It’s been almost three weeks since I started using cloth diapers so I thought I’d pop in with a quick update on how things are going!
I have to say that the switch was waaaaay less scary than I thought it would be. In fact, it’s actually been quite simple and I couldn’t be happier about it.
Remember I chose the BumGenius Freetime All-in-One’s. All in one just means that the liners are sewn directly into the diaper cover (if they’re not sewn in, you have to stuff them into each diaper before use).
Why don’t I just show you what I mean. Here’s one of the diapers
The “flaps” on each side of the diaper are sewn on, so when I want to use it all I do is fold them in. Like so:
I love the all-in-ones and glad I don’t have to stuff diapers after washing them.
Anyhoo, here’s the scoop.
I’m still using disposables at night, so when we put on Abby’s PJ’s, we put on a disposable. She sleeps until around 4:00 or 5:00 when I nurse her and change her into another disposable. I could probably change her into a cloth diaper at this point, and should probably start doing so. But worse case scenario I’m using two disposables at night (which means two disposables total per day…yay)!
When she wakes back up around 8:00 or 9:00, we get her dressed for the day and put on a cloth diaper. The biggest change for me has been getting used to proactively changing her instead of reactively changing her. For example, I try to change her every 2-3 hours instead of waiting for her diaper to be full enough to change (disposables can last an amazingly long time!). The exception of course is if she poops when I’ll change it right away obviously. The reason I try to proactively change her is because cloth diapers don’t hold as much as a disposable, and if you let it go too long they can leak. And let me tell you, that happened once and it’s a royal pain to change an outfit due to a leaky diaper. I try to avoid it!
Changing her is just the same as it would be with a disposable. I remove the dirty diaper, clean her up, and put on a new one. But instead of tossing the diaper in the trash, I simply toss it in my wet bag which is kept right next to my laundry hamper.
Lesson learned: Thanks to some comments on my last post, I learned that you don’t need to rinse the poo off when it’s just breastfeeding poo. So I’m not even rinsing anything at this point. Just put the whole poopy diaper in the wet bag and forget about it. Revolutionary!
Then, at the end of the day (after I’ve put on her PJ’s and disposable), I grab the wet bag off the hamper and empty it out into the washer. The wet bag goes directly in the wash with the diapers too. I do a cold cycle (with no soap) and then a hot cycle (with Charlie’s Soap) and an extra rinse.
Sometimes I throw the diapers in the dryer right away, but often I let them sit in the washer overnight after the spin cycle because they’ll dry a bunch on their own this way and save dryer time. If I do that, I just throw them in the dryer first thing in the morning so they’re ready for the day.
If I notice that any of the diapers have poop stains on them (and it does happen) I pull them out of the washer and let them dry outside. This is called “sunning” and is frickin amazing. Seriously. Just letting them dry in the sun removes any sort of stain. It makes me want to break out “HALLELUJHA” every time.
As for changing diapers on-the-go around town, I just keep two extra cloth diapers in my diaper bag and a smaller wet bag. This takes up a lot of space so you need a gigantic diaper bag. But I’m ok with that. I also keep two disposable diapers in there just in case we need them. You can never be too safe when it comes to poo.
What I like about cloth diapers:
- It’s easy. Like really really easy. I wouldn’t do it if it weren’t.
- I feel better about using them and reducing my waste
- I know they’re better for the environment and my bebe’s bum too
- There have been no blow outs since we switched. There were several when we used disposables. One that even required cutting an outfit off…but that’s a different story.
What I don’t like about cloth diapers:
- The poo (even though I’m not having to deal with it too much yet), is still a little gross at times. I just figure that I’m a mom now and poo will be miniscule on the scale of gross things I need to deal with.
- Having to do laundry in order to use them. I can stretch my diaper supply out 1.5 days. I’m not sick of doing laundry yet, but I wonder how I’ll feel 6 months down the line. A lot of you recommended doubling my diaper supply so the laundry burden wasn’t quite so much. I may consider this!
- Not being able to wad up the wipes in the diaper. I need a separate contraption to put the wipes in now.
What would I/will I change about using cloth diapers?
- I’m not sold on Charlie’s Soap. I feel like it doesn’t do as well with the smell as I want it to. Not that the diapers smell bad, it’s just that sometimes I think it could be better. One of my friends recommended Rock in Green detergent and I think I’ll try that next time.
- Several people have mentioned cloth wipes to me. I’m not there yet, but am seriously considering it. In fact, I’m started to get as annoyed about buying wipes as I was about buying diapers. It seems like they’re always on my list.
- Eventually I’d like to start using cloth at night. I’ve read about hemp inserts that you can use that are super absorbent and helpful for longer stretches. I’m intrigued. But not intrigued enough to try it yet.
Also, we’re still using disposables when we travel. For example, we went to Spokane for Bloomsday a few weekends ago and I brought disposables. I just don’t have enough diapers to make it through 3 days without doing laundry. Staying in a hotel is not conducive to doing laundry. Plus, hauling around 15 cloth diapers takes up a lot of room! We also used disposables when we went camping the other weekend (yes! we went camping and it was great!).
Now, if we were going somewhere (like to my parents house) where there was a washing machine available, I would totally do cloth. I guess as long as they were ok with me washing poopy diapers there. haha.
Overall? Cloth has my seal of approval. They are easy, functional and cute to boot. If you’re thinking about switching, you should definitely give it some serious thought. I think it’s been worth the investment so far, and these diapers are supposed to last until she’s potty-trained.
Now, one last thing. I’m not trying to make anyone feel bad for using disposables! cough*ROB*cough. Seriously. Every parent chooses what is right for them and I would never judge them for that. I really wanted to try cloth and it seems to work for me. That doesn’t mean it works for everyone. This is just my story and my experience.
I’m happy to answer any questions and am always open for suggestions and advice! I’ll be back with an update in about 6 months and let you know how it’s going. By then she’ll be on solid foods and it may change the game a little bit.
What do you think? Are you intrigued about using cloth? Anyone thinking about switching? Do you think the laundry will drive me insane six months from now?