Saturday, September 22, 2012

Adventures in Cloth Diapers, Part II: Newborn through 18 weeks

When I left off, I was 39 weeks pregnant and all of our cloth diapers were neatly organized in a drawer or two, just waiting for a squishy baby butt to fill them.

Dois was born on a Monday and, upon D's request, our plan was to use disposable diapers for the first 10-14 days of his life so that we could get used to life as a family of 4/life as a newborn before also introducing something else entirely new. Things were going so smoothly, though, one week in, that I was ready to start using cloth. I figured when D was ready, he could--at least he had that option until our disposable diapers ran out!

Here he is at just 8 days old in his first cloth diaper--a Thirsties Fab Fitted. (Yes, it required a cover, and I used a Thirsties Duo Wrap over it after taking this picture.)

As I mentioned in my last post, the bulk of our diapers were fitteds and prefolds. Initially (okay, and for a long time) prefolds scared me. I wasn't confident in my origami skills, and when you have a chicken-legged, freaking-out-because-it's-coooold newborn, it can be a bit harrowing. So I reached for our fitteds first. And man, did I love them. The Thirsties Fab Fitteds (size XS) and Kissaluvs (size 0) that we had were just as easy to use as a disposable diaper. Just put it right on (the Thirsties had velcro, the Kissaluvs have snaps) and place a cover over it and, voila!

Dois was your typical breastfed baby who pooped every. single. time he ate, so when I ran out of fitteds, eventually I did have to turn to the prefolds I had for back-up. One of my favorite folds for a breastfed baby with runny poop is the poonico fold.We had an all-in-one or two, but we saved those for when we were out running errands. I guess you could say those were the "golden diapers" because they were so easy to use.

Whenever I told people we would be cloth diapering, a lot of the comments we got was about the laundry and washing poopy diapers. You know what? Babies poop. And no matter what is on their butt, usually the poop winds up on something else, too. So my bet is that even if you're NOT cloth diapering, there's baby poop in the washer.

Breastfed baby poop is water-soluable, so there's nothing extra I had to do before washing them. After a diaper change I would put the soiled diaper plus any wipes (we use "cloth wipes," AKA cheap baby washcloths and water) into our diaper pail lined with a Kissaluvs pail liner. I washed diapers every-other-day doing a pre-rinse on cold, then running a hot wash/cold rinse cycle with detergent (I started out using Tide Free & Clear, but that proved to be a problem later on), then an additional rinse cycle. I threw everything but the covers on low for a full cycle in the dryer and then if anything was still damp after, I'd run it a second time on low with just those items in. I hung all of our covers to dry in the bathroom over the towel bars.

Sure, I had days where I felt like, "Ugh! I have to do diaper laundry still." And there were still learning experiences that came with how to pack the diaper bag for an outing, how to change a cloth diaper in a restroom when using cloth wipes, etc.

One of my greatest achievements during these first 18 weeks of Dois' life, though, was when we flew cross-country and brought cloth with us for our week-long vacation. By that time we were using a mixture of Fuzzibunz pockets, small Thirsties Fab Fitteds, and small Bumgenius AIOs, and I was so proud of myself that we didn't use a single disposable diaper on our trip! I'll have to post more about traveling with cloth in a separate post, though. This one is getting long!

Dois in the same diaper as above, right before I "retired" it at 8 weeks old.

If you're new and reading this, check out Part I here.

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