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9.30.2013

Cloth diapering-we're doing it!

Most of you won't be surprised to hear that we are cloth diapering, but will you be surprised to hear me say I love it? Well, I do so far! I don't mind all the laundry too much. But then again, I've always enjoyed doing laundry. I feel so accomplished when I fold it all and put it away... and yes, I know that it takes me days to do it now, but the feeling is even more exciting when I put all the pocket diapers together and open the drawer to so many clean, tidy choices... prefolds & covers or pockets? Velcro, snaps or snappis? Yep, we ended up with almost every type and brand out there! 

How on earth did we make that huge, overwhelming decision of which diapers to chose? We didn't... our Craigslist friend did, and we just took the whole precious load off her hands when she was done with them for a total steal.

Even still, no one really believes you when you say you're going to cloth diaper... at least my co-workers didn't, hence my beautiful diaper cake.
My advice? Go ahead and use all the freebie disposables you can get (steal them from the hospital and let people gift them to you at showers). They are great for the first few weeks you are adjusting (and not to mention your beautiful cloth diapers won't get ruined from the baby's merconium poopies). Yeah, bad for the environment, yada yada but at least for many of us we do it because it's CHEAP! If you can't figure out if you want to invest on cloth diapers or can't decide which type, check out Craigslist! I never had to make a decision because of good ole Craig and his List (though I got some great advice from some friends including Kate and Martha).

 I've also been told there are websites (diaperswappers.com) dedicated especially to cloth diaper resales. You will probably find that the mom only ever line dried and used super expensive and special cloth diaper soap on her diapers... every cloth diaper mom blogger out there and real-life moms I've talked to are hard core about   cloth diaper maintenance. I hope I can always be as dedicated as the previous owner was. I know, I was weirded out at first about reusing someone else's diapers, but it was the best craigslist experience of all time. We spent an hour with the mom who showed us all about each type, how to care for them, how to use them, how to fold them/stuff them, and the difference between all the zillion types of materials for the inserts, etc. She ended up throwing in a wet bag, unopened Charlie's Soap, a great book about cloth diapering, all her printouts of websites where she bought her stuff, and then the incredible: a pack and play, the Arms Reach Co-sleeper, a few boxes of beautiful books & toys, a crib mattress, tons of sheets, and some never used packages of Charlie's Soap, snappis, newborn covers, microfiber inserts & liners. Since she didn't start CD-ing until her son was 18 months old, they looked like new! Not a single spot on them! All this for $250. I believe just the diapers would have been somewhere between $150-$200 from our original negotiations. We even sold some of the things at our garage sale that we didn't need making the price even lower for us in the end!

By the way, what I'm seeing on resale sites is that you can get cloth diapers used anywhere from $5-12 per diaper. Since California is a more crunchy state than Georgia, I'm planning on doing a craigslist run when I visit since I can get them for half the price (1/4 of the original price new). I want at least 10 more so I can get an extra day off of laundry without stressing about drying times. Right now I think I have about 20 OS diapers (excluding prefold/flat & covers).

Do I exclusively line dry still? Well, we finally have a dryer. This summer was horrible for laundry. It rained all the time! Funny story: Tommy still had not fully come around to letting me buy one and when his mom drove down when the baby came to help out, she couldn't believe it and went and got one off of craigslist. (Thanks so much, mom!!) That's what they were in the middle of doing (driving to the destination) when I called and told them Joseph and I were being released from the hospital! So now we have one, but I only throw the microfiber inserts and the prefolds when I'm in a rush...  or I use the air fluff/tumble (no heat) setting to speed up the process. I have enough of everything to do laundry every 2-3 days (but I hear when the baby is bigger you go through less diapers), so that means I have time to wait for them to line dry.
By the way, the pocket diapers dry super fast without the inserts (1-2 hours if it's sunny/warm out), so a time saver trick is to have extra inserts to use while the other ones are drying. I am currently using Charlie's Soap, and I do 1 cold rinse to get rid of the poopies, 1 hot wash with soap, and one final rinse. When I'm in a hurry I do the permanent press setting since it does a final rinse. I'm sure once we start solids there will be more steps to the cleaning process ( I still want a diaper sprayer), but this is what we're doing now. I have noticed I need a second wet bag pail liner since that thing takes forever to dry and you can't put it in the dryer...
Hmm, maybe I like it more than he does?
Yeah, the diapers make his bum appear HUGE but oh, so cute! And now he can also wear his 3 month clothes if he wants- that big bum makes it possible!

Which do I prefer? The pocket ones for sure. They are much more absorbent. Those microfleece inserts are magical for whisking away moisture. It's also awesome to be able to double stuff them if you have a heavy wetter or are doing an overnight change which are less frequent. And I prefer the velcro because they are so much faster to put on, take off and to double check if a new diaper change is in order. Plus you can get a custom fit. The hubs loves the velcro, too, but it's true that even with the special washing protector tabs, they inevitably end up sticking to liners, etc, wearing down the velcro from so many washings.  A better investment is the snaps if you have to choose, but a few velcro ones are great for the hubs, babysitter, and middle-of-the-night-I-barely-have-my-eyes-open-changings. If I buy more (I have my eye on a current CL ad, I'll go for the OS snap diapers).  I do use the prefolds and cute covers when I'm home during the day right before a feeding when I know I'm going to be changing him again within 15 minutes. But I don't like them- the cotton ones, at least- I haven't tried wool or other materials. The cotton ones don't absorb at all and he ends up soaking his clothes when it spills out of the cover, so I tend to not use them at night, or if I do, I double them up or add a liner when I'm out of my pocket diapers. I mostly use them as burp cloths or to double stuff or line my pocket diapers. I'm going to try disposable inserts soon. They would be great for when I travel and visit my parents for 2 weeks.

Which brands do I like? Honestly, they're all the same to me. I have the following kinds of pocket diapers, all-in-one, & the kind with snap-on inserts: Bum Genius, Happy Heinys, Kawaii Baby, Bum Essentials, Tots Bots Easy Fit. I have the following types of covers for the prefolds: Rumparooz, Thirsties, Econobum, Bummis, Booroi. It's not worth stressing. They're all great, they're all washed the same way, they all go on in the same amount of time...

Oh and coolest thing ever- Tommy's family's homemade baby wipes recipe. I make these once a week. It takes 5 minutes! You make a solution of coconut oil, Dr. Brommer's Castille Soap* (my substitute) & Berkey-filetered water, then add half a roll of paper towels!

Want to know what I mean by snappis, prefolds and pockets?  Here are some blog posts I came across via pinterest that I found helpful:

A Cloth Diapering Rookie’s First Steps: the Routine, the Laundry, the Vocabulary



Cloth Diaper Wrap-up: What do I really recommend?

7 Tips For the Cloth Diapering Newbie {GUEST POST}

and again, this book and the author's blog are great! Buy it used if you're trying to understand everything or want to know how to use, stuff, fold cloth diapers and how to do the laundry.

 I wrote this post in several sittings- took me 2 weeks haha so sorry for the stream of consciousness style. I will probably come back and edit this a couple of times... but I hope it is helpful to those friends who asked me for advice!

2 comments:

  1. Monster butt! I love it! And I agree -- I love the cloth. I really do. PS I think you'll find that as he gets bigger the pockets diapers will be your least favorite. From most people who cloth diaper I think the consensus is that the prefolds prevent blowouts the best. and PPS I cannot wait to get a line to dry them. My diapers are getting to the point where they need some serious sun exposure.

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    Replies
    1. I guess I missed your paragraph on the prefolds. Weird. To be fair, you're getting a chance to use all kinds whereas I've only used the prefolds. Ah well. xxoo

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