Thursday, March 13, 2008

Cloth diapering

I've wanted to cloth diaper for years, and I spent a lot of the time I was pregnant doing research on the options and collecting diapers to try out when the time came. Carter's small size was a potential issue, but it turns out that there are preemie diapers out there. The question is whether or not you want to spend the money on something that won't be used for very long.

In the end, I decided to go ahead and invest about $35 in preemie-sized pre-folds and then make do with newborn-sized stuff I already had. I bought a few preemie-sized diaper covers as well (about $8 each), so in the end I probably didn't save any money over what I would have buying preemie disposables. But saving money isn't really my goal here -- it's a statement about the environment, as well as a choice about what I think is best for my child.

So, pictures! First, here's a pic of the diaper area set up in our bathroom. This will all move to his room at some point.

There you see the basket full of prefolds and some covers. Close-up below. From left to right, here we have a preemie-size Imse Vimse diaper cover, a preemie-size Pro-Rap cover, and an extra-small Bum Genius all-in-one diaper. The coke can is there for perspective. :-) The green and purple things are Snappis, which are used to hold the diapers on instead of pins. They have little teeth on the ends that grab the diaper fabric and keep it on tight. Some people still use pins, but the Snappi works really well, without fear of sticking the baby.

Here are some prefolds. The two diapers on the left are newborn-size prefolds, and the one on the right is the preemie-size prefold.

Carter is awaiting his first cloth diaper.

"Mommy, get me out of this sposie!"

The preemie prefolds are so small that they're actually hard to fold. They just flop open again! The bikini twist seems to work best for me with these, fastened with a small snappi.

And then the Pro-Rap cover goes over the prefold. Voila!

We also have a changing table downstairs in the guest bedroom. To the right you see the diaper pail, a white trash can with a Wahmmies diaper pail liner in.

A TMI view of the diaper pail. Dirty diapers go in, no shaking or rinsing off required. On wash day the bag gets emptied into the washer and can be washed with the diapers. I do a cold soak cycle with no soap, then add detergent and run the sanitary cycle with an extra rinse. Easy.

I'm also experimenting with wool soakers over prefolds, which are very cool. This is a pair of wool longies I knitted last fall (from the Sheepy Pants pattern) in a newborn size. I soaked them in water I'd dissolved some lanolin in, and that makes then waterproof. The diaper can be soaking wet on the inside, but the outside feels dry. Crazy, huh? It's the old-fashioned (pre rubber pants) way of diapering.

Clearly he has some room to grow into these. They have the further advantage of being warm and fuzzy, yet breathable and so reduce the chance of him getting a rash. He seems to like them.

Here he is in an extra-small Fuzzi Bunz diaper. FBs are called pocket diapers because they have a pocket in which you stuff various kinds of pads to absorb pee and poop. This one is a bit big on him still. The FBs are fleecy inside and really soft.

And here is Carter in an extra-small Bum Genuis all-in-one (AIO). AIOs are in one piece and go on like a disposable. Doug prefers to use these, and they really are awesome -- though the most expensive option, as each diaper costs about $17. We have six of them in this size, and I like to use them when I go out with Carter. They look slimmer under clothes than prefold+cover, which is a plus. I've read that they aren't absorbent enough for overnight, but it will be a while before I'm looking for an overnight diapering strategy anyway,

And finally, many people prefer to use fitted diapers instead of prefolds. They're basically like pre-folds in that they require a cover, but they are shaped like a disposable and snap or velcro on. I have some newborn size Kissaluv fitteds, and here is one on Carter. It's still way too big and bulky. In fact, when I put a sleeper on over this, I can't fasten it at the crotch! He looks like a Weeble in these.

So far I'm enjoying these diapers a lot. The prefolds are real workhorses, and they're easy to work with. I have 3 dozen, so if he pees on one mid-change, no big deal. I'll use them as doublers when he gets a bit bigger, or they could be used as burp cloths. I'm also loving the wool, and I'd like to make another pair of longies (with feet in them, I think), when I can. I have the yarn; it's just a matter of finding time to do it. Heh.


AFB said...

Aww, so cute! I've thought for a while that cloth diapers were probably better for the baby and certainly for the environment, so how neat is it that there are so many options nowadays? And I'm glad to hear it's so easy to take care of them!

(Also, if you want more wee knitted things, I would love to knit for you. ^_^ Let me know if there's anything you want or need, because I definitely have wool and time. :) )

(Also also, this is Anjela... Blogger is being odd about who messages come through as, so just in case it comes through as initials or something... <3! )

Emily said...

Oh, those wool longies you knitted are AWESOME! Absolutely beautiful.

I need to do a presentation of my CDs like you did. It's fun educating your readers, isn't it?

Carter looks great in all the diapers. Even the sposie! :)

Pam Marion said...

Enjoyed the photos and notations. He's so cute, need I say how much I miss him?!!!

Sending love to all...........

Aunt Pam

Rita said...

I'm so glad you're enjoying cloth diapering! If you ever have problems or need some suggestions, let me know! I've become such a convert. I bought a set of Fuzzi Bunz for my sis but she hasn't used them yet. She says she will, though....

Sabrina said...

I never would have imagined that there would be such choices in the cloth diapering world. In fact, until I read all of your stuff I would NEVER have imagined that I'd want to deal with cloth diapers. I tend to be a bit squeamish and just the thought of having to deal with a garbage pail full of cloth diapers that you'd have to rinse and soak and wish is just ick to me. I *love* the fact that you can toss the whole thing into the washer and run a few cycles to deal with it.

Not that I am anywhere near such a thing in life, but because of you and this information, I will definitely look into it if the time ever comes.

I love the longies you knitted. They are just adorable and the fact that they are waterproof is fabulous.

Carrie said...

Prefolds are, I swear, one of my alltime favorite things ever. And I know just how ridiculous that sounds, but after all the systems I tried and played around with, after all the money I spent, for us our everyday go-to was a prefold in a bikini twist or an angel wing, a pair of pins, and a simple Proraps cover - I never really thought much about expense because I was so focused on finding the very best solution to the task and yet I couldn't have found anything simpler or cheaper. I think that's why I have such fondness for them still, years after we're out of diapering, because they still just work so WELL, and they're so classic and timeless and they just make me feel all fuzzy and happy. :D

Have fun, Jen. Who'd have thought that cloth diapering could be called "the good stuff" but it so, so is.