Wiping Up Baby Poop, With a Little Help From My Dog

When I started this cloth journey, I promised not to stress myself out. I’d give it a whirl, but there would always be disposable diapers and wipes in my house… guilt free! I wanted to take it slow and ease in. I knew I could use disposable wipes with my cloth diapers, and evaluate the wipe situation later. Why add any undue stress, right? Wrong.

Imagine this: You’re changing a disposable diaper, using some regular old disposable wipes, straight out of one of those facial tissue style pop up boxes. You wipe up what ever stinky mess your little one has created, putting each wipe into the soiled diaper, only to roll up the diaper (full of the used wipes and mess), fasten it closed with the hook and loops, and toss it into the trash.

Now rewind. If you stuff those same disposable wipes into a cloth diaper, they’ll end up in the washing machine with the diaper. Does that sound good? Of course not! But if you don’t… where will you put them? That’s what I wondered, as I held a poop covered wipe in one hand and my baby’s (still messy) legs in the other. I gazed over at the trash can… but that didn’t feel right either. So, after awkwardly dropping each soiled wipe into a plastic shopping bag my husband held… we made the switch to cloth wipes. And, I kept that habit of putting messy wipes into the messy diaper and rolling the whole mess up. I just toss it into a wet bag instead of a trash bag. And, on the subject of moistened wipes. Again, Pinterest and blogs and FB groups had so many different suggestions, that I felt overwhelmed. I was scared that if I used the wrong essential oil, my baby might have a reaction, or if I pre-moistened them and stored them, they’d grow mold. So, after days of hemming and hawing, I decided this was too big of a decision to make, while sleep deprived and delirious. In the meantime, I grabbed the spray bottle we used to quiet our dog when the UPS truck came, and sprayed each wipe as I needed it.

 How could a pooch this cute possibly have a behavior problem?!?
How could a pooch this cute possibly have a behavior problem?!?

That spray bottle became a staple on my changing table. And for 99 cents each at IKEA, I later bought a sea foam green TOMAT spray bottle for my diaper bag, another for the changing table downstairs, and a handful more just in case. And eventually, Chloe the Wonderdog came to fear, or quiet down, both when faced with her original pink spray bottle as well as each of the sea foam green IKEA spray bottles.

The End of Leaks

I’ve been quietly battling leaks since… well since I started this whole cloth thing. My little guy’s onesie has been wet in one (or both) of two places at some point almost every. single. day. There’s often a wet patch on his belly, right at the top of the diaper. If not, then there’s probably one around his legs. Sometimes I start undressing him to change his diaper and prematurely celebrate leak-less-ness. Then as I unsnap the dry looking onesie I feel the leg leak that I couldn’t see. Ugh.

 Another LEAK?!?#$@!!!
Another LEAK?!?#$@!!!

 

Why are there so many leaks? I’m buttoning all of the buttons! This shouldn’t be rocket science. I see baby after baby wearing cloth and looking dry online. All of these amazing moms are chatting about the cutest fabrics and who’s having a diaper sale. No one is complaining that their every day is wet and leaky… except me. And, only in my head. I want this to work so badly that I am maintaining a relentlessly optimistic attitude. 

Until recently, most of my problem solving attempts have involved shopping. “I’ll just try another brand. This one probably just isn’t a good fit for us! Or this brand… or this style…” Increasing the variety of diapers, of course, has only complicated the situation- as I can’t figure out which ones leak, if there are any patterns etc.

Two weeks ago, I got serious about getting to the bottom of this. I had the opportunity to buy someone’s entire stash of 30 pre-loved Fuzzi Bunz diapers. Now, I already had one Fuzzi Bunz Elite- and it seemed to hold up against leaks better than most of my diapers. Buying these diapers would help me eliminate several variables and get to the business of stopping leaks. So I cleaned all of the diapers and talked my husband into spending and evening adjusting elastics with me so that all of the new diapers would be exactly the same size. We separated any whose elastics might need replacing and vowed to use only diapers from this new lot until I figured out what was going on. And within just a few days, I had! There was one bump in the road (massive leak) that had me questioning if the PUL was too old and was no longer water resistant. That was quite a scare because that would mean that I had just wasted $200, and I wondered if I could justify keeping this up. But I stayed focused, put that one in the wet bag marked, “diapers that leak” and kept plugging along.

I learned some things that I was able to generalize across multiple styles and brands of diapers.

1. The leg leaks (usually minor- more like dampness) are not so much ‘leaks’ as they are a result of the cotton in the onesie doing what cotton does and wicking the liquid from the diaper. If I only snap the middle of the three snaps on the onesie, this doesn’t happen. I learned this when I posted a picture of a wet onesie to Fluff Love Photostream and asked for advice. The middle snap and slightly larger onesie advice were game changers!

2. Microfiber absorbs quickly, hemp absorbs a ton. Layering a microfiber insert on top of a hemp insert is a great strategy. It hasn’t failed me yet and I’ve been using that combination consistently for several days now. Next, I’m going to try charcoal inserts and another fabric called Zorb. I was expecting much too much from my pile of trim microfiber inserts. Now that I’m using them with a hemp doubler though- I am happy and my baby is dry.

 

Everything I Know About Cloth, I Learned From Facebook

Following along Fluff Love & CD Science and RI Cloth Diaper Support led me to some interesting discoveries.

1. I am not alone. Turns out everyone in the world (except for everyone I know) is a cloth diaper enthusiast.

2. Facebook is not just a way to keep in touch with friends and be surprised at who else knows someone you know. You can learn TONS there.

3. Facebook groups have files.  SO many amazing files to read and learn from.

4. I can learn about things other than cloth diapering. I joined a Respectful Sleep Training training group, a Breastfeeding Support Group and others. I have truly been supported.

5. People buy, sell and trade their cloth diapers ALL THE TIME. When you buy someone’s diapers, you might be able to meet them and actually KNOW someone else who cloth diapers.

6. Cloth diapering can be used as a verb! I had no idea!

7. I put my first cloth diaper on Kade backwards. I only knew because I posted a picture to Fluff Love Photostream (another awesome group) and another member let me know… in such a kind way! It was a GDiaper. Now I know that the G goes in the back;)

8.  An online language: A WAHM is a work at home mom. ISO means in search of. Your LO is your little one. And if you buy used, EUC means excellent used condition and VGUC means very good used condition.

9. Diapers hold their value better than cars!

10. Skittle farts are a real thing. Your LO can fart like skittles too if you use Tide & Gain Apple Mango Tango to wash his diapers.