April 25, 2011

Cloth Diaper Adventure

I've been working on this post for a while, trying to put it all together without making it too confusing. This is all about our experience with cloth diapers for the past couple months. It's really been a great adventure at our house and I'm so glad we took the plunge.

We switched to cloth diapers shortly after the New Year, when we got our tax return and had the money to invest. With twins, purchasing cloth diapers is a little more of an investment than with just one baby but it pays off sooner. With the advice of my friend Tina, who's been cloth diapering since her dude was born (he's one month younger than the boys) I went to Diapers Etc. to search for what would work best. 


So for two boys, I got the following:
One Bummis cover 

I hadn't heard much about these so I only got one. I love this cover for my prefolds. It's not quite as soft as the Thirsties covers but the velcro is so much more "sturdy" and I find we have a lot less leaks with this one. I'm thinking of getting a couple more of these. These (and the Thirsties below) are covers that hold the cloth. When the cloth is dirty you simply replace the cover with a new cloth unless it's dirty. I find about 50% of the time I just need to just wash it all.

My friend Tina suggested these, that she really likes them with her son. I like the softness. I've heard so many good things about them but for some reason I don't think the velcro is as good on these as on the Bummis. 


Basic prefolds. They work great. I just do a basic tri-fold for all diaper changes and sometimes if they boys haven't pooped yet and I expect it to happen after I change this diaper I'll fold the back flaps out to create a "poop pocket" hoping to avoid getting the cover too dirty.
I bought these for when we're out or for Chikezie in case he didn't want to bother with the prefolds. But I ended up just using them in my regular diaper rotation every day. They are the best of the best of diapers. So I really have no complaints. These diapers have a pocket that you stuff an absorbent insert in. You wash all of it after each diaper change.

I also got a small wet bag for when we're out and a bucket for all the dirties. All together I spent a little over $200 total for this investment. I figured all together these would start to pay themselves off after 4 months.

How it all works:
Having cloth diapers is really not THAT much more work than using disposable diapers. And after you get the hang of it, it just becomes part of your normal routine and it doesn't feel like extra "work". I change the boys when they wake up in the mornings and from naps and depending on how much they're drinking during the day, before a nap or before we go somewhere. 

I get my diapers ready before I change them, and afterward I put the dirty cloths in a bucket in our bathroom. I try to wash bucket of dirty diapers in mornings so that I can put them out on a drying rack on our patio in the afternoon, when we get full sun. The sun helps bleach the cloths that may have stains on them. Plus it's cheaper than using the dryer each time. To wash them, I first run them through a pre-wash of hot water to get everything off. Then I wash them on "heavy" cycle with hot water and just a basic detergent. 

Things I like about cloth diapering:
  • I really enjoy cloth diapering. I used to feel a little twinge of guilt taking out our trash every day full of nasty diapers that I knew would just sit in a landfill somewhere forever. It's nice now knowing that if they poop right after I change their diaper, that diaper isn't "wasted" because I can just wash and reuse it. 
  • We don't have a stinky garbage can anymore. Even the diaper garbage can stunk. Now I just have one stinky bucket that holds the smell in. And it doesn't smell quite as bad because there isn't poop in the poopy diapers since it's flushed.
  • The cloth seems so much more comfortable on the boys' skin. 
  • We don't have to worry about running out of diapers. Especially with two boys, we were buying diapers all. the. time.
Things I don't like about cloth diapering:
  • Poopy diapers can be nasty sometimes. Most of the time it's solid and comes off easily but it sucks dunking the nasty diapers in the toilet. I have a designated set of rubber gloves I keep next to the toilet for those occasions. I just hold my breath and do it quickly.
  • Isaiah knows how to undo the velcro so I pretty much have to have shorts on him all the time or his diaper is off. For the most part, Julian leaves his alone.
  • This isn't something I really dislike, but they're a little bulkier than regular diapers so you have to buy pants a little bigger to fit over the big squishy butts.
Verdict: I'm so glad we switched. Chikezie has fully embraced cloth diapering and knows how to do it all and hasn't once complained about using them. For the initial investment, it really has paid off both financially and in other ways as well. I really would encourage everyone to give it a try. It may seem intimidating at first with all the choices there out there but if you find someone who knows a little bit about it to give you some advice when you're picking out what you want, you'll eventually find out what works best for your family.

I'm open to asking any questions you guys have on cloth diapering in general, cloth diapering twins, or if you have any tips you've learned while cloth diapering your own kiddos!

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