I have to admit that an ad for cloth diapers on a baby website got me interested. I knew of one person who used cloth diapers, but I was never around her or her kids to ask questions. I did tons of reading online and even ventured to a store (Nicki’s Diapers) 1.5 hours away (the day bedrest ended) to check the various brands out in person. There are numerous reasons to use cloth diapers – better for sensitive skin, better for the environment, possibly cheaper, etc. Environmental reasons were important to me, but it helped that the diapers were so darn cute.
I had already decided that I wanted the one-size fits all because that meant using the same diapers and not having to buy various sizes along the way (the cost is less in the long run). I also debated between the all-in-ones (AIO) and the pocket diapers. The AIO take longer to dry and the thickness can’t be varied (for newborns or heavy wetters). I determined that if I stuffed the pocket diapers immediately after doing laundry they would function as AIO for everyone else (Wade, kidCare, etc). See a Blueberry pocket diaper below:
The inserts range in thickness and length. Most diapers come with at least one. I loved the newborn inserts from bumGenius when Alex was small. It made the diaper less bulky. When we had a few leaks I began using either two newborn inserts or the thicker insert and haven’t had any problems.
I knew one of the most popular brands was bumGenuis, but a recurring complaint was that the velcro eventually wore out. Therefore I bought numerous brands to try out with the majority being bumGenius. I quickly found two favorites – bumGenius and Blueberry. Wade favors the bumGenuis and I love the Blueberry. I have put up the Happy Heiny’s, Mommy’s Touch, and Wonderoos. They either had too many snaps to secure, were too large for Alex’s legs, or just didn’t work well. Maybe I’ll try them again at a later date.
As I was doing my initial research I realized it would only make sense to also use cloth wipes. I have bought various types and definitely have a favorite – Bummas. I’m not sure what makes them better than the others, but I always choose to use them first.
I use LuSa Organics Diaper Wipe Concentrate to wet the wipes. I probably only mix the solution up once a week or so. Then I keep the wipes damp in a container on my changing table.
Alex is almost six months old and I have used cloth diapers on him for over 5 months. The only staining on the diapers is completely my fault. I knew I needed to be careful about which diaper rash creams I used, but I didn’t listen (creams with fish oil will stain – I now use California Baby or Method). I put an extra insert in the diaper for overnight and don’t have any leaking problems. Alex would probably stay in his clothes longer if he had on disposable diapers, but it isn’t a significant difference. He wore a 3 Month outfit to church on Sunday and can wear 90% of his 6 Month clothing.
I do laundry (just diapers) every 2 to 3 days. I run a cold wash cycle with no detergent and then a regular wash with an extra rinse cycle with Arm and Hammer detergent (using 1/4 of a normal amount) and a few drops of lavendar oil. I then put everything in the dryer for a heavy duty drying. I know the diapers can be line-dryed for extra brightness, but I’m usually too lazy.
Even the wet bags I use for dirty diapers while out and about are cute. I mainly use Planet Wise, Wet Happened? and Blueberry’s Minky Bags. Although all brands say they can be washed and dried with the diapers, I don’t put the Planet Wise bags in the dryer. The inside waterproof layer doesn’t seem to do as well. I do like that the Planet Wise bags come in various sizes.
My current favorite online shop is Nicki’s Diapers (the store I drove to intially). Most everything I order gets free shipping and arrives within a couple of days. The Blueberry diapers are actually cheaper at Nicki’s than on the Blueberry website. I have found the bumGenius at a few local stores – Freckle Face and USA Baby.
I have been pleasantly surprised at people’s reactions to the cloth diapers. My mother thought I was crazy until she saw the diapers in person and realized they are colored and cute and don’t require pinning or folding. Wade humors me but has no problems shaking out the inserts before putting them in the diaper pail (to wash pocket diapers you separate out the inserts from the shell). Babysitters (Nate and Amy) choose the cloth over the disposable. Even kidCare at the YMCA has no complaints. Today I got the okay to have cloth diapers at Mother’s Day Out next fall.