let's talk a little about cloth diapers, shall we?
a few of you asked, so if you're interested you can keep reading...
a few of you asked, so if you're interested you can keep reading...
about 3 years ago, one of my SIL's decided to do cloth diapers before her baby was born. i think after listening to her say she was really going to do it, i was a lot more open to the concept. since then there's been quite a few different blogs i've seen/followed that have done it so i've learned a little more here and there from their experiences. the blog that finally sold me on wanting to do cloth diapers was the style berry blog (the main posts i'm referring to of hers are here, here, here, and here. i have copied a majority of the things she does when it comes to cloth diapering and have read over those diaper posts several times and watched her videos several times. after showing casey how easy it is, talking through how much money you can probably save, and some other benefits, he was fully on board and didn't blink twice about doing it.
most cloth diapering people tell you you should try a few different brands to see what works the best on your baby before you buy a bunch of one kind. i thought about doing that but in the end knew i wanted to do charlie bananas for a few reasons:
- they're pocket diapers, which means you stuff an absorbent insert in the diaper to make it act exactly just like a disposable diaper, it's way easy
- they have tons of snaps on the front to adjust the waist. i wanted snaps and not velcro because i've heard plenty of people say the velcro wears over time even though the manufacturer says it won't. plus i imagine it's harder for babies to take off snapped on diapers than velcroed ones?
- the leg hole openings are easily adjusted by elastic on the inside. the system is just like a adjusting bra straps and they stay at that size really well. and having elastic on the leg holes and not other adjustable items (snaps etc) makes the diaper less bulky which is nice.
- the insert is inserted through the front of the diaper so if there's ever a big poop (which always ends up going towards the back) you don't have to deal with going through the poop to get the insert. but since i have a boy the insert is more wet in the front than the back every time, so before i wipe his bum, i use that same wipe on top of my hands to get the insert out of the diaper never having to touch the wetness. and on charlie banana inserts, the insert has a little tag you can pull which makes you feel like you're not touching the pee directly as much.
- they're one size diapers so they'll grow with him for a long time. supposedly these charlie bananas can fit kids until they're 35 lbs which is large compared to other cloth diapers.
- i loved that charlie bananas have micro fleece for the main part that touches the baby's bum. it's so soft and is what helps them stay dry when the insert is wet. it's also helpful for preventing diaper rashes.
- i'm part of a craigslist type group on facebook for moms and cloth diapers and no one is EVER selling charlie bananas, which i figured is a pretty good sign...
prepping new diapers
here's a few reasons why we decided we could do cloth diapers:
- i'm home all day so doing a few extra loads of laundry during the week isn't a big deal at all. plus we don't pay for water here so there's another cost of doing cloth diapering we don't have to pay for
- you rarely hear of cloth diapering moms dealing with leaks, blowouts, and diaper rashes. the first weeks or two i did have leaks every once and awhile but i think that was just because i was learning how to put the diaper on correctly with correct sizing and everything. it might have also been due to me using the size small insert in the diaper because i had to make the diaper so small to fit him, the normal sized insert wouldn't really fit. oddly enough, maxson doesn't poop for 2-3 days at a time, and when he does, they always stay perfectly contained inside. i've never had a legit blowout, once a little poop came out the leg but that was because i had it on the wrong size. now when i put on the diapers i make sure the leg hole openings are snug around his legs and we haven't had an episode of that once. plus i feel like the cloth diaper keeps in the smell really well. and thus far, maxson has never had a diaper rash.
- you actually don't ever touch the poop. if your baby is exclusively breastfed, their poop is water soluble, so it truly just washes away in the washer. once he starts eating solids, we've bought liners (they're kinda like a fabric sheet you put in the laundry) you put the liner in the diaper, they poop on it, and then you flip that sheet and all the yuckiness on top of it into the toilet, never touching it the poop
diapers all ready!
don't look too close at the 2 pink diapers in there...i accidentally ordered a pack with them but we just use them as his night time diapers when they're pretty much not seen by us or anyone.
and lastly, how we use cloth diapers at our house.
- we have 18 diapers. i bought three 6 packs off target.com and had two 10% off coupons i got to use with that purchase so i ended up getting them for quite a lower price than i could find anywhere else. (note: if you are EVER wanting to do cloth diapers, don't let the price of different brands deter you. it's one big investment at the beginning, just get the brand you want even if it is a more expensive kind). i personally didn't want to buy used ones although i know you can great deals on those. i wanted brand new, premium quality, new ones, knowing exactly how they've been treated from the start. i plan on these diapers lasting a long time if i treat them with care and the proper way over the years.
- i do laundry every other dayish for the diapers. i put them in our washer (we have a top loader), run a SUPER (or largest load you can) load on COLD for 1 RINSE cycle, just water (i do SUPER no matter how many diapers i'm washing to get combat the amount of pee). then a MED load on HOT for a FULL CYCLE with detergent. i use eco-sprout; you need to use a cloth diaper friendly detergent, super important. then if i've felt like that load had a lot poopy diapers to deal with, i'll do one more MED load on COLD for 1 RINSE to make sure nothing was missed. after that i pop all the inserts into the dryer and hang the outer covers on a rack we have to dry. the outer covers dry super fast and i choose to hang dry them so the elastic inside the diaper will last longer. thus far this method has worked really well for us and i've found no complaints.
- after all the diapers are cleaned, i stuff them all and check the elastics inside to secure they're still at the right setting. i put them in the drawers right under the changing pad so they're completely ready for me to use as needed.
- i have 2 fuzzibunz laundry bags. they are awesome. the top has a perfect amount of elastic so the bag isn't fully open letting the smell waft everywhere (not that it's ever really been smelly since i do laundry every other day) and then, my favorite part, the bottom has a zipper so when you just unzip it, and all the diapers fall easily out into the laundry machine and you don't touch a thing
- i also have 2 wet bags (miniature laundry bags) that i can put a diaper in if i'm out and about and he needs a change.
- i have already bought 2 packs of the diaper liners for when he starts solids. i'll let you know how those go. the style berry blog said she cut them into thirds and only had to buy 2 packs for her daughter, so we'll see how they go with maxson, i may have to buy more which is fine because they're cheap. i've also heard you can wash these up to 3 times if they were only peed on.
- we use kirkland (costco) disposable wipes because it's easy and wipes don't really cost that much. i have a friend who uses cloth wipes and she says it's pretty easy while they're breastfed. but i don't understand how to do it really when we start solids because you don't want that poop going in your machine. casey and i have both agreed that wipes don't really cost much, plus we really are pleased with the kirkland kind, that we'll just stick with them.
- charlie banana says you can start cloth diapering an 8 lb baby in their diapers. we decided we'd use disposable from when he was born until we got back from our trips plus, post partum, that was the last thing i wanted to deal with was learning how to cloth diaper and doing diaper laundry. i started about the week we got back from our trip once we had used up all the disposables we bought (which was only like 3 packs since there had been so many wonderful people who gifted us diapers, thank you!!!) but he was close to 10 lbs when we started and i felt like the diapers were HUGE on him. i guess they fit for the most part but he fits in them much better now that he's 12 lbs. plus charlie bananas are one of the few brands that you can overlap the snaps, that helped them fit A TON those first few weeks. i just tell casey when i've moved up in snap sizes and it's easy to remember. (note: i didn't have him in the smallest leg elastic setting- xs- i just had him on the first- s-, but i did have the waist on the smallest setting)
- for the night time, i put two inserts in the diaper, a med/large one and a small one. if he wakes up once during the night i don't change his diaper and he does just fine. if he wakes up twice i will change the diaper though. i think i will into getting another type of night time insert like hemp or bamboo though, i hear they can hold/absorb a ton and i think once he starts sleeping through the night and his bladder gets bigger those would be helpful to prevent any leaks.
- if we ever go on a long vacation, i'm certain we will use disposable. it doesn't seem as convenient for disposable if you're not in your own home/territory doing your day to day things.
i really do love using cloth diapers, it's incredibly easy with these diapers and they make lots of products to help make them convenient. i like his cute little bum in them. i like that it seems they'll give his bum extra padding when he falls. i like that they're soft. i like that i don't have to buy diapers each week/month. i just like it, and for now, it works. hopefully i'll do some updates on how they're working out the older he gets and when things change.