If my first post on cloth diapers left you hungry for more (or is that just me?!), today is your lucky day.
There is no end to the tales I could tell about our diapering adventures.
Somewhere around six months, all of Beatrice’s diapers started leaking right through her magic wool diaper covers. Maybe “leaking” isn’t the right word because nothing was actually escaping through the leg holes or the waistband, but I kept finding bum-shaped wet patches on her pants and in the crib.
At first, I thought that I had not added enough lanolin to the most recent wool wash, thereby allowing the wool covers to become too absorbent and not moisture-resistent enough. However, lanolizing the covers again did not resolve the issue.
I finally had a pretty obvious lightbulb moment when I realized why Beatrice was springing multiple leaks per day.
(1) Her mobility was rapidly increasing, leading to more time on her belly, her side, her head, up in the air … and creating a need for more expansive diaper coverage.
(2) She was still primarily wearing her amazing newborn Kissaluvs diapers because they fit perfectly size-wise, but perhaps the diapers were not intended to accommodate the output of a 6-month-old.
Knowing that Beatrice’s size 0 Kissaluvs would not fit her forever, I had been stalking craigslist for some time in search of the bigger M/L Kissaluvs diapers because I certainly could not afford to pay the $19/diaper (OMG) retail for them. Obviously, I would never stumble upon the same sort of unicorn $15-for-24-diapers deal that I had with the newborn diapers, but I was still hoping for a bargain. I found one!
I paid $60 for the diapers in the above photo, which would have cost around $140-150 new. Here’s what I got, thanks to craigslist:
– 3 M/L (15-40 lbs) organic cotton/hemp Kissaluvs fitted diapers
– 1 size 2 (10-35 lbs) organic cotton Rearz fitted diaper
– 2 one-size organic cotton Tiny Tush fitted diapers
– 2 overnight stay-dry hemp doublers
I immediately started using those giant hourglass-shaped hemp doublers in Bea’s overnight diaper and was AMAZED at the absorbency. Dry baby and dry diaper cover in the morning! The only problem was that her small overnight diapers were getting pretty tight with the extra bulk of the doubler.
I started looking for more hemp that I could use to boost the absorbency of all Bea’s diapers and found a mom selling four barely used Pooters one-size (8-40 lbs) hemp fitted diapers for $40; new would have been $64.
Each Pooters diaper has two inserts for extra absorbency and can supposedly hold 18 oz. fluid. I believe it! Even with the two inserts, there was plenty of room for that giant hemp doubler. I loaded everything up under the wool cover for overnight, and boy were those diapers heavy by morning.
Unfortunately, this system only worked for a few weeks until Beatrice’s fluid output seemingly tripled overnight! I replaced the hemp doubler with a tri-folded newborn prefold diaper topped with a stay-dry fleece liner. It’s much bulkier this way, but we’ve been leak-free for almost two months! As absorbent as the hemp doubler was, I guess there is no way around the need for multiple layers.
This is a lot of diaper for that little baby, but she gets around pretty well despite the bulk!
And with the silly wool cover on over it:
(We’ve since lowered the crib mattress because I was starting to get worried about finding a Beatrice pancake on the floor every time I went into the room.)
We had a period of about six weeks when our newborn and size small diapers fit Bea size-wise but didn’t have enough absorbency. Some shuffling of the inserts took care of that problem and got us through leak-free until she was ready for the next size.
Current State of the Diapers
Now, Bea has finally graduated from all her “baby” diapers and is fully into her “adult” cloth diaper wardrobe: the 6 fitted snap diapers from craigslist above, 6 flat diapers stuffed with prefolds, and 6 medium snapless GMD workhorse diapers (plus the 4 loaded Pooters diapers for overnight).
18 daytime diapers plus 4 overnight diapers seems like the magic number; we still wash the diapers every other night, but we have a good buffer and can manage if we need to wait an extra day to do the laundry.
We’re cycling through our three Babee Greens wool snap covers for daytime and two wool pull-on covers for night. One is the Disana cover shown above in the crib; the other is an upcycled wool cover made from a Salvation Army wool sweater, courtesy of Grammy.
The start of solid food at 6 months did necessitate one additional tweak to our laundry routine. Since Bea’s input was no longer entirely composed of liquids, neither was her output. Many parents start dunking the poopy diapers in the toilet at this point to rid them of the solids and get them ready for the washing machine. We had a different system in place and were finally able to break out our Potty Pail diaper sprayer.
We had received the sprayer as a baby shower gift along with this collapsable Spray Pal to prevent poopy splatter. If there is anything you want to prevent in your life, it is poopy splatter.
Erik and our friend Ted had installed the sprayer on our toilet back in May (almost a year ago, ahhh!) in response to my 36-weeks-pregnant pleading, and I was so grateful.
Our toilet plumbing is ancient, so installation required some special instructions. That old panic of omg-this-is-a-rental-and-we’re-not-plumbers was hovering, but Brian from Potty Pail was super helpful. He asked me to send him a photo of the toilet plumbing, and he guided us through the process of replacing the hard line with a flexible line so we could install the sprayer. It worked, and we did not need to make an emergency call to the landlord and/or plumber.
So, depending on the diaper contents, we have three options: (1) put it straight into the pail, (2) empty it into the toilet and put it in the pail with a spritz of Biokleen Bac-Out, (3) spray it off into the toilet and put it in the pail with a spritz of Biokleen Bac-Out. Sounds appetizing, right? The fact that I get so much joy out of this whole diaper process probably means there is something wrong with me, but it is SO rewarding to have a system that works.
I guess I am feeling pretty proud of myself because we have now conquered diaper mold, chronic eczema diaper rash, and mystery leaks … and I still love cloth diapering and do not feel a moment of regret for choosing this route. In fact, I probably love it more because of all the time (many, many far-too-short naptimes) I have invested in figuring it out.
Fingers crossed Bea never learns how to use the toilet :-P.