Saturday, September 1, 2012

Cloth Diapers: Two Months Later


Well, I promised to do a follow-up post to some readers that were curious. I had posted (link here) about my plans to go the cloth diaper route a few months ago. I admit, I was a little nervous. I wasn't nervous enough to let it hold me back though, because I was so excited! I can honestly say, that cloth diapering was something that I was really looking forward to. I'm so glad that we gave it a try!

Max, one week old, in his first cloth diaper

We started cloth diapers on July 1st, when Max was two weeks old. We had wanted to wait until his cord stump fell off. He seemed to love them right away, and who wouldn't?! Sean and I just thought they were so cute!

We started our cloth diaper journey with gDiapers. We started with 8 covers, 12 liners, and 24 inserts. This was the perfect amount for a newborn with parents that don't mind doing diaper laundry daily. When Max would have a "wet" diaper, we would take out the insert and put it in the wet bag, wipe the inside of the liner with a baby wipe, and let it air dry before putting a new insert in. If we had a "soiled" (like my effort to not be graphic?) diaper, we would unsnap the liner and put both the insert and the liner in the wet bag. Typically a "soiled" diaper gets the liner yucky and you want to wash it rather than just wipe it out. Now, there will be fun times (yay!) when the cover may get wet or dirty also. These are the times that you will drop it in the wet bag, and just start with a fresh one. Essentially you are allowing for 24 diaper changes a day. This may sound like a lot, but when you have a newborn baby it doesn't seem so crazy.

Max, seven weeks old, hanging out in his gDiaper

Our normal wash routine is pretty simple. We diaper all day, and at the end of the night we wash everything in the washing machine together. The wash routine varies by person. Our original process was to do a cold rinse with no detergent, followed by a warm wash with Tide, with an extra rinse cycle included. Eventually we moved to just doing a warm wash, with Tide, with an extra rinse cycle. We haven't seen any change in cleanliness or smell of the diapers, so we figured we would save the effort, time, water, and electricity. Once the wash is complete, we take the whole load and hang it on the drying rack for the night. They're dry by morning, so you have fresh and clean diapers ready for you when you wake up! Some people will dry the inserts and covers (do NOT put the liners in the drier), and we have done that a couple of times. I'm cheap though, and trying to save the environment and whatnot, so we try to lay them on the drying rack when possible.

The drying rack, full of gDiaper awesomeness

Our not so little boy is now graduating to size medium for the gDiapers! I can't believe it! Our daycare actually does cloth diapers, which is awesome!

Now, for the fun stuff:

  • We have not seen any increase to our electric or water bills as a result of cloth diapering. This was a question that people were concerned about, and thought that increases in these two bills would negate the savings of using cloth diapers. This is not the case, thankfully. 
  • We don't use cloth at night. GASP! We did in the beginning, when Max was waking up every two hours or so. Once he started sleeping six hours at a time (at about six weeks), we were having a lot of leaks. This isn't the diaper's fault of course, that's a lot to expect out of a poor diaper insert! So we use disposables at night, sorry. 
  • We haven't stuck with cloth every single day. Yup, that's right. Naughty. There have been times that I forgot to do the diaper laundry. Or we were exhausted and didn't care to do it. Whatever the reason, we haven't been 100% consistent. This is fine though, we're still doing it most of the time.
  • Max hasn't had a diaper rash yet, at all. Hooray for cloth!
  • Cloth diapers are NOT a huge pain when you're out and about. People always assume that we won't use cloth diapers if we're away from home. I don't see the big deal. When you're out, you put the used diaper in a bag and hold onto it until you get home. What's the difference if it's a cloth or disposable diaper? Yes, I could throw a disposable diaper in someone's trash at their house, but eww! Sorry, I'm weird and I wouldn't want to do that. 
  • Cloth is cute. Yes. We know this. No surprise there. 
  • It feels good. It really does. I hate putting a disposable diaper in the trash, just as I expected I would. A load of diaper laundry is totally worth the happy feeling I get because I'm saving 20 diapers from sitting in a dump for 500 years. 
  • Money... I'm sorry. I can't do a comparison for you in all honesty. Our cloth diapers were on our baby registry and we have some very generous friends and family, so we didn't actually buy them. I don't want to say "we saved $200" (random number), because we didn't actually make the investment ourselves. Now that we're buying size medium gDiapers, I'll do a cost comparison for the next two months. I want to be honest when possible! 
If you're curious about how the gDiapers work (I know I was before we used them), here are some pictures:

gDiaper cover, view from the outside
gDiaper cover, view from the inside

gDiaper liner (note the orange snaps, where it attaches to the cover) please ignore the staining on the edges, that happens when you have a "soiled" diaper (sunning will make it fade though!)
gDiaper insert, bottom side
gDiaper insert, top side


gDiaper assembled, view from the inside
gDiaper assembled, view from the back
And there you have it! Sorry for the long post, but I wanted to make sure I covered everything. If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to ask. I had to look in a ton of different places when I was researching cloth diapers, I know how overwhelming it can be. I'd love to help! I'm not expert obviously, so if you have tips for me, feel free to share those too. I'm always looking to learn! 

3 comments:

  1. Thanks for the info! I am seriously thinking about cloth diapers for when I have a baby and I found this very honest and useful! Will look forward to your next post about how much you saved!

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  2. Thank you for reading, and for the kind words! I wish you luck :)

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  3. I know you have probably potty trained your son already, or are working on that, but to reply to the portion about nighttime leaks: You can double up the inserts (hemp sides together) to make it more absorbent - I do this with my 11 mo old. He is starting to sleep 5+ hours straight, so we see some leaks now and again. If the trend increases we will actually start using the g disposable inserts. These are flushable (if you have sewer) or throw-away that degrade in a few weeks rather than 500 years. They are also wonderful, albeit more expensive than simply using cloth.

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