Cloth Tushie Tuesday: Out on the town

I so enjoyed participating in last week’s Cloth Tushie Tuesday that I’m doing it again! This week’s topic is: How do you pack your diaper bag when using cloth diapers?  Do you use cloth even when out-and-about, or do you switch to disposables?

First of all, I want to start by saying that I LOVE CLOTH DIAPERS! This weekend I was out of town and used regular old disposables. What a disaster! By the second day I only had one clean outfit for Isa – she had pooped through five outfits in 24 hours! All weekend I was constantly worried about changing her before an explosion happened. By the time we came home she had a crazy rash all over her bottom, despite a constant slathering of Burts Bees rash cream. I don’t think I realized how much I loved cloth, just for cloth, until this weekend. Man oh man, I am never going back.

Now, back to today’s topic. I do use cloth diapers when I go out. If I didn’t, I’d be using disposables for part of every day and that seems to defeat the point. It’s actually quite easy to use cloth out in the world and I’ve never had a problem with it.

To successfully cloth diaper out on the town you need the following:

  • cloth inserts (one for every hour you’re out)
  • shells (I would say one extra for every two hours you’re out)
  • wipes (I use biodegradable wipes out and cloth wipes at home)
  • a wet back (big enough to hold all your wet diapers for the day)
  • Optional: cloth-diaper-safe cream (more on what I use soon)

I keep my inserts in one little cloth bag and my shells in another. My wipes are always in the side pocket of my diaper bag, along with a thing diaper-rash cream (which I hardly ever use but like to have with me).

I have two travel sized wet bags so that one can be in the wash while the other is being used. They both hold about eight diapers and have drawstrings. I kind of cheat with the wet bag and use compostable food waste bags inside my wet bagso I don’t have to wash it so frequently. It’s also nice because I can put my very wet inserts in the compost bag, inside the wet bag and just tuck the wet shells in the wet back as well. That way waste from the inserts doesn’t make it’s way on to the soiled shells.

When I get home I just separate out my wets inserts with my soil inserts and put them in their respective pails. Finally I dump the soiled shells in their wet bag. I usually re-use the compostable bag once, but they don’t last long, as they are made to biodegrade.

When I go out for a very long day, that involves a lot of walking around with the Ergo, I might bring biodegradable inserts to use with my shells. I LOVE the GroVia biodegradable inserts, they are amazing. After my experience this weekend, I will never be going out in just disposables ever again.

If you want to learn more about traveling with cloth diapers, check out My Little Slice of Mommie Heaven!

Cloth Tushie Tuesday!

Okay, okay, I know I said it was going to be Useful Tuesday, and it will be, but I was invited by MommieV at My Little Slice of Mommy Heaven to participate in Cloth Tushie Tuesday and I couldn’t pass it up.

I haven’t actually talked much about the fact that we use cloth diapers. After I learned about all the new, easy to use cloth diapers, I knew I wanted to keep hundreds of disposables out of local landfills by using cloth. My SIL, who works in childcare, told me about gdiapers and bought me enough of those to get started. I also bought a set of Grobabies and now I use them both. I’ll be writing more about those two cloth diaper choices later. Today, as a participant in Cloth Tushie Tuesday, I’m tackling this issue: did you have to convince anyone else to get on board with cloth diapering?

The answer to that is no. I’ve been very lucky that Mi.Vida, and both sets of grandparents are very supportive of cloth diapering. Our daycare provider will be my SIL and as you read above, she is obviously a fan. So I’ve been really lucky that I haven’t had to convince anyone to put cloth on my baby’s tushie when she’s changed.

One thing I HAVE had to do, is educate people on my system. You see, I don’t have an in-unit laundry so I have to lug my diapers down to the building’s only coin-fed washer and dryer. This means that I cannot soak my diapers in the washer before I run a warm load and it also means I can’t run double loads, unless I want to pay double money. It already costs us $4 a load and I usually add in an extra two quarters to the dryer to make sure those super absorbent cloth inserts get really dry.

Needless to say, the laundry situation requires a lot more work on my end to make sure that only one run on warm and one dryer cycle is enough to get my diapers really clean. Plus, with two diapering systems, there are different parts that belong in different places and it takes a little patience to learn where everything goes.

When people don’t know what’s what, I end up with dirty liners and cloth covers left on the changing table, or folded neatly on top of the diaper pail (where we put the one biodegradable we use each day). Then I have to go in and clean everything up.

What I would like to do, is train Mi.Vida, and all the grandparents, to clean up the cloth diapers as I do. That involves the following:

JUST WET DIAPERS

  • put cloth insert in dry pail.
  • reuse shell or
  • (if shell has been used many times) put shell in hanging wet bag.

POOPY DIAPERS

  • rinse cloth insert in toilet with toilet sprayer
  • put rinsed insert in wet pail
  • wash out shell and put in hanging wet back

I don’t expect anyone else to actually wash the diapers, which involves draining the wet pail water into the toilet, then hauling the dry pail diapers, wet pail diapers and bag of shells and liners to the wash to run a warm load. While loading the cloth inserts into dryer, I separate out all the shells and liners, which must be hung dried. I use a foldable clothespin rack, hanging from my shower door, to dry the liners and shells.

I know it sounds like a lot of work, but I think it’s worth it. We only use one biodegradable insert a day, so that we don’t have to change Isa’s diaper at night, and we’re still composting a large bag of diapers every couple of weeks. I just don’t feel right throwing all the disposables away. Even though, with the coin laundry, it probably is not that much cheaper (though I have no idea how much people spend on disposable diapers) for me to use cloth, it’s an important commitment that I made and intend to stick with. Now I just need to get everyone else to participate in my system, so I’m not trudging along this path by myself.