Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Cloth Diapering Multiples Part 2: Accessories, necessity or luxury?

Now that you've had time to digest that you're going to have two in diapers and you have either made the switch to cloth or have decided that you are going to use cloth, it's time to talk about all the necessities that you'll need besides just an adequate supply of diapers.  So let's talk about accessories!

What types of accessories are out there and which ones do you need?
There are many many types of cloth diapering accessories and just like any other product on the market there are your basic versions and your designer versions.  With multiples in cloth, let's face it, saving money is one of the top reasons we're doing it.  So chances are you'll be more interested in the economical and affordable accessories.

  • Detergent:  You ARE going to need a cloth diaper safe detergent.  You are going to want to stay away from those fancy "baby" detergents like Dreft that you may have been gifted at your baby shower.  Detergents that are Free & Clear are recommended as well as brands like Country Save, Rockin' Green, Allen's Naturally, Tiny Bubbles and others which specifically state that they are cloth diaper safe.  For super easy laundry routines I suggest you use something that's safe for your diapers and clothing as well so that you don't have to switch back and forth between detergents or worry about residue that could be left in your washer from non-cloth diaper friendly detergents.
  • Liners:  Liners are available in washable stay-dry fleece or even biodegradable options which can be flushed away with the majority of the poop which makes doing diaper laundry a lot easier.  Fleece liners also provide that great stay-dry feeling similar to the inside of pocket diapers, but can be used with fitteds and prefolds as well.  Biodegradable liners usually come in rolls of 100 sheets and can even be cut in half for newborns providing you with 200 uses per roll.
  • Diaper Sprayers: While you can successfully cloth diaper without a sprayer, many who use one swear it is a must-have and that they could not live without theirs.  Sprayers simply make laundry easier by allowing you to take your soiled diaper to the toilet, spray it down until the majority of the poop is washed off and then place it in your diaper pail, wetbag or place directly into the washer.  To read some great info on how to use a cloth diaper sprayer please revisit our past blog posts here Diaper Sprayers Part 1 & Part 2.
  • Fasteners:  Make sure you have EXTRA Snappis and or Diaper Pins on hand.  Chances are you'll be in the midst of a diaper change only to realize you can't find the snappi or pins you need so it helps to always have plenty of backups.  They're inexpensive and I recommend you buy some to keep in the diaper bag, some in your diaper changing area, and maybe even a couple somewhere else in the house so that you know you'll always have plenty when you need them.
  • Inserts:  You are definitely going to need extra inserts.  You can't rely solely on the inserts that come with your diapers.  There will be times when you have to double up on your inserts or times that some may not come as clean as you'd like during the wash and it always helps to have extra on hand so you're not stuck with empty pocket diapers that you can't use.
  • WetBags:  WetBags are both a necessity and a luxury.  While you can simply use a plastic bag, you will benefit by having a wetbag that you can easily open and close.  They're washable and come in many economical versions and of course designer prints if you desire.  If you have to take babies to childcare or to a sitter I recommend a real wetbag because diapers placed in plastic or grocery bags can easily be thrown away and there's nothing worse than finding out that your daycare provider accidentally threw away your favorite pocket diapers.  It does happen, just don't let it happen to you!
  • Pail Liners:  Depending on your laundry routine you can either go with a traditional pail liner that fits inside a kitchen size garbage can or if you're pressed for space, you can go with a DoorKnob Diaper Pail which can easily be hung from the shower curtain rod in your bathroom, on the doorknob or even on the back of the door.  Keep in mind that they do need to be laundered so you'll need to keep at least two, if not more so that you'll never be left without somewhere to store your dirty diapers.
  • Pail Deodorizer:  Pail Powder like Fluff Dust is a great accessory to have.  If you feel your diaper pail isn't smelling so fresh you can sprinkle this great deodorizer into it and help neutralize the odor.  Also works great for other laundry, pet odors, carpets, etc.
  • Cloth Wipes:  Cloth wipes just make sense when you're using cloth diapers.  Imagine you're changing a diaper and have the dirty diapers to store in a wetbag or diaper pail liner and are left with a handful of dirty disposable wipes that you've got to deal with.  With cloth wipes you can simply toss them into the laundry with the diapers.  This is especially convenient when you're out and you may not be near somewhere that you could easily dispose of the disposable wipes.  Remember you usually need to pre-moisten them daily and there's no exact way of knowing how many you need so I recommend keeping at least 1-2 dozen clean ones available for use each day.
  • Cloth Wipe Solutions:  Cloth wipe solutions like Baby Bum Drops are an excellent product made to go hand in hand with cloth wipe use.  They allow you to pre-moisten your wipes, either with a spray bottle at each diaper change or at the beginning of each day.  They are gentle on the babies bum and their natural mild fragrance makes diaper changes more pleasant.
So, that's the rundown on the most common cloth diapering accessories. It's up to you to give them a try and decide which are worth it and which you think are just a luxury.  Cloth diapering can be as simple as you want or as economical.

See something I've missed?  Leave me a comment and I'll add it to my list.



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