back in the cloth

It is so nice to be all comfy in our new home.  It makes my heart flutter to make a home cooked meal.  Hanging strands of sea shells and family pictures just so settles my soul.  But let me tell you, to see my little boys backsides wrapped up in their cloth diapers gives me the ultimate sense of normalcy.  With all the time in hotels I was not sure of where I would have access to a washing machine, so I opted for the disposable over the last two weeks.  Oh the smell.  Oh the waste. The money!  And even the eczema!  My boys are some sensitive and anything triggers this lovely skin condition to re-visit our lives.

While I have discussed the benefits of cloth diapering before, I feel the need to go back to it.  Well, it is part of a contest so that would explain a part of it.  But also it is to assure anyone reading this that yes, cloth diapers are easy.  Truly and utterly simple.  We don’t do any origami folding around here, our washer never ever has any mysteries floating around, and our water bill hardly changes at all.  Having both my two-year old, as well as my seven-month old needing steady diaper changes (although now here in the sunny south we can spend a bit more time outdoors in the nude) makes me somewhat of a cloth diaper genius.  Yes, it is true, never in all my years did I think I would be proud to announce such a thing.  But yet, here I am doing just so.

We use pre-folds mostly because of the ease in washing and for their price.  I purchased them from a nice comprehensive site  called Cotton Babies.  They look brand new after two years of use and Rowan is now sitting pretty in those fluffy squares of cotton once worn by his big brother.  You just fold them into thirds, fit it into a cover (we use thirsties but have a variety of hand me downs that I no not the name of, but work wonderfully as well) and off they go with their cute little hineys all decked out in shades of yellow, bold stripes, or whatever pattern you can imagine.

While yes, I do spend more time with every mama’s best friend (the washing machine), in all reality don’t we all already do so much laundry what is a few more loads?  I do a load of diapers about every other day or sometimes every third.  And that is for two boys!  Because you flush the enemy down the john there is really much less fumigation needed than disposable diapers.  You can either hang them to dry (what is more satisfying than a whole line full of colorful diapers?) or just put the pre-folds in the dryer.  Done.

I won’t even bore you with the cost efficiency of cloth diapering.  It is clearly the winner.  After the initial cost, your days of calculating diapers into the budget are complete.  You can also use cloth wipes with no worries whatsoever.

“On the go” cloth diapering is not nearly as daunting as I once assumed it might be.  Look, even my husband is reading over my shoulder in complete agreement.  We have successfully kept our boys behinds in colorful fabric on airplanes, long distance car rides, camping, and even beach days (such as today).

Although you can’t keep a baby from tearing off his diaper at the beach, even a cute cloth one.  Look at that face, pure bliss.

I am certainly not getting any compensation on this post.  But, if you comment on it and with the luck of the full moon tomorrow night I may just win and you could win a dozen cloth diapers too!

The depths of our basement

In the dark and dank corner of our scary (no terrifying) basement lives a lavender scented bowl of fluffy goodness that makes our clothes smell fresh and clean.  In addition to having a laundry chute, my homemade laundry detergent makes the job of washing that much more tolerable, because oh man do I do a lot of it.  Between cloth diapering two boys, a giant for a husband and my constant addiction to baking our laundry runs more often than I would like to admit.  This recipe is so easy.  Those that may scoff at making your own detergent could be pleasantly surprised because its so easy.  I do have to grate the soap but other than that its just a matter of measuring and mixing.  You could buy soap flakes too if you don’t feel like breaking out the grater.  The most appealing aspect of making my own laundry soap is that I know exactly what is in it. With all the chemicals in commercial cleaning products you never know what you are getting really.  My Miles lived with a constant rash for the first year of his life due to fragrances in detergents I suspect because now that I use Dr. Bronners Magic Soap it is gone.  Like Magic!  (Ever read all the tiny writing on a Dr. Bronners bottle?  interesting…)

This recipe lasts me about four months.  Keeping in mind I do laundry nearly every single day.  Boo.

1 3/4 cup borax

1 3/4 cup washing soap

1 3/4 cup baking soda

two bars of grated dr. bronners (or any castille soap) I use lavender or peppermint but orange would be good too I think!

Mix it all up and store in an airtight container.  Use 1/8 cup per load unless using cloth diapers then just use 1/16 for a hot cycle and 1/16 for a cold cycle.

While I am on the topic of laundry I suppose this is a good forum to discuss the pros of cloth diapers.  So many people envision poop floating around in the washing machine and intolerable smells coming from the laundry basket.  These are absolutely false beliefs.  Cloth diapering is easy, trust me, otherwise I really wouldn’t do it.  The only pit fall could be that you have to change their diapers a little more often than disposable diapers. The smell is even probably less than that of disposables because you flush it down instead of storing it until trash day.   Now that I am using the diapers for a second child I feel even more pleased with the money we are saving.  If you are worried about the water bill sky rocketing I can tell you the month of July the boys and I were gone and our bill only went down 20 dollars.  Thats easily the cost of diapers for a week for one child (never mind two).  I won’t even get into the favor you are doing for the environment.

Besides, they are cute.