Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Going Cloth

Pockets or hybrids? Double gussets or single? Hemp core or prefolds?

Didn't know there was so much to know about cloth diapers? Neither did I.

At risk of being super crunchy granola, our little family switched to cloth diapers a few months ago. It was something we had talked about for a while, but were just too afraid to try.

Then I met this awesome girl down the street.

Pardon the mess, we took this picture on moving day :)

 She has an etsy store too, and when I visited her place to talk about her process, she showed me her cloth diapering system for their toddler.

Not so bad! I tried a few on Edwin back in June and was hooked.


Suddenly I was introduced into this whole community of cloth diapering moms. What the what?? There were so many terms and shorthand phrases that I was not used to.

With the help of our new friend Ashley, she helped me navigate the world of cloth and find what worked for us. We decided that absorbent cotton prefold liners with single gusset adjustable OS covers made of waterproof yet breathable PUL would be perfect. Edwin and Kate can wear the same diapers (they just snap smaller or unfold bigger as needed) and for the price of about a month's worth of disposables, we would have our start up and never have to buy diapers again!


Now let me tell you - cloth diapers are smelly business. I've decided this process is not for the faint of heart or easily grossed out. Things can get pretty slimy. You also go through a lot more water (dumping, rinsing, washing, stripping)... I'm not sure what the true environmental trade off is, but I DO feel a lot better about not having a bathroom trash full of nasty dipes to take out once a day.

OUR PROS & CONS:

THE BEST PARTS: Saves money, less trash, no blowouts (occasional leaks on #1 if we aren't paying attention and go too long without changing - which makes the liner too full, but I have yet to see a #2 explosion, even the super messy ones, and this is awesome!), cloth diapers are CUTE!! Especially since a friend made them for us and she let me pick out all the fabrics :)


Kate can't get these diapers off because they snap (no tape or velcro). There's a little more bulk, so they make for some packed looking tushies! The waterproof PUL covers hug snugly around baby legs and waists and are fine for us to wipe off and reuse just with changing the liners until a #2 comes along (unlike some cloth pocket diapers which will retain moisture and smell when soiled.) Because they're "one size fits all" they will work for newborn up to potty training! Potty training is also made easier because with cloth diapers the babies can feel that they are wet since it doesn't turn into a gel like disposables.

THE WORST PARTS: They are messy (you have to be ok with getting your hands poopy sometimes), takes a few minutes longer to change (no roll and toss). They're not the most convenient; if you're out and about you have to haul them around with you, and I always pray that we don't have a #2 in a public place so that I can rinse in my own toilet at home! Cloth diapers create more laundry, they're a little more bulky - which might look cute ON but they take up extra room in the diaper bag sometimes. The diapers waiting to be washed stink. We keep them in a closed lid lined trash bin in the kid's room so it contains the smell, but when you open that lid WOWEE. We rinse the diapers of course and wash them every other day, (at which point I also clean out the trash bin) but sometimes you just have to hold your breath and move quickly! The last thing is that because Kate is such a big wetter, we layer two prefolds inside her diapers at night to hold it in. Apparently hybrids are better for this kind of thing, but we're just working with what we've got :) I didn't want to splurge on some hybrids with hemp cores since she should be potty trained by the end of this week.

We've stripped our prefolds once so far and are planning a once-a-month/every other month stripping routine as needed.

Once you have your system down, it's no worse than any other diaper process. Definitely not as overwhelming and scary as I originally thought looking online!

OTHER CLOTH RELATED PRODUCTS & FINDS:

We have a stash of reusable cloth wipes (also from Ashley's etsy store!) and use water with them instead of wet wipes from the package. I'm still trying to get Jon on board with this, but I like it so much better than having to set aside nasty wipes to toss while washing the reusable diapers :)

We're bigger fans of powder now to keep tushies dry!
We have learned to use lanolin and natural ointments vs desitin because some baby creams can build up nasty fish odors in the diapers and cause them to be less absorbent. Yuck! (also the reason we're not doing pocket diapers.)

We use Free & Clear detergents and avoid fabric softeners to keep from building up a film on the diaper covers (additionally no oils or perfumes build up in the prefolds)

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Overall I am really enjoying our switch to cloth. I feel better about what we're using on our babies and it's encouraging me to go green in lots of ways. I wouldn't say that cloth diapering is for everyone, but so far I'm a fan :) Yep, I'm that mom.

1 comment:

Jenae Payne said...

Do you use a solution for your cloth wipes or just water? I totally agree that it is more gross picking out the disposable wipes. Sometimes (IDK if it's bad for my washer?), I just throw the whole thing in and pick out the wipes as they're washing with tongs... I used to rinse in the toilet but the ones we have say if you don't, you'd just do a pre-wash.