On My Cloth Diaper Decision

No teeth...weird...I’ve had several people ask me recently about my experience with cloth diapers, and now that I have seven eight months (yeah I’m behind) of cloth diapering under my belt, I thought it was time to share my experience for anyone that may be considering it.  I think the hardest part about deciding to use cloth is figuring out what you need to get started and which diapers will work best for your situation, and it doesn’t help that research on the topic can get very overwhelming.  So I thought I’d just tell you what I’ve done and why in hopes of helping someone take the leap.  Just so you know,  I got a lot of my initial information from here which may also be a great resource for you.

Which diapers do you use?  Do you like them?

They don’t sell the package of diapers that I originally started out with anymore, but it contained mostly bumGenius Organic All-In-Ones(AIOs).  I absolutely LOVE these diapers.  They are one-size meaning they will fit Aiden until he is out of diapers and they are AIOs meaning that the diaper is all one piece and goes on just like a disposable.  Pricewise, these are on the higher end for cloth diapering considering that to cloth diaper full time, you would probably need 18-24 of these bad boys depending on how old your child is and how often you plan to wash.  We wanted to be successful though (and not have our daycare  hate us) so the convenience  was worth the extra expense for us.  There are lots of cheaper options, however, and a good overview of them can be found here.

The rest of my stash is made up of GroBaby diapers.  I have 8 of these.  They are my great in theory, alright in practice diaper.  I wanted to try these because the absorbent pad is removable with the idea that you can just change the pad and reuse the cover a couple of times.  I liked this for travel purposes and for expense because theoretically I’d only need a handful of covers.  The only problem is that the pad soaks through and you feel gross reusing the cover so we’ve ended up changing the cover every time anyways.  They are also supposed to be one size, but they run small (great for teeny tiny babies) and will likely not get Aiden to potty training.  Also, these are Velcro instead of snaps which was originally an attraction to me, but it’s really annoying that the Velcro comes unstuck in the wash causing all the diaper covers get stuck together. Pulling them apart adds time to my wash routine. 

The good news is that this company rebranded to GroVia recently and seem to have made three major improvements which were meant to address these very problems.  I can’t speak to the improvements, but they have really cute colors and patterns and work well as a diaper so I’d be willing to give them a try.

Initially we tried out the bumGenius pocket diapers for night since you can beef up the absorbency for all night protection, but with all the extra padding they were giant on Aiden in a way that I thought would make sleep uncomfortable.  Plus we had leak issues even with the doubled absorbency. At the time he was still eating through the night though so they might work better now.  We’ve just gotten pretty used to just using a disposable at night.  This is ironic because leaky nighttime disposables was what originally started me looking for other diapering options but I’ve since found that once a night time leak occurs, it’s just time to go up a size.  I also wasn’t a fan of stuffing the pocket diapers constantly and we only had 3 of them.  I can’t imagine if my whole diaper stash was pockets.  But these are significantly cheaper per diaper so I think these are a great option for a lot of people.

Our experience with the pocket diapers was a good another great advantage to cloth diapering though because I was able to sell them for a minor loss (no more than the cost of 1 weeks worth of diapers) when I was finished with them.

What else did you have to buy to get started?

Aside from the diapers, the only other things we needed to get started cloth diapering was a trash can with a lid to act as a diaper pail, 2 large wet bags that alternately line the trash can, a small wet bag for daycare and outings, diaper friendly detergent to prevent rashes, and flushable liners to catch the poop.  Here’s what and where I got it, and I’ve been happy with it all.

Trash can w/ lid:  Target 

Large wet bags:  1 Wahmies and 1 Planet Wise

1 medium wet bag:  I did a lot of research on these and the wet bags from Leslie’s Boutique had the best reviews.  Mine has definitely  stood up to the reviews as I’ve never had an issue with leaking even with daily daycare duty and frequent washing.  Plus cute fabric selections never hurt anyone.  I’m looking to get another one of these soon because it’d be nice to alternate like I do with the large ones while one is in the wash.

The liners are a must if you don’t like touching or rinsing poop.  They are flushable so you just plop the goods in the toilet and flush away.  They work better than I could have imagined.  We may have to rinse a diaper once every couple of weeks due to a complete or partial miss, and given the consistency and sheer volume of poop that comes out of Aiden, I’d say that’s not too shabby.  We’ve used the following brands: Bummies Bio-Soft, GroVia, and Diaperaps.   I like the GroVia and Diaperaps because they are machine washable and reusable if you only have a pee diaper. 

How often do you wash?

Originally I washed every two days but now I do every three.  I think that was just because Aiden got older and didn’t go through as many diapers in a day because we’ve never had more than 18 diapers at a time.  I’ve used Crunchy Clean and Charlie’s Soap on my diapers and haven’t had a problem with either one (but Crunchy Clean smells better).  Like the liners, this is another reoccurring cost, but I can get about 160 loads out of a regular bag of Crunchy Clean in my HE washer.  You don’t use as much soap as you think you would on such a smelly mess.  But it’s very important that the diapers rinse clean and don’t build up residue because then you will really have a stinky situation (think pee-soaked moldy towels).

How much did it cost?

Diapers (18 x $25) = $450    (this is actually probably more like $400 because you get discounts for buying in bulk and I’ve caught some good sales)

Trash Can = $15

Large Liners (2 x $17) = $34

Medium Wet Bag = $17

Total spent on current set up: $516

Recurring costs: ~$7/month for liners and detergent.  I’ve used 4 packages of liners in 8 months and at about $7/package this is about $3.50/month.  We’ve spent $25-30 on diaper detergent in 8 months, so I figure about $3.50/month here as well.

Why did you go cloth?

Pretty much everything from my original post still stands.

But basically because of the waste.  The waste of money on something that would just produce a shit load of waste (pun intended).  It’s also nice to know that when we have a second baby we will be able to reuse everything we’ve purchased for him or her.  And when we’re done (if my kids haven’t blown a hole through the back), we’ll be able to resell what we can.  That’s reduce, reuse, recycle as its very finest people.

Oh and they really are so much cuter poking out of the back of Aiden’s britches than a disposable.  Even if he does have to rock a rather fluffy behind. 

I can see you underpants!

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