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I have been researching and talking to a couple friends about cloth diapering the past two days like mad. I am pretty sure I'm going to cloth diaper this time, baby 5, and finally taking the plunge. We are on a very tight budget and I will probably be buying some good pre folds or flats and a few good covers and possibly getting a few used diapers off craigslist.
I have been reading about wool covers- long pants and diaper covers for night time dryness issues and might attempt making some from wool sweaters , which made me think of you - judybean.

Any cloth diapering mamas in our group? Any tips?

What is best for cloth wipes, baby washcloths or making my own? and from what fabric?

I already found a link on pinterest for a hose sprayer that hubby can make for our toilet ;) for later on. I have a list started on amazon for washable liners for a trashcan for by the changing table among a few other things.

And...I asked a local facebook group here in my town some cloth diaper questions and was contacted through this discussion by a volunteer about a service of free cloth diapers for lw income families and it sounds like I may qualify for like 15 cloth diapers on loan to us for free until the baby potty trains, which means I would only need to buy about 15 more... That would be so cool!
 

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We did cloth diapers with my DS from about 2 weeks until he potty trained at 2 years, 3 months. I wholeheartedly endorse it and feel like it saved so much money. This time around I'm planning to CD from birth since we're doing a homebirth and so won't have to deal with diapers in the hospital.

We did mostly prefolds with PUL covers until DS started getting rashes from being in the PUL too much. He has pretty sensitive skin. He didn't get diaper rash, but just a standard red irritation rash. That was about 9 months and from then on we switched to wool pants/covers. I LOVE wool! However, I don't think it's practical during the newborn EBF phase. There are just too many blow-outs and washing wool is not as easy as washing PUL covers.

I feel like flats are the most versatile for the newborn stage since they fold up in so many ways and dry so quickly.

Here are my top tips: hang dry everything in the sun, do some research about detergent and washing method - different things work for different people. I've gotten several things used from diaperswappers.com. There's a facebook group Wool Swap that is good for wool items as well. If you look around you can usually get some good deals.

Oh, also the greenmountaindiapers.com website has a lot of good information and tips on it.

Good luck!
 

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We have cloth diapered all our three, and really enjoyed it :)
It is super easy to make soakers and longies from sweaters, and people often have some that they shrunk or don't wear if you ask around.
I use wool occasionally, especially when it is very hot, but unfortunately all of mine have ended up with a rash where the edge of the soaker touches their thighs. I use mostly PUL for that reason.
I have bought a couple of new tiny covers, and a pile of flats for these babies. Not going to spend any more money until I find out what caring for twins is really like :lol
 

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We cloth diaper most of the time. I do sposies at night. :)

I used prefolds and covers for the first several months and it really is the most budget friendly option IMO. There's a bit of a learning curve with prefolds but once you get the hang of it it's no big deal. I switched to pockets only when she was 8ish months old. She went through a stage where she was REALLY resistant to diaper changes and I needed something a little quicker. I'm using the same diapers now. :) I'll probably do the same this time around.

I bought some cotton wipes in varying thicknesses. They were nice but I got lazy about making my own solution and now I just use sposie wipes, so I'm probably not a lot of help there. :lol
 

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We did CD with both of our boys until they potty-trained around 2. We found it surprisingly easy with just pre-folds and covers (Bummis were our favorite cover by far). We'd use doublers at night which helped us avoid nighttime leaking. When the boys started eating solid foods, we also liked using the flushable liners that made it easy to get any solid waste right into the toilet. We are very lazy parents and these little accessories helped us be lazy CDers!


My biggest piece of advice with cloth diapering is to not get too stressed out about the cleaning regime. Some people get really anxious about this piece. We never used a toilet hose or anything. We just collected the diapers in a 5-gallon bucket and washed them 2 times--once with detergent and chlorine-free bleach and once with just rinse water. No pre-soak or anything. Our boys never had any diaper rash problems.


Good luck!


(Oh, and FWIW, we ended up using regular old store-bought wipes--we started out with little cloth wipes, but it was somehow always a hassle to get them wet enough to be able to wipe the baby's bottom properly without irritating the skin... Maybe we were doing something wrong? In any event, the amount of waste we created with wipes seemed negligible compared to the waste we would've created with disposable dipes.)
 
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I love cloth diapers! I started using them just before dd2 was born, and she turns 11 in just a few days! I started out with buying all of them, then before dd3 was born, I decided I wanted to learn to sew because I wanted to try all the styles ;) (that's how I got into sewing)

You can totally cloth diaper on the cheap! Prefolds or flats would be the cheapest to purchase (my favorite flats have been birdseye flats) and you really don't need a whole lot of covers too (my favorite purchased ones are Thirsties covers with double gussets, but the Bummis covers work well and are pretty economical too!).

I always use cloth wipes too... I mean you're already washing diapers, why not just wash wipes too?! I keep them in a basket by the changing table and use an old spray bottle filled with water, a bit of witch Hazel, and a few drops of lavender to spray on the bum before wiping (mostly the extras are just for a smell cover-up!).

Let me gather some links for making some of your own supplies of you'd like to try your hand at them! (But I'll post separate for that since I'm mobile)...
 
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A no-sew old tshirt diaper http://sarawharding.hubpages.com/hub/The-No-Sew-T-shirt-Diaper

A nice tutorial with links to a free cover pattern that can be used with wool or fleece (I've used it and loved it!) http://www.adventuresinfluff.com/2011/10/how-to-sew-your-own-fleece-or-wool.html?m=1

With pretty minimal sewing skills, you can easily make quote a few of the Rita's Rump Pocket diapers for cheap (using old flannel sheets is the cheapest source of lots of fabric!) http://handmadebyrita.blogspot.com/2007/10/classic-rrp-ritas-rump-pocket-pattern.html?m=1
 
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I'm going to CD this baby. I used cloth with my first baby (prefolds with rubber pants) for about 6 months until he got a rash that only went away with organic disposables. I really just gave up at that point and never tried again. Well, here in Brazil it's very expensive and difficult to get chemical free disposables (only by mail and our po box is 30 miles away), so I'm making the full commitment to cloth this time. So far I've ordered..

12 newborn cotton fitted with snaps
12 small cotton fitted with snaps
4 small covers
12 small pocket diapers
2 small overnight pocket diapers

My MIL loves to sew and is taking her hand at diaper making this time. She's sending me several more all-in-one type diapers and a few covers, but I'm not exactly sure what till it arrives.

I mostly bought fitted diapers because it's so hot and humid here and they can be used without a cover when we are lounging around the house. I just hope I have enough, as sometimes it can take days for things to dry here if it's raining a lot. I bought most of the diapers from a local wahm friend that makes CD for a living. The few local people I've talked to say they think they work well and hold up, so I'm hopeful.

I talked to a couple other mamas here and the consensus here is that wool is just as hot and irritating as pul, coupled with the washing hassle and no one seems to use it.
 
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We will be cloth diapering this time and this will be our 4th to cloth. I prefer prefolds/ covers for the newborn stage with a few pockets. I think I was told for every 3 prefolds have one cover. So for every dozen prefolds I have 3-4 covers. I really love my thirsties covers with gussets and will have some handmade covers too. AFter the newborn phase we will do pockets and fitteds with covers. Most of which I am sewing myself. After swooning over Judy's diapers I bought the same pattern and am loving sewing some new fluff :)
 
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We'll be CD'ing and EC'ing for the third time around. Prefolds.:twothumbs
 
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Discussion Starter #12
I prefer prefolds/ covers for the newborn stage with a few pockets. I think I was told for every 3 prefolds have one cover. So for every dozen prefolds I have 3-4 covers.
That's very helpful! Thank You.

I have read that not all cloth diapers are created equal so is there certain brands or anything i should know when shopping for prefolds? I know Gerber is a not good... Also I had to do a search on what PUL covers were, is about any brand okay for those?
 

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Discussion Starter #13
One other question, with fitted diapers, and covers, do the covers need to be PUL to work best? I think a lot of times covers are not and wondering how that works with leaking?
 

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Discussion Starter #14
AFter the newborn phase we will do pockets and fitteds with covers. Most of which I am sewing myself. After swooning over Judy's diapers I bought the same pattern and am loving sewing some new fluff :)
what fabric are you using for your covers? I wish I felt confident enough to try sewing diapers, sounds fun but I am such a beginner...at clothes, can do quilts and easy stuff but ...
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I love cloth diapers! I decided I wanted to learn to sew because I wanted to try all the styles ;) (that's how I got into sewing)

My favorite flats have been birdseye flats. my favorite purchased covers are Thirsties covers with double gussets, but the Bummis covers work well and are pretty economical too!

I always use cloth wipes too...
Judy, How fun that diapers got you into sewing! I love seeing your diaper creations and wish I could sew like you do! Do you have a serger? I never know how to finish the edges like you do on your stuff. Keep posting your creations I always love seeing them!

That's great to know what brands work well for you too.

I want to use cloth wipes too. With Zachary I think his wipes and or pampers diapers combo caused an allergy reaction- an open sore we had to use steroid cream on that always came back so I just really want to go more natural with it all this time!
Do you find room temp water to work okay in the spray bottle? I suppose you make your own wipes? What fabric is best? I did see a post about having hot water in a thermos with a pump, if I find a used one I might try that.
 

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RonnaLeigh - you can make diapers without a serger. I have made quite a lot of turned and topstitched newborn dipes (not this time though, I just can't face it...). I bought the darling diapers pattern and have been pleased with it :)
I never ventured into sewing covers, because I think the dampness can wick through the stitching if you don't really know what you're doing. Wool covers are easy and fun to make though!

Oh, and for the wipes, we normally just wet them under the warm tap during the day, and take a bowl of hot water up when we go to bed. I never bothered with wipe solution, water seemed to work fine.
 

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That's very helpful! Thank You.

I have read that not all cloth diapers are created equal so is there certain brands or anything i should know when shopping for prefolds? I know Gerber is a not good... Also I had to do a search on what PUL covers were, is about any brand okay for those?
I personally like the PUL covers but some like to use wool or fleece too. I ordered my prefolds from nickisdiapers.com and did the unbleached indian prefolds because I had used them before and they are cheap. I love my thirsties covers. They work great and are cheap.
 
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@RonnaLeigh, I first learned about it on the "EC" forum here on MDC (under the cloth diapering forum) when my oldest was little (so, 9 years ago).

He was an early winter babe, so when spring hit and he was about 5-6 mos, I decided "what the heck" and gave it a try, and it was surprisingly effective and satisfying. He would always fuss the moment he was wet, so it made a lot of sense.

He was out of diapers entirely by 15mos. With my second, I started (to some degree) right from the beginning. Again, 15mos seemed to be the magic time when diapers were totally done for him.

A great website for general information and a few tips is www.diaperfreebaby.org.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
wow, that would be amazing to potty train by 15 mos. Zachary didn't potty train until this past summer, so age 3.5 yrs He's still in a diaper at night.
 

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Regarding brands - I love the green mountain diapers prefolds (clotheez). I had Gerber prefolds as well and some mystery brands diapers that I picked up at a consignment sale. Assuming there is no detergent build up on them they all work, just some are far more absorbent than others. If I had unlimited funds I would buy the GMD prefolds in various sizes all in unbleached organic cotton.

PUL covers that have a double gusset are most effective. Thirsties are a favorite with a lot of people. I also really like the bummis. I found hook and loop (velcro) to be best for when DS was little because I could get a better fit, but once he got older snaps were better because he could pull the hook and loop apart, but not the snaps.

We never had any trouble with leaks until DS was older (6 months or so?) and started drinking more, peeing less frequently, but with more volume. At some point there was nothing that would contain a night time pee except for wool.
 
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