laborofwonder

Where Whine Meets Wine

Forever Fluff

on September 26, 2011

When I was pregnant with Big E, hubbyman and I talked about cloth diapers. I don’t remember what made us think about them or what our exact feelings about them were, but I do remember that we moved when he was only 3 months and we weren’t really certain what the future would hold for us (we were back and forth between parents while we looked for jobs and housing)… so we decided just used disposables. When Miss E came around we were living in an apartment, big E was only 18 months old, and our tiny little laundry room with only one washer and one dryer was not convenient by any means, and was 3$ for one wash and dry. So when we had Littlest E I’d kind of forgotten about my desire to try cloth… and then a couple friends (three of my college girlfriends were all pregnant at the same time as I was!) used cloth on their babies! They gave lots of helpful advice and insight. And by 5 months we were set up. Ten months later, we are still cloth diapering it, and loving it more than ever!

While you might be grimacing and picture buckets and pails and stinkiness… I have to tell you, these are not your mama’s cloth diapers…Today’s cloth diapering is a whole new ball game. It’s about cuteness, and comfort, and ease. They come in all kinds of different styles and prints. And gone are the days of those humongous pins and plastic wrapped prefolds. Today you can have ones that are the same design as a disposable, only instead of tossing it out, you toss it in the wash! They can close with a “snappi,” velcro, or for your baby who loves to undo himself, with snaps. You can have diapers where everything is all in one (AIO) where you don’t have to do anything to it, just put it on! You can have ones that have a “pocket” that you put inserts into with the amount depending on how absorbent you need it to be (like it if it’s for bedtime or naptime). You can have covers that go over your traditional prefolds/soakers. Really, the possibilities are endless. And so are the brands!  There is a ridiculous amount of brands, sizes, and styles. I took the advice (and experience) to heart of a fellow cloth mama, and got one brand for my start up… and I loved them so much that I never deviated (for almost a year). But when I asked in a couple of cloth diapering groups what they would tell a new-to-cloth parent, most of them responded with try lots of different brands and styles so that you can find what works best for you and your baby.

Another tip? Find a store that sells cloth diapers, if you can. Here in the Twin Cities, we have All Things Diapers. They are awesome! So friendly, so knowledgable! And if you buy some diapers and don’t like them? You can return them (yes, even used) and get all your money back (within 30 days- that means you can keep them and try them for a whole month!)!

They have a wide selection, and when asked what was one thing you’d be sure to tell a new-to-cloth-diapers-parent, Liz (one of their super informative, friendly, and helpful employees), had this to say:

 

Go to a cloth diaper store in person and touch and see the diapers.  You will learn in ten minutes at a store what would take hours of research online to figure out.

And she’s totally right! When I was there, I watched them interact with a new mom for over an hour… answering all of her questions. And then sending her off with a variety of brands and styles. That way she could try them out and see what she likes and what she doesn’t. And then she could come back and they’d set up her stash with what she’d learned about them. Plus, she had the added benefit of hearing what some other veteran cloth diaper-ers had to say about what they like and dislike about things. (All Things Cloth also offers a ton of different classes -from babywearing and cloth diapering to a family music class and much more! They also have a weekly coffee time for cloth diapering families! How awesome is that?!)

Those that know me, know that I have a love of turtles, and I found this super cute diaper (Softbums echo) in their store and it has since become a favorite. Not only is the design (turtles, alligators, lizards, frogs… and the saying later, gator!) super cute, but it is the softest diaper I have ever felt! Plus this is definitely the trimest (most form fitting) diaper I have! Did I mention the softness? Soft enough, that I plan to go back and get another one of these diapers! (And right now they have limited edition prints!)

See? Cute, right?

Think laundering will be disgusting and difficult? I bet you’d be pleasantly surprised by the ease of it all. In fact, there are even disposable liners that you can put in a diaper (like for an older baby who is eating some solids and has a “regular” time of day) and then just toss in the toilet. There is a handy little sprayer that you can (easily) attach right to your toilet as well that knocks it all off. And that’s only necessary once they’re eating solids. ALL diapers of an exclusively breastfed baby can be tossed right in the laundry. It’s as simple as this: Run rinse cycle. Run hot wash/cold rinse. Run rinse cycle again. Or you may be surprised to find that there a tons of cloth diaper services out there that will do your laundry for you! (And you can still save while doing this! Seriously! All Things Cloth has the best service! They are more affordable and their practices are unparalleled in the diaper service industry!)

So, why should you choose cloth? Here are my top five reasons that motivated us to try, and stick with, cloth diapers:

  1. Money. For what 2-3 months of disposables would cost, I covered a year’s worth of his diaper needs. (They say on average you will spent over $2,500 on disposable diapers per child. Compare that with the $200 I’ve spent on diapers and diapering supplies) All Things Diapers has a wonderful page with the breakdown of how much you save, where, and why. (Worth the look!)
  2. Health. Just like we’re conscious about what we put in our bodies, we want to be intentional with what we’re putting on our bodies. Especially since all things you put on your skin have the potential to get into your blood stream. (I had a wake up call when looking at the products they suggest you forgo when pregnant for this reason. I figured if they weren’t good for a baby growing in you, they’re probably not great for you, either And this isn’t like your facewash you use once or twice a day, this is something they’re in, on their skin all day and all night!.).  Miss E got really bad chemical burns from the chemicals in diapers. (Yes, chemicals.) This completely eliminates the chemical rashes that are so common with disposable diapers.
  3. Environment. I’m not going to get all green on you. But let’s just say that scientists believe it to take over 500 years for a disposable diaper to degrade. And think about how many diapers babies go through before potty training!
  4. Early potty training! Littlest E has already gone potty on the “big boy potty!”
  5. Resale. Truly! I know this freaks hubbyman out completely, like garage sale underwear. But there is a huge! (and I mean huge!) community of cloth diaper-ers that buy, sell, and trade their diapers. Often for over 50% of what it cost to buy them new! So when Littlest is out of them (which at this rate may be in the next 6 months!), I can sell them! (Which remember that “start up cost”? It’ll mean I diapered my baby for less than a months worth of disposables in the end!)
One of my favorite things about cloth diapering is all the options. Whether it’s that you’re going for your cheapest options or set out to find the cutest diaper possible… it’s there, in large quantities! Another bonus, hubbyman and I try our best to buy local and we believe it does matter where things were made- and there are lots of diapers that are made by what are referred to as WAHMs (work at home moms). The quality is excellent! My favorite WAHM diaper-maker is LetJoy Cloth Diapers. Her diapers are so cute, and her liners are more absorbent than most of my mass manufactured ones! Seriously, she tested her overnight liner, and it held over a cup 1/2 of water! In fact, I often use it on diapers other than hers, because it is so absorbent- I love it so much!  Not only does she have a growing inventory but she can do made-to-order as well, like Littlest E’s super cute (and hubbyman’s favorite):
She is one talented lady! I also have really cute (turtle, what else?!) flannel wipes that she made as well! And when Miss E saw Littlest E in his Viking diaper, she insisted that I call LetJoy Diapers right away and ask her to make her a Viking pull up! We’d tried to do cloth for her night time pull up (that she’s -thankfully- needing less and less) but she HATED it and refused to wear it, so we were thrilled to have a cloth option for her! That project is currently underway, but I assure you, as soon as it’s on her little bum, I’ll post a picture (I’m sure the teenage version of Miss E will be so glad I did!). Another really awesome thing about LetJoy Cloth Diapers and All Things Diapers is that their facebook pages include lots and lots of helpful Q&A! So be sure to check them out and “like” their pages (and feel free to tell them I told you all about them!). They’re constantly adding helpful information, and if you have any questions- they are always answered in a timely manner!
There are so many options, there’s bound to be one that’s right for you and your baby! And if you have questions, there is a multitude of places to find those answers! You are always welcome to ask yours truly, but there is a number of other places as well. I have found a wonderful community in all the on-line and facebook groups. A new favorite? Forever Fluff! It’s a new group for cloth diapering parents. A safe place to buy, sell, or trade your new and/or used “fluff” (what cloth diaper users commonly refer to their diapers as). A place a surround yourself with like-minded parenting! It’s still in it’s beginning stages, but soon it will be full blown up and running! It will include lots of helpful Q&A about a variety of topics (not limited to cloth diapers, but of course it will be a frequent topic!), reviews on a variety of brands and styles by mom’s who’ve used them, as well as a blog with real moms talking about real issues in their lives, parenting, and diapering! If you’re a fellow cloth diaper-er, t’s definitely going to be something you’ll want to be a part of! So go ahead and shoot them an e-mail and join us! And tell them I sent you!!
Want a really quick overview of types/styles of diapers? And hear one new mom’s story of how she went from disposables to cloth, watch this video from CBS’s early show!
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3 responses to “Forever Fluff

  1. We loved cloth diapering Squish. It can be super-cheap, as well as easy. Prefolds in plastic covers worked great, though we did have a stash of other goodies. My biggest recommendations would be to not buy a ton of one brand because not every baby is made the same. I loved the idea of fuzzibunz, but they never fit my kid. And don’t be intimidated. It seems like information overload at first, but you’ll get it! For diaper care, Dawn’s dishwashing liquid can strip even the yuckiest build-up like nobody’s business!

    • yes, that seems to be unanimously what people have said- try lots of brands! when I first looked into it I was totally overwhelmed by all the information out there- which is why I just went with one brand that was recommended to me (which I love and still makes up the majority of my “diaper stash”). Yes, I actually did a stripping with dawn this weekend! Some do it only when needed and others do it regularly as maintenance- either way the blue dawn is amazing!

  2. […] in admin, cloth wipes!). I recently wrote a cloth post in my person blog (to read the full post, go HERE.) and so I’m just going to give you a quick excerpt/recap of why I chose cloth and our road […]

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