But What About The Stinkies?

Diaper pail

Stinky shminky! I give a “meh” to the stinkies. The cloth diaper stinkies that is. Usually the cloth diaper stink refers to the ammonia smell that lingers in the diaper pail. I prefer this smell to the disposable diaper pail rotten poo smell. Is it weird to prefer one bad smell over the other?

The diaper pail I use for my cloth diapers has a little filter that allows some air flow to help keep the stinkies from partying like it’s 1999. And I know the ammonia monster is contained in the pail. It doesn’t sneak out and tap you on the shoulder like a sposie pail. There’s nothing worse than a slight cloud of stale poopy diapers in the air. Care bears need to breathe after all.

Sometimes I wonder if the things I talked about before having kids sounded this gross. Talking about snot and poo doesn’t really bother me. Puking might be another story. But luckily I haven’t had to deal with that yet. Oh wait, there was that time I had to pull over and let my husband puke out of the car. I was hoping I’d forget that sound.

If you are reading my blog for the first time and these things gross you out, I hope I haven’t scared you away.

So as I was saying, “pheeewwie!” I’ve tried all the stripping tricks I know of to combat the ammonia smell. I’ve soaked them in Rockin’ Green, Charlie’s Soap, done multiple washes with no soap, added bleach (which is generally a no no), tea tree oil, dawn, and I always add extra water to the cycle and do extra rinses. The good news is my diapers always smell fresh and clean after each wash. They only smell like ammonia after sitting in the pail a few hours or when Clara wakes up in the morning with a diaper that probably weighs 10 pounds. I suppose it could be worse. Some people say they smell ammonia as soon as their baby wets. Luckily I don’t have that problem.

I have a few theories as to why my diapers might get that smell. Perhaps the free and clear laundry detergent we use for the rest of our laundry leaves a residue in the washer, finding its way into the cloth diapers. Perhaps the very hard water with a lot of minerals affects the diapers. Perhaps my HE front loader washer doesn’t clean/rinse as well as our old top loaders since less water is used.

Either way, I still give a “meh” to the stinkies. It doesn’t grind my gears and it’s really the only complaint I have about cloth diapering. What works for you to get rid of the sshtinkies? I’d love some ideas!

My Favorite Everyday Cloth Diaper

BumGenius Elemental AIO

Raindrops on roses and cute baby tushies. Bright colored diapers without any mushies. Velcro or snappis and inserts with wings. These are a few of my favorite things.

Thanks to the Green Bambino in Oklahoma City, I have quite a buffet of cloth diapers. From diapers made with microfiber to polyester to wool to organic cotton to PUL to terry cloth…with features such as pockets for extra absorbency, inner gussets, nano technology, and quick dry fleece..the list goes on and on. I personally have 18 varieties/brands of diapers in my stash. There are only a couple diapers that I tend to pass over. The rest of them compete very well with each other.

I love using different brands. There are so many cute styles and different features that it keeps it fun and interesting. Who knew diapering could be so fun?! If I absolutely have to pick a favorite for everyday wear, it would be the BumGenius Elemental with organic cotton.

Here are some reasons why I like the BumGenius Elemental:

It’s an All-in-one: I really love AIO’s. They are just so much easier to deal with altogether. No stuffing, unstuffing, or getting inserts mixed up. They’re just as easy as using a disposable. My dad said it best when he was babysitting Clara one day. “If you have these kind of diapers, why would you use disposables?” He was amazed at modern cloth diapers.

The Fit:  The fit is snug but breathable and very trim. Clara is 15 months right now and at her size, it fits about the same as a disposable would. She still has so much room to grow in it too. Although I love a bubbly cloth diaper bum, her pants fit the same as it would with a sposie. It doesn’t cause issues with leaking or blowouts since it fits her little tush, waist, and legs so perfectly.

The material: The organic cotton is super duper soft. The smoothness also keeps the poopies from getting ingrained into the cotton, which makes dumping and/or spraying easier.

The quality: This feels like a well made diaper that will last forever.

I haven’t tried using this diaper at night. Since there is not a pocket to stuff inserts for extra absorbency, I’m not sure it would last all night long. I’d rather stick with what I know works for my nighttime routine. I don’t want to take any chances on her waking up from a wet diaper. Stay tuned for a post on my favorite nighttime diapers.

Getting Started With Cloth Diapers

Diapers drying in the sun

A friend who is planning to cloth diaper asked me to send her some information about cloth diapering. I thought I’d share what I wrote…

Personally, I like the All-in-ones the best because you don’t have to do any unstuffing before the wash or stuffing after drying. They are a little more expensive, but totally worth it. I think the best thing to do is have a mix of brands because you’ll find that you prefer certain ones at different times/stages and it’s nice to have a variety. My favorite AIO’s are BumGenius Elemental with snaps, Grovia AIO with snaps, Bummis Easy Fit, Kissaluv Marvels, and Tailfeathers. Bummis and Kissaluvs have an option to add an insert for extra absorption at night for example.
Another diaper that I really like using is the Flip by BumGenius with snaps, also very economical. These are a cover with multiple inserts(usually 3 per cover)that you just lay in the diaper cover. So… you can use the same cover multiple times before washing and just replace the insert. These absorb really well.
I have some fuzzi bunz and rumparooz and others… since you have to stuff/unstuff these with inserts, they are just more of a pain… and whatever can make your life easier, the better. You might try a couple though just to see what you think.

All of these diapers that I mentioned are meant to last from newborn to potty training because they are adjustable in size. I didn’t start with/learn about cloth until Clara was about 5 months, so I don’t know what they are like on newborns. I have some friends that use them w/ newborns and they certainly are bulky… but cute!! I think some brands have diapers specifically for newborns. Rumparooz has Little Joeys for example. I would probably use disposables until the umbilical cord falls off though, or at least until the black meconium poo has passed-probably a few days. The disposables we have used and prefer are Earth’s Best. They don’t have any fragances or chemicals etc. like pampers and huggies.

Here are some essentials:

Diaper pail: mine doesn’t have a flip top lid that you can just step on and I wish it did!

Diaper pail liner: Planet wise are awesome (get 2 so you can use one while washing the other)

Wet bag: It’s a smaller bag for nursery/changing table or for the diaper bag. I use rumparooz brand and it works great. I keep my diaper pail in the bathroom, so I just hang it on a dresser nob and transfer the dirty diapers to the pail at the end of the day.

Flushable liners: thin liners to put in the diaper so you can dump the poo 🙂 probably not necessary if you are exclusively breastfeeding because that poo is okay to slosh in washer; haha… and it doesn’t smell bad! But when baby starts solids, they are very handy!

Diaper sprayer: attaches to the toilet and great for spraying off those extra messy ones so you don’t have to dunk. 🙂

Cloth wipes: I just put mine in a tupperware with water once a day. If you are washing diapers, why not wash wipes too?! They are better for baby’s skin and then you don’t have to worry about having a trash can to throw the wipes in separate from the diaper pail.

Cloth-diaper-safe rash cream: sometimes you or baby eats something that can cause diaper rash… grovia magic stick- awesome!! Just put on as a preventive at each change. Smells like a spa 🙂 It’s extremely important not to use regular pasty rash cream or anything with petroleum because it will RUIN your diapers… If you have to use some desitin or something strong, use a disposable until the rash has gone away. You can get Angel Baby Bottom Balm from central market which is safe for cloth diapers.

Diaper-safe detergent: this is also very important. You can’t use regular laundry detergent with your diapers or it will ruin them and cause stink and absorbency issues from build up… The most commonly used with cloth are Charlie’s soap and Rockin Green. Use only a small amount because too much detergent can cause build up. ***important, do a cold pre wash with no detergent, then a hot wash with detergent, add extra water to the cycle if you can, and I also do another extra rinse to make sure everything is washed out. My diaper wash cycle routine takes about 2 hours. It sounds like a lot of water… and probably is, but we haven’t noticed any increase in our water bill and it’s a very important part of the process so your diapers work and last for years. You can dry most diapers in the dryer, but it’s nice to hang them out to bleach in the sun from time to time.

There’s a lot to learn about “modern” cloth diapering… very different from what our parent’s experienced. Once you get the hang of it, it’s really easy and so much better than having to go out and buy disposables all the time. Plus, you know you’re not exposing your baby to any chemicals etc…

Watch Out For Flying Poop Particles!

Toilet Sprayer
Toilet Sprayer
Toilet Sprayer

So I bought a Bum Genius diaper sprayer and installed it all by myself. I watched some helpful youtube videos beforehand to get a visual. I must say I’m so glad I came across a demo of someone trying the sprayer for the first time and spraying poop all over the bathroom… because that would definitely have happened to me.

For reals though, in order to get the smooshy poo out of the diaper that makes it into the crevices, you have to put it on full blast and there just ain’t no way of gettin’ outta there without droplets flying everywhere. Weee!! Splat!! I feel bad for the droplets, but I suppose it’s their destiny. Better to end it quick then to sit and stew in a diaper genie all week I guess.  Anyhoo, I tell myself that the bits of water that land on my legs are only water and not poop. “Julie, the bits of water that land on your legs are only water and not poop.” That’s what I tell myself. And I feel cleaner.

Now have you ever tried spraying a cloth wipe? Well, if your baby did a really messy job and has been crawling and bouncing around in it for more than 5 minutes, then let’s just say your cloth wipe is going to feel important. The only thing is, you can’t really spray a wipe. The force of the sprayer would send it flying across the room. Weeee!!! Glop!! So, it’s dunk time. But then it’s so saturated with mud water that when you put it into the diaper pail, you just hope that the drops (not dropLETS because they’re quite a bit more substantial) don’t land on the bathmat for you to step in later when you’re wearing socks. You see, stepping in an unsuspecting wet spot with socks on is just really annoying, especially when you know there could be a tiny bit of poopage in it.

So, am I glad I bought a diaper sprayer? Yes. With a little practice and technique on a good day, the benefit far outweighs the cost. Plus, it can be used for other things… as a bidet (not that I’ve ever used one before), or as an extra shower wand since it’s close enough to the bathtub, or even to spray someone in the face as a practical joke. I don’t know.

Fireworks In Your Pants

Lil’ C is not a quiet pooper. It sounds like fireworks are going off in her diaper. As a newborn, sometimes the poopage made its way through the diaper, through her onesie, and on to me. In fact, one time it actually got on the arm chair. Many of her outfits have little brown stains on the back from major blowouts. So much for pampers and huggies. 7th Generation and Earth’s Best contained her fanfares pretty well though. I finally made the transition to cloth diapers a few months ago. From what I’ve heard about the new fancy shmancy diapers, blowouts are minimized depending on the brand of diapers… and your own baby’s brand for that matter. 😉 I bought a multi-pack from The Green Bambino in Oklahoma City and I must say, we haven’t had any blowouts yet with any of the brands!

While I’m on the train to poopville, I might as well tell you a story from when she was a newborn. It was bath time. I undressed her on the bed and carried her ten long feet to the bath tub when all of the sudden she started to pee. I was inches away from the tub and just stood there frozen as pee dribbled down my shirt, pants, and legs. All the while she was just smiling away. Why didn’t I think fast and move her a few more inches to make it into the tub? After bath, I hurriedly jumped in the shower to wash off while Daddy held her in his lap. As I was drying off I heard a call of distress from the living room. “Jubers! Bring me a towel!” This time, it wasn’t just pee…