna has some diaper rash since her booty is damp a lot from the diapers (cloth doesn’t pull away the moisture like disposables do).  I need to find a cloth diaper-friendly diaper rash cream, but we are going to start powdering the diaper to see if that will help.

The one thing I would change with our routine is having some cloth wipes.  I had every intention on using cloth wipes to start out, but when I pulled them out of the wipe warmer the first time, they looked like they had molded a bit.  (I think just too much time sitting around in a moist environment and my warmer was stuffed full, which I think is also a problem.)  I HATE having to separate my wipe from the diaper – it just doesn’t make sense.  So, I will be purchasing 2 dozen more wipes (I still have a dozen) so I can stop throwing away so many darn wipes!

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And that, my friends, is your “lesson” on cloth diapers!  (Pssst – Heather has a great Cloth Diapering 101 on her site!)  Any comments or questions are welcome – along with any advice or points that I might have missed!