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Monday, August 31, 2009

#ClothDiapers Education

When I first found out that I was pregnant, I knew that I was going to cloth diaper full time. It was about two or three days after finding out that I was pregnant that I started my cloth diaper (CD) research and then spent the next 35 weeks continuing it. *grin* I have been thinking over and preparing my mind to write up some great educational CD posts about my experiences and opinions of various products, but apparently I am not fast enough! My AppleBlossom is one month old today, and we have three weeks of CD experience under our belt, but I have a friend begging with questions, and they must be answered ASAP to make her a CD convert with her 3 mo old... so here is the beginning of my unorganized thoughts...

There are four main types of CD:
PF (prefolds) with covers
pocket diapers
AIO (all-in-one)
fitted diapers with covers

In addition to there being a million kinds of diapers out there with types and brands, there are also a trillion websites to choose from. So far in my experience I have three recommendations. In person in GA I recommend my friend Rebecca's shop The Natural Baby. Online, I recommend SoftClothBunz - I have ordered from numerous times and had fabulous customer service (SisterL goes here in person in VA) and Kelly's Closet which I have an affiliate button on my right side bar. Both have fabulous blogs that provide great and valuable CD information. http://www.clothdiaperblog.com/ and http://www.theclothdiaperwhisperer.com/

Upon coming home from the hospital, most all of our diapers were still too big for my little AppleBlossom bum, plus her cord would be rubbed, so we had to wait a few days more. The exception to this was my Organic Kissaluvs Size NB fitted diaper, which in retrospect I wish we had about a dozen more of for her first few weeks. As well as a prototype gDiaper (you'll have to wait for more information about that one...).


Kissaluvs Unbleached Organic Size NB fitted diaper

From Cloth Diapers

From Cloth Diapers

tiny G prototype
From Cloth Diapers


After that we were able to start using our Small Bummis covers (including Super Whisper Wraps and Super Brites and borrowed from my sister Super Snaps) with the Bummis Unbleached Organic PF.

Bummis Super Whisper Wrap Froggy Pond
From Cloth Diapers


From Cloth Diapers

And our Small gDiapers...

Go Fish Blue Small gDiaper
From Cloth Diapers
gEarth Small gDiaper
From Cloth Diapers
From Cloth Diapers


And since then, we have added in Small Perfect Size Fuzzi Bunz (FB) and so far a yesterday trial of the OS (one size) FB.

Baby Pink Small PS FB
From Cloth Diapers

From Cloth Diapers
From Cloth Diapers

As well a yesterday once trial of a OS AIO bG (bumGenius) Organic diaper, Bambino Mio newborn, Bamboo Baby AIO OS, Mother-ease Sandy's fitted, Thirsties Wrap cover with an infant PF (green edges), and a Polar Babies snap cover with an infant PF (green edges).

Newborn Bambino Mio
From Cloth Diapers
Small Mother-ease Sandy's fitted Diaper
From Cloth Diapers

Additionally diapers we have to try soon are an Infant AIO Kushies and a Small AIO Imse Vimse (english translation "Itty Bitty"), these start at 10 and 11 pounds respectfully.


*In the near future, I plan to have a detailed review of each diaper method we try.*

For now, some answers to some questions...

Do you think that four bummis whisper wraps and three dozen DSQ prefolds would be enough for a three month old? As it stands, with the disposables, we change our baby after every feed, right now eating five times a day. I read that you have to change more often with CDs, but that's fine if I can use the same cover, right?

36 PF should get you through two maybe three days, depending on just how productive of a gastrointestinal tract your little bit has working. As for four covers, in my opinion that is pushing it. Behind here - at one month of age, we are changing AppleBlossom every two to three hours during the day, and every four or five hours at night. As she grows and becomes more regulated, it will be less often. DH says it is probably about 8-10 diapers a day on average. There are the messy diapers that go off to one side almost making a blow out and then you cannot use the cover again until washed. There are other diapers that while changing the flaps fall back into the mess, then you cannot use that cover again. So depending on your directional of attempted blow outs and how meticulous you are with removing the cover clean and mess free you can use them again. The other thing is to not use the cover twice in a row. Moisture gets saved in the cover, and you should let it sit out at least one diaper change before reuse.

We personally have 46 PF (24 Bummis Unbleached Organic PF and 22 green edged newborn PF borrowed from SisterL) and 12 Bummis covers - 4 SWW, 2 SB, 6 SS (borrowed from SisterL).

Also, to CD when you're out, what do you do with your soiled diapers? I mean, does a zippy bag work? Do I have to buy one of these "wet bags" I keep seeing on all the sites? Also, how do you store your diapers at home while you're accumulating a load to wash?

First off, at home I have a Swaddlebees laundry bag that I use in my diaper pail (see image below). This is a trash can that we bought at Lowes. The bag or pail liner, fits perfectly. I also have the Bummis (I think it's Large) diaper wet bag. It has a zipper and does not fit in the pail. It is what we currently use while the Swaddlebees bag is in the wash, but I plan on getting another Swaddlebees bag when finances allow. These bags can easily hold two days or more of diapers, we usually start the wash before it gets full.

On the go, I have a Swaddlebees Wet bag. I would assume you could put about four diapers in this bag. I'm really having a problem with buying any wet bags/pail liners etc, without seeing them in person. But in GA there is not much choice outside of my friend's new shop near Athens, The Natural Baby.

Some people do use ziplock bags... I wouldn't, but it is done. For a trip out of town, it's my opinion that the Bummis bag would be perfect, it has a draw string and zipper. Both of the Swaddlebees bags only have draw strings.

Breastfeed dirty diapers can just be tossed straight in the bag. Formula-feed dirty diapers need to be dumped (not necessarily dunked) first (in other words get the fecal matter into the potty and not your bag). Once you have a used bag, I would be aware of it in your diaper bag, and not jostle it unrealistically to avoid a spill.

Taking reusable diapers with you does take up extra diaper bag space, but they're so worth it.

Also, I've seen that Prorap covers are about half the cost of the Bummis...are they a viable option?

My sister says: Prowraps are similar to bummis but didn't have snaps when I was shopping. Personally, I know nothing about them. I have not heard anyone talk about them, and I do not know many stores that sell them. Already Bummis, especially Super Snaps are a bargain in comparison to almost all other types of CD.

I read your blog posts about CDing, and see that you just use the covers. Have you tried anything else? I'm also loving the Bum Genius One Size diapers, but dunno what I think of the pocket diapers vs. the cover + prefold. Any thoughts?

If you are referring to this post, then that is actually my SisterL's testimony and experience of CD and a shout out for Bummis bran. I am loving covers with PF. I also have used fitted diapers, my only complaint there so far is the expense. As far as the bG OS... we have only used one once so far to try it out and need more experience to say much. So far we can say that on our little AppleBlossom it is really bulky, yet that is to be expected on a diaper that fits 7-35 pounds on a little 9 pound-er. And for pocket... my experience there so far consists of the FB. Both the OS and the Small PS. We bought two Small PS FB with the microfiber insert and love them, they are DH's current favorite go-to diaper, yet we only have two. We also have 10 Small PS FB seconds (slightly flawed) borrowed from SisterL, these do not have inserts and thus we use PF with them. We use the PF in two different ways, one just laying the PF in the diaper and using it as a cover, and also inserting the PF as if it were an insert. So far I have had a few leaks with the FB inserted with a PF, but that may be a detergent residue issue from the past. No problem ever with my FB with the real FB inserts.

Bummis covers run at $11-12.50 and the PF run at $2-8 depending on the brand and type of fabric. FB with inserts run at $17.95-$18.95. So, really covers + PF is more of an economical option. Yet, pocket diapers are still completely more economic than sposies and come in a bunch of adorable colors and some prints. We are going to use the next 3-6 mo deciding what we want to buy in our Medium size stash, but at this point we are definitely planning on buying both more SWW, SB, and FB.

You know, I think I've decided to go with the Bum Genius 3.0 One Size diapers. They're pocket diapers, but I plan to use them with prefolds so that I don't have to buy as many, or wash them as frequently!

There are many different types and brands of diapers out there. I only wish I were able to try them all and I do plan to try as many as I can. At this point I have not been able to acquire a bG 3.0, but I have heard tons of people talk about them, and do believe they are a best seller. As I said previously, we use some pocket FB with PF. Using them as a cover like a Bummis, you might be able to come out with a clean one, let sit a change, and can use it again. Yet if you stuff the PF in the pocket, they are not reusable before a wash.

I was also wondering though...what detergent do you use to launder your diapers? I've been reading online and there are so many to choose from...

I use Charlie's Soap, but my second choice would be Country Save. This page from Diaper Jungle is the best comparison chart I have found so far. SisterL uses Charlie's for CD and has no problems. I use Charlie's exclusively, and have no issues. (If you go through Charlie's, please mention my name.) I believe these are both soaps that you can find in GA in stores like Whole Foods and Harry's Farmers Market.

Are you using a snappi or anything to hold your prefolds in place, or are you just laying them in the covers? I was thinking I'd just lay them in the covers...

At this point I have not used a Snappi (although I think SisterL was going to let me borrow one to see if I should get some). Click here to see folding instructions (with images), I of course with AppleBlossom use the "Girl Fold".

FYI
Glossary:
CD = cloth diaper(s), cloth diapering
PF = prefolds
OS = one size
AIO = All in One
bG = bumGenius
FB = Fuzzi Bunz
PS = perfect size
DSQ = diaper service quality
SWW = Super Whisper Wraps
SB = Super Brite
SS = Super Snaps

Other things I think to say at this point is to point out sizing information. At this point, AppleBlossom is one month old (today actually) and wearing a size Small. Typically, a size small is ~7-15 lbs. Medium ~ 15-35 lbs. There are of course the exceptions. Names vary, always check the pound or measurements.

Small/Infant/Newborn ~7-15 lbs
Less than 11 pounds Newborn Bambino Mio cover
6-34 pounds OS AIO Bamboo Baby
7-35 pounds OS AIO bG Organic
7-35 pounds OS pocket Fuzzi Bunz
7-18 pounds Small PS Fuzzi Bunz
8-14 pounds Small gDiaper covers
8-15 pounds Bummis covers - SWW, SB, SS
10-20 pounds Medium Mother-ease Air Flow snap cover
10-22 pounds Infant AIO Kushies
11-17 pounds Small AIO Imse Vimse ("Itty Bitty")

10-20 pounds Small Sandy's fitted Diaper
Up to 16 pounds Bambino Mio Size 1 Nappy (PF)
8-15 pounds Bummis Infant 4x8x4 PF
8-15 pounds Newborn green edge 4x8x4 PF

Medium/Infant/Baby ~15-30 lbs
6-34 pounds OS AIO Bamboo Baby
7-35 pounds OS AIO bG Organic
7-35 pounds OS pocket Fuzzi Bunz
10-22 pounds Infant AIO Kushies
10-20 pounds Mother-ease Air Flow snap cover
13-28 pounds Medium gDiapers cover
15-22 pounds Medium AIO Imse Vimse
15-30 pounds Bummis covers
15-30 pounds Medium pocket Fuzzi Bunz

Does any of that information help?


8 comments and creative thoughts:

Lisa Middleton said...

YES! Thanks. lol, sorry to bombard you with questions...I just don't know anyone else who CDs.

In my search though, I did find some folks online who were a big help. Right now I'm contemplating a wet bag. I think I like that Swaddlebees one. =)

Our first test will be that two days after my dipes arrive, we're going to Louisiana to visit the in-laws for a week. Hoping we can CD there, too. =)

Oh, btw, I also LOVE the gDiapers, and would love to use the flushable inserts. However, we have a septic system and I don't think it's a viable option. =P Sad!

Thanks again for your tips, MJ! I really appreciate you taking the time to post!

CherryBlossomMJ said...

Please, feel free to ask me questions. That's what I want to be able to help with in my little bit of cyberspace.

gDiapers - I can tell you lots more about those... They have now come out with gCloth inserts, so even if while at home you cannot use the flushables you can use the cloth. They are adorable and a great different option of cover + snap in liner + insert. Right now with our g's we use the Gerber PF, fold in half, the over twice. It is more bulky than it should be, but was an emergency purchase to get her started immediately. When we get actually gCloth or gInserts the Gerber PF will just become burp cloths.

CherryBlossomMJ said...

Oh, further on the pail liner... I'm seriously considering buying a Bummis XL tote (it is 54 to fit my 53 pail from Lowes). http://www.softclothbunz.com/Bummis-Tote-Bags_p_10.html

I am also considering getting two more Small totes to have available out and about and such.

CherryBlossomMJ said...

That's 54 Quarts BTW.

CherryBlossomMJ said...

Lisa - The Bummis XL tote is less expensive than the Swaddlebees laundry bag. BUT, I see that the Wahmies Pail Liner is even less expensive than the Bummis. All are for a 54 QT pail.

http://www.thenaturalbaby.com/shop/cloth-diapers/diaper-accessories/pail-liners/wet-bags-38-pail-liners/1-wahmies-diaper-pail-liners/

Abi said...

I used cloth diapers for both my girls, who are teenagers now. These are so much different than what I had back then.

CherryBlossomMJ said...

I'd say that it is really in the last five years even that the CD world has revolutionized with so many simple methods. It is really even easier to CD than to use sposies once you are introduced to it. I can find absolutely no reason not to.

rbenson said...

I just love our thirsties cloth diapers. Not only are they great quality but the look great as well.
http://www.monkeybunz.com/m8-Thirsties.html

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