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Diaper happy

November 18th, 2003 · No Comments

This post is dedicated to my college friend Kirstin, who has helped me with my diaper dilemma. She and her husband Geoff just this week welcomed their new baby boy! He has wonderful parents and beautiful homemade diapers (read below…)

This is another long-overdue post. When I last blogged about diapers , back in August, I was struggling, wanting to use cloth but feeling frustrated about my experiences. Elisabeth seemed to be getting lots of red and rash, plus the diapers were stained and stinky. I was getting desperate, about to throw in the towel – or diapers, that is.

My friend Kirstin came to the rescue, replying to my post by sending me an email with many suggestions. She called herself “she w/no experience”, since, at the time, she had not diapered her own kids (although she’s had a few days of diapers by now!) yet I appreciated the advice she had gleaned. I had tried to do some research myself before I started with my own cloth diapers, but I guess I did not do enough work….

I went back to remedial laundry school and began washing in COLD first. Now I do a short cold wash, followed by warm with detergent, and then a final cold wash with vinegar. That has helped the diapers stay whiter.

Another great recommendation Kirstin made was to try fleece liners. The fleece pulls the moisture away from the baby’s body and into the diaper, keeping baby drier. It also helps with the stains too. Easy to do, just go to the fabric store and buy polar fleece to cut into shapes – it helps to buy fleece that is not water resistant and does not pile!

Boy, was I grateful for Kirstin’s advice! She helped me with my two big problems. The diapers still stink, although not as much as they did in the summer. I tried baking soda, as Kirstin advised – it’s even sold now in a nice shaker container – but I probably need to use it more, as the pail is pretty aromatic. The baking soda is also helping the diapers whiten as well. Fortunately the big whole-house fan is in the laundry room, where I keep my diapers, and I also sometimes use a deodorant on top of the pail.

I realized too that what I needed to do was change Elisabeth more often. Letting her sit in a wet diaper – even with a fleece liner – can make her bottom red, and once that happens, it doesn’t take long for a rash to form. So I’ve been more diligent about changing her at certain times. With disposables, one can get away with fewer changes, but with cloth one has to keep on top of it and think ahead when leaving the house…I had to make new habits, after using disposables.

Kistin receommended Diaper Pin , a web site with lots of information about diapering, and even many mom made products. It’s got a discussion board and lots of good reviews to read. The search button is convenient and useful.

My thoughtful friend also sent Elisabeth a birthday gift of two Baby Greens diapers – wow! These hemp diapers have anti-microbial properties to help prevent rashes. The styling feels so luxurious with snaps and liners. What a treat to use them!

I use the Baby Greens – and my regular prefolds – with the wool covers my friend Angie loaned me. When she heard about Elisabeth’s rashes, she offered me four of her Nikky wool covers. I love these too. Since I started using them about a month ago, I’ve only had one bad rash incident, and I think that was a day I forgot to change her diaper and then I put her in the backpack!

I have been using disposables, here and there, if I think Elisabeth’s bottom is about to break out. That seems to help too. Or if we’re going on a longer trip, etc. I try to be strategic.

Angie recommended this site Born to Love which has lots of diapering info as well as many products. There are lots of essays too, such as this one, about the Unecological effects of “Single-Use” diapers : one billion trees per year are used to make disposable diapers. On the Frugal Baby page, there are tips on how to make your own diapers out of receiving blankets and make covers out of sweaters!

Speaking of making your own diapers, Kirstin did exactly that and sent me a picture of the Poopockets she had created – how cute! What a treat for her baby! I remeber looking around on the web and seeing one diaper company that was started by a mom trying to get the best fit for her baby; I imagine many diaper companies have been created that way.

Abigail had been begging me for a while to make a diaper for her dolly. On Saturday I finished hers and made one for Michaela as well, very simply using leftover purple fleece and velcro. It was fun trying to figure out how to cut a diaper to fit each doll. Then I let each girl choose some decor to glue onto it. Not practical for babies but fun for little girls. I’ll try to take a picture with the camera when the camera comes back home later this week….

To sum up, after a couple compassionate friends helped me, after I did a little more research and work, I have become very happy with my cloth diapers! I am glad to be using them. I’m using cloth now simply because I like it a lot – it actually is more convenient in many ways. I’m very happy with my diapers. And it’s been a great experience to learn from helpful friends who have shared with me

And I hope my friend Kirstin, her husband and her baby boy are very happy – Many happy diapers and happy days to you!

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