Monday, May 20, 2013

Mommy Monday: Cloth Diapers

I have a slight obsession with cloth diapers (CDs).
Wyatt sporting his BumGenius diaper

You see it began 5 years ago with Wyatt.  
Once I stopped working full-time  (I only stayed at home for 5 months) we couldn't 
afford to purchase formula and diapers constantly, so something had to give.  
Since I was slightly "green" already (Farmers are the first environmentalist) CDs seemed to be the answer.  

There are many different types of cloth diapering systems out there.
Some are one piece, some are two while others have more.
It's all about finding out what works for you.

What works for our family may be different than what works for yours...
With that said remember my husband and in-laws are using cloth diapers on the farm,
they are constantly on the go and have to juggle the boys plus my youngest niece (6) from time to time.
So our CD's must be quick and easy to use!

With that said we have multiple types and I will talk about the pros and cons of each
1. Traditional CD's (prefolds & cover)
2. One Size
3. diapers & covers
4. The Hybrid

Ok so let's start where CD's began...prefolds and covers.


This is what many people think about when they think of cloth diapers.  These are the same kind that your parents and grandparents may have used with pins.  Well one great thing now is you can ditch the pins and get these awesome little things called Snappi's.  With Snappi's you don't have to worry about sticking yourself or the baby!  In our family these work great for me, especially when I am at home.  I can easily change this diaper as you can a disposable.  Unless the cover is damp or soiled I reuse the same cover throughout the day.  Most of the time I like to switch between 2 covers throughout the day so that one can completely dry out between diaper changes.  If you decide to use this system (which is one of the cheapest ways to go) I suggest having 20-30 prefolds and 4-6 covers at a minimum.  You can get started for as little as $50 by purchasing a bare bones basic kit here.   FYI: I am sure there may be cheaper places however Cotton Babies is where I have always purchased from and they have great service for an affordable price.   You can also pick up prefolds at Wal-Mart & Target but the absorbency might not live up to your expectations.  I will discuss covers at the end.

Next is our most used and favorite type of CD...the one size.


They are just what they sound like...you purchase one size from 8-35 lbs.  These are a 2 part diapering system.  You have a shell that has an outer waterproof fabric with a sueded inner fabric that is soft and wicks the moisture away from baby and then inserts that go between the outer and inner layers in a pocket area.  We have some of these that fasten with Velcro (that must be replaced eventually)  and some with snaps.  I actually prefer the Velcro because they are a little faster and easier to put on.  It takes me a moment to get the snaps fastened.  There are various brands of this type of diaper however our favorites are BumGenius.  These are more expensive to get started with however they last forever through multiple children and hold up awesomely.  The worst thing about these diapers is the stuffing however even that isn't bad.  I stuff them while watching TV typically in the evening after the kiddos are in bed.  I can stuff all of our diapers in less than 30 minutes and at last count we had 30+.  6 BumGenius diapers will set you back about $75 new.

The third type of diaper we have are what are I call diapers and covers.

These come in one size, fitteds (which means sized), or you can make your own.  We have both one sized and DIY versions of this diaper.  You will have to purchase a cover for these separately.  We have Mother-ease one size diapers which are quick and easy to use for everyone.  I have also made our own version of these using this pattern from Rita's Rump  . Again they are easily adjustable and if you have basic sewing skills quick and easy to make.  The one drawback for us with these on the farm is they require a diaper cover.  Everything isn't all together, in turn that means we lost or misplaced covers from time to time.  As far as covers go keep reading, we will talk about them in a moment.

The last type of diaper we have are gdiapers or hybrids.

These diapers are part cloth and part disposable.  You have a cloth outer that is made of t-shirt like material, a plastic liner and then you can purchase inserts that are disposable or use cloth inserts (which is what we do).  They are easy to use and much better for the environment that traditional disposables however honestly they are expensive if you are using the disposable inserts.  The big positive to these diapers for me is that they are trimmer on baby than many other types of CDs.  They don't give you that big diaper bum.

Last but not least is covers.

For options 1 and 3 you need to purchase covers.  You can purchase covers together with many diapers in a kit or purchase them separately   We have always purchased our covers separately.  My favorite covers hands down are Flips .  Flips work great, are easy to use and colorful, but they aren't the most economical.  We also have Econobums , LiteWraps and Prowraps which work very well and about 1/2 the price.  Econobums are offered in a one sized option which means you only have to purchase covers once.  Litewraps and Prowraps are sized so you have to purchase more covers as baby grows.  Again I want to stress that all of these covers have worked excellent for us I just prefer the Flips.

So there you have it the type of cloth diapers we use.  The easiest for us to use on the go and have the smallest learning curve are the BumGenius diapers.  I throw them in the diaper bag like disposables along with a wet bag (just a breathable waterproof bag) and anyone can use them even if they have never put a CD on a baby before.  These are what we use 75% of the time.

Some of these options seem very expensive upfront but when you consider for less than $250 (based on BumGenius 4.0 price) you can diaper your baby from birth to potty training it's an awesome deal!  On average disposables cost a family 0.20 cents each and most babies go through just under 2,800 diapers in their first year!  There are lots of ways to combat that expense.  You can register for them on Amazon, Target, Babies'r'us and many other places.  There are also Facebook groups where you can buy and sell new and used cloth diapers.  Some of these groups are co-ops in which a group of moms get together and purchase large lots of CDs directly from the company.  I don't have any of those brands so I can't speak to their quality or ease of use.

If you have any questions about cloth diapers I will be happy to answer what I can.  I am by no means an expert but I can share my experiences with you.


Until Next Time...

Caci

**Please note this post was not sponsored in anyway and none of the companies listed above have a clue who I am!**