Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Cloth Diaper Update

We've been cloth diapering now for a year + a month, so it's about time for a little update on how it's all going.  I think the easiest way to get information out there is a Q&A sorta format, so I'll start with that.

Do I like cloth diapering after a whole year of it? YES, actually, I love it.
Has the initial upfront investment actually paid off in the long run? I think it has.  As of today, we've spent just at $700 dollars to diaper two children (well, 1 for 1 month, 2 for about 10 mos, and now just 1 during the day and 2 at night).  We haven't actually worked all the numbers but I'm certain buying disposables for both of them would have cost us more money. 
What does $700 include? The diapers, laundry detergent, diaper bags, Bac-Out cleaning spray (we don't use that anymore), wipes, wipe solution, and a few other accessories.
How many diapers do we have? You guys may be shocked to know that we only have 14 all-in-one/pocket diapers.  This is an extremely low number considering we had two children using these diapers at the same time for a solid 10 months.  We also have four fitted diapers and one cover which we used when both kids were in diapers, but we rarely use now.
Do we have a favorite brand? Yes, by far we love our bumGenius diapers the best.  Fewest leaks and best durability.
How often do we have to wash them? When they were both in diapers we were doing a load every night.  Now we do them every day and a half.
How do we dry our diapers? We always hang-dry the shells, unless we are leaving the house and have none ready.  I hang the inserts probably 90% of the time too. 
How are our diapers holding up? Out of the 14, two of them are almost useless.  The waterproof barrier on those diapers are gone or torn, making them extremely prone to leaks.  We will likely be tossing them soon.  I've also had to replace the Velcro on all of our hook BumGenius diapers.  There is definitely wear and tear on many of the diapers, but overall most are still in good, usable condition. 
Do our diapers have stains? Our diapers have no stains at all.  I think it's a combination of the intense washing cycle we use and the sun.
I replaced the tabs and laundry strips on all the diapers.  They were very easy to replace and I bought a kit to do it here.

our only all-in-one that is literally falling apart at the seams, no idea why
What are our reasons for using cloth diapers? All our reasons are pretty much the same: they benefit our wallets, our earth, and our children's booties.  Also, they are cute.
Is it gross getting up close and personal with so much poop? Yes, of course.  I will never miss smelling, touching, and washing away poop.  But our sprayer makes it sooooooo much easier to deal with.  For us, cloth diapering would be way more nasty if we didn't have that sprayer.
Have we bought disposables since making the switch? Ezra wore disopasbles for the first week or so,  but after that we did not buy a single disposable diaper until the first week of December when Ezra developed an ammonia burn from a little ammonia build-up on our diapers.  (We've since changed some things around to help with the ammonia problem) And then we bought another package when we flew to Texas for the weekend during the middle of December.  We just figured it would be easier for our mothers and sisters.  So, we didn't buy disposables for 9 months.  I'm proud of that.
Do we always take care of the diapers right after we give a change? No, sometimes they pile up on our toilet for a few hours before being dealt with.  It's kinda stinky so we try not to do that...
stinky diapers waiting to be sprayed
Do I judge other people for not using cloth? No, I try not to.  BUT, I'm very passionate about using cloth diapers so I love to encourage curious people, parents, and friends to find out more about them.  I realize cloth diapers are not the right fit for every family though.
Is it a lot of extra work? Yes and no.  Yes they are less convenient + more work than disposables, but the whole process is so engrained in our routine that I never think about it anymore.
How do we handle diaper changes in public? We just change the diaper and then put the dirty diaper in our travel diaper bag.  We sometimes dump or scrap some poop off, but usually we just throw it all in the bag and take care of it when we get home.
What do we use during the night? We stuff our "nighttime diapers" with one large insert and one prefold gerber cloth diaper.  Having the cloth diaper in there to soak up all that nighttime pee has been the key to having fewer leaks at night.
the large insert on the left, and the prefold cloth diaper on the right. both are stuffed into our nighttime diapers.
What's one secret behind cloth diapering? CLOTH WIPES! You want to save some money, freaking use cloth wipes.  We bought 3 or 4 packs of wipes for less than $5 each and have saved tons of money by doing so.  We've had to buy more of this wipes solution concentrate a few times, but the money saved has been much greater.  I'm in the process of making our own soulution too which will save even more money.
How do you use cloth wipes? We spray the liquid on a wiper using either our spray bottle or a peri bottle then wipe.  We use 1 for #1 and 1 or 2 and sometimes 3 for #2.
Is it true that cloth diapers help ease a child into the potty training process? Ummm, for us, no. We're currently dealing with a serious potty training disaster, so I don't think that little myth is true. 
Any negatives? Cloth diapers make clothes fit a little odd at times.  Basically they make the baby's butt look huge.  That's kinda cute though. 
We've learned a lot since we first stared cloth a year ago. 
Overall, we really do <3 our cloth diapers. 
They're such a huge part of our daily life and I really think I'll miss not having a child in them one day. 
And I hope I answered some questions some of you may have had. 
my cutie ezra in one of my favorite diapers

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