Here are 10 things that I did and that I do to keep from going crazy, and to stay on track!
1. I Did a ton of research and I was Picky:
There is nothing more annoying than spending money on 12 of the new "it" diaper only to find out that the: fit is not good for your baby. The diaper doesn't absorb like it was supposed to. The fabric isn't as soft as you thought it would be. In doing the research on different types of cloth diapers you can explore all the pro and cons for each type and get a idea what is right for your personal situation, it might be time consuming, but it is worth it. There is a particular diaper that everyone seems to LOVE, I decided to get each of the twins one...thank goodness I only got 2. I ended up hating them after the very first use. Tip: Choose a number of different diaper you like, then buy one or two of each brand. This way you can try a bunch of different kind and find out the ones you love and the ones you hate. Without breaking the bank!
Diaper Rash cream will cause you diapers to leak. It take A LOT of elbow grease to get it out of the diaper. I learned this the hard way. Now if I have to use a rash cream, I either use a 100% cloth diaper safe cream ( like Earth Mama Angel Baby) or a just simply put a fleece doubler in. That way, my babies are getting the relief they need but is isn't hurting the diaper!
3. Never under load or overload the washer:
I have a top loader, and I have learned my lesson! A underloaded washer results in a HUGE waste of water, and time. A overloaded washer results in the diapers on top not getting completely submerged in the wash, thus leaving them stinky because they were not properly cleaned. I have found it is best to have a load that consist of 12-24 diapers, that way they still have room to rub up against each other to get a nice deep clean! Hint: Don't have enough diapers for a full load but MUST do the load? It simple toss in a clean hand towel or two!
4. Organization is key, and saves me from going insane:
Having twins I wash a average of about 50 diapers a week! There have been nights when I have just been too tired to go and get them out of the dryer to stuff and fold them. That can create a viscous cycle of leaving the diapers in the drier or on the clothes line until they are needed, and lets face it that is not convenient. With so many diapers my husband and my self have created a system. In the evening, once the diapers have been dried weather from the clothes line or the drier, we put all the diapers, inserts, doublers, and covers in a basket. While watching t.v or chatting with each other about the day, we stuff all the pockets, fold all the prefolds & snap and prepare all the diapers and covers for the next day. That way when I need a clean diaper it is quick and easy to grab one and know that is ready to go!
5. ALWAYS clean a soiled diaper ASAP:
There is nothing more nasty than forgetting about a soiled diaper for a day or two. Without giving details, I have too learned this the hard way. I can say I love my diaper sprayer. It cleans the diaper quick and easy, right in the toilet. All you do is flush and TA DA! The diaper sprayer quickly became a must have in our home!
Hint: Once a soiled diaper has been cleaned to the best of your ability, soak for about 15 minutes in hot water. Then with a stiff bristled brush ( like a fingernail brush) using only hot water scrub the diaper. This will help prevent stains and get the diaper even cleaner in the wash. This may sound extreme to some, but...this is what works for us!
6. Line Drying and Sunning Cloth Diapers works wonders:
Recently I was having ummm...well a stinky issue with some of my diapers. A friend suggested line drying them! So I did. Not only did the diapers dry incredibly fast, but the stink was gone, and bonus the sun removed 99.9% of the stains some of them had. Hint: No outside line? Me either. It's easy to make one. The dollar store sells clothes line cord and clothes pins. I made my clothes line on my deck, tying to one post at one end of the deck and the other at...yup you guessed it, the other end of the deck! You can make yours where ever you want by simply tying the cord to a tree, a post or what ever you have, then tie the other end to what ever you can! The you are ready to line dry!!!
7. No matter how careful you are with laundry soap there still might be detergent build up in your dipes:
I opened the dryer, and YUCK a blast of stink! It was horrific. After some research I discovered it was detergent build up. I learned that adding too much soap causes this hideous smell. I started using hardly any detergent. In addition I began to add a 1/2 c. of vinegar, and when needed a extra rinse. This worked wonders. Hint: Can't seem to get rid of that nasty smell not matter what you do? Try this: Soak 12-24 diaper in a HOT wash for at least a hour ( when doing this I do it over night). Once your soak is complete continue you was cycle with no detergent. After cycle is complete, rinse again. The water from my washer empties into a tub sink so I was able to see the water, I was shocked to see after 3 rinses the water was still coming out with suds. When the water no longer had suds. I dried the diapers...NO STINK!!!
8. A durable large wet bag can be your best friend:
When cloth diapering, it can get stinky between washes. My cloth diapering top 'must have' Item is my wet bag!! When we first started cloth diapering, I thought ' we don't need to spend money on a wet bag' Whoa was I wrong. Plastic bags don't cut it. I have amazed us how a horrible stinky room can suddenly be fresh by simply zipping our wet bag!!! Our wet bag it very large and can easily zip with 18 diapers (BumGenius) in it!
9. Prefolds and Covers
(esp. wool) is a fantastic option:
For my husband and my self prefolds are indispensable! Nothing is easier, dries faster, or is as trim. Prefolds. They are a wonderful 'go to' choice. While I'm at home it's easy! Grab a prefold, a snappi, and a pair of wool longies! This is a perfect combination for fall! Hint: Don't have Wool? First of all, I highly recommend looking into wool as a possible option for your family, you be so happy you did! But, if you don't have wool and feel wool just isn't for you. Try this: cover your prefold with a Flip cover or a Bummis Super Whisper wrap or Super Brite...or your favorite cover!
10. Cloth Diapering is Addicting!:
When I first started cloth diapering nearly 5 years ago. I had 5 AIO's, 12 prefolds, and 8 diaper pins. I had just started out and didn't know about ALL the different types, styles,and brands of diapers. In 2008 out when we found out I was pregnant with the twins we started buying our cloth diapers...The addiction had not set in yet! I started by buying 24 indian prefolds, then 24 more prefolds...enter addiction!!! My twins are now 1! I am very proud of their stash!!
We currently have:
Newborn Prefold ( I still use these as boosters)
Knit wool covers - longies - shorties - skirties - diaper cover styles
But.....I still want....Bummis Easy fit Prints Or/and the BumGenius Prints! *my heart quickens!