Cloth Diapers and Wet Pails

Yes, that is a picture of my dirty diapers… Well, not MY dirty diapers, but rather Eli’s. Okay, glad we clarified that one!

I’ve been asked a few times lately about how I liked cloth diapering and what I was doing so I decided to post my thoughts and such.  I love cloth diapering. It’s one of those things that I think is better for my baby, better for the planet and better for our budgets, a great win-win-win scenario that only makes you spend a bit more time doing laundry, but as it gets into the routine, it’s not bad. More on that later.

So first up, we’re using Thirsties Duos with some of the Thirsties inserts and some prefolds.

Inserts vs. Prefolds

I like ’em both.  Prefolds, even the good diaper service quality ones like these are less expensive, about $20 for a dozen whereas the Thirsties inserts are about $7 apiece.  Now, even a full supply (about 36) of inserts will cost you less in the long run than disposables.

The prefolds are all unbleached cotton and the only negative I’ve noticed is that if he’ssleeping really good and pees more than once, they can get so wet that they wick up and get his onesie as they’re a tad taller than the wrap the way we have it adjusted right now and a little of the top of the diaper sticks out the top.  They are, however, super absorbent.

The inserts fit perfectly as they were designed to go with these wraps, so that doesn’t happen, but they hold stains a bit more than the prefolds.  They are also very absorbent and feature two separate layers that snap together. The top is fleece, to wick the moisture away from the baby’s skin, and the bottom is hemp, the super absorbent layer.

Wet Pails

So, I didn’t try anything else but wet pails because I liked the idea of them when I read about them and I still like them.  Basically, it pre-soaks the diapers and wipes in a vinegar and water solution.

Instead of buying a diaper pail to try this, I simply grabbed a couple of five gallon buckets from Lowe’s (because they went with the house better than Home Depot’s orange) and I pour in about a quarter inch of vinegar into the bottom, add 4 drops of tea tree oil (it’s a powerful anti-fungal) and fill about 1/3 of the way up with water.  If I need more water I add it, but I try to keep it from getting too heavy.  We have two of these, one for upstairs and one for downstairs.

In the mornings, I dump both pails, water and all into the washer and put it on a rinse cycle.  Then I do the wash cycle.

And then most days I hang the diapers out on the clothes line to sun bleach, which really does do wonders for the stains, but if I’m in a hurry, got a late start, or it’s raining, then they get thrown in the dryer.

So that’s my two cents worth… if you’re going to do this, or hey, even if not, get some of these wet bags. They’re awesome, and come in handy for everything from diapers to dirty clothes.

And once again, don’t forget to vote for the giveaway! It’s coming, folks… this Friday!

 

Reusable Wipes and Wipe Solution

As I was preparing for the birth of my son, I did many projects from things specifically for him, to preparing his room, to decorating the master bedroom because he’d be sharing it with us for a while, and also making some basics like reusable wipes for diaper changing time because it occurred to me one day that it didn’t make a bunch of sense to do cloth diapers and still be throwing away all those wipes both for financial and ecological reasons.

I looked into buying cloth wipes and I actually had a bunch in an online shopping cart, when it struck me that I could make them.

Thanks to a bag of hand-me-downs from a friend, I had a stack of gently used flannel receiving blankets, you know, the smaller ones that come in packs usually.  So I grabbed about 6 of them and started cutting them up. I discovered that if you mess with how you fold them, you can cut through multiple layers (like 4) at the same time and have virtually no waste.

So….

Step 1: Fold blanket so that you can cut 6 to 7 inch squares out of them. Slice off the folds, and make all your cuts.  Repeat with other blankets or fabric. Each blanket yielded about 12 squares or so.  Don’t worry if they aren’t perfect, we’re going to trim them in step 4… read on, Oh type A person (I’m one too, that’s how I knew to write you a note here 😉 )

Step 2: Match fronts and backs of wipes together, wrong sides together.  As you can see in the pictures, I matched one solid square and one printed square for each wipe.

Step 3: Sew together with a straight stitch with a half inch or so seam allowance around all four sides.

Step 4: Trim edges of wipes so that they’re even.

Step 5: Zig-zag stitch over the edges to keep them from fraying. Or you could overlock if you have access to an overlock machine, but zig-zag is perfectly adequate for this.

A variation I did on this is to cut up an old towel and sew the terry square to one flannel square, wrong sides (well of the flannel, there is no wrong side to a towel) together with straight stitch along three sides, turn, and french seam the opening shut. That gives you a heftier wipe for bigger messes, but you’ll be pleasantly surprised that you only need one wipe for most changes.  I’d still make about 40-60. I started with about 32 and was always in danger of running out, so I’ve now made 12 more and that’s great with doing a diaper/wipe load every day. I’ll be making 12 or so more so that won’t have to keep raiding the stash in the diaper bag 😉 .

Now, for the wipe solution, we started out using plain ol’ water, but when Eli developed a yeast rash, I added 4 drops of tea tree oil to 8 oz of water and that seems to be doing just great! And it smells yummy too…  Put in squeeze or spray bottles and you’re done. Easyness.

Thanks for dropping by! Don’t forget to vote for this week’s giveaway before you go…