Cloth Diapering

Shada - posted on 04/20/2013 ( 9 moms have responded )

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I am looking into cloth diapering and I am wondering how much money you truly spend between the intial purchasing, cleaning at home, and other expenses. Also I am wanting to know what diapers you have used and what works best for you. I feel overwhelmed every time I try to find cloth diapers online (we do not have a store near where I live) because I have very little knowledge on them and there are so many different kinds to choose from.

Thank you.

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Ev - posted on 04/20/2013

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Go to Gerber. They have sections with diapers and covers for a baby for all sizes.

I have used cloth and frankly found the pre-fold kind easier to use. As for cleaning them make sure you have a soak bucket with some gentle detergent in it and dump out any thing that can be dumped into the toilet. Soak diapers and then wash separately in the washer with fresh water and detergent. The initial cost is a lot but in the long run you save money as you wash them at home and you do not use the disposable diapers and fill up the land fills.

Anereslove - posted on 04/23/2013

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My husband was also not convinced about cloth but I really wanted to do it. To make it worth it you really need tovpurchase enough diapers for at least a day and a half. We finally have built up to enough for two days (about, 20). Before that we ended up using disposables every other day while we did wash and it really was not worth it. So don't fear! Spend about 300 bucks to start, but they will pay themselves off quicker than u realize.
We started out with Thirsties which have great absorbency but we're not crazy about the Velcro. Over time it starts to roll up and if a wipe or liner ever get into the wash u have to clean the Velcro out. Diapers with snaps are fabulous! They lock the potties in and the diaper never gets loose! I have a bunch of some random pocket style dipers with snaps that someone sewed. Also fluffy bums and beyond. http://hyenacart.com/stores/FluffyBumsan...

Sally - posted on 04/23/2013

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Cloth diapers are wonderful. They are cheaper, better for the environment, healthier for baby butts, and cuter than sposies. They do have to be changed more often because they're not full of those creepy chemical absorbency pellets, but that's healthier for your babies behind too. Also, most prenatal classes and hospitals will tell you that baby wipes are full of nasty chemicals that really aren't good for skin and the best thing to wipe a babies butt with is a little warm water on a cotton cloth. If you're already washing a bucket of poopy fabric, that cotton cloth gets a lot easier to deal with.
How much it will cost depends on what you buy and how often you wash them. Even the cheap ones have a very scary up front cost and even the expensive ones will cost half what sposies do over the long haul. Also, cloth diapers can be passed down between kids which lowers the cost again if you have more than one child. We were washing two to four loads of diapers per week for five years between our two kids and really only noticed a utility increase in the winter when we had to use the dryer and that wasn't much.
First, you want to try a few different kinds before you buy a lot of anything. Most diaper stores offer small variety packs for people who are just starting. Like every baby, every brand of diaper is slightly differently shaped and slightly differently sized. What works well for one baby may be a disaster for another and the descriptions the companies give don't always translate well to actual use either. According to everything I read on the internet, my oldest should have fit best into Bummies, but they gapped around the legs and she actually did very well in Bumkins instead. My youngest can't wear synthetic fabrics. I tried at least 20 different patterns for wool covers (every one of them with multiple rave reviews from happy parents) and only two worked for us. We liked the cheapness of prefolds, but fitted offer enough less bulk per absorbency that you may want to splurge on a few for overnight or travel. The Gerber ones have the advantage of being easy for most people to get because they sell them at Walmart and Babies R Us, but compared to most other brands, they're really not even good cleaning rags. If they're all you can get though, they're still better than sposies.
Washing cloth diapers shouldn't be any harder than washing any other laundry. Never soak them. It breaks down the fabric so they have to be replaced more often and the water is a lovely place to grow nasty germs. Never use bleach on them. The oxygen bleaches are less bad than the chlorine kind, but they both break down fabric. Never use fabric softener on them. It coats them and takes away their absorbency. Most companies will strongly suggest you use only their very expensive special detergent. While PUL fabric does do better with a milder more natural detergent, a double rinse and not using too much soap is far more important to the life and health of your diapers than any special brand. Regardless of what soap you buy, only use half as much as the package calls for. Too much soap coats the fabric and reduces absorbency and also breaks down the fabric sooner. (Something laundry detergent makers know, but hey it makes you buy more soap and more clothes so the industry wins.)
The standard recommended care for cloth diapers is from the baby to a dry covered bucket, from the bucket to a cold prewash, then a hot wash with a double rinse, and your preferred dry. Putting covers in the dryer (especially on hot) is bad for the fasteners, but an occasional hot dry helps keep your PUL bonded. If you have access to a clotheline, sunshine is really the best disinfectant and stain remover you can use and you won't need to run the dryer which will save money.
Enjoy your diapering adventure.

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Hannah - posted on 04/30/2013

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I recently was in the same place as you. Only my husband was on board with the idea. I researched cloth diapers and got a headache. I did it again, and got a headache. I tried again and it finally started making sense. YouTube has some videos and comparisons. That helped to see. I finally narrowed it down to a few kinds and bought one or two of each. I liked the hybrid type, no pins, any inserts I wanted to buy would work, and I could reuse the cover so long as he didn't soil it. I felt it was the most economical way to go. I tried Gdiapers, Mabubaby, and Flip by bum Genius. The Flip were my favorite. He grew out of the other two in 2 months. The Flip are one size. When I needed to replace the smaller diapers I started looking for used ones online and found a good deal on Bum Genius pocket diapers. I really like them. I have spent about $250 on diapers, inserts, ect... I did not have an increase in utilities. Our water is tiered and so no increase. Baby was born the end of winter so our electric bill is on it's way down. I wash diapers every 2-3 days. I have 4 Flip and 14 Pocket, plus a couple others that came with the pocket diapers that I don't like so much. I like to hang the diapers in the greenhouse to dry, sometimes I will put the inserts in the dryer, sometimes I hang them, the greenhouse is humid and they take a while to dry, but most days it rains at least a little so I don't like to put them outside. They still get white in the greenhouse so it works for me. A little rambling, but I hope it was helpful.

Bianca - posted on 04/23/2013

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We love cloth! Our first stash of Fuzzibunz in xsmall got us $110 on eBay when baby grew out of them. They originally cost maybe $200. It's totally worth it if you are willing to do it. It is important to sun them every now and then and strip them. But for the most part you just (at least with fuzzibunz) put them on a cold cycle to get excess soiling out of them and the a hot wash to sterilize. Then dry on low. Plus, they are cute! Good luck!

Mary - posted on 04/23/2013

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My first child was born in 1975, second in 1978. So my diaper stories are YEARS old.

Most important diaper story from me is this: neither one of my kids had a terrible diaper rash. The only times there was ANY diaper rash for either one came from using disposable diapers. Disposables were convenient for traveling. They were convenient for Daddy to use when he had to change a diaper (he never got the knack of diaper pins). But diaper rash was almost unknown at our house.

Brands? Don't know the current brands, but "back in the day" Curity was the brand I bought. And I started with three dozen. Eventually, I bought another dozen so I wouldn't have problems in case of washer failure. I also bought a dozen with the extra-absorbency panel in the middle. Didn't like those as much, but they folded faster for the diaper stacker.

Utilities? I don't know. I didn't track the utilities before the baby at the house we moved into when our son was three weeks old. So I can't say.

Laundry? I kept the used diapers in a plastic diaper pail (it had a lid). Soiled diapers' contents went into the toilet before being added to the diaper pail. When the diaper pail was full, I dumped the contents into the washer and spun out the soak water, then ran a pre-wash cycle with Dreft. Then I washed the diapers with another dose of Dreft (adding Clorox after about three or four minutes into the wash cycle) and double rinsed them. If I saw that the rinse water appeared sudsy, I ran an additional rinse cycle. I didn't add fabric softener (cuts down on absorbency). When we had a clothesline, I hung the diapers in the bright Far West Texas sunshine (great bleaching agent). ... An aside here -- my neighbor's washer and dryer konked out so I washed her baby's diapers (and the rest of her laundry) -- and the diapers were NOT white. I don't know what her process was, but she had the grayest diapers I ever saw. Her youngest was six months younger than my daughter, so I was comparing with recent experience. If I recall correctly, she didn't have a clothesline.

Diaper pins -- three pairs. Keep them sharp by sticking them into a bar of soap (was the old tale). Later I learned that a swipe across the hair (being super careful to keep from sticking myself in the scalp) was also good. But pins are cheap, so if they dull with age REPLACE THEM!!

Plastic pants? An absolute necessity. The only time I didn't use them was when the outdoor temperature was 108 degrees and the evaporative cooler wasn't doing a very good job of keeping the house cool; I let my daughter sleep on her crib sheet (protective mattress pad), unencumbered by the plastic pants to prevent diaper rash (because I had heard that excessive heat worked to encourage diaper rash -- true or not, I didn't want to risk it on her precious skin).

Expense? Yes. Initial outlay was probably more than a little bit. But over time, a wise investment. I used them for two babies. I only bought another dozen diapers for the second child when the old ones were getting threadbare -- and then she decided she was ready to use training pants and the potty chair (she was about 22 months old).

I hope you decide to use cloth diapers. I think you will benefit from this decision. I'm sure your baby will benefit!

Faye - posted on 04/23/2013

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I am old enough that I used those diapers (kites) which you have to FOLD on your own. I hated those pre folded one. (In my opinion, the pre folds are to be used a burp rags.) All these "new" cloth diapers are too crazy for my brain to wrap around the idea of use.

I had a diaper pail which I kept a solution of water and bleach (1/3 cup bleach to 2 or 3 gallons of water). I will admit I did not wash them every day or every other day BUT there was no smell from the pail. I think I had almost 30 or so diapers. As the diaper was soiled, I would toss the mess into the toilet and then the diaper into the pail. If it was just wet, it went into the pail.

Neither of my kids had a rash for more than a day or two. I would wash the diapers in a load by themselves with Dreft (baby laundry soap) and hang them outside on the line to dry. While they were dry within the hour, I always left them outside for about 3 hours so the sun would bleach them back to white if the laundry soap did not get them. If there were more poopy diapers in the pail than wet, I would rinse the load in the washer first and then add the soap on the second run through.

Utility price change was no more than expected in having two to three more loads of laundry due to a new baby in the house.

You can specify cloth diapers as baby shower gifts if you decide to use them. Disposables are great IF you have to travel to grandparents. When they are sick with stomach ailments, disposables e are great as well, as you can get rid of the order quickly.

The diaper pins can break because of use so I always kept at least two pair at all times.

I also used the plastic pants to cover the diaper. 2 out of 3 times my kids had a diaper rash it was normally around their legs and waist not on their bum because of the elastic on the plastic pants. I learned that A & D Ointment was the best to use when a diaper rash would appear.

♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 04/23/2013

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http://www.albeebaby.com/gerber-white-10...

Who's going to be doing laundry? You or hubby? Who's going to be dealing with diaper rash the majority of the time? Most likely you...just sayin.

Cloth are much better for baby! And it will only take one horrible rash for him to be on board with you.

I can't add much except that as long as you understand the "extra" work (which really wasn't that much extra, our utilities didn't increase because we washed diapers...) and that it's not a simple "wrap and toss" operation, you'll be fine.

Plus, afterwards, those same cloth nappies make wonderful cleaning rags, etc!

Shada - posted on 04/20/2013

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Evelyn how much would you say it made your water and electric bill go up if at all. I am trying to convince my husband into going cloth and he is not to keen on the idea of washing poopy diapers in the washer, but I do know that they have sprayers for that and soaking them is a good idea. Do you soak them as soon as they are soiled or do you wait until you have a load of them? Sorry for all the questions but I am trying to be as educated as possible on this subject. I am not due until December, but it never hurts to have plenty of knowledge.

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