Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Diaper doodie...I mean duty

It's a dirty job, but someone has to do it.  And at our house Team Bowen shares that responsibility.  Although he was a little grossed out by her first meconium diaper at home, Chris has since gotten over the shock and handles the doodie like a champ.

As I think I've mentioned our decision to use cloth diapers was based on both the financial benefit as well as well as the desire to be "green".  And yes I guess the fact that doodie doesn't really bother me :) We have 12 of the Bum Genius 4.0 diapers which are pocket diapers that have a snap closure.  They are supposed to fit babies 8lbs-35lbs.  However, they have such a wide crotch and there is so much extra material because they expand to fit larger babies, that I don't like them right now.  We do use one at night sometimes, but for now we prefer using the bumGenius 3.0 All-In-One (AIO) diapers with hook & loop closure.

bumGenius 4.0 with snap closure

See how much extra material there is?

bumGenius 3.0 with hook & loop closure
(basically the same closure as a disposable)

Still bulkier than a disposable, but less than the 4.0
We actually like the bulk right now because
otherwise all her 3 month pants would be too big

I have 8 of the 3.0s.  They cost $9.95 each so I spent $80 on these diapers which will last through 16 lbs.  The first 6 weeks using disposables we spent $70 on diapers.  Now granted we used a lot more diapers the first several weeks than we do now so I don't think my monthly diaper expenses would continue to be quite as high but this is the only price comparison I have.  I have heard that the increase in utilities is almost not noticeable (because you are washing more and therefore using more water)  We've been using them for about a month now.  I'll report back after a few months to let you know how our utility bills are being affected.

So the question is, how hard is it to wash them and maybe more of what you're wondering....what do I do with the dirty doodie diapers?  I don't find it hard at all!  When I change her diaper the dirty diaper (wet or doodie comes off and goes directly into a Planet Wise wet bag that is hanging next to her changing table.  No rinsing, scraping, or washing; just throw it in the bag.  (We will have to alter this process once we start solid food, but breast milk poop easily rinses off in the washing process and is water soluble.  After we start solids I am planning on purchasing a diaper sprayer to spray off the poop in the toilet.)  We have never had a problem with smells.   The Plant Wise bags are wonderful, and you can throw them in the wash with the diapers.  They even come in super cute patterns.  I have a large size that hangs next to the changing table and a small one that I carry in her diaper bag for diaper changes on the go.

Now when its time to wash I take the bag and empty it into the washing machine.  I do wash them every day because I only have 8 that I'm regularly using right now.  (Most of what I've read recommend having 12-18, which would mean you could wash every other day.  Once we start using the 4.0 we will have a few more diapers and more flexibility with washing.)

Washing Steps:
1. Cold water pre-wash (no detergent)
2. Hot water water wash (add detergent- about 4 Tbls)
3. Extra rinse cycle with cold water
4. Tumble dry low**

1. The recommended way to wash is to do a cold water pre-wash to clean off the poopy residue.  My washing machine doesn't have a pre-wash cycle and honestly I don't know what a pre-wash cycle is or does.  So I put mine on the "2" of the regular fabrics wash cycle on a mini-load and run it.

2. Then when that's finished I add my detergent (about 4 tbls.  I will sometimes use a little less because really I'm only washing 6-8 diapers at a time) and run a regular wash cycle (I turn it to the "10") with hot water.  You should not use your regular detergent.  I certainly know people that do, but it's not recommended.   You should not not use detergents with with enzymes, dyes, brighteners or fabric softeners.  Why do you ask?  Well, these chemicals leave residue on your clothing that makes them look and smell nice and clean.  The problem is that when the residue builds up on your diapers it decreases the absorbency.  And no one wants a leaky diaper.  I have chosen to use a special separate detergent because I am determined to make my diapers last and I don't want to use anything that could potentially affect absorbency.  Click here for a list of recommended detergents.  Charlie's Soap, Rockin' Green, and bumGenius Diaper Detergent are also good options.  I am using Plant right now, and honestly right now I can't remember why I choose this one.  But I'm happy with it.  I'll probably try Charlie's next.

3. Self-explanatory

4.  It is recommended to line dry your liners and tumble dry your inserts if you are using a pocket diaper (bumGenius 4.0)  So when I wash these I throw the inserts in the dryer and line dry the liners.  With the All-In-One diapers (bumGeniusAIO terminology) are so absorbent they take FOREVER to dry.  The first few days I hung the diapers out to dry overnight then I would feel the inside fleece of the diaper and it felt dry so I would put them back on her.  Then I realized that even though the inside fleece that sits next to her skin was dry the liner inside was still damp!  I was putting damp diapers back on her bottom!  Whoops.  After that I started to put them in the dryer with several towels because I couldn't wait that long for them to dry.  I have to run my dryer through 1 1/2 cycles in order for the inserts of the AIOs (3.0) to dry completely.  Now, if I were able to line dry the diapers outside in the sun they would probably dry faster.  However, I would have to go down 2 flights of steps in order to do this and break some neighborhood rule in order to do this (we're not allowed to hang clothes/laundry outside), so I do not.  Another note about the sun though- if you get stains on your diapers the sun in the best remedy.  If I start to notice stains I will break the rule on occasion to get my diapers pearly white again, but I'm not going to push my luck.  I have not had any problems with stains or smells so far.  My diapers come out smelling fresh and ready to go back on my baby's bottom!

And that is how we do diaper doodie...I mean duty at our house.

1 comment:

  1. Hello! So, we just started cloth diapering...as in today, and I have kind of a dumb question, but do you have to constantly check if your daughter is wet,or just change her every so often or what? I know that seems silly, but it's so easy to tell with a disposable. We are using Fuzzi Bunz and Bum Genius 4.0's (which are huge) and Thirsties Duo Diaper. Right now everything is still in trial and error phase =) I'm glad to know you like it though! I'm sure I will too when I get used to it!


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