Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Cloth Diapering: If I Knew Then What I Know Now

I decided I wanted to use cloth diapers sometime during my pregnancy. At the time, I didn't know anyone else who did, so I had no one to turn to for advice. But I had a supportive husband and mother and the internet, so I did some research and hoped for the best.

Sometimes I wonder, if I had it to do all over again, what would I do differently? What advice do I have to give to those just starting out?

- Try a variety of diapers
I got lucky that BumGenius 3.0s really fit my daughter well, since we bought 20. I realized much later that one diaper doesn't always work for every baby, so this could have been a huge mistake. On the other hand, having only one or two types of diapers makes matching and stuffing diapers really easy.

The diapers I use most, though, are birdseye flats. We could have gotten away with buying fewer pocket diapers if I had tried these first. This could have saved us quite a bit of money...

There are cloth diaper trials available from several retailers. I really wish I had known about these before K was born. It's a great way to try out a bunch of different diapers without spending a lot money.

- Don't be afraid of cloth diapering in public
Cloth diapering when you're away from home is easy. You just need a few things to make it work.

The first, is a small wetbag. I love the FuzziBunz zippered tote. It can easily hold a day's worth of diapers and makes diaper changes in public so much easier.

Second, an empty travel-sized disposable wipes case. They're big enough to hold 6 or so wet cloth wipes. I tried keeping dry wipes and a spray bottle in my diaper bag, but wetting them before you leave the house is a lot simpler in my opinion.

The only complaint I have about using cloth diapers when I go out is that they do take up a lot of room in my diaper bag. I have learned that if I'm going to be out for more than a couple of hours, it's easier to put 1-2 diapers in the diaper bag and put extras in a separate bag in the car.

- Buy good quality wet bags
The first wet bags I bought were two small, very cheap wetbags (Rainforest Babies). They lasted less than 3 months before they started falling apart. Now I have two large and two small Natural Baby Co wet bags and have absolutely no complaints. After 9 months of constant use, they are still in perfect condition.

- Choose snaps
I mostly bought diapers with aplix (velcro) because I wanted something easy. I wanted my husband, who had never changed a diaper before, to be comfortable with cloth diapering. They are definitely nice to have when you're sleep deprived and changing diapers every two hours in the middle of the night. But honestly, snaps aren't difficult. It takes only one diaper change to figure out what snap setting your baby is currently on, and after that it's a breeze. Snapping diapers hold up better and last longer than aplix, and are harder for toddlers to take off (I haven't had any personal experience with the last part yet, but I think most babies go through that streaking stage at some point).

We are 9 months into cloth diapering. What are my current favs?

- Birdseye flats with covers
I was a die hard Thirsties Duo Wraps fan until recently. They were the only thing that truly fit K at first because of her skinny twig legs. I still like and use them, but right now my favorite is the Booroi (side snapping) cover.

4 weeks, around 9 pounds

4 months, 13 pounds

- BumGenius One Size 3.0 pocket diapers
These fit K the best, hands down. I love the suedecloth inner because it doesn't get pilly like fleece. At 9 months, they still fit my long-waisted girl on the smallest setting, so I really think they'll last us through potty training. I stuff these with the one size insert and a Knickernappies SuperDo for nighttime and we never have any leaks. My only complaint is that I wish they were snaps, since I'm starting to see signs of wear on the aplix. But there are 3 solutions to this problem: BumGenius just announced a 4.0 version with snaps, there are lots of good tutorials on converting 3.0s to snaps, and the refresher kits that you can buy from Cotton Babies have the new and improved aplix from the 4.0.

5 weeks, somewhere between 9 and 10 pounds

6 months, 15 pounds

- FuzziBunz sized pocket diapers
These were my first cloth diaper purchase. I bought two second-quality size smalls from a FuzziBunz store and hated them at first. They are supposed to fit from 7-18 pounds, but K couldn't wear them for a couple of months or so because of her skinny legs (they don't have adjustable leg elastic like the one size diapers do). However, she's just a few ounces shy of 18 pounds now and still has plenty of room to grow in these.

size small FuzziBunz on the left, old-style one size on the right, and worthless wet bag underneath

- Smartipants sleeve/pocket diapers
These are fabulous. K is still on the smallest setting for rise and waist, so I wouldn't recommend them for smaller babies. I'd like to see them in bright colors or prints, but I absolutely love the fit. They're also much cheaper than other pocket diapers, especially considering that they have snaps. They normally run anywhere from $13-15, but I managed to snag mine on clearance for only $10!

both 8 months, around 17 pounds

I'd love to hear what you think! Do you have anything you would do differently or any favorite diapers? Or if you don't use cloth diapers, I'd be happy to answer your questions :)

I'm linking up with Mindy from The Inquisitive Mom. Go check out her "If I Knew Then What I Know Now" post for her cloth diapering tips and recommendations.

1 comment:

  1. This is such a helpful, well-thought out post. I love the adorable pics of your little girl as well! I totally agree that carrying extra diapers in the car for a long trip, rather than jam packing your diaper bag full is a wise move. I wish I'd gotten the hang of my prefolds more. Maybe I'll give them a chance again with a newborn one day. So glad you linked up!