Monday, October 8, 2012

The Cloth Diaper Chronicles: The Journey Begins

Well, we're entering day 5 of our cloth diaper adventure.  We're not "full time" yet, but the plan is to get there eventually.  I wanted to start recording my experiences and opinions of the different cloth diaper brands and styles mostly for myself to keep track of the ones I like and don't like, and also as a reference for some of my friends who are also considering using cloth.  So here is my experience so far :}

I'm not sure what got me interested in cloth diapers...I thought about it several months ago when Cam was still pretty small, but I watched some videos while I was researching (I pretty much can't do anything without thoroughly doing my "homework," as my dad says :} ), and, eww.  No thanks.  However, recently, more and more of my friends have started cloth diapering, and they love it!  I've never heard of anyone who has regretted using cloth diapers.  And, since my stomach is somewhat stronger now, I decided to look into it again.  The general consensus is that cloth diapers are a cheaper and more eco-friendly way to diaper your kids.  I read that families save about $1,000 on diapers if they use cloth for one child, and even more if they continue using the same diapers for subsequent children.  Nice.  I also read that a family goes through an average of 60 diapers a week per child until they are potty trained.  Now, I'm not great at math as we all know...but I think that means you would use 6,240 diapers, assuming your child is potty trained by age 2 (most take longer!).  That's a lot of garbage!  Literally!  And apparently it takes between 100-500 years for non-biodegradable diapers to decompose.  I watched Captain Planet.  I know that's not good for the environment.  We gotta bring pollution down to zero, people!  Ok, that's a little dramatic...but, all that info got me to at least consider giving cloth a chance.  And so it began.

Holy AIOs and diaper sprayers, there's a lot of info out there!!  It is incredibly overwhelming to try to figure this stuff out.  I tried to educate myself on every single brand and style and try to determine the best option, which is impossible, and finally decided to take the plunge and just buy some darn diapers.  You gotta start somewhere!  The only brand I could find that is easily accessible to buy at a physical store as opposed to online was gDiapers at Babies R Us.  They look like this:

Pretty cute, right?  They have Velcro closures that fasten in the back so that babies have a harder time figuring out how to unfasten them.  These are considered to be all-in-two diapers or AI2s.  This particular AI2 has a thin cloth outer shell (as pictured), with a plastic liner that snaps in so it's removable.  You can either use cloth inserts or biodegradable disposable inserts with the gDiapers.  When you change the baby, just take out whichever insert you decided to use, and either throw the disposable away (or flush or compost it) or put the cloth in the laundry bag.  If it's a big mess, simply unsnap the plastic liner and replace with a fresh one.  The idea is that the mess is contained in the plastic so the cloth outer shell doesn't get dirty and can be used for several changes in a row.  That's the idea.  Well, it did pretty well at containing the big messes (if you know what I mean), but I found that since there is nothing in the plastic liner to anchor the insert and keep it in place, it just bunches up as the baby moves around and basically doesn't do its job of absorbing messes of the more liquid persuasion :/  We had several big leaks, and I've decided that the gDiapers are not for us.  Now, there are different brands of the AI2s, of course, some of which you can snap the cloth inserts in place so they hopefully wouldn't move around and bunch as I'm not going to give up on the AI2s just yet, we just haven't purchased any more.  One thing I did actually like about these was that they were very trim and didn't add a lot of bulk to Cam's bottom.

My friend let me use some of her FuzziBunz brand diapers so I could see how we liked them.  Here's what they look like:

These are pocket diapers.  That means that you stuff cloth inserts into the outer shell.  (there is no disposable option).  When you change the diaper, you have to put on a whole new one...there is no reusing these multiple times.  You will have more laundry, but these also seem to be more effective and less "fussy," shall we say.  If you have your shell stuffed with inserts and ready to go, it takes exactly the same amount of effort as a disposable diaper.  I like that.  No dealing with a plastic liner, no bunching issues.  The ones I tried had a snap closure (as pictured), which will take some getting used to, but I think this brand also has the Velcro option.  They are bulkier, but I don't really have anything bad to say about this brand.  However, we didn't try them overnight.

Speaking of, last night was the first time we tried to cloth diaper overnight. 

5:30pm- put on a BumWear brand pocket diaper that I just purchased used from a military wife.  It looks like this (same super cute dinosaur pattern any everything!):
A $27 diaper, by the way.  No, I didn't pay that was included in an assortment of brands she was selling.  Anyway, I stuffed it with two gDiaper cloth inserts.  Good to go.  Ha...haha.
1:00am- Cam wakes up.  Nothing unusual about that (unfortunately).  I go to check on him.  Well, shoot.  The two cloth inserts: soaked.  The BumWear diaper shell: soaked.  His pajama pants: soaked.  His sheets: luckily, just damp.  Umm,  I just put a Huggies Overnite diaper on him after that.  We might just be daytime cloth users for this  guy :/ 
So these three brands are the only ones I've tried so far.  I'm looking forward to trying the rest of the brands I got yesterday.  *sigh*  Trial and error...and a lot of patience.  We'll see how it goes!  It'll be worth it, right?


  1. I have two friends that always rave about Good Mamas ( and Bum Genius ( but that's as far as my diaper knowledge goes.
    I'm still iffy on the whole situation, so I'm interested in reading about your journey!

  2. I clean up dog poop and cat poop on a regular basis. I've even cleaned horse stalls before. Baby poo doesn't scare me :) I am curious to see how the other brands do! They are awful cute.

    I looked into reusable feminine pads once and decided to try a cup instead. It didn't work so well for me, but I'm thinking of trying it again.

    Oh, and I literally LOLed at your Captain Planet reference!

  3. Yay for cloth diapers!!! We are a day time only family (like most families I know) but think how much less diapers you are throwing out. You might want to Diaper Rite. I love those and we hardly have leaks with them. I didn't like the clean up idea either, but I got over it and you will too!!! That is why I use the flushable over lays to catch the solids. I hope you stick with it!!!