Tuesday, October 8, 2013

BumGenius Cloth Diapering

BumGenius Elemental Organic Cloth Diapers

If anyone had ever said you will be one of those moms who cloth diaper, water would've came out of my nose from laughter.

We did not cloth diaper my daughter. I tried the G diapers when she was first born and that was a complete disaster. You can imagine my skepticism when I was told that my son was allergic to the disposable diapers. We discovered the diapers were causing a lot of his problems because he is highly allergic to Polyester.

The BumGenius Elemental Organic Cloth diapers are lined with a polyester liner but the inner piece is 100% organic cotton.

I dove head first into a world of cloth diapering. I ordered enough to get started and not be confined to washing diapers everyday. We started with 32 diapers.

I do laundry every other day sometimes every day. The biggest challenge was getting the sitter on board with cloth diapers. I still haven't adjusted to washing poop off the diaper opposed to discarding it in the trash. However, I LOVE the fact that I never have to buy diapers again. I cannot tell you what a relief it is to know that I don't have to make a diaper run every other weekend. It's not as if you can go into Target or Walmart or even Babies R US and just buy one thing even if it is diapers.

Washing Instructions are available on the BumGenius website. (BUT don't do what I did with the soap)
#1 - use Soap correctly (BumGenius Cloth Diaper Brand)
When washing cloth diapers there are special soaps designed for the diapers. I bought the Rockin Green which was very expensive and didn't last very long. I think bought the BumGenius soap. The soap comes in a powder with a scooper. Had I used powder soap before maybe I would've known. I put the two scoops of powder soap into the liquid dispenser. Let's just say I spent a ton of money and hours running Afresh through my machine until the grim left behind was cleaned. I wish someone would've told me that the powder soap goes in the basin not the dispenser.

#2 - DO NOT SOAK the diapers.
This is something I would've done had I not read the directions. It seems like it would help, but the directions say do not soak cloth diapers so do not soak them.

#3 - Remove solids from diaper
This means rinse the diaper before washing it.  In other words, wash off the poop before putting the diaper not the diaper pail. This sounds simple or easy enough, but it can be difficult. I have a sick child and diarrhea and partially digested food cover every diaper. These need to be washed right away otherwise they stain.

I have found the best way for me to wash them is to run them under the facet in the bathroom rubbing the inner liner together until everything is completely removed. Yes, it is disgusting and yes my daughter swears she will never use the sink to the left of the toilet ever again, but it works. I leave the diaper pretty wet squeezing out most of the water and then place it into the pail. I have found this method leaves little to no stains. If the diaper isn't rinsed immediately, I have noticed stains will occur.

There is a cool sprayer that you can hook up to the toilet water supply. Perhaps in time we will decide to purchase one of these. I still find that I would migrate to the sink to rub them under the facet. I do of course use cleaning wipes to go over the skin facet and counters after I am finished.

#4 - Rinse cycle
We rinse all the diapers in cold water with no soap prior to starting a load. This takes 24 minutes on our rinse cycle. This is very important. I have found they smell if they are not rinsed properly.

#5 - Wash cycle
2 scoops of BumGenius Soap with Hot water. We do the 'whites' cycle which is about 1 hour and 14 minutes which also includes an extra rinse to clean off any residue left behind.

#6 - Drying
I dry the diapers in the dryer warm/medium. Generally I run the cycle twice to make sure they are dry. I have yet to hang them out to dry in the sun or outside. The reason they say to do this is because the sun can act as a natural bleach and remove any poop stains.

#7 - Bleach
Once per month it is recommended to use 1/4 cup of bleach in the wash cycle.
Yes this to me is very important. We have not had any instances with ammonia or buildup on our diapers. Although I have read stories about this. A friend of mine has been cloth diapering for 4 years now. She has two children. Her first child she did not want to use bleach. Unfortunately her daughter go the worst diaper rash and had to be given some heavy duty medicine due to a bacteria build up. Learn from the mistakes of others... use the bleach as recommended.

#8 - No additives such as vinegar, baking soda, fabric softeners)
The vinegar can mess with the PH Balance and cause your diapers to no longer be absorbent. I do not understand fabric softeners to begin with. They are simply toxic chemicals that people add to their clothing to breath in every day all day.

#9 - Dawn soap
Occasionally they say that your diapers will get a build up and require a stripping. I have also read that Ammonia can build up and cause a pretty foul smell. Dawn soap is supposed to help rid your diapers of these. However, I have been doing this for the last 5 months and have yet to encounter these problems. I did however buy a large bottle of Dawn soap to keep in my cabinet if needed. They do say if your diapers become less absorbent or you notice a ton of leaks. My friend adds a small amount of Grapefruit seed extract to assist in killing all the germs and bacteria. I have yet to try that.

#10 - Diaper Creams
DO NOT USE any diaper creams, diaper rash ointments, lotions or pastes while using cloth diapers. The idea behind the diaper creams is that they create a barrier between your child's bottom and the diaper to repel water. If you place this onto your cloth diaper it will absorb the diaper ointment to now repel water including urine and they will be ruined. OPTIONS: they have disposable liners you can purchase if cream is necessary. Otherwise disposable diapers might be the best option until the diaper cream is no longer necessary.

#11 - Diaper Pail
We purchased a simple plastic trashcan with a lid and lined it with the wet bag. We purchased 2 wet bags, one for use while the other is being washed. However I would recommend buying 3.

#12 - Wet bags
We purchased 3 large wet bags from Planet World and 2 small bags. These aren't the best purchase we've made. To be honest they gross me out. They stink and don't do well when bleach is used. One of our bags was black with flames. Let's just say it is no longer black.

They are made of a cotton bag lined with the same liner that you will find on the diapers and wet bag for the pail liner. I haven't figured out if they leak or not. They always feel damp not so much as wet, but then again they are holding a sack full of wet diapers. The wet bags with out the strap to carry are annoying, but cheaper. There are a ton of brands out there. I have considered trying a few others to see if they are comparative to what we currently use.

Keep in mind you will need a few small bags for the diaper bag aside from the large bags that are taken to the caretaker. I am a member of a cloth diapering site. I also read the cloth diapering blogs. It seems like the majority of moms who decide to cloth diaper are stay at home moms. I can see why, but I hope that doesn't discourage any working moms. It isn't that hard, the biggest change is the amount of laundry that is done. It is not as if you would want to wash your clothes with the diapers so it does take some time each night.

There are a number of different brands out there. I have heard BumGenius 4.0 is the best. However I do know they are made of 100% polyester. Before we realized my son was allergic to polyester I had no idea what it was. Now knowing what I know, I wouldn't be able to use anything other than the 100% organic cotton. It is quite disturbing. I have yet to figure out if polyester is even safer or better than the disposables. I know it is better for the environment, but I am not a hippie or tree hugger mommy. I am only after what is best for my child and sometimes that doesn't always coincide with what's best for the environment. Polyester breaks down with every wash so it will still be in the water supply. I have yet to determine what is worse... Either way at least I know my child's bum is resting comfortably against 100% organic cotton. NO telling what happens to polyester when it's wet especially with urine.

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