20 February 2013

A closer look at our cloth diapering experience.

A while back I wrote a post when I started cloth diapering Easton, and it's been 5 months since then, so I thought it might be time to follow up!

I'll start this post off like I did the first one by admitting that I had my reservations about cloth diapering, as did my Husband. And I still consider myself to be a rookie in the world of cloth, but months later, I still love it! I started using cloth with Easton in September and haven't looked back. 

I know that there are many people that have thought about it or considered it, and at first it can be completely overwhelming and intimidating. So I'm here to share with you a little about our cloth diapering experience, pros & cons, and what has worked for us.

My stash consists of about 30 cloth diapers. That seems to be enough that I only need to launder them about once a week. This is considering that Easton is wearing cloth for about 95% of the time. He's is a pretty heavy wetter and I've found that even with extra inserts, he can't wear cloth diapers overnight without leaking. Not to mention that cloth gets super heavy and damp feeling when they're really wet, so he still wears disposable's to sleep in, which I am 100% fine with. But let's move on...

 Here are the pros and cons that I've come up with so far with the entirety of cloth diapering. And remember, these only are my opinions.

Less expensive (I'm saving roughly $600-800 per year).
Better for the environment.
Practically never have to deal with diaper rash.
Healthier. Some research shows that disposables contain chemicals that could be harmful.
Available in a variety of fabrics.
As a general rule of thumb, cloth diapering leads baby/toddler into potty training quicker.
Cute designs to jazz up your baby's little bum :-)

More laundry. But really, it's not that bad. It's about one extra load of laundry a week. I can handle that, no biggy.
Cloth diapers can start to smell like ammonia over time.
Bulkier, making it harder to fit their pants on over the diaper.

So that's my list of pros & cons. For me personally, it's pretty clear that cloth diapering is a better choice for us. Obviously it's a little inconvenient, but I've found some accessories that have made it a little easier.

These are the things that I use in conjunction with my diapers.

Kanga Care Pail Liner. This is an awesome bag to put soiled daipers into. Its plenty big enough to fit into a large diaper pail. Or in our case, a trash can. I just went out to Fred Meyer and bought a simple, cheap plastic trash bin, and line it with the Kanga Care Liner. It really traps the smell in nicely, and then I just through the liner in with the diapers when I wash them.

The Diaper Sprayer. I use this if the diaper is really messy with pooh. It hooks up to my toilet so I can spray the soil right into the potty and flush it. Viola. Only thing to be cautious about is that diaper sprayers have quite a bit more power than you'd expect, so hold the diaper deep down into the toilet and spray closely to the fabric -- otherwise your poopy  mess will be splattered all over and around your toilet seat and floor.
bumGenius Odor Remover. Pretty self-explanatory I think. I just spray some of this onto the diaper shell and insert before putting it in the pail to help with odors. Seems to help a bit!

Bummis BioSoft Liners. I actually haven't used these yet, because I just got them, but am hoping they work well. They're flushable liners that you place in your cloth diaper. So when baby goes #2, you can just peel this off right into the toilet & flush.

 I have 4 different brands of diapers. All are pocket diapers and all have microfiber inserts. Here is what I've personally found:
  • bumGenius 
    PROS: They are well made and the fabric is soft. I've noticed that they haven't retained a lot of odor so far, which is a major benefit to me. And haven't had a lot of leaks with these ones.
    CONS: The downsides is that they are a little bulky and they are pretty dang expensive.

    Would I recommend these diapers? Yes, if they were cheaper.

  • Sunbaby
    PROS: Extremely soft and not as bulky as others, which makes them a little more flexible. Very inexpensive to buy, which I love. Hardly ever leaks. And they have a hip snap which makes them feel more secure.
    CONS: They retain a little more odor than bumGenius. I will tell that they are a little more cheaply made, but I have yet to have one fall apart on me. So far so good.

    Would I recommend these diapers? Yes.
  • Kawaii Baby
    PROS: Soft and snuggley, just like the others. They're affordable.
    CONS: They seem to be leakier than the previous two brands. It could be that they are a little wider in the crotch area and could be the way they fit Easton, or maybe it's the material?

    Would I recommend these diapers? Not particularly.
  • Royal Fluff
    PROS: Got them on sale so they were pretty inexpensive. And yes, they're soft.
    CONS: They leak. The material doesn't seem to be super absorbent, even though it's microfiber like all the rest. They almost always leak. Bummer. Oh and they run bigger than the other brands.

    Would I recommend these diapers? Nope.
The majority of my stash are Sunbaby diapers. And honestly, I have been very very happy with them and would most definitely recommend them to people. They aren't the absolute best quality ever, but they have worked really well for us and I don't see any reason to pay $10-15 more per diaper if I don't need to. Just my thoughts :-)

At this time, I'm not going to get into my entire laundering process, because it's kind of lengthy. But here are the highlights:

When I take off a diaper, I immediately take the insert out of the diaper. Then I spray both the diaper and the insert with the bumGenius odor remover. Next I just toss the soiled diaper inside the Kanga pail liner, which I just put into a large plastic trash can. It has a lid and seems to contain odors really well.

When the pail is full, I throw the dirty dipes, and the Kanga liner in the wash. I use Ecos Free& Clear laundry detergent. I RINSE, WASH, RINSE. I rinse them in cold water (w/o detergent), then run a wash cycle (with detergent) with hot water and then set the wash cycle to give them an extra rinse at the end. I also set the wash cycle to spin on HIGH so they get as dry as possible so that I can put them into the dryer for less time. Some people prefer to hang dry their diapers, and I do that sometimes -- but mostly I dry them for 20-30 minutes and that seems to do the trick. And I do not use dryer sheets, ever. They can leave a residue on your cloth diaper that will prevent absorbancy. Same goes for diaper rash creme's. Easton rarely ever gets rashes, but if he does, I use disposables for the day while using diaper rash creme.
So that's the quick basics of how I wash my diapers. I've found this site to have a lot of great information and diaper care instructions.

The bottom line for me, is that I LOVE cloth diapering. Besides the obvious reason of saving a ton of money, I really can't explain why I love it so much. I just feel that it's best for us. I'm by no means an expert at it, but I do feel like I have a pretty good grasp on it. So feel free to ask if you ever have any questions about it! :)


Allison said...

we love cloth diapering! thanks for your review of particular diapers. It is always good to hear about other brands, there are just so many out there it can be hard to pick! :) I feel the same way about cloth diapering, obviously I love it because we save money, but it is more than that and it is hard to explain to others.

This American Wife said...

For the ammonia smell, I suggest adding a squirt of original blue Dawn dish soap to your wash cycle every few washes to strip the extra detergent residue from them. We used to have the same issue with ours!

Mindi @ Simply Stavish said...

Great post! I too started CDing right around October and love it. I'm looking forward to CDing baby number three right from the beginning. The newborn diapers are soooo tiny! It's crazy. I'm going to try the BG spray. Right now I use the Rocking Green deodorizer powder in the diaper pail and it does nothing. I have been rinsing the liners and diapers after I change and that seems to keep the smell down, but it's an extra step for sure. I think the spray would be much easier.

Jenna. said...

I found that every "cloth safe' detergent I tried made our stink issues worse. The only solution was to switch to tide. It really is such an individual learning experience.
Our favourites are Fuzzi Bunz and BumGenius but I totally agree with you on the price point. Definitely an investment!

Ariel @ Dreams To Do said...

Love this! We have both BG and sunbaby dipes and LOVE them. Have you had to strip your diapers at all yet? I've been CDing for about a year now and I think the microfiber inserts are finally starting to retain some stink, so I should probably do something about it.

ℐαzmчn ❤ said...

Thank you so much for sharing this! I've definitely considered cloth diapering with baby #2 but it's definitely a bit overwhelming lol. I have one question for you though? How many diapers would you recommend? I have no idea what would be considered a good amount lol.


Shan! said...

Speaking from a friend of a plumber's perspective, I would not recommend flushing the liners. I've heard some horror stories of clogs they've caused. That would not be a fun mess to clean up!!

Olivia Grace said...

This is such a great post! I will totally be referencing back to this later!

Sarah [NurseLovesFarmer.com] said...

Good for you! Glad you like it! Ethan is a SUPER soaker, has been since he was like 3 weeks old, I'm not even joking!

I love Kawaii's! They fit my 15 lb baby perfectly! I never have leaks and in fact I use these overnight. But every baby is so so so different. I still cloth overnight but I'm experimenting with what will work for my super duper soaker.

Alexandra said...

I wanted to do cloth diapering with my first, sadly it didn't work out that way for us. We are hopping to do it with our second. I think your son looks adorable with them on! :) To cute!

Renee said...

Man i wish i could find a review for kiwi brands like this!! The whole trial and error thing can get pretty old, pretty quick!! Love the pattern in the pics!!

Hi, I'm Lacey said...

Our first baby is due in April and I really appreciate all the tips! I am leaning towards doing at least some cloth diapering and am trying to figure everything out. I was curious where the best place to order or buy cloth diapers are from? Anyone have any good tips on that??
Thanks Mandy for taking the time to do this! I really, really appreciate it!

jack!e said...

I love the biodegradable liners... they are a lifesaver for us. I am, unfortunately, currently using disposable at the moment though, due to a weird smell issue I can't figure out. I'm so bummed!

bidetsprayerman said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Sally Hilton said...

I use kawaii baby and LOVE them!

Katie @ Chronicles of KT said...

I didn't realize you used cloth diapers, I have too and recently have had some issues, so I had some major issues with smell the ammonia smell OMG!! I tried all the tricks and nothing helped finally i bleached only the inserts and washed like crazy and that helped. BUT i think i ruined many of my diapers the elastic has stretched on all of them except a few...i saw a you tube video on how to replace the elastic but i was so upset by this. We use disposable at night and often about 50% of the time during the day because so many of my diapers elastic has stretched out. I do love cloth diapers though I just need to get my stash back in order!!