Yay!  I remembered my user name and password!  With that said I wish I had more time to blog…  my brain is stewing lately!  So many topics.  Today I’ll keep it light and parent friendly.  I’m going to talk about cloth diapers!  Why, you ask? There is already so much information out there about cloth diapers.  Well that is exactly why.  When I first started cloth diapering with my first there was so much info that it was overwhelming.  Not to mention all the different types, styles, and brands of diapers.  It was most definitely a learning experience, and an expensive one at that!   I wish I would have had someone break it down for me, so that is what I’m going to attempt to do here.  First I’ll start with a do’s and don’ts list.

Do:
*Set a realistic budget and stick close to it
*Talk to local cloth diapering moms to find out what works for them (more on this in a bit)
*Find which kind of diapers work best for you
*Find a wash routine that works for you (more on this)
*INVEST in a diaper sprayer! (more on this later too)
*use natural fiber inserts or prefolds to stuff pockets with
*a strip every once in a while if needed
*Support a WAHM or Local business when you can!

Don’t:
*Break your budget and buy tons of expensive diapers -It’s not worth it. We all chose to cloth diaper for different reason, but one we can all agree on is that it saves money if done right.
*spend the money on special detergents- I never had any luck with any of those “cloth diaper” detergents. While they smell amazing, my diapers wore quickly and I could never get the stinkies out! I basically had to start my stash from scratch with #2 because of this.
*assume just because the diaper is expensive or popular, it’s going to be a great diaper. (more on this)
*waste your time with microfiber! It’s isn’t absorbent for long and it stinks, stinks, stink! If you do choose the microfiber route, don’t be afraid to use bleach every once in a while, because otherwise they just don’t get clean enough to work correctly.
*strip with dawn!!!!!!!
*think cloth diapering has to be all or nothing ( I cheat! I use sposies for night time diapers and some days I just have cheat days)

Now to cover those “more on this” topics. Here is my story. I live in Spokane. When I first began my cloth diapering journey I looked to an online cloth diapering forum. In this forum Fitteds and specialty detergents were extremely popular. Had I talked to local moms I would have found out that these are NOT favorites here.   As I mentioned previously, I basically had to start over with baby number 2 because my diapers were so worn by the time I got pregnant with him. I believe this is due to multiple mistakes.  First, I bought a good amount of fitteds… expensive, adorable fitteds. I also had prefolds with covers, some AIO’s, and some pockets. Now I also spent the money on those specialty detergents. I could not get my diapers clean. I washed and washed and stripped with blue dawn and rlr…. my diapers reeked, were not absorbent, and were leaving my poor little guys boy bits fiery red! With all of this, my expensive fitteds and most of my other diapers wore, the fitteds had holes and were basically just shredding (even my big popular brand fitteds I will leave unnamed!) The PUL of most of my pockets and AIO’s was cracked or worn down. Both AIO’s and Fitted smelled heavy of ammonia at all diaper changes. Once I switched to Prefolds, covers, pockets and regular Tide or Country Save I never had a problem. I have needed to strip less than a handful of times (and I’m on baby 2 with these diapers) and that is done with extra hot water washes with no detergent. As many washes as it takes to have sud free water and they are nice and clean! Usually no more than 2.

This leads me to my next topic, my wash routine. First I’ll note I have a top loader AND that you kinda have to find what works best for you. It should probably look a little something like this.  Always have it on your largest water setting.  Warm wash with a small amount of detergent, I use about a half scoop of Country Save for a full load of diapers. (My idea of a full load of diapers is a kitchen sized garbage pale full to the top) Next, hot wash with 3/4 scoop of Country Save and about a tablespoon of Calgon. Then a Hot wash with nothing added.  You may need to adjust this accordingly based on the amount of diapers and your washing machine.   Now I also want to note that I don’t rinse any diapers until my kids start solid foods. Breastmilk poo doesn’t need to be rinsed off. I am unsure of Formula, but I’d go with rinsing for formula poo since the make up is different. I rinse by spraying with a diaper sprayer. I spent way to much time doing the dunk and swish before I finally gave in and bought a diaper sprayer… So worth it! I went ahead and spent the money for an actual diaper sprayer, but there are some tutorials on how to build your own (for much cheaper!) For a simple tutorial go here.  I dry my prefolds in the dryer and hang dry all my PUL with an occasional high heat dry to re-seal it.

Well, that’s all I’ve got for now. If you are looking to cloth diaper I hope this helps!