Monday, April 13, 2009

Reviewing our first week of cloth diapering

A week ago I started my 20 day cloth diaper trial. There aren't enough diapers to do it exclusively (unless I do laundry like 2-3 times a day!), so I've been doing it part time just to get a little experience.

I got 7 diapers in the trial all pictured here:
  • 1 Thirsties fab fitted with 1 Thirsties cover
  • 2 Chinese Prefolds with a snappi
  • 1 Fuzzi Bunz with 1 microfiber insert
  • 1 BumGenius 3.0 All-in-one with 2 microfiber inserts (one newborn size, one one-size)
  • 1 Thirsties Pocket All-in-one
  • 1 BumGenius All-in-one Organic
My experience has been interesting thus far. (Before I even started Dean got into the soap samples in the package and started eating it! It was kind of traumatic for him when Matt stripped him down and washed his mouth out in the bathtub faucet.)

Before I could use them
All of the diapers came brand new, so I had to wash them before using. All of them except the organic diaper could be pre-washed together and only needed one wash and dry. The organic diaper had to be washed and dried 4 times(!) by itself before using. That was a pain to begin with, but it was even more of a pain when the diaper took FOREVER to dry. 2 or 3 drier cycles. It took me like 3 days to get all the washes in before I could use it. And honestly, all of the other diapers take a long time to dry as well. This summer I will probalby line dry any cloth diapers I use. I think it will be faster than the drier!

Dean's reaction
I fully anticipated that Dean would like the cloth better. Some of these diapers have very soft and fuzzy inside fabrics. They just seemed so much more skin friendly than disposables. He has been very resistant to the change, however. In the beginning he cried and tried pulling most of them off. He doesn't cry anymore, but I have to put clothes on him IMMEDIATELY after putting on his diaper or he quickly whips it off. That is the downside of the velcro. It's much easier to take off than the disposable tabs. He's never really tried to take his disposables off.

Some just work better for us
I thought I would like the all-in-ones (AIO) the best since you don't need a cover, but I don't. They seem the most uncomfortable on Dean and they leave him chaffed on his tummy (Bumgenius) or legs (Thirsties AIO). He especially hated the Thirsties AIO (as well as the Thirsties cover) in the beginning and cried and pulled at it until I took him out of it. I've tried it a couple more times with a little less resistance, but he still is unhappy with it.

I think my favorite so far is the Thirsties fab fitted since it has soft fuzzy material on the inside and out, is very absorbant (though it technically needs a cover), and it seems to fit him the best (no chafing). I actually haven't put the cover on it when we're at home and only once did he pee through it in an hour or so. (He had had a lot to drink.)

My least favorite are the Chinese pre-folds. He peed through it in less than 15 minutes! And it's just plain not fitted and I don't like that. Maybe I'm doing it wrong, but I tried following instructions I found online. I think those might require a good mentor to teach how to properly do it and/or a kid who pees less. And most definitely a cover!!!

What about the pee and poo? The clean up?
The only time he hasn't leaked pee during a nap (even with the AIOs) was today when I put in 2 inserts. There's no way in heck I'll put him in cloth over night! One thing I don't like about cloth is that he has the "shrivelled raisen" look when I change him, even when I change him frequently. It's just so much more moist inside than in the disposables.

And the poo. Ok. So, he's had a few that were super easy to just shake off, but some were not as easy and required the toilet dunking. It's a little gross, but not totally horrible, and like I said, if I were to do this regularly I'd get the little sprayer that attaches to the toilet anyway. I also think I'd do diaper wash either every night or every other night so there's little to no stink build up in the diaper pail (and so I'd need to buy less diapers).

Making the switch?
As of right now am I going to switch? Completely? No. I really think that I'll end up doing cloth part time to help cut down cost of disposables and waste, but it's just not practical for me (right now) to do it full time. Could I do it full time if I really needed to? Absolutely. If I could tell he loved cloth more than disposables, I'd probably be more willing to switch completely, but as I said, he has been resistant to the change. Will I be making more diapers? Possibly. If I do, I'll try and get good quality fleece fabric for the diaper and possibly hemp for the liners (I still need to try them out, but I've heard it's the best). I just think there's no other choice with a child who drinks as much milk and water as mine (and therefore urinates a lot).


Anonymous said...

Those are all good things to know! Thanks for the info on all the different brands. I'm thinking about making all-in-2's for my next baby. I'm basically just going to sew in the soakers so I don't have to stuff them anymore, but not make them waterproof. I think I'll be investing in a clothes line to help dry them! I don't know how I would stuff all the diapers for 2 kids and be able to take care of a newborn if I didn't make AI2's.

Celia Marie (W.) B. said...

Heather, not sure if you're interested, but I found this blog that has a post about cloth diapering supplies through co-ops.

Juls said...

How is the humidity there? If it is too humid then it would take forever to dry outside as well.

Man, good luck. I think I would have given up a long time ago. We have just worked the cost into the budget.

Celia Marie (W.) B. said...

It's not that we don't have money in our budget for diapers, because we do. It just kills me to put a new diaper on him and then have to change it within the hour because he poops.

The longer I go on with this trial, though, it's looking like disposables are right for me (at least for the majority of the time) right now. I will probably only keep my Thirsties Fab fitted from this trial. I am not opposed to looking into cloth diapering again, though, if I feel like timing and circumstances are right for it.

leethie said...

That's odd how his skin got raisin-like from the diapers. I've rarely seen that.
I think they told me to wash my prefolds about 3 or 4 times before I used them. Also, you can get some prefolds that have more layers than others. But, yes, I almost always use them with a cover.
Thanks for sharing.

Lois said...

Smiling coming from your mother who cloth diapered 7 children. It seemed normal to change babies every hour or so to keep them comfortable. The best part about disposables is you don't have to change so often. It's healthy for a baby to drink a lot so that means more changing.

It is hard to start a toddler on some new method. Much easier to start with the new baby.

Great adventures! Mom

Jacqui said...

I have read about the waste of disposables vs. the waste of running the washing machine so often--the water and electricity.

From what I have surmised, it's not that big of a difference from an energy point of view. For me, the convenience of disposable diapers outweighs the cost, even though I am with you on being sick over spending $.20/diaper. Plus hauling home stinky cloth diapers that you have to change in public? All the more reason for early potty training! :)

I remember all too well dunking my brothers and sisters diapers in the pot, washing, wringing, and plopping them in the yellow diaper pail to be washed in bleach.

My mom was SO happy the day she realized Michelle had bad reactions to the cloth and had to use disposable.

Celia Marie (W.) B. said...

I've heard lots and lots of people say otherwise about the energy. Plus, the cloth are not sitting in a landfill. But, I'm sure like any subject, it's all about who you talk to.

Plus, the quality of the washing has come a long way so you don't have to do so much dunking and wringing. It's not quite as disgusting and the diapers ARE NOT supposed to be bleached now. hehe.

A.J. Dub. said...
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