Thursday, March 27, 2014

Cloth is Our Friend

Watch out! Mom post here!

Cloth diapering is a big deal, people. There are lots of opinions and options out there and I know some people who are obsessed with the process as well as trying all of the different combinations to find the best solution.

I knew from early on that cloth diapering was my goal. When I was deciding what system to go with, I did some internet research but mostly asked other mom friends. I didn't want to go down the internet rabbit hole and get even more confused by the TONS of options out there.  What to go with? All-in-ones, prefolds, inserts? And which brands? Fuzzibunz, Bummis, Thirsties, Prowrap? There are so many.

After some limited research and mostly friend interviews, I decided to go with organic cotton prefolds with Snappi fasteners, and several brands of diaper covers (Bummis, Thirsties, and some others on loan from friends.) It also helped that Amazon has a limited selection, which helped me make my decision.

So I am not as obsessed with cloth diapering like some.

But I love it for several reasons.

#1. The environment. Duh. There's no garbage. The amount of trash (that goes to landfill) that results from disposables is insane. We used disposables for the first 8 days of Eddy's existence because of her umbilical cord and the cloth diapers rubbed the area too much. Even with those 8 days of tiny newborn diapers, it was crazy how much garbage we created. It was nice to be able to make the switch as soon as that disgusting little stump of stinky necrotic tissue fell off. Gross.

#2. Health. Disposable diapers have a very strong perfume-y odor. (Well, the mainstream ones do anyway.) Why? I get that it's probably to mask the odor of the stink that comes out of a baby's butt, but it's not necessary. And what of the chemicals that make those odors? I would rather not have my tiny fragile human offspring to be exposed to that on a constant basis, thanks.

#3. Cute covers. Diaper covers are cute. Babies butts are cute. Put them together and they're double cute.

Cute baby bum alert!
#4. Saving dough. Yes, the initial price upfront is much more for the cloth diapers, but once you have them, you can use them forever. (Though you do need several sizes.)

#5. Potty training. I've heard cloth diapered babies are easier to potty train eventually because they feel the wetness and the discomfort that comes with it and are more eager to get out of them. We'll see about that.

Cloth diapering does have its disadvantages also.

#1. The laundry. It happens almost every day. Annoying, but ok since I'm home all day, everyday. For now. It's also not so bad because her poos are still breast milk poos which are highly washable so dirty diapers go directly into the machine without having to preclean them by hand. (But the diapers do need one rinse cycle prior to the regular wash cycle.) Oh and this whole thing can be avoided by hiring a diaper service, which we didn't opt for since it costs money we don't have.

#2. Water and energy wastage. Yeah, it is a lot of water to do a load of laundry almost everyday. But think about the water it would take to make each and every disposable. I'm sure the amount of water and energy that goes into the manufacturing of each disposable is comparable to the extra amount needed to wash the cloth ones. (And I like to add a few gallons of rainwater to each load so that offsets some of the negatives.)

#3. Changing more often. It's amazing and a little creepy how much liquid disposables can hold. Cloth just gets wet and stays wet. Who wants to wear wet underwear? Not babies, I'll tell you that.

#4. An extra step. There are two things you have to attach to your baby (prefold and cover) vs. the just one of a disposable. And when you have an hangry baby on the changing table, you can't get that diaper on fast enough. (But this can be avoided using an all-in-one.)

Like I said, I'm not obsessed with cloth diapering. Sometimes we run out of clean prefolds and I don't have the time to do laundry so we may use a couple disposables for overnight. We're ok with that. Eddy is finally getting big enough to where she can start wearing the size 1 prefolds (and not just the tiny newborn ones) so we now have more prefolds that we can use so we won't have to do laundry as often or use disposables.

Our setup: wipes in the container, diapers in the basket, happy baby with a dry bum.
The thing about cloth diapering that people don't really talk about is cloth wipes. Disposable wipes, though much smaller, also are a piece of garbage that can be avoided. Now I really like these. I have about 30 wipes that I keep in a tupperware on the changing table and use one for each change and just wash along with the diapers. I bought a bottle of a concentrated natural wipe solution that I make and keep on hand as well that smells divine. I thought keeping up with the wipes would be a pain, but it really isn't and I love it. I still use these even when she's wearing a disposable.

Seriously, it smells so good.
So that's the cloth wearing scoop on Eddy.

Now on to me. Men, this is your cue to stop reading, as it doesn't really pertain to your daily lives.

Yep, I've been sporting the cloth too! Remember the testing I was going to do on reusable menstrual pads? Well, post partum bleeding is a great excuse to test those out! Hooray!

My small collection. From L-R: Domino pads, Diva Cup, New Moon pad. (Not pictured: Gladrag.)
For the first few days after delivery, I did have to use the super mega pads that the birthing center gave me, but once things settled down to a more "monthly" level, I switched to these. I didn't get to use the Diva cup though, since I'm not allowed to use anything internal for the first six weeks. So the testing for that will have to wait until a normal period, and after I get a new one since women who've given birth require a slightly larger size cup.

Ok, so of the three brands of pads I tried, I would recommend two: the Domino pads and the New Moon pad. They are both awesome. They stay in place, are absorbent, and don't bunch. They also wash off super easily, and haven't stained at all. (It must be the material they're made out of.) They are also really soft and comfortable. I might like the Domino pads a little better because of the slight tapering in the middle, but they're both awesome. The Gladrag I've had for a few years now and it really isn't my favorite. It doesn't stay in place and bunches too much, making you feel like you're wearing a diaper. Yuck.

Washing them is pretty easy too. I just give them a little cold water rinse and throw them into the cloth diaper pail and wash with them. If you're in a public restroom, you can use a wet bag to store them until you get home and do the same.

So go out and green-ify your periods, ladies. It's surprisingly comfortable and easy, and it feels nice to do a little favor to our environment. Oh, and they're kinda cute too.

Here are some links:

New Moon Pads

Domino Pads

Luna Pads and Diva Cup (I'm gonna try these next. They're the most expensive though.)

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