Cloth Diapering 101: Pockets (pt. 2)

Getting started with cloth diapers can be daunting.  In this series, we’ll be exploring the various options  of each kind of cloth diaper and their pros and cons.

On today’s agenda:  Pockets!

I use pocket diapers pretty much exclusively.  Mostly because that just happens to be what I have, but they are also a little more economical than some of the other styles available.  Pocket diapers have a removable absorbency layer which allows some wiggle room for customization.  You can choose the insert that works best for your baby’s build and…er…”output,” and even add an extra layer, called a doubler, if you like.   Pocket diapers are pretty simple to use.

pockets pockets-2 pockets-3

See?  Easy peasy!  When it’s time to wash your diapers, you do need to remove the insert to get them adequately sanitized.  This only adds a couple of seconds to my day.  No big deal!

Pros:

  • Simplicity.  Pocket diapers, in my opinion, are almost as simple as all-in-ones (or “AIO”s), which we will discuss in another post.  I use one-size diapers like the one pictured above.  They have an adjustable rise, and grow with your baby.  After washing my pockets, I stuff them, set the rise, and they’re ready to use!  Changing the diaper then is every bit as easy as changing a disposable.
  • Quick Drying Time.  Since the insert is removable, pockets tend to dry much faster than AIOs.  I put the inserts in the dryer, and hang the diaper to dry (if you put your diaper in the dryer, the heat may cause it to delaminate, which will remove the waterproof layer).  Once the inserts are done, I will sometimes put the rest of the diaper in the dryer on “fluff” or “no heat” to speed things along (because I still don’t have a clothes line or drying rack).
  • Portability.  Once you’ve stuffed the inserts into your diapers, they’re good to go.  No extra pieces or pins to pack in your diaper bag.
  • Customization.  You can add another layer or absorbency if you need to.  You also have the option of trying different types of inserts (bamboo, hemp, microfleece, etc.) along with different brands if one doesn’t work out for you.
  • Fit.  You’ll find out pretty quickly that cloth diapers may make your baby’s butt look h.u.g.e.!  Pocket diapers tend to be one of the more trim choices available.  I’ve also found that they tend to leak less than other styles I’ve used.
  • Versatility.  Simply remove the insert, and you’ve got a swim diaper!

Cons:

  • Poo and pee.  You’re going to have to touch it.  That insert has to come out before you wash it.  I’ve found, though, that if I just barely grab the very edge of the insert when removing it from the pocket, I come into contact with very little excrement.
  • Cost.  Pockets are very economical, but they aren’t the cheapest option out there.
  • Time.  I stuff all my inserts at once.  Some people stuff their inserts as needed.  Either way, it is an added step.
  • Potty training.  The fleece liner is a “stay dry” material that keeps your little one from feeling too wet.  This dry feeling can hinder potty training efforts.

Cost:  As with most things, the cost of pocket diapers is varied, but on average they range from about $6-$15.   Most of my stash is made up of Sunbaby pocket diapers.   They’re about $5-6 each, and come in the cutest prints and colors!   Most people recommend having about 12 diapers on hand for each day that won’t be washing them.  So, if you wash diapers every other day, you’ll need 24 diapers.  Let’s assume you buy them all new (I get most of mine used.  It’s much cheaper that way!), and they cost you $11 each.  That’s an upfront investment of $264.  That might sound like a pretty hefty sum, but let’s consider how long it would take you to spend that on disposables.  If the average disposable diaper costs $0.17/ea., using 12 diapers a day, you would have spent that much in about four and a half months.  But if you bought one-size pocket diapers (like the one in the photo with the snap adjustable rise), you’re set until your little tyke starts potty training!   Hang on to your diapers for baby #2, and your savings compound even more!  The other great thing about all cloth diapers is that you can easily sell them when you’re done. Diaper Swappers, Spot’s Corner, Craigslist, and various Buy/Sell/Trade (or “b/s/t”) groups on Facebook are all great places to buy or sell used diapers.  That’s definitely something you couldn’t do with your dirty disposables!

So, what do you think?  Are pocket diapers the right dipe for you?  Use them already?  Comment and share below!

Join us next time as we discuss AIOs!

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Cloth Diapering 101: Part 1

So you think you want to switch to cloth diapers?  Or maybe you’re expecting, and researching options before your itty-bitty arrives?  Great!  Great for your baby, great for the environment, great for your wallet, great, great, great. (Step away from the custom, handmade, embroidered all-in-one…unless you’re buying it for me.  In that case, buy two.)  You may find yourself plagued with questions at the beginning of this fluffy new journey of yours.

“What kind do I need?”

“How many?”

“How much is this going to cost?”

“Do I have touch poop?”

To which I say,

“Depends.”

“Some.”

“Not much.”

and, “Get over it.”

Using cloth diapers is actually pretty easy.  It’s the choices and options that I found to be intimidating when I began researching the subject.  To be honest, I’ve only been using them for about a month.  I’m no expert, but I have been asked by a few people to share what I know.  So, given the fact that this can be pretty in-depth, I’ve decided to start a series on the various options available so you can decide which is right for you.

Come back in a day or two as we explore the wonderful world of pocket diapers!

cloth diaper monkey

10 Benefits of Babywearing

First of all, I would like to preface this post by saying that this is not meant to make anyone feel guilty.  I didn’t cloth diaper or wear our first child, and she turned out just fine.  Super smart, even!  There are several benefits to wearing your child, but people have been getting along just fine for many years without.  Do what’s right for you and yours!   Babywearing Collage  1. Speech development and communication skills.  Babies are little sponges.  Hearing you communicate with those around will make your child want to get in on the conversation!

2. Motor Skills Development.  Your constant movement – bending, twisting, and bouncing – activates the baby’s vestibular system, where their sense of balance is formed.  This system is most sensitive between the ages of 6 and 8 months, making babywearing especially beneficial during that time of their lives.

3. Convenience.  When we had Squid, our firstborn, I had to get a sitter anytime I wanted to go to the store.  Otherwise, she would scream the whole time I was shopping!  I have taken Wink grocery shopping in his car seat, and gotten similar results.  However, every time I’ve taken him in his Boba wrap, he falls asleep, and stays that way the whole time we’re there.  I get my shopping done without having to ask someone to watch him, and I don’t have to lug that heavy car seat into the store.  It also frees me from having to pack his stroller if we were to go somewhere else with him.  When he was a newborn, I was able to get lots done around the house while baby wearing too.  He has since, however, taken to crying while being worn if I’m not walking.  Most babies, though, love being worn regardless of whether they’re moving or staying still.

4. Comfort.  Babies have new experiences everyday.  These unfamiliar surroundings, people, and situations can make some babies uneasy – and understandably so!  Being held close to Mom (or Dad) can help comfort a child, and help ease them into these situations.  Your constant reassurance is likely to make them feel more confident and less fearful as they grow and become more independent.

5. Exercise. Let’s not beat around the bush.  Most of us come out of pregnancy a little squishier than we were nine months prior.  The added weight of wearing your baby will help those pounds come off a little quicker.

6. Prevents Postpartum Depression. Physical contact between mother and child has been proven to increase oxytocin levels in the mother.  This increase in oxytocin reduces the rate of postpartum depression in new moms.

7. Develop bonds with other family members. Babywearing allows other members of the baby’s family to develop a more intimate bond with them.

8. Breastfeeding. Many moms (myself included!) are apprehensive about nursing in public.  If you wear your baby in a sling or wrap, you can nurse your child more discreetly than you could with a cover.

9. Keeps strange hands at bay. Babies get lots of attention when you take them out in public!  Everyone always wants to pat or kiss the new tiny person.  That is fine with me if I know them, but I’m not okay with strangers touching my baby.  Wearing Wink in his wrap has put a stop to that altogether.

10. It’s just fun!  I love wearing Wink.  People are always a little more friendly when I do.  Plus, there are so many options available!  You can spend as much or as little on your carrier as you like.  My Boba wrap was only $30 new, but I have seen a few nice, hand woven wraps that sell for several hundred dollars!  There are so many styles, colors, and prints, you are bound to find something you love that works for you and your baby.

babywearing

Do you babywear?  What kind of carrier do you have?  Comment and share below!

My Cloth Diaper Routine

One of the things that scared me the most before starting Wink in cloth diapers was trying to wrap my head around how to wash the darned things.  I had read so many different washing routines.   “Use bleach once a month.”  “Never use bleach!”  “Don’t mix natural and synthetic fabrics in the wash.”  “Rinse diapers before washing.”  “Don’t rinse before washing.”  My head was spinning!

My first time washing them was a disaster.  I was prepping them before we started using them, and clearly had no flipping idea what I was doing.  They came out hard and crunchy, and my inserts were all pink!  (If you have any red dyed prefolds, wash them separately….Actually, no.  Just throw that crap away.  Ain’t nobody got time for fussy diaper washin’.)  I asked a seasoned cloth diapering veteran friend of mine what to do about the stiffness.  Could it be our hard water?  Detergent buildup?  She suggested adding a squirt of Dawn dish detergent to every load.   That, paired with an extra rinse or two did the trick.  My diapers came out nice and fluffy!

Since having hard water and being new to fluff can be a daunting process, I thought I’d share my cloth diaper routine with you.

First, I store our dirty diapers dry, in a covered diaper pail lined with a Planet Wise wet bag.  If storing dirty diapers in a pail sounds off-putting to you, let me reassure you.  You cannot smell them at all…until you open the lid.  I do that as quickly as possible.  Phew!  But when the lid is closed, you’d never know there were poopy diapers in that room.

When it comes time to wash, I grab the wet bag and dump it, and its contents right in the wash.  Trust me.  You’re going to want to wash that wet bag.

Cloth diaper routine 1

After tossing it all in the wash, I set the machine to rinse.  (I do not rinse my diapers before washing because Wink is exclusively breastfed.  EBF poo is water soluble, and is therefore washing machine safe.  It just disappears!)  Then, they are washed in hot water with Ruby Moon Cloth Diaper Detergent and a squirt around the basin with Dawn Original.  Then, they get rinsed once more to remove any excess detergent that might be hanging on in there.  

After washing, it’s off to the dryer for the inserts!  I dry them on regular heat.  After those are done, I dry the shells and wet bag on no heat or low heat, if I’m feeling adventurous.  I haven’t had any delaminate just yet.  So, I’m assuming low heat is okay.  YMMV

When everything is all dry and snuggly warm, I stuff the inserts in the shells.  Pretty straight forward, but here’s a picture if you’re into that sort of thing. 

Cloth diaper inserts

Those haven’t been stuffed yet, but you’ll figure it out.  You’re smart.

Here they are all pretty in this drawer waiting to be pooped in!

cloth diaper routine-5

So that’s the diaper routine, but I thought I’d also share my favorite part of this whole thing: the wipes!  I don’t know why they make me so happy.  They just do, okai?! 

For our wet wipes, I use baby washcloths sprayed as needed with a homemade wipe solution made of 2 c. water, 1/4 c. baby wash, and 1/4 c. baby oil.  It works great, and smells amazing!  I store the dry wipes in a recycled wet wipe container.  I’ve even folded them so the next one pops out just like the real thing.  I made an attempt at photographing that folding technique, but setting up indoor step-by-step photos at night with a crying baby is a challenge.  Use your brains here, and try to figure out what’s going on in these pictures.  You can also feel free to ask questions if you’re stumped.

wipe folding collage

Again, I store those bad boys dry so they don’t get moldy.  I keep a squirt bottle with my wipe solution handy, and just spray each cloth as it’s needed.  

All in all, it might sound like a lot of work, but it really isn’t.  The most time consuming part is the washing and drying, and that’s pretty hands-off.  Not too bad, eh?  

2013-06-17-2 edit resize

So what do you think?  Do you use cloth diapers?  Thinking about starting?  What’s your diaper routine like?

Applecheeks Cloth Diaper Review

I am still very new to cloth diapering, but I already have a couple of brands that I prefer love.  One of my absolute, most favoritest of all favorites is our AppleCheeks
diaper.  Alas, I have but only the one so far, but I do hope to remedy that in the future.

Applecheeks Cloth Diaper

This is the only diaper out of our stash that hasn’t leaked.  I was reluctant to even put this diaper on Wink in the first place.  I thought surely it would be too small.  We have a size 1, which fits 7-20 lbs.  Wink is well within that range, but it just seemed so much smaller on him than all his other diapers.  Maybe that’s why it works so well?  Maybe it’s magic?  Maybelline?  I don’t know, but I love it!  It’s trim, functional, and cute to boot!

One of the other benefits that comes with owning an Applecheeks diaper is the fact that I don’t have to remove the insert before putting it in the wash.  With our other cloth diapers, you really should remove the insert from the pocket before washing to ensure they’re being adequately cleaned.  Applecheeks, however, has designed their pockets so that the insert agitates out in the wash on its own.  The fewer poo and pee germs I have to handle, the better!

If my whole stash were made of AppleCheeks
dipes, I’d be one happy mamacita!

Do you use cloth diapers?  Which brand is your fave?

Disclosure – All opinions are my own.  I was not compensated in any way for the review of this product.  I receive a portion of the sales from items purchased through my affiliate link.

New Beginnings

There’s a new face at Yellow House!  Image

Squid, our firstborn, had the pleasure of welcoming her little brother, Wink, on May 7th of this year.  She is such a good big sister already, and this mommy doesn’t know what she’d do without her little helper!

Since Wink’s arrival, I have started trying my hand at implementing more natural forms of parenting into our lives.  I’m certainly not a “crunchy” mom by any means, but I have been breast feeding almost exclusively, babywearing whenever possible, and cloth diapering part time.  I would be using cloth diapers full time if I had enough in my stash!  

Keep half an eye here, and watch for informative (and fun!) posts on the aforementioned topics along with a few others that tickle my fancy (Sewing and photography, anyone?).  I may even host a giveaway or three! 

Stay tuned!