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Cloth Diapering 101

I am not a writer, I’m a photographer.  But I’m a cloth diapering mom.  We didn’t cloth diaper our daughter Piper because we lived in the Virgin Islands, and water was scarce.  There is not a natural water source on the island, (other than a rainy day and it collects in your cistern and I wouldn’t dare drink that water or wash diapers in it).  So we used disposables, Huggies or Pampers (or whatever was on sale I’m sure).  We spent almost 3,000 dollars when tallied up on diapers, wipes, pull-ups, diaper creams, etc and threw it all away.

Now that we live stateside, we are cloth diapering baby brother Oli.  I just went through our credit card / bank statements and honestly this far we have spent 600 dollars on cloth diapers, wipes, and detergent.  This 600 dollars is well invested in a stash of adorable diapers.  We don’t have to buy diapers ever, and if you treat these diapers well the resale value is awesome.  I’ve seen a stash similar to mine sell as a bundle for 300 dollars, yes 300 dollars for good used condition diapers.

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Other than the cost savings, CLOTH DIAPERING is good for the EARTH.  Did you know that no one knows how long it will take a disposable diaper to biodegrade?  Estimates are at 200-500 years, thats long after your great, great, great grandchildren will be alive.   Cloth diapers can be washed and reused thousands of times, then can be recycled into washcloths.

I’m not trying to convert the choir, I know the main audience of this blogpost will be people already curious about cloth diapering.  So I’m going to tell you about our easy daily cloth diapering routine and how we wash our fluff.

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My son is 6 months old now and we are going through approximately 10 diapers a day, wet & solid.   We wash every few days because our climate is coastal, extremely humid and mold is gross.  We mainly use Charlie Banana One-Size diapers which give you an option to use cloth inserts or disposable biodegradable inserts, although we have a few other brands in our stash as well.  We chose Charlie Banana because our son was a tiny tiny 3 pound 8 ounce premature little miracle with skinny skinny legs.  Charlie Banana is the only brand that I’ve found that adjusts to the leg size, from teeny tiny to chunky monkey.  Other brands did not fit properly around his little legs and we had so many leak issues.  We love our choice of diapers, the prints are so adorable that I hate putting pants on him.  We have only had one diaper rash case in 6 months, and he had a crazy tummy bug.  It quickly cleared up after he started feeling better.

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Cloth diapering is just as easy as disposable diapering.  He wears the diapers, and I toss them into a metal garbage can with a foot pedal when they are soiled.  I was using a huge pickle bucket, but I saw the pedaled can the other day at Homegoods on sale and had to have it.  Our pickle bucket did the job but the garbage can is so helpful when I have Oli in one hand, and can use my foot to open and close the lid.

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Wipes, we use Marley’s Monsters cloth diaper wipes and we use them for EVERYTHING.  They wash beautifully and we just dry them with our diapers.   And another Work At Home Mama makes them – BONUS!  We simply soak the wipe with water and use but there are plenty of make your own wipe solution recipes out there.

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Every few days I toss the entire diaper can into the wash with Charlies Soap Powder, wash on normal and hang to dry in the sunshine.  Oli is breastfed and we are just now starting solids so our routine will be changing soon, but I’ve already got my Spray-Pal ready to go.   I don’t put diapers in the dryer, the covers can melt with certain dryers. We just hang them outside straight out of the washer.   We do not use bleach, the sunshine naturally removes all stains. This wash routine has our diapers still looking new after 6 months of nonstop use.  Then we fold and stuff diapers.  It really is just approximately 2 extra loads of laundry a week. Easy right?

Cloth diapering is good for your wallet, good for your family, and good for your planet!  There are so many good resources out there to start your research.  I suggest Charlie Banana’s Pinterest Boards &  Fluff Love University, I have learned so much from them!  Fluff Love also has an amazing group on Facebook and you can ask a million questions.cloth-diaper-blog_-laundry-1024x683