Monday, July 23, 2012

Cloth Diapering

So, a few people have asked which cloth diapers we're using. Let me tell you, I am SOO excited to share what we're doing in terms of diapering. Maybe TOO excited. I'm no expert, but I like pretending that I am, so here goes. 

Reasons we like cloth diapering

1. In the long run it saves a lot of money. (I think I've spent about $325 total on cloth diapers and accessories and if they perform like they're supposed to, we won't have to buy anything else until potty-training, except for water and detergent.)

2. It's better for the environment. Of course I've heard the argument that there's more water used, so cloth and disposable diapers are a toss-up for the environment. However, this doesn't make sense to me considering the fact that diapers don't decompose for thousands of years. So, that's a WHOLE LOT of dirty diapers in landfills.

3. They make N's bottom half look geriatric. (Ok, so that's not a benefit, but a slight drawback. It's still true and hilarious!)

BumGenius 4.0
I'm definitely no cloth diapering expert, but other than vacation, we exclusively cloth diaper. And we've been pretty happy with it. I'm grateful that a good friend of mine has a baby just 2 months older than N and she did LOTS of research before I did. So, she's been my cloth diapering guide. We also tried some regular pre-fold cloth diapers inside "Thirsties" waterproof covers that another friend lent to us, but we didn't like them enough to buy them to use permanently. Maybe N is just a heavy "pe-er," but all the pee right against his skin irritated his poor bottom.

So, after some online research and talking to others, we would DEFINITELY recommend pocket diapers! This means that there is a diaper cover, but instead of the part that soaks up the liquid being right on baby's skin, there's a pocket in the diaper cover where you put the "insert" or "soaker." We like this a LOT because this was the liquid is more wicked away from N's bottom and is inside the pocket. I was tempted to try "all-in-one" cloth diapers, but good friend said she tried them and they were bulkier, so we trusted her judgment. =)

So, we currently have a stash of about 25 cloth diapers. MORE than enough to do laundry every 2-3 days. Our favorites are BumGenius 4.0! LOVE them! They work on babies 8-35 lbs with lots of snaps to adjust! We have the snaps because we heard that they lasted longer than velcro. We also have 8 MG Baby diapers and we like those too. I got them on Tanga for over 1/2 off, but I hear that they're essentially the same as Alva diapers, which are only around $10 a piece! And that's a pretty great price for a pocket diaper with bamboo inserts. 

Here are things that (in my opinion) you need and should know when cloth diapering.

1. A DIAPER SPRAYER!!! 
I would consider getting this a necessity and they cost around $40. We got this one from Amazon, but our friends have the BumGenius diaper sprayer and rave about it. (It literally blows the CRAP out of those diapers...hehe!) It only takes a couple of days of rinsing off poopy diapers in the toilet to make you want to buy one of these things pronto. ;-)

2. Get some reusable cloth wipes
Apparently, in the "olden days," like when WE were kids, parents that used cloth diapers used wash cloths as wipes. I don't see why this wouldn't work now! We have some reusable wipes and just dip them in a tupperware container of warm water that we keep on the changing table. Since we're already doing the extra load of diapers and the wipes can be thrown in, then why not? Just less waste and again, cheaper in the long run.

3. You can't use regular diaper rash cream
They say that regular Desitin, Butt Paste, and even Burt's Bees all have ingredients that can mess with the absorbency of diapers. And since cloth diapers average around $17 a diaper, I don't want to possibly mess them up! Here's a website that lists some safe ones. Thankfully, when using cloth diapers N doesn't often get rashes, but we currently use "California Baby" when we need some since you can get it at Target.

4. A plastic diaper pail and an anti-bacterial liner
I'm sure you don't NEED the anti-bacterial liner, but it's super helpful because you can just throw it in the washing machine along with the diapers. Ours was just $15 from Amazon. Our plastic pail was just a rubbermaid container from Target for about $5.

5. A Wet Bag
That's for putting the diapers in when you change your baby out and about. Again these are super handy because they can be thrown in the wash too. We also got ours from Amazon for $12.

6. You can't use regular detergent with cloth diapers.
Just like the diaper rash cream, it could ruin them. :/ Here is a site that lists the safe ones to use. We currently use "Charlie's Soap." And because we have a front loading washer, we only use 3 tsp of powder per load, so it should last us a long time.

7. You can't use fabric softeners.
Again, it could ruin them. I actually invested in some dryer balls, and now I use them for ALL my laundry! And all our laundry is just as soft! And without all those nasty chemicals and hormone disruptors found in liquid fabric softeners.

See? SO awesome!
That's all I can think of for now. Don't let it overwhelm you if you're interested in trying it. If there's someone you can ask your questions to (like me!), it makes it WAY more do-able. =)

Also, I've discovered my favorite baby gadget so far! The Snugglider! We have a pretty nice baby swing that actually converts into a high chair, which will come in handy later. But, I was a little nervous about going on vacation without a swing since sometimes in the evenings it's the only thing that calms his fussiness. I found the perfect thing! The Snugglider is a swing frame that the Graco SnugRide carseat snaps right into! It's perfect for travel because the frame folds up pretty small and if he's sleeping well in his carseat in the car, we can always just snap it right into the swing to keep him moving and sleeping. I just LOVE it! 

We got ours on craigslist. I'm not sure I would pay the full-price $70, especially since it seems like it can only be ordered online and you'd also have to pay for shipping. But, other than diapers, pretty much everything we've purchased ourselves for N has been bought on craigslist. I'm not a huge fan of buying new and/or expensive things, especially when it comes to baby items that are used for such a short time!

6 comments:

  1. I've never seen that swing, thing - how cool! As far as the diaper sprayer, for us it's totally unnecessary. We've made it 22mon without one and I never have seen the need. Additionaly, I just *know* the mischief my 6yo would get in to with it around ;) We love our cloth, too!!

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  2. I've heard mixed reviews about the sprayer -- people like you who can't live without it and people like Becky who say "nah." Guess it's just one of those try/wait and see! But thanks for the suggestions. I will definitely reference this later. :) That swing is a great feature for that carseat!

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  3. I love that glider and want it!!

    Thanks for the tips, I hope i remember this post because I really want to cloth diaper too!

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  4. Love it. . . I was just thinking of blogging about this same thing - so I may, but you have done quite a thorough job. =)

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  5. Snugglider- what an amazing invention! We took Katie with us to New Orleans in June, and we took apart the swing, packed it in a suitcase, and took it with us! The baby swing is definitely one of our favorite items.

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  6. Thank you for the insight! :o)

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