Friday, August 20, 2010

Making the Switch to Cloth Diapers

Well our new cloth diapers finally arrived, the day before yesterday. I ordered them two weeks ago when we decided to try and make the switch from disposables to cloth. I decided to go with a pocket style diaper, which has the convenience of disposables, you simply stick an absorbent insert into a pocket within the diaper. Pocket diapers are nice because you can adjust the absorbency by using as many inserts as you need at night time or for naps or long trips. I have always been somewhat interested in cloth diapering for many reasons and when i would see some of the modern cloth diapers it looked appealing. During my pregnancy Landon and I discussed the option of using cloth diapers on our future baby but after watching an episode of "dirty jobs with mike row" where he worked for a cloth diaper laundry service, we were both a little grossed out to say the least. The final nail in the coffin came once we priced these modern marvels they call cloth diapers and we were blown away by the price. One diaper ranged between $18-$30, and i could no longer see how this was going to save us money, and even if it would in the long run it was going to cost us so much to get started that we just couldn't see a way to swing it. I have kept up my reading on cloth diapers and from time to time i still checkout others blogs and message board posts, and recently came across some reviews on sunbaby diapers. I read that they were an economical choice because they claimed to fit from birth to potty training by adjusting the rows of snaps.

They were also less than $5 per diaper including the inserts. So after much consideration and reading many different reviews on these diapers, Landon and i decided to give them a try. We ordered 10 diapers, which should be enough for one day along with the 3 other cloth diapers that we have owned as back up diapers and never really used. It has taken two full weeks for my diapers to come and in the mean time i have been doing tons of research on cloth diapers and I'm very excited to give this new adventure a try. Yesterday when my diapers arrived i prepped them by washing twice on a hot/cold cycle with Charlies Soap (a special laundry detergent recommended for cloth diapers) then i stripped the 3 older diapers we already had, because i had been washing them with regular detergent and didn't realize that i was causing detergent build up in the diapers that would cause absorbency issues. Regular detergent is not great for cloth diapers, there are brands that are better than others, and using about 1/4 the amount of detergent that you would normally use in your laundry can also help prevent problems. The Charlies detergent was $17 for a small 2.64 lbs bag, which made me apprehensive to buy it but it claims to do 80 washes and you only use a tablespoon per wash, so in that case it should last me about 5 months, since I'll be washing my diapers every other day.

We started out with 10 diapers just to give this brand a shot, but we are going to be purchasing 10 more soon so that we will have 23 diapers total and will only have to do laundry every other day. I will update more about our new experiences with the CD but so far we have had great success!! I'm excited that i don't have to worry about chemicals and carcinogens on my baby's butt anymore, that I'm not going to be contributing 6,000 diapers per child to the land fills, that he'll be more likely to potty train quicker, and that these diapers seem to fit masons legs better and so far have had fewer leaks. We typically leak out the legs of every disposable diaper multiple times a day and i am so tired of getting peed on!! lol! It's still early for us to tell how this is going to workout in the long term, but so far so good. A lot of people don't think they can handle the poo diapers, and that was honestly my biggest concern, but now that mason has started solids his poops really aren't that messy and it comes off of the diapers easily. I bought some heavy duty cleaning gloves just in case i need to use them, but so far i have just used a wipe to pick up the poop and bag it (then i put the bag in the diaper genie), some people shake it off into the toilet and some people buy a sprayer to spray it off into the toilet, any method works fine and then I have a separate laundry pail just for his diapers. As far as going out, i just pack the diapers in his diaper bag and i also take small plastic diaper bags from the dollar store and a small waterproof zippered pouch. When i change him i just roll up the dirty diaper and bag it in a small plastic bag, tie it shut, and toss it into the zippered pouch. When i get home in the evenings i take the zippered pouch to the bathroom, get rid of any poop, and throw all the diapers into the laundry pail. I plan to wash them every other day, it's only about 1/3 of a regular size load, and i use a half cup of white vinegar in the rinse cycle, the use of vinegar comes highly recommended by other cloth diaper moms to help with the smell, stains, and bacteria, and it keeps the diapers bright. We machine dry the inserts and hang the diaper shell to dry (because they dry quickly and we dont want the heat to damage the waterproof PUL lining) a lot of people machine dry both, but we dont want to take any chances so landon put this adorable octopus (from ikea) thing up over our dryer for me to clip the diaper covers on. Anyone else cloth diaper or plan to cloth diaper their babies?? I'll update more about our cloth diapering experiences soon!! Here are some pics of his super cute diapers, i love all the colors!!

our stack

you can see the white inserts on the machine and our drying octopus


Monica Martin said...

I think that is a great idea actually, I have a baby at work that uses them and I first I was weirded out by them, but probably if and when I have another baby I would like to try them, they seem very practical!!

Sarah at The Stroller Ballet said...

Good for you! It's amazing seeing you do this, it makes me think that I could do it too! Thanks so much for coming by and following my blog. I'm following you now, too!