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Wednesday, August 7, 2013

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7 Tips For Newbies

I have a few friends who are getting ready to try cloth diapering for the first time. I cloth diapered my daughter, who is now 4, from about 2 months on. I've been cloth diapering my baby since birth, and he is about 7 months now. Needless to say, I love this cloth diapering stuff and have a little expertise. The newest friend to start asked me for tips. I started writing and figured, it might be useful for others as well. So here goes.

Tip #1: Get quality detergent.
With my first, I thought the special detergent was just a scam to get me to spend more money. So I just used whatever I was using with my normal laundry. This worked fine for about 2 months. Then the stinkies hit. But I didn't learn. They got worse. My detergent couldn't be the problem! But I got embarrassed and frustrated. I finally switched to cloth diaper specific detergent and came waddling with my tail between my legs. I should have used it all along. It really does make a difference. Just do it.

Tip #2: Get the diaper sprayer.
It really is worth it. And it's kind of cool. It's easy to install and makes poop easier to deal with.

Tip #3: Get a plastic pail with a lid.
I first used a wooden laundry hamper that had a fabric layer and cutely says, "LAUNDRY" when it flips into the hamper. Cute, alright, but impractical with soiled cloth diapers.

Tip #4: Get a quality pail liner. Actually, get two.
That fabric lining was not holding up to the soiled diapers and it started getting stinky too. (Seriously, buy the right soap). I got a plastic pail eventually, but I kept using an old pillow case for a liner. It leaked sometimes and got smelly sometimes too. Why I didn't just buy one, I don't know. Money, I guess. Pride maybe. I thought my cheap systems were fine. But now with round two, I have a PlanetWise liner and a Kissaluvs one as well and they are worth it. I usually have one in the wash, but the other one in the pail ready to be used. Two is worth it to me.

Tip #5: Line Dry.
The sun is such a great cloth diapering resource. Any chance possible, get diapers in the sun.

Tip #6: Get the extra cleaners.
I stripped, used the right detergent, and my diapers weren't as stinky as before. But I never quite seemed to knock out a residual odor. Welcome Calgon water softener. With an extra two rinses with that, my diapers stopped being even the tiniest bit smelly. But after four more months, build up was bringing an odor as soon as the diaper was soiled. Now welcome BacOut. It worked wonders and gave my diapers a freshness I hadn't had in awhile. I'm not getting the same freshness, so I'm looking at RLR. I haven't used it yet, but I'm going to. Keeping diapers fresh is really worth the money.

Tip#7: Be easy going.
Don't worry about anything. There aren't any rules in cloth diaper world and you will find what works for you. There are resources for every problem and there are always people to talk to and help you. You will figure it out and you'll probably end up like the rest of us and get all weird and obsessive about diapers. At least it's a useful hobby, right?

Happy Diapering!

Bio: Alicia is an 8th grade English and Drama teacher and is a pretty crunchy momma. She shares her Arizona home with a wonderful husband, energetic 4 year old, sweet 7 month old, 1 crazy dog, and 4 happy chickens.

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Lovely Mrs. Long said...

I thought that Bac out was an enzyme and a no no? I also thought that stripping was only necessary when your laundry routine was off and you were having build up? Should I consider having these things on hand in case?

Darren Doyle said...

The Spray Pal has become a must-have for us, too. Google it. We can't recommend it enough!

Darren Doyle said...

The Spray Pal has become a must-have for us, too. Google it. We can't recommend it enough!