Tuesday, May 24, 2011
Cloth Diapers (part 1)
I really like cloth diapering so far. I can’t exactly explain why I like it. Perhaps it’s the challenge of it. I have changed so many regular diapers, from infant to adult size, in my life that maybe it is just too easy now. That’s probably not the reason though, especially since they are not a challenge. I think part of it has to do with that when disposable diapers get wet they get so heavy and full. Also with disposable diapers, when there is a major poo explosion that goes up baby’s back it goes right on up out of the diaper. Cloth diaper covers provide a waist band around the back so they hold in that back poo explosion. Of course I like the fact that I’m not creating a ton of extra trash to go in landfills, but on the other hand I am using more water to wash the cloth diapers often.
Ok, so I had decided awhile ago that I wanted to cloth diaper but never really put in the research. I just thought I would figure it out as I went along. Not really the best plan of action. It has helped me figure out what works best for Sadiecakes though. Here is what I have tried so far and what I think. This is still a work in progress as I have more brands/styles I want to try out and it may change as she grows.
Fuzzibunz: These were highly recommended but I am not super impressed. They are a pocket diaper system. That means they have the outer shell and an inner layer with an opening at the top back of the diaper for an insert. I don’t really care for the pocket system because the inner layer gets soiled with the first wetting or poo, so the whole diaper has to go in the wash. The insert can be taken out and a new one put in but the inner layer of the diaper is soiled so no point in just changing the insert. The inserts are super absorbent so I like that. In my testing I decided to put the insert on top. This works better for me. When the diaper gets soiled, I pull the insert off the top layer and just lay the second insert in, thus extending the life of the cover. *note even though the inner layer seems to be made of the same absorbent cloth as the insert, it is not absorbent at all and without an insert they will leak and you will get peed on!! Fuzzibunz are also super bulky. They are huge on my little baby. I think even as she grows they will still be huge as they are just made that way. This brand has made a new style called Elemental that does not use the pocket system. It has the absorbent insert attached. These would again just be a one use diaper cover. Basically you would need at least 24 of either style, 12 for one day then 12 for the next while the first were in the wash. (we are not going through 12 a day but you want to be safe rather than sorry).
Pros: absorbent inserts; one size fits all adjustable; very soft inner layer against baby; adjustable leg bands, no folding.
Cons: one use per cover then they need to be washed; expensive $18-$26 depending on the style bought; very bulky; one size fits all style does not always fit all; almost forgot that the inserts pull in the washing machine so if you wash them with anything else the other clothes can end up with fuzzies on them
Thirsties: These I really like. I have been using the Thirsties Diaper Duo’s. They are basically the outer shell that holds everything in. They are water proof, have Velcro or snap closures (your choice), have elastic around the inner and outer leg and along the back, and are pretty simple. They come in size 1 or 2. They are not one size fits all b/c the company feels that those style do not truly fit all. I agree with this. I suggest the snap closures b/c as baby grows she will quickly be able to figure out how to pull open the Velcro. Thirsties require prefolds or inserts. I have mostly been using prefolds with them. Prefolds are just an absorbent cloth that you fold up and wrap around baby or stick in the cover. Prefolds do require a cover or the wetness/dampness of a peed in diaper will leak through. I have been using Gerber multi-purpose cloths but have just ordered birdseye weaved cloths as I read that they are more absorbent. I will let you know once I test them out. Prefolds can be laid in the cover flat or wrapped around baby and secured using diaper pins or snappies. I have left them flat and wrapped, both work. Pins and snappies both work as well. Hubby likes the snappies b/c then he doesn’t have to worry that he may stick Sadie with the pin. I have also been using hemp inserts. These work great on their own just for pee but as they are just a straight line sometimes a messy diaper can get around them. They also work great as a doubler. That means they are put in with the prefold, usually for overnight for extra protection. What I really like about Thirsties Diaper Duo’s is that if a really wet diaper has made them feel damp or even a little poo has gotten around the prefold onto the inside of them (I’m not talking about leaking out, just the inside) they can be wiped off with a baby wipe and quickly wiped dry with a prefold and reused. You do not have to wash after every single diaper change. I love that!
Pros: affordable $13; can be used more than once before needing to be washed; can be combined with any method of insert/prefold you prefer; easy to use; elastic around legs and back
Cons: elastic is not adjustable like the Fuzzibunz; prefolds and inserts sold separately (inserts are about $7, prefolds vary $10 for 6, Gerber $12 for 12), have to fold the prefolds.
Real Nappies: I only have one of these. It is very similar to the Thirsties. I received a starter kit off my registry that came with one newborn size cover, one insert, and one flushable diaper liner. I like the size of the cover, it fit her when she was first born when some of the others were still too big. The insert is bulky though and is a prefold so you still have to mess around with folding it. I haven’t really been using the flushable liners b/c they are more for catching solids and newborn poo is not solid. I think they can be used on any cloth diapering system you want though. I plan to test them again as Sadie gets bigger.
This is still a test in progress. I plan to try out another brand called JamTots. I have also just got a diaper wash from Thirties that I haven’t tested yet. So I will post again about those and the new brand of prefolds to see if they are better than the Gerber.
Cloth Diapers: Pros: easy, not creating extra waste, affordable, save money in the long run, are supposed to help prevent diaper rash. I suggest just letting baby’s bottom air out each day or using one of the extra prefold cloths to wipe her dry before putting on the next diaper as well as using A&D cream to prevent diaper rash.
Cons: extra steps (I rinse out the cloth) extra wash, expensive up front to get all the supplies you need all at once, bulkier on baby than disposable diapers.
Notes about prefolds: prefolds need to be washed a few times to maximize absorbancy, hemp inserts are not supposed to be washed with any other absorbant cloth as the hemp oil can negate their absorbancy.
Posted by CC at 1:31 PM