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***Cloth Diapering Mamas***

post #1 of 149
Thread Starter 

I didn't cloth diaper w/ our first because we had planned on only having one and I didn't even bother to research :( Now that we are expecting #2 (who was surprisingly planned :)) I have done my cloth diapering research and I'm choosing to do it mostly because of the gross chemicals in disposables. This christmas I got tons of diapers, approx 20 and 25 prefolds/7 covers, so I should be set, I just need to supply the milk :P

 

So, out of curiosity, who has and/or will be cloth diapering?

Also, why are you cloth diapering?

 

Personally, I'd also like to learn more about hospital protocols regarding cloth diaper use. I know many people use disposable diapers the first couple weeks for different reasons, but my main reason is the chemical factor, so I want to avoid them completely.

post #2 of 149

We do about half and half.  Will do more when my DH officially becomes a full-time SAHD here in a month or two.  We would do full-time, except we have many family members watch DD who aren't really comfortable with hanging onto soiled cloth.  Also, the care provider we originally had for her wouldn't do them.

 

We plan to CD as much as possible with DS.  Reasons are:

 

1)  cheaper over time (do have slightly higher electric and water bills, but nothing compared to buying diapers full-time)

2)  better for baby's skin (we have NEVER had a diaper rash with DD.  Could just be luck, but every time things get a little red down there, I put her in cloth and it disappears)

3)  better for environment (especially when you can flush the poop with solids)

4)  little baby butts in cloth look so cute!

5)  supposedly leads to quicker toilet learning, since babies know the sensation of wetness.  I think this really depends on the child, and on what kind of cloth you're using.  Our microfiber inserts wick so well that I'm not sure this is even a benefit, and DD doesn't seem to care when they are wet or dirty any more than disposables.

 

We didn't have our s*** together enough to have cloth ready to go at the hospital with DD, but I don't think it would be a problem so long as you are very clear with them and supply your own wet bags, etc.  Have your partner on this task, as you will probably be so wiped from labor and birth that what kind of diaper they put on LO will be the last thing on your mind!  (Just my .02)

 

We also use cloth wipes and spray I make.  Super easy - I just cut a bunch of cheap washcloths in half.  Spray is water, a little aloe, and a drop or two of tea tree + lavender oil.  I spray it on cold - DD doesn't seem to mind.  

 

I haven't bought anything for DS yet because I'm not sure what route I want to take.  Prefolds, or newborn fitteds?  I do need three or four more Thirsties covers in XS for DS, for sure (we only have two now).  Will DD be out of her Fuzzibunz in time for DS to grow out of newborn fitteds?  Too many questions!  

post #3 of 149

We have CD'd but with DD2 i had a hard time with her getting terrible rashes that would end up as sores. We ended up switching to disposable almost entirely around 15 months.  I have always struggled with stink and ammonia issues so that was a problem.  I really like the ease of one-size pocket dipes but I have heard that prefolds are easier to get clean.  I hated prefolds but I will probably try them again to see if that helps the stink issue.  I know a lot of people love them!  I just hate the expense and trash created by the sposies so I will keep trying.  We will probably still use sposies overnight and for when the baby is older and goes to the church nursery.  I have to admit I'm a bit worried about keeping up with the laundry of three kids plus CDs but it's certainly worth a shot!

post #4 of 149

I don't see why it would be a problem at the hospital if you are providing all of the materials.  Just write it up in the birth plan and have your partner let the staff know after the baby is born.

 

I got some cloth diapers when DS was around 6 months old.  I didn't really consider it when he was younger; we lived in an apartment and I could barely get our regular laundry done.  But we moved when DS was about 3 or 4 months old, and I had come across a lot of info about CDing, so we made the switch.  It was actually pretty awesome at first.  The hardest part for me was that DS had these huge chubby thighs and finding pants that fit over his thighs and the diapers was tough.  As time went on though, we started having some stink issues that I couldn't remedy.  I have alternated between doing cloth until I can't put up with the stink any more and them going back to sposies.  I like using the cloth better actually, but I just can't keep up a routine that would keep us clear of the stink.  Like PP said, I think it has to do with using the microfiber inserts.  We made our money back on the cloth really quickly, so we definitely didn't loose money on that end.

 

For this baby I am going to give the cloth a go again.  I think the stink for us was happening just because DS was EBF for so long, having a liquid diet was just producing too much pee for the wash to handle.  So we will probably get a good run again this time.  A lot of the CDing things are going to be trial and error based on both you and your baby's preferences.  It's not a bad idea to have a few different styles to try out.  You can get them used pretty easily. 

post #5 of 149

We cloth diapered from the beginning with both my boys and will again...except at night. We learned with the last baby that everyone gets more sleep if you are not having to change the diaper with every feeding during the night...unless it is poopy of course. I know some people just use lots of layers, but my boys were too prone to rashes to do that.

 

The L&D unit I work on (and where my first son was born) actually used prefolds/covers for many years. In recent years they have switched to disposables. I hate the fake baby smell of newborn disposables! It gives me a headache. I don't think cloth diapering in the hospital would be a problem if you plan ahead, especially since newborns don't pee all that frequently in the first day or two.

 

My last baby was a homebirth, so we also started right away. I have 24 size 0 Kissaluvs fitteds that we got mostly as gifts with our first and they are still in good enough shape for this babe. They are great for containing newborn poop explosions! After that we move to one-size fitteds. I prefer fitteds and wool covers, though I have tried prefolds and pockets. Pocket dipes just don't fit well on my chunky babies. We stopped cloth diapering exclusively for various reasons around 8 months with both my boys (rashes, couldn't get pants big enough to fit over them). I have always thought that cloth diapering a girl would be so much easier because they could just wear a cute diaper cover, leg warmers and dress or tunic and be good to go! For wipes, I just keep a stack of cloth wipes by the sink (or use a wipe warmer with water at bedside) and wet them as I use them. No special butt sprays or anything.

 

Oh...with our first we also did EC starting at 5 weeks old, and it worked great in conjunction with cloth diapering because he was consistently pooping only in the potty by 4 or 5 months old. I didn't have enough time for EC with my second (maybe we will try again with this babe), and I HIGHLY recommend a diaper sprayer (attaches to your toilet) for when baby starts solids.

post #6 of 149

Both my babies were CD, but this is going to be the first baby CD from the get-go! I just bought her newborn stash, and after she grows out of that, her and DS will just share the OS pockets we have.

I started cloth diapering for many reasons: money, environmental factor, my kids got rashes easily, the cute factor, resale value, and all the nasty chemicals in 'sposies. DS had a blow out that blew up a 'sposie.. literally. It just really grossed me out that those little beads were thisclose to my kids skin.. not to mention, I've seen some diapers marketed as being able to keep the baby dry for 12 hours, WTF are they putting in the diaper that paper can stay dry after being peed in for 12 hours?!

I wouldn't think the hospital would really have a policy on it... but you probably would have to do all the laundry at home instead of using their w&d's... PERSONALLY, if I was having a hospital birth, I think I'd use 'sposies those 1-4 days. 

post #7 of 149
Thread Starter 

thanks for all the helpful replies... DD was long and skinny and this one is already following suit in the body type department... so when it come to buying clothes for cloth diapered bottoms, should I buy a size up?

post #8 of 149

Can any of you give a good recommendation for a starting stash, even for the whole first year maybe? And are there any good kits you'd recommend that are easy to put on a registry? Thanks cd mamas. I'm so overwhelmed with the options and would love to know exactly what your complete stashes are which varieties you think are best, if you feel like sharing.

post #9 of 149
Quote:
DD was long and skinny and this one is already following suit in the body type department... so when it come to buying clothes for cloth diapered bottoms, should I buy a size up?

I have skinny kids with no butts and I feel like the CDs help keep their pants up!  Sometimes things might be outgrown faster than if they were wearing sposies but for us it's generally not an issue. 

 

If you sew it would be easy to make some of these if you are concerned about it: http://www.made-by-rae.com/2010/08/big-butt-baby-pants-sewing-pattern/

post #10 of 149

DS was/is long and skinny, and prefolds worked well for us.  I bought newborn size prefolds, and liked the thirsies diaper covers.  I did use sposies the first week or so, and also we used sposies over night.  Like berrymama, we tried to do cloth over night (and later EC) but it just wasn't working for us in the sleep department.  Maybe if I'd had more absorbant dipes, IDK.

 

We did cloth for a few reasons.  The #1 reason was the environmental impact of disposables being so horrid.  The #2 reason being chemicals (because you can buy chemical free and compostable sposies, they just cost more), and the #3 reason being cost.

 

When DS was 2.5mos old we started EC, and he was consistently pooping on the potty by about 5 months.  So I was able to stretch out the smallest size prefolds to use until we put him in trainers at 7 mos or so since they really just had to catch pee.  

 

I looked at various options for CDs and had originally just planned to use prefolds for the early months then switch to pockets.  But I ended up really liking the prefolds.

 

This website is an awesome resource for anyone who is considering cloth and is feeling confused and overwhelmed by the options (I know I sure was when I was researching CDs before DSs birth!)

post #11 of 149

So I am a bit envious of those with skinny kids :) Putting my 9 month old in 24 month clothes, just to fit over the cloth diapered butt was a bit ridiculous! He was born at 10.5 lbs and continued the chubby trend. Those Big Butt baby pants are already on my sewing list.

 

My biggest piece of advice for starting a stash would be to NOT try to get everything at once. I made this mistake the first time around and ended up with too much that I didn't want/need. Good thing cloth diapers are re-salable. If I were to do it again, I would get 12-24 prefolds, a couple fitteds, and a couple pockets, appropriate covers, try them, see what I like best and grow from there. For fitteds and pockets, it IS nice to get a one size version that will fit from almost newborn to 30 lbs, but it adds to the bulk. I have tried Bellabottoms one-size fitteds and am trying Green Mountains' workhorse fitteds, size medium with this babe - I got 6 on close-out before they switched to organic a couple months ago.

 

I knit wool covers, but also like Thirsties covers.

 

I love to read reviews here http://www.diaperpin.com/diapers/product_reviews.asp   Just pick your catagory on the left side. Be careful, it can be addictive!

There are so many new things out there even since my last baby.

 

Also check out the cloth diapering forum here on Mothering. Many people have listed their "stash"

 

Jillian's Drawers has a "newborn trial package" also http://www.jilliansdrawers.com/products/clothdiapers/tryclothfor10/tryclothfor10

post #12 of 149
Ooohh! Thanks for starting this thread! We are actually going to do cloth with our triplets. Some call us crazy...but I am pretty determined! Our plan is to use prefolds with covers. We also plan to make our own wipe solution using witch hazel, calendula oil, tea tree, and lavendar and put it in a spray bottle (similar to pastormama.).

Our reasoning is the same as others...chemicals, environment, cost. The thought of the effect on the environment and the cost of disposables for three babies just makes me sick....

The only thing I am questioning right now is what to start them out with. They will be premature no matter what...and I am unsure that I am willing to buy cloth preemie diapers to use on them for the first few pounds...I might look into no chemical/more environmentally friendly disposables to see what is out there. I don't have very long to figure this all out though...at max, 14 weeks!
post #13 of 149
Quote:
Originally Posted by lisedea View Post

The only thing I am questioning right now is what to start them out with. They will be premature no matter what...and I am unsure that I am willing to buy cloth preemie diapers to use on them for the first few pounds...I might look into no chemical/more environmentally friendly disposables to see what is out there. I don't have very long to figure this all out though...at max, 14 weeks!

Preemie prefolds are useful later on to use as doublers for extra absorbancy when babies are bigger, so you would probaby get use out of them. I am not sure about the covers though.

post #14 of 149
Thanks berry....yeah, the covers are what I am worried about...and NOW...I just looked up more natural preemie disposables and as far as I can see, they don't exist. Hmm...oh well.
post #15 of 149
Quote:
Originally Posted by lisedea View Post

Thanks berry....yeah, the covers are what I am worried about...and NOW...I just looked up more natural preemie disposables and as far as I can see, they don't exist. Hmm...oh well.

If it helps, you don't need that many covers.  You could get away with as few as 2 per babe, and would be totally fine with 3.  You just let them dry out between uses for pee, and if they get poop on them then they need a wash (and I would throw the ones not in use in whether or not they'd gotten poop on them when I did the dipes).

 

Berrymama, I had the opposite problem with my DS in the pants department, especially doing EC.  He's skinny (like 10th percentile weight for height) and tall (90th percentile) and with undies on a 18 month old...yah, all his pants were either WAY to ridiculously baggy or way to ridiculously short!  I finally went up to GAP 3T girls skinny jeans when he was just shy of 2 because I could roll the cuffs but in the 3T size they seem to have done away with diaper room (and as an added bonus you can usually get girls jeans on sale and not the boys.  The trick is to find the ones without pink sparkly butterflies!)

post #16 of 149

aHakiru, I'm right there with you- the reason we cloth diaper is the chemical factor. I've been known to call disposables "plastic bags of toxic chemicals we tightly wrap around our most sensitive parts". :p I'm glad you're choosing cloth this time. love.gif  Cloth is awesome, I think you will enjoy using them.

 

I used cloth exclusively with my bunch, ever since the first day in the hospital (minus a vacation or two). Unless the hospital strictly forbids it and threatens to kick you out, I encourage you to just state "I will be using cloth diapers, thank you" and just do it. :) The nurses don't own your baby, and if you keep Baby with you the whole time you will be the only one changing diapers anyway. I've heard some folks say they use plastic diapers in the beginning because of the meconium, but I've not personally ever had trouble with it. I just wash those first diapers like the others and it washes out fine.

 

I've used regular ol' prefolds with every baby. These days I purchase our diaps from Green Mountain Diapers. I have a small stash of newborn size diapers, a medium stash of medium sized diaps, and tons of toddler sized ones. I do tend to always dress the babies in sizes larger than they are due to that big cloth diaper booty. I replace my diaper covers with ones I find used, or low cost ones on Amazon.

 

BTW, here is something I've learned over the years- cute little baby jeans almost never fit over cloth diapers (for boys or girls). And there are so many super cute little baby jeans out there! Boo hoo. We stick with sweat pants and other stretchy things mainly.

 

 

ETA: I forgot to mention, we use cloth wipes as well. I just cut up flannel receiving blankets into little squares. I keep a bunch in a regular baby wipes tub and wet them with plain water. I throw them into the diaper pail with the dirty diaps and wash them all together. After years of using the disposable wipes, I did some research and found that they are at least as toxic as plastic diapers. :(

post #17 of 149
Quote:
Originally Posted by moriahmoonstar View Post

Can any of you give a good recommendation for a starting stash, even for the whole first year maybe? And are there any good kits you'd recommend that are easy to put on a registry? Thanks cd mamas. I'm so overwhelmed with the options and would love to know exactly what your complete stashes are which varieties you think are best, if you feel like sharing.

 

This is probably not helpful to you, but the biggest thing I learned the first time around was that I made all the wrong decisions before I met my baby and saw what her body type/habits/preferences were like.  We had ordered a bunch of Fuzzibunz one-size, which were WAY too big for her skinny legs.  Didn't fit well until about 10 lbs, which for her was closer to 8 weeks.  Now, she is still skinny, and they work great!  I think they will fit all the way through to toilet learning, but for bigger/chubbier kids - no way.  

 

I hate procrastination, but I think it's good to have a few options ready and then wait to buy a bunch until you see what you and the baby both like.  

 

FWIW, for this baby, I'm going to have 3-4 Thirsties XS covers to start, and then I will order a few (like 2-3, or smallest bundle) Kissaluvs size 0, and use a few Green Mountain small prefolds, see which I like better, and then buy more.  When he grows out of that, I hope to use the OS Fuzzibunz we already have, but may end up making a different decision based on what we discover together!

post #18 of 149

Oh, also - we use the microfiber inserts with the Fuzzibunz, and I've discovered a few things re:  stink/ammonia smell.  I just have to rinse like crazy.  I've found that the type of laundry soap makes no difference for me (as long as its unscented/additive free/optical brightener free etc).  I run the diapers through a hot rinse, then a wash/rinse with a tiinnny bit of detergent (like 2 teaspoons), then run hot rinses like 3-4 times.  It's a lot of water, which negates some of the environmental benefit, but before I did this, we would get buildup and stink.  Now, at least once a month, I rinse until I can lift the lid of the our washer and see no bubbles whatsoever on the surface of the washer.  It's crazy - sometimes it will take ten rinses!  The soap buildup is what causes stink, IMO.

post #19 of 149
Thread Starter 

so, i have a little dilemma, prior to moving into the home we are in now, I thought the water was hard based on how dry my skin gets when I wash my hands. But after using the water test strips, the water is actually between normal and a little hard. I won a bag of hard rock in green prior to knowing that my water wasn't hard, how much "hard rock" do you think I should use for normal water?

post #20 of 149
I was going to try cloth with DD (I had a small stash of different things so I could try it and see what worked best), but I was so overwhelmed with carrying for her I just never started using cloth and since she didn't have problems with disposables, I just never tried to switch as I was busy enough. I do use the prefolds we bought as excellent burp cloths, changing pads, etc. (I got extra for this anyway) and I still use the cloth wipes as nose wipers and general wipe up liquid messes. I also lent out my stash to my SIL and brother to try with their baby, but they didn't use them and since they live in an apartment with no washer/dryer in their space, I don't blame them as that is hard. I had considered trying again this time, but with twins I'm already sort of throwing in the towel. I will keep them in mind if we have rash problems though and I will definitely use the prefolds and cloth wipes again for various things. Seriously, everyone should get 6-12 prefolds and some cloth wipes, they are so awesome for so many things!
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