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How-To: Cloth Diapers (Part 2)

Caribou Baby puts an end to cloth diaper-phobia with this 3-part series. Today’s focus: Laundry!

How-To: Cloth Diapers (Part 2)

In our first post of this 3-part series, we wrote about one of our favorite diapers - the prefold! But no matter how loud we preach our love for cloth diapers from the rooftops, we know what’s really going through everyone’s minds, “But POOP?! In my WASHER!??” So before we talk more about diapers, let’s talk about the dirty stuff: laundry.

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Let’s start with the bad news first. There is already poop in your washer. (Gasp!) Tiny specks of poop already lived inside your precious washing machine from adult clothing and whatnot, but when baby arrives into the world, those tiny specks become giant globs and huge puddles. Truth: Poop doesn’t stay so well in disposable diapers, meaning it often ends up on baby clothes. Diaper blowouts are chiefly a disposable diapering problem. And then one day, not so far away, when you have a potty training toddler? More poop. We wish we could tell you when the poop will stop, but even bigger kids occasionally are not so good at the finer points of wiping. So let’s learn how (and when) to deal with the poop, shall we? Cloth diapers perform best when washed no less than 2 to 3 times per week. You can try pushing it longer, but it might end up causing more complicated laundry issues. To keep the it simple and straightforward, just suck it up and don’t go longer than 4 days without washing. It is obviously a little easier to run a quick load of wash if you have a machine in your house, but it is possible to wash in a laundromat. The advantage to using a laundromat is that you have access to many machines, so you can spread out several loads of laundry to get it all done at once. Another Truth: Having a baby means you will ALWAYS have laundry to do. If you think washing diapers a couple times a week is bad, just try letting breastmilk-soaked jammies sit and spoil for more than 2 days. Yikes!

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So now that you’ve accepted your laundry situation, what to do with the poop? (Wait for it…) NOTHING! If your baby is exclusively breastfed, you don’t need to do anything. Just throw the diaper in a wet bag (waterproof laundry bag), or the washer, and the water, soap and agitation will wash the poop right out. Exclusively breastfed babies’ poops are relatively unstinky and water soluble. If your baby is drinking any formula or has started solids, you will simply hose the poop off the diaper before storing the diaper in your wet bag until wash day. While some people prefer the expediency of dunking dirty dipes in the toilet to rinse them off, or rinsing them out in the sink, a diaper sprayer hooked up to your toilet might simplify things for you and skeeve you out a bit less. Watch and learn how to clean prefolds with a diaper sprayer! The diaper pail you use can be as simple as a garbage can lined with a wet bag. This bag gets washed along with your diapers. On laundry day, take your diapers and wet bags and toss them into the washing machine. A simple washing routine looks like this: Run one cold wash cycle with detergent, which removes stains and cleans diapers. Run a second hot (or extra hot) wash cycle, which sanitizes the diapers and rinses out the detergent. There are many alternatives to this washing routine that pertain to each person’s particular machine and water quality, but the above is a good place to start. If you have your own machine at home with a rinse cycle option, some people like to do a cold rinse cycle sans detergent, a hot wash cycle with detergent, and a hot rinse cycle sans detergent to make sure the diapers are totally detergent-free at the end. Not all detergents are created equal when it comes to cloth diapering. Diapers are particularly absorbent, and need to be really clean to continue absorbing well and smelling normal. Any detergent with additives or chemicals that are designed to coat the surface of the fabric get stuck in the diaper fibers and make them repellant and/or stinky. Leftover detergent in your diapers can also cause rashes for your babe. (Rate your current detergent here or, if you have your own machine, consider switching all your laundry over to a clean rinsing detergent like Charlie’s Soap. If you’re using shared laundry facilities, a super clean-rinsing detergent can end up just cleaning out the machine instead of your diapers, so best to stick with a less-specialized natural detergent, like BioKleen Premium Plus Powder.

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While cloth laundering does use more water than a standard load of laundry, it’s also about the same amount of water that you use in a week of flushing the toilet. By contrast, it takes 9 gallons of water to produce a single disposable diaper. Do the math for your own washer [http://www.gro-via.com/blog/washing-away-cloth-diaper-water-myth/] and cloth diapering. From an ecological perspective, cloth diapering always makes more sense. When the wash is done, dry anything cotton in the dryer, and consider hanging to dry anything with waterproofing in it (Polyurthane Laminate), like your covers and wet bags. They’ll stay in better condition this way. Also, hanging laundry to dry in the sun is a GREAT way to further sanitize and remove stains. If you are laundry inept and having a panic attack while reading this, don’t fret! One of our beloved local diaper services, Diaperkind (link: http://www.diaperkind.com), will drop off a huge sack of clean prefolds in the night and whisk away your dirty ones--like mystical diaper fairies! All you need to supply are the covers. If this seems overwhelming, that’s normal. Changing your routine is always the hardest part, and there is a lot of change that comes with a baby. We guarantee that once this routine becomes, well, routine, it will seem natural and much easier than you anticipated. If you have a problem we are always happy to help you troubleshoot!

Every week, we stock the Motherly Shop with innovative and fresh products from brands we feel good about. We want to be certain you don't miss anything, so to keep you in the loop, we're providing a cheat sheet.

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She sought out premium, all natural fabrics and factories that shared her core values, practicing environmentally friendly manufacturing methods with fair and safe working conditions for employees. As a result, her made in the USA, gender-neutral designs check all the boxes. The sustainable, organic basics are perfect for everyday wear, family photos and any adventure in between.

Lucy Lue Organics: Sustainably and ethically-produced modern baby clothes

This family-owned and operated business was started by a mama who wanted out of corporate America after the birth of her son. Thoughtfully designed to mix-and-match, Lucy Lue's sustainably and ethically produced collection of modern organic baby clothes only uses fabrics that are "environmentally friendly from seed to seam." Their gorgeous, earthy tones and comfy, minimalist styles make the perfect addition to first wardrobes from birth through the first years.

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Sorry, you can’t meet our baby yet

Thank you for understanding. ❤️

In just over three weeks, we will become parents. From then on, our hearts will live outside of our bodies. We will finally understand what everyone tells you about bringing a child into the world.

Lately, the range of emotions and hormones has left me feeling nothing short of my new favorite mom word, "hormotional." I'm sure that's normal though, and something most people start to feel as everything suddenly becomes real.

Our bags are mostly packed, diaper bag ready, and birth plan in place. Now it's essentially a waiting game. We're finishing up our online childbirth classes which I must say are quite informational and sometimes entertaining. But in between the waiting and the classes, we've had to think about how we're going to handle life after baby's birth.

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I don't mean thinking and planning about the lack of sleep, feeding schedule, or just the overall changes a new baby is going to bring. I'm talking about how we're going to handle excited family members and friends who've waited just as long as we have to meet our child. That sentence sounds so bizarre, right? How we're going to handle family and friends? That sentence shouldn't even have to exist.

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Chrissy Teigen/Instagram

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Halfway through a high-risk pregnancy complicated by placenta issues, Teigen announced late Wednesday that she has suffered a pregnancy loss.

Our deepest condolences go out to Chrissy and her husband, John Legend (who has been by her side in the hospital for several days now).

In a social media post, Teigen explained she named this baby Jack.

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"We are shocked and in the kind of deep pain you only hear about, the kind of pain we've never felt before. We were never able to stop the bleeding and give our baby the fluids he needed, despite bags and bags of blood transfusions. It just wasn't enough," she wrote.

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