Sunday, August 29, 2010

Cloth Diapering: A Report **Updated**

Almost 2 years ago, before we were even trying to conceive, I sewed a bunch of cloth diapers.

I did it because it would save money, it was a good sewing project, they look cute on the baby, and are good for the environment too.

Now I'm actually using them. So here's the low-down on how it's been going.


The short report: I love them. I actually prefer them to traditional disposable diapers. But we end up still using a lot of disposables mostly because of time constraints. 

The long report: I don't have THAT many diapers. I have like 35 or something, but that's in three different sizes. So I only have about 9 or 10 size smalls (which she currently wears). So in order to cloth diaper exclusively I would need to wash them pretty much every night. So for now I use them as I can get around to it and in between I use disposables.

Actually washing them isn't bad. Here's the process (for now...it'll change as she gets older and her bowel movements change (sorry if that's TMI...but you are reading a post on cloth diapering)).
Anyway, the washing process:
1. I just throw them in the washer, no scrubbing or anything, on the rinse cycle. Without soap. 
2. After the rinse cycle I quickly look through them for any stains, spray them with some spray n' wash, and scrub the spray n' wash in with a toothbrush I have in the laundry room dedicated only to laundry.
3. Add a little dish soap, let them soak a while, and then run them through a full cycle. 
4. Then I throw them in the dryer (no dryer sheets)
5. Stuff the inserts back in the diapers so they are ready to go.
The basket under her changing table that holds the prepped diapers.

The process is really easy and actually doesn't take that much time. The problem for me, right now, is that Everly is super high-maintenance and until we get her to take better longer naps I have to be really selective about how I spend my spare time--I have to fit in working at home, fixing meals, cleaning the house, laundering her diapers, and...if I'm lucky, taking a shower. So the point is that for now, I am very pressed for time. As she gets better at napping and not needing so much attention I plan on using disposables less and less. [I'd also love to blog more too :)]

I know for a lot of you reading this the turn off is not finding time to launder them, but rather the actual process of laundering them. You're thinking doesn't this totally gross you out? All I can say is, it really isn't as bad as you think. Everly doesn't even go #2 every day so most of the diapers are just wet anyway. And it's just not that bad even when I do have to launder a poopy one. Just think, it wasn't that many years ago that all women had to cloth diaper (disposables didn't exist). And somehow they survived it. It's doable if you want to do it. And there are benefits, the biggest being cost savings even if you factor in the expense of water/soap, etc...

Anyway so the verdict is: I love them. I wish I had a few more and could cloth diaper exclusively--when I move up to the next size which I have more of it'll be easier. For now I love when I can use them. It feels nice to put something so soft on the baby. It saves me money. And it feels good to contribute just a little less to the landfill.

If you have questions about cloth diapering I'm happy to answer them. Part of the reason I was willing to experiment with it was because women I'm close to were doing it and I could see that it really was doable. You don't even have to sew your cloth diapers--a lot of options exist for purchasing them ready made (though it will cost more). I'd recommend you check out the bumGenius brand.

5 little remarks:

painty (Melinda) said...

It was interesting to hear the opinion of someone I know who actually uses cloth diapers... I can see the benefits, especially for a little baby. I am curious to see if your feelings change when she starts on solids. I confess I am too lazy to even try them, but am impressed by those who are willing!

Haws Family said...

I also love my homemade cloth diapers. Although we do go to disposable sometimes, I love the cloth! And the fact that they are homemade just gives me great satisfaction. Awesome post!

Lincoln Farrell and Marilyn Barlow said...

Another example of what goes around comes around. Did the cloth diaper thing with Christy, Carrie and Mark. Talk about loads of diapers. Fond memory though of grandma Evans folding diapers with me and talking about raising her babies. Good memory.

Mandi said...

Or you can use prefolds and covers! (Super cheap, super easy, and can be super cute, also you don't have the sizing issues :).

Yay! I've been waiting for this post! I totally understand the whole "time constraints" thing. Scott seems to be Everly's twin when it comes to high-maintenance, and I doubt I could've cloth diapered with him. But now he's a toddler and Caleb is an angel baby (except for his fussy hours in the evening :( ), so I feel it's really doable. Go you!

Of course, I didn't even start using cloth until about 5 weeks after I had Caleb- 1) Because we were still norming to being a 4-person family instead of 3; 2)because we went camping; and 3)Caleb was a little too small to fit my prefolds, although I used plain white wash cloths with some success. But once we started, I knew we'd definitely be needing more, with two in diapers and one a newborn. So I now have 3 dozen prefolds (36 diapers) and 19 covers, so I can get away with doing laundry every 3 days if I really stretch things, and every 2 days does me fine with no mishaps.

You're right, newborn diapers are not at all gross to launder (especially if you're exclusively breastfeeding), but toddler diapers do get nasty (and, I would assume, so can babies who've started solids). I recommend a sturdy pair of plastic gloves specifically dedicated to the cause of poop-scraping. :) I may also spring for this little wonder
one of these days, but I keep hoping to potty train Scott soon so we won't need one until Caleb's diapers turn gross.

Good luck with everything!

Ali said...

Cloth diapers look so cute...that picture is adorable. I researched them a ton before I had Evan in hopes I could invest just for the cuteness (forget about being green...bad, I know). I'm glad you like them!

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