Kushies Cloth Diapers: Our Adventure with Cloth Diapering
I was shocked at how many disposable diapers we were using per day for my two kids. Then I pictured all of those diapers in a landfill. Scary, huh? So, I decided to try cloth diapers from Kushies for our 5-month-old (and stepped up the potty training for my toddler). There are a few factors for me to consider when it comes to cloth diapering: We live in an apartment and we use coin operated washing machines in the basement. Due to schedules, I can only do laundry a few nights a week. What was I going to do with soiled diapers? How much was it going to cost to wash all these diapers and would I have to wash them multiple times? Since we had just gotten a new diaper pail, the Diaper Dékor Plus, I used it to store the soiled ones. When I needed to use a disposable diaper, I would just use my old pail.
I was really impressed with Kushies’ Cloth Diapers. Baby Allegra loved them from the start — they were so soft and comfortable for her. We tried the Classic Infant Diapers 5 pack ($57.25) and the Diaper Wraps ($8.60 each) — which you can put over the diaper to give it a little extra absorbency during nighttime, naptime, etc. Kushies’ diapers are made with 8 layers of 100% cotton flannelette. They have velcro tabs, so no diaper pins needed. They have a special flap allowing for more absorbency (folded in front for boys and in the middle for girls). The prints are very cute too. During the summer, they can even look like part of an outfit. I definitely had loads of questions – how to wash, etc., but I easily found the answers in their FAQ’s.
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At around 12 lbs, Allegra tried the diapers that fit 10-22 lbs. They seemed a little big, but I prefer my kids in bigger diapers anyway, so I was happy. Kushies says, "You can also adjust the waist tabs by either fastening one over the top of the other horizontally or across in an "X"." It helped and made for a much better fit.
Washing was actually really easy. Because we live in an apartment with shared washing machines, I used my new Diaper Dékor Plus to store the used diapers. The wet diapers were rinsed off and then went into the diaper pail. When we had the really messy diapers, I washed them out over the toilet and put Dreft spray on it. Then I stored it in a ziploc until I could get to the washing machine. For the next messy diaper, I followed Kushies’ recommendation of "half-filling a diaper pail with cold water and add 1/4 cup of baking soda, vinegar, or Amaze. Once diaper is removed, fold the fastening tabs and place it in the diaper pail. For stubborn stains, you can scrub with an ‘old-fashioned’ laundry soap bar before presoaking.*Never use a PURE SOAP (such as IVORY SNOW) or DETERGENT in your PRESOAK as they will cause the premature breakdown of the fibers and wear down of your diapers."
The wet diapers came out spotless after one wash. The other messy diapers took a little more effort. I washed them again in the machine and I was impressed with how clean they came out (a little stained, but I think the presoaking would have made a huge difference). A friend recommended letting the sun bleach out the diaper, but since we are in an apartment with a small terrace, I haven’t been able to try that out yet.
For extra absorbency, try their flushable biodegradable liners ($8.60 for 100 sheets)– these were great, and I used them also.
End Result: I will be using cloth diapers on my daughter as much as possible — but unfortunately not full time. Right now, while we live in an apartment, it is just too hard going downstairs to the laundry room. But to help the environment, I have also started using more eco-friendly brands of disposable diapers.
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