Cloth diapers are a part of Anna's story. They are something I enjoy in my role as a mom. Mother's Day seems as good a day as any to document a bit about the how & why we use cloth in our family.
With Simon I used cloth when he was an older baby; for Anna I had the intention of starting from birth. I ended up waiting until she was about 9 weeks and we are now going strong. I waited until I was feeling in the mama-to-an-infant groove. I wanted to be feeling good emotionally and physically before I added this element into the mix. It's not that there's a lot more work, but it's just another thing to have to think about.
People choose to cloth diaper for a variety of different reasons: economic, environmental, health, and some people just think they look cool. Are they really better for the environment? Some people claim they are and others respond that you end up using more water so it becomes a wash (no pun intended).
Here's some of our reasons:
1. I like not having more trash than we need too.
2. I am one of those people that is totally fine with doing the laundry. Having another load every other day is not an issue for me.
3. I like them. They are soft and colorful and she's not complaining.
SO MANY CHOICES
There are tons of options with cloth. TONS. It's not just pieces of cloth and pins anymore. Within each option there are even more choices like snaps or velcro, one size or S, M, L, colors, prints, etc.
We use a bunch of different kinds here in our house. Most recommendations I have read suggest trying out a few different styles to see what works best for you and your family. Depending on what day you ask me I will have a different favorite.
Here's a peek into what we currently use:
• Prefolds with covers (Chinese prefolds from Green Mountain Diapers): this is the most economical, un-fancy, wonderfully simple option. Step by step photos on how to use these can be found here. I just do a tri-fold and stick it inside the cover – no pins. We started out with the orange edge newborn prefolds and are still using those (she is just over 10 pounds). I will probably be ordering the yellow-edge infant prefolds soon. My favorite covers are Thirsties because of the leg gussets. I also like the Super Whisper Wrap with snaps.
• Pockets with covers: FuzziBunz & Bum Genius 3.0. These ones have a cover that you slip an insert into and then remove after it is wet or soiled. It is a one-time use before washing again (you don't pull out the insert and then put a dry one in). These go on just like a disposable – no folding required. We have the most of these in our rotation.
• Fitteds with covers: Good Mama. These ones go on like a regular diaper, are super soft, and then we place a cover (like the Thirsties above) on top. When they are soiled you remove the cover, put on another fitted diaper, and can reuse the cover if it is not wet or soiled. At lot of times if the cover is not soiled I will let it sit out to air out and use another cover for the next fitted diaper.
• One-size all-in-ones from Bum Genius (these EASY but take longer to dry) : these go on just like a disposable diaper with no pockets to stuff or folding necessary. They tend to be more expensive than sized diapers and the jury is still out on wether they really last through the years that a baby needs to wear a diaper. I am really liking the snaps on the orgainc all-in-ones.
How do I choose which one to put on her? I don't have a rhyme or reason really. Chris prefers the all-in-ones so I usually leave those for him.
STORAGE & WASHING
On her changing table I have hung a bag with a clip (see photo at the top of this post) to hold the soiled diapers. I am washing every other day. We use Charlie's Soap for all our washing and do a cold pre-wash, a hot wash, and an extra rinse. When you first get the diapers (any style) you need to prep them before
using them. Most brands recommend a bunch (like four or more) washings
to get them ready + absorbent for use.
I hang dry the Thirstie's covers but dry the rest together on medium time dry for about an hour. Sometimes the one-size all in ones need more drying time.
Here's some of my favorite sites for purchasing diapers and reading tips & information (especially on how many diapers to begin with, etc):
• Green Mountain Diapers (the photos here are great for seeing what the diapers look like on babies at different ages)
• Jillian's Drawers (they have a great trial program available where you get a selection of popular styles)
• Kelly's Closet
I have also learned a ton from reading the cloth diaper message board at Mothering.com. Tons of experienced Mamas on there who are ready and willing to share information, trouble-shoot, and support.
For reviews & tips check out Diaper Pin.
Hope everyone is having a wonderful Mother's Day!