Monday, August 20, 2012

FAQ About Cloth Diapering and Some Important Issues!

At this point, I change my six month old an average of 7x/day. I have enough diapers that I can go 5 days

between washes and hang them on the line for the 6th day so really I have around 45-50 diapers. This is a

large stash and most people wash every 3-4 days. I really did not want to be washing all that often so I

bought and made a few extra.


For a newborn, the best way to handle poop is to just put it in your pail or wetbag and deal with it when you

wash. They poop all the time and if you're running to rinse it every time, you're going to exhaust yourself. I

would fill my bucket with water and take them out one at a time and rinse. I really didn't have to because my

daughter is breastfed but I didn't like the idea of putting poop in the washer. Now she only poops once or

twice in the morning and it's so solid that I just dump it in the toilet and throw the diaper in the pail. Anything

left is so small I don't worry about it. I have a nice sprayer in my laundry room sink but you can buy them

for the toilet and they're relatively inexpensive and easy to install.

There's two ways to do it and most people do a combo of both. One size diapers have what are called "rise snaps" that make them adjust to fit smaller babies. This is great because you only have to buy one diaper from newborn to toddler. This also causes a ton of bulk on little babies. If you don't mind the bulk, these are the way to go. I have both but you might do a diaper trial for newborn and buy pockets, especially if you don't plan on having more than one.

This is all how you look at it. Velcro is easy on/easy off but they tend to chain in the washing machine and every time I pull diapers apart, I get upset because it's hurting the stickiness. That hurts resale and long-term use. My husband loves velrco because it's so easy.
BUT snaps are not all that much better. You have to put your hand between the baby and the diaper to snap them because they have to be pushed down too hard to snap it against the baby. Also, they are plastic to they can break more easily. I do have a snap press if this happens to you but still a nuisance. Also, snaps would be better for a toddler because they're slightly harder to get open. SLIGHTLY...

A word about leg gussets. They're the little extra piece of fabric that is sewn into the leg. If you can get a diaper or cover with them, they're AMAZING. They hold in newborn poop like you can't imagine. Thirsties have it as well as Bummis Super Brite Wraps and a couple other brands that I don't have. I'm working on learning how to sew them but I haven't gotten it down yet.

OH brands...mix and match definitely. I mean, if you find something you LOVE, buy a bunch but most likely, you'll have some you love and others you tolerate. Most people have a pretty mixed stash

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

My adventure in wool!

I just found a huge knitted blanket at goodwill that I will be making into a few covers to sell. While doing research on exactly how to go about this, I found an AMAZING blog on lanolizing (waterproofing) wool covers. This chick is amazing. Seriously, read her blog! understandinglaura

I'll be posting pics as soon as I get around to making the covers...

Monday, August 13, 2012

Types of Cloth Diapers

Flats: Literally a piece of fabric that you fold around the baby origami style. The only ones I have are Gerber Birdseye that I use to stuff pockets but I wouldn't recommend these for actual diapers. Walmart sells flour sack towels that apparently are great for this purpose.
PRO/CON: There's a billion different folds so you can customize these for whatever you need however, you have to learn the folds and then teach them to your husband or babysitters
PRO: they can be used throughout diapering because they are generally one size and you just modify the fold as they grow.
PRO: you can stuff your pocket diapers with these
PRO: they dry super quick
PRO: Cheapest way to go
CON: need a separate cover
CON: not good for older babies(really over 3 mo) or squirmy babies
CON: not the best for heavy wetters

Green Mountain Diapers come in lots of sizes!

Prefold: A flat with an absorbent material sewn in "the wet zone". We have a ton of these and my husband really liked these. They come in sized or one size/toddler. Green Mountain Diaper prefolds are really great.
PRO: less folding than a flat but still customizable
PRO: nearly as cheap as flats
PRO: can be used to stuff pockets later
PRO: better absorbancy
CON: still folding involved so squirmy babies are difficult to pin down
CON: Need a separate cover
For baby #2!

Fitteds: A prefold with elastic sewn into the legs and back to make it conform to the baby. some have velcro or snaps, others don't. I have a bumgenius and several Thirsties Fab Fitteds that I like. I really want to try kissaluvs for the next baby but I have not bought any yet.
PRO: No folding but similar absorbancy to a prefold
PRO: Great resale value
CON: these tend to be stupidly expensive, I don't understand it
CON: can't be used for another purpose once they outgrow them
CON: Need a separate cover
Thirsties cover! I want this print!
Thirsties cover! I want this print!

Covers: These are used over a flat, prefold or fitted to provide a waterproof barrier made of a fabric called PUL. I was given dappi covers that are ok. I like them over fitteds but don't often use them. Also, I have Thirsties Duo Wrap and Bummis Super Whisper Wrap. They are both SUPER popular for good reason. Get both, you'll be happy you did.
PRO: they come in CUTE prints
PRO: If it's just pee, just change the prefold inside and not the cover. Saves on laundry
CON: You need absorbancy inside them as they are no good on their own
CON: for little babies, poop almost always gets on the cover which means:
CON: you'll need several for a newborn, less for an older child
**I should note that some people use what is called a wool or fleece "soaker" in place of a cover. They are both somewhat waterproof but also come with their own issues like compression leaks. I don't recommend these but you might try them to see if you like it. Some people swear by them.**

This is a Sunbaby
Pocket: These have the waterproof barrier with a stay dry material against the baby's skin. They tend to be the most popular method of cloth diapering. There's a huge amount of brands on these but I'll talk about the ones I liked and the ones I didn't after I tell you the general pros and cons of pockets.
PRO: relatively cheap ($5-$15 each) but this also means that resale on these isn't great.
PRO: easy on/off no folding around the baby
PRO: they dry fast
CON: they need to be stuffed. Some people HATE stuffing diapers. It doesn't bother me at all
CON: you have to pull out the inserts to wash
CON: when you wash, you have to touch pee sometimes. The insert is really east to get out and you only have to touch the edge but sometimes it's soaked.
BAD: Happy Heiny: I just really wasn't impressed with these. They're pretty cheap and act like a cheap diaper. They leaked pee no matter how much absorbancy I put in.

I have three of this print!
GOOD: Rocky mountain diapers: These are kind of an obscure brand but I love them. They fit the my daughter's big butt well and they are the only onesize that isn't bulky because they have an internal adjustment system similar to the waistbands of kids pants. The snap on the inside spreads the extra fabric out so it's not all in the front.
Sunbaby/Kawaii/Alva: three very inexpensive pockets that you can get off of ebay or a swap. Worth it. These are one size.

Fuzzibuns: This is all my aunt and uncle use. I'm not the biggest fan but they're ok. They never leaked and tended to be really trim but I like one size diapers for the most part and although they do make these, I only had size small. They tended to be a little expensive for what I thought you got. (This is only my opinion. They tend to be popular)



All in ones (AIO): These are the most like disposables that you can get. They have a waterproof outside and an absorbent material sewn inside. The better ones will have a pocket so you can add extra absorbancy but you don't have to stuff them. I have Thirsties Duo Diapers and have tried Bumgenius
PRO: No fuss, touching inserts or stuffing pockets
PRO: good resale value(also more expensive)
CON: They take FOREVER to dry. Most of what I have is pockets and I can't stand how long it takes my AIO to dry!
Bumgenius: the best selling diaper on the market. I don't understand it but people love these things. They did dry faster than my Thirsties but the velcro on the older ones is crap. Apparently they have fixed that. Still not the biggest fan. They also make a pocket that is pretty popular (I haven't tried it. They're a little expensive)

All in Two (AI2): Similar to an AIO but the absorbent material is only sewn(or snapped into) into one end so when it dries it is much faster. These are generally going to be made by a person but some brands do carry them. Grovia and Flips are two types of these that I have not tried. I have a WAHM(work at home mom) dream eze that is VERY old and falling apart. 
This has similar pros and cons to an AIO except drying faster and in some, the liner can snap out and be changed similar to using a prefold and cover but with no folding.

G diapers look o-so-cute but I'm not sold...

Hybrid systems: They are a waterproof cover and a biodegradable liner. I have a friend who swears by them but the just seemed crappy to me. Brands are Gdiapers and Flips.
PROS: less laundry
PRO: you can use these with a flat or prefold instead of the liner (some have liners you can buy)
CON: generally more expensive and resale isn't great
CON: buying liners can get expensive not sure of savings here...

When I was starting out, I had a friend lend me her diapers to see what I liked. I'm really glad she did because I was able to try a few different kinds and see what I liked. Buy used if you're not sure what you'll like. Babycenter has a great swap site that I frequent but I know others exist. 

Why Cloth Diapering?

When I started cloth diapering, I had no one to ask all those little questions that I needed to know the answers to! So I scoured the internet and now that I've been cloth diapering for 5 months, I think I pretty much have it down! This is what I've learned!
People ask me all the time "Why would you want to cloth diaper?" Well here it is!

1. It's so darn cute! I love all the pattens and styles and different choices. Really, there’s cloth diapering solutions for any family
2. less landfill waste. We're still using disposable wipes because we were given a Costco box and have yet to get through it. We use baby washcloths when out and about but truthfully, you use less wipes too.
3. My daughter very much prefers them. When we put disposables on her before we switched to cloth, she would fuss as soon as she was wet. Now if we put one on her, she screams the second she pees. I would prefer them too if it was me.
4. Money savings. I've spent $375 not including the first six weeks when I didn't use cloth (My daughter  is set until potty training and I can diaper at least 2 more children with what I have.) An average pack of 36 diapers is $9. On average, you change 6 diapers a day. More when newborn and less later on. So a package lasts < 1 week. So on average, diapering a baby in disposables for two years is going to cost upwards of $1000. Utilities may go up a dollar or two a month but most people don't notice an increase, I didn't.
5. Resale! If you buy new, you can sell them to other moms for about half what you paid. Or you can buy used (that's mostly what I've done) and save half or more.
6. No running to the store in bad weather for diapers
7. Less blow outs. I'm not going to tell you that you're never going to have poop go out both legs but I've has significantly less blow outs since we switched.
8. If you're going to breastfeed, you don't even need to rinse the diapers before you wash. It rinses off so easily that you can just throw it into the washer until they start solids. Then you can usually dump it in the toilet.
9. There's a ridiculous amount of support on the internet. Between forums and websites that review different types, there's always an answer to your question, even if you didn't know the right thing to ask.
10. They're not your mother's diapers anymore. There's so many options to chose from that can fit any budget or lifestyle. Something you might love might not work for me at all or vice-versa. Also, you might think you'll love something that you'll hate. My husband loved prefolds and covers for when she was little and I thought he would hate them for sure. I love it because it's a puzzle and sometimes you need to investigate to find out what works best for your family.
11. There’s no real scientific evidence that the chemicals in disposables are harmful but I’d prefer to just not even worry about it.
12. Less allergens. There is plenty of scientific evidence that many of the chemicals (especially perfumes) are irritating to the baby’s backside. My daughter had HORRIBLE rashes from disposables and has had very little redness with cloth.
1. It's CONFUSING! There's so many brands and types that getting started is intimidating. AND each type/brand has its own pros and cons. I can answer any questions that you have, I really do love talking about it!
2. Mess. It tends to be a bit messier. You don't have the neat little package to throw away in the trash. This bothers some people but I never really cared.
3. Smell. This bothers my husband quite a bit but again, I don't really care. It's human waste, you're going to smell something sooner or later. If you use an open pail, it smells a little bit all the time. Nothing an air freshener can't help or just closing the door. If you use a closed pail with a lid, when you go to wash, it's going to smell like ammonia from the pee sitting around a couple days. We use a lid because it bothers my husband.
4. People will tell you that you never need to worry about running out of diapers. Yes and no. You need to make sure you have enough to get you through at least a wash/dry cycle. This is usually only one or two diapers if you use the dryer but it is something that bears mentioning.
5. Initial expense. I had a good friend lend me her newborn diapers as well as another good friend give me a bunch. Between those two and craigslist, I was able to get started for next to nothing. I also got to try out some different brands and decide what I wanted to get more of. I suggest doing a diaper trial for newborn, they get good reviews and are super cheap. Check out
6. Getting a laundry routine down is a little difficult at first. Now, I don't even think about it. I'm just so used to it that it's not a problem. I pull the inserts out of all my pockets, make sure the laundry tabs are down on all of the velcro to avoid diaper chains and wash the diapers on warm/cold with an extra rinse to make sure all of the soap is out. You use about 1/3 what you would normally use (the free and clear detergents are best for CD). I usually do that after she has gone to bed. In the morning during her nap I hang them on the line. When my husband gets home from work, I pull them off the line and stuff the pockets. It all sounds simple but it took some trial and error. There's big nonos that you need to avoid that aren't totally obvious like no fabric softener, bleach or sanitary wash. See? Confusing!
7. PRO/CON It's addicting! There's a huge community of moms that are completely addicted to buying cloth diapers. My husband thinks I'm bad but there's women who spend several thousand dollars without even thinking about it. You many not get addicted but there are certain brands that when I see them come up on the swap, if they're under 50% of retail, I buy them.