Saturday, March 15, 2008
As soon as we got home from traveling, we switched to cloth diapers in earnest. We now have refined our process to one that is pretty effective. We fill a dry pail beside her changing table with pee pee diapers, and wash them once every two days. Poops get dumped straight into the toilet, and then the diaper gets thrown into the same pail. Big messy poops have a hazmat hose down process, which thankfully I have not yet had to perform (just Chris so far). Our washing machine has an "Xxtra Sanitary" setting especially for diapers. Fabulous.
We are primarily using a pre-fold and cover system, with a few "all in ones" for convenience. The pocket Fuzzi Bunzs are great; it is exactly like using a disposable (except for the washing part). We started out using Snappis to hold the diaper together, but those things were hard to use. Some did not grip the cloth well, and we seemed to always be struggling to secure the strap while the baby was whining and losing patience. Chris discovered a neat trick, though. The little straps that are used to bundle electric cords together work perfectly in holding the diaper closed. You can see one in use in the picture above. These things are sold in any computer or hardware store. We saw a packet of 10 today at B&Q for like 3 bucks. Cheaper and more effective than Snappis, for sure.
Our biggest problem in the beginning was leaks, especially at night. None of the covers that I made were able to last through 12-13 hours of nighttime pee pee. We did not have any mattress leakage because her two sleep sacks are both made of waterproof fleece. But she was waking up with a completely soaked onesie, which was not good. On one hand, the cloth diapers were comfortable enough that she did not wake up if the diaper was soiled (unlike the disposables, with which she woke at least once a night). On the other hand, morning cleanup was pretty gross. I finally bought some of the Imse Vimse wool diaper covers pictured above. These covers are incredible. Not a single drop has leaked so far. Each cover needs only to be air-dried after use (pee is sterile) and then washed and lanolized once or twice a month.
The wool soakers I knit work well for daytime (see picture below). I never got around to making the crochet edgings for the leg openings (I am a crochet failure), but they still work fine. The Very Baby covers are not so good, however. In one or two covers, the elastic edging failed after several washes. Also the velcro tabs are too small and too weak. Lesson learned: use large sections of Aplix or snaps. Now after a month, the sides will not stay shut without a onesie on top to hold it all together. If I have energy, I may try to make some more in the next size up, but I'll use snaps and a different seaming method this time.
Good diaper system = dry and happy baby. Now we can take all that money we are saving by not buying disposables and invest in a couple bottles of wine. Oops, I meant... college fund. Yeah.