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I am considering cloth diapers, but there is so many different kinds and types and information out there that I am overwhelmed! My one gf did it (13 years ago) and said they gave her son a yeast infection. But other sites say its actually healthier for the baby?
Then I look at some pictures they appear to be so bulky! And they look super expensive!!!
So I was thinking about getting 5-6 diapers (cause of the price) and supplementing with disposable ones until i get a feel for them.
What is your experience? I want to know the good, the bad and the ugly!
What brand did you use? How much of a pain in the *** is the cleaning and storing of used diapers? How bulky are they? Any rash issues? Leak issues?
I cloth diaper part time and I went the cheap route. I bought prefolds and covers. The prefolds are just cotton, so you can wash the heck out of them without worrying about hurting them. I've been doing pretty well with 4-6 covers and about 20 prefolds, although I had 30 of the smaller size when DS was younger and I was changing him more often. They're definitely bulkier than disposables, but it's not too bad once baby starts getting bigger. DS actually starts hating disposables if he's in them full time for more than a few days (like when we go on vacation). I think they chafe him.
It was definitely easiest in the beginning. Breastmilk poop just washes right out and you can throw everything in the washing machine to clean and hang it in the sun to bleach out. Now that we're dealing with real poop, I have flushable liners. They're reusable a couple of times too, so if there's no poop, I can wash them once or twice and reuse them, but if there is poop, I just flush it all down the toilet.
Lisa, mom to Alie and Christian
I LOVE my cloth diapers. My favorites are pockets, which are ones that you can decide how much absorbency you put into the diaper. You can get some that are seconds which means they are new but they have a tiny cosmetic flaw that does not effect the function of the diaper. Thats how we built our youngest stash. This will be my third cloth diapered child. A lot of people love Alva's I personally do not care for the cheaper brands and have had nothing but issues with them. And they are huge in the legs for my skinny legged children. I love bum genius. And they have seconds sales and you can also find good deals on gently used ones through diaperswappers.com. They also have a swap here on JM on the cloth diaper board. dirtydiaperlaundry.com is a blog ran by a good friend of mine that has tons of new cloth diaper information. I personally love the bulk. Its so freaking cute!
Oh also on cost factor prefolds and covers would be your cheapest option. Let me know if you have specific questions!
I am a cloth diaper addict I have prefolds, flats, fitteds, and AIOs. With PUL, wool, and fleece covers.
Cost was not my reason to do it, it was for environmental reasons. I am a person who has actually had nightmares about all the plastic I have ever thrown away turning into a sad monster in a landfill... there is just no way I could do full time disposables. We live in a pretty water scarce area too but there is still a negligible impact on our water bill (HE washer and I am not afraid of bleach and the sanitize setting to get them really clean in one long cycle), it would cost more to increase our trash pickup. My city charges a LOT for trash pickup and we have the smallest possible size bin. We also use cloth napkins and kitchen towels instead of paper towels.
Anyhoo... after all my experiments, I still think prefolds and covers are the best all around. You can fasten them with a snappi or boingos with a quick leg roll to hold in messes or do coverless time to air out a rashy bum - great for little EBF babies. Then for wiggly older toddlers, who have solid poops and don't need the containment, you just fold in thirds lengthwise and stick in a cover, then slap the cover on. A velcro cover with flaps to hold it in place (like Flip covers) make this super easy but with a little practice, it is easy with any cover.
The main reason I love prefolds the most is the laundry is soooo easy. They are super durable (no elastic or anything delicate to wear out) and there is no stuffing, snapping, matching, folding at all. Just stack em up!
It is also very true that cloth is not all or nothing. You can CD part time and still save some money and trash.
We do have a Cloth Diapering board under Parenting and love to answer questions so check that out too if you want!
I've tried all kinds of cloth diapers, and I love how easy pockets are. But I seem to eventually have leaks with them, regardless of the brand. I have a heavy wetter though. Prefolds and covers are by far the cheapest and I RARELY get leaks with them. I really like the Flip covers with my prefolds. The snaps hold well, and they don't irritate my son's skin like the velcro kind can. We use disposibles on occasion, like if we're going to be away for more than a few days or sometimes at night.
We used cloth on our son. There are definitely pros and cons, but overall I think the pros outweigh the cons.
Here are some answers to your questions. First, it can be really expensive, especially if you're getting the fancy diapers like handmade all-in-one diapers with minky fabric and embroidery. (They do exist and they're adorable!) But they really don't have to be expensive. If you get covers and prefolds, as some have suggested, it can cost you less than a hundred dollars to diaper your baby from birth to potty training. You don't even have to fold and pin the prefolds. Just fold them in thirds and lay them in the covers and you're good to go.
The only problem I might foresee with that is, what if your baby has sensitive skin? Our son was super sensitive and got really red if he sat in wetness for any length of time. Even though I changed him in the middle of the night, he'd still wake up with a red bottom, so I had to get him a diaper with a stay-dry fabric against his bottom, like fleece.
What I ended up going with was Best Bottom all-in-twos. They are very much like prefolds and covers, you don't need as many covers as you do inserts, but the inserts snap into the covers and you can have a layer of fleece between the baby and the absorbent material, protecting his little tender bottom from the wetness. (I also bought a handful of Rainshine Designs AI2s because they're just so darn cute!)
I did have a few problems with cloth. And here they are.
First, some child care providers will not do cloth diapers. I don't know why. They said it had something to do with sanitation, but weren't able to give me a clear reason why paper filled with poo was more sanitary than fabric filled with poo. So I had to buy disposables for some childcare situations.
It can take a while to figure out the best wash routine for you. And until you do, you might be dealing with smelly "clean" diapers. (Yuck) Many of the cloth diapering moms I've talked to say they never had that problem, though. So maybe my experience was not the norm.
If you get one size diapers (diapers that adjust for older and younger babies) they can be huge on a newborn. They might not even fit a newborn until she's a few weeks old. There are inexpensive solutions to that problem, though. First, you can buy about 20 preemie Indian prefolds (available at cottonbabies.com) and about 10 Prorap newborn covers (they have a scoop cut out for the umbilical cord, very important) and use those for the first month or so. In total, that would cost you about $90. $1 for each prefold and $7 for each cover. Or, you could get a Costco pack of newborn diapers and use those until baby is big enough for the one size diapers. That would cost you about $30.
Keep in mind that you can either reuse the prefolds and covers on future children or sell them to another mama to make some of that money back (diaperswappers.com is a great place to sell used diapers).
I did have some problems with leaks when my son got bigger. I was using pocket diapers at night and stuffing them as much as possible, he'd wake up soaked. Eventually I gave up on nighttime and just used disposables at night. We still use disposable pull-ups at night and cloth training pants or big-boy underwear during the day.
I love cloth!! Prefolds and covers was definitely my preference even as Abri got a little older. So cheap and easy and never a leak. I had pockets for daycare. My daycare facility had no problem, I just supplied several clean diapers and a zippered wetbag for the dirties to take home everyday. My slimmer AIOs (all in ones) I used for running errands. I had a few BuBuBeBe fitteds (pricey but so pretty and absorbent) for nights because she was a heavy wetter. I kept the dirties in a regular trashcan with swinging lid with a pail liner until laundry day. I washed everything together (covers, prefolds, pockets, etc). Once we found a detergent that worked well, I had no rash or repelling problems.
These are a couple of my fitteds (they need a cover)
Gotta love the fluffy butt! (prefold and a special order cover)
We cloth diaper as well, we started when Connor was 6 months. I have only ever used one size pocket diapers, to me, they are so much easier and similar to disposables. BumGenius and Fuzzibunz are my favorite, and we have about 16-18 diapers now, I think. We started with 12 I believe. I do laundry every 4 or so days, but laundry was never something I highly disliked, so it was no big deal.
The one size pocket diapers are a bit more pricey, but they will last as long as baby/toddler is in diapers until they potty train. I've never had a problem with leaking or blow outs, and he's rarely ever had a diaper rash.
I did a TON of research and got a TON of opinions prior to starting CD'ing as well and what I realized was that everyone has their preferences as to what they like best. It's also what fits baby the best. I would try a few different kinds to start out, you can buy them used even, or websites like kellys closet and cottonbabies you can buy 'starter kits' that give you 4 or 5 different kinds to try out! Good luck!