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Friday, August 9, 2013

cloth diapers 101 - cloth mama Betsy McCartney


little guy, all-in-one Bum Genius - Photo from Elisabeth McCartney
(cutest little man ever!)

Part 5 of our Cloth Diapers 101 series, another cloth mama on the blog today!

Thanks to Elisabeth, Betsy, for sharing her tips and experience with cloth diapering. She seems to have a great system down and she started right from the beginning with her handsome boy. Hope this helps those new to cloth moms out there.

Her friend Beth gave her the coolest baby shower gift also - washing baby cloth diaper laundry for a month! Read on for more ideas.


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  • When did you start cloth diapering? 
    We started at about 2 weeks old because we had a stash of disposables from showers and the hospital. Plus my hubby did a lot of the initial changes. 

    What got you interested in cloth diapering?
     One of our neighbors (Beth Sullivan - who invited me to this group) cloth diapered her son full time and made it seem both easy and totally doable! We babysat a few times and got to see how they worked etc. Mostly I had to convince my husband! 

    How was it when you first started looking for info about cloth? Where did you get the best information from? 
    Beth gave me places to look for info and was my primary source!! We had another neighbor due shortly after I was that was very interested in cloth too so we had a few diaper discussion get togethers!

    Which Web sites, books, stores, etc. offer the best info or products about cloth? 
     I used the green mountain diapers site a lot as well as Kelly's closet. 

    Which brand of cloth diapers do you like best for your kids and why? 
    We used green mountain (gmd) prefolds and kissaluvs fitted with an assortment of covers on our newborn. Now that he's squirmy and going to daycare, we're using bumgenius for the all in one convenience factor. I have some diaper safari brand all in ones that I really like too bc I don't have to pull the inserts out for washing. BUT, I don't love the snaps as much as bumgenius. Most of our stash now is bumgenius, for the sake of having one type for hubby and daycare! I have bought a bunch of used and brand new ones on eBay. 

    What is your laundry routine for cleaning cloth diapers? 
    We do diaper laundry every other day. When we change Patrick, I pull the insert out of the bumgenius (rarely is that part dirty, but it is usually damp and gross, but better then if it sits until laundry day!!). We store our dirty diapers in a fuzzi bunz wet bag that hangs on the doorknob. It has a zipper in the bottom, so I just unzip and dump in the washer. 
    Patrick is still on solely bm, so we don't have to rinse etc. we do a cold water wash with no detergent on Xl load. Then a hot wash with additive free cloth safe detergent (depends on your water type what works best). 

    Right now we have some bumgenius detergent and some planet detergent. The hot wash is an Xl load with a second rinse cycle, the we hang covers (outside if possible) and hang or toss inserts into the dryer. 

    What is the best part about using cloth ? 
    I don't have to worry about running out of diapers or growing out of them in the middle of a giant box. I know we have a ton less trash and I think cloth in the bag doesn't smell as bad as disposables in our diaper pail. I hate the smell of disposables, Patrick always smells dirty (poopy) to me when he has a disp. on. No poopy newborn explosions in cloth!!

    What challenges have come up for you in using cloth? 
    Building up a stash is a bit pricey. As is buying newborn cloth that doesn't fit long term. Making sure the laundry gets done and dry on time. 

    Beth did our diaper laundry for a month as a baby gift, it was wonderful! Had an excuse to see her every other day briefly and one less thing to worry about while figuring out nursing etc!

    We had a bit of a rash problem that was tough to fight because most rash ointments are not cloth safe. Now we have that under control and use coconut oil with almost every change- works awesome and is cloth safe !  

    What is your advice for someone new to using cloth diapers? 
    I recommend a small stash to trial, or borrow if you can (we borrowed newborn diapers etc from Beth, awesome way to convince the hubby with no investment!). 

    Don't be daunted by the laundry, it really isn't that bad! 

    What are your how-to directions for putting on, taking off, storing, etc. cloth diapers , in simplest terms, for a first -time user? 
    Use a snappi with prefolds on a newborn. Get some fitteds, they were quick to put on like a disposable. Or use all in ones, super easy! with Velcro they go on just like a disposable or with snaps just figure out the setting for your little one!

    How often do you use cloth diapers?
    I use cloth almost exclusively even when going out, just bring a wet bag with me. My daycare provider was willing to try the cloth and it seems to be going well two weeks in! We're still early in our baby adventure (he's only 4 months) but my hubby likes the AIO compared to the prefolds we were using. He puts a disposable on if he's taking the baby out anywhere alone. At night we use a disposabke too because Patrick will sleep 10 hours and was getting a bit of a rash.

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