16 October 2013

diapers part 2

With child number 2 we made the move to cloth diapers.  Using the gdiaper system we already had, we simply purchased cloth inserts from CottonWood Baby.  I ordered these from the USA and my parents brought them to us when they visited after the birth.  I'm sure we could have made our own, but I didn't know the first thing about which type of material to use.  These inserts have a microfleece side touching the skin with organic hemp/cotton layers underneath for absorption.  We have had no diaper rashes at all, few leaks onto the outer cover, and they are quite absorbent.  The leaks were all due to using those old liners that I had handwashed.  This is how I learned that not following the exact washing instructions causes the elastic to break down prematurely, therefore not providing an effective edge barrier at all.

Note all the cracks along the elastic

Replacement was a little bit difficult, but achievable.  Perhaps the most complicated component of using this system is the fact that gdiaper products are not available in Australia.  Of course this means huge shipping costs from the US, if you can find a supplier that is willing to ship to Australia.  Fortunately, the Australian eenee system is completely interchangeable.  I bought a few new covers from them and they have lasted very well.  The gdiaper brand liners and much more cheap than the ones from eenee, so it was more cost-effective to have those sent from the USA.  I had to have them sent to a friend who could mail them to me, but they weigh next to nothing so shipping was very cheap.

System with cloth insert, eenee diaper covers

I admit that we have not used this system overnight.  We tried once, by putting two inserts in, and it was successful.  However the diaper was so bulky that bubs didn't seem comfortable.  Instead we have used Naty (Nature Babycare) biodegradable disposables and not had any issue with them.  They are not 100% biodegradable, but they are definitely a step in the right direction.  I'm hoping to invest in some all-in-one cloth diapers specifically for overnight.

But I know what you really want to hear about--the laundry and cleaning up!  After looking at the options, I picked a dry pail system.  We have a bucket in our laundry room and everything just gets thrown in there until washing time.  I wash every other day.  When we had breast milk-only poo (read=sloppy, unformed), I didn't bother trying to get the poo off the insert.  Once bubs hit 6 months and started having formed poo, I started flushing it down the toilet before throwing the insert in the bucket.  Don't get me wrong, sometimes the poo isn't a nice little nugget.  Usually just folding the insert a bit molds it into something easier to get into the toilet.  Think play dough...  Yuck?  Yes.  But honestly it's not that bad.  If there's little hope I'll get it into the toilet easily, I don't bother.  I've found out that it's amazing what a washing machine can do.  First I do either a short wash cycle, or just the rinse cycle, depending on how soiled the inserts are.  Then I run the full wash on hot, using about half as much soap as you would normally need for clothes washing.  I let everything air dry: if outside then it's done in a few hours, if inside in winter then the covers dry overnight but the inserts take closer to 24 hours.

It's never too late to switch to a cloth system, and I would recommend it.  It's definitely nowhere near as scary or smelly as I had expected it to be!