Monday, September 1, 2014

The Adventures of Cloth Diapering

When I first started looking into cloth diapering, I became quickly overwhelmed. First of all, it's an entirely different language. Even when I was just trying to find a simple explanation on my options, everything had an abbreviation or it was a bunch of terms I didn't understand (pre-folds, AIOs, pockets, flats, OS, etc). I was wanting to find a site that just said, "do this," but obviously, every baby and momma is different so it's all dependent on preference. The hardest part is trying to figure out what your preference would be before even having a baby.

After doing a lot of reading, watching a lot of videos, and asking friends who cloth, I decided that pocket diapers would be my best option. They seemed to be the simplest to use, the easiest to clean, and they also came in OS (one size) so he could wear the same diaper during his entire diapering life! Win-win-win to me!

The next decision to make after deciding on what type of diaper I would use was to decide was brand. There are so many brands out there are each brand has a minor difference than the other that adds to their specific pro/con. The main brands I researched were Charlie Bananas, BumGenius, and FuzziBunz. The primary reason for these specific brands was because they were available at the places I registered at; Target, BabysRus, and Amazon.

Below I will list a couple of the differences between the Charlie Bananas and Bum Genius diapers:

Charlie Bananas- adjustable leg openings using an elastic
Bum Genius- adjustable leg openings using snaps (3 sizes)

C.B- You load the insert from the front
BG- You load the insert from the back

C.B- Crossover snaps allow the option for an even smaller fit
BG- no crossover option

C.B- Approx 16-21$ per diaper with 2 inserts included
B.G- Approx 15-18$ per diaper with 2 inserts included

C.B- (based on a lot of my research) more prone to leaks
B.G- Less prone to leaks 

As you will see, both diapers are a lot alike but your decision will just be based on what is more important to you. I knew a couple of momma's who used the BumGenius and after reading a lot of reviews, it seemed that they were beginner friendly and not a whole lot of complaints. Also, for some reason the idea of an adjustable elastic band freaked me out. I wanted something that was more simple, like just an option for small/medium/large which the bum genius provides.

After picking out the type of diaper and the brand I was going to use, I had to determine how many diapers Cooper would need. The recommended amount for newborns was about 24 diapers (12 diaper changes a day and you want to do laundry every other day) but for older babies, only 16 (8 diapers changes a day and a wash every other day). Since I wasn't sure if I would cloth diaper as a newborn, I went with the recommended 16 cloth diapers.

I have started using cloth a lot sooner than I expected so I could have used an extra few diapers but now that he's grown more, it's not really worth me getting more at this point. Also, next time around I may invest in some flats/covers which would probably be more newborn friendly, but I won't go into all that right now. :)

On top of purchasing the cloth diapers, I also needed to have a cloth diaper pail/liner, detergent, and an on-the-go cloth diaper sack to keep diapers in while we were out and about.

I went with this liner and after reading several reviews, we just got a good ole 10$ trash can from the store to hold the diapers in. Cooper has his own bathroom in his room so I knew his diaper pail wouldn't be in the room for all to see so looks weren't a factor to me. Some girls at work got me a small wet bag for his on-the-go diaper changes and it's perfect. I probably won't cloth diaper a ton while we are on the go, it's mainly dependent on how long I'll be out and exactly where I am if I'd be comfortable using the cloth or not.

Now, as far as detergent goes, there are a lot of opinions and also a lot of factors that can go into what detergent you should use (if you have hard water, allergies, type of machine, etc) . I personally have not been cloth diapering long enough to know if the detergent I'm using is good enough but I went with All-Free and Clear. After a bit of use, if I'm finding it's not cleaning them enough, I will probably switch to the Country Save, which I've heard is great too.

Washing my cloth diapers:

I'm at a bit of a disadvantage (so they say) since we have an HE machine. HE machines don't use as much water which is a big factor in washing your cloth diapers. Many methods of cleaning have you soak them and that's not an option on our HE machine. With that said, it is possible to have an HE machine and cloth diaper your baby. Again, I have not been cloth diapering long enough to know if this is working great but so far my diapers have been coming out spotless so I would say this method is working so far:

1. Throw diapers in the washer
2. Set cycle to a COLD DELICATE and add an extra rinse, NO detergent.
3. After that has completed, set a HOT delicate cycle WITH detergent.
4. Run a COLD rinse and spin.
5. Throw the liners in the dryer and hang dry the outer shells.

His first day in cloth :)

So with all of this said, I've so far LOVED cloth diapering and I'm so glad I did it. It's been a lot easier than I thought it would (thank you internet for making everything seem so difficult) and I think Cooper loves the soft cloth a whole lot more than the disposable (he always smiles when I put it on, could totally be because he's not sitting in a dirty diaper anymore but I'll go with the reason being he's in cloth) :) Oh, also, Matthew was not on board when I made this decision (mom has veto power, ya'll) but he actually likes them and hasn't had to touch an ounce of poo in the process. 

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