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Thursday, August 11, 2011

All About Diapers

*I realize this post is one of those mommy posts that have limited appeal. If you are of the non-mommy variety, or you are and don't want to hear about more diapers than you are already having to deal with... my apologies for the following offending post. Check back in a few days and I *hopefully* will have some diaper-free furniture refinishing to share.*
*For those of you not alarmed by posts with 'diapers' or 'poo' in the title... or those who really like to share your opinions and experiences... read on, and be ready to share your 2 cents by the end...

Ah, diapers.
You knew it was coming. I knew it was coming. We have both been avoiding it, haven't we? But we can't skirt the subject. I am a pregnant mama, I am going to have a bundle of joy soon enough, and though I don't know a lot about child-rearing and babies at this point, I have gathered that they poop. A lot. And apparently... it's my responsibility to figure out what to do with it.
Being a mom is SO GLAMOROUS. (am I the only who can't type that word without singing the Fergie song in my head to remember the spelling? Yes? I am a little ashamed to admit that. sigh.)
So here I am bright eyed and bushy tailed, excited about being a mom, and trying to figure out how I will handle the poo, and really, how complicated can it be? And then I find out...
Turns out, it can get pretty darn complicated.
Or not.
Or sometimes you have to make decisions about how complicated you are willing to let it be... but those decisions are not just about ease of your own life, but also reflect your thoughts and feelings toward the environment, your financial situation, whether or not you plan to be a SAHM or if you child will be in daycare... oh my.

And once you make a few of the major decisions... cloth or disposables? Diaper service or self laundering? Chlorine free? Organic? Biodegradable? Wait-- Hybrids? How does that even work???
Then you have about a billion different brands or styles to choose from... Huggies? Pampers? G diapers? Prefolds? Pockets? AIO?
Never realized so much thought would go into dealing with poo.
Really. I didn't.
So I have been doing research. Yes. I researched diapers. I decided for my family, for our financial situation and available resources, and our personal views and preferences... we are going to cloth diaper route.
(And before the 'sposie believers get their panties in a wad, please know that I don't really know what your views and preferences are and I don't judge you or say that your choice is wrong because it's different than mine... this seems like the best choice for us based on our situation, opinions, and research. Amen.)
So here I am, first major decision under my belt. Cloth. Yay.

Now. What next?
After extensive research I decided the most economical route would be the prefold/cover route. Especially because I have this new hippie addiction to all things organic cotton, this was the cheapest way to keep lovely natural fibers next to my child's bum. Important to me. I acknowledged that it would take an extra step in diapering the child, (prefold, then cover) but countered that argument with: neither of us (myself and Z) know how to diaper a child anyhow, so we won't know the difference if this is what we learn.
Next step: Present researched decision to husband in concise 3 point lecture complete with powerpoint.
Okay. I didn't really do that.
The powerpoint part, that is. As for the well researched concise lecture... even though my delivery was flawless... it met great resistance. I have to do what? You mean we can't just put the thing in the trash? We reuse them, is that sanitary? It's gonna smell. Wait-- a diaper AND a cover? This seems way too difficult.
But think of the money it will save us!
Apparently an unsure babydaddy dealing with an extra 30 seconds of baby poo is not worth the money it will save us. Back to the drawing board.

I still don't want to go the regular old disposable route. Listen there are chemicals and junk in there that I am not comfortable with. So I research some of the unbleached and chlorine free disposable options out there, and I do feel a little better about that... until I see the cost, and go, HUH. $2000/yr for diapers? I am SO not into that.
Back to the drawing board, again. I gotta go the cloth route. I can't see incurring ongoing expense for something we could purchase once.
Pocket diapers seem like an unnecessary mess... and not that different from the prefold system, soooo... All in ones it is. I have been mostly resistant to AIO's because of the expense (about twice the cost of prefold and cover) and it seems to me that they would be harder to get really clean. The benefit is they would function (as far as the putting it on the kid) exactly like a disposable... so should be less confusing for the befuddled babydaddy and skeptical grandparents (who, yes, have put their 2 cents in too.)
After reading, blogs, websites, reviews, anything i could get my hands on with info about cloth diapering and laundering and care... I decided... that we would go the AIO route. I could even get an organic AIO. So Hippie Mama's heart is happy.

Wait-- did I just select the most expensive cloth diaper on the market? Oh, I absolutely did. (that's actually a  lie, I could have been the organic wool lady, but i am not crazy, okay?) Butseriouslyfolks, these puppies are not cheap.
So much for being economical, you say? Well... LOOK HERE judgy-judgemental pants... If I buy a set of 12 of these diapers (which is the amount I have determined should be appropriate for our needs. Some places recommend 18, but many say you can get by with just 12, so that's where we are starting. Might we find we want/need more? Uh huh. Those can be purchased at a later date if the need arises, but I don't want to end up with more than we can use and wasted $$$, right?) My cost is around $265. GULP. That seems like a lot. But... that lump sum is the only $265 i will spend on diapers as long as my kid is in them. Oh, well that's not as bad. And if we have more kids... we can use them for baby #2, or #3... (I'm not going to go on, you get the idea. No, we are not the Duggers, we aren't having 40 kids, but we may have a few). And if you start to break it down that way... you start to go, well, okay, that makes a little more sense. I guess the price isn't really bad after all...
Nah, it's not really bad after all.
The BabyDaddy Discussion round 2:
So it's just like putting on and taking off a disposable then? Yup.
And we only need 12? Yup.
What happens when we use 12? We wash them.
And what if we don't want to wash them that soon? I'm... fairly certain if you have a bag of 12 soiled diapers 'wanting to wash' will have a different meaning to you.
Is it gonna smell? Sorry, Kid, Poo smells no matter what kind of diaper you put it in.
Can we have disposables around just in case? Absolutely.
Oh, yeah that's another thing... I'm not really an all or nothing person. So yeah, we'll have disposables around for when we travel, when take the kid to the babysitter, or when we have one too many blowouts-- beyond what our diaper supply can handle. I mean, ideally, we would use all cloth all the time, and everyone would be cool with it and accommodating, but this is REAL-land and that may not always 100% be a possibility.
Allllllllsoooo... I plan to have wet bags that will hang to the side of our dresser to store the dirty stuff... and imagine that we will be doing (diaper) laundry every other day. I also included flannel wipes and liners and other cloth diaper accessories on my registry... And I feel confident about the plan we have in place. But... not SO confident that I am unwilling to change it up should it not all go the way I plan. I like to work that kind of wiggle room into my life... and cut myself some slack... I've heard new-mommy-hood can be a bear at times.

So I guess my plan in a nutshell is to go the cloth AIO route (as often as possible, but not beating myself up over the times when it is not). And I know many of you with much more experience than I have are reading this shaking your head at my optimism and idealism... or something like that...
But anyway, I wanna know... What does your diapering system look like? What products have you/do you/will you use? Any diapering secrets or advice you *wish* someone would have told you way back when... ???
Please share!


  1. you asked...

    :-) I use the BumGenius AIO and I love love love them!! But, beware, I have 18 and would run out if I had 12 because of the 36-48 hour drying time. I haven't really found them to be harder to clean ... but beyond breastmilk, the disposable diaper liners come in really handy for the poo-phobic.

    One thing I really did not know before ... how many disposables I'd actually use. If she has diaper rash at all and we want to treat it you can't use the cloth diapers (or I guess you could if you put a cloth barrier in between... but I don't.) and maybe L's diaper rash is worse than some, but it seems like every few weeks I'm pulling out a day or 2 of disposables.

    Also, I put her in a disposable at night. The cloths just don't hold everything in overnight. (Especially when they are nursing often and through the night.) And changing the sheets every morning isn't what i want to be doing either.

    So, that's the only thing. I still think it's worth it, even if we cloth diapered only half the time. But, with the rash issues and overnights, we have used more disposables than I thought.

    Okay. The end. :-)

  2. Having diapered four children, using disposables and cloth, I can give you my opinion. Prefolds and covers are the least expensive, and work great. It's not much more work than an AIO, and when smells build up in the covers (and they will), it's much easier to get it all clean, something I worried about with my kids' VERY sensitive skin. I wouldn't worry about cloth diapering a newborn, wait until they can wear a size 2 and then jump into cloth diapering. I never used cloth on vacation, but for most of our time at home and around town they were wonderful. I never had a "blow-out" when my kids used cloth. Good luck!

  3. We did prefolds and covers, too, but I think hubby and grandma would've been more comfortable with AIO's. I agree with Chris on the newborn thing - it might be a good idea to wait a few weeks before you get started with cloth, partly for your sanity, and partly because cloth is HUGE on itty-bitty bottoms, and they will fit better after a few weeks!

  4. Okay, I bet I am the old one here.... I used cloth and (are you ready?) BIG GIANT DIAPER PINS WITH COLORED HEADS SHAPED LIKE DUCKS. Sometimes the diapers were prefolded, and sometimes they were the big flat ones - those work quite nicely as a second layer. And I washed them myself and dried them..... ON A CLOTHESLINE when it wasn't raining and at the laundromat if it was and in winter... or maybe I didn't want to go out, so I hung them up on hangers with clothespins in the bathroom on the shower or in the basement. Yes, and ladies, I did this with two in diapers at once. Not showing off, just saying that it is a doable thing.

    Cloth and pins have been used for generations and my generation all grew up out of those to run businesses and function socially and have another round of babies that we diapered with cloth and pins and plastic/nylon pants. So it is not all that hard. The sun is the best bleaching and disinfecting system ever devised and the toilet dunking rinses the poo away. I used a lot of diapers - WAY more than 12 in two days per baby/toddler, and I agree, the dry time is a factor when you consider AIO.
    We used disposable for travel and church and exhaustion and I never ever ever stuck a baby or kid with a pin. Because you learn how. Even newborns.

    I used nylon plastic pants. They always contained a blowout while AIO's and disposables failed me. My babies did not have diaper rash unless they had been in disposables for several days. Truth. And coconut oil is the best cure for that.

    Z will most decidedly get accustomed to pinning on a diaper in the most perfect way - it is a skill that my husband learned quickly was quite proud of. Couture Butt.

    It is just silly to think that Velcro is the only thing we can use to keep our sweet baby bums dry and soft and healthy. Beware of the marketing that you are somehow a bad not-green mom if you don't buy their amazingly easy product, shown fresh and dry. Let's see the ad with a capacity load and judge the product then.

    Bottom line (ha) - you make our choice and remember that you are capable of this mothering, because you are the mother.

  5. We use the bumgenius OS diapers and the fit worked well for us! I also started using the econobum diapers (and snappis) with baby #2 but hubby didn't really understand how to use them. So if I had her all day I would use them and if she was with daddy or a sitter we used the OS or disposables. And we use disposables at night, too.

    I agree with Lisa that 12 is probably not enough especially not when they're little. Cottonbabies.com has a sale every once and a while for buy 5 get 1 free and that is how I was able to stock up for my little ones.

  6. WE probably went through around 10 per day of the regular disposables. We really wanted to go the cloth route, but didn't invest the time to figure it out before our little d arrived. :)

  7. Lisa- Hmmm... I hadn't considered drying time. I bet that does make a difference.

    Chris- Yes, i didn't mention that we would probably use disposables on our newbie. I hear cloth don't really fit on tiny bums anyhow. I have heard many claims of 'less blowouts' with cloth-- i hope the same is true for me! :)

    Danielle- You were the first to spark my interest in cloth! :)

    ztoamom- thanks for your encouragement! :)

    Jane sews- I tried explaining snappis to the hubs... and he was baffled. :) Cottonbabies.com has definitely bee a good resource for info and products!

    Erin- we knew you had considered it, because you guys (and the vances) considered cloth but went the disposable route is one of the biggest reasons Z wanted to do disposables... his opinions are easily swayed by his friends, even if he never quizzed them about the reason for their decisions! ha!

    Thanks all for your comments and encouragement! :)

  8. I'm a little late to this post but I'll comment anyway. I used gdiapers with our last and loved them. I liked the hybrid option (since it composted so quickly)and I sewed my own inserts instead of buying the expensive ones. (just used gerber burp cloths from Target.) I felt like they fit better than the AIO's and since Grai is so petite that has helped alot. Oh and tyler was not a fan at first either, but he said its not much different than when we used disposables.

  9. With as much as you sew it is so easy to make new diapers! Especially covers to use with prefolds.