Sunday, January 13, 2008

Cloth Diapers

Lately I have found myself going on and on about cloth diapers on forums and other peoples' blogs. They love me and put up with me, but I figured if I cared enough about said subject to take over someone else's blog, maybe I should post about it on my own.

I started out my cloth diapering when my eldest was a couple months old with Mother Ease one size diapers and Mother Ease small covers. I was immediately impressed by their quality as well as the ease of use. You see though, I bought MotherEase because I wasn't aware that there were other options. I may have bought Mother Ease anyway, but it amazes me now that I had no idea how many options were out there! About a year later I picked up a few MotherEase all in ones at a consignment store. I fell in love with the ease of an all in one, and now that is all I buy.

Perhaps though I am going about this the wrong way. Let me go over the cloth diaper vocab.
  • One size (OS): diapers that can be used for babies 8-30lbs.
  • All in ones (AIO): diapers that have the covers built in to the rest of the diaper. Closest to using disposable. Sometimes they are also one sized, some times not
  • Pre-folds (PF): old school, like diaper services use. Come in sizes
  • Pockets: Diaper with the cover built in, but the center comes out to make for faster drying, has a "pocket" for the insert to slip into.
  • Covers: what you put over diapers that don't have built in covers. Come in many materials- wool, PUL, fleece- as well as one size or sized.
Ok, that should cover the basics. Since entering the cloth diapering world 3.5 years ago I have learned that cloth diapering is alive and well. I am not in some weird fringe group. There are as many reasons people cloth diaper as there are people. For me, it started out purely economical. Yes, an individual cloth diaper seems spendy. I've probably spent about $500 to cloth diaper two children. But when you do the calculations against the standard disposable the amount you save per child is staggering. Going by the cheapest diapers I could find (Costco) and the absolute minimum diaper changes (although that isn't what I do) I haved saved over $2000 dollars so far. (and that is an EXTREMELY conservative estimate) you save evne more if you use the diapers for multiple children like I am doing, and thus my savings grow with each child. The money saved in cloth diapering has been such a blessing. But for us it has developed into other reasons as well. Cloth diapers are better for baby. Disposables have many chemicals in them, and many children are extremely sensitive to them. My second daughter gets a horrible diaper rash when put in disposables, as do many babies. Cloth diapers are so much better for the environment. Now, I'm not necessarily a hug-a-tree sort of person. I mean, I do hug the occasional tree, but it isn't the first principle by which I make decisions. But I do feel pretty strongly that if there is something in my life I can do to tread a bit lighter on the earth and be less self-focused in my daily life then I think I should do it. Cloth diapers are a way for families to greatly reduce the waste they put out. Anyone who has had children know they crazy amount of diapers they go through. Just try to get a mental image of that multiplies by thousands and millions. Think of how much less waste there would be if people used cloth diapers even just half the time. I also feel cloth is more comfy for baby. If you are skeptical of this, try on one of those disposable underwear things for bladder issues and compare how it feels to your regular underwear.

Now for some of my favorites and brands I highly recommend.

Motherease One Size. They come in various selections (Bleached, Unbleached, StayDri, Organic, and Bamboo) and work great in my opinion for 4months on. I dislike the bulk of a one size on a really little baby, but that is really personal preference as I know many friends who have used these from birth on. Motherease also makes great covers, but their diapers work well with any cover you choose. I have used these daily for 3.5 years and will continue to be able to do do for at least one more child, though I suspect another 2 or 3. They still look great and work very well.

Another brand I've come to love is Fuzzi Bunz. (if you are going to cloth diaper, you'll have to get used to cutsie names). Fuzzi Bunz is a pocket diaper that come in sizes XS-L and in 15 different colors. They are very easy to use, wash well, and dry fast. I also use these diapers at night in place of pul-ups for my toddler, and have used them without the inserts while we were potty learning to help contain accidents but not have the bulk of a pul-up. You can't go wrong with a few of these in your diaper stash.

Finally, I must recommend Poppy Pants. Poppy Pants are a sized diaper, like fuzzi bunz, but where the inserts snap in and out instead of sliding into a pocket. Also, the water proof part (the PUL liner) is hiden between two layers of fabric. So what you get on the outside of the diaper is soft, cute, boutique patterned fabric. Now, Poppy Pants are a boutique diaper, meaning they are higher end, higher priced, and part of their point is cuteness as well as function. You will not save as much money with these diapers, but you will still save lots over disposables. They are very trim and less bulky under clothes. The smaller sized are priced comparably to Fuzzi Bunz, it is only the larger sizes that are a bit more. Their XS sizes even come with little snap down sections to keep baby's umbilical cord clean and dry. These are the diapers I am getting for my next baby (no, that is not an announcement, just planning ahead). My Fuzzi Bunz are all size large, so these will be my smalls and medium. I'm really looking forward to it. They are really an outfit accessory unto themselves. I think next baby will be wearing a lot of t-shirts and Babylegs so I can always see these!

Other things you'll need or want with cloth diapering:
  • cloth wipes (makes sense really-easy to make yourself, or buy from anyone who sells cloth diapers)
  • A wet bag. Just a Pul lined bag to keep dirty diapers in either in your diaper bag or at home
  • A diaper pail or larger wet bag
  • A diaper sprayer- not something I currently have, but would be useful. Attaches to your toilet tank and allows you to spray off diaper contents without dunking or touching anything
  • Rice paper diaper liners- flushable diaper liners for when baby starts solid, so all solid waste can just be lifted up and off the diaper and flushed away.
I would of course be happy to answer any diaper questions, like how to care for them or anything like that. Most diaper websites that you buy from have "how to" sections that are easy to follow. There are a lot of options in that regard, and much of it is just finding out what works best for you. Three things to remember: No bleach! No fabric softner! And don't go overboard with detergent!

The thing with cloth diapering that I can't stress enough, is that there is something out there that will work for every preference and every budget. If you have no money to spend, go for Pre-Folds and Pro-rap covers. If you want it to be the most like using a disposable, go for a high end All-in-one. If you want to express your social conscience, go for Organic hemp made by WAHM (work-at-home-moms). Really, you can do this however. If you don't mind washing every day or every other day, get 12-18 diapers. If you want to only wash once or twice a week, get more. Really, I mean it, this is all extremely versatile and extremely easy. Like with any money expenditure, start out small and go from there. If you have any inclination at all to give this a shot, I totally encourage you to do so.

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At January 16, 2008 1:09 PM, Blogger Jenn said...

I'm a cloth diapering Momma too, and I love it!!

At January 16, 2008 7:57 PM, Blogger The Roaming Southerner said...

good post...I appreciate it. I am just learning about cloth diapering as an option when I have a babe, so I really appreciate your explianation!

At January 17, 2008 8:34 PM, Blogger Leigh Ann said...

You and Holly have got me thinking about these for the next one if it ever comes. The ones you showed are so cute.

At January 18, 2008 12:32 PM, Blogger Tiffany said...

Yeah Leigh Ann! You would really like it I suspect, after all we do seem to be twins. :)

At September 16, 2009 10:13 PM, Blogger Karenact said...

thanks for sharing, here in North Houston I don't know of any cloth diapering families.

At September 17, 2009 10:59 PM, Blogger Tiffany said...

If you are in Houston you should check out The Young and the Restless. (don't know the address off the top of my head, just do a google search for them). Great place to get cloth diapers in Houston! Now that we aren't there any more I really miss them.

It's funny to me that you don't know anyone there who cloth diapers because almost all of my friends there cloth diaper and no one where we just moved to does. (Further north).

Anyway, thanks for reading. I really do mean to blog again some day. :) Maybe tomorrow. :)

At February 07, 2010 11:15 PM, Blogger Queen of the house! said...

your comments have been very helpful. I discovered you because I was searching Poppy pants on google and your blog came up. Thank you for taking time to share your thoughts. I am having my 5th baby but first time cloth diapering...I am so excited but I am a little nervous to make sure I learn and know what I need! THANK YOU!!!!

At February 07, 2010 11:16 PM, Blogger Queen of the house! said...

OMG...I am in Houston! thought that was ironic! I know a few people who cloth diaper...but not as many as I wish!!!
Just thought I would share that!


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