A few updates now that Owen is 7 1/2 months old and has been eating solids for about 6 weeks. See below in red.
I have been thinking about this post for a long time and I’m finally ready to write it! I want to share my obsession with cloth diapers now that I know that I love them and we have been using them for about 7 weeks now. I had first heard of cloth diapers from my sister in law but I didn’t look into it much. Then one of my favorite blogs, Young House Love wrote about using cloth diapers and I really became interested in it. I read a lot about it before I had become pregnant and then when I got pregnant, I read everything I could find about cloth diapers! I knew I wanted to use them and I want to share our experience so far. I figured that no matter what, you are going to be dealing with poop. So after researching a TON, I decided to for it and we have really loved it so far.
Owen’s first time in a cloth diaper! He is so tiny, I think he was about 10 or 14 days old here.
The main reason that I decided to use them was to save money. I got the following information from http://loveclothdiapers.blogspot.com. Let’s assume that the average family using disposables will consume about 63 diapers a week (9 changes in a day). Each disposable diaper costs about 27 cents (a package of Huggies on Amazon.com). Therefore, disposables are costing roughly $68 a month, $816 a year, or $2,040 in 2 ½ years, and this is conservatively speaking. And if you take care of your diapers, they will last a long time and you can use them for multiple kids! We are planning on having more kids (don’t think about that right now…) so we could save thousands of dollars in diapers! The initial up front cost of cloth diapers for us was probably around $400 for everything-the diapers, laundry soap, garbage can and liners, etc. I also received a few cloth diapers as gifts which I LOVED! So $2000+ vs $400? Not too shabby.
Another reason I was happy to use cloth is the environmental factor. I’m not a super hippie granola person in general, but it is nice to know that we are not putting thousands of diapers in the landfill. I have also heard that many kids in cloth diapers tend to potty train earlier. I wouldn’t complain about that either.
I was pretty overwhelmed with all the information out there about cloth diapers. And since I’m an obsessive researcher type, I read just about anything and everything. And there is a whole world of cloth diapering fanatics out there. Honestly, it’s crazy. And there are so many different kinds of diapers so I’m just going to show you guys what we have and how it’s working for us!
I have a few different types of diapers and I like all of them. Here is what I have:
(4) Charlie Banana: These are also pocket diapers but they are a bit more trim than the BumGenius. And they come in adorable colors and prints. They are sold by Target
and they are my favorite diapers.
(1) FuzziBunz: These are pocket diapers as well and very similar to Charlie Banana but I still like CB better!
(2) BumGenius All In One: These do not require stuffing and everything is all together in one diaper. These are convenient but more bulky. We have one with velcro and one with snaps.
(1) SoftBums Echo: I really like SoftBums because they are very trim and small. The Echo has an insert that snaps into the diaper part instead of a pocket. If the diaper doesn’t get dirty, you can re-use the diaper and put in a new insert. I always just use it once.
We have 21 diapers and I do laundry about every 3 days. When we change Owen, we take the dirty diaper 2 steps across the hall to his bathroom and either shake the insert out or pull it out and throw them both in the garbage can with a PlanetWise Pail liner. These liners are antimicrobial and I have not noticed any smell at all in the bathroom with the diapers. I have two bags so I can use one while the other is in the wash.
We have a sprayer attached to our toilet to spray off the poop but we don’t use it. Since Owen is only eating breast milk right now, the diapers do not need to be sprayed. I have not noticed any issues when washing them without spraying so we are not bothering with it yet.
When it is time to wash diapers, I pull out the bag with the dirty diapers and dump everything in the washing machine. I turn the bag inside out as I dump it all into the wash. I do one cycle on cold without detergent and then one cycle on hot with detergent.
After much deliberation and research, I am using Charlie’s Soap as well as the Charlie’s Hard Water booster. It is a natural non-toxic biodegradable detergent and so far I really like it. It is $12 for a big tub and it only takes a tablespoon to use so it will last forever. I have since switched to regular Tide powder because we started having some weird stink issues. I stripped my diapers and started using Tide and haven’t had any issues since then.
After the wash is done, I pull out the inserts and usually lay them to dry on a drying rack in the sunshine in our bay window. The sun completely bleaches any stains on the white inserts. It’s honestly amazing! Sometimes I put them in the dryer if I’m in a hurry. I hang up the diapers on this sweet Octopus Hanger from Ikea (my mom gave me two for a shower gift!). It is perfect for drying diapers and I’m sure I will use it for other things in the future.
After everything is clean and dry, I have to stuff the diapers by putting the microfiber inserts inside the pockets. It probably takes me about 10-15 minutes to do. It’s not a big deal and I have never really minded doing laundry. I get a strange satisfaction out of seeing neatly folded clothes and the same goes for clean diapers ready for the babe!
Owen has recently started sleeping through the night (YESSSSS), so I want to be careful about him getting diaper rash from being in a diaper for 8 hours or so. You are not supposed to use most kinds of diaper rash cream with cloth diapers because it can ruin them so I have these liners that are kind of like dryer sheets that I can set on the diaper and then use diaper cream. It creates a barrier between the diaper and the bum so I think it will help. They are flushable so it makes it really convenient. I think we will also probably use them when we are travelling and using cloth but so far we haven’t had to.
Some things I love about cloth diapers:
- Big money saver
- Better for the environment
- NO BLOW OUTS (or leaks)
- They are cute!
- More bulky than disposables (but I have some that are less bulky than others)
- You have to wash, dry and stuff them
- I’m kind of scared about when he starts eating “real” food and we have to deal with nastier poop! Update: this has actually been easier because his poops are solid and I can just plop them into the toilet. I have only had to use the sprayer twice so far.
So far the cloth diapers are a success! My mom thought/thinks I am looney and lots of people are way skeptical when they hear about it. But things have come a long way since our parents were using old school cloth diapers and we have loved it! We plan on continuing to use them with Owen and our future children. If anyone wants to know more, let me know!