Thursday, March 8, 2012

cloth diapering thus far

I've been called crazy. Hippie. Laughed at. Sarcastically wished good luck...when I proclaim I want to go with cloth diapers over disposable.  I think one of the main 2 reasons that Matt first humored me with the idea is that a) it'll save us literally thousands of dollars and b) I'll be the one home changing the majority of the diapers and doing the laundry anyways. 

A lot of people have been asking how we are liking cloth diapers.  So I thought I'd give a lowdown on the subject.   

Cloth diapers have come a long way in the recent years.  Gone are the days of what I now use as burp cloths on babies bums.  And I'm not alone.  I think I know more people that do cloth diapers than disposable.  

I did a lot of reading up on the subject when I was contemplating going this route.  However, I got completely overwhelmed with all the information, options and suggestions out there.  So much so that I didn't do a thing about it until after Maddie was born.  And I've learned it's certainly not as complex as it appears. 

I was advised to give yourself the first few weeks of disposables - it makes life a ton easier at the beginning.  But goodness, we were going through about 10-15 diapers a day!  It didn't help that every time Maddie had just a couple drops of wetness she screamed until it was taken off.  We probably easily spent over $100 on disposables in just the first few weeks.  Matt kindly suggested that we go ahead and start the switch...

So I went online and purchased a set.  I could go into all the brands and my thoughts on them, but that is all over the internet and everyone has their own opinions.  After stressing about it, I just picked one.  I will say that we have 3 brands (FuzziBunz, BumGenius & GroVia) and I like them all - pros and cons to each.  But they are all one-size fits all and will fit her until she's potty trained - and that I highly suggest.

I started with 21 diapers.  And I was having to do the wash every 1 1/2 days.  So purchased 6 more (which is why I ended up with different kinds, I wanted to try them out).  We now have 27 and I think that is plenty.  I probably still do a load every 2 or 3 days, but I figure as Maddie gets older that will slow down.  
I set up the changing table in the 2nd bathroom - in between the nursery and our room.  It just happened to have a perfect spot.  It's nice to have the sink and toilet right there, though it wouldn't be completely necessary if in our next home it doesn't work out this way.
In my baskets, I have 2 dedicated to the diapers, one to cloth wipes, a big one for all the extra liners and bags, and the other for bath products and ointments.  Oh and don't forget our stuffed giraffe.  We've named him Bernard.  Matt says Maddie has a love affair with him.  She coos and smiles at Bernard whenever she gets her diaper changed.  She often cries when I take her away.  I'm not really sure what it is about him...
Matt still prefers using disposable wipes.  He thinks they make her smell better.  I try to use the cloth wipes about half the time.  I looked up different solutions via this website and here are my current ingredients:  olive oil, baby soap, water and tea tree oil.  I put them all into a spray bottle and just spray it on the wipes and throw them in the pail with the diaper when I'm done.
You do have to line dry the BumGenius diapers (didn't learn that until after I bought them), so I came up with this system in the laundry room, which makes it easy.  You also have to use a special detergent to keep the quality of the diapers, but you only need 1 1/2 oz per load so it lasts forever.
Eventually when Maddie switches to solid foods, we will install this handy "spray wand" to clean off her diapers into the toilet.  Until then, I just throw the whole diaper, mess and all, into the pail which then goes straight into the wash with an extra rinse.  They come out completely clean - diaper and machine. :)
I bought a basic trash can and put the special diaper pail liners inside.  They fit any 11-gallon trash can.  I pull the bag out, flip it inside out into the washing machine and wash it with the diapers.  I have to admit though, even breastfed diapers stink.  Not much you can do about it.
In disposables, Maddie was having at least 1-2 blowouts a day.  Once she switched, we've only have maybe 3-4 blowouts in the last month.  It's so nice to not have to change her clothes all the time!

Matt and I love cloth diapers.  We have spent about $500 in start-up costs for all the things above, but hopefully that will be all we ever have to spend.  They are supposed to last through multiple kids, which will be awesome.

And seriously, how much cuter are they than disposables?
Anyways, that's my scoop on cloth diapering for all you out there contemplating the idea.  I highly recommend it!

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