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Thursday, April 15, 2010

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Advice for New Parents (Part 2)

Continuing is my advice for my friends Marissa and Jeremy who are expecting their first baby any day now… They have asked me what my advice, tips and tricks are for first-timers thinking about cloth diapering.

I think the two looming questions that parents diving into cloth diapering have are:
1) What do you do with the poop?
2) How do you wash these things?

As simple as people tried to make it sound for me it still seemed overwhelming and difficult. Looking back I’m so surprised at how quickly it all became routine. You will be too. Hopefully my experience and trial and error will save you some time and get you started on an easy day-to-day routine.

A diaper change results in two options. Option number one, wet diapers, go in the diaper pail/basket/bag. Simple. Done. Option number two, poop diapers. I love when people or websites say “Just shake it off and flush.” I remember looking at my 4 month old’s breastfed poops wondering what I was supposed to “shake.” Before solid foods the poops…aren’t so solid. My best advice for these is a diaper sprayer, a handy little device that attaches to the water feed of your toilet. I’m writing this post for Jeremy, whom I have witnessed firsthand being a little stymied in the handyman department (before you balk, Jeremy, recall the deck painting, cabinet doors, etc).

Even Jeremy can install a diaper sprayer and, let me tell you, it is a lifesaver. Down the road you will be able to shake the solid poops right into the toilet with little to no residue left on the diapers, I promise. However, in the early months, you will use the sprayer. I always removed the insert (you can either just toss it in your basket or rinse and toss) and just spray the pocket diaper itself. With pockets nothing ever stuck or stained. Then just toss it in your basket for laundry day. Not so bad, right?

Laundry Day. Forget the fear. Ignore the complicated additives. Start with a basic routine. Cold water rinse and spin. Hot water wash with Rockin’ Green. One more rinse and spin. Done. Down the road you might run into some stains or build-up or some smells from time to time. At that point you can troubleshoot or do some research (this blog has it all!) to figure out what might be your best solution, but honestly, with Rockin Green (no, I do not own stock in the company!) you will probably have some smooth sailing.

I have simplified things quite a bit, but cloth diapering really doesn’t have to be complicated. I have laid out my best advice based on my experience as a recent “Newbie.” I believe the simpler you keep it the more likely people are willing to try it and stick with it. The beauty of cloth diapering is that there are so many options, styles and brands to suit every family’s needs. One person will swear by a method or style that just doesn’t work for someone else. Once you get into the swing of things you will figure out what you love and what you could do without and make your decisions accordingly. I can almost guarantee that you will find a system that works for you and you will truly love cloth diapering.

By Jennifer G.

Update: Marissa and Jeremy welcomed their beautiful little boy, Hayden James, soon after this post was completed. Congrats and good luck, guys. Can’t wait to get my hands on him!!!


Ruby said...

I thought if you breastfed exclusively, you don't have to shake/remove poop? As it is water soluble? Only if you use (additional) formula or when you introduce solids, do you need to remove the poop as much as possible. That's what I read everywhere....

Anonymous said...

I would suggest you don't need a diaper sprayer in the months of exclusive breastfeeding. As per most all advice I've read, I never rinse the poop on my five-month-old's poo diapers. I know that will change on another month when solids come along, but breastfed poo means no rinsing and is one less thing for cloth newbees to fuss over. -danielle

Jill said...

One thing, you don't really have to spray off BF poo. Formula, probably, but not BF! It can go straight in the pail, eliminating that step for as long as you EBF! I made it 7 months before starting my baby on solids, and that's a long reprieve, let me tell you!

Crystal said...

This is great advice! I wish I had invested in a diaper sprayer when I first began. I think having one would take away much of the fear associated with cloth diapering. I need to try Rockin' Green! I've heard to many glowing things about it!

Arizona Girl said...

CD is overwhelming. But once you are in there and doing it, it is totally doable. Thanks for sharing.

Hannah said...

I never rinsed or shook the (breastfed) dirty diapers and they always washed up clean. I didn't worry about rinsing until he started eating solid foods. But I can see where people might prefer to rinse them out, depending on how often they did laundry, what kind of diapers they were using, etc.

Ashleigh said...

Congratulations and thanks for much for the newbie advice!