Thursday, May 5

Cloth diapering questions...

Okay, you guys are awesome, but my head is still spinning. I guess I have to start with terminology first.

I'm not sure if terminology is brand-specific or cloth diapering related? So, let's see...

thirsties?

prefolds?

bummis covers?

contour prefolds?

soakers?

boosters?

pockets?




Then a few other opinions/questions...

1. Do you prefer snaps or velcro?

2. Do any brands you've tried leave marks on legs?

3. Do you use a toilet sprayer? Or what else do you do?

4. Cloth wipes vs. regular wipes? Which do you use or prefer?

5. Washing... you have to wash each load 2 times, right?

6. How do you manage the dirty diapers? I'm thinking I'd need a diaper bag up in the baby room, in the living room, and in the basement.

7. Diaper creams... I've heard they cause problems by reducing the absorbency of diapers, so what do you do? But then again... I've also heard that CD babies get less rashes, so maybe it's a nonissue?

8. Am I crazy for thinking of using cloth diapers for twins?

9. Has anyone used cloth diapers and then put their child in day care? I've read that some daycares will only accept all-in-ones.

10. Can someone just treat me like I'm an idiot (I really don't mind) and explain the entire process of assembling a non-all-in-one diaper, piece by piece? If someone could maybe post a photo-assisted post about this, I would be eternally grateful. I find info on sites, but they don't act like I'm an idiot so they still throw around the terminology that makes my head spin...

11. How many would I really need of each piece (if I did non-AIO)? I really want to start as soon as the babies come home... but I realize that might mean extra pieces that are grown out of quickly.

8 comments:

Carol said...

This is from a new grandmother of one disposable diaper grandson and one cloth diapered granddaughter. The cloth ones absorb breast milk poop much better so there are much fewer leaks, in my opinion. And no problems with dealing with breast milk poop in cloth. My daughter in law does have the toilet washing thing which I've only used once. And, you do have to wash them twice. She uses Fuzzibuns with snaps so they change with the size of the baby. I have heard and so did she that the Velcro wears out and has problems so she went with the snap ones. They are in really cute colors but they do make there butt look bigger! She's a stay at home mom so she has no problem with keeping up with the wash. Not sure how easy that would be if you worked.

Kirsten said...

You should read all the posts that Amalah has written on cloth diapering at the Alpha Mom website - she explains everything so well!
http://alphamom.com/pregnancy/cloth-diapers-for-newbies-newborns/
We use bumgenius one-size pocket diapers and fuzzibunz one-size pocket diapers. Basically there is a slit in the fabric at the back of the diaper where you stuff an insert (basically a rectangular piece of microfiber material - and the inserts come with the diapers)into the diaper. The fabric is really absorbent and the pee and the liquid part of poop basically just soaks through into the insert so the fabric against the baby's skin stays relatively dry. I like these better than all-in-ones because you can layer multiple inserts for overnight or use the thinner newborn ones when your babies are still little and don't need as much bulk or absorbency. Also, they dry much faster. I've heard velcro gives a more custom fit but we've only used snaps and had no problem with them. I didn't want to use velcro because I'd heard the washing and drying really damage it.

As far as daycare goes, they will probably be fine with pocket diapers as long as you are using the 'one-use' kind like fuzzibunz or bumgenius. You will separate the inserts from the covers to wash them, but they could just take the diaper off your babies exactly like it's a disposable and put it in a bag for you to separate at home. It's the diaper cloths that just sit in diaper covers (like bummi covers, which is just a brand) that are trickier for most daycares.

Personally, I didn't invest in newborn diapers. We used disposables on our daughter til she was 8 weeks and then switched to cloth when she was big enough to fit the one-size diapers. There are some very cute ones out there but since it was such a short time frame i decided against it. For #2 I would maybe buy a few cheap diaper covers, like the bummis, prowraps, thirsties (again all just brand names for basic diaper covers) in newborn sizes and just stuff them with diaper cloths (also referred to as chinese prefolds). The internet world of cloth diapering is so confusing and the terms are crazy, but in reality it's much easier than it sounds.

If you do read Amalah's post, look at all the links at the bottom too. She has written SO much about it, it's super easy to understand, and she is realistic about it. Hope that helps! I have been following your blog for awhile and am wishing you all the best for your babies and a healthy rest of your pregnancy =)

Kate said...

1. Do you prefer snaps or velcro?

I actually don't mind the snaps...but my husbands doesn't like them. Only two of ours have snaps. I think either way is fine.

2. Do any brands you've tried leave marks on legs?

not really

3. Do you use a toilet sprayer? Or what else do you do?

I don't...I just put her cover and all into a diaper pale and wash them all every other day. She still has runny poo so it's not like I can wash it off easily. River is exclusively formula and now eating solids and this seems to work well. There are a few stains here and there...but they are diapers after all! hehe I bought a small trash can at walmart that has a flip top lid and I put a cloth liner inside. Nothing fancy. I almost always use regular wipes. More then anything for convenience.

5. Washing... you have to wash each load 2 times, right?

I wash one hot cycle with no detergent and one cold cycle with a small amount of detergent. I cheat and use her dreft...just a tiny bit. But you can buy they "CD approved" detergent online

6. How do you manage the dirty diapers? I'm thinking I'd need a diaper bag up in the baby room, in the living room, and in the basement.

I have her diaper pale upstairs and wash them every 2 days. I don't do any pre rinse or a bucket with water (yuck). I have had no problems with smell...the pale has a lid and I keep it in her closet with a fresh air disk by arm & hammer.

http://www.munchkin.com/products/detail.html?section=prodCategories&ID=10001&pID=1407

7. Diaper creams... I've heard they cause problems by reducing the absorbency of diapers, so what do you do? But then again... I've also heard that CD babies get less rashes, so maybe it's a nonissue?

This is tricky for us...River has super sensitive skin. She is very fair, blonde hair blue eyed baby...with parents who both have fair sensitive skin. SOOO....we deal with diaper rash with disposable or CD. So I use a disposable at night and lube her up with cream at night. During the day we use baby powder with cornstarch (yeah...I know some say NOT to use baby powder) But it really helps keep her skin dry. I find I have to change her more frequently then disposables.

8. Am I crazy for thinking of using cloth diapers for twins?

yes! haha!! But I say give a a trial run and see how you feel about it. We bought a starter kit to see if we liked it first...that way you are not investing tons of $$$ into something that didn't work for you.

9. Has anyone used cloth diapers and then put their child in day care? I've read that some daycares will only accept all-in-ones.

Not sure, we are not in daycare

10. Can someone just treat me like I'm an idiot (I really don't mind) and explain the entire process of assembling a non-all-in-one diaper, piece by piece? If someone could maybe post a photo-assisted post about this, I would be eternally grateful. I find info on sites, but they don't act like I'm an idiot so they still throw around the terminology that makes my head spin...

Here's a simple, easy video! She uses the same kind we use

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TLddIUs_kX0

11. How many would I really need of each piece (if I did non-AIO)? I really want to start as soon as the babies come home... but I realize that might mean extra pieces that are grown out of quickly.

Honestly...I would consider getting disposables for a few weeks until they are big enough. But...that's obviously totally up to you.

Here's the site for thirsties

http://www.thirstiesbaby.com/covers.php

We use the diaper cover size small right now. But...they have the duo wrap which comes in 2 sizes. I have friends who use this and love it. When river grows out of small's we are going to move to size 2 duo wraps.

I hope this helps!! :-)

Mindy said...

You are SO NOT crazy for cloth diapering twins, think about how much money and garbage you will be saving!!! Plus, you wash every 2-3 days with Cloth diapers, doesn't matter how many you have from one baby- 4 babies. Okay so let's break it down:

Prefolds (think old-school rectangular cloth where the middle is a bit thicker) needs a cover... there are many brands including Flip, Thirsties, Blueberry, Motherase, Bummis, Rumparooz, and also wool covers which are breathable. This is the most economical choice. I HIGHLY recommend getting your prefolds from Green mountain diapers...they're the "gold standard" for prefolds. http://www.greenmountaindiapers.com/diapers.htm

Newborn prefolds from green mountain and Thirsties XS/duo covers would be a great option for the newborn stage and is quite affordable. You do not have to change the covers unless they get poopies on them, you just keep changing the prefold and put the cover on. Plus, because Green mountain diaper (aka 'GMD') prefolds are so well-loved, you will be able to sell them easily and get most of your money back. The prefolds require some 'prepping' so order them and allow time to do so before the babies get here. Generally with newborns you're wanting 12 prefolds per baby per day, so for twins I would maybe buy 5 dozen if you wash every 2 days. For covers, I would guess about 2 covers a day, so I would probably do 8-12 covers. Here's a tutorial on how to use these: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TLddIUs_kX0

Another option that I discussed before is the Flip/Grovia system which is also affordable and easy to use, though these would not be suitable for newborns. They will fit babies around 10 lbs- all the way until toilet training. Here's a youtube video all about the flip system: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lQtCXOG-NnI

Pocket diapers come in many different brands (Kawaii, Bum Genius, Fuzzibunz, Rumparooz, Ittibitti, etc.). These include a waterproof outerlayer and a microfiber insert which goes into the pocket. Most of these are "One Size" (OS) which will fit 10lbs.-potty training. These are a bit more expensive depending on brand, I believe Kawaii is the most affordable. Fuzzibunz also makes "Perfect Size" which are pocket diapers that have different sizes and do not have snaps that will adjust the rise (length) as baby gets older. They have these in really small sizes that could also be used for the newborn stage. At any rate, the WHOLE diaper needs to be changed out with each changing. So you're looking at wanting 10-12 a day per baby.

Mindy said...

As for washing and and diaper creams. One great solution if you need to use diaper creams is to buy flushable liners. These are basically glorified toilet paper that lays on top of the inside of the diaper and acts as a barrier so the cream doesn't get on the actual diaper. These can be flushed down the toilet or thrown away. People also like to use these as they "catch" the poop and you just pick up the liner and flush it, no need to mess with a diaper toilet sprayer. Here's a bunch of different kinds on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=diaper+liners&x=0&y=0

With breastfed poo, it's runny so it will just come right out in the wash. If you're doing formula or once they start eating solids, it becomes sticky or solid. Sometimes you can just 'plop' it into the toilet, some people use a rubber spatula, you can also buy a toilet sprayer. All a matter of preference.

As for washing, they say you should do one hot rinse with no detergent, one cold wash with detergent, plus an extra wash. You want to be very careful about the detergent you use, there are many brands recommended including Rockn'Green, Country save, Tiny bubbles. I've HEARD many people swear by Tide Original in powder form, though this is not officially "cloth-diaper friendly" by diaper manufacturers. At any rate, do NOT use free and clear detergents or liquid detergents as these can ruin your diapers. As far as drying goes, covers and the pocket diaper shells should be hang-dried to preserve them, the pocket inserts, and prefolds can go in the dryer. I don't know if you live by an IKEA, but this little contraption is pretty awesome for hang-drying: http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/80189663

Kellyscloset.com is my favorite place to buy diapers (minus the green mountain diapers website for prefolds). They have a "points" reward system so you rack up points for your purchases then you can redeem them for gift certificates. It's helpful to go to the store and look at all the different kinds, it will all probably make more sense by going to look. www.kellyscloset.com

Oh yeah- boosters are also called doublers. These are extra inserts made of hemp or bamboo that you can stuff into a pocket with the microfiber insert or lay on top of a prefold in a cover; they increase the absorbancy of the diapers. Many people use these at night when babies will be wearing diapers longer, or some babies are heavier wetter than others and need these. Hemp is very thin and very absorbant so it doesn't increase the bulk of the diaper too much.

sunflowerchilde said...

I have twins and used cloth diapers for a while, and hope to go back to using them sometime soon, at least for days when we are mostly at home. Here are a few of my thoughts.

I started with pre-folds and covers, and actually really liked them, for the most part. The covers were velcro. I believe they come in a size for 0-3 months, then 3-12 months (although I don't really remember now), so you could consider waiting until they're 3 months old rather than spend all that money for just 3 months. I still use the pre-folds for spit-up, when they pee on the floor, etc., so they're useful even after they're too small to use as diapers. You could probably sell the covers. But you do have to keep re-buying everything as they outgrow it, which is a negative.

After they outgrew the prefolds, I switched to pocket diapers which are adjustable in size and can be used until they stop wearing diapers. I used those for a little while, but I had trouble because I had so many different people helping me, so it got to be hard. I never put more than one insert in, and so I think I would have liked all-in-one's better, because it was a pain to pull out the insert to wash them and then have to put them all back in again after washing. If I could choose again, I would just get AIO's.

I have never used cloth diapers overnight and probably never will. As it is, I buy overnight diapers for the nights, and my son usually still wakes up wet. I don't want to create more laundry and more hassle with leaky diapers.

Washing the diapers was not that much work, in my opinion. I used a diaper bag that I hung from the bathroom door, and I rinsed the poopy diapers in the toilet (just swirled them around by hand). I like the spatula idea someone else mentioned above, would probably do that if/when I start again. It did start to smell, especially in the summer when it got hot.

I do think it is a bit of work cloth diapering twins.

I used cloth wipes when I did CDs. I actually bought a bunch of cheap washcloths from Target. I didn't find it to be any harder than normal wipes, and would throw them in the diaper bag with the diapers. I don't think it was any more work. Having normal wipes around is still a good idea for spectacularly messy situations.

I would also consider that you don't need to do 100% cloth diapers. You can start with a few and just use them a few hours a day to see what you think, then phase them in more. I never thought about that, and I went all out and bought everything I needed right off the bat, and I think it was a bit of a waste.

One last thought - as someone mentioned, the cloth diapers do make their butts look big, and when they were around 2 months, they just looked really weird. It was something I felt really superficial caring about, but I couldn't help it.

Susan said...

Go on eBay and write in COOLABABY and then I think you will get an idea of how they work.

Susan said...

As for making your own wipes...Stacy's sister, Amy did that. You can buy the cloths and a non leaking plastic container. You put the cloths in the container with water and baby oil I think but if you are really interested i will find out exactly what Amy uses. Her son NEVER had a diaper rash and she only used cloth diapers and these wipes. The COOLABABY by the way are absorbant and soft and the covers are great. I will send you Amy's email if you have any other questions.