Mama meets cloth diapering

4 Jan

I definitely am not an “all-natural” obsessed mother (although I will promote natural birth any chance I can get), but the longer I am a mother the more interested I am in being “natural.” Actually, when I met Dave, I was influenced by my hippie friends to stop shaving my legs. I’m glad he wasn’t thrown by that (it was fall/winter after all) until I decided that I didn’t like hairy legs. I also had purple streaks in my hair at the time, which is definitely unnatural, but it did cause my future father-in-law to ask if I had Muppets in my lineage.

I have taken care of children more years of my life than not. I never even thought about cloth diapers until a few years ago when my babysitting family (so dear to me; the oldest girls were the flower girls at my wedding) introduced me to cloth diapers. They did not gross me out, but it did take a while before I understood the value of cloth diapering. Cheaper, reusable, better for the environment, and supposedly better for the baby. The pro-cloth websites advocate their product claiming that babies will have fewer diaper rashes because paper diapers have so many chemicals in them. This does and doesn’t make sense to me. On one hand, papers diapers keep the wet away from baby’s bottom. On the other, they do have lots of chemicals to keep them that way.

Well, despite the thousands of people online (and the ones I know in person) who love love love their diapers, my baby apparently is the one baby who just can’t wear them. He did really well at first, but his little thighs just weren’t big enough yet even for the smallest size I had, so we waited a few weeks. Man was I excited to use cloth. I felt like I was participating in this wonderful community who wanted to help both baby and environment be a better place. So when we started using cloth again and he would get the beginning of a rash within one diaper, I was surprised. But not dissuaded. I began to look into the possible causes of this tragedy.

It could have been the terrible detergent I was using. In the past I have liked the butcher detergents like Tide with Bleach and Oxy Clean. Baking soda seems a little more natural than bleach (although I think bleach has its place disinfecting my bathroom). I knew you had to use better detergents on cloth diapers, so I got the dye free/fragrance free kind for little boy’s clothes. Apparently, though, this isn’t good enough. Your washer holds on to buildup from all your detergents. So, I looked into the best detergent to get. Charlie’s Soap. All natural. I thought I would hate it since we’d have to use it on everything that went into our wash for it to work best. Turns out having your stuff smell clean and be clean without killing the environment isn’t really a bad thing. And it’s not more expensive than the top brands at your local grocery store.

I also found out that the cloth diapers I had bought were 100% polyester instead of 100% cotton. That can’t be good for baby’s bottom. So I’m getting cotton liners to see if this will help.

I will conquer this. He will wear cloth diapers. Disposables will not prevail!!!

At least I can feel good meanwhile that we use cloth wipes instead of the wet ones. Just a little bit of homemade wipe spray (a spray bottle, water, soap & oil is all you need) and I think it cleans him up a lot better!

We also use Burt’s Bees All Natural stuff for baby wash and diaper cream. And Earth Mama’s Baby Bottom Balm (miracle stuff that can be used all over baby). And when we get into solid food, you can bet I’ll be making his food from scratch. This baby gets better quality stuff than I do! I know this is probably the downfall of modern parenting, that your baby should always have and get what you didn’t or don’t, but I’ll fall into that trap. He’s just so darn adorable, how can I not?


4 Responses to “Mama meets cloth diapering”

  1. nevercontrary January 5, 2013 at 2:00 am #

    Good Luck!

    • mamajohnston January 5, 2013 at 2:58 am #

      Thanks NC! Easier to comment now than on blogger? 🙂


  1. The six month mark « This is Mama Johnston - February 19, 2013

    […] we are using cloth diapers! The very wonderful owner of Green Mountain Diapers sent me a lengthy response to my cloth diaper […]

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