Tuesday, April 21, 2009

This is how we do it: Cloth

I have recently read a few posts on cloth diapers and a few friends have asked how we do them, so I thought I'd write it out here. I am trying to implement the "Reduce, Reuse, Recycle" mentality and godly stewardship of our resources way of thinking into our home. So I guess we could call it "Go Green for God". Or, that's what we're trying to do at least. Here are a few examples of what we've been doing:
  • Cloth Diapers: Before Canon was born a friend of mine mentioned using cloth diapers. I thought the idea was horrible! Then, another friend actually used cloth diapers. She showed us how easy they were and how cheap they were and we were hooked! So, this is what we've done. I ordered 36 pre-fold diapers along with 6 covers for our little babies. I have since acquired 6 more covers and 6 smaller covers. I use the smallest ones as soon as the umbilical cord fall off. These last up to 10 lbs. My next size goes from 9-14 lbs. The pre-folds that I have in this size last until my kids are about 16 lbs. When my babies are solely nursing or on formula, I can put their diapers straight in the pail or straight in the washing machine. When they start solid foods I shake the poop into the toilet or rinse it out in the toilet. While pregnant, there were several diapers that I wanted to just throw away, but persevere! Ok, so after the 36 small pre-folds and 12 covers, we move to 24 large pre-folds with 6 covers. At night I use pocket diapers. I have 10 of these, I think. These are very easy to use. I would use them all of the time except for the cost. I acquired more pocket diapers when Boaz was born and I had two in diapers. So the 36, 12, 24 and 6 are the amounts recommended for one child, but they work for two children as well. At one pointe I did 3 loads a week, but now I wash twice a week. For washing, I dump the diapers in, then wash them on hot with a cold rinse. On my old machine I did a pre-soak cycle and sometimes I still do. In the spring and summer I hang my diapers out to dry, this makes them very white and very stiff. They still work great though. Otherwise I just dry them in the dryer withOUT a dryer sheet. Dryer sheets put a coating on the diapers that can irritate the skin. Some accessories that have made our diapering easier are cloth wipes, wet bags and cloth diaper pail liners. I have 3-4 dozen wipes. My MIL bought a dozen, then made the rest. They are just 8x8 pieces of cloth with a zig-zag stitch around the edge. I fold the wipes in half, stick them in a wipes bucket, put some liquid soap, tea tree oil and water in a cup and pour it over the wipes. Then, I add enough water to make them as damp as I like. The wipes can be thrown in the pail with the diapers and washed and dried exactly the same. The wet bags are cloth bags with a plastic coated liner (similar to a rain coat) and a zipper. They come in a few different sizes. The medium ones work best for us. I keep one in the diaper bag at all times. Canon has a small one in his backpack for accidents in his undies. When I use these, I dump the diaper in the pail, then throw the bag in. I have a couple that are hang dry only, other wise I dry them with the diapers. I have maybe 6 bags. We are not out very much, so 2-3 would probably suffice. I have 2 diaper pail liners. This is perfect for my wash cycle. One is in the wash while the other is in the pail. The liner is a plastic coated cloth with an elastic top. I use a trash can with a pop-up lid for my diaper pail and keep it in the bathroom. It doesn't smell unless it is open. I also use a dish bucket for transporting diapers from the bedroom to the pail. I often wipe out both the pail and bucket. I think that's all, just let me know if you have any questions. With this we are reducing our waste and our expenses.
  • Tissues: This might seem even more over the top, but oh well. We have been using our burp rags as "nose wipes" or "snot rags". With two little boys, and now a little girl, it seems that we never have a time when every one's nose is dry. So, instead of going through a box of tissues a day, we designate the "snot rags" in the morning and use one for each little all day long, then throw it in the dirty clothes basket in the evening. 
  • Cloth napkins: When Albert and I first got married I thought these were just for "fancy" occasions. Now they are for every day use.
  • Cloth nursing pads: This might really turn us into tree huggers, but it works for me. When Canon was first born I was using disposable diapers, disposable nursing pads and disposable pads. Our trash was over flowing every day. I found that disposable nursing pads were another way to cut down on trash. They do have to be changed out more frequently, but I'd rather change my shirt than have the nursing pad burst and have to clean up those little absorbent things. These are washed on cold and hung up to dry. A dozen or so of these is a reasonable amount.
That is a pretty good start on what we have done to reduce and reuse. What are some things you are doing to "Go Green for God"?


Lisa said...

I LOVE cloth diapers!! We always have leaks in disposables, but never in cloth. Glad you're still using them!

Chelly & Co. said...

We love our cloth diapers, too!

Leslie said...

We love our cloth too! We do things very similar except we use fitteds for when the baby is new & it folds down for the umbilical cord so we use them from the very beginning. I think I have 36 fitteds but only 6 covers. Then once they grow out of these we move to pockets & I have enough to last about a week (if I had to stuff pockets any more often, I'd go crazy!). Oh, another thing we do differently is we use those flushable liners once we start solids... they flush right in the toilet if it is a poopy diaper & we don't have to do any rinsing. If it is just a pee diaper, they go in the pail w/ the diaper & can be reused a couple times. They aren't too expensive- like $12 or so for 200, I think. And they save us from the ucky poop clean-up (or make it more tolerable anyway!).

Elizabeth said...

Thanks, Robin. I have been trying to wrap my mind around how the cloth diapers are going to work... your post is very helpful! I don't know how you find time to do these things with 3 under 3!

Tina's Tidbits said...

I am giving you a standing ovation. That is walking the talk girl. I commend your heart and commitment. I know you husband is proud of you and children will arise and call you blessed.