Monday, January 16, 2012

Cloth Diapers

Well folks, I've been cloth diapering for going on 2 weeks now and the verdict is........I love it! I'm kicking myself for not trying it sooner. It's easier than I ever imagined. The hard part for me was doing the research and making the decision on what brand and style I would first purchase. Because it's an investment I chose to approach it by spending the same amount on cloth as we do on disposables each month. For instance, this month I spent $100 on cloth and that bought 9 diapers. I have to wash every night so as soon as we get our February paycheck I will invest in another $100 worth of cloth and that will allow me to wash every other day. When it comes to washing them, that's another easy and strangely fun part of my nighttime routine. I enjoy watching the diapers go from dirty to clean; and there's something therapeutic about hanging them up to dry.

Here are the details for those of you that are curious.
I went with bumGenius 4.0 one-size stay dry. I bought some with snaps and some with velcro (hook and loop) and I think I'm leaning more towards the velcro. The only argument against the velcro was that it might wear out over time. I have a friend that has been using hers for over 3 years and there's no sign of them giving out any time soon. Next time I order I'm going to buy a few Freetime all-in-one to see if I like them as well.
I chose bumGenius for two reasons, the first being that they got all over great reviews. The other reason I chose BG is their return/warranty policy. They offer a 30 day money back guarantee on all of their diapers. To me this was huge! One of the biggest reasons people don't want to try cloth is because of the investment. With this kind of deal there's really nothing to lose. You can try cloth diapers for a month and in that time you will know if it's for you or not. Either you love it or hate it and if you don't dig it then you send them in and get your money back. Sealed.The.Deal!

 Leaks
When I first got them I did have a few leaks due to not having them on correctly and not changing them often enough. You do need to change them about every 2 hours and just like with anything there was a learning curve to putting them on correctly.Now I have them snug on each kiddo with no leaks.

 Detergent
After reading forums and cloth diaper blogs I found that the most affordable and cloth diaper friendly detergent is ALL free and clear. There are other detergents specifically for diapers but they are a little pricey.


 Poo
I bought flushable poo liners to place in the diapers and these have been a life saver. It looks like a dryer sheet that you lay in the diaper when your putting it on the baby. When they poo you just fling it into the toilet and flush. No scrubbing or dealing with a yucky mess. I guess for some reason when I thought of cloth diapers I thought of washing poo in a machine and that just grossed me out. Just so you know there's no poo in the wash. If I do encounter a poo overflow that the liner doesn't catch I will either take it outside to spray it off or use our shower head nozzle over the toilet. I have a picture of this process but my husband sweetly encouraged me to save it only for those who want to see. If you want me to send you a pic just text and I will gladly share ;)





Dirty Diapers
 I haven't yet purchased a diaper pail  so right now after I dispose of the poo in the diapers I am storing them folded up on my washing machine. Because I wash every night it's not out of hand and there is no smell. I do however look forward to finding a better system for this.


Wash
First, I set my machine to do a cold rinse and I put some detergent in this wash and then for the actual wash I use hot water to wash and cold to rinse.



Drying
I got an old crib rail for a couple of bucks from the mission and store it in-between the washer and dryer when not in use. When the load is done I hang the diapers and inserts on the rails and move them to the room with the most airflow. If it's a sunny day I can just carry the rail outside and place it in the sun. When I get more diapers I will attach another rail so that it can stand up on it's own when opened at an angle.If the diapers aren't dry by morning time I throw the inserts in the dryer on medium for about 10-15 minutes. The outside covers usually dry within an hour so I've never had to put them in the dryer. I know of others that throw both the cover and the insert in the dryer. I hang dry because that seems to be the cloth diaper "norm."





Storing
When the inserts and liners are dry I stuff the inserts into the diapers and place them in a basket next to the wipes, just like I did disposables.




On the go
When we go to church or Austin for the day I put the kids in disposables so I don't have to mess with keeping up with the diapers while I'm out and about.

Another thing I love about cloth diapers now that I've started potty training Little Miss is that I don't have to keep up with two different types or sizes of diapers. Because you adjust the diapers to fit your child perfectly you end up with a better fit than a disposable.

I'm sure there will be days that I might consider the cost of throwing one away versus cleaning up the blowout that occurred. I'm also certain there will be phases in life where the extra load of laundry might be a breaking point for me. When this happens I have no problem taking a break and using disposables until life settles down. Either way, once I'm no longer buying my stock of cloth diapers our family will be free of the diaper budget and that's huge for us.

I hope I helped anybody who might be on the fence or curious about the cloth diaper system. It really is easier than what it's been made out to be. Back in the day when it was the only option and it involved safety pins and scrubbing with a washboard I understand the joy those women must have felt when disposables came along. However, I throw away over $100 a month in diaper and this new system is a blessing to our family.Please let me know if I can help answer any more questions. I'm new to this and not very knowledgeable but I will try to help. I'm still texting my cloth diapering friends with questions all of the time. There are blogs and websites devoted to this subject that you can find a ton of information on.

And if any veterans out there have anything to add or further advice to share please leave it in the comments section. I would love to hear ways to make things easier.

26 comments:

  1. What a great system you have I wish I had these when my kids were in diapers. You're awesome.

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  2. Oh man... this is awesome!!!!!!!!!!!
    Hmm.. now you've got me debating!
    I've thought about it for a long time but like you didn't want to mess with poop in the washing machine. I had no idea they made little liners!
    Hope you have a great Tuesday friend:)

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  3. Found your blog from a Pinterest post and quickly added you to my Google Reader! So excited to see the cloth diapering post. I am expecting baby #3 in May and have been considering cloth diapers for the fist time. I didn't know about the liners for poo---very encouraging. Thanks for sharing the details of your experience--more for me to think about! Do you not dry in the dryer so they will last longer or there something else?

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  4. Thanks so much for this post! We are hoping to get pregnant again & I have been going back & forth on this issue. I regret not using cloth diapers w/ my other babies.. This post is just what I needed :)) Thank you

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  5. Good for you! I am so happy to hear there are people who would still use cloth diapers. When my daughter was born 37 years ago disposable diapers were too expensive to even consider using and were a new item on the market. Using cloth is a commitment but better in the long run for your babies skin and the huge amount of diapers in landfills. My daughter used disposables for my grandson and I can't believe the amount of money they spent on them each month.

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  6. Your system to buy with your current budget is great. That way it doesn't feel so overwhelming (in the budget dept.). Looks like BG has some cute new styles too!

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  7. Your crib rail is a genius idea! Such a smarty!

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  8. Thanks so much for this post! I am due March 4th and really want to use cloth, I too am having a hard time with which ones I want to use/buy! The other brand Im looking at besides BG is FuzziBunz.....very similar brand. I am a Austinite!!! I didnt know or realize you were in the area :D

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  9. Yay for you! I have a 15 month old girl and I LOVE my cloth diapers!! I just got 3 BG Freetimes and I love them. In fact, I ordered two more today.

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  10. We have cloth diapered with our child since she was born and have only had a positive experience. I'm so happy to find that you are too. If you ever have any questions, do not hesitate to ask. There are also a few great groups on facebook that are a great resource. Happy diapering!

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  11. I debated trying cloth diapers, but I was afraid it would be too hard. I'm reconsidering now, though! I currently use the Seventh Generation diapers, and I've been really pleased with them.

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  12. Hooray for you! I am a fairly newbie to CDing. I switched to cloth with my 3rd son and I wish I would have done it sooner! One thing that I switched to after a couple weeks was cloth wipes! I love the bumGenius diaper spray. Works perfect with a soft flannel wipe and then I just toss them in to wash. I looked at a couple different diaper pails and ended up going with just a tall kitchen trashcan with a lid and a Diaperwise Pail Liner. I use the BumGenius and TinyTush which are very similar to BumGenius but a little softer (being in WI, they are made right here - which I found pretty awesome!) I recently ordered a Bummis Tots Bots and I think I will try a few more of those. Interested to hear what else you like!

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  13. We just wrote a post for our local cloth diapering store about how we use cloth, and there we describe how we use wet bags for on-the-go cloth diapering (for travel or just for outings). You may find that it becomes easier than you think as you get used to cloth! And sunning the diapers outside is such a great idea - the sun bleaches out stains better than anything else!
    http://www.allthingsdiapers.blogspot.com/2012/01/this-is-how-we-do-it-laura-sam-and.html

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  14. We just wrote a post for our local cloth diapering store about how we use cloth, and there we describe how we use wet bags for on-the-go diapering (for travel or for daily outings). You may find that it gets easier to try as you get used to cloth! And sunning the diapers outside is a great idea - nothing bleaches stains out better than the sun! http://www.allthingsdiapers.blogspot.com/2012/01/this-is-how-we-do-it-laura-sam-and.html

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  15. I use flips and econobum and love them for their affordability and I get to choose how much to pad (for overnights ect.) I love my toilet sprayer (I don't have a shower head with a hose) I just spray the poo in the toilet (and it's nice to use on bums too!) I also use cloth "wipes" though I just bought some Gerber baby wash clothes in the baby section at Walmart it's less expensive. One thing to watch out for though I used All free and Clear and after about a month my baby started to get a rash from the build up. I use the Rockin Green and don't have a problem I've heard the homemade soap works too, though I wouldn't add baking soda or oxyclean cause they build up as well. But Dawn dish soap is great for getting rid of build up! Sorry this is so long, I just am a big fan of cloth diapers :-s

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  16. Thank you for all the information. I have looked into flips but don't totally understand it. I was considering them for the potty training but Little Miss has caught on so fast that I might not need them.
    @motheringspirit- I'm about to go check our your blog
    What does it mean to strip them?

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  17. I LOVED My sprayer as well. Struggled at first to spend the intial money, but it has been well worth it. I still use it for cleaning out messes while potty training. I loved the bumgenius as well. I wish they has the cool designs when I was using them, and that was not that long ago. Unfortunately I coul not use them for my daughter, cause the bulk of the diaper held her hips out too much that it caused her back to go out. :-( I wish I would have held on t them longer and tried when she was even older. They have a very good resale value as well. Best wishes to you on this journey!

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  18. Sorry for the double post yesterday - blogspot was being wonky! Stripping diapers means getting off detergent build-up (which can lead to stink or repelling). We do it every couple of months as a pre-emptive strike (since we had a problem with stink once, when using the wrong kind of detergent, and have had repelling issues once or twice over the past few years). There are different methods to stripping diapers, but basically you wash them a few extra times in very hot water (we use the Dawn detergent method - google to find details - or sometimes we do a "soak" overnight with Rockin'Green detergent) to get out any diaper build-up. I've found it to be very good for our diaper "maintenance" to make them last longer and keep them soft, no stink, etc.
    We like Flips b/c they are so versatile - you can reuse the covers by wiping them down after changes if they didn't get any poop on them. And the disposable options work great for travel. They have a very good fit - just like BG - no matter whether you use them with the stay-dry or organic insert, and they've held up well over time for us (over 2 years).

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    Replies
    1. Motheringspirit- I guess I'll know when they need to be stripped? I don't even know what kind of water we have here in our town.

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  19. I just had to laugh - we have the same model of dryer in your photos... same knob broken off... similar pliers to start the dryer sitting on top.

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  20. You're probably wondering why at 70 years old I would post here. I'll tell my brief story of diapering my sons in Germany in the early 60s. In Gov quarters the "old" wringer washer was three floors down in the basement. But I loved washing those long Curity cloth diapers and running them through the wringer making them look "ironed." Even folding them was therapeutic. No one could fold diapers as well as I could. I was a proud cloth diaper mama. We had Dennison diaper liners in 1963 believe it or not. We didn't have disposables or zip plastic bags so travel back stateside included one very large suitcase containing a large Tupperware bowl for the soiled diapers (9 mo old son) and a wooden potty chair for the 29 mo old son. Those were the good old days and the best memories. I so admire you young mothers for going back to cloth diapers. I just gave my mother-to-be niece the g-diaper set from diapers.com. Happy diapering.

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  21. Absolutely LOVE the crib rail idea. I have always hauled them out back to the laundry line but love the ability to wash and hang them at night then put them out in the morning if they are not dry. I so regret throwing my older crib away...Dont know what I was thinking! Realy enjoy your whole blog found you on pintrest=)

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  22. I am new to using cloth and I am looking for an affordable detergent. How has the All worked for you? Any repelling or buildup? Thank you for your thoughts and I love reading about other mothers turning to cloth :)

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  23. I have not had any buildup problems with All free and clear.

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