Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Cloth Intro 3: Diapering Accessories

You may want to consider some of these accessories if you are going to use cloth diapers.

You should store wet and dirty diapers in a dry diaper pail. Any pail or trash can with a lid will work. Before baby is on solid food the poop is so runny that it will wash right out in the wash. After baby starts solid food, shake the solid poop in the toilet and put the diaper in the pail.

It's a good idea to have some kind of pail liner in your diaper pail. Then you can just shake the diapers in the wash and throw the liner in with them. You can buy PUL pail liners, but I have found that making my own out of a used sheet works just as well.

If you are using cloth diapers you may as well use cloth wipes as well. In my experience the cloth wipes work a lot better than disposable wipes anyway. You can buy cloth wipes or make them or use cheap washcloths. Terry materials work the best. Flannel doesn't work well because it just smears the mess around instead of wiping it off (much like disposable wipes). You can throw your wipes in the wash with your diapers.

You can use plain water to wet your wipes or you can use a diaper wipe solution. You can buy concentrated solution that you mix with water. I have an 8 oz bottle that has lasted me more than a year.

There are several ways to store and use your wipes and solution. You can store wipes in an old disposable wipe container and pour the wipe solution or water over them. You can spray baby's bottom directly with solution or water and wipe with a dry cloth. Or you can store the wipes dry and then wet them with a squirt bottle as you use them. The last method is what I do.

After baby starts eating solid food flushable liners can help make cleaning easier. The liners are sort of like rice paper that you lay in the diaper and then when the baby poops you just lift the liner out and flush it down the toilet. If the baby doesn't poop on the liner you can let it dry and use it again or wash it with your diapers and use it again.

You may want a stay-dry liner in the diaper to wick moisture away from the baby's skin. You can buy them or you can make them by cutting up fleece from the fabric store (you don't have to sew the edges of the fleece). They can be thrown in the wash with the diapers. I used these for the first several months because I thought that it would be better for my son's skin and I thought he might be more comfortable, but as it turns out I don't think it matters. I quit using them about 10 months ago and he doesn't seem to care and it hasn't affected his skin.

If your baby is an especially heavy wetter you may need extra absorbency in your diaper. You can buy doublers that you lay in the diaper to add absorbency. When you are shopping for doublers be sure that you buy doublers and not inserts. Inserts are for going inside a pocket diaper. Sometimes doublers and inserts can be used interchangeably but in the case of something like microfiber you definitely don't want that touching your baby's skin as a doubler does.

You may want some kind of bag for storing wet diapers when you are out. You can buy wet bags made of PUL or wool or make your own. I use a wool one that I made from an old sweater. Zip lock bags work too.

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