Thursday, February 17, 2011

Cloth Diapering: My Picks

I just wrote this email for a friend of mine interested in using cloth diapers with her new baby. I thought since I had it all written up, I would post it here in case anyone else might be interested in using cloth. This is not a comprehensive review of all the different options out there. It's just what I have tried and liked.

Yes! I love evangelizing about cloth diapering!!

First of all, I recommend using disposables at least for the first week. You'll be shell-shocked from the birth experience and overwhelmed with the basic care requirements of a newborn. Plus, until the cord falls off, no cloth diaper fits that well.

Once you're ready, I have a few different options to recommend. First thing to decide: Do you want to wash them yourself, or use a service. The service is super nice cause you don't have to mess with cleaning them at all. They give you a diaper pail. They give you the diapers. Every week they pick up dirty ones and drop off clean ones. There's no rinsing or soaking or anything. You pay ~$80/month. There's one or two serving the Orange County area. I'm familiar with Dy- Dee Diaper Service but I just heard about another one in the area. The downside to using a service can be that you are restricted to the old-fashioned kind of diaper. We did this for the first 6 months of Claire's life. Then I bought my own old-fashioned diapers and washed them myself. I upgraded to a swankier version when she was about 1. (I'll get to the swanky ones in a second.)

If you choose to wash them yourself, I recommend getting a Potty Pail. It's great, and makes rinsing the liquidy baby poop no problem at all. I didn't use a service with Jude because we bought this.

The diaper options:
Diapering on a budget recommendation: Diaper service quality Chinese Prefolds
You will want at least 40 or 50 of these per week for a newborn. They require a diaper cover that you purchase separately. I like the Prorap. You need 5-8 covers.
  • Pros: 1. The cheapest way to cloth diaper. (If you buy them yourself they are about $14/dozen). 2.You can use a service.
  • Cons: 1. They require some practice because you have to fold and fasten them with a snappy clip. 2. They are not one-size-fits-all, so you need to buy a new set everytime the kid outgrows them (but they're cheap so it's not so bad.) 3. They're not good for overnight because there's no way to wick to moisture away from the baby. So, the baby basically sleeps in a wet diaper all night, unless you want to change it every 2/3 hours. (you don't!) I used paper at night when we were using these diapers.
My personal Choice: BumGenius Flip System:
Consists of a diaper cover and a stay-dry insert you lay inside it. You need about 5-8 covers and I own 30 inserts (But would like to have, maybe 10 more.) I do a load of diapers about once every 4-7 days.
  • Pros: 1. Easy. No folding or fastening. Just place it in the cover and go. Even the nursery people at church can do it. 2. Top layer wicks moisture away from baby's butt. 3. Not too bad in the cost department. 4. Cute colors. 5. One-size fits most (tiny new babies may be too small for the covers for the first 4 weeks.)
  • Cons: 1. They can leak if he/she is a heavy wetter and you don't change the baby at least every 2 hours. 2. After the newborn period they're not absorbent enough for all night unless you use multiple inserts, and that can get bulky.
The spare no expense recommendation: BumGenius One-Size Diaper. This looks just like a disposable and has a pocket in the back to stuff the absorbent inserts. I use these as my cloth night-time option, but would use them all the time if I had the money.
  • Pros: 1 Super easy to use. 2. You can make it as absorbent as you want by just adding more stuffing, or different materials, so they almost never leak. 3. Really nice soft fit on the baby. 4. Good for overnight when stuffed with the right amount and materials. 5. Cute colors. 6. One-Size fits most, so you don't have to keep buying different sizes. 7. Wicks moisture away from baby.
  • Cons: 1. Expensive. Each diaper costs about $18. If you want 30 of these it's going to cost you! Plus you will want to buy some extra insert options for night-time. I use an extra hemp prefold behind the microfiber insert that comes with it.
So, I hope that helps! The links have all been to the same site, which are the makers of the BumGenius products. Their website is super-helpful for all things cloth-diapering. Also, the amounts I suggest assume full-time cloth diaper use. If you only want to use them sometimes, you won't need as many. I'm a full time cloth-user, but I still use disposable diapers if I'm going out somewhere without convenient changing facilities, or for traveling.

1 comment:

  1. you are my HERO! Will respond to you separately since I am at work currently, but I am seriously so excited about this!!! Thank you x 1 million!!! :)