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Meet Christina!

     Christina is our next “Real Mom”, and is a mommy to seven kids, Heather 11, Rebekah 10, Elizabeth10, Allison 10, Steven 8, Jeremiah 6, Timothy 11 mos.  She has used cloth since her second youngest was about two years old, and said one of the initial reasons’ for looking into cloth was that they were cheaper than disposables, and she wouldn’t have to continually buy them. Looking back, she thinks that never having to run to the store for diapers is one of the best things ever. She says, “Seriously… that is SOO freeing! I didn’t even think about that when I started!”

    She was lucky enough to have a friend with cloth-diapering experience walk her through the basics, because like many parents interested in cloth, the options can be overwhelming, and she admittedly had some hesitations. Luckily, her husband was supportive of the “switch”, and he was happy with the money they would save. She said it wasn’t long until he was comfortable changing the diapers on his own.

Christina was also blessed to have her fist diaper stash given to her for free! She says, “I used those with my 2 year old until he was potty trained. When I started cloth diapering my new born, I was experimenting with the different kinds of diapers to see what kind I wanted to use (fitteds, AIO, pockets) so I probably spent around $200. HOWEVER, I have sold all of those for the same price (used bought at great prices, sold at great prices) and been able to buy bigger diapers for his growing body. I also have grown to kind of like cool looking diapers, so now my stash is much larger than it needs to be.”

I asked her what the easiest thing about cd’ing was in her opinion, and she said, “NO BLOWOUTS!!! I LOVE that I never had a newborn, messy poo, explosion, when in cloth diapers! With ALL of my other newborns, I had to carry around extra outfits in the diaper bag so I could change him when it went up his back.” Luckily those accidents are very rare with cloth. She says she has had less accidents with cloth than disposables. Christina thinks that the hardest part for her has been finding the right laundry routine. Once you figure out what is right for your water type, it is easy, but figuring that out can take some time.

   Her favorite diapering combo currently is fitted diapers with wool pants or shorts as covers. While this may not be the trimmest option, she acknowledges that you get used to a “fluffy” butt. She told this story: “The first time I used a disposable diaper with my now 11 month old (we were going to disneyland for 3 days and I did not want to have to carry dirty diapers around in the stroller) I was SHOCKED at how little his butt was! I had gotten used to the signature cloth bootie (big) and actually was worried that the paper diaper was going to leak because it was so thin!” She also mentioned another perk, that cloth diapers are often so cute that you can get away with using them INSTEAD of pants!

  We all know that having support is sometimes a big part of the decision to switch to cloth. Christina has several groups on facebook that have cloth diapering mama’s that she gets advice from. She also says that she has already “converted” a few friends herself, and would absolutely recommend them to anyone who asked.

Thanks Christina!!

All about Prefolds!

This is part two of a series on the different types of cloth diapering

Prefolds are a bit less complicated than flats. Essentially, they ARE a flat just folded and sewn into layers, with more layers through the center of the prefold. When tri-folded, prefold can be used inside a pocket diaper, or laid inside a cover to be used without pins/snappis. They can also be folded in a variety of different way, and used with pins/snappis for more protection.

Benefits: Still one of the cheaper options. Easier to wash/dry than some fancier cloth diapers. Not as high of a learning curve as using flat diapers. If choosing an organic cotton/bamboo/hemp material, and a wool cover, synthetic materials can be completely avoided. Are pretty flexible on sizes, and can fit a variety of different sized babies. Prefolds can be used for a variety of household purposes after they are done being used as a diaper!

Drawbacks: Most prefolds are sized, meaning a prefold that fits a newborn pinned around the waist will not fit through potty-training pinned in the same fashion… it may fit as a doubler, or tri-folded in a larger cover, though. Babies wearing just a prefold without some sort of stay-dry layer (like micro-fleece) between their bottom and the diaper will feel wet.

Different prefold sizes: Sizes and thickness vary between the brands.    Here are a few size charts for brands we carry!

Bummis Organic cotton prefolds

Weight range Measurements* Thickness
Preemie 4 – 9 lbs (2 – 4 kg) 9.5 x 13″ (24 x 33 cm) 2 x 6 x 2 ply
Infant 7 – 15 lbs (3 – 7 kg) 12 x 16″ (30 x 40 cm) 4 x 8 x 4 ply
Baby 15 – 30 lbs (7 – 14 kg) 14 x 21″ (35 x 53 cm) 4 x 8 x 4 ply
Unbleached Premium Indian Cotton prefolds

Size                    Weight Range                 Thickness

Premie                 <7                                      4x8x4 ply

1                           7-15                                     4x8x4 ply

2                         15-30 lbs                             4x8x4 ply

 

 

Different prefold folds: Video of 5 different ones here

 

Price range: Around a $1.60 each for organic cotton, up to $9.95 each for hemp prefolds.

Cloth 101

So you’re interested in cloth! Wonderful! But you’re confused, you have lots of questions, and you’re not sure where to begin… What’s a fitted? How many diapers do I need? How do I convince my husband to use cloth? What’s PUL? Or an AIO?

First off, take a deeeeeeeep breath… it’s all going to be ok! Cloth diapers ARE just diapers, afterall. Yes, there is a learning curve to using cloth since our parents most likely used disposables on us (if you were born after the mid to late 70’s), so we were never taught how. Let’s start with the basics… A “Cloth Diapering 101” class if you will.

What are the point of diapers, anyway? Well, I think we’d all agree that a diaper needs to contain liquid waste and solid waste. How it’s done is not really important at this point. Let’s go with the REALLY BASIC basics… To prevent tons of icky messes in really inconvenient places, babies need something that 1) absorbs urine, 2) contains (sometimes explosive) fecal matter, and 3) has some sort of fastener to keep the diaper on the baby. Disposables do this… They have chemicals (SAP) that absorb urine, chemical perfumes to mask the smell of poop, elastic-y plastic stuff around the legs and across the back in attempt to contain the more explosive poops, and a plastic waterproof layer with some sort of sticky tabs to hold the whole thing together. With Cloth diapers it’s the same thing… a natural fiber or synthetic fiber layer (most common are cotton, bamboo, hemp, and microfiber), a waterproof outer-layer normally made of PUL,(Wool and fleece are other options) and elastic around the legs and back to contain the messiest of messes, and either snaps or some form of aplix (velcro) closure to fasten it around the baby. See how they aren’t so different?? The difference is in the materials that make up the diapers, not how they work!

So why should you choose cloth? I can’t really answer that question… cloth is not for everyone, just like a vegetarian diet isn’t for everyone! As parents, we weigh the benefits vs. the drawbacks. So I’ll list those here for you to decide:

Drawbacks first:

– Cloth diapers do need to be changed more often than disposable diapers. Usually every 2 hours… but there’s a hidden benefit here, since it’s been shown babies in cloth get less diaper rashes since they’re not sitting in their own waste for hours on end.

– Babies feel wet when they pee, which sometimes makes them cry… eh, crying isn’t great, but on the plus side, you’re alerted that they’re uncomfortable, and they’ll learn the correlation between peeing/pooping and feeling uncomfortable, and actually potty-train earlier.

– Cloth diapers will require doing more laundry, unless using a diaper service of course. Oh! But another hidden benefit here… Cloth diapers actually contain poopy leaks better, so you’ll be washing less dirty outfits!

– Cloth diapers are a bigger initial investment. Yep, this is true… you can buy a pack of 30+ diapers for around $15-$20, which is about the average price of a single cloth diaper… We’ll address cost later though.

– Sometimes it’s hard to find child care willing to use cloth diapers.

– Sometimes Dad’s/grandparents/family members refuse to use cloth diapers

– You can’t throw away poop! Well, that’s actually against the law anyway, you’ll just have to put it where it belongs and flush it.

– Cloth diapers are bulkier than disposables, so sometimes clothes (especially jeans) don’t fit properly

Benefits:

– Less Diaper Rashes – If any at all!

– No exposure to chemicals/perfumes

– Earlier Potty training

– Less waste in landfills (an estimated 2,000 lbs per child using disposables!)

-More money in your pocket! You can cloth diaper from birth to potty-training for under $200, there is NO WAY that’s possible with disposables! It’s estimated that a baby uses over $2,000 worth of disposables from birth to potty-training around 2 years old… if they potty-train by 2!

– Less leaks & ruined clothes

– No need to run to the corner store at 3 am when you realize you’re out of disposables

– Cloth diapers come in tons of fun prints and are super cute!

Only you can decide if the benefits out-weigh the drawbacks!

Over the next few days I’m going to write in-depth posts on the different types of cloth diapers, and I will link them here:

Flats

Prefolds

Fitteds

Covers

Pocket Diapers

Hybrid Diapers

All-In-One Diapers