Monday, January 24, 2011

I've died and gone to diaper heaven ...

It's finally happened--I feel as if I've been inducted into the cloth diapering land of luxury. With baby Aurelia turning 5 months old this week, it feels like a timely reward to finally have some gorgeous diapers of our own just in time for her to start rice cereal soon. Although I've no idea what to expect come solids, I feel like having nice diapers will make a less pleasant diapering experience all the more bearable and enjoyable!

As I mentioned at the onset of this blog, we have been doing cloth diapers from day one--without having to purchase barely anything. To be more specific, I did not purchase a single diaper, liner, or cover. We did buy a trash can from Walmart to use as our diaper pail, and I bought two college-style laundry sacs from Dollarama to serve as bin liners. We were so fortunate to have people think of us for all their CDing hand-me-downs, cast-offs and (yes!) even experiments. Since barely anyone we know cloth diapers, I was the recipient of many generous offers that my 'sposie-using counterparts would have turned their nose up at. My neighbour was kind enough to give us an entire mass of diapers (30+) in various sizes from a cousin-in-law who had sewn them herself. I know no other details about how or why she sewed these, but they looked barely or gently-used if anything when I received them. I wondered if she had made them for herself but didn't need them all, or perhaps had made the first batch or two as a trial basis for making better ones and selling them later on. Whatever the case, though not anywhere near the quality of the diapers you can order online nowadays, these diapers got us through meconium, newborn night changes, and even a more heavy-wetting stage. Made from all flannel (with a cotton/terry liner laid inside), however, these fitted dipes weren't the best in terms of absorbancy. I've been battling diaper rash with Aurelia on-and-off since day 1 and only now is it occuring to me that the construction of these diapers wasn't exactly optimal, though it did "do the trick".

The other thing I've been realizing is that I was not laundering these properly in my front loading machine. I was doing the best I instinctively thought I knew how to, but after much more research (and some friendly tips from you folks!), I now realize that I was (1) using too little water (2) using the wrong kind of soap (liquid Cheer, though fragrance free) (3) using a washing machine filled with soap buildup issues of its own and (4) using vinegar as fabric softener (with hard water). Apparently this is a no-no! Suffice to say, our diapers got the stinkies, got stained, and got a little sad looking. The velcro on them is fuzzed out of control, and the flannel is pilled and pulled. Without professional grade aplix, you've gotta believe me when I say that our diaper chains were out of control!

Still, I am thankful for the opportunity I had to "learn" my way through cloth diapering on diapers that were a little more forgiving than your average gorgeous new PUL constructs. I see it a little like learning to drive on my hand-me-down 1977 Plymouth from DH's Opa--I could drive into all the snowbanks and pillars I wanted (okay, only 2 pillars! Ha!) without so much as a scratch on that steel beast, whereas now I cruise carefully around in my delicate hatchback, knowing how to maneuvre my way through anything, even our ghastly northern ice and snow. Cloth diapering has been like that. Though no "expert" by any means, I now consider myself at least slightly "in the know" when it comes to using, selecting, and caring for my new CDs, so hopefully I can really make them last.

That being said, a little over a week ago, I went and bought myself some brand new KaWaii Baby diapers with a little pocket money that I had. For $78, I got 11 gorgeous pocket diapers with double as many microfibre inserts (wow! Talk about absorbancy!), PUL shells, square-tabbed snap closures, and microfleece insides. I can't believe just how absorbant, leak-free, well-fitting, and DRY these stay on baby. I've been using them for about 4 days now, and Aurelia has not a touch of redness or rash left. I regret not taking the plunge sooner, but truly had no idea what I was missing out on.

In laundering them, I've found out how to "trick" my washer into inputting more water, I've switched over to powdered Country Save soap (just the slightest amount of it, too), I've learned the bleaching power of the sun for a stain, and I'm finally rid of those blasted diaper chains.

I feel like I've died and gone to diaper heaven :) I feel that this could be the beginning of a new love affair!

For anyone out there who is still on the fence about CDing or who finds that it somehow is not working for you, I'd love to start up a dialogue with you (feel free to use the comments section!). I feel that I've come a long way in only 5 months and would be eager to discuss some of the finer details of my experience. Also, for those of you who are long time cloth diaperers, I'd also love to hear from you in the comments down below. What else do I have yet to learn about CDing? How will my strategy have to change once baby starts solids? Flushable liners? Diaper sprayers? Where do I go from here?

Additionally--one last little announcement here--as a shout out to KaWaii Baby diapers and to those of you who've never experienced the greatness of this terrific little affordable brand of diapers (they start at under $7 each!), I'll be giving away a KaWaii Pure & Natural diaper when our blog hits 100 followers. I'm hoping we get there this week. So keep watch, and help us spread the word :)

Can't wait to hear from you guys!

-Lisa

8 comments:

Leasha said...

This is so great to hear! I am jhust about to send in my order for my KaWaii diapers!!

Cloth Diaper Contests said...

@Leasha: I did get four different styles to try, but my favorite is the Original Square Tab Snap diapers (I mostly got those).

The Goodnight Heavy Wetter (snap) also works great though!

The elcro ones and the Pure & Natural have smaller pocket openings and I don't like the inside lining as much (less fleecy, less stay-dry)

Enjoy!! :)

Lisa

Beth @ Sand To Pearl said...

Oh, don't buy disposable liners, they are SO expensive, you might as well just buy cheap diapers. I actually cut up some old fleece and use that as a liner, it works great, it's easy to get the mess out of, and it keeps the diapers "cleaner" (does that make sense, like the diapers get less stains and such). Really it cost nothing (they were scraps) and they work fantastically. We've had disposable liners, they are really nice for going out and stuff, but really, not worth the price

Cloth Diaper Contests said...

@Beth: Thanks for the tip! So is that just regular fleece from the fabric store, or some type of special brand of fleece, or "micro" fleece, etc. Do the edges fray at all, or can you leave them "unfinished"?

Leasha said...

I got some of the Super soft cross over tabs and some goodnight heavy wetters! I'm SO exicted to try them.

.:karen:. said...

I hear such great things about the Kawaii diapers. I got one to try for my April-due #2. We started into this world with large g's and cloth trainers for our Potty-learned 2 yo (about to be 3 in 2 weeks!) So I'll be starting my learning curve with poopy diapers etc in a few months. Eeek!

Beth @ Sand To Pearl said...

I use regular fleece, because that's what was around my house, but you can also use micro fleece, both work fantastically, and neither will fray.
Oh, and I gave you an award: http://sandtopearl.blogspot.com/2011/01/sweet-award.html

The Trophy Wife said...

We use Fuzzibunz onesize. I really don't like velcro on anything, so I really wanted diapers with snaps. As for solids...it's great. Solids don't stick to microfiber. And when it's peanut buttery...it's easy to spray off with the shower head (or diaper sprayer).