Friday, February 7, 2014

Cloth Diapering

Anюта.When I was pregnant with Arosha, I was seriously considering cloth diapering. The lack of washing machine at home made me swing to the disposables. We were buying one of the better brands for him (7th Generation), but they were disposables nonetheless and I felt a little bit guilty all the time.

Now when Anюtka was born I knew that washing cloth by hand or going every other day to the laundromat was not an option with a breastfed newborn and an active 3 year old, so we just bought old trusty 7th Generation and Earth’s Best diapers, which are also supposedly more eco-friendly than some other brands.

Anюта in her new cloth diapers.They worked fine for some time. And then, around the time my mom came, Anюta started to develop a diaper rash. It was a little red patch first, then it was getting larger, and larger and larger and in the course of two weeks all area under the diaper was red, covered in bumps and looked plain painful. We tried every remedy we could think of — aquaphor ointment, coconat oil, zinc cream, some severe diaper rash ointment, cornstarch based baby powder, huge changes in my diet, using only plain water to wash her (I used cloth wipes with water since birth for her in any case), daily bath and of course hours and hours of diaper free time daily. Nothing helped! Then I figured that she must have some kind of allergy to disposable diapers and ordered 5 cloth diapers to see if they will make any difference.

Standing reflex.I ordered them last Friday night. By the way, she woke up 6-7 times that night, screaming in pain. I was not sure what exactly was bothering her, but the rash was the prime suspect. We got the diapers on Saturday — thanks for superfast delivery! I did not have much time to do a lot of research, so I just ordered bumGenius 4.0 one size diapers. We washed them in our building’s laundromat downstairs and used them overnight. I was a little bit worried about using them for the first time at night, but it went well. The diaper leaked a little, so I had to change her clothes in the middle of the night, but the second diaper held well until morning. When I woke up, I realized that I put the diaper backwards in the evening — no wonder it did not seem very comfortable! In the darkness of the night, when I did everything without thinking, I put it on correctly. She woke up only ones that night, and we saw definite improvement in the rash after just one night.

Full set.After the second night the rash was almost gone. The skin was still in the process of healing, but switching to cloth worked like magic! Since then she had one more leak at night, so I started to use more inserts. Last night it was microfiber + bamboo + hemp/organic cotton inserts and it held from 8 to 5:30 in the morning. I hope it will continue to go well.

I ordered more diapers and inserts to see what works best for us. So far in addition to bumGenius I bought a 6 pack of Alva Baby one size pocket diapers, 1 GroVia diaper shell with two organic cotton blend soaker pads, 1 Thirsties Duo all in one diaper and 1 BabyKicks organic fitted diaper. I also got some additional Alva baby bamboo inserts, Blueberry hemp doublers and Thirsties hemp doublers. I have not tried fitted diaper yet since I don’t have a cover for it, but from the rest so far I like pocket diapers the most. All in one diaper is not as convenient to wash and it takes forever to dry. GroVia is probably nice, but I need to do a lot more washes in order to prep the pads correctly, so underperformance is kind of expected.

Standing.While my mom is here, we wash the diapers mostly by hand. It just seems easier than going to the laundromat. We dry them on the radiator cover and on a simple hanger which Danay’s mom lent us for cloth wipes drying when Anechka was born.

All in all, I am kind of excited to be switching to cloth. Diapers themselves are so much more pleasant and I feel well about using them. Of course, there is more work involved, especially in our situation of no washing machine at home. Anюta certainly likes them better — no more nasty painful rash. I hope it won’t get much harder after my mom leaves. At least we have another 1.5 months to figure everything out and to develop a good routine before she leaves.

Drying.Oh, and they make them so cute! I have to restrain myself from ordering more for the time being! I am pretty sure I will though in the future.
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