Monday, April 26, 2010

Cloth Diapers: Growing the Stash

Now that I am a mother to an outside-baby and my piano student load is reduced to nearly nothing (really--I currently have one student, and that is just fabulous with me), I consider it an important part of my job as a mostly-SAHM to save money wherever possible.

Two of the ways I do that is by breastfeeding and using cloth diapers. So far, baby has not come with much extra regular expense. That being said, we are still building that cloth diaper stash, so that's a bit expensive until said stash is really complete. And then there's the fact that a lot of cloth diapers are really cute and fun to buy, so I have to be careful not to drop too much cash on them. (Babies also need more and more and more clothes and other important supplies, but I shall not further digress in this post.)

So, cloth diapers. They've come a loooong way since I was a baby, and even a long way in the past few years, so if you're first reaction is "Eeeeuuuwwww, why would you do that to yourself?" then read on. And definitely read on if you have or intend to have a baby and would consider the fun and thrift of cloth diapering.

About midway through pregnancy, I starting considering cloth and researched like CRAZY, often spending way too much time Googling and seeking out information on how this works, what you need to do it, etc. I posted inquiries on internet forums, I emailed everyone I know who uses or has used cloth diapers to get their input. Everyone told me something slightly different, but the recurring theme was that it's good to try different things and see what works for your baby.

I've been slowly accumulating my stash since October-ish, and now that I feel pretty set, Lily is outgrowing her smallest diapers. The adventure continues!

For now, this is what I have. Category #1 is relatively inexpensive basics:

  • 12 Unbleached Chinese Prefold Diapers. These are diaper service quality diapers, so they hold a lot more than the package of Gerber diapers found on the bottom shelf at Target. They are inexpensive and useful for when we're just hanging around the house, so I consider them the rice in the greater diaper dish.
  • 3 Thirsties Duo Wrap covers. All three are size one, but as Lily is quite long for her age and weight, I will need to get the larger size soon. I usually just lay a folded prefold in the cover then put it on her. The wrap keeps the diaper in place; no pins required! The velcro enclosure and double leg gussets ensures no leaks. Really, even big poops and heavy wets never, ever leave this cover. The same cannot be said for most disposables we've used. I have found that I'll probably want more than three in the next size.
  • 1 Kissaluvs Contour diaper. I don't love this one, which is why I haven't bought any more. It may need still a few more washings to get to full absorbency, but it doesn't seem to hold a lot and the contour shape is kind of unnecessary and just makes it harder to put on.
  • 3 Snappis diaper fasteners. I just bought these last week, and don't need them much since the covers hold the prefolds, but they work well with the contour. And it's nice to have them on hand when they're called for. Putting on a prefold with a Snappi under the cover ensures the cover will not get soiled, but it adds a complicated step to the diapering process, especially now that Lily immediately thrashes her legs joyously as soon as she's un-diapered. We may need them when she becomes more mobile; we shall see.
Category #2 is Pocket Diapers. Pockets are great but closer to the expensive end of the spectrum. They consist of a PUL shell sewn onto some kind of moisture-wicking fabric that goes against baby's skin. It is then stuffed with some sort of absorbent liner, usually microfiber. Pockets are fairly versatile in that you can add a doubler easily to increase absorbency and the fact that you can unstuff it for laundering means it dries relatively quickly. However, unlike prefolds and covers, the entire diaper is done once soiled--there's no reusing the cover. But pockets are very Daddy- and babysitter-friendly and way easy to use. Here's our stash:

  • 3 bum Genius 3.0 pocket diapers. These are our favorite pockets. They can get completely soaked and never leak. They are easy to use and fit just like disposables, only better. And they are one size, which means Lily can wear the same diapers through toddlerhood, thanks to easy snap-down sizing.
  • 3 Happy Heinys one-size pocket diapers. (Link goes to snaps, we have velcro.) These were a gift and are almost as good as the bum Genius. The velcro is a little harder to get just right and the laundry tabs don't work very well, leading to a chain of diapers in the dryer. I'm very glad to have these, though.
  • 4 Fuzzi Bunz size small pocket diapers. These were another gift and I like them. Lily will outgrow them soon, though, and I don't think I'll replace them with a bigger size. They are the only cloth diapers she's blown out of more than once, and I think it's because it's difficult to get that perfect fit with the snaps. Snaps will last longer than velcro at the cost of good fit, unfortunately.
Category #3 is fancy primo diapers:

  • 1 bum Genius size medium All-in-One diaper. Just like the pocket only sized and the absorbent part is sewn into the diaper. There's still a pocket for adding absorbency. I got this diaper for free with a coupon. I love the color, but my only experience so far is that it takes FOREVER to dry. I put it on Lily for the first time this morning and she immediately pooped in it. So... I think she likes it!
  • 1 Flip diaper with stay-dry liner. I love the idea of Flip, a system that's essentially all-in-two. It's from the makers of bum Genius, so the moisture wicking is great. However, the cover leaves much to be desired and the more I use it, the less I like it. The liner tends to slide around in the cover. Poops inevitably get all over the cover, so I have to wash it too often for my taste.
  • 3 Gro Baby one size diaper system. We also have two extra 2-packs of liners and one extra package of two boosters for extra absorbency. So that's three shells, 5 boosters and 7 liners. We LOVE Gro Baby. They have never, ever leaked or blown out. The aplix allows for a perfect, unique fit. The liners soak up a lot and snap into the shells. If they get wet or soiled, you can remove them and reuse the shell. So easy and the best of everything when comparing prefolds, all-in-ones and pockets. If we wanted to, we could get disposable liners for the shells, but I don't see the point. I would never compost my diapers, and regular 'sposies are cheaper. But it's a great system, and all future additions to the stash will most likely be Gro Baby. It's more expensive than Flip, but it's a better system overall.
And that's the stash for a total of 32 diapers. Next up: accessories and laundering!

1 comment:

Tim said...

Are you sure you don't mean, "Growing the Stache?" ;)