Wednesday, January 14, 2009

New Year, New Beginnings...

Check out the diaper bum on little Cam... that's right -it's official.

We have went cloth folks!

My mom and dad are fairly convinced that I am going to scare off any help I have by taking on this new endeavor - but seriously - it's going great! And, thankfully, BLESS THOSE VOLUNTEERS!!! Most of them used cloth anyhow so they are being good sports about it all =)

We are about 3 weeks into the new system and, yes, there is certainly a reason I waited to write. We had our ups and DOWNS figuring it all out for the first week or so. But that Ruth from Eastfield Laundry has been AMAZING and acutally came out to the house to give us a private tutorial on how to get 'er going - wow - night and day with a bit of practice.

Let me be the first to tell you that there is nothing fun about CHANGING FOUR BABIES OUTFITS EVERY SINGLE TIME YOU CHANGE THEIR DIAPERS.

Wow. Talk about time consuming.

But now we are pros - and we are using the most simple system ever - the one that most of our mother's or at least grandmothers used. Good old fashioned prefolds with rubber pants.

Roger that.

It's ubber cheap and it works. Period.

We tried some of the super fancy stuff but honestly like this system the best!! We have some really nice handmade cloth diapers and a bunch of different brands of the fancy smancy expensive pocket/all in one/etc. ones. But when you are diapering FOUR at a time - you don't want any additional laundry with those covers and the plastic is totally LEAK PROOF.

This is key to survival.

Plus, Eastfield Laundry - whom we LOVE because they took a chance on this whole diaper laundering thing for us - actually PICKS UP and DROPS OFF the prefolds. And even gives us these big ole pails with a awesome smelling "green" solution to dump them in and they take it from there!


Cloth is good.

And, to add to our thrifty-save-the-world campaign we are also using washclothes instead of wipes... Jeremy isn't quite THRILLED about that one, but he's being a trooper. And it is astounding how much money we have saved by changing over to reusable resources!

I honestly believe that it is not THAT much more work for us at this point - and the babies seem perfectly fine with them. We had to bump them all up a clothes size because the cloth really do take up a LOT MORE space than disposables - but no biggie there... except mommy trying to do the clothes swap/put away again. Holy toledo!

I will say that I think this cloth diaper cover thingy has a lot of room for improvement, though. And I KNOW that everybody and their brother has come up with their own system! But, seriously... doing 4 at a time has given us a pretty good idea of what works and what clearly does NOT because we have very little tolerance for the latter. We want plastic pants with velcro closure. That's it. It'd still be super economical (these fancy ones are OUTRAGEOUS!) and work with the prefolds. I have tried looking but can not seem to find anything that is still on the market like that? It looks like their USED to be, but the products are "no longer available"? Maybe it doesn't work as great as it sounds? If you know otherwise, let me know!

Here is the problem we have found with the traditional plastic pants over prefolds:

Scenario #1: You have a really wet diaper. Pretty much HAVE to touch the wetness to get at the diaper and get that elastic cover off. If you check to see that it is ONLY wet you can test your ability to get off the prefold and cover in fell swoop - after you unhook the prefold (pins or other closure). If you don't get it off all at once? You pull off cover and then have a really wet diaper sitting on your changing table/next diaper (preloading a good idea)/outfit - ick. Granted, not the end of the world - we use a prefold under them and then can just throw it in the bucket and get a new one each time if needed - but it adds to laundry.

Scenario #2: You have a dirty diaper. No option to pull everything off at once. Why? Because you will quickly find your baby's legs and feet doused in poop, folks. It is what it is. I can't think of any other way to tell you and it's repulsive. DRAGGING a poopy diaper down their legs and off just is not in the cards. So once you get the prefold un-hooked (I always do this first by reaching inside), you have to take off the cover on it's own and try not to let the dirty diaper touch the changing table/next diaper/outfit (Double EWWW!!!). If you do not just use another prefold here you are going to go through a lot of changing pads!

Anyhow, I think I just made this cloth thing sound bad - but it's really not. I'm just walking you through the two worst scenario's that we have found after using them for a month incase you are interesting in giving 'er a go! And, let's be honest, they are NOT that bad. I totally think velcro, like with a disposable, would solve 90% of these issues!! But I have yet to find an inexpensive velcro, WATERPROOF cover.


Here's some pics of our fam... enjoy!

Jeremy and the big boys when we got out sledding!

Summer Girl fell asleep sitting up watching (guess?) football with daddy...

Smiley Cam - melt your heart!

Aiden and Caleb enjoying Miss Stephanie's jello in the tub... they heard it's good for your skin? Hmmm...

And the cannibals at the end would like to thank Miss Heidi for starting up our meals again - what an enormous blessing!!! And her chicken dish made them feel so manly - getting to eat it with their HANDS and OFF A BONE!!!

What a hero you are in our house, Heidi - thanks for everything you do for us...


Kerry said...

Hi there! I used cloth for a short while with my (now) 15 year old and my 2/1/2 year old. I want to go back but my husband would KILL me (I sold all the cloth diapers/stuff when I went to work full time last year). Anyway...I LOVED these covers:

Blessings to your family :)

Jen said...

Ooh, those covers look great!

I'm excited for you that you have a diaper service! That is perfect. We are cloth diapering our youngest (sorta missed the boat with our older three) and have used washcloths as wipes too.

I just wanted to comment that I'm rooting for your clan! You guys are great!

Brenda said...

Hi! Holy cow- you are using cloth with FOUR babies? Wow!

I just wanted to comment that the most inexpensive cover that works for me are Prorap Classic. I use them almost exclusively. They have gone up a little in price even in the nine months since my son was born, but they are cheapest in bulk at Nicki's Diapers ($6.75ea if you buy 6) and singly at Jillian's Drawers ($6.95ea).

I haven't used rubber pants, but I assume they are pretty much like rubber pants with velcro. The only thing to be careful of, though, is that you shouldn't wash them in very hot water (like the laundry service might do). I did that in the beginning and the waterproof layer started flaking off. Now I just wash my covers with my regular laundry (warm wash, no fabric softener) and the covers are still good as new! Good luck!