Saturday, October 17, 2009

Our Cloth Diapering Story

Why? Why did we decide to cloth diaper Izzy? Because don't I already have enough on my plate before adding 3 to 4 extra loads of laundry per week to it? After Jessica was born I got really into all things enviornmentally friendly. The whole my daughter will one day have children who will have children who will live on this planet so we better start taking better care of it. Anyway I started thinking about cloth diapers when Jessica was around a year old, but decided to wait until the next baby since she was going to be potty training soon. When I got pregnant with Izzy, I started the research. (I have to point out that some people don't think that cloth diapers are all that enviornmentally friendly, since you have to use so much water to wash them. There may be other arguments, but frankly I think they're stupid. )

I decided to register for BumGenius all-in-one organic diapers, because those seemed like the obvious best diaper. No stuffing diapers, no worrying about what size, etc. I got a few of them as gifts, but decided to buy everything else on Craigslist. The whole point of doing cloth diapers, for me, was to be "green" so I might as well re-use! I had also read to try out a bunch of different kinds of diapers because you never know what is going to work for you child and for you. So I bought a few different kinds from some different ladies- Bum Genius Pocket diapers, Fuzzi buns, and some random ones, all for much cheaper than first bought (another perk, and reason for using cloth- saving money!). Since we started cloth diapers I actually have bought more at Babies in Bloom "garage sale;" a bunch of mommy's came and sold their old diapers. So even more fun diapers to my stash :)

We started Izzy in cloth diapers at 2 weeks- and I loved them, but they got her umbilical cord wet (it was hard for me to fold them under her cord), so I had to go back to disposable until her cord fell off. Which was at 4 weeks. I know- it took FOREVER!!!!! Anyways, I got back into the cloth diaper swing and i LOVED it. Not only did I feel like I was doing something better for the enviornment, there is also something about doing cloth diapers that made me feel very motherly. Some other perks- Izzy hasn't had a single diaper rash since we started cloth, no big blow outs (not sure if its just her, or if its the cloth diapers), rarely any leaking- Jessica and her disposables leaked all the time. And not spending $80 a month or more on diapers, plus never having to run off to the store because we ran out (did you know that you'll spend about $2,000 on diapers before your child is potty trained?? Crazy!).

I quickly found out that the all-in-ones were actually NOT my favorites, because they took FOREVER to dry. I hang dry the diapers- the sun does some amazing things for stains, plus, better for the enviornment ;) Even in the dryer though, the all-in-ones still took too long. My favorites are the bum genius pocket diapers. Though as Izzy is getting more mobile, I'm thinking I may like Fuzzi Buns more since they have snaps and not velcro.......

To answer a few questions I know you're wanting to ask:
I wash diapers every 2 to 3 days. In the begining it was every 2, but now that I have a bigger stash, I can go 3. Though you don't want to go longer than that, because they'll start to get smelly........

When I wash I first do a cold, regular cycle. I use a natural, locally made soap Rockin Green Soap. An important tip: DON'T USE TOO MUCH SOAP!!!!!!! The natural thought process is more soap=cleaner diapers, but it acutally causes soap build up on the dipes, which then start to repeal liquids, which means leaks on the diapers.

After the cold cycle, I do a long HOT cycle.
Then I hang dry- the sun takes out any stains (its seriously amazing) and usually takes a day if its a warm day. Otherwise it may take over night, and a few times I've thrown the all-in-ones in the dryer to finish them.
I make sure to rotate all the diapers so they're all gettin used about the same amount.

For night time diapers I just add an extra soaker and I've never had her leak. Again, I dont' know if its Izzy or if its the cloth diapers.

Since Izzy is just breastfed, I don't have to do anything with poop diapers. Just throw them in. Once she starts solids, I will have to dump the poop in the toliet first. Which is actually what you're supposed to do with disposable diapers, and what you end up doing when you're potty training anyway. I'm not too worried. And I may purchase one of these to help make the rinsing easier.
When I bring the diapers in from drying, I stuff them, then I keep all the diapers down stairs in a big wicker basket. Each day I put a pile of diaper in a smaller basket that I keep with my cloth wipes (yes, I use cloth wipes. Its easier to do that. We'll see if I still need to do that when Izzy starts solids)

I put the dirty diapers in a wet bag. I usually wash it once a week. I have a small one for when I go out.
We've only traveled once since Izzy has been born, roadtrip to a girlfriends wedding and since we were so new to cloth, we just did dispoable. I'm flying to Arizona in a few weeks and again to the Bay Area for my high school reunion in a little over a month, and I plan on doing cloth for that. We'll see how it turns out!

I have one wool cover. Don't think I like it that much, just because you have to hand wash it. And that is not fun. I have done the old school diapers, the way people imagine when you say cloth diapers. Called pre-folds, its the cheapest way. Not really for me.

So, thats my story. I am in no way an expert. AT ALL. But I do love my cloth diapers.
A few of my favorite cloth diaper resources:

I really think cloth is awesome. And not as hard as you would think! Even if you only use them occasionally, its still great for your baby and the enviornment :)

I wrote this blog for myself (yay scrapbooking!) but also I have a few friends who had some questions :) So ladies, you know who you are, if you have questions just post them and I can do a follow up blog later.

Hang drying my dipes. This picture was inspired by my blogger friend Em

Izzy @ 2 months wearing one of my favorite of all her diapers. Its a cover, got it here


  1. Wow you learn something new everyday! pretty neat! You make any picture you take look good. Diapers on the clothes line looks so pretty! lol i love that they come in different bright colors.

  2. I love Babies in bloom and cloth diapers. But I don't use them. Why? My whole house is electric. Every appliance. The electric bill is like a mortgage payment in itself. So, FOR ME, I don't think it's environmentally friendly to use them. I would use more electricity and spend money washing them. Plus I work out of home 3 days a week and there is no way in hell my babysitter would touch one, ha ha. When I see them, I wish my baby was wearing one. But it's just not practical. Love the clothes line - where'd you get it? I'm thinking of getting a retractable one that I can string across the garage.

  3. Kat,

    I'm glad to see an update on how the cloth diapers are working out for you. I remember when you were shopping around for which kind to go with. We are still LOVING our Fuzzi Bunz and I just pulled out the smallest size from storage for baby boy #2 (due in 6 weeks!). It is wonderful to know that we will be getting double the use out of our diaper purchases! I did get a package of the smallest diapers for the first two weeks, or so, while he still has a belly button. I wished we lived in a climate where we could hang them to dry in the sun!!

    ~ Jen

  4. I love the tip about getting diapers from craigslist -- I did a quick search and found several listings in Boston. Totally makes sense, and helps on the initial cost.

    I wish I could hang dry our diapers.... I guess I could, but not outside. That would save money too, and environment. I didn't know about the traveling bags -- that's definitely a question I've had, about how to handle dirty diapers on the run. Nice to know there's something to handle that.

    I am concerned about the cost of washing, since we pay by the load. 2 loads each time, twice or three times a week = about $25 per month. That seems pretty cheap, after getting past the initial investment, which shouldn't be a problem if I watch Craigslist.

    And I really like the idea of no diaper rash and no diaper rash cream, seems better for the baby to have fewer chemicals up against the skin.

    Now to convince the hubs. I'll be back when I think of more questions :)

  5. ps. Izzy is so cute! love the photo of diapers too. very domestic :)