Tuesday, February 21, 2012
I have gotten a couple of requests to talk about cloth diapering, so here goes. First read this, then read this. Done.
Just kidding, sort of. For real, Kristina was my cloth diapering guru. If you could see how many emails when had on the subject when I was pregnant, you might think we were a little crazy. (On her part, mostly just for humoring my crazy-ness.) For real though, if you want to hear more, read those posts, then I will add on to our experience below. (Warning, I talk about P O O P.)
First of all let me reiterate what Kristina said; SO SO SO EASY. When my neighbor/friend saw my baby registry she said (all knowingly) "so you are going to try and cloth diaper, huh?" me "yeah" her "you will give up. no one does it. you know Michelle [her very hippie friend] she gave up, and she doesn't use disposable anything."
This conversation baffled me. How did my neighbor think that a whole industry of products was supported on people trying something then giving up? Surely some people successfully cloth diaper?
Yeah, no. It is so easy guys.
For those of you that don't know, there are loads of different cloth diapers these days. I am familiar with two kinds: there are the classic prefolds (contrary to their title, they do not come prefolded. You prefold them before putting them on the babe.) These are just the flat cloths that you fold and wrap onto the bottom. Then you use a water resistant cover over them, or a cute wool cover. Since the cloth diaper itself absorbs the liquid, you can reuse the cover through several changings before it needs to be washed. They come in a variety of sizes. Oh, you can also buy ones like these that have snaps, so you don't have to do the fancy folding. They still need a cover.
Then there are the pocket diapers. These are the fuzzi bunz that kristina talks about, and Henry is wearing above. They have a shell with snaps, an inner fleece lining that drys fast and keeps baby a little more dry, and a super absorbent liner that you stuff into the pocket. The whole diaper gets washed at each washing with one of these. These also come in a variety of sizes, but they also make a "one size" with adjustable straps and buttons. You can read about one size vs fitted here.
From the advice of K and others, I knew that we wanted to go with Fuzzi Bunz. Since I wasn't sure (still am not) if we would ever use the dipes more than once, I was hesitant to buy more than one size of the pricey (when compared with pre folds) fuzzi bunz, but knew from others' experience that he would not fit into one-size fuzzi-bunz from birth. So we opted to use pre folds for the first couple of months, until he fit well into his one size fuzzis.
I have to tell you, we did not have a great experience with the pre folds. We could *not* get them to contain the liquidy breast milk poo that greeted us several times a day. So we were constantly having blow outs, having to wash the covers and his pants all the time. It was such a pain in the ass. We couldn't get them tight enough around the legs, and because we opted for a diaper service for the first month or two, we even had professional help. It didn't really help. So we ended up using a lot of seventh gen's in those first months. That said, there are loads of families out there who use and love them, so it must have been user error?
We were thrilled, to say the least, when he started fitting into his bunz. They actually give us less blow outs than the 7th gen disposables did. In fact I don't even know for sure if we have ever had poop leakage with our bunz.
Some notes: (Note that I am only adding onto what Kristina has already said, so if you need a comprehensive guide READ THOSE LINKS)
-We have about 18-20. Not sure on the exact number. We do a wash a little less than every other night. We almost never use disposables. I thought we would, say when we were out? No reason to, really. Cary a small (or medium if we are gone for the day) wet bag with us, then deal with it when we get home.
-Yeah, they were a big upfront inverstment (several hundred?) but come on. Surely we would have spent waaaaaay more than that by now on disposables.
-If we are traveling in the car for 2-3 nights tops, we still use our cloth. Sure a bag full of dirty dipes in the back of the car is a leeeeetle gross, but whatevs. It doesn't bother us.
-We hang a large wet bag on the door inside the bathroom. No pails or pail liner. Just throw the dipes in there, then wash the bag along with the dipes every other dipes washing.
-We have a sprayer but haven't installed it yet. Breastmilk poops don't need it, the poop will rinse away with that first cold cycle in the wash. Now that he is starting to have big boy poops, we have to scrape some off into the toilet. Should probably get around to installing the sprayer, but part of me hopes they will all be "ploppable" soon.
-You may recall we had issues at night with leakage. (When H was tiny, we diligently changed him every time he woke up to nurse. haaaaaa! He doesn't seem to be bothered by one dipe all night. Way less bothered than being changed while sleepy.) I can now report we have a good system: tripple stuffed bunz (yeah, you can put more than one absorbent liner in there to soak it on up!) with a wool cover over. For this you just need a few extra liners on hand (we like these thin and absorbent hemp ones) and two wool covers. The wool covers need to be washed only every couple of weeks. But since they take a while to dry, you will need two have an extra on hand to use while the other one dries.
-You can read how to wash your woolies here. It also includes instructions on making your own wool wash, which I have been doing since I had all the ingredients but no wool wash on hand.
-Luckily H isn't prone to diaper rash, but when he gets it we use grandma els which works great and does not seem to harm the fleece liners.
-We do use cloth wipes. I thought we would not, but I have no idea why??? They are super easy. We are already doing the laundry, it does not add any. Saves money, and I know exactly what is going on our baby's bottom. Use em dry, or just put a little warm water on them, or make a solution and keep it nearby in a squirt bottle! (We use a recipe suggested by Christina with lavender oil, tee tree oil, a bit of apricot oil, and some almond bronners. Check this link out.)
-I know some mamas prefer non-synthetic materials. If so, fuzzi's are not your choice. Also I know our nanny's babe is sensitive to the fleece liner, so she has to use something else. Makes me think it would be best to start with one or two, just in case, before you invest in them all.
I think that covers it. I will probably add notes as I think of them, though maybe in the comments so that people don't miss them. Feel free to add your own notes! What has your cloth experience been? Favorite products?
Posted by jamie at 8:09 AM