Pin the Spotlight
Beyond the Forums
Many of our forum members have been cloth diapering for years and and their knowledge is invaluable to the cloth diapering community. This week, join me as I interview long time Diaper Pin forum member Xandi.
Xandi is a SAHM/WAHM. She has three sweet, obnoxious, fantastic children and one smart, handsome (if balding), grad student husband. She has been living the Diaper Pin lifestyle for four years.
How many diapers do you have in your current stash?
My in-use stash has about 30 diapers.
What does your stash consist of?
Knickernappies, Fuzzi Bunz, Sunseedlings, and a few BG AIOs and fitteds (both of which are no longer made, unfortunately).
How do you clean the poopy diapers – spray, swish, or spatula?
None of the above! The poopy dipes go straight from the butt to the pail/wetbag, then to the washing machine. I hate poop, so I do as little with it as I can get away with. To be fair, I did use a sprayer for a few months when we first started CDing and it was bearable. The sprayer didn’t live long, though, before our hard water destroyed it.
How can you tell if your water is very hard?
If you’re ambitious, you can head over to Home Depot and pick up some tester strips. If you’re lazy like me, you can just contact your local water department. Mine happens to have the information right on their website, but you can also call and ask. My water comes from a deep, mountain aquifer and is just loaded with minerals.
Do you have any good hard water tips?
Well, my hard water experience differs from most. I usually hear that prefolds and flats are the way to go if you have hard water, since they rinse so easily. That won’t work for us, though. Our water is so hard that it makes my prefolds feel like burlap. There’s no way I can feel good about putting them on a tender baby bum. I have to use softer– but harder to rinse– fabrics like fleece. It works out okay if I use a phosphate softener like Charlie’s Laundry Booster as part of my wash routine.
I hear you don’t use sposies even on trips. What is your worst experience travelling with cloth?
We travel often for my husband’s schooling and are gone for six to eight weeks at a time. Last summer we stayed in college student housing for two months and the washers in the shared laundry facility had so much detergent/fabric softener buildup, it was ridiculous. I tried stripping the washers before use, but to no avail. My poor prefolds didn’t stand a chance. I *still* haven’t managed to strip all the buildup out of them.
Otherwise, my experiences traveling with cloth have been pretty good. I’ve taken my diapers on camping trips, river trips, and oodles of family visits. As long as I have enough diapers to get me through the whole trip, it turns out fine. Yeah, it’s not ideal to go 5 days without washing, but I’ve never had a problem with stinkies as long as I double-wash the dipes as soon as I get home.
What’s in your diaper bag?
I rarely carry a diaper bag. Normally, I just throw a diaper or two and some wipes in my purse and head out the door. If I do take a diaper bag, it’s just so I’ll have room to pack some small toys and snacks and maybe an extra blanket for a longer outing (like a day at the zoo, etc.). In that case, I also throw in my wallet, sunglasses, and non-toxic sanitizer, and leave my purse at home.
Do you have any funny cloth diapering memories?
When we first started CDing, we went to visit my family and bragged about how “we never, ever have blowouts anymore!” We felt the need to talk up our new diapers since my grandma was such a cloth naysayer. That night at the rodeo, DS pooped right out of his diaper onto my grandma. It was user error that caused the leak, but it was still really embarrassing.
What advice do you have for cloth diapering on a budget?
1) Flats, the obvious choice for low-cost diapering.
2) Shop the FSOT section at the Pin for used diapers, especially when you’re first starting out. It’s good to get an idea of what you like before you splurge on a huge stash of something you might end up hating (as I know from experience).
3) When you buy new, choose diapers with an awesome warranty. Some of mine have two-year warranties. I already knew I liked the diapers, but the warranty was what pushed me over the edge to buy a whole stash of them—especially with my water woes.
What one thing have you always wanted to try/do/learn, but have not had the time or resources to do?
I really want to make my own diapers. Not to sell, just to use. Every time I get online determined to finally purchase the supplies, I calculate the costs and chicken out. It would save me a dollar or two per diaper to make my own… but that’s only if I don’t destroy them with my amateurish sewing. I don’t have enough confidence in my abilities for that yet, especially on such a tight budget. Maybe someday I’ll be able to afford the risk, but not today. Fortunately, I’m pretty happy with my current stash. Aside from wishing for Velcro instead of snaps (for my alligator-rolling babe), I’m very comfortable with what I have.
Attention Article Writers! Do you have an article to share with us? Send it to Diaper Pin! For more information, read our article submission notes.