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Mothering › Groups › May 2012 Birth Club › Discussions › somewhere between cloth and disposable diapers...your thoughts?

somewhere between cloth and disposable diapers...your thoughts?

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 

feel free to point me elsewhere if this has already been covered...


we live in an apartment with no w/d in the building. while we are very interested in cloth diapering, i don't know how feasible it will be for us if we don't have convenient laundry facilities. of course, there are always services, but before deciding on one of those, i'd like to investigate diapers like gDiapers and GroVia that are biodegradable/flushable/etc. 


have you used them? i've heard mixed opinions about them (both collectively and individual brands) and would like to hear what y'all have to say. 

post #2 of 22

Hi grizzlebee! I bumped a diaper conversation back up to the top of the board for you. It's just called "diapers."

post #3 of 22

unless you have burly, fool proof plumbing I wouldn't flush gDiapers.  They are good in the compost. 


We lived in Apts for years and cloth diapered... But we had a laundry mat really close, around the corner from our apt.  Flats are easy to even hand wash and line dry--esp when baby is little and only eating breastmilk.  But that might be too much for some!


Okay, now I am going to go check out the Diaper chat... :)

post #4 of 22

I have no personal experience, but there was just a discussion about gDiapers a few days ago on offbeat mama: http://offbeatmama.com/2012/01/eco-friendly-diapering-options

post #5 of 22
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by poppyseed2012 View Post

Hi grizzlebee! I bumped a diaper conversation back up to the top of the board for you. It's just called "diapers."

thank you so much!!!!

post #6 of 22

I would just get a bunch like 36-48 dipes and wash every 4 days! It really is worth it! We love Flip dipes but I am so eying the BGE elementals!

post #7 of 22
Thread Starter 

i guess my other issue is that i'm not sure how i feel about washing cloth diapers in a laundromat machine. not so much for the pees, but the poops. is that generally ok to do or is it considered... "bad form"? everyone i know who cloth diapers has a w/d in their house or apartment, so i'd be interested in thoughts about that as well.

post #8 of 22

Nobody has to know hide.gif


The chemicals in disposables are enough to make me do it but you can get the earths best disposables if you do go with them. They aren't too bad...

post #9 of 22
Originally Posted by sosurreal09 View Post

Nobody has to know hide.gif


The chemicals in disposables are enough to make me do it but you can get the earths best disposables if you do go with them. They aren't too bad...

I had a wet bag and would just dump the diapers in the laundry machine... And I guess people wash their underwear in the machines... .is that gross?  Esp if baby is breast fed, the poop is really non offensive... when they start solids it is a different story, but you can always use flushable liners (I do at home...)...


I would often run the washer I was going to use on a hot water wash to get the old detergent buildup from other peoples' loads before my diaps (just empty)  and then after the diapers I'd wash my towels and a little bleach .... I guess it really depends on what you are comfortable with :)

post #10 of 22
Thread Starter 

i think running the washer empty would be a good idea, but costly and time-consuming for me since i have to spend $2.25 per wash and sit at the laundromat for the whole time. :(


honestly i'm not that grossed out by USING the washers to wash diapers, it's more like...are others? hehe. i use cloth menstrual pads and have no qualms with washing those in public machines, but i think about the consistency of period blood vs. poops and think that blood washes away a lot easier. i also soak those beforehand, but i also know that the volume of cloth pads i soil in a regular period week will be nothing compared to the volume of cloth diapers a baby would go through in a week.


another concern is that while the amount of laundry may not be a big deal in the beginning, i'm going to have to go back to work at some point, and even if i only go back part time...i have a hard time keeping up with laundry with just two of us! it sucks because i would LOVE to cloth diaper but i have to be realistic about what will work best for our family. if only we had a w/d in our place!!! i would be the happiest person. (laundry is my favorite chore--no joke!--i just hate having to leave the house to do it.)

post #11 of 22

Have you looked into the small washers?  They're sometimes recommended for use in RVs.  They're a step up from hand-washing, but take about the room of a 5 gallon bottle of water.  Paired with a hose attachment for your sink or a hand-held shower head, it's plenty for washing flats and covers.  And a drying rack for drying - put it near the heat source and they should dry over night.  And if you're essentially hand-washing them, you can do it in your time (5 minutes washing, go deal with the baby, back to washing, go answer the phone, back to washing, check on dinner in the oven, etc.).  Rinse, agitate, dump.  Soap, agitate, dump.  Rinse, agitate, dump.  Repeat rinse at least once.  Done.  It doesn't take nearly the amount of time a machine does.  You'd probably have to be doing it every day at first though.


If that doesn't work for you, I'd probably explore a service.  Sitting in the laundry room/laundromat waiting for the laundry is not a good use of my time.  There are so many things I'd rather be doing.


But as for your concern about the poops and other people - so long as the babe is EBF, the poo washes clean away.  It's completely water soluble.  Formula poo is pastier and doesn't tend to wash as clean.  And once they start solids, all bets are off.  At that point I recommend another approach - liners, diaper sprayer, scraping, whatever works for you.  But the poo can't go in the washer once they start solids, it clogs up the machine. 


Or, you could always do a combo of all of the above. 


Oh, and something else you might want to explore is here we have a diaper service that composts disposables.  You have to use a particular brand, but rather than putting them in a landfill, they get picked up and composted.  I think cost-wise it's on par with a regular service, although I haven't really explored it much.  Maybe look if you have something similar near you. 

post #12 of 22

As a fellow Brooklyn resident, I went through the same diaper debate before my first was born. We don't have a w/d in our apt, although we do have a few downstairs in the building. I do know a few people who've done their diapers at a laundromat, but it sounds like a real pain in the neck. It's expensive (as the baby gets older and starts eating solids, you'll almost certainly want to do a first full cycle on cold with no soap as a "rinse" cycle before doing another round with soap), but factoring in the schlepping of both laundry and baby, plus the sitting around waiting, tends to lessen the appeal even more! One woman told me that she got asked by the employees to run an additional hot, empty load afterwards to sanitize the machine, because people complained or something. Washing out diapers by hand can be a bit time consuming, to say the least, but mostly I'm guessing you don't have a lot of room to be hanging things up to properly dry in your apartment (if it's anything like ours, size-wise). I had enough trouble keeping up with washing out our cloth wipes (we eventually switched to eco-friendly wipes around 11 months because I couldn't handle washing the transitional poop from the wipes in our bathtub anymore.)


We also tried gDiapers when our guy was first born because someone had given us a starter gift as a set. I thought they worked pretty well. Some people complain about having to rinse off the liners, but I didn't care about that part. A friend with a daughter said she didn't like them because she felt there was too much space between the diaper and her daughter and it got messy, although another friend with a daughter has been using them for almost 2 years now, and she likes them. It's an individual thing!


We ended up using a diaper service, which we've been really pleased with. (Feel free to PM me if you'd like the name of the service, they cover most of Brooklyn.) They provide the prefolds, we provide our own various covers. I also bought a few yards of malden mills fleece, cut it up into wide strips, and sometimes use this as a liner between his skin and the diaper. I do this especially if we'll be out for a while and I'm not sure if I'll be able to change him. The fleece wicks away the wetness from his skin, so he stays dry. Once my son stopped needing to be changed in the middle of the night (read: pooping), I had to experiment with an overnight diapering system. In order to get a soak-proof thickness of prefold, it was too bulky to be comfortable for him. I ended up buying some pocket diapers (fuzzi bunz and bum genius) with various types of inserts and soakers (hemp/bamboo/wool, you name it, I have it). These keep him leak free and dry over night. I find washing one load of pee-only diapers once every 4 days or so is doable, although I'm lucky because I just have to run downstairs in my building to do it.


We usually keep a bag of disposables on hand for emergencies or whatever. We use the Nature Babycare brand, which are corn-based or something and petroleum-free. They're still disposable, but I guess they're a little better than your average Huggie/Pamper type dipe.




post #13 of 22

Grizzle bee, We are in the same boat, some of our good friends do cloth diapers at home (prefolds and covers) and do their own washing, but live in the suburbs, we thought about doing the same in our laundry room, but would feel kind of bad and already feel pretty overwhelmed by all the laundry to come just from baby clothes. We always wanted to do prefolds with covers since I've heard the best reviews of that system.  We met Diaper Kind at a baby expo and read some good reviews on them, so we think we will use them. They made a little chart that is helpful for deciding http://www.diaperkind.com/Info_files/Diaperkind_Deciding.pdf  The cost is defiantly more than home washing or huggies, but for $35 they drop them off at your door, clean and folded once a week. I imagine the first few months are going to be overwhelming, so having someone else do the washing and deliver them to us is just ideal! They also seemed really nice!


I'm also curious how other Brooklyn/NYC mamas deal with strollers, we know we need one for going to the train or even the laundry mat, but the idea of lugging a baby and stroller up the stairs (We live in a 3rd floor walk-up!) seems daunting, one idea we had is to leave the stroller in the trunk of our car, and just carry the baby up. What do you all plan to do?



post #14 of 22

DiaperKind is the service we use, and we love them! Wonderful customer service and high quality prefolds. The convenience factor is fabulous.


Hollyann - we didn't even buy a stroller until our son was about 6 or 7 months old. It was so much easier to wear him everywhere than it was to drag a stroller around. Now that he's a toddler and requires a stroller most of the time, I really, really miss those days of popping in and out of the subway without a second thought or needing someone's assistance to help me up and down the stairs, going into any shop without trying to prop the door open or knock merchandise off the shelf, etc. Another reason we waited was because after looking at tons of strollers, we decided that the citimini was the best fit for us, and the baby needs to be a bit older and able to sit up more to use it (although I think you can buy some attachment that fits a bucket seat onto it for infant use?). It's affordable, fairly light weight, collapses easily with one hand (and can be extended with the same ease), and has the bigger wheels that are necessary for city sidewalks and bumps. It also has a great long sunshade that pulls down.

post #15 of 22

Holly ann do you really need a stroller or can you just baby wear? We have only used our 3x and my DD is 2 y/o LOL I have a ring sling, moby, a woven wrap, and an ergo that all get used frequently though.


I do laundry, vaccuming, cleaning, etc all while wearing a baby with no issues. Also wearing was a must for us walking around town. (nothing worse than a screaming baby in a stroller)

post #16 of 22

I'm not sure if we need the stroller, but it seems like it would be more convenient if I'm going to the grocery store to not have to carry both the baby and the bags,  I've had some back issues in the past, so I don't know how I would do carrying baby and lots of bags around the city.  It will probably be fine in the beginning, but I guess we will see. dh also wants us to move before the baby comes, but our rent is pretty reasonable and we love our apt and location, we just hate the stairs, so that doesn't seem practical to me. My other consideration for the stroller is that my MIL and FIL have offered to buy the stroller for us, so I don't want to miss out on that opportunity! :P

post #17 of 22

What about one of those carts on wheels for the groceries? If you are wearing the baby you won't have to hold him and the groceries that's the beauty of it you will be hands free. If you get a stroller what will you do take the baby in leave him there and then go back for the groceries?


As far as moving goes IDK that I recommend that moving is so stressful. My MW actually said she would only take me if I don't plan on moving b/c she has witnessed a correlation between moving and stress and pregnancy issues. I mean it's completely anecdotal but hey.

post #18 of 22

Wow SoReal, Thanks for that bit of info from the MW, I'm in the staying camp and my husband wants to move, I'll share that little note with him! 


The grocery cart could work, another option is just to shop once a week in the car, rather than every day at the local grocery, which we normally do.

post #19 of 22
Thread Starter 

thank you everyone for your input! it's good to hear from other moms who are in the same boat. i have been devouring the diaperkind site and it looks terrific. the how-to videos are nice, too! 

post #20 of 22

Hollyann-  Another way we managed groceries for a long time was to continue our normal city-style shopping (buying food every two days or so) for produce and the like, and use Fresh Direct for the heavier or bulky items - dry goods, coffee, household supplies etc. At some point though, my husband just started a new routine of driving to Fairway in Red Hook on the weekend and taking our son with him for some daddy son time. Milo loves the grocery store (free bread samples and lots of people to wave to) and I loooooove getting some free time to myself on Saturday mornings.



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