Monday, March 09, 2009

We made the switch! A journey from paper to cloth diapers.

Since our little lovey was born (4 months ago, can you believe it?!) we've been using disposable diapers. With every giant garbage bag full I experienced more and more guilt. I mean, those diapers are going to be around for my daughter's grandbabies!! I wanted to switch to cloth, but it was very intimidating. There are zillions of diapers, covers, all-in-ones, pocket diapers, fitted diapers, prefolds, contoured diapers...the list goes on and on and on and ON! I was totally overwhelmed. So I put it out there (on our local neighborhood google group) that I wanted to get started and a total stranger mama of twins invited me to her house to see her system. She even gave me a couple of diaper covers that her children had outgrown. Then our local diaper service donated (yes, DONATED!) a bunch of diapers, covers, diaperpail, pail liner, and cloth wipes to me. Another friend gave me a bag of more stuff with pre-folds, contoured diapers and snappies, then another mama gave me her all in one diapers! I was overflowing with cloth diapers and I hadn't even begun to put them on her bum.

Now, my mama cloth diapered us, but I remember this bucket of stinky diapers and liquid, (poop soup as cloth diapering sites refer to it) and I was not looking forward to that at all! Plus, the little plastic shorts...ick. But cloth diapering has come a long way! No more poop soup! They come in all colors, shapes designs, snaps, velcro, waterproof cloth and more! It was hard to imagine, but some of the cutest things out there for babies are diapers! And they are going to get pooped on! It's a whole world of work at home mamas fueling this thing. Most of the popular brands were made by mamas. I think that is amazing!

So in light of the Geeks still unemployed situation, I decided to go ahead and move on over to cloth. I tried a couple per day to get in the hang of things and finally decieded to not buy any more sposies (disposables). It was scary! But she hasn't leaked yet and I actually really enjoy knowing I am doing a good thing for our budget, the planet, and my baby's bum!

Because she is still so small and most of the stuff we were given is for bigger babies, I did buy pre-fold diapers in infant size, plus some covers too. But since I was going to have to spent that money on diapers in the next few weeks anyway, I don't feel guilty at all. I know I won't have to spend it again!

Kind people in my neighborhood gave me a list of where to begin and I am pretty much there. Here's what they recommended:

"But here's a good start if you do laundry every other day:
  • 24 prefolds (either infant size or premium size depending on the weight of your baby)
  • 3-5 covers (the younger your baby the more covers you will need... the same is true if you used a snappi or not. If you use a snappi you can get by with fewer covers)
  • 2 diaper pail liners (one is in the wash with the dirties while the other is in the pail collecting dirties)
  • 1 pail
  • 1 snappi (these come in 2 different sizes depending on the age of your baby - infant and toddler)
  • 20 wipes - if you are washing prefolds you might as well wash wipes... then you don't have to buy these at the store too. ( I made my own with those tiny wash cloths that we were given TONS of, and cut up least favorite flannel receiving blankets - yes they unravel a bit, but it's for cleaning up poo! It doesn't have to be perfect)
  • 3 doublers - for extra absorbency during night/naps (these you need if you're not changing a diaper at night) I chose 3 hemp doublers from an online diaper shop"
  • I also added a 'wet bag' (a waterproof bag for used wet diapers). A mama has to get out sometimes!! I also added a little spray bottle for my diaper bag to wet my cloth wipes.

So with our newly prepped pre-folds and covers in hand we began our adventure. Here's our first cloth diapering. The baby bear did not approve of being put in this bulky thing, plus Mama was trying to get the hang it too! (this was before we bought smaller pre-folds.)

Giant diaper bum!
My stash of diapers - they came like this and had to be prepped (washing in hot water and then drying 3-5 times)
After prepping they looked like this (fluffy!!)
This is what we use every day or 2 - minus the larger diapers on the right and not all of the wipes.
The pretty colored covers are by Thirsties. The white one is a Bummis Super Snap.

So far, so good! I'm not overwhelmed by laundry and we are in a groove.


Beth said...

I have been meaning to get a post up about how easy it is to cloth it. You beat me to it! Thanks for sharing all this. I love how much you got for free. It shows what can come if you aren't afraid to ask for help!

Elizabeth Wickland said...

We cloth diapered Eliana until she was a year and a half. I love it! I wish we were using cloth training pants now that we're potty training, but I'm too lazy to make them and I don't really want to buy new supplies. So we're using pull ups at night and while we're out of the house.

I love how much free stuff you got and I'm SO PROUD of you for going the cloth diaper route, Nana!

Jaime said...

For someone that didn't use cloth diapers, you are speaking a whole new language! Very interesting! I'm glad you guys are getting in a groove.

Jennifer Moore Temple said...

How fabulous! I own a diaper service in Maine and am a member of the Real Diaper Industry association (we promote cloth!) and would love the name of the diaper service in your area. Sounds like a wonderful company and I'd like to connect with them....

Jennifer (

Kendra & Tobin Kirk said...

You'll have to show me how you do it all...I looked into it when I was pregnant with the boys but it was very overwhelming and confusing.

Kendra said...

Where are you finding these fluffy prefolds? and what is a snappi? How often to you need to wash the covers? Do they get wet/dirty with every change? We use gdiapers and I'm still trying to understand other systems! Thanks!

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