Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Why We're Using Cloth Diapers

Some people thought I was crazy to consider using cloth diapers. The usual visual is something involving folding and pins and leaks and lots of poop. But trust me, a surprising number of people use cloth diapers these days. And it's not as complicated or messy as it seems.

First, I did my research. I Facebook-messaged a couple of girls I went to high school with who are successfully cloth diapering to ask some initial questions (huge thank you for your help!). I read through websites and blogs to get more information. I dragged Scott to a class at a local baby boutique so we could see and feel all the necessary supplies and possible options. What seemed overwhelming and confusing at first started to sound totally do-able.

I made sure Scott was on board (all I had to do was calculate the cost savings ha!) and we decided to make it easy on ourselves by using BumGenius 4.0 one-size pocket diapers. They look a lot like disposable diapers with a microfiber insert that you stuff inside. With all the snaps, they adjust to fit babies from 8 to 35 pounds. The initial investment can be steep, but it definitely pays off. We registered for what we would need and were blessed to receive many of the items at our showers or through using gift cards.

There are tons of benefits of cloth diapering (good for the environment, less diaper rash for baby, fewer blowouts, super cute colors, etc), but the #1 reason we decided to move forward was the cost savings.


Hope she doesn't kill me when she's older for posting this... but it's too cute!
We used disposables for the first five weeks or so, until we got the hang of things and Evelyn grew a bit (the one-size diapers are a little big for newborns). We're still using disposables at night but might eventually venture into using cloth and double up on the inserts to increase the absorbency.

So far, we're loving our cloth diapers! We use cloth wipes with a little water on them, so we just shake the insert out of the dirty diaper and into the pail, throw the diaper and cloth wipes in, and we're done. We also use a Planet Wise diaper pail liner (we have two to rotate) which can be tossed in the washer along with the dirty diapers (no need to touch anything nasty!). Everything gets a cold rinse (to cut down on staining), a hot wash cycle with cloth diaper-friendly detergent, and another cold rinse (to get all the detergent out). Then the inserts and wipes go in the dryer and the diapers air-dry on the rack. Once everything is dry, we stuff the inserts back into the diapers and they are ready to go. We have 20 diapers and 36 wipes and do laundry every 2-3 days. (I feel like I keep saying "we" but Scott is just as involved with diapering and laundry as I am!)





We also have cloth diaper-friendly diaper cream on hand (regular creams can cause repelling and affect absorbency). Once E starts solid food, we have a diaper sprayer to attach to the toilet in case we need to get rid of some of the mess before throwing it in the pail, or we can use liners which we can peel out and toss or flush, but while she's exclusively breastfed, we don't have to worry about that. When we're out and about, we usually use disposables, but we have used cloth and just bring a wet bag along to stash dirty diapers.

There is so much information on brands and products and different washing processes, but if you cut through all of that, it isn't as complicated as it sounds. I'm just starting out, so things may change and I'm sure I'll learn as I go, but at this point, I'm happy to answer questions if any of you are thinking about using cloth!

45 comments:

  1. What really struck me about this post is the wonderful pictures of the colorful diapers drying and stored. Could make a cute poster.
    The other thing that I noticed is how adorable my granddaughter is! I've never seen a bad picture of her. And she is getting so big. Huggie/kissies to her.

    Grandma Pat

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  2. Don't you love those fun colors?! The picture of E is about a month old... she's growing so fast! And I have to agree, so adorable :)

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