Cloth Diapers 101: Great Learning Session!

Last Saturday (April 21), I attended the Cloth Diapers 101 seminar held at the Medela House. This talk was organized by Jenny of Chronicles of a Nursing Mom, Jen of Next9, and Clarice and Abie of Tickled Moms.

I brought J to the Medela House with me, and our two yayas so they could learn more about cloth diapers, particularly on how to use them properly and how to wash them. We got there just a few minutes after the session started, because I had to wait for J to wake up from his nap. :-)
Here's J with Mommy Clarice's adorable little girl!
I found the session really informative and I picked up lots of useful tips from Mommies Clarice, Abie and the two Jens on how to properly use my cloth diapers. For mommies who were unable to attend, here are some of the new things I learned about using cloth diapers: (Fair warning, I didn't really pay much attention to the parts about other diapers, and just focused on the tips on using pocket diapers!)
  1. Before using your cloth diapers, you should prepare them first. Which I didn't do. What I did was just wash them once before putting them on J. According to Mommy Abie, that's okay if you're using synthetic fabrics (such as microfibers, which I use). But if you're using natural fabrics like bamboo or hemp, you have to prepare them by washing 4-6 times in hot water or 7-9 times in cold water.
  2. Inserts or soakers have different absorption rates. From fastest to slowest, it's microfiber, bamboo, then hemp. They also have different levels of absorbency. Hemp is the most absorbent, then bamboo, then microfiber.
  3. You shouldn't put microfiber next to baby's skin. Because it's so absorbent, it tends to soak out the moisture from your baby's skin, so it dries out baby's butt. I didn't know that, but I'm glad I found out, because we haven't been putting the soakers inside the pockets. Now we do.
  4. Don't wash natural fabrics with microfibers, because the natural fabrics release oils that may cling to your microfiber soakers and cause them to repel water.
  5. Don't use chlorine bleaches like Zonrox to wash your diapers. If you have to use bleach, use Oxy-bleach. You can get this at S&R.
  6. To avoid stinking up the room during the night, put soiled nappies in a covered trash can or pail. (Which is actually common sense, when you think about it.) We used to have a problem with this because J went through a lot of nappies during the night and by morning, his room really smelled bad. Ew.
  7. Stains can be removed using any of the following: lemon juice, oxy-bleach, hydrogen peroxide (1/2 cup in rinse water), or white vinegar (1/4-1/2 cup in rinse water). Exposure to Mr. Sun is also a good idea.
  8. If you perform an absorbency test and your nappies are no longer soaking up liquids, then it's time to strip! Your diapers, I mean. :-) By stripping, you can either soak your nappies in soapy water (1/2 tsp. of dishwashing liquid such as Axion or Joy with water for 30 minutes will work for a dozen diapers). Pockets may be scrubbed with a soft brush and should be rinsed until no soap suds are left. Soakers may also be stripped by boiling for 15 minutes. Don't boil the pockets! You'll ruin the plastic.
  9. Smells can be due to using too much detergent. In cases like this, it's time to strip again! You can also use 1/2 cup of baking soda dissolved in the rinse water.
  10. The pockets should be dried horizontally to avoid straining the elastic on the legs.
And aside from helpful tips, I also picked up new additions to our cloth diaper stash. While our collection has been made up mostly of Next9 diapers, I decided to try some from Sunbaby, which has a waterproof lining around the waist, for nighttime use.

Our new purchases from Tickled Moms

Apart from the four adorable pockets I picked up, I also bought some cloth wipes to use for Little C and some bamboo inserts or soakers. From what I learned during the talk, the bamboo inserts have the same absorbency as the microfibers, but are way thinner so it's not as thick or bulky when placed inside the pockets. They're actually half the thickness of the microfiber soakers. Like the Sunbaby diapers, these were bought with the intent of trying to go on full-time cloth diaper mode.

As you know, we've been using cloth diapers on J during the daytime, but have run into some problems with night-time diapering, particularly since J doesn't like being moved around at night. But lately, he's been okay with it, so we took advantage and tried some of the tips that we learned on nighttime diapering.

The most important thing I picked up was how to increase the absorbency of the diapers for nighttime use. As I mentioned before, we tried using two microfibers but J either found them too bulky or too warm and didn't really like them. According to the speakers, you can layer one microfiber and one bamboo soaker so it's thinner, with the microfiber soaker on top.

J napping in his new Sunbaby diapers
Like me, Yaya also found the session very helpful and she was encouraged to try nighttime diapering on J again. She's experimenting on her own and putting two microfibers together, with one extra bamboo layer to increase the nappy's absorbency. She changes the nappy every 2 hours or so and J stayed leak free! So far, it's been 4 days of full-time cloth diapering, even during nap time and at night, and we've been largely successful!

The only problem we've encountered so far happens in the morning, near J's wake-up time, because he's usually soaked through the diapers by then. We need to change the nappy around 6am but we can't, because then he'd wake up too early, so the nappy Yaya puts on him at around 4:30 or 5:30 has to last until 7:30 at least.

I'm really glad I took the time to attend this session. Our CD-ing experience has greatly improved and hopefully, we can keep J on full-time cloth diaper mode from now on. :-)

To other mommies, especially expectant moms, I really encourage you to attend as many classes, seminars and talks as you can before you give birth. Based on my experience, there really is a lot to learn and we're lucky to have access to other moms who are so generous with their time to share their knowledge.

As for me, I'm really looking forward to attending two more learning sessions before my big belly and I go on hiatus for Little C's due date. For expectant moms who are planning to breastfeed, there will be a talk on how to increase your breastmilk supply (with babywearing tips) on April 28 (9am to 11am) and Breastfeeding 101 on May 5 (9am to 11am). Both sessions will be held at the Medela House, so text Medela Moms through 0917-5614366 to register.

So to end this very long post (you can see how happy I am about all the new stuff I learned), I'd like to say thanks to Mommies Jenny, Jen, Clarice and Abby for being so generous with their time and knowledge and for a wonderful learning session!


Jenny @ Chronicles of A Nursing Mom said...

thanks for attending Dianne!! and glad to learn that the session was quite useful :D

Jen CC Tan said...

love the post!!! so informative! thanks for coming, dianne!

quakermommy said...

Thanks as well, Mommies Jenny and Jen! I hope the next session will be well-attended! :)

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