Stripper in Training (More Adventures in Cloth Diapering)

I always knew I’d be a stripper.  My friend Jamie and I used to joke about this in college. In fact, we ever so BRIEFLY adopted the nicknames Flip and Strip (I was Flip) amongst our little group of freshman year friends because we thought we were that cool.  Little did we know, that we would both grow up to be responsible Moms who cloth diaper. And with cloth diapering, it is only a matter of time before you take the plunge and perform your first act of STRIPPING!

DEFINITION: The definition of “stripping” diapers is to remove build-up- whether it be from detergent, diaper cream, fabric softener or hard water mineral deposits- in order to solve stink or absorbency issues. Stink can involve one of two things: 1) burn your nose ammonia stinkies (my personal nemesis) or 2) a barnyard or fishy smell.

SYMPTOMS

Ammonia stinkies are the result of the breakdown of the urea in urine into ammonia. Actually, one of the main reasons we pee is to get rid of ammonia, which is toxic in large quantities. So it makes sense that anything urine-soaked will smell like ammonia after some time.  I typically wash on the 2nd or 3rd day and really notice a strong ammonia smell in my pail if I let it go to day #3.  Some folks experience the ammonia smell immediately after their child urinates in the cloth diaper or for diapers worn overnight. This is really a problem because it can lead to a chemically burned baby bottom.  In this case, the cause is usually detergent build-up. The solution- stripping with one of the methods mentioned below.

Barnyard stinkies, which I have been fortunately NOT to experience occurs when a diaper comes out of the wash looking clean but comes out of the dryer smelling fishy or like poop.  The cause is usually bacteria build-up from the diapers not getting clean enough. You are likely not using enough detergent to get the diapers clean or using the wrong wash cycle for your load . You want to make sure you use the highest water setting available and set it to really agitate those diapers.  It is also important to realize that no detergent will sanitize your diapers.  The manufacturers of my Bum Genius diapers recommend adding bleach 1x/month. In addition, I spray BioKleen bac out stain and odor eliminator on my poopy dipes before throwing them in the pail to combat the bacteria. Some people prefer to use biokleen in a prewash or presoak. Both work well.

Absorbency problems occur when buildup prevents the urine from absorbing through to the insert. Instead it is repelled and results in a dry insert and a wet baby. Not fun! Repelling often occurs from build up of non-cloth diaper approved diaper creams or detergents  (see list @ Pin Stripes and Polka Dots) or fabric softener build up. It is a no, no to use fabric softener on cloth diapers. I always used fabric softener in the wash cycle when I washed our clothes and a dryer sheet in the dryer when we dried them.  I have stopped both practices since cloth diapering as the residue in your washer and dryer can have a negative affect on your diapers.  The solution is one of the stripping methods listed below.

METHODS OF STRIPPING

For all methods, start with clean diapers.

Hot Water Stripping

Solution for: detergent build-up

Instructions: This is perhaps the easiest method if it works for you. Turn up your hot water heater to the highest setting. Fill washing machine with hot, hot water. Add a pot of boiling water if need be. Run through wash cycle and follow with a warm rinse if that option is available on your washer. If there is detergent build-up, you will see suds during the wash and/or rinse cycle despite the fact that you added no detergent. Keep performing hot water rinses until suds are no longer visible in the final rinse cycle.

Blue Dawn Strip

Solution for: build-up of detergent, fabric softener or diaper cream

Instructions: Go to the store and find the original blue Dawn.  I thought this was an easy enough task until I saw a lot of blog comments that folks had to go to the Dollar store in order to obtain this.  Why was mine so readily available at HEB? Then, I looked more closely at my bottle and saw that it was ultra-concentrated. Could explain why it took so many rinses my first strip.  Now, I just use less, but if you can get your hands on the original scent, original concentration, it is best.

Method A: Fill washer to highest level w/ the hottest water you have. Add boiling water if need be. Add about a tablespoon of Blue Dawn. Keep running hot water washes or rinses if available until suds are no longer visible in the final rinse cycle. It took me 8 cycles my first strip. 8! Yikes! That is a lot of water.

Method B: Fill bathtub with diapers and hot, hot water. Add boiling water if need be. Let them soak until diapers are cool enough to handle then agitate them with a stick. Then grab a short bristled brush and scrub the inside of each pocket diaper.

I then take the microfiber inserts only and boil them in a pot of water. Yes, I later use this pot (cleaned of course) to cook pasta. A little disconcerting. Do not make the mistake of boiling your pocket diapers. It can cause irreparable damage to the PUL material. Our first strip, before I knew it was an approved method, my husband Dean recommended boiling the diapers. I thought this was genius. Fortunately, I googled it as he was adding inserts and dipes to the water and rescued the diapers before they melted. That is what we call a near miss. Phew! But kudos to my hubby for helping me. You will see lots of bubbles in your pot from the blue Dawn and any detergent build-up.  Then, throw everything back in the washer and perform hot water wash/rinses until suds are no longer visible in the final rinse cycle. It usually takes me only 2-3 cycles.

Calgon Strip

Solution for: mineral build up from hard water

Instructions: Calgon is a water softening agent. I have yet to test this method even though I think my main problem is mineral build up from our notoriously hard TX water. The reason- it is hard to find. Word on the street is that it is found in the laundry aisle next to the bleaches and stain eliminators. I have yet to find it in the Austin HEB, Target or Wal-Marts but will continue to be on the look out. Mineral build up can prevent even a good cloth diaper friendly detergent from rinsing clean and cause the above mentioned stink or absorbency issues.  To put the Calgon to the test, fill the washing machine to the highest water level with hot, hot water. Add Calgon. It seems the general rule of thumb is half the recommended amount for top loaders, 1/4 for front loaders. Keep running hot washes/rinses until the final rinse cycle is suds free. Some Moms use calgon occasionally in their wash as a preventative method.

RLR strip:

Solution for: mineral build up from hard water

Instructions: The process is the same as for the Calgon strip. Just follow the instructions on the RLR package. I have yet to test this method also, but it is on my to do list.

Fish Ammonia Neutralizer Soak:

Solution for: ammonia stinkies not responding to any of the above methods

Instructions: This is perhaps the strangest solution I have seen. I think I read all 35 pages of commentary on the Ammonia is Gone! post on Baby Center.  The chemistry is complex but there is some speculation that the combination of urea converting to ammonia and chlorine naturally occurring in most tap water is causing the vicious cycle of ammonia stinkies. And so when all stripping methods fail, perhaps only ammonia neutralizer (commonly used for this problem in fish tanks) can solve the problem. The brands tested by these ladies are Top Fin, Aqueon and For Dummies. The most popular method used is: perform at least a cold water wash to clean the diapers of any urine or poop. Add 15 mL of fish ammonia neutralizer to hot water wash (adjust according to how much water your washer uses on the highest level). Pause wash and let soak x 3 hrs. Let wash continue with extra rinse. Follow up with a hot water wash with detergent and an extra rinse. You can add as many extra rinses as you need to make yourself confident that all fish ammonia neutralizer has been rinsed out.

The majority of the ladies reported amazing results. It completely solved their ammonia problem. There is some concern about formaldehyde being a byproduct of the fish ammonia neutralizer. This was a big concern for me, but apparently it is only trace amounts similar to what is found in apple juice and many other common household products. I’ll let you be the deciding factor on this one. I had mixed results. First, I purchased the brand Microbe Lift, which seemed the least harmful. It even said that fish in a tank treated with it could be consumed immediately. Sounded pretty safe.  Well, it did not work. Still had ammonia stinkies in pail on wash day. Then, I purchased the Top Fin brand and tried again. The Top Fin brand is smelly whereas the Microbe Lift was completely odorless. Same results. Not sure what I am doing wrong, but it is not the miracle fix I was hoping for. The general consensus among the many ladies it did work for is that it generally lasts for 1 month. The effective time period may be extended by spraying urine soaked diapers with a solution of mainly water and about a teaspoon of ammonia remover before you throw them into the pail. I really recommend reading the blog post if this interests you.

My Experience

My First Strip: Absorbency issues???

I performed my first strip after I had been cloth diapering for six months. I thought I was experiencing absorbency issues because Juliette’s onesies were getting wet around the legs. I was having zero stink issues at this point even with washing on day 3. I did a Blue Dawn strip and my diapers seemed cleaner than they’d ever been but still had a leaking issue. Turns out I did not really have an absorbency issue. True repelling is pretty rare if you are using an approved detergent and diaper cream. Most of the time the issue is one of the following:

1) not enough absorbency: in other words the baby is wetting more than the insert can handle. This was our problem. Bum Genius diapers come with a newborn insert and a toddler insert.  We had already switched from newborn to toddler insert by the time we noticed the problem (8 mo old), but her inserts were always soaking wet and pee would leak out the legs. We ended up using the toddler insert together with the newborn insert as a doubler. Problem solved. DD does now sport a J Lo booty but if bulk is troublesome, you can look into other options for doubling such as hemp inserts. We use a sposie overnight but I have heard that wool is great option for overnight.

2) too much bulk: sometimes when you overstuff a pocket diaper, they get overstretched and it creates gaps either around the legs or at the back. These are prime sources of leaking.

3) improper fit: one size diapers need to be adjusted as baby grows or depending on how many layers of absorbency there are. We have found through trial and error that too short a rise causes leaking. Also snapping the diaper too loosely will cause gaps around the legs- also a source of leaking.

4) not changing diaper often enough: sposies can handle A LOT of pee. The right material cloth diaper can begin to compete but once an insert is saturated, it needs to be changed. I typically change J every 2-3 hrs for urine soaked diapers, immediately for poop.

This is just my limited experience. For more information, check out If the Diaper Leaks on the Cloth Diaper Blog. What I do know is that with true repelling, your baby’s clothes will be soaked (not just a little wet around the legs) and when you remove the diaper, the insert will be fairly dry.

My subsequent strips: ammonia issues

At around 8 mo of cloth diapering, I started to get a burn your nose ammonia smell in my pail on day 3, which was wash day. This is my main problem- not an immediate ammonia smell when baby pees.  Very occasionally, if it has been a while since my last strip, I will smell ammonia on the diaper if I let a urine soaked one sit out on the changing table or in my wet bag  for several hours before spraying with Bac Out and tossing in my pail. But even though I only have a minor case of ammonia stinkies, I experienced several instances of a chemically burned baby bottom around the same time the stinkies started.  I think the real culprit has been tomato based foods that J has eaten, but I’m sure that build-up on her diapers is not helping. So I have been doing a Blue Dawn strip about 1x/month and have tried the fish ammonia neutralizer a few times.  In all cases, the diapers seem especially clean afterward and the ammonia smell is diminished (or at least not showing up until it is just about time to wash them) but not eliminated.  I am still looking to completely cure myself of the problem.  I have also tried switching from Charlies Soap to Country Save with no real change. I plan to try Calgon and RLR  and am not sure what to do if that does not work. I have less of a problem, and sometimes none at all, if I wash every other day, but then I am only washing 8-10 diapers and using an awful lot of water.  It is a minor problem, but I am on a mission.  And if you have ever had a baby with a chemically burned bum, it just brings tears to your eyes and you want to do anything to prevent it from ever happening again. I am interested in any solutions you guys have. Leave a comment if you have any good tips.

Sources:

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Whats on the Bum Part III: What I Think of What’s On the Bum Cont’

It has been a long while since my last post featuring reviews of some of the cloth diapering products I have used since starting on this CD’ing journey 12 months ago. Today, I’m going to discuss cloth diaper friendly diaper rash creams and laundry detergents as well as what I currently use for a pail liner and wet bag.

Diaper Rash Creams and Lotions

A lot of folks jump right into cloth diapering completely oblivious to the fact that choosing the wrong diaper rash cream can completely destroy your precious pocket diapers, diaper covers or all-in-ones. When I was using sposies during the first two months, I used liberal amounts of Desitin because that is what my Mom used.  Desitin and other zinc oxide creams are a no, no when it comes to cloth diapering. Their water repelling properties mean they will not easily wash out of your cloth diapers causing your diapers to stink or repel.  Either way, it means a long stripping process, which is not fun. Pin Stripes & Polka Dots has a list of commercially available diaper rash creams that can be used with cloth diapers. The list can be found here. The two I have used are California Baby, which is easily found at Target & Babies R Us and Grandma El’s, which can be purchased for a good price on Amazon.com.

California Baby Calming Diaper Rash Cream

An all-natural, food-grade diaper rash cream that  includes ingredients such as ultra-purified lanolin, vitamin-grade zinc (12%) and vitamin E, in addition to organic tea tree and aloe vera.

Pros:

  • Does not stain
  • Pleasant French lavender scent. Lavender is also known for its antibacterial properties
  • Easy to find in the store or online

Cons:

  • Seems too light to treat anything other than mild diaper rash
  • Some may take issue with its rather feminine, grandmotherly scent

Grandma El’s Diaper Rash Cream and Prevention

Ingredients include: Yellow Petrolatum and Insecticide-free Anhydrous Lanolin  (FDA approved healing agents and protectants), Vitamin E, Derivatives of Balsam of Peru, and Salicylic Acid (heal and stimulate production of new cells).

Pros:

  • Seems to provide thicker coverage than California Baby
  • Pleasant fruity smell
  • Available in flip top or tub

Cons:

  • Some have complained of light staining or repelling issues after repeated use
  • Hard to find in the store

Laundry Detergents and Stain/Odor Removers

I will admit that finding the right laundry detergent for your particular brand of diapers, washing machine, water composition and wash routine can often be a challenge. The last thing one wants is to end up with is diapers that reek of ammonia or the dreaded barnyard stinkies. These problems are usually due to detergent build up (too much detergent or inadequate rinsing) or the diapers not getting clean enough (not enough detergent or not compatible with your water- usually hard water). A list of cloth diaper friendly laundry detergents with reviews can be found here at Pin Stripes & Polka Dots. I have personally tried two: Charlies Soap and Country Save.  I have been dealing with minor ammonia stinkies as of late (more on this in another post) that do not seem amenable to the blue dawn strip and so I have only recently switched to Country Save and have also considered trying Tiny Bubbles, Eco Sprout, Allen’s Naturally and the original Tide. Here’s what I think of what I’ve tried:

Charlie’s Soap

Their formula is top secret but they boast of all natural ingredients including coconut oil based surfactants, sodium carbonate, sodium silicate, and soda ash.

Pros:

  • It has 278 5 star reviews on Amazon &  I think I read every one of them
  • The price varies on Amazon but I’ve gotten it as low as $10.80 for 2.64 lb powder container (80 loads). This container lasts a long time.
  • High efficiency washer safe
  • Does a good job getting Juliette’s regular clothes clean as well as the diapers
  • No odor, just fresh, clean smell

Cons:

  • There has been a lot of heated debate on cloth diapering websites as to whether this detergent can contribute to a chemical burn on babies bums. Charlie’s sticks by their claim that their detergent is clean-rinsing so there should be no residue left to burn baby’s bottom. They do admit that some households with extremely hard water may have trouble with their detergent and sell a hard water additive that you can use in addition to their detergent.*

*For those unfamiliar, a chemical burn occurs when the normally slightly acidic pH of the skin is made more alkaline by either a) the product of ammonia in the diaper from the urine by urea digesting bacteria in the stool and on the skin or b) alkaline bile salts in loose stools. The result is a bright red bum that looks scalded and makes baby miserable.

For the record, we went nearly 9-10 mo of using Charlie’s Soap without incidence of ammonia stinkies or ammonia burns. I did a strip at the 8 mo mark just because and then at 10 mo started to notice a strong ammonia odor in my pail on wash day (day 3). It was at around the same time that we experienced our first chemically burned bottom. We have had 3 instances.  The first two were minor- one after a loose stool and the other a heavy urine soaked diaper left on too long. We had one major burn  (complete with blisters) after a loose stool while teething and also after Juliette had eaten tomato sauce (a known culprit).

I don’t know if the diapers had anything to do with the burn. It could have been a number of factors. I stripped with blue Dawn but could see no signs of detergent build up (no suds in 2nd rinse cycle).  I do have hard water, and my theory is that the diapers may not have been getting fully clean and still had urine residue in them. No natural detergent will sanitize your diapers- its unfair to say otherwise- and that is why you use bleach in the hot cycle 1x/month, which I do religiously. I was reluctant to buy a second product to make the Charlie’s Soap work better (this did not seem cost effective), so for now, I am exploring other options.

Country Save

Ingredients: Sodium Carbonate, Sodium Sulphate,Sodium Percarbonate, Sodium Alkyl Aryl Sulfonate, Linear Alcohol Ethoxylate

Pros

  • High efficiency washer safe
  • Available locally at Sprouts stores
  • No chemical burns experienced as of yet, but have only been using 1 month.
  • Ingredients are very similar to the Bum Genius detergent, which is recommended for use with Bum Genius diapers

Cons:

  • Seems a little more expensive at $15-$16 at Sprouts for the 5 lb (40 TL loads/80HE loads), but  I guess only time will tell as to how long the box lasts. I use 1/2 scoop on diapers, 1 full scoop on Juliette’s regular clothes.
  • When using on regular clothes, I did not find that it had much power against stains. Charlie’s performed much better here. I have been adding oxiclean when needed to Juliette’s regular laundry since making the switch.
  • Did not resolve ammonia stinkies problem (initially improved likely due to the strip, but now the same 1 mo later)

BioKleen Bac Out Stain and Odor Eliminator

Ingredients: natural enzyme cultures, food grade citrus extracts and stabilizers, vegetable-based surfactants, and filtered spring water.

We use this foaming spray on all poopy diapers to combat bacteria and eliminate stains and odors.

Pros:

  • Pleasant lime scent
  • Excellent price on Amazon if bought by the case. May also be locally available at Sprouts.
  • Also works on pet odors, carpet stains, stinky garbage disposals
  • Really has helped us avoid stains on diapers and inserts
  • Can be sprayed on diapers before throwing in diaper pail or added to prewash

Cons

  • I heard that the oils in the bac out can build up over time contributing to repelling issues. We have not had such an issue, but have recently switched to diluting the bottle with water just in case.

Pail Liners and Wet Bags

Kissaluvs Antibacterial Pail Liner 

Pros:

  • Generous size of 30×24 allows it to hold loads of diapers
  • Elastic at top makes it easy to fit any pail of your choice (we have a simple flip top from Target)
  • Fabric side faces in and outside is made from high quality PUL with antimicrobial properties. This protects against the spread of health hazardous bacteria.
  • Has cloth tag inside for adding odor fighting oils such as fresh lavender or tea tree oil
  • Can be machine washed and dried
  • Typically sells for $11-$15 on Amazon, which is way cheaper than other brands

Cons

  • It often holds water even after the final spin. Some recommend you actually remove it before the final rinse so your diapers and inserts rinse better.
  • Some Moms have complained of the pail liner turning a dingy yellow or leaking. We have had neither problem to date.

Munchkin Damp Goods Bag

We went months and months without a wet bag in our diaper bag, making do with my huge supply of scented plastic bags or using sposies for longer trips out. Finally, I saw this one on sale super cheap at Target and thought it would be great for diapers or wet clothes when we go to the pool.

Pros:

  • Cute pattern
  • Folds up nice and neat

Cons:

  • Not nearly large enough to hold more than a few diapers
  • Does not seem to contain odors well
  • Many have complained of the snap breaking off or the material ripping after laundering

And that is it! The end of my two cents, at least for now. I hope this was helpful for my fellow cloth diapering mommas or those considering it.

What’s On The Bum? Part II: What I Think of What’s On the Bum

As mentioned in my last post, I have been cloth diapering my daughter Juliette for nearly a year now.  This has given me the opportunity to try out several products, hear what other CD’ing families are saying and do plenty of research.  Here are my reviews based on my opinion and experience, of course.

Cloth Diapers

One of the first things you have to decide is what diaper to use.  Will you use prefolds with a snappi fastener (modern and much cooler version of the diaper pin) or cover? Will you use a pocket diaper like I do (cover with waterproof barrier stuffed with a soaker) or forego the stuffing and get an all-in-one diaper?

I chose to go with one size pocket diapers.  This is a 2 step process. The shell is waterproof and the inner layer is typically made of fleece or polyester. The wetness is driven through this layer to an absorbent insert which is stuffed in the pocket.  This keeps baby’s bottom dry, at least until the insert is saturated. We currently have in our stash: 1 Fuzzi Bunz size small pocket diaper, 2 Rumparooz one-size pocket diapers and 16 Bum Genius 4.0 one size pocket diapers. All have snap closures. I also have 2 dozen Gerber cotton prefolds, but as I did not realize that Indian or Chinese prefolds were the way to go, these have only been useful as burp cloths and changing pad liners.

Bum Genius 4.0:This is my favorite diaper by far.                                                                 Pros:

  • Cost $18-20 is reasonable compared to some other brands. I purchased mine for $14-15 as part of a bundle sale.
  • There are 3 rows of snaps to adjust the rise to accommodate babies 7-35 lbs.
  • 2 snap closure, which I can tell you is a big plus in the toddler years when baby learns to unvelcro a disposable
  •  2 inserts included: a trim newborn insert and a thicker toddler insert which is adjustable with the rise.  Juliette is a heavy wetter, so we now double each diaper with both inserts to be on the safe side.
  • Slot cover to prevent leaking at the top back
  • Available in many fun colors and featured artist designs
  • Only needs to be washed 1x prior to first use
  • Can be bleached 1x/month

Cons:

  • Suede is not nearly as soft on the bum as fleece
  • Synthetic materials susceptible to ammonia stinkies with urine, detergent or diaper creme build-up. This means period stripping= pain in the butt.
  • Covers must be line dried
  • Not the trimmest diaper. Juliette has a J Lo booty and this is the only reason she is able to fit into size 12 mo clothes with her tiny waist.

Fuzzi Bunz Perfect Size Small 7-18 lbs

Pros:

  • Cost $$14.95-$17.95
  • Soft fleece lining is nice on the bum
  • Hip snaps to allow for better fit at the legs= less chance of leaking
  • The trimmest cloth diaper we have tried
  • Many colors to choose from
  • The diaper cover seems to get less ammonia stinkies than my BGs

Cons

  • Cost of perfect size diaper vs. one size diaper is exponentially more
  • Only comes with one insert, no doubler. This has been an issue for us as Juliette still fits into this diaper at 1 yr.
  • Outer material seems much thinner than the others we have. Have not had any issues with ripping but seems less sturdy
  • Harder to clean sticky poop off fleece whereas it just slides off the microsuede
  • Pocket is open at the top- a potential source of leaks

Rumparooz One Size

Pros:

  • One size fits 6-35 lbs and they also sell a Lil Joey version for babies smaller than 6 lbs
  • The softest fleece lining Juliette’s bum has experienced- by far!
  • Patented inner gussets go a long way to prevent leaks
  • Comes in the coolest colors and designs
  • Fit below belly button is a plus for newborns with intact umbilical cords
  • 6 R soaker insert is the thickest of the ones we use and the 2 included inserts can be snapped together
  • A favorite of many of my friends

Cons:

  • Cost of $24-$30 makes it the most expensive on this list. Luckily, I scored mine for $20 a piece on sale.
  • We have a difficult time adjusting this diaper to Juliette and this has led to some leaking problems. It is likely user error, but I have already snapped this diaper out to the longest rise and Juliette is only in the 3rd percentile at age 1 year. For us, this is the biggest reason (aside from price) that I did not buy more of this diaper.
  • Not closed at the top, which led to some initial leaks
  • The slowest drying of the bunch

Flushable Liners

These are optional in your CD’ing experience but can make toddler poop a snap to clean up and prevent staining of your pocket diapers.  Breastfed infant poop washes out easily. You just throw the soiled diaper in the pail and forget about it until wash time. Toddler poop, in Juliette’s case, appears toxic at times. Certain foods like carrots tend to stain and “shaking out the solids” is not always easy. Our occasional solution is to put a very thin layer of flushable material over the inner layer of the pocket diaper. Soiled liners are dropped into the toilet and flushed away (well, if you don’t have a septic tank).

Imse Vimse Flushable Liners

Pros:

  • Conveniently packaged. They come in a roll and each sheet rips off like toilet paper
  • Do what they say they do- they don’t tend to bunch up so we have had no problem catching all of the solid poop and flushing it down the toilet
  • Good price at $12/200 and since we don’t use a liner in every diaper (I have gotten good at guessing when she will have a bowel movement), 2 rolls have lasted 8 months
  • Urine soaked liners can be rinsed, dried and re-used if you so choose. Some Moms put them through the wash cycle.

Cons:

  • Not at all as soft as I imagined they would be. They have the look and feel of a dryer sheet. I can’t imagine it would be too comfy on the tushy. Also, the first few days of use, noticed a redness around my daughter’s anus. Might have just been coincidence, but that is when we started putting a liner in only when we thought she was likely to have a bowel movement. Easy to determine after a day or two of charting.
  • We don’t usually have any issues with our Bum Genius or Rumparooz leaking. But I have had several instances of pee leaking out the leg and getting the edges of her onesies wet while using a liner. I imagine that the urine doesn’t absorb as fast as it does when directly on the cloth diaper.

Bummis BioSoft Liners- Large

Pros:

  • Way softer than Imse Vimse. These appear to be a lot more comfy on the bum. This is the one thing that makes me want to love these liners.
  • Larger than Imse Vimse liners and in the same convient roll format

Cons:

  • Much thinner than Imse Vimse liners. Urine soaked liners could never be washed and reused.
  • Tend to bunch up and slide. Several times the poopy liner has drifted up towards the vagina, which is not nice for clean up or UTI risk
  • If liner bunches, poop ends up on diaper anyhow defeating the whole point
  • More expensive at $8/100

***

Wow, I had no idea I would have so much to say about this. How is it that I’m still typing? Well, this Momma needs to get to bed too.  Juliette has been sleeping soundly for several hours and hubby has a friend in town whose wife is due in May, so they are having some much needed adult time. I had not intended on a part III, but I guess I’ll need to continue this post at a later date so I can share my thoughts on diaper cremes, detergents and more.

What’s On the Bum? Part I: My Two Cents on Cloth Diapering

When I found out I was going to be a Mom, I immediately had 3 goals for myself based upon the premise, “If my Mom could do it, so can I.” Or at least that’s what I thought.

The first was to have a natural a.k.a drug-free childbirth.  Many, including my husband, were doubtful that I could pull this off.  And in all honesty, so was I.  My birth plan was basically- get this baby out! I took prenatal yoga, a childbirth preparation class and prayed a lot.  I am happy to report that although I labored a fairly long while at home, it was more tolerable than I expected, and I was able to deliver Juliette drug-free within hours of entering the hospital. I can only hope that should I be blessed with a second opportunity, it goes as beautifully.

My second goal was to make my own baby food.  Not that I have anything against store-bought food. There are a lot of good choices out there. I did use the Gerber brand rice and oatmeal cereals, and I loved the concept of the squeezable pouches while on vacation or going out.  But, I garden, frequently buy fresh produce and have a blender and some ice cube trays. So I did not find it at all a bother to make my own.

My third goal was to use cloth diapers.  A lot of folks thought I was crazy for this one. On the flip side, I had a handful of friends who were exploring CD’ing alongside me or who were already enjoying their cloth diapering systems. Cloth diapering mommas are very eager to pass on their wisdom, and I was able to get some great tips from my cousin Jacqui, her wife Hesper and my friends Maren and Rachael.

My reasons for cloth diapering went something like this:

1) My Mom did it, so can I. Besides, cloth diapering has come a long way since the days of prefolds, diaper pins and washing out diapers in the toilet.

2) It’s economical.  The upfront costs are a bit daunting at first, but given that a newborn goes through something like 12 diapers a day at about $20/100 disposables vs. my upfront cost of $100/12 very re-usable-all the way through potty training and possibly the next child!-cloth diapers.  I’d say cloth comes out on the winning side in the long run.

3) It’s better for the bum. Parents who CD historically report less diaper rash, leaks and all-out blow outs.  To date, we never had a true poop blow out in a cloth diaper. I am knocking on wood as I type this.  Leaks we have experienced have usually occurred due to urine being squeezed out by a tight car seat strap, needing to readjust the rise for baby growth or add a doubler for extra heavy wetting.

4) It’s better for the environment. There is some debate here. Less disposables clogging up landfills seems like a good thing.  You do consume more water in laundering the diapers every 2-3 days as this involves 2 wash cycles and an extra rinse on the second. I cut back to laundering every 3rd day after my water bill became outrageous during the growing season when we also water our lawn, landscape beds and garden. The drawback is the potential for ammonia stinkies, which is a topic for another post.

Having fully researched this decision and gotten Dean somewhat on board, I made a personal choice to wait until Juliette was 7 wks old to give it a go. I had my sister there to help me prewash my dipes, hold my hand and assist me with my first load of diapers. [Of note, Holly was pregnant with my nephew Jacob at the time.  She was totally grossed out by the thought of holding onto a poopy diaper at that point. But somehow, her husband Chris and I were later able to coerce her into going the CD’ing route also.] Juliette was just a peanut and her Bum Geniuses fit at 7 lbs, so the timing worked out perfectly. She is now 13 months old and I am still very happy with our system.  Dean is not a fan of poop, whether it be in a cloth or disposable, but he seems to have it down pat and is a big fan of the flushable liners that make solid poop clean up a breeze.

I have formed some definite opinions on the cloth diapering products I love, and I will share these in Part II. Until then. Goodnight.