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October 19, 2007

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Shalini

We had to do cloth diapers in India because there was no "landfill" where to dump disposables... there are in the cities, but we were WAY OUT. It was great cause it cut down on the rashes. I think I may try the at home cloth diapering and then disposable only when out and about with any future kids. I like that you said options and it's not all out or you are bad. :)

Summer

I loved using prefolds, snappis and covers, too. So easy. And I must say, as someone who chose to cloth diaper for financial reasons first and environmental ones second, you got some GREAT prices on your stash. That's coming from someone who last shopped for diapers 5 years ago... I doubt the prices have dropped in that time, so really, good job.

I will make one suggestion that will become more helpful when C transitions to solid food -- make diaper liners out of microfleece. The poop doesn't stick to the fleece the way it does to the cotton, which makes it much easier to shake off into the toilet, and the fleece doesn't stain. The ones I made were just rectangles cut from fleece scraps (no hemming required, the stuff doesn't ravel), but if I had to do it again, I'd make some that were rectangles that widen out into a triangle shape, the triangle part for the poop pocket. They wash and dry with the rest of the diapers. It IS an extra step to have to lay the liner in when you do a diaper change, but I found it quite worthwhile.

I think the main problem with bleach is that it weakens the fibers, but I bleached the diapers every once in a while (maybe every 2 months?) with no ill effect.

Sarah

I'm glad the cloth diapering is working out for you.

Something else that cuts down on stains is washing more frequently (like every other day). Hanging in the sun, even without lemon juice, does help IME. Personally, though, I don't care about stains. No one sees it but me.

When they have more solid poop I just shake off (or peel off with toilet paper) the solid stuff and throw the rest of it in the pail.

Also, have you considered cloth wipes? I recommend the extra expense of hemp onse since they get such heavy use. Bella Bottoms has affordable wipes. I always cringe when I have to buy more disposable wipes since they are so expensive. The cloth wipes can be washed with the diapers. I keep a travel mug with water at the changing table to wet them down. It can get chilly in the winter,though, and a small thermos will keep water warm all day, but I just tell Anna to suck it up.

http://www.bellabottoms.com/catalog/index.php

Jody

I think the disposables/water issue gets more complicated in areas where water is scarce and landfill is extensive. While I would definitely go with cloth-diapers if I were having another baby now, I would also be worrying a LOT about the extra water usage now that we're in the severest drought rating possible.

I totally wish I had a chance to use your knowledge here....

uccellina

Lately I've been thinking a LOT about this subject, because we're planning to cloth diaper our twins when they get here. Thank you for this post!

Dea

We're going to cloth diaper when our baby comes in feb. AND I wanted to buy fitteds and prefolds, so if you're serious I'll buy your extra infant prefolds!!!

Katie

I have other comments but not enough time...
I asked a environmental science prof about the diaper wash/diaper landfill issue and she said it was way better to do the cloth diapers and washing.

J2 had very strong ammonia smell with his overnight diaper. It was even burning his skin. We went to disposable for just overnight and his has no more skin irritations.

MicheleS

I like your attitude about being flexible. I'm seriously considering the cotton trainers for the duration of our night time wetting. Especially given the fact I may have one wetting for a very long time to come. She's the one that gets the butt zits too and I'm thinking it might actually be yeast from being confined in the disposables. I'll be interested in hearing if you like the cotton trainers.

maureen

I'm glad you threw that in about having options because it makes it seem less difficult. I will probably give it a whirl on baby number 3 (which won't be for a while).

Jen A

It's not just that the diaper cream stains the diapers. Most brands contain fish oil, so in addition to the oily stain, they smell awful, no matter how much you wash them. There are some brands that don't contain fish oil and are safe for cloth diapers--Burt's Bees is my absolute favorite.

When C does start solids, I'd recommend getting a sprayer that connects to the water supply and hangs on the side of the toilet. (We have one called a Mini-Shower.) Makes dealing with poopy diapers 10 times easier, and we still use ours to rinse out the potty chair. There is a learning curve while you figure out how high to turn up the pressure, but it's smooth sailing after that.

I may have missed it, but are you using pins or Snappis? I never got the hang of prefolds, partly because I couldn't get the Snappi to work, and pins terrify me. (That's why I have fitteds and pockets.)

Oh, and ditto Sarah on the microfleece liners and cloth wipes! You can buy some luxuriously soft ones wipes online, but it's just as easy to cut up an old T-shirt or sheet. I have a homemade wipe solution recipe if you want it.

Christine

Only have a second (squalling baby)...

yes, hanging them out in the sun will take care of the stains. Also, love cloth wipes. You can buy them or make them and just wash them with the diapers. We had no problems with rashes when we used those, but regular wipes would often set Max off on a rash.

Melani

No comment on the cloth diaper thing since I'm past that now but I loved what you said about doing the wash. I used to whine about doing laundry and then I realized how incredibly easy I have it. I'm now thankful for my washing machine and my ability to just throw my laundry in and go on with my day. Much better than beating it on a rock, I'm quite sure.

Beth

I cloth diapered three children over the course of 15 years (had one in dipes two years agao) and never had diaper cream stain the diapers! I keep hearing this but just scratch my head.

I always rinsed poopy diapers in the toilet = no stains. Period.

$7-8 per diaper pant?? Eh? I always used prefolds + pins + Gerber pants which are currently going for (a quick google tells me) 12 pair for $17. Always worked just fine. Easy peasy.

I dunno, call me hopelessly hippy, but I look at all the complicated and crazy-expensive cloth diapering systems currently all the rage and just shake my head. I don't get it.

Lisa

I used mostly prowraps and chinese prefolds during the day, and disposables at night. I never could get the cloth to last the night. I did have success with these very expensive fleece pocket dipes that I loved and would have used all the time, but they were cost prohibitive with twins and I ony had six. So it was either those or disposables at night.

It was surprisingly easy to use cloth. I did about 1 to 2 gigantic loads of diapers each week. I am not an expert on this, but I can't see how the few gallons of water for an extra load or two a week can even compare to the landfill issue. Besides all the water it takes to manufacture and bleach the disposable material.

Anyway, now we are in just plain ole gerber cloth training pants. You know what I totally don't get? pull-ups. It is just a diaper with the sides closed. What is the point? My kids just think they are diapers and poop their merry way in them. I can see using them in special circumstances like if you were going to be traveling. But kids need to learn what a mess in cloth underpants feels like. And what nice clean underpants feel like. I bought a box a while ago and they did nothing for my kids. They don't go for them being "big boy underpants."

Anyway, good for you for going cloth. Smart mom you are!

Courtney

I've been using cloth for nearly a month now too - my son was born just a few days after C. He was a month early tho, so I had to buy more infant diapers - I was expecting an 8 pounder and got a 5 pound (fortunately very healthy!) shrimp. I wish I'd bought proraps. I love my bummi whisper wraps but hate the bummi originals, and don't get me started on the dappi pants. I have eight size small whisper wraps waiting for us once the boy hits 10 lbs or so.

And Beth, you sound just like my mom. :) Diapering has sort of become an addiction of mine. I justify it because I have not bought him one piece of clothing yet, and likely won't have to until the spring.

AmyinMotown

Thanks for this--and youir email. Am I the emailer in question? Although I would call myself more curious than dubious. I think I am about 80 percent convinced--now I have to work on my husband. Not to mention the eye-rolling from my family, but that's a post for my own blog.

BeckyG

I used cloth diapers too, a remarkably similar arrangement to what you're doing. It was no problem to do the wash, and we kept Emily in cloth diapers for almost two years. Then we switched to disposables out of laziness, I guess. (And she grew out of the regular size, and they started leaking, etc.)

Once C starts on solid foods, you can try rice paper liners (if you have a good sewer/septic system). These were great because you just put them on top of the prefold, and then you can dump the liner and poop into the toilet.

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