Thursday, October 21, 2010

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Newbie No More

6 Months In: Newbie No More! As my son’s first birthday approaches, I find it so hard to believe that I am not so new at this baby thing anymore. I still feel like a new mom, but once in a while I find myself in the position to actually offer advice instead of just seeking it out all the time!

The same holds true for my cloth diapering experience. In the beginning, all I did was ask questions! I’m still asking, but I think I just might have a few valuable tidbits to offer, too! So, without further adieu, here are the top 5 cloth diapering challenges I faced, and how I overcame them!

What to choose? I’m a big believer in not putting all your fluffy eggs in one basket. You might be tempted to drop a bunch of cash on a few dozen of one style or brand, but I wouldn’t recommend it. We have everything from Flip covers and Fuzzibunz to prefolds and fun Etsy finds. Each one serves a different purpose: some are better for overnight, some are easier for Gram to use, and some are easier to use while traveling. Besides, with all the super cute options out there, how could you pick just one?

How to store them? A few months in, diapers started taking over my home. I had laundry baskets and piles of diapers all over (and I don’t even have that many diapers.) My house is really, really small, so I knew I needed to get organized, and fast. So I invested $15 in a canvas shoe rack. Works like a charm! As for the dirty ones, no wet buckets here. I just flush whatever solids I can, and throw them into a small trash pail with a pop up lid lined with a garbage bag (I’d love a real pail liner, though.)

Why do my clean diapers STINK!?! Oh, the stinkies. I know them well. I really didn’t bargain for a 6-month science experiment when I began CD, and I’ve been tempted to throw in the towel several times. And then I found out that throwing in a towel might be just the ticket for fresher smelling dipes. The weight of an extra towel can trick your washer into adding more water, and water is SO key in the laundering process. If you think about it, these are absorbent diapers, so they are just going to suck up all the water in your machine and flop around. A preliminary rinse to get them all nice and saturated can help.

My biggest mistake? Soaking in a bucket. When I soak, I need to do it in a full bathtub, then add a few extra gallons to the washer (my front loader isn’t so easy to trick, so I add the water with a gallon jug.) The other piece to my laundry puzzle was treating the inserts and shells/covers differently. Sometimes I wash them all together, but I have found that a little borax or oxygenated bleach in the initial wash cycle once a week works wonders on my inserts. I never use anything but a tiny bit of CD detergent and hot water on the diapers/covers themselves. I baby those as if they were fine lingerie, because I want them to last a long, long time. (For me, that means NO dryer!)

What about yucky stains? Ok, poop is gross. So is a stain left by poop, but I figured I’d deal. But then I saw all my beautiful, soft, pristinely while new dipes, and I was horrified to think of their being all pooped up! Not to worry. A few hours in the sun and I usually can’t even remember which diaper had a stain in the first place because they all look nice and white again! That Ma Nature sure knows what she’s doing.

I’m addicted. Now what do I do? Sorry, can’t help you there. Like I said, I don’t have all the answers yet. (If you’ll excuse me…I’ve gotta go check the mailbox…)

By Wendy C.

7 comments:

Karrianne said...

I love this, because I'm actually waiting for TWO orders of diapers to come in the mail right now. HA!

Jill said...

I love it when you get that 'all together' feeling! Sometimes it's fleeting, but it feels great, doesn't it? We use canvas baskets on the changing table. I think the shoe rack would be awesome hung in the closet, especially if you have 2 kids that share a room, it would leave more floor space!

Anna said...

Ha Ha...gotta check the mail. LOVE it!

Jenyfferlee said...

Thanks for sharing! I am new to this and dont want to stain my amazing new diapers!

nic and krista said...

I love your shoe storage idea, I also live in a small place and haven't really figured out how to organize everything, so thanks for the great idea!

Mama Bee said...

Great tip about pouring a gallon of water in the front loader. We recently purchased a FL and I *thought* I had the detergent proportion figured out but alas, we discovered wet stink after just a few weeks. I was just starting the stripping process when your article was posted and I added a gallon of water to each cycle and have half of my stash done. They smell well, like nothing! Working on the other half right now. I will continue adding a gallon of water to each diaper load from here on out.

wk said...

@MamaBee Yay! I'm SO glad that tip helped!! :)