Posted by: Morgan | March 28, 2011

Cloth Diapering…Somewhere to Start

One of my best friends has been asking me for general information on cloth diapering for over a month. I keep telling her I’ll do it and then promptly forget all about it. Another friend asked me for the same sort of information this past week, so I decided it was about time to actually write something.

I’m honestly not that well-versed in the world of cloth diapering, but I know a lot of people who are and have some places to start for those beginning or thinking of doing so. This will not be all the information or options out there, but more what I know about and hopefully a good push in the right direction to find out more.

 

The first place I like to send people is All About Cloth Diapers. Autumn Beck is the author of this blog-like site, and she has reviewed SO many cloth diapers and accessories it’s almost ridiculous. She has links to separate pages for people who are new to cloth diapering and her personal recommendations. It’s a great resource and, instead of me going over all the different types of diapers and how they work, I’m going to send you to her page on that matter… right here. To look for her information or reviews on a specific diaper system, find links here. Want to know how to start cloth diapering on a budget? Go here.

 

Please read those links, because she says it much better than I could and has much more info than I even know off the top of my  head. If I tried to write it out, I’d most likely just be paraphrasing what she said anyway. And that’s technically plagiarism, so just head on over there, pleaseandthankyou. For what I’ve used and experienced, continue reading.

 

Our first cloth diapers were BumGenius pocket diapers, one-size. I only had four, so I would use them during the day and then wash them at night. I also dried them in the dryer, so I think the often washing and the heat (instead of hang-drying them) led to the velcro wearing out pretty fast.After awhile I tore out the velcro and put in snaps. While I like the complete flexibility of fit that velcro gives, I prefer the stability that snaps offer and the fact that she can’t pull the diapers off. As a side note, I never had blow-out leaks in them, but I was never able to get Em through a night without wetness wicking around the legs and into the sheets, even when double-stuffed. I definitely think this proves you can cloth diaper on a budget, as I was working with only 4 (and then disposable at night). If I’d had even 2 more, I would probably say I could have done it 24/7. You don’t NEED so many diapers to do this, it’s just much EASIER.

 

Next I tried my  hand at sewing my own. I played with a lot of different self-made patterns, but always made pockets out of microsuede and PUL. Overall, micro-fabrics seem to hold on to the ammonia smell of urine a lot. I’ve heard that before about BumGenius and also found it true with my homemade diapers (same fabrics as BG). This can be solved by stripping the diapers, using less detergent, and/or sunning them. Overall, I like the concept of pocket-diapers, since the middle insert pulls the wet away from the baby and the moisture isn’t sitting right on their skin. It does require stuffing and pulling the inserts out after use, but that never really bothered me.

 

After Logan was born, we were given a lot of prefolds and I bought three PUL diaper covers. I really like this system, because it’s simple and feels really economical when I’m just changing the part that I know is cheaper and reusing the PUL cover all day. It does seem that I have to change them more often than with pockets, though, since the wet is right against their skin and they notice it faster. I tried a Blueberry diaper cover, a Flip diaper cover, and a Thirsties diaper cover size 1. Of the three, I prefer the Flip. I’ve also seen many friends use fitteds or all-in-ones and realize that I think I’d prefer those to the systems I’ve tried so far. The modern AIOs have the soaker layers open to the inside of the diaper, instead of bundled and sewn up into the middle of the diaper. This allows for faster drying, and I love the idea that you don’t have to stuff or unstuff. I have many friends who LOVE BottomBumpers AIO diapers, so there’s a plug for them. I’ve never used the diapers, but I have felt and looked at some and they seem wonderful. I also hear wonderful things about Grovia. I’m going to put in a shameless plug for my friend’s company, SimpleBaby.com, and send you there first to buy cloth diapers. Maybe I can even work out a discount for my readers (maybe? hehe). She has Grovia, BottomBumpers, fitteds, prefolds, covers, wool, wipes, and lots of accessories.

 

Recently I’ve been introduced to the concept of wool and fleece covers. I don’t have any yet, but I do have some anti-pill fleece to make three covers for Emma this week. I’ll keep my blog posted on how those work out. I’m also making her some fitteds out of old Tshirts, so we’ll see how that turns out too. That is one thing I’ve found with all the cloth I’ve tried (which is, obviously, not very much), but once Emma hit 30 pounds all the diapers got too small on her. They cut off circulation to her legs now (she’s around 34 lbs). Most say, though, that they go to 35 lbs, but it really does depends on the child and their body shape.

 

Last, but not least, are the other things you may want to get. You can get wetbags, which are waterproof-fabric lined zippered bags, to go in your diaper bag or hang beside your laundry room. A diaper sprayer will hook up to your toilet for easy cleaning (I have never bothered to get one of these, but hear they’re handy. I just do the dip-in-the-toilet maneuver, which I don’t find gross but know of people who do). You can also get cloth wipes, disposable diaper liners and cloth diaper friendly detergent (all available at SimpleBaby, by the way). And yes, you do want to have a cloth diaper friendly detergent, even if you only use it for cloth diapers. I’ve used TinyBubbles (available on SimpleBaby), but currently have our Norwex detergent and it’s working great (which you can buy through me).

 

It is almost midnight and I feel like this post was very much random and eclectic. I may edit it as I think of more things and I definitely hope that other moms jump in with their thoughts and suggestions. Like I said in the beginning, I don’t know much but hopefully this gets you started in the right direction!

 

 

Now it’s YOUR turn! Comment here on the blog with your cloth diaper experiences, suggestions, reviews and questions! Go on, don’t be shy!

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Responses

  1. Not much to say that you haven’t said, maybe… I have stuck with cloth diapers through all of baby #1, although I have switched to using disposables at night because it is the only thing that has cleared up chronic diaper rash.
    I found that the simpler I planned to keep things, the more likely I was to stick with it. So (as you already know, Morgan!) I use prefolds with thirsties covers with great success. I recently started folding the prefolds differently to accommodate for toddler climbing and movement since we were starting to have more leak-throughs but the simple change has fixed that. I have found that splurging on a well-reviewed diaper detergent from a WAHM for washing has been worth it and have had no problems whatsoever with any lingering smells or stains (www.crunchyclean.com). Although with shipping and tax, the order comes to almost $30, the detergent lasts me months, at least 4-5 months or more, since I only use it on dipes.
    When dealing with yeast diaper rashes, I decided to start doing a pre-rinse and post-rinse to put my mind at ease about any residue or additional germs were gone. Although I think the problem was more likely the night-time heavy-wetter diaper she was in, so I could probably eliminate that second rinse now.

    I love my diaper sprayer and I think it is one of my top 3 essentials (after the diapers and covers) especially once we added solid foods. I have friends whose husbands are grossed out by dealing with poopy diapers but I think the sprayer helps Jesse feel like it’s not as freaky and he doesn’t have to touch poop. haha
    And my Leslie’s boutique wetbags have been excellent. They hold in the smell for more than 2 days (although I usually go through enough diapers and covers to wash every other day) and I just purchased my third (I had a travel and a large size and now I’m getting their really big one since we’ll have two in cloth for a while). It was either that or the planet-wise ones but I just wasn’t a huge fan of the planet wise patterns and I feel like the reviews I read of Leslie’s were just as good if not better.
    The Diaper Pin has been my go-to-website for reviews and product information. I feel like I can get a good picture of each product before buying, and that’s a lot of how I made all my decisions to start with. I have been super happy with the decisions I made and research I did and will continue using the same system with baby #2!


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