We’ll jump right into Cloth Diaper Q & A Volume 2. If you’d like to read Cloth Diaper Q & A Volume 1 click here.
Question 1: Sandra asks, “Thank you so much and sorry for all the questions! You are just such a good resource I can’t resist. I was wondering if you knew of any all in ones for newborns. I know about lil Joeys and was wondering what you had heard about them because I was reading a lot of reviews that they leak quite a bit. Any other AIOs?
Also, assuming I don’t bother with the pockets or the AIOs during the newborn stage, are fitteds+cover doable under most clothes? Should I buy larger pants and onesies to accomodate?”
There are fitted/cover combos that are bulkier but most aren’t. Muttaqin Baby (mutts) with a thin PUL cover like Proraps are fairly trim. Mutts are my favorite daytime fitted to use with newborns. Others I look forward to using are Little Boppers and Goodmamas. I haven’t ever needed to upsize clothing with a newborn. Gowns and one-piece outfits are pretty roomy.
As your baby gets bigger and starts wearing more fitted clothing like blue jeans, you’ll need to experiment. You may be using a cloth diaper brand that is trim and doesn’t require bigger clothing. Recently, I was able to try out a new line of blue jeans created just for cloth diaper bums!! Check out www.greengamboni.com. We love our pair.
Question 2: Theresa asks, ” Hi Autumn,
This site is very helpful. I am 4 months pregnant and trying to figure out how to make cloth diapering work in our situation. We live in an apartment building and would be doing all laundry using communal washers and dryers. I’m concerned that my diapers will pick up residue from other people’s use of dryer sheets/fabric softeners. Does this mean we’ll be scrubbing down the machines the two or three times a week we’ll be washing diapers? If anyone has successfully used cloth diapers in this sort of setting I would love any advice. Thanks!”
This is an EXCELLENT question. I have no experience with community laundry facilities. Do you have experience? I’m leaving this question open for you to answer. I will insert your tips as they come in.
*Another excellent set of questions Autumn.
I also don’t have any experience with community laundry facilities, at least not with my cloth diapers, but I do have a couple of suggestions.
The fabric softener in the liquid form should wash away pretty well in the washer so there should be any worries there, but I have heard that dryer residue will build up and release over time. To get over that I’d suggest hanging your diaperes to dry. Diapers covers should always be hung anyways, but I find that pocket diapers don’t take very long to dry in a low humidity environment. The liners take a bit longer so maybe buying a few more of those would help.
Another tip might be to look for a local diaper service. The cost might be a little bit more than owning your own, but should still be less than disposables. I’ve also heard of soem services allowing you to buy your own diapers and they will wash them for you, if you’re not keen on the idea of using prefolds forever. They might break down faster because of the industrial machines and the sanitation process though.
We have been clothing diapering our 7 month old since he was about 1 month old and we have communal laundry facilities. So far I have had minimal issues with residue and that has just been recently and I think I have resolved them without too much extra effort (fingers crossed). I try to airdry as often as possible to avoid dryer sheet residue as well as save money since our laundry is coin operated. But so far so good.
*I’ve used communal laundry for my two year olds diapers for about a year and we haven’t had too many problems. I do have some accumulated ammonia stink, but not any worse than it seems like others with their own washers complain of. I do think I get some build up, but I have gone to my mother in laws a couple times to strip them in her washer and that has helped. Also, I wouldn’t get all in ones or non-pocket fitteds. I use mostly pocket fitteds stuffed with folded flats, so they wash well. Also, we almost always air dry. Good luck!
*I used shared laundry in an apartment building for just over a year. The easiest thing I found was to hand-rinse each diaper as it came off, that way I only had to pay for a hot wash. I also found that natural fibers were easier to launder. I personally found that pocket diapers (the fleece/suede cloth) didn’t hold up too well with exposure to the build of of other peoples detergent/fabric softener in the machines. I constantly had to strip them.
Good luck & have fun.
*Autumn, When we go away for my husbands week long modules (working on his masters) we end up staying in an apartment building with one washer and dryer for the whole building. What I have done is wash all my other laundry first (a load of towels on hot and then the rest however) and THEN do the diapers. I do the same at my mother in laws place when we visit there. So far I haven’t had any real problems doing it this way.
I cloth diapered my daughter from age 2 months to 2 years in an apartment complex with shared laundry. Amazingly enough, I never encountered any difficulties with residue of any kind. I wouldn’t be overly concerned. Also, one money-saving tip is to wash the diapers by themselves first (consider it a pre-rinse), and then fill up the rest of the machine with other clothes and run the whole load together. This allowed me to get my diapers squeaky clean without spending absurd amounts of money (or time).
Another option, however, which we have started using since moving into a building without laundry facilities, is to buy your own portable apartment-sized washer and dryer. Haier brand makes a very nice line of these. I was able to buy a washer and dryer set for around $250 on Craig’s List (less than I’d have spent on a year of coin laundry), and both were less than a year old. They hold about half the load of a normal washer (perfect for a load of diapers), and the washer hooks up to your kitchen sink. This solution has worked wonders for us. I highly recommend it!
Question 3: Mary asks, “Thank you so much for all of your fabulous insight on cloth diapering! I have been using prefolds for my 6 month old for about 5 months and I love them. Everything seems to be going well except for one thing: Mold. I usually don’t let my diapers sit in the pail for more than 2 days, but I have still occasionally had problems with mold growing. The latest victim was one of my Thirsties prefold covers. I use a small metal trash can style pail with a wet bag as the lining. Do you have any advice on how to prevent this? I have friends who are planning to wash their diapers only once or twice per week. How will they keep the mold at bay? Thanks!”
The easiest solution is to leave the pail/bag open. Also, limit the moisture. If you are using a diaper sprayer make sure to ring your diapers slightly. Tea Tree oil is an anti-fungal. Adding a few drops to the bag will keep mold at bay. When you do see mold wash with either a small amount of bleach or TTO.