Yesterday was the Great Diaper Change of 2013. I figured I would write about cloth diapers and help bring awareness to how great they are! Did you take part in the festivities this year?
When I was pregnant with my first baby, I looked into cloth diapering. There was so much information out there. I became overwhelmed. Microfibers, organic, all-in-ones, all-in-twos, pockets, hybrids, pre-folds. The list goes on. And that was just the diapers! The washing routines, the wipe choices, the storing, the travel. I turned the other way and went with disposables.
Many of my friends cloth diaper and love it. Their babies always look so cute in those fun and colorful diapers. I started thinking about cloth diapers again and told myself, well maybe I will look into it again for the future.
Just as Miss K was potty trained and out of diapers, I found out I was pregnant with baby number two! Like her sister, I started out baby B in disposables. When she hit about four months, I decided to do more research. I asked my friends for advice, and checked out blogs and websites. I took the plunge and bought a set of gDiapers. I figured these would be the easiest to start with. If I liked them, I could go from there. These are a good starting point diaper, in my opinion. gDiapers use both cloth inserts or an insert you can either throw away, or flush down your toilet. I chose to try both.
I ended up only somewhat liking them, but wasn’t quite ready to give up on cloth yet. I did like the cloth insert gDiapers came with, but was not thrilled with the flushable inserts. They are sized, and the size I got didn’t quite fit Miss B. She had a lot of leaks. Not the companies fault, they just did not fit my slim baby.
I did more research and decided to try out a pocket diaper. I went with the bumGenius 3.0 one size. These fit a wide range. I tried it out and from then on I was hooked! I’ve tried out various brands and styles, and like most cloth diapering mamas, I have my favorite go-tos and a couple I can’t stand to use.
The majority of our stash is a brand called Charlie Banana. They come with two microfiber inserts, and are marketed as hybrids. We have a few bumGenius diapers in various styles, and a couple of Work At Home Mom diapers. I recently found a brand called Sprout Change by Willow. Super simple, slim and easy to use. The shells are also reversible! The one I bought came with three soft, organic hemp inserts. I use all of these on a regular basis and love them.
I had a few issues with laundering the diapers. This is very common and, with a little research and advice from fellow mamas, you can easily figure out how to troubleshoot any problems that arise. There are so many blogs and websites dedicated to cloth diapering. If you happen to run into a problem there are answers for you somewhere.
Like I said, starting out the options were overwhelming for me. In reality, these choices are great. An option and answer for everyone is out there, if you so choose.
To be honest here, I did not start cloth diapering to save the earth or save money. Although those are great perks, as long as you don’t go over board with the cute designs and colors for your stash. The reason I started was for my daughter’s health. The chemicals in standard American disposable diapers are awful. Let’s start with dioxin. The EPA lists this as the most toxic of all cancer-linked chemicals and is banned in most countries, but not in the US. Next up is sodium polyacrylate, that highly absorbent gel you find in diapers. In the 1980s, a similar chemical was used in extremely absorbent tampons, until they found this material greatly increased the risk of TSS. And lastly, TBT, a toxic pollutant known to cause hormonal and reproductive harm in both girls and boys. The thought of these chemicals on my baby, 24 hours a day, up against the most sensitive areas for years to come was worrisome to me. My only regret is not changing over to cloth sooner. Especially with my older daughter.
I like to keep things simple. I have around thirty diapers I keep in rotation for daily use and stored in the diaper bag. For dirty storage I use the dry pail method. It’s simply a five gallon bucket I got at Home Depot. No liner, I just rinse it out every time I do a load of diapers. I use and love a DIY diaper sprayer and this invention is a life saver. Love it! I have one wet bag I keep in the diaper bag. I have twenty-eight cloth wipes and my homemade wipe spray. I use coconut oil for rashes and liners I made out of flannel receiving blankets. My current laundry detergent of choice for diapers is bumGenius. Ive tried various detergents and, so far, bumGenius works best for me. I wash every two to three days, depending on when the pail gets full, or I have only four to five clean diapers left in the stash. I won’t go into my wash routine since this will vary widely from person to person.
I know cloth diapering isn’t for everyone. Do you cloth diaper? If you don’t, have you ever thought about it? If you do cloth diaper, what made you decide to go for it?