Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Cloth Diapers.....first step to hippyville

Let me start by saying, yes I am actually writing a blog post....sweet holy moly, what has the world come to. I am inspired by and use Alyce's blog as a gauge when it comes to my pregnancy. I also use all of her research (thanks Al!) as a jumping off point when it comes to researching for the Lil' Turkey. Call it a hunch, but I think baby fever has run rampant among our friends and I figured I should put my research down so those who are so inclined can use it.

First up on our journey of all things baby......Cloth Diapers!

Alyce did a fabulous job of explaining the different diapering options so I'm going to skip that and refer you to her post.

I just intend on sharing what we chose, why we chose it and my plans for execution. We started by going to a cloth diapering class at The Little Seedling in Ann Arbor and narrowed it down to pocket diapers.

Pros -

  • very similiar to disposable diapers for those that putting the diaper on. I thought this would be helpful if we had any skeptics that would be changing this child's bum.
  • friggin adorable options in terms of colors and patterns

  • easy to wash and durable. ie: one set will get us through multiple children

Cons -

  • cost more than prefolds

  • can be harder to get a snug fit which could lead to leaks

The pocket diapers have 2 major brands, Bumgenius and Fuzzi Bunz. They also come in sized or one size. The one size is adjustable and in theory gets you from newborn to potty training in one diaper. The downside to this is if you want to use these diapers for multiple children you will likely have to replace your stash since they will get worn out with the first kid. Because of this, we decided to go with the sized option which led us to choose Fuzzi Bunz.

Next question - how many diapers do you need? We (I) have decided to wash the diapers at home rather than go through a service. Part of the reason we are cloth diapering is because I'm a bit of a cheap-0 and the cost of disposables makes me ill. I've also learned that washing cloth diapers is way easy and I was sold.

You need to wash diapers once every 1-2 days and a newborn goes through 10-12 diapers each day. Do the math and you're looking at 24ish diapers. I threw in a few extras for good measure and decided I want 30 diapers for the newborn stage. Once the baby gets a little older you only go through 7-8 diapers a day. Again, do the math and you're looking at 20ish diapers for the next stage. I decided to go with the extra smalls and the smalls to start. I figure if the baby needs to go to the mediums, I'll deal with that when the time comes (which wouldn't be for at least a year). The extra smalls are for babies 4-12lbs and the smalls are for 7-18lbs. In theory, if you have a big baby you may not need the extra smalls but after seeing the smalls in person, they looked a little bulky for a brand new baby.

These diapers cost between 16.00-18.00 per diaper which can get crazy expensive. I started looking on ebay and diaperswappers for cheaper alternatives. I found a lot of people selling used diapers and I haven't made a final decision on my feelings for used diapers so I didn't purchase those. Some say, you wash the diaper and at the end of the day all baby poop is the same so what's the difference. Others, don't agree. To each their own. Anyway, I was able to find someone selling 30 size small Fuzzi Bunz in various colors (gender neutral - bonus!) for $250.00 which included shipping! These were brand new, never used and I snatched them up! I am currently working on getting 13 size extra small, brand new diapers on diaperswappers for about $10.00 per diaper. Point of my rambling - don't let the cost scare you. You can find them cheaper.

Onto washing - we have a top loading, high efficiency washer which means you have to do some tweaking when it comes to washing. Cloth diapers require a lot of water to make sure all the detergent rinses out. If it doesn't, it can create a barrier to your diaper which will cause absorbency issues. Also, you have to be careful about the detergent you use since even the "Free and Clears" at the store have whitening agents and other chemicals that can cause buildup. After researching, we decided to go with Allen's Naturally but there are plenty of other options. It is kinda pricy ($46.00 for a gallon) but you use literally 2 tsp per load so a gallon will last years!

Now let's pretend the Turkey is here and we are cloth diapering. You take the diaper off like any other disposable. Pull out the liner from inside the diaper. As long as Turkey is exclusively breastfed, the diaper does not need to be rinsed. The poo is water soluable and will wash away in the machine. Once food is introduced you will need to rinse the poo off in the toilet with a diaper sprayer (basically a sink sprayer attached to your toilet). Toss the diaper into the diaper pail (ie: garbage can with reusable pail liner) and put a new diaper on.

Wash day - take the pail liner and it's contents and dump it all into the washing machine. I have a rinse and spin setting on my washer and I use that with cold water. Point is - do a cold rinse. Next, do a regular wash with warm/cold or cold/cold water and your tiny amount of detergent. Finish with a cold rinse.

You can tumble dry the diapers but you never want to use high heat! The best method is to line dry them as the sun bleaches out any stains but seeing as this kid is coming in the winter, we won't be doing that right away.

Plop your butt on the couch and put the liners back in the diapers and put 'em away.

Now some pictures to reward you for actually reading this far.....

The outside of the diaper. The snaps allow for some degree of size adjustment

The liner and where you stick the liner

The cushy cozy fleecy inside

My stash of adorable freakin' diapers! I love all the colors!


amw said...

triple yay! yay to FINALLY posting an entry again. :) yay to cloth diapers! and yay to finding my blog helpful. :)

also, LOVE allens detergent. we use it for all our clothes now. they always come out clean and you get to use a seriously small amount of detergent. plus, dex loves to sit on the bed and "help" with laundry, so hopefully you wont feel like washing them "takes time away from the baby."

also-also, dex weighs 16 pounds already so beware that you may be making a size "medium" purchase before you think...(they are supposed to double their birth weight at 6 months).

also-also-also, i swear once you get to about week two of life with baby you will totally be in the swing of using the diapers. ive heard diaper rash with cloths (which tends to be rare) is typically from using the wrong detergent or from food allergies (breastfed babes), just to let you know. and, by the time the solid food poo comes im sure i wont even care about having to deal with the poo. sidenote: you are legally supposed to flush the poo from disposables too.

also-also-also-also, it sounds like you have a great help resource at The Little Seedling (i kinda wanna pop in there myself) so if you have any problems, hopefully they can help you!

Sarah said...

did not know you were supposed to flush disposable poo also. interesting rule to enforce!