Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Cloth Diaper Update part 1 (before solids)

So like I mentioned before we decided to go with cloth diapers.  We ended up just going all-in right from the start with 1 brand.  I thought I'd share a few lessons learned, pros/cons, etc.  Though, I'm guess some of my opinions will change when we start solids and I have to break out the diaper sprayer!

Lesson's Learned
  • There is no need to buy all of your diapers before baby arrives and make your final decision before you give a few a try.  Ok, I'm just one of those people that plans things and does them all or nothing.  This is one of those things I wished I'd waited on.  Now, don't get me wrong, this doesn't mean I'd chose different diapers, it just means I wish that I had tried out more options.  Say maybe starting out with a sampler pack.  Plus (at least for us), we went with disposables for the newborn size and started cloth once he moved up to size 1's.
  • It's ok to just have a day where you want to use a disposable.  There are just some days that are tough and you have to give yourself a break some time, so go ahead, use a disposable!  We use them traveling and when we'll be out of the house for an extended period of time.
  • More detergent does not mean cleaner diapers (who knew?!?!).  When Alex was about 4 months old we were having some major leakage issues at daycare.  I did some research and it turns out that if you use too much detergent then you can have some build up in your diapers.  Following the directions on the BumGenius website we stripped our diapers one weekend and all was better.  Stripping means washing in Dawn Original Dish washing detergent, followed by several rinse cycles.
  • I don't have to run out to the store because we're out of diapers.  Usually we wash at night so we put a diaper on him (a disposable) and then hit the washing machine with the dirty ones 2-3x/wk.
  • Though some might disagree, I feel like we're at least being more environmentally friendly.
  • I don't have to worry about having diapers in the next size, since ours size up with a just a few changes in snaps! 
  • Less blowouts!  I had soooo many #2 blowouts with disposables.  But I think we've had 1 #2 blow-out with cloth.
  • Holy upfront investment!  It's a lot to buy all of the diapers at first!  Then you add in wetbags and detergent.
  • Not all clothes fit.  So maybe this is kind of stupid but, we have trouble with some of Alex's clothes fitting once he reaches the bigger end of that size and have to size up on pants so that fit over his cute tush!  
  • One-size/All-In-Ones can be bulky (see above) and sometimes just look plain funny.  I found once you size up to the next size, much better!
  • New diaper changers need some guidance.  We got snap diapers since I was worried about velcro issues.  The down-side is that if someone new is hanging him, we have to show them which snaps to use so they make sure that they're tight enough.
  • Laundry - Ick, I hate laundry, though these are really easy (so far).  A rinse cycle, a wash cycle, throw them in the dryer with a towel and they're dry in 2 60-minutes cycles. 
  • The absorbancy without an added layer isn't as great so things like overnight just don't work as well unless you invest in some other liners.  So far I haven't done that and I'm just not sure it would really work well with the All-In-Ones, so we're just sticking to disposables.

You can do it at daycare too!
  • Just Ask!
  • When we were looking for daycares this is one of the questions that we asked.  And it was high on our priority list.  If we couldn't find a daycare that we liked that would do cloth diapers then we might have nixed the idea as a whole on the diapers, because at that point the investment didn't seem worth it to us.  But, luckily 2 of our top 3 daycare choices would do cloth.
  • It took some 'training/getting used to'.  We had to show them the right snaps a few times and you will have more leaks in the beginning until they get the hang of it (or you strip you diapers because you had build-up :-) ).
  • We bring in diapers at the beginning of the week, plus some wet bags (we got 3 Planet Wise large bags).  Each night we bring home a bag of dirty ones.  Usually on Wednesday we wash and bring in more clean ones and the empty wet bags!
Also, don't let friends/family badger you in either direction.  My mom was not a fan/advocate of cloth-diapering.  (Ok so maybe that made me want to do it even more)  She has only changed cloth a handful of times and didn't have any trouble.

Cloth diapering is sooo over-whelming when you start.  It's like bam-information overload.  Where to begin.  I've learned a lot from the posts I linked to the first time.  I also had a co-worker who did cloth and helped a little, though I use completely different diapers than her and that's fine too!

If you find it doesn't work for you, then don't do it anymore.  There was a point where I was ready to just call it quits, sell the diapers and move on.  They were just becoming a pain because there were so many leaks.  Once we figured that problem out, things have become much better (I should say that I was dealing with other issues at the time so it was all so overwhelming).

That's my update for now, ask me again in a month when we start solids, how much a really like it!  Installing the diaper sprayer is #1 on the honey-do list right now!  

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