The Cloth Diaper Post

I have been cloth diapering Em part time for a year now, and have had a few readers ask me questions both about the diapering process and about my experiences with it.  So the time has come for a cloth diaper post.

You have actually been looking at pics of Em in cloth diapers for a long time now.

We started at 23 weeks

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here is one from 25 weeks

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Here Em is not yet crawling at 40 weeks – how cute is that cow print fluffy butt??

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But generally, she is wearing pants, or more lately, shorts, over the cuteness.  Still, there are a few cute shots of Em in a cloth diaper and pajama top that you might recall from this summer:

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Can you ever really get enough of that cute fluffy butt?

But anyway, here is our basket of cloth diapers

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But most CD mom standards, it is pretty light, but we only CD part time. They say that 24 is a good number to have on hand at first (in the newborn stage) to do laundry only (only?) every 2 days. That is one reason I waited 🙂

Pictured here is our main stash of diapers.  All but 3 of those are Smartipants and the other 3 are Rocky Mountain Diapers (a pink one, the cow print and the monkey print).  All of our diapers are one size, pocket, snap diapers.  This means that they are all adjustable to fit a baby from about 8-10 lbs through potty training that that you basically stuff a liner into the diaper to absorb all the “data output” (aka pee).  And the snap simply means snaps instead of velcro.  And since Em knows how to un-velcro a disposable diaper, I am SO happy that I went with snaps 🙂  I know a lot of moms who have ended up convertng their velcro diapers to snaps.

I started with Smartipants because they are a good value, got good ratings, but mostly because thy have the slit for stuffing the pocket in the front and in the back.  This means easy stuffing and best of all, the liner agitates right out in the wash.  I love that feature!  I went with the Rocky Mountain diapers on a whim really, because I wanted to try another brand, and ended up LOVING them!  They are so trim and even softer than the smartipants.  Plus they had a great Black Friday Thanksgiving sale that i could not pass up.  Really which would you rather wear – a nice soft cloth diaper or a plastic, chemical filled, disposable diaper?

When it comes to cloth diapers, what most people want to know is how we handle poop.  There are a number of options, ranging from a scraper (which does what you would expect with the name scraper), to a sprayer that you attach to the toilet (again, the name is really pretty self explanatory).  But I go the liner and pray route.  Em is pretty regular which is to say that I know the second diaper of the day will be a poopy one.  So I either have her in a disposable diaper, or put in a liner.  The liners are basically thin pieces of material that go on top of the diaper and “catch” the poop.  Then you flush it all away.  Only now that we moved I prefer to throw them away because of the septic tank.

But really, the entire thing could NOT be easier!  They go on just like disposables, only with snaps.  They catch pee and poop just like disposables.  They just go in the wash so I can use them again and they are SO SO SO cute!  Plus, they are better for the environment (ok, stop with the extra water nonsense, I do the same numbers of wash regardless!), better for our bank account (once you get the initial stash complete) and better for Em (especially with the Pampers chemical burn issues that are popping up).  And I think disposable diaper companies know this.  How else do you explain those (stupid) jeans Huggies?  I mean come on!  The idea is to have less chemicals on your baby and they fill a diaper with dark blue dye?  But I digress…

When it comes to cloth diapers, 2 things are a must have (at least for us), a wet bag and a pail liner.   I really think a wet bag is a MUST have for every mommy, whether you are a crunchy green mom or not. This is great for wet bathing suits, dirty clothes, etc, fits right in the diaper bag and goes right into the wash.  (plus the bag and every roll of liners we have ever bought were all free with our Amazon credit program, so you can’t beat that!)

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Our pail liner is a simple white anti-bacterial liner that is actually in an old shredder basket trash can.  I just take off the diaper and throw it in this bag and then the entire bag goes into the wash.

IMG_3615 These are our “other” 2 diapers.  I actually won both of them on blog giveaways and I can honestly say that Em never wears them.  The cute purple one is a fuzi bunz one size pocket diaper, and the adorable monkey one is a one size pocket Happy Heiny (OMG love the name!).
I HATED the fuzzi bunz beyond belief!  There is an odd hip snap that just did not work for me.  Rumor has it that you can use unstuffed pocket diapers as swim diapers, so I even gave that a shot and nope, still hate the diaper.  Which frankly, sucked, because it is So cute!  It is gone now, traded to a woman who wanted to try the FB out and she sent me a hot pink Flip diaper.  This one is not like our other diapers.  This one you lay the liner on top (instead of stuffing it) and you can switch out the liner and reuse the cover.  I have never done that.  I have treated it as a regular diaper and used it once and thrown it into the pail.  But really, I have only used this one right before her bath, and Em always gets a new diaper for bedtime.
The Happy Heiny is another story.  That ONE SIZE diaper is enormous!  WAY too big for Em’s little bottom.  I am holding on to it for a while and if it never gets used, then I will offer it to another green mama who wants to try it out. (if you are one of those mamas, let me know!)

But wait, there is more!  (and this was a long post to begin with!)

Today I got an email that I won another blog giveaway!  I won a set of cloth wipes (I chose the Wild set 🙂 ).  Stay tuned for our adventures with cloth wipes, but really, if they aren’t for us, then they will make great wash clothes or extra clothes to keep in the diaper bag.  But D is not 100% into cloth diapering (he agrees with all the benefits but insists that disposables are easier.  I think it is lack of experience talking)  so I cannot wait to see his face when I introduce cloth wipes.

So I am by no means an expert but there you have it – my cloth diaper info.  I tried to answer all the questions that I got over email and think i hit them all, but if not, just ask again 🙂  The bottom line for me is that you either get cloth diapers or you don’t.  I don’t think people can be converted.  But I love that I buy disposables less than our friends do.  I love that Em has only had bad diaper rash once or twice (some kiddos have it once or twice a month!).  And I plan to love the fact that cloth diapered kids tend to potty train faster 🙂

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7 thoughts on “The Cloth Diaper Post

  1. This is so funny because we *just* switched over to cloth this weekend. We’ve only gotten part of our stash in the mail (can’t wait for more!) so right now we’ve got 4 Flip covers, a dozen inserts (I haven’t decided if I like these yet) and a dozen Gerber non-premium prefolds.
    We’ve never had diaper rash (except for some redness from Pampers!), and I hope that we’ll be able to keep that up. I really like the results with the cloth so far better though. There are very few red-marks from snapping in my little girl, and we’ve not had any leaking. I’m hoping she’ll firm up in the poop department though because each time that happens we’ve got to wash the cover. If she’s just wet we switch between covers during the day to let them air out, but don’t wash until they get dirty.
    We’ve got some of All-in-one’s (AIO) coming because my sister will be helping to care for our daughter while I teach this fall, and she’s not down with the idea of cloth at all. (Go figure, she’s got three kids and she’s a nurse, and she just “can’t go there”.) This way she (or any babysitter) can just put the used AIO in the wet bag and I’ll handle it when I get home. 😀
    As for cloth wipes, I can’t wait for those to get here! I think it’ll be easier for me to use the cloth wipe to scrape off the poo to put in the potty, and then just dump the wipe in with the diapers. Plus I like homeopathic stuff for her butt better than the stuff on the wipes, even the no-alcohol/unscented ones.
    Let’s hear it for cloth diapers! If you don’t like them, that’s fine, but if you do enjoy!

  2. If I were to add to my stash, I would think about adding some AIOs but I hear they take FOREVER to dry! Do you know about sunning? If you get any stains, put the diaper out in the sun and the sun will bleach out the stain. I love how even the tips for cds are eco friendly 🙂
    Em does get red marks from the elastic around her legs but everyone tell me that this normal, it does not seem to bother her and the diapers do their job.
    Please post how you like the flip system. Like I said, i have never used it the way it is supposed to be used (we have one cover and 3 inserts) and I am not sure I want to. The pockets are so much easier to deal with then the insert. I have the fold right and I have them in place, but Em like to dance and squirm during diaper changes which makes flip hard! I would also love to hear your experience with Gerber because I have been told they are only good for spit up rags – hopefully you will have much better luck!

  3. I expect that the AIO’s will indeed probably take longer, and won’t last as long as the covers (since I’m air drying the covers). However, it’s an invaluable idea because I will have some folks taking care of her that I *know* will not want to be involved with cloth diapers in the first place. It’s the only way I can see continuing with cloth only and still having people watch her.
    The Flip is working pretty well. She’s been really loose and large quantities lately, so every time she’s pooped I’ve had to clean the cover really. Though I had the first poo today that stayed entirely on the liner and didn’t really get on the cover. I’ve had some folks recommend getting the liners that you can use to help clean up easier, but it seems silly to me to spend money on that when the whole point was to keep the $$ down.
    Alexis is pretty wiggly too, but I just keep a hand on her. Really, I put the liner in to size, and then put it on just like a disposable. I always keep a hand on her tummy and that way she can flail her arms and legs all she wants, because it’s like having someone’s finger on a knot when you’re tying a bow. 🙂
    I have some of the chinese/pakistani all cotton prefolds coming, and I think that’s going to work much better than the Gerber… but we only had 12 inserts and I knew I was going to end up doing diapers 2x’s a day to feel safe if I didn’t get some of the prefolds locally. That’s all I could find. I got the regular, not premium, because I didn’t like the way the premiums felt. Once the all cottons come in, I think we’re going to switch these to either backup or spit up.
    Right now for spit up towels we’re using the gerber flat birdseye, and frankly they suck. :/ So we’ll probably ditch those, or relegate them to household cleaning duty/cheese cloth stand-in.

  4. I don’t have the wipes yet, but it seems to me that it’s going to be easier to wipe with something substantial. For instance, I can wipe so much more effectively with the mostly dry end of the liner when she’s wet than I can with a disposable. So, I don’t really expect I’ll need more than one wipe under most all circumstances per change.
    As for the spray, I ordered the Diaper Lotion Potion (http://www.greenmountaindiapers.com/other.htm#potion) at Green Mountain Diapers, and a couple of bottles. I really expect I’ll dig the chamomile/lavender/tea tree smell, and it’s a good mix of herbs and oil to help her bum stay nice and happy. How can one complain about not getting your hand sopping wet with a disposable diaper, and knowing that you’ve put something healthy on the little squirt. 🙂

  5. THanks for this! I had switched Cassie to cloth diapers, but then when I got pregnant with Richie all the poop and laundry literaly made me barf. I’ve really fallen off the wagon with this whole thing and I should get back into it! THanks for your discoveries and motivation!

  6. I remember you mentioning Cassie was in cloth – what kind did you use?
    I had to re-motivate myself recently – but the pail liner did that. In the condo, the laundry room was right next to Em’s room so all dirty diapers went in there. Now with the laundry in the basement I needed a new idea because my wet bag is small. The pail liner got me going again.
    Glad I could help and HUG! Are things better for you lately?

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