Category Archives: Cloth Diapering

Traveling with Baby

Late last week my grandfather passed away and thus, we recently had to take an unexpected road trip. My grandparents live(d) in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, which is around an eight hour car ride. However, we knew it would take us longer now that we would be traveling with Porter. It ended up taking us between ten and ten and half hours, due to needing to stop to change and feed him. In his first eight and a half months of life, the longest car ride we ever had to take with him was two and a half hours. We are home now and all in all, the long car ride and trip, even with a baby, wasn’t as difficult as I expected. {The reason for the road trip was of course taxing, emotional, and difficult, but the traveling itself was not.} I thought I’d share some of the things that made the trip easier and a lot less stressful than we anticipated. Traveling with Baby

Eating/Feeding: Gerber Organic Baby Food Pouches: These are absolutely fantastic to use for “on the go feeding.” Porter also loves them, which is a complete bonus. We’ve also tried the Happy Baby Organic Baby Food Pouches which are essentially the same thing. They both come in yummy flavors and are easy to store. If you don’t use the whole pouch, you are suppose to refrigerate it and use it within 24 hours.

Boon Squirt Spoon: This spoon made the whole process of feeding him ten times easier. I love this spoon and I’m so glad I bought it! It’s easy to use “on the go” and it’s easy to clean, too. Just squirt the baby food into the spoon’s container and squeeze out. Easy peasy.

Gerber Graduates Puffs: While I wouldn’t necessarily use puffs in place of a meal, these are an easy snack and I swear every baby loves them.

Bumkins Pouch Bibs: I love these pouch bibs, because they catch food that baby doesn’t make to his/her mouth. These come in cute patterns and are machine washable. The BABYBJORN Soft Bib is great, too, and I love that I can throw it in the dishwasher!

Clean Well Natural Sanitizer Wipes: I wrote about these in my last Citrus Lane post, but I definitely got my use out of these on this trip! Since we were stopping to feed Porter in fast food restaurants, I didn’t trust that the tables were clean/sanitized and being as curious as he is, he would touch and feel every inch he could. I made sure to wipe him down once we got back to the car. David doesn’t really like the smell of these, but I actually do.

Dishwasher Basket: At the last second I threw our dishwasher basket into one of our bags, and I’m so glad I did. It made cleaning bottles so much easier. Of course this would only be helpful if you were staying somewhere with a dishwasher!

Sleeping: Pack n Play: Porter has outgrown his Rock-n-Play, so we brought our Pack n Play and it worked perfectly. Even though Porter had never actually slept in his Pack n Play before our trip, he didn’t mind it at all. We also brought our Organic Cotton Pack n Play Sheet. I love how soft it is and I think it helped to make Porter more comfortable (at least I told myself that.)

Marpac Dohm Sound Machine: I’ve written about this before, and I’ll say it again. The Marpac Dohm Sound Machine is amazing. Best $50 we ever spent.

Diapering: We could have easily bought some disposable diapers while traveling, but I wanted to avoid that if at all possible, so we went ahead and used our cloth diapers even though we would be away from home for more than two days (I usually wash every two days.) I knew we would need enough diapers for four days (because we weren’t going to wash them while away from home). David’s mom bought some to keep at her house, so we borrowed her diapers and even though we went through A LOT of diapers, we had plenty (and about eight-ten left over). There is no way we could have contained all the dirty diapers if we didn’t have the Bummis Wet Bag (Large). It’s HUGE and held four days worth of diapers. I’ll admit it didn’t contain all of the smells, but it honestly wasn’t too bad. I have no doubt that we’ll use this bag every time we travel. Since Porter’s poops are different now (TMI, anyone?) and we were away from home, we couldn’t spray the diapers like we do at home. We used these Bummis BioSoft Liners inside of his cloth diapers and they worked perfectly. These can be flushed (though we didn’t flush them due to a sensitive septic system of where we stayed) and we didn’t have to worry about poopy diapers sitting for days on end. I’d also recommend the Grovia Magic Stick for diaper rash cream. It’s in stick form, so there’s no need to use your fingers. It smells good, too.

Miscellaneous: A Baby Grooming Kit is a good idea even when you’re not traveling, but I threw it in the suitcase just in case. I even ended up using the baby nail clippers on myself when one of my nails broke! Since we were traveling with so much extra gear, our Thirty-One Large Utility Tote was perfect for containing some of that gear. David’s mom recently bought me one of these totes and I already am so in love with it. I know we’ll get a lot of use out of it!

How We Cloth Diaper

I’ve already written about why we cloth diaper, but I haven’t given you details on HOW we cloth diaper. 99% of you don’t care (and I think I’m being generous when I assume that 1% of you do), BUT I’ve had some pregnant friends ask me for details, so I decided to write a post.

Before I give any details, I’d like to say that there are many ways to cloth diaper and dozens of types and brands. This is just how we do it and what works FOR US. I don’t know everything about cloth diapering, and when I started, I had a million questions. I turned to the internet and a good friend who was also cloth diapering and learned a bit along the way.

cdThe Goods:

We use BumGenius diapers. It is recommended that you have at least 24 diapers. We have closer to 30. I’d say we have around 20 BumGenius 4.0 diapers and 10 BumGenius Freetime diapers. The Freetime diapers are nice because the inserts are already attached, but they do take longer to dry. They are also a bit more expensive. The 4.0 diapers are nice, too, because since they are a pocket diaper, it makes it easy to stuff for nighttime to add extra absorbency.

We also use cloth wipes. It seemed easier, since we were already washing diapers anyway. You can use baby washcloths. I registered for BumGenius wipes and was lucky enough to get them. We use LuSa Baby Wipe Juice as a solution. I put it in a spray bottle and spray the wipe. I experimented with making some of my own cloth wipe solutions, but this ended up being my favorite. It is the easiest, because it just mixes up with water.

You can’t use regular diaper rash cream with cloth diapers, but there are plenty of cloth diaper safe options out there. We use LuSa Booty Balm. I am obsessed with this stuff.

We do not have a diaper pail. We bought a Simple Human trash can with a pedal and use that with a Planet Wise fabric pail liner inside. We have two pail liners, so we always have a clean one while the other one is being washed. If we’re out and about, dirty diapers go in a Planet Wise wet bag that easily fits into the diaper bag. We have three of these, because they get tossed in the diaper pail whenever we get home with the dirty diapers. When we’re traveling away from home for a few days, we use a larger wet bag, like this Bummis one.

We have a BumGenius diaper sprayer, but we haven’t had to use it yet. When I was trying to convince David to cloth diaper, he said he’d be on board as long as we had a diaper sprayer.

The Process:

When Porter pees or poos, the process is almost the same as changing a regular disposable diaper. If he was wearing a Freetime diaper, I don’t have to do anything. I just put the whole diaper in the diaper pail. If he was wearing a 4.0 diaper, the insert needs to be taken out prior to putting the diaper in the diaper pail. This doesn’t mean I have to necessarily touch the insert, though. There is a small tag on the insert, so I pull on that and the insert easily slides out. I’m not going to lie, sometimes I get poop on my hand when I do this, but I’m pretty sure that happens with disposables, too. The insert and the diaper goes into the diaper pail (with the liner). Even with poo, I do not have to rinse the diapers before putting them in the diaper pail. I know that sounds gross, but breast milk poop easily dissolves in water. There is no poop residue inside my washer after washing the diapers. When Porter’s poo starts to become more solid, we’ll need to dump the poop into the toilet before putting it in the pail. If it’s really nasty, we’ll need to spray it first with the diaper sprayer.

Does Porter’s room smell like pee and poo? I get this question a lot, and to be honest, no, it doesn’t. The diaper pail (garbage can) has a lock on it, but honestly, we don’t lock it 99% of the time. I do have some freshener things that I put in the bottom of the pail (NOT the liner) but the same freshener has been in there since day 1 and I haven’t switched it out, and it doesn’t stink.

The Washing:  Click here for an updated wash routine.

People assume that washing the diapers is the worst part. Honestly, it’s really easy. I wash every other day, and even while the washed diapers are drying, I have enough diapers. Like I mentioned, we have close to 30 diapers. I’m sure we’d be fine with 24 (or less), but since Porter was going to be at a sitter, I wanted to 100% make sure we had enough clean diapers at all times.

When I put the diapers in the wash, I don’t have to touch the diapers. I open my washer and just turn the pail liner inside out as I’m dumping it inside. The liner goes in the wash, too!

We have a HE washer and dryer. I didn’t know this until I started doing research about cloth diapering, but apparently it is much more difficult to get cloth diapers REALLY CLEAN with a HE washer.  HE washers use less water, which makes it more difficult. Anyway, I do a heavy duty cycle with a pre-wash and extra rinse. The pre-wash, adds more water in there. My washer has a pre-wash detergent dispenser, but I don’t put any detergent in that dispenser. The pre-wash is just with water and it basically gets them all sopping wet.  The only detergent I use is in the main wash dispenser. The entire cycle (with the pre-wash and extra rinse) takes 1 hour and 26 minutes to run. Once it’s done, I put the inserts, cloth wipes, and pail liner in the dryer and hang dry the shells (outer part of the cloth diaper.) In the summer, I put the shells and inserts outside. Not only does the sunshine dry them faster, but the sun also acts as a natural bleach!

I’ve experimented using a few different detergents, and I’ve liked all of them. Just like diaper rash cream, your cloth diaper detergent must be made specifically for cloth diapering.

Charlie’s Soap is great because you can use it on all your clothing (it’s even gentle enough for baby’s stuff!) and it gets high ratings when it comes to cloth diapering. For HE washers, you only need a tablespoon, so it lasts forever.

Ruby Moon is great if you want something scented. This stuff got my diapers really clean. When I was using this, I still used Charlie’s for everything else.

Country Save is known for how well it cleans cloth diapers. This can also be used on everything! I like this, too. It makes my diapers so soft!

Sometimes cloth diapers need to be stripped if they have detergent build up. This is a tricky topic when it comes to cloth diapering, and I’m really NOT the right person to ask about stripping diapers. I’ve used Mighty Bubbles a few times when I thought that maybe my diapers needed to be stripped, but I’ve never really known for sure. Again, there are millions of ways to strip cloth diapers, and I’m sure I’ll end up experimenting with that as well.  This is what Cotton Babies (the makers of BumGenius) recommend for stripping. I’ve used this method once, and it seemed to work just fine.

The Assembling: 

When everything’s dry, the Freetime diapers just need to be folded up because the inserts are already attached. The 4.0 diapers need to be stuffed. I do this at night while watching tv or relaxing on the couch with David. It only takes a few minutes, and I really don’t mind it.

And that’s it! I really love cloth diapering, and I’m quite passionate about it (more so that I ever expected myself to be!)

What about night time? Does he leak through his diaper? Even when Porter sleeps 11-12 hours at night, when his diapers fit correctly, 99% of the time, he does not leak through his diaper. At night we use a 4.0 diaper and we add an extra insert. This makes the diaper extra bulky, but it works for us. I have some Thirsties hemp inserts and I also have some Baby Kicks inserts. I like them both, but I think I like the Baby Kicks better. Now that’s not to say we haven’t had any leaks at all, but most of the time leaks have been due to needing to change the size of the diaper. For instance, his thighs have recently slimmed down and aren’t as chunky as they used to be. Thus, the diaper was fitting a little larger and he was leaking. I changed the size of the diaper and our problem was solved. Even with the smaller diaper, he would occassionally leak during a nap, so I have been double stuffing during naps and at night, and we’ve been fine.

Baby Poo and Cloth Diapers

Yes, we are using cloth diapers. Yes, we wash them ourselves. No, it’s not difficult or disgusting.

Even before we got pregnant I knew that I wanted to cloth diaper. Whenever I would tell people this, I received far more negative feedback than positive. I received a lot of negative comments like “Well, good luck with THAT.” or “Let’s see how long that lasts. You’ll have more important things to worry about.” People assumed I was talking about the old school pre-folds with pins (not that there is anything wrong with those). However, cloth diapering is MUCH easier now than it was when we were babies. I only had one friend who had any experience with cloth diapering, and I picked her brain A LOT (Thanks, A!) while also conducting my own research, and I am happy to report that I am SO glad we decided to cloth diaper. As a new parent,

Reason #1: It’s green! The primary reason I wanted to cloth diaper was due to the environmental advantages. I’m not a “green freak” or anything, but I am probably more green than the average person. I like to use eco-friendly products when possible, and I really REALLY like to recycle. I remember reading that it takes a disposable diaper 250-500 years to decompose. Additionally, while the numbers vary, I read that on average, a baby will go through 4,702 diapers in the first two years of life. Think about how many babies we have in this world and how many diapers are filling up our landfills! It makes me feel good that I’m not contributing to that.

Reason #2: It’s cheap! Now, at first it doesn’t seem cheap at all. It definitely depends on the brand of diapers you choose and how many you buy, but we spent about $600-700 on our cloth diapers and other necessary materials, which, yes, at the time seemed like a ton of money. We use two different types of Bum Genius diapers which range from $18-$20ish a piece. I know that seems expensive, and I guess it is, but the average baby costs about $2500 to diaper for two years. This varies depending on the brand of disposable diaper, but either way the savings is significant. And, if we have more kids and continue to cloth diaper, that’s even MORE savings!

Reason #3: It’s easy to do and not that dirty. Notice that I did not say that it’s clean. People assume that if you cloth diaper and you wash them yourself that you must love dealing with baby poop and have nothing better to do with your time. If you have a baby, you are dealing with baby poop regardless of HOW you diaper. I promise you that I do not touch poop any more than the average mom who uses disposables. Now, when Porter’s poops start to become more solid, it will get a tad more difficult and maybe a bit more messy, but it won’t be that bad. And as far as washing goes, it literally takes ONE extra load of laundry every two days. With a baby, you do laundry constantly anyway, so it’s not really more laundry. The only thing that might be a tad annoying to some people is the “stuffing” of the diapers. This process is quick (few minutes tops) and can barely be called an additional chore. Everything about cloth diapering is easy…REALLY! Even David says so. Also, we’ve NEVER had a poop blow out in our cloth diapers. We didn’t start cloth diapers until Porter was about 5 weeks old, and we had many blow outs in the various disposable diapers we used before we started cloth diapering.

Reason #4: It’s healthier. Babies who are cloth diapered have fewer diaper rashes. They also tend to potty train faster. Bonus!

Reason #5: They are so darn CUTE! See below. I may have gone a little overboard with the pictures. :)

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Oh my word…look at that face!

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His tush is pretty cute, too. :)