Friday, February 10, 2012

Cloth Diapering

Alrighty.. a long awaited post about cloth diapering!  A LOT of people have asked! I even had a client book a session and then her next email to me was asking about cloth diapers!

I will be brutally honest because a month ago I HATED them.  And I'm not kidding about the word "hate". =/

So funny to read my post on them HERE when Em wasn't here yet and Joya was just using them at naptime and bedtime. It's a little different to use them part-time than using them 100% of the time. I'll tell ya what I use, why we decided to use cloth, why I hated them, why I like them now and some tips we've learned on the way. =)

Why we decided to use cloth:
Many people have different reasons on why they went with cloth diapers.  They are super green and don't want dirty diapers to sit in landfill's.. they don't want the chemicals in disposable diapers to sit on their baby's butt.. they struggle with diaper rash... etc, etc. All those are very good reasons to turn to cloth diapers but none of them were the reason why we chose cloth!  We 100% chose cloth diapers because of the money savings. I wish we would have started with Adie because you roughly save over $1,000 A CHILD with cloth diapering!  
Yes.. we are cheap and we know it!
But basically you are throwing away money every time you throw away a diaper.  
Crapped on money at that.
I sure would have liked to save over $2,000 in disposable diapers with my first two ladies!  But I was unaware of cloth diapering with my first two. I attended a Diaper HQ party when Joya was potty training last summer. Darin encouraged me to go (which totally surprised me.. we have a family rule that we usually don't attend any "at home" party) so I went. I was a bit skeptical but when Darin crunched the numbers he realized how much we'd be saving.  

So we purchased 12 of em' and started the cloth diapering process. 
What was really nice is that Diaper HQ let us try them before we bought them. We had a 10 day trial with all kinds of different brands and you sure figured out what you liked and didn't like real fast!  Next I'll tell ya what brands we went with...

What I use:
*I originally purchased 6 Flip diapers and 6 Bum Genius Diapers 
*My order is in for Thirsties all-in-one
*And for washing, Fuzzibunz detergent
*My toilet sprayer is a Bum Genius Diaper Sprayer
* We housing the dirty diapers in a 5 gallon bucket from Menards (with a lid.. lid is a must!)
*We own a FuzziBunz wet bag but don't use it (i'll elaborate later in the post)

I use my Flips for Emery during the day and night at this point.  They are a cover diaper and came with 3 inserts each.  Through the day she'll soil the insert and I'll wipe out the cover and put a clean insert in.  This work great for her with her breast fed, no solids eating poo.

I use my all-in-one Bum Genius at night time and nap time with Joya.  She is potty trained but still doesn't hold her potty when she sleeps. These hold a TON and you can put 2 inserts in them for extra absorbency.  When Em sleeps thru the night consistently I'll put her in the Bums overnight because they hold more potty.  And they are like the Cadillac of cloth diapers. =)

I recently ordered 3 Thirsties all-in-one's. SO excited about these because there's no stuffing required and they were an amazing price.  We could have lived off the 12 we had but purchasing 3 more will allow us to go another day without laundering them. 

Detergent.. it is VERY important you use a specified cloth diaper detergent with your diapers!  They will not hold their absorbency if you use any old detergent and you could ruin them.  They also have  super finicky requirements on washing them. You do: 

WARM rinse
Full cycle with HOT water
another WARM rinse
tumble on low or best, hang them outside to dry

Why I hated them at first:
When using them with Joya at nap time and it was going just splendidly.  All the mama's reading this that buy pull-ups weekly will shout out an amen to their computer screen when they read this..
I haven't bought ONE pull-up with Joya!
She still uses them at nap-time and bed-time and it has never once leaked. Now, STORING the pottied diapers was what I was struggling with. We were using our FuzziBunz wet bag hanging from the back of our bathroom door but I could still smell urine. And I DO NOT want to be known as the stinky, urine house! So Darin came up with the plan to get a 5 gallon bucket from Menards, fill it 1/2 way with water and stick a lid on it to house our soiled diapers.  This works much better than the bag (for us).  

We also started using cloth when Em was 2 months old and I still wasn't getting much sleep.

And was dealing with a head-strong 2 year old.

And a 4 year old that added tattling as a new hobby of hers. 

I felt like cloth diapers could in fact push me over the edge.  It was just ONE MORE THING to do in a day and I wasn't keeping up with the laundering of them which would lead to me running out of them and using disposables and craving the next time I got to use disposables!  When I had a heart-to-heart talk (Darcy interpretation is me crying my eyes out confession that I might possibly have a nervous breakdown) with Darin he decided that we needed to give them more of a chance, buy ourselves a 5 gallon bucket to control the smell and he would take over laundering them. Amen.

Why I like them now: 
I'm used to them.
They've become a habit.
They have held in some blow outs that I KNOW a disposable would not have. 
We've figured out the smell issue.
They are cute. =)
And my hubby said I couldn't give up.
And did I mention we'll save over a grand in throwing away poopy diapers? 

Tips we've learned on the way:
***I would completely recommend not using them until your baby is 2 months to 12lbs in size. The minimum weight on the diapers I have was 10-12lbs. Emery was right at 12lbs when we started full out with the cloth. Newborns crap all the time, require smaller cloth diapers and yeah, just worry about getting enough sleep, in my opinion!  Cloth take a bit of getting used to and you may totally overwhelm yourself with washing diapers every time you blink because they crap 10 times a day!  If you are on your first baby and want to invest in small, newborn diapers than have at it.  I just warn you that you may be totally overwhelmed by the whole process on little sleep, high emotions, possible stresses with nursing, etc, etc.. I could go on and on!

**Use cloth wipes. We cut up old t-shirts into 5x5 inch squares and use those as wipes instead of disposable ones.  Using my cloth wipes REALLY makes me feel granola but if we are washing wet and poopy diapers then why not wet and poopy wipes too? Tshirts cut up works best because they are thin, don't ravel and get in all the cracks and crevices. =)

**I also made my own "spray" to spray on her bottom when I'm wiping her to get off the dried on poo.  I got one of those little travel spray bottles, put a squirt of baby wash in it, a teaspoon of olive oil and filled the rest with water.  I just shake and spray on her bottom and then wipe away with the cloth wipe. I just re-read that paragraph and I seriously feel the need to go hug a tree right now!

**I am still a bit of a hybrid diaperer.  When we go out where someone else might possibly change her (church or MOTTT'S), I put a disposable on her.  I also need a couple of wet bags for my purse too. Don't buy this one off Amazon.. it's super cute but my friend warned me it's not a true wet bag and it might wet thru inside my purse.. um, no me gusta a poopy wallet. 

**Yes.. they will have serious ghetto booty with the diapers and that bothered me at first. I'm getting used to it but seriously.. MAJOR junk in the trunk!  That wasn't really a tip.. just had to share!

**Take a break if you get discouraged!  I had to about a month ago when I wanted to drop kick my diapers across the room. We got behind in laundry and I used disposables for a day for a break. It helped me re-group and enjoy throwing away her poop and I was ready to start back up with cloth the next day. 

**And last tip.. for all you locals.. use one of my besties, Erin, to try them out before you buy them!  She works for diaper hq and will hook you up with at test drive kit for 10 days so you can see if cloth diapering is for you. Also lets you figure out what brand you like because they all fit a little differently!  Seriously.. she'll not pressure you at all because cloth isn't for everyone.  Email her at if you are interested. =) She figures out all the answers to your questions too about cloth diapering.  She's like a cloth diaper ninja. No joke. =) 

And I'll leave you with a picture that shows the diaper just a little bit.. my assistant Joya was helping me take 3 month pictures of Emery.  Little does she know she's so much more in the way than a help!  At least she loves her sister!
Let me know if you have any questions.. I'll try to answer them to the best of my diapering ability!


Kelsey said...

I love everything about this post, especially the use of the term "granola" :) Glad you're loving them now! We use a diaper champ lined with a pillowcase to keep the smell down, which I like because I don't smell anything until I go to wash them (if you ever get tired of the wet pail method). I hope some families are blessed by this post!!

Thomas & Niki Kline said...

How much extra laundry are you doing now? How much is the special detergent you have to use? How much has this extra laundry increased your water bill & gas/electric for the water heater? Does the nasty blow out poop really come out and not stain the cloth diaper?

Ok, I think that's it for now ;)

Emily said...

I use prefold and Econbum covers. super cheap and work great. I have cloth diapered my son since he was a new born. If you plan to use cloth on a new born you will need to buy the covers that have the cut out for their belly button.

The best tip someone gave me was to have 3 dozen prefolds. with this many you only have to wash diapers every other day.

For dirty diaper storage I use a diaper pail liner in a kitchen trash can(the kind you can open with your foot). The liner I have has a fabric pices sewen into it that you can drop lavender oil on and you never smell a thing other then the lavender. When it is time to wash dipaers I pull the liner out and dump the diapers in the wash and throw the liner right in with them. It is helpful to have two liners so you have one to use while the other is washing.