Thursday, November 1, 2012

Going Cloth


We realized it was time to switch to cloth diapers when at Isaac's 4 month check-up the doctor remarked "oh, wow, he's just about out of 3's!" As in size 3 diapers. (Size 4 is usually for 1 to 2 year olds, I understand, and even the cheaper brands are usually about 20 cents per diaper...!) 

And so for the past month or so we have been solely using cloth diapers. In another couple of weeks, they will have more than paid for themselves. Here are the pros and cons:

PROS:
  • Cheaper. We spent just less than $60 for everything, which depending on size and brand could pay for itself in 1 to 2 months. 
  • MUCH less trash and thus more environmentally friendly, even given the extra laundry.
  • Way fewer blowouts that actually make it onto his clothing.
  • Once you get the hang of it, there are ways around actually touching anything gross, even during the laundry process.
CONS:
  • Laundry must be done every day or two days.
  • More leakage (not too much more, but still more) = more changes of clothes and the occasional smell of pee (lovely!). Though I have heard of others who have no leaks; perhaps the brand makes the difference.
  • If you use trifold inserts it makes for a bigger booty and so some of his smaller pants, shorts, and onesies don't fit with those inserts. 

Honestly, the first week was GROSS. Getting the hang of cloth was like re-learning how to change diapers. -Not super difficult but learning the nuances meant some gross experiences. I also had only bought 2 covers, as you're supposed to be able to use them for multiple changes (which is true sometimes depending on your insert and how wet it is). I bought more.

Here's what I think the minimum actually is:
  • A washer & if possible a dryer (line drying would take a long time but if you have enough covers & inserts it could work). If you don't have access to a washing machine cloth probably wouldn't be the better option financially (and also in terms of time).
  • A wet bag (a waterproof zippered/drawstring bag to store soiled diapers until they can be laundered) and one that can be machine washed & dried. (This lady makes her own.)
  • At least 3 or 4 covers (and even then you may go through more than that in one day; be prepared to handwash so you'll always have a clean one.) 6 or 7 would be preferable.  
  • At least enough inserts as diaper changes per day plus 2 (if you can do laundry EVERY day. If every 2 days then double that number).
Am I glad we went cloth? Some days. Especially when I think about how much we're saving. There's always at least one day each week I wish I had a few disposables. I think I'll buy some for long car-rides, day trips, and for babysitters.

Have any of you tried cloth? I'd love to hear about your experiences and any advice! We also (more recently) switched to cloth wipes. Maybe I'll post about that another day. Let me know if you have any questions! :)

10 comments:

  1. I'm glad I'm Facebook friends with you so I could chime in on this. I've being cloth diapering my baby since about two months old. (She's the same age as Isaac.) There definitely was a learning curve, but now I prefer cloth diapers (other than the laundry) because she has so many blow-outs in disposables. I also use cloth wipes. I cut up an old towel and sewed the edges, and I squirt water on one to use it. I think the biggest issue I've had is that Camille tends to get diaper rashes more often with cloth diapers, but I'm trying to figure out how to avoid that. I still use disposables occasionally, mostly for long trips.

    This is Sarah (Scoresby) Wood by the way.

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    1. Hey Sarah! Thanks for your comment. I noticed Isaac started getting diaper rash too, but it came after we started using the wipes. I'm not sure whether it's the solution or the material (we use a T-shirt material). We've stopped using cloth wipes for the moment until we can figure out something better.

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  2. I wish I could edit my comment. I meant I've been cloth diapering.

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  3. Suze! I have 9 covers and 15 inserts. I suggest the brand FLIP. they don't leak unless he is too full, and I suggest the flip inserts too, not as bulky as trifold. also you canake your own inserts way easy. I still use disposables if we are gonna be out, church etc, but other han that, its great.

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    1. Hey Brittney! I've tried a few brands but never FLIP. I think I'll try them next. Do you use the ones with snaps or the velcro hook & loop? I think most of my trouble is mixing brands for inserts & covers... Either that or Isaac's legs are so big they don't seal! haha But thanks again and I'll let you know how it goes!

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  4. Suze! I have 9 covers and 15 inserts. I suggest the brand FLIP. they don't leak unless he is too full, and I suggest the flip inserts too, not as bulky as trifold. also you canake your own inserts way easy. I still use disposables if we are gonna be out, church etc, but other han that, its great.

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  5. Ah! I love cloth too! It's nuts how much money you save and how easy it actually is after you've passed the learning curve ;) We do have a few disposables around, just for going out and stuff, but it's still WAY worth it to do cloth at home!

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  6. My old roommate cloth diapers and she wrote several posts on her blog about it. We're planning on using disposable but she much prefers cloth and she has some really good advice (brand comparison, etc.). You can check it out here: http://howdyhepworths.blogspot.com/search/label/Cloth%20diapering

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    1. Thanks Erika! It looks like a fun blog! I think for each baby we'll be using disposables for their first month or two (or three). Until the sleep deprivation wears off a bit ;) I am so excited for you by the way! I follow your blog and you are such a cute pregnant lady!

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