Too crunchy?

If you use the term “crunchy” to describe someone, you’re probably referring to a preference for a natural lifestyle, someone who, of course, must eat [homemade] granola, because that is what crunchy people eat.

However, shortly after we started cloth diapering, I developed my own theory for the origin of the term.  “Crunchy” is an apt description for our line-dried diapers.

We don’t have a dryer, so we’ve exclusively line-dried our laundry for the past few years.  Sometimes I notice that the clean, dry clothes are a bit stiff, but it’s not a big deal.  However, some of the diapers we use end up EXTREMELY stiff and rough, which IS a big deal for The Dude’s sensitive baby skin (and these would probably irritate most anyone’s skin, baby or no).

Fortunately, we have access to our downstairs neighbors’ dryer, so, although I don’t like the energy use (or the fact that the diapers will wear out more quickly — “lint” is mostly just fabric particles from your clothes), I’ve started using it to help soften up the cloth diapers.  When possible, I line dry the diapers most of the way, then toss them in the dryer for a softening fluff.

While this solves the crunchiness problem, the homemade, hand-me-down portion of our diaper collection still have rough edges, which are causing ongoing irritation issues for The Dude.  He’s almost outgrown many of those anyway, so I’m faced with buying more cloth diapers.

I’ll admit that I’ve been procrastinating — hoping, based on what I’ve read about people who’ve practiced Elimination Communication (EC) from an early age, that we’d be nearly diaper-free by now, but that is just not the case.  Not anywhere close, which, considering the time I’ve invested wasted sitting around with The Dude on the potty over the past several months, is pretty depressing.

My attempts to find used cloth diapers on Craigslist have proven fruitless thus far, so I may have to give in and purchase them new.

Psst, psst: EC at three months

I’m a bit overdue for this post — the “three months” part of the title is quickly becoming dated — time to write!  We’ve made a good bit of progress since my first Elimination Communication (EC) post.  While he’s still most definitely in diapers, Gabriel pees and poops on his potty regularly when we’re at home, and we’ve had some 24-48 hour stretches with only one or two wet diapers 🙂

I’m not amazing at reading his pee signals (if he’s giving them), so pee catches involve putting him on the potty at regular times: when he first wakes up, right after a meal, if he’s hanging out and it’s been awhile since a pee, etc.  Poop signals are easier to read, but I still hesitate to interrupt a good feeding to rush him onto the pot.

The biggest issues at present?  Diaper rash and the daycare dilemma.Continue reading “Psst, psst: EC at three months”

Blowing in the wind

Confession: Gabriel spent his first week-and-a-half or so in disposable diapers.  The idea of bringing our cloth diapers into the hospital crossed my mind briefly  while we were there, but there was too much going on for it to be a very serious thought.  Then, though it went against my green judgment, I brought the remaining package-and-a-half of disposables home with me, rather than leave them at the hospital for the next baby.

We used the disposables for the first few days at home, because it was easier to keep them away from the healing umbilical stump.  The disposables ran out before the stump fell off, but I was ready to call it quits, so we made the switch.

Right now,  we have a somewhat random assortment of second-hand diapers from a friend and some new organic cotton prefolds that we received as gifts.  We’re mostly using the old-school plastic pull-up covers (which my family called pack-a-leaks) right now, but I am interested in some of the new fancy covers because I think they’re more breathable.

Washing the Diapers
For the first few weeks, this task fell entirely to Matthew, given my recovery restrictions on stair climbing and lifting.  Now I’m helping out a bit.   We wash a small load (which is almost all of our diapers) every two days, warm wash, cold rinse.  At the moment we’re using a liquid detergent called Planet.

Washed, but stained . . .

After washing, we hang the diapers outside to dry, and the sun does its thing.

The sun worked its magic!

I’d read that the sun was great for naturally bleaching poop stains out of diapers, but I really had to see it to believe it.  I need to do a little research to figure out how this works, but the results are quite impressive.

The line drying does leave the diapers a bit crunchy compared to the dryer, but Gabriel doesn’t seem to mind too much 😉