Thursday, March 21, 2013

Cloth Diapering: Initial Thoughts

Before we were even pregnant, Mike and I decided cloth diapering would be something we'd be interested in exploring. Surprisingly, Mike is actually the one who brought this up (I think it had to do with the $$ savings). :) I started researching about them, because honestly, all I thought of was what my mom used on us - flats and plastic covers. I was so surprised at how different they are and how much cuter they are now too! This is the first blog post that really educated me about cloth diapers (specifically pocket diapers, there are a ton of different kinds though), and it really got me excited about them. She also has a few video tutorials on them, explains things so nicely!

Fortunately, both our moms are extremely supportive and are rarely critical of our choices, so it's nice to know that they support us as we try out cloth diapering. Maybe they're so supportive because they both cloth diapered back in the 80's? We've had a few people criticize us for this though and I'm sure they think we are being naive first time parents and really don't know anything, but that's ok. :) We are just excited to live this journey and discover things as we go. We LOVE advice and direction from those who had kids before us, but we also love having support when we make decisions to go a different route. After doing quite a bit of research and talking to friends who have experience with cloth diapers, we are even more confident that this will work for us...but if it doesn't, that's ok too. Parenting is a learning process, right? :)

I have to say, I'm completely addicted to researching cloth diapers! No, the poo part isn't any more intense than with a disposable diaper (did you know that with disposables you are actually supposed to flush the poo in the toilet? I had no idea!). Yes, it's more laundry, but we are both home all day, every day which is a huge reason why we are interested in this route. I honestly think if we weren't home as much as we were and used a daycare, we wouldn't have even considered cloth diapering! And finally, yes there is a huge money savings with cloth, even when you factor in the costs of water and electricity to wash them. Sweet!

Last weekend I visited a friend of mine who has cloth diapered her two kids. One is potty-trained and the other is just over a year, so she has had quite a bit of experience with them! She showed me the pocket diapers and helped me figure out a good method for diapering a newborn.
We're going to start out with a prefold and cover style when they are super tiny. This is close to what our parents used, but has been modernized. Basically you use the cloth prefold on the inside (pic on the right) and then put a cover over it (pic on the left...they even sell these at Target online!). When it's time to change, wash the cloth part and if the cover is still clean, you can reuse it with the next prefold. We'll be using the basic prefolds that are in a square shape (you can fold them in thirds and tuck it into the cover), but also prefolds that already have snaps on them and are shaped like diapers. My friend says these are best for newborns because they have elastic in the legs that hold in the leaky newborn poo. Fortunately, breastfed poo can be placed directly in the wash without rinsing or soaking. (Cover) (Prefold)

When baby gets a bit bigger, we will transition them into the one-size pocket diapers. The way to deal with poo at this stage (after they start solids), is you can either use a liner that is similar to a dryer sheet that holds everything and then simply flush it, or don't even mess with the liners and plop it in the toilet and swish it around a bit. My friend showed me how she swishes it in the toilet (no your hands don't touch the water), it's totally not gross at all. There are a few brands that we've researched and have heard great things about, but will decide which one is best for baby after some trial and error. Best part is if we find we really don't like a particular brand, there is a huge resale market for pocket diapers. These pocket diapers are one-size which means they will fit baby from about 8-12 lbs until about 35 lbs which is essentially potty training time (supposedly cloth diapered kids potty train earlier too). It's also pretty awesome that Target carries a few of these brands online and in stores as well as Buy Buy Baby! Aren't the colors just so cute? (Fuzzibunz) (Charlie Banana) (BumGenius)

Here are a few more internet resources I have found helpful, but if you just search cloth diapers on pinterest, there are a ton of posts:
Cloth Diapering 101
Daily Garnish
Plus lots and lots of YouTube videos!

Have any experiences or tips with cloth diapers? I always love hearing about others' experiences and what works for them! I recently posted something on facebook about this and got so many awesome recommendations. I love that cloth diapering mamas are so passionate! :)

4 comments:

  1. This is such great information! I love it! Now that I'm not working, I think you have inspired us to try this out during the day time. The only negative thing we found when did use them (early on) was that we still needed to use the disposables at night because they held more and she wouldn't wake up as often from being wet.

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    1. Yay!! So glad you're going to give it a shot! Also check out Kawaii diapers. They are much cheaper, but fit a bit bigger. For night time, try using the regular insert on top with a hemp insert underneath. The hemp absorbs slowly so it's supposed to prevent leaks so soon. Good luck!

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  2. Good for you for looking into all this so thoroughly. I have a college friend in Chicago whose blog you'd really like. Here is her post on cloth diapering, what they bought and so forth. http://myndidevore.blogspot.com/search?q=cloth+diapering+basics

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    1. Thanks for the link Sarah, love the information she has posted, so helpful! :)

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