so here lately, i've actually had quite a few friends ask me my opinion of cloth diapers and to be honest, my most favorite person to share with has been my cousin tara (who is having my first "niece" in february!!!) because she is probably THE SMARTEST person i've EVER met. she and my cousin matt are both surgeons in the navy, so getting to teach the surgeons something was quite an ego boost for this little stay-at-home-mommie:) haha! okay, so enough of inflating my ego here...
so, here is my cloth diapering 101 for y'all who are just starting out. i've also posted about cloth dipes before on why i chose to finally go that route, but i didn't give my in-depth recommendations and my faves. BEWARE, this is a fairly in-depth and LONG post, but i hope it's enjoyable and beneficial for you!
FIRST OF ALL, DON'T BE INTIMIDATED!!! the lingo is ridiculous and it is much like being stranded on a deserted island in russia without a tour guide. crazy. when i first started, i quickly realized cd'ing has what i would equate to groupies, all with inside jokes and lingos that i didn't get. the more research i did, the more i figured it out and i'm here to help you guys as best i can! at the end of each recommendation, i've posted a quick once-over on how the diaper works.
my FAVORITE, number one, go-to diaper:
- we use the "hybrid" shell snap and the hook and loop (fancy schmancy term for velcro). i LOVE this diaper, the snap more than the hook and loop. they're super easy to use, and you don't have to have a shell for every liner, essentially getting two diapers for $18 (they are sold in two packs). this will make much more sense after you look around on the website and learn about them. one thing i LOVE about these is that you don't have to have a shell for ever liner unlike other diapers. i recommend a ratio of 3 shells for every 4 liners because you don't have to replace the shell at every diaper change. since the liners are backed with waterproof fabric, the shell usually stays clean unless there's been some serious work being done...just rinse and let dry. it also reduces the wear and tear on the shell making them last longer.
- LOVE the bio soakers for when we're out and about when i want the no-commitment properties of a disposable, but without the chemicals. (although if she's already handled business, i usually don't use them. BUT, DO NOT REMOVE THE STICKY TABS ON THE BACK. i'm not sure why they're even there, but don't do it because the adhesive will jack up the shell.) you can definitely check out the gro-via website, but for some reason i have been having problems with the product page loading.
- they have also recently announced they are going to be releasing some liners that have hemp (more absorbant than cotton or fleece) in them and i think they are scheduled to come out in december. i can't remember for sure.
- our next purchase for our gro-via system will be the stay dry booster inserts. i have found that sometimes brice needs the wicking properties of fleece to help prevent diaper rash, although diaper rash is pretty much non-existent since we switched to cloth. they've also got some super-fab toddler training pants scheduled to come out this fall too!
|cotton liner insert with a waterproof backing, snaps into the shell in the front and back.|
adjustable and fits babies from 8 - 35 pounds. they also have newborn diapers that fit babies
from i think 3 - 7 pounds, but apparently i'm going to have beastly 8.5 lb+ babies,
so i won't have to worry about that:)
my second favorite:
- this diaper is SUPER, DUPER EASY. one step. no stuffing/unstuffing, or snapping in liners, etc. this is probably the most daddy/grandma/babysitter friendly because there's nothing to do but dump the doody and put in the wet bag. easy peasy. they are a little pricey, but this one helped me break in the hubs on cloth diapering because he didn't have to worry about ANYTHING, so the extra cost was totally worth it for us. plus they are so super absorbant and have a fantastic fit.
|here's the breakdown from bum genius themselves.|
much like the gro-via diaper, the bum genius fits babies 7-35 pounds
and has an organic cotton liner, except this liner is sewn into the diaper
meaning it IS NOT removable. this really is your one-stop-shop cd.
- these have a GREAT fit. they have elastic on the inside that you adjust (kind of like toddler jeans) to give the perfect fit for baby. you will also get replacement elastic with these in case the elastic around the leg openings breaks, which is FANTASTIC since being down even one diaper can totally screw the ease of cd'ing. these are a "pocket" diaper meaning you stuff the insert inside the diaper into a pocket. they are super absorbent and work well for thicky-thick thighs like the ones we have at our house:)
| fuzzi bunz pocket diaper with fleece liner and fleece insert. |
adjustable at leg gussets and waist.
- DETERGENT: you HAVE to use a diaper-friendly detergent to prevent repelling, because a non-absorbant diaper is a useless diaper. and if you have to strip them, it can really damage the fibers of the diaper, breaking down the product much quicker.
- i use rockin' green and have had zero problems with it. some people are die-hard advocates for a certain soap, but i don't get caught up in all that. as long as my diapers are clean with no repelling, i'm a happy camper.
- WET BAGS: gotta have a wet bag...actually have a few. one for the bathroom, one for upstairs, downstairs, car...i think you get the point.
- wet bags are kind of like a big ol' diaper. cloth on the outside, water-proof PUL (polyurethane laminated fabric) on the inside, just like the dipes. put the used diapers in the wet bag, zip it up, and wait for wash day...which is usually every other day for me because i'm still acquiring my stash. unzip, dump the diapers in the washer and toss the wet bag in to join the party.
- DIAPER CREAM: just like detergent, it is EXTREMELY important that if you choose to use a diaper cream you use one that is cd friendly, otherwise, your arch nemesis repelling will show up for a visit. boo. we very rarely have to use a cream since switching, but when i feel like b needs a little help, we use the gro via magic stick. smells great and zaps any redness that may be creeping up on those cute little bun buns:)
- WIPES: at this point, i've got so many disposables wipes due to using coups that i'm still using those, but as our budget allows, i'm going to start acquiring cloth wipes. you can make your own using fleece squares and a serger, or buy them at any of the stores that sell cloth dipes. you can keep them in a wipe warmer, wet or dry. i can't give advice on this yet seeing as how i haven't done it, but once i do, i'll put up a quick little once over.
- LINERS: these things SAVE. THE. DAY. seriously. they look just like a roll of toilet paper and you lay them on top of the diaper. they allow the liquid to pass through but hold the solids on top, making clean up even easier. they are flushable and biodegradeable. like i said earlier about the detergent, i'm not brand loyal in this department, so just pick one. they're all the same and their job is to catch poo, so does it really matter??
WHEW! are you totally exhausted and overwhelmed now?? hope not...i know at the beginning it is crazy, but you WILL get the hang of it!!! i haven't even gone into the night time options, but i figured i'd let you digest this 98930428 page post before we dive into that:)
lastly, here are some great resources for cloth diapering:
- if you buy from them let me know, i'll send you a referral for credit and a coup.
- her videos are FANTASTIC. make everyone who will be cd'ing your baby watch these videos. she goes through a ton of different ways to cloth diaper, the different types, etc. this is a slightly older video because there are SOOOOOOO many NEW diapers beyond what she has shown on her videos.
***AFTER I POSTED THIS, I WAS ASKED HOW MANY DIAPERS TO GET STARTED. So sorry i forgot to post that! we started out with about 8 diapers, excluding nighttime and that had me doing diaper laundry pretty much every other day. you want to make sure you have at least two diapers on hand when time to wash so you'll have diapers for baby while the other ones are washing/drying. i have heard of people waiting 3-4 days to do diaper laundry, but personally i don't do that because it grosses me out to let them sit that long. i'm going to post a quick diaper care guide here soon, but if you have questions before then, let me know. also keep in mind the bigger your stash, the less wear and tear on your dipes, making them last longer.
GOOD LUCK! if you have any questions, you can ALWAYS email me:) keep in mind that there is still MUCH more for us to talk about, so if you need anything before i get those posts up, contact me!