Monday, August 27, 2012

Michelle discusses stripping diapers to help with leaks!

When I started cloth diapering, I didn't know too much.
Our daughter was close to turning 2 when we converted so I was lucky that she was simple to fit in to cloth.
She was the biggest rise setting and I thought that was it! Just like disposables, I could snap the diaper on and away we went. I quickly learned how ever, it's not that easy.
Our first day we leaked through every diaper. I was a little overwhelmed because I thought cloth would be a great choice for us but with constant leakage, I started to second guess myself. Our diaper stash was small with about 8 diapers so I washed those diapers and I was determined to figure out what the problem was. 

The next day I timed how long it took for her to leak through a diaper as well as how much she was drinking, and I quickly realized I was giving my child too much juice in a day. The average cloth diaper should last about 2 hours, but she was leaking through at that point, so I made some adjustments. I cut back her drink intake as well as made sure that the diapers were on the correct settings and making sure the legs were tight like they should be. 

A few months after we switched to cloth, we moved in to our newly built home. No one told us how much of a necessity a water softener is, so after a little time I noticed leaking.

I tried a company's stripping product, only to think it made the diapers way worse and my daughter was allergic to the product, so I was on the search to save my diapers and figure out the best solution once and for all!

After asking around, and learning from Padded Tush Stats, I realized that the cause of leaking is detergent build up, ammonia, and even hard water! Now remember, we don't have a water softener so our water is about as hard as you can get! I was leery of people that said bleach or vinegar because most diaper companies void warranties over said items. They can hurt the diapers and in doing so, there's no way the company should be responsible for MY potential mistake, so I opted for what I thought was the next best solution... liquid Dawn Soap.

After reading so many people raving about BLUE Dawn Soap, and even a whole blog post about their routine, I took the plunge! I bought BLUE Dawn soap after I learned that green for some reason doesn't do as well and then immediately started the wash.

You want to do this with CLEAN diapers so wash them first if need be.
You want a few drops of the Dawn soap in the HOT wash cycle, and then a lot of hot rinses!
The Dawn soap helps strip the detergent build up and ammonia out of your diapers that potentially caused the leaking, and then the multiple hot wash/rinses is just to make sure that not only is the soap out, but any access build up is also working itself out as well. When you do this, you'll want a fair amount of diapers in the wash (15-20) because they'll touch and rub against each other (like our clothes) which will help them clean as well. 
I do 3 wash cycles with hot water because our washer is basic and only has a cold rinse, and then I check on the last cycle to see if there's any bubbles in the water.
You'll want to look for bubbles because this tells you if the Dawn Soap is gone and you want it all out.

I've done this a few times and it's helped each time!
I think it also gives the diaper a boost and it's softer than before, smells better, and no longer leaks!

Now some people will tell you that if you're doing cloth diapers right you should never have to strip them, but in our case with hard water, it's something I do every few months just to make sure that they're holding up to the best of their abilities.

Leaking on a newborn however, is a totally different story.
Most of the time this is just because the diaper is an improper fit with the leg gussets and needs adjusted.  
Diapers with hip snaps can help get the tighter fit on the legs.
Contributed by: Michelle
My name is Michelle and I'm in my mid twenties. I've been with my husband for a total of eight years. We have three little girls and started cloth diapering in March 2011.

Monday, August 20, 2012

The Dreaded Leaks

When you see a baby you think chunky baby legs, right? Unfortunately my son didn’t get the memo and has some of the skinniest little thighs you’ve ever seen! Having skinny thighs makes it very hard to get a good fit with cloth diapers and so we’ve had quite a hard time over the past year. Luckily having spent the past year figuring it out, I can hopefully help you avoid the leaks.
Even though it sounds like common sense, the most important thing you need to do is make sure the diaper fits properly. At one year old my son is still on the SMALLEST rise on all of his diapers. This sounds absolutely crazy, but if we snap his diapers on the second or third rise, that opens up huge gaps in his legs and ultimately leads to lots of leaks. To counteract how “short” the diapers are on his body, they are snapped on some of the widest settings around his hips.
Another important factor is to make sure your diaper has enough absorbency. Around six months old the doctor said we could start giving my son water in his bottle. It never entered my mind that he would pee a million gallons a day (ok, so it’s not a million, but he pees a LOT!) and leak out of every diaper he owned. My husband and I quickly realized that all of our diapers would need both the newborn insert and the regular insert. Making sure that all of our diapers have enough absorbency has become a big priority.
While these two tips may not solve all of your leaking problems, they are definitely the best place to start if you’re having problems. 

Good luck!

Contributed by: Katy

I'm a tech geek turned Eco-friendly mommy by the absolute adorableness of cloth diapers. My son has been in cloth diapers since the day he came home from the hospital and I wouldn't have it any other way. One of my favorite pastimes includes showing off my son's cute, fluffy butt.