Monday, April 12, 2010

Someday, I might get to those Cloth Diapers

I know, I know. I keep saying I want to try cloth diapers. Maybe you're tired of hearing about it. I was all ready to order some when I realized I have even more questions. I am just going to dump them here and hope all you experts can help a girl out! Some of them are probably dumb...but here it goes anyway.

Background: I am planning to buy some Flips and some prefolds (because they're cheaper) and covers. (I also figured I could use some prefolds when in need of "doubling" up.) Stevie apparently has sensitive skin. He has a pretty bad rash right now from trying some disposable diaper booster pads in his overnight diapers. We're still thinking of just using overnight disposable diapers at night and cloth diapers during the day.

1. Is my son going to experience diaper rash with prefolds since they aren't fancy at pulling the moisture away?

2. What is the difference between Chinese and Indian prefolds? What do you prefer? What does premium they hold more? Doesn't any store sell them so I don't have to order online?

3. I am looking at detergents and my head spins. (I'm not up to making my own yet.) I like the sound of Rockin green, but maybe I should go with the actual Bumgenius detergent if I'm getting their brand diapers (keeping warranty in mind)? Every kind I'm reading is showing some sort of problem with some people...either with stink or stains or whatever. With the Flip, I'm planning on the stay dry they're microfiber, which I heard becomes stinky. Do I want to spend lots of money trying out detergents? No.

4. If detergent is so I need to use cloth diaper detergent with all my laundry? Will my regular detergent leave build up in my washer...transferring to my cloth diapers?

5. How many times do I really wash the in rinses and washes? Do I only put detergent in once?

6. Do you use a bag or an open pail for your dirty diapers? Does it need to be special? Do you rinse your diapers right away to get some pee/mess out? I rinsed his clothes by hand right away to get the blowouts out.

7. I've heard of using wipes (washing and drying them as long as they last) for liners until their used with a poopy diaper. Do those need to be washed separately from the diapers to get their "soapy-ness" out? Anyone used like Kushies disposable liners? Did they cause irritation?

8. I also want a liner option for when my little guy gets a use diaper cream. So, what do you do when your little one gets a rash?

9. Stevie's a heavy wetter. Are there really any good doublers that are worth it and cheaper than more inserts...or should I just buy more of the Flip inserts to double up?

10. How do you know how much detergent to use? How does it vary depending on front loader and top loader? Does powder or liquid detergent matter? We are hoping to move in a couple of months...and we're not sure what kind we'll have yet.

Hmm, what this probably boils down to is this: I don't want to buy all these diapers (though I'm going to start small), and mess them up or make this a big waste of time and money. Maybe I'm making a mountain out of a mole, please! :)


Nicole said...

Hi! I found you on Mckmama's Blogfrog. I am going to try to answer your questions about cloth diapering. I am in no way an expert but I have done a TON of research. I cloth diapered my 2nd daughter for a short time before she was trained and I will be cloth diapering my 3rd baby due in October! Here goes....

1.) He should not have diaper rash with cloth however, babies can be sensitive to cloth as well. Lets hope your little guy will not be:)

2.)Chinese prefolds are usually more durable therefore last a bit longer. Indian prefolds are usually softer. Premium means they are thick. Regular ones are not as many layers. I would highly reccomend buying them from The are wider and are very durable. You can chose from bleached (bleached with peroxide, not chlorine), unbleached and organic. I like that they are wider because this means use can use a snappi to secure them on the baby instead of just laying them in the cover. Laying them in the cover is just fine but poops can get messy that way. If you buy prefolds from somewhere else they won't be as wide and they will be really long and you will have to fold them down which will cause a lot of excess bulk. I don't like bulk. That's just my preference. Don't buy prefold at Walmart or Target, they aren't any good as diapers.

3.)I have no experience with Rocking green. I used original Tide powder. NOT the kinds with added bleach or anything. Some people do not have success with Tide a lot of people use it and think it's great. I like it because that's what I wash all our clothes in as well. It hasn't caused build up on my diapers but we didn't use them long term. I've heard that Country Save can be found at many grocery stores and it supposedly works well and is cheap. I do not recommend washing your diapers with the rest of your clothes. The flip diapers can be used with prefolds which I'm sure you know. I've also heard that microfiber tends to hold stink. I've read that if you have stink with them they can be bleached but I'm not sure if that would void your warranty. DON'T bleach your covers!!

4.) I've heard some people say that their regular detergent does leave build up on their diapers. Others say they've had no problem. Trial and error? I don't know about this. I didn't have any problem since I used Tide with everything.

5.) The usual wash cycle is cold rinse, hot wash with detergent and a cold rinse and then one extra rinse. Depending on your water, you may have to adjust your cycle until it works for you.

To be continued...

Nicole said...

6.) Hopefully you won't have as many blow outs with cloth:) A diaper sprayer is handy for spraying off excess poop into the toilet. Or if you use flushable liners, hopefully they will catch most of it and you can just flush it. I never rinsed them just for pee. If you wash every 2-3 days you shouldn't have a problem with stink. Dry pail seems to work just fine. Sprinkle a little baking soda in the bottom of the pail to help with odors. It's up to you whether or not you use a wet bag or pail liner. A plastic pail that can be rinsed out works just fine too.

7.) I've heard about the wipes too. From what I understand if you use the unscented ones by Parent's Choice from Walmart, they don't have soap in them. They won't need to be washed seperately. Flushable liners work great for some but not for others. I personally like them. Only have one brand but not sure what brand it is.

8.) Those liners mentioned should work just fine for the diaper cream. I've heard the best thing for diaper rash that is cloth diaper friendly and won't need a liner is lansinoh (yep the breast stuff) and coconut oil. The coconut oil is anti fungal and something else, lol, I don't remember but highly recommended by CD'ing moms.

9.) Good doublers? This a harder one for me to answer. The prefolds did great. With cloth diapering you just have to remember to change the more often. I would recommend any of the doublers at I'm thinking since your little one has such sensitive skin that maybe he needs all natural fibers. Maybe the cotton sherpa ones would wrok good for him. Check them out!

10.) I think powder is best. Liquid has additives to preserve it. Usually 1 tablespoon for a front loader or depending on your water more. Basically it's half the recommended amount. I've heard 2 tablespoons for a top loader. We have very hard water so I had to use more than one tablespoon.

It's really not as bad as it sounds. I suggest getting a dozen or two prefolds and about 6 covers (different kinds) to try out. That should hopefully last two days. If you like it, move forward with it. Prefolds are the most economical way to go, in my opinion. If you find that you don't like it, you can usually sell them for close to what you paid

For covers, I haven't tried the Flip yet, some people say they can't get a good fit and other people love them. I like the Thirsties really well. I don't like the Bummis Super Whisper Wraps because the inside is not exposed PUL. Get poop on it and it's gotta go in the pail. With exposed PUL it can be wiped clean and re-used a couple times before washing. Your little guy could probably wear thirsties mediums now and they would fit for a good while.

Again, check out the site There are tons of pictures of actual babies in each product so you can see how everything fits. I found this very helpful in making my decisions.

If you have any more questions, please feel free to ask. I sure hope some of this helped!

Nicole said...

I had to split up my response because it was too long:)

If you have any questions you can email me at alonglifestrail at gmail dot com.

Andrea said...

1) He may. BUT - you can go to Joanne's and get a yard of fleece and cut it to use as liners on top of the prefolds if he does. No need to hem the edges as fleece does not fray. (I cut up an old fleece pullover). We only used prefolds as actual diapers for the newborn phase - and both our babys were prone to rash with just the prefold against them.

2) I'm not really sure on the differences - past the newborn stage, we just use them as burp cloths/puke rags/etc... If you want to plan a daytrip down to Ithaca - Jillian's Drawers is here and you could touch and feel all sorts of cloth diapers in person!!! Great store!

3)We use Tide original powder. Liquid left stinkies. We also tried powdered Allen's back in teh beginning and I felt that it left the diapers with a filmy feel.

4)No, you don't have to use the same for all. I buy Tide powder just for dipes, and whatever is on sale for our clothes. I do not use any dryer sheets for any of our clothes though, I have heard those leave build up in the dryer and I just don't want to risk it. You could get dryer balls (wool!) to try instead of dryer sheets. (mental note for me: Buy some wool dryer balls to try!)

5)Here is our wash routine:
2 cold rinses
1 hot wash (with Tide)
2 cold rinses

6) We use a 13 gallon trash can with a flip top lid. We have a whamies brand pail liner. Scrape off the poo - dump the diapers in the pail - then on wash day, empty the pail into the washer and about every other wash I toss the liner in too. Some days I leave the lid open because it can get really stank, but most days we leave it shut. When it's shut in - it stinks more.

7) We never used liners.

8) There are some cloth safe diaper creams out there, but we haven't tried any. You can again use the fleece liners if you're dealing with rash. We had one TERRIBLE case of rash and we acutally put Laura back in sposies for the week so we could slather her up and not worry about the greasy stuff getting on the cloth.

9) I can't speak about flips as I've never used them. Laura was a pretty heavy wetter too and we use Fuzzibunz - they come with one microfiber insert and we ended up buying a pack of microfiber wash rags from the auto department at Walmart and using one of those each time as a double layer. Worked perfect. Remember though, cloth has to be changed more often than sposies - we aim for every 2 hours at minimum.

10) I did a TON of reading before jumping on the cloth bandwagon - and the school of thought was that you only use a tiny bit (like a teaspoon or less) of detergent - and I thought that sounded crazy. Know how the powder measure scoops are marked 1-2-3? I use about half of the amount up to the 1 line. ... so less than a normal load, but still maybe 1/4 cup? When I started using tide, I started with the liquid. I had bad build up issues (hence Laura's terrible rash I mentioned!) ... I talked with Mandy (owner at Jillian's Drawers) and she said to use powder. What I do now is after the rinse cycles, I move a few diapers to the side and make sure the powder is on the bottom of the wash tub so that it gets dissolved into the water before sitting on the diapers. We have a top load - and when megan and matt were buying their new set, I suggested to them a top load if they plan to CD. Top loads use more water so in reality, it should rinse the diapers better. Every couple of months when the diapers start to smell like a skunk, I take just the microfiber inserts and bleach the begeebers out of them... and then rinse rinse rinse rinse rinse... and that fixes it :) Also, sunning them can help too if you get stinkies or stains.

... if you're worried about start up costs - what about doing a trial program? Jillian's Drawers does a trial for just $10... If I were starting over, I'd try that first.

Mom of 2 Cuties said...

Hey Becky,

I can't comment of using cloth diapers because I never did, with either of my girls. I wish I had though. If I had to do it all over again, I would def. try cloth!!

I just starting making my own laundry soap. I've made a batch of powder and one of liquid. The powder didn't dissolve in our hard water as well so that's why I switched to the liquid. VERY easy and CHEAP!! I've read that is does work with cloth diapers as well. I just basically googled homemade laundry soap and found the recipes. Wegmans carries the 3 items needed. Our clothes are clean and smell good. I don't think I'll ever go back to buying it!

I haven't tried this but I've read that plain white vinegar works as a great fabric softener. I can't remember how much you add to your rinse cycle. I use a downy ball so I'll just fill that with the vinegar and throw it in. Again, I'm not sure about the diapering part but I would think it would be safe for your diapers. There are tons of uses for plain WHITE vinegar and it too is cheap and found at Wegmans.


Nicole said...

On vinegar:

Vinegar can be added to the first rinse to help get the detergent rinse out easier. The vinegar is acidic and it breaks up the bubbles and the detergent rinses out easier. Then rinse out the vinegar. Try different ways to see what works for you and your water conditions. Vinegar is fine for regular diapers, but it is better not to use vinegar on all-in-ones or covers because it is an acid and will damage the waterproofing.