Tag Archives: cloth diapers

I love cloth diapering, part 5: From changing table to laundry room

For cloth diapering you use many of the same accessories that go with diapering in general. You just have to plan for extra storage (because the diapers are much more bulky), odor control, and there is the laundry factor that everyone who considers cloth diapering freaks out about.

So I’ll start in the nursery and work our way through the life of a cloth diaper.

This is my changing table:

Looks pretty typical, right? That’s because it is. Now if I were using disposables, probably only one or two of those baskets would be used for diaper storage. The rest we’d use for clothes or toys or whatever. Since cloth diapers are so much more bulky than disposables, every single one of those baskets contains diapers.

To ensure that my diapers get even wear and tear I do sort of have a system to the baskets. I work left to right, top to bottom. So I’ll go through the top row from left to right. When those three baskets are empty it is usually time to do a load of laundry. I also move the bottom row of baskets to the top and then work from left to right again. When I finish washing my load, those diapers go back in the bottom row of empty baskets.

Just to the right of the changing pad I have some typical and some not-so-typical items that you might find on a changing table. What you see are: wash cloths which are my cloth wipes, a tube of diaper rash cream with a tube of yeastie cream under it, a pump bottle of Method baby lotion, a pump bottle of hand sanitizer (which is never used, I personally prefer old fashioned hand washing), a bottle of baby oil, and a storage container with liquid in it.

When changing a diaper I pick up one washcloth from the pile, dunk it in the storage container, squeeze it out and then use just like a regular wipe. I also have a system for my wipes to ensure they get even wear and tear. When I’m folding the diaper laundry, I make a pile of my washcloths. I simply stick this pile under the existing pile on top of the changing table.

I must admit I’m a bit addicted to buying washcloths. Every four months or so Circo comes out with new patterns of washcloths. Since a five pack is only $3 I get a new pack if I notice they’ve changed their pattern and I’m at Target.

Just like most moms, I use wipes for everything: cleanup after a meal, quick cleanup of dirty hands and feet and of course, diaper cleanup. If you are going to use cloth wipes you definitely need more of them than diapers because you will use more than one per diaper change and you will probably use them for other stuff like I do. I have no idea how many I have, but it’s a lot.

So what’s in the liquid solution in the storage container, you ask? That is my homemade wipes solution. It is really easy: 1 squirt baby shampoo, 4 drops Tea Tree Oil (a natural antibacterial), and then water filled to the top of the container which I think is probably about 8oz. There are TONS of different solutions that you can find recipes online for though. Just do a Google search for “DIY baby wipes recipe” and you will find them.

So when I am changing a dirty diaper, as I am taking the diaper off I fasten the velcro tabs to the laundry tabs on the back of the diaper. This prevents them from sticking to everything else in the laundry.

I finish cleaning Bean up with some wipes and place them in the middle of the diaper. I pull the diaper out from under her bottom and then fold it in half and toss it in our diaper pail.

My diaper pail is a simplehuman step trashcan. I really like these trash cans and I am a bit fanatical about them. We went through several step cans early on in our marriage before we got one of these as part of the welcoming package for our new home. It was instant love: the lid does a great job of keeping the smells in, the plastic liner is easy to clean and keeps yucky stuff from leaking all over the rest of the trash can, the step mechanism doesn’t break after 10 uses and they look nice. We immediately went out and bought another for our recyclables and then when I got pregnant with Bean I knew I wanted one to use as our diaper pail. They are more pricey than most other trash cans, but we decided it was worth it to have a step can that actually works and continues to work in the long term.

Most diaper pails you can find at a baby store will work with cloth diapers so long as they are not the kind that have a plastic bag in them that twists, separates and seals off each diaper. So if you don’t want to spend $60-$100 on a trashcan you can look into one of those. Just make sure it says that it works with cloth diapers.

Once my diaper pail is full I pull out the liner and cart it over to the laundry room next door to Bean’s room. Then I put on my laundry gloves, which are just a regular pair of rubber kitchen gloves, and begin loading the dryer. I seperate the wipes from the diaper and toss them in and then I remove the inserts from the pocket and toss them in before tossing in the shell.

If the thought of touching soggy or poopy diapers really bothers you, I really recommend getting a pair of rubber kitchen gloves for your laundry room. It has made doing diaper laundry so much easier for me, especially on days when I am feeling particularly squimish.

Since our laundry room is in our guest bathroom, I take care of my poopy diapers all at once. Now that Bean is eating solid foods she has solid poops. So, if I come across a poopy diaper while I am loading the washer I take it over to the toilet, shake off any solids into the toilet and then resume pulling it apart and sticking it in the washer. Sometimes I have to use a little toilet paper to get the solids off, but for the most part they just shake off. Actually, it is technically illegal to dispose of human waste in landfills. So even those of you that use disposables are supposed to do this!

To wash this is what I do: one cold wash with detergent, one hot wash with detergent and one cold wash without detergent to rinse. It is important to use a detergent free of dyes, perfumes, brighteners, and any other additives because these will build up on your diapers and cause them to start repelling the moisture instead of absorbing it.

Even with additive free detergent though you still may get some buildup and you will need to strip them if that is the case. You can tell if you need to strip your diapers if they smell funny even after you’ve washed them or if they suddenly start leaking. I’ve seen a bunch of different ways online to go about doing this, but what I do is just 1 tbsp of regular blue Dawn in place of my detergent.

To dry you can either line dry or sun your diapers or you can dry them in the dryer. I don’t have much space for hang drying so I do it in the dryer, plus the dryer refreshes the velcro (or so I’ve been told). Since the inserts are so absorbant it usually takes two dry cycles for them, but only one for the shells. I will admit that I’m usually lazy though and just restart the dryer without removing the shells.

Another thing that has come up with the solid food/poop is stains. Arg! The perfectionist in me really has a hard time with this. I have tried a lot of things, but was told that sun is best for this. I have to admit I was quite skeptical, but it does help. However, it didn’t completely get rid of all the stains. I think another round in the sun probably would have done the trick though. I did take before and after pictures of my experiment. I am going to assume that most of you reading this are moms and have had to deal with many disgusting things before, including stains. So hopefully you don’t get grossed out by these pictures!

The worst ones prior to drying in the sun:

Same diapers after drying in the sun:

I am so glad I took pictures because I’ll admit when I went out there and still saw some stains I was a bit disappointed, but the pictures really show how much of a difference the sun made!

After the diapers are dry I “fold” them. Basically I just stuff all the inserts back in the diapers and then put them in stacks in the baskets. I also make a stack of the washcloths and put them where they belong.

That about covers the laundry and the life of a diaper. My last installment will talk about the logistics of doing cloth when you are not at home.


Filed under Natural Living, Parenting

I love cloth diapering, part 4: Building a stash

When I started looking into cloth diapers, I went to the two friends I knew that were doing it: Emily and Tiffany. Both of them had a ton of advice for me, just like I have for anyone that asks me about it now. I was also trying to research lots of other stuff at the time. So, I was completely overwhelmed by the length and the amount of information in both of their e-mails, just as I am sure the friends that have asked me have felt.

Both had a list of recommendations for a stash of diapers to get me started. There were a lot of different kinds of diapers in this list. Then, when I looked online it seemed that every single kind of diaper had different washing instructions. “Oh great,” I thought, “I’m going to be washing three diapers this way, two this way and I’ll have to keep track of the covers and this just seems way too complicated!”

Well, as I said in the last posts, the diapers we decided to go with are the BumGenius 3.0 one-size pocket diapers. Both girls had said that these diapers were their go-to, Daddy-friendly, workhorse diaper (though I will note that Tiffany’s feelings on this brand have changed). Instead of getting a varied stash as they both recommended, I just wanted to deal with one kind of diaper that we could use through the entirety of Bean’s diapering process. Plus, these looked like they were really easy to use (and they are).

I have 42 of them, which is a crazy amount to have. You don’t need that many. I originally intended to have somewhere around 30, but we got a good deal from Cotton Babies by ordering them in bulk and it was cheaper so we wound up with that many. One of the common complaints that you will see in reviews of these diapers is problems with the velcro tabs or the elastic in the leg opening going out. Since my stash is so huge, my diapers get less wear and tear and I have not had any of these problems. People with much smaller stashes tend to see these problems more often.

If I was starting over from scratch, now that I know what I know about cloth diapering — which is that it isn’t as overwhelming as I made it out to be — I would probably have followed both my friends’ advice and ordered a variety of different diapers to build my stash.

I also would not have any diapers with velcro now that I know the type of kid Bean is. She tends to be a bit meticulous and notices even the tiniest of details. She also likes to pick at things, including the velcro tabs on her cloth diapers. I cannot leave her in just a diaper for a long period of time because she will take the thing off. I have actually heard this is a very common problem that a lot of parents face with their kids. I have had friends that resorted to making duct tape belts on their kids’ diapers so they couldn’t get them off. Snaps are much more difficult for babies to figure out and pull apart, so I would have picked diapers with only snap closures.

Finally, I would have only purchased gender neutral colors/patterns for my cloth diapers. I seriously worry about the number of pink diapers we currently own if baby #2 is a boy.

The recommendations I have seen online usually say you should start out with 12-18 diapers. Most of the people I’ve talked to about cloth diapering recommended 20-24 diapers just so you have a little breather room with the laundry. The sites also say to plan for up to 14 diaper changes a day for a newborn (Yikes! I don’t think we ever went through THAT many), and 6-8 for an older baby. So that might help you figure out how many you need as well.

Anyway, this is what I would get if I were to start over on the journey today:

-8 Fuzzi Bunz one-size diapers
-8 bumGenius organic one-size diapers with the snap closures
-4 Swaddlebees ECONAPPI diapers
-4 Mommy’s Touch one-size pocket diapers

I know that it isn’t like I made a huge deviation from my current stash, as all my picks were still AIOs and one-size diapers. Those just seem to be the most economical to me. I don’t have any huge problems with my current diapers, I am just much more willing to try out different brands now that I’ve been doing this a little longer and it isn’t so scary.

If the up front cost of getting the diapers you want to use seems a little pricey, there are a number of ways that you can build your stash slowly. You could go the cheap route first, that is prefolds and simple covers, just to get yourself going. Then, you can slowly add the diapers you think you will like best or want to try one at a time as you can afford it. Another way is to buy a few now, use them when you can and continue using disposables in between until you can slowly build up your stash. This will also slowly break you into the idea of cloth diapering.

For those of you that are expecting, now is a great time to consider cloth. If it is something you decide to do I would really encourage you to register for cloth. Many of the cloth diapering sites offer gift registries and as I said before Target and Babies R Us also have an OK selection of cloth diapering options on their websites. Plus, there are many independent wish list and registry sites (insert shameless plug for onebabyregistry.com) where you can have a registry independent of any one particular store. I think this is really smart since most people wind up having more than one registry at more than one store. As I said before, we got almost half of our cloth diaper stash from our friends and family as shower gifts. You may be thinking that you don’t want to waste your registry on small stuff like the diapers. Trust me, the only people who are going to buy the “big” stuff like the travel system and the crib are going to be you, your parents and maybe an aunt or two. A nice $20 cloth diaper plus a pack of washcloths for you to use as wipes can be a great gift from a single friend that really only has $25 to spend on a shower gift for you.

The remainder of my posts on the subject (I am thinking there will be 1-2 more), are going to specifically deal with the brand of diapers we have and what we do with them. I think some of the stuff can still be applied across the board with the various brands, so stick with me!


Filed under Family, Natural Living, Parenting, Pregnancy and Birth

I love cloth diapering, part 3: Potty training and swimming

Just because your child is just getting out of the diaper phase, doesn’t mean you have to forsake cloth. There are several different options for training pants in cloth. Plus, I’m fairly certain that the concerns I brought up in part one of this series are probably still relevant with disposable training pants.

There are different training pants to consider for various situations in potty training. Some of them are meant for during the day to only catch little dribbles and encourage the child to make it to a potty, while others are meant for overnight when you would need much more absorbancy. There are a bunch of different brands to choose from as well.

From what I can tell, basically the training pants come in three varieties:
-There are pockets, which just like pocket diapers, have a pocket you can stuff inserts into. These are great because you can control how much absorbancy you want the training pant to have. So, if it is night and you know your child is going to wet a bunch, you’ll probably want to stick 1-2 super absorbant microfiber inserts into the diaper. If it is during the day and you want your child to feel the wetness or you just want to catch little dribbles, then you might stuff it with a thin cotton prefold. Some have snaps for easy accident accessibility, others just go on like underwear.

Happy Heinys Pocket Trainer

Happy Heiny's Pocket Trainer

-There are really thick cotton underwear. These obviously would not be good for overnight and don’t have a waterproof cover. They are just extra thick so that if there is an accident your child can run to the bathroom. I don’t know much about potty training since we’re no where near there yet, but I’d probably only use these if I knew we were going to be home all day and really working on potty training.

Under the Nile organic cotton training underwear

Under the Nile organic cotton training underwear

-There are all-in-ones. Just like the all-in-one diapers, these have everything in one piece — no inserts to stuff. They range from overnight to trickle catchers among the various brands. So, you might have to go with more than one brand to meet your various potty training situations. They have waterproof material on the outside. Some have snaps for easy accident accessability, others do not.

Imse Vimse Bumpy Training Pants

Imse Vimse Bumpy Training Pants

Now I know most of my friends who read this live in climates where swimming during the summer months is a must. So you may think that you have to give up on cloth for this as well, but you don’t! The My Swim Baby site, the sister site to the very popular cloth diapering site, Nicki’s Diapers, pretty much sums up the reusable swim diaper subject perfectly:

Swim diapers have a waterproof layer on the outside and a soft absorbent layer on the inside. Swim diapers should fit snugly. They are designed to be worn alone but may be worn over a disposable diaper or under a regular swimming suit.

Why use swim diapers?

Many states require swim diapers when diaper-aged children use a public pool. When a swim diaper fits properly, most bacteria including E.coli are prevented from entering the water. So prevent messy pool accidents by using a swim diaper!

Swim diapers won’t fall apart in the water and therefore won’t clog pool filters. Because they don’t absorb water, they don’t become waterlogged and heavy. Therefore, they do not absorb urine (so please beware so you don’t get a wet lap!). If swim diapers would absorb urine they would also absorb water, potentially pulling baby under water. This is also true for disposable swim diapers.

Some like to use pocket cloth diapers or diaper covers as swim diapers. Please be aware that water can get trapped in the cover not only causing a mess but could potentially be unsafe to your baby.

Reusable swim diapers can be washed and reused all season! There are many different styles, colors, and prints to choose from.

We actually found some great swim diaper options at our local Toys R Us. I got a tankini swimsuit for her there that had a swim diaper, matching top and hat that all have SPF protection built in. If she’s not actually in the water, we just use a regular diaper on the bottom and then when she gets in we put on the swim diaper. I want to get 1-2 more of these though to have as backup. I’ll probably just order some individual swim diapers online though since I don’t need three tankini tops for her.

With the swim diaper, in the water at the beach.

With a regular diaper, playing in the sand.


Filed under Natural Living, Parenting

I love cloth diapering, part 2: The various styles and brands

**Lisa notes: Stephen takes FOREVER to get around to this editing business. I promise that there is nothing controversial in this post. So, I just decided to go ahead and publish it.

So as I said in my last post, a lot has changed when it comes to cloth diapering. While traditional prefolds and simple covers are still the cheapest way to cloth diaper your child, there are so many more options now that are even easier to use.

In this post, I am going to attempt to discuss the various styles of diapers, some of the brands that are available in each style and their price ranges.

Prefolds are called as such because you have to fold them before using them as a diaper. When people think of a cloth diaper, this is usually what they think of.

Most people now use cheap Gerber prefolds as burp rags. I received a few at one of my showers with some cute fabrics sewn on to make them a little more decorative. From what I understand though, the Gerber prefolds are pretty much only useful as burp rags.

Back when our parents and grandparents used cloth diapers, they had to use saftey pins to secure them into place. Many parents worried about pricking a squirming baby. Plus, it can be quite difficult to get a diaper on tight with just saftey pins, I know attempts on my dolls as a kid never seemed to work quite right. These days, with the right cover, you actually don’t even have to pin or secure the prefold. You fold the diaper into thirds, stick it in the cover and then place it on your baby just like you would a disposable.

If that isn’t secure enough for you though, there is a great new little invention to help you out. It’s called a snappi. They come in a variety of colors and it is basically a three pronged rubbery tool with hooks that grip the diaper and hold it in place without you having to worry about poking your child with a safety pin.

As I said before, prefolds and simple covers are definitely the cheapest way to cloth diaper your child. Diaper service quality Chinese prefolds are about $1.50 per diaper, sometimes even cheaper if you buy them in bulk.

Covers can be a bit more expensive depending on what you want to buy. If you want really cute designer covers in fun patterns, you can expect to pay $12-20+ per cover. If basic white and cheap is the route you want to go, you can expect to pay $5-10+ per cover. Also, you don’t technically need as many covers as you do inserts. As long as nothing gets on the cover you can reuse it again with a fresh insert.

Snappis are about $3 each, but you can use them over and over again so you don’t need a ton of those either.

Contours and fitteds
For those of us that find folding a diaper to be too much work with a squirming, naked baby on the changing table, there are now diapers that are preformed into the diaper shape and ready to go.

Contours are just preformed diaper inserts that you can choose to use with or without a snappi like prefolds. Like a prefold, you also have to use a diaper cover with these diapers.

Fitteds are also preformed diaper inserts, but they usually have elastic at the leg holes and built-in closures such as velcro or snaps. You have to use a cover with these as well.

The first few weeks with Bean, we borrowed my friend Tiffany’s newborn stash until our BumGenius diapers fit. From that experience, I can tell you that I like fitteds way more than I like contours, as does my husband. He did not like dealing with the snappi. We had more problems with leaks when we used the contours, I think mostly because of error when putting the diaper on.

We particularly loved the two Thirsties Fab Fitted diapers that she had (an example of which is shown in orange above). Though, if I were to go the inserts/covers route, I’d probably consider something like the Swaddlebees One-Size Fitted (below) because I like the idea of not having to buy a new set of diapers every time my child gets a little bigger.

Contours start at around $7 and go up from there depending on the brand and fitteds start at around $13 and go up from there, again depending on which brand you decide to get.

Pocket diapers and all-in-ones
These are what we use! Pocket diapers are comprised of a shell made out of waterproof material such as PUL, with a liner that has an opening at one end that creates a pocket. You can stuff the pocket with a prefold or the insert that usually comes with the diaper. Once the insert is in place these diapers are ready to go. They go on just like a disposable with either velcro or snap closures.

All-in-ones (AIOs) are similar to pocket diapers, but the insert is built into the diaper and you do not remove it for washing purposes.

Some of the more well-known brands of pockets and AIOs are BumGenius (what we use), Mommy’s Touch, Thirsties, Fuzzi Bunz, ImseVimse, Dream Eze, Bumkins, Blueberry and I think I would probably also include the GroBaby system in this category. These diapers start at around $15 and go up from there depending on the brand you choose and whether or not you buy them in bulk.

One-size diapers
One-size diapers actually span a couple different styles: you can get them in an AIO/pocket diaper or as a fitted insert. When I was researching diapers, the idea of a one-size diaper that would last the whole 2-3 year diapering period really appealed to me because it meant one investment up front and then we’d be done. The way one-size diapers work is that they have snaps that adjust the rise of the diaper to fit down to a newborn or up to a toddler.

gDiapers are sort of the hybrid between cloth and disposables. They have fun fabric covers (gPants) and then you buy flushable/compostable inserts for them.

I think they’re a good way to get your feet in the water if the idea of cloth diapering scares you. I even have one friend, who at last check told me she was continuing to use her gPants, but was using prefolds with them instead of the flushable inserts. I’ve seen the gPants on sale for around $10 each, but they are normally $17-19 each. gDiapers recommends starting out with 4 pairs of their gPants. On their website, a package of 40 refills of the inserts is $15, and a case of 160 is $52.

So that about covers the various styles of diapers that are available today. Within all of these styles there are so many different choices in brands, colors, and patterns as well as price ranges. Picking out new diapers can be yet another fun way to dress up your baby (I mean how cute is that little ruffle butt gPant? Eek!).

I personally love that our BumGenius diapers come in fun colors. I rarely have to put bloomers on Bean when she is wearing a dress because her diaper is already plenty cute. Which is great because one side effect of cloth diapers is a bigger tush and most bloomers, especially ones that come with the dress in her size, don’t fit over them.

In my next installment, I’ll talk about the other applications for cloth: swim diapers and training pants (aka an alternative to Pull Ups).


Filed under Natural Living, Parenting

I love cloth diapering, part 1: Why consider cloth?

Cloth diapering does not work for everyone or every family. I completely understand this. There are many situations in which cloth diapering would not be an ideal choice. I know plenty of people who are very sensitive to the environment in many other ways but still choose to use disposables. That is completely fine. Every family has to do what works for them; I can respect that.

You may feel like this post is a bit redundant since I’ve already done a couple vlogs on the subject. Well, in the past month I have had three different friends inquire about cloth diapering and either seriously consider the switch or actually take the plunge (Woohoo Kourtni!!). I realized when they came to me with their questions that 1) there was quite a bit my videos did not cover and 2) the videos are a bit long and tend to ramble into tangents because of my camera shyness.

So, I wound up going back to long, drawn-out e-mails trying to think of every possible question I had when I started, as well as answering the questions they had specifically asked me and covering anything I found that came up after I was already well into the adventure. In an effort to simplify the process of responding to future inquiries, I decided that a well thought out and organized blog series on the topic was in order.

Plus, since “green is the new black,” I’ve been seeing cloth diapers and supplies even pop up in some of the larger baby retail stores. Yesterday when I was in Babies R Us they had three different kinds of cloth diapers plus the gDiapers physically in the store (they’ve had them online for some time now). I also saw a wipes warmer specifically designed for cloth wipes with organic bamboo wipes included and extras sold right alongside it. The Target here also has BumGenius diapers from time to time. For these products to actually make it into the store and not just be available online, means that people are requesting them and using them. That means more and more people are going cloth, which is really exciting to me.

So in this first installment, I wanted to talk about why parents should consider cloth diapering.

1. It is environmentally friendly.
Disposable diapers make up one third of consumer waste in landfills today. We don’t know how long it takes them to decompose because no one has lived that long yet  some estimates are around 500 years. One baby in disposable diapers will contribute at least one ton of waste to your local landfill.

2. It is healthier for your baby.
Disposable diapers consist of a plastic exterior, an inner super-absorbent layer treated with chemicals and a liner. These chemicals include dioxin, a chemical by-product of industrial processes, including the paper-bleaching process. Its toxicity is second only to radioactive waste. Disposable diapers also have been found to contain TBT, one of the most poisonous substances known to man. TBT can severely affect one’s immune and hormonal system. And then there’s sodium polyacrylate, the substance that turns urine into gel. This material was in tampons until around 1985, when its link to Toxic Shock Syndrome caused it to be removed. Furthermore, females involved in the manufacturing of sodium polyacrylate have suffered from reproductive organ problems, weight loss, fatigue, and slow-healing wounds. Which begs the question, if it isn’t safe for this chemical to be in contact with the reproductive organs of grown women, why is it safe for it to be in contact with the reproductive organs of our little babies? Could this chemical be why infertility problems are on the rise?

A study conducted by Anderson Laboratories in 1999 and published in the Archives of Environmental Health found that disposable diapers release volatile organic chemicals (VOCs), including toluene, ethylbenzene, xylene and dipentene. All of these VOCs have been shown to have toxic health effects, such as cancer and brain damage, with long-term or high level exposure.

The researchers also discovered that mice exposed to the chemicals released by disposable diapers were more likely to experience irritated airways than mice exposed to emissions from cloth diapers. These effects were increased during repeat exposures. The authors suggested that disposable diapers may cause “asthma-like” reactions and urged more study into a possible link between diaper emissions and asthma.

With the toxic chemical exposure of disposable diapers, it is no shock that a study by a major disposable diaper manufacturer shows that the incidence of diaper rash rose from 7.1% to 61% between 1970 and 1995, coinciding with the increase in disposable diaper use. However, no studies have ever been conducted on the long-term effects of these substances being in contact with a child’s reproductive organs for 24 hours a day and upwards of two or three years.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again  every single time I put Bean in disposables she gets a rash. When we first set out to cloth diaper, our plan was to use cloth at home and disposables for out-of-town trips and days when I would be out of the house for most of the day. At the time, it seemed to us that this plan would be easier than carting around dirty diapers everywhere. When Bean started getting rashes because of the disposable diapers, that changed our plans.

We knew that these rashes were specifically from the disposable diapers and/or wipes because we could usually clear this rash up without creams by putting her back in cloth diapers for a day. On one particular extended trip out of town, the rash got so bad she blistered and peeled. It didn’t seem fair to subject Bean to a painful rash just for our convenience. So now we cart around dirty diapers in a wet bag (Lisa notes: Stephen thinks this term sounds disgusting and will turn people off to cloth diapering. He would have preferred I used “plastic bag,” but they really are called “wet bags” and I know plenty of moms that use them and don’t cloth diaper so I’m leaving the term. Plus, click on the link and you will see tons of really cute ones!) and when we go out of town we make arrangements to wash them if we are staying for an extended period of time.

Actually, until Bean was around 5 or 6 months old, the only time she ever got a rash was from disposable diapers. That has since changed. We did have a yeast/thrush problem for awhile that caused a rash. Then there are three other main reasons why she will sometimes get a rash: 1) Reaction to a solid food that she ate, 2) Teething, because I think the teething changes the acidity of her digestive system for some reason and makes her poop burn her bum and 3) Negligence on my part sometimes I forget to change the diapers as often as I should. Still, these rashes are few and far between compared to if she were in disposables all the time.

3. Less blowouts.
I can count on one hand the number of times Bean has had a blowout in her cloth diapers. These blowouts were of such proportion and force that a paper thin disposable would not have been able to contain them either. Actually this is funny to me because one of the main warnings I got when I announced my decision was that everyone who had tried cloth or knew someone that had tried cloth stopped using them because of blowouts. In reality, I had way more problems with blowouts, really gross poop-all-the-way-up-the-back blowouts, than I ever have with my cloth diapers.

One of the first pieces of advice about cloth diapers I got when researching it was that I would see a huge polarization in the reviews of the different brands because every diaper fits every baby differently. As such, I was advised to start out with a stash of diapers with a variety of brands so I could figure out what I liked and what worked best with my baby’s body (I actually ignored this advice, but I’ll address that later in the series).

So, I think this is where friends and others who have tried cloth ran into problems. The diaper they chose, for whatever reason, did not work with their baby’s body type and they had leaks or blowouts. Now, if you were using Pampers, you’d probably just try switching to Huggies or some other brand. I think with cloth though we’re more apt to just say, “Well these ones don’t work, therefore all cloth diapers don’t work for us. I’m going back to disposables because that was easier.” When you’re spending much more for a single diaper (I’ve seen upwards of $35 per diaper for some ritzy brands), I can understand why you might be a little wary of experimentation though.

4. They are super cute.
The diapers I use come in a bunch of really fun colors. So does pretty much every brand I’ve come across. Then, if you want to get into supporting stay at home moms (also known as work at home moms or WAHMies), there are tons of sites where you can buy handmade diapers and covers in a huge variety of fun, beautiful and designer fabrics. Below is just a couple examples of some of the stuff you can find:

5. A lot has changed and it isn’t as hard as it used to be.
As I intend to show you throughout this series, cloth diapering is not as hard as our parents and grandparents made it out to be: gone are the days of stinky buckets of water with dirty diapers soaking in them, the laundry isn’t that bad or that much more than you are probably already doing with your baby and you don’t have to deal with pins and folding cloth diaper inserts if you don’t want to. Modern technology and fashion have really made this a much more fun and simple process.

6. It is cheaper!
This is the point that often wins the economical and practical guys over. Most estimates on the cost of disposable diapers put the figure at $2-3,000 per child, per year. If your child is in diapers for two years, that means you will spend $4-6,000 and if they are in diapers for three years, you will be spending $6-9,000 just on diapers for one child. If you factor in multiple children, that figure skyrockets even more.

I personally have about $800 worth of BumGenius diapers which run between $15-20 each, depending on where you get them from and whether you buy in bulk or not. Of that $800, my husband and I only invested $400 into them, the rest were very gratefully received shower gifts.

For those of you that, like me, hate doing math, I will do the calculations for you. We personally will save up to $5,600-8,600 just on Bean alone. We will likely use these diapers with our next child as well, provided they hold up that long and I can keep up with two kids and laundry. So, that means up to an additional $6-9000 worth of savings for a total of up to $11,600-17,600 for both kids! And that doesn’t even include the amount of money we aren’t constantly spending on diaper rash creams or wipes (since with use cloth wipes as well).

**Edit: After some of your comments I think the above figures are definitely a little high. I originally saw the $2-3K figure as a per child figure some time ago, not per child per year. I couldn’t remember what the actual figure was when I went to put together this post so I did a really quick search and a couple sites said the the per child, per year number so I went with that because the $2-3K part of it seemed familiar to me. Anyhow, check the comments section below to hear from actual disposable users that know what the real cost is. Sorry about that! In any case, over the long term cloth diapers are still cheaper than using disposables.

So that about covers the main reasons to go cloth. I hope you will seriously consider it if you haven’t before. For me personally, the biggest factors that swung me into the cloth diaper camp were the economic savings and the health of my child. I think those two things alone are worth condsideration.


Filed under Family, Natural Living, Parenting

My fears and worries

Yes, as you have all pointed out, “Children are a blessing from the Lord.” I know this. And in many, many ways I am very excited about this whole thing. I would say that overall that is my general feeling.

However, I do have many fears and worries as well. I think anyone in my situation would.

Among them…

-I’m only 6 weeks along. I could still get sick. I am worried about what might happen if I get really sick like I did last time and I am unable to breastfeed Bean anymore. I know formula isn’t a big deal for most people, but it is for me. I do not want to wean Bean early. I’m also worried about getting that sick and just being able to care for her in general.
-If I get so sick I have to miss a couple big family vacations and my sister’s wedding, I am going to be pretty depressed.
-The fact that my symptoms are very minimal so far also worries me. Everyone I’ve ever talked to about miscarriage has said that the pregnancies where they miscarried they didn’t have hardly any symptoms. However, it isn’t like I have no symptoms, they are just a lot easier to deal with. I still have been having a sour stomach, mostly at night. I have not thrown up yet though. So while I’m happy to not be throwing up several times a day every single day, I’m also worried about what this might mean.
-January 2010 I will have TWO babies requiring all my attention. That just seems insane to me, especially as I feel overwhelmed by one baby a lot of days.
-We need a new car. Right now Bean’s seat is in the middle of our backseat because that’s really the only way it fits. It doesn’t fit behind either of the passenger seats. I’m pretty sure two seats will not work back there because of this. Furthermore, I’m going to have to start toting a double stroller around now and well that would take up my whole entire trunk I’m sure. How am I going to get groceries?
-Which brings me to another quandry. How am I going to do simple errands like groceries with TWO babies? How am I going to do anything? Our house is going to be a wreck at least for the next two years. I’m sure of it.
-It makes me sad to think I won’t be able to pick up and hold Bean towards the end of my pregnancy.
-How am I going to cloth diaper two babies? I know most of you are probably thinking, “Oh, it isn’t a big deal, just use disposables.” But it is a big deal to me. For one thing Bean gets terrible, terrible diaper rash with disposables. This week our dryer was out of commission for a few days and I had to use them. After the first disposable her bottom was bright red and all broken out. I felt so, so bad for her. She kept scratching at her diaper and anytime she went she got super fussy I think because it probably burned. Plus I really take seriously God’s charge to us to be good stewards of the earth. It really bothers me to do things that I know I can do in a better way that is not bad for the planet. But I am going to have to fit in crazy amounts of laundry for this to work. The thought of that overwhelms me.
-I really need a rocking chair. Badly. Stephen doesn’t believe me. He thinks this isn’t a big deal. I have no idea how to convince him otherwise.

So anyway those are some of the things that caused all the crying on Friday.


Filed under Family, Pregnancy and Birth, Ramblings

Week nineteen

Who needs toys when you’ve got prefolds?


Filed under Family