Thursday, August 9, 2007

Cloth Diapering in pictures! Image Intensive!!!

Well we've been cloth diapering for almost a week now! I'm miraculously still not feeling like giving up! I felt like giving up right at first because it was so hard to adjust and quite frustrating for Steven, myself, and Claire! But I'm glad I/we gave it a few more days. Now I feel like we have a good system going and it can only get better from here on out, right? Not to mention that we've gotten a LOT faster at the whole process and Claire doesn't mind it anymore either.

I've done diaper laundry about 4 times now and every time has been very smooth and easy and has resulted in (drum roll please...)-- fresh clean diapers-- every single time! Isn't that amazing!? I think so.

I actually prefer doing diaper laundry (so far) to regular laundry, but diaper laundry has helped with my regular laundry because every time I do diapers I also do a load of regular laundry since I'm already in "laundry mode" and our clothes have ended up being cleaned more often and smaller loads aren't as much of a pain to fold either! Folding diapers is so quick and easy and I really enjoy it.

We ordered a couple of Snappis and Claire-sized Bummis Super Whisper Wraps a few days ago and they are scheduled to arrive TODAY. I am sooooo excited and I can hardly wait to try them out!

In the meantime however, we have still faithfully been using pins and vinyl pants and regular prefolds and it's not hard at all. Here is a pictorial review of our system. :)

Steven surprised me while I was playing a wedding last Saturday by installing this shelf above the changing table. It has been perfect for our diapering system and I don't know what I would have done without it! I don't know how he thought of it, but he's a genius!

My diaper pail. I just bought a cheap large kitchen trash can with a lid. We have two odor disks on the top but I'm not sure those are very effective. The odor isn't bad at all, but those disks seem really wimpy! Baking Soda sprinkled in after each diaper has seemed the best fight against odor so far. While diaper pails are always going to smell, there is definitely less odor this way than our disposable diaper pail. And you can only smell it if you open the lid. Otherwise the can with the lid really contains it all very well!

The pail is currently lined with first of all a large trash bag and then two cloth laundry bags on top of that. This is only until we can get a proper cloth diapering pail liner which is absorbent cloth on the inside and a waterproof outer shell which I will be able to throw into the laundry along with the diapers. Right now I do throw in the laundry bags obviously but I replace the garbage bag each time since it's just there to protect the can from the moisture of the diapers.

Here are the only diapering supplies that I'm keeping in a drawer. On the bottom right are the cheap vinyl pants from Babies'r'us. I've read that they will wear out quickly, but for now they are working great. We've had NO leaks so far! We are planning on slowly replacing those all with the Bummis Super Whisper Wraps which are extremely nice.

Bottom left are some nice thick little training pants made that I thought would be handy for added absorbency. I'll show you how I use those later.

Top right is just Emily's underwear. :-) Nothing much to do with cloth diapering...

Just another picture of the shelf and our diaper stash up there. :) Those are all of my prefolds.

These are my cloth wipes! (aka- infant wash cloths.) I already had a few and when I bought my prefolds I bought a cheap 8-pack of infant wash cloths so I think I have between 10 and 12 "wipes" total and that has seemed to be enough so far!

When I do diaper laundry I fold them all exactly as they are pictured above.

This is our wipes warmer! If you're gonna use cloth wipes, I highly recommend this wipes warmer. We've had it since before Emily was born and it's still working great! It's funny too, that we already had it, because I've seen it highly recommended on many many cloth diaper sites as THE wipes warmer to have for use with cloth wipes!

It comes with a foam pad in the bottom that is anti-microbial and all you do is re-wet the foam pad every so often. It becomes discolored over time but is easily replaced and we have bought extras. They are fairly cheap and don't have to be replaced often at all! (We maybe replace one every 6 months!)

After I do my diaper laundry and fold all my wipes I bring my wipes warmer and wipes into the bathroom and wet the cloths all like this.

Then I fold them over in half to squeeze out excess water.

Then I simply tuck them into the warmer and have all my nice clean wipes ready for use! This has been the easiest and best part of cloth diapering so far! I love cloth wipes!

Wipes warmer back in place, plugged in, and ready for action!

Everything all clean, in place, and ready to go!

Wipes and diapers.

It was suggested to me to use a little bar of soap to help the diaper pins slide through the thick diapers easier. That was the hardest thing at first- shoving those pins through the diapers without seriously hurting anyone! Very tricky! Soap has helped a lot. I just keep it on the shelf and stick pins in it between uses. It's a handy way to keep them safe and out of reach too!

Oh how convenient! I found this baby wandering around and she was in need of a diaper change! I guess I'll use her for my model/example baby. What luck!

First I get the pins down and ready to go in a safe place away from baby's reach. I learned quickly that trying to pull pins out of soap one-handed while also trying to hold a diaper in place on a squirmy toddler just doesn't work.

Here's my diaper folded properly over Claire. I fold it in the front for added absorbency and leave the back flat for pinning. Slightly tricky to figure out at first but it got easy very quickly. Now it's second nature.

I slide my right index finger under the diaper and make a finger-sized bunch to grab with my left hand (I couldn't leave my right hand there and take the picture at the same time). Here you can see the little bunch I created with my finger all ready for pinning. (This is actually a trick that Steven figured out and showed me! He's good at this diapering stuff.)

It made all the difference in how quickly I was able to get the diaper pinned. Of course, I make sure that this bunch has NO baby skin in it so I can very safely and easily pin the diaper!

And Voila! There is the pin!
I was also told to always make sure the pin is facing away from the baby so that just in case it should (Heaven forbid!) pop open, it would flick baby in the hip instead of the tummy. Awww! Hopefully that will never happen. These safety pins seem pretty sturdy and safe to me!

Getting the second side ready to pin!

All pinned up and snug as a bug!

Trust me, they looked nothing like this at first. I think the first few times we attempted this, you could have picked her up and had the whole thing fall completely off! And it didn't help that it also took Claire some time to get used to added diapering time. She screamed through the entire first few diaper changes which stressed me out even further! It was a vicious cycle because the more up-tight I was the longer I took and the more upset she got! Eeks!
I guess she has gotten more accustomed to it as I've also gotten a bit faster and better at it because now she just lies there, plays, and grins at me and is super sweet about it!

Claire's general response to diapering now! :)

Happy and playing. To me she looks so comfortable and cozy in that cloth diaper! It's so much softer than our disposables.

And here is the training pant! I often add it on top of the diaper just for added absorbency and a snug diaper. It's not necessary and I certainly don't use one every time. I do use it at night and if we're going to be out and about and need her diaper to last longer. It's pretty handy and has worked well, but is a rather- urm- creative? use for a training pant. hehe

Only thing needed now is the outer waterproof vinyl pant! But I was enjoying taking pictures just a bit too much.

And there's the vinyl pant! All diapered and ready to go!
She has gotten so much better since we first started with the cloth diapers. Now she seems to enjoy the diapering process and doesn't cry at all!

What a ham!

I asked her to show off her diaper and she did! She's a natural diaper model- look at that!

I added her diaper cover and she's "All Done!" Yay!

Look, Mom- all done! Can I get down and play now??


Kelley said...

Can I just say, what a cutie! Thanks for posting a pictorial of your cloth diapering. It really helps to see how it works rather than imagining. Btw, I was impressed with how neat your pinning is. It looks just as neat and compact as a disposable.

Rebecca said...

Thanks, Kelley! Since cloth diapering is so much more uncommon now, it's a bit of a lost art!

I figure back when it was "the norm" to cloth diaper that it was just intuitive and boring to everyone and everyone knew how to do it. It wasn't such a big deal because everyone did it!

Now not as many people know all the tricks of making it work and it has been very interesting to figure all that out and make it work for us. I thought posting it in detail like this might help anyone else who decides to try it.

At the very least, I think it's fun to see how different people do things! And there are now so many different ways to handle the cloth diapering process as well!

I like that cloth diapers are making a little come-back and that there have been so many improvements to the diapers themselves, washing machines (today's machines do a better job of cleaning diapers!), and just making it a lot easier in general. It still is not the most common choice (for obvious reasons- disposables are just a bit easier!), but I'm glad it is still an option and that it isn't as hard as it seemed at first.

Ha! You should have seen the first few diapers that I pinned. There is definitely a learning curve but once I figured out the "tricks" and practiced a bit, it got tons better. :)

Anonymous said...

you should do a commercial for that company from which you bought your diapers, you make it look so easy!!