Sunday, June 2, 2013

Cloth Diapering Update

Yes! We are going to continue to cloth diaper baby girl number 2. Several friends and family have asked (some with a sarcastic tone). :) I first decided that "cloth diapering might not be THAT bad" while reading a friend's blog so I sort of feel like I need to pass on my experience (which has been great for our family) in case anyone reading might ever consider it. So here's some tidbits of info or a little update of how it's going and what's working for us.

First of all, I am no expert. Sometimes (lots of times) what I like is completely different from what other moms like and everyone has their own reasons for cloth diapering which might make a difference in what they choose. The local cloth diaper store is called The Nappy Shoppe and they are amazing and have classes and all sorts of things to help people decide what's best for them. I've also joined several facebook groups where people share info, likes, dislikes, and stuff but that can be overwhelming because there's tons of info and again every mom and baby is different.

Our reason for cloth diapering:
It was simple - I wanted to stay home and we had to cut costs wherever possible. Now, I workout with a group and pay for that. That wasn't something I was willing to cut out. There's other things we might do that other people would cut out before disposable diapers but for US this was a reasonable thing to try. Diapers are expensive and there's nothing worse than running out late at night and having to run to the store to get more, but more importantly I read my friend's blog and it seemed not too bad. So we tried it and liked it and are still doing it.

There are several kinds of diapers. Here's what I like and don't like about what we've tried:

All in ones (top purple and stripes) - all in ones are super easy and very similar to a disposable. It's one piece, you put it on baby like normal, and it's done. Some close with snaps and some close with aplix (Velcro). We prefer snaps because Kenley can undo the aplix. There are several different brands and our favorites are Bumgenius (purple) and Thirsties (stripes). The purple one is a one size diaper that means it has snaps to make it smaller so it fits small babies all the way to potty training (we've gotten several of these lately so Kenley can use them and then we can give them to the new baby). The striped one is a sized diaper and I bought them when Kenley was big enough for them and they would then last til potty training.

Pockets (the super adorable colorful one and it's insert to the right) - People LOVE pocket diapers. I DO NOT! The diaper has a pocket and you stuff that insert into the pocket and then it's good to go on baby. 2 reasons why I'm not a fan. 1) I don't want to stuff the diapers before using. 2) I don't want to take out the insert before washing. But again lots of people love them, there are tons of cute designs, and they work fine (it's totally a convenience issue for me).
Most diapers, such as the all in ones have a way to stuff extra inserts underneath the main absorbing layer to add absorbency for nighttime or whatever, which is nice. A pocket diaper, however needs to be stuffed or there won't be a soaking layer.

I've been buying diapers here and there to try and get ready for baby. Today I got several new things and some new types I'm trying out.

Fitteds (top 3 with pink snaps and the 3 below them) - Everyone keeps telling me how great fitteds are. The entire thing is absorbent and then needs a cover to go over it (the bottom row are covers). I usually prefer a one step diaper, but I'm giving these a try because 1) I found a great deal on them today and 2) Kenley sometimes soaks through at night so these should stop that problem with the extra absorbency. They are sized so the top 3 are for Kenley and bottom 3 for baby. I hope I love them as much as other people do. I got ones that snap. If they don't have snaps on them then you can use a snappi (a neat little clippy thing that has hooks like an ace bandage clip and sticks to both sides of the diaper and then down the middle to hold it together) or a pin, like oldschool.

Prefolds (the thing in the top right corner) - That's the original cloth diaper. A sheet of absorbent fabric. Why in the world did I get this? Well, they are super cheap. I wanted to play with it on Kenley and see what I think and possibly get a few to bulk up our diaper stash for the baby when she is going through tons of diapers a day in the beginning. They don't seem that difficult (especially since newborns don't try to get away like Kenley does). You fold it up one of the several ways (check out youtube) then put a snappi (that's what I'll use) or a pin in it and then put a cover over it. So I don't plan on using these for Kenley (other than for practice), but I think it might be a cost efficient way to make sure we have enough diapers for baby.

Money saving tips:
I don't buy newborn sized diapers. My thoughts are that newborns go through so many in a day that once you have a stash of enough newborn diapers you've spent too much money and they won't stay in them long. So we skip that altogether. We used disposable diapers with Kenley for a few weeks until she fit in the next size (which are still pretty small). Plus we had diapers that people had given us that we needed to use up.

Before babies are eating solid food they wet often so you need way more diapers for a new baby than a 6 month old. So even though we love all in one diapers it wasn't cost efficient for us to start out with them. For Kenley, we used Bumgenius Flip diapers. You buy a few covers and then several inserts (which are much cheaper than a whole diaper). Most of the time the cover didn't get dirty so you can just change the insert. A great way to bulk up your diaper stash.

Cloth diapers keep their value very well so you can buy used and sell yours when you are done. We have several new and several used. It might sound gross, but these things are probably cleaner than most your clothes -they get washed well, washed often, and most don't even get stained. If you just can't handle to buy used, no problem - buy new, use, then sell because someone will buy them!

Everyone always wants to know about the poop! Here's the deal. We all have to wipe poop no matter what kind of diaper our kids wear. Here's the difference with cloth. For newborns, the poop is pretty much liquid and can go straight in the wash. I promise it cleans all out and goes away (just like dirt and other stuff). For older babies, you just dump it into the potty and that's it. AND older kids don't poop that often so it's not that bad.

2 awesome poop dealing tips:
They make these thin liners that you can lay in the diaper and then when you change the poopie diaper you just take that piece of liner and dump the whole thing in the potty. I pretty much know which diaper change Kenley needs a liner in (even though I usually don't use them).

The diaper sprayer is awesome. It's a little sprayer, like a small hose and mini shower head that attaches to the potty and you just spray the diaper clean. It's quick and easy and totally worth it. I prefer that over using liners.

So there it is! My 19 months of experience. :) Several people are interested in cloth diapering, but never end up doing it because there's so many options and opinions that it gets way too overwhelming. I used to feel that way, but it really is super easy and REALLY does save money. If you hear that it doesn't remember what I said first. Not everyone does cloth to save money and so it might not be saving money for them. You can get some super fancy diapers for a lot of money. You can decide you need to have every color or every pattern and get way more than you need. See what I mean. But if you keep it simple it saves. Yes! Even though we use more water washing them. Even Chris will agree and he's head of the Jeans' Household finance department! He was on board for trying this in the beginning, he changes diapers, and he like them, too.

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