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Old 10-24-2012, 08:42 AM   #1
ohno
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No Idea What I'm Doing!

Hi!

When I cloth-diapered many moons ago (well, not *that* many moons...my youngest is 12), it wasn't because there were all these adorable, new-fangled diaper systems - and if there were, I didn't know about them. It was because my babies decided to inherit my skin and disposables created disastrous results that absolutely broke my heart. So...I used pre-folds and knitted what are now called 'soakers' (eh, if they were called that then, too, I didn't know about it) out of wool yarn with my grandma. At first, it was a matter of folding and stuffing and creasing and lining and just sort of making it work. As time went on, it did get easier, though I suspect, had I broadened my circle, instead of plodding through in my usual methodical way, I probably would have learned a lot more, considerably sooner. I didn't even know anyone with an infant, let alone anyone who used anything other than disposables. When you add the fact that I was breastfeeding, I might as well have been from a different world. Only poor people do that, don'tchaknow.

Now, due to a mixe****** of circumstances (if that sounds negative, I don't mean it that way...just, the timing is less than ideal), a baby is expected at my house at the end of February or beginning of March, even though I am WAY too young to be a grandmother (thanks for asking).

DD is understandably very concerned about saving when and where she can and she remembers her brothers wearing cloth. The thing is, she's very young, really unsure of just about everything and I am almost certain my way of cloth-diapering would turn her off before she made it through the third diaper change.

Needless to say, I want better for her than spending what I hope will be a quiet, calm, nurturing babymoon, learning how to take care of her son and falling completely head-over-heels in love with him, in floods of tears and frustration, due to something as rudimentary as diapering him.

I have agreed to start her out with 24 cloth diapers.
I think the Flip diaper system (I'd get five covers and 24 inserts) interests us most, because of their relatively smaller loads of laundry, their longevity and because they fit (most) babies up to about 35 lbs. Since I have experience with cloth diapers, I am not holding on very tightly to every single cover and insert lasting through the potty learning stage. I understand needing to replace and even just adding diapers along the way. When DD offered to help with the cost of these diapers, I told her to save her pennies, because she would probably find she would need to purchase diapers along the way and I'm happy to help get her started.

So...I'm wondering if any of you have experience with these diapers (Flip)?
Do you love them? Hate them? Are they the best/worst diapers you've ever used? Why? Can you suggest something better?

Also...moms and dads have to buy "boring" stuff for babies and meet needs. Grandmas get to go wild and buy fun things. With that in mind, I've been looking at newborn diapers - Kissaluvs, to be exact and the covers. I've also been kicking around the idea of BumGenius. In the beginning, the All-In-1s were what I thought I'd get, but then I discovered they take an especially long time to dry and decided to keep looking.

I'm thinking of getting her 6-8 actual newborn diapers. I know newborns go through 12-15 diaper changes a day, but she would still have the other diapers, so I'm not particularly worried. Should I choose a diaper and stick with it? Get her a combination of different types of diapers? Econobum is also on the list of contenders - especially for night, with hemp inserts. My newborns were champion soakers and I would have LOVED that option...

I apologize for rambling so much. I just want to minimize mistakes and help get her off to a good start. Any suggestions and insight you can offer is very appreciated! Thanks in advance.

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Old 10-24-2012, 08:53 AM   #2
tinytushi
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Re: No Idea What I'm Doing!

I have not actually cloth diapered myself (Planning to early summer 2013), but my sister tried for a while. I can tell you from our experience to get several different kinds of newborn to try rather than all the same. If we had done all the same she would have quit diapering immediately because her daughter was so hard to fit. She was just under 7 lbs. and the legs on everything we tried were to large. We finally bought some newborn fitteds and covers off of Etsy that worked and were so easy (much easier than prefolds). Prefolds worked ok, but she hated them because she never could get the roll right to hold in ebf, but I have seen many say they prefer that method. ALL the one size dipes did not fit until she was about 6 months. Even the flips, but she was little to start with and did not gain quickly. We also liked the ebay dipes made by Teeney Tiney Hiney (work at home mom). She makes AIO, AI2, and fitteds. Sorry I can't be of more help, I hope someone else can.
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Old 10-24-2012, 10:07 AM   #3
TulipTreeHouse
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Re: No Idea What I'm Doing!

Hi! I think I can help
I think you're on the right track with choosing simpler and not overwhelming options. In my opinion, the flip covers are GREAT. They dry very quickly, super stretchy, little pocket at front and back to tuck the insert in, rise snaps so they can be used from small to large. Our "system" consists of flip covers with small (yellow-edged) Cloth-eez prefolds (6 months old now). So easy!
Having said that, we had a couple of different covers for newborn (used with size newborn orange-edged prefolds). We liked thirsties and bummis because they both have double leg gussets to catch that liquid-y newborn poop.
You can get all that through GreenMountainDiapers.com and the site has tons of info. That's where I got started. Here's what we had/have and I highly recommend:
2 dozen orange-edged prefolds (newborn)
2 dozen yellow-edged prefolds (small)
2 small bummis covers
2 small thirsties covers
5 flip covers (one size)
3 dozen wipes
2 wet bag pail liners

Hope that helps!!!
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Old 10-24-2012, 10:13 AM   #4
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Re: No Idea What I'm Doing!

oh, should also say when we change her we just hang the cover on a hook to air out and put on another cover. We only put the covers in the pail when they get poop on them. With the above amount of diapers we wash every other day and have plenty. Let me know if you'd like info on our wash routine.
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Old 10-24-2012, 11:24 AM   #5
ohno
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Re: No Idea What I'm Doing!

Tinytushi -you brought up issues I hadn't considered! My babies were average-sized and mostly followed the "rules" for clothing sizes and whatnot. I also like the idea of buying different diapers so she can switch things up, experience other options and decide what she likes best. Thanks!

TulipTreeHouse - it's rather too soon to tell, but I might love you! I thought I must have looked at every diaper site known to internetkind and you managed to point me to one with which I'm not familiar. Well done!
I am VERY interested in your wash routine, particularly if you use a "dry" method. I began with the one my grandma used and shared with me, but from there, I sort of played with her method until I got results I liked. Turns out, I'm not as creative as I thought, because it seems lots of people use TTO, but anyway...

I've been hesitant to go with prefolds because of the bulk. Do you find it difficult to find clothes that fit? It wasn't too much of an issue my first go around, because she just wore lots of dresses. In hindsight, the boys wearing dresses wouldn't have been that big of a deal, since babies don't care and they could have been dressed from head-to-toe in blue and strangers would still tell me what an adorable baby girl I had, but...
Anyway, dressing them was a challenge and I'd like to minimize those where possible.

I keep hearing about the pails and liners and all that jazz...but I didn't have any of those bells and whistles, so it didn't occur to me to seek them out, or even wonder if there were better options available. Do they really make things that much easier? Washing diapers every other day is rather foreign to me. I used to tell people I spent my "free time" doing fun things like laundry...

And I had mostly dismissed the idea of buying authentic wipes, because it didn't seem like a necessary expense. I just bought 3 dozen cotton washcloths (brown ones - ha! so if they got mixed in with the other laundry by mistake, they were easy to identify), and washed them along with the diapers. Is there a reason this is a bad idea?

Also...wetbags for changes on the go? My "wetbag" was first a ziplock baggy and then became a plastic grocery bag as diapers got bigger. Does she need some/several/a few actual wetbags?
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Old 10-24-2012, 02:17 PM   #6
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Re: No Idea What I'm Doing!

Where to begin... haha!
Well first, to piggy back off what Tinytushi said and your question about clothes: my girl was average weight at birth but started getting sooo chubby around 2 months. Since then she's been in the 95% for weight (20lbs at 5.5months). So, you never know what size they'll grow to be. Having a few different brands of covers is a good idea for this reason, but maybe wait and see how the little one grows before going too crazy with it? As far as clothes, I don't find the prefolds to be any bulkier than other types of cloth diapers. My girl wore newborn, then 3-6m, and pretty much skipped 6-9m clothing just because of her size in general. Oh, and we just fold the cloth in thirds and lay it into the cover- we don't pin it around her legs or anything. I mean, she can't wear skinny jeans or anything but onesies and elastic wasted pants fit just fine

So glad to help with the website/store!! Seriously the best place because they describe everything in detail and you can see pictures of everything on different sized babies! They also ship very quickly.

My wash routine is pretty basic I guess:
throw everything in the washer (prefolds, covers, bag).
1. rinse cycle on cold (this gets all the waste off them and flushes out the water, so the wash cycle has clean water).
2. wash cycle on hot w/ detergent, extra rinse at the end.
3. covers and bag hang dry (we put ours over the stair railing!), prefolds in the drier.
We use Ecover detergent (plant based) but I know a lot of people use All of Tide.

As for the pail liners/ wet bags: We have a tall white kitchen trash bin (bought at the grocery store I think for like, $10?). We put the pail liner in and throw the diapers in. We just bring the pail liner down to the washing machine and wash everything, using the second pail liner while the first is in the wash. You could do without it, but then you'd have to wash out the pail all the time I think. What were you thinking of using, or what did you use before? You're right about the wetbags- basically same as a ziplock or grocery bag. Just fun to get a cute fabric print I guess I have one but I've also used just a grocery bag too while out. And I'm guessing you're already of the mindset that she doesn't need a huge/expensive/fully waterproof specialized diaper bag! I just use a canvas bag.

The washcloths are a great idea! No reason not to. I did end up buying 1 dozen off Amazon when the baby was born because I didn't have enough, but my first 2 dozen I made by cutting up old receiving blankets (into 8x8" I believe) and hemming the edges so they wouldn't fray in the wash. The only reason I can think to have a few thinner cloths on hand would be to wipe the poop from delicate lady parts (if the baby is a girl).

I hope your daughter appreciates all the research you're doing for her! And once she gets the hang of things (or maybe with her next baby... down the road) I'm sure she'll love to have you knit some wool soakers for her! I wish someone in my family knew how
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Old 10-24-2012, 02:26 PM   #7
TulipTreeHouse
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Re: No Idea What I'm Doing!

One more thought- make sure you look into what materials different brands use. For example, we got bumGenius pocket diapers for nighttime and I didn't realize they're made of microfiber (synthetic). Eventually they started reeking, and gave my baby a rash burn by the morning. I got rid of them! We've been using disposables at night, but I just ordered some sustainablebabyish organic bamboo fitteds for night: http://sloomb.myshopify.com/collecti...ural-contrasts

You put a wool cover over them and it's supposed to be bulletproof! I did a lot of research and this seems to be the best option for heavy night wetters!

I actually just bought them off this site used, but the link above is the brand's website w/ info
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Old 10-24-2012, 04:34 PM   #8
ohno
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Re: No Idea What I'm Doing!

At first I was really put off by the idea that the baby wouldn't be able to wear skinny jeans, but then I comforted myself with the notion of knitting words like 'juicy' and 'sexy' on the back of his wool soakers and felt instantly better.

Wait...juicy bum? Hysterical and disgusting! How could that even BE more perfect???

Thanks for the BG heads up! Synthetics were right out for my babies and while my daughter's baby may not have the same difficulties, better safe than sorry. The 8x8 receiving blankets, cut and stitched sound like a good alternative, but not because she's expecting a girl. He seemed rather eager to let us know he's a boy...
It's more because I am finding it impossible to even find cotton washcloths.

My wool "soakers" were a lot more remedial than the ones for sale now - more like the plastic/rubber pants grandma and I modeled them after, because I thought that choice was disgusting...particularly after it manifested as the perfect environment for yeast. Bleh!
Even though I remain the world's slowest knitter, I can probably work out how to add the little leg part, with enough practice. I don't know why that didn't occur to me!

As for what I used...well, I bought a garbage can with a lid at a garage sale, cleaned it thoroughly and used garbage bags to line it, because I think I'm fancy. Then I filled it up about 2/3 of the way with water and added a splash of lemon juice, some TTO and sometimes a drop or so of lavender. Before adding diapers to that concoction, I rinsed all the diapers in the laundry sink. When they got older, their diets changed and they started having more solid waste, so I just dumped it in the toilet, rinsed and threw the diaper in the garbage can to await washing. I dumped my magic potion, changed the liner with every wash, rinsed out the garbage can with a little bleach and hot water and started over. It wasn't ideal and part of the reason I washed diapers so often was because the garbage bags would begin to break down in all the voodoo that was going on in there.

My actual washing method was a lot like yours, with the rinse cold, wash hot - I just used the smallest amount of detergent I could get away with and still have clean diapers, extra rinse (cold) bit. I never put anything in the dryer. And my husband was not a fan of diapers drying all over the house when it was too cold/wet to hang them on the line, so he made me a "clothesline" in the laundry room. I also "sunned" them quite frequently. From what I'm reading, possibly much more than was necessary...oops.

If I understand you, you're saying that the pail liners can go from the pail directly to the washer?

That's kind of awesome, because it means no disgusting baby poo will get on/in my precious front-loader, so I won't have to sell or give the baby up for adoption while his mom is at school or work!

Do the fancy, expensive, fully waterproof, blahblahblah diaper bags help at all to further mask the smell of dirty diapers...er marinating in the diaper bag? I was always sensitive about that, but no one ever complained. I just noticed and my nose is persnickety.

To be fair, Daughter and I are doing the majority of this research together. I'm just typing it, because she is grounded from the internet for getting pregnant in the first place.
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Old 10-25-2012, 06:08 AM   #9
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Re: No Idea What I'm Doing!

you got some great advice.
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Old 10-25-2012, 09:55 AM   #10
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Re: No Idea What I'm Doing!

I think you have just the right idea. Flip was one of my first sytems, and worked really well for us, besides running big. You have covered that with newborn diapers. I would recommend clotheez work horse fitteds on greenmountain diapers since they are about half the price of kissaluvs, and very easy to use. I think fitteds are great for newborns because you can use them with a small cover that will last longer, but the fitteds keep in leaks with the extra elastic around their tiny little legs. For covers I would try Bummis Super Lite. They are also very inexpensive, and are similar to Flips, so the transition would be smooth. I didn't use them on a newborn, but like them in the bigger size, and I have heard that they are one of the best fitting newborn covers.

I think you are doing a really wonderful job of helping with a difficult situation. Some day your daughter will be so proud, and grateful, that she was able to do what was best for her baby on a shoestring budget, and you are giving her that gift.
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