As I’ve traveled down the motherhood road, I’ve found myself doing many things I’ve never thought I’d do. One of those things in the past month was cloth diapering my daughter.
When I was pregnant, I thought about cloth diapering. I even sent some messages back and forth with a friend from high school who I knew used cloth on her son. But I have to admit I was a bit intimidated by all the terminology/abbreviations (prefold, AIO, stash, stripping, etc) and I honestly didn’t know where to start. Add into that uncertainty was the fact that my husband didn’t see any use in doing cloth. So it would all fall on me.
Looking back, as a new mom, I’m glad I didn’t get it into my head to do cloth early on. Instead, I waited until we had a rhythm down and I settled back into work full time. Then, this past Christmas break, E was asleep for the night and I started researching sites on my iPad. I found a few blogs with helpful tips and I even scoured Amazon for the best reviews. What attracted me most to cloth diapering was that I could use these diapers again on baby number 2 (no, I’m not pregnant!) and the cost savings is great! I’m also big into doing what I can to save the environment so when I read the stats on disposable diapers and our environment, I was disgusted. Also, modern cloth diapers are just too cute!
That same night I bought the first 3 diapers of my “stash”. I picked up a GroVia AIO, a bumGenius 4.0, and a Thirsties Duo AIO. All in neutral colors and prints in case I loved cloth and wanted to use them on our future second child.
I mostly stuck with All-in-Ones (AIO) or All-in-Twos based on our lifestyle and because I figured my husband would find them easy to use. Pretty much the cover is attached to the diaper (or you add an insert) and you throw it all in the wash together and there’s no “stuffing” the diaper after its clean to prep for use. Except for the 4.0′s which you have to stuff the insert in under the liner.
Also, I picked up a medium wet bag to keep the dirty diapers between use. For us, a pail wouldn’t be useful because 5 days a week E is at my inlaws’ while we’re at work and during those days she’d, at most, would be in 2 diapers at home and I planned to wash them every other day. On the weekends, the medium bag does get pretty full but I think it’s the perfect size for us.
On a side note, my MiL has E in cloth part of the time when she has her and she uses cloth on my twin nephews too! It’s nice to trade tips back and forth. But we definitely have different favorite types of diapers at this point.
After trying cloth for a month, I thought I’d write about my experiences and maybe it would help you go for it!
I immediately hated the Grovia diaper. I feel it’s small and I don’t know that I trust it with getting too wet/dirty so I rarely put E in it. Of course it was the most expensive diaper! I love the bumGenius 4.0 diapers even though they must be stuffed. I find that since I now have only 3 of them, it’s not a big deal to stuff them. I also really like the Thirsties diaper we have as its the easiest to use and you don’t need to stuff it. I’d like to get at least 1-2 more since I know Scott likes them and they are great if my mom watches E at our house.
Since I had a few extra inserts, I decided to pick up some bG 4.0 seconds from Cottonbabies. I’m so glad I did! One of my seconds, I still cannot figure out WHY it’s considered a second. My other one, I can tell the dye was too light and the diaper looks white with a hint of green instead of all green, but otherwise they are both perfectly fine.
And I know what you really want to know about. Cleaning poop. I’ll admit, it’s not the easiest part of CDing (Cloth Diapering). Since E was 19 months when I started, her poops are easy to get off the inserts. And I’m going to use a spray bottle with water in the future to be sure everything is off. Otherwise, the diapers get very clean in the wash using this tutorial.
The downside to CDing so far is that because we have an HE front load washer, it takes a bit of tricks and about 3 hours for my diapers to go through the wash. However, at least I can throw them in the wash and do other things – yay for modern technology! Another downside is the up front cost to building up your stash and supplies but after a few months of use (and especially when you use them on a second baby!) they start to pretty much pay for themselves.
Also, I decided for now at least to keep E in disposables at night. We use the Target brand disposables and we’ve never had any leak problems with them overnight so I didn’t want to mess with that. I do put her in the bG diapers at naps with no issues. But overnight scares me. We’re also doing disposables for when we’re out and about on the weekends as well. Even so, we’ve reduced the amount of disposable diapers we use each week which will add up over time.
Any questions about cloth diapering? Let me know in the comments. I’ll definitely post more about my experiences and anything else I learn. Also, I’m planning on attending the Great Cloth Diaper Change this year so stay tuned for that!