Wednesday, November 6, 2013

School of Cloth Week #1 - Getting Started with Cloth Diapers

I am excited for the first post for the School of Cloth blog hop hosted by the Read Diaper Association and The Eco Chic!  This week we are talking about getting started with cloth diapers, specifically selecting what diapers you want in your stash and washing your diapers.

Choose Which Cloth Diapers to Buy

When I started cloth diapering I wanted to try one of everything I could get my hands on.  I asked friends what they liked, researched online and just made some random selections.  Within the first few months that I used cloth diapers I had tried out 13 different diapers.  After trying out mostly pockets, all in ones, and all in twos, I also tried out prefolds, covers and even made some fitteds for my new baby.  After all  of my personal trials and research I have decided that I really like to have a variety but for ease I definitely prefer all in one diapers (if you want it narrowed down a bit, check out my suggestions for if you have a $200, $400 and $600 budget.)

Washing Cloth Diapers

After choosing what diapers to buy, washing diapers is probably one of the most searched, asked and questioned part of cloth diapers.  Behind waste disposal, the wash routine is probably one of the most frightening and overwhelming part of starting to cloth diaper.  I did a lot of research before starting and was overwhelmed by the amount of information and misinformation presented.

I have been cloth diapering my girls now for 8 months and I think that has been long enough to trouble shoot any washing problems that have come up.  Back in July I posted my washing routine and since then I would say that for the most part the core components have remained the same. 

Some of the things that I have learned since then include:

1.  I have two girls in cloth and plenty of diapers so I was washing every three days.  I noticed that my diapers were not getting as clean and I think the biggest problem was that I was washing too many diapers at once.  I switched to washing every other day (making it so that I am washing about 18 diapers a load) and noticed a significant improvement.  I will admit though that I don't always fold them after each wash, but sometimes combine two washes when I fold my diapers.
2. For my first two cycles (the one to wet them and the warm rinse cycle) I now turn off the spin for both cycles to be able to maximize the weight and trick my machine into using more water for the wash.

I think my biggest lesson though is that if you follow the general structure of the guidelines and basic principles of washing diapers and are able to be flexible and experiment with what works with your machine, water and detergent, then you can develop a successful wash routine.

Buying and washing diapers can be overwhelming in the beginning, but once you get started it is very easy, I actually look forward to doing my diaper laundry  now and seeing the rainbow of fun diapers we have :).

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