Monday, May 2, 2011

Preachin' It.

You asked, I'm answerin'.
Hold on while I put on my habit.  Sister Sarah of the Church of Cloth Diapers - at your service.  

Firstly, the world of cloth diapering is scary when you first look into it.
Though, it's no longer the days of safety pins and plastic covers.

Though, they still exist.
This is a pre-fold and safety pins. 
Since having B-rox, the cloth diaper scene has gained some serious momentum.
We didn't use a single cloth on Braxton.  However, the kid had serious butt-rash his entire diaper life, and we payed out the nose for those little bits of land-fill fodder.
We came to cloth late in Kieran's diaper life, but he spent the last six months of it without a single bit of butt -rash and potty-trained six months earlier than his big brother did.  (It's been documented that CD kids potty train at an earlier average age.)

 The math on how much we saved: 
124 size 3 Huggies diapers cost 36.99 at Target. That's $0.29/diaper. 
The average number of diaper changes per day is 10. 
10 diaper changes a day - for six months in disposables is: 0.29x10 = $2.90.  2.90x180 = $522.00

(figure at least two years of diapers - ten changes a day for 730 days.  $0.29x7300 = $2,117)

We bought a package similar to this (Thanks Peggy!) which cost around $130.00.
(We started with a combo of reusable cloth inserts and bio-degradeable disposables.  Eventually we stopped with the disposable inserts and went full on cloth.)
A difference of $392.00.  
That savings helped us buy the diaper packages we would need for Holdeezy...

Diapers purchased for Holden:
g-diaper bundle in small (used from birth to 3.5 months) We spent $135.00.  
Fuzzibunz Perfect sized 12 pack in medium  (will be used from 3.5 months to potty training)  We spent $183.00
Fuzzibunz Perfect sized 6 pack in small (used from birth until... ?) We spent $56.00.  
Charlie Banana One sized print diapers (Used from 4months to potty training) We spent $22.00

A total of $396.00  Four dollars over what was saved from cloth diapering Kieran.  

[I got some pretty killer deals, through, and new customer deals through  Plus, fuzzibunz was having a promotion for a new diaper pail with the purchase of a dozen diapers.  (Worth $21.00!)] 

 Estimated savings: $2,117.00 - $396.00 = $1721.00 !!!!!!!!!

Imagine the savings we would have had, had we cloth diapered from the very first diaper change of our parenting life... Oh the shoes... 

There are four major types of cloth diapers; Prefolds, Hybrids, AIO (all in ones), and Pockets.

I only plan on talking about what I've used.  Because, it's what I know.  (Plus, this post will be long and information laden enough.)

*First up, Hybrids.
The two systems we used:
g-Diapers and Charlie Banana.

G-diapers were a great way for us to test the water, with cloth diapering.  They're one of the cheaper ways to go cloth and they allowed us to switch to a bio-degradeable disposable insert when we wanted/needed.
Here's a quick and dirty run-down on how this system works:
There is the g-pant.
Into it you snap on a liner.
Into that - you lay your insert down.  Either the reusable or the biodegradable disposable.
So, 3 pieces to work with here. (I gave my stash to my lil' sister for her kids - so I don't have any pictures to work with.)
My thoughts: Great way to break into it for us - but I ultimately got frustrated swapping all the pieces out.  Great for a limited budget, or if you absolutely insist on having a disposable option.  After the first three months with Holden, we decided we preferred full time-cloth.  It was easier.  Crazy, I know.  
Charlie banana:
Cover and reusable insert.
Pretend it's a disposable for the next picture.  

This is how you load the disposable insert.  Just tuck the end under the flap in the front.
When soiled, just pull it out - and put in a new one.
We don't use CharBan for a hybrid system, but it is nice to have available.  Especially since they managed to be a hybrid system without a million, billion pieces.

*Pocket Diapers.
We use Fuzzibunz and Charlie Banana.
Cover and Insert.

Slide insert into the "pocket" between the fleece and  leak-proof outer. 

Once the insert is in.  Looks eerily similar to a disposable, eh? 

Once "stuffed" your diaper is ready to put on.  Just pull tabs around and snap at the needed size.
[Note: We use the perfect sized diapers in Fuzzibunz and the one-sized diaper from Charlie Banana]
{Charlie banana works the same way as FB, instead of tucking under the flap like in the pictures above, you stuff down into a pocket.}

Dealing with the soiled diapers is crazy easy.  Take the diaper off.  Shake out insert into pail (Fuzzibunz is great - you don't have to touch the nasty diaper at all!)  Drop cover into pail.  Close lid to pail.
I have a stash of 20 diapers, and do a load  every other day.  When I get to 3 left in the drawer, I know it's time for a load.
I use ECOS free and clear laundry detergent.  (Safe for the environment, HE washers - and cloth diapers.) You don't EVER want to use fabric softeners, or detergents with colors, oils, etc.  It will build up on the diaper and cause leaking.  (Ecos is cheaper than Tide, and has caused less irritation to the boys' skin.)
For exclusively breastfed babies you don't have to rinse - or shake out the diaper before putting it in the pail.  It's water soluble!  (Notice how white that diaper in the picture still is?)
When they start eating solids, get a diaper sprayer. Rinse solids into toilet - drop diaper into pail. Also, you can "line" it with one of these to make it even more simple.
I wash on a hot/cold cycle, with an extra rinse.  I also add a little distilled white vinegar in the wash with it.  It kills any odors or chemicals that may build up.

*Other notes:
1. If you want to try out cloth diapering - but are not sure you'll be sold on it - check out Jillians Drawers.
They have a diaper trial program, where you pay $165.00 for a variety of diapers to "test drive".  If you like it - you keep the diapers and they refund you $10.  If you don't like it - return the diapers for a refund of $155.
I have heard STUPENDOUS things about every single one of those diapers in the trial.  I have at least one friend that uses each of those diapers.  You find what fits you - return the rest!

2. Many people don't exclusively cloth diaper.  For some people their daycare won't deal with cloth, others travel and decide disposables are easier on the road.
Even a half and half mix keeps hundreds of diapers out of landfills!

3.  I'm serious about the butt rash thing.  Braxton and Kieran both suffered from bleeding blisters, their butt rashes would get so bad and out of control.  I believe they both went to the doctor for it a few times and we spent a couple hundred dollars on creams. Starting from infancy.
Holden, just "suffered" his first diaper rash.  Which, you could barely tell was there.  It was a faint pink on the bottom of his cheeks.  We giggle, laugh and talk through diaper changes, instead of struggle and cry.

4. Hubband was a huge skeptic.  Worried about how much work, how gross, and the logistics of cloth diapering.  He's a total fan, advocate, and also kicks himself for not exploring cloth diapering with the other two kids.

5. Lindsay specific questions:
1. The outer of the diapers that I use is waterproof.  The absorber goes in between the soft fleece (that wicks moisture away from the booty) and the waterproof outer.
2. They don't leak because of  the waterproof outer and the elastic at the top and legs.  They will, just like disposables, leak if you let them go for too long without a change.
3. I haven't had a blowout yet, I don't expect to.  They're a pretty awesome containing system - and unlike disposables - they have elastic at the top so you don't get the "up the back" crap [pun intended] that you do with disposables.
4.  For us, there aren't really any disadvantages.  When we travel, we will probably use disposable.  Because I don't want to worry about leaving diapers behind, a place to launder, etc.  Which is a disadvantage - but 3 or 4 vacations a year isn't enough for me to consider it a real disadvantage.
The advantages are already covered - but I'll list again:
~No butt rash.  It's seriously the biggest motivating factor to switch to cloth.
~The money savings.  It's huge.  HUGE!
~No more frantic trips to the store when you realize you've run out of diapers.  (Maybe just frantic loads of laundry - but you can stay in your pj's for that.)
~Better for the earth.  Which is important to us.
~Cloth diapers are so damn adorable!

Phew.  That was a lot of info.  Hopefully not too much and not too little.  Hopefully, it helps.  Also, leave a comment for any questions you might still have.  I'll answer the best that I can.  

2 reviews:

Mrs. Wookie said...

I feel like I need to run around the Church of Cloth Diapering and ask, "Do you believe?!? DO YOU BELIEVE?"

I'm pretty sure I should have been black with my crazy church antics.

McDorky said...

Seriously! Once you make the jump, you'll never go back! I am totally obsessed :)

We love our Bum Genius sized AIO and OS pockets (he just started to fit into the OSs) but also love the Fuzzi Bunz. I like the perfect size FB better than the OS - primarily because of the trim fit (though both are relatively trim) and I don't like messing with the elastic sizing. But the OS FB was the ONE OS diaper that fit him early on, so it really is a good investment.

The best bet for him as a skinny preemie were fitteds and Thirsties or Flip covers.

Cloth diapering is way cheaper IF you can contain yourself and not go hog wild!