Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Seeking Input

Good Morning Humble Readers...

I think I have mentioned here before that I really want to use cloth diapers.  I have a big issue with all those little plastic wrapped bundles of human waste that are clogging up our landfills, and I don't want to contribute to the problem.

But here's the thing... I've never used cloth diapers before.  Am I setting myself up for disaster here? 

I know that they are a lot easier to use now than what they were back in the day (like when my mom diapered me).  I won't have to use pins, and I have found a local diaper service that costs less per week than what I have priced out for disposables. 

But I'm looking for some input from those of you who have used cloth in recent years.  Can you give me some honest info?  I know the benefits, but what are the struggles?  What are the practicalities?  How many wraps should I invest in?  Do I need to get some of those plastic pants to cover the wraps? 

I feel like a bit of an idiot for asking these questions at this point, but I really want to make this work.


  1. I love using cloth diapers! Disposables were so icky and expensive, besides ending up in landfills. We don't use a diaper service, so the struggles we have are just doing laundry like every day. The diaper pail can get really smelly...ewwww! But the best part is that we almost NEVER have issues with diapers leaking. Sure, every once in a while a little poo gets on an outfit and sometimes waking up in the morning they can be soaked, but that would happen with a disposable too.

    Now then, in terms of the diaper to buy I would highly recommend either the bumGenius 4.0 with snaps (we have the 3.0 with velcro and it's just not sticking, but we love bumGenius) or Best Bottom Diapers. The Best Bottom diapers are more expensive than bumGenius by a little bit, but they are so easy to use and you can reuse the shells as long as there's no poo on it. If you're doing prefold diapers with covers, those are a ton more difficult in terms of fitting the prefold in, etc. I just don't like them very much.

    In terms of how many to buy, I have no idea... We got 20 bumGenius one-size pocket diapers and I think 6 covers with maybe 20 or so prefolds when we first started cloth diapering--but that was for two babies. We recently added a large stash of Best Bottom Diapers and stopped using the prefolds unless it's an emergency. I'd say picture how many diapers you think you'll go through in one day, then how often are you either going to launder them or send them off to the diaper service. I have no idea how diaper service works since we don't have one, so I don't know what you do while you're waiting for the dirty ones to get cleaned.

    When you use cloth diapers you can't use the diaper creams you find in the will ruin their absorbability (if that's a word). I HIGHLY recommend CJs BUTTer: I seriously love love love it, and they have a zillion different smells.

    If you have any other questions, email me!

  2. I am planning on using cloth diapers too. I was fortunate enough to have a friend of mine give me a bunch of Bum Genius diapers that she never used so I won't be going with another brand unless they don't work out for some reason.
    I watched her change her daughter and she explained how to do it. It seemed pretty cut and dry. Instead of a trash can they use a giant wet bag that hangs from the door knob.
    Here is the link to one on Amazon like she uses:
    I was also able to get more info about cloth diapers at a local natural mothering shop near my house. If you want I can email you a copy of the info sheet they gave me.
    I am hoping that everything works out because like you, I can't stand the thought of adding so much junk to the landfill!

  3. I LOVE my cloth diapers. Because I'm doing as much for the $$ green as the planet green, I wash my own. And... honestly, washing every other day just isn't that big of a deal. The pail stinks by the time I wash. That's the worst part. I love that I don't have to get the baby out because of running low on diapers, too.

    My stock is 24 flats, 12 infant prefolds and 12 larger prefolds. I can usually get away with washing 3 times a week. My cover stock is 5 Thirsties wraps, 1 Thirsties Duo wrap, 1 Fuzzibunz pocket diaper and 1 BumGenius 3.0.

    I lurve the pocket diapers at night. So much easier than messing with a diaper and cover. I may do more pocket diapers when we stock up for the next size.

    When Baby G first came home only the FuzziBunz and Thirsties wraps were small enough. But, he's now able to wear all of them. I like the Thirsties because they aren't bulky and we don't have leak issues with them and they are CHEAP ($10 a cover). The FuzziBunz are also slim and seem the most comfortable, but the inserts that come with aren't very absorbent. I do sometimes stuff the pocket diapes with a prefold instead of the microfiber insert and that works, too.

    We are going to be buying the next size up soon and I plan to go mostly Thirsties wraps and Pocket Diapers.

  4. For us, our main consideration was cost. I use prefolds with Bummis covers. I've never had more than 4 covers in any one size and it's been fine. I used 24 infant size and 18 of the larger size and I wash every other day. Unless we're using a cream, I don't worry about liners, doublers, etc. etc. I'm all about keeping it simple.

    I remember being in your position and being so overwhelmed with all the information (all the brand names, product versions, snaps, inserts, oh my!). But once you get into it, it is so easy and I think I'm on the more involved end of the CD spectrum (prefolds and washing myself). Folding diapers isn't rocket science and considering how many diapers you'll change, it's amazing how quickly you'll become an expert!

    As for struggles, you might want to use a disposables for the first week to catch the really awful poop and to give yourself time to adjust.

    But honestly, if it's something you want to do, it isn't difficult.

  5. can't help here. But good luck and good for you wanting to keep a bunch more diapers out of the landfills!

  6. I use a diaper service...I LOVE it! I can use diaper creams and I only have to invest in diaper covers as he grows (which is good because the one that was supposed to last 9 months only last 4 because he grew so fast!!) I have about 17 diaper wraps and that is enough for me to only have to launder once a week (sometimes I go two weeks). I HATE laundry almost as much as I hate filling up the landfills so going the diaper service route was the right choice for me.
    I travel with them and have not touched a disposable diaper in 6 months. We also rarely have a diaper blow out or leak, unlike disposables and find there to be less laundry because of it. there are alot of resources out htere for doing the diapers yourself as well as a lot of options. It is a good investment if you are planning on having more children. Since this was our last baby the diaper service made more sense that way too. But I agree I still pay less for the service than the sposies and I feel good knowing that I am not paying per diaper (i change every 2-3 hours) I also have no guilt about what is happening to the environment!
    I'm so excited for you - Your LO is going to be here so soon! :)

  7. Cloth has come such a long way in 30 years. We started out with chinese prefolds, snappis for closures, and Thirsties covers. This was very economical. I convinced our day care to use our cloth and provide Bumgenius 3.0 for day care use, and bring them home in a wetbag every day ( I love the Planetwise ones the best). We have Target garbage cans with a large wetbag Bummis liner that is washed with the diapers. As long as we wash every other day there is no stink.

    We have a sprayer connected to our toilet for poops. Not sure how anyone uses cloth without a sprayer! We use cloth wipes too- my favorites are made locally:

  8. Well, I was going to give advice, but you've gotten a ton. We use cloth about 50% of the time(some weeks more) and really like it. Our baby still poops 2-4 times a day, and sometimes I don't feel like dealing with that, so use disposable(but chlorine free) in the morning b/c of that. Challenge- I tried wet pail, first and it got super smelly. Definitely just do dry, use baking soda when there is a messy diaper.

  9. You know I am no help at all. But seems you got a ton of great advice. There is so much to know and I like you have so much to learn. I got a week to cram a bunch of stuff in LOL! Sorry been MIA, but busy around here and neglecting my blog reading. SO glad to read you are well my friend. Thinking of you.

  10. Go look for Two Hot Mamas on my bloglist....they did a fantastic post a while back about different brands, etc. They are EXPERTS! I plan on asking them LOTS of questions as we want to CD as well :)

  11. I use cloth (I'm a little addicted to buy nappies) and am happy to answer any q's you have hon - I love MCN so much I sell them now :D

    in terms of what ones to use, I'll of course have an Australian bias so not much help (although they all ship all over and I've used a lot of international brands).

    I have a stash of around 80 nappies of all types including bamboo flats and prefolds as well as OSFM AIO, AI2, pockets and fitteds.

    I'd recommend going for 2-3 days worth of nappies (I prefer MCN) with 7 daytime nappies and 1 nightime nappy - get a specialist nightime nappy as most day nappies are only designed to last 2-4 hours and just won't work overnight. I wash daily most of the time because I can't stand the pail at the end of two days.

    you've got loads of good advice but shoot me an email exploringchaos [at] gmail with any questions you have :D


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