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Cloth diapers & cloth baby wipes
Yes, Folks, we cloth diaper. It isn't as hard as you would think. And yes, I know we are using more water and electricity when we cloth diaper, but to us that is better than using disposables that will sit in the landfills for years and years. I will say that we did use disposables when Clucky was in the NICU for four weeks (and for the next three days when we got home since that is how many disposables the hospital gave us to take home). There are enough things to worry about when your kid is in the NICU, so we had no problem using disposables. Besides, at 2 lbs 15 oz, I don't think there is a cloth diaper small enough.
What I've found with all of my cloth diaper research, is everyone has a different opinion on what works and what you should use/do. What I have found is that what works for some, doesn't work for others. My best advice if you want to cloth diaper, is to find the type of diaper and routine that works best for you and your family. (And if you find out you don't like cloth, or the type of diaper you chose, there is a great used/secondary market for cloth diapers - they re-sell really well).
We personally love the gDiaper system. It seems as if people either love gDiapers or hate them. We are gDiaper lovers. We use the covers, which are made out of 100% cotton, and the little pouches, which are 100% nylon. We do have some of the biodegradable inserts, which come in very handy when camping or on vacation so we don't have to do diaper laundry in a strange washing machine. For every day use, what we use as the actual diaper are organic cotton prefolds from Green Mountain Diapers. We passed on the gCloth inserts since they are rather pricey, and we heard such good things about prefolds.
We also use cloth baby wipes. We bought a variety of flannel, terry, bamboo, and sherpa wipes from various Etsy sellers. They are super easy to use. We have a repurposed disposable wipes container about 1/3 full of water and to it we add couple squirts of Burt's Bees Baby Bee Shampoo & Wash. That is our wipes solution. We keep a stack of wipes nearby, and when we need one, we wet it and wash Clucky's bum. The wipes get tossed in the wet bag (from Monkey Foot Designs) along with the diapers, and they all get washed together.
Sadly, we have gone away from using our homemade laundry detergent. It wasn't recommended for cloth diapering. Instead we have found another great laundry detergent that is cloth diaper and eco friendly: Rockin' Green Laundry Detergent. We use the Hard Rock, since we have hard water. We use it on all of our laundry, not just the cloth diapers. Oh and we have a top loader HE machine, and it gets our diapers clean.
When we have to use diaper rash cream on Clucky, which is not very often, we use Grandma El's diaper cream. It looks just like the lanolin that moms use when they are nursing. It is safe for our cloth diapers, safe for Clucky, and it works really well!
Cloth diapering isn't for everyone, and neither is the system that we use, but it is one way that we do our part to help Planet Earth. P.S. It saves a lot of money too!!
Dryer balls are a much nicer (to the environment) way to dry your clothes versus dryer sheets. Dryer balls made out of natural fibers (wool, alpaca) are even nicer than those loud, clunky plastic ones you find in stores. We are attempting to make our own dryer balls out of alpaca fiber, but it is an on-going experiment. Meanwhile, we have purchased some from a wonderful Etsy seller, CleanSypria. She makes them out of wool yarn, and they come in a wide variety of colors. We have the natural (creamy white) colored ones, and quite a few of them I might add. They work wonders, and they have definitely eliminated a lot of drying time.
We also use zJayne's dryer pillows to add a hint of lavender to our laundry. She makes these out of old t-shirts!
We use reusable cloth napkins, paper towels, and facial tissue. We have purchased them from a number of sellers on Etsy. We especially like Love For Earth's reusable napkins, and Ecoellie's unpaper towels (which we also use for blowing our noses! Much softer when we have colds during the winter . . . our noses don't get so raw!)
When going to the grocery store we bring our reusable grocery bags. We also bring along Love For Earth's reusable net produce bags. They are a wonderful alternative to those thin, hard to open plastic bags and twist ties from the store.
Our Homemade Laundry Detergent
- 1 bar (approx 4 oz) grated soap (you can use a laundry soap like Fels-Naptha, or a cold-process hand made soap)
- 1 cup Borax (20 Mule is what we use)
- 1 cup Washing Soda (not Baking Soda)
Mix together with a spoon for about 5 min. in a container that has a lid. It should be well mixed.
We have a HE (high efficiency) washer and we use 1 tablespoon of powder for an average or large sized load. Smaller loads we use about 3/4 tablespoon.
This recipe is very easy to double, and all the ingredients should be easily found in the laundry & soap aisle of your local supermarket.