Friday, February 4, 2011

cloth diapers: #3

It's time for another update on the cloth diapers. We are now using them with 2 kids, and we still like them!

First, I made an overall list of my cloth diapering recommendations. Below that is an updated review on the diapers we've used.

* Have we saved money?
We have invested approximately $550 in our cloth diapering stash (diapers, covers, wetbags, diaper salve, etc.). If the average person spends $50 per month per kid on disposable diapers, then we broke even when Graham was 11 months old. Now that he is almost 16 months and Liam is almost 2 months, our savings is at $350 and we're saving $100 per month from here on out. (Note: we don't pay for water--it's included in our rent.)

* How long have we been using them?
We've used cloth since Graham was born and he's now almost 16 months. We also use them with our new baby.

* What kind of diapers do we use?
We use a combination of prefolds with covers and one-size pocket diapers. I recommend using prefolds and covers on a new baby until a couple months old when they grow into the one-size diapers a little better, otherwise the one-size diapers are really bulky under clothes.

* Favorite pocket diapers: Bumgenius one-size with velcro closure. Perfect size diapers would be nice, I'm sure, but who can afford a full set in each size?? As for the velcro, we have seen no deterioration of the quality of the velcro. I prefer velcro over snap waists, because you don't have to pay attention to whether the snap setting you used is a little too tight or loose. We have 15 pocket diapers total.

* Prefold diapers:
Not as difficult as they sound. I like them. Bought ours at Tiny Tots in Campbell and other online stores. 15-20 in each size is plenty (could get by with less but I don't like to run out when I'm behind on laundry). I actually like the idea of getting used ones because they are all washed and prepped, but because the new ones aren't that expensive, we always got new ones. Christian bought some used ones a while back and some work great and some are too worn out.

* Prefold preference:
My kids seem to pee a lot, so I prefer the thicker prefolds (4x8x4).

* Prefold covers:
I LOVE Thirsties covers. The leg holes cover the diapers well. I've tried other covers and these are my favorites. 4 or 5 in each size is plenty (even less needed as kid gets older because they poop less, which means you're less likely to get poop on the cover).

* Snappi Closures:
You only need a few.

* Storing dirty diapers:
We use a cheap flip-top garbage can (from Target--$20) with large pail liners. We have one of these:, and I think one of these The one with the elastic drawstring is convenient if you want to use cloth diapers on trips. We do a dry pail, not a wet pail (meaning we put dirty diapers in a dry bag as opposed to a tub of water).

* Washing the diapers: We wash diapers on Mon/Wed/Fridays. When it's time to wash the diapers, we just pull out the wetbag, flip it out into the washing machine (never having to touch the diapers) and put the spare wetbag in the can. We do a cold pre-wash, a cold wash with detergent, and a hot wash without detergent. Seems to work just fine for us. Then we throw it all in the dryer. When it's nice out, we line dry them.

* Detergent: We just use Costco's dye- and fragrance-free stuff. Nothing special.

* Tip on poopy diapers:
We put a zippered wetbag in the bathroom for poopy diapers so that we don't have to carry them to the large diaper pail in the garage after rinsing them in the toilet. We hang this on the doorknob:

* Poop stains:
I don't care if the prefolds have stains, but some people do. Just dry them in the sun. It bleaches the poop stains right out. Also works on poop-stained clothes. The sun is amazing.

* Diaper rash cream:
You can't use most diaper ointments with cloth diapers because they leave a film on the diapers and compromise the absorbency. We like to use Northern Essence Diaper Rash Salve. We often put it on them before bed since they'll be in one diaper for so many hours.

And now, a review on the one-size diapers we've used:

BumJoy--They're cheap and cute, but all of ours eventually leaked. Not leaking out the leg holes or anything, but the pee would actually seep through the outer fabric--pretty badly. We eventually threw them away. Sadly, I don't recommend them. They were my favorite in the beginning. Too bad, huh?

Fuzzibunz--I've heard good things about the perfect-size fuzzibunz, but we have the 1-size diapers (that adjust to the sizes as the kid grows). I actually think they were always really big and bulky until Graham was almost a year old, so they weren't our first choice when he was smaller. They worked just fine, but they were just big. We do still use them, though, and we like them. Now we mostly put him in them at night with double the inserts. People love them, and maybe that's just the perfect size ones. But, like you, we can't afford to buy a full set in each size.

We liked these from the start and they are still our favorites. I prefer the diapers with the velcro. With the snaps you have to figure out which snap setting to use and sometimes I'd second guess myself on whether I did them too tight and have to re-do the snaps. With the velcro closures, you just do them however you want. And the velcro still works just fine. We've been using them for 15 months and haven't noticed any problem with the velcro. I've also read about velcro wearing out, but so far it is doing just fine.

Wahmies--The only thing I don't like about ours is the "wing droop" which they seem to have fixed with the newer hook closure. Still, diapers with velcro closures appeal to me more than the hooks.

Happy Heiny--
Looks like they make them with velcro closures now, which I think I'd like a lot more than the snap one I have (since the only thing I don't like about mine is the snaps). In fact, I might buy one since the outer fabric is softer and less rigid than our (favorite) Bumgenius diapers. I might really like these.

Rocky Mountain--
It leaked as a pocket diaper on Graham, but now we use it as a cover over Liam's (newborn) prefolds and it works just fine.


whitney said...

dude thanks molly! do you have a link for the salve you use?

whitney said...

haha! nevermind. looks like you already updated it. :)

Shayla Taylor said...

Thanks for typing this all out!

the Rowleys said...

so what do you use with newborns? Just the prefolds? did you buy newborn size covers? or use the ones that grow with the baby? I started with my second child after she was beyond that stage, and many who cloth diaper say to do disposibles for the newborn phase because fit is hard.

Molly said...

Hi Christina! So we used disposables for the first week of Liam's life. When the pack ran out, we just started using cloth. We have newborn size prefolds and newborn covers. They were definitely still bulky on him even though they're "newborn" size, but now he's growing into them. I know people say to use disposables for the "newborn" phase, but I think cloth are just as easy after the first week. Not sure I'd want to deal with the black poop on cloth diapers.

Braden and Cheri said...

Oh, and you forgot to mention those amazing cloth swim diapers that people can get from Those are amazing (though you've never used one...but still...)

Molly said...

You're right, Cheri! I forgot! I am ordering one right now... :)

Emma and Dan said...

I do use cloth swim diapers (they sell them at Babies R Us in the spring), but as for the rest of it, I'll just give you props and leave it that. :)