I Know All There Is To Know About The Diaper Game... (Cloth Diapering Part II)

As promised, today's post will be devoted to answering cloth diapering questions.  Sorry to those of you who could care less, I hope you're still a little bit curious...

1. What is a wet bag? I would say that a wet bag isn't actually a necessity, but since we bit the bullet and bought a few, I can't remember living without.  Wet bags come in many different forms, but what they all do is store soiled cloth diapers in a waterproof environment.  They also come in quite handy if you've got little swimmers in your family and on vacations. You can throw swimsuits right in there and they won't get the rest of your luggage wet. But, I digress.  Wet bags are not the only way you can store soiled diapers.  Before we had a wet bag, I would put the soiled diapers in a trash can that was used solely for cloth diapers. If we were on the move, I would bring gallon ziplocs.  Wet bags are just way cuter and a little easier. They also definitely help keep odor to a minimum.  We have 2 large ones that hang on our door knob, and one small one for travel.  You can find them at most stores that sell cloth diapers, or online.

2. Do you use a special detergent to wash them?  Sort of.  We use a fragrance free detergent as recommended.  Many cloth diapering sites and retailers have lists of "really good detergents." We've gotten by just fine with whatever fragrance free detergent we have around anyway, some oxyclean or bleach (which I throw in about once a month just to keep everything white), and stripping every quarter. I'm all about making this as easy as possible.  Giving your child a place to pee and poop shouldn't feel like rocket science.

3.  Do you wash the poopy ones in the toilet? My answer to this is "rarely."  Here's the truth (and those who are easily nauseated by potty talk, you may just want to move along to the next question: when the babies are small, and breastfed, their poop is water soluble, so what's left on the diaper is easily washed off in the washing machine.  When they start eating solids, their poops are more solid, so there's not much residue left on the diaper usually.  To mitigate that residue, we used flushable liners in the beginning stages.  They are inexpensive, and can be washed (many people don't know that) if they are just wet and re-used.  Some people buy an attachment that you can put on your toilet to help spray off the stinky.  I've heard that people really like that, but I've never found it to be necessary. It is very much a learn as you go and punt when you need to process.  These days I can pretty much count on the solids just falling right off, but sometimes they do need a little dunk in the toilet.  It really is a non-issue.  I think there is a misconception of people who don't cloth diaper that we are tossing poop around with our bare hands.  I would say without a doubt, I have no more contact with poop that I do when we use disposables.

4.  I also heard that once the little one starts moving is when they start to leak. Is this true or does it depend on the brand or size? Also, you only had to buy one size for all the years? I have not had that issue.  For me, when our diapers start to leak it's user error.  For example, if I didn't stuff them correctly, or fasten them correctly, or if they need to be stripped (washing and rinsing multiple times without detergent to get rid of detergent build up which compromises absorbency). With disposable diapers, leaking is a good indication that it's time to go up a size. That may be the case with cloth, too.  We opted to buy the Bum Genius one size (many different brands have one size now), they snap down for the little ones, and you expand them when they get bigger.  The Twinstroms are in the biggest size now, and it will take them easily through the twos. I like the one size because you can get a really good bang for your buck.  I bought some from craigslist, which was really economical. Once you get them, if they are not in great condition there are lots of repair kits available for purchase (sometimes elastic is loose or velcro has lost its stick).  

Mostly I encourage people to just try it out.  Give it a shot, if you find out it's not for you, then no harm no foul.  If you don't try it, you'll never know. Most importantly, don't knock it 'til you rock it!

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