Friday, January 14, 2011
I've been wanting to do a post about cloth diapering for a while, but just haven't gotten around to it. So, here I am. :)
I first started thinking about cloth diapering about a year ago (yes, before we were even pregnant!) when my Mom told me about this little cloth diaper boutique she discovered. Heather was due with Lilie in two months and she had gone in there hoping to get some information for her. A little while later, I was invited to a girlfriend's baby shower and she was registered at this same boutique. I had no idea that cloth diapering had come so far! So, I went with my mom to the store one day to see the demo. It was so cool! Cloth diapering was not what I had imagined. It was not those little diapers that people often use for burp rags. It wasn't safety pins and diaper covers. It wasn't poopy hands and stinky laundry. This seemed easy! And if I registered for it I would have to spend little to nothing on diapers! Now, I had to go home and convince Brad. At first, he kind of just went along with it to appease me. Then, we discovered I was pregnant and I started pushing the issue a little more, asking him to come to the store and see the demo one day. He told me he wasn't against it, but he just thought it would all be too complicated and not worth it. I finally convinced him to go to the store one day. After the demo he told me that it was a lot easier than he thought and he thought we could really do it. So, I got the okay to register there! Of course, I had to go back to the store about a million times to look at everything before I could actually register!
When it finally came time to register, I picked out several different types of diapers because I know that, just like disposables, different kinds can work better for different babies. I didn't want to have all of one kind and then find out that they leaked for Micah! However, I really had my heart set on the pocket style diapers. I'm not sure why, but I was just convinced that that would be what we would use. A pocket diaper is exactly what it sounds like. It's a diaper that has a pocket in it for you to stuff an insert. The diaper itself is made of a material called PUL and is waterproof. The inside material is very soft and stays dry. You stuff the pocket with an insert, which can be made of a variety of different type of materials (microfiber, hemp, fleece, etc.). You close the diaper with either snaps or velcro, depending on the diaper (I prefer snaps because you always know what size it is whereas with velcro you can keep doing it and undoing it until it fits right--just like with disposables).
Now that we've been cloth diapering, I was right we love our pocket diapers! In all fairness, we haven't actually used anything else. We did get some prefolds (the kind that you use with safety pins--although you don't use safety pins anymore, they have "snappis" or you can just tie it) but I never really use them. We also got a couple all-in-one (AIO) diapers, but they're still too big for Little Man. AIOs are just like they sound. They most closely resemble disposables because you just change the diaper. However, I've heard that they take a long time to dry, and I feel like they're a lot bulkier than the pockets. I figure why mess with what works, which is why we only use pocket diapers. Our stash consists entirely of FuzziBunz and Thirsties Duo diapers. Both come in either a one size that you can adjust as baby gets bigger (one size because they will last from the newborn stage to toddlerhood) with snaps for the rise and on the waist or a sized option. We have a couple FuzziBunz one sizes, but we much prefer the sized options. The sized diapers can also be adjust with snaps on the rise and waist so they should last a long time. Actually, we're pretty sure we'll only have to buy size small (which is what we use now) and size medium because it goes up to 30 pounds. They're so easy to use and I love all the bright colors!
When we first told people that we were cloth diapering they kind of looked at us funny. We got plenty of comments about poop and extra laundry, but the truth is it's really not that big of a deal. I breastfeed and breastmilk poop is water-soluble which means we don't have to rinse out the poopy diapers or soak them in the toilet. We just throw them in the pail with the other diapers. And we do do laundry more often (about every other day), but so much has changed since having a baby that we don't even realize that it's because we cloth diaper.
We keep the dirty diapers in a cloth bag in a regular garbage can with a lid. The bag has a zipper on the bottom so when it's time to wash, we just unzip it and dump right into the washing machine. First, we do a cold rinse cycle to clear out all the poop. Then, a regular hot water wash cycle with an extra cold rinse cycle. Then, we put them in the dryer as usual (in the summer I will likely be line drying them). It takes me about 5 minutes to stuff the diapers and we have about 20. When we go out we bring a wetbag in our diaper bag to carry the dirty diapers. If it's just wet diaper in the bag we dump them right in our pail when we get home and let the wetbag dry out a bit. If there's a poopy diaper in the bag we dump it in the pail as well as the wetbag (we have two wetbags for this reason). We also have two pail liners (one for upstairs, one for downstairs) and we always wash one of them with the diapers. We were using disposable wipes, but have started using cloth wipes for the past week or so. I'll post more about that at a later time, but for now, I will say I love them way more than disposable wipes!
So, in summary, we love cloth diapering! Seriously, both of us. I ask Brad all the time if he likes it and he says he loves it, it's so easy! He doesn't understand what people's hang ups are over it. He knows exactly how the diaper should fit Micah (the snap goes in the same place every time!) and he's never had to touch the poop (which most people seem to think you do when you cloth diaper...not sure why...). We bought 2 boxes of disposable diapers before Micah was born so that we could have them on hand and we also got 2 packages from the hospital. We are went through the packages from the hospital (when Micah was first born b/c of his umbilical cord and circumcision we used disposables) and 1 of the boxes we used. We invested about $200 of our own money into cloth diapers. That's it. Seriously, this has been a truly great experience. I wish I could say that we're doing this for environmental reasons. That's a good bonus, but it's not why. And, truly, it's not for the financial reasons, although it's really nice not having to buy diaper every week/month. Honestly, we're doing it just because I wanted to. Plus, cloth diapers are so cute. It could really become an obsession they have so many cute options out there! I am so glad that we decided to cloth diaper, there is no looking back!
I'm pretty sure this is the only picture I have of Micah in a cloth diaper. It was taken when he was just a couple of weeks old and the angle makes the diaper look HUGE! I wanted some cute diaper pictures when we got his pictures taken for Christmas at Picture People, but you can't really see his diaper in those pictures. I guess I have to take some more pictures of his cute little fluffy bum!