Monday, May 11, 2009

Let's Get Cloth Diapering!...

I started thinking about cloth diapering when I read a statistic on how one child's diapers is equal to waste the size of a blue whale in your local landfill. When you think about how many children are born in the U.S. alone in one day it is absolutely mind blowing to think of how much non-biodegradable dirty diapers that are churned out into those landfills on a daily basis. Unacceptable! I did use disposables until Lucy was two months old, (I even feel bad about that!) but do believe that better later than never in this case.

So lets jump right in, shall we?

I started by reading blogs and websites about cloth diapering. What really got me going was Jill from www.babyrabies.com, she made it sound so easy! Then I just googled "Cloth Diapering" and spend the next couple of hours combing the internet on everything cloth diaper related. As cloth diapering is quite an expense these days I decided early on in my pregnancy that I would by the diapers little by little, instead of a several hundred dollar all-at-once purchase. Plus that gave me time to look at several different kinds and weed out the ones I didn't like. I would have loved to do a newborn diaper trial, like they have available at www.sunshinediapers.com, but I never did get around to it. Maybe next time! Speaking of www.sunshinediapers.com , they have some really GREAT cloth diapering 101 resources, just FYI.

Back to my buying diapers little by little. I started out by being alerted of a BumGenius 3.0 sale at www.amazon.com (I found this out by reading www.babycheapskate.com a great baby/child money saving blog). They were selling the BG 3.0s for only $12.50 at the time, for diapers that usually cost$17.50, this was a great deal. I had also heard rave reviews on the BGs from many bloggers and websites, so I went ahead and bought four of them. The next diaper purchase was from www.costco.com, this a package deal for five Bumkins Bamboo Fitted Diapers and five Bumkins diaper covers. Next came three handmade Etsy diapers, and then after Lucy was born I bought 3 more BG 3.0s, two used Happy Heinies from Craigslist and two all-in-ones from a local store that are very much like FuzziBuns (they have snaps). All together I have nineteen diapers on rotation, (although I hate the two Etsy ones, so they really don't count). I spent about $330 on all of them, that seems like a lot but since it was in increments it really wasn't that bad. Additional costs were three wetbags (2 small, 1 large), www.crunchyclean.com diaper detergent and the cost of the diaper sprayer that Rob installed on our guest toilet. So that is a grand total of around $400.00. I am planning on buying 5-6 more BG 3.0s, as I'm not particularly happy with the Bumkins Diapers, so that will bring up the cost quite a bit, but I may get those on Craigslist or from a diaper swapping site, we'll see.

Now to the reviews:

Bum Genius 3.0s- All-in-one pocket diapers. Love, love, love them. Super easy to put on, they are adjustable in sizing so you supposedly only need one diaper from birth to potty training age. These wick the wetness away from Lucy wonderfully, most of the time I can't even tell that she's wet except for when I pull out the insert (or feel the weight of the diaper). These are also super easy to dry since the insert is pulled out. She rarely blows through these and usually only when I put them on her lop-sided (she's super squirmy!). The downside, they are quite bulky. She always wears BGs at night and has never leaked through yet.

Happy Heinies- These were gently used when I bought them off of Craigslist. These are also adjustable sizing all-in-one pocket diapers but have a different velcro closure at the front. I like these but definitely not as much as the BGs. The fabric that wicks away the moisture seems to pill a little, although it is very soft and it wicks away moisture very well.

Bumkins Bamboo Fitteds- I don't \ like these because they don't wick the moisture away. They are bamboo, which is an antibacterial material, so I like that part but they get so darn wet I have to change her way more than with the BGs or the HHs. I never leave her in these at night. These are also only for 7 lbs to 22 lbs. One really bad thing about these is the velcro part on these damages my other diapers when they are in the wash. It is really frustrating to do two separate washes for them because they have almost ruined the velcro on several of my BGs!

Bumkins Waterproof Covers- These work really well, she rarely leaks or blows through them and they are in super cute patters at Costco.com. If you need covers I do recommend these!

Tiny Tush Elite (similar to Fuzzi Buns)- I bought these at a local cloth diapering store in Portland that also sells online (www.zoombabygear.com) and like these a lot, but I still prefer the velcro over the snaps. I feel like Lucy gets a better fit with the velcro. Still a great all-in-one, adjustable size diaper that wicks away moisture really well.

Etsy Handmade Diapers- don't like. She blows through them every time. Enough said.

Other things that have been super helpful in my learning to cloth diaper:

www.CrunchyClean.com - delicious smelling diaper detergent. I also buy Lucy's regular detergent here. I love the Baby Bee Clean scent!

Rob's homemade diaper sprayer- I saw that they sold these online and asked Rob if he could make one. He did a great job and the spray is very forceful so it is easy to get all the solids off of the diaper (if people would like I can try and get him to be a "guest blogger" and write up the directions on how he did it).

BioClean BacOut- This is a all-natural stain and odor remover. I use this diluted in a spray bottle next to the diaper sprayer in the bathroom. After the diapers have been washed off they get a spritz of this. I also put a couple of squirts in the pre-soak with the diapers. My diapers are never stained, I must be doing something right! I purchase mine at Fred Meyers.

Cloth wipes- If you're going to go with cloth diapers, why not do the wipes too? Now you don't have to ever run to the store for diapers OR wipes! We picked up some tiny Circo wash clothes from Target and use a simple solution in a spray bottle: castille soap, baby oil and water. Your baby's bottom will be super soft and you'll be even more eco friendly!

Some burning questions I know people have:

Is is gross to wash the diapers? Not at all. When you have a baby poop becomes a way of life. It isn't that gross anymore and you totally get over any squeamishness the first time your baby poops all over you or spits up into your face. This is how we do it. Diaper off of Lucy, into the bathroom it goes to be sprayed off into the toilet, diluted BacOut sprayed on it, pop it into the large wetbag that is inside a large, lidded trashcan we bought at Ross. Every other day we do a wash. I take out the inserts, make sure the velcro tabs are down and throw them in a warm pre-soak with 2-3 squirts of BacOut. I leave them for a couple of hours or overnight if I do it right before bed. Then I put them through a hot wash with two teaspoons of detergent and a second rinse. Then they either go out on the line to dry if the weather is nice or they are put in the dryer on low to tumble dry. Easy peasy! And no, it absolutely does NOT make your washing machine smell like poop (people always ask me that!), most of the poop is in the toilet anyways!

Do they leak? Mine rarely do. A couple of them started leaking last week so I decided to try and strip them. I put in a tablespoon of distilled vinegar with the presoak and that totally fixed the problem. Once in a blue moon Lucy will have a blowout, but I this also happened when we used disposables too...sometimes the poop is just too explosive to contain! **it happens...

Are they bulky? Frankly, yes. It took awhile for me to get used to my baby with her huge ass. Yes, I said it...huge ass. Baby got back. It also meant that she bypassed a lot of her 0-3 month pants and onsies because they just plain didn't fit over her diaper. So now we buy a size up in pants and use onesie extenders from www.onestepahead.com. Problem solved!

Why did you decide to do cloth diapering? The cost was not an issue for us, or at least it wasn't a deciding factor. I did it because I don't like the idea of a synthetic, chemical laden diaper on my sweet baby's booty and also I am trying really hard to be green and eco friendly so this just seemed to be the logical step in that direction. I do believe it has benefited Lucy, she never has diaper rash and the cloth is oh-so-soft against her skin, lastly, they're dang cute. One caveat though, when the BG 3.0s were on sale only the pink color was left, therefore if we have a boy next time around he will be rocking the bubblegum pink diapers. Ha!

Ok, well I think that is enough for now. If anyone has any other lingering questions, please let me know in the comments of this post! Hope that helps all you all out there who have been asking about our cloth diapering adventure! I highly recommend it!!

“Laughter is like changing a baby's diaper. It doesn't permanently solve any problems, but it makes things more acceptable for a while.”
-Unknown
“Diaper backward spells repaid. Think about it.”
-Marshall McLuhan

24 comments:

Emily said...

The bulk goes away as they grow. Until they're walking their little bodies look very bottom heavy. Now I can't tell whether my son is in cloth till I change him.

mykidsmomx4 said...

Well, I'm impressed. I never even considered cloth diapers... but you make it sound halfway easy.

Thanks for all the info!

Alison aka Baby B said...

Homemade diaper sprayer? Do tell!

I spent the weekend working at a Earth festival on my college's campus, sorting through the compost and recycling! I can appreciate the need to reduce the amount of stuff we send to the landfill.

Candice said...

Good for you! :)

Kris Norman said...

We tried to do the cloth diaper thing, but it ended up not working well for us, so I happened to find a brand of sposies at Babies R Us that are 100% biodegradable and also 100% compostable, so when we have a house and Hubs puts up his compost bin, we can just throw them in there!

Emily said...

I am so glad that you posted about your cloth diaper experience! I am TTC and hope to one day go the CD route. THis was a big help!
Post more pics of your sweet Lucy please!

Sarah T. said...

Thanks so much for posting this! I've been tossing the idea around with my husband for a while now...so hopefully he'll read your post and realize we can pull this off!

Anonymous said...

Did you ever try the G Diapers?

Elizabeth said...

What a great post - so informative! I hope to get pregnant soon and honestly hadn't even thought of cloth diapers. I will definately be doing some research and thinking it through. Thanks!!

Keri said...

Thank you for the tips-- you make it sound so incredibly easy that I want to try cloth diapering now, too!

Renee said...

We have mostly pink too. I though the same thing if #2 is a boy! Oh well, clothes cover them most of the time anyway!

Maria's Mommy said...

Glad your CD'ing is going well! I use mostly BG's on my 17mth old. I found as she's been getting bigger and peeing way more that adding the doubler helps prevent leaks too. Now that she's in the BG totally unsnapped it by far is not as bulky. ALso I do on occasion use and Indian Prefold with a Thirsties cover. I've NEVER had a leak with a thirsties! Prefolds were a cheap way to building my stash. : )
Like you I bought in incraments and it did help. Also I recomend looking for "seconds" on cottonbabies.com. They don't come with an insert but you can get a BG for about $12 when they have them avaliable.
Good Luck with everything! : )
-Amanda

C and M said...

We CD and love it too! Do you really only use 2 teaspoons of CC? I thought you're supposed to use a tablespoon or two? Check out diapers.com for BG's. If you haven't ordered from them yet you can get $10 off your first order with a referral code (mine is CVER2181 if you want to use it. I'll get credit if you use it). You also get free shipping so the BG end up being less than $15 a diaper.

ABK said...

If you feel comfortable, will you share your thoughts/decisions on your alternate vaccine schedule? For instance, what made you pursue this, what books/websites did you reference and do you recommend any, what is your alternate schedule, what has/hasn't Lucy received, etc...

My husband and I are expecting in September and have just started looking into this. Thanks!

Amy said...

I love the bulk. My son is so skinny that most of his pants would not fit if it weren't for our BGs. LOL

Bobbi Janay said...

I am impressed by your bravery. I am too scared to try cloth.

goodheartedmommy said...

I love the fluffy butt on my kids! It's adorable. Baby gap and gymboree are perfect for cloth diaper bottoms. Children's place and Old navy are not as good for them.

You may want to try a fleece liner for your bamboo diapers. We use almost all cotton, hemp, and bamboo diapers (fitteds and prefolds). They don't develop the stink issues that microfiber may develop over time, and you can always line with fleece to keep the wetness away.

Etsy and hyena cart have some really good diapers, but they're the ones that are super pricey. I've found that (most of the time) when it comes to cloth, you get what you paid for!

Anonymous said...

Have you tried WWW.BABIEBOOMER.COM?

Leigh said...

I, too, am impressed!! A part of me wants to do this so badly b/c I hate just throwing things out all the time (like paper towels for example)...but I honestly don't know if I can do it. I think it's awesome that you're making it work!

Melissa said...

My daughter always needed the bulkyness to fit into her pants. Now that she's potty learned nothing fits her anymore!

I'm fixin to sell all our 2.0's and 3.0's on ds...email me if you want to get some cheap additions to your stash. I have 11 2.0's and 6 3.0's. All the 2.0's are pink and the 3.0's are blue, green and pink.

Amy said...

WOW! Awesoe information. Thank you for the reveiw. I will be sure to save this for future reference.

Erin said...

I found your blog through a friend. Cute site. Wish I could say I was less than my prepreggo weight at 3.5 months post pardum, but we're getting there.

Couple thoughts. First, my understanding is that all in ones (AIOs) are different than pockets in that they are sewn shut so you cant remove the liner inside. this matters because you never have to stuff them, but you do have to dry them from here to hell before they get dry. Second, it seems like you are moving away from the prefolds with covers, but if you are looking for covers I would strongly recommend thirsties. They have gussets and totally outperformed the other two cover brands I tried, including bumkins.

And http://www.abbyslane.com has free shipping and competitive prices.

Lauren Bryson said...

ok..here we go! i'm washing my new bg 3.0's right now! your blog (and lots of hours of research) helped me to feel confident that I can try cloth diapers. I'm starting out with 6, (that's all my husband would let me buy) but i'm sure we will be buying more soon.

Anonymous said...

Hi!

I am your #1 lurker (creepy :)), but I promise I only do it to get "inspired". I just wanted to let you know that you have completely switched me to cloth diapering. I have always considered it but have decided to give it a try recently when I read your post (my baby is 3 months younger than Lucy...and just as cute :)). So, my first load of diapers is being washed tonight and I am hoping that the detergent I picked works. If not, I might have to buy some Crunchy Clean. Are you still happy with that choice? Any stains recently with solids in her diet? Thanks for spending the time to share your experiences!!!

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