Margaret's Diapering System

Posted by  | Sunday, October 21, 2007  at 9:30 PM  

I decided to cloth diaper when I was still pregnant with Meredith. At first, researching all the options was overwhelming. But, I kept reading about the ease, simplicity and benefits of "Chinese Prefolds". Having a tight budget I chose that option and have stuck with it. I simply haven't tried other kinds, with the exception of the Bum Genius. Overall I've been very pleased. When she was a newborn, I used a snappi to close them. Here's Meredith as a newborn in the CPF with a snappi. But, now that she is older I simply tri-fold the CPF and use a diaper cover. This seems to be less bulky and still keeps everything inside. I also decided that I would make my own diaper covers instead of buying them. This is an investment in itself, but one that I've enjoyed. I found waterproof material (called PUL), elastic and other supplies at . The advantages of making my own diaper covers are that I can use any material I want for the outside of the cover, which allows me to use cute girly fabric for Meredith and boyish fabric for the upcoming baby. I can also make as many as I need of the different sizes. (I try to have six or seven of each size. That way I don't have to wash every day or every other day.) The only disadvantage is that you have to have time to sew them! Once I have a good supply of boy and girl diapers, I won't have to sew anymore for future children since they seem to be holding up great. Right now I'm trying to get ahead sewing the ones for our little boy since I know it will be hectic when he arrives. Here's a picture of a few of the diaper covers that I've made and Meredith's changing table.

This system works great and its what I use most of the time. HOWEVER, it is too much trouble if we go places. It can be done, but the CPF's get really wet when they are wet so they have to be changed pretty often. This isn't any trouble at home and only takes a few seconds, but I hate changing diapers when we are out so I usually put her in a disposable when we go shopping or something. Also, they just don't do good at night. They get sopping wet and it smells horrible in the morning so this is where the BumGenius diapers come in. I heard they were great for overnight use, so I bought a few. I do like the design, but I still end up with frequent leaks when using them overnight. So, I confess that I'm not a purist and use a sposie at night too. This makes my life so much more sane and I still figure we are saving plenty of money. Generic diapers work fine for us so I pick up a pack of Walmart or Kroger brand for nightime and travel use and remain content to use my CPF's during the day.

I bought cloth baby washclothes from the dollar store and that is what I use for wipes. (I also got a ton as baby gifts and I use those too.) I keep a squirt bottle on her changing table and use that to wet the wipes. Then, I wash them with the diapers.

As far as laundry, the CPF's were very easy to wash when Meredith was exclusively breastfed. There was no rinsing/dunking required. I just did a prewash and all the stuff came out in the washer. But, now that she's older I find that a diaper sprayer that hooks to the toilet is a must. I simply spray the dirty ones off and drop it in a separate diaper pail that sits in the bathroom. When the pail gets full, I wash all the diapers using a prewash with no detergent and cold water. Then I do another prewash with a little soap and baking soda. I leave the lid of the washer open and let it soak with the baking soda overnight. The next day I close the lid to drain the water and complete the prewash and do a regular wash with hot water, detergent and vinegar. Finally, I do an extra rinse. I use whatever "Free and Clear" detergent I have that I use for our clothes too. I always hang the diapers outside on the clothesline to dry. So far I have never had a problem with lingering odors and I wash every four or five days (gasp!).

Overall, I think cloth diapers are very manageable for us. I'm glad I made the decision to use the CPF's, but like I said, I'm not a purist and would eventually like to try some other options for nightime use.


Shannon said...

Hi Margaret,
(I'm Hollie's friend, Shannon). I love the diaper covers you've made, they're super cute. Did you have a pattern to make those?

Christina said...

I second the request for a pattern! Did you find it on the internet? (Not that I know how to use my current prehistoric sewing machine...but there's always hope right? :)

Krista said...

Your diaper covers are SO cute :). I can't wait to see the little boy ones you make!!

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