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My venture into the world of cloth diapers

It was not all that long ago that I was in your shoes…pregnant and considering using cloth diapers for my new little bundle of joy. When I first began my search I consulted a cousin-in-law who was already using them herself.

She chose to use the all in one style cloth diaper, you will see them referred to as AIO, as well as the two piece Kissaluvs. These involve a fitted cloth diaper with snaps for closure and a cover with Velcro. I tried out both and have to admit I was not impressed.

The AIO diapers took way to long to dry, which in my mind took away from the “green” approach I was trying to take, and they HAD to be dried in the dryer. The Kissaluv two piece system was okay, but I didn’t like the idea of having to purchase different sizes.

So online I went to dig further into the world of cloth diaper…Holy s#@t! Talk about overwhelming!

I had no freaking idea there were SO many choices of cloth diapers. I did a simple Google search for “cloth diapers” and was floored to see a ton of retail sites and a ton more choices of diapers to choose from within these sites.

I finally landed on a great site called CottonBabies.com, the creator of Bum Genius cloth diapers, the style that both Matt and I agreed we liked.  These are a pocket style cloth diaper and in my not-so-humble opinion, these things rock.

Pocket style means there is a “pocket” in the diaper at the waist for the fleece soaker to slide into and the outer part is similar to a cover with Velcro. Now, there are a handful of pocket style cloth diapers out there but I really liked the look of the Bum Genius style.

So, “What made these cloth diapers so great?” you may be asking…I’ll tell you.

They grow with your baby! There is this in-genius snap system that allows you to shrink or expand the cover and soaker as your baby grows. Plus, you hang dry the cover and tumble dry the soaker which take no longer to dry than a small load of laundry.

Once “assembled” they are just like putting on a disposable diaper so even Grandpa can do it and not be intimidated. Trust me, this is big one. My dad is a real trooper about a lot of things, but I am pretty sure he didn’t change me much when I was a baby and even he had no problem changing my daughter with these.

The one draw back to using a pocket style cloth diaper, such as Bum Genius, is the quantity of diapers you need to buy.

You either need to do laundry often or buy enough to get you through a couple of days.

Overall, through my research I concluded that there are some questions  you need to ask yourself in order to find the type of cloth diaper system that is right for you.

  1. How often do you want to do laundry? The less you want to do the more diapers you are going to need. On average you will need a stock of about 24 regardless of cloth diaper style.¬† You also want to keep in mind that the frequency will die down significantly after about 3 months. You babies digestive system will begin to mature and they will no “go” quite so often.
  2. Who is going to be changing the baby? If a number of different people, both family and/or daycare providers, will be taking care of your little one then ease of use may be something to consider. I know many daycare providers want nothing to do with cloth diapers even though there are no laws stating that they can’t take them. You will simply need to provide an ample supply as well as a sealed container to keep the soiled diapers in.
  3. What is your patience level? This may seem like an odd question but the more you think about it the more you may realize my point. If you are not a patient person (I know I am not, not at all) then a two piece system cloth diaper system may not be for you. These would include brands like Bummies, Kissaluvs and Imse Vimse. Personally, I like the pocket style such as Bum Genius or Fuzzi Bunz.
  4. What is your budget? This question is an obvious one but you also want to consider the first question before answering this. You may be on a budget but that may mean washing the cloth diapers more often and time is money, especially when you are a mom. Some styles of diapers, such as the Bum Genius or Fuzzi Bunz, may seem a bit pricey but they are one size diapers so they will take you from newborn to potty training. Where as many other styles and brands of cloth diapers are sized (x-small, small, medium etc) so even though they are cheaper, you will need to buy another lot every few months. In the end I think the one size pocket style cloth diapers are much more economical.

I found this great site with a number of articles covering a lot of the questions I pose above:

http://babyinclothdiapers.buntingresources.com/cost_cloth_diapers_chart.html

Overall, you need to consider your lifestyle and budget. Another option is to order one of each style you are considering and try them out. Many retailers will offer sample packs at a discount so you can do just that.

Honestly, for the first few weeks we had Evalee in chlorine free disposables while we figured out what style we wanted to use. That may be another way to go if you are on the fence and want to wait until your baby arrives.

UPDATE 4/5/2010

Since I wouldn’t be able to use my current stock of BumGenius & Fuzzi Bunz cloth diapers on our new baby because they would be too big (the BumGemius would fit a newborn but would be too high on the belly and irritate the umbilical cord while it was healing), I ordered a stash of pre-folds and a few covers to get us through.

I have to admit, I really liked using pre-folds once I got the hang of how to fold them and use the snappi. The trick with pre-folds is to make sure every little bit is inside the cover. Just a tiny little corner hanging out means leakage.

So if you are on a budget and want to spend as you go…don’t be afraid of the old school pre-folds. I would suggest 24 of the diapers and 3 or 4 covers. This will get you about 2 – 2.5 days before you need to do laundry. Handle your covers with care and they will last and last. I really like the Bummis Super Whisper Wraps.

Do you have a question about cloth diapers that I can answer for you? What style are you leaning towards and why? Leave your questions and answers in the comments below and I will be sure to reply ASAP!

4 Responsesto “My venture into the world of cloth diapers”

  1. Jess Ray says:

    You know, I have heard other moms talk about that…do you have a pattern? I would love to make some for Jeremiah.

  2. Elisa evans says:

    I love using prefolds. While Bummis diaper covers are great, nothing beats wool. You can recycle old sweaters or buy them cheap at goodwill and make your own. I don’t like any synthetic fabrics touching my LO’s heiny :-)

  3. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by jessray. jessray said: Latest from GMHM: My venture into the world of cloth diapers. http://greenmomhappymom.com/cloth-diaper-experience/ […]

  4. Jess Ray says:

    You are very welcome.

    I just recently had baby #2 and incorporated some prefolds into my collection and I have to say I like them a lot.

    Once you get the hang of using the Snappi, and make sure to tuck the prefold in real well all around to be sure none is sticking out (this will cause leaks, eek), they are great.

    Honestly, if I knew then what I know now, I would have skipped the bum genius’s and gone with the prefolds from the beginning…oh well. Live and learn.

  5. tgal says:

    This was really helpful. I am on baby #3 and a sahm. I really want to cloth diaper and this help me to decide which direction to go. I recently purchased the gdiaper but I would like something more convenient for quick onestep changes.

    Thanks a “bundle”

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