Sunday, January 15, 2012

Pee and Poop- here's the scoop!

I've been meaning to write a post on our cloth diapering experience. Today's story inspired me to do just that.

Lauren got a LeapFrog toy from Matt's parents that goes on the fridge and has the letters of the alphabet. You put the letters in the toy and it tells you the name of the letter and the sound(s) that it makes. While I was making our waffle breakfast (love my new waffle maker I got for Christmas- ironically another present from Matt's parents) Matt was entertaining Lauren. They began playing with the fridge toy and the letter P was in there. Now I should preface this with the fact that Lauren likes to play "DJ" with this toy and press the letter over and over, not letting it go through its whole spiel. Matt started laughing and encouraging Lauren to keep pressing the toy so it said "P, P, P." LOL! Only my husband would find a way to make a educational toy into a "potty" toy. We were all laughing, although I think Lauren was just joining the fun and hadn't a clue as to why it was so funny.

Here's the toy described above.

So more about P, P, P.... As a way to save money I started to research cloth diapers last spring. I was absolutely amazed at all the stuff on the market these days. I had visions of the old prefolds and plastic covers in my head, but that is not all what I found.

The first hurtle to get over was the vocabulary. I had no idea what a "prefold" was or anything else for that matter. I went to a lot of other blogs and found it hard to follow what they were saying since I had no picture in my head for the things they were discussing. Thank goodness for "YouTube" because I watched a lot of videos on there to get the lingo down (I'm a visual learner and needed to see these things).

I also talked with my friend Heather (the Heather I ran the race together in November) because she uses cloth diapers with her little boy, Alex. She uses Bum Genius with him. These are a pocket, one size diaper. I liked this concept. First the one size concept was great since I would be able to buy the diapers and they would grow with Lauren. I would then only have to make the investment once therefore saving money in the long run (the main, but not only, reason I was looking into cloth). 

I also liked the pocket diaper concept. These diapers look just like a disposable diaper in the since that you don't need any other parts. There are no clips, pins, or snappi. Also the liner or absorbent part of the diaper is pre-stuffed in the diaper so at changing time there wasn't any extra work. This is important to any mom who has changed a child who desires to be anywhere but getting their diaper changed.

I looked into the bum Genius diapers but didn't like that they closed with Velcro. I hate that Velcro sticks to everything and everything sticks to it- gross! That's when I found FuzziBunz. These are another brand of cloth, one size, pocket diapers. One of the differences between them and bum Genius- FuzziBunz stays closed with snaps, not Velcro- now that's genius! 

Matt and I were worried about what detergent to use with the diapers since there is a lot out there saying you can develop a buildup on the inserts causing them to not absorb the liquids as well if you use the wrong detergent. There were recommended detergents, but most of them we'd have to buy online or at a specialty shop. This part was frustrating since having to buy a special soap would be an inconvenience and add cost to the cloth diaper process. I asked Heather what she used and she said she used the Target Up and Up version of All Free and Clear. Now this worked for me since we use All Free and Clear for our cloths. She had never had any problems using this detergent and that was testament enough for me. I also want to add that we live in the same town and therefore have the same water source- hard water verse soft water often plays a role in the type of detergent you need as well. 

So when all the looking and searching was over, Matt's mom got us a six diaper supply to get us started (She was just as excited about these cool new diapers as me). She did this so we could check them out and see if we liked them before we invested any money, what a great lady. She purchased them for us in June. I didn't however start using them right away because we were headed home and I didn't want to start that process on the road. When we got back in July I began using them. 

Once we started using them I knew that we had found something we could use. I did find that I changed her diaper more often than when I used disposables. This was fine with me. She could last about two hours or so in one diaper. She was about seven months old at this point. She was being nursed five times a day still and was eating three solid meals a day. Now a days, at thirteen months, she can go a little longer between diaper changes since she's no longer nursing. 

I purchased a dozen more diapers in July. I also purchased a large wet/dry bag to hang on her nursery door, a small wet/dry bag for the diaper bag, and some flushable diaper liners as well. I love the FuzziBunz wet/dry bags I bought but I've gotten very little use of the liners. There is a practically unused roll still in her drawer upstairs. 

The reason I got the liners was because I decided to try the liners instead of the toilet sprayer. Since her poop was already pretty solid. I'm glad I didn't get the strayer, this is more necessary if your baby doesn't have solid poop. I really didn't feel the need to use the liners since the poop just comes right off the diapers and falls into the toilet without the liner.

Oh yeah, I also got three free diapers from Amazon (that's where I purchased the diapers) because one of the boxes was suppose to come with a free wet/dry bag- but there wasn't one in the package when I got it. The Amazon costumer service guy was wonderful and sent me three free diapers which were also suppose to come with a bag. I got those diapers and again there was no bag. I asked Matt if I should call and complain again and he told me not to push my luck. These diapers brought my "stash" to a total of 21 diapers.

With 21 diapers we go two days before needing to do a load. I could go three days but I like that I have left overs and I don't have to rush and get the diapers washed and stuffed first thing. We do the loads opposite of Lauren's bath night (we give her a bath every other night). So the nights when she doesn't get a bath we throw the load in after she goes to bed. We pre-wash with cold and then wash with hot using a small amount of detergent. In the morning I throw them into the dryer on low for 40 minutes. I have, on occasion, put them outside to dry. I would do this more often if I had a clothes line (Matt and I talked about putting one up in the spring). Also, when I've put them outside to dry they tend to take the better part of the day to dry- another reason I like having a few extra to carry me through the morning. Lauren and I stuff them together. She hands me all the inserts and then after I stuff them she throws them about the living room- I find this so cute. She loves helping mommy with laundry and I for one can't help but loving having a helper (although helping might not best describe her actual role in this process).

There have been a few drawbacks or negatives in our cloth diapering experience. One was that Lauren started getting pimples on her bum. When I showed the doctor she said they were moisture bumps, so I dismissed them. At the next visit we made to the doctor she looked a little more closely and noticed "white heads" and said that it was a staph infection and prescribed a cream. I was a little panicky but my sister explained that its just like the bacteria that create pimples on your face. After using the cream the pimples went away fairly quickly. Occasionally I'll see one and I put the cream right on it and it goes away. I know this is a little gross, but I want to capture the true experience we've had.

The second negative has been those snaps I fell in love with. I've had a dozen or so diapers get broken snaps. I had to send most of the diapers back to the company and they returned a brand new one at no charge. In fact they would send gifts with the new diaper to compensate for the cost of sending the diaper back. There were a few times they allowed me to send in a picture of the defective snap and they would just send me out a new one. The costumer service staff was wonderful to work with. I guess they had a bad batch go out and were very accommodating about replacing the diapers. Plus, they were honoring the one year warranty they have on their diapers. 

The third and last drawback to one-size, pocket diapers is they do have a little extra padding than a disposable diaper. There were a few pants she "out grew" a little faster because of the extra bulk. For the most part though, I haven't seen too much of this since my baby is a little smaller anyway.

A few things I love besides saving money include how freakin' cute they are. I love the colors and Matt and I even let her pick the color once in a while, I tell her the color I'm putting on her so she's even learning during a diaper change, nice added bonus. They wash up nice. Every so often an insert will still stink like pee still after a washing and I throw it back into the bag for the next wash and they always come out stink free after that. They haven't stained, but I remind you she was eating solids when we started this. If you start your baby earlier though, drying them in the sun will get rid of the staining from new born poop. 

Anyway, I think I've capture it all and then some. If you've read this whole thing I feel like you should get a prize because this is a long post. Maybe I should have done two parts? Oh well... I'll leave you with a picture of Lauren sporting her FuzziBunz and some rockin' sheep slippers!

Here is a blog I've read and follow for LOTS of information on cloth diapering your baby: http://awesomeclothdiapers.blogspot.com/

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