Cloth Diapering | *Questions

You guys came up with several VERY good questions on my cloth diapering system post, so I decided to answer them on a new post- keep the questions coming, I love helping people cloth diaper!

1. The diapers say don’t use any sort of diaper rash cream because it causes gunk. What do you do when little man got diaper rash?

– First off, one of the benefits of cloth is reduced instance of diaper rashes, which is wonderful! But unlike some other cloth moms I know who NEVER had rashes, we have dealt with a few. You are right, you should not use any diaper cream up against the cloth diapers as it will cause repelling and lack of absorption. For little red irritations or rubbed spots, there are lots of natural creams that you can use directly against the cloth. I happen to use CJ’s BUTTer because it was on sale! But the stuff lasts FOREVER and I don’t think we will ever use it up! Just check to see if it’s cloth friendly.

For more pronounced rashes (from teething or yeast), we would occasionally use Destin. When using those creams, we used fleece liners. Ours are on off brand and were bought used, but the Bummis Fleece Liners are exactly the same.You use them just like the flushable liners I had talked about in the last post, except the BIG thing is, these do NOT get washed with the diapers. These get put in with the regular laundry so that the diaper cream doesn’t get on the diapers. I have one pack of 5 and have never needed any more.

2. Also, sizing can be tricky especially with skinny little legs so how do you know how to size appropriately?

Honestly, sizing is a trial process. With cloth, it’s not unusual to have some indentation in the skin around the waist and legs from the bunched up cloth. As long as your child isn’t getting red or rashy or irritated by it, then it’s not too tight. In general, I used whatever elastic setting in the waist allowed me to use the snaps the furthest outside of the diaper (this was easiest to explain to babysitters, etc). For the legs, when they are on their back with the diaper on, you should be able to lift up one leg and see no visible gaps between the diaper and their legs. Here is a chart from the Fuzzibunz website which has some recommendations to start with. If you are getting lots of leaking, determine where the leaking is coming from (back of leg when sitting up, front of thigh when laying down, etc) and problem solve the elastic settings from there. One of my big recommendations is that the front and back leg elastics do NOT have to be at the same setting. We started using FB around 5/6 months and I have only changed the elastic maybe 3 times. It’s not something you will do often.

3. Do you do the Funk Rock rinse in addition to the regular Rockin’ Green or instead of it?

– When I do use Funk Rock (every week or two) I do it in addition to the the regular Rockin’ Green.

4. There are a few different kinds of the rockin green detergent. Which one do you use? Also how much detergent do you put into each load?

– The type of Rockin’ Green you need to use is dependent on the type of water you have. Up here in Minot, we have very hard water, so I use the Hard Rock Wash. If you have very soft water, use Soft Rock; if your water is in between, use Classic Rock. Here’s a chart to use as a reference. 

-The amount you use depends on your washer. Top-loaders use more water (which is better for diapers!), so they require a bit more detergent, 1.5T-2T. Front Loaders use less water and require less detergent. We have a front loader and I use about 1T. For a while we used more, and I had stink issues because it wasn’t getting all washed out. 

5. Do you know if it’s okay to use homemade laundry detergent on them? (Detergent = baking soda, washing soda, borax, & grated castile soap. And then I usually add distilled vinegar to the load as a fabric softener.

First off, I have never used homemade detergent on my diapers, so I don’t know from personal use, however the research/results I have seen from others would suggest no, not to use homemade. At least not that recipe. The problem lies in the grated soap. No matter what kind you use, soap by nature is intended to leave behind softening agents that can cause buildup/stink issues. From what I have seen, using baking soda, washing soda, and borax alone is fine because they are all non-sudsing agents, as long as you leave out the grated soap. And it’s not recommended to use vinegar on diapers, nor do they need a fabric softener if they are washed without sudsing detergent. I’ve noticed that people with front-loaders have alot more trouble with homemade detergents than those with top-loaders, since they use more water.

My suggestion would to give whatever you would like a try, and see! If you start having stink or repelling issues, do a Rockin’ Green soak to get everything out, and then try again with a different recipe. 

Any other questions? Hope that helped some!! 🙂

Cloth Diapering | My system

I’ve been meaning to write this post for at least a year… I’m finally getting around to it! 

I was first introduced to cloth diapering while stationed in Del Rio, TX. We had been married less than a year and I had a good friend with a 2 year old who cloth diapered. I remember looking at her system and filing it away for later…. fast forward another year and we were finally expecting our first bundle of joy. I knew I wanted to cloth diaper, but I was having trouble wrapping my brain around how it would work and I had very little access to any place that sold cloth diapers to try them out. So I dove in, bought several of one of the major brands (BumGenius) and tried to figure it out on my own. 

When Jarvis was about 4 weeks old, we started using the BumGenius. At that time, I was using a diaper genie for storage (talk about STINK) and washing with All Free and Clear. Needless to say, a couple of months later I was not so happy with how things were going and tried to find more resources and ideas. Luckily, a fellow Academy girlfriend-now-wife was also cloth diapering- plus she was a wonderful photographer, and overall creative genius. I’ve mentioned her before, but go check out her blog! She answered TONS of questions, and then just a few months later wrote this amazing post! Shawna was a huge resource for me, and seeing her system work so well helped me adapt my own. Since then, I have switched diaper brands (more on why later) and have a flawless system down!

I have people ask me about cloth diapering all the time and I LOVE talking about! I could go on for days! However, this blog post will not be to convince you why to cloth diaper, this is simply a snapshot of what my system looks like and how cloth fits into our lives. 

This is *my* personal cloth diapering system in the form of the questions I get asked the most:

What diaper do you use?
We use Fuzzibunz one size cloth diapers exclusively. They are not the only brand out there, and I’ve tried a few, but FB are my favorite. They are very adjustable and fit tiny newborns to giant 2 year olds. They are all solids and sometimes I wish I had more cute prints, but my choice of diapers is more practical. I need diapers that will hold up to NUMEROUS children, and these do!! I just sized down all of Jarvis’ old diapers for the twins, and while I had to use the replacement elastic they come with, they are all still in awesome, stain free shape. 

How many do I need?
That depends on how many kids you have in diaper and how often you want to wash. Early on, they need to be changed  more often, so 12-15 diapers will get you about a day and a half. This means you wash daily. 18-22 will allow you to wash every other day. It’s up to you!

Where can you get them the cheapest?
Without access to someplace local that sells them (check around you!), Ebay always has awesome deals on large packages of brand new diapers that bring the price down to $15-$17 each. Plus, Fuzzibunz just came out with a new ‘elite’ line of diapers, so the older style are going on sale all over! (I’m still undecided on whether the ‘elite’ are worth the money or not…)

How do you store clean diapers?
With Jarvis, I have always stored the diapers pre-stuffed and lying flat in a drawer. Here’s his drawer right now, he only goes through about 12 diapers every 2 days now and I wash every 3rd day or so. (What looks like toilet paper in the back are flushable liners that someone got into during room time- more on them later!) I also keep my extra hanging pail and extra travel tote in the drawer.

With the twins, I have limited drawer space, so I am now storing them all in baskets on the wall. They each pull out individually without pulling the others out too. I have 32 diapers for them right now, and I expect that to be enough for a day and a half initially and to be washing every day.

How do you store dirty diapers?
FB hanging diaper pails are absolutely wonderful! They are waterproof and have an elastic opening at the top with two handles, and a zipper opening at the bottom. They are intended to hang on door knobs, but I found that every time I opened or closed the door the diaper smell seemed to waft around. We have always stored ours in laundry hampers. With the lid down on the hamper, I NEVER smell the diapers in the room or in the house, even after 3 days. I promise! If you want to come over and smell check you can! 
When I change a diaper, I hold the front and shake the diaper lightly over the diaper bag until the insert slips out the back and into the diaper bag, then I drop in the cover. I never touch yuckiness. When it’s time to wash the diapers, I carry the whole diaper bag to the washer and unzip the bottom straight into the washer. Then the bag gets tossed in with the diapers. Once again, I never touch yuckiness!! I have 2 hanging bags for each room so I always have a clean one while the other is washing. Here is Jarvis’ current laundry hamper and the twins-

What about poopy diapers?
When babies are exclusively breast or formula fed, their poop is completely water soluble and can be tossed in the washer as is. It will dissolve away completely during a rinse cycle. Once they start eating any solids, then I use small Bummis flush-able liners. You can either use them when you know baby will poop, or with every single diaper. They are very thin liners that catch most or all the poop, then you just turn the diaper over the toilet and it falls off and gets flushed away, no dunking or rinsing. 



What do you use for wipes?
For poopy diapers, we use regular wipes, and they get tossed in a small sealed trashcan in the room. For everything else, we used handmade cloth wipes. I made about 32 of these, and we wet them and keep them in a diaper warmer. We use about 1 cup of water, a couple of drops of essential oil, and about 12 wipes at a time in the warmer. They stay moist, but don’t mold. If you try to put too many in, they will dry out or mold before you use them. Too few and they will stay too wet. There are lots of cloth wipes solutions out there, but really, I think water works just fine! The essential oil helps the wipes clean and makes them smell nicer, plus it can prevent molding. The extra dry wipes go in a drawer when not being used, and I drop the dirty cloth wipes in with the diapers and wash them with the diapers.

What is your wash cycle? What detergent do you use?
This is one area that I do.not.budge. If you are cloth diapering, you can use whatever brands/styles you want, but I HIGHLY recommend that you only use Rockin Green Cloth Diaper Detergent. I have tried lots of brands of free and clear detergents and ones claiming to be cloth-friendly, and every.single.time I have had stink and leaking issues. You want a detergent that will clean the diapers, but will not leave ANY residue. It needs to wash completely clean. Let behind residue will cause your diapers to stink like ammonia as soon as they are peed on, and will cause your inserts to stop absorbing as well. I promise, you will not want to cloth with any other detergent. You can get RNG online or in a cloth diaper friendly store. 

Your wash cycle will depend on your washer, but I have a front loader (which uses less water) so I make sure to do extra rinses. The buttons on my machine are listed by each step)

1. Rinse (cold rinse only, extra rinse)
2. Funk Rock Rinse (every week/two weeks I run the diapers on a rinse with RNG Funk Rock, to fight ammonia)
3. Hard Rock Wash (Normal wash, extra rinse, hot water)
4. Rinse (cold rinse only, extra rinse)

I even cut it out with my Silhouette and put it on the washer so that whoever starts/washes the diapers can mark where they are, that way either one of us know what needs to happen next on the diapers! I also store my RNG in these pop-top storage containers so I don’t have to mess with a bag.

What do you do when you are out somewhere?
I always keep at least one cloth diaper in my bag, and take more if needed. I also use the FB Travel Tote. It’s a completely waterproof wet bag with a zipper. After changing him, I put the diaper in the bag, zip it up, and stuff it back in my diaper bag. I have tried several brands of wet bags, and I feel like FB’s holds in the stink the best. I once left a poopy diaper in the wet bag in my diaper bag for a week on accident, and I still couldn’t smell a thing until I opened it. They are amazing! I have two, which is more than enough even if you travel daily. Here’s what they look like in my bag:

Hmmmm, so that’s it for now… hopefully that answers some questions! I will probably do a part 2 as I think of more! 

Any questions???? 

**** UPDATE: I answered some of your questions HERE!****

Happy cloth diapering!