Saturday, January 29, 2011

Thoughts on Diapers--Opinions Please!

90% of the time I get this reaction: "You're crazy!" When I tell people I'm thinking about cloth diapers.  I realize there is an added element of ickiness to it and a little extra work involved, but I'm about 60% leaning towards cloth for now.  It was this post on Young House Love that really got me thinking.  And really, its the only review I've read/heard that is so in depth on cloth diapers, but it had me sold!  I would definitely go for the Bumgenius Elemental All in One just because John and Sherry recommend them, but there are probably other great options too.

I love the idea of cloth because:
1.  First and foremost, I really believe it can save you money.  Diaperpin.com has a calculator to compare the cost of cloth diapers to disposables.  I compared the most expensive cloth diapers I could find ($24.95 each) to the average cost of disposables ($.20 each).  The outcome?  According to Diaperpin.com I would save $635 a year by using cloth diapers.  I realize that for some, looking at it as $53 a month in savings maybe doesn't seem worth it for the added effort of cloth, but that $53 can be a huge difference in our budget.  I mean really, that's like a pair of shoes a month!  Or an extra date night!  More darling baby outfits! 

2.  There may be a number of other benefits for the baby too.  I've done a ton of reading from people who have used both cloth and disposable.  The general theme I get is that babies in cloth sleep longer at night, have fewer blowouts, and fewer cases of diaper rash.  Sounds good to me! (Side note: explaining to Kyle what a blowout is and how it happens was a really memorable occasion).

3.  I wouldn't consider myself a very "green" person (even though it is so chic these days), but the idea of saving about 3000 disposable diapers from the landfill each year feels like a pat on the back!  (And really there should be some good karma in store for that, don't you think?)

4.  They aren't like they used to be!  You can get all in one cloth diapers that don't require any kind of pinning, folding, or stuffing.  They literally work just like a disposable, only you don't throw them away when you're done.  I would never go for cloth if I had to fold or pin anything.  I'm just not that dedicated.  (How did our moms and grandmas do it?!?)

5.  Most importantly, they also come in prints that are really just so cute.
see!?!


BUT I am not 100% sold on cloth because:
1.  You gotta rinse off the poop.  Now, I don't think I will have much of a problem with this, but I do fear for the health and sanity of Kyle.  He already has a gagging aversion to poopy diapers and if he has to rinse them out himself.... I'm afraid he may never change another diaper again.  The folks at Young House Love mentioned the diaper sprayer they use and love and I think this could really make a difference here but just the same, we're talkin' about poop.  And poop makes Kyle gag. 

2.  Time.  I plan to be working from home a lot once we have the baby and I worry that the added step of rinsing #2 diapers and doing laundry every 1.5 days might be more than I can handle.  On top of the usual feeding, bathing, burping, and general overall exhaustion that seems to come with motherhood.  Am I perhaps taking on too much by wanting to use cloth??

3.  Another thing I've read about cloth is that you need to change the baby really soon after you notice a wet diaper, or he could end up with diaper rash.  However, I'm not all that concerned about this because isn't it the same with disposables?  Leaving a kid in any kind of a wet diaper for a long time can't be good, cloth or disposable.


Things that also should be mentioned:
1.  I wouldn't go 100% cloth.  For example: road trips, baby sitters, and spending the day away from home would all warrant the use of disposables.  (See? I'm not really very green after all)

2.  Our plan for now is to get a couple of cloth and to use them on a trial basis for awhile just to see if we can cut it.  If it's good to go, then we'd invest in more.

3.  I would totally be using the diaper sprayer, so if you come over and wonder why there's a shower head on our toilet, don't mistake it for a bidet.

 
So tell me friends, what's your opinion on cloth? 
Do you think I'm crazy??
Do you wish you had a bidet?

I'm a novice mom-to-be and trust me, I need all the help I can get.

54 comments:

Crystal said...

I don't have strong feelings one way or the other about cloth/disposable diapers. I know a couple of people who do cloth diapers, and they seem to like it. I have no problems with using disposables, and I feel like they are so much easier, so that's what I do. I have a huge attitude of simplifying my life :) I think that with your first using cloth would be easier than with your second (or subsequent) because you have a lot more time/energy to commit to it with one than you do with more. I like your plan of getting a few and seeing how it goes! Good luck, friend! There's a lot to think about, huh?! :) Love you!

Kellie said...

I say DO it! Sometimes I think about switching over, but then I feel like if I was going to do it I should have made the investment when my first daughter was born. You'll save TONS of money AND the environment.

Jacob and Candra said...

Having a 2 week old (as of today) my advice is to at least start off with disposable. Have you read yet that they can go through 8-12 diapers a day? Mine is going through closer to the 8- and I still can not imagine having to rinse out those diapers and launder them. Sometimes just taking the disposable to the trash seems like a HUGE task.

That was one thing I never comprehended until being in the middle of it. The sheer exhaustion you feel- and no explanation to why. Feeding and changing diapers doesn't seem that hard and time consuming right???? it is.

I decided I'll consider cloth diapers when I have my energy back, and there are less diapers a day to deal with. Until then- I have enough diapers from the "diaper raffle" at my baby shower to last at least 3-4 months. (I highly recommend requesting a diaper raffle to whoever hosts your shower. we got around 1200 diapers in sizes nb-2)

Kristi said...

I never tried cloth diapers for my little one, but people I know that do, love it. So give it a try and then you can decide. And I think Kyle's gag reflex will calm down after the first few spit ups and blow outs! Dads are so funny. And no way to the bidet... though foyers are not foreign to me. But that has nothing to do with poop.

Megan B said...

I have some close friends who cloth diaper their baby and it has me convinced that I will do it when the time comes. I think that with newborns, most people use disposables because of the frequent poopage. Also, I think that Kyle will probably be less grossed out by poop as time goes by...I'm certainly no expert but I'd imagine you see lots of gross things as a parent.

What really has me sold is the obvious environmental impact, plus how cute baby bottoms are in cloth!

vickyj said...

I did cloth diapers with 4 of the 5 children. You were the blessed one born in the age of disposables. AND I had to fold and pin diapers and line dry the rubber pants. Are the cloth diapers now covered with some water-proofing, or do you have to buy those, too?
At one time, there were diaper liners -- kind of the texture of fabric softener sheets -- so that most of the poo would slide right off into the toilet with the flushable liner. New babies are constantly pooping, so you are constantly changing. It's just what they do. And that stuff stains until they get it all out of their system. When you use cloth, do them come in "one-size-fits-all" or do you have to up-size as they grow? That could add up.

My opinion, I think toddlers are easier to potty train when they are in cloth -- they "feel" things quicker.

That's my food for thought. Good Luck!

Jamie said...

I emailed you on facebook. :o)

mrsmonje said...

I have no advice because well lets face it, you and I are in the same boat my friend. I have been looking into and considering cloth diapers also. Most people, like my husband and mother thinks Im nuts but I dont think it would be that bad. I think that we will probably go the same route, buy a few as a trial and see how well it goes! Im glad you did this post and had a link to another blog also!

Derek and Jen said...

That's a tough one since there's so many pros and cons to both. My experience has been that, especially when they're newborns, I'm sooo exhausted all the time that cleaning up a cloth diaper is the LAST thing I want to do 8 times a day and at least twice at night. Having to wash them at night would kill me!!

My other push toward disposable would be the grossness factor. :) As the babies get older, their poo gets grosser and stinkier...especially when you add meat to their diets! Now, while potty training Houston, he occasionally poops in his underwear and I'm telling you, it's the sickest thing I've EVER had to clean up...which I imagine is similar to a cloth diaper. I seriously just want to throw his underwear away every time he messes them! :)

Good luck!

Rich and Brianne said...

I would have never lasted on cloth. I think it's great for people who can do it, so your trial idea is probably a great thing. I agree with most of the comments, that especially as a newborn, cloth diapering might not be worth it considering the convenience of the disposable. I'm not sure about the night sleeping because if Devin wasn't poopy, I never changed him in the night bc I didn't want to disturb him too much, but I think with cloth you'd for sure have to change even if they were just wet. Anyway, good luck! Diapering is such a fun part of parenting :)

Kami @ Everyday Heaven said...

Oh Kourtney, I love your blog! Suzi always blogs about how funny you are, and I agree. Now don't get a big head, lets talk about poop!

My son pooped 8 times before we left the hospital, and we didn't even stay the full 24 hours! I can't imagine all the mess in the first few month if we had used cloth. My Husband had a bit of an aversion to poo too, so if using disposable got him to change diapers, I was all for it. There is no way he would have washed out poopy diapers in the toilet.

I was my Mom's first baby in disposable diapers and she always talks about how grateful she was for them and she wishes she could have had them with all my siblings. I use that as great advice from someone who has done it both ways.

Amanda said...

Hi there! This is my first time reading your blog and I had a lot of the same concerns about cloth diapering that you do. But I had no choice--at two months it was very clear that my son had a pretty ridiculous allergy to disposables!

Allow me to address your concerns:

1. About the whole poop thing...I have never rinsed out a diaper. I just scrape the poop into the toilet (and now that my son is a year old, it usually just falls out of the diaper) and then I toss it in my diaper pail. They wash clean every time.

2. I am a SAHM, but my friend who is a radiologist does cloth full time, and she makes it work. You can do it!

3. You are exactly right. I change Bug when I notice he's wet, but he's never gotten a rash with the cloth like he had with disposables!

Also, I only did cloth at home at first--but I found it was very doable for running errands, going out, etc. We do disposables for vacations, though.

Good luck! I guarantee you you won't regret it:)

Amber said...

If it makes you feel any better, if you plan to exclusively breastfeed you don't have to mess with poopy diapers in the toilet--just throw them in the wash and you're done! Once you add formula or foods you lose this luxury though BUT you're technically supposed to shake poop off into the toilet with disposable diapers as well but most people don't read that or follow it.

Becky said...

I switched to cloth at 10 months old and loved it. I can understand not wanting to do it immediately, but wish I had done it by 3 months, when I was cleaning poop off clothes all the time from blowouts. You have to clean poop no matter what you do, I promise. Tell your husband that. He will learn to deal too. It's gross but somehow not as gross as you think it's going to be.

I like your trial idea, but the problem with it is you won't have enough diapers to wash, so you'll end up washing two at a time with towels and it's not very practical. I would suggest checking out a trial package (like at Jillian's Drawers). You get enough diapers to actually have a decent wash load, and they are all different kinds of diapers, so you can see which ones you prefer. I prefer prefolds--who knew?

Anyway, I think cloth is totally worth it, and this is coming from someone who just a year ago was saying "NO. WAY. IN. H***." LOL

Good luck, whatever you decide, and congratulations!

Mrs.B said...

When I was pregnant, I thought NO WAY would I ever do cloth diapers. It just sounded gross. But when my girl was about 5 months old she started getting horrible rashes from her diapers(Pampers Dry Max debacle), so that got me looking into cloth. The more I researched, the more I wanted to try it. And I am SO glad I did. I absolutely love using cloth diapers, and I look at disposable with such disgust now. LOL It is really EASY to use cloth diapers, and you never have to worry about running out or how buying diapers is going to affect your budget. I promise, if you try them you will be so surprised and soon addicted to cloth diapers.

A Gluten Free Mommy said...

Good morning!

I have used a combination of cloth and disposables for the past four years (2 kids). This has been a huge costs savings for our family. I bought the diapers 1 time four years ago and spent about $400. Before my second baby was born, I had to put new elastics in the diapers, but was able to use 95% of the original purchase with both kids.

I do use disposables at night with my son because he is a very heavy wetter (and heavy sleeper so the we diaper didn't wake him like it had for my daughter) and was leaking though the cloth (even double stuffed).

I still do buy a box of disposable diapers every couple of months. The latest box lasted almost 3 months. I use the disposables on shopping trips, at night, and on vacations.

The washing thing wasn't really a big deal (don't get a HE front loader--adds quite a lot of work). I don't spray off the diapers first. I shake the poop into the toilet, but that's all the prep I do before putting them in the diaper pail.

I have a giveaway on my blog for some cloth diaper soap to get you started on your journey. Check it out at http://aglutenfreemom.blogspot.com

Laura
A Gluten Free Mom

Leigh said...

Poop. Cloth, disposables, no diapers, you are going to be dealing with a lot of poop. You get over it. Breastfeed poop is water soluble, so you can toss the dirty diaper right in the pail and then the wash. Once soilds start, that is when you need to start spraying. Or you can use flushable liners and just drop them in. What ever you do, still less gross than wiping it off of their nooks and crannies.

Time. Remember, this is not hard laundry, no folding, sorting etc. Just stick in in the machine and press some buttons. And you don't have to take the time to go buy diapers, remember if you have diapers, realize the diapers you just bought are not too small etc. You are also dealing with the diaper pail regularly so way less stink build up and less hauling out to the cold garbage pail.

Rash. far fewer rashes with cloth since there is so much less in the diapers to irritate a little bottom.

$$. Remember if you have a second kid, you are diapering them for the laundry costs. Used cloth diapers also have a fair bit of value, used disposables, not so much.

They work better. Real elastic holds in explosive baby poo. Pleated paper not so much. Cloth diaper babies do not get poop in their hair until they are old enough to get it their with their hands. Also darn cute. And you have not even looked at the wetbags yet.

LadyIlsebet said...

I've been cloth diapering for about 17 months now (since preemie girl came home from the hospital). I'll try to mention your concerns point by point...

1)Rinsing poop - not necessary while baby is nursing/bottle fed, only after solids get going. Even now that my daughter has toddler poo, I don't actually RINSE the diaper - just shake off the solids into the toilet, or pull them off with a wipe

2)I do diaper laundry every 4 days-ish. It takes time, yes, but not a lot of active time - mostly, I'm waiting for the washer or dryer to finish. Just buy enough diapers that you don't have to do laundry so often!

3)My daughter is in prefolds all day, which keeps moisture right next to the skin. I find I only need to change her every 2 hours, and I figured out nighttime diapering so she can go 12 hours without a change. So, figuring in a poopy or two a day, that means 10 diapers or less a day

Also mentioned items

1) Cloth is doable while out and about for the day, especially if you stay with AIO diapers. Just take a wetbag with you for the dirties! They can go without washing until you are home and do your next load, really. Also very doable for babysitters, because they are no more difficult to change than a disposable, and they can just put the diaper in a wetbag, too! My daycare actually PREFERS the prefolds, believe it or not.

2) There are several online diaper shops that have trial programs - check them out! The best one really depends on where you live, etc

3) I haven't needed a diaper sprayer yet. You might not, either :-)

Anonymous said...

Hi! Cloth diapering is easier than you think, especially with AIO diapers. There are also flushable liners that you can use that allow you to just lift up any poop and flush away, no rinsing required! Throwing in a couple of loads of diapers a week is not as bad as having to run to the store, purchase, lug them home etc... every week. Newborns do not yet have the layers of skin that adults have so deciding what to put next to that ultra sensitive skin is actually a pretty important decision. Nobody really knows how the chemicals in disposables could affect our kids long term when being absorbed through the skin 24/7 for 2-3 years. Just a few thoughts! :)

Rebecca said...

My baby is nearly 17 months and I haven't rinsed a diaper off yet. While he breastfed I put the whole thing in, and when he started solids I shook off what I could into the toilet and everything else came out in the pre-rinse, then washed out.

One of the pros for cloth is the chemical factor. Disposables are full of chemicals. I didn't realize how much until I started researching it. Now, when we get some disposables for a trip, I want to gag from the smell on the diaper aisle. I never noticed it with my other, disposable-wearing kids.

gnatalie said...

Just stopping by to share a little of my cloth diapering experience. We used disposables for a couple of weeks and then began using cloth part-time until we had enough that fit well to use full-time (which was around 10lbs). I was so thrilled to switch because the 8-12 diapers a day seemed so expensive & wasteful. If you're baby is breastfed, you don't even need to rinse every diaper. The poo will wash off easily in your washer.

The poo issue with your husband is a concern though. Diaper liners might help and the diaper sprayer, but I'll be honest - it might not. My sister gags in any attempt to dispose of the poo, so she just leaves it for me. Using the diaper sprayer, even older poo comes off easily so I don't mind.

As for night time, my baby boy is a fairly heavy wetter and I don't wake him to change at night. Most of the cloth diapers, including the BumGenius, are made to pull moisture away from baby just like disposables. They may not do that as quickly, but they get the job done. There are a variety of ways to increase the amount your diaper can absorb, and I find that using hemp inserts inside my BumGenius diapers makes for dry, restful nights.

As for the time issue, that is one thing I've never been bothered by. I work full-time outside of the home, and since my 13 month-old has yet to sleep through the night I am in a constant state of exhaustion. I barely keep up with housework, but throwing diapers in the washer has never seemed very time consuming. Neither does rinsing them, which seems like a far better option to me than smelling a trash can full of used disposable diapers. Stuffing inserts in to diapers for 3 days will take me about 15 minutes, and then I can quickly grab one when needed. BUT, I realize that is because I love our cloth diapers & am totally devoted to using them.

Hope my experiences help give you some more info to think about. Good luck to you and happy parenting :)

Courtney said...

First let me say that the first time a friend told me they were going to use cloth diapers, my first thought was ewww gross! They I saw them and they were so cute, I had to investigate. We did not cd our first child, but I got interested when our second was born. My husband was not totally on board, but by about the time our son was 10 mo old,I had half convinced him and I started using cloth. Fell in love immediately and haven't looked back.

I can say that I started out with the all in ones because I didn't picture myself as a pinner or folder either. But we have a 3 mo old and I have to admit that I actually like prefolds for him (the kind our mothers used). It is so not me--I like the pat on the back, but didn't switch to save the world. Once I found out i was pg with #3, I decided to get a little bit of each kind of diaper and try them all out. I still really like the AIO diapers, but definitely found a place for the other kinds as well.

One really nice thing--if you plan to breastfeed, you don't have to spray or rinse the poo of the diapers--just dump directly into the wet bag or pail. My son goes to preschool 2 days a week and they are completely fine with using cloth. Once people see how easy it is (ie:babysitters, etc), it isn't a big deal.

Extra time is something I have very little of (3 under 3 at this house!) and added laundry was a concern for me. Turns out it was not a big deal at all. I throw diapers in every other night before bed and dry them in the am. It works for us and hasn't been an issue.

I will say that I definitely keep some disposables around for times when I just can't get to it all (3 children under 3 can do that to you...). I don't travel with cloth, but I do use it almost exclusively other than that.

My favorite diapers:
BG AIO (being discontinued, but still available at www.cottonbabies.com--grab one or 2!)

Fuzzibunz (pockets that have to be stuffed, but great diapers! one size diaper that fit very well. My go-to with my 21 mo old son)

Rumparooz (one size diaper that I LOVE for my newborn. I only have 2 of these, so I haven't tried them on my older son since they are so good at holding in what would otherwise be an explosion)
I recommend getting some newborn diapers for the itty bitty stage. Bumgenius xs and

Fuzzibunz xs diapers are so nice and trim on my newborn. the BG fit him for 3 months, the FB are still fitting him!

Good luck!

Sarah Schulz said...

Two words for you: Flushable. Liners. They are great! They were the only way I agreed to start cloth diapering. They let the urine through to the diaper and keep the poop on the liner, so when it's messy, you just lift it out and flush or toss. So easy! No spraying. I have since gotten braver and gotten a sprayer, but the flushable liners were a great start.

And I agree with other comments - if you don't deal with the poop in cloth, you will deal with poop EVERYWHERE from disposable blowouts. I knew a mom who said she hated buying newborn onesies because they ended up stained from so many blowouts. All my newborn onesies are still in pristine condition. And honestly, I'd rather clean up diaper poo than clean up poo that exploded all the way up the back of the onesie. That is just beyond gross.

And laundry is really doable. I have been able to make it work with a front loader, but overall people prefer top loaders for cloth. And eventually you just fall in love with the cute factor!! Good luck!

ladybugmandie said...

I love cloth!!!!! It is completely addicting!!!!! We started out in disposables but DD got this awful rash when pampers changed there diapers and since I had kinda played around with cloth while I was home over the summer (teacher) we just went to cloth all the time she is at home. Now daycare is another story since they refuse to use cloth so she is in disposables there I had a heck of a time find one that she did not get a rash in since she has super sensitive skin. Go for it an you won't regret it. It really is not that much extra laundry to do and I use pockets and can sit on the sofa and watch the news and stuff diapers before it is half over with. Good Luck!!!!

Erin said...

Hi! I found your blog from FB and I wanted to tell you about our diaper journey with our son who will be 1 next month. We used disposables for the first 5 months. Here's what I liked:
For new parents it was easy
very trim
kept him dry
take off, wipe bum and throw away
What I hated:
the BLOWOUTS. In the car, at baby class, on me.
So much garbage
diaper rash
Only one store carried the type I liked
the cost
I want to say I am not anti disposable and have a small pack for trips and babysitters. The reason I tried cloth was my son started rolling over and sleeping on his belly and leaked out of every disposable I could get my hands on. I was sick of changing crib bedding after every nap or night. Thats a lot of washing! I had a friend that I bought some cloth diapers from (fuzzi bunz one size) to try and then bought 6 bumgenius 3.0 to add to my stash. Here's what I love about cloth:
So soft and great fit
no diaper rash ( only once and I was a bad mama and didn't know there was a phantom poop in there!)
Easy to wash and dry
tons of different options
Have you seen how cute they are!
Don't have to run to the store for new diapers
Set for future babies thus money saving
The cloth diaper community on FB and the web!
What I don't like:
The laundry ( I wash every tues, thurs, sat/sun)
peoples reaction when I tell them W is a cloth bum
messy poop and what comes along with that but I hated that with both types of diapers.
I have over 30 diapers now ( I need help :0 ) and would never go back. I have a husband that went into it with me saying he would never change a poop and he does with little issues now. We have a diaper sprayer and I would totally recommend getting one. I would also say try a couple of different types of diapers and read reviews before buying a lot or only one brand. Some fit my son way better than others. Cubby legs vs skinny legs for example. Spend some time on diapers sites and look around before you commit. The cloth community is so helpful. I think having about 15 diapers makes laundry way easier so if you start with a few remember you will wash daily. Sorry this is so long but I hope it helps. Good luck and remember it is your baby and your life and only you know what works best for your family!

Jamie said...

Okay, I'm going to chime in again even though I sent you and annoyingly long email already about this hahaha.
1. You SHOULD rinse the diaper no matter what people are saying. If you just throw it in you are just spreading the bacteria around and yes that rise drains out but if you want to know about microbs etc. etc that will still be present if you do this please ask Justin he can tell you all about it.
2. The chemicals are not getting ingested by your baby that are in the diapers. Lexi couldn't wear some diapers because of what was in them, so guess what we just switched until we found what worked and I'm pretty sure she turned out okay and is not going to have any problems. (not to mention, what do you think your laundry detergent is made of that you're washing the diapers with anyways...)
3. Totally go for it if your feeling confident this is what you want to do. I really don't think that one way or another is ALL better. They both have pro's and con's. I just believe cloth has way more cons. (and yes I've tried both).
What's more from what I've seen the diapers will be totally trashed after 2 kids and you'll have to purchase more... so take that into effect when doing your cost analysis. Even if you don't have to replace them all, I'm 100% positive you'll have to replace some. (although you could probably make them if you could find the material).
Again we love you and will love your baby even if they have stinky cloth bum :o) Just know we will probably tarnish your kid when they come hang out with us because I'll secretly put disposables on it! ;o)

That one girl said...

Not much I can say on here that all other commenters have covered. I just started cloth diapering and I love it!

Bum Genius all in ones are my FAV!!!

Next up: Fuzzibunz pockets.

I don't buy a diaper unless it's 50% off. Get Bum Genius NOW!! They are like $9.00 a diaper.

Also, sign up for Zulily and Babysteals. Cloth diapers go on there at least every other month at 50% off.

With two kids in diapers I spent $100 a month on disposables and wipes.

$200 in cloth diapers have been diapering them full time. It pretty much pays for itself in two months.

The laundry isn't bad. I do so much of it anyway, what is another two loads a week?

Rebecca said...

I have 5 kids age 6 and under. I have cloth diapered for nearly 4 years on 4 different babies. I eased into it at first, but now that I'm on my 5th baby, I start them from the very first diaper and haven't used a disposable in ages! Mine are in 100% cloth and at one point I had 3 in diapers. It still wasn't hard, even with three in diapers!
I use kissaluvs size 0 with Bummis covers until they fit into my BumGenius one-size pocket diapers. I have used the same diapers all this time and they are holding up beautifully! I have never cleaned diapers out in the toilet. That's just GROSS. In fact, from the very beginning when the little babe is exclusively breastfed, I do nothing at all. The diaper goes straight into the pail and then straight into the wash. All the newborn poop comes out completely in the wash with no problem at all. Even meconium- every time for me! It's honestly no more difficult at all than disposables. Even with a newborn it is totally doable. The only difference is instead of throwing the whole diaper into a trash can, I threw it into my diaper pail. It's seriously that easy. And washing is a snap. My husband is a wiz at diaper changes. Even my 6 year old is starting to learn how. I love cloth and will never go back to disposables! It has saved us SO MUCH MONEY. And with 5 kids, I need to save all I can!

Catherine said...

Try it! Aside from all the pros you listed, they just work much better. No poo-splosions. They also aren't as stinky, in my opinion. The disposables have a chemically smell that seems to enhance pee smell. We don't rinse. The breastfed baby poo just gets thrown in the washer and once they start on solids, just shake the poo in the toilet or use a disposable liner. My husband thought I was crazy at first, but now he hates when I pull out disposables for trips. Incidentally, I love pocket diapers much better than the BG Elementals. Definitely try a few different brands and styles. BG pockets worked great on my daughter but it is Fuzzibunz all the way for my son. Ragababe is also a great new brand. And they have All-in-ones that are easy to use and made of natural materials like the Elementals. Good luck!

Susan said...

(PART 1 - my response was too long for one comment box) Hi there! I came over from a link that someone else had up to your post. Our daughter is 4.5 months old; we knew before she was born that we were ultimately going to cloth diaper (CD). But several friends who had also done it strongly suggested that we start with sposies until we got her home and got settled into a new parenting routine. That was a fabulous suggestion, and I would make it to any new parent thinking about CD.

We used sposies for two months; essentially we just used up all the sposies that we received as gifts, and when we started getting low, we started switching gears. We started with gDiapers using the disposable/flushable inserts. Those were more or less our segway diaper. They were okay. There is no cost savings with them, and the flushable inserts contain the same chemicals that regular sposies contain, so the only real advantage is that they aren't going into the landfill. When we ran out of flushable inserts, we started using prefolds in the liner (a suggestion from a CD friend). This method is okay. We have 4 sets of gPants in each size and a dozen prefold dipes. Hubby and I don't use this much anymore, the grandparents use it on a daily basis. Both sets of parents baby sit for us during the week, and they find the gDiaper pants much less 'intimidating' than the snaps on our pocket diapers. If I use this method for any reason, I tend to put a microfiber insert under/inside the prefold, which helps to maintain the layout of the prefold in the liner.

While we were using the gDiapers with the flushable inserts, I started ordering some pocket diapers. I ordered 1 diaper from 5 different brands to start, so we could see what we liked and didn't like. At this point, hubby or I are doing the diapering, we use pocket diapers almost exclusively. I cannot tell you enough how much I love them.

Specific to the points you posted, I can tell you the following....
The initial expenditure on decent cloth diapers (if you are planning to use pockets or all-in-ones as opposed to prefolds/flats with covers) can seem daunting...but there is definite savings in the long run. Once you find one or two sites that you like ordering from, you can sign up for email newsletters, which usually contain a discount code. You can definitely purchase stuff at better pricing if you are patient.

Our daughter sleeps 6-10 hours at a clip overnight. If she wakes up to eat, we change her; if she sleeps all the way through, it's in the same diaper. She usually wakes up if her diaper is poopy. When we were using sposies, we had to put butt paste on her each time we changed her to prevent redness. We have NOT had to use butt paste once since switching to cloth. We have had one blowout, but it was in the wee hours, and I suspect that it was two poos, not just one. No matter what type of diaper you use, eventually you'll have a few blowouts.

We used to get the same reaction when we told people that we were planning to use cloth. Most people picture flats, big pins and rubber covers. Some people despise stuffing pocket dipes, but I find that it's not really that bad. I prefer the pocket diapers with the removable inserts because the dry MUCH faster than all-in-ones. It's also much easier to get the inserts clean when the come out of the diaper, as opposed to remaining inside. If you have one 'problem' insert, it's a piece of cake to pull it from your rotation and replace it with something else when you're using pockets.

Susan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Susan said...

Part 2 - Rinsing poop - if you are planning to be exclusively breast milk for a while, poop won't initially be bad at all. Breast milk poo has little, if any, odor at all and it's thin and watery. I was worried about my hubby with the poo...I had the same concerns you do. But, now he walks around telling people that it's not bad at all. When we start cereal and basic solids in a could months, it will be a gradual transition, so the poo will change gradually. But generally speaking, newborn poopy diapers are nothing at all like those of a 6 or 9 or 12 month old. We have a sprayer all ready to go, too, so I don't think it will be too bad.

I am self employed. I run a private physical therapy practice, and I am pretty much the main attraction there, so I don't have a choice about going to work. Before Jenna was born, I didn't have enough time in any given day, and I was really concerned that CD would make it worse. We wash every 36-48 hours, then we dry everything on our wooden drying rack (helps to extend the life of the diaper). We figured out the other day that we (I) invest about 30 minutes a day in processing dirty dipes, washing, putting on the drying rack, then restuffing pockets. That might increase to 40-45 minutes daily when we have more heavy duty poo, but it might not. I have WAY more time invested every day in nursing and pumping than I do in diapers!!!

As far as frequent changing, I try to change as soon as I know she's done pooping, regardless of sposie or cloth. Just because. If she is only wet (or I don't know that there is poo present), I generally change every 2 hours, regardless of sposie or cloth. She hated wet sposie dipes and would fuss all the time to be changed. I'm finding now, that she is actually kept drier with the cloth diapers and doesn't really know/mind that she is wet. Most pocket dipes and all in ones are lined with fleece or microsuede. I prefer the fleece, but both pull moisture away from the skin and into the inserts. So I am going to say that it's a myth that you need to change more frequently unless you are someone that leaves a diaper on for hours on end...

We keep sposies on hand for emergencies. We will very likely use them for any extended trips (more than 2 nights) away from home, just to simplify logistics. If you use Aplix/velcro closure dipes, you might find a sitter that's willing to do cloth, since those go on more or less just like sposies.

I would suggest finding a try/return program. They'll send you a bunch of different diapers and you can try them out, keep what you like and return what you don't.

Check out http://www.kellyscloset.com/Create-Your-Own-One-Size-Sample-Package_p_3738.html

http://www.fluffenvy.com/Try-Cloth-Diapers_ep_49-1.html

http://www.jilliansdrawers.com/products/clothdiapers/tryclothfor10

I personally do a fair amount of business with Abby's Lane and Fluff Envy. I haven't used Jillian's Drawers, but I have a friend who uses that site exclusively.


Overall, I would say that if it's something that appeals to you, do it!! If it doesn't work, you can always go back to sposies, sell your cloth and reclaim most of your money. One warning to you....it is addicting once you get started. You could spend hours surfing looking at all kinds of diapers. There are many cloth diapering blogs (I have links to some of them on my sidebar if you haven't been to any of them - http://discoveringlifesbasics.blogspot.com), and lots of them have giveaways. I never win anything and have won 2 diapers in the last month. If you have any questions, you are welcome to drop me an email...my email address is listed here under my profile. Good luck with whatever you decide!!!

Meredith said...

Hi! First let me say, CONGRATS!

So many commenters already made most of the points that I would, so instead of typing a novella in your comments, here is a link to my blog that I wrote explaining why I switched to cloth:
http://parentingchronicles.blogspot.com/2010/06/diapers-diapers-diapers.html

I am about to start cloth diapering a second child (he is due in 9 weeks), and at this point, couldn't imagine doing it any other way.

My favorite cloth retailer is www.fluffenvy.com because she offers some things that others don't, like layaway and a diaper of te month club. But, you will find that most cloth diaper retailers have the same prices, excellent customer service and their own benefit.

The best of luck with everything! Enjoy the rest of your pregnancy!

Steph said...

I started looking into cloth while I was pregnant because of the possible savings. It's a no-brainer from that perspective and has so far saved us and we're just getting started.
We bought a few to do a trial, just like you're thinking of doing. We didn't start using them until he was 4 weeks, but he's now 7 weeks and I absolutely, without a doubt adore cloth diapers! I wouldn't go back for anything. Between the Green benefits and the savings, it's totally worth it. Best of all, it's not that much extra work.

As for your concerns, mine were much the same:
Squeamish dad: My husband gags at the sight of regular poop. With breast-feeding, it really is tolerable. He has no problem changing or rinsing diapers.
Laundry: I HATE laundry. If I could send mine out, I would. That said, cloth diaper laundry is a breeze. Throw them in, pick the right cycle, throw in the dryer or line dry and you're done. Breast fed poop does come out with no issue. Also, I work full time and still have no problem getting it done.
A few things I have quickly learned:
Bac-Out is your best friend. I can't stand stains, and I spray a little on my diapers before I toss them in the pail and I swear, they look brand new after the wash.
A diaper sprayer, for me, is the best thing ever! My husband adores it too. We have a babysitter that has no problem with cloth diapering or rinsing.
He has gotten rashes from the disposables that would keep coming back, but now that he's in cloth, we haven't seen any rashes!
I like AIO diapers and also the hybrid diapers. Our favorites are Best Bottoms. They met our trial budget, grow with him and the shells are reusable if you don't have a blow out.
As for travel, we used flushable inserts and they're perfect.
Good Luck!
p.s.- they are addictive.

Anonymous said...

I started using cloth with my second child and we've been doing it for about 3 months now. It really is not that big of a deal. You don't have to rinse the poopy diapers if you breastfeed until they start eating solids, so all you have to do is throw them in the wash. We've also been using prefolds and covers, which is the diaper you have to put the most effort into, and I have no problem with them. So far I like Bummis covers and prefolds or fitteds underneath. I haven't had a single explosive poop that escaped the diaper, which is way more than I can say for disposables.

austin and kayti said...

Wow, you've gotten some great responses! Good for you for looking into cloth. It looks like you've done quite a bit of research. I think most people (including myself at one time) are fairly ignorant about modern cloth diapers. Our 10 month old has been in cloth since we brought him home from the hospital (save the one time a nursery worker put a disposable on him--and the trans-atlantic flights when he wore flushable inserts with his covers).

I'll reiterate what someone else said: poop is poop. Unfortunately, you will have it in your washer no matter what you do (even if you rinse your cloth diapers, the bacteria will still be on the diapers when you put them in the washer as they would be on the clothes your little one soiled in a blow out with disposables).

The only other thing I would add is actually more geared toward your commenters. Being in and around cloth diapering communities online I hear a lot about husbands who can't handle poo. I honestly don't really understand. What if neither parent could handle poo? Who would change the diaper? (Side note: My husband is usually offended by the term "daddy-friendly" when it comes to anything baby--as if Dad's are somehow inadequately equipped to diaper and care for their own children.)

Those things said, I say go for the trail packages that others have suggested. Try cloth from the get-go (if you're breastfeeding). Even though there are an absurd amount of diaper changes in the beginning, newborn poo is super runny and makes for easy blow outs and cloth diapers contain this much, much, MUCH better. Our son has only ever had poo come out of his diaper twice and it was because his cover wasn't on tight enough (we were overly nervous about his newborn legs).

Kudos to you and your hubs for potentially giving this a shot, mama.

Katie said...

I switched abruptly to 100% cloth (except for a few occasions) about 7 months ago with my toddler. Now I have two in cloth (DS is 2 years and DD is 2 months). So here are my thoughts:

I think you should totally go for it. You'll save money, the diapers are awfully cute, and it's not THAT much extra work.

If you're concerned about poop, don't be. At first you'll just be tossing them into the diaper pail as-in (breast-fed poo is very washable). You don't have to worry about washing it off until you start solids. I find it's actually less messy in many ways to clean a poopy diaper with cloth, because cloth wipes clean better than disposable wipes (which tend to just smear poop around).

If Kyle hates poo, he'll just have to learn to deal with it, and spit-up, and vomit, and snot, and all that fun stuff. Also, I've actually had far worse poo-splosions with paper diapers than with cloth, and that's MUCH nastier to clean up than a poopy cloth diaper. You can always use flushable liners that he can just toss, or he can even throw poopy diapers into a buckt of water for you to clean later if absolutely necessary.

One-size diapers aren't. Most don't fit well until around 2 months of age. Consider flats or prefolds in the meantime - they are surprisingly easy to use and cheaper than investing in a bunch of newborn size diapers. The clean well, too.

There's no reason you can't use cloth diapers with sitters, especially if you use AIOs or pre-stuffed pocket diapers that they can just throw on like a regular diaper. And for traveling - consider a hybrid system like GroVia, with a cloth shell and disposable, biodegradeable soakers.

Don't commit to a specific diaper before you start. You may be surprised. I thought I would mostly want bumGenius Elementals too, but I found that pocket diapers actually rinsed and dried much more easily. I do like my Elemental (and I wouldn't mind another), but most of my stash is pocket diapers. I recommend checking out http://www.JilliansDrawers.com - they have a cloth diaper trial program which is how we got started. You get a selection (you can even ask them to make some substitutions if your heart is set on trying a particular diaper), and you can return any or all after 3 weeks of use for a nearly full refund (they keep $10).

Leslie said...

Just a few comments from a cloth diaper user.
1. Poop.....not as bad as I thought. I think poop in a disposable smells worse b/c of the perfume and stuff. It just makes an even funkier smell. We have been with solids for awhile, so my son's poop is plop-able and we never use our sprayer anymore. Sometimes I need to take a wad of TP to help it off, but for the most part it only takes 30 seconds.

2. laundry. Doesn't take too long to throw it in and start it up. It is easier than doing people laundry because there is no folding. So I would choose to do diaper laundry over a load of whites and folding any day of the week.

3. I don't find my son needs to be changed right away. If he poops he usually crawls up to me and whines. Most of the time I understand this signal and check him out. If not, I change him every 2-3 hours. Pee in diapers doesn't seem to bother him. Plus if you use pockets/AIOs, there stay dry layer really does work and keeps baby dry.

For saving more money and upping that $53/mo number, I would suggest www.theluvyourbaby.com for diapers. I find them to be just like the bumgenius diapers, and for $6.99, you can't beat it.

Leslie said...

oh yeah, if you BF, you don't need to rinse. So no big deal about all that new born poop. It helps make the beginning so easy.

whocg23 said...

I use cloth part time on my son. Even just using a cloth diaper one time a day is making a difference really. The laundry is not that much more than I do anyway. It is just instead of a load of clothes it is diapers and then the next one is clothes.
There are a lot of moms who decide to wait on using cloth until a few months in to motherhood. Especially for new moms. Don't feel bad about that. Also, there are plenty of babies who don't fit one size diapers or the smalls until a few weeks out anyway. Like you said, when you know your baby has a wet diaper, changing is in the very near future anyway. Cloth doesn't really change that.
With Hub's gag reflex, you guys can set up to do what my Hubs and I do. He really doesn't do the whole poopy diaper thing. He will take one off and such, but then he leaves the diaper for me to take care of. It really isn't that bad. Not only can you use the diaper sprayer, but you can also employ disposable liners as well to help things out with keeping diapers clean.
Most cloth moms would totally not fault you for not being 100% cloth 100% of the time. It happens. Many of us have used disposable at some point.
I think it is great that you are considering cloth! I hope that once you try things out, you grow to love it. If not, then at least you tried. Really, that is all we can ask. Congrats on your future little one and I wish you all the best for the pregnancy, delivery, and being a mommy. It is the best job I have ever had!

whocg23 said...

oh, and one thing to keep in mind. If you only breastfeed your baby, you don't have to rinse the diapers. The mess is totally water soluble. :) and if you ever need to just take a break from cloth, do it.

Shannon said...

I decided to use cloth diapers with my son because of the money it will save me. As you said I'm not a very "green" person so that wasn't a motivation for me, more of an added bonus. I've found that its really not much more work than using disposables and is certainly worth the money. I do have disposables to use when we go out or travel. I have some size small and some medium but many that are adjustable to use from newborn on up. Knowing I won't have to buy diapers is so nice.

Nick and Jaimee said...

I thought about doing cloth for a while but since I work, I just didn't feel right about making someone else deal with cloth. I agree with someone else's comment that you should wait until after the newborn stage to start using them, if you do decide to do it. I remember one night with Makell when she was just a few days old, I had 8 diapers in less than 8 hours in the middle of the night. With how deliriously tired I was, there was no way I could have washed out cloth diapers.

With the poopy ones, you don't have to spray them, just hold them tight and flush the toilet. It takes all the poop right off-just don't let go. :)

green eyed bunni said...

I love love love using cloth diapers and my husband is super hands on with it, too! We think that it is one of the best decisions that we have made for our son. Our son seems very happy in them. We are currently looking to switch to a different type of cloth, but even with some of the issues that we've been having, we still love them. The money saving is HUGE! We do use disposables from time to time (if we're going to be away from the house for more than 2 diaper changes, if he gets a diaper rash - although they do make cloth safe diaper creams - or the occasional time when we forget to wash diapers in time). We always make sure we have a package of his current size of disposables around, but I really don't like using them. My son is 7 1/2 months and still (basically) EBF (we give him a little solids here and there, but nothing regular) and disposable are just horrid and containing EBF poo! Your squeamish husband will have to deal with a whole lot more poo in non-diaper areas with disposables than with cloth. I wouldn't limit yourself to one specific kind of diaper, though. Different types of diapers work great for different types of situations. But I have heard that AIO diapers tend to hold smells and can take a lot longer to dry. And as for the poo factor, EBF poo is water soluble and doesn't HAVE to be rinsed off...we just do a cold rinse in the wash before adding the detergent and they come clean just fine.

I say go for it! It takes a little getting used to, but eventually you get into a rhythm with it and you really don't notice it being any more work than disposables. Your baby will thank you, as will your wallet!

Crystal said...

Wow. Looks like the cloth diaper-ers found your blog, Kourt :) Makes it seem like the whole world does it and loves it! lol!

Julie said...

Yup, you've been found by the CD community. We are a vocal bunch :) I'll add my experience- I started cloth with my third baby. It does take a little to get a rhythm but once you do, it's not anything horrendous. It can be addicting, though, which sounds strange, but with so many to try and so much cuteness you can get caught up with it all. And then if you get into wool covers and longies, watch out. You'll be pulling out the knitting needles in no time to make some of your own. I personally hate throwing away money every time I change a disposable so I love not having to run out and buy more. I mostly use prefolds(with a snappi, not pins) and covers during the day and have some pockets and all-in-ones for going out. We're still doing disposables at night so it's not an all or nothing kind of thing. Another reason I like prefolds is that with the cute covers (I even have one with a Heather Bailey print and one with an Anna Maria Horner print) it makes it fun. The internet is a great resource and there are a couple diaper forums that are great for answering questions if you get overwhelmed. Good luck finding what works for you.

Wholesale Adult Diapers said...

Hi,

There may be a number of other benefits for the baby to use a diaper, we generally prefer to use all in one cloth diapers that don't require any kind of pinning, folding, or stuffing. Thanks a lot.

Rebecca said...

I agree with the commenter who said that the bacteria will be there whether you rinse or not. Just wash more often than once a week!

I use Sun Oxygen cleaner and run my diapers on a sanitizing cycle in my washer. I sometimes use a dash of bleach instead.

Also, regarding "ingesting chemicals", it's true that your child won't ingest chemicals unless they chew on the diaper. 'Ingesting' means taking in by mouth. But the skin is a very breathable, absorbing organ--hence the medications delivered by patch. Skin does absorb chemicals. That's a concern whether someone's individual child has had a reaction or not. We don't know the effects of cumulative exposure. I wish I had done cloth earlier, but my other kids were disposable-diapered.

And, for someone to say that if you decide to do cloth, they'd go against your desires and use disposables--when changing an all-in-one is just as easy--that's really not very nice.

Adele said...

this is my first time reading your blog, I saw your link on FB on the ClotherDiaperWhisperer page. :)

First! Congratz on the baby! My little girl was born 2 1/2 weeks ago.

I cloth diaper. I used disposables for the first couple of days (recommended) and then switched over. Though the disposables fit beautifully right off the bat, they were horrible. She leaked through them, blew out the sides ect. ect. My little girl is an EXTREME heavy wetter! With cloth, I can adjust the absorbency, there is no last minute runs to the grocery store for diapers, no nasty smelly trash cans, the list goes on.

As far as washing goes, I wash every day, it's super super easy. It doesn't take much time at all, especially if you are using AIO diapers (I started with AIO, but my heavy wetter forced me to switch to pockets, which have worked like a charm). Drying takes more time, I find line drying so much easier, but it does take longer for them to dry.

As far as icky factor. I've worked in a dog kennel for over a year and lived around horses and so on my whole life, so maybe I'm not the best person to ask about that. But it's really not been bad at all! Especially with breast fed baby. I just wrap them up with the cloth wipe inside, toss it in the wet bag, then dump them straight into the washer. No mess! I do spritz mine with Biokleen Bacout before each wash (the poopy ones), but that's totally optional.

Traveling with cloth... easy! I've done it a couple times now, no problem. Just throw them in the wet bag that contains all the smell and no issues! I've changed her in the car and everything.

Personally my biggest issue was that I discovered it wasn't as easy as I thought to find the right diapers to fit her. The ones I wanted to fit didn't fit her tiny little legs.... the ones I didn't want to fit of course fit perfect. lol.

My advice? If you go with cloth, buy many different sample brands in the newborn size and then when you finally jump to your bigger sizes you will know what you like!

good luck!

Jessica Welch said...

Girl, do it! I wish I would of CD with baby #1, but started when baby #2 was 7 mos old. My husband is the caveman construction worker type, and I really thought he'd have an aversion to it, AND I work from home (www.fresh1blankies.com).

I never even bought a diaper sprayer, we just buy flushable liners. And whatever poop gets on the diaper (after you stop exclusively BF), we just wipe off with a wipe. Voila! And the kick is, my caveman construction worker husband really doesn't mind it, and actually enjoys telling people we CD, because once you do CD, it's something special and you get to wear a badge saying you do it so ha! Not one of my friends CD, and they all think I'm completely crazy. We like Grovia AI2, FuzziBunz OS Pockets, and Charlie Banana, and Green Mountain Clotheez Prefold. Good luck Mama! You're going to do great!

stacythemagnificentmommy said...

Wow! you put a lot of thought into it. =) Here's the thing, it's a lot easier than you think. I started cloth diapering my first at 4mos, my 2nd from birth. I've been cloth diapering now for over 3 1/2 years. We use cloth out of the house, with babysitters and on trips. After a while, it's just not a big deal! As far as the poop factor, that's something K is going to learn to get over or at least deal with. =) Poop is a part of being a parent. Embrace it, K! LOL (For what its worth- I don't rinse or spray- just shake if able into the potty. If not able, then I just rinse it in the washing machine. All goes into the sewer anyways and I run washer tablets once in a while to keep everything cleaned out.

Rachel D. said...

I didn't read all the comments, so some of this might be repetitive. I didn't cloth diaper my first daughter and I started cding my 2nd daughter when she was 6 1/2 months old. I WISH I would've cloth diapered my first child. I LOVE it!

I haven't cloth diapered a newborn, but if I'm blessed with another child I plan on either 1) renting newborn diapers for a month or 2) Using Green Mountain prefolds with a snappi and a thirsties Duo Cover Size 1 until they fit into larger diapers.

I love pocket diapers and hybrid diapers (that's all I have). I use Fuzzibunz Perfect size, Bum Genius 4.0 one size, Bum Genius All-in-ones, and Flip hybrids. When I go out I use Flips with the disposable inserts.

The poop issue: parents have to deal with spit-up, vomit, diarrhea, poop, etc. with a baby/kids so rinsing off poop is not different. Use flushable liners when needed. A bag of used disposables in a diaper genie smells MUCH worse than a poopy cloth diaper. That makes me gag - not rinsing off my cloth diapers.

I don't know very many people who cloth diaper - I get more positive feedback from the thousands of cloth diapering mammas online. They are so helpful too if you have any questions!

I suggest using Jillian's Drawers trial package or something like that - it will help you figure out what kind you like best. Don't invest in a whole bunch of diapers until you know for sure! Most people have a combination of different types of diapers.

I also use CJs BUTTer to keep any diaper rashes at bay.

Cloth diapers are SOFT and CUTE!

Good Luck!!!

Drea said...

I wrote a post on my blog called "The Dirty on Cloth Diapering". It's about our journey w cloth & babe #1. Check it out at www.owlbethere.com
Best decision we've made. Don't listen to the nay sayers :) Most people would be shocked if they took the time to investigate the carcinogens & chemicals in sposies & their impact to our planet which lasts for centuries & centuries. Baby boy #2 is due in June & we can't wait to use all of our pure, soft, adorable, PAID FOR diapers again!

asp said...

Don't do it. My niece did it 2 years ago and she said her place constantly reeked of urine. And although you can wash and rewash the cloth diapers, they always had that urine stench to them. And it was a pain in the ass, no pun intended.