Friday, May 25, 2012

Cloth Diaper Review: Part Two

I decided that it might be time to do a follow-up post about cloth diapering since we're now six months in and there seems to be a lot of curiosity from friends about the ins and outs. You could really just call this a continuation review since I wanted to cover some things that I've either discovered since my first post or questions I've been asked and wanted to cover. I have to tell you, it makes me so happy to share our experience with friends and hopefully, encourage others to consider cloth as well!  Bottom line, we are still loving this system and wouldn't change a thing about our choice to cloth diaper!

For some background, here is my original post covering the main reasons we choose to go cloth and here is the first review of cloth diapering I did when Claire was 2 months old.

Before we get started, there are some things to note: We use bumGenius 4.0 One-Size Snaps and our diaper stash contains 30, which we love though you could definitely get away with 24. After doing significant research on different brands, we decided to go with the bumGenius one-size option, as it was the best route for our family. These are my personal opinions based on my own experience.

Stains: It's true that over time the diapers and inserts are going to get a bit dingy. And I guess it doesn't really matter since the stained part is going on their bottom, but it still irked me that after a few months they no longer looked bright and new. After looking extensively into stain-removing remedies that would be safe for cloth diapers, I was skeptical with the overwhelming number of people who swore by good old sunshine. Could hanging them out in the sun really do the trick? Sure enough, after their first sun bath our diapers were back to looking like new! I am now a complete believer in mother nature's stain remover. And if you are someone who doesn't love the "crunchy" feel that line drying them leaves, they can always be thrown in the dryer for a quick touch-up before stuffing them.

Heavy Wetting: As Claire began sleeping through the night, she definitely needed more protection from leaks. For the first few months we were able to get away with just one of the thick/overnight inserts with no leakage. But as she is getting older, we found it necessary to start adding a regular insert in addition to the overnight one. So far, it's done the trick.

Swimming: As the swimming season was upon us, I began looking into cloth swim diapers. Based on various reviews, I ended up purchasing an iswim cloth swim diaper from Amazon for $10. Unfortunately, their sizing chart is less than accurate and I ordered the wrong size, making it necessary for me to send it back to exchange it for a different size. While in the midst of my search, BumGenius posted on their Facebook page that their diapers could actually be used as swim diapers if the cloth insert was taken out! What great news as we have a few to spare for that purpose!

We have since used both the iSwim and our BG diapers for swimming and here are my thoughts: While the iSwim serves it's purpose, we will still need to upgrade to a bigger size as Claire grows, making the fact that it's a cheaper option a non-factor. And because of the nature of our BumGenius diapers, she can wear the same swim diaper(s) until she is 35 lbs., definitely a perk, especially since we already have them!

Laundry soap: It's important to know that for the warranty to be valid, you need to use "cloth diaper safe" detergent on your diapers. For the approved list of those detergents click here. We use and love Nellie's Laundry Soda. After buying a small bag to make sure it as right for us, I purchased the bulk size from Amazon for a really great price! And it goes a long way-six months in and I've barely made a dent in the box and I typically do a load of diapers every 2-3 days. By my calculation of the average load I do and how many loads the detergent guarantees, it should last me about 8.5 months.

Diaper rash: While diaper rash occurs much less frequent with cloth diapers, the reality is that it can still happen for various reasons. We've actually dealt with a few small bouts of it ourselves. Much like with the laundry soap, it is important to use caution when using certain products (such as Desitin) on diaper rash because the active ingredients can actually ruin the absorbancy of your cloth diapers. Our personal favorite product, created especially for cloth diapers, is Angel Baby Bottom Balm! But here is a list of other safe creams as well as some great home remedies.

Traveling: We have now taken two extended trips with Claire, both of which we decided to use disposables. I wrote my first CD review shortly after the first trip and noted that we had decided to spare ourselves any inconvenience of finding a place to launder them and had no issues. After the second trip however, I feel a lot differently. After what can only be described as a world record of blowouts, I don't think I will ever use disposables long-term again! When we started the trip we had size 2 diapers that were leftover from our first trip back in January. Since Claire was right on the cusp of size 2 and size 3, we concluded that the diapers were just too small. And then the first size 3 diaper we put on her ended in another blow out (something, by the way, that just doesn't happen for us with cloth). Needless to say, several stained outfits and emergency airplane changes later, I think the minor inconvenience of doing some laundry while we traveled would have been worth it. Our one saving grace on the trip was that I had decided to bring enough overnight cloth diapers for the trip because we ended up putting those on her for the flight home. This is definitely an area I will be looking into more before we travel with our girl again!

We had a lot of people tease us about cloth diapering when we started solids as babies poop tends to get really, shall we say, foul. While we are certainly noticing the interesting effects solids have had on Claire's poops, it really isn't that horrible. Again, I highly recommend using the diaper sprayer, as it makes even the most gruesome diapers manageable.

That's all I've got for now, but as always, I'm here if you ever have any questions!

1 comment:

Missy said...

great review - very useful info to know! :-D

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