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July 26, 2007

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Beth

My diaper tale: I've exclusively cloth diapered three kids. I always home washed. I did not always have a washer/dryer at home, however, so would then use the laundromat. I had two in diapers for a while.

Generally speaking, on average, my kids would use about a dozen diapers every 24-hrs. Sometimes less, sometimes more: I wasn't one to let a baby/toddler sit with a wet diaper on. I had ~four dozen diapers per baby and always used pins and Gerber nylon pants: I liked being able to fit the diaper just right, and the other types of diapers and covers were too rich for my blood. And, I am allergic to wool so didn't want to risk putting a wool wrap on my baby in case s/he was allergic too.

With my first, I did not use an infant size: I'm not sure infant size pre-folds were available 18 years ago! But with my little ones I did have the infant pre-folds, and boy were they great! Well worth the extra expense.

I'd wash every third or fourth day. I never used liners or disposables: never had a problem with diaper creams or solid foods leaving stains (nor did meconium, for that matter). I would double-diaper at night after the first few months, once the babies were bigger and could handle the bulk.

Detergent: 18 years ago I used ... goodness, what did I use? ooh, I remember: Dreft, powder form. With the younger ones I used allergen-free liquid brands. If you have persistent rash issues, change to a different brand of detergent to see if that helps.

I always did a pre-wash rinse and then a post-wash rinse: the diapers always came out nice and clean. I'd sun-dry in the summer.

What else ... Oh, I never used store wipes: I'd buy about a dozen or so white cotton washcloths and use those (damp). Just tossed 'em in with the diapers for washing.

Sorry if that was all too much info! Happy diapering :-)

Beth

Oh, I forgot: I'd always rinse dirty diapers in the toilet before tossing it in the pail.

caro

I think I'd get some more diaper covers. Six in each size was about the minimum that ended up being convenient for us. They get dirty easily with poop leaks.

I never got around to using snappis, and we've been fine without them. Maybe with them we'd have had fewer poop leaks and needed fewer covers, though, who knows.

Amy F

Why I use fitteds: For tiny babies, having a second layer pretty much stops leaks from hitting clothes. Fitteds do a much better job than tri-folded prefolds at holding in runny poop. I tend to leave my kids in a shirt and fitted diaper while at home (especially while I had two in diapers) without a cover, so I only had one layer to change and I knew right away when he peed. A pocket diaper would have kept my floor drier, but then I'd have to stuff it and the PUL wears out faster in pockets than just PUL covers because they're washed after every use. My kids get rashy easily and pockets don't breathe as well as wool. I use almost entirely wool shorts and pants (some knit, some sewn), so I don't have any more layers than if I used sposies. That actually leads to less washing because the wool clothes only need to be washed once a month or when they're pooped on.

Here's the best ever detergent info page: http://www.diaperjungle.com/detergent-chart.html I think prefolds will be affected least by iffy detergents and pockets will be affected most. I've never had to strip diapers or do anything more complicated than adding an extra rinse cycle (and that was just during the runny poop stage before I could dump it in the toilet). I usually use Allen's Naturally (MI product, you might be able to buy locally and avoid the hefty shipping charge), although I'm using basic Tide at the moment without problems. Avoid Free and Clear types -- they're actually worse. So is Dreft.

I preferred Bummis Super Whisper Wraps for newborn and small covers over Proraps, but I think Peter had already outgrown the newborn ones I was using and I didn't try anything bigger. Then the Bummis stopped working well after size small. I use Motherease Air Flow covers for size medium and up, but you can't trifold a prefold in those.

I agree with the earlier poster suggesting more covers. 4 newborns and 4 smalls is the absolute least I'd be comfortable with -- 6 newborns would be better -- especially if you're trifolding prefolds and are expecting more leaks onto covers. 3 or 4 are plenty once the baby stops pooping constantly.

I don't use liners anymore, mostly because I quasi-EC and change immediately after peeing, so I don't need the stay-dry feeling. I guess if you want them for easy poop clean up it might be worth it. I just bought a yard of microfleece on sale at Joann's and cut hourglass shapes. $3 and they last forever.

I agree that eventually one prefold won't cut it at night. Hemp prefolds work for some people. Doubling the usual ones works too. I'd mke sure there's a feel-dry layer at night when they'll lay wet so long. A wool cover is really helpful at night to help absorb some pee and reduce rashes.

If trifolding prefolds worked with twins, it'll work with a singleton. My kids were always so wiggly that trifolding never seemed to stay in place well enough, but I suspect you got much better at it and won't want a snappi.

Ah, just saw your approach for disposable liners -- seems pretty reasonable.

I might come back with more later.

Today Wendy

I'm using prefolds with Snappis & Bummies Super Whisper Wrap covers. I've got about 20 diapers & 6 covers, but we've got an apartment sized washer so we're washing every 2 days.

I love the Snappis. My friends who didn't use them had trouble with leakage. I had trouble with some of the fitted diapers we tried leaking, but I haven't had any leaks at all with prefold+Snappi. One caveat, they do wear out (only last about 3 months from what I've noticed so far) so make sure you've got an extra on hand. I think they're changing the bits that wear out really fast, so if you're buying them now they may last longer.

I also use flushable liners. They make changing poopy diapers sooo much easier. Even easier than with the 'sposies. Dirty ones get flushed, wet ones washed & reused. I've got a little mesh bag to throw the wet ones in, then we toss that in with the diapers after the rinse cycle, and hang the whole bag to dry. These also prevent any diaper cream from getting on your diapers.

I'd second the cloth wipes idea. We've got a little spray bottle with Kissaluv's diaper lotion potion to wet them before using em. They smell way better to me than the commercial wipes.

I've heard the suggestion, with older babies, to use the infant sized prefolds as inserts during the night. We haven't done that though, because the munchkin doesn't sleep longer than about 4 hours at a stretch.

Emmie (Better Make It A Double)

Ok – this is right up my alley –so here goes:

I’ve used many covered, cheap and not, and never found any that actually work “better” than Pro-wraps Classics. They also have the added benefit of fitting more than one body type, so they’re a pretty safe bet. There are somewhat softer diapers out there that might leave slightly less red marks, but I’ve never had any complaints.

Here’s a comprehensive chart about detergents and cloth:
http://www.pinstripesandpolkadots.com/detergentchoices.htm

We never finished a roll of liners. None are “flushable” with a septic system or tricky plumbing, no matter what they say (ask my plumber for the details – I’ll spare you), which means you’re still scraping poop or throwing the whole thing out, which is pretty gross compared to throwing out a sposie. You have a point about the diaper rash thing, but we never had much rash with cloth – only when we used disposables on trips or during illness. The Desitin with the purple lettering stays on even with cloth.

I never could use 2 prefolds – just too bulky, like they were lying down with a pillow under their bottoms. Maybe thinner prefolds would be better (but for anyone reading this who doesn’t know it – NEVER buy Gerber or any Big Chain Baby Store prefolds – only Chinese or Indian Prefolds from an online or local diaper boutique. They’re so vastly inferior/superior that they shouldn’t even be called the same thing. Seriously – I used some of each side-by-side, and the Gerbers aren’t even fit for rags at this point, whereas the others could easily make it through another couple of babies). We used Fuzzinbunz stuffed with a prefold and double at night for awhile, until O started getting a rash from them. I now know it’s because we were using a detergent that created buildup in the polyester from essential oils. Now that I know this (thanks to that chart) we’re almost done, so we’ll stick to a nighttime sposie until we’re done with diapers.

Fitteds = trimmer. For some, it may be a better fit, but it’s probably just as likely to work the other way around. We had some borrowed Kissaluvs, and had just as many leaks with them, and the extra snapping was more work. It might be nice to have a few around for certain outfits, but they are by no means a necessity. Same goes for all-in-ones, which are both expensive AND probably require more laundry. Maybe I'm missing something there. I hated filling and emptying the pockets for the few Fuzzibunz we had, and in retrospect, I think prefolds/wraps are a perfectly fine, economical way to go.

Snappis- never needed them, or even figured out how they work.

One of the less discussed aspect of CDing involves not the diapers, but the clothes they go under. After a while, we ended up with pants that had too-long legs and tight butts. Clothes are designed for disposables these days, and it kind of sucks, but it also means that overalls and stretch knits work well, so it might be something to think about when you register/shop.

Sarah

I never really rinse the poop off diapers. Washing machines have really improved, so I just shake the solid stuff into the toilet.

The fitted diapers have snaps or velcro and go on super fast. And I'll second the poop containment as well. They really keep it in. I always liked a dozen or so for going out, husband, or grandparents.

greenmountaindiapers.com is still my vote for prefolds.

I like your idea about getting a sampler package from Jillian's Drawers. That way you get to try out a bunch and can see what works best for your baby.

www.diaperpages.com has a lot of information, too, especially on nighttime diapering. I have found that a well-lanolized wool cover is unbeatable for overnights.

Sarah

Also, I love Snappis. Snappis and pins give you better coverage and do a great job of holding the diaper in place. Snappis are no good, though, if you plan on letting the baby run around without a cover since they get snagged on furniture, carpet, and your clothes. They do wear out after a few months' use and will need to be replaced. Also, don't let them go through the wash and drier. Bad idea. Ask me how I know. . .

wavybrains

I believe your house is two stories, right? You might want a second pail liner so that you can have one changing station upstairs and one downstairs. This is what I plan to do. Another CD mom suggested that I wash every day, but just alternate upstairs and downstairs. Other CD moms suggested the hemp doublers at night, or using pockets just at night if you have a heavy wetter. If you can get a 3rd Trimester ultrasound, do it. I had mine today at 33 weeks, and the doctor is predicting the baby will be around 8 pounds or 8.5 if it goes to term. If you can get one, it could help you predict size better. I'm also getting MANY of the gowns to make diapering easier. They're not as cute as the little outfits, but they seem much more practical. Luckily you probably have many unisex new baby things from the twins. Good luck!

maureen

Amy F. said "Fitteds do a much better job than tri-folded prefolds"

I have no idea what that means. Wow, it's alot more than just white burp cloths and safety pins, huh? I am going to save these comments to use as a reference for baby #3 in case I decide to go this route. Sounds complicated.

Amy F

"Amy F. said "Fitteds do a much better job than tri-folded prefolds"

I have no idea what that means. "

The elastic around the legs of fitteds would hold runny poop in the diaper for us, where prefolds, folded in thirds in a wrap, tended to leak poop at the legs onto the cover. It's not necessarily a bad thing, the cover is designed to hold in the poop, but then you have to wash the cover right away and it can be problematic if this happens multiple times a day.

Katie

I used Gerber prefolds with Snappis and nylon pants for both kids. J2 is still in them. When E was about a year I noticed the Gerber were not large enough so I bought some unbleached prefolds from online about 40 of them I think. When J2 was a year I switched to the larger unbleached prefolds as well. We have a sprayer attachment on our toilet to rinse bowel movements then drop them all in a dry pail with lid. I wash Wednesday and Fridays at home and used Dreft for awhile but then just used free of dyes/perfume detergents for everything and had no problems. I love to hang them on the clothes line out side when possible. J2 uses about 5-6 a day. I have 40 but 10 are used in diapers bags or spares at the sitters (she get 3 a day) so I only have 30 to get me between wash days. There are times when I have to ones out of the diaper bag if the rest are in the wash. The sister has no problem using them but she does not rinse them so I have more stains on the diapers than I would like but I'm willing to deal with it instead of buying disposable. My MIL still has not figured out the snappis (or does not want too) so when she has the kids for a visit she has her own disposable.
I personally don't see the appeal of the fancy fitted/cute/colored diapers or the need or inserts. This has worked so well for us for over 4 years.

Rayne of Terror

Woot! Another shout out for pinstripes and polkadots. This is the cloth diaper shop local to me and Sarah is so knowledgable and sweet to work with. She can set a momma up with anything your heart desires.

We did Happy Heinies w/ hemp inserts and it worked pretty well for part time cloth diapering. I liked them because of how cute the patterns are, but as soon as my son figured out the velcro it was super hard to keep him in them.

Kate

Ditto to more newborn covers. Six is the usual number. Also maybe a dozen more infant prefolds? I had 36 when my kids were newborns and that was just enough.

I used fitteds and wool overnight but my SIL uses Fuzzi Bunz exclusively. You could always have a few of those for overnight. THey have a great resale value as well.

AnnD

Alright - I was swayed to cloth by some interneters a while back (and have had a bit of a bumpy road at times) ...

1) I like fitted diapers for the same reasons as AmyF - my prefolds always leak (so get more covers!)

2) Look at the 'new' cover on the block - Thirsties - and this is from a Canadian (Bummis is Canadian, Thirsties is a US product) - much thinner than the Bummis (and I like Bummis better than Proraps for the same reason). Jillian's carries the Thirsties (as no one in Canada does as of yet!)

3) I bought fleece liners (or you could cut yourself easily) - and these do the 'stay dry' functionality for almost no cost.

4) Prefolds do work - I was going to give away my newborn prefolds but then needed them - and they work. I don't snappi (too scared but I should try).

5) From the package - if for nothing else, think about your nightime diaper options - bulkier fitted with a wool cover or a pocket.

6) I don't use the diaper pail anymore and just have a PUL pail liner (really really big Fuzzi Bunz one) that I hide in the corner ... then wash it all at once with the diaps - I hate the smell of the pail.

lydia

I don't know if you're diapering in the newborn stage or not, but for later, I would get a dozen or so hemp doublers... I looooved prefolds so much, but as my kid got older and her output got greater, they didn't last for more than two pees. I would also maybe get a couple of Snappis, the new alternative to pins... I adored that snappi. With it, you can fold your prefolds in a number of inventive ways. I particularly liked the twist method, as it formed this little pocket in the back that was brilliant for holding poops. Finally, I would suggest getting a couple of Bummis whisper pants, which are thin, breathable, wonderful pull on covers. I loved them because they were so soft and easy, held in everything, often even overnight, were cheap (heck i even got a store brand -nylon not vinyl- from babies r us that were excellent). They also didn't leave hardly any mark on the fat little thighs, and I loved the oldfashioned look of them; I also loved that I could see her cute print fitteds from them. You only need about three, that you can rotate. I was often able to use the covers for two or three days without soap washing, unless there was a truly foul poop. So, that's my 10 cents worth, lol.

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