Tuesday, October 16, 2012

WNPO...Because partying is more fun with no pants on! (A little about our experience with cloth diapers.)

Just about everytime I am out with the Nug, I am asked one of 3 questions.
"How old is he?"
"Where did you get that baby carrier?"
"How do you like those diapers?"

The first question is a no-brainer (Happy 9 month birthday to Nugget as of this past Sunday!) and the second is really easy to answer - by far the best $15 I've invested in baby carrying-Snugglebug Slings, which is a "pouch-style carrier.

I actually used to carry cards with the website on it since I got asked so often.  I ran out after a week.

This sling is not meant for heavy duty baby wearing, but is PERFECT for running errands.  It's one loop of fabric that can be worn multiple ways, and it takes about 5 seconds to put it on.  No straps, buckles, ties or snaps.  Just slip it on, slip baby in, and you're off.  And you can pick the colors!  But I digress...this is supposed to be about cloth diapers. 

The third question is a bit more involved.

We LOVE cloth diapering.  You don't have to.  Diapering, like just about every decision you'll make as a parent is a personal choice.  I mean, it's basically baby underpants.  I wouldn't knock your choice of undergarment, and I don't expect others to knock mine.  Or our baby's.  Like I said, personal choice.  (There's nothing more irritating-and common-than other parents telling you why you should do something their way, or why they didn't do it how you did.)  This is our experience.

Why cloth? 

It's economical.  We have bought 4 packs of disposable diapers (called "sposies") in 8 months.  One was a box of Swadders for the first few weeks when the cord was still attached ($40).  We have 2 packs of size 2 diapers, one from Target ($12) and one other pack ($18) which we have barely touched.  One was a pack of swim diapers ($9).  So we've spent about $80 on sposies, most which were used in the first 2 months of Nugget's life.  I remember the prices because I was so surprised at how quickly babies go through a box of diapers.  (Experts say 6-8 changes a day once you pass that first few weeks, so a 36-count box won't last a week...again, that's just an estimate.)

Cloth diapers are cute!  The patterns and colors of cloth diapers are beyond adorable.  

Blue Giraffe!
And Nugster can wear "just a diaper" with a shirt and look clothed, while with sposies, it may not be quite as cute since sposies tend to be thin and... 

Sposies smell funny (to me).  I really dislike the smell of baby pee+disposable diaper.  Chemicals.  Ew.

Better for the environment.  Yeah, I do care about the environment.  Diapers stick around for a long time.  But actually that was the least compelling reason.       

Best Bottoms
The cloth diapering system we chose is called Best Bottoms.  I'm definitely not being compensated for this review (or any reviews I write), so this is an honest, unbiased opinion.  How do they work?  I'll let this picture do the talking. 

The Best Bottom shells come in a variety of prints, and are durable and thick.  It's an "all-in-2" system, meaning that the diaper uses shell and an insert.  They are one-size so they will work for Nugget through the potty training phase (they even make potty training inserts and side tabs).

The Stash:

8 shells (Moolicious, Green Giraffe, Blue Giraffe, Orange Sherbert, Chunky Monkey, Double Chocolate, Cookies-n-Cream and Very Cherry) some velcro, some snap.

25 inserts (some cotton, some hemp, some microfiber, in size med, large, and overnight/doubler).

We have 2 wet/dry bags with one at the changing table, and another on stand-by for laundry time.  The wet/dry bag holds all of the dirty shells and inserts.

Easy as...

#1-When Nug is wet, we remove the pad, put it into a wet/dry bag, wipe him, wipe out the shell, and snap in a new pad.

#2-(Because poo happens) Take off dirty diaper, put into wet/dry bag, wipe him, put on new shell w/pad.

You can also preassemble all your shells and inserts, and use them as you would a regular disposable diaper (take off wet diaper-put in wet/dry bag, put on new shell+insert.)  Awesome for babysitters/caregivers/daycare.

Ah, Laundry.  We do diaper laundry approximately every 3 days.  We use Boulder Wash additive free detergent (it's cheap at Costco) and we occasionally use Rockin' Green in Rage Against the Raspberry scent, but only when it's on sale.

1. Dump the whole wet/dry bag inside out into the washer.

2. Do a cold rinse, no spin (about 10 min-I usually fold other laundry in the meantime).

3. Run a hot or warm wash with detergent. We found this chart to be helpful when choosing a detergent.

4. Another cold rinse (wash/rinse time about 70 min).

5. Inserts can be dried on gentle dry and shells can be line/hung dry.

Breastfed baby poo is water soluble, so until Nugster started solids we didn't worry about stains.  Even now, with him eating everything under the sun, we rarely get a stain on the insertsIf there is a stain, we line dry that insert.  The sun naturally bleaches out stains.  Even blueberry poo.  Pretty amazing.

Other advantages.
Nugster has never had a problem with diaper rash, except in a disposable diaper.Also, with the exception of once, no leaks. Because of user error (I was chatting with a friend instead of rushing home to do a diaper change) it (poo) actually stayed in the diaper so well that it erupted out of the top back of the shell. The leg gussets on Best Bottoms are fantastic.  Nugster had some pretty chunky thighs from 3-8 months and we just adjusted the diaper accordingly, with no problem with red marks or rash.  My friends who use disposables seem to have more "blowouts" than my friends who use cloth.

Other diapers
Soft Bums Echo - it's a waterproof, fleece-lined shell that has snap-in "pods". You can really only use the shell once before you need to wash it, since the fleece shell absorbs moisture.  It looks and feels great though-very trim and the pods are nice.   I use them in the Best Bottom shells.  This is a more expensive diaper-around $30 for a shell and pods.

For travel we put a g diaper biodegradable insert into the Best Bottom shell. I've heard good things about the cloth g 
diapers too. 

 We acquired a few all-in-ones which took forever to dry, didn't hold up so well in laundry, and were not one size (adjustable).  These are our laundry day/last resort diapers.
With pocket diapers you have to stuff an insert into a little pocket.  Not too bad, but time consuming.  We also noticed that the insert bunched up while Nug was wearing it.  He's a very active little guy. 

We kinda have thing for giraffes.

If you're considering cloth diapers, wondering about Best Bottoms, or just curious as to why some parents choose cloth, I hope you've learned a little something!