Wednesday, October 11, 2006

I love cloth diapering.

So as a slight closet-hippie I am now coming out to talk about my affair with cloth diapers. Yep cloth diapers. I use cloth diapers....on henri, not for myself (that is still ten years off, or so).

With Harriett I always felt horrible about how many diapers I would throw away. Of course never quite bad enough to do anything about it. So with Henri I started using disposables, again feeling guilty but not quite ready to commit to sticking my hand in the toilet and dealing with pins and ugly, leaky, saggy cloth diapers. Then my friend Rachel came over with her six month old son and he was wearing the cutest diapers, and they were cloth!

So I started to do some cloth diaper research and since I'm a nerd, I got excited about them, and eventually got a few. It was actually quite addictive once I started researching all the info. There are so many cute ones out there and even though it was a considerable investment initially the savings have been great and I feel good that I'm not throwing all those diapers away.

The kind that I got are called Fuzzi Bunz. They are pocket diapers, which are completely different than the old cloth diapers. The outside is waterproof and the inside is microfleece. An insert goes inside (the pocket) to absorb pee and they have a snap closure. I have been using the same size on Henri for a year now (they are adjustable).

I have also tried Bum Genius, another brand of pocket diapers, but instead of snaps it has velcro closures. They are super easy to use especially for squirmy kids. There are a bazillion different kinds of cloth diapers out there. I got mine at they have had really great customer service and all kinds of info on cloth diapering. They have really good resources for anyone getting started.

I also started using cloth wipes. I just throw them in the washer with the diapers. While I am out shopping or running errands I use cloth diapers and regular wipes. It really isn't hard. I wash mine every two to three days in the washing machine.

This is a picture of Henri wearing one. It is from quite a while ago but how cute is he?

*not intended to make anyone feel bad for wasting money and ruining the environment.


Natalie said...

I wish I would have known about all those cool diapers when Zac was a baby. I did cloth with him for a couple of months- but the old kind with plastic pants and the pins, etc. It was not too great so we quit. I haven't done it with the others at all and now I almost done with the diaper thing. Yeah!!

Sandy said...

According to Conan, yesterday was Coming Out Day, so your entry was very appropriately timed. Those cloth diapers are pretty dang cute, and would make me feel like a better person. Maybe for the next kid...And for when I have a washer and dryer of my very own. :)

Bess said...

Good job for trying.

I am so glad I picked the right day to come out. Conan knows all.

sarah said...

Hey Bess - Jeremy and I are interested in these cute little eco-friendly diapers. How many do you think we'd need to buy as an initial investment? We have no idea how much a baby is capable of pooping, and we're hoping that you, wise parent, can tell us an answer. Also, would you recommend disposable diapers when the baby is a newborn, then moving onto these when the number of bowel movements does down?
Sorry for all the boring technical questions, but I really am curious!!

Bess said...

Hi Jeremy and Sarah,
I am happy to hear you guys are thinking of giving cloth a try.
Here is the deal. Even though I didn't do cloth with Henri until he was about 3 1/2 months old I think it would be worth it to forgo the disposables and jump right in with the cloth.
Newborn is probably the easiest time to use cloth diapers. Nursing poo is the easiest to clean because you don't have to do anything. Just throw it in the diaper pail and wash every couple of days.
I am guessing you will need about 18 diapers to start with. Babies go through 8-10 diapers a day the first couple or three months. It is insane.
That is a pretty hefty initial investment of about $300 dollars. However you would spend that on disposable diapers in about five months. Once your baby grows out of the small diapers you can keep them around for the next little one or you can sell them on e-bay for a good chunk of change. Sounds gross but Fuzzi Bunz and BumGenius have amazing re-sale value.
By the time they are 5-7 months old the baby will be ready for the medium size diaper and you should only need about a dozen. Henri has been in his mediums for over a year. So that is about $200 for a years worth of diapers. It is a serious savings over disposables and not so wasteful.
i hope this answers some of your questions. ask away if you have any more. I am trying to get a hold of my friend who did cloth with her newborn She may have some insight on the newborn thing that I don't have.

By the way Sarah you look really good.

Micah said...

You could always work your way into cloth diapers too. Get three and try them out, see if you like them. I'm kind of glad we started out with disposables and then went to cloth, then I had something to compare it to. It's not like changing diapers either way is enjoyable.

Micah said...

I just need to mention that Harriett went through 99 diapers in her first 10 days of life. Impressive!

Karen said...

hey bess!
i didn't know you were into it too. i love em'. i use motherease but have been tempted on many an occasion to buy fuzzi bunz, i may just do that now.

Bess said...

Which do you do? The all in ones or one size. I am curious about both. Have you used cloth with all of the boys.

Bess said...

you should get a blog going. i would love to know more about what is going on with you. and of course i would love to see pictures of the boys.

kelsey said...

As a slight closet hippie myself, I considered cloth before my little one was born but never committed and since then have been too overwhelmed to make a change. But things are starting to settle down, so I'm going to look into it again. Thanks for the inspiration and the brand ideas. I had only heard of motherease. What do you think about the argument that with cloth you use a lot of water, so you're basically picking your environmental poison--filling up landfills or wasting water?

Bess said...

It is an interesting debate but I believe that cloth still wins out. I did some research and here is what I came up with.
We do personally use more water when we wash cloth at home but water is renewable and the waste is being disposed of and treated properly. It isn't just that diapers take so long to decompose but that raw sewage is being thrown in the landfills contaminating them.
In the articles I read they pointed out that the amount of water we use personally on diapers is actually less than disposables when you factor in all the water and water waste used to make the disposable diapers. Apparently they are partly made from paper pulp which uses a lot of water to process.
I also read that the amount of water used to clean cloth diapers is about the same water usage as having a potty trained child. So just think of it like it is another person around the house using the toilet.

Obviously this is a personal choice for everyone. I hope this info was helpful.

Karen said...

hey bess
so i have only use the sandys, i also use the chinese prefolds with pro-wraps and a snappy to make them snug. i converted when aidan was born. and i know i need to get a blog going for our fam, we miss you guys too. and if kelsey is reading this, we have a front loader washer which uses a lot less water than other washers. how are you kels, long time no hear. i think i'll head on over to your blog after this one!