Friday, August 5, 2011

And just like that...

...we're a cloth diaper family! Allow me to preface this post by saying that if you had asked me when I was pregnant, or at any point in Sweets' first oh, 6 months of life what I thought of cloth diapers I would have told you that people who use them must be a little crazy with a lot of time on their hands. Well, shame on me for thinking that without doing my research. Somewhere around the time that Sweetie Pea turned 6 months old, I started getting tired of shelling out for disposables every month. It is literally like throwing money away. I was annoyed. But every time I tried to consider cloth, I would fire up my computer to do some research, get completely overwhelmed in 4 minutes or less and that would be the end of it. With the summer at our house comes a tight budget, since I'm off from work, and then I really started to get annoyed at the monthly $35 drain from my bank account. So for a week straight, I devoted every nap time and every evening after Sweets was in bed to cloth diaper research. All those hours helped me to see that it was totally possible for me to put my kid in cloth without spending a fortune, and that I'll be saving BIG on the next kid because I can reuse everything. Score.

Now the thing about cloth diapers is that there are now so many styles and brands that it is easy inevitable to get overwhelmed. You want basic cotton diapers with a cover? Ok, would you like flat, prefold, contour or fitted? Indian, Chinese or organic? Wool or PUL covers? Snaps or velcro? Or maybe you'd like something a little less bulky and a little more user-friendly. Sure. You have your choice of pocket diapers, all-in-one diapers, hybrid diapers, all-in-two diapers, and an array of doublers, soakers, liners and inserts. It is seriously a universe of cloth diapers, people. Not just a world. In fact, if I was going to open up a cloth diaper store, I'd call it Cloth Diaper Universe ('cause that's not intimidating at all, right?).

So here's our journey so far, in case anyone is considering cloth diapering their future or current children. I've only been at it for maybe a month or so, but I LOVE it. And I was lucky because I braced myself for Hubs to think I was crazy when I wanted to switch, but he was totally supportive. Come to think of it though, that's probably because he hasn't yet dealt with a poopy cloth diaper. He may say "alright, where's the Pampers?" once he faces one of those.

Initially, I thought I wanted to simply do cotton prefolds and covers. Basic. Inexpensive. Adorable prints and patterns on the covers. So that's what I ordered to try out first: six Bummis organic cotton prefolds and two covers, 1 Thirsties Duo-Wrap and 1 Blueberry Coverall.    

Here's Sweets in his Thirsties Duo-Wrap cover over a prefold.

Hmm. While they're certainly soft and cute, prefolds and covers have a learning curve to them and perhaps weren't my best introduction to the universe of cloth. They're also very bulky (I believe the CD terminology is "fluffy") - like, so fluffy many of his shorts wouldn't fit. So back to Google I went and I discovered contour diapers - like a prefold, but contoured to baby's shape and much less bulky. So I ordered a Kissaluvs hybrid contour diaper to give it a whirl:

The contour diaper. I actually really like this one. It's super soft and absorbant, and much trimmer.

Modeling his contour diaper with a Blueberry coverall. Are those owls not so stinkin' cute?

Things I really like about the prefold/contour diapers with covers: they are very absorbant - we've never had a leak or a blow-out. The double gussets on the legs of both covers contain everything. Easy to launder, soft against baby's skin. I have both a snap cover and a velcro cover and I much prefer the snaps.

Things I'm not really into about this system: the bulk. The learning curve involved in getting a good fit. Cotton holds moisture, so it stays next to Sweets' skin. I made a bunch of fleece liners to wick the moisture away and they work wonderfully. 

After trying these out for a week or so I knew I didn't want them to be my full-time choice. So back to the drawing board. I was interested in diapers that use inserts - they looked really trim and easy to wash and dry. And THEN I discovered gdiapers. O.M.G. They are so cute and they have a G printed on the butt, which happens to be our initial, so it's like a monogram. A monogrammed diaper? I could die from the adorableness. This system consists of a soft "gpant" cover, a plastic snap-in liner and a hemp/cotton insert. 

I could squish him he is so cute in these dipes.

They're adorable, but they're not perfect by any means. The system is among the priciest, which doesn't appeal to me for full-time use, and though they contain messes very well, the plastic liner does leave red marks on his legs. The gdiapers are soft and trim though, so I'll forgive them some of their flaws.

I will say that finding the right cloth diapers for your child is largely trial and error. So for the sake of "trial" I ordered a few Flip diapers because I had heard great things about them. And? I heart them. Affordably priced, nice selection of colors, super soft and absorbant inserts that wash and dry beautifully. 

Here's Sweets "helping" me put his laundry away in a Flip diaper. 

The Flips are my favorite so far. They're made by the makers of BumGenius (possibly the leader in cloth diapers) and they are very user-friendly. A nice soft cover over a cotton/microfiber insert. When the insert gets soiled, you swap it out for a fresh one and reuse the cover, as long as it's clean. These now make up the majority of our stash, supplemented by the gdiapers and the prefolds with covers. 

We are still using disposables at night, because we have a huge box of them to use up, and because I was a little afraid of cloth for nighttime diapering. Could they really hold up for 10 hours? Well, I am happy to report the answer is yes! After more deliberation, I decided a pocket diaper would be our best bet for nighttime. The new Charlie Banana diapers have gotten terrific reviews, so I ordered one up for a test run. Loooooooove Charlie Banana! They come with two microfiber inserts and are lined with incredibly soft microfleece. We put it to the overnight test this week and it passed with flying colors.

And it doesn't hurt that my kid looks ridiculously cute in them either ;-)

I'd be lying if I said that figuring out what works for us and building up a cloth diaper stash was easy. It wasn't. And in the beginning it added up to a TON of extra laundry because I didn't have much to work with, so I was constantly washing them. But now we've gotten into a groove, and I feel great about it. As happy as I was with Amazon Mom, they won't be getting my $35 diaper donation every month anymore! 


  1. I'm not a mom, but the cuteness of babies in cloth diapers almost makes me want to go over to the dark side!

  2. You should ;) It's only dark for like the first 10 months of no gets much better after that!

  3. Woohoo, I love cloth diapering! I started when my daughter was 6 months old and I was instantly hooked. I couldn't believe how easy it was and we were saving. Like you, we still use disposables at night. (My in-laws likes to give us disposables diapers as gifts)

    I love the owl cloth diapers! It's too freaking cute.