Our Boys

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

"Why on Earth are you using cloth diapers?"

Since I made the decision to use cloth diapers, I have gotten this question a lot and I get it. Disposables are easy and can be affordable with the right research. Basically there are 3 reasons that I made the decision (and then got Brett on board) with the cloths.

1. Cost - Initially cloth diapers are expensive because individually they do cost a bit, but you are basically buying (hopefully) all the diapers your baby will need at one time. You may need to purchase a few additional ones due to size, comfort, absorbency, etc. but you basically have all you need.
2. Waste - Not the waste that comes in the diapers, haha! We are not crazy Earth conscious people but we do try to recycle, conserve when we can, and do our small part. In addition, where we live charges for garbage by the bag so we are even more into recycling for that reason. We knew that disposables would likely increase the amount of times we had to put trash out and therefore be an additional cost.

3. "What's in a  disposable?" - Again, we aren't crazy natural people but when I can choose something that is not made of chemicals, I do, and that is just what is inside a disposable diaper. I don't know what it is, but I know it's not natural. 
One of Owen's first days in a cloth (Grovia) diaper

So taking these things into consideration, as well information we gathered about the reduced risk of diaper rash, we decided to give it a try. Now cloth diapering isn't hard, but it does take some getting used to and developing your own system. In addition, you have to figure out which diapers will work for you. We are fortunate to have a store dedicated to cloth diapering very close to where we live called Comfy Bummy and they were a WEALTH of information. They also have a blog with even more information. My fellow new mama, Natalie, and I spent several hours over a few different trips learning about all the brands, types, etc. Their suggestion is to purchase a few different brands and types (inserts vs. all in ones) and then decide what works best for you. 

Initially, I purchased a Grovia cover and 2 inserts, a Thirsty cover and a Flip cover with one insert. In addition, I purchased 12 Chinese prefolds. For the first 3 weeks of Owen's life, we did use Pampers Swaddlers because they just fit better. They were also easier to keep off of his belly button before it fell off and easier to care for his circumcision. 

After starting to use the cloth diapers, I wasn't sure I liked them because of how bulky they are. In fact some of his 3 month clothes didn't fit any more because of the added bulk. We kept with it though and ran into another snag - he did get a diaper rash and a BAD one. So one Saturday night, Brett had to go to Target at 9:45 to buy disposables so that we could smear his butt with Butt Paste (you can't use most diaper rash creams with cloths because they affect the absorbency). So after soaking his butt and treating the rash we went back to the cloths, but I still wasn't sure how I felt about them. If he was going to get diaper rash again and we were still going to have to buy disposables, was this really worth it? Well, he has yet to get a rash again and we are now in full swing of using cloth diapers.

I ultimately purchased 2 more Flip covers which each come with one insert and 6 more prefolds. I now have a total of 5 covers, 2 Grovia inserts, 3 Flip inserts, and 17 prefolds (Tucker actually ate one of the diapers!). Owen can mess a diaper with the best of them so we go through a lot of diapers. I also change him quite frequently because I don't feel wasteful since I'm not throwing out the diapers. I do laundry now every 3 days (sometimes every 2 if he has been super messy and gone on too many of the covers). I settled on Ecos brand laundry detergent which I was able to find at a local grocery store for a reasonable price. When I wash the diapers, I do a cold rinse, a hot regular cycle, and then an additional warm rinse. After washing, I throw the diapers in the dryer for about 10-15 minutes to fluff them then line dry outside. I always line dry the covers and the Kissa's Antibacterial liner. Oh, the liner goes inside a small step stainless steel garbage can that I purchased at Wal-Mart. I found out by mistake, that the sun is the BEST way to bleach a diaper white again. You can't believe the yellow stains that have virtually disappeared just by being outside.

Cloth diapers aren't for everyone. Since Owen drinks solely breast milk, his diapers are pretty easy to get clean. I'm a little over the top and I do rinse out ever diaper before it does in the bag. Every once in a while I sprinkle a little baking soda in the bag. All in all, it's not hard and after consistently using cloth diapers for a over about a month and a half, I love them!

1 comment:

Tiffany said...

One of my best friends has been cloth diapering and she said it really isn't as bad as she had expected! She did it for all of the same reasons. Mostly cost, but then the other reasons are great too.

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