making the switch to cloth diapers

When I was pregnant I decided that I wanted to use cloth diapers with Abby.   I remember loathing the side-eyes I would get from everyone when I told them this.    More often than not, their response was not positive, rather something along these lines:

  • Really?  CLOTH diapers?  Hope you like poop.
  • Why would you do that?
  • Um yeah, good luck with that. 

And my favorite:

  • Humph.  We’ll see how long that lasts. 

For some reason, I wasn’t intimidated at all about using cloth diapers.    To me it just made sense…I mean, in my mind the benefits completely outweigh the drawbacks (yes, that’d be the poop). 

The most notable benefit is obviously the cost savings.  On average, parents can expect to spend $2500 – $3000 diapering just one child.  With cloth, you obviously have a larger upfront cost when you purchase the diapers (for me, the cost was around $250 for 12 diapers), but that’s all the diapers you’ll ever buy!  And many people use the same diapers for second and third kids.  So yeah, I’d say there are some cost savings involved.    How could that not be a little intriguing?

Then of course there are other benefits too, like reducing waste (disposable diapers can sit in a landfill for 500 years), decreasing risk of diaper rash and facilitating quicker potty training.   And doesn’t it just seem like a nicer material to be next to your bebe’s bum?

The drawbacks of course are more laundry, less convenient when out-and-about, and of course needing to deal with the poopy diaper instead of just rolling it up and tossing it out. 

So, for these reasons I decided to give cloth a try. 

I went with the bumGenius Freetime – they’re an all in one (AIO) diaper which means you don’t need to stuff inserts or anything.   Oh yeah, and they’re cuuuuute!

Now here’s the catch:  I just started using these yesterday (Sunday).  Ha. 

I had done a bunch of research when looking for the perfect cloth diaper (mostly via other bloggers who use them), and several had recommended to wait and switch around 3 months.   Well, Abby is 12 weeks as of last Friday, so I decided it was time to do it.   I was also getting really tired of spending $20 on diapers every time I went to Target. 

And since we’re being honest…as excited as I was to start using them, I’ll tell you that I was pretty nervous to make the switch.  So many questions were going through my mind…like

  • How often do I need to change it?  I know they aren’t as absorbent as disposables, plus there is no yellow-that-turns-blue-strip to alert me of a wet one!
  • What do I do if we have a gigantic messy poop while I’m out running errands?
  • Do I dare try these overnight??!
  • How do I wash them correctly?
  • Are they going to leak all over the place and create more of a mess than anything?
  • What am I supposed to do with the wipes now that I can’t roll them up in the diaper into a nice little “throw away” package?
  • And let’s get real…how do you really deal with the poop?

It’s obvious I’m no expert on this yet, but I’m pretty darn excited to figure it out.   And since I just started this adventure, I thought I’d track my progress and keep you updated as I learn the “do’s” and “don’ts” of cloth diapering. 

Thrilling, no?

So far, Day 1 went great.  I stocked the changing dresser:

IMG_1619

And changed her every 2 hours – just to be safe and avoid any unnecessary leaking. 

IMG_1620

I’m guessing that with time, I’ll learn how often I really do need to change her.    Hopefully we can go a little bit longer than two hour stretches.  But for now, I’m playing it safe.

As for poop?   It wasn’t as bad as I thought.  We had one big one in the afternoon and I just rinsed off what I could in the tub, threw the diaper in my wet bag, and forgot about it.

I went through about 9-10 diapers yesterday which I simply threw in the wash after Abby went to bed.  I’ll do one cold wash, then a hot wash, and then throw them in the dryer so they’re ready for Monday.  (I’m using Charlie’s Soap).

And the wipes?  Well it’s easy enough to just gather them up and toss them in the trash…but I need some sort of receptacle next to the changing table to put them in.  Right now the closest garbage is in the bathroom next door, and I’m not really comfortable walking away from the changing table with Abby on it. 

Oh, and I’m still using disposables at night because there’s no way I’m messing with the chi of a baby that’s sleeping 7-8 hours straight at night.  No way Jose. 

So, looking back, I think the biggest adjustment has been remembering to change her proactively instead of reactively.   

My only complaint so far is that they are much bigger profile than a disposable, so she definitely has a bit of a “bubble butt” that she didn’t before.  And some of her outfits might not fit because of it.   But really, I find the bubble butt kinda cute, so it may not be the worst thing. 

So there you have it.  Day numero uno complete…and a success!

I’ll give it some time and return with an update for you.  

And to all of you naysayers who wonder “how long it will last?”   Well, I have a feeling it will last for awhile!

Anyone else using cloth diapers?   What advice would you give a newbie just starting out??

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10 comments

  1. Janna, I used cloth with Osa until she potty trained and now with Finn as well. They are the best. I have tried just about every kind of cloth diaper there is and I have different favorites depending on the age and stage of the kid. I currently am using GroVia’s on Finn and love them. I sewed all of my own inserts before Osa was born to save money. I also use Rockin’ Green laundry soap (I used to use Charlie’s but found Rockin’ Green to keep the stinkies away) and I get the hard rock version since we have hard water in Billings. I haven’t had any problems at all. If you want any suggestions/advice, I am happy to help. I have some good suggestions for when Abby starts getting solid poops. With the BF poop, you don’t even need to rinse anything off. Just throw in your wet bag and run a cold rinse before the wash in your machine. So easy! Good luck, Tina

    1. I’m not surprised at all to hear this Tina! And somehow I’m not surprised that you sewed your own liners either! Ha. Typical overacheiver you. :) I looked at GroVia but couldn’t find enough reviews about them to seal the deal, I’d like to hear more. And thanks for the heads up on the detergent, we have hard water here too so maybe that’s something I should look into! Oh, and finally….sooooooooooooooo excited about your last comment. I will cease all rinsing pronto!

      1. Just FYI, you can get rockin’ green on amazon very reasonable so that is what I do. GroVia’s fit both Finn and Osa (still wears diapers at nap) which is amazing since Finn is 99th percentile for weight and Osa is 15th. Because I sewed my own liners, it has allowed me to try lots of things. I also really like BumGenius for Finn but I HATE stuffing! haha. Glad to hear you are staying home.

  2. YAY!! I am about a month into the cloth diaper saga and still loving it. I just need to get a few more so that I can cloth diaper full time. I forgot to tell you when we spoke that you might have to move up a clothing size to accomodate for the bubble butt! I think it is super cute though!
    Best of luck and keep us posted on how its going!

    1. Thanks Shannon!! Let me know what brand you go with for the rest of your nappies…I keep hearing about Fuzzibunz, so I’d like to hear more!

  3. Glad to hear you made the switch! We have used pre-folds, fuzzi buns, and bum genius in the 2 years we have been diapering. (Now she is potty trained and I can’t wait to bust out my stash of cute diapers for #2!) May I recommend cloth wipes? That way you CAN wad them up and toss them in the wash with your cloth diapers. And you can get a plastic case to put damp ones in while you are on the go. I use these:

    http://www.amazon.com/OsoCozy-Flannel-Baby-Wipes-pack/dp/B000138GMU

  4. Janna.
    SOO happy you’re trying cloth diapers…..this way I can read your experiences and learn from them before we switch our girls. I bought the GrowVia’s because I found great reviews, and got a smokin’ deal on BabySteals. Right now we’re still too small to fit into ours so we’re doing disposables…..and likely will be for a bit as our biggest is only 9 pounds right now!
    Can’t wait to hear more!

  5. I am using the bum genius ones as well, they work great huh? I started out with the G diapers but they are way more expensive and then you have to buy all the inserts and they grow out of them so fast! I also use the bum genius cloth wipes with California Baby diaper spray cleanser, LOVE it! The spray smells so good and I feel like the cloth wipes clean so much better, and I just throw them in the wash at night with the diapers. Oh and same here, still doing regular diapers through the night, I think the cloth ones would leak if left for 6-7 hours! So glad its working out for you!

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