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Thursday, August 8, 2013

cloth diapers 101 - cloth mama Erin Lynch

(All photos from Erin Lynch)

This is part 4 of our Cloth Diapers 101 series, giving you tons of information about how cloth diapers work. Erin is our first mom of several who shared their expertise with me. I'll be featuring a few awesome cloth moms over the next week or so. Hope this helps some of you!

I loved hearing from Erin right away since in my inbox she wrote that she'd stopped using cloth diapers full time due to the stinky messy poops. This came on the day that I almost gave up my cloth experiment altogether feeling like I was going to throw up in my bathroom because of the messiest poop my daughter has ever done. Erin made me feel less weird and weak! Pregnant with her second child, she has learned some things that will help her cloth the second time around. Thanks to Erin for sharing her ideas about cloth diapering. 


When did you start cloth diapering?
I started when Ozzy was around 1 month, that's when the cloth diapers I had began to fit. But this time around I will start right from the start with some 2nd hand newborn ones I got from a girlfriend.

I think the earlier you start the better. It would be really hard to start it after a few months, you just get so used to the convenience of a disposables. So starting right from the beginning would be another suggestion. I also use Grovia, and Bum genius cloth diapers, both of which I liked. I just liked Happy Heiny the best.

Where do you buy your cloth diapers?
Online directly from the company's website (for Grovia and bum genius) and then from the warehouse for Happy Heiny, which is here in San Diego. And then I got some secondhand ones from other moms. I know a few ladies who have used too but I never have.
What got you interested in cloth diapering? 
All the stories of how many diapers you go through, how expensive they are, how non-biodegradable, how they sit in landfills forever, how cute the cloth diapers were, a lot of my mama friends were planning on doing it, all these things influenced and inspired me to give it a go.

How was it when you first started looking for info about cloth? Where did you get the best information from?
There is tons of info out the internet for cloth diapering and tons of different brands, I started researching it when I was pregnant. I also went to some local cloth diapering forums and asked other moms I knew were doing it, how and what to do.

Which Web sites, books, stores, etc. offer the best info or products about cloth?   
I don't really have any BEST of websites or anything, I just did a lot of googling.

I think the experience is slightly different for everyone and everyone does it a little differently. Other moms were my biggest help, just asking them questions. 

Which brand of cloth diapers do you like best for your kids and why? 

My favorite cloth diapers are Happy Heinys, they're made here in San Diego. They are inserts, super soft, and I've found they fit Ozzy best and were easiest to clean.

What is your laundry routine for cleaning cloth diapers? 

For pee, pull out insert, stick diaper in wetbag until laundry, which is every other day.

For poop, bring diaper to toilet, use daper sprayer to spray poop into toilet, stick diaper in wetbag until laundry.

A DIAPER SPRAYER IS A MUST for me with cloth diapering! (about $40 on Amazon). The diaper sprayer just hooks to your toilet and you get the hang of using the sprayer pretty quickly (so poop doesn't go everywhere).

I wash them with cold water, two cycles, seventh generation detergent and/or RocknGreen cloth diaper detergent if we have any (love that stuff) and then I line dry them.

Drying with the sun definitely helps with the stink. I know that's more difficult in colder/darker climates.

Once dry you have to reinsert the pads in the diaper, this is just part of folding laundry for me, no big deal. I would just store them in a basket next to the changing table.

Despite stopping using cloth for a while with your first, why do you intend to use them with your second? Anything you think you'll do differently the second time around to make it go smoother or easier?

Really I stopped not just because the poops were getting bigger with my toddler but we also moved and I left my diaper sprayer at the other house, things just got chaotic and we got out of the flow. Sometimes we still cloth at home, especially if I'm running low on disposable.

It takes some commitment and getting used to it but it really is easy once you get the hang of it, you save SO much money. 

I'd say the initial investment is around $150 for set of cloth diapers, diaper sprayer, wet and dry bags but it is so much less than buying disposable. They are cute. And I like that I'm not adding so much to all the waste that potentially comes along with having a little one. With the my second I'll start at newborn and have some more diapers (maybe 20 total).

What is your advice for someone starting out with cloth diapers?

There are so many different kinds and brands, just pick one and stick to it.

It will become a habit sooner than you think and you'll find your way. Sort of like breastfeeding for me. Stick to it and you'll be really glad you did. 

Buy a diaper sprayer, make it a team effort, buy cute and fun diapers!

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