Friday, August 29, 2008

Cloth Diaper Extravaganza (part 1)

So, we've been using cloth diapers with Jack for a while now this summer. I have to say, I didn't post about them sooner because I was a little afraid I wouldn't follow through with it. But I'm happy to report I LOVE IT, and we've been doing great. I think Mike really thought I was crazy at first, but he's warmed up to it, in part I'm sure because I've handled all the washing, drying, stuffing, folding and all the poopy ones.

I researched online using the website and any blogs that came up when I Googled cloth diapers. I found the blogs to be the most helpful, with suggestions for daytime, nighttime, naptime, out and about, and any other kind of diapering you could think of. Basically there are three types of diapers (that we use, anyway).

Kissaluvs Contour Cloth Diaper - See how the attached doubler gives you room to adjust the front flap? Prefolds (which you fold into diaper shape) and contours (which are shaped like diapers but don't velcro- to the right) are the first type, and require a diaper cover. That's what we mainly use during the day when we're home. I fold a Gerber prefold into quarters (rather than into a diaper shape and pinning it- none of that for me!) and slip it inside a cover, and viola, a diaper! I alternate covers, letting them air out between uses. Some people think it's a pain to have to fold, but it doesn't bother me, and this is by far the cheapest way to go. Also apparently Chinese prefolds are much more absorbent, but we already had the Gerber ones. Sometimes I'll stick an insert in the middle of the folding, and that takes care of absorbency.

Fitteds are basically just like disposables, but they don't have a waterproof outer layer, so they also need a cover. This picture is of a Thirsties Fab Fitted diaper, which I love. It's stuffed with super soft fleece, super absorbent, and easy to use. No folding or stuffing required!

Pockets and All-In-Ones are basically like reusable disposable diapers. Both have a waterproof outer layer that means they are basically one piece- no cover required! Pockets are just like they sound... they need to be "stuffed" on the inside with an absorbent liner, which they usually come with. All-In-Ones are the king of cloth diapers- the liners are sewn in- no stuffing or otherwise altering required. They're excellent for leaving the house.

One thing I've discovered recently are One Size diapers, which have snaps that make them adjustable from 7-35 lbs. While these are quite a bit more expensive, in the end they will save money. The bumGenius One Size All-In-Ones are the crown jewel of diapers. Click on the picture to get a better look at all the features. All of the diapers we have, except maybe two, should fit until Jack is potty trained. But, we don't have many that will fit a newbie, if we do this whole kid thing again. So, knowing what I know now, I would definitely buy mostly one sizes over other types of diapers.

We started out with four diapers and a cover. That was only enough for less than a day, but I wanted to try them out first. Now we have enough for two days, which is coincidentally the amount of time between washings.

Here's what we currently own:

2 Medium (15-30 lbs) Bummis Super Whisper Wrap Covers

1 Large (25-40 lbs) Thirsties Wrap Cover

2 Medium (18-28 lbs) Thirsties Pocket All-In Ones 

2 Large (25-40 lbs) Thirsties Fab Fitteds

2 bumGenius One Size All-In-Ones

2 bumGenius One Size Pockets with 2 inserts each 

1 Happy Heiny's One Size Pocket (this one is cow print!)

2 All Together Deluxe All-In-Ones (cheap and durable... we've never had leaks but they're hard to snap and not the cutest)

2 Kissaluvs Contour Diapers (diaper shaped cloths made of fleece that fit into a cover)

12 Gerber Prefold Diapers (which we bought to use as burp cloths when Jack was itty bitty)

 DSC01160 DSC01112 DSC01121

Pictures of Jack being adorable in his new nappies. (Left to Right) Chillin in a Turquoise Thirsties Pocket All-In-One, Crawling in a Butter bumGenius All-In-One, Playing Outisde in a prefold with Froggy Pond Bummis Super Whisper Wrap

To be continued...


The Dingle family said...

I'm thinking about considering maybe jumping on the cloth diapering bandwagon (how noncommittal do I sound?), but can you tell me a little more about the what's involved with the stuffing and other manual tasks? And how difficult are the diapers to tie/snap/zelcro on as compared to disposable ones? The reason I ask is that I'm trying to figure out whether or not the cloth diaper route would be harder on my joints when my rheumatoid arthritis is flaring up. Any advice would be helpful! Thanks!

Also, how do you handle babysitters and the church nursery and so on? Do you just use disposables then?

Okay, I think I'm out of questions for now. Thanks, darling!

amosclarkson said...

I think you are very brave for going cloth. I know they are much more advanced these days (as you described very well :) but my mom always talks about how I was in cloth & what a hassle it was. I just don't think I would want to make the grandmas do cloth during the day & make me clean them at fun! Good for you!