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Monday, December 20, 2010

Love your Cloth Diapers!

When my twins were newborns prefolds and covers were all we used! We love prefolds, they are easy to use and dry extremely fast, so you don't need to have a ton. However, when it comes to prefolds, in my experience they get wet a lot faster, thus you end up using a bunch through the day. When the babies were a few months old we decided to branch out to other cloth diaper styles. After much research, we made the decision to add Bum Genius to our prefold stash.

I purchased 18 Bum Genius 3.0 - 9 boy colors & 9 girl colors! When a friend of mine (we'll call her Jane) found out that I was cloth diapering my infant twins, Jane decided that she would give cloth diapering a try with her 13 months old. We each placed our orders at the same time. Jane's diapers ended up arriving about 10 days before mine did.

When mine arrived, I read the manufactures guidelines and washing instructions. Then I did about 8 prep washes to ensure they would absorb as much as they possible could.

But...Jane washed them once. She told me she didn't think it was really that important to prep them and all she really wanted to do was "get the factory smell" out of the diapers.

Life is busy, having kids is hectic, and living in 2 different states, Jane and I ended up not talking for a few months.

During those few months, when one of the twins would poo, I would spray it out and if there was staining I would use a scrub brush and try to get the stain out, then wash it with in 2 hours. When the diapers were wet I put them in a wet bag until, the wet bag contained a full load (12-24 dipes). My diapers were ONLY washed with other diapers. ONLY dried with other diapers. I only used laundry soap made for cloth diapers...if for some reason we were out I would use a tiny amount of a natural free and clear. I NEVER used bleach or any other harsh chemicals. I NEVER EVER would use a dryer sheet. If my diapers were not absorbing like before , I would simply do 3 hot loads with NO laundry soap, they would always be back absorbing like before, they had just a little build up...happens to the best of us!

When I finally got a chance to talk to Jane, all she did was complain about the diapers, how horrible they were, how they leaked everywhere, and how they smelled so bad. I just listened to her rant. After she was done, I asked her how she had been caring for the diapers. "How I've been caring for the diapers?" she asked me, like I was crazy. I explained what I meant. As she shared with me, I was HORRIFIED! Jane told me this: When her baby would poo, she would shake to diaper over the toilet to remove the poo...Ok, that's good! Then, She would toss the dirty diaper in a laundry basket with all the dirty clothes, bath towels, and anything else that needed to be washed. Every diaper that had been wet would be tossed into the laundry basket as well, again with everything else that was dirty. In addition to this, when Jane would do her laundry load, EVERYTHING would go in together. No separation of diapers and other items. I started to get a little concerned about the condition these diaper were in. Jane also regularly used these Bleach, heavy duty laundry soap, liquid fabric softener, and fabric drier sheets. I understood now why the diapers were leaking so badly. I gave her a few suggestions, like: doing a soak and maybe a few strip loads with no soap. I also encouraged her to stop using the bleach and fabric softener. Most importantly, I told her to wash her diapers with only diapers. She told be she would give those suggestions a try. We chatted about our kids, then hung up.

A few weeks later, the phone was Jane! She told me that my suggestions had totally transformed her diapers. They had been holding up over night, they weren't leaking & most importantly they didn't stink! Then out of the blue she said: "I need your address" -"ok, why" I asked. Jane responded "I decided that cloth diapers aren't for me and I just want them gone". I was actually really surprised by this. When I shared that I was confused, she told me "we'll they were transformed for about a week, then I decided to go back to washing the way I was, it is just so much easier that way" My first thought...UGH. I gave a few suggestions, she responded back. I knew there was no point, her mind was made up. I gave her my address and that was that.

I received a box of 5 Bum Genius 3.0's soon after. Call me naive, but I was shocked at the condition of these diapers. When I compared my BG 3.0 to Jane's BG 3.0's, I was surprised. My diapers looked like they were maybe 6ish months old, Jane's looked like they were about 5 years old. (both mine and Jane's dipes were 10 month old in the photos) On my diaper the velcro was still stiff and held the diaper wonderfully together. The velcro on Jane's was almost unrecognizable as velcro, horribly curled & pilled, and not 'sticky' at all. In addition to this the inserts were rough and almost blue from all the bleach. Note: In all photos my diaper is the Dark Green, Jane's is the Light Green.

My husband looked at these sad diapers and told me: " Well if anyone can bring these back to life, its you". On a positive note the PUL was actually in pretty good condition. So I set out on a journey of repair. After 8 washed the water was still coming out soapy, it took 12-14 for the water to be 100% soap free...whoa. The smell of harsh cleaner was still too strong. I did a over night soak, and that really seemed to help with the chemical smell. I tested the diapers out on the twins, they don't leak, honestly I am stunned. However the velcro is pretty shot, and doesn't hold at all. With a little more TLC I know these Diapers will be back in great working condition, in addition I have plans to convert them to snaps.

I share with you this story, not to bad mouth Jane, but to share the importance of proper diaper care. It takes a little extra work, but done correctly, diapers can stay in beautiful condition for years. I also understand that cloth diapering can be difficult, and may not be for everyone, but if it is something you are considering, do your homework, know the Do's and Don'ts of Cloth Diapering. Cloth Diapering can be a wonderful and even fun experience when the proper care is taken!

Loving my dipes,

Mama of 3, cloth diapering Twins


Katie Coverstone said...

Wow...that is all I can say about the conditions of the two diapers! Plus, who would want to wash diapers with all of their other clothes! EW.

Big Mama said...

I had a friend who only used BG's and talked about her ammonia problem and stuff... and I saved her with some rock n green and now she knows how to properly wash her diapers

Anonymous said...

My question is, i have BumGenius 3.0 as well, and do all the correct washing instructions and "some" of my diapers the taps look like that.. They Velcro looks horrible..Do you line dry yours only?

Birthday Mama said...

Well, in principle, I totally agree with you. However, I have the same BG 3.0s, and mine are about 12 months old. I have followed the manufacturer's directions exactly for 12 months, and my diapers look much more similar to Jane's. The velcro does still stick just fine, but it's very pilly and curly. I truly have no idea how you've kept yours looking so new. It's just not a guarantee that following directions and being careful will make your diapers last longer.

Sarah Grady said...

I'm with you guys on the BG Velcro - I only have one, but mine looks horrible. I have some nubunz velcro dipes, and the velcro looks fine, so I think it was the type that BG used. Most of my diapers are snaps though.

I can't imagine washing diapers with my regular clothes. Mainly because i try and wash my other clothes on cold, and i use hot with an extra rinse and less soap on the diapers.

Tracy @)-->--- said...

I own about 8 3.0 BGs, I have ONE lonely light green diaper (like the one above). I care for all of them the same, and this ONE lonely diaper looks like "Jane's" but the rest look like yours. It's almost like they used a different Velcro front and different laundry tabs for this one diaper.

Lindsay said...

I have 10 BG 3.0s that look like Jane's. Mine were bought used though at a Cotton Babies $2 sale. I don't know how old they are. I have some I bought in April and they are not as nice as yours, but still in great shape. I think my washer beats them up!

Laura said...

BG's instructions say to just wash once to prep and to use bleach once a month... just sayin'.

Danielle said...

I have BumGenius 3.0's also. Some look close to Jane's, though I've always washed correctly. I think I discovered the reason: I have a front loader and my mom has a top loader. I think the top loader really beats up diapers with the agitator and ages them a lot faster. When I go to my mom's now, I won't wash diapers anymore because it seemed to cause the curling elastic and the pilling.

Ashley F. said...

I've had quite a few BG 3.0's with velcro turn out looking like Jane's as well, despite properly caring for my diapers...and I've had some that still look practically brand new. I suspect that there were different materials involved, possibly at different manufacturing plants. The bright colors are newer than the pastel colors, so even though both diapers were ordered at the same time it doesn't mean they were manufactured at the same time.
Certainly the leakage, chemical smell, etc. are all due to care--but don't despair if your BG 3.0's have icky velcro! It's not your fault, ladies!

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