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First Time Mom - Very Interested, Very Intimidated

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
Hi all,

I am pregnant with my first baby, a boy due at the end of July. My husband and I are both very interested in the AP philosophy, we feel that it makes sense and just seems natural.

As part of preparing to AP our baby, we are also both very interested in cloth diapering, however I have to confess that I am SO intimidated by all of the information out there! I am the first of my local friends to be having a baby and honestly, I have never had much exposure to babies before! My brother and sister (who did c/d) have kids, but they live across the ocean and the country so I never really had a lot of exposure. Same with my other friends with kids!

I have done some research online about the different types of diapers, but my head is in such a muddle! Part of me wishes I could find a local mama who currently is cloth diapering and with whom I could visit and take a lesson of sorts. I just don't know where to start! : Not only am I concerned about the different kinds of diapers that are out there, I also am concerned about how to care for them. We have an Equator washer/dryer-in-one unit in our apartment (thanks to our landlords), which is a ventless machine. This means that it does not use hot air to dry your clothes, rather it uses a condenser. The problem with this is that it requires us to hang dry everything because it does not fully dry our clothes,and I can't help but wonder if this will make cloth diapering harder?

Anyway, I wondered if you all might have some advice or know of either a WAHM that sells diapers or a c/d mom in my area that I might be able to get in touch with...we live in Boston, MA and incidentally, we ARE going to be taking a hypnobirthing class at Isis Maternity (maybe we'll be able to meet some AP/cloth diapering parents there?) in May but I worry that I won't have enough time to prepare and get the things I need.

I apologize if this is all over the place, thanks for listening and any advice/suggestions!
post #2 of 16
Welcome to your addiction. :LOL There are lots of recs for a nb. (newborn) Depends on what you want or maybe buy a little of each to try!

There are prefolds -- a rectangular piece of material that you use pins or a snappi a three pronged closure device. you need to a cover of some sort to hold in the moisture. made of PUL, fleece or wool

fitteds -- shaped dipes with snaps or aplix, also need a cover

AIOs (all in ones) that includes both diaper *and* cover hence all in one

I think usually the mamas (I'm a cpf (chinese prefold) hater) rec a doz cpfs and then you can get some fitteds.
Kissaluvs size 0 are the standard nb rec. But, there are also maaaaaany precious WAHM (work at home mom) fitteds too! Do a search! There are many threads asking for recs and I've even posted several links on some.

I think mamas really like VB (Very Baby) AIOs for nb. I'm a fitted gal.

I'm sure other mamas will chime in and fill in what I left out.

Then you'll need some covers. I got a variety of wool covers. I can't remember what the PUL rec is.

Oh! you *have* to get a cute little tiny nb soaker. Its a knitted wool cover. I have to submit or I'll be getting nb lust and I have a 4 1/2 mo. :LOL

I'm not sure about the washer....the mamas will help. We love to convert! :LOL

eta: Congratulations Having a baby is amazing!
post #3 of 16
My suggestion is look into getting a starter package from one of the sites, I prefer www.heinyking.com Marcy is great! I've been cding for 18 mos and I just tweaked my stash again. I went from pfs to contours for Evan (the Kissaluv ones). We usually use those at home w/ Bummis covers for Evan and AIOs while we're out and fuzzi bunz at night. We use pfs and poochies covers on my toddler. My fave AIOs are VB from www.flutterbybaby.com and the aplix ones from www.bum-ware.com
post #4 of 16

Don't Fret Cloth is Fun!

I agree with blessed that Cloth diapering is addictive. First of all, you need to get through the jargon. I would evaluate my budget. Figure out what you can spend and then match that to the simplest plan to start with. I would buy a dozen GOOD prefold like chinese or DSQ. These will help you out at home where things are a bit more relaxed, etc. They also dry fairly quickly on a line (in or outside the house). Next get some absorbent fitted dipes. I would look at some one size diapers that fit 8-35 lbs, that way you stretch the dollar a bit. I would look at Suzie's one size or Ecobaby (love the absorbency!) You want hemp cotton terry or fleece-very absorbent.

Get about a dozen of these fitted dipes

Next invest in some good covers. I love Proraps and they are super cheap-$6 a pop on ebay from www.babycottonbottoms.com
I would also look at some fleece or wool. you can make the wool yourself from an old merino wool sweater. It's very simple and there is a good pattern online
These are great for night time.

Then if your budget allows I would pick up half a dozen All in Ones for outing and sitters, etc. They are a great investment. You can always use them for the next baby or resell them on ebay or the boards. There are so many AIO's people love, but Fuzzi Bunz are a good name as well as Happy Heiny's. I would try out a few AIO's in teh beginning to build a preference.

As far as the washer and dryer go, with summer coming line drying is great as long as the washer works well.

It may make things a bit harder and you may want to buy more diapers to avoid washing every 2 days and get to a laundromat. Also, have you looked into a diaper service in Boston?

I hope this helps.

I'm so addicted I sew my own to cut cost!

Jen Married to my BF John mom to O : :
post #5 of 16
Welcome aboard! By the time your little one is 2 weeks old you are gonna be a pro , and you've come to the right place to get advice!
One thing about your washer and dryer - you will want something that doesn't take an eternity to dry, I'd go with everything quick dry.
Congrats! Babies are awesome!
post #6 of 16
Hi Jen,

We've all been where you are. When I first started, I spent *hours* (no, make that days, weeks, months) on the internet doing research. I've tried to distill everything I've learned into my website (Diaper Pages -- link in my sig). Feel free to e-mail if you have specific questions, or just post them here. This is a great group of ladies with a lot of experience!

Good luck and happy diapering!
post #7 of 16
Oh, boy, I do remember the intimidation! My biggest suggestion for you is to try pocket diapers. They will help you with your dryer problem.

Pockets are usually just two layers, the outside is usually a PUL (a waterproof fabric), and the inside is either fleece or suedecloth, which is good at keeping the skin dry. You can also find pockets with fleece on the outside, they are harder to find, but if you baby ends up being sensitive to PUL or sensitive to having a non-breathable diaper, the fleece outer helps a lot. This pocket means they will dry very quickly (actually, you aren't usually supposed to dry them because of the heat, so your dryer will be perfect for them!!!). A suggestion, be wary of pockets with a cotton knit outer, with the PUL in the middle, because the knits can wick, depends on the dipe and how it fits the baby. This can get the cloths wet.

The second reason to do pockets is you can stuff them with things that will dry quickly. The microfiber inserts dry quickly and aren't bulky and hold lots of liquid, or you could stuff them with flats which are 1 layer of cotton or hemp which will dry quickly for you.

Fuzzibunz are very popular pocket dipes, they are the PUL outer with the fleece inner. You can get microfiber inserts for those as well, and they show up on the Trading Post all the time.

Good luck!
post #8 of 16
I know what you mean about wanting to be able to see different kinds of diapers/how tos in person. I wish for that all the time! One place to mention this might be La Leche League meetings (and if you have time it's helpful to go before you have your baby). That's where I have met some cloth diapering mammas. During the meeting you could say this is something you are interested in talking with someone about afterwards.

Though I love Suzie's one size they might not be a good fit for your situation because they take a long time to dry. If you have a lot of diapers this matters less becuase this gives you time to let them dry for 2 days.

I like the idea of getting a sampler of several different types of diapers/ systems .

I started out with fuzzi bunz and have really liked them and have never had a problem with leaks. As has already been mentioned a benefit of these is they dry quickly and they have a high resale value if you don't like them. They are more expensive than using prefolds though. Prefolds dry quickly too.

Another thing people sometimes do is get a diaper service for the first month or 2 then switch to doing it on their own. This way you won't have to worry about laundry in the very beginning. Where I live (Madison, WI) a diaper service is less that $60/month.

One other thing you might want to do search this forum (or post a question if you don't see anything) to see if there are any tips for using the kind of washer you will be using to wash diapers. I say this only because a lot of the diaper washing tips out there are oriented toward people with top loading machines (which I like best, though this isn't what I have). I don't know what an equator is. It might be the same as using a front loader. If it's a front loader there are some front loader threads--the big thing is don't use too much detergent.

Finally, I think Karen's site that she links to above is really, really good! If all the info sounds too overwhelming and conflicting I would just go read her page.

Good Luck! HTH!
post #9 of 16
Congratulations on your impending baby!! What a joy. Our son has just turned 3 months and we love (nearly) every single moment of it.

The mamas here have given great advice. Here are my additions:

I was afraid of prefolds at first. I have tons of Kissaluvs size 0s and 1s. I realized how nice prefolds are when DH said how easy they were. And I started with fitteds to help him. HA! I much prefer wool covers to PUL covers, but the wool is bulkier, so in fitted clothing, the PUL works better. I use both. I have four wool covers, two wool longies and two PULs.

I have one Fuzzibunz. I don't really like it because the breastfed newborn poo seems to slide all around on the fleece inside and makes a real mess. On cotton dipes, the poo doesn't blast so far.

On the flip side, I HATE disposables because two things happen: massive poo blowouts that filth up clothing, furniture, etc. And, if you don't realize he poo'ed right away, they drying gel sucks all the moisture out of the poop, making this really sticky mess on their skin. Then, you have to wipe and wipe and scrub to get it off, which isn't comfortable for them.

13 weeks ago, I was stressing out about how few dipes I had lined up for the impending babe. I didn't know what to get, was overwhelmed, frustrated and P'ed off. Jett was born and I still hadn't added to my small new and used stash. It worked itself out fine. I added the wool and also do EC (elimination communication) which I recommend you at least consider. Even if you only do it part time, you'll be so much more in touch with your son, it'll be amazing. I really love it.

Anyway, congratulations. Ask lots of questions and try not to obsess. Get a few of each and bet that you'll be soooo glad you went with CDs.

post #10 of 16
Originally Posted by FuelJetA
Congratulations on your impending baby!! What a joy. Our son has just turned 3 months and we love (nearly) every single moment of it.

Anyway, congratulations. Ask lots of questions and try not to obsess. Get a few of each and bet that you'll be soooo glad you went with CDs.

Oops. I didn't realize FuelJetA, my DH, was logged in. That was my post. Oh well...he shares my sentiments about that stuff.
post #11 of 16
I agree with the person who suggested pockets (fuzzibuns) and flats or microfibre...they're reliable and quick-dry! Not your cheapest combo, but not nearly the most expensive, and they're easy to use...once you stuff them they go on just like a disposable...
post #12 of 16

You can find local AP mamas...

at a LLL meeting... guaranteed you'll find *at least* one, lol. As for finding someone who cloth diapers in your area:


Zannadu is near Boston, and she holds cloth diapering workshops... probably a good idea for you!


PS -- congrats on your impending arrival!
post #13 of 16
I really don't have any more to add to the great information already provided by these mamas... but just CONGRATULATIONS on your decision to CD.

When I was pregnant with #1 , the person from whom we purchased our house in Kentucky cd'ed. She used all prefolds and pins and covers, and I remember going to look at the house, and she was folding diaper laundry. She asked me if I had thought about it. I looked at her like she was crazy.

Now, having decided to cd # 3 (and have been doing so for almost two years now... ), I SO wish I had done so with # 1. There are a lot of things I wish I had done differently, but can live with those decisions. This is one that I wish I could just go back and change.

I LOVE it. I LOVE the satisfaction of washing my dipes as opposed to throwing them away. I LOVE the satisfaction of patting her little bum, and not hearing that paper respond.

You will LOVE it. There will be times when you think "WHY did I decide to do this?" but that will be fleeting.

Hang out here. You will receive a lot of support and encouragement, and you will be able to feed an addiction, as well. It is a GOOD addiction, mind you.

post #14 of 16
I remember that feeling of being overwhelmed. I started researching cloth when I was a few month pg with my first DS. You've got to get a variety of stuff because you never know what you are going to like. I started off with 3 doz infant prefolds and 2 doz premium... I used them for 6 months before realizing what we really loved were pockets...then we switched to fitteds and wool about 6 months later and now we are using a good mixture of fitteds, pockets, AIOs, and wool.

I think trying a sample package is a good idea. For a newborn I love pocket diapers (Fuzzi Bunz and Happy Heinys) and Kissaluvs 0. I also love Bumpy Wool. My favorite one-size diaper are bikini-cut Cuddlebuns.

post #15 of 16
Originally Posted by ZeldasMom
Though I love Suzie's one size they might not be a good fit for your situation because they take a long time to dry......Finally, I think Karen's site that she links to above is really, really good! If all the info sounds too overwhelming and conflicting I would just go read her page.
And, os (one size) start at 8lbs. If I had known dd was gonna be that, I woulda gotten some for the nb stage. You prob wanna do qd (quick dry) there are a few qd os. Very few as far I know.

Karen's site! Maybe that's the one I need to rec to new moms...it's been a while....wonder if stores are listed... I know she has/had a store.

eta: we aaaaaaall probaby could say we were overwhelmed! so many choices, which is awesome; but,
post #16 of 16
When I lived in Boston I was in an AP parenting group off of Yahoo--they were fairly active then. I don't know if they still exist but it would be worth a search.
Good luck figuring out what system you want to use. With your drying issues you might want to look into pocket dipes with microfiber inserts-- they dry very quickly.
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