Monday, November 21, 2011

Mama Must Haves | Cloth Diapering Mama |


For me this was the way to go - some people think I'm nuts - yes it's a lot of laundry but I find there are less leaks than disposables and they cost ends up being cheaper than disposables. Plus you can get some adorable patterns to show off little bambino's stylin bootie! 

My son is 9 months, and aside from the newborn diapers we used I've bought a total of 4 bags of disposable diapers for him. We have them on hand for use between washes, travel, etc. (For a detailed savings calculator check out the Diaper Pin or the Cloth Diaper Calculator)

A Good Quality Diaper
My Grandpa always said to spend money on a good roof and good brakes. My Brother said splurge on a good bed and shoes. For a cloth diapering mama, you get what you pay for and I found it's worth the investment to buy good quality cloth diapers. 

THE RIGHT STUFF - Loving a cloth diaper really comes down to personal preference. I've tried many brands of diapers and have found that what works for one baby may not for another and what works at one stage may not at another. This is especially true for early on. If you are cloth diapering a tiny little new baby, don't chuck the diapers if they aren't working - give them a month or two - the fit will change and you'll settle into what type you prefer by 3ish months (or 10-13 pounds in my case). 

You may wish to have a couple types of diapers.  We like to have two types on hand: all-in-ones & fitteds
ALL IN ONE - My husband prefers these; you just tuck in the liner and put it on like any disposable diaper. Our preference has been the TotsBots EasyFits (and TeenyFits for newborns).  I have found it is a good quality diaper that stands up to frequent washings and dryings (yup, you can tumble them on low heat); rarely ever leaks; you can add additional liners (we use the Jamtots Hemp Doubler and Thirsties Dry Duo Insert); the fit is slender but provides lots of coverage.  It’s been 7 months of non-stop use and the stitching has remained in tact, the velcro is still very sticky and they are still soft and absorbent. No complaints here. 
FITTED - I love the fitteds for nighttime - they are nice and absorbent so baby can sleep through a wet diaper. Sticking with TotsBots we like the Bamboozles.  As with the EasyFits they stand up to repeated washing and drying with no compromise to the integrity of the diaper. As far as waterproof covers go, it’s worth it to buy an adjustable one (with riser snaps in the front) and go for one with gussets in the legs to ensure better coverage. Our cover of choice is Thirsties Duo, which comes in adorable patterns and only ever leaks if we don't ensure a proper fit when we put it on.

SNAPS OR VELCRO? I prefer velcro all the way! You get a tighter fit and you don't have to fumble with matching up snaps in dark of night or while baby is trying to crawl away while you change them. 

A Diaper Liner
The poop catcher, you probably won't truly appreciate it until you start little one on solids. Two Words: Catch & Flush.  A liner is to cloth diapering moms what Baileys is to coffee. My liner of choice is Bio-Soft Liners

A Cloth Diaper Cleaning System
"I'll just throw it in the wash with some detergent." Oh, no no no. I made that mistake. The key to washing diapers is to remove all the bacteria and solids while ensuring you use as little detergent (without harmful enzymes) as possible to prevent residue build up. Residue build up and bacteria can both make the diapers stink.  There are many detergents that will do the job fine, and I haven't tried them all, I prefer to use a system made just for cloth diapers. 
I've started using Rockin Green. There is Funk Rock Ammonia Bouncer to get that smell out (it does the job, but a nighttime diaper will still smell like ammonia in the morning); there are pail and air fresheners and I've been really happy with their detergents. They do get the diapers clean and bright and leave just a hint of scent - nothing too overpowering. 

A Pail & A Wet Bag
I started out with a large wetbage, then kept it in a rubbermaid to keep odours down. Then I double-bagged two kinda leaky wetbags. Now I've decided smaller bags are the way to go. We have about 4 and go through one a day - then we can stash that stinky sack of dipes in the change table cupboard or right into the laundry room. I think it's helped to lower the 'old hamster cage' smell in my son's room.

As far as smaller wetbags for the diaper bag, I've been really happy with JamTots and Bummis. They don't ever leak and have stood up to use and washing (the JamTots better than the Bummis).

A Cloth-Diaper Cream
Some diaper creams will leave a residue on the cloth diaper making it difficult to come clean and breaking down the diaper's fibers. It’s important to use a cream that is safe for use on cloth diapers. I've tried a few different ones and have really liked the ones made by Delish Naturals  and Grandma El's. Both of them have great scents and I've never had problems with diaper rash. 

Cloth Wipes
Why would anyone buy disposable wipes? Don't get me wrong, we have them and use them on the road or when we need back up at the change table (we do find that frequent use causes diaper rash though). We use cloth wipes in our house.  On our way to doing a diaper change we just grab a wipe from the bathroom and get it wet under the tap (you can also buy diaper solution to keep at the change table). Then we just wash them all with the diapers. we started out using generic baby cloths but have become fond of these wipes by BumGenuis. They are soft, absorbent wipes with a good size to them. 

A Great Diaper Supplier
If you live in a small town or know exactly what you want you will probably buy diapers and supplies online like me. A good diaper supplier will answer all of your questions, be able to make product suggestions, include lots of info with the shipment (especially on diaper washing) and ideally provide FREE SHIPPING over a certain amount spent! I like to keep my spending local and have a great supplier in British Columbia. 


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