Sunday, February 15, 2009

I like big butts....

...and I cannot lie!
Cloth diapers are making a BIG comeback, and they are not the diapers of our parents generation. Gone are the big scary pins, smelly watery buckets and messy blowouts. Cloth diapers today come in all shapes, sizes, fabrics and styles. For several reasons, Regan and I decided to cloth diaper Keira, and we are so happy we did.

There are many more websites out there that will explain it better then I, but a short rundown of the different kinds available:

prefolds - this is most like what our parents used. Generally the cheapest option. Usually made from several layers of soft cotton sewn together. A plastic snap fastener (Snappi is the most common) is used to close it, and a waterproof cover is placed over it.
a stack of indian cotton prefolds
a sample cover - The Bummis Super Whisper Wrap

the Snappi fastener

fitted - made from many different absorbent fabrics; most often cotton, bamboo or wool. These have snaps built in and come in different sizes depending on the age/weight of the baby. These also need a waterproof cover.
sample fitted - the popular Kissaluv made from Sherpa cotton

AIOs (all-in-ones) - an absorbant inner lining and cover built into one. These come in different sizes depending on the age/weight of the baby, and take the longest to dry since they are so thick.
the AMP All-in-One

pocket diapers - these are waterproof covers with a pocket inside you stuff with absorbent cotton liners, depending on your need. A microfleece lining inside helps wick away moisture from baby's bum. They come in both sized options, or one size. The one size have a series of built in snaps designed to allow the diaper to grow as the baby grows. They claim to fit from 7lbs - 35lbs. This is what we have opted to use. The top of this post is our full stash nicely laid out for you to view. (note: we tested it using Miriam's son Aidan, who is 35lbs. The same diapers we use on Keira did indeed fit him - with no leaks!)

We purchased the Bum Genius 3.0 one-size pocket diapers. I tried a few different fitted and prefolds as well, but they did not absorb nearly as well as the BG's. Plus Keira would scream bloody murder the second she peed because she could feel it right away. I have really come to love the microfleece liner which keeps things drier next to her tush. They should last us until she potty-trains, and if we are lucky into the next (hypothetical) child as well. What sold us was the cost. Our stash of 35 diapers cost just about $900. Most websites say that over the life of diapering, you will spend between $2k and $3k on the average disposable. That was enough to sell us. Other benefits include the environmental impact of not sending those disposables to landfills, and a cloth diapered baby will generally potty train faster since they feel the wetness sooner. And when your daughter's butt looks this cute, why wouldn't you?

It gives her "bubble butt" but that just makes her all the more adorable, don't you think? Regan literally hears the coins dropping into his pocket every time she explodes poop in one of these. For the first few weeks, we would both cry out "another .25 cents saved!" whenever we changed her.
We found that while they claimed to fit at 7lbs, they really didn't fit her until she was 9, almost 10lbs. So we did use disposables until then. Also, right now she does use more then the average 10 diapers a day (usually 15-20), so we are doing laundry every day. These line dry nicely (and quickly!) though, so we just run the washer. Once she slows down, we should only need to wash every other day or even every 3 days.

They are super simple to use - wash, dry, stuff, fold and stock. They go on like a disposable, so they are grandparent and sitter proof. You can also take these out and about if you want, though we tend to use disposables for now. No need for these to soak in a wet pail. We drop them into an old pillowcase we use as a hamper and dump the whole shebang into the washing machine. You just use a non additive regular detergent. breastmilk is water soluble, so everything just rinses out right now. When she moves onto solids, we will either use disposable liners, which are picked up and dumped into the toilet if she poops, or we will scrape into the toilet before placing them in the hamper. We were amazed that there has been no staining. Apparently if some staining occurs, drying them in the sun naturally bleaches out stains. We have been super happy with the decision to cloth diaper.

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