Friday, January 21, 2011

Cloth Diapering 101

WARNING: I talk frankly about poop in this post so If you don't like to hear about it, you may want to stop reading :) 

Right now, it has been about 3 weeks since we started using cloth diapers and all I can wonder at this point is why we didn't start sooner.    Seriously, I feel like I want to become an advocate.  Now I know most who are reading this are thinking "yeah, I'm sure you're denying how nasty and difficult cloth diapering really is..." But seriously people--IT'S REALLY VERY SIMPLE.  Like most, I was skeptical, nervous, and just outright terrified of the thought of Cambria pooping in a piece of cloth and me having to deal with it.  Before we made the plunge, I was fearful that we would invest tons of money into something that would eventually become a big fat FAIL.  But I am here to say that we are definitely succeeding and I could not be more excited about it!

First let me explain why we decided to switch.  As most would assume, money was a factor in our decision.  Since Cambria was born, I would say we've spent anywhere from $60-$80 a month on disposable diapering supplies.  So as a rough estimate, we've spent $1,190 dollars on diapers since her birth.  So far, we've made three purchases for cloth diapering supplies- $97.92  $161.58 and $75.77.  That's $335.27 total.   That money has given us all the necessary supplies to diaper Cambria for the remainder of time before she is potty trained.  But don't forget that all of her diapers will be used on baby #2 and any other children that may come along especially since almost all of them are one size diapers.  Check this out for a better breakdown.  Kyle and I try to make responsible, "green" choices whenever possible and the argument for cloth diapers is pretty obvious.  Use the same diaper hundreds of times over or use a new diaper after each change?  I think the former makes the most sense especially because we use a high efficiency washer and dryer.  Lastly, cloth diapers are more natural for a little baby bum than the materials used to make disposables.  Plus their tooshies look so darn cute in them!! 

If you ever decide to cloth diaper your child you will quickly discover there's TONS of information out there and TONS of different types of diapers.  Like an overwhelming amount that made me freak out at first.  Cloth diapering has really come a long way since we were babies and the technology is kinda ridiculous.   Kyle and I read through several sites and watched some videos that were very helpful and made everything seem a lot less daunting.  After a lot of thinking and researching we decided the best thing to do was to buy several different types of diapers in order to figure out what we liked best.  Turns out we like all the different types for different reasons.  Let me give you a brief breakdown.  

Fitted diapers with a cover. 
Fitted diapers or diapers called prefolds are your most basic type of cloth diaper.  Prefolds are folded and then fastened with pins or these things called snappis. We actually didn't try using prefolds with Cambria, but I'm thinking this is what we are going to use for the new baby for the first few weeks until he or she can comfortably fit into Cambria's one size diapers.  We did get several fitted diapers and two very cute covers for them.  Fitted diapers just have more of a shape to them than prefolds and seem to prevent leaks better too.  You have to have a cover when using the fitted diapers or prefolds because there is no waterproof layer on the outside. 

These are the fitted diapers.  They come in cute colors and are fastened with snaps.  Very simple.  These are the most bulky so Cam looks like she has a ton of junk in the trunk when she wears them.

These are the covers we use.  One is fastened with velcro and the other with snaps.  I can't say which I prefer because they are both simple and easy.   I really like the fitted diapers because they are durable and I know they are going to last forever.  Cambria can only wear them for maybe 2 hours tops before they become pretty wet and have to be changed, so she can't wear these to bed.  The covers can be used several times before washing unless there is any leakage or if they become stinky...The fitted diapers are not one size but we ordered two different sizes and they both fit Cambria just fine. 

Pocket One Size Diapers. 
Pocket diapers consist of one outer shell that has a slot for an absorbent insert.  Technically the outer shell can be used more than once by replacing the wet insert with a fresh one if it isn't pooped on.  I think they smell bad after one or maybe two uses so we don't get much more use out of them than that.  Plus, my daughter is not one of those 1 time a day poopers....try 3, 4, 5, 6 times!  (I think it's because of her vegetarian diet and her yogurt and fruit consumption)  All of her pocket diapers are one size meaning they will fit a baby from about 8-40 pounds! I know that seems crazy but it really is true!!

We have several pocket diapers that come in many different colors.  The extra buttons on the front are what allow you to adjust the size so that they fit any size baby.  Again, I can't say if I like the snaps or the velcro better.  When Cambria wears these to bed we stuff two inserts in the pocket instead of just one to soak up the extra wetness.  I really like these diapers for when we are out and about because she can wear them longer before needing a change.

We have three different brands of the pocket diapers. 

All-In-One One Size Diapers. 
These diapers are the most similar to disposables.  They have everything you need--all in one! So whether Cambria just wets it or poops it can only be worn once before needing to be washed.  The AIO diapers are most convenient because there is no prep work involved.

                                                 This diaper has the layers sewn right in.

This one has an insert sewn into a pocket which allows us to stuff an extra insert in if she wears it to bed.  Both of these ones have snaps instead of velcro and they are both one size.  

All in all, I cannot say which diaper system I prefer.  They all work better for different times of the days and they all seem very durable.  Maybe after more experience with them I will be able to pick a favorite.  

After one of Cambria's diapers is soiled, we rinse it off with the AMAZING mini-shower we bought on Amazon.  I do not think cloth diapering would be as easy without one of these.  This is the number one accessory I would recommend to anyone considering cloth diapering.  This mini-shower makes it so easy to wash off every last poop particle stuck to the diaper.  Even when Cam's poop goes unnoticed for a while and gets a comes off so easily! It attaches to our water line and clips right onto the toilet.  Suuuuuuper easy.  I've started spraying off Cambria's wet inserts to prevent odor too.  

After it's sprayed with the mini-shower we spray the diaper and insert with this natural cleaner that prevents odor and stains.   I have another crazy fact for you all--since we've started using the cloth we have had NO stains on ANY diapers.  I attribute that fact to this stuff!! I found it on sale at a local natural living store downtown for cheap which made me very happy. 

After being sprayed we put all the diapers into a cute diaper bag.  Once we get into our house and have two kids in cloth diapers we will get an actual pail to put the dipaers in but for now the bag works great.  We even have a small one for on-the-go diaper changes.  We do a load of diapers every day or day and a half.  Doing laundry is never a fun job, but honestly it doesn't take much effort to do one small load of cloth diapers every day.  We use an all natural detergent that was recommended on many sites.  It should last a while before needing replacement.

Our diaper bag is made from such a cute fabric--you would never know it's full of poopy diapers!   It's just thrown right into the wash with the rest of the diapers. 

I cannot explain the joy it brings me to have such a nice washer and dryer.  This one is my parents but ours is going to work just the same.  LOVE IT. 

Cambria has shown no discomfort with the cloth diapers and they actually seem to help with the occasional diaper rash she used to get with disposables.  Making this major switch has given me such a sense of satisfaction.  It makes me feel more responsible as a parent and as an environmentally conscious person.  I will admit that it would not be as easy if I did not stay at home with Cam and I DO NOT judge anyone who doesn't care to give it a try.  Like everything else involved in parenting, I think each decision should be made according to what works best for the parents and child, no one else.  

If I left anything out or if there are any more questions please ask me because I would love to answer them! And yes, I chose the color of the font in this post to go along with the theme....if ya know what I mean :D

1 comment:

  1. It definitely seems like the initial work/research/stress upfront was worth it! Glad it's working out so well for you guys!