a little over a week ago now henry had a doctors appointment and weighed in at 8lbs 2oz so that meant... the start of cloth diapers! (we didnt get any newborns, so the smalls start at 8lbs). the amount of diaper changes this kid goes through is quite ridiculous, so to say i was excited not to literally watch our money go out with the trash every hour (it seemed) is an understatement. now dont get me wrong, i can appreciate families that do not want to go the cloth route and stick with disposable diapers (after doing cloth for a week now i will say it is a LOT easier to do it the other way), i am just happy with our decision to try cloth, and i am hoping that we will stick it out for the long haul.
the switch was a little bit scary, and we are still learning and getting used to it. when and if we use regular diapers we have found we like the target up&up brand and feel it is just as good than the name brands (actually i like them better than both pampers and huggies) and they are less expensive. henry has outgrown the newborn size and is in size 1, but tends to leak only at night (leaks out the front/side). we had one blow out with a huggies newborn diaper, have had none with target brand (and knock on wood no blow outs with cloth yet).
so ok, onto the cloth diapers. when we registered i had heard good things about many different types of cloth diapers, and chose to go mainly with g diapers, and added in a few bum genius as well. g diapers are reusable diaper covers with disposable or reusable cloth inserts. bum genius is an all in one diaper, and you can add in reusable inserts for more layered protection. both are clearly super stylish and come in numerous colors and designs.
bum genius front
(i scared henry taking this pic, turning on the overhead light right after waking him up haha)
to start our collection we got 4 small (8-14lbs) gdiaper covers (since we didnt know if henry was a boy or girl we just got a mix of basic colors), 8 small plastic liners, and 12 small cloth liners. within the first two days of using them we realized we definitely did not have enough so we ordered 2 more covers, and got a package of 6 more plastic liners and 6 more cloth liners. this seems to be good right now, and we have done laundry every other day. we also have 3 bum genius diapers which are adjustable in size, and we like to use those at night as they are super absorbent.
for medium to large sizes we have 7 gdiaper covers, 13 plastic liners, and 19 cloth liners. again we have the 3 bum genius diapers which will continue to fit him, and we have 6 cloth liners for those (which we can also use for the bigger sized gdiaper covers).
the gdiapers are super easy to use. we keep our stash set up and ready to go for changes but if you didnt, they are easy to put together. the plastic liner just snaps in at four courners...
...and then you place the cloth liner inside the plastic liner...
...and the diaper is ready to be placed on the baby! the only downfall we have noticed with these is that the cloth liner does get bunched up and poop ends up on the plastic liner. this is where the extra plastic liners have come in handy. we have yet to get any poop on the outer cloth, it does seem to be contained well inside the liner.
replaces the cloth liners and can be flushed or thrown out
tyler and i were initially pretty grossed out thinking about washing the diapers and were concerned about how to do it, but its been so easy and not gross at all. first, we keep the soiled diapers and liners in a small trash can (with a lid) until we are ready to do the laundry. my friend christine taught me all her secret ways of cloth diapering which we are finding very helpful now (thanks christine!). one of the tips is to keep a towel at the bottom of the trash can so that the pee doesnt collect and cause wetness in the trash can. we then just wash the towel with the diapers (which in turn helps to give the laundry a little substance, helping keep the liners from getting stuck). you can definitely smell the ammonia scent in the trash can once a few of the diapers are in there so we have been sprinkling backing soda in the trash with the diapers. there is a good recipe HERE for a powder with essential oil, which i will be making once i buy myself a sifter! (we have a tea tree oil scent, i love that smell!) with the lid on the trash can, however, the scent of the pee is contained.
second, you can wash all the liners together (both ones with just urine and the ones with poop). breast fed and formula fed poop is water soluble and wont get your washing machine all dirty. you could actually wash all of this with your regular laundry if you wanted to, but were not (i still just think its kinda gross). with the gdiaper covers you need to fold over the velcro to help it last, and then we throw the load on hot and wash. i have both line dried and used the dryer for drying, either way is fine. apparently youre supposed to double rinse, i have yet to do that. oops.
third, you need to use detergent that is dye and fragrance free, and no dryer sheets. there is a great list HERE for cloth diaper detergents. right now we have been using all free & clear and have not had any problems. you also use less detergent than a normal load of wash would use (the extra rinse i think is to make sure the soap suds are all gone so there is no build up). we have a whirlpool (i think?) high efficiency washer and dryer so a very small load isnt a problem, the washer adjusts to the size. the problem we are running into with the dryer, however, is that it senses on its own when the clothes are dry even if the cycle is set for 40 minutes, and it shuts off too soon and the liners are still a little damp. i throw them back in for a few more minutes if it will sense that they are wet, and then i line dry them in the basement or outside if its nice.
side note: babies are less prone to getting diaper rash with the cloth liners than disposable diapers, but thats not to say it doesnt/wont happen. there are specific lotions that you can only use when using cloth diapers, you cant just lather them up with butt paste or desitin. ill look into what you can use when/if the time comes. (sad though cuz i loved butt paste when we were using disposable diapers with henry!)
so i guess thats it! so far so good i would say, although it is definitely more work than disposable diapers. it is taking time to get used to it but i truly feel this is a great thing for the environment and will also help save us some money in the long run (seriously, henry pees sooooooooo much!) people have said using cloth diapers also helps making the transition to potty training easier as well, so we're hoping that is true!