Monday, June 2, 2008

Cloth Diapers

A number of friends have asked me about cloth diapers recently. We use cloth diapers because they are a lot cheaper than disposables and will be easier to use out in Egypt. We're also doing elimination communication with Rachel and so often catch her just as she's starting to go, remind her to stop, and then go to the potty, so her diaper would only be a little wet. I felt bad putting a used disposable on her, but felt bad throwing it away because it was hardly used. So cloth works out well for us.

We're fairly new to this, but here's our little system.

We buy our diapers from Cotton Babies. The "try-it kit" probably isn't a bad way to start. I wished that I had purchased it instead of just the prefolds when I started out. It comes with prefolds and the expensive kind of covers. We just bought the cheap-o covers. They work fine, but for value, the "try-it kit" is actually pretty good, I think. It's $30 and you get 2 $12 covers, plus the prefolds. Anyway, we've survived without nice diaper covers, but there have been occasions when I wished we didn't have to pull the diaper covers down...

We get Indian prefolds and Dappi covers. We bought our pins at Wal-mart or somewhere, but you can also get them from this website. Folding the prefolds is a little tricky, and counterintuitive, really, since they call it a prefold, yet you fold it. Yeah, that's because the "birdseye" ones are even worse--they are just a flat layer of flanel and you have to fold it in thirds and then wrap it on your baby. The prefolds come ready to just wrap on your baby. I don't know if that made sense.

Anyway, I had to have my mom come and help me learn to fold a diaper. And I looked at a couple of websites. I found this one most helpful, but if you search for "diapering 101" or "how to fold a cloth diaper" or anything like that, a number of helpful sites should pop up for you.

I do the "twist" wrap for Rachel. I find it a little less bulky.

Now for the AIO (all in ones)...there is so much lingo to learn with cloth diapering, it's kind of ridiculous. I have a couple of friends who also use cloth diapers and I polled them about what they use. One of my friend only uses BumGenius. Crystal uses Bummies or something like that (I don't remember). She warned me to stay clear of Kushies, which is the kind they sell at Wal-Mart, so I haven't tried them. I just took her word for it. I would also steer clear of Happy Heiny's and Mommy's Touch. We tried them in our trial pack and they just didn't hold water (get it? They just didn't hold water...ah, ha, ha).

We did like Haute Pockets and Bum Genius, although, the Bum Genius are our favorite. They have a cool little flap thing to help keep the liner inside, which is nice. The Haute Pockets kind doesn't have that, although I think they have more colors to choose from, which is kind of fun but since they're just diapers, who cares, right?

These diapers look and act just like disposable diapers, which means that husbands and babysitters can use them, no problem. Andrew doesn't use pins and babysitters won't touch cloth diapers, so the nicer ones are convenient. They are also less bulky so we like to wear them when we get out of the house so that Rachel doesn't look like she has a huge behind.

They are rather pricey, though, and run upwards of $15 a pop. I think they are worth it, but it is difficult to buy enough all at once. Our initial purchase was 12 prefolds, 4 diaper covers, and 4 pins. That's enough typically to carry us through two days of diapering. We wash every other day so it worked out well. And it only cost us about $25, which is way cheap.

After using just prefolds for a while we felt like we could splurge and get some nicer diapers, so we ordered the trial pack from Nicki's Diapers since we still weren't quite sure which kind to buy. After using those for a week or so (in addition to our prefolds) we decided that we liked BumGenius the best so we ordered six of them from Cotton Babies. Now we have 12 prefolds, 1 HautePocket, and 7 BumGenius diapers that we use and that's fine for us for now. We're thinking about getting a few more BumGenius before we leave for Egypt though.

Anyway, that's pretty much all I know about diapers. Not a whole lot. We're still kind of in the experimental stage.


Krystal said...

do you rinse your diapers out first, before washing? Or just throw them in the laundry till you wash them? I'm thinking of starting elimination communication soon

Nancy Heiss said...

Sorry if this sounds gross...

With pee-pee diapers, I just let them dry flat in the tub. They stink less if they're dry. Then I just wash them.

If they're a BM diaper, I get as much of the chunkies into the toilet as I can--sometimes I use TP to wipe off the diaper a bit. Then I rinse them out in the tub. We have a removable shower head and that works really well.

Then I wring those out and let them dry until I wash them.

Crys said...

When I feel like doing it I use bumpkins. They are an all in one with a nice outer cover. So far I've never had a problem with leakage but my baby girl does almost all of her BMs and over half of her pees on the toilet so really I'm not a great example. One of my good friends from church though has done 14 months of diapering and she loves my bumpkins and is always trying to buy them off me. I know this sounds gross but these things have really high resale value on ebay. You can also keep an eye out on craigslist and at garage sales. She has liners that she puts in the diapers. When her daughter goes pooh, she just grabs the liner and throws the whole thing in the toilet to be flushed...which in my opinion is pretty darn nifty!

Anonymous said...

I just happened on this old posting about the use of cloth diapers. I'm probably old enough to be your mother, and even though disposables were available when we raised our large family, we used cloth diapers except when on vacation (when a washer wasn't readily available). They are way way cheaper, easy to use, and we had fewer leaks. Most of the negative comments I received concerned the "huge" amount of time it took to wash them--truly it was minimal--30 seconds to throw them in the washer, less than that to transfer to the dryer, a minute or two to fold and put away. Very worth it for the savings.

Disposable diaper companies used to print ads that compared the cost of their product with the cost of cloth diapers and always made it look like cloth was more expensive to use. They inflated the price of the diapers themselves, and then listed an exorbitant amount of money for detergent and water. I recall that the cost they listed for the washing was more than I spent on detergent and water for several months of doing laundry for a large family. But obviously the ploy worked because almost every family has "converted."

Over the years we used various kinds of diapers; the best we ever found were the diaper-service type. I don't recall the brand now, but they're pre-folds, very thick, and they last forever.

Keep up the smart choice.

michelle said...

Check out this trial package:

Looks pretty sweet to me...