Tuesday, July 16, 2013

everything you ever wanted to know about sustainable baby butt

I promise I'm not only going to blog about baby and pregnancy-related stuff for the rest of my life, but I had a really hard time finding easy-to-follow information about this, and I get a lot of questions from people who are curious about it.

Cloth diapering was terrifying when I was pregnant. Mostly because I did things like watch ALL of Katie Kimball's diaper review videos and read her tomes on every. single. diaper. ever. So many choices! So many "systems"! So many ways to get poop on my hands! (But she does give you a lot of information, so if you're not scared, I recommend a look.) But it really hasn't been a big deal. And all those fancy systems are a waste of time. Cloth diaper + cover is all you need. Old school. Eff that other mess.

Here are our supplies:
-Prefolds (flats) and Fitteds, size newborn and up, by Cloth-eez
-PUL (waterproof) covers, via CraigsList. No-names with a "minky" outer layer. They have snaps to size up or down and theoretically fit newborn all the way through potty training.
-Cloth wipes. I got a stack on Etsy, but going forward I'll just cut up The Foliage's worn-out undershirts or whatever other useless fabric we have around.

The laundry process, happens every other day or every third day:
1. Dirty diaper (the cloth part always, and the cover only if poop got onto it or it smells bad) goes straight into the wet bag. Once baby's eating more than breastmilk, diapers will be rinsed into the toilet before going into the bag.
2. Cold-water rinse everything, including the wet bag, no detergent
3. Hot-water wash everything with diaper-appropriate detergent
4. Additional rinse, hot or cold, whatever, also this is optional if you're short on time
5. Transfer everything except PUL items (the covers) to dryer - PUL items lay flat to dry, (heat breaks down their coating and makes them not waterproof anymore)
6. Highest heat dry everything else, two rounds (our dryer sucks). I'd like to start line-drying but I never finish the washing part before most of the sunlight's run out.

This has been our timeline so far:
-At birth, was almost 8 lbs, wore disposable Swaddlers. Meconium is the first poop you'll see and it's nearly impossible to wash out. We have a friend who spent the first day of his son's life taking steel wool to his chest hair after holding the newborn. The stuff is terrible. (We also put straight olive oil on our kid's diaper area to help it not stick - reapplied every diaper change.)
-Once the meconium was done, we switched to newborn-sized diapers. She was around 10 lbs. These fit AL until she was about 6 weeks old.
-At 6 weeks, started using size small diapers.
-She's now (3.5 months) outgrowing the smalls and is mostly in medium-sized diapers. I think she weighs 15 lbs.

Other information:
Overnight she wears the fitteds because they have sewn-in extra layers, and babies tend to wet really heavily overnight. During the day she usually wears prefolds because they hold in mess better - her legs (though sufficiently roly poly) are too skinny, so the fitteds leave too much gap. We COULD get fitteds without snaps and use Snappis with them, but then we might as well just use the prefolds. I use the "jellyroll" method in this video. I'd recommend having 12-18 diapers of each size. We have 12 prefolds, plus a few fitteds, and that seems to be plenty for now. We have 12 covers but probably only need 6.

I think that's it! Good luck and godspeed.