Saturday, December 4, 2010

The long awaited cloth diaper post...

Before I begin I need to tell you about the awesome Giveaway going on at 29 Diapers right now. Now through Christmas Eve 29 Diapers is having one giveaway a day. If you are considering trying cloth diapering you do not want to miss out on this event. See that button on my sidebar? Click on it and go get entering! Except don't win, because then I can't win! :)


Since I mentioned that we were going to try our hand at cloth diapering...oh..back in October, I've had lots of people ask how it's going, what we are using, etc.  Every time I get a question I tell them, I'm gonna write a post about it!  And then I never actually, you know, write the post!  So here it is, everything about our adventures in cloth diapering (so far): the whys, whats, hows, and the results (thus far).

When I was pregnant with Keaton my boss at the time asked me if I was going to get a diaper service . I'm a little embarrassed to admit that I didn't even know what that was until she mentioned it., wait...I had thought about cloth diapering but had quickly ruled it out as I didn't think it would be feasible while working and sending the babe to Busha's.  Although Keaton had pretty sensitive skin and we could only use Pampers on him, I didn't think much more about it until Hutton was born.

When we brought Hutt home from the hospital he broke out in a bad diaper rash almost immediately.  We were using the same diapers as in the hospital so I'm not exactly sure what caused it except possibly the change in diaper cream.  It was during this time that I thought, again, about using cloth.  He was so very wee and I hated looking at his red, rashy bum.  One of the benefits I'd heard about cloth diapers is that babies rarely get diaper rashes.

Again though, I put the idea into the back of my head until one day we ran out of Pampers and had to use the stash of Huggies that we had on hand from our diaper shower (pre Keaton).  Now, before I go any further I realize people are very sensitive (and can get very defensive) about their choice of diapers: Pampers vs Huggies vs Other.  I should point it out there that we are Pampers people.  No specific reason except they have worked the best for us so far (Keaon broke out in a rash with Huggies when he was very little).  The Huggies worked on Hutton just fine except that they are rougher on the outside than our beloved Pampers.  And I felt like I was wrapping him in sandpaper.  I hated it.  I could not wait for that pack to be gone. 

It was about this time that I read this post on The Shopping Mama. And somehow, I can't remember the exact sequence of events, that post led me to the 29 Diapers website.  I spent the next several days scouring this site and walked away with a mission: Operation Cloth Diaper.

But, before I could begin my mission I had to do one thing: convince Collin this was a good idea.  I was afraid this might be difficult, my reasonings were largely to do with the potential health benefits and the eco benefits, but in the end all I had to do was mention how much money we could save ($1,000 per year, per kid and I read somewhere else $500 in wipes) and he was convinced. 

Once we decided to give this a try we had to figure out how to go about it.  This was the hardest part for me - what brand? how many? what types? There are so many choices!!  I fretted for several days before nailing down a game plan.  In the end, what we decided to do was agree on an amount to spend to start.  We picked $200.  We were doing this for two kids, in two different sizes, for one child I think $100 would be sufficient and actually some of the starter kits I've seen are even a little less than that. I had already decided which brand I wanted to try out first and so I went to Amazon and put everything in my cart that I'd like to have. My total was $265 so from there I started deleting things.  This actually worked out pretty good.

So what brand did I pick?  Based on that initial post and the reviews I've read since then we went with Thirsties. I started with two duo wraps for each kid along with a mixture of prefolds and inserts. I can't remember exactly how many for each but I know I got Hutt a few more than Keats because we change his diaper more frequently.  Since my initial purchase I've bought Hutton a couple more wraps and some hemp inserts, which we are using for the first time tonight because we were having issues with him leaking through overnight.

In addition to the diapers our starter purchase also included a diaper pail liner, fab wipes, and the booty luster.  These three things work like a charm.  The diaper pail liner is a must in my mind.  With Hutton strictly breastfed right now I do absolutely no pre-cleaning of the diapers.  When I change him I take them off and throw them straight into the garbage can next to our changer.  When it is time to clean them I take the liner out, dump it into the wash and then throw it in with the diapers.  Simple as that. 

And these fab wipes?? OMG.  I LOVE these things.  I have to admit I was skeptical at first.  I didn't believe that a washcloth could do the cleaning that my boys need (read: they are BIG poopers).  I usually use several wipes.  But these things are amazing and I have yet to need to use more than one in any change. And they are so soft. I'm actually kicking myself for not ordering more when I was Christmas shopping on Amazon the other day.

With the change to cloth diapering we also had to make a couple of other changes.  I've switched our laundry detergent to Charlie's Soap and our diaper cream to LuSa Organics Booty Balm.  Actually, no, we were using the booty balm before we made the switch but since starting cloth we have to use it (or another cloth diaper safe cream).  The reason for these changes is that non cloth diaper safe soaps and creams can leave a residue on your diapers that can affect their absorbency.

Speaking of LuSa, if you're interested in saving some money but don't know if cloth diapering is the thing for you, we are also using their Baby Wipe Juice to make our own wipes.  It is so easy, the hardest part is folding the paper towels, and they smell great.  Actually, EVERYTHING from LuSa smells great.

We still don't have a big enough stash to do this full time - I'm hoping once Christmas is over we can put a little more money towards building a bigger supply, but I'm feeling confident that we could do it full time (with all the right tools - for one, I need (really want?) one of these wet/dry bags - I'm thinking Aqua Swirl.)

The results
Well, the results have been somewhat mixed.  I've mentioned that we've had some issues with Hutt leaking through.  I think it has mostly been a function of me not getting them on tight enough, but we're testing out the hemp insert to see if that helps.

Overall though, Hutton, my laid-back, lover-of-life, baby is totally cool with the change.

"I LOVE cloth diapering and I love you, and you, and you!"

While Keaton, my very particular, notices-if-anything-is-out-of-place, toddler (he's been known to straighten my rugs!) has NOT been cool with the change.

"What are you trying to pull woman??!! I HATE cloth diapering and I hate you!"

I've only been able to get ONE diaper actually on Keaton.  Thankfully we'll be able to use the diapers we bought on Hutt when he gets a little bigger.

So, that's the long and short of it.  I think I've covered most everything but if you still have questions let me know!  I'm no pro but would love to help you out with what we've learned so far.


Em said...

Yay! Great post, Kate. And thanks for sharing all the links and brands you're using. Also--I appreciate the honesty of this post. :) The pic/caption of Keaton is hilarious! I've been researching cloth diapers for a while and have been leaning toward FuzziBunz, so I was glad to get your perspective on Thirsties before deciding on anything for sure.

This is probably a dumb/gross question, but for Keaton, how do you deal with the poop--or have you had to deal with it yet since you mentioned only being able to get one diaper on him so far? With Hutt's relatively "easy" breastmilk poops, you mentioned you just throw them right in the wash, but once you're dealing with poop that's, ya know, you dump it in the toilet and rinse the diaper out before throwing in the washer? Everything I've read says to do that (which of course makes sense). That's one of the biggest reasons why I keep putting off trying cloth diapers, I have to admit, because Lucy's poops are pretty gross now that she eats solids, and the thought of those extra steps in dealing with the poop kinda makes me want to puke. But, I also feel like I need to just suck it up because the trade-off is so huge. Just curious... :))

CaSondra Shim said...

thanks for posting. Just a hunch as to why they work for Hutt and not Keaton as I was researching this and they say that for kids Walking.. cloth are heavier and bulkier and make it uncomfortable to walk and move easily. But great for the youger kids as they are not moving as much thus don't notice the difference.

Kate said...

Em, I've been meaning to get back here to answer your question...ahhh...the poop. The poop (Keaton's poop) was one of my biggest fears and unfortuantly I can't offer much advice because the ONE diaper I got on Keaton he only peed in (Thank you Lord!!) So, I've had a relatively easy foreay into cloth diapering since Hutt's diapers don't include any additional work. When we start giving him solids though (which will likely be soon, you should see the boy smack his lips when he sees food)I will have to do a little more pre cleaning work.

Yes, once they are eating solids you should dump the poop into the toilet before putting the soiled diaper in your pail. I haven't done alot of research on these yet, so I'm not sure which one to buy, but I do think I'll get a diaper sprayer when that day comes. Something like this:

Also, wanted to tell you that I mentioned to Collin that you were thinking about CDing and he asked "with their next kid?" and I said No, with Lucy and he said "tell her to start soon" and I have to agree. I think Keaton was too old, he knew something was different and fought it. Cas, while I'd like to give him the benefit of the doubt that it was uncomfortable to walk in the truth is he starts kicking and screaming as soon as it touches his tush. I think he is just an uber aware child and knows when something is different. So, if Lucy is anthing like this, start as soon as you can!

Also, have to add that between the prefolds and inserts, while I love the simplicity of the inserts, the prefolds have been working better for us. I think it is because I can make them cover more surface area. Also, I think we are on to something with the hemp inserts at night. Will let you know with a few more trials. Also, also, Em, I'm not overly familiar with FuzziBunz but the one thing I really like about Thirsties is the leg gussets.

In this picture do you see the extra piece of fabric in the leg hole? That goes tight to the baby's thighs to stop leakage.

now that I'm looking at the Thirsties site again I'm thinking about maybe trying duo diaper or fab fitted for night (they are only one time use, which is why I have avoided them thus far and went with the wrap and inserts).

Anyway, okay, that's enough for now. Let me know if you have any more questions and I might go check out FuzziBunz, thanks for the tip!

Kate said...

P.S. Foray. Why don't they have spell check in the comment section?