Tuesday, February 15, 2011

To Cloth or Not to Cloth

The other day a friend of ours asked us about our cloth diapers and since the email I sent him had so much information, Jason thought it would be good to post here.

Why do we use cloth?

I don't have any huge environmental reason to use cloth diapers, but my main reason is that I hate buying things to just throw away. That idea is kind of what started me down the path of cloth diapers.

What kind do we use?

Most of our diaper stash is one size FuzziBunz. We really like these because you can adjust the size at the leg and they have many snap options at the waist. They should also last us until Coleman is potty trained. We do have some sized FuzziBunz that we were given that he should be able to use a long time as well. They aren't as bulky as the one size, but they aren't as adjustable as the one size.

Where did we get our diapers?

I bought our most recent diapers here: http://www.cottonbabies.com/. You can usually find a coupon code of some sort for that site. Another good site to go to just to learn more about cloth diapering is here: http://www.jilliansdrawers.com/. Their new to cloth section has a lot of information. You can also do a diaper trial there if you want to take a little time and figure out what kind of diapers you like before totally committing.

A good portion of our stash came from craigslist. You kind of have to stalk craigslist for a while to find what you are looking for, but they are there. I just did a search for FuzziBunz and found some for $10 each. That is about half off the price of new.

Here are some terms I come across during my research:
pocket diapers: these are what we have. They have the diaper part and an insert that soaks up
the liquid. You need that insert to use a pocket diaper
AIO: all in ones. These are probably most like a disposable. They come all in one piece, but
because they are all in one piece they take longer to dry.
Pre-folds: These are like the old fashioned diapers that require a cover. We didn't use any of
these, because I wanted to go with something that was super easy for Jason to
do. They are probably the cheapest route to go though.

Some things I didn't think of until we were cloth diapering:
cloth wipes: for a while we just used regular wipes and that is what the sitter uses, but at home we have a bunch of baby washcloths that we use. We just keep a squirt bottle by the diapers and wet the washcloth and throw it in our diaper pail with the dirty diapers.

detergent: You can't just use any detergent. We use regular powder Tide. There are some all natural soaps out there, but I didn't really want to have to hunt for soap or spend a fortune on it.

What do you do with a used diaper?

When we are home, we have a trash can with a lid that has a cloth laundry bag in it. I probably should have bought a large wet bag that fits into the trash can, but this works for us. If the diaper has any solids in it we scrape them off into the toilet and then put the diaper in the trash can.

If we are out of the house or when Coleman is at the sitter's, we put soiled diapers in a wet bag. It is basically a plastic lined bag with a zipper. I have been known to use grocery bags, but that probably isn't the most environmentally friendly solution. I bought our wet bag at Target for $10 or so. It gets washed with the dirty diapers.

How do we wash our diapers?

We do diaper laundry about twice a week. Once I went back to work it wasn't feasible to do diaper laundry every other day, so we bought some more to add to our stash. I run a rinse cycle on the diapers first. Then I wash them with detergent in a hot/cold cycle. If my washer did it, I would probably do a hot/hot cycle, but it doesn't. I then rinse the diapers again to make sure all of the soap is out in either a cold cycle or a warm cycle. It just depends on whether or not I remember to turn the dial. Once the diapers have finished washing, I hang them up to dry. If it is sunny and warm, I put them outside. That is the best method for removing stains. Otherwise, they hang out in out guest room/office with the fan on.

I think I am going to stop here for now. I just wanted to share a little bit of what I have learned in the short time we have been using cloth. I like that we never run out of diapers or have to make a late night run to Kroger. Coleman rarely gets diaper rash and they are just so cute!

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