Monday, May 23, 2011

Cloth Diapering: Rants, Raves and this Really Is My Sister's Fault!

Before we even became pregnant with Joseph, I knew I wanted to cloth diaper. I remember my mother using giant prefolds, pins and pull on plastic pants with my brother and sister and I knew that it was better for the earth. I also remember, circa 1987, commericals for the "new" girl/boy diapers that were pink or blue. My sister was a baby and I BEGGED my mom to buy the pink girl diapers for her. She only used disposables when traveling and relented when we were going to be visiting family and friends for Thanksgiving.

That Thanksgiving, my infant sister was a giant pain. I was eight and I remember her crying and crying and CRYING and NO ONE could figure out WHY! My mom and her friends took turns playing "pass the screaming baby" and escaping the noise. (I think the kids were huddled in the kitchen, eating, and rolling our eyes.)

Finally, my mother went to change her diaper and my sister had huge chemical burns all over her bottom. The chemicals from the pink disposable diapers had literally eaten the skin off her bottom. My mother wrote the company and they confirmed that they had been recieving complaints about the pink/blue diapers. As the months went on, they paid for her to see a dermatologist and have her skin tested to see just what chemical she reacted too. I actually remember seeing the patches on her bottom and going into the dr's office. What the results were, I don't know and I don't know if they ever DID get definate results because we moved and my mother once said something about "not wanting to put her through THAT again."

(Frankly, I don't think any of us wanted to go through THAT again!)

Obviously, that left an impression on me. Not only do I like the eco benefits of cloth diapers but the chemical burns? Yeah, they skerred me.

When we found out Joseph was coming. I told Adam I wanted to use cloth.

"It saves money in the long run."
"But it costs more in the beginning," he countered.

"It's better for the environment."
"Don't really care."

"The kids potty train earlier."

After about 18 months of cloth diapering, we finally settled on a system- prefolds and fitteds with covers for the newborn stage and pockets thereafter. I prefer pockets with snaps.

I've cloth diapered four newborns, four toddlers and two in diapers twice. This is the first time, though, that I have had TWO toddlers in diapers and, let me tell you, the poop is killing. (Actually, it is the CORN that is killing me but hey.) I'm not sure the diapers got clean this last wash cycle, so I am washing the covers again.

Do diapers wear out? I mean, one of the benefits of cloth diapering is reusing the diapers and saving money but I have had Fuzzi Bunz in use since 2005. They have had a six month break between kids. That's a dang long time for something to get that heavy of use and be washed multiple times a week.Alot of my other diapers were bought used too, so they aren't spring chickens either.

Is my washer wearing out? It's seven years old and broke down last winter... I'm wondering if it isn't washing anything as well as it could.

That said, I'm kinda tired of dealing with poop, putting it into the potty and scrapping it off diapers. I have liners, which you can flush when dirty and re-wash the wet ones but a) I keep forgetting to use them and b) they don't rewash well and I have to deal with their soggy mess in the washer.

I tried Rockin' Green recently and I don't think it works any better than Charlie's Soap, which I use on all the clothes.

Any other tips? Advice to get me over my runt? I honestly enjoy cloth diapering but the constant stuffing, scraping, washing, washing, washing is wearing on me.


  1. Oh my word, I am so done with cloth and I only have one 18 month old. Mad props to you for doing it 4 times. Once, around her 12 month birthday, when I was feeling very overwhelmed with prepping for her birthday, the holidays and family visiting, I allowed myself a full week of using 7th Generation diapers. I really helped take the edge off.

  2. I have two main thoughts after reading your blog. One, have you tried Lulu's in the Fluff Glamour wash? Lulu's has been my all time favorite detergent to use. And TWO, do you have a diaper sprayer? You don't have to buy a commercially made one, I found instructions for making one at home online.

    Good luck! And remember the kids are not in diapers forever!

  3. I am new to the cloth diapering world, even though my mom used it on us (we still have the old plastic covers around somewhere). My sister is an avid user and has shared some techniques with me. First one being elimination communication. What does this have to do with cd? Well, if you learn your babies signals for going to the potty you can train yourself earlier and have the poop end up in the pot and not on the cloth. She did this with numbers 4-6 of her kids and we have done it with our number 1. It's a huge blessing!!!
    If this isn't for you and you still have to deal with the poo, I'd suggest line drying with some lemon squeezed on it. This has been a natural bleach and will save your washer from constantly twirling.
    New to your blog and like what I see :) ill be returning! Here's to happy cd families!