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Monday, April 30, 2012

Maid for Mondays: We’re Finally on the Cloth Diaper Adventure



Well, I guess its never too late to get started, right?! I really wanted to start with our third child, but it just never happened. Then, I was determined to start after our fourth child was over the whole meconium nastiness. But, again…it just never happened. And for several really good reasons, money being the biggest. And, the increased laundry being another.

So, we settled into disposable diapers – again. Granted there are perks to using disposable diapers: quick change on-the-go, no wet bag to carry around, the mess folds up inside of itself and throws away, no extra laundry…

I must say, those perks are what kept me buying disposable diapers for the past 3 years!! They were quick and easy. I was honestly scared to death of cloth diapers. As a teenager I babysat for a family that used cloth diapers. You know the old pre-folds that went into that icky plastic liner? They were confusing, nasty and I could never see myself using those!

Then, I started seeing many of my friends posting about their cloth diapers on facebook and raving about them. So, I decided I should check them out. No harm in checking, right? Oh. My. Word. Can I just tell you how overwhelming it was to see all the options now available? I immediately closed the browser and walked away. I forgot about them for quite a while simply because of all the new styles, types, options – it was too much!

Finally, I got up the nerve to try again. This time I employed The Hubster to help out so it wouldn’t be too overwhelming. He actually got quite into the research and did a lot of the reading. In fact, he was the one that found the type of diaper he thought would fit us well. What a relief!

Then came the issue of cost. We would have to save for months in order to be able to afford anything. We didn’t have the extra cash lying around to just up and buy a supply of cloth diapers. I mean, we’re talking close to $200 or more, at least! So, I began looking into the online resale shops and watching for ones I wanted. But, that was taking a long time and I was getting impatient. Actually, I thought the longer I waited, the less likely I would be to actually start using them.

Our Charlie Banana girl diapers - aren't they so cute?!
Then, about a month ago I saw a cloth diapering system at Target and fell in love with them!!! They were very similar to the style we’d decided on using and they were reasonably priced too!! But, still the money was not there. I knew going to cloth diapers would save us a ton of money each month (approx $150). So, I began to pray and ask God to provide. And, He did!!! (Duh, right?!) We were blessed with a set of 6 cloth diapers and 12 inserts from Target!!! They are the one-size Charlie Banana brand, and I love them!! I love how we can adjust the leg size to fit whomever wears them!!

My oldest daughter wearing her Fuzzibunz
Oh wait…it gets even better! I found some Fuzzi-bunz cloth diapers at a garage sale one weekend and snatched them suckers up in a hurry! They were $5/set, which included the cover and two inserts!!! I got 6 covers total and 12 inserts for a whopping $30!!!! WA-HOO!!!!

I was so excited that I just stared at them for days – literally! Well, that and I didn’t know how to wash them just yet. So, I employed The Hubster yet again to do some research for me. I really wanted a homemade mix that we could do ourselves, rather than spending tons of money on one that had to be shipped.

After some research and lots of reading, we finally found one we were comfortable with and pleased with the ratings. And, so it’s begun…

So, here are some things I’ve learned along this crazy journey. I hope they are helpful to some of you out there too!

1. Do your research! Start early so you don’t get overwhelmed and read, read, read. Read anything you can about the diapers you’re interested in; reviews, facebook pages, blogs, whatever you can find.

2. If you have a friend that uses cloth diapers, I highly recommend having a Q&A with them! I had a friend bring over some of the diapers she uses and we talked about why she uses this one at night and why she likes this one during the winter, etc. Seeing them in person made it less overwhelming and I was able to see which type I might like to try.

3. If your husband is on-board with this adventure, which I also highly recommend he be 100%, ask his opinion. You want him to feel just as comfortable changing the diapers as you are!! If they intimidate him, he might be less likely to help…and we sure don’t want to give them another excuse to get out of diaper duty! Haha

4. If you’re still not completely sure which diapers to go with, there are quite a few diaper re-sale shops online that you can find some on the cheap(er) and try them out. Buy a couple of different brands to try and just do some “testing” on your “subject.” Then, when you find the one you want you know you’ll love it and won’t feel as apprehensive!!

5. Don’t forget…just because the diapers come with inserts doesn’t mean you can’t use pre-folds with them too!!! It’s a GREAT inexpensive way to add more “diapers” to your stash! Plus, they’re great as a double-up layer!! Win-Win!!!

Here is the detergent recipe we decided to use. After much research, the Hubster decided that using Baking Soda was much safer than using the Borax. So, that’s why we chose this one over some of the others. And so far, so good. We mix up a small batch and put it in an old sour cream container and just use about ½ a scoop per load. You also want to make sure you follow the instructions for washing your particular brand of diaper/insert. Some of them vary. We wash our soiled ones in a cold wash/rinse first with no detergent and then add the others and run a regular hot wash with the detergent. Our hot wash has a cold rinse, which is what most of them want. So, if yours doesn’t you’ll need to run it through a cold rinse cycle again before drying them. And, don’t use a dryer sheet!!

But, you need to do your own research and decide for yourself. You may a friend who’s used borax on all her cloth diapers over the past 5 years and they’re still great. Then, go with it!

The point is…don’t get overwhelmed by all the research out there. Read what you can (want) and then ask questions, that’s where you’ll really get the answers you want.

Well, I hope that helps you!

Blessings,
Annette

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1 comment:

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