Our Adventures in Cloth Diapering

I've been asked by a good number of friends to do a write up on cloth diapers - what we use, why we do it, how hard is it really, etc....

Honestly, a year ago, I didn't think I'd be discussing 'such a topic' as this! It was actually about a year ago that I told Zach, "If we ever have two in diapers, I will totally use cloth..." About 6 weeks later...I was eating my words as we found out our new surprise! :)

I will admit, I was nervous at first. I had researched cloth before Keaton was born and I knew it wasn't our parents and grandparents "pins & dishtowels" - this "new cloth diapering" was amazing. But, it just wasn't for "us."

We started for financial reasons...the more addicted I got, I changed our reasoning to being "greener" - because if we had any money at all, I would be spending it ALL on cloth diapers!

As I talk about the brands below, I'll mention various kinds of diapers.
All-In-Ones (AIO) - These are closest to disposable diapers. You either snap or Velcro them on, and then unsnap/un-velcro and put a new diaper on. (Think disposables that you wash)
Pockets - These you stuff a liner in between the fleece inner part of the diaper and the waterproof outside of the diaper.
Fitted - These need a waterproof cover (don't think plastic pants!)
Prefolds - Basically the size of a dish towel (smaller or larger depending on the size of the baby) You can pin, fold or use a Snappi (a "gripper" that holds the diaper shut)
Covers - The waterproof cover for the fitteds or prefolds
One-Size - These diapers you can adjust the 'rise' (how big they are basically) as baby grows and use from newborn through potty training.

I had a friend mail me a couple to get started. Our first two diapers were Pocket Change (PC) - I was in love immediately! The fabulous thing about PC - you don't have to remove the inserts! They agitate out in the wash!! This got us spoiled from the start (well, me at least!) We placed an order for 6 more. But I was doing laundry everyday - not "green" :)

I had heard amazing things about BumGenuis 3.0 (version 3) One-size (BGOS). My mom offered to buy us a "handful" to get us through 2 days. I immediately knew I wasn't as big of a fan as everyone else was. The Velcro would rub Keaton's belly and make it all red...and then, after some time, if he was ever JUST in a diaper - he'd rip it right off - NOT good! As much as I wasn't a fan, we've kept these. Zach loves them as they are most like disposable diapers, except pulling the liner out (not a big deal to either of us anymore, we don't think twice about it!)

I really wanted to try out other types, but, that's hard on a limited budget. I found some used AIO diapers made by a WAHM (Work At Home Mom) and a company called Nana's Bottoms and I absolutely love them!

When we started buying for Benjamin, I thought I wanted to use the PC from the beginning, but the more I read, I realized these weren't the best for newborn poo :)

We ended up buying a wide assortment to try. I really haven't been disappointed with anything that we bought for him, except for one type of cover (I'll get to that in a minute!)

We bought some Thirsties AIOs. I've been pleased, but not overly thrilled.

We also purchased some fitteds - kissaluvs and Thirsties Fab Fitted. Of the two of these, the Fab Fitted are by FAR my favorite fitted!!

We purchased two brands of covers: Thirsties covers (LOVE THEM) and Proraps - These I am not a fan of at all.

We have also purchased prefolds for night time use with Keaton (and eventually Benjamin). No, we don't use pins :) We just tri-fold them and lay them inside a cover. We have used Bummis Super Snap for Keaton until he outgrew them (and most of his current stash!)

We just bought some more diapers for Keaton and I've tested out 2 of those diapers so far! The first is the "new style" PC (they just made them trimmer and different colors) and a Happy Heiny (HH). The HH stayed on him for about 4 hours this morning (on purpose!) and it with held all leaks! Woohoo! :)

We also purchased a Baby Kangas and thirsties covers in his size for night time use with the prefolds.

After the dirty diaper comes off B or K (B's poos stay in the diaper as breast milk poo is watery and ...well just washes away - K's poos we plop in the toilet & flush away) I put them in a wet bag (waterproof bag that keeps wetness & smell in). They stay there til wash day (every 2 days before we run out of diapers). When it's time to wash, I run them through a hot/cold/hot wash cycle with 1/4 of the detergent I would use for washing clothes (too much detergent can cause build up and cause the diapers to start leaking) - also, once a week, I let the diapers soak for 60-90 minutes before washing. I wash with All Free & Clear (some sites say this is the best, others say don't let Free & Clear detergents touch your diapers!) If you want to see if your specific detergent works well with cloth diapers, check here. I'm also about to make our own laundry detergent (I'll let you know how that turns out!) :)
*No, I've never found traces of poo in our washer.
*Does the thought of putting poo in our washer gross me out? Yes (remember how OC I am about some things?!) Every 2 weeks, I do a load of whites and wash with bleach to ease my mind :)

I try to air dry my diapers as much as possible (to save electricity/money, but to also save my diapers!) This involves timing washings precisely though and it doesn't always work out that way! If I do machine dry them, I dry them as I would my clothes - but no dryer sheets!

Honestly, not much harder than changing a disposable diaper.
Put diaper on baby.
Baby wears diaper and pees/poos in it.
Take baby to changing area.
Remove diaper.
Place new diaper on baby.
(If poo needs to be flushed do that here).
Place diaper in wet bag (or other "holding container" of choice).
Instead of dumping a trash bag full of diapers in the trash bin, dump the bag of diapers in the washer.
Start washer.
Hang diapers to dry/place in dryer.
Remove diapers & stuff (maybe a 5 minute process).
Place at changing area and wait for next diaper change!

Keaton goes through about 5-7 diapers a day (some times less, some times more)
Benjamin goes through about 10 diapers a day. We do not have enough diapers to go a whole day with him, so I alternate between cloth and disposable on changes and for the time being, we only do disposables at night.

We do use diaper cream on Keaton as he has very sensitive skin. This is not recommended for cloth diapers. I had to search high & low, but eventually found micro fleece. I made fleece pockets to insert his prefolds in for night time (the pockets aren't necessary, you can just cut a strip to lay between baby and diaper) This keeps the cream off the diapers (which could cause leaks with your diapers)

I was asked if I like snaps or velcro better - I love snaps! The velcro makes it easier to get an exact fit, but, Keaton has already showed his determination in trying to take off velcro diapers! We have to keep a close eye on him while in this style diaper!

We started Benjamin in cloth as soon as we came home (and the tarry meconium poo had passed!!) However, at 6.5 weeks, he has already outgrown his diapers (well, they are very, VERY snug on him!) I've mentioned in a previous post that I plan on selling these "tiny" diapers (the kind we have fit up to 12lbs.) because we obviously have bigger babies that don't fit in the tiny ones as long! With any other future children we happen to be blessed with, we'll just use disposables until they fit into the "bigger" size diapers we have.

**all terms & brands with reviews can be found here**
Seriously, I could talk all day about this :) Please let me know of any questions you have & I'll try to answer them (If I can't, I'll find someone that can!)

3 people have shared!:

The Chilsons said...

Well, that was interesting! A tip for keeping velcro on...put them on backwards! I have done that a couple of times since Asher loves to take his pants AND diaper off. You know I LOVE Happy heinys! I also love mine from the Baby Blanket. Brooke at the Baby Blanket is good to stand by her product. I still am a little worried about cloth over night for boys. and well I just haven't tried it with Lydia, she seems to be a very heavy wetter though. But having done cloth for over 2 years now, I can not imagine doing anything else! We are actually getting rid of baby clothes, since we think we are done, but I refuse to get rid of diapers just yet...just in case! Cool post. If you ever have questions for me, I can help what I can, but it looks like you know WAY more than I at this point! YAY for you! Now I know where to go for advice!

The Chilsons said...

Okay, well let me clarify now that I have read that...Lydia is in cloth all day long, she just uses one disposable at night. Same with Asher! And about the Happy Heinys...i do love them, I am not too crazy about the one-size, but I love the others. I can share more with you about that in a not so public setting! Talk to you later :)

ChefDruck said...

wow - thanks for sharing. Very valuable info. Although I must say I'm glad to be potty training my last child...