October 2, 2010

Cloth Diapers for a Working Mom: Day 1

So, after I got home from SweetBottoms, I washed the Thirsties Duo wrap, prefolds (which had already been "prepped" and washed several times), the Rump-a-rooz parts, and the diaper pail liner (did I mention this yesterday?) with some towels from the dirty clothes basket (I figured this was OK since we haven't been using fabric softener or dryer sheets since the new addition to our family. I point this out because Beth wanted me to be sure not to contaminate the diapers with softeners because it can diminish their absorbency). I hung the cover and liner to dry, and threw the rest in the dryer. Next, I had to "prep" the Grow Via and the BumGenius AIO. This means you have to wash them on hot several times (since they are new natural products) to up their absorbency. These two had to go by themselves. I was home for the afternoon, so this wasn't too much of a pain. When the small load on the washer stopped, I just turned it on again. After 4 or 5 goes, I put them in the dryer (not the GrowVia shell... but the other parts). Now this took a while. One dry towel, and two diaper pieces. Two dry cycles. Then I threw them on the drying rack (inside) overnight. THEN in the AM I threw then back in the dryer and they were FINALLY dry. This could be a turnoff if it is going to take this much time. We shall see.

Meanwhile, the first two diapers were ready to use by the evening. M and I were headed to a mommy group, so I braved using a new cloth diaper. Just before I fed him, I put on the prefold with a snappi (using this rolling technique), and the Thirsties cover (size 1, on the largest setting). He ate (starting at about 5:45), and we headed out (6:15). He got fussy during the group around 7:00. I went to change him, as I'd packed an extra prefold. His diaper was LOADED up. In a couple of hours the prefold was soaked through, and he had pooped. It was all contained in the cover, but unfortunately the cover could not be re-used, so I had to put on a disposable. What did I do with the soiled cloth? I put in in a gallon ziploc bag, and then transferred it to the cloth-liner lined trash can back in the nursery when we got home. My opinion after test one: not sure if I have a "heavy wetter" or if I just got him at the right time to load up the diaper, but my hopes of just changing the prefold are a little bruised.

After we got back from the meeting, I sat down with the hubby and showed him the 4 diapers I'd gotten at Beth's. He (also very patiently) listened, and was genuinely interested. Good sign.

We fed the little guy for the last time before bed, and went to change him into the Rump-a-rooz for bed time. This was comical. The diaper was huge!!!! Beth had recommended this one for night time (since I think we'll primarily be able to use cloth for nights and weekends, this was a pivotal piece of the equation). It has a double soaker insert that adds a LOT of volume. But supposedly can hold a lot of volume, too. And the fleece lining should wick away moisture to the insert for storage. We adjusted to the middle row of snaps, for the best fit. We swaddled him up for the night, and I planned to see how well this was really going to work at our usual 2AM feeding. However, our baby slept through the night for the first time (!!!!), so he had a good 8 hours to really put this thing to the test. I picked him up, and I thought I felt moisture on his blanket, so I was worried. But it turns out all the pee was contained!! The inserts were pretty soaked, but the lining wasn't sopping, so I didn't feel like he had marinated in it all night. And clearly he was comfortable enough to go all night. I got him changed and undressed. I pulled the insert out and put both it and the cover in our diaper pail. I have to say that I am pretty pleased with this one so far. No poo in this one, so I am not sure yet how a poopy night would factor in. I did notice this morning that there were some red lines on his thighs, and they seemed to linger to the next day. Perhaps we put this on too tight?

The next morning, the other two diapers were dry and ready to go. First I tired the BumGenius. Put it on at 10, was pretty wet and ready to be changed by 12:30. Again no large dose of poop, but I was pretty happy with this one, too. Pretty easy to toss the whole thing in the diaper pail.

I wasn't changing him in the nursery, so I didn't have the last diaper handy, so I put on a disposable. But at the next change, I put the GrowVia on him. In just over an hour the insert was pretty wet up front, but there was some dry space in the back. In this case the cover was clean, so we left it out to reuse for next time. Beth recommended alternating covers of this type during the day, letting them air out between wearings, so this should work out.

So let me tell you about our make-shift diaper pail. We got a liner from Beth. Washed it. Put in in one of those retro metal trash cans. Over 24 hrs, 4 soiled diapers in. No lid. Not much smell. The contents are only breastfed poops and pees, but I was pleasantly surprised at the lack of odor.

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