Wednesday, April 2, 2014

My Cloth Diaper Adventure - Part 1



Do you ever look at a blog title and think "Part 1??  That's way too much commitment."  I thought about that as I typed it because I have stumbled onto blogs before and thought, no way am I reading through this and 3 more parts, just get to the good stuff!  With all of that said, I have still gone ahead and split this into parts.  

Why, you ask?  

Well, it's pretty simple, I haven't had this baby yet so I am really only in the preliminary stages of cloth diapers.

See, valid reason.

Keep reading, I promise not to bore you.

Since this is baby number 4 I have decided to stay home.  I have been a stay at home mom but I worked part time coaching competitive cheerleading, or working at my families ice cream and cookie stores and at times I have done both at the same time or worked full time ever since we had our first.  So yes I have been a stay at home mom but I also worked.  This time I won't be doing any of that mostly because of daycare and sitter costs.

So I have plenty of time to dedicate to cloth diapers plus it is another way to save money and have I mentioned that I am really nervous about not working....

Ok back to the point!  Cloth diapers have changed so much since my mom had me 30....  or 31 years ago.  Not only are there great options out there, it can be incredibly confusing.  So what did this Pinterest addict do?  Well I of course started searching through numerous cloth diaper pins.  There are a lot and not all of them really had anything to do with what I needed.  I wanted more information about what I would need and how many diapers I woud need per size and are All In Ones better than the pocket diapers??  I then found a friend to annoy with all of my questions and who gave me her opinions on what worked for her.  If you do not have a special friend then keep reading, well keep reading anyways because it is nice to have all the information you can get, right???

Basically I found out this all depends on your baby and what you like.  Much like most things with parenting, this was also going to be trial and error but on my budget I don't have much room for error.  So I am breaking this down to steps I took that may help you.

1.  Research the different types and brands of cloth diapers.

I recommend reading reviews on Amazon.  I started reading reviews on different diapers and how they worked for each family then found tons of information I didn't think I would find like tips on using them or what other diapers they owned and how they cleaned them.  I found out that Alva baby while are sold on Amazon are more expensive there than on the actual website which made me start thinking, are other diapers cheaper else where??  I am an Amazon addict so I was nervous to stray.  After looking at all of these reviews ans blogs noticed that you really needed to find which cloth diaper works better for you and your budget.  You can choose form All in Ones, Pocket Diapers, All in 2's, bamboo inserts, hemp inserts, microfiber inserts, etc.  The list goes on and on but all are pretty simple.

All in one is like your typical disposable.  Everything is built into the diaper and they are one size fits all or 8lbs to 35lbs.  You simply use, take off, wash, dry, and reuse.  The drying time is longer with these however and you will need more of them since you have to replace each diaper with a new one and unless you plan on washing diapers every day you wil need a good supply.

All in two's have a pocket to stuff an insert and they are also one size fits all.  Most are microfiber inserts that you lay on the diaper that fits directly against baby's skin.
Pocket diapers have a pocket that you stuff the inserts into.  This gives a liner between baby and insert to keep moisture off baby's skin.

Then there are Gdiapers...   I keep these alone because they are unlike all of these although similar to All in two's.  They have a plastic snap in insert which protects your outer diaper.  Then your inserts just get laid on the liner.  These also are not one size so you have to have multiple sizes however they velcro and are very similar to a typical diaper except you can reuse the diaper through the day!

2.  Research care and usage.

Some diapers require more time in drying which mean you need more.  Some of these diapers are bulky, leak, or don't clean as well.  All of these things are important to me since I have a 2 year old running around and 2 older boys that take up a lot of my time.  The added laundry wasn't a huge concern for me since I rarely go one day without doing a load.  I wanted something that wasn't too time consuming so I could change diapers quickly and honestly I wanted something convienent because I just don't have the time to dedicate to a long process.  While I researched I found more products from Gdiapers that made the whole thing way more simple.  (Ill get to that in a minute.)

3.  How many will I need?

This depends on what kinds you go with but for me I decided on Gdiapers for the most part.  I do have several other brands of AI1's and AI2's to try out however what sold me on the Gdiapers was that they velcro, come in a smaller size, and have disposable inserts.  That is what I was most afraid of...  I nurse and breast feeding babies have yellow poop that is not easy to get out of cloth so to use cloth inserts indimidated me.  I also knew I would be changing this little one's diaper 7 to 10 times a day while a newborn and I didn't want to have to wash the poop off and deal with all of that so for the newborn stage we will use the small gdiapers and the disposable inserts.  That way I can throw the disposable insert away.  What is the cost you say?  The 4 pack of disposable inserts was almost half of what a big box of newborn diapers were and I can still use the cloth inserts when I get the hang of it.  BONUS!!!  They sell disposable liners!!  $7 for a box of 105.  Blown away aren't you!  The liner goes over the cloth insert so you can toss any poop without having to rinse the cloth liner first.

4.  Buy Used

What did I just say??  Used diapers??

Yes I was nervous at first but then it dawned on me.  If people are reselling their cloth diapers so could I!  There is a big crowd for reselling cloth diapers.  Not only have I bought most of my diapers from people who have used them, they give great tips on cleaning the diapers.  You ccan find most of these groups on Facebook but some you will need a member to vouch for you so just leave a comment if you are interested.  You can also find these on diaperswappers.com.  If you are not sold on buying them used then here are a couple ways to save.

Alvababy.com - These are on size and range in pricing from $5 to $9.  They are made in China so just be aware of that before going to the site.

COUPONS! - Buy buy baby has coupons all of the time or 20% off and you can buy a double pack of Gdiapers for $29.99.  They also sell Bumkins and bumGenius.

You can also get coupons and use them at Babiesrus.com but they don't have them as often.  As is my addiction Amazon also has tons of cloth diapers to choose from.  You can subscribe and save with the liners, disposable liners, and disposable inserts and save 20% extra!

5.  What else do I need?

There are different products out there to help you along the way that make things easier but are in no way necessary.   Wet bags, toilet hose, laundry detergent, etc.

I'm sure there are more but you don't "need" any of it.  If you have a registry feel free to register for any of these items but if you are like me and a baby shower is a thing of the past then, no, none of these items are must have items.  

I did purchase a travel wet bag and a wet bag for the house but mostly because I had a gift card.  The wet bags are to hold your soiled inserts and diapers.  They keep the smell inside and are washable.   However a trash bag could also be used or a grocery bag when you are out.

Cloth diapers do not need a special detergent although companies will try to sell it to you anyways.  

You do not need a hose attached to your toilet to help remove poop but again it's handy if you choose to purchase it.  


I hope this helps you get started!  If I missed anything or you have extra suggestions of your own feel free to leave me a comment!  As I said before I am still waiting on my little one so there will be a part two coming soon after baby is here!