Showing posts with label cloth diapers. Show all posts
Showing posts with label cloth diapers. Show all posts


Thoughts on Cloth Diapering

Oh lordy. It's been a while since I've talked about our journey with cloth diapers. I'd call this a series since I just wrote out my Thoughts on Breast feeding, but I don't have any other updates in mind so we'll just call this part two. 

I've only really written about them twice and it's been almost a year since the last update. I never did get a post written regarding diapering two babies, and now we're back to one! 

Diapering two
When both girls were in diapers, I generally had one girl in the pocket diapers (one or two inserts inside, usually Josie) and one girl in the Flip diapers (one liner and one insert that lays on top against baby's skin, usually Audrey). It worked well because we didn't have to resize each diaper based on who was wearing it. They were ready to go and we had enough for each of them, although if we ran out for one girl, it wasn't too hard to resize the other kind and continue on until laundry was done.

I thought having twice as much laundry would be an issue, but it wasn't bad. It didn't feel all that different, and I honestly didn't feel like it took more of my time since the Flip diapers didn't require much besides setting them aside in their own pile (no folding or stuffing). 

I keep the diapers in two bins underneath the changing table. Keeping them separated makes it super easy to grab what I need and sorting them while folding the laundry takes almost no extra time. 

Why we use them
Honestly, the reason we started using cloth diapers in the first place was cost. I had heard that the cost of disposable diapers vs cloth diapers was hardly comparable, and that has proven to be true. I won't do a specific comparison for you, but if you google it you'll find a whole pile of other posts written by other people with very descriptive details and numbers. The initial cost of cloth diapers is higher, but the more you use them, the less the lifetime cost (per diaper) is. Each kid I can use them on just makes it even more cost effective. Pretty cool. Also, if you know you are going to cloth diaper, start looking for sales at different stores online ahead of time. I got almost all of our Flip diaper inserts on sale and some of the liners too. It saved us a lot of money just because I gave myself some time to collect as many as we have now. If you can't afford a lot of them, buy less and do laundry more until the next sale. Flexibility will help you in the long run. 

(It also helps that they are more earth friendly, but that is not a huge motivator for me. I try to be green here and there but generally just fit it in our lives where we can and don't stress out about it where we can't.)

But now? The real reason we still use them is because I truly dislike disposables. The smell, the way they feel, the cost, the look of them. I just don't like them. They are fine if need be, but if I could choose (which, for my kids, I can) I would choose cloth diapers any day. I'm perfectly aware that most other people do not agree. I know other cloth mamas that don't agree but stick with it for the cost. To each their own, for real. It's just my preference, but I never would have figured this out if I hadn't tried the cloth diapers in the first place. 

Side note: I do have to thank my family for dealing with my crazy. :) I know they aren't as in love with them as I am, but they don't complain about them while changing the girls and I appreciate that.

What we don't love
There are a few negatives that I can't forget to mention. The main one is that you aren't supposed to use diaper creams with them. It adds a layer to the surface of the insert (or liner for the pocket diaper) that deflects the liquid (hello, the whole point is to absorb liquid) and then makes it useless. You can sometimes get that layer off by stripping the diapers with bleach (not recommended by the BumGenius brand) or Dawn dish soap (I know, crazy, but it works). It isn't a guarantee, though, so it's better to just avoid diaper creams altogether. Even though some advertise that they work on cloth diapers, don't risk it! You'll ruin your nice, expensive diapers.

So what do you do when you need some kind of rash cream? That is a predicament I've found myself in. For both girls, around 10 months old, they got a terrible rash from acidic urine. It was horrible, and if they sat in it for even five minutes, it got much worse. The only thing that helped was rash cream, so I had to buy disposables for that particular week or two until the rash healed and the urine adjusted back to normal (not so acidic). I also stripped the diapers to make sure that the acid was completely gone. Only after all of that could we go back to cloth diapers. After two babies, I'm now more aware that this just happens and that it isn't a poor reflection on cloth diapers or a cause for a drastic change that will last forever. Instead, it is just a temporary thing that you need to get through, like all the other things that change with growing babies.

Leaking used to be a bigger problem for us than it is now. With Josie, it seemed like they leaked if they were wet almost every time. It drove me crazy, but not enough to give up on them. Then, we got the Flip diapers, and that problem practically solved itself. With Audrey, she very rarely leaks and I think this is because of three different things. One, the diapers fit her differently, so they seal to her better which holds the liquid in better. Two, we change her more often. Seems silly, but I do think we go through two more diapers a day with her than we did with Josie, just because I'm aware of this. It isn't much, but it makes a difference. And finally, she just doesn't drink as much liquid as Josie did, so there is less that can leak. The combo of these three things adds up to hardly any leaking.
(To be fair, though, leaking is annoying but blow outs are worse! We never have blow outs with the cloth diapers. We almost always do with disposables. Maybe it's just us, but it is frustrating when we do wear disposables to always worry about that.)

The other negative thing with cloth diapers is the bulk. Having to pack them in a diaper bag means you need a bigger diaper bag. It can be frustrating if you are used to packing disposables, but since we hardly do that it hasn't been that much of a bother to me. They also make their little bottoms bulkier, which means that some pants don't fit. I've found that we have to go up a size faster with bottoms than tops. Once you just realize that and adjust their wardrobes, it's no big deal. I personally love the look of a cloth diapered bottom. It's too cute.

Josie, around six months

Audrey, about seven months


Click picture for source

This is almost exactly what our pocket diapers look like. Snaps, easy to resize, and an assortment of colors. The only thing I don't like is that they stretch out and don't go back to their original shape, while the inserts shrink after being washed a few times. We end up double stuffing them often so that they absorb enough, although that hasn't been as consistent with Audrey as it was with Josie. Each diaper fits each child differently, just like with disposables.

Click picture for source (sorry for the quality, I couldn't find a good descriptive picture that was larger)

Here are the Flip diapers. I like that you can reuse the liner (less laundry) but have noticed that you can't reuse it too often because it gets stinky even if you wipe it down in between wears. I'd say 2-3 times at the most. It's actually less smelly and easier to reuse if it is a BM instead of urine as long as it is all contained on the insert. As the child starts eating real food, the urine smell is very acidic and hard on the child's bottom, so generally you wouldn't want to reuse anything that has that strong scent on it. It's just common sense (I hope). They hold up awesome compared to the pocket diapers, and they should because they cost a lot more. The one drawback is that you have to put them together while changing the diaper so as the child gets older and more squirmy, it gets harder to put the diaper on. Not a huge deal, as it is hard to put on anything when the child is squirmy, but something I noticed in particular with this kind of diaper.

We do use disposable wipes. My favorites are Huggies (bought in bulk from Sam's Club) because they rip easily so we can use half of one when that is all that is needed. It has saved us a lot of money and we don't go through them nearly as fast. We used to use cloth wipes and a spray bottle with baby wash mixed with water, but it was rough on their bottoms and I didn't feel like it did a thorough enough job. 

Clean up
We use Planetwise wet bags for the dirty diaper storage. They work great, but the biggest thing I can say I've learned is don't dry them in the dryer. We have three medium size bags that we have always dried in the dryer and they are pretty spent. One has a dime sized hole in it while the others have tiny holes in random places. We also got a large bag when we were pregnant with Audrey and I have made sure not to dry that one. It is almost as good as new almost a year later, so it really does make a difference. We don't dry the liners for the Flip diapers either, and that has helped them stay almost as good as new as well. I wish I would have known not to dry the wet bags when we got them, so if you take anything away from this post, let that be it!

Click picture for source
We have a sprayer attached to our toilet that helps with the BMs. This means that I never have to dip my hand in toilet water to rinse the diapers (which is an alternative when we are in public. Not fun, but it does the job). I love the sprayer. Personally, it makes cleaning up the mess so much easier. We got ours on (not the exact kind we have, but a link to one that is similar).

As far as how we wash the diapers, I make our laundry detergent and have always used it on the diapers. It works great and there is no more build up on them than if we used a store bought diaper. In fact, I'd say it seems to be less. If for some reason the diapers have sat longer without being washed or still have that strong acidic smell, I just cycle them through the wash one more time and that takes care of it. We do two wash cycles (the first being cold water, no detergent and the second being hot water for sterilization with detergent) and then dry them in the dryer or hang them outside. Hanging them in the sun helps bleach them back to almost as good as new. I know it sounds crazy, but it works.

We usually do use cloth diapers when travelling. I either pack them in a separate bag, all clean and ready to go, or just stuff as many as I think we need in their suitcase. It's a little more to pack, but because we have a lot of them, we hardly ever have to wash them away from home. There are usually enough to make it through a long weekend.

Let me know if I forgot something or if you have any questions. I love to talk about what I've learned and my thoughts on them (of course I do, this post is long enough to prove it!) and don't mind if you disagree with me respectively.


Nesting Part Two (or three?)

Oh man the urge to clean is overpowering. I spent the whole weekend organizing, moving things around, reorganizing, cleaning, cooking, and prepping for the week. My feet hurt, but my heart (and head) is happy.

Laundry? Folded and put away.
Healthy dinner? Made with enough leftovers to get us through the week for lunches (always my goal but rarely happens)
Clutter on table and china hutch? Put away finally.

We bought a new tv for our living room/piano room upstairs. We'd been using an old gigantic outdated TV that had terrible sound and was in an awkward spot up until now. Originally I hadn't wanted a TV in this room because I didn't think it was necessary to have more than one TV for just two of us. That changed when I had Josie because I spent most of my time upstairs and a lot of it sitting bored while feeding her. This time around, with me staying home and breastfeeding longer than just maternity leave, I figured it was worth it to get the upstairs more comfortable long term. I'm so glad we did this. I'm so happy in this space now and don't dread it like I did before.

I'll post pictures this week because we made a lot of changes to the space. Paint, furniture moved, furniture purchased. It finally feels "right".

I also reorganized part of the kitchen to be more efficient. With all of the stuff that comes with babies like breast pumps, bottles, freezer bags, and all the other little things, I knew I would want a specific spot where they could all be together. I cleared off a whole shelf in my mini pantry in the kitchen and it feels amazing. Our kitchen is so small, but with me keeping it really organized it doesn't feel so bad. In fact, I'm almost to the point where it doesn't overwhelm me with clutter and mess like most small kitchens do. Sure it's still out dated, but I can live with that.

I ordered more diaper inserts for our FLIP diapers. They are such great quality and totally worth having, especially now that we will have two in diapers. I got them in the mail on Saturday and am prewashing them right now. It feels amazing to be so caught up on cleaning and laundry before the week even started. This is necessary, though, because I need to make a few freezer meals for a friend that just had a baby and maybe even do it for us too. It never hurts to have a few meals ready to go when I can't get my act together! I need to keep myself busy to distract me from the fact that I'm still hugely pregnant. Keeping busy is the only way I don't dwell on it. Let's face it, nobody likes a crabby soon-to-be mama that can't stop complaining about something that is going to happen sooner rather than later.

Oh oh AND I hung up the baby's name letters in the girls' room. Now it really feels official. I'll show pictures of their room once she's here and we've got things more figured out. A lot of it is tentative right now because I have a foggy haze in my memory when it comes to all things newborn. Once that clears I am sure I'll want to change things around some more.

I love weekends like this. Did you get a lot done too? Share with me your success so I can maybe be motivated to get even more done!

Want to leave a comment? Click on the title of this post and scroll to the bottom. You'll see the comment section there. Can't wait to read what you have to say!


Cloth Diapers Revisited

I just made a purchase for something that kind of seems like a waste of money. We bought a bunch of cloth diapers through Ebay before we had Josie and I never tried any other kind. Because of this, I always wondered if I had really gotten the best deal and, much to my dismay, realized that although they were cheap, they were not the best quality (will I ever learn?). So reluctantly, because I know that each time I buy more I am lowering the grand total amount of savings compared to using disposables, I decided to start slowly replenishing our stock with better quality (and way more expensive) diapers. We're definitely going to have more kids someday so eventually it will still pay of way more than not.

Today I purchased two Flip diapers with two liners. They, as of today, don't sell the diapers with an insert included, but so nicely took off $3(the insert costs $5) so now each diaper costs $2 more. Oh if only I had purchased them before when I had decided to do this... I could have saved a lot of mullah.

This is what they look like:

Cute, and easier for me. Why? Because instead of having to wash a million diapers, I can just wash a million inserts. Less laundry to wash and dry (since you really don't need to dry them anyways since it is kind of hard on them and they usually just sit in the dryer all night long while we sleeping/wrestling a sleepy baby) and less to PACK which is the main thing. Going places, even out and about in town, has been frustrating because I know I should pack at least two diapers, but the bulk that they take up is just annoying. Now I can just pack one and pack 2 inserts (or even 3! daring, I know) and then still have room for her many other necessary items like toys and pacifiers. Yes, more than one is often needed.

I also went online and purchased 9 more inserts from that only cost about $3.80 an insert instead of $4.95.

I have a friend that has purchased Flip diapers, which is where I heard of them, but have any of you ran across them and liked/disliked them? I'd love to hear your thoughts.

Overall I am still so happy that we went with cloth. My husband even agrees which says a lot since he was not on board when I first brought it up. The truth of the matter is the cost savings is big, and I love that we are not throwing out a million diapers a week. No judging if you do, but this works for us.

I don't mind washing them and they are just so cute on her little bum. I can't wait until she's wearing dresses again (soon, so very soon!) because then I can even match them to the outfit. Oh the little things I live for...

Want to leave a comment? Click on the title of this post and scroll to the bottom. You'll see the comment section there. Can't wait to read what you have to say!