Monday, June 27, 2011

Cloth Diapering 101

So I went to a cloth diapering class over the weekend. I had originally signed up before I started using cloth, but the class got rescheduled. I went even though I'd been using my cloth diapers for a few weeks because I wanted to ask about the leaking issue we were having. As a teacher I tend to have high expectations for instructors when I am the student. I get that not everyone who runs a seminar or mom class like this one has had formal training in being a teacher. It's still important to know what you're doing enough to be able to accomplish the purpose of the class though.

If you can't tell, I thought the instructor for Cloth Diapering 101 was not great. She apologized in the beginning for being a little scattered, but that was an understatement. She pretty much decided that everyone would really only want to use pocket-style diapers and blew through all the other 4 styles of cloth diapers in about 10 minutes total. Then she buzzed through pocket diapers in a very unorganized fashion.

The whole thing left me unsettled. So I've put together my own lesson. If you already cloth diaper, you may want to check out now. I'm figuring there are some people out there who perhaps think cloth diapering is nuts, or who are interested in learning more, and maybe I'll be able to sway some of them. So take out your pencils and notebooks (not really) and let's get started!

*I'm only covering pocket diapers because no one wants to read an hour-long lesson on a blog post. If you have questions about other types of cloth diapers, you can ask in a comment or Google it :) 

We'll begin with actual diapering. 
So, a pocket diaper is thusly named because it has a waterproof outer layer, and then a fleece/fabric (depending on brand) pocket that you stuff an absorbent insert into. Then you snap or velcro it to your kid. They are used just like a disposable, except when you take the diapers off you put them in a waterproof bag until you're ready to wash them. Easy!

But what if the kid poops??
You have some options. You don't store the poop like many people do with disposables (the packaging actually tells you to dump out and flush an solids, but I've never known anyone who really does that). Depending on the age of your child, and therefore the consistency of their poop, you can dump the solids into your toilet, use a diaper sprayer that neatly attaches to your toilet's water supply to clean the solids off, or you can use flushable diaper liners that peel off with the poop and everything gets flushed. I've heard of people fashioning their own diaper sprayers, and the instructor from my class said she uses her old peri bottle (LOL). So, basically you can do whatever works for you. Just don't spray your diaper with the absorbent insert still in it or you'll be doing a lot of wringing. Then you put the diaper in a waterproof bag with the others until it's time to wash them.

Rules for washing cloth diapers:
  1. Make sure your absorbent inserts are pulled out of the pockets before washing.  
  2. Use a detergent that is free of dyes and perfumes because they will ruin your diapers and cause them to stop absorbing liquid. There are a lot of detergents out there marketed specifically for cloth diapers. Some of them are pretty expensive. Arm & Hammer Free is $4.99 for a 44 load bottle. That's what I use. It's specifically listed on the FuzziBunz web site as an option.
  3. Don't use fabric softener. It will also ruin your diapers and cause them to repel liquid.
  4. Dry them on low heat or hang dry them. High heat will ruin the waterproof outer layer. 
I wash my diapers daily. Some people wash them less frequently. It depends on how many you have, really. More diapers = less washing. But I wouldn't recommend letting your dirty ones sit for too long because that's just gross.

Cloth diapers on the go:
All you need is a small waterproof bag to store your dirty diapers in. If you're going somewhere that there won't be a toilet to flush your solids (say on a hike or picnic), you can either flush them when you get back to civilization, dump them in nature like the animals do, or bring disposables (you'll still be carrying the poop with you unless you plan to litter, or there are trash cans nearby). 

I'm pretty sure that covers it. Seems pretty simple and logical, right? I still can't figure out why the instructor had such a hard time organizing the information and remembering what to cover. Oh well. Maybe she really was just having a rough day. Either way, I feel better having organized the material for her and pseudo-taught it to someone. Phew. Now I'll be able to sleep better :)

So again, not that I'm an expert, but if you're interested or have questions, leave a comment!

1 comment:

  1. This is so funny that you posted about cloth diapering because I just bought a bunch because Grant is having some major diaper rash. I bought the G diapers and am currently doing the disposable liner route because he is sick and I would be washing things a million times a day, but I am thinking about switching to the cloth liners when we're all said and done. It's definitely not as hard as I thought and I like how much easier it is on his skin.


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