3.16.2012

Cloth Diapers for Beginners by a Beginner - Part 1

So, we started using cloth diapers after Eva turned one.
When she was born, we were in a one bedroom apartment.
We only had a coin-op laundry in the basement of the building.
So washing cloth diapers when laundry was already a huge pain wasn't happening.

Then we moved, and had our own washer and dryer.
I thought about it for a long time...
but I knew no one personally that cloth diapered and was really overwhelmed.

Finally, one day I just did it.
One of the diaper systems I had been thinking about went on a great sale...
 And I jumped.
Head first.

Now that it has been a while and I have learned a lot...
I thought I would share what we learned and what we love.

I am not expert or even a seasoned cloth diaper user.
But I love them more than I thought, and wished I would have done it a lot sooner.

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I first bought Grow-Via diapers and inserts.
We use the snap covers and the stay-dry inserts.  
I also used their boosters for nap and bed time.

The great...
They are really easy to use... even for grandma and grandpa.
I love that the inserts snapped in and stayed in place.
Reusing the covers was great - less diapers to buy.
The covers are soft and pretty.
The inserts were slim and contoured between the legs.
Staining has been very minimal.
A good dry in the sunshine and I think the faint stains would disappear.
Diaper rash almost completely disappeared since we switched from disposable.
The covers dry quickly - I have hand washed a few and they dry in an hour or so.
I have made my money back and then some with not buying disposable diapers.
Our trash load is at least half if not a third of what it used to be...
all those diapers not in the landfill.

I started with 8 covers and 14 inserts.
That was plenty to only wash diapers every 2 or 3 days.

The not so great...
As Eva started drinking a lot more, I had to use boosters for every diaper change.
Messy diapers were really messy - overflowing the insert onto the cover.
The liners have mesh insides and mess got stuck down in the mesh.
The washing recommendations said to use only warm water.  
It bothered me not to wash at least the inserts in hot water.
Drying the inserts takes a long time...
on medium heat it takes an hour and 45 minutes.
Line drying inside takes over 24 hours.

The bad...
I made some big mistakes.
I didn't read the instructions carefully.
I soaked a few covers and inserts in Oxiclean.
Yeah, that will ruin them... and it did.

You shouldn't use Oxiclean on any cloth diapers...
but there again I just dove right into this.
I figured it out when Eva started leaking everywhere.
Then I started reading the instructions carefully.
Ooops.

So, I was down diapers and washing diaper loads everyday.
I went searching for some replacements.

(Part 2Part 3Part 4)

7 comments:

Em S said...

this is great...me and the hubs were just taling about doing this for number 2!

EverythingIam-blogspot.blogspot.com said...

Wow, I was never brave enough to do cloth diapers.

Kelly said...

I was so close to starting cloth with C but now we're on the brink of potty training and I just figured to stick with what we know. I'm interested to see part II to see what else you learned!

Melanie said...

This is one of the things I'd like to start if we are lucky enough to have one more! A lot to think about, thanks mama!

Noe said...

Thank you for sharing this, insightful and really interesting.

Nikki said...

My best friend cloth diapers and loves it. Her favorite part is buying all the cute covers.

Sandra Kohlmann said...

After 22 months, my husband and I still talk about how cloth diapering is the BEST decision we made regarding baby gear. We have saved thousands of dollars (and we bought 44 pricey cloth diapers). We have enough to wash every 2-3 days, but we wash everyday. It's just part of our routine. First wash in the evening; second wash in the morning; hang dry in the morning and put the inserts in the shells in the evening. I love the rhythm of the process. I love the environmental and cost benefits. I also love that if we have another baby, we will spend $0 on diapers!