Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Baby Week - Diapers

Are you a man or woman of the cloth or the disposable kind?  Or of the neither kind?  If you're of the neither kind, you won't find much useful info here.  Sorry.

Cloth or Disposable?  Wash or Throw?  Use more water or fill a landfill?  More laundry or more garbage?  Expensive upfront or expensive over the course of diapering?  Shall I continue?  *rolling eyes*  Maybe not.  So cloth or disposable diapers?

BOTH!  Really, does it have to be one or the other?  (Okay, it does in some cases.)  I'm a cloth and disposable mom. 

Before our first child was born, Biker Boy and I decided to do cloth diapers.  I don't remember who suggested it first, but we were both on board.  After extensive internet research we plunked down $250 for 18 diapers.  Sounds expensive, doesn't it?  But that $250 for 18 diapers has bottomed countless bottoms on 2 children.  Well worth it in my opinion. 

The kind we went with......Fuzzi Bunz.  They were top of the line pocket diapers back in the day, over 5 years ago.  They only came in different sizes and we went with the medium.  Thankfully the medium was the only size we needed with our children.  It covered their bunz from 3 months till potty trained.  Chewy actually still wears them when she sleeps.  Now they make one size fits all.  Amazing.

We got our diapers from Cotton Babies.  I don't think they sell Fuzzi Bunz anymore.  I believe they sell bumGenius, which is their own brand.  Those look mighty fine too.  Only a mommy can say a diaper looks "mighty fine." 

If you're interested in doing cloth diapers, do some research.  There are a lot of brands and a lot of different kinds.  There are the prefolds that my generation once wore as babies, the pocket diapers, the fitted diapers, the hybrid diapers.  It's like car shopping folks, without the price haggling.  Your baby will show you what fuel efficiency is!

I've been completely happy with my FuzziBunz (I laugh every time I say some of those diaper names) and I'd recommend them to anyone.  But....here's the but, they may not be for everyone.  You have to decide what works for you if you're going the cloth route. 

We were a mostly cloth diaper family, using them at home and when we ran errands.  We used disposables for traveling and long outings.  We eventually used them at nights too when double stuffing the cloth diapers became a little too much.

So here's my tips and things I learned with both.

Cloth Diapers
  • Determine how often you want to do laundry and get the appropriate number of diapers.  With 18, I was doing laundry every 2-3 days during the beginning and it's substantially far apart now. 
  • Get some sort of diaper pail.  I keep mine in a 5 gallon detergent bucket with a lid.  It gets pretty ripe after a week now.  I wash it out with a little bleach and hot water. 
  • Use wash cloths or some sort of reusable wipe.  (I use those packs of washcloths from Target.  Never use the bright colored ones, they will bleed.  I only use white.) 
  • Throw all dirty diapers and wipes in the same bucket.  I use to separate the stuff, but it all goes in the washer together.  (Um, you know the poop goes in the toilet, right?)
  • Use gentle detergent (certain diaper brands will recommend a certain brand of detergent) and line dry for longest use.  I've tumbled dried a few times when I was in need of a diaper.  Line drying in the sun will take out any stains. 
  • Research for the brand that will work for you and the best deal.  Try used ones if you're not sure or get a sample pack. 
  • Baby bottoms get a wee bit bigger with cloth diapers on.  Take that into consideration when dressing the child.  They do have a cushier place to fall on!
  • If you're child is sleeping through the night and the cloth diaper isn't cutting it, double stuff it.  Or go with disposable.
Disposable Diapers
  • Try different brands to find what you like.  I had my favorites when the kids were babies.  As they got older, cheap worked. 
  • Coupons, coupons, coupons.  Need I say more?
  • Register online with certain diaper companies (ie, Huggies & Pampers) to get rewards and coupons.
  • I use to buy the huge boxes of diapers at Target on clearance, with a coupon, and that one box would get me through since I also used cloth diapers.   
  • Leave disposables for those babysitting your child, don't make them use cloth diapers if they don't want to.   
Whew, I've probably missed some stuff.  If you have any questions about my experience with diapers, please ask. Go forth and diaper in happiness.  It too will come to an end.  Enjoy!

*Please remember that every parent and every baby is different.  Do what works for you.  These are only my opinions.

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