Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Diaper Duty (Already!)

Yesterday, I went to Be By Baby to check out their selection of cloth diapering materials.  They regularly host a cloth diapering class and boast a huge selection online, and sure enough, they were extremely helpful.  I'm pretty sure I got a personalized, one-on-one cloth diapering class for free!  I had done lots of research online, but seeing the diapers in person and touching them really helped when it came down to decision time.  Here is the loot:
I bought mostly pre-fold diapers, which are the old-fashioned square diapers that Mom used on me when I was little (except these are organic).  Instead of using diaper pins, we'll be using Snappis, these contraptions that work like a velcro cable to hold together the diaper without any sharp edges or pins.
snappi fastner 8 colors
Over the top go the colorful waterproof covers, which have been updated since we were young kids and now velcro closed in the front. I also bought two fleece covers, which are supposed to be waterproof, too, but are completely breathable.   
I fell in love with these SwaddleBees, which can be used either in place of the pre-fold diaper inside a cover for trips, etc., or can be used on their own around the house to provide a more breathable option.  They are SO soft I just want to hug them, and the top can be folded and snapped down to protect the newborn's belly button.  How cute is Baby Girl's bottom going to look in these, with the little ruffles around her chubby legs?  I can't wait to pat her bottom in these!
I realize that this won't be enough to get me through diapering a newborn.  My plan is to try using all of these and see which varieties work the best, what fits particularly well, and how realistic continuously cloth diapering will be, and then purchase additional supplies.  I didn't purchase any all-in-ones, which are cloth diapers with a waterproof exterior, pretty much the washable version of a disposable diaper.  If all the steps of the pre-fold and cover seem like too much for the middle of the night (I'm thinking of Tyler here), we may move towards some all-in-ones.  If the cloth diapering is going well, we'll opt for more pre-folds, which are super cheap and would be easy to add to our collection. 
There's a lot of preparation that goes into cloth diapering that took me by surprise.  The pre-folds have to be either washed in hot water 7-8 times or boiled for 20 minutes (I chose the latter- save time and water? Done!), then washed in detergent.  The SwaddleBees and diaper covers need to be washed once in detergent and 3-4 times in plain water.  I also didn't realize that cloth diapers need to be washed in phosphate-free detergent to maintain absorbency, and that phosphate-free detergent is actually hard to find.  Seventh Generation Baby Laundry Detergent is phosphate-free, but the Seventh Generation Free & Clear (which I have here) is not.  So, I had to purchase some phosphate-free detergent.  Be By Baby sells Charlie's Soap, so I just bought some of that for now.  I have to say, I like it.  A lot.  It smells clean but unfragranced.  A gallon container cleans 128 loads, which equals less than $.20 per load, and there's a pump to ensure the proper amount is used (and that 128 loads doesn't become 90 loads with generous pours).  The Seventh Generation Baby Detergent, on the other hand, costs $.90 per load (only 16 loads per $15 bottle?!?).  I'll have to look for other places that sell Charlie's- or just stock up!
So far, I've boiled the pre-folds and they are in the washing machine on wash #3 with the rest of the diapers.  Then they tumble dry on low.  Already today, I've washed two loads of our laundry and now I'm tackling... (duh! duh! duh! dramatic drumroll...)  our full laundry basket of socks that need to be folded!  I already know that I'm going to have to pull all of Tyler's socks out of his sock drawer to find the matches, so I've got a full afternoon of matching ahead of me.  At least each match is somewhat exciting and a small accomplishment in and of itself.  And, I have plenty of nesting instinct to get me through to the end of the task!  Gotta go restart the wash one more time...

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