Adventures in Cloth Diapering: Finding a Nighttime Solution

Adventures in Cloth Diapering- Finding a Nighttime Solution

When we started our cloth diapering adventure, we knew that we would start small and work our way up as we felt comfortable. I was ok with using cloth diapers every now and then (hey, even 1 CD a day would save us money in the long run). Well, pretty soon after starting, we decided that we loved it so much, and we now have a 2 day supply of diapers (AIO, hybrids, covers/prefolds, inserts, and some pockets), 2 large wetbags for the diaper pails, a variety of travel wetbags, liners, and a variety of other items that we can use for CDing.

One thing we had yet to figure out was the nighttime solution. We loved cloth so much during the day, and it seemed to be a shame to have to go back to disposables at night. But we just hadn’t found something that worked for us. Don’t get me wrong, we had tried amazing diapers and gotten a lot of great advice, but we just hadn’t found something that works for our babies or us as a family.

Overnight Diaper Rental

Not that we hadn’t tried. Thanks to Franklin Goose‘s rental program (try a style of diaper for 4 days for free!!!), we had been able to sample quite a few choices. There were things that we loved about all of them, but there were things that didn’t work for us, too. While I don’t want to discourage anyone from trying these options (what doesn’t work for one person might work wonders for the next), I will just post a little information about each style. Again, I would highly encourage you to seek out Franklin Goose (if you are in Virginia) or your local CD store to see if they have a similar try-before-you-buy program.

Charcoal Aio

AIO charcoal: Charcoal is a very absorbent material in a waterproof shell. These can be worn directly against the skin. Because of its dark color, you won’t see stains. Charcoal also has anti-microbial and anti-bacterial properties as well. This makes it a great option for little ones with sensitive skin (along with its great absorbency).

Organic Cotton

AIO organic cotton: These are absorbent as well and comfortable for the baby. When soaked with urine, the material can be heavy and become stiff, but it absorbs a lot of liquid. It may stain. You may want to place a fleece liner against the skin so that the baby doesn’t feel the wetness directly up against the skin.

Cotton Pocket

Organic cotton pocket: These use the same material as the AIO organic cotton, but you can stuff the pocket with the organic cotton. The part that touches the skin is a soft fleece and helps to wick away moisture. The diaper itself is extremely trim on its own (one of the trimmest that you can get).. Depending on how you stuff it, these can get bulky, but they stay very very absorbent.

Hemp Fitted

Hemp fitted with waterproof cover: This is where you have a fitted diaper made out of hemp, topped with a waterproof cover. The hemp is extremely absorbent but not waterproof, so the cover provides the protection from leaks. Because it is a fitted diaper inside the cover, it doesn’t have the chance to move around like if you used a prefold inside. The hemp, however, becomes scratchy and rough to the touch after washed multiple times, so you need to have a barrier between it and the skin. You can also dry it in the dryer to help it be softer, especially if you use wool dryer balls.

Cotton prefold with wool cover: You can fold the cotton prefold in a variety of ways, attach it with a Snappi, and then cover it with a wool cover. Wool must be lanolized and treated differently than other cloth diapers, but it keeps all of the moisture inside while still allowing breathability (unlike the other cover materials).


 

Just when we had given up hope, I went back to Franklin Goose to chat about the issues that we had with the other nighttime options. They were so wonderful and helpful and supportive. I felt lost and truly ready to just stick with disposables (though I really didn’t want to), and then we got another option…

Cloth Fitted

Cotton fitted with waterproof cover: This is finally what worked for us! We tried it out for two nights without any leaks or issues, and we knew that we had our nighttime solution! They were perfect for us! We could use the Thirsties covers that we already had, and once we invested in 2 diapers for each child, we were set! Another benefit to the Sandy’s fitted diaper is that it is huge! This is a diaper that will certainly last long into potty training and beyond as needed (we may just need bigger covers).

Franklin Goose Bag

Disclaimer: I did not receive compensation for this post. I have utilized Franklin Goose’s rental program, and may receive products for the purpose of testing and reviewing. All thoughts remain 100% my own.

Adventures in Cloth Diapering: Washing Disposable Diapers

Adventures in Cloth Diapering- Washing Disposables

Ok, I’m actually shocked that this is the first time that we have washed a disposable diaper. But it’s gross. And everywhere. And it was a poopy diaper too. Ick. Here’s what happened…

We use our big diaper pail to keep the dirty cloth diapers and the kids’ clothes, and we wash them all each night. We put the poop, disposable wipes, and disposable diapers in a separate bin to throw away each day. Well, this week I was a little tired, and I threw away one of the disposable diapers that I used on David (he had a rash that needed to be treated with some products that can’t be used with the cloth diapers). I didn’t realize my mistake until after we ran through the diapers and clothes in the wash.

At 11:30 PM, Tim went to move the diapers into the dryer, and I heard a loud sigh and groan. I walked over to Tim and the washer, to find him with a handful of jelly pellets. I immediately knew what had happened. That’s from inside the disposable diaper. Ugh!

We quickly went to work. I started scooping out the jelly pellets and other dirt and grime (did I mention that that diaper was a poopy diaper too?) from our front-loading washer and Tim researched how to remedy the situation. That jelly substance was ALL OVER the cloth diapers, cloth wipes, and clothes. Here’s what our research told us to do:

  1. Clean the solid substance as much as you can out of the washer.
  2. Run it through the rinse cycle 2 times with nothing in it (no items and no soap).
  3. Run it through 1 bleach cycle to clean it.
  4. Run your washer as normal.
  5. Try to shake off as much of the jelly on the clothes as possible.
  6. Put the clothes in the dryer. The lint trap will catch most of the dried residue.
  7. Once the washer is clean, run the clothes through the washer and dryer again.
  8. You may have to strip your cloth diapers.

This happened last week. I am happy to report that after doing this cleaning, all diapers are good to go and we haven’t had any problems since!

Franklin Goose + A Cloth Diaper Giveaway

In our previous Adventures in Cloth Diapering posts, we have talked about the beginning of CDing, how the first two days went, lessons we have learned so far, and how the first two weeks went. I wanted to also dedicate an entire post to the store and experts that we have turned to time and time again to help us feel comfortable, confident, and actually attempt this new adventure: Franklin Goose.

If you have read my other posts on CDing, you will know that I have mentioned this store and the help we’ve received from them many times. I can’t stress enough how they have been such a huge reason for our success in CDing at the age of 15 months! I’m thrilled to be partnering with them for some posts (and more to come in the future) and a giveaway today! So without further ado, here is some information and pictures from Franklin Goose:

Franklin Goose Logo

Location: 3401 West Cary St. Richmond, VA 23221
Website: http://www.franklingoose.com
Phone: 804.355.0595
Facebook / Twitter / Instagram / Pinterest / YouTube / Blog

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Franklin Goose is a boutique-like store in Richmond’s Carytown district that focuses on customer service and education first and foremost (can you tell why I love them already?). While not an incredibly large space, it’s truly incredible how much merchandise they have.

They have an incredible assortment of teething toys and products (which was the reason why we originally found them months ago).

Their baby bath and care products are fantastic as well- a great variety of types and prices.

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I love the toy selection that they have. Again for it being a small store, they have picked out really versatile and fun toys. I love the brands that they have picked to feature in the store as well- good, reliable toys that will last. Their bath toys are precious as well! I always have to control myself or I would go overboard shopping from here.

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They even have a clothing section with beautiful sleepers and outfits. Now that Audrey and David aren’t growing as fast, I think we are going to have to get a special outfit from here. I love the idea of them in organic material!

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Their bedding section is fantastic as well, as they have a wonderful selection of Aden + Anais and other brands as well. I seriously want to just crawl up here and take a mommy nap.

I go absolutely crazy over books, and the ones that they have picked out here are simply perfect. Unique, creative, and so perfect for many different ages.

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Their cloth diapering room is just incredible (and I will admit, a little overwhelming at first). More on their cloth diapering room later.

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Keep circling around, and there is a train table to keep the little shoppers entertained (oh so important).

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Then there is a feeding supplies area with highchairs, and carseats and strollers along the back and side wall.

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Up the stairs, you will find the baby wearing section, where you can try on samples and learn how to use them by someone trained and experienced.

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Back to the cloth diaper room, however. Amazing! When you come in, ask for a quick tour so you can have one of their employees point out the different sections, selections, and options. I hesitate to talk about the different areas of the CD room, because I know that I will leave something out.

There are cubby after cubby of cloth diaper covers, hybrids, all-in-ones, all-in-twos, inserts (so many different materials), prefolds, wool covers, and more. In the picture below, you can also see the additional supplies such as liners and laundry helpers.

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They also have upcycled cloth wipes, and more organic prefolds (in various materials and sizes),

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There is a wall of washable diaper pail liners and travel wet bags (so you can cloth diaper while out and about as well) as well as travel changing pads.

 

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The window has been turned into shelves where they have potty training supplies. Did you know that it’s actually easier to potty train kids that have been using cloth diapers? At least, that’s what they tell me!

 

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And to the side of the trainers, they have all of the cloth-diaper safe balms, powders, and creams.

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And they even sell wool dryer balls so you can ditch the fabric softener!

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In addition, though, they aren’t just a store. As I said at the beginning of this post, they are really a community education team. They have regular (free) classes on a variety of parent/child topics, such as Cloth Diapering 101, DIY Baby Food, Birth Talk, Dogs and Babies, Infant Massage, Babywearing, Mothering Circle, and so many more topics.

Oh, and you can create a registry as well!

If you aren’t local to Richmond, I would still highly recommend you to look up FG and use their resources (especially their blog, IG, FB page, and YouTube). Call them up and ask them questions! With the digital age we live in now, you don’t have to rely on some place local to you in order to find a dependable community or even shop. I promise you will be amazed at the level of service that you will receive with this store, even over the phone or email. When I say that they are here to help you find the solution that works best for you, that has truly been my experience.

Franklin Goose has been incredibly generous and will be giving one lucky winner the following cloth diapering package:

  • 3 Bummis prefolds (100% organic cotton) – infant size 7-20 lbs
  • 1 diaper cover, either:
    • Girl: Bummis cover – size small – 8-15 lbs
    • Boy: Imagine cover – one size – 6-35 lbs
  • 1 white Snappi

Let me just say that I have seen the difference between these organic cotton prefolds and the kind that you get from those other stores. Trust me… the material does matter when it comes to absorbency! When we use covers and prefolds, these are the exact brand that we use, and we absolutely love them! They work so well and are rather easy to learn how to put the entire diaper together.

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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*Disclaimer: I did not receive monetary compensation for this post. I did receive a sample of Bummis prefolds and fleece liners to try before hosting this giveaway.*








Adventures in Cloth Diapering: Things I’ve Learned

Adventures in Cloth Diapering- Things I've Learned

 

Although we are still very much newbies in the cloth diapering world, I have learned quite a few things already:

  • Stay away from the prefolds that you can get at Babies R Us. They are cheap and don’t absorb well. They will make you want to forget you have ever heard about cloth diapering.
  • There are many different kinds of cloth diapers and systems. From AIO (all in ones) to prefolds/covers to snap-ins to FST (flour sack towels) to pockets and many more, you may have to experiment a bit to find what you like the best. And then when you think that you have figured it out, you hear about woolies for overnight and your mind explodes (in the good way, though).
  • The poop isn’t that scary. I promise you, the poop is much worse for infants/newborns than when you are changing solid-food-eating babies/toddlers. We easily pick it up with a wipe, dump it in our trash container, and then the diaper is ready to go into the wash. I know that we were convinced with CDing when we both changed our first poops, and it wasn’t bad at all.
  • The smell isn’t nearly as bad as with “sposies” (disposables). You know that smell that lets you know that you have a dirty diaper (whether pee or poop)? Yeah, you don’t have that with cloth! It’s actually quite amazing how much less it smells because we now don’t have those chemicals interacting with the waste matter.
  • Different materials absorb faster/slower than others. Now, I don’t know everything in regards to this, but I do know that there is a range of absorbency. The fastest absorbers are the synthetic fibers, microfleece, microfiber, and minky. Some of these shouldn’t go up against baby’s skin, though (scratchy or pulls too much moisture away), so check about this first.
  • Different materials absorb better than others. Again, we are still experimenting, but here is the guidance that we have received: the best absorbers are hemp, bamboo, cotton, microfiber, and minky.
  • Cleaning the diapers isn’t all that daunting. When you first get new diapers or materials, you will want to wash them thoroughly (we washed/dried our pre-folds 5 times while only needing to wash the liners once), but after that, it’s nothing more than just washing them at night. I thought I would be much more grossed out by the whole process, but it is really easy. Plus, when you come into trouble, you can rely on a CDing mama friend or an educational store (like Franklin Goose) to help you out.
  • You may have to change your detergent and definitely skip the fabric softener. We thought that our Tide Free and Clear pods would be perfect, but it turns out they are not ideal for using with cloth diapers. Also the fabric softener will actually make the material less absorbent, so it’s best to skip that step altogether.
  • You will have a couple bad days before you have some good days. You will want to give up completely, but just try adjusting your routine a bit. There is definitely a learning curve, but when you have good days, it is soooo worth it.
  • You may have to use “sposies” every now and then. When you are out and about or traveling, it might just be easier to use disposable diapers. That’s ok! Just think of all of the money you are saving normally by using cloth!
  • Find a few “pre-loved” diapers to try different styles. If you properly wash your diapers, it’s fine to use hand-me-down diapers until you figure out what you like. There is nothing worse than investing hundreds of dollars in one system only to discover that you don’t like it. Try a few and then make up your mind.
  • Diaper liners can make clean-up easier. While not necessary, diaper liners are cheap, sometimes disposable, and can even add a layer of fast absorption (to get the liquid away from baby’s skin faster). They are one layer of fabric that goes between the skin and diaper. Some people buy reusable liners, some make it out of fleece (just cut and done), and some use soft paper towels like Viva brand (plain, no design).
  • Don’t be scared of stains. While we haven’t tested this method, we will be sunning our diapers to help get rid of stains as soon as the sun decides to come out to play. I promise I’ll do a before/after!
  • Microfiber and hemp shouldn’t touch the skin. Microfiber pulls moisture away and hemp can be scratchy, so neither should touch the skin. You can wrap them in FST (flour sack towels) or prefolds or even put them in your pocket to help with absorption.
  • Fleece is great to touch the skin. There’s a reason why most of our pocket diapers have fleece inside. It pulls the moisture away quickly so that you don’t have a soggy bottom, quickly sending it to the pads or other absorbing material.
  • You will want to have a cover/diaper that is waterproof. There are some really cute “covers” that go over prefolds or inserts, but they are not waterproof. Make sure that the material has either a waterproof (PUL) side or is wool (and then treated properly).
  • Make sure to have a couple trustworthy CD communities. We have some friends who have given us great advice to get through the early hurdles of CDing, but we have also quickly come to be very reliant on Franklin Goose (yes, you will hear me talk about them over and over again), a local store that specializes in parenting education and has an incredible cloth diapering alcove. I am actually planning an entire post all about this store, because they have done so much to help us out throughout this adventure.
  • You will get a method very fast. We were terrified of the amount of laundry we would be doing or how we would clean and handle it all. It took maybe 1 or 2 days of really doing it to feel comfortable. Now, we are like pros! Plus, it helps that both Tim and I are on board with this, so we do this together, coaching each other with tips we have learned.
  • You also will stay caught up on laundry. This has always been a problem for us: we either don’t have enough clean clothes or they are all clean but haven’t been folded yet. Now, we are staying up on all of the laundry, so everything is clean! Now, if only we could get a magic elf to help us fold and hang up our clothes. But we have done a great job keeping up with the diaper laundry. After the twins go to bed, we put the diapers in the wash. Before we go to bed, they go in the dryer. In the morning, I take the basket to the playroom, and I fold and put away the diapers while Audrey and David race to put them back in the basket (their way of “helping”).
  • You will get hooked. It’s so much fun to find new, cute patterns and styles. It’s such a fun hobby for our family! When Tim changes diapers, he always picks coordinating or completely matching styles. When I change them, I go for the bright colors first. It’s actually FUN to change diapers because they get a “costume change” without having to change the entire outfit.

Adventures in Cloth Diapering: A Beginning

Adventures in Cloth Diapering- A

Before I got pregnant with our twins, I dreamed of cloth diapering. But I didn’t want to clean the poop. There is a service here in our area that will pick up and clean your soiled prefold diapers so you don’t have to worry about it. That seemed perfect for us!

Then when I found out we were having twins, I quickly put aside the dream of cloth because I understood that I would have a lot on our plate to get used to two babies at once instead of just a singleton. That’s ok! I was being totally realistic.

And then I fell in love with Young Living essential oils. It was my second step into crunchy-dom, as I was already making the majority of the twins’ baby food at that point (about 6-8 months old at that time). I loved being able to have a more natural and chemical-free environment in our house. I became even crunchier when I turned the love of EOs into my One Breath at a Thyme business.

Then, a few days ago, my cloth dreams resurfaced when I was talking to an online group of mommies about their babies and the metallic smell of their child’s wet disposable diapers. Someone spoke about that probably being the chemicals from the diaper reacting to the urine. I realized very quickly that I knew that smell all too well. Ew. That was not what I wanted for my family.

But our babies are 15 months old. Who knows how much longer they will be in diapers! 4 months? 2 years? I couldn’t go out and buy all new diapers for them! So instead, I decided that we would work with what we have already and purchase the bare minimum.

We have about 60 prefold diapers that we used as burp cloths when the babies were younger. 30 each. That will do to start! Then I just needed to get covers. I went to a local cloth diaper and all-things natural store called Franklin Goose (Shout out FG! Love you guys!) and got a quick tutorial. With 3 covers (1 main one for each child + 1 extra) and 2 Snappi fasteners, I was ready to start!

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We had some fun last night (the night before the adventure started) with “pretending” to wear our cloth diapers. Hopefully you saw our silliness on Instagram!

 

 

 

 

And then, today the Adventures in Cloth Diapering began!

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I promise we will update as we get the hang of what we are doing with the wipes and the prefolds and get more experience! For now, I’m sure I’m doing a hundred things wrong, so I’d rather wait until I get a better feel of it.

Do you have any advice for us as we tackle this new adventure?