Recently I got an E-mail request from an expectant mama wondering how we cloth diaper and what our experience thus far has been. I had been wanting to get a post up about cloth diapers anyway, so the timing couldn’t be more perfect. Here is my cloth diaper novel.
We started Lucy off in disposables until she was about 1 month old and then switched over to cloth. One of our reasons for not putting her in cloth right away was we wanted to wait until he chord fell off (which I believe happened when she was a week or two old). I wasn’t sure whether or not cloth diapers were cut too high in the front and would irritate it, so we waited. We also figured we would be very stressed and extremely tired the first month, so we wanted to make life as easy as possible during our time of adjustment. Honestly though having now gotten the hang of the cloth diaper, I think we will start our next baby off in them right from birth.
When she was about three or four weeks old we made the switch to cloth diapers. I think we have about 25 or so one size diapers, all from Fuzzibunz. I read about a lot of different cloth diapers. Most had both very positive and very negative reviews. I know a lot of parents try a bunch of different brands of cloth diapers before they invest in the ones they like the most, but that seems to me like it would end up costing more money in the long run. We took a chance, and thankfully I am quite pleased with how Fuzzibunz have been so far.
We purchased one size diapers which you can adjust as baby grows. I think they are designed to fit from 7 pounds to 30 pounds. Instead of buying a new set of diapers as Lucy grows we just adjust the elastic in the leg and waist portion of the diaper. Though I don’t think they are as close a fit as sized diapers would be, this saves us a lot of money in the long run because we don’t have to buy a set of diapers in small, medium and large.
A lot of people complain about cloth diapers leaking. Yes, we do get leaks. It isn’t unmanageable (well we have had one or two accidents while out and about, which can be a little stressful), and it (usually!) isn’t everything in the diaper coming out the side, maybe just a small amount that requires a diaper and outfit change. Leaks don’t happen that often, but I kind of think it is to be expected that we are going to get them. I assume any brand, cloth or disposable, gets their fair share of leaks.
When it comes to cleaning, it does take a little work. Fuzzibunz are pocket diapers, which means there is a ‘soaker’ inside the pocket of the diaper. This comes out in the wash (no need to touch the dirty diaper to get it out). We wash the diapers in hot water using Charlie’s soap (Make sure to do your research on the detergent you use. Many commercial brands will coat the diapers, making it so they don’t absorb liquid as well.). We hang dry the diapers, which really don’t take that long to dry–if I do a load in the evening they are completely dry by morning. In the evening I pile the diapers up next to me on the sofa after Lucy is asleep. While we watch TV I stuff them. I line the diapers with Imse Vimse rice paper liners, which makes them super easy to clean. If there is poo in the diaper we just flush the liner down the toilet. If there was no poo in the diaper it goes into the wash with the diaper and can be used again.
We throw all our dirty diapers in a waterproof bag, which gets thrown in the wash with the diapers every 1 – 2 times I clean them. It can get a little stinky inside the bag, but when it is zipped closed I never notice any odor. I also have a medium sized waterproof bag that goes inside my large diaper bag and a small waterproof bag (holds 1 diaper) for my purse/small diaper bag.
As for wipes, we use cloth as well. They get thrown into the wash with the load of dirty diapers. You can purchase cloth wipes, but that seems like a waste of money to me. I bought a nice sized piece of ‘remnant’ flannel fabric on clearance at the fabric store and cut it up into small squares, a cut up receiving blanket would also work well. You can wet the cloth with water each time you use them, or you can do what we do and make a special wipe solution. I keep a tiny spray bottle (purchased from a dollar store) filled with the solution in each diaper bag and in the drawer of our diaper changing station. The mix we use is:
- 2 cups water
- 1/2 cup baby oil
- 1/2 cup baby wash
I make a big batch of it and keep it in a bottle under the sink. When our little spray bottles run out I fill them halfway with this mix, and half with water.
All in all, I am really happy with our decision to cloth diaper. While it is a little more work than using disposables, I do find the work of cleaning and prepping the diapers quite easy. I can usually work on them while I am doing other things. If I am working on dinner and have a minute or two to spare I will often go over and stuff a bunch of them. The diapers were initially quite an investment (I think we spent about $400), but when you look at how much you save in the long run and then the fact that you can use them on any future babies you have, it really is (in my opinion) the best route to go.