Sunday, August 7, 2011

The Dirty on Diapers

And by Diapers I mean Cloth Diapers. Stella has been wearing cloth diapers since she was about 2 weeks old... so over 4 months now. I thought it would be a great time to talk about our experience so far, and share some adorable pictures of her fluffy bum. I've had several friends email, text, and call me with questions, wanting advice, wanting to learn or who are just curious about our experience so far. So here goes, here's what we've learned in the first 4 months of our journey with cloth. I've taken the most frequently asked questions and answered them with our own experiences. 
*Disclaimer* All of the info here is from our personal experience, and all feelings and reviews of diapers are our own opinions. 


 Stella is 2 months old here, sporting her Fuzzibunz with agoo leggings and some crazy hair


"Isn't it a ton of extra laundry?" It's really not that much extra laundry. I do a load of diapers every 2-3 days. Thankfully our stash is large enough that I can go a full weekend (camping, traveling, etc.) without having to wash diapers. I don't usually let them go more than 3 days though, to keep the stinkies away. My routine is simple also, which surprises most people. Here's what we do:

1. Cold water pre-rinse/soak (30 min), followed by regular wash and double rinse
2. add 1/4 amount of detergent (during pre-soak)
(we use method free and clear, there are many cloth diaper friendly detergents, rockin' green, charlies soap, etc.)
3. Pull inserts out of diapers, dropping both cover and insert into washer 
(if load is larger, smaller loads I just throw them in and the swishing gets the inserts out)
4. close lid :)

Pretty simple huh? 
There are other steps I throw in depending on how the diapers are. If it was a pretty poopy few days? I add a tablespoon of oxy clean. Sometimes I wash on Hot, if I remember to switch the dial after the soak, and usually only if i'm noticing stinkies. I haven't really had any repelling or leaking issues, so I haven't had to strip them yet (wash them in dawn dish soap to get all the build up out). Most diapers come with directions on the best way to prep and wash them.

To dry the diapers, we either sun the covers on a line outside, or throw them in the dryer on low heat with the inserts, which always go in the dryer. 

Stella in a Blueberry cheetah minky print 

"Are they expensive?" Nope! Cloth saved us money. Lots of money. The average family spends between $3000 and $4000 on disposable diapers from birth to potty training. A family using cloth? Between $300 and $1000. Our personal stash is around $800 I think, I have a bit of an obsession... and pockets tend to be a bit more per diaper. But we also plan to have multiple children, all of which will be in cloth, so I think having a larger stash is worth it. Also, the water and electricity bills have pretty much stayed the same, even with pre-soaking and double rinses. I hang all our diapers in the sun to dry and get stains out (the sun is magic on stains!!! more on that later...), saving us electricity usage.

.... Want in on a little secret? I've never paid full price for any diaper we have! Keep a look out on sites such as babysteals.com, ecobabybuys, and zulily.com, they have regular diaper sales with huge discounts! Also follow them on Facebook and you can usually get a heads up on the sale and get great feedback if its a brand you haven't used. Sometimes you can find a good deal through www.Amazon.com, but be careful, they could be knockoffs. I know Fuzzibunz will come with a sticker on the inside that you can verify it is real. So really, our stash is probably worth twice as much as we've paid for it, I'm totally a bargain hunter. Also keep a look out for clearance sales, I linked up the clearance page for Blueberry diapers further along in the post, they are usually irregular, meaning some stitching is off, or the fabric was flipped. 

In a fuzzibunz at her 3 month photo shoot with NHP

"They are too much work, harder to use" Cloth is easier than people think. So many people still associate cloth diapers to what they were 15+ years ago, prefolds and plastic pants. Cloth has come a long way in the past 20 years. Now you can choose from prefolds with cute covers, pockets, all in ones (AIO's), and many more! We prefer the pocket: Stuff, snap and go. AIO's are just like disposables, they are sewn together and the whole thing is just one piece, sweet! Prefolds are the same as they always were, sorta. Now you can get more fitted prefolds, so they aren't as bulky between the legs, pretty cool huh?

In a Fuzzibunz Perfect size Small, in Buttercream at almost 5 months old
In the same diaper at 3 weeks old


"What do you do with the poop?" So far Poops have been pretty simple. Breast milk baby poop pretty much dissolves when it hits water, especially when it's getting swished around. The pre-soak is for getting the poop out, then it's washed away in the wash cycle. What little stains remain are sunned out, leaving the covers bright white again, usually. The awesome thing about poops in cloth? NO BLOWOUTS!!!! Stella has had some pretty impressive poops, like, puddled around her hips, all over her bum, and lingering at the legs, all with one poop. Still, it stayed contained, it didn't get all over her carseat, or clothes, or shoot up her back like so many horror stories I've been told. I think maybe twice we have had leakage out the leg, always after a growth spurt when her legs seem to be a little less chunky, and the leg gussets were more loose than normal.

When the poop gets to be a bit more solid after Stella starts eating solid foods, We'll just simply give a good swish in the toilet before the pre-soak, getting all the chunks out. They also sell diaper sprayers which can be set up on the side of your toilet, I've never used them but they look pretty neat, we may get one when solids are introduced. I'll probably talk more about the solids when the time comes. 

Modeling a Crushed Berries Perfect Size Fuzzibunz, today, almost 5 months old

"What are your favorites?" We really love our Fuzzibunz Perfect Size. The small's (7-18lbs) have been so great for us, they really are perfect. Perfect rise, perfect leg size, perfect fit. They have two rows of snaps along the top, so you can adjust around the legs and belly. I hope the medium's (15-30lbs) do just as well for us, Stella only has a few pounds left in small's, she's currently about 16lbs. Fuzzibunz also have one-size diapers, which I just purchased and finished prepping last week, So I don't have anything to report on them yet.

We also really love Blueberry Diapers. They are a one-size diaper, so as you may notice in the photo below, there are snaps that you can raise and lower the rise, or make the diaper smaller and larger. These are meant to be sized from birth to potty training, making them very cost effective, because your baby can wear them for multiple years. Stella couldn't quite fit into her's until she was almost 12 lbs, they just didn't fit right, were super bulky, and just too big, but now? They are awesome. Blueberry's are actually the hubby's favorite, and we both really like the hook and loop systems, because they can easily adjust when Stella's belly is particularly big and round, or when she's had a growth spurt and is kinda skinny again. Hook and loop's are also pretty awesome for double stuffing at night time, because I can still fit the leg and belly without leaks and it's still super comfy for the little. Another bonus? They are the cutest diapers ever! I love their minky prints, so soft and furry, and adorable! See the two animal prints hanging in the photo at the bottom on this post? Those are Blueberry's, and I just picked up a couple of diapers in their clearance sale that the print fabric was sewn inside out... for $12! I couldn't believe the deal, plus free shipping!? sold! I picked up an adorable owl print, a cow print, raspberry truffle, and a couple others, LOVE them! I'll put a picture of my new additions below. 


In a Blueberry hook and loop pink/chocolate polka dot Minky. One of my favorites. 

We've tried many other diapers throughout our journey, Thirsties, Happy Heiney's, Prefolds, G-Diapers, and more. Some have been good (Thirsties and Happy Heiney's), some have been awful (G-diapers...), so we've stuck to what really worked for us, and what we really liked. I think the key to being happy and successful with cloth is to find the diaper that fits your baby. All babies are different, some have skinny legs, others are chunks, and not all diapers are created equal. Try out a couple of each to start with, and then load up on the ones that really work well for you.


A small portion of our stash, sunning on the back deck.

Our Blueberry Minky collection... I think there are 15... I probably have almost every print they make :)

The little in her Raspberry Truffle Minky, This is one of the reverse prints that I scored on clearance, works awesome, fits great, they just sewed the print on backwards. 

A pile of diapers, fresh out of the dryer, organized and ready for stuffing.

I'd love to answer any questions I didn't cover in this post. I only really covered the basics, so feel free to ask anything else you may be curious about. Please also remember that this post is strictly on our experience, what works for us, and what doesn't. Every family is different, every baby is different, and not all diapers are created equal. :)

1 comment:

Eliza said...

Great post! Very informative.

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