Thursday, January 19, 2012

the 411 on cloth diapers

Cloth diapering has a whole lot of negative stereotyping going on. People picture rags with safety pins in them. We've come a little ways since then. It is becoming more and more popular and it should! It only makes sense. I don't understand why anyone wouldn't do it. Yeah. 

Here's a play-by-play on the cloth diapering process from a newbie...

Here are all my cloth diapers (minus the inserts). I own eleven. That's probably the least amount I would recommend. I do wash approximately every 1.5 days. People have said to me "When you calculate the cost of doing more laundry, is it really worth it?" I do a massive amount of laundry with a newborn baby anyways, what's an extra load every two days? Water costs like, $30.00 a month. So that extra load is maybe $2.50. According to wikianswers, the average person spends $1,000 per child on disposable diapers. My diapers and two wet bags cost about $115. FOR ALL MY DIAPERS. That (should, technically) last the entire diapering life of my child. I am also using cloth wipes. I am using muslin rags that my dad got us from the Operating Room. You just fill a little spray bottle with water and soap and spray each rag before use. Then you just wrap it up in the diaper like you would a disposable. No weird chemicals on baby's precious bottom.

Here are the inserts. We are using two per diaper (two inserts come with each diaper) right now, which is recommended for newborns. When they get a little older or in the daytime when you know you will be changing them frequently, you can use only one if you please. After we wash all the diapers we just stuff each of them so they are all ready to go!

These diapers fit from newborn to out of diapers. We didn't start using them until he was about three weeks old because he was still a little small and they would have looked ridiculous, we went through approximately twenty diapers a day, and I hadn't bought them yet. The horizontal fold in the middle of the diaper is where I snapped it together to make them smaller. When he gets older we just leave those snaps undone and it's instantly bigger! We snap to make them the smallest size right now and as he grows, we just move out! If you didn't notice, that is Dan's hand putting the diaper on. He has not even the slightest problem or grossness with cloth diapers (I have heard this is an obstacle for some willing women).

Ta da! He's adorable, I know. Yes, the diaper is a little big and it makes his pants fit a little funny. But that is the biggest downside. I think I can handle it. And he doesn't seem too concerned about it. Look at that blissful baby. He loves them. But really, disposable diapers have chemicals and all sorts of yucky stuff in them. Not to mention, a landfill is their final resting place. That's not hot for the environment. But more importantly, I want the best for my baby. The softest, the most comfortable, and the best for his skin. Cloth diapers are all of those. No diaper rash over here, sister! When he was wearing disposables he had little rashes, bumps, and blemishes. Since we have switched to cloth diapers they are completely cleared up.

Above is the "wet bag." It's made out of the same material as the diaper shell. It easily holds all the diapers I have. I bought it at the same place as my diapers. Once you have your dirty diaper, just throw it in this bag. When laundry day comes, take the diapers out, remove the inserts, and throw them all in the washer. Also, be sure everything is unsnapped. This is probably the most tedious, unenjoyable part of cloth diapering for me. But it's really not bad. If there is any solid BM on the diaper, flick it in the toilet.

The laundering process.

1. Do a hot rinse.
2. Wash like normal with a tinge of detergent. It is recommended to use something more natural, like a  homemade detergent with baking soda, borax, and soap (it's easy and cute, see for yourself).
3. Dry. Sunlight it preferred, but you can dry them in the dryer, too.

The green wet bag is my bag for home. The black one is for when I go out. I can just keep it in my purse.

I originally committed to using BumGenius All-in-one snap diapers. I did many hours of research and decided they were the best. They cost $17.50 a diaper. (That is the cheapest I found them). It was going to be an investment to purchase them all, but I knew it would pay off. I had a baby shower and my sweet, thoughtful friend Kim gave me a Simply Cloth cloth diaper from Just Simply Baby! I already had two BumGenius diapers I bought with gift cards, so I was able to compare. BumGenius are a little cuter and have better colors, but not worth the price. They are almost identical. There are small differences. The BumGenius are a tad better quality. The Simply Cloth diapers are $11.50/diaper! They are so much more reasonable so I decided to go with them. The company was started by a stay-at-home mother in Atlanta who does have them made overseas but she employs other stay-at-home moms for everything else. She has a thirty-day return policy on all diapers, used or not!

If you are considering using cloth diapers but do not want to fully commit, you can use my friend Kim's great idea... only use them at home! You can use them when you are at home with all the conveniences readily available and when you go out you can still use disposables and you will not have to worry about it. You will still save tons. I have been doing this since I received several packages of diapers as gifts and it really is nice.

Are you convinced? I am. Feel free to comment if you have any questions I would love to answer them!

*If you decide to buy cloth diapers through this company, enter the coupon code 'ARRM' and put my name, Rachael Mulder, for a reference & you will give 5% off your entire order (if you are a new customer)!