When I found out I was pregnant I never even gave diapering much of a thought. Disposables seemed like the obvious choice. That was until a friend of mine posted on Facebook that she forgot how much she loved cloth diapering. So, I started doing some research and found that it’s not what it used to be! Old fashioned cloth diapering consisted of a flatfold and safety pins, it’s what our parents would have used (in fact, my mother did use them!). Now cloth diapers have advanced to a very simple and stylish option for those who want to be more economical and Earth friendly.
Since I was going to register with Target for my baby shower registry I decided to give gDiapers a try as they were available through the Target website and I could add them to my registry. Plus, all the different options kind of made my head swirl and I didn’t fully understand the difference between All In Ones (AIO), pocket diapers, perfect size diapers, one size (OS) diapers, etc. gDiapers seemed to make it easy and they had videos of how to use the diapers on their website. I had my previously mentioned friend show me how she did cloth diapers once but she used a prefold with a shell which confused me as well! So, I went with gDiapers. When I didn’t get all I needed as shower gifts I did some searching for used ones on craigslist and found two women selling their gDiapers at a very reasonable price. So, I ended up with everything I needed at a fraction the cost.
When M was born with his heart defect and didn’t get to come home for 6 weeks (his story starts here), cloth diapering sort of got put on the back burner. We had gotten very used to Pampers Swaddlers which, very conveniently, have a yellow line that turns blue when the diaper is soiled. We ended up using those for quite awhile once M came home just because of the convenience and everything else we had going on with him. When I did decide to finally switch over to cloth I continued to use disposables at night because he has a nurse at night and I didn’t want to make it overly difficult on them. But, I decided I didn’t want to continue to buy diapers anymore and switched him over completely about 6 weeks ago (or so).
At first, it was strictly gDiapers and we were using the flushable inserts because I had gotten a ton of them when I bought the used diapers. They were very convenient and a nice transition period from disposable diapers to cloth diapers. They are flushable and biodegradable. But, once we were out of those it was complete cloth for us (because buying more flushable inserts defeated the purpose of saving money)! I then began doing research on cloth diapers again. I’d been reading a friend’s blog (Young Nesters) and what she had chosen to do about cloth diapers and became curious about other brands. So, I headed to a local consignment shop around Easter time and bought some used cloth diapers to try out. I ended up with 2 FuzziBunz pocket diapers (size small) and 1 Blueberry AIO (size small). I washed them up and gave them a go. The FuzziBunz did not come with the inserts so I used the medium/large size gDiaper inserts, which worked really nicely. I started using the Swaddlebees at night with M because I could stuff an extra insert into it to allow for more absorption, this was easier than double stuffing the gDiapers. Then, I finally gave in and bought 3 bumGenius 4.0 OS to try them out, I have since bought 6 more of the bumGenius dipes.
So, this is what I’ve found with each of these brands:
- gDiapers – come with the g-pants, snap in liners, and either cloth or flushable inserts. I do really like the gDiapers, M is now into the medium size which could follow him up to about 28lbs.
- Pros: The flushable inserts are super easy. The cloth liners have a hemp side that helps absorb moisture away from baby’s skin. The more they are washed and used the more absorbent they get. We have had very few leakage issues, especially since moving him up into the mediums.
- Cons: Stuffing the inserts into the plastic liner are kind of a pain, not as easy as a pocket diaper. There is also the added step of snapping in the plastic liner, then stuffing the insert into the liner. Also, they’re sized so you have to buy more as your baby grows.
- FuzziBunz – I have the perfect size pocket diapers. My mom picked up more for me that came with inserts so I now have the proper insert for this brand. All you have to do is stuff the insert into the pocket.
- Pros: Easy to stuff, easy to spray off, have sizable snaps so a particular size can last for awhile.
- Cons: They’re sized, but FuzziBunz does offer a OS diaper so this would be a non-issue if I were to buy some of the OS dipes. Really, no other cons with this brand aside from a couple leakage issues, but this could have been an issue with how the dipe was put on…?
- Swaddlebees – I only have one of this brand and the one I have is an AIO with a pocket.
- Pros: Super easy, the closest you can get to a disposable diaper. Pull it out and put it on. No stuffing required. It does have a pocket so if you do want to double stuff you can, this is especially useful for nighttime.
- Cons: Not as easy to get clean as the pocket diapers because the insert is sewn in. I find that I have to wash it 2x and it doesn’t get completely dry in the dryer. So, I end up turning it inside out and line dry it the rest of the way. I’ve had some issues with ammonia smells with this diaper.
- bumGenius – I have the 4.0 OS pocket diaper, these have quickly become my favorite of the bunch! I love that they are one size and will grow with M, basically till he’s ready for toilet training. They come with snaps or hook and loop (Velcro type), I have both. When you order them they come with a newborn insert and a larger/thicker insert, so you get the shell and 2 inserts!
- Pros: Grow with your baby, come with 2 inserts, have option of snaps or hook and loop. I prefer the snaps for night time as they are less likely to wake him up during a diaper change. The hook and loop are much more convenient though, but much too noisy for nighttime (for M anyway). They are super absorbent and the nurses with M at night have decided these are their favorite for the first diaper of the night which is usually his most soiled diaper. I stuff the newborn insert and the larger insert in the pocket and instead of a diaper change around 2am, he won’t need one till about 4am. ZERO leakage issues and he’s had some man-sized poops!
- Cons: With the 2 inserts, they are a bit bulky, but it’s worth the bulk! Also, not as easy to spray the shell because it is pleated on the inside, but that’s really a minor issue.
The major benefit of cloth diapering is the money we’re saving on diapers! Yes, you have to buy cloth diapers, and they can be a bit pricey in the beginning, but once you have them you reuse them and can use them for future children. Go here for details on disposables vs. cloth.
I HATE doing laundry. I will go weeks without doing my own laundry because I despise it so much, but I don’t mind doing diaper laundry. I truly don’t mind spraying the poop or stuffing the diapers. I do diaper laundry every other day and sometimes everyday, depending on if I have time. I spray all the diapers, pee and poopie, so they get an extra rinse before washing. Recently I started a new laundering routine due to ammonia issues. After spraying all the diapers I throw them into the washer and do a pre-rinse then I do a heavy duty, hot wash cycle. I use Rockin’ Green detergent, I was using other free and clear detergents but was having ammonia issues so switched over to a cloth diaper detergent. From what I’ve read, this is better for the diapers anyway as it won’t leave a residue that will interfere with absorbency. After the heavy duty, hot wash cycle I do another extra rinse to make sure all the soap is rinsed out. Then I throw everything into the dryer for 40 minutes. You’re supposed to line dry, but the dryer is just much more convenient. Young Nesters has information on her washing routine and you can also check out According To Jenny for more cloth diapering information, she frequently has giveaways that you can enter to win a wide variety of “green” items.
|M’s changing table
|The baskets contain his pre-stuffed diapers (left) and extra inserts (right)
|Bet M’s diapers are prettier than yours! (unless you CD as well!)
Here are some other cloth diapering resources that I have used in my short time of cloth diapering experience:
Pins Stripes and Polkadots
**I, by no means, consider myself a CD expert. I am new to this experience and will probably change things frequently over my CD years. Most of the above websites were referred to me by other people and I have found them useful. Some just as recently as last week when I asked CD mothers about how to get ammonia smells out of my dipes. I’m sure I will have many more questions for my fellow CD mamas and I will be happy to share my advice and experience as well when people ask.