Cloth Diapers

It's been a while since I posted a gratuitously cute picture of Baby R, so here you go. He loves my new ipod nano, and takes a taste of it every chance he gets. :)

Aside from ipods, Baby R has quite the discerning palate. He is the only one of my babies to completely eschew traditional baby food and cereal in favor of whatever happens to be on my plate. As long as I mash it well {he still doesn't have any teeth} he's happy.

Another thing that makes Baby R unlike my other children? He's the first to be cloth diapered:

In the past, I've avoided cloth diapers because they seemed like so much work and {if I'm honest} kind of.... gross. I mean, some things are worth being disposable, right?

But lately, my capacity to accomplish things has dramatically increased. I'm cooking everything from scratch, doing multiple loads of dishes and laundry, homeschooling and recycling and sewing and painting and gardening. In light of all that, cloth diapering no longer sounded so daunting.

Additionally, I've been dealing with the other boys-- one wets the bed regularly and the other enjoys the novelty of peeing in places he shouldn't. I'm expending so much energy making sure everything is washed, sanitized, and smell-free that I'm pretty confident that I can add cloth diapering and without offending my super-sensitive nose.

After reading reviews by both hAha and Jon & Sherry, I didn't plunge into cloth diapering so much as dip my toe in it. I bought 3 Bum Genius Organic Elemental diapers. They're one size, with snaps and require no inserts. I also bought 3 Bum Genius 4.0 diapers. They're one size, with snaps, and require inserts.

So far: I love how convenient the Elementals are. No stuffing, no fuss. But they take much longer to dry, so if I wanted to use them exclusively, I'd have to buy quite a few more.

With the 4.0 diapers, the covers dry super-quick in the sun and the inserts can be tossed in the dryer. It's easy to have lots of inserts on hand for even faster turn around. I thought I'd be able to use disposable inserts for traveling, but I think that's for the Flip diapers {oops}.

If all continues to go well, my initial investment of $100 will quickly be worth it. We typically spend $40 a month on disposable diapers, which means that even if I invest another $100 for a few additional cloth diapers, I'll save more than $2000 over the next few years. {Even more if I buy my diapers gently used, and then resell mine once I'm done with them!}

Poor J. On my side of the family, I'm the latecomer to the world of cloth diapering, but on J's side of the family this is like the final nail in the you-are-such-a-granola-girl coffin. Natural childbirth, homeschooling, and now cloth diapering? Yup, he married a hippy.


The Dragonfly said...

I say do whatever your concience and budget guide you to do. I am curious though, has he been exclusively cloth diapered (even in the beginning when there are like 10 to 12 diapers a day?) or is this a new thing you're trying?

Rachael said...

We cloth diaper too! I LOVE it. I just put the first cloth diaper on my week-old baby this afternoon (we've CD'd two other children and been really happy with it). Feel free to shoot me an email if you have any questions; I know I had about a million when I first started...theirchronicles@gmail.com.

And I hear you on the "granola" thing. But one thing I've thought was kind of cool--I'm sure my husband's family totally pitied him a few years ago. But since then I've gotten emails from his brothers and sisters asking about everything from cloth diapering to going vegan to hypnobirthing. And it's been fun to see my husband's enthusiasm grow for all of those!

Singin' Heart said...

You've joined the club! Congrats sister!!! You will find that people are very curious about CD. I've converted at least 4 other people - people who thought that they would NEVER do it but love it now that they have tried. when you are done I'll buy them from you - no joke. Can't have enough when I've got two that are in them, hopefully by the time you are done t-pants will be potty trianed - well he kind of is already.
And...you are not gronola. You look and smell good. You are practical! If anything happens, you are ready because you are practicing now - that's what I tell myself at least ;)

If you got any questions give me a call or an e-mail. Also, there are disposable insert that are not for the flip - which is my favorite by the way.

Love ya

Singin' Heart said...

BTW, at a glance I thought the picture of Baby R was FinnR. Crazy how cousins can have elements of each other. You can tell they are family ;)

Teresa said...

OK, just because I am curious, you mentioned your reasons for reluctance but never went back to them. Are they indeed easy? Not gross? These were your concerns.
They are convenient, you say, but no word on the part that scares the bejezus out of me. Scraping poop, what goes in your washer/dryer, etc. I had a friend who had all intentions of cloth diapering and I really wanted her to try it before I did, but they never even tried. I don't know if I'm willing to try without any hands-on experience with it.

Still scared, probably still too much of a wuss to do it for baby #2.

hAha said...

just have to add my two cents! THIS IS AWESOME! way to go! cloth diapering is the bomb! and I'm with pip, FLIP all the way! we've tried several types. Flip is made by Bumgenius. They are just the Cover and Insert version (and they're cheaper by a little).

Anywho. what fun! hope you like it. I can't say that i've converted people, like pip, they just think i'm weird. but i'm pretty sure i don't care what they think anyway.


Crys said...

I thought it was Finn Too! I find that the hardest part about cloth diapering is taking the plunge after that it really isn't too bad, or that much harder. Right now I am doing disposables, just because I wasn't keeping up well enough when I was super prego, I am going to start back up on cloth in a week or 2. We'll see.

hukolb said...

I've always wondered if the cost of the water/cleaning/time equals out the cloth diapers vs disposable. As one lady pointed out, here in New Orleans we are sinking and need more landfill material, who knows maybe clean water and energy are more in need other places then reduced landfill. Not that I'm anti cloth diapers, just trying to justify myself not switching yet:). My sister in law LOVES them and I've watched many a youtube on making different kinds. Here's a site that might have some kits left to make since you are a master seamstress for sure! Might even save more money to recycle things into diapers! Good luck, aren't they so cute!

hukolb said...
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hukolb said...

A few fun sites...and some for more than diapers!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k59ehT_XXvo (love the Jack be Natural!)

Jack be natural makes it look so easy!

MelancholySmile said...

Teresa- Yes, they're not that much work. As for the gross factor, I feel like I'm still working out the kinks. He's eating solids, so for the most part, I just plop the contents of the diaper into the toilet, rinse {I'm getting a bumgenius sprayer- for now I use the hose. Honestly.} and toss in the wash. I don't wash them twice, since they're pretty clean for the most part. Just one hot wash, then line dry.

For going out, I'm looking into the Flip diapers {Pip and hAha- do you use the organic inserts, disposable, or stay dry the most? I've heard the disposable leak?} or diaper liners, which are thin, flushable/disposable liners, kind of like dryer sheets. Put it in a regular cloth diaper and it makes it so you can toss the stinky stuff before you stow the diaper in a wet bag while you're out and about. {anyone tried these? Thoughts?}

I've only been doing this for about a week, so give me some time and I'll do a more thorough review later!

LisAway said...

He is extremely cute and you are extremely granola. :) And now I want to try those diapers. We use the cheapest diapers ever (and they work wonderfully) but I still think it would be awesome to try this kind of diaper (I babysat two little girls who were in cloth diapers, so I know the routine) Still, Spence only has a year (hopefully less, if he's like his siblings) to go in diapers, so it probably won't be worth it for me. But you amaze me with all the awesome good mom-type things you are doing.

LisAway said...

I didn't make it clear that we use cheap DISPOSABLE diapers. Also, the family I babysat for used a diaper service, so I never actually did the wash/dry, just the clean up before dumping in the diaper pail.

Singin' Heart said...

What a subject! People sure are talking ;)

I use the stay dry kind because when I started tucker was a little over a year and his bum wasn't use to the cloth thing. The stay dry wicks away the urine a lot better then the organic (and they were cheaper). He does great with these but the older he gets and holds his urine more, I really have to stay ontop of changing him or it will leak - he rarely uses a diaper at home, we are sort of potty taining. But that is an issue, I think, for older kids. I have no problem with Logan. Plus the size of flips are SO much smaller then a pre fold - which is what I mainly do because that is what I have the most of (from now on if I have extra money I will buy flips).

Going back to the sensitivity - if R is having any redress or skin break down issues, which he might not cause of the type you are trying, all you need to do is put a fleece liner in. I used some old swaddle blankets and cut them into strips (it has to be VERY thin micro fiber fleece - it wicks away urine). If I use a pre fold on tucker that is what I put inside.

ALSO, I don't know if you know this already but you HAVE to change a cloth diaper baby more then a disposable diaper!!! A woman who switched over to CD (cause of my rave reports ;) asked me if my kids leak a lot. She was going 5-ish hours between changes and she uses the all-in-one kinds. I change every 3 hours, I might be able to push it to 4 if I know they haven't drank a lot but if I wait they might have pink bums ... FYI

(another also ;) I use the dry bags. I have a small one (not the smallest but a size up from that cause it can hold up to 4 diapers' the smallest might hold 2 - I encourage the size bigger). I have NO issues with smells. I could put a full on poopy diaper in there and you can't smell it coming from my bag. I also have a big one (I think it is about 10-13 gallon bag) that I put into a garbage bin with a flip top. I don't have issues with smells in the kids room either, unless the top is open or it's been too long since washing (rarely happens). When you are storing cloth diapers you actually want ventilation - in know crazy - it actually helps with the smells and it is better for the diapers.

I know all this from a lot of research and are local cloth diaper store lady, she is AMAZING!!! Don't feel bad about having so many questions. I have had to turn many times to a few of my friends that CD. When it comes down to it, it is preference! You just have to try and see what works best for you.

...is this long enough ;) can you see how I've converted people. I talk!!!

Hope some of this is helpful.

Oh, I've never tried the flush-able liners, too expensive for what it's worth and I don't have issues with cleaning the poopy diapers - which you are suppose to do even with disposable diapers (it says it on the box ;)

MelancholySmile said...

Thanks for all that info! I really need it! What brand of wet bag do you use? And do you have a diaper sprayer?

The Queen Vee said...
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The Queen Vee said...

Lets try that again.

Yeah Melancholy, lovely to read that you are happy and accomplishing so much each day.

Good for you for trying cloth diapers. Cloth diapers were all that were available when I was raising my kiddos. I confess, if I were ever to have another baby (impossiblity at this point) I'd use disposable as I've paid my dues with the cloth option.

I'm really good at recycling though :-)

Love the cute pics of Baby R.

Apis Melliflora said...

I admire your energy and diaper vision. I confess when my kids were in diapers, I was a loyal LUVs fan. I thought the moms who used cloth diapers were miracle workers.=-)

Stephanie said...

Ha ha ha! Yes, you are by far the most granola in the family, but hippy or not, we still love you! :)

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