or Connect
Mothering › Groups › August 2012 Birth Club › Discussions › Suggestions for cloth diapers

Suggestions for cloth diapers

post #1 of 55
Thread Starter 

So, my dh and I are slowly starting to compile a list of things we think we need for this little baby.  I know it's early, but we are planners on a tight budget so it seems prudent to have an idea of what we want to start collecting.  Now that I'm past 13 weeks I feel slightly more comfortable doing thissmile.gif.  Anyway, last night we were sifting through the wide world of cloth diapers and ended up feeling overwhelmed and at all loss of what to do.  My mom is insisting on getting us a diaper service for the first three months (and of course I'm accepting) so really we won't need diapers until 3 months and beyond.  But, my oh my, there are so many choices!  And, it seems as though we could spend anywhere from $300 dollars to $2000! Yikes! We know we want to keep polyester out of the inside of the diaper and away from baby's skin, but other than that we're not sure.  Pre-fold, fitted, all in one.  It's enough to make my head spin.

 

So... I was wondering if any of you cloth diapering mamas would like to give your two cents on the matter?  What's your favorite diaper system? Are fitted diapers really worth the extra money?   And, how many diapers do I need anyway?  

post #2 of 55

I'm not sure where in Chicago you are located... but a friend of mine owns a diaper service. We're in the Northern Suburbs.... her website is www.cleangreennappy.com

 

Everyone you ask will have a different opinion on what is best, it really depends on what exactly you are looking for. Most effective would be prefolds and covers, most convenient and like disposable diapers would be the AIOs but they are more costly.... a nice inbetween is the pocket diapers.

 

I'm partial to pockets but not all pockets are created equally, lol. So it's really best to read reviews and go from there.

post #3 of 55

I highly recommend prefolds. I loved them! I found that you would still have blowout issues with fitteds and they really didn't seem worth it to me. I had a baby that was scrawny with tiny legs, so being able to wrap the prefold really tight was important. I used snappis to keep them in place and bought a variety of covers. You will be getting prefolds with the diapering service, so you'll definitely be used to them. Plus, they are the cheapest diapers to buy...so good on a budget. I started from the beginning with my own diapers and bought 36 newborn diapers, 24 infant, 24 medium and 24 premium (or large). 

 

http://www.greenmountaindiapers.com/diapers.htm is a great place to get diapers, but I bought most of my covers used on diaper swappers. I also bought a bunch of prefolds there as well. Remember, though, that you have to prewash prefolds quite a few times before you can use them, so buying them in advance is actually a good thing. I think I spent about $400 on everything from birth to potty training. That included cloth wipes (36 or so) a wet bag for the garbage can, the diapers, covers, snappies and a travel dry bag. 

 

My partner was kind of shocked by the price up front, but definitely loved not buying diapers once our son was born!

 

On a side note, prefolds are really easy to clean and I actually loved doing diaper laundry. It was my favorite laundry to do!

post #4 of 55

Prefolds are fab. I like them a lot, especially in those early months where the baby needs to be changed 10-12 times a day! We were lucky, we never had to do more than a trifolded prefold (where you fold it into thirds and lay it in the cover). I know a lot of friends did have to perfect other folds to keep them from leaking, but they weren't hard, and it becomes a very fast thing once you've done it a few times. We also did part-time EC, so there were a couple less diaper changes a day than there would have been otherwise. Fitteds are nice but in my opinion not worth it unless you get a smoking deal.

 

I also second Green Mountain Diapers. It's a great resource!

post #5 of 55

I obviously can't say anything on this personally, but my friend had three kids and she has a great blog post on what she sees as the minimalist cloth diapering regimen.  As others have said, it seems you have to find what works for you, but I love that her blog has a list of bare essentials, including how much of each thing you'll need.  She also has a separate post on making your own cloth diaper detergent.  Cool stuff.

 

http://www.elisaloves.com/2011/09/how-we-cloth-diaper-our-babies.html

post #6 of 55

I make my own detergent, and it is SUPER easy and SUPER cheap. It's ridiculously easy, in fact, and it works just fine for diapers and for everything else.

 

Get a bar of whatever soap you want to use. I use a bar of homemade laundry soap from my local farmer's market. Before that, I used Dr. Bronner's Baby Mild bars. Other people like Fels-Naptha, but it was too strongly scented for me (it's easy to get though, you can usually find it in the laundry aisle of a grocery store).

 

Grate the soap. Measure how much gratings you have. Then mix that with equal parts of Borax and laundry soda (also found in the laundry aisle). That's it!

 

I use 1/2 tbsp. You can experiment with how much you want to use. Mine's a HE front loader, so it generally uses less.

post #7 of 55

I do want to caution that this kind of homemade detergent is only good if you have conditioned water. I know where I'm at I would never be able to get this sort of soap residue OUT of my diapers... we have hard water and the ONLY thing I found useable was Charlie's and I was trialing Ecos (unscented) before our move. We're currently in sposies as I can't do diaper laundry here.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cecilia's Mama View Post

I make my own detergent, and it is SUPER easy and SUPER cheap. It's ridiculously easy, in fact, and it works just fine for diapers and for everything else.

 

Get a bar of whatever soap you want to use. I use a bar of homemade laundry soap from my local farmer's market. Before that, I used Dr. Bronner's Baby Mild bars. Other people like Fels-Naptha, but it was too strongly scented for me (it's easy to get though, you can usually find it in the laundry aisle of a grocery store).

 

Grate the soap. Measure how much gratings you have. Then mix that with equal parts of Borax and laundry soda (also found in the laundry aisle). That's it!

 

I use 1/2 tbsp. You can experiment with how much you want to use. Mine's a HE front loader, so it generally uses less.



 

post #8 of 55

Interesting. We have very, very hard water here, and I have never had a problem. Maybe it's because I use so very little detergent.

post #9 of 55

I use prefolds during the day, and at night I use wonderoos pockets. They're an all in one which I stuff with prefolds and a microfibre cloth if I need some extra absorbancy. Prefolds are so cheap, especially 2nd hand so you can have loads of them, they're handy for mopping up spills too. I dont' use detergent, just bicarb and then vinegar in the rinse cycle. I live in a really hard water area. We part time EC too so I wasn't that bothered about amazing absorbancy as I changed them often. I prefer velcro on the covers as it's quick on and off. When they move a bit more it can rub on the leg if you'er not careful placing the velcro so sometimes poppers are better. But with the part time EC I hate poppers, I need quick on and off, button under vests and baby grows really annoy me.

post #10 of 55

I totally prefer velcro too, the biggest reason being the adjustability for a perfect fit. Cecilia is tiny, always has been, and as an infant, even the XS covers needed to be as tight as possible to fit her. Velcro made that possible!

post #11 of 55

I use only prefolds and covers at home.  I like AIOs for going out but they are pricey so I don't keep a whole lot in my stash.  I don't like microfiber or any of the synthetics used for the pocket diapers so I don't use them.  All my AIOs are cotton.

 

I get my prefolds from Green Mountain Diapers.  I love them.  For prep I just wash them a whole bunch of times.  I've used Thirsties sized covers from the start.  I like them a lot but I think we're about out of their biggest size, so I may have to move to Bummis.  Prefolds are intimidating but honestly you pick it up really fast.  I never liked tri-folding so I just practiced folds with a Snappi on a teddy bear.  Once Elsa was here I found a fold that worked for me (basically a modified angel wing fold), and there are lots of videos out there that can show you step by step what to do for different folds.

 

Because I use cotton and don't have hard water, washing is easy.  I use Tide because I like something I can buy at the store.  I use a lot, and I don't know if it's because I use all cotton or what, but I've never had one problem with leaking, repelling, or anything that wasn't user error or because of something being too small.

post #12 of 55

For the previous three children I've used prefolds and Bummis covers, and been quite satisfied! I've tried some other kinds, mostly cotton AIO's and they take FOREVER to dry.

My prefolds are wearing out (the larger ones, the infants are still in perfect shape), so I had to buy something new and I went with AlvaBaby diapers.

 Now I know I could be banned for talking about these LOL  they are microfiber and made in china.  But I bought 20 for an average of $5/each including shipping and duty!   $100 for a diaper stash is amazing.  Plus they dry so fast, and now that I have the option, I'll admit that I hate velcro.

 

Having everything stick together was getting annoying, so these snaps are so much better.

I had a stink problem after I used them for a couple weeks, but that was cured with a vinegar rinse.

 

 

I also make my own detergent, but with the natural fibers you need to be very careful with the Borax. It will actually eat cotton. Not cool!

My recipe is similar, two cups of washing soda, two cups of finely grated bar soap and a cup of borax.  We have a spring fed well with no water softener, our water is not full of iron but it is not soft water either.

 

Cloth diapers and detergents are so subjective to your washing machine, your routine - if you choose to pre-soak or not etc. and how often you wash etc.  It also changes when you have a baby on solids instead of just EBF.

post #13 of 55

Prefolds are the way to go with a newborn.  I like Bummis SWW for newborns, and Thirsties after a few weeks.  Bleached prefolds worked better for us than unbleached - more absorbant and fewer stains.  If you find you want to try other diapers at some point, there are a few diaper stores that offer sample packs, so you can try one of each kind for a decent price and see what works for you.  By the time we moved away from cloth when Badger turned 3, we had amassed quite a collection of all sorts of diapers.  Everyone loves a different brand and type, because every baby is different.  Don't forget to buy a few wetbags, in a couple of different sizes.

 

Oh, and don't believe the party line about fancy natural detergents.  Wash with Tide - nothing gets dipes cleaner.

post #14 of 55

I love this thread. Lily - I read your friend's blog (and sent it the hubs) a while ago when you posted it before and it gave us the confidence we needed to know we don't need a diaper service. Although - it might be nice to have one the first few months. Pretty sure I'll be adding that to the registry just to see who wants to buy it for us. My friend actually recommended using disposable the first few weeks because of the black tarry poops - but I think diaper service would be better. It's like $20 a week here. I could totally do that the first 3 months. Who wants to use chemicals on a newborn? Not me!!!

 

Aww... thinking about cloth diapers makes me wanna cry... it's getting closer ladies... awwww. (yes - my hormones are on 25 right now!)

post #15 of 55

Thebyr, glad it was helpful!  I think we're going to go with a diaper service for the first few months too, just because I already dislike doing laundry and I know there's going to be enough spew and poop and so on to wash while I'm exhausted without worrying about the diapers too.  But then I'd like to build a little collection so we can use them for subsequent kiddos. 

 

These are great tips everyone!  Keep them coming.  I must confess that I'm still a little overwhelmed at all the options out there.

post #16 of 55

Anyone ever try to make their own diapers or know of a pattern that is good?  We are very interested in going that route, but I know I probably need to get started sooner rather than later as I don't what material(s), don't have any patterns, and have never used cloth diapers.  We also make our own laundry soap so it has been very interesting reading other people's recipes and scary to find out Borax can eat diapers.  

post #17 of 55

Sol - found a great post on making diapers - let me see if I can find it. UGH - of course I cannot find the ONE blog I'm looking for. Hopefully these help.

http://www.thefamilyhomestead.com/clothdiapers.htm

http://www.theclothdiaperwhisperer.com/2009/01/do-it-yourself-how-to-make-cloth.html

tutorial: http://www.modernalternativemama.com/blog/2009/11/29/cloth-diaper-tutorial.html

more resources: http://www.diaperjungle.com/sewing-cloth-diapers.html

post #18 of 55

Thank you so much!! 

post #19 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by Thebyr View Post

 My friend actually recommended using disposable the first few weeks because of the black tarry poops - but I think diaper service would be better. It's like $20 a week here.


There are a couple of things you can do to make meconium poops easier on you and still use cloth. First, get an old T-shirt and cut it into liners that fit inside your diaper. You won't have to worry about the meconium staining your diapers, and you can wash and/or bleach the T-shirt pieces and use them as rags when you're done.

 

Also, to make it easier to remove the meconium from the baby, every time you change a poop diaper, put some coconut oil on the tush (it's cloth diaper safe). That will make the mec stick a lot less!

post #20 of 55

good tips! Thanks Aimee

  Return Home
  Back to Forum: August 2012 Birth Club
Mothering › Groups › August 2012 Birth Club › Discussions › Suggestions for cloth diapers