Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Cloth Diapering

As I mentioned before we use cloth diapers. While cloth diapering is rather trendy right now, it's still not common and I get a lot of questions about them. So in this post I'm going to discuss the numerous options of cloth diapering, go over the pros and cons as I see them, and to give answers to questions that I had and that I've been asked.

Okay, so why we chose to use cloth diapers: cost. Disposable diapers are EXPENSIVE, and since Alan and I are poor college students living on one salary the comparable cheapness of cloth diapers was the real kicker. I personally haven't done any calculations myself, but I found this handy site that is actually pretty accurate from my observations. I was lucky because I have a wonderful mother and aunt who supplied me with everything that I would need to start cloth diapering.

There are four main ways to cloth diaper: prefolds, fitted diapers, pocket diapers and all-in-one diapers. Prefolds are what I use and I'll get to those in a second. There are two ways to size diapers, you have the one size that adjusts for baby growth and then you have gradated sizes. Okay, now on to some specifics.

1. Pocket Diapers. These are a relatively new "invention" and are really popular. What it is is a diaper with a small opening in the back. You insert a absorbing insert (rather clever naming they have going on). Fuzzi Buns is a popular brand, as is Bum Genius.

2. All-in-one Diaper. Just like a disposable, but cloth. Bum Genius also makes these diapers.

3. Fitted Diaper. This is just the inside, the absorbing part, of the diaper. It's fitted to the child's size (small, medium, large) and requires a waterproof diaper cover.

4. Prefold Diaper. This is the old school diaper. It's a rectangular piece of absorbing cloth that you fold around the baby and pin into place. It also requires a waterproof cover. I personally use prefolds and love them! Even though they are "old school" they have come a long way. Instead of having to use those adorable diaper pins (sorry but I do think they are cute) there's something called a Snappi that does the same thing, but it's faster to get on and off. Here's a link to one. Watch out, those things can really gouge you; I've had a couple of nasty cuts from mine. A diaper cover is usually made of a fabric called PUL, which is a breathable water-proof material. Not all diaper covers are made equally, but that's a topic for another post. When I give you the tutorial for my diaper cover I'll talk about that.

Okay, so why do I like cloth diapers so much?
1. Cost; it's saving us a ton of money, especially since I make my own diaper covers (tutorial coming) and because we can use all this stuff for our other children when they come.
2. The house doesn't smell. I use two 3-gallon ice cream buckets (any plastic tight, fitted lid container will work) to store my dirty diapers in and the smell doesn't leak out. I use disposables at night (in the cons section I'll explain) and that trash cans reaks!
3. Gentler on Killer's bottom. Diaper rash isn't a problem because you change the diaper as soon as it's dirty. (Yes, you will, I guarantee it . . . unless you want a nice little puddle of pee somewhere :) ).

1. You have to change the diaper as soon as it's dirty, which means you change a lot more diapers during the day. As my wise mother once said, you either give up money or time; and since I have a lot more time than I have money, this is only a very small con. And since cloth diapers don't "last" as long I use disposables at night and when we go out.
2. Overall, not as convenient: they take up more time, and if you use them when you're out of the house you have a lot of laundry to pack around.

Many people are just grossed out by the thought, and I can understand that, I'm just not. I'm very much okay with dealing with bathroom stuff, but as we all know I am not a spit-up, vomit kind of gal. (Killer vomited the other day . . . ALL OVER ME! My worst nightmare came true!)

If anyone has any more questions about anything, feel free to contact me. I researched this a ton before Killer was born, so I might not be an expert quite yet, but I know a lot about cloth diapers.

Whew! Now it's bed time; night all!


Courtney said...

I must confess that the idea of washing/cleaning a cloth diaper just grosses me out wayyyy too much. I've changed enough disposable diapers to know what comes out the bottom end of a baby on a regular basis. All I have to say is that you are a brave soul.

Adventures of Kade & Stephanie said...

Okay, so what do you do with the dirty diapers before they get put in the wash? Do you soak them in something? And why do you choose the old school diapers? I researched the fuzzi buns and really wanted to use them but I was told it is about the same cost to do all that laundry. What do you thinK?

Anonymous said...

A few more considerations. The fabric in cloth diapers may be better next to your baby's skin than the disposable diapers. Look at what chemicals may be contained in the products. Cloth diapers create a much smaller waste footprint. Check it out. It is time for us all to be more mindful and purposeful about how we live, even those of us who are not "poor college students".

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