4.22.2012

On Cloth Diapering @ Four Months A.B.B. (After Baby Bee)

What better day than Earth Day to tell you about baby M's cloth diapers. Happy Earth Day! We've been cloth diapering baby M's hiney since he was very wee. Before he was born I thought we'd cloth diaper him from the start, minus the first meconium poos, which I've heard and darn near impossible to wash out. A few roadblocks and a whole lot of free disposable diapers from the hospital prevented us from starting straight away. But by week three when baby M was finally back up to his birth weight and I was feeling better, I was ready to test the cloth waters.

B.B.B. (before baby bee) I blogged about our cloth stash
I had bought a few of several brands and types of cloth diapers to start with, not really knowing what we'd like most. We diapered Mr. Bear several times to get the whole hang of how each of the diaps worked. I organized the diaps by size, stuck labels on the drawers so everyone could figure out how to use them and off to the delivery room we went.

Within the first few weeks of cloth diapering some clear front runners emerged in the race for the favorite diap. S declared the Hive a "cover free" zone, so I quickly sold all of our newborn fitteds. This included all the Kissaluvs and Thirsties. While these were perfectly good diapers, they all needed covers, thereby adding a second step to the diapering process. I wasn't bothered by the second step, but what I didn't love is that because the whole fitted diap gets wet with pee, I'd be actually holding pee when rinsing the diaper with our sprayer. That's a weak excuse now since I rinse our inserts and squeeze them out by hand as part of my wash routine. Eeew, I know. But it lets me go a full week between laundry loads. I'll tell you all about it sometime soon.

Our early favorites were BumGenius 4.0, Charlie Banana's Small, Fuzzibunz XS and Thirsties Duo Dry. Baby M outgrew the Fuzzibunz XS quickly even though he's a bit of a peanut still. When we sold those three diaps they still fit, but their inserts were small so they didn't hold enough to last through a nap. For the remainder of my maternity leave we used BumGenius 4.0, our two Thirsties Duo Drys, Charlie Banana's and reluctantly, FuzziBunz one-size.

Now that M goes off to daycare with BumGenius diapers each day, we've come up with a system to use various diapers at different times of day.

When we wake up in the morning I use a BumGenius. They're the most absorbent of all the diapers we own and baby M drinks a lot after sleeping for 11 or 12 hours. He'll eat and play for an hour and a half and then go down for an hour and a half nap in his BG's. Then when he wakes, he'll eat again, I'll change him into a Charlie Banana stuffed with a BG insert, dress him for the day and whisk him off to daycare. I send him off in a Charlie Banana because we don't own enough BG to use them exclusively and I don't want baby M's daycare momma to have to hassle with snaps of the Charlies. Otherwise, the Charlie Bananas are just as reliable as our BG's.

Baby M will use one or two diapers while he's at daycare. When he gets home he'll eat and then because it's unlikely that he'll poo before bath time, I'll change him into a Grovia. Grovias have a reusable outer shell with a snap-in insert, but so far we've found the outer shell isn't reusable after a poo. I've slowly started to venture into the world of flats during this last change of the day, but not with any regularity. An hour or so later we'll start the bedtime routine with a bath after which we lather M's bum with zinc lotion and slap a disposable on him for the night. We could probably use a cloth diaper overnight, but we don't ever do anything to mess with his sleep, so we've never tried.

In addition to cloth diapering we also use cloth wipes. We started using cloth wipes a few days after we got home from the hospital. We use them for the obvious purpose, but also wash baby M's face and hands with them each morning. I have used them for vinegar washes and baths, and I've heard that soaked in cold water and fresh from the fridge, they're great for teething.

We started with a stash of 40. But within a couple weeks we were finding ourselves running out often, so now we have a stash of about 80, but 60 would be plenty to get us through the week for all the gazillion ways we use them. We have a stack in the bathroom for bath time, a stack in my office to catch dribbles and drips from nursing and pumping and the remainder are in the nursery. We have a square, plastic container that we'll fill with ~20 wipes and just enough water to get them all nice and wet. Just water, nothing else. Every three days I change the water in the wipes. If there are still wet wipes left, I toss them in the laundry pail and start fresh so that the heebeejeebees don't grow. Sometimes in the morning I'll need a bit more than water to get everything clean and will use a spritz of California Baby Diaper Area Spray. Self explanatory name, no?

When baby M first started going to daycare I wasn't sure if I should send his nice wipes or not; I didn't know how many they would need, etc. So I cut up a few receiving blankets into squares using pinking shears and sent those. In hindsight, I could have just sent a little stack of our good wipes each day and have been fine.

The cloth wipes are by far the easiest eco-baby switch we made. One wipe does the work of two or three disposables. Plus, it's pretty easy to grab from the same stack of wet wipes to wash all ends of the baby. Cheese fingers, cheese nose, cheese toes and all!

Have you tried cloth diapering? What's your favorite brand? 

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5 comments:

  1. I was looking for people's experiences with cloth diapering and found your site. My LO is 6 weeks old and we have been using prefolds with Thirsties Duo snap covers which have been great. But I am looking for a more daycare-friendly solution. Do you prefer the AIOs or the pockets? And how do you know which brands have the best resale value?

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    1. Hi Tran,
      We send baby M to daycare with BumGenius 4.0 diapers with velcro, which are pocket diapers. They are hands-down the easiest to use, the fastest to dry, fastest to stuff, and the best at containing poo & pee. I have one AIO and do not use it anymore because it takes forever to dry. By forever, I mean days.

      BG 4.0 are probably the most popular diaper out there and therefore have a very good resale value. If you dry them in the sun as we do, they'll stay bleach white and the covers will last a very long time, I'm told. I would wait for one of the BG 4.0 buy 5 get 1 free sales to pop up, which they do fairly regularly. Get on Cotton Babies' email list or like them on Facebook for notifications. They'll also have seconds available on their site too. Our BG collection is almost entirely made up of seconds and I cannot tell the difference at all.

      Jillian's Drawers sells gently used diapers, but you'll rarely find BG 4.0 because they are so popular.

      We also have FuzziBunz pockets, which I strongly dislike because they're a pain to stuff and the elastic sizing is a pain. Plus, they don't hold as much pee and we were getting leaks during naps.

      I hope this helps!

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  2. Wow, helpful info - thanks so much!!! :)

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  3. I have been inspired by your blog to move to cloth wipes, but I was wondering which shop you bought yours from. I am debating between 2 ply and 1 ply, I know 2 ply will be more absorbent but I think 1 ply might be easier to maneuver in those hard to reach places. Thanks!

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    Replies
    1. We bought ours from Cheeky Wipes in the UK. They were super expensive to ship and while I absolutely love them, I would not order them again because of the cost. They're little terry washcloths and are super cute. They are quite thick and I've never had a problem not being able to get baby M squeaky clean! I think you would be happy with either. We gave our daycare momma wipes made from flannel receiving blankets and they too work perfectly. Alison from the etsy shop "As you Stitch, Baby" is great to work with, I'm sure you could find something that would work well for you in her shop. Good luck!

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