Long before the little mister showed up on the scene, I knew I wanted to cloth diaper…for a number of reasons. Seeing as how I am somewhat crunchy and try to buy organic, natural, chemical free stuff I couldn’t stomach the thought of paying through the nose for those kind of disposables…or any disposables to be honest. I like saving money and it seemed like a pretty easy way to bank some serious coin…especially since we hope to have more than one child. Save money, no yucky chemicals…two reasons down. I also try to reduce my waste…I recycle and get after hubby when he throws recyclables in the trash and such…I try to steward resources as best as I can. I like that I am saving thousands of diapers from the landfill. Finally, cloth diapers are just so darn cute! Seriously.
Hubby was pretty easy to convince especially with modern cloth diapers…so easy to use! The first 6 weeks of little mister’s life we did use disposables – aka “sposies” – since he was in a pavlik harness for hip dysplasia. It was much easier to use them as opposed to the bulkier cloth…as soon as the harness came off, out came my cloth diapers!
We decided to go with BumGenius diapers and we registered for them, getting 16 of them to start…12 of the 4.0s and 4 Freetimes. After a whole lot more reading now on CD sites and blogs it seems that it was a risky move since most recommend buying a one or two of a couple different brands and then deciding from there which ones you like most and want to invest in. Ooops! Good thing we loved them from the get go!
I did buy a few organic pre-folds and two covers from Green Mountain Diapers because it was a cheap way to add a few diapers to my stash for those times I don’t get the laundry done quick enough. BG diapers start at 18 apiece for the 4.0 and then go up for the Freetime or Elementals. The organic prefolds were 3 a piece (non organic are $2). I bought a Flip cover (same parent company as BG) and a Thirsties Duo Wrap. I like the Flip more…maybe because of its familiarity. You can get special Flip inserts, I just use my prefolds in it…I dont even pin them or use a snappi. One note – outside of the Elementals the BG diapers aren’t natural fibers – they are stay dry liners and microfiber inserts so for those who are looking for all natural fibers, they won’t be your diaper of choice. The Elementals are natural fibers (cotton).
I go back and forth whether I like the 4.0 diapers (pockets) or the Freetimes (an AIO that has two “flaps” sewn in) more. Lately, Freetimes have been my diaper of choice for nighttime. I seem to have fewer leaks in them…they do have a slightly different fit than the 4.0s. However, I like the 4.0 pocket diapers more overall. I really don’t mind stuffing and unstuffing – even five-ish months later of using them. I like them more for two reasons:
1. The flaps on the Freetimes are sometimes hard to keep in place when you have a super squirmy baby. Little mister has now entered the stage of rolling over on my when I try to change him.
2. Now that we are entering the stage of introducing solid foods I can no longer just throw the poopy diaper into the wetbag to wait until wash day…I had my first “need to dunk and swish” diaper today. I really don’t want to have to figure out how to hold the flaps on the freetime for dunking and swishing…although I am sure I will have to sometime soon! The single flat surface of the 4.0 lends itself to a much easier time for cleaning off poopy diapers before throwing them in the bag.
I did buy a diaper sprayer today – but will be taking it back. While we could make it work via a trip to Home Depot and a lot of prayers that we wouldn’t mess something up and cause a leak we decided that we would just go with the old school (and free) dunk and swish method of cleaning diapers for the time being. If we feel that we “need” a diaper sprayer later we can always pick it up again and visit my good friend Home Depot!
I started with 16 diapers and after a visit to a local natural baby store I added 3 more for a total of 19 diapers which got me through two full days before having to wash at that point. Since then I have only added one more diaper (today!) to my stash. I imagine I will slowly add a diaper here and there as new colors/prints come out or I see sales. Since we plan on having more than one baby and hopefully not too far apart it is likely that we could have more than one in diapers at once so adding gradually would help so I can keep laundering every other day. Sometimes it is tempting to buy some other brands of diapers just to try…but some of them are even more expensive and really…what purpose would it serve? What we have works, I like them, and I really don’t want to become one of those people who are crazy obsessive about cloth diapers and prints…no matter how cute they are. I just don’t need to. Besides, I thought part of this was about saving money, right?!
Currently, I have 20 diapers and I wash every other night for the most part…occasionally I won’t get to it in time, but I am pretty good at staying on top of it. I am usually down to five or so when I wash which gets me through until they are done drying. While you can put the liners in the dryer (not the covers) I usually hang dry them to save on energy costs. I do use the BumGenius diaper detergent.
I know a lot about cloth and the various types, but I am no expert. I haven’t tried them all…I don’t plan on it. There were a number of people who told me when I was pregnant that I would try cloth for a week or two and then give in and use disposables…I LOVE cloth. Really, I do. I have had ONE blowout to date in a cloth diaper – and I don’t think anything in the world would have contained that one. In disposables we had a blowout every. single. time. I do probably have more leaks at night while we are figuring out what works the best, but I have had him leak out of disposables at night too. All in all…they are great and even hubby likes them. Despite him saying he wanted to use sposies while we were out of the house he has not balked once at using the cloth while we are out and about. I have a fabulous little wet/dry bag that we throw in the diaper bag and we are good to go!
I think that is it – so for all of my pregnant or new mama friends that have asked about cloth diapers and what I use…there you go!