Thursday, January 26, 2012

Cloth diapering questions answered

Recently, I had a few people email me about questions on cloth diapering. Most of them were a round about same to each others. I tried to email each of you back personally answering your specific questions, but I thought I would go ahead and share them on here as well. 

1. Why did you choose the diapers you did and which ones did you like the best? And why? 
In the beginning, I chose pockets because I thought they would be the easiest to use and would suit my husband the best. I was intimidated by cloth diapering because so many people thought I was nuts to be giving it a shot. They are definitely easy to use, and my husband's favorite. However, I went on the try flats/prefolds with covers, hybrids, and AIO/AI2s. During the day (since I am a stay-at-home Mom), I have really enjoyed my flats/prefolds with covers. They are less washing and less drying because they are much thinner. The covers can be wiped clean if there is urine and reused. If they poop on them, then they are washed. I go through one cover a day. Majority of the time, I could cover that cover over into the next day, but I choose not to for hygiene purposes. It could definitely be done though. I also use these whenever we travel. We recently went on a 2 week vacation to Germany. I used disposables inserts with the covers. I love the Thirsties Duo Wrap, Diaper Rite Prefolds/Flats, Kawaii's, and BumGeius 4.0s. If you are looking for pockets, the Kawaii's are half the price of BG's, extremely nice, great for night time, but are more bulky. 

2. Did you have any problems with night time?
In the beginning, I thought I would use disposables during the night to prevent leaking, but Baby A stayed uncomfortable because she would wet them super fast. I was having to change her diaper 3-4 times a night, and that is what woke her up. My husband and I finally decided to give the BumGenius during the night a chance with both inserts, and that is what we still use to this day. We have tried others, but our BumGenius and Kawaii's are our only night time diapers. So to actually answer your question, night time diapering was much easier than I expected. She can stay in either one of those diapers for up to 14 hours without any complaint. 

3. Do you think it is actually less expensive than disposable?
Yes, I do. After doing my calculations on what I would have spent using Amazon Mom (best deal I could find at the time), I figured that by the time Baby A was 4 months old the diapers would have repaid themselves and the rest I was saving. Which means, we have been saving a great deal of money for the last 6 months. This includes my diaper splurges to review and compare for my blog, which I will be starting soon. The best advice I can give to anyone is to buy 12-20 diapers first, give it a try for a month to see how your water and electricity bill does. You can always fix your wash routine to meet your limit on the bills. It's POSSIBLE! But for some, they don't have the time and energy to make that happen, so no it may not be less expensive for them. If that is the case for you, then the resale value of cloth diapers are amazing, and you could get majority (if not all) of the money you put in to them back. 

4. I guess this goes with the first question, but which "style" did you choose and why?
I basically answered this in the first question, but I have tried many styles and brands over the months. My husband's favorite style is pockets. He also has been really into velcro lately since Baby A is crawling and constantly moving. Since I stay at home with her, I really enjoy using covers and prefolds/flats for the savings on water and electricity since we rarely have a nice sunny day. AIO/AI2s take too long to dry (in my opinion).  Hybrids are nice, but really if you want to go that route I would do prefolds/flats with covers before that, which is basically the same thing as an hybrid. 

5. What do you think is necessary to start/try cloth diapering?
I did a post of this, but I bet it overwhelmed you. Right? It did me at first, too. It's actually a lot easier than it seems. First, you need your diapers (obviously). On average a newborn goes through 8-10 diapers a day. I would make sure you had at least 15 to get your through one day and half of another. This would cause you to possibly have to wash every other day. The good news is that as your baby goes, they will go through less diapers through the day. Baby A is 9 months and we go through less than 6 on an average day. I wouldn't go overboard with the amount unless you are fully committed to it. Next, you will need to have a cloth diaper safe detergent. Any all natural detergent that is free of any scents is good. I know many people who use the All Free and Clear (which they also use for their babies cloth who may have skin issues). There is a Tide free and clear (unsure of the correct name). And then of course there is a ton of work at home Mom's and Dad's who make and sale their own detergent. I personally use Eco Sprout. I started out with All Free and Clear, but loved the Eco Sprout scents.  I bought a large bag of Eco Sprout and still am using it after 9 months, only cost me $15. Just remember when using detergents for your diapers, you use less than half the recommended amount for cloths!! Most babies don't have diaper rash when they are in cloth, but I personally prepared for it. Any natural bottom balm is a great thing to have. It can also be used for nursing moms with cracked nipples, cracked lips, and dry skin - I love the fact that it is multiple uses and all natural. We use (again) Eco Sprout. This is really the ONLY things you need to begin your cloth diapering journey. Of course there is the accessories - cloth wipes, wipe solution, wetbags, etc. But you could use alternatives for these things. For example, extra wash cloths or old t-shirts torn to use for cloth wipes. Water is what I use on my cloth wipes and we have done well with it. There is also many recipes online to do it yourself and it is literally soap, water, and fragrance oil of your choice. As easy as that. For wetbags, you could use trash bags, even trash cans with lids. 

If you have any more questions, I would be happy to try and answer them. I have been getting a lot of people asking questions and wanting on update on our journey, so I plan on posting about it soon. Just remember that no one has all the answers because all babies are different and all lifestyles are different. The best thing to do is figure out what would be suit your family and lifestyle. If you have a fast pace lifestyle, I recommend pockets. If you have an easy going and a little more slow pace daily routine, then you could probably give prefolds/flats and a cover a go. 

Would you guys like me to do a question and answer post? If so, just leave your questions done below in the comments and once I get 10-15 questions I will answer them in a post. They don't have to be on cloth diapering either. Personal life, being a Mommy, being a military wife, breastfeeding, etc... all questions (as long as appropriate) are welcomed! 

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