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Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Diapering extras and caring for your cloth diapers

I'd like to add a few more things about diapers before I retire this subject for a while and focus on the rest of our life! :)

Some extra things that are wonderful to have in the old diaper stash are diaper doublers and fleece liners. Doublers are wonderful for night time (and nap time if you have an extremely heavy wetter). The doublers I use are the Stay-Dry Hemp Fleece Doublers (found at Babyworks.com). I like to call them miracle workers. My children tend to be the wettest in the morning. If I don't use a doubler for his morning nap, Dominic almost always leaks out of his Best Bottoms. These particular doublers have a fleece lining on top, which wicks moisture away from baby's bottom, leaving him feeling dry while his diaper is wet. Although I want my kids to feel the wetness of their diapers (hoping this discomfort will encourage them at potty-training age), I prefer them to be comfortable at nap/night time so that we all get a little more sleep. :) You can buy fleece liners by themselves if you don't want the added bulk of a doubler, or if you already use a fantastic diaper that doesn't need any more absorbency oomph, but could use that "staying dry" power.

I know I mentioned cloth wipes before, but I'll mention them again. They are amazing! They will change your life! They are easy to use! They are amazing! Whoops, getting redundant. :) Seriously, though, cloth wipes will make your whole cloth diaper change that much easier. I generally only need one at a time, unless the diaper is particularly offensive, in which case I'll use two, and sometimes three. I am disposable-wipe deficient, so I tend to use about 5-8 disposable wipes on a poopy diaper. Cloth wipes are a quick rinse with a diaper sprayer.

I want to say something about 100% cotton diapers. If they're made well, they rock! The Cloth-eez prefolds we have from Green Mountain Diapers are the most amazing prefolds I've ever experienced - so absorbent! Cloth-eez has fitted diapers (called Work Horse diapers on the Web site) made out of the same stuff as the prefolds. I will definitely be buying those for the next baby. Green Mountain Diapers is a fantastic Web site, with lots of great info on diapering.

If you have hard water in your house, you may have issues with odor building up on your diapers. Hard water doesn't rinse as well as soft water, as we discovered in our current place. I couldn't figure out why my diapers still smelled funny, even after I had washed them JUST as I was supposed to, JUST like when we lived in Michigan (with soft water) and had no odor issues. There are different ways to soften your water, such as adding Calgon Water Softener to the wash. You can also add vinegar to the first rinse to help break down the detergent build-up, helping it to rinse out.Whatever the case, when you have diapers made from synthetic materials, THEY WILL RETAIN ODOR. It's infuriating. Polyester is the worst, I swear! (Like in the microfiber terry used to make your pocket diaper insert.) So, if you use 100% cotton, it changes everything. They rinse cleaner/easier, and odor build-up is basically a non-issue. Just another reason why I love Cloth-eez diapers at Green Mountain Diapers. Those diapers never smell when they come out of my dryer!

When laundering, be sure to NEVER bleach your covers - it will ruin their waterproof-ness. Don't put your PUL covers in the dryer - it will also lead to the eventual ruin of their waterproofing properties. :) If you rinse your cloth diapers with a sprayer, there is no need to soak them in a pail before washing. Simply rinse, wring, and throw them in a dry pail. When we first began we soaked our prefolds. Looking back I think, why? But, live and learn.

Oh, and be sure to use proper detergent! You can look online for all the recommendations, but you don't want to use detergents with all the added fancy stuff, because those will cause build-up, odor/soap retention, and rashes. Ouch!

Here are a few Web sites I really enjoy: Babyworks.com, Nickisdiapers.com, GreenMountainDiapers.com, SweetBottomsBaby.com, and DiaperPin.com (this one is essential for reviews of every possible diaper, cover and accessory out there).

Well, that's about all I have to say on diapers for now. PLEASE post any comments or questions you might have - I think everyone who cloth diapers is always interested in hearing what everyone else uses or has used, and their positive or negative experiences with varying products.

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