Fluffy Mama of The Week- Mommy Melee (Maria)

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I’m new to cloth diapering and going green in general, but it’s making me so happy to make steps to keep my family healthier and more environmentally friendly. I blog at Mommy Melee, write parenting reviews at Your Mama Reviews, and frequently guest post for a wonderful essential oil retailer at Aromatics International.
-Maria
How long have you been cloth diapering?

I’ve been cloth diapering for a little over four months. I’m pretty new to this! I started when my son was about three and a half months old. (He weighed about twelve pounds at the time.)

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Wearing a Jamtots Berryplush

What made you decide to start?

My friend Andi from http://www.andikuhn.com was pregnant at the same time I was. She registered for cloth diaper stuff and I thought to myself, man she is CRAZY. I had no intention to cloth diaper and never put my older son in cloth. But once I saw how adorable her daughter looked and she gave me first-hand encouragement and tutorials I decided to give it a shot.

What was your first purchase and why?

I bought two small Thirsties covers and eight unbleached pre-folds. I wanted to make an economical purchase in case it wasn’t for me.

How much do you think you have spent on your diapers total?

I purchased most of my diapers used after that first purchase. I don’t think I’ve spent more than $14 on any single diaper, and I’ve been fortunate to receive several samples to test for my review website. I’ve spent about $250 total on my diapers and wet bags.

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Have your family/ friends been supportive?

My family thinks I’m crazy! But they’re warming to it. When my mother saw how cute my son looks and how he doesn’t have diaper rash, she started to see the benefits. My husband is very glad that we’re saving money, but he almost flat out refuses to deal with poopy diapers. He’s okay with the arrangement as long as I do all the laundry. My mom has a tendency to sneak disposables onto him when she’s watching him, partially because she has very bad eyesight and struggles with snaps. (We have disposables in the house because I use them for my son at night.)

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Wearing a Fuzzibunz Perfect Size

What has been the most rewarding aspect of cding?

I love a lot of it actually. I feel very accomplished taking on a new adventure that takes a bit of work. I hated laundry all my life, but I actually enjoy cloth diaper laundry. There’s something very zen about putting my diapers out on the line to dry. I also feel great about doing something good for the environment. Cloth diapering has helped me evaluate a lot of our family’s waste output and energy use.

(Secretly, I enjoy the cuteness the most. I don’t have daughters and I have to take my cute where I can get it. Cloth diapers are adorable.)

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What is your favorite diaper to use?

I love my FuzziBunz. The colors are great and the Perfect Size in Medium has fit him consistently and will for quite a bit in the future. I have some Bum Genius, and I find them to be less likely to wick, but I hate dealing with Velcro in my laundry. My prefolds and covers are generally used on laundry day and never when I’m leaving the house. I have an Essential Saltes Baby fitted that I love, and recently tried a JamTots Berry Plush that’s also extremely cute. But I’m still evaluating that one for leakage.

What has been the biggest challenge to your success at cding? (ie, washing, money, leakage, fit, etc)

Poop. Poop poop poop. We started solids last month and I almost threw in the towel over scraping poop out of my diapers. There’s no “knocking solids into the toilet.” If I don’t catch my son right when he poops, it smears all over and it’s absolutely disgusting.

To combat this, I spray the poop diapers (after I’ve scraped them) with a homemade mixture of water and oxi-clean before I toss them in the wet bag/pail. I also do my wash every two days.

I recently purchased liners and I’m hoping they work. But the best solution to nasty poop diapers has been putting him on the toilet when I notice him working on a bowel movement. I have 50/50 success with this, but when I do succeed I find it totally thrilling. No diaper to clean! We’re working on sign language during poop on the potty times and I think he’s starting to pick it up. This being said, my janky elimination communication is a total luxury I have being at home with him while I work. No one else in my family is on board with holding him onto the toilet.

The only other challenge for me is that my son is running a bit large. I’m worried he’ll grow out of his FuzziBunz quickly and I hope this doesn’t end up being the case! Luckily the Medium size is pretty roomy. When he grows out of them, I’m hoping I can find another fluffy mama to trade with to get the larger size.

My tips:

I definitely recommend shopping for used diapers when you can. Seconds and clearance are also a great way to pick up diapers for reasonable prices.
Line dry if you can! It’s wonderful for stains. Just toss inserts/prefolds for a quick tumble in the dryer so they don’t end up cruncy.
I use Purex Free and Clear with no problems.
I toss my diapers in a soak overnight with about ten drops of Tea Tree oil. In the mornings, I finish that cold pre-wash, then do a hot wash with detergent, and another cold rinse. Covers and shells drip dry and inserts and prefolds go in the dryer and then out on the line.
When buying diapers, don’t just go by weight. Measure your baby with a tape measure and know your baby’s waist and rise. When you’re not sure, just email the retailer. Cloth diaper companies and manufactures are very friendly to newbies!

Thanks Maria for all of the great tips!  I know your washing info will be very helpful to some of the newbies!  Also, I hope you will all check out her links, especially Your Mama Reviews.  They will be having a Cloth Diaper week soon.  I was lucky enough to win one of their giveaways for a nursing necklace.  It is awesome!

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