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We transitioned to cloth wipes much later than we started cloth diapering. I figured that disposable wipes didnt cost that much, compared to diapers, so we would just keep using them. I was wrong. Every poopy diaper I had to use like 10 wipes, so we were going through them quickly. Plus, I wanted to use the organic kind to avoid unneccessary lotions, scents and chemicals. They are even more expensive than the regular ones.
Using disposable wipes and cloth diapers together proved to be such a hassle. At first I just left the disposable wipes in with my diapers and threw them all in the washing machine together. So i got to pick all the disposable wipes off my diapers when they came out of the wash. Not so fun. Then I started taking them into the kitchen and throwing them into the trash can. Also a hassle. I didnt want to have a diaper pail AND a trash can in the nursery, so I invested in some cloth wipes.
They took a little adjusting to, but I am so glad we made the change. My husband was a little difficult to convince, but once he realized how much a box of the Babyganics wipes cost, he decided to give it a go. Besides the wipes themselves, you may or may not want to invest in a few other things:
- a spray bottle for moistening the wipes. You could also just put some water or solution in a small bowl, but I have found the spray bottle to be a lot easier and more portable
- Wipe solution or drops. This isnt neccessary, but I like that the essential oils in the solution are antibacterial. Plus they smell good. We use Baby Bum Drops brand. You can also make your own solution using a mixture of water and essential oils.
- A wipe case for traveling (or a ziplock baggie). We wet a few wipes and put them in the case if we are going to be out and about. This keeps us from having to bring along the spray bottle.
- A wipe warmer (Completely unneccessary, but if you wish, you can pour the solution (or water) over the wipes in the warmer to wet them, and they stay nice and warm) We have a wipe warmer someone gave us, but IMO, it is more of a hassle than its worth.
In my previous post, I wrote that you only needed 6-8 wipes to get started. You really probably need as many wipes as you have diapers. When we started out, we werent cloth wiping exclusively, and I wouldnt always use a new wipe for pee diapers (I just turned the wipe over) So 12-16 to start out with is a good number. Once you start using them, you will probably want more. They are really handy for any cleanup (Runny noses, sticky hands, etc) You could also use baby washcloths.
I like Thirsties wipes and the ones I have made myself the best. I have also tried the MotherEase brand. While they are bigger than the Thirsties brand, they aren’t as soft. I have only ever needed one wipe per diaper change, even on the messiest diapers. My husband, on the other hand, may use a couple. I will post a tutorial on how to make your own cloth wipes soon! I made the ones in the picture last night in no time at all. They are available in my Etsy store.
Get recipes for making your own wipe solution here . I LOVE to use tea tree oil for everything, so I highly recommend using it in your wipe solution. It is antifungal, antiinflammatory, and antibacterial. You can use it for tons of other things as well, including acne and dandruff. You can find it at your local health food store. Aloe vera, chamomile, and lavender are also some of my favorite ingredients.
So my best friend, after months and months of me trying to convince her to cloth diaper, has decided she might want to give ita try :) She has a little girl 3 months younger than my little man, so we were pregnant together. She wanted to know about how many diapers you would need to get started, so I told her I would compose this list for her.
To get started, I would recommend about 14-18 diapers. You will be doing laundry about every other day with this many. I have about 24 diapers and I do laundry about every 3 days. You probably wouldnt want to go longer than that or the diapers start to get stinky and can mildew. Although, I have sometimes went 4-5 days and have not had this problem
I buy all my cloth diapers at Kelly’s Closet. They always run great promotions and have excellent cusstomer service. In fact, you can find a testimonial I wrote for them on their page. I have been so impressed with their service. Thus far, I have received 5 free diapers from them and have earned a $25 gift card. You accumulate points with every purchase that you can redeem for gift certificates. Great deal, huh?? Right now they have a coupon for a free diaper (of atleast a $22 value) with any $59 purchase. And their shipping is always free with a $49 purchase. So, if you wanted to purchase a stash of diapers, you could split your order into two separate ones and earn 2 free diapers…. The coupon code is FREEDIPE and you can use it up to 2 times!
There are MANY different types of diapers to choose from. We like the bumgenius 4.0’s. They are pocket diapers that are adjustable in size, so they will fit your baby until they are potty trained. I, personally, would recommend the snap closure over the velcro, because the velcro will have to be replaced over time and it tends to stick to other things in the dryer.
Other than the actual diapers, you need a few other things…
- A regular trash can with lid (See [previous post for picture)
- A diaper pail liner (As I have metioned before, we use Wahmies brand)
- Cloth friendly detergent (See diaper jungle’s detergent chart ) We use Rockin Green
- Wool dryer balls (These are optional, but make your diapers dry faster, We use buddha bunz)
- Wet bag or 2. These are great for the diaper bag. They are little waterproof bags with a zipper, used to store wet/dirty diapers when you arent around your diaper pail. We have 2 Wahmies brand bags. A Medium one that goes in the diaper bag, and an all day bag that we keep in the nursery.
- 12-16 cloth wipes. You can buy these or make your own really easily. (Or you can purchase some from my etsy store :) I also like Thirsties wipes. My husband wanted to stick to the disposable wipes for the longest time, but if you cloth diaper and use disposable wipes, you not only have to have a diaper pail by your changing table, but a trash can as well. And you end up washing a few and having to pick them off of your diapers. Much easier to just use cloth. All you do is wet them with a spray bottle of water or wipe solution (more on this later)
- A spray bottle for your wipe solution
- Wipe solution drops …Used to make your own wipe solution, not neccessary but helpful. We like Baby Bum drops. But you can also use plain water or make your own solution with essential oils. I will post some recipes for this later.
- A travel wipe case (You can get these for like $2 at walmart. or you can purchase a covered one from me in my Etsy shop) This is used to carry pre moistened wipes for on the go.
- A cloth diaper friendly diaper rash cream. Although babies who are cloth diapered dont usually get diaper rash, sometimes they will get a little chaffing. And you absolutely cannot use desitin or any other zinc based rash cream with cloth diapers. They will cause your diapers to repel. We like Grandma Els (which you can get at Babies R us) and Cj’s butter.
And thats it! It may seem like a lot, but you probably already have most of these things around your house. The biggest investment is the diapers. But it is SO worth it! and if you decide for some reason that you dont like them, you can always resell them on Ebay. Used diapers go for almost as much as new ones :)
When a baby is exclusively breast or bottle fed, the poo is water soluable and you can just put the diaper right in the washhing machine. When you start to introduce solids (Cereals, baby food, etc), you need to get the mess off before you wash it. There are 3 ways to do this.:
2.) you can “swish” the diaper in the toilet until most of the mess comes off OR
3.) you can get a diaper sprayer (right)) which attaches to your toilet that sprays the mess off. (This is what we do)
So every time my little guy goes #2, I just go to the bathroom and spray the mess off before I put it in the diaper pail. Not too bad. The pee diapers can go right in the pail. You dont need an expensive diaper genie or pail, we use just a plain ol’ trash can with a pail liner in it (left). We use Wahmies brand. I have about 24 diapers and I do laundry every 2-3 days. You dont have to use an expensive detergent, but you do have to use one free of enzymes, brighteners, fabric softeners dyes and most fragrance. The Diaper Jungle has a great chart that tells you which ones are the best to use. View it at http://www.diaperjungle.com/detergent-chart.html. We use Rockin Green soap. We only need about a tablespoon because we have a high effieciency machine, so 1 bag lasts us a while. The first thing I do is put on a pair of rubber gloves and take all the diapers out of the pail. We use pocket diapers (which means they have little inserts that come out) so i take them apart while I am putting them in the washer. (although most of them would come apart in the wash, anyway). I run a cold wash/cold rinse cycle eithout detergent to rinse all the mess off. You can add a little vinegar in this pre wash cycle if you want to help prevent ammonia buildup. Then I run a hot cycle with 1-2 tbs of my Rockin green soap and an extra rinse. …and thats it. I throw them in the dryer (You dont have to line dry modern diapers) with a few dryer balls and I am done. NEVER use fabric softeners with your cloth dipes as it causes them to repel water and leak. Sometimes I have a few that stain a little bit and I put them on a drying rack outside, and the sun bleaches the stains out. I did this today. It really works.
The biggest problem I have ran across cloth diapering is ammonia issues. Urine has ammonia in it and if you dont “Strip” your diapers once in a while it can build up and cause them to be really stinky. To prevent this, I bleach my inserts once a month. We use 7th generation free and clear (without chlorine), but you can use any bleach. And then I rinse them usually twice to make sure to get the bleach out. If i still get stink issues, I just soak the diapers overnight in my Rockin green and run several hot washes. You can also use plain ol blue Dawn dishsoap and rinse rinse rinse until there are no more bubbles in the wash.
It all sounds really complicated, but once you get the hang of it, its not too bad. And with the money you save, the extra effort is WAY worth it.
Since the moment I found out I was pregnant, I knew I wanted the absolute very best of everything for my baby. We already used natural cleaning products and ate some organic vegetables, but that was about the extent of our green-ness. I never gave much thought about the products that we consumed, but all of a sudden it seemed so important. So… my entire pregnancy was spent obsessing over which products were the best for our little bundle of joy.
I spent hours upon hours on the internet researching which brands of diapers were the best and which line of baby skin care had the least amount of chemicals in it. (Johnsons has formaldehyde in it! Did you know THAT?) As I was scanning the internet, I stumbled across various articles about cloth diapering but didnt really give it much thought until I went to register for my baby shower. As I was registering for diapers, I stumbled across a package of Gdiapers. They were so stinkin cute! and they came with these little disposable inserts you could flush down the toilet. As I was showing them to my mom and my best friend, a complete stranger came up behind me with a shopping cart full of disposbales and told me not to waste my time with cloth diapers, and that it would get old really quick. But I LOVED the cloth diapers and could already imagine my little man crawling around the house with the little Gpants on his bum. But after I did a little calculating, I realized that by the time I bought the Gpants and the disposable liners to go in them, I would be spending way more money than if I were to just by Pampers. But the GDiapers had another, more budget friendly option, as well. You could buy cloth pads to insert into the diapers that you washed after every use! I had a million questions..What do you do with the poo? How long would they last? How do you wash them? Are they sanitary? Wouldnt they stink?
So, I researched some more. As it turns out, there are tons of cloth diapering options and cloth diapering is really good for your baby. No nasty chemicals or chlorine that you get from the disposable kind…. and they get less diaper rash. Plus, there is the added bonus that I would save a TON of money and wouldnt have to buy packages and packages of diapers that would end up in the landfill. I was sold. I knew I wanted to cloth diaper!
Since then, I have learned a lot about cloth diapering and parenting in general and I thought this blog would be the perfect place to share my newfound expertise… lol…I am not an expert by any means, but I have been asked by a lot of curious women about how and why I cloth diaper because it is so rare these days. I do not know a single person besides me who cloth diapers. Most of the people in my life were not very supportive of it from the beginning, either, but once they found out how easy it was, even my husband got on board. My son is now 4 1/2 months old and we have been using cloth since his little butt could fit his bumgenius 4.0’s. I hope to share through this blog what I have learned, through a lot of trial and error, about cloth diapering, parenting, and much more…I hope you enjoy it :)