Cloth Diapering « The Down & Dirty
For those of you who haven't cloth diapered before... I know, I know, you think it's too much work and who in their right mind wants to lug poop around all day. Well it's really not all that bad, it actually becomes quite addicting, ask any cloth diapering Mama out there.
Q. Why do you cloth diaper?
A. We initially decided to cloth diaper to do our part to help the environment and for the savings of course. Disposable diapers use 20 times more raw materials, two times more water and three times more energy to make than cloth diapers. Besides depleting natural resources, manufacturing disposable diapers also utilizes non-renewable energy sources. Disposable diapers take about 500 years to decompose. The millions of tons of untreated waste added to landfills each year through plastic diapers can contaminate ground water. Crazy right? For us, the convenience of disposables is not worth all the byproducts. We want to do our part to leave a better earth for our daughter. Now how much do we save you ask? We save an average of $1751.60 over a 30 month period, per kid! That's vacation money people.
We ended up going to a cloth diapering class and quickly became overwhelmed. Pockets and pre-folds and liners, Oh MY. In the end we went with Grovias (leaked EVERY TIME) and Imagines (more like AMAZING) newborn's. I can't say enough about the Imagines, they are awesome, nev
er leaked and fit perfectly. At six bucks a diaper on sale, who can beat that, I had about 15 Imagines in my stash & 3 Grovias. Instead of buying all the diapers ourselves, I asked people to bring one to my baby shower, in order to enter a raffle where I gave away one of my fine art prints. That saved us another $350.00 on top of the $1751.60 we were already saving for cloth diapering in general. My Father gave us the newborn diapers, so we spent Zero $$$ on our diapers.
Q. Ok, cool...you cloth diaper, isn't it a big ole hassle?
A. No, not at all. Cloth diapering quickly becomes a part of your every day routine. It's an extra load of laundry every day or two, depending on how large your 'stash' is.Q. Speaking of laundry, how do you wash your diapers?
A. To make the wash easier I take out the inserts of the Bum Genius and unsnap the liners of my other diapers before placing them in the wet bag. You do NOT want to stick your hands in a wet bag that's been sitting for a few days, ooh nooo. I dump the contents of the wet bag, along with the wet bag itself into the washing machine and do a COLD rinse. Then I add Bum Genius brand soap to the main wash on H OT. I tumble dry my diapers on low heat, only because we live in a town home with no yard to line dry our diapers in. However I'm sure I could line dry them in our laundry room, it would just take awhile.
Q. What kind of diapers do you use? A. As Elly's grown and I've become more cloth diaper savvy and I've changed things up a bit. She has extremely sensitive skin and I found that the Bum Genius 4.0's and especially the Flips, were starting to dry her tiny bottom out when she was around 4 months. My sister 'n'law introduced me to the cloth diapers she uses and I instantly fell in love. They are made by Mama's, which I love because I'm helping to support other growing families such as ourselves. I still use Bum Genius at night since they're outer layer is treated with a waterproof coating. I double stuff them, allowing her to sleep through most night without a diaper change. I use Hidie Oh's, Cozzy Bunz, and Little Fancy Pants during the day.
Q. Do they leak?
A. The Bum Genius never leak, unless we put them on wrong or she sleeps for an excessive amount of time, 10 hours or more (she still wakes to nurse multiple times a night). The other brands I use don't necessarily leak, but since they are pure cloth unlike Bum Genius, you will feel a little dampness when their diaper gets really full.
Q. Do you cloth diaper all the time?
A. Yes, we cloth diaper 100% of the time.
Q. Do you use snaps or velcro?
A. The newborn's were a mixture of each. All the diapers she wears now are snaps. Though velcro would be convenient now that she's turned into a little wiggle worm during changing.
We have one "changing station" in the house. It's pretty simple, a changing pad on top of her dresser with a wet bag (the bag you throw soiled diaper in) next to it. I usually stuff (add the absorbent pad) my diapers right after drying them so her actual changing time isn't as long. I've got a crawler on my hands and she waits for no man. I should probably create a downstairs "changing station," but then I'd loose my daily diaper dash stair work outs.
Q. Does your wet bag stink up the place?
A. No, not unless I decided to skip the wash for three day's, then they become a little ripe. Since Elly's still exclusively breast fed, with the occasional bite of food, her poop's don't smell more than day old yogurt, yuuum.
Our diaper necessities:
1. On the go wet bag.
2. All In Ones (Heidie Oh's, Little Fancy Pants, & Cozzy Bunz)
3. Cloth wipes.
4. Grovia Newborn diapers.
5. Coconut Oil, great for chapped, dry skin, cradle cap, and eczema, and it smells delicious.
6. Bum Genius 4.0.
7. Imagines Newborn diaper.
8. Baby Bee Diaper Ointment
9. Extra Inserts.
10. Wet Bag
11. Diaper Warmer & wipes (cloth and disposable), who wouldn't want to wipe their butt with a nice warm cloth?
12. Waterproof changing liner.
Tips & Tricks
« Cloth diapers make for a "fluffy" butt, you might have to go up a few clothes sizes to accommodate.
« Cloth diaper babies need to be changed more often, unlike disposables, they can feel when they're wet and will probably let you know when it's time to be changed. As a result, cloth diaper babies tend to potty train earlier.
« If you're not sure you want to make the initial investment, try joining a diaper swap. They have tons of brands of gently used diapers that you can purchase for a fraction of the price.
« Elly's had zero diaper rash.
It's really not as much work as I initially thought it would be, and now I'm totally addicted to cloth. I mean look at this butt!
Every parent has to make their own decision about what works best for their family, cloth may not work for everyone. This is just a guide to what's worked for us, I hope I've answered any questions you might have had.