Monday, September 5, 2016

Cloth Diapers and Miss J Way

Well, we are about one month in to our cloth diapering and absolutely loving it so far!

Years ago when our besties and roomies were pregnant and preparing for their little one, they opened my eyes to the idea of cloth diapering. I had thought it was a world of sharp pins that will (physically and mentally) scar both mama and baby, but soon learned much had changed in the cloth diapering world.

Many of our friends in BKK use cloth diapers, so I was excited to learn more about this growing trend when we discovered we were pregnant. But here's the thing- this world of cloth diapering can be sooo overwhelming. So, a few things this google addict of a mama researched/discovered/learned over the last few months:

1.  Brand

There are a million bajillion types of cloth diapers out there. I spent hours asking mama friends, reading blogs and reviews, etc. But honestly... I think they are all pretty similar and every family has their preferences. In the end, I decided to go with Bumgenius. However, the research did not end there as Bumgenius has their 4.0, 5.0, freestyle, elemental, and flip design. So many options!

Right now we are using Bumgenius Freetime. I was able to purchase twenty of the Bumgenius diapers used for about $10/diaper. I believe the typical price for a new diaper is $19.95, so I was happy to spend $10 on barely used diapers! (I also have several of the 4.0 version, as well as some Charlie Banana diapers that were gifted to me-which are much cuter designs, in my opinion. I may begin rotating these in now that we have a good system in place.)

Tips: Buy used- lots of people are selling these on craigslist and facebook sell groups. You can even find unused diapers from mamas who hoped to use cloth diapers, but changed their minds once their little ones arrived. You can find find moms willing to ship, so don't limit your search just to your area! I started with the Freetime because it seems the most like a "regular" diaper- no extra work of stuffing and un-stuffing. I wanted this to be successful, and guessed that if I felt discouraged by the extra "work" of cloth diapering, I wouldn't want to keep up with it. Now that I've got the Freetime down, I'm excited to test some of the other styles/brands.

          Try to get acquainted with a few different options before purchasing any- ask your mama friends, check out what is stocked at BabiesRUs and other baby stores.

2. Timing

Timing is everything, isn't it?

We have lots of friends who started out with cloth diapers from the get go. Oh lordy, had we done that, we would have fast sunk in a heap of newborn shart diapers. Jubes, angelic little thing that she is, pooped sometimes 4-7 times a DAY in her first two months with us. I really cant imagine having lived through that with cloth diapers. Bumgenius diapers are meant for babies 8-35 pounds, but they also make a line of newborn diapers. We knew we would wait to start cloth diapering as we planned to travel with Jubi right after she was born, and guessed correctly that all of our accommodation changes would make cloth diapering too stressful. However, since Jubes was a 6.5 ish pound baby, she wouldn't have been big enough for the diapers we bought anyways.

I'm really glad that we waited, as the amount of diaper changes had dramatically decreased by her third month of life. However, on our first day of cloth diapering, she let mama experience their full glory right away by producing a massive number 2 for her diaper numero uno. =)

Tips: Start when you feel like you can handle it! Some friends started right away and that worked for them. For me, I needed things to be as simple as possible while I dealt with all the other changes. I have heard that some babies get used to one type of diaper or the other (cloth vs. disposable) and switching is difficult, but that was not our experience whatsoever.

3. Laundering

Day one cloth diapering was great. I figured out which snaps to snap her in at. I figured out where to store the clean diapers. We decided on a location to deposit soiled diapers.

And then the next day I realized I needed to wash the diapers, and I suddenly felt much less happy about this whole thing.

But, as is often true, once we got into a routine this wasn't nearly so overwhelming.

Here's what is working for us currently:
1. Place soiled diaper in the dry bag in the diaper pin. (If poopy, rinse first into the toilet. We're lucky because most bathrooms in BKK have a handheld sprayer-you can ask Mark about this feature-he is totally a convert. I'm just happy to have it for the diapers. =) )
2. When needed (but at least every several days) dump diapers + wet bag containing diapers into the washing machine.
3. We usually add a cup or two of hot water as our washing machine isn't connected to a hot water heater.
4. Use cloth diaper friendly detergent. (Currently we're using  Charlie Soap, given to us by a friend who is done cloth diapering, who brought it back from the States).
5. Hang Dry (we don't have a dryer anyways..).

4. Cloth Wipes

We also decided to go ahead and do reusable cloth wipes. We use them just for "number 1" diapers, and still use disposable wipes when we are on the go. I love these wipes! We purchased two packs and 24 wipes has been plenty for us.

There are several different methods for using reusable wipes. We dunk are wipes (well, wipe, it only ever takes one) right before use. The solution we've settled on for now is: 2 cups water, 1 TBS baby shampoo/soap, 1.5 TBS baby oil. I've really loved using these wipes as I dont love the quality of wipes we have found in Thailand. These are so soft and wonderful!

Anyone have any other wipe solutions they've tried and like?

All in all, I really love cloth diapering. Cloth diapers just make so much sense! It's good for the earth, good for the wallet, and good for baby! And the cool, no pressure thing about cloth diapers is that, if it doesn't make sense for a period of time, or a day, or whatever- there is absolutely nothing wrong with taking a break and using disposables until you're ready to jump back on the cloth diapering wagon!