cloth diapering: an update

It’s been two years since I first wrote about my cloth diapering experience, and when my online friend (who blogs at Olive Sprouts) posted an update, I was inspired to do the same!

If you don’t cloth diaper, then you might not understand why in the world I would take the time to write about this.  All I know is that I absolutely eat up other mamas’ stories about their cloth diapering experiences, hoping to learn from them and find out if there’s anything I should be doing differently…any other brands or styles I must try.  It’s almost like a hobby for me.  A wet, stinky hobby.  Strange, yes, but I know I’m not the only CD mama who feels this way

On to the update:

{You can read my long and detailed original cloth diapering post HERE.}

Some things are still the same, but I have made several changes that I’ll mention.  First, let me share the most important piece of advice for anyone starting out with cloth diapering — try out several different brands and styles before investing in a bunch of just one kind of diaper.  You won’t know for sure what your preferences are until you’re actually using the diapers.  If you can, collect a few different secondhand diapers at first so you’re not spending a lot of money on what you might not like.

I currently have an assortment of BumGenius, Fuzzi Bunz, and Smartipants pocket diapers.  I also have a huge stash of cotton prefolds with varying thickness, a few handmade fitted diapers (from my sis-in-law), and several different covers including Bummis, Thirsties, and Polar Babies fleece, varying in size from newborn to this-baby-is-really-too-old-to-be-in-diapers size. ;)  My small stash of Bumkins all-in-ones are currently stored away since they’re a bit too big for my toddler at this point.

My favorite diapers are still the pocket style, especially the Smartipants brand, which has openings at both ends of the pockets so the inserts come out in the wash.  At first, I used the microfiber inserts in the pocket diapers, but after dealing with the constant issue of detergent buildup and ammonia odor (YUCK!) I started using cotton prefolds in the pockets.  I like the prefolds better than the microfiber.  They absorb just as much (if not more) and rarely have an odor problem.  I still have to do a series of hot water rinses once every 2-3 months when I start to notice the smell from buildup, but it’s definitely less of an issue with the prefolds.

My second favorite diapering system is the old school prefolds with covers.  My Thirsties Duos are the best covers out of what I’ve tried.  The double gussets on the legs really seems to help prevent leaks.  Bummis covers are ok, but the hook & loop (velcro) closures are about to die after being used for two babies.  I’ve already had to retire one of the Bummis covers because the velcro just didn’t work anymore (and that’s NOT ok when you have a toddler who loves to take off his diaper.) :)

If you plan to use your diapers for multiple children, I recommend buying mainly snap closures rather than hook & loop!  Snaps take approximately 1.2 seconds longer to fasten than hook & loop, yes, but those extra seconds are worth it for the longevity of the diaper.  (By the way, if you’re sewing-savvy and don’t have a problem replacing the velcro after it wears out, then this won’t be an issue for you.)  I do like to have a few velcro diapers for newborn nighttime changes so I’m not fumbling with snaps in the dark.

Another change that’s been for the better is using cloth wipes rather than disposable.  I thought it would be more of a hassle, but it’s actually easier since the cloth wipe can go right into the pail with the diaper.  I don’t keep a wipes solution since I don’t change diapers in the same location all the time.  Instead, I keep the dry wipes next to the sink, and wet a couple of wipes under the faucet right before I change a diaper.  I have both Fuzzi Bunz double-sided fleece wipes and Kissaluvs terry cloth wipes.  I prefer the terry cloth since the texture seems to be more effective in cleaning, but the Fuzzi Bunz work fairly well too.

My wash routine is still the same: white vinegar, Charlies Soap, and Bac-Out Biokleen, with two extra rinses.  I rarely hang the diapers out to dry now, though.  As much I like the idea of hanging the diapers outdoors, it just takes more time than I’m willing to give, especially since I currently have two kiddos in diapers (which means I’m washing diapers every other day!)  I typically put the prefolds in the dryer and hang dry the covers and pocket diapers in the laundry room.

 

If you’re interested in starting cloth diapering for your kiddos or you’re already a CDing mama, I’d love to hear your questions or learn about your experiences!

 

-Abby

 

Grace Laced Mondays

 

 

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4 Responses to cloth diapering: an update

  1. Laura says:

    I am so glad you posted an update….I quit. I hate to quit anything but we took a break early this spring when we traveled and I needed to buy a few in a bigger size. It never happened….so we are in disposables again. BUT I want to let people know that it is much easier then you think. I never used disposable wipes either and that was even better then the diapers in my opinion! (I just kept a small container of water next to the changing pad – and used baby wash cloths). Abby’s first post was one of my beginner guides and it was VERY helpful coupled with this post I think anyone could cloth diaper without fear. (Your ‘permission’ to put diapers in the dryer is exactly what I needed 6 months ago!)

    Thank you, as always, for sharing!!!!

    • Abby says:

      I’m happy my original post was helpful to you! I’m learning to give myself a little more grace with the CDing thing…like using disposables at night and when we’re out of the house for several hours at a time, and putting the prefolds in the dryer.

      So what’s your experience with leakage prevention in disposables versus cloth? I think a lot of it depends on the baby, but Shepherd has had SO many blowouts when wearing disposables, but I think he’s only had one blowout in cloth. That’s a lot of my motivation to stick with the cloth diapers!!

  2. Shanna says:

    Abby you were my life saver. Our little girl Maya has been in cloth since 2 weeks old. I am a cloth junky for sure. I found I loved the prefolds as a newborn. But now I love my soft bums, Tot bots and bumGenius. Maya has skinny little legs and she is only 11lbs. So those brands work best for us. I totally agree with you on buying a variety. If they don’t work sell them on a swap. Thanks for all your help and support. I love watching your family grow.

    • Abby says:

      Shanna, I’m so glad I was able to help you get started. I love sharing what I’ve learned with other mamas! I’ve heard that soft bums are good, but I’ve never heard of Tot bots…I should check those out sometime. I don’t really have the issue of skinny legs with my babies, though, LOL! Maya is such a doll. I enjoy seeing her pictures on Facebook!

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