Friday, November 28, 2008

Cloth Diapering

So, I promised a cloth diaper post.

We committed to cloth diapering Harry before he was born for a number of reasons -- environmental costs and financial costs being two of them. That said, when we first brought him home, we had him in disposables - we had him circumcised and had to apply ointment to the circumcision site until it was healed and didn't want to damage the cloth diapers with it. We kept him in them for a bit because he developed diaper rash and we needed to put Butt Paste on, which is also not cloth diaper-friendly. Finally, we had him in them overnight for a while when we were worried that our heavy wetter would wet right through cloth. We no longer use disposables. We have fewer blowouts with cloth. And our boy seems much happier in them.

Right now, his primary daytime diaper is a Kissaluvs size 0 fitted diaper with a Thirsties size xs cover. We have 11 of the diapers and four covers, though we started with only two covers. These covers are great. They have a double gusset at the leg, which keeps messes contained inside. I know some people hate velcro, and maybe it will be a problem when he can undo it easily himself, but I find it far easier to adjust to the right size. Our guy has skinny little legs, and the velcro lets us get the legs nice and tight. The only leaks we have are when he gets so wet that the fabric at the top of the diaper (above the PUL) gets wet and the moisture seeps through.

We also really like the Kissaluvs. They fit him well, have a snapdown for the early days for the umbilical cord, and have a good number of snaps to use to adjust the size. Since it's like wrapping him in a little blanket, the wet goes straight through, so you need a waterproof cover, and the (breastmilk) poop can go through too if there's enough of it, but nothing ever goes over the top or out the legs, which is great. But we won't use fitted diapers forever. When he pees, they get really wet, and the wet stays against his skin. I'm not a big fan of that. Plus, we would have to keep buying them in different sizes to keep up with his growth, which can be expensive.

Overnight, we have him in BumGenius 3.0 -- and this is what we'll use when he outgrows the fitted diapers. We love them. They keep him fully contained overnight (and when he wears them during the day). Right now, though, they are bulky between the legs. His legs ends up very far apart, and it makes me worry about his ability to move his legs as he learns and develops. So we are waiting to use them full-time until he gets too big for his newborn diapers. I think there are probably different ways to use the inserts so as to keep the legs from being so far apart (like the twist fold you can do with prefolds), but we're lazy right now.

The other diapers and covers we have include infant prefolds, an Imse Vimse organic cotton cover, Bummi's Super Whisper Wrap covers, a Happy Heinys sized pocket diaper, a Happy Heinys one-size-fits-all pocket, and a few FuzziBunz pocket diapers (size small).

The prefolds are fine and are what we used when we ran out of Kissaluvs. Neither of us is super confident with getting them folded and on Harry. With practice, I think we'd do fine with these. We probably would have liked them more had we bought newborn size -- with infant, we have to fold them down to get the fit right, which makes getting them on more difficult. As he grows and we don't need to do this anymore, we'll probably use these more as an extra set of diapers (and we do have some bigger covers to use with them).

The Imse Vimse cover is also really cute, but also didn't fit as well. Even though it is supposed to have fit him since birth, we can't get it tight enough, even when the velcro is pulled all the way across. So he doesn't use this one unless we have no other clean covers.

The Bummi's covers were cute, but doesn't have the double gusset at the leg like the Thirsties, so I was always worried about leaks. And he grew out of them much sooner, as we discovered at his baptism when he was drenched partway through.

I really liked the Happy Heiny's sized pocket (in photo), but P never felt confident with it. And it's now too small. The one-size pocket seems too loose at the legs, so we only use it during the day when poop is less of a concern (the pee is usually contained in the insert). It's less bulky than the BumGenius, but doesn't fit as tightly.

Finally, the FuzziBunz. As I mentioned, our nastiest blowout was with a FuzziBunz. And P doesn't like them at all. It's tough to get the right size adjustment with the snaps. Plus, they're sized, so you need a full stash in every size if it's the only diaper you use. I suspect a baby with chubbier legs would do really well with these, but Harry isn't that baby.

For wipes, we use terry wipes. We make our own solution in a pump pot -- warm water plus baby shampoo and baby oil. He stays clean and non-rashy. We do use disposable wipes when we travel, but will eventually remember to buy a squirt bottle to use on the road and start carrying cloth wipes too. I love the cloth wipes. Even if you aren't ready to do cloth diapers, I highly recommend the cloth wipes, since the disposable ones are sooo expensive.

As for diaper care, we do a wash every two days or so, using Purex detergent. We do a cold prewash and a hot wash with a second rinse. We dry most everything on Medium/High, though we hang dry the covers (we don't wash these after every use -- we wipe them down with the clean part of a wipe and wash when they start to carry an odor).

We also hang dry our wet bag and the bag we use as an alternative to a pail. His room is small, so we use a bag instead of a pail (plus, it's easy to bring downstairs so we don't have to bring him to his room for his daytime changes). It keeps the stink in and stays dry on the outside. It has a hang tab, so we can hang it on the back of the door when it isn't so full. We have two, so we have one to use when the other is in the wash. We ordered them both from Happy Tushies.

We also have two wetbags to use for diapers on the go. One is a Wahmies, the other is a Happy Tushies. We like them both. They are pretty much the same, though the design for the Happy Tushies is cuter.


Jen said...

Excellent post! I've got the BumGenius 3.0s. I need to get a wet bag for them though and soon! I'll look at Happy Tushies.

mo*reezy said...

Nice job - it's good to see what other people are doing. Maria is still so skinny that in the x-small thirsties cover, the velcro tabs are completely overlapped! I do love it though.

Nicky said...

We use regular size prefolds held with a snappi, and Nikky covers (recently moved from size NB to small). I am totally in love with the Nikky covers -- LL hardly ever leaks through them, the leg gussets are awesome, they're very light so they don't add much bulk, and they're super easy to wash.

We use them 24 hours a day, which is starting to be a problem -- I think LL wakes so often at night because he feels wet, not because he's hungry. I've tried using fleece inserts so that he doesn't feel it as much, but it doesn't seem to help. We should give the bumgenius a try....

sushilover said...

Great post! I will definitely refer back to it. My mom was just mentioning that I should use cloth instead of disposable because it causes less diaper rash. Have you found this the case? I have to admit I know nothing about cloth diapers so I have a lot to learn if I do go that route. I just might though need to if it truly saves money, since I will have two little ones.

Rebecca said...

I use cloth diapers on my 18 month old on the weekends and on Wednesdays (when my Mom has her) and disposables when she is at daycare. In general I quite like them. We have a bunch of different kids but so far like the Bum Genius the best. They are quite bulky though in general so her clothing choices are limited when she wears them. I'm due to have twins in May and will probably use cloth on them as well as much as I can although I can imagine the laundry load will ge a bit intensive.