We had discussed cloth diapering while we were pregnant with Lettybug, but decided against starting right away because we were worried about it being another stress on top of being new parents. Now seemed like a great time to try it.
Reasons for Trying:
-Incredible savings: according to our research, traditional disposable diapering costs about $2000 per child over the entire diapering period. Cloth diapering costs approx. $500 per child over the entire diapering period. By our calculations, that’s $1500 in savings. Plus, if you are having more than one child, you can use the same diapers. There’s more savings there. When you are done with your diapers, there a several organizations that take donations of well cared-for cloth diapers to donate to people in need. Or, you can sell them online to other cloth diapering parents and make some of your money back.
-Cute: There are so many patterns and colors out there. Right now, Lettybug’s favorite is blue with owls. We are using some diapers that we found from an EBAY seller. They average about $6 per diaper, amazing as many other brands cost about $20 per diaper. And, the seller offers many listings with free shipping. Yay!
-Options: There are so many options and styles out there to choose from. I won’t pretend to be an expert here, because we have only tried one type, but a simple web search can easily return a detailed list. So far, we are using a One Size, AI2 style with snap closures. It’s only been 14 days, but so far we’ve had no leaks, no explosions and they are very easy to take care of.
-Easy to Clean: We fill up the washing machine on the small load setting with our laundry detergent (make sure to use a cloth diaper safe detergent as many regular detergents tend to coat the diapers, messing with absorption). We use Bummis Bio-Soft Liners (100 for $8, from Amazon.com), a bio-degradable and flushable liner which looks kind of like a dryer sheet. You place it in the diaper. Pee flows through it, but poop gets caught by it. When you are changing the diaper, you simply take out the liner and dump it into the toilet. We have yet to have to touch poop or dunk the diapers in the toilet to clean. The AI2 diapers have a cloth insert which you place in the pocket. We remove this from the diaper and throw both into the wash machine. At the end of the day, the we run the wash. The diapers come out clean. We either hang or tumble dry. Easy. No smelly, poopy diaper trash siting around the house. It smells so much better.
-Earth Friendly: Cloth diapers create way less waste for the landfill than disposables and they can be used over and over through multiple children. Our only waste is: the small liner, which is advertised as bio-degrading in 8 days or less; the laundry detergent, also earth friendly, which is basically baking soda (we are currently using detergent from ETSY seller Pepperjack Home); and the water to run the wash. However, we usually run other laundry with the diapers so that isn’t really wasted. It’s used efficiently.
Making the Change:
-Day 1: Lettybug was not a fan. They were something new and, therefore, scary. She cried like crazy when we put them on, but as soon as we pulled up her pants she forgot about them and went about her day.
-Day 2: She wouldn’t let us put them on. So, we decided to take a break from putting them on her. Instead, we put them on her good friend “Kitty!” the zebra and gave her the Pampers. Every once in a while, she would mention how “pretty” his diaper was.
-Day 3: We continued to give Bug the Pampers, but put the “pretty” diapers within sight and reach. She started bringing me the “pretty” diapers and asking me to put them on over her Pampers to make her Pampers prettier like “Kitty’s!”
-Day 4: Each time I changed her, I held up one “pretty” diaper and one “Pampers” diaper and asked her which one she wanted. Each time she picked the “pretty” cloth diaper.
-Day 5 through Today: She loves the cloth diapers and wants to wear them all of the time. We have decided to continue to use Pampers diapers with boosters during nap time and overnight as she is a heavy wetter. She loves her cloth diapers so much that she now wants to wear them when she sleeps. Daddy explained to her that we wear the “pretty” diapers when we are awake so we can see them and we wear the “Pampers” diapers when we sleep because we can’t see them so there is no reason to wear a “pretty” diaper then. She seems to have accepted this because now she lets us put her in the Pampers for sleeping. Huzzah!
Diapering Plan for the New Baby:
-Newborn through 3 Months (10 lbs): Pampers diapers with wetness indicator. Our research suggests that cloth diapers don’t seem to fit newborn babies all that well and are more prone to leaks (at least until 10 lbs), plus when we had Aletta the wetness indicator on the Pampers diapers was a godsend. Newborns make so little pee, that it is almost impossible to tell if a diaper is wet without an indicator, yet it could totally be what is bothering a fussy baby. There were so many times that when we couldn’t figure out what was wrong, we would check the indicator on a seemingly dry diaper to find that it was wet, even just a little, and that was the problem. If we are feeling brave we might try the CDs and see how we feel about it, but for now the plan is to stick with the Pampers until she reaches 10 lbs or 3 months.
-After 10 lbs or 3 months: As long as they’re fitting and not leaking, the plan is cloth diapers all the way.