When I mentioned cloth diapers to my friends and family before Finn was born I was met with SO much skepticism. A lot of people thought it would be gross, thought that I was crazy, and most certainly thought I would fail. I did so much research on cloth diapering though, and had found so many moms that loved it for so many reasons. I tried arguing all of those reasons to the many skeptics... it's greener, it's cheaper, it's healthier, goshdarnit it's cuter.... but skeptics, being who they are, are not easily convinced.
I really couldn't find a good reason not to use cloth, and so here we are, and I am happy to report that I've joined the ranks of the mommas who love cloth diapering. We've been doing it since Finn was ten days old and we're not turning back. And yes, I just used "love" and "diapering" in the same sentence. Such is life now :) The first time I snapped a cloth diaper on Finn's butt I couldn't get over how much softer and nicer it seemed.
I'd be happy to try to convince anyone to do the same as us. Concerned about the cost? It's ridiculously cheaper in the long run. Concerned about the laundry? Ha! Welcome to having a baby... cloth diaper laundry will make up only a small portion of all the extra laundry you'll be doing. Anyone need to convince their husband? Cloth is healthier for baby boy parts too. Concerned about the poop? Guess what... I hear that babies who wear disposable diapers poop too! And you still have to wipe their bums. If I'm wrong about that, someone please let me know.
Most of the skeptics were picturing flat diapers and pins when I mentioned cloth, so if you didn't already know, it's not like that anymore. Flat diapers are still an option of course (although most people use non-pin fasteners), but we use the super convenient pocket-style diapers, which function a whole lot like disposables once the insert is stuffed into the pocket.
We have three different brands of diapers, and I like them all. I originally registered for what I found to be the most highly recommended one size cloth diaper- the BumGenius 4.0. Again, this is a pocket diaper, meaning that it has two parts... the outer part (which is shaped just like a disposable diaper), and an insert that fits into a pocket inside it. We have 22 of these, all with snap closures (I want them to last as long as possible and heard that the velcro closures tend to wear out). The snaps on the front allow you to change the size of the diaper to fit any baby from around eight pounds up to thirty-five. Our big boy fit into them from when we first started them at ten days on just fine, but I hear if you have a teeny kiddo they might not work at first.
We have all of these colors minus the pinks plus a couple of white ones. Love. (Also? So much cooler than those lame jean-colored disposable ones.)
We also have two Charlie Banana brand one-size diapers. I snagged these on sale at Zulily, and I'm not going to lie, I totally only got them because I liked the patterns. They are also pocket diapers, and snap on the front, but the sizing is accomplished with adjustable elastic on the leg openings in two different spots. These fit really well, are really soft, and did I mention really cute? I'd definitely recommend these as well.
Rounding out our supply is a FuzziBunz one size diaper. I was given this diaper in exchange for a review of it, and like a lot of other mommas, really like it. This diaper definitely wins out in softness over the BumGenius diapers. The liner is fleece and super soft. The pocket doesn't have a flap covering it like the BG does, and that makes it easier to unstuff... pretty nice when you're dealing with a poop-tastrophe situation. The sizing is done with adjustable elastic similar to the Charlie Banana diapers, but the FuzziBunz adjusts in four spots (waist and leg) instead of two, making it really easy to get a good fit. The only negative thing I have to say about the FuzziBunz is that the pocket is a little narrow, making it harder to stuff than the others.
I'd like to add a couple more of these to our collection. The adjustable leg openings mean that they are virtually leak-proof, and so I'd like to have more on hand for overnight use. Plus they come in some pretty fun colors:
When I first heard about cloth wipes, I admit I was totally grossed out. I mean, come on, let's draw the line here somewhere please, right? But think about changing a diaper. When you're finished with the wipe, you stick it in the dirty diaper and get rid of it, right? Well if you're using cloth, you can't do that, unless you want to send a lot of disposable wipes through your washing machine (which I did a couple of times before we switched). It's so much easier to use a cloth wipe, and throw it in with the diapers than to have a separate trash can for the wipes. My awesome friend Nina made us a huge supply of wipes out of four extra flannel receiving blankets we had laying around, and they're perfect.
There are a few different ways to use cloth wipes, including storing them wet, but we store them dry and use a spray bottle. I like to spray the wipe and hubs likes to spray the butt. Potato potahto.
Right now I'm using a homemade solution of water, baby oil, and baby shampoo (there are a ton of recipes here), but I just ordered some California Baby Diaper Area Wash to try as well.
The next step is SO key. Each diaper gets a few sprays of Bac-Out before being thrown in the diaper pail. I had read about this on a message board somewhere and picked up this bottle before Finn was born. I didn't realize how awesome it was until we went without it for a few days. That diaper pail was STINKY. This keeps it in check (I never even catch a whiff of diapers until I'm dumping the bag into the washing machine and even then it's not bad) and helps keep staining to a minimum as well.
Meet our fancy diaper pail:
Also known as a trash can. There is definitely no need for a fancy specialized diaper pail. This works perfectly. We use a Kissa's pail lineras a bag, and we have two so that we're never without one while we're doing laundry (the bag goes right in with the diapers).
Also helping to keep the stink at bay is one of these Munchkin Arm and Hammer Nursery Freshenersthat I stuck with velcro to the inside lid of the trash can. Like I mentioned, there is literally NO smell in Finn's nursery, so I'd say this system is working well for us :)
I'm not ashamed to admit that we keep a supply of disposable diapers and wipes on hand as well. We use cloth for short outings, but if we're going to be gone all day I go for disposables. Also, I never want to be stressed out about doing diaper laundry, so if we run out and Finn wears a disposable or two while his diapers are in the wash, it's no big deal. I was surprised to realize though, that instead of it feeling like a super convenience to use these, I actually don't like them. They leak more (all three brands that we've had), cause more diaper rash on my little guy's bum, and the flimsy disposable wipes bring me a whole lot closer to the poop than I'd prefer. Three more points for cloth.
Drawbacks to cloth? I'd say the upfront cost for sure. Registering for them could ease that a bit, but then you have to deal with lots of outside opinions on how TERRIBLE they're going to be (in my experience anyways). Also annoying is how much space they take up in your diaper bag, but I never take more than two or three with me (longer outings call for disposables). Then there is of course the added time it takes to wash cloth, but I promise you it is not bad at all (and well worth the trouble).
All of this seemed pretty confusing to me until we started doing it, so if you have any questions let me know, and I'll do my best to answer them. Also, stop by later this week if you're interested in our washing routine (fascinating I know!), and for a giveaway...
Do you or would you use cloth diapers? Have I convinced you that it's not totally awful, or do you just think I'm a weirdo for talking this much about diapers? :)