July 3, 2010

The Low-down on Line Drying

Most cloth diapers come with instructions for tumble dryers but what about line-drying? I don't have a dryer so here is what I have learned about the compatibility between cloth diapering and the washing line...

Obviously the first thing you need to consider with line-drying is your climate. If you reside where the weather is dry, hot and sunny, you are obviously at an immediate advantage. I live in a warm climate but it is often rainy and when it is dry it is also humid. However I still find that almost everything will dry in 24 hours. The common sense rule is that the wetter your weather the more diapers you will need to successfully line dry and have enough for your baby's bottom each day!

Whatever your weather I recommend having a line that is under shelter (such as on your veranda) as this saves having to rush out to collect diapers off the line the minute it rains. An inside line is also an advantage for extra items or those that need more drying time. I generally hang my load to dry in the morning and leave everything there until the next day when hanging out the next load. Fast drying items such as covers and pockets get picked off the line as necessary.

So what dries well and what items are best avoided for the line? Well I have a range of prefolds, covers, doublers, pocket diapers and inserts. As I said above, almost everything (with the exception of thick inserts on rainy days) will dry within 24 hours. From a brief flirtation with a Kissaluv fitted diaper I found that these types of dipes take a very long time to line-dry and can sometimes can get stinky. If you solely rely on line-drying then I'd advise to avoid Fitteds and All-in-ones unless you have a consistently hot dry climate or windy weather. However you could also try my other method, which I resort to it rains for several days in a row – hanging items to dry on on the handle of the oven while baking! (Not sure if this is recommended by manufacturers though so watch you don't melt something and void your guarantees!)

Line-drying is obviously the more eco-route to diapering yet I find that the prefolds get very stiff drying this way and I spend each evening ironing (yes ironing!) the daily set to soften them up and make the easier to fold. It doesn't take long but if I had known about this chore in advance I would have probably saved up to buy more pocket diapers and been more ecological in the bargain.

One big benefit about line drying is that most stains quickly disappear by virtue of the suns magical bleaching power. It doesn't even have to bright sunlight for marks to fade away. The outdoors air also gives the diapers a fresh scent that can not be replicated in a dryer. To me it's a sweetly satisfying feeling to see my diapers blowing in the breeze each day and it's also a great way to give directions to anyone looking for my house – just look for the diapers on the line!

June 30, 2010

Diaper Covers!

Thirsties Duo Wrap diaper covers - Size 1 - This cover is getting a lot of use.  It's currently one of three covers that we're using daily over our fitteds.  In this pic, it's snapped down as small as it'll go over a Kissaluvs Size 0 fitted.  It fits well and so far we haven't had a single leak.  The gussets work well to contain everything inside the cover.  

Bummis Super Brite, Extra Small

Bummis Super Brite cover - Extra Small - I've posted about this one before, but I'm doing it again since this post is all about covers.  The XS fit our little guy perfectly from day 1 and at 3 weeks and 9 lbs, it still fits pretty nicely.  This cover is also in our daily rotation and I don't think it's ever leaked. 

Thirsties Cover - Extra Small

Thirsties Cover - Extra Small - This cover is their original sized cover...not the Duo Wrap.  If you compare the Duo photo at the top to this one, you can see the XS fit is very similar to the Duo fit snapped down to the smallest setting.  Great cover, dependable, started to fit really nicely around 8 lbs, though it didn't leak when he was smaller.  This photo was taken yesterday when he's a little over 9 lbs.  

Bummis Super Whisper Wrap - small - long the standard in cloth diapering, the Bummis Super Whisper Wrap is durable and dependable.   We've sold these covers at Cloth Diaper Outlet for about 3 years even though I didn't like them on my daughter (who is now 5 years old).  I do, however, like them on Colby.  The fit is great, the width is roomy enough for bigger fitteds, and the velcro is top-quality.  The only thing I don't like is that you can't wipe out the cover.  After a few uses, it really needs to be washed.  

I think this concludes my trial of covers.  I do have other covers in our stash.  Some are too big (onesize covers mostly) and some are part of a hybrid system, like the Flip cover, and thus are reviewed elsewhere. 

June 29, 2010

By popular demand...pics of particular diapers on our newborn

I've had some requests for pictures of particular diapers on our new baby, so here you go!  Colby is about 9 lbs right now and is 3 weeks old.

FuzziBunz OneSize with small insert

FuzziBunz OneSize - I really like the fit.  You can see in the picture that it's fairly trim and has a nice fit.  To adjust the legs and waist, I used the size numbers suggested on their size chart.  So far he's worn it about 3 times.  It did leak urine once, but he was on his side nursing and that's a tough position for any diaper, plus I'm not sure it was on tight enough.

Wahmies OneSize with Snaps, small microfiber insert

Wahmies OneSize - I tried the bamboo fold-to-fit insert that comes with this diaper, but it was too bulky IMO for a newborn.  Instead I've been using a small microfiber insert and with that, the fit is pretty good.  The PUL is stretchier than most brands, which helps to get a good fit.  Like the FuzziBunz OS, this diaper did leak once, but it was during nursing when he was on his side. 

Thirsties Duo Diaper with extra small microfiber insert

Thirsties Duo Diaper - size 1 - This diaper comes with two inserts, a hemp and a microfiber, both of which I thought were too bulky.  Instead, I'm using an extra small microfiber insert.  The Duo Diaper is a very trim diaper, which means only certain inserts are narrow enough to fit inside.  With the XS insert, the fit is pretty good.  The leg elastic is a little awkward with the snap-down rise...it's hard to get it adjusted just right so the leg doesn't gape open.  But with a little practice, I'm finding this to be a dependable diaper.  And the inserts really do agitate out in the wash.  Bonus! 

What are our favorite OneSize diapers at this point?  Rumparooz, Knickernappies, FuzziBunz, and Happy Heiny Mini.  The others in general do great, but these 4 are our very favorites, the kind I might buy a whole stash of if I was a normal diaper mama!