Thursday, August 6, 2009

Like Tweet

Cloth Diapers from the "Newbie" Perspective

I am a cloth diaper “Newbie.” I wear that title with pride and passion. Though I’m a Newbie I’m already a lot of other things…obsessed, in love, ready to sing from the hilltops!

If there is a “typical” cloth diapering mom (which I’m quickly learning there isn’t) I certainly don’t fit the profile. If you know me well you know that I care about the environment and have made some big changes to my lifestyle to live a greener life, but I don’t advertise or preach it. My family was surprised that I would move to cloth diapers, but might have expected it. My extended circle of friends is shocked, curious and a little grossed out! I’m comfortable with the role of being a cloth diapering trendsetter amongst my peers and determined to create some converts.

With a little research (okay hours, but who’s counting when it’s so much fun) I was able to quickly choose my first cloth diaper purchases to get me started on my trial. The obvious first picks were the popular Fuzzi Bunz and bumGenius. With those two brands I was able to try out Snaps vs. Velcro, Fitted vs. One-Size and Pocket vs. All-in-One. I purchased a 2 pack of sized Fuzzi Bunz, a bumGenius One Size 3.0 and a bumGenius Organic All-in-One One Size diaper. I threw in a Happy Heinys One Size pocket diaper as well, after reading some reviews, to have a direct comparison to the bumGenius pocket. Armed with my mini-stash and a very willing 4 month old (did she really have a choice?) I got to it.

There are a couple of universal hurdles, myths and fears that I think makes everyone nervous with cloth diapers. I think these are the main reasons why people are resistant to even trying cloth diapers: poops, laundry, leaks and diaper rash. I used these issues as the basis for my testing and tackled each one head-on: I encountered the first cloth diaper hurdle when I got my first poop. I took it straight to our utility sink in our laundry room and rinsed it there. Considering that every poop in a disposable had resulted in a blow-out, I was very accustomed to rinsing out my daughter’s clothes. Rinsing the diaper was much easier and a lot less icky (a very technical term when testing cloth diapers). I have since purchased the bumGenius diaper sprayer which has made poop diapers even easier to deal with. Score one for the cloth diapers!

The second hurdle for cloth diapers…laundry. Dare I say, I love washing my cloth diapers! Twisted, right? I set up two small, inexpensive laundry baskets, one in the baby’s room and one in the laundry room. These are shallow, plastic laundry baskets that are open to the air without any bag or liner. I like that I don’t have to reach into a damp, stinky pail on laundry day and I can just wipe the basket out when empty. As long as I do laundry every other day I haven’t found there to be any smell. I do a quickwash cycle with cold water and Charlie’s Soap and immediately follow with a hot, longer cycle, again with Charlie’s Soap and an extra rinse cycle. Super easy. Score two for the cloth diapers.

My next test, and probably the most important to me, was keeping my daughter dry and rash-free. Each time I took off her diapers I would pat her little bottom to see how wet or dry it was. It was dry every time! The insert could be soaked, but the part of the diaper touching her body was dry and her skin was perfect. And, I must say, I have put these diapers through the test. I have left one on her for up to four hours during the day (I say with embarrassment) and I use a bumGenius overnight with a doubler without any leaks or rashes…ever! Now, I’ve lost track of the score, but the cloth diapers are definitely the winner!

I really wanted to love this cloth diapering thing and I wanted it to work for my family. I was so worried that something: leaks, inconveniences, rashes, etc would make me give up. I put them through so many tests: changed them on the go, taken them on vacation, left them on much longer than I should, used them overnight, cleaned the poops, done the laundry, used them for long car rides and they have far surpassed my expectations. They are greener, better performing and gentler for my baby than disposables. And don’t even get me started on how cute they are!!!

-- By Jennifer G.

34 comments:

natalie said...

Thanks for the "Newbie" perspective! I decided long ago I would use cloth diapers and now that I'm expecting my first child I love reading about others' experiences.

Upstatemomof3 said...

I love everything that goes along with cloth diapers - even the laundry - too.

Shelby said...

Thank you so much for this post!!! I am trying out cloth on my 15 month old as soon as they arrive in the mail. I too purchased a Bum Genious 3 pack (all in one), Bum Genious pocket one size fits all and Fuzzi Bunz 2 pack pocket... I also threw in one Blueberry. Anyway.. sounds like I made good try out choices.

Lacy said...

Although I am a newbie, having bought my first diaper online three weeks ago, I am thinking of throwing a 'diaper party'. I live near my in laws here, and one cousin has a bunch of cloth diapers, but does not use them as such. She keeps saying she ought to, but sticks with the convenience. I think they are prefolds. I am going to introduce her to my stash. I must say that cloth is a lot more fun than disposables!

tiaanvanv at yahoo dot com

J TiBBS said...

I am glad you were able to stick to Cloth Diapers. But they make it kind of hard to not be able to. They are the true winners!
We use prefolds and covers and hardly have ever had any rashes. My 2 year old had a constant rash for the first 3 weeks of her life while in sposies. It was awful!
I have yet to try the diaper sprayer. I should look in to it. Thanks so much for your post.

Katrina said...

I can totally relate to you when you say that it's easier to wash off a dirty diaper than babies clothing after a blow out. With my oldest, I used to joke about needing to buy stock in Stain Stick since I was using so much of it on his clothing due to poop stains. (I didn't start CDing until he was 2 and my youngest was 11 weeks) I can literally count on my hands the number of blow outs I've had in cloth.

Crissy said...

I'm so glad to read a post from a "newbie"..as I am one myself too. It is so fun and addicting to get into cloth diapers...not to mention how great they our for our earth and wallet. We switched to CD because my daughter was getting HORRIBLE diaper rash from sleeping 12-13 hours a night and once we switched we have rarely seen any rashes!

Jut and Chris said...

Glad your experience is going well! I found the same things to be true!

Jennifer said...

Well, if you're not the "typical" cloth diapering mama, I don't know who is... because you basically just described me (minus the sprayer- haven't needed it yet). I have loved every aspect of it, and yes, I too admit to enjoying doing the laundry now. Nothing better than fresh fluffies... except maybe NEW fluffies in the mail. :)

jhainlin said...

I too was a "newbie" to the cloth diapers when my 3 child was born. I jumped into it feet first and never looked back. I now cloth diaper my 4th baby as well and still love the choice I made. I even like, dare I say, washing the diapers!!

Slee said...

i never cease to be amazed at how every fluffy mom out there, myself included, seem to be delighted with the washing of the cloth diapers, even when we hate laundry in general!
weird, no?

dannyscotland said...

I love washing my cloth diapers, too. I don't think it's crazy at all!

Sarah J. said...

great post! I'm a newbie too, and wish I'd had this to read when I was so scared in the beginning!

Jenney said...

Welcome to the club-the cloth diapering club. SO many people love them I can't believe people are still cynical!

Ashley said...

This is a great post. I too am a "newbie" who is waiting to take the plunge (baby not born yet). Reading entries like this makes me feel like it's completely doable!

Hannah said...

I'm a newbiew too, I guess; my son is 5 weeks old. I agree about the blow-outs. I took disposables on my son's first out-of-state trip at ~3 weeks old and was kicking myself for not also taking the cloth diapers, because the disposables leaked poop on everything from car seats to people. I have never had a poop leak with prefolds/flats/fitteds and covers.

smilingsherpa said...

This was an incredibly well written, helpful post. Well done, fellow Friend in Cloth!

Mona said...

Thanks for the post, I'm a 7-weeks-and-counting newbie to the cloth-diapering world. I totally understand what you're saying about the amount of time done on researching cloth diapers. Had I devoted the same amount of time to other topics, I might have been able to bring about world peace :)

Katie said...

awesome post - it's always so nice to read about such positive experiences!!

Christina C. said...

All the myths and horror stories from Grandma made me nervous in the beginning too but I finally got over it and now I too LOVE everything about cloth diapering- including laundry!! :)

a2editor said...

I can hardly believe it, but I actually enjoy washing my daughter's diapers and folding them afterward. They're just so cute, and I love being able to press a button and have them all come out clean again. Presto! Clean diapers, no trip to the store. :) My husband thinks I'm wrong in the head, but he sure loves the savings and how green cloth diapering is.

Laura C

laurakcowan/at/gmail/dot/com

The McDougles said...

That sounds like it could be me writing that. I am a newbie and not a typical cloth diaper groupie but I am addicted. I will never go back to disposables!

hosiewosie said...

what a great post, it was fun to read. i'm glad you've been so successful!

~g~ said...

Fun post, and I enjoyed the comments too. I think I will start referring to myself as a "fluffy mom" instead of a "CD mom". We've been using cloth since day one and I'm proud to say my little baby's but has never touched one of those icky disposables! I thought I would add in a plug for my favorite diapers, Thirsties AIO Pockets. Also, I've had surprisingly good luck with used diapers! Check out www.diaperswappers.com for some good deals on some previously loved diapers.

Katie said...

Thanks for putting cloth diapers to the test and sharing your results! I'm debating whether to get a diaper sprayer...

Katie said...

I also was really impressed that you had way more blowouts with disposables--I hadn't heard that before. (I'm not cloth diapering yet as LO is due in 5 weeks)

idnar82 said...

I love to hear that other mamas enjoy the diaper laundry. I love doing it and actually "listen" for the washer to end so I can run my final rinse(s) and quickly through them on the line or in the dryer! I love checking out how clean they come with my detergent and how BRIGHT they get in the sunshine! It's kind of like a game :-)

HappilyDomestic said...

I have to chuckle at how everyone says they are addicted to cloth diapers, etc. I'm the same way..In the beginning it was all about JUST saving money, but then you realize there are so many fun choices to choose from and try. It's hard to pass up a new cute diaper or diaper sale. :-)
Oh well, I am about to have two in diapers and so now my over-buy will even out. In fact, I need a few more! Ah, shucks..more cute diapers to buy! lol.

carla said...

i loved your article. i too am a newbie to the cloth diaper thing. it took a couple weeks for us to get on board because people brought us boxes of disposables as gifts for the baby (and we still have some). i use chinese prefolds with blueberry covers and toward the evening when i know little baby girl will be sleeping longer i put her in the blueberry pocket diapers. i am so pleased with the pocket diapers, they are so absorbent and sometimes they don't even seem wet. i thought the laundry would be more of a chore but i actually like doing the diapers also.

Carly said...

Im obsessed with cloth diapering ever since I tried it 4 months ago. Glad to see that Im not the onlt one out there

ih0ney said...

I love this post and I too am a newbie and figuring out the best way to cloth diaper my baby, I"m still tryna tackle nighttime

Jill said...

I am hoping to use cloth diapers for my babies (due in Feb with baby #1) and I simply love reading the stuff posted on here. I am just starting to research cloth diapers and am glad to see many brands for me to check out as well as input on what other moms like.

fidlerflute said...

Did you have a brand or type of diaper that you preferred after all your testing? I'm also addicted and obsessed and can't wait to have our baby to try these out!

Heather M said...

What a great post! I too am a newbie. I've only been at this for 2 months now, but I'll NEVER go back and I love every bit of it!