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Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Works for Me Wednesday: The Baby Years - Cloth Diapering

As I said a couple of weeks ago, I'm stepping back in time and telling you what worked for us when my kids were babies.

When my daughter was born nearly eight years ago, I was kind of “out there” among my friends because I used cloth diapers.

If something came up about it and I told people that I used cloth, I would frequently get asked, “Why?” Not just any, “Why?” either. You can’t hear the inflection in my voice, but imagine if you will the sassiest way to say, “Why on earth would you EVER consider doing something so insane,” in one word. “WHY?”

In short, I used cloth because it was more economical, seemed better for my baby’s bottom, I didn’t have to feel bad about putting out a bunch of trash, and hey, they are just so darn cute.

Cloth diapering is much more common now, eight years later, but I will tell you today why and how cloth diapering worked for me.

I initially got the idea from and had the example of my middle (older) sister. She used cloth with her oldest, a son, and didn’t have any problems with it, so I thought I’d give it a try.

Also, I was at home with both of my children for at least a year. I didn’t see any reason why not to try it if I was going to be at home full time and would have the time for the laundry involved. I did go back to work (when my daughter was 1 and when my son was 2 ½), but it continued to work for me I think because I had the opportunity to get my routine down while I was at home full time.

Now, nuts and bolts time. What exactly worked for me, diaper wise?

Initially, prefolds. Not your Gerber prefolds from the local Target or Wal-Mart. I’m talking about good Chinese prefolds that I could only find online. My sister pretty much exclusively used prefolds for the sake of economy, but she also just didn’t get out there and do any research like I am prone to do. She didn’t know about the many additional options that were available.

But even among the other options, I found that in those earliest weeks and until we were getting out a little more and until the baby was eating solids, thusly making more solid poops, prefolds did the best job of keeping things contained. They gave the best fit and were the most adjustable with a rapidly growing infant. And with the advent of the Snappi and Bumkins wrap covers, pins were obsolete which made them all the more attractive.

Now, I will say that prefold diapers are not that convenient when you are out and about at the grocery store, or Target/Wal-Mart, or anywhere else for that matter. Enter the all-in-one and, later, pocket diapers.

I discovered all-in-one diapers with my daughter and bought several. At this point, I was not very adventurous and mostly bought Bumkins AIOs. This is what we ended up using when she went to the babysitter’s house while I worked part time once she was a year old. They worked fine and were pretty darn cute as well. And I’ll admit this is when I was HOOKED on cloth diapering.

I began to discover that there were even more options out there, but by that point, our system was working just fine and I couldn’t justify spending any more on diapers when she would be potty training soon. I would just have to wait until #2 came along.

Pun TOTALLY intended there.

Again, prefolds worked great in those earliest weeks and months, and up until about 6 months that’s almost exclusively what we used. But I did begin buying some pocket diapers, which I think are about the best thing since sliced bread.

Now you ladies that have recently begun cloth diapering have it SO easy since you can purchase a one-size adjustable pocket diaper. Back in my day, I had to continually buy new sizes and sell my old ones. eBay was always open on my browser (back then you could buy and sell used diapers on eBay – you can’t anymore) and I was always looking for something new to buy. I had several online forums that I would get ideas from and actually enjoyed the process of looking at all the different types and deciding what to get.

Brands that I liked this time around? Fuzzi Bunz worked fine at first as I began to experiment with pockets. Then, as my son got older… and BIGGER… they quit working so well for us. Happy Heineys (HHs) and Knickernappies Disposanots (KNDs) both had a taller rise (in the front) and kept things (ahem) contained a little better. I also used one or two Green Acres Designs (GADs) and like them as well, but not as much as the KNDs.

I enjoyed cloth diapering my kids. So much so, that I have had several friends actually start using cloth as well. It worked really well for us.

For other “Works For Me” posts, visit Rocks in my Dryer.


Andrea said...

Thanks for this post. We are starting a family, and we have talked about using cloth diapers (as our moms did), but cloth diapering has changed in 20 years! I appreciate the tips as we consider our options.

'Becca said...

Cloth diapers are SO WONDERFUL!!! I returned to work outside the home when my baby was 3 months old, and we found cloth diapers quite easy to use. Those people who say "WHY?" haven't tried them!

For Andrea and others considering cloth diapers, I have lots of info on my site--see link behind my name.

suzannah said...

we cloth diaper our 14 month old and love it! we use prefolds, too, and some one-size-fits-all fitted diapers with no pockets to stuff.

thanks for spreading the cloth diaper gospel:)

Charlotte said...

Great post! We use cloth diapers too and though they are gaining popularity, I get that same 'why?' when I mention it to people too.

Traci Best said...

I always wanted to use cloth diapers! Our three kids came to us all at once, out of diapers as a sibling I never got the chance...but I'm still hoping that maybe someday...we'll have a little bumpkin to bundle up!

Thank you for your testimonial!


Rachel said...

I love love love cloth diapering! I know a lot of people were skeptical, but it has really worked for us. I love my Bum Genius and wouldn't think of using anything other than the soft and absorbent pocket dipes for overnight. She never wets through and her skin is not wet through the night. Genius is putting it mildly!!!

Denise said...

I'm totally addicted to cloth diapers!!! Great post!!! The one size Blueberry Minky is an amazing diaper, I wish I'd known more about using cloth when my older kids were little.

Jennifer said...

I love our cloth diapers. We've only used prefolds at this point, which leads to interesting stories when we pick up our little one from the church nursery or the YMCA child care. Sometimes they don't even attempt and just use a disposable, but that's okay.

My trouble has been with the cover retaining odors. We've used Bummis Super Whisper Wrap and ProRap, but I haven't been totally satisfied with either one. My favorite cover recently has been the plastic pants from WalMart!! They're perfectly waterproof and don't retain odors. Okay, they're noisy. Oh well.

Thanks for posting about what worked for you! It's nice to get someone else's system in detail. I know what you mean about the "WHY" People just can't fathom putting dirty diapers in their washer!

Meridith said...

My sister has used cloth diapers for her kids and loves them too. My sister-in-law uses them too and she has even started knitting covers for them, she's having a lot of fun with it. If I was going to (which I'm not) have more I would consider it, they seem to work great!

Megan@SortaCrunchy said...

NICE run-down, mama! Way more updated than my old CDing archives!

Kim said...

I used cloth diapers, too. Someone gave us a 6 month gift of diaper service and then I was hooked. It was the best gift ever! And one we really needed, being poor college students with a child who COULD NOT WEAR DISPOSABLE DIAPERS. He was allergic to them and would break out in a terrible rash after ten minutes in one. I think it was the perfumes. Anyway, I'm sold on cloth.

I really enjoy your blog and had to give you the Kreativ Blogger Award! Stop by to see what nice things I had to say about you :-)

MissMeliss said...

I cloth diaper my daughter... love the snaps!!! I have AOI's that are one size... have been extremely happy with them. I do have daycare use store bought ones, but at home have been exclusively cloth diapering. LOVE IT.